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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!

The Reason Team Rocket Insists on Using Zubat: A Guide to Using Poison-Type Pokemon

By CleverMiltank

 

Introduction

Poison type has a history of being below the power level of many other types in competitive formats. In Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow the metagame was dominated by Psychic type Pokemon, a natural enemy of Poison Pokemon. The addition of Poison type was often considered a hindrance. Slowly Mono-Poison type teams have gained traction with Dark/Poison types such as Drapion and Skuntank. The introduction of Fairy type Pokemon has given Poison Pokemon solid footing in the Overused metagame. VGC in 2016 saw less usage of actual Pokemon of the Poison type but a large inclusion of Poison type moves used for coverage of Xerneas a lethal offensive threat.

Toxapex, Alolan Muk, Nihilego and Salazzle are additions from the Alola region that have broadened the horizons of Poison Monotype. With these four new tools for experimentation, the poison type feels refreshed and is a solid contender in the monotype hierarchy. Personally, I have found the type to have a nice balance challenge but with the potential to be powerful when properly prepared.

 

Type Overview

Poison type has been around since the beginning of the Pokemon games, thus it has a fairly diverse roster to choose from when building a team. General battle style favors balance or offensive, reason being most Poison Pokemon have a small set of resistances even with a secondary type. They also haven’t gotten a diverse number of tank or stall oriented Pokemon. Scolipede, Crobat, Nihilego, Gengar and Slazzle are fast and relatively powerful while Toxapex, Mega Venusaur and Alolan Muk can take some hits. Teams can easily be built to align with a personal playstyle more than ever, the new generation has opened the doors for Poison Pokemon with it’s recent additions.

 

By the Numbers

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 64

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 30

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x Super effective against: Fairy, Grass

Effective against: Normal, Fighting, Flying, Bug, Fire, Water, Electric, Psychic, Ice, Dragon, Dark

2x Resisted by: Rock, Ground, Ghost, Poison

Ineffective against: Steel

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x Weak against: Ground, Psychic

Damaged normally by: Normal, Ghost, Dark, Water, Ice, Flying, Electric, Steel, Dragon, Fire, Fighting

2x Resistant to: Fighting, Grass, Poison, Fairy, Bug

Immune to: None

 

Notable Pokemon

  • Mega Gengar
  • Alolan Muk
  • Nihilego
  • Toxapex
  • Mega Venusaur
  • Scolipede
  • Crobat
  • Gengar
  • Roserade
  • Amoongus
  • Salazzle
  • Weezing
  • Mega-Beedrill (Upon Megastone release in February)

 

Notable Moves

Physical- Poison Jab, Poison Fang, Gunk Shot, Cross Poison

Special- Sludge Bomb, Sludge Wave, Acid Spray, Clear Smog

Status- Toxic, Toxic Spikes, Coil, Baneful Bunker

 

Z-Moves

  • Acid Downpour can be physical (100-190 Base Power), special (100-190 Base Power) or status type depending on the original move.
  • Z-Toxic raises physical defense one stage alongside the effects of Toxic.

 

Type in OU

Four popular Pokemon in the overused metagame feature Poison typing: Nihilego, Alolan Muk, Toxapex and Mega Venusaur as of the writing of this article.

nihilego

Nihilego is a diverse Pokemon well known for its use as a lead, setting up Stealth Rocks or Toxic Spikes and holding a focus sash due to its extreme physical weakness. It also functions well as a user of either Choice Scarf or Specs, as it has high speed at base 103 and special attack at base 127. Nihilego’s weaknesses are its limited movepool and very low defense. It requires proper support to succeed, preferring to be paired with bulky offensive pokemon that may force a lot of switches to take advantage of the entry hazards it can set up. It shares a common weakness of Poison types, Ground type. Landorus Therian form poses a problem for us due to its high usage, but basically any Earthquake will OHKO it if it does not have a Focus Sash intact. HP Ice is common on it for this reason, allowing it to threaten the likes of Landorus, Garchomp, and the occasional Gliscor.

toxapex

On the other end of the spectrum, Toxapex is a bulky stall oriented Pokemon, but also fits well into balance teams that need a physical wall. With additional Water typing, one of the most common types for bulky Pokemon, Toxapex gets access to an astounding set of support moves: Toxic Spikes, Recover, Scald, Haze, Stockpile and Toxic just to name a few. Its ability, Regenerator, is what pushes it over the top. Allowing Toxapex to recover health when switching out of battle, this combination of good typing, movepool, base stats and ability have pushed solidly into the OU metagame. Toxapex appreciates being paired with pokemon that cover its type weaknesses, such as Mandibuzz who can switch in on two kinds of super effective attacks aimed at Toxapex for zero damage, but beware of electric attacks.

venusaur-mega

Speaking of stall, Mega Venusaur has returned this generation as a top contender for a bulky Pokemon in OU. Its ability Thick Fat eliminates its weaknesses to Fire and Ice, leaving it weak to only Flying and Psychic. Mega Venusaur can wall all sorts of Pokemon in OU between its decent HP and high physical and special defense. Sludge Bomb and Giga Drain are staples on Mega Venusaur; the remaining two moveslots are usually taken up by Hidden Power Fire, Leech Seed, Synthesis, Earthquake, or Toxic.

muk-alola

The last highlight Pokemon is Alolan Muk. A combination of high HP, Attack, and Special Defense plus a great Dark/Poison typing make Muk a premier offensive pivot and Pursuit trapper against common foes like Latios. Unfortunately Alolan Muk currently lacks the elemental punches, so Ground and Steel types pose a big problem. However, Knock Off makes Alolan Muk very threatening. Poison touch is Muk’s best ability, potentially crippling walls that switch in or an opposing pivot, decreasing their durability. Muk’s biggest weakness is its lack of recovery outside of Rest and that holds true in this generation. An assault vest set with max HP and attack is usually the most efficient way to run Alolan Muk, allowing it to pivot in and out of resisted Special hits and Knock Off/poison foes as they switch around themselves.

scolipede

Scolipede must be mentioned here, as it was recently banned from UU. Scolipede’s combination of strength and speed, plus the ability to Baton Pass speed boosts, means it has some utility on OU teams. However, it is held back by frailty and a susceptibility to Stealth Rock.

