Clauncher (Poké Monday 1/29/18)

 

Type: Water

Base Stats:

  • 50 HP
  • 53 Attack
  • 62 Defense
  • 58 Special Attack
  • 63 Special Defense
  • 44 Speed

Ability: Mega Launcher boosts Clauncher’s pulse moves by a factor of 1.5. (Specifically, this includes Water Pulse and Dragon Pulse.)

Notable physical attacks: Aqua Jet, Crabhammer, Rock Slide, U-turn

Notable special attacks: Dragon Pulse, Flash Cannon, Ice Beam, Scald, Water Pulse

Notable status moves: Swords Dance

Notable Z-moves:

  • Hydro Vortex (Water)
    • Physical – Converts one use of Crabhammer into a base 180 physical Water-type attack.
    • Special – Converts one use of Surf into a base 175 special Water-type attack.
  • Supersonic Skystrike (Flying) – Converts one use of Bounce into a base 160 physical Flying-type attack.
  • Z-Rain Dance (Water) – Grants +1 Speed with one use of Rain Dance.

Overview

Considering how specially oriented Clauncher’s Ability and evolution are, it might come across as a surprise that the mon in question has balanced stats. As such, Clauncher doesn’t have much to distinguish itself from the sea of Water-types within Little Cup. In terms of offense, it is outclassed by Carvanha, Corphish, Krabby, Shellder, and Staryu. In terms of defense, it is outclassed by Mareanie, Shellos, and Slowpoke. Utility-wise, it doesn’t offer much.

If anything, what distinguishes Clauncher from the crowd is access to a pivot move (U-turn) and a priority move (Aqua Jet). It also gets pseudo-STAB on Dragon Pulse thanks to Mega Launcher, making the move a strong coverage option against the Dragon-types and opposing Water-types that resist its STAB and Ice coverage. On a lesser note, Clauncher gets double STAB on Water Pulse, making it an actually viable move, granted no stronger than Surf and no better than Scald (let alone in this generation, with the confusion nerf).

Not much left to say here. I guess “bulky pivot” would be the best way to describe Clauncher as a whole.

Set

Clauncher @ Eviolite
Ability: Mega Launcher
Level: 5
EVs: 12 Atk / 180 Def / 52 SpA / 252 SpD / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
– Aqua Jet
– U-turn
– Scald
– Dragon Pulse

A pivot set that makes the most of Clauncher’s STAB, coverage, and rather lackluster utility. Aqua Jet is priority for picking off weakened foes. U-turn is the pivot move in question and, considering Clauncher’s below-average Speed, grants one teammate a safe switch-in in most situations (well, given it can take a hit). Scald is reliable supplementary STAB that can also be used to spread burns. Dragon Pulse with Mega Launcher deals particularly high damage for a coverage move, especially against Dragon-types and opposing Water-types.

The Nature and EV spread provided give it a stat line of 21/10/16/13/16/11. This makes for as good a balance of bulk and offensive prowess as it can get, taking into consideration that odd numbers are better for HP and even numbers are better for defenses (because decimal values, notably residual damage and Eviolite-boosted defenses, are generally rounded down in the Pokémon games).

Other Options

Ice Beam hits Grass-types, notably Foongus and Morelull, harder than its main options. Hidden Power Fire is a considerable option for Ferroseed, because Clauncher unfortunately does not get Aura Sphere unlike its evolution. Flash Cannon (or Iron Tail on the physical side) is a less orthodox coverage option for Fairy-types such as Spritzee.

Speaking of the physical side, Crabhammer is easily its best physical STAB, and Flyinium ZBounce or Return/Frustration is its best bet in terms of coverage. It also has Swords Dance and Waterium ZRain Dance for boosting options. But you know, there are better options for that.

  • Krabby has a more reliable Speed-boosting move in Agility, slightly better STAB in Sheer Force Liquidation, and better coverage in Knock Off.
  • Corphish has Dragon Dance and also has Knock Off, and its Water STAB is boosted by Adaptability.
  • There are also a number of Shell Smash users such as Shellder and Tirtouga that perform better offensively.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Ferroseed is tough for Clauncher to break down without Hidden Power Fire. If the two are faced with one another, then Clauncher is very likely to become setup fodder. Even worse if Ferroseed carries Bullet Seed.

Chinchou also resists most of Clauncher’s coverage options and has super-effective Electric STAB.

Helioptile’s Dry Skin means that it can take anything that Clauncher can throw at it, and super-effective Electric STAB means that it can easily make short work of Clauncher’s HP. Not to mention Helioptile is evidently faster than Clauncher.

In a similar vein to Helioptile, Lileep has Water Absorb and super-effective Grass STAB. There are a few coverage options to be considered here, but Lileep is bulky enough to take at least one.

Aside from that, anything faster with super-effective STAB and/or coverage is an effective check for Clauncher. Take these four for example.

Partners

As a pivot, Clauncher’s primary purpose is to provide switch-in opportunities for teammates that benefit from such opportunities. Here are a few examples.

