Shiftry

Chlorophyll
Speed doubles in sun.
Early Bird
Reduces sleep time.
Pickpocket
The wielder immediately steals an item from an attacker using a contact move.
Type Tier
Grass / Dark NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
90
- 321 384 -
Atk
100
212 236 299 328
Def
60
140 156 219 240
SpA
90
194 216 279 306
SpD
60
140 156 219 240
Spe
80
176 196 259 284

Overview

Despite not changing very much since DPP, Shiftry can still pose a major offensive threat to the opponent. In addition to the plethora of moves to boost its mediocre stats, Shiftry also boasts an impressive offensive movepool. Unfortunately, Shiftry still suffers from the same problems as it did in previous generations: Shiftry has trouble sweeping through teams without a boost, and is fairly slow without sun. Although Shiftry has many resistances, they are offset by its frailty and equally many weaknesses. Nevertheless, Shiftry still remains an extremely dangerous threat that demolishes unprepared teams.

Name Item Ability Nature

Swords Dance

Life Orb Chlorophyll Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Sucker Punch
~ Seed Bomb
~ Nature Power / Rock Slide
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Shiftry's physical movepool, the highlight of which is STAB Sucker Punch, is sufficient for an effective Swords Dance set. Boosted by STAB, Shiftry boasts one of the most powerful Sucker Punches in the RU tier: at +2, it will destroy anything that doesn't resist it. Seed Bomb offers reliable STAB and is Shiftry's strongest attack when Sucker Punch is not an option. There are two options for the last slot. In simulator and Wi-Fi battles, Nature Power will always act as Earthquake (with double the PP), allowing Shiftry to hit Fire- and Steel-types harder than Rock Slide does. However, when coupled with Seed Bomb, Rock Slide provides better overall coverage than Nature Power does, only missing out on Steel-types. Rock Slide also hits Flying-types hoping to switch into a resisted Seed Bomb, most notably Moltres, who quadruply resists Seed Bomb and can evade Sucker Punch with Substitute. As with any other Sucker Punch user, this set requires heavy prediction when facing an opponent carrying Substitute, Trick, or any stat boosting move. When facing an opponent carrying a non-attacking move, Shiftry must either use one of its other attacks or take the opportunity to increase its Attack further with Swords Dance. Since Sucker Punch can allow Shiftry to strike first, it can forgo a Speed-boosting nature for an Adamant one for more power. In a similar vein, Life Orb is non-negotiable on this set as Shiftry lacks significant power before a boost.

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

Nasty Plot

Life Orb Chlorophyll Modest / Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Nasty Plot
~ Giga Drain
~ Dark Pulse
~ Hidden Power Ground / Hidden Power Rock
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Although Shiftry sports a mediocre base 90 Special attack, it has all the moves necessary to run an effective Nasty Plot set. However, do note that this set has a tougher time sweeping though teams compared to the Swords Dance set; this is due to the lower base power of this set's attacks and Shiftry's lower Special Attack stat. For these reasons, multiple stat boosts are usually required. When trying to find set-up opportunities for this Shiftry, one must remember the threat of Swords Dance variants, which will likely result in the opponent switching to their physical wall. This set's coverage has the exact same purpose as the Swords Dance set. Giga Drain and Dark Pulse serve as dual STAB, and as an added bonus, Giga Drain mitigates Life Orb recoil and extends Shiftry's sweep. Dark Pulse is Shiftry's secondary STAB option, and its flinch rate will help Shiftry break down sturdy walls such as Sigilyph. Sunny Day support is highly recommended since this Shiftry lacks any way to beat faster Pokemon apart from paralysis support.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

SubSeed can be a viable strategy on Shiftry, especially in sun, but this set is generally outclassed by Sceptile, who has the Speed to function outside of sun. A Choice set might seem tempting to boost Shiftry's mediocre Speed and attacking stats; however, a Choice Scarf set would lack power, and a Choice Specs or Band set would lack Speed. Sun support remedies the latter, although Shiftry is better off abusing its coverage while it has a Chlorophyll boost. Shiftry's Swords Dance set has a number of different options it can utilize. X-Scissor is notable for hitting Grass-types, and Low Kick can be used over Rock Slide or Nature Power, although its inconsistent damage can be a turn off. Quick Attack gives Shiftry a safer form of priority, but it has miserable type coverage and damage output. Finally, Explosion is viable simply due to the fact that Ghost-, Steel- and Rock-types aren't likely to switch in fearing Nature Power or STAB Seed Bomb.

Hidden Power Fighting can be used on the Nasty Plot set to achieve perfect coverage along with Dark Pulse. Focus Blast is another alternative; it offers much more power, but has imperfect accuracy, and with Shiftry's defenses (or lack thereof), a miss can be fatal. Energy Ball can be used, but the 5 extra Base Power usually isn't worth forgoing the ability to heal off Life Orb damage with Giga Drain. Furthermore, the extra power is usually irrelevant after a Nasty Plot boost. Extrasensory is another option on the Nasty Plot set; it hits Fighting-type Pokemon hoping to tank a resisted Dark Pulse and KO Shiftry with their super effective STAB attacks. Finally, a SunnyBeam set can be used; such a set would be based on boosting Shiftry's Speed with Sunny Day and attacking with a reliable SolarBeam.

Checks and Counters

Due to sheer versatility and a strong Sucker Punch, Shiftry is very difficult to counter. Perhaps Shiftry's biggest flaw is that it has to set up before it can do any significant damage. For this reason, one of the best ways to deal with Shiftry is to just hit it hard; Shiftry's poor defenses mean any strong STAB attack will KO it. One can also play around Sucker Punch by inflicting status on Shiftry or phazing it out. Even after a boost, Swords Dance Shiftry fails to break though Tangrowth, and can be stalled out with Life Orb damage. Ferroseed walls the Swords Dance set if Shiftry isn't using Brick Break. Strong Mach Punch or Vacuum Wave users, such as Hitmonchan, resist Sucker Punch and score a clean OHKO. Shiftry's Nasty Plot set also suffers from this problem but is also weak to the rare Ice Shard users. Rotom-C is a great check to Shiftry, as it boasts solid base 107 defenses. It also resist Shiftry's Grass attacks and due to Rotom-C losing its secondary Ghost-typing, Shiftry can no longer get past Rotom-C with its Dark STAB. Mandibuzz runs into very few problems walling the Nasty Plot set. Even at +2, Hidden Power Rock will fail to OHKO Mandibuzz. Bouffalant deserves a special mention as a check. Substitute is a common move on Bouffalant so Sucker Punch isn't always an option, and thanks to its ability Sap Sipper, Shiftry will have to resort to its non-STAB attack. Unboosted, this non-STAB attack won't be enough to break through Bouffalant's bulk.