A Surprisingly Encouraging PvP Analysis on Bellibolt

We have a new Pokémon debut going on right now, with BELLIBOLT arriving in GO during this year’s Festival of Lights event! Honestly I didn’t expect much at all when I saw this silly Electric amphibian, but… well, I’ll let the Bottom Line Up Front summarize my thoughts and then we’ll dive in!


  • Bellibolt enters as one of the tankiest Electric types in Pokémon GO, particularly in Ultra League where many other Electrics fall away… but Bellibolt can still be built up without needing XLs!
  • Bulk carries Belli pretty far in PvP, despite an unfortunately limited movepool.
  • While Open Great League is already stuffed with other, largely better Electric options, I do think Bellibolt could see immediate use in the ongoing Electric Cup, other GL Cups, and surprisingly in several Ultra League formats, including even Open! I didn’t expect to see the kind of UL success this little fella seems capable of.

Intrigued? Then read on!

BELLIBOLT Stats and Moves

Bellibolt Electric

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
(114 High Stat Product)
(111 High Stat Product)
(156 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-14-12, 1499 CP, Level 21.5)

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
(140 High Stat Product)
(144 High Stat Product)
(200 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-10, 2499 CP, Level 42)

Bulk bulk bulk, that’s the name of Bellibolt’s game. Among Electrics, it has a top five stat product in Great League (behind only Stunfisk, Lanturn, Pachirisu, and {barely} Charjabug), and is #2 behind only Stunfisk in Ultra League. The bulk is particularly impressive in Ultra, where it’s roughly equivalent to Tapu Fini and Gliscor, and slightly better than Poliwrath and Alolan Sandslash. (And it’s right in line with both Ninetales, Tapu Fini, Hakamo-O, Guzzlord, Charjabug, Bellossom, and Wigglytuff in Great League.) So not the very tippy top tier of bulk, but very high up there.

In addition to that, as a mono-Electric type (even though looking at the thing would imply it should have some secondary typing!), Bellibolt resists Steel, Flying, and other Electric damage, and is weak to only Ground damage. Actually a pretty good defensive typing, no?

All good so far. The downside, however, comes with the available moves….


  • Thunder ShockElectric type, 1.5 DPT, 4.5 EPT, 1.0 CoolDown
  • Water GunWater type, 3.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 0.5 CD

Thunder Shock is all well and good, standard fare for a decent Electric type, and is probably the move you’re going to want to run most of the time.

Here’s the thing, though. As you’ll see in a moment, Water Gun is the only non-Electric move Bellibolt has. And as a Water move, it deals super effective damage to the one thing that Electrics are weak to: Ground types. We’ll come back to this once we loop in the charge moves.


  • DischargeElectric type, 65 damage, 45 energy
  • Parabolic Charge Electric type, 65 damage, 55 energy
  • Zap Cannon Electric type, 150 damage, 80 energy, 66% Chance: Decrease Opponent Attack -1 Level

Remember when Dedenne was coming out and that JRE guy was all excited to see what Parabolic Charge would end up looking like? And then Niantic did that thing they like to do and dropped it from Dedenne’s movepool before releasing it? Initially I was upset, as Parabolic is a “draining” move in MSG, restoring the user’s HP by a portion of the HP it strips away from the target and I was excited to see how that would work in GO. But then its stats in GO were set at a super boring 55 energy for only 65 damage (basically the Water Pulse/pre-buff Aerial Ace of Electric moves) and I didn’t care anymore.

But now it’s back! And still useless. Thankfully, Belli comes with a strictly better alternative: Discharge, which deals the same damage for 10 less energy. Still not the most exciting move in PvP or anything (1.44 Damage Per Energy is decent, but not fantastic), but perfectly serviceable, and works well on other competitive ‘mons like Stunfisk, Galvantula, Charjabug, and others.

So that leaves us with just one other charge move option, and it’s a whopper: Zap Cannon. It too is on a number of competitive Pokémon, but the one that stands out most is, of course, Registeel, who typically pairs it these days with Focus Blast to great effect. Regi has Lock-On and its 5.0 Energy Per Turn to race to it, but Thunder Shock’s 4.5 EPT isn’t too far behind… and unlike Registeel, we have a move to bait it out in Discharge. Might this actually work out?

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet' unveils new electric-type Bellibolt


Short answer for Great League: no, it doesn’t work out all that well.

…or does it? There’s some digging to do here.

