[Theorycraft] Make Earthquake Great Again!

In GSC, Earthquake was among the strongest moves, with 100 power, 10 PP and 100% accuracy. The only moves with comparable or higher power had other disadvantages:

  1. Hyper Beam, Sky Attack, Solar Beam and Skull Bash took two turns to execute.
  2. Hydro Pump, Mega Kick, Blizzard, Cross Chop and Fire Blast had 5 PP.
  3. Dynamic Punch, Thunder, Iron Tail and Megahorn had much lower accuracy.
  4. Double-Edge gave recoil damage and Dream Eater only worked on sleeping targets.
  5. Aeroblast and Sacred Fire were legendary signature moves.

Although Ground attacks are super-effective against five types (a record shared with Fighting), Earthquake and other Ground moves are terrible in PoGo, making Raikou and Heatran the only use cases for Ground attackers like Groudon and Garchomp.

What if Earthquake had its power in PoGo increased from 120 to 160? Would it be broken? To test this, I created a new move, Super Earthquake, in the DPS/TDO spreadsheet. I created “super” versions of Groudon, Garchomp and Rhyperior with the same fast moves but only one charged move (Super Earthquake). To show how better moves would benefit Ground-types in general, I also created a Super Bulldoze (with power 90 instead of 80) and a Super Mamoswine. (Both “super” moves had the same typing, EnergyDelta, duration and damage window as the originals.)

Firstly, here is how the Super versions compare to the originals in neutral DPS and neutral TDO.

They are not going anywhere near the top of the neutral DPS charts in extreme weather:

As for neutral TDO in extreme weather, Garchomp was already third and improves slightly, while Super Groudon becomes sixth (ignoring Arceus which is not released yet), comparable to Metagross but with 7.3% lower neutral DPS.

In clear weather, Super Groudon has the second-highest DPS (ignoring impractical Deoxys-A and unreleased Shaymin), trailing Blaziken by 3.2% but leading Moltres by 2.7%. Its TDO is 26.1% higher than Moltres, making Super Groudon the top clear weather generalist (but on gym offence, Moltres is resistant to Fairy moves).

Since there are no Poison-type legendaries, I will use Gengar as a basis for comparison. Super Groudon has 1.7% higher DPS and 1.8% higher TDO than Giratina-O, but 12% lower DPS than legacy Mewtwo.

Among the four Gen 5 legendaries weak to Ground attacks, Zekrom looks like the one which Groudon and Garchomp would shine most against. Is that true? Super Groudon only ranks 7th in DPS, 12.2% lower than Rayquaza, while Super Garchomp actually performs better with Dragon Tail, ranking 4th in DPS, 6.4% lower than Rayquaza. Since regular Garchomp already had the highest TDO against Zekrom, it is not surprising to see its lead increase and Super Groudon taking second place. Mamoswine would rank 8th in DPS (if both Garchomps are counted as one), but with its Ice set.

Their DPS against Reshiram is very similar, but Rampardos overtakes them in second place. The TDO here does not consider what moves Reshiram would have. Garchomp and Rhyperior resist Fire attacks, which Groudon is neutral to. Ignoring the duplicate Garchomp, Super Rhyperior would actually be 10th in DPS (20.7% lower than Rayquaza).

Against Cobalion, Super Groudon and Super Garchomp overtake Moltres and Machamp in DPS, but the gap is small (up to 3%). For comparison, Blaziken has 4.9% higher DPS than Super Groudon and 6.9% higher DPS than Super Garchomp. More importantly, normal Groudon ranks 4th in TDO (3.3% lower than Entei), but Super Groudon has 16.4% more TDO than Entei!

Terrakion has seven weaknesses and is thus a better gauge. Metagross is the ultimate counter. Ignoring impractical Deoxys-A and unreleased Shaymin, Super Groudon ranks 4th in DPS, 7.9% lower than Metagross, but with comparable TDO (only 0.5% lower).

The first four generations have four legendaries weak to Ground. Dialga has only one other weakness, to Fighting, but regular Groudon ranks only 8th in DPS (a massive 19% less than Breloom), but 1st in TDO. In contrast, Super Groudon ranks 1st in DPS (1% more than Breloom) and remains 1st in TDO, while Super Garchomp ranks 4th in DPS and 2nd in TDO. This is one matchup where Super Rhyperior (8th in DPS, 5th in TDO) and Super Mamoswine (9th in DPS) are worth using.

The next opponent to analyse is Regirock. Super Groudon has 6.9% lower DPS and 21.4% more TDO than current top counter Metagross.

DPS rankings for Registeel are similar to those for Cobalion, which shares the same weaknesses. However, we already know what moves Registeel has, so Moltres takes the TDO crown.

