A PvP Analysis on the World Of Wonders All-New Fast Moves

To paraphrase the first true use of The Force from Star Wars that we ever saw on our screens:

“These aren’t the moves you’re looking for.”

“You can go about your business.”

“Move along, move along….”

Yeah, to put it mildly, I really don’t think these three new moves were what anyone was looking for when they were announced for The Season of World Of Wonders. (Or do these titles not include “Season of” anymore? I can’t figure out the pattern.) One of them in particular looked SO bad that I was convinced Niantic wasn’t done fiddling with it, and held off even looking at them until the season began, thinking that surely these couldn’t be the final stats. This is why I announced the first part of my move rebalance analysis as… well, Part 1.

Well, the season start has come and gone, without further tweaks. So this is going to be a relatively short Part 2, at least after the first and only truly promising move of the lot. Let’s see what we’ve got to work with here….


To stick with the Star Wars quotes… yeah, you know where I’m going with this. My apologies ahead of time….

“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.”

Yeah… soft and smooth, Anakin. Somehow she STILL wanted to date you after that. Must have been a serious Darth? dearth of eligible men for Padmé on Naboo for THAT line to not chase her off.

ANYway, back on topic. SAND ATTACK is the new move that actually has a little promise. It’s a clone (other than typing, of course) of viable fast move Fury Cutter, at 2 Damage Per Turn (DPT) and 4 Energy Per Turn (EPT). Technically it’s comparable to others like Hex and Infestation too, but they are multi-turn moves. Fury Cutter and now Sand Attack are one-turn moves, making them much easier to use and avoid overcharging charge moves.

Probably the main issue is that Ground also has Mud Shot, a very similar move (1.5 DPT/4.5 EPT) that may still be favored on anything that has it. Or is it? Let’s start there, with a couple things that DO have both:

Palossand GhostGround
  • PALOSSAND just keeps getting new toys. First it was Scorching Sands to help better separate it from fellow Ghostly Ground type Runerigus. Now comes Sand Attack. And while it’s still lacks the potential of Runie, Paulo looks better with Sand Attack than it does with Mud Shot, dropping Annihilape but gaining Cresselia, Shadow CharmTales, and Water Gun Lanturn to make up for it. And in 2v2 shielding, Sand Attack gains Cress and Shadow Poiliwrath with NO new losses as compared to Mud Shot. The only real blemish is losing to Spark Lanturn with shields down, but otherwise it would seem Sand Attack is an upgrade. So what’s going on here? Put simply, it’s the fast move damage. Look more closely at Cresselia. Mud Shot vs Cress gets off two Shadow Balls, but Cresselia lives long enough to get off THREE Grass Knots for the KO. However, with Sand Attack vs Cress, there is actually TWICE as much fast move damage being done (each Mud Shot and Sand Attack deals 2 damage, but Sand Attack deals it twice as often), and that adds up to finish Cresselia off JUST before it reaches that critical third Grass Knot. And same thing versus Lanturn (both reach two Scorching Sands, but Mud Shot doesn’t deal enough compiling damage, while Sand Attack again finishes Lanturn just before its own match-flipping charge move by dealing 6 damage every two turns instead of only 5 from Mud Shot) and so on. So maybe we’ve stumbling into a move that IS better than Mud Shot after all?
Sandslash (Shadow) Ground
  • Looks like the same story for Kanto SANDSLASH. Not one you see often in PvP, but it too has improved over time with the additions of Night SlashScorching Sands, and now Sand Attack, giving it literally a whole new moveset from what it was released with. And as with Paulo, it DOES seem that Sand Attack is an upgrade over Mud Shot (for ShadowSlash, which is really the only way to even attempt Sandslash in GL), with new wins versus Annihilape, Shadow Poliwrath, Venusaur, and newly-good-this-season Goodra, and nothing Sand Attack can’t beat that Mud Shot can. With shields down, Sand Attack again has the advantage with wins over Water Gun Lanturn, Shadow CharmTales, and DDeoxys (Mud Shot‘s only unique win is Charjabug), and in 2v2 shielding Sand Attack can take down Vigoroth, Trevenant, and the Shadow versions of Swampert and Whiscash, while Mud Shot instead has only a unique win over WG Lanturn to brag over.

