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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.

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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.

“Water” You Waiting For: A Guide to Using Water Type Pokemon

By UndeadBan

 

Introduction

Water is one of the most basic elements in any RPG. In Pokemon they bring some of the strongest and most useful attacks. It is easily the most common type of Pokemon and seems likely to keep that spot (unless we get a 100% desert based Pokemon game). I will be going over some general information about Water types in different tiers and the effect of Sun and Moon on the type.

 

Type Overview

As one of the starter types, Water has been around from the very beginning. The Water type is also the most abundant type by 25 Pokemon over Normal type. The type’s variety allows it to occupy a variety of roles in battle. It boasts good defensive Pokemon as well as offensive powerhouses that can dominate a battle. Rain is also one of the best weathers and allows the weather setters to be usable as support for Fire weak pokemon. This makes Water an decent choice for making your team’s core.

 

By the Numbers

 

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 141

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 70

# of Mega Evolutions: 5(6 with Ash-Greninja as a special form)

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Fire, Ground and Rock

Effective against: Normal, Fighting, Poison, Flying, Psychic, Bug, Ghost, Electric, Ice, Steel Dark and Fairy

2x resisted by: Water, Grass and Dragon

Ineffective against: Nothing

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Electric and Grass

Damaged normally by: Normal, Fighting, Poison, Ground, Flying, Psychic, Bug, Rock, Ghost, Dragon, Dark and Fairy

2x resistant to: Fire, Water, Ice and Steel

Immune to: Nothing

 

Notable Pokemon

  • Mega Gyarados
  • Tapu Fini
  • Wash Rotom
  • Pelipper
  • Kingdra
  • Toxapex
  • Mantine
  • Manaphy
  • Greninja
  • Ash Greninja
  • Mega Slowbro
  • Gyarados
  • Starmie
  • Azumarill
  • Keldeo
  • Slowbro
  • Mega Blastoise
  • Araquanid
  • Milotic
  • Cloyster
  • Mega Sharpedo
  • Crawdaunt
  • Empoleon
  • Tentacruel
  • Suicune
  • Vaporeon
  • Primarina
  • Golisopod
  • Wishiwashi

 

Notable Moves

Physical:

  • Waterfall
  • Liquidation
  • Aqua Jet

Special:

  • Scald
  • Steam Eruption
  • Hydro Pump
  • Water Shuriken
  • Origin Pulse
  • Surf
  • Water Spout

Status:

  • Soak
  • Aqua Ring

Z-Moves

  • Hydro Vortex

 

Analysis: How to Use Water

In OU many water types held extremely important spots. Keldeo, Wash Rotom, Azumarill, and Manaphy occupied four of the top twenty spots in OU at the close of the ORAS metagame. Manaphy was so defining that it received the coveted S-Rank in Smogon’s viability rankings for its ability to shape the structure of entire playstyles (Bulky Offense and Balance, respectively). The Sun and Moon meta has yet to be ironed out, so many of the major staples of the previous generation’s OU have fallen down to UU. Some of these may rise back up in the rankings when the meta evens out but currently Keldeo, Azumarill, M-Slowbro, and Starmie have all fallen below the OU usage requirement.

This shift in the meta has cause many Water types that you wouldn’t have ever thought would rise to OU. Perhaps the biggest rags-to-riches story is Pelipper, who has skyrocketed from PU to one of the best Pokemon in OU. This is because Pelipper got the ability Drizzle, which summons rain when the Pokemon enters the field, meaning Water finally has another weather setter other than Politoed and Kyogre. The new ability along with an +10 increase of special attack (85 to 95) has allowed Pelipper to rise to top 40 in Pokebank OU usage. Pelipper also benefits from base 100 defense and a naturally good defensive typing.

pelipper

With the addition of Pelipper as a rain setter, this makes running rain in OU a bit easier. Pelipper is nice compared to Politoed because of its access to U-Turn. This means you can set the rain and get out of the field without having to switch directly. A choice scarfed Pelipper can even speed tie with a fully invested, speed boosting natured, base 105 speed mon with its speed maxed out.

kingdra

This has led to an increase in use of Kingdra for its Swift Swim ability. Kingdra often runs either Choice Specs or Life Orb in order to dole out massive amounts of damage in a short period of time. For instance, a Specs and Rain boosted Hydro Pump 3HKO’s Tapu Fini… think about that. It also makes excellent synergy with fire weak mons like Ferrothorn, Scizor, Celesteela, Tornadus, Thundurus, Tapu Bulu, Tapu Koko, and Magearna. Many of these mons also cover Water’s weaknesses, giving them great synergy with Pokemon like Kingdra and Kabutops, which are rain team staples. Rain is a versatile playstyle that has only become even better this generation.

mantine

Mantine also received two buffs: the first was a modest buff to its base HP (65 to 85), but the second–the addition of Roost to its movepool–gave Mantine reliable recovery that greatly assisted its viability.

toxapex

Toxapex is unequivocally the most important new water type added this generation. Simply put, this thing is cancer on the metagame due to its ability to fit well on almost any stall or balanced team. Its typing gives it key resistances to important mons like Pheromosa, Buzzwole, and Alolan Marowak. 50/152/142 bulk is incredible; most Toxapex run physically defensive spreads to better physically wall some of the aforementioned mons. Toxapex also has an incredible support movepool: Scald, Toxic, Toxic Spikes, Recover, and Haze provide it with all it could possibly hope for. And oh, by the way, it has Regenerator, which is the icing on the cake. Toxapex is sure to be a metagame defining Pokemon, especially in tandem with other stall staples like Kantoan Dugtrio and Mega Sableye.

 

greninja658_by_thequirkygamer-dalcj3e

After dropping from Ubers at the beginning of the Sun and Moon meta, Greninja has become an important piece for Water in OU. Its Hidden Ability, Protean, means that it changes your typing to match that of the move you are using. This not only means that you will always get STAB but it also allows you to take advantage of the defensive nature of those types. Shadow Sneak can even be used to avoid an otherwise super effective fighting attack like Mach Punch, and if you thought Fairies were a one-stop, guess again because this thing can also learn Gunk Shot. All of the above and more were among the reasons Greninja was banned early in ORAS. For now, it seems to belong in OU just fine, but as other, more powerful mons receive the ban hammer, this could change. Greninja also received a new ability Battle Bond from the Demo version of SM. This ability allows you to change into Ash-Greninja when you KO an opposing mon. Ash-Greninja has its attack and special attack increased by 50 and speed increase by 10 effectively being a conditional mega that can hold an item. Water Shuriken also receives a 5 bp increase and will always hit 3-5 times instead of 2-5. With two unique abilities that allow Greninja to run many different sets, it is easily the most versatile and unpredictable Pokemon in OU at the moment.

