Pokemon Go: Avalugg Spotlight

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Bergmite and its evolution Avalugg are debuting in Pokemon GO as part of the Pokemon GO Holidays 2021: Part 2 event. As with any new Pokemon that looks like it could be good in Raids and PvP, people want to know just how good Avalugg really is. The article below goes over just how good Avalugg is in Pokemon GO’s Raid and PvP meta

Avalugg Basics

  • Avalugg and Bergmite are available from 12/23 until 12/31
    • It’s uncertain at this time if they’ll be available after the event
  • Avalugg evolves from Bergmite
  • Avalugg’s max CP is 3198 at level 40 and 3615 at level 50
  • Avalugg’s Fast Moves are Ice Fang and Bite
  • Avalugg’s Charge Moves are Body Slam, Avalanche, Crunch, Earthquake, and Mirror Coat
  • Avalugg’s Best PvP Moveset is likely Ice Fang + Body Slam + Avalanche
    • Avalanche is Avalugg’s most powerful Charge Move in neutral matchups
    • Crunch may replace Avalanche as it offers more neutral coverage and a debuff chance
    • You’ll often want to keep Body Slam, as Ice Fang’s low energy gains often causes Avalugg to lean on it for Charge Move pressure
    • Earthquake is also worth considering, as it may offer bigger neutral damage if your opponent doesn’t expect it
    • All in all, Avalugg functions somewhat as a mystery box, with all move combinations that don’t involve Bite or Mirror Coat being valid

Avalugg in Raids

Avalugg doesn’t stand out much as a Raid Attacker, only having roughly half the value of Galarian Darmanitan and Mamoswine, but it is the tankiest Ice-type and dishes out more damage than the future Icicle Spear Walrein does. Unless you’re into competitive “Draft Raid” challenges with your friends, there isn’t much of a call to power up Avalugg for Raids.

Avalugg in Great League

Avalugg is in an awkward spot in the Great League, as there are plenty of Pokemon that already use Ice-type attacks but also have good resistances and few weaknesses. As a mono Ice-type Pokemon, Avalugg is basically just all weaknesses (Fire, Rock, Steel, Fighting) and no resistances (Ice, just Ice).  When you consider Avalugg just sparms Ice Fang, it’s also technically vulnerable to Water-type and opposing Ice-type Pokemon as well. So make that 6 effective weaknesses and 0 resistances. So while Avalugg could be an interesting Grass, Dragon, or Flying-type counter, it falls short in just about any other department. 

Great League Cup formats could be an interesting way for Avalugg to shed some of its weaknesses, but if it’s a type limited Cup, Avalugg is still trapped with other Ice-type Pokemon that dominate it. You have Alolan Ninetales, which spams Charm; Froslass, which can beat Avalugg straight Avalanche; and you have Lapras, which double resists Ice Fang and has Surf. If you were thinking about using Avalugg in the Holiday Cup, you might want to reconsider. 

As bad as Avalugg may look, it isn’t without some advantages. Avalugg has very comfortable Shadow Nidoqueen and Nidoqueen matchups as it relies on Fast Move damage more than Charge Move damage to take them down. Against most Grass-types, Avalugg doesn’t have to worry about super effective Charge Moves. So, if Avalugg is able to trap a vulnerable opponent, it could just Ice Fang them down and drop a Body Slam, Crunch, or Avalanche on the next thing in. To add, Avalugg also has a “mystery box” element to it as your opponent won’t precisely know which moves you have, which could cause your opponent to shield out of caution or eat an Earthquake. 

Final verdict? While Avalugg doesn’t look the greatest, it definitely isn’t “bad” and will see play in the Great League, especially in Cup formats.

Avalugg in Ultra League

Avalugg comes with all the same disadvantages as it has in the Great League: No coverage, no defensive sub-type, no pressure. To make matters worse, the January Community Day Pokemon: Walrein, does just about any job Avalugg has but better. To put it simply, Avalugg can manage most common threats that aren’t Steel, Ice, Fire, or Water-type or that pack Counter, while Walrein can handle all of those, save Counter users. 

Is Avalugg doomed to live in Walrein’s shadow? Well, Avalugg does have more consistent matchups against Grass-type Pokemon and Pokemon that are super effective against Water-types in general (Cresselia, Galvantula). Avalugg’s Fast Move spam and just fast enough Charge Moves could also enable it to outpace Umbreon and Greedent. However, we are losing to Empoleon, Lapras, and Walrein which is a big problem. 

Final verdict? As in the Great League, Avalugg stands out enough in the Ultra League to see play, but likely won’t be a household name. 

Avalugg in Master League

Unlike the Great League and the Ultra League, the Master League is full of powerful Dragon, Flying, and Ground-type Pokemon. As it stands, the only Ice-type to reliably take advantage of this has been Mamoswine, but Mamoswine’s frailty often has it falling behind, even in matchups it should have the advantage in. Avalugg on the other hand can beat most of these Pokemon even at a Shield Disadvantage and can overtake neutral threats such as Sylveon, both Dragon Breath and Aqua Tail Gyarados, and Zacian. The main victories Mamoswine has over Avalugg are against Dialga and Excadrill in the 1 Shield Scenario specifically, which is something.

Walrein has also received some attention recently as a Master League candidate, with its future January Community Day Moves Powder Snow and Icicle Spear. In both the Open Master League and the Master League Premier Classic, Avalugg appears to be more powerful (even when considering a 35 energy cost Icicle Spear) but it is worth noting that Walrein can beat Avalugg, possibly Earthquake Dialga, and actually hurt Kyogre. Avalugg however manages Snorlax, Sylveon, Zacian, Zarude, Lugia, Ho-Oh (yep), Groudon, and Dragon Breath Gyarados much better; and that’s without considering Shield Disadvantage wins. 

One potentially overlooked advantage Mamoswine and Walrein have over Avalugg is that they actually threaten Melmetal and Metagross. Without Earthquake, these Steel-types both wall Avalugg indefinitely. Given how slow and weak Earthquake is on Avalugg, Avalugg may only be bringing it for them, likely won’t get the chance to use it on them, and will have its consistency in other matchups suffer if it brings it over Body Slam or Avalanche. This might not be seen as a big advantage as Mamoswine and Walrein lose to them too, but neither are as free of a win or farm down as Avalugg is for them.

While Avalugg looks pretty mediocre in Raids, the Great League, and the Ultra League, in the Master League, it stands to be a champion. That said, Avalugg doesn’t outright replace Mamoswine and/or Icicle Spear Walrein in the Master League completely. 

Closing Thoughts

Considering Avalugg may only be a rare event spawn that for some reason isn’t debuting in Raids, it’s a little reassuring that it only stands out in Master League PvP in a big way. That said, Avalugg is good enough where you’ll want to try to at least capture enough for each PvP League, just in case. 

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