A PvP Analysis of Eevee Community Day (August 2021)

Hello again, fellow PvPers! As I’ve done many times before (officially starting last April with Abra/Alakazam with Counter), I’m here to take a close look at this month’s Community Day spotlight Pokémon and examine their merits in PvP. And this month, that means not one, not two, not three, but Eevee and its eight evolutions (or as they will hereafter be known, “eeveelutions”), all at once!

And each of those eeveelutions will be receiving its own unique new move over two days of Community Day Weekend play. That’s right… eight Pokémon and eight new-to-them moves spread among them. Neat!

Well, potentially so, at least. To this point, only one of these eight has really broken out in PvP play, with one or two others popping up here and there, mostly in Master League.

Today I’ll be examining what the new moves do for those that already have PvP relevance if the new moves help pull any others into PvP relevance, and if not, a brief look at what perhaps could have been if anyone at Niantic knew even the basics of PvP Niantic perhaps had some… uh… different personnel on their PvP team. 🙄

Eevee evolution stats

But before we get into the moves, what about the stats? Let’s take a quick look at each of the Eevolutions and their typing, stats, rank 1 (aka “High Stat Product”) IVs, and resulting CPs in each of the three leagues.

Great League stats

Eevolution Type Attack (H.S.P.) Defense (H.S.P.) HP (H.S.P.) Highest Stat Product IVs
Eevee Normal 100 108 135 15-15-15 (Level 50, 1210 CP)
Vaporeon Water 119 (117) 97 (100) 163 (165) 1-15-15 (Level 18, 1500 CP)
Jolteon Electric 138 (137) 113 (114) 103 (105) 0-12-15 (Level 19.5, 1500 CP)
Flareon Fire 142 (141) 110 (111) 100 (101) 0-15-13 (Level 18.5, 1500 CP)
Espeon Psychic 148 (146) 104 (106) 98 (99) 0-15-15 (Level 17.5, 1498 CP)
Umbreon Dark 90 (88) 177 (179) 155 (161) 0-15-15 (Level 27.5, 1500 CP)
Leafeon Grass 128 (126) 133 (136) 102 (103) 1-15-14 (Level 19, 1497 CP)
Glaceon Ice 137 (135) 124 (125) 96 (99) 0-15-12 (Level 18, 1500 CP)
Sylveon Fairy 119 (117) 121 (126) 131 (131) 0-15-12 (Level 18.5, 1500 CP)

Ultra League stats

Eevolution Type Attack (H.S.P.) Defense (H.S.P.) HP (H.S.P.) Highest Stat Product IVs
Vaporeon Water 153 (151) 128 (129) 208 (213) 0-15-13 (Level 30.5, 2500 CP)
Jolteon Electric 178 (176) 148 (149) 132 (135) 0-15-15 (Level 34.5, 2500 CP)
Flareon Fire 184 (182) 139 (143) 131 (131) 1-15-15 (Level 31, 2498 CP)
Espeon Psychic 191 (188) 135 (137) 126 (128) 1-15-15 (Level 29, 2493 CP)
Umbreon Dark 118 214 194 15-15-15 (Level 50, 2416 CP)
Leafeon Grass 164 (163) 173 (176) 132 (133) 0-14-13 (Level 34, 2497 CP)
Glaceon Ice 176 (174) 157 (161) 127 (128) 0-15-12 (Level 30, 2500 CP)
Sylveon Fairy 152 (150) 162 (161) 166 (171) 0-13-15 (Level 31.5, 2499 CP)

Master League stats

Eevolution Type Attack (Lv50) Defense (Lv50) HP (Lv50) CP for 15-15-15 IVs (Lv50)
Vaporeon Water 174 (185) 139 (148) 230 (245) 3114 (3521)
Jolteon Electric 195 (208) 156 (166) 140 (149) 2888 (3265)
Flareon Fire 206 (219) 153 (163) 140 (149) 3029 (3424)
Espeon Psychic 218 (232) 150 (160) 140 (149) 3170 (3583)
Leafeon Grass 183 (194) 185 (197) 140 (149) 2944 (3328)
Glaceon Ice 200 (213) 174 (185) 140 (149) 3126 (3535)
Sylveon Fairy 172 (183) 174 (185) 182 (194) 3069 (3470)