So we’re off to a good start, but the REALLY exciting thing is Pokémon that desperately needed a fast move like Sand Attack. Those that don’t have something as good as Mud Shot already. Here are the best of them:

Hippowdon Ground
  • The one everyone is talking about is HIPPOWDON. It’s an odd beastie that comes packing TWO spammy 35 energy moves (Weather Ball Rock and Body Slam), further coverage if you want it with Stone Edge, and now a trio of solid Ground charge moves (EarthquakeEarth Power, and the newest addition: Scorching Sands). What’s held it back (or been a blessing in disguise, depending on how you look at it) has been the fast moves. It has Bite which you would NEVER want to run, but beyond that it’s had only the three Fangs (FireIce, and Thunder) and no Ground fast moves at all. Now here comes Sand Attack to flip everything on its head. It deals the STAB damage you’d usually hope for from your Ground type. It generates high energy, an inverse of the 4.0 DPT but only 2.5 EPT Fangs, driving shield pressure WAY up and shifting the focus to its varied and spammy charge moves. How does that work out? Overall, pretty well. As with Sandslash, the Shadow version is generally preferred in Great League, and Sand Attack allows new wins that include the obvious (Carbink, Lanturn) and the not-so-obvious (Talonflame, Shadow Ninetales, Shadow Poliwrath, Annihilape), though moving away from generally-preferred-to-this-point Ice Fang means giving up Gligar and Trevenant. Ice Fang has also been the best until now in Ultra League (where Shadow is no longer preferred, BTW), but Sand Attack now comes in and adds new wins versus Cobalion, Alolan Ninetales (with various different fast moves and in both Shadow and non-Shadow variants), Obstagoon, Registeel, Alolan Sandslash, Skeledirge, Steelix, Tentacruel, and Toxicroak, though it gives up Shadow Dragonite, Altered Giratina, Gliscor, Guzzlord, Trevenant, and Pidgeot (all weak to Ice) to do it. However, in Master League, where perhaps most people would consider the Hungry Hungry Hippow, things get a little more interesting, as Ice Fang has a big role to play with all the Ice-weak Dragon, Ground, and/or Flying types in the meta. In the end, Sand Attack is really just a sidegrade to Ice Fang, with sand blinding Steels like Dialga, Excadrill, Metagross, Melmetal, and Solgaleo, as well as others like Reshiram, Rhyperior, Xerneas, and even Ho-Oh (thanks mainly to reaching more Rock charge moves), while ice instead freezes out Dragonite, Rayquaza, Garchomp, Therian Landorus, Yveltal, and Zygarde Megazord Complete. And there are very similar tradeoffs in other shielding scenarios as well. Point is, in the one League where you may actually already see Hippowdon, Sand Attack is nice but not really a true upgrade (not even in Master League Premier), and ironically it makes Hippow better in lower Leagues but probably not enough to see play outside of Limited metas.
Furfrou Normal
  • One I am seeing hardly anybody talking about that I actually like quite a bit more is FURFROU, and man, there is a sentence I never expected to write. But it’s true! The floof pooch may not suddenly emerge as a new meta shaker, but it’s always had interesting charge moves (Surf and Grass Knot in particular, but also Dark Pulse) and decent enough bulk (hovering around Poliwrath/Hakamo/Wigglytuff territory), held back as so many potentially interesting Pokémon are by lousy fast moves. When the completely average Sucker Punch (2.5 DPT/3.5 EPT) is by far your best fast move, that’s a bad sign. (I mean, the other options have been 4 DPT/2 EPT Bite and 1.66 DPT/2.66 EPT Take Down. 🤢) Now it too gets to try out Sand Attack, and OH MY what a difference it makes! New wins include Bastiodon, Carbink, Charjabug, Clodsire, Dewgong, Gligar, Lanturn (with either Spark or Water Gun), Lickitung, Shadow Alolan Sandslash, AND Shadow Swampert. That’s quite an impressive list of names! And the ONLY loss it suffers in giving up Sucker Punch is Trevenant, for rather obvious reasons. If it wasn’t for the fact that it still gets bodied by Fighters and loses out to most Grass, Flying, and non-Water Ice types, the improvement Furfrou sees with this one new move could have been one of the very top stories in this whole move rebalance. It WILL be fun to use as one of the best (of many) Normal type Swiss army knives in the game. But I still see this as more interesting spice than true meta.

But that’s about where the story ends with Sand Attack. I could see someone surprising opponents with it on FLYGON, though generally you see that more with Dragon Tail these days. STARAPTOR and another Normal-type with varied charge moves, LINOONE, are fun in theory, but already have better existing fast moves (Wing Attack and Shadow Claw, respectively). It undeniably improves ALOLAN DUGTRIO (especially the Shadow version) but that’s quite a reach, IMO, when you consider other more viable Ground/Steel types out there.