Overall Poison Pokemon have finally become strong and usable in OU, although they still suffer. Poison Pokemon have fairly diverse base stats, but are held back by their typing due to the commonality and effectiveness of Ground and Psychic types, two types that contain very strong and fast offensive Pokemon.

 

Type in Mono

Poison monotype has become very strong with the addition of our new friends from Alola: Alolan Muk, Nihilego, Toxapex and Salazzle. Before the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon, Psychic monotype teams were considered number one in the type ranking, only contested by Flying type. Such dominance led to the weakness of Poison teams until the seventh generation games. While Nihilego and Toxapex fill much of the same role as in OU, Alolan Muk has become the premier special tank and Psychic counter on Poison teams with access to Pursuit, Knock Off and a priority move in the form of Shadow Sneak, with stats geared to be specially defensive accompanied by a solid attack stat.

salazzle

Salazzle has been helpful for covering opposing Steel type teams. Its unique ability, Corrosion, allows it to inflict Toxic upon even Steel Types, while its secondary Fire typing lets it threaten most with Flamethrower. While still a problem for Poison teams due to their immunity to our main STAB boosted attacks, Heatran is their only reliable switch in for dispatching Salazzle. To cover this weakness Salazzle needs only to use Hidden Power Ground, assuming the use of a Choice Specs set.

Given Poison types balanced playstyle, Mega-Venusaur fills an important role of being neutral to Earthquake and resistant to Water and Electric types, something many of our other Pokemon do not do. Despite its slew of resistances, Mega-Venusaur boasts a special attack stat of 122 base making it the leading option for the tank role.

 

Type in Other Metas

arceusgengar-mega

Poison has limited use in the Uber tier as their are only two  “Uber” restricted Pokemon, Poison type Arceus and Mega-gengar. Arceus is good at setting up with calm mind against Blissey and Chansey and is one of the viable Toxic Spikes absorbers. Mega Gengar is much more offensive: with the ability Shadow Tag, it can trap and remove threats from the opposing team without much contest. Its lethal combination of Perish Song, Disable, and Taunt can wholly shut down some defensively oriented Pokemon, while its high special attack and speed let it trap and remove more offensively oriented foes.

Underused is where many Poison types reside. Gengar, Tentacruel, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Roserade, and Crobat are all significant threats in this tier.

gengar

Gengar is in UU for the first time because of its recent ability change. Originally Levitate, a valuable immunity on a Poison Pokemon, Cursed Body has replaced it and decreased Gengar’s effectiveness.

tentacruel

Tentacruel has always been on the edge of viability due to it’s good water typing, but now there is Toxapex, and the main role Tentacruel could fill is gone, limiting it a lower tier Rapid Spin user while sometimes being useful on rain teams.

amoonguss

Amoonguss was OU in Generation VI but has fallen in usage since the introduction of Toxapex, who fills a similar niche as a defensive pivot. Amoonguss’ niche lies in being one of two viable Pokemon to get access to Spore.

nidokingnidoqueen

Nidoking and Nidoqueen have unique typing and a good movepool. The combination of Sheer Force and a Life Orb makes either one a threatening special attacker; however, they are held back from stardom by their mediocre base stats. They are not naturally fast enough to compete with offensive OU Pokemon and not strong enough in OU to use Choice Scarf. Nidoqueen fills a more defensive role than Nidoking by making use of Stealth Rock and slightly higher bulk at the expense of some offensive power. The other tiers have yet to be established as Pokemon Bank was recently released and the dust is still settling.

 

Tips and Tricks

Here are two of my favorite monotype cores to use:

Balanced Defensive
Salazzle @ Choice Specs

Ability: Oblivious

EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Timid Nature

– Fire Blast / Flamethrower

– Sludge Wave

– Dragon Pulse

– Hidden Power [Ground]

Venusaur @ Venusaurite

Ability: Chlorophyll

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe

Bold / Relaxed Nature

– Leech Seed / Earthquake

– Synthesis

– Giga Drain

– Hidden Power [Fire]

Venusaur @ Venusaurite

Ability: Chlorophyll

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA

Relaxed Nature

– Synthesis

– Giga Drain

– Sludge Bomb

– Earthquake

Muk-Alola @ Assault Vest

Ability: Poison Touch

EVs: 252 HP / 120 Atk / 136 SpD

Careful / Adamant / Brave Nature

– Knock Off

– Poison Jab / Gunk Shot

– Pursuit

– Brick Break / Rock Slide / Stone Edge / Fire Blast

Crobat @ Rocky Helmet / Black Sludge

Ability: Inner Focus

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD

Impish Nature

– Roost

– Defog

– U-turn

– Brave Bird

Toxapex @ Black Sludge

Ability: Regenerator

EVs: 252 HP / 196 Def / 60 SpD

Bold Nature

– Scald

– Toxic / Toxic Spikes

– Recover

– Haze

 

Closing Remarks

To wrap things up, Poison types have come a long way since the first generation Pokemon games. Game Freak has been fair with the nerfs, buffs and secondary type availability providing a fun and potentially diverse experience. I appreciate you taking the time to read this article and hopefully I have inspired you to build a Poison Type team of your own.

Shockingly Positive: A Guide to Using Electric-Type Pokemon

By Zdeb93

 

Introduction

Electric is often considered the fourth starter type thanks to Pikachu not only as the mascot of the franchise but also being available as a starter in a variety of ways in the Pokemon series. However, the Electric type has not received the same love as the other starter types over the years until this latest generation.

For the longest time the Electric typing was pigeonholed into one set mind of thinking. If it’s an Electric type, it goes fast and hits hard specially. A few pokemon strayed from this cookie cutter philosophy and found a niche as a utility pokemon (like Raichu in VGC) but the physical attackers were either lacking in other stats or just had an underperforming move pool. Looking at you Luxray and Electivire.

Now in the Sun/Moon era the Electric type got a lot more pokemon that promote some diversity that make it a fun type to use, with the ability to vary its playstyles.