So normally I’d follow this up by talking about an individual Pokémon’s stats and typing and what those mean in the big picture, but since we’ve got nine different Pokémon to mention here, let’s just cover the highlights:

  • Umbreon is the one that has widespread PvP usage and has since PvP began. It has by far the highest bulk (and correspondingly, the lowest Attack stat) of any of the Eevolutions. (You may be surprised to hear that, if scaled up, Eevee itself is actually second.)
  • The dubious honor of highest Attack/lowest bulk belongs to Umbreon’s Johto counterpart, Espeon. You would hope it would therefore have a spammy move like Psyshock to outrace things, but that move actually goes to a different Eeveelution in this update, and even post-Community Day, Espeon’s cheapest moves cost 55 energy. 😰
  • Vaporeon actually has higher HP than any other Eeveelution, including Umbreon, which is impressive but perhaps gives a false impression of it being super tanky. It is indeed on the bulky side, but it actually has the lowest Defense of any of the Eeveelutions, so its reputation is not really deserved. For example, give Vaporeon and Sylveon the same moves against a neutral target (Snorlax, in this case), and you’ll see that they come out the same in the end.
  • Speaking of, Sylveon has the most “balanced” stats, with all three stats being roughly average. It is slightly more bulk-centric than it is Attack-centric. It tracks very closely to other Charm-using Fairies like Clefable, Slurpuff, and Aromatisse, to the point that depending on IVs, they can basically end up with identical stats (without having to go with crazy high Attack or bulk IVs to do so). And while not perhaps thought of as “tanky”, as you can see above, it’s right up there with Vaporeon.
  • The other Eeveelutions are relatively close in stats. Glaceon and Jolteon track pretty closely to each other in Attack and overall (Defense + HP) bulk (or lack thereof). Leafeon is slightly bulkier, and Flareon slightly more Attack-centric, but they’re all in the same basic ballpark. None have great PvP stats, with Leafeon being the closest to decent. (It’s a slightly more Attack-centric and slightly less bulky Venusaur/Tangrowth, basically.)

So that’s the generalities. Now let’s start getting into some specifics!


Vaporeon Water

New Move: Scald (Water type, 80 damage, 60 energy)

Digging deep for this one. Most players, upon finding out about Vape getting Scald, promptly reacted by saying “wait, that’s in the game?!” Sort of. It actually only appears currently as a Legacy move on Poliwhirl… and nothing else. What an odd choice. Here’s hoping Niantic plans to give some sort of stat modifier to this move in a future rebalance because the only good thing I can really say about it right now is that it’s strictly better than Water Pulse (60 energy for only 70 damage). Of course, Vaporeon also has Aqua Tail and Hydro Pump, and usually runs with both of those or Aqua Tail and Last Resort, so it’s not like it needed Water Pulse anyway… and doesn’t really have room for Scald in its current form. This is well and truly a completely useless addition to its arsenal, but for completely, I DID check and found the following:

  • In Great League, Aqua Tail/Last Resort is overall better, beating Azumarill and Obstagoon which Aqua Tail/Scald cannot. The only thing really going for Scald is being able to potentially outrace Melmetal (which Aqua Tail cannot quite finish off by itself, nor Last Resort since it is resisted)… but ironically, the awful Water Pulse can already do that. Scald is better than Pulse, but you wouldn’t really know it in GL even when you try!
  • In Ultra League, Scald does have one unique win to brag about: Articuno. But again, Last Resort is better overall, beating Lapras and overpowering Machamp, which Scald/Water Pulse cannot reliably replicate. (Also a close win over Politoed in Premier Cup play.)
  • In Master League, it is Aqua Tail/Hydro Pump that is best, and Scald cannot as reliably beat Garchomp and is less efficient versus Heatran overall.