 

tapu_fini_sprite_by_profkrd-dami7zg

 

At first many considered Tapu Fini to be the worst Tapu. Misty Terrain does not provide a buff to Fairy type moves like the other three terrains, and its nerfing of Dragon type moves is hardly relevant when all of the Tapus are immune anyway. This however proved to not be true once the meta began to settle. One of the most used Tapu, Fini has excellent defense to go with the great Fairy/Water typing. It also gets access to many great support moves such as Nature’s Madness, Taunt, Defog and Haze. Being able to set up Misty Terrain with its ability Misty Surge also prevents any mon touching the ground from being statused and halves the power of any Dragon-typed moves. Unfortunately this does apply to the opponent as well. This means that Scald will only be able to burn mons with the ability Levitate or that are flying type. Relatively poor offensive stats do mean that you aren’t going to be able to pick up that many KOs. Setting up with Calm Mind or carrying a Z-Crystal can be used to add some extra power to your Fini.

gyarados-megamanaphyrotom-wash

For the most part, OU Pokemon like Mega Gyarados, Manaphy, and Wash Rotom function the same way they did in previous generations. Mega Gyarados remains the premier physically offensive water type Pokemon, while Wash Rotom is popular for its singular weakness and the immense utility it brings. Manaphy, likewise, can fit onto almost any team due to its standard Base 100 stats in each category; a Tail-Glow sweeper is perhaps the most dangerous of these and the reason it rose to S-ranking in Generation VI.

quagsireazumarillkeldeo-resolutestarmie

Also of note are the usage drops for a number of once important OU Pokemon. Quagsire, for instance, is not even registering as UU for the time being, while Azumarill, Keldeo, and Starmie–three of the most popular OU Pokemon last generation–now occupy places in UU. While it is possible that Azumarill and Keldeo may see increases in usage over time (or, in Keldeo’s case, likely a ban to BL), Starmie has simply been power crept out of relevance, especially with the addition of new pursuit trappers like Alolan Muk and more effective ways of removing hazards.

Unfortunately for Water, many of the better walls do have easily exploitable weaknesses. Either 4x weakness by being paired with ground or being weak to common attacking types. This means you have to be pretty good on the defensive to use the better walls. Offensively you have are a bit limited on good physical attackers that fall into OU. The only mons in OU currently that can run a physical set are Mega Gyarados, Greninja and Kingdra. Both Greninja and Kingdra are usually run as special attackers so this pretty much means one physical attacker in OU for Water. This doesn’t mean lower tier mons can’t get use but it does mean they aren’t getting the usage.

In Monotype Water is a middle of the ground typing because of its variety. Unlike in OU, the mons that shiny are much more varied.

gastrodonlanturn

Gastrodon, Lanturn, and Quagsire are more important because of their immunity to electric attacks. This also means that mons that are hit neutrally by grass or Azumarill with sap sipper can be important as well.

empoleon

Empoleon is a great mon because of its Steel secondary typing in addition to its access to utility from Stealth Rock and Defog. Defiant and well-rounded stats with a great typing make Empoleon quite versatile as both a defensive and offensive mon, both physically and specially.

Weather is still extremely important and let you sweep with Swift Swim mons and increased damage. Controlling the weather is also important because other types also like to use weather to their advantage and taking that away can make many teams easier to take down. Sun and Moon also added several helpful mons that can add some more possible strategies to emerge.

wishiwashi-schoolgolisopod

Generation VII has added a few interesting mons to the mix for Water Monotype. It makes an addition playstyle possible thanks to the addition of many slow mons. Almost all of the new mons fall under 45 speed. This means you can set up with Trick Room with some pretty heavy hitting slow mons in the back. Golisopod is very slow and has First Impression which is a 90 base power Bug move that has Priority +2. A new fully evolved Bug/Water type allows Water to have a bit better time verse the monstrous Psychic type and is a hard hitting mon otherwise. Another mon that benefits from Trick Room is Wishiwashi who boasts an insane 45-140-130-140-145-30 but the low HP and Speed mean that you really need Trick Room to get any mileage out of it. Toxapex is a new addition that has seen quite a bit of usage because of its crazy 152-142 defenses and Regenerator ability.

The main threat to Water types in Monotype is that many of their best mon have similar weakness and quad weaknesses are common. Freeze Dry means that some mons that would usually be fine against Ice types are demolished by them. Alolan Ninetales in particular is a jerk to rain teams because of its ability to OHKO Kingdra, Pelipper, and Ludicolo. A lot of Water Pokemon get Ice attacks but Mega Venusaur remains a big problem for them due to Thick Fat.

kyogrearceuspalkia

In Ubers, water pretty much boils down to Primal-Kyogre and Arceus-Water. Palkia sees some use but the other two are much more common. Toxapex has some use in Ubers because of how good of a wall it is.

 

Tips and Tricks

As an Elite Four member of Pokemon Reddit League I have mainly used my type for my challengers. This meant I was using a monotype team vs OU teams which is quite a bit different than either of the separate metas. As an E4 member I was able to use a Water Uber and that was usually a Scarfed Kyogre. This allowed me to set lasting rain instead of Primal weather and unleash full powered Water Spouts on many mons. My Mega was usually Swampert but I also used Mega Slowbro every once in a while. I unfortunately never able to get any use out of Volcanion once it was released but it would help immensely with things like Scizor and Ferrothorn. In spite of its fallen usage, Starmie remains a reliable fast psychic type. I usually ran expert belt or life orb but I did run Choice Scarf once because I knew that my opponent was probably going to use Scarfed Garchomp. Other than that I used Rotom-Wash,  Azumarill, Quagsire, Keldeo, Gyarados and Sharpedo in whatever combination seems best.

Usually my team was Kyogre, Mega Swampert, Gyarados, Rotom-Wash, Slowbro and Empoleon. I used Scarfed Kyogre which with Water Spout can pretty much do massive damage to anything that isn’t a special wall. Mega Swampert was a standard set.  My Gyarados was usually all evs in special defense and HP with sub dragon dance. That provided the bulk to set up on many more mons and was a common way I would take out mons late game. Rotom-Wash was physically defensive and standard. Slowbro had Calm Mind, Flamethrower, Scald and Psyshock on most occasions. Empoleon was Assualt Vest or Air Balloon depending if I wanted to set up Stealth Rocks or not.

 

Closing Remarks

Water is an extremely varied typing allowing it to be good in pretty much all tiers. There are always a few that make it to the upper levels of any tier. The main thing they struggle with is that they are limited to 80 and 85 Base Powered moves for physical attacking for many mons and the two moves with higher base power have 90 accuracy and are fairly limited in distribution. Water will most likely continue to be the most abundant type since there is almost always several water areas in Pokemon games.

How to be a Fire Bender: A Guide to Using Fire Type Pokemon

By TBuck48

Introduction

Welcome to the first round of our Monotype Encyclopedia! As the now-former Fire Elite Four member, I will be guiding you through a basic rundown of Fire-type Pokemon, from basic statistics and notable Pokemon, to how to use Fire-types in Smogon OU, Monotype, and lower tiers. In the official league, I only battled 5 times as a Fire-type user, garnering four wins and 1 loss. In those five battles I faced some of Fire’s biggest fears in Landorus-T and Latias, and in nearly every battle I was able to bring them down with the intense flames of my reliable Pokemon, such as Charizard or Entei. With Charizard-Y’s intense sunlight, I was able to wield mighty flames alongside my beloved Fire Pokemon, and have my opponents begging for mercy as their Pokemon succumbed to my intense flames. And now, I pass my knowledge unto you.

