Meteor Beam itself is actually an OP move just like Frenzy Plant and Meteor Mash, and other Pokemon may put it to greater use than Gigalith can.
Among the realistic recipients of Meteor Beam, Mega Aerodactyl is the most significant, while Tyrantrum will be great but still below Rhyperior.
Other fossils like Omastar, Kabutops and Armaldo desperately need double rock movesets. Having MB and a fast move can potentially make their shadows approach Rampardos levels, and their regular forms become subpar Tyranitars but more affordable.
Rock attackers are ridiculously inaccessible for being such a crucial type in raids, and having yet another CD exclusive move makes it worse. If Niantic is reading this, please, please, give Meteor Beam to some fossils.
Keep reading for:
List of the most OP PvE charged moves in game and how Meteor Beam compares to them
Realistic and unrealistic recipients of Meteor Beam and other better moves
Future rock attackers (mostly shadows and megas)
List of my previous analyses (in Appendix 2)
Roggenrola Community Day will take place this Sunday, September 18, from 2pm to 5pm (already started in a few time zones). If you evolve a Boldore before 10pm, you can get a Gigalith with its event-exclusive move Meteor Beam.
While Meteor Beam is a top-tier move in both PvE and PvP, Gigalith is still not relevant in PvP even with this move. So this Community Day will likely have greater impacts on raids than PvP. But how useful will Meteor Beam Gigalith be as a rock-type raid attacker?
Meteor Beam: The Move
[This section is mostly theoretical discussions. For analysis specific to Gigalith, you may skip to the next section.]
Before we look at Gigalith, there’s one thing I have to point out: Meteor Beam is actually an overpowered (OP) move in PvE, about as good as the past CD moves for starters, such as Frenzy Plant!
As a “1-bar” charged move, Meteor Beam in PvE costs 100 energy, has 140 power, and takes 1.9 seconds.
Traditionally, 1-bar moves are a bit underwhelming in raids: not only are they unreliable as they take forever to reach, but they suffer from inefficient use of energy, as you no longer gain energy once you’re at 100.
While Meteor Beam has the same problems, its own OPness is more than enough to mitigate them. It has the second shortest duration of all 1-bar moves, only behind Luster Purge; on top of that, it actually deals great damage!
Other 1-bar moves with 140 power take almost twice as long: Earthquake takes 3.6s, Focus Blast 3.5s, and Fire Blast 4.2s.
Other 1-bar moves that are similarly fast deal less damage: Luster Purge takes 1.5s for 100 power, Acrobatics 2.0s for 100 power, Brave Bird 2.0s for 130 power, Megahorn 2.2s for 110 power.
GamePress uses the metric DPS*DPE (Damage per Second * Damage per Energy) to estimate the quality of charged moves. This metric often overestimates 1-bar moves, but still, Meteor Beam has the 4th highest DPS*DPE in the game, only behind Aeroblast++, Aeroblast+ and Flying Press.
I tried another experimental method to evaluate moves: Take an Arceus with no typing (not even normal), give it Lock-On (a move that deals almost no damage but generates energy fast), and charged moves of your choice. Lo and behold:
This list contains some of the absolute best – or even broken – PvE charged moves in the game, with no shortage of well-known OP moves: Aura Sphere, Hydro Cannon, Frenzy Plant, Meteor Mash, Psystrike, Blast Burn, etc. Yet, Meteor Beam fits nicely in the middle of these OP moves, with roughly similar power to Frenzy Plant and Meteor Mash!
It should be noted that actual performance on specific Pokemon depends on its fast move, and may not strictly adhere to this order. Even then, Meteor Beam is undoubtedly the best rock-type move BY FAR, even putting Rock Wrecker to shame.
The fact that we’re still getting such broken moves in 2022 is honestly surprising to me:
When Community Days first started, they featured Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn and Hydro Cannon, which were absolutely top tier at the time and significantly better than anything else we had.
Since then, more broken moves were made to elevate specific Pokemon to PvE relevance, such as Meteor Mash, Aura Sphere, Psystrike, Crabhammer, Doom Desire, Giga Impact, etc. Some were Community Day moves, some were raid-exclusive, and some were even regular, TMable moves.
However, such practice was “seemingly” discontinued after 2020: The most recent OP moves were Aeroblast in November 2020, V-Create in July 2020, and Sacred Sword in March 2020.
Several Community Day moves and even legendary signature moves in 2022 turned out extremely underwhelming in PvE: Payback, Acrobatics, Sacred Fire, Drain Punch, Mist Ball, Luster Purge, and Seed Flare. They’re so bad that [email protected] and Shaymin all prefer their non-legacy moves. Only Brutal Swing is actually good (near Blast Burn level).
