A PvP Analysis on Bruxish (and the Festival of Colors)

Still settling in during a frantic first week of this season, and still have the second meta of the GBL season (Color Cup) to get to. But arriving first is the Festival of Colors, and specifically the debut of humble BRUXISH. Let’s take a quick look at this grotesque gorgeous fish in PvP.


Bruxish WaterPsychic

So briefly, in terms of bulk… Brux doesn’t really have any. It is very slightly tankier than notable glass cannons like Scizor, Luxray, and Galvantula, and less tanky than PvP superstars (it doesn’t show in the written word, but this is dripping with sarcasm) Sceptile, Mamoswine, Gallade, Gardevoir, Dragonite, and the Simi trio (Simisear, Simipour, Simisage). I know, some of those are legit big names in PvP… but not in Great League where I’m primarily doing these comparisons! In fairness, the same is true of Ultra League where some of those do have more play, but generally only when they have moves that can outrace the opposition, such as Dragonite with its Claw and Superpower, and Gallade with Leaf Blade and Close Combat. Might Bruxish have moves that can overcome its flimsiness as well? Put a pin in that and we’ll circle back in a minute.

First, I do need to briefly touch on the typing. Water/Psychic is nothing new… it’s been around on the Kanto Slows since Gen1. It’s an odd combination with no real overlap, so Bruxish (and the Slows) come with all the good and bad from each of the two typings. From Water comes resistances to Fire, Ice, Steel, and other Waters, and vulnerabilities to Electric and Grass. From Psychic (the typing) come resistances to Fighting and Psychic, and weaknesses to Dark, Ghost, and Bug. Like I said, best (and worst) of both worlds, quite literally.

Now how do its moves look? Prettier than Brux does, I’ll say that!


Fast Moves

  • ConfusionPsychic type, 4.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 2.0 CoolDown
  • Water GunWater type, 3.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 0.5 CD
  • BiteDark type, 4.0 DPT, 2.0 EPT, 0.5 CD

I haven’t mentioned them much yet, but there are some major shades of Kanto Slowbro/king/poke in Bruxish. Not just in the typing, but also the moves. Brux has the same two fast moves that they do: Confusion and Water Gun. Neither are amazing moves, but Confusion deals very high damage while still generating average amounts of energy, and is usually preferred on the Slows over Water Gun. That said, Gun is a lot easier to use (no long cooldown like Confusion, which can problematic sometimes when racing to charge moves) and is preferred in some limited metas, like Love Cup.

However, Bruxish comes with a third fast move that the Slows lack, one which looks rather tame (and in truth is not a move you’d usually consider in Open play), but might have fantastic play in a little over a week: Bite. It doesn’t get STAB like the other two moves, and that energy generation will cause folks to normally stay away. But next week, we revisit Psychic Cup… a format in which Bite deals super effective damage to all but five things (Fighters Medicham and Gallade, Dark type Malamar, and Fairies Gardevoir and Galarian Rapidash). I smell a one week wonder in the making!

But outside of that… yeah, usually it’s just gonna be set it and forget it with Confusion, and MAYBE the occasional Water Gun depending on the Cup Of The Week.

Thankfully, their average energy generation isn’t much of a problem with spammy charge moves like these!

Charge Moves

  • Psychic FangsPsychic type, 40 damage, 35 energy, Reduces Opponent Defense -1 Stage
  • Aqua TailWater type, 50 damage, 35 energy
  • CrunchDark type, 70 damage, 45 energy, 30% Chance: Reduce Opponent Defense -1 Stage

Psychic, Water, and Dark again… gotta love synergy. Bruxish may lack closing power (Crunch is the highest it gets, with only 70 damage), but it makes up for it with the pressure from its fast moves and spam galore here. Both Psychic Fangs and Aqua Tail cost only 35 energy, so it takes only 3 Confusions (or 12 Water Guns) to get to them, and even Crunch is only one extra Confusion or 3 Water Guns on top of that.


