Status: Done; awaiting grammar checks, critiques, etc. Initial Changes: Rewrote Spore Puncher, Swords Dance, Choice Band and Choice Scarf sets and added Team Options paragraph Removed Bulk Up and Double Powder sets SubSeed set by MetaNite (all complaints to him) Rewrote OO, EV, Counters and Opinion sections Added separate Team Options section http://www.smogon.com/dp/pokemon/breloom ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [SET] name: Spore Puncher move 1: Spore move 2: Focus Punch move 3: Seed Bomb move 4: Stone Edge / Substitute item: Toxic Orb ability: Poison Heal nature: Adamant evs: 48 HP / 252 Atk / 208 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>The Spore Puncher is Breloom’s trademark set, and brings together almost all of its merits – Spore, monstrous Attack, powerful STAB, and Poison Heal into one powerful moveset. It can cripple the opponent with the best Sleep move in the game, Spore, then either set up a Substitute or fire off a very powerful Focus Punch, denting almost anything that does not resist it as well as quite a few things that do, all the while recovering its health at a very fast rate thanks to Poison Heal. This unique position allows Breloom to occupy a niche in the Standard metagame that makes it quite different to use and to face than most other, conventional Pokemon. It is far from a gimmick Pokemon, and poses a threat quite unlike any other, a subtle blend of support and offense that makes it one of the biggest threats you can face.</p> <p>Spore is Breloom’s signature move, shared only with Parasect and Smeargle, and is also its greatest asset. It is the only Sleep move in the game with 100% accuracy, and is almost guaranteed to render one Pokemon on the opponent’s team useless. While asleep, the opponent’s Pokemon will be incapable of attacking unless it has Sleep Talk, which is where Focus Punch comes in. On paper, Breloom’s Focus Punch is more powerful than Slaking’s Return, and in tandem with Spore its negative side-effect is not as crippling. Focus Punch has a priority of –3, meaning that almost all moves will act before it, and if the user is struck with an offensive move before it uses Focus Punch, it will flinch and your turn will be wasted. With Breloom, however, Spore causes your opponent’s Pokemon to be rendered immobile, thus there is no chance of Breloom being struck, and it is free to Focus Punch the opponent with comparatively little risk. Seed Bomb is Breloom’s secondary STAB move, and allows it a more reliable way to cause damage when not protected. While Seed Bomb does not offer any notable coverage alongside Focus Punch, it does have the advantage of hitting bulky Water- and Ground-types hard, and means that Breloom is not completely helpless against Rotom-a. Breloom has a number of options for the last slot; Stone Edge is perhaps the best option, as it allows Breloom to do considerable damage to Gyarados and Salamence switching in, doing about 60% to Offensive Gyarados factoring in Intimidate, almost always a clear 2HKO even on bulky variants. Substitute is another option, and has excellent synergy with Spore and Focus Punch, similarly to the SubSeed set. Breloom can set up a Substitute after putting a Pokemon to Sleep, allowing it to scout for a switch while also allowing it a lifeline against the opponent’s team if it doesn’t switch. Other options include Façade, which takes advantage of Breloom’s Toxic Orb and, while it doesn’t hit anything in particular, does have a lot of neutral coverage and can take care of the Flying-type foes who plague Breloom, as well as dealing a useful 40% to 252 HP Celebi. Mach Punch is another interesting option, granting you a priority move to bypass Breloom’s poor Speed, and also allowing Breloom to act as a makeshift revenge-killer for threats such as weakened Heatran and Weavile lacking Ice Shard. Toxic Orb works very well in tandem with Breloom’s ability, Poison Heal, granting it twice as much recovery as Leftovers and preventing it from being afflicted with any crippling status. This allows Breloom to recover great amounts of health over time, due to the free turns won through Spore, as well as partially offsetting Substitute damage. Due to the increased health gained per turn, Breloom can even heal itself during a Sandstorm, though to a lesser extent. Toxic Orb also boosts Façade’s power to 140, making it a much more useful option. The EVs are fairly straightforward, with maximum Attack and an Adamant nature to make the best use of Breloom’s best stat, its base 130 Attack, as well as to maximise the power of Focus Punch. 208 Speed is the given Speed to outrun 4 Speed Gliscor, so that you can Spore it before it has a chance to attack. The remaining EVs are placed in HP.