Countering Mewtwo And Mewtwo’s Place in the Meta

Countering Mewtwo And Mewtwo’s Place in the Meta

Article by RyanSwag

Reviewed by dondon151

Diary: August 14, 2017

MEWTWO is far too powerful. We have failed to curb its vicious tendencies....

Introduction

On August 14th, Niantic released Mewtwo as a raid boss for the Pokemon Stadium event in Yokohama, Japan. It was revealed that Mewtwo would be available through Pokemon GO's new exclusive raid system. The day foretold has come; Mewtwo is now obtainable in Pokemon GO.

With its arrival, Trainers are asking many questions about how to counter Mewtwo and Mewtwo’s use as an attacker. Using our best mathematical understanding of gym AI, simulated matchup data, and real world analysis, we here at GamePress believe we have the answers players are looking for! One thing we can say for certain, with Mewtwo’s arrival the metagame will never be the same again.

Mewtwo

Optimal Movesets: Confusion or Psycho Cut + Shadow Ball

Great Movesets: Confusion or Psycho Cut + Focus Blast

  • Confusion is on par with Psycho Cut for quick moves; the former offers higher DPS and the latter offers faster energy gains and easier dodgability.

  • Shadow Ball is clearly superior to Psychic. Despite lacking STAB, its base power is similar to Psychic for half the energy cost and goes resisted by only 2 types of Pokemon (Normal and Dark). Shadow Ball does as well as Psychic against Fighting and Poison-types while also giving Mewtwo an edge over other Psychic-type Pokemon.

  • Focus Blast is a viable, alternative option for countering Normal-type Pokemon such as Blissey and Snorlax. Its power rivals that of Machamp.

  • Hyper Beam is definitely Mewtwo’s worst charge move. TM if possible.
Mewtwo as an Attacker
Mewtwo as an Attacker

Mewtwo was originally proffered to top all offense charts and trivialize the use of any other attacker in the game. Niantic suddenly decreasing all of its stats by 9% put a sharp end to that. Rather than breaking the game, Mewtwo weighs heavily upon it.  

While Mewtwo is still a top neutral DPS option with power rivaling  that of Dragonite, it is by no means “broken.” Like Dragonite, Mewtwo will excel in many matchups but will often fall short of more optimized counters. However, unlike Dragonite, Mewtwo’s Psychic, Ghost, and Fighting-type attacks offer it a variety of optimal matchups.

Mewtwo’s powerful Psychic-type quick moves helps out against Poison and Fighting-type raid bosses, countering them harder than they ever have been before. Mewtwo’s resistance to Psychic-type attacks in concert with Shadow Ball’s raw power make Psychic-type raid bosses bend the knee to their new Mewtwo king. Even the mighty Blissey quivers before Mewtwo’s power as Mewtwo resists Blissey’s paltry Zen Headbutts while obliterating it at near Machamp speeds with Focus Blast. Needless to say, there is now a meta before Mewtwo and a meta after Mewtwo.

Countering Mewtwo
Countering Mewtwo

Compared to previous legendary raid bosses, Mewtwo’s movesets will heavily influence the raiders’ experience. experience. Generally speaking, Mewtwo's difficulty depends on which fast move it has.

Psycho Cut’s low base power will put Mewtwo on “easy mode” and place greater emphasis on resisting Mewtwo’s charge moves. Confusion on the other hand will put Mewtwo on “hard mode” and emphasize the need to resist Psychic-type damage. In fact, Confusion Mewtwo is so powerful that it calls the viability of “Glass Cannon” counters (such as Gengar) into question, makes “Good” counters (such as Scizor) look squishy, and may bring “Tank” options (such as Lugia) to the field for general use rather than an anchoring 6th slot Pokemon.

All things considered, Tyranitar comes in as the #1 counter to most Mewtwo movesets. Tyranitar’s Dark-typing allows it to doubly resist Mewtwo’s Psychic-type attacks while putting a STAB 1.2x multiplier behind its super effective Dark-type attacks. Not only that, but Tyranitar’s dual typing also resists both Mewtwo’s Shadow Ball and Hyper Beam. It is worth noting that both Stone Edge and Crunch are equally viable as charge moves for Tyranitar. Despite dealing neutral damage, Crunch is weak enough where the gap between the two moves is relatively small. The main selling point with Tyranitar is Bite.

