This season has kinda flown by, huh? We’re already up to the last of the Tapus as the Season Of Alola (and GBL’s “Interlude Season”) winds down. The Tapus have been a bit of a mixed bag so far, with some highlights, but mostly disappointment – check A PvP Analysis on Tapu Bulu in Pokémon GO Trainer Battles and Under The Lights: Tapu Lele in PvP for more context.
Thankfully, though, that cold streak may be at an end. But first, our Bottom Line Up Front:
- Yes, Tapu Fini brings a close to the Tapus with arguably the best one (for PvP) yet. With the same awesome typing as Azumarill, you can expect great things from this one.
- Fini’s best overall (and most unique) showing comes in Ultra League, as it has good stats and moves to handle the meta, but those stats fall behind in Master League. I think this is, for once, a Legendary to target specifically for Ultra and not worry so much about grinding for candy XL for Master League, as Fini falls behind there.
- Going the other direction, Fini is actually legit in Great League too, standing out from Azumarill in enough ways to be worth real consideration. Getting it under 1500 CP takes some trading (and a little luck), but is more feasible than other Legendaries folks have struggled to get under 1500 over the years. If you afford it, trading for one this way does come recommended.
And now, the rest of the story….
Tapu Fini: Le Fini
For those unaware, “le fini” in French means simply “the finish”, which is most appropriate for Tapu Fini as it comes not just last of the Tapus in Pokedéx order, but also the last released now into Pokémon GO. And I think it’s safe to say that, despite there being some promise with the other Tapus (Bulu in particular), it is Fini we’ve been waiting for the most in PvP, whether you knew it or not!
I’ll just start by pointing out the typing: Fairy and Water, the typing shared by longtime PvP stalwart Azumarill (and on-the-rise Primarina too). It’s a very good defensive type combination, with Water taking away the standard Fairy weakness to Steel, leaving Fairy/Water types with just the standard Fairy weakness to Poison and Water weaknesses to Grass and Electric.
Just three weaknesses stacked up against seven resistances: Bug, Dark, Dragon, and Fighting on the Fairy side, and Fire, Ice, and Water on the Water side. Pretty good, right? Just one reason Azu has been such a terror in PvP for so long.
The move package is Azu-esque as well. We have Water Gun instead of Azu’s Bubble, and Ice Beam and Hydro Pump are direct carryovers from Azumarill. That all said, the move it usually wants to run with are Surf, a much spammier move than anything Azu has, and Moonblast, which is strictly better than Azu’s Play Rough, dealing 20 more damage (110 vs Rough’s 90) for the same 60 energy cost, AND coming with a 10% chance to lower the opponent’s Attack.
The place where Fini and Azu most differ is in their stats. Azumarill is obviously extremely bulky, with just 94 Attack on average, 134 Defense (above average), and 190 HP (WAY above average).
Fini is on the bulky side too, but just to compare and contrast (in GL, since we’re considering Azu as the other side of the equation), Fini has about 20 more Attack than Azumarill (114 on average) and MORE Defense (roughly 20 more than Azu), but significantly less HP (instead of Azu’s 190ish, Fini only has about 110).
In actual practice, this means that Fini, with its higher Defense, may take less damage per Attack than Azu, but it can take far fewer hits overall due to missing out on 80 HP Azu enjoys.
Of course, much of this direct comparison may be academic, as it’s a little tricky getting Fini into Great League in the first place. Though unlike the other Tapus, it IS at least possible, via trading, to get a Level 20 (raid level) Fini under 1500 CP. It’s not crazy difficult either, with something along the lines of a 6-6-6 sneaking under 1500.
But is it worth the trouble? Let’s start crunching some numbers and see!
Tapu Fini in the Great League meta
Probably not surprising to hear that Azumarill (the Play Rough version, to keep things as fair as possible) still outshines Tapu Fini at Great League level… though it’s really not far off. Azumarill manages to uniquely overcome Cofagrigus, Shadow Hypno, Shadow Machamp, Mew (with the standard SC/S/WC set), Skarmory, Toxicroak, Wigglytuff, and the mirror (versus Ice Beam Azu). But Fini has some of its own wins that even Azu cannot match, including Jellicent, Medicham, Noctowl, Pidgeot, and Walrein, a notably smallter list, but one chock full of huge names.
Things are much tighter with shields down, too. Azumarill reaches charge moves a bit faster, and uniquely beats Galvantula, Noctowl, Pelipper, U-Stunfisk, (Sludge Wave) Swampert, Toxicroak, and Walrein. But Fini has a better Fairy-type closer with Moonblast, and/or the chance to fire off multiple Surfs, and it gets unique wins over Cofagrigus, Defense Deoxys, Drifblim, Shadow Hypno (note how Azu and Fini swap S-Hypno and Walrein depending on shields), Lapras, Nidoqueen, Sylveon, and Trevenant.
