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Cloyster

Discussion in 'Locked / Outdated Analyses' started by TRC, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    Overview
    ########
    Cloyster is one of few Pokemon lucky enough to be gifted with arguably the best boosting move in the game for a sweeper: Shell Smash. In addition, Cloyster's ability, Skill Link, makes its Icicle Spear and Rock Blast essentially 125 Base Power moves. These two advantages mark Cloyster as quite a good sweeper in the metagame. One thing often overlooked on Cloyster due to its sweeping role is its gargantuan Defense stat, which aids it in finding opportunities to set up, and helps against physical priority. However, to compensate for its amazing Defense stat, Game Freak decided to give Cloyster an abysmal Special Defense stat; this in conjunction with its poor defensive typing means that the majority of special moves will severely damage it and prevent it from being able to successfully pull off a sweep. Cloyster's typing also gives it a nasty weakness to Stealth Rock, as well as Mach Punch, a common priority move. In addition to its defensive weaknesses, Cloyster often has trouble getting past bulkier Pokemon even after it has set up, which makes it vulnerable to some of the more common threats in the metagame, such as Aegislash, Ferrothorn, Rotom-W, and Scizor.

    Shell Smash
    ########
    name: Shell Smash
    move 1: Shell Smash
    move 2: Icicle Spear
    move 3: Rock Blast
    move 4: Hydro Pump / Razor Shell
    ability: Skill Link
    item: Never-Melt Ice / Lum Berry
    evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    nature: Naughty / Adamant

    Moves
    ========
    This is Cloyster's most effective set, and is the set that gave Cloyster its reputation as an incredibly dangerous sweeper. Shell Smash is the move that makes Cloyster so threatening; by doubling its offensive stats and Speed, it instantly becomes a threatening sweeper. Cloyster's main STAB attack, Icicle Spear, will consistently be 125 Base Power thanks to Skill Link, and after a Shell Smash, it will inflict massive damage on anything that doesn't resist it; even physical walls such as Ferrothorn and Skarmory take large amounts of damage. Rock Blast is an excellent coverage move, as not only is it boosted by Skill Link, it also provides great neutral coverage, hitting Fire- and Ice-types super effectively, and is Cloyster's main way of dealing with Talonflame, Gyarados, Volcarona, and Mega Charizard X. The fourth slot is based on personal choice. Hydro Pump is often the better option, as it allows Cloyster to break through physically defensive checks such as Skamory, Mega Aggron, and Scizor with a bit of prior damage, while Razor Shell is Cloyster's best option against Assault Vest Tyranitar and Specially Defensive Heatran. However, Ice Shard can be used to KO a weakened Breloom, hit Talonflame before it attempts to revenge kill with Brave Bird, and give Cloyster useful priority before it boosts, but it is often unnecessary.

    Set Details
    ========
    The EVs are allotted in the simplest way for a sweeper, with full investment in Attack and Speed to hit as hard and fast as possible. Naughty is the preferred nature as it boosts Cloyster's Attack without detracting from Hydro Pump's power, while only lowering Cloyster's worthless Special Defense, but Adamant can be used instead if one is using Razor Shell. Naive / Jolly are options which allow Cloyster to outspeed Deoxys-S and Choice Scarf Terrakion after a Shell Smash, but Cloyster really appreciates the extra power output. There are many items viable on Cloyster, but generally Never-Melt Ice is the best option as it boosts the power of Cloyster's Icicle Spear without the debilitating recoil of Life Orb, specifically allowing Cloyster to beat Clefable, Conkeldurr, Gastrodon, Mega Tyranitar, and Mega Venusaur after Stealth Rock. Lum Berry is a very helpful alternative as it offers protection from a status ailment which may be inflicted from a bulky opponent, such as Slowbro's Thunder Wave. King's Rock is a suitable item in conjunction with Skill Link as Cloyster's multi-hit moves gain a 41% flinch rate, though this is situational, and usually an item that is always in effect is better. It does have some use in breaking down bulkier checks if the flinch chance goes your way, so it is definitely helpful in certain scenarios. White Herb negates the Shell Smash drops to better shield against priority once Cloyster is weakened, while Life Orb is an acceptable choice to increase Cloyster's damage output; it enables Cloyster to do a hefty amount of damage to Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Rotom-W, but it decreases Cloyster's already short lifespan.

