Heracross

Swarm
Boosts power of Bug-type moves by 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Guts
Attack is increased by 50% when afflicted with status.
Moxie
Boosts Attack by one stage if the wielder knocks out another Pokemon.
Type Tier
Bug / Fighting UU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
80
- 301 364 -
Atk
125
257 286 349 383
Def
75
167 186 249 273
SpA
40
104 116 179 196
SpD
95
203 226 289 317
Spe
85
185 206 269 295

Overview

Blessed with a base 125 Attack stat and two great abilities in Guts and Moxie, Heracross is a wrecking ball that can demolish unprepared teams. Heracross's famous dual 120 Base Power STAB moves, Close Combat and Megahorn, are a big part of what makes this stag beetle so dangerous. Heracross has always been one of the best revenge killers in the UU metagame, and now with Moxie it has become one of the best late-game sweepers too. From a Choice Scarf set to a Swords Dance set, Heracross has a large amount of options for a Pokemon that only hits physically. However, a middling base 85 Speed and a dependence on the inaccurate Stone Edge for coverage mean this wrecking ball will sometimes come up short. Nevertheless, Heracross is one of the biggest threats in the UU tier and is to be underestimated at your own peril.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Moxie / Guts Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Close Combat
~ Megahorn
~ Stone Edge
~ Earthquake / Sleep Talk
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Using a Choice Scarf, Heracross becomes one of the best revenge killers in the UU metagame, and with Moxie it can double as a potent late-game sweeper. Heracross's two powerful STAB moves, Close Combat and Megahorn, are part of the reason Heracross is such a wrecking ball, being able to 2HKO most of the tier with just those moves. Stone Edge is a brilliant coverage move for Heracross, as it allows it to hit the pesky Flying-types such as Zapdos and Crobat that resist its STAB moves. While using Earthquake with Close Combat might seem redundant due to their similar coverage, it actually hits Nidoking, Nidoqueen, and Qwilfish, all of which don't mind tanking hits from the other three moves on this set. However, by employing Sleep Talk over Earthquake, Heracross can absorb Sleep-inducing moves from Pokemon such as Roserade, which is especially great when Heracross opts to use Guts. Keep in mind, however, that in order for this to work, you not only need to run into a Sleep inducer, but predict when the move will be used and give up Earthquake's coverage, so it's in your best interest to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

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

Swords Dance

Leftovers Guts Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Close Combat
~ Megahorn
~ Stone Edge
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Heracross has access to Swords Dance, one of the best boosting moves in the game, and can make use of it to become a fearsome sweeper against slower teams. Megahorn and Close Combat are dangerous to most of the metagame unbooosted, and at +2 almost nothing can withstand them. Stone Edge is the best coverage move for Heracross as it clips the wings of pesky Flying-types that resist its STAB moves, such as Zapdos and Crobat.

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

Choice Band

Choice Band Guts Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Close Combat
~ Megahorn
~ Stone Edge
~ Sleep Talk / Earthquake
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

A Choice Band further improves Heracross's amazing Attack stat, allowing to destroy almost everything without the need to set up. STAB Close Combat and Megahorn give Heracross great coverage and incredible power to go with the Choice Band. Stone Edge is by far the best coverage move for Heracross, hitting most of the Pokemon that resist its STAB moves super effectively. Sleep Talk helps both Heracross and your team against sleep-inducers, turning Heracross into a sleep absorber that can fire off Guts-boosted attacks. However, Earthquake can be used over Sleep Talk to get powerful hits on Nidoking, Nidoqueen, and Qwilfish; although none of them will enjoy Choice Band boosted hits from its other moves anyway.

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

Substitute

Leftovers Moxie / Guts Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Substitute
~ Close Combat
~ Megahorn
~ Stone Edge
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

This set takes advantage of the many switches caused by Heracross to set up a Substitute and smash the switch-in with the appropriate move. Close Combat and Megahorn's coverage and power are the reasons why this set is viable, allowing Heracross to hit most of the metagame for at least neutral damage. Stone Edge hits most of the Pokemon that Close Combat and Megahorn do not hit very hard. If you manage to set up a Substitute late-game, Heracross has a clear shot at sweeping a weakened team as the Moxie boosts stack.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Heracross can run a classic RestTalk set from the days of old, utilizing a more defensive spread, but it is less effective than the other sets listed. For those who don't want to use Swords Dance or Substitute but also don't want to get locked into one move, Heracross can run 4 attacks with a Toxic Orb or a Life Orb. Finally, Heracross can use Bulk Up with a defensive EV spread, but getting Bulk Up boosts is harder than getting Swords Dance boosts; Heracross can also use Bulk Up + RestTalk using Megahorn as its only attack, but due to the many Fighting-types and generally mediocre coverage, it won't get you very far.

Checks and Counters

Although Heracross's hard counters are hard to come by, there are a few, along with quite a few checks. Heracross's best counter is Gligar; this ever-present thorn in Heracross's side can take anything that Heracross can dish out and nullify the damage with Roost, slowly wearing Heracross down. While Gligar gives Heracross trouble, it is also hard walled by Dusclops and Cofagrigus, whose Will-O-Wisp can cripple Heracross that use Moxie. Flying-types such as Zapdos, Crobat, and Yanmega can take Heracross's STAB attacks but get hit hard by Stone Edge. Nidoking and Nidoqueen resist all of Heracross's common moves except for Earthquake and can retaliate with a Sheer Force boosted Fire Blast. Qwilfish is another check to Heracross, resisting its STAB moves coupled with Intimidate to further weaken Heracross's attacks. Arcanine also has Intimidate to soften Heracross's blows, so physically defensive variants can check Heracross and hit back with a STAB Flare Blitz, but it must be wary of Stone Edge. Weezing can take anything that Heracross could care to dish out bar a +2 Facade with Guts activated and has Fire Blast to hurt Heracross with. With the Choice sets, prediction is the best counter. When all other options are gone, Heracross can be revenge killed by faster Choice Scarf users such as Victini and Darmanitan.