Type Overview

Fire has been around since the very beginning, and as such, should not be taken lightly. Fire Pokemon have the ability to dish out a lot of damage in a hurry and leave you sweating considering your options, as many have enough offensive versatility to bring down their counters. With said offensive versatility, a Monotype Fire team is typically going to be a balanced offensive team. While Fire possesses enough viable Hyper Offensive ’mons to build a Hyper Offensive team, it generally doesn’t work out as well when there are certain counters in play on the other side, especially given fire’s reputation for frail defenses. As such, bulky offense is typically the best option, as you can bring in some bulkier Pokemon that are capable of taking the needed hits, and countering the threat.

Something that is unique to Fire is its immunity to burn, which goes a long way when attacking, as burns halve the physical attack of a Pokemon, meaning potent physical attackers such as Entei or Charizard-X would not be nearly as useful when burned. This is something to consider when there is a Fire-type in play for you or your opponent, as it can allow you or an opponent to preserve precious offense by absorbing a Will-o-wisp. With that, let’s get to the numbers!

By the Numbers

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type: 67

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 37

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Grass, Ice, Bug, Steel

Effective against: Normal, Electric, Flying, Fighting, Ground, Psychic, Dark, Ghost, Fairy, Poison

2x resisted by: Water, Rock, Dragon

Ineffective against: N/A

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Water, Rock, Ground

Damaged normally by: Psychic, Normal, Flying, Fighting, Dragon, Ghost, Poison, Dark, Electric

2x resistant to: Grass, Bug, Fairy, Steel, Fire, Ice

Immune to: N/A

Notable Pokemon

  • Mega Charizard X
  • Alolan Marowak
  • Heatran
  • Primal Groudon
  • Ho-Oh
  • Reshiram
  • Entei
  • Victini
  • Volcanion
  • Volcarona
  • Mega Charizard Y
  • Blaziken
  • Infernape
  • Darmanitan
  • Incineroar
  • Heat Rotom
  • Chandelure
  • Arcanine
  • Salazzle
  • Torkoal
  • Turtonator

 

Notable Moves

Status:

  • Will-o-Wisp

Physical:

  • Flare Blitz
  • Sacred Fire
  • Fire Punch
  • Blaze Kick
  • Fire Fang
  • Heat Crash

Special:

  • Fire Blast
  • Eruption
  • Flamethrower
  • Fusion Flare
  • Blue Flare
  • Burn Up
  • Overheat
  • Searing Shot
  • Shell trap
  • V-Create

Z-Moves

  • Inferno Overdrive
  • Z Will-O-Wisp
    • In addition to burning the target, raises the users attack one stage

Analysis: How to Use Fire

In the Gen 6 OU metagame, Fire possessed some of the most feared Pokemon, particularly either Mega Charizard (X and Y both), Heatran, Volcarona, and most of all, Talonflame. The problems that these Pokemon posed in the metagame was that they were all quite versatile. Mega Charizard-Y was one of the most powerful wallbreakers in the tier, and was capable of countering its counters with a sun-boosted solar beam, while Mega Charizard X was a powerful setup sweeper with Dragon Dance and its ability tough claws. Further, you were always left guessing what form Charizard your opponent was bringing until it mega evolved or you used context clues to deduce. Heatran acted as a complement to Fire-weak Pokemon, such as Scizor and Ferrothorn, as it could absorb Fire-type moves and increase the power of its own Fire-type moves. Finally, Talonflame was a presence on most OU teams due to its versatility in several different roles, earning it the nickname “Smogon Bird.”

charizard-megaxcharizard-megayheatrantalonflame

All four of these Pokemon were something to worry about, as it was unclear what set they were running until it was actually brought out. In OU, Fire-types usually fit into the role of a wallbreakers or set-up sweepers; common examples of these are Charizard-Y (wallbreaker), and Charizard-X, Talonflame, and Volcarona (sweepers). Heatran ran a variety of sets, with a bulky utility set being the most common, as it is able to set up stealth rocks, tank hits, and serve in a stallbreaker role. I faced a fair number of battlers on Smogon OU who would use these Pokemon indiscriminately, without clearing out counters, particularly with Talonflame, and as such these battlers would usually forfeit after losing one of them. The battlers who could master the use of these Pokemon could be terrifying to face, especially those who could make use of Bulk Up Talonflame effectively, or those who set up a Volcarona or Charizard-X on a predicted switch.

volcarona

When building a team with these Pokemon in mind, with the exception of Heatran, they will typically be the center of the team, as Charizard X, Talonflame, and Volcarona make excellent win-cons (win conditions) due to their power and speed after setting up. As such, it is important to have a spinner or defogger to clear the field of Stealth Rocks, especially since all three are 4x weak to Stealth Rocks. Other vital members should include Pokemon with immunities/resistances to the win-con’s weaknesses; Chesnaught was an excellent complement to Mega Charizard-Y on my league audition team, as it resisted every one of Charizard’s weaknesses, and as such was an excellent switch-in to Ground-, Rock-, and Water-types. Entry hazard-setters are also vital, as they help with getting KO’s that wouldn’t occur without them and help maintain pressure on a team that requires a lot of switch-ins.

Problems that Fire-types have in OU, and really any of the metagame, are Stealth Rocks. Stealth Rocks deal damage on switch-in based on type match-up, and as Fire is weak to Rock, most Fire-types will take at minimum 25% HP damage on each switch-in; Pokemon such as Charizard, Talonflame, and Volcarona will take 50%. Most Fire-types will also struggle against Dragon Pokemon, as they resist Fire STAB, and are usually capable of dealing a lot of damage to Fire-types, especially Garchomp and Latios. Terrakion is also a huge concern given its massive attack and that it speed-ties Fire’s fastest non-Talonflame Pokemon in Infernape; with a Choice Scarf, it outspeeds Talonflame that isn’t using a Flying-Type move and +1 Charizard-X. As previously mentioned, having good complements to Fire-types is huge.

So far in the Gen 7 metagame, a couple of these major players have seen reduced usage. Both Charizard X and Talonflame have dropped in usage, although I do not expect it to remain that way with Charizard X. Charizard Y was initially Underused, but has recently been banned to the purgatory that is Borderline. Talonflame however, was heavily affected by a change to it’s signature ability, Gale Wings, in that Flying-type moves only have priority if Talonflame has full HP, meaning that if it takes Stealth Rocks damage, it will no longer have priority. It has therefore dropped firmly to Underused. Other changes won’t be clear until later when the metagame has stabilized.

