TL;DR

Fighting: Terrakion! Terrakion!

  • Terrakion with exclusive move Sacred Sword is the best fighting attacker now, with a sizable improvement over Shadow Machamp.
  • It’s even better than non-shadow Meteor Mash Metagross when both are super effective.
  • L35 Terrakion ≈ L40 Shadow Machamp ≈ L50 Lucario/Conkeldurr.
  • Mega Lopunny‘s solo power is still not amazing even with Double Kick (its best fast move now), but worth bringing to raids in virtually all situations, assuming you prefer the damage boost over the XL candy boost.
  • If you have a Mega Alakazam with Counter (from April 2020 Community Day), it looks good as a fighting attacker on paper and for solo raids (near Lucario level, better with dodging). With other raiders, use Mega Lopunny instead.

Psychic: Get a Mega Alakazam with Psychic during the upcoming Psychic Spectacular event (starts Tuesday 10am), even if just for Terrakion raids.

  • Mega Alakazam with Psychic (obtainable by evolving or mega raids during the event) out-DPSes non-shadow Psystrike Mewtwo! Yes, it can replace a Mewtwo on your team.
  • If you’re using a mega, Mega Latios (without signature move) is the most solid in realistic lobby sizes, especially 6-ppl remotes. But Psychic Mega Alakazam is still great, and may be cheaper.
  • Psychic types haven’t seen much use, but it’s quality over quantity. Mewtwo and Mega Alakazam are the best counters for Terrakion raids (and others like T3 Galarian Weezing, future Mega Blaziken, and future Eternatus). Most things below Mewtwo are probably not worth it, though.
  • Non-legacy Future Sight is a bit below Psychic, but probably not worth an Elite TM. Find another good Abra or Alakazam during the event instead.
  • Shadow Alakazam and regular Alakazam are not something to go crazy about, even with Psychic. Don’t be frustrated if you have a shadow stuck with Frustration.
  • Lunala (with its current datamined moveset) is the best non-Mewtwo non-Hoopa non-shadow non-mega psychic attacker… Which doesn’t mean much.

If you have a good Abra, get Psychic during the event. Don’t wait for Counter.

Keep reading for:

  • Future fighting and psychic types: Megas, Keldeo, Necrozma, etc
  • Detailed comparison of fighting- and psychic-type megas (now with mega boost considered!)
  • (Part 3 on fairy and poison types coming soon!)

Introduction

The Season of Light is here! And with it came many, many changes that are huge for both PvP and raids. Here’s what we know so far:

  • A huge move rebalance happened at the start of Go Battle League Season 12. Many of them have huge impacts on PvP, as JRE47 has analyzed here. But there are also significant implications or potentials for raid attackers, most notably with the addition of two fast moves, Double Kick and Fairy Wind. Nihilego also received a small buff by learning Poison Jab.
  • The Psychic Spectacular event is back from Tuesday, September 6, to Monday, September 12. Not only is Mega Alakazam introduced, but you can get an Alakazam with its legacy move Psychic during the event, by evolving a Kadabra or catching an Alakazam from a mega raid.
    • (Note: You can’t get Psychic by evolving a Shadow Abra/Kadabra if they still have Frustration.)
  • A new seasonal special research is available that rewards Cosmog. It is expected that we will be able to evolve it into Alola’s box legendaries, Solgaleo and Lunala, towards the end of the season. PokeMiners have already found preliminary movesets for both, though they may still change prior to release.

Today, we will look at their impacts on fighting– and psychic-type raid attackers.

  • This post consists of Parts 1 and 2, focusing on fighting and psychic types.
  • At the end of this post, there’s also an appendix on both psychic- and fighting-type megas.
  • Part 3 will come later this week, focusing on fairy and poison types.

Fighting-type Raid Attackers

The Charts

Fighting attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance from Pokebattler sims, aka Average Scaled Estimator (ASE). Without and with dodging respectively.
Fighting attackers ranked by DPS^3*TDO and DPS respectively.

Technical details, as usual:

  • The first two plots are based on my in-house Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which estimates in-raid performance by automatically computing the average Pokebattler estimators against a variety of T5, Mega and T3 raid bosses, scaled so that the best attacker at L40 gets 1.0. The smaller, the better. For more details, refer to my Venusaur analysis in January and the comments.
  • “ASE Dodge” uses simulations with the “Dodge Specials” + “Realistic Dodging” options on Pokebattler. You can compare it to ASE without dodging to see how much dodging helps an attacker. For example, Lucario’s ASE at Level 40 drops from 1.151 without dodging to 1.108 with dodging, so dodging generally helps Lucario’s performance.

Don’t know how to read the charts?

If you’re totally lost, just look at the first two plots, or just the first one if you don’t dodge in raids. These two plots are based on my ASE metric, which approximates in-raid performance using Pokebattler. (The DPS3*TDO and DPS plots are for experienced players who want to check these metrics.)

In all four plots, the higher, the better. Example: Terrakion is generally better than Shadow Machamp, which is better than Lucario and Conkeldurr, if they’re all at the same Pokémon level. But everything listed is perfectly usable and will let you pull your weight in raids.

You can also compare different attackers at different levels: points on the same horizontal line mean they’re equally as good. Example: A Level 35 Terrakion performs similarly to Level 40 Shadow Machamp and Level 50 Lucario/Conkeldurr.

Reminder: All plots show average performance against many raid bosses. Against a specific raid boss, the rankings can be different.

How the Champ Has Fallen, Again

Sacred Sword is a broken move, and has been the case since it was first given to Cobalion in March 2020. In PvE it’s about as good as Frenzy Plant, and in PvP it’s a clone of really good moves like Body Slam, pre-nerf Weather Ball and pre-nerf Icicle Spear. Yet, even after the Swords of Justice all got Sacred Sword as raid-exclusive moves (ugh), none of them had the right fast move to pair with it, in either battle format.

That all changed with the introduction of Double Kick and the unannounced surprise addition of it to their (regular TM) movepools. Cobalion and Virizion are now major threats in PvP Ultra League, and here, Terrakion dominates fighting-type raid attackers now. And Double Kick actually turned out better than expected – its fast energy generation is a perfect fit for the OP Sacred Sword.

As seen above, even though Shadow Machamp has 0.97% higher DPS, Terrakion has much better bulk and thus 43% more TDO. So yes, Terrakion is the best fighting attacker now, period.

  • Terrakion is also stronger than non-shadow Meteor Mash Metagross (at equal level) when both are super effective, typically against rock and ice types.
  • A level 35 Terrakion performs similarly to a level 40 Shadow Machamp and level 50 Lucario. A level 30 Terrakion performs similarly to a level 35 Shadow Machamp and level 40-45 Lucario.
  • Dodging helps Shadow Machamp a bit, but has generally little impact on Terrakion. Yet, the improvement is not enough to overcome the massive bulk difference, and the previous bullet point still applies even with dodging.
  • To be exact, there are still a handful scenarios where Shadow Machamp may be better thanks to slightly higher DPS. Out of the 146 sets of raid bosses and battle settings I simmed, Shadow Machamp has a better Pokebattler estimator than Terrakion in 8: Mega Sharpedo, T3 Chansey, T3 Dewgong (dodge), T3 Nosepass, T3 Porygon2 (dodge), T3 Galarian Stunfisk (dodge and no dodge), T3 Sudowoodo. If Time to Win (TTW) is your cup of tea, there might be a few more. But yeah, 8/146 is really inconsequential.
  • There might be more specific boss movesets that are favorable to Machamp. Terrakion’s rock subtyping is often a huge liability, making it weak to common attacks like fighting, ground, steel, grass and water. Terrakion generally has the bulk to tank a bad charged move, but not always.

An honorable mention to Cobalion and Virizion. With Double Kick/Sacred Sword, they’re actually serviceable now at Hariyama level. Still way way way below Terrakion and even below regular Machamp, so don’t power them up specifically for raids; but if you’re building one for Master League, they might be part of your B-team in raids.

FAQs

How do I get a Sacred Sword Terrakion?

The last time Terrakion was in raids was November 2021. This might mean we can hopefully see it return this season or next, but there’s no guarantee. Even if it returns to raids, it may not come with the exclusive move Sacred Sword (looking at you, the Kanto birds).

Until then, lucky trading is your best bet. Remember to check if their Terrakion has Sacred Sword! While Double Kick is TMable, Sacred Sword is not.

Does this mean we should trash our Shadow Machamps?

Absolutely not, haha. While the difference between Terrakion and Shadow Machamp is significant, the former comes with an expensive rare candy investment, especially if you’re building multiples. Moreover, level 50 Shadow Machamp generally outperforms level 40 Terrakion again, and Machop XLs are much easier to obtain than Terrakion XLs.

The same generally applies to Lucario and Conkeldurr, minus the L50 vs L40 part (L40 Terrakion is better than L50 Lucario/Conkeldurr).

What about regular Machamps?

There’s no shame if your fighting team still has one or more regular Machamps – everything better than it is expensive. Yet, I think this is the time to finally put at least one regular Machamp to rest. Even a level 30 Terrakion is better than a level 50 Machamp in all metrics, DPS included. And level 30 Terrakion “only” costs 66 candies.

Is Sacred Sword worth an Elite Charged TM?

I’m inclined to think yes, especially on a high IV Terrakion. However, most players probably didn’t raid Terrakion hard last time, so if your best Terrakion still has mediocre IVs (like my 89%), I would wait until it returns to raids. Not that IVs make it a bad investment – in practice they’ll be virtually the same – but Elite Charged TMs are too rare, and you may get better Terrakions in the future.

Is non-legacy Close Combat Terrakion worth using?

No.

Fighting-type Megas: The Improved Mega Lopunny, and… Alakazam?

Mega Lopunny

(Mega) Lopunny also received Double Kick as part of the GBL update. Ironically, Lopunny remains largely irrelevant in PvP, but the addition benefits it more in raids. Double Kick is a clear upgrade over Low Kick, but its impact on Mega Lopunny’s solo power in raids is still rather small – it went from above/below Hariyama to above/below Machamp.

  • To be fair, I wasn’t expecting much anyway. With a few exceptions, fast moves typically matter less in PvE than charged moves.
  • This is a case where purely theoretical measures like DPS and TDO don’t translate perfectly to practice. Looking at the bottom two plots, you would expect Double Kick moved Mega Lopunny from Machamp level to Conkeldurr level, which wouldn’t be bad… Except that’s not the case, as simulations (my ASE metric) show.
  • Why? Because Mega Lopunny suffers from only having a “1-bar” (100 energy) charged move, Focus Blast. While it’s almost the best Niantic can give it (aside from Aura Sphere), 1-bar moves in PvE generally sim worse than in theory, due to waste of energy once it’s already at 100. Focus Blast having a long duration doesn’t do it any wonders, either.

If you’re using Mega Lopunny, though, be sure to dodge charged moves from the boss if you can. Not only does dodging extend its time on the field and boost other players for longer, but it massively helps Mega Lopunny’s own performance as well, even more so than Lucario and Shadow Machamp benefit from dodging. Users of 1-bar moves typically get the most out of dodging.

