Poké Monday 10/20: Lampent

RNG 

Smogon official tier: NU
Type: Ghost/Fire
Base Stats: 60 HP, 40 Attack, 60 Defense, 95 Sp. Attack, 60 Sp. Defense, 55 Speed
Abilities: Flash Fire, Flame Body, Infiltrator (HA)

“Usable” moves (according to Pokémon Showdown): Acid Armor, Calm Mind, Clear Smog, Confuse Ray, Curse, Dark Pulse, Energy Ball, Façade, Fire Blast, Flame Charge, Flamethrower, Frustration, Haze, Heat Wave, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Memento, Night Shade, Overheat, Pain Split, Payback, Protect, Psychic, Rest, Return, Shadow Ball, Sleep Talk, Solar Beam, Substitute, Sunny Day, Taunt, Toxic, Trick, Trick Room, Will-o-wisp

Overview

Lampent is almost a lower-tier counterpart of Chandelure (same subpar speed, same passable bulk, same unique typing, same movepool), but one noticeable quality causes Lampent to fall short: its Special Attack stat. While Chandelure has the second-highest Special Attack in its tier (the highest belonging to Mega Ampharos), Lampent’s Special Attack stat does not even come close. Compared to other offensive Pokémon that share its type:

Fire

  • Camerupt: +10 SpA, -15 Spe
  • Flareon: +10 Spe, physically oriented
  • Heatmor: +10 SpA, +10 Spe
  • Magmortar: +30 SpA, +28 Spe
  • Ninetales: -14 SpA, +45 Spe
  • Pyroar: +14 SpA, +51 Spe
  • Rapidash: +50 Spe, physically oriented
  • Simisear: +3 SpA, +46 Spe
  • Typhlosion: +14 SpA, +45 Spe

Ghost

  • Drifblim: -5 SpA, +35 Spe
  • Golurk: same Spe, physically oriented
  • Gourgeist-Super: -1 Spe, physically oriented
  • Haunter: +20 SpA, +40 Spe
  • Mismagius: +10 SpA, +50 Spe
  • Rotom (normal): same SpA, +36 Spe

Pretty much all of them are better somehow. (Shedinja is also an offensive Ghost-type, but I omitted it because (a) physical and (b) worse offensive stats.) Although Lampent is neither the most offensive nor the bulkiest thing around, it has (arguably) the best extra STAB among its Fire-type comrades, super-effective STAB on Steel-types  over its Ghost-type comrades (Golurk has Ground STAB, but Lampent hits Ferroseed and Steelix harder), and Trick Room to get by its ugly Speed stat. Also, its typing and ability stop Combusken (not carrying Stone Edge or Shadow Claw) cold.

Set

Lampent @ Life Orb
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Trick Room
– Fire Blast
– Energy Ball
– Shadow Ball

Fun fact: Lampent is the only Fire-type in the tier with access to Trick Room, and its Speed is low enough to make good use of it. Do keep in mind, however, that anything below base 34 Speed uninvested will be slower, the most notable of the Pokémon in that range being Steelix. Fire Blast and Shadow Ball are Lampent’s two main STABs, while Energy Ball is coverage for Water-types and Rock-types.

Other Options

You could run a defensive set with Eviolite, making use of Lampent’s passable bulk and unique typing, but its defensive movepool does not contain anything worth considering over other defensive Pokémon (Dusclops, for instance). Choice Scarf with Infiltrator seems like an interesting idea at first, but Ninjask and, heck, even Seviper are better suited for such a role. Calm Mind could also work, possibly in combination with Flame Body or Will-o-wisp, but Lampent has no form of recovery outside of Pain Split or Rest, so I would personally not recommend it.

 

As usual, I will provide a team, even if it is hastily thrown together and has been subject to very little laddering. http://pastebin.com/VPL85chp

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