Metas Breaking Bad

By Tangent with insight from other GO Stadium Meta Analysts

 

"If that's true — if you don't know who I am — then maybe your best course is to tread lightly." - Walter White, Breaking Bad

 

In our previous State of the Meta article, we defined the terms meta-viable, meta-centric, and meta-warping. In this Metas Breaking Bad article, our focus is going to be on meta-warping Pokémon. We will begin by looking at what makes for a meta-warping Pokémon in Pokémon GO Trainer Battles, including the most recent examples. After that, we will be looking ahead towards possible future releases that come with meta-warping potential. We hope this article could serve as a forewarning about what could come if certain Pokémon are released with an overpowered moveset, and what changes could be made to avoid such a situation.    

 

 


 

 

What does a meta-warping Pokémon look like? 

 

The distinction between meta-viable and meta-warping is highly subjective. Within the GO Stadium Meta Team, our view is that a meta-warping Pokémon tends to display a combination of the following characteristics:

  • Statistical Advantage: A Pokémon that has stronger statistical attributes relative to other available Pokémon as measured by their overall stat product. In Great and Ultra League, these are the Pokémon with a low attack stat that reach a higher stat product, due to the ability to circumvent inefficiencies of the CP formula that place a higher weight on attack. In Master League, the need for a low attack stat is not required but instead a number of the Pseudo Legendary, Legendary, Mythical, and Ultra Beasts come with a statistical advantage. 

  • Typing Advantage: Some Pokémon typings are stronger than others. For example, the Steel typing comes with a large number of resistances and a small number of weaknesses. Meanwhile, the Bug typing comes with offensive limitations, being super effective to significantly less typings than the ones that resist it.  

  • Moveset Advantage: A strong moveset can carry a number of attributes, such as above average damage cycles, strong ability to cover its weaknesses, or the ability to buff its own stats or debuff its opponents stats. 

 

Current examples of meta-warping Pokémon in Great League include Registeel, Walrein, Medicham, Galarian Stunfisk, and Sableye. Walrein and Sableye lack a noticeable statistical advantage but make up for it with strong typing and movesets that provide fast and spammy damage cycles with some of the best coverage imaginable. Galarian Stunfisk and Medicham have more of a statistical advantage than the aforementioned Walrein and Sableye and are blessed with strong movesets with good coverage. Each is slightly held back by having a few harder counters to deal with; Galarian Stunfisk is blunted by Fighting and Ground types that resist its Rock Slide and force it to throw Earthquakes, while Medicham is near helpless against most Ghost-types. Registeel combines a statistical advantage alongside its powerful Steel typing and its moveset advantage of Zap Cannon providing both coverage and the ability to debuff the attack stat of the opposing Pokémon. In Master League, we are currently seeing Zacian take the role of meta-warping due to its typing advantage of being a Fairy alongside its excellent moves that includes coverage options for would-be counters in Steel types (Close Combat) and Ho-oh (Wild Charge).  

 

Meta-warping Pokémon can have a few positive effects on a meta, but these positives are typically outweighed by the negatives. For example, Sableye and Zacian provide a form of safety due to the coverage which can lower the amount of lead matchup dependency. However, the main issue of meta-warping Pokémon is that they over-centralize a meta and this leads to overuse of both the Pokémon and its counters. All metas will have strong picks that see a high amount of usage, and this is a natural part of a meta. However, meta-warping picks can lead to unhealthy amounts of over usage that could lead to you seeing a Walrein, Registeel, or Zacian almost every game during a set of battles. 

 

 

 


 

 

What can be done about meta-warping Pokémon? 

 

There are two ways that a meta-warping Pokémon can be dealt with. The first would be introducing a variety of new counters into the meta to help deal with this threat. For example, Zacian’s position within the Master League meta could be weakened by the introduction of a powerful Poison-type that wins enough additional matchups to see regular play, or an introduction of more Poison-type coverage moves on Master League relevant Pokémon. This is how Dialga’s previous hold as the Master League meta-warper has been slightly weakened over time. The introduction of counters and checks, such as Mud Shot being given to Excadrill and the introduction of Zacian, provided more variety in dealing with Dialga to the meta. That role previously rested squarely on Melmetal’s shoulders, with a little bit of Metagross sprinkled in from time-to-time. Dialga is still arguably a meta-warping pick but the meta is now much better equipped to deal with it.   

