Niantic have made game changing alterations to the Pokemon Go mechanics. Raid bosses and trainer battles have both been re-balanced in order to keep Pokemon Go as fair as possible.
Raid Boss Changes
The biggest change coming to raid battles is an increase in HP for featured Pokemon. This applies to tier 3, tier 4 and tier 5 raids. For example, if you are raiding a tier 5 Kyogre then they will now have more raid health than before.
Niantic believed these changes were required because single players were winning raid battles alone. As they have made clear this was never the intention. Whether this health increase does entirely prevent single players from taking down a raid, is as of yet unclear.
The reason single trainers were able to win raids alone was because of a previous update. A change to the super effective damage multiplier resulted in the error.
The other change is an increase in Stardust received for winning a raid battle. Whether this is an attempt to appease trainers who are frustrated with this news is unknown.
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The feedback for this change is generally negative. Pokemon Go trainers have long complained that the game favors players in urban places.
This recent change will do nothing to help players who struggle to get a group together to raid with.
Niantic have alluded to the fact that they want trainers to have to group to win raid battles. While the intent is clear, many Pokemon Go trainers disagree that increasing the HP of the featured raid Pokemon results in making the game better.
One Reddit user, OurosOuroboros, stated "My overall point is that making Raids harder does not make them better. Increasing the number of players you need to get a Raid done isn't making it more challenging, it's making it more exclusionary by locking people who can't reach those numbers of players out."
Trainer Battle Changes
In addition, there have been big changes to moves within trainer battles. Niantic clearly want the mode to be as balanced as possible whereby using numerous different Pokemon can be effective.
Furthermore, Niantic have added new moves to some Pokemon to improve their success while battling. Interestingly, Niantic confirmed that they will be keeping an eye on the updated mechanics to see if further changes are required.
The following moves have been altered specific to Pokemon Go trainer battles:
- Fast Attacks:
- Shadow Claw (Energy increase)
- Razor Leaf
- Frost Breath
- Ice Shard
- Charged Attacks:
- Body Slam
- Iron Head
- Dazzling Gleam
- For standardization, the damage from Ice Beam will serve as the new baseline for Thunderbolt and Flamethrower.
- For standardization, the damage from Ice Punch, Fire Punch, and Thunder Punch will be set to the same level.
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New moves and alterations to current moves will change the meta in Pokemon Go battling...
Pokemon Go New Moves
On top of these changes there have also been a lot of new moves added. Some of the Pokemon aren't being used in battles as frequently as they should be, have been given additional moves.
- 024 Arbok: Dragon Tail - This addition provides Arbok with a hard-hitting Fast Attack that should help it stand out among Poison-type Pokémon.
- 036 Clefable: Meteor Mash - This addition provides Clefable with a powerful Steel-type Charged Attack to help deal with other Fairy-type Pokémon. Making Clefable stronger should also make Dragon-type Pokémon less overpowering.
- 038 Ninetales: Psyshock - This addition provides more type coverage for Ninetales, giving it more overall versatility.
- 038 Alolan Ninetales: Psyshock - This addition provides more type coverage for Alolan Ninetales, especially in match-ups with Poison-type Pokémon.
- 040 Wigglytuff: Ice Beam - This addition makes Dragon-type Pokémon less overpowering, providing an effective counter with strong attack potential.
- 065 Alakazam: Fire Punch - This addition provides Alakazam with a relatively fast Charged Attack that adds additional coverage.
- 068 Machamp: Rock Slide - Adding Rock Slide into Machamp’s moveset allows for additional coverage against Flying-type Pokémon.
- 089 Muk: Thunder Punch - Thunder Punch may allow Muk to apply more early Protect Shield pressure and counter Water-type Pokémon that currently dominate the Great League, like Azumarill.
- 089 Alolan Muk: Snarl - With a better Dark-type Fast Attack, Alolan Muk should be able to compete with Giratina and other Ghost-type Pokémon.
- 110 Weezing: Thunderbolt - This move allows for additional type coverage for Weezing, and helps it stand out among other Poison-type Pokémon.
- 121 Starmie: Thunder, Ice Beam - While Starmie doesn’t have access to the strong signature moves that are reserved for Pokémon such as Blastoise, these moves make up for it with better type coverage.
- 124 Jynx: Focus Blast - This Ice- and Psychic-type Pokémon will benefit greatly from this Fighting-type move, countering a broader amount of Pokémon and protecting against its weaknesses.
