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Alola, Alolan Forms!

A Competitive Review of Each Fully Evolved Alolan Form

By TBuck48

One of the many new phenomena of this new Generation was the addition of Alolan forms; select Generation 1 Pokémon that were re-imagined and received new types, stats, and/or abilities in an attempt to mix things up. There were some Pokémon that greatly appreciated this change, and those that did not. Therefore, I have assessed each Alolan form’s potential, both on paper and most on the battlefield, to separate out the good from the bad, and hopefully help you choose the appropriate Alolan form(s) for your team. “The Good” are those that stand to move up in the usage ladders, and “The Bad” are those that stand to move down or remain where they are in usage. I will begin my assessment with “The Good.”

The Good

Muk

muk-alola

Alolan Muk’s new home seems to agree with it quite nicely. It’s Alolan variant adds a Dark typing to its standard Poison type, giving it a fantastic defensive typing. The two types combine for one weakness in Ground, an immunity to Psychic, and four resistances, making it ideal for monotype Poison and Dark. The addition of Dark typing also gives it STAB (Same Type Attack Boost) Knock Off, something to be feared by any Pokémon holding an item that doesn’t resist it, as well as Crunch for more reliable STAB, and Pursuit to play head games with the opponent.

Statistically speaking, Alolan Muk is identical to the original. This means solid HP, Attack, and Special Defense, which makes a bulky attacking Assault Vest set its best option. Muk has the power to cause problems for opposing teams, with a fantastic ability in Poison Touch, which gives it a chance to poison on any physical attack, particularly great on its non-poison moves, such as Knock Off and Pursuit. The only true concerns to Muk are fast or physically bulky Ground Pokémon, particularly Garchomp, as they will be able to potentially KO Muk with little to no damage to themselves.

Classic Muk ended Generation 6 officially in Smogon’s PU tier. However, in this new generation, I believe Alolan Muk’s added offensive and defensive utility from its Dark typing will elevate it to RU or UU. Despite all that it gains, I don’t believe it will be enough to elevate Muk to OU usage, due to the prevalence of Ground type Pokémon and coverage in the tier. I think it will find a home on certain OU teams, but probably not enough to warrant OU usage. That does not however, mean it won’t see usage in Monotype. Both Mono-Poison and Mono-Dark greatly appreciate its defensive typing, giving Poison a much-needed immunity to Psychic, and Dark a much-needed Fairy counter. Therefore, I foresee widespread use of Muk on Mono-Poison, with potentially less usage on Dark depending on team composition.

Raichu

raichu-alola

Unlike Alolan Muk, Alolan Raichu did not get any defensive help from its new dual typing in Electric-Psychic. Psychic adds three weaknesses (Bug, Dark, and Ghost) to Raichu’s original one Ground weakness, and while Raichu has never been a defensive force, there are now more dangers to consider when attempting to bring Raichu in. Offensively speaking however, Psychic gives Raichu amazing offensive STAB versatility, with not many Pokémon able to resist the combination, meaning powerful Psychic moves such as Psychic and Psyshock can deal a hefty amount after a Nasty Plot boost.

Also unlike Muk, Raichu does experience some statistical changes, gaining 5 base Special Attack and Special Defense, at the cost of 5 base Attack and Defense. Alola also brought Raichu a nifty new ability in Surge Surfer, which doubles its speed in Electric Terrain, at the cost of all abilities available to classic Raichu. In Generation 6, I would’ve considered this ability scoff-worthy, but with the addition of Tapu Koko this generation, I consider a Raichu-Tapu Koko core a legitimate threat, due to the sheer speed and power of Alolan Raichu with Nasty Plot.

Considering Raichu ended last Generation in PU, I would not be surprised if Raichu climbed up to RU. For it to be a legitimate threat in the upper tiers, I think it must be paired with Tapu Koko, which unfortunately for Raichu, seems to be lodged in OU for the start of Generation 7. Raichu lacks the bulk to reliably set up in the upper tiers and is unable to force many switches, meaning finding an opportunity to set up Nasty Plot is going to be difficult. I could however, see Alolan Raichu getting more usage in Monotype on electric teams if Tapu Koko is also on the team. I personally am not a huge fan of Alolan Raichu only having Surge Surfer as its ability, as I thought Lightning Rod gave it some utility to help Electric-weak team members and give it a free boost, but the speed it gains in Electric Terrain is certainly nothing to complain about.

Marowak

marowak-alola

Alolan Marowak is the first subject of this post that completely loses its original type in Ground, to become a Fire and Ghost type. This shift puts Marowak in a rather unique category, giving it an outrageous seven resistances, two immunities with potential for a third, but an unfortunate five weaknesses to common attacking types. From an offensive standpoint, Marowak maintains its classic movepool due to Cubone remaining unchanged that is then added onto by powerful physical Ghost- and Fire-type moves to match its new type, thus giving Marowak a wide range of offensive coverage.

Marowak also maintains two of its old abilities, Lightning Rod and Rock Head, and adds Cursed Body. I don’t think too highly of Cursed Body for competitive play, but Rock Head and Lightning Rod I feel are excellent abilities for it, as Lightning Rod gives it an Electric immunity (the potential immunity I spoke of earlier) and Rock Head allows Marowak to fire off powerful Flare Blitz’s without fear of recoil. Of the two, I believe Lightning Rod is the more beneficial, due to the added immunity it gives Marowak, particularly for Monotype Fire teams. A solid set for Marowak that is rolling around the meta currently has a Thick Club as the held item (doubles Marowak’s Attack) which frees up much-needed EV’s for Marowak’s still-pitiful Special Defense, with its move set being Flare Blitz, Shadow Bone, Earthquake, and whatever needed coverage move, a set which has been giving a fairly large portion of the meta trouble.

Like the previous two entries, Marowak ended Generation 6 in PU (anyone noticing a trend?). While I do not believe Alolan Marowak is a revelation in the standard meta, I do think it will see a solid amount of usage in OU as an anti-meta ‘mon, and see enough usage to become OU or UU. In the current meta, Marowak has key immunities/resistances to major in players, particularly Pheromosa and Tapu Koko, thus why I believe it will land in OU or UU. In Monotype, Marowak has a lot to offer to its two types, giving three immunities to Fire, including a much-needed Electric immunity to help Charizard-Y and Volcanion, and a potent physical attacker for Ghost. Given this, I believe Marowak will be a near-must for Fire teams with Charizard-Y and Volcanion, and its usage on Ghost will depend greatly on the kind of Ghost team being used.

Ninetales and Sandslash

ninetales-alola sandslash-alola

I group Ninetales and Sandslash together because you rarely see one without the other due to the offensive synergy they have. Both Pokémon have become Ice-types, with Ninetales also getting Fairy typing and Sandslash getting Steel typing, both of which are new type combinations courtesy of Generation 7. While both face crippling weaknesses, a 4x Steel weakness for Ninetales, and 4x weaknesses to Fire and Fighting for Sandslash, they make up for them with their combined offensive potential. The STAB coverage of these two alone means there are very few Pokémon they aren’t hitting neutral or better, making them a force to be reckoned with when considering switch-ins.

What makes this pair dangerous is Ninetales’ ability, Snow Warning, which brings in Hail for 5 turns, combined with Sandslash’s new ability, Slush Rush, which doubles its speed in Hail. This allows Sandslash to hit hard and fast, especially with a Choice Band. While this does restrict Sandslash in terms of move choice, this can allow it to sweep through weakened teams without having to worry about residual damage from Life Orb. A Life Orb is a suitable alternative, particularly for a Rapid Spinner Sandslash, but there will be some missed KO’s that a Choice Band would have managed.

With all this talk about Sandslash, it is easy to forget about Ninetales in this duo, and while not nearly the force that Sandslash is, it still can assist its team in ways other than Hail-setting. Two viable sets, in my opinion, have emerged for Ninetales, one in more of a support role, sporting Light Clay for its held item and the new move Aurora Veil, which is in essence Reflect and Light Screen combined when Hail is in effect, greatly increasing the defenses of Ninetales’ team. The other set is a more offensive set, with Ninetales holding Choice Specs and sporting high-power special attacks; Blizzard, Moon Blast, Freeze-Dry, and a coverage move, which make it an offensive concern separate from Sandslash.

Ninetales and Sandslash finally got some much-needed competitive love this Generation, and the Ice-type in general is pretty happy about it as well. While their usage appears to have died off since the start of Gen 7 OU and Gen 7 PokéBank OU, I believe both ‘mons will see more usage than their old counterparts (PU for Ninetales and NU for Sandslash), and probably land in UU or RU. Offensively, these are two very potent Pokémon, especially as a pair, but the defensive concerns are too much in my opinion to land them in OU. Their dependence on the other is another reason for my placing them there, which is not necessarily a bad thing (see Tyranitar-Excadrill core), but it is still a concern, as Ninetales lacks the power to truly defend itself, and Sandslash is too slow without Hail support. In Monotype, I believe the pair will only be valued by Ice, for reasons above, as Ninetales gives Ice a decidedly better Hail setter over Abomasnow and Aurorus, and Sandslash gives Ice a quick and powerful sweeper. As such, I believe Ninetales will be a must on Mono-Ice teams, and will be accompanied by Slush Rush Beartic or Sandslash, possibly even both. Watch out for Ice teams that know how to use these combinations!

Golem

golem-alola

Golem’s move to the Alola region brought an intriguing new type combination: Rock-Electric.  Defensively, I consider this a win for Golem, as this brings its number of weaknesses down to 4 from 6, and its number of 4x weaknesses from 2 to 1. It is no longer 4x weak to Grass and Water, though still weak to them, but trades them in for a 4x weakness to Ground, which is certainly still a huge concern for it. On the offensive side, Golem maintains its old move pool and adds to that the most powerful physical electric moves, giving it fantastic offensive versatility. Combine this offensive versatility with its fantastic base 120 Attack, and you have a very potent attacker.

While Golem doesn’t see any statistical changes, its new form does get some fun new abilities to play with.  Golem maintains the age-old sturdy, but gets Magnet Pull and Galvanize as new abilities. While I’m not a huge fan of Magnet Pull on Golem, particularly since it lost its Ground STAB, I can see it having some use on mono Rock teams, helping to trap and dispatch those pesky Steel types. Galvanize is what makes Golem truly shine, as it makes all Normal-type moves Electric-type, and gives them a 20% boost. This can turn Golem into a true terror, especially given access to moves such as Explosion, which is elevated up to 300 base power by Galvanize. I played quite a few matches with Galvanize Golem in Gen 7 PokéBank OU, and had quite a bit of success with it as a suicide lead. Its ridiculous power has taken more than a few opponents by surprise, but sadly it can be rather hard to utilize against a TankChomp lead, as Golem doesn’t have much of an answer for Ground-types at the moment.

Like many of the other subjects in this blog, Golem ended the last generation in Smogon’s PU tier, though I hardly believe it will stay there. Golem is much improved defensively, and while it has pretty solid offensive coverage, I don’t believe Golem will be a very common option in OU, due to its lack of Speed and poor Special Defense. I see it landing in either UU or RU, as it makes for a very solid suicide lead with Galvanize Explosion and could see usage on Trick Room teams, something that hasn’t been as prevalent recently in OU. I do however, believe that Golem could see frequent usage by both Electric and Rock in Monotype, as it gives both types something they sorely need. Rock needs a Steel counter and trapper, as ‘mons such as Scizor can still be a terror, and Electric needs a powerful physical attacker, which the type has lacked outside of Zekrom. Overall Galvanize is really what allows Golem a chance for increased usage, and given how long it has spent at the bottom, I hope it gets its chance to shine at a higher tier.

Exeggutor

I was on the fence with Exeggutor, as there are some things to get excited about, and then some not so much. Alolan Exeggutor now becomes a Grass- and Dragon-type, ditching Psychic and its 4x weakness to Bug. However, it ends up with a different 4x weakness, this time to Ice, and decreases its resistances from 6 to 4. It does see offensive improvement though, as it maintains its old movepool, and gains additional coverage thanks to its new Dragon-type.

Exeggutor gets even more offensive love, as it loses 10 base Speed (from its already terrible 55) and gains 10 base Attack, bringing it up to base 105. Ability-wise, it didn’t really gain anything in Frisk, and came at the cost of Chlorophyll, an at minimum usable ability. With this, Alolan Exeggutor has only one usable ability in Harvest, which isn’t really something to complain about. I battled some with Exeggutor, and while it is capable of dishing a lot of damage out in a hurry, it is also capable of being KO’ed in a hurry. Something I didn’t try that could be a great set for it is a Trick Room set, as it takes advantage of its abysmal speed and allows it to roll through teams with faster Pokémon.

Ending last Gen in NU, Exeggutor’s future is looking up, but likely only up to RU, especially given that it would face competition from its (in my opinion) superior Grass-Dragon counterpart, Mega Sceptile, in higher tiers. I could see Exeggutor getting a fair amount of usage in Monotype, but more so on Grass teams, as it takes neutral damage from Fire, and doesn’t take up a mega slot like Sceptile. Dragon, on the other hand, probably won’t benefit as much, especially given the abundance of other Dragon Pokémon that are 4x weak to Ice. With Exeggutor being the last of those fortunate enough to be on the good side of the fence, it’s time to discuss those on the other side of the fence.

Persian

persian-alola

Giving new meaning to the term “fat cat,” Alolan Persian flips its type from Normal to Dark, which is rather fitting in some ways. Offensively, Dark is a pretty solid type, as there are very few types that resist it, but I’m unsure if Persian will be able to take advantage of it due its pitiful offenses. On the defensive side, Persian adds Fairy and Bug weaknesses to the Fighting weakness it maintains from Normal, but adds two resistances.

Alolan Persian does see a shift in its stats, as it loses 10 base Attack and gains 10 base Special Attack to compensate. Either way, Persian’s offense is relatively the same output-wise. It also gets two new abilities in Fur Coat and Rattled in exchange for Limber and Unnerve, while maintaining Technician. This means it has two solid abilities in Fur Coat and Technician, usable for defense and offense respectively. Persian in battle should probably not be used offensively however, but more as defensive pivot because of its great defensive ability in Fur Coat, as it halves the physical damage it takes, and take advantage of strong physical attackers with Foul Play.

Persian was firmly in PU last Generation, but I see it moving up to NU or possibly RU. Alolan Persian has solid abilities and a solid move pool, but lacks the offenses to be an offensive powerhouse. It shows potential as a defensive pivot, but it faces stiff competition from much more balanced and reliable defensive pivots in the higher tiers such as Rotom-W and Rotom-H, both of which sport better defensive typings and stats. In a Monotype context, Alolan Persian could see some use as a defensive Pokémon, but overall I do not think it will be of much help given that it doesn’t help Dark from a type standpoint, and Mandibuzz sports better overall defensive stats.

 

The Bad

Dugtrio

dugtrio-alola

Alolan Dugtrio is the first ‘mon in this blog to have been dubbed on of ‘The Bad’ and it’s not too difficult to see why. Dugtrio is the only Pokémon in this entire blog that ended Generation 6 in OU, and it could only go down from there. While the Pokémon now has fabulous meme-worthy hair, it is about the only thing Alolan Dugtrio has that the original didn’t. Alolan Dugtrio does get a Steel-typing now, which is nice, but it didn’t do Dugtrio any favors defensively. Steel quadrupled Dugtrio’s resistances and added an immunity to Poison, but it also added a weakness, for total of 4, making it weak to Fire, Ground, Fighting, and Water, some of the most commonly seen attacking types. Unfortunately for Dugtrio, that isn’t even the worst of the changes it saw.

Alolan Dugtrio also saw a decrease in its speed, from base 120 to base 110, to increase its Defense from base 50 to base 60. Not only does the increase to its Defense do virtually nothing for it, it also costs Dugtrio its precious speed. Had Dugtrio maintained its speed, it probably would have been in the first section of this blog. The final problem that plagues Dugtrio is the change to its abilities. It maintains two of its original abilites, Sand Veil and Sand Force, but eliminated its most commonly seen and most useful ability in Arena Trap, for Tangled Hair. Tangled Hair is a rather niche ability, as it decreases the Speed of any Pokémon that makes physical contact with it. On a more physically bulky Pokémon, this could be a useful ability, but with Dugtrio only having 60 base Defense, it doesn’t have much use.

As previously mentioned, Dugtrio ended last gen in OU, but I do not believe this variant of it will stay there. Alolan Dugtrio will probably end up only dropping down to UU, as it still possesses solid offensive stats and typing, but not as good as the original. As far as Monotype goes, I do not think Alolan Dugtrio will see more usage than regular Dugtrio on Monotype Ground, but I could see a choice band variant of Alolan Dugtrio potentially competing with Excadrill on Monotype Steel. The fabulous hair only seems to hold it back unfortunately, and I will be sticking with the old Dugtrio.