  • It should be noted that, even though the top right chart seems to suggest Mega Lopunny is as good as Conkeldurr when dodging, that’s just an illusion. Comparing both ASE charts with and without dodging, you can see that Conkeldurr’s performance actually falls if you dodge. So a dodging Mega Lopunny is still generally below Conkeldurr, albeit now above Machamp.

Mega Alakazam with Counter

While Mega Lopunny remains the only STAB fighting-type mega so far (and the only one that gives you more fighting XLs), another mega can surprisingly function as a fighting attacker… Mega Alakazam with its CD move!

No, I’m not talking about the legacy move Psychic that you can get from the Psychic Spectacular event (we’ll discuss that later). I’m talking about Counter, its Community Day move from April 2020. Everyone dismissed it as a “PvP CD” back then, but ironically it’s making much more impacts in raids than in PvP: While Counter Alakazam is virtually unused in most PvP formats, Mega Alakazam with Counter/Focus Blast can actually be a great fighting attacker on its own, even an excellent one if you dodge.

  • As seen from the plots above, at L40 Mega Alakazam can already outperform Lucario and Conkeldurr on average, even without dodging. With realistic dodging, it overtakes Shadow Hariyama, now only sitting below Terrakion and Shadow Machamp.
  • However, its performance is inconsistent below level 40. Even as a mega, it’s still a glass cannon and still suffers from the 1-bar charged move problem.

But there’s a massive drawback – Mega Alakazam does not boost other raiders’ fighters as much as Mega Lopunny does. If you have a Mega Evolution, it gives a 30% damage boost to other players using an attack of the same type as your mega, and 10% boost to all other types of attacks. So while Mega Lopunny’s individual power is lower, its total contribution to the raid (even in DPS) can often overtake Mega Alakazam.

I have a whole appendix comparing different fighting-type and psychic-type megas, and their boosts to other players. Here are the key points: (from a group damage perspective, not considering XLs or Hardest Hitter)

  • Running a fighting mega is almost always better than not running one, regardless of what others use and what you could have used.
  • However, if there’s at least one other raider using fighting types, running Mega Lopunny is likely better than running Mega Alakazam. Even if they’re just using Machamp or Hariyama.
  • Not to forget Mega Lopunny is a better XL candy booster against normal-type raid bosses like Lickitung, Regigigas and potentially Arceus. Since it’s a Normal/Fighting type, you can use it to beat the boss and still get extra XL chance from catching it.

The verdict: While Mega Alakazam with Counter looks good on paper, it’s not a practical “fighting” mega and nowhere near a must-have. If you want to use a mega in a group raid, use Mega Lopunny. If you have only one good Abra, make it an Alakazam with Psychic instead, and don’t worry about Counter possibly returning in the future.

What about Shadow Alakazam with Counter? Despite high DPS (similar to Conkeldurr), it’s too frail. Even with realistic dodging, it still ends up below regular Machamp. Unless you really want the variety, honestly it’s not worth the shadow investment.

Future Considerations: Mega Fighters

Future fighting attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance from Pokebattler sims, aka Average Scaled Estimator (ASE). Without and with dodging respectively.
Future fighting attackers ranked by DPS^3*TDO and DPS respectively.

When I wrote about fighting types recently, I covered most of the potential future fighters with speculative moves, but someone commented about the lack of megas there. So in this post, I’ll first focus on all future fighting-type megas. Anything with speculative moves will be left to the next section.

(There’s one thing that doesn’t need speculative moves, but I forgot to add to the charts: Urshifu, a Gen 8 legendary. I did cover this in my previous article: with its current Game Master moveset, it will likely sit below Terrakion and Shadow Machamp, but above everything else.)

Onto megas: When considering individual power only, Mega Lucario > Mega Mewtwo X ≈ Mega Heracross > Mega Blaziken > Mega Gallade > Mega Lopunny.

  • Mega Lucario is obviously OP, with mega-level base attack (310) and the broken Aura Sphere.
  • Mega Mewtwo X has much higher attack (375), and as it becomes a Psychic/Fighting type, it can finally make use of the forgotten Focus Blast. However, it lacks a fighting fast move and has to rely on Low Kick, which drags its performance down.
  • Mega Heracross also has higher attack (334) and much more bulk than Lucario, but Close Combat sucks.
  • Mega Blaziken remains a glass cannon like its regular form. Even though it has Focus Blast which is better than Close Combat, the lower bulk makes its average performance below Mega Heracross and Terrakion, even though it out-DPSes both. With dodging, it can catch up with Mega Heracross.
  • Mega Gallade actually has good bulk, but the worse moveset out of all megas: Low Kick/Close Combat. As a result, its raw power falls to regular Lucario levels.
  • (Mega Mewtwo Y has higher attack than X, but loses STAB and thus becomes an inferior choice to X. Mega Medicham is too weak too be shown here.)

But again, we haven’t considered bulk yet. I’ll discuss this in the appendix again, but to summarize:

  • When 2-manning: Mega Lucario.
  • In lobbies of 3-6 raiders, Mega Heracross starts to become preferred if other players bring fighting types. Mega Lucario is still good if others use non-fighting types.
  • In big lobbies (10 players): Mega Heracross.
  • Before these two are released, Mega Blaziken serves as the glass cannon and Mega Gallade serves as the tank (which also basically replaces Mega Lopunny). But here, the numbers are more favorable to Mega Blaziken, and it takes a greater number of raiders for Mega Gallade to overtake it.

TL;DR: Mega Lucario for duos, Mega Heracross for medium or large lobbies.