On the other hand, Clauncher will not likely be able to do its job alone, and Spritzee is the most likely helper by virtue of its access to Wish and Aromatherapy.

And, in terms of typing, Foongus is a good defensive backbone. That is to say, resistances to Grass and Electric are key.

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Regigigas (Poké Monday 1/1/18)

 Happy 2018 from Vouiv-review! 

 

Type: Normal

Base Stats:

  • 110 HP
  • 160 Attack
  • 110 Defense
  • 80 Special Attack
  • 110 Special Defense
  • 100 Speed

Ability: Slow Start gives Regigigas half Attack and Speed when it is sent out. This effect wears off if Regigigas stays in for 5 consecutive turns.

Notable physical attacks: Drain Punch, Earthquake, Fire Punch, Frustration/Return, Ice Punch, Knock Off, Power-Up Punch, Thunder Punch

Notable status moves: Rock Polish, Substitute, Thunder Wave

Notable Z-moves:

  • Breakneck Blitz (Normal) – Converts one use of Giga Impact into a base 200 physical Normal-type attack.
  • All-Out Pummeling (Fighting) – Converts one use of Focus Punch into a base 200 physical Fighting-type attack.
  • …That’s it, actually. Not a very good idea to give this thing a Z-Crystal.

Overview

Few Abilities can detriment a Pokémon enough for even Uber-level stats to be demoted to the lowest of tiers. Slow Start is one of them. I mean, 160/100 offenses may seem outrageous, but Slow Start makes them equivalent to a laughable 55/25 for five whole turns. And you would think that 110/110/110 bulk would at least somewhat compensate for that, but consider that Regigigas cannot regain its HP by any means other than Drain Punch or held items. Not to mention Regigigas lacks Protect and Rest, luxuries that are accessible to most other Pokémon and would at least somewhat improve its viability. You would also think to use special attacks—such as Nature Power (which defaults to Tri Attack), Focus Blast, Earth Power, Thunderbolt, and Icy Wind—while Slow Start is active, but with only base 80 Special Attack and no way to reliably boost it (its only methods are Z-Confuse Ray and Z-Gravity), it won’t get far. (Plus uninvested base 80 Special Attack is equivalent to fully invested base 40.) And it really doesn’t help that both Thunder Wave and confusion have been nerfed since last generation (having become 90% accurate and having a lower 33% immobilizing chance, respectively).

But hey, not all is bad for this unfortunate golem. At least it has reliable STAB in Frustration/Return, along with utility in Knock Off and Thunder Wave. Knock Off is also great coverage that hits most of the tier for neutral or greater damage, and the few resistant typings (Dark/Steel Pawniard, Fairy/Rock Carbink) are hit by Drain Punch and Earthquake. Regigigas also has boosting options for its Attack and Speed, although its best Attack-boosting option, Power-Up Punch, only gives a 1-stage increase per use and does not work on Ghost-types…not to mention it’s tough enough leaving Regigigas in for five turns straight, let alone allowing it to get enough boosts to compensate for its Ability. (Think about things like Will-O-Wisp and Whirlwind that could completely stop its potential rampage.)

Simply put, Regigigas is a prime example of how a terrible Ability can hinder an otherwise ridiculous set of stats.

Set

Regigigas @ Leftovers
Ability: Slow Start
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Def
Adamant Nature
– Return
– Knock Off
– Thunder Wave
– Drain Punch

This is the best way that Regigigas can weaken and/or hinder the opposition while hoping that it will survive more than five turns on the battlefield. It uses Return (or Frustration, depending on preference) as STAB, Knock Off for coverage and item removal utility, Thunder Wave to cripple faster threats, and Drain Punch for extra coverage and the only thing other than Leftovers that keeps it healthy. Adamant Nature with max Attack is preferred for maximum damage output at all times, and the remaining EVs are dumped into bulk for survivability. Note that HP investment is slightly less than maximum so that Regigigas takes a bit less damage from hazards such as Stealth Rock.

Other Options

Substitute is the best alternative option available (preferably over Drain Punch), as it protects from status conditions (particularly burn) that could hinder what little potential Regigigas may have on the battlefield.

As mentioned in the overview, setup options such as Power-Up Punch and Rock Polish allow Regigigas to improve its offensive prowess, but having to survive five turns is difficult enough. It can also utilize its special movepool featuring Nature Power and such, so that its damage output is entirely unhindered but its offensive prowess is worse overall.

Earthquake is a powerful option that hits Magcargo harder than any other move Regigigas can run.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Super-size Gourgeist has the physical bulk and Ghost typing to comfortably take on Regigigas. This is further enhanced by reliable recovery in Synthesis, a crippling status move in Will-O-Wisp, and high damage output in Foul Play. (Note: The damage output of opposing Foul Play is unaffected by Regigigas’ Slow Start.)

Sableye has lower stats, but it’s a bigger problem with its higher PP recovery, neutrality to Knock Off, and STAB on Foul Play.

Fighting-type attackers can use their STAB to effectively wear down Regigigas. Be especially careful of them during Slow Start turns.