</p> <p>This set has the potential to force a number of switches, particularly between Pokemon cycling to avoid Spore or Focus Punch, and thus Stealth Rock can be of use alongside this set. Although this Breloom is not designed to be a sweeper, Stealth Rock will slowly chip off the health of Pokemon switching in and out of Breloom, which is of particular value against Flying-type foes such as Gyarados and Zapdos. As previously mentioned, Breloom is interesting in that it both supports and, through its support, presents an offensive threat, and thus in the manner of team-mates you should be looking at those that can benefit most from Breloom’s natural distortion of conventional battle tactics. Assuming he does not include a Sleep absorber on his team, your opponent will generally either switch in something that Breloom can barely hurt, such as physically defensive Celebi, and then stalling the Breloom out, or allowing the Pokemon currently out to take the Spore, then switching his best check in. This allows for two different opportunities for setting up; Pokemon who benefit from the disabling of Salamence, Weezing or Zapdos, such as Dragon Dance Gyarados or Swords Dance Scizor make quite good partners. Breloom has a tendency to want to come in on Pokemon such as Swampert or Tyranitar due to its unique typing, and should either of them be neutralised, Pokemon such as Heatran have a much easier time with the opponent’s team.</p> [SET] name: SubSeed move 1: Substitute move 2: Leech Seed move 3: Focus Punch move 4: Spore item: Toxic Orb ability: Poison Heal nature: Impish evs: 236 HP / 248 Def / 24 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Breloom has two unique things going for it as a user of the Substitute + Leech Seed combination. The first is what many revere as the best move in the game, Spore. The second is Poison Heal, which allows Breloom to heal twice as much health as Leftovers to create more Substitutes. Although at first a Breloom with no Attack investment seems foolish, it allows Breloom to take advantage of its many useful resistances and makes it easier for Breloom to Leech Seed the foe and set up a Substitute. For example, Breloom is able to Leech Seed a Vaporeon, survive the incoming Ice Beam, and then proceed to set up a Substitute. With the given Defense investment, Breloom will never be 2HKOed by Choice Band Tyranitar's Stone Edge, nor Choice Band Scizor's Bullet Punch. More defensive Pokemon such as Hippowdon, Swampert, and Gliscor can't even hope to break your Substitutes with Earthquake, although you should be wary of Swampert's Ice Beam and Gliscor's Aerial Ace, although neither will outright OHKO Breloom. Breloom's Substitutes can also withstand weaker U-turns from the likes of Choice Scarf Jirachi and Flygon which can be helpful in the right situation. With resistances to Dark-, Rock-, Water-, and Ground-type attacks, Breloom can even counter Pokemon such as Tyranitar, Rhyperior, Vaporeon, and said Ground-types. Although you resist Gyarados' primary attacks, it can be more difficult to counter successfully. If Gyarados uses Bounce then you will lose to it unless you set up a Substitute first turn, thus letting the Substitute take the Bounce. However, if Gyarados uses Ice Fang then you may not be able to set up a Substitute at all. Furthermore, if Gyarados uses Taunt, Breloom will be completely shut down and forced to switch so don't let Breloom be your only Gyarados counter.</p> <p>Unlike most Breloom sets, you should not be using Spore right off the bat. Instead, save it for when Breloom's life depends on it, and you are not able to continue using Substitute and Leech Seed. Pokemon who would warrant being put to sleep would be Pokemon such as Skarmory, Salamence, and Gengar, all of whom can OHKO Breloom, while not taking much damage from Focus Punch, or any in Gengar's case. Even with no Attack investment, Focus Punch still hits very hard, being able to 2HKO Metagross as well as many other Pokemon neutral to it. The given HP EVs allow maximum recovery from Poison Heal, while 24 Speed EVs is enough to outrun most Skarmory. The rest are put into Defense. An alternative EV spread is 44 HP / 252 Atk / 212 Spe with an Adamant. This is a more offensive approach to the 'SubSeed' strategy. Focus Punch will hit anything not immune for high damage with max Attack and a boosting nature. The main advantage of this EV spread is being able to Spore Suicune before it can use Ice Beam, and also Spore Rotom-H before it uses Overheat. The 44 HP EVs give optimal Poison Heal recovery, while 212 Speed EVs are enough to outpace Adamant Tyranitar to avoid the occasional Flamethrower or Ice Beam.</p> <p>Countering Breloom can be a difficult task for most opponents. Few Pokemon can switch in while not minding Spore or Focus Punch. Celebi is probably the best counter to SubSeed Breloom, as being a Grass-type, it is immune to Leech Seed, resists Focus Punch and Seed Bomb, and can use STAB Psychic or Hidden Power Fire to bring Breloom down. Having a Pokemon to lay down Toxic Spikes can help out here, as you can then stall Celebi with Substitute as it slowly dies from poison damage. Tentacruel works out decently as it resists Fire-type attacks that trouble Breloom. Tentacruel with Sludge Bomb and Liquid Ooze makes a great counter to Celebi itself thanks to its high Special Defense. Pokemon with Rest and Sleep Talk who also resist Fighting-type moves can also stall Breloom out. Rotom-A, being immune to Focus Punch, can hit Breloom with Shadow Ball while using Rest to recover damage lost by Leech Seed. Gyarados is another decent switch in if it has Rest, although Stealth Rock damage and damage from Focus Punch will add up quickly. Having a Rotom-A of your own can help out here, as it can Trick a Choice Scarf onto any RestTalker to greatly limit its versatility, while can also use STAB Thunderbolt for OHKOing Gyarados and Shadow Ball to 2HKO enemy Rotom-A. Many faster Substitute users will shut Breloom down as it prevents them from being put to sleep with Spore, and blocks Leech Seed. Gengar, Mismagius, and Rotom-A in particular as they are all immune to Focus Punch. A powerful Pursuit user such as Scizor or Tyranitar will also help out a lot against Rotom-A and Celebi. Even in a sandstorm, Breloom will be healing health equal to Leftovers recovery although it will still slightly diminish Breloom's Substitute making potential.