Chandelure’s CD move, Poltergeist, is bad for everything and worse than Shadow Ball, which it already learns through regular TMs.

Non-legacy Shadow Ball Chandelure is one of the best non-mega Ghost attackers, but overshadowed by premium Dark types which share 95% of use cases. Especially Brutal Swing Hydreigon from June Community Day (which will be available again in December).

  • Chandelure may have situational advantages, such as against Focus Blast Mewtwo.
  • Note that some future Mega Raid bosses can only be countered using Ghost types but not Dark types, most notably Mega Mewtwo X, Mega Gallade and Mega Medicham. Good to have at least some ghost types for them.

Overheat Chandelure is also among the best non-mega non-shadow non-legendary Fire attackers, tied with Darmanitan, only below Reshiram, shadows and megas.

What time to evolve your Chandelure?

  • As of now, Shadow Ball/Overheat as the two charged moves is the best. Which means evolving after 10pm to avoid the CD move, or TMing away Poltergeist.
  • I think a Poltergeist buff is unlikely (we may have greater certainty come December 1st when the next GBL move update happens).
  • But it’s not unreasonable to keep 1-2 Poltergeist Chandelures just in case, especially if you already have good dark types (Hydreigon). You can still use Charged TMs between Shadow Ball and Overheat for the second charged move.
  • More thoughts in the last section.

Keep reading for:

  • A new metric Average Scaled TTW (ASTTW) for no-relobbying scenarios
  • Just how bad is Poltergeist?
  • Chandelure vs Hydreigon
  • Shadow Chandelure in the future
  • What if Chandelure gets a better fire move in future – and why I don’t think it’s a concern right now
  • List of my previous analyses (in Appendix 2)


Ever since 2019 when Litwick was released in the game, it has been a fan favorite and a highly popular candidate for a Community Day. Three years later, we finally have it: Litwick Community Day is taking place on Saturday, October 15, from 2pm to 5pm! You can evolve it to Chandelure before 10pm to get the event-exclusive move, Poltergeist (a Ghost-type move).

PokeMiners just found the stats for Poltergeist half a day ago. If you were following the community discussions… Everyone was complaining about it. That’s right: As it is (barring a last-minute change or a future buff), you actually don’t need the CD move for anything, being it PvP, raids, or even gyms and Rocket battles.

Regardless, Chandelure has been a solid fire-type and ghost-type raid attacker ever since release, without even needing Poltergeist. Today, we’ll revisit where Chandelure ranks among fire, ghost and dark attackers, and just exactly how “bad” Poltergeist Chandelure is.

Note: Due to limited time and my other commitments, future Pokemon and speculations are omitted from this article. I will write a followup next weekend that includes these components for both dark/ghost and fire types, together with a Mega Banette and Shadow Force Giratina analysis.

Preface: Updates on methodology – ASTTW

TL;DR: ASE (Estimator) for 2-5 players, ASTTW for 6+ players. If you’re unsure, follow ASE.

Two weeks ago, I posted a Reddit poll on r/TheSilphRoad about different metrics for raid attackers, after seeing comments on how some players think Pokebattler Estimator (the backbone of all my analyses) may be underrating glass cannons in practical scenarios.

Based on community feedback, I’m debuting a new metric in this analysis as a trial: Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW). Here’s a “summary”:

  • As the name suggests, Average Scaled Estimator (ASE, my metric in past analysis articles) uses Pokebattler Estimator, while ASTTW uses Pokebattler TTW. They work exactly the same otherwise.
  • IMO, ASE is most useful for realistic short-manning in small lobbies, such as 2-5 raiders. This is when you may need to relobby during the raid, especially if you use a full team of glass cannons (Gengar, Rampardos, Kartana, etc).
  • ASTTW is most useful in medium or large lobbies of 6+ raiders. Here, you often don’t need to relobby at all.
    • On the other extreme, ASTTW may also be useful for extreme raid challenges. But people who do them typically don’t need my articles.
  • It appears that ASE roughly correlates with DPS3*TDO. While ASTTW is closer to raw DPS, it’s not quite there.
  • If you have no idea what any of these are, just follow ASE, or the first two plots. They’re generally the most consistent.