Last but not least, we just had an Entei raid day, where Super Earthquake would have shone. Super Groudon ranks second in DPS (10% lower than Rampardos) but has mediocre TDO due to not resisting Fire attacks, while Super Garchomp ranks third in DPS (11.8% lower than Rampardos) and third in TDO (17% lower than Palkia).

Ironically, Super Rhyperior performs better with Smack Down, reaching fifth in DPS (17.5% lower than Rampardos) and fourth in TDO (33.2% lower than Palkia). Even Super Mamoswine jumps to 7th in DPS, but its TDO is terrible as it is weak to Fire attacks.

Conclusions:

  1. Rhyperior and Mamoswine simply do not have the stats to compete in DPS against other types.
  2. The proposed buff to Earthquake would give Groudon and Garchomp great but not broken DPS.
  3. By giving two bulky species a great one-bar move, the proposed buff to Earthquake may actually improve game balance.
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I don’t want to snark, but what are the projected parameters for Precipice Blades? Isn’t that the accepted reason why Groudon is not performing up to its potential? I also have 3 maxed Kyogre and another at 37, I’m not under any illusion that is a safe/prudent investment…more that I only have 1000 item storage.

Groudon with Precipice Blades is only a bit better than Groudon with buffed Earthquake, but that small difference makes it borderline broken:

  • 1st in DPS in clear weather (overtaking Blaziken) and remains 1st in TDO.
  • 1st in DPS against Cobalion (overtaking Blaziken) and remains 1st in TDO.
  • 1st in DPS against Registeel (overtaking Blaziken) and remains 2nd in TDO.
  • Remains 1st in DPS against Dialga and 1st in TDO.
  • 2nd in DPS against Terrakion (overtaking Breloom and Mewtwo) and 1st in TDO (overtaking Metagross).
  • Remains 2nd in DPS and 1st in TDO against Regirock.
  • Remains 2nd in DPS against Entei with mediocre TDO.
  • Remains 3rd in DPS and 1st in TDO against Gengar.
  • 4th in DPS against Zekrom (up from 8th) and 1st in TDO (overtaking Garchomp).
  • 5th in DPS against Reshiram (up from 9th) and 1st in TDO (overtaking Garchomp).

I didn’t check all your comparisons, but in general, I believe that Kyogre and Groudon should be the same in their DPS. They have the same stats, so Groudon’s moves need to be buffed to match Waterfall and Hydropump.

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Precipice Blades has the same issue Meteor Mash has - its potential distribution is so low (only Groudon in PB’s case) that it only fixes a single Pokemon, not the type as a whole. @hkn’s example would remedy a lot of Pokemon that should be elite counters but otherwise aren’t, or rely on weather to even compete.

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I’ve casually thought the Kyogre vs Groudon dynamic a little awkward, sure Groudon gets a more frequent weather boost, whereas Kyogre gets its main supereffective move(s) with STAB (fast and charged). Blizzard is also supereffective against Groudon, some places maybe that gets an occasional boost? Groudon’s solar beam Kyogre counter doesn’t get STAB. Wonder how changing the fast move(s) for Groudon would effect its performance in varied situations? However, probably just why Groudon get the dragon alternative fast move and Kyogre just gets the one. They probably just consider it balanced bc Groudon can gain energy faster than Kyogre.

Good point! We’re looking at improving charge moves but there’s only 2 Ground fast attacks and they aren’t anything great (except Mud Shot in PvP). Upgrading the energy gain for Mud Shot might edge out some more damage for ground types across the board. Maybe give a new Iron Tail/Smackdown clone in Ground-type? Or maybe…just maybe…give Drillrun to a freaking Ground-type for once!

Kyogre not getting Dragon Tail is simply due to the fact that it can‘t learn it :sweat_smile:
And about the matter for Drill Run, there are only 9 (theoretically 10 if you count Sandslash in Let‘s Go) Ground types that learn Drill Run, with the Rhyhorn and probably the Drillbur line being the only interesting ones. They should give more Pokemon Earth Power to push Ground types

Given the basis for letting Aerodactyl have Rock Throw is purely because it learns it in Let’s Go I think Sandslash is worth counting for Drill Run as well.

True. That thought came to me just after posting my comment

The DPS * DPE for Drill Run is 45.71, while the DPS * EPS for Earth Power is 55.56. For comparison:

  • What we usually regard as “good” charge moves (Outrage, Dynamic Punch, Wild Charge) have about 60 DPS * DPE.
  • What we usually regard as “broken” charge moves (Frenzy Plant, Hydro Cannon, Meteor Mash) have about 75 DPS * DPE.
  • Super Earthquake has 44.44 DPS and 1.6 DPE, so its DPS * DPE is 71.10.
  • Bulldoze has a pathetic 36.57 DPS * DPE.

