Hello again, fellow PvPers! Yet ANOTHER new event arrives next week (and with it a brand new Pokémon!), the 2022 Sustainability Week, complete with the arrival of the simian Sage Pokémon, Oranguru! And yes — spoiler alert! — this is one to get excited about.

Before we get into the deeper dive, let’s sum up our Bottom Line Up Front:

B.L.U.F.

  • Oranguru may not look like much with its pedestrian moveset and typing, but there is a LOT more good than may immediately meet the eye. I know I tend to hype up a number of new arrivals, but this really, truly has the look of something that will have immediate impacts in Great and Ultra League formats moving forward. You want a good one for each of those leagues if you can manage it… this is one to hunt for!
  • Cherrim is not new, nor still the best in its niche (Grass that can literally burn things), but it’s still viable in Great League and one of the better heroes of Love Cup if nothing else. Also worth acquiring a good one during the event if you’re able… and bonus points if shiny!

Now, the nitty-gritty details. Let’s dive in!

Advertisement

Oranguru in Pokémon GO PvP: PLANET OF THE APE

“For too long, apes and monkeys have been under the thumb of man! Well, the time has come to oppose that thumb, and take hold of what is rightfully ours – THE WORLD!”

  • Mojo Jojo Oranguru

Oh, so many ape jokes I could pull out on this one, but I’ll stop there (for now). ORANGURU does play on the classic super-intelligent ape trope but has not been demonstrably evil, at least. That said, it may be on the path of conquest anyway, even with a so-so moveset, in large part because of all the good going on with it before we ever get to the moves.

It starts with the intriguing typing. I’m currently working through a separate analysis article on pending new attraction Bewear, a Normal/Fighting-type, so I can tell you that tacking the Normal typing onto other types… well… sometimes hurts more than it helps. In the case of a Psychic/Normal-type, however, it’s a wonderous pairing:

  • Normal types are famously weak to Fighting damage, and perhaps just as famously double resist Ghost damage. But that’s it… just one weakness and one vulnerability.
  • Psychic types are vulnerable to Ghost, Dark, and Bug damage, and resist Fighting and Psychic. Starting to see where this is leading?

So put them together, and the Normal-type vulnerability to Fighting types goes away, and the Ghost-type vulnerability that Psychics are known for actually flips all the way past neutrality and into a resistance. Oranguru, therefore, is left with vulnerabilities to only Dark and Bug, and resistances to Psychic and Ghost. Pretty neat, huh?

So neat that long-time readers know I that long touted the only Psychic/Normal we had in the game for a LONG time (until Meloetta came along, which I also sang the praises of: GIRAFARIG. 🦒 Yes, I think it’s finally time for me to get its name right (after butchering it for literally years now) because unfortunately, I’ll probably be retiring it from future writings. 😢 I mean, aside from moves, just look at how much better Oranguru is:

Pokémon Girafarig Oranguru
Attack (#1 IV) 129 (129) 111 (109)
Defense (#1 IV) 103 (105) 131 (133)
HP (#1 IV) 129 (130) 139 (143)

Farigamarif –I mean, Geoffamafig… er, Rafigamarag?… oh, you know who I mean — actually doesn’t have awful moves, with Psychic (the move!… at least I get to keep THAT long-running inside joke!) and Thunderbolt both being very decent, but it’s the stats that have kept it from going anywhere. It has no Defense to speak of, and only middling HP, leaving it too flimsy to break out in PvP.

But Oranguru doesn’t have that problem. It’s legit tanky, with stats right in the same zip code as things like Alolan Marowak, Scrafty, Whiscash, and fellow Normals Snorlax and Greedent, and with MORE overall bulk than stuff like Obstagoon, Pidgeot, Vigoroth, Wigglytuff, Alolan Ninetales, Nidoqueen, Drifblim, Cofagrigus, and many other meta options… even thicc Meganium! And again: weak to only Dark and little-seen Bug damage.