Raticate

raticate-alola

There isn’t a really a whole lot of good that I can say about Raticate (or as I like to call it, “Faticate”), as it gains a Dark typing that it doesn’t really want, and ability and stat changes that it doesn’t really want as well. With the transition to a Normal-Dark-type, Raticate becomes 4x weak to Fighting, and weak to Fairy and Bug as well. These weaknesses make it rather similar to Tyranitar, but the similarities stop there. Dark does give it a nice STAB Sucker Punch, but it lacks the punch (pun intended) to make much use of it.

Stat-wise, I don’t much like what they did to Raticate; they geared more towards a bulky Pokémon, as they took away 20 base Attack and 20 base Speed, which was then allocated in the form of 20 base HP, 10 base Defense, and 10 base Special Defense. It also sees some ability changes, which as I mentioned earlier, does it no favors; it loses perhaps its best ability in Guts in addition to Run Away (which doesn’t matter all that much in a competitive sense), and gets Gluttony and Thick Fat.  It maintains Hustle, which along with Thick Fat, are the only useful abilities.

Raticate was another ‘mon that was comfortably seated in PU, and quite frankly I believe it is going to stay there. Its pitiful defensive typing combined with its terrible offensive presence make it unusable in any tier other than PU, especially when considering its 4x weakness to Mach Punch.  I do not see it getting any use on either type in a Monotype context, as it adds nothing to either type, and only adds to their weaknesses. Overall, I believe this is an Alolan form that never should have been conceived.

The Final Verdict

Overall, I thought there was a lot to like about the select few Pokémon that got an Alolan form; new type combinations, stat improvements, and new abilities helped some find new uses and potentially climb out of the depths of the Smogon usage ladders. However, there was some bad to complement those that gained; pitiful defensive typings, bad stat changes, and lost abilities set some ‘mons back in usage. I hope the brief summaries I have provided on each Alolan form in a competitive context will help you competitive battlers out there decide what Alolan form(s) to add to your team, and how to use them! Enjoy a new Generation of Pokémon and I hope to see you out there on the battlefield!

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From the Shadows: A Guide to Using Ghost-Type Pokemon

By ValenWower

 

Introduction

There aren’t many ghost type mons scattered across the different generations but strength doesn’t necessarily come with numbers. There are many options when it comes to ghost types, from fast sweepers to utility walls ghost types shine with their flexibility, however the sheer amount of Pokemon that carry dark moves in their arsenal has been keeping ghost types in check ever since pokebank came out in gen 6.

 

Type Overview

Ghost has been around since the first generation where the only evolutionary line of that typing, Ghastly, Haunter and Gengar, had only one STAB move and failed to check psychic types due to an error in the games. Since that generation, however, the ghost type was balanced to the point of becoming really good offensively due to the removal of  Steel’s resistance to Ghost which only left Dark as the only resisting type. Ghost is one of the best defensive typings too, with two type immunities, including immunity to Rapid Spin, and a wide array of utility moves even if a big amount of pokemon carry moves like Knock Off that can really punch holes in any Ghost wall.

Only three Ghost type pokemon are considered top tier right now, because the other ones don’t have good enough stats, movepools or abilities to be widely used in the current meta, but most ghosts can shine if used right due to their flexibility, with access to priority and status, sweeping capabilities and the ability to effectively deal with two prominent types in the metagame which are Psychic and their fellow ghosts.

 

By the Numbers

# of pokemon with this type: 45 (counting ghost forms of Arceus and Sylvally)

# of fully evolved pokemon: 28

# of mega evolutions: 3

 

Offensive Effectiveness

Effective against: Ghost, Psychic

Neutral against: Flying, Dragon, Grass, Ground, Rock, Bug, Fighting, Fairy, Poison, Electric, Fire, Water, Steel, Ice

Resisted by: Dark

Ineffective against: Normal

 

Defensive Effectiveness

Weak against: Ghost, Dark

Damaged normally by: Flying, Dragon, Grass, Ground, Rock, Psychic, Fighting, Fairy, Electric, Fire, Water, Steel, Ice

Resistant to: Bug, Poison

Immune to: Normal, Fighting

 

Notable Pokemon

  • Aegislash
  • Giratina
  • Lunala
  • Arceus-Ghost
  • Mega Gengar
  • Mega Sableye
  • Mimikyu
  • Marowak-Alola
  • Gengar
  • Decidueye
  • Chandelure
  • Dhelmise
  • Doublade
  • Froslass
  • Hoopa-Confined
  • Jellicent
  • Shedinja
  • Cofagrigus
  • Mega Banette

 

Notable Moves

Special: Hex, Shadow Ball, Moongeist Beam

Physical: Shadow Sneak, Spirit Shackle, Shadow Claw, Shadow Bone

Status: Confuse Ray, Destiny Bond, Curse

 

Type in OU

There’s currently three Ghost type pokemon in OU and they can all be considered threats on their own right.

marowak-alola

Ghost got a good addition in gen 7 in the form of Alolan Marowak. This form that everyone thought was going to be mediocre at best took the OU meta by surprise; it turns out that all that Marowak needed to be viable was a shiny new Ghost/Fire typing and two very powerful moves, Flare Blitz and his new signature move Shadow Bone. Alolan Marowak can hold Thick Club, which gives this pokemon one of the highest attack stats (the equivalent of base 165) in the OU tier, making it able to OHKO most of the threats. The standard set this mon runs features Shadow Bone, a base 85 physical STAB move that also has a 20% chance of lowering the target’s defense, fire type STAB in the form of Flare Blitz or Fire Punch with the occasional Flame Charge and a mix between Stealth Rocks, Earthquake or Bonemerang and Knock Off. In Ghost monotype Marowak is one of the only Stealth Rocks user available along with Golurk and Arceus-Ghost. Marowak can also run a defensive set with Will-o-wisp and leftovers recovery, however this set was more common before pokebank was released. The main flaw that Alolan Marowak has is its mediocre speed stat that allows it to be outsped even by some walls when uninvested and its lack of recovery, that together with the Flare Blitz recoil can chip down his health a lot.

 

mimikyu

Another example of the Ghost type getting improved in gen 7 in Mimikyu. An incredibly versatile pokemon with an ability that guarantees it to get a free turn of doing whatever it wants, this new ghostly pikachu is a welcome addition to Ghost type’s arsenal as one of the few answers to Dark types. Mimikyu has access to a wide variety of sets but the one that’s mostly used in the OU tier is as a late game sweeper. This mon can set up a free Swords Dance with its disguise ability and proceed to wipe the floor with the opponent’s team via Life Orb boosted Play Roughs and Shadow Sneaks or instead destroy even the bulkiest of walls with a Never-ending Nightmare. Mimikyu also has access to many useful utility moves like Taunt, Will-o-wisp, Thunder Wave, Toxic, Trick Room, Destiny Bond and Pain Split as well as a few set up moves other than Swords Dance, like Bulk Up, Hone Claws and Z-Splash. On the offensive side Mimikyu won’t be KOing many things without boosting its attack beforehand and is limited to only using physical attacks due to its low Sp.atk stat. His attack options are limited to: Play Rough, Shadow Claw, Shadow Sneak, Wood Hammer and Leech Life. The main threats to this mon are status moves, especially Will-o-wisp, since they ignore Disguise and pokemon with the Mold Breaker ability like Excadrill and Kyurem-Black.

 

sableye-mega

Back from the Ubers tier Mega Sableye is here to stay because of the amount of fairies roaming the meta. Aside from the aforementioned weakness Mega Sableye has many things going for it that make it a force to be reckoned with: Access to Prankster before mega evolving, a wide variety of status moves, the most notable being Taunt, Will-o-wisp and Calm Mind, reliable recovery in the form of Recover and a few attacking options like Fake Out, Sucker Punch, Foul Play and the elemental punches (for some reason) on the physical side as well as Dark Pulse, Shadow Ball, and Octazooka on the special side. While not getting access to prankster on the same turn after mega evolving is a nerf that Mega Sableye received during the seventh generation having base 125 and 115 on the defenses Sableye a very good wall in both OU and Monotype.

 

gengar

Even if after losing its Levitate ability in gen 7 Gengar is not OU anymore it still sees some play in this tier as a Life Orb sweeper with base 110 Speed and base 130 Sp.attack and a pretty big movepool. With Sludge Wave and Shadow Ball as its main sources of damage Gengar can deal with Fairy types reliably and Focus Blast serves as a good answer to Steel and Dark types. Gengar is also a pretty fast Taunt user that can prevent hazards and defog. Gengar can also run a Choice Scarf or a Substitute set.

 

Type in Mono

Ghost is a viable type in mono against every type other than Dark. Mono Ghost teams can range from hyper offense to balance and trick room due to the flexibility that comes with the type.

froslass

Froslass is one of ghost’s only hazard setters and it does a great job at doing that. With access to Spikes and Taunt it makes for a very reliable lead and anti lead and is also one of the only Ghost types with access to ice type coverage. Froslass takes a while to understand and takes a lot of outplaying and predictions to be used effectively, but it can be lethal in a good player’s hands setting Spikes and using Destiny Bond to its advantage to force switches or take an opponent with it once it’s defeated. Will-o-wisp was added to its learnset in gen 7 giving it more options, it can run Ice or Ghost STAB or both.

 

cofagrigus

One of ghost’s most solid walls is Cofagrigus, with access to Will-o-wisp and Haze it serves as the only semi-reliable answer to set up mons other than Silvally Ghost running Roar. With base 145 Defense and base 105 Sp.def this mon won’t be taken down easily and it can function in a wide variety of roles such as a wall, a bulky Toxic Spikes setter as well as a Trick Room sweeper that spams Shadow Ball and HP Fire with Nasty Plot and Life Orb. Cofagrigus is one of the few ghost type pokemon that can take a Knock Off and having access to Pain Split gives it some more utility as a wall.

 

jellicentjellicent-f

With a base 100 HP and base 105 Sp.def it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jellicent is a very good special wall for ghost type. With water immunity in the form of Water Absorb and Recover as its main ways of recovery Jellicent can wear down many mons with Toxic and Will-o-wisp and also has access to Ice Beam, that few other ghost pokemon have access to and can use it effectively, and Scald.

 

chandelure

Chandelure boasts a base 145 Sp.atk and fire immunity in the form of Flash Fire. Chandelure fills a similar role as Gengar but has access to Fire type STAB and is still fast enough with 80 base Speed to outspeed fully invested base 145s when holding a scarf and slow enough to work in Trick Room. Regular Rotom can also fit the role of Choice Scarf user due to now being the only Ghost type with ground immunity and it having Electric stab and Volt Switch to generate momentum.

 

dhelmise   decidueye

Ghost doesn’t have many forms of hazard removal other than preventing them with Taunt and the ones it does have aren’t too great but still somewhat useable. These are Dhelmise and Decidueye. Both of these mons can work well in Trick Room as well as find a place in balanced monotype teams. Dhelmise has access to Rapid Spin and can deal some heavy damage with a Choice Band set while Decidueye has access to utility like Swords Dance and Baton Pass as well as Defog and a signature Z Move. They also both have a signature move that revents the opposing pokemon from switching out in the form of Anchor Shot and Spirit Shackle.

 

 

Even if it’s currently unreleased Mega Banette has a place in a team as a disruptor, getting access to Prankster on the first turn of mega evolution with the new changes to the mechanics introduced in gen 7. Priority status is really useful against any setup that isn’t dark type and Destiny Bond can really come in handy, as well as Cotton Guard, Rest if you feel like running a gimmick set.

 

Type in Other Metas

There’s a big amount of Ghosts present in the Uber tier when compared to those in the other tiers.

gengar-mega

Mega Gengar is usually used as the Ubers version of Dugtrio being the only viable Shadow Tag user in the Ubers tier. Just trap something that’s problematic to your team and proceed to end its life with base 170 special STAB and 130 Speed. Its ability as a stallbreaker and wallbreaker as well as a revenge killer make it very good at what it does and spin blocking is a neat bonus.

 

giratinagiratina-origin

Both forms of Giratina can be viable in Ubers, while the Altered form is a more stall oriented wall the Origin form is a very solid pokemon with access to Defog, Levitate, good bulk and good offensive pressure with a very good typing.

 

arceus-ghost

Arceus Ghost possesses the great typing that is ghost and can provide a huge one-time damage output with a swords dance boosted Never Ending Nightmare as well as priority in the form of Extreme Speed and base 120 stats all across the board.

 

aegislash aegislash-blade

Aegislash acts as a good wall with its great defensive typing and base 150 defenses while in shield form, allowing it to tank most moves and recover with Leftovers and King’s Shield as well as Toxic stall and deal some heavy damage while in sword form. Although not as popular as it once was in OU Aegislash can hold his own in Ubers as a great counter to Xerneas.

 

lunala

One of the box legendaries from Sun and Moon it was pretty much a given that Lunala would go straight to the Uber tier. Even with its typing making it incredibly susceptible to Dark types Lunala’s ability and movepool make it an incredible wall breaker with a wide array of useful attacking moves as well as a good Scarf user.

 

Tips and Tricks

Even with such a good defensive typing many ghosts are incredibly frail and a lot of mons run Dark type moves, beware priority and especially Knock Off since so many mons get it. Ghost is not an easy type to play and usually requires prediction and knowing your mons very well.

 

Hyper Offense options:

rotom

Rotom @ Choice Scarf

Ability: Levitate

EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Timid Nature

– Volt Switch

– Thunderbolt

– Shadow Ball

– Trick

 

gengar

Gengar @ Life Orb

Ability: Levitate

EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Timid Nature

– Shadow Ball

– Sludge Wave

– Focus Blast

– Taunt/Thunderbolt/Substitute

 

froslass

Froslass @ Focus Sash

Ability: Cursed Body

EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Timid Nature

– Taunt

– Spikes

– Destiny Bond/Will-o-wisp

– Ice Beam/Icy Wind

 

mimikyu

Mimikyu @ Life Orb

Ability: Disguise

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Jolly Nature

– Swords Dance

– Shadow Sneak

– Play Rough

– Shadow Claw

 

mismagius

Mismagius @ Ghostium Z

Ability: Levitate

EVs: 8 Def / 248 SpA / 252 Spe

Timid Nature

– Nasty Plot

– Shadow Ball

– Dazzling Gleam

– Taunt

 

marowak-alola

Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club

Ability: Lightning Rod

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Adamant Nature

– Shadow Bone

– Fire Punch

– Swords Dance

– Stealth Rock

 

While Ghost has limited options for hyper offense ghost moves are neutral on anything that isn’t Normal or Dark type and can make a dent on any mon with their high attacks stats. You have a few hazard options here and many ways of getting rid of threats to allow Mimikyu or Mismagius to clean up in the late game.

 

The Great Core

 

sableye-mega

Sableye @ Sablenite

Ability: Prankster

EVs: 248 HP / 116 Def / 144 SpD

Careful Nature

– Fake Out/Calm Mind

– Knock Off/Dark Pulse

– Will-O-Wisp

– Recover

 

doublade

Doublade @ Eviolite  

Ability: No Guard  

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD  

Impish Nature  

– Sacred Sword

– Shadow Claw  

– Rest  

– Sleep Talk

 

jellicent

Jellicent @ Leftovers

Ability: Water Absorb

EVs: 248 HP / 252 Sp.Def / 84 Spe

Calm Nature

– Scald

– Taunt

– Will-O-Wisp

– Recover

 

This is a solid core, you have Mega Sableye to take neutral damage from ghost and Dark type attacks, Doublade to switch into any Fairy Type attacks directed at Sableye and Jellicent to take on any special attackers that can scare away Doublade.

 

Trick Room Tricksters

 

jellicent-f

Jellicent @ Leftovers  

Ability: Water Absorb  

EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD  

Sassy Nature  

IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe  

– Trick Room  

– Recover  

– Scald  

– Will-O-Wisp  

 

trevenant

Trevenant @ Sitrus Berry  

Ability: Harvest  

EVs: 248 HP / 8 Atk / 252 Def  

Relaxed Nature  

IVs: 0 Spe  

– Trick Room  

– Leech Seed  

– Horn Leech  

– Will-O-Wisp  

 

chandelure

Chandelure @ Choice Specs  

Ability: Flash Fire  

EVs: 248 HP / 252 SpA / 8 SpD  

Quiet Nature  

IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe  

– Fire Blast  

– Shadow Ball  

– Energy Ball  

– Hidden Power [Fighting]  

 

marowak-alola

Marowak-Alola @ Thick Club  

Ability: Lightning Rod  

EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD  

Brave Nature  

IVs: 0 Spe  

– Flare Blitz  

– Shadow Bone  

– Earthquake  

– Swords Dance  

 

These four pokemon synergize well with each other, the trick room setters cover most weaknesses and the sweepers can switch in on every super effective hit directed at the setters and hit hard under trick room. However, as always, be wary of Dark types and keep a Mimikyu just in case.

