Join Date: Apr 2007
There’s quite a few popular Pokemon that’s never made it to my rotation. That’s not true, some of them have, even if it’s just for a short stint. Here’s some honorable mention of some Pokemon I’ve tried to make work, but just couldn’t.
Tried, tried, and failed Pokemon:
Clefable – The little engine that could. God I loved this little bastard. Belly Drum + one turn recovery? Sign me up. Fire Blast running off better-than-Snorlax SA? Ice Beam? Shadow Ball? Submission? ENCORE?!? Why is this not OU? I don’t know, but believe me, I’ve tried to make this Pokemon work. I really have, especially the Encore set, which is just downright nasty. The thing is, on paper, it’s awesome. It’s better than awesome. But in practice, it’s just lacking something. I’ve always thought it was the defense, but hey, 244 def/278 spc. def running off 393 HP and one turn recovery isn’t bad, in fact, it’s pretty damn good. Then I thought it was the speed, 218 isn’t anything to write home about. That’s part of it. Combine that with the fact that, while it has all these great options to counter Skarmory, or Gengar, or Rhydon, it couldn’t do all 3, and whatever 4th move you choose, it’ll probably be the wrong one. It’s much too overpowered for UU [and probably even BL] play though.
Porygon2 – I loved the stat distribution on this thing. 258 attack was just enough to reach the 999 cap, speed was inconsequential, the special stats were incredible! And the movepool? Sufficient. The standard, to this day, was Curse, Return, Recover, Ice Beam/Thunderbolt. Random fact: Porygon2 can out PP stall standard curselax. It falls to Body Slam Snorlax though, unless you’re very lucky with the fps. Anywho, the problem with this Pokemon, much like the aforementioned Clefable, is the fact that you can’t reliably pull off a sweep. Tyranitar walls all forms of Porygon2, and if it’s the cursingttar kind, the tables have turned. Ghosts still give you hell, albeit you’ll eventually kill them (Rest Gengar/Missy don’t exactly… exist). And you can’t reliably stop Reflect Forretress from flatout walling you. So the problem comes down to movepool, 3 moves could’ve made it a much more viable Pokemon: Body Slam, Earthquake, and Flamethrower. Belly Drum too, but that’s another story. This is the slightly bigger engine that still couldn’t.
Exeggutor – This was probably one of THE most popular Pokemon among the “veterans” of the day. And I can see why. He was an offensive defensive Pokemon. He didn’t have a great movepool, but it was just enough to carry out his role effectively. This thing could force switches, tons and tons of switches. Leech Seed, Stun Spore, Sleep Powder, Psychic, Giga Drain, Substitute, Protect, HP Fire and Explosion. I hate facing it.
Update: Exeggutor owns. Doesn't need spikes to work, it just works. Everywhere, almost any team. Almost Zapdos/Raikou like in terms of flexibility (not quite Snorlax-esque). The 2nd most dangerous Pokemon in GSC, usurping Gengar (albeit probably 4th most useful, since it isn't a consistent performer like Raikou/Zapdos).
Gengar – A couple years ago I deemed this the second most dangerous Pokemon in GSC, behind Snorlax. The reason for this: unpredictable. Hypnosis, Destiny Bond, Mean Look, Explosion, Counter, Perish Song – that’s six game-breaking moves. Use him properly and be rewarded. Not much is more satisfying than Countering Tyranitar’s EQ, then following that up by Destiny Bonding Snorlax. However, his greatest asset was also his greatest weakness. When you expose all four moves, Gengar loses a lot of his effectiveness. And I’m not too fond of that. Regardless, it makes several appearances in my other teams. It’s one of the better Raikou “killers”, and probably the best Spin blocker. The former was due to the fact that Raikou was one of the better Gengar counters, so he could effectively “lure” out Raikou and explode on him. And because Raikou walled so many otherwise dangerous Pokemon, Gengar saw use. However, for the most part, these teams were not very consistent in their performances. They may win matches with skill and style, but sometimes lose to some inferiorly built teams because of that “unpredictability” factor.
