Is Double Iron Bash Melmetal Worth It In PvP?

When a ton of work is dropped on you at once, you just have to quickly prioritize and muscle through. Over the last day and a half, we had TONS of news dropped on us at once — new season info! new Cups! Hawlucha! new Regis! — all of which I feel compelled to write about. But it can be overwhelming, and sometimes those snap decisions are not the best ones.

Sometimes you just have to give up your well laid plans, pull up your big boy britches, and just give the people what they want.

And clearly, based on numerous replies and DMs and folks otherwise reaching out, what people want — what YOU want — in the here and now is not the Fantasy Cup analysis I’ve been chipping away at (and still will after this), but finally an analysis on Double Iron Bash and whether or not Melmetal wants it.

So here we go. Later than I like to be writing and posting stuff, and NOT in the order I planned, but none of that matters now. Hopefully this short and to the point analysis can put to bed the question everyone’s asking: “JRE, is it worth it for the $5 Niantic is asking?”

Maybe not the answer you wanted, and not the one I expected, but the one that’s honest: yes, there is most certainly a place for Double Iron Bash Melmetal in the current PvP landscape. It’s not a straight upgrade by any means, but it earns its place and does some unique things Melmetal cannot do otherwise. It sometimes puts up the best overall numbers. It’s “worth” it, in a vacuum. The question you have to ask yourself is… is it worth it to you? I can’t answer that, but I CAN try and give you some information to help you get to an answer, my friend.

To that end, let’s look at what Melmetal is now, and what it would be with this new Steel move. Onward to the analysis!


Melmetal Steel

In the interest of time, I’m going to skip over the standard rundown of PvP stats and ideal IVs in each League. Suffice to say that its overall Attack and bulk is very close to things like Sableye, Hitmontop, Zweilous, and Crustle in Great League, Kingdra and Crobat and Tangrowth and Crustle again in Ultra League, and in the same ballpark as Origin Giratina in Master League. (Gira is slightly tankier, but they have the same Attack strength and it’s about the closest comparison I could come up with on the fly!)

The most interesting thing may be the mono-Steel typing, a rarity in PvP. There’s obviously Registeel, but quick, name me another mono-Steel off the top of your head. I’ll wait.




If you came up with Perrserker, congratulations! That has indeed had some play in Great League especially.

Now name another!




Yeah, uh, Klinklang? I think we’ve exhausted our list!

Mono-Steels come with famous vulnerabilties to Fighting, Ground, and Fire. But the list of resistances is the great part, standing tall versus (in alphabetical order) Bug, Dragon, Fairy, Flying, Grass, Ice, Normal, Psychic, Rock, and Steel damage, and double resisting Poison. Steel is a fantastic defensive typing.

But still, basically just Registeel and Melmetal, competitively. Melmetal is, in many ways, a mini Registeel anyway. But to explain that, we really need to bring the moves into the equation.

As far as fast moves, your decision here is easy peasy… there’s only one! Thunder Shock (Electric type, 1.5 Damage Per Turn, 4.5 Energy Per Turn) is it. Being such a low damage move (and lacking even a STAB boost), Thunder Shock puts the onus on beating things with charge moves… again, remind you of a certain doorknob shaped Regi?

So let’s take a look at the wide range of moves Melmetal has to work with.

ᴱ – Event Exclusive Move

Charge Moves:

Double Iron Bashᴱ (Steel, 50 damage, 35 energy)

Superpower (Fighting, 85 damage, 40 energy, Lowers User Attack/Defense -1 Stage)

Rock Slide (Rock, 75 damage, 45 energy)

Thunderbolt (Electric, 90 damage, 55 energy)

Flash Cannon (Steel, 110 damage, 70 energy)

Hyper Beam (Normal, 150 damage, 80 energy)

Melmetal really is lighter, faster Registeel. Superpower in place of Focus Blast. Thunderbolt in place of Zap Cannon. Flash Cannon in place of… uh… Flash Cannon. 🙃

In reality, Mel (can I call you ‘Mel’?) only uses Superpower out of those most the time, however. Rock Slide is usually far superior to those others. (Though Flash Cannon Melmetal remains a popular choice too.) The relative speed, lack of self-nerfing (the major downside of relying heavily on Superpower), and effectiveness profile of Rock Slide brings in some key wins. Some are obvious, like Dragonite and double-weak-to-Rock Ho-Oh, but most are more subtle, like Palkia, Zekrom, and Mamoswine. Flash Cannon instead overpowers Altered Giratina, Snorlax, and big bad Zacian.

So now the key question… what does Double Iron Bash do? It has the looks of a great move that fits right in to Melmetal’s already-top-notch “energy curve”… no glut of similarly-priced moves, but a solid curve from cheap up to big expensive closers. You’ve already got 40-, 45-, and 55-energy moves, and now we slot in a 35-energy move right in front of those. For the record, each Thunder Shock generates 9 energy, so it takes five to reach either Rock Slide OR Superpower (5 x 9 = exactly 45 energy). So it’s nice that you can get to Double Iron Bash for one less Thunder Shock (4 x 9 = 36 energy). But how does that actually translate to usage?


