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DPP Heracross (Revamp + Update)

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by bugmaniacbob, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. bugmaniacbob

    bugmaniacbob Floats like a Butterfree, stings like a Metapod
    is a Smogon Media Contributoris an Artist Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

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    Sep 19, 2008
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    Status: Done

    I've done Heracross with monsieurmal, and we agreed to split up the workload between ourselves. I've done the Scarf, Swarm, Sleep Talk, Flame Orb and Bulk Up sets, as well as Team Options, Other Options and EVs. He is currently working on Band, Swords Dance and Reversal as well as Counters, and will post here when he is finished.
    EDIT: Received PM from Stellar indicating that I am running out of time. Finished rest of Update by myself.

    Initial Changes:
    • Rewrote Choice Scarf, Swarm, Sleep Talk, Flame Orb and Bulk Up sets
    • Added Team Options paragraph in every analysis
    • Added separate Team Options section
    • Reorganised EV and OO sections
    [​IMG]
    http://www.smogon.com/dp/pokemon/heracross
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    [SET]
    name: Choice Scarf
    move 1: Megahorn
    move 2: Close Combat
    move 3: Stone Edge
    move 4: Toxic / Night Slash
    item: Choice Scarf
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Heracross’s greatest flaw as a sweeper is probably his rather lackluster Speed stat. Therefore, Heracross will welcome Choice Scarf as an item, boosting his Speed and enabling him to outpace many would-be counters. The downside of this is that Heracross loses out on the potent attacking power of a Choice Band set, and to compensate for the loss in power, Scarf Heracross has to play a slightly different game style. To elaborate, Scarf Heracross will often find itself playing a similar game to a Scarf Heatran – revenge-killing troublesome Pokemon or using its resistances and decent defensive stats to come in when possible and ward off your opponents lest they feel the power of Heracross’s iron fists. Standard Tyranitar, Latias, Starmie, non-ExtremeSpeed Lucario and Mamoswine are all outrun and OHKOed, and Heracross’s sheer power and type coverage allows Heracross to cover many more.</p>

    <p>Heracross has its famous dual 120 Base power STABs, Close Combat and Megahorn, coming off an Attack stat of 383 or 349, depending on nature, which together cover all types except Flying, Ghost, and Poison. Therefore, it can be difficult to switch into this Heracross, as much as it is with the Choice Band variant, should you lack a resistance or two to the aforementioned types. The last two moveslots are reserved for coverage – Stone Edge is necessary to hit Flying-type switch-ins, such as Salamence and Gyarados, and Night Slash is a decent option against Ghosts (and is Heracross's best attacking option against the Rotom forms). Toxic is an interesting option that has some viability on this set, as Heracross simply cannot muscle its way through its common switch-ins like the Choice Band set can, so it can be used effectively to cripple switch-ins and hopefully to provide a sweeping opportunity for either Heracross or one of its teammates. An Adamant nature is recommended here because Heracross will require all the power it can get in order to do some permanent damage, while still outrunning the key base 130 Pokemon. Indeed, Adamant Scarf Heracross’s magic 403 speed stat was, and in general still is, considered a benchmark stat of the utmost importance for Speed, though currently it is ever-decreasing in importance. The main lure of a Jolly nature is the ability to outrun Naïve or Timid Scarf Heatran, which is incredibly common and can be so great a threat that this is worth serious consideration. For the ability, Guts is almost always vastly superior, as not only are you not hindered by burns, a serious threat to all physical sweepers, but you even benefit from them, making you harder to wall by Pokemon such as Dusknoir. Swarm may be appealing since Heracross can lose its HP fairly quickly and an assured boost to Megahorn can be occasionally welcome, but you will not get the valuable immunity to burns which makes Heracross so appealing as a physical sweeper. Other options for the last slot include Sleep Talk if you want a sleep absorber on your team, a role that is not so often used anymore but that Heracross excels at. Sleep Talk also allows Heracross to be an excellent check to Darkrai if you want to use this set in Ubers, which is not so insane as it first appears given Heracross's STAB moves that hit the vast majority of the Ubers metagame for good damage, as well as Choice Scarf's potential for revenge kills. Lastly, Pursuit can chase down a fleeing Psychic-type, but without STAB or even a Band boost, Heracross is better off without it.</p>

