Meta Implications: Hidden Gems

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Article by Tyler


We’ve got the move updates for the upcoming season! Hooray! Who knows what season number this is, I lost track like 8 seasons ago. In any case though. Two new moves, five move rebalances, and 33(!) move additions. So without further ado, let’s start with the

New Moves

Liquidation (Charged Move)

Liquidation is a Water-type charged move with 70 Power and a chance to lower the target’s Defense by 1 stage. According to the PokeMiners, it’ll cost 45 energy, and have a 30% Def drop chance, which means it’s a Water-type clone of Crunch, which is pretty good!

Leafage (Fast Move)

Leafage is a Grass-type fast move. 2 turn duration, 3 Damage Per Turn, 3.5 Energy Per Turn means it’s a clone of Bullet Punch. In short, good but not fantastic, though it’s always nice to have access to the tool.

Move Rebalances

Icicle Spear: 60 Power➡65 Power

Icicle Spear started out as a 60 Power/35 Energy move. However, shortly after release it got nerfed, increasing its energy cost to 40, which meaningfully hurt Walrein’s usability. While they’re not reverting the energy nerf, 5 extra power should certainly help Walrein, at least a little bit. Though Walrein's main buff comes a little later with the Seed Bomb nerf.

Poison Fang: 40 Power➡45 Power

Like Icicle Spear, Poison Fang got a 5 energy nerf that thoroughly tanked its utility. Also like Icicle Spear, it’s getting a 5 power buff. Unlike Icicle Spear, though, it’s a little bit hard to feel like this is really going to matter. Poison Fang’s primary utility was in its low energy cost. Either you spammed it to drop your target’s defense while hitting with fast moves, or you used it to bait. While it’s nice that this’ll buff up the move’s damage, I don’t think it’ll help that much overall.

Rollout: 4 Power➡5 Power

As a 3-turn fast move, Rollout previously had a depressing 1.33 DPT. Now, it’s up to…1.66? Cool, I guess. Don’t expect this to change its performance.

Mud Bomb: 55 Power➡60 Power

Hey, finally, one that matters! A 40 energy move is “supposed to” have 60 Power. Mud Bomb has, for whatever reason, been slightly hamstrung for PvP’s entire lifetime. And now it’s fixed! Objectively, this slaps. Mud Bomb has some pretty notable users, too! Whiscash, Toxicroak, and Unovan Stunfisk have all had their time in the spotlight. While this may not immediately rocket all three to the top of the tier lists, solid matchups against Pokémon like Galarian Stunfisk, Bastiodon, and other Steel-types will certainly help them with relevance. Especially since they’re less likely to deal with Trevenant, because

Seed Bomb: 55 Power➡60 Power, 40 Energy➡45 Energy

We’ve seen it before. “Oh it’s fine, how much could an energy increase matter?” And then it matters a lot. Even if it’s only 5 energy. Seed Bomb’s most prevalent wielder, Trevenant, has a really bad time with this change. PvPoke shows a drop from a 58.5% winrate across the Great League meta to a 45.2% one in the 1shield. While it still wins the matchup, it now fails to kill Medicham before two Ice Punches land, causing it to take far more damage. Medi can even take the 1-0 shield scenario now! Out of respect for your time, I’m not gonna run through all the matchups it flips, but it is a pretty significant hit to Trev. It wouldn’t be surprising if this solidly knocked Trevenant out of the metagame. As for other Seed Bomb users…I dunno, I guess Breloom’s sad too. Please don’t use Breloom.

One of the most key aspects of this change is that Trevenant no longer outpaces Walrein. Since this previously rendered Trev one of Walrein's most effective counters, Walrein's extremely happy to see the dead tree...deader?

