Overview ######## Bisharp is one of the premier Pokemon in the VGC 2014 format, and for good reason. For one, it is the only viable Pokemon this year that has the ability Defiant, which essentially reverses the effects of Intimidate, turning the -1 Attack drop from Intimidate into a +1 boost. A main reason to use Bisharp is because even if one does not choose it for a lead, it discourages the opponent from leading with an Intimidate Pokemon! Bisharp also boasts an impressive base 125 Attack, along with Dark- and Steel-type STAB, which in the VGC 2014 format is only resisted by Lucario, Houndoom, and ironically Bisharp. Finally, Bisharp carries two immunities to Psychic and Poison and resists several common types such as Ice, Ghost, Grass, Steel, and Rock. However, with all of Bisharp's fantastic traits it does not come without drawbacks. Will-O-Wisp, which now has 85% accuracy, has no problem burning Bisharp. In addition, Bisharp is weak to common Fire and Ground attacks and is 4x weak to Mach Punch. Attacker ######## name: Attacker move 1: Sucker Punch move 2: Iron Head move 3: Night Slash / Swords Dance move 4: Protect ability: Defiant item: Focus Sash / Lum Berry / Life Orb evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe nature: Adamant Moves ======== The most-used move on this set is Sucker Punch; it is predictable but important, as it lets Bisharp pick off faster Pokemon and forces opponents to Protect or switch. Iron Head is a staple attack that offers great coverage with Sucker Punch, as well as a nice 30% flinch chance. In the third slot, Night Slash offers more reliability than Sucker Punch, but Swords Dance allows Bisharp to boost its Attack to gargantuan levels without losing much coverage. Protect is used in the last spot for dodging Fake Out chip damage and its overall utility in doubles. Set Details ======== The ability of choice is obviously Defiant, which completely outclasses Inner Focus. EVs are maxed in Attack and Speed on the set because Bisharp does not need any bulk. An Adamant nature is preferred because Bisharp appreciates all the power it can get to 2HKO most Rotom-A. Focus Sash is the recommended item because it lets Bisharp play more recklessly and helps it survive spread moves such as Mega Charizard Y's Heat Wave and Garchomp's Earthquake. Lum Berry is also an option because it gives Bisharp the freedom of destroying Rotom-W and protection from Liepard, Klefki, and Meowstic spamming Swagger. In addition, Bisharp is in a pretty interesting Speed tier, with a base 70 Speed stat. It can successfully run a Brave nature on a Trick Room team while also being fast enough to outspeed every VGC-eligible Pokemon under Tailwind. Finally, Choice Band is an option with a bulkier EV spread of 100 HP / 252 Atk / 156 Spd. With this spread, Bisharp will always live one Jolly unboosted Garchomp's Earthquake and easily outspeed uninvested Rotom-A. Alternatively, a spread of 100 HP / 220 Atk / 188 Spd can be used to outspeed neutral-natured maximum Speed Tyranitar. The only difference in moves is to drop Protect for Brick Brick. Usage Tips ======== Depending on how skilled your opponent is, Bisharp is most effective as a lead, benefiting from Intimidate and immediately threatening a multitude of Pokemon with its powerful STAB moves. Sucker Punch is an incredibly predictable move so it needs to be used sparingly. In addition, try and avoid situations when Sucker Punch is required, as it can potentially provide a free turn for the opposing Pokemon to use Substitute or just switch instead. Bisharp does not fear King's Shield at all, as the drop is negated by Defiant, so it can just Night Slash all Aegislash. Finally, Choice Band Bisharp appreciates disruptive support such as Rage Powder Amoonguss to stop it from getting slaughtered by Fighting-type moves. Team Options ======== Gyarados, Rotom-H, and Rotom-W are good partners because they resist both Ground-and Fire-type spread moves, which hit Bisharp for super effective damage. Rotom-H additionally checks Mega Charizard Y, and its Rock-type weakness is covered by Bisharp. Additionally, all Rotom formes can burn opposing Mega Kangaskhan, which can otherwise Power-Up Punch straight through Bisharp's Focus Sash. Other good partners include Fake Out support Pokemon so Bisharp can attack first-turn as well as Pokemon that benefit from a lack of Intimidate, such as Tyranitar and Mega Kangaskhan. Air Balloon Chandelure is also a cool partner for Bisharp, dodging all Ground-and Fire-type moves and usually burning Mega Kangaskhan without fear. Other Options ######## Bisharp does not really have many other options for possible moves. It is fast enough to use Taunt to block status moves such as Rotom's Will-O-Wisp as well as Musharna's Trick Room, but that would mean dropping Sucker Punch. Bisharp can run Black Glasses or Life Orb for some additional power, and this is an alternative that does not lock it into a single move like Choice Band. If on a team weak to sun, Bisharp can use Stone Edge, which easily OHKOes Mega Charizard Y and works beautifully with Focus Sash. Bisharp can also run Brick Break, to hit other Bisharp, Lucario, and Tyranitar harder, as well as other Steel-types. Finally, Substitute is always an option over Night Slash to dodge status and take advantage of predicted switches. However, it can backfire because it allows your opponents to freely switch in Intimidate Pokemon. Checks & Counters ######## **Will-O-Wisp**: Pokemon like Rotom-A and Talonflame that are not too afraid of Bisharp's STAB attacks and can burn it are solid checks. **Fake Out**: Fake Out users such as Ludicolo force Bisharp to Protect on the first turn, which exposes its partner. **Mega Kangaskhan**: Mega Kangaskhan threatens Bisharp with both Fake Out and a 4x super effective Power-Up Punch. **Earthquake and Heat Wave**: Pokemon such as Garchomp and Mega Charizard Y that do not fear Sucker Punch much can spam their super effective spread moves and successfully check Bisharp. **Bisharp**: Other Bisharp counter Bisharp pretty well, especially with Brick Break. **Fighting-types**: Conkeldurr is a pretty reliable check with Mach Punch. Machamp can OHKO with Dynamic Punch or spam Protect or Bullet Punch until Bisharp is KOed. Lucario can set up on Bisharp and OHKO back with a Fighting-type move because it resists both of Bisharp's STABs. **Hail**: Residual damage from hail can neuter Bisharp's Focus Sash. **Venusaur and Mega Charizard Y**: Venusaur and Mega Charizard Y can together put Bisharp to sleep and deal heavy damage with Heat Wave. Klefki and other Prankster users are beyond annoying for Bisharp as well. **Quick Guard**: Quick Guard can prevent Bisharp from spamming Sucker Punch.