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Image via Niantic

Pokémon Go NAIC champion OutOfPoket praises Scald nerf, state of meta

New updates are proving a treat.

At the end of May, Pokémon Go‘s Shared Skies update introduced many Battle League changes, including potentially its biggest ever for competitive play. Scald, a move that frustrated players at EUIC 2024, was finally nerfed.

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Scald can lower the opposing Pokémon’s attack in Pokémon Go. Before the nerf, the ability activated pretty consistently, making it annoying to play against. But since the change, the chance of it happening has dropped to 30 percent, making it a less viable and risky strategy in matches.

The change was well received but meant the meta was turned on its head ahead of NAIC, and teams would need to adapt quickly, which the NAIC champion OutofPoket was quick to comment on when we had a chance to sit down with him following his finals victory.

“Nerfing Scald to 30% was a pretty big factor [when making my team],” OutofPoket told Dot Esports. “It made me decide to use [Shadow] Quagsire, which was my MVP of this tournament… I think the Scald nerf hurt Whiscash, as that was the big benefactor of Scald, and that gave people a reason to think for different or more flexible options to fill the same role.”

Even with the Scald changes, players are still used to seeing the same Pokémon appear in top teams, such as Shadow Gligar and Annihilape. Still, even with their strengths, OutofPoket feels that the meta right now is probably the best it has ever been, and for one reason—risk and counterplay.

“There’s always a chance that you basically have no play,” OutofPoket told us. “If you want to counter [Shadow] Gligar, you have to take a risk yourself.”

OutofPoket went on to explain that the current meta needs more counters. With the Scald nerf, he hopes to see more Pokémon like Shadow Quagsire, Skarmory, and other Pokémon rise in the ranks—which could hopefully lead to a more diverse meta.

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Adam Newell
Assigning Editor. In 2015, Adam graduated from the University of Aberystwyth with a bachelor's in Media and Communications. Working in the industry for over ten years. If it has anything to do with Nintendo and Pokémon chances are you will see me talking about it, covering, and likely not sleeping while playing it.