Type Overview

Electric as a type has a lot going for it across the board in battles. In regards to its defensive abilities it has only one weakness (ground) and resists attacks from three other types (one of those being other electric attacks). It lacks a bit offensively in the type chart, only hitting two types super effectively, and not only being resisted by three, but being completely neutralized by ground types. However, Electric pairs well with Ice (creating what some call BeamBolt coverage for Thunderbolt and Ice Beam) to help make up for offensive ineptitude on the type chart.

With new generation 7 mechanics meaning thunder wave can’t miss for electric users, the type saw a tiny buff in this regard. Plus, all electric types are by default immune to paralysis. Electric as a type also has access to a pretty wide range of abilities that can help in different situations in battle. One of the most notable of abilities is levitate, which when paired with a mono-electric type pokemon makes it completely absent of weaknesses.

By The Numbers

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type (Includes Mega, Alolan and Multi-types): 62

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon (Includes Mega, Alolan and Multi-types): 41

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Flying, Water

2x resisted by: Dragon, Electric, Grass

Ineffective against: Ground

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Ground

2x resistant to: Electric, Flying, Steel

Immune to: None

 

Notable Pokemon:

  • Zapdos
  • Mega Manectric
  • Thundurus
  • Xurkitree
  • Tapu Koko
  • Magnezone
  • Rotom
  • Magneton
  • Alolan Golem
  • Heliolisk

 

Notable Moves

Physical – Wild Charge, Thunder Punch, Thunder Fang
Special – Thunderbolt, Thunder, Charge Beam
Status – Thunder Wave, Magnet Rise

Z-Moves

Gigavolt Havoc (Standard)
Z-Thunder Wave (Guaranteed paralyze if used by an electric type and +1 Special Defense)
Z-Magnet Rise (Pokemon is immune to ground attacks and +1 evasiveness)
Z-Electric Terrain (Electric Terrain is set and +1 Speed)
Catastropika (Pikachu exclusive/Volt Tackle)
Stoked Sparksurfer (Raichu-Alola exclusive/Thunderbolt)
10,000,000 Volt Thunderbolt (Pikachu-Ash exclusive/Thunderbolt)

Type in OU

As electric type pokemon are unable to be paralyzed which preserves their natural speed and often hit hard specially (average special attack stat over 100) with moves like Thunderbolt and other coverage options, they make ideal sweepers in most tiers. They do need assistance in removing their checks and counters, namely Ground types and Walls (usually special based, but sometimes physical based too)

In the Gen 7 OU metagame the only electric type currently in the OU tier that fits the mold of sweeper is Xurkitree. This is partially due to the popularity of Electric’s only resistance (Ground) being very common in the tier with the likes of Landorus-T and Excadrill among others being devoted checks to electric types and their attacks.

The utility electric type pokemon provide whether it be speed control with Thunder Wave or other non-offensive advantages they can gain make them a very usable type in OU.

In standard play, there are currently five major Pokemon that see usage: Zapdos, Xurkitree, Tapu Koko, Magnezone, and Rotom-W.

Zapdos

zapdos

The original awesome electric type. Flying type meant it was immune to ground attacks so the only way it could be hit super effectively was attacking its flying typing with rock or ice type moves. Even back in generation 1 when Zapdos was introduced it was a monster and it still finds itself in the OU (OverUsed) tier today in Smogon.

With the ability to play bulky (90/85/90) defenses, or go all out and attack hard (125 SpA and 100 base speed) Zapdos sees a lot of versatility as an electric type, if even a fraction of pokemon in this type had the stat distribution Zapdos had, electric might not have had such dark times in previous generations, but Zapdos being a legendary pokemon in games obviously helps in the overall strength it has been graced with.

Most sets will run Zapdos bulky in either the physical or special defense category and allow its natural power to do damage when necessary. It also has access to Defog (via gen 4 HM) making it a great utility pokemon on teams (provided you aren’t concerned about removing hazards you had already set). Toxic and Roost stalling can also be run with Zapdos’ bulky sets.

On the offensive side STAB Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Ice create a great coverage set hitting over 400 different pokemon super effectively (of the 900+ different pokemon when type combos are considered). Heat wave can also be added for coverage as well.

 

Rotom

rotom-heatrotom-wash

More than just a pokedex helper in Generation 7 Rotom sees a lot of use across the different monotypes it can fit on, and luckily for Electric all of its forms share this type. Rotom can have dual typing of Water, Fire, Grass, Ice, Flying, and Ghost all while retaining Electric as its main type. All of its stats are the same (50/65/107/105/107/86) except for its Ghost typing (50/50/77/95/77/81) which is just worse in every way unless you are struggling to find a ghost type in a very low usage tier.

Even though Rotom’s HP stat is abysmal it still has great bulk with matching 107 stats in the other defensive categories. When looking across its different forms, Rotom-Wash (Water typing) is considered the best as it has only one weakness (Grass), unless a mold breaker is able to get through its levitate ability. However, Heat form is also viable in some circumstances, particularly on more offensively inclined teams.

With this bulk and only one weakness Rotom-W can be a great utility pokemon to pass status with access to Will-O-Wisp, Toxic, and Thunder Wave. It also gets other moves like Trick (to pass items that may annoy your foe, like a Toxic Orb or a Choice item of the wrong attacking stat) and Pain Split to give it somewhat reliable recovery when healthier pokemon switch in and try to clean it up.

On the offensive front outside of Hydro Pump (its form specific signature) and either Volt Switch or Thunderbolt there isn’t a lot to pick from. Rotom is one of those pokemon that broke away from the fast special attacking cookie cutter of the electric type and was able to succeed in doing so, it can still hit hard especially against things it is super effective against as base 105 Special Attack should not be taken lightly. Whether you are building mono-electric, mono-water, or just an overall good team. Rotom, and especially Rotom-Wash should be considered for all the different things it can possibly do on the battlefield.

Magnezone (and to some extent Magneton)

magnezonemagneton

The Magnemite family finally showed its ultimate form in generation 4 when Magenzone was introduced as a way to evolve Magneton into a more powerful being.

