Best Generation 6 Pokémon for Trainer Battles

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Thanks to the PokeMiners’ fast work, we can now look at the movesets for all the Generation 6 Pokémon, and there are some real heavy hitters here! Let’s run through a few of them, and what they might mean for PvP!


Base HP Base Attack Base Defense Max @40 Max @50 Type
155 97 291 1595 1803

Fast: Psycho Cut, Fury Cutter

Charged: Shadow Ball, Flash Cannon, Gyro Ball

Recommended: Psycho Cut + Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon

Initially incredibly hyped due to having Night Slash, that move was removed from the Game Master after community outcry. However, even with the nerf, it’s still notably good. Tankier than Bastiodon at Level 40 (though not at 50), Aegislash is a new variant of Steel tank, especially since it’s the only one that resists Fighting! Aegislash has positive matchups against Grasses, Fightings, Charmers, Psychics, Flyings, Ice-types, and a number of Steel-types (Bastiodon and Registeel). It even beats Galvantula, Azumarill, and Alolan Marowak, and has a 1shield and 0shield win against non-Earthquake Swampert! However, you lose to Pokémon like Haunter, Sableye, Mandibuzz, Umbreon, the mudbois, and, super notably, Galarian Stunfisk, which is able to beat down the Sword and Shield very, very consistently, winning all even shields straight Earthquake.

Notably, though, Aegislash hasn’t even reached its peak! In the main series, it has the potential to learn Sacred Sword and Close Combat, both of which would give it an incredible amount of power (Cday when, Niantic?). Don’t get it twisted: even without Night Slash, Aegislash is strong.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Wing Attack, Low Kick, Poison Jab

Charged: Flying Press, Sky Attack, X-Scissor, Power-Up Punch

Recommended: Wing Attack + Flying Press and Sky Attack

Hawlucha is really, really cool! Wing Attack, Sky Attack and Flying Press (previously exclusive to Pikachu Libre) make it a squishy but incredibly hard-hitting pokémon with a unique typing and fantastic coverage. Almost nothing resists both Flying and Fighting damage, and Flying Press is one of, if not the best move in the game. Please, please don’t nerf this one, Niantic. It’s got the perfect moveset. It’s too cool to make it worse. Any downgrade could bring it from Awesome to Terrible.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Vine Whip, Zen Headbutt, Rock Smash

Charged: Leaf Blade, Rock Slide, Seed Bomb, Brick Break

Recommended: Vine Whip + Leaf Blade and Rock Slide

The goat is a GOAT here. Vine Whip, Leaf Blade and Rock Slide is a fantastic moveset, making it basically an upgraded Tangrowth in Great and Ultra League, with a bit more tankiness too. Incredibly spammy, incredibly powerful, and a great new addition to the list of viable Grass-types in Great League, and especially in the Ultra Premier Cup!


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Shadow Claw, Sucker Punch

Charged: Seed Bomb, Shadow Ball, Foul Play

Recommended: Shadow Claw + Seed Bomb and Shadow Ball

Spooky tree has a lot of great matchups against the meta, countering most Grounds, Psychics, Fighters, as well as fellow Ghosts Haunter and Alolan Marowak, and Grasses like Venusaur and Meganium. It can even take down Altaria and Skarmory in the 1shield thanks to Shadow Ball! It actually feels pretty similar to a Ghost-type variant of Shiftry, as one of the most versatile picks in this role with lots of neutral damage. Obviously, it does struggle a lot against Dark- and Normal-types, and its Azumarill matchup is also very iffy. Seed Bomb alone just doesn’t cut it, and it doesn’t like taking an Ice Beam. It may be a bit of a sleeper, but don’t let this tree get past you!


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Vine Whip, Smack Down, Low Kick

Charged: Energy Ball, Superpower, Gyro Ball, Solar Beam

Recommended: Vine Whip + Superpower and Energy Ball (eventually Frenzy Plant)

Chesnaught may not look like much right now — that’s because, honestly, it’s not that great with this moveset. However, its real power will come with its inevitable Community Day. Frenzy Plant and Superpower give Chesnaught solid hard-hitting coverage, and a way to fight against Steel-types, much like Meganium with Earthquake. As a Grass/Fighting-type, Chesnaught is in fact one of only a few Pokémon in the entire game that resists both halves of the EdgeQuake (Rock/Ground) coverage (as seen on Galarian Stunfisk), making that a very consistent counter to the popular Azu-Fisk core in Great League. Again: not that good now. Definitely good later.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Mud Shot, Quick Attack

