1. New to the forums? Check out our Mentorship Program!
    Our mentors will answer your questions and help you become a part of the community!
  2. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.

Cacturne (Full Revamp) [QC 3/3] [GP 2/2]

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by Jukain, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Django

    Django
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,818
    ok then !!

    [qc]3/3[/qc]
  2. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,950
    Alright this will be written up soon and I'll use this post to mark my progress as usual. The overview is written up.

    EDIT: offensive spiker is all written

    EDIT2: I haven't had internet since Monday but I'm catching up and intend to get this ready for GP shortly. The Swords Dance set is written up.

    EDIT3: holy crap OO is like a wall of text and C&C probably will be too, getting that done and then I'll make a new post and report it to the GP queue
  3. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,950
    This is written up and ready for GP checks.
  4. Annoyer

    Annoyer =)~

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    656
    In checks and counters, you stated that Haunter has Focus Blast o.O
    It doesn't get Focus Blast, but most Haunters carry Sludge Bomb which OHKOs Cacturne too.
  5. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,950
    Thanks Annoyer, I must have been thinking Gengar when I wrote that. Fixed.
  6. cbt

    cbt subtle body
    is a Pokemon Researcher
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,391
    Show Hide


    amcheck btw
  7. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,950
    Okay, what I did was I changed the areas you recommended changes for except with my own, slightly different changes for the most part. Thanks for the check!
  8. melvni

    melvni
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,148
    GP check. Good job on writing this.
    Additions in Blue
    Subtractions in Red
    Comments in Purple

    Show Hide
    [Overview]

    <p>When you first set your eyes upon NU's resident most popular (technically, though not used much at all, Maractus is also a NU cactus) cactus, you will likely wonder why anyone would use it. It has mediocre defenses and abysmal Speed&mdash;great offenses are not making up for that. If Cacturne's stats did not impress you, no one can place much of any blame on you, but you would be terribly mislead. Cacturne is one of the few Pokemon in NU that has been granted access to the coveted Spikes. This alone would skyrocket its usefulness tenfold, but just wait, there is still more to come. Cacturne also obtains has/possesses STAB priority in Sucker Punch, which makes its Speed stat a second-rate concern. Armed with Swords Dance to boost its attack (capitalize) and Drain Punch to heal itself, Cacturne has an armada's worth of the power of an armada in its arsenal. Cacturne even has a decent ability in Water Absorb, which makes it so Cacturne does not have to worry about being burned by Scald and can function as a pivot to absorb Water-type attack attacks. Water Absorb also helps against Aqua Jets from the likes of Samurott, Floatzel, and Basculin and wastes a turn of rain against rain teams, which can make all the difference in the world. Beware the cactus&mdash;otherwise it will coerce you into its dastardly ways and surprise you like the sucker you are.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Offensive Spiker
    move 1: Spikes
    move 2: Swords Dance / Substitute
    move 3: Seed Bomb
    move 4: Sucker Punch
    item: Focus Sash / Life Orb
    ability: Water Absorb
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>The focal point of Cacturne's niche is its ability to set up Spikes and hit hard whilst doing so, so and this set is designed to take advantage of these traits. Therein lies its main advantage over Garbodor. At first, you might be confused as to the reason why one would even consider using both Spikes and Swords Dance on the same set. The answer to this is simply that there are some teams that setting up Spikes is not the correct course of action against. The time to analyze this is the team preview (capitalize Team Preview)&mdash;utilize your capability to view the entirety of your opponent's team and look to see how many Pokemon Spikes are actually affecting. For example, if your opponent has a bunch of Pokemon that have the ability Levitate or a Flying typing, Spikes would not be the best course of action. Rather, setting up Swords Dance and punching some holes early in the match would be best. Against some teams, it might be wise to do both, such as against stall teams if you have a spinblocker waiting in the wings. This reward-reward dynamic removes any need to choose which types of teams Cacturne will do well against.</p>

    <p>Before moving onto the meat of the moveset, I will take the liberty to explain just how useful Spikes are for a plethora of teams. Stall teams, offensive Pokemon, and Cacturne alike can take advantage of Spikes in numerous different ways. The residual damage that they provide is simply invaluable. Swords Dance is an excellent move as well, allowing Cacturne to hit quite hard (add comma) in order to break stall teams (add comma) and obtain some key KOs with Sucker Punch by virtue of its high base 115 Attack stat. Seed Bomb is Cacturne's main STAB move of choice, hitting an object of hatred to for many physical attackers&mdash;Alomomola&mdash;hard as well as most Pokemon that do nit not resist it. Seed Bomb has enough power to 2HKO offensive Armaldo after Stealth Rock damage without Life Orb and 2HKOes regardless of Stealth Rock with Life Orb, which means that not even NU's best Rapid Spin user can switch into Cacturne freely. Sucker Punch occupies the final moveslot as a way to hit faster Pokemon. It might be and rightfully so construed as can be unreliable, but being a STAB priority 80 Base Power move makes up for it. Sucker Punch allows Cacturne to perform intrinsically better against the majority of Pokemon that are commonly found leading and also to act as a revenge killer if its survival does not expire it survives the early-game. Alternatively, Substitute can be used over Swords Dance&mdash;Cacturne loses the ability to sweep but gains protection from faster Pokemon, revenge killers, and burn status as well as easing prediction an easier time predicting.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EVs are standard fare for an offensive Pokemon&mdash;maximum investment in Attack supplemented by an Adamant nature makes Cacturne pack a punch, while fully investing in Speed allows Cacturne to outrun many Pokemon near its Speed tier, such as Amoonguss (Amoonguss is base 30 Speed (max 174 with a positive nature) and Cacturne is base 55 (max 209 with a neutral nature); a faster example might be better), that often choose not to invest in Speed. Focus Sash is the preferred item choice if Cacturne is intended to be used as a lead, particularly a suicide one. It allows Cacturne to take even the most powerful of attacks from full health guaranteed and set up, at the very least, two layers of Spikes in most scenarios. However, it is by far definitely not the only decent choice for an item. Substitute defeats the purpose of Focus Sash, so other items have greater viability alongside it. (or a phrasing you prefer) For instance, Life Orb is another item option for provides greater power, while Leftovers can also be used to set up more Substitutes. Alternatively, Cacturne can utilize a Dark Gem for a one-time boost to Sucker Punch. It has no negative repercussions to speak of, unless you count Cacturne not having an item once it is consumed as some sort of horrific tragedy.</p>

