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Carvanha: The Dark Fish

Discussion in 'Little Cup' started by v, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. v

    v protected by a silver spoon
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus

    Nov 2, 2008
    If you don’t know why Carvanha is good, you haven’t been playing very much Little Cup the past few weeks! Carvanha is a very unique and powerful Pokemon for a variety of reasons, first and foremost of which is its access to the most powerful Aqua Jet in Little Cup. Carvanha also has one of the highest Attack scores in Little Cup and a very respectable Special Attack. Because of this, Carvanha is capable of crushing unprepared teams.


    Carvanha, however, also has its share of shortcomings. One of the worst of these is that it has an almost-100% surefire counter: Croagunk. Croagunk being immune to Aqua Jet is the main reason that it is able to defeat Croagunk. Crunch does 67%, but gunk’s Vacuum Wave is a surefire KO. Additionally, Carvanha’s defenses are the worst in the game bar none, standing at base 20 each and a matching base 45 HP. This means that anything that can outspeed it will more often than not kill it. That said, Carvanha remains one of the most threatening Pokemon in the game.


    name: SubVanha
    move 1: Substitute
    move 2: Aqua Jet
    move 3: Crunch
    move 4: Zen Headbutt
    item: Life Orb
    ability: Rough Skin
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 196 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpD / 236 Spe

    Yes, I’ve mentioned this set in a past thread. Carvanha has a lot of power backing it, which is only augmented by Substitute. It can 2HKO almost the entire metagame with the listed moves. It misses out on Oran Stunky and very defensive Gligar and Munchlax, but other than the aforementioned Stunky these are relatively rare. With a Substitute up, Zen Headbutt can easily OHKO any Fighting-type, while Crunch allows it to hit extremely, extremely hard and Aqua Jet is just obligatory priority.

    name: MixVanha
    move 1: Hydro Pump
    move 2: Aqua Jet
    move 3: Crunch
    move 4: Zen Headbutt / Ice Beam
    item: Life Orb
    ability: Rough Skin
    nature: Naughty
    evs: 76 Atk / 236 SpA / 196 Spe

    This is the original Carvahna, back from when Croagunk wasn’t as common. It is still usable today, believe it or not. It isn’t quite the force that the Substitute set is, but it can rip through an unprepared opponent. Hydro Pump 2HKOs a lot of stuff, packing the same punch that Mantyke’s does. Aqua Jet finishes off pests that decide to run Focus Sash, though Carvahna shouldn’t be expected to take a hit anytime soon.

    name: ScarfVanha
    move 1: Aqua Jet
    move 2: Waterfall
    move 3: Crunch
    move 4: Zen Headbutt
    item: Choice Scarf
    ability: Rough Skin
    evs: 196 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpD / 236 Spe
    nature: Adamant

    Carvanha can also become a fearsome revenge-killer by using Scarf. While it may lose a bit of power because it is dropping Life Orb, the speed it gains allows it to easily take down weakened opponents. Waterfall and Crunch are both twice as powerful as Carvanha’s Aqua Jet, the move that it usually uses to finish off scarfers. Because of this, ScarfVahna is a very dangerous lategame cleaner, once opposing priority-abusers are down.

    So, if you haven’t already, go out there and give Carvanha a try!
  2. Articanus


    Dec 2, 2006
    say wha!?!?!

    anyway, I don't know what to add. He is a beast, and will easily run through unprepared teams. Then again, so will any threat....

    Is four attack version with Waterfall>Hydro Pump viable, or is everything just hit that much harder by Hydro Pump to never warrant the use of an all-physical set?
  3. Upside


    Apr 5, 2009
    I've been running the SubVanha set on my team, and it's definitely a huge threat to almost any team. Even Croagunk cannot switch in on sub, as it's killed by Zen Headbutt. Obviously, Carvanha's primary weakness is it's defenses, but the fact that it gets STAB priority and a decent speed stat means that it's not a huge problem. I find that Carvanha benefits greatly from a teammate with the ability switch in on many of the faster pokemon and threaten team. I've been using a Missy teammate. I original used a Life Orb SubSneak set, but I found that an Oran berry and a bit bulkier EV spread worked much better. The rest of my team isn't very focused on supporting a Carvanha sweep, but there's generally so few counters that it's pretty easy to eliminate them. I haven't tried out a mixed set yet, but it definitely looks like it could put holes in opposing teams for other pokemon to sweep. Also, one thing I've noticed is that many people tend to assume you will be subbing and attempt to get the advantage off of that, so you can generally hit them hard by predicting that. Overall, I don't think that Carvanha is broken to the point of being Uber, but I can tell you that my team would suffer greatly if his sheer power was taken away.
  4. macle

    macle formerly Bane. (Sunflora- add 50 spe)
    is a Tutoris a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis an Artist Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
    Little Cup Co-Leader

    Jun 21, 2008
    I find wynaut a great partner for the mix set. It can great oppurtunities to let Carvanha to get a sub up and demolish teams. It can also trap and kill scarfers and Croagunk.
  5. Heysup

    Heysup Monsters are dangerous and kings are dying like flies.
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

    Jun 28, 2008
    I have found that Waterfall + Crunch SubVanha is great, if not better than the Zen Headbutt variant. If you pair Carvanha with Wynaut, you really shouldn't have an issue removing Croagunk.

    With Waterfall you actually beat Pokemon like Gligar and other bulky Rock or Ground types like Phanpy and Aron.
  6. Dubulous

    Dubulous I look just like Buddy Holly.
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Jun 9, 2009
    To be quite honest, Carvahna hasn't really been that effective for me. It cannot switch in on anything (except for a Choiced Psychic attack...lol) since it is so frail, so really you can only bring it in after something of yours goes down. Once it's in, it will have problems setting up since a) it doesn't reach 19 speed and b) no one will let Carvahna set up a Substitute anymore. Even if it does get a Substitute up, it can still be played around (ie it isn't an automatic win) with the omnipresence of priority to possibly go before Aqua Jet. Croagunk will beat it 100% of the time if Carvahna does not have a Substitute up, and it will beat Carvahna outright 10% of the time if it does (assuming it has the Dry Skin ability), while breaking the Substitute the other 90%.

    Really, to have any chance of being remotely effective, Carvahna must be paired with Wynaut. Even still, teams are now perhaps overprepared for Carvahna, which makes it difficult to use.
  7. Testknight


    Nov 11, 2009
    I remember Carvanha being awesome back in the day, nice to see it hasn't fallen out or anything.
  8. stickid


    Apr 1, 2010
    I found switching into Bronzors' was the only chance I got to set up a sub. But why is Aqua jet put over Waterfall? Is it because of priority? But if you're behind a sub surely the additional power from Waterfall would be a more sufficient choice.
  9. Banryu


    Feb 26, 2009
    What about when your Sub breaks? And you happen to be up against something faster than you?

    Definitely something to consider, but Aqua Jet is probably there for a reason. :0
  10. sunkirby


    Aug 12, 2009
    That is when you start using choice sets/attacking on the switch. Kill the predicted croagunk. Predict, and destroy (Croagunk).

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