Splash isn’t much of a move. The user, often a Magikarp, jumps around and the screen reads “…but nothing happened.” However, in Pokémon Sun and Moon the move has done a complete 180. The improved Splash will be a part of the game’s Z-move feature. In the tweet below, you can see a trainer using the Z-Move called Z-Splash on her Gyarados. Z-splash raises your attack by three stages, similar to the way Cotton Guard raises your defense by three stages, even though the screen still reads “…but nothing happened.”
little vid of Z-Splash in action just to give you a better idea how Z-status moves work. pic.twitter.com/OejBLuuGPp
— Mike S. (ΩDonut) (@pokemon_PhD) November 10, 2016
It appears to be a signature Z-move for Gyarados only, but Feebas and Azurill can also know splash. Feebas’ evolution Milotic is known for its special attack primarily, but Gyarados and a Pure Power Azumarill could really take advantage of this power buff.
Z-splash isn’t the only status boosting Z-move; Eevee’s exclusive Z-move Extreme Evoboost takes the power of all eight Eeveelutions, Vaporeon, Flareon, Jolteon, Umbreon, Espeon, Glaceon, Leafeon and Sylveon and raises all stats, which are Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed, by two stages.
Pokémon fans all over the world are trying to find ways to make Z-Splash viable in competitive. A reddit forum lists out multiple ways that Z-Splash could be very useful, citing Pokémon like Lopunny, Jumpluff, Poliwrath, Kingdra, Clawitzer, Sun and Moon legendaries Solgaleo and Lunalaa, including the fore-mentioned Gyarados and Azumarill. If a Pokémon that can use Z-Splash has the move Baton Pass, that 3-stage increase in attack can be transferred to the next Pokémon that you bring, allowing the buff in the attack stat transferable to any Pokémon you have, so it could be key if you want to use a physical sweeper.
In order to use the Z-move, the player must own a Z-ring, while the Pokémon needs to have a Z-crystal and move type that corresponds with its Z-crystal.
Pokémon Sun and Moon come out Friday, November 18 for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS.