Trainer Battles

Under The Lights: Shock Drive Genesect

Hello again, fellow PvPers!

Right about this time last year (January 5th, to be exact), Genesect finally received the first of its four elemental “Drives” that grant Genesect its signature move Techno Blast. On the very last day of 2020, I released an article detailing what Techno Blast does for Genesect in all three leagues, hopeful at the time that they’d all be coming in the relatively near-term future, and possibly be able to be Elite TMed onto Genesect in multiple flavors, even in Great League.

Nine long months later, Genesect finally got the second of its Drives (Douse), and thankfully Niantic isn’t making us wait long for the third, as it is now getting its Shock Drive from January 15th at 10:00am local to January 24th 10:00am local.

Now, a lot has changed over the last year, but I found back during my original Genesect article a year ago that Shock Drive looked to be the best Genesect in Great and Ultra Leagues, but one of the worst in Master League. Again, a lot has changed, so let’s see if that’s still the case!

I’m going to try and keep it light and relatively high level, without going into a bunch of varied shielding scenarios or IV combinations. The purpose of this write-up is to show the pros and cons of the various Drives — especially the about-to-arrive Shock Drive —and the standard 1v1 shielding scenarios show that well on their own. This will be plenty long enough sticking with just that! 😅

Alright, let’s get to it, beginning with the exclusive move itself:

TECHNO BLAST

  • Type: Normal, Fire (Burn), Water (Douse), Ice (Chill), or Electric (Shock)
  • Power: 120
  • Energy: 55

So how good IS 120 damage for 55 energy? Let’s do some comparisons….

The Burn Drive version of Techno Blast is a rather close comparison to Blast Burn. Blast Burn deals 10 less damage for 5 less energy, which gives it an overall DPE (Damage Per Energy) of 2.20… meaning you basically deal 2.2 damage for each energy spent. Techno Blast has a DPE of 2.18, so they’re virtually identical. Another comparison can be made to the move Overheat, which costs the same 55 energy at Techno Blast but deals 10 more damage, for an overall DPE of 2.36. BUT Overheat, of course, comes with the big drawback of self-nerfing the user’s Attack by 2 stages. Suddenly that 10 less damage isn’t looking so bad, now is it?

For the Douse Drive-induced Water version of Techno Blast, the closest comparison is the still unreleased (but long coded) Origin Pulse, Kyogre’s exclusive move, which deals 130 damage for 60 energy for 2.17 DPE, which of course also makes it a great move. However, Douse Techno Blast is technically even better with its 2.18 DPE, and is actually, by that metric, the most cost effective Water move in the game. Even Hydro Cannon is “only” 2.0 DPE with its 80 damage for 40 energy. The only other Water charge move that deals 100 damage or more is Hydro Pump at 130 damage for 75 energy, for a comparatively poor 1.73 DPE. Heck, the only Water moves that deal more than even 80 damage are Pump, Pulse, Techno Blast, and then Crabhammer at 85 damage for 50 energy (1.70 DPE). To reiterate, that makes Water-type Techno Blast the only Water move currently in the game to deal higher than 85 damage, with the only other one currently being Hydro Pump. Douse Blast is BIG.

This is even more of an extreme with the Chill (Ice) Techno Blast. The best DPE Ice charge moves have to offer currently is Avalanche, with its 45 energy for 90 damage and 2.0 DPE. And the only Ice moves that deal greater than 90 damage are Blizzard (140 damage, 75 energy, 1.87 DPE) and Ice-type Techno Blast (once it’s eventually released). There are several metrics you could measure by here to determine that, almost without argument, Chill Techno Blast is the best overall Ice charge move… with the caveat that, with STAB on Avalanche, it is still a bit better overall (2.4 DPE with STAB, if I’m doing my math right).

And finally, we have the Shock (Electric) version. While Electric has a decent range of charge moves, most of them are rather average, such as Thunderbolt (90 damage, 55 energy, 1.64 DPE) and Thunder (100 damage, 60 energy, 1.67 DPE). The only real standout currently is WIld Charge (100 damage, 45 energy, 2.22 DPE), though it of course comes with a drastic two stage drop in the user’s Defense. Now here comes Shock Techno Blast, with its 120 damage for 55 energy and 2.18 DPE, making it the best move of its type.

