Noctowl recently got buffed in Pokemon GO with the GO Battle League Season 10 update.
With Shadow Ball, Noctowl is no longer stonewalled by Rock and Steel-type Pokemon, removing one of the greatest downsides to fielding the owl in Great League PvP. At the moment, Noctowl still feels like a “spice pick” or side-grade to stronger Flying-type Pokemon, but has enough potential, especially in Cups, that you should consider building one.
The guide below highlights Noctowl’s most relevant Breakpoints and stat checks in Great League PvP.
PvP IV Basics
Breakpoints (BPs) are the point in which a Pokemon’s Fast Move does 1 extra damage based on their and the opponent’s hidden true stats. With simulators like PvPoke.com we are able to pinpoint these important stats. The PvP IV Deep Dive series highlights the most meta relevant stat checks for the featured Pokemon.
Stat Product (SP) is the product of a Pokemon’s true Atk, Def, and HP. In general, a high SP Pokemon are the best because they have the most stats. Important BPs may deviate from a high SP because gaining an Atk or Def BP in a critical matchup can be more important than having “more stats.” Outside of the Top 20 high SP options, the value of SP vs BPs tends to favor BPs. Often, important BPs can ensure a Rank 100+ SP Pokemon performs as well, if not better than, the Rank 1 high SP Pokemon.
Given that the BPs and SP of a Pokemon are hidden values in game, you’ll need to use an app like CalcyIV or Pokegenie, or a website such as GOStadium or PvPIVs.com to get the most out of these PvP IV Guides. That said, game visible IV tables are provided to help simplify your search.
If this all sounds like Greek to you, check out this video to help you understand PvP IVs more:
Also, the Breakpoint sections mention 1-1, 0-1, 1-2, etc. for matchups. These represent Shield Scenarios. 1-1 is when both you and your opponent spend a Shield, 0-1 is when you don’t spend a Shield but your opponent spends 1 Shield. The rest follow this format.
Noctowl only has 2 critical Atk Breakpoints (Azumarill and Galar Stunfisk) and they both come pretty early (105.02 Atk compared to the Rank 1 SP’s 104.1 Atk). Therefore, you may as well go with a slight Atk weight on Noctowl opposed to building the Rank 1, as the bulk gains are nebulous where the advantages against Azumarill and Galar Stunfisk are very clear. That said, if Noctowl is fielded in a meta where Azumarill and Galar Stunfisk aren’t available, Noctowl doesn’t have much to gain with the Atk weight.
The main Atk Breakpoints are:
- 105.06-106.66 Azumarill for the 1-1 and 2-2
- 105.38 is a more likely Atk cap than 106.66
- The 1-1 win may be off by just 1 HP, depending on Azumarill’s Def/HP weight
- 104.23-106.91 Galar Stunfisk for the 1-0 and 2-1
- Winning at a Shield Advantage isn’t that impressive, but Altaria and Skarmory can’t do it so it is noteworthy
The lower ranges for the Breakpoints are based on the Rank 1 max SP iterations of the opponents. Given that Azumarill generally favors a slight Atk weight itself and Galar Stunfisk is mostly traded for better PvP IVs, chances are you could get away with slightly less Atk. Once again, if you’re fielding Noctowl in a meta without Azumarill or Galar Stunfisk, then these Atk weights only have mirror CMP value. Most Noctowl mirrors are CMP based or require ~167 HP to tie.
Other interesting Atk Breakpoints include:
- 106.2 Shadow Machamp 2-2
- 106.94 Drapion 2-2
- Even more win scenarios depending on moveset and what attacks are used
These Atk weights are generally too high for Noctowl to keep all of its bulk checks but could be worth considering in formats that favor either Pokemon and Noctowl.
Testing against various opponents with different IV compositions, roughly 117.58-117.86 Def is “safe” for Noctowl. This Def range includes Breakpoints from but not limited to: Lapras, Galvantula, Obstagoon, Scrafty, Umbreon, Escavalier, Golbat, Swampert, and Trevenant. The Def BP isn’t critical to winning most of these matchups in most even scenarios, but the volume of Pokemon suggests it’d be wise to be at least this bulky.
Higher Def BPs you’d want to be aware of include:
- 119.75+ Toxicroak 1-1 consistency
- Likely higher and missable as Toxicroak prefers mirror CMP
- Toxicroak’s win condition is contingent on baiting Mud Bomb and landing Sludge Bomb too
- ~120.74 Vigoroth (high SP), no flips
- 121.23 Powder Snow and Charm Alolan Ninetales
- Powder Snow: 1-0 and 2-1
- Charm: 2-2
- Based on Egg Hatch IVs, so Def could roll lower
167 HP was found to be the lower limit for Noctowl, especially in the mirror. When running matrix sims comparing Noctowl of equal Atk/Def against opponents of various IV compositions in all shield scenarios, 168 HP was found to be slightly “safer” than 167, and 166 was markedly “less safe.” Given how difficult it is to appraise the value of HP outside of even Shield Scenarios and lack of notable even matchups outside of the mirror, 167-168 HP is the goal, but more is always welcomed.
Noctowl PvP IV Tables
Notable Low Atk IV spreads
- Rank 5, 2/14/12 has 104.8 Atk, which gets the BP on most Galar Stunfisk and could reasonably get the Atk BP on slight Atk weight Azumarill
- If forgoing Atk BPs, the Rank 2 (0/15/15) is arguably better than the Rank 1 (1/14/15) as it has as much HP and higher Def
Noctowl may not have the powerful defensive sub-type that Alataria and Skarmory have, but with a slight Atk weight it can manage Azumarill and Galar Stunfisk more comfortably than they can. Even if Noctowl isn’t as dominant as a threat in the Open Great League, do you want to bring the Noctowl that can beat Azumarill and potentially overcome Galar Stunfisk, or the one that can’t?
And to highlight once again, if you’re fielding Noctowl in a meta without Azumarill or Galar Stunfisk (such as the Remix Cup), then the Atk weight only has use for Noctowl mirror CMP. As a result, it is advisable to build both an Atk weight Noctowl and a high SP Noctowl.