Speculation Zone

Potential future fighting attackers with speculative moves, ranked by their average in-raid performance from Pokebattler sims, aka Average Scaled Estimator (ASE). Without and with dodging respectively.
Potential future fighting attackers with speculative moves, ranked by DPS^3*TDO and DPS respectively.

Pokemon and moves with “†” are speculative. While these Pokemon can potentially learn them in PoGo, and some might even be likely to learn them in the future, there are no indications that they ever will.

I already covered a good number of speculations in my recent fighting-type article, so I left out most of the rather unlikely or uninspiring candidates. Only Aura Sphere Blaziken and Mienshao is shown here. Instead, today’s article focuses on megas with better moves, and Keldeo (which has some changes due to Double Kick).

Keldeo

Starting with the most likely one: Keldeo. Getting Sacred Sword would immediately make it very relevant, and if it also gets Double Kick, it might be slightly better than Terrakion in practice!

  • Its current best Game Master moveset is Low Kick/Close Combat. Yes, it already had a fighting fast move before Double Kick; but no, Close Combat sucks.
  • Since Keldeo and Terrakion are stats clones, Double Kick/Sacred Sword Keldeo has the exact same DPS as Terrakion, but with a much better Water/Fighting typing. As such, DK/SS Keldeo becomes a small improvement over Terrakion in raids, though the difference is not huge.
  • Low Kick/Sacred Sword Keldeo ends up worse than Terrakion, but still in the ballpark of shadows.
  • Whether Double Kick and Sacred Sword come as regular TMable moves or signature moves, we don’t know. I would guess DK added to regular movepool before release, and SS an exclusive move during the 3rd time in (EX?) raids. There’s also the chance they won’t be added at all (looking at you, Magical Leaf Shaymin).

Megas with Potential Moves

Now, about the megas with crazy moves… Yes, Blaziken, Gallade and Lopunny can all legally learn Aura Sphere in the main series games (thanks to it being a TM move in Sw/Sh). That’s probably unlikely in PoGo before Mega Lucario is released, but if that happens, Mega Blaziken and Gallade can actually outclass Mega Lucario, depending on boss movesets. Mega Lopunny isn’t that good in solo performance, but its respectable bulk should still make it a better group damage booster. All three will also immediately be better than any non-megas.

The more plausible change is perhaps Mega Mewtwo X with Low Kick. Remember when I said that Mega Mewtwo X gains fighting subtyping but doesn’t have any fighting fast moves? There is one in the main series, it’s just not given to Mewtwo in PoGo yet. And with Low Kick, Mega Mewtwo X will become similar to or better than Mega Lucario in everything but DPS.

Should any of the above happen, they will likely replace Heracross’ role as a bulky mega. Do note that all of them are literally in the game-breaking category.

Psychic-type Raid Attackers

The Charts

Psychic attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance from Pokebattler sims, aka Average Scaled Estimator (ASE). Without and with dodging respectively.
Psychic attackers ranked by DPS^3*TDO and DPS respectively.

Psychic Alakazam and Lunala: Living in the Post-Mewtwo World

People often summarize the psychic-type “meta” as “Shadow Mewtwo, Mewtwo and everything else”, or just “Shadow Mewtwo and Mewtwo”. In a way, they’re not wrong… Look at how even regular Mewtwo is above almost everything else.

For those who don’t have 6 powered up Mewtwos, here’s a rough tier list for psychic attackers before Mega Alakazam and Lunala:

  • Shadow Mewtwo (Psystrike)
  • Mewtwo (Psystrike), Mega Latios
    • Note: [email protected] prefer the non-legacy move Psychic over their signature moves in raids. But don’t get rid of Mist Ball or Luster Purge, in case they’re buffed later.
  • Shadow Latios, Hoopa (Unbound), Shadow Metagross, Shadow Alakazam (Psychic)
  • Shadow Alakazam (Future Sight), Shadow Gardevoir/Gallade
  • Latios, Metagross, Espeon, Alakazam (Psychic), Gardevoir/Gallade

Mega Alakazam

We’ll start with Mega Alakazam, the only thing that escapes the power of regular Mewtwo.

Yes, Mega Alakazam with its legacy move Psychic (obtainable during the Psychic Spectacular event) actually has stronger raw power than regular Psystrike Mewtwo, though still significantly below Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo.

  • Generally, L30 (100%) Psystrike Shadow Mewtwo ≈ L40 Psychic Mega Alakazam ≈ L45 Psystrike Mewtwo. Mega Alakazam is obviously better than regular Mewtwo at equal levels.
  • A L50 Mega Alakazam still can’t catch up with a L40 100% Shadow Mewtwo, though the former is easier to obtain, and the latter’s performance may drop with worse IVs.

Future Sight can be learned normally by Alakazam without ETMs or events, but it’s sadly worse than Psychic after the latter was buffed in September 2019. Non-legacy Future Sight Mega Alakazam is still very strong, but it falls below regular Mewtwo and Mega Latios, though still better than everything else. The difference between Future Sight and Psychic is significant enough to cause the change in ranking, but probably not significant enough to have big differences in ability to shortman raids, nor worth an Elite Charged TM for practical reasons.

