Massively on the Go: Pokemon Scarlet and Violet celebrates Valentine’s Day, releases frog


We’ve got a slew of new, upcoming Tera Raid events approaching in multiplayer Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, though from the header, you can probably see that you’ve got a frog to kiss. Let’s dig in to what players can expect from the game’s event roadmap, plus some advice for how to handle it.

For us poor single souls, today through Sunday, January 22nd, will see Ghost Driflbim (Scarlet) and Mismagius (Violet) tera raids, though as usual, you can simply join online raids to get the other version’s ‘mon. A good Dark-type pokemon should be good enough to beat those Ghosts.

Tandemaus will be featured for a Valentine’s Day event February 13th to 15th, though it’s mostly a cute themed pokemon and not something you’ll see in raid play. Again, we’re not expecting much from them, so a Fighting-Type is probably all you’ll need to end their relationship.

But January 27th-29th and February 10th-12th is when we need to get serious: Greninja’s coming, and like last cycle’s Cinderace, it poses some major issues for single players and groups.

Mightest Mark Greninja will be sporting a Poison-typing, so it’s pretty safe to assume it’ll have the poison move Gunk Shot, so most Grass-types should stay away. While Greninja is traditionally a Water/Dark type, like Cinderace, it has a plethora of moves to choose from. In fact, in a sense, it’s the original Cinderace in that its ability allowed it to change types, it benefited from a deep move pool, and it has high speed. What’s more problematic is that its Special Attack is only slightly higher than its Attack stat, so there’s little reason for us to write off anything in its move pool.

For example, there’s already talk about what to use against the frog ninja; many people are better on Gastrodon. Despite the above link, it has a non-hidden Ability, Storm Drain, that both makes it immune to water attacks and boosts its Special Attack. The problem is that its special is already very, very low, and Greninja learns not one but two Grass moves. Gastrodon is quad-weak to Grass attacks, so that could retire it.

Similarly, people are hoping to use Garchomp. It’s a bulky pseudo-legendary that would take neutral damage to most of Greninja’s attacks, but it’s quad weak to Ice attacks, and yes, Greninja has access to those.

Courtesy of Bulbapedia

Clodsire is another choice people are betting on, and it’s one of my favorites, being one of the ‘mon I played most of the game with. Sadly, I worry it lacks the firepower needed to get the job done. The Water Absorb ability makes it immune to Water attacks while healing it, Poison and Ground-typings gives it quad resistance to Poison moves, and you can give it Recover via the picnic method, but its stats are lower than Gastrodon. The time it’ll take using Curse (another picnic move) to bulk up Attack and Defense for survival in six whole turns. Your could use Liquidation to help lower Greninja’s defense, but it lacks super-effective damage. Earthquake is its best STAB attack, so maybe with a coordinated group and helping hand, Cloddy can do it, but as in the second round of Unrivaled Charizard, a long, complicated strategy is difficult to pull off with randoms online, so Clodsire may be best for solo and coordinated group play.

Not mentioned is the Paradox Pokemon Iron Hands. While it can do Super Effective damage with Earthquake, it won’t be a STAB attack. Greninja can learn Ground attacks to deal super effective damage to Hands, but they’re low power, and Hands is bulky, so I’m not sure how worried we need to be about that yet. It’s already a top neutral pick for Tera Raids with builds like this, so it’s a very good investment. By now, daily raiders probably have a reasonable supply of Bottle Caps and could take whatever junk-hands they’ve caught or traded (it can’t be bred and is exclusive to Violet) and just Hyper-train them.

For support players, Umbreon and Chansey with setups similar to these are already good investments that should be safe enough to use now and in other raids.

Until we know more, though, it’s difficult to say how the meta will go, so we’ll update after the event’s started with more.

1/26 Update: Greninja has landed, and as feared, it does have Ice Beam, as well as Gunk Shot, Hydro Pump, Nightslash, Toxic Spikes (which trigger when your fainted pokemon re-enters), and Double Team. Ice Beam makes Garchomp a no-go and Clodsire vulnerable but supposedly still useable. For long time players, you’ll also notice that it’s using a mix of Special and Regular Attack moves, meaning you need Reflect and Light Screen for full protection.

Slowbro from Cinderace still works but it feels a bit painful. Same goes for Armourage, which I do not recommend using. One thing that’s been helping Slowbros is Qwilfish with Acupressure to make it possible to use Stored Power sooner plus Taunt to help prevent Double Teams. Toxapex with Acid Spray, Chilling Water, and Recover can help with support (the fourth move is your choice), though Chansey as previously described worked well enough in my group, as did Umbreon thanks to Taunt.

Massively OP’s Andrew Ross is an admitted Pokemon geek and expert ARG-watcher. Nobody knows Niantic and Nintendo like he does! His Massively on the Go column covers Pokemon Go as well as other mobile MMOs and augmented reality titles!
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