I was once under the impression that we would never see a move as good as Frenzy Plant again, especially after Michael Steranka noted in the first Dev Diary that “Community Day exclusive moves should […] not [be] so overpowered that they outclass every other Pokemon you can get normally.” Yet, here we are. Meteor Beam (the move itself) is easily the most broken PvE move we’ve seen in almost two years (aside from paywalled +/++ moves), and the most OP Community Day move since Beldum CD all the way back in October 2018!
Meteor Beam Gigalith: Rock n Roll or not?
Of course, talking about Meteor Beam in vacuum is meaningless without Pokemon that use it. Gigalith’s base stats, particularly the 226 base attack, is generally considered mediocre for raid attackers. It’s also lower than many other rock types: Rhyperior 241, Tyranitar 251, Terrakion 260, and Rampardos a whooping 295.
Traditionally, starter Pokemon with similar or even lower base attack than Gigalith have found ways to become relevant thanks to their CD moves. With a similarly busted Meteor Beam, can Gigalith pull the same?
See Appendix 1 (at the end of this article) for technical details and how to read the charts.
In terms of how MB Gigalith ranks among rock types, it’s pretty clear:
Mega Aerodactyl > Smack Down Shadow Tyranitar > Rampardos, Rock Wrecker Rhyperior > Terrakion >[Meteor Beam Gigalith]> Smack Down Tyranitar.
The difference between Gigalith and Smack Down Tyranitar (non-shadow) is about 1%, or generally less than 5 levels. That is, L30 Gigalith < L35 Tyranitar, L40 Gigalith < L45 Tyranitar, etc.
Rock Wrecker on Rhyperior and Smack Down on Tyranitar are past CD moves. Currently, they can only be obtained via Elite TMs, but there will likely be future events that allow you to evolve them for the moves.
So Gigalith is viable now, but not the best. Just like most (not all) starters after their CDs.
What this means for different players:
For veteran players who already have strong rock-type teams, this is quite underwhelming. In terms of my Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, at level 40, Gigalith is 11% worse than Rampardos and 8% worse than Rhyperior, the latter being easily obtainable if you played February 2020 CD. Even a fully XL’ed Gigalith won’t be meaningfully better.
Even new and returning players may have had access to better options very recently, which makes this Community Day’s timing a bit awkward.
Most notably, Cranidos and Shieldon research day in June gave players easy access to high IV Rampardos(es), and Rock Wrecker Rhyperior was obtainable upon evolution during the World Championships event in August.
However, for anyone who missed these recent events or have not completed a team of 6 rock attackers yet, this Community Day is a great time to round off your team. Even if you only evolve high-level wild caught Gigaliths without the best IVs or levelling them up, they will put in work.
I do think a team of 6 rock types has great value, especially given how many raid bosses are practically only countered by rock (Articuno, Moltres, Ho-Oh, Mega Charizard Y, Mega Pinsir).
If you prefer variety teams, Gigalith falls exactly at #6, replacing regular Tyranitar (or #5 if you ignore shadows).
Note that Meteor Beam is a huge upgrade to Gigalith itself. Even though Rock Slide already made Gigalith a somewhat viable rock attacker before, the busted CD move brings a 9% upgrade.
Is Meteor Beam worth an Elite Charged TM? I don’t think so, unless you particularly care about that Gigalith (e.g. a 100%). Yes, having Meteor Beam is significant for that Gigalith itself, but you’re likely to find better options that do not require an ETM.
What if other Pokemon get Meteor Beam (or other better moves)?
This is perhaps a more interesting question. Given how OP Meteor Beam is, any rock-type Pokemon with access to it will appreciate the upgrade. But will they make any impacts?
Pokemon and moves with “†” are speculative. While these Pokemon can potentially learn them in PoGo, and some might even be likely to learn them in the future, there are no indications that they ever will.
Note: Rhyperior with Rollout/Rock Wrecker and Smack Down/Meteor Beam are very similar in all metrics, with Rollout/RW generally having a slight advantage. For this reason, all plots show Rollout/RW.
A lot to unpack, so I’ll go through them one by one, from best to worst.
Mega Aerodactyl is already the current best rock attacker, but Meteor Beam will solidify its dominance a lot. The move brings a ~11% upgrade to Aerodactyl, allowing it to significantly out-DPS Rampardos, instead of the current “a bit slower than Rampardos but much more bulk”.
Even Shadow Aerodactyl with MB now becomes strictly better than Rampardos and on par with Shadow Tyranitar, especially with dodging. In other words, a solid top-tier attacker, instead of the current “just purify it”.
