Hoenn Pokemon to Hunt for PvP
From January 15th until January 29th, Pokemon from the Hoenn region are appearing more commonly all around the world. Which ones should you keep an eye out for to use in PvP? Take a look at the list below to prepare for your Pokemon hunts! Some of them might be hard to come by after the event, so grab them while they're hot.
The Pokemon below are organized by their difficulty to obtain. Pokemon are more difficult to obtain if they cost high candy or Stardust to power up, are rare in the Wild, or are exclusive to sources like Raids.
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These Pokemon's pre-evolutions can be caught battle-ready right in the wild. They cost few candy to evolve and may require little or no Stardust to power up. If you have limited time or resources, you can easily incorporate them into a team with minimal investment.
Moveset: Mud Shot + Mud Bomb/Blizzard
Pre-evolution: Look for Barboach around CP 450-550
Don't let this catfish fool you. It has excellent stats and just one weakness in Grass. It's especially strong in the Boulder Cup where Torterra, Breloom, and Cradily are its only standout opposition. While Whiscash only has one weakness, it takes neutral damage against a lot of common types. It flounders against enemy shields, so make sure you have your own shields to back it up in prolonged fights.
Offensively, Ground attacks will give Whiscash better type coverage than Water. Mud Bomb is also faster and more efficient than Water Pulse. Meanwhile, Blizzard can neutralize Whiscash's most prominent threats. On top of all that, Whiscash's second Charged Move can be unlocked for 10k Stardust, much cheaper than most other Pokemon. Don't go against Grass types head-to-head and expect to pull out a win, but try and catch them switching in or without shields.
Moveset: Mud Shot + Surf/Mud Bomb (Marshtomp) or Earthquake (Swampert)
Sources: Wild, Tier 2 Raids
Pre-evolution: Look for Mudkip around CP 800-900 for Marshtomp, or CP 450-600 for Swampert
This amphibious pair are nearly identical to Whiscash in terms of moves and typing, and they're also great picks for the Boulder Cup. Whiscash carries better stats, but Marshtomp and Swampert's higher attack and harder-hitting Charged Moves give them an edge in different roles. Mainly, they're more adept at closing out fights when shields are off the table. They are perfectly functional leads, but are best kept in reserve until your opponent's defenses are down.
These two don't pack any Ice-type coverage, so beware of Grass and Flying types that may try to take advantage of their Ground moves. Water Gun is a high damage alternative to Mud Shot that improves some of their worse matchups, but Mud Shot makes them better in their ideal roles. For Marshtomp, Sludge is also an option that counters Grass types like Breloom, but you'll likely need a shield advantage to make it work. Both struggle significantly when there's a shield deficit, so avoid using them when your opponent has more shields than you.
Like Whiscash, Marshtomp and Swampert can unlock their second Charged Move for just 10k Stardust. Marshtomp costs a mere 25 candy to evolve, but you'll need to find a Mudkip around level 30 to get one near 1500 CP. Note that Marshtomps caught from Raids will be too big to qualify for the Great League as Swamperts, so you're better off hunting wild Mudkip unless you desperately need the candy.
League: Great or Ultra
Moveset: Counter + Dynamic Punch/Heavy Slam
Pre-evolution: Look for Makuhita around CP 300-400 for Great League, or CP 500-700 for Ultra League
Hariyama is a cheap and accessible Fighting type that's useful in the Great League, Ultra League, and Boulder Cup. Despite some stiff competition, it still packs a punch with Counter, one of the best Fast Moves in the game, and will strike fear into any Rock, Steel, Ice, or Dark types it encounters. It benefits from shielding to maximize its potential.
Hariyama's only coverage option is the Steel-type move Heavy Slam. This lets it hit Fairy types super effectively, but it has more to fear from Flying types like Altaria and Skarmory.
These Pokemon require more candy to evolve or might not be commonly found in the wild. With some dedication, though, you should be able to obtain a good catch during the event.