    <p>Something that can take, in theory, either of Heracross’s STAB moves and threaten it with one of its own moves will obviously be the Pokemon to watch out for here. Sadly for Heracross, the list is certainly not short of names even for the Choice Band set, and even more so for the Choice Scarf set. Although the coverage of its moves can pose a problem, Heracross must predict perfectly or find itself in an awkward position. Even netting a surprise kill against a cocky Gengar that tried to switch in can turn against you if the opponent happens to have a Lucario on their team. Thus, Pokemon that can dispose of Flying, Ghost or Poison-types on your side of the field are welcome here, as it will greatly alleviate the pressure on Heracross to predict correctly. Stealth Rock is a great help to Heracross, as not only does it aid a supposed sweep, but also most Salamence and Gyarados will not enjoy taking repeated blows from Close Combat, even after Intimidate, on top of Stealth Rock damage. Bulky Waters, preferably those that also have access to an Electric move for Gyarados, work well alongside Heracross as they are the Pokemon that most commonly carry Ice Beam, though Zapdos and Rotom-a are problematic for them. Tyranitar also works well as it can beat both the aforementioned Pokemon, as well as Gengar and other Ghosts to a certain extent (Heracross can come in on suspected Will-o-wisps from the latter if you feel confident), as well as having the ability to act as a lure for Gliscor; if Tyranitar is a Boah variation it can surprise Gliscor with Ice Beam on the switch, and pave the way for Heracross. If you intend to sweep with Tyranitar, it can be extremely rewarding for its sweep if you manage to Toxic Gliscor on the switch with Heracross.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Choice Band
    move 1: Megahorn
    move 2: Close Combat
    move 3: Stone Edge
    move 4: Pursuit / Night Slash
    item: Choice Band
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 96 HP / 252 Atk / 160 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>The Choice Bander, once Heracross’s flagship set, is now currently decreasing in usage in favor of the Scarf variant to accommodate for a particularly Speed-related offensive Metagame. The power it wields is incredibly potent and very few things that do not have the assurance of resistances can switch into it safely. Unlike the Choice Scarfer, Band Heracross often takes the role of a wall-breaker, using its power to knock holes in bulkier teams to perhaps create sweeping opportunities for others.<p>

    <p>Again, Heracross has its powerful STAB moves to work with, and again it can have coverage issues with certain types. A well-predicted Stone Edge can remove your Flying-type foes, though it leaves you exposed to a set-up sweeper like Lucario as you are stuck on a weaker, resisted move. The last slot is the greatest deviation from the Scarf variant and should be altered to reflect the different role as well as the increased power. Pursuit is an excellent move that Heracross can use to chase down fleeing Psychic-types that attempt to escape death by Megahorn and can also rid you of weakened Chansey. CB Scizor and Tyranitar can perform this trapping role a bit better, since they have stronger Pursuits, but Heracross has the advantage of being able to bluff a Scarf set, one that does not normally carry Pursuit, and thus catching them off-guard should they attempt to stay in and attack. However, even in the event of a successful kill, Lucario can again take the opportunity to set up, though this is a problem for all Pursuit-users. Night Slash is an option for a bit more secure coverage against Ghost-types and Sleep Talk is feasible, as with the Choice Scarf set, allowing Heracross to act as a Sleep absorber. The EVs give Heracross a fair amount of bulk while outrunning Jolly Tyranitar and defensive base 100s such as Zapdos and Celebi, which is about the limit to what you will outrun. In accordance with the sheer power inclination of the set, an Adamant nature is the best choice, since Heracross cannot afford to waste power and doesn't outrun anything of significance.</p>

