Carvanha returns to Little Cup as the glass cannon that can clean through teams that it was before it was banned in BW. It thrives off its great ability, Speed Boost, which allows it to gradually become untouchable as it destroys the opponent. Its strong, unique STAB combination pairs perfectly with its ridiculous base 90 Attack, giving Carvanha many opportunities to sweep through opposing teams. However, Carvanha is cursed with horrible 45 / 20 / 20 defenses that make it struggle to take even resisted attacks. But despite its nonexistent bulk, Carvanha is exceptional at both breaking walls and sweeping weakened teams.
GOTTA GO FAST
name: GOTTA GO FAST
move 1: Waterfall
move 2: Crunch
move 3: Aqua Jet / Destiny Bond
move 4: Protect / Destiny Bond
ability: Speed Boost
item: Life Orb
evs: 196 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpD / 236 Spe
ivs: 0 HP
With its massive Attack stat and Speed Boost, Carvanha can easily overwhelm its opponents with a physical Life Orb set. Waterfall is Carvanha's main STAB option due to its reliable power and great coverage. Crunch is the secondary STAB option, another reliable move with equally good Base Power. After its primary STAB attacks, Carvanha has multiple options in Protect, Aqua Jet, and Destiny Bond. Aqua Jet is incredible at picking off weakened foes, while also dodging any priority aimed at Carvanha from the likes of weakened Pokemon such as Meditite. Protect, on the other hand, gives Carvanha a guaranteed +1 in Speed, while also dodging any Fake Outs that would otherwise KO it. Destiny Bond is a bit of an oddball move on Carvanha; while Carvanha is meant to destroy everything in its path, Destiny Bond allows it to immediately remove any threat from the game because almost any attack will OHKO it anyway.
Max Attack with an Adamant nature gives Carvanha all the power it needs to sweep teams. After that, max Speed is used to allow Carvanha to outspeed most of the metagame before a Speed boost. The rest of the EVs are put into both defenses to help Carvanha take priority attacks and resisted hits more easily. HP IVs are set to 0 so that Carvanha is at 19 HP, making it only lose one hit point from Life Orb recoil. Likewise, Life Orb is the preferred item because Carvanha needs all the power it can get to guarantee OHKOs.
There are only two times Carvanha should come in: either to pick something off or to start a sweep. Before attempting to sweep, Carvanha is a hit-and-run Pokemon that comes in either to break a wall with two Waterfalls or to pick something off with Aqua Jet. Because of Carvanha's lack of bulk, the user should be very conservative with what moves Carvanha switches in on if it must; common choices include Ice-type attacks aimed at teammates such as Gligar.
Carvanha struggles to endure any hit, especially from the ever common Fighting-types, so it needs teammates to patch up its paper-thin defenses. Gligar and Misdreavus are both great Pokemon that can tank many priority moves; Gligar can take advantage of Fighting-types to set up Stealth Rock or just KO them with Acrobatics, whereas Misdreavus can come in for free on the many Fake Outs and Fighting-type moves in the tier. Because Carvanha aims to sweep through teams, bulky Pokemon that can take a single hit such as Spritzee and Porygon are major issues. Knock Off support from Pokemon such as Pawniard greatly aids Carvanha against these threats, while setup sweepers such as Gligar can use them as setup bait.
Zen Headbutt is a good move Carvanha can run to hit some of its checks on the switch, but with the exception of Croagunk, it does not get any OHKOs that Waterfall misses. Carvanha can effectively run a mixed attacking set, using both Hydro Pump and Ice Beam to hit some of its would-be checks such as Snubbull and Timburr harder, but this misses out on many important KOs by splitting its attacking stats. Thief has a very niche use with Focus Sash, allowing Carvanha to steal Berry Juices, but the loss of firepower makes it an inferior option to Crunch.
Checks & Counters
**Croagunk**: Croagunk is immune to Waterfall and resists Crunch, letting it practically come in for free. It also has Vacuum Wave, letting it completely ignore Carvanha's Speed.
**Timburr**: Timburr has the physical bulk to easily take a Waterfall and hit Carvanha with Drain Punch to regain its lost health. It also has Mach Punch to ignore Speed Boost.
**Priority Moves**: Priority is particularly effective against Carvanha because it lacks the bulk to take even not very effective priority well. This, coupled with Life Orb lowering Carvanha's health every turn, can quickly put a stop to Carvanha's sweep.
**Ferroseed**: Ferroseed resists Waterfall, has the bulk to take a Crunch, and can easily threaten Carvanha with Thunder Wave and Bullet Seed.
**Sturdy**: Due to Carvanha's lack of bulk, if it cannot OHKO the opponent, it will be KOed. Sturdy literally prevents a Pokemon from being OHKOed, making it a good answer to Carvanha.
**Bulky Pokemon**: Particularly bulky Pokemon such as Porygon and Spritzee can take a hit from Carvanha relatively easily and retaliate, punishing its lack of bulk.
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