There’s now a legitimate reason to consider not purifying (even though there’s a chance for Meteor Beam to be exclusive/ETM).
The same relationship holds for their non-shadow forms, though regular Aerodactyl will still be generally behind Gigalith (higher DPS, lower bulk/worse typing), not to mention everything above it.
Tyranitar with Rock Slide has been a fan’s dream for a while, seeing how badly Tyranitar has been outclassed in recent years. While Rock Slide is a solid upgrade over its current Stone Edge (5-6%), it’s not an impactful one. This allows regular Tyranitar to overtake Gigalith again, but not Terrakion, nor Rampardos or Rhyperior. Especially not worth the possible hassle of not being able to obtain Smack Down and Rock Slide at the same time without ETMs.
The more notable change will come from Shadow Tyranitar with Rock Slide, allowing it to narrowly surpass Mega Aerodactyl, with Rampardos-level DPS but more bulk.
Archeops is irrelevant for anything now, most likely because Niantic mimicked its negative ability in the main series games (MSG) by not giving it a full STAB moveset. Should they relax that restriction, however, it has potential to be a top-tier rock and flying type with its 292 base attack. Rock Throw/Rock Slide will make Archeops a Rampardos clone, and Meteor Beam will make it OP – around the level of Mega Aerodactyl if you don’t dodge, but significantly better (7.7%) if you do.
I don’t see this happening soon, but it won’t surprise me when they run out of content. Although a Rampardos event with exclusive move Head Smash may be equally likely.
Remember when I said Meteor Beam is better than Rock Wrecker? Yes, Rhyperior would actually prefer Gigalith’s CD move over its own, if given the chance. It also longs for Alolan Golem’s CD move, Rollout, which generates energy faster and pairs better with the busted CD charged moves. While it still won’t out-DPS Rampardos, according to simulations, having either move makes Rhyperior on par with Rampardos in average performance (right now it’s just below). If Rhyperior gets both moves, it can surpass Shadow Tyranitar, now only behind Mega Aerodactyl.
I don’t think Meteor Beam is realistic, but there’s a chance for Rollout if Niantic wants to also boost Rhyperior’s relevance in PvP Master League. Problem is, in the MSG Rhyhorn hasn’t been able to learn Rollout since Gen 5. Technically not ineligible, but maybe less likely to happen in Go.
Getting to the more realistic but weaker ones:
Omastar, Kabutops and Armaldo are all eligible for Meteor Beam, but they all lack a non-legacy rock-type fast move (Omastar’s Rock Throw is legacy). Should Niantic give them some love, Omastar and Kabutops will want the best possible outcome in Rollout, while Armaldo sadly has to settle on Smack Down. The greatest impacts will come from their shadows:
Shadow Omastar and future Shadow Kabutops with Rollout/MB are both essentially Rampardos clones, or even better with dodging.
Shadow Armaldo with SD/MB falls below them, and is worse than Rhyperior without dodging, but benefits tremendously from dodging (and in large lobbies).
All three shadows can be intriguing and useful picks, but nothing to write home about.
Their regular versions are all below SD Tyranitar even with the best moves.
Tyrantrum already has Rock Throw, so getting Meteor Beam alone gives it a huge 16% performance upgrade, from the bottom of the chart to a Terrakion clone. Still not the best (Rampardos and Rhyperior still rule), but would be much more useful, especially if it doesn’t require ETMs. It will also be the most impactful non-shadow non-mega Meteor Beam user aside from Rhyperior.
In terms of likelihood:
All these fossils (Omastar, Kabutops, Aerodactyl, Armaldo, Tyrantrum) are good candidates for Meteor Beam in a future GBL update, as it helps in both PvP and PvE. Alternatively, Mega Aerodactyl may get it from a mega raid day as a raid-exclusive move.
The same applies to Rollout for Omastar and Kabutops, though maybe less likely as Rollout already had a distribution this season.
As for Tyranitar, at this rate I won’t be surprised if it gets a move update simply due to fan demands. I still don’t support another (non-Classic) Larvitar CD with a new exclusive move, but it may jolly well happen. Rock Slide, Snarl and Brutal Swing are all candidates for a CD move or raid day move, so pick your poison.
A small chance for Rollout Rhyperior, as said above.
Very low chance for Meteor Beam Rhyperior and double STAB Archeops. But I’m preparing for them just in case, FWIW.
A few possible move upgrades I haven’t shown: Lycanroc Midday with Rock Slide, Golem (and Alolan and Shadow) with Rock Slide, Hisuian Arcanine with a possible rock fast move if it comes to Scarlet/Violet. Better than now, but uneventful or uncertain.