Shadow and Regular Alakazam

Shadow Alakazam with Psychic will be a harder sell:

  • Even though it technically out-DPSes regular Psystrike Mewtwo, its extremely low bulk negates the DPS advantage (much like the Shadow Machamp vs Terrakion situation).
  • As a result, it becomes mostly similar to Shadow Metagross, a bit below Shadow Latios and Hoopa Unbound, and well below Psystrike Mewtwo. Level 30 Psystrike Mewtwo is typically better than these at level 40.
  • While still a good psychic attacker in general (within top 6), this makes the hefty investment questionable even if you ignore Mewtwo. Since many people have already powered up Shadow Metagross as the best steel attacker, they can simply double move it and fast TM to Zen Headbutt if they really need psychic damage; whereas powering up Shadow Alakazam means spending stardust on a dedicated psychic type only.
  • If you have a Shadow Alakazam with Future Sight and no legacy moves… Unless you’re swimming in stardust, forget about it. Now it becomes better to power up Shadow Gardevoir as the best fairy attacker, then second move or TM it if you need psychic types.

As for regular Alakazam with Psychic:

  • Just like the story with shadows, it now faces competition from regular Latios and Metagross. In addition, Espeon also performs extremely similarly, is virtually free, and does not require legacy moves. The biggest problem is that even level 25 Psystrike Mewtwo outclasses them at level 40.
    • (Yes, I actually checked. Level 25 Psystrike Mewtwo has the same DPS as Level 40 Psychic Alakazam and more bulk.)
  • However, during this event, Psychic Alakazam becomes one of the cheapest psychic types. If you want a psychic team but don’t have a single Psystrike Mewtwo, evolving Abras will give you a functional team. But its utility ends here.

Lunala

There’s another new psychic Pokemon introduced: Cosmog, which presumably can evolve into Gen 7’s box legendaries, Solgaleo and Lunala, near the end of this season. Their movesets have been recently datamined by PokeMiners, and everyone was frustrated with Lunala not getting a ghost-type fast move…

But Lunala got its best possible psychic moveset, Confusion/Psychic, which makes it the best non-Mewtwo non-Hoopa non-shadow non-mega psychic attacker, above the likes of Latios, Metagross, Espeon and Psychic Alakazam. Sadly, L50 Lunala is still outclassed by L30 Psystrike Mewtwo, so at the moment it’s not a good investment of rare candies. But people who use unique counters may still find it at the middle or end of their list, depending on whether shadows and megas are included.

(If you’re wondering about Solgaleo: Nope.)

When Will I Actually Use A Psychic Type?

We just had Zamazenta raids, but other than that, the only legendary raid that required Psystrike Mewtwo was Terrakion. (Some people also used Mewtwo against Virizion when they didn’t have dedicated flying attackers.) Indeed, Psychic is among the attacker types with the lowest utility for legendary raids, not due to a lack of power, but because there have been very few bosses for psychic moves to hit on.

But a closer look reveals they have a lot more future value than you expect: (Unreleased Pokemon in italics, raid/PvP relevant in bold)

  • 5 legendaries (or mythicals likely in raids): Terrakion, Zamazenta, Keldeo*,* Eternatus*, Kubfu/*Urshifu (Rapid Strike)
    • Virizion can count, but only for Mewtwo
  • 5 megas: Beedrill, BlazikenGengar, Lopunny, Venusaur
  • 1 Ultra Beast: Poipole/Naganadel line
    • Buzzwole and Pheromosa can count, but only for Mewtwo
  • 1 mythical that we’re unsure whether it will be in raids: Marshadow
  • 1 T3 raid-exclusive: Galarian Weezing

Not sure about you, but I think it might be a case of quality over quantity here. Interest in Terrakion raids will likely increase exponentially the next time it’s back, and when Eternatus is released, it might also be insane in Master League depending on moves. Then there’s Mega Blaziken, which will likely become the best fighting mega and one of the best fire megas at the time being. Also Galarian Weezing if you’re still shiny hunting them.

None of the above (maybe except Zamazenta and Mega Lopunny) are only countered by psychic per se, so psychic attackers won’t be a necessity for everyone, especially considering how expensive Mewtwo is. But if you do invest in them, they will likely pay off in the long term.

However, the value for a psychic team may only apply to Mewtwo and megas:

  • With best friends, a team of L40 Mewtwos can duo Zamazenta, but virtually nothing else can.
  • Similarly, few things can reliably duo Terrakion at L40 (best friends). Mewtwo, Terrakion itself, Shadow Machamp, Shadow Metagross, Shadow Swampert and Shadow Gallade are on this list; Shadow Alakazam has a borderline estimator, but with too many deaths and inconsistent across different boss movesets. Any psychic types below them don’t make the cut.

If anything, this suggests a team of level 30 Psystrike Mewtwos is likely more practical than bothering with any other non-mega psychic types. L30 Mewtwo can comfortably duo Terrakion with best friends, and even without friendship bonus it’s already borderline doable.

Of course, if you always do raids with 5 others, you probably don’t even need to worry about investing in a psychic team.

So far, it doesn’t bode well for any form of Alakazam other than the mega. Speaking of megas…

Psychic-type Mega Comparisons (Summary)

There are many psychic-type megas in the MSG, and even in PoGo we’ve seen a good number now. With a bit of variety already available, the question of “glass cannon megas or support megas” continues.

Again, I will show a detailed analysis in the appendix. But here’s a summary comparing Mega Alakazam, Latios, Latias and Slowbro (assuming everything is L40):

  • When 2-manning: Mega Alakazam is generally preferred. Mega Latios may edge it out if the other player is using Mewtwo, or if your following Pokemon isn’t Mewtwo.
  • In lobbies of 3-6 players: Either one of Mega [email protected] may be optimal, depending on what others are using. Mega Alakazam is probably only preferred over [email protected] in a small lobby (3 players) where others are not using psychic types. In medium-sized lobbies (4-6), Mega Slowbro also starts to outperform Mega Alakazam when others are running psychic.
  • In big lobbies (10 players): Mega Latias is the best, and even Mega Slowbro becomes pretty good.
  • Mega Alakazam and Latios can serve as a direct replacement of a Mewtwo on your team in almost all situations.

