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August 22, 2022

New Pokemon Move Shed Tail will Change Competitive Play in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

Competitive play in pokemon has always punished switching out, but the new Pokemon Move Shed Tail directly addresses this gameplay element — thereby forever changing the realm of competitive play for the franchise.

Cyclizar is the newest revealed Pokemon in the Paldea dex. Lizards are not only today's power pet, but Pokemon really likes combining them with motorcycles. However, Cyclizar also debuts with a neat new trick. This piece will go over the move Shed Tail and how it could shake up the meta as one the new moves in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.

What is Shed Tail?

Shed Tail is the new signature move of Cyclizar. When it's selected, Cyclizar will create a substitute that will form into a decoy with no HP cost. Players can then select a benched Pokemon to switch in, leading that Pokemon to also be protected by the same substitute.

Basically, it's a less risky substitute for the entire team instead of just Cyclizar. This new Scarlet and Violet move is not only exciting to implement, but scary to fight as well.

Shed Tail protects allied pokemon

Consequences of Shed Tail

Shed Tail raises some questions about the competitive balance of the move. In the series, every Pokemon can use the move substitute to create a decoy. However, it requires them to always cut their hit points by a certain amount to do it. Even then, if a super effective move is used on the decoy, it has a chance of disappearing in one hit.

However, Shed Tail has almost none of the drawbacks substitute does. All Cyclizar has to do is shed its tail, and it can create a free decoy for no penalty at all. The fact that it can protect the entire team is also a huge benefit.

The most overt way Shed Tail is a game changer is the potential strategic combinations that can come from it. For example, if a Coalossalis terastallized and gets the benefit from Steam Engine, one could protect them with a decoy, before terastallizing it to make that benefit last longer.

Another example are Pokemon with the ability, Speed ​​Boost. If Cyclizar can make a decoy in time, Pokemon like Blaziken and Yanmega can continue to stack speed increases with protection. This makes it one of the deadliest new moves in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.


There is one thing players can speculate about based on the footage alone. If the decoy works similar to substitute, players should be able to make a difference by hitting the decoy with a super effective move based on the Pokemon currently being protected. After all, players have 4 moves to choose from for a reason. In time, more should become clear to the community.


Pokemon SV's new moves are exhilarating and terrifying. Shed Tail is a horrifyingly broken addition to the pool of moves Pokemon can learn. However, it is not invincible. Once players are able to fight and use the move for themselves, all of its secrets will become known to them.

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