Partners

Ghost-types (notably the main two that Regigigas has problems with) can deal with the mostly physical Fighting-types of the tier, although Gourgeist-Super should be wary of Knock Off and similar coverage options.

Haunter can check the aforementioned Ghost-types and even has Dazzling Gleam for Sableye.

And anything with Aromatherapy, Heal Bell, and/or Wish can be helpful for keeping Regigigas healthy and status-free.

Pyroar (Poké Monday 11/27/17)

With the release of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the upper bound of the random number generator will henceforth be 807.

  

Type: Fire/Normal

Base Stats:

  • 86 HP
  • 68 Attack
  • 72 Defense
  • 109 Special Attack
  • 66 Special Defense
  • 106 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Rivalry Pyroar deal 1.25* damage to Pokémon of the same gender, 0.75* damage to Pokémon of the opposite gender, and normal damage to genderless Pokémon.
  • Unnerve Pyroar prevent opposing Pokémon from consuming Berries. As of Sun/Moon, this Ability makes wild Pokémon more likely to call for help.
  • Moxie Pyroar, upon scoring a KO, have their Attack raised by 1 stage. (Hidden Ability)

Notable special attacks: Dark Pulse, Fire BlastHyper Voice

Notable physical attacks: Bulldoze, Crunch, Flare Blitz (Egg move), Frustration/Return, Iron Tail (via tutor), Wild Charge

Notable status moves: Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, Work Up, Yawn (Egg move)

Notable Z-moves:

  • Inferno Overdrive (Fire)
    • Physical – Converts one use of Flare Blitz into a base 190 physical Fire-type attack.
    • Special – Converts one use of Overheat into a base 195 special Fire-type attack.
  • Breakneck Blitz (Normal)
    • Physical – Converts one use of Giga Impact into a base 200 physical Normal-type attack.
    • Special – Converts one use of Hyper Beam into a base 200 special Normal-type attack.
  • Bloom Doom (Grass) – Converts one use of Solar Beam into a base 190 special Grass-type attack.
  • Tectonic Rage (Ground) – Converts one use of Dig (via gen 6 TM) into a base 160 physical Ground-type attack.
  • Z-Work Up (Normal) – Grants +1 Attack with one use of Work Up.

Overview

Funny to think that Litleo was my second Poké Monday analysis, and I’m now returning to the evolutionary line not long after the release of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Well, not that Ultra SuMo really provided anything special for Pyroar (aside from making it available without requiring gen 6 transfer), but the original SuMo gave the Pyroar family Flare Blitz as an Egg move (which is quite a boon, considering that its best physical Fire STAB before then was Fire Fang).

Regardless, taking into consideration the overall base stats, Ability choices, and movepool, it’s easy to see that Pyroar is a mess of a Pokémon, and not the good type of mess. If it had a higher Attack stat, it could make much better use of Moxie. If it had a better movepool or Ability, it could be a much better special sweeper. But alas, you have…this.

On the bright side, Pyroar still has high Speed and Special Attack for its tier, coupled with powerful special STABs in Fire Blast and Hyper Voice. On top of that, SuMo introduced Grassium Z, which is the new Power Herb when it comes to firing off a one-time instant Grass-type attack via Solar Beam. Alternatively, Normalium Z with Work Up presents an option for making its physical prowess at least slightly more usable.

As for defenses, 86/72/66 might not be the best, but unique Fire/Normal typing gives it a nice set of resistances in Ghost, Fire, Grass, Ice, Bug, Steel, and Fairy (while only being weak to Water, Fighting, Ground, and Rock). Notice especially Ghost and Fairy; the Pyroar line has the only existent type combination resistant to both types. (Heck, it used to be resistant to most of Mimikyu’s coverage until Mimikyu got Drain Punch via Ultra SuMo tutor, but that’s a Pokémon tiers beyond Pyroar regardless.) Fire typing also makes it immune to burn, so at least physical sets aren’t super easy to shut down…

Sets

Set 1: Bloom Doom

Pyroar @ Grassium Z
Ability: Unnerve
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Fire Blast
– Hyper Voice
– Solar Beam
– Will-O-Wisp

A simple dual STAB attacking set with simple coverage. Fire Blast and Hyper Voice are its main STAB moves. Solar Beam in conjunction with Grassium Z grants Pyroar one-time base 190 Grass coverage, a huge improvement over the base 60 that it would otherwise have with Hidden Power. Will-O-Wisp is a sort of filler option for Pyroar’s severe lack of special coverage.

EVs and Nature are obviously tailored towards fast special attacking. Unnerve is the preferred Ability on special sets because Rivalry is too situational and Moxie is physically oriented.

Set 2: Z-Work Up

Pyroar @ Normalium Z
Ability: Moxie
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Work Up
– Flare Blitz
– Frustration
– Wild Charge

With Normalium Z, Pyroar can utilize Z-Work Up for a one-time +2 Attack and +1 Special Attack in order to make the most of its meager physical prowess. Flare Blitz is a stronger and more accurate STAB off a weaker attacking stat and with a bit of recoil. Frustration (or Return with 255 happiness; doesn’t matter) is in the same boat minus the accuracy and side effect parts. Wild Charge grants coverage against (most) bulky Water-types that would otherwise cause problems.

