Primal Reversion and their Signature Moves: Meta Impact

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Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon are making their debut at GO Tour: Hoenn - Las Vegas, and with them, the introduction of the Primal Reversion mechanic! Both Kyogre and Groudon are already iconic and powerful Legendary Pokemon, and they will get even stronger! Not only that, they are also slated to receive their signature moves. Let’s go over Primal Reversion Mechanics, Origin Pulse, Precipice Blades, their impacts, and why you should be excited!

But before we go anywhere, keep in mind that Primal Reversion, Origin Pulse, and Precipice Blades are INITIALLY exclusive to ticket holders at Las Vegas. They will, however, be available globally a week after in the GO Tour: Hoenn - Global event. Regardless, there’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get right down to it!

Primal Reversion Mechanics: What We Know

Primal Reversion is a mechanic introduced in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that functions similarly to Mega Evolution, temporarily powering up the affected Pokemon. To date, only Kyogre and Groudon are capable of Primal Reversion. In Pokemon GO, Primal Reversion shares a number of mechanics with Mega Evolution. These are:

  • Eight hour duration
  • Initial cost to the initial Primal Reversion. Subsequent Primal Reversions will cost less
  • Primal Levels function very much like Mega Levels, increasing with repeated Primal Reversions and improving their bonuses. Candy and XP are amongst the bonuses mentioned.

Like with Mega Evolution, Primal Reversion provides bonuses to damage in raids. However, unlike Mega Evolution, these bonuses are not limited to the Primal Pokemon’s STABed attacks. Fitting to the weathers that Kyogre and Groudon are most well known for in the main series, Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon boost types that are affected by rain and sunny/clear, respectively. Primal Kyogre boosts Water-, Electric-, and Bug-type attacks, while Primal Groudon boosts Fire-, Ground-, and Grass-type attacks. It is also mentioned in the Primal Reversion announcement that these Primal Pokemon will boost attacks while in the party, as opposed to when they are active in battle. If this is true, having a Primal in your party can mean boosts that last for the entire battle, as these boosts are implied to not be reliant on the Primal being sent out. However, there is also the possibility that, despite the wording, it will work the same as Mega Evolutions instead.

Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre also provide Candy and XP bonuses to the aforementioned respective types while they are buddies. This is unlike Mega Evolution, which only requires a Pokemon to be Mega Evolved. This may be a cumbersome feature, potentially disrupting buddy progress if one were to desire these bonuses. 

Primal Reversion Mechanics: What We DON’T KNOW

Much about Primal Reversion is shrouded in mystery at this time. These are some questions left unanswered about the Primal Reversion mechanic.

  • How many Primal Reversions can be active at once, and can they be used alongside Megas? In the main series, there is no limit to how many Primal Reversions a player can have. Will Pokemon GO follow this mechanic, or will they treat Primal Reversion like a Mega Evolution and limit it to one at a time?
  • Do the attack bonuses benefit the player with the Primal? For Mega Evolutions, this only affects allies, but the ally-specific boost is not mentioned in the Primal Reversion announcement. If the Primals DO boost the player wielding them, do the Primals themselves also benefit from their own boost?
  • Do Primals boost Candy XL at later Primal Levels?
  • Do Primals boost regular Candy for raid catches regardless of type?
  • Do Primals provide a small boost to other attacking types, much like Mega Evolution?
  • How much is the percentage of the damage boost?

For the time being, a few assumptions about the mechanic will be made for the rest of the article. If these turn out to be untrue, then these can be fixed at a later date.

Origin Pulse and Precipice Blades

Released alongside Primal Reversion are Origin Pulse and Precipice Blades, the signature moves of Kyogre and Groudon, respectively. Origin Pulse is a Water-type Charged Attack and Precipice Blades is a Ground-type Charged Attack. Both moves have actually been present in the Game Master for a very, very long time, complete with parameters. 