    <p>The Choice Bander has a very similar list of checks to the Choice Scarf set, though few of them are able to be considered true counters because they will be KOed with additional Stealth Rock damage. However, this list now extends to Pokemon faster and able to OHKO, such as Scarf Heatran and Salamence. Heracross is relatively bulky however, so if you haven’t used Close Combat you should be relatively safe from neutral hits. While very few Pokemon can afford to switch in directly, Heracross is slow enough that simple revenge killing can be the easiest way to get rid of it. Heatran can come in on a resisted Megahorn and Salamence and Gyarados both resist Bug and Fighting and, while Stealth Rock weak, can weather assaults with Intimidate. Porygon2 can make an acceptable partner if these threats specifically worry you, since it can Trace Flash Fire from Heatran and Absorb its Fire Blasts aimed at Heracross or bounce Intimidate back at Salamence and Gyarados. Porygon2 has Ice Beam and Thunderbolt to OHKO both respectively, on top of good defensive stats and Recover. These threats are quite situational however, and a Bulky Water can often make a better universal check. Vaporeon in particular can take on most opposing threats, including Heatran and some Infernape, while also being able to use Ice Beam or Hidden Power Electric on top of STAB Surf. It also heal Heracross with Wish support. Be prepared for a Draco Meteor from Salamence though, as it will inflict heavy damage.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Swords Dance
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Megahorn
    move 3: Close Combat
    move 4: Stone Edge
    item: Life Orb / Wide Lens
    ability: Guts
    nature: Jolly
    evs: 252 Atk / 6 SpD / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Heracross’s Choice sets may be his most usable options, but neither constitutes a straightforward sweeping set, not because of the inability to switch attacks, but also due the large number of Pokemon that resist its individual attacks. Swords Dance is Heracross’s best set for a deliberate sweep and it is fair to say that Heracross can perform the role of a physical sweeper admirably, taking into account its great power, indifference to burns, and decent coverage. The greatest fault one can find is its low Speed stat, which is detrimental for any sweeper, and must be worked around to consistently set up a sweeping opportunity.</p>

    <p>Swords Dance can be used by nearly any physical sweeper and those that don’t have it often perform less well in comparison to those that commonly carry it. By boosting Heracross’s Attack stat sky-high, Heracross can charge through a slower or weakened team with a bit of support. Megahorn and Close Combat, once again, form the core STAB moves, while Stone Edge covers everything they cannot hit together barring Nidoking, Nidoqueen, and the rare Toxicroak. Life Orb further boosts attack power and can be useful to grab some crucial OHKOes and 2HKOes on certain foes. For example, a 2HKO on 252 / 228 Bold Weezing with Leftovers is only guaranteed, not counting misses, with a Life Orb boost. It is possible to 2HKO Skarmory with only Life Orb boost. However, Wide Lens can be useful at times for its ability to boost Stone Edge and Megahorn to near-perfect accuracy, allowing you to avoid a costly miss at the wrong time while also coming without the negative side-effect of Life Orb. Guts allows you to block status and is one of the main reasons for using Heracross over any other physical sweeper. Because you won’t want to intentionally drop to a low HP stat, Swarm is not worth it as an ability. The EVs are fairly straightforward - a simple 252/252 spread to maximize sweeping efficiency. A Jolly nature is chosen as speed is, as they say, of the essence when it comes to sweeping, and Heracross needs to be as fast as possible to secure a sweep comfortably.</p>

    <p>Stealth Rock support is useful to weaken walls as well as aiding in the destruction of airborne foes, as with all set-up sweepers. As already mentioned, Heracross’s worst foe is its own poor Speed, and unfortunately this cannot be stressed enough; it is not at all unfeasible for a Scarf Heatran to easily dispatch you with a Fire Blast. For this reason, it is recommended that you spread Paralysis around the opponent’s team before attempting a sweep or Baton Passing an Agility boost to Heracross before the attempted sweep. Other than this, bulkier Pokemon that resist its STAB moves and take neutral or resisted damage from Stone Edge are the ones to watch out for, since an unSTABed neutral Stone Edge from Heracross, even with a Swords Dance behind it, is nowhere near as powerful as its other attacks. Even so, Bulky Weezing is 2HKOed by Stone Edge with Stealth Rock in play, cannot defeat Heracross with Will-o-wisp, and will never OHKO with 80 SpA Fire Blast. While Crobat boasts quad resistances to both STAB moves alongside a 4x effective STAB Brave Bird, it is out-sped assuming a Speed boost on Heracross’s part. Skarmory is crippled by +2 Close Combat but can OHKO with STAB Drill Peck. Rotom and Dusknoir can both be dealt with by a strong Pursuit-user. While Gliscor is a potent threat, it can be dealt with by repeated Stone Edges if it is slower and does not carry Aerial Ace or can be disposed of with a Bulky Water. In general, though, you will want to concentrate support towards improving Heracross’s relative speed, in order to maximize your chances of bringing a sweep home.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Swarm
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Megahorn
    move 3: Stone Edge
    move 4: Substitute
    item: Salac Berry
    ability: Swarm
    nature: Jolly
    ivs: 30 HP
    evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>A variation on the standard Swords Dance set, this Heracross set uses its oft-overlooked second ability, Swarm, in conjunction with the Sub + Salac strategy to sweep. Unlike the normal Swords Dancer, this set is more likely to achieve a sweep against a faster team but requires a lot of skill and support to set up correctly. Unfortunately, everything that can and will stop this set is notoriously common in the OU Metagame, so this set is much less popular than the standard Choice sets. The core idea of this Heracross is to Substitute down to a quarter of your health, hopefully getting a Swords Dance along the way, activating your Salac Berry and Swarm, and then sweeping with +1 Speed, +2 Attack and a Swarm-boosted Megahorn.</p>