 

Closing Remarks

Ghost is a very flexible type and ghost pokemon are surprisingly good at covering each other’s’  weaknesses. With good stats spread out across all Ghost types you can always find a pokemon to fill whatever role you want it to. As the great type defensively and offensively that is Ghost its presence will continue to be felt across every tier.

Mind Over Matter: A Guide to Using Psychic-Type Pokemon

By Zdeb93

Introduction
The original overpowered type from generation one, the psychic type and its pokemon still reign as some of the best in the game in generation seven. From generation one the game has seen introductions of dark and steel types as well as psychic losing an immunity to ghost (and instead becoming weak to it), all in some part in the name of nerfing psychic. Psychic has survived numerous attacks on its type, and while it might not be king in generation seven, it is still one of the strongest in the game.
The psychic type boasts some of the strongest special attackers, fast utility pokemon and a plethora of trick roomers to fill that play style, making them some of the most versatile pokemon in the game. Even as the generations rolled on psychic as a type got a lot of good physical attackers as well like Metagross, Gallade and Medicham, all of which have mega forms to further increase their power.
Type Overview
Psychic types are among the most versatile in the game. As a whole the type boasts a lot of Pokemon that can all fill roles any kind of team may need. There are also plenty of Pokemon who can fill multiple roles on the same team. For example Starmie is great both as a utility spinner or a choice specs attacker.
Defensively speaking the Psychic type is a relatively frail type. Most offensive pokemon in the psychic type fall easily to strong super effective attacks. With only its own type and Fighting attacks as resistance and a low physical defense stat (on average 13 points lower than special defense for fully evolved psychics) they certainly aren’t invincible.
Offensively, the psychic type comes with strong moves off of very high special attack stats across a lot of its viable Pokemon. While it has strong physical attackers as well (like Metagross and Medicham) the majority of its offense comes on the special side. One major drawback to using STAB psychic attacks though is their ability to be neutralized completely by Dark-types. The move Miracle Eye can alleviate this problem, though its limited recipients generally means it is better to find a different move to hit dark types, like Dazzling Gleam or Focus Blast.
By The Numbers
Roster
# of Pokemon with this type (Includes Mega, Alolan and Multi-types): 102
# of Fully Evolved Pokemon (Inlcudes Mega, Alolan and Multi-Types): 73
Offensive Effectiveness
2x super effective against: Fighting, Poison
2x resisted by: Psychic, Steel
Ineffective against: Dark
Defensive Effectiveness
2x weak against: Bug, Dark, Ghost
2x resistant to: Fighting, Psychic
Immune to: none
Notable Pokemon

  • Arceus-Psychic
  • Deoxys
  • Lugia
  • Lunala
  • Solgaleo
  • Mewtwo (Mega X and Y)
  • Mega Metagross
  • Mega Alakazam
  • Mega Medicham
  • Tapu Lele
  • Hoopa-Unbound
  • Latios
  • Alakazam
  • Mega Slowbro
  • Victini
  • Azelf
  • Celebi
  • Mew
  • Latias
  • Metagross
  • Starmie
  • Bronzong
  • Bruxish
  • Cresselia
  • Espeon
  • Gardevoir
  • Hoopa-Confined
  • Reuniclus
  • Malamar

Notable Moves
Physical – Zen Headbutt, Psycho Cut, Psychic Fangs
Special – Psychic, Psyshock, Extrasensory, Stored Power, Psystrike, Hyperspace Hole
Status – Hypnosis, Calm Mind, Rest, Trick, Trick Room, Healing Wish, Reflect, Light Screen, Agility, Heal Block, Magic Coat, Mirror Coat
Z-Moves: Shattered Psyche, Z-Psychic Terrain (Sets terrain and raises special attack 1 stage), Z-Trick Room (Sets Trick Room and raises accuracy 1 stage), Z-Trick (Raises speed 2 stages, can’t switch items), Z-Hypnosis (Raises speed 1 stage, puts foe to sleep)
Genesis Supernova (Mew Exclusive/Psychic) sets Psychic Terrain (must know Psychic to use)
Type in OU
Pick a playstyle, pick a role and there’s a good chance a psychic-type pokemon can fill your needs in the OU tier. While some psychics in question might be outclassed in some respects the fact remains with how many psychics exist and how strong they are on average they represent their type well no matter what tier or banlist you might be playing.
The ability to have their STAB attacks nullified by Dark-types is slightly hampering to the type in OU, however most psychic types have impressive secondary types that allow STAB coverage to hit hard (Like Latios’ Draco Meteor or Hoopa Unbound’s Dark Pulse). A lot of pokemon also get very good coverage options to satisfy their offensive abilities. Defensively look no further than the fact that two Steel/Psychic dual types are solidly in OU to give the type that versatility of offense, bulk or utility. Simply put psychics can do it all.

 

tapulele
Tapu Lele
Tapu Lele’s unique ability to set psychic terrain passively as its ability gives it a lot of clout among a type that is already filled with some great pokemon. Additonally that psychic terrain boosting Psychic moves (which Lele already gets STAB on) can hit hard on even the best walls and resisted types. A Tapu Lele psychic under psychic terrain 2HKOs Scizor, that is the level of strength that comes from Tapu Lele. In support it offers some good moves but in reality for most teams, shielding them from priority is all that most teams need.

 

hoopa-unbound
Hoopa-U
It’s big and scary and has six floating arms, you better believe this thing can hold its own on the battlefield. Most pokemon have 4 move slot syndrome because of how many moves it can learn and Hoopa-U sort of has that problem too. It learns a lot of viable moves across both of its attacking stats. 160 base attack and 170 base special attack while getting STAB Dark Pulse, Psyshock, Hyperspace Hole, Hyperspace Fury and Zen Headbutt and you can fill a moveset just on STAB attacks add in coverage moves that can hit via fighting, electric, grass, poison, ghost, ice and a hidden power type of the trainer’s choice. It’s a fantastic offensive option offensively.
Hoopa suffers a bit from its base 80 speed but a choice scarf fixes that issue for the most part. Its physical defense is base 60, which ordinarily would be bad, but in this case it makes your mixed sets an easier decision in terms of which defensive stat do you want to hinder. Hasty for boosted speed, Mild for boosted special attack or Lonely for boosted attack all which hinder defense.

 

alakazam-mega
M-Alakazam
Psychic’s most infamous glass cannon is Mega Alakazam. Considering the fact that a lot of base Alakazam sets use focus sash and it’s mega evolution boosts grant +40 to Special Attack and +30 to Speed that doesn’t grant a lot of bulk for M-Alakazam to sponge a hit. However, with a very high 175 base Special Attack and 150 base Speed there’s immense potential as a late game cleaner to outpace most of the metagame or a wall-breaker with its absurd attacking ability, depending on what your team needs. While it’s coverage may lack it’ll still hit whatever you want hard, just don’t expect it to be able to get hit that hard back.

 

medicham-mega

Since being unleashed onto the OU scene, Mega Medicham has had a swift impact on the metagame. Pure Power gives it a colossal attack stat. Combine that with decent speed and a great offensive typing and you have one of the most fearsome physical attackers OU has to offer. The combination of Hi Jump Kick, Zen Headbutt, Bullet Punch, and Ice/Fire/Thunder Punch backed by its fearsome attack stat let Mega Medicham blow through the majority of the tier. Alternatively, you can run Fake Out over Zen Headbutt or an elemental punch to gain double priority and chip away at defensive cores.

 

latios
Latios
The offensive half of the Eon duo Latios possesses great attacking power with 130 Special Attack and 110 in the speed department. While it does have a mega evolution (currently unreleased) the damage output by a regular Latios holding a Life Orb is actually more powerful than a Mega Latios (160 Special Attack) plus it’s mega evolution doesn’t gain any speed, so use your mega stone somewhere else.
Coverage wise Latios has a wide pool of options. On top of Dragon and Psychic STABs (which can target either defense stat) it can use strong coverage options in Ice, Electric, Grass, Ghost and Water. Latios can also heal itself with Roost but it’s 80/80/110 defenses mean it doesn’t take hits physically very well to make it workable, especially considering its best EV spread is the simple double max offense stats.

 

jirachi
Jirachi
Jirachi is a great mythical pokemon that is graced with a wonderful defensive typing in Steel/Psychic. Hey speaking of grace, Jirachi’s ability Serene Grace allow it to do some serious shenanigans on the battlefield. If you are fortunate enough to get your hands on a generation 3 Jirachi that has Body Slam that move will come with a 60% paralyze chance. If you don’t, don’t worry it gets access to Thunder Wave. Then add STAB Iron Head and it’s 30% (60% with Serene Grace) chance to flinch and the parahax numbers actually equate to your opponent being less likely to move than not. (NOTE FOR ECO LINK TO MY PARAHAX ARTICLE WITH HYPERTEXT).
If you aren’t feeling that diabolic, Jirachi can also function as great support with Stealth Rocks, and Healing Wish, it can also U-Turn (with base 100 attack too) toxic stall and wish pass too.

Jirachi’s latest tool this generation is its ability to use Z-Happy Hour. By equipping Jirachi with Normalium Z and using this status move, Jirachi gains a +1 boost to all stats. This makes it nearly impossible to revenge kill and allows it to sweep with a potent combination of Steel/Psychic STABS and whatever coverage you choose.

 

mew
Mew
The Mr. do everything of pokemon (feel free to voice your complaints about Mew being genderless in the comments) Mew has the ability to learn any move by some form of teaching. TM’s, move tutors plus its own moveset provides it a strong physical or special option in almost every type in terms of offense. It has base 100 stats in every stat giving it great defensive abilities, and in support it can do basically anything you need, Every TM and move tutor move covers a lot of support possibilities. Try Mew out to fill any unique hole you can come up with on an OU or mono-psychic team, and it should be able to do it.

 

slowbro-mega

Mega Slowbro

Mega Slowbro is one of two Psychic types banned from lower tiers. It is a stellar defensive Pokemon with incredible base 180 attack. It has access to Iron Defense and Calm Mind, which allow it to set up and become nearly impregnable. Rest or Slack Off can be used for Recovery, while Scald, Ice Beam, Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Psychic, or Psyshock typically round off offensive coverage. Toxic, Yawn, and Thunder Wave allow Mega Slowbro to inflict just the right status. Unfortunately, it does suffer from a case of four-moveslot syndrome, being unable to do everything at once.

victini

Victini

Victinia is a potent offensive threat thanks to its combination of V-Create and Bolt Strike. It is also banned from lower tier play but does not see much use in OU. It is a versatile mon capable of running sets like Choice items or Life Orb well.

 

Type in Mono

Psychic has been and remains one of the best types in this format due to the tender love it has been given over the years. Psychic teams are potent threats capable of dismantling a variety of teams with their wide coverage. However, they can do very little to defend themselves against Dark, Ghost, and even some Bug teams.

deoxys-defensedeoxys-speed

Deoxys

The Defense and Speed forms of Deoxys are both permitted in monotype. Often these will make their way onto Psychic teams as setters of Spikes, which is something Psychic teams otherwise lack. While they are considered too powerful for OU, their singular typing and disparate stats make them a good fit for the monotype metagame.

 
Trick Roomers
Psychic is one of the few monotypes that can effectively run Trick room. This is half in part to the wide pool of pokemon that get access to Trick Room (mostly due to it being a psychic status move) but also with just how many psychic pokemon there are there’s plenty of slow tanky psychic pokemon that do work under trick room.
Popular Trick room setters in the psychic type are Bronzong, Cresselia any of the Guardian Spirits, Reuniclus, Hoopa, Slowbro and more. There’s about a dozen fully evolved psychic pokemon that are below 80 base speed (some in the 30s like Bronzong and Reuniclus). Combine those two facts together and the trick room options are quite plentiful for a monotype.
Type in Other Metas

Ubers is well represented with psychic pokemon.

mewtwomewtwo-megax   mewtwo-megay

Most notable among these is Mewtwo and its two different mega forms (each boasting 190+ attacking stats in their respective mega forms).

lugia

Lugia is perhaps the bulkiest Psychic type with a great Psychic/Flying dual typing and Multiscale. However, it is a bit passive.

solgaleolunala

Solgaleo and Lunala are the two new Psychic-type ubers this generation. Each has excellent offensive and defensive capabilities between their awesome typings, movepools, and stats.
With the plethora of psychic types in the National Dex the type is also well represented in lower tiers too. One of UU’s top threats also is in the Psychic type in Latias (top 10 in usage on the Beta ladder). Victini was also seeing high usage in UU before it was quickbanned out near the end of UU’s beta phase. It is the first pokemon the tier is re-testing from its quickbans. Azelf also sees a lot of use in this tier with its ability to set rocks quickly, outspeed other hazard setters with taunt and explode as a possible suicide lead. Necrozma can also serve as a bulkier rock setter or a special attacker to play mind games as to what set you might bring to a UU battle.

slowbro

Slowbro
A great bulky water type for psychic, Slowbro’s 95/110/80 defenses mean it doesn’t sponge thunderbolts all that well, but most other things it tanks like a champ. With solid recovery options in Slack Off and the ability Regenerator it can really be a thorn in the side of an unprepared opponent by toxic stalling for example. In terms of damage output Slowbro’s 100 Special Attack is pretty serviceable, but investing in bulk suits it more. Slowbro can run Calm Mind sets to help its lower Special defense stat get raised and simultaneously becoming a special attacking powerhouse. With Water and Psychic STAB plus access to Ice, Grass and Fire for coverage.
And if none of that does it for you, it’s got a mega evolution that gets even bulkier and is immune to critical hits. Needless to say it’s got a lot of tricks up its sleeve (or in its Shellder)

starmie

Starmie
Prior to generation 7, Starmie was a lifetime member of the OU tier (impressive considering it’s a gen one pokemon, so over 20 years old). While it has fallen to UU, Starmie still possesses great utility in its ability to Rapid Spin away hazards. With 100 base Special Attack and 115 Speed and Beam Bolt coverage it can also be an offensive force in the right circumstance. With access to recover and natural cure as an ability Starmie can also take care of itself well healing wise but it’s not going to be able to sponge many hits on 60/85/85 defenses.
Starmie’s other useable ability Analytic offers a 30% boost to damage output if it goes last. The only problem with that is Starmie’s natural speed prevents it from using that to its full potential, good on paper but not so much in execution.

 

necrozma

Necrozma

Necrozma is a cool legendary Pokemon available after you have captured all of the Ultra Beasts in the post-game sequence. It is a more defensively inclined Psychic type, and has not seen much play in OU. Recently with the Baton Pass fetish there has been some use of a set including Calm Mind and Stored Power, but it remains mostly confined to lower tiers.
Tips and Tricks
Using the psychic type at first could lead to a case of analysis paralysis. With all the different options and playstyles the type can fit whether it be as a monotype or not, this is to be expected. Using pokemon known to be at the top of their class with whatever tier or banlist is being played is a good start and then one shouldn’t be afraid to get creative with psychic pokemon. Their versatility in attacks (both STAB and coverage) as well as the wide amount of utility most of the pokemon get allows a trainer to customize a pokemon and its moveset specifically to their needs without much given up in terms of lost power or opportunity. Pokemon sometimes is all about experimenting, psychic types are a good test subject for that.
Closing Remarks
Psychic is still a top level monotype in the pokemon world. While it doesn’t run as grossly unchecked as it used to, the versatility and sheer power the type possesses is enough to keep any opponent on their toes.

Something Something Something Dark Side: A Guide to Using Dark-Type Pokemon

By Eco

Introduction

Lurking in the shadows and waiting for the opportune moment to strike, Dark-type Pokemon are a metagame defining class of creatures. Broadly speaking, their purpose in the metagame is to disturb opposing strategies. This diverse bunch comes with a variety of tools that do this trick, from offensively oriented moves like Knock Off and Sucker Punch to defensive ones like Taunt and Parting Shot. If you are not careful, Dark-type Pokemon will take your carefully crafted strategy and break it apart bit by bit.

 

Type Overview

The Dark type was introduced in Generation II to offset the strength of Psychic types in Generation I. At its time of introduction, there were five fully evolved Dark-type Pokemon: Sneasel, Murkrow, Houndoom, Umbreon, and Tyranitar.

