- The wielder is immune to Ground-type moves.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Haunter is a Pokemon of extremes. Not only is he the fastest Ghost-type available in the RU tier, he's also the most powerful, sporting a very impressive base 115 Special Attack. Unfortunately, the grinning ghoul is also the frailest Pokemon in the tier, and will fold to just about any attack that he isn't immune to. However, Haunter's frailty is somewhat mitigated by his excellent typing, which gives him three immunities, to Normal-, Fighting-, and Ground-type moves, as well as quadruple resistances to both Bug- and Poison-type attacks. Haunter also sports a diverse movepool, from a wide variety of special attacks to all the nasty support moves you'd expect from such a malevolent-looking Ghost-type. Underestimate Haunter at your own peril, for he has many tricks up his non-existent sleeves.
Haunter is the very definition of a "gas cannon" (excuse the pun). Despite his total lack of bulk, due to the lack of heavy-duty special walls in the RU metagame, Haunter is able to find ample opportunities to cause some mischief. Because Haunter forces many switches, especially against physical walls such as Tangrowth, Substitute is an excellent move to scout for the opponent's check to Haunter. Not only does it protect Haunter from crippling status moves such as Thunder Wave, it allows Haunter to fire off his powerful STAB attacks from behind a safety net, and it allows Haunter to flee unscathed if your opponent decides to bring out a Pursuit user. Shadow Ball is a consistent and powerful STAB move that can nab 2HKOs on some of the RU tier's bulkiest walls, including Pokemon such as Slowking and Uxie; Dusknoir too is very likely OHKOed with Stealth Rock support. Sludge Bomb is Haunter's most powerful attack, and hits the vast number of Grass-types in the tier for super effective damage. Finally, Hidden Power Ground lets Haunter hit the Pokemon that resist his STAB combination, notably Steel-types and Drapion, for super effective damage. Alternatively, Pain Split can be used to allow Haunter to drain HP from opponents while at the same time recovering the health he will inevitably lose to Life Orb recoil and Substitute.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Like its evolution in OU, Haunter can use a Substitute + Disable set to completely disrupt and cripple its opponent. This set's effectiveness is greatly helped by Haunter's typing, which prevents many common Pokemon, such as Hitmonchan and Entei, from hitting it with more than one move. There is also a wide variety of Choice users in the metagame, and this set completely massacres them as well due to the magic of Disable. Substitute works excellently in tandem with this amazing move, allowing Haunter to scout the opponent's move and give it a chance to Disable the move the following turn; it also blocks any stray status moves that could cripple Haunter. Haunter's solid base 95 Speed Stat also helps its cause, as does its excellent base 115 Special Attack. With the combination of Shadow Ball and Hidden Power Ground, no Pokemon will be safe from Haunter's wrath, especially since Shadow Ball hits most of the tier neutrally by itself. Steel-types are decimated by Hidden Power Ground, as are Pokemon such as Drapion and Ferroseed.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Haunter has an excellent special movepool. He can effectively strike down Water-types with either Thunderbolt or Giga Drain; both have their advantages: Thunderbolt hits considerably harder, but Giga Drain allows Haunter to replenish health. Icy Wind can slow down incoming revenge killers on the switch, allowing Haunter to outspeed and KO on the following turn, but its low Base Power is off-putting. Haunter can also run many different types of Hidden Power. Hidden Power Fighting provides perfect coverage with his STAB Ghost-type moves, but forces Haunter to lower his Speed IV, meaning that Haunter will lose Speed ties against other positive-natured base 95 Speed Pokemon such as Uxie. Hidden Power Fire hits Ferroseed harder than any of Haunter's other moves, but it's only really useful for Ferroseed. Haunter also possesses an excellent support movepool which includes many nasty status moves such as Hypnosis, Will-O-Wisp, and Thunder Wave. Disable can also be used in conjunction with Substitute to wall Pokemon that only have one attack capable of hitting Haunter. Haunter can also use Choice Specs and Choice Scarf to decent effect, especially when coupled with Trick. However, he generally prefers the ability to switch moves, since the HP loss from Life Orb is almost irrelevant on a Pokemon as frail as Haunter.
Checks and Counters
Steel-types that take neutral damage from Hidden Power Ground, such as Ferroseed, can set up on Haunter or deal heavy damage with Gyro Ball. Drapion has the bulk to survive a super effective Hidden Power Ground and can OHKO Haunter with its STAB Dark-type moves. Spiritomb fares similarly well against Haunter, as it is neutral to Shadow Ball and can strike back with a STAB Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, or Pursuit. Above all, Haunter is prone to being revenge killed by anything faster, since his defenses are so frail that any neutral attack will usually suffice to take him out.