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http://www.pokemongodb.net/ selects "optimal" moves by DPS. But, it seems to me that a lower move DPS can yield higher overall DPS. For example, a lower DPS fast move might be better if it generates more energy per second. A lower DPS charge move might be better if it takes more time (allocating more overall time to the charge move) or takes less energy.

Pinsir seems like a good example to me: pokemongodb selects Rock Smash, but Fury Cutter is 3.5x faster and generates more energy, so you can spend more time executing charge moves. If I assume all energy translates to charge moves (i.e. time spent on fast moves per charge move is charge energy divided by fast energy), I get 16.9 overall DPS with Fury Cutter, but only 13 overall DPS with Rock Smash (assuming X-Scissor charge move).

Is the above roughly the right way to determine optimal moveset? For Pinsir, is Fury Cutter really better?

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    Which charge moves are optimal probably depends on if you bother to dodge or not. I know with my Vaporeons, I'll be full up on energy for quite some time while I dodge attacks and wait for the defending Pokemon to use a charge ability. If Vaporeons had an attack with higher DPS but lower EPS (energy per second), I'd probably use it. – Ellesedil Sep 25 '16 at 8:45
  • Wow ... i created a 2k characters text why fury cutter sucks, then i realized this is about Pokemon GO ... fml – Y U NO WORK Sep 26 '16 at 8:19
  • Seeing as DPS is a rate meaning Damage Per Second, this question is grammatically flawed. It is mathematically impossible to have a lower DPS result in a higher DPS, because the higher DPS is just that, higher. You can have lower damage moves result in a higher DPS if they are faster than high damage slower alternatives, which I understand you to mean in this question, but please make sure to use correct terminology in the future. – Kadima Sep 29 '16 at 8:20
  • @Kadima I edited to clarify that the first "DPS" I'm referring to is a specific move. Thanks for the suggestion! – jrennie Sep 30 '16 at 11:01
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PokemonGoDatabase is exactly as good of a resource as it looks, which is to say, it is truly terrible. Aside from having outdated information, its metric for the "best" move-set fails, as you have observed, to account for opportunity cost.

For a Pinsir on the offensive, Fury Cutter with X-Scissor is indeed the optimal move-set. Aside from the reasoning you've outlined on theoretical DPS, Fury Cutter is also a faster basic move than Rock Smash by a factor of more than three, which makes it far more flexible in an battle strategy that also incorporates dodging.

Rock Smash will overtake Fury Cutter in a battle against a Pokemon who has a weakness to fighting, but X-Scissor remains better than the alternatives even in that case.

  • Citation needed. This is a fairly blanket statement which isn't accounting for battle tactics. – Ellesedil Sep 26 '16 at 16:31
  • And which battle tactics would those be? Fury Cutter is also a faster attack than Rock Smash by a factor of three, which makes it much easier not to be caught in the middle of a onerous second-and-a-half-long attack when you should be dodging. Furthermore, X-Scissor only takes a third of a charge, meaning you can defer on it while waiting for your opponent's charge attack to drop (so you can dodge it) without suffering any energy spillover. The only "battle tactic" which makes Rock Smash better is ignoring the charge attack completely, which can't be said to be optimal at all. – Eikre Sep 26 '16 at 17:01
  • I'm not saying you're wrong. I actually don't know if you're right or wrong since I pretty much ignore Pinsir's existence for the most part. What I'm saying is you should justify, in your answer, why Fury Cutter and X-Scissor is optimal. You haven't done that yet, and it would improve your answer. Your comment, though seems like a good start. – Ellesedil Sep 26 '16 at 17:11
  • That reasoning has already been succinctly outlined in the question itself. Sometimes the answer really is just "yes, you're right and they're wrong" without ballooning into a redundant essay. – Eikre Sep 26 '16 at 17:13
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    And yet, you added new information in your comment to reply to me. shrugs do whatever you'd like with your answer. But a more complete answer gets upvotes. – Ellesedil Sep 26 '16 at 17:15
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"Ideal" is always a relative term - it depend a lot on which opponent you have and also depend much if you dodge or not. Personally i prefer "pure" combination (both charge and fast from same color) because when i am in attack i can chose best Pokemon depending on opponent weakness. Pinsir with bug-bug are best against plants while fighter-fighter are better against snorlax or other normal defenders like persian or rats.

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