approved by Nexus [TABLE OF CONTENTS] INTRODUCTION What is Baton Pass? -- -- STYLES OF BATON PASS: QuickPass Overview Strategy Passers Recievers -- Full Baton Pass Overview Strategy Commonly Used Pokemon Alternatives Niche/Outclassed Baton pass pokemon -- -- COUNTERS TO BATON PASS Pranksters Perish Song/Phazers Scarf Ditto Haze/Clear Smog Unaware Users Hyper Offense Teams/Set-Up Pokemon Red Card Users ================================================================= [INTRODUCTION] Provide basic premise of usage and strategy Mention the Impact of Shell Smash and Quiver Dance this generation Prankster: The nemesis of any Baton Pass based strategy, and how it continues to be viable despite that [COMPETITIVE DESCRIPTION OF BATON PASS] Use Smogon's Move Dex entry as base Present a more simplified write-up giving the essentials and mentioning the restrictions Specifically mention Mean Look no longer passed as of Gen 4 -- [STYLES OF BATON PASS: 1) Quick Pass] [QUICK PASS: OVERVIEW] i.e 'SmashPass' and 'QuiverPass' A short Write-Up on how the advent of Shell Smash triggered of this playstyle. To insist upon the fact that how boosts can make almost all pokemon competitively viable but try to impress how only certain pokemon can consistently utilize these boosts within the OU environment. A note on how the availability of more diverse attacking threats this generation has lead to an abundance of receivers. [QUICK PASS: STRATEGY] A. QuickPassers: --- Smeargle Notable Moves: Every stat altering move in the book. Every damn move in general Description: Smeargle possesses the unique niche of having any combination of moves available in the game which makes it the ideal candidate for Baton Passing. Most Versatile with Support moves like Spore and Magic coat making it the most consistent Baton passer in the game Poor bulk and mediocre speed being it's only drawback hence being forced to rely on Focus Sash, which prevents it from utilizing any other beneficial items like White Herb. Example Moveset: -- Gorebyss Notable Moves: Shell Smash, Amnesia, Barrier, Aqua Ring Description: Only pokemon apart from the Move Master Smeargle to get the legal combination of Shell Smash and Baton Pass. Along with decent Physical bulk and an excellent ability in Hydration, makes it a good passer. Especially in the Rain. Swift Swim Optional if using in a non-drizzle team. Example Moveset: -- Mew Notable Moves: Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, Rock Polish, Barrier, Amnesia, Calm Mind Description: Mew is an extremely versatile Pokemon, and can run a variety of Baton Pass options. Considered the most viable candidate for Double Stat Boosting moves thanks to across-the-board base 100 stats giving it much superior bulk Usage Relies on Boosting one attacking stat and speed stat by 2 stages and passing. Example Moveset: -- Venomoth Notable Moves: Quiver Dance, Sleep Powder Description: Venomoth is the only pokemon beside Smeargle who can pass Quiver Dance boosts In addition, it can use Sleep Powder to set up, which is hampered by imperfect accuracy but is a potent support move Thanks to it's alternative trait: Tinted Lens, it can maintain offensive presence if it chooses even without passing due to near perfect Neutral coverage. Venomoth's ability Wonder Skin halves the accuracy of non-damaging moves, which gives it more scope to set up, but relies on luck. Example Moveset: -- B. QuickPass Recievers: -- Dragonite Notable Moves: Wide Movepool with varied offensive options Dragon Claw, Outrage, Fire Blast, Fire Punch, ExtremeSpeed, Brick Break, Superpower, Roost, Hurricane, Thunder, DracoMeteor Description: Dragonite has very high attacking stats from both sides of the spectrum, especially on the Physical side Has Access to powerful coverage moves. Multiscale+Lum Berry guarantees a safe switch in, a feat no other receiver can emulate. (provided rocks are off the field) Extremely hard to Revenge thanks to powerful priority in ExtremeSpeed. Usually seen running a Physical set which works off it's higher Atk stat but perfectly capable of running a Specially based or a mixed set depending on team needs. Example Moveset: -- Thundurus-T Notable Moves: Shallow but adequate movepool offering just enough coverage. Thunderbolt, Thunder, Focus Blast, Grass Knot, HP Ice, Volt Switch Description: Most powerful special attacker in the tier with a very good speed tier, making it an ideal QuiverPass recipient along with a SmashPass. Pseudo Bolt-Beam provides wide STAB+SE coverage coupled with Focus Blast. Surprising amount of bulk even after defense stat drop allowing it to survive priorities like unboosted STAB Ice Shard, which aids it's sweep. Resists all other common priorities which makes it hard to revenge mid-sweep Volt Absorb is a super useful trait, which basically makes it immune to T-Wave. Example Set: -- Hydreigon Notable Moves: Fucking Enormous Movepool with access to every decent Attack out there. Acrobatics, Crunch, Dark Pulse, Draco Meteor, Dragon Pulse, Outrage, Earth Power, Earthquake, Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Focus Blast, Superpower, Stone Edge, U-Turn Description: Zero Counters. Even unboosted. Only Pokemon to boast of that distinction Can ideally work with both Shell Smash and Quiver Dance thanks to enormous movepool OHKOes entire Tier without exception after Shell Smash Boost. Another unique trait Similarly can OHKO entire tier after QuiverPass bar Chansey, Cresselia(w/o Dark Pulse) and Heatran, who are 2HKOed Defensively a liability since weak/neutral to all 3 common OU priorities (Ice Shard/Bullet Punch/Mach Punch), which makes SmashPassing an issue. Hence needs support Example Moveset: -- Salamence Notable Moves:Tons of Variety with myriad attacking approaches making it unpredictable to an extent. Dragon Claw, Outrage, Earthquake, Brick Break, Fire Blast, Roost, Draco Meteor, Aqua Tail, Hydro Pump Description: [See Dragonite, without Multiscale] Trades off the Defensive buff of Multiscale in exchange for Moxie which turns it into a Nuclear Juggernaut once it get's going. Can literally Spam Outrage after +3 without bothering about prediction or mindgames Can alternatively use Intimidate to have an easier time coming in on Physical threats which is especially useful after the Shell Smash defense drops. Example Moveset: -- Lucario Notable Moves: Mixed bag with Physical spectrum getting the better options. Close Combat, ExtremeSpeed, Bullet Punch, Ice Punch, Crunch, Stone Edge, Aura Sphere, Vacuum Wave, Psychic, Dark Pulse Description: Flagship Physical set-up Pokemon, right since DPPt Impeccable coverage options Strong Priority in ExtremeSpeed makes it hard to revenge Crunch/Bullet Punch allows it to mow through Bulky ghosts like Jellicent who would otherwise flat out wall it and cripple w/ W-o-W Physical set is generally superior but capable of running mixed/Special off it's HIGHER SpA stat with some decent specially based options, like STAB Vacuum Wave Lackluster bulk might give it trouble switching in, but is somewhat remedied by secondary steel typing and 4x Rocks resistance. Minor Point: Inner Focus might help against gay/gimmicky Fake out spammers like CB-Technician Ambipom, who do over 50% with Lucario @ -1 Def Example Moveset: -- Keldeo Notable Moves: One trick Pony despite being premier OU threat. Surf, Hydro Pump, Secret Sword, Hidden Power[Insert_Coverage], Icy Wind Description: Best special attacking stat spread in the entire of OU Underrated as a QuickPass recipient, because lets be honest, it doesn't exactly need boosts to start wreaking shit. SmashPass might be an overkill compromising on his mediocre bulk, but lends very beautifully to QuiverPass, thanks to perfect mixed coverage off it's SpA stat. Lack of priority may lead to some problems in SmashPass, but in case of QuiverPass bulk is conserved and it resists most priorities making it a non-issue. Faces some serious coverage issues relying heavily on weak Hidden powers and on sub-par sweeping moves like Icy Wind. Absolute horror to face in the rain. Example Moveset: -- & Huge/Pure Power Users Azumarill and Medicham Notable Moves: Both posses shallow movesets and have little or no options beyond their usual Choice sets Azumarill - Waterfall, Aqua Jet, Ice Punch, Return, Double Edge, Superpower Medicham - Zen Headbutt, Psycho Cut, Hi Jump Kick, Ice Punch, ThunderPunch, Drain Punch, Bullet Punch Description(s): Both of these are usually very niche pokemon, and are outclassed by the above options, but SmashPass brings into focus their ABILITY which doubles their Atk stat, or in the case of a SmashPass boost of +2 effectively boosts their attack instantly to +6 turning them into 1 move BodyBaggers Sheer Attacking Power makes up for lackluster coverage that these two possess. Azumarill in particular mows through anything not called Jellicent, especially in the rain, even capable of OHKOing the Bulkiest Dnite out there through multiscale. Medicham can also Freely Spam HJK and Zen Headbutt outright KOing even resists with Thunder Punch/Ice Punch providing pseudo bolt-beam coverage. Also patches up the Speed stats of the said pokemon, which is usually their biggest drawback Lack of General bulk, especially on Medicham still an issue, though remedied by presence of powerful and usable priority moves on both their movepools making them harder to revenge. Example Moveset(s): -- Metagross lol On a serious note he's has been too inconsistent with Meteor Miss... well, missing and being outsped by shit like Sunsaur and Scarf Latios even after boost and lower defenses don't help it one bit, with Sash Loom 2HKOing or sporing it and all kinds of BS. So for the purposes of this thread has been thoroughly inconsistent in this hyper offensive meta. If anyone has a differing opinion with some strong evidence I may reconsider it -- -- [STYLES OF BATON PASS: 2) FULL BATON PASS] [FULL BATON PASS: OVERVIEW] Stress how Unlike a 2-mon Quick Pass core, one has to dedicate the Entire team for this Playstyle. Based on racking up cumulative boosts. To mention how the increasing power creep over the generations has made this style increasingly harder to use consistently. How the increased amount of fast taunters/pranksters/phazers have reduced viability by a huge degree Still the be reckoned a dangerous style, with careful planning since it is hard/impossible to stop once it gets started. [FULL BATON PASS: STRATEGY] Almost every Full Baton Pass team, without exception follows the following rigid team structure: The objective of a Full Baton Pass chain is to use one Pokemon to set up another on your team. The most common use for Baton Pass is to build a chain of Pokemon to Baton Pass to each other. The boosts are cumulative; everything can be passed on forever as long as nothing breaks the chain by dying or switching out without the aid of Baton Pass. This culminates with finally passing all the boosts to a late-game cleaner, who then proceeds to finish off the opposition [FULL BATON PASS: COMMON USERS] Since, Full Baton pass sports such a rigid and inflexible structure, the number of viable Pokemon fitting in such a team are few and far in between. This list will attempt to list out the most common users you'll see 9/10 times on a Baton Pass chain. NOTE: It is worth noting that some of these Pokemon with the specific movesets are simply irreplaceable. There are many other Pokemon who do the job better, but lack baton pass, or lack the specific moveset. MOST are a indispensable on the chain purely due to their unique niche. Any (seemingly) good alternative baton passers will be addressed at the end of this section. NOTE 2: If the user wishes to get creative with alternative movesets some things he/she must keep in mind: you'll always want to keep Baton Pass (obviously), even if your final recipient. Substitute is vital to stop 2 things that hinder long Baton Pass chains the most: Status and Critical Hits (since they bypass any defense boosts) ------------------------ 1. THE LEAD SUMMARY The Cornerstone of any Baton Pass chain. Guarantees +3 Spe boost. +3 an ideal number for the WHOLE TEAM to outspeed the entire tier including all Scarfed pokemon. With the right prediction you can Baton Pass with a substitute still up. MOVESET AND EVs Mental Herb preferred to ensure you can escape pranksters/fast taunters and get you substitute/chain started at any cost. Ev'd Speed to outspeed base 115+ Spe, and all scarfed Pokemon after +1. Rest dumped in bulk. Third moveslot Ideally utilized to ensure opposing Pokemon doesn't treat you as set-up bait. -- 2. THE ANTI-PHAZER/ANTI-STATUS (Special Wall) SUMMARY The only real reason Full Baton pass even works anymore in Gen 5. Magic Bounce. It's 3 jobs include stopping status/phazing, bouncing back hazards and cleaning late-game with Stored power MOVESET AND EVs The given EVs allow Espeon to act as a special wall Alternative Spread of 252 HP / 252 Def / 4SDef may be utilized to make espeon Physically bulky while using Calm Mind to Patch up Special Defense. This helps keep Whirlwind Skarmory at bay by tanking Brave Birds. Morning Sun as semi-reliable recovery should you choose to run it. Bonus against Drought teams. Increases longevity -- 3. THE PERISH SONG COUNTER (Special Wall) SUMMARY Sound Proof is it's only niche. The only way to block Perish Song. Also has the nice bonus of blocking Roar and checking Volcarona, (who otherwise destroys Baton Pass chains/kills Espeon) since it's immune to Bug Buzz. (can also cripple with Encore) MOVESET AND EVs Barrier provides an alternative way to stack defense boosts. Encore is surprisingly annoying, traps Pokemon in moves like Roar allowing you to grab more boosts. -- 4. THE STEEL TYPE (Physical Wall) SUMMARY Team's only line of Defense v/s early game DragonSpam Tanks Physical hits extremely well,, especially after Iron Defense boost Only member of the Baton Pass team capable of Reliably tanking powerful Dragon Tails without Breaking Sub Bullet punch is an Optional moveset option with Technician Allowing it to beat troublesome Pokemon like Ttar and Kyu-B who give massive problems to Espeon and Baton Pass teams respectively. It's the only Normal-resisting Baton Passer(!), except Mawile (lol) MOVESET AND EVs Usually the slowest member of a standard Baton Pass chain and the only one getting outsped @+3 by Scarf Latios and SunSaur, hence needs max bulk and be behind a Sub. SpDef boosts appreciated to tank Draco Meteors -- 5. THE MIX WALL SUMMARY Perfect Defensive synergy with Scizor and Mr. Mime. Water Absorb allows it to Deal with Rain Spam Only viable and consistent WishPasser for Baton Pass teams. MOVESET AND EVs The given EVs allow it to act as a durable mixed wall. 244 HP enables Vaporeon to make the 101 HP Substitutes without being weak to entry hazards. 136 Def w/ Bold hits a jump point where Ferrothorn cannot break it's subs @ +4 Def Scald/Roar really good for shitting on set-up. Scald/Surf also a viable attacking move which becomes really powerful after a few SpA boosts Aqua Ring for Additional Recovery which can be Baton Passed. -- 6. THE TANK (Backup Cleaner) SUMMARY Covers common weaknesses Plaguing Baton Pass teams. Especially Psychic types. Backup Sweeper. Only viable Cleric for Baton Pass chains MOVESET AND EVs EVs maximize mix bulk and SpA Acts as backup Sweeper and general checks to Mons like Tyranitar who give a hard time to Espeon Yawn useful for phazing -- [FULL BATON PASS: OTHER VIABLE USERS] Venomoth PROS Wonder Skin provides an interesting niche of avoiding Status moves Sleep Powder a very good support move to stop HO teams Quiver Dance Speeds up the Boost Racking Process. CONS Compounds common weaknesses that BP teams face -- Smeargle PROS ONLY BATON PASSER WITH ACCESS TO INGRAIN: This basically is the only foolproof way of countering Dragon Tail, making it an extremely valuable niche Also allows you conserve Espeon since you no longer need to predict Phazing moves. Widest Movepool allowing you access to any boosting move of choice. CONS Mediocre Bulk, frail even after defense boosts. Requires Extensive team support for Niche already covered between Mr. Mime and Espeon, hence superfluous. -- Zapdos PROS Agility Passer with some offensive presence (unlike Ninjask) Can work as a reliable Tank with Pressure+Roost CONS Cannot grab speed boosts with same consistency as Ninjask. Can only usually get +2, opposed to Ninjask's +3 Falls to fast strong (anti)leads like Sash Terrakion. [FULL BATON PASS: ALTERNATIVE USERS] The above listed Pokemon while the most viable aren't certainly the only ones capable of running a Baton Pass chain. There are a LOT of other possibilities, but their roles are usually redundant or utterly outclassed by the above listed pokemon, a brief