At first glance, Slugma comes off as an extremely poor Pokemon. Its only above-average stat is its base 70 Special Attack, and a horrid 20 Speed means it won't be outspeeding many Pokemon. Due to this, it is easy to see why many people think Slugma follows in its older sibling Magcargo's footsteps.
However, if you look deeper, Slugma is actually one of the most underrated Pokemon in all of Little Cup, and in the right hands it can be devastating. It is one of the two Pokemon that possess both screens and Memento, making it a very potent screener. It also has access to two different recovery moves and the ability to spread status with Yawn and Will-O-Wisp. In terms of offense, Slugma's low Speed makes it great in Trick Room, with good coverage and the ability to blow up when done. While Fire-typing and average stats hold it back defensively, the lava slug makes up for this with the ability to support the team uniquely. When used under the right circumstances, Slugma can be a useful addition to most teams.
Slugma is a great example of a Pokemon with a movepool that doesn't match its typing. It has access to some of the best supportive options, but being a pure Fire-type with bad stats screws it up. However, with this set, Slugma can be a huge asset to any sweeper by making its setup easier. It can be hard to pull off, but if you do, it will be worth it.
Setting up Light Screen and Reflect should be your first priority, since it benefits the whole team while also making up for Slugma's rather humble defenses. Memento is the move that makes this set so deadly, as it lowers both the foe's Attack and Special Attack two stages. That means with screens up, the opponent's attacks are only doing one-fourth of the damage they would normally be doing. When you use Memento, the user automatically faints, which is why it is always recommended that you set up screens before you use Memento. SelfDestruct is also an option if you want to bring down an opponent with Slugma. While most of the time Memento is the superior choice, it is still a fine option. Be aware that SelfDestruct is illegal with Recover and Memento, though. Slugma's last move slot is completely up to personal choice. Recover gives Slugma a viable way of healing and can be used if you want to keep Slugma alive for late assistance. Yawn is a great way to force switches, and it can also put the foe to sleep. Either way, it gives you time to set up screens while the foe switches or is asleep. Flamethrower keeps Slugma from being completely shut down by Taunt and packs decent power when coming off a base 70 Special Attack, even with no investment.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Slugma is really slow, making it a perfect candidate for Trick Room. With a meaty base 70 Special Attack, Slugma can certainly put a dent in most foes. While Slugma is nowhere near the power levels of Cubone and Azurill in Trick Room, it is still a strong option. Fire Blast is Slugma's main attacking move, since STAB Fire Blast coming off of base 70 Special Attack is going to be hitting anything that doesn't resist it hard. Flamethrower is a decent replacement, thanks to higher accuracy. Since Trick Room puts you on a timer, a miss from Fire Blast can be devastating. Hidden Power Electric hits Water-types for super effective damage, including the ever-so-common Mantyke. Slugma has access to Earth Power, which not only hits Chinchou for super effective, but Rock- and Fire-types as well. SelfDestruct is a powerful suicide move, which can be used when Trick Room is about to end as a safe switch to a Pokemon that can set up Trick Room, or if Slugma is low on health. It also does a ton of damage to Munchlax, who would otherwise wall this set.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set isn't as good as the previous two, but it is still a solid option. Sadly, Slugma misses out on Stealth Rock, which would make this set better. Of course, if that is the trade off for not being part Rock- type, like its evolution Magcargo, we should accept the lack of Stealth Rock with open arms.
Yawn is a great move for any support Pokemon since it can often force switches. This allows you to use Will-O-Wisp on whatever switches in, burning them. If the opponent does keep their Pokemon in, it falls asleep, which is also great. There are also two ways to inflict burn on this set, three ways if you include Flame Body. Will-O-Wisp guarantees that you are going to burn the foe, unless it misses. Lava Plume, on the other hand, inflicts damage and has a 30% of inflicting burn. While this is not as reliable, the ability to inflict damage is always nice, no matter what the set is. Recover is your main way of keeping Slugma alive. Memento is a great move for the final moveslot, since Slugma can sacrifice itself when it is done spreading status in order to provide ample set up time for a teammate.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
If you are using Slugma as a lead, Protect can be used to stop Fake Out and scout. Pain Split is an option as a healing move over Recover, but it is only superior when facing an opponent with a high HP stat. Curse and Stockpile can be used as ways to bolster Slugma's defenses; however, it is tough to find a moveslot for them. Also, Slugma has trouble taking advantage of the Attack boost from Curse, since it lacks physical STAB. Overheat is an option, but Slugma will despise the Special Attack drop. AncientPower has great coverage with Earth Power, but its low Base Power makes it unfavorable.
Checks and Counters
Tentacool is the single best counter to the Suicide Screener and Status Support sets. Not only does Tentacool have STAB Surf to severely damage Slugma, but it also has Clear Body, which prevents Memento from harming it. Tentacool also has a large Special Defense stat, which helps it sponge up Flamethrower and Lava Plume. Krabby and Gligar's Hyper Cutter and super effective STAB make them decent counters to Slugma, but both of them must watch out for Will-O-Wisp and Lava Plume. It should also be noted that anything with Taunt shuts down Slugma completely, aside from rare ones with Lava Plume or SelfDestruct.
Munchlax outspeeds the Trick Room Sweeper in Trick Room and can OHKO Slugma with Earthquake. Its amazing Special Defense and HP allows it to come in on any attack aside from SelfDestruct easily. Trapinch can also outspeed Slugma in Trick Room, use Arena Trap to trap it, and finish it with Earthquake. Slugma also has trouble with Aqua Jet users, such as Totodile and Carvanha, due to its lack of priority.