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The Silph League Arena

Meta Insights

Jan 24, 2020: January PvP Changes: What You Need to Know!

The Meta Team is here to help break down developments in game mechanics and the impact of move changes! This installment is brought to you by Krydos, head of the Arena Meta team.

Yesterday Niantic rolled out a new PvP shake up, chock-full of updates, new moves, rebalancing efforts, and the return of many popular legacy moves! (Read Niantic’s full blog post here)

We’ve endeavored to break down the key impact of these changes for Arena Competitors to provide some clarity on what it means for you. Let’s dive in!

1. Mechanic Change: Queued Charge Attacks & Switches (Goodbye QSA)!

Charged Attacks and switches will now be “queued” and activate after the current fast attack. Previously, Fast Attacks could inadvertently cancel attempted Charged Attacks or switches, ruining your rhythm and potentially costing you the battle. With these actions now queuing, you no longer need to worry about switches not working the way you wanted or Charged Attacks being delayed!

This also means that QSA (Queued Sequence Attack) will no longer allow you to “steal” a Fast Attack during your opponent’s Charged Attack, which was a strategy that could be used to turn the tides in a mirror match.

2. Brand New Moves and Updates to Current Attacks

  • Megahorn’s damage has been increased from 90 to 100. This makes Bug-types more of a threat.
  • Volt Switch has had its energy gain increased from 10 to 16. With this update, Volt Switch becomes much more viable of a move. Graveler and Golem benefit from this in the upcoming Rose Cup, with its 3DPT (damage per turn) and 4EPT (energy per turn). Would you like our next Cup to feature Pokémon with Volt Switch?
  • The Fighting-type Charged Attack Flying Press has been added to the game. We do not yet know which Pokémon will be able to learn it, but with an energy cost of 50 for 110 damage, it is shaping up to be the best Fighting-type Charged move, nearly matching Close Combats DPE with no side effects!

3. Moveset Updates

  • Plusle & Minum (Grass Knot): The addition of Grass Knot covers a glaring weakness of this Electric duo. This move improves their coverage of Ground-types and adds a greater diversity to their moveset.
  • Lanturn (Spark): While Lanturn is one of the most popular Pokémon in Great League play, its Fast Attack pool has been…. subpar. With Spark, it generates energy much faster and allows it to use its Charged Attacks much sooner, since we know that Thunderbolt and Hydro Pump are not the cheapest attacks around. Will Spark Lanturn shake up the Fusion Cup meta?
  • Ampharos (Thunder Punch): Ampharos is a Pokémon that, until today, was unreliable due to its poor moveset. The upgrade to Volt Switch and the addition of Thunder Punch to its move pool gives it the ability to spam Charged Attacks and break shields, making Ampharos a promising choice in PvP. Would you like to see Ampharos in a future Cup?
  • Masquerain (Bubble Beam): This Pokémon may finally have the chance to shine with the addition of Bubble Beam! Opponents will need to decide if they want to be forced into a switch or deal out continuously less damage over time due to its unique debuff. The Meta Team would love to see it in action soon!
  • Vespiquen (Fury Cutter & Air Slash): Vespiquen saw some use back in the Jungle Cup, but it may be back in the spotlight with an improved moveset. It gains access to the best Bug-type Fast Attack in the game, or give it the Fast Attack Air Slash and you’ve got a recipe for a Grass-type Pokémon’s worst nightmare.

4. Legacy Moves No More!

Excellent news! Many moves that were previously considered legacies are now available to be learned once again:

  • Raichu (Thunder Shock): A fan favorite that saw action in multiple Arena Cups now has the ability to learn Thunder Shock again! Raichu with Hats are even stronger now!
  • Magneton (Thunder Shock & Discharge): This moveset is a lethal combination for one of the most versatile and dangerous Electric-type Pokémon around.
  • Venomoth(Poison Fang): Another popular favorite, this powerful move allows Venomoth to put intense shield pressure on any opponent.
  • Haunter (Shadow Ball): Already one of the strongest attackers in Great League, Shadow Ball is crucial for deciding many battles.
  • Hypno (Shadow Ball): Is it finally time to see Hypno in action? One of the bulkiest Psychic-type Pokémon has its top-tier attack once again, available to everyone!

The return of these moves levels the playing field for a wider swath of competitors – and it looks like they’ll make the Meta Team’s job easier in the future (we hope!). Now all competitors can have access to these Pokémon and moves in the different Leagues, creating more diverse, balanced and accessible Metas for PvP competitors.


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