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.

Advertisements

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).

Voltorb (Poké Monday 7/3/17)

Type: Electric

Base Stats:

  • 40 HP
  • 30 Attack
  • 50 Defense
  • 55 Special Attack
  • 55 Special Defense
  • 100 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Soundproof Voltorb are immune to sound-based moves.
  • Static Voltorb, when attacked by direct contact, have a 30% chance to paralyze the attacker.
  • Aftermath Voltorb, when fainted by a contact move, cause the attacker to lose 1/4 of its HP. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Explosion, Foul Play (via ORAS tutor), Sucker Punch (via Gen IV tutor)

Notable special attacks: Charge Beam, Discharge, Mirror Coat, Signal Beam (via ORAS tutor), Thunder, ThunderboltVolt Switch

Notable status moves: Light Screen, Magic Coat (via ORAS tutor), Rain Dance, Reflect (via Gen I transfer), Taunt, Thunder Wave

Notable Z-moves:

  • Gigavolt Havoc (Electric) – Converts one use of Thunder into a base 185 special Electric-type attack (or Thunderbolt into base 175).
  • Savage Spin-Out (Bug) – Converts one use of Signal Beam into a base 140 special Bug-type attack.

Overview

Voltorb has the highest base Speed of any legal Little Cup Pokémon…but not much else. And don’t be fooled; this does not mean that Voltorb is the sole fastest Pokémon in Little Cup—rather, given any non-Speed-hindering nature, Voltorb is tied in Speed with base 95s, namely Elekid and Diglett. More importantly, Voltorb won’t be tearing holes through teams with its unusable base 30 Attack and rather low base 55 Special Attack, nor will it be taking many hits with its merely average 40/50/55 defenses, and its special movepool basically consists of Electric STAB, Hidden Power, and Signal Beam. Therefore, its best role…well, there are still no Drizzle users in Little Cup (what the heck, GameFreak), and Voltorb makes a great Rain Dance lead with its high Speed and repertoire of useful Electric STAB. In particular, Thunder is its strongest attack and bypasses accuracy checks in the rain, while Volt Switch allows its teammates to bask in the rain that it sets up.

Set

Voltorb @ Damp Rock
Ability: Static
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 36 Def / 236 SpA / 196 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Rain Dance
– Thunder
– Volt Switch
– Taunt

Weather may not be nearly as prevalent as it was in prior generations, but don’t turn a blind eye to it, and don’t turn a blind eye to this Voltorb either. With a Timid Nature and full investment in Speed, it keeps up with base 95s and stays ahead of base 90s and 85s (notably Meowth, Ponyta, Abra, Taillow, Staryu, and Buizel), allowing it in most circumstances to quickly set up Rain Dance and proceed to either wreck face with Thunder or defer to another team member with Volt Switch. Another tool for making use of Voltorb’s Speed is Taunt, which prevents it from being setup fodder in the face of hazard setters.

As for its Ability, Static is the most fear-inducing of the three choices, serving as a “Think twice before throwing out contact moves” tag of sorts (more so than Aftermath, which can be avoided through careful planning while Static activates randomly).

With the above EVs and Nature, this set has the following stats:

21 HP
7 Attack
12 Defense
15 Special Attack
12 Special Defense
20 Speed

Other Options

A set with Life Orb and Hidden Power Ice alongside Electric STAB (preferably Thunderbolt over Thunder) gives Voltorb more of an offensive presence. This, however, faces competition from Elekid, which is slightly stronger and has better coverage at the expense of slightly less physical bulk and a lack of Taunt.

Speaking of Taunt, because Little Cup is oriented less towards setup/utility and more towards raw power than level 100 metagames, it might be preferable in most situations to have Thunder Wave over Taunt in the suggested set. It may be slightly less accurate than in former generations, but it still does a better job against purely offensive threats. If you decide to run Thunder Wave, then you might consider Static redundant, in which case Aftermath is the next most viable Ability option.

Explosion might not seem like a very appealing option considering the nerf as of Gen V and Voltorb’s low Attack stat, but consider the following:

36- Atk Voltorb Explosion vs. 36 HP / 0 Def Diglett: 18-22 (100 – 122.2%) — guaranteed OHKO

It has to bank on a Speed tie to pull this off, but it’s a cooler method of dealing with Diglett than just setting up Rain Dance and fainting. And, considering Voltorb’s Speed, it’s easier to provide a safe switch-in opportunity with Explosion than with Volt Switch.