 

volcanion

The final Pokemon that typically sees a lot of usage is Volcanion, as it is immune to Water with its ability, Water Absorb. As mentioned in the beginning of this post, Fire-Mono will typically use a Balanced Offense setup, given its inability to counter certain types in other archetypes. Charizard will typically function as a wallbreaker, Heatran as a utility ‘mon, and Volcanion as a bulkier wallbreaker. A hazard clearer will also be vital, but the options are pitifully limited to Torkoal, and a Gen 4 transferred Defog Charizard or Moltres. In Showdown, Defog Charizard-Y is probably going to be the best option, but for those battling our league, getting a 5 IV Charizard in Gen 4 is extremely difficult without genning capabilities. Therefore I usually went with a more aggressive and risky alternative in suicide lead Infernape.

infernape

Infernape can use Taunt to prevent Stealth Rocks, and also take out the other lead with a Focus Sash, Endeavor, and Mach Punch. The rest of the team is really up to the user, but two other ‘mons to round out the four I have outlined are Alolan Marowak with Lightning Rod and Rotom-Heat, as they both do an excellent job neutralizing Electric threats.

rotom-heatmarowak-alolan

Alolan Marowak in particular is seeing a lot of usage this generation. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Sun-Moon metagame, Alolan Marowak has an important niche in being able to check or counter 3/4 Tapus and 6/7 Ultra Beasts. With a Thick Club to bring it to near Mega Mawile levels of attack and coverage via Flare Blitz/Shadow Bone/Bonemerang, Alolan Marowak is truly a hard hitter. It can also run Swords Dance, Stealth Rock, or even Will-O-Wisp depending on your specific needs. Z Will-O-Wisp, while initially tempting, should not be run, however, as the attack boost pales in comparison to Thick Club’s immense power.

Some other options to consider are Entei and Choice Scarf Darmanitan, as it makes an excellent Cleaner and Revenge Killer.

enteidarmanitan

As far as limitations go, they are the same as outlined in the OU section; Stealth Rock weakness and difficulty handling Dragon-types, so coverage moves to counter should be considered. In my opinion, Fire hasn’t changed much with Gen 7. Alolan Marowak makes an excellent addition however, to absorb Electric attacks for Charizard and Volcanion.

turtonator

Another potential mention is Turtonator, a Fire-Dragon-type. This thing is rather disappointing, honestly: it does not get Rapid Spin, it lacks the speed and bulk to make it a true threat, and it is generally outclassed by other Dragon and Fire types alike.

While I am not very well-versed with Fire in most of the other metagames, I did experiment with my Fire Elite Four team in Ubers, where I was able to use Primal Groudon.

groudon

Primal Groudon is an absolute beast, as its ability allows it to completely neutralize Water-type moves, and deal out powerful physical or special moves. The type overall performs pretty well, but given the abundance of Dragon-type ubers, it can occasionally struggle in the tier. The return of the Red and Blue Orbs in Sun and Moon mean that Primal Groudon will surely continue to be a dominating force in the Ubers Metagame.

Tips and Tricks

I discussed some of the options for Fire earlier, but I did want to go into detail on some important Pokemon I neglected to detail further. One of my favorite Fire-types to use was Choice Scarf Darmanitan. Choice Scarf allows Darmanitan to outspeed any non-scarfer, and utilize it’s ridiculous Attack stat coupled with its excellent ability in Sheer Force. As I mentioned before, it is an excellent Cleaner, so it’s use early in a match will typically involve U-turning out of battle to get chip damage and maintain offensive momentum. As such, Rotom-Heat makes an excellent counterpart, as it is able to form a volt-turn core with Darmanitan to preserve momentum and deal damage. I utilized several Rotom-Heat sets, all depending on what role I needed it to serve, but it was usually in a bulky utility capacity, as it’s ability to paralyze Pokemon is very important. Some starter Fire-Mono sets will have you using a Scarf Rotom-Heat, but this is not a great idea in my opinion, as it lacks the power to make great use of this set. Both of these sets are rather standard on Smogon’s main meta pages, but the set for Rotom-Heat is not as common, and Darmanitan is not as common as I believe it should be.

Closing Remarks

Overall, Fire is an excellent type, but in my opinion it lacks the diversity to be a top-tier Monotype at the moment, something Smogon users seem to agree with me on. While it is offensively very strong, it lacks good defensive synergy. Fire has some heavy hitters, but Dragon-types continue to cause problems, and so I am hoping for a Fire-Fairy-type in the near future to help alleviate this. I hope this article has given you a new perspective and knowledge of Fire-types- thanks for reading!

Wherever Life Plants You, Bloom with Grace: A Guide to Using Grass Type Pokemon

By: Teenelmo26 (Lindzey Bear)

 

Introduction:
Grass. One of the 3 types we get to choose from when we all begin our Pokemon adventure. This type has been a staple of the Pokemon franchise, spanning over 12% of all total Pokemon. As one of the major types in the game, it’s no surprise that Grass types can be lethal in competitive combat. From the many starters, to their relationship with poison types, and their healing abilities and status conditions, grass types are fundamentally strong and one of the most versatile types we have today.

Many of us opt out of choosing grass from the start of the game.  Water represents strength in having so few weaknesses, and fire is seen as a powerhouse of offensive typing. So where does grass fall in all this?  Balance. Grass types run the gamut from tanks like Mega Venusaur and Amoonguss, to strong fast attackers like Sceptile and Serperior. Grass has never focused on just one stat or build. Just like nature, they are versatile, and through the generations, have adapted to shape one of the core types. I’ve always loved grass type starters over the fire and water because they feel more uniquely sculpted. And who doesn’t love an underdog?

Type Overview:

Grass type has been around since Generation one, forming the first ever starter in the Pokedex, Bulbasaur.  Since then Grass has always been a starter type, and a very abundant type all around (4th most common overall).  When it comes to monotype competitive, grass usually leans towards balance or stall, mostly because of defensive typing issues with attempting hyper offense.  Though the type sorts some heavy hitters (Breloom, Serperior, Sceptile), it’s hard to cover the basics trying to go full offense.  The addition of Kartana helps with offense for sure, but it has been banned in monotype tier from smogon (though still legal in OU).  With plenty of bulky mons, healing options galore, and pivot Pokemon, mixing in a few offensive ones makes for solid balanced teams.

By The Numbers:

Roster

# of Pokemon with this type:98

# of Fully Evolved Pokemon: 48 (plus 3 megas and a form change for Shaymin)

 

Offensive Effectiveness

2x super effective against: Water, Ground, Rock

Effective against: Dark, Psychic, Fairy, Normal, Fighting, Electric, Ice, Ghost

2x resisted by: Bug, Dragon, Fire, Grass, Flying, Poison, Steel

Ineffective against: None

 

Defensive Effectiveness

2x weak against: Fire, Flying, Poison, Bug, Ice

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

2x resistant to: Grass, Electric, Ground, Water

Immune to: Nothing



Notable Competitive Pokemon:

  • Kartana
  • Mega Venusaur
  • Tapu Bulu
  • Ferrothorn
  • Tangrowth
  • Amoonguss
  • Serperior
  • Breloom
  • Whimsicott
  • Celebi
  • Dhelmise
  • Cradily
  • Chesnaught
  • Decidueye
  • Alolan Exeggutor
  • Lurantis
  • Roserade
  • Shiinotic
  • Tsareena

 

Notable Moves:

Status:

