Poké Monday 4/20/15: Krokorok

RNG (Krokorok) 

Smogon official tier: NU
Type: Ground/Dark
Base Stats: 60 HP, 82 Atk, 45 Def, 45 Sp.Atk, 45 Sp.Def, 74 Speed
Abilities: Intimidate, Moxie, Anger Point (HA)

Usable moves: Aqua Tail, Brick Break, Counter, Crunch, Dark Pulse, Double-Edge, Earth Power, Earthquake, Façade, Fire Fang, Focus Punch, Foul Play, Frustration, Grass Knot, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Hone Claws, Knock Off, Low Kick, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Pursuit, Rest, Retaliate, Return, Roar, Rock Slide, Shadow Claw, Sleep Talk, Sludge Bomb, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Substitute, Taunt, Torment, Toxic

Overview

Although NFE, Krokorok has decent potential as a lead due to having access to Stealth Rock, Taunt, and Knock Off. 74 is not too bad of a Speed value (in fact, it speed ties with Seismitoad) and, while it looks frail, Intimidate and Eviolite give it a nice bonus in bulk. The added bulk is not much, however, as Eviolite-boosted defense without investment makes its base defenses approximately equivalent to 78, and factoring Intimidate into its physical Defense would make it equivalent to 126. While that may seem like a high base number on paper, do keep in mind that it’s uninvested, which would thusly equate to a Defense stat of 288 (and the Special Defense stat would equate to 192), backed by its feeble HP stat of 262. Simply put, it pales in comparison to…well, plenty of things. Either that or it sacrifices the Speed required to outspeed 252 speed +SpA nature Magmortar and/or the offense to OHKO said Magmortar with Earthquake.

Alternatively, it could try to go offensive using Choice Scarf and Moxie, although being unable to switch between moves is problematic, especially where Earthquake is concerned. Additionally, with Choice Scarf, Adamant Krokorok only hits 370 Speed and Jolly 406, so it would have to run Jolly to outspeed Adamant Scarf Sawk and max speed Swellow, and even then it falls behind important things like +1 Vivillon and Lilligant, Scarf Primeape and Sawsbuck, and Shell Smash Barbaracle, Gorebyss, and Huntail (although the last two, if 252 neutral, speed tie with Jolly Scarf). I will say, though, Krokorok is the only good Scarf Moxie user in NU (Mightyena prefers Sucker Punch, and Pyroar’s Attack is poor). So, while it is somewhat usable, don’t expect it to go far. Actually, that sentence applies to Krokorok as a whole, not just its Scarf set.

Set

Krokorok @ Eviolite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Knock Off
– Earthquake
– Stealth Rock
– Taunt

This set leaves little room for explanation. Stealth Rock causes residual damage on opposing switch-ins, which is always good. Taunt prevents slower leads from setting up their own Stealth Rock, or anything else from inflicting status or trying to heal. Knock Off removes the opponent’s item, which is also a favorable outcome. Earthquake is supplementary STAB that gets good coverage with Knock Off and does more damage (much more if the opponent’s item has already been knocked off). Intimidate and Eviolite augment its poor bulk to manageable levels, and Jolly with max offenses lets it hit as hard as it can.

Other Options

As mentioned, Choice Scarf+Moxie is a more offensive way to look at Krokorok. As far as coverage moves, Stone Edge and Iron Tail are the most preferable options, the former for Flying-types and the latter (albeit not listed under “Usable moves”) for Fairy-types. You could also run a bulkier spread on the lead set, and I’m not stopping you from doing so, but I would suggest in that case to use Bulldoze instead of Earthquake for the utility of reducing Speed, and to invest 12 EVs in Speed in order to speed creep past Claydol and be able to Taunt it. Roar and Toxic are other defensive options, but honestly, Krokorok should not be used chiefly for defensive purposes, just as its evolution, Krookodile, is not. I mean, even with Eviolite, 60/45/45 can hardly be considered wall-quality defenses.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/UFhGtWez – Beware of Gear Grind misses.

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