Our initial assessment of Blast Burn was based on pre-release information that was given to the Japanese group GameWith. The pre-release showed that Blast Burn would be a Frenzy Plant clone, having 100 base power with a 2.6 s cooldown. Within 8 hours of our analysis, Blast Burn was datamined to have 110 base power with a 3.3 s cooldown. At the time, it was uncertain if this 110 power variant was just a placeholder or if it would be the true Blast Burn for Pokemon GO. Now that Community Day has passed, Blast Burn (aka “move_name_0298”) has been confirmed to be the “new” 110 power attack.
Immediate assessments suggested that this 110 power variant was an overall nerf for what Charizard would have been with the initial 100 bpowermove, as a couple deciseconds go a long way for a Pokemon’s damage per second (DPS). Now that we have Blast Burn Charizard, here’s a look at just how much the nerf affected its performance in Pokemon GO!
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Blast Burn's Nerf
When compared in a DPS in / out graph, which shows a more full range of comprehensive DPS rather than an average, Charizard now ties with Moltres around 1450 DPS1_in (the damage per second sustained from defender / raid boss attacks if at 1 defense) rather than 800. For perspective, ~1450 DPS1_in is so intense that Moltres wouldn’t be able to launch a single Overheat while Charizard would get at least 1 Blast Burn in.
In our Comprehensive DPS / TDO spreadsheet, Charizard lost roughly 0.5 DPS from the nerf. While this suggests that Charizard is now a far cry from what it could have been with the “original” Blast Burn, it is still ~1.5 DPS better than what it was without Blast Burn. Even with the nerf, Charizard is now the greatest non-Legendary Fire-type Pokemon currently in the game. While this all has value on paper, let’s see how this looks in practice.
Blast Burn in Practice
Taking another look at the predicted upcoming Regice and Registeel raids, it appears Blast Burn’s nerf has taken Charizard from being a tankier Machamp to being a slightly better Hariyama. Despite losing some advantages over Entei and no longer tying with Moltres’s DPS, Charizard is still an excellent pick for these raids. Unless you have already powered up several Moltres and / or Entei, Blast Burn Charizard will serve you well when clashing with these titans.
Looking at Blast Burn’s nerf in gyming, it appears to be as good if not better than before. The reason for this contrast from raids is the importance of damage per energy (DPE) in gym battles. Energy efficiency and DPE is what makes multi-bar charge moves superior in gym battles, and Blast Burn’s 0.7 s nerf in cooldown no effect on these metrics. The 10 base damage buff in Blast Burn could even end some fights even faster than the 2.6 s cooldown Blast Burn would have.
Overall, if you want to use Blast Burn Charizard for gym battles, it still has its apparent advantages over Moltres, Entei, and even Focus Blast Mewtwo in clear weather.
While Blast Burn’s nerf was upsetting, it doesn’t appear to be all that bad for Charizard. Rather than seeing it as a 0.5 DPS downgrade from what it would have been, it is still a substantive 1.5 DPS upgrade from what Charizard was. Taking a closer look at battle simulations, this nerf is also only really apparent in raids and may have a slight advantage in gym battles. At the end of the day, we don’t get a choice between the old Blast Burn and the current one, but it’s reassuring that the “nerfed” Blast Burn isn’t a complete downgrade for Charizard. If you have a high-level Blast Burn Charizard, try it out and see how you like it yourself!