Over time, Dark-type Pokemon proved popular, and so more Pokemon bearing this type were introduced in Generations III, IV, and V. Generation V in particular saw an influx of powerful dark types like Bisharp, Hydreigon, and Krookodile which quickly rose to prominence.

In Generation VI, Dark-type Pokemon lost a lot with the introduction of Fairy-type Pokemon. Being weak to Fairy-type attacks and with their STAB moves resisted by Fairy-type Pokemon, Dark-type Pokemon became somewhat less attractive. This was offset somewhat by nerfing Steel’s resistance to Dark to a neutrality.

In Generation VII, very little changed for Dark. The increasing prominence of Fairy-type Pokemon, especially the Guardian Dieties, has continued to hurt the type. However, Dark-type Pokemon now have a beneficial immunity to status moves used by a Pokemon with the ability Prankster, which does have situational utility.

The primary goal of almost all Dark-type Pokemon is to disrupt opposing strategy in some way. A variety of offensive and status moves help accomplish this goal. Knock Off is ubiquitous and incredibly spammable, since almost all Pokemon carry an item. You will be able to get the boost plus rid a foe of their item about 1/2 the time you use this move, given the prevalence of Z Crystals and Mega Stones in the SM metagame. Pursuit catches Pokemon as they switch, another common feature of the meta, and can allow you to take out threatening Ghost and Psychic-type Pokemon. Meanwhile Sucker Punch is an emergency check to otherwise faster Pokemon that punishes foes as they try to attack.

On the status side, Dark types don’t have as much, but Z-Parting Shot and Z-Memento allow you a chance to lower opponent stats while bringing in a teammate to heal. Taunt helps prevent status and can be an important momentum grabber.

 

By the Numbers

 

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 54

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 33 (8 Alternate Forms)

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Ghost, Psychic

Effective against: Normal, Fire, Water, Flying, Grass, Poison, Electric, Ground, Rock, Ice, Bug, Dragon, Steel

2x resisted by: Dark, Fairy, Fighting

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Bug, Fairy, Fighting

Damaged normally by: Normal, Fire, Water, Flying, Grass, Poison, Electric, Ground, Rock, Ice, Bug, Dragon, Steel

2x resistant to: Dark, Ghost

Immune to: Psychic

 

 

Notable Pokemon

  • Darkrai
  • Yveltal
  • Hoopa-Unbound
  • Mega Sableye
  • Mega Gyarados
  • Mega Houndoom
  • Ash-Greninja
  • Greninja
  • Muk-Alolan
  • Tyranitar
  • Weavile
  • Mega Absol
  • Mega Sharpedo
  • Hydreigon
  • Krookodile
  • Mandibuzz
  • Bisharp
  • Persian-Alolan
  • Incineroar
  • Crawdaunt
  • Honchkrow
  • Zoroark

 

Notable Moves

Physical- Knock Off, Sucker Punch, Pursuit, Crunch, Foul Play

Special- Dark Pulse

Status- Dark Void, Parting Shot, Memento

Z Moves- Black Hole Eclipse, Z Parting Shot, Z Memento, Z Snatch

 

Type in OU

 

Once upon a time, Dark types were a fearsome force in the metagame. Particularly in Generation V, there were a plethora of strong Dark-type Pokemon from which to choose. However, the introduction of Fairy-type Pokemon in Generation VI has shifted the momentum, and while Dark is still a strong offensive type, it is much less useful defensively than it was before.

 

hoopa-unbound

Hoopa-Unbound is truly one of the most threatening wallbreakers in the OU metagame. A good Dark/Psychic typing, 170/160 offensive stats, and wide coverage means that this thing is both versatile and powerful. This deadly combination earned it the ban hammer last generation when it was sent to Ubers. Hoopa-Unbound’s most effective sets are usually choice sets: Choice Scarf patches up its mediocre speed and lets it sweep late game, while Choice Band or Choice Specs turn it into a threatening wallbreaker. Hoopa-Unbound also can effectively run a mixed attacking Life Orb set. A less common set is Darkium-Z: Hoopa can either utilize Snatch to gain a +2 speed boost plus steal any boosts the opponent is planning, or it can unleash a powerful Black Hole Eclipse. Hyperspace Fury is its signature move, able to hit behind protect and packing a huge punch. Good coverage in moves like Drain Punch and Gunk Shot allow Hoopa-Unbound to handle most things that come its way. Just be sure to keep it away from physical attacks, especially Bug-type moves like U-Turn.

 

greninjagreninja-ash

Also returning from Ubers and making its mark on the present metagame is Greninja. As if Protean and ridiculous coverage did not offer Greninja enough to be a nuisance before, it now has a new ability that grants it a powerful form. Both Protean and Battle Bond grant Greninja a strong presence in the metagame, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Protean Greninja has access to wide coverage in moves like Gunk Shot and Low Kick, and can play around opponents by shifting its typing to suit defensive needs. Ash-Greninja must enter the field initially as regular Greninja, and since it lacks the wide coverage of its counterpart it is more limited. However, once it nabs a KO, the form chance grants it big buffs in attack, special attack, and speed, as well as an increase in power to Water Shuriken. Specs-boosted Shurikens are enough to take out most weakened foes, and Hydro Pump plus Dark Pulse coverage means that this thing can hurt.

 

sableye-mega

Mega Sableye is another defining force that is returning for exile in Ubers. This was one of the more contentious bans during the ORAS metagame, as it occurred very late, just before the release of Sun and Moon. Mega Sableye is notable for the incredible support it brings to stall teams. The change to Mega Evolution’s speed mechanics nerfs it slightly, as it can no longer reap the benefits of Prankster Will-O-Wisp and additional bulk on the same turn. Magic Bounce is a great ability that allows it to prevent status, especially entry hazards. This generation, Mega Sableye fits more effectively on balanced teams, which are increasingly popular in the offensive metagame. A single weakness in Fairy-type attacks and immunities to Psychic, Fighting, and Normal give it plenty of opportunities to switch in. Just be mindful of its low base 50 HP.

 

gyarados-mega

When Sun and Moon were first released, there were very few Mega Pokemon to choose from. As Gamefreak has moved towards releasing some of the Mega Stones via events, this has shifted, but one early consequence was that Pokemon like Mega Gyarados had the opportunity to regain prominence. Mega Gyarados is a fearsome sweeper: just one Dragon Dance is enough to allow it to run through most things, and heaven forbid it manages to fire off a second. STAB Waterfall and Crunch combined with coverage in Earthquake and Ice Fang. Good 95/109/130 bulk means it can usually take a hit or two, as well.

 

muk-alola

Life hasn’t been all bad for the Dark-type with regards to fairies, however. SM introduced an Alolan form for Muk, which has basically all of the same tools as regular Muk plus a secondary typing. That addition of a Dark typing helps Muk a lot by giving it a key Psychic immunity and buffing Knock Off and Pursuit. Alolan Muk has spectacular 105/100 special bulk, and good 105 attack means it can run an Assault Vest set to serve as an effective pivot. Its ability, Poison Touch, also means that any contact move has a chance to poison, and that chance is boosted for moves that already have a chance. For instance, Poison Jab has a 51% chance to poison the foe. Regular poison may not seem as beneficial as Toxic, but it actually does more damage as long as the opponent is out for 1-2 turns (and the damage output is equal if they remain out for 3), meaning that regular poison is preferential for an offensively inclined metagame. Muk’s combination of typing and bulk allow it to Pursuit trap Pokemon like Latios and Mega Alakazam, counter threats such as Volcarona and Tapu Lele, or just wreak general havoc with the combination of Poison Jab and Knock Off. The only real downside to Alolan Muk versus its Kantoan counterpart is that Alolan Muk, as of yet, lacks the ubiquity of punch coverage. Notably, lacking Ice Punch means that Alolan Muk is trapped and defeated by Dugtrio; no Thunder Punch leaves it walled by Toxapex; a lack of Fire Punch means it is forced to run Fire Blast to deal with Ferrothorn and Scizor; and Sucker Punch’s absence leaves it forced to run the weaker Shadow Sneak for priority.

 

tyranitar

Tyranitar has long been a fan favorite, but it, too, is feeling the pinch of a shifting Metagame. Dark/Rock typing is great offensively, but terrible defensively. This is rectified somewhat by 100/110/100 bulk; Sand Stream helps bolster its special bulk an additional 50%. Tyranitar is another Pokemon that benefits from a wide coverage movepool, notably access to the elemental punches and decent special attack to compliment access to moves like Fire Blast and Ice Beam. Tyranitar can effectively run such items as Leftovers, Choice Band, Choice Scarf, and Assault Vest. However, it continues to struggle to keep pace in a fast paced metagame with its paltry 61 speed.

 

weavile

Last generation, Weavile was a defining Pokemon that all OU players had to be wary of and carry an answer to. This generation, its role as a hard-hitting Ice-type has mostly been subverted by Mamoswine, who is stronger, bulkier, is not weak to Stealth Rock, and has a better offensive typing. However, since it was banned from UU and relegated to borderline, it is technically only eligible for use in OU, which is why it is mentioned here. Weavile’s speed and power allow it to still fill a useful niche as a late-game cleaner and revenge killer.

 

houndoom-mega

The recent release of Houndoominite adds yet another XY Mega Evolution to the mix. Mega Houndoom is a mixed bag as far as Mega Pokemon go. It has stellar base 140 special attack and a great speed tier at base 115, plus its defenses get boosted from quite frail to just above average. It also has a great movepool, with access to great offensive dual STAB moves like Dark Pulse, Fire Blast, and Flamethrower, not to mention coverage in Solarbeam and Sludge Bomb, as well as utility options like Taunt, Nasty Plot, and Will-o-Wisp. Unfortunately, Mega Houndoom’s ability, Solar Power, only works in sun; therefore a dedicated sun setter is required. Torkoal is the only sun setter who is viable, and unfortunately requires a lot of support. This often means that Mega Houndoom cannot be used to its full potential in standard play. While it is OU for now to allow the metagame to settle, it is doubtful that it will see much use in standard play.

Type in Mono

While the Dark-types of OU arguably represent the strongest of this unique class, one would be mistaken to think that this is all the type has to offer. When playing monotype in particular, Dark is forced to draw on some lower-tier Pokemon to cover key weaknesses or absences. Notably, Ash-Greninja and Hoopa-Unbound are both banned from monotype play, meaning that the strongest cleaner and wallbreaker respectively are off-limits. Luckily, Dark has more than a few tricks up its sleeve for dealing with these absences.

 

mandibuzz

Mandibuzz is a staple on many Dark teams due to its ability to take Fighting-type hits well. 110/105/95 bulk lets it hold up well against many attacks. Access to Defog, Tailwind, and Toxic make it a great support Pokemon, while Foul Play, U-Turn, and Brave Bird give it offensive versatility.

 

bisharp

Bisharp may have fallen from OU this generation, but it remains a key Pokemon on Dark-type teams due to its ability to beat fairies. It can utilize a Life Orb with STAB moves like Pursuit, Knock Off, Sucker Punch, and Iron Head depending on what your team needs. In terms of coverage, it is basically limited to Low Kick. Swords Dance and Defiant boosts let Bisharp heighten its offensive potential quickly. An Assault Vest set with four attacks is also situationally useful as a way to more reliably beat Fairy teams with Pokemon like Magearna, Tapu Lele, and Tapu Koko.

 

hydreigon

Hydreigon was once incredibly prevalent in OU… until Fairy-type Pokemon came along and ruined everything. 4x weakness to their attacks has caused Hydreigon to lose prominence. While it has the advantage of being the only really good special attacker Dark has to offer (at least until Houndoominite is released) Hydreigon also comes with the baggage of basically being unable to touch fairies, save for some chip damage with Flash Cannon. In spite of this, coverage with moves like Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Earth Power, Flash Cannon, and Surf make Hydreigon a versatile wallbreaker. A Choice Scarf can also be used should use desire a faster cleaner.

 

krookodile

Krookodile is another hard hitter who remains useful. Moxie plus a Choice Scarf turns Krookodile into a threatening revenge killer capable of running through teams once its checks and counters are gone. If the speed is not needed, Life Orb allows it to switch freely, while a Choice Band makes it a moderately fast wallbreaker. Intimidate can alternatively be run to simulate decent bulk, allowing Krookodile to serve as a pivot and Stealth Rock setter. All in all, it is a versatile Pokemon that fits onto multiple teams well due to its stellar offensive typing.

 

crawdaunt

Crawdaunt is a rather niche option, but the combination of its base 125 attack and Adaptability mean that its STAB moves do large damage against even foes that resist them. Crawdaunt is notable for being the best Volcarona check Dark has: a Choice Banded Aqua Jet from Jolly natured Crawdaunt will always OHKO unless Volcarona runs significant HP investment (which is uncommon). The ability to keep Volcarona in check is a must for all Dark-type teams, and nobody does that better than Crawdaunt. Sadly, Crawdaunt is held back by a rather paltry coverage movepool. Aside from Crabhammer, Aqua Jet, Crunch, and Knock Off, it doesn’t get much that is helpful. Superpower is its only other coverage move, which has situational use, especially for beating opposing Dark. Swords Dance and Dragon Dance sets are not as viable, as Crawdaunt is usually too frail to take a hit, and it is too slow to outrun much even after one speed boost.

 

honchkrow

Honchkrow is a useful, if one-dimensional, option. Choice Scarf and Life Orb sets are still popular as ways of inflicting damage quickly. However, this generation Honchkrow gained a cool new tool with Z-Mirror Move. This allows Honchkrow to immediately boost its attack stat to +2, then fires off a Z-version of the last move your foe used. This plus Moxie lets Honchkrow finish off teams with just Sucker Punch if it gets an opening. The downside is that Honchkrow is still slow, frail, and thus reliant on Sucker Punch.

 

persian-alola

Fur Coat lets Persian simulate good physical bulk. This combined with its high speed make it a rather unique utility Pokemon. Z-Parting Shot is the main attractor, as it allows Alolan Persian to drop its foes attack and special attack and bring in a foe with full healing. Taunt and Foul Play are excellent options on Alolan Persian, too, as it is fast enough to outrun many hazard setters and can use its good physical bulk to check setup sweepers with Foul Play.

 

zoroark

Zoroark should not be overlooked as an option for Dark monotype teams. While it is limited by its frailty and speed tier, it is notable as a good mixed attacker with access to a wide coverage movepool. Moves like Dark Pulse, Sucker Punch, Extrasensory, Sludge Bomb, Flamethrower, Grass Knot, Focus Blast, and U-Turn make it very versatile. Its ability Illusion allows it to masquerade temporarily as the last Pokemon in your party. This can be used in tandem with almost any move imaginable to throw off your opponent’s groove. Illusion does however break when Zoroark is damaged by a direct attack or uses a Z-move.

 

Type in Other Metas

 

In Ubers

In the Ubers metagame, there are three additional forces to consider: Darkrai, Yveltal, and Arceus-Dark.

darkrai

Once upon a time, Darkrai was one of the most threatening ubers due to its potential to put foes to sleep with 80% accurate Dark Voids and slowly suck away their health with its signature ability Bad Dreams. But now, Dark Void has been nerfed to 50% accuracy, leaving Darkrai further behind than ever before. Z-Hypnosis gives Darkrai some potential, as it can put foes to sleep while boosting its speed in preparation for a sweep. But the downside to this is that it leaves many of Darkrai’s coverage moves weaker than one would have if running a Life Orb.

yveltal

Like many Dark-type Pokemon, Yveltal is able to run mixed physical/special sets effectively. Dark Pulse is by far its strongest option, with an additional 33% thanks to Dark Aura. Sucker Punch mitigates its average speed, while Oblivion Wing provides Flying STAB plus recovery.

 

arceus-dark

While holding a Dread Plate, Arceus gains a Dark typing, which is one of the most useful typings it can access. This means it can bypass common Psychic and Ghost types in the tier and beat them, while having the utility movepool it needs to boost and/or keep itself healthy.

 

In UU

Hydreigon, Mandibuzz, Krookodile, and Bisharp all fit into this category and exert important pulls on the UU metagame.

absol-megasharpedo-mega

Mega Absol and Mega Sharpedo both also occupy UU. As two of the more lackluster Dark-type Mega Evolutions, these two are both situationally useful in OU but have significant flaws that hold them back. Mega Absol is a good offensive user of Magic Bounce, but it cannot reliably switch into much due to frailty. Mega Sharpedo has an average speed tier, and is forced to forego a move in favor of Protect so that it can gain a Speed Boost before Mega evolving. This means that it must choose from a plethora of good coverage moves, leaving it always walled by something. Strong Jaw makes its Crunch among the most powerful moves in the game and Waterfall provides excellent STAB coverage. Psychic Fang, Poison Fang, and Ice Fang both also benefit from its ability, while Aqua Jet and Earthquake provide utility in their own rights.

