Geomancy, Oblivion Wing, and Water Shuriken Datamined

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Here we go! Pokeminers is here to pull through for us again, as Niantic has given us a glimpse of the near future. A recent datamine has shown us the stats for three upcoming signature moves: Geomancy, Oblivion Wingand Water ShurikenThis trio of moves all originate from the Kalos region, and they mark a bright future for two of the region's key Legendary Pokemon, as well as its most popular Starter (sorry Delphox/Chesnaught fans, but only one of this trio made it into Smash Brothers and got a unique forme). While we don't absolutely know that the final stats on these moves will be, as Niantic has yet to make an official announcement beyond saying that Geomancy and Oblivion Wing are coming, we have enough to at least speculate on where the current stats will place these monsters in the near future.

Datamine Warning

The data in this article is based on unconfirmed, datamined information. It is all subject to change pre-release, so please don't take the statements given here as absolute predictions. Niantic can and frequently does change data initially found in datamines before release, so be aware of the tenuous nature of this information before diving in.


Geomancy is the Signature Move of Xerneas, and is one of the strongest stat-buffing moves in the main series games. Initially, its non-damaging status largely  was thought to exclude it from ever being able to work as a move in Pokemon Go, but the introduction of Charm a while back changed the game's moves paradigm entirely and caused everyone to begin dreaming about what Geomancy could do for Xerneas. And in a manner similar to Charm, Geomancy is slated to be a Fast Move! This is huge buff for Xerneas, a Fairy Type Pokemon that has long been note-worthy for not having access to any Fairy Type Fast Move. 

Geomancy's PvE Performance

Geomancy is a great fast move. In fact, it's easily the best Fairy Type Fast Move in the game. In practice, it's basically Charm but with higher energy generation.

With access to Geomancy, Xerneas is slated to be the new top non-Shadow/Mega Fairy Type attacker in the game. It's a bit below Shadow Granbull for DPS but with higher TDO, but the real comparison comes with Shadow Gardevoir. While Xerneas is definitely lower on the DPS side, there's actually more to the story than that. Not only does Xerneas have higher base TDO, it also has the advantage of being a pure Fairy Type. When it comes right down to it, Shadow Gardevoir's Psychic sub-typing tends to be more of a hinderance than a help in a lot of raids, so Xerneas will definitely see some very real utility moving forward thanks to its mono-Fairy typing and the power of Geomancy, potentially even being an optimal Fairy Type choice in some raids.

And then we come to Shadow Xerneas. While not available now, we can be basically sure that it will come at some point in the future. And when that happens, Xerneas takes the non-Mega crown thanks to the power of Geomancy. And to add to this, not many Pokemon have any real shot at dethroning the future Shadow Geomancy.

Geomancy's PvP Performance

TL;DR: Geomancy Xerneas is very good and is comparable to Zacian. It is interchangeable with Zacian to some extent and can be a top tier pick as a result. Some teams may even opt to run both Fairies.

Geomancy’s PvP parameters are comparable to Snarl, except it is slightly weaker in damage. It may not look amazing, but it is just enough to skyrocket Xerneas into being one of the best Pokemon in the Master League. To give a frame of reference, this makes Xerneas very similar to another top tier Master League combatant, Zacian. Zacian’s strength in the Master League comes from the combination of its Fairy typing, Legendary stats, and reliable access to coverage. It thrives in a metagame where Dragon-type Pokemon are rampant, where Poison-type are nonexistent, and where most Steel-type Pokemon are vulnerable to its Close Combat. Guess who else has these traits and is thriving under the same conditions? That’s right, Xerneas does! 

For a long time, Xerneas was hamstrung by its poor Fast Attack options. The Tackle buff on September 1 2022 was a major buff to its usability, but Xerneas still played a second fiddle to Zacian most of the time. With Geomancy providing energy gains at an equivalent rate to Snarl, Xerneas can now reliably fire off its potent Charged Attacks!

