Poké Monday 2/23/15: Kyogre

RNG  

Base forme
Smogon official tier: Ubers
Type: Water
Base Stats: 100 HP, 100 Atk, 90 Def, 150 Sp.Atk, 140 Sp.Def, 90 Speed
Ability: Drizzle

Primal forme
Smogon official tier: Ubers
Type: Water
Base Stats: 100 HP, 150 Atk, 90 Def, 180 Sp.Atk, 160 Sp.Def, 90 Speed
Ability: Primordial Sea

Usable moves: Aqua Tail, Avalanche, Blizzard, Block, Body Slam, Brick Break, Calm Mind, Double-Edge, Earthquake, Façade, Frustration, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Iron Head, Muddy Water, Origin Pulse, Protect, Rain Dance, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Slide, Scald, Signal Beam, Sleep Talk, Substitute, Surf, Thunder, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Toxic, Water Spout, Waterfall

Overview

With the introduction of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire came an important change to the Ubers metagame: primal weather (i.e., Desolate Land and Primordial Sea). This weather is different from ordinary weather in the following ways:

  1. If not overridden, it stays up as long as the user stays in play.
  2. It cannot be overridden by any non-primal weather (i.e., weather summoned by Drizzle, Drought, Sand Stream, Snow Warning, Rain Dance, Sunny Day, Sandstorm, or Hail).
  3. It nullifies a certain type of move (specifically, Desolate Land nullifies Water and Primordial Sea nullifies Fire). Note that this only applies to offensive moves (for instance, Primordial Sea does not nullify Will-O-Wisp).

What does that mean? The first point makes Primal Kyogre more independent with its weather than being limited to a supporter (although the fact that Drizzle is no longer permanent also contributes to that). The second point makes it difficult for weather support to thrive in the tier; if, say, you wanted to set up rain with Kyogre and sweep with Mega Swampert, it can be played around if the opponent has a Primal Groudon waiting in the wings. The third point means that Primal Groudon is effectively immune to Water-type moves unless through Primordial Sea or a weather-nullifying effect like Cloud Nine or Air Lock. (Timid max SpA Golduck’s Hydro Pump without a boosting item is a guaranteed OHKO on max SpDef Primal Groudon, and Adamant max Atk Rayquaza with Life Orb OHKOs with Aqua Tail, but both are really situational, especially the former.) Primal Kyogre, on the other hand, isn’t affected much by its Fire pseudo-immunity because it already resists the type. Couple that with the fact that you are way more likely to see a mono-attacking set with a Water-type attack than one with a Fire-type attack.

Comparing Primal Kyogre to the regular type, Primal Kyogre gets a stat buff (although not gaining Defense or Speed is a bummer) and arguably better rain at the expense of an item slot. So, if you want to use Choice Scarf or take a stab at rain support, regular Kyogre is your best bet. On the other hand, if you want to use RestTalk or risk-free offense, perhaps a check to any Primal Groudon without Rock Polish, I would recommend Primal Kyogre instead.

Also, ORAS brings Kyogre a new move in Origin Pulse, a direct improvement over Hydro Pump, if only by 5% accuracy (and a spread effect in Doubles).

Sets

Normal Kyogre

Kyogre @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Water Spout
– Ice Beam
– Thunder
– Sleep Talk

Ah, good old Scarf Kyogre. Base 90 Speed is hardly considered “fast” by normal standards (and it’s a really common Speed tier in Ubers), so the quickest way to patch this up is using a Choice Scarf. This makes Kyogre an effective revenge killer with a hefty Special Attack stat and the steamrolling potential of rain-boosted Water Spout to back it up. It also has the benefit of Thunder, which is 100% accurate in its rain, for opposing Water-types and most Flying-types. Ice Beam takes on most Dragons well (although Dragons are not as effective as they used to be thanks to the introduction of the Fairy type), and it can also be used to predict a switch into Primal Groudon. Sleep Talk is mostly for Darkrai leads (sleep absorbers are of vital importance in Ubers, where Darkrai roams around), but you could instead use another Water STAB like Origin Pulse or Surf in case Kyogre’s HP starts getting low. You could also go Modest for more power, but you lose the potential to outspeed Deoxys-A and opposing Scarf Kyogre.

Primal Kyogre

Kyogre @ Blue Orb
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Scald
– Calm Mind
– Rest
– Sleep Talk

RestTalk is one of the sets for which Kyogre is better off primal; even though you lose Leftovers recovery, your rain is nigh permanent and you can still recover through Rest, not to mention your stats are buffed. The set itself is fairly straightforward: EVs focused in bulk, mostly HP and Defense, and RestTalk with Calm Mind and a reliable special STAB in Scald. The purpose of the set is to survive as long as possible, perhaps set up a bit, and weaken the opposition with STAB rain-boosted Scald. Note that this set functions best if Primal Groudon is absent from the opponent’s team (as well as other Water-immune Pokémon).

Other Options

Primal Kyogre has such a high Attack stat that it can run Aqua Tail to guarantee a 2HKO on the “#1 Blob” Blissey set in the Smogon Strategy Pokédex (0 HP, 252 Def, 252 SpD, Calm nature), even with a Modest nature. It could run Waterfall for more reliability, but Waterfall is not a guaranteed 2HKO if said Blissey has Leftovers. Not to mention, while its Special Attack stat is superior and it has no setup moves on the physical side, it does have a solid physical movepool containing as good Water STAB as it can get (i.e., Waterfall and Aqua Tail), Earthquake, and Avalanche. Unfortunately, even though Earthquake is its most powerful attack against Primal Groudon in harsh sunshine, the move doesn’t even guarantee a 2HKO on a max HP variant with no Defense investment, even if Primal Kyogre is Adamant with max Attack. That said, let’s face it: while physical Primal Kyogre is interesting, it’s situational at best. Still, there aren’t many (if any) other other options. Thunder Wave and Toxic can be useful for spreading status, and Roar can be used for shuffling around the opposing team, not to mention it’s one of the best ways to handle a Primal Groudon switch-in.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/tn2XcdCF regular Kyogre team

http://pastebin.com/5v5haz4p Primal Kyogre team

Bear in mind that I do not play Ubers often, if at all, and that these teams have not undergone any testing outside of the 1000s (i.e., players who probably have no idea what they’re doing).

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