Typing Review: An Overview of Fairy Types for Raids in Pokemon Go

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Fairy; one of "those" types. Fairy is currently the newest type in Pokemon after being released in Generation 6, and it's a very, very important type in PvP. But how is it in PvE? Well, it has the potential to be one of the best types in the game, but it's pretty unlikely that it will ever live up to the hype. So let's take a look at Fairy Type, current and future, and see if we can project a shining future for this elusive type.

Note on Errors

While the Gamepress team strives to be as accurate as possible with our information, we are in no way perfect and do make mistakes. And we also do our best to address these mistakes for the sake of transparency, as we feel that the community deserves the most accurate information that we can possibly present. As the Reddit user Elastic_Space graciously pointed out in our reddit post about this article and the comments below, this article had several major errors on release. Using the information that he presented, we have fixed these errors and the current article is accurate to the best of our knowledge. We'd like to thank Elastic_Space for pointing out these errors, and would like to apologize to our readers for the misinformation that we unknowingly presented. For those interested in understanding the reasoning behind our errors, feel free to check the content below:

Click to View Our Mistake

In the initial article, we had one primary issue that generated a cascading error throughout the article: we had the incorrect information on the Fast Move Fairy Wind. While it was showing with its proper parameters on the site, what I missed while writing this article is that the DPS/TDO Spreadsheet, which I use to compile data for these articles, recorded Fairy Wind with 3 Base Power instead of 9, meaning this attack was showing up as roughly 1/3 its actual power. Because of this, I discounted many strong Pokemon due to not realizing just how wrong the calculations were at the time. I will fully admit that I should have realized that something was wrong while writing and even wondered why Fairy Wind was coming up so far behind Charm in simulations, but I made the mistake of not looking farther into my issue. This error has since been corrected within the DPS/TDO Spreadsheet, and this article has been updated to address the issue.

Next, we had the wrong stats on Zacian. We were looking at its Generation 8 stats, but in Generation 9 it lost a few points from its massive Attack stat and our page for it was never updated. This too has been corrected.

Finally, Elastic_Space recommended a few changes to our top Fairy Type attackers to include Xurkitree and Zacian - Hero of Many Battles. This was an oversight on my part, and have since fixed it.

Thanks again for reading, and please accept my apology for these errors. The Fighting Type article is next, and I will work to ensure that errors along these lines don't show up again.

Elastic_Space's Original Comment:

Original Topic

Hi u/raven8sp, I like the series of type overview, but this one is very misleading with a few serious mistakes.

First is the stats of Fairy Wind. In GamePress' database there is a longstanding error with Fairy Wind's base power, should be 9 instead of 3. After correcting this you'll find that Fairy Wind performs quite similarly as Charm, and slightly pulls ahead when paired with Dazzling Gleam or Play Rough. This is recorded in my recent analysis of moveset specific power. If we get a more powerful fairy charge move one day, then Fairy Wind would be the clear winner.

With this "real" Fairy Wind and Dazzling Gleam, Enamorus-I would be on par with shadow Gardevoir in overall performance. This is a very promising result, analogous to Xurkitree's meta state in electric type (tying with the top shadow attackers). Even Enamorus-T with lower attack is still better than shadow Granbull and all other regular fairy attackers. If only given a fast move update, Tapu Koko would be better than Tapu Lele owing to a better charge move option.

Next is the attack stat of Zacian-C. Translated from the Gen-9 MSG stats, its base attack in GO is 295 instead of 332, with the standard 9% nerf. Considering the Crowned form is temporary in battle, it's probably handled as a mega-like form in GO, same as the primal ones. In this case Zacian-C may also get the primal treatment with a smaller nerf percentage (3%), but it's undoubtedly less impactful than Primal Kyogre/Groudon.

For the current state of the type, Zacian-H and Xurkitree are solid regular options despite lacking a fairy fast move (and STAB for the latter), both performing at Gardevoir/Togekiss level.

Hopefully you could fix these points soon, and either repost the article or highlight the changes, so that less audience would be left with false impression. Thanks for your work and look forward to the next one.

The State of the Type

The current top Fairy Type attackers in the game are already outlined in our Best Attackers by Type list, linked above, so we recommend that you take a look at that to get a better list-breakdown, but these are the current candidates that we'll be working with in this article:

Fairy is one of the types that has always had issues. To start with, it has three types that it counters: Dragon, Fighting, and Dark. These types are also countered by Dragon, Psychic, and Fighting, respectively, and these are three of the absolute strongest Pokemon Types in the game! Add to that the fact that most of the Fairy Types that we have right now are pretty underwhelming and it becomes pretty obvious that Fairy is one of those types that most players will only utilize when a double weakness shows up. For an example of this, Xurkitree actually works as one of the better Fairy Type attackers despite not being Fairy itself and lacking a Fairy fast move... remember those words, they're about to become a running theme.

