A Meta Eclipsed: The Rise of Necrozma

Submit Feedback or Error

Necrozma, the Prism Pokemon. Introduced in Generation 7/Alola, this was the third Legendary Pokemon of the Light Trio, and the big star of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. On the surface, this obsidian-toned prism Pokemon looks like a fairly underwhelming mono-Psychic Type. It’s pretty unimpressive unto itself, and may be easy to overlook for the uninitiated… but the truth is far deeper than this. As the highlight of Go Fest 2024, we’re getting Necrozma, but far more than just that….

New Moves, New Formes

Go Tour: Sinnoh was a pretty big deal due to the introduction of the Origin formes, and Go Fest 2024 is very much on the way to being just as big of a deal. This is due to four factors that we know as a fact are on their way:

  • Necrozma is confirmed to have the ability to fuse with Solgaleo and Lunala, allowing it to transform into its Dusk Mane and Dawn Wings formes, respectively.
  • Solgaleo and Lunala’s Signature Moves, Sunsteel Strike and Moongeist Beam, are set to be released. both of these moves are confirmed to be available on Necrozma’s fused formes.

These facts are a tremendous deal. To help explain why, here is the basic information on Necrozma and the two Signature Moves:

Typing: Psychic/Steel

  • Attack: 277
  • Defense: 220
  • Stamina: 199

Fast Moves: Metal Claw, Psycho Cut, Shadow Claw

Charged Moves: Dark Pulse, Future Sight, Iron Head, Outrage, Sunsteel Strike

Typing: Psychic/Ghost

  • Attack: 277
  • Defense: 220
  • Stamina: 199

Fast Moves: Metal Claw, Psycho Cut, Shadow Claw

Charged Moves: Dark Pulse, Future Sight, Iron Head, Outrage, Moongeist Beam

Sunsteel Strike

Type: Steel

Base Power: 230

Damage Window: 2.30 Seconds

Move Cooldown: 3.10 Seconds

Energy Cost: 100

PvP Information:

Base Power: 135

Energy Cost: 65

Moongeist Beam

Type: Ghost

Base Power: 230

Damage Window: 2.30 Seconds

Move Cooldown: 3.10 Seconds

Energy Cost: 100

PvP Information:

Base Power: 135

Energy Cost: 65

As should be obvious, Necrozma’s formes have a lot of raw power behind them, and these moves are tremendously strong. In fact, Sunsteel Strike and Moongeist Blast now ascend the throne as arguably the strongest moves in Pokemon Go in a neutral scenario, sitting right around Dragon Ascent. These facts are going to rocket Necrozma’s performance to new heights and open the door for some of the absolute strongest Pokemon in the game’s history. To see just how impactful these changes are, let’s begin the break-down. But before we do, note that Sunsteel Strike and Moongeist Beam’s final stats may change before release, so the information within this article may change to some degree in the future. On that note, we’re also going to take a look at what Solgaleo and Lunala may be capable of with these moves, as they’re originally the signature moves of the Sun and Moon Pokemon respectively, but we don’t yet have any confirmation that they’ll actually receive these moves in the near future, though it's pretty likely regardless.

Eclipsing Power: New Moves and Formes in PvE

As should be pretty obvious from the section above, the raw power of Moongeist Beam and Sunsteel Strike is pretty significant. These moves are genuinely outstanding, and they do a lot for Pokemon both present and future.

Moongeist Beam: Lunala & Dawn Wings Necrozma

Moongeist Beam is…. seriously a big deal. This move is absurdly powerful, and is more than enough to allow even lesser Pokemon to potentially rise the ranks. So what happens when you give it to Lunala and Dawn Wings Necrozma?

Data Source: The Comprehensive DPS/TDO Spreadsheet

Sorted by top Ghost Type attackers against a 15,00 HP Raid Boss, neutral scenario.

