Annihilapeing PvP Metas Everywhere: Annihilape in GBL

Hot off the presses: ANNIHILAPE is coming to Pokémon GO! In this article we’ll take a look at its PvP viability in all Leagues, but if you want to cut RIGHT to the guts of the analysis, let’s put our TLDR right here up here at the top with our Bottom Line Up Front:


  • You will want Annihilape for Great League.
  • You will probably want Annihilape for Ultra League.
  • You will definitely want Annihilape if you play in Master League.
  • What? Sometimes simple is best. 😉 Okay, okay… in short, Annihilape’s unique typing combination, above average (for a Fighter) bulk, and high CP limit make it PvP relevant in ALL Leagues… assuming it keeps currently assigned moves.

ANNIHILAPE Stats and Moves

Annihilape FightingGhost

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
(122 High Stat Product) (106 High Stat Product) (141 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 2-15-15, 1499 CP, Level 17)

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
(157 High Stat Product) (138 High Stat Product) (183 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-15, 2492 CP, Level 28.5)

Master League Stats

Attack Defense HP
197 162 215

(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; 3695 CP at Level 50)

Usually I kind of breeze past this part of these spotlight analyses, but this time I want to linger here for a bit.

First, the stats. While Annihilape will never be mistaken as “bulky”, Anni (yes, I’m going to call him Anni throughout this analysis… get used to it!) is actually pretty bulky for a Fighter. In Great League, the only meta Fighters that outbulk it are Hitmontop, Poliwrath, Hakamo-O, Scrafty, and Chesnaught. It far outbulks popular Fighters like Machamp, Sirfetch’d, and pre-evolution Primeape. In Ultra League, it is again behind Poliwrath, Scrafty, Chesnaught, and both Cobalion and Virizion, but that’s it. And unlike Poliwrath and Scrafty, not only is NO XL candy required, but heck, Annihilape doesn’t even cross Level 30, much less 40, making it a surprisingly cheap investment.

And yes, this means that it gets quite beefy in Master League. The only non-Legendary/Ultra Beast Fighter that hits a higher CP is Conkeldurr (3773 CP), and Anni has FAR better bulk.

And then there’s the typing. Annihilape is one of only two Fighting/Ghost types in the entire franchise (Marshadow is the other), and that is significant. Why? It makes Anni a Fighter that double resists Fighting damage, along with double resisting Normal damage (so no more fear of Body Slam while trying to farm Normal types!). Fighting and Ghost also double up for a 2x resistance to Bug, as well as single resistances to Poison (from the Ghost side) and Rock (Fighting side), as well as neutrality to Dark (which is rare for a Ghost). However, the combination also makes it a Ghost that is weak to Psychic (not good for a Ghost), as well as Flying and Fairy, while the Ghost side leaves it vulnerable to other Ghost damage.

In short, Annihilape should find huge success in any Fighting-heavy format thanks to its double resistance, and may be able to sneak into certain formats where Fighters are not specifically allowed but Ghosts are (like Halloween Cup, as one example), and as a Ghost that does NOT take super effective damage from Dark, which could be handy. But on the flipside, it’s a bit shaky to take into battle versus Psychics (usually something you want a Ghost for), and will even struggle versus other Ghosts since it’s weak to their attacks and — as you’ll see in a moment — it mostly deals damage that Ghosts resist.

So, this is a very unique Fighter that has at least the potential to rock all three major PvP Leagues. But that, of course, relies in large part on the moves.

I will say that, right now, it’s coded with the same moves as Primeape, minus Legacy moves Karate Chop and Cross Chop. This may end up being the final moveset… or Niantic could be using that as a placeholder and change it up anytime between now and release. Because of that, I am going to do a relatively “light” analysis with the existing moves, but if they hold, the below should give you an idea of how good it will be.

Fast Moves

  • CounterFighting type, 4.0 DPT, 3.5 EPT, 1.0 CoolDown
  • Low KickFighting type, 2.0 DPT, 2.5 EPT, 1.5 CD

I mean… it’s Counter or bust. Do you really need me to tell you that? It’s still in the tippy top tier of PvP fast moves, while Low Kick is far below average in damage and energy generation.

I suppose this is at least a good opportunity to mention other fast moves Anni might get. In MSG, it can learn the mighty Shadow Claw, the intriguing (but less than ideal for Annihilape) Poison Jab and Smack Down, and Scratch, which would REALLY be a letdown. I’m perfectly okay with Niantic just standing pat here… Counter would be fantastic. (Take Anni’s Shadow Claw and give it to Ursaluna instead, maybe? 🥺)

Charge Moves

  • Night SlashDark type, 50 damage, 35 energy, 12.5% Chance to Raise User Attack +2 Stages
  • Low SweepFighting type, 40 damage, 40 energy
  • Ice PunchIce type, 55 damage, 40 energy
  • Close CombatFighting type, 100 damage, 45 energy, Reduces User Defense -2 Stages

Again, keeping in mind that these may be altered before release, let’s see what we’ve currently got.