The main exceptions to the rule is Mega Gardevoir, Shadow Gardevoir and Xerneas, which have the the power to carve out a bit more of a niche for Fairy Types thanks to their various advantages and relatively high power. That said, these Pokemon aren't quite enough to really cause Fairy to have a large niche all its own.

So is Fairy a bad type? No, but it's definitely on the low end of the spectrum when compared to other options. Its primary advantage is the fact that it double-resists Dragon Type attacks, which means Fairy Types can be very valuable against specific Dragon movesets like the infamous Dragon Tail/Outrage, but it's ultimately a type that newer players can wait a long time to work on building a raid group for and probably not miss it for the most part.

Fairy Type Moves

As of the publishing of this article, we currently have access to 8 different Fairy Type attacks, divided into 3 Fast Moves and 5 Charged Moves.

Fast Moves Charged Moves
Charm Play Rough
Fairy Wind Dazzling Gleam
Geomancy Moonblast
Draining Kiss
Disarming Voice

The Good Moves

Among the Fast Moves, the big one that most attackers tend to utilize is CharmThis is a hard-hitting move of kin to Confusion that takes some time to execute, but racks up a lot of damage in-and-of itself. Coming up right beside it it is Fairy Windwhich sacrifices some sheer power for additional energy generation. Both have the potential to be optimal in different situations, making both great moves to be certain. However, both of these moves are eclipsed by the power of Xerneas' Signature Move, Geomancywhich is basically Charm but with higher energy generation.

For Charged Moves, Play Rough and Dazzling Gleam are pretty close to one another, with the former sporting a faster damage window and the latter more power. Either one is great to have on an attacker, as these are the optimal Fairy Type attacks. Moving down the list, Moonblast is also a decent move, but its higher energy cost and lower average performance puts it a notch below the above.

The Bad Moves

For the bad Fast Moves, we have.... nothing. Fairy has two Fast Moves right now, and both are perfectly good moves with no major draw-backs. "What about Hidden Power?", I hear some ask. "Don't we have Hidden Power Fairy, just like the other types?". Well, here's the story there: Hidden Power actually released before Fairy Type was even created in the main series, and its type was based on a complex formula that looked at a Pokemon's IVs to assign a type that would never change, even through evolution or other large changes. When Fairy Type was released, this formula was already set in stone, so Gamefreak didn't make room for Hidden Power Fairy in their calculations, meaning Hidden Power: Fairy does not exist. Admittedly, Niantic could create this move if they wanted to as it's apparently 100% randomized with no factors on the Pokemon themselves seeming to tie into the ultimate type, and in Pokemon Go and we already have precedent for unique variations of attacks with the "+" and "++" variants of Aeroblast and Sacred Fire, but it's still pretty unlikely and wouldn't help much at all in truth.

Moving on, Draining Kiss and Disarming Voice are both pretty underwhelming. A Fairy Type Pokemon would have to have a huge Attack Stat to make them work, so these are the moves that Fairy Type attackers want to stay the heck away from.

The Future of Fairy Types

Currently Unreleased Fairy-Type Pokemon

Currently Unreleased Fairy-Type Moves

  • Moonlight
  • Sweet Kiss
  • Aromatic Mist**
    • Aromatisse
  • Baby-Doll Eyes
  • Crafty Shield**
    • Klefki
  • Fairy Lock*
    • Klefki
  • Flower Shield
    • Arceus
  • Light of Ruin*
    • Eternal Flower Floette 
  • Misty Terrain
  • Multi-Attack*
    • Silvally
  • Fleur Cannon*
    • Magearna
  • Floral Healing*
    • Comfey
  • Nature's Madness*
    • Tapu Koko
    • Tapu Lele
    • Tapu Bulu
    • Tapu Fini
  • Sparkly Swirl*
    • Eevee (Let's Go Eevee)
  • Decorate*
    • Alcreamie
  • Spirit Break**
    • Grimmsnarl
  • Strange Steam*
    • Galarian Weezing
  • Misty Explosion
  • Springtide Storm*
    • Enamorus - Incarnate
    • Enamorus - Therian

*: Signature Move
**: Formerly a Signature Move

The Non-Threats

Aside from the Pokemon that aren't fully evolved, we can pretty safely rule out Mega Mawile, Mega Audino, Silvally, Alcreamie, Dashsbun, Tinkaton, Fezandipiti, and Screamtail. Their low stats or lack of realistic Fairy Type moveset potential leaves them in the dust, unfortunately.

