G’day PoGO lovers. November content has recently dropped and although this writer is a little late to the party, let’s look at the PvP priorities and your other PoGO considerations throughout the month!
|November 7, 2023||Chinchou||
2× Candy for transferring Pokémon
|November 14, 2023||Buneary||
2× Candy for evolving Pokémon
|November 21, 2023||Dunsparce||
2× Stardust for catching Pokémon
|November 28, 2023||Lechonk||
2× XP for catching Pokémon
November’s spotlight hours are overall underwhelming for PvP, due to either a lack of meta relevance or being a part of recent events.Chinchou
Chinchou was available on November 7 with 2x transfer candy. Even with the recent ‘nerf’ to Spark, Lanturn is an excellent meta staple in the Great League which has a greater than 50% win rate across the open meta. You can run with either Spark or Water Gun as the fast move, both variants having strong win-loss outcomes depending on the meta and your team makeup. Lanturn’s bulk helps it to chunk away at its opponents HP, even in losing matchups. Lanturn also has some play in the Ultra League, particularly with the everpresent Charizard and Tapu Fini in the open meta. However, Lanturn does tend to struggle more with its hard counters in the higher CP league, with its lower attack less likely to threaten shields or chunk away at the Grass and Dragon types that resist its moves. In many ways, Tapu Fini does Lanturn’s job, but better.
Chinchou is also very decent in the Little League meta, typically featuring as an excellent anti-pick for Vulpix and Ducklett. Definitely worth holding onto for next season’s sub-500 CP cups. Chinchou is still spawning as part of the current Festival of Lights event, so if you missed your chance to pick up a decent one during the spotlight hour, keep hunting for a bulky IV variant.Buneary
Buneary is available on November 14 with 2x evolution XP. Lopunny recently received the move Triple Axle into its movepool, though this still isn’t enough to push it into open meta relevance. It does pick up some handy wins in the Great League, and can be used as a (sort of) anti-Steel and Lickitung counter, but it doesn’t quite have the bulk or versatility needed to be a consistent performer.Dunsparce
Dunsparce is available on November 21 with 2x stardust per catch. Dunsparce might be one of the more frustrating anti-meta pokémon to face in the Great League, with a spammy moveset, excellent coverage, and decent bulk rivalling Lanturn for stat product. The main challenge that Dunsparce has is that it struggles more against Fighting types than meta staple, Lickitung. While Licki has slightly more bulk and more neutral coverage in its moves, Dunsparce is still incredibly decent and has a lot of play in limited meta cups, such as the recent Sunshine Cup.
If you already have a decent Dunsparce built, you could consider searching for a decent build for the pending release of its evolution, Dudunsparce, which has some play in the Ultra League. Finally, you can use the hour to drop a couple of starpieces and build up your stardust supply!Lechonk
Lechonk is available on November 28 with 2x catch XP. Oinkologne is decent enough in the Great League and Ultra League, and is fairly cheap to build. Lechonk was part of this season’s Paldea launch, and has featured heavily in wild spawns, so it’s highly likely that you will already have a decent variant built, or ready to go. However, now is a good opportunity to hunt for one with decent bulk, or the shiny if you don’t have one yet! It’s worth noting that the female variant has greater bulk and the better win rate overall.
5 Star Raids
|Genesect||From November 3 to November 9 Genesect (Douse Drive) will appear in five-star raids, and they can be shiny.|
|Virizion Cobalion Terrakion|
From a PvP perspective, the highlight will be the return of the Swords of Justice trio! It’s a bit of a bummer that non of the featured mons will have their signature moves, meaning you’ll need to burn an Elite Charged TM if you want to maximise their PvP (and PvE) potential.Genesect
Genesect (Douse Drive) is an ok pick in the Ultra League and surprisingly the Master League, but the Chill Drive variant has greatest versatility and is overall a better answer to the various Dragon and Grass types in the current (UL) meta. To make matters worse, while you can catch the Douse Drive variant, it doesn’t have its signature move Techno Blast (Douse) upon catch, meaning it’s an expensive build overall. In my view, there are better candidates for your Elite Charged TM’s, but if you’ve got a bunch spare and you’re dying to build one, now’s your opportunity!Virizion
Virizion has become an Ultra League staple, and with that win-loss record it is very easy to see why. Virizion represents an excellent counter to Water and Steel types, and is one of the best leads in the meta. Although types such as Charizard and Pidgeot represent a serious challenge to overcome, in the right team composition Virizion is an absolute menace in the 1-shield scenarios. Part of Virizion’s threat is that its moveset is super spammy, and can act as a bit of a swiss army knife rotating between the charged moves Sacred Sword, Leaf Blade and the hard hitting coverage move Stone Edge to combat the aforementioned flyers. Virizion is also more than decent in the Master League, so if you’ve got a hundo spare now is a good opportunity to grind for XL candy.
It’s worth noting that while Sacred Sword isn’t absolutely necessary for Virizion, it’s definitely in the preferred moveset for all 3 Swords of Justice legendaries. You could always build 2 (or 3) variants to avoid burning Charged TMs (which are in limited supply these days).Cobalion
Like its grass cousin, Cobalion is another Ultra League staple that is an excellent pick in the open meta. Cobalion is slightly less versatile, with its preferred moveset featuring Double Kick, Sacred Sword and Stone Edge (note: Iron Head doesn’t cut it in the open meta, it doesn’t hit hard enough and there’s not enough Fairy types to target). Coballion smashes through Steel, Dark and Ice types and is somewhat of an anti-Poison pick too thanks to its own Steel sub-typing. In the right team, Cobalion can play a crucial Fighting role and its versatility allows it to play multiple roles in different team compositions.
