A PvP Analysis on Marshadow… can it escape Annihilape’s shadow?

Here comes the next GOFest, and that means more and more players with a MARSHADOW on their hands. (BTW, If you’re looking for my analysis on Necrozma and its Fusions, that can be found over here.)

But… what to DO with Marshadow? Is there a place for this curious Pokémon in PvP in the era of Annihilape domination? Let’s start with our customary Bottom Line Up Front and find out!


  • Short answer: YES, Marshadow can find dark corners to strike from in PvP even with Annihilape and other Fighters around. Its best spot: Master League, where is can flex its superior CP and pull out a number of unique wins.
  • Unfortunately Marshie is less useful in CP-capped Leagues. Annihilape is better and more versatile in Ultra League, and Marshadow is just barely too big to squeeze into Great League at all. We’ll need a sub-research level Marshadow one day to make THAT work.
  • Not sure that Marshadow alone is worth the price of admission to GOFest, but for those attending, yes, it’s a good one to make a long-term project. Hope for a hundo!

MARSHADOW Stats and Moves

Marshadow FightingGhost

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
140 (140 High Stat Product) 102 (104 High Stat Product) 110 (110 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 10-15-10, 1500 CP, Level 14.5 – Not Yet Possible in Great League)

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
181 (180 High Stat Product) 134 (133 High Stat Product) 142 (145 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 10-13-15, 2500 CP, Level 24)

Master League Stats

Attack Defense HP
235 172 186

(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; 4217 CP at Level 50)

So this first thing I want to mention is that Marshie cannot currently be used in Great League without some kind of major shenanigans. As it’s a Mythical, Marshadow comes to you at Level 15, with a 10-10-10 IV floor, and cannot be traded, and even a 10-10-10 only fits under 1500 CP at Level 14.5. You would need something like 7-8-7 IVs at Level 15 to squeeze within the 1500 CP cap. SO close, yet so far. 😞 The silver lining, I suppose, is that Annihilape and even things like Hitmonchan are arguably better at that level anyway, so you’re not missing out on that much. (We’ll get into that a little bit more later on.)

The bulk is lacking, but not TOO drastically for a Fighter. It’s in Primeape/Machamp/Sirfetch’d territory… a little worse than Champ, a little better than Fetch’d, and right about in line with Prime. The bigger difference, of course, is the Ghost subtyping, which brings in new resistances to Poison, Normal (2x), and Fighting (2x), as well as doubling up Fighting’s resistance to Bug (and retaining its resistance to Rock). The only new weakness that Ghost opens up is to opposing Ghosts, and the resulting Fighting/Ghost takes neutral damage from Dark. Fighting’s standard weaknesses to Fairy and Psychic unfortunately remain.

On to the moves!


  • CounterFighting type, 4.0 DPT, 3.5 EPT, 1.0 CoolDown
  • Poison JabPoison type, 3.5 DPT, 3.5 EPT, 1.0 CD
  • Sucker PunchDark type, 2.5 DPT, 3.5 EPT, 1.0 CD

Poison Jab is an amazingly overpowered fast move these days, having above average damage AND energy gains and even a comfortable duration/cooldown period.

But I mean, Toxicroak has Jab with STAB damage on top of it, and it never uses it… because it, like Marshie, has the strictly better Counter. There is really no reason to run another fast move when you have Counter available, and such is the case here.


  • Ice PunchIce type, 55 damage, 40 energy
  • Thunder PunchElectric type, 55 damage, 40 energy
  • Fire PunchFire type, 55 damage, 40 energy
  • Rock SlideRock type, 75 damage, 45 energy
  • Close CombatFighting type, 100 damage, 45 energy, Reduces User Defense -2 Stages

So the fact that I mentioned Hitmonchan, of all things, earlier may have stuck out to you, as it is not one of the more popular Fighters in PvP. But where it has been unique to this point is having all three of the primary “Elemental Punches”, namely FireIce, and Thunder, obviously giving it wide potential coverage and making the opponent’s shielding decisions that much more stressful.

Now comes Marshadow with the same kaleidoscope of Punches, as well as the same Close Combat that Hitmonchan (and several other notable Fighters) use to close things out, and the same Rock Slide coverage that Machamp is most known for. Yeah, turns out that its Ghost half is really just there for resistances… this is a true Fighter through and through. No Shadow Ball like Annihilape to keep its Ghost half more relevant, which is a shame.

