Carnivine

Levitate
The wielder is immune to Ground-type moves.
Type Tier
Grass NU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
74
- 149 181 -
Atk
100
108 120 152 167
Def
72
82 92 124 136
SpA
90
99 110 142 156
SpD
72
82 92 124 136
Spe
46
59 66 98 107
  • Neverused

Overview

It's not difficult to see why Carnivine is, well, never used. Though he may seem decent at first glance, with a movepool including Swords Dance, Power Whip, and Sleep Powder, as well as a decent Attack stat to back it up, Carnivine has some key flaws which toss him into the depths of NU. An utterly pathetic Speed stat ensures that Carnivine will never sweep and limits him to wallbreaking, and Carnivine's offensive stats aren't quite good enough for that either. Furthermore, Carnivine has a difficult time differentiating himself from his fellow Grass-types; access to both STAB Power Whip and Sleep Powder is something to brag about, but other Grass-types such as Leafeon, Victreebel, and Torterra all have much better stats and are generally better; Leafeon has that blistering Speed and a significantly better Defense stat, Victreebel also has better Speed in addition to a Poison typing and similar movepool, and Torterra possesses much better defenses and an awesome secondary Ground typing. Frankly, Carnivine's only advantage over these Pokemon is his access to Sleep Powder and Levitate, which admittedly do make it easier for him to set up, but are not enough to really make Carnivine a premier choice. That being said, Carnivine is not truly bad, as a Swords Dance-boosted Power Whip is nothing to laugh about, but in the end, Carnivine is so outclassed in most cases that there is almost no reason to use him over other, mostly superior Grass-types.

Name Item Nature

Swords Dance

Life Orb / Leftovers Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Power Whip
~ Return
~ Sleep Powder
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

This set utilizes Carnivine's few redeeming traits—access to Sleep Powder and his ability, Levitate—over Leafeon and other physical Grass-types to set up and attempt to sweep. Though Carnivine is slow and not very powerful, he has just enough Speed to beat most common walls in the NU metagame, and after a Swords Dance, he hits extremely hard with STAB Power Whip. In fact, because of Power Whip, Carnivine actually hits slightly harder than Leafeon overall, though he must deal with Power Whip's unreliable accuracy. Though Carnivine is not that bulky, Levitate and Sleep Powder make it much easier to set up, and Sleep Powder ensures that Carnivine will be able to do something most of the time, even if it is just putting a Pokemon to sleep. Levitate also prevents Carnivine from being worn down too quickly from Spikes and Toxic Spikes. To round off the set, Return gives Carnivine a strong coverage move to hit Pokemon who resist Grass-type moves, and since Carnivine lacks a large movepool, it really is his best option to do so. However, Crunch can be used to hit Misdreavus and Haunter harder, though Return hits harder most of the time; Substitute can be used instead of Return if you feel that Return isn't doing enough.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Unfortunately, Grass-types are not known for their wide movepools, and Carnivine is no exception. However, Carnivine does have other somewhat viable options he can potentially use. He has the option of going specially based or mixed with his good base 90 Special Attack stat, but his only viable special moves are Giga Drain and Hidden Power; he does get Growth to help him with mixed attacking, though. Carnivine also has a few alternative physical attacks in Seed Bomb and Secret Power. Seed Bomb is a more reliable, albeit weaker, STAB move than Power Whip, while Secret Power has the potential to paralyze at the cost of power. Despite his poor defensive stats, Carnivine actually has quite a few decent support moves at his disposal; Stun Spore, Leech Seed, Synthesis, and Knock Off are all great options, making a support set a viable choice, though do note that Carnivine's poor defensive stats will make this set mediocre at best.

Checks and Counters

Carnivine is mostly threatening due to Sleep Powder; once Sleep Clause is activated, Carnivine is usually easy to deal with. To deal with Sleep Powder, using a Pokemon with Sleep Talk on your team is advised, as it can absorb the sleep without worry. Alternatively, using a bulky Pokemon to take the sleep is also a decent strategy, as it will usually be bulky enough to outlive the sleep turns. Once Sleep Powder has been used, Carnivine becomes much easier to beat. Faster Fire- and Flying-types do a wonderful job of revenge killing Carnivine, and they fear nothing bar a +2 Return; Swellow, Braviary, Charizard, and Rapidash are excellent examples of this. Furthermore, Carnivine is not particularly hard to wall, and defensive Grass-, Fire-, Poison-, and Steel-types such as Tangela, Vileplume, Torkoal, Lampent, and Weezing can easily sponge his attacks. All of these Pokemon bar Tangela are also able to retaliate with a super effective STAB move, which will seriously maim Carnivine. Carnivine's low Speed and poor defenses are his main weaknesses; just continuously putting pressure on him and preventing him from setting up a Swords Dance will make it difficult for him to do much.