Considering that even Super Rhyperior struggles to make the DPS charts above, Sandslash simply does not have the base stats to be viable with Drill Run or even Earth Power.

Back on GB Advance I would use Earthquake with Gyarados (for the reasons you mentioned, but also because Gyrados’s Attack stat is literally more than twice its Special Attack stat). A lot of people didn’t understand back in the day that water moves were not as great on Gyarados even with STAB unless one had Rain Dance (which makes it rain for 5 turns IIRC). The move was to use Dragon Dance and Earthquake/Hyper Beam. It was stupid powerful, especially if you had Thunderwave to paralyze the opponent and dance for a few turns XD. I think Lance of E4 had this as a strategy actually (with Hyper Beam not Earthquake). I remember I would save right before facing Lance, then keep restarting until Dragon Breath would paralyze his Gyarados, so I could dance instead lol. It was somewhat balanced in Gen 2-3 anyway because so many of the strong pokemon (Dragonite/Charizard(yes with Sunny Day you could fight water types)/Scyther/Gyrados/Aerodactyl) were Flying type, oh and not to mention many Pokemon, such as Gengar, have “levitate” as their ability which gives them immunity. The added bonus for Earthquake on Gyarados was that it gave great type coverage to Gyarados’s double weakness to Electric type. All that is to say, if they do implement this, perhaps it would also be cool to do a community-day Gyrados with Earthquake.

Anyway, this sounds like a pretty good change, but I will be upset because I know I’ve given some Snorlax with Earthquake XD.

Its both, earthquake is an absolutely garbage move, even without looking at precipice blades, which in the code is just absolutely broken.

Even if precipice blades weren’t a thing, Eq is so terrible, its what makes nonstab Solar beam onpar in DPS cycle to the STAB earthquake preformance wise.

Earthquake is probably my second favorite move in the main games, only after Meteor mash, and seeing it be so bad in GO just…well, it f–king hurts. Grounds a type thats essentially useless unless it gets an artificial push from something like weather boost, this is the reason that even in clear weather, machamp was still the better option against dialga. With Raikou’s raid day done, and likely not coming back for a while, and heatran being what we call a PvP pokemon, ground will be kinda useless until they either give groudon earthpower or precipice blades, or just buff earthquake (or the alternative, it stays where it is). Fairy got a fast move before ground got any boost in relevance (yes, earth power exists, but no good ground attacker actually got it).

Heatran, IIRC, actually has decent TDO as a fire-type. Depends on the matchup tho. Was super fun to raid because Sunny weather is common here and I got to use 'mon that had been gathering dust!
Earthpower is a likely CD move for our dirt dragons (Trapinch and Gible) which is a great way, IMHO, to improve the Ground-type (tho long overdue).

Its got great TDO I agree, but compared to the much greater DPS blaziken, Charizard, moltres and such have, its not that standout.

In RBY, Gyarados had 100 Special, so it was an absolute beast with Surf, Hydro Pump and Ice Beam. I always bought from the Magikarp salesman and put the Magikarp in the first slot. It usually evolved in the S.S. Anne and after some training in Diglett’s Cave, it would lead my team for the rest of the game.

The first time I played GSC, I decided to just dive in without any guides. Fished up a Magikarp at Olivine City and trained it up, only to realise that water moves were no longer cool on Gyarados and I could catch a red one later.

Yes please. In PoGo, gym defence is where Gyarados shines.

Your Snorlax would perform even better!

Am I the only one who imagines snorlax using earthquake by either just jumping into the air, or just falling backwards because it wants to sleep? Maybe thats because every times i’ve seens a lac use Eq its because its fainting right then.

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I think 160 power is a bit excessive for EQ.

Looking at your charts, it seems that Groudon (and to a lesser extent Garchomp) would consistently be at the top of the DPS charts while simultaneously significantly out TDO’ing nearly every other counter.

I would imagine you could lower the power to 150 and still make Groudon (and to a lesser extent Garchomp) perfectly viable pokemon for these raids in neutral weather and absolute beasts in clear weather.

I would also prefer to see the cooldown window on EQ reduced a bit rather than the power made too excessive. e.g. a version with 140 power and a bit shorter cooldown could also be a good solution.

Solar Beam being a 180 power move makes sense because of how it works in the main games (takes a turn to charge, then is a 200 power nuke). Hyper Beam is actually a little undertuned in GO in my opinion.

Earthquake on the other hand just isn’t quite as strong. I don’t think 150 or 160 power really translates from the main games well. I know moves don’t translate directly (or even with a high correlation), but to an extent the power of moves does make some sense. So lowering the cooldown a bit would feel more natural.