So what’s the verdict?

Scald is not bad, per se… the many ‘mons stuck with Water Pulse for coverage (like poor Dewgong) would surely like to have Scald instead. But it’s just not ever really as good as what Vaporeon already has access to, and does not elevate Vape’s performance in PvP. Hope for a stat modifier to be tacked onto it at some point (in other games, Scald has a burn effect), but until/unless that happens, this is a big nothingburger.

Is that the best you got?

A coverage move like Ice Beam (which Vape consistently has access to in MLG) would do it a LOT of good, especially in Master League, propelling it into an actual competitive PvP Pokemon. Or even finally giving Vaporeon a second fast move option (it remains the only Eevolution with only one fast move: Water Gun) would be nice. Waterfall would make a lot of sense and make it at least a little more interesting in PvP play. But alas… pour one out for what could have been.


Jolteon Electric

New Move: Zap Cannon (Electric type, 150 damage, 80 energy)

Well, at least you can say this gives Jolteon some scary knockout power! It’s most powerful move currently (Thunder) deals a mere 100 damage… for 20 less energy. Still, considering Jolteon has access to fast-charging Volt Switch (or Thunder Shock) and the relatively spammy Discharge, having a big fat expensive closing move can work. But DOES it? In short: yes, I think it actually does.

  • In Great League, Discharge/Thunder is able to outrace Hypno (regular and Shadow) while Zap Cannon cannot, but Discharge/Cannon matches everything else and can uniquely knock out a trio of chonkers: Cresselia, Umbreon, and even Bastiodon. Jolteon still has a very mediocre record overall, but that’s still very interesting.
  • Even more interesting is Ultra League, where Thunder is awfully lackluster, but Zap Cannon looks to be a straight upgrade, tacking on potential new wins versus Registeel, Snorlax, Obstagoon, and Armored Mewtwo, with no new losses. 👀 For reference, Magnezone and Electivire still sim better overall, but Jolt’s new numbers are better than Ampharos now, for what that’s worth.
  • And unfortuately, Jolteon just doesn’t really scale up enough for Master League. With a max CP of 2888 at Level 40 (and still well under 3300 CP at Level 50), not even Zap Cannon can save it.

So what’s the verdict?

Unlike Vaporeon, Jolteon DOES improve with its new move… while it still provides no coverage, it at least gives it a major beatstick to slam the door on some opponents that it could not before. It makes it a curiosity in Great and especially Ultra League, but still behind other, established Electric options. Still, at least you won’t be laughed out of the room if you bring it now, and would very likely steal some surprise wins. But I don’t really recommend it.

Is that the best you got?

A lot of players have long wanted Pin Missile in the game, an iconic Bug-type move that Jolteon has known all throughout the MLG. This would give Jolteon super effective coverage against Grasses and a neutral option to throw at Grounds that plague it especially. Even Pin Missile being a low-powered move akin to X-Scissor would do it a lot of good. Bug type moves have other applications too, being super effective against Psychics and Darks and allowing a theoretical Pin Missile Jolteon to beat Cresselia, Umbreon, and usually, Mew, while also now outracing Shiftry, while the relative speed of such a move could also bring in wins over stuff like Politoed and Alolan Ninetales. (Or the likes of Obstagoon, Toxicroak, Registeel, Melmetal, and Escavalier in Ultra League.) But primarily the appeal would be forcing Grasses to burn shields and having a nice edge against some other things weak to Bug. (Some folks on Twitter tossed out the idea of Signal Beam for similar reasons.) Or heck, if they didn’t go with coverage, you couldn’t at least give it Wild Charge, Niantic?


