BEWEAR this weekend! Because it’s Community Day time again… but it’s gonna feel quite different. It feels like forever ago that we got the news about Community Day going back to pre-COVID hours (3 versus the 6 we all enjoyed the last couple years) as the second blow after Incense effectiveness was even more drastically reduced, and the outcry that began then and resulted in my lengthy interview with Michael Steranka from Niantic (and, rightly, that outcry continues even now). I think my thoughts on those rollbacks are well known by now, so I won’t go down that road again other than to say I don’t look forward to trying to keep up with a 400-candy evolution and ALL-NEW Pokémon this time around. Kinda deflating as a player, NGL.
But, I come to you today not as a player, but as your friendly neighborhood PvP writer. And in that regard… there’s quite a bit to discuss! This ended up being a MUCH longer writeup than I expected going in, simply because there were a ton of details to tease out. I fear many analysts that have examined Bewear so far stopped close to surface level, seeing not much that was promising and kinda stopping there. I’m not here to tell you Bewear is the next great thing in PvP (spoiler alert: it isn’t), but I DO think there is more good there than initially meets the eye. The sims, quite frankly, undersell the exclusive Community Day move, and Bewear’s potential in general.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get to our formal Bottom Line Up Front.
- Bewear arrives in PvP with a unique typing, unique (though not necessarily in a good way) stat spread, and unique move all in one 400-candy package. There’s really nothing else quite like it in the game.
- Unique only gets you so far though. Bewear has some truly good things going for it, but overall is no better, and most often worse, than other existing options that already do what it wants to do in PvP. (Primarily Snorlax, but there are others I’ll note throughout.) It’s not going to shake up any metas, from what I can see.
- Its best performances look like they come in Premier/Classic formats (in Ultra and Master Leagues), where its high CP and decent move/stat package allow it to pull up more evenly with the competition.
- That said, Great League is where Bewear looks like it may find its greatest open League opportunities. Its unique typing may also give it better chances in limited/Cup formats, particularly those where it may be able to sneak in while other Fighting types are on the outside looking in.
- Overall, my recommendations of leagues to target in order are: Ultra League Classic, Great League, Master League Classic, Ultra League, and finally Master League. You can really just build one for Ultra League and one for Great League and be done with it, especially since Drain Punch is a little less impressive at Master League level anyway. That said, IF you find a hundo and have the candy for it… yeah, may as well evolve now while you can get the exclusive move for free.
LOL, even the summary was kinda long. But that’s just a teaser for the rest. While this is a relatively simple Pokémon to analyze on the surface, there’s a LOT below the surface that I had to drag up for your attention. Strap in, folks… this is a DEEP deep dive today. Here we go!
BEWEAR – Stats and Moves
Great League Stats
|130 (128 High Stat Product)||86 (88 High Stat Product)||154 (155 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-14, 1500 CP, Level 18)
Ultra League Stats
|168 (165 High Stat Product)||112 (113 High Stat Product)||197 (201 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-14-15, 2498 CP, Level 30)
Master League Stats
|190 (203 at Level 50)||123 (131 at Level 50)||217 (231 at Level 50)|
(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; CP 3117 at Level 40; CP 3524 at Level 50)
Not a ton to talk about with the stats, except that the Defense is quite worrisome. That tracks for what is essentially a tubby big cubby all stuffed with fluff, though, right? ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ But anything with under 100 Defense in Great League is generally considered pretty glassy.
But then you see the HP, and maybe everything’s okay? 150+ HP in Great League is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, I couldn’t really find anything of note with that kind of massive gap between high HP and super low Defense. It basically means that each hit Bewear takes will deal higher damage than you may be used to, but with its large number of hitpoints to deplete, it can still take a while to actually finish it off. To a lesser degree, other beefy Normals like Snorlax and Greedent operate this same with, with high HP (175-185ish in Great League) and lower Defense (100-110 in GL), but they also have better bulk overall, able to squeeze more in thanks to having about 20 less Attack than Bewear. But the long and short of it before I ramble any longer is that having lower Defense is not necessarily a killer with high HP to compensate, though most everything that does so to this point has not had the huge 70-point difference between the two that Bewear does. We’ll see when we get to the numbers how that works out.