description of the Pokemon with their drawbacks are listed, they may find extreme niche usage on some teams based on make-up and needs of the builder. [COUNTERS TO BATON PASS STRATEGIES] [PRANKSTERS] Bitch to deal with, Especially Sableye A good player can nearly always shut down Full Baton pass chains with it and also halt QuickPass strategies with ease Quick Pass teams will have to ensure they are weakened/eliminated before attempting a sweep, alternatively Smeargle can also play mind games with Magic Coat, preferably crippling them or predicting their switch in and taking them out with Spore. Venomoth can also Sleep Powder them, banking on Wonder Skin for Hax. Baton Pass chains will have to ensure that Espeon remains and healthy and switch in on predicted Taunt/W-o-W. Watch out for Foul Play from Sableye and Hurricane/U-Turn from Tornadus though. -- [Perish Song/Phazers] Quick Pass teams need to respond with Ovewhelming offense, use Passers (Smeargle/Venomoth) to cripple them with Sleep/Para With Espeon and Mr. Mime Alive Full Baton Pass teams have little to fear given they predict correctly Full Baton Pass teams have to ensure Substitute is up to Avoid being Phazed by D-Tail. Use Scizor to tank them. Ingrain, if pulled off makes phazing a non-issue -- [SCARF DITTO] Ultimate Nemesis of Boosting Pokemon Scarf Ditto is just plain out Annoying, can come in on Death and revenge entire team given proper coverage move. Quick Pass teams need to prey on it's low HP stat and quickly eliminate it using rest of their team for this purpose Full Pass teams only need to be concerned if they somehow copy their lategame sweeper with boosts. this can be easily avoided if they manage to keep substitute up. -- [HAZE/CLEAR SMOG] Not a big concern for Quick Pass but can bring Baton Pass chains to it's knees. Haze can genuinely ruin your chain, and you'll almost never see it coming since no Pokemon usually run it as a standard moveset option. (I've only seen it one at the bottom of PS! ladder) Once spotted though keep Dry-passing (passing without boosting) among chain members until you catch the user off guard and eliminate it. They are usually poison types, so Espeon can make short work of it w/ Stored power. Clear Smog is much more common but the only Pokemon you'll ever see it with is Amoonguss. Just keep your sub up and get some boosts and nothing to worry about. Scizor is immune to it and Espeon can kill Amoonguss with minimal boosts. -- [UNAWARE] Sounds Crippling on Paper but usually not such a big issue in battles The main user is Quagsire, with Quick pass your best bet is Taking it out with your Specially based Coverage move/STAB. Thundurus-T will will grass knot it to death. Purely Physical receivers may be in a bit of a bind though. Full Pass teams also need not Worry, while you won't be getting boosts accounted for, Stored Power doesn't get affected due to Unaware, you can exploit it's ridiculous base power after few moves, coupled with Quagsire's poor SpD to quickly dispatch him. -- [HYPER OFFENSE/SET-UP] A good Example, (lol treecko) Only a threat for Full Baton Pass teams. Needs to be Anticipated an dealt with at the earliest, instead of making the mistake of engaging in a Boosting War. Try to prioritize grabbing defense boosts, if you spot a set-up sweeper in Team Preview. Try to utilize the good defensive synergy of you chain to tank out hits, and phaze/kill at the first opportunity, with Stored Power spam. [RED CARD USERS ] @ Well fuck. Utterly gay and you'll never see it coming. Best bet is somehow trigger it off early in the match thus saving you chain from long term damage, but don't ask me how to tell if the forretress has one. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONCLUDES THIS GUIDE CREDITS: BW1 OU Baton pass guide by undisputed and Hyperbeem (incomplete) for article structure Gen 3 Baton pass guide by Mekkah, darkie and David Stone for information regarding fundamental boost chaining DPP Baton Pass guide by maddog, fuzznip and Komodo for some unconventional threat lists. 'Baton Pass My A$$' RMT by user HipHipHooray. This was the team I used to test chain baton pass sets, and test alternative variations with.