Introduced in the summer of 2018 as a Tier 4 Raid Boss in Pokémon GO, at a time when PvP was just an urban myth, the hype around Alolan Marowak was lackluster. Since Held Items and Abilities that make A-Marowak great in the main series games, do not currently exist in Pokémon GO, it was mostly being viewed as a “dex-filler” at the time.
Although there were many suitors for its shiny form, A-Marowak’s mediocre stats left much to be desired when it came to its viability in raids and gym battles. Fast forward to December 2018 when Niantic introduced trainer battles as a core feature in Pokémon GO, A-Marowak was given a chance to redeem itself as a solid pick in the Great League.
In today’s Great League meta, ghosting the competition and leaving its opponents for dead, Alolan Marowak continues to prove itself as a major player in several themed PvP cups, such as the ones organized by the Silph Arena.
Stats and Moves
Alolan Marowak sports a Maximum CP of 1835. As a Fire and Ghost type, it is weak to Rock Ground Water Ghost and Dark type attacks. Its stat distribution is identical to its Kantonian counterpart, and is as follows:
Alolan Marowak has access to the following moves:
|Fast Moves||Charged Moves|
|Hex Ghost||Bone Club Ground|
|Rock Smash Fighting||Shadow Ball Ghost|
|Fire Spin (NEW!) Fire||Fire Blast Fire|
|Flame Wheel (NEW!) Fire|
Although being weak to 5 very commonly used types in PvP, Alolan Marowak resists an impressive 9 types, making it viable to use in the Great League. The ubiquitous presence of bulky Fighting and Psychic types like Medicham, Cresselia, Deoxys Defense Forme in the Open Great League format, requires the conjuring of a good Ghost type Pokémon, thus allowing A-Marowak to thrive in this format.
With the recent addition of Fire Spin (and Flame Wheel) to its move-pool, A-Marowak now benefits from a Fire type STAB fast move, enabling it to even beat the omnipresent Skarmory. Its Fire sub-typing also allows it to resist Charm, a hard-hitting fairy type fast move that has seen a recent rise in usage. Therefore, A-Marowak is here to stay in the Open Great League format as long as threats like Medicham, Cresselia, Lugia, Lucario, Tropius, and Togekiss continue to exist.
Outside the Open Great League meta, A-Marowak has been viable in certain themed cups, specifically in Silph Arena’s monthly themed cups. In April 2019, Silph Arena introduced the Kingdom Cup which saw A-Marowak’s first rise to fame. Since then, it has featured on a few Regional Championship teams, and while it saw little to no use in the Rainbow Cup, A-Marowak has now returned as a staple in Silph Arena’s Sinister Cup.
In summary, Alolan Marowak isn’t a top tier Great League Pokémon and can’t tango with the likes of Great League veterans like Azumarill, Altaria, and Bastiodon. However, within restricted themed metas, A-Marowak has the potential to be top tier. The addition of Fire Spin has certainly opened new doors for A-Marowak allowing it to win matches it couldn’t before, such as matchups against Steelix and Skarmory. Overall we expect to see a slight increase in the usage and viability of this Pokémon.
Breaking down Alolan Marowak’s movesets to bare-bones, its ideal moveset in the Open Great League format is Hex + Bone Club and Shadow Ball.
Hex is generally the way to go as it benefits from STAB and is a fast energy gaining move, allowing A-Marowak to get off its charged moves quickly.
Although lacking in power, Bone Club is a low energy costing Ground type charged move and provides A-Marowak with some much needed coverage, as well as applying constant shield pressure. It also allows for the player to play mind games with their opponent as Bone Club can be used as a shield bait.
Its other charged move Shadow Ball is one of the best charged moves in the game (PvP and PvE). A hard-hitting Ghost type STAB move allows A-Marowak to nuke its unsuspecting opponents who don’t shield.
Within restricted metas, A-Marowak’s ideal moveset will depend on the particular cup’s theme. Both Fire Spin and Hex are good fast moves and can be used alternatively depending on the theme. As for the charge moves, Flame Wheel should be ignored and omitted as it is a sub-par charged move. Fire Blast has minuscule usability, so it is generally best to go with Bone Club and Shadow Ball.
To conclude, A-Marowak is an easy to obtain, relatively budget-friendly PvP Pokémon that packs a bone-chilling punch. Newer and older trainers alike getting into PvP can obtain one pretty easily by battling it in Tier 4 raids with the added bonus of possibly catching a shiny form, and as we all know, shiny Pokémon do more damage. We recommend trading and swapping A-Marowaks amongst friends to obtain one with good PvP IVs. Its shield baiting pressure along with the option to drop a nuke that is Shadow Ball makes A-Marowak a must-have Pokémon in every trainer’s Great League roster, especially within restricted metas where it shines the most.