Water water everywhere and all these mons to catch. Welcome to the Water Festival! Instead of Ed Sheeran, this year we get a candy bonus, debut shinies and the debut of a highly anticipated PvP Pokemon. A toss up honestly. Featuring a ton of Water type Pokemon in the wild, a challenge based double candy bonus, and the long awaited drip Lapras, theres something in this event for everyone! Let’s take a look at the spawn of importance and analyze how to best play this event depending on your play style.
Couple quick notes/disclaimers. You have to be at least level 40 to collect XL candy and unless otherwise noted the IVs I list as target/ideal will be assuming a level 50 cap and the requisite XL candy. For a quick explanation on how PvP IVs work refer to this article. I would recommend using the rank checker of your choice, GOStadium for example, to see how good the IVs on your mons are. IVs matter but aren't everything. I would rather run a poor PvP IV Skarmory than a perfect PvP IV Fearow.
Star of the Show: Dewpider
Araquanid, the mon so dangerous that Niantic took a sledgehammer to its moveset before releasing it. While it may not be as meta warping as it could have been with Bubble + Crunch/Lunge it still carries an amazing stat product (right around the same as Lickitung, more than Altaria!), a rare typing (Water/Bug shared only with Surskit) and a good enough moveset to make some waves in the Great League meta. At absolute worst this thing will be incredible in themed cups and act as a great core breaker to the powerful Walerin + Trevenant tandem. Farm Dewpider for Great League Araquanid IVs and make sure you get enough candy to build it. This is the most important thing to accomplish during this event.
- League: Great
- Ideal IVs: 0/10/15 at Level 30.5
Wild Spawns to farm for PVP IVs/Candy:
The mon that gives streamers the most trouble to say. If you didn’t resolve your Alomomola situation during GoFest or the Valentines event, now is the perfect time! You’ll definitely want to have one of these stashed and ready to build for themed cups, such as Love Cup where it is a top meta pick, in the future.
- League: Great
This feels like the 20th event in the last year with Marill spawns. That being said, Azu is an incredible mon for Great League that requires upwards of 150 XL candy to build, so there’s no such thing as too many opportunities to catch the Water mouse.
- League: Great
Slowpoke has been around a lot previously as a seasonal and event spawn, but maybe you missed out on those opportunities. Slowbro has play in themed cups and Ultra Premier. Slowking is a more niche pick, but is worth stashing.
- Leagues: Little, Great, Ultra
Tentacruel has fallen out of favor over time, but is still a fine mon worth stashing and is always a move update away (Surf please!) from being a very solid Great League mon.
- Leagues: Little, Great
Gyarados is the rare mon that sees some play in all leagues, but mostly in Ultra and Master Prem. Most trainers are all set when it comes to this Kanto fish, but maybe you still need the hundo. Maybe you need candy to build all the different Gyarados you want to use. There is one catch: you will almost always want the Community Day move, Aqua Tail, so a newly caught Karp/Gary will require an Elite Charge TM or waiting for a future event where it can be evolved for the move.
- Leagues: Ultra, Master, Great
Mantine isn’t the most important PvP mon but it has seen play across various metas and it seems like a rarer mon outside of events, so stash one for the future.
- League: Great
Seaking’s value is mostly in limited formats these days and comes at the steep price tag of 3 Elite TMs. I would stash a Goldeen and hope for a Dewgong-like GBL event in the future.
Lesser Urgency Quick Hits
Poliwhirl: Poliwrath and Poltioed are great, but Polis are so common that the only reason they could be important this event is for XL grinding.
Lotad: As great as ThoTechtical can make Ludicolo look, it’s pretty rarely a meta pick. Worth stashing but not stressing over.
Tympole: Seismitoad is arguably the worst “Mudboi” but it’s certainly viable and worth stashing.
Mons worth farming for Perfect IVs and PvE
Grouping these together because they will generally require 100% IVs and enough candy to build to level 40 or 50. This event doesn’t have a lot of them.
Not to Karp on the subject, but Gyarados is a solid PvE mon which has play in Master League. This means more bang for your dust. Shadow Gary is better for PvE, but that still requires candy. So farm away!