The moveset leaves a bit to be desired, with Foul Play as its only non-Psychic (the type) move, and the choice of either Psychic (the move, this time) and Future Sight alongside it. And while it’s a fantastic damage-dealing fast move, Confusion (4.0 Damage Per Turn) generates only the perfectly average 3.0 Energy Per Turn, so you’re not exactly racing to those charge moves (45 for Foul Play, 55 for Psychic, 65 for Future Sight). Oranguru has enough bulk to make it work out anyway, but it would have been nice to see something like, I don’t know, Psyshock come along too. Oh well… thankfully it can work with what it’s got.

Advertisement

That’s right… finally time to get to some numbers! 🔢

GREAT LEAGUE

In Great League, Oranguru looks viable right out of the gate. It does most standard Psychic/Confusioner things, like beating all Fighters without built-in advantages (like Scrafty, Pangoro, Gallade, and Lucario) or the crazy-powerful new Kommo-o (though that one also easily flips to Guru depending on IVs) and beating nearly all Poisons (again, only a handful of exceptions: Dark/Poisons, Muk with its Dark Pulse, and a couple of Bugs with Poison attacks, specifically Ariados and Venomoth). It also manages to beat most Ghosts, with half-Dark Sableye and Spiritomb, OP Chandelure, and Golurk being the only exceptions you’ll ever maybe come across. And thanks to Foul Play, it even manages to take down most of its fellow Psychic types, including Hypno, Mew, and Cresselia (though not DD).

But it does much more than that. Between its pretty heavy, oft-unresisted damage output (the only single typing that resists Oranguru’s Psychic and Dark moves is Dark) and high bulk to hang in there and brawl for a while, Oranguru can outslug other tanks like Lapras, Meganium, Nidoqueen, Noctowl, Tropius, Whiscash, Lickitung, and Stunfisk (sadly not Psychic-resistant G-Fisk, though), and outlasts the major Charmers too. Oh, and a little bunny you may have heard of called Azumarill. Not a ton of things that can emerge victorious over Azu in a long, neutral-on-neutral slog, but Guru can… and it doesn’t even have to bait to do it (and even against #1 IV Azu!). Impressive, no?

Even better, if you happen across an Oranguru with fantastic PvP IVs (0-13-14 is #1 for Great League), you can further add on Alolan Ninetales, Politoed, and Abomasnow too. Most impressive!

As nice as all that is, Oranguru is arguably even better going up a level…

ULTRA LEAGUE

So let’s just kick it off right away with the numbers in Open Ultra League. Yes, there are still some well-known Darks and Steels that plague Oranguru… like, basically all of them. But that doesn’t fully hold it back. If you look beyond the core meta, Oranguru looks REALLY good, but getting back to the established UL core meta again, notice that over half of its losses (15, by my count) are to Dark and Steel types. Have a good teammate to handle those, and the list of things Oranguru truly has to worry about are things with crazy high damage and/or spam output (Talonflame, Swampert, Walrein, Shadow Abomasnow) or things that just start to out tank it at this level (Meganium, Cresselia, DDeoxys, Lugia, Articuno, Greedent, and Altered Giratina… specifically with Dragon Breath). Most everything else, Oranguru will continue to beat down, to include either Giratina with Shadow Claw (as well as other Ghosts), all the Fighters, all the Charmers but A-Tails, and a wide array of potent Poisons, Waters, Grasses, and Normals that make up most of the UL opposition.

However, note the level (and investment) of that Oranguru: Level 47, which means a LOT of dust and XL candy. If you’re not able to commit to that kind of grind, fear not! A 15-15-15 Guru hits 2496 CP at Level 41.5, and is very nearly as good… and in some ways even a tad better. You see, with a 15-Attack Guru comes some new breakpoints that allow the 15-15-15 to add on wins versus Shadow Abomasnow and Swampert (well, technically even high XL Guru can beat Swampert with the right timing, but….). Hundo Guru does typically lose now to Shadow Politoed, Dragon Breath Charizard, and Lapras, albeit JUST barely on that last two (flippable depending on opposing IVs). All in all, a very solid performance that makes a low XL Guru very much viable.

