Walrein Community Day Projections

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The January 2022 Pokemon GO Community Day features Spheal. If you evolve a Sealeo during Spheal Community Day, Walrein will have the moves Powder Snow and Icicle Spear as exclusive Community Day attacks. The article below goes over just how good Icicle Spear Walrein may be in Pokemon GO’s Raid and PvP metas.

Community Day Basics

  • Spheal Community Day is on Sunday January 16th, 2022 and will run from 11am to 5pm local time. 
  • Any Sealeo evolved up to 2 hours after Community Day will know the moves Powder Snow and Icicle Spear
    • Note: Shadow Walrein with Frustration won’t know Icicle Spear
  • Spheal Community Day will also feature 3x Catch EXP 

Icicle Spear Stats

All that’s been officially announced is that Icicle Spear will have 60 base power. Given the low base power of the attack, it is likely Icicle Spear will have a 33 energy cost for Raids and either a 35 or 40 energy cost in PvP. If the energy cost is any higher in each game mode, Icicle Spear will be pretty mediocre. For example, Avalanche has 90 damage for 50 energy in Raids and 45 energy in PvP, it’d be pretty sad if Icicle Spear had those same energy costs for only 60 damage. 

As for the 35 vs 40 energy debate in PvP, either could happen. 60 for 35 was Weather Ball Ice’s previous stats, but the Weather Ball nerf hit all Weather Balls, not just Ice. Having a more controlled 60 for 35 Ice-type Charge Move could be deemed acceptable by Pokemon GO. Alternatively, 60 for 40 would still be quite good, having a more balanced Damage Per Energy ratio. That said, Pokemon GO currently has no 60 for 40 moves (Drill Peck did before it got buffed). Given how formulaic Pokemon GO can be with “new” moves, it would be odd for them to break the mold. All in all, we’ll have to wait to find out. 

Walrein in Raids

Assuming a 33 energy cost Icicle Spear, Walrein is still a mediocre Raid Attacker that’s on the level of Piloswine. Unless you’re into competitive “Draft Raid” challenges with your friends, there isn’t much of a call to power up Walrein for Raids. 

Walrein in Great League

In the Great League, Walrein is most comparable to Lapras. Running simulations of Walrein using Waterfall, Powder Snow, Earthquake, and Ice Punch (as an Icicle Spear stand in), Walrein sports advantages against Sableye, Galar Stunfisk, Venusaur, Meganium, Trevenant, Politoed, Mew, Cofagrigus, Alolan Marowak, and Lapras itself over Lapras. While half of these wins do require baiting with Icicle Spear to land Earthquake, the fact that Walrein can win against these big meta Pokemon that Lapras fails against is pretty telling. One other notable win that Waterfall Walrein specifically has is being able to overcome Bastiodon in the 1-1 shield scenario by being fast enough to bait into Earthquake. As far as notable losses go, Play Rough Azumarill is just about it. 

While this does suggest Walrein could be a big player in the Open Great League, Walrein has some major vulnerabilities. Despite being a bit on the tankier side, Ice as a sub-type presents a lot of limitations due to its many Weaknesses and few Resistances. Given the roulette nature of the Open Great League, the chances of your opponent’s team having ways to significantly hurt Walrein compared to it hurting them is much greater. It’s for this reason you seldom see Lapras, Froslass, and Alolan Sandslash outside of Cups. So despite its advantages, Walrein may find itself as more of a “spicy”/Cup specific Pokemon (but a very good one at that). 

Walrein in Ultra League

Unlike in the Great League, Ice-type Pokemon shine a bit more brightly in the Ultra League. Here, Lapras is more of a household name rather than a “spice”/Cup Pokemon and Walrein maintains advantages over Lapras, even with Ice Punch as a stand in for Icicle Spear. Compared to Lapras, Walrein has more consistent matchups against Giratina, Venusaur, Trevenant, Empoleon, and Abomasnow. Lapras doesn’t fall far behind though, sporting better Charm, Charizard, Talonflame, and Umbreon matchups. Overall, Walrein doesn’t appear to outright replace Lapras, but is an interesting alternative. 

In the Ultra League Premier Classic specifically, Walrein’s advantages over Empoleon, Trevenant, and the Muks put it in an even more favorable light compared to Lapras. In this meta, it could be safe to say Icicle Spear Walrein will replace it. For these reasons, you definitely don’t want to miss out on evolving a Walrein for Ultra League during Community Day.

Walrein in Master League

Walrein has 2726 CP at level 40. Don’t let that metric fool you into thinking Walrein is bad however, as it has more bulk, more speed, and arguably a better defensive-type than the 3328 CP Mamoswine. Looking at the matchups, Walrein manages Dialga, Dragonite, Garchomp, Groudon, Swampert, Togekiss, and Mamoswine itself better than Mamoswine. To add, if Walrein lands an Earthquake, it could even take out Kyogre. Mamoswine on the other hand only sports consistent advantages over Magnezone and Zarude. 

When it comes to the Open Master League, it’s hard to say that Mamoswine is out and Walrein is in, as Mamoswine is barely a spice pick and Walrein hits pretty softly outside of Earthquake. In the Master League Premier Classic however, Walrein looks like a clear upgrade, save vs Magnezone. 

Closing Thoughts

Pokemon GO appears to be kicking off the New Year with a powerful looking Community Day Pokemon. Walrein is a new enough Shiny and is shaping up to be a strong Pokemon across all 3 PvP metas. Hopefully 2022 features more of this and less of whatever over half of 2021’s Community Day Pokemon were.

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