  • Leech Seed
  • Spore
  • Synthesis
  • Grassy Terrain

Special:

  • Giga Drain
  • Energy Ball
  • Grass Knot
  • Leaf Storm
  • Solar Beam

Physical

  • Horn Leech
  • Bullet Seed
  • Seed Bomb
  • Power Whip

Z-Move

  • Bloom Doom

 

Analysis: How to Use Grass

As mentioned before, Grass flourishes in a Balanced or Stall setting.  The addition of Tapu Bulu and Dhelmise in generation 7 have been a big buff to grass’ ability to fit on more offensive teams. Having Pokemon to tank hits is critical to grass, because they sport 5 weaknesses. In addition, coverage types are a necessity since grass isn’t the best offensive type, hitting only 3 types super effectively and being resisted by five. It does have the niche of toppling water types, which are very common in competitive play.  Let’s break down some of the popular Pokemon and their roles before we dive into the meta games:

kartana

Kartana

The notorious UB-04 Blade has quickly risen to stardom in the generation seven metagame. Kartana has an astronomical base 181 attack. Combined with its good base 109 speed and just the right movepool including moves such as Leaf Blade, Smart Strike, and Sacred Sword, Kartana makes for a ferocious sweeper and revenge killer on  any team. It also has high 131 defense; however, its special defense is paper thin, rendering it very susceptible to Flamethrower, Fire Blast, and HP Fire.

venusaur-mega
Venusaur (Mega):  I would argue that Mega Venusaur is the backbone of Grass teams, and the most viable Grass type available.  Its amazing ability, Thick Fat, gets rid of 2 core weaknesses, Ice and Fire, leaving it weak only to Psychic and Flying type attacks. Huge bulk after mega evolution lets Mega Venusaur switch into almost anything and start Leech Seeding or Toxic stalling. Giga Drain and Synthesis prolong its already long life on the field. Many opt to run earthquake to counter its biggest threat, Heatran, but the mixed set leaves a lot to be desired.  Hidden Power Fire is common, as it counters steel types that Venusaur can’t poison or hit with a Sludge Bomb.  However you choose to run it, it should be on your team.  I see so few mono grass teams leave the gates without this bad boy in tow.

ferrothorn
Ferrothorn:  The other Pokemon I’d say is a staple of the type.  Since its intro in Generation 5, Ferrothorn has torn up OU as one of the most used Pokemon.  Its bulk is amazing, but the typing makes it stand out (Though now we have Kartana). Ferrothorn only sports two weaknesses to Fire and Fighting, letting it tank many hits with ease. Stealth Rocks and Spikes with this bulk and typing make Ferro probably the best setter in the game. Leech Seed helps it survive even longer, and moves like Gyro Ball and Power Whip hit hard. He won’t outspeed anything, even Slowbro, but you have little to fear with Ferrothorn on your side.  Always be on the lookout for possible Hidden Power Fire users!

tapu_bulu_sprite_by_profkrd-dami7wq

Tapu Bulu: One of the most common grass types now is easily Tapu Bulu, due to its ability to summon Grassy Terrain.  The terrain not only buffs grass type moves, it reduces the power of Earthquake, and heals all Pokemon a small amount at the end of each turn.  So your tanks get a huge buff just from the healing benefits!  Take advantage of this while you team build.  Tapu has impressive Bulk, and also set up capabilities with Bulk Up.  He can Leech Seed, Toxic and Protect, or become a lethal bulky attacker with Horn Leech or Wood Hammer, and coverage in Stone Edge and Super Power. One downside to using Tapu Bulu is his lack of a Physical fairy move, but don’t let it stop you. He’s sure to be a backbone on many mono grass and OU teams.

tangrowth

Tangrowth: Tangrowth increased in usage near the end of the ORAS metagame, and it certainly is a formidable staller this generation as well.  With Giga Drain/Leech Seed and the ability Regenerator to replenish its health, and some decent bulk stats, Tangrowth is a solid defensive wall.  Paired with Cradily, who acts as a Special Wall, you should be able to tank most neutral hits.  Sleep Powder and Knock Off access aid Tangrowth further in solidifying its role in OU.

dhelmise
Dhelmise: This mon has come in not only as a solid wall, but a very impressive spinner.  Being immune to fighting and normal is a plus, allowing switch ins to get rid of pesky Stealth Rocks that may damage sash users, like Breloom.  Its ability helps if you run anchor shot, which gets STAB and traps opposing Pokemon. Rapid spin is a must on this Pokemon, and I also run Anchor Shot, Shadow Claw, and Power Whip.  If you go full attack, Assault Vest can be a useful item.  It has no decent status moves, not even leech seed, so I’d strongly recommend this set.  Having no recovery means Tapu Bulu will be a great teammate since Grassy terrain can act as passive healing.

breloom
Breloom: The staple attacker for Grass teams. Breloom is fairly versatile in sets, with 2 great abilities.  Technicians usually run Focus Sash, and can run Swords Dance or Spore in addition to Mach Punch, Bullet Seed, and Rock Tomb for covering pesky flying types.  All those moves get the Tech boost, making them hit really hard.  Toxic Heals are also common, running toxic orbs to sustain them.  Most opt for more powerful moves on these, like Drain Punch, Seed Bomb, and Stone Edge.  Breloom also has Leech Seed access, but isn’t normally run with it as it wastes time that can be spent setting up or KOing Pokemon.

serperior

Serperior: The Special sweeper of mono grass.  Contrary makes Serperior absolutely fantastic.  So long as you can switch it in, serperior with Leaf Storm can sweep many many types and teams.  Its speed alone is a big draw, but after a leaf storm boost Serperior is scary.  Make sure to run some coverage though, as grass STAB is still resisted by so many types.  Hidden Power Fire or Ice, Dragon Pulse (hits almost anything at least neutral), or Giga Drain for sustainability.  Without a solid Hidden Power, Serperior is very limited, so it can be a drawback to those not wishing to breed for a good one.  Luckily Generation 7 bottle caps help with that tremendously.

amoonguss

Amoonguss:  Amoonguss functions much like Tangrowth, acting as a tanky pivot, and is thus a solid choice for stall or balanced. Spore is probably the most feared status in the meta, having high accuracy to put you to bed, and is the main reason for running Amoonguss over Tangrowth.  Sleep gives you one chance to completely neuter a foe, and can sometimes be the difference between a win and a loss.  The Regenerator ability makes it even better, as it can regain 1/3 of its health every time it switches. Giga Drain is another solid move choice to keep your annoying mushroom monster alive.

cradily

Cradily:  Deserves a mention because it can aid against the biggest weakness Grass teams face: Flying.  Running Ancient Power for the occasional boost, or Rock Slide for a more physical set means Cradily can help with the likes of Talon Flame, which can reek havoc.  Stealth Rocks helps prevent Talon sweeps in the first place (if you aren’t running Ferrothorn already).  The Tox Stall set is one of this little monsters favorites.  Recover makes Cradily’s survivability that much better.  Don’t count this guy off your team just because it’s NU, he will surprise you (and your opponent).