Flareon Fire

New Move: Superpower (Fighting type, 85 damage, 40 energy, Decreases User Attack/Defense -1 Stage)

Since forever, Flareon has been left without a charge move cheaper than 55 energy, with both Flamethrower and Last Resort dealing 90 damage for 55 energy, and Overheat doing its big but self-nerfing damage for 55 energy as well. So getting a move that costs only 40 energy is just what the doctor ordered, right? Well… yes and no. Superpower does cost 15 energy less than any other move Flareon has, it’s true, but of course, there’s much more to it, because it comes with a guaranteed self-nerf to Attack and Defense that can leave Superpower users quite vulnerable afterwards. It’s not really a true bait move, as you typically want to bait with something else, avoiding the nerf, and THEN spring Superpower to try and close it out. So I think it’s safe to say that, while getting a 40 energy move is nice, this likely isn’t the spammy move Flareon was hoping for.

There’s also the issue of coverage. What hurts Fires the most are Waters, Grounds, and Rocks, all of which deal super effective damage. Superpower directly addresses only one of those (Rock), and while it deals neutral to Ground and Water, Fire deals neutral to Ground as well, so the coverage really isn’t much better than Last Resort already offered. There’s also overlap versus opposing Steels and Ices, as Fire and Fighting both deal super effective damage there. Superpower is also super effective versus Normals and Darks, so there’s that, I guess.

Taking a quick look at the numbers, Flareon’s current best is with Ember and Overheat, and either Flamethrower or Last Resort. The good news is that, yes, Superpower is an improvement, just not a drastic one. It shows new wins Registeel, Wigglytuff, Meganium, Chesnaught, and Mandibuzz. But even that’s not quite true, as the wins against Meg and Naught are actually just with fast moves, and the other three wins only work if you build up the energy for two Superpowers and throw them back to back at the end. And oh, by the way, you give up a win Flareon got with all Fire moves against Cresselia. So upgrade on paper, but very dicey in practice for minimal gains. Not looking good.

And while Flareon gets big and buff, no, you don’t want it in Ultra or Master League. Sigh.

So what’s the verdict?

As with Jolteon, Flareon is at least theoretically better with its new move, but Superpower has plenty of downside along with its upside, doesn’t provide a ton of new impressive coverage, and doesn’t get close to making Flareon a new PvP treasure. Get one while you can, because you never know what move and/or meta shakeups are around the corner, but don’t expect to use it for a while, if ever.

Is that the best you got?

Admittedly, Flareon doesn’t get much in the way of good coverage moves in MLG either. Probably the most intriguing option among moves already in GO would be Shadow Ball, though even that can’t seem to save Flareon. I think Niantic actually did about the best it could here… they just didn’t have much to work with. Shame.

Now on to Generation 2!


Espeon Psychic

New Move: Shadow Ball (Ghost type, 100 damage, 55 energy)

So can Espeon and Flareon just swap moves? Pretty please? 🥺 Because Flareon, as mentioned, would enjoy having Shadow Ball, and Espeon could very much use the coverage of Superpower to give it teeth against the Dark and Steel types that wail on it without fear. Instead, it’s the one to get Shadow Ball. Yes, that does give it a nice answer to Ghosts that deal super-effective damage to it and is at least neutral versus Steels. But man… a Fighting or Fairy move would have been nice.

As is… Shadow Ball doesn’t lead to any new wins in Great League (though with shields down it can flip Hypno and DDeoxys, so there’s that, I guess), gains only Armored Mewtwo in Ultra League, and in Master League… well, see for yourself. 😬 Espeon just doesn’t have any bulk, so only with shields down does it have any real prayer of every using yet another 55 energy move like Shadow Ball in any truly meaningful spot.

So what’s the verdict?

Nope, nope, and more nope. Espeon, like most other low bulk Pokemon, needs spammy moves to compete in PvP. What it doesn’t need is another move resisted by Darks that costs the same energy as the two usable moves it already has (Psychic and Last Resort), but that’s what it’s getting. I suppose get one during the event just to have it, but yeah… I’d even be okay with skipping out on this one if you have to pick an Eevolution to do without.

Is that the best you got?

