Core Analysis Workshop (Ash Greninja + Z Hyper Beam Pheromosa)

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Sun & Moon Core Analysis

Pokémon teams rely on offensive and defensive synergy to function. Cores of Pokémon are units within teams that are built specifically to take advantage of these synergies between Pokémon. Many teams are built around such cores. The premise of this thread is to analyze cores by discussing threats to them and then potential partners. Hopefully this exercise helps you with your teambuilding process.

Although a few may be used, the cores posted here won't necessarily be taken from the Good Cores thread. However, looking through the Good Cores thread is recommended if you are looking for a core to build around.


Two Pokemon Cores

  • For 4-7 days after that post, depending on activity (I will alert posters a day before submissions close), posters will have the chance to post threats and/or partners to the core. For example, Keldeo is a threat to the core of Ash-Greninja + Mega Scizor, and AV Tangrowth is a good partner with the core to help deal with this threat and other issues.
  • When the given period of time is up, I will choose the top 3 partners to the core and put them in the archive. This is a subjective procedure. As such, other players will be consulted for opinions, unless they made nominations in the thread themselves. Please don’t be insulted if your nomination doesn’t make the archive. There will be many other opportunities, and a hall of fame will be created to reward users who consistently contribute good nominations. This will be added further down the line.
Three Pokemon Cores

  • For half the week, posters will have a chance to post threats to the given core.
  • After the time period is up, I will choose the top threats to the core and add them to the OP. We won't discuss partners for cores with 3 Pokémon.

  • Please follow up your reservations in a timely fashion, ideally within 24 hours. If you don't finish your reservation in a timely manner, I will allow someone else to take the Pokémon you reserved. Please do not make a habit out of not following up on your reservations.
  • Please post only Pokémon that are viable in OU. This means they ideally should be listed on the viability rankings thread. NOTE: With rules like this one, I prefer exercising leniency rather than enforcing it strictly. I don't want to discourage contributions, so if someone would like to mention a Pokemon that's threatening to the core and unlisted in the Viability Rankings, that's fine as long as they provide a genuine explanation behind their choice. Of course, the majority of threats and partners posted here should still be ones viable in OU and listed on the Viability Rankings. However, there's no harm in having some unranked Pokemon posted every now and then to shake things up a little.
  • Each poster may only nominate one partner to a core. I would prefer you only post one threat as well but if many threats have been posted since your first post I may allow you to mention a second threat. If you see activity is down and you have more threats and/or partners in mind, feel free to mention them.
  • When posting, please mention whether the Pokémon you are mentioning is a threat or partner. This helps a lot with keeping the thread organized.
  • When posting either a threat or a partner, explain yourself. Calculations aren't necessary, but please list more reasons than something simple like type synergy. Be descriptive so other posters and I can fully understand the reasoning behind your nomination. Furthermore, please list a full set of the Pokémon including its item, full moveset, EV spread, and nature.
  • When nominating partners, please post one moveset and EV spread. I'd prefer you didn't use slashes much just because this should be treated as a teambuilding exercise. This can't be avoided every time, so I will exercise some leniency with this rule.
  • Not so much a rule, more of a tip. Get your sprites here, it's an incredibly helpful tool that more people need to be aware of. Simply paste the importable and select which sort of sprite you'd like.
  • Please be respectful to others!
Clarification regarding Threats / Partners

  • A threat to the core must check or counter at least one member and cannot be countered by the other. A threat does not necessarily need to be able to switch into both members of the core, but it should be difficult/annoying to switch into for the members of the core. Of course, the biggest threats counter both members.
  • A partner should pressure some defensive roadblocks the core may face, and/or help against some offensive threats; ideally doing at least one whilst helping the core in achieving its goals or benefiting from what the core already provides. When nominating partners, you are allowed to make suggested changes to the current sets of the members of the core.
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Core #1

Greninja-Ash @ Choice Specs
Ability: Battle Bond
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Water Shuriken
- Hydro Pump
- Dark Pulse
- U-turn

Pheromosa @ Normalium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
Modest Nature
EVs: 224 Sp. Atk / 32 Sp. Def / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
-Quiver Dance
-Bug Buzz
-Focus Blast
-Hyper Beam

To kick things off, I thought I'd go with a pretty clear-cut, bread-and-butter offensive core. Ash Greninja is one of the most prominent and threatening cleaners to be introduced in SM, but it isn't without its pitfalls. This is where Quiver Dance Hyper Beam Pheromosa comes in, luring in the likes of Mantine, Toxapex, and Tapu Fini, and either eliminating them or heavily weakening them with +1 Breakneck Blitz. From there on out, Greninja shouldn't struggle attaining its form change, if Pheromosa doesn't just win by itself. In return, Ash Greninja threatens Pokemon such as Gengar and Alolan Marowak, both of which are roadblocks to Pheromosa, especially this particular set.

You may now begin discussing both threats and potential partners to this core. This period will last up to a week, depending on activity.