    <p>When using this Cacturne set, there is one major piece of support that your team should include&mdash;a spinblocker. Regardless of the circumstances, it is a basic Pokemon law that Cacturne cannot set up a full three layers of Spikes twice in a battle. Heck, it has enough trouble doing so once. Golurk is the best choice, as it has excellent offensive and defensive synergy with Cacturne and can set up Stealth Rock to complete two-thirds of the entry hazard trifecta, of which the third part is not required. However, the two do share an Ice weakness, so be sure to adequately cover that with the rest of your team. Although Golurk is certainly the top choice, it is not the only one. Misdreavus is another stellar option, as its defensive capabilities allow it to take on every Rapid Spin user and come out of the exchange the victor. Offensive Pokemon of course benefit immensely from Spikes, so Emboar, Rotom-S, and Bulk Up Braviary, among others, enjoy Cacturne's presence. Stall teams might prefer a Spikes user with more survivability, but its Cacturne's unique offensive presence make it so Cacturne can allow it to sometimes find a place on such teams. If you are not intending to lead with Cacturne and rather intend to use it later in the match after it has set up Spikes, a Rock-type, such as Regirock or Golem, is recommended for their great type synergy and ability to lure Water-type attacks for Cacturne to switch in on. What is so excellent about Cacturne is how well it stands on its own&mdash;generally, Cacturne has some method of getting around Pokemon that threaten it.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Swords Dance
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Sucker Punch
    move 3: Seed Bomb
    move 4: Drain Punch / Substitute
    item: Life Orb / Leftovers
    ability: Water Absorb
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>While Cacturne is usually seen setting up Spikes, it is not a one-trick pony&mdash;quite the opposite actually. This is the side of Cacturne that is lesser seen by the public but for that reason is all the more terrifying. Instead of being relegated to a supporting role with a slight offensive punch, this set allows Cacturne to unleash the untold force that is stockpiled inside of it. Cacturne's high base 115 Attack stat, especially with STAB Sucker Punch to utilize, is envied among NU sweepers. Since setting up Spikes need not be even a small thought, more time can be dedicated toward setting up Swords Dance and sweeping.</p>

    <p>Cacturne's claim to fame as a sweeper is STAB Sucker Punch, and rightfully so. When boosted by Swords Dance, it is powerful enough to KO most Pokemon that do not invest much in Defense or resist it. However, its unreliability means that it is not an attack to carelessly throw around. This is where Seed Bomb comes in&mdash;it has a solid Base Power and has STAB backing it. Additionally, Seed Bomb gives Cacturne the ability to easily KO Alomomola, a feat many physical attackers only wish they could accomplish. This is furthered by Water Absorb, which makes Cacturne immune to Scald. Wrapping up the moveset is the reason that this Cacturne set performs so well&mdash;an extra move. With just one moveslot not taken up by Spikes, Cacturne becomes so much more of a threat offensively. Drain Punch does not hit very much coverage-wise, one of the few being Skuntank, but it does hit Skuntank, has excellent neutral coverage (add comma) and provides a crucial source of recovery. Substitute is a great alternative, allowing Cacturne to avoid the perils of revenge killers that can tank a boosted Sucker Punch and have a safeguard against priority and status all in one fell swoop. Substitute also eases prediction significantly and thus makes it easier for Cacturne to set up.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EVs are extremely simple and fairly self-explanatory, but it may look strange to you that Cacturne is running a full 252 Speed EVs with such an abysmal base Speed. The reasoning for this is that there are quite a few Pokemon who that would outspeed Cacturne without Speed investment and demolish it Cacturne without Speed investment, which is obviously not the case when Cacturne outspeeds such Pokemon but cannot do the same to Cacturne with it. What might perhaps seem an insignificant choice in the item selection is actually very important to how Cacturne operates. Life Orb is the preferred item choice because of the additional punch it gives Sucker Punch, which is crucial for KOing many Pokemon that can KO Cacturne themselves but are felled by Life Orb-boosted Sucker Punch if given the chance. Leftovers is another choice to provide more resilience against residual damage, but should really only be used with Substitute to produce more of them, as otherwise the power decrease is too significant to ignore.</p>