And you know what that means… it’s time to consider Guru in Ultra Premier Classic. And wowee, does it look nice! Coming in a little under 2500 CP (2450 is the max, so not bad), Oranguru has a much easier time with so many of the big-name Darks and Steels removed from the equation, with again over half of its loss list being Steels (four) and Darks (three). It still handles Fighters and Poisons and Ghosts, and most of the big name Dragons, Charmers, Waters, Grasses, Normals and others that make up the ULPC meta.

So what’s the verdict?

Oranguru is just the kind of new addition you like to see: fully viable in multiple leagues, with its own unique twist (in this case, mostly that it’s a Psychic that can beat pretty much all the Ghosts out there), but without being SO disruptive that it completely redefines the meta. Oranguru should show up as a new player in Great and Ultra Leagues pretty much right away, but the meta shouldn’t have to shift too much to accommodate it… they’ll just be a little more varied and overall better for having Oranguru join the party. This is one to hunt for, folks.

Cherrim in Pokémon GO PvP: CHERRIM PICKING

So CHERRIM (Sunshine) is hardly new to the game, but as it’s being emphasized (and getting its shiny release!) during this event, we’ll take a quick look at it too.

Because it’s probably a bit better than you think. Having Bullet Seed and Weather Ball (Fire), the closest comparison is obviously ROSERADE, who received both of those moves over a year ago and became an overnight sensation as a result. But there are some key differences between the two that work in — and against — each other’s favor.

  • Cherrim is a mono Grass-type, while Roserade is a Grass/Poison type. This leads to Cherrim beating some things that prey on Roserade’s Poison typing (like Cresselia and Hypno), while Roserade’s Poison half allows it to hold out better against Fairy, Fighting, and even opposing Poison damage and therefore beat things like Nidoqueen, Scrafty, and Wigglytuff and Sylveon that Cherrim cannot.
  • Cherrim is bulkier (about 35 more HP than Rose) while Roserade hits a lot harder (20 more Attack than Cherrim). Roserade also has Leaf Storm (55 energy for 130 damage, but with a severe self-nerf in the process) while Cherrim has only Solar Beam (150 damage and no drawback, but for 80 energy), so between that and a higher Attack stat, Roserade brings a LOT more pressure. This leads to wins versus things like Swampert, Whiscash, Sableye, and Umbreon (without Psychic, at least), and even the potential to outrace Ice-types Abomasnow and Froslass, that Cherrim simply cannot match. Conversely, Cherrim’s better bulk allows it to outlast things that hold off Roserade, like Pelipper, Meganium, and Lickitung.

In very short summary: Cherrim is Roserade Lite, but there are spots where it could actually still be the superior option (like in a Psychic-heavy meta) and it still performs well when given the opportunity, such as in Love Cup. In the first several seasons of GBL, I myself ran Cherrim as an integral part of my main Great League team, and the little fella rarely let me down. (I actually ran it with Dazzling Gleam instead of Solar Beam to surprise all the Altarias and Umbreons I saw back then, but the meta has shifted more to favor Solar Beam these days, I think.) Cherrim remains viable… it’s just usually left playing second fiddle behind Roserade now. I still recommend trying to scoop up a good one for Great League if you still lack it in your PvP arsenal… for next year’s Love Cup, if nothing else!

So what’s the verdict?

As I just said, it’s worth hunting down a good Cherrim (Sunshine Form) during this event if you lack a good Great League one. Little dude (or dudette) is still quite solid in PvP whenever it has a chance to… well, shine. 🌞 It’s worth having on hand, even if you don’t deploy it until next year’s Love Cup.

Alright, that’s all I got for today. Wanted to get this out EARLY for once so I can focus on Retro Cup resources for next week… which just means Niantic will completely shake up Oranguru’s moveset now. 😵 So uh… you’re welcome? 😅

Until next time, you can find me on Twitter for regular PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon. And as always, please feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I’ll try to get back to you!

Good luck in your monkey hunting, but please be safe out there, Pokéfriends. Thanks again for reading, and catch you next time!

Advertisement