Precipice Blades and Origin Pulse have excellent and identical parameters in both PvP and Raids. They both have 130 Power (also confirmed in the Primal Reversion announcement) in both PvP and Raids. In PvP, they both cost 60 Energy, boasting an incredible 2.17 DPE. In Raids, they both cost 100 energy, but they have a fairly short cooldown of 1.7 seconds. They are amongst the most powerful 1-bar Charged Attacks in the game. 

I will soon go over how much Kyogre and Groudon benefit from these moves, but quick summary, Groudon benefits from Precipice Blades more than Kyogre does from Origin Pulse. Keep in mind that the following analysis assumes that Niantic will retain these parameters when they do get released. There is no guarantee that they will, and some signature moves have gotten parameter adjustments prior to their release (Psystrike and Doom Desire are some examples). However, the official announcement does at least confirm the 130 power for both PvP and Raids.

Origin Pulse Kyogre in Raids (Primal and Regular)

Disclaimer: The following analysis assumes that Primal Kyogre does not boost its own damage. It also assumes that only one of Mega or Primal Pokemon can be active at once (contrary to how Primal Reversion functions in the main series). If these are found to be wrong, this article will be updated at a later date.

With Origin Pulse, Primal Kyogre becomes the #1 Water attacker in raids, outperforming Mega Swampert by a decent margin. However, Mega Swampert still remains relevant, as it can also provide Candy XL for Ground-type raid bosses while hitting them super effectively. Mega Swampert is also much easier to get Candy and Candy XL for.

The only potential threat to Primal Kyogre and Mega Swampert’s reign as Water attackers is Hydro Cannon Ash Greninja due to its completely absurd DPS. However, both Primal Kyogre and Mega Swampert have significantly more bulk and can maintain the Water-boosting aura for much longer, nullifying Ash Greninja’s high DPS in larger lobbies.

(Note that Water Shuriken also currently exists in the Game Master, but it has no parameters. It can potentially make Ash Greninja an even more threatening Pokemon if it is a better move than Bubble).

For those who opt to Primal Revert an Origin Pulse-less Kyogre, Surf Primal Kyogre still performs quite well, but trails slightly behind Mega Swampert. A Lv.50 Surf Primal Kyogre has comparable performance to a Lv.40 Origin Pulse Primal Kyogre.

Regular Kyogre with Origin Pulse has a comparable performance to Shadow Swampert, but despite Kyogre’s higher ER, Swampert’s superior DPS may still outperform Kyogre on average. Regardless, both options are top tier picks. Regular Kyogre with Surf is still a fairly strong pick as well, and will remain strong for quite some time. Other Water-type potential options may compete with Kyogre, such as Palkia-Origin with Waterfall + Surf, Palafin-Hero, Shadow Primarina with Hydro Cannon, or Arceus-Water with Waterfall + either Judgment with busted parameters or the unlikely Hydro Cannon. And of course, the release of Kyogre’s own Shadow form will eclipse its regular form. But let’s not get TOO deep into speculating these; just enjoy that Kyogre will be in the spotlight.

There is also the topic of comparing Kyogre to other type options like Terrakion, Kartana, or Shadow Metagross, and how it falls behind when compared to their DPS, but it is not something that I will go over here. Remember to check your weather before locking in your raid teams; Kyogre can still shine over these superior DPS options in the rain or even against the correct boss moveset.

Assuming that Primal Kyogre boosts the Catch Candy XL of Water-, Electric-, and Bug-type Pokemon, it is best used in raids that feature those types AND are weak to Water. There is just one problem: there aren’t really any Bug- or Electric-type Tier 5s/6s or Megas that are weak to Water. The only potential candidate as of Gen IX is Sandy Shocks, if Paradox Pokemon will appear in Tier 5s to begin with. Even then, Primal Kyogre still competes with Primal Groudon and Mega Swampert.