First off, the good news. It actually CAN get notably better with high rank PvP IVs, picking up potential wins versus Water Gun Lanturn (it can already overcome the Spark variant), Cresselia, Alolan Sandslash, and Bastiodon, though we also see something relatively rare take place: a new loss to Powder Snow Alolan Ninetales due to high IV Belli’s Attack dropping below that of A-Tails (and thus losing CMP). And with a massive beatstick like Zap Cannon, Belli unsurprisingly does quite well with shields down. Beyond the obvious Waters and/or Flyers, some standout wins include Sableye, Defense Deoxys, Registeel, Lickitung, and with shields down, Medicham, Froslass, Vigoroth, Carbink and others. It’s really not bad, very comparable actually to hard-to-get, fully maxed Pachirisu. Overall, there’s some real potential here.

On the flipside, there are definite chinks in the armor here. Relying on landing a big move like Zap Cannon is a detriment with both shields in play. It also means that if the baits don’t get right, the record in general suffers, with things like Bastiodon, Sableye, Registeel, and Lickitung able to slip away. Still not awful, especially compared to other popular Electrics (with baiting similarly disabled), but certainly not great.

Overall, I think Bellibolt will find a place in certain Great League Limited formats, such as perhaps the current Electric Cup where its Water Gun does some good work cutting through the popular Alolan Rocks while Belli’s bulk (Bellibulk, should I call it?) allows it to also outlast things like Ampharos, Emolga, Dedenne, and Electivire. But it’s very unfortunate that it doesn’t come with any better bait and/or coverage moves. I have a hard time faulting Niantic for this, however: in MSG, about the only coverage it could learn would be Ground fast moves (Mud Shot, Mud Slap), a couple bad Water charge moves (Muddy Water and the aforementioned Water Pulse), and Weather Ball. Nothing that would actually help out all that much (though a Ground fast move would obviously give it a big leg up versus other Electrics).

So a mixed bag in Great League, at best. Surely Ultra League won’t show much better, right?



I’ll start by saying that Bellibolt has the same pros and cons here… Zap Cannon means that you’re relying on getting a big fat charge move off to swing things in your favor, and the boom AND bust potential are both high depending on shields and all.

That all said: the ceiling is much higher, rather shockingly so. And this time, even the floor isn’t all that low. Sure, things like Dubwool, Scrafty, Greedent, Drapion, and Alolan Muk can slip away if baiting doesn’t go quite right, but look at all you still keep: not only all (non-Ground) Waters and Flyers in the meta, but also big chonkers like Registeel, Umbreon, Cresselia, Snorlax, and DDeoxys, as well as high damage dealers like Scizor, Alolan Ninetales, Toxicroak, Buzzwole, Charmers, and even Escavalier with its scary Drill Run. Add on the potential to beat the other things I listed if the baits DO go right (Dubwool, Drap, A-Muk, Scrafty, Greedent), and this thing ain’t looking too shabby! And you can build it without needing a single XL Candy if you want to!

Heck, not only does it remains a shields-down powerhouse, but at this level it can flex its good Bellibulk to even stay competitive in 2v2 shielding!

While the good news abounds… there are some red flags I have to raise before you blow a ton of dust on this thing. While it does beat an impressive number of things in the UL meta, consider where its effectiveness ends. Ground, Dragon, and Grass types all blunt the Electric damage that Bellibolt exclusively doles out. (And no, Water Gun is not the way to go.) There are a fair number of very relevant Pokémon of those typings in the Ultra League meta, to include the Giratinas, Dragonite, Swampert, Steelix, Galarian Stunfisk, Gliscor, Nidoqueen, a whole heaping helping of Grasses (Virizion, Venusaur, Abomasnow, Trevenant, Serperior, Chesnaught, Ferrothorn etc.), and many more. A good chunk of those are top meta options. My point is that just by nature of the current meta, you’re likely to come across at least one really solid Electric counter on many existing Open Ultra League teams. Yes, hard counters are often part of the game, but there’s a reason you don’t really see Electrics in Ultra League… moreso than Great League, it’s a harsh environment for Electrics. There is a lot of GOOD potential for Bellibolt to tear it up… but also a lot of potential for it to get locked in a heavy farming situation in the opponent’s favor. And while there IS potential even with its limited MSG movepool for it to get something that would help plug its holes, I don’t consider that likely to actually happen. You take the bad with the good here.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Bellibolt Location: How to evolve Tadbulb into Bellibolt | VG247

That said, there IS enough potential that I would say Bellibolt isn’t a terrible grind option for Ultra League, particularly if Ultra League Premier ever returns (come ON, Niantic) and several of its bigger roadblocks are removed from the meta. And it’s nice that even the #1 IV version “only” has to be pushed to Level 42, so even a heavy XL grind still isn’t that heavy at all. Not saying I would outright recommend taking the plunge, but there have certainly been much crazier ideas. Bellibolt is surprisingly NOT as crazy as I expected. Not even close.

Alright, that’s it for this “quick” look. Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon.

Good hunting! 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!

Further reading

Popular today

Latest articles

Support us

Buy GO Hub merch

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