There are a number of other Pokemon mentioned above that are currently rated UU by usage, such as Lurantis, Decidueye, and Tsareena. However, these Pokemon are simply not good in any aspects of standard play, and thus should not be used. The key to grass is balance; since it is a type with naturally many weaknesses, one must build carefully to ensure that dangerous Pokemon like Mega Scizor, Alolan Muk, Alolan Marowak, Mega Pinsir, and Talonflame cannot exert too much offensive pressure. Most of their roles are filled better by above Pokemon (for instance, Mega Venusaur over Roserade, Tapu Bulu over Whimsicott, and Dhelmise over Decidueye).


 In OU Mega Venusaur is very present, and a staple of the ever popular Grass/Water/Fire core.  Ferrothorn fits this core, as well as the Dragon/Fairy/Steel one.  Grass in OU usually is used to inflict Toxic, Leech Seed, or sleep conditions, as well as work as preventative measures from your opponents Status conditions.  Grass has the niche of being immune to moves like Spore and Leech Seed, making them crucial if you fear these things. Those wanting to add a Sleep user to their team stick to Amoongus and Breloom closely, since Spore has amazing accuracy.  


Grass can have its weaknesses covered nicely by Rock types such as Tyranitar or A-Golem, which will resist Fire, Flying and Bug, and are neutral to Ice and Poison.  Having the right team mate is crucial to keeping a Pokemon like Mega Venusaur around.  Steel is another good type to keep close, as it will resist all but Fire.  Even with its weaknesses, grass types flourish under the right conditions.


In Generation 7 we expect Tapu Bulu to move into some of Mega Venusaur’s territory as a bulky option.  He can do Venusaurs job, plus heals with his ability instead of needing a move.  The major drawback will certainly be that Tapu Bulu is weak to quite a bit, especially Poison types which will do 4X damage.  Both will fare equally well in this meta, as each will have its own set backs in comparison.   The choice will always be yours.

When Team building make sure to cover weaknesses, especially with a more balanced approach.  Throw in some Rock, Ice and Fire moves.  Never rely on your grass moves, because so many types will just resist you.  Grass is not easy to run, but practice will make you a perfectly capable user, and you will see why this type can easily be one of the best.  

Make sure you have something that will neutralize flying, like Ferrothorn or Cradily.  Flying types are generally fast, and hit a lot of grass types, like Breloom, for 4X. When you play monotype you will see what I mean, flying will be your greatest challenge.  Fire is always another concern as far as damage goes.  Having a rain dance user can greatly lessen this blow, someone like Ludicolo can find usage on such a team. Rain Grass teams are perfectly viable options, but without a grass type with drizzle it can sometimes be a slow start.  Cradily, again, can aid against many Fire Types, especially with its Special bulk.

 Grass, as you have seen, is diverse and versatile. Every meta has it’s strong ones, and a Fire/Water/Grass core is still around in most metas. Pokemon Like Cradily, Tangrowth, Exeggutor, Shiftry, Roserade, Rotom-Mow, and Ludicolo see fair amount of usage in lower tiers. Familiarizing yourself with their usage, stats, and move pool is the best advice I can give for finding which ones will fit your own team.

Tips and Tricks

 Grass types are nothing if not resilient. Bulk mixed with amazing healing options make them impressive as stall teams. Some focus should be made in this area to make sure you live long enough to win your matches. Recover, Synthesis, Giga Drain, Horn Leech, Grassy Terrain, and Leech Seed all make up a large chunk of what grass types offer. They are self healing machines, so use this to your advantage!


Never knock down some of the lower tier Pokemon.  Many of them are beastly, even when brought into an OU setting.  They can fill a nice gap in your team, and if your opponent isn’t prepared it can be hard for them to counter.  Try out all sorts of Pokemon on your teams to find what works well FOR YOU.  It is your adventure after all.

Closing Remarks

Grass types are some of the best Pokemon for stalling and inflicting status.  Remember this when building your teams.  Always remember that they may not be  immune to any types,but they are immune to many status moves.  This can be crucial when predicting what to switch in on your team.  Cover those weaknesses, and have good coverage moves ready, and you can make the grass type shine above Fire and Water.  Practice, give it a go, and show us what you can do with this amazing type.

The PRL Complete Type Guide- Coming Soon!

The Pokemon Reddit League is excited to announce that beginning next week, we will be publishing a series of blogs on each of the 18 types. This handy guide will provide readers with detailed information and strategies on using each type in various aspects of the Sun-Moon metagame, with an emphasis on each type’s roles in Smogon OU and Monotype formats. The series will showcase each of our community leaders’ unique play styles and expertise.

The series will be published in six parts, with three entries published each week for six weeks. Here is the complete schedule of publications:

January 21st: Grass, Fire, Water

January 28th: Normal, Flying, Bug

February 4th: Electric, Poison, Fighting

February 11th: Ground, Rock, Ice

February 18th: Psychic, Dark, Ghost

February 25th: Dragon, Fairy, Steel

 

As usual, entries will be posted to /r/PKMNRedditLeague. We hope that you all will find this useful in designing your own teams and challenging our league.

For more information about the series, please contact our moderators.

First Impressions: Three Leaders’ Takes on the Generation 7 Metagame So Far

By eco_politiq, ilikepizza42, and 2180161

Introduction

We are now one month into the Sun-Moon metagame, and if there’s one thing for sure, it’s that the plethora of new Alolan forms, Ultra Beasts, Z-Crystals, and changes to old Pokemon have turned the metagame on its head in ways nobody expected. This week, three of our leaders here at the Pokemon Reddit League will share their first takes on the new dynamics of competitive Pokemon.

BUT FIRST…

May we have a moment of remembrance for the fall of two OU staples, Talonflame and Gengar. When it was revealed that many abilities had been altered to level the competitive playing field, players rejoiced… but then we saw what the consequences really were. With no levitate to protect him from Ground-type attacks, for the first time in the history of Pokemon Gengar is not ranked OU. (Source: http://www.smogon.com/forums/threads/official-smogon-university-usage-statistics-discussion-thread-mk-2.3508502/page-10#post-7125494) In fact, it’s barely even considered UU at this point. And the Bravest of Birds has met a similar fate with its once epic Gale Wings ability now only working at full health.

talonflamegengar

Rest easy, sweet princes.


Offensive Sleigh Ride: Eco’s Hail Hyper Offense Team

Hey all, Eco here! As a steel leader, one of my favorite things about my type is the diversity. I’ve been longing for an ice/steel type for a very long time, and I was excited this generation when Gamefreak announced that Alolan Sandslash would fit the bill! I was even more excited to discover its ability, Slush Rush, and so I’ve been longing for a few months to try out the newest toys for hail teams. After a lot of jumping around the ladder and toying with different mons, I think I’ve unlocked a few of the keys to making use of these Pokemon. I climbed as high as 1350 at one point, but depending on the ‘mons I was using feel as low as 1075 (ouch, right?)