In addition to these, there were a few more Pokemon that were just deemed “cool”. Nidoking falls in that category, its NYPC usage never disputed. Regardless of how well the following Pokemon worked, and believe me, a couple of them wrecked GSC for months, they’re awesome.
Cool just on another level Pokemon:
Charizard – Honestly, any Pokemon that can sport Belly Drum is cool (Smeargle withstanding, more on that later). But come ON, Charizard? He’s a legend, iconic to all. Too bad Ash sucked as a trainer. Anyway, it was once the most dominant Pokemon on the GSC stage, regardless of how short that period may have been. Belly Drum, Earthquake, Rock Slide, Fire Blast, everyone knew the set, but people still lose to it. One turn setup and it’s all over, badass in all regards. I have built several teams designed to lure out and kill the counters (Suicune, Raikou, Starmie) and it works surprisingly well, even against the best of players. And it’s damn fun to use. Random fact: BD’d Pink Bowed Hyper Beam OHKOs Suicune.
Tentacruel – What can I say, this was more of a general consensus than anything. I’ve never personally been swept by one, but I’ve done it to others, and I’ve heard legen… wait for it… dary stories. Swords Dance, Hydro Pump/Surf, Substitute, Sludge Bomb, how men do it. None of that Mirror Coat business, he’ll beat you even though you know exactly what’s coming. A Psychic/tbolt totting Starmie or ST Raikou is probably the closest thing you’ll get to for surefire counters. This is a bit slower to pull off than Charizard, but a lot less risky. As a result, it was also more popular. It took a great deal of skill to use and required constant mind games to succeed against better-built teams, which made it damn fun to use (sound familiar?). Fun fact: learns Rapid Spin, resists Forretress’s HP Bug, Cloyster’s Surf/Ice Beam, and Toxic. Best spinner? May very well be. Go figure.
Jynx – Luna – Ice Beam, Psychic, Lovely Kiss, Substitute. Almost synonymous with the word, awesome. And like Tentacruel/Charizard, her set was beyond predictable, yet she still worked. She got the job done always, and is just a legend in her own right. ST Raikou and ST Suicune [and occasionally Starmie] causes all kinds of trouble for her though. Whatever.
Vaporeon – This is more of a personal “cool” more than anything. My favorite stall breaker by far is Vaporeon with AA, Growth, Surf, Rest. This was a set I ran back in '04, when growtheons were banned. I used it to recordwhore some 150+ winstreaks in Battledome. Not sure how original it is, but I've never seen its use prior to my own, so I guess I can put a claim on it. Clear all electrics and it sweeps. Not even Drumlax can switch into it. It outpaces curselax for the kill. Seeing that it’s UU/BL in the eyes of many just makes that that much more awesome. It’s the only special sweeper that actually works, and works consistently in GSC to date. The rest of the Eevee-tree are too fragile to pull off game after game. Sweet.
Pikachu – The Pokemon that boasts the strongest single special attack in the game, a STABed Thunder off 396 spc. Ridiculous! Sing, Surf, Thunder, Dynamic punch, reap the benefits. Gimmick, or is it? You’d be surprised.
Following the list of awesomeness, we go down the less of slightly less awesome, but still useable and effective.
I can see why these work, but just not my style Pokemon:
Steelix – I’ve never used him outside of killing Suicunes. A single Curse lets him OHKO Suicune, which is great for my Drumzard team. Helps Druidcruel too, but that’s another story. Actually, I lied, as a result of running EQ, Roar, Curse, Explosion, I’ve found that Skarmory often becomes the target should the opponent have no bulky waters. But that’s more crossfire kills than anything. Regardless, from experience, Steelix is one of the best at forcing switches, and doubles as an amazing physical wall. I haven’t run the damages, but I’m pretty sure he can “wall” Shuckle, which might not sound like a lot, but believe me, it is. Also, it survives a Drumlax’s EQ, which is always useful.
