Poké Monday 3/9/15: Watchog

Rejected numbers: 583 (Vanillish)…again

583 r(ng)ejected 

Smogon official tier: NU
Type: Normal
Base Stats: 60 HP, 85 Atk, 69 Def, 60 Sp.Atk, 69 Sp.Def, 77 Speed
Abilities: Illuminate, Keen Eye, Analytic (HA)

Usable moves: Aqua Tail, Baton Pass, Confuse Ray, Crunch, Detect, Endeavor, Façade, Fire Punch, Flail, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, Focus Punch, Frustration, Grass Knot, Gunk Shot, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Hypnosis, Ice Punch, Iron Tail, Knock Off, Light Screen, Low Kick, Mean Look, Protect, Pursuit, Rain Dance, Rest, Return, Seed Bomb, Shadow Ball, Signal Beam, Sleep Talk, Substitute, Sunny Day, Super Fang, Swords Dance, Thunder, Thunder Punch, Thunder Wave, Thunderbolt, Toxic, Work Up, Zen Headbutt

Overview

First and foremost, do not expect anything stellar to come out of Watchog. Its bulk is poor, its Speed tier is subpar at best (also the same Speed tier as Heatran, fun fact), and its Attack stat is nothing to gawk at. It doesn’t even have the bulk or typing (Normal is okay, but…meh) to abuse its ability, Analytic. I suppose the best use for it is either as a half-baked Choice Scarf user or a SubPuncher. As an attacker, it is outclassed by Kangaskhan in NU and Purugly and Raticate in PU, and even though Swords Dance and Baton Pass may seem like a niche among Normal-types, there are bigger fish in the sea (e.g., Ninjask). Hypnosis? We don’t talk about Hypnosis. That accuracy is way too shaky to be viable.

Set 1

Watchog @ Leftovers
Ability: Analytic
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Substitute
– Focus Punch
– Return
– Knock Off

This was the set that I originally had in mind when analyzing Watchog. Just try and get up a Substitute in something’s face (perhaps something Choice locked into a Ghost move, or some sort of lead) and you have an effective base 195 Focus Punch to fire at whatever opponent is willing to bite the bullet. (Note that Focus Punch, if uninterrupted, is usually boosted by Analytic; that is, unless the opponent is using a lower priority move like Whirlwind or Trick Room.) Or, if the opponent wants to switch into a Fighting resist, Return is base 198 with STAB and Analytic. Ghost-types cannot come in safely on a Knock Off, lest they have to suffer base 169 with Analytic and assuming super-effective damage (253 if they still have their item). Alternatively, Knock Off can be replaced with Baton Pass in order to pass a Sub and/or get out of a messy situation like being up against Weezing or Tangela. To be honest, max Speed is just to speed tie with other Watchog, but you can modify the EVs however you want; for instance, 48 HP / 252 Atk / 208 Speed Jolly gives it slightly more Leftovers recovery while maintaining its ability to outspeed base 70s.

Set 2

Watchog @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Analytic
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Return
– Knock Off
– Super Fang
– Baton Pass

With Choice Scarf, Watchog hits a Speed tier at which it can outspeed unboosted Electrode by exactly 1 point, making it faster than pretty much the entire unboosted tier (standard Ninjask doesn’t run absolute max Speed). Alternatively, it could run Adamant with 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spe to give it more power at the expense of being slower than Swellow, while still being able to outpace the next-fastest unboosted Pokémon in the tier: Zebstrika.

Return is its most powerful move, Knock Off is Knock Off, Super Fang is for things like Weezing and Tangela that can take its other hits for days, and Baton Pass is for momentum. As an alternative for the last slot (or the last two slots for that matter), you could run Seed Bomb to make it easier to revenge Shell Smash Carracosta (although don’t expect anything better than a 2HKO), Endeavor if you can somehow survive at low HP, or Low Kick to ruin the likes of Probopass and Bastiodon.

Other Options

All other options have already been mentioned: Baton Pass, Seed Bomb, Super Fang, Endeavor… As a final warning, let me offer one piece of advice: don’t use Watchog unless for fun.

Sample Team

To be honest, I haven’t had time to do much testing due to an important assignment for college, so the only team I have is this horrible one: http://pastebin.com/5SXTtdDi

(note that this doesn’t even have any of the sets I mentioned, but a dumb Swords Dance+Baton Pass set)

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