Overview ######## Barbaracle is one of the most threatening one-turn setup sweepers in the Overused tier by virtue of Shell Smash. With usable defenses and a respectable set of resistances, Barbaracle can find opportunities to set up, and when it does, it can punch holes in teams or finish them off entirely. Offensively, Barbaracle is quite adept, with a dual STAB that grants useful super effective coverage, a number of coverage moves that make it hard to wall, and just enough Speed and Attack to make Shell Smash work. Though threatening, a boosted Barbaracle does not have the pure power to muscle through the bulky and stall-oriented part of the metagame, which includes Pokemon such as Mega Venusaur and Skarmory. Despite being able to outpace notable Choice Scarf users at +2 Speed, a base 68 Speed causes it fall just short of base 108 Speed Choice Scarf users. Barbaracle also struggles against priority-based revenge killers, and although few of them can cleanly OHKO it, opposing teams will often have more than one priority user to take it down with. Finally, Barbaracle doesn't have much up its sleeve other than Shell Smash, making it very predictable. Shell Smash Sweeper ######## name: Shell Smash Sweeper move 1: Shell Smash move 2: Razor Shell move 3: Stone Edge move 4: Earthquake / Cross Chop ability: Tough Claws item: White Herb / Mystic Water nature: Jolly / Adamant evs: 24 HP / 252 Atk / 232 Spe Moves ======== Shell Smash boosts Barbaracle's Speed and Attack to very high levels in one turn, allowing it to severely dent opposing teams or even sweep them completely. Razor Shell is Barbaracle's primary STAB move, being far more accurate than Stone Edge and just on par in terms of power thanks to Tough Claws. Stone Edge is Barbaracle's secondary STAB move that cuts any Pokemon weak to it to ribbons, and is the strongest attack against Pokemon that resist Water-type moves and take neutral damage from Rock-type moves, such as Rotom-W. Both of Barbaracle's STAB moves are compulsory, as not only are they its strongest attacks, but they grant important super effective coverage, hitting some key physically defensive Pokemon such as Landorus-T and Mandibuzz. Earthquake is Barbaracle's best bet for muscling past Aegislash, as at +2 it cleanly OHKOes min Defense variants and has a good chance to defeat max HP variants after Stealth Rock damage. Earthquake offers 100% accuracy and good coverage in general, hitting Pokemon such as Jirachi very hard. Cross Chop allows Barbaracle to OHKO or deal massive damage to Pokemon such as Chansey. It also smashes Ferrothorn, which can otherwise comfortably take a hit from Barbaracle and OHKO or cripple it in return. Cross Chop 2HKOes Gastrodon, while the retaliatory Earth Power fails to OHKO back. A White Herb must be used to accomplish this, as Gastrodon's Earth Power will OHKO a Barbaracle with -1 Special Defense. Set Details ======== The EVs for Barbaracle's Shell Smash set are simple and optimal. 232 Speed EVs and a Jolly nature allow +2 Barbaracle to outpace Deoxys-S as well as Choice Scarf users with base 102 Speed and under. An Adamant nature is acceptable to increase damage output; however, with it a boosted Barbaracle will fail to outspeed Choice Scarf Kyurem-B and anything faster. Full Attack investment maximizes Barbaracle's power, and it needs every ounce of strength it can get. Due to its lack of priority and the Defense drop from Shell Smash, Barbaracle usually cannot afford to run a Life Orb if it plans to sweep. Thus, more conservative options that can improve its survivability are favored. White Herb is an invaluable item to Barbaracle, allowing it to retain its solid physical bulk making it more resistant to priority. White Herb also restores the stat drop from Sticky Web, allowing Barbaracle to sweep after setting up against fast Choice Scarf users. Mystic Water is a considerable option as Razor Shell is the most frequently used move, and the power increase helps against a number of checks such as Garchomp. Lum Berry allows Barbaracle to set up in the face of status users; this is important, as the more setup opportunities it has, the better. Lum Berry also protects Barbaracle against Prankster status users such as Thundurus, Mega Banette, Sableye, and Klefki, all of which would otherwise stop a sweep. Finally, Life Orb may be considered on Barbaracle. The power boost is immense, letting Barbaracle act as a bit more of a wallbreaker than a sweeper, as the recoil is often too much for it to sweep in the face of priority moves or damage sustained damage while setting up. Usage Tips ======== What must be understood about Barbaracle is that although it is fast and strong after one turn of set up, it can not cleanly OHKO everything. In some cases, bulky Pokemon with resistances to Barbaracle's best moves, such as Celebi, Garchomp, and Keldeo, can easily avoid an OHKO at full strength and retaliate with an OHKO. Because of this, it's best to leave Barbaracle for later in the game when these Pokemon have been weakened. Barbaracle