Dragonite – He doesn’t really fit here, since he is my style. But I’ve stated before that Raikou is probably my favorite Pokemon of all time, and seeing that all forms of Dragonite is stopped dead cold by Raikou, that kind of gives me the wrong impression of Dragonite. Whatever though, it’s still pretty damn cool, as lovable a dragon as any. HP Flying/Double Edge, Thunder, Ice Beam, and Dynamic Punch, pick offensive move and go. Watch your opponent struggle to find the appropriate wall, only to find there is none. He’ll go down as one of the greatest mixed sweepers in GSC.
Machamp – Cross Chop was legendary back in the day, it’s the primary reason that Skarmory isn’t considered a counter to Machamp. Anywho, I’ve actually used Machamp to decent success in my day. Be it Curse with HP Ghost or as a mix sweeper with Fire Blast, he’s been modestly useful on every account. However, for whatever reason. It. Just. Wasn’t. Right. In your average battle, there’s hardly a time where I could send in Machamp without getting hit for a decent chunk myself. The CHs were also untimely, I don’t know. And I never saw this as a “cool” Pokemon because of its immense popularity.
Misdreavus – Probably among the most bitched about Pokemon in the game. She was the topic of conversation when it comes to arguing the legality of NYPC moves. When people think of Perish trapping or sleep trapping, this is who they think of. Missy revolutionized Perish Trapping. Seeing that no Pokemon can downright kill it in a turn, she’ll always be able to take at least one down. This lead to p-hazing being mandatory among competitive teams. However, she adapted, Attract and Confuse Ray were used in the 4th slot instead of the standard [at the time] Pain Split/Destiny Bond. This meant that p-hazers “only” had about a 81.25% chance to work (1-.5*.5*.5*1.5=.8125), or about a 20% chance to die. Futhermore, with Skarmory/Suicune being the two most popular p-hazers, Misdreavus running Thunder can run circles around standard teams. To add injury to insult, NYPC offered Hypnosis. This stirred enough controversy that resulted in its immediate ban, under the term “Sleep Perish Trapping”. This also raised questions regarding the legality of other NYPC moves.
Umbreon – If there’s one set that stands out in my mind when mentioning Umbreon, it’s Charmbreon, co-created by Bob and ViL. Charm, Toxic, Pursuit, Rest, a tool of a Pokemon if there ever was one. Created at the peak of Curselax and prior to the coming of drumlax, it pretty much was the answer to anything running curse at the time. Occasionally, you’ll see one with ML + BP, hoping to trap some unsuspecting customer, though that rarely worked (see: single-digit IQ). Pursuit + Toxic was great for TSS teams (or TS really, no one used Sandstorm), where Starmie was the primary spinner for the majority of teams. Pursuit did around 40%, and Starmie hates getting Toxic’d. Skamory is generally the switch-in to Umbreon, as it blocks Toxic and doubles as a phazer should Umbreon try to ML. Not to mention, Pursuit’s damage is in the negatives to the steel bird. However, on a personal note, I don’t really like Pokemon whose sole purpose is defensive and poses no offensive threat. You’re honestly asking stuff to set up on you all day, and Pokemon you slowly and methodically worn down with the rest of your team can just switch in and Rest it away because your only attack is a 40 base power move running off a sub-220 spc attack stat. But in the end, Umbreon was still damn good at doing what she’s meant to do. Probably the best. Definitely worth mentioning.
Jolteon – The first half of the dreaded JoltWak. There’s not much else really. Her set is pretty conventional, yet with a hint of unpredictability, just enough to throw off players. Is it passing Sub or Agility [or Growth in an NYPC environment]? HP Water, Ice, or Grass? Usually water, but I’ll touch on that later on. That’s really all the variation there is, but it just works. Jolteon’s the only Pokemon in GSC that can reliably Baton Pass with some regularity. She shuts down all forms of Skarmory and Suicune, the two most popular phazers. HP Water is plenty good for the likes of Rhydon, Tyranitar, and Steelix, the next most popular. The only phazer that she can’t set-up on is Raikou, to which I’ll take my chances with tbh. Sleep talking Raikous are by far the most popular variations, followed by the Reflect kind. Then you have HP Ice, which died out with the implementation of showing percentage HP instead of actual values. The whole point of HP Ice was to maintain 333 HP, not giving away the element, while still hitting Grounds (Piloswine and Quagsire withstanding). Should you ever meet a Roaring Venusaur or something though, I guess it’s an option. And Hazing Dragonites, or something equally dumb. HP Grass really has no advantage over water at all, so don’t do it, unless you’re passing Agility and you fear Quagsire. Eh. I’ve ran a sleep talking Jolteon set just for the sake of running one, but 333 HP doesn’t really cut it, regardless of how awesome 288 Spc Def combined with 0 spc weaknesses may be. Use Ampharos. It can actually take a physical hit. Sort of.