MLG again doesn’t offer a lot of good alternatives. There’s Grass Knot for “only” 50 energy but it’s pretty meh otherwise. Espeon has access to a couple of Fighting moves that aren’t in GO yet. It also has access in later generations to Dazzling Gleam and Charm, which would actually be VERY good coverage, but Gleam is way too slow, and Charm would turn Espeon into even more of a mess, methinks. Not much I think Niantic could have done about this one either.


Umbreon Dark

New Move: Psychic (Psychic type, 90 damage, 55 energy, 10% Chance to Decrease Opponent Defense -1 Stage)

So to save on some space here, if you didn’t see it already, I posted a whole mini-article on Umbreon with Psychic (the move) shortly after the new Eevolution moves were announced. I already pointed out how Psychic can grant Umbreon new, consistent wins in Great League against Toxicroak in all even shield scenarios, Nidoqueen in 0v0 and 1v1 shielding, Venusaur in 1v1 and 2v2 shielding, and Shadow Victreebel in 2v2 shielding. However, without Last Resort, it loses to Mandibuzz and opposing LR Umbreons, so there IS a consistent tradeoff.

As for Ultra League, not only will we all have a great opportunity to grind for Eevee XL Candy to power up our Level 50 Umbreons, but Psychic (the move) does good things for it here too. I am going to admittedly steal the bullet points from my own past article, as they really tell the story well as already written:

  • Starting with 1v1 shielding, Psychic adds wins against Nidoqueen and Toxicroak, as well as rising-in-popularity Dragalge. Mandibuzz and opposing Umbreon are again the notable new losses (that Last Resort can beat or at least tie). Best buddied Umbreon actually doesn’t gain any new notable wins, but CAN beat Alolan Muk with Last Resort and cannot with Psychic, so that’s certainly notable.
  • Shields being down shows Psychic beating Toxicroak, Venusaur, and even Blaziken, which is kinda cool. Mandibuzz (win with LR) and Umbreon (tie with LR) are again the only notable losses. Level 51 Umbreon shows the same.
  • And finally, in 2v2 shielding, we see the same familiar Toxicroak, Venusaur, and Nidoqueen popping into the win column, as well as Crobat now. (Mandi/Umbry are losses now, blah blah.) Level 51 Umbreon is again plus Dragalge and minus Alolan Muk.

Now something I perhaps did NOT point out properly in the previous Psychic Umbreon article is that the proper play going forward may be to stick with Last Resort and just let the opponent think you have Psychic. After all, there is no shortage of XL Mandibuzz and Umbreon running around Ultra League already… giving yourself no out against them is not an easy decision to pull the trigger on. So of course, the answer is to run Last Resort/Psychic, right? Best of both worlds! Well, maybe not. 😅 You still really want Foul Play (or perhaps Dark Pulse… I’ve seen people make that work for them too), and your choice of second move is going to come down to player preference and team need, I think. Sure, if you can build up TWO Umbreon for Ultra League, one with Psychic and one with Last Resort, go for it. But for most of us, this is going to be a tough choice between which exclusive move we run on our one and only UL Umbreon. I won’t tell you which way to go, but hopefully, after writing about the pros and cons twice now, you are at least equipped to make that decision. Good luck!

So what’s the verdict?

Very good sidegrade. There are excellent use cases for Psychic, but Last Resort remains very relevant, and either could be the better option depending on team composition. If you’re swimming in XL candy, it’s worth building both for Ultra League, but at least get a good Psychic one for Great League coming out of the Community Day weekend.

Is that the best you got?

Honestly? Yeah, this was probably the best Umbreon could have hoped for. The only thing better would have been a Fairy move, which would threaten opposing Darks AND Fighters, but the only Fairy move in GO that Umbreon really learns in MLG is… Charm. My goodness, can you imagine that?! I can. 🤤 But yeah, this is realistically the best it could have expected. Everyone’s favorite (or least favorite!) tank just got even more threatening and is easily at least among the Top Two winners coming out of the Eevolution Extravaganza.

Now leaving Generation 2, we come to Generation 3 and finally the release of… KECLEON! We’ve been waiting forever for this one and I’m so excited to… wait, what’s that? Say again? Kecleon isn’t an Eeveelution? But it ends in -eon and everything!