    Usage Tips
    ========
    Like all other sweepers, Cloyster cannot sweep before its counters have been removed. Take advantage of teammates such as Volcarona, Mandibuzz, and Latios; use them to eliminate troublesome Pokemon such as Aegislash, Scizor, Rotom-W, and Ferrothorn. Try to have as many entry hazards as possible on your opponent's side, as this will aid Cloyster's sweep immensely. In order to set up, Cloyster should come in on something it forces out, or something that can't do much to it, and then use Shell Smash. Often it may seem tempting to lead with Cloyster and Shell Smash straight away, but try to avoid this is your opponent may have a counter that you are unprepared for. Also, with Cloyster's low Special Defense, it may not always find opportunities to set up, so make sure you take advantage of the moves your opponent makes to find a suitable moment. One thing to note is that because of the large threat Cloyster immediately poses, it often baits opponents to use an array of attacks from the get-go, and this can be used to your advantage by pivot switching into something that can take the hit and force the foe out, and then switching back to Cloyster.

    Team Options
    ========
    In terms of teammates, Cloyster mainly appreciates powerful special attackers that can take on the variety of foes that it can't itself. An excellent example of this would be Volcarona, who can take on the likes of Scizor, Breloom, Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Aegislash before they have the chance to threaten Cloyster. Other Pokemon that perform similarly in this role include Latios with Hidden Power Fire, Rotom-H, and Heatran. Landorus-T and Mandibuzz can get rid of Cloyster's main counter, Aegislash and Mandibuzz in particular can use Foul Play on many physical priority users which trouble Cloyster. Cloyster always enjoys hazard support from the likes of Ferrothorn, Klefki, and Skarmory. Additionally, Cloyster enjoys hazard support on its own side as well, as it is weak to Stealth Rock and vulnerable to all other hazards; this can be in the form of either Rapid Spinners or Defoggers, and examples include Excadrill, Scizor, Mandibuzz, Latios, and Starmie. Latios is particularly good as sit counters the bothersome Keldeo. Because Mandibuzz can fill both the role of a Defog user and a counter to Aegislash, it is a fantastic partner to Cloyster. Magnezone can trap and eliminate many of the Steel-types which threaten Cloyster, such as Scizor, Skarmory, and Ferrothorn. Cloyster also likes dual screen support as it gives it fantastic support while it is setting up. Aegislash can run Hidden Power Fire to act as a lure for the aforementioned Steel-types, as well as use the advantages of King's Shield to give Cloyster free switch-ins.

    Other Options
    ########
    Cloyster is one of few Pokemon with access to Rapid Spin and Spikes, so it could attempt to pull off a defensive role, but its Ice typing makes this a terrible idea. It can also run Explosion for when it is severely weakened, but it uses up a valuable moveslot and is generally a poor choice. Finally, a Choice Band or Choice Scarf set could be viable, but Cloyster has a noticeable lack in power if it uses Choice Scarf, or Speed if it uses Choice Band; therefore Shell Smash is almost always a better option.

    Checks & Counters
    ########
    **Bulky Steel-types**: Aegislash is the best counter to Cloyster, as it can take all of its moves in Shield Form and OHKO back with Shadow Ball in Blade Form due to Cloyster's horrible Special Defense; mono-physical variants can also retaliate with a combination of Sacred Sword and Shadow Sneak. Skarmory can Whirlwind out Cloyster, eliminating its stat boosts, while Specially Defensive Jirachi can take all moves well except for a Razor Shell and either paralyze it with Thunder Wave or OHKO with Thunder. Ferrothorn is naturally bulky enough to take most hits and Power Whip or Thunder Wave in return.

