Scarlet and Violet (Almost) Get Rid of Pokémon's Best Water-Type Moves
Pokémon Crimson and Violet haven't completely removed the powerful Water-type move, Scald, from the game, but it's certainly appearing much less frequently than before.
Pokémon Crimson and Violet almost completely removed one of the best water moves, and caused a major meta-game shift in the process. While it hasn't disappeared from the series entirely, it's been removed from so many mobile sets that it might be a non-factor in Gen 9 as well. Because of this shift, Scarlet and Violet's water types largely required a new strategy.
Scald is one of the strongest water-type moves in Pokémon, but it's not balanced by some kind of disadvantage. It has a base power of 80, which is a higher power tier for water attacks. Additionally, it has a 30% chance to burn the target, making it one of the few non-fire moves that can cause burns. This makes scalding a highly in-demand action among water attributes, given how powerful it is. It ensures that Pokémon Water-type starters have a strong option in their repertoire. As far as meta-game goes, Scald is a virtual requirement for a Water-type Pokémon's action set.
Scald Was One Of Pokémon's Strongest And Most Widely-Available Moves
Not only is Scald a very powerful move, but it's also very easy to acquire. Most water-type Pokémon can learn moves, with A handful of non-water types can also access it for overrides. As a bonus, Scald can be taught through TMs in an era when TMs can be used infinitely. Thanks to this, players can teach the Scald to every eligible Pokémon they own immediately after finding the TM. While Scald may not be as strong as Pokémon Crimson and Violet, this makes it easy for players to give their Water-type Pokémon one of their best moves, usually early in the game.
Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Made Scald One Of The Game's Rarest Moves
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet The main way Scald's usability is reduced is by removing it as a TM. Almost all Pokémon that can learn Scald do so through TMs, so removing it as an option leaves only those who can learn it by leveling up. Only Panpour, Simipour, and Volcanion can learn Scald's three Pokémon in this way. Panpour and Simipour are unavailable in Scarlet and Violet, while Volcanion is a hard-to-obtain Mythic Pokémon. After being one of the best TM moves in Pokémon BDSP, this combination of traits makes Scald almost invisible in Scarlet and Violet.
Scald has become the signature move of Volcanion. No other Pokémon learns it.— Centro LEAKS (@CentroLeaks) November 11, 2022
Almost no Scald in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet lead to Water-type Pokémon needing to find a new powerful move to take advantage of their same type of attack bonus. Thankfully, Surf already has another potential contender. Surf has a power of 90, slightly stronger than scald, but has no chance to burn enemies. It can also hit all Pokémon in the field in two-player battles, which can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on the situation. While Surfing is no longer required to progress in the game, it's still as good as it was when it was one of the aversions to Pokémon HM's weaker tendencies in battle.
The unexpected disappearance of Scald from most moves marks a major shift in the metagame for Pokémon Crimson and Violet. The ability to inflict burn at a fairly high speed makes it a move that almost any Water-type Pokémon can benefit from in their arsenal. This change itself ensures that water-type Pokémon in Pokémon Crimson and Violet will use new tactics than in past games.
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