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Zygarde @ Choice Band
Ability: Aura Break
Adamant Nature
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Thousand Arrows
- Outrage
- Extreme Speed
- Toxic

CB Zygarde is a pretty big threat to this core since neither 'mon can OHKO it, since both aren't running Ice Beam. Even when they are, Choice Banded Extreme Speed is a big problem for both of these frail attackers. Pheromosa drops after Stealth Rock and has a good chance to even without it, while Greninja is cleanly 2HKO'd and as mentioned, cannot one shot Zygarde in return without Ice Beam.

224+ SpA Pheromosa Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Zygarde: 254-299 (71.1 - 83.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 SpA Choice Specs Greninja Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Zygarde: 238-282 (66.6 - 78.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Choice Band Zygarde Extreme Speed vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Pheromosa: 256-302 (90.4 - 106.7%) -- 43.8% chance to OHKO

252+ Atk Choice Band Zygarde Extreme Speed vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Greninja-Ash: 165-195 (57.8 - 68.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Choice Band Zygarde Thousand Arrows vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Greninja-Ash: 279-328 (97.8 - 115%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO


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Landorus-T @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 228 Def / 28 SpD
Relaxed Nature
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- U-turn

Landorus-T does a few things for this core which are nice; with a relaxed nature, HP Ice always 2HKOs offensive Zygarde variants whilst dealing a solid 40% to SubCoil--allowing it to not crumble it and making it a solid lure to it, which the core appreciates massively. Furthermore, it provides a slow U-turn--which is helpful for getting both Pokemon on the field. Stealth Rock is helpful for wearing things down too. All in all it's just a solid partner in general.
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Gyarados @ Gyaradosite
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Crunch
- Waterfall
- Earthquake

This set isn't good in the meta but it can put a dent in this core as it resists all of Greninja's moves except U-Turn, then set up a Dragon Dance. From there, it can OHKO both Greninja and Pheromosa. Earthquake is needed to OHKO Greninja at +1 while also dealing more damage to Keldeo and Toxapex.


Tapu Lele @ Shed Shell
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
- Psyshock
- Moonblast
- Hidden Power Fire
- Taunt

Tapu Lele provides a cushion against priority hits such as Extreme Speed which threatens the frail attackers (beware that it also shuts down Greninja's WS). Psyshock and Taunt allows Tapu Lele to break Special walls easier for the core to sweep. Tapu Lele also gives you a way to pressure stuff like Toxapex in case your Pheromosa set gets scouted.
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Tangrowth @ Assault Vest
Ability: Regenerator
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Sp. Def
Sassy Nature
-Giga Drain
-Knock Off
-Hidden Power Ice

Nice, starting off this thread with my favorite offensive core in Gen 7. Anyways, Tangrowth is an outstanding partner to this core. It counters Scarf Keldeo, which is a threat, as it checks both members as long as Pheromosa isn't set up. The most Scarf Keld can do to you is Secret Sword, which only does 28%-33%. Tang also deals with Sub Coil Zygarde, which can be an issue due to the lack of Ice Beam. Just watch out for CB and DD Zygarde, as Outrage does a lot.
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Celesteela @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpD
Sassy Nature
- Heavy Slam
- Flamethrower
- Leech Seed
- Protect


Celesteela @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Air Slash
- Giga Drain
- Fire Blast
- Autotomize

The defensive set can beat both non-fightium Pheromosa as +1 Focus Blast does not kill, doing around 59 - 69.5% and gets OHKO'd by Heavy Slam giving it a SpDef boost leaving it around 37% when Greninja comes in (if you go to it ofc depending on what the rest of the team has.) They should protect so they'd be at 43%. Greninja now fails to revenge, as non Ash Greninja only does 27.3 - 32.6% with specs pump. They can Leech + Tect and annoy the rest of the team.

The autotmise set could find an opportunity to get +2 on pre-Ash Greninja or another member of the team. At +2 Celes outspeeds both and OHKO's both with respective coverage. Shuriken also does shit damage even with no HP investment so gren has hard time to revenge.

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Tapu Lele @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Moonblast
- Focus Blast
- Hidden Power Fire

Due to the offensive nature of this week's core, it would be unwise, most of the time, to hard-switch Tapu Lele into Ash-Greninja or Pheromosa (especially into the latter, as after a single Quiver Dance, Pheromosa outspeeds and OHKOes it with Breakneck Blitz). However, in the right circumstances (i.e.: putting Tapu Lele on the field as Greninja gets a KO and transforms into its Ash-form, or when it's locked into Water Shuriken, etc.), Tapu Lele can outspeed and OHKO both members of the core with Moonblast.
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Mega metagross (one of the most dominating threat in the ou tier) is a good partner to the core in my opinion.As it can 1v1 assault vest magearna,tapu lele,tapu fini, etc.While greninja and mosa checks mons that metagross has a little bit like 5 percent trouble with such as landoros-t.


Tapu Koko @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- U-turn
- Dazzling Gleam

Scarf koko is a huge threat to this core.As it can ohko everything in the core with thunderbolt.Moreover since it is faster,the only way for the core to damage it is with water shuriken from ash-greninja.
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