—– Optional reading below —–

While I’m happy to discuss the intuitions and preliminary findings in comments, I’ll keep them away from the main article. However, I’ll drop a few interesting points as conversation starters:

  • The poll response show a roughly equal split between DPS and DPS3*TDO. That’s why, even though TTW was the least popular option, I’m doing ASTTW as a way to approximate (realistic) DPS.
  • Key difference between Pokebattler Estimator and TTW: TTW doesn’t consider relobby time at all, but Estimator assumes you’re the only player fighting the boss for an eternity. So suppose a counter has 23 deaths – TTW has 0 relobbies, but Estimator has 3. In practice, if you’re duoing the boss, you only need 2 effective relobbies. So neither is accurate!
  • ASE with dodging is similar to ASTTW without dodging. Any differences between them are mostly from 1-bar move users, slow fast move users (Incinerate), and really glassy counters like Gengar. To me, this suggests that for most attackers that are not ultra glassy, the benefits of dodging are more due to having fewer relobbies, as compared to conventional factors such as energy cycling and taking hits (possibly being OHKOed).
  • If you dodge, ASTTW actually becomes worse across almost all counters! It turns out that if you ignore relobbying time, doing less damage while dodging and getting less energy from taking hits really hurt you, even for many glass cannons. This may defy the conventional wisdom that dodging helps you achieve the DPS potential of glass cannons. The only counter-examples here are again Gengar, and in some cases, (Shadow) Chandelure.
  • If you want to do your own comparisons between the metrics, I suggest focusing on a few sets of attackers: Chandelure vs Giratina-Origin vs Gengar; Reshiram vs Shadow Charizard; Blaziken vs Moltres.
  • No, I myself will not fall for the raw DPS trap again. If you still think Shadow Charizard is better than Reshiram because its DPS is higher, I respect your opinion but I’ll have to disagree.

How “bad” is Poltergeist, the move itself?

As of writing, the stats of Poltergeist in PvE are:

  • Power: 140
  • Energy: -100 (1-bar move)
  • Duration: 3.6 seconds

1-bar moves are already at a huge disadvantage in raids and gyms, but what really kills the hype for Poltergeist is the long duration, 3.6 seconds. For reference, Meteor Beam from last month’s CD (a very strong, arguably overpowered move) has the same 140 power, but takes just half the time – 1.9 seconds!

A good way to measure the quality of charged moves is DPS*DPE (Damage Per Second * Damage Per Energy), especially when comparing moves of the same energy cost. Using this metric, here’s where Poltergeist lands among selected 1-bar moves, each line sorted from best to worst:

  • Similar to Poltergeist: Sacred Fire, Megahorn, Blizzard, Gunk Shot, Earthquake (an exact clone), Future Sight, Seed Flare, Zap Cannon, Hydro Pump
  • Better than Poltergeist: Leaf Storm, Solar Beam, Overheat, Draco Meteor, Hyper Beam, Focus Blast
  • Worse than Poltergeist: Petal Blizzard, Hurricane, Stone Edge, Close Combat, Moonblast, Thunder

I’ll be honest, this list looks better than I expected. Several similar 1-bar moves used to be seen on even the top-tier options of their types, namely Earthquake, Future Sight and Hydro Pump. So technically, Poltergeist is an “average” 1-bar move, or even a slightly above-average one.

