Ultra Unlock 3 | A CHAMPION TIME
9 months ago
Article by: Tangent444 & Nesebethan
Graphic by: G47IX
Ultra Unlock Part 3 has been announced, and what we will get might come as a surprise. Pokémon from the Galar region will be making their Pokémon GO debut! The Galar Pokémon we will be seeing are Skwovet, Greedent, Wooloo, Dubwool, Falinks, Zacian, and Zamazenta. What are these new additions to our Pokémon GO world? We will look at each one and examine their potential in the game.
— 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.
— Greedent —
Stats: Medium CP with a defensive stat distribution (good for Great and Ultra League)
Potential Fast Moves: Tackle, Bite, Counter, Bullet Seed, Mud Shot, Thunder Fang, Ice Fang, Fire Fang, Iron Tail
Potential Charge Moves: Body Slam, Hyper Beam, Giga Impact, Dig, Payback, Earthquake, Crunch, Superpower, Gyro Ball, Seed Bomb, Wild Charge, Last Resort
Skwovet is your standard Normal type Pokémon that you find early in the Pokédex each generation. Think Rattata, Sentret, Zigzagoon, Bidoof, Patrat, Lillipup, or Bunnelby, only in squirrel form. Most of these Pokémon don’t tend to hold up well on the PvP scene, often due to middling stats or movesets. Bunnelby’s evolution Diggersby is arguably the most relevant of the bunch on the PvP, with either Linoone or Bibarel following just behind it. It remains to be seen what fate awaits Greedent, the plump squirrel Pokémon, which evolves from Skwovet.
Greedent has a high HP stat and a low speed stat in the Main Series Games, which pushes down its attack and defense stats in Pokémon GO relative to its HP. As a result, Greedent should be fairly bulky in both the Great and Ultra Leagues, with a huge HP stat. Its stat distribution is not that different at those CP caps from Lapras, a well-known tanky Pokémon. It will require XL candies to reach the 2500CP cap in Ultra League, though as a likely common spawn at least the XL candies should be easier to come by.
Greedent has a lot of potential moves to work with, depending on what Niantic gives it. For fast moves, it will need to avoid being stuck with only Tackle, Bite, Iron Tail, or Elemental Fangs in order to have a good chance at meta relevance. One of Counter, Bullet Seed, or Mud Shot would do wonders for it. As for charge moves, Greedent and its most dedicated squirrel loving fans should be hoping to see Body Slam alongside a few of the other highlighted moves. Body Slam is the fastest charged move it can learn, and comes with above average damage per energy (DPE) that’s boosted by the same type attack bonus (STAB). A Counter and Body Slam Greedent would resemble a significantly bulkier Vigoroth, which might not be ideal for game balance. However, a Mud Shot and Body Slam or a Bullet Seed and Body Slam Greedent would be a very unique addition to the Normal type options. Greendent is known for its greed for berries, so Bullet Seed might be especially thematic. Similarly Seed Bomb is an obvious charged move for it to receive, though not as powerful a move as Body Slam.
For anyone wondering about Greedent’s pre-evolution in a world of Candy XL, Skvovet should just barely be above 1000CP at Level 50 and will not be able to make an impact in the Great League. It could have some Little Cup potential. It has a similar stat distribution at a CP cap to its evolution, and shares the ability to learn Counter and Body Slam.
— Dubwool —
Stats: Medium CP with a moderately defensive stat distribution (good for Great and Ultra League)
Potential Fast Moves: Tackle, Take Down, Counter, Zen Headbutt
Potential Charge Moves: Body Slam, Last Resort, Hyper Beam, Giga Impact, Payback, Stomp, Wild Charge
Wooloo, like Skwovet, is another common Normal type Pokémon from the Galar region. Wooloo and its evolution Dubwool resemble sheep, and the question is whether they will be good or baaaaaaad in PvP.
Dubwool has similar potential to Greedent in some ways, with a certain amount of bulk and the possibility of the Counter + Body Slam moveset. Its stat distribution at 1500 CP appears to be more similar to Meganium; not quite as bulky as Greedent. It also seems to have fewer moves available to learn. If Dubwool isn’t given Counter, it is unlikely to see much use in PvP. If it learns Counter and Body Slam, it would become a bulkier and potentially more powerful Vigoroth, though not quite as overpowered as Greedent would be with the same moveset. Stomp and Wild Charge are its only other moves below 55 energy, so if it doesn’t learn one of these three charged moves, it may struggle for relevance.
Dubwool’s pre-evolution Wooloo doesn’t appear to even hit 800CP at Level 50. Similar to Skwovet previously, Little Cup is the only format where Wooloo might have relevance. Wooloo's movepool is even narrower than its evolution's, and it seems like a likely candidate for the bad PvP fast moves Tackle and Take Down. It can learn Counter via breeding in the main series games, but can't learn Body Slam. It could share the Stomp + Wild Charge set of its evolution, but otherwise will likely be a forgettable Pokémon in the Little Cup.
