It is upon us, Pokéfriends… there are “Primal rumblings” afoot, and Primal Pokémon finally arriving in Pokémon GO. From a PvP perspective, the Primals themselves mostly don’t matter (except maybe for the occasional Mega Master League?), but the new moves that come for Groudon and Kyogre certainly do! Today we take a look at the pair with their LONG-awaited signature moves: Precipice Blades and Origin Pulse.
Both of these moves have actually been in GO from the earliest days of “datamining”, dating back to at least 2017. Even I am having trouble pinpointing the exact time they were added to the game, but I believe it was at the same time Groudon and Kyogre were themselves added to the gamemaster.
Early speculation, of course, was that they would be released with their signature moves, but of course that didn’t occur. Then with each subsequent re-release of the pair in each year since their initial release in 2017, we were hopeful they’d finally come with Precipice and Pulse, but that too, of course, never happened. Now here we are, nearly SIX years later, and the moment has finally, FINALLY arrived.
Worth the hype? Well, our Bottom Line Up Front can tell us that before the rest of the analysis article fleshes that out….
- Precipice Blades is a straight upgrade to Earthquake, and the best Ground move in Damage Per Second (basically energy-to-damage ratio) and total damage overall. This is THE closing move you want on any Groudon you use in PvP moving forward.
- Origin Pulse is also a straight upgrade to Hydro Pump, and basically ties Genesect’s Techno Blast (Douse) in DPS… though Pulse is actually better since Kyogre gets the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) and Genesect does not with Techno Blast. Primal Kyogre with Origin Pulse becomes the new #1 Water in PvE, but in PvP things are a bit murkier, as Kyogre loses important coverage if it springs for Pulse.
- Regardless, these are both moves well worth grinding for and/or utilizing Elite TMs to get, almost without question. This is NOT an opportunity to miss, folks!
Alright, now on to the details behind all that. Your deep dive PvP analysis begins NOW!
Kyogre with Origin Pulse – NEW ORIGIN STORY?Kyogre Water
So part of this analysis will be one of the easier analyses I’ve ever had to do. But not THIS part. Because what should be a simple question — ‘does Kyogre want Origin Pulse in PvP?’ — does NOT come with a simple answer. It’s complicated.
ORIGIN PULSEWater type Charge Move
- 130 Damage
- 60 Energy
- 2.17 Damage Per Energy
Today, Kyogre hums along in Master League with Waterfall and Surf laying down steady, oft-unresisted Water damage, and then either Blizzard or — more commonly, I think — Thunder providing not only closing power, but important coverage. Thunder, like Origin Pulse, costs 60 energy. But Electric coverage is MUCH different than additional Water coverage.
That all said… it mostly comes out… well… in the wash in terms of what Kyogre does and does not beat, at least in 1v1 shielding. For what it’s worth, Thunder Kyogre not surprisingly beats Origin Pulse Kyogre thanks to the super effectiveness of Thunder, which deals a whopping 122 damage, as opposed to Pulse’s (resisted) 75 damage, so the results are pretty predictable. However, Waterfall and Surf alone handle nearly all of Kyogre’s other wins on their own, with Thunder or Pulse capable of bringing in additional wins versus Lugia and Gyarados. On paper, though, Thunder has obvious advantages versus those two as well. (Being super effective instead of neutral in Lugia’s case or resisted in Gary’s case.) In the end, the differences are rather small, but I’ll say slight advantage still goes to the coverage of Thunder.
Do things lean the other way in other scenarios? If things get pushed to using both shields, it would appear to now be Origin Pulse that pulls slightly ahead of Thunder. Or does it? Pulse shows a unique win versus Zacian with scary Wild Charge, and Thunder shows a loss… but you may notice that the Pulse win actually just Surf getting shielded twice, so uh… Thunder can win the same way. It all just depends on timing, but the point is that Pulse has no distinct advantage over Thunder even in that scenario.
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Origin Pulse appears to have a distinct damage advantage with shields down over Thunder (and Blizzard, for that matter, since I haven’t mentioned that in a hot minute), since Pulse deals far more damage than Thunder for the same energy cost. Specifically, Pulse uniquely washes out Garchomp (with either Dragon Tail or Mud Shot) and Zacian (with Play Rough or terrifying Wild Charge). In both cases, the reason is easy to explain: Origin Pulse and its superior damage deals a fatal blow, and Thunder does not and allows the opponent to hang around long enough to flip the results, usually with an extra charge move of its own in reply. Particularly in the case of Zacian, it has 173 HP in Master League. After it nerfs itself with a Close Combat or Wild Charge, guess how much damage Origin Pulse deals? Exactly 173. So that’s kind of fun to note.