It’s messy, but I think here’s the verdict: Mega Latios is probably the most solid option in realistic lobby sizes, especially remote raids with 6 players. Mega Alakazam has enough individual power to stand out at times, especially when shortmanning, but falls behind other bulkier megas in medium and large lobbies with enough people running psychic attackers.

Caveats that favor Mega Alakazam:

  • Mega [email protected] are more expensive than Mega Alakazam.
  • In raids where you may use psychic types, it’s also hard to ensure everyone is running psychic. Some bosses have many other counters (Terrakion, Mega Blaziken, Eternatus). Even when psychic is the only “good” counter type (Zamazenta), others may not have a dedicated psychic team powered up (not even multiple Mewtwos).

Overall, I think if you want to build psychic attackers, Mega Alakazam with Psychic is pretty much worth it (and cheap). It shines especially in small lobbies and/or if you can’t guarantee others are also running psychic attackers. Even in the worst case, it can function like a single Psystrike Mewtwo, but better and cheaper.

Future Considerations

Potential future psychic attackers, some with speculative moves, ranked by their average in-raid performance from Pokebattler sims, aka Average Scaled Estimator (ASE). Without and with dodging respectively.
Potential future psychic attackers, some with speculative moves, ranked by DPS^3*TDO and DPS respectively.

The options here can be largely divided into two camps: future legendaries and megas. While none of them are significantly better than Mewtwo (other than its own mega), a couple of them may land on the same level as regular Psystrike Mewtwo or even edge it out slightly.

Legendaries

The one we’ll see first (after Solgaleo and Lunala) is Necrozma, the third member of Gen 7’s Light Trio.

  • In the MSG, Necrozma can fuse with Solgaleo and Lunala to become Dusk Mane Necrozma and Dawn Wings Necrozma respectively, gaining their subtypings and additional stats (from 251 attack to 277 in PoGo); they can then become Ultra Necrozma (Psychic/Dragon) when using its Z-move, achieving monstrous stats (337 attack in PoGo, higher than Mewtwo’s 300).
  • We don’t know how the fusion forms will be obtained in PoGo yet, but we probably will after seeing how Niantic handles Black and White Kyurem.
  • Another thing we don’t know is what moves they will get. Possible psychic-type moves include: Confusion and Psycho Cut as fast moves; Psychic, Future Sight, Psyshock and Psychic Fangs as charged moves. Confusion/Psychic is the best case for PvE (and may not be unlikely as Lunala got them). Psychic Fangs is terrible here, but other than that, Psycho Cut paired with Future Sight or Psyshock may be a realistic worst case.

Here, I show each form with the best case Confusion/Psychic and a realistic worst case Psycho Cut/Future Sight. The actual outcome is probably within the range.

Ultra Necrozma: In the best case, it actually outclasses non-shadow Psystrike Mewtwo in every single metric (albeit just slightly)! Even its worst case is still relatively safe, falling into the same range as non-Mewtwo shadows (Latios and Metagross), though its investment may be more questionable.

Dawn Wings and Dusk Mane Necrozma: Their best case is worse than Ultra Necrozma’s worst case, falling a bit below Shadow Metagross. Still solidly above non-Mewtwo non-Hoopa non-shadow non-megas (including Lunala), but still outclassed by a Mewtwo at much lower level, and a bit embarrasing as fusion legendaries.

  • Since the two forms are stats clones, their DPS, TDO and sim results are virtually identical, but Dawn Wings (Psychic/Ghost) gains a slight edge due to better typing against fighting-type bosses.
  • Their worst case is a Metagross clone, so forget about that.

Base form Necrozma: Its best case is a Latios clone, worse than Lunala, and similar to DW Necrozma’s worst case. Nope, not worth it.

Another future legendary worth mentioning is Calyrex (Shadow Rider). It’s one of Gen 8’s fusion legendaries, as Calyrex fuses into either Ice Rider or Shadow Rider form. The other forms are uninteresting for raids, but Shadow Rider (Psychic/Ghost) has a high 324 base attack, and it already has the best moveset Confusion/Psychic in the Game Master! This makes it basically a regular Mewtwo clone, but slightly better because of typing.

Megas

The remaining psychic-type megas are: Medicham, Gardevoir, Gallade, Metagross and Mewtwo X/Y. Mega Medicham is completely irrelevant in raids, but all others are at least interesting.

Mega Gardevoir and Gallade are very similar, so my charts only showed Gardevoir. Their raw power is very similar to regular Psystrike Mewtwo, though slightly below. Add in the mega boost (and Gardevoir’s better typing against fighters), and they can easily serve as a direct replacement of a Psystrike Mewtwo on your team.

  • In fact, they can also replace Mega Alakazam in practice: while Zam has much higher DPS, Mega Gardevoir/Gallade’s better bulk (longer mega boost) gives them similar or better performance in most situations. Not to forget they can double duty as a fairy-type and fighting-type mega respectively, too!
  • Mega Gallade is also excellent for boosting XL chances against fighting bosses due to its Psychic/Fighting typing.
  • Note: You don’t need their Community Day move Synchronoise. The non-legacy move Psychic is better in raids. I would still keep Synchronoise though, just in case of future buffs.

Mega Metagross unfortunately gains more bulk than attack from the mega evolution, so it’s not very different from Shadow Metagross in performance, below most other psychic megas. Its DPS and bulk are both similar to Mega Latias, so while Mega Metagross is cheaper, it might not distinguish itelf that much as a bulky mega. The good thing is you will probably build one as a steel type, so you can just second move it for Psychic.

