Cacturne

Sand Veil
Evasion increases by 25% in a sandstorm.
Water Absorb
Heals 25% HP when hit by a Water-type attack.
Type Tier
Grass / Dark NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
70
- 281 344 -
Atk
115
239 266 329 361
Def
60
140 156 219 240
SpA
115
239 266 329 361
SpD
60
140 156 219 240
Spe
55
131 146 209 229

Overview

At a glance, it is difficult to justify the use of Cacturne in the RU metagame. With so many potent Grass-types available for use, it hardly seems wise to handicap yourself with a Pokemon like Cacturne. However, despite its appearance, Cacturne is actually quite unique in what it offers. Due to Cacturne's high offensive stats and powerful STAB Sucker Punch, it is one of the tier's best offensive Spikes users, capable of threatening a variety of common Pokemon in order to set up entry hazards. To add to this, Cacturne is also able to apply significant offensive pressure to both Kabutops and Cryogonal, the most common and effective Rapid Spin users of the tier, allowing it to effectively prevent its entry hazards from being removed on its own. What's more, its unique typing, complemented by its useful ability in Water Absorb, makes it a very effective choice for offensively-inclined teams, checking threatening Pokemon such as Slowking and Substitute + Calm Mind Uxie, as well as comfortably switching into bulky Water-types. However, Cacturne's lack of natural bulk means that it is heavily reliant on its resistances to take hits of any kind, meaning that it often struggles to switch in and can be forced out just as easily. What's more, being as slow as it is, Cacturne relies heavily on Sucker Punch to handle offensive threats, making it a very prediction-heavy Pokemon in many situations. While Cacturne is by no means a Pokemon that can be thrown on any team, it does retain a significant niche in the RU metagame and should be taken into consideration when building offensive teams.

Name Item Ability Nature

Offensive Spikes

Life Orb / Leftovers Water Absorb Lonely / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Spikes
~ Sucker Punch
~ Seed Bomb
~ Hidden Power Fire / Substitute
252 Atk / 152 SpA / 104 Spe

Thanks to Cacturne's high offensive stats, unique typing, and potent movepool, it makes an excellent offensive Spikes user. As Cacturne is capable of threatening a variety of Pokemon, ranging from frail sweepers to common defensive pivots, it is capable of finding opportunities to set up Spikes as the opposing Pokemon are forced to switch out. One of Cacturne's most effective tools in threatening Pokemon is its STAB Sucker Punch, which allows it to pick off a variety of frail faster Pokemon. Moreover, Sucker Punch applies significant pressure upon the best Rapid Spin users in the tier, Kabutops and Cryogonal, dealing major damage to the former and OHKOing the latter almost always with a Life Orb. Seed Bomb provides Cacturne with a safe STAB move capable of immediately threatening the Water-types it checks, as well as preventing Kabutops from switching into Cacturne and threatening to either spin away its entry hazards or KO with Stone Edge. Lastly, Hidden Power Fire allows Cacturne to round off its coverage, punishing Steel-types such as Escavalier and Durant as well as defensively-inclined Grass-types, most notably Tangrowth. On the other hand, while Substitute leaves Cacturne vulnerable to Steel-types, it does allow Cacturne to stay in on a variety of Pokemon that would otherwise force it out, as well as minimizing the risk associated with using Sucker Punch.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

While Cacturne actually possesses a fairly expansive movepool, this is largely overshadowed by the very similar Shiftry, whose extra Speed gives it the advantage in a sweeping role under most conditions, namely through both Swords Dance and Nasty Plot. For this reason, Cacturne is generally restricted to be used as a Spikes setter in order for it to avoid being outclassed. However, Cacturne's low Speed does benefit it in a Trick Room setting, where its high Attack and Special Attack, excellent coverage, and resistances to Dark- and Ghost-type attacks makes it a fully capable Trick Room sweeper. Additionally, a set utilizing Destiny Bond alongside Custap Berry is an interesting tactic for eliminating problematic Pokemon, but this does require significant maneuvering and knowledge of how well Cacturne can take certain hits in order to be utilized to its fullest potential.

Checks and Counters

While outright preventing Cacturne from fulfilling its role as a Spikes setter is difficult, as it is capable of pressuring most conventional responses to entry hazards rather well, several Pokemon can simply threaten it offensively. Fire-types, especially ones like Entei and Emboar that can handle Sucker Punch well, are problematic for Cacturne, as it cannot effectively prevent them from switching in while they can OHKO with their STAB attacks in return. Offensively inclined Steel-types, such as Aggron and Klinklang, can switch into most of Cacturne's arsenal safely and proceed to either set up on it or outright KO it with their STAB moves. Although they don't particularly enjoy Life Orb Hidden Power Fire, bulky Grass-types such as Tangrowth and Amoonguss are more than capable of switching into Cacturne and can cripple it with status or wear it down with their attacks. While Pokemon like Hitmonlee and Primeape don't take Seed Bomb very well, they are otherwise fairly safe responses to Cacturne, resisting Sucker Punch and capable of threatening it with the prospect of a powerful Close Combat. Finally, offensive Substitute users, such as Sceptile and Scolipede, are capable of playing around Cacturne's Substitute with proper prediction, forcing it into a 50-50 prediction scenario.