The clunky inclusion of Gholdengo aside, Pokémon GO trainers around the world will likely have to wait a while before any more Pokémon from Paldea will begin to be drip-fed into the game. But still, one can't help but ponder, especially with the many unique typings and stat distributions found among Generation IX Pokémon, how will these beautiful creatures perform within the context of GO PvP, were they to be suddenly airdropped into our phones? So if you've been asking yourself, "How good will Scarlet and Violet Pokémon be in Pokémon GO," ponder no more trainers. The glimpse of the future you've all been waiting for is here.


How good will Scarlet and Violet Pokémon be in Pokémon GO?


The below screenshots are extremely long to preserve detail. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to read more analysis, my thoughts, and an FAQ on how we we came to our conclusions.


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Methodology & Preventing Overcentralization


All Generation IX Pokémon that get within spitting range of 1500 CP were added to the gamemaster of an offline PvPoke instance, along with their full Scarlet & Violet learnsets. Their optimal movesets* were then determined, then, together with all the other Pokémon, simulated with the same algorithm that generates the rankings on online PvPoke.


I cannot guarantee as to whether each individual moveset on each individual Pokémon in each individual league is the best one they can possibly have. They were largely selected by feel, but these results are still very representative. Besides, even aside from the issue of simming a slightly suboptimal moveset, a few Pokémon had to have been intentionally kneecapped because otherwise they ended up being incredibly dominant, topping the rankings in many cases. 


These dominant Generation IX Pokémon are:


Spidops: Grass Knot –> Brick Break

Counter + Lunge is an obscene combo on its own right. This movset offers meaningful coverage that only makes that ugly Pokémon overperform even better.


Clodsire: Counter / Surf / Earthquake –> Poison Jab / Earth Power / Sludge Wave

Yes, Clodsire can learn Counter for some unholy reason. A "Nidoqueen, but slower" moveset was handpicked for it in order to attempt to more accurately represent how it's likely to perform once it actually gets added.


Dondozo: Water Gun / Aqua Tail / Avalanche –> Waterfall / Surf / Outrage

The world really doesn't need a Gunfisk bulk super-Blastoise. Forcing it to be stuck with Waterfall instead makes it a better Alomomola, which is nowhere near as format-warping in comparison.


Palafin Zero Form: Aqua Tail / Ice Beam –> Surf / Ice Punch

A Skarm bulky fighter with STAB coverage is kinda overpowered – who would've thought? Ice Punch is much worse for coverage than Ice Beam, especially since Zerofin has more than enough girth to actually get to consistent Ice Beams. Plus, Surf over Aqua Tail slows its spammability a bit, even if it is more efficient.


Tinkatuff & Tinkaton: Brutal Swing / Rock Slide –> Play Rough / Stone Edge

I wrote an entire article on why the Tinks are overpowered in their full power state. The gist is, its insane defensive typing and very good bulk, not to mention very reliable, very spammable moves makes a bad time for the meta.


Dachsbun: Psychic Fangs –> Crunch

With Charm being taken out behind the shed, there wouldn't even be that much of a worry of Psychic Fangs Dachsbun being super busted. However, Niantic is never ever gonna pair these two moves. So, I didn't either, especially since Dachsbun is already the bulkiest charmer mono-fairy Pokémon so far.


Annihilape: Shadow Claw / Night Slash –> Counter / Shadow Punch

Shadow Claw + Close Combat would've make Annihilape even more obscene in CP limited formats. And with how miserable Shadow Punch is, it acts as another soft limiter for its power. Shadow Claw + Cross Chop was another option, but I went with the big boom instead.


Scream Tail: Psychic Fangs –> Psyshock

You don't want to give Psychic Fangs to something with Umbreon bulk – even if it's stuck with Thunder Fang.


Koraidon & Walking Wake: Breaking Swipe –> Dragon Claw

Breaking Swipe is such an obscene move, you don't want anything that's even slightly decent without it to have it. Which makes this a criterion that Koraidon and Walking Wake fulfill in spades, especially in Master League.




How did you rank Generation IX Pokémon for PvP?

I downloaded an offline version of PvPoke from its official GitHub repo, and edited the gamemaster.json file it uses as a source for all Pokémon data using a tool I made.


Will these should be the final movesets for Scarlet and Violet Pokémon?

No, this was an exercise for fun. Having some new core meta Pokémon would be appreciated, yes. But that's something that has to be done gracefully.


Are these movesets realistic? They don't seem like they are!

Yes, I know – the point wasn't to make realistic movesets. It was to see how these Pokémon would perform if pushed to, or in some cases near, their limits. And besides, Galarian Stunfisk exists, and that thing's moveset is obscene – even still today.


Why does Flutter Mane learn Icy Wind?

Because she's my special princess. 😊


Why are there no Male Oinkologne?

It's a straight downgrade from the Female one for the purposes of GO PvP. Therefore I didn't see the point of including it.


Why do so many Pokémon learn Close Combat and/or Wild Charge?

They're very good moves; I don't know what else to say. It's not always what you want, especially in a more measured world of bestest officials-level play. But they're inarguably strong, especially when paired with a second good move.


Why can't certain Pokémon learn certain movesets?

Ask GameFreak, I didn't decide the learnsets.


Why are Paradox Pokémon included in Great League?

I don't have any idea of whether Paradoxes will be raid-exclusive once they get added to Pokémon GO and – neither do you. So I decided to go for it and go with "No." Even if they're raid exclusive, Scream Tail falls under 1500 CP from raids easily.


But what if Niantic gives them all Astonish? hyuck hyuck

You're not funny. Please stop being unfunny.


Do you have any suggestions to Niantic regarding Scarlet and Violet Pokémon in PvP?

Please add Trailblaze as a cheap efficient Grass type move. Seed Bomb sucks and is atoning for Trevenant's sins. Plus every single Grass/Dark type Generation IX Pokémon suffers as a result since aside from very limited Leaf Blade Pokémon – it's the only cheap Grass type move with good distribution.


What about any suggestions to Game Freak?