Key takeaways: 

  • Primal Kyogre with Origin Pulse is the best Water attacker. Period. It will be unmatched in this role until something insane like Hydro Cannon Ash Greninja comes out. 
  • However, it has some competition with Mega Swampert, who offers utility by providing Ground-type Candy XL and its DPS and TDO aren't too far behind. Mega Swampert is also more accessible. 
  • Origin Pulse regular Kyogre is one of the best non Primal / non Mega options, trailing slightly behind Shadow Swampert. 
  • Origin Pulse is not a huge upgrade over Surf, although it is nonetheless an upgrade. With Surf, Primal Kyogre is slightly worse than Mega Swampert.
  • Primal Kyogre doesn’t really get opportunities where it can both be a Raid Candy XL farmer and a top counter at the same time.

Origin Pulse Kyogre in PvP

Before we go anywhere, this section (and Groudon’s later) focuses exclusively on Master League. Don’t bother using Kyogre in Ultra League - it’s too fragile and its moveset isn’t strong enough there. It’s also not eligible for Great League, unless Niantic decides to simply release a really low level one in the future. And even then, it will still be awful.

tl;dr: Origin Pulse is situational. Kyogre must make the tough decision to sacrifice coverage if it wants to use Origin Pulse.

Boasting 130 damage for 60 Energy and an incredible 2.17 DPE, Origin Pulse may be tempting on Kyogre, but the reality is that it is situational at best. Kyogre will never want to get rid of Surf due to its low cost and reliability, so Origin Pulse can only be viably picked over its coverage options, Thunder or Blizzard. Doing so is still a tough sell, as Thunder is Kyogre’s coverage against itself, while Blizzard, though incredibly costly, can offer game-winning deletions against the rampant Dragon-type Pokemon in the Master League metagame. Between Waterfall and Surf, Kyogre already finds itself often dealing incredible damage in neutral situations; Origin Pulse is often unreliable and overkill.

With that said, Origin Pulse’s raw power means that a neutral one will deal just about as much damage as a super effective Thunder, so Kyogre isn’t really losing out on anything when it wants to strike down Lugia or Yveltal. Origin Pulse can destroy unsuspecting Mewtwo, Zacian, or Reshiram who think they might be safe from Kyogre’s Charged Attacks. Even Dialga will take quite heavy damage from Origin Pulse. Running a monotype moveset in GBL isn’t unheard of either, as evidenced by Skarmory and Shadow Ninetales in Great League. Is this worth losing the coverage provided by Blizzard or Thunder? Generally, I would say no. However, I would not count Origin Pulse out completely.

Kyogre is currently already a strong pick in the Master League, but Origin Pulse will not be the reason why its viability can move (for better or worse). What may impact Kyogre’s viability is Groudon getting buffed by Precipice Blades. As Groudon becomes more used, it is only natural that Kyogre may rise to counter it.

As for Primal Kyogre, it will likely only be allowed in Mega Master League. Due to its INSANE stats, Primal Kyogre can sometimes overwhelm even Mega Gyarados, Giratina-O, and Dialga while running a pure Water moveset. However, much like with regular Kyogre, Origin Pulse is often overkill against neutral targets. Additionally, while Primal Kyogre can still challenge Mega Gyarados with a pure Water moveset, it may still prefer the security of Thunder in that matchup.

Key takeaways: 

  • Origin Pulse is situational at best. 
  • Don’t replace Surf.
  • It can sometimes be used over Thunder or Blizzard, but sacrificing coverage is often not worth it as Kyogre already deals a great amount of damage in neutral fights.

Precipice Blades Groudon in Raids (Primal and Regular)

Disclaimer: Much like with Primal Kyogre, the following analysis assumes that Primal Groudon does not boost its own damage. It also assumes that only one of Mega or Primal Pokemon can be active at once (contrary to how Primal Reversion functions in the main series). If these are found to be wrong, this article will be updated at a later date.

Precipice Blades Primal Groudon is decisively the #1 Ground attacker of all time, outperforming the unreleased Mega Garchomp (who is pretty absurd in its own right). However, Mega Garchomp can provide XLs against Dialga, Zekrom, and the future Miraidon, and has a very powerful and relevant secondary type, so it will not be outclassed by Primal Groudon. Primal Groudon also doesn’t appear to have any other potential competitors in the horizon, although a Shadow regular Groudon with Precipice Blades can come close.

It is also worth noting that since Primal Groudon boosts Ground- and Fire-type attacks in raids, it can be particularly effective against Steel-type bosses in uncoordinated lobbies. Similarly, boosting both Ground- and Grass-type attacks enhances its effectiveness against Rock-type bosses.

The sheer difference in performance between Earthquake and Precipice Blades is astounding, much more than that of Surf and Origin Pulse for Kyogre. Regular Groudon goes from being slightly outclassed by Garchomp to being about 10% better than it, and also even being on par with Shadow Mamoswine. Remember that Shadow Mamoswine’s Ice secondary typing ails it with nasty weaknesses, so it may sometimes prove unreliable in matchups where Ground is supposed to be strong against. That’s where Groudon will shine! Precipice Blades Groudon the best non-Shadow Ground attacker and it’s not even close. Although future Shadow releases of Garchomp, Excadrill, Landorus (both), or Rhyperior can dethrone Groudon, Groudon can claim its crown back once it gets its own Shadow form.

Of course, Landorus-T can take it all away if it were to get Sandsear Storm, and only if it were to be given good parameters. That is perhaps the only potential threat Groudon will face to this date.

Assuming that Primal Groudon boosts the Catch Candy XL of Fire-, Ground-, and Grass-type Pokemon, it is best used in raids that feature those types AND are weak to Ground. Unlike with Primal Kyogre, Primal Groudon can have a good amount of targets where it can do so. Currently released Tier 5s include Entei, Heatran, and Reshiram, although Primal Groudon may compete with some Dragon-type Megas for the latter. Future Potential T5s+ include Arceus-Fire, Silvally-Fire, Blacephalon, and Chi-Yu. If Paradox Pokemon are included, Primal Groudon’s future targets also include Sandy Shocks, Iron Treads, and Iron Moth. When including Mega Raids, Primal Groudon is best against Mega Charizard X, Mega Houndoom, and Mega Blaziken. Primal Groudon can attempt to become somewhat of a Fire attacker to both counter Grass-type bosses such as Arceus-Grass and Kartana and farm their XLs, but its DPS isn’t particularly amazing since it lacks a Fire-type Fast Attack. However, Primal Groudon is the only “Fire” attacker that boosts Grass-type Candies, so it’s not a terrible choice.

Key takeaways:

  • Primal Groudon with Precipice Blades is the best Ground attacker, outperforming the currently unreleased Mega Garchomp. It will likely be the best at this role forever.
  • Thanks to Precipice Blades, Regular Groudon becomes the best non-Shadow Ground attacker, and is overall on par with Shadow Mamoswine. Outside of Shadow Pokemon, the only Pokemon that can threaten its throne is Sandsear Storm Landorus-T, and that’s only if it gets good parameters.
  • Precipice Blades is a gigantic upgrade over Earthquake.
  • Primal Groudon has a fair amount of raid targets where it can both be a top attacker and can get bonus XLs (assuming that Primals can boost Candy XL chances).

Precipice Blades Groudon in PvP

Like with Kyogre, don’t use Groudon anywhere but in the Master League.

Tl;dr: Straight upgrade from Earthquake. Anyone interested in Master League should get this.

Precipice Blades boasts the same amazing 130/60 parameters as Origin Pulse, but unlike Kyogre, Groudon only gets a buff from running this move. Groudon is currently already in a solid spot in the Master League and Precipice Blades can propel Groudon into being a top meta Pokemon. It is a solid check to the Zacian + Dialga core and is a terrifying closer, and it only gets better at these roles.

