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 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
70
- 145 177 -
Atk
115
121 135 167 183
Def
60
72 80 112 123
SpA
115
121 135 167 183
SpD
60
72 80 112 123
Spe
55
67 75 107 117

Overview

Cacturne is an odd Pokemon, to say the least. While its Attack and Special Attack stand out, all of its other stats are rather poor. However, Cacturne is still able to make good use of those offenses with the combination of Swords Dance and Sucker Punch, which allow it to hit hard and fast. In addition, Cacturne has a movepool filled with odd options, meaning that each set has a degree of unpredictability. Sand Veil, Cacturne's ability, drops the accuracy of most of the opponent's moves to 80% of their original value, giving Cacturne a chance to win in situations wherein it would normally lose. Cacturne's typing is a mixed blessing; while it offers a resistance to Water-type moves, which is especially useful on a sandstorm team, it has a large number of weaknesses, making it difficult to switch in on occasion. In addition, when Cacturne is up against an opponent that can avoid Sucker Punch by using status moves and resists its other moves, Cacturne loses a lot of its shine. In these situations, its weaknesses—its low Speed, lack of bulk, and awkward typing - begin to show. However, Cacturne is still a very good Pokemon overall and can be especially dangerous if left to set up.

Name Item Ability Nature

Swords Dance

Leftovers Water Absorb Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Sucker Punch
~ Seed Bomb
~ Substitute / Spikes
200 HP / 252 Atk / 28 Def / 28 SpD

Cacturne's best shot in UU is a simple Swords Dance set that aims to utilize Cacturne's high Attack and Sucker Punch. Swords Dance is the set's main move and sharply boosts Cacturne's Attack. This turns Sucker Punch, an already strong priority move, into a wrecking ball that can destroy unprepared teams. Seed Bomb is Cacturne's second STAB move and allows it to hit hard against bulky Water-types if Cacturne can avoid a burn. The final two moves are a toss up. Substitute allows Cacturne to take advantage of Sand Veil and can potentially buy it free Swords Dances, enough of which can destroy a team. Spikes may seem out of place on such an offensive Pokemon, but is a great move to use when Cacturne is disabled by status or too weak to do much else. It also adds to the damage that the opposing team takes, which can ease Cacturne's job, especially combined with sandstorm. Leftovers gives Cacturne a bit of HP back each turn and allows it to shrug off weak hits. The EVs and nature maximize Cacturne's Attack; those remaining are spread around slightly to optimize Cacturne's bulk.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Cacturne possesses a rather wide movepool with many odd options. Switcheroo can be used in tandem with Choice Band or Choice Specs to make for a very hard hitting sweeper, but causes Cacturne to lose its ability to switch moves, which is crucial to its success. A Nasty Plot set is viable and definitely strong, but does not have the same oomph that Swords Dance has due to a lack of priority. Teeter Dance lowers the chance that an opponent will hit Cacturne to a measly 40%, but is not overwhelmingly reliable. A set with Substitute and Focus Punch is an option, but forces Cacturne to abandon either Seed Bomb, its only reliable STAB move, or Swords Dance, both of which are crucial. Bullet Seed has a variable base power, but breaks through Substitutes and hits Rhyperior hard. Drain Punch gives Cacturne healing, but is rather weak. Magic Coat is an odd move that allows you to reflect attempts at set up, giving Cacturne a free turn to set up, potentially netting a sweep.

Checks and Counters

When dealing with Cacturne, it is essential to note that many of its counters are not always reliable due to Sand Veil lowering the accuracy of their moves. This means that even a would-be counter can be KOed by Cacturne if the scales are in its favor. Of its counters, Venomoth is the most dangerous one, as it can OHKO Cacturne or set up on it. However, the moth must be wary in attacking, as Cacturne's Sucker Punch deals heavy damage. Similarly, Pokemon that have setup moves and resist Grass—for example, Roserade—also cause problems for Cacturne. Pokemon that resist Sucker Punch and are faster than Cacturne, such as Hitmontop and Honchkrow, can outright OHKO it. Without a specific coverage move, Steel-types such as Cobalion, Registeel, and Escavalier give Cacturne trouble. Toxic Spikes also cause issues for Cacturne; they ensure that it will eventually die, meaning that it can be stalled out of health with relative ease.