As should be pretty obvious from the chart above, Moongeist Beam greatly improves Lunala’s overall performance, turning it into a TDO monster with tremendous DPS to back it up. Yes, Moongeist Beam should definitely turn Lunala into one of the top Ghost Type attackers in all of Pokemon Go… but not everything is as it seems.

While Lunala is amazing on a chart that directly compares Ghost Types, its actual performance definitely falls behind what the above chart suggests. And this discrepancy is his is due to Lunala’s lack of a Ghost Type Fast Move. In the above chart, Lunala is utilizing Confusion, which is a good move that has STAB on Lunala. But since it’s not super common that we have Pokemon weak to Ghost and Psychic alike, we can more realistically expect our future raid charts that feature Lunala to look more like this:

Sorted by top attackers against Mewtwo

Against a Psychic Type like Mewtwo, Lunala switches from Confusion over to Air Slash, and its performance falls off quite a bit as a result. It’s still duo-worthy in this case and has great TDO, but it’s quite literally an objectively worse Necrozma - Dawn Wings. In order to really stand out, Lunala is going to need access to a good Ghost Type Fast Move like Shadow Claw or Hex, both of which it has access to in the main series. However, even of it does get the ideal Fast Move at some point in the future, its Ghost/Psychic Typing is still going to be a bit of a problem. Ghost is only Super Effective against two types: Psychic and itself. And while having a Psychic sub-typing can allow Lunala to resist the STAB moves of opposing Psychic Types, it also leaves it doubly-susceptible to the opposing Ghosts that it would like to  take down, as well as any Dark Type coverage moves. All of these factors together mean that Lunala is destined to be good, but not objectively amazing. Honestly, its greatest foreseeable utility is as fusion-fodder for Dawn Wings Necrozma, though it could still be a good option if Dawn Wings Necrozma turns out to be one-per-account.

So the difference for Lunala is pretty good, but did you happen to see what Dawn Wings Necrozma is capable of on those charts? This Pokemon is an absolute monster! While Dawn Wings Necrozma had the potential to be good, Moongeist Beam will rocket it to the position of arguably the ultimate Ghost Type, even sitting on a par with Mega Gengar in terms of DPS but with substantially more TDO and no Psychic Type weakness to worry about. Yes, this monster has the potential to outright rule the Ghost Type meta… but we have two variables to worry about.

  • First up, we have the same issue as Lunala, as Dawn Wings Necrozma sports a Psychic/Ghost typing. This means that it has the potential to work extremely well against opposing Psychic Types, but it’s in trouble against opposing Ghost Types. or Dark Type coverage moves.
  • We don’t yet know all of the details about Pokemon fusion, meaning it’s entirely possible that we may only have access to a limited number of them per account, possibly as few as one fusion at a time, or one of each version. If this is the case, then Dawn Wings Necrozma’s ability to “compete” with its fellow Ghost Type attackers becomes a bit more of a moot point, as it will only be able to occupy a limited number of slots in a manner similar to Mega Evolutions.

Regardless, Dawn Wings stands to be a must-have Pokemon that can slaughter many Psychic Types, and put in decent work against its fellow Ghosts. If everything remains as it is now, then we’ve got a Pokemon on our hands that will exert quite a bit of weight on the Ghost meta! 

Sunsteel Strike:Solgaleo & Dusk Mane Necrozma

So we can see the raw power of Moongeist Beam and Dawn Wings Necrozma on display, but what happens to the Steel meta when you introduce a practically identical move/Pokemon to it?

Sorted by top Steel Type attackers against a 15,00 HP Raid Boss, neutral scenario.