So now that we’ve covered the core reasons why Xerneas is set to become a top tier threat, does that mean Zacian is an outclassed option? Far from it! Let’s look at where Xerneas differs from Zacian, and why they both can share a throne in the Master League.

Xerneas Pros:

  • It has access to Moonblast, a much stronger attack than Zacian’s Play Rough. This added power can allow Xerneas to more reliably muscle through some threats. Most notably, this allows Xerneas to defeat Giratina-O in the 0 and 1 shield, something that Zacian falls sort of even if it runs Snarl for added Fast Attack pressure against Giratina-O. 
  • It has a much greater HP stat than Zacian. Although Xerneas’s lower Defense means that their bulk is overall very similar, Xerneas’s significantly higher HP can make a huge difference when taking frequent weak Fast Attacks. Thanks to bulkpoints, Xerneas takes the same raw damage from Dialga’s Dragon Breath as Zacian, but it can stick around for much longer simply by having 26.6% more HP. This is significant enough to allow Xerneas to defeat Dialga in the 1 shield going straight Moonblast, as it can live an Iron Head + all the Dragon Breath chip damage in the time it takes to get to three Moonblasts.

Zacian Pros:

  • It has access to Wild Charge and can be more unpredictable as a result. This ability to better threaten Ho-Oh, Lugia, and Kyogre can allow Zacian to fit in more teams than Xerneas can. It also helps make Zacian an overall better safe switch. While Xerneas has access to Thunder to emulate similar coverage, Wild Charge’s far cheaper cost provides greater impact. When combined with how good Moonblast is, Xerneas has little reason to drop it other than to occasionally bamboozle opponents.
  • It has more Fast Attack pressure. When running Quick Attack as its Fast Attack, Zacian sometimes makes up for not having Moonblast. This gives Zacian better opportunities to farm down weakened opponents. Quick Attack’s extra damage can help in some matchups, such as Landorus-T in the 1s, something that Xerneas falls short of despite having a much stronger Charged Attack. Additionally, Quick Attack’s pressure can also easily put Kyogre or Groudon in range to get knocked out by two Close Combats. Lastly, either Snarl or Quick Attack is also strong enough for Zacian to defeat Metagross in the 1 vs 0 shield, while Xerneas JUST falls short of that (unless it runs Megahorn).
    • Xerneas deals stronger burst damage when using Moonblast, but Zacian has superior sustained damage overall. 
  • It has a slightly higher Attack stat. This enables Zacian to better dictate its matchups against Heatran, Genesect, Gholdengo, and opposing Xerneas. This does not mean that Zacian is a Xerneas counter, however.

Xerneas has slightly more raw power but is generally locked into one set (Moonblast + Close Combat), while Zacian has a bit more creative freedom. The release of Geomancy Xerneas arguably makes Zacian a bit more predictable, since Xerneas can utilize one of Zacian’s Charged Attack combos but slightly better, thus relegating Zacian to its other sets. Nevertheless, both Fairy-type Pokemon are incredibly dangerous, and their lack of abusable weaknesses makes them easy to insert into many teams.

In terms of metagame impact, Geomancy Xerneas may not offer much more than what Zacian already does. Its slightly stronger matchups into Dialga and Giratina-O can leave a mark due to how common they are, and how commonly they are seen together. For example, it is much tougher for Dialga to chip Xerneas into Giratina-O’s Shadow Ball KO range, which can definitely impact some gameplans that would have worked against Zacian. What Xerneas really offers, though, is a second oppressive Fairy for ABB lines. The most common way to utilize Xerneas prior to Geomancy is to run it alongside Zacian and simply overwhelm opponents thanks to the general lack of good Fairy answers in the Master League. And now, this role just got better! Given how splashable Zacian is onto teams and how similar Xerneas is, various teams featuring both of them can rise in usage. Kyogre double Fairy, Giratina-O double Fairy, Ho-Oh double Fairy, even Dialga double Fairy, you name it! If Fairy stacking does become common, this can put pressure on many non-Dialga Dragons. Ho-Oh, Solgaleo, Groudon, Mewtwo, and Metagross backlines are ways to combat this.

