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Slaking Community Day: New Move Potential

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Introduction

On June 8, 2019, the next Community Day will drop, giving us an abundance of the Slacker Pokemon, Slakoth. This means that we’ll also see a special move for its evolution, Slaking. However, with the moveset-tweak for Blaziken with Blaze Kick, it’s possible that we could see more than just one move added, which is especially nice since current leaks suggest that we already know Slaking’s community day exclusive move: Body Slam.

Current leaks supported by Serebii suggest that Body Slam will be Slaking’s Community Day move. This is an interesting choice as it grants Slaking a 3-bar STAB move. If this is the case, how will this move combine with Slaking’s titanic attack stat?

Body Slam Meta Analysis

Raids/Gym Attacking Meta

Sadly, Slaking will still fall quite short of being considered “good” in the raiding/gym meta. Normal Type can’t deal Super Effective damage to anything, meaning it will always fall behind. On top of this, if Slaking continues to have no damaging quick-move options, its potential even as a generalist will remain unfulfilled.

Hyper Beam, which Slaking already has, is already a stronger DPS*DPE move, though the combination of the two could improve overall DPS.

Gym Defense Meta

Being a 3-bar STAB move, Body Slam is a good move for the defense meta on paper. However, it actually falls behind the 2-bar Play Rough, as the later deals super effective damage to Machamp, which a defending slaking is very likely to encounter. It also grants Super Effective damage against most of the dragons that it may also face. Body Slam does fire off faster, meaning Slaking has at least some chance of doing something to its opponent, but it’s just not quite as good in practice as it may seem.

PVP Meta

Body Slam is a good move that comes out very fast, meaning it definitely improves Slaking’s standing in PVP. Sadly, that standing is still terrible thanks to, once again, Yawn. The worst quick move in the game, Yawn relegates Slaking to a bottom-tier Pokemon without any use despite its potential improvement in charged moveset.

Verdict

In summary: Body Slam will not do much for Slaking. In fact, no charged move can fix Slaking without pairing it with a damaging fast move. The addition of Blaze Kick to Blaziken's move pool opens up that possibility. Slaking could also receive a new charge move, with either as a permanent new addition.

Potential Fast Move Additions

Needless to say, the best gift that Slaking could hope for is a new Quick move. Here is a complete list of all of the quick moves that Slaking could learn according to its main-game moveset:

Counter

Feint Attack

Hidden Power

Low Kick

Scratch

Shadow Claw

Smack Down

Among these, arguably the most important moves are Scratch and Counter. Scratch is it's best option for a STAB, Normal-type move, while Counter is an extremely powerful fast move that also pairs well with Play Rough.

Scratch

Scratch is a safe but unexciting choice for Slakoff. With it, Slaking rises to take the title of the top Normal-type and becomes one of the top Generalists in the game. With a Partly Cloudy weather boost, Slacking would be a top attacker in a number of situations. It’s worth noting that Rampardos will be a higher DPS attacker with the same boost (though Slaking does bring almost double the TDO).

While weather boosted, Slaking can become a passable attacker against things with limited coverage and things its existing Charge moves (Play Rough and Earthquake) already hit super effectively. The most notable Raid Bosses a Scratch Slaking would be a counter to (when PC weather boosted) are Palkia and Raikou. Palkia because it is a Dragon without a double-weakness and Raikou because Ground-types are limited and pretty terrible.


Body Slam is still not an improvement over Hyper Beam (as previously stated) but Scratch + Body Slam or Play Rough would make Slaking a fierce gym defender.

Counter

Counter is an extremely powerful move in both PvE and PvP, so it’s an option many players have their eye on. Against Dark-type Pokemon, Slaking deals Machamp-equivilent DPS with 40% higher TDO (combining Counter with Play Rough). This immediately gives Slaking some attacking niche relevance.

For PvP, Counter is an absolute game-changer, as the above chart demonstrates. Slaking is capable of beating many of the Master League’s top threats in a one-on-one battle. In this capacity, Slaking could very well reshape the entire metagame around itself upon release. However, Slaking’s absolutely gargantuan CP leaves it crippled in any other meta, meaning the Master League is the only place that it could truly shine.

Potential NEW Fast Moves

Slacking has other new possibilities for a fast move not currently in the game. It’s signature move is Slack Off, a non-damaging Normal-type move. We could see this implemented similarly to Yawn, to great effect.

Yawn is a truly terrible move. Several moves offer higher EPS while dealing damage. A Yawn “clone” with 33% of the original's duration (or providing three times the energy) performs similarly to Scratch in overall DPS rankings. By cranking that up slightly to a Yawn “clone” with 30% the original’s duration, Slaking can be pushed to out have neutral DPS that outperforms Rayquaza.

Should this be expected? No. Is it possible? Why not? Community Day moves have been incredibly pushed in the past. A move of this caliber would not be game-breaking as its applications would still be decently limited. This also fits the goals of many past Community Day moves as it gives new players a powerful enough tool that it’s versatile, while also giving dedicated players a unique attacker for certain niche.

While this new move would almost certainly be Slack Off, there’s no hiding that sleepy Snorlax are collectively Yawning across the world. Does this potentially hint at additional mechanics for Yawn to come soon? It’s at least fun to think about.

For more things to ponder, Slack Off opens the door for a few more fun possibilities in PvP. With limitless directions this could go, we’ll leave this just as a footnote for now. With continued Niantic press telling trainers worldwide not to slack off, this upcoming Community Day may be one you don’t want to miss.

Undoing The "Double Nerf"

Speaking on Slaking’s gargantuan CP, remember too that Slaking was doubly nerfed. In the main series games, Slaking has a massive Attack stat balanced by the drawback ability Truant, allowing it to only attack every other turn. This is represented in Go by having Slaking learn only the fast move Yawn.

Still, because of it’s high Attack, it’s CP is pushed over 4000, causing it to receive a flat 9% nerf to all of its stats. Without this nerf, it still would have DPS near Wigglytuff. It's totally unnecessary in the current state.

If Niantic wants to push Slacking just a little bit more, perhaps they could remove this additional nerf. Alongside some of the possibilities in this article, this would probably be too much. Regardless, this lazy lump has done next to nothing since its release last year and a Community Day is a great time for it to finally awaken. A pushed Normal-type generalist is something the game has never seen, and generalists as a whole have been slept on since the Super Effective multiplier change.

So what can we expect from June 2019’s Community Day? If the leaks are true and we get nothing else, then not a lot frankly. Given the current scope of the game and the moves available, Slaking’s only hope is in a new quick move, as without one it will continue to be mediocre, serving no purpose beyond turning gyms into quickly-decaying towers with its stupidly high CP. If it is blessed with an appropriate Quick Move, then it can range from a great generalist to one of the new kings of the Master League in PVP. Until then we will wait patiently to welcome our new king.

About the Author(s)

Gamepress writer with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization. A Pokemon player since its inception, and a Pokemon Go player since day 1.

NoLucksGiven is a Digital Card Game Streamer and YouTuber with a specialty in "limited" formats. With a lifetime of powering up his skills in resource management, quick analysis, and on-the-fly ranking, Pokemon Go has become a perfect fit for NLG. NoLucks makes it a goal (and succeeds) to reach the top echelon of players in any game he plays including being the #1 Ranked Drafter in Solforge. Through his articles and stream and YouTube content, his goal is to help other players that are looking for tips to level up their own game.