Pokemon Go Move Rebalance: September 2019

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Move Rebalance

On September 27, 2019 it was announced that Niantic would be making changes to the Pokemon Go movepool, changing a number of moves and Pokemon learnsets while adding a few new moves as well. 

Moves Changed

  • Bubble Beam now has a 100% chance to reduce the target's attack in PVP.
  • Power-Up Punch has had its damage reduced in PVP.
  • Psychic has been made a stronger move in PVP and PVE formats.
  • Snarl has had an increase in energy gain
  • Fire Fang has had its PVP stats changed.

New Moves

  • The Ice Type move Ice Fang has been added to Suicune, Mightyena, Mawile, Hippowdon, and Drapion.
  • The Electric Type move Thunder Fang has been added to Arcanine, Steelix, Mightyena and Hippowdon

Pokemon Moveset Changes

Alolan Raichu

Alolan Raichu can now learn the Electric Type Fast Move, Thunder Shock.

Alolan Sandslash

Alolan Sandslash now has access to the Ice Type Charged Move, Ice Punch

Alolan Ninetails

Alolan Ninetails now has access to the Fairy Type fast move, Charm.


Golduck has gained access to several moves in this update; the Water Type move Bubble Beam, the Psychic Type move Synchronoise, and the Fighting Type move Cross Chop.

Alolan Marowak

Alolan Marowak has gained access to the Fire Type Quick Move Fire Spin, and the Fire Type Charged Move Flame Wheel.


Mantine now has access to the Water Type move Bubble Beam


Mawile now has access to the Fire Type Quick Move, Fire Fang, the Ice Type Quick move, Ice Fang, and the Fighting Type Charged Move, Power-Up Punch.


Weavile now has access to the Dark Type Quick Move, Snarl.

More Moves Found in Data

Beyond this, Dataminers have also discovered sixteen other new, unused moves in the game's data.

According to the given facts, this update has created no new Legacy Movesets for any existing Pokemon.

We are currently working hard to update the database to reflect these new changes, as well as analyzing the update in order to predict any changes that it will have on the metagame.

Full Announcement Text

Full Announcement Post from Niantic can be seen here.

Community Note: Combat-system updates, more attacks, and other changes coming to Trainer Battles


In our previous Community Note, we outlined some changes that came to Pokémon GO that made Trainer Battles a more fun and competitive experience. In this update, we’re excited to announce more changes focusing on Trainer Battles!

Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll see some changes in Pokémon GO’s various combat systems.

Updates to the combat system

Our team has polished the existing system to make Trainer Battles and Team GO Rocket battles more intuitive and responsive in Pokémon GO version 0.157.0.

  • The timing for damage dealt and energy charged has been improved.
    • We understand this issue provided a possible knowledge gap that players could learn to work around, giving them an edge in battle. We chose to adjust this since we think it was fundamentally unintuitive that damage and energy changes always ran one move late. Unlike with quickly switching before a predicted Charged Attack, we don’t think the particularities of our refresh rate make for interesting gameplay decisions.
  • A Pokémon’s health bar will briefly pulse when it receives damage.

Exciting updates to existing attacks in Pokémon GO!

Along with updates to the combat system, there will also be some updates to select attacks.

  • Bubble Beam - Bubble Beam will now have a reliable attack debuff, which decreases an opponent Pokémon’s attack stat by one stage. We’re excited to see what strategies this change kicks off.

  • Power-Up Punch - Power-Up Punch’s primary purpose was intended to be rapidly boosting the attack of your Pokémon if your opponent doesn’t respond quickly. The damage for Power-Up Punch will be decreased in order to help Pokémon that can learn Power-Up Punch play differently from one another by using their other attacks for damage. This should also provide clearer counterplay—not blocking your opponent’s Power-Up Punches is now a more obviously right response!

  • Psychic - Psychic will now deal more damage and be usable sooner in Gym, Raid, and Trainer Battles. This rework is intended to make Psychic a more viable Psychic-type attack in both raids and Trainer Battles. Trainers now also have the chance to decrease an opponent Pokémon’s defense stat whenever the move is used in Trainer Battles.

  • Snarl - Snarl has been updated to have a clearer energy-generation role among Dark-type Fast Attacks. This should help the primarily offensive-leaning Pokémon with Snarl, like Arcanine and Luxio, use important Charged Attacks before fainting, as well as giving the more defensive Suicune and Umbreon more frequent access to their Charged Attacks.

More attacks will also be coming to Pokémon GO!

Certain Pokémon will soon be able to learn attacks that hadn’t yet been seen in Pokémon GO!

  • Thunder Fang: An Electric-type Fast Attack - Arcanine, Steelix, Mightyena, Hippowdon
  • Ice Fang: An Ice-type Fast Attack - Suicune, Mightyena, Mawile, Hippowdon, Drapion

Fire Fang damage has been increased to match the damage that Thunder Fang and Ice Fang deal.

Additional moveset updates

The following Pokémon will be able to learn attacks they couldn’t before:

  • 026 Alolan Raichu: Thundershock - This Fast Attack will let Alolan Raichu surf its way to faster Charged Attacks to help make up for its light defenses.

  • 028 Alolan Sandslash: Ice Punch - This Charged Attack lets Alolan Sandslash more reliably dish out fast and high-powered Ice-type damage in the Great and Ultra Leagues.

  • 038 Alolan Ninetales: Charm - This addition allows Alolan Ninetales to have a powerful Fast Attack option as an alternative to its more Charged-Attack-focused Ice-type attack set in the Great and Ultra Leagues.

  • 055 Golduck: Bubble Beam, Synchronoise, Cross Chop - With access to a few new tricks, Golduck has a new and unique pool of Charged Attacks that should help it stand out against the many other Water types in Ultra League.

  • 105 Alolan Marowak: Fire Spin, Flame Wheel - Alolan Marowak’s original move pool made it hard to use any Fire-type attacks in practice. Adding Fire Spin and Flame Wheel should give this Pokémon options to reliably deal Fire-type damage.

  • 226 Mantine: Bubble Beam - Giving Mantine the new and improved Bubble Beam gives it a more supportive role among Great League Water types.

  • 303 Mawile: Fire Fang, Ice Fang, Power-Up Punch - Fire Fang or Ice Fang combined with Power-Up Punch allow Mawile to pose a real threat in Great League. Mawile’s weakness to Fire-type attacks keeps it a balanced competitor.

  • 461 Weavile: Snarl - Snarl allows Weavile to hold its own as a fragile but powerful Dark-type attacker against Team GO Rocket, Raid Bosses, and Master League opponents.

We’re excited to see the teams you build with these changes, Trainers. Stay tuned, as we’ll be sharing more updates like these in the future. Good luck on the battlefield!

—The Pokémon GO team

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About the Author(s)

Gamepress writer with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization with a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.