A PvP Analysis on Meteor Beam (oh, and Community Day Gigalith too)

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So, Roggenrola Community Day is here! Uh… what a great shiny family, eh? Okay, let’s just leave it at that and have fun out there… good luck in the shundo hunt!

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Oh, you’re still here? What’s that… you’re looking for PvP analysis? You say that’s all I’m good for? Okay, first off, rude, and second off… do I have to? Can’t I just throw up these kind of sad numbers and be done with it? Maybe throw together a simple infographic or something?

No? Uuuuuuuuugh… fine fine fine!

GIGALITH? MORE LIKE… NANOLITH

Gigalith Rock

Really, nano- is the opposite of giga-, with giga- basically meaning one billion, and nano- meaning one one billionth. Or something. Just… just go look it up. Damnit Jim, I’m a writer, not a mathematician!

ANYway, you’ve probably gathered that I’m not excited about GIGALITH during this Community Day. I mean, there’s the quite awesome shiny, yes yes. But once you get past its blue raspberry slushie outer sheen, you’re basically left with a lump of coal underneath.

You see, Gigalith is a mono-Rock type with poor bulk. A close comparison is Rhydon and Rhyperior, actually. Gigalith has just about the same Attack stat as each in Great League (and the same as Rhyperior in Ultra League), and higher Defense and lower HP than the Rhyno Bros, but it all shakes out to roughly equivalent bulk, though slightly in the favor of the Rhynos (who have a little bit higher overall stat product in the end). Both mono-Rocks (like Gigalith) and Rock/Ground types (like the Rhyno Bros) share a number of resistances and weaknesses: both are vulnerable to Fighting, Ground, and Steel, and mono-Rocks are also weak to Grass and Water, while Ground/Rocks are doubly weak to each, as well as an additional weakness to Ice. As for resistances, Gigalith resists Fire, Flying, Normal, and Poison damage, while Ground/Rock types have all of that plus a resistance to other Rocks, as well as a double resistance to Electric and Poison.

Why did I say all that? Just trying to put things into context, as few players are likely familiar with Gigalith, but likely have encountered a Rhyperior or such somewhere along the line, especially in Master League, where something like Gigalith SHOULD be able to stretch its legs a bit.

But unfortunately, while Rhyperior has made at least SOME impact on Master League, whether utilizing old moves or new moves, Gigalith looks very unlikely to replicate Rhyperior’s success. Heck, it can’t even replicate Rhydon‘s success!

You see, in Master League, the extra resistances of the Rhynos matter, but so do their moves. STAB Mud Slap helps in a league with several big name Steels. Surf is great for spam that hits a wide swath of the meta neutrally and has no drawback for the user. And the mighty Rock Wrecker does the rest.

I’ll get to the specifics of the exclusive move in a minute, but for the purposes of discussion on Gigalith specifically, what it needed most was a spammy type Rock move, or perhaps a coverage move (ideally also spammy) to compensate for its low energy fast moves and modest-to-poor bulk. What it got instead is a move that ties for the most expensive Rock move in the game, and while it deals BIG damage and comes with a nice bonus too (again, more specifics on the move soon, hang on!), it just doesn’t fit what Gigalith needed. As you can see by comparing the two Gigalith sims two paragraphs above, Giga is actually slightly worse with the new move in Master League than it is just sticking with the currently available Rock Slide and Superpower. It’s also slightly worse in Ultra League than the current Rock Slide, though it at least matches Rock Slide in Great League.

But honestly, even that is more in-depth than I really need to go to paint the picture: Gigalith is bad in PvP. And honestly, even the spammy type move it pines for wouldn’t really help. Heck, even giving it the best possible energy generating fast move wouldn’t save it. This is an awesome-looking Pokémon, but a very, very bad PvP Pokémon. There’s no sugar coating it, and I won’t waste any more of your time trying.

Instead, it’s finally time to talk about the new move Gigalith is getting.

“…but wait, JRE, you just said it’s bad and that we should basically just focus on shiny hunting. Why are you going to talk about the move now?”