    <p>As Guts requires a status infliction to activate, this Heracross appreciates Swarm a lot more, as not only it is assured of getting the boost, but it also doesn’t require a damaging status that ends your sweep prematurely, or otherwise inhibits your sweep in some way or another. For offensive purposes, one Bug-type STAB move to benefit from Swam and one coverage move that partners well with it is advised to maximize efficiency on this set, as well as making sure that you are not walled completely by Ghost, Flying and Poison-types. Continuing on from this, Megahorn gets the boost from Swarm and STAB and, being one of Heracross’s main selling points on any set, is necessary to reserve a move slot for it. If you wanted to use a Fighting-type move in this slot, you are far better off with the Reversal variant. In the way of coverage, Heracross has no options that allow him to take on both the Steel and Flying-types that resist its Bug-type STAB in one move-slot. A secondary STAB has already been rejected as not covering enough types for one’s liking – Stone Edge is suggested here as it provides optimum coverage, gaining neutral hits alongside Megahorn on all types barring Steel, and even in an OU Metagame cluttered with Steel-types the only commonly-used Pokemon that resist this combination are Lucario, Empoleon and Magnezone. Also, with a 30 HP IV and no EVs in HP, Salac activates after three Substitutes, meaning Heracross is generally given enough turns with which to set up and sweep in without dying from the effects of sandstorm or hail.</p>

    <p>Residual damage can be devastating to this set's effectiveness, not only because Heracross values the damage done to the opponent’s side of the field, but also because Heracross has little time to set up and sweep if there is a sandstorm or hail in play. A few turns of strategic switching can also cut this Heracross’s sweep short. Although this is not as important an issue as it is for the Reversal set, it is still very threatening. A far more imminent and arguably common threat, however, comes in the shape of priority-users such as Scizor and Lucario. Heracross has to worry about these Pokemon, since it has no priority of its own and a quick Bullet Punch or Extremespeed can easily dispose of Heracross. Lucario, in particular, has 4x resistances to both of this Heracross’s attacking moves and, while it has no great love for a Swords Dance Swarm-boosted Megahorn, it will never OHKO and thus Lucario can afford to wrongly predict a switch to set up and eat a Megahorn. Of course, this requires them to be sure you are not carrying Close Combat, which is a given on nearly any other Heracross. Both of these Pokemon are, in general, beaten by Flying-types such as Gyarados and Zapdos. Gyarados is particularly useful due Intimidate and neutrality to Ice Punch. In the case of Empoleon and Magnezone, both are walled cold by Blissey, but for actually taking them out, anything with a strong Ground or Fighting attack should fare well. Another threat to this set comes in the form of Skarmory who takes neutral damage from Stone Edge and can Whirlwind Heracross away, obliterating any chance of a sweep. Lastly, Magnezone with Hidden Power Fire makes an excellent partner as it can easily rid Heracross of any Steel-type opposition, being able to dispose of Skarmory, Empoleon, other Magnezone, Scizor, and Lucario (provided it doesn’t walk into Superpower or Close Combat respectively).</p>