Oblivion Wing

In the main series, Oblivion Wing is Yveltal's Signature Move. It's a Flying Type move that has middling power, but the advantage of stealing HP from its target based on the damage that it deals. While effects like this frequently turn into Defense-buffing effects here in Pokemon Go PvP, that's not the case this time around for some reason.

Oblivion Wing's PvE Performance

Oblivion Wing is actually a good move in the PvE meta... a really good move! To quantify that statement; Oblivion Wing actually sits above Sky Attack, Aeroblast, and even Fly in terms of its sheer power, sitting a bit below Aeroblast+ and securing its placement as a genuinely great Flying Type move.

With Oblivion Wing, Yveltal is set to be the new best non-Shadow/non-Mega Flying Type attacker in the game... for about 11 days.

Right now, it's not a good time to be a Flying Type Pokemon that isn't named Rayquaza. Right after Oblivion Wing drops, we've got Pokemon Go Fest 2023, and with it comes none other than Dragon Ascent. With this, Rayquaza and its Mega Evolution are set to rule the meta with an iron fist, and may very well never be dethroned. In short; Yveltal is going to see greatly improved performance, but it will always live in the shadow of Rayquaza outside of raids where their sub-typings become note-worthy for one reason or another.

That is, of course, until we eventually get Shadow Yveltal. At that point, it's basically a side-grade to normal Dragon Ascent Rayquaza, though by then we'll probably already have access to Shadow Rayquaza too, so the future is anything but bright for for Yveltal no matter how we look at it.

Oblivion Wing's PvP Performance

Let’s get straight to the point - Oblivion Wing is more of a sidegrade for Yveltal than an actual upgrade. It can even be considered a downgrade. 

As a secondary Charged Attack option, Oblivion Wing competes with Focus Blast and Hurricane. Focus Blast is what gives Yveltal a threatening lategame simply due to being able to OHKO Dialga, and will generally remain its preferred choice as a result. Hurricane doesn’t provide as much of a potential impact as Focus Blast, but it ensures that Yveltal isn’t fodder against Fairy types. It is strong enough to 2HKO them and Yveltal can defeat Zacian and Xerneas with a shield advantage. Oblivion Wing’s role is similar to that of Hurricane’s, ensuring that Yveltal isn’t helpless against Fairies. Due to its lower cost, Oblivion Wing can be fired off more reliably. However, the power loss compared to Hurricane is significant - it struggles to 2HKO Zacian and Xerneas after two rotations’ worth of Snarl chip, which can lead to Yveltal still losing the matchup even with a shield advantage. This reason alone may make Oblivion Wing the inferior option to Hurricane. However, a small power buff or the far future release of Shadow Yveltal can change this entirely.

Another way to use Oblivion Wing is to replace Dark Pulse and to run Focus Blast alongside it. This gives Yveltal both coverage against Fairies and the ability to delete Dialga lategame. Due to Oblivion Wing’s lower cost than Hurricane, this is a more viable option than before. However, Yveltal still makes major sacrifices going this route. Its damage against Steel-type Pokemon becomes very unreliable, picking up new losses against Metagross and 2 shield Excadrill. It also now struggles against Lugia, picks up a loss against Ancient Power Giratina-Altered, and is no longer an effective response against Ice Beam Mewtwo. These new losses really cut down on Yveltal’s strengths, and Oblivion Wing’s power just being short of 2HKOing Fairies makes Yveltal less effective as a generalist as it wants to be. As a result, it is often better to stick with Dark Pulse + coverage.

Putting it frankly, Oblivion Wing is a bit underwhelming. However, a slight power buff is enough to make it worth running over Hurricane. The choice to run Flying coverage vs Focus Blast still depends on your team - whether you want more safety against Fairies vs an explosive endgame vs Dialga.