 

The second way a meta-warping pick can be dealt with would be reducing the meta strength of a Pokémon by way of a nerf. Statistical advantage and typing cannot be altered on a Pokémon, as these are controlled by forces outside of Pokémon GO and are transferred over from the main series games. This means the only way to nerf a meta-warping pick is to weaken its moveset. Careful consideration must be given to any moveset nerf due to the potential of collateral. For example, an adjustment to Zap Cannon, a move that is mostly seen on Registeel and outside of that a few off-meta picks such as Ampharos and Porygon 2, would have limited collateral. An adjustment to moves like Mud Shot, Counter, and Shadow Claw, which are learned by a large variety of Pokémon, should be more carefully considered because the collateral would be large. 

 

These two methods of dealing with a meta-warping pick must be important considerations when new Pokémon or movesets are introduced into a meta. Walrein was a recent introduction to the meta that has a variety of options available to lower its power, if desired. An adjustment to Icicle Spear, a move that only Walrein currently uses, would see no collateral damage. Araquanid, one of the few Pokémon that can resist both Ice and Ground type damage, was recently introduced into the meta as an additional counter to Walrein. Speaking of Araquanid, it had the potential itself to become meta-warping if given the move Lunge, which would have brought the entire Great League meta to a standstill with Lunge debuffs. The only option to reduce its power down the line would have been a significant nerf to Lunge, which would have ramifications on both Galvantula and Ariados. Fortunately for those two Bug-types, Araquanid was never given the chance to warp the meta with Lunge and as such both of the other spiders are less in-fear of their move getting a severe nerf. 

 

The remainder of this article will look at some future releases that have the potential to be meta-warping and whether or not there could be appropriate methods to deal with them if released with potential meta-warping movesets. These Pokémon will be looked at with moves that have been data-mined and are currently up and available for simulations on PvPoke. It is worth reminding that anything data-mined is subject to change, and hopefully this is the case for some of these potentially meta-warping picks. 

 

 


 

 

Aegislash: The destruction of Great League as we know it? 

 

If there were ever to be a poster-child for the potential to be meta-warping, it would be Aegislash in its Shield Form. This is a Pokémon that could check all three boxes of statistical advantage, typing advantage, and moveset advantage. 

 

Starting with statistical advantage, Aegislash has roughly the exact stat distribution as Bastiodon. This positions it as one of the highest stat products in all of Great League, a bit lower than Chansey but ranking within the Top 5 best stat products possible within Pokémon GO Great League. Similar to Bastiodon, its stat distribution leaves it short for any form of Ultra or Master League relevance, outside of the boldest of trainers. This means that Aegislash is only a concern at the Great League level of becoming meta-warping.

 

Looking next at the typing advantage, Its Ghost and Steel typing creates a significant problem for the meta. Steel is one of the most overpowered typings in the game, resisting 10 typings, double resisting one additional typing (Poison), and only having three weaknesses (Fighting, Ground, and Fire). Steel types are generally balanced within the meta largely by two of those weaknesses, Ground and Fighting types, being given some of the best moves in the game. Aegislash’s Ghost-typing blocks one of those two methods for dealing with Steel-types, as it actually resists Counter instead of taking super-effective damage from it. Its Ghost typing does leave it more vulnerable than other Steels to Dark types, which is an area within the meta that could be useful in dealing with it. Compared to Bastiodon, which has to deal with two double weaknesses to Fighting and Ground, and it is clear that Aegislash is not nearly as vulnerable to potential counters as old shovel face is. 

 

The first two advantages of Aegislash are outside of Pokémon GO’s control, but the third one is something that could be controlled. At the current moment, a speculative moveset is available on PvPoke for Aegislash. This is Psycho Cut and Fury Cutter as fast attacks, and Shadow Ball, Flash Cannon, and Gyro Ball as charged attacks. The argument being made in this article is that this moveset will be the most meta-warping moveset in the history of Pokémon GO. We will focus on the moveset Fury Cutter, Shadow Ball, and Flash Cannon. Psycho Cut could be argued as better than Fury Cutter, but we will look at Fury Cutter as it puts up similar win-rates and also provides more of a semblance of coverage for opposing Dark-types. Here is a rundown of some of the meta-warping behavior of Aegislash with this moveset:

  • It puts up a 35-16 record in the 0S scenario against the current Great League meta. This includes wins against Ground types such as Unova Stunfisk, Nidoqueen, and Swampert (non shadow), and Fire types such as Alolan Marowak (non-shadow) and Talonflame. Keep in mind, Ground and Fire are two types that are traditionally supposed to counter Steel types. The hardest to believe is Aegislash taking an Earthquake, a Hydro Cannon, and Mud Shot damage and still emerging victorious over Swampert in the shieldess scenario. Dark types do mostly beat Aegislash, although it does emerge over Scrafty and Obstagoon.

