Unreleased Favorites: Ash Greninja


Greninja is a fan-favourite Pokémon from the Kalos region, the final evolution of Froakie, the Water type starter Pokémon. Ash Greninja on the other hand, is a completely different story. in the Anime, Ash and his Greninja had to go through a bond evolution process for the Greninja to be able to unlock some hidden potential and gain strength. This Pokémon is now referred to as Ash Greninja, and we have seen this being datamined by the PokeMiners during July 2021. It was leaked alongside Vivillion, Primal Groudon and Kyogre, Hoopa, Keldeo and Shaymin. Most of these have already been released, so it is likely that Ash Greninja will come to the game at some point too.


Ash Greninja still has yet to make its debut in Pokémon GO, but there are many ways it could be introduced into the game. 

In January of 2023, we saw the starter community days coming back into Pokémon GO after about a year or so of absence. Chespin, the first starter from the Kalos region was featured during this event, with the typical Community Day shiny debut. It seems likely we could see Froakie community day at some point in 2023, depending on how Niantic decide to space the starters out.

However, there are chances we don’t see Ash Greninja dropping with Froakie Community Day since it might be overwhelming. Raid Days would be a great way to introduce Ash Greninja. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets locked behind a paid-ticketed research just like we saw recently with Melmetal and Willow clothing.

The Shiny

Black shinies are a huge fan favourite, they can be gorgeous, and fun. Ash Greninja is no exception! Its body is black, with a long tongue and most of the upper mouth, and its head being red. The top part of its head and the back is a subtle shade of blue.

Once it drops, it will be a sought-after shiny by most of us. 

Shiny Ash Greninja has not been available in the main series games and has only been seen in games due to hacking.

How will it Work?

Greninja needs an ability known as Battle Bond for it to ‘Bond Evolve’ and turn into Ash Greninja in the Anime. But, we don’t have abilities in Pokémon GO. So how will this work?

Unfortunately, no one knows for sure, we can only speculate. It would be cool to see a ‘Bond Revert’ or ‘Bond Evolve’ button in Pokémon GO; just like we have right now with Mega Evolutions and Primals. It would work the same way. 30 days to reach max level, and there are candy and XP bonuses and etcetera. It could have a special friendship evolution requirement, needing to be a certain level or to earn an amount of hearts, before it can evolve.

Niantic could also lock Ash Greninja behind a Raid Day or make it the 4th evolution of Froakie. It is also possible that for a limited time, we could evolve Frogadier into Ash Greninja instead of normal Greninja, kind of like what we had with Exeggute and Cubone last year during the Season of Alola. (Exeggute and Cubone, for a limited time, evolved into their Alolan forms instead of their Kantonian ones)

In these scenarios, we would have Ash Greninja as a completely different and separate Pokémon than normal Greninja which wouldn’t be too bad, unless you have already evolved your 100iv Froakies into Greninja. 

General Stats 

Enough speculation.

Now let’s talk about Ash Greninja’s stats. Disclaimer: Ash Greninja has not been released yet in Pokémon GO, so these could potentially change. Niantic could nerf Ash Greninja. But, hopefully, these will be the stats and little should change. 

With current speculated stats, Ash Greninja at level 50 would have a max CP of 4,504. Just insane for a non-mega and non-pseudo legendary Pokémon. These are the current predicted stats:

  • ATK: 339
  • DEF: 155
  • STA: 176 

Currently, it can learn the following moves:

Fast Move Charged Move
  • Feint Attack Dark
  • Bubble Water
  • Night Slash Dark
  • Aerial Ace Flying
  • Surf Water
  • Hydro Pump Water


Ash Greninja will be a Top Dog of its typing: Dark and Water. It should rank highly, just below Primal Kyogre depending on movesets, and potentially above the likes of Mega Swampert, Mega Blastoise and shadow Water types.

With Bubble and Surf it will be the 3rd best Water type raid attacker in the game, only behind Primal Kyogre with Waterfall and Origin Pulse, and Primal Kyogre again but this time with Waterfall and Surf.

Note that since Froakie is a starter Pokémon, it is possible that Ash Greninja could learn Hydro Cannon during its community day, as all the previous Water starters have been given the same move in the past. There is also a high possibility that it learns its signature move Water Shuriken during the community day, just like Samurott learned Razor Shell. Hydro Cannon would definitely top Surf, and make Ash Greninja even better as a Water type raid attacker, whereas Water Shuriken could replace Bubble to be a better fast move. This will overall enhance Ash Greninja and make it even more useful. Though Water type isn’t a super useful type, it is still pretty good to counter difficult raid bosses such as Groudon, Primal Groudon, Landorus, Terrakion, and more. 

Now for the Dark typing, Ash Greninja isn’t going to be the best, but it will be solid, and a better budget option than the better ones. It should still fall into the top 10 Dark type raid attackers, behind the likes of Shadow Weavile, Shadow Honchkrow, Shadow Absol, Mega Absol and Mega Houndoom.

Shadows are hard to power up as they require more XL candy and stardust, so Ash Greninja would be a solid budget option. If you have a decent IV Ash Greninja you are better off using it as a water-type raid attacker, because that is where it mostly shines. But there’s no harm in keeping one for dark typing as well. You will need the move Feint Attack, and Night Slash on it if you plan on doing that. 


Now that was PVE, but what about PVP? How will Ash Greninja shine in the GO Battle League? 

If Ash Greninja is introduced through a ‘Bond Evolve’ phenomenon, then it won’t be allowed in the GBL at all, excluding the limited-time Master League: Mega Edition. But if it isn’t, then it will be pretty good.

Right now, Greninja is a pretty spammy Pokémon in the GBL since it has access to quick charging moves such as Night Slash and Surf. Hydro Pump takes forever to charge, and Aerial Ace doesn’t qualify for STAB. If Greninja were to learn some harder-hitting charged moves such as Hydro Cannon, and a better fast move like Water Shuriken, it would become much more threatening in GBL. Not necessarily like Swampert which only has one weakness, but it would improve nevertheless. Currently, Greninja is ranked #491 in the open GL; #347 in the open UL, and #259 in the open ML. 

Aside from better moves, Greninja also needs more bulk. It is a Glass Cannon, meaning even though it is really, really good offensively, its stamina is very low. Pokémon like Registeel and Medicham shine in the UL since they are very bulky, and don’t get one shot when they get hit by a move they are weak against. 

Now, take all of that and apply it to Ash Greninja. Since Ash Greninja has almost 1,500 more CP than the normal one and better states, it would become an absolute MONSTER in the ML, once it learns these moves. With a max CP of a whopping 4504 and its dual typing of Water and Dark, Ash Greninja would become a threat to some common Pokémon used in the Master League, such as Tyranitar, Mewtwo, Metagross, Groudon, Ho-Oh, and Lugia. 


Wild, right? Well, thank you for taking the time to read this article. And together let’s cross our fingers 🤞 that Ash Greninja drops really soon, and doesn’t get nerfed. Until next time, trainers!

Author & tags

An enthusiastic Pokémon GO player and writer.

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