Nature’s Madness: Tapu Lele (A PvP Analysis)

Howdy folks! Today we proceed through our “Going Mad!” limited series examining the Guardian Deities (aka the Tapus) with their new exclusive move. After a tepid introduction with Tapu Koko, today we have a bit more potential with Tapu Lele! Let’s start with our customary Bottom Line Up Front and then get into some astonishing results. (Yes, that’s a pun… you’ll see why soon. No, I’m not sorry. 😜)


  • Tapu Lele is not much bulkier than Tapu Koko, but it’s a pretty good typing for Master League specifically.
  • Lele DOES have higher (and more consistent) potential than Koko with the new move, getting in some truly impressive and unexpected wins, even over Steel types!
  • Not sure it will become full-on meta, but Tapu Lele is quite underrated in most analyses I’ve seen elsewhere, which are — no offense to my fellow analysts — running it with the wrong moveset. Going against the grain results in some very impressive gains!

Piqued your interest? Then read on, Pokéfriends!

TAPU LELE Stats and Moves

Tapu Lele PsychicFairy

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
180 (180 High Stat Product) 151 (152 High Stat Product) 127 (126 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs {Best Friend Trade}: 6-15-13, 2500 CP, Level 26)

Master League Stats

Attack Defense HP
230 187 157

(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; 3950 CP at Level 50)

Last time, we covered Tapu Koko as the flimsiest of the Guardian Deities. Now with Lele… the bulk is not much better. In Ultra League, Lele has 4 less Attack then Koko, but actually has less HP on average, its only real advantage coming in having roughly 10 more Defense.

What’s worse, Psychic/Fairy is a relatively exploitable type combination. The standard Psychic weakness to Dark is neutralized, but in the end you’re still left with as many vulnerabilities (Ghost, Poison, Steel) as you have resistances (Psychic, Fighting x2, Dragon x2).

Fast Moves

  • ConfusionPsychic type, 4.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 2.0 CoolDown
  • AstonishGhost type, 3.0 DPT, 3.33 EPT, 1.5 CD

The natural inclination is to run Confusion, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a better move in a vacuum, dealing big damage plus the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) while generating average energy.

However, after years of being a completely unviable move, these days Astonish is now actually an above average one, with average damage and above average energy gains. And importantly, being a Ghost-type move gives Lele some advantages other Psychic and Fairy types lack… and specifically something that none of the other Tapus have.

More on that in a minute, but first we need to work in the charge moves.

– Exclusive Move

Charge Moves

  • PsyshockPsychic type, 70 damage, 45 energy
  • Nature’s MadnessFairy type, 80 damage, 50 energy, Reduces Opponent Defense -1 Stage
  • MoonblastFairy type, 110 damage, 60 energy, 10% Chance: Reduce Opponent Attack -1 Stage
  • Future SightPsychic type, 120 damage, 65 energy
  • Focus BlastFighting type, 150 damage, 75 energy

Tapu Koko has above average energy gains but was long locked behind charge moves all costing 55 or more energy. Now here you have Lele with slower energy gains but 45-energy Psyshock to make up for it. In the end, that means that Tapu Lele would win a hypothetical race between the two to the first charge move (actually more of a tie, but the shorter cooldown of Confusion as compared to Koko’s Volt Switch means Lele is always ready to fire off its charge move first), but then Koko comes back with a second charge move (and the win) sooner.

…at least, that’s with Confusion. With the higher energy gains (and even shorter cooldown) of Astonish, the odds flip back to Lele, and it’s really not even close anymore, with Lele escaping with over half of its HP left over. And that’s the start of a theme, as I think I actually recommend the non-STAB, significantly lower damage Astonish over Confusion, which is a much better move on paper, just perhaps not in practice.

Let’s dive in to Master League more fully so I can try to build that case….


Before we even get to the new charge move, just consider Confusion versus Astonish Lele with Lele’s current best moveset of Psyshock/Moonblast. (With apologies to Focus Blast, which is useful in theory but not so much in practice.) Astonish does literally everything Confusion does, PLUS can beat Dialga (and very nearly Origin Dialga as well) and Altered Giratina (yes, even with Shadow Claw).

But Lele can do even better. Quite a bit better, actually.