  • In the 1-0 shield scenario, Aegislash goes 47-4. This scenario is a good gauge of how challenging it is to hard counter something. Its four meta losses are Mandibuzz, Umbreon, Diggersby, and Shadow Ninetales. One of those four, Shadow Ninetales, is actually a bait-dependent loss as it requires Weather Ball baiting a shield and an Overheat landing. This means that effectively only three hard counters to Aegislash currently exist within the meta. 

  • Its record is equally impressive in other shield scenarios. It goes 34-17 in 1S and 31-20 in 2S. This shows there is no scenario where Aegislash is objectively bad. It is a powerhouse in all scenarios. 

 

What can be done about Aegislash? Simply put, it needs changes that can hold it back. If released with this moveset, there would be no fast nor charge attack nerfs it could be hit with that would not see severe collateral damage. A change to Fury Cutter would not see significant implications in the standard open metas, but anything that has the move and had it nerfed would now be in a weaker spot in limited cup formats. Bug-types probably don’t need to be hurt more than they already are and a change to Fury Cutter is ultimately just weakening what is already one of the worst-represented typings in Trainer Battles. A change to Psycho Cut would have severe ramifications for Pokémon such as Mewtwo, causing a major effect on the Master League meta. A change to Shadow Ball would affect nearly every Ghost-type in the game, and it is worth noting that Aegislash would likely require a significant nerf to Shadow Ball, not just a minor tweak to its damage or energy requirement. This means the only way to deal with Aegislash is to keep a moveset like this away from it before it is ever released. Bastiodon has powerful charge attacks but it is held back by slow charging fast attacks. Something similar could work for Aegislash with fast attacks such as Air Slash in place of the fast charging Fury Cutter and Psycho Cut. Alternatively, a new move like King’s Shield could be introduced and adjusted specifically to Aegislash. Similar to Icicle Spear on Walrein, King's Shield would be a move that only Aegislash learns and could provide easier adjustment if Aegislash proves to be too meta-warping. Alternative to changing its fast attacks would be replacing Shadow Ball with weaker charge attack options, such as Shadow Sneak or Aerial Ace. They might create time-out issues due to Aegislash’s sheer bulk and speed of charging (faster than Umbreon, a well known culprit of time-out issues), but at least they would hurt Aegislash's overall damage cycles and reduce its win rates. Either way, Aegislash needs adjustment prior to release, otherwise there is no escape plan without massive collateral damage.

 

 


 

 

Toxapex: Azumarill’s Nightmare 

 

Niantic have tried nerfing Azumarill, the first ever meta-warping pick in the Great League, in a variety of ways. They reduced the power of Bubble, which has left Azumarill hitting much softer than it once did. They buffed a large variety of Poison-types in the summer of 2021, which added a variety of new counters into the meta. Yet still, Azumarill has persisted and continues to see plenty of play. However, nothing scares Azumarill more than a dual-type Water and Poison. That type combination resists every move that Azumarill can throw at it (yes, that even includes Rock Smash). Arguably, the scariest Water and Poison type out there would be the yet to be released bulk machine known as Toxapex. 

 

In terms of its stats, Toxapex has almost an identical stat product to Cresselia at the Great League level. You might know that Cresselia is already one of the bulkiest Pokémon in the game, so that is a very good sign for Toxapex. Unlike Cresselia, however, it doesn’t even crack 2000CP, with a 100% IV Toxapex only hitting 1928 CP at Level 51. This means Toxapex, similar to Aegislash, is only a meaningful topic of conversation at the Great League level.

 

In terms of its typing, the Water and Poison combination is quite strong. It is left with only three weaknesses (Electric, Ground, Psychic) and packs eight resistances (Bug, Fairy, Fighting, Fire, Ice, Poison, Steel, Water). This has allowed Qwilfish and Tentacruel to see play in some limited formats, despite the former’s relatively poor statistics and the latter’s relatively poor movepool. 

