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Using Two Charge Moves in Raids: An Outrage Salamence Case Study

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Introduction

Since the introduction of secondary charge moves, the spotlight has been on using them in Trainer Battles. While there was a logical benefit to unlocking them for raid use, the topic was left relatively unexplored. That is until the advent of Salamence receiving Outrage inspired RyanSwag to ask “Could Draco Meteor + Outrage allow Salamence to out damage Rayquaza?” In his quest for knowledge and power, the answer was found- Yes, yes it can.

This article will detail aspects of His findings as well as expand upon the potential for other Pokemon to take advantage of dual charge moves in raids.

You can check out RyanSwag’s video on the topic here.

Draco Meteor or Outrage- or Both?

Note: This graph doesn’t use energy from damage. In practice, the peaks would be higher and more frequent. The reason why 2 Outrages have a higher peak than 3 is because the energy gains cause a mild time extension between the peaks. Basically 1-2 happens slightly sooner than 2-3. If the truncation of the DPS and Time upsets you, then here you go. Enjoy your freaking white.

When Salamence first entered Pokemon GO it was seen as a risky, glass cannon version of Dragonite. Even though Draco Meteor is an objectively more powerful move, the potential for the Pokemon to faint before reaching 100 energy suggested that a multi-bar charge move, like Outrage, would be more reliable. When Dragonite received Draco Meteor on its Community Day, this data was put to the test and it was found that while there are scenarios where Draco Meteor is better than Outrage, it is far more likely that Outrage will outperform Draco Meteor in practice.

Now that we can unlock a secondary charge move, Draco Meteor’s high energy cost has now become eliminated through our ability to combo it with a lower energy cost move. In fact, any single bar charge move that is objectively more powerful than a Pokemon’s multi-bar ones gain this ability as well. For many Pokemon this benefit will be too small to have any meaningful impact on battle, but for already high performing species such as Dragonite and Salamence it can be quite the gain.

Mixed Mence vs Rayquaza

When directly compared, the only thing separating Outrage Salamence and Rayquaza in power is 7 base attack. In some situations, this 7 base attack is enough to give Rayquaza a higher breakpoint on its Dragon Tail (allowing it to deal 1 extra damage per fast move), but in most scenarios this breakpoint either won’t exist or can’t be reached without perfect IVs, best friendship, and/or windy weather. In their charge moves, Rayquaza will often have a 3-5 damage lead per Outrage, resulting in roughly 6-20 difference in damage per Pokemon against the raid boss’s 15000 HP. Therefore, barring fringe charge move damage, most often Outrage Salamence is effectively as powerful as Rayquaza.

If Outrage Salamence is already as powerful as Rayquaza, and Draco Meteor (DM) is objectively more powerful than Outrage, then it would make sense that a Salamence carrying both attacks would perform better than Rayquaza on average. In an attempt to measure this performance, RyanSwag ran simulations in GoBattleSim comparing Outrage Salamence, Draco Meteor Salamence, and Outrage Rayquaza against a Tier 5 Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw Latios Raid. Because GoBattleSim is able to give the full disclosure of the fights, Professor Swag was able to compare the situations where Draco Meteor Salamence outperformed Outrage Salamence. Replacing Outrage’s weaker results with Draco Meteor’s better results revealed that Salamence’s average damage per second (DPS) exceeded Rayquaza’s in battle. As a result, it can be concluded that Mixed Salamence has a higher performance than Rayquaza.

DM Mence OR Mence OR Ray DM/OR Mence
25.28777778 26.59984127 27.06325397 27.38960317

Exceptions to the Rule

Two limitations exist in RyanSwag’s study. One is that it only used Draco Meteor and Outrage in isolation. Therefore, the average DPS in this situation is likely even higher than suggested as there are conceptually many scenarios where Draco Meteor + Outrage would outperform either move alone. The second limitation is in the matchup itself. While Dragon Breath + Dragon Claw Latios is a raid that offers an even playing field, the Latios raid isn’t a raid where Rayquaza gets a higher breakpoint. While several conditions must be met in order for Rayquaza to do more damage with its Dragon Tail, and in most raids this higher breakpoint won’t even exist, it would be more telling if Mixed Salamence could overcome Rayquaza’s damage even with the deck stacked against it.  

