Join Date: May 2009
Gyarados @ Leftovers
Trait: Intimidate / Moxie
EVs: 48 HP / 248 Atk / 212 Spd
- Dragon Dance
Physical Sweeper (preferring but not requiring rain support)
What It Does:
Though it was virtually non-existent in the Genesect metagame, with one of it's premier checks removed from OU, DD Gyarados has a serious chance to shine again. Despite being uncommon, it's surprisingly deadly - it can destroy most teams once faster threats have been removed. The EVs have been modified slightly from the standard set so that Gyarados can outspeed Tornadus-T at +1. While Gyarados may not be as strong or as fast as other DD users, its talents lie on getting multiple boosts. Its typing, despite giving it a Stealth Rock weakness, works in its favour: Water, Fire, Fighting, Ground, Bug and Steel are all common attacking types, and Gyarados can easily take advantage of them to get a safe switch-in. A lot of teams still depend on Rotom-W to check Gyarados, which Substitute easily gets around as few run Thunderbolt. After getting one or two DDs (or more), Gyarados can quite happily clean up whole teams, especially when you take into consideration how frail many offensive teams tend to be in this metagame. Waterfall does massive damage in the rain, and even has the flinch rate to boot, which can be game-changing. Though Sharpedo tends to pull off late-game sweeps more easily, Gyarados has bulk and resistance to common priority moves (i.e. Mach Punch) on its side. I've slashed Intimidate first since it goes well with Substitute, giving Gyarados an easier time setting up, though you can get some pretty insane snowballing going on with Moxie once you've got at least one DD.
Although it's not doing it any favours in terms of defensive synergy, Politoed is one of the best teammates for Gyarados as it provides it with the infinite rain needed to boost Gyarados' Waterfall STAB. In terms of support, Ferrothorn pairs up fantastically with Gyarados since it can set up entry hazards needed to weaken a team, and also has complementary resistances. Forretress can function similarly, with the added ability to spin away Stealth Rock from your side of the field. Another solid choice of spinner is Tentacruel, whom also benefits from rain. It can lure Rotom-W and Toxic it, or set up Toxic Spikes to weaken grounded bulky Waters. Gyarados can absorb the Ground attacks aimed at Tentacruel. Offensively, Lati@s go together well with Gyarados as they can Trick an unwanted Choice item onto some of Gyarados' main checks, such as Ferrothorn and Porygon2, and also lure in Scizor, giving Gyarados a switch-in opportunity. Rotom-W is similarly good, whom can lure in and burn many of things that could halt a Gyarados sweep. Magnezone can trap and kill bulky Steels such as Ferrothorn and Skarmory. Landorus-T can absorb Stone Edges aimed at Gyarados thanks to Intimidate, and can set up Stealth Rock. Despite poor defensive synergy, Thundurus-T forms a great offensive partnership with Gyarados. It can absorb Electric attacks for 25% healing, and with Nasty Plot and Life Orb, it can easily destroy almost all of Gyarados' counters, leaving a mess for the latter to clean up.
What Counters It:
There are few solid counters to Gyarados since Water/Flying has fantastic neutral coverage, and Waterfall could always flinch at the crucial moment. Nonetheless, Eviolite Porygon2, Ferrothorn, Skarmory and bulky Waters are your best bet. All of the following can shrug off a boosted hit and cripple Gyarados or force it out. In terms of bulky Waters, Rotom-W does well provided it has Thunder(bolt), otherwise Gyarados will be able to keep setting up Substitute on its Volt Switches. Politoed can't hurt it outside of Toxic or the rare HP [Electric], but it can stop its sweep with Perish Song. Vaporeon can force it out directly with Roar. Jellicent can't scare it off, but it can limit its setup with Taunt. Whilst "countering" Gyarados is exceptionally difficult, it can easily be checked however with faster Pokémon: almost all the common Scarfers will outspeed Gyarados after one DD - examples include Thundurus-T, Salamence, Terrakion, Landorus-I, Hydreigon, Keldeo, Gengar, Lati@s, Politoed etc. Some Pokémon, such as Jolteon and Aerodactyl, are naturally faster than a +1 Gyarados even without any boosts. However, none of these Pokémon can safely switch in on Gyarados, so you're restricted to revenge killing it with them. Kingdra can use permanent rain against it to outspeed and nail it with a STAB Draco Meteor or Outrage.