    <p>Cacturne really does not need a whole ton in the way of partners, which is part of the beauty of this set. The However, the one obstacle that it cannot break, Amoonguss, must be removed for Cacturne to sweep. Braviary and Rapidash are good choices for the job. If Additionally, if running Substitute, a Pokemon that can beat Skuntank, such as Golurk, is needed. Golurk also has the benefit of excellent type synergy in with Cacturne, being immune to Cacturne's its Fighting weakness and luring Water-type attacks fir Cacturne for it to switch into. It Golurk also sets up Stealth Rock and bluffs that Cacturne will be setting up Spikes due to being a spinblocker. This affects your opponent's play drastically in that they will bring in their Rapid Spin and Taunt users in an attempt to prevent Cacturne from setting up Spikes, something you can take immediate advantage of.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Something that might be on your mind right now is why there is no special or even mixed Cacturne with its base 115 Special Attack. The premise reason behind this is very simple&mdash;special sets do not have priority on their side, which makes physical sets better essentially by default. However, this is not to say that special sets cannot do well; quite the opposite. If running a specially-orientated set, Cacturne has the option of running Giga Drain, which provides the coveted combination of power and recovery all in one move. This alone makes special sets viable, and access to Dark Pulse and Focus Blast for coverage further bolsters their effectiveness. Perhaps the best of Cacturne's special offerings is a Nasty Plot setup sweeper, which would function in a similar fashion to the Swords Dance set sans priority. Its spamming STAB move of choice having recovery gives it more opportunities to set up. A Choice Specs set is also viable, and access to Switcheroo gives it a decent niche. However, it should be emphasized that the lack of recovery is heavily debilitating. Other Choice sets are also viable, including a Choice Band one that utilizes a powerful Sucker Punch and a Choice Scarf set that cripples walls with Switcheroo and does not have to worry about an Cacturne's abysmal Speed stat.</p>

    <p>Yache Berry is a solid choice for an item on either listed set, as it allows Cacturne to tank an Ice Beam from Samurott or Ludicolo and set up Swords Dance or Spikes. This is especially relevant because neither can hit Cacturne for much damage outside if of Megahorn for the former. It is little help when Cacturne is low on health, but at least Drain Punch can somewhat make up for that issue. Another scenario in which it would be useful is, bear in mind that this is very specific but can be applied to many other scenarios, (change the commas around this clause to em dashes) not being KOed by a Sucker Punch from Skuntank after surviving an Ice Beam from Ludicolo. A Substitute + Focus Punch set can work decently, but Drain Punch is superior in every essential way and does not take up two moveslots. However, it does ease prediction significantly, so bear that in mind. Cacturne has two other moves that it can potentially use. Destiny Bond might seem a great option, but Cacturne is just too slow to utilize it properly without Focus Sash. Synthesis is the other option for some always useful recovery, but it is generally a wasted moveslot that could be better spent on a setup move, coverage move, or Substitute. Finally, before you jump for joy and rejoice with that Cacturne has access to the excellent moves that are Encore and Bullet Seed, realize that they are banned due to Sand Veil being banned from all tiers OU and below, thus rendering them unavailable for Cacturne's use.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Despite its many positives, the fact of the matter is that Cacturne is quite easy to defeat, much to the dismay of its users but to the great joy of its opponents. The best way to conquer it is Amoonguss, who which walls it to death even without investment in bulk&mdash;which it usually has&mdash;and can OHKO with STAB Sludge Bomb. Weezing is another solid answer to Cacturne, walling it to the world's end ends of the earth and easily KOing with STAB Sludge Bomb or a simple Fire Blast or Flamethrower. Armaldo can Rapid Spin its Cacturne's Spikes away and OHKO with X-Scissor, though it must watch out for switching into Seed Bomb if it is an offensive variant, as they are it will be 2HKOed by it after Stealth Rock damage without a Life Orb backing it the move and 2HKOes 2HKOed regardless of Stealth Rock with a Life Orb backing it one. Shell Smash Torkoal, NU's other resident decent Rapid Spin users user, can easily KO Cacturne and ruin all of its hard work with Rapid Spin. Of course, neither Rapid Spin user is much of an annoyance as threatening when Cacturne lacks Spikes. Taunt users are an annoyance to any variant of Cacturne, as the move prevents the use of both Spikes and Swords Dance.</p>

    <p>There are many other ways of penetrating Cacturne's thorny yet thin hide. Braviary comes on is at the forefront, being one of the best Pokemon in NU, resisting Seed Bomb, and having the ability to set up all over Cacturne's shadowy face with Substitute and Bulk Up. Other offensive answers include Fighting-types, who which resist Sucker Punch. These include Emboar, who which has two STABs that obliterate Cacturne, and Sawk. Bug-types, such as Pinsir with STAB X-Scissor, can do the job as well. Rotom-S, especially bulky variants, are a pain for Cacturne to deal with. Samurott outspeeds Cacturne and is not OHKOed by +2 Sucker Punch that lacks without a boost from Life Orb and entry hazard support. Samurott can KO in return with a four times 4x super effective Megahorn. Haunter can play tricks with Cacturne with a Substitute and Sucker Punch and KO in retaliation with a powerful STAB Sludge Bomb. Skuntank actually walls Cacturne completely if it does have Drain Punch on its moveset and can easily OHKO with STAB Poison Jab. Lastly, there are two Pokemon&mdash;Altaria and Gurdurr&mdash;that can set up all day in front of Cacturne and KO with boosted attacks. Overall, beating Cacturne is pretty easy, but be sure to have an answer to it or be prepared to incur its mighty and thorny wrath.


