Written by Tangent444, Nesabethan, and NHoff


Graphic by g47ix



Event Details


On Sunday January 16th, 2022 (11 AM - 5 PM local time) Spheal, the Clap Pokémon, will be appearing more in the wild & will be available as a shiny Pokémon! Although the shiny form was just recently released during this month’s Holiday event, the only way to currently get the non-costumed version of Shiny Spheal is from research tasks. With this upcoming Community Day, you can focus your current efforts on the shiny costumed version, knowing that the shiny non-costumed version should be easier to obtain this upcoming January. The event bonus will be 3x catch XP alongside incense and lure modules lasting for three hours. Remember - since Spheal is a Water and Ice Pokémon, you can Mega-Evolve a Mega Blastoise, Mega Gyarados, or Mega Abomasnow to earn an extra Spheal Candy on each catch!


There will be a special one-time-purchase Community Day Box (available for 1,280 PokéCoins) that will feature 50 Ultra Balls, five Super Incubators, five Lucky Eggs, and an Elite Fast TM.


Walrein will learn the Fast Attack Powder Snow and the Charged Attack Icicle Spear when evolved between 11AM and 7PM local time on the 16th. 


So what does this do for Walrein in PVP battles?


There is a lot to be excited about here with regards to Walrein’s potential in PvP battles. The two new exclusive moves open up a Powder Snow, Icicle Spear, and Earthquake move combination that looks potent. The combination of Ice and Ground Attacks is a pairing that is only fully resisted by a handful of Pokémon: Water/Bug types (Surskit, and the unreleased Dewpider, Araquanid, Wimpod, and Golisopod) and Ice/Bug types (the unreleased Snom and Frosmoth). This means Surskit is the only Pokémon currently in the game that resists this combination of moves, and Surskit only hits 894CP at Level 50 which makes it a non-factor outside of Little Cup. The Ice/Ground combination is seen on Piloswine and Mamoswine, for example, but Walrein stands out from them by having better bulk, the Ice/Water typing, and a more powerful Ground move (even with STAB, Bulldoze has lower DPE than Earthquake).


Powder Snow is an excellent Fast Attack, giving Walrein solid damage and above average energy generation. Previously, Walrein’s only options were the hard hitting but slow charging Waterfall and Frost Breath. Powder Snow alone would have been an improvement for Walrein, but with all its charge moves costing 60 energy and up, what it needed more than anything was a lower energy Charge Attack. With the new move Icicle Spear, Walrein will now have access to a charge move that deals 60 damage. We don’t yet know the energy cost, but in the description of Icicle Spear Niantic promises “this low energy Charge Attack will be sure to make Walrein shine!”. We will take a look at Walrein under the assumption of either a 35 or 40 energy Charge Attack. Weather Ball Ice deals 55 damage for 35 energy, and Ice Punch deals 55 damage for 40 energy, so we used these Charge Attacks in simulations to give a rough estimate for Walrein’s power level; both will be a slight underestimate due to each move being 5 damage less than Icicle Spear will be.


We hope you TMed some Shadow Spheal during the previous Rocket Takeover event, as Shadow Walrein will be a strong alternate version to non-Shadow Walrein, and you will likely want Shadow Walrein at the ready. If you did not TM Frustration off enough Spheal, you will either need to use Elite TMs or potentially wait until December 2022 to get the exclusive moves. If this isn’t a lesson on “Give in to your FOMO and TM everything just in case” then I don’t know what is. The author of this article wisely TMed a Shadow Spheal in November in anticipation of this as a possible upcoming Community Day, and hopes you were lucky or crafty enough to do the same! 


Walrein at the Great League level



Max stat product: 2013k

Powder Snow: 3 DPT 4 EPT (including STAB)

Icicle Spear: 72 damage (including STAB), 40 or 35 energy, 1.80 or 2.01 DPE

Earthquake: 120 damage, 65 energy, 1.85 DPE



Max stat product: 2227k (11% higher)

Ice Shard: 3.6 DPT 3.33 EPT (including STAB)

Icy Wind: 72 damage (including STAB), 45 energy, 1.6 DPE, guaranteed -1 opponent's Attack

Water Pulse: 84 damage (including STAB), 60 energy, 1.4 DPE



Max stat product: 2169k (8% higher)

Ice Shard: 3.6 DPT 3.33 EPT (including STAB)

Surf: 78 damage 40 energy, 1.95 DPE (including STAB)

Skull Bash: 130 damage 75 energy 1.73 DPE, guaranteed +1 own Defense



Max stat product: 2102k (4% higher)

Powder Snow: 3 DPT 4 EPT (including STAB)

Body Slam: 60 damage, 35 energy, 1.71 DPE

Water Pulse: 84 damage (including STAB), 60 energy, 1.4 DPE


Note: the comparisons between fast moves are a bit misleading because of the various multipliers and rounding effects in the game. In practice, the DPT of Powder Snow is generally slightly closer to Ice Shard than these numbers suggest.