The problem is, this is only among 1-bar moves. If we extend the comparison to selected 2-bar moves (i.e. 50 energy cost), using Chandelure itself (Hex) to test, we get the following:

  • Similar to Poltergeist: Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Dragon Pulse, Dig, Energy Ball
  • Better than Poltergeist: Shadow Ball, Sky Attack, Wild Charge, Grass Knot, Outrage, Dynamic Punch, Avalanche, Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, Sludge Bomb, Earth Power, Bug Buzz, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Foul Play, Rock Slide, Heavy Slam, Drill Run
  • Worse than Poltergeist: Signal Beam, Gyro Ball, Iron Head, Bulldoze, Aurora Beam

Ouch. The “better than Poltergeist” list contains not only all the familiar names seen on top attackers, but even outclassed moves like Thunderbolt, Ice Beam and Drill Run. In contrast, the similar moves are underwhelming themselves, and the worse moves are virtually unheard of.

To add salt on the wound, being a ghost-type move means Poltergeist has to compete with Shadow Ball, which is a top-tier PvE move and what I consider to be the divide line between overpowered (OP) moves and more “regular” moves. And Shadow Ball has a wide distribution, both in MSG (as a TM move) and in PoGo. Nobody who already learns Shadow Ball will be remotely interested in Poltergeist, and even if they lack both, they will always prefer Shadow Ball instead. I can’t even think of a single Pokemon with PvE potential that will benefit from Poltergeist!

Verdict: Even though Poltergeist is an average 1-bar move, being 1-bar itself means it loses to virtually every 2-bar move you can think of. Especially Shadow Ball. As it is, nothing wants it for PvE, Chandelure or otherwise.

Chandelure as a Ghost attacker, with and without Poltergeist

Fortunately, Chandelure already learns Hex/Shadow Ball as a TM’able double ghost moveset. No Elite TMs required, no CD evolution window required. While Hex isn’t as great as Shadow Claw or Lick, it’s good enough to make Chandelure a great ghost-type attacker:

Dark and Ghost attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance using Pokebattler Estimator, aka Average Scaled Estimator (ASE). Without and with dodging respectively.
Dark and Ghost attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance using Pokebattler TTW, aka Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW). Without and with dodging respectively.
Dark and Ghost attackers ranked by DPS^3*TDO and DPS respectively.

See Appendix 1 (at the end of this article) for technical details and how to read the charts.

Why do we combine Dark and Ghost attackers?

Dark and Ghost attacks are Super Effective against the same types: Psychic and other Ghost-type Pokemon. In PoGo raids, their most common targets are the bajillion Psychic-type raid bosses (and the occasional ghost types). Mewtwo, Lugia, Deoxys, Lati@s, the Lake Trio, Cresselia, Giratinas… And there are more to come. As a result, Dark and Ghost-type attackers are among the most useful of all types in raids, and what I consider must-haves for everyone. This also means they’re interchangeable in most (not all) situations.

A consequence of this is that dark types often do better than ghost types with similar raw power, due to its better resistances. Psychic and Ghost-type bosses usually learn at least one STAB move, so there’s at least a chance you’ll face such an attack from the raid boss. Dark-type attackers resist ghost and double resist psychic, but ghost-type attackers take neutral damage from psychic and are actually weak to ghost.

  • If you want to verify this yourself: On the charts above, notice how Giratina Origin, Chandelure and Gengar all rank much lower in the “ASE no dodging” plot than then DPS3*TDO plot.

A caveat is that Dark and Ghost have different resistances, so a few bosses are weak to ghost but not dark. More on this later.

Chandelure with Shadow Ball

If we look at ghost types onlyChandelure is a top-tier non-mega ghost attacker, sitting just below or just above Giratina Origin depending on circumstances.

  • Chandelure has high non-mega ghost DPS, just a hair below Gengar, and way above Giratina-O. However, even though it’s not nearly as glassy as Gengar, it still can’t catch up with Giratina-O’s massive bulk.
  • As a result, the speedier but glassier Chandelure is usually better in 6+ people lobbies (ASTTW) and/or with dodging, whereas the slower but tankier Giratina-O favors smaller lobbies (ASE) where relobbying may be a concern.
  • Their different typing may also be relevant against specific bosses and movesets (e.g. Ice Beam Mewtwo, Hydro Pump Lugia, Thunderbolt or Zap Cannon Deoxys).

The BIG problem… In most cases, Chandelure has to compete with dark attackers – and it really doesn’t do well there, especially compared to Brutal Swing Hydreigon that was featured in June CD and will be available again during December CD.

  • There are 4 supreme non-mega dark types at the moment: Shadow Weavile, Hydreigon, Shadow Tyranitar, and Darkrai. You can’t really put a ranking between them (though Darkrai usually sits towards the lower end), but they’re all better than Chandelure and Giratina-O in simulations.
    • (In case you’re looking at the “ASTTW with dodging” plot and see Chandelure overlapping with the dark types, remember, ASTTW with dodging makes almost everything worse except Gengar and Chandelure. The dark types will prefer to not dodge instead.)
  • L30 Hydreigon ≈ L40 Chandelure (average)
  • L40 Hydreigon ≈ L47-50 Chandelure (average)
  • The difference is smaller if you dodge, but it’s still there.
  • The difference is situational – Hydreigon is generally better, but not strictly better. See below.

Chandelure vs Hydreigon

Chandelure has only 1.6% more DPS than Brutal Swing Hydreigon, but the latter has 35% more TDO. So in raw power alone, Hydreigon has an advantage due to its bulk.

But what about different typings? While Hydreigon being a dark type takes the STAB psychic and ghost attacks better, Chandelure instead excels in tanking fighting and ice-type coverage moves from the boss.

I took a more detailed look at the 134 raid simulations. At level 40 best friends, in terms of estimator, Chandelure is better than Hydreigon in 45/134 (34%) of them:

  • No dodging (13/67, 19%): Cosmog, Cosmoem, All Necrozma forms except Ultra, Solgaleo, Mewtwo, T3 Dusclops, Jynx, Lampent, Metang, Slowking, Wobbuffet
  • Dodging (32/67, 48%): Calyrex Ice Rider, Cosmog, Cosmoem, Jirachi, Mew, all Necrozma forms, Solgaleo, Cresselia, Deoxys Defense and Speed, Mesprit, Armored Mewtwo, T3 Banette, Claydol, Drifblim, Dusclops, Gothorita, Grumpig, Hypno, Jynx, Kadabra, Lampent, Alolan Marowak, Metagross, Metang, Alolan Raichu, Slowbro, Slowking, Wobbuffet

Without dodging, Mewtwo is the most notable example where Chandelure seems better than Hydreigon on average. But that’s because Mewtwo packs two charged moves that give Chandelure a typing advantage: Ice Beam and Focus Blast.

  • Focus Blast Mewtwo itself is enough to push Chandelure on top in averages. It one-shots most dark types, so Hydreigon doesn’t even make it to top 30!
  • Against every other moveset, the difference isn’t as severe. In fact, against Confusion/Ice Beam, Hydreigon still has better estimator and TTW than Chandelure, despite the former being weak to it and the latter resisting it.
  • Also note the list doesn’t include Mega Mewtwo Y, meaning Hydreigon is again better on average in that raid.

Verdict: While Chandelure’s typing sometimes gives it unique advantages (e.g. against Focus Blast Mewtwo), all things considered, Hydreigon is still a better investment. The gap narrows significantly with dodging, but IMO that’s not enough.

Chandelure with Poltergeist

Since Pokebattler didn’t update Poltergeist’s stats as of writing, I can’t run sims yet so I don’t have the ASE and ASTTW stats. But you can look at the DPS3*TDO and DPS plots.

And they’re… Bad.

Even though Poltergeist Chandelure is still serviceable, Shadow Ball is just so much better. A Level 30 Shadow Ball Chandelure is similar to a Level 45-50 Poltergeist Chandelure.

I have some advice on evolving and TMing decisions in later sections, but… Don’t actually use Poltergeist in battle, regardless of whether you want to keep it. It’s a waste.