    **Priority Users**: Cloyster cannot OHKO Scizor with any of its moves even after a Shell Smash, while Scizor can cleanly 2HKO with Bullet Punch or OHKO with Superpower. Breloom and Conkeldurr can dent Cloyster heavily with Mach Punch, and are able to dispose of it with a bit of prior damage, but it must be noted that Breloom is heavily dented by the rare Ice Shard.

    **Keldeo**: Keldeo cannot switch into Cloyster, but it makes a potent revenge killer, as it can survive any of Cloyster's attacks at +2 and retaliate with either Hydro Pump or Secret Sword.

    **Bulky Water-types**: Bulky Water-types are a very effective way of dealing with Cloyster as they resist both of its STAB moves. A common one is Rotom-W, who can take a hit from Cloyster and OHKO back with Thunderbolt. Quagsire also fills this role very well as it can take Cloyster's hits easily due to its Unaware ability and cripple Cloyster with Toxic, or try to burn it with Scald. Slowbro can take a hit from Cloyster and heavily dent it with Psychic or Flamethrower; it can also paralyze Cloyster with Thunder Wave, preventing it from successfully sweeping. Bear in mind that Lum Berry variants of Cloyster are immune to an initial status move, so try to determine the item Cloyster is running from the damage output.

    **Stealth Rock**: Cloyster's Ice typing gives it an unfortunate weakness to Stealth Rock, so having it up can limit Cloyster's switch-in opportunities and make it easier for opponents to defeat.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  2. Rayquaza_

    Rayquaza_

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    Small correction: Cloyster is not weak to Bullet Punch.
  3. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    thanks. I forgot about the water resist
  4. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    Bumping this for a 1st QC check.
  5. Hootie

    Hootie

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    Small nitpick but, shouldn't Cloyster run 4 EVs in defense instead of HP to minimize stealth rock damage?
  6. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    Cool, thanks.
  7. BKC

    BKC
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    looks good, qc 1/3
  8. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    Thanks a lot BKC!
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  9. Blakexd9

    Blakexd9

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    What exactly are the benefits of running Jolly over Adamant?
  10. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    at +2 lets you outspeed scarf latios with hp fire, modest venu in sun, scarf terrakion, +1 [salamence, jirachi, volcarona, landorus], kingdra in rain,
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  11. dragonuser

    dragonuser Today, tomorrow, and always with a frozen heart
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    We talked about this on IRC, my only comment is to possibly expand on which counters those teammates beat in usage tips

    QC APPROVED 2/3
  12. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    Thanks! I'll get this written up asap.
  13. t.k

    t.k

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    Cloyster @ Focus Sash
    Ability: Skill Link
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
    Adamant Nature
    - Icicle Spear
    - Rapid Spin
    - Shell Smash
    - Toxic Spikes

    i have made grown men cry with this set.
  14. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    With something with such a terrible defensive typing as Cloyster, including a Stealth Rock weakness, trying to Rapid Spin generally isn't worth it, as you will be losing a good portion of your health everytime you go in to remove hazards. Additionally, the set would appreciate a bit of defensive investment, though I fail to see how much you can benefit your already horrible Special Defense stat. You also seem to be running SS + Icicle Spear on a set which primarily looks defensive, which confuses me, as trying to pull of a Shell Smash and sweeping with Icicle Spear seems generally difficult, especially as you don't have any coverage moves. Finally, Focus Sash is generally an inferior option for Cloyster as with the ubiquity of hazards and Tyranitar, your sash will be broken quite easily, and even if it isn't, an item which boosts offenses such as Life Orb, NeverMeltIce or Icicle Plate, or an item with some utility such as Kings Rock, is usually the better option.
  15. Princess Bubblegum

    Princess Bubblegum

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    I use Tentacruel to counter Cloyster all the time, without a bunch of crits or flinches.
  16. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
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    With Life Orb I think Rock Blast kos after SR, i can't check ATM.
  17. AOPSUser