The more interesting thing is the typing. Normal/Fighting is not completely unique to Bewear/Stufful, but it’s the first time it’s been available in Pokémon GO PvP, as the others are Mega Lopunny and Meloetta’s (still-unreleased) Pirouette form. The two typings don’t really have any crossover, so you get the good AND bad from each. The good? Resistances to Ghost (2x), Dark, Rock, and Bug. The bad? Weaknesses to Fighting, Fairy, Flying, and Psychic. Notably, this does make Bewear a Fighter that double resists Ghost damage… but more on that after the moves.
- Shadow Claw – Ghost type, 3.0 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 1.0 CD
- Tackle – Normal type, 3.0 DPT, 2.0 EPT, 0.5 CD
- Low Kick – Fighting type, 2.0 DPT, 2.5 EPT, 1.0 CD
So basically Shadow Claw and a “who’s who” of a couple of the worst fast moves in the game. When even the awful Tackle is showing you up, you know you done messed up. Low Kick buff when, Niantic?
But yeah, this one’s easy… even without STAB, it is clearly Shadow Claw all the way. Just between that and the typing, I think we can also confidentally expect Bewear to be quite the ghost buster.
ᴱ – Exclusive (Community Day) Move
- Drain Punchᴱ – Fighting type, 20 damage, 40 energy, Increases User Defense +1 Stage
- Stomp – Normal type, 55 damage, 40 energy
- Superpower – Fighting type, 85 damage, 40 energy, Decreases User Attack/Defense -1 Stage
- Payback – Dark type, 110 damage, 60 energy
So our first question is… do we HAVE to evolve our Bewear with its exclusive Drain Punch for it to be useful in PvP?
At first blush, it looks like other moves may be superior. Stomp is basically a Normal-type clone of the Elemental Punches (Fire, Ice, Thunder) as well as Seed Bomb and Mud Bomb… all are 40 energy for 55 damage. Nothing awe-inspiring, but solid damage for the cost. Superpower deals a whopping 85 damage for the same cost as Stomp and Drain Punch, and though it comes with a pretty severe self-nerf, it’s no secret how impactful a move it has been for other competitive PvP Pokémon across all three Leagues. There’s also Payback as a more expensive closer, which might be particularly tempting if you want Bewear to be an anti-Ghost/Psychic slayer.
But back to Drain Punch before we get to actual simulations. Obviously you’re not going to use it as a true damage dealer. Heck, even baity moves like Bubble Beam and Sand Tomb (also 40 energy each) deal more than Drain Punch’s 20 damage. The only other moves that deal only 20 damage are Fell Stinger and Power-Up Punch (both costing only 35 energy, and boosting the user’s Attack) and Acid Spray (which costs 45 energy, but drops the opponent’s Defense by TWO levels). All are arguably superior to Drain Punch overall due to costing less or having a more impactful effect. What all these moves have in common is not trying to win by themselves, but softening up the opponent or boosting the user (and ideally getting a shield in the process) to set up a crushing blow afterwards. Often these moves are the cheapest moves Pokémon have, which again makes getting to a KO shortly afterwards easier by removing a shield and then getting ahead in the energy race.
Drain Punch, however, is the same cost as all of Bewear’s charge moves except Payback. So there’s really no cost savings here… you’re really just going for the Defense buff (which, admittedly, IS Bewear’s biggest flaw, stats-wise) and probably REALLY hoping to get a shield with it. And arguably, the changes of getting a shield from the opponent may be higher than normal with knowledge that Stomp or especially Superpower crashing in unshielded is too risky to allow. Knowing that Drain Punch is just one of three possible moves to fire off every five Shadow Claws (with each Claw generating 8 energy, you have 40 energy exactly for every five Shadow Claws… no leftover energy) may ironically make it MORE likely to nab shields as the opponent deems shielding a Drain Punch less detrimental than NOT shielding, say, a bruising Superpower.
That’s all theoretical, though. To see if it works, and whether or not we really benefit from the short-term exclusive move in the first place, it’s finally time to dive into some numbers.