This spread looks a bit familiar, doesn’t it? To begin with, Solgaleo sees a huge increase in terms of raw power with Sunsteel Strike. But let’s not beat around the bush, as we have the exact same issue repeated here: Solgaleo has no Steel Type Fast Move options. This means that a more realistic raid guide chart will look closer to this:

Sorted by top attackers against Regirock

Steel is a hard type to isolate on a raid guide, as just about everything weak to Steel has other strong weaknesses that can be exploited. To that end, we can see a very realistic view of future raid guides here as we look at a few of the top counters to Regirock, meaning our maned Legends also have to contend with Water, Ground, Fighting, and Grass; all of which are powerful types in-and-of themselves. In this case, Solgaleo falls off a fair bit due to the need to resort to Zen Headbutt. It’s still a viable counter with solid DPS and TDO, but it’s definitely not the best option for this raid and ones similar. That said, Solgaleo actually has it a bit better than Lunala as an attacker, as Fire Spin actually is capable of dealing Super Effective damage against Ice Types, so it does have its potential niche. Meanwhile, Dusk Mane Necrozma actually manages to out-perform Primal Kyogre, and would be the absolute strongest Rock Type killer in the game. It would also stand at the forefront of Ice and Fairy counters, meaning its performance will be niche, but very strong!.

The Sun and Moon: New Moves and Formes in PvP

To preface this section, we don’t have confirmation on whether the fusions will be allowed in the GO Battle League, but we believe that it is very likely that they will be. This is due to the fact that the fusions possess a 9% stat nerf like other Legendaries (in contrast to the 3% stat nerf used for certain Mega Evolutions), and also because a fused Pokemon remains fused indefinitely. 

This section also focuses on Necrozma’s fusions’s impact in the Master League. To keep things short, they aren’t worth using in the Ultra League due to their glassy stats and their slower movesets compared to many Ultra League staples. Perhaps they will see some play in certain Ultra League cups, but they are unlikely to make an impact in the Ultra League.

Both formes of Necrozma are poised to make a tremendous impact in the Master League thanks to their high stats and powerful moves. While both formes possess identical stats, Dawn Wings is more offensively geared thanks to its STABed Ghost-type attacks, which possess great coverage in the Master League. On the other hand, Dusk Mane is more defensively geared due to the resistances it possesses thanks to its Steel typing. Note that, as they are both considered one species, you will not be able to use Dawn Wings + Dusk Mane on one team in the GO Battle League.

Dawn Wings Necrozma

Dawn Wings Necrozma

  • Recommended Moveset: Shadow Claw + Moongeist Beam and Dark Pulse

Dawn Wings Necrozma takes the more straightforward approach with its moveset and purpose: overwhelm the Master League metagame with the sheer power of its Ghost-type attacks. Shadow Claw and Moongeist Beam serve as Dawn Wings’ main threats. Dark Pulse’s coverage may be somewhat redundant as Dark and Ghost offer largely the same coverage, but it is considerably cheaper than Moongeist Beam and makes Dawn Wings’s damage more consistent. Iron Head can be used instead of Dark Pulse for a more reliable hit on Fairy-type Pokemon, but its utility is more situational than Dark Pulse.

What makes Dawn Wings Necrozma so threatening is just how powerful the Ghost type is offensively in the Master League; it hits numerous Psychic-type Pokemon super effectively, and there are very few Dark- and Normal-type options to resist it. When combined with Shadow Claw’s and Moongeist Beam’s excellent parameters and Dawn Wings’ high Attack, it can absolutely shred teams without a dedicated Ghost-type answer, especially when shields are down. Dawn Wings can overwhelm many neutral matchups in the 0 and 1 shield, such as Dialga, Kyogre, and Landorus-T. It destroys Lugia, Solgaleo, and Shadow Ball-less Mewtwo. Finding even just one Shadow Claw’s worth of energy lead can allow it to break Palkia and Giratina-O in the 1 shield. This can make Dawn Wings a terrifying safe switch against teams lacking in Dark- or Normal-type Pokemon, often generating either a shield or switch advantage.