Walrein shares the Ice and Water typing with Lapras, Dewgong, and Sealeo, all three of which are strong Pokémon in the Great League. While Walrein has the lowest stat product of this group of marine mammals (and Nessie), the walrus still has enough blubber to absorb hits. The bulkiest of the group, Dewgong, only has ~11% higher max stat product than Walrein, and Sealeo is barely 4% higher. In compensation, Walrein looks like it might end up with the best moves of the group: Powder Snow generally performs better than Lapras and Dewgong's Ice Shard; Icicle Spear is very likely to be a higher damage per energy move than Sealeo's Body Slam (because Walrein gets the Same Type Attack Bonus on Icicle Spear), and possibly higher than Lapras's Surf; and Earthquake is perfect type coverage and higher DPE than Dewgong and Sealeo's Water Pulse. Dewgong's Icy Wind and Lapras's Skull Bash do benefit from the guaranteed stat change, but this may not be enough to overcome their inferior fast moves and coverage. Dewgong in particular struggles in metas where Ice-Water Pokémon are popular because of its inability to hit the others with neutral damage.


Walrein’s super effective damage against Steel is notable for hitting those Pokémon harder than other Ice-types can muster. For example, Walrein has the ability to defeat Bastiodon in the one shield scenario, depending on a shield bait. Walrein’s combination of Ice and Ground moves also makes it strong into both Galarian Stunfisk and Grass types (e.g. Venusaur, Tropius, or Trevenant), which helps break one of the more common cores in Open Great League. Our expectation is that Walrein is likely to be the best performing Ice-Water type, and cause a slight shift in GO Battle League, but exactly how good Walrein can be will depend on the energy cost of Icicle Spear. Powder Snow plus Weather Ball has already been a potent combination on Abomasnow and Alolan Ninetales, despite the recent nerf to Weather Ball. If Icicle Spear costs 35 energy, it will revive that fearsome pre-nerf combination, and on a walrus that is slightly bulkier than Abomasnow or Alolan Ninetales, and has broader type coverage. Could Walrein become the Sea Lion King of the Ice types?


Walrein at the Ultra League level


Walrein shares the Ice/Water typing with Lapras, as both Sealeo and Dewgong don’t quite have the stats to compete at the Ultra League level like they do at the Great League level. Lapras is already one of the top selections at this level, and Walrein should provide good competition for Lapras in this role, with Walrein’s superior fast move and different coverage. Walrein’s access to Earthquake will allow Walrein to do something that Lapras can only dream about, and that is the potential ability to defeat a Registeel in an even shield, even energy situation. Walrein will also have stronger Jellicent and Empoleon matchups, which are crucial areas where Lapras tends to fall short. However, the trade off will be Walrein having generally weaker matchups with the Fire/Flying types Talonflame and Charizard. Overall, we feel the pros outweigh the cons and it looks like Walrein is going to be an excellent selection in Ultra League, depending on the energy cost of Icicle Spear. 


Walrein at the Master League level


Walrein caps out a maximum CP of 3081 at Level 50, or a CP of 3118 with a best buddy boost. Its stat product sits in the upper 5000 level, which is around where Excadrill sits and quite a bit lower than Mamoswine. Walrein is far behind all the Legendary and Pseudo Legendary Pokémon that define Master League. Generally speaking, this is the type of stat level that would allow Walrein to see usage in Master League but likely leave the user underwhelmed. However if Icicle Spear ends up as a 35 energy move, Walrein might join Excadrill in defying the odds of its limited stats and carve out a Master League niche. Its Ice-type moves give it advantages over the Dragon, Flying, and Ground types that are ever present in Master League, and access to Earthquake provides Walrein with win conditions against Dialga. This is similar to what Mamoswine currently provides, but the lower energy cost of Icicle Spear will mean that Walrein can move effective shield bait the Steel types in order to land the Earthquake it needs. However, unlike Mamoswine it struggles harder against Magnezone thanks to its Water typing. 


Closing Thoughts 


This is one of the more exciting Community Days we’ve had recently, at least from these author’s perspectives. Walrein has potential to shake up all three leagues, and goes from a bad PvP Pokémon to a potential must have! While hunting be sure to use the [GO Stadium rank checker](https://www.stadiumgaming.gg/rank-checker) to help you find out if that 0/12/15 Walrein is good for Great League or if that 0/15/15 is any good for Ultra League.


Most of all - stay safe and have fun this Community Day!