Mega Mewtwo Y is OP. Enough said. Not just as a psychic attacker, but even as a generalist, with the highest DPS in the game (above Shadow Mewtwo).

  • Fun fact: Not even Ultra Necrozma with a psychic-type Aura Sphere clone can out-DPS Mega Mewtwo Y.
  • While Mega Mewtwo X has less power, it’s still OP and above everything else. In addition, it’s more useful at boosting XL chances against fighting bosses thanks to its fighting subtyping. So unless the XL bonus mechanic changes, I expect most people to be using Mega X instead of Y.

Appendix: Using Mega Evolutions in Raids – DPS or Bulk?

This section is inspired by Reddit user u/Kiwi1234567‘s question in my last analysis post, and this GamePress article by Brian Tien comparing Mega Rayquaza and Mega Altaria in September 2020.

Imagine Terrakion returns to raids, and you bring your newly built Psychic Mega Alakazam to counter it, alongside 5 other remote raiders. Not only does it have top-tier DPS, but as long as it’s alive, it also gives a 30% damage boost to other players’ Mewtwos and other psychic attacks, turning their Mewtwo into Shadow Mewtwo++. Even if they’re using other counters such as Meteor Mash Metagross, or even if they’re using auto-recommended counters like Dragonite that don’t deal Super Effective damage, they still get a 10% damage boost. Great, right?

… Until your Mega Alakazam dies to Terrakion’s charged moves after ~16 seconds. Now other players’ Shadow Mewtwo++ returns to just a regular Mewtwo.

Yes, having a Mega Alakazam there is still better than not having it (even if you would have used a Mewtwo in that slot). But this makes you wonder: Would it have been better if you brought a Mega Latios or Latias instead? While they don’t deal as much damage themselves, Mega Latios would last 25 seconds in the raid and Mega Latias lasts 30 seconds. If other raiders keep their Shadow Mewtwo++ for 14 more seconds, does it outweigh the lower damage output from my own Mega Latias?

Here, I explore this idea further:

Psychic-type Megas

Comparison of psychic-type megas against T5 Terrakion with Smack Down/Earthquake

All data are based on the GamePress DPS/TDO spreadsheet with no simulations involved, so actual performance may differ. The boss Terrakion and its moveset are selected as a neutral scenario for all megas listed here (thus no Mega Metagross or Gallade).

Guides on Reading the Table

There’s a lot to unpack here, so I’ll guide you step by step.

First, look at the row headers to the left: the lobby size (including yourself), and the Pokemon we assume other players are using, at level 40. So the row “6 Espeon” means there are 6 players in the lobby, you using a mega, and the other 5 players all using L40 Espeons (at least for the first 30.3 seconds). If their Espeon dies, another Espeon comes up.

  • I consider a few possible cases from other raiders: an optimized same-type counter (Mewtwo), a budget same-type counter (Espeon), an optimized counter of a different type (Metagross), and an auto-recommended neutral damage dealer (Dragonite).
  • If you think others having L40 Espeon is unrealistic, replace it with L25 Mewtwo and you get the same results.

Each mega has 3 columns. “Inst”, or “instantaneous equivalent # of players”, only considers the DPS up to the point your own mega dies. For Mega Alakazam, that’s 16.0 seconds; for Mega Latias, that’s 30.3s.

“LT Mew2” and “LT Esp” are “long-term equivalent # of players”: they extend the time frame to 30.3s, the lifetime of the longest-living mega in this table (Latias). They can be seen as long-term impacts on DPS and total damage. “LT Mew2” assumes you switch to Mewtwo as your next Pokemon after Mega Alakazam dies, and use it for another 14.3 seconds; “LT Esp” assumes you switch to Espeon.

The values themselves are the equivalent number of players if everyone was using the Pokemon on the left, in terms of DPS only. For example, in the “6 Mewtwo” row under Mega Alakazam, you see: 7.59, 6.84 and 6.74. This means:

  • During the first 16 seconds, when your Mega Alakazam is alive and everyone else is using Mewtwo with 30% damage boost, the total DPS of your Mega Alakazam and 5 boosted Mewtwos is equivalent to 7.59 players using Mewtwo without mega boost.
  • If you switch to Mewtwo after Mega Alakazam dies, everyone’s total DPS up to the 30.3s mark is equivalent to 6.84 players using unboosted Mewtwos during these 30.3 seconds. This value is lower, because during the second half of this window, it’s just 6 unboosted Mewtwos on the field.
  • If you switch to Espeon after Mega Alakazam dies, everyone’s total DPS up to the 30.3s mark is equivalent to 6.74 players using unboosted Mewtwos during these 30.3 seconds.

Example of how to make comparisons across different megas:

  • See the “6 Mewtwo” row under Mega Latios: the values are 7.46, 7.21 and 7.17.
  • This means if you were using Mega Latios, during the first 16 seconds when both Mega Alakazam and Mega Latios would have been on the field, Mega Latios would provide lower team DPS (only 7.46 Mewtwos) than Mega Alakazam does (7.59 Mewtwos).
  • However, during the entire 30.3 seconds, you would use 25.0 seconds of Mega Latios followed by 5.3 seconds of your own Mewtwo. So the total DPS during these 30.3 seconds is equivalent to 7.21 Mewtwos, higher than 6.84 with Mega Alakazam.
  • In this scenario, Mega Latios gives higher group DPS during the first 30.3 seconds, and during the entire raid, than Mega Alakazam does. (Yes, higher DPS for the entire group, not “lower DPS but higher TDO”.)
  • Thus, focus on the “LT” columns when making comparisons. Higher number means better mega.