 

In terms of its moves, Toxapex is currently listed on PvPoke with fast attacks Poison Jab and Bite, and charged attacks Muddy Water, Sludge Wave, and Gunk Shot. Combining Poison Jab with Muddy Water and Sludge Wave, we get a Pokémon that can put up an impressive performance: Against the Great League meta (at the time of writing), it goes 33-17-1 in shieldless scenarios, 36-14-1 in 1v1 shield scenarios, and 36-15 in 2v2 shield scenarios. Keep in mind that none of these projected records factor the potential for Muddy Water’s 30% debuff rate to…. well… muddy the water. These results are clearly quite strong, but that does not mean Toxapex is not without its limitations. It is almost entirely reliant on Poison-type damage, as it is offered almost no coverage due to the low damage of Muddy Water. This means it will struggle with a variety of Ghost, Ground, Rock, and Steel types and a handful of Poison-type head-to-heads. This makes Toxapex polarizing to the meta, as it wins almost every neutral matchup but is mostly helpless against its counters. 

 

What changes could be made with Toxapex? Earlier we mentioned that it has a similar stat product to Cresselia, and this could be a good model for how Toxapex could be more balanced. Cresselia has fast energy generation but is lacking in low energy charged attacks, instead being forced to rely on high energy moves. Poison Sting, with its below average damage but high energy gains, might be a better fit for Toxapex balance-wise than Poison Jab, which is above average in terms of both damage and energy. Muddy Water is a low energy move that provides very little damage. If replaced with Hydro Pump, Toxapex would now be able to threaten more damage when faced with counters, at the cost of needing a large amount of energy to unleash. With a Poison Sting, Sludge Wave, and Hydro Pump moveset, we get the following results (at the time of writing): 35-16 in shieldless, 32-19 in 1v1 shields, and 23-28 in 2v2 shields. These records are still very strong, but it sees a noticeable drop in performance with increased shields in play and has a healthier relationship with Pokémon that resist Poison-type moves. For example, it now keeps the matchup with Galarian Stunfisk closer, and has the ability to win shield-advantage scenarios as two Hydro Pumps are enough for the KO. Comparatively, with the Poison Jab and Muddy Water set, you could give Toxapex two shields and Galarian Stunfisk zero and GFisk is still going to win. It also wins the shieldless and 1v1 shield scenario with Bastiodon. As a trade-off, it no longer wins nearly every neutral matchup in the game. For example, it now drops the 1v1 shield matchup to meta Pokémon such as Umbreon and Venusaur. The drop in fast move damage also means Toxapex loses much of its ability to farm down weakened Pokémon by applying fast move pressure, instead relying on throwing energy to KO. Overall, we feel something that looks more like this would be more balanced and healthier for the meta.   



 


 



Arceus: The ruler of Master League? 

 

As of so far, the two highlighted future releases with meta-warping potential, Aegislash and Toxapex, have been for the Great League meta. Their advantage of an incredibly low attack stat leads to a higher stat product in Great League, but they lack the CP needed to compete in Ultra or Master League. But what kind of Pokémon can warp the Master League meta? Perhaps the best example of this is the god of Pokémon itself, Arceus. 

 

Arceus reaches the second highest stat product total in the entirety of Master League (excluding other unreleased Pokémon such as Eternatus and Kyurem White/Black). The only Pokémon with a higher stat product would be Lugia. The reason Lugia has such a high stat product is the fact that it was not given a 9% stat nerf like nearly every other of the big Legendary Pokémon. Arceus, however, has already received this stat nerf, which just goes to show you how powerful Arceus could be. 

 

Arceus has a potential typing advantage unlike any Pokémon currently in the game; it could theoretically be any of the typings available. Four typings stand out for Arceus as being the most likely meta-warping choices: Fairy, Steel, Poison, and Water. Fairy is one of the strongest types in the game and very valuable at the Master League level, and allows Arceus to fill a role that has up to this point been Charmers and Zacian. Steel is one of the strongest defensive typings in the game and allows Arceus to play the important anti-Fairy role. Poison would fill a similar niche to Steel in terms of the anti-Fairy role, but would resist Zacian’s Close Combat and would hold up better with Fire and Fighting types, at the expense of having generally fewer resistances than Steel and adding a Psychic-type weakness that would leave it vulnerable to Mewtwo. Water has only two weaknesses, to Electric and Grass, which are both limited at the Master League level and could allow Arceus to play a generalist role. Overall, the sheer amount of choice Arceus has leads to its potential to warp the meta.

