Alolan Sandslash PvP IV Deep Dive

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Pokemon GO’s March Community Day (3/13/22) features both Kantonian and Alolan Sandshrew. Both Pokemon will be spawning in the wild, from 11am to 5pm local time. To add, from 11am to 7pm local time, any Kantonian Sandslash evolved will know the exclusive Charge Move Night Slash and any Alolan Sandslash evolved will know the exclusive Fast Move Shadow Claw. Given the meta relevancy of Alolan Sandslash in both Great League and Ultra League PvP, we analyzed its IVs and matchups to put together this Alolan Sandslash PvP IV Deep Dive for both Great League and Ultra League PvP.

This guide discusses the hidden true stats of Pokemon in Pokemon GO. In order to see these true stats you need to use an IV checking app (CalcyIV, Pokegenie) or an IV checking website (GOStadium,, or PvPoke itself). To make things simple, the guide also features PvP IV tables. 

If you’re not familiar with PvP IVs, check out this PvP IVs Simplified video:

Shadow Claw vs Powder Snow

Shadow Claw is a 2 Turn Fast Move with 6 Power and 8 Energy.

Powder Snow is a 2 Turn Fast Move with 5 Power (6 with STAB) and 8 Energy.

Given that Shadow Claw is equivalent to Powder Snow in stats, the difference in utility comes down to type effectiveness. In general, Shadow Claw will give Alolan Sandslash improved matchups against Psychic, Ghost, Water, Ice, and Steel-type Pokemon, while weakening its matchups against Normal, Dark, Ground, and Flying-type Pokemon. The change in effectiveness vs Grass, Dragon, and Fire-type Pokemon is mostly evened out by Alolan Sandslash’s defensive typing. In the Open Great League and Ultra League, Shadow Claw appears to be favored; however, in the Great League, Alolan Sandslash is still mostly a Cup only Pokemon and choice in Fast Move should come down to the Cup. Given that Ghost has better coverage in Ice and Steel-typed metas, Shadow Claw is still likely favored. In Kanto Cup though, it can be a bit of a debate which is better, with Lickitung, Nidoqueen, Hypno, and Mew as central threats.

If you’re torn on having your premium PvP IV Alolan Sandslash for either League have Powder Snow or Shadow Claw, keep in mind that you can always TM off of Shadow Claw, but you have to Elite TM into Shadow Claw after the Community Day. So when in doubt, evolve all of them into Shadow Claw and decide later.

Great League Alolan Sandslash

In the Great League, Alolan Sandslash only has a couple relevant Breakpoints and the relevancy of those Breakpoints are a bit more dubious than they are in other PvP IV Deep Dives. Therefore, in general, the "best" stats for Shadow Claw and Powder Snow Alolan Sandslash in the Great League focus on bulk/Stat Product. That said, having a couple Atk weighted Alolan Sandslash could be useful in specific scenarios. 

Shadow Claw Atk Breakpoints:

  • 116.68: Shadow Hypno, 1-1 potential 
    • Based on Rank 1 Shadow Hypno, so the Shadow Hypno you see in practice may have a lower Def stat. You may not even need an Atk weight to hit the Breakpoint on lesser Shadow Hypno.
  • 114.79-117.4: Mew, no flips (depends on Mew’s Moveset)
  • ~116.28+: Raid Weight Alolan Marowak: 1-0 and 2-1 potential
  • 118.04-119.92: Walrein, 2-2 Earthquake only vs Bulldoze only
    • 118.04 is based on Rank 1 (0/12/15), 119.92 is based on the 0/15/11
  • 118.24: Lapras, 0-0 and 1-1 consistency

Charge Move Priority (CMP) ranges:

  • Vigoroth: 115.1-116.09, Rank 1-20 Stat Product
  • Nidoqueen: 115.31-116.59, Rank 1-20 Stat Product
    • 117.61, our recommended Atk weight on Shadow Nidoqueen
  • Pidgeot: 115.22-116.29, Rank 1-20 Stat Product
  • Drapion: 115.95-117.23, Rank 1-20 Stat Product

Comparing the Atk Breakpoints to potential Charge Move Priority ranges, there is merit in evolving higher Atk weighted Alolan Sandslash. With at least a 115.31 Atk weight, Alolan Sandslash could reasonably get Breakpoints on Shadow Hypno and most Mew, along with CMP against high Stat Product Vigoroth, Nidoqueen, and Pidgeot. Simulation data suggests that focusing on bulk is likely better, but evolving an extra Alolan Sandslash at this Atk weight could prove useful should a format favor these matchups (for example, the Kanto Cup).

Very high Atk (118.24+) also has utility against Lapras, Walrein, boosted CMP and Mew Breakpoint consistency, and potential Drapion CMP. Once again, this is not the recommended bread and butter stat spread, but could prove useful if taken advantage of. To add, you may already have this Atk weight ready to evolve, as 149 of the 216 Egg Hatch IV spreads meet this Atk weight. 

