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Earthquake is better on normal Metagross. However, Mega-Metagross have the ability 'Tough Claws', so the move Hammer Arm might be considerated..
Both have their own coverage too. Like Hammer Arm covers Dark-type and Earthquake covers Fire-Type, and they both covers Steel-type.

Earthquake can deal damage to more Pokemon, but Hammer Arm deals more damage but more Pokemon resist it, so which is better?

Here the moveset :
Metagross @ Metagrossite
-Hammer Arm
-Bullet Punch
-Meteor Mash
-Zen Headbutt

Suggest other moves to be replaced too.

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2 Answers

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Okay let's look at the moves according to how well they perform in various categories:
Type coverage for Metagross:
Hammer Arm: Covers Dark weakness
Earthquake: Covers Fire weakness
Next, Types resistant or immune to Steel and Psychic:
Steel: Fire, Water, Steel, Electric
Psychic: Dark, Steel
Next, Individual stats and specifications of moves:
Hammer Arm: PP-10 Accuracy-90 Power-100 but much more with tough claws Effect: Decreases user's speed
Earthquake: PP-10 Accuracy-100 Power-100 that's it Effect: None
And lastly, Utility of the move on the Pokemon:
Hammer Arm is a great choice for Metagross even though it lowers speed as Metagross' speed is already pretty low which means it will get outsped in most battles so no harm done there plus they effect from Tough Claws will make it a beast. As for Earthquake, another awesome move with good power and better accuracy and a Pokemon like Metagross can make great use of it with its awesome attack stat. Both moves are similar for a normal Metagross but for Mega, Earthquake pales in comparison.
So finally,
As you can see Earthquake performs slightly better than Hammer Arm in 2nd and 3rd category while both perform the same in first and Hammer Arm performs better in 4th which is actually the most important one.
I would recommend that you see these categories, match them with your team and then decide what all you've got covered and what desperately needs to be.
But I'm Personally completely in the favour of Hammer Arm as it is a very good move that Metagross learns via level up and cannot be taught to it by any other means. Earthquake however, as you know can be taught very easily to a no. of Pokemon via TM 26. Also, Hammer Arm with Tough Claws is a BEAST!
Hope I helped! :)))

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>it lowers speed as Metagross' speed is already pretty low which means it will get outsped in most battles so no harm done
Did you really call 110 base speed "pretty low"?
yeah i know what you are trying to say but i don't think he is asking suggestions on competitive or anything. it just looks like he's asking this for in game battles for xy or oras most probably. also in the games he would not have to use mega that often except for some major battles. Also how do you plan on defeating flying types like skarmory with that moveset???
If he's really having trouble with flying Pokemon, the he should replace zen headbutt with either ice punch or thunder punch.
yeah you are right but if he is playing xy then actually he can't :(
He can't possibly be playing XY because Metagross can't mega evolve in XY.
Metagrossite was added in OR/AS, so yes Metagross can mega in X/Y
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Mega Metagross has a base speed of 110, meaning that it has a lot of potential when you use it to outspeed as many Pokemon as possible and then one-shot them. If it were slow, then it will get outsped by opponents, and it'll accumulate damage from attacks until it faints. (or it'll get outsped by one Mimikyu and defeated immediately) Obviously, hammer arm either slows down Metagross or forces it to switch after using the move, so hammer arm is quite useless. Additionally, earthquake covers electric, fire, and steel, all of which would sometimes be difficult to cover using Metagross's other moves.
These statistics and these statistics seem to agree with me. They were collected from the higher parts of the ladder, so I'm pretty sure they knew what they were doing when they chose not to use hammer arm.

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