    [SET]
    name: Reversal
    move 1: Reversal
    move 2: Megahorn
    move 3: Substitute / Endure
    move 4: Swords Dance / Focus Punch
    item: Salac Berry
    ability: Swarm
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>The mighty Reversal-cross, possibly Heracross’s most famous set, is one of those sets that will almost always pull off a sweep given the right conditions. Sadly, with these conditions almost never reachable without ridiculous amounts of support, Reversal-cross’s glory days are almost certainly at an end. The set hinges on reaching 1 HP successfully, be it via Endure or Substitute, hopefully getting a Swords Dance boost on the way, and then destroying everything you can catch with a vicious 200 base power STAB Reversal and Swarm-boosted Megahorn. There are many problems in getting this done, and more often than not you will trip up; however, a Reversal-cross sweep is most certainly satisfying.</p>

    <p>The core move in this set is Reversal, which at 1HP is one of the most powerful moves in the game and has monstrous power when backed up by a Swords Dance – for reference, 248 / 228 Bold Zapdos is OHKOed after Stealth Rock damage. Megahorn provides secondary STAB and gets a boost from Swarm. The third slot determines how you reach 1HP exactly – Substitute is favored for its ability to not only scout the switch, but also to block status from bulkier opponents, which is far more detrimental to this Heracross than Guts variants. It also lets you decide for yourself whether it is safe to Swords Dance or whether to play it safe and sub down. Endure helps against faster opponents that are going to attack first, so Heracross can Swords Dance on the switch and then survive the blow from the opponent. Endure also has the benefit of not being destroyed as a strategy if Heracross suffers any residual damage, as Substitute will. For example, if Heracross takes Stealth Rock damage he loses 12.5% of its health, resulting in the fact that you can now only create 3 substitutes, leaving you with about 12.5% of your health left, which grants you a Reversal with a base power of 100, half the power of what you would have had. For the final move, Swords Dance is useful to add some overkill power to Heracross’s flailing fists. Focus Punch is also an option, if only to deal some damage to the Skarmory that attempts to force you out with Whirlwind, ending your sweep prematurely. If you have Magnezone support this shouldn’t be necessary.</p>

    <p>There is very little that can stop Reversal-cross once it gets going, but there are several things that can stop it setting up. As already mentioned, Skarmory can come in and Whirlwind it away as it sets up, so Magnezone support is advisable if you are concerned about it. Also mentioned above were entry hazards and how they affect Reversal’s power; for this reason, Rapid Spin support is also advisable, as is something to set up Stealth Rock on your part to aid in OHKOing Flying-type foes. Weather support is extremely crucial – Tyranitar, Hippowdon or Abomasnow only have to switch in to end you with Sandstorm or Hail damage, so you should have a Pokemon that knows Sunny Day or Rain Dance to remove harmful weather after defeating the opponent’s weather-changer. Strong Fighting-types can remove Tyranitar and Abomasnow and a Bulky Water with a strong Surf such as Suicune can rid you of Hippowdon. Another quick demise comes in the form of powerful priority-users such as Scizor and Lucario, both of whom can be trapped by Magnezone. However, if the opponent could predict the Magnezone switch and use Superpower or Close Combat, OHKOing Magnezone. Both die to strong Fire-type moves, so a Zapdos with Heat Wave can help or at least ward them off. Lastly, powerful bulky Pokemon that resist STAB moves can be troublesome – Weezing can be taken care of by Heatran and most Flying-types fear Magnezone. Ghosts are by far the most troublesome, resisting both STAB moves and blocking Rapid Spin at the same time. A strong Pursuit-wielder such as Tyranitar is the best choice in this case.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Flame Orb
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Close Combat
    move 3: Megahorn
    move 4: Façade
    item: Flame Orb
    ability: Guts
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Another variation on the standard Swords Dancer, Flame Orb Heracross may initially appear almost indistinguishable from the standard Swords Dancer, yet at the same time it functions in a completely different way. While Swords Dance Heracross's priority is to sweep a team, this set is almost entirely based around wall breaking while doing as much damage as is humanely possible to conceive. In one turn, Heracross can nearly triple its Attack stat from 483 to 1149, or 449 to 1047, depending on its nature. Not simply hoping that Guts will activate, and instead activating it yourself, means that this Heracross has considerably more reliable raw power, thus exchanging survivability and reliability for the potential to crush its standard counters – a true deal with the devil.</p>