- 141 Kabutops: Waterfall - Kabutops lacks a Water-type Fast Attack and has had an uncharacteristic amount of difficulty with Flying-type Pokémon. Waterfall will help on both accounts.
- 142 Aerodactyl: Rock Slide - Aerodactyl is strong overall, but it currently lacks a powerful Rock-type Charged Attack. Adding Rock Slide should fix this and is a natural fit for the Pokémon.
- 143 Snorlax: Outrage - While Snorlax in general is a powerful Pokémon with lots of utility, this addition gives Trainers an incentive to have many Snorlax, each with a specialized purpose.
- 181 Ampharos: Power Gem - Power Gem is a relatively rare Rock-type move that is not currently utilized by most Electric-type Pokémon. This natural fit for Ampharos makes it especially powerful in matchups where it is already strong.
- 217 Ursaring: Shadow Claw - This Ghost-type Fast Attack will provide the Normal-type Ursaring an advantage in the Ultra League, where Ghost-type Pokémon like Giratina frequently make an appearance.
- 226 Mantine: Bullet Seed - The Grass-type Fast Attack Bullet Seed will help Mantine win the matchup against other Water-type Pokémon.
- 229 Houndoom: Flamethrower - Flamethrower is a relatively fast Charged Attack that helps solidify Houndoom as a strong Dark- and Fire-type Pokémon.
- 232 Donphan: Mud-Slap - Donphan currently lacks a Ground-type Fast Attack, so Mud-Slap will fit it nicely.
- 241 Miltank: Thunderbolt, Ice Beam - Thunderbolt and Ice Beam should help Miltank’s type coverage in the Great League against bulky Water-type Pokémon like Azumarill and quick Dragon-type Pokémon like Altaria.
- 243 Raikou: Shadow Ball - Raikou currently only has Electric-type Charged Attacks, so it will receive additional coverage against Pokémon frequently seen in the Ultra and Master Leagues.
- 244 Entei: Iron Head - Entei has previously lacked a Charged Attack to help it deal with Rock-type Pokémon. Plus, Steel-type moves are not commonly represented on Fire-type Pokémon outside of Heatran, so Entei will have an advantage.
- 245 Suicune: Ice Beam - This powerful move will help Suicune compete with the Dragon-type Pokémon commonly seen in the Ultra and Master Leagues.
- 250 Ho-Oh: Hidden Power - Ho-Oh has previously been limited to its Psychic- and Steel-type Fast Attacks. Hidden Power gives players a chance to use Flying- and Fire-type Fast Attacks, which are more in line with the Pokémon’s strengths.
- 272 Ludicolo: Ice Beam - Adding an Ice-type Charged Attack will help Ludicolo compete with the Dragon-type Pokémon commonly seen in the Ultra and Master Leagues.
- 358 Chimecho: Psyshock - This powerful Psychic-type Charged Attack will make Chimecho a more potent and competitive Pokémon against many other types of Pokémon.
- 373 Salamence: Bite - Bite is a devastating Dark-type Fast Attack for Salamence, which will capitalize on strength to differentiate it from other Dragon-type Pokémon, like Dragonite.
- 405 Luxray: Hidden Power - The Normal-type Fast Attack Hidden Power will give Luxray additional coverage against Pokémon that are normally resistant to its predominantly Electric- and Dark-type move set.
- 407 Roserade: Grass Knot - Grass Knot is a fairly fast Grass-type Charged Attack that should allow Roserade to capitalize on its relative speed and apply early pressure during battle.
- 430 Honchkrow: Sky Attack - With the addition of a stronger Flying-type Charged Attack, Honchkrow will likely become a more interesting choice to include in the Great or Ultra League for its Flying- and Dark-type strengths.
- 452 Drapion: Bite - Bite will give Drapion a strong Dark-type Fast Attack that will allow for early and unrelenting pressure throughout battle.
- 467 Magmortar: Psychic - With the addition of Psychic, Magmortar will have unique strengths compared to other powerful Fire-type Pokémon.
- 468 Togekiss: Flamethrower - Togekiss is already known for its strength against popular Dragon-type Pokémon, and now it will be better suited against Steel-type Pokémon as well with the inclusion of the Fire-type Charged Attack Flamethrower.
- 474 Porygon-Z: Blizzard - The Ice-type Charged Attack Blizzard will give Porygon-Z a potent counter for Dragon-type Pokémon. This natural fit will help it stand up against Pokémon popular in the Great and Ultra Leagues.