EVs and Nature are physically oriented, and Moxie is great for racking up extra boosts against unsuspecting prey.

Other Options

Z-moves can only be used once per battle, and perhaps Pyroar is not the best user thereof, so the best alternative would be Life Orb or Choice Specs on a specially offensive set. Going down that route, Hidden Power Grass is the best bet for special coverage, unless for whatever reason you want to run Power Herb Solar Beam in a similar vein to the Bloom Doom set. (Keep in mind that Power Herb, unlike Grassium Z, is prone to Knock Off.) Choice Scarf is also a usable option for surprising boosted or naturally faster threats.

As an alternative to Will-O-Wisp, the specially offensive set can run Taunt so that it won’t end up bamboozled by utility Pokémon or setup sweepers. Speaking of offensive, a real hardcore offensive Pyroar set can run Overheat for an even stronger STAB than Flare Blitz, although with the severe drawback of greatly reducing Special Attack.

In the physical set, Iron Tail can be used to hit Rock-types that resist its dual STABs.

Problems and Partners

Problems

All of the listed Pokémon above have super-effective STAB and outspeed Pyroar. (Granted Lycanroc won’t stay in Pyroar’s tier for long, considering Ultra SuMo gave it Drill Run and an exclusive Z-move.)

Pyroar doesn’t have many super-effective options against Probopass, and the few are either Hidden Power or unconventional. Probopass isn’t particularly fazed by Will-O-Wisp either, considering it only ever runs special attacks.

Camerupt is in the same boat, and better yet, it’s immune to burn and has a particularly strong super-effective STAB in Earth Power.

Lanturn doesn’t really have anything to fear but Bloom Doom, and it can retaliate with Scald or Volt Switch.

Partners

Gastrodon is a great sponge for the above mentioned problems, taking neutral damage or less from most of their attacks and being able to spread Scald burns or Toxic poison while keeping itself healthy with Recover. Ground STAB helps too.

Aside from that, I suppose Water-, Grass-, and Ground-types are generally the way to go.

Okay, if I had to name one Grass-type…

Super-size Gourgeist is a magnificent physical wall in Pyroar’s tier, also having the virtue of spreading burns and keeping itself healthy, as well as being helpful for scouting the occasional Scarfed or Mach Punch Fighting-types.

Moves that heal allied status conditions (such as Heal Bell, Aromatherapy, and Healing Wish) are also advised, particularly with any of the two partners above.

Pelipper (Poké Monday 10/30/17)

 

Type: Water/Flying

Base Stats:

  • 60 HP
  • 50 Attack
  • 100 Defense
  • 95 Special Attack
  • 70 Special Defense
  • 65 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Keen Eye Pelipper are impervious to external accuracy drops. As of gen 6, they ignore targets’ evasion boosts.
  • Drizzle Pelipper summon rain for 5 turns (8 when holding Damp Rock) upon switching in. If rain is already up, the duration is not reset.
  • Rain Dish Pelipper recover 1/16 HP at the end of every turn while rain is active. (Hidden Ability)

Notable special attacks: HurricaneHydro Pump, Ice Beam, Scald, Surf, Shock Wave (via ORAS move tutor)

Notable physical attacks: U-turn, Knock Off (Egg move)

Notable status moves: Defog (via 4th gen HM), Rain Dance, Roost

Notable Z-moves:

  • Hydro Vortex (Water) – Converts one use of Hydro Pump into a base 185 special Water-type attack.
  • Supersonic Skystrike (Flying) – Converts one use of Hurricane into a base 185 special Flying-type attack.

Overview

In days of yore, Pelipper was notable for being the original, easily accessible user of Water HMs (notably Surf) and Fly. In Alola, there are no HMs for Pelipper to be known for, but Pelipper gained a secondary Ability like no other: Drizzle. Since then, it has become the new Politoed…and, arguably, a better rain setter as a whole. The extra Flying typing has more resistances (including an immunity) at the expense of extra weakness to Electric, and also gives Pelipper STAB on Hurricane (the Flying-type counterpart of Thunder) for great coverage with the obvious Water STAB. Pelipper also has greater utility than Politoed, boasting access to U-turn, Defog, Knock Off, and even reliable recovery in Roost. In fact, the only real offset qualities are worse stats overall and no Encore or Perish Song.

Simply put, 7th gen Pelipper presents a new OU-legal rain setter, perhaps even the new OU-legal rain setter.