Charged: Fire Punch, Earthquake, Dig, Hyper Beam

Recommended: Mud Shot + Fire Punch and Earthquake

Say hello to baby Groudon! With the same Mud Shot, Fire Punch and Earthquake moveset, Diggersby will bring a similar experience down in the Great League. It’s really bulky too, reaching Azumarill-level stat product. Speaking of the devil, Azu’s existence might already hinder Diggersby’s potential in the meta, together with Grass-types and Fighting-types. They’re all very common picks that wreck the poor Ground/Normal bunny, leaving mainly just Steel, Electric and Ghost as its targets, and probably relegating it to restricted formats.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Bubble, Feint Attack

Charged: Night Slash, Surf, Aerial Ace, Hydro Pump

Recommended: Bubble + Night Slash and Surf

Greninja’s not the bulkiest Pokémon in the game, far from it. However, it can make up for it in a big way with an incredibly spammy moveset. Bubble, Night Slash and the Hydro Cannon that it will eventually get from Community Day give Greninja a ton of STAB charged move pressure for both of its types. A terrible matchup against the main Water-type Azumarill will give it limited relevance in open Great League, though it could certainly have a shot in Open Ultra and various restricted formats! Doesn’t hurt that it has an absolutely gorgeous shiny.

As another note, Greninja has a second form: Ash Greninja. In the main series, it's activated when it KOs an opposing Pokémon, and lasts until the end of the battle. The form change powers it up immensely, taking its attack stat from a respectable 223 to an immense 339 (Mewtwo's only at 300!). If this shows up in GO, Greninja could take on a whole new life as one of the best Water-type attacks in all of PvE!


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Fire Spin, Peck, Steel Wing

Charged: Brave Bird, Flame Charge, Hurricane, Fire Blast

Recommended: Fire Spin + Flame Charge and Brave Bird

Talonflame is not bad per se, but we already have a popular pokémon with the same Fire/Flying typing, and it offers very little to stand out over good old Charizard. Even though it’s a bit bulkier in Great League, it’s also considerably slower and its main nuke Brave Bird comes with a huge Defense debuff, unlike Blast Burn. For Ultra League, Talonflame would need to be maxed out at level 50, and that’s just not worth it. If you want more Flying-type damage, you’ll probably be better off just giving your Charizard Air Slash or legacy Wing Attack.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Snarl, Bullet Punch, Low Kick

Charged: Close Combat, Night Slash, Rock Slide, Iron Head

Recommended: Snarl + Close Combat and Night Slash (though you have options)

The same typing combination as Scrafty paired with an incredibly versatile set of charged moves sounds awesome on paper, but the angriest of pandas doesn’t come without issues. The main one is the bulk, very low in both Great and Ultra League. It’s rare for glass cannons to actually work when they rely only on charged move damage, as it makes for very inconsistent matchups — think Honchkrow, for example. Pangoro could make it work in open Ultra League, where Dark/Fighting coverage is very valuable against Giratina and Registeel, but Obstagoon does arguably better in the same role already. 


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Psycho Cut, Peck

Charged: Foul Play, Superpower, Psybeam, Hyper Beam

Recommended: Psycho Cut + Foul Play and Superpower

While it doesn’t have the Contrary ability in Pokémon Go, it’s quite bulky and still has a very solid moveset with good coverage. The unique Dark/Psychic combination is extremely synergistic too, with weaknesses only to Bug and Fairy, and a triple (!) resistance to Psychic. While the horrible Azumarill matchup might keep it from rising to relevance in the Great League, it will almost certainly come up in future type-restricted formats.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Fury Cutter, Water Gun, Mud Slap

Charged: Cross Chop, Stone Edge, Grass Knot, Skull Bash

Recommended: Any + Cross Chop and Grass Knot or Stone Edge

While Barbaracle’s bulk isn’t exactly top tier, its coverage is incredible! Its fast moves give it a ton of options, from fantastic energy gain with Fury Cutter, to good damage with Mud Slap, to something in between with STAB Water Gun. Cross Chop gives it some speed, and then you can pair that with either Stone Edge or Grass Knot depending on the coverage you need. Just keep in mind that Barbaracle shares that 4x weakness to Grass with the mudbois, so keep it far away from any Razor Leafers.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Volt Switch, Mud Slap, Quick Attack