Lycanroc does have a signature move Accelerock, which looks poised to be a Community Day move, but even an Aura Sphere clone still sits below Rampardos.
The above aren’t the only beneficiaries of Meteor Beam…
Pokemon and moves with “†” are speculative. While these Pokemon can potentially learn them in PoGo, and some might even be likely to learn them in the future, there are no indications that they ever will.
Note: Shadow Rhyperior with Rollout/Rock Wrecker and Smack Down/Meteor Beam are very similar in all metrics, with Rollout/RW generally having a slight advantage. For this reason, all plots show Rollout/RW.
The future attackers shown here are divided into two clusters: Shadows and megas above Shadow Tyranitar & Rampardos, and new Pokemon below Rhyperior.
Shadows and Megas
Diancie – the Gen 6 mythical – won’t be relevant for raids in its base form, but Mega Diancie will be insane andthefuture of rock types. Its current Game Master moveset (credits to PokeMiners) includes Rock Throw/Rock Slide, which is realistically all it needs to become the best rock attacker (11% stronger than Mega Aerodactyl), unless we see more Meteor Beam users.
But Mega Diancie herself can get Meteor Beam too! If that happens… It out-DPSes Mega Rayquaza and non-shadow Mewtwo. Diancie also has its own signature move, Diamond Storm.
Below Mega Diancie comes a pair of future shadows, unsurprisingly: Shadow Rampardos and Shadow Rhyperior. Both will easily outclass Mega Aerodactyl in all metrics, DPS included.
If you don’t dodge, Shadow Rhyperior will be more consistent – Rampardos suffers a bit from the lack of bulk when going shadow. But even with no dodging, Shadow Rampardos is already sky high in average performance, just that Shadow Rhyperior is slightly better.
With dodging, Shadow Rampardos rules again and gets close to Mega Diancie levels. It has similar DPS as many top-tier megas, btw.
Since Rhyhorn is Gen 1, Shadow Rhyhorn might come sooner than you expect. Or so we hope.
Mega Tyranitar, regardless of whether it gets Rock Slide, will sit comfortably above Mega Aerodactyl but unfortunately below Mega Diancie in solo performance. However, as I noted in my psychic analysis, megas with balanced DPS and bulk contribute more in group raids than high DPS megas. As such, Mega Tyranitar will likely be the best mega option when raiding with at least one other player.
Mega Tyranitar with current moves will be just below Shadow Rampardos and Shadow Rhyperior, while getting Rock Slide raises it to just above (unless the shadows dodge). Lower DPS than both, though.
Mega Tyranitar has virtually the same DPS as Shadow Tyranitar, but thanks to more bulk, it still comfortably outperforms Shadow Tyranitar. However, don’t purify your shadow.
Shadow Gigalith (with Meteor Beam) is the worst of all relevant future shadows, but still slightly better than Shadow Tyranitar. If released before Shadow Rhyperior, it may find a niche, but that appears unlikely.
Up to Gen 8, there are two Pokemon we’re talking about: Stakataka (Gen 7 Ultra Beast), and Stonjourner (Gen 8).
Stakataka, quite frankly, has no potential as a contender among rock types given its 212 base attack. It will likely come in the next few months, but we don’t know its moveset, so I plotted a range of possibilities. Without Meteor Beam, it’s toast. Even the best possible moveset, Rock Throw/Meteor Beam, makes it a CD Gigalith clone but much more expensive… Ouch.
Stonjourner is more interesting. Its current Game Master moveset includes Rock Throw/Rock Slide, which is worse than Tyranitar and thus not worth serious consideration. However, this moveset predates Meteor Beam, so if Niantic remembers to revise its moveset before release and grant it the OP move, it will basically become a Terrakion clone, just below Rhyperior. Veterans will probably still ignore it, but there’s potential to be the best “affordable” rock attacker, similar to Tyrantrum if given Meteor Beam.
Speaking of affordability…
Why are rock attackers so elusive?
Here are some personal opinions.
If we go back to the tier list I showed after the first chart:
Mega Aerodactyl > Smack Down Shadow Tyranitar > Rampardos, Rock Wrecker Rhyperior > Terrakion > Meteor Beam Gigalith > Smack Down Tyranitar
Hmm. Every single one is hard to get, right?
Mega Aerodactyl requires mega energy. Aerodactyl is also a rare Pokemon. Not to mention you can only have one on your team.
Rampardos is rare outside of events.
Rhyperior, Tyranitar and Gigalith all require Community Day moves. If you missed them, you have to use an Elite TM, or wait an indefinite amount of time and hope for an event to TM them.