So, without further ado, here is the team I’ve been using so far:

ninetales-alolan

Alolan Ninetales @ Icy Rock

Ability: Snow Warning

EV’s: 252 SpA/252 Spe/6 SpD

Timid Nature

Blizzard, Freeze Dry, Moonblast, Aurora Veil

sandslash-alolan

Alolan Sandslash @ Life Orb

Ability: Slush Rush

EV Spread: 252 Att/252 Spe/6 Def

Jolly Nature

Icicle Crash, Iron Head, Earthquake, Swords Dance

kommo_o_sprite_by_profkrd-dal32rq

Kommo-o @ Lum Berry

Ability: Overcoat

EV’s: 252 Att/252 Spe/6 SpA

Naive Nature

Outrage, Sky Uppercut, Flamethrower, Dragon Dance

excadrill

Excadrill @ Leftovers

Ability: Mold Breaker

EV’s: 252 HP/252 Att/6 Spe

Adamant Nature

Earthquake, Rock Slide, Stealth Rock, Rapid Spin

gyarados

Gyarados @ Leftovers

Ability: Intimidate

EV’s: 88 HP/220 Att/4 Def/196 Spe

Jolly Nature

Waterfall, Bounce, Substitute, Dragon Dance

alakazam-mega

Mega Alakazam @ Alakazite

Ability: Magic Guard (Will be Trace after Mega Evolving)

EV’s: 252 SpA/252 Spe/6 SpD

Timid Nature

Psyshock, Shadow Ball, Focus Blast, Energy Ball

As I said, I experimented with a few balanced builds at first, with the mindset that Ninetales’ and Sandslash’s weaknesses required defensive coverage. After a conversation with our Competitive Chair locoghoul, I realized I was going about it the wrong way, and so I switched to an offensive build.

This team uses a support build for Excadrill with leftovers, the objective of which is to set stealth rock and keep respective hazards off the field. Gyarados and Excadrill have great synergy, taking advantage of one anothers’ weaknesses to switch in. Currently, I am running the standard subdance set on Gyarados.

Meanwhile, Ninetales-A goes out whenever an opening is available. After trying Choice Specs, Light Clay, and Icy Rock, I’ve decided Icy Rock is my favorite item, especially for hyper offense. Prolonged hail ensures chip damage, and hail is something a lot of teams don’t plan for–for good reason, since this is the first time it’s been viable. Blizzard, Freeze Dry, and Moonblast provide super effective coverage as needed, since its movepool is shallow. Aurora Veil rounds out the movepool, allowing Sandslash-A to switch in, boost with Swords Dance, and proceed to sweep with Steel/Ice/Ground coverage. With a life orb and SD boost, Sandslash can tear through much of the tier and is a threat to all playstyles. Slush Rush even lets it outrun unboosted Pheromosa in Hail! Seriously, don’t underestimate this thing.

Rounding out a nice Steel-Fairy-Dragon core is Kommo-o. I have to admit this thing is underwhelming so far. Game Freak trolled us hard when they gave no better fighting moves than Sky Uppercut. This thing wants Close Combat, the elemental punches, and Stone Edge badly! Luckily, it has a few things going for it, like great mixed bulk and offensive stats, access to dragon dance, and three killer abilities. I run Overcoat on mine so it can take advantage of the hail Ninetales sets for chip damage.

Finally, Mega Alakazam rounds things off as a fast and powerful cleaner. It can enter in hail before mega evolving and avoid chip damage with Magic Guard, and its high special attack stat mean it can make some of the final kills of the game.

So what threatens this team? Pheromosa. Seriously, that thing needs to GO. Smogon made the right decision nixing Aegislash quick, since it was on 1 in every 3 teams, but Pheromosa is literally unstoppable. I ran a balanced team with Mega Sableye for a while that handled her better, but she is just impossible.

Aside from that, my observation so far is that the metagame has really shifted. The Tapus, Ultra Beasts, and Alolan forms are certainly everywhere, even in Bank OU where I’ve been spending most of my time. Aurora Veil and Slush Rush really add to hail’s viability, but it is still a playstyle that requires significant support to pull off. It will be interesting to see where things end up once the metagame settles and some of the more deplorable ultra beasts are sent to ubers.


Conversion Therapy: Pizza’s Balanced Offensive Team

Hello, my name is Brent and today I will be showing you guys a team I’ve been using on Pokebank OU. It’s done alright, I’ve gotten to 1350 and stopped, due to lack of playing not lack of team ability. The ceiling is still possibly higher. Here’s the team

zapdos

Zapdos @ Leftovers  

Ability: Static  

EV’s: 252 HP / 172 Def / 68 SpA / 16 Spe  

Bold Nature  

Thunderbolt, Roost, Volt Switch, Heat Wave  

manaphy

Manaphy @ Leftovers  

Ability: Hydration  

EV’s: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  

Timid Nature   

Tail Glow, Scald,  Rain Dance, Psychic  

porygon-z

Porygon-Z @ Normalium Z  

Ability: Adaptability  

EV’s: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  

Timid Nature  

Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Conversion, Nasty Plot  

excadrill

Excadrill @ Choice Scarf  

Ability: Mold Breaker  

EV’s: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe  

Jolly Nature  

Earthquake, Iron Head, Rapid Spin, Rock Slide  

genesect

Genesect @ Choice Scarf  

Ability: Download  

EV’s: 248 Atk / 8 SpA / 252 Spe  

Naive Nature  

U-turn, Iron Head, Ice Beam, Explosion  

greninja

Greninja @ Life Orb  

Ability: Protean  

EV’s: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  

Naive Nature  

Water Shuriken, Ice Beam, Hydro Pump, Grass Knot  

 

So to start things off I’m using Static defensive Zapdos. The reason for that is I needed volt switch more than I needed defog from Zapdos, and that in turn allowed me to run static, which is a very nice ability. It paralyzes many U turners (Genesect, Landorus, Scizor) which complements Zapdos’ very nice defensive typing. Zapdos also fills a good niche of countering Kartana. Nothing Kartana runs can even touch it, while Zapdos has a 4x Heat Wave waiting to OHKO with. Zapdos is mainly here as a pivot and to gain momentum with Volt Switch, but it has a usable special attack that allows Thunderbolt to put it work. EV’s are to outspeed Bisharp, always OHKO Mega Pinsir and the rest thrown into physical bulk.

Manaphy is the wallbreaker that I chose to put on this team. Being a bulky water, it also fills in well to cover the fire weakness the team has. Along with rain dance, it can make a nice status absorber. I run the standard rain dance, tail glow along with scald and psychic. Psychic is so that Mega Venusaur doesn’t completely wall me. Standard 252/252/4 spread.

Next up is one of the new threats that SM brought us. Z conversion Porygon-Z. Z conversion turns Porygon Z into a deadly sweeper. With enough bulk to set up, it allows Porygon-Z to sweep entire teams that have no check with its bolt-beam coverage. While Porygon-Z is a win con of its own, it can be dead weight against certain teams, namely ones that have either red card, sturdy whirlwind Skarm, or special defensive Alolan Marowak. Marowak is a common anti meta pick and it shuts down Porygon-Z hard. You need to play around with it and eliminate it before Porygon can set up. Nasty plot boosts our special attack to insane levels after Z conversion and allows to break past many walls if they let us set up.