is fantastic at tanking Extreme Speed and priority Brave Bird, as well as brushing off neutral priority moves. However, Fighting-type priority moves and the strongest neutral ones such as Scizor's Bullet Punch and Bisharp's Sucker Punch can do sizable amounts of damage to it. Thus, it is ill-advised to attempt to sweep without accounting for these moves, either by attempting to preserve's Barbaracle's HP during set up or trapping and eliminating these priority users. As for setup opportunities, taking advantage of resisted Choice-locked moves, especially Fire-type moves is ideal. A small number of Pokemon can be forced out by Barbaracle, creating turns to set up. Heatran and Tyranitar are probably the most common as they will often be slower and at risk of being knocked out by Barbaracle. In general, identify the bulky Pokemon that need to be worn down and the priority and Choice Scarf users that check Barbaracle offensively, and work so that they are sufficiently weakened before setting up. Team Options ======== Like any sweeper, Barbaracle loves entry hazard support. Flying-types that are typically immune to Spikes are easily handled by Barbaracle's STAB combination, letting Barbaracle dominate both flying and grounded opponents when the entry hazard is set up. Dual screens, Memento, and suicide leads with Taunt can give Barbaracle many more chances to set up, turning the tide of the game very quickly. Deoxys-S excels at all of these roles and makes a good partner for Barbaracle. Latios is capable of a dual screens + Memento set which ensures set up even against very strong opponents. Because of Barbaracle's slow Speed and relative frailness, it has a hard time setting up, so this kind of support is strongly recommended. Pokemon that are able to defeat the hardest stops to Barbaracle are ideal partners. Strong wallbreakers such as Mega Medicham and Kyurem-B soften up the opponent's defenses easily getting past bulky Grass-types and physical walls thanks to their amazing power and coverage. With the right moves, trappers such as Gothitelle can work to beat many defensive checks to Barbaracle, such as Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Venusaur, and Rotom-W. Barbaracle's HP and Special Defense are overall mediocre, so removing entry hazards from your side of the field conserves precious HP that it needs to set and up and sweep successfully. Partners that can remove these entry hazards such Excadrill, Scizor, Latios, and Starmie are appreciated. Other Options ######## Barbaracle has a decent set of other moves outside of the main ones listed. X-Scissor and Poison Jab do the most damage to bulkier Grass-types, and the former demolishes Celebi while the latter smashes Azumarill. These moves do notably more damage to super effective targets when compared to neutral Stone Edges thanks to Tough Claws. Dragon Claw is a clean OHKO on Garchomp and even bulky Mega Garchomp, but has little use otherwise. Taunt is a notable option for allowing Barbaracle to beat Skarmory one on one, as Brave Bird does little damage to it and the move prevents Skarmory from forcing it out with Whirlwind. It also facilitates more opportunities to use Shell Smash against defensive Pokemon that attempt to status Barbaracle. However, giving up a coverage move for Taunt makes sweeping easier to stop. Rock Slide should never be subbed in for Stone Edge even if you absolutely deplore missing, as the power drop is too substantial. Barbaracle is capable of a modestly proficient Choice set, and its access to Switcheroo is a selling point that allows it to pass a Choice item to an unsuspecting defensive check like Skarmory and cripple it. Checks & Counters ######### **Physical Walls and Tanks**: Bulky Pokemon that Barbaracle can't score super effective hits on, such as Skarmory, Mega Venusaur, Tangrowth, and physically defensive Clefable, or have very favorable type match-ups against it, such as Keldeo, can comfortably take a +2 attack. In nearly all of thesecases, the Pokemon can cripple Barbaracle, KO it, or disrupt its sweep. **Strong Priority**: Exceptionally strong priority attacks from Pokemon such as Scizor and Bisharp and super effective ones such as Mach Punch will always hit Barbaracle, which has no priority of its own. Even though all but the absolute strongest priority moves cannot OHKO Barbaracle if it has White Herb, it will fall if the opponent has two or more priority users. **Prankster Status**: Barbaracle is vulnerable to both paralysis and burn, thus Prankster status users such as Thundurus and Sableye can shut it down if it lacks Lum Berry. **Incredibly Fast Choice Scarf Users**: Barbaracle is unable to outpace Choice Scarf users above base 108 Speed. Pokemon such as Keldeo or Latios are capable of revenge killing it should they have a Choice Scarf. **Offensive Pressure**: Barbaracle's typing and raw bulk are not very impressive, so any reasonably strong attack will set Barbaracle up to be revenge killed by a priority move or a sturdy wall's attack, stopping its sweep entirely.