http://www.smogon.com/dp/pokemon/aipom Status: Complete [OVERVIEW] <p>Aipom is a Pokemon whom Meowth often overshadows, as they function similarly as leads. Both are Normal-type, reach 19 Speed, and rely heavily on Fake Out for success. It is true that Meowth has a superior movepool for a lead and access to Technician, but Aipom can utilize his higher Attack stat to function well both as a lead and as a revenge-killer. Additionally, Aipom can use Baton Pass effectively, and he is one of only three Pokemon in Little Cup who can Baton Pass Nasty Plot boosts.</p> [SET] name: Fake Out Lead move 1: Fake Out move 2: Return move 3: Brick Break / Seed Bomb move 4: Shadow Claw item: Life Orb / Oran Berry nature: Jolly evs: 72 HP / 196 Atk / 236 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Even without Technician to boost his attacks, Aipom is a very functional Fake Out lead. Aipom has a higher Attack stat than Meowth, who can run a similar set, which allows for a stronger Return and Brick Break. Shadow Claw hits Ghost-types expecting a Fake Out, though U-turn can also be used to scout potential counters.</p> <p>Fake Out is a useful priority move that Aipom can use to set the pace early in the match and revenge kill later. Return is a strong STAB attack that, when combined with Fake Out, can decimate your opponent's lead. Brick Break OHKOes Houndour and has a slim chance to OHKO Snover, while also 2HKOing Kabuto and Omanyte, which often forces them into deciding whether to attack you or to set up Stealth Rock. Seed Bomb can beat them outright, however. Shadow Claw OHKOes Gastly and Shuppet, who are both slower than Aipom. Shadow Claw can also KO Drifloon, and it 2HKOes Duskull through Oran Berry.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>Life Orb is the recommended item on this set, as with it Aipom will KO Kabuto with Fake Out followed by Brick Break. Oran Berry increases Aipom's longevity, though using it sacrifices a lot of power. Keep in mind that if you do use Oran Berry, Seed Bomb must be used to beat Kabuto and Omanyte. With a Jolly nature and 236 Speed EVs, Aipom reaches a very fast 19 Speed. The remaining EVs are used to maximize Attack while adding an additional point in HP.</p> <p>Bronzor has no trouble dealing with Aipom. Houndour is perhaps the best Bronzor counter, though be wary of switching into a possible Earthquake. Gligar can shrug off all of Aipom's attacks and subsequently set up an Agility or a Swords Dance to threaten a sweep. Snover can check Gligar effectively with a 4x effective Ice Shard.</p> <p>Mankey and Machop can pose a serious threat to Aipom, especially if they have a Choice Scarf attached. Wynaut handles both easily; he can Counter their attacks to OHKO them. Ghost-types, such as Gastly and Duskull, can also take advantage of Fighting-types by coming in on their STAB moves which would otherwise OHKO Aipom.</p> [SET] name: NastyPass move 1: Nasty Plot move 2: Baton Pass move 3: Hidden Power Fighting move 4: Shadow Ball item: Oran Berry / Focus Sash nature: Timid evs: 200 SpA / 240 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Aipom is rather unique in that it is the only Pokemon in Little Cup to learn both Nasty Plot and Baton Pass, other than Mime Jr. and Togepi. Aipom, unlike the others, has enough Speed and bulk to actually pull it off a pass. Several Pokemon enjoy the boost that a Baton-Passed Nasty Plot gives. With the boost, Chinchou 2HKOes Munchlax, who is often a team's main check to Chinchou. Mantyke makes good use of the boost as well; he no longer needs to use Hydro Pump to 2HKO Munchlax.</p> <p>With 19 Speed, Aipom outpaces the majority of Little Cup, which gives Aipom the option of going on the offensive or using Baton Pass after boosting up. The combination of Hidden Power Fighting and Shadow Ball allows Aipom to hit everything for at least neutral damage.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>Opponents will often switch out of Aipom when he comes in, expecting him to use Fake Out, so Aipom has an easy time using Nasty Plot. Aipom is bulky enough to survive all common priority attacks, which means Aipom can successfully use Baton Pass often. Having Nasty Plot and 19 Speed makes Aipom a notable threat in its own right. After a Nasty Plot, Aipom reaches a respectable 26 Special Attack, which is good enough to scare a lot of Pokemon in Little Cup even without a STAB move or item boost.