The other prominent Ghost-type Pokemon in the Master League, Giratina-O, is often handled by taking advantage of the weaknesses associated with its secondary Dragon type. Dawn Wings Necrozma may suffer from two double weaknesses, but it has no other weaknesses, making it potentially a challenge to overcome for teams lacking in a dedicated answer. With that said, however, Ghost/Psychic is rather disappointing defensively due to its relatively minimal resistances, limiting Dawn Wings’ ability to overfarm. When combined with Moongeist Beam’s high cost, it may struggle to defeat opponents if they still have both shields up, or if they correctly call Dawn Wing Necrozma’s baits.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Dawn Wings Necrozma has a bulkpoint against Palkia-O’s Dragon Breath at 15 Defense IVs. For added safety, it should also be Best Buddied to protect itself against opposing Best Buddy Palkia-O. DO NOT MISS THIS BULKPOINT!

Some Team Options:

Dusk Mane Necrozma

Dusk Mane Necrozma

  • Recommended Moveset: Shadow Claw + Dark Pulse and Sunsteel Strike or Future Sight

Meet Dusk Mane Necrozma, a more aggressive version of Solgaleo. This is not only reflected in Dusk Mane’s more offensively oriented stats, but also in its explosive moveset. Solgaleo tends to chip enemies down reliably through repeated uses of Psychic Fangs, but Dusk Mane simply sends nukes their way, sacrificing reliability for power and matchup versatility. Both Sunsteel Strike and Future Sight can erase just about everything that happens to not resist them, or at least put them in Shadow Claw farmdown range. Dark Pulse provides Dusk Mane with a coverage that is relatively unique amongst Steel types - it can punish Giratina-O and Dawn Wings Necrozma, both of which can break apart other Steel types easily. Despite Dusk Mane’s lack of STAB in its Shadow Claw, the move’s generous parameters and great coverage in the Master League makes it a superior option to Psycho Cut (...and Metal Claw of course).

The choice between Sunsteel Strike and Future Sight may depend on team composition and goals. Future Sight is great at picking up potential wins against Kyogre and Palkia-O while significantly threatening Ho-Oh. However, it leaves Dusk Mane Necrozma severely walled by Dark-type Pokemon. Sunsteel Strike, on the other hand, is its strongest move and can overcome several neutral matchups. For example, Sunsteel Strike can overwhelm Zygarde in certain favorable baiting scenarios while Future Sight falls a bit short. It can also allow Dusk Mane to flip switch against Landorus-T; as long as the move lands, Dusk Mane can go down a shield to flip it. 

More adventurous players can even experiment with Outrage to improve Dusk Mane’s matchup against Dragon-type Pokemon; this pairs well with Iron Head to reliably slaughter any Fairy-type Pokemon that may try to counter it. Those who simply want to maximize their damage output can consider Sunsteel Strike over Iron Head. Dusk Mane Necrozma’s wide moveset options can be especially useful in open-team formats such as draft, where it can pick and choose its targets more reliably. Do bear in mind the potential costs of fusing and separating whenever you plan to re-teach Sunsteel Strike; the official announcement and the Game Master both make no mention of renewable sources of Solar Fusion Energy.

Team ideas:

Potential Metagame Impacts

Both Dawn Wings and Dusk Mane Necrozma are likely to become core threats in the Master League.

Dawn Wings Necrozma is a tremendous threat and may warp the metagame around itself, potentially forcing dedicated answers to become part of the core Master League metagame. Pokemon such as Yveltal, Zarude, and even Tyranitar may rise to counter this beast. Although Zygarde does not resist Ghost, its unparalleled bulk and access to Crunch allows it to reliably halt Dawn Wings’s rampage. 

As a Steel-type Pokemon, Dusk Mane Necrozma sports a long list of resistance and does a fantastic job protecting Dragon-type partners from their usual counters such as Dialga, Fairy-type Pokemon, and Lugia. The role of a Steel-type Pokemon in the Master League has suffered lately due to buffs to non-Steel Pokemon who can take that role, such as Ho-Oh and Landorus-T. Every Steel-type except for Solgaleo became fringe in terms of viability, and Solgaleo itself presents an accessibility issue. Dusk Mane Necrozma seeks to topple this trend by both being an extremely powerful and more accessible Steel-type option. Solgaleo itself may find Dusk Mane Necrozma overtaking its role, being reduced to a secondary Steel-type option in an ABB-style team when used with Dusk Mane, or if the team has a Dawn Wings and has no option to also use a Dusk Mane.