That all said, even here, Thunder still makes a case for itself by beating Gyarados and OP Kyogre in 0v0 shielding to somewhat compensate for the losses to Garchomp and Zacian. The number of wins shows an advantage for Origin Pulse, but in actuality, it beats two specific Pokémon and Thunder beats a different two Pokémon, so both are STILL very close.
Even if Primal Kyogre is allowed in the upcoming Mega Master League, Origin Pulse is not appreciably better than Thunder, the former beating Origin Giratina and the latter beating Mega Slowbro, but otherwise they’re the same Pokémon.
Told you this was complicated!
So what’s it all mean, JRE? Yes, Origin Pulse Kyogre IS perfectly viable in Master League. But it can’t really shake existing Thunder, which doggedly hangs onto equal — perhaps even better? — relevance with its handy coverage, particularly in the mirror match. Costing the exact same energy, even Pulse’s clear advantage in neutral damage doesn’t come into play nearly as often as you might think/hope… not enough to be clearly better than going for lesser damage with coverage instead. The GOOD news is that you can build up an Origin Pulse Kyogre to use in raids — Primal Kyogre with Pulse is now and likely forever #1 Water attacker, for whenever you actually want a Water attacker — and still use it in PvP Master League, getting more bang for your buck. The OTHER good news is that those of you who already maxed your (presumably Thunder) Kyogres don’t have to hold your noses and burn an Elite TM for Origin Pulse if you don’t want to. The bad news is that… well, there will be spots where you wish you have Origin Pulse and wish you had Thunder instead, or vice versa. That’s just a fact of Pokémoning in general though, right?
Kyogre with Precipice Blades – Power UNEARTHEDGroudon Ground
Alright, now things get very, very simple. Because unlike Kyogre where you’re now left with a tough choice between coverage OR higher damage potential, when it comes to Groudon, you’re keeping the SAME coverage AND higher damage!
PRECIPICE BLADESGround type Charge Move
- 130 Damage
- 60 Energy
- 2.17 Damage Per Energy
Yep, exact same stats as Origin Pulse. But unlike Pulse, which ties Hydro Pump for damage and Techno Blast for DPE, Precipice Blades stands more clearly on top of the mountain of Ground moves. It’s clearly better than High Horsepower, dealing 30 more damage for the same 60 energy. Dig is laughably bad at 100 damage for 80 energy. And the only other Ground move that deals triple digit damage is Earthquake, the move that Groudon utilizes as its closer today. And while Earthquake is actually a very solid PvP move (65 energy for 120 damage and a robust 1.85 DPE), it is strictly inferior to Precipice Blades, dealing 10 less damage for 5 more energy. Like I said: easy analysis. There’s really no debate or confusion here… Precipice Blades is a clear upgrade over Earthquake for Groudon by ANY measure.
So the question is not ‘is Groudon better with Precipice Blades?”, but instead, ‘how much better is Groudon with Precipice Blades?’. Let’s see!
Starting with Master League, since that’s Groudon’s primary stomping grounds in PvP today.
|Groudon (Mud Shot), ML||Notable Gains with Precipice Blades|
|1v1 Shielding||Groudon (MS/Earthquake), Origin Giratina, Mewtwo (PS/Focus Blast), Togekiss, Swampert!|
|0v0 Shielding||Origin Giratina, Garchomp (Mud Shot), Ho-Oh (Earthquake), Mamoswine!|
|2v2 Shielding||Groudon (MS/Earthquake), Garchomp (Dragon Tail), Snorlax|
That’s +5 wins in 1shield, +4 in 0shield, and +3 in 2v2 shielding, for those keeping track at home. The wins over Earthquake Groudon are no surprise, since you’re literally outracing it to your closing move. Getting Origin Giratina (outside of 2v2 shielding) is a big boon, Garchomp situationally is nice, as is Mewtwo. Getting two Flying types thanks to a new, resisted charge move probably seems odd, but it’s true: under the right circumstances, double Precipice can take down Ho-Oh in 0shield (though the opponent admittedly has to play into your hands a bit with their own charge move usage) and applies just enough chip damage to take down Togekiss in 1shield. (Neither Earthquake nor straight Fire Punch can quite replicate that surprising win.)
But there are two wins in particular I want to highlight, because they boggle the mind. Groudon beating Mamoswine is not totally shocking, despite the obviously scary situation of running headlong into a barrage of super effective Ice damage. Heck, even with Earthquake, Mud Shot Groudon has already been able to bait with a Fire Punch and still reach a knockout Quake before Mamoswine reaches its own second (or third, in 2v2 shielding), match-flipping Avalanche. (And obviously, that holds true with the even faster Precipice Blades.) But to beat Mamoswine when Groudon doesn’t have any shields to hide behind? That’s kinda crazy, yet here we are.