Focus Blast Mewtwo
Focus Blast Mewtwo

Despite Tyranitar’s merits, Mewtwo may be carrying the charge move Focus Blast, which will take Tyranitar’s hit points from Hero to Zero in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, you may be able to “tell” if Mewtwo is carrying Focus Blast from looking at your auto-selected line up. If Tyranitar is auto-selected, you are likely facing a Mewtwo with Psychic, Shadow Ball, or Hyper Beam as its charge move. If Tyranitar is nowhere to be seen, you either forgot to revive yours or Mewtwo is packing Focus Blast.

If Mewtwo is carrying Focus Blast, then Dragonite, Bite Gyarados, and Mewtwo itself take the spotlight as Mewtwo’s best counters. If a Focus Blast Mewtwo has Psycho Cut as its quick move, Gengar downright dominates the fight with its high DPS, super effective, STAB attacks Shadow Claw, Hex, and Shadow Ball. As a tanky 6th slot option, against Focus Blast, no Pokemon will stay in the fight longer than Lugia; just make sure it carries Sky Attack to keep its DPS relevant!

All this said, Tyranitar is still a very potent option against Focus Blast Mewtwo! While Focus Blast will likely take Tyranitar out in one hit, Focus Blast is still just a one bar charge move and will likely make few appearances in the fight. Tyranitar’s high DPS and powerful resistance to all of Mewtwo’s quick moves still makes it a better option that most others against Mewtwo. Just don’t place all your bets on it.

Other Options
Other Options

Houndoom, Pinsir, and Scizor all feature as generally good, all around options against Mewtwo. While they’re a bit more on the low survivability side against Confusion, their DPS and performance against Psycho Cut cannot be ignored.

After them a wide variety of Pokemon lurk as sub-optimal counters to Mewtwo, including but not limited to: Alakazam, Flareon, Moltres, Zapdos, Exeggutor, Vaporeon, Arcanine, Sneasel, Typhlosion, and Umbreon. At this point, eyebrow-raising options such as Crobat, Muk, and Heracross hit the scene. If you find yourself reaching this low in the barrel, you may be better off with an underleveled Tyranitar.

As a final note, Snorlax and Blissey both come up as tankier, low DPS options against Mewtwo. While they both doubly resist Shadow Ball, it is very difficult to discern a Shadow Ball Mewtwo from a Psychic or Hyper Beam one in the queue. Against all 3 of these charge moves, Tyranitar will serve you significantly better. While we here at GamePress are willing to concede that Lick Snorlax is a decent option against Mewtwo (should you not have a Tyranitar, Dragonite, Mewtwo, or Gyarados to take its place), we cannot recommend using the abysmally weak and slow Blissey except as an absolute last resort.

Closing
Closing

As you can tell, if you’re not rolling up to the local Mewtwo raid with a bunch of Tyranitar at the ready, you may be in for a rough ride! While Houndoom, Pinsir, and Scizor make for decent alternative options, all three pale in comparison. If you queue up and you find your Tyranitar army isn’t auto-selected, you may be up against Focus Blast. Respond accordingly and make sure to slot in Dragonite, Gyarados, Gengar, Lugia, or your own Mewtwo to shore up your Fighting-type weakness before your Tyranitar.

Once you clear the raid, revel in the fact that you are now in possession of one of the most powerful, metagame defining Pokemon in Pokemon GO and subsequently save all Rare Candy for its ascension to power. At this point in time, if your Mewtwo has Psychic or Hyper Beam, you may want to use a Charge TM. Shadow Ball is as powerful as Psychic against targets weak to Psychic-type damage and allows Mewtwo to smash Psychic-type Pokemon as well. Focus Blast allows Mewtwo to rival Machamp as the #1 Blissey slayer.

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