It’s worth noting that Sacred Sword is absolutely necessary for Cobalion to be relevant, so you’ll need to either wait for the future or use an Elite Charged TM to leverage its potential.Terrakion
Terrakion has the worst w/l record of the 3 Swords of Justice fighters, but it does have some spice play in the Ultra League and Master League. Terrakion’s Rock sub-typing unfortunately does it no favours in the open Ultra League meta, lacking the useful resistances of its cousins, and its attack weighted stats mean it struggles to survive in prolonged battles. Although its moves are excellent, this isn’t enough to help it out of many of its negative matchups.
All is not lost – Terrakion is excellent in the PvE scene, and its attack weighting helps it to be the #2 ranked Fighting type attacker (but only with Sacred Sword), so it’s definitely worth grinding to get the candy to power one up.
|Houndoom (Mega)||From November 3 to November 12 Mega Houndoom will appear in Mega Raids.|
|Garchomp (Mega)||November 11 2-5pm local time – special raid day
From November 12 to November 16 Mega Garchomp will appear in Mega Raids.
|Kangaskhan (Mega)||From November 16 to November 30 Mega Kangaskhan will appear in Mega Raids.|
The Japanese Pokemon GO X account has confirmed that Mega Garchomp will be the featured between November 12 – 16. Mega Garchomp will be an absolute monster on the PvE scene, coming in as the #2 attacker in both its Ground and Dragon typings. Garchomp itself is also a sleeper pick in the Master League, although it does struggle against fairies and flyers, but most importantly, it really needs its community day move Earth Power to fulfil its potential. If you already have a hundo built, it might be better to raid for the mega energy only.
Mega Houndoom is actually a decent Dark type raid attacker, coming in at #3 on the PvE attackers list. On the PvP scene, Houndoom isn’t so hot, lacking the bulk to do any meaningful damage in the Ultra League. Not a high priority.
Mega Kangaskhan is a dex-filler. Normal typing just has no utility in raids due to lacking the ability to hit anything for super effective damage. Kangaskhan’s moveset and stats do nothing to change that.
Community Day Classic
Mareep has been announced as the featured Pokémon for the November Community Day Classic event on November 25, running from 2pm to 5pm local time. I have had a special place in my heart for Ampharos since the days of Pokemon Silver, and it seems that it has a special place in Niantic’s heart too, being the special recipient of NINE different charge moves! The challenging part about this is that you’ll be playing charged TM roulette trying to get the right moveset that meets your needs.
The good news? Dragon Pulse isn’t really doing Ampharos any favours, so you can hold on your evolutions for after the event and save a charged TM. Although the Dragon type damage can be situationally useful, it is a fairly expensive and low powered move that doesn’t provide as much coverage as you would hope. For example, when considering the Ultra League meta, Brutal Swing already hits Giratina for super effective damage, and is much cheaper and accessible, while Volt Switch and Thunder Punch already hit Dragonite for neutral damage. The preferred coverage moves are either the newly released Trailblaze or the nuke move Focus Blast, which have better coverage and utility for Amphoros.
The other consideration? The shadow variant is a lot more impactful in the Great League than its non-shadow counterpart. In the Ultra League it’s a little more mixed – the extra power of the shadow form is incredibly threatening, but the cost is a loss of bulk which really hurts a mon that has average bulk to begin with.
In summary, I would prioritise (in the following order): a good Ultra League Ampharos, a Great League Ampharos, a decent Mareep for the Little League, and a hundo (with enough XL candy) for the mega evolution.
Events (including some speculation)
The events this month are a little lacklustre, but lets take a quick look at what we know.
|Festival of Lights
November 7, 2023 to November 12
The Festival of Lights event features the newly released Tadbulb! Its evolution, Bellibolt is actually pretty decent in the Great League and particularly the Ultra League! With the fast charging Discharge and nuke move Zap Cannon, combined with decent bulk, Belli could definitely break out in certain metas.
Other spawns to hunt for:
- Vulpix: its evolution Ninetales is very decent in the Great League, though it prefers to be a shadow. Vulpix is awesome in the Little League too.
- Mareep: its evolution Ampharos is a strong Ultra League pick, hitting almost all types for at least neutral damage with its diverse movepool.
- Slugma: its evolution Magcargo has some play in limited metas at the Great League level as a slow but hard hitting fire type.
November 15, 2023 to November 19
Just like shinies, costumed Pokémon are better in PvP, right? Of all the mons featured with costumes, we’ve got everyone’s favourite – Wooper! You can catch a decent IV one and evolve it in December’s commday recap for its community day move Aqua Tail, if you feel like having your Quagsire rock some swag!
There’s honestly not too many spawns to get excited about for PvP during this event. Notable considerations include:
- Dragonite rocking the bow tie and glasses could be fun in the Master League, but again most players should have a decent one either ready to or built already.
- Mareanie’s evolution Toxapex is highly meta relevant (particularly in cups, for example the recent Halloween Cup) but is a fairly recent spawn (and seems to hatch out of every 5km egg for me!). I don’t love Toxapex because it’s fairly inflexible but its bulk is no joke and it can put in work – just keep it away from Clodsire!
- Frillish’s evolution Jellicent remains highly relevant in the Great League and particularly the Ultra League, acting as a bulky answer to Swampert, Cresselia, and most other Fighting and Poison types. You’ll need XL candy for the Ultra League build (and the spicy Frillish Great League build!), so now could be a decent opportunity to grind for those.
November 22, 2023 to November 29
Early speculation suggests we’ve got an event tied to the newly released Party Play feature that was recently rolled out. Again, we’ll keep you posted once we know more details.
November is slightly less exciting than the last couple of months for the PvP scene, but hopefully you’re all kicking your GBL goals and pushing for higher ranks! You can find me on Twitter or Instagram for more PvP spot analysis. As always, good luck with your shiny hunt!
See ya later,