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Community Day: Who Should I Vote For?

For the upcoming June and July Community Days, Niantic has given Trainers the power to vote between 4 different Pokémon: Squirtle, Weedle, Sandshrew, and Gastly. This guild will be evaluating the exclusive moves each Pokémon will be receiving for PvP purposes, since none of the moves add any benefits to PvE.

For each Pokémon, simulated battles were run on PvPoke against the Great and Ultra League meta (list of Pokémon will be posted at end of article), to determine the difference in wins and losses between current ideal movesets and new movesets. All simulations used Rank 1 PvP IVs.

Squirtle

SquirtleWartortleBlastoise

Blastoise will be receiving the Fighting-type move Aura Sphere, which is currently exclusive to Lucario. Niantic states that this will be a valuable move against Steel-types such as Registeel so let’s take a look at the results of the simulations and see if it should earn your vote.

Water Gun, Hy. Cannon/Ice Beam
CP 1498
Level 23
1/15/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields17210
1 Shield13240
2 Shields11270
Water Gun, Hy. Cannon/Aura Sphere
CP 1498
Level 23
1/15/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields20180
1 Shield15221
2 Shields13250
Water Gun, Aura Sphere/Ice Beam
CP 1498
Level 23
1/15/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields13250
1 Shield5321
2 Shields5330
Water Gun, Hy. Cannon/Ice Beam
CP 2466
Level 40
15/15/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields16202
1 Shield19181
2 Shields14231
Water Gun, Hy. Cannon/Aura Sphere
CP 1498
Level 23
1/15/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields18191
1 Shield19182
2 Shields19190
Water Gun, Aura Sphere/Ice Beam
CP 1498
Level 23
1/15/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields14240
1 Shield10262
2 Shields6302

ANALYSIS

Looking at the above results, in both Great and Ultra League, it may appear that Aura Sphere is better than Ice Beam, netting a few more wins in the 0 and 2 shield matchups. However, the only way to get Hydro Cannon and Aura Sphere onto the same Blastoise is through the use of an Elite Charged TM to get Hydro Cannon, or Aura Sphere if you already have a Hydro Cannon Blastoise built.

Next, you need to consider that Blastoise doesn’t need Aura Sphere to compete against Steel-types, as Hydro Cannon already does good neutral damage, and it already beats Registeel in some matchups with Hydro Cannon. Lastly, dropping Ice Beam leaves Blastoise toothless against Grass-types (excluding Shiftry), and the ever-present Giratinas (Altered & Origin) in Ultra League. As further results will show, Aura Sphere on Blastoise is a huge flop and ranks 4th between the Community Day vote candidates.

WEEDLE

WeedleKakunaBeedrill

Beedrill already has one advantage that the other 3 vote candidates don’t have; a new shiny form being released, but that’s not why you’re reading this article. How does it stack up in PvP? Let’s find out!

Poison Jab, Sludge Bomb/X-Scissor
CP 1499
Level 32.5
0/13/14
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields11270
1 Shield14240
2 Shields18200
Poison Jab, Sludge Bomb/Fell Stinger
CP 1499
Level 32.5
0/14/13
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields8300
1 Shield14240
2 Shields16211
Poison Jab, Sludge Bomb/Drill Run
CP 1499
Level 32.5
0/14/13
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields12260
1 Shield15231
2 Shields16220

Do not use Beedrill in Ultra League! Its max CP is 1846 and will get decimated by the opposition.

ANALYSIS

The wins and losses are fairly equal between all shielding matchups comparing the X-Scissor and Drill Run movesets. X-Scissor is great as a shield bait, but can be underwhelming when the opponent doesn’t fall for it.

Drill Run is very interesting because it allows Beedrill to win against Registeel in all shielding matchups! The battle is pretty close in the 1 shield and 2 shields matchups, and isn’t a big win in 0 shields either, so if Registeel has an energy advantage, the Green Hornet might still lose.

Beedrill also wins against Azumarill in the 1 shield and 2 shields matchups with either X-Scissor or Drill Run movesets, but the ability to counter Registeel and Azumarill makes Beedrill an enticing vote candidate.

