Hello again, fellow travelers and PvPers! As I’ve done many, many times before, I’m here to take a close look at this month’s Community Day spotlight Pokémon and its brand new move(s) and examine their merits in PvP. So let’s get straight to it and put WALREIN with Powder Snow AND the all-new move Icicle Spear… under the lights.
First, as always, let’s break down the Pokémon itself….
WALREIN STATS & MOVES
Great League Stats
|113 (111 High Stat Product)||114 (115 High Stat Product)||153 (157 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-12-15, 1499 CP, Level 21)
Ultra League Stats
|146 (143 High Stat Product)||148 (150 High Stat Product)||197 (202 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-15, 2500 CP, Level 39.5)
Master League Stats
|156 (166 at Level 50)||151 (160 at Level 50)||203 (215 at Level 50)|
(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; CP 2726 at Level 40; CP 3081 at Level 50)
Now THAT is what we like to see for PvP stats! Enough Attack to still be dangerous, but with more than enough bulk to be considered legitimately thicc. Walrein’s overall stat product is right in line with things like Meganium and Cofagrigus (who are very, very slightly bulkier) and Scrafty, Obstagoon, and Politoed (who are very slightly less bulky than Walrein). Good start.
Next is the typing. Ice/Water is one of the better known type combinations in PvP and in the entire Pokémon franchise, having been around since Generation 1’s Lapras, Dewgong, AND Cloyster, and continued here with Walrein (and pre-evolution Sealeo). It’s actually not a great defensive type combination, resisting only Water and (2x) Ice, and being vulnerable to Electric and Grass (on the Water side) and Fighting and Rock (on the Ice side), but at least it loses the standard Ice vulnerabilities to Fire and Steel. This has not been TOO terrible an issue with things like Lapras and Dewgong due to their bulk, so we’ll see if Walrein can hang on well enough to get in some good licks even in bad spots as well.
To do that, we have to consider the moves:
ᴱ – Exclusive (Community Day) Move
- Powder Snowᴱ – Ice type, 2.5 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 1.0 CD
- Frost Breath – Ice type, 3.5 DPT, 2.5 EPT, 1.0 CD
- Waterfall – Water type, 4.0 DPT, 2.67 EPT, 1.5 CD
Obviously the big topic of discussion here is the new fast move: Powder Snow. As you’ll see in a minute, to this point in the game, Walrein has been stuck with a bad combination: slow-charging charge moves, and slow-to-charge fast moves, with neither Frost Breath nor Waterfall achieving even average (3.0 EPT) energy generation. Granted, Waterfall especially is good at chunking things down with high damage output anyway, but if you can’t pressure shields to at least some degree, that’s usually not going to get you very far. So while Waterfall and even Frost Breath are not altogether terrible moves, they have been a big part of the problem with Wally in PvP.
ᴱ – Exclusive (Community Day) Move
ᴾ – Purified-exclusive Move
- Icicle Spearᴱ – Ice type, 60 damage, ?? energy
- Water Pulse – Water type, 70 damage, 60 energy
- Earthquake – Ground type, 120 damage, 65 energy
- Returnᴾ – Normal type, 130 damage, 70 energy
- Blizzard – Ice type, 140 damage, 75 energy
Of course, high energy generation is only useful if you have stuff worth generating energy for. Thankfully, even with what it has today, Walrein has moves that do well in PvP. Earthquake is a great move for the cost, with a very robust 1.85 Damage Per Energy (DPE). (For reference, even most really good PvP moves like Shadow Ball, Moonblast, and Stone Edge have a lower DPE… most moves with a DPE higher than 1.85 are exclusive/Community Day moves and/or moves that come with a drawback/self-nerf.) Perhaps even better, Earthquake offers fantastic coverage for Walrein. It’s super effective versus Rock and Electric types that prey on its vulnerabilities and versus Fire and Steel types that resist Walrein’s Ice moves. And while it is resisted by Bugs, Grasses, and Flyers, Bugs are not one of Walrein’s bigger concerns, and its Ice damage hits Grasses and Flyers super effectively anyway. Ground is a very good coverage move for Ice/Water types, and Walrein is the only such Pokémon in the game that has a Ground move. More than anything else, this is THE move that makes Walrein truly unique. It’s a point we’ll revisit several times, because after this update it will finally have the means to truly utilize that special trait and make a true dent in PvP.