    I changed a few "who" to "which" even though they were in cases where you never referred to the Pokemon as it because it seemed like you were using gender neutral pronouns for the majority of the analysis, but those I believe can be left as is if you don't want to change them. Anyway, though:

    [gp]1/2[/gp]
  9. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,950
    Thanks a bunch melvni, I implemented your check!
  10. NixHex

    NixHex No excuses
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor to Smogonis a Battle Server Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,629
    diff (open)
    [Overview]

    <p>When you first set your eyes upon NU's most popular cactus, you will likely wonder why anyone would use it. It has mediocre defenses and abysmal Speed&mdash;great offenses are not making up for that. If Cacturne's stats did not impress you, no one can place much of any blame on you, but you would be terribly mislead. Cacturne is one of the few Pokemon in NU that has been granted access to the coveted Spikes. This alone would skyrocket its usefulness tenfold, but just wait, there is still more to come. Cacturne also has STAB priority in Sucker Punch, which makes its Speed stat a second-rate concern. Armed with Swords Dance to boost its attack and Drain Punch to heal itself, Cacturne has the power of an armada in its arsenal. Cacturne even has a decent ability in Water Absorb, which makes it so Cacturne does not have to worry about being burned by Scald and can function as a pivot to absorb Water-type attacks. Water Absorb also helps against Aqua Jets from the likes of Samurott, Floatzel, and Basculin and wastes a turn of rain against rain teams, which can make all the difference in the world. Beware the cactus&mdash;otherwise it will coerce you into its dastardly ways and surprise you like the sucker you are.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Offensive Spiker
    move 1: Spikes
    move 2: Swords Dance / Substitute
    move 3: Seed Bomb
    move 4: Sucker Punch
    item: Focus Sash / Life Orb
    ability: Water Absorb
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>The focal point of Cacturne's niche is its ability to set up Spikes and hit hard whilste doing so, and this set is designed to take advantage of these traits. Therein lies its main advantage over Garbodor. At first, you might be confused as to the reason why one would even consider using both Spikes and Swords Dance on the same set. The answer to this is simply that there are some teams that setting up Spikes is not the correct course of action against. The time to analyze this is withe Team Preview&mdash;utilize your capability to view the entirety of your opponent's team and look to see how many Pokemon Spikes are actually affecting. For example, if your opponent has a bunch of Pokemon that have the ability Levitate or a Flying typing, Spikes would not be the best course of action. Rather, setting up Swords Dance and punching some holes early in the match would be best. Against some teams, it might be wise to do both, such as against stall teams if you have a spinblocker waiting in the wings. This reward-reward dynamic removes any need to choose which types of teams Cacturne will do well against.</p>

    <p>Before moving onto the meat of the moveset, I will take musthe liberty to explained just how useful Spikes are for a plethora of teams. Stall teams, offensive Pokemon, and Cacturne alike can take advantage of Spikes in numerous different ways. The residual damage that they provide is simply invaluable. Swords Dance is an excellent move as well, allowing Cacturne to hit quite hard, break stall teams, and obtain some key KOs with Sucker Punch by virtue of its high base 115 Attack stat. Seed Bomb is Cacturne's main STAB move of choice, hitting an object of hatred for many physical attackers&mdash;Alomomola&mdash;hard as well as most Pokemon that do npot resist it. Seed Bomb has enough power to 2HKO offensive Armaldo after Stealth Rock damage without Life Orb and 2HKOes regardless of Stealth Rock with Life Orb, which means that not even NU's best Rapid Spin user can switch into Cacturne freely. Sucker Punch occupies the final moveslot as a way to hit faster Pokemon. It can be unreliable, but being a STAB priority 80 Base Power move makes up for it. Sucker Punch allows Cacturne to perform intrinsically better against the majority of Pokemon that are commonly found leading and also to act as a revenge killer if it survives the early-game. Alternatively, Substitute can be used over Swords Dance&mdash;Cacturne loses the ability to sweep but gains protection from faster Pokemon, revenge killers, and burn status as well as an easier time predicting.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EVs are standard fare for an offensive Pokemon&mdash;maximum investment in Attack supplemented by an Adamant nature makes Cacturne pack a punch, while fully investing in Speed allows Cacturne to outrun many Pokemon near its Speed tier, such as Eelektross and Armaldo, that often choose not to invest in Speed. Focus Sash is the preferred item choice if Cacturne is intended to be used as a lead, particularly a suicide one. It allows Cacturne to take even the most powerful of attacks from full health guaranteed and set up, at the very least, two layers of Spikes in most scenarios. However, it is definitely not the only decent choice for an item. Substitute defeats the purpose of Focus Sash, so other items have greater ability alongside it. For instance, Life Orb provides greater power, while Leftovers can be used to set up more Substitutes. Alternatively, Cacturne can utilize a Dark Gem for a one-time boost to Sucker Punch. It has no negative repercussions to speak of, unless you count Cacturne not having an item once it is consumed as some sort of horrific tragedy.</p>

    <p>When using this Cacturne set, there is one major piece of support that your team should include&mdash;: a spinblocker. Regardless of the circumstances, it is a basic Pokemon law that Cacturne cannot set up a full three layers of Spikes twice in a battle. Heck, it has enough trouble doing so once. Golurk is the best choice, as it has excellent offensive and defensive synergy with Cacturne and can set up Stealth Rock to complete two-thirds of the entry hazard trifecta. However, the two do share an Ice weakness, so be sure to adequately cover that with the rest of your team. Although Golurk is certainly the top choice, it is not the only one. Misdreavus is another stellar option, as its defensive capabilities allow it to take on every Rapid Spin user and come out of the exchange the victor. Offensive Pokemon of course benefit immensely from Spikes, so Emboar, Rotom-S, and Bulk Up Braviary, among others, enjoy Cacturne's presence. Stall teams might prefer a Spikes user with more survivability, but Cacturne's unique offensive presence allows it to can sometimessometimes allows it to find a place on such teams. If you are not intendplanning to lead with Cacturne and rather intend to use it later in the match after it has set up Spikes, a Rock-type, such as Regirock or Golem, is recommended for their great type synergy and ability to lure Water-type attacks for Cacturne to switch in on. What is so excellent about Cacturne is how well it stands on its own&mdash; generally, Cacturne has some method of getting around Pokemon that threaten it.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Swords Dance
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Sucker Punch
    move 3: Seed Bomb
    move 4: Drain Punch / Substitute
    item: Life Orb / Leftovers
    ability: Water Absorb
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>While Cacturne is usually seen setting up Spikes, it is not a one-trick pony&mdash;quite the opposite actually. This is the side of Cacturne that is lesser seen by the public but for that reason is all the more terrifying. Instead of being relegated to a supporting role with a slight offensive punch, this set allows Cacturne to unleash the untold force that is stockpiled inside of it. Cacturne's high base 115 Attack stat, especially with STAB Sucker Punch to utilize, is envied among NU sweepers. Since setting up Spikes need not be even a small thought, more time can be dedicated toward setting up Swords Dance and sweeping.</p>

