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

Possessing great attacking stats and an excellent ability in Chlorophyll, Shiftry is built for high-octane offense. Two great STABs in Dark and Grass further aid its ability to hit hard and deal damage. Unfortunately, Shiftry is weak to two very common spread moves: Blizzard and Heat Wave, the latter boosted by the very condition that supports Shiftry! Despite this, Shiftry still deserves to be put on a sun team, and with the right support, it can be deadly indeed.

Name Item Ability Nature

Physical Attacker

Life Orb / Focus Sash Chlorophyll Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Fake Out
~ Sucker Punch
~ Seed Bomb
~ Explosion / Protect
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Fake Out is a great move for disrupting the opponent, forcing them to Protect or get flinched, wasting a turn either way. The few Pokemon that outspeed Shiftry are hit hard by its priority STAB Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch is one of the best STAB priority moves in the metagame, hitting the common Ghost- and Psychic-types for super effective damage. Seed Bomb is Shiftry's secondary STAB, landing a super effective hit on some Pokemon that resist Sucker Punch, such as Terrakion, and gives Shiftry a reliable backup attack if the opponent chooses not to attack. The last slot is somewhat controversial. Many insist that with Explosion's recent nerf, it is no longer a viable option. However, Explosion is a fantastic move for clearing the field when Shiftry is low on HP, or, should Shiftry be dead weight in a battle, get some last-ditch damage off on the opposing team. However, unless Shiftry's partner is a Ghost-type or uses Protect, Explosion is extremely risky. Protect is a great move for any Pokemon in VGC metagames, and the best choice if Explosion is unappealing.

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

Special Attacker

Focus Sash / Life Orb Chlorophyll Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Fake Out
~ Leaf Storm
~ Dark Pulse
~ Protect / Substitute
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

In addition to a great physical set, Shiftry can run an excellent specially-oriented set. Once again, the usefulness of Fake Out must be emphasized for disrupting the opponent and giving Shiftry's teammate a chance to attack. Leaf Storm is a powerful Grass-type STAB move, and with a sky-high 140 Base Power it wrecks anything that doesn't resist it. Unfortunately, Leaf Storm cuts Shiftry's Special Attack in half when it is used, so it should only be used if absolutely necessary. Dark Pulse covers Shiftry's other STAB, and gives it a chance to flinch the opponent, too. With Protect, Shiftry can shield itself from all assaults while its partner deals with a problem Pokemon, or uses a multi-hit move such as Earthquake. Shiftry can utilize Substitute to good effect, giving it a facade to take hits and stay relatively safe, firing off shots of its own. If Substitute is used, however, a Life Orb is the appropriate item choice, because Substitute negates Focus Sash's effect.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Tailwind is an option to double Shiftry's and its team's Speed for 4 turns, allowing it to provide some support of its own. However, Shiftry's frail defenses and the presence of Pokemon with Prankster such as Whimsicott and Tornadus make Tailwind a gimmicky option. Low Kick could be used on the physical set, hitting such Pokemon as Scrafty and Metagross for more damage than its other moves; however, the additional coverage is not great enough to warrant use in most situations. Shiftry has Nasty Plot, Swords Dance, and Growth, which one may be attracted to. However, given the fast-paced nature of double battles, Shiftry would rather attack than waste time boosting. Shiftry gets several other physical moves such as Rock Slide and X-Scissor. However, they offer no additional benefit over Shiftry's main STAB moves. If the Special Attack drop of Leaf Storm is unattractive, Giga Drain and SolarBeam are alternate options, though Giga Drain is rather weak and SolarBeam is too unreliable in doubles without sun being active.

Checks and Counters

Zapdos takes little from Shiftry's assaults and hits back hard with a super effective Heat Wave. Most other Flying-types are able to counter Shiftry by taking its attacks and damaging Shiftry in return with their STAB Flying-type moves. Fire-types such as Chandelure and Ninetales can hit Shiftry hard with a STAB Heat Wave, although the former must be wary of Sucker Punch. Hitmontop, Machamp, and other Fighting-types threaten with their super effective STAB Fighting-type moves. Abomasnow changes the weather to hail, slowing Shiftry down and making Abomasnow's super effective Blizzard have 100% accuracy, taking Shiftry out of the game.

Unreleased

Shiftry gets the ability Pickpocket from the Dream World, which has yet to be released. Chlorophyll is such a fantastic option that Pickpocket would rarely, if ever, see use.