Other unlikely candidates start with Arceus. Despite being a potential savior to a number of under-represented types, Arceus has no access to any existing Fairy Type Fast Moves, meaning it would take a full moveset update and/or a very strong Judgment to be good. The other in this case is Grimmsnarl, who has what was once a Signature Move in Spirit Break, but its lower Attack stat and lack of a potential Fairy Type fast move means it doesn't have much potential. 

For Signature Moves that probably won't pan out in the future (if we get them at all), we have Aromatic Mist, Crafty Shield, Fairy Lock, Floral Healing, Sparkly Swirl, Decorate, and Strange Stream. For various reasons, these attacks would need to be absolutely broken beyond broken to make the Pokemon that they're attached to good.

The Existing Threats

Pokemon in this section have already been released into Pokemon Go, but their future is still bright. Due to moveset updates or other bonuses, they have the potential to rise on the list to varying degrees.

Note that we may treat select unreleased Mega Evolutions and alternate formes as Existing Threats, where applicable, due to their base-formes already existing in-game.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Charm + Dazzling Gleam or Play Rough
  • Current Best Moveset: Rock Throw + Moonblast

Mega Diancie has the potential to strip Mega Gardevoir of the title of best Fairy Type Mega Evolution given the right moveset, and it has access to all of the best possible moves in the Main Series. It won't quite reach the DPS of the top Dragons and it will absolutely hate facing Steel Type coverage moves, but given a few realistic changes, we could see a new top Fairy for sure.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Charm + Dazzling Gleam or Play Rough
  • Current Best Moveset: Confusion + Moonblast

Among the Tapu-Quartet, Tapu Lele definitely has the most potential. It's the only member of its legendary group that has access to Charm, and it also has the highest Attack stat, putting it in a very good position. Given a moveset change, Tapu Lele could be sitting very comfortably on the DPS lists, and we're still not quite done!

The entire Tapu-Quartet has access to a shared signature move named Nature's Madness. This is a Fairy Type attack that could very well be pretty powerful, and Tapu Lele would definitely be the best user of this move. Right now it's not great, but it has the potential to be good!

  • Best Possible Moveset: Fairy Wind + Dazzling Gleam
  • Current Best Moveset: Volt Switch + Dazzling Gleam

Tapu Koko has a lower Attack stat than Tapu Lele, but its situationally stronger Fast Move option could give it a huge advantage that has the potential to propel it to Shadow Granbull levels. However, if the entire quartet is given a Nature's Madness that's stronger than Dazzling Gleam, then Tapu Koko will ultimately fall a bit behind Tapu Lele if they both get Fairy Type Fast Moves, though its different sub-typing may afford it the chance to shine in specific raids.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Snarl + Play Rough
  • Current Best Moveset: Snarl + Play Rough

Despite lacking a Fairy Type fast move (a real running theme through this article, isn't it?), Zacian's sheer power puts it fairly close to Shadow Gardevoir given our current projections. It'll definitely be a nice addition to the Fairy family, especially when it's also fighting something weak to Snarl, but it won't quite be the monster that was originally projected.

The Future Threats

These are the Pokemon that we don't currently have in-game, but have the potential to join our Top Attackers by Type list if Niantic does them justice. Note that this list won't necessarily order Pokemon according to their potential, as we will take likelihood of a good implementation into consideration as well.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Charm + Dazzling Gleam

One of the new Paradox Pokemon from Paldea, Flutter Mane is a Ghost/Fairy Type with huge potential. It has access to the best Fairy Type moves, and has the potential to rival Shadow Gardevoir, though a bit weaker in truth. Either way, Flutter Mane may be a God-send to the Fairy meta if all goes its way.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Fairy Wind + Dazzling Gleam or Play Rough

If given its perfect moveset, Enamorus - Incarnate Forme has the potential to rival Shadow Gardevoir, sporting slightly lower average DPS but higher average TDO. And more important than that; it also has a sub-type that doesn't put it at odds with Dark Types! This could be a pretty huge addition to the Fairy Type, and we're not even done yet: with a bit of help from its Fairy Type Signature Move, Springtide Storm, Enamorus has the potential to pretty much take the type by storm and beat out everything else within the type. 

  • Best Possible Moveset: (Any) + Dazzling Gleam

A case similar to Xerneas but to an even greater degree because of its substantially higher base Attack, Iron Valiant has the potential to sit near Shadow Gardevoir in terms of its sheer power, but it has no Fairy Type fast move to utilize. Its primary hope is that we get Misty Terrain, as Spirit Break is the former Signature Move of Grimmsnarl, so it's very likely to be a Charged Move if we ever see it. Still, this is a Pokemon that could very well rule the Fairy Type if everything goes in its favor, though that's not super likely.

  • Best Possible Moveset: (Any) + Dazzling Gleam

Speaking of lacking a Fairy Type Fast Move...

Magearna has good power and access to a Fairy Type Signature Move by the name of Fleur Cannon. However, it too lacks a Fairy Type Fast Move! It would take a new move shake-up to make Magearna good, but at least it's possible. 

  • Best Possible Moveset: Charm + Dazzling Gleam

We're putting Eternal Flower Floette in this section even though we already have Floette in-game, this variant may as well be its own Pokemon.

Anyone who played Pokemon X and Y and actually remembers the story will recall that one of the driving story-points to the game's backstory was a war, and that even the Pokemon of the then king of Kalos joined in the war, only to be returned to him in a tiny coffin. In his grief, the king sought to create a device to not only revive his beloved Pokemon, but to destroy those who he was fighting. He succeeded, and his dear Pokemon, a Floette, was brought back to life... this was the Eternal Flower Floette.

What many people don't realize is that Eternal Flower Floette actually existed as its own Pokemon with its own stats within Pokemon X and Y. And more important than that, Eternal Flower Floette had its own signature move: Light of Ruin, an extremely powerful Fairy Type move.

Eternal Flower Floette never saw the light of day, and has been all but forgotten by the community. However, it's still possible that this Pokemon may yet rise, and if it does we could see it with far more power than expected.

  • Best Possible Moveset: Fairy Wind + Dazzling Gleam or Play Rough

This turtle-transformation is definitely the lesser of Enamorus' two formes for raids, but its Attack is still high enough to make it a very solid option given the right moveset.  We'll look a bit more at this Pokemon up ahead....

  • Best Possible Moveset: Charm + Dazzling Gleam 
  • Current Best Moveset: Charm + Dazzling Gleam

Given that it's currently slated to have its ideal moveset, Hatterene is on its way to be something of a... worse Gardevoir. These two Pokemon have the exact same Attack stat, typing, and moveset, but Hatterene has lower bulk. It'll be fine, but not game-changing.

The Looming Shadows

As we sit right now, we don't have a lot of realistic potential for Shadows to come in and disrupt Fairy Types. The biggest threats would have to be Shadow Xerneas with its powerful mono-Fairy typing and excellent moveset. After that are Shadow Tapu Lele and Shadow Tapu Koko if they're given access to Fairy Type Fast Moves. And even then, they won't be genuinely outstanding, sitting around Shadow Gardevoir unless they also get access to a powerful Nature's Madness. The same would go for a future Shadow Hatterene if given a favorable moveset, sitting as a slightly less bulky Shadow Gardevoir similar to how its base form is currently projected to be a less bulky Gardevoir. Moving down a step, Shadow Primarina and Shadow Florges would both be "good", but not great.

If we want to theorycraft a bit and go outside of the realm of what's currently "normal", the biggest threat would have to be Shadow Zacian - Crowned Sword, as its SHEER POWER would allow it to hit very hard despite its lack of a Fairy Type Fast Move.

Going even deeper off the deep-end, Shadow Flutter Mane would take the type by storm, but that's reaching fairly deep into the realm of the unlikely, or at the very least very, very far off.

The Gigantamax Factor

While not extremely likely, it's possible that Niantic could release the Dynamax/Gigantamax system first introduced in Generation 8/Galar into Pokemon Go. For those unaware, this system turns Pokemon giant, gives them new/overpowering moves, and grants a tremendous HP boost while active. And while the release of this feature isn't super likely, we thought it best to at least list the possible candidates with unique formes just to cover all bases, so these are all of the Bug Type Pokemon with a Gigantamax forme:

Verdict for the Future

Fairy is a type that has huge potential to be absolutely outstanding, but it's not super-likely to be able to punch on the same level as the Dragon, Fighting, and Psychic Types that rival it any time soon. It's likely to remain in a bit of a type-limbo as we move forward, if only because genuinely good Fairy Types have the potential to make Dragon obsolete as a type, but the potential to rise still remains. 

Niantic: GIVE US MISTY TERRAIN AS A GOOD FAST MOVE! That one move could make this entire type way more viable and give justice to a number of Pokemon that deserve it!

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About the Author(s)

Gamepress Pokemon Go site lead with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization and 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.