Vigoroth

Vital Spirit
Prevents sleep. Increases wild encounters with higher level Pokémon.
Type Tier
Normal NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
80
- 301 364 -
Atk
80
176 196 259 284
Def
80
176 196 259 284
SpA
55
131 146 209 229
SpD
55
131 146 209 229
Spe
90
194 216 279 306
  • Underused

Overview

Vigoroth is easy to overlook, as it lies in the shadow of its much more powerful evolution, Slaking. Although it lacks the spectacular power of its fully-evolved counterpart, Vigoroth possesses the ability Vital Spirit, rather than the crippling Truant, making it a much more conventional physical attacking Normal-type. Unfortunately for Vigoroth, it faces stiff competition in that popular role from the likes of Kangaskhan, Tauros, Ursaring, Miltank, Zangoose, and more. Access to Encore and Bulk Up prevent it from being completely outclassed, but unless these narrow advantages fill a vital role on your team, there is usually a better option than Vigoroth.

Name Item Nature

Encore + Substitute

Leftovers Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Encore
~ Substitute
~ Return / Focus Punch
~ Sucker Punch
16 HP / 240 Atk / 252 Spe

Vigoroth's underwhelming power often leaves it struggling to accomplish much on its own, so this set focuses on using Encore to turn opposing Pokemon into setup bait for Vigoroth's more powerful teammates. With its nice base 90 Speed, Vigoroth outspeeds the majority of UU, allowing it to switch in on a setup move (or sleep move, thanks to Vital Spirit) and Encore it without taking a hit. As the opponent is forced to repeat a harmless move, you can bring in your own sweeper for free and begin setting up. Alternatively, if you predict that the helpless foe will immediately switch out (or if you Encored a sleep move), Vigoroth can set up a Substitute and become even more dangerous. Vigoroth can then safely Encore whatever move the switch-in uses. If it's a setup move, Vigoroth is free to attack from behind its Substitute or switch to a teammate for free. If they attack to break the Substitute, then switch to a teammate that resists or is immune to the attack. Most opponents will leave in a Pokemon locked into an attack if they believe they can KO Vigoroth, giving you both a free switch on the resisted attack and a free turn afterwards to set up as the Encored Pokemon switches out.

The final two moves are not critical to this set's success, as Vigoroth's primary goal is helping out its teammates rather than attacking, but they allow Vigoroth to do some damage if the situation calls for it. Return is a reliable STAB move that hits most Pokemon for neutral damage and requires little prediction to use. Focus Punch is a very viable alternative, however, as Vigoroth will usually only want to attack when it's safely behind a Substitute anyway. In the last slot, Sucker Punch is used to hit Ghost-types as they attack; it also works extremely well with Encore, which discourages opponents from setting up (something the aforementioned Ghost-types are apt to do).

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Bulk Up

Life Orb Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Bulk Up
~ Return
~ Sucker Punch / Night Slash
~ Low Kick / Earthquake / Encore
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Although Vigoroth is mostly outclassed as an offensive Normal-type by Kangaskhan and Tauros, it does have the advantage of being able to boost its own power with Bulk Up. After a boost, Vigoroth's Attack reaches an impressive 388, allowing it to do some real damage. Bulk Up also boosts Vigoroth's respectable Defense, which helps it survive most priority attacks and carry on sweeping. Return is a consistent STAB attack that can OHKO most offensive Pokemon after a boost. Sucker Punch hits the Ghost-types that are immune to Return and also provides useful priority to make Vigoroth much harder to revenge kill. However, many Ghost-types carry Substitute and can set up freely on Sucker Punch, so Night Slash is a viable alternative to hit them more reliably. In the last slot, Low Kick is recommended for its power against Steel-types, allowing Vigoroth to 2HKO Steelix and Registeel, but Earthquake has nearly as much power against them while hitting Fire-, Poison-, and lighter Rock-types much harder. Alternatively, Encore can be used to give Vigoroth additional opportunities to boost up and prevent opposing Pokemon from setting up on Sucker Punch.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Vigoroth can run a generic Choice Band set with Rock Slide or one of the elemental punches as the fourth attack, but base 80 Attack is simply too low for it to be worthwhile, and many other Normal-types can run the same set much more effectively. Vigoroth learns both Flail and Reversal, which can provide the power Vigoroth so desperately needs, but sets relying on such moves are easily ruined by priority and entry hazards, both of which are very common in UU. Shadow Claw is a Ghost-type clone of Night Slash, but the latter is generally preferable as no types are immune to Dark. Gunk Shot is one of Vigoroth's most powerful moves, but its unreliable accuracy and terrible coverage make it a poor option. Pursuit can hit enemies as they switch out of Encore, crushing frail Ghost- and Psychic-types in particular. Yawn is an alternative to Encore for forcing switches and generating free turns, but it requires Vigoroth to take a hit, and becomes useless if Sleep Clause is activated. Taunt prevents setup and status moves entirely, but does not create free turns for teammates. Vigoroth could also use Roar to force switches, but this is better left to more defensive Pokemon. Slack Off provides reliable instant recovery, but Vigoroth is 2HKOed by most special attackers and can't spare the moveslot anyway. Finally, Counter can be used to surprise a physical attacker, as Vigoroth can survive most unboosted physical hits.

Checks and Counters

Physical tanks with phazing moves can check any set that Vigoroth runs. Defensive variants of Torterra, for example, are not 2HKOed by even a Bulk Up-boosted Return, allowing it to come in and Roar Vigoroth away along with any boosts or Substitute it has set up. Hariyama and Hitmontop take little from Vigoroth's attacks and can KO it with their STAB attacks, but they must be wary of Vigoroth Encore locking them into a Fighting-type move and turning them into setup bait for one of its teammates. Mismagius with Taunt can prevent Vigoroth from using Encore; it can then burn Vigoroth with Will-O-Wisp or set up with Nasty Plot freely unless Vigoroth has Night Slash. Special sweepers and Fighting-types that are faster than Vigoroth can easily revenge kill it, but they cannot switch into Bulk Up-boosted attacks, and they must be careful when breaking Vigoroth's Substitutes to not use a move that will turn them into setup bait for an opposing sweeper. In general, Vigoroth itself threatens very little and is not difficult to defeat; the greater concern is to prevent it from helping its teammates set up.