Shroomish (Poké Monday 9/25/17)

 

Type: Grass

Base Stats:

  • 60 HP
  • 40 Attack
  • 60 Defense
  • 40 Special Attack
  • 60 Special Defense
  • 35 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Effect Spore Shroomish have a 30% chance to inflict a randomly chosen status condition to a contact attacker: 9% chance of poison, 10% chance of paralysis, and 11% chance of sleep. Attackers with Overcoat and/or Safety Goggles are unaffected.
  • Poison Heal Shroomish recover 1/8 HP per turn when under the effects of poison (toxic or otherwise).
  • Quick Feet Shroomish have their Speed boosted by a factor of 1.5 when under the effects of a volatile status condition. If paralyzed, Speed is not halved. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Bullet Seed, Drain Punch, Focus Punch, Seed Bomb

Notable special attacks: Giga Drain, Sludge Bomb

Notable status moves: Leech Seed, Spore, Stun Spore, Synthesis

Notable Z-moves: Eh…don’t give this thing a Z Crystal. I’ll explain why.

Overview

Since the fourth generation, Shroomish has taken pride in being the only Little Cup Pokémon with Poison Heal. It is also one of only four with Spore—the most guaranteed sleep move in the game despite now being stopped by opposing Grass-types and Overcoat / Safety Goggles users—and even has the highest base Speed of the four (combined with Quick Feet if that’s what you’re into).

However, that’s where the good news ends. Shroomish’s stat line is not the best, and its typing doesn’t help its cause. Four resistances may be decent normally, but not so much with five weaknesses. It doesn’t have much for offensive coverage, being limited to Grass/Normal/Fighting on the physical side and Grass/Poison/Hidden Power on the special side. 60/60/60 defenses aren’t bad for LC, but preference of Toxic Orb means that Shroomish would be hard-pressed to hold Eviolite.

Simply put, Shroomish is primarily a defensive Grass-type with exclusive (in its tier) access to Poison Heal and almost exclusive access to Spore.

Set

Shroomish @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
Level: 5
EVs: 196 HP / 116 Def / 196 SpD
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Spore
– Leech Seed
– Protect
– Giga Drain

This set makes the most of Shroomish’s assets in Little Cup. In particular, the combination of Poison Heal and Toxic Orb is its bread and butter.

Its main tools of sabotage are Spore and Leech Seed, the former being a solid sleep-inducing option, and the latter allowing it to annoy the opposition and/or steal HP. Protect allows Toxic Orb to kick in more easily, notably by guarding Shroomish from Knock Off, and also promotes recovery via Poison Heal and Leech Seed. Its main method of damage output is Giga Drain; though this makes it extra difficult to combat Grass-types, it makes HP gain even easier and has STAB.

Defensive investment is tough, and it can really go either way. While specially defensive Shroomish is less prone to most of its weaknesses, physically defensive Shroomish (196 HP / 196 Def / 116 SpD; Bold Nature) handles its non-weaknesses (and U-turn) better. (I would say that going specially defensive works against Download Porygon, but Porygon is banned this gen thanks to Z-Conversion.) Regardless, maximum HP is preferred for +3 HP Poison Heal (whereas 36 EVs or fewer only leave it with +2) and an odd number (25 rather than 24).

Other Options

Shroomish can opt to go physical—primarily on account of Focus Punch generally hitting harder than any of its STABs not named Solar Beam, and potentially for a Substitute-breaking move in Bullet Seed (which, considering Spore, is not entirely out of the question)—but the main catch is losing out on a STAB draining move.

Sludge Bomb is Shroomish’s strongest option against other Grass-types not named Ferroseed, while Hidden Power Fire deals nearly as much damage to Ferroseed as Focus Punch, without the nasty Iron Barbs damage.

In terms of status moves: Stun Spore gives Shroomish an extra form of status—for any competitive scene involving Sleep Clause—with potential to take more offensive threats, particularly Magby, by surprise. Substitute blocks it from opposing status moves and can be a general annoyer in conjunction with Poison Heal and Leech Seed. Synthesis is its most snappy and potent means of recovery, but it only has 5 PP, heals less against hail teams, and isn’t particularly worth a moveslot compared to its more normal options.

(Disclaimer: Take this paragraph with a grain of salt.) With Quick Feet, Shroomish outspeeds the entire unboosted metagame (with max Speed, of course) and maybe take advantage of Swords Dance in conjunction with any combination of STAB choice, Drain Punch, and Façade…but do keep in mind that its coverage with meager base 40 Attack won’t get it far. (Plus Agility Paras is leagues better offensively.)

Problems and Partners

Problems

Funny how such a similar defensive Grass-type is one of the best solutions for a Shroomish gone rogue. Foongus wrecks face with its Poison STAB and can take anything Shroomish can throw at it (not to mention heal off its meager attacks with Regenerator).

Natu bounces back all of Shroomish’s status moves (not that that matters much, all things considered) and can easily 2HKO with Heat Wave (and, if it’s running Life Orb, any other move not named Dazzling Gleam).

And then there are the offensive behemoths that don’t particularly care about Shroomish’s status moves or STAB (bonus points to Vullaby, Doduo, and Spinarak for having Overcoat, Early Bird, and Insomnia respectively) and retaliate with super-effective STAB.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Shroomish is quite prone to Taunt.

Partners

The primary step to using Shroomish effectively is to eliminate the opponent’s Grass-types. Most of the things mentioned as problems to Shroomish are problems to Grass-types in general, although the offensive varieties should be wary of opponents with access to paralysis moves (such as Ferroseed with Thunder Wave).

In terms of defensive complements, Water-types are go-to. Mareanie is more purely defensive with its access to Regenerator, Toxic Spikes, and Recover, although the Poison typing gives it an offensive and defensive edge over opposing Grass-types. Chinchou, on the other hand, can be more offensively oriented and more easily deal with Flying-types.

Alolan Grimer deals with Natu, if that’s still a problem. It also has Poison STAB for Grass-types.

Onix is a good complement to Shroomish typing-wise, being able to set up Stealth Rock while resisting all of Shroomish’s weaknesses except Bug and Ice, while Shroomish in turn resists Water, Grass, and Ground for Onix. Additionally, Onix’s EdgeQuake STAB lets it deal super-effective damage to most things that are offensively problematic to Shroomish.

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