The initial look is promising, with the same record as today’s Superpower/Rock Slide. What’s different? Well Ho-Oh, Zekrom, and Steel-resistant Palkia all escape, though Rock Slide wins over Dragonite (albeit just barely) and Mamoswine (now a blowout!) remain. The wins Flash Cannon got versus Giratina-A and Snorlax pop back up, and a brand new win over Psystrike/Shadow Ball Mewtwo appears as well! Best of both worlds, right? Weeeeell… Zacian is a loss now. Does that alone override all the good? I guess only you can make that call, but that’s awfully discouraging. It IS close, but a savvy Zacian player can always outrace D.I.B. Melmetal… it dies with the last Double Iron Bash it needs charged, but unable to fire in time. Of course one little misplay or blip of lag or overtap or something flips that completely around, but still… big sadge.

Real quickly, to complete the comparison, with shields down, Rock SlideFlash Cannon, and Double Iron Bash all remain pretty close, though you WILL notice that the highest number of wins is with our new Bash. Rock Slide uniquely beats Dragonite and Reshiram, and Flash Cannon uniquely takes out Altered Giratina. But Double Iron Bash matches all their other combined wins, including Snorlax, Zerneas, Garchomp, and Melmetal itself that Rock Slide falls short against, and Palkia that Flash Cannon cannot overcome. As Zacian isn’t part of the equation here (Melmetal falls to Zacian’s Close Combat basically no matter what), I think it’s fair to label this… advantage Double Iron Bash?

Where Flash Cannon really falls away is in 2v2 shielding. I’ll just say up front that Double Iron Bash can beat literally everything that Flash Cannon can, and even Rock Slide beats everything Cannon does except for Xerneas. So we’re really just left comparing Rock Slide and Double Iron Bash. Beyond just the numbers, here are the main differences:

  • Rock Slide uniquely smashes Ho-Oh, Palkia, Reshiram, and Yveltal. None of those are too shocking, right?
  • Double Iron Bash has TWICE as many unique wins: Excadrill, Mamoswine, Metagross, Psystrike/Ball Mewtwo, Snorlax, Xerneas (shared with Flash Cannon), Zarude, and yes, Zacian, which not even Flash Cannon can get to in 2v2 shielding. And you win the mirror match too!

So in Master League, is Double Iron Bash Melmetal “worth” it? Short answer: YES, but it doesn’t do everything you might hope, consistently beating Zacian chief among them. Other things more easily escape too, like Dragonite (and a surprising number of other Dragons) and Ho-Oh and others, but D.I.B. usually makes up for it with an equal or even greater number of supplemental wins. In summary: it’s a new variant of Melmetal, but not a necessity. I’ll leave it up to you if that $5 in Niantic’s pocket is worth it or not.


As for Great and Ultra League? I think the case for Double Iron Bash decreases. There are simply too many Waters and other things that resist Steel moves (there’s a reason Registeel never uses Flash Cannon anymore, for example) and/or fear Rock damage, so even with the speed of D.I.B., it falls short of Rock Slide in Great League, losing to stuff like Jellicent, Charizard, Talonflame, Mandibuzz, Drapion, and Venusaur, with Double Iron only having Cresselia and non-Shadow Walrein to its name. (And yes, it falls short of Rock Slide in other even shield scenarios as well.)

In Ultra League, D.I.B. does a few more things well, taking down Snorlax, Empoleon, and Tapu Fini, but Rock Slide is still right there making its own case with wins instead versus Charizard, Talonflame, Mandibuzz, and Greedent. At least, that’s in 1shield. Similar to Master League especially, with shields down, D.I.B. again trails Rock Slide (sneaking in a win versus Granbull but losing the Flying Fires and Snorlax again, plus Mandi, Drapion, and Venusaur). Though in 2v2 shielding, the roles are reversed, with Double Iron Bash now outpacing Rock Slide with unique wins over Umbreon, Walrein, Venusaur, Greedent, Drapion, Guzzlord, and Tapu Fini. So uh… take that for what it’s worth.

Okay, a very short summary of the above for you to go and start making your own personal decisions:


  • I think it’s safe to call Double Iron Bash a viable sidegrade to existing Rock Slide (you really want to hold on to Superpower) that gets better the more shields there are in play, and notably worse the less shields there are to bust through.
  • Most of the differences beyond sheer speed are simply in the typing of the two moves. Rock Slide will still provide that handy anti-Fire coverage and is still necessary to take down several notable Flyers. Double Iron Bash is at least theoretically better versus Fairies (though Mel often doesn’t need it, and cannot consistently beat things like Zacian even with it) and provides wider neutral coverage, but Superpower and Rock Slide still provide a bit more synergistic coverage overall, IMO.
  • Double Iron Bash Melmetal looks like it can and almost certainly will find a place in Master League, and perhaps Ultra League as well. (Great League perhaps also, though Rock Slide is still consistently better there.) You don’t HAVE to have it and can still use Mel with existing moves and probably not miss a beat. But this gives Melmetal a bit more unpredictability and spice. I doubt its current placement in the meta (particularly ML) will change much… this just further solidifies its placement in it.

So there you go! Hopefully this gives you the actionable information you were looking for, even if a bit rushed and crude compared to my normal standards. I’m not here to make ME happy, but YOU. Cheers!

Alright, NOW back to Fantasy Cup and Hawlucha and all the rest. (Again, send Dr. Pepper, por favor!) Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with regular GO analysis nuggets or Patreon, if you’re feeling extra generous.

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.