 

Tips and Tricks

Dark’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in Generation VI with the introduction of the Fairy-type. This compounds with the relative prevalence of strong fighting coverage and U-Turn, which also give Dark a hard time. Dark Pokemon are notoriously frail, and the nature of the present type chart means that many dual typings do not lose all of their weaknesses to Fairy, Bug, or Fighting.

The approach you should take to this depends on the metagame. In OU, UU, etc., it is advised to pair Dark-type Pokemon with Pokemon that can be good bulky switches. For example, if you are running Hoopa-U, a Pokemon like Ferrothorn or Garchomp can be used to punish U-Turners.

In monotype however, it is usually more efficient to go all out in hyper offense. The prevalence of strong wallbreakers like Magearna on Fairy and Steel teams makes it nearly impossible for Dark to gain the upper hand through defensive switches, so revenge kills and sweeping are necessary.

 

Here is a sample team that I run on the ladder. The team is based around the idea of 3 defensive pivots, 1 wallbreaker, and 2 possible wincons:

tyranitar

Tyranitar @ Leftovers
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
– Stone Edge
– Fire Punch
– Ice Punch
– Stealth Rock

muk-alola

Muk-Alola @ Assault Vest
Ability: Poison Touch
EVs: 248 HP / 16 Def / 244 SpD
Sassy Nature
– Knock Off
– Shadow Sneak
– Fire Blast
– Poison Jab

mandibuzz

Mandibuzz (F) @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Impish Nature
– Foul Play
– U-turn
– Defog
– Roost

hydreigon

Hydreigon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Draco Meteor
– Fire Blast
– Flash Cannon
– Earth Power

krookodile

Krookodile @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Moxie
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Earthquake
– Iron Tail
– Fire Fang
– Superpower

sharpedo-mega

Sharpedo-Mega @ Sharpedonite
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Waterfall
– Psychic Fangs
– Ice Fang
– Protect

 

Tyranitar serves as a great lead, putting immediate offensive pressure on the opponent with Sand Stream and Stealth Rock plus its naturally good attack and coverage. A bulky set means that it can take advantage of multiple switches. Alolan Muk is the special wall for the team and a great pivot who can beat common threats like Greninja and Volcarona. Fire Blast coverage is a dastardly surprise for common switches like Scizor and Ferrothorn. Mandibuzz is both a good physical wall and an unfortunately good fodder Pokemon: Rocky Helmet and stellar bulk punish Pokemon like physical Tapu Koko when they go in for a Wild Charge. Strategic switches into Hydreigon allow for wallbreaking opportunities. After their checks have been picked off, sweeping opportunities for Krookodile and Mega Sharpedo are usually easy to come by, and they can come in handy in a pinch due to their good coverage. I opt for Psychic and Ice Fang coverage on Mega Sharpedo instead of Crunch as a way of reliably beating Pokemon like Keldo and Tapu Bulu, which are otherwise hard for this team to beat. Iron Tail and Flash Cannon on Krookodile and Hydreigon might seem suboptimal, but considering the prevalence of Fairy teams in monotype right now, they are unfortunately necessary.

 

Closing Remarks

Dark is a fun, yet challenging, type that brings a lot of diversity to the metagame. It is capable of turning the tides in any match by being a potent anti-metagame force. While it is quite useful offensively, there are far better defensive typings available. Almost any team can benefit from the unique power, coverage, and utility that Dark-type Pokemon bring to the table.

Slippery Slope; or, Ice Types Aren’t That Bad: A Guide to Using Ice-Type Pokemon

 

By 2180161

Introduction

Ice types. Cold, hard, and fast. Ice is a great attacking type, as double weaknesses are common, such as Dragon and Flying. Ice types have good offensive typing, meaning that they can tear down some of the bulkiest walls. There are many notable Ice moves plus nice abilities to couple them. All of these make the Ice typing a great choice offensively.

 

Type Overview

The Ice type was first introduced in Generation I with Red, Blue, and Yellow. In this generation, it was the only type super effective against dragon. This made it good to take out Dragonite considering it was dual weak. Throughout the generations, the type has had many additions, some good, some not as good, but the few offensive mons getting good stats have been very influential in their respective metagame. That is because most walls are either weak to Ice or at least neutral to it (for example Skarmory, Gliscor, Hippowdon, Landorus-T, etc). With Pokemon like Mamoswine, Weavile, and Kyurem-B, there are so many ice types that can dent a hole on walls, helping teammates late game.

Ice will almost always run offense because its defensive typing is lackluster to say the least. The type unfortunately has some shortcomings, mainly in its defensive stats, and defensive typing. Ice is weak to four types, and with only one resistance – to its own type. Offensively, it is super effective against four types, with four resisting it. Of those types that are weak to Ice, one is Flying, one of the most common types in the game.  

 

By the Numbers

 

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 40

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 27 (Including two mega evolutions)

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Flying, Dragon, Grass, Ground

Effective against: Rock, Bug, Psychic, Dark, Fighting, Fairy, Ghost, Poison, Normal, Electric

2x resisted by: Fire, Water, Steel, Ice

Ineffective against: None

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Fire, Rock, Fighting, Steel

Damaged normally by: Bug, Psychic, Dark, Fairy, Ghost, Poison, Normal, Electric, Water, Grass, Dragon, Flying, Ground

2x resistant to: Ice

Immune to: None

 

Notable Pokemon

  • Kyurem-White
  • Kyurem-Black
  • Mamoswine
  • Weavile
  • Alolan Ninetales
  • Alolan Sandslash
  • Cloyster
  • Mega Glalie
  • Froslass
  • Abomasnow

 

 

Notable Moves

Physical-Icicle Crash, Ice Shard, Icicle Spear, Ice Punch

Special-Ice Beam, Blizzard, Freeze-Dry, Icy Wind

Status-Hail, Aurora Veil, Haze

Z-Moves- Subzero Slammer

Type in OU

In the OU metagame, the Ice typing fairs well offensively. Defensively, you would be better off using Dunsparce against 6 Mega Rayquaza. With Flying being one of the most prevalent types in the metagame, Ice can reliably net some KO’s. Landorus-T is one of the most common pokemon in OU, but it has a four times weakess to Ice – meaning one Ice Beam or Hidden Power Ice from a strong special attack will OHKO. With many steel types in OU, such as Mega Scizor, Skarmory, and Celesteela, Ice won’t fare well defensively.

There are only two Ice type Pokemon that technically break OU usage: Kyurem-Black and Mamoswine.

kyurem-black

Kyurem-Black has been an OU staple since its introduction in generation five. It briefly fell to UU in usage at the start of this generation, but was quickly banned and eventually rose to OU. The main reason for its ban was the introduction of a potent new weapon in Subzero Slammer. While Kyurem’s traditional Scarf and Life Orb sets are still viable, Icium Z finally gives it a one-shot physical ice move. Used with Freeze Shock, Kyurem packs a 200BP ice move for one-time use. Backed by STAB and base 170 attack, that hurts, OHKOing even some versions of Ferrothorn.

mamoswine

Mamoswine fills a similar role to the one occupied by Weavile in the XY/ORAS metagame. It is just slightly more powerful and bulky and has a more potent offensive typing, allowing it to serve as a great blanket check to mons like weakened Tapu Bulu, Salamence, and Landorus-Therian.

weavile

While Weavile no longer cracks OU by stats, it still has some presence there since being banned from UU. Weavile’s best set is still a Life Orb all-out attacker with Knock Off, Icicle Crash, Ice Shard, and Low Kick or Poison Jab for coverage.

Sadly, the prevalence of powerful steel types like Mega Metagross, Mega Mawile, Mega Scizor, Celesteela, and Kartan in OU hurt ice’s viability. Few, if any, ice type pokemon aside from these three are seen on the OU ladder.

 

Type in Mono

 

 

 In the monotype metagame, Ice still struggles like it does in OU. With many steel, fighting, and fire monotype teams, Ice has issues. Still, these issues can be worked around.

avalugg

In monotype, almost every ice team should have Avalugg. It has access to rapid spin, and high physical stats. Avalanche makes up for its middling speed, so any hit it takes, the opposing Pokemon will be taking a 120 BP stab attack back. It has access to recover, but unfortunately cannot take any special attacks.

ninetales-alolasandslash-alola

Other pokemon in the monotype metagame are Ninetails-A and Sandslash-A. These two work hand in hand with each other. Ninetails can set hail with Snow Warning, and Sandslash has Slush Rush to take advantage of that. Hail + Aurora Veil is a viable strategy for assisting hyper offense teams and alleviating some of Ice’s weaknesses.

The Ice typing in Monotype should be running Hyper Offense, here and henceforth referred to as “HO”. The purpose for this is because there aren’t any pokemon with high enough defenses to stall (excluding avalugg).  Instead, the most common ice types have high offenses and decent speed. An example is weavile, who has a 125 Base Attack stat and access to Low Kick – meaning steel types should be wary. Cloyster has shell smash, skill link, and multi hit moves to cover for its average offensive stats.

When teambuilding in Mono, Ice will always need a pokemon with access to Rapid Spin, whether that is Cryogonal or Avalugg – Cloyster is not mentioned as it works better as a sweeper. A setup sweeper like Cloyster works wonders, and a scarf or band like Kyurem-B works amazingly as well. Due to the fact that Ice runs HO, there is not a need for status moves.

There wasn’t much of a change for Ice in Generation VII from VI. Steel is still prevalent and extremely annoying to deal with, and Ice can’t handle fighting, rock, and fire. This forces Ice teams to run specialized sets that are able to compete against common steel teams.

 

Type in Other Metas

cloyster

Cloyster is a monster if it gets to setup. At level 100, running a jolly nature, it outspeeds fully invested + speed natured base 188 pokemon. With the ability skill link and access to Rock Blast and Icicle spear, it can get up to base 125 STAB move, and 125 rock type move. After one shell smash, it has a chance to 2HKO the standard bulky Mega Scizor, which can only 4HKO in return, unless it sets up. Despite this, it almost always needs to run focus sash, which can hinder its ability to nab some KO’s, thus leaving it in UU.

arceus-icekyurem-white

In Ubers, Ice has just Arceus and Kyurem-White. Kyurem-White is an awesome special wallbreaker, boasting the most powerful Draco Meteor in the game and being able to make use of a base 170 special attack for truly powerful Ice Beams. Arceus-Ice is occassionally useful to check Pokemon like Zygarde-Complete on offensively inclined teams.

glalie-megaabomasnow-mega

Ice has just two mega Pokemon, and unfortunately neither of them are very good. Mega Glalie is the only one of these two currently released, and it sits down in RU in terms of usage. Its ability, Refrigerate, gives it a small niche as a suicide attacker in OU: Refrigerate-boosted Explosion hits everything hard, even when resisted. Mega Abomasnow probably won’t make much of a dent when Abomasite is released, as it is slow and suffers from multiple weaknesses.

 

Tips and Tricks

My favorite thing to do is practice my Ice vs. OU on pokemon showdown. With a whole bunch of steel types running around, it’s quite difficult. A standard core I run for it is Ninetails, Sandslash, and Kyurem-B. I really like this core because it has the Fairy/Steel/Dragon core alongside the Ice typing, and there is a strong special attacker, and two physical – one sweeper, one wallbreaker.

My favorite Ice type to use however, is Cloyster. Ignoring its low Special Defense, it is actually decent defensively. A 180 base defense is nothing to laugh at. Most of the time it will run focus sash so it can guarantee a shell smash setup, boosting its speed and both attack stats by a factor of two. Sometimes, it will run a white herb instead to allow its defenses to stay up.  An example of a Cloyster doing work is against Skarmory. These calculations are done after a shell smash, with white herb. Cloyster is faster, so the shell smash is first.

0 Atk Skarmory Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Cloyster: 64-76 (26.5 – 31.5%) — guaranteed 4HKO

So skarmory will 4HKO. That isn’t great. Cloyster on the other hand…

+2 252 Atk Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Skarmory: 195-230 (58.3 – 68.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

Now, keep in mind, that it will always be five hits as it has skill link as its ability. It will 2HKO. Meaning cloyster will be left with at best 20.5% of HP left. It can still nab some KO’s after that thanks to its high speed, and attack.

 

Closing Remarks

As shown, despite their many weaknesses, Ice types can still shine and don’t always fall down a slippery slope of being KO’d right after the other. In fact, since a few common types are weak to ice, it makes for a great attacking type. With the strong wallbreakers such as Kyurem-B and Mega Glalie, and the set up sweeper Cloyster, even steel types need to be on the look out for surprises – like an Earth Power from a Specs Kyurem. Ice is a hard type to use, but with practice, it is a lot of fun and can win quite a bit more often than one would think.

Power of the Land, Strength from the Earth’s Core: A Guide to Using Ground-Type Pokemon

By RightWingErika

 

Introduction

Ground is the type that literally shakes the earth, full of many Pokémon that are both tanks and heavy hitters.  It’s a type I know well, being a ground type gym leader for a little over 2 years now, and using several different ground types in both the Smogon tiers and as a VGC player who started back in the days of Heart Gold and Soul Silver.  I’ve faced a lot of different types of teams, including those with some of the biggest threats to Ground types, especially the fast ice types like Weavile and Frosslass, to the hard-hitting water types like Gyarados and Mega Swampert. With help from two of my favorite Pokémon, Donphan and Landorus-Therian, I have found ways around these weaknesses to leave my opponents quaking in their boots.

Type Overview

Ground has been around since the beginning of Pokémon, leaving a big impression as the type of choice for eighth gym leader and one of the most iconic evil team bosses, Giovanni. It also boasts a lot of hard hitters, as well as bulky mons, but is sadly restricted by slow speeds and the tendency of mons to have low special defense stats. However, there are ways around these weaknesses, as well as certain moves that allow them to put more damage on the field even before attacks have been launched. Working around these weaknesses and balancing the team allows for Ground types to become bulky powerhouses.

 

By the Numbers

# of Pokémon with this type:  75

# of Fully Evolved Pokémon: 33

# of Mega Evolutions:  4

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x Super Effective against: Electric, Poison, Fire, Rock, Steel

Effective against: Normal, Fighting, Fairy, Dark, Water, Ice, Psychic, Dragon, Ghost

2x resisted by: Grass, Bug

Ineffective against: Flying

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Water, Grass, Ice

Damaged normally by: Psychic, Dragon, Ghost, Dark, Steel, Fighting, Normal, Bug, Fairy, Fire

2x resistant to: Poison, Rock

Immune to: Electric

 

Notable Competitive Pokémon

  • Groudon
  • Zygarde-Complete
  • Landorus-Incarnate
  • Landorus Therian
  • Zygarde-50%
  • Excadrill
  • Garchomp
  • Mega Garchomp
  • Mamoswine
  • Dugtrio-Kantoan
  • Gliscor
  • Hippowdon
  • Krookodile
  • Nidoking
  • Swampert
  • Zygarde-10%
  • Dugtrio-Alolan
  • Flygon
  • Gastrodon
  • Mudsdale
  • Rhyperior
  • Donphan
  • Quagsire

 

Notable Moves

Physical: Earthquake, Drill Run, Bonemerang

Special: Earth Power, Mud Bomb

Status: Spikes

Z-Move:

 

 

Ground in OU

In OU, ground offers a lot of strong and diverse mons, the first being Landorus Therian form.

landorus-therian

With his intimidate ability, strong move pool and diverse sets that exist for him, he is a Mon often seen on teams. He can be used in many different positions, from a bulkier stealth rock setter, to a speedy heavy hitter. His base attack of 145 and speed of 91 make him a good option for either choice scarf or choice band, and allow for leeway for a bulkier set build since his stats are well enough to not directly need an item to boost. His intimidate ability helps him on both sides, as he can be used as a constant switch in with choice scarf U-turn in order to bring down damage from physical attackers and bring down the attack to further keep damage down on him, allowing for stealth rock set up or boost his own attack or speed with swords dance or rock polish.  His main weakness is the amount of water type Pokémon available and the amount of mons with the option of ice type moves which even with bulk investment often times are one hit knockouts or two hit knockouts. This can be played around a bit with the assault vest for the attacking Landorus or Yache berry for the set up Landorus. Overall, Landorus is a great Mon with a lot of versatility and power.