Set

Pelipper @ Damp Rock
Ability: Drizzle
EVs: 248 HP / 52 Def / 208 SpD
Calm Nature
– Scald
– Hurricane
– Roost
– U-turn

Not quite the standard fare of competitive set, but it gets the point across. This is a support set that uses Damp Rock for the maximum duration of rain to support itself and its teammates. Scald is boosted by rain and has a chance to burn; the latter factor makes it preferable STAB on defensive sets. Hurricane is backup STAB that hits Grass-types, deals decent damage, and has a chance to confuse (granted confusion has been nerfed, but it’s still nothing to be overlooked). Roost allows it to regain health so that it can stick around longer and provide as much rain support as possible. U-turn gives it a pivoting option that, thanks to Pelipper’s low Speed, usually grants a free switch into a rain abuser such as Kingdra or Mega Swampert.

Now, what makes this set in particular not so competitive is the EV spread. The 248 HP is obligatory for the best improvement to bulk that allows it to avoid the Stealth Rock number of max HP. As for the defenses, they’re simply as equal as possible, with Special Defense favored over Defense.

Other Options

Hydro Pump is its strongest STAB and the most recommended option in offensive sets. (Pelipper has low Speed and rather underwhelming Special Attack, but Drizzle makes offensive sets viable.) Ice Beam hits Garchomp and Dragonite (emphasis on the latter) harder than its other moves, while Shock Wave hits opposing Water/Flying types. Knock Off allows for item removal utility, which is particularly helpful against Chansey and works on anything without a Mega Stone or Z-crystal. Defog clears hazards, but perhaps there are better candidates due to Pelipper’s Stealth Rock weakness. Rain Dance can make it more effective at winning potential weather wars with the foremost of the problems listed below.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Since Pelipper is chiefly a weather setter, it primarily has problems with opposing weather setters.

If Mega Charizard Y switches in, Pelipper will have its Water STAB weakened and its Hurricanes reduced to 50% accuracy, while Mega Charizard Y has recharge-free Solar Beams to fire off.

Tyranitar is weak to Water, but the Special Defense boost that it gets from sand makes it tough for Pelipper to break, and the Rock STAB makes Tyranitar’s presence especially threatening.

Alolan Ninetales may have faster weather, meaning that rain will take priority in a 1v1 situation, but it threatens with Freeze-Dry and has decent special bulk for taking Pelipper’s neutral hits, especially if Aurora Veil is activated in a not-so-1v1 situation.

Ferrothorn is a fierce obstacle to rain teams, being resistant to Water and only being weak to Fire and Fighting. The worst that defensive Pelipper can do to Ferrothorn is burn it with Scald, and even then, that doesn’t stop it from setting up Spikes and/or damaging with Power Whip while gaining recovery through Leech Seed and/or Leftovers. Ferrothorn also has Knock Off for removing Damp Rock.

That is where offensive Pelipper might come in handy, considering this:

252+ SpA Choice Specs Pelipper Hurricane vs. 252 HP / 168 SpD Ferrothorn: 181-214 (51.4 – 60.7%) — 91.8% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

…but since it’s Choice Specs, that can be played around.

It goes without saying, but beware of Electric-type attacks.

Partners

A rain supporter like Pelipper obviously works best with rain abusers. Mega Swampert is a particularly close partner, considering its Ground typing threatens the Electric-types (and, to a lesser extent, Rock-types) that Pelipper despises (and Superpower coverage hits Ferrothorn hard). Kingdra is neutral to said Electric-types but is effective in dealing with the Dragons of the tier.

Worried about anti-rain? Try some anti-anti-rain. Even without rain active, Tapu Koko and Hawlucha have immense Speed and the ability to deal heavy damage to opposing weather setters. How are they related? Apparently it’s a viable strategy to run Electric Seed Hawlucha for an instant +1 Speed and Unburden boost (effectively +4 Speed) plus base 110 Acrobatics when paired with Tapu Koko’s Electric Surge. Hawlucha also has Swords Dance to amp up its firepower, along with Fighting STAB for Tyranitar and Ferrothorn.

There might be more, but that’s all I can think of.

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.

Pachirisu (Poké Monday 8/28/17)

Type: Electric

Base Stats:

  • 60 HP
  • 45 Attack
  • 70 Defense
  • 45 Special Attack
  • 90 Special Defense
  • 95 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Run Away Pachirisu can always flee from wild encounters. This Ability has no effect in Trainer battles.
  • Pickup Pachirisu, if not already holding an item, have a 10% chance of finding and holding a random item at the end of battle. As of Gen V, if such a Pachirisu is not holding an item in battle and another Pokémon has deliberately used up its item and not regained it, then the last consumed item by any opponent ends up in Pachirisu’s possession.
  • Volt Absorb Pachirisu are immune to Electric-type moves and regain 25% HP when affected by such moves. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Grass Knot, Gunk Shot (via ORAS tutor), Nuzzle, Seed Bomb (via ORAS tutor), Super Fang, Thunder Punch (via ORAS tutor), U-turn

Notable special attacks: Charge BeamDischarge, Grass Knot, Thunderbolt, Volt Switch

Notable status moves: Fake Tears? Other than that, I’m not sure… (Follow Me is helpful for Doubles, though.)

