5 major Pokemon GO PvP meta changes in Season 12 Adventures Abound

Shadow machamp fighting in Pokemon GO Battle League
Artwork for Pokemon GO Battle League (Image via Niantic)

Pokemon GO’s new season update, Adventures Abound, has been live in the game since Friday, September 1, 2023, at 10 am local time and it will end on Friday, December 1, 2023, at 10 am local time. Niantic has introduced a lot of new features to Pokemon GO this season while also implementing a lot of changes to existing in-game content.

One of the major changes brought about this season includes balance changes in the Pokemon GO Battle League. A lot of the meta-dominating creatures have been tweaked heavily and competitive players are anxious to see how it will affect the GO Battle League in the long run.

In this article, we will talk about some of the biggest changes that you will encounter in Season 12 of Adventures Abound in Pokemon GO.

(Note: This list portrays a general overview of the changes and has not been ranked in any way.)


5 major updates that will alter the Pokemon GO PvP metagame

1) Lanturn's Spark has been buffed and nerfed

Spark is an Electric-type move and it has received two changes in this season of Pokemon GO:

  • It got a power increase with its damage output being bumped up to 6 instead of 4.
  • It will now generate energy at a slower pace as compared to before. Previously the energy generation of this move was 8 and it will most likely drop one stat to 7.

This move has been tweaked to somewhat balance out Lanturn in the PvP scene. This Pokemon has been significantly dominant in the competitive meta of the game due to the spammy nature of its Charged moves. Now, with the reduced energy generation, you can expect it to take a couple of extra Fast moves to reach its Charged moves.

With a damage output of 6 and an energy generation of 7, Spark can now be considered a clone of Bullet Punch. Although this move will affect a lot of other creatures as well, we can all conclude that the limelight here was solely on Lanturn.


2) Medicham's Psychic has been nerfed

Psychic is a, you guessed it, Psychic-type move and it has received one new change in this season of Pokemon GO:

  • It will now do lesser damage as its power has been reduced from 90 to 85.

Though a lot of creatures in the game resort to Psychic as their primary Charged move, when it comes to justifying this nerf, all the fingers seem to be pointing at Medicham.

Medicham has been one of the most dominant Pokemon in the GO Battle League for the longest time imaginable. This nerf was aimed at making it slightly less overwhelming in the Great League PvP battles. Though it can be flexible with its move selection, Counter with Ice Punch and Psychic has been its go-to moveset since it performs best with this combination.

The nerf to Psychic might tone Medicham down a bit in a lot of neutral matchups. Whereas previously you would defeat Azumarill with Medicham without breaking a sweat, now the tables might turn on you.

But despite being nerfed, Medicham will still be one of the best creatures in the Great League of Pokemon GO.


3) Noctowl's Sky Attack has been nerfed

The nerf to this Charged move is a huge blow to most, if not all, Flying-type creatures in the game. Flyers have always been dominant in the GO Battle League and with options like Noctowl, Staraptor, Charizard, etc., you just can’t go wrong.

However, with the nerf slapped on this move in the current season, Sky Attack will now cost more energy. Previously, Sky Attack would set you back 75 energy. With the change made in this season, the cost requirement will most likely rise to 50. That would require more time to reach the Charged move, thus, making it a bit less effective.

This does not throw the flyers out of the frame as they still have a lot of relevance with their alternate moves. For instance, Noctowl has Shadow Ball while Charizard comes with Blast Burn.


4) Galarian Stunfisk's Earthquake received a significant nerf

While Earthquake is the primary Charged move for most Ground-type critters in Pokemon GO, the main focus here would be on Galarian Stunfisk. The change made to this move is:

  • Earthquakes will now do less damage with a power reduction to 110 instead of 120.

Unfortunately, the nerf to Earthquake will also hit Swampert. But Galarian Stunfisk has been so good with this move that one could not think of any other creature that would bring about this need for a nerf.


5) Gliscor's Dig has been nerfed and buffed

Dig is another Ground-type move that has taken a hit when it comes to damage output. It received the following changes in this season of Pokemon GO:

  • It will do less damage as the power has been reduced from 100 to 80.
  • It will cost less energy to get charged up.

Dig now sits in the middle, with reductions made to both the power as well as the energy cost. The main creatures to be affected by this would be Gliscor and its shadow variant. Both of these Pokemon have been extremely relevant in the Pokemon GO Battle League. So, a nerf to the damage output will help to keep them in check in a lot of scenarios.