ANYway, let’s now take a quick look at Genesect itself before we mash it and Shock and the other Drives together in sims.

GENESECT STATS

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
140 (140 High Stat Product) 114 (114 High Stat Product) 98 (100 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs {Raid Level}: 10-15-14, 1500 CP, Level 16)

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
180 (182 High Stat Product) 146 (146 High Stat Product) 129 (129 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs {Raid Level}: 10-12-12, 2500 CP, Level 27)

Master League Stats

Attack Defense HP
211 (224 at Level 50) 169 (180 at Level 50) 149 (158 at Level 50)

(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs)

First note: no matter what Drive Genesect has, it never changes type. I’ve seen discussions on this and just wanted to make it clear. Having a Shock Drive does not make Genesect part Electric, it just gives it an Electric type move. Genesect will always be a Bug/Steel type, which means a ton of resistances (Dragon, Bug, Fairy, Ice, Normal, Psychic, Steel, and 2x to Grass and Poison) and one fatal flaw: a double vulnerability to Fire.

So there are several Steely Bugs in PvP at all three league levels, but there is one in particular that makes an easy comparison to Genesect: Scizor. Their stats track very closely to each other at all levels, with Scizor having 2 less Attack, 5 less Defense, and 7-8 more HP at Great League and Ultra League level (on average). At Master League level, Scizor falls behind, capping out about 350 CP lower than Genesect… but a Level 50 Scizor has the same Attack as a Level 40 Genesect, and again about 5 less Defense and 8 more HP. The two are remarkably close, and I will be directly comparing them a few times in the following analysis.

Their non-Drive moves are pretty similar too, both having multiple spammy moves (Magnet Bomb for Genesect, Night Slash for Scizor, X-Scissor for both), but lacking a true closing move. The only potent move Genesect has in its regular arsenal is Hyper Beam, which is far too slow with its relative frailty, and while Magnet Bomb deals 70 damage (for 45 energy), that’s not enough to truly close things out most of the time. Scizor has the potential of Return as its Hyper Beam Lite (20 less damage for 10 less energy), but beyond that its strongest move is Iron Head which deals 70 damage… just like Magnet Bomb (but for 5 more energy). Again, see how close these two are to each other?

But Techno Blast of course changes all that. It comes for the same energy as many other “elemental” moves — Thunderbolt/Flamethrower/Ice Beam/Energy Ball/Earth Power/etc. that deal 90 damage for 55 energy, and then Stone Edge and Shadow Ball that deal 100 damage for that cost, and the now-overpowered Megahorn that deals 110 damage for that 55 energy — but with more power than any of them. The only moves that exceed Techno Blast’s damage for that cost are Brave Bird and the aforementioned Overheat, and they deal only 10 more damage than Blast AND come with their respective -3 Stage self nerfing. All things considered, I think it’s safe to label Techno Blast the best 55 energy move in the game. Heck, not even any 60 energy moves deal that much damage (Moonblast and Payback are closest at 110 damage), and only two moves at 65 energy hit 120 damage (Earthquake and Futuresight), and Draco Meteor gets to 150 damage (but double nerfs the user’s Attack stats). No other charge moves exceed 110 damage for 65 or less energy.

Okay, now that I have thoroughly beat to death the comparisons between Techno Blast and other existing moves, let’s get to why that all matters. What does giving a somewhat frail Steely Bug not only a closing move, but a GREAT closing move do for it? What can it enable Genesect to do that, say, Scizor cannot?

I’m going to skip over Great League, since there’s no way to get a Techno Blast Genesect below Level 20… not even a 0-0-0 Genesect gets below 1500 CP. Perhaps one day we’ll be able to do it, but today is not that day, so let’s get right to the here and now, shall we?

ULTRA LEAGUE

In Ultra League, here is our barometer: Genesect with non-Techno Blast moves. A Blast-less Genesect performs very similarly to Scizor overall, with the very notable exceptions of Scizor (thanks to Night Slash) being able to beat Giratina-A, Gengar, Gallade, and Articuno (not surprising on that last one especially, with Bullet Punch dealing super effective damage), while Genesect instead beats Obstagoon, Alolan Muk, Ferrothorn, and DDeoxys XL all thanks to having more Bug damage output, and Greedent by the speed that comes with Fury Cutter. All other wins and losses are generally shared between the two, though note that Genesect can drop Magnet Bomb and instead run Hyper Beam and potentially beat out Scizor, Poliwrath, and even (Dragon Breath) Charizard, making it look rather tempting even without Techno Blast, no?