Notable Z-moves:

  • Gigavolt Havoc (Electric)
    • Physical – Converts one use of Thunder Punch into a base 140 physical Electric-type attack.
    • Special – Converts one use of Thunderbolt into a base 175 special Electric-type attack.
  • Bloom Doom (Grass)
    • Physical – Converts one use of Seed Bomb into a base 160 physical Grass-type attack.
    • Special – Converts one use of Grass Knot into a base 160 special Grass-type attack.
  • Tectonic Rage (Ground) – Converts one use of Dig (via Gen VI TM) into a base 160 physical Ground-type attack.
  • Z-Fake Tears (Dark) – Grants +1 Special Attack with one use of Fake Tears.
  • Z-Tail Whip (Normal) – Grants +1 Attack with one use of Tail Whip (Egg move).

Overview

If you know about Pachirisu, chances are that you also know about Sejun Park, a South Korean competitive Pokémon player who won the official 2014 world championship with a Pachirisu in his team (alongside Garchomp, Gardevoir, Mega Gyarados, Talonflame, and Gothitelle). It works best in Double Battles, given its access to Follow Me alongside Volt Absorb, decent Speed, okay bulk, and variety of support options.

However, in spite of the unconventional circumstances leading up to a year’s worth of notoriety, let’s face it: Pachirisu’s stats are mediocre. Base 95 Speed isn’t too bad, and 60/70/90 bulk isn’t awful, but 45 for each attacking stat…well, let’s just say that’s the most unappealing aspect. Some form of Ice coverage not named Hidden Power would help its cause, but alas.

That said, if Pachirisu has proven anything in the past four years, it’s that even the dullest of stars should not be overlooked.

Sets

Doubles Set: The Sejun Park Special

Pachirisu @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
– Nuzzle
– Follow Me
– Super Fang
– Protect

I’m not sure about the spread, but the moveset is precisely as shown. Nuzzle is basically a 20 BP Thunder Wave, except for the fact that the accuracy of Nuzzle remains 100%. Paralysis may not be quite as good nowadays thanks to it cutting Speed down to 1/2 instead of 1/4, but not to the point of rendering a Taunt-proof guaranteed paralysis move unusable. Follow Me draws attention to the user, which is helpful for deterring Will-O-Wisp away from physical attackers or Electric attacks away from Electric-weak Pokémon. Super Fang cuts the target’s HP in half, and thus is usually the most damage that Pachirisu will ever do. Protect is for scouting and for better synergy with wide-area attackers (notably those with Earthquake).

Again, I’m not sure if the spread is accurate. My best guess is that the set prioritizes bulk in order for Pachirisu to take hits as best as it can. Pachirisu might seem more Speed-oriented based on its stat line, but the Speed is not as significant because Pachirisu falls behind offensive threats but has the raw Speed to cut past defensive threats. Volt Absorb is the Ability of choice, because its other Ability choices are next to useless, not to mention having an Electric immunity is nice. Sitrus Berry provides recovery at low HP, which is ideal for the fast pace of Doubles. However, note that the newly buffed Figy, Mago, Aguav, and Iapapa Berries (not Wiki Berry because that confuses Impish Pokémon) restore twice as much HP as a Sitrus Berry, but the remaining HP cutoff for those Berries is half that of the Sitrus Berry.

Singles Set 1: Support

Pachirisu @ Air Balloon
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly/Timid Nature
– Nuzzle
– Super Fang
– Toxic
– U-turn / Volt Switch

Pachirisu is not as appealing in Singles, but at least it can spread paralysis with Nuzzle, wear down the opposition with Super Fang, and perchance use Toxic to combat more defensive threats. The fourth slot is best dedicated to a pivot move: U-turn if you’re worried about immunities, or Volt Switch for usually greater damage outputs (not that Pachirisu does much damage in the first place).

Bulk is not as significant in this set because of Pachirisu’s lack of reliable recovery, and max Speed allows it to stay on top of its acceptable Speed tier (at least for PU) while doing what it does best. With that in mind, Jolly Nature is best for use with U-turn, while Timid is preferable for Volt Switch. Air Balloon is the item of choice here for providing temporary Ground immunity, to patch up its one type weakness.

Singles Set 2: Offensive?

Pachirisu @ Darkinium Z
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Fake Tears
– Thunderbolt
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Grass Knot / Charge Beam

This is honestly as close to an offensive Pachirisu as you can get. Fake Tears has the potential to force switches and/or amplify Pachirisu’s damage output like nothing else. Combined with Darkinium Z, Fake Tears has a once-per-battle chance to raise Pachirisu’s Special Attack—meaning, in the best case scenario where a foe stays in after Pachirisu uses Z-Fake Tears, Pachirisu’s damage output is effectively tripled. Thunderbolt is reliable and decently powerful STAB, and Hidden Power Ice is the best coverage to complement the STAB. For the fourth slot, Grass Knot is for extra coverage against Gastrodon and Whiscash, while Charge Beam can serve as an alternative and arguably more reliable boosting method to complement Fake Tears.

The EVs, Nature, and Ability shouldn’t need explanation. This is an “offensive” set, after all.