Oh phooey. 😞 Fine, guess we’ll just keep on waiting. Hrmph. On to Gen4!


Leafeon Grass

New Move: Bullet Seed (Grass type, 1.67 DPT, 4.33 EPT, 1.5 Cooldown)

Yep, a fast move, and the only one being doled out during Community Day Weekend, despite my desires for Waterfall Vaporeon or found-in-code Fairy Wind Sylveon. Just like poor Kecleon, we’ll have to keep waiting for that.

On paper, Bullet Seed could be a huge boon to Leafeon. Right now it has very high damage Razor Leaf (5.0 Damage Per Turn [DPT]) which famously generates only 2.0 Energy Per Turn (EPT), and Normal move Quick Attack, which is actually a little underrated as a PvP move (2.5 DPT, 3.5 EPT, 1.0 Cooldown, the same as popular Wing Attack). And while it can quickly speed out Leaf Blade and Energy Ball (or, of course, Last Resort), it obviously cuts down on the overall Grass-type damage being dished out, putting it behind many other Grass options overall.

So yes, Bullet Seed is a welcome addition, dishing out Grass-type chip damage while also generating the energy for Leaf Blade after just 3 fast moves (every 9 turns/4.5 seconds, for those of you keeping score at home). And actually, if it’s a drawn-out battle, the fourth Leaf Blade actually comes with only two additional Bullet Seeds, thanks to leftover energy. Nifty!

Let’s set our barometer and then get to some hard numbers:

  • In Great League, Razor Leaf Leafy falls behind several other Razor Leaf options, including the famous Shadow Victreebel and should-be-more-famous Shadow Vileplume, who both have the advantage of a Poison subtyping that gives them an edge versus Fighters and other Grasses. But Leafeon also trails Bellossom, another pure-Grass Pokemon with Razor Leaf and Leaf Blade, and the reason is pretty obvious: Bellossom is bulk-centric (on average 115ish Attack, 133ish Defense, and 126 HP) while Leafeon’s stats are Attack-heavy (133ish Defense as with Bellossom, but 128ish Attack and only 102 HP on average). And Quick Attack Leafy is even a bit worse.
  • In Ultra League, Quick Attack and its energy generation take the lead, but it’s still not very good. There are much better Grasses to be found here.
  • And finally, in Master League, it is back to Razor Leaf being the better fast move, but Leafeon is no better than, say, Torterra.

Definitely room for improvement. So what does Bullet Seed do for us?

Well again, we can compare directly to Bellossom as an example, since in addition to Razor Leaf, it ALSO has Bullet Seed. And yeah, you can probably guess where this is going: Lossom is much better than Bullet Seed Leafeon in Great League, and in Ultra League too (Bellossom literally doubles Leafeon‘s win total).

Maybe Leafeon gains ground in Master League, where Bellossom and many other Grasses fall away? Meh, a little bit, but certainly not enough to suddenly rise up into the meta. (For the record, those two news wins are versus Sylveon and Incarnate Landorus.)

So what’s the verdict?

Here is yet another case where the new move IS an improvement but is a frustratingly small one that still leaves Leafeon behind other existing options. I mean, get one or two while you can, absolutely, but if it can’t do it with the Bullet Seed/Leaf Blade combination, I don’t know that Leafeon ever will.

Is that the best you got?

Not a ton to work with from MLG, honestly. It can learn Fury Cutter there, which would have been perhaps a little more interesting. Most of the rest are Normal or Grass moves that don’t really help anything (though Leaf Storm would be fun). It lacks any good anti-Fire, anti-Poison coverage moves, which is what Leafeon could probably use most. Yet another case here of just not having much that could save it. I was REALLY hopeful on this one, but Leafeon looks like it remains in mediocrity.