Before I do, though, a quick warning/caveat: Superpower in particular is VERY hard to properly simulate. Because of the extreme drawback, the sims often do one of two things: throw it too early and have the user die unnecessarily, or throw multiple all at once at the end of the battle, which is more realistic but requires such precise timing (on your part AND sometimes the opponent’s) that it’s difficult to trust that as a solid “win”. Therefore, while I will try to accurately and enthusiastically present the results of my findings below, as I always do, even I will tell you to take some of this with a grain of salt. And I’ll try, especially early on as I’m setting things up, to highlight some of those funkier — and perhaps less reliable — wins along the way.
So first up, it became pretty obvious very early in my analysis that Bewear basically HAS to run Superpower. Without it, things get really ugly. It’s mostly then just an anti-Psychic/Ghost with upside against a handful of Steels (Bastiodon, Ferrothorn) and, interestingly, a couple Mud Boys (or wannabe Mud Boys), namely Swampert and Politoed. But that’s about where its usefuless ends. And no, pairing Payback with Superpower isn’t a great option either; it does manage to punch out some big names (G-Fisk, Lickitung, Obstagoon, Umbreon, Lapras), but also gives up several others (Cresselia, DDeoxys, Swampert, Cofagrigus) as it’s often forced to “bait” with a move unsuitable for baiting (Superpower with its big self-nerfing) to realistically get to Payback at all.
So, how does Superpower work with the other non-exclusive move, Stomp? Again, Stomp isn’t a fantastic move or anything, but other moves with its same stats certainly do a lot of work in PvP, and as a Normal move (with STAB), it isn’t resisted by much. AND there is literally nothing in the game that has Stomp with a higher Attack stat than Bewear (the next closest is Bouffalant, with at least a dozen less Attack), so it will hit a lot harder than folks are accustomed to.
And here, by pairing Stomp with Superpower, do we finally start to see at least a little promise. Not having to nerf yourself earlier than you’d like with Superpower, and instead being able to spring a non-nerfing move in Stomp, allows Bewear to get to wins it couldn’t before, like Registeel, Walrein, Swampert, Vigoroth, Drapion, and somewhat surprisingly for a moveset with no super effective charge moves anymore, Froslass. (Bait with Stomp, close with Superpower, which still deals nearly 50 damage to Lass.) There is unfortunately quite a bit you still lose to that you’d hope a Fighter could beat (Greedent, Dewgong, Diggersby, Scrafty, etc.), but at least it’s approaching a decent performance overall. Keep in mind that, unlike most other Fighters, you are at least getting things like Trevenant and Drifblim and Jellicent and Alolan Marowak along the way, so Bewear IS at least flexing in a few ways they cannot.
Now let’s get to that exclusive move. Drain Punch, to reiterate, is not here for damage. Even things like Power-Up Punch deal notable chip damage after it’s been used a time or two, but Bewear comes with no Attack buff potential, so Drain Punch will never creep up in damage. Instead, the reason to use it (aside from trying to nab shields) is to extend battles. Bewear will hang in there a little bit longer as Drain Punch is used, hitting bulkpoints it couldn’t before and bringing down enemy fast and charge move damage. And this is most definitely reflected in the sims.
Speaking of, here’s Drain Punch + Superpower, which represents Bewear’s high bar in Great League. Yes, Drain Punch is arguably the “best” it can do, and it’s actually a bit better than those numbers show. Remember how I said funky things happen with Superpower in the mix? That’s true here, as Bewear can actually beat Registeel, Vigoroth, and Psychic (the move) Umbreon by timing things right. (Those results are actually all identical to how Bewear beats those three with Stomp/Superpower… just sub in Stomp wherever you see Drain Punch and the results end up the same in the end.) So really, we’re talking a 26-29 record against the (at the time of this writing) Great League core meta, which isn’t half bad.