</p> [SET] name: Non-Choice Attacker move 1: Spore move 2: Seed Bomb move 3: Superpower move 4: Façade item: Toxic Orb ability: Poison Heal nature: Jolly evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>A slightly different take on using Breloom, with this set the aim is not simply to cause your opponent prolonged grief, as with the Spore Puncher, but to cause as much damage as possible. The difference between this Breloom and other hit-and-run attackers is the ability to use Spore as a way to disable anything it can't directly beat. Poison Heal, combined with Breloom's useful resistances, as well as the fact that it does not have to run a Choice item or Life Orb to hit hard with its three high-powered core moves, allows it to stay around longer than many other, frailer attackers. An important aspect of this Breloom is its ability to beat Pokemon who are usually considered hard counters to Breloom, such as Gyarados, Celebi, and Zapdos, without sacrificing the threat it poses to its usual fodder, such as Swampert, and thus this Breloom, while played very differently to how you would expect, marks itself out as</p> <p>Unlike other sets, in which you will almost always find yourself using Spore first turn, with this set it is recommended not to use Spore until you are faced with a pokemon whom you cannot otherwise defeat, and whom you know you can outrun. Breloom is excellent at forcing switches, especially to weakened or otherwise useless pokemon, from opponents who fear Spore, but not many of these will enjoy a STAB Superpower off of 359 Attack. Seed Bomb provides a secondary STAB move for times when Superpower's stat drops are undesirable, and prevents bulky Water- and Ground-types from walling the set; a fate which no Grass-type should be made to endure. The last slot is reserved for Breloom's secret weapon - Facade. Thanks to Toxic Orb, it can deal a significant hit to anything that does not resist it. It can score a 3HKO against Celebi, Zapdos, and Gyarados, as well as dealing over 50% to any offensive-minded Latias who thinks it can switch in for free. While this may seem to be of little use against the former three, given that they are likely to attack long before then, a Jolly nature and 252 Speed EVs ensures that Breloom will outspeed defensive variants of Celebi and Zapdos, as well as Adamant Gyarados. As Breloom does not typically run this much Speed, the opponent will usually have no qualms whatsoever about switching Celebi or Zapdos into Breloom, confident that it will be forced to switch, however you should outspeed, and be able to either put them to sleep with Spore, or finish them off with Facade if they have taken enough damage already. Stone Edge is another option for a third attack, as it allows Breloom to 2HKO offensive Gyarados and Zapdos, as well as put a massive dent in any Salamence or Gengar who try to switch in, but it is not nearly as effective as Facade against Celebi or anything else, and its 80% accuracy often leaves much to be desired. Lastly, Mach Punch is an option for priority, as Breloom is not by any means fast and appreciates the ability to pick off frailer, weakened Pokemon that try to revenge-kill it, such as Infernape and Heatran.</p> <p>Even with absolute maximum Speed, Breloom falls short of what could be considered average in OU. Most Pokemon who can OHKO it also happen to be much faster, regardless of how afraid they are to take one of Breloom's attacks. Salamence and Heatran are two Pokemon who, while afraid to switch in on a Facade/Stone Edge or Superpower respectively, can both revenge-kill with Fire Blast and will almost always outrun. In this situation, a bulky Water-type such as Suicune is the best choice to deal with them, as it isable to take an attack and hit back with Ice Beam or STAB Surf. Celebi is still as much a threat as ever for Breloom, as it has Natural Cure to heal Sleep, so it is not completely shut down. In addition, it can use itself as a lure to cause another Pokemon to take the Spore, ruining Breloom's best chance of beating it by virtue of Sleep Clause. A Heatran of your own can be a big help against Celebi, especially as it resists Hidden Power Fire, Hidden Power Ice, and Psychic, the three attacks Celebi would likely use against Breloom, while also resisting Grass Knot. A Scizor or Specially-defensive Tyranitar with Pursuit could also work for this purpose, though the former needs to be careful of Hidden Power Fire and the latter of Grass Knot.