SANDSHREW

Kanto

SandshrewSandslash

Kanto Sandslash is currently very underwhelming, even with the popular fast energy gaining fast move Mud Shot. Does Shadow Claw change anything? Let’s take a closer look.

Mud Shot, Bulldoze/Rock Tomb
CP 1500
Level 24
0/14/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields9290
1 Shield7310
2 Shields8300
Shadow Claw, Bulldoze/Rock Tomb
CP 1500
Level 24
0/14/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields11270
1 Shield12260
2 Shields11270
ULTRA LEAGUE
Mud Shot, Bulldoze/Rock Tomb
CP 2374 Level 40 15/15/15 Wins Losses Draws
0 Shields 7 31 0
1 Shield 2 36 0
2 Shields 5 33 0
*Level 41 – CP: 2404 15/15/15
Shadow Claw, Bulldoze/Rock Tomb
CP 2374 Level 40 15/15/15 Wins Losses Draws
0 Shields 9 29 0
1 Shield 3 35 0
2 Shields 3 35 0
*Level 41 – CP: 2404 15/15/15

ALOLAN

SandshrewSandslash

Alolan Sandslash currently suffers from the slow charging and low damage fast move Powder Snow, so receiving Shadow Claw is a decent upgrade, but is it your vote?

Powder Snow, Ice Punch/Gyro Ball
CP 1498
Level 23.5
0/14/14
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields17210
1 Shield11270
2 Shields13250
Shadow Claw, Ice Punch/Gyro Ball
CP 1498
Level 23.5
0/14/14
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields19190
1 Shield15221
2 Shields19190
Powder Snow, Ice Punch/Gyro Ball
CP 2432
Level 40
15/15/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields13250
1 Shield14240
2 Shields18200
*Level 41 – CP: 2463 15/15/15
Shadow Claw, Ice Punch/Gyro Ball
CP 2432
Level 40
15/15/15
WinsLossesDraws
0 Shields13250
1 Shield14240
2 Shields18200
*Level 41 – CP: 2463 15/15/15

ANALYSIS

Kanto Sandslash is terrible and Shadow Claw doesn’t really change anything. Mud Shot and Shadow Claw have both been proven to be excellent fast moves on other Pokémon, suggesting that what Kanto Sandslash really needs are better charge moves. If it wasn’t for its Alolan counterpart, voting for Sandshrew would be a huge swing and a miss.

Alolan Sandshrew – Shadow Claw is a welcome addition in all the shielding matchups and grabs quite a few wins, especially with 1 or 2 shields. The difficult part is that Niantic is only making Alolan Sandshrew available in raids, and Alolan 7k eggs haven’t been available for quite some time.

For Ultra League, you need a perfect IV and best buddy Sandslash to take full advantage of its stats. For Great League, getting a high-rank IV spread is also difficult, assuming you primarily trade with Best Friends, no IV stat can be lower than 5. With the Alolan form being difficult to obtain, the benefits might not justify the vote for Sandshrew.

GASTLY

GastlyHaunterGengar

Gengar will be receiving the Ghost-type charge move Shadow Punch. Haunter has already proven that Shadow Punch paired with Shadow Ball can be a deadly moveset, but what about Gengar?

Sh. Claw, Shadow Ball/Sludge Bomb
CP 1498 Level 19.5 0/13/13 Wins Losses Draws
0 Shields 14 24 0
1 Shield 10 27 0
2 Shields 13 24 1
Sh. Claw, Shadow Ball/Sh. Punch
CP 1498 Level 19.5 0/13/13 Wins Losses Draws
0 Shields 14 24 1
1 Shield 10 27 1
2 Shields 13 24 1
Sh. Claw, Shadow Ball/Sludge Bomb
CP 1499 Level 28.5 1/15/14 Wins Losses Draws
0 Shields 14 24 0
1 Shield 10 27 0
2 Shields 10 26 2
Sh. Claw, Shadow Ball/Sh. Punch
CP 1499 Level 28.5 1/15/14 Wins Losses Draws
0 Shields 14 23 1
1 Shield 19 18 1
2 Shields 18 19 1
Sh. Claw, Shadow Ball/Sludge Bomb
CP 2466 Level 34.5 0/15/14 Wins Losses Draws
0 Shields 18 20 0
1 Shield 25 12 1
2 Shields 22 16 0
Sh. Claw, Shadow Ball/Sh. Punch
CP 1500 Level 34.5 0/15/14 Wins Losses Draws
0 Shields 19 19 0
1 Shield 25 12 1
2 Shields 22 16 0

ANALYSIS

For the Great League, Gengar becomes a Haunter clone with very similar wins and losses. If you don’t already have Haunter built for Great League, this would be a great opportunity to add both Haunter and Gengar to your arsenal. To highlight how similar the two Pokémon are, their true stats were provided above.

For Ultra League, Shadow Punch gives Gengar the same viability that Haunter already has in Great League, and can clearly be seen when Gengar has shields.

Last note, Gengar’s viability in Master League doesn’t change too much. When the big legendaries and dragons come out to play, Gengar’s lack of bulk is noticeable. Gengar may end up with some success in altered Master League formats like the upcoming Premier Cup, but Gengar will have the most success in Great and Ultra Leagues.

SO WHO SHOULD I VOTE FOR DANG IT?!

After looking at all the Pokémon from a strictly functional standpoint, Gastly looks like the best candidate to gain your vote. For anybody who doesn’t already have a Haunter for PvP, this is a great opportunity to get a Haunter and Gengar for Great League, and Haunter-level performances with Gengar in Ultra League. A reason that you may not want to vote for Gastly would be that you already have a Haunter built for Great League, and don’t care for having a similar Pokémon in Ultra League.

The Pokémon everyone should least be voting for is Squirtle. It is painful uttering those words, but Blastoise really needs Hydro Cannon and it is hard justifying the use of an Elite Charge TM on it, also considering that Ice Beam gives better coverage than Aura Sphere.

So who is second and third place? If you didn’t have to consider both Kanto and Alolan Sandshrew, voting for Sandshrew would be just as bad as voting for Squirtle. However, let’s just assume that you are really voting for Alolan Sandshrew. Access to Alolan Sandshrew being limited to raids really hurts, and the non-existence of Alolan Pokémon in eggs the last several months doesn’t help either. These are all factors you must consider, especially if you are trying to acquire ideal IVs for Great and/or Ultra League. Because of this, Weedle is probably second place. Beedrill getting Drill Run opens up the possibility of beating both Azumarill and Registeel, two very common Pokémon in the Great League, and both often encountered on the same team. An argument that may put Sandshrew above Weedle, is that Meganium already exists, and already does a fantastic job in beating Azumarill and Registeel, just got to avoid that Flying-type (hint hint, so does Beedrill).

If you care about PvP, and don’t care about getting a new shiny, Gastly makes a very strong argument for your vote, and so does Weedle. At the end of the day, go with what Pokémon you want to be featured in the next Community Day!

GREAT LEAGUE META LIST

Altaria, Azumarill, Bastiodon, Cherrim (Sunny), Clefable, Cresselia, Deoxys (Defense), Dewgong, Ferrothorn, Froslass, Galvantula, Haunter, Hypno, Jirachi, Lanturn, Lapras, Mantine, Marowak (Alolan), Medicham, Melmetal, Mew, Probopass, Raichu (Alolan), Registeel, Sableye, Scrafty, Shiftry, Skarmory, Stunfisk, Swampert, Toxicroak, Tropius, Umbreon, Venusaur, Vigoroth, Whiscash, Wigglytuff

ULTRA LEAGUE META LIST

Articuno, Blastoise, Charizard, Clefable, Cobalion, Cresselia, Dragonite, Empoleon, Escavalier, Feraligatr, Ferrothorn, Giratina (Altered), Giratina (Origin), Granbull, Heracross, Jirachi, Kingdra, Lapras, Lickilicky, Lucario, Machamp, Meganium, Melmetal, Mew, Mewtwo (Armored), Muk (Alolan), Poliwrath, Regice, Registeel, Sceptile, Shiftry, Snorlax, Steelix, Swampert, Togekiss, Typhlosion, Venusaur, Virizion

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