garchomp

Next up is the number one dragon himself. Garchomp, who like Landorus is a speedy, heavy hitting mon. With a base speed of 102 and an attack of 130, he’s tends to out speed a lot of mons in his tier and others, with a higher possibility for one hit knockouts. Choice scarf chomp is one of the most played sets, as Garchomp tends to not need boosts to get guaranteed knockouts, especially with its access to stab earthquake and outrage. He does have the option for setup if necessary, with access to swords dance and a couple other moves that can allow him to take knockouts against a lot of different types, with moves like fire fang and poison jab.  Garchomp also has access to stealth rocks, which gives another option as both a heavy hitter and a Mon that can allow you to set up entry hazards. Its abilities also help it greatly, with rough skin allowing for extra damage on mons or in some cases the damage needed to knockout a Mon that has been hit by Garchomp. It pairs well with rocky helmet, allowing for even more damage without having to attack. Sand veil is its other ability, and while rarely used it can offer some coverage, especially when on a team with a Mon who has sand stream such Tyranitar or Hippowdon.

excadrill

Next up, we have the ace of the Quaking master himself, the ground steel type Excadrill. While Excadrills defensive stats are poor, its speed, attack and abilities more than make up for the deficit.  With a base attack of 135, it is a heavy hitter with access to a lot of stab physical moves, such as earthquake and iron head. It is slightly on the slower side with a base speed of 88, but when placed with a team that can set up sandstorm, his sand rush ability activates allowing to gain more speed and give a boost to his special defense. Outside of a sandstorm team, he also has access to mold breaker, which keeps abilities that could stop an attack from stopping the attack. This allows him to hit more mons with stab earthquakes, knocking out some mons that can give it trouble getting a knockout, such as Rotom-Wash or Eelektross. With the sand rush set, it’s most common to either give it life orb to ensure knockouts or air balloon to keep other ground types or mons with ground type moves from knocking it out. With mold breaker, there is the option of the attacker or a bulkier set, as Excadrill has access to both stealth rocks and rapid spin, giving another option for a fast spinner who can also set up rocks on the opponent’s field.

zygarde

Zygarde’s 50% form is finally seeing some use in OU. Although its shiny new ability, Power Construct, was banned to ubers very early in the SM metagame, people have come to recognize the potent weapons that are Thousand Arrows and Thousand Waves. Thousand Arrows allows Zygarde to hit any opponent, even Flying types and Levitators, and knock them to the ground; Thousand Waves prevents them from fleeing. These moves on the Choice Band set let it take out common Pokemon like Rotom, Skarmory, Celesteela, and Charizard Y.

dugtrio

Ah Dugtrio. This controversial little bugger was recently near-banned from OU, but fell short of Smogon’s 60% threshold. Dugtrio’s Arena Trap is an invaluable resource for stall teams, letting it trap and remove threats that could otherwise break through stall teams’ bulky cores. Earthquake spam is a little less useful now with Tapu Bulu running around, but the attack buff from 80 –> 100 base attack has helped Dugtrio become an OU all star. Too bad Alolan Dugtrio doesn’t get the same said about him.

mamoswine

Mamoswine rounds out the true OU ground types. This generation, Mamoswine finds itself in a similar role to the one Weavile filled in XY/ORAS. Since this metagame is more offensive, Mamoswine’s greater power and bulk and better offensive typing make it more useful than Weavile. Mamoswine is an important check to Landorus, who is rampant.

gliscor

Can’t mention ground types without speaking of one of the most well-known stall walls. Gliscor is another Pokémon often seen in OU, whose bulk and ability to stall is well known. With his access to the ability poison heal, the recovery move roost and the ability to poison others with toxic, Gliscor can be on the field for quite a while.  His stats are pretty well spread with a base 125 defense, 95 attack and 95 speed, allowing him to take a lot of physical hits, out speed most other stall walls and even deal consistent damage for knockouts. One of main ways he is played is the straight staller, using poison heal and roost to recover recycle and knock off and earthquake to put in more chip damage to knock out a poisoned Pokémon quicker. The other option he has is as a stall breaker, as he also has access to swords dance, which coupled with the toxic healing and roost can allow him to sit on the field and knock out mons at a quicker pace. He also has access to façade, which allows him to have a boosted attack with it due to poison, coupled with the recovery.

 

Types in Mono

Ground can struggle some in Mono, due to the many water and ice types mons, as well as grass types than can deal a lot of damage. Ground does have a lot of great attackers and mons with options for bulk, including the newly added Mudsdale, whose stamina ability can help his bulk while he keeps his attack up. There are ways to combat the different weaknesses, using specific mons for the types, such as Gastrodon and Quaqsire to cover water and ice and Mamoswine for grass types.

gastrodon

One of the best options to combat water and ice types is Gastrodon who’s bulkier in special defense with a base of 82, and access to the ability storm drain, allowing you to eat up water moves without taking damage and also boosting up Gastrodon’s special attack. He also has access to a lot of different types of special moves, such as his stab earth power, scald, ice beam, sludge bomb and mirror coat. There is also options for bulking up and recovery, as Gastrodon has access to acid armor, amnesia, rest and recover. He also has a plethora of weather setting options, having access to hail, sandstorm and rain dance. He does have the quad weakness to grass, which is something you have to either play around or if they are slow enough, try to knock out with boosted ice beam or sludge bomb.

mamoswine

Mamoswine is one of the few options ground has to straight combat ice types, as its dual typing as ground ice allows for stab ice moves and more possible knockouts with a base attack of 130.  It is slower, with a base speed of only 80, but there are the options of choice scarf and focus sash which can allow it to either live a hit or out speed its opponent. It also has access to thick fat as an ability, which allows him to reduce damage he takes from ice and fire type attacks. He also has access to powerful stab moves, like earthquake and icicle crash, allowing for massive damage and possible flinches from icicle crash. He also has the option of stab priority in ice shard, which can allow him to take out a Mon that’s still slightly alive or one that survived his attack due to a focus sash. He also has access to entry hazards, specifically stealth rock, and that coupled with his typing can allow for more damage on harder to hit flying types. He also has the ability to ensure rocks in some cases, as his other ability oblivious prevents him from being infatuated, taunted or captivated.

 

In Other Metas

Ground has some options in Ubers, specifically Groudon, Primal Groudon and Landorus Incarnate form.

groudongroudon-primal

Both Groudon and Primal Groudon are rather versatile, allowing for automatic weather setup, drought allowing sun on the field and Primal Groudons desolate land which stops water types while he is on the field. They both are good at hazard set up, as well as status, with one the high ranking sets including both stealth rock and thunder wave. While they are decent enough to start out stat wise, they also have the option of increasing attack or speed with the options of swords dance and rock polish. They also have a lot of powerful stab moves, such as precipice blades, earthquake for both ad then sun boosted and stab eruption, flamethrower and lave plume for Primal Groudon.

landorus

Landorus Incarnate is about the same, with the set up option of rock polish and the option of being either physical or special, with a base attack of 125 and special attack of 115. He also has the ability sheer force, which while it removes secondary effects of attacks, increases the attack power by 30%, allowing him to hit even harder.

zygarde-complete

Zygarde-Complete holds a dominant position in the Ubers metagame right now. Once Zygarde-50% gets below half HP, it regenerates into the uber tanky complete form. Zygarde-Complete uses Power Construct to do everything Zygarde-50% can do in ubers and does it better. The fact that it can still hold an item makes it all the more attractive.

donphan

UU has the offer of one of the best spinners and entry hazard setup for the ground typing, Donphan. He has access to stealth rocks and rapid spin, allowing for setup and removal, as well as a high attack and defense, with both having bases of 120. He also has great move options in earthquake, knock off and ice shard, allowing him to deal more damage to mons that may switch in or other spinners and setters. He also has the option of forced switching with roar, allowing him to set up rocks and then force a random switch to begin to put damage on different mons. He also has the ability sturdy which allows him to live moves that would normally OHKO, allowing for almost guaranteed rock set up and after he faints, a safer switch in.

nidokingnidoqueen

Also in UU, is the option of Nideoqueen and Nidoking, whose unique typing in ground and poison can allow for some extra knockouts and some stab poison moves. They can also be played either physically or specially, with a lot of options for different moves on the special side, including moves like sludge wave, earth power and ice beam. They do have a bad stat spread, which keeps them in UU, but they do also have some entry hazards options that appealing. They both have access to stealth rocks and toxic spikes, allowing not only for extra damage, but the chance to put a poison status on a mon without attacking, something very few ground types offer.

zygarde-10

Zygarde-10% (AKA “Zydoge”) also graces the UU metagame with frequent use. Like Zygarde-50%, it mostly spams Thousand Arrows, but does so with just a little less overall power. In exchange for lower power and bulk, Zygarde-10% is faster than other Zygarde forms.

krookodile

Finally in UU, we have one of my favorite mons in Gen 5, Krookodile. He’s another hard hitting Mon, with dual ground and dark typing allowing for a little more type coverage and with the ability intimidate for that nice decreased attack on the opponents side. It also has moxie as another ability, allowing for the option of a continual sweep Mon, as his attack is decently high with a base of 117. He also has access to some hard hitting moves, with earthquake, knock off, stone edge and superpower. He also has a nice stab priority attack in pursuit, which can be nice in trying to knock out your opponent before they can switch out into something else.

 

Tips and Tricks

OU core sets

landorus-therian

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf

Ability: Intimidate

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Jolly Nature

– Earthquake

– U-turn

– Stone Edge

– Knock Off

gliscor

Gliscor @ Toxic Orb

Ability: Poison Heal

EVs: 244 HP / 8 Def / 200 SpD / 56 Spe

Careful Nature

– Toxic

– Earthquake

– Knock Off

– Roost

This is kind of a jerk core to play, but it centers on Landorus decreasing the opponents attack and then either using the choice scarf to jump out immediately with U-turn into Gliscor or another mon to start the damage, or it can sit out for a bit and deal its own damage or remove items with knock off and then allow Gliscor to come in and either start the stall process, take a knockout or poison a mon.

 

Monotype Cores

hippowdon

Hippowdon @ Eject Button

Ability: Sand Stream

EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def

Impish Nature

– Stealth Rock

– Earthquake

– Slack Off

– Whirlwind

excadrill

Excadrill @ Life Orb

Ability: Sand Rush

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Adamant Nature

– Earthquake

– Iron Head

– Rock Slide

– Protect

This is one of my favorite cores, as Hippowdon isn’t looked at too often outside of mono as a sandstorm setter, due to Tyranitar being able to put out more damage. The Hippowdon can take hits better with the special defense raise from sandstorm and its high defense, and with the eject button it can allow for an easier switch in too Excadrill, allowing for him to get out and under sand rush as soon as possible.

 

How about them Rocks?

donphan

Donphan @ Iapapa Berry

Ability: Sturdy

EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def

Impish Nature

– Earthquake

– Rapid Spin

– Stealth Rock

– Roar

krookodile

Krookodile @ Life Orb/Choice Scarf

Ability: Intimidate

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Jolly Nature

– Knock Off

– Earthquake

– Stone Edge

– Pursuit

This is just my favorite basic, let me set up rocks, do a little damage to your incoming mons and then get a quick sweep. Donphan sets up rocks, spins away the opponent’s hazards and forces switches to spread the damage around for a bit and allow for some easier knockouts for Krookodile so he can get set up with some Moxie boosts.

 

Closing Remarks

Ground is a hard-hitting type, with a variety of mons that can be used to support each other and reduce some of its weaknesses. While they are spread throughout the tiers, there are a few which sit in the highest ranking of the higher tiers, showing off their competitive viability.  The main struggle can be the lacking speed or special defense, but there are ways to increase both stats as well as a handful which have a much higher base speed that can cover for the slower ones.  While they lack in the number of stab moves compared to other types, the moves it does have are of a high base power and with no chance to miss unless there’s evasion boosts or accuracy drops. Ground will continue to be around, and after the mons that held well after the changes of Sun and Moon, they will continue to stick around in the top tiers.

 

 

 

 

It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Wanna Rock and Roll: A Guide to Using Rock-Type Pokemon

 

By Cradily26

 

Introduction: I Hate Myself for Loving You (Joan Jett)

Rock types are often one of the first types you face as a trainer on your road to the Pokemon League.  They boast high defenses, and many even higher attacks.  Many may be slow, but we also have one of the fastest Pokemon in the game in Aerodactyl.  So what’s the catch?  Why isn’t rock considered extremely over powered?  The answer: type weaknesses… We have 5 of them: Steel, Fighting, Water, Grass, and Ground.  Covering these is essential to building your all rock powerhouse team.  Thankfully Generation 7 gave us some nice answers.  Read on to learn more.

 

 

Type Overview: Walk This Way (Aerosmith)

Rock has been alive and well since Generation 1.  Brock was the very first leader faced by trainers, and he brought some power with Onix.  As the generations went on we’ve gained a good amount of new Pokemon, though many of them fall short of metagame glory.  Almost every generation has given us at least 2 new fossil Pokemon, most of which end up being great (Generation IV is the glaring exception here).  Where Rock falls defensively, it makes up for by bring one of the best offensive types.  Rock is only resisted by Steel, Ground and Fighting, and is part of the famous “EdgeQuake” coverage set.  It falls short in accuracy, but Stone Edge Packs a wallop!

Before Generation 7 Rock ran mostly Balanced teams, and could try to pull off Hyper offense.  With the dawn of this new gen we see Hyper Offense take on a new build with impressive new Pokemon.  Nihilego leads the bunch, as only the Fourth Rock Legendary.  It also gave rock some much needed Special Attack power to make the Hyper Offense more complete.  Lycanroc brings some speed and priority, which was much needed for rock to stay relevant.  Minior brought in a new sweeper, one that was immune to status even.  Gen 7 brought a lot of love to Rock types and made it more viable than ever.

 

By The Numbers

# of Rock type Pokemon: 59

# Fully Evolved: 33 (3 Megas, Lycanroc has 2 forms)

 

Offensive Effectiveness

Super Effective Damage Against: Fire, Ice, Flying, Bug

Neutral Damage Against: Grass, Water, Normal, Poison, Electric, Fairy, Psychic, Dark, Ghost, Dragon, Rock

Resisted By: Ground, Steel, Fighting

 

Defensive Effectiveness

Super Effective Damage From: Grass, Water, Ground, Steel, Fighting

Neutral Damage From: Electric, Bug, Ice, Rock, Fairy, Psychic, Dark, Ghost, Dragon

Resists: Fire, Flying, Normal, Poison

 

Notable Pokemon:

  • Tyranitar
  • Nihilego
  • Terrakion
  • Mega Aerodactyl
  • Tyrantrum
  • Kabutops
  • Minior
  • Lycanroc (midday)
  • Alolan Golem
  • Rhyperior
  • Shuckle
  • Omastar
  • Cradily
  • Rhydon
  • Carracosta
  • Mega Diancie (Unreleased)
  • Mega Tyranitar (Unreleased)

 

Notable Moves:

Physical- Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Rock Tomb, Rock Blast, Head Smash, Diamond Storm

Special- Power Gem

Status- Stealth Rock, Rock Polish

 

Type in OU

 

Nihilego: (Beast Of Burden – Rolling Stones)

nihilego

Ultra Beast 1, the new amazing Rock/Poison Pokemon.  It may be a little outshined by the other UB’s, barring Guzzlord, but Nihilego has a nice niche as one of Rock’s few (maybe only) fast special attackers.  Sure it can set some rocks, but that SP Atk and troll Speed tier make it ferocious in battle.  Scarf is the main set, giving it a boost to its great speed, but many run specs or life orb.  In monotype Rock you almost always want Life Orb, and either Hidden Power Ice for Garchomp/Landorus or Hidden Power Fire for Steel.  Power Gem is an amazing 100% accuracy special rock move that is a must on this beast.  Sludge Wave rounds out nice STAB moves, and Thunderbolt will help with any pesky water types.  Nihilego is a must for rock teams now, and a staple in Ou currently.  Watch out for Quakes.

 

Tyranitar: (Riders Of The Storm – The Doors)

tyranitar

Tyranitar has long been a fan favorite, and has been an OU staple since its introduction in Generation 2.  He has outlived so many and is crucial to the OU meta game as well as monotype.  In Gen 7, weather is back with Pellipper being a huge threat.  TTar can even the playing field and shut down those swift swimmers.  Tyranitar has many viable sets, with Dragon Dance access, strong STAB Stone Edge, Solid wall Rock Setter, and even Pursuit trapping psychic threats.  Many in monotype look into mixed sets, with ice beam and fire blast common coverage on Tyranitar.  You can’t go wrong with Tyranitar’s amazing stats, just be wary of fighting types!  Mega Tyranitar is unreleased in Gen 7, but when it is I’m sure we’ll see it’s amazing Dragon Dance set yet again in the meta.

