A PvP Analysis on Community Day Serperior

A PvP Analysis on Community Day Serperior
A PvP Analysis on Community Day Serperior

Confucius say: “Men of Serperior mind busy themselves first getting at the root of things; when they succeed, the Frenzy Plant is open to them.” …or something akin to that. Seriously, it’s not THAT far off what Confucius actually said….

Anyway, we’re here to talk about Community Day Serperior, and Community Day is coming up QUICK, so let’s not waste any time!

Advertisement

Serperior

Serperior

Grass Type

GREAT LEAGUE:

  • Attack: 110 (108 High Stat Product)
  • Defense: 143 (144 High Stat Product)
  • HP: 128 (132 High Stat Product)
  • (Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-10-15, 1500 CP, Level 25.5)

ULTRA LEAGUE:

  • Attack: 139 (144 at Level 50)
  • Defense: 173 (183 at Level 50)
  • HP: 154 (164 at Level 50)
  • (15-15-15 IVs: CP 2277 at Level 40; 10-14-15 IVs: CP 2495 at Level 50)

So much of this article is going to be comparing Serperior to other Grass types that have the same exclusive Community Day move. And with that in mind:

Venusaur

Venusaur is a Grass/Poison type that is more Attack centric (123 on average in GL and 160ish in UL). Venusaur has the advantages (and disadvantages) of that Poison subtyping, including handy resistances to Fighting and Fairy damage (and a double resistance to Grass), but with a vulnerability to Psychic damage. Serperior is much bulkier, but Venusaur still has some defensive advantages with Fighting, Fairy, and Grass moves being so common in PvP.

Meganium

A much closer comparison is Meganium, universally recognized as the bulkiest Grass starter so far (with a Community Day move, at least). But what if I told you Serperior is even bulkier? Meg’s standard GL stats are 112 Attack, 135 Defense, and 131 HP, so Serperior has 2 less Attack but a higher overall bulk (combo of Defense and HP), and at the same 10-14-15 stats that are ideal for Level 50 Serp (and Level 45 Meg), Meganium has 1.5 less Attack, 7 less Defense, and 3 more HP… again, a very slight win for Serperior in bulk. It’s not big, but still, being on the same level (and even very slightly better) than Meg is well worth noting.

There’s also Sceptile and Torterra, but as I’ve written about in the past, they usually don’t even WANT their exclusive move… Sceptile typically wants Leaf Blade and Earthquake, and Torterror often runs best with Sand Tomb to make Razor Leaf even more oppressive and Stone Edge for perfect coverage. And neither are any bulkier than Venusaur anyway.

So the main takeaway here?

  • Mono Grass typing means less advantages than Venusaur… both resist Water, Electric, and Grass and are weak to Flying, Fire, and Ice, but with Venusaur also resisting Fighting and Fairy, taking neutral from Bugs – pure Grasses take super effective damage – and double resisting Grass.
  • Serperior is the bulkiest Grass starter to receive a Community Day move yet.

Serperior’s moves

Fast Moves

  • Vine Whip (Grass, 2.5 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 1.0 CD)
  • Iron Tail (Steel, 3.0 DPT, 2.0 EPT, 1.5 CD)

So nothing new yet. Just wanted to highlight that, while Iron Tail is a very different kind of fast move for a Grass, it’s a really bad move, having the low energy generation of Razor Leaf and Charm but only dealing about half the damage. Vine Whip–the same move that makes Venusaur and Meganium tick–is THE way to go here.

Advertisement

Charge Moves

  • Leaf Tornado (Grass, 45 damage, 40 energy, 50% Chance to Decrease Opponent Attack -2 Stages)
  • Aerial Ace (Flying, 55 damage, 45 energy)
  • Frenzy Plantᴱ (Grass, 100 damage, 45 energy)
  • Grass Knot (Grass, 90 damage, 50 energy)

ᴱ – Exclusive (Community Day) Move

You all knew it was coming, but yes, Frenzy Plant is the exclusive move Serperior gets on Sunday, the first time any of the three starter CD moves has been featured during Community Day since Empoleon got Hydro Cannon in January of 2020, and the first time anything has gotten Frenzy Plant (Torterra) since September of 2019!