</p> [SET] name: Swords Dance move 1: Swords Dance move 2: Mach Punch move 3: Seed Bomb / Stone Edge move 4: Spore / Façade item: Life Orb / Toxic Orb ability: Poison Heal nature: Adamant evs: 48 HP / 252 Atk / 208 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>While Breloom occupies some very exclusive niches in the metagame with its excellent moves and their combinations, that does not mean to say it cannot adopt more conventional battling tactics. It has access to Swords Dance, and this in tandem with its massive base 130 Attack can turn it into a very powerful sweeper in certain situations. Although its Speed is relatively poor compared to other popular sweepers, it does have access to priority, making this less of an issue, and can always use Spore to win itself free turns to stat up, as well as allowing it to disable Pokemon who pose it the biggest threat, such as Celebi or Skarmory. This set has the potential to be a huge pest when used correctly, and to function just as well as more popular lategame sweepers given the correct circumstances.</p> <p>Swords Dance is, naturally, the core move of this set, boosting Breloom’s already impressive Attack stat sky-high, reaching a value of over 1000 with a Life Orb equipped. Breloom does not, however, have a way to improve on its significantly less impressive Speed stat, which is where Mach Punch comes in. Mach Punch is Breloom’s only priority move, but packs ferocious power with the backing of Swords Dance and Breloom’s naturally high Attack, almost always OHKOing Infernape and other fast-but-frail sweepers after Stealth Rock damage. Breloom does have mild four-slot syndrome on this set, and cannot always run all the attacks it may need to, and lacking even one can mean a premature end to your sweep. For its last two slots, Seed Bomb is a good choice, as it gains STAB and is Breloom’s most reliable attack against most opponents. In particular, it hits Hippowdon and Gliscor for far more damage than most of its other attacks would, and also hits Rotom-a harder than any of its other attacks, usually OHKOing with Life Orb. Stone Edge gains better coverage alongside Mach Punch, and is vital for taking out Flying-type threats such as Zapdos and Salamence, who are likely to be serious problems for you otherwise. Spore is the old standby for Breloom, allowing you to disable Skarmory before it can OHKO you, allowing you to 2HKO with Stone Edge, and if you are feeling brave it also enables you to rack up more Swords Dances, allowing you an even wider range of OHKOs on more defensive Pokemon. If you are running Spore, then Stone Edge is the best choice alongside Mach Punch as it gives the best coverage, however if you are using three offensive moves then Seed Bomb is generally the most powerful option. Lastly, Façade can be used if you are using Toxic Orb for neutral coverage, as it hits harder than a neutral Seed Bomb and will always 2HKO 252/220 Bold Celebi, as well as being able to do a great amount to most Flying-types whom you cannot hit with Seed Bomb, making Stone Edge less of a necessity. This is worth consideration because Breloom, especially if it is running Life Orb, is very fragile and cannot usually afford to miss even once, making Stone Edge far less appealing.</p> <p>Breloom also has an important choice to make for the items, as they will affect the moves that you choose as well. Life Orb is the usual hold item for boosting sweepers, granting Breloom an Attack stat of 1024 after one Swords Dance and giving the power necessary to gain several important OHKOs. However, one should remember that Breloom is already very fragile and easily revenge-killed, and using Life Orb only makes it easier for your opponent to do so, and you cannot simply recover most of your health after suffering a heavy blow by exploiting free turns. Of course, if you manage to get badly poisoned you will still be able to recover health, and your recovery easily offsets Life Orb recoil, but this is not guaranteed, and you will only recover your health to the same degree as with Leftovers should you be only moderately poisoned. Toxic Orb is the secondary option, and should generally only be used when using Façade. The advantages are obvious – when using Toxic Orb, Breloom has much greater bulk, so a higher survivability rate, immunity to burns and paralysis, and the ability to use Façade and thus to defeat most Celebi and Weezing. The damage calculations below demonstrate Breloom’s ability to take on a wide variety of foes, assuming the correct item and moveset:</p> <ul class="damage_calculation"> <li>+2 Breloom, Life Orb, 252 Atk Seed Bomb vs 252 HP / 40 Def Impish Gliscor: 76.55% - 90.11%</li> <li>+2 Breloom, Life Orb, 252 Atk Seed Bomb vs 252 HP / 168 Def Bold Rotom-a: 89.80% - 100%</li> <li>+2 Breloom, Life Orb, 252 Atk Seed Bomb vs 252 HP / 252 Def Bold Cresselia: 53.38% - 63.06%</li> <li>+2 Breloom, Life Orb, 252 Atk Stone Edge vs 252 HP / 176 Def Impish Skarmory: 55.69% - 65.57%</li> <li>+2 Breloom, Life Orb, 252 Atk Stone Edge vs 252 HP / 144 Def Relaxed Forretress: 53.67% - 63.28%</li> </ul> <ul class="damage_calculation"> <li>+2 Breloom (Toxic Orb activated), 252 Atk Façade vs 252 HP 220 Def Bold Celebi: 61.14% - 72.03%</li> <li>+2 Breloom (Toxic Orb activated), 252 Atk Façade vs 252 HP 252 Def Bold Weezing: 63.77% - 75.15%</li> </ul> <ul class="damage_calculation"> <li>+2 Breloom, Life Orb, 252 Atk Mach Punch vs 80 HP Flygon: 70.40% - 83.18%</li> <li>+2 Breloom, Life Orb, 252 Atk Mach Punch vs 4 HP Heatran: 100%</li> <li>+2 Breloom, Life Orb, 252 Atk Mach Punch vs 0 HP Infernape: 84.30% - 99.66%</li> </ul> <p>Poison Heal should always be used as an ability, since even if you are not running Toxic Orb you can benefit from Toxic Spikes and other Poison-inducing attacks, and is the superior choice to the slightly useless Effect Spore. The EVs are very similar to the Spore Puncher set, with 208 Speed EVs given up to outrun no-Speed Gliscor and anything slower, so that you can Spore it before it can use Aerial Ace. Attack is then maximised and the leftover EVs are thrown into HP to help out Breloom’s rather poor defenses. If you want, you can give Breloom 220 EVs to outrun 88 Speed Rotom-a, allowing you to beat it before it can use Overheat or Shadow Ball. Again, an Adamant nature is used to make best use of Breloom’s massive Attack stat.