Moveset: Dragon Breath + Sky Attack
Sources: Wild, 2km Eggs
Pre-evolution: Look for Swablu around CP 500-600
If you've been playing in the Great League, odds are you've become well acquainted with this feathery foe. Altaria boasts great stats, typing, and fantastic moves. Dragon Breath whittles down anything that doesn't resist it and paves the way for the fast-charging, powerful Sky Attack. Altaria excels in any role, which makes it particularly tough to deal with. It's an especially good lead in battle that will pressure your opponent to burn up their shields or switch if they aren't prepared to take on this fluffy menace.
Altaria performs just dandy with Sky Attack alone, so a second Charged Move may not be necessary but it does come cheap at 10k Stardust. Dragon Pulse can help against Rock types that resist Sky Attack, but Altaria's biggest threats are Ice types which aren't vulnerable to any of its Charged Moves, and Steel types which resist all three.
League: Great or Ultra
Moveset: Mud Shot + Earthquake/Dragon Claw
Sources: Wild, 10km Eggs, Field Research (Hoenn Event: Evolve 3 Wurmple)
Pre-evolution: Look for Trapinch around CP 600-700 for Great League, high level and IV Trapinch for Ultra League
Flygon's amazing typing and movepool allow it to handle a wide variety of matchups. Mud Shot charges its powerful Earthquake quickly, and it can use Dragon Claw to deal rapid damage. Flygon is at its best as a late-game closer where it can unleash its Charged Moves without fear of being blocked. It pairs well with Pokemon like Skarmory, Altaria, and Azumarill whose aggressiveness can set up Flygon's game-clinching sweep and benefit from Flygon's backup against Steel and Electric threats like Steelix, Melmetal, or Magneton.
Flygon does face a few challenges. It lacks the stats that make similar Pokemon like Altaria, Kingdra, and Whiscash so great, and the prevalence of Ice-type coverage moves make its double weakness to Ice easy to exploit. To maximize your success with this Pokemon, you'll want to burn your opponent's shields first and save a shield to block Ice-type attacks that might come its way.
Role: Lead or Defender
Moveset: Counter + Body Slam/Bulldoze
Sources: Wild, 10km Eggs
Pre-evolution: Look for Slakoth around CP 650-750
Vigoroth is much more suited for trainer battles than its lazy relatives. It has decent stats, rapid Charged Moves, and one of the best Fast Moves, Counter, to back it up. On top of that, its Charged Moves provide excellent coverage that only a select few opponents will resist. Vigoroth is an offensive powerhouse and is an excellent lead that will pressure opponents to burn their shields. Vigoroth's Normal typing means it has no natural resistances except Ghost, so it'll need shields to realize its potential. Use Vigoroth alongside Pokemon with good resistances or coverage, like Skarmory or Azumarill, to minimize the need for shields the rest of the match.
Body Slam is this Pokemon's main attraction, and hits opponents hard and often. Bulldoze versus Brick Break is a tough second choice. Both help Vigoroth against Rock and Steel types that resist Body Slam, and greatly expand Vigoroth's coverage. While Bulldoze takes much longer to charge than Brick Break, it does give Vigoroth a fighting chance against Ghost types like Alolan Marowak and Dusclops.
Tropius (African Regional)Type: Grass
Moveset: Air Slash + Leaf Blade/Aerial Ace
If Tropius lives in your region or you're lucky enough to get your hands on one from a trade, it's a certified keeper! Tropius's amazing stats and moves allow it to soar over the competition. With strong damage and energy from Air Slash and its extremely quick Charged Moves, Leaf Blade and Aerial Ace, Tropius gets to have its bananas and eat them, too. Tropius functions best as a lead in battle where its Charged Moves can eat through shields left and right, and it can use its own shields to shrug off its pesky double weakness to Ice.
Tropius is fantastic overall but does struggle against key opponents like Altaria, Azumarill, Medicham, and Skarmory. You can choose to keep it in reserve, but be aware that it performs best with shield support.
These Pokemon have very steep candy and Stardust costs and will take significant dedication to power up. If you have a trading partner, you can try to obtain a Lucky one to make them more feasible.