The most interesting part is the new wins, all of which show the direct benefits of Drain Punch. Versus Whiscash, a couple Punches allows Bewear to survive a Blizzard (which drops from an original 115 damage all the way to just 77) and seal the win. Similarly, versus Sableye, Return drops from an original 120 damage down to 80, and Bewear hangs in to close it out with a Superpower. Against Diggersby, a couple Punches drops the damage of Earthquake from 106 down to just 71, AND drops Mud Shot from 3 damage down to 2, so if you play your cards right and hold that critical Superpower until the end, Bewear can escape with the win (but less than 10 HP to its name); honestly I consider this one particularly unreliable, but hey, there it is. Much more reliable are Dewgong (just one Drain Punch is needed to drop Ice Shard damage from 9 each down to just 7!, and Icy Wind from 57 damage down to 46, setting up a glorious double Superpower FTW) and Greedent (each of the first two Drain Punches knocks Bullet Seed damage down, from 5 to 4 and then just 3, and Body Slam from 59 damage to 48 and then just 40, setting up — you guessed it! — a Superpower knockout). Also very reliable and particularly fascinating: Cofagrigus, which doesn’t require any move BUT Drain Punch, slowly draining Cofag’s effectiveness away… first by dropping Shadow Claw damage after just one Drain Punch, and Psychic damage from 123 all the way down to 82 after the second Punch, to allow Bewear to just burn one shield and emerge with enough energy for TWO Superpowers if it wants to! That is an EPIC farm down. 🤤
I did look at other shielding scenarios, but as you’d expect, Drain Punch is (slightly) worse with shields down, with other move combinations and their pure closing power all doing better. You might expect Drain Punch to be superior in the drawn out battles that tend to come in 2v2 shielding… but somewhat surprisingly, you’d be wrong. Drain Punch leads to some now-familiar wins, like Whiscash, Diggersby, and Greedent, along with Obstagoon now, but good old boring Stomp is more reliable with its own wins versus Politoed, Meganium, Alolan Ninetales, Drapion, and several things that resist Fighting damage: Galvantula, Talonflame, Venusaur, and even the Play Rough/Hydro Pump version of Azumarill.
But overall, despite some darn impressive wins, Bewear still puts in only a so-so performance overall. Much more consistent Normals like Vigoroth and Shadow Snorlax and of course Lickitung exist and have no issue with Ghosts and generally a more expansive role than Bewear… and don’t require as much fancy pussyfooting around funky buffing and debuffing moves in the process. (Well, Lax kinda does, but handles it MUCH better.) I’m trying to show Bewear’s best side here, and while I do think having one on hand for Great League play isn’t a bad idea coming out of this Community Day weekend (if for no other reason than it can sneak into some Cups, like ones where Normals are specifically allowed but Fighters are NOT specifically included, allowing it to enter such formats as a true Fighting type), just keep in mind that it’s entering a somewhat crowded field of likely superior options already in place.
That all said, one of Bewear’s advantages lies in its higher CP potential. As we move up in Leagues, things like Vigoroth and Lickitung fall away… but Bewear will remain. Let’s see what it can do!
Starting with Level 40 Ultra League (aka Premier Classic), things look good on the surface, with a winning record overall. But once again, that’s not the whole story. That sim, run with Stomp/Superpower, does have a couple unique wins (Gyarados and Nidoqueen, who resist Fighting but NOT Stomp), but shows several other wins that Drain Punch does not… but Punch still wins anyway. These include Drifblim (which can be had with straight Drain Punch), Drapion, Escavalier, Snorlax, and even Gallade (though that last one is notably cleaner with Stomp… it doesn’t matter when Gallade shields versus Stomp, it’ll still lose, whereas if it shields Superpower and lets a Drain Punch through, it wins). Drain Punch also has truly unique win potential against Poliwrath, Swampert, and Typhlosion. Put that together with the wins-that-show-as-losses-but-are-actually-wins-if-played-right results, and the win total for Drain Punch should actually be 22 versus 17 losses (including the wins only Stomp can get versus Gary and Queen). Again, for my money, I’d probably just stick with the tried and true like Snorlax, but at least Bewear makes a better argument for itself here and perhaps more of a future.