</p> <p>Entry hazards, as with all boosting sweepers, are heavily advisable for use alongside this Breloom. Stealth Rock weakens the Flying-, Fire-, and Bug-types whom Breloom hates, making them easier to take on, and also weakening walls to make Breloom sweep more easily. Celebi and Weezing are Pokemon whom Breloom has difficulty dealing with if it lacks Toxic Orb; although they can be 2HKOed by a Swords Danced Façade, they are more than capable of killing Breloom before it can beat them. Heatran is the best choice to deal with them – It is immune to Weezing’s Sludge Bomb, Fire Blast, and Will-O-Wisp, while being able to attack back with its own STAB Fire Blast. Against Celebi Fire Blast is usually an easy OHKO, while it resists Grass Knot, Psychic, Hidden Power Fire, and Hidden Power Ice, while it only fears Thunder Wave or Earth Power, though most Celebi would never think to use either of those moves on Breloom, especially if it runs Toxic Orb. Heatran is also a big help against Forretress, Skarmory, and Rotom-a. Both Breloom and Heatran detest the very sight of Salamence, Gyarados, and Latias, all of whom are fast, bulky, resist Mach Punch and are by far the best counters to Swords Dance Breloom, although Gyarados and Salamence hate Stone Edge. A bulky Water-type such as Vaporeon or defensive Starmie can help with Gyarados and Salamence, while Tyranitar or Scizor can usually deal with Latias; Tyranitar in particular has good offensive synergy with Breloom, being able to take out most of their respective counters with little trouble.</p> [SET] name: Choice Scarf move 1: Spore move 2: Superpower move 3: Seed Bomb move 4: Stone Edge item: Choice Scarf ability: Poison Heal nature: Jolly evs: 6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Breloom could be described as occupying a strange void between Speed tiers – while not slow, it is certainly not fast either, and indeed its low Speed in comparison to other standard offensive Pokemon has always been its greatest weakness. By holding a Choice Scarf, however, Breloom’s low Speed is quite forgotten, allowing it to pose quite a threat as a fast revenge-killer, taking advantage of its unique typing to switch into threats such as Tyranitar and Swampert with little risk, OHKOing both with little trouble thanks to its STAB moves. It can also work as a decent anti-lead to a reasonable extent, outrunning and outgunning common leads such as Swampert and Heatran, as well as disabling those it cannot beat with Spore. Using Spore is generally the best move first turn in any case, as most leads that are aware that you can kill them will likely not stay in to take the hit.</p> <p>There are very few variants of Breloom who cannot make good use of Spore, and the Choice Scarfer is no exception. Breloom can usually disable anything threatening before they strike it, outrunning everything below Jolly Aerodactyl and other positive-natured base 130 Pokemon, as Breloom hits 393 Speed, just one point below the magic 394 stat. Breloom’s most powerful Fighting-type move other than Focus Punch, which is unusable on this set due to its negative priority, is Superpower, which is very useful for punching great holes in the opponent’s team, and since Breloom will be switching often with this set, its negative side-effect is not so crippling. Seed Bomb is again Breloom’s secondary STAB move, and while not as powerful as Superpower it is far more reliable, making it useful for sweeping purposes should the opportunity present itself. For the final moveslot, Stone Edge is the advised choice to deal with Flying-types who may present a problem, such as Gyarados or Salamence, whom Breloom has no real other way of hurting. Façade is inadvisable on this set as, without Toxic Orb, you are not assured the status condition required, and Façade becomes a lot less threatening. Poison Heal is, again, chosen over Effect Spore so that if you are struck by a Poison-inducing move you will benefit from it. For the EVs, Speed is pretty much everything, and 252 EVs with a Jolly nature allows you to outspeed everything up to and including Jolly Weavile, eliminating one of Breloom’s usual checks. Attack should then be maxed as usual, with the four remaining EVs placed in HP.