Glaceon Ice

New Move: Water Pulse (Water type, 70 damage, 60 energy)

Now, this is interesting… an Ice-type with a Water coverage move. That’s handy to respond directly to Fire and Rock types with super effective damage, and deal at least neutral to Steels that plague Ices as well. Finally, the right kind of coverage! The only problem? That move happens to be Water Pulse, one of the worst moves in PvP. Heck, just compare it to the Scald that Vaporeon received… Pulse deals 10 less damage for the same high cost of 60 energy. Keep in mind that the other moves Glaceon typically runs with–Icy Wind and Avalanche–both cost only 45 energy, and Avalanche deals 90 damage. What does that mean?

Let’s start at the top, with Master League, as Glaceon sees at least a little play there already. Let’s pick a couple of targets where Ice damage is neutral and Water is super effective and see how they compare:

  • Against Ground/Steel Excadrill, Avalanche deals 124 damage, and being only 45 energy, Glaceon is able to close it out with a second Avalanche after the first one is blocked. Water Pulse, despite being super effective, deals only 4 more damage! (128) and is far too slow to be used twice (or even to be used after an Avalanche shield bait), and Glaceon now loses, and pretty badly at that.
  • Glaceon doesn’t stand much of a chance against Metagross no matter what it does, but it’s well worth noting that Water Pulse deals only 2 more damage than Avalanche in that matchup. (Just hover over the “Av” and “WP” bubbles to see what I mean… 46 damage for Avalanche, a resisted move, and only 48 for Water Pulse, which is neutral.) Same story with Melmetal (Pulse deals only 2 more damage than Avalanche), and very similar against Ho-Oh, which takes 69 neutral damage from Avalanche, and only 72 from Water Pulse. Seeing a pattern here?
  • The ONLY cases where Water Pulse has a distinct advantage are those where it deals super effective damage and Avalanche is actually resisted. Things like… well, Heatran? There aren’t many such cases, honestly. (Cue 53 comments pointing out all the obvious ones I missed. 😅)

And I’m actually gonna stop there. I DID run a bunch of sims using Glaceon’s standard all-Ice set (Ice Shard/Icy Wind/Avalanche), and then substituting one of those charge moves with Water Pulse, Scald (for comparison’s sake), and Last Resort, and found that you’re really just best off running with all Ice. It’s sort of like Snowy Castform, the little ball of ice that has torn up several limited metas: even without coverage, it just works.

There IS one Water move that it could have been given that would have been awesome… but we’ll get to that in a minute.

So what’s the verdict?

Just stick with all Ice (Shard/Wind/Avalanche). Glaceon already usually takes a step back when you try to squeeze Last Resort in there. Making room for a lousy coverage move like Water Pulse is similarly a regression. Water Pulse is only markedly better when it’s super effective and Ice damage is also resisted… in situations where Ice is neutral and Water is super effective, or Water is neutral and Ice is resisted, you can count the additional damage Water Pulse deals (for 15 more energy!) on one hand, even if that hand had an unfortunate run-in with an ill-tempered alligator at some point and is missing digits. This is the right type of move Glaceon needed but was about the worse possible candidate it could have gotten of that typing.

Is that the best you got?

No, not even close to being the best. There’s another Water move Glaceon learns in MLG that makes me a little sad that we’ll likely never see it happen in GO now: Aqua Tail. While it doesn’t really change Glaceon’s prospects in Great or Ultra Leagues, in Master League, Aqua Tail paired with Avalanche looks pretty nice, with new wins over Groudon and Origin Giratina (though admittedly that last one is due to Tail’s cheap cost and baits, but still). It does give up an all-Ice win over Mewtwo and situationally versus Gyarados and Lugia, but it certainly makes Glaceon a little more interesting and able to defend itself in bad spots. And it’s arguably a straight upgrade in Premier Cup (datamining hints that will be back at some point), where Aqua Tail gains new wins versus Gengar, MS/ST/Outrage Garchomp, and of course in the mirror match (where yet again, Water Pulse doesn’t help at all). If only!

So this has been a mixed bag, and that’s being kind. Thankfully, jumping ahead to Generation 6, we get to end on a high note.