    <p>Cacturne's claim to fame as a sweeper is STAB Sucker Punch, and rightfully so. When boosted by Swords Dance, it is powerful enough to KO most Pokemon that do not invest much in Defense or resist it. However, its unreliability means that it is not an attack to carelessly throw around. This is where Seed Bomb comes in&mdash;it has a solid Base Power and has STABis backing ited by STAB. Additionally, Seed Bomb gives Cacturne the ability to easily KO Alomomola easily, a feat many physical attackers only wish they could accomplish. This is furthered by Water Absorb, which makes Cacturne immune to Scald. Wrapping up the moveset is the reason that this Cacturne set performs so well&mdash;an extra move. With just one moveslot not taken up by Spikes, Cacturne becomes so much more of a threat offensively. Drain Punch does not hit very much coverage-wise, but it does hit Skuntank, has excellent neutral coverage, and provides a crucial source of recovery. Substitute is a great alternative, allowing Cacturne to avoid the perils of revenge killers that can tank a boosted Sucker Punch and have a safeguard against priority and status all in one fell swoop. Substitute also eases prediction significantly and thus makes it easier for Cacturne to set up.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EVs are extremely simple and fairly self-explanatory, but it may look strange to you that Cacturne is running a full 252 Speed EVs with such an abysmal base Speed. The reasoning for this is that there are quite a few Pokemon that would outspeed and demolish Cacturne without Speed investment, but cannot do the same to Cacturne with it. What might perhaps seem an insignificant choice in the item selection is actually very important to how Cacturne operates. Life Orb is the preferred item choice because of the additional punch it gives Sucker Punch, which is crucial for KOing many Pokemon that can KO Cacturne themselves if given the chance. Leftovers is another choice to provide more resilience against residual damage, but should really only be used with Substitute to produce more of them, as otherwise the power decrease is too significant to ignore.</p>

    <p>Cacturne really does not need a whole ton in the way of partners, which is part of the beauty of this set. However, the one obstacle that it cannot break, Amoonguss, must be removed for Cacturne to sweep. Braviary and Rapidash are good choices for the job. Additionally, if running Substitute, a Pokemon that can beat Skuntank, such as Golurk, is needed. Golurk also has the benefit of excellent type synergy with Cacturne, being immune to its Fighting weakness and luring Water-type attacks for it to switch into. Golurk also sets up Stealth Rock and bluffs that Cacturne will be setting up Spikes due to being a spinblocker. This affects your opponent's play drastically in that they will bring in their Rapid Spin and Taunt users in an attempt to prevent Cacturne from setting up Spikes, something you can take immediate advantage of.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Something that might be on your mind right now is why there is no special or even mixed Cacturne with its base 115 Special Attack. The reason behind this is very simple&mdash;special sets do not have priority on their side, which makes physical sets better essentially by default. However, this is not to say that special sets cannot do well; quite the opposite. If running a specially-orientated set, Cacturne has the option of running Giga Drain, which provides the coveted combination of power and recovery all in one move. This alone makes special sets viable, and access to Dark Pulse and Focus Blast for coverage further bolsters their effectiveness. Perhaps the best of Cacturne's special offerings is a Nasty Plot setup sweeper, which would function in a similar fashion to the Swords Dance set sans priority. Its spamming STAB move of choice having recovery gives it more opportunities to set up. A Choice Specs set is also viable, and access to Switcheroo gives it a decent niche. However, it should be emphasized that the lack of recovery is heavily debilitating. Other Choice sets are also viable, including a Choice Band one that utilizes a powerful Sucker Punch and a Choice Scarf set that cripples walls with Switcheroo and does not have to worry about an abysmal Speed stat.</p>

