Should You Pull? Lucian & Girafarig

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TL;DR: Should You Pull?

What Does It Do?

The final member of the Sinnoh Elite 4 has made his way to Pasio, finishing off the quartet with his own Psychic Type prowess. At his side stands Girafarig, the second palindrome Pokemon to be featured in recent weeks, as well as the fourth to date. Together, they’re here to make life hard on anyone that they may face with their Tech skills, and finally give us access to the Sinnoh variant of the Champion’s Arena.

Lucian & Girafarig have high Special Attack and fairly middling Speed. Their bulk is also fairly middling, so don’t expect them to survive too long once the designated tank drops. Their moves start out with Confusion, which is… Confusion. One bar, low damage, low chance to Confuse; nothing particularly special. This follows up with Growl, which drops the entire enemy team’s Attack by 1 with each use. X Sp. Attack is next, and it’s the same run-of-the-mill +2 Special Attack with 2 MP item that we’ve seen many times. And, finally, Read It and Weep! finishes off the moves, and is a 2-use trainer move that grants +2 Critical Rate, +1 Defense, +1 Special Defense, and the Gradual Healing effect on use.

Moving on to passive Skills, we start with Stupefy 9, which drops the opposition’s Special Defense by 1 any time Girafarig uses Confusion or, more importantly, Growl. This effectively gives Growl an AoE Special Defense drop on every use. Team Viral Hustle adds even more utility to Growl, as it raises the entire team’s Speed by 1 with every use. Finally, Pecking Order increases Sync Move damage the more that the target’s Attack has been dropped, giving even more utility to Growl.

Dropping the opposing team’s Defensive stats has always been pretty valuable, and reliable AoE Special Defense drops in particular are very rare. This effect alone gives Lucian & Girafarig potential to sit alongside strong Special Striker/Support cores that have some leeway for their third slot. And speaking of valuable, Speed buffs are also great for just about any team, making them worth considering on that front as well. And that’s not the end of it, because a properly setup Sync Move from Lucian & Girafarig is surprisingly strong, almost always mutilating whatever enemy may be on the wrong end of it, if not outright scoring a KO.

And now we have to switch gears, because we’ve got to look at Lucian & Girafarig’s shortcomings. To start with, they have absolutely no direct offensive presence outside of Sync Moves. Even when fully Grid-invested, Confusion is “supplementary” at best, and can’t do much to help end battles faster than they would end anyway, meaning they almost need to be paired with something that can hit a bit harder than they can. They’re also pretty slow at their job, only dropping 1 Attack and 1 Special Defense while boosting 1 Speed per use of Growl. Under normal circumstances, most battles will be well into their second Sync Move cycle at the very least before Lucian & Girafarig finish their job. And this isn’t even mentioning the fact that almost every stage in the game packs some level of Trained Mind, if not Stalwart, meaning their actual effectiveness on that front can be pretty lackluster depending on the stage.

Champion Stadium: Master Mode

If you ever have a strong Special Attacker/Support core that doesn’t really need a 3rd to excel, Lucian & Girafarig can come in and provide their own brand of support. They’re also solid on their own merit, but will likely require some offensive help on that front.

Legendary Arena & Gauntlet

Depending on the stage and team, Lucian & Girafarig have the potential to help the team both defensively and offensively, and can also score very powerful single-target Sync Moves, meaning they can fit into specific stages very effectively.

Extreme Battles

Not the best choice, but they can fill a hole with a bit of additional damage support and/or Sync Move damage where needed.

Battle Villa 

They won’t be dealing much damage in most cases, but Lucian & Girafarig can offer some valuable buffs and debuffs without using MP. It can just be a bit hard to fit them onto an effective Villa team.

How To Use It?

Sync Grid

These are generally the most important tiles to pick up:

  • Dominating Sync 2 (⅖) offers a large Sync Move damage boost, making it an optimal choice in most cases.
  • Sync Move: Power+25 (⅖ & ⅗) is great for more Sync Move damage, and holy crap there are so many of them!

Next are the tiles that are nice to have, but are either niche or not generally worth going out of the way for:

  • Weird Recovery 1 (⅖) is… nice? It’s obviously only useful with Psychic Terrain active, but the reason that it’s up here is because picking up this tile also gives you easy access to two Sync Move Power+25 tiles.
  • Adrenaline 1 (⅗) is useful on teams that focus on reducing the Sync move counter, and also has utility for skipping the need to quad-cue post-sync. 
  • Growl: Charging Infliction 2 (⅗) can be nice, as it gives Growl a net -1 Move Gauge cost, but it’s generally not a huge deal for most builds.
  • Superhealthy Hit (⅗) can set up a huge Sync Move on Psychic-weak stages, but it’s fairly hard to get to.
  • Precognition 2 (⅖) can be useful for keeping the Move Gauge up for Psychic Terrain teams.
  • Catalyst (⅗) can be a nice pick-up if you intend to use Lucian & Girafarig for their Sync Move prowess, as it adds a bit of added utility. However, it’s generally not a huge deal as Lucian & Girafarig can already buff the team’s Speed.
  • X Sp. Attack: MP Refresh 2 (⅕) and X Sp. Attack: Ramp Up 1 (⅗) both have their advantages for reaching the coveted +6 Special Attack, but Lucian & Girafarig don’t really have any damage-output to speak of outside of Sync Moves, and picking up either of these will almost definitely come at the cost of Sync Move boosting tiles, so it’s generally best to just bring some Special Attack support along for the ride.
  • Burst In (⅖) can allow Lucian & Girafarig to basically skip their trainer move early-game and still score a Critical Hit on their first Sync Move without needing any buffs.
  • Confusion: Aggravation 4 (⅗) is a decent choice for added utility, but Confusion is generally a less valuable status due to how common Lessen Confusion skills tend to be in most game modes.