Other Options

Electroweb and Helping Hand are other options for Doubles, the former for slowing down both targets instead of one, and the latter for giving a once-per-turn power boost to whatever ally it may be supporting. Another benefit to using Electroweb over Nuzzle is that Pachirisu can afford to run an Attack-hindering Nature to reduce Foul Play damage.

When it comes to Singles, however, Pachirisu doesn’t have many other options. It can go physical with Z-Tail Whip, allowing it to hit Gastrodon and Whiscash harder (although not so much Quagsire) with Seed Bomb and to hit select Grass-types harder with Gunk Shot. This, however, is less potent than Z-Fake Tears, not only because of the lesser debuff to the opponent, but also because of the weaker Electric STAB and overall worse coverage. Also beware that physically oriented sets are prone to burn.

Light Screen is a support option that benefits the team and enhances Pachirisu’s special bulk, but screens have been obsolete ever since Gen VI drastically changed the mechanics of Defog.

Problems and Partners

Problems

If Pachirisu lacks Toxic, Bite, Rollout (don’t actually run Rollout on a Pachirisu set, please), or super-effective Hidden Power, Shedinja completely stops it in its tracks. That’s another reason why offensive Pachirisu is not nearly as potent as the support variety.

Camerupt can take any one hit that Pachirisu can throw at it (only Tectonic Rage from Dig can manage a 2HKO percentage on 248/8/0 Camerupt) and obliterate the little squirrel with Earth Power.

Golurk and Palossand are both immune to Super Fang and Electric, Pachirisu’s main two forms of damage output, and can retaliate with Ground STAB. They should, however, be wary of Toxic and, to a lesser extent, standard coverage against Ground-types.

Fast Ground-types are problematic as well. Alolan Dugtrio naturally outspeeds, is immune to Toxic, is neutral to Pachirisu’s usual coverage options, and deals heavy damage with Earthquake. Silvally with Ground Memory merely ties in Speed, but watch out for Multi-Attack.

There are many more problems in higher tiers, but the ones above are of the lower-tier sort.

Partners

Swanna is the best bait for Volt Absorb (considering Gyarados, Mantine, and Pelipper are in higher tiers) with its Water/Flying typing, which incidentally allows it to easily switch into Ground-type attacks and retaliate with Water STAB. It can also clear hazards if needed. Should be careful of Rock coverage, however.

There aren’t many things that outspeed Alolan Dugtrio in its tier, but Floatzel is one of them. If Pachirisu predicts a switch into Alolan Dugtrio and goes for U-turn, Floatzel is the perfect complement.

Crustle doesn’t mind Ground-type moves and can set up Stealth Rock and Spikes to limit switches and Shedinja problems.

Ludicolo handles Ground-types elegantly due to its typing, not to mention it has access to Leech Seed for mild healing support.

And, of course, shoutouts to the rest of Sejun Park’s team:

Starmie (Poké Monday 7/31/17)

 

Type: Water/Psychic

Base Stats:

  • 60 HP
  • 75 Attack
  • 85 Defense
  • 100 Special Attack
  • 85 Special Defense
  • 115 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Illuminate Starmie double wild Pokémon encounter rate when in the lead slot. This Ability has no effect in battle.
  • Natural Cure Starmie have non-volatile status conditions (poison, burn, paralysis, freeze, and sleep) cured when switching out.
  • Analytic Starmie have their attacks strengthened by a factor of 1.3 when moving last. (Hidden Ability)

Notable special attacks: Blizzard, Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Psychic, Psyshock, Scald, Thunder, Thunderbolt

Notable physical attack: Rapid Spin

Notable status moves: Recover, Reflect Type

Notable Z-moves:

  • Hydro Vortex (Water) – Converts one use of Hydro Pump into a base 185 special Water-type attack.
  • Shattered Psyche (Psychic) – Converts one use of Psychic into a base 175 special Psychic-type attack.
  • Gigavolt Havoc (Electric) – Converts one use of Thunderbolt into a base 175 special Electric-type attack (or Thunder into base 185).
  • Subzero Slammer (Ice) – Converts one use of Ice Beam into a base 175 special Ice-type attack (or Blizzard into base 185).
  • Z-Reflect Type (Normal) – Grants +1 Special Attack with one use of Reflect Type.
  • Z-Gravity (Psychic) – Grants +1 Special Attack with one use of Gravity (via ORAS tutor).

Overview

Ah, good ol’ Starmie. When it comes to moves, Starmie is the sort of Pokémon that prefers quality over quantity. That is to say, its movepool as a whole may be small (understandably so, considering it’s a starfish), but it evidently has enough to get by: strong STABs, Electric+Ice coverage, reliable recovery, and utility in Rapid Spin. Stat-wise, its base Speed sits at a decent 115, its Special Attack at an average 100, its 60/85/85 defenses below average, and its physical prowess not worth mentioning.

As such, Starmie usually takes full advantage of its Speed, sometimes going fully offensive with Analytic, sometimes attempting to be moderately bulky with Natural Cure. That’s how it’s been since gen 5, and not much has changed since. That said, the introduction of Z-Moves did give Starmie a way to boost its Special Attack (because, surprisingly, Starmie does not get Calm Mind or Charge Beam) with one use of Reflect Type with Normalium Z or Gravity with Psychium Z, the former helping it against Pursuit trappers and unfavorable type matchups, and the latter complementing the powerful but low-accuracy side of its movepool including Thunder and Blizzard.

Sets

Set 1: Support

Starmie @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Scald
– Recover
– Rapid Spin
– Psychic / Reflect Type

A more defensive set takes the best advantage of Starmie’s utility options. While its main two moves are Rapid Spin for clearing hazards and Recover for keeping itself healthy, it also tends to run Scald to spread burns and not be Taunt bait. In the fourth slot, it can run Psychic for secondary STAB or Reflect Type to weasel its way out of type disadvantages.

Defensive EVing with Natural Cure and Leftovers gives Starmie optimal longevity, while the Speed investment allows it to keep up with its Speed tier. (Raikou and Mega Absol would be worrisome otherwise.)

Set 2: Offensive

Starmie @ Life Orb
Ability: Analytic
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hydro Pump
– Ice Beam / Hidden Power [Fire]
– Thunderbolt / Psyshock
– Rapid Spin / Recover

Offensive variants of Starmie consist of four key different components from defensive variants:

  1. Analytic, which, while it may seem counterproductive with Starmie’s high base 115 Speed, is useful for punishing hard switches and the off chance of survival against a faster foe
  2. Life Orb for maximum damage output with freedom of move choice
  3. Full Special Attack investment
  4. Stronger Water STAB in Hydro Pump

Aside from those components, offensive Starmie also puts to use its nifty offensive repertoire through moves such as Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Psyshock, and Hidden Power Fire. However, it is only limited to three other moveslots, so it must choose what coverage to run, perchance with one of Rapid Spin or Recover for a touch of utility.

Set 3: Z-Move

Starmie @ Psychium Z / Normalium Z
Ability: Analytic
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Gravity / Reflect Type
– Hydro Pump
– Blizzard / Ice Beam
– Thunder / Thunderbolt

Z-Gravity and Z-Reflect Type grant Starmie an easy +1 Special Attack, which is slightly stronger than Life Orb and grants a sort of utility with the base move, but takes one turn to set up. Gravity is particularly usable as a standalone offensive option, as it ameliorates the accuracy of its STAB Hydro Pump and stronger coverage in Blizzard and Thunder. Reflect Type is more situational by comparison, especially since it might lose out on STAB Hydro Pump depending on what it faces. Ice Beam and Thunderbolt are options over Blizzard and Thunder respectively, if running Reflect Type or not willing to risk the limited duration of Gravity.

Other Options

Z-Mimic (via gen 3 tutor / gen 1 TM) and Z-Confuse Ray are other Z-moves that boost Starmie’s Special Attack, but those two Z-moves are less practical than the two already suggested. Toxic could fit on the defensive set for wearing down walls that don’t mind taking Scald or Psychic, but the option as a whole is limited for what it’s worth. That’s…about it, really.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Mega Beedrill, Mega Sceptile, and Weavile are all faster threats with super-effective STAB. (Weavile and Mega Beedrill are particularly deadly with access to Pursuit.) Mega Beedrill doesn’t appreciate Psychic STAB, and Mega Sceptile is not a fan of Ice coverage, but Weavile isn’t particularly weak to any of Starmie’s attacks. Even still, the frailty of all three makes switching into Analytic-boosted attacks no easy feat.

Alolan Muk has exceptional special bulk, immunity to Starmie’s Psychic STAB, and access to Pursuit for checking Starmie effectively. However, it is prone to burns from Scald and has a harder time with Reflect Type variants.

Scizor is in a similar boat. If Starmie lacks Scald, Hidden Power Fire, or Reflect Type, Scizor can be a major problem.

Hydreigon is an effective check to variants lacking Ice coverage. It may not have Pursuit in spite of its Dark typing, but it’s immune to Psychic, is not particularly bothered by Scald burns, and can actually exploit Reflect Type due to its combination of typing and coverage.

And, of course, Blissey can take Starmie’s attacks for days and retaliate with Seismic Toss (and, perchance, Toxic).

Partners

Fighting-types make particularly effective partners for Starmie, and each of the five above has its own way of dealing with the problems specified. Cobalion has lots of resistances (including Dark) thanks to its typing, Conkeldurr has Mach Punch for picking off weakened threats, Infernape threatens Scizor with Fire STAB, Mienshao has strong High Jump Kick for hitting hard in general, and Terrakion can potentially use Banded Earthquake to deal with Alolan Muk.

Fairies are also usable partners for dealing with Hydreigon and Mega Sceptile. Togekiss may have an extra Electric weakness, but it benefits from Starmie’s ability to remove Stealth Rock and resists almost every other weakness. Also, both can cleanse status conditions from offensive variants through the use of Heal Bell and potentially deal heavier damage with their stronger Special Attack stats (and Togekiss’s Nasty Plot).