    <p>Yache Berry is a solid choice for an item on either listed set, as it allows Cacturne to tank an Ice Beam from Samurott or Ludicolo and set up Swords Dance or Spikes. This is especially relevant because neither can hit Cacturne for much damage outside of Megahorn for the former. It is little help when Cacturne is low on health, but at least Drain Punch can somewhat make up for that issue. Another scenario in which it would be useful is&mdash;bear in mind that this is very specific but can be applied to many other scenarios&mdash;not being KOed by a Sucker Punch from Skuntank after surviving an Ice Beam from Ludicolo. A Substitute + Focus Punch set can work decently, but Drain Punch is superior in every essential way and does not take up two moveslots. However, it does ease prediction significantly, so bear that in mind. Cacturne has two other moves that it can potentially use. Destiny Bond might seem a great option, but Cacturne is just too slow to utilize it properly without Focus Sash. Synthesis is the other option for some always useful recovery, but it is generally a wasted moveslot that could be better spent on a setup move, coverage move, or Substitute. Finally, before you jump for joy and rejoice that Cacturne has access to the excellent moves Encore and Bullet Seed, realize that they are banned due to Sand Veil being banned from all tiers OU and below, thus rendering them unavailable for Cacturne's use.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Despite its many positives, the fact of the matter is that Cacturne is quite easy to defeat, much to the dismay of its users but to the great joy of its opponents. The best way to conquer it is Amoonguss, who walls it to death even without investment in bulk&mdash;which it usually has&mdash;and can OHKO with STAB Sludge Bomb. Weezing is another solid answer to Cacturne, walling it to the ends of the earth and easily KOing with STAB Sludge Bomb or a simple Fire Blast or Flamethrower. Armaldo can Rapid Spin Cacturne's Spikes away and OHKO with X-Scissor, though it must watch out for switching into Seed Bomb if it is an offensive variant, as they are 2HKOed by it after Stealth Rock damage without a Life Orb backing it and 2HKOes regardless of Stealth Rock with a Life Orb backing it. Shell Smash Torkoal, NU's other resident Rapid Spin users, can easily KO Cacturne and ruin all of its hard work with Rapid Spin. Of course, neither Rapid Spin user is much of an annoyance when Cacturne lacks Spikes. Taunt users are an annoyance to any variant of Cacturne, as the move prevents the use of both Spikes and Swords Dance.</p>

    <p>There are many other ways of penetrating Cacturne's thorny yet thin hide. Braviary comes on the forefront, being one of the best Pokemon in NU, resisting Seed Bomb, and having the ability to set up all over Cacturne's shadowy face with Substitute and Bulk Up. Other offensive answers include Fighting-types, which resist Sucker Punch. These include Emboar, who has two STABs that obliterate Cacturne, and Sawk. Bug-types, such as Pinsir with STAB X-Scissor, can do the job as well. Rotom-S, especially bulky variants, are a pain for Cacturne to deal with. Samurott outspeeds Cacturne and is not OHKOed by +2 Sucker Punch without a boost from Life Orb and entry hazard support. Samurott can KO in return with a 4x super effective Megahorn. Haunter can play tricks with Cacturne with a Substitute and Sucker Punch and KO in retaliation with a powerful STAB Sludge Bomb. Skuntank actually walls Cacturne completely if it does have Drain Punch on its moveset and can easily OHKO with STAB Poison Jab. Lastly, there are two Pokemon&mdash;Altaria and Gurdurr&mdash;that can set up all day in front of Cacturne and KO with boosted attacks. Overall, beating Cacturne is pretty easy, but be sure to have an answer to it or be prepared to incur its mighty and thorny wrath.</p>

    c/p (open)
    [Overview]

    <p>When you first set your eyes upon NU's most popular cactus, you will likely wonder why anyone would use it. It has mediocre defenses and abysmal Speed&mdash;great offenses are not making up for that. If Cacturne's stats did not impress you, no one can place much of any blame on you, but you would be terribly mislead. Cacturne is one of the few Pokemon in NU that has been granted access to the coveted Spikes. This alone would skyrocket its usefulness tenfold, but just wait, there is still more to come. Cacturne also has STAB priority in Sucker Punch, which makes its Speed stat a second-rate concern. Armed with Swords Dance to boost its attack and Drain Punch to heal itself, Cacturne has the power of an armada in its arsenal. Cacturne even has a decent ability in Water Absorb, which makes it so Cacturne does not have to worry about being burned by Scald and can function as a pivot to absorb Water-type attacks. Water Absorb also helps against Aqua Jets from the likes of Samurott, Floatzel, and Basculin and wastes a turn of rain against rain teams, which can make all the difference in the world. Beware the cactus&mdash;otherwise it will coerce you into its dastardly ways and surprise you like the sucker you are.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Offensive Spiker
    move 1: Spikes
    move 2: Swords Dance / Substitute
    move 3: Seed Bomb
    move 4: Sucker Punch
    item: Focus Sash / Life Orb
    ability: Water Absorb
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>The focal point of Cacturne's niche is its ability to set up Spikes and hit hard while doing so, and this set is designed to take advantage of these traits. Therein lies its main advantage over Garbodor. At first, you might be confused as to the reason why one would even consider using both Spikes and Swords Dance on the same set. The answer to this is simply that there are some teams that setting up Spikes is not the correct course of action against. The time to analyze this is with Team Preview&mdash;utilize your capability to view the entirety of your opponent's team and look to see how many Pokemon Spikes are actually affecting. For example, if your opponent has a bunch of Pokemon that have the ability Levitate or a Flying typing, Spikes would not be the best course of action. Rather, setting up Swords Dance and punching some holes early in the match would be best. Against some teams, it might be wise to do both, such as against stall teams if you have a spinblocker waiting in the wings. This reward-reward dynamic removes any need to choose which types of teams Cacturne will do well against.</p>