Moving away from me personally and onto the metagame as a whole, there’s quite a few Pokemon that impacted the game in one way or another. There are those listed above. which all had their own contributions to the metagame, some small (Clefable), some non-existent (Pikachu), some pretty damn revolutionary (Misdreavus, Druidcruel), or in other words, I don’t want to redo the rants on the already mentioned Pokemon. I don’t know how to categorize the first group, so “miscellaneous” will have to do.
Miscellaneous mentions of the Pokemon that never quite made it to the big leagues, but they all shined in small quantities.
Donphan – Yep, the 2nd most popular spinner that’s not inherently a spiker. His defense is definitely underrated, and joins Suicune, Umbreon, and Cloyster as one of the only Pokemon that isn’t 3 shotted by Snorlax’s DE (not factoring resistances). Not much to say, generally ran Roar, EQ, Rapid Spin, and Rest; boasted the second strongest EQ in the game. That’s pretty much it. Oh and don’t use HP Rock to hit birds; you’re not being creative, you’re missing the point, he’s an utility Pokemon, not a sweeper. And as a curse Roarer, Tyranitar does everything better. I couldn’t find much use for him personally in any of my teams, but I’ve seen him work, since it does pack quite a punch should all the birds go down. Probably the most offensive of all the spinners, yet not… if that makes any sense. If I had to sum up Donphan, he’s a hard-hitting physical spinner that also p-hazes but can’t hit flying.
Houndoom –There were a lot of sets that worked for Houndoom. The sunnybeamer is probably one of the closest thing to a special sweeper in GSC. It was definitely one of the better sleep talkers in the game. It also had a game changing surprise move in Counter. And with the iconic Pursuit, Fire Blast, Crunch, Sleep Talk set, it was the closest thing to a true sleep trapping counter. And what many don’t know is that this thing packs 278 attack. With all those positives, it never got off the ground as being anything more than Borderline for several reasons. His defense is abysmal, and he has one of the worst combination of types defensively, which leaves him susceptible to every physical type that mattered (Ground, Rock, and Fighting). The two lone physical types it isn’t weak to (Bug and Normal)… well one runs of 348 attack with 180 base power, and the other will generally run off 300+ attack with 150+ base power. Furthermore, Houndoom finds it difficult to go head to head with the common special attackers in the game (Starmie, Suicune, Zapdos, Raikou), meaning it can’t reliably hit without being hit in the process. And that 278 attack? Awesome. Too bad it doesn’t learn Dynamicpunch to hit the one thing that matters, Blissey, nor does he get STAB on any of the physical attacks he does learn. And with the almost universal ban on sleep trapping, there’s almost no point in using him. Regardless, 318 Spc Attack combined with 288 Speed, and two stupidly powerful STAB attacks will always have a place in the game.