When Ghost types can be used but Dark types can’t

Even though Ghost and Dark are super effective against the same targets, they’re resisted by different types – the difference being against fighting and fairy (resist dark), and against normal (double resist ghost). Thus, in the following cases, only one attacking type can be used:

  • Only Ghost attackers: Fighting/Psychic, Fighting/Ghost, Fairy/Psychic, Fairy/Ghost
  • Only Dark attackers: Normal/Psychic, Normal/Ghost

In terms of PoGo, the following Pokemon are likely to be relevant raid bosses and fit any of the above cases:

  • Only Ghost attackers: Mega Mewtwo X, Mega Gallade, Mega Gardevoir, Mega Medicham, Marshadow(*)
  • Only Dark attackers: Hisuian Zorua/Zoroark (if they become raid exclusive or have raid days)

(*) Marshadow is a mythical, but can still possibly come to raids like Deoxys, Darkrai and Genesect. It has great potential as a raid attacker.

While some of these possible raid bosses have other better counters (Marshadow and Mega Gardevoir), the three Psychic/Fighting megas are best countered by ghost attackers. Mega Mewtwo X in particular will be one that many players are excited about.

Thus, it can be argued that ghost attackers may have slightly wider usage than dark attackers. I personally think the difference is still not significant enough for someone to prioritize building ghost types over better-quality dark types (e.g. Brutal Swing Hydreigon), but just enough to at least keep some good ghost types like Chandelure in storage, or even build both teams or have a mix. Even if just to counter Mega Mewtwo X.

Could Poltergeist be buffed in the future?

Given that Poltergeist is almost worthless in its current state – that probably no ghost types will want it over Shadow Ball, whether in PvE or PvP – some people naturally started wondering if Niantic may buff it in future.

Obviously never say never, but something to keep in mind: Move buffs in PvE are relatively rare.

  • There were occasional PvE buffs in conjunction with PvP buffs, such as Fire Fang, Megahorn, Brave Bird and Bug Buzz, but they generally happen at lower frequencies than PvP move changes.
  • The most significant buffs to date happened to Sky Attack (during one of Lugia’s first few returns to raids) and Psychic (right after Psystrike Mewtwo’s release). Psychic Alakazam in particular made the previously inferior legacy move great again, though a tragedy for those who TM’ed it away for Future Sight.
  • A drastic change – which is what Poltergeist needs to overtake Shadow Ball – is even less likely. Shadow Ball is already way stronger than Future Sight, so the Alakazam case may not apply here.
  • In addition, I don’t recall any event-exclusive move being buffed in PvE at a later date. This includes utterly bad moves like Mist Ball, and outclassed moves like Synchronoise.

A good idea is to wait until December, when the new GBL season begins, to see if anything changes. My own suspicion is that if Niantic has any intent to change Poltergeist, it would be done during the seasonal move changes on December 1st. If not, we probably won’t see Poltergeist being touched in a long time, if ever.

Chandelure as a Fire attacker

While this Community Day featured a ghost-type move (somewhat unexpectedly), let’s not forget that Chandelure is also a great fire attacker, with Fire Spin/Overheat:

Fire attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance using Pokebattler Estimator, aka Average Scaled Estimator (ASE). Without and with dodging respectively.
Fire attackers ranked by their average in-raid performance using Pokebattler TTW, aka Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW). Without and with dodging respectively.
Fire attackers ranked by DPS^3*TDO and DPS respectively.

Chandelure is basically tied with Darmanitan as the best non-mega non-shadow non-legendary fire attackers. This shouldn’t be news to veteran players, but it’s still a great opportunity for new and casual players to get great fire-type attackers!

What’s above Chandelure and Darmanitan:

  • Mega Charizard Y, in a league of its own
  • Shadow legendaries: Moltres, Apex Ho-Oh, Entei (15 attack IV)
  • Reshiram & Mega Houndoom
  • Shadow non-legendaries: Charizard, Typhlosion

And that’s it. Most of these options are elusive and/or limited in quantity, so aside from whales and hardcore grinders, most players should still have spaces on their fire-type squad for some Chandelure and Darmanitan.

