Community Day | Meta Analysis on Obstruct Obstagoon
1 year ago
Written by PolymersUp
Analysis by Redspah, Tangent, Jibaku, Hotstriker, Nesabethan, and PolymersUp
August Community Day featuring Galarian Zigzagoon
August 13, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (local time)
The event-exclusive move for Obstagoon will be Obstruct
Full event details here
August Community has been announced, and the fluorescent pink and cyan shiny Galarian Zigzagoon will be wildly popular. The Blocking Pokémon Obstagoon has already established quite the reputation in Pokémon GO Trainer Battles, having carried two trainers to the grand finals of the Championship Series’ Milwaukee Regionals. However, notoriety is hard to come by, especially in a Great League meta where Azumarill and Medicham have been long-standing mainstays. But despite those obstacles, Obstagoon is solidly a borderline meta pick in GO Battle League’s Great League and Ultra League formats. As one of the few consistent answers to the Walrein-Trevenant duo that dominates both leagues, Obstagoon even now is well equipped for its role as a pseudo-Fighter that can shut down Ghost-types. Potentially adding a new wrinkle to its arsenal, the Community Day move Obstruct introduces a new style of Charged Attack into Pokémon GO with a Dark-type attack dealing 15 damage (energy still unconfirmed) and increasing the user’s Defense one stage while also decreasing the opponent’s Defense one stage. The closest moves for comparison currently in the game are Power-Up Punch, Drain Punch and Acid Spray.
Power-Up Punch 20 damage, 35 energy, 100% chance of +1 Attack for user
Drain Punch 20 damage, 40 energy, 100% chance of +1 Defense for user
Acid Spray 20 damage, 45 energy, 100% chance of -2 Defense for opponent
Obstruct 15 damage, ? energy, 100% chance of +1 Defense for user and -1 Defense for opponent
Likely worth noting, nearly all viable Power-Up Punch users also use the Fast Attack Counter to quickly ramp up one of the best Fast Attacks in the game save for Mawile—apologies to Kangaskhan and Heatmor. Only five Counters are required to reach Power-Up Punch, and similarly, the only Drain Punch user currently in the game Bewear also reaches Drain Punch in just five Shadow Claws. For Obstruct on the Counter-wielding Obstagoon, however, achieving what is essentially a double buff every ten turns (i.e. Obstruct at 35 energy) seems alarmingly efficient for only five less damage. In contrast, 50 energy cost or more would greatly reduce the moves viability with seven Counters yielding 49 energy, further delaying critical stat boosts for such a low damage move. Therefore, 40 or 45 energy would appear to be the most likely choice for the signature move Obstruct.
The combination of Obstruct and Night Slash make this addition to Obstagoon difficult to properly evaluate by multi-simulations alone. Most Pokémon have little incentive to shield the first move whether it’s Obstruct or Night Slash, considering that subsequent moves will do more damage due to the Defense drop from Obstruct or a potential Night Slash boost (12.5% chance to raise the user’s Attack two stages). Therefore, optimal shielding decisions are more nuanced with this moveset and not always perfectly recapitulated in simulations, requiring sandbox mode to explore win conditions for either side.
A deep dive into key meta matchups in Great League
Another premier anti-Ghost Counter user Scrafty currently outperforms Obstagoon in Great League and Ultra League from a usage perspective (source: gobattlelog.com). Scrafty’s primary advantage over Obstagoon is its same-type attack bonus (STAB) Counter damage, which ramps up quickly with Power-Up Punch. In contrast, Obstagoon lacks a Flying-type weakness as a Dark/Normal pseudo-Fighter, allowing it to perform better in certain matchups against Fliers. Although they both do well against the highly prevalent Walrein-Trevenant duo, Scrafty is generally more dominant in the Walrein matchup, while Obstagoon chortles at Trevenant’s Shadow Claws and comfortably withstands the Seed Bomb barrage. Despite generally consistent wins against these two across Great and Ultra League, Obstagoon interestingly loses the zero-shield matchup against Great League Shadow Walrein. Cross Chop is barely not enough to faint the hardy Ice Break Pokémon, and Obstagoon cannot survive the second Icicle Spear. Without the Charged Attack Cross Chop or a high enough Attack value to reach a Counter breakpoint, Obstagoon can even lose the one-shield scenario if behind 2+ Powder Snows and Shadow Walrein successfully baits. So does the Community Day move Obstruct outfit Obstagoon to muscle through this matchup? In the zero-shield matchup, a 40-energy Obstruct not only allows Obstagoon to survive the second the Icicle Spear, but also reach a critical Night Slash before fainting to flip the matchup. With a 45-energy Obstruct, Obstagoon barely falls short of reaching the Night Slash before fainting.
Sableye, another preeminent Ghost-type alongside Trevenant, notably has the defensive typing and offensive tools to apply pressure to both Scrafty and Obstagoon, taking neutral damage from their Dark-type Charged Attacks and threatening back with the hard-hitting Return. While Scrafty can lose in certain situations with shields in play, high stat-product Obstagoon specifically struggles with the zero-shield scenario, fainting to Sableye’s Return + Foul Play combination before reaching the requisite third Night Slash. However, a 40-energy Obstruct now swings the matchup dynamics into the immovable badger’s favor. The Defense boost from a single Obstruct is enough to force Sableye to double Return, allowing Obstagoon just enough time to reach two subsequent Night Slashes before the second Return. At 45 energy, delaying Obstruct and subsequent Charged Attacks by a single Counter (or giving Sableye a one Shadow Claw lead) allows Sableye to win charge move priority (CMP) and take the matchup. Notably, a Counter breakpoint (3 -> 4 damage) for high Attack values (115 to 117.02 to guarantee) can achieve a similar zero-shield result with straight Night Slash, although you’re giving up around 6.5-9% bulk compared to maximum stat-product Obstagoon chasing that breakpoint.