The energy cost reduction going from Earthquake to Precipice Blades has some major implications. It takes Groudon 7 Mud Shots (14 Turns) to reach the first Precipice Blades. On the other hand, Earthquake takes 8 Mud Shots (16 Turns) for the initial activation. These are some situations where the buff in speed can be significant:

  • Precipice Blades outpaces Dialga’s Iron Head by a significant amount (14 Turns vs 17 Turns). This enables Groudon to counter-swap into Dialga without the threat of Dialga attacking first and forcing a shield with Iron Head. Although Groudon must still be fast on the counter-swap, this window is now realistic. With Earthquake, Groudon can only outpace Dialga’s Iron Head on the first activation if it is sent out at the same time as Dialga.
  • It ties in speed with Giratina-O’s Shadow Ball, enabling Groudon to win the 0- and 1-shield. Groudon is bulky enough to take a Shadow Ball and Ominous Wind along with all the Shadow Claw damage leading up to them.
  • Groudon now outpaces Kyogre’s Surf, Reshiram’s Fusion Flare, and Metagross’s Meteor Mash.
  • Additionally, due to Precipice Blades costing 60 Energy instead of 65, Groudon can use Precipice Blades + Fire Punch at 100 Energy.

Dragon Tail Groudon has the same counts as Mud Shot Groudon (although it is 1.5x slower due to Dragon Tail’s lengthy duration). It appreciates Precipice Blades, but does not benefit as much as Mud Shot Groudon.

Although Precipice Blades does not fix Groudon’s worst matchups (Flying-type Pokemon; most notably Lugia and Dragonite), it can make Groudon oppressive in neutral matchups and lets it dominate super effective matchups even further. Its potency can potentially create meta shifts as stronger countermeasures may be more desirable to keep it in check. Flying-type Pokemon such as Lugia, Dragonite, Ho-Oh, and Yveltal may rise. Water-type Pokemon such as Kyogre and Palkia may also see more play. Although it already sees play, Ice Beam Mewtwo may become more appealing in this metagame, keeping both Groudon and Flying-type Pokemon in check. Zacian and Dialga may be less relied upon as a core, but their wide range of use and synergy with many Pokemon means they likely won’t go away anytime soon.

Groudon gets even more terrifying in its Primal Form in formats where Primal Reversion is allowed. It is incredibly oppressive to any teams lacking in Lugia, Dragonite, or Water-type Pokemon. Its now STAB Fire Punch can tear chunks off Yveltal and Landorus, and its absurdly powerful Precipice Blades can even break apart Ho-Oh. A neutral Precipice Blades will nearly oneshot most Pokemon (Zacian, Mewtwo, Garchomp, Palkia, and regular Kyogre to name a few). Luckily, Primal Groudon’s rampage is kept in check by Mega Swampert, Mega Gyarados, and Primal Kyogre. It also ironically becomes weak to its base form, although Primal Groudon's insane stats compensates for that.

Key takeaways: 

  • Precipice Blades is a must-have on Groudon for PvP, replacing Earthquake.
  • Groudon is already a good Pokemon without it, so it can potentially turn it into a top meta Pokemon. 
  • Hardcounters to Groudon still exist to keep it from completely dominating, but Groudon can be oppressive in positive and neutral matchups with its newfound power, and can potentially cause a metagame shift.
  • Primal Groudon has the potential to be extremely oppressive in the Mega Master League, but the strongest Megas there are Water types, keeping its rampage in check. Despite this weakness, Primal Groudon's insane stats means that even these Water types fear getting hit by a Precipice Blades.


If you must pick a winner from these updates, then the answer clearly goes to Groudon. It gets a Primal form with more relevant targets, and gets a signature move that strictly upgrades it. Prioritize Groudon whenever possible, unless you need Kyogre XLs more. As a bonus, Primal Groudon will be easier to take down due to its double weakness to Water. New players have the option to grab a Kyogre and make use of it in the following Groudon raid.

All is not lost for Kyogre, though. Origin Pulse-less Kyogre is still good (and even preferred for Master League), so it’s much less of an Elite TM target than Groudon is. Make no mistake, Kyogre is still an amazing Pokemon, both in Raids and PvP, so definitely still try to get some if you can.

In any case, prospective Master League players should try to grab the XLs for both of these Pokemon, as they are excellent choices.

Until then, see ya!

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About the Author(s)

Hi! I'm Jibaku! I have hit Rank 10 or Legend in every GBL season except Season 3. I primarily focus on Master League gameplay.

Formerly a Pokemon VGC player.