- Moves that do not deal direct damage have their priority increased by one level.
- The wielder bypasses the foe's Light Screen, Reflect, Mist, and Safeguard.
- Speed doubles in sun.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
At first glance, you might wonder why a cotton ball is one of the most fearsome Pokemon in VGC. The answer is simple: it's annoying. With priority Encore, Taunt, and just about everything else it could ask for bar Sleep Powder, Whimsicott is well-equipped to make your opponents' blood boil. While it might have procured a few more enemies in the transition from VGC 2011 to VGC 2012, such as Abomasnow and Ninetales, it's still as annoying as ever, earning it the rightful title of Prankster.
Tailwind support is one of Whimsicott's many talents, and perhaps the most useful. Doubling your Pokemon's Speed is increasingly valuable in a metagame swimming with Drizzle and Drought abusers, and the threat of Encore and Taunt can keep Trick Room at bay. For many reasons, Encore is the preferred second move. First and foremost, If your opponent Protects or sets up their field effects, you can lock them into a useless move for a few turns, potentially until Encore runs out of PP or your timer is running short because of Encore's priority. If the opponent is locked into a useless move, you can gang up on it more easily as it will most likely switch or fail to Protect itself. Encore can be slightly situational, so Taunt is an acceptable alternative. Taunt prevents field effects from going up and opponents from using Protect, allowing your partner to safely dispatch the Taunted Pokemon or at least dent the switch-in.
Giga Drain's main purpose is to keep Whimsicott from being Taunt bait, but it does have the perk of healing Whimsicott and dealing respectable amounts of damage to Pokemon it hits super effectively. For example, it 2HKOes 4 HP Terrakion and 252 HP Gastrodon, and OHKOes any Kabutops without a Rindo Berry or Focus Sash. Protect is a standard move in VGC, especially as Whimsicott has a tendency to be double-targeted. If you don't feel like playing conservatively with Whimsicott, Helping Hand can easily take Protect's place as your opponent probably won't want to Protect in front of Whimsicott until you reveal you don't have Encore or Whimsicott bites the dust.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Similar to FEARgle of the late VGC 2010, Level 1 Whimsicott aims to set up Trick Room and bring the opponent down to at least 12 HP, at which point even a feather could KO even the beefiest of opponents. Encore is a great move to have on any Whimsicott, and this set is no different. One could even argue that Level 1 Whimsicott makes the most use of it, since after a successful setup, the opponent will be even more hard-pressed to select Protect to keep their precious Pokemon's HP from being taken down to near zero in one hit. Taunt is completely acceptable as well to prevent them from using Protect to thwart Endeavor or your teammate's attacks or reversing Trick Room. Protect is vital on this set, as opponents may pack more than one priority user or Pokemon with access to ExtremeSpeed—such as Lucario and Dragonite—and double target Whimsicott in hopes of crushing the fluffy menace.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Any good prankster has an extra joy buzzer or whoopee cushion lying around, and Whimsicott is no exception. In fact, just about any non-attacking move Whimsicott learns could be used by a skilled player to great effect. Tickle, Charm, and Fake Tears lower your opponent's stats to soften them up, allowing your teammates to deal with the weakened Pokemon more easily. Light Screen and Safeguard are two good field effects, but Whimsicott unfortunately cannot utilize a dual screens combination, as it lacks Reflect. Swagger is usually frowned upon because of the luck factor, but it's another move that can incapacitate or otherwise annoy opponents further. Additionally, Swagger can even be combined with a Persim Berry, Lum Berry, or Whimsicott's Safeguard to raise your teammate's Attack by two stages with no drawbacks, which makes for a potent combination.
Less effective, but still viable options include Memento, Leech Seed, Switcheroo, and Stun Spore. Memento can be a last-ditch effort to leave a mark on the opponent by severely crippling the opponent's offensive Pokemon, though they can simply switch out to rid themselves of the stat drops. Leech Seed can be used to gain some residual damage, extra health, or on the Level 1 Trick Room set, finish off an opponent, albeit at the end of the turn. Switcheroo, while unfortunately illegal with Encore, can hand off a crippling item such as Lagging Tail, Iron Ball, or a Choice item, and also gives you hints as to the opponent's strategy. Stun Spore works similarly to Tailwind, but it only hits one Pokemon, has 75% accuracy, and can be blocked by Berries or Safeguard. Beat Up in conjunction with Terrakion was a popular strategy in VGC 2011, but with Swift Swim and Chlorophyll abusers around every corner, it isn't as effective anymore. Lastly, Hurricane is Whimsicott's only other worthwhile offensive move besides Hidden Power; it could work in rain for the 30% chance of confusion, and also hits common Fighting-types for decent damage.
Checks and Counters
Whimsicott's antics have earned it some common enemies, forcing it to be ever-vigilant. Abomasnow and Ninetales have Heat Wave and Blizzard to roast or freeze Whimsicott alive, and their teammates will usually do the same. Chandelure and Heatran don't care too much about Tailwind, and in Chandelure's case, Endeavor, and of course have STAB Fire-type moves to incinerate Whimsicott. Metagross is able to use Ice Punch, doesn't mind Encore or Taunt, and also packs Bullet Punch to KO Trick Room variants. Discharge + Earthquake is the bane of Trick Room Whimsicott; similarly, double Blizzard plagues standard Whimsicott. If Whimsicott is not using Taunt, Sableye's own priority Taunt will completely shut down Whimsicott.