Thanks to the Virtual Console releases of Red, Blue, and Yellow on 3DS, Voltorb has access to both Light Screen and Reflect (but only with Aftermath), although dual screens are obsolete thanks to the rise of Defog as of Gen VI and the introduction of Alolan Vulpix (which gets Snow Warning + Aurora Veil, the latter being a combination of both screens that can only be used in hail).

Problems and Partners

Problems

Ties in Speed, is Ground-type, and cannot be easily avoided thanks to Arena Trap. Be very careful of this thing, especially if not running super-effective Hidden Power.

Can prevent Voltorb from setting up its weather by virtue of Prankster Taunt, and can potentially set up their own weather if needed.

Depending on Hidden Power choice (usually Ice, but it can be something different—like Grass, Ground, or Fire), Voltorb will likely be walled by a particular subset of threats. Chinchou and Magnemite resist Ice, Onix resists Fire, and Foongus (and other Grass-types, but especially Foongus) resists Grass.

Oh, and don’t forget about this item. It’s not of much use to Voltorb, but precisely because of that, beware Choice Scarf users at base 34 Speed or above.

Partners

Water-types are the most obvious candidates for taking advantage of Voltorb’s capability of setting up rain, and also for dispatching whatever Ground-types may cause grief for Voltorb. Mantyke is particularly helpful for its immunity to Ground-type attacks, although Shellder’s physical bulk is helpful to pack as well. While Corphish, Skrelp, and Carvanha might not have as good synergy with their stats or typing, their strong offensive prowess is considerable even if Voltorb doesn’t carry Rain Dance. Carvanha’s Dark typing can also be helpful for denying Prankster shenanigans like nobody’s business.

In other situations, a Grass-type might be preferred, such as if encountering a Chinchou or requiring a more reliable switch-in to Earthquake. Both offensive and support-oriented varieties exist, such as Snivy and Cottonee respectively.

Offensive variants of Voltorb are not super strong, so having some form of hazard setter can be helpful for the residual damage provided. Onix and Dwebble stick out as effective users, each having Sturdy to be used in conjunction with Berry Juice, the former having a rather high Speed itself and performing well against opposing Electric-types, and the latter having further hazard stacking in the form of Spikes.

And you know, just having a physical attacker (particularly of the Fighting-type variety) around can be nice for Voltorb; otherwise, the likes of Munchlax would be problematic.

Archeops (Poké Monday 6/5/17)

 

Type: Rock/Flying

Base Stats:

  • 75 HP
  • 140 Attack
  • 65 Defense
  • 112 Special Attack
  • 65 Special Defense
  • 110 Speed

Ability: Defeatist – If Archeops’ HP is below half, its Attack and Special Attack are halved.

Notable physical attacks: Acrobatics, Aqua Tail (via ORAS tutor), Earthquake, Endeavor, Head Smash (Egg move), Knock Off (Egg move), Stone Edge, U-turn

Notable special attacks: Ancient Power, Dragon Pulse (Egg move), Earth Power (Egg move), Focus Blast, Heat Wave (via ORAS tutor)

Notable status moves: Defog (Egg move), Roost, Stealth Rock (via ORAS tutor), Switcheroo (Egg move), Taunt

Notable Z-moves:

  • Continental Crush (Rock)
    • Physical – Converts one use of Head Smash into a base 200 physical Rock-type attack (or Stone Edge into base 180).
    • Special – Converts one use of Ancient Power into a base 120 special Rock-type attack.
  • Supersonic Skystrike (Flying) – Converts one use of Sky Attack (via ORAS tutor) into a base 200 physical Flying-type attack.
  • Tectonic Rage (Ground)
    • Physical – Converts one use of Earthquake into a base 180 physical Ground-type attack.
    • Special – Converts one use of Earth Power into a base 175 special Ground-type attack.
  • All-Out Pummeling (Fighting) – Converts one use of Focus Blast into a base 190 special Fighting-type attack.
  • Inferno Overdrive (Fire) – Converts one use of Heat Wave into a base 175 special Fire-type attack.
  • Z-Taunt (Dark) – Grants +1 Attack with one use of Taunt.

Overview

Ever since its debut in generation 5, Archeops has been one of an infamous set of Pokémon who are hindered by their Abilities. Its statline is offensively oriented, consisting of a hefty base 140 Attack, a decent base 112 Special Attack, and a comfortable Speed tier of 110. As such, its Ability is a huge detriment. Assuming full offensive investment with a Speed-boosting nature, the effect of Defeatist will render Archeops’ Attack and Special Attack equivalent to base 45 and 31 respectively, making it even weaker than Minior above half HP. It doesn’t help that Archeops is not the bulkiest thing around with its 75/65/65 defenses. Sure, it can take advantage of recovery options in Roost and pinch berries, but: In the case of Roost, can it really sacrifice a moveslot and risk the possibility of being brought below half HP again (or worse)? In the case of pinch berries, can it really afford to dedicate its item slot to one? Oh well, at least it has access to Endeavor, which becomes more effective at lower HP values, in spite of Defeatist’s effect.

Ability aside, consider Archeops’ movepool. Although it consists of utility options in Defog, Stealth Rock, and Taunt; along with Ground coverage complemented by Dark and Water on the physical side and Fighting, Fire, and Dragon on the special side; Archeops is lacking in reliable STAB. Stone Edge is strong (and has the bonus of a high critical hit ratio), but its 5 PP and 80% accuracy hold it back from being a perfect STAB move. (Head Smash is in a similar boat, but with more base power at the expense of 50% recoil and a normal crit ratio.) As for Flying STAB, it has to resort to Acrobatics for reliability or Supersonic Skystrike for power, both at the expense of a precious item slot (granted Acrobatics sets can run a pinch berry if so desired). Oh, and the special side is even worse. To be curt, its special STAB literally consists of Ancient Power. That’s right, no Power Gem, no Hurricane, no Air Slash, not even freaking Air Cutter, just Ancient Power. Having a 60 BP move with 5 PP as its only special STAB is, if nothing else, what holds it back from using its Special Attack stat for anything but coverage.

That’s how it is, and that’s how it’s always been. The transition to Sun/Moon gave Archeops nothing but Z-moves, although that in itself presents some interesting wallbreaking options such as 200 BP physical STAB (which is especially nice on the Flying side), stronger coverage moves, and Z-Taunt—which has the potential to shut down utility- and setup-reliant foes while amping up its offensive potential.

In summary, Archeops is an offensive threat at half or more HP, but its Ability is a severe detriment when it kicks in. Beware priority (especially Accelerock, Aqua Jet, Bullet Punch, and Ice Shard) and Choice Scarf users. Keep Stealth Rock at bay if Archeops is not your only Defogger.

Sets

Set 1: Lead

Archeops @ Focus Sash
Ability: Defeatist
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Taunt
– Endeavor
– Head Smash

A set that takes full advantage of Archeops’ lead potential. Uses Stealth Rock to put pressure on the enemy team, Taunt to prevent opponents from setting up, Endeavor when it falls to a low HP value (preferably 1 thanks to Focus Sash), and Head Smash as a strong STAB move preferable over Endeavor in some situations (namely, against Ghost-types, at full HP, and at low enough HP that the recoil will KO it).

EVs are offensively focused, with particular emphasis in Speed to take full advantage of its Speed tier. No bulk investment is needed due to the nature of the set, and the lack of such investment makes it easier (if only slightly) to activate Focus Sash and maximize the potential of Endeavor.

Set 2: Z-Move Attacker

Archeops @ Darkinium Z / Flyinium Z
Ability: Defeatist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Taunt / Sky Attack
– Stone Edge
– Earthquake
– Roost / Knock Off / U-turn

As far as Archeops is concerned, Z-moves are the only real improvement in the transition from Kalos to Alola. Two particularly notable Z-moves are Z-Taunt (Taunt with a +1 Attack boost) and Supersonic Skystrike from Sky Attack (its most powerful Flying STAB). Whatever Z-move it runs, it will most likely depend on Stone Edge for Rock STAB (because the recoil of Head Smash isn’t quite as worth risking when it comes to non-lead sets) and Earthquake for coverage. As for the fourth slot, that depends on team needs. Roost helps Archeops stays out of Defeatist range, Knock Off provides the ability to remove opposing items, and U-turn works for scouting the opponent (but is ill advised with Z-Taunt).

In non-lead sets, lesser bulk is not better because there is no incentive to be below half HP. Dumping the remaining 4 EVs in Special Defense is preferred because:

  1. Running 4 HP EVs would mean that it only takes two Stealth Rock switch-ins to enter Defeatist range, while it otherwise takes three.
  2. Porygon2 with Download is a possibility (at least it seems so at the time of writing; if it actually isn’t, investing in Defense would be preferred because most priority moves are physical).

Other Options

On offensive sets not running Z-Taunt, Archeops can afford to run a defense-hindering Nature, dump its 4 EVs in Special Attack, and use Earth Power as an alternative Ground coverage move to hit Aggron, Regirock, and Steelix harder than Earthquake can. Focus Blast is slightly stronger than Earth Power and has a good chance to 2HKO Regirock, but Earth Power is more reliable in terms of accuracy and PP. Continental Crush from Head Smash is an alternative 200 BP STAB that notably scores an OHKO on 252/0 Eelektross and generally hits Electric- and Rock-types harder. Itemless Acrobatics is Archeops’ most reliable Flying STAB and, unlike Supersonic Skystrike, is not a one-off technique. Acrobatics can also be run alongside a pinch berry such as LiechiSalacSitrus, or Mago and the like (the last of which are improved in Sun/Moon in that they now restore half HP when the holder is at or below 1/4 HP).

A Choice set with Switcheroo could allow Archeops to sabotage the opposition in potentially a more vile way than Taunt could, although item-switching moves have become even less effective with the introduction of Z-Crystals. Archeops can also provide Defog support if needed, but such support requires utmost wariness in all situations.

Problems and Partners

Problems

First and foremost, beware of faster threats. Cinccino is particularly menacing, as it packs Skill Link Rock Blast for not only dealing hefty super-effective damage, but also breaking through Focus Sash with utmost ease. Lycanroc may not be able to break through Focus Sash, but it has super-effective STAB priority in Accelerock to compensate.

Speaking of priority, watch out for these guys too. They are the next most likely candidates for carrying STAB priority that, if nothing else, will easily leave Archeops in Defeatist range and therefore crippled unless it has a pinch berry activate or can find an opportunity to Roost.

Sceptile may not have super-effective STAB, but it does have a faster Taunt to prevent Archeops from setting up Stealth Rock. Sableye is a worse case, boasting access to Prankster Taunt and Will-O-Wisp for shutting down Archeops like nothing else.

In addition, anything that can take a hit and retaliate in such a way to either bring Archeops to Defeatist range or help bring Archeops to Defeatist range can become a problem. However, such problems are more manageable if Archeops runs a high-power Z-move or any variety of Taunt.

 

Partners

Lanturn resists 4/5 of Archeops’ weaknesses (i.e., all excluding Rock), doesn’t particularly mind burn, is immune to paralysis, and can provide Heal Bell support if Archeops finds itself afflicted with such status conditions. It can also use Thunder Wave for its own form of paralysis, as well as Volt Switch to prevent it from being a momentum drain.

Because Archeops is weak to Stealth Rock, it is inevitable that hazard removers be included here. Claydol is only resistant to 2/5 of Archeops’ weaknesses, but it is decently bulky, extremely hazard-resistant (being a Ground-type with Levitate), and can set up its own Stealth Rock. Hitmontop only resists 1/5, but with access to Foresight, it can potentially get a Rapid Spin off against anything. Be careful using Shiftry, because it’s kinda frail, resists 2/5 of Archeops’ weaknesses (sadly not including Rock), and can potentially be counterproductive with Stealth Rock variants of Archeops.

Actually, it’s tough to think of partners for Archeops. I guess just consider what would go well with Stealth Rock and/or how the rest of the team would ideally be molded based on the moves that Archeops runs. That is to say, because of Archeops’ offensive potential coupled with its frailty, it’s better to ask not what your team can do for Archeops, but what Archeops can do for your team.

Mudsdale (Poké Monday 5/8/17)

Type: Ground

Base Stats:

  • 100 HP
  • 125 Attack
  • 100 Defense
  • 55 Special Attack
  • 85 Special Defense
  • 35 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Own Tempo Mudsdale cannot be confused.
  • Stamina Mudsdale have their Defense boosted upon taking direct damage.
  • Inner Focus Mudsdale are impervious to flinching. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Close Combat, Earthquake, Heavy Slam, Payback, Rock Slide, Rock Tomb

Mudsdale has no notable status moves.

