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Walrein PvP IV Deep Dive

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Introduction

Walrein is getting both Powder Snow and the new attack Icicle Spear as its exclusive Community Day attacks during Spheal Community Day (1/16, 11-5pm local time). Given that Icicle Spear has the stats of pre-nerfed Weather Ball (60/35), Walrein’s Bulk, new found energy gains in Powder Snow, and perfect coverage with Earthquake, Walrein has now become a power house in all 3 PvP metas (4 with Little Cup). In fact, you may not want to even bother playing the Ultra League Premier Cup Classic without a Walrein, it’s just that good. 

When it comes to PvP IVs, the general rule of thumb is to pursue the high Stat Product (SP) iteration of the Pokemon (low Atk, high Def/HP). Of course, there may be important Atk Breakpoints (the point in which your Fast Move does 1 extra damage per hit) that are worth pursuing. To help you better navigate these complex PvP IVs, below is the Walrein PvP IV Deep Dive, cataloging Walrein’s most important stat checks for PvP.

If all of this sounds confusing to you, check out this PvP IVs Simplified video.

Great League

Walrein has 2 main priorities in the Great League: Meeting the Atk Breakpoints while not thrifting too hard on Def. 

For Atk Breakpoints, the most important are:

  • 113.77, Azumarill straight EQ
  • 113.93, Greedent consistency
  • 114.11, Whiscash farm down potential
  • 114.46, Diggersby farm down potential

The lowest of these Atk weights also pick up Breakpoints on Swampert, Alolan Ninetales, Hypno, and Pidgeot. 

For Def Breakpoints, 114.75 Def stands out for high SP Umbreon, enabling the 2-2. However, this Def BP is missable, as a slightly higher Atk weight on Umbreon makes it unchasable. A moment of silence for those who built the Rank 1 Umbreon and not our recommended Def weight Umbreon (which has a higher Atk stat). 113.29 Def can help against our recommended Atk Sableye, but due to Purified Sableye having poor IV control, you may be facing higher or lower Atk weight Sableye in practice. Beyond Umbreon and Sableye, nothing stands out but you do miss out on a handful of minor Def BPs if you drop below 112 Def (probably best to be closer to 113 for consistency). Shoot for 114.75 Def if you can, 113+ is solid, and 112 is the bare minimum.

HP recommendations are more difficult than Atk and Def because prior damage or energy can influence their value. Comparing matchups in even energy scenarios, it was noted that 148 came up most often as an important HP check. More HP does have its benefits, so after meeting your desired Atk and Def checks, try to go for as much HP as possible. 

All of this suggests that the Best Walrein PvP IVs for the Great League may be 8/14/3 (Rank 518). This is the only Walrein IV spread that hits all the Atk Breakpoints, has the Def for the Rank 1 Umbreon, and has the minimum HP check of 148. Of course, if you want more options, check out the tables below.

Great League Walrein IV Tables:

Great League - Waterfall

Waterfall has different stats than Powder Snow, and therefore has different Atk weight priorities. In general, Powder Snow is the superior Fast Move, but given the shifting tides and variety of Cup formats in the Great League, it would be wise to have an extra Walrein prepared for Waterfall.

For Atk Breakpoints, the most important is the 112.13-113.16 Atk range to manage Pidgeot in even shield scenarios. 114.62 Atk can enable Walrein to clip Talonflame from reaching a 2nd Flame Charge, allowing Walrein to fully farm it behind 1 shield with well over half of its health left. Oddly enough, 114.8 Atk can enable a Icicle Spear Breakpoint on a Rank 1 Altaria enabling the 1-1 shield scenario, but Altaria being slightly deficient on Def or HP makes this stat check unnecessary. Finally, 114.51 Atk can enable the 1-1 shield scenario against Umbreon, where 114.75 Def enables the 2-2 shield scenario. Getting both stat checks may be untenable and a Def weighted (and therefore Atk weighted) Umbreon would effortlessly ruin your crafted plans. 

To summarize: Waterfall Walrein wants the same Def as Powder Snow Walrein, either 114.62 or ~112.13-113.16 Atk, and as much HP as possible.

Great League Walrein IV Tables:

Ultra League

In the Ultra League, Walrein’s only priority is the mirror match. Most mirrors are Charge Move Priority (CMP) based, which suggests that you’ll want as much Atk on your Walrein as possible. However, there is a bulk check in the 0-0 shield scenario which isn’t 100% clear on how much Def or HP specifically you’ll want to have. From repeated testing, it appears that having at least 145.3 Def and 197 HP is significant to either win or tie this mirror match. 