But let’s see what we DO have.

GREAT LEAGUE (theoretically)

Again, this is unfortunately just not an option in Great League yet, though to pull that thread for a very brief moment (for a potential future preview), Great League Marshadow would be slightly worse than both Annihilape and fellow Elemental Puncher Hitmonchan, with all three running the same Ice Punch and then Marshie and Jackie Chan running Close Combat and Little Anni utilizing Shadow Ball. (Though Annihilape can run Close Combat too, if you prefer.) They’re all in roughly the same neighborhood, but while Marshie could beat Medicham and Hitmonchan cannot, and has a better chance of outlasting Carbink, Lickitung, and Venusaur than does Annihilape, it also loses to things that Chan can defeat like PowderTales and Shadow Dragonair, and things Anni can take down like Charjabug, PowderTales, and the Shadow versions of Whiscash and Swampert. (And Marshadow loses the head to head — badly — versus Annihilape as well thanks to NOT having something like Shadow Ball.) In short, it would be interesting, just not particularly notable compared to other, more easily acquired options we already have.

Marshadow (Pokémon GO) - Best Moveset, Weakness, Counters, Shiny

So on to reality….


For now and likely for a good long while to come, this is the “lowest” League where we could actually use our Marshadows. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that Marshadow mostly pales when stacked up against direct competitor Annihilape. Shadow Ball is just a MUCH better overall move than Close Combat, taking out stuff like Defense Deoxys, Venusaur, PowderTales, Gyarados, and Ampharos that Marshie with Close Combat just can’t match. And there’s another win that shows an additional advantage Annihilape has over Marshadow: bulk. And it’s incredibly easy to showcase: Marshadow loses to Mandibuzz, while Annihilape holds on to beat Mandi. Marshadow’s higher Attack means it deals an additional 1 damage per Counter, and six more damage with each landed Ice Punch. Yet it loses because Annihilape’s slightly higher bulk means that it alone reaches a third Ice Punch for the knockout, whereas Marshadow is dead before it gets that far.

Between the more versatile closing move and the higher bulk, Annihilape reigns supreme in other even shield scenarios too, winning things like DDeoxys and Venusaur (and tying Toxicroak and the mirror) with shields down, and stuff like Swampert and even Tapu Fini in 2v2 shielding, none of which Marshie can replicate. Though it’s worth pointing out that Marshadow CAN uniquely take down Toxicroak and now Mandibuzz in 2v2 shielding, ironically using neutral or (in Toxicroak’s case) resisted Close Combat to seal the deal.

But overall… yeah, it’s much better to just run with Annihilape and not worry about it. And of course, Annihilape is available in Premier and Marshadow is not, yet another knock against poor Marshie.

However, I am happy to report that I think we can finish on a strong note….


NOW we’re talking!

With all caps and burdens removed, Marshadow gets to strut its stuff in Master League, flexing that high CP and smashing things not even Annihilape can like Yveltal, Snorlax, and (assuming Anni is running the generally-recommended Shadow Ball) Kyogre, Dragonite, Zekrom, and even the terrifying Zygarde Complete! Anni’s Shadow Ball does still carve out unique wins versus Palkia (normal or Origin) and Groudon, but this is very clearly advantage Marshadow at this level. And that most definitely includes shieldless matchups, where Marshie can beat everything that Anni can PLUS Yveltal and a slew of Dragons including Dragonite, Garchomp, Palkia, Rayquaza, and Zygarde Complete. Things are more evenly matched in 2v2 shielding (Marshie takes Yvette and Ho-Oh while Anni instead beats Zekrom and Garchomp), but at this level, it’s Marshadow’s game to lose. This is the League where lower bulk and higher Attack can be more advantage than albatross around one’s neck.


Alright, my friends, that’s all I got for today. Trying to crank out an analysis on Community Day Classic Typhlosion before I leave for my first lengthy vacation in YEARS next week. 🚢 Hopefully come back refreshed and ready for the rest of this GBL season!

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with regular Pokémon GO analysis nuggets, or Patreon if you like.

Good luck with your Marshadow, folks, whether you’re getting it this weekend or beyond. Do stay safe out there, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!

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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