G’day PoGO lovers! It was recently announced that the September 2023 Community Day will feature Grubbin. On September 23, 2023, from 2pm to 5pm local time Grubbin will appear more frequently in the wild, and in an interesting new feature, both Charjabug and Vikavolt evolved during the event will know the Electric type Fast Attack Volt Switch.
Let’s take a quick look at the PvP impact of this community day on both evolutions.
- Overall, the exclusive move Volt Switch has very little impact on both Charjabug and Vikavolt’s places in the current PvP meta. Charjabug was decent before, and remains decent still. On the other hand, Vikavolt was average before, and remains average still.
- Vikavolt really wants a harder-hitting charge move to reach its potential as a glass cannon. Save one for the lower leagues for a future movepool update.
- If you are going to prioritise one build from the event, I would recommend a bulky Charjabug with Volt Switch.
Volt Switch – Vikavolt
I must confess, I think it’s pretty great that 2 evolution stages of a Pokémon are getting a community day move – and a very good one! Volt Switch is an objectively good move, particularly when paired with the right user (think Galvantula and Amphoros). It hits hard and charges moves quickly, even though as a 3 turn move it can be a little clunky to use.
Galvantula is the best comparison point for us for the Grubbin evolutions, and to understand how VS can operate in practice. Galv is also a Bug and Electric type with Volt Switch as its preferred fast move. It needs 3 fast turns to get to both its primary charged moves Discharge and Lunge, which makes it fairly straightforward to use. The added bonus is that it can be difficult for opponents to predict which move will be thrown – shielding a Lunge unnecessarily and having your attack debuffed at the same time can be incredibly frustrating.
In terms of stat product, Galv is actually slightly bulkier than Vikavolt! This might be hard to believe, as Galv is typically lumped into the glass cannon territory, but it’s helped out by the useful synergies of its dual-typing (for example, Bug resists Ground which hits Electric for super-effective damage, and Electric resists which hits Bug for super-effective damage).
The thing is, Vikavolt doesn’t have Lunge – only Crunch, Discharge and X-Scissor as charged moves to choose from. Galv has a massive attack stat, which helps those relatively low power moves still feel like they’re hitting quite hard. Vikavolt has a slightly higher attack stat, but without the debuffing guarantee, it doesn’t strike quite the same fear in neutral matchups. X-Scissor just doesn’t quite cut it, even with the recent buff to its power.
Let’s take a look at the numbers. As it stands today, this is how Vikavolt stacks up in the Great League with Spark, and this is how it looks with Volt Switch. Same Win-Loss record, but there’s a few changes in the two columns. It’s nice that it can now more effectively take down Walrein, but losing to Deoxys and Vigoroth hurts.
What Vikavolt really wants is a better hard hitting charge move. There’s a few options available but the best of the bunch is definitely Wild Charge (which Vikavolt can learn via TM in the main series). Wild Charge would allow Vikavolt to play the glass cannon role more effectively – look at its potential in the 1-shield scenario in the Great League, and in the Ultra League! Niantic could shake things up in the future (although could have been great now!) so it’s worth hanging onto one for each of the lower leagues just in case.
Volt Switch – Charjabug
Where Vikavolt is a glass cannon, Charjabug is a tankier version with much better stat product in the Great League. It has a fairly decent open Great League record with Spark, but is probably best known for featuring in various limited metas such as the Evolution cup.
What does Volt Switch do for Charj? Really, not a lot. It picks up one new win in Venusaur, and one loss in Shadow Charm-Tales. Because Charj is quite tanky, the ‘nerf’ to Spark doesn’t impact it quite as much as you might expect, particularly with the buff to X-Scissor and because it can hang around long enough to still reach its medium-hitting charged moves – so Volt Switch isn’t really doing that much for it, but gives it a slightly different play style. Overall, Charj is going to have mostly soft wins and soft losses, and Volt Switch doesn’t substantially change that. It’s worth grabbing a good bulky variant (you don’t really want to thrift too hard on the bulk) and powering up for the Great League, if you’re willing to invest. Thankfully unlocking its second charge move is the cheapest stardust option available!
I really wanted to get excited about this community day, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be particularly exciting for either Charjabug or Vikavolt. It feels like the Grubbin line has been given Volt Switch because of the recent Spark nerf, but it honestly isn’t differentiating them all that much from their current state. Additionally, the Grubbin line has been restricted from the Electric-Cup meta later this season, so we won’t even get to test out our new toys in action! This c-day won’t be a hard miss, but I’m definitely left wondering what could have been.