!!Pokémon GO's Biggest Secret

Pokémon GO

The longer Pokémon GO is released, the more the game seems like it’s separating into the haves and have nots. Casual players are content to hover in the 300-500 CP range for their top level Pokémon, while the no-life players (including myself) are now staking claims on gyms with 1,600 Gyaradoses and 1,500 Jolteons.

I posted a picture of my “crew” yesterday (seen above), which contains a number of rare 1,000-1,600 Pokémon I’ve hatched, evolved or caught, and a few people told me that I was the reason they’ll never take over a gym.

But that isn’t true, and most people aren’t aware of Pokémon GO’s biggest secret:

Combat Power (CP) actually means very little.

 

Don’t get me wrong, if you have a 1v1 fight between two identical Pokémon, one with double the CP will probably crush the other in a straight slugfest, but the thing is, almost no gym battles in Pokémon GO are 1v1.

I know that lower level players are often intimidated by high level players claiming gyms, but the secret is that they don’t really need to be. There are a few reasons for this, but overall, CP is an over-inflated stat that does not have all the much to do with whether a gym will be able to fend off invaders or not. Right now, Pokémon GO is structured in a way where mid-tier and even lower-tier players can take over high-tier gyms, especially when they only have to go
through 1-3 occupants.


 

There are a few ways. One is brute force. You are given six Pokémon to fight with as an attacker, and if you’re only going against a gym of one or two enemies, you can probably knock them down no matter your CP. A 1,600 Vaporeon will die if you throw six 500-600 Hypnos at it. Do that once or twice, and the gym is yours, albeit temporarily.

The other way to win is through constant dodging. In areas with a (very) stable GPS connection, you can predict enemy attacks when the screen flashes, then swipe left or right to dodge. Since enemies are fighting using AI, they cannot dodge, meaning you can essentially dance through gyms almost untouched if you dodge correctly. 

But, above all else, you can beat higher level gyms through type matching. You know, the thing that Pokémon was built on in the first place?

Battling is in fact a bit more complicated than making two Pokémon square off and button mashing. Each Pokémon has one or two “types” which gives them various strengths and weaknesses. And in this game, each Pokémon has two moves that each have their own types, and will be good or bad against various enemies. This, far more than CP, is how you can win higher level gym battles.

Everyone can probably guess the Charmander (fire) beats Bulbasaur (grass) beats Squirtle (water) who beats Charmander loop that’s the rock-paper-scissors of the game. But there are way more types than that, and this is where you need to bust out a chart from the
old Redand Blue days.


from Paul Tassi

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