Gengar exclusive moves analysis: Lick vs Shadow Claw

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Gengar day is taking place on November 3rd, and two new Gengar exclusive moves are being added to Gengar’s move pool:

  • Lick Ghost is a fast move on par, if not better, than Shadow Claw. This is the Ghost-type equivalent of Smack Down and it’s amazing.
  • Psychic Psychic is a solid charge move, but as Gengar doesn’t have benefit from STAB when using Psychic type moves, we suggest TM-ing to Shadow Ball

Our readers asked us to compare Lick vs Shadow Claw in terms of DPS, EPS and overall performance, but also to take a look on how Psychic performs when compared to other Gengar moves. Will Lick Gengar replace Shadow Claw Gengar in tier lists and raid guides? Let’s check it out!

Both moves were announced and confirmed by Youtubers: Lick by Trainer Tips Nick, Psychic by Reversal. For in depth number analysis, visit our Gengar database profile.

Lick versus Shadow Claw

Shadow Claw is Gengar’s fabled legacy move that deals a lot of damage and generates energy at a respectable pace. Compared to Hex, Shadow Claw looks like the almighty Hades created it for Gengar specifically.

Now we’re getting Lick, another Ghost type move that deals a bit less damage than SC, but generates energy much faster. Lick is so good that our Database website suggest using it over SC with almost every other charged move:

Gengar Lick vs Shadow Claw
Gengar Lick vs Shadow Claw

You can view this chart in full resolution by clicking here. Stat wise, these two moves are quite different, especially when it comes to EPS and DPS metrics:

Move Shadow Claw Lick
Power 9 5
Energy 6 6
EPS 8.6 12.0
DPS 15.4 12.0
Duration 0.7s 0.5s

Shadow Claw takes 40% longer to animate, which in turn hurts it’s EPS, but it does deal a 80% more damage per hit. So you’re basically trading in EPS for DPS when using Shadow Claw over Lick.

On the flip side, using Lick will provide you with higher energy generation and faster turnover for charge moves, but it will deal less damage over the same duration. Given how Gengar’s charge moves are structured, we think this will be the better option for most players, especially for people who don’t dodge at all.

Comparing TTFA (Time to first Activation) numbers, we can see that you are able to fire your first Shadow Ball after 4.5 seconds with Lick and 6.3 seconds with Shadow Claw.

In essence, it boils down to this:

  • Want more charge moves? Use Lick.
  • Have a Shadow Claw Gengar? Keep it.
  • Planning to skip Gengar day? Don’t.

Gengar with Psychic

There’s not a lot to be said about Psychic Gengar. It’s a sub optimal move that doesn’t benefit from STAB and deals less damage in type neutral scenarios than most other charge moves.

Our database website suggest pairing it with Shadow Claw (rather than Lick) for maximum DPS, which is not possible, but it does indicate how bad Psychic is in terms of Gengar ‘s damage output. Not having STAB can really hurt you, and it really shows when you actually try using the move in a simulator or in a real raid.

If you get a Psychic Gengar, just TM away that into Shadow Ball.


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