But the Drives, of course, only make things better….

  • Burn actually loses regular and Shadow Dragonite due to A.) being resisted, and B.) pairing best overall with X-Scissor… Magnet Bomb alone is still enough to get at least regular ‘Nite. But the tradeoff is new wins over Gengar, Gallade, Nidoqueen and a bunch of things you would expect a big Fire move to defeat: Trevenant, Melmetal, Escavalier, Bronzong, Registeel, and Alolan Ninetales (with either fast move). We’re not getting that this time around, but if you’re sitting on a Burn Drive Genesect from a while back and weren’t sure whether or not it’s worth using… well, hopefully that can help inform you decision.
  • The one we got just a few months ago, Douse, in some ways plays surprisingly closely to Burn, with shared wins over Nidoqueen, Alolan Ninetales, Escavalier, Gengar, and Gallade, though it struggles with Registeel, Bronzong, Trevenant, and Melmetal, beating them up but Trevenant gets off alright, and the rest are usually able to limp away with 10-20 HP left over. Disappointingly, Galarian Stunfisk also tanks a Douse, though it takes grievous damage — much moreso than with any of the other Drives — and escapes with only 15 HP, on average. What Douse does uniquely beat is Shadow Nidoqueen and Shadow Swampert (wins shared with Chill Blast) and Dragon Breath Charizard (a win shared with Shock Blast). Douse is a very nice “middle ground”, flexible type of Techno Blast.
  • Other than Gengar, Gallade, and Trevenant, and the aforementioned shared-with-Douse wins against Nidoqueen and Shadow Swampert Chill gets a completely different set of wins. It’s the only Drive that loses to Scizor, but it beats Dragonite (regular and Shadow), plus Giratina-O and Giratina-A with Dragon Breath (Shadow Claw Gira-A, with its better energy generation, can reach an extra charge move to turn things around). Chill is the ONLY way that Genesect can take down the Giratinas, but the Dragonite wins are shared with the last entry on our list….
  • Here comes Shock, which has the looks of the the overall best in Ultra League. It too beats both versions of Dragonite, and everything Burn and/or Douse can except Nidoqueen and Trevenant (two of its bigger, more obvious blind spots), Melmetal, and Shadow Swampert. But it preys on the many other meta Water types in Ultra League, taking out Jellicent, Lapras, Politoed, Poliwrath, and Empoleon, none of which any of the Drives can replicate. There are things the other Drives can do that Shock cannot that may fit certain teams better (Giratinas, Trevenant, Nidoqueen primarily), but Shock casts the widest overall net and looks like a real winner to me.

How about Master League? Is Shock the odds-on favorite at that level after some of its recent changes? Let’s take a look….

MASTER LEAGUE

First off, for the purposes of this analysis, I am going to look only at Master League Classic (Level 40). Yes, it’s possible to raid like crazy and built a Level 50 Genesect, and some people WILL be doing that. But for simplicity, I’d just sticking with Classic for this analysis. Your mileage may vary (though only slightly) in Level 50 vs Level 50 matchups, though the trends and which Drives are best will remain the same regardless. I’m just trying to give you an idea for Drive-by-Drive comparison purposes.

First, the good news: yes, all four Drives deal big enough neutral damage to Zacian, the current menace of Master League, to take it down, regardless of which charge moves it is running. Play Rough is resisted, but Wild Charge and Close Combat both deal only neutral damage (Steel is weak to Fighting, yes, but remember that Bug resists) and leave Zacian wide open to counterattack. It’s easier with the super effective damage of Magnet Bomb, but generally you still want to run X-Sicssor at this level for maximum bait-age… and Zacian goes down to Techno Blast of any variety anyway.

As for the rest….