 

Arceus’ moveset is currently listed on PvPoke as Shadow Claw and Iron Tail as fast attacks, and Outrate, Future Sight, and Hyper Beam as charged attacks. Shadow Claw is one of best fast attacks in the game, but the high energy cost of the charged attacks should theoretically hold it back. Despite that potential weak point, some versions of Arceus still post impressive sim results running Shadow Claw, Outrage, and Future Sight, as summarized below:

  • Fairy Arceus goes 25-7-2 in shieldess, 29-4-1 in 1v1 shielding, and 25-9-0 in 2v2 shielding. Metagross, which in theory should be a sure-fire counter to a pure Fairy-type, loses the two shield scenario if Arceus is given a two Shadow Claw energy advantage. Arceus can also overcome Melmetal in the 1v1 and 2v2 shield scenarios despite all its charged attacks being resisted. All of this looks a slight amount stronger than what Zacian currently can do in Master League, which is already a meta-warping Fairy-type.

  • Steel Arceus goes 18-16 in shieldess, 25-8-1 in 1v1 shielding, and 14-20 in 2v2 shielding. This version of Arceus looks potent in the 1v1 shielding, but the other shield scenarios expose that record to be a bit of an overinflation. Overall, the Steel version of Arceus does not look anywhere near as impressive as the Fairy version, but could still play a role because of an appealing head-to-head with Fairy Arceus, resisting all three of Outrage, Future Sight, and Hyper Beam and winning every even shield scenario in the head-to-head.

  • Poison Arceus goes 17-15-2 in shieldess, 21-12-1 in 1v1 shielding, and 11-23 in 2v2 shielding. This is not much different than Steel type Arceus, but there is one notable difference: Poison Arceus is able to win every even-shield scenario with Close Combat + Wild Charge Zacian, which allows it to play a true anti-Fairy role. Fairy-type Arceus, with its resistance to Snarl, has a better matchup with Zacian than Poison Arceus, but does not have the same anti-Charm properties. Overall Fairy Arceus still feels like the version with the most potential, but Poison Arceus could fill a niche that nothing at the current moment can fill within the Master League Meta, that being a powerful Poison-type selection.

  • Water Arceus goes 23-10 in shieldless, 25-8-1 in 1v1 shielding, and 19-15 in 2v2 shielding. With Water only having two weaknesses to Grass and Electric, it means that this version of Arceus can play the role of anti-Kyogre and is only truly hard-countered by Zarude. It has a weaker Melmetal matchup, due to the fact that Thunder Shock is now super effective, but otherwise can put up a battle with nearly the entire ML meta and would make an excellent safe switch. 

  • Other types of Arceus can also post impressive results. For example, Ghost Arceus would get STAB on its Shadow Claw and it posts equally impressive results to some of the previously examined versions of Arceus. Overall, Arceus just has a ton of variability and ways it could be played.

 

There is also Arceus’ exclusive move, Judgment, to think about for a possible future implementation. Judgment is a move that changes type to match Arceus’ type. Introducing a move like this would likely make Arceus more meta-warping than it already would be. However, being a move that only Arceus can learn means the move could be made in a way that fits Arceus without warping the meta further than needed.

 

What could be done to avoid Arceus being meta-warping? For starters, the results above show the typical 9% stat nerf might not be enough to hold it in line with most other Master League Pokémon. Its win rates are exceptionally strong, despite it only having high energy charge attacks to work with. It could suffer a somewhat similar issue as Registeel where it is forced to use high energy charged attacks to generate knockouts, which could lead to it performing slightly worse in practice than its simulation record would indicate. However, there are differences from Registeel that make Arceus alarming. Shadow Claw does significantly more damage than Lock-On, meaning that Arceus won’t be as helpless at generating farm-downs on weakened opposing Pokémon. Additionally, Zap Cannon is easier to adjust with limited collateral than Shadow Claw, Outrage, and Future Sight, all of which would see more collateral damage than Zap Cannon. With all that said, careful consideration is needed before Arceus is released into the game. Potential solutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Giving Arceus more than the typical 9% nerf in base stats

  • Giving each type of Arceus a unique moveset that keeps specific typings from becoming too meta-warping

  • Using its exclusive move Judgment (a more easily adjustable move for buffs and nerfs) in place of some of its current moves in a tailored way to make Arceus good without being meta-warping levels of good.



