Heracross is often considered to be inferior to its metallic Bug-typed brother Scizor, but this assumption is not always true in Ubers. With access to STAB Megahorn and Close Combat, coupled with the fact that many Pokemon in Ubers are weak to Bug- and Fighting-type attacks, Heracross can thrive in Ubers with its Choice sets. Heracross separates itself from other offensive Pokemon by welcoming poison and burn status to boost its already high Attack stat even more. Heracross's unique resistances to Fighting- and Dark-type attacks, moderate Speed, and humongous power are also strong incentives, and are its main advantages over Scizor. These traits make it an excellent candidate for any team, especially those in need of a good Darkrai check. Although it lacks the bulk of many other Pokemon in Ubers, it is sufficient enough to take at least one hit from many threats.
With a Choice Scarf, Adamant nature, and the given EVs, Heracross reaches 396 Speed, which is enough to outspeed max Speed Darkrai and Mewtwo, and OHKO both with Megahorn. This already separates Heracross from Scizor, who can subsequently be smacked by Flamethrower or hit with Dark Void by the faster Mewtwo and Darkrai, respectively. Heracross can also take down many of the most common Ubers with Stealth Rock and Spikes support, such as Dialga, who is guaranteed to be OHKOed by Close Combat after Stealth Rock. Choice Scarf Heracross's main selling point, however, is being able to almost perfectly counter Darkrai thanks to its resistance to Dark Pulse and Focus Blast, ability to absorb sleep with Sleep Talk, and the strength to OHKO it back on a whim.
Close Combat, Megahorn, and Stone Edge are all necessary to achieve 2HKOs on most Uber Pokemon, while the last move depends solely on the player's needs. Sleep Talk allows Heracross to switch in on Darkrai's Dark Void, and KO it no matter what attack is chosen thanks to the Guts boost. However, Sleep Talk can only be used once while holding a Choice item; subsequent uses will cause the move to fail. Night Slash is Heracross's most powerful attack against Giratina-O, although it is still only a 3HKO at best.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Almost identical to the Choice Scarf set, but with a key difference in power and bulk. With the HP EVs, Heracross can survive almost any attack and OHKO back with one of its STAB attacks. Unlike the Choice Scarf set, Guts is not a necessity to hit hard, thanks to the boost already given by Choice Band.
Although Guts activation isn't necessary to achieve this set's goals, the boost in power will decimate defensive teams without a proper answer to Heracross. If Guts has been activated, Heracross can 2HKO or OHKO every Pokemon commonly used in Ubers with just its STAB moves, with the exception of Ho-Oh and Giratina. Stone Edge OHKOes Ho-Oh and provides a more powerful attack against Giratina-O than Megahorn. Sleep Talk turns Heracross into an excellent check to Darkrai, resisting Dark Pulse and Focus Blast while still being able to attack if hit with Dark Void. Once again, keep in mind that Sleep Talk will only work once as long as Heracross is holding a Choice item. Should one not wish to use Heracross as a sleep absorber, Pursuit is a fine choice. With support from Tickle Wobbuffet, Heracross can remove its greatest counter, Giratina. It takes four Tickles for Heracross to OHKO a switching Giratina with Pursuit, and two Tickles if Guts is activated. Speaking of Guts, Heracross sets itself apart from other Pursuit users, such as Scizor and Tyranitar, as not even Will-O-Wisp can save Giratina's life. Night Slash allows Heracross to 2HKO Giratina-O, something that it can't do with a Choice Scarf.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Heracross's most interesting set, and certainly viable if used correctly. The goal is to switch in on something that can't do much, such as Forretress, and proceed to use Substitute. The opponent will likely bring in a much faster Pokemon to break the Substitute, which results in Heracross constantly using Substitute until Salac Berry activates. Assuming Substitute is still intact, Heracross can then Swords Dance and attempt to sweep. Heracross's subbing down to Salac Berry activation also activates the dual effect of Swarm, multiplying Megahorn's power x1.5. Along with STAB, the power of Heracross's Megahorn reaches an effective power level of 270. Follow up with a Swords Dance, then it boosts this number to a whopping 540!Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Heracross can use a RestTalk set with Bulk Up and Megahorn, but PP can run out quickly, and Megahorn may end up missing at an unfavorable time; Dialga is the superior option for such a set. A Swords Dance sweeper set with Close Combat, Night Slash, and Megahorn can be used, but it desperately needs Wobbuffet to set up properly and it has no priority to finish off faster sweepers. Lucario would be a far superior option in this regard.
Checks and Counters
Giratina and Giratina-O are Heracross's greatest counters thanks to their immense bulk, immunity to Close Combat, and resistance to Megahorn, although the latter can be 2HKOed by a Choice Banded Night Slash. Ho-Oh sports a quadruple resistance to Megahorn as well as a 2x resistance to Close Combat, and can easily OHKO Heracross with Brave Bird or Sacred Fire. However, Ho-Oh is OHKOed by Stone Edge and 2HKOed by Close Combat after taking Stealth Rock damage. Lugia can switch into Choice Scarf Heracross and stall it out with Reflect and Roost. Scizor can easily handle the Choice Scarf set due to its resistance to Megahorn and the ability to 2HKO Heracross with Bullet Punch. Furthermore, Scizor can OHKO Heracross with a Choice Band-boosted Bullet Punch after a Defense drop from Close Combat. Bullet Punch will also pick off SubSalac Heracross if the Substitute is not up. Finally, Wobbuffet can revenge any Choiced Heracross not locked into Megahorn.
Groudon's bulk and Fire Punch can make quick work of Heracross, usually surviving whatever Heracross throws at it. Rayquaza boasts resists to both of Heracross's main attacks, and can finish it off with a STAB Dragon-type attack or ExtremeSpeed if Heracross is SubSalac. Forretress can set up entry hazards against Choice Scarf Heracross as long as it avoids Close Combat. Faster Pokemon such as Choice Scarf Dialga, Palkia, Shaymin-S, and Jirachi can often make short work of Heracross. The former two can smash it with Fire Blast (or Surf in Palkia's case, should it be raining), Shaymin-S can OHKO with Air Slash, and Jirachi can flinch Heracross to death with Iron Head. However, none of these Pokemon will enjoy switching into Heracross's powerful moves and, with the exception of Shaymin-S, can lose to Choice Band Heracross one-on-one under certain circumstances.
As much as Heracross will enjoy Toxic Spikes at first, they will eventually wear down Heracross quickly, which means it is actually not a terrible idea to use them against it, especially if you have a solid Heracross counter to help neutralize the boost from Guts.