While Earthquake is the big standout, Blizzard is no slouch either. It doesn’t come cheap, but it also has excellent DPE and can shut the door on a LOT of targets. Just ask anyone who’s faced down a Whiscash with energy how terrifying the threat of Blizzard can be!
After that, though, things taper off. Water Pulse, as I have highlighted in many past articles, is a dreadful PvP move, strictly outclassed by other moves widely accepted as bad-to-mediocre like Gyro Ball, Bulldoze, and Aurora Beam (all dealing 10 more damage than WP for the same cost), and Flame Burst (dealing the same damage for 5 less energy), not to mention many, MANY others that far exceed its damage and/or cost. You’ll sometimes see Pulse utilized by fellow Icy Water types Dewgong or Sealeo for coverage, but they never feel good about it, and often can’t even flip matchups against troublesome Fires and others that you would hope Water damage could beat. Water Pulse is especially painful when stuck with below-average energy gains like Wally has had to this point.
There’s also Return should we have a purified Walrein, which is a good move but sort of redundant on Walrein. Big fat Normal moves are sometimes a good thing to have (see Skull Bash on Lapras), but in this case we have Earthquake that provides wide neutral coverage for a little less energy. Return is fine, but it’s not a move that Walrein really wants.
So before we get to the new charge move, let’s stop here for now and see what Powder Snow alone can do for Wally. Just a quick look at each of the leagues, comparing its past best with what Powder Snow does for it:
- in Great League, Walrein actually looked best in the past with Frost Breath, but that’s still not saying much. 🥶 It could beat a couple notable Flyers and Grasses, plus Shadow Nidoqueen, but that’s it. Enter Powder Snow. The results are immediately obvious: nearly a threefold improvement, with several more Flyers and Grounds entering the picture, and you can finally see the impacts of Earthquake start to creep in with wins over Dewgong, Alolan Marowak, and even Azumarill. Still not anything worth writing home about (yet), but already, with just some decent energy generation, you can see a glimmer of Walrein’s unique potential.
- Up in Ultra League, it’s actually Waterfall that’s been Wally’s best bet so far, though the “high” bar has again been very, very low. So how’s this for improvement!? Now we’re talking fivefold, with new wins including (deep breath 😮💨) Abomasnow, Cofargirus, Drifblim, Dragonite, both Giratinas, Lugia, Gyarados, Skarmory, Togekiss, Clefable, Sylveon, Alolan Muk, Swampert, Snorlax, and Empoleon. That last win especially shows the power of Earthquake… good luck ever overcoming Empoleon with something like Lapras or Dewgong! There IS a price in moving away from Waterfall, namely losses to Fires like Charizard and Talonflame, and even a loss now suffered against (non-Shadow) Nidoqueen… but we’ll come back to those later.
- And yes, even in Master League, Walrein is going to have some real utility after this Community Day. It doesn’t quite show up with just the addition of Powder Snow, but you can see signs of it emerging a little bit. We’ll definitely be revisiting this one too.
So why do I keep saying we’ll circle back to this stuff later? Because I haven’t even gotten to the main event yet. Hopefully I got you to sit up a little straighter with those juicy-for-an-Ice wins over stuff like Empoleon and Azumarill and Alolan Marowak, but not it’s time for the main course. It’s time to factor in the all-new Icicle Spear.
Unfortunately, Niantic has left out a critical piece of information — how much the move actually costs — and left me having to do something I openly try to avoid: speculating. However, I think we have enough that I can reasonably piece together what this new move will do for Walrein. We know it’s an Ice move, we know it will deal 60 damage and come without buffs/debuffs, and we know that Niantic has told us it is a “low-energy Charged Attack [that] will be sure to make Walrein shine!”. Now while Niantic has proven to occasionally (even often) have a much different definition than the players about what “low-energy” means and/or what moves/Pokémon actually DO “shine” in PvP, I think we can reasonably infer that we’re talking no more than 45 energy here. Anything higher than that takes us into Water Pulse levels of mediocrity, and I don’t think even Niantic could call that “low-energy”. More than likely, it will actually be 40 or — pipe dream time! — even just 35 energy, the latter of which would make it a clone of Weather Ball (ice) before it was nerfed down to 55 damage. 35 energy for 60 damage is really good, which is why Weather Ball was nerfed, but it’s not at all unreasonable. After all, those are the exact stats of the still-not-nerfed Body Slam.