Movepool Updates

Alolan Sandslash gets Drill Run

Briefly, YOOOOOOOO!!! A-Slash got a neat buff with Shadow Claw a while ago, but it’s been held back since forever because of its mediocre secondary charged move options. Gyro Ball and Bulldoze? Oof. But Drill Run is legitimately really good. Ice/Ground is one of the best coverage combinations in the game, hitting virtually every Pokémon for at least neutral damage. More relevant to PoGo though is that you can hit both Flying-types and Steel-types for SE damage. A-Slash’s access to this coverage isn’t technically new, but as anyone who’s landed a Bulldoze can tell you, Bulldoze basically isn’t a real move. This should do A-Slash huge favors in terms of meta relevance. You might also want to check out the Shadow form, too. In the 1shield, Shadow ASlash picks up Spark Lanturn and Noctowl. It does just barely lose out on WG Lanturn, Pelipper, and Sableye though, so it’s not all upside. Still, worth experimenting with!

Clefable gets Fairy Wind

Fairy Wind is a pretty good move! Generating 4.5 Energy Per Turn, it’s one of the most effective tools out there for powering out charged moves. Clefable’s charged moves aren’t too bad, either. Clefable has historically had kinda negligible access to its charged moves, since it’s been stuck with Charm. Clefable’s reasonably bulky, and mono-Fairy is pretty solid defensive typing. It feels like Clefable’s gonna be meaningfully better than before when it was just stuck with Charm. Ew, Charm.

Wigglytuff gets Disarming Voice

On the topic of Ew, Charm: Wigglytuff! While it’s still stuck throwing hearts, having access to a 45 energy move (rather than its previous cheapest at 55 with Ice Beam) is always good for a Charmer. The mon exists as arguably the hardest counter to Sableye in the game, but taking neutral from Fighting-types makes it less clean of a counter to Pokémon like Medicham. You didn’t see a lot of Wiggly before, you probably will still not see a ton of Wiggly.

Golduck gets Liquidation

Golduck already has, like, 40 different charged moves. While Golduck will probably benefit from Liquidation as a Water STAB option, it really doesn’t have that much going for it. Confusion/Liquidation/Cross Chop maybe? Or Water Gun? Or probably just don’t.

Dewgong gets Liquidation and Drill Run

Geez, they really want your Elite TMs, huh. Ice Shard/Icy Wind Dewgong has always been a bit of a lurking menace, having good bulk and great Icy Wind spam. However, much like Alolan Sandslash, it’s been consistently held back because its other charged moves Suck. Water Pulse? In the year of our lord 2023? For shame. Drill Run slaps, though. No longer will Dewgong be walled out by anything Water-type. No longer will the mirror take 10 years to finish. And no longer will a Steel-type spell complete disaster. Liquidation is certainly an upgrade to Water Pulse, which is nice! But it’s hard to imagine Dewgong running it in the second slot over Drill Run. Just keep in mind that you need both Ice Shard and Icy Wind to really have a Dewgong, and each of those will cost an Elite TM.

Cloyster gets Liquidation

Hey, cool! Bugdet Dewgong Cloyster has historically run Ice Shard/Icy Wind/Hydro Pump. That’s always made Cloyster frustratingly bait dependent. Liquidation should help its consistency out a lot, but probably not enough to let it stand out over Dewgong, especially now that the latter gets Drill Run. It might show up in some limited format, I guess, but hopes aren’t high.

Vaporeon gets Liquidation

In this case, it’s honestly hard to be sure if this is even an upgrade. Aqua Tail’s really good, and Vaporeon needs Last Resort for something resembling coverage. Don’t expect much from this one. Sorry, Eevee fans.

Togetic gets Fairy Wind

Togetic’s charged moves are Ancient Power, Aerial Ace, and Dazzling Gleam. Bro that’s…that’s not great. Togetic cute, but this one’s maybe better off sitting on the bench.

Quagsire gets Mud Bomb

YOOO!! Quagsire is a bulky mudboi that’s historically been held back by the fact that it’s been stuck running Earthquake/Stone Edge. That means it dies when presented with A Shield. Helluva closer, for sure, but always a really risky include. Mud Bomb solves that issue easily. Now Quag’s role is gonna look a little more similar to Whiscash’s: spam Mud Bomb, and nuke anything in the air. Ground/Rock coverage is incredible, only getting walled by, like…Chesnaught and Torterra. Hopefully you can expect to see Quag running (waddling?) around Great League more often next season. Shadow Quagsire, too! In Ultra, Quagsire maxes out at 2252 CP, so don’t do that, thanks.