Same for Shadow Tyranitar but even worse. While thankfully it doesn’t require removing Frustration prior to the evolution window, it’s still a hassle to get them (Shadow Larvitar isn’t always in rotation), and then get the CD move.
Terrakion is a legendary, so its candies are expensive. It’s also not always in raid rotation.
Shadow Aerodactyl and Shadow Omastar are technically within this range, but they’re much, much less obtainable.
If you have been playing for a long time, this might not be a problem to you. But many new and returning players already had the trouble of not having enough Rhyhorn candies to make more than one Rhyperior during the recent World Championship event. While this batch of new players (September 2022) get their decent rock types today, soon another batch will be stuck with having no affordable option again.
And with Gigalith’s best move (by far) locked behind another Community Day, yet again, the list of rock attackers that become inaccessible in the long term keeps growing.
To make things worse, rock is an incredibly useful attacker type. It has one of the highest number of T5 and mega raid bosses to be used against, up there with other well-known “good PvE types” such as dark/ghost, fighting and ice. There are also many bosses double weak to rock: Articuno, Moltres, Ho-Oh, Mega Charizard Y, Mega Pinsir. I consider a rock squad must-have for all players who care about using proper counters for raids.
While nobody should expect to have top counters on Day 1, few other types have such a dire lack of affordable options. The other crucial types I mentioned above all have generally accessible picks: Gengar, Houndoom and Honchkrow; Machamp and Hariyama; Glaceon. The same applies to many other useful types, including various Eeveelutions, Magnezone, Excadrill etc. None of them require exclusive moves or are as rare as Rampardos.
To be fair, there are a few possible non-legacy picks for rock types: Rhyperior with Stone Edge and Gigalith with Rock Slide sit just below SD Tyranitar. Yet, since they both have CD moves now, it further encourages not evolving until a window to get their CD moves. Tyrantrum is the next on the list, but now the performance dropoff is way too significant (24% worse than Rampardos).
So how can attackers of this crucial type be more affordable to players in the long term? There’s actually a simple fix: Give Meteor Beam to more rock types as a non-exclusive move!
Giving Meteor Beam to Tyrantrum is probably one of the best solutions. Being as good as Terrakion, MB Tyrantrum can become very usable and not too far off from top-tier options like Rampardos. This still keeps the value of Rampardos and Rhyperior, while most things below it don’t become completely useless (Terrakion excels as a fighting type, while Tyranitar has a future mega and is still a decent dark type). It’s not a free giveaway either, since Tyrunt is not exactly common.
Omastar, Kabutops and Armaldo are even cheaper. Despite being rock-type Pokemon, they don’t even have non-legacy double rock movesets! Giving them a functional PvE moveset makes them bubble under SD Tyranitar, similar to Stone Edge Rhyperior. IMO, it’s a much needed change that not only fixes these Pokemon (possibly also in PvP), but adds non-legacy rock attackers that are relatively accessible and of decent quality.
Appendix 1: Guide on how to read the charts & Technical details
Don’t know how to read the charts?
If you’re totally lost, just look at the first two plots, or just the first one if you don’t dodge in raids. These two plots are based on my Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which approximates in-raid performance using Pokebattler. (The DPS3*TDO and DPS plots are for experienced players who want to check these metrics.)
In all four plots, the higher, the better. Example: Rampardos is generally better than Terrakion, which is better than Tyranitar, if they’re all at the same Pokémon level. But everything listed is perfectly usable and will let you pull your weight in raids.
You can also compare different attackers at different levels: points on the same horizontal line mean they’re equally as good. Example: A Level 35 Rampardos performs similarly to Level 40 Terrakion and a bit below Level 50 Tyranitar.
Reminder: All plots show average performance against many raid bosses. Against a specific raid boss, the rankings can be different.
The first two plots are based on my in-house Average Scaled Estimator (ASE) metric, which estimates in-raid performance by automatically computing the average Pokebattler estimators against a variety of T5, Mega and T3 raid bosses, scaled so that the best attacker at L40 gets 1.0. The smaller, the better. For more details, refer to my Venusaur analysis in January and the comments.
“ASE Dodge” uses simulations with the “Dodge Specials” + “Realistic Dodging” options on Pokebattler. You can compare it to ASE without dodging to see how much dodging helps an attacker.
For example, Rampardos’s ASE at Level 40 drops from 1.083 without dodging to 1.055 with dodging, so dodging generally helps Rampardos’s performance.
However, Rhyperior’s L40 ASE rises from 1.110 to 1.129 with dodging, so dodging may hurt Rhyperior more than it helps.