Water Shuriken

While most well known for the Starter-exclusive Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, and Hydro Cannon, it's pretty common for Starters to get their own unique Signature Moves on release. We've already seen a few in the past, with moves like Blaze Kick and Muddy Water originally filling this same role. Well, now it's finally Greninja's turn! Alongside the datamine of Geomancy and Oblivion Wing, we've got none other than Water ShurikenGreninja's original signature move! It's worth noting that this move is definitely the most tenuous of the three covered in this article, as it's the only one not yet officially announced. However, we have a not-yet-revealed Community Day coming up, and we haven't seen a Kalos starter featured since May, so it's pretty likely that we'll see Water Shuriken confirmed in the coming weeks.

Water Shuriken's PvE Performance

Water Shuriken shares a bit in common with Geomancy, as it's set to take the throne of the best Water Type Fast Move in the game. Literally every Water Type in the game would love to have access to this move, but it's pretty likely that only Greninja will get it at first, and the only other Pokemon in the main series that can learn it is Accelgor, which probably won't get a chance to genuinely shine even if it gets it at some point

With Water Shurikens ready to be launched and Hydro Cannon waiting to be fired, Greninja is slated to become the new best Water Type starter in the game, even going so far as to surpass many of the Water Type Shadow starters that already have access to Hydro Cannon. This alone will make it a very solid Water Type attacker that will help shore up teams where needed. It will also pair very well with Primal Kyogre and its powerful Primal boosts.

And that power, while definitely great, will eventually outright erupt. It's pretty likely that Greninja will eventually be given a Shadow forme at some point in the future thanks to its Starter status, and Shadow Greninja is set to be the choice for a Water Attacker, hitting extremely hard while on the field and dwarfing all other starters that we currently have access to. Though speaking of being "on the field", it's also set to be pretty glassy thanks to the Shadow boost ensuring that it doesn't have much time on the field.

...but there's something else on that chart that we're skimming over, isn't there?

We don't know when or if Ash Greninja will show up in Pokemon Go, but access to Water Shuriken takes this overwhelming Pokemon and makes it downright dominant! With this new change, Ash Greninja even surpasses the titanic Primal Kyogre as a Water attacker, and is absurdly strong even as a generalist attacker. If we ever get Ash Greninja, it will be an absolute must have for any raid team, even more so now that it's likely to drop with Water Shuriken ready to go.

Water Shuriken's PvP Performance

It wasn't enough for Water Shuriken to be outstanding in PvE, as it just has to be objectively outstanding in PvP as well.

Water Shuriken Greninja in the Great League

Water Shuriken, along with Hydro Cannon, are extremely welcomed additions to Greninja’s movepool. Water Shuriken boasts excellent parameters; at 2 DPT / 4.66 EPT, it surpasses the likes of Mud Shot and Thunder Shock (1.5 DPT / 4.5 DPT). When compared to Greninja’s other Fast Attack options, Bubble and Feint Attack, Water Shuriken blows them all out of the window. Its high energy gains synergize extremely well with Hydro Cannon’s borderline overpowered stats; high enough that Greninja can even slightly outpace the most well known Hydro Cannon spammer in the game, Swampert.

Greninja is an extremely fragile Pokemon, with a stat product somewhere in between Galvantula’s and Sirfetch’d’s. It requires heavy shield usage, proper energy management, and access to overpowered attacks to survive in the Great League environment. Thankfully, both Water Shuriken and Hydro Cannon are the two overpowered attacks it needs, providing Greninja with a very respectable winrate across the entirety of Great League. To support Greninja’s shield dependency, it should be paired with tanks such as Deoxys-Defense or Lickitung; these Pokemon don’t need to shield often, allowing shields to be saved for a lategame Greninja sweep. Not only that, drawn out matches give Greninja more opportunities to fish for a Night Slash boost, which in turn can cause its following Hydro Cannons to deal nuclear damage.