The columns “Mewtwo (No Mega)” and “Espeon (No Mega)” show the same stats if you didn’t bring a mega, and just used Mewtwo or Espeon yourself for the entire time. If you see a lower value than this column, it means you bringing that mega is worse than just using Mewtwo or Espeon.

So what does this chart tell us?

Right now, without Mega Gardevoir and Mewtwo Y:

  • When 2-manning, Mega Latios is the best if the other player is using Mewtwo, or if your next best counter is only an Espeon (but Mega Alakazam is not far behind). But if you have no idea what they would bring, and if you’re following up with a strong counter yourself like Mewtwo, then Mega Alakazam is better.
  • When 3-manning, Mega Latios is still the best if others are using psychic types (Mewtwo or Espeon), but Mega Latias starts to catch up. Meanwhile, Mega Alakazam remains the best if they don’t use psychic types, and if you follow up with Mewtwo.
  • In a typical remote lobby of 6 players, Mega Latias really shines if everyone else uses psychic types. If none of them do, Mega Latios is better. So if some of them use psychics and some don’t, Mega [email protected] are probably equal.
    • Mega Latios also clearly outclasses Mega Alakazam in every scenario.
    • Also note that the slow but bulky Mega Slowbro is catching up with Latios.
  • With 10 raiders (maximum for remotes), Mega Latias becomes the best option, unless everyone else is running trash like Dragonite. Even Mega Slowbro becomes better than Latios when some other players use psychic types.
    • In most cases, you don’t need a mega when raiding with 10 players. But this could be potentially relevant for T6 Mega Legendary raids.

Overall, if you want to build a single psychic-type mega with no concerns on resources, I recommend Mega Latios. With a good balance of DPS and bulk, it’s generally a solid option in most realistic lobby sizes.

The caveat, of course, is that Mega Latios costs rare candies to build while Mega Alakazam doesn’t. If you only compare the non-legendaries Alakazam and Slowbro, Mega Slowbro has an advantage with 6 players all running psychic types. But if you can’t guarantee that, Mega Alakazam is probably at least similar, or even better if none of them run psychics. I think Mega Alakazam is still the better option of the two non-legendary megas: in the cases where Mega Slowbro are better, you typically won’t fail the raid anyway.

When considering future psychic megas:

  • Mega Mewtwo Y is better in almost every scenario. Except 10-player lobbies with everyone running psychics, lol.
  • Mega Gardevoir/Gallade can probably serve as a direct replacement of Mega Alakazam (lower DPS but longer time). In cases where Mega Alakazam is significantly better, you’re likely to fail the raid anyway. However, they’re generally outclassed by Mega Latios.

Reminder: This is a very crude, experimental way of analyzing things. Many assumptions, such as level 40 everything and what others are bringing, won’t hold in practice. Factors such as the raid boss itself and its movesets may also impact the results (although I do think they can extend to most bosses with neutral movesets).

Fighting-type Megas

Comparison of fighting-type megas against T5 Regirock with Lock-On/Zap Cannon

Again, I’m choosing a boss with a neutral moveset for every mega, and a variety of counters that other raiders can bring: fighting types (Terrakion, Lucario, Machamp), optimized non-fighting type (Metagross), and neutral damage (Dragonite with double dragon moveset).

  • Since everything here is based on DPS, you can replace Terrakion with Shadow Machamp.

Right now, with only Mega Lopunny and Mega Alakazam with Counter:

  • Mega Lopunny is vastly better as long as at least one other player brings a fighting type (which is very likely in practice).
  • The only cases where Mega Alakazam edges it out is if nobody else brings a fighter. These cases can exist, but are very rare.
  • Bringing a Mega Lopunny is almost always better than not bringing any mega. Even if you would have used Terrakion instead.

When considering future megas, Mega Heracross and Lucario will dominate the scene for fighting-type megas, the former having great bulk and the latter with crazy DPS:

  • Mega Lucario is always better when ther are only 2 players.
  • In lobbies of 3-6 raiders, Mega Heracross starts to become preferred if at least some other players bring fighting types. Mega Lucario is still good if others use non-fighting types.
  • In big lobbies (10 players), Mega Heracross is the clear winner.

However, it’s reasonable to expect both of them will be released very late. If we have to rely on Mega Blaziken and Gallade for the time being:

  • Mega Blaziken is still kind of a glass cannon, though not notably glassier than Mega Lopunny. Mega Gallade’s bulk is more impressive, but with lower DPS.
  • It probably takes a lobby of 5-6 players for Mega Gallade’s bulk to show an advantage over Blaziken, assuming they’re also running fighting types.
  • Mega Blaziken is better for shortmanning (2-3 players, probably 4 players too).
  • Both of them can serve as direct replacements to Mega Lopunny (though the latter is still useful for XL boosts).

General Learning Points for Other Types

It’s hard to extrapolate this too much onto other types, since each type’s megas have different stats and DPS. But I think here are some rules of thumb:

  • The “best” megas that contribute the most to raids should be ideally balanced in DPS and bulk. This generally applies to small and medium sized lobbies, including a typical remote lobby of 6 players.
  • Glass cannon megas are best used when shortmanning, when others may not bring attackers of the same type, and/or if your other non-mega attackers are not yet top-tier. (Extremely powerful glass cannons like Mega Gengar may not need as many conditions.)
  • With 6 raiders, bulky megas that have at least acceptable DPS often end up being better, IF others bring attackers of the same type. If that’s unlikely, more balanced megas and glass cannon megas may still be preferred.
  • Stuff like Mega Slowbro with really low individual power are probably not worth it, even if they’re bulky. Unless you have large lobbies of 10+ players.