Rayquaza has long been a dominant force in the Raid Attacker scene, while simultaneously being an afterthought on the Trainer Battles scene. This could be set to change with the upcoming Primal Rumblings event, which is set to begin on Wednesday February 22nd at 10am local time. With the event, Rayquaza will know Breaking Swipe, a brand new Charged Attack that is set to change its fate in GO Battle League. Here is what we know about this new move:


Breaking Swipe

Trainer Battles: 50 damage and a guaranteed -1 to opponent’s Attack

Gyms and Raids: 35 damage


A quick note on Gyms and Raids

The focus of this article is on its impact on Trainer Battles, but we will briefly mention that Gym and Raid damage value that is sure to stick out like a sore thumb. Dealing only 35 damage is bizarrely low for an exclusive attack. Rayquaza already performs well as a Raid Attacker with Outrage, but it would have been nice if Breaking Swipe could have at least felt like a competitive alternative if not an upgrade. Many trainers might pair Breaking Swipe with a coverage option (such as Ancient Power, Aerial Ace, or Hurricane) on their PvP Rayquaza. This means that Rayquaza will either need to TM back to Outrage for Raids or be left on the sidelines. 


Master League

To analyze Breaking Swipe Rayquaza at the Master League level, we will first look at a 40 energy version of the Charged Attack, and then a 35 energy version of the Charged Attack. Based on the damage values and guaranteed Attack debuff, these two options feel like the most likely outcomes here.


40 Energy Breaking Swipe

Let’s summarize this quickly: Assuming 40 Energy, Breaking Swipe Rayquaza is about as good as pre-Superpower Dragonite at best. In a vacuum, that sounds decent. But in practice, it’s just straight up outclassed. And Dragonite was a pretty rare sight in the Open Master League prior to receiving Superpower, so there’s even less hope for Rayquaza here. Pre-Superpower Dragonite mostly showed up on the one-time popular Melmetal + Dialga + Dragonite team that fell out of favor when releases such as Excadrill and Zacian joined the scene. Pre-Superpower Dragonite was mainly impactful in Master League Premier, but that is an arena where Rayquaza is naturally barred from entering. 


1v1 Shield


2v2 Shield


0v0 Shield


NOTE: The above screenshots use a slightly modified ML meta list. Duplicates other than Zacian and Garchomp have been removed to reduce matchup skewing. Gyarados, Sylveon, and Swampert have been removed as well. Kyurem, Meloetta, and Solgaleo were added onto the list.


Dragonite is Rayquaza’s nemesis in terms of role and function. Even though Master League means there is no CP cap, Rayquaza still manages to have a lower stat product than Dragonite, although the difference is slightly less glaring than in the other leagues. With Breaking Swipe, Rayquaza’s performance is similar to that of Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw Dragonite, though generally worse in the 0s and the 1s. However, the Attack drop can also help support Rayquaza’s teammates. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends, because Rayquaza’s secondary Charged Attack options are quite miserable. Aerial Ace and Ancient Power have underwhelming DPE, while Outrage and Hurricane are expensive; all four of these don’t provide much coverage against Rayquaza’s common Steel- and Fairy-type enemies. Remember that Dragonite didn’t see much play in Open Master League prior to receiving Superpower. That would be where Rayquaza is right now, except that the existence of Superpower Dragonite alone means there’s very little competitive reason to run Rayquaza. Having no real options to help it against Steel- and Fairy-type opponents, Rayquaza can be a burden to team build around. It may be tempting to build an ABB-style team with Dragonite and Rayquaza, but consider other Dragon-type options first as they offer greater coverage.


It’s not all doom and gloom for Rayquaza, though. For people who like to partake in limited Master League rulesets, Rayquaza becomes a more enticing option when Dragonite isn’t readily available to steal the show. Additionally, Rayquaza’s sky high Attack stat allows it to win CMP vs the likes of Dialga, Palkia, and Kyogre, something that Dragonite cannot do. Lastly, Rayquaza is still waiting for its signature move, Dragon Ascent, which could very well appreciate the baity potential that Breaking Swipe offers. If and when Dragon Ascent gets added to Rayquaza’s movepool, it would be the third exclusive move of Rayquaza alongside Breaking Swipe and Hurricane. 


