With Go Battle Night and the Flying Cup comes a brand new move, and only one Pokémon to get it! On Thursday, September 24th, from 6 PM-11:59 PM local time, if you evolve a Pidgeotto into a Pidgeot, your Pidgeot will learn Gust! Thanks to the PokeMiners, we now know the move’s stats!
Gust is a Flying-type Fast Move. In PvP, it has a 4-turn (2 second) duration, with 4 Damage Per Turn and 3 Energy Per Turn. This 4 turn 4/3 statline means it’s just a Flying-type clone of Confusion, a very powerful move in its own right!
As for PvE, it deals 25 Damage, generates 20 Energy, and has a duration of 2 seconds. It’s not half bad either!
Alright, so, two parts, base and Mega Pidgeot. Base Pidgeot is...slightly better? Gust slightly outpaces the legacy Wing Attack, and meaningfully outpaces the nonlegacy Air Slash. That said, it’s still...not fantastic. Its DPS is still lower than that of well-known top Flyings such as...uh….Fearow. And Murkrow. Pidgeot’s still bad, is the point here.
As for Mega Pidgeot, this again just one-ups previous legacy Pidgeots. It’s significantly better than any nonlegacy variants, too. Gust Mega Pidgeot is the new top non-Shadow Flying attacker. Even there, it's only beaten out by Shadow Moltres! It’s significantly better than Moltres or Honchkrow, not even mentioning the team damage bonus. While Mega Rayquaza will eventually replace it, if you need a Flying attacker, it’s still really good! If, y’know, you’re willing to pay the Mega cost. Additionally, as the only Mega that currently has a full Flying-type moveset (sorry Air Slash Charizard), it's the best team support Mega if your raid needs a Flying-type!
tl;dr: Better than current Pidgeots, still bad unless you’re willing to Mega Evolve it.
As stated before, Gust is a 4 DPT/3 EPT fast move, on par with Confusion. It’s a really strong move! It is, however, held back, by the fact that it is still attached to Pidgeot.
In Great League, it does have some actually notable wins! As a Flying-type, it can handle all the usual Grass-type suspects (Venusaur, Meganium, Tropius, Victreebel), and as a Normal-type, it does really well against a lot of Ghosts (Haunter, Drifblim, Sableye, and Alolan Marowak)! Frankly, though, it’s still...not good. Despite all the wins, it has some really notable losses. Like the other Flying-types, it loses to Bastiodon, Dewgong, Alolan Raichu, Stunfisk (normal and Galarian), Registeel, and the new hotness Galvantula. However, its low bulk and mediocre charged moves prevents it from handling other Pokémon like Swampert, Vigoroth, Hypno, Azumarill, and Whiscash (which can go straight Blizzard in the 1-1 shield scenario). Even worse, it loses to Skarmory and Altaria, the other premier flying-types in the format! Despite Gust’s clear power, it’s just not quite enough to make it stand out. In a lot of ways, it kinda feels like it’s still a bad version of Noctowl. However, this may allow it to shine in certain Silph Cup formats, where Noctowl has been banned in the past. Additionally, while Wing Attack + Sky Attack’s general power gives Noctowl some real spammy utility, Gust’s high outright damage could let it outperform in high shield scenarios!
For what it’s worth, though, let’s compare how Gust performs when compared to the previous version: Legacy Wing Attack Pidgeot. Gust, being a 4 DPT/3 EPT move overall outperforms the 2.5 DPT/3.5 EPt Wing Attack, though there are some matchups where the energy generation really matters. In the 1shield, Gust flips the 1shield vs Toxicroak, Shadow Machamp, and Cresselia from losses into pretty significant wins! Additionally, it gives you a lot of extra power against Pokémon like Munchlax, Hypno, and Victreebel (Gust’s high DPT coming in really handy). However, because you’re losing out on some energy generation, you can perform meaningfully worse in cases where Wing Attack would have let you reach an extra charged move. This comes up against Deoxys-Defense, Altaria, and Vigoroth.
As Pidgeot maxes out at 2129 CP, it’s not really worth bringing out in Ultra and Master Leagues, so feel free to ignore it there.
tl;dr Probably better than current Legacy Wing Attack Pidgeots, but still not fantastic. Don’t rush to use this in GBL, but it’s worth having one.
So, Pidgeot sucks, but Gust is good. We can work with that! Let’s take a look at some other Pokémon that learn Gust that could benefit from it!
One of the major poster boys for this category is Ho-Oh! Ho-Oh has really solid stats, and...passable? Ish? Charged moves, but it’s meaningfully held back by the fact that its fast move options range from “Suck” to “Underwhelming”. Gust is one of the few Flying-type moves that it could actually learn, so the dream is that the Rainbow Bird picks this up in an upcoming update! For PvE, Ho-Oh running Gust + Brave Bird would have Honchkrow-level DPS with incredible bulk, making it easily one of the best Flying-types available! For PvP, it would honestly need a bit more help. Brave Bird is very powerful, but it really needs a bait move to be effective. So...great start! Not done yet. Hopefully Sacred Fire is a cheap charged move.
Other potential winners are Tropius, Lugia, Articuno, Vespiquen, Unfezant (solid upgrade over Air Slash), Mandibuzz (who hasn’t been released yet but is likely to be a PvP monster), Tornadus, and Masquerain!
One small step (flap?) for Bird, one giant leap for Birdkind. Gust Pidgeot may not be the most powerful thing in the world, but Gust is strong enough that it could be really helpful if added to other Pokémon moving forward! You can reference the other Pokémon that learn it on Bulbapedia here!
For what it's worth, though, the answer to "I already evolved my best Pidgeot, should I use an Elite TM on this?" is pretty safely a resounding No. Pidgeot's still pretty mediocre, and you can likely do better than this.