Finally, these are the tiles that are probably best to ignore unless they somehow play into a bigger strategy in some way:

  • Confusion: Move Gauge Refresh 3 (⅖) adds a little utility, but in most cases Lucian & Girafarig will focus on using Growl and Sync Moves rather than Confusion,
  • Haste (⅕), Dauntless (⅕), Wide Awake (⅕), and Unflappable (⅕) all have their utility, but most builds are best off ignoring them.
  • Confusion: Foul Fighting 9 (⅖) …is a thing? Yes, it’s a tremendous damage boost, but it’s still just Confusion.
  • Read It and Weep! MP Refresh 2 (⅕) works on a skill that does basically everything that it needs to do with its base 2 uses, with anything beyond that offering +1 Defense/Special Defense and a Gradual Healing refresh. Not really worth the investment.

Sync Grid Levels & EX Viability

⅕ gives little beyond the cohesive and solid functionality that Lucian & Girafarig’s base kit brings to the table. At base power, Lucian & Girafarig only really debuff the opposing team, buff their team’s Speed, and drop strong Sync Moves, and their grid does very little to support that at this level. The main loss is Sync Move damage, as a ⅕ Sync Move only has roughly 60% of the damage of ⅗. Meanwhile, ⅖ is where around 80% of their Sync Move damage comes in, missing only a few Power+25 tiles come into play.

In the end, Lucian & Girafarig are perfectly fine on the utility side at ⅕, but ⅖ is the minimum for strong Sync Move performance.

EXing Lucian & Girafarig really only matters if you want to make a Sync build, as the 1.5x damage boost is definitely significant. However, they aren’t exactly high-priority in general, so it’s only worth the investment if you really feel that they shore up a weakness on your team.

Lucky Skills

Critical Strike 2 is the natural choice for any Sync-centric build due to its high and reasonable damage boost. From the Deluxe pool, Super Powered 3 is a fine choice if you intend to focus strictly on Super Effective stages.

For a more supportive set, the options are a bit more limited. Skills like Mind Games 2 or Defense Crush 2 may seem like good options for getting the job done faster, but they only take effect with attacks, so they don’t work with Growl. To that end, Head Start 1 or Adrenaline 1 are probably the best overall choices, as moving along to the next Sync Move is always important.

Team Comps

The one Sync Pair that Lucian & Girafarig really want to pair up with is Anniversary May & Latias. This is a Sync Pair that can set Psychic Terrain, finish up Lucian & Girafarig’s Special Attack boosts, deal high move damage, and take advantage of Lucian & Girafarig’s ability to drop the opposing team’s Special Defense, which can lead to stupidly strong Sync Moves. The one problem here is the fact that May & Latias are even more capable than Lucian & Girafarig on the Sync Move side, which relegates our dear Elite-4 member to a more supportive function. Bianca & Musharna can also function in a similar role with Psychic Terrain, offering quite a bit of utility while also tanking fairly well for a bit of added cohesiveness. In fact, this pairing opens up a bit more room to focus on offense with Bianca & Musharna, which can shore up Lucian & Girafarig’s low attack-move damage.

Beyond that, Lucian & Girafarig do fill the rare niche of dropping the opposing team’s Special Defense. They’re pretty slow at doing so, but it’s still rare enough to give them reason to occupy a 3rd slot in the absence of other choices. Special attackers like Sygna Suit Cynthia & Kommo-o, Alder & Volcarona, and Diantha & Gardevoir can all benefit from the additional damage that this pairing will bring. Slower Sync Pairs like Raihan & Duraludon or Lance & Gyarados can compound the damage-bonuses by taking advantage of the Speed buffs that can help with their otherwise potentially sluggish move gauge management. Sync Pairs that prey on the stat-drops that Lucian & Girafarig bring to the field, like Champion Iris & Hydreigon, will also enjoy even more utility from this pairing. 

When it comes to providing support for Lucian & Girafarig, their main desire is some help buffing Special Attack. A plethora of Sync Pairs like Sabrina & Alakazam or Sygna Suit Elesa & Rotom can easily fill this role and give a basis for a strong Sync Nuke setup. Going a bit deeper, the Super Effective Up Next effect supplied by Red & Snorlax can also be very valuable for boosting Sync Move damage, and is worth considering for sure.

Is It Worth Pulling?

Lucian & Girafarig are decent enough, but they’re unlikely to be one of your star Sync Pairs. Their debuffing capabilities are pretty valuable, but racking up those debuffs is pretty slow, and that aside their only real offensive presence is with Sync Moves. Still, many will look to Lucian & Girafarig for their ability to score AoE Special Defense drops, and that’s definitely a worthwhile reason to use them on your team. Just note that while they do have several attractive benefits, they also have some fairly steep competition right now, it might be best to consider just how valuable they’re likely to be to you before making an investment.

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About the Author(s)

Long-time Gamepress fan and writer for Pokemon Go and Pokemon Masters sub-site