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.

3 Answers 3


Last updated 2021/09/19

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

  • Feather Dance
  • Frustration
  • Giga Drain
  • Heart Stamp
  • Hydro Pump Blastoise
  • Leaf Storm
  • Mega Drain
  • Origin Pulse
  • Parabolic Charge
  • Precipice Blades
  • Razor Shell
  • Rest
  • Return
  • Scald Blastoise
  • Transform Fast
  • Water Gun Fast Blastoise
  • Weather Ball Normal
  • Weather Ball Rock
  • Wrap Green
  • Wrap Pink

I wrote the following Python script to find them from the GAME_MASTER.json file in Jerry's answer the GAME_MASTER.json provided by PokeMiners via MBorg.

import json

def get_templates(data, name):
    return [value["data"][name] for value in data if name in value.get("data", {})]

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

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("_"))))

Well, the answer to "What moves can be sketched by Smeargle?" is found in the GAME MASTER file (from PokeMiners) - 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.


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 Nov 7, 2020 at 16:10

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