May Community Day | Swablu PVP & Mega Implications [ENG, SPA & POLISH GRAPHICS]
On May 15th, 2021 (11 AM - 5 PM local time) Swablu, the Cotton Bird Pokémon will be appearing more in the wild & will be available as a shiny Pokémon (but certainly not for the first time)! Altaria, the Humming Pokémon, will learn the Charge Attack Moonblast when evolved during the Community Day period and up to 2 hours afterwards. The event bonus will be ¼ egg hatching distance alongside incense lasting for three hours. After Community Day has ended (May 15, 5 PM Local Time) Mega Altaria will be introduced to raids. Thank you to PvPoke, Tangent444, G47IX & Mikeiff for their work on research & translations for this guide.
Remember - since Swablu is a Normal and Flying-type Pokémon, you can Mega-Evolve a Mega Charizard Y, Mega Pidgeot, or Mega Lopunny to earn an extra Swablu Candy on each catch!
— Terms —
Note that 0/1/2S refers to the even-shield scenarios in simulations from PvPoke. All wins or losses mentioned are even-shield scenarios with zero starting energy unless otherwise stated. Stat Product (SP) and IVs are occasionally referenced. Exclusive moves (*) cannot be acquired by regular TMs and are either legacy or obtained through previous events, purification, or use of an Elite TM.
Great League (GL) —
Any Great League player is already well familiar with the Humming Pokémon! It’s been core to competitive Great League play since Trainer Battles released.
If you’ve played Altaria, you probably haven’t touched its second Charged Move often. This move is typically Dragon Pulse or Dazzling Gleam. They’re used sparingly against targets like Lanturn who resist Sky Attack, or late game against opposing Altaria. What does Moonblast do for a Pokémon that’s already on cloud nine?
As it turns out, Moonblast does have a slight edge over Dragon Pulse and Dazzling Gleam. Moonblast costs less than Dazzling Gleam for the same base power. When both moves are neutral, Moonblast is also very comparable to Dragon Pulse. Plus, it has a 10% chance to lower the opponent’s Attack which can be a nice surprise.
Moonblast [110 Power | 60 Energy] 10% Chance to Lower Opponent's Attack
Dragon Pulse [108 Power | 60 Energy] Power Includes STAB
Dazzling Gleam [110 Power | 70 Energy]
In terms of overall matchups, Moonblast doesn’t drastically change the game for Altaria. Moonblast has the most value against bulky dark types like Umbreon and Mandibuzz, helping Altaria power through them in more scenarios. For example, against Umbreon Moonblast will do roughly 65 damage while Sky Attack will do roughly 34 damage. This is important to note because it does mean that two Sky Attacks will do more damage than one Moonblast, but if unshielded then one Moonblast can be a more efficient strategy. Bulky Pokémon typically don’t shield early Charged Moves, so going straight for Moonblast could be the play, noteworthy for defeating Umbreon in 0S. However, landing a Moonblast means that Altaria might not be able to win the 1S scenario with Umbreon, as its path to victory is hitting three Sky Attacks (outside of getting that 10% chance Moonblast debuff).
More broadly, the only Pokémon that resists Sky Attack and Moonblast, but not Dragon Pulse, is the magnificent Magcargo. Against other Dragon types, Dragalge with its Poison typing is the only case where Dragon Pulse would be more effective than Moonblast (aside from Fire/Dragon Pokémon like Reshiram that are currently not present in the Great League). These are extremely niche encounters and Moonblast will be the more effective choice most of the time.
It is worth noting that Altaria typically performs best overall at its maximum Stat Product (SP) which is achieved for GL at a 0 Attack, 14 Defense, and 15 HP spread of IVs. However, there are a few other IV combinations to keep an eye out for. High Attack can help Altaria in matchups, notably Whiscash and non-XL versions of Azumarill.
Against Whiscash, an Attack stat of 106.98 Attack gives Altaria a Dragon Breath breakpoint, which allows Altaria to prevent Whiscash from reaching two Blizzards in the 1S matchup and forcing Whiscash to rely on shield-baiting. An IV combination such as 15 Attack, 13 Defense, and 12 HP can secure this Whiscash breakpoint.
Against non-XL versions of Azumarill, an Attack stat of 108.29 secures a Dragon Breath breakpoint that can pull off a surprise 1S win against Play Rough and Hydro Pump Azumarill. This might not be worth chasing in the modern era of XL Azumarill, but securing something like a 15 Attack, 0 Defense, and 3 HP Altaria (which is a maximum Attack version) might be worth considering.
One more interesting IV combination is 0 Attack, 0 Defense, and 15 HP. This gives Altaria 143 HP and allows it to just outlast pretty much all other versions of Altaria in the 2S scenario. Look out for all of those IV combinations listed above when appraising your Swablu on Community Day to hopefully find great targets to evolve into Altaria.
Ultra League (UL) —
Altaria is a rare sighting in Ultra League, but that could be due to the amount of resources necessary to build one. Only hitting a ceiling of 2293 CP at level 51, a grind for that amount of Swablu Candy XL is significant. Hopefully with 6 hours of Community Day, many battlers that can go play the whole event will be able to achieve those 296 precious Candy XL to take their Altaria to UL size. My apologies in advance to any battlers not yet at trainer level 40, as they will be unable to acquire any Candy XL to take their Altaria to its maximum UL potential. That being said, Altaria has the same Dragon/Flying typing as Dragonite does, which means Altaria is more of a nice to have option in UL as opposed to a must have. There are a few small trade offs with the two in terms of matchups, but overall both are very comparable to one another. The biggest difference is that Altaria provides significantly more bulk, while Dragonite packs a higher Attack, the option to run as a shadow Pokémon, and a speed advantage with Dragon Claw being reached 10 energy faster than Altaria’s Sky Attack. Moonblast provides Altaria similar benefits in Ultra League that it does in Great League, namely a stronger move option to consider using against bulky Dark types like Umbreon and Mandibuzz.
— Mega Altaria —
Mega Evolutions aren’t allowed in GO Battle League at this time, but just in case, let’s quickly cover its PvP potential!
Mega Altaria becomes a Dragon/Fairy type, which makes it the only Dragon type in the game that resists Dragon-type attacks. This typing also sheds its double weakness to Ice, but becomes weak to Poison and Steel, neutral to Ground-type attacks, and loses its double resistance to Grass-type attacks. Fun fact: Mega Altaria now has a bait-dependent loss against Meganium in the Great League, in what might be the strangest twist of fate you could possibly imagine.
Mega Altaria comes with another tradeoff because it gains a significant amount of Attack. In Great League and Ultra League, this means Mega Altaria is significantly less bulky than its regular counterpart. (In Great League, Mega Altaria has comparable bulk to Sableye or Dragonair.)
Mega Altaria naturally beats its old self and almost all Dragon-type staples in other metas including Dragonite and Kingdra. You’ve probably already thought of the exception, and that would be none other than Dialga in Master League. Dialga with Iron Head becomes super effective against Mega Altaria, and its superior stats allow it to barely squeeze by in the 1S scenario. Mega Altaria can power through by committing both shields.
Mega Altaria carries some lackluster stats in Master League, maxing at 3163 CP at level 40 and 3576 CP at level 50. It has a comparable stat spread to Togekiss. However, like Togekiss, its strong moves and typing are enough to carry it even against other Mega Evolution contenders such as Mega Charizard (X & Y), Mega Gyarados, and Mega Ampharos. Its hardest counters include Togekiss and Metagross.
Much love to our community and please remember to stay safe on your Community Day grind!
Please share the post if you found it useful and good luck battling out there!