Magnezone is part of the OU scene for one reason: Magnet Pull. Magnet Pull traps fellow Steel type pokemon in battle, and when Magnezone can run Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Fire, pokemon like Ferrothorn, Scizor, Celesteela and Skarmory are all on notice because they can be hit super effectively with those moves and can’t run away from the fight. Magnezone is a good teammate to its sweepers and late game cleaners by removing some common problems for them. This is especially important in an OU metagame where more than 20% of the OU tier is steel type.

Magneton is an option worth considering if you need to outpace a few key threats. Slapping a Choice Scarf on it allows to outspeed and KO some threats that Magnezone cannot with a scarf.

Thundurus

thundurusthundurus-therian

Despite the Prankster ability getting a slight nerf in generation 7 (moves that receive the priority boost used against Dark-type pokemon fail) Thundurus still uses that plus its wide move pool to a great advantage in the Electric type family.

Like Zapdos, Its dual Electric/Flying type means it has to be hit on the Flying side to be hit super effectively. It’s somewhat frail defenses appreciate this (79/70/80), but the ability to guarantee paralyzing a pokemon (non-Dark pokemon) with Prankster Thunder Wave is something no other pokemon can do.

Offensively, Thundurus has access to STAB Electric and Flying, plus Focus Blast and Hidden Power on the special side. What often gets overlooked with this pokemon is its ability to go mixed or even all out physical. 115 base attack compared to base 125 special attack is not too far of a drop off and given the lack of quality physical attackers in the Electric type, it is certainly worth a look. Knock off for item control and even Superpower (if Focus Blast’s dismal accuracy frightens you) are both great options to run on a Thundurus.

Thundurus-Therian has a niche it can fill over Thundurus-I if you so desire. Volt Absorb as an ability versus Prankster can come in handy to absorb incoming Thunderbolts and the special attack and Thundurus-T is 145 compared to 125 on Thundurus-I making it hit even harder. Because of the jump in special attack it loses 10 points in speed and physical attack so it fails to outrun as much as it did in this form and loses the potency of a mixed attacker.

tapu_koko_sprite_by_profkrd-daay2ok

Tapu Koko

One of generation 7’s newest and best pokemon, Tapu Koko brings the ability “Electric Surge” to the party, making it the lone passive setter of Electric Terrain currently in the metagame. Electric Terrain not only prevents your pokemon from falling asleep (making Koko immune to both paralysis and sleep while terrain is up) it gives Electric attacks a 50% boost. And given that Electric pokemon already receive a STAB boost on their electric attacks it makes Tapu Koko a great partner to many electric types.

Back to Tapu Koko however while you may be tempted to follow the cookie cutter hit hard and fast (130 base speed) consider that its physical attack stat is 115 compared to 95 on the special side. While its move pool gives it more options as a special attacker Tapu Koko learns Brave Bird (for pesky Grass and Dragon types that resist Electric) and can still fill out a VoltTurn team because it can learn both U-Turn and Volt Switch, making it just as, if not more viable, as a physical attacker.

Xurkitree

xurkitree

The last and possibly scariest Electric type pokemon covered here will be the UB-03 or the Ultra Beast Xurkitree. All Ultra Beasts possess the ability Beast Boost which jumps their highest non-HP stat +1 for every KO they score. While most Ultra Beast allow some flexibility in what stat you can choose to receive this moxie-like boost. Xurkitree is so far gone in the Special Attack stat it is impossible to boost something else and still have Xurkitree be viable.

Xurkitree’s base stat line reads 83/89/71/173/71/83. You read that right, 173 base Special Attack giving it the 6th highest Special Attack base in the game.

When we realize that Xurkitree is the embodiment of hit hard specially, all it needs is to go fast to make its mark on any battle it enters.

With a choice scarf boost (or even a Z-electric terrain move) offering +1 Speed once it racks up one or two kills Xurkitree is almost impossible to take down without priority or some lucky miss.

Xurkitree can utilize coverage in Energy Ball, Dazzling Gleam, and Hidden Power (usually Fire or Ice). Combine three of those with Electric STAB and there isn’t anything it can’t hit on normal effectiveness in most circumstances.

 

 

 

Type in Mono

As the theme of this piece suggests, prior to generation 7, Electric did not have a lot of diversity. A mono-electric team struggled to tear down effective special walls and if it was out sped by something it was usually game over as the bulk just wasn’t there on most pokemon.

golem-alolan

Golem was one of several Kantoan Pokemon to receive a new Alolan form this generation, and what a welcome change it has been. No longer plagued by the terrible Ground/Rock typing, Alolan Golem’s Rock/Electric typing makes it the first truly useful Physically based Electric type. Alolan Golem is also blessed with three great abilities: Galvanize changes Normal moves to Electric and compounds them with a 20% boost, meaning Alolan Golem always has an incredible nuke on hand in the form of Explosion; Magnet Pull can make use of being able to trap the omnipresent steel types; and Sturdy means it can act as an effective lead to set up Stealth Rock. Air Balloon is a great item for Alolan Golem to avoid its 4x Ground weakness. While Golem-A sees little usage in OU, it is a staple in Monotype due to its ability to set rocks and act as a rare physical attacker on mono electric.

With Rotom-W, Golem-A and Zapdos providing good defensive/utility work, and the plethora of good attackers (mostly special but a few physical as we’ve covered) and you can mix and match a very good team of six. While there may not be as many viable pokemon in the electric type to choose from, the options that are there are formidable and certainly make Electric a better type than in previous generations.

Type in Other Metas

Other Metas are tricky for Electric types. While Xurkitree might be able to hold its own in Ubers, the only default Uber Electric Types are Zekrom and Arceus-Electric. Conservatively, Arceus has about six other forms that suit it better over Electric, and Zekrom while being the only pokemon with STAB Electric attacks is nerfed by the presence of Primal-Groudon and its ground typing

In lower tiers like UU and RU there are pokemon that can fill the special attacking and utility roles of old that Electric was known for, but if it ventures too far from that it faces a fork in the road. It will either elevate to stardom (like Rotom-W) or fall to obscurity (like Electivire and its terrible movepool). Long story short, if an electric type is found in a lower tier there’s a good chance it’s going to hit specially or be providing some sort of minor support to the team’s true all-stars.