  • Shock isn’t bad, but let’s be honest: there are far less Waters and even Flyers to contend with at Master League level as compared to Ultra, rendering Electric damage much less effective overall. While it’s true that only Shock and Chill can take down Yveltal and Gyarados and are most effective at slaying Flyers in general, ALL of the Drives are capable of bringing down Lugia, Togekiss, and the like, and none of them are fast enough to outrace Ho-Oh unless you have a crazy energy advantage going in. And Shock is the only Drive with the dubious dishonor of NOT beating Excadrill, a pretty glaring black mark in today’s ML meta. The best thing going for Shock is that it remains the only Drive that can take out Kyogre with no muss, no fuss. Like Chill, it does also manage to take down Dragonite (regular or Shadow) which the other Drives are incapable of. But other than Kyogre… Chill does everything Shock does, and more.

Real quick on the others:

  • Burn isn’t much better. Its unique wins are versus Melmetal and Metagross, neither of which should come as much of a surprise. You’re also now beating Magnezone, Excadrill, and Dialga, though those wins are matched by other Drives too, including….
  • Douse is a bit better overall in today’s ML meta than both Shock and Burn. It cannot match any of Shock’s wins versus Kyogre, Dragonite, Yvette, or Gyarados, but it does beat Magnezone and Excadrill like Burn does, and adds wins versus either version of Landorus, Rhyperior, Swampert, and also Garchomp and Groudon when either are running Dragon Tail. But even Douse pales in comparison to the big winner….
  • Chill, the one Drive we’re still waiting on, is the undisputed king of Master League. It can beat everything that Douse, Burn, AND Shock Drives can with the sole exceptions of Kyogre (Shock) and Melmetal and Metagross (Burn), and adds on its own unique wins versus Zekrom and Mud Shot Garchomp. To repeat, Chill beats EVERYTHING else the other Drives can except for Kyogre, Melmetal, and Metagross. It is THE Drive we’re going to want for Master League whenever Niantic chooses to release it.

TL;DR:

So what does this all mean for existing Drives?

  • Burn Drive (Fire Techno Blast) has its niche versus Steels. While Douse (Water) can match some, Burn uniquely beats Registeel in Ultra League, Metagross in Master League, and Melmetal in both leagues. Its other wins are matched by at least one of the other Drives.
  • Douse Drive (Water Techno Blast) obviously has its niche versus Fires and Grounds. That means key wins against (DB) Charizard, Shadow Swampert, and Shadow Nidoqueen in Ultra League, and hard countering Grounds in Master League (with the exception of Mud Shot Garchomp/Groudon, who can outrace it). It isn’t strictly the best in Ultra OR Master, but it is pretty consistently the second best overall in both leagues and a good “all-around” coverage move. Also of note, which I probably didn’t properly highlight yet: Douse is the only drive that directly threatens Fires, the biggest Achilles’ heel for Genesect as the only type that deals super effective damage (doubly so!) to Bug/Steels like Genesect. It’s the best pure coverage move it could hope for.
  • Shock Drive (Electric Techno Blast) does seem to have a very nice niche in Ultra League, where there are tons of Waters and Flyers to target down. While it can’t match everything the other Drives can, in Ultra it still takes down most of what the other Drives can and has its own signature wins that the other Drives cannot match. If you have the candy to do so, it DOES make sense to build a Shock Genesect for Ultra League specifically, where it only needs to be leveled up to Level 26-27 to be at just the right size. There’s some legit opportunity waiting there to be seized in Genesect’s outstretched… uh… pincers.
  • Meanwhile we continue to await the arrival of Chill Drive (Ice Techno Blast). Ice is obviously a fantastic type of move to have in Master League considering the number of things weak to it in the ML Meta, and there is very, very little the other Drives can do that Chill cannot. Save candy for future icy Genesect.

Alright, that’s it for now! I’ll be back soon with another look at Community Day Walrein once we know the final cost of its new move Icicle Spear, and I’ve got another article or two cooking for the near-ish future. But until then, for more PvP tidbits, you can always find me on Twitter for regular PvP analysis nuggets, or Patreon. And please, as always, feel free to comment here with your own thoughts or questions and I’ll try to get back to you!

Stay safe out there, Pokéfriends, and happy raiding. Catch you next time!

JRE47

PoGO/PvP Investigative Journalist, GO Hub and Silph Arena/Road Contributor, amateur cook, author of 'Nifty Or Thrifty' and 'Under The Lights' article series and #PvPfacts!

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JRE47