Okay, let’s start crunching some numbers. It took a little more doing, but I went ahead and looked at Icicle Spear with all three potential costs: the “worst case” of 45 energy, the best case of 35 energy, and the middle ground of 40 energy. To do this, I utilized my go-to resource of PvPoke… with a twist. Since they don’t know the actual cost either, they have understandably not added Icicle Spear to the site, so I had to do it on my own. I have a handy “home version” of PvPoke I run off a simple Apache server on my laptop at home, through which I am able to add custom moves and simulate with them. The good news is that means I was able to run full side-by-side comparisons of the various possible Icicle Spears in all three leagues without having to wait for the final cost to drop. The bad news is that I cannot simply link to those simulations as I normally would. So I will instead show you the win/loss numbers from PvPoke in graphical form and talk to them from there. For those who like pictures (which is probably ALL of us, really), you’ll get a bunch this time!
Here we go….
WALREIN IN GREAT LEAGUE
Back down to Great League, where as a reminder, this is what Powder Snow does without Icicle Spear, a win percentage barely over 25% versus the core meta. For the below comparisons, I simply replaced the expensive Ice move Blizzard with Icicle Spear and left Earthquake as the second, closing move. Again, Earthquake is a large part of what makes Wally special, so it stays in place and Spear simply went into the only open slot left.
Here’s how the various potentials for Icicle Spear improve things:
- 45-cost Spear can beat Azumarill with Play Rough (Powder Snow/Quake/Blizz could only beat Ice Beam/Hydro Pump Azu), Lapras, Melmetal, Shadow Nidoqueen, BOTH Stunfisks 👀, Sableye, and a host of Grass types, including Shiftry, Tropius (even with Razor Leaf), and even Meganium. That last one especially is significant, as Lapras and Sealeo typically lose to Meg and even Dewgong is left a single Vine Whip from death. Lapras, Dewgong, and Sealeo also all lose to Melmetal, which is another place where Walrein’s Earthquake really shines. Do note that (for the moment) we see some new losses, namely to Skarmory and the Wigglytuff/Clefable pair of Charmers, but those start to come back to the win column with:
- 40-cost Spear, which gets back Wiggly and Clefable, as well as now beating Haunter and a trio of big name Grasses: Venusaur, Abomasnow, and Trevenant. As you can see in the image above, we’re about to hit a winning record too.
- Not too surprisingly, 35-cost Spear (AKA former Weather Ball stats) crosses that 50-50 win/loss line, getting to almost 60%, just like that. The half dozen new wins are Lickitung XL, Munchlax, Greedent, Politoed, Chesnaught, and most impressively, Bastiodon. Yes yes, that Bastie win works because Walrein is able to land an Earthquake, but also because in this particular case Wally also lands a critical second Spear to finish Bastiodon off. That’s gonna leave Bastie with a nasty choice: shield a resisted, puny Icicle Spear that doesn’t even deal 20 damage and limp away, or don’t shield and die? It’s also nice making Bastiodon squirm, isn’t it?
That’s all 1v1 shielding, but of course there is improvement in other shielding scenarios too.
- With shields down, obviously Earthquake still does a lot of the work, but Icicle Spear adds on potential as compared to pre-Community Day, with new wins including Hypno, Skarmory, Razor Leaf Tropius, Shadow Victreebel, Munchlax, and Politoed. And as long as Spear costs 40 or less energy, add on Sableye and Pelipper too, and even Froslass if Spear costs only 35 energy.
- In 2v2 shielding, not surprisingly, Walrein with only closing moves… well, frankly, it stinks, even with Powder Snow. Probably just as unsurprising is that moves costing 45 or less energy make things a LOT better. Even 45-energy cost Icicle Spear lock in Azumarill, Cofagrigus, Dewgong, Diggersby, Drifblim, Froslass, Shadow Hypno, Lapras, Mandibuzz, Alolan Marowak, Meganium, Pelipper, Pidgeot, Politoed, Serperior, both Stunfisks, Swampert, and Whiscash. 40-cost Spear adds in Skarmory, Sableye, and Venusaur, and pipe dream 35-cost brings in Chesnaught, Cresselia, Greedent, regular Hypno, Shadow Nidoqueen, and Trevenant!
For the record, even 40-cost Icicle Spear powers Walrein to a higher win percentage than Lapras across all three of those even shield scenarios, and while it trails the overall record of Dewgong and its abusive Icy Wind, it is only just barely in 1v1 shielding, and it actually does better in shieldless scenarios (not surprising considering its closing moves).