 

Terrakion: (Trampled Under Foot – Led Zeppelin)

terrakion

Terrakion deserves OU mention since it was recently banned from UU (Good Job UU Mods!).  Terrakion shines as a Scarf threat, with great STAB in Close Combat and Stone Edge/Rock Slide.  It can also run EdgeQuake coverage, and Iron head for pesky fairies.  With scarf Terrakion fears little, but he can hit harder with Life orb/Swords Dance, or Banded sets.  Mostly, he can clean up well and go almost unresisted with his great typing.  Must be cautious of Priority though, like Aqua Jet, Bullet Punch, and Mach Punch.

Mega Diancie:  (Killer Queen – Queen)

*Currently Unreleased*

diancie-mega
Without her mega stone yet, Diancie is not the threat she once was.  In Gen 7 she remains in lower tiers.  Once we get her stone she will emerge again as Rocks best answer to Fighting types.  Without the need to protect for the speed of her mega, Mega Diancie will be a killer offensive threat for Dragons and Fighting types.  As always, don’t let her stick around against Bullet Punch threats, and Hidden Power Fire or Earth Power will help against those steel types lacking priority.

 

Type in Monotype

 

Aerodactyl: (Rock You Like a Hurricane – Scorpions)

aerodactyl-megaaerodactyl-3

Aerodactyl is pivotal to monorock teams.  Many lean towards a suicide lead since it can set rocks almost unopposed with its fast speed.  Taunt comes in handy to shut down other setter, and a few moves to do some minimal damage before death, like EdgeQuake.  Tailwind can also aid your team if you have the time.  Focus Sash is necessary for such a set.  Besides setting, Aerodactyl also has a prime Mega form.  With lots of coverage in Ice and Fire Fang, the possibilities are endless.  Its speed means it only fears scarf users and priority, so keep that in mind while you plan your team.

 

Rhyperior: (Brick House – The Commodores)

rhyperior

Rhyperior is great for its EdgeQuake being STAB on all fronts.  Though slow, he is great for his immunity to Electric types, and is a solid Defensive wall.  His Solid Rock ability aids his tanking ability to take lots of physical hits.  If sand is up and you have an Assault Vest, little can OHKO your Rhyperior.  His attack is a monstrous 140, so Banded or Weakness Policy can help him break through many many Pokemon.  Be wary of his Grass and Water 4X weakness however.  Use him wisely and save him for Pokemon that really give you trouble.

 

Tyrantrum: (Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne)

tyrantrum

Tyrantrum was somewhat scoffed at until late in Generation 6 when his potential as a wallbreaker brought him into some OU usage.  Banded Tyrantrum has little trouble killng most walls, especially with HeadSmash, Earthquake and Outrage.  Rock Head Hidden Ability made him much more viable and now a solid wallbreaker.  If you struggle with stall teams, look no further than The King!  Just be wary or his low speed and keep him safe until the walls are dead and gone.

 

Minior:  (Rainbow In The Dark – Dio)

minior-meteorminiorminior-orangeminior-yellowminior-greenminior-blueminior-indigominior-violet

With all its pretty colors, who would have guessed Minior would be a GREAT Pokemon?  Shell Smash plus its status protection with shields up help you wall threats like Mega Sableye.  If you can get its shields down and keep it alive, its attack and speed reach INSANE levels.  Talking 600’s here.  Power Gem is run on mixed sets, but Rock Slide gives you more of a fixed physical set.  Earthquake and its killer Acrobatics make it a lethal threat after a smash.  White Herb ensures you get that Acrobatics to full power, and enough defenses to tank a hit to get those shields lowered.  Acrobatics makes Minior a killer vs Fighting types, something rock has had issues with.

 

Lycanroc (Midday):  (Life In The Fast Lane – Eagles)

lycanroc

Priority is finally here.  It sucks that only one Rock type got it, but it certainly helps us out in a pinch.  Sand Rush is a great ability to run with your Tyranitar (or gigalith if you’re so bold) so you can get off fast Stone Edges. Banded sets are great under Sand, but others go for Life orb Swords Dance.  Its lack of a movepool quickly saw it fall from OU usage.  Fire Fang and Sucker Punch are its only good non Rock moves.  Without Earthquake access Lycanroc suffers, and should be used to quickly revenge kill on the run.  Use her Priority wisely.

 

Kabutops:  (Round and Round – Ratt)

kabutops

Rapid Spin if you need it, and something to take Swift Swim teams by surprise.  With Swift Swim you can accelerate Kabutops into a lethal threat.  Waterfall and Stone Edge are great STAB, and Aqua Jet priority makes it an amazing killer.  Swords Dance with Life Orb is common, but banded or scarf can be used as well.  Kabutops is a bit frail, so if you use it keep it out of harm’s way.  Most rock teams won’t need Rapid Spin since Stealth Rocks aren’t a big threat, but Toxic spikes and Webs can be devastating.

 

Omastar:  (Here I Go Again – Whitesnake)

omastar

The OG Shell Smash Lord Helix is back, and with Pellipper out and about his Swift Swim makes him all the more viable.  Hydro Pump/Scald and Ice Beam will KO almost anything after a Shell smash.  Hidden Power Grass helps against water threats that wall Omsastar as well.  Timid is a must nature to outspeed Chomps.  Helix also has some use as a suicide lead, but honestly it is outclassed by so many, even Probopass.  Just Smash and kill them all.

 

Cradily: (Who’ll Stop The Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival)

cradily

Sick of all the water types running around because rain is a thing again?  Well let me tell you, Cradily is thirsty.  Storm Drain soaks in all Water damage, and boosts its SP Atk.  Running Toxic and Recover on a bulky set makes for a great special wall, and giga Drain gives you more longevity.  If you hate being walled by steel types you can run Earth Power, or use that last slot for a number of other moves, like Mirror Coat surprise, or Ancient Power, or even Stockpile.  Cradily can be very useful on a balanced team, but don’t let it sit on steel types to long.

 

Shuckle: (The Wall- Pink Floyd)

shuckle1

And then there was Shuckle. Shuckle deserves some mention as a lower tier staple with a definite role on Rock. Shuckle was formerly known for its role as a Sturdy Toxic staller. With the highest defenses and the lowest everything else in the game, Shuckle is certainly one of the weirdest yet most niche useful Pokemon. It helps offensive rock teams by setting up Sticky Web; it is without a doubt the best user of the move in the game. It can also Toxic stall well.



Tips and Tricks: Message In A Bottle (The Police)

With so many weaknesses keep on your toes.  Cover what you can, especially Steel and fighting, as those are an issue all the time.  Make use of tanks like Rhyperior, Tyranitar, and even Cradily for water type immunity!  Keep up the pressure, run coverage moves, and know your Pokemon.  Rock is a hard type to run well, believe me.  With hard work you can make it shine.

Killer Rock Hyper Offense:

Nihilego @ Life Orb/Choice Specs/Choice Scarf  

Ability: Beast Boost  

EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  

Timid Nature  

IVs: 0 Atk  

– Power Gem  

– Sludge Wave

– Thunder /Thunder Bolt

– Hidden Power Ice/Hidden Power Fire  

 

Terrakion @ Choice Scarf  

Ability: Justified  

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  

Jolly Nature  

– Close Combat  

– Earthquake  

– Stone Edge /Rock Slide

– Iron Head /X-Scissor

 

Rhyperior @ Weakness Policy  

Ability: Solid Rock  

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD  

Adamant Nature  

– Earthquake  

– Fire Punch/Hammer Arm  

– Ice Punch  

– Stone Edge  

 

Tyranitar@ Assault Vest/Smooth Rock  

Ability: Sand Stream  

EVs: 252 HP / 80 Atk / 176 Def  

Brave Nature  

– Fire Blast  

– Ice Beam  

– Stone Edge  

– Pursuit /Crunch/Earthquake

 

Aerodactyl@ Focus Sash  

Ability: Pressure  

Shiny: Yes  

EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe  

Jolly Nature  

– Taunt  

– Tailwind/Earthquake  

– Stealth Rock  

– Rock Slide/Stone Edge

 

Lycanroc @ Choice Band  

Ability: Sand Rush  

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  

Adamant Nature  

– Accelerock  

– Stone Edge  

– Sucker Punch  

– Fire Fang  

 

Or sub Lycanroc with Minior…

 

Minior @White Herb

Ability: Shields Down

EVs: 252Atk / Def / 252 Spe

Jolly Nature

– Acrobatics

– Stone Edge/ Rock Slide  

– Shell Smash

– Earthquake

 

Rock and Roll ain’t Noise Pollution – Closing Remarks (AC/DC)

Rock is a tough type, but it shines in this new Generation 7 meta.  Always be aware of its weaknesses, and always be wary of the power of a STAB Stone Edge.  Many Scoff at rock type, seeing it as lowly among types.  Let me tell you something, I am currently undefeated in my trials as a leader using monorock.  We do not break so easily my friends.  We have many surprises up our stoney sleeves.

Rock on my friends. \m/

Macho ‘Mons: A Guide to Using Fighting-Type Pokemon

By Chrispy294

 

Introduction

Since the beginning of Pokemon, the fighting type has been known for its offensive prowess and might. While its history has been a bit rocky, Fighting has always been reliable for its ability to hit hard and fast. If you’re looking for a diverse and powerful type, you’ve come to the right place!

 

Type Overview

Starting off as one of the original 15 types in Pokemon Red and Blue, the Fighting type has quite a bit of history behind. Always having been known for its physical prowess, the Fighting type was unfortunately held at bay in Generation I with the ridiculous power of Psychic types. Over the generations as Psychic was nerfed and Fighting got new toys to play with, the type continually rose in relevance, peaking in Generation V.

With powerful new ‘mons like Conkeldurr and 4 new Legendaries as well as old staples like Infernape and Lucario, Fighting dominated the playing field along with Dragon and Dark types. While playing king of the hill was fun, it unfortunately all came crashing down with the introduction of Fairy types in Generation VI. Hitting Fighting Pokemon with 2x effectiveness as well as resisting their moves, Fighting had a new obstacle to overcome. Luckily, with a load of new Megas and their already strong backlog of Pokemon, Fighting managed to stay relevant in the new games.

It seems as though that Game Freak has taken their disdain to a new level with Sun and Moon. Introducing 4 powerful Fairy type legendaries in the Tapu Guardians, the powerful setup sweeper Mimikyu, and not transferring over Fighting’s best Mega Evolutions have turned the once all-powerful Fighting type into a laughing stock. Fighting may have been dealt a bad hand this generation, but if you can find the space and need on your team, these feisty fighters can still pack a punch.

 

By the Numbers

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 63

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 36 (7 Mega Evolutions)

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Normal, Ice, Rock, Dark and Steel

Effective against: Fire, Water, Electric, Grass, Fighting, Ground and Dragon

2x resisted by: Poison, Flying, Psychic, Bug and Fairy

Ineffective against: Ghost

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Flying, Psychic and Fairy

Damaged normally by: Fire, Water, Electric, Grass, Fighting, Ground, Dragon, Normal, Ice, Steel and Poison

2x resistant to: Bug, Rock and Dark

Immune to: None

 

Notable Pokemon

  • Mega Blaziken
  • Mega Lucario
  • Mega Mewtwo X
  • Blaziken
  • Buzzwole
  • Pheromosa
  • Terrakion
  • Breloom
  • Cobalion
  • Keldeo
  • Machamp
  • Infernape
  • Kommo-o
  • Crabominable
  • Passimian
  • Mega Lopunny
  • Mega Gallade
  • Mega Medicham
  • Mega Heracross
  • Marshadow

 

Notable Moves

Physical – Close Combat, Mach Punch,  High Jump Kick, Drain Punch, Superpower, Counter, Brick Break, Hammer Arm, Low Kick, Dynamic Punch Low Sweep, Sacred Sword, Seismic Toss

Special – Focus Blast, Aura Sphere, Vacuum Wave, Final Gambit, Secret Sword

Status – Bulk Up, Detect, Mat Block and Quick Guard

 

Z-Moves

All-Out Pummeling

 

Type in OU

Even with its decline in relevance this generation, Fighting types can still be a valuable offensive asset to an OU team. Two new Ultra Beasts in particular have come out of the woodworks to be major threats in the tier.

The first of these is the infamous Pheromosa. Boasting amazing offensive stats with a Base Attack and Special Attack of 137 each and an insane Base Speed of 151, Pheromosa is the ultimate glass cannon, switching in and out while firing off STAB U-Turns. Save it until the end and you have a great late-game cleaner with STAB High Jump Kick, the aforementioned STAB U-Turn and great coverage moves like Poison Jab and Ice Beam. Add in Beast Boost and you’ve got a monstrous attacker. Pheromosa isn’t perfect, however, as it has ridiculously low defenses. Base HP of 71 and Base Defense and Special Defence of 37 each aren’t going to let Pheromosa take a hit without some serious damage. Furthermore, it must watch out for Pokemon like Alolan-Marowak that just completely wall it, or even worse, flying types that can wreck it with its 4x weakness. Finally, its frailty makes it exceptionally susceptible to priority moves, so I recommend pairing it with Tapu Lele to take advantage of Psychic Terrain’s priority neutralization. Play smart and Pheromosa is a force to be reckoned.

The other Fighting type currently in OU is Buzzwole. While it’s lacking on the Special side, great Attack and Defense (139 each) as well as a decent Base HP (107) allow Buzzwole to be a great bulky physical sweeper. One of my favorite sets is its Sub-Punch set. Set up Substitute on a passive ‘mon or a switch and then spam Focus Punch. Get a Beast Boost to Attack or two and you can cover the rest with great coverage moves like Earthquake and the elemental punches. If you’re not feeling that set, Buzzwole also has access to a variety of great moves like Hammer Arm and even Bulk Up to set up. It even gets Roost if you’re looking for more longevity. The biggest problems for Buzzwole besides its obvious 4x weakness to Flying are its mediocre speed and poor Special Defense, especially being weak to two Special Attack-heavy types like Psychic and Fairy. Watch out for those though, and Buzzwole works great at wearing down an opponents team.

Those aren’t the only two ‘mons viable in OU though. Two Pokemon recently got banned from UU into Borderline, making them good options on your team as well. The first of these was Terrakion, quickbanned for its powerful Attack and decent Speed. Slap a Choice Scarf on there, and you have a great late-game cleaner. It can also run Choice Band and Swords Dance sets, making it a versatile offensive option.

Breloom also recently got quickbanned to BL and retains many of the benefits it brought to the table in Generation VI. Access to Spore as well as Technician with moves like Mach Punch, Bullet Seed and Rock Tomb on top of a 130 Base Attack allow Breloom to hit hard as well as fit niches other Fighting types can’t. Unfortunately, while this Breloom set still hits hard, the presence of the Tapus, especially Koko and Fini which prevent it from using Spore and Lele preventing it from using its main STAB Mach Punch, make it harder to work. To add insult to injury, the last guardian, Tapu Bulu, fills the physically-offensive Grass type niche better than Breloom does.

 

kommoocrabominablepassimian

Other new additions to the type in Gen VII include Kommo-o, Crabominable and Passimian. None of them do particularly well in OU, however, each has carved out its own niche in UU. Kommo-o makes a decent switch in to Grass, Water, Fire, Electric, and Rock, and can use those opportunities to setup Dragon Dance. Unfortunately, its lack of access to a Fighting move stronger than Sky Uppercut is a severe hindrance. Crabominable is an awesome offensive Pokemon, but it is slow and suffers from its frail Ice typing. Finally Passimian sees some use, but is better reserved for VGC or doubles.

gallade-megalopunny-megamedicham-megaheracross-mega

Presently, Fighting is very hindered by the fact that none of its Mega forms besides Lucario have been released… Thanks, Gamefreak. This means that OU staples like Mega Gallade, Mega Lopunny, Mega Medicham, and Mega Heracross are unable to threaten the OU meta with their high offensive stats. This will change eventually, but for now we are left wondering what they will make of things once they arrive on the scene.

 

Type in Mono

Fighting does better in Monotype than it does in OU currently, but it’s still not performing as well as it used to. The aforementioned new threats from OU still dog it in Mono, and to make things worse, every Fighting type Mega Evolution is either banned in the tier or is currently unreleased in Sun & Moon. That being said, the type is still very effective in a Hyper Offensive setting.

Luckily, there are certain Pokemon that come to the forefront in Mono that aren’t as good in OU. Cobalion comes to mind as a great Utility ‘mon, having access to Taunt, Thunder Wave and Stealth Rocks. The Steel typing also helps neutralize the team’s weakness to Fairy types to an extent.

Suicide Sash Lead Infernape also works well, but is better suited to Fire Monotype in my opinion. However, Mixed Attacking LO Infernape is a wonderful asset for Mono-Fighting, hitting threats that would otherwise wall Fighting teams like Jirachi, Doublade and Skarmory hard with STAB Fire Blast. Fill out the rest of its moves with STAB Close Combat, U-Turn and one of the elemental punches (my personal favorite is Thunder Punch for flying and water types), and you have a great mixed wallbreaker for your team.