The wins over Queen and Trevor are especially impressive considering Fini’s vulnerability to their attacks, no?
The difference is even starker in 2v2 shielding, with Azumarill having unique wins only against Drifblim, Medicham, and Swampert, while Tapu Fini pulls way ahead with its own wins versus Froslass, Lapras, Shadow Machamp, Noctowl, Obstagoon, Politoed, Skarmory, Galarian Stunfisk, Talonflame, and now Azumarill itself!
So uh… yeah, this is why we don’t stop at surface level. Tapu Fini looks legit even in Great League, if you can manage to get one that fits. I think Azumarill is, for the most part, still going to be the one to strike more fear into the hearts of players. But Fini shockingly has the look of a legit alternative, especially in any format where Azu may be banned. IF you can afford to, trying to trade for a sub-1500 Fini may actually be worth the trouble, yes.
That all said, I suspect Fini will see much more use in leagues where Azumarill cannot keep up… starting with Ultra League.
Tapu Fini in the Ultra League meta
Well hello there, General KenFini. Anything that pulls a 60% win percentage right off the bat is worth a look, so let’s unpack what lies within those numbers.
You want your Fairy to beat Dragons… and that’s a partial check. Dragonite hangs around long enough to reach a KO Hurricane before Fini can get out a Surf and a following Moonblast, losing with the energy necessary for Moonblast but unable to fire it off in time. It does beat the Giratinas (and others like Kingdra and Goodra) though.
You also want your Fairy to handle Fighters… and that’s (mostly) a solid check, with Toxicroak slipping away but Machamp, Poliwrath, Scrafty, and even scary Leaf Blade users Sirfetch’d and Gallade going down too. (Fini can tank one Blade and finish both off with Surf spam.) And as for Darks… easy peasy, with only Poison Jab Alolan Muk escaping.
As a Water, you’d like to see Fini handle Grounds, Rocks, and Fires… and Fini mostly does. Charizard and Talonflame are no issue, and Galarian Stunfisk and Swampert go down too. Shadow Swampie, however, overpowers Fini, and Nidoqueen’s cumulative Poison damage outraces it as well. (Fini never reaches the second Surf that it needs.)
At this level, it also outlasts Charmers, Bugs (even Scizor and its worrisome Steel damage), Steels like Melmetal and Skarmory and Bronzong, and other big names like Shadow Snorlax, Articuno, Defense Deoxys, Cofagrigus, Drifblim, Lugia, Gyarados and more. The performance backs up the raw numbers… that 60% win percentage is no mirage.
If you find yourself with shields gone, things get potentially even better. While a couple 1shield things like Cofagrigus, Snarl A-Muk, and Clefable slip away, the win column now includes Shadow Swampert, Shadow Nidoqueen, Snorlax, Lapras, Empoleon, Dragonite (regular and Shadow), and Toxicroak (tanking a Sludge Bomb along the way!).
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. If things get pushed to 2v2 shielding, Fini starts to slip. While a couple Water types (Jellicent, Empoleon, Politoed) enter the win column, many more leave it, to include Origin Giratina, Shadow Machamp, Sirfetch’d, Gallade, Bronzong, Skarmory, Melmetal, Scizor, Talonflame, and all the major Charmers but Alolan Ninetales.
It’s still a solid enough performance to not let it completely drag down the 1v1 and 0v0 potential, but it IS something to keep firmly in mind if you want to utilize Fini in Ultra League… don’t let it go to 2 shields!
And that just leaves one more league….
Tapu Fini in the Master League meta
Bulky, but lower-Attack Pokémon, like Tapu FIni work well in CP-capped leagues, but tend to fall off in Master League… and such is the case here. It’s not terrible, but it’s no longer a winning record, unfortunately.
Not being able to top Dragons like Zakrom, Dragonite, Palkia, either Giratina, and of course Dialga is a real downer, as it losing (handily!) to notable Dark type Zarude.
Fini does handle its Water role better, beating all the notable Ground, Fire, and Rock types you’ll find up at this level, but those Grounds make up literally half of Fini’s 16 wins versus the Master League core meta, and already-established things like Kyogre and Palkia can already do that and much, much more.
So what’s the verdict?
As noted throughout, yes, Tapu Fini looks like it definitely has a place in PvP. Unlike most Legendaries that get big enough for Master League play, though, it looks like players will get the most mileage out of it in Ultra League as essentially “Azumarill XL”, or even in Great League (aka Azumarilland) itself, where there is enough difference between Azu and Fini for both to potentially survive and thrive. If you can get one in a trade under 1500, do so!
For my next trick, I’m updating my meta/budget review article for Element Cup, our LAST themed Cup of the GBL Interlude Season, and also prepping for the Water Festival coming later this week. But until next time, you can find me on Twitter for regular PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon. And please, feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I’ll try to get back to you!
Happy raiding, Pokéfriends, but please remember to be safe out there. Thanks again for reading, and catch you next time!