</p> <p>Choice Scarf Breloom is usually found in one of two locations on a team; either as a fast revenge-killer or anti-lead. In the latter position, Breloom is very good at neutralising threats lacking Lum Berry, such as Infernape and Azelf, and preventing them from setting up, though this involves locking it into Spore, forcing it to switch out on the next turn, so you will want partners able to regain momentum for your team as soon as possible. Gyarados can switch in on disabled Infernape and Metagross and begin setting up. Gyarados also benefits greatly from the absence of Stealth Rock caused by disabling the opponent’s lead, allowing it a free switch-in. If you believe your opponent will switch, it is useful to note that the most common switch-ins to Breloom are Scizor, Salamence, and Latias, all of whom have different strengths and thus need different ways of dealing with. Latias is most vulnerable to physical Dark- or Bug-type moves, and so a specially defensive Tyranitar or Scizor is the best choice to deal with them. Salamence and Scizor are both easily ended by Ice or Fire attacks respectively, and as there are few Pokemon who can use both move types outside of Hidden Power, you may need to keep different checks to both.</p> [SET] name: Choice Band move 1: Superpower move 2: Seed Bomb move 3: Stone Edge move 4: Mach Punch / Spore item: Choice Band ability: Poison Heal nature: Adamant evs: 72 HP / 252 Atk / 184 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Breloom’s Choice Band set appears quite similar at first glance to the Choice Scarf set, however the two are played quite differently. While the Choice Scarfer dedicates itself to revenge-killing and taking advantage of its fast Sleep move, the Choice Bander is more suited to wall breaking, relying on sheer power to overcome slower opponents. While it is not able to outrun the vast majority of Pokemon in the Standard tier, it can be very difficult to switch in on, and benefits from a useful set of resistances, a unique STAB typing and solid STAB moves, access to priority, a massive Attack stat, and Spore. While this set may seem slightly outclassed by Scizor, it is important to note that, while Scizor flourishes in weakening its opponents while allowing its team free switches, Breloom can attempt to push past foes with sheer force, and while not one of the best at its job it has its own special niches which make it as good a choice as any.</p> <p>Again, Breloom has its own special triforce of moves. Superpower allows Breloom to hit hard, while the switching nature of the set means that the drops are not as crippling as they would be on a sweeper. Seed Bomb acts as Breloom’s reliable STAB move of choice, and Stone Edge is useful to take down Flying- and Bug-types who resist its STAB moves. Only in the last slot is there any real change in moves – Mach Punch can be used to bypass Breloom’s relatively low Speed, and with a Choice Band boost it hits very hard indeed, and can be useful for revenge-killing purposes. Spore is the other worthwhile option – putting a Pokemon on the opponent’s side of the field, especially one that Breloom could not bypass in any other way, is always a worthy endeavour, but since Breloom is then locked into the move, it is forced to switch out, meaning it cannot take advantage of the free turn, so it is less efficient than other Breloom variants in that regard. Façade is the only other worthwhile option, though without Toxic Orb it is a waste of space if you do not happen to run into Toxic or Toxic Spikes. The EVs generate the maximum possible Attack to hit hard off the bat, while keeping enough Speed to outrun 252 Spe Adamant Tyranitar, and the remaining 72 EVs are used to give Breloom’s defensive stats a boost. Unlike Scizor, Breloom actually resists Stealth Rock.</p> <p>As previously mentioned, Choice Band Breloom’s primary purpose is to break or weaken walls, usually to an extent sufficient to allow another Pokemon to exploit the weaknesses and possibly bring about a sweep. Breloom can switch in on Pokemon such as Swampert and Tyranitar with relative ease, disposing of them readily with its STAB moves, thus allowing a gap for other Pokemon to exploit, such as Heatran or a Tyranitar of your own. The Pokemon who most commonly switch into Breloom are those that fear little from its STAB attacks, such as Salamence, Latias and Gyarados. Latias is, as already mentioned, a big problem, but if it does not use or lacks Recover you can weaken it over repeated assaults to buy an easier time for Lucario or Gyarados to bypass it later. Breloom is also able to hit hard off the bat, which can be a surprise for those expecting a Spore, such as Sleep Talk Rotom-a. Prediction is key when using any Choice Pokemon, especially one such as Breloom, whose fate can depend on the choice made.</p> [Team Options] <p>Stealth Rock is important support to consider when using Breloom as a Swords Dance sweeper. It weakens the faster but frailer Pokemon over time, easing them into Mach Punch KO range for the most part, and accumulating good overall damage, letting Breloom kill before being killed. Aside from this, however, Breloom is generally a Pokemon more accustomed to supporting than being supported; however, on the SubSeed set, Toxic Spikes are worth consideration for hastening the death of your opponent, should they stay in.