Gigalith may be a lost cause… but METEOR BEAM is not.

BEAM ME UP!

Yeah, similar to how the introduction of Rock fast move Rollout was rather dull since it came out on a Pokémon that didn’t benefit from it (Alolan Golem, who already has the awesome Volt Switch), I’m left scratching my head a bit at Niantic’s choice of Gigalith as the first Pokémon with Meteor Beam because it’s actually shaping up to be a really good move that just goes to waste in its debut.

METEOR BEAM

Rock type Charge Move

  • 120 Damage
  • 60 Energy
  • 2.0 Damage Per Energy (DPE)
  • Bonus: Increases User Attack +1 Stage

Stats identical to the semi-recent [email protected] exclusive moves Luster Purge and Mist Ball, only those came with only a 50% chance to debuff the opponent’s Defense, while Meteor Beam’s chance is 100% and persists even if the opponent switches out, since it’s a self-buff. Considering that every other move that deals 120 or more damage costs greater than Meteor Beam’s 60 energy, it’s pretty clear by any measure that Meteor Beam enters the game in the very upper echelons of PvP moves. This is a move truly deserving of the exclusive, Community Day-type treatment! Just a shame we only get it on Gigalith…

…for now?

Remember how I mentioned Rollout was (and still is) disappointing on its Community Day recipient? Thankfully, Niantic chose to… well, roll it out to other Pokémon during the most recent PvP move rebalance. And now neglected fan favorites like Miltank and Dunsparce have Rollout and are thriving in PvP.

So rather than end this article on a sour note, I’m going to highlight a few Meteor Beam users from the Pokémon franchise that would really appreciate having this new move in Pokémon GO PvP. In total, I count 68 Pokémon that can learn the move, 18 of which are not yet in GO, and after eliminating a few others that are irrelevant to PvP (mostly first or second line evolutions), I ended up with 36 Pokémon that I dove into, a mix of things already relevant in PvP in one format or another (like Cradily, Bronzong, Sudowoodo, Steelix, Nihilego, Crustle, Regirock and others) and things that wish they were more relevant (Relicanth, Jirachi, Rhydon, Aurorus, Aggron and more). Here are the highlights:

Aurorus RockIce Amaura RockIce
  • Some of you may remember how I wrote excitedly about AURORUS and AMAURA back when they were released during this year’s Adventure Week. As Rock/Ice types, they have a lot going for them but have a lot of key flaws too (mostly with their typing combination). Their current best second charge move (alongside the needed Weather Ball (Ice)) is Thunderbolt, which at least provides coverage versus Water types that can feast on them otherwise. Unfortuntely, that’s not quite enough to overcome their deficiencies, shown in simulations and also the fact that they’ve barely seen play in GBL. Well, what if you just forget coverage and go for the throat with big STAB damage? What if they learned Meteor Beam? Bulk plus spammy Weather Ball plus high energy gains from Powder Snow should be a winning formula for an expensive move like Meteor Beam, right? And lo and behold, it is indeed! Yes, you give up that anti-Water coverage, but in truth, there weren’t many Water types Thunderbolt was directly beating anyway unless the opponent just didn’t use shields at all, and Meteor Beam still beats the few that Thunderbolt did and adds on new ones like Araquanid and Walrein, as well as new wins versus Alolan Marowak, Cofagrigus, Cresselia, Lickitung, and both regional forms of Ninetales. Oh yeah, and NO new losses either. Aurora sees a similar boost (as compared to Thunderbolt), though it misses out on Cofagrigus and its cousin Runerigus. But still, either would really appreciate Meteor Beam… they have all the right pieces in place to make it work.
Cradily RockGrass
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been on either side of CRADILY‘s dominance going on right now in Weather Cup. It’s #1 in that format for a reason. Now imagine it being even MORE dominant, because that’s exactly what Meteor Beam Dilly would be with new wins over Walrein, CharmTales, Tentacruel, and the mirror match (with the opponent having Stone Edge instead). Yikes. It would perhaps even propel Cradily to Open UL viability, with new wins versus Walrein and CharmTales (as already mentioned), and also Cresselia, Snorlax, and Altered Giratina! (With Shadow Claw, anyway.) However, note that it DOES lose to Talonflame without the relative speed of Stone Edge, so it’s not quite all sunshine and rainbows. But close! The improvement in Great League is much more minor, but in Ultra League? If you built a Cradily for Ultra in preparation for Weather Cup (or any time before that, of course), pray for a future with Meteor Beam. Dilly to the max!
Steelix SteelGround
  • Meteor Beam would not be an upgrade for STEELIX, but it WOULD be a very intriguing sidegrade, particularly in Ultra League. Steelix running with currently-available closer Earthquake has only gotten better and better over time (most recently with the addition of Psychic Fangs), but Meteor Beam Steelix would be right up there too, giving up Galarian Stunfisk, Snorlax, and Cofagrigus to instead now beat Walrein, Alolan Ninetales, and Talonflame instead. That would actually be a potentially agonizing choice!
Solgaleo PsychicSteel
  • SOLGALEO has potential, as I’ve also written about before. Unfortunately, the moves it actually ended up with in GO leave it disappointingly hobbled in Master League, its one place where it could potentially thrive. However, with Meteor Beam, it could become full-on meta, with new wins that include Flyers (not surprisingly) like Lugia, Ho-Oh, and Yveltal, but also things you would not really expect, like Zekrom, Palkia, and even Metagross (who resists Rock damage!). Here’s another one to really hope for, perhaps before Solgaleo hits the game!
Corsola WaterRock
  • You want to see a significant jump in performance on something you’ve likely never seen in PvP before? Check out CORSOLA, who with current moves is barely a nuisance. However, give it the raw closing power of Meteor Beam, and suddenly we’ve got some serious spice on our hands — and that may underselling it, honestly — with new wins versus Walrein, CharmTales, Mandibuzz, Cresselia, Araquanid, Umbreon, Sableye, Altaria, and even Azumarill and more.
Relicanth WaterRock
  • And speaking of Water/Rock regionals, RELICANTH replicates that same kind of success in Great League, gaining Azumarill, Araquanid, and Sableye, but it remains slightly less impressive than Corsola. However, Relicanth can venture where Corsola dare not go: Ultra League. And there, the difference between Meteor Beam and Ancient Power is striking, with Beam gaining new wins against Walrein (man, Wally would just be everyone‘s punching bag if Meteor Beam was passed around), Tapu Fini, Sylveon, Snorlax, Drapion, Gyarados, and Jellicent. Maybe a little outside the meta still, but getting a lot closer! It would be particularly tempting in Ultra Premier Classic too.
Shuckle RockBug Registeel Steel Regirock Rock
  • If you thought it couldn’t get any worse than facing down a Registeel in today’s Great AND Ultra League, you’re wrong. It COULD be given Meteor Beam and be even more dominant. PLEASE do not show this to anyone that works for Niantic. REGIROCK would get scarier too. Yipes!

And there are still others that would stand to benefit, like “Rock Boys” OMASTAR and KABUTOPS, tree wannabe SUDOWOODO, and many more… it just wouldn’t raise their stock a ton higher than what it is now, despite each betting notably better with Meteor Beam.

The point is that most things that could get Beam would be better PvP Pokémon for having it. Just, again, not Gigalith. Sigh. 😩 Silly Niantic.

Alright, that’s all we got for today. Sorry I couldn’t present a more exciting Community Day Pokémon, but again, let’s hope that Meteor Beam follows the same path as Rollout and end up getting spread around at some point down the road. It’s a good move currently wasted on a bad, bad Pokémon. Shame. Hopefully this quick analysis was at least entertaining!

Until next time, you can find me on Twitter for regular PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon. Or please feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

Stay safe out there, Pokéfriends, and happy shiny hunting! Hope you catch a bunch. Thanks again for reading, and I’ll catch you next time!

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