Riolu

Steadfast
Speed is boosted one stage when flinched.
Inner Focus
Prevents flinching.
Prankster
Moves that do not deal direct damage have their priority increased by one level.
Type Tier
Fighting LC
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
40
- 221 284 -
Atk
70
158 176 239 262
Def
40
104 116 179 196
SpA
35
95 106 169 185
SpD
40
104 116 179 196
Spe
60
140 156 219 240

Overview

Giving Riolu its own OU analysis may seem like a joke at first glance thanks to its bantam base stats, none of which exceed 70, but the Dream World has bestowed upon it a gift that makes common annoyers such as Jirachi and SubProtect Gliscor seem like pleasures to battle against: Prankster. With Prankster and its access to Copycat and Roar, Riolu can take on a niche as a priority phazer, something that no other Pokemon in the entire game can emulate. In addition, with the aforementioned combination of Prankster and Copycat, Riolu can also serve as an emergency revenge killer against severely weakened Pokemon.

However, not all is good for this little jackal, for there remain quite a few ways of derailing its Copycat-Roar strategy. Just like any Pokemon with Prankster, Magic Bounce Pokemon can turn Riolu's strategy on its head (in this case, by reflecting its priority phazing back upon it). In addition, Pokemon with Magic Guard can afford to be tossed around by Riolu, thanks to their immunity to hazard damage. Also, Protect users and faster priority attacks throw Riolu off, since Protect always goes before priority moves. In addition, even with an Eviolite attached to it, Riolu is incredibly frail, so it requires an immense amount of support to get off that first Roar. However, it would be absurd to disregard Riolu as a threat, because once it gets that first Roar off, Riolu can win the game for you.

Name Item Ability Nature

pawns like dog

Eviolite Prankster Careful
Moveset EVs
~ Copycat
~ Roar
~ Drain Punch
~ Substitute
248 HP / 112 Def / 96 SpD / 52 Spe

As mentioned in the Overview, Riolu is the only Pokemon in the game with the ability to priority phaze, thanks to Prankster and its movepool, which contains both Roar and Copycat. After hazards have been laid down, Riolu can use Roar and Copycat to severely weaken, and in many cases, even sweep the opponent's team. Copycat and Roar are placed in the first two moveslots, as they form the crux of Riolu's strategy. Drain Punch gives Riolu a means of attacking when Copycat runs out of PP, and Substitute provides Riolu with a safety blanket against priority moves and status.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Riolu doesn't exactly have much to abuse with Prankster other than Agility, Iron Defense, Toxic, and Screech. Agility bolsters Riolu's Speed, allowing it to Copycat a Roar before Breloom's Mach Punch or Mamoswine's Ice Shard hits it, and Iron Defense braces Riolu for attacks such as Terrakion's Close Combat or Garchomp's Earthquake. Toxic helps break bulky walls and gives Riolu a way to annoy the opponent even after Copycat runs out of PP. If Riolu is paired up with a physical attacker, Screech is an option that helps force even more switches. Crunch hits both Magic Bouncers super effectively, but is otherwise an unreliable option.

Checks and Counters

Riolu's largest fears are Xatu and Espeon, since they can turn Riolu's Copycat + Roar game against it, while also resisting Riolu's STAB and carrying moves that hit it super effectively. Alakazam, Reuniclus, Bronzong, and Gliscor don't exactly mind being phazed by Riolu, thanks to their abilities and typing. Also, Mr. Mime and other Pokemon with Soundproof will stop the chain in its tracks, thanks to their immunity to Roar. With the given EV spread, Riolu can Copycat a Roar against slower priority users such as Choice Band Scizor, but its priority phazing strategy falls flat against any Pokemon with a priority move and Speed greater than 169. Examples of such Pokemon are Dragonite, Mamoswine, Breloom, and anything with Fake Out and ExtremeSpeed, moves that transcend the priority given to Riolu's moves by Prankster. Protect ruins Riolu's Copycat + Roar game for the exact same reasons as Fake Out and ExtremeSpeed.