Special Attack is definitely something that Fighting sorely lacks overall, so using Keldeo in tandem with your mixed Infernape is a good idea. There are a few sets that Keldeo can use including Choice Specs, Choice Scarf and Sub-Calm Mind, so use whichever set fits your team best. Be careful though, the four Tapus are a nightmare for Keldeo to deal with.

Hawlucha is another great Pokemon for Monotype Fighting, providing a good late-game, setup sweeper, especially since most of Fighting’s best setup sweepers were Mega Evolutions. Swords Dance in combination with a 2x Speed Boost from Unburden makes this one scary bird. I’ve seen sets that utilize Power Herb and Sky Attack as well as Substitute-Sitrus Berry sets. It’s up to player preference; either does a good job at activating Unburden.

Besides that, the previously mentioned sets for Breloom and Terrakion work fine. Buzzwole can also fill many roles on a team. Toxicroak makes a decent Swords Dance user as well, but its 4x weakness to Psychic is still not very attractive. Conkeldurr is also a great option if you want a bulky ‘mon that can soak up status conditions with Guts.

 

Type in Other Metas

           

As previously mentioned, Passimian, Kommo-o and Crabominable have each made their own mark in UU. Passimian and Kommo-o both have great stats for bulky sweeper sets, especially Kommo-o. With access to Dragon Dance and both Fighting and Dragon for STAB moves, it can be quite the powerhouse in UU.

Crabominable is an interesting specimen. Used as a sweeper on Trick Room teams, its abysmal 43 Base Speed gives it quite the advantage. Add onto that a great 132 Base Attack and access to powerful Fighting and Ice-type STAB moves, and this crabby brawler can put in some work.

            

The two Ultra Beasts, Pheromosa and Buzzwole, also do well in Ubers. Pheromosa fills mostly the same role as in OU, however, Ubers players have been taking advantage of its access to Rapid Spin as well. Meanwhile, Buzzwole has seen play in Ubers as a powerful Physical Tank.

Mega Lucario continues to be a force to be reckoned with in Ubers. Bringing back its versatility from Generation VI, M-Luke still devastates teams that rely on common Fairy and Dark types like Arceus-Fairy, Arceus-Dark and Xerneas. It’s also great at going up against stall, having ample opportunity to use common Stall ‘mons as setup fodder.

            

And finally, while Speed Boost Blaziken is still banned to Ubers, it doesn’t seem to be getting much use. It’s classic Protect, Swords Dance, High Jump Kick, Flare Blitz set works just as well as it always has, but besides that, it doesn’t really do much else.

 

Tips and Tricks

As I’ve said before, Hyper Offense is the way to go with Fighting types. However, Bulky Offense can still work well if built and played right. Just don’t expect it to be easy.

When playing with Fighting types, there are a few things to watch out for. First off, while most entry hazards don’t phase the type much, Sticky Web can be especially troublesome. Unfortunately, without a reliable Defogger or Spinner (and no, Hitmontop is not good enough to be called reliable), planning ahead and trucking through the speed drops is your only option. Having a fast Choice Scarfer like Terrakion helps. Even with Sticky Web getting rid of the Scarf’s boost, Terrakion can still outspeed many threats and help you out in the late game.

Status conditions are also a pain, potentially crippling your Pokemon’s sweeping capabilities. When you need to hit hard and fast, getting Speed and Attack drops from Paralysis and Burns respectively is not ideal. Even Poison can be troublesome if you have a lot of Life Orb users, cutting short their already hampered longevity. Using the occasional Lum Berry, having a Guts Conkeldurr as mentioned previously to soak up the status and having mons immune to certain status conditions are all great ways to counter this.

Finally, with the rise of the Tapus, you’re always going to have to be planning coverage for them (and other Fairy types). Giving ‘mons coverage moves like Iron Head and Poison Jab or using ‘mons like Cobalion and Toxicroak help, but because of their variety, it can be hard to cover for all four of them.

 

Closing Remarks

Overall, Fighting types may not be as great as they used to be, but they still have plenty of use in the current metagame. With great offensive stats, diverse dual-types, and access to a wide arrange of moves, the type isn’t going to go down without a fight. Just watch out for those Fairies, and you should be fine adding a powerful fighter to your team in any tier.

A Bug’s Life: A Guide to Using Bug-Type Pokemon

By Locoswole

 

Introduction

Bugs are beautiful but misunderstood creatures. They are fragile, yet powerful. Bugs tend to swarm their enemies to make up for their lack of size. As you will hopefully confirm after reading this entry, this is the case in Monotype as well. Bugs rely on fast, powerful attacks to overcome their lack of defensive stats and resistances. For one to use Bug-Type Pokemon you must have a pure heart and noble personality.

 

Type Overview

Bugs take practice to use well or to even fit on a standard team. They have a Stealth Rock weakness and don’t have many particular resistances except perhaps Ground. Still, Bug switch-ins occur typically by virtue of the secondary typing that usually patches up some of its weaknesses. For example, Bug/Steel is a solid typing that has only one weakness (x4 to Fire), several key resistances and removes the Stealth Rock weakness. One of the things that has been ubiquitous since Generation 4 is the use of the move U-Turn. When used well, it is essentially a free double switch that causes damage. While the momentum it gets is the key component of the move, having a strong Attack Stat coupled with STAB only makes it better. Throughout many tiers there are few users that excel as U-Turners for the aforementioned reasons.

Additionally, the introduction in Generation 5 to the move Quiver Dance gave all the moth Pokemon a much better Calm Mind. Adding +1 to SpAtk, SpDef AND Speed at no cost made a lot of forgotten mons viable again (Venomoth) and helped others to become great threats (Volcarona). Most of the Quiver Dancing moths that have seen play in different tiers are viable because they have a good secondary STAB to use. For example, Volcarona makes use of its fire attacks more than it needs its Bug STAB. Vivillon benefits from a Compound Eyes boosted 97% accurate Sleep Powder to help set up but it is a higher accuracy STAB Hurricane what makes it really dangerous.

Finally, Bug Pokemon have access to all entry hazards available which makes them really dangerous in offensive teams if they are allowed to set up.

 

By the Numbers

 

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 77

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 38 (with Four Mega Forms)

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Psychic, Dark, Grass

Effective against: Normal, Bug, Water, Electric, Rock, Dragon, Ice, Ground

2x resisted by: Poison, Ghost, Steel, Flying, Fire, Fairy, Fighting

Ineffective against: None

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Fire, Rock, Flying

Damaged normally by: Normal, Water, Electric, Dragon, Ice, Poison, Ghost, Fairy, Steel, Bug, Dark, Psychic

2x resistant to: Ground, Fighting, Grass

Immune to: None

 

Notable Pokemon

  • Genesect
  • Pheromosa
  • Buzzwole
  • M-Pinsir
  • M-Scizor
  • Volcarona
  • M-Heracross
  • M-Beedrill
  • Forretress
  • Galvantula
  • Shuckle

 

Notable Moves

Physical – U-Turn, X-Scissor, Leech Life, Lunge, Bug Bite, First Impression

Special – Bug Buzz, Silver Wind

Status – Quiver Dance

 

Z-Moves

Buginium-Z does not deserve any special mention since Bug as an offensive type is resisted by half of the chart. Bugs have better Z-crystals to use that use secondary STABs or coverage moves like Z-Firium for Volcarona or Z-Fightium for Buzzwole.

 

Type in OU

In OU, the roles of Bug Pokemon are limited. The only viable bugs are used for their secondary STAB.

volcarona

A prime example of this is the hot Pokemon right now, the fiery moth itself, Volcarona. Volcarona has benefit a lot from this gen because its checks are almost nonexistent in this meta. The few checks it still have are burst into flames with a +1 Inferno Overdrive, a powerful nuke that allows Volcarona to sweep through teams like a flame on powder. Watch for this monster when laddering in OU, as it is extremely popular right now due to the fairy/steel metagame.

M-Pinsir was introduced last gen and it is still a great offensive threat. What makes it so good is its versatility. It can be a late game cleaner, an early game wallbreaker, a revenge killer, etc. Aerilate gives him a boosted Flying STAB that after a Swords Dance set up, only needs one coverage move to be effective. The choice of Close Combat or Earthquake really depends on the team and what type of walls it wants to take out. This gen, it can be seen a lot on Sticky Web teams. This creates a great synergy because webs allow M-Pinsir to outspeed frail speedy attackers such as Tapu Koko or M-Alakazam and, at the same time, M-Pinsir puts a lot of pressure to common defoggers like Tapu Fini.

M-Scizor was neglected at first, because the opportunity cost was too pricey with other great megas available such as M-Alakazam or M-Metagross. Moreover, the abundance of Tapu Lele initially made its moveset rather limited since Bullet Punch was negated due to the effects of Psychic Terrain preventing priority moves. Furthermore, Genesect was favored as a faster, more versatile U-Turner early in the gen before being banned from OU. Now that the meta is shaping up, M-Scizor has seen a small rise in usage mainly to serve as an answer to M-Metagross, as the standard set walls it very comfortably.

Pheromosa by alolan-sprites

Last but not least, Pheromosa is the definition of glass canon. With pitiful defenses it rarely survives any moderate attack, but it more than compensates its frailty with huge attack stats and one of the fastest speed stats in the game. Coupled with its ability, Beast Boost, Pheromosa makes a superb cleaner. Although it was originally nicknamed Deoxys-R (for Roach), for its similarities, Pheromosa lacks a wide movepool and is easily revenge killed by virtually any priority move. It requires powerful wall breakers for her to be effective.

As previously mentioned, all of these are mons that belong in offensive teams and should be used aggressively for optimum performance.

 

Type in Mono

Mono-Bug is somewhat less viable than in Generation 6 due to the massive over-centralization caused by Mono-Steel. Bug has lost its great “cover-all” versatility and now it has to over prepare for Steel, thus leaving it more susceptible to Fairy and Water teams. The lack of Heracronite and even Beedrillite has also limited the offensive options for Bug. Nevertheless, Bug is still a good type in the current meta and it has gotten a few interesting options.

First of all, the addition of Z moves allow for a heavily offensive type to put more pressure onto its typical checks. Z-Fightinium Buzzwole can remove Skarmory or Celesteela easily and pave the way for the rest of the bug squad. Inferno Drive Volcarona can also destroy types muscling its way through common walls.

Araquanid by alolan-sprites

When it comes to new additions, Araquanid stands out as it provides a nice fire switch in and a previously nonexistent Water STAB. Not only that, with its ability Water Bubble in consideration, a Liquidation hits really hard and has a nice chance of dropping the opponent’s defense one stage. It is also conveniently blessed with a great SpDef to help take fire attacks. Araquanid has quickly become a staple on many Bug teams and with good reason.

Buzzwole not only shares typing but also a similar ability with Heracross which raises the question of overlapping roles. But a further look into their stats and movepool show that they are more different than it seems at first glance. Buzzwole is physically bulkier but slower while Heracross has better special defense and is faster. Additionally, Heracross has access to powerful 120 STABs in Close Combat and Megahorn. Buzzwole’s STABs make him play differently, since his options are Focus Punch, Hammer Arm or Superpower for Fighting and Leech Life for Bug. This gives the flexibility of playing a bulkier set with Buzzwole with the ability to tank physical attacks better. It is also noteworthy that Buzzwole has acess to elemental punches that Heracross lacks. Indeed, Ice Punch and Thunder Punch are great assets to differentiate itself from the stag beetle.

Finally, Vikavolt was initially very welcomed as it boasts a massive 145 SpAtk with a nice slow Volt Switch that complements the many U-Turners the type has. However, the speed and average defensive stats holds him back and although its movepool is not bad at all, once again the low speed means he will usually take a hit before attacking, making him less reliable than other special attackers. An Agility set can patch up the speed but it will still be unable to outspeed common scarf users in the meta. If you still want to give him a try, equip it with a Choice Specs and go to town. It usually wrecks Ground and Water types with its good coverage.

 

Type in Other Metas

In Ubers, many mons share a Psychic typing. This is of course advantageous if you have a strong, powerful Bug Pokemon on your team. Genesect and Pheromosa are both great U-Turners that have nice coverage for the rest of the tier (read Ice Beam for Dragons). Unfortunately, Bug is resisted by the most influencial mon in the tier: P-Groudon. Still, both bugs have good usage and are seen in hyper offensive teams that have a way to pressure P-Groudon.

While other metas are still shaping up, typically Bug Type Pokemon stand out as the steel Pokemon become scarce. Last gen, Vivillon and Scyther were pretty common in NU, both with strong Flying STAB moves. Scolipede deserves a special mention because while its cleaner set is somewhat viable in lower tiers, it’s is ability to pass speed boosts what makes him a threat. What makes him so effective at it is its great support movepool and good speed tier. It can even act as a suicide lead with Spikes, Toxic Spikes and Endeavor.

shedinja

Finally, an archetype that caught popularity last gen midway through ORAS metagame is Shed Stall. Obviously this include Shedinja as part of the main core. Typically, M-Sableye and Dugtrio support Shedinja and the three form what it is –infamously- called the “Wonder Trio”. Many variations have appeared since Branflakes’ team but all contain those three pokemon. In addition to Sableye’s Magic Bounce, Shedinja requires a defogger and the trapping abilities of Dugtrio to remove Stealth Rockers and potential stall breakers. Baton Pass Shedinja gives the team necessary momentum to not be out-pressured by the opponent, a common tactic used against stall.

 

Tips and Tricks

First I’ll share a cool core that although illegal at the moment, will soon be really fun to use.

OU Core (coming soon)

beedrill-mega

Mega Beedrill @ Beedrillite  

Ability: Swarm  

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  

Jolly Nature  

– U-turn  

– Drill Run  

– Knock Off  

– Poison Jab  

 

pheromosa

Pheromosa @ Life Orb  

Ability: Beast Boost  

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe  

Naive Nature  

– U-turn  

– Ice Beam  

– Poison Jab/Rapid Spin  

– High Jump Kick  

 

This core is ridiculous but really easy to use. Literally just U-Turn out and bring in a counter to your opponent switch in. These two complement each other nicely both being able to take out fairies not named Magearna. Pheromosa’s Ice Beam hits most physical walls really hard and has a powerful fighting STAB move against steel mons. With the new mechanics, Beedrill does not need to use Protect, and has an amazing Speed tier only surpassed by M-Alakazam who, in turn, is outsped by the trollish 151 Spe of Pheromosa. Pair these up with Spikes and a rapid spinner and U-Turn your way to victory!

 

Monotype Core

buzzwole

Buzzwole @ Fightinium Z/Leftovers  

Ability: Beast Boost  

EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe  

Jolly Nature  

– Ice Punch/Stone Edge  

– Earthquake  

– Substitute  

– Focus Punch

 

heracross

Heracross @ Choice Scarf  

Ability: Moxie  

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  

Jolly Nature  

– Close Combat  

– Stone Edge  

– Megahorn  

– Earthquake

 

This core is a nice one-two punch that helps a lot versus a steel oriented metagame. Buzzwole takes care of bulkier mons like Ferrothorn, Skarmory or Gliscor and Heracross cleans late game and removes Psychic types. Very simple yet very effective. The choice of Z-Fightium over Leftovers depends on the team and whether you want a nuke available or the staying power of passive recovery.

 

Finally a standard M-Pinsir web support core

 

Sticky Web Offense Core

shuckle

Shuckle @ Mental Herb  

Ability: Sturdy  

EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD  

Careful Nature  

– Stealth Rock  

– Sticky Web  

– Encore/Toxic  

– Knock Off/Infestation

pinsir-mega

Pinsir @ Pinsirite  

Ability: Hyper Cutter  

Happiness: 0  

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe  

Jolly Nature  

– Swords Dance  

– Frustration/Return  

– Earthquake/Close Combat  

– Quick Attack  

 

Extremely simple and straightforward, set up sticky web and win. But seriously, most of the time you will apply great pressure to keep webs up which will enable a M-Pinsir sweep. The choice of Close Combat over Earthquake is up to you and depends on the rest of your teammembers. Close Combat hits Rotom-W, Skarmory and Celesteela. Earthquake hits Magearna, Toxapex and Jirachi harder.

 

Closing Remarks

As you can see, Bug Pokemon offer different offensive options and often times they immolate themselves for the greater good, opening up the path for the swarm to demolish the opponent. With powerful sweepers and good support Pokemon, it takes a bit of skill to get used to play around their weaknesses, but the journey to master bugs is certainly a fun one!

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