Poké Monday 11/30/15: Grovyle

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Tier: PU
Type: Grass
Stats: 50 HP, 65 Atk, 45 Def, 85 Sp.Atk, 65 Sp.Def, 95 Speed
Abilities: Overgrow, Unburden (hidden)

Usable moves: Acrobatics, Aerial Ace, Agility, Body Slam, Brick Break, Bullet Seed, Crunch, Detect, Double-Edge, Drain Punch, Energy Ball, Façade, Frustration, Giga Drain, Grass Knot, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Leaf Blade, Leaf Storm, Leech Seed, Low Kick, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Pursuit, Rest, Return, Rock Slide, Seed Bomb, Seismic Toss, Substitute, Swords Dance, Synthesis, Thunder Punch, Toxic, X-scissor

Overview

While its evolution stands in UU as a speedy offensive threat, Grovyle sits down in the lowest of the low tiers, struggling to fit in an environment where Leafeon and Simisage have it outclassed as a Grass-type attacker. Only one factor separates it from the aforementioned Grass-types: Unburden. Yes, its primary defining quality is that it is the fastest PU-legal Unburden user. At base 95, it outspeeds everything relevant in the tier the moment it consumes its item. Unfortunately, it does not have the proper means to exploit its uncommon ability. How unfortunate it is that Endure is incompatible with Unburden; otherwise, it would make Grovyle a potent revenge killer against offensive threats. Substitute at least works somewhat, but it requires that Grovyle be as fast as possible, which is redundant with Unburden, not to mention only useful if Grovyle is out against something slower that it can kill and there are faster offensive threats waiting in the wings.

Simply put, Grovyle is mediocre. Frail, weak, lacking in coverage, and severely outclassed.

Set

Grovyle @ Petaya Berry
Ability: Unburden
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 1 Atk / 30 Def / 30 SpD / 30 Spe
– Energy Ball
– Hidden Power [Rock]
– Endeavor
– Substitute

This is the most Grovyle can make out of its meager assets. With Unburden and a Petaya Berry, it effectively hits +1 Special Attack and +2 Speed when it reaches low HP, which can only be achieved through the use of Substitute. (It’s awfully frail, so don’t expect it to take a hit.) EVs are dumped primarily into special offense, with the remaining 4 in Defense so that Grovyle reaches an HP value of 241, which lets it hit exactly 1 HP after four successful uses of Substitute. IVs are for Hidden Power Rock, with its Attack IV minimized to reduce Foul Play and confusion damage.

Energy Ball is its STAB of choice, because Leaf Storm is unfavorable due to its SpA drop and Giga Drain is counterproductive with Endeavor. (Petaya is too, but at least it serves its own purpose.) Rock is the preferred Hidden Power type for Flying-, Bug-, and Fire-types that can take its Grass STAB easily. Endeavor is for problems that its meager offensive prowess cannot solve, and it works well in tandem with Substitute and Unburden. Substitute helps to reduce its HP and block status.

The sad truth about this set, however, is that it usually ends up a liability and/or falls short of KOing a certain Pokémon due to its frailty and subpar offensive stats.

Other Options

You could change its Hidden Power type depending on which resistances to Grass you wish to cover.

Rock (suggested): Bug, Fire, Flying

Ice: Dragon, Flying, Grass

Fire: Bug, Grass, Steel

Ground: Fire, Poison, Steel (plus Sap Sipper Zebstrika)

These are the four optimal types of Hidden Power, each covering three resistant types super-effectively. Keep in mind, however, that Ground leaves it walled by Flying-types, Fire leaves it walled by Fire- and Dragon-types, and the other two leave it walled by Steel-types. I say Rock is preferred overall, though, because Steel-types and Dragon-types are not all that common, and Probopass, the most common Steel-type, is neutral to Grass (as if Grovyle can do crud to it, though).

Sadly, Grovyle has no “other options” beyond changing its Hidden Power type. If it tried to run a Swords Dance set, it would be 100% outclassed by Leafeon. If it tried to use anything other than Unburden, it would be outclassed by Simisage. Don’t even try to run it defensively because it is appallingly frail.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/JjfMHHBA – This is not nearly as fine-tuned of a team as the previous one (the Swanna team). Obviously, it is not a team to be taken seriously because it contains Grovyle and was made for the lowest official tier.

This team contains:

  • Grovyle (set above)
  • Monferno as a suicide lead
  • Basculin to complete a Fire-Water-Grass core, for priority, and for offense in general
  • Armaldo for hazard control and as a physical tank
  • Lickilicky for walling things
  • Kadabra as a revenge killer and Psychic-type attacker in general
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