 

plusleminunpachirisuemolgadedenne

There is a subset of Electric pokemon called “PikaClones” that have shown to be very useful in very niche situations. While Raichu is actually an evolution of Pikachu, it fits that PikaClone mold with its usefulness as fast support in VGC, and unfortunately not much else.

Another VGC legend is the Pachirisu of 2014, where a bulky Pachirisu played by eventual world champ Se Jun Park could absorb attack after attack using Follow Me and allowing its teammate on the field to set up and finish off the game and win. While it should be mentioned these are both VGC and therefore double battles they do show that Electric pokemon as support are very useful and shouldn’t be overlooked.

twayjix

The newest of the Pikaclones, Togedemaru, is similarly pathetic, but has some utility as a physical attacker. Its good Steel/Electric typing and access to Iron Barbs mean that it could potentially cement itself as a threat in lower tier play.

Tips and Tricks

A strategy often overlooked is the VoltTurn strategy that is using the moves U-Turn and Volt Switch to apply pressure to your opponent by being able to both switch out to an advantageous pokemon and hitting with chip damage, sometimes super effectively. Most Electric type pokemon can learn Volt Switch and some (like Tapu Koko) can also learn U-Turn, making mono-Electric teams very likely to have VoltTurn components. Electric types in non-mono tiers also are key cogs in most VoltTurn cores.

Closing Remarks

Despite Electric’s new found popularity it still rises to a mid-level monotype at best. Its lack of diversity in filling certain roles may hold it back from a teambuilding perspective but the options available in certain roles are nothing to sneeze at. With its wide range of great special attackers there seems to be an electric attacker available no matter what usage tier or banlist you are playing and of course never underestimate the power of good support, because a team needs to have diversity and finally in generation 7, Electric as a type gets that diversity.

Average Joe: A Guide to Using Normal-Type Pokemon

By Tapu Loco

 

Introduction

What’s the deal with super effective moves? With mono normal you will learn that there are more important things than getting a x2 boost. Normal is a unique type that has only one immunity and one weakness. At the same time, it has a huge pool of pokemon to choose from and all of these are very versatile as well. 

 

Type Overview

Normal types often have a lot of coverage options and support moves. You have plenty of options for every role you can imagine: wall breaker, set up sweeper, defensive wall, etc. Interestingly enough, there are a lot of dual type pokemon that further enhance your team building options. As always, the best way to build a mono team is by choosing a style you feel comfortable with. Mono normal has the advantage of being able to successfully pull off different playstyles, although the balanced playstyle is the more optimal one.

 

By the Numbers

 

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 109

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 60

# of Mega Evolutions: 4

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Nothing

Effective against: Normal, Bug, Water, Fire, Electric, Flying, Grass, Dragon, Fighting, Dark, Ground, Fairy

2x resisted by: Rock, Steel

Ineffective against: Ghost

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Fighting

Damaged normally by: Normal, Bug, Water, Fire, Electric, Flying, Grass, Dragon, Fighting, Dark, Ground, Fairy, Rock, Steel

2x resistant to: Nothing

Immune to: Ghost

 

Notable Pokemon

  • Mega Kangaskhan
  • Chansey
  • Porygon-Z
  • Porygon-2
  • Staraptor
  • Diggersby
  • Ditto
  • Blissey
  • Meloetta
  • Bewear
  • Snorlax
  • Type: Null
  • Drampa
  • Heliolisk

 

Notable Moves

Physical- Return, Frustration, Double Edge, Façade, Body Slam, Explosion, Last Resort

Special- Hyper Voice, Tri Attack, Boomburst

Status- Yawn

 

Z-Moves

Breakneck Blitz

Pulverizing Pancake

Z-Conversion

Z-Happy Hour

Z-Splash

Z-Belly Drum

 

Type in OU

Normal types are not very common in OU mainly because there are better pokemon at each role to do their job. The glaring exception for this would be Porygon-Z who got a new powerful boost this gen by virtue of Z-Conversion.

porygon-z

Many teams get straight swept once it set ups as it is very difficult to take a +1 Adaptability-boosed STAB coverage move. Most of the time when it uses Z-Conversion, Porygon Z will be turning into either an Electric or Ghost type.

chanseyblissey

Another pokemon that is common is Chansey as it is the premier special wall in the game. With Eviolite equipped, not only it eats special attacks for breakfast, but it also tanks most physical hits quite well, something Blissey struggles with. Chansey obviously sees the majority of its usage on stall teams as it is a very passive mon and it doesn’t fit on any other archetype.

porygon2

Finally, Porygon-2 deserves an honorary mention because Trick Room teams have seen a boost in popularity this gen with the addition of more viable TR abusers such as Alolan Marowak and Magearna.

Since Fighting types are not very common due to the ubiquitous presence of Tapus in the meta, trying to cover that weakness is not a major concern. Instead, you should ask yourself if the normal mon you are using on your team is really worth a slot if it isn’t one of the previously discussed pokemon. Most of the OU mons can probably do a better job and that is because having resistances help a lot in an offensive meta where hard switches are very common. Porygon-Z is used not because of its typing, but because of its great movepool, offensive stats and broken Z-move.

 

Type in Mono

Mononormal is still a very decent type in gen 7, not having changed much since last gen. The major addition to the type has been Type : Null and perhaps Bewear.

type_null_sprite_by_profkrd-dagtp6pbewear

The latter is known for its ability to sponge physical contact moves but in a type that has plenty of good physical walls such as Porygon-2, Miltank or Bulkyraptor the niche of this pokemon is its ability to switch into powerful Knock Off users. A lot of balanced teams rely on the defensive Eviolite core of Chansey/Porygon-2 so often times these type of teams are weak to Physical Dark pokemon. Bewear fills that role and provides a nice check to them while also taking off some pressure from Bulkyraptor or Porygon-2. Additionally, this mon is not a sitting duck (*high five me*) and packs quite a punch even as a defensive mon.

