The Best Ways to Beat Down Blissey

Article by dondon151.
Introduction

With the release of gen 2 emerged Blissey, the unrivaled best defender in Pokemon GO. As mentioned in her tier list summary, Blissey is far superior to the next best defender, Snorlax, who itself is a cut above the rest of the crowd. What makes Blissey truly fearsome is her massive HP complemented by high defense stat, which prolongs battles to the point where timing out is a real possibility for unprepared attackers. The length of these battles also allows her to output considerable damage despite a rather bad attack stat.

Players have developed their own personal preferences for how to fight opponent Blissey. Some of these preferences are rooted in sound evidence, while others are suspect. The goal of this article is to provide numerical bases for recommendations when attacking an opponent Blissey.

Methods

Celandro’s Pokebattler website recently implemented a “Pokedex” feature, which ranks a particular Pokemon’s offensive and defensive matchups by several possible metrics. This substantially simplifies the process of writing this article. The metrics that players typically care about are power, time, and potions, defined below.

Power: This is how many times an attacker can defeat the defender before fainting. A power of 100% means that the attacker goes 1-for-1 with the defender. A power of 150% means that the attacker can be expected to defeat the defender and then take away 50% HP of a second, exact same defender.

Time: This is how much time, in seconds, an attacker requires to defeat the defender.

Potions: This is how much damage an attacker sustains in the process of defeating the defender, expressed in terms of purple 20-HP Potions.

Pokebattler offers several basic attacking strategies that attackers can use in their simulated matchups. They are no dodging, dodge specials, and dodge all. These are self-explanatory.

Dodge specials and dodge all also have “PRO” versions, which are not self-explanatory. In the “PRO” versions, the attacker uses its charge move as soon as possible, whereas in non-”PRO” versions, the attacker waits for the defender to use its charge move first.

To create the attackers vs. Blissey plot, I logged the time and power values of Pokemon frequently in the top 20 counters for each of Blissey’s 6 movesets, then averaged the time and power values for the points used in the plot. All combatants were at L30 with 100% IVs, using the dodge specials PRO attacking strategy.

What's the best attacking strategy?

First of all, if you want to have any success against Blissey, you must dodge at least her specials. No Pokemon can beat Blissey without dodging anything.

The more important question is: should the attacker dodge only Blissey’s specials or dodge everything? The answer to this is less clear. In general, dodging everything increases power while decreasing time and potions. But given the length of Blissey battles, attempting to dodge everything can be taxing, and some attackers are in danger of timing out if they try to dodge everything.

It’s also worth pointing out that there’s more benefit to dodging Zen Headbutt than there is to dodging Pound. For example, in a L30 matchup, Machamp reduces Zen Headbutt’s damage from 7 to 1 when dodging but only reduces Pound’s damage from 4 to 1.

Conclusion: Always dodge specials. If you care about time, don’t dodge quick moves. If you care about power or potions, consider dodging quick moves, or at least dodge Zen Headbutt.

What are the best attackers?

From the plot, there is a clear top tier of Blissey attackers consisting of Tyranitar, Dragonite, and Machamp. Machamp is the fastest while Tyranitar is the bulkiest, with Dragonite being in-between in both respects. Heracross is strictly inferior to Machamp but still quite good.

In the center of the plot are Flareon and Exeggutor, who represent a clear second tier of Blissey attackers. Roughly speaking, they have Tyranitar’s speed but Machamp’s bulk. It’s worth mentioning that Flareon is good vs. Dazzling Gleam variants and Exeggutor is good vs. Psychic variants.

The remaining Pokemon on the plot generally fare well by either the power or time metric, but not both. Which one the player should use depends on his personal priorities - does he simply want to beat Blissey as quickly as possible, or does he value longevity when fighting a full level 10 gym?

What if I don’t have the best movesets?

Many players have experienced the frustration of repeatedly playing the RNG lottery and coming up short. The plotted points represent Pokemon with their optimal movesets, but many Pokemon only have 1 or 2 optimal attacking movesets out of a possible 6 (or more if there are legacy moves).

Players are really asking 2 questions here:

  • Is this Pokemon still worth using in this matchup?
  • Is this Pokemon worth powering up?

Unfortunately, I can’t answer the second question, but I can try to answer the first. Below is a list of optimal and acceptable movesets for most of the plotted attackers. An acceptable moveset is consistently worse than an optimal moveset, but not by much.

Optimal attackers
MachampMachamp Optimal moves:
  • Counter + Dynamic Punch

Acceptable moves:
  • Counter + Close Combat
DragoniteDragonite Optimal moves:
  • Dragon Tail + Outrage

Acceptable moves:
  • Dragon Tail + Hurricane
  • Steel Wing + Outrage
  • Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw
TyranitarTyranitar Optimal moves:
  • Bite + Stone Edge

Acceptable moves:
  • Bite + Crunch
HeracrossHeracross Optimal moves:
  • Counter + Close Combat

Great attackers
FlareonFlareon Optimal moves:
  • Fire Spin + Overheat

Acceptable moves:
  • Fire Spin + Fire Blast
  • Fire Spin + Flamethrower
ExeggutorExeggutor Optimal moves:
  • Confusion + Solar Beam
  • Extrasensory + Solar Beam

Acceptable moves:
  • Zen Headbutt + Solar Beam

Fast attackers
AlakazamAlakazam Optimal moves:
  • Confusion + Future Sight
  • Confusion + Focus Blast
  • Psycho Cut + Future Sight
  • Psycho Cut + Focus Blast
EspeonEspeon Optimal moves:
  • Confusion + Future Sight

Acceptable moves:
  • Zen Headbutt + Future Sight
UrsaringUrsaring Optimal moves:
  • Counter + Hyper Beam
  • Counter + Close Combat

Bulky attackers
GyaradosGyarados Optimal moves:
  • Bite + Hydro Pump
  • Dragon Tail + Hydro Pump
  • Dragon Breath + Hydro Pump

Acceptable moves:
  • Bite + Outrage
  • Dragon Tail + Outrage
DonphanDonphan Optimal moves:
  • Counter + Earthquake
RhydonRhydon Optimal moves:
  • Mud Slap + Earthquake
  • Mud Slap + Stone Edge
  • Rock Smash + Earthquake
  • Rock Smash + Stone Edge
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