Once again, a bulky Alolan Sandslash is preferred over these Atk weight ones. Bulk generally correlates with Stat Product, but there are instances where specific Def/HP compositions outperform others. For example, the Rank 8’s higher HP (0/5/15) often puts it ahead of the Rank 1 (0/14/14). If you need help deciding, compare your Alolan Sandslash IVs against the Rank 1/Max Stat Product and default Sableye in in the 1-1 shield scenario (this Atk weight parallels our highest recommended Sableye Atk weight) and Rank 1/Max Stat Product and Trevenant in the 0-1 shield scenario at varying Atk weights. For a more extreme check, compare against Froslass in the 0-1 shield scenario. Not meeting these matchups doesn’t mean your Alolan Sandslash is “bad,” but if your “bulky” Alolan Sandslash can’t meet at least the Sableye and Trevenant bulk standard, you may want to focus on the Atk weights instead. Given that Powder Snow Alolan Sandslash also favors bulk, the Sableye and Trevenant tests are functional for them too.

Great League Alolan Sandslash IV Tables

Great League Alolan Sandshrew 

While Alolan Sandshrew isn’t getting any updates, this is just a reminder to keep your eyes peeled for the 100% IV Alolan Sandshrew and stock up on XLs for it for Great League PvP. While it’s not the most meta XL Pokemon, Alolan Sandshrew shows up often enough in Cups to warrant mention. In general, the 12/13/13 IV spread is the minimum recommendation but many Alolan Sandshrew users attest that you want at least 12/15/15. 

No special moves or pressure to build it today, just something to keep your eye out for if you happen to get the hundo or a high IV Lucky Trade on Alolan Sandshrew.

Great League Kantonian Sandslash

For both Kanto Sandslash and Shadow Sandslash in the Great League, 121-123 Atk stood out for Charge Move Priority (CMP) on Venusaur, Froslass, Sableye, and Mew. To help potentiate CMP, try to favor IV spreads closer to 123 Atk. A Shadow Pokemon’s higher Atk is treated as a bonus, so the Shadow Bonus doesn’t influence CMP. Therefore both normal and Shadow Kanto Sandslash have the same stats in regards to CMP.

For bulk, try to get as much as you can. 120 Def stands as a solid benchmark for the both of them. Shadow Sandslash would also like 123 HP for the Venusaur 2-2 specifically, but it’s not a major priority.

Ultra League Alolan Sandslash

As in the Great League, Breakpoints don’t appear to carry much weight for Ultra League Alolan Sandslash. That said, many Lucky IV spreads don’t appear to be all that worse compared to high bulk. Therefore, you may spend all the Stardust and XL Candy for an extra bulky Alolan Sandslash, but saving a bit on both ends with a Lucky Alolan Sandslash may be a more efficient use of resources. For example, that extra XL Candy could go towards a Great League Alolan Sandshrew project.

Some good stat goals to keep in mind include:

  • 149.14-154.26 Atk: Walrein 1-0, 2-1, and 1-1 potential/consistency
    • 149.14 is based on our recommended Atk weight Walrein
    • 154.26 is based on the Rank 1 Walrein
  • 148.5-154.2 Atk: Alolan Muk and Nidoqueen CMP
    • 153.52 is our max recommended Shadow Nidoqueen Atk weight
    • 154.2 Atk is a level 41 14/14/15 Nidoqueen
  • 168-173.07 Def: Blastoise 1-1 and 2-2 potential
    • 173.07 based on the 15/15/15 XL Blastoise
    • Not the most critical matchup, but this is the only high Def BP that stood out

There are a bunch of Atk and Def Breakpoints within these ranges as well, but generally fall under the minimum and maximum stats ranges highlighted above. To highlight, a 149.14 Atk stat can pick up Breakpoints against Abomasnow, Shadow Dragonite, and both Giratina Altered and Origin Formes. A 154.26 Atk stat not only near-guarantees the Walrein Breakpoint, but also picks up Breakpoints on Clefable, Drifblim, Ferrothorn, Granbull, Shadow Granbull, Jellicent, non-XL Lapras, Scizor, Shadow Scizor, Shadow Swampert, Mandibuzz, Skuntank, Perserker, and Shadow Ampharos, in addition to the aforementioned Breakpoints. As for Def, 168 Def should keep you keen vs most things, but having a higher Def can help against Cofagrigus (170.09+), Sylveon (169.47+), and Charm Alolan Ninetales (~168.8). None of these Breakpoints matter enough on paper to warrant favoring high bulk Alolan Sandslash over an Atk weighted one, but give evidence for at least evolving multiple Alolan Sandslash at various Atk and Def weights should you want to take advantage of specific Breakpoints.

For Powder Snow specifically, a 148.29-149.94 Atk Breakpoint stands out, as it can get Powder Snow Alolan Sandslash the 2-2 vs Alolan Muk, and possibly the 1-1 vs Alolan Muk with Blizzard. In addition, there are potential Breakpoints at this weight on Abomasnow, Clefable, Shadow Dragonite, Giratina Origin Forme, and Shadow Swampert, depending on their Def stat. For a bulk check with this Atk weight, run simulations against Snarl Alolan Muk at various Atk weights in the 1-1 shield scenario.

Ultra League Alolan Sandslash IV Tables


Sandslash Community Day not only spices up interesting Pokemon with new moves, but gives players a better shot at more dynamic IV spreads of what is typically a Egg Hatch only Pokemon. Will the Season of Alola continue this trend and give us Community Days for Alolan Muk, Alolan Golem, or Perrserker? Or will Pokemon GO surprise us with early, Alolan Starter Community Days? We’ll have to wait and see.

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