Type : Null on the other hand, provides the ultimate eviolite trio along Chansey and Porygon-2. A Specially defensive spread gives a nice check to special set up sweepers that give Chansey trouble. Examples include Bulkyrona (if Chansey lacks Toxic), Calm Mind users (Substitute Chandelure, RestTalk Suicune, Clefable) or Manaphy. The main difference is the big physical movepool along the support moves that prevents it to become set up fodder (Roar/Whirlwind). This pokemon can be tailored to counter a particular special sweeper that could be an issue to any balanced normal team. For example it can use Rock Slide against Bulkyrona, Shadow Claw against Ghost users and Iron Head against Clefable.   

diggersbystaraptor

Mononormal standard team is typically referred as “cancer normal” because as a balanced team it covers most threats very efficiently. The team consists of the infamous Eviolite core along strong attackers on both spectrums, commonly Banded Diggersby and either Specs Porygon-Z or now the better Z-Normalium Porygon-Z, providing a nice late game cleaner. This team is usually backed up by scarf Ditto to deter set up sweepers from removing the Eviolite bros. Overall, a very solid team that obviously struggles against powerful Fighting pokemon. Variations of this team includes Bulkyraptor to help versus said mons or M-Pidgeot to serve as a strong special attacker that takes care of Fighting types. Mega Lopunny and Mega Pidgeot, both nice options versus offense teams, are currently unavailable in gen 7 and therefore not an option as of right now.

smeargle  ditto heliolisk

Last but not least, mononormal has a diverse pool of offensive mons along nice support that allows for a viable HO team. Typically, a HO normal team would include Smeargle as suicide lead to set up hazards (Sticky Web is mostly appreciated), Scarf Staraptor to deal with most Fighting types and Heliolisk to complete a nice VoltTurn core alongside Staraptor. Additional members include Banded/SD Diggersby, Specs/Assault Vest Meloetta, Porygon-Z, Ditto, among others.

 

Type in Other Metas

kangaskhan-mega

Mega Kangaskhan is an undisputable monster in the Ubers metagame. It received a small nerf this generation to its ability Parental Bond: instead of Baby Kanga’s hit doing 50% damage, it now only does 25%. However, Smogon still decided to QB it due to its ability to rack up +2 Power-Up Punches and break focus sashes and sturdy with ease. Fake Out gives it a strong way to induce chip damage against nearly any switch-in. Its movepool is also just diverse enough for it to be a little bit unpredictable. Usually, M-Kangaskhan will run Fake Out, Return, and some combination of Power-Up Punch/Sucker Punch/Earthquake depending on its needs.

Normal types start to shine as you go down to lower tiers.. The lower tiers have not been established yet but in gen 6, normal types were really common in NU featuring Tauros, Audino, Swellow and Kangaskhan. Other pokemon in different tiers were just sparingly used unless they had relevant stats, such as Miltank and Braviary in RU. Once again, the lack of resistances play against these mons to fill a slot on a team.

 

Tips and Tricks

As mentioned before, there are some nice options available but, when playing competitively, often times you find yourself using the same mons because they probably are the best at doing their roles. When picking pokemon try to maximize their utility otherwise you’ll find yourself handicapping your team for no reason (hint: DO NOT use M-Audino). For example Diggersby is the most common physical wall breaker used over Banded Staraptor or Slaking. Reasons for this are that it gets dual STAB on two very spammable moves (Return and Earthquake) that complement each other as Normal moves are resisted by Rock and Steel. Earthquake hits both types really hard so it actually helps your team by being able to hit and destroy any of those types trying to take a hit. Additionally it has access to elemental punches so Fire Punch is usually chosen to hit Skarmory, Ferrothorn or Scizor. This presents an advantage over Staraptor because although Staraptor hits about as hard and has higher speed, both its STABs will kill it in the process due to recoil, making it less durable in the long run. Not to mention it is Stealth Rock weak, adding to the durability argument. Moreover, both STABs are resisted by the same types (Rock and Steel) and even when Close Combat hits them super effectively is not very desirable to lock yourself on a Fighting move that drops your defenses. For this reasons it is better to use Staraptor as a scarfer on offensive teams or as a bulky defogger in balanced teams since it performs those roles much better than any other pokemon available. Its speed tier now shines as it speed ties at the worst with other +1 100 base pokemon and outspeed several physical sweepers like +1 M-Gyarados, +1 Dragonite, scarf Lando-T, etc.

 

Having said that, offensive cores include, as above mentioned, a strong physical attacker and a complementary special attacker. The sets below will be an example of offensive cores you can use.

 

Core #1

diggersby

Diggersby @ Choice Band

Ability: Huge Power

Happiness: 0

EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Adamant Nature

– Frustration

– Earthquake

– Fire Punch/Wild Charge

– Quick Attack

porygon-z

Porygon-Z @ Normalium Z

Ability: Download

EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Timid Nature

IVs: 0 Atk

– Shadow Ball / Thunderbolt

– Ice Beam

– Thunderbolt / Recover / Shadow Ball

– Conversion

 

This is pretty standard and fits most teams. You want to use Diggersby very aggressively pulling doubles on Porygon checks to be able to 2HKO opposing walls, if any. Once those are removed, Diggersby will take something down every time he gets in. Porygon-Z should be used more carefully and find an opportunity to set up into the appropriate type. Adaptability is also an option but Download allows you to use the coverage move with a potential boost as well. An Eviolite core backing these up is a very easy team to start with.

 

Core #2

staraptor

Staraptor @ Choice Scarf

Ability: Reckless

252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Jolly Nature

– Brave Bird

– Double-Edge

– Close Combat

– U-turn

diggersby

Diggersby @ Life Orb

Ability: Huge Power

252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Jolly Nature

– Swords Dance

– Return

– Quick Attack

– Earthquake

 

This is a more offensive approach, Staraptor is used as a revenge killer and a Fighting check while Diggersby is a late game cleaner. Make sure to remove Levitators or Ghosts that can prevent the sweep. Alternatively, you could use Diggersby early game to wall break and then clean with Staraptor late game. Do not try to reveal Diggersby set as most people in mononormal assume Diggersby is Banded. A +2 Quick Attack deals massive damage but you will need some hazards to get those OHKOs. This core is paired well with a Smeargle suicide lead preferably with either Toxic Spikes against fat teams and/or Sticky Web against fast, offensive teams.

