What the Hell is up with Pokemon Go Battle Recommendations?

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with the recommendations Pokemon Go gives you when you fight things? Unless you have almost no Pokemon or are brand new and don’t know better, going with recommended options is always a bad idea. As in, recommended Pokemon can actually sometimes be the worst thing you can use.

I’m not even saying that you need to know everything about Pokemon and stuff like that. Sure, knowing your basic counters (like water beating fire, fire beating ice, ground beating electricity, things like that) is very useful, but it seems like whatever algorithm chooses recommended Pokemon for you is very wrong.

Let’s look at an example. Kyogre is the legendary in level 5 raids and it is a water type. That means that it is obviously weak to Electricity and is also weak to Grass, so using these would give you the most damage. You can also use a few other types if you don’t have powered up grass or electric types, like rock if you are really desperate. Water is strong against fire (duh!) and ground.

So theoretically, Pokemon Go would recommend your highest Electric and Grass types, right?

Nope. You know what I got recommended? Tyranitar, Rhyperior and two Groudons. Alongside an Alolan Exeggutor and a normal Exeggutor.

Out of all of those, only Exeggutor makes sense, as it is part grass type. Now, why did the game pick those Pokemon? Tyranitar had Stone Edge, the Groudons had Solar Beam and the Exeggutors had Seed Bomb.

But moves mean NOTHING if your Pokemon won’t survive to use a charge attack! Sure, Solar Beam is a good attack against Kyogre but unless it has Thunder (every one I have fought has had Blizzard or Hydro Pump), my team would get destroyed.

Maybe Kyogre is a bad example, because Kyogre can get moves that screw its counters over. A better example would be Cresselia, who recently left the raid pool. But I had the same bullshit choices. I have 3 good Tyranitars with dark moves and I have a great Gengar, as well as a Giratina or three. Nope, that same Stone Edge Tyranitar popped up. So did my Rhyperior, who offers absolutely nothing to the fight aside from tankiness. Sure, a Weavile would be somewhat useful but my Weavile has ice attacks! That’s also useless!

Everyone else is running around with Tyranitars and here's a horned doggo.
Everyone else is running around with Tyranitars and here’s a horned doggo. But at least the horned doggo ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE HERE.

The thing is, I have other Pokemon which although they are not obvious choices, were all super effective against Cresselia. I have a collection of Houndooms with dark moves, I have a Scizor with bug and dark moves and a maxed out Yanmega with similar moves. I have loads of Pokemon that would do a better job than my Rhyperior!

As to how the game picks these Pokemon, I don’t know. It’s clearly not by type, otherwise my two Electivires would be in my recommendations. I think Pokemon are chosen by their attacks and how hard they are to kill, but if that was the case, why would my Rhyperior be picked against Kyogre, who is super weak to almost all of Kyogre’s attacks?

PvP recommendations are no better. That just picks your highest CP Pokemon, every single time.

Thing is, just using types that counter a raid boss or gym makes more sense. The only way recommending by attacks makes sense is because you can’t easily see what moves each Pokemon has, but that can be fixed by, you know, adding a way to see Pokemon moves before a battle.

In the mean time, if you want your Pokemon to be more effective in battles, pick Pokemon that counter the boss’s take. Don’t rely on recommendations.


Phovos writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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