35 Energy Breaking Swipe

At 35 Energy, Breaking Swipe is a significant upgrade over Dragon Claw, which allows Rayquaza to differentiate itself from Dragonite simply through the sheer potency of the move itself.


This version of Breaking Swipe can turn Rayquaza into an oppressive Pokemon, especially in longer matchups. It can leave severe dents on Dialga and Metagross, while Excadrill can be defeated in the 2s while Rayquaza leaves with plenty of health left. Possessing the same energy cost as Dragon Claw, Rayquaza can keep up in pace with even the spammy Palkia and Dragonite and beat them in CMP thanks to its sky high Attack stat. It has an incredible overall 2-shield potential, dominating most things that rely on Charged Attacks. However, Rayquaza’s frailty and weaknesses to Dragon and Fairy keeps its monstrous 2-shield potential in check, being vulnerable to some of the most damaging and common Fast Attacks in the game.


1v1 Shield


2v2 Shield


0v0 Shield


Ultra League

At the Ultra League level, Rayquaza has less bulk than the already razor-thin Dragonite. When doing a direct comparison with Dragonite, a 35 energy version of Breaking Swipe posts lower win rates in the 0v0 and 1v1 shield scenarios, but does do a bit better in the 2v2 shield scenario where the Attack debuffs can provide it with more staying power. A 40 energy version of Breaking Swipe looks significantly worse than Dragonite in all even shield scenarios. Suffice to say, this new Charged Attack will need to be 35 energy in order for Rayquaza to make some noise in UL, and even then it is unlikely to usurp the throne of Dragonite for the Dragon/Flying role.


1v1 Shield (35E Breaking Swipe is 3rd, and 40E Breaking Swipe is 4th)


2v2 Shield (35E Breaking Swipe is 3rd, and 40E Breaking Swipe is 4th)


Great League

Your first question might be…. Great League Rayquaza? Is that even possible? The answer is that it is possible, just not very probable. In order to fit at Great League level, you need an IV spread such as 3-5-5, which hits 1500 CP at Level 15. You need to achieve this by performing stardust-expensive trades with low friendship level friends (i.e. Good, Great, or Ultra Friend) who also happen to have a Level 15 Rayquaza they are willing to trade away. If you do happen to get one at Great League level, it doesn’t look to provide an upgrade over Dragonite, even with a best-case-scenario 35 energy Breaking Swipe. And in the 2v2 shield scenario, the raw power of Shadow Dragonite seems to out-perform Rayquaza, even with Ray’s ability to lower its opponent’s Attack. 


1v1 Shield (35E Breaking Swipe is 3rd, and 40E Breaking Swipe is 4th)


2v2 Shield (35E Breaking Swipe is 3rd, and 40E Breaking Swipe is 4th)


With all that said, is it worth chasing a Great League Rayquaza? That comes down to perspective. Do you enjoy the idea of giving your GO Battle League opponent a lasting memory of that time they faced a Rayquaza. I can tell you I’ve been that opponent, and I still have that memory saved, as pictured. If that sounds fun to you, go ahead and try to get that Rayquaza of your dreams. It might come in handy for some sort of Draft tournament.





Breaking Swipe is an exciting step in the right direction for Rayquaza in Trainer Battles. With Rayquaza needing to compete with the already potent Dragonite for a similar role, its usage and meta relevance will be dependent on the energy cost. At 35 energy, Breaking Swipe Rayquaza will instantly join the Master League scene. At 40 energy, Rayquaza is likely to remain an afterthought to Dragonite, at least for the time being. Rayquaza might further be waiting for another exclusive attack, Dragon Ascent, to come its way, but it is unclear if and when that will happen. Either way, there is reason to be excited at the prospect of finally seeing some Rayquaza in GO Battle League action!