Add in Wally’s potential in different Cup formats moving forward, and it’s pretty clear that Walrein, even with likely worst case 45-energy Icicle Spear, is one you WILL want to have on hand. And if Icicle Spears costs 40 or especially 35 energy, look out!
WALREIN IN ULTRA LEAGUE
But as good as things look in Great League, if anything things only get better as you move up to Ultra. As a reminder, even by just adding Powder Snow to the mix, Wally already raises a few eyebrows. Does Icicle Spear do much for it here as well?
- In 1v1 shielding, pray for 35-energy Spear. 45 and even 40 only add on a small handful of meaningful wins (Shadow Nidoqueen, Gengar, Charm A-Tails, Melmetal, and Trevenant) and actually suffer two new losses to Abomasnow and Shadow Snorlax, both of which lose to the closing power of Blizzard but not the comparatively chipping damage of a couple 60-power Icicle Spears or a non-STAB (and resisted, in Aboma’s case) Earthquake. Still an overall improvement, but not revolutionary and probably not enough, on the surface, to upend Lapras. But if Icicle Spear ends up with old Weather Ball stats (35 energy), the sky is the limit! Now we see a bunch of new potential wins, including Bronzong, Charizard, Gallade (super close but tends to now fall in Wally’s favor), Jellicent, Scizor, Snorlax (and Shadow Lax re-enters the win column too!), and Galarian Stunfisk. I won’t say this is the end of Lapras should such a thing happen — after all, Walrein still lacks Water coverage — but Lappie will at least have some solid competition for its usual slot!
- I won’t sugar coat is: Icicle Spear (at any cost) is a step backwards with shields down as compared to double KO moves. At this level, with Walrein’s bulk making more of a difference as it approaches Level 40, having both Ice and Ground bombs is not only viable, but downright terrifying. Of course, it’s hard to engineer a lot of situations where the opponent is out of shields and you’re now able to bring a healthy Walrein to bear, but if you do, you’re slightly worse off with Icicle Spear.
- On the complete flipside of that, I’m sure you expecting to see Icicle Spear blow the socks off “Blizzquake” in 2v2 shielding… and yes, yes it does, increasingly so the cheaper Spear gets until 40- and especially 35-energy Spear outraces a ton of stuff including Venusaur, Melmetal, Politoed, Swampert, Gengar, Abomasnow, and (specifically with 35 energy cost) Gallade, Bronzong, Cofagrigus, Shadow Granbull, Skarmory, and even Lapras itself. Awesome as it is, Lapras cannot keep up with that level of performance.
So yes, if you find the enemy without shields, you may sometimes miss having Blizzard, but even then the difference is relatively minor, and with any shields in play, Icicle Spear Walrein is good at busting those shields down and outracing a wide swath of Open Ultra League, to include the standard Ice targets of Flyers and Dragons and Grounds and many Grasses and Charmers and others, but also tasty Steels like Empoleon, Bronzong, Melmetal, Registeel, and G-Fisk that can cause such trouble for other Ice (and often even other Water) types thanks in very large part to Earthquake. Again, I wouldn’t say goodbye to Lapras just yet, but it’s not the only good wet Ice in town anymore, that’s for sure!
Such is the case with Ultra Premier Classic. As compared to Lapras, Icicle Spear Walrein is slightly worse with 45- and 40-cost Spear, but clearly pulls ahead with 35-cost Spear, with wins Lapras cannot achieve like Gallade, Snorlax, Typhlosion (Walrein can actually reach a Spear AND a follow on Earthquake before Typh reaches a Blast Burn and then a KO Solar Beam, but Lapras is too slow), and big Steels Ferrothorn and Empoleon. Yet again, Earthquake in action.
As a general observation, Lapras is obviously a bit better versus Fire types thanks to its Surf, but as you can see with Typhlosion, that’s not a hard and fast rule… Walrein can still threaten Flying Fires with Icicle Spear and get to the landlocked Fires with Earthquake. Walrein is heavier in Ice damage and this slightly better versus Dragons and some Grasses, though Powder Snow is obviously less ideal for “farming down” than Lapras’ Ice Shard, so it’s not quite correct to say that Wally is strictly better versus Dragons or Flyers either. There is ample room for both in Ultra League… and that’s a good thing! Variety is always welcome.