In terms of losers from the metagame, Lugia may be the biggest victim. Lugia is often used as a safe swap and is currently in a good spot due to the Palkia-O + Landorus-T centric metagame. However, there is nothing safe about switching it in when both Dawn Wings and Dusk Mane Necrozma are strong counters to it and can snowball their lead. 

Sunsteel Strike Solgaleo and Moongeist Beam Lunala in PvP

Solgaleo and Lunala

Quick reminder before we start - Solgaleo and Lunala are unlikely to respectively learn Sunsteel Strike and Moongeist Beam during this GO Fest. However, just in case they do, here’s a section for them

Sunsteel Strike Solgaleo in the Master League

Sunsteel Strike is an excellent complimentary move to Solgaleo’s spammy moveset by providing a nuclear option. Solgaleo deals a hefty bulk of its damage from Fire Spin and Psychic Fangs; the latter’s low cost and constant Defense drops allow Solgaleo to deal a steady flow of damage that’s largely unimpeded by shields. However, the moves themselves aren’t particularly damaging, and Solgaleo mostly shines in extended battles where it can stack debuffs on its target. As a result, players often shy away from shielding against Solgaleo to avoid having their precious shields mostly wasted. Solgaleo’s other Charged Attacks aren’t particularly powerful, so players can often get away with this. This is where Sunsteel Strike comes in - its immense raw DPE forces players to make a tough decision: shield the incoming nuke and get baited by Psychic Fangs, or let it go and be obliterated by Sunsteel Strike.

Solgaleo is currently one of the best Steel-type options in the Master League, reliably keeping high profile threats such as Dialga, Zacian, and Xerneas in check. Its tankiness and long list of resistances allows it to farm energy easily, covering for Sunsteel Strike’s high cost. With that said, while getting Sunsteel Strike would be amazing, Solgaleo will have to contend with Dusk Mane Necrozma being a direct competitor to its role as a Steel-type Pokemon. It will also struggle greatly against Dawn Wings Necrozma.

Moongeist Beam Lunala in the Master League

Unlike Solgaleo, Lunala has yet to find a role in the Master League. Its immense stats are overshadowed by its clunky Fast Attacks and expensive Charged Attacks, and its Psychic/Ghost typing is defensively poor. Moongeist Beam changes very little and exacerbates Lunala’s high cost issues. Furthermore, Dawn Wings Necrozma completely outclasses Lunala in its current state.

However, Lunala is a Shadow Claw away from being one of Master League’s greatest threats. Not only does it have slightly higher stats than Dawn Wings Necrozma, it also possesses a great coverage move in Moonblast to pressure Dark- and Normal-type enemies. So then, how would Moongeist Beam perform on a hypothetical Shadow Claw Lunala? Surprisingly, Moongeist Beam may not shift Lunala’s viability. Lunala may prefer Shadow Ball for consistency reasons as it is Lunala’s cheapest Charged Attack. However, players can opt to run Moongeist Beam over Moonblast, sacrificing coverage for even more absurd amounts of Ghost-type damage. As Ghost resist options aren’t plentiful in the Master League, Lunala can brute force its way through matchups thanks to Moongeist Beam’s sheer power. 

