Meta Implications of the June/July Community Day Options

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After a few months, Community Day voting is back! From May 23rd to 24th, you’ll be able to vote on Twitter for which Cday you want for June (with whatever comes in 2nd place being the cday for July).

Niantic’s full original post can be read here. Voting will be done here, at So, now, the interesting part: the options!

Aura Sphere Blastoise: Squirtle with the cday runback! This time, instead of learning Hydro Cannon, it’ll learn Aura Sphere, a strong Fighting-type charged move.

Drill Run Beedrill: The recently-buffed Drill Run’s a great move, and one that would be super interesting on Beedrill!

Shadow Claw Sandslash/Alolan Sandslash: A double hitter, both Sandslash and Alolan Sandslash would be able to evolve to learn Shadow Claw, one of the best fast moves in the game!

Shadow Punch Gengar: Shadow Punch isn’t that great a move in a vacuum, but Haunter makes it work, and Gengar definitely could as well!

PvE Implications

All four of these are very clearly intended to target PvPers. But, if you don’t PvP and prefer to stick to raids, are any of these interesting?

No. No, they’re all bad, sorry. The first three don’t have STAB, making them immediately underwhelming options, and Shadow Punch would basically just be a downgrade from Shadow Ball for Gengar. Just vote for whatever your battler friends want or something.

PvP Implications

Aura Sphere Blastoise

Aura Sphere’s a great move, that’s not in question. At 100 Power for 55 Energy, it shares a statline with moves like Megahorn, Shadow Ball, and Stone Edge.

Blastoise’s current spread of moves is pretty interesting. With Bite and Water Gun on fast, and Flash Cannon, Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Skull Bash on Charged, it technically has some variety. That said, all those options can be pretty much overlooked because you only really see Water Gun + Hydro Cannon and Ice Beam. Hydro Cannon is pretty much too good to pass up. Ice Beam provides valuable coverage against Dragon- and Grass-types. Blastoise is generally at its best in Ultra League, struggling to stand out among other Water-types in Great League.

So, would Aura Sphere help? Maybe. There are certainly a few matchups where Aura Sphere is good to have! Pokémon like Lapras and Poliwrath, which currently resist everything Blastoise has, would get much easier. Snorlax, too, becomes easier with super effective damage. Interestingly, against Registeel, you want to go straight Hydro Cannon in the 1-shield rather than firing off Aura Sphere. Probably the biggest caveat is “Giving up Ice Beam means Giratina resists everything you do”, and that’s not where you want to be in Ultra League. In Great League, it still struggles to really stand out, but it performs meaningfully better against Pokémon like Bastiodon, Lapras, and Dewgong.

All things considered, as cool as Aura Sphere is, it’s probably not exactly an upgrade. It’s a neat choice, for sure, but not a great one. You’re not missing out on too much if you don’t vote for this one.

Drill Run Beedrill

Beedrill’s currently flush for strong STAB options. Its fast moves are Poison Jab, Infestation and legacy Bug Bite. Charged Moves, it has Aerial Ace, Sludge Bomb, X-Scissor, and Fell Stinger. However, notably, it has no way to touch the ever-prevalent Steel-types! Drill Run gives it that in a big way. Maxing out at 1846 CP, it’s more or less unusable in Ultra, so we can just look at Great League.

There are some very meaningful wins here. With Poison Jab, going straight Drill Run, you beat Registeel in all even shields, and you beat Azumarill in the 1 and 2. Other than that, you beat Clefable, Wigglytuff, Meganium, Venusaur, Toxicroak, and Deoxys-Defense. This leaves you in a pretty impressive place as an antimeta mon! As a Shadow, it’s possibly even more impressive, picking up some Mew variants as well as Umbreon (with X-Scissor/Drill Run), and losing basically nothing! This may be the most impactful of all the cday voting options for Great League.

Shadow Claw Sandslash

Kantonian Sandslash doesn’t really benefit from Shadow Claw. It’s a neat mon, but its biggest issue is a general absence of good charged moves. Mud Shot? Great. Earthquake? Great. Rock Tomb and Bulldoze, though, not so much. This means that they could basically give Sandslash whatever fast moves they want, and not much would change until they give it Rock Slide or something.

Alolan Sandslash is much more interesting, though! With Shadow Claw, it picks up a ton of wins, including Dewgong, Hypno, Lapras, Alolan Raichu, and Froslass. The only matchup it loses is Sunny Cherrim, which goes from a slight win to a slight loss in the 1 shield. While you win less cleanly against Tropius and Altaria (unsurprisingly, given they take double super effective damage from Ice), you do still win very cleanly. All things considered, a really nice boost for Great League A-Slash! In Ultra League, it already absolutely dominates Charm, Grass, and Giratina (both A and O), but now it can also handle Lapras, which it somewhat shares a role with. As a Steel-type, it's still generally worse than Registeel, but a better Giratina matchup (one that's improved even further by Shadow Claw), it could get another really nice boost!

Shadow Punch Gengar

Shadow Punch is a bad move. With a 40 Power/35 Energy statline, it’s massively energy inefficient. But that doesn’t make it useless. Haunter’s an absolute monster in the Great League, using the Shadow Claw + Shadow Punch and Shadow Ball moveset in combination with its sky-high attack stat to nuke down everything that can’t resist it. Shadow Punch here primarily fills a shield-baiting role, allowing you to more effectively land your Shadow Balls. Shadow Punch Gengar, with its higher max CP, could perform similarly in Ultra League. Notable wins include Venusaur, Machamp, Blastoise, Clefable, Togekiss, Charizard, Feraligatr, Poliwrath, Registeel (it can survive a Flash Cannon!), Cresselia, and Giratina-Origin. It does lose to Giratina-Altered, and it can’t beat Snorlax (unsurprisingly), but it has really solid matchups against an impressive share of the metagame! Even more exciting, with a 2-1 shield advantage, its only meta-relevant losses are Snorlax, Alolan Muk, and Armored Mewtwo!

It’s no slouch in Great League either! Functioning as a very slightly bulkier Haunter, it seems like it’d be a pretty legitimate option. A solid vote, for sure!


As with every vote, just go with whichever mon you like most. Beedrill probably has the most potential in PvP, whereas Blastoise likely has the least, with the other ones being interesting niche options.

If it does affect anything, here’s Beedrill’s shiny. Not half bad!

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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.