</p> <p>The most difficult Pokemon for Breloom to bypass are usually Flying- or Psychic-typed, such as Celebi, Latias and Salamence. Tyranitar makes for a good partner in these situations, as specially defensive variants can Pursuit or Crunch away the Psychic- and Ghost-types who trouble Breloom, while beating Flying-types such as Zapdos with Stone Edge. It can also take on Heatran, another problem Pokemon for Breloom. In turn, Breloom is one of the best choices for taking on bulky Water- or Ground-types such as Swampert, Hippowdon and Gliscor lacking Aerial Ace, allowing Tyranitar to have an easier time with the opponent’s team as well. Being able to take out Swampert and Tyranitar also makes Heatran a good partner for Breloom, as Substitute variants can use the free turns against potential counters to set up. If Breloom manages to Sleep one of its counters coming in, such as Celebi, Latias or Zapdos, it can be an excellent opportunity for a set-up sweeper that has trouble with them usually, such as Swords Dance Lucario or Dragon Dance Gyarados to begin setting themselves up. Rotom-a and Starmie are both reasonable options to take on troublesome Flying-types such as Skarmory, Salamence and Gyarados; both have Thunderbolt for the former and the latter, while Starmie can usually switch in on Mixmence, survive, outspeed, and OHKO Salamence with Ice Beam while healing off damage with Recover, and Rotom-a can use Thunder Wave or Will-O-Wisp against physically-inclined variants. Rotom-a can also be used to block Rapid Spin, making it harder for Salamence and Gyarados to keep switching.</p> <p>Breloom’s unique typing gives it five weaknesses, only two of which are commonly seen outside STAB. Flying-type attacks do not usually come from a powerful offensive stat, and most users of Poison-type STABs have alternative STABs to use. Psychic presents a problem, and although Latias, Celebi and Cresselia do not always carry their STAB moves they are more than capable of killing Breloom through other means. Leaving that aside for the moment, we come to the Fire- and Ice-type weaknesses. Both of these are resisted by bulky Water-types, who make good partners for Breloom to cover these weaknesses. Vaporeon and Suicune in particular can beat Salamence, Gyarados and Heatran, all big threats to Breloom, as well as being able to take on Scizor to a reasonable extent, while Breloom itself resists Water-type’s Grass and Electric weaknesses, although there are few of either type in OU whom Breloom can take on to a satisfactory extent. Despite weakness to Psychic, Tentacruel is also a fairly solid teammate, able to take on Celebi well, something that most other bulky Water-types cannot achieve. Adding a bulky Water, however, will make your team quite weak to Celebi or Zapdos if you do not include Tyranitar, whose Sand Stream can be more a hindrance than an asset. Latias can also be a big help against these threats, resisting Grass Knot, Psychic and Hidden Power Fire from Celebi and Thunderbolt, Heat Wave and Hidden Power Grass from Zapdos. Even if they run Hidden Power Ice, Latias can Calm Mind up and tank hits with its excellent Special Defense, while healing itself with Recover.</p> <p>Heatran is a common partner to Celebi, since together they resist all of each other’s weaknesses. Heatran also resists all of Latias’s weaknesses, so is a common partner to Latias as well, and is also commonly seen on offensive teams with Salamence and occasionally Gyarados. While Heatran is a threat to Breloom, being able to OHKO with its STAB Fire-type moves, a STAB Focus Punch or Swords Danced Mach Punch easily brings it down. If you are worried about Heatran revenge-kills, Tyranitar or a bulky Water can easily stop it if they switch in on a STAB Fire-type move. Another common partner for Celebi, Zapdos, and Latias, Breloom’s biggest foes, is Jirachi. Jirachi is not fond of a STAB Focus Punch, but has good defensive stats and can hit back with Iron Head. Bulky Water-types are again your best bet against most variants, particularly the physical ones, although Jirachi is perfectly capable of running a special set as well, though most special sets without Flash Cannon or Grass Knot are dealt with by Tyranitar. Gyarados and Salamence are often used together on offensive teams, and so when facing them you will often need to be prepared for two potential Breloom counters on one team. Lastly, Scizor appear pretty much everywhere, being so good at fitting on to and supporting a team, though again bulky Water-types can deal with it just fine. Rotom-h can also be used if you are seriously worried, being able to OHKO with Overheat or cripple with Will-O-Wisp.</p> [Other Options] <p>Thunderpunch is a slightly more accurate alternative to Stone Edge, though low power and inability to hit Salamence mean that the Rock-type move is often the better option. Its big niche on a Breloom set is its ability to OHKO Gyarados, though Breloom can usually manage just fine with Stone Edge and Seed Bomb. Bulk Up is an alternative to Swords Dance, but Breloom’s Special Defense is usually not good enough to allow it to take that much time in setting up. Stun Spore can be used alongside Spore in imitation of the Double Powder sets favoured by other Grass-types, and can also cripple switch-ins such as Crobat and Salamence. Wake-Up Slap can be used in tandem with Spore and can lead to some entertaining results when used against Sleep Talkers trying to bypass Spore, though it is really a gimmick move at best.<p> [EVs] <p>Breloom should always have 252 EVs in Attack to take advantage of its best stat, and usually an Adamant nature as well, although Jolly can be used if you want more Speed. Speed is the next most important thing for Breloom, to allow it to Spore or attack before being struck down. With an Adamant nature, 8 EVs grants you 178 Speed and allows you to outrun no-Speed Skarmory. 