    AOPSUser

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    +2 252+ Atk Life Orb Cloyster Rock Blast (5 hits) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Tentacruel: 300-355 (82.4 - 97.5%) -- ~27.5% chance to OHKO (IE: if it gets a crit at all), ~81% chance to OHKO after SR without crits
    0 SpA Tentacruel Sludge Bomb vs. -1 4 HP / 0 SpD Cloyster: 226-267 (93.3 - 110.3%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO

    Cloyster's high chance of turning 2HKOes into OHKOes thanks to multi-hit moves lets it break certain mons like Tentacruel. Tentacruel also needs to be pristine in order to even stand a chance. And then if Cloyster is King's Rock it's just dead.

    Also, I don't particularly agree with White Herb. Cloyster's Special Defense is non-existent anyways, and after a Shell Smash, ideally it should be KOing everything left on the opponent's team, which Life Orb helps with. Scizor still doesn't OHKO you at -1, and Talonflame only does so 19% of the time. Cloyster is a late-game sweeper, so its bulk is mostly not needed in the first place. IMO Life Orb should be the primary item.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  18. TRC

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    I actually thought this intially but I was convinced on IRC otherwise due to LO shortening its already short lifespan.
  19. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound mfw stone miss
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    Not sure if this is worth mentioning, but using Cloyster as a lead usually prompts the opponent to desperately KO it before it can Shell Smash.

    It's rather situational, but against someone with an obvious lead like Genesect or Rotom-W (really not hard to find on the ladder), you can almost guarantee that they'll be using an Electric-type attack against you. This can be taken advantage of in a number of ways. Oftentimes it can be a good idea to lead with Cloyster even if it doesn't carry Focus Sash, with near-intent to switch to something that can absorb whatever attack will likely be sent flying at its face. Cloyster's just way too dangerous of a threat that you can almost guarantee that the opponent will go for the super effective attack.
  20. TRC

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    This is a good point. I don't advise using Cloyster as a lead but I understand what you're trying to say. Regardless, what do you thinki should feature this under. Usage tips? And say that it can easily be used to your advantage?
  21. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound mfw stone miss
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    Yeah, it doesn't have to even be a lead in particular. The fact that Cloyster is major bait for a variety of attacks can really be taken advantage of by a smart player. If I were you, I'd mention it briefly under usage tips.
  22. TRC

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    I can do it tomorrow when I'm on my pc
  23. November Blue

    November Blue NO YOUTUBE, I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH VIDEOS AT MAX VOLUME!!
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    Please don't use White Herb on Cloyster. I'm a little surprised that this has passed two QC checks. Life Orb and King's Rock should be the main options, IMO.

    King's Rock gives Cloyster a really good chance to muscle through Slowbro and other bulky Waters. Every time I see a Cloyster I switch to my Slowbro as it Smashes, then take it out with a single Psychic. Rock Blast can almost 2HKO, and a single flinch would be catastrophic.
  24. TRC

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    Excuse me. Ive had the opinions of higher than you make a case for 5 different items, and I've listened to all of them and evaluated them all carefully. Life Orb and Kings Rock were my original choices. The original preview had White Herb and Lum Berry. I was told by a member of QC that White Herb and Focus Sash are the best to aid Cloyster in setting, and that Life Orb is terrible because Cloyster will die too quickly with its stealth rock weakness and the fact that it baits an array of attacks due to its danger that it immediately poses. Ive been told kings rock is good because it can break through bulkier checks. Ive been told its bad because its situational, both by members of qc. White herb is the best. Kings rock is the best. Life orb is the best. Im sick of all of these conflicting opinions. Which item is the best?
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  25. Ash Borer

    Ash Borer Throttle Chopper
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    White herb cloyster comfortably tanks CB talonflame brave bird. Lum or whatever cloyster cleanly dies to it. That's reason enough for it to be listed, I dont see how you can refute going from being revenged by what is the most popular set on the most popular pokemon in OU to beating it as not worth it.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
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