Notable Z-moves:

  • Tectonic Rage (Ground) – Converts one use of Earthquake into a base 180 physical Ground-type attack.
  • Continental Crush (Rock) – Converts one use of Rock Slide into a base 140 physical Rock-type attack.
  • All-Out Pummeling (Fighting) – Converts one use of Close Combat into a base 190 physical Fighting-type attack.

Overview

As a Poké Ride, Mudsdale’s purpose is to walk on rocky surfaces. Competitively, its most distinguishable role is as a tank. That is to say, its offensive prowess is hindered by its low Speed, and it lacks utility options for making use of its 100/100/85 bulk, but base 125 Attack allows it to hit hard with Ground STAB and such. As another plus, Mudsdale’s unique Ability in Stamina is helpful for allowing it to take physical attacks as long as it remains in play.

However, Mudsdale’s typing, while hitting five types super-effectively on the offensive side and only being weak to three types on the defensive side, has some noticeable cons to it. First, on the defensive side, its three weaknesses are rather common, especially among special attackers. Second, on the offensive side, its STAB can easily be avoided by Flying-types and users of Levitate, while Mudsdale doesn’t quite have the coverage to supplement its STAB. Lack of Stone Edge makes its Rock STAB weak; Close Combat is rather redundant coverage with Earthquake (especially since both have two resistant types in common: Bug and Flying); Heavy Slam, while mostly strong, isn’t quite up to snuff coverage-wise; and Payback, arguably its best bet coverage-wise, is situational (notably, Bronzong, the main Pokémon it hits super-effectively, is naturally slower, meaning the attack is normally only 50 base power against it).

To summarize, Mudsdale is a physical tank with a unique Ability but relatively poor coverage.

Sets

1: Choice Band

Mudsdale @ Choice Band
Ability: Stamina
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– Close Combat
– Heavy Slam
– Rock Slide

This set lumps all of Mudsdale’s best attacking options into one set. Earthquake is its best STAB, Close Combat notably deals extra damage to Ice- and Normal-types, Heavy Slam hits for maximum base power against most things that resist Earthquake, and Rock Slide deals the highest possible damage to Mantine.

EVs and Nature are centered around Attack and bulk, particularly the former. Stamina is the Ability of choice because its other options are more situational.

2: Rest + Sleep Talk

Mudsdale @ Leftovers
Ability: Stamina
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
– Earthquake
– Rock Tomb
– Rest
– Sleep Talk

The combination of Rest and Sleep Talk is, sadly, Mudsdale’s most reliable means of regaining HP. Moreover, all it can really do with its bulk is whittle down the opposition with Earthquake (which still does decent damage even off uninvested Attack) and use Rock Tomb for Speed control. At any rate, the set and physically defensive investment thereof serve to take better advantage of its exclusive Ability.

Other Options

On the Choice Band set, Sleep Talk can prevent sleep move abusers, particularly Gallade with Z-Hypnosis, from completely shutting it down. On the defensive set, Toxic can be used over Rock Tomb in case Speed control is not particularly helpful. Everything else (basically only Payback) has pretty much already been mentioned.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Special attackers, particularly those with super-effective STAB, can pose a problem to Mudsdale. In fact, Mudsdale has no super-effective coverage against any of the three above, and all three (yes, even Alolan Exeggutor) outspeed.

Burn abusers can also be problematic if Mudsdale lacks Rest. Mantine is immune to Earthquake and has super-effective STAB, while Cofagrigus has great physical bulk and means to attack Mudsdale’s weaker defense.

In general, Mudsdale is not invincible. For this reason, even physical attackers, if they have the means to set up and/or deal heavy damage with their raw power, can wear it down if given the opportunity.

Partners

 

While a problem, Mantine can also serve as a partner. The two complement each other well typing-wise—Mudsdale resisting all of Mantine’s weaknesses while Mantine resists one of Mudsdale’s weaknesses and is neutral to the other two—and stat-wise (as in, Mantine’s special tankiness complements Mudsdale’s physical tankiness). Mantine can also Defog away Toxic Spikes if needed.

Rotom is the only thing currently legal in Mudsdale’s tier that can single-handedly deal with the Water-types and Ghost-types that are problematic from a defensive standpoint. Its access to Volt Switch has potential to provide a free switch opportunity, although only in particular situations.

Other than that, anything that can keep special and/or super-effective attackers at bay, or anything that promotes longevity of a tank by some other means, is a good partner for Mudsdale.