A question for you to mull over before you read on. What in the Master League meta are you hoping to smack around with Psyshock? It’s only super effective versus Fighting and Poison types, and there are basically none of those in today’s Open Master League. You can count the number of them that realistically make up even part of the ML Premier meta on one hand, even if that hand lost a couple digits to a temperamental toaster. Conversely, Psychic is resisted by Steel, Psychic, and Dark types, and there are a decent number of those in the upper tiers of Master League.

This is part of why Astonish seems to outshine Confusion in Master League, and now it’s part of why I recommend giving strong consideration to dumping Psyshock too. Yes, Psychic damage CAN work in Master League (see: Mewtwo), and Meloetta makes even Psyshock work for it, though in part because it has no cheaper charge move… the same situation Tapu Lele has been stuck in until now. But no longer! Here comes Nature’s Madness. It does cost 5 more energy than Psyshock, but funny story there. If you’re running Confusion, yes, the extra energy cost makes a difference because with each one generating 12 energy, four Confusions nets 48 energy, enough for Psyshock but NOT Madness. However, another point in the favor of Astonish is that each one generates 10 energy, so after five Astonish (which takyes 7.5 seconds, STILL faster than the 8 seconds required for four Confusions), you reach exactly 50 energy, meaning that Nature’s Madness is ready to fire at the same time the “cheaper” Psyshock is! Madness deals 10 more damage, making it more efficient, and it also comes with the debuff to the opponent’s Defense, a less tangible but perhaps even MORE impactful improvement over Psyshock. And while Psychic damage is not particularly good in Master League, Fairy damage very much is, being super effective versus the format’s many Dragon and Dark types, resisted by nonexistent Poison and rare Fire types, and also resisted by Steels that already resist Psychic damage anyway. In Master League, and with Astonish driving it, the advantages are ALL there for Nature’s Madness over Psyshock.

And that brings us to Tapu Lele’s true, full potential in Master League. No Psychic damage at all now, which seems wrong on the surface but just makes so much more sense when you think about it. As compared to Lele’s former best (Astonish/Psyshock/Moonblast), you now gain Mewtwo (no more resisted damage!), Reshiram, that elusive Origin Forme Dialga, and then a couple of things that you likely wouldn’t expect: Steel types Metagross and Excadrill. Both resist Fairy damage, but in the end it doesn’t matter… the reduced Defense from Nature’s Madness and chip damage from Astonish combine to make a second Madness KO despite being resisted. One specific illustration of this is Excadrill, where a theoretical Madness without the debuff would still lose, but as it works now, the debuff makes each subsequent Astonish deal 2 more damage than before, and drives the KO Madness from an original 75 damage all the way up to 93. This is also true with Metagross, where Lele would lose if Madness didn’t debuff, but with the debuff it ekes out the win despite the steady barrage of Steel damage coming back at it. Impressive!

That said, there ARE still some edge cases for Psyshock. With shields down, back-to-back Psyshocks can outrace Xerneas, but Madness is a hair slow. Similarly, in 2v2 shielding, Psyshock can sneak away with wins against Reshiram and Zekrom, while Nature’s Madness struggles. But again, those seem to me more like edge cases, and the impactful wins in 1shield more than make up for it, IMO.

What do YOU think, my friend?


Not much to say here, because even at its new best, Lele still isn’t very good, or even much improved over its former best. There are more tradeoffs here with Psychic damage being much more impactful in Ultra League than it is in Master, so going with more Fairy damage isn’t the clear advantage it was in our earlier analysis. And Lele’s frailty is much more of a liability at this level as well. In short, you don’t really want to be using Lele any lower than maxed out for Master League.


It’s not surprising to see that Tapu Lele is better with the new Nature’s Madness, but I was quite surprised to see how high its ceiling could go now when released from the shackles of trying to deal Psychic type damage in Master League. Between that and eschewing all non-Fairy charge moves, today’s analysis is proof that there can be big advantages to looking beyond the preliminary rankings (which currently show Lele dead last among the Tapus, but that’s because it’s running Confusion!) and the expected norm. Lele has untapped potential now, which hopefully today’s analysis allows YOU to tap into if you so desire. Good luck!

We still have Tapu Bulu and Tapu Fini (both of which also have some tasty potential!), but that will be for another day! For now, that’s a wrap. Thanks for reading, and hope to see you back as we look at the other Guardian Deities!

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with regular Pokémon GO analysis nuggets, or Patreon.

Happy raiding for those going out! 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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