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June 11, 2024

Pokémon Go's Meta Shakeup: The Impact of Scald's Nerf and the Rise of New Strategies

Ethan Lim
Written byEthan LimWriter

Key Takeaways:

  • The nerf to Scald, a move that could lower the opposing Pokémon's attack, has significantly altered Pokémon Go's competitive landscape.
  • The adjustment has made previously dominant strategies less viable, forcing players to innovate ahead of major competitions like NAIC.
  • Despite the changes, top-tier Pokémon remain popular, but there's a push towards a more varied and strategic meta.

Pokémon Go's recent Shared Skies update has brought with it a whirlwind of changes for the Battle League, marking one of the most significant shifts in competitive play to date. At the heart of this transformation is the nerfing of Scald, a move that had become a source of frustration for many players, particularly those competing at the European International Championships (EUIC) 2024. Prior to the nerf, Scald had a relatively high chance of lowering the opponent's attack, making it a staple in many competitive strategies. However, with its effectiveness reduced by 30%, the move's reliability has waned, prompting players to rethink their approach to battle.

Pokémon Go's Meta Shakeup: The Impact of Scald's Nerf and the Rise of New Strategies

The reaction to this change has been largely positive, despite it turning the competitive meta on its head just before the North American International Championships (NAIC). Competitors were forced to adapt swiftly, a challenge that NAIC champion OutofPoket navigated with skill, leveraging the Scald nerf to his advantage by incorporating Shadow Quagsire into his team, which he credits as the MVP of the tournament.

In an exclusive interview with Dot Esports, OutofPoket shared his insights on the current state of play. "Nerfing Scald to 30% was a pretty big factor [when making my team],” he explained. "It made me decide to use [Shadow] Quagsire, which was my MVP of this tournament... I think the Scald nerf hurt Whiscash, as that was the big benefactor of Scald, and that gave people a reason to think for different or more flexible options to fill the same role.”

Despite these changes, familiar faces like Shadow Gligar and Annihilape continue to dominate the top tiers of competition. Yet, OutofPoket believes that the current meta might be the most balanced and strategic yet, emphasizing risk and counterplay. "There’s always a chance that you basically have no play," he noted. "If you want to counter [Shadow] Gligar, you have to take a risk yourself."

OutofPoket's remarks highlight a broader need for more counterplay options within the meta, a development he hopes will be spurred by the Scald nerf. The expectation is that this will encourage a more diverse range of Pokémon to rise in prominence, leading to a richer and more varied competitive scene.

As the dust settles on these changes, it's clear that Pokémon Go's Battle League is entering a new era of strategic depth. With players like OutofPoket leading the charge, the future of competitive play looks bright, promising battles that are not only more balanced but also more engaging for both participants and spectators alike.

(First reported by: Dot Esports, Date)

About the author
Ethan Lim
Ethan Lim
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Ethan Lim, a native of the Lion City, is Singapore’s rising star in the domain of online casino guide localization. He masterfully blends his intimate knowledge of local culture with international gaming standards to produce content that resonates deeply with Singaporeans.

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