Charged: Thunderbolt, Grass Knot, Bulldoze, Parabolic Charge

Recommended: Volt Switch + Grass Knot and Thunderbolt or Parabolic Charge

Parabolic Charge has always been lying around in the game’s code with horrible placeholder stats, without being assigned to any pokemon, but in the main series it’s an Electric-type move that restores 30% of the damage dealt as health. Could this hint to the introduction of health-restoring moves? Anyway, the stats given to Parabolic Charge will probably make or break Heliolisk’s fate. Its other charged moves are good, but a bit too slow considering how squishy it is, and how much faster other Electric-types are in comparison. Access to Mud Slap might also make it interesting in type-restricted formats, as a unique counter to fellow Electrics.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Charm, Quick Attack

Charged: Moonblast, Draining Kiss, Dazzling Gleam, (Last Resort eventually)

Recommended: Charm + Moonblast (and Last Resort)

Admittedly, it’s not super notable, but it’s worth talking about. It’s a Charm user, it’s pretty cute, it has decent bulk, so you may see it around. However, the lack of valuable coverage hurts, and stops it from really standing out over other Fairies.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Thunder Shock, Tackle

Charged: Discharge, Play Rough, Parabolic Charge

Recommended: Thunder Shock + Play Rough and Discharge or Parabolic Charge

This is another one that may come down to how useful Parabolic Charge is. However, it has solid bulk with unique dual typing and coverage, and even if Parabolic Charge ends up being bad it can fall back on Discharge! It won’t make waves in the Great League meta, with more powerful Electric-types around, but it could be interesting in more niche formats.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Rock Throw, Tackle

Charged: Rock Slide, Moonblast, Power Gem

Recommended: Rock Throw + Rock Slide and Moonblast

Carbink is very bulky. Notably, it really benefits from Level 50, capping at 1467 CP as a hundo, but gets to 1498 at 5/15/15 at Lv49.5. At that point, it’s about as bulky as Level 40 Bastiodon, which is… very bulky. Combine that with some pretty good moves, and you can expect to see Carbink around some. However, it does have issues. It really does fail to match up to Galarian Stunfisk and Azumarill in the open Great League meta, meaning it will likely be relegated to relevance in limited formats.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Dragon Breath, Water Gun

Charged: Muddy Water, Power Whip, Draco Meteor, Sludge Wave

Recommended: Dragon Breath + Power Whip and Draco Meteor or Sludge Wave

Getting it out of the way: yes, it’s a pure Dragon-type with Dragon Breath. This means it’s automatically fantastic in a vacuum, but it’s also worse than Altaria in Great League, Giratina-Altered in Ultra League, and Dialga in Master League. However, it does have some strong moves with really interesting coverage, and its stat distribution means it’s not hyper-squishy in capped formats. As such, it could definitely have some play in restricted formats where those other Pokémon aren’t allowed.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Bite, Ice Fang

Charged: Body Slam, Avalanche, Crunch, Earthquake, Mirror Coat

Recommended: Ice Fang + Body Slam and Avalanche

While it’s certainly lacking in energy generation, the combination of Body Slam and Avalanche is a powerful one, giving Avalugg some incredibly energy efficient tools. It’s slow, yes, but in cases where that up-front Ice damage is valuable, Avalugg certainly has potential.


Base HPBase AttackBase DefenseMax @40Max @50Type

Fast: Snarl, Gust, Sucker Punch 

Charged: Dark Pulse, Hurricane, Focus Blast, Hyper Beam, Psychic

Recommended: Snarl or Gust + Dark Pulse and Hurricane or Focus Blast

While its charged moves may be expensive, its fast moves are really solid! Snarl and Gust are both incredibly strong, giving you the choice between high damage or high energy generation. As a Flying-type, it will struggle in Master League as a result of all the Melmetal. Running Snarl, Dark Pulse and Focus Blast (the same moveset as Darkrai), it can actually take down Dialga and Melmetal in the 1shield, while beating both Giratinas and Groudon handily. You also have a slight 1shield win against Kyogre. Do note that all Master League sims run at this point are run at Level 40, and Level 50 will likely change some of its performance.


While Gen 6 may not really have any heavy-hitters as far as raiding goes, it’s very exciting for PvP! Aegislash has the potential to be incredible, Hawlucha seems super cool, and Parabolic Charge could be a really interesting paradigm shift (letting health bars go back up is huge!) There are plenty of things to look out for, so get ready to get out and get catching! You’ll need the dust!

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About the Author(s)

Tyler is a contributing writer for GamePress, primarily focusing on Trainer Battle content. Fan of dogs and fighting games.

Writer and graphic designer for GamePress, from Sicily (Italy). Illustrator since childhood.