The best moveset for Smeargle in Pokémon Go

Smeargle is ready for battle.

Image via Niantic

Smeargle is an interesting Pokémon in Pokémon Go. You can only capture a Smeargle during certain events, and when you can, you have to take a snapshot of another Pokémon. A Smeargle appears after photobombing the picture, and then you can catch it. What’s also unique about Smeargle is how it learns moves. It’s a Pokémon that can learn nearly any fast or charged move in the Pokémon Go, but to learn those charges, you have to take a picture with a Pokémon that knows it. That’s how you build Smeargle and give it one of the better movesets for PvP gameplay. Instead of listing out all of the moves Smeargle can learn, we’re going to list the best options and describe how they work and why they’re a solid combination.

Smeargle is a Normal-type Pokémon. It is only weak to Fighting-type attacks, and it is resistant to Ghost-type moves. This Pokémon is not a powerful option that you want to use in the Great, Ultra, or Master League PvP arena. Instead, you want to reserve it for the smaller, special PvP cups, such as the Little League, where players can only use Pokémon that do not exceed 500 CP.

These are some of the best moves Smeargle can learn.

Fast moves

  • Counter (Fighting-type) – 8 damage and 3.5 energy (4 damage per turn)
  • Incinerate (Fire-type) – 15 damage and 4 energy (3 damage per turn)
  • Lock On (Normal-type) – 1 damage and 5 energy (1 damage per turn)
  • Powder Snow (Ice-type) – 5 damage and 4 energy (2.5 damage per turn)
  • Shadow Claw (Ghost-type) – 6 damage and 4 energy (3 damage per turn)
  • Thunder Shock (Electric-type) – 3 damage and 4.5 energy (1.5 damage per turn)

Charged moves

  • Bubblebeam (Water-type) – 25 damage and 40 energy (100% chance to lower an opponent’s attack by one rank)
  • Flame Charge (Fire-type) – 65 damage and 50 energy (100% chance to increase user’s attack by one rank)
  • Icy Wind (Ice-type) – 60 damage and 45 energy (100% chance to lower an opponent’s attack by one rank)
  • Leaf Blade (Grass-type) – 70 damage and 35 energy
  • Night Slash (Dark-type) – 50 damage and 35 energy (12.5% chance to increase user’s attach by two ranks)
  • V-Create (Fire-type) – 95 damage and 40 energy (100% chance to lower user’s defense by three ranks)

These are some of the better choices that you can use on Smeargle. For the fast move, when you’re using counter, you’ll primarily be countering Dark, Ice, Normal, Rock, and Steel-type Pokémon, which are some of the most frequent fighters in the Little League. Alternatively, incinerate is a good move. It takes a bit of time to fully attack, but it offers some great energy. Powder snow will be an attack capable of taking down Deino, Cottonee, Wooper, and Drifloon. All five choices would be heavy hitters, and it would depend on the rest of your Little League team.

For your charged move, we have a few more options to consider. You also want to remember not to pair up the same types of attacks, such as flame charge with incinerate. Some players have discussed pairing up powder snow and icy wind on Smeargle, though. But for the most part, you want to keep Smeargle’s attack type diversity up as much as possible. Of the six choices, we highly recommend considering flame charge, leaf blade, and icy wind. These attacks are instrumental in taking down the many Grass, Water, Dragon, and Steel-type Pokémon that appear in the Little League meta.

Players have also discovered that you can stun-lock certain NPCs and Pokémon when you give Smeargle lock on for its fast move. The attack can happen quickly, and Smeragle can use a low enough energy charged move always to have its charged power ready. If you have a Registeel, Regice, or Regirock available that knows lock on, we highly recommend giving it a try.

How you choose Smeargle’s moveset is up to you. You want to consider the Pokémon you’re taking a snapshot of to ensure you’re getting the right choices, so always check a Pokémon’s attacks before snapping a picture of them.