    <p>As this set is guaranteed a status affliction, Heracross can use a deadly new weapon – the move Façade. It OHKOes Heracross’s biggest counters, Weezing and Gliscor, after a Swords Dance, and the same holds true for bulky Salamence and Gyarados, even with Intimidate. An Adamant variant of this set will always OHKO even the most defensive of Forretress, Skarmory, Bronzong, Donphan, Hippowdon and Bulky Waters, even without Stealth Rock or other entry hazard damage. A Jolly variant will need Stealth Rock to secure these important KOs, but has the advantage of out-speeding certain threats such as neutral ExtremeSpeed-less Lucario, and crucially, neutral Rotom-A.</p>

    <p>The only walls in the OU Metagame who can take a hit and retaliate are Dusknoir and Rotom-A, both of whom have immunities to Facade and Close Combat as well as resistance to Megahorn and Fire attacks that can hurt, if not kill, Heracross. However, they will still sustain heavy damage from Megahorn anyway and it is far easier to revenge-kill this Heracross than anything else. It is rather slow and can be revenge-killed by nearly anything faster. Moreover, it will lose 18.75% of its health every turn during a sandstorm, as well as being relatively fragile compared to bulkier sweepers. Gengar can be a great threat; it cannot take a boosted Megahorn even with its 4x resistance, but it is immune to two of Heracross’s attacks and 4x resists the third, so it is a very safe initial switch-in, and can subsequently KO with Shadow Ball after a turn’s damage from Sandstorm + Burn. Paralysis support is always nice, but the main thing to consider if you want to use this Heracross is to make good use of its surprise factor, and to lure in their initial answer to Heracross before firing off powerful attacks at it. From this you can create good use of the holes punched in the opponent’s team, and if your team has a sweeper that is walled by the same things that wall Heracross, such as Tyranitar and Lucario, they can use the absence of their check to create a possible sweeping opportunity. This Heracross is not designed to survive long nor expected to hang around for a second onslaught, after the surprise factor has gone, so do not be too disheartened if your Heracross falls; concentrate on getting it to do its job in the time it has.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Sleep Talk
    move 1: Megahorn
    move 2: Stone Edge
    move 3: Rest
    move 4: Sleep Talk
    item: Leftovers / Life Orb
    ability: Guts
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 204 HP / 152 Atk / 152 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Heracross has respectable defensive stats which are often overshadowed by its remarkable offensive potential, yet Heracross can trade some of its immediate firepower for staying power. Rest activates Heracross’s Guts, slightly making up for the lost power and allowing it to remain a fairly notable threat, as well as an excellent Sleep absorber. This set is indeed the direct opposite of the Flame Orb set – instead of losing playing time for added firepower, it loses immediate firepower for extra playing time.</p>

    <p>Rest + Sleep Talk are the two moves that matter most for this strategy; Rest recovers all lost HP and removes harmful status afflictions, though Heracross may benefit more from a Burn than Sleep in terms of Guts. Self-inflicted Sleep status is what differentiates Heracross from other Sleep Talkers, as it will activate Guts and give Heracross a boost as long as it is asleep. Sleep Talk allows Heracross to then attack whilst asleep, hopefully hitting its target with the correct attack. Since this combination requires 2 of your 4 available moveslots, you are limited in terms of coverage. As with the Swarm variant, you will want one STAB and one coverage move; Megahorn is the favored STAB option, this time not because of your ability, but because Close Combat is not an option on this set, since Heracross cannot afford to lower its defensive stats on this set. If you want to use a Fighting attack, Brick Break is the best option, but it is very weak compared to Close Combat. Stone Edge is recommended alongside Megahorn, as stated in the Swarm variant's analysis, as it has the best coverage alongside Bug and is Heracross’s only other moderately powerful option. As for the item, Leftovers corresponds to the set’s defensive feeling, and helps with the recovery of health without having to Rest. Nevertheless, Life Orb’s power can be useful and Rest can help mitigate lost HP. For the EVs, the suggested spread gives a relatively even combination of bulk and power while still outrunning Jolly Tyranitar as well as defensive Zapdos and Celebi, though any EV spreads that the Choice Band set uses to out-speed certain Pokemon are more than usable here. Sleep Talk Heracross can merit use in Uber play, similarly to the Choice Scarfer, however this is less to do with its coverage against most of the Pokemon used in Ubers than its ability to act as one of the best Darkrai counters in the game, boasting super-effective Guts-boosted Megahorn, as well as resistances to Dark Pulse and Focus Blast and decent defensive stats, and can be worth using on teams that are plagued by Nasty Plot Darkrai or other sets.</p>

