The Great PokéShuffle: Niantic’s secret rebalance of PokémonGo battles


UPDATE: The Client-side update is here, and this “secret shuffle” is not so secret anymore.
A recent server-side PokémonGo update totally re-balanced Pokémon battling. In typical Niantic fashion, the PokémonGo creators said mum about the issue — the patch notes cryptically read “minor text fixes.” Luckily, thanks to the great people at The Silph Road, we’ve got the scoop.

PokemonGo Niantic Move Damage Attack Patch

In a server side patch, PokémonGo creator Niantic totally reworked the damage per second of many Pokémon moves.

What changed?

If you weren’t familiar with “the meta” before, high damage per second quick attacks like Water Gun and Mud Shot were king. Now, thanks to Niantic’s secret rejiggering, it seems like big daddy charge moves like Blizzard and Earthquake are a lot more viable.

If you’re a casual player like me; I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Experiment with different Pokémon, and keep in mind the Same Type Attack Bonus, which occurs when a Grass Pokémon uses a Grass-type move, for example.

The Same Type Attack Bonus is often called STAB, and it’s something you will definitely keep seeing around if you’re reading about Pokémon.

So why all the secrecy?

Y’know, dear reader, it doesn’t make much sense to me either. Apparently, Niantic has a history of stealth patching since Ingress. There’s some debate about why Niantic prefers stealth patching to anything resembling transparency but, needless to say, Niantic hasn’t gotten around to telling the community about that either. In the mean time, there’s plenty of work for data miners and  aspiring Pokémon researchers at r/thesilphroad.

Can you be any more technical?

Me? No way! Luckily, I’ve got this quote from Dropnes, Silph Road Executive.

Alright, travelers. The research group has looked through everything that’s changed in the combat system, and it boils down to:

  • Move Power
  • Move Energy

Nothing else has changed (besides the nest migration earlier today). Sounds like a pretty minor tweak, right? Wrong!

Quick Moves

Quick moves have been totally ‘fixed’ such that the spread of damage done is much closer together. Even the bestquick moves are only a “little” better than the next 20 or 30 ranked quick moves.

What’s that mean? It means type advantages and STAB are now much more impactful. You’ll want to make sureyou’re using both, rather than just a high DPS quick move with STAB (looking at you, Water Gun).

Charge/Special Moves

Holy cow. These things are BEASTLY now compared to quick moves. They do more than 2x the DPS, so forget about ignoring your charge moves. They matter. A lot.

All of this is now updated in the Global Pokedex for each mon in their listing page ( and a full interactive chart of all moves’ DPS is available without a Silph Road account in the Research section.

Overall, this is a great step forward, and a strong indication of great things to come. We’re pumped to head out and hit the neighborhood gym!

Many thanks to the Silph Research team for their time and effort putting this together for us all.

Travel safe,

– dronpes –

p.s. Just a quick aside, in case you didn’t know, you can click on a move in the Research section to see what Pokemon have that move.


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