Rising from the ashes of the nuclear fire, the Team Plasma Systems Model 101, Genesect, finally comes to the present! Scizor may be the first thing to come in mind when you think of "Bug / Steel type Pokémon that maintains momentum with U-turn", but Genesect brings a whole new twist on the familiar role thanks to its many unique attributes. Unlike Scizor, Genesect has a good base 99 Speed and an excellent special movepool that, when combined with a Choice Scarf chip, allows Genesect to revenge kill dominant life forms such as Groudon, Mewtwo, Rayquaza, and Darkrai. Skynet's new warrior is also equipped with a top of the line combat ability in Download, which means one of Genesect's attack stats will always be boosted when it switches in. Because of Download, Genesect's above average base 120 attack stats will become the equivalent of a monstrous uninvested 189 base Attack with 0 EVs, and near an even more murderous base fully invested 205 Attack with 252 EVs!
All of Genesect's excellent qualities may make it look like the beginning of the end for humanity, but fortunately for us humans (and unfortunately for Skynet), Genesect doesn't have what it takes to bring forth the apocalypse alone! Genesect's greatest flaw is that unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, this robotic assassin isn't very durable, with even unboosted Draco Meteors and Life Orb Mewtwo's unboosted Psystrike chipping off over 50% of the insectinator's health, which means that most neutral hits in Ubers will fry Genesect's CPU. Also, because Genesect constantly switches out due to U-turn, the prominence of Stealth Rock and Spikes in Ubers and the difficulty in spinning will quickly wear down Genesect's exoskeleton, making its warranty even shorter than usual. Finally, while Genesect does take advantage of an Attack boost from Download via U-turn, it's a shame that the only other worthwhile physical attacks Genesect has are Iron Head and Explosion. However, once you get past the durability and movepool issues, you're still left with one of the most dangerous U-turn users the game has to offer. So while Genesect may not cause the end of the world as we know it, Genesect, much like the Terminator, is one hell of a lethal machine!
Equipped with a high speed Choice Scarf processor, this model of Genesect is one of the most dangerous scouting machines in existence! U-turn is key to Genesect's success at wearing down organic beings, allowing Genesect to deal a good amount of damage to the enemy while allowing your army to keep control of the offensive momentum. Even without a Download boost, Genesect can still deal 66.7% - 79.7% to Mewtwo and 83.7% - 100% to Darkrai (a 74% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock damage). After a Download boost, Genesect's scouting duties become much more dangerous to the opponent, allowing U-turn to OHKO Mewtwo, Latias, and Latios, and also inflicting 52-61% to 4 HP Kyogre, 50-59% to Timid Palkia, 45-53% to Timid Kyurem-W, and 62-74% to max HP Grass Arceus.
Ice Beam is one of Choice Scarf Genesect's main tools for assassination, allowing it to outspeed and terminate threats that are 4x weak to Ice such as Dragon Dance Rayquaza, Garchomp, Shaymin-S, Gliscor, Salamence, and Landorus. With the power of Download, Genesect's Ice Beam can also severely damage 252 HP Groudon (who takes 64-76%) and 4 HP Zekrom (who takes 70-83%).
While Explosion's power has dwindled this generation, a Download boost will ensure that Genesect's sacrifice won't be in vain, allowing the metallic martyr to vaporize max HP Kyogre, max HP Ho-Oh, Palkia, Reshiram, and Kyurem-W. In emergencies, you can even use Genesect's ExtremeSpeed resistance to wear down a Normal Arceus with an unboosted Explosion, dealing 49-58% to max HP Arceus and 57-68% to 4 HP Arceus. While Iron Head offers poor coverage, Genesect's hyperalloy skull shatters Kyurem-W after the Download boost, and before the boost, deals 83-98% to Terrakion and 63-75% to Kyurem-B. Iron Head also has a 30% chance of flinching, allowing Genesect to infuriate even the most well-prepared general if Lady Luck is on your side.
