Breaking Swipe Haxorus in PvP

Our first Community Day of the season is here, and it’s high time everyone be able to find themselves a shiny (literally!) new HAXORUS at last, don’t you think? How does this funky Dragon look now in PvP battles? The answer to that is mostly right here in our Bottom Line Up Front:


  • After some clunkers, this has the look of a genuinely GOOD Community Day for PvPers! New move Breaking Swipe is a straight upgrade for Haxorus in ALL Leagues!
  • Hax comes with an intriguing movepool already, with two of the very best fast moves in the game AND a varied and effective array of charge moves. There are several ways you can build it, before and still after Community Day… but all of them will now center around Breaking Swipe from here on out.
  • Master League Haxorus is not surprisingly your top priority (Hax crosses the important 4000 CP barrier), but don’t neglect looking for good ones for lower Leagues as well. Even in Great League, Haxorus does appear to have the sauce to (mostly) overcome its scary glassiness. This is a weekend to hunt for several Haxorus’ (Haxoruses? Horoxii? 🤷‍♂️) if you can!

HAXORUS Stats and Moves

Haxorus Dragon

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
151 (149 High Stat Product) 96 (98 High Stat Product) 102 (103 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-14-13, 1499 CP, Level 15.5)

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
196 (192 High Stat Product) 126 (126 High Stat Product) 129 (133 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 1-15-15, 2495 CP, Level 25.5)

Master League Stats

Attack Defense HP
251 157 166

(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs, CP 4062 at Level 50)

Real quick, because you’re more here for the moves than anything. Haxorus is very frail. Like, the best examples I can give of HOW frail are as follows:

  • It has basically the same Attack stat (in Master League) as Therian Landorus, Rayquaza, and Darkrai… but lower bulk than all of them. And NONE of them will ever be labeled as anything close to bulky.
  • In Ultra League, the closest comp is Chandelure, with nearly identical Attack and (lack of) bulk.
  • And in Great League, Haxorus’ total stat product (basically Attack + bulk) is at #807… out of a list 852. It’s roughly the same as falls-over-to-a-stiff-breeze Darmanitan, Breloom, and Honchkrow (all of which have a higher stat product than Haxorus!).

Now the typing does help a little bit. Sometimes. As a Dragon, Hax resists all the “elements”: Grass, Fire, Water, and Electric, though it is also (rather famously) weak to Fairy, Ice, and other Dragon damage. So… more resistances than vulnerabilities, at least!

But… yeah. Pokemon like this basically require spam to have a chance at making an impact. Thankfully, Haxorus has that in spades, and its new move addition only helps with that, with one of the more interesting movepools in the game!

Fast Moves

  • CounterFighting type, 4.0 DPT, 3.5 EPT, 1.0 CoolDown
  • Dragon TailDragon type, 4.33 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 1.5 CD

Counter is the best fast move in the game, bar none. That said, Dragon Tail, especially with the STAB damage is enjoys with Haxorus, is really good too. And its average energy generation is more than compensated for with the charge moves. (We’ll get to those in a second.)

Point is, while Counter is the first move you’ll likely consider, this is one of those very rare cases where it may not actually be the best. We’ll come back to that.

– Exclusive (Community Day) Move

Charge Moves

  • Breaking SwipeDragon type, 50 damage, 35 energy, Reduces Opponent Attack -1 Stage
  • Dragon ClawDragon type, 50 damage, 35 energy
  • Night SlashDark type, 50 damage, 35 energy, 12.5% Chance to Raise User Attack +2 Stages
  • SurfWater type, 65 damage, 40 energy
  • EarthquakeGround type, 120 damage, 65 energy

Not one, not two, but THREE moves all costing only 35 energy (tied for cheapest in the game). And then Surf costing only 5 energy more and dealing 15 more damage. THIS is the kind of spam AND unpredicatbility you hope for with something glassy like this! And if the opponent lets it hang around, you can try and punish them with a good closer as well in Earthquake.

The move variety is SO good, in fact, that it can be hard to settle on what to leave out. One choice, however, becomes obvious now. The term “strictly better” is probably overused, even by me, but Breaking Swipe really is strictly better than Dragon Claw, and thus Haxorus itself is strictly better coming out of Community Day than it is going in. So we can safely push Claw off the raft, as it were, just as we did with Rayquaza when it got Breaking Swipe.

So that leaves us with four moves: 35-energy Breaking Swipe and Night Slash, 40-energy Surf, and 65-energy Earthquake.

