Pokémon Go Unveils Major Changes To PVP & Pokémon Attacks

Along with their announcement that GO Battle League Season ThreePokémon GO's in-game player-versus-player competition, Niantic has announced major changes to the way certain Pokémon will function. These changes will impact the PVP system, as well as the use of the affected Pokémon in raids and gym battles. Bleeding Cool is here to break down what potential impact these changes will have on Pokémon GO.

Pokémon GO Battle League promo art. Credit: Niantic.
Pokémon GO Battle League promo art. Credit: Niantic.

First, Niantic detailed the changes to PVP moves. These changes will affect not only GO Battle League, but also manual trainer battles and Team GO Rocket battles, which use the same interface as GBL. Niantic wrote:

Drill Peck: This Flying-type Charged Attack now deals more damage.

Brave Bird: This Flying-type Charged Attack now deals more damage. It also severely lowers the user's Attack.

Infestation: This Bug-type Fast Attack now generates energy more quickly.

Hex: This Ghost-type Fast Attack now generates energy more quickly.

Powder Snow: This Ice-type Fast Attack now deals more damage.

Blizzard: This Ice-type Charged Attack now deals more damage.

Flash Cannon: This Steel-type Charged Attack now requires more energy.

Focus Blast: This Fighting-type Charged Attack now deals less damage.

Moonblast: This Fairy-Type Charged Attack now has a decreased chance of lowering your opponent's Attack.

Two major elements are of note: Flying-type Pokémon are being buffed in these battles, while the two dominant Legendary Pokémon who are at the top of the Great and Ultra League meta, Registeel and Cresselia, are being nerfed. The increase in damage and effectivity to Drill Peck and Brave Bird will help flying-type Pokémon remain competitive in the game, which comes in time for the upcoming flying-type only cup that Niantic teased in this week's update. Meanwhile, Registeel's Focus Blast and Cresselia's Moonblast decreasing in damage-dealing and effectivity will even the playing field. The changes made to Drill Peck, Brave Bird, and Hex will also be applicable to Gym battles and raids. Next week's Legendary Raid boss has not yet been announced, so it remains to be seen how immediately these moves will become useful.

Along with these changes, Niantic also announced that they have introduced new attacks to four Pokémon:

Braviary and Close Combat: Braviary can use this attack to make opposing Rock- and Steel-type Pokémon more dependent on Protect Shields.

Abomasnow and Ice-type Weather Ball: This Ice-type Charged Attack is fitting for a Pokémon that appears when it's snowy.

Pelipper and Water-type Weather Ball: This Water-type Charged Attack is fitting for a Pokémon that appears when it's rainy.

Empoleon and Drill Peck: Empoleon can use this attack to make Fighting-type Pokémon more dependent on Protect Shields.

The most interesting change here continues to apply to Flying-type Pokémon, as Braviary, the evolution of Rufflet who is currently only available through winning an encounter in the GO Battle league, is updated with a Fighting-type move. Flying-types often fall victim to Rock-type attacks, but this change to Braviary will make the Pokémon a viable attacker against opponents that would have previously beaten it with ease.

Niantic also teased two upcoming GO Battle League events, which we will report on here as news comes in.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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