Poké Monday 4/6/15: Nidoran♂

RNG (NidoranM) 

Smogon official tier: LC
Type: Poison
Base Stats: 46 HP, 57 Atk, 40 Def, 40 Sp.Atk, 40 Sp.Def, 50 Speed
Abilities: Poison Point, Rivalry, Hustle (HA)

Usable moves: Blizzard, Body Slam, Counter, Disable, Double-Edge, Drill Run, Façade, Frustration, Head Smash, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Hone Claws, Ice Beam, Poison Jab, Protect, Rain Dance, Rest, Return, Shadow Claw, Sleep Talk, Sludge Bomb, Substitute, Sucker Punch, Sunny Day, Super Fang, Thunder, Thunderbolt, Toxic, Toxic Spikes

Overview

I’ll be blunt here: Nidoran♂’s stats are pretty bad. None of its stats is particularly outstanding, and its sister, Nidoran♀, is superior in terms of bulk (55/52/40). Poison is good typing defensively, but Koffing makes substantially better use of it. Its offenses are not stellar by any means; given Hustle, it just about matches up to Sheer Force Bagon in terms of offense (16*1.5 = 18*4/3) except with lower accuracy and worse STAB. Fortunately, similarly to Durant (and Bagon if you wish to put Dragon Rush on it), it can patch up its lowered accuracy using Hone Claws, making even Drill Run 100% accurate. It also gets Sucker Punch, a form of priority, which is cool.

Set

Nidoran-M (M) @ Eviolite
Ability: Hustle
Level: 5
EVs: 220 Atk / 36 Def / 196 SpD / 36 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Poison Jab
– Sucker Punch
– Drill Run
– Hone Claws

Honestly, the main use I managed to get out of Nidoran♂ while testing it was its Hustle-boosted Sucker Punch. I don’t think I’ve ever missed anything with Nidoran♂, and I’ve used Sucker Punch without the Hone Claws boost plenty of times. Poison Jab is for STAB, while Drill Run is for coverage against Steels. It’s unfortunate that the set gets walled by Ferroseed (and Hidden Power seems to be the only Fire-type move it can get), but hey, you can’t win ’em all (and besides, Ferroseed can’t do much back outside of Thunder Wave). EVs are fully concentrated in Attack and bulk with the remainder in Speed.

Other Options

Hidden Power Fire is the most damage Nidoran♂ can do to Ferroseed—with Naughty nature and no investment, a 3HKO is guaranteed; with full investment, a 2HKO. (N.B.: There is no use running +SpA if running HP Fire, at least for purposes of dealing with Ferroseed.) Drill Run, on the other hand, requires +1 to 3HKO and +2 to 2HKO. Aside from that, there is honestly nothing else worth mentioning (i.e., that Nidoran♂ can run without being completely outclassed); Nidoran♂ not only has poor stats but also a really shallow movepool. In fact, I’d say Sucker Punch is the only thing preventing it from being complete trash.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/5DFbc728 – Nothing to say about this team apart from what I’ve said about my other sample teams.

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