This suggests that the Best Walrein PvP IVs for Ultra League may be 7/10/10 (Rank 404), as it has the highest Atk stat while meeting the Def/HP checks for the 0-0 mirror. It should be noted that the 8/12/12 (Rank 343) has precise Atk and Def stats to overtake the 7/10/10 in the 0-0 shield scenario, but has lower Atk and will therefore lose other shield scenarios against the 7/10/10.

Beyond the mirror match, the following Atk Breakpoints stand out: 

  • 144.42, Gyarados consistency
  • 145.91, Swampert consistency
  • 146.06-148.29, Alolan Muk consistency
  • 146.66, Crobat consistency
  • 147.38, Greedent 1-1 shield scenario
  • 147.45, the Rank 343’s Atk stat
  • 147.75, the Rank 404’s Atk stat

As for Def Breakpoints, only Gyarados stands out. You’ll want 143.89-144.98+ Def to avoid both its Dragon Breath and Dragon Tail Breakpoints. This Def check is mostly important for Walrein that endeavor to go beyond 147.75 Atk in pursuit of the mirror match, as the “ideal” Walrein are already above 145.3 Def. Aside from Gyarados, dropping below ~143-144 starts to miss a handful of minor Def BPs which could hurt Walrein’s overall consistency. 

When it comes to HP, 197 HP stands out the most. If you plan on pursuing a higher Atk weight than 147.75, it’s recommended to prioritize Def over HP. Make cuts to HP as you see fit.

Ultra League Walrein PvP IV tables:

As for Waterfall Walrein in the Ultra League, we ran out of time to crunch the numbers on this one. Given that current Ultra League Walrein IV recommendations are CMP based, following the above guidelines wouldn’t be unwise. 

Master League

Master League PvP IV recommendations are different from the Great League and the Ultra League as you always want the 100% IV 15/15/15. With 4096 possible IV combinations, there’s a good chance that you won’t get the 100% IV. So rather than seeking PvP IV optimization, Master League PvP IV recommendations are seeing which non-15 IVs you can get away with to functionally be the 100% IV.

The following stat checks were found to be notable in the Master League Classic:

  • 15 Atk - Kyogre (EQ BP)
  • 13 Atk - Tina-O, Groudon, Lando T, Swampert
  • 14 Def - Tina-A
  • 12 Def - Dragonite, Tina-O, Melmetal, Togekiss
  • 12* HP - 2 Icicle Spears Ho-Oh 0-0
    • Has a 1 to 1 relationship with Def IV
    • If you’re 15 Def, 12 HP is good, if you’re 14 Def, you need 13 HP, etc.
    • Due to rounding, 12 Def and 14 HP is also fine

This suggests that if you can’t find the 15/15/15, you’ll at least want the 15/14/13. If you must thrift further, 13/12/14, 13/13/14, 13/14/13, 13/15/12 all appear to be acceptable enough. If you don’t think you’ll want the Ho-Oh tech (Ho-Oh may be getting Sacred Fire soon so, the matchup may change), 13/12/X is also good enough. Of course, you always want to strive to have the 15/15/15 when possible. 

What About Shadow Walrein?

When it comes to Shadows vs Normals, their Atk and Def stats differ so much that you can’t just copy paste IV recommendations unless they’re based on CMP. Given the time crunch and how difficult making these guides can be, we simply didn’t have the time to cover Shadow Walrein’s PvP IVs.

For general performance, Shadow Walrein doesn’t appear to have notable advantages over Normal Walrein in the Great League. Not that you wouldn’t want to evolve at least 2 Shadows for the Great League just to have them, but it doesn’t appear you’ll be “held back” without them. 

It’s a different story in the Open Ultra League, as Shadow Walrein will always have a match flipping Breakpoint on Best Buddy Umbreon and Galarian Stunfisk that Normal Walrein can never achieve. As a result, Shadow Walrein will likely always be marginally better than Normal Walrein in the Open Ultra League. In Ultra League formats that don’t feature Umbreon or Galarian Stunfisk, the Normal and Shadow are back on equal footing. Given that Walrein’s PvP IV recommendations are CMP based for the Ultra League, it wouldn’t be unwise to follow those recommendations for Shadow Walrein.

In the Master League Classic, the Shadow doesn’t appear to have any notable, consistent advantages over the Normal. Once again, you’ll likely want to evolve your best, near 100% IV, Shadow Walrein just in case, but it doesn’t appear to be a priority. 

Closing Thoughts

Between Powder Snow and Icicle Spear, Walrein has gone from a nobody to a top meta threat over night. Walrein may be the first situation we’ve had where a Shadow version of Pokemon exists prior to their Community Day, which is causing some stress in the Community. If Shadow Walrein is more powerful than Normal Walrein and your Shadow Spheals still have Frustration, you’re flat out of luck. Hopefully this event will inspire Pokemon GO to loosen their restrictions on removing Frustration from Shadow Pokemon, or at least make them more mindful of this in the future. 

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