With shields saved up, Greninja becomes an absolutely monstrous sweeper. Its high powered Attacks can outpace and overwhelm most enemies that don’t do significant Fast Attack damage to it. With shields saved up for it, Greninja’s torrential assaults can shred apart many Great League staples such as Galarian Stunfisk, Sableye, Alolan Sandslash, Umbreon, Registeel and Lickitung. Even Tapu Fini can fall against it despite resisting every attack. Thanks to Greninja’s incredible Attack stat, very few Pokemon can challenge it in CMP. Players who can optimize Greninja’s energy well can leave opponents with very little room for counterplay. 

Due to Greninja’s frailty and heavy dependence on shields, it struggles the most against strong Fast Attack pressure as they cannot be shielded. Great League isn’t short on these options - whether that may be Counter, Dragon Breath, Razor Leaf, Vine Whip, or even Charm; even the most well-guarded Greninja can still be shredded by any Pokemon carrying these moves. Great League staples such as Altaria or Medicham will easily put an end to Greninja’s sweeping attempts.

One rather unfortunate event for Greninja is that its buffs come AFTER Poliwrath gets Counter. With resistance to both Water and Dark and relentless Fast Attack pressure, Poliwrath can easily dispatch Greninja without breaking a sweat. Of course, hardcounters don’t necessarily make or break a Pokemon - it just happens to be a really unfortunate incident for Greninja. And this doesn’t just apply to the Great League, because Counter Poliwrath will also be taking names in the Ultra League.

Water Shuriken Greninja in the Ultra League

In the Ultra League, Pokemon tend to be tankier due to them having more HP. In that sense, Greninja is less shield reliant, but its ability to sweep behind shields is also diminished. For example, a 2-shielded Greninja has no problem tearing apart a Registeel in the Great League, even if Registeel gets two Zap Cannon debuffs. But in the Ultra League, Greninja’s damage output is insufficient to win that matchup if Registeel gets an early debuff. In both Great League and Ultra League, Registeel can easily OHKO Greninja with either Zap Cannon or Focus Blast, which renders the extra bulk in Ultra League rather moot for Greninja in this specific matchup. 

Greninja does not have to fear Azumarill or Medicham in the Ultra League, but it does fear two Ultra League staples - Virizion and Cobalion. Both Pokemon are tanky and can keep up in pace thanks to their extremely spammy Sacred Sword. Virizion in particular resists all of Greninja’s attacks and can easily destroy Greninja even if it is 2 shields down.

Compared to in the Great League, Greninja has slightly less overall winrate, even in the two shields. All in all, Greninja looks slightly worse in the Ultra League compared to the Great League, simply because opponents are bulkier and are less vulnerable to getting cleaned up by its relentless torrents of Hydro Cannons. Greninja does appreciate its own slight bulk increase, but it is overall less valuable than the sweeping potential it could have. Perhaps Shadow Greninja can fix this in the future?

The Future of These Moves

Again; we do not know how these three moves will actually drop, so for the time being it's best to not invest in any of the Pokemon featured, especially since these are all very likely to be Elite Moves on release. However, no matter how these moves shape up, it's great that Niantic is still working on additional ways to shape up both of the game's main metas. Right now, Xerneas and Greninja are definitely the winners for this update, as their respective moves are objectively great and can help to raise both to new heights. Yveltal, on the other hand, honestly needs a buff to Oblivion Wing, a new Fast Move that dwarfs even Gust, or a pre-release nerf to Dragon Ascent to see any huge change in the PvE meta... and where's the Defense buff on Oblivion Wing in PvP? Oh well, hopefully everyone's favorite bacon bird of death has its chance to shine in the future!

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About the Author(s)

Hi! I'm Jibaku! I have hit Rank 10 or Legend in every GBL season except Season 3. I primarily focus on Master League gameplay.

Formerly a Pokemon VGC player.

Gamepress Pokemon Go site lead with a focus on theorycrafting and gameplay optimization and a background in business management and freelance writing.  A bit of a hermit, but also an outdoors enthusiast who loves cycling and hiking. Long-time Gamepress fan who is very proud to be a part of the team.