Regarding these two non-legendaries, while Darmanitan may pull ahead slightly, IMO the difference is small enough to be ignored in practice. Chandelure also has occasional typing advantages, the most notable examples being Cobalion and Focus Blast Registeel.

Also not to overlook:

  • L50 Chandelure ≈ L40 Reshiram ≈ L35 Shadow Moltres (15 attack IV)
  • L40 Chandelure ≈ L30-33 Reshiram

And of course, Litwick XLs will be much more plentiful than Reshiram XLs, especially after CD 🙂

Future Shadow Chandelure

It will probably be a long time before something as popular as Litwick gets the shadow treatment, but Shadow Chandelure will presumably come one day. And when it does, we’ll have something exciting on our hands!

  • As a fire type, Shadow Chandelure sits slightly above Shadow Moltres, or firmly above if you dodge. It will also be the best non-mega fire type aside from Shadow Reshiram (barring surprisingly good signature moves).
    • Don’t forget the plots show a 15 attack Shadow Moltres. In practice, the gap is likely greater.
  • As a ghost type, Shadow Chandelure overtakes the premium dark types (shadows and Hydreigon), possibly becoming the best non-mega dark/ghost attacker. The difference will be greater in medium/large lobbies or with dodging.
    • However, this one is less certain due to many possible signature moves.
  • Even better, unlike stuff like Shadow Charizard, we don’t need to wait for a CD move window to evolve Shadow Litwicks! … Yet.

What if Chandelure gets a better fire move in the distant future?

Let me start by saying this is pure speculation. However, it’s not an unreasonable one:

  • In the main series, Chandelure can learn the move Inferno, which has rather limited distribution. Prior to the Litwick CD announcement, many players even speculated this will be Chandelure’s CD move, instead of Polteageist.
  • Given that Niantic is quickly running out of content, it’s often believed they will resort to new exclusive moves in future. We’re already seeing this with legendary reruns (Zap Cannon Registeel cough cough), and repeat CDs like Charmander and Eevee featuring different exclusive moves.
  • A Pokemon can get two different sets of event-exclusive moves, even if it already had a Community Day. Most notably, even though Abra already had a CD in April 2020, it was given the event-exclusive move Psychic (formerly legacy) during the Psychic Spectacular event last month.

In the charts for fire types above, I plotted a speculativenot guaranteed, and optimistic scenario – if Chandelure somehow gets Inferno, and the move is an overpowered (OP) move, as good as Blast Burn. In this hypothetical scenario, “Blast Burn” Chandelure will almost catch up with Reshiram, though just falling short. Depending on how good Inferno actually is, it may end up just above or below that.

  • “But why will they make Inferno OP when they screwed up Poltergeist?” Even though Poltergeist was underwhelming, two of the three previous new CD moves did end up OP: Meteor Beam and Brutal Swing. In fact, if we plug them to Chandelure, you get something similar to a Blast Burn clone. This shows Niantic is still willing to make OP moves, even if not always.

Factors that may stop you from having FOMO:

  • It’s very possible this will never happen.
  • Even if it does happen, it will likely take years – my guess is 3+ years.
  • Shadow Blaziken with Blast Burn is very likely to be better than “Blast Burn” regular Chandelure. (Then again, there may be Inferno Shadow Chandelure, so…)
  • Depending on implementation, you may be able to catch new Litwicks and evolve them during a future event that features Inferno Chandelure. See the wild Abras during Psychic Spectacular event.

Ultimately it’s your own judgment call, but my take is: Not something to really worry about, unless you’re in excess of good Litwicks after CD and want to play the loooong game.