 

Core #3

chansey

Chansey @ Eviolite

Ability: Natural Cure

EVs: 136 HP / 252 Def / 120 SpD

Bold Nature

IVs: 0 Atk

– Stealth Rock

– Seismic Toss

– Heal Bell/ Thunder Wave/Toxic

– Soft-Boiled

porygon2

Porygon2 @ Eviolite

Ability: Trace

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA

Bold Nature

– Foul Play

– Recover

– Hidden Power [Fire]/Discharge/Thunder Wave/Toxic

– Ice Beam

 

This is normal bread and butter and the main pillar on many balanced normal teams. Chansey takes care of most special attackers while Porygon-2 deals with most physical attackers. Make sure to keep hazards away as both mons have no passive recovery. A good Knock Off switch in is also needed and some answer to strong Fighting users is required too.

 

Closing Remarks

Normal offers a good variety of options, just make sure to try to use each mon to its full potential. Eviolite is a very useful and important item when playing with normal types. Several pokemon are overshadowed by the Eviolite bros (M-Audino, Miltank, Blissey) so take that into account when building your team. Normal balance is a good place to start if you are looking into competitive pokemon as the learning curve is very friendly and you still get knowledge from every matchup. Just stay away from Fighting!

We’re Soaring, Flying: A Guide to Using Flying-Type Pokemon

 

By eco_politiq with assistance from 2180161

Introduction

What’s that? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No- it’s a Flying-Type Pokemon! Flying is one of the most common (and useful) types in the game. With 56 fully evolved Pokemon sporting this type, it is the third most common typing after Water and Normal. With this expansive pool comes significant diversity as well: flying is the only type to have been paired with every single other type at least once. This makes it a potent type in the metagame for its diversity.

 

Type Overview

The flying type is a fairly balanced type, having only 3 weaknesses, an immunity, and having an offensive effectiveness of *2 against 3 types. The type was introduced in Generation I, with the release of Red and Green/Blue. It is one of the first types you encounter in every Pokemon game–who can forget the first time they ran across a Pidgey, Hoot-Hoot, Tailow, Staravia, Pidove, Fletchling, or Pikipek? Many flying types can run offensive or supportive roles, such as sweeping and cleaning up late-game, or being used to wall or defog. While it has options, it is plagued by a few common weaknesses, namely stealth rock, which can severely limit the longevity of many flying types.

 

By the Numbers

 

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 93

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 56

# of Mega Pokemon: 5

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Grass, Bug, Fighting

Effective against: Normal, Fire, Water, Fairy, Flying, Ghost, Dark, Dragon, Poison, Ice, Ground, Psychic

2x resisted by: Electric, Rock, Steel,

Ineffective against: None

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Ice, Rock, Electric

Damaged normally by: Dragon, Fairy, Steel, Dark, Ghost, Water, Fire, Poison, Flying, Normal, Psychic

2x resistant to: Bug, Fighting, Grass

Immune to: Ground

 

Notable Pokemon

 

  • Rayquaza
  • Mega Salamence
  • Lugia
  • Ho-Oh
  • Landorus (Both Forms)
  • Celesteela
  • Mega Pinsir
  • Mantine
  • Pelipper
  • Skarmory
  • Zapdos
  • Mega Charizard Y
  • Staraptor
  • Gyarados
  • Dragonite
  • Salamence
  • Tornadus
  • Thundurus
  • Mega Aerodactyl
  • Minior

 

Notable Moves

Physical- Brave Bird, Acrobatics, Aerial Ace, Wing Attack

Special- Hurricane, Air Slash

Status- Defog, Tailwind, Roost

 

Z-Moves

Supersonic Skystrike

 

Type in OU

Flying is an excellent defensive type that offers key resistances to Fighting, Grass, and Bug and an immunity to Ground. Being able to switch in and thwart your opponent’s Earthquake is invaluable in OU. The diversity of flying types means that a number of different ones fit easily into many playstyles.

celesteela

Celesteela is without a doubt the most useful and annoying Flying type introduced in Sun-Moon. This Ultra Beast boasts incredible 97-103-101 bulk, making it both more physically and specially bulky than Skarmory. On top of that, 101 Attack and 107 Special Attack mean it is no slouch offensively, either, and allows it to make efficient use of a small, yet diverse, movepool. Being the only non-grass type to learn Leech Seed is a boon, too. Simply put, Celesteela is the ultimate defensive Flying Pokemon. It seems possible that Smogon will eventually give Celesteela the ban hammer due to its ability to fit effortlessly onto many different teams.

landorus-therian

Like previous generations, Landorus-Therian maintains a strong presence in the OU ladder. It has a good defensive typing that leaves it weak only to Ice and Water. With well-rounded stats and Intimidate, it has the option to run either offensive or defensive sets effectively. Landorus is commonly seen as a stealth rock setter and defensive pivot on balanced teams, but a scarfed version is also common on more offensively inclined teams.

pinsir-mega

Mega Pinsir is also back and just as threatening as ever. While it has pretty much the worst defensive typing imaginable, Flying/Bug typing does give it opportunities to switch in and take advantage of Grass, Fighting, and Ground types. Its ability Aerilate sets it apart by turning its Normal type moves into Flying type ones; this means that it can wallop opponents with boosted Returns and pick off weakened foes with very strong Quick Attacks. A typical Mega Pinsir set will run these two moves along with Swords Dance and either Close Combat or Earthquake, depending on necessary coverage.

skarmory

While Celesteela may be the shiny new Steel/Flying toy this generation, Skarmory still finds considerable use due to its niche in providing more overall utility than Celesteela. Access to Stealth Rock, Spikes, Whirlwind, and Defog make Skarmory a potent controller of entry hazards on both sides of the field. While a specially defensive set can be used, physically defensive sets are more common and useful.