Tyranitar gets Brutal Swing

You play PvP? This change doesn’t matter. You do PvE? Oh boy do I have something for you.Tyranitar hasn’t been having a great time lately. With Crunch, even Shadow Tyranitar was outclassed by CDay Hydreigon. Now? Ttar is back. Shadow Tyranitar is by miles the best Dark-type attacker, and even the normal version outpaces Darkrai. Take all your Dark Ttar, give them Brutal Swing, and put them back in your raid rotation. And when Mega Ttar drops? Yup, that’ll be relevant too.

Cradily gets Rock Slide

Stone Edge/Grass Knot was always a really expensive moveset, making it difficult for this fossil mon to get its job done through shields. Rock Slide should speed it up a little (10 energy cheaper than Stone Edge), letting Cradily spam harder. As a result, it can now beat Altaria, Cresselia, Noctowl, Sableye, and Umbreon in the 1shield (though Altaria’s close). Hard to say if Cradily’ll be actually good now, but this is a very significant boost to its utility and consistency.

Armaldo gets Liquidation

I mean…I guess, sure. Armaldo’s always had a bit of a quality issue in its charged movepool, with most of its tools being pretty mediocre. Liquidation isn’t mediocre. Armaldo is still mediocre. Stats bad. RIP bug, back to the Poké-Cretaceous period with ye.

Floatzel gets Liquidation

No. Good god, Swift? Seriously?? No. And like NO bulk. Friends don’t let friends play Floatzel. I hear it’s okay in Scarlet/Violet now, though, if you’re invested in the mon.

Drifblim gets Mystical Fire

Mystical Fire and Icy Wind are the same move with different types, so you basically get to take your pick depending on the meta. Luckily, though, it seems like there are gonna be a lot of Ice- and Steel-types in the meta this season! Mystical Fire lets you pick up 1shield wins against Registeel, A-Slash, Skarmory, and Galarian Stunfisk(!!!). Hit them with your best shot, and Mystical Fire away!

Snover and Abomasnow get Leafage

Having had access to Powder Snow to power out Weather Balls has been Abom’s MO for a long time. Generally, that’s been good enough. It’s hard to imagine Abomasnow giving that up for Leafage, which has lower energy generation. Still, in a limited meta with enough Water-types, Leafage could give it a meaningful advantage. So, see you if that happens.

Probopass gets Zap Cannon

Zap Cannon replacing Thunderbolt is always a bit of a gamble. It’ll basically always sim better, because when it lands it lands hard. At the same time, Thunderbolt’s more consistent, and blows less energy if the move gets shielded. On the other other hand, the attack debuff on Zap Cannon is really nice. Who nose, dude.

Heatran gets Earth Power

Yeah this ain’t it, dude. Heatran was relevant back in Season 1 Master League because it was one of only a few Dialga counters available. Now that Master League has more than 4 Pokémon in the meta, and some of them are Groudon and Kyogre, Heatran hasn’t been relevant in a long time. Earth Power…geez, man. Heatran’s had a lot of issues. Dealing with, like, Steel-types was never one of them. Are we sure they weren’t trying to give it an actually useful move? RIP Lasagna Frog, maybe next season you’ll get Incinerate and Magma Storm.

Samurott gets Liquidation

I wasn’t sure about Vaporeon getting Liquidation. I am sure about Samurott, though. This is just a downgrade from Hydro Cannon. Samurott isn’t particularly good in the first place, so it’s not even an “Okay, I can still use this even though I don’t have the cday move.” You shouldn’t have been using Samurott before, and you also shouldn’t use it with Liquidation.

Whimsicott gets Seed Bomb

Seed Bomb kinda feels like it’s probably just a worse Grass Knot now? Even if it’s better, it’s hard to picture that suddenly meaningfully changing Whimsicott’s performance. Cute lil guy, but not much of an open format threat.

Carracosta gets Liquidation

Liquidation is not meaningfully better than Surf, and so Liquidation Carracosta will not be meaningfully better than Surf Carracosta. The mon’s cute, I guess, but this ain’t it.