    <p>Before moving onto the meat of the moveset, it must be explained just how useful Spikes are for a plethora of teams. Stall teams, offensive Pokemon, and Cacturne alike can take advantage of Spikes in numerous different ways. The residual damage that they provide is simply invaluable. Swords Dance is an excellent move as well, allowing Cacturne to hit quite hard, break stall teams, and obtain some key KOs with Sucker Punch by virtue of its high base 115 Attack stat. Seed Bomb is Cacturne's main STAB move of choice, hitting an object of hatred for many physical attackers&mdash;Alomomola&mdash;hard as well as most Pokemon that do not resist it. Seed Bomb has enough power to 2HKO offensive Armaldo after Stealth Rock damage without Life Orb and 2HKOes regardless of Stealth Rock with Life Orb, which means that not even NU's best Rapid Spin user can switch into Cacturne freely. Sucker Punch occupies the final moveslot as a way to hit faster Pokemon. It can be unreliable, but being a STAB priority 80 Base Power move makes up for it. Sucker Punch allows Cacturne to perform intrinsically better against the majority of Pokemon that are commonly found leading and also to act as a revenge killer if it survives the early-game. Alternatively, Substitute can be used over Swords Dance&mdash;Cacturne loses the ability to sweep but gains protection from faster Pokemon, revenge killers, and burn status as well as an easier time predicting.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EVs are standard fare for an offensive Pokemon&mdash;maximum investment in Attack supplemented by an Adamant nature makes Cacturne pack a punch, while fully investing in Speed allows Cacturne to outrun many Pokemon near its Speed tier, such as Eelektross and Armaldo, that often choose not to invest in Speed. Focus Sash is the preferred item choice if Cacturne is intended to be used as a lead, particularly a suicide one. It allows Cacturne to take even the most powerful of attacks from full health guaranteed and set up, at the very least, two layers of Spikes in most scenarios. However, it is definitely not the only decent choice for an item. Substitute defeats the purpose of Focus Sash, so other items have greater ability alongside it. For instance, Life Orb provides greater power, while Leftovers can be used to set up more Substitutes. Alternatively, Cacturne can utilize a Dark Gem for a one-time boost to Sucker Punch. It has no negative repercussions to speak of, unless you count Cacturne not having an item once it is consumed as some sort of horrific tragedy.</p>

    <p>When using this Cacturne set, there is one major piece of support that your team should include: a spinblocker. Regardless of the circumstances, it is a basic Pokemon law that Cacturne cannot set up a full three layers of Spikes twice in a battle. Heck, it has enough trouble doing so once. Golurk is the best choice, as it has excellent offensive and defensive synergy with Cacturne and can set up Stealth Rock to complete two-thirds of the entry hazard trifecta. However, the two do share an Ice weakness, so be sure to adequately cover that with the rest of your team. Although Golurk is certainly the top choice, it is not the only one. Misdreavus is another stellar option, as its defensive capabilities allow it to take on every Rapid Spin user and come out of the exchange the victor. Offensive Pokemon of course benefit immensely from Spikes, so Emboar, Rotom-S, and Bulk Up Braviary, among others, enjoy Cacturne's presence. Stall teams might prefer a Spikes user with more survivability, but Cacturne's unique offensive presence sometimes allows it to find a place on such teams. If you are not planning to lead with Cacturne and rather intend to use it later in the match after it has set up Spikes, a Rock-type, such as Regirock or Golem, is recommended for their great type synergy and ability to lure Water-type attacks for Cacturne to switch in on. What is so excellent about Cacturne is how well it stands on its own; generally, Cacturne has some method of getting around Pokemon that threaten it.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Swords Dance
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Sucker Punch
    move 3: Seed Bomb
    move 4: Drain Punch / Substitute
    item: Life Orb / Leftovers
    ability: Water Absorb
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>While Cacturne is usually seen setting up Spikes, it is not a one-trick pony&mdash;quite the opposite actually. This is the side of Cacturne that is lesser seen by the public but for that reason is all the more terrifying. Instead of being relegated to a supporting role with a slight offensive punch, this set allows Cacturne to unleash the untold force that is stockpiled inside of it. Cacturne's high base 115 Attack stat, especially with STAB Sucker Punch to utilize, is envied among NU sweepers. Since setting up Spikes need not be even a small thought, more time can be dedicated toward setting up Swords Dance and sweeping.</p>

    <p>Cacturne's claim to fame as a sweeper is STAB Sucker Punch, and rightfully so. When boosted by Swords Dance, it is powerful enough to KO most Pokemon that do not invest much in Defense or resist it. However, its unreliability means that it is not an attack to carelessly throw around. This is where Seed Bomb comes in&mdash;it has a solid Base Power and is backed by STAB. Additionally, Seed Bomb gives Cacturne the ability to KO Alomomola easily, a feat many physical attackers only wish they could accomplish. This is furthered by Water Absorb, which makes Cacturne immune to Scald. Wrapping up the moveset is the reason that this Cacturne set performs so well&mdash;an extra move. With just one moveslot not taken up by Spikes, Cacturne becomes so much more of a threat offensively. Drain Punch does not hit very much coverage-wise, but it does hit Skuntank, has excellent neutral coverage, and provides a crucial source of recovery. Substitute is a great alternative, allowing Cacturne to avoid the perils of revenge killers that can tank a boosted Sucker Punch and have a safeguard against priority and status all in one fell swoop. Substitute also eases prediction significantly and thus makes it easier for Cacturne to set up.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EVs are extremely simple and fairly self-explanatory, but it may look strange to you that Cacturne is running a full 252 Speed EVs with such an abysmal base Speed. The reasoning for this is that there are quite a few Pokemon that would outspeed and demolish Cacturne without Speed investment, but cannot do the same to Cacturne with it. What might perhaps seem an insignificant choice in the item selection is actually very important to how Cacturne operates. Life Orb is the preferred item choice because of the additional punch it gives Sucker Punch, which is crucial for KOing many Pokemon that can KO Cacturne themselves if given the chance. Leftovers is another choice to provide more resilience against residual damage, but should really only be used with Substitute to produce more of them, as otherwise the power decrease is too significant to ignore.</p>