Another thing is, a big benefit to Earthquake is that it hits everyone in double battles. It would be cool if Earthquake could have captured this in some way. It would have made more sense as a 100 power, 2 bar move (with a similar cooldown even?). Would a 100 power, 2-bar, 3.6sec cooldown Earthquake be reasonable? That’s only 55.556 DPS*DPE which doesn’t seem unreasonably high. It would be just a touch weaker than Dazzling Gleam (same damage, 0.1sec longer cooldown).

That would make PoGo even more imbalanced against one-bar moves.

That would be a good alternative.

Groudon and Garchomp are naturally bulky. Buffing them would improve the balance between DPS and TDO. Typing also has a significant impact on TDO. Ground is SE against five types: Electric, Rock, Poison, Fire and Steel, but resistant to only the first three, so Groudon’s TDO against Reshiram, Registeel and Entei is not great. Mamoswine is actually weak to both Fire and Steel, while Garchomp and Rhyperior resist Fire.

Looking at the charts again, 160 power does seem excessive. 71.10 DPS * DPE is higher than any one-bar charged move already in the game. Comparing with two-bar charge moves, only Meteor Mash and starter exclusive moves are stronger.

With 150 power, the DPS * DPE would be 62.49, below only Solar Beam (66.11) and Overheat (64), but comparable to Draco Meteor (62.51) and slightly stronger than Hyper Beam (59.21).

For comparison, two-bar charged moves in the same ballpark include Sky Attack (64), Wild Charge (62.32), Grass Knot (62.32), Outrage (62.02), Avalanche (59.99) and Dynamic Punch (59.99).

Results with 150 power for Earthquake and Super Mamoswine given Earth Power. No idea whether Mamoswine can learn Earth Power in the main games, so this is just for comparison since Bulldoze is even worse than regular Earthquake, while Earth Power has 55.56 DPS * DPE.

Two-bar moves with similar DPS * DPE to Earth Power include Dazzling Gleam (57.14), Last Resort (55.85), Play Rough (55.85) and Sludge Bomb (55.65), while one-bar moves include Focus Blast (56.00), Blizzard (54.52), Gunk Shot (54.52) and Future Sight (53.33).

Clear weather generalist: Super Groudon is tied with Moltres, with 1.6% lower DPS but 20.8% more TDO.

Gengar: Ignoring unreleased Darkrai, Super Groudon is 5th in DPS (16.9% lower than Mewtwo) and 2nd in TDO (2.5% less than Giratina-O). Super Garchomp and Super Mamoswine would rank 7th and 8th in DPS respectively (19.0% and 19.8% lower than Mewtwo respectively).

Zekrom: For Garchomp, Outrage is better than Super Earthquake. Super Groudon ranks 9th in DPS (17.2% lower than Rayquaza) and 2nd in TDO.

Reshiram: Very similar results to Zekrom. In practice, Super Groudon would have lower TDO due to not resisting Fire.

Cobalion: Super Groudon ranks 5th in DPS (9.5% behind Blaziken) and 1st in TDO (11.5% more than Moltres). Super Garchomp ranks 8th in DPS and 2nd in TDO.

Terrakion: Ignoring Deoxys-A and Shaymin, Super Groudon is 8th in DPS (12.7% lower than Metagross) and 3rd in TDO (5.0% less than Metagross; not ignoring Jirachi because its global release is imminent).

Dialga: Super Groudon ranks 3rd in DPS (3.4% lower than Breloom) but its TDO is off the charts, Super Mamoswine jumps to 6th in DPS but its TDO is nothing to shout about. Super Rhyperior remains viable.

Regirock: Ignoring Shaymin, Super Groudon ranks 4th in DPS (11.6% lower than Metagross) and 2nd in TDO (16.4% more than Metagross), while Super Garchomp ranks 7th in DPS (14.2% lower than Metagross) and 1st in TDO (19.1% more than Metagross).

Registeel: Super Groudon ranks 4th in DPS (6.6% lower than Blaziken but only 1.1% lower than Moltres) and 3rd in TDO (12.4% lower than Moltres, overtaken by Entei; not resisting Steel matters). Super Groudon is only slightly worse and though Super Mamoswine has viable DPS, its TDO is terrible.

Entei: Super Groudon is 3rd in DPS, 14.7% lower than Rampardos and 0.2% lower than Kyogre. Super Mamoswine leaps to 4th in DPS, while Super Garchomp and Super Rhyperior are 5th and 7th respectively. As for TDO, Super Garchomp remains 3rd (22.1% behind Palkia and 10.9% behind Kyogre) and Super Rhyperior is 6th.