The Light that Burns the Sky: Ultra Necrozma

So let’s open this section by saying that this is industrial-grade theorycrafting. We have no idea when the monster that is Ultra Necrozma will drop, and we have no idea what its Signature move(s) will entail, but we’re going to continue the line drawn by Niantic to see if we can figure out what its future may be. To begin with, here’s what we know:

  • Necrozma itself has two signature moves in the main series: Prismatic Laser and Photon Geyser. Both of these are Psychic Type, to match Necrozma’s main typing in all of its various formes.
  • Ultra Necrozma is unique, in that it’s a temporary forme that is activated in the main series in a manner similar to Mega Evolution, meaning it’s possible that Ultra Necrozma will be treated as a Mega Evolution in Pokemon Go.
  • Due to being a mix of a Fusion and a Mega Evolution-esque forme change, it’s extremely likely that Ultra Necrozma will be one per account in one way or another.
  • In conjunction with Shadow Claw and Metal Claw, Necrozma also has access to Psycho Cut, meaning it's set to excel in the Psychic meta if its Signature Move(s) pan out.
  • We have the current stats for Moongeist Beam and Sunsteel Strike, so for this thought experiment we’re going to assume that Primatic Laser or Photon Geyser will follow the same stat-line. This is far from confirmed, but it seems likely given existing precedent.

Sorted by top Psychic Type attackers against a 15,00 HP Raid Boss, neutral scenario.

So let’s start with Necrozma’s lower formes. With access to a Psychic Type move that’s on a par with Moongeist Beam/Sunsteel Strike, Necrozma’s base forme becomes a very strong and viable Psychic Type attacker, out-pacing Mewtwo entirely, but not quite matching Shadow Mewtwo in terms of DPS. But more interesting than that is Dawn Wings/Dusk Mane Necrozma (which overlap perfectly on the above chart, as they have identical performance in a situation where their sub-typings don’t matter), which are very competitive with Shadow Mewtwo. Yes, their DPS is a bit lower, but their TDO is substantially stronger, making them potentially amazing, especially when their sub-typings become relevant. 

But that’s not the most interesting thing on the chart, is it? No, the big one here is Ultra Necrozma. For a very long time, we expected Mega Mewtwo Y to be the single strongest Psychic Type thing that could possibly exist in Pokemon Go. Well, if everything goes well for Ultra Necrozma, then it might find itself not only rivaled, but outright outclassed. This version of Ultra Necrozma sport higher DPS and TDO than Mega Mewtwo Y, and it also has a Dragon sub-typing to work with as well. And while it’s true that this makes it weaker against Fairy, Dragon, and Ice Type moves, it also gives it a number of very relevant type resistances, meaning it will likely be better than a mono-Psychic typing more often than not.

It’s impossible to know if this is how things will turn out for Ultra Necrozma as-is. Go Fest 2024 likely won’t give us access to this monster, so we may need to wait until 2027 for Go Tour: Alola. Regardless, there is a very bright light on the horizon, and it may just burn away all competition someday.

On that note, we can reasonably theorycraft what will happen with Ultra Necrozma in the PvE meta, but the PvP meta is a bit more up in the air due to just how unknown its final status is. For example; if it's treated as a Mega Evolution, then it may never truly see a chance in PvP. For this reason, we're going to wait on our PvP review for Ultra Necrozma.


At the end of the day, Go Fest 2024 has a lot of raw potential. However, this all hinges on Niantic not deciding to nerf Moongeist Beam, Sunsteel Strike, or Necrozma’s Fast Move options. If everything remains as-is, then Necrozma is going to become tremendously powerful. This is a perfect example of the fact that, while Niantic may bind itself to the raw stats of a given Pokemon to what they are in the main series, they’re also very capable of transcending those self-imposed limitations to create something far greater than what we would have expected not too long ago. The future is uncertain, but that’s a big part of the fun!

Enjoyed the article?
Consider supporting GamePress and the author of this article by joining GamePress Boost!

About the Author(s)

Hi! I'm Jibaku! I have hit Rank 10 or Legend in every GBL season except Season 3. I primarily focus on Master League gameplay.

Formerly a Pokemon VGC player.

Gamepress Pokemon Go site lead with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization and a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.