Role: Any except Attacker
Moveset: Counter + Dynamic Punch/Ice Punch
Sources: Wild, 5km Eggs
Pre-evolution: Look for Meditite with the highest level and IV's
This Pokemon packs great moves and coverages that make it super effective against a wide variety of opponents. It especially rocks in the Boulder Cup, where it can super effectively hit all four types in the cup. Backed by shields, Medicham becomes incredibly challenging to take down. This combination of moves, typing, and stats make it one of the top overall Pokemon for PvP.
Medicham sits in a sweet spot below 1500 CP at level 40, which means you don't have to fuss with getting a specific IV or level combination. Just power up the best one you can find! It's an awfully expensive trip to level 40, but a level 35 Medicham will still perform admirably.
Moveset: Feint Attack + Shadow Punch/Ice Punch
Sources: Wild, 5km Eggs
Pre-evolution: Look for high-level Duskull with high HP and Defense IV's
Hold onto your Sinnoh Stones! Dusknoir may be tempting, but its pre-evolution, Dusclops, actually makes much more of a mark in PvP. On paper, Dusclops doesn't look like much, but PvP is all about matchups and Dusclops stands out in a few key ones. Its spooky high Defense and fast-charging moves like Shadow Punch and Ice Punch allow it to take on top Pokemon like Altaria, Medicham, and Cresselia head to head. It won't be pretty, but Dusclops with Fire Punch can challenge the likes of Skarmory, Melmetal, and Steelix as well.
Dusclops will require good maneuvering and patience to ensure it gets the best matchup possible. Try to keep your shields in reserve, or use aggressive Pokemon like Altaria or Vigoroth to bait your opponent into using their shields before Dusclops comes into play. Having shield support will be vital for Dusclops. Dusclops will need to be level 35+ to meet 1500 CP, so aim for high-level Duskull in the wild or Lucky Duskull through trades to lessen the cost.
These Pokemon are exclusive to Raids and will require an intense amount of Raiding or Rare Candies to power up.
Role: Closer or Defender
Moveset: Mud Shot + Earthquake/Solar Beam or Fire Blast
Sources: Tier 5 Raids
Groudon will shake things up wherever it stomps with groundbreaking stats and powerful moves to boot. With Mud Shot's high energy gain, Groudon can unleash hard-hitting Earthquakes at rapid pace. It can also throw down with defensive Pokemon like Melmetal and Heatran that would check many prominent Master League attackers.
Solar Beam is devastating against Water types, like its archnemesis Kyogre, while Fire Blast incinerates any Grass types it comes up against. Groudon's attacks are powerful but take longer to charge and are easily blocked. Because of this, this titan is at its best as a late-game closer, when your opponent has no shields to defend against its raw power.
Moveset: Waterfall + Thunder/Blizzard
Sources: Tier 5 Raids
Kyogre shares stats with its terrestrial enemy, Groudon, but its moveset gives it a very different playstyle. Kyogre's Fast Move, Waterfall, hits so hard it can win most head-to-head matchups on Waterfall's strength alone. This watery walloping can't be blocked, either, which means Kyogre will make a dent no matter what shields your opponent has in play.
Charged Moves are a conundrum for Kyogre because Waterfall gains energy very slowly. Add to this that Kyogre has some of the longest-charging moves in Hydro Pump, Thunder, and Blizzard, and Kyogre may not get the chance to use them. Anything weak to Hydro Pump will succumb to Waterfall first anyhow, and your opponent might be likely to send out something that resists Water, so I'd recommend Thunder and Blizzard for Charged Moves. If you just have one Charged Move to work with, Thunder is ideal because it charges before the other two, and being able to use Thunder will save Kyogre in a number of matchups.
The team below can be put together just from Pokemon caught during the Hoenn event.
See how this team rates in the Great League!
Hopefully the above info helps you over the next week if you're looking to put together some teams for PvP! Shout out to @GORangerApp for help with Pokemon sources and the Gamepress Evolution/CP Calculator for pre-evolution CP's.