Cloyster

Shell Armor
Prevents critical hits.
Skill Link
Multi-hit moves will always hit the maximum number of times.
Overcoat
Grants immunity to damage from weather effects.
Type Tier
Water / Ice OU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
50
- 125 157 -
Atk
95
103 115 147 161
Def
180
180 200 232 255
SpA
85
94 105 137 150
SpD
45
58 65 97 106
Spe
70
81 90 122 134

Overview

Boasting amazing physical bulk and respectable Attack and Speed stats, as well as good offensive typing and type coverage, Cloyster is a threat to prepare for in the VGC 2012 metagame. While stat-boosting moves are often frowned upon in such a fast-paced metagame, Cloyster is one of the few Pokemon that can effectively boost and sweep the opponent's team with proper team support.

Name Item Ability Nature

Shell Smash

Focus Sash Skill Link Lonely / Hasty
Moveset EVs
~ Shell Smash
~ Icicle Spear
~ Rock Blast
~ Hidden Power Fire / Protect
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Although boosting moves are typically frowned upon, Cloyster is one of the few Pokemon that can consistently set up and sweep the opponent's team with ease. After a Shell Smash, Cloyster is able to KO almost every Pokemon in the VGC 2012 metagame with Icicle Spear and Rock Blast, which always hit five times due to Skill Link, allowing Cloyster to threaten Pokemon such as Zapdos, Latios, and Garchomp. Multi-hit moves are also useful for overriding type-resist Berries and KOing the holder. Hidden Power Fire ensures Cloyster is not walled by Scizor, but if Cloyster is hit down to its Focus Sash, priority Bullet Punch will KO it. While getting the KO on Scizor is important for Cloyster, Protect is a decent alternative, allowing Cloyster to shield itself from an attack while its teammate KOes the threat.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Skill Link Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Icicle Spear
~ Rock Blast
~ Razor Shell
~ Explosion
20 HP / 252 Atk / 236 Spe

There isn't anything about Cloyster that screams "Choice Scarf user", especially with its middling Speed and Attack stats. To demonstrate how effective this set is, take a closer look at Icicle Spear. Cloyster's Skill Link essentially turns it into an Ice-type Close Combat with no negative repercussions, as well as the ability to bypass Focus Sash and Yache Berry. Although a base 95 Attack stat doesn't sound too attractive on paper, that's still on par with the likes of Hitmontop. Add that to the fact that many common Pokemon take at least neutral damage from Ice-type attacks, you have yourself a really potent threat on your hands!

Icicle Spear is the star of the show. With a Choice Scarf equipped, Cloyster can outspeed and OHKO 252/0 Zapdos, Yache Berry Garchomp, Latios, Thundurus, Tornadus, and many more. It's absolutely hilarious to see threats such as Zapdos have their Sitrus Berry activate midway through the attack, only to have them faint after all five hits. Rock Blast provides additional coverage and deals with any Fire-types that stand in your way. Razor Shell will be seldom used, but it provides nice secondary STAB and takes a good chunk off the troublesome Terrakion. Explosion is primarily a filler, but it might come in handy once in a blue moon. You're using a Choice Scarf Cloyster anyway, so a second surprise in the form of Explosion doesn't hurt anyone.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

A White Herb can be used to nullify the defensive drops from using Shell Smash, but a Focus Sash guarantees that Cloyster can get the Shell Smash off. Explosion can be used once Cloyster is brought down to its Focus Sash, but due to the abundance of Protect, it isn't as effective as its other moves. Cloyster receives a good special movepool, but a specially based set won't be able to take advantage of Skill Link. Ice Shard can be used if priority is desired, but after a Shell Smash, Cloyster is fast enough to outpace most Pokemon. Scizor is the only notable Pokemon priority would hit, and the attack would be shrugged off.

Checks and Counters

Because there is no Pokemon that receives both Follow Me / Rage Powder and Wide Guard, Cloyster can be KOed by priority moves such as Bullet Punch and double-targeting moves such as Rock Slide. If Cloyster isn't packing Hidden Power Fire, several Pokemon become easy checks. Scizor and Metagross resist both of Cloyster's attacking moves and can KO with priority or Meteor Mash.

Unreleased

Cloyster receives Overcoat from Dream World, which would only protect it from sand and is useless as it makes Cloyster sacrifice Skill Link, which is what allows it to become a deadly sweeper with Rock Blast and Icicle Spear.