But first I’m going to tease you a bit by showing Serperior’s best as of today. And that’s with Grass Knot, a very solid move, but strictly inferior to Frenzy Plant (10 less damage for 5 more energy). There are two schools of thought about the second charge move to run with:

  • Aerial Ace is Serp’s only coverage move, and while it’s a very so-so move overall–and I swear, half the Pokemon in this game seem to have it!–it’s super effective against enemy Grasses, Fighters, and Bugs, all of which can give Serp trouble otherwise, and combined with Grass damage leaves Steels as the only type of Pokemon that Serperior cannot hit for at least neutral damage. Specifically, Ace allows Serperior to defeat Meganium, Ferrothorn, and Chesnaught in 1v1 shielding, and Medicham, Scrafty, Razor Leaf Tropius, and potentially Clefable in 0v0 shielding in Great League, and Tangrowth in Ultra League Premier Cup.
  • Other players prefer Leaf Tornado. It provides no coverage, but is 5 energy cheaper than Grass Knot and has a 50/50 shot of heavily crippling the opponent by reducing their Attack by 2 full levels. In short, Leaf Tornado has a lot of boom AND bust potential, in equal parts. That’s tough to sim, since you never know when (or if) it will go off and tip the scales of battle (all the time, 50% of the time!), but even just its cheapness is enough for it match all the Aerial Ace GL wins in 0v0 shielding except for Tropius (as a reminder, that means Medicham, Clefable, and Scrafty) and a unique win over Kingdra in Ultra League.

So that’s where Serp sits today: okay as Grass type, but far from remarkable. Now enter Frenzy Plant.

Serperior and Frenzy Plant

  • In Great League, FP/AA Serperior is already looking a lot better with new 1v1 shield wins against Cresselia, Galvantula, Melmetal, Mew, and Umbreon, and Melmetal again with shields down. FP/LT Serp sees new wins versus those same five plus Haunter and potentially Dewgong.
  • Up in Ultra League Premier, plugging in Frenzy Plant rather than Grass Knot on Level 50 Serperior adds wins over Machamp (FP is now preferred over super effective Aerial Ace… told you Ace was a mediocre move!), Gallade, and Kingdra with Aerial Ace, but no new wins of note with Leaf Tornado (but again, the debuff triggering could lead to all sorts of interesting results).

So Frenzy Plant is very clearly an upgrade for Serperior… no real surprises there. But is it something you actually want to use in PvP over other Grass options? Let’s do a quick comparison:

  • In Great League, FP/AA Serperior and Venusaur defeat Chesnaught and Meganium, while Meganium loses/ties. Serp and Meg typically beat Mantine and Melmetal while Venusaur’s lesser bulk means it loses. By contrast, Meganium and Venusaur beat Bastiodon (and Serp even with FP cannot), and Venusaur most easily takes down the Charmers (Wigglytuff, Clefable) and Fighters (Scrafty, Vigoroth, Obstagoon), all of which tend to beat Serperior as long as they have a shield to use. So Serperior is overall nearly identical to Meganium in overall performance, with Meg better against Steels and Serp better versus Grasses.
  • In Ulta League Premier, Level 50 Serperior and Meganium usually outlast Snorlax, Gallade, and Kingdra while Venusaur typically loses, while Venusaur instead handles Togekiss and Obstagoon. Serperior and Venusaur also tend to beat Tangrowth, while Meganium, having no unresisted moves, loses. Again, overall, Serperior is very close in performance to Meganium, though a hair better… but also a LOT more expensive, since it has to be driven up to Level 50, whereas Meg can perform at Level 40.

Conclusion

All that to lead to our relatively simple TL;DR:

  • Serperior is clearly better with Frenzy Plant, a move that deals more damage and costs less than its current Grass Knot. There is no reason NOT to try and get a good one for Great League, and a high IV one to potentially eventually level up for Ultra League Premier Cup. 10-14-15 are #1 IVs in Ultra (at Level 50). But…
  • …that said, it’s just a slightly different flavor of Meganium, being better versus Grasses thanks to coverage move Aerial Ace (my personal recommendation over the boom-or-bust Leaf Tornado), but with Meganium’s Earthquake making it much better against Steels and providing coverage versus Fire types as well. Venusaur is still generally better than both due to its Poison typing and move (Sludge Bomb).

Parting words

I would also recommend checking out this Tweet from my colleague Mr. PvPoke which explains a couple break/bulkpoints you may want to be on the lookout for in addition to the #1 PvP IVs I posted early in this article. He explains them much better and more succinctly than I could!

But one last time: yes, get a good one for GL and grind for XL candy if you want to try Serperior out in UL. It has some legit play in UL Premier but needs to be at or very close to Level 50, so it doesn’t come cheap! Good luck.

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon with its tie-in Discord server you can access to get straight through to me for personalized answers to your questions.

Continued thanks to my PvP friends, local and around the world, who have lent their own ideas and suggestions over the last nearly two years of PvP play, and helped teach me to be a better player and student of the game.

And thank you for reading… I appreciate your attention and encouragement. Until next time, be safe out there, Pokéfriends!


Article written by JRE47, PoGO/PvP Investigative Journalist, Silph Arena Contributor, amateur cook, author of ‘Nifty Or Thrifty’, ‘Under The Lights’, ‘LXP’ article series and #PvPfacts!

Advertisement