I caught a Smeargle today following a photo bomb with my Lock-On / Focus Blast Registeel. The Smeargle I caught, to my surprise, knew Astonish / Focus Blast, not Lock-On.

Why did Smeargle not Sketch Lock-On, and can this happen to any other moves - in other words, why does Smeargle not Sketch a move? My assumption at the moment is that it cannot learn moves introduced to Pokemon Go after Sketch such as Lock-On, and Transform. However, I couldn't find any information online to support or deny this, and I am somewhat surprised that Niantic didn't make moves introduced after Sketch like Lock-On learnable. It could be a bug.


For convenience here is the list of moves Smeargle cannot sketch:

  • Acid Spray
  • Aura Sphere
  • Blaze Kick
  • Brine
  • Charm Fast
  • Crabhammer
  • Doom Desire
  • Earth Power
  • Fell Stinger
  • Flying Press
  • Frustration
  • Giga Drain
  • Giga Impact
  • Heart Stamp
  • Hydro Pump Blastoise
  • Ice Fang Fast
  • Leaf Tornado
  • Lock On Fast
  • Mega Drain
  • Mirror Shot
  • Muddy Water
  • Octazooka
  • Origin Pulse
  • Parabolic Charge
  • Power Up Punch
  • Precipice Blades
  • Psystrike
  • Rest
  • Return
  • Rock Wrecker
  • Sacred Sword
  • Scald
  • Scald Blastoise
  • Skull Bash
  • Super Power
  • Synchronoise
  • Thunder Fang Fast
  • Transform Fast
  • Water Gun Fast Blastoise
  • Weather Ball Fire
  • Weather Ball Ice
  • Weather Ball Rock
  • Weather Ball Water
  • Wrap Green
  • Wrap Pink

I wrote the following Python script to find them from the GAME_MASTER.json file in Jerry's answer.

import json

def get_templates(data, name):
    return [value[name] for value in data if name in value]

with open("GAME_MASTER.json") as f:
    data = json.load(f)

templates = data["itemTemplate"]
moves = {m["uniqueId"]: m for m in get_templates(templates, "combatMove")}
smeargle_moves = get_templates(templates, "smeargleMovesSettings")[0]

for name, sm in smeargle_moves.items():
    print("removing category: {}".format(name))
    for move in sm:

for move in sorted(moves):
    print("-   " + " ".join(map(str.title, move.split("_"))))
  • Pythonically done! – Jerry Jun 19 '20 at 11:44

Well, the answer to "What moves can be sketched by Smeargle?" is found in the GAME MASTER file - search for SMEARGLE_MOVES_SETTINGS.

Finding the moves that Smeargle cannot sketch involves accumulating the entire set of moves, then subtracting the set of moves found above. However, searching for Lock-On does not appear in Smeargle's moves.


To start compiling a list I took a quick glance at the game master files. Here's a list that can be added to as more moves are found to be missing from Smeargle's massive move pool.

Fast Moves:

  • Lock-On

Charge Moves:

  • Frustration
  • Return
  • also probably Sketch cuz its the same move and Ditto´s Transform maybe – ImaginaryNeon Nov 7 '20 at 16:10

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