WALREIN IN MASTER LEAGUE
Aaaaaand we’re done, right? I mean, Walrein tops out at a lowly 2726 CP at Level 40, and just barely crosses 3000 CP (3081, to be precise) even at Level 50. Surely there’s no way it has utility in Master League… does it? Well… maybe we’re on to something here:
What if Icicle Spear ends up being only 35 energy? Surely it can’t be THAT much better… or uh… oh. Oh my. OH MY. 👀 We may have something here!
In one sense, this really shouldn’t be a massive surprise. I just recently wrote about Avalugg being best suited for Master League, due primarily to its own bulk and Master League being ripe for a good Ice type to abuse. Consider that a whopping 24 of 38 of the PvPoke Master League core meta are Ground, Flying, and/or Dragon types, and you can probably already start painting the picture of why something that deals solid Ice damage can be quite good. I mean, even similarly-underpowered Lapras is decent in Master in the right circumstances. Put that all together with something that could be the next Weather Ball AND Earthquake which has its own juicy targets (hello, Dialga and Metagross and Excadrill) and yeah, perhaps this shouldn’t be so shocking after all!
Rather than comparing Walrein with its new moves to pre-Community Day Walrein (because let’s face it: Walrein has NEVER been a thing in Master before), let’s instead how it stacks up against the only other Ices that really make an impact in Master: Mamoswine and the brand new Avalugg I just recently hyped up. We’ll start with Level 40 (Master League Classic):
- In 1v1 shielding, Mamoswine‘s only truly unique win among the three is versus Magnezone, and it’s the only one of the three that usually loses out to Dragonite, Lugia, and Mud Shot Groudon. Avalugg tends to do significantly better, with its own unique wins versus Dragon Breath Gyarados, Swampert, Palkia, and Snorlax, but it suffers defeats to Excadrill and Dialga, lacking the Ground damage of Mamoswine and Walrein. (Well, Lugg CAN run Earthquake but it’s usually too slow to make a difference.) Which leaves us with Walrein which, assuming Icicle Spear ends up costing 35 energy, uniquely beats suddenly-everywhere Zacian and Blizzard Kyogre, and matches every win that Mamo and Lugg do that I didn’t specifically mention above (meaning Zone, Swampert, DB Gyarados, Palkia, and Snorlax) except for Zarude (which both Lugg and even Mamo tend to overpower). Walrein is in many ways the best of both worlds, consistently beating Dragonite, Lugia, and Groudon as Mamoswine cannot, plus the Dialga and Excadrill that Avalugg typically cannot handle. It DOES come back down to earth a bit if Icicle Spear ends up costing 40 energy, with potential losses opening up now to Giratina-A, Kyogre, Lugia, Sylveon, Yveltal, and Zacian, but it’s still arguably better than Mamoswine even then. And it’s worth pointing out that even with 40-energy Spear, Wally beats both Mamo and Lugg head-to-head.
- With shields down, Walrein does fall a bit behind Mamoswine and Avalugg, but in 2v2 shielding, Wally is at least as good (arguably better) than Mamoswine, though Avalugg takes the cake thanks in large part to spammy Body Slams.
So in Master League Classic… well, overall I still gotta hand it to Avalugg. But Walrein is definitely going to be competitive and still handles nasty, impactful Steels like Dialga and Excadrill that Avalugg doesn’t have much a prayer against, and is much easier to grind the candy for. Wally also puts another big nail in Mamoswine’s coffin that Avalugg began just days ago. Mamo’s not completely dead, but I think it’s about to become much less useful in Master League.
Wally handles Fires (beating Charizard and Typhlosion) and Steels (Excadrill and Shadow Metagross) that Avalugg cannot, as well as Milotic (resisting Water damage is huge in that one), while Avalugg’s claims to fame are Gyarados, Snorlax, Gengar, Haxorus, and Electivire. Oh, and Walrein wins the head to head. It’s definitely worth it if you plan to play around in Classic and/or Premier formats in Master League.
But now the biggest and baddest of them all: wide open Master League, where everything costs 296 XL Candy (and arguably a small piece of your soul).
- Much of what was true at Level 40 is still true here. Mamoswine starts to really fall away, though it does still have standout wins versus Dialga and Magnezone as benefits of its Ground subtyping. Avalugg outpaces it overall with Dragonite, Mud Shot Ground, Dragon Breath Gyarados, Swampert, and Mamoswine itself that the woolly mammoth can’t match. But here we go…
- …Wally leads them both (and beats both head to head, even trailing them both by 600-700 CP!) with its own unique wins versus Zacian and Heatran. The only things Walrein can’t beat that Avalugg can are Altered Giratina, Snorlax, and Zarude (while Lugg cannot consistently overcome Lugia or Excadrill as Wally is able to).