Unfortunately, it may be some time before there's an investigation into simulations where Rayquaza meets a higher breakpoint, as it was already too time-consuming to get the Latios results. However, there is evidence that suggests that even with Rayquaza getting a higher breakpoint, Mixed Mence may be better. Turning to Pokebattler, we can see that in the Windy Weather Giratina-O raid Rayquaza, who here hits a higher breakpoint at level 39.5, outspeeds Salamence in time to win by 13.8s. However, against Dragon Pulse Giratina-O specifically, Draco Meteor Salamence takes the lead, outpacing Rayquaza by 25.4-28.8s. While this is only conclusive evidence that Draco Meteor Salamence is better than Rayquaza vs Dragon Pulse Giratina-O, it suggests that the combination of Draco Meteor and Outrage can enable Salamence to surpass a breakpoint boosted Rayquaza in battle.

Other Pokemon

The conditions needed for a Pokemon to benefit from the combo are a) Their highest DPS*DPE charge move must be a single bar charge move and b) They must also have access to a multi-bar charge move. How much this combo will benefit the species will fall upon how effective they are already and how effective their multi-bar charge move is. For example, a Gyarados with both Hydro Pump and Crunch would outperform a Gyarados with Hydro Pump alone, but are the gains from Crunch really worth the stardust required to unlock a second move? Until either Pokebattler or GoBattleSim update to accommodate a two charge move strategy, it will be difficult to quantify.

You can check out the difference in DPS*DPE of various charge moves by using our PvE Charge Move sheet. Below we have highlighted some species that may be worth looking into:

  • DPS(Damage per Second): The attack’s damaging speed.
  • DPE(Damage per Energy): The attack’s damage in relation to its energy cost.
  • DPS*DPE: The product of DPS and DPE, used to comprehensively and objectively rank charge moves. The fastest damaging moves for the best cost.
Pokemon Combo Notes
Moltres Overheat + Sky Attack (legacy) Sky Attack will already be the move of choice against Bug and Grass-type targets. The combo will be useful against Ice and Steel. Be mindful that is expensive and Blast Burn Blaziken is coming out soon (likely replacing Moltres as the best Fire-type).
Roserade, Exeggutor, Exeggutor (Alolan) Solar Beam + Grass Knot (Seed Bomb) Given how slow Solar Beam is and Roserade’s low bulk, you may be better off just sticking with Grass Knot. A similar combo may be met with either Exeggutor, with Solar Beam and Seed Bomb. Since Seed Bomb doesn’t compete with Solar Beam like Grass Knot does, it would be a better combo for them.
Alakazam, Espeon, Mewtwo Future Sight (Psychic) + Dazzling Gleam (legacy) or Shadow Ball (Psybeam) All three Psychic feline could take advantage of combining their more powerful single bar charge moves with their weaker multi-bar ones. An interesting future investigation would be who’s the fastest Machamp raider.
Tyranitar, Rhyperior Stone Edge (Earthquake) + Crunch (Surf) While there is no beating Rampardos’s DPS, the OG Rock-type attackers are tankier and easier to obtain. Tyranitar’s combo will be more useful against Lugia Raids, where Rhyperior’s will come in better vs Moltres and Entei.
Gyarados, Vaporeon Hydro Pump + Crunch or Outrage (Aqua Tail) [Laughs in Kyogre and Hydro Cannon] Imagine being this desperate for a power boost. If either Pokemon are a favorite of yours, they will gain from having both charge moves and in all honesty, neither are terrible Pokemon.

Conclusion

While the real benefit of unlocking a second charge move for raid content can be slim, the advantage is there. If a trainer can justify powering up a level 20 Rayquaza over a level 30 Salamence because of the DPS advantage, then unlocking a second charge move for a damage gain can be just as reasonable. If the benefit doesn’t outweigh the cost for you, then not much is lost using just one attack and saving your stardust.

Hopefully, simulators such as GoBattleSim and Pokebattler will update to accommodate these combo strategies. While there are a few “optimal” ways to use them now, there is no doubt that more scenarios will pop up in the future. It would be nice to have an easy way to measure their influence beyond what is suggested by an attack’s damage, energy cost, and animation time, especially when it comes to “weaker” Pokemon overtaking the “strong” as with Salamence vs Rayquaza.

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