If you are willing to give up Explosion or Iron Head, Genesect has two other options to choose from. Flamethrower is Genesect's best chance of hurting most Steel-types in the sun, allowing it to OHKO Forretress, Skarmory, and Scizor (assuming a Download boost), deal 92-100% to Ferrothorn, and 2HKO Excadrill. Be warned though, if your army has rain support, Flamethrower becomes pathetically weak, only being able to 2HKO Forretress and Scizor. The final, most niche choice is X-Scissor. X-Scissor deals less damage to Ghosts, both Kyurem, Terrakion, and has no chance of flinching which usually makes it a less effective weapon than Iron Head, but the extra damage done to Mewtwo, Darkrai, Latias, Kyogre, and Palkia can help Genesect clean through some weakened armies more easily after a boost. One final configuration to note is your Genesect's nature. Naive allows Genesect to take less from physical priority attacks like ExtremeSpeed, while Hasty allows Genesect to take a bit less from the many powerful special Dragon attacks.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Genesect has the usual Choice Scarf processor, this model takes a radically different approach to using it. Instead of focusing on wearing down the opposition with fast, boosted U-turns, this model of Genesect invests in Special Attack EVs to take advantage of its excellent special attacking movepool, allowing Genesect to have an easier time cleaning teams and gain new KOs vs several threats in Ubers. As a side effect, U-turn is significantly less powerful, now needing Stealth Rock to OHKO 160 HP Latias 79% of the time. Despite this setback, U-turn will still be Genesect's most commonly used attack because of its ability to scout and wear down the enemy army.
Ice Beam is Genesect's weapon of choice for the many Pokémon in Ubers that are 4x weak to Ice, and thanks to the Special Attack investment, a boosted Ice Beam will almost always terminate minimum HP Zekrom and minimum HP Groudon after Stealth Rock damage. Additionally, a boosted Ice Beam can 2HKO physically defensive Giratina and max HP Ground Arceus.
There are 3 viable special attacking weapons left in this model's arsenal; the right combination of them greatly depends on your army's needs. While Bug Buzz may seem like a redundant weapon with U-turn, it does a great job of helping Genesect sweep through weakened teams after a Special Attack boost. For example, a +1 Bug Buzz will OHKO Darkrai and Mewtwo, and also 2HKO fairly bulky offensive Pokémon like Latias, Groudon, Zekrom, Kyurem-W, and minimum HP Kyogre. Flamethrower is Genesect's weapon of choice for most Steel-type Pokémon, and the extra Special Attack investment this model has makes it Genesect's most powerful weapon in the sun, giving +1 Genesect a 91% chance of 2HKOing max HP Arceus. Finally, while most of Thunder's targets give Genesect an Attack boost, it still allows Genesect to 2HKO max HP Kyogre and Ho-Oh after Stealth Rock damage. With a Special Attack boost, Genesect can also 2HKO Lugia after Stealth Rock damage, OHKO Ho-Oh after Stealth Rock damage, 2HKO Forretress, and OHKO Skarmory.
If your army is dead set on having Bug Buzz to ease cleaning, then Flamethrower is the best final choice on sun teams for the extra power, while Thunder is the best choice on rain teams for 100% accuracy and the ability to still OHKO Skarmory and 2HKO Forretress. If your army has both Kyogre and Groudon, or if you feel that better coverage trumps easier cleaning power, then you can use both Thunder and Flamethrower over Bug Buzz.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Choice Scarf Genesect's amazing revenge killing power can be difficult to replace, but if you are willing to take the risks, Expert Belt Genesect can provide benefits to your army that few Pokémon can match. In addition to netting Genesect even more KOs than usual, Expert Belt is a great bluffing item, allowing your army to get surprise KOs vs many slower Pokémon that think you will be forced to switch out due to Choice Scarf.
As usual, U-turn is Genesect's weapon for scouting, and it does a good job of fooling the enemy into thinking your Genesect is a specially based Choice Scarf set. Ice Beam will do far more than just terminate the usual 4x weak Pokémon, as a Special Attack boost allows Ice Beam to OHKO Groudon and mixed Giratina-O, and 2HKO physically defensive Giratina. Thunder zaps Kyogre, Lugia, and Ho-Oh, and with a Download boost, it will OHKO Ho-Oh after Stealth Rock damage, OHKO Lugia after Stealth Rock damage 56% of the time, and OHKO max HP Kyogre 62% of the time after Stealth Rock damage. +1 Flamethrower will OHKO most Steel-types in the sun, but even if the weather is rainy, Genesect can still 2HKO Ferrothorn and OHKO Forretress after Stealth Rock damage. If your army has Drizzle support, Hidden Power Fighting can be an appealing alternative to Flamethrower, with +1 Hidden Power Fighting being able to 2HKO support Dialga, Excadrill, and Ferrothorn at the cost of being walled by Jirachi.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
A Choice Band processor may seem like an odd choice considering Genesect's narrow physical movepool, but when combined with Download, Genesect can fire off U-turns so powerful that any lifeform that doesn't resist it will take an incredible amount of damage. For example, +1 U-turn can deal near or over 50% to Ferrothorn, max HP Kyogre, max HP Arceus, offensive Groudon, bulky Excadrill, Zekrom, Tentacruel, and Jirachi. Even Rayquaza, defensive Groudon, and Lugia will usually take over 35% from these monstrous boosted U-turns!