Now let’s start putting those together with the fast moves and see what shakes out! And we’re going to go backwards to do it, starting with the league where Hax is most relevant and working down from there.


So for comparison, here is Haxorus’ former best in Open Master League, and here is Master League Premier, both running Surf/Dragon Claw. Night Slash isn’t too far behind Claw, but the latter is better for overpowering Mamoswine and Machamp (the latter of which resists Night Slash), so Claw gets the nod. ALSO note that I used Dragon Tail there, not Counter. Counter certainly is viable (as good as it is, it would be hard NOT to be viable!), and gets some extra wins versus things like Snorlax and Melmetal with a clear weakness to Fighting damage, but Dragon Tail is needed if you want to beat both Giratinas, Yveltal, and to much better guarantee Garchomp. I lean Tail, but I won’t say Counter is “wrong”… just different.

Anyway, with Breaking Swipe beign a clear upgrade on Dragon Claw, let’s see how much of an upgrade. Swapping Swipe in for Claw and leaving all other factors alone leads to a clear improvement with six new wins: Mewtwo with Focus Blast or Shadow Ball (note, however, that Ice Beam M2 wins with Hax having the winning Swipe fully charged but unable to fire), Yveltal, Groudon, Gyarados, and now Snorlax that was formerly one of Counter’s few advantages. Amazing what a simple little nerf to the opponent’s Attack strength can do for flimsy Pokemon like Haxorus (as it did for Rayquaza too!). In Premier, it’s more of the same, with those Gyarados and Snorlax (and Shadow Snorlax) wins cropping up.

Breaking Swipe’s indirect buff to Haxorus’ bulk actually allows something even more impressive, though. Whereas before, Earthquake wasn’t really an option as Hax would often perish before getting to it in a meaningful spot, Breaking Swipe changes all that. It still unfortunately comes up a little short versus the big Steels (including Diagla), and does give up former wins versus Excadrill and Ice Punch Ursaluna, but it can gain Zacian, folks. (At least, without Play Rough.) Just rolls over it with a big Earthquake. Nice! Similarly, it can also beat Primarina this way now (that’s likely just for ML Premier, though).

I will note, however, that Counter doesn’t see quite the same bump. It IS better than Claw still, and that shows up more in 2v2 shielding (Claw vs Swipe) as multiple Breaking Swipe debuffs add up, but Dragon Tail is still generally better in 1v1 (and 0v0) shielding and still gets my overall vote. Just too many things that Dragon damage is better for than Fighting damage at this level.

So in short, yes, Breaking Swipe is a clear upgrade for Haxorus in Master League and worth pursuing on Community Day for this purpose. It’s still not quite on the level of, say, Dragonite or Kyurem or fellow Swiper (“Swiper, no swiping!”Rayquaza, but I think it defintely moves up into a higher tier of Dragon right there among them.

Master League is what most folks are eyeing going into this weekend, but what about elsewhere?


Similar upgrade here, with Breaking Swipe (this time moreso with Counter… more punchable things at this level than in Master League!) [clearly distancing itself from Dragon Claw… new wins include Swampert, Venusaur, Charizard, Mandibuzz, Guzzlord, Drapion, Golisopod, and of course, Snorlax. (Yeah, Counter/Claw/Surf couldn’t quite do that before!) Interestingly, it slides backwards in Premier, but in Open? Perhaps it’s worth some spice consideration now.


Lots of punchable things down in Great League as well, where Counter Hax is probably already a bit better than you think, at least on paper. Wins against things like Lanturn, Swampert, Galarian Stunfisk, Registeel, Bastiodon, Victreebel, Talonflame, Mandibuzz, Dunsparce, Diggersby, Alolan Sandslash and Walrein catch the eye, but then Breaking Swipe just goes and makes it better with Drapion, Toxicroak, and even Lickitung! And look how far it can now go in 2v2 shielding! Something so fragile shouldn’t enjoy that level of success in longer battles like that in Great League, but here we are!


I’m surprised to say it, but I think that Breaking Swipe Haxorus may be worth grinding for in all three Leagues! If I had to rank them, it would be Master first, then Great, and then Ultra, but if you find a candidate with good Ultra League or Great League IVs, evolve it while you can get Breaking Swipe, even if you end up short on candy needed to build them all now. We’ll get more Axew candy later this year, right?

Gonna wrap it up right here, as Community Day is FAST approaching, and I have Summer Cup (Ultra) analysis to try to get back to anyway!

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon, if you’re feeling extra generous.

Good hunting, folks! 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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