VGC 2019’s Moon Series is finally here, and that means the era of Z Moves is as well. With the introduction of these powerful items, many already dominant Pokemon become even bigger threats with access to new devastating attacks and support moves.
However, Z Moves also give previously lesser-used Pokemon an ability to reach a new level of potential, and that’s what we’re here to highlight today. Here are some Pokemon that may have achieved some success in VGC 2019’s Sun Series, but have potential to be even more potent with Z Moves in Moon Series.
Dragon-type Pokemon weren’t the most popular in Sun Series due to the prevalence of Xerneas, but there has been a lot of hype surrounding Palkia going into Moon Series. Palkia is a potent Special Attacker and has access to two very strong STAB attacks in Hydro Pump and Spacial Rend.
The hype has mainly been centered around Palkia’s use of Waterium Z in the rain when it’s either paired with or going against Kyogre, as this powerful Hydro Vortex can score an easy KO on anything that doesn’t resist it. Palkia’s speed adds to its threat status as its base 100 speed stat allows Palkia to outspeed a ton of threats, such as Xerneas, which Palkia can easily remove from the field with a Z Move.
Palkia will likely see a bunch more play in Moon Series due to its offensive presence becoming much more known by having access to such a powerful Z Move.
There’s been endless ridicule placed towards Rayquaza for simply not being able to Mega Evolve or use its signature move Dragon Ascent, but Rayquaza achieved quite a bit of success in Sun Series. It once again must live without these things for Moon Series, but now it has Z Moves to play with which can actually make Rayquaza a bit more scary. Rayquaza can function as a set-up sweeper with either Dragon Dance or Swords Dance which can lead to a devastating Supersonic Skystrike.
The problem is that Rayquaza players will likely have to rely on Fly which is an awful move otherwise since it needs a turn for the user to enter the sky, but at least Rayquaza can still threaten significant damage with Extreme Speed. Even though Rayquaza doesn’t have all of its tools at its disposal, it has already found its niche in the early parts of VGC 2019. Having access to Z Moves will only build on its offensive prowess.
Solgaleo was all over the place in Sun Series as players developed a bunch of different playstyles for it. Some went with Trick Room and others went all out offensive, but it looks like the latter will be the more popular variant in the Z Move metagame. Solgaleo has access to a signature Z Move, Searing Sunraze Smash, which is a 200 base power Steel-type attack that is guaranteed to wipe any Fairy-type off of the board. Along with being a guaranteed Xerneas delete button, not many other Pokemon in the metagame will want to take this attack, and with Solgaleo’s high Speed it becomes a massive threat once it comes in.
There is also merit to using the Fightinium Z since Solgaleo has access to Superpower which can be a great way of getting an Incineroar off the field, but other than that its power is fairly limited. Solgaleo is also a Psychic-type, meaning that it would appreciate not having to take a full-powered Knock Off since it’s holding a Z Crystal.
Lugia is a fun choice for a Z Move user as its strategy is what many would consider a gimmick. Lugia’s signature move, Aeroblast, has a high critical hit chance. When you pair that with Z Tailwind, this attack will score a critical hit nearly 100% of the time.
This Pokemon is usually known for its insane defensive stats, and turning Lugia into an offensive threat is a cool new way to use it. Lugia also has access to ways of boosting its stats and reliable recovery so it actually can prove difficult to take down. It is yet to be seen whether or not this strategy will catch on, but it looks to be a gimmick that could prove to be viable in the right hands.
For our last spotlight, let’s look at a non-restricted Pokemon that’s slowly been gaining popularity ever since the end of Sun Series: Gengar. Gengar has a niche as an offensive support Pokemon with excellent coverage with attacks like Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb, and a fast Taunt to stop a plethora of opposing support moves.
Gengar’s Speed and Special Attack are its main selling points, and that means it is a prime candidate for a Z Crystal. Either Poisinium Z or Ghostium Z could work depending on whichever threats a team needs a better answer to. Poisinium Z can make quick work of a non-bulky Xerneas while Ghostium Z can tear through a Lunala’s Shadow Shield for a KO.
Of course, there are a lot more Pokemon out there that can effectively use Z Moves in VGC 2019’s Moon Series, and we’re just showing the tip of the iceberg. The Sun Series showed us a plethora of creativity, especially towards the end of its run, and that proves to be a prominent sign as we transition into Moon Series. Get ready to explore the depths of what Z Moves will bring to the 2019 table.
Images from Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Pokemon Shuffle, The Pokemon Anime, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International