Overall, it’s honestly much better than I expected when I forged into this analysis. And that’s a good thing, because without it, there would basically be nothing to talk about with these new moves. You’ll see what I mean as we move on to the other two…. 😬


While the 2.0 Damage Per Turn/4.0 Energy Per Turn Sand Attack (and other moves like it) is perfectly acceptable in PvP (and even exceeded by 2.5 DPT/4.0 EPT moves like Vine Whip, Powder Snow, Wing Attack, and Quick Attack), there is one 4.0 EPT fast move that completely underwhelms: Present, a joke/meme move that is presently (JRE, stooooooop) available only on Delibird and certain versions of Pikachu. All that to put into context how poor the new METAL SOUND has shaped up to be, because it also generates 4.0 EPT but deals only 1.5 DPT, much worse than all other 4 EPT moves except Present, and it’s barely even better than that! It’s now available on the Magnemite/ton/zone family, Klang and Klinklang, Bronzong, and Wormadam (Trash), and other than the Magneboys (who would need basically a broken Metal Sound to NOT keep on running current Volt Switch), those could have used a halfway decent high-energy move, especially Trashadam and Bronzong who always feel a touch slow with existing Confusion as their preferred fast move. But also, after a lot of side by side comparative analysis, I can confidently state that they are ALL worse off if they try to run Metal Sound, begging the question… if a new move falls in a… uh… metallic forest, and nobody is running with it, does it even MAKE a sound? Metal Sound won’t be without a major retooling. Take the “meta” out of it and you get what its name SHOULD currently be: a big fat L Sound.

But as bad as that is, we haven’t hit the bottom of the barrel yet. Feast your eyes on the new candidate for worst (viable-ish) fast move in the game….


Prior to seeing the stats, a lot of people were also excited about PSYWAVE, hoping for perhaps an inverse of Confusion (4.0 DPT/3.0 EPT) for Psychic types, who really only have Psycho Cut for reliable, above-average energy generation. A 3.0 DPT/4.0 EPT move would have been very exiting, or heck, even a 3.0 DPT/3.5 EPT move or something.

Ever heard of Cut? Probably not. Even if you have, I bet 99.9% of you have never (and WILL never) see it in use. Why? It deals the average 3.0 DPT, but only generates 2.0 EPT. There is just no reason to ever use it or anything stuck with it. Even the terrible Acid, Peck, Rock Smash, and Hidden Power are all better because they also deal 3.0 but at least higher than 2.0 EPT.

You know where I’m going with this. Yes, Psywave enters the game as a Cut clone. It’s SO poor that I very intentionally stopped any analysis on the new fast moves prior to the season start, because between the stats revealed for Metal Sound and especially Psywave, I was absolutely convinced that Niantic wasn’t done fiddling with them, and that Psywave in particular HAD to be a mistake. I TRIED to give Niantic some more credit, and uh… yeah, here we are.

Just like Metal Sound, anything that tries to run Psywave is worse off for it. Mr. Mime and Lunatone/Solrock still very much prefer Confusion (or Rock Throw in the case of the latter two), Malamar is MUCH better off with Psycho Cut, and the one that people were really looking forward to, Mismagius, is very happy to stick with Astonish or Magical Leaf. I mean, again, if you try to force Psywave, the results are horrifying, and not in ANY good ways. (Yes, that’s really a big goose egg in the win column, folks.)

I often say (and earnestly mean) DO NOT RUN CHANSEY. 😅 I think for all our sakes, we can now safely add to that: DO NOT RUN PSYWAVE!

Niantic employees reading this: PLEASE take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that whoever was responsible for this abomination never gets near any future move rebalances, thank you. Hire one of the good content creators out there, for crying out loud. This is just BAD, folks. And if you know going in that it’s going to be this bad, please don’t hype it and get our hopes up. Pleaseandthankyou!


By way of quick summary of the above (here’s your TL;DR, folks!):

  • Sand Attack is pretty good, better than I expected going into this analysis. Basically anything that has it is now better off for it, and it is at worst no worse than a sidegrade to Mud Shot, and often comes out ahead. And the story is even better for things that DON’T have a fast charging move like Mud Shot, like Hippowdon and Furfrou, both of which are much improved (especially Furfrou, which is suddenly pretty interesting spice!).
  • Unfortunately both Metal Sound and Psywave are no gos as currently configured. Metal Sound is strictly worse than a LOT of fast moves in the game and no benefit to anything that has it, and Psywave tanks winrates so badly that they literally drop to 0 in some cases. Neither have any positive impact on any Pokémon in any meta that I can think up, and frankly I don’t understand how they even made it into the game in their current form. Hopefully there’s a major shakeup to each on the horizon, at which point I would be happy to give them a fresh look! (Hint hint, Niantic.)

Alrighty, that’s it for now. I unfortunately had to punt analyses I began on the Charcadet family and Tapu Koko with new Nature’s Miracle Madness, but I’ll try to circle back on those when able. For now, next up will be a good old-fashioned “Nifty Or Thrifty” analysis on this year’s version of Spring Cup, so keep an eye out for that!

Until then, you can always find me on Twitter 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. Best of luck as we continue to wade into this new season, and may The Force be with you 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!

Further reading

Popular today

Latest articles

Support us

Buy GO Hub merch

Get your very own GO Hub t-shirt, mug, or tote.