Emolga gets Acrobatics

Oh thank god, we don’t have to use Aerial Ace anymore. Notable 1shield pickups include Lickitung, Medicham, Sableye, Cresselia, and Froslass. New Emolga’s going to be more bait dependent, but at least it can close out matchups and threaten shields. It may be the most forgettable Pika-clone (sorry to the three Emolga fans) but it’s got some real power this season.

Eelektross gets Liquidation

Like Golduck, Eelektross is a mon with seventeen different charged moves, and none of them make it usable. Also like Golduck, getting Liquidation won’t fix this.

Litwick gets Mystical Fire

…oh right, Little Cup. The mon’s only got Fire-type moves. Maybe you run Ember/Flame Charge/Mystical Fire now? It doesn’t even beat Bronzor in the 1shield. I will not be looking further into this due to a lack of respect. At least give it to Chandelure too!

Beartic gets Liquidation

First verse was Carracosta, second verse is Beartic. Liquidation is not a big enough upgrade over Surf to really affect the mon’s viability. And a glassy mono-Ice type is still going to struggle. Back in the box with the bear.

Rowlet, Dartrix, and Decidueye get Leafage

So first of all: rad. With Trevenant getting nerfed, now the Rowlet line has a chance to shine as a Grass/Ghost that doesn’t suck! Bad news: They don’t really look like they’re gonna cut it just yet. Dartrix and Decidueye are both Brave Bird users, and thus Leafage’s energy generation is a huge upgrade over Razor Leaf. But Decidueye’s Shadow Sneak and Dartrix’s Seed Bomb just aren’t effective enough bait tools to really enable them. Look. I love the Rowlet line probably more than the next guy, but I just don’t think they’re good right now. Check back in when Decidueye gets Frenzy Plant.

Primarina gets Disarming Voice

Like with Wigglytuff, a Charm user getting a new cheapest move is good! At the same time, though, it’s probably not that significant. Primarina has mostly been relevant in Master Premier, and it’ll likely get a nice boost with access to both Disarming Voice and Hydro Cannon eventually.

Fomantis and Lurantis get Leafage

Well. It’s a sidegrade. While Leaf Blade + Superpower is an incredibly neat moveset, Lurantis hasn’t really been able to do anything with it thus far. Fury Cutter (2 DPT/4 EPT) is a solid move for powering out the charged moves quickly, but its damage is underwhelming, especially without STAB. Leafage sacrifices a little energy generation for a fair bit more damage. Still, though. I dunno. It might have seen some play in a Silph meta, I think? So maybe we just need to wait for the right limited metagame again.

Golisopod gets Liquidation

Once again: Hey! Nice! We don’t have to use Aerial Ace anymore! Golisopod’s Shadow Claw + X-Scissor combination isn’t bad, but Bug’s offensive coverage is mediocre, and Aerial Ace and Aqua Jet are…nah. Having a second STAB charged move option should really help Golisopod act like a real Pokémon! It shares its Water/Bug-typing with the much bulkier Araquanid, but access to a real Water-type charged move (Bubble Beam is a utility move, not a damage one) should really allow it to stand out! Do note that Water/Bug is the type combination that resists Ice+Ground coverage, which is notable given, y’know. You’ll be seeing that more this season. Keep an eye out for Golisopod! Looks like it’ll be a real mon this time around.

Ursaluna gets Ice Punch

Real talk, I’m still miffed this thing didn’t get Shadow Claw. Still, though, Ice Punch is nice. Technically. Ursaluna made a small name for itself in Master League running Thunder Punch and High Horsepower alongside Tackle, which is technically a real move now. All those positive-adjacent things said, Ursaluna’s still gonna be a meme. Ice Punch lets it maybe deal with Dragonite (if the game works perfectly, and the Dragonite doesn’t bait with Dragon Claw, then you live with 8 health in the 1shield). At the cost of the Gyarados matchup. Basically, it’s not enough to make Ursaluna real. Still a meme. Shadow Claw waiting room.


Eyy seems like we’ve got real changes! Ones that will matter and impact the meta! That’s always nice to see. Good luck with the upcoming season, and don’t forget to star piece before picking up your end of season rewards!

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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.