Even MORE impressive and jaw-dropping though? Groudon beating Swampert in 1v1 shielding. Unlike Mamoswine, Fire Punch barely tickles Swampert, so it ALL comes down to Blades versus the terrifying Hydro Cannon of Swampert, each one taking exactly half (92 damage) of Groudon’s 184 HP. Groudon shouldn’t have a prayer, but not only can it beat Swampert easily if it gets the Fire Punch bait, but it can even beat Swampie by just going double Blades! It’s probably important to note that technically, Groudon can replicate this even with Earthquake, but in that case, Swampert dies with the energy required for a third, KO Hydro Cannon. In the case of Precipice Blades, Swampert is left short of the 40 energy required. I don’t know about you, but in this game of regular irregularity with fast move blips and sometimes-unresponsive charge move buttons and a myriad of other persistent issues, I trust staying in against Swampert a LOT more when I know it takes an extra couple of turns for it to hit the charge move it needs to kill me. Precipice Blades is a MUCH surer bet.
But there’s more. What about the less preferred Dragon Tail?
|Groudon (Dragon Tail), ML||Notable Gains with Precipice Blades|
|0v0 Shielding||Dialga (Draco Meteor), Palkia, Reshiram|
|2v2 Shielding||Sylveon, Ho-Oh, Zacian (Wild Charge)|
Admittedly, even with Precipice, the performance is still NO comparison to the potential with Mud Shot, especially in 1v1 shielding. You do now gain stuff like Dragonite, Gyarados, and Groudon itself, but there are just too many losses… Dialga, Zacian, Metagross, Mewtwo, Xerneas, and those noted special wins like Mamoswine, Togekiss, and Swampert… they all disappear without the effectiveness and/or speed of Mud Shot. Things DO improve more significantly in other shielding scenarios, with three notable gains in 0shield and 2v2 shielding to get to respectable records. The 0 shield record is particularly notable, as it’s actually a hair better than Mud Shot, the main differences being:
- Dragon Tail uniquely beats Dragonite, Dragon Tail Garchomp, Palkia, Therian Landorus, Yveltal, and enemy Groudon.
- Mud Shot uniquely outraces Zacian, Sylveon, Xerneas, and Mamoswine.
That all said… it’s still hard to make a case for Dragon Tail Groudon over Mud Shot. But for those who have teams that may actually work with it, Dragon Tail Groudon is undeniably better now with Precipice Blades, yes.
And yes, if allowed in the format, Primal Groudon would be a GREAT new option for Mega Master League. With Mud Shot, of course. Careful, though… it does now pick up a Fire subtyping that makes it critically weak to Water, so no more dreams of beating things like (Mega) Swampert.
Oh, one final thing. While I always point out that I am NOT the greatest PvE analyst out there, I do know enough to say with great confidence that just as Primal Kyogre will ride Origin Pulse to the top of the Water DPS and TDO pile for raiding, the gap between Primal Groudon with Precipice Blades and the next closest Ground attacker (Mega Garchomp, whenever it’s released) is an even wider gap. Nothing will likely EVER pass Groudon as a Ground attacker in PvE, not by a longshot, and Ground is arguably a more useful typing in PvE than Water is. And hey, no need to worry about having different moves for PvE and PvP in this case, as it’s Precipice Blades all the way for both!
So what’s it all mean, JRE? Well, I could have just left it at ‘Precipice Blades is both cheaper AND harder hitting than Earthquake, so uh… go get it!’, but hopefully the above informs you as to WHY and how much better. The improvement is undeniable and pulls Groudon right back up to truly elite option in Master League PvP play. As if its new #1 ranking didn’t tell you that already! The only catch which I haven’t really mentioned yet… Fire Punch is a Legacy move for Groudon as well, as yeah, just as Kyogre needs Surf to hum along, Groudon really does need Fire Punch. So you’re looking at either Elite TMing Fire Punch onto your new Precipice Blades Groudon, or going the other direction and Elite TMing Precipice Blades (when we’re able to do so!) onto your existing Fire Punch Groudon. Something to keep in mind going into your raidapalooza.
Alrighty, that’s it for now! I am working on a broader overview of the Hoenn Tour coming up the next couple weekends (one of my “PvP Field Guide” style articles), hopefully with some exciting graphical collaboration for a quick visual reference. And yes, I do have a seperate analysis coming on Breaking Swipe Rayquaza (and others?) in the works before its debut the middle of next week. But I wanted to get this analysis out the door ASAP so you can start planning accordingly for these two bad boys!
Happy raiding, Pokéfriends, and stay safe out there! What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but DO come home healthy and in one piece, you hear? Catch you next time!