WHEW. I know I just threw a crap ton of data and numbers at you, and while I do feel a little bad about that (I hate potentially losing the audience!), I hope you were able to follow along and glean some good info out of all this. I tried to cover it pretty comprehensively, moreso than you’ve seen to this point and likely moreso than you’ll see anywhere leading up to January Community Day.
But those who just couldn’t make it through — or can’t remember all that they just read! — let’s sum it up as best I can:
- In Great League, Walrein becomes an immediately viable alternative to Lapras… in any formats where Lapras is potent, which admittedly is moreso in limited/Cup formats than Open GL. Walrein is still not quite on the same level as Dewgong (which just grinds things down like precious few other Pokémon in the game can), but in any format where you want a solid Ice type, Walrein is now exactly that, especially if Icicle Spear costs only 40 or — dare we dream? — only 35 energy. Its biggest advantage — even to Dewgong — is Earthquake for its ability to overcome Steels like Galarian Stunfisk, Melmetal, and even the mighty Bastiodon.
- In Ultra League, Lapras is basically it as far as Watery Ice types. (And really only Aboma, A-Tails, or sometimes the odd Articuno may pop up here and there among all Ice types.) Walrein once again arrives as a very viable alternative to Lapras, and indeed pulls away even more than it did in Great League, owing to good spam potential and that unique Earthquake (which beats stuff like G-Fisk again, Bronzong, and Jellicent). Walrein should immediately become meta in the various Ultra League formats, and requires no XL Candy (even with #1 IVs), which is always nice.
- The biggest shocker is that Walrein, which fails to reach even 2700 CP at Level 40 and only barely crosses 3000 CP at Level 50, looks to be legit in Master League after Community. If Icicle Spear indeed costs only 35 energy (giving it pre-nerf Weather Ball stats), as many hope for, it becomes as good, if not situationally better, than Avalugg and way better overall than Mamoswine. Especially in the case of Spear costing only 35 energy, Walrein will instantly find itself right in the thick of the Master League Classic, Premier, and even Open metas as a true contender. That’s no exaggeration or vain hope either… post-Community Day Walrein WILL noticabely impact Master League moving forward. Mark my words on that one.
As comprehensive as this was, I could have done more, believe it or not! I ran many, many sims I didn’t even show here, from various shielding scenarios to Waterfall sims (which mostly just lag behind and weren’t worth diving in deep on, IMO) and more. I also realized as I went that sometimes the current PvPoke core metas differed very slightly, which is why the numbers may not always add up exactly when comparing my screenshotted Walrein results to others I compare and contrast it with in those same leagues. (Like in Open Ultra League, where you’ll sometimes see 41 total in the “core meta” (for Wally) and 43 instead at other times (for Lapras) due to some slight shakeups between the always evolving and improving PvPoke live website and my static local copy from a week or two ago. I did double and triple check to make sure my specific win/loss call-outs were all valid, so you CAN have faith in my research despite a little “noise” in the totals like that.
I could also review several other potential Icicle Spear recipients for the future, as I did with Samurott’s Razor Shell and Luxray’s Psychic Fangs… but I think I’ll hold off on that until we know the actual cost. I’ve drained enough of your time and brain cells already, so… I release you! 😂
Hopefully this was helpful and not JUST a massive wall of text. (I mean, it was that too, but…. 😅) Once again, VERY long story short: Walrein WILL become meta relevant in all three leagues after January Community Day, despite the presence of established Ices across those formats. It may even become THE go-to Ice type in Master League especially. Get ready, and get hyped… this is not one to miss!
I SHOULD be back with another writeup or two before 2021 comes to a close (next up is a review of Sinnoh Cup!), but in case I don’t, have a very Happy New Year, and as always, please stay safe out there. Catch you next time, Pokéfriends!
P.S. I have received a number of questions (in response to the original article) on Shadow Walrein. I did briefly look, and it is generally worse, as Walrein misses the bulk more than it appreciates the extra Attack. That said, it’s certainly still viable (and looks perhaps most viable in Great League), and I will revisit that (and Walrein in general) in a brief follow-up article once the ACTUAL cost of Icicle Spear is known. So hold onto your Shadows for now… I’ll
double triple check once we get the cost!