  • If you only have, say, 1-2 hundo/98/whatever Litwicks, forget about Inferno. Just use them now.
  • If you somehow end up with like 7-10 hundos, or already have 6 Chandelures powered up and don’t want to replace them, it’s not unreasonable to save additional ones for the future just in case.
  • Also consider how badly you need Chandelures. Having a full team of Brutal Swing Hydreigons will reduce your need; so does having many top-tier fire types like shadows and Reshiram.
  • (This is coming from someone who really suffered from FOMO, as some of you may know.)

Final Verdict: Evolve during Community Day or not?

Given all the things we covered – Poltergeist sucks, Shadow Ball Chandelure is good but outclassed by Hydreigon, Overheat Chandelure is a great fire type too, Inferno in the future is technically possible – what should you do this weekend? Evolve now to keep Poltergeist, or skip the CD move and get Shadow Ball/Overheat, or even save Litwicks unevolved for a better move in the future?

Here are my thoughts:

  • From a present-day-only perspective, having Shadow Ball/Overheat as the two charged moves is the best use of a Chandelure, by far. This allows you to easily switch your Chandelure between a ghost type and a fire type with a single Fast TM. For this reason, Chandelure is an excellent candidate for unlocking a second move solely for PvE purposes.
  • Even if you keep Poltergeist as the first charged move, you can still make that Chandelure function on both fronts, by TMing the second charged move between Shadow Ball and Overheat. This obviously burns more Charged TMs every time there’s a relevant raid boss rotation.
  • The chance of actually seeing a Poltergeist buff is low, though never say never. It’s not unwise to keep one or two Chandelures with Poltergeist, and the rest with Shadow Ball/Overheat.
  • If you’re concerned about a possible Poltergeist buff, it’s easy to wait for December 1st before deciding. The GBL move update by then should be telling, and in any case you still have December CD to get the move.
  • Not everyone will need 6 Chandelures (or even more than 1 or 2 for that matter). Especially if you did Deino CD. For those who don’t need more ghost types because they have enough dark types, they can afford to have Poltergeist/Overheat semi-permanently on their Chandelure, making it primarily a fire attacker.
  • While Inferno in future is also plausible, there’s too much uncertainty and we’ll likely need to wait far too long. Unless you’re a hardcore FOMO “don’t evolve if the move is not good enough” kind of guy (traumatized by Psychic Alakazam maybe), only start worrying about it if you’re swimming in good Litwicks.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Personally, I’m planning on getting two Poltergeist/Overheat Chandelures, then saving the rest to decide during December CD. If there’s no Poltergeist buff by then, I’ll likely make most of them Shadow Ball/Overheat instead. Your mileage may vary.

Appendix 1: Guide on how to read the charts & Technical details

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 Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which approximates in-raid performance using Pokebattler Estimator, best suited for realistic shortmanning (2-5 raiders).

The Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW) plots are similar, but best suited for medium or large lobbies (6+ raiders). This metric assumes no relobbying (i.e. reentering the raid after all Pokemon fainted).

The DPS3*TDO and DPS plots are for experienced players who want to check these metrics.

In all six plots, the higher, the better. Example: Mega Gengar is generally better than Hydreigon, which is better than Giratina Origin, 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: Looking at the “ASE no dodging” plot, A Level 30 Hydreigon performs similarly to Level 40 Yveltal and Level 50 Tyranitar.

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

Technical details:

  • 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.
  • The middle two plots using Average Scaled Time to Win (ASTTW) follow the same methodology, but replaces Pokebattler estimator with TTW.
  • “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, Gengar’s ASE at Level 40 drops from 1.446 without dodging to 1.260 with dodging, so dodging generally helps Gengar’s performance.
    • However, Hydreigon’s L40 ASE rises from 1.179 to 1.199 with dodging, so dodging may hurt Hydreigon more than it helps.

Appendix 2: Past analyses on other types

Missing types: Fairy (planned – Guzzlord counters), Ground (planned – Teddiursa CD), Ice (winter?), Poison (planned)