    <p>Similarly to the Swarm set, the Sleep Talker suffers greatly from type coverage worries, and there are several Pokemon in the OU Metagame that are unfazed by this Heracross’s offensive potential. Lucario is even more of a problem, since this Heracross doesn’t even have a Swords Danced Swarm-boosted Megahorn to fight back with, and often not even the assurance of actually choosing Megahorn. If you have Magnezone support most Steel-types shouldn’t be an issue, especially considering most of them would never try to switch in on a Heracross before they know its full moveset. Sleep Talk can indeed be quite unreliable as an attacking move, so you may want to include a cleric on your team such as Aromatherapy Blissey in order to spend as little time as possible sleeping and thus avoid a risky move that could cost you the battle should it pick the wrong move. This will, however, make you lose your valuable Guts boost and so render Heracross less threatening offensively. Heracross is now quite slow and paralysis helps more than ever, though with the extra bulk he can often take a hit or two.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Bulk Up
    move 1: Bulk Up
    move 2: Megahorn
    move 3: Rest
    move 4: Sleep Talk
    item: Leftovers
    ability: Guts
    nature: Careful
    evs: 252 HP / 40 Atk / 216 SDef

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Heracross has another stat-up option available to it in the form of Bulk Up, which is far less used as a boosting option since Heracross would appear, at first, to lack the bulk required to be truly effective, and many reject it in favor of Swords Dance should they want a more offensively-orientated boosting move or Choice sets as Heracross is generally not fast enough to even use Swords Dance effectively. Although Bulk Up Heracross is not as immediately threatening as the Sword Dance or Choice Band varieties, in the proper hands it can be a powerful sweeper that is difficult to stop. With the proper EV investment, Heracross's respectable base HP alongside its decent defensive stats allow it to set up on quite a few popular special attackers in the Metagame such as Gengar or defensive Starmie.</p>

    <p>Bulk Up is, as the name suggests, the core move of this set, which is to be played far more defensively than Heracross’s other sets. Bulk Up helps compensate for Heracross's somewhat less impressive overall physical defensive stat while simultaneously raising Heracross's already impressive Attack. For the final two moves, in accordance with the defensive theme, a combination of Rest + Sleep Talk is advisable. Although this makes the set look, at first glance, exactly the same as the Standard Rest Talker, the set is played a very different way. After setting up a couple of Bulk Ups, Heracross can Rest off the damage – activating its Guts ability while it sleeps – and proceed to sweep. One of the primary advantages of using a Bulk Up set as opposed to another more offensive set is that Heracross can now beat many of its standard counters on its own. Heracross can actually set up on Gliscor, assuming it switches into a Bulk Up, since after two Bulk Ups Gliscor's Aerial Ace will never 2HKO with Leftovers, if it even carries Aerial Ace at all. The standard 80 SpA Weezing will never 2HKO Heracross with Fire Blast, allowing it to effectively set up on another of its supposed counters. Heat Wave from Defensive Zapdos, as well, will never 2HKO while Heracross can hit it with Megahorn if it tries to Roost. Heracross also becomes much more difficult to revenge kill when using this set, due to the more defensive style. The given EVs are designed to give Heracross the best defensive capabilities possible and enable it to set up on a wide range of special attackers. 216 SDef is the given minimum to survive two Zapdos Heat Waves, which leaves you with 40 EVs left over, which can be distributed as you see fit. Placing them all into Attack, as suggested here, allows you to regain some vital offensive power that you may need at some point, though you can increase your defensive stats if you feel like it. Switching to an Adamant nature is also viable to allow Heracross to have a lot more power behind its attacks; however, Careful is usually the superior choice because of the possiblity of getting a vital extra Bulk Up or two. Any of the EV spreads or speed targets for the Choice Band set can also be used here.</p>