And that’s good, because uh… things look a lot less promising in Open Ultra League. With multiple move combinations (Drain Punch/Payback, Superpower/Drain Punch, and even Superpower/Stomp), things just aren’t looking good. Now, once again, Drain Punch actually CAN replicate most of Stomp’s on-paper-unique wins (only Gyarados is Stomp-exclusive, with Drain also being able to beat Escavalier, Gallade, Greedent, Snorlax, Politoed, and Last Resort Umbreon, and can beat Cofagrigus, Jellicent, and BOTH Giratinas — assuming Shadow Claw for Altered — with only Drain Punch and its own Shadow Claw) to pad its listed win total all the way up to a possible 27 wins (versus 33 losses), but uh… yet again, Snorlax is a thing, plus others like Obstagoon that also occupy the slot that Bewear strives to fill. Bewear is actually a bit better than it looks on paper — and I think other analysts have legit missed its higher ceiling when you dive into all the listed wins and losses that are more simulation errors than anything — but there’s no hiding the fact that it enters Ultra League with less competition, but still outclassed by existing options. One step forward as compared to Great League, but at least one step back as well.
Bewear does get plenty big for Master League too. Even at Level 40, it well exceeds 3000 CP. But does it perform? Yet again, you have to pull back the curtain a bit….
Superpower with Stomp looks pretty good in Premier Classic (aka Level 40 ML), but ALSO yet again, Drain Punch/Superpower looks worse but actually includes unlisted wins versus Rhyperior, Metagross (regular and Shadow), and Avalugg when you play it similar to how you play with Stomp/Drain Punch baiting and Superpower finishing. Stomp does still have a standout win over Gyarados, but Drain Punch outlasts Swampert again, as well as Hippowdon, and thus its win total should actually read as 19-17, an overall winning record. Not bad! That’s not more on the same level as Snorlax, and an okay build if you like MLPC and want to spice it up a bit.
Which leaves only Open Master League, and I’m sorry to say that I must subject you to some complicated number crunching one last time. First though, let’s start it simple with something encouraging: Drain Punch alone can beat both Giratinas and Metagross, even up at this level, which is a very encouraging start. But after that it gets a bit scatterbrained again. Stomp/Superpower again looks like the best, and it’s worth noting that it DOES have a couple nice wins that are truly unique to it at this level: Incarnate Landorus, and Zacian in its Close Combat/Wild Charge configuration. But yet again, Drain Punch/Superpower shows worse but is potentially a hair better, with the unlisted Altered Giratina win I mentioned, the special Metagross win, a win over Snorlax, and a win that shows as unique for Stomp but isn’t: Zarude, again won exactly the same way that Stomp gets its listed win. That gives Drain Punch/Superpower a 14-win record, which is the best… but still woefully underwater with 26 losses still hanging out there. And while it’s worth noting that Payback finally looks viable at this level too (beating the Giratinas and Snorlax), you’re yet again looking at an inferior Snorlax situation… and heck, even something like Obstagoon again, which clocks in drastically undersized in terms of max CP, is right in this same ballpark still, and probably much easier to accure all the XL candy for. Just sayin’.
Got all that? No? Well, that’s okay… after staring at these sims for days on end, even MY head is still spinning too. 😵 The key point, I think, is this: high level simulations struggle with Superpower, and to a degree, even Drain Punch, underselling (or sometimes overselling) both with funky timing (despite PvPoke’s ceaseless quest for perfection and many, MANY improvements to the site over the years!). But I think it’s fair to say that Drain Punch works on Bewear in conjunction with Superpower as a viable, if not the overall best, moveset for it to run with in PvP. It is worth looking for a good Bewear (or more) if you can manage it this weekend. Because while other moves (Stomp in particular) make good cases for consideration as well, there may not be an opportunity to acquire Drain Punch again, so get it while it’s available! You can always TM extras away later if need be.
Alright, I’ll show mercy and release you from all these facts and figures now. Sorry… I know it was a lot, but I wanted to make sure you got the full story, even for a so-so PvP performer like Bewear. As they say: and now you know the REST of the story.
Thanks for your faithful readership, and good hunting this weekend! Don’t forget your Pinaps, and stay safe out there! Catch you next time, Pokéfriends.