zapdos

Zapdos is again seeing a return to OU due to its ability to take on both physically and specially defensive roles. It has a great defensive typing, leaving it weak only to Rock and Ice, which are both very rare as STAB in OU; thus, Zapdos can usually tank one or two super effective coverage moves of either type in order to Defog. While its movepool is quite limited, especially considering it lacks a decent Flying STAB, access to Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Ice allow it to perform a makeshift BoltBeam combo. Volt Switch makes it a great pivot, while Heat Wave provides additional coverage.

pelippermantine

While not technically new, Pelipper and Mantine both received important buffs that have made them OU worthy this generation. An increase in its base Special Attack (85 to 95) and newfound access to Drizzle make Pelipper a utility mon worth having around. It serves as an excellent pivot, being able to eat up Ground, Fighting, Water, and Fire attacks all day. Low speed and U-Turn make it possible to bring in rain sweepers like Kingdra and Kabutops safely. Mantine, on the other hand, benefits from a buff to its HP stat and newfound access to Roost, meaning it finally has reliable recovery. This finally allows Mantine to be on par with its Generation II counterpart Skarmory.

gyaradosdragonitesalamencetornadus-therian

Gyarados, Dragonite, Salamence, and Tornadus–all once powerful contenders in OU–were initially UU this generation; however, UU moderators deemed them uncompetitive and banned them all to BL. Not much has changed for any of these mons: each is still able to run diverse sets that let them fit effectively on either offense or balance teams.

aerodactyl-mega

Mega Aerodactyl deserves a mention here, in spite of the fact that it remains in UU. This is because Mega Aerodactyl has unmatched power and speed, making it a worthwhile contender in the OU metagame for hyper offense teams. It remains hindered by the fact that it has, at best, a base 60 Flying type physical STAB, although Tough Claws provides a buff to both Wing Attack and Aerial Ace. The loss of Hone Claws as a TM move this generation has surely hurt its viability since a Sub-Claws set can now only be run from Generation VI transfer.

thundurus

Finally, Thundurus is also worth mentioning. Once a powerful staple of OU teams, Thundurus is another victim of the intergenerational power creep. It has not yet been banned by Smogon’s UU moderators and is cementing itself as a powerful threat in that metagame. It also occassionally sees some use on OU, especially on rain teams where its star move Thunder really has an opportunity to shine.

Type in Mono

Flying is an excellent type to use in the Monotype metagame due to its diversity. Flying is the only type to have been paired with every single other type at least once. This means that when using flying, it is possible to use various combinations of offensive and defensive cores based on the types you find most useful.

In monotype, Flying types typically run either bulky offense or balanced. Hyper offense and stall playstyles are certainly viable, but they fail to make efficient use of some of Flying’s most favorable assets, specifically its nature as a good defensive typing. Most Flying teams in monotype consist of the Pokemon popular in OU: Celesteela, Mega Charizard Y, Skarmory, Landorus, Staraptor, Gyarados, Mega Pinsir, Mantine, Zapdos, Pelipper, and Thundurus all see considerable usage on Flying teams this generation. Because of Flying’s natural diversity, it is hardly ever worthwhile to make use of lower-tiered flying types like Dodrio, Fearow, or Swellow.

 

In Ubers

As with OU and Monotype, Flying has cemented itself as a top contender in the Ubers Metagame. Here, it benefits from the allowance of several incredibly powerful Pokemon.

salamence-mega

Many people consider Mega Salamence to be the most broken Pokemon ever created, and I cannot disagree with this analysis. Take a look at its base statistics:

HP: 95

Attack: 145

Defense: 130

Sp. Attack: 120

Sp. Defense: 90

Speed: 120

… absolutely ridiculous. Many people were quite pleased when it received a Quickban in Generation VI and similarly happy when Smogon maintained that ban for Generation VII. Especially when coupled with Intimidate to come in and simulate even greater physical bulk before Mega evolving, Mega Mence is very difficult to take down. Aerilate lets it slam opponents with Double Edge or Return, while good special attack allows it to run Fire Blast as coverage, too. Mega Salamence is undoubtedly a major contender in the Ubers metagame.

rayquaza

The other major Dragon/Flying contender in Ubers, Rayquaza has a wide movepool and great stats that make it a versatile offensive threat. On the special side, access to Energy Ball, Surf, Ice Beam, Flamethrower, and Thunderbolt give it great elemental coverage, and Draco Meteor provides a hard-hitting nuke against many opponents. It also has comparable offenses on the physical side, meaning it can run very strong Outrages. Extreme Speed permits it to act as a revenge killer against many weakened mons, giving it an irreplaceable niche in the Ubers metagame. Unfortunately, Mega Rayquaza is the only Pokemon so ridiculous as to be banned from Ubers, so its Mega Evolution sees no usage in standard play.

lugiaho-oh

Lugia and Ho-Oh, the two “box legends” of Generation II, are also top contenders in the Ubers Metagame. Ho-Oh sees more usage than Lugia due to its superior offensive typing and access to Regenerator, but both can be formidable forces once they get momentum behind them.

 

Tips and Tricks

Not to be a broken record, but as stated multiple times in this post Flying is the single most diverse type in the Metagame. When team building mono Flying or even when using multiple Flying types on a standard team, defensive synergy should be considered. Many Flying Types such as Tropius and Delibird are simply unviable, and regardless of their ability to form type cores should not be used.

One important thing to note when using Flying types is their unavoidable weakness to Stealth Rock. Even Pokemon like Gliscor and Skarmory have at best a neutrality to this hazard; Mandibuzz and Mantine, now the most common Flying-type defoggers due to their ability to access the move in Generation VII, both take 25% damage when switching in. Thus, hazard control is absolutely essential.

Finally, when working with Flying types, it is a good idea to have something to eat Electric, Ice, and Rock type attacks. Excadrill is a good example of a partner for Flying types, since it is immune to electric, 4x resists rock, and can KO many ice types with Iron Head.

 

Closing Remarks

Flying types have changed very little in the generational change, gaining Celesteela as a top contender but adding buffs to once overlooked Pokemon like Pelipper and Mantine. Most of the strong flying types function the same as they have in the past, meaning they remain quite predictable. Still, the overall diversity of this type means that when facing Flying, one is rarely sure of what they will be up against. This is certainly an asset for the savvy player who wants to use Flying.

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