Low Sweep (as with Low Kick) can safely be pushed right off the raft. Despite lacking STAB (the Same Type Attack Bonus), Ice Punch deals higher damage when both moves are neutral, and obviously provides nice coverage versus Flyers and neutral coverage versus anything that resists Fighting damage. The only time Low Sweep is slightly better is when Fighting damage is super effective and Ice is not, and even then, Counter will likely still deal all the Fighting damage you need. Either that or recommended closing move Close Combat, which comes with the obvious drawback of reducing Anni’s Defense, but will often land the killing blow that outweighs the downside.

Then there’s Night Slash, which really provides this Ghost’s only anti-Psychic, anti-Ghost tech. It’s a great, high-pressure move, no doubt, and is probably what you want to run alongside Close Combat most of the time (at least in Great and Ultra Leagues). And of course, if that Attack buff pops off… giddyup!

So what do the numbers look like when you put all this together? Spoiler alert: pretty dang good!


I checked with Night Slash initially, as I figured that would be best, and it IS really, really good. Higher win total than Poliwrath and even Medicham, right up there with Shadow Machamp. Anni beats things those other Fighters cannot reliably replicate, including Toxicroak, Spark Lanturn, Shadow Swampert, Whiscash, Defense Deoxys, (Dynamic Punch) Medicham, and others, including Anni winning all the head-to-head matches and even managing to force at least a tie with Shadow Victreebel. But even better seems to be Ice Punch, which does ALL of that PLUS beats Altaria and Clodsire, both with straight Ice Punch. New top Fighter in Great League? Weeeeeell… Anni does still struggle with things other Fighters can handle, like Froslass, Venusaur, Sableye, and (Snarl) Mandibuzz, its Ghost vulnerabilities catching up to it a bit. But overall, I think it’s at least fair to say it wil be right up there in the Fighting type discussion, no doubt. And it remains good in multiple shielding scenarios too.

JRE’s opinion? You WILL want one for Great League. This thing has not just Cup potential, but bona fide Open potential as well.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet players crown Annihilape as Most Valuable Raid Pokemon - Dexerto


Both Ice Punch and Night Slash look very competitive here too, though the number of big name Ghosts in the meta hold Annihilape a bit more in check. It still overcomes the big Dark types, including Mandibuzz at this level (well, with Ice Punch, at least), and of course the Steel and Ice and Normal types you’d expect of a Counter user, and conveniently still most other Fighters. (Toxicroak and its Shadow Ball become more of a problem here than it was in Great League, however.) In fairness, even the best established Fighters have a similiar ceiling at the Ultra League level, so even though the numbers for Anni are less eye-catching than Great League, make no mistake: this is still among the best of the best Fighting options in this meta, without argument.

But that’s all nothing compared to the ultimate test and the ultimate grind….


No sense drawing it out… feast your eyes, folks. 👀 Ice Punch has very obvious applications in Master League… as I’ve written many times before, Ice is incredibly potent in Master League, where literally over half of the current meta is Dragon, Ground, Grass, and/or Ice types that are weak to Ice damage. That said, with Night Slash Annihilape manages all the same wins with the sole exception of the once-again-falling Rayquaza, and obviously puts more pressure on things like Mewtwo. There is room for both in the Master League meta. In fact, in 2v2 shielding, Night Slash is arguably better than Ice Punch, with its high bait (and possible boost) potential bringing Yveltal, Palkia, and even Zacian into the win column… at least if the chips fall your way.

Long and short of it is this: with whichever bait/coverage move, Annihilape will immediately become the best non-Legendary/Ultra Beast Fighting type in Master League, and perhaps THE best with no qualifications. If you’ve been stockpiling Mankey XL Candy… I think you’re going to be quite happy after this release!


Almost forgot… yes, this thing learns a TON of PvP-relevant moves in MSG. Aside from the enticing Shadow Claw I mentioned earlier, it can learn Shadow BallShadow Punch (which could be an interesting STAB alternative to Night Slash), Cross Chop (just by leveling up, so wouldn’t need to be Legacy unless Niantic just really wanted it to), and a ton of coverage moves (a lot of Punches but also stuff like Acrobatics, Outrage, Rock Slide, Stone Edge, and many others) that could do it some good. Honestly, though? It seems fine with its current, borrowed-from-Primeape moveset and I hope Niantic just leaves it alone. Here’s hoping! 🤞


Put simply, Annihilape will immediately enter the discussion in every League and in every Cup where Fighters are relevant. You WILL want one for any League where you regularly play, from Great League all the way up to Master. This WILL be an impactful and pretty future proof Pokemon… assuming it is released with currently projected moves. Good luck finding/evolving good ones, folks!

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with regular Pokémon GO analysis nuggets or Patreon, if you’re feeling extra generous.

Thanks for reading… I hope this proved helpful to you! 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.