Kingdra – Great stats, great typing, horrible movepool. That’s everybody’s view on Kingdra. And for the most part, it’s true. The movepool does suck, a lot. The stats are perfectly balanced. And for all intents and purposes, it had no weaknesses. However, because his stats are just average - slightly above average in every way, it doesn’t stand out. It neither excels at being a physical attacker nor a special attacker, a physical wall nor a special wall. It was jack of all trades, master of none. If it were me, I’d move 30 points from spc def to def, and 30 points from attack to spc attack, at least then you’ll know what it’s suppose to do. And it’s defensive typing is great, but as a result, his offensive typing is mediocre at best. Dragon attacks don’t really hit SE on anything, other than Kingdra itself. Dragonite is better off being Ice Beamed. So offensively, he’s nothing more than a water type. Furthermore, his movepool lacks a lot of coverage, no Thunderbolt, no Flamethrower, and no physical attacks of which to speak. The general accepted set for Kingdra is Surf, Dragonbreath, Rest, Sleep Talk. What’s that set suppose to do exactly? Surf everything, and whatever’s resistant to Surf, Dragonbreath it. Dragonbreath, after STAB, has 90 base power. That makes Houndoom laugh. And when’s the last time you killed something important with Surf on the quicker, harder hitting Starmie? Dragonbreath offers paralysis, and that’s pretty much the only thing going for that set. So if you’re really thinking about this ST set, just use Lapras with Thunder Wave, Surf/Ice Beam, Rest, Sleep Talk. If you’re really keen on using Kingdra because the stats/typing have you fooled, a set that MIGHT work is Curse, Return, Surf, Rest. But then, Suicune would probably do that better. Oh well.
Update: Might be the only legitimate Hazer in the game on second thought, made possible by my very own Vaporeon. Oh what's that Vaporeon? How about 4x resistance, and a Haze to stop you dead in your tracks. Jolteon trying to pass Agi? Nah, don't think so. Surf, Rest, Haze, ST or something like that might be viable in some odd stall team. Maybe.
Alakazam – I don’t know what it is about Alakazam that makes it so popular in the first two generations. It’s the 5000-IQ-influenced charisma. Amazing speed, other worldly special attack, and pretty good attacks to support it. STABed Psychic running off 368 spc, along with the collection of elemental punches, fools most into thinking that Alakazam is a special sweeper. That won’t work. For comparison’s sake, Alakazam’s Ice Punch is weaker than Starmie’s Ice Beam. Psychic is stronger, sure, but by how much? 24% to Snorlax, 34% to Raikou, 29% to Suicune, 15% to Blissey, 22% to Starmie. There’s no way of sweeping with damage values like that. Furthermore is the problem of getting Alakazam in. Recover is a great move, and 338 speed will ensure his recovery. Problem? Pretty much EVERYTHING hits it for half his HP. If you end up switching it into an attack, you’ll probably spend the next turn healing. If you end up switching it into a Rest or an opponent’s switch, you’d have net better results switching to your own Snorlax/Marowak. Starmie hasn’t been used as a sweeper since the early days of GSC, so why is Alakazam still often used as a 2-3 attack sweeper? Starmie is now relegated to spinner duty, along with p-passing/t-waving. If you want to use Alakazam, it should be the same way: support. Throw on Reflect/Light Screen, along with another utility move. While we’re on the topic of Starmie, they have similar speed, HP, special def, and both have Recover, HOWEVER the two are NOT comparable defensively. Starmie is a water type, meaning whatever special attack that hits it will either be super effective, or not very effective. It’s free to switch into whatever NVE attack it feels like, and it probably won’t switch into anything SE coming from a STAB’d source. Alakazam, on the other hand, pretty much takes every special hit (it’s not taking a physical hit from anything) for neutral damage. That means, while nothing is going to threaten it for the KO persay, EVERYTHING is going to threaten it to Recover. So while Starmie has free reign over fire, water, and ice attacks, Alakazam is fucked at least partially against all. But alakazam does have some interesting support options. Toxic + FP might make for interesting results. Encore is a good option, but only with spikes. And remember, it’s probably not a good idea to Encore any sort of damage attack. And there’s always Thunder Wave, which could be awesome for a 338 speed… thing. It’s a BL pokemon, no more, and no less. Being a top 10 at one point was completely unjustified. Mr.E is an idiot.