I chose scarf Excadrill next, to give us some ground coverage and a way to spin hazards. With a surprising amount of bulk, Exca can switch in on some attacks, rapid spin and then switch out to the appropriate counter. Scarf locking us in can really kill momentum if he’s forced to rapid spin, so sometimes you may have to sack him to get the win. Scarf is powerful, as it allows us to outspeed Tapu Koko and get the OHKO. It is also a good way to deal with Rotom-W as mold breaker allows us to ignore levitate and smack it with STAB Earthquake. I must stress how important it is to keep Excadrill alive against Tapu Koko, as he is our only check to him. Tapu Koko can run havoc if you allow it to, so therefore you must either have set up Porygon-Z before hand, or sack Genesect on an explosion if you let Excadrill die.

Genesect is the bread and butter of our team. Freshly unbanned and waiting to get sent back to ubers, he will do well until his time here is done. Scarf allows us to outspeed a majority of the meta game and download can boost us to deal some serious damage. He doesn’t do amazing against the Tapu’s since half of them resist U turn, but he is a very good momentum gainer. With only 1 weakness and an unpredictable movepool, the opponent should be wary of whoever they sent in against him. Scarf being the most common set should be predictable, but the ice beam is not. It’s used as a counter lead against Garchomps and Landorus as scarf has us outspeeding and OHKO’ing with ice beam. Against the Pheromosa lead I recommend going Iron Head, as it can OHKO. U turn might sound nice, but a wrong prediction usually leads to a dead mon and a +1 speed on Pheromosa, which does not allow your scarfers to outspeed anymore. Explosion is our nuke for when Genesect is close to death, or when you want to do a 1 for 1 trade. This set is also walled by Marowak, but chip damage on U turn to the Greninja/Manaphy/Excadrill switch can force it back out.

Finally we have Greninja, a fan favorite from X/Y he was banned in ORAS OU because of the dangerous weapons the move tutors gave him. Returning to our team, he is the generic special attacker that we use. With a higher speed and special attack than Starmie, he is a dangerous threat to other teams. I chose Hydro Pump, Water Shuriken, Grass Knot and Ice Beam. Grass Knot is so that my team doesn’t get walled by Quagsire, Hydro Pump for power, Ice Beam to hit many things super effectively and Water Shuriken as I lack any form of priority. Water Shuriken can be a little sacky if you hit things for 5, but it does alright as a priority move. I chose Protean as my ability because I like the immediate power it offers me. HP grass is another viable alternative over Grass Knot, Grass Knot just allows me to hit heavier things for more damage if need be. Other moves to consider are Low Kick, Gunk Shot, Dark Pulse, and various Hidden Powers that receive a STAB boost.
This team is a balanced Volt Turn team and can do some damage in the right hands. It is however very reliant on predictions and allowing your Manaphy and Porygon-Z to set up. It struggles against Hyper Offense since nobody on the team can outspeed base 100 speeds at +1. Marowak and Tapu Koko are big threats to it and are unfortunately common meta game picks. This is not my first nor my final iteration of this team, and if you want to use it, feel free to tweak it to your needs. It’s a good start for those wanting to dip their toes into the S/M meta.

Beast Mode: 2180161’s Balanced Offensive Team

Hey people of Reddit!  2180161 writing this time, and this is about a team I’m using in the current Pokebank OU for Sun and Moon, and trends I’ve noticed while battling. I peaked at about 1350 with this team, but not due to the team. I just am incapable of battling higher than that well.

pheromosa

Pheromosa @ Choice Scarf

Ability: Beast Boost

EV’s 252Att/252SpA/4Spe

Lonely Nature

Bug Buzz, High Jump Kick, Ice beam, U-turn

Not much to say about this one. It makes for a great mixed sweeper, as choice scarf makes it outspeed base 104’s at +1. The mixed spread gives it great coverage, and even though it has choice scarf, beast boost will boost this monster’s attack. U-turn is good to snatch momentum with.

rotom-wash

Rotom-W @ Leftovers

Ability: Levitate

EV’s: 4HP/252SpA/252Spe

Timid Nature

Volt Switch, Will-o-Wisp, Hydro Pump, Pain Split

This is different than the standard wall rotom set. It has max speed and special attack to hit hard and fast. Will-o-Wisp shuts down physical attackers, pain split is for recovery, although it may not be reliable. Hydro pump is for a strong STAB attack, and volt-switch to once again gain momentum, and perhaps get Rotom out of an unfavorable position.

garchomp

Garchomp @ Rocky Helmet

Ability: Rough Skin

EV’s: 252HP/4Att/252Def

Impish Nature

Stealth Rock, Toxic, Earthquake, Dragon Tail

This is pretty much your standard tank-chomp.  Stealth Rocks for the obvious reason, to have hazards, and toxic to help deteriorate walls. Earthquake is there for stab if something is immune to dragon tail. Dragon tail is to force targets to switch into stealth rocks, so if they switch into an unfavorable matchup, they may have to switch again and risk more stealth rock damage.

genesect

Genesect @ Choice Scarf

Ability: Download

EV’s: 252Att/4SpD/252Spe

Jolly Nature

U-turn, Explosion, Gunk Shot, Shadow Claw

While two scarf users can sometimes be unforgiving, this works fine as it can U-turn out of unfavorable situations. Explosion is for when Genesect reaches the end of its lifespan, to almost guarantee one of the opposing team is KO’d. Gunk Shot is a strong attack to take care of anything that doesn’t resist it. Shadow claw is just for coverage, as mimikyu is decently prevalent this metagame, and this team doesn’t have much to hit it.

tapu-lele

Tapu Lele@Life Orb

Ability: Psychic Surge

EV’s: 252Sp.Att/4SpD/252Spe

Timid Nature

Psychic, Energy Ball, Focus Blast, Thunderbolt

Pretty much what I would assume will be a standard Tapu Lele. Psychic for stab, Focus Blast hits steel types that would otherwise be able to resist both its STAB attacks and more than likely KO in return. Energy Ball and Thunderbolt are for coverage. This team has a lot of trouble with any Water/Ground types, and this is almost the only answer this team has.

alakazam-mega

Mega Alakazam @ Alakazite

Ability: Magic Guard (Will be trace after mega evolving)

EV’s: 252Sp.Att/4SpD/252Spe

Timid Nature

Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, Energy Ball, Focus Blast

This is a decently standard Mega Alakazam. Psychic for a strong STAB attack, Dazzling Gleam is a different choice, but it is used to hit dark types more reliably than focus blast, and helps take care of Sableye. Focus blast is there for a very strong attack that OHKO’s Bisharp.


 

Conclusion

The Sun-Moon Metagame is certainly a big shift from XY/ORAS. The return of previously banned Pokemon, the addition of Z-Crystals, Alolan forms, and Ultra Beasts, and all of the tweaks to old mechanics have all pushed the metagame towards healthy evolution. Some things will need to go eventually, especially some of the more controversial ultra beasts. However, for now, we at PRL are satisfied with the new meta and excited to see where things are heading!

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