Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Victreebel is, and always has been, one of the most powerful sun sweepers in the game. It has probably the best mixed offensive spread of any Chlorophyll user, setting it apart from the likes of Sawsbuck, Shiftry, and Tangrowth. With access to the newly buffed Growth, excellent moves such as Power Whip and Weather Ball, and with the latest, most powerful Chlorophyll user, Venusaur, now in OU, Victreebel has become an even better choice for your UU sun team. However, as always, Victreebel is held back by its frailty, as well as by the fact that the aforementioned excellent moves are illegal together. On top of this, sun teams themselves are hardly reliable, with weather changers such as Hippopotas messing them up, and competition from the arguably more powerful rain teams. However, don't let this make you think that Victreebel is not a threat—take Victreebel lightly and you could quickly find your team in tatters.
After a Growth in the sun, Victreebel is almost unstoppable, hitting 578 Attack, 596 Special Attack, and 450 Speed. At this point, Victreebel will come out on top against virtually every Pokemon in UU. However, getting to this position is hardly easy—Victreebel is terribly frail, making it hard to set up a Growth, and 8 turns of sun can vanish surprisingly fast. Nonetheless, Victreebel has excellent coverage, better than that of almost any Chlorophyll Pokemon. Though Leaf Blade is the main STAB move, Weather Ball, which works out to be more powerful in the sun, is what really sets this apart, OHKOing common Pokemon such as 252/0 Hitmontop and Zapdos after a Growth. Sludge Bomb provides neutral coverage against Fire- and Flying-type opponents, including Arcanine and Victini; boosted by STAB, this also gives you a great special option outside of the sun. As for other options, you may run Power Whip over Leaf Blade; the increase in power is significant, but legality issues then plague Victreebel. Weather Ball, normally Victreebel's most powerful move, is illegal alongside Power Whip, forcing you to run Hidden Power Fire. However, you do gain advantage against some of Victreebel's checks; for example, with max Attack Victreebel can OHKO Jolly Scarf Flygon on the switch. In the fourth slot, Sleep Powder provides an excellent alternative if you are not already using sleep moves elsewhere on your team. It can potentially cripple a counter to Victreebel, while allowing it to set up a Growth uninhibited. It is worth remembering, however, that Tangrowth, though a lot slower, can probably use Power Whip / Hidden Power Fire / Sleep Powder to greater effect.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Victreebel is quite capable of running a pure physical or special set, utilizing Swords Dance or Growth, without the need to split EVs. However, even with the splitting of EVs Victreebel rarely falls short of a KO that it might otherwise achieve. The only advantage really is that Victreebel may invest somewhat in bulk, without a defense-lowering nature, to aid in setting up. As far as other move options go, there are a few; notably, there are several special Grass-type moves. SolarBeam is probably the best, offering excellent power—with Team Preview the rare Hippopotas switch-ins can be predicted and dealt with. Energy Ball and Grass Knot will work out much weaker on average. On the physical side, Return and Sucker Punch provide the only notable coverage moves, Sucker Punch being somewhat effective but inconveniently illegal with Power Whip and Weather Ball. Victreebel also has a considerable support movepool that it cannot make use of due to its frailty, including Teeter Dance, Stun Spore, Knock Off, and Synthesis. Similarly, it could act as something of a sun supporter with Sunny Day and a Heat Rock, but altogether this is best left to bulkier Chlorophyll Pokemon such as Tangrowth and Exeggutor.
Checks and Counters
Countering Victreebel, though extremely difficult, is something you should rarely have to do. Victreebel relies on two things; the ability to use Growth once, and the weather being sunny. The latter can be circumvented with your own weather changer. If it does manage to use Growth, your options are few: Fire-types resist Victreebel's staple moves, but most of them will fall to Sludge Bomb or Hidden Power Rock after a Growth. Otherwise, you should either be looking towards extremely bulky Pokemon or revenge killing. Pokemon such as Dusclops and Cresselia can all take a +2 hit, though most of them will do little back besides perhaps stalling out sun or paralyzing Victreebel. Snorlax deserves mention in that it can take any move besides +2 Power Whip; however, it also fails to KO Victreebel in return. With regard to revenge killing, priority moves are a decent option; Ice Shard users such as Weavile destroy Victreebel, and ExtremeSpeed users such as Arcanine can dent Victreebel considerably. Fast Choice Scarf users—positive base 90s and up—can revenge kill Victreebel, though many, including Flygon and Zapdos, will need a Fire-type move to OHKO outright.