— Falinks —
Stats: Medium CP with High Attack (unideal distribution for Great and Ultra League)
Potential Fast Moves: Tackle, Rock Smash, Counter, Poison Jab, Zen Headbutt
Potential Charge Moves: Close Combat, Megahorn, Hyper Beam, Giga Impact, Rock Slide, Brick Break, Payback, Superpower, Focus Blast, Iron Head
Falinks, the Formation Pokémon, is an interesting choice for this surprise Galar event. As a mono Fighting type, it likely won’t have much to help it stand out from the likes of Machamp and Primeape in PvP. It is marginally bulkier than those two Pokémon, but lacks a decent 35 energy move option. Overall, its stat product looks similar to Machoke, though with a more even distribution between Stamina and Defense. Potential access to Counter is always valuable for a Fighting type, but not much else stands out relative to its Fighting competition. Poison Jab is a good move, but won’t get STAB on Falinks and is unlikely to help this slightly glassy Pokémon perform well. Close Combat or Superpower would give it Fighting charged move damage, whereas Megahorn, Rock Slide, or Payback would give it coverage. It is worth noting Machamp already learns Close Combat and Rock Slide, but usually prefers to run Cross Chop. These glassy Pokémon can struggle to reach multiple 45 energy moves, and often do enough Cross Chop damage with their high Attack stats. Falinks would require XL candies in order to reach the 2500CP limit for Ultra League.
— Zacian —
Stats: High CP Legendary with High Attack (identical stats to Zamazenta)
Potential Fast Moves: Psycho Cut, Snarl, Quick Attack, Air Slash, Thunder Fang, Ice Fang, Fire Fang, Bite, Metal Claw, Iron Tail
Potential Charge Moves: Sacred Sword, Moonblast, Close Combat, Crunch, Giga Impact, Hyper Beam, Dig, Brick Break, Focus Blast, Iron Head, Play Rough, Swift
After the unfortunate release of Xerneas, which wasn’t given a usable fast move for PvP or PvE, we get a second chance at a Legendary Fairy type. Zacian learns even fewer Fairy moves than Xerneas in the main series games: Moonblast and Play Rough are the only two Zacian learns, and both have already been implemented as charged moves in Pokémon GO. Fortunately Zacian can actually learn fast moves that are usable in Pokémon GO PvP; though, with condolences to our raiders out there, it won’t get a Fairy fast move it would need to be a powerhouse in PvE. Instead its PvE performance looks like a sidegrade from Gardevoir, assuming Zacian is given Play Rough and a fast-charging move like Snarl or Psycho Cut. It could at least reach one of Moonblast or Play Rough quickly with the energy generation of Psycho Cut or Snarl. Zacian (like Zamazenta) has a similar stat distribution to Metagross, weighted towards the Attack stat and away from the Stamina stat, though it is marginally bulkier overall than Metagross and Zacian’s stat product is closer to Yveltal and Xerneas. As such, it has appropriate stats to compete in the Master League.
The set with the highest potential looks like Psycho Cut, Sacred Sword, and Moonblast. Close Combat is a powerful move, but STAB Moonblast almost matches its DPE, and Close Combat would require dropping either Zacian’s fastest charged move or its non-Fighting move. Snarl instead of Psycho Cut should be pretty similar, with marginally less desirable parameters, but a Dark typing useful in certain situations. Fortunately both Sacred Sword and Moonblast are level up moves for Zacian, Sacred Sword is thematic for the Pokémon, and Moonblast shares its typing, so there is a reasonable chance we actually get those two moves.
— Zamazenta —
Stats: High CP Legendary with High Attack (identical stats to Zacian)
Potential Fast Moves: Metal Claw, Quick Attack, Bite, Thunder Fang, Ice Fang, Fire Fang, Snarl
Potential Charge Moves: Iron Head, Crunch, Moonblast, Close Combat, Giga Impact, Hyper Beam, Solar Beam, Payback, Focus Blast, Flash Cannon, Wild Charge, Play Rough
Zamazenta provides Pokémon GO with its highest CP Fighting type, and those big stats have a chance to add some excitement to the Master League meta. Once again condolences to our raid friends, as Zamazenta is without a Fighting type fast move. However, if given the quick-charging Snarl combined with the powerful Close Combat, Zamazenta could present quite the challenge to the big Steel types of Master League. It has strong coverage move options in Crunch or Payback (for Fighting resistant Ghost and Psychic types), Wild Charge (for Fighting resistant Flying types), or Moonblast (for general coverage outside of Poison types or Ho-oh), which means it has the moveset potential to be a solid Master League meta option. Crunch is probably the most practical of these moves to pair with Close Combat: it enables Zamazenta to chip or shield bait things without debuffing itself or spending 60+ energy. Snarl, Close Combat, and Crunch might be the three most desirable moves for the Master League.
The announcement specifically mentions the Hero of Many Battles form, and doesn’t mention the Crowned forms of Zacian or Zamazenta, so it doesn’t seem like we’ll get either with their Steel subtyping. In Zacian’s case that is an especially formidable type combination, with Steel adding its arsenal of resistances, and Fairy removing one of Steel’s weaknesses without adding another. It will be interesting to see whether we get any Steel type moves on this release, or whether they are only added to the Crowned form in the future.