Shiftry

Chlorophyll
Speed doubles in sun.
Early Bird
Reduces sleep time by 50%.
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

Shiftry is a very straightforward, dangerous Pokemon. Unfortunately, it is often underrated due to its stigma for being just another Sunny Day sweeper. Shiftry, however, has the ability to work both in and out of the sun; and, it has the ability to run both a physical and special sweeper set due to its terrifying boosting moves in Swords Dance and Nasty Plot, making it a force to be reckoned with. It may have poor defenses and a rather limited movepool, but most sweepers aren't meant to take hits and it has enough attacking options to work with, making this tengu sandal wearing, fan wielder a solid Pokemon overall.

Name Item Ability Nature

Swords Dance

Life Orb Chlorophyll Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Sucker Punch
~ Seed Bomb
~ Low Kick
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

This set makes use of Shiftry's higher Attack stat, which it can quickly boost with Swords Dance. Shiftry has six resistances and one immunity, so finding an opportunity to come in and set up shouldn't be too difficult. Using this set will require a decent amount of prediction, however, as Sucker Punch will only work when the opponent is using an attacking move. When your opponent tries to get around Sucker Punch by using non-damaging moves, you should respond either by using one of Shiftry's other attacking options or by further boosting its Attack with Swords Dance.

Shiftry has a rare and powerful tool in its STAB Sucker Punch. Combined with STAB Seed Bomb to hit bulky Water- and Ground-types and Low Kick to hit Steel-types, Shiftry has the ability to hurt both walls and sweepers alike. Still, Shiftry's coverage is somewhat limited by the fact that both Sucker Punch and Low Kick are not consistent. Thanks to Sucker Punch, Shiftry can afford to run an Adamant nature, which allows it to pack quite a punch after a Swords Dance.

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

Nasty Plot

Life Orb Chlorophyll Modest / Rash
Moveset EVs
~ Nasty Plot
~ SolarBeam / Grass Knot
~ Hidden Power Fire
~ Dark Pulse / Explosion
4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

This set is the special version of Swords Dance Shiftry; simply use Nasty Plot to boost Shiftry's Special Attack, and proceed to sweep. With sun support, SolarBeam is the recommended choice; however, if you feel keeping the sun up will be a daunting task, Grass Knot is available as a safe alternative. Be wary, however, as Lanturn takes far less damage from Grass Knot than from SolarBeam. Milotic and Blastoise are easily disposed of with either move, so the choice ultimately comes down to preference. Hidden Power Fire takes care of Steel- and Grass-types, while the final moveslot depends on your play-style. Dark Pulse is the secondary STAB move of choice while Explosion provides Shiftry with the opportunity to go out with a bang. Keep in mind that if the sun runs out, having a reliable STAB move in Dark Pulse makes it the more appealing choice. Dark Pulse also provides Shiftry with a way to bypass Fire-types who would wall the set otherwise.

Although Shiftry is able to OHKO Registeel with a +2 Low Kick from the Swords Dance set, it is unable to do so with a Nasty Plot-boosted Hidden Power Fire, which only deals 72.5% - 85.7% damage in the sun. It is highly recommended that you employ Spikes and Stealth Rock support since Registeel will pose a problem should it survive and proceed to paralyze Shiftry with Thunder Wave.

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

Attacking Lead

Focus Sash Early Bird Rash
Moveset EVs
~ Low Kick
~ Leaf Storm
~ Dark Pulse
~ Explosion / Sucker Punch
116 Atk / 252 SpA / 140 Spe

Shiftry is a useful Attacking Lead in UU due to its ability to KO and cripple many common leads, including Alakazam, Mesprit, Uxie, Cloyster, Omastar, and Qwilfish. Shiftry’s strong offensive movepool, stats, and typing allow it to act as a cleaner as well, granting it superb mid- and late-game usability. Dark Pulse is Shiftry's most consistent STAB attack, and it also allows Shiftry to 2HKO the ever-common Uxie and Mesprit leads. With Leaf Storm being Shiftry's strongest STAB attack, it can effectively KO most Pokemon that don't resist it after a Dark Pulse. Low Kick helps damage Registeel, which would otherwise wall Shiftry completely. There are two possible options in the final moveslot. Explosion allows Shiftry to completely wipe out leads that it can't beat otherwise, such as Moltres and Arcanine. However, using Sucker Punch allows Shiftry to deal with Alakazam leads almost 100% of the time, and it also gives it an option to attack Moltres before dying, should you choose to keep Shiftry in.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Energy Ball can be used in the Nasty Plot set as an in-between for Grass Knot or SolarBeam; however, the prospective higher damage output of the other moves is more appealing. Shiftry may use Hidden Power Ice to OHKO Altaria on special attacking sets, but Hidden Power Fire is usually the better choice as it can hit a wider range of opponents. Shiftry's other special attacking moves include Shadow Ball, Extrasensory, and Focus Blast. While all have their uses, Shiftry is pressed for moveslot space as it is. Shiftry also has access to Rock Slide and Hidden Power Rock to help hit Fire-types, most notably Moltres and Arcanine, since the former resists Grass 4x and the latter will force Shiftry out more often than not with Intimidate and ExtremeSpeed. Using Rock Slide or Hidden Power Rock, however, leaves Shiftry susceptible to Fighting-types; therefore, sticking with the recommended movesets is the best idea. Shiftry has access to X-Scissor, Payback, and Bounce as other physical options for the Swords Dance set. X-Scissor is a good way to score a super effective hit on Grass-types, including Tangrowth and Leafeon, but the other moves listed are more useful. Payback and Bounce are both detrimental to Shiftry's cause; Payback requires Shiftry to go last for higher damage output and Bounce requires two turns to use, eating up precious Sunny Day turns. Quick Attack is useful as a reliable way for picking off faster threats, but Sucker Punch is more powerful and has STAB backing it up.

Shiftry can also employ a SubSeeding strategy, especially in the sun when its Speed is doubled, but this role is better left to more defensive Grass-types like Tangrowth since Shiftry is more effective as a sweeper. With Choice Specs and Leaf Storm, Shiftry makes a fearsome hit-and-run Pokemon under the sun as well.

Checks and Counters

Arcanine, Blaziken, Toxicroak, and Hitmontop are the bane of Shiftry's existence. They have the ability to take anything but Explosion and KO Shiftry with super effective STAB attacks. Tangrowth is also a very good counter to the Swords Dance set, due to its colossal base 125 Defense and above-average base 100 HP, as well as a resistance to Seed Bomb and ability to handle Low Kick and then circumvent Sucker Punch by putting Shiftry to sleep with Sleep Powder. However, Tangrowth quickly dies to any special attacking set. Weezing is in the same boat as Tangrowth, but has Haze to erase Swords Dance boosts, and can KO Shiftry with a Fire-type move. The best way to deal with Shiftry is to just hit it outright and not let it set up; its defenses are mediocre at best and a decently powered STAB attack should cripple, if not KO, it.