</p> <p>This set can function as either a lead or a non-lead supporter. Focus Sash should be used if Aipom is leading, as it almost guarantees a Nasty Plot boost unless you are facing a Meowth or another Aipom. Stealth Rock is fairly common in Little Cup, which makes Focus Sash often useless on non-leads. Oran Berry can be used effectively both in a lead and non-lead position. Because of the IV drops required to use Hidden Power Fighting, Speed and Attack require four more points than otherwise, which means there are not enough spare EVs to give a point in any other useful stat. 240 Speed EVs and a Timid nature maximizes Aipom's Speed, while 200 Special Attack EVs maximize Aipom's Special Attack.</p> <p>With Hidden Power Fighting and Shadow Ball, Aipom can hit everything in Little Cup for at least neutral damage. However, lack of STAB (and, to a lesser extent, Technician) hurts Aipom's effectiveness as an attacker. Threats with high Special Defense, like Mantyke and Munchlax, handle Aipom quite easily. Fortunately, Aipom outpaces almost every Pokemon who can set up on him, so he can easily Baton Pass out of these threats, passing along any boosts, as well. Gligar ties with Aipom and can use Taunt to prevent Aipom from Baton Passing. Snover is a great check to Gligar, since he can switch into Earthquake easily and threaten Gligar immediately with Ice Shard.</p> <p>As with any Aipom set, Fighting-types pose a serious threat to Aipom. Unless they have a Choice Scarf attached, however, Aipom can use Baton Pass to switch to a counter. Choice Scarf users give Aipom problems, in general, because they outpace Aipom and threaten him with powerful moves. Wynaut can effectively remove Choice Scarf users and he resists Fighting-type attacks, which makes him a great teammate for Aipom.</p> [Team Options] <p>Aipom's purpose as a lead is to gain momentum from the very beginning of the match. Teammates should look to keep that momentum throughout the entirety of the match, and the best way to do this is to play with immunities. Gastly is a great teammate for Aipom because he can switch into the Fighting-type attacks that Aipom attracts. Gastly can often take advantage of a free switch-in by setting up a Substitute, which makes beating Gastly quite difficult. Similarly, Gligar takes pitiful damage from the Fighting-type attacks meant for Aipom. Gligar can then take the opportunity to use Swords Dance or Rock Polish to apply pressure on the opponent, or to use U-turn to maintain your momentum. Wynaut easily removes Choice Scarf users who threaten Aipom, in particular Mankey and Machop, to make him a great teammate.</p> <p>Bronzor is the only common lead who will beat Aipom consistently. Fire-types, such as Houndour and Magby, are the only Pokemon who can threaten Bronzor out, and as such they can make good teammates for Aipom. Additionally, Bronzor is not a threat offensively, so your own Pokemon can easily set up on it. Mantyke sponges all of Bronzor's attacks, which makes it easy for Mantyke to use Agility, and can 2HKO Bronzor with Hydro Pump.</p> [Optional Changes] <p>While U-turn is ordinarily a good option on virtually any Pokemon, Aipom doesn't like giving up coverage and the ability to beat several common leads. Additionally, Aipom does not force switches like Meowth can with Hypnosis, which makes U-turn an inferior option. Double Hit can be used over Return to help defeat Substitute users, but Aipom lacks Technician to really make good use of it. Aipom can also serve as a fairly good surprise Rain Dance lead thanks to Fake Out and high Speed.</p> <p>Aipom has access to all of the elemental Punches, so he can easily fill out a Choice set. Unfortunately, Aipom doesn't have enough power to utilize the Choice items effectively. Last Resort pairs up nicely with Fake Out to give Aipom a powerful attacking option, but the abundance of Ghost-types in Little Cup makes it an inferior option. Aipom can use Agility (possibly with Baton Pass) effectively, but he is outclassed as a Speed boosting sweeper by Krabby and Ponyta and outclassed as a Speed Passer by Gligar and Venonat. Aipom has a wide variety of moves that can be used on the NastyPass set, like Swift, Thunderbolt, and Water Pulse, but Aipom generally prefers the coverage that Hidden Power Fighting and Shadow Ball give.</p> [Counters] <p>Bulky Choice Scarf users give Aipom a lot of trouble, since they outpace Aipom and threaten him with powerful moves. Ghost-types can switch in on Aipom with impunity, though only Duskull can last long enough to cripple him if Aipom has Shadow Claw. Mankey and Machop, two Pokemon commonly holding Choice Scarf, can beat Aipom soundly. Both can switch in on Fake Out comfortably and threaten Aipom with powerful super effective moves. Bronzor is bulky enough to handle Aipom and set up on him. Gligar is also effective at stopping Aipom, unless Aipom is running Ice Punch.</p> --- Thanks to Kannon, who helped me with the Team Options section. Fire away!