Incredibly niche so don’t worry about it, but Great League Slowpoke needs to be a hundo and needs to go to level 50. Oh and there’s two of them (Galarian)...and a shadow. Happy grinding!
Has a mega evolution, so if you care about having a hundo of all the megas this is also a good time to try for that.
Alomomola & Seaking:
I kind of feel bad for calling Slowpoke niche and then mentioning these two obscure Ultra League picks. But if you have nothing else to grind for, why not!
Tasks Worth Farming:
- Pewpider (Catch 15)
- Costume Lapras (Catch 25)
- Marill (Evolve 2 Water types)
- Magikarp (Catch 5)
You can’t get amazing PvP IVs from tasks but you can get a perfect Magikarp for Master League Gyarados. Worth farming these for candy, trades, and of course that amazing Scarf Lapras shiny 😍
Worth noting: Catch 10 Water type for 20 Mega Blastoise or 20 Mega Gyarados Energy tasks are out there if you need Mega Energy for those mons.
The only raids that stick out for this event are Tapu Fini, Scarf Lapras, and Azumaril (strictly for the XL candy if you need it). Alolan Raichu and Rockruff are fine raids for PvP, but they are hardly specific to this event
The new Tapu Fini looks like it will be a solid player in Open Ultra. It might have some play in the Great League but will require a trade to make that happen. See this tweet from our own TForge for a quick breakdown.
XL Candy Farming Analysis
Things you will want XL candy for from this event include (with a range of how much XL candy you will want/need)
- Great League: Azu (0-200), Slowpoke (296-600)
- Ultra League: The Poli family (0-720), Lapras (0-300)
- Masters/PvE: Magikarp (0-360)
Little Cup Hoarder Meter
Once upon a time, life with Little Cup was simple. We knew it could only be the first stage of mons that evolved. Now it seems like basically all mons are fair game. Until we have more little cups like Little Jungle, stashing evolved forms under 500 CP is still INCREDIBLY speculative but such is life. Anyways, in order of how much people will judge you for keeping these mons for Little Cup
- Smart: Slowbro
- Reasonable: Lotad, Tentacool
- Starting to get questionable: Binnacle, Tympole, Dewpider
- Super speculative: Mantine, Alomomola, Marill
- Full On Hoarder: Wailmer, Surskit, Goldeen, Staryu
Useful Megas for Candy Bonus
Slowbro is the best here in my opinion. Cheapest Water option, also picks up some extra candy on Psychic types. Gyarados and Blastoise are also good. Beedrill is ok if you’re desperate and only care about farming Dewpider candy.
Cool story, but how should I play this event?
These are the things that you would ideally have accomplished and ready to build (even if you don’t build yet) by the end of the event depending on your playstyle
Great League Araquanid, Slowbro for Ultra and Great, XL Azumaril for Great, Great League Alomomola, stash a Goldeen, Great League Ludicolo, Future Gyarados for all three leagues, Great League Mantine, Great League Tentacruel, Lapras for Great and Ultra, Great League Slowpoke, and Little Cup Mons
Great League Araquanid, Great League Azu (XL or non), Great League Alomomola, Gyarados for Ultra and Master, Great League Lapras, and Little Cup Slowpoke
PvP but I only play Little Cup:
Slowpoke, Lotad, Tentacool, and Binnacle
What is a PvP?
I want to flex on Twitter:
Shiny Scarf Lapras, Shiny Binacle, Shiny Staryu, Shiny Mantine, and Shiny Alomomola
No need to rain on this already Water filled festival’s parade. True, outside of Dewpider and XL farming there is not THAT much to offer experienced trainers in this event, but that doesn’t take away from how much this event can do for the community. For newer trainers or trainers who haven’t had a chance to play as much in the past, this event offers a way to catch up on meta titans such as Azumaril, fill out their Ultra League depth with mons such as Slowbro and Gyarados, and stock up for future Little Cups with mons like Slowpoke and Tentacool. Oh and of course SHINY COSTUME LAPRAS. There is lots to do for trainers at every level of playstyle, so get out there, stay safe and have a wonderful Water Festival!