The other big selling point of Choice Band Genesect is Explosion. Explosion already deals plenty of damage coming from Choice Scarf Genesect, so when Choice Band Genesect unleashes it, Explosion will deal such ungodly amounts of damage that even Skynet would consider it a worthy addition to its nuclear arsenal! A +1 Explosion is so powerful that Steel Arceus, Skarmory, Forretress, and specially defensive Dialga can take over 60% from it, leaving only three Ubers viable Pokémon who don't resist a boosted Explosion that can survive it after Stealth Rock damage: defensive Groudon, defensive Normal Arceus, and defensive Landorus-T; even those three usually still take over 80%!
Iron Head pairs well with U-turn and Explosion, and when boosted, it allows Genesect's reinforced skull to 2HKO Ghost Arceus, Giratina-O, and Excadrill, and after Stealth Rock damage, it 2HKOes Ho-Oh, Lugia, specially defensive Giratina, and Reshiram. Finally, while this may be a Choice Band set, Genesect still appreciates a special attack to help patch up its poor coverage. Ice Beam will let Genesect OHKO Rayquaza and 2HKO defensive Groudon, while Flamethrower is Genesect's best non suicidal attack vs Skarmory and Forretress.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Genesect may be dangerous, Skynet didn't give this Terminator model a very wide movepool. Charge Beam can be used to boost Genesect's Special Attack, but Genesect is usually better off predicting its defensive switch-ins instead of hoping for another Special Attack boost. Flame Charge can boost Genesect's Speed, but is mostly outclassed by Rock Polish. Dark Pulse is the hardest Genesect can hit Ghost Arceus, but its usefulness ends there. Thunderbolt allows Genesect to always hit Ho-Oh in the sun, but it's such a weak move vs Kyogre that Thunder is better most of the time. Metal Sound can be used to scare many walls with the idea of getting KOed, but their ability to simply switch makes this strategy only useful with entry hazards.
Choice Specs may seem like a natural fit for Genesect's great special attacking movepool, but the choice restrictions and the inability to boost U-turn's power make this one of Genesect's lesser sets. Insect Plate can be used to boost Genesect's U-turn power, but Choice Band is usually the better way to go for powerful U-turns.
Checks and Counters
Genesect is out there. It can't be bargained with; it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. However, what makes Genesect even more difficult to counter than most cyberkinetic assassins is it's habit of U-turning out of the battlefield before you can say "Hasta la vista baby!". Thankfully, you can exploit Genesect's U-turn strategies by setting up Spikes and Stealth Rock, which will force the synthetic assassin to sacrifice 25% of its health each time it scouts. Ferrothorn in particular can use most of Genesect's non super effective or scouting attacks to set up Spikes, while Forretress and Skarmory can set up Spikes on physically based Genesect that aren't U-turning.
While Genesect may be difficult to directly counter, there are several Pokémon that can take most of its attacks. Bulky Ghost Arceus is one of the best checks in the game, as it can take on most of Genesect's attacks, and can even threaten to set up Calm Mind when Genesect doesn't U-turn. Steel Arceus can also generally out-machine Genesect as long as it doesn't switch into a boosted Flamethrower in the sun. Specially defensive Dialga braces anything except boosted Flamethrowers in the sun and Hidden Power Fighting, and can threaten to OHKO Genesect with a Fire attack of its choice. Heatran defeats Genesect even more easily than Dialga thanks to Flash Fire. Provided that it's raining, bulky Excadrill isn't 2HKOed by anything but a boosted Hidden Power Fighting, and it can hit Genesect hard with Earthquake. Ho-Oh can take anything but Explosion and Thunder and use Genesect as the perfect time to set up a Substitute. In a similar manner as Ho-Oh, Reshiram and Fire Arceus can switch into most of Genesect's attacks and threaten to either set up or unleash powerful sun-boosted Fire attacks. Specially defensive Giratina isn't 2HKOed by any of Genesect's moves (with the exception of a Life Orb +1 Ice Beam), and can threaten to either phaze or cripple Genesect's scouting power with Will-O-Wisp. As far as more situational checks go, Blaziken can switch into U-turn with its 4x Bug resistance to get a free Speed Boost turn, while Wobbuffet can trap and revenge kill any Choice Scarf Genesect that isn't locked into a Bug attack.
Non-Choice Genesect can be a bit trickier to directly counter due to Download and its excellent coverage, but generally, any Pokémon that is faster than Genesect in Ubers has a good chance of crashing its hard drive after a kill, such as the Mewtwo, Palkia, Hidden Power Fire Latias, and most Choice Scarf Pokémon.