By Tapu Loco
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.
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
# of Pokemon with this type: 109
# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 60
# of Mega Evolutions: 4
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
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
- Mega Kangaskhan
- Type: Null
Physical- Return, Frustration, Double Edge, Façade, Body Slam, Explosion, Last Resort
Special- Hyper Voice, Tri Attack, Boomburst
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Diggersby @ Choice Band
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Fire Punch/Wild Charge
– Quick Attack
Porygon-Z @ Normalium Z
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Shadow Ball / Thunderbolt
– Ice Beam
– Thunderbolt / Recover / Shadow Ball
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.
Staraptor @ Choice Scarf
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Brave Bird
– Close Combat
Diggersby @ Life Orb
Ability: Huge Power
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Swords Dance
– Quick Attack
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.
Chansey @ Eviolite
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 136 HP / 252 Def / 120 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk
– Stealth Rock
– Seismic Toss
– Heal Bell/ Thunder Wave/Toxic
Porygon2 @ Eviolite
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
– Foul Play
– 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.
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!