 


 



Additional Considerations 

 

Our meta team talked about a number of other future releases. These are some that didn’t make the cut for a big write-up but are worth a few quick notes:

  • Coalossal has an amazing stat distribution and moveset that could lead to it being a central pick in both Great and Ultra League. Its typing combination of Fire and Rock, however, leaves it with a number of vulnerabilities which include a weakness to Counter and two glaring double weaknesses to Water and Ground, which means any meta will have ways of dealing with it at the very least. That being said, there is a hierarchy of Fire-types where the bulkier versions (e.g Kanto Ninetales and Alolan Marowak) tend to be given fast attacks like Fire Spin and Ember, while the less bulky versions (e.g. Talonflame and Typhlosian) tend to be given Incinerate. In that sense, replacing Incinerate with Fire Spin might put Coalossal more in line with its Fire-type competition. This would reduce its ability to win nearly any neutral matchup it is faced with and still see it post strong matchup results that will allow it to find meta relevance in the right limited cup formats.

  • For any Season 1 Silph players who played Boulder Cup, you might remember the ability to run multiple Skarmory in the same tournament being a dominant strategy. The Silph rule-makers patched that the following month by not allowing duplicate picks. With Corviknight, the chance to run something akin to double Skarmory again could now become a reality to players! It is currently listed on PvPoke with Air Slash, Drill Peck, and Brave Bird, and that set looks quite potent. It has a bit of a speed advantage over Skarmory with Drill Peck coming 5 energy sooner than Sky Attack, but with a slight reduction in power. As a result, Corviknight posts sim results that are generally better than Skarmory, with a caveat being it is more effective at pulling off a bait and nuke with Brave Bird to secure extra matchups. With Brave Bird removed, Corviknight and Skarmory tend to be more in-line with their results. Corviknight also reaches the 2500CP limit for Ultra League, something Skarmory cannot replicate. We don’t think any changes would be needed for Corviknight, as it appears to be more of a meta-centric pick than a meta-warping one, but it was something we looked at nonetheless. 

  • Eternatus and Kyurem Black/White are two Master League relevant Legendary Pokémon that were considered alongside Arceus. Similar to Arceus, these two Pokémon have a massive statistical advantage over their competition. We ultimately chose to highlight Arceus because its ability to change typings and take on the Fairy-typing felt more interesting to cover in depth. Eternatus, Dragalge’s scary big brother, has a strong moveset with Dragon Tail, Cross Poison, and Dragon Pulse. It is limited in hard counters, as shown by its 2v2 shield win rate (where all of its losses are close) and by its 1-0 win rate (where only Metagross stands in its way). Kyurem Black and White tend to be held in check a bit by their expensive charged attacks and are less likely to become meta-warping. Kyurem White and its Ancient Power gives it 10% potential for a game-defining stat boost, but outside of that it tends to just provide Dragon Breath damage and nothing more. The meta will be able to deal with Kyurem White the same way it deals with most of the Dragons in the meta and should not pose much of a risk. Kyurem Black has more interesting moves with potentially Dragon Tail and Shadow Claw and a powerful array of charge attacks, but its win rates don’t look menacing enough to warp the meta like Arceus or Eternatus threaten to do. As mentioned previously for Arceus, a potential consideration would be to do more than the typical 9% nerf that has been used to hold Legendaries back in the past, for the sake of maintaining balance in Master League.

  • Currently released Pokémon with specific moveset updates were also considered for this write-up, but ultimately not included as one of the lengthier write-ups. This includes some potentially meta-warping moveset updates that are often brought up within the community, such as Counter Miltank, which posts dominant win rates in Great League and Ultra League. We also considered Xerneas with a Fairy-type fast move (e.g. if given its exclusive move Geomancy) and how, if made too powerful, could make Xerneas even more meta-warping than Zacian currently is. For example, here is what Xerneas would look like in the 1v1 shield scenario at Level 50 if given Geomancy with the same parameters as Snarl. 

 

Shieldess 1v1 Shielding 2v2 shielding

 

The extra power of Moonblast compared to Play Rough makes Xerneas a potential force, although it lacks Zacian’s access to Wild Charge, which does make it more predictable. Releasing a move like Geomancy for Xerneas would be a solid addition for the game to allow Xerneas to perform well in both Raid Battles and Master League, but for Trainer Battles the move might need to look underwhelming on the surface in order to keep Xerneas from becoming even more warping than Zacian is.

 

Thank you all for reading! We hope you enjoyed this look at the potential for meta-warping picks. We also hope we have convinced you why something that is too good to be true can potentially cause more harm than good for a meta.

 

- Stadium’s Meta Analyst team