Pokémon has a new meta contender in town, and it’s…a cute mouse family? That’s right. In addition to having unsettling in-game implications like how parents hatch out of a single egg, the Tandemaus line is also incredibly powerful: its signature move can exceed the base power of attacks such as Hyper Beam and Explosion. Tandemaus and Maushold have gotten competitive players shaking in their boots.
Tandemaus is a Normal-Type Pokémon that resembles a pair of mice who live together as a family unit. When they evolve into Maushold, they can gain either one or two mice children. Yes, the Pokémon are procreating with or without your approval. And the reason that you’re only hearing about it now is because these Pokémon were introduced in the recently released Scarlet and Violet.
The only thing that saves us all from always being pummeled to death by a family of mice is that its effectiveness is RNG-dependent. That signature move, Population Bomb, is a multi-hit move like Bullet Seed and Double Slap, and it hits anywhere from one to ten times. Each hit deals a base damage of 20, and each hit has a base accuracy of 90. If you miss even a single hit, then the entire move ends. The mice couple raised a family of quitters, apparently.
But wait, there’s more! If you get a Tandemaus with the Hidden Ability “Technician,” it then further boosts each hit by 50%. That’s on top of the 50% Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB). So Population Bomb’s true power is 45-450 if you get the correct Tandemaus. Assuming that RNG favors you for ten consecutive hits, this move can be the most powerful Normal-type move in the game. If you really think about it, do you even need all 10 hits? Just landing four attacks will net you 180 points of base damage. And it doesn’t even come with the typical drawbacks of missing a turn or taking massive recoil damage. You can also further boost Tandemaus with held items such as Wide Lens, which brings Population Bomb’s accuracy to 100 percent.
In order to get the Technician ability for these terrifying fellas, you have to obtain the Ability Patch as a rare drop in Tera Battles. I know, I know. Tera Battles are some of the worst raids I’ve ever played. But think about the gains! Think about crushing your enemies with the cutest Pokémon in the game. If you have more patient friends, you can also ask them to breed you a Tandemaus with the Hidden Ability.
For the rest of us, have no fear: There’s one reliable counter to the tyrannical reign of Technician Tandemaus: The Rocky Helmet. This held item shaves off one-sixth of an opponent’s health bar every time they use a move that makes contact. So assuming that Tandemaus is at full health, you just have to survive six hits—or 270 base damage. The Mudbray line also looks like a good counter—its ability Stamina raises its Defense with every hit. Or you could just run a Ghost-type Pokémon.
This family is here to shake up competitive Pokémon, and it takes no prisoners. And you know what? Good for them.