Sylveon Fairy

New Move: Psyshock (Psychic type, 70 damage, 45 energy)

So I did a whole analysis on Sylveon already, basically concluding that it was “nothing to write home about in Great League [or Ultra League], doing little to distinguish itself from other Charmers….it has no coverage moves whatsoever and faces a very crowded field of fellow Fairies in Great [and even Ultra] League.” Its only niche, I concluded, was operating as a Charmer alternative to Togekiss in Master League, as they are really the only two Charmers that get big enough to compete there.

Well, not only does Psyshock give Sylveon a move to stand out from that crowded field now, but it gives Sylveon that perfect combination of coverage and a cheaper move that Charmers so desperately need.

Psyshock costs only 45 energy, so on a Pokemon like Sylveon whose cheapest moves currently cost 55 energy, that alone is a huge boon. But the coverage is there too, as Psychock hits Poison-types that plague Fairies with super effective damage.

However, simming with Charmers is always tricky, as you usually get better on-paper results when you forgo charge moves and just stick with Charm. And indeed, staying with Master League, for now, you can see that straight Charm sims better than Charm+Psyshock. But there ARE gains to be had if you look at things the right way.

For example, in Master and Ultra Leagues, Psyshock gives Sylveon a win over Snorlax that it cannot get with Charm alone (or Charm with existing charge moves). The speed of Psyshock allows Sylveon to pop off two, and the second one going through unshielded makes all the difference. So that alone is a solid gain.

But where one CAN better see the effects of charge moves on Charmers is with shields down. This article is running WAY long, so I won’t throw up ALL the sims I could, but in short summary of the results with 0v0 shielding:

  • In Master League, replacing Last Resort with Psyshock leads to new wins over Giratina-O, Mamoswine, and Earth Power Garchomp. Yeah, those all actually beat Sylveon otherwise!
  • In Ultra League, Sylveon’s stock goes up significantly with Psyshock. It does now lose to Dragon Breath Charizard (with Last Resort it wins with 2 HP remaining, but without Last Resort it is Zard that limps off with 2 HP), but everything else is roses: new wins versus Toxicroak, Swampert, XL Galvantula, Shadow Abomasnow, and fellow Charmers Alolan Ninetales, Granbull, and Togekiss. That’s quite a haul!
  • And finally, down in Great League, the gains are again numerous: Meganium, Serperior, Politoed, Whiscash, Drifblim, Froslass, Clefable, and usually Mew as well!

So what’s the verdict?

Umbreon is a big winner in the Eevolution sweepstakes, but I think even it falls behind Sylveon. While I continue to hold out hope for a future release of fast move Fairy Wind (and that Sylveon gets it), for now, the addition of Psyshock is just what the doctor ordered. Not only goes it add Snorlax to the win column with shields up, but should shields be down, Psyshock delivers new, impactful wins across the board, especially in Ultra and Great Leagues. And that’s not even to mention that it gives Sylveon real teeth against Poisons that otherwise pick on it without fear. I recommend getting as many Psyshock Sylveons as you can… one for each league is advised if you can manage it! To repeat: I believe Sylveon is the biggest winner coming out of Community Day Weekend.

Is that the best you got?

I mean, I think this is the best it could have possibly hoped for, yes. The only other move that would even be a consideration would perhaps be Disarming Voice, which I was really hoping it would get when released. Voice is an exact clone of Foul Play/Crunch (and Psyshock, actually) for Fairies… it’s only really an unknown in PvP because so few things have it. (For example, not one fully evolved Fairy has it in GO!) But Psyshock is probably even better with the extra coverage, so no complaints now!

And that’s all I got this time. Hopefully, this helps you sort out what to target most during Community Day Weekend. Good luck with your eevolving!

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon.

Continued thanks to my PvP friends, local and around the world, who have lent their own ideas and suggestions over the last nearly two years of PvP play, and helped teach me to be a better player and student of the game. And thank you for reading… I appreciate your attention and encouragement. Catch you next time, and stay safe out there, Pokéfriends!

Original Reddit version here.

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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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