124 EVs lets you outrun most Suicune and Cresselia, 208 EVs beats 4 Speed Gliscor, 220 EVs beats Bold 88 Speed Rotom-a, and 244 EVs beats no-Speed Celebi and Zapdos. Beyond that, you will need a Jolly nature to reach any significant Speed points. Any leftover EVs should go in HP. More bulk is usually used on the SubSeed set - A spread of 172/204 with an Adamant nature ensures that Breloom is never 2HKOed by Choice Band Tyranitar’s Stone Edge factoring in Sandstorm damage and Poison Heal recovery, and the advised set spread of 236/248 ensures the same for Choice Band Scizor’s Bullet Punch.</p> [Opinion] <p>Breloom is unique. Unique in its typing, unique in strategy, and perhaps unique in accomplishment as well. It has established a reputation as a bulky Pokemon despite having poor defensive stats – Poison Heal in tandem with a fantastic set of resistances to the most common moves in the metagame, in particular Earthquake, Thunderbolt, Stone Edge, Surf, Waterfall, Grass Knot, while also resisting Stealth Rock. Its ability not only lets it heal twice as much as Leftovers but also makes it immune to status once its Orb has activated. Its movepool is sparse, but everything it needs to succeed is there, in particular what could be the best signature move in the game, Spore, perhaps the only reliable Sleep move in the game besides Dark Void. It is a triumph of everything being there that it needs, if not much – with the third lowest BST in OU, only one truly remarkable stat, but a niche type combination and fantastic ability, Breloom is not a gimmick Pokemon, but a real force to be reckoned with, and if it had just that little bit more Speed, it could be one of the very best Pokemon available.</p> [Counters] <p>Strictly speaking, Breloom does not have a 100% standard counter, since Spore will almost always disable them as they switch in. The closest thing to a Breloom counter is Hypno, who resists Focus Punch, can OHKO with super effective STAB Psychic and is immune to Spore thanks to its Insomnia ability, though it must invest heavily in HP and Defense to avoid a 2HKO from Seed Bomb. Honchkrow also has Insomnia and can OHKO with STAB Drill Peck, but takes heavy damage from Focus Punch. Neither of these two are much use in standard play except for this purpose, however, so you should consider other viable checks to Breloom. Most of the time the easiest way to get rid of it is to let it Sleep one of your Pokemon before going in for the kill, as Sleep clause prevents it from trying the same trick twice.</p> <p>Of bulky Pokemon, Celebi resists both of Breloom’s STABs, and has STAB Psychic or Hidden Power to destroy Breloom with. It is also faster, immune to Leech Seed, and has Natural Cure to get rid of Sleep status. Latias is another new thorn in Breloom’s side, also resisting both STABs and easily beating it with its STAB moves. Cresselia can take a Seed Bomb or two and resists Focus Punch, so provided you have anything else to take the Sleep it becomes a decent option. Weezing can take almost anything that Breloom throws at it barring Swords Dance Façade and hit back with STAB Sludge Bomb or Fire Blast. Roserade and Venusaur both resist both of Breloom’s STAB moves, and both can kill with STAB Sludge Bomb. Sleep Talk Rotom is immune to Focus Punch and can take a Spore, but if Sleep Talk selects the wrong move you are likely doomed, as Seed Bomb will usually 2HKO all but the most defensive variants.</p> <p>Flying-types are particularly painful for Breloom to handle. Crobat and Yanmega both have quad resistances to both Breloom’s STAB moves, though Crobat does not have the crippling quad Stealth Rock weakness of Yanmega, while both can OHKO with Brave Bird or Air Slash respectively. Crobat can also use Taunt to avoid Spore and outruns even Scarf Jolly Breloom, but both hate Stone Edge. Gliscor makes a good check if it runs Aerial Ace, though Earthquake is not doing much to Breloom, and if it tries to Roost and is faster it will eat a super effective STAB Seed Bomb. Salamence and Gyarados both have Intimidate and Salamence resists both of Breloom’s STAB moves, however Gyarados is at risk from Seed Bomb, and both hate Stone Edge. Gyarados will also usually lose if it does not carry Ice Fang or Bounce, as Breloom resists all of Waterfall, Earthquake and Stone Edge. Similarly, Zapdos works well if it has Heat Wave or Hidden Power Ice, but may struggle if it lacks either of those, as Breloom resists Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Grass. Skarmory takes a heavy amount from Focus Punch but has STAB Drill Peck and Brave Bird and can Whirlwind away the SubSeeder.</p> <p>Choice Band Scizor can revenge-kill weakened Breloom with Bullet Punch, or U-turn out to scout and break Breloom’s Substitute if it stays in. Sleep Talk Heracross resists both of Breloom’s STAB moves and can do serious damage with its own STAB moves, but needs to invest in HP to avoid a 2HKO from Stone Edge. Toxicroak resists everything Breloom commonly carries and can OHKO back with Poison Jab or Sludge Bomb. Lastly, Dugtrio usually carries Aerial Ace for the purpose of removing Breloom and Heracross, but cannot afford to switch in on any of Breloom’s moves.</p> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Post-critique changes: Grammar check 1, thanks to Crunchatize Me. Added a Non-Choice Attacker set. Grammar check of Non-Choice Attacker, thanks to Syberia.