    <p>Cacturne really does not need a whole ton in the way of partners, which is part of the beauty of this set. However, the one obstacle that it cannot break, Amoonguss, must be removed for Cacturne to sweep. Braviary and Rapidash are good choices for the job. Additionally, if running Substitute, a Pokemon that can beat Skuntank, such as Golurk, is needed. Golurk also has the benefit of excellent type synergy with Cacturne, being immune to its Fighting weakness and luring Water-type attacks for it to switch into. Golurk also sets up Stealth Rock and bluffs that Cacturne will be setting up Spikes due to being a spinblocker. This affects your opponent's play drastically in that they will bring in their Rapid Spin and Taunt users in an attempt to prevent Cacturne from setting up Spikes, something you can take immediate advantage of.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Something that might be on your mind right now is why there is no special or even mixed Cacturne with its base 115 Special Attack. The reason behind this is very simple&mdash;special sets do not have priority on their side, which makes physical sets better essentially by default. However, this is not to say that special sets cannot do well; quite the opposite. If running a specially-orientated set, Cacturne has the option of running Giga Drain, which provides the coveted combination of power and recovery all in one move. This alone makes special sets viable, and access to Dark Pulse and Focus Blast for coverage further bolsters their effectiveness. Perhaps the best of Cacturne's special offerings is a Nasty Plot setup sweeper, which would function in a similar fashion to the Swords Dance set sans priority. Its spamming STAB move of choice having recovery gives it more opportunities to set up. A Choice Specs set is also viable, and access to Switcheroo gives it a decent niche. However, it should be emphasized that the lack of recovery is heavily debilitating. Other Choice sets are also viable, including a Choice Band one that utilizes a powerful Sucker Punch and a Choice Scarf set that cripples walls with Switcheroo and does not have to worry about an abysmal Speed stat.</p>

    <p>Yache Berry is a solid choice for an item on either listed set, as it allows Cacturne to tank an Ice Beam from Samurott or Ludicolo and set up Swords Dance or Spikes. This is especially relevant because neither can hit Cacturne for much damage outside of Megahorn for the former. It is little help when Cacturne is low on health, but at least Drain Punch can somewhat make up for that issue. Another scenario in which it would be useful is&mdash;bear in mind that this is very specific but can be applied to many other scenarios&mdash;not being KOed by a Sucker Punch from Skuntank after surviving an Ice Beam from Ludicolo. A Substitute + Focus Punch set can work decently, but Drain Punch is superior in every essential way and does not take up two moveslots. However, it does ease prediction significantly, so bear that in mind. Cacturne has two other moves that it can potentially use. Destiny Bond might seem a great option, but Cacturne is just too slow to utilize it properly without Focus Sash. Synthesis is the other option for some always useful recovery, but it is generally a wasted moveslot that could be better spent on a setup move, coverage move, or Substitute. Finally, before you jump for joy and rejoice that Cacturne has access to the excellent moves Encore and Bullet Seed, realize that they are banned due to Sand Veil being banned from all tiers OU and below, thus rendering them unavailable for Cacturne's use.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Despite its many positives, the fact of the matter is that Cacturne is quite easy to defeat, much to the dismay of its users but to the great joy of its opponents. The best way to conquer it is Amoonguss, who walls it to death even without investment in bulk&mdash;which it usually has&mdash;and can OHKO with STAB Sludge Bomb. Weezing is another solid answer to Cacturne, walling it to the ends of the earth and easily KOing with STAB Sludge Bomb or a simple Fire Blast or Flamethrower. Armaldo can Rapid Spin Cacturne's Spikes away and OHKO with X-Scissor, though it must watch out for switching into Seed Bomb if it is an offensive variant, as they are 2HKOed by it after Stealth Rock damage without a Life Orb backing it and 2HKOes regardless of Stealth Rock with a Life Orb backing it. Shell Smash Torkoal, NU's other resident Rapid Spin users, can easily KO Cacturne and ruin all of its hard work with Rapid Spin. Of course, neither Rapid Spin user is much of an annoyance when Cacturne lacks Spikes. Taunt users are an annoyance to any variant of Cacturne, as the move prevents the use of both Spikes and Swords Dance.</p>

    <p>There are many other ways of penetrating Cacturne's thorny yet thin hide. Braviary comes on the forefront, being one of the best Pokemon in NU, resisting Seed Bomb, and having the ability to set up all over Cacturne's shadowy face with Substitute and Bulk Up. Other offensive answers include Fighting-types, which resist Sucker Punch. These include Emboar, who has two STABs that obliterate Cacturne, and Sawk. Bug-types, such as Pinsir with STAB X-Scissor, can do the job as well. Rotom-S, especially bulky variants, are a pain for Cacturne to deal with. Samurott outspeeds Cacturne and is not OHKOed by +2 Sucker Punch without a boost from Life Orb and entry hazard support. Samurott can KO in return with a 4x super effective Megahorn. Haunter can play tricks with Cacturne with a Substitute and Sucker Punch and KO in retaliation with a powerful STAB Sludge Bomb. Skuntank actually walls Cacturne completely if it does have Drain Punch on its moveset and can easily OHKO with STAB Poison Jab. Lastly, there are two Pokemon&mdash;Altaria and Gurdurr&mdash;that can set up all day in front of Cacturne and KO with boosted attacks. Overall, beating Cacturne is pretty easy, but be sure to have an answer to it or be prepared to incur its mighty and thorny wrath.</p>

    good job, your writing has improved drastically from when you first started.
    [gp]1/2[/gp]
  11. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,950
    ^ 2/2 you mean I guess

    This is ready for upload!
  12. Raseri

    Raseri here to help
    is a Tutoris a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Researcher Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
    NU Co-Leader

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,435
    The shaqtus is back(tus)

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)