Rowlet Community Day happens on Saturday, January 6, from 2-5pm. This article will go through the utility of its final evolution Decidueye as a raid attacker, as well as Hisuian Decidueye, which currently can’t be evolved from Rowlet but is likely to have a raid day soon.
(Alolan) Decidueye with Frenzy Plant is a very potent grass attacker among its non-legendary non-shadow non-mega peers. Only Roserade (which received Magical Leaf in September) can consistently outperform it if powered up to the same level. It’s comparable to today’s Meowscarada and Chesnaught.
Note that Decidueye sits well below Kartana (by a difference of 20+ levels), Shaymin Sky and shadows (by a difference of 10+ levels). Additionally, when the Gen 8 and Gen 9 grass starters – Rillaboom and Meowscarada – get their own Community Days, they will perform significantly better than Decidueye. The question is when.
Hisuian Decidueye is highly likely to debut in a raid day this season. With its current moves, very few players will find a use for it in raids. It is theoretically possible for Niantic to give it Frenzy Plant one day, in which case it will be a slightly better raid attacker than regular Decidueye (and potentially the best use of a Rowlet). However, right now this is just speculation, and it depends on your opinion of if and when that will happen, and whether we can evolve Rowlet into the Hisuian form.
(As a ghost attacker, Decidueye is roughly as unremarkable as Drifblim, even with Spirit Shackle.)
A bit more detail on the comparisons and typing
The Ghost subtyping of Decidueye is, in theory, a solid defensive type. It also helps that several bosses have fighting-type moves: Terrakion, Focus Blast Regirock, potential Keldeo elite raids, future Urshifu Rapid, etc.
Interestingly, though, I didn’t discover too many situations where they give Decidueye a drastic typing advantage over similar options. Sure, it’s generally better in these cases, but not like 10%+ better. My guess is that double resistance is more than enough, to the point that it may be slightly counterproductive due to not generating energy by taking enough damage. (Thankfully, Decidueye’s performance is rather consistent due to lack of big weaknesses: the main dark-type boss move is Crunch which it can handle.)
As most grass-type attackers are glass cannons, Decidueye’s bulk is actually pretty similar to the batch (except the tanky Chesnaught), despite not being very impressive by itself. It has 16-19% more bulk than Roserade and Meowscarada, similar to Tsareena, and 11% less than Tapu Bulu – these usually don’t have big impacts. Typing will play a much bigger role in practice.
Some notes on specific comparison pairs:
- If Roserade was stuck with Razor Leaf, it would have been similar to Decidueye. But as Magical Leaf can be TM’ed on both, this only matters if you have a Bullet Seed Roserade and don’t want to remove the legacy fast move.
- Don’t understand why Meowscarada shows up lower than Decidueye on the line chart but seems better on the bar chart? You’re not alone. The reason goes back to where I said several bosses have fighting moves: Meowscarada gets destroyed by them. That pulls down its averages, even though it’s largely better than Decidueye in other situations.
- Hisuian Decidueye has very marginally better attack (by 3) and bulk. Swapping ghost for fighting is a wash for this role, as fighting doesn’t have too many saliant weaknesses here. But moves make or break the Hisuian form.
Keep in mind that Grass attackers, Decidueye included, often have lower raw power than comparable attackers of other types that may be substitutes (most notably Water and Electric).
Imgur Links and Additional Charts
General attacker charts: ASE and ASTTW*
* indicates additional charts that are not in the main post.