A few months back, the infallible genius Ryan Swag put Grass-types and Grass-type charge moves under the microscope (graph, video). The conclusion of which was Power Whip, Grass Knot, and Leaf Blade all outperform Solar Beam. When Venusaur was announced to get a special move for Community Day, it appeared that Power Whip or Grass Knot would give it the boost it needed to compete with Exeggutor. To our surprise, they made a whole new move: Frenzy Plant.
Naturally, trainers have been asking just how good this new charge move is and how it influences Venusaur’s standing in the meta. Using our best mathematical understanding of raid AI, simulated matchup data, and real-world analysis, we here at GamePress believe we have the answers players are looking for!
Frenzy Plant has a Power of 100, energy cost of -50, and a duration 2.6, beating out all other Grass-type charge moves in Simple DPS, Simple Cycle DPS (using Vine Whip) and Comprehensive DPS. It loses to Leaf Blade in Damage Per Energy (DPE) by 0.12, which suggests it could be marginally worse for gym defense in a vacuum. Frenzy Plant also beats out the others in Damage Squared Per Energy Second (DDPES), a "new" metric we’re experimenting with to easily rank charge moves. DDPES attempts to mitigate the inaccuracies of DPS of and DPE by multiplying them together. While it isn’t certain that DPS and DPE influence a charge move’s value evenly, it is a seemingly better way to compare charge moves than on DPS or DPE alone.
|Frenzy Plant||Power Whip||Solar Beam||Leaf Blade|
|Simple Cycle DPS||20.83||19.52||19.91||19.04|
|Comp. DPS||21.02 - 25.42||19.68 - 23.44||19.59 - 22.80||19.26 - 22.72|
If all these numbers go over your head, this graph will help visualize Frenzy Plant’s advantage. ("Lite" version available here)
If you’d like the above Frenzy Plant breakdown explained in an audio-visual format, click here. At the time of the video, it was believed Frenzy Plant’s cooldown was 2.8s (it is truly 2.6s) so it performs even better than showcased.
While it is now known that Frenzy Plant is the best Grass-type charge move, currently only Venusaur knows it in Pokemon GO. At the time of writing this, Exeggutor held the title of “Best Grass-type” with its Solar Beam. How does Frenzy Plant Venusaur compare? If you go strictly by DPS, the two appear to be quite even. For gyming, Venusaur has the advantage since Frenzy Plant has half the energy cost of Solar Beam and is much faster. You could argue that Exeggutor has Seed Bomb, but Seed Bomb is a joke compared to Frenzy Plant. For raids, however, the debate gets a little tricky.
To get to the bottom on this, the indisputed Pokemon Master Ryan Swag ran simulations comparing Frenzy Plant Venusaur, Solar Beam Venusaur, Exeggutor, Sceptile, and Solar Beam Groudon in Aqua Tail Vaporeon, Hydro Pump Kyogre, all Kyogre sets averaged, Solar Beam Groudon, all Groudon sets averaged, all Regirock sets averaged, and Focus Blast Regirock raids.
Raid Counters | With Groudon
Raid Counters | Grass-Types Only
If you go by the 7 raids used, then it appears Groudon is the victor, 3 to 2 to 2 to 0. If Groudon is removed from the running, then Venusaur stands tall 4 to 2 to 1. However, these are only 7 different raiding scenarios between level 40 iterations of these Pokemon. Overall, it appears Venusaur is the victor among Grass-types alone, but Exeggutor and Sceptile still have their advantages.
Refer to this album for graphs of the results.
This video goes over each of the results in more detail. Once again, this information used a 2.8s cooldown on Frenzy Plant, meaning Venusaur performs even better than presented.
Being the “best” Grass-type doesn’t mean much. Against Water-types, Raikou and Zapdos set the bar. Against Ground-types, they have Kyogre, Gyarados, and Dragon-types soaring above them. For Rock-types, Groudon, Kyogre, Machamp, and Hariyama don’t leave much room for competition. While Grass-types will rarely be the best at any one thing, there is a virtue in being very ok at many things.
One interesting door opened with the introduction of Frenzy Plant is the possibility of Blast Burn and Hydro Cannon in future Community Days for Fire-type starters (Charizard) and Water-type starters (Blastoise) respectively. If you’re curious what these charge moves could do to their viability, you can play with GoBattleSim’s “Add/Edit” move feature and run simulations using whatever you imagine these moves looking like. For reference, Frenzy Plant has Power 100, Energy Delta -50, Duration 2.6, and Damage Window 2.145 ; )