Also try Moxie Jolly @ Life Orb w/ DD/Waterfall/Bounce/Earthquake. It's more difficult to set up, but hits much harder and is less easily revenge killed.
Charizard @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Solar Power
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
- Fire Blast
- Air Slash
- Focus Blast
- Dragon Pulse
Special Sweeper (requires Sun)
What It Does:
I hope I shouldn't have to explain to any competent player why Charizard isn't viable in OU. Whilst the same lack of recommendation could be said about virtually any NU Pokémon, I have a bone to pick here. The amount of low ranked players on the OU ladder I've seen utilising Scarf Charizard on their sun teams is rather startling. It makes sense in a way - the idea of a sweeper with an automatic x1.5 boost to both Sp. Attack and Speed, combined with a double-STAB Fire Blast seems very glamorous to new players. However, rookies listen out: Charizard is terrible in this metagame, and has no niche whatsoever
. Why so? Sure, Fire Blast hits like a truck, but good luck spamming it in a metagame where rain and sand teams are ubiquitous. The worst thing about Charizard though, and the main reason you should never use it, is that it has a 4x Stealth Rock weakness. On top of that, the 10% damage from Solar Power each turn will quickly add up, meaning that in a realistic game scenario, Charizard will not last more than about 2-3 turns. It might get one kill if you're lucky, but most of the time it'll be dead weight. Whilst you may wonder why Volcarona is OU if it shares this crippling SR weakness - does Charizard get access to Quiver Dance, Bug Buzz and Giga Drain? I don't think so. At least if you're desperate
to use a Fire/Flying type, use Moltres as it has superior bulk and access to Hurricane, which it can actually hurt rain teams with. If you're looking for a Scarfed Fire type, Heatran possesses much higher Sp. Attack outside of sun, and has some useful resistances (and isn't SR weak!).
So you've ignored my warning and still want to use Charizard so badly. Very well. Obviously you'll need Drought support from Ninetales if you want to actually hurt anything. I cannot stress enough how mandatory Rapid Spin support is. Donphan is a good candidate as it resists the Rock and Electric attacks that Charizard so loathes, and can hurt some of the Water types that like to switch in on it, such as Jellicent, with a powerful STAB Earthquake. You'll also need to make sure your team can check other other weathers, as without Solar Power, Charizard will hit little harder than a wet paper towel. Trappers such as Gothitelle/Dugtrio can go to great lengths in helping to win the weather war. Teammates that can take strong Water attacks, e.g. Latias, are also beneficial.
What Counters It:
Any Water type with a little bulk will easily wall this set. Politoed is by far Charizard's biggest nemesis, as it will take away the sunlight it depends on. Most Dragons, especially Lati@s, will also do a fine job of dealing with this set, as Charizard has to risk being fodder by locking itself into the weak Dragon Pulse to hurt them. Heatran, Terrakion and Tyranitar also make fantastic checks, though do need to watch out for the occasional Focus Blast. The easiest way to check Charizard though is to just set up Stealth Rock - it won't have the bulk to survive any neutral STAB attacks with only 50% of its HP.
I think I've said anything that needs to be said. Please consider something else before you use Charizard: it just isn't cut out for the OU metagame. I know it seems unnecessary to write about a NU Pokémon in an OU thread, but Charizard still seems to be a favourite of inexperienced players - this needs to stop.
EDIT: Turns out Charizard is actually used more in OU than some genuinely viable Pokémon, like Zapdos, Slowbro, Stoutland, Amoonguss, Gothitelle, Cresselia, Sharpedo, Feraligatr and Sandslash x_x
Last edited by DarkBlazeR; Dec 7th, 2012 at 10:09:56 AM.