So how does that translate to real success? Well, first I’m going to throw out the Open GL numbers, and then tell you why they’re actually much better than that first appears. Note some of the names on that winlist. Medicham. Azumarill. Swampert. Pelipper. Dunsparce. Vigoroth. Toxicroak. Alolan Ninetales. Walrein. Froslass. Venusaur. Toxapex. Talonflame. And more besides. That is a GOOD list of names, no? Not even Slowbro with future Community Day move Surf can defeat Pelipper, Venusaur, Toxapex, Froslass, or Shadow Swampert like Bruxish can. Brux has spam potential that even Surf Slowbro can only dream of, and in particular, Psychic Fangs and its constant weakening of the opponent only makes Bruxish’s fast moves all the more devastating. This is a nice little core breaker on the way, folks!

And one that remains remarkably consistent in 2v2 shielding, retaining all 1v1 shield wins except Cofagrigus… but replacing it with Charizard. The one downer? Without closing power, Brux really struggles with shields down. It succumbs to its wounds before it can finish most things off, though at least Medicham is counted among its short list of wins even here.

Before we briefly move on to Ultra, circling back on Psychic Cup to show off what it can do with its Dark moves… yeah, it’s going to be a BEAST. 😱 More on that next week as we dig into the new (and improved?) Psychic Cup meta, but for now, I strongly recommend grinding for a good Bruxish while it’s around. You WILL want it for that format… and as I’ve hopefully shown, it’s just a couple TMs away from potentially long term use after that as well. (Including maybe in Color Cup? 🤔) I DO RECOMMEND BUILDING BRUXISH FOR GREAT LEAGUE, in case that wasn’t already clear. 😁

Now on to Ultra to wrap this analysis up.

Bruxish Jump Scare (SM001) GIF by MoonlitMountain | Gfycat


So the number of wins in Ultra League is very similar to Great League… but that’s a bad thing, since the number of losses is actually larger. Worse, there’s no Medicham or Azumarill or Toxapex or the like to abuse here, and others that it beat in Great League can catch up and flip the script at this level, like Swampert. It becomes more of a role player in Ultra, beating up on Fighters and Poisons and Fires, and a smattering of Water and Ice types, and a couple prominent Fairies (A-Ninetales and Granbull). But its role really ends there, with many staples of the meta getting away. Many more than is true in Great League, anyway. The lack of closing power really catches up to it here, and of the two, it is now Slowbro that starts to pull away thanks to harder-hitting charge moves. So while you CAN build an UL Bruxish… I would just hold off and wait for Slowpoke Community Day and build up a Slowbro (or Slowking) instead.


I really intended this to stick to just Brux, but briefly regarding the rest of the event:

  • MEGA MEDICHAM isn’t really something I expect to ever hit PvP, but if it even became possible, it would be interesting in Ultra League.
  • This looks like a great event to grind Candy XL for WOBBUFFET, which is spicy enough for Great League use as long as you can max it out, and the one you’re maxing out is purified with Return. Otherwise, it doesn’t even have a second charge move!
  • Similarly, any event where LICKITUNG is in the wild is another opportunity to grind XLs and work on one of these beasts. Good luck!
  • Wingull is an event spawn, and PELIPPER is suddenly really, really good again. XLs not needed here (unless you want the spicy Ultra League Pelipper 👀), but it’s a great time to seek good IVs, at least.
  • STUNKYBURMY (Trash Cloak), and GALARIAN ZIGZAGOON are worth hunting around for as well, with their evolutions being quite useful in Great League (and Ultra, in Zig’s case).
  • Among raids, DRUDDIGON remains useful in certain formats (and the shiny is amazing), and HO-OH is and likely always will be a Master League staple, presenting another candy/XL grinding opportunity.

Alright, now let’s wrap it up!


To reiterate one more time: if you have any intention of trying Psychic Cup (now or in the future), go find a good Bruxish this week. It’s quirky enough (and different from the Super Slow Bros. enough) that it should find use in future GL metas as well, and perhaps even Open! Don’t worry too much about UL though.

And that’s it for today! Until next time (which shouldn’t be long from now!), you can always find me on Twitter with regular analysis nuggets or Patreon, if you’re feeling extra generous.

Until then, be safe out there, Pokéfriends. Good hunting (or should I say fishing?), and catch you next time!

Author & tags

PoGO/PvP Investigative Journalist, GO Hub and Silph Arena/Road Contributor, amateur cook, author of 'Nifty Or Thrifty' and 'Under The Lights' article series and #PvPfacts!

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