    <p>This Heracross suffers greatly from move slot syndrome, meaning that you are limited to one attacking move, and this will almost certainly determine whether you win or lose against certain Pokemon. Therefore, you will have to use a STAB move for the necessary power, and so Megahorn is the advised choice, since with a Fighting move you are stopped in your tracks by any Ghost-type, which is inadvisable as Gengar and Starmie are noted as being Pokemon on which you can set up, and Tyranitar dislikes both of Heracross’s STAB moves anyway. Not only that, but Close Combat cannot be used on this set as it hinders the defensive aspect of this set, so Brick Break is the most viable Fighting-type move. As shown above, Heracross can deal with its normal counters fairly well; Paralysis support, again, helps greatly. Try to partner Heracross with Pokemon that defeat those that resist your move of choice – notably, with Megahorn you are stopped cold by any opposing Heatran, so a Bulky Water, Scarf Dugtrio, or specially defensive Tyranitar can be a useful asset. If you choose Brick Break, you are walled to oblivion by every Ghost and nearly all Psychic, Flying, and Poison-types as well, all of whom Tyranitar is more than capable of dealing with. Tyranitar also has the benefit of a strong Pursuit to make sure the Ghosts and Psychics cannot simply switch out and remain threats. Skarmory is the bane of this set, with a 4x resistance to Megahorn, taking very little from Brick Break even after a Bulk Up, and has STAB Brave Bird or Whirlwind to fight back with. Magnezone can easily trap and kill it while also revenge-killing Scarf Heatran if they are locked into anything other than a STAB Fire move or Earth Power.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Shadow Claw gives basically the same coverage as Night Slash, as well as having the same power and effect. However, Night Slash is recommended on the Choice sets since nothing is immune to it. Earthquake isn't much use on Heracross, since the only useful coverage it has are on Poison-types, most of whom don’t take any damage from it anyway (Crobat, Weezing, Gengar). It can be useful for Tentacruel or the odd Drapion, but for the most part, its coverage is redundant alongside Heracross’s Fighting-type STAB. Rock Slide and Brick Break are less powerful, but more reliable, options than Stone Edge and Close Combat and breaking screens can be helpful for your team. Aerial Ace takes down other Heracross and Counter can sometimes net a surprise KO, if you’re lucky.</p>

    [EVs]

    <p>For the Choice Band set, a minimum of 246 Speed (Adamant, 160 EVs) to outspeed Jolly Tyranitar, as well most defensive Zapdos and Celebi who run no more than 245 Speed, is advisable. Other target Speed stats to aim for include 254 (Adamant, 192 EVs) to beat Modest Heatran, 260 (Adamant, 216 EVs) to beat Adamant Medicham and Blaziken, 280 (Jolly, 196 EVs) for Adamant / Modest Lucario and Drapion, 285 (Jolly, 216 EVs) for Jolly Medicham and Blaziken, and 290 (Jolly, 232 EVs) for Adamant Electivire. You should always run max Attack and pour any remaining EVs in HP. Choice Scarf sets should be Adamant with max Attack and Speed.</p>

    <p>Swords Dance sets can follow the same pattern as the Choice Bander, but Jolly is the preferred nature unless you're planning to provide him a lot of paralysis support or pass him some Speed. For the Swarm variant of the Swords Dance set, make sure your HP is divisible by four. This is to ensure the Salac Berry will activate after three Substitutes, giving Heracross some leftover HP to survive at least one turn if Sandstorm or Hail is active.</p>

    <p>For the other sets, Reversal-Cross needs 264 Speed, but max is recommended. If you are using Substitute, make sure your HP is indivisible by four, so Heracross can make four Substitutes, instead of three, and thus reach 1 HP. The Sleep Talk set can focus on HP, or use the same spread as the Choice Bander. If you're using Bulk Up, then a mere 60 HP EVs will allow Heracross to survive an Adamant Choice Banded Aerial Ace from Dugtrio after one Bulk Up.</p>

    [Team Options]

    <p>Like any offensively-inclined Pokemon, Heracross likes to have Stealth Rock support whenever it can get it, since it can do significant amounts of damage overall to the opponent’s team, and aids in certain crucial OHKOs that Heracross often cannot afford to miss out on. It also has the side benefