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Pokémon Go nerf doesn’t look good for ol’ Blissey

Blissey could soon lose its top spot with metagame shakeups

Blissey in Pokémon Go Niantic/The Pokémon Company via Polygon

Competitive Pokémon Go players are anticipating a major, upcoming upheaval in the battle scene, thanks to Niantic’s announcement that it intends to rebalance the game. The developer has already hinted at what kinds of changes it plans to make — and it sounds like they’re aimed at kicking the best gym defenders out of their top spots.

“Changes to Pokémon effectiveness in battle” that Niantic is working on include adjustments to HP, defense and stamina points. Those last two are the most crucial for players who are used to maintaining control over gyms indefinitely, thanks to the Pokémon they’ve left to defend it.

“Pokémon Defense and Stamina values will be retroactively rebalanced, allowing highly defensive Pokémon to be valuable in battle by outlasting opponents rather than simply running out the clock,” reads Niantic’s blog post.

When gym battlers read this, the first thing that came to mind was: Blissey will be nerfed, no doubt.

Blissey, the second-gen evolution of Chansey, doesn’t seem like much of a tank to an outsider. She’s a smiling, pink, egg-like ... thing, who’s here to heal, not hurt. That is still true in Pokémon Go. What Blissey lacks in attack power and defensive skills, though, she more than makes up for with an unmatched amount of stamina and high HP. Blissey has the highest stamina of any other currently available Pokémon at 510; she also is capable of reaching a higher health cap and combat power than most other Pokémon. That makes her a popular choice to defend gyms, where she won’t really fight back — her offense is weak — but she also won’t get anywhere close to dying before the clock runs out.

As a result, Blissey has terrorized and annoyed players since the arrival of generation-two Pokémon.

“A well-placed Blissey (positions 5-8 maybe?) in a level 10 gym can be annoying as hell since you’ll end up battling it many, many times, and will use many, many potions, and you can’t beat it in 30 seconds with the right attacker like many other defenders,” wrote one member of The Silph Road fan community. “So unless it’s a player with a lot of time and resources or they come with a team to attack it, it’s a pretty good deterrent.”

“Nobody really enjoys standing about tapping a screen monotonously for ten minutes straight every time they encounter a Pokémon gym, just to get past a Blissey…. Or gets pleasure from having to pass on even trying to battle at a gym because the Blissey is too powerful to take down within the time limit. And the sheer quantity of them isn’t a source of much joy either, with an average of 70% of the gyms in any area stocked with a Blissey and often a Chancey or Snorlax as well,” reads a blog post from a Pokémon Go player, detailing their personal experience with “the Blissey issue.”

So when reading that Niantic was going to shake up how stamina works in gym battles, of course players began to celebrate.

Although, if you were one of those people who sunk a lot of time and stardust into Blissey so that you could hold down your gym, well ... sorry about that.

A Pokémon Go update is likely coming soon, especially with gen-four Pokémon promised to be on the way. But we don’t know when the clock will run out on Blissey’s time as the game’s top defender, so enjoy it — or not! — while it lasts.

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