Jumpluff – It doesn’t even attack for fuck’s sake! While we’re on the topic of attacking, Rhydon/Golem both survive its Giga Drain with room to spare. Hell, they both survive HP Grass from this thing. So what does it do? Forces switches. And it has a plethora of ways to do it. Encore and Leech Seed are stupidly reliable, the threat of Sleep Powder keeps opponents on their toes, and there’s Stun Spore (doesn’t directly cause switches persay) for more fun. Toxic too, but everything learns that, so it’s not worth mentioning (too late). But like Alakazam, while it has the speed to run Encore, it lacks the ability to actually take the hit to really show off the move’s flexibility. Meaning, you’ll always run the risk of taking an attack (oh God!), which it sure as hell can’t do (but still a lot better than zam). And like ‘zam, should you switch into an attack, don’t Encore it (unless it’s that rare Giga Drain or something). However, unlike zam, you have the option of switching into one of the most popular attacks in EQ, and it’s faster than all EQ users to boot. Too bad it’s so stupidly spikes-reliant, and is such a offensive crutch, and is just a huge “Rest against me please” sign that it’s really ineffective. Plus, Exeggutor does it so much better. Also not deserving of its OU title, nor BL for that matter. And I can’t see it dominating UU either… given UU’s lack of legitimate spikers and Jumpluff’s inability to damage even an unborn fetus.
Scizor – It’s a baton passer than has no way to threaten the most popular p-hazer (Skarmory). That’s like a basketball player with no legs. I guess it’s possible to win, namely against basketball players with no arms, but really? It could pass a plethora of stuff though, Swords Dance, Agility, and Double Team. And it had a 358 attack to back it, and great typing + defenses to see plenty of action. Too bad it never did what it’s suppose to. Sure you could run HP Fire to wear down Skarmory, but what about the rock/water p-hazer? And given its 228 speed, even hazers could ruin its fun. And now that DT is banned, there’s no possibility of that “lucky” pass (a +1 evasion HP Zapdos/Raikou can threaten most things). I’m stretching the analysis here, but this is one pokemon that never really worked, at all. In the rare cases it gets shit passed (because it doesn’t do anything else), the next pokemon does it better. However, if you throw one of these, in a team with a BPing Jolteon and/or Smeargle, then you might get off a successful pass against most non-stalls, which could mean GG then and there.
Smeargle – The best movepool in the game, coupled with the worst statistical total of all usable Pokemon. The creativity of movesets for this pokemon is limitless in theory, but almost non-existent in practice. Spore is almost a given, seeing that the original user made a horrific deal with satan, sacrificed its speed, HP, defenses, and garnered the worst possible typing in the game (4x resist to EQ though; Rhydon’s EQ only does ~7% after leftovers, but RS does 75%) for the 100% sleep move. At first, people saw teamplay potential in it, saving two slots in being able to use both Heal Bell and Spikes. That didn’t work, given the beller actually has to stay alive for it to make any difference. And unlike the other spikers, it’s non-existent explosion and equally non-existent defensive values didn’t help its case. Later on, it was seen potentially as an amazing bp-er, Belly Drum + BP HAD to be broken. It wasn’t. If it drummed, it died. GSC is slow, but not 248 speed slow. Even Skarmory has the potential to do 50% to it (not that it matters, since skarm WWs). Later on, people realized how hopeless he was, and therefore turned to more obscure sets. Spider Web, Spore, Super Fang, s-toss/nightshade was a popular choice at one time. “Was”. It still couldn’t switch into anything, and any team with a sleep-talker completely shut it down. And also see my rant on sleep-trapping, but do take note that this was not the intended target. I could care less about Smeargle. Furthermore, I had the novelty ideal of making it a solid sweeper: Belly Drum, Agility, Flail, Reversal. Focus Band, of course. There was no way it’s pulling off Endure, because it’s dying the turn it drums. Focus Band at least gives you a chance. IF it does work, you’ve probably just won the game; it OHKOs Suicune, Steelix, Snorlax, Celebi, Umbreon, and Miltank. Anyway, the most effective route to go is to uncheck “sleep clause” and go wild with Agi/Spore. People did it to recordwhore against the careless, and that’s probably all that it’s good for. Oh, and it’s decent in level-balance as well. However, if you throw this guy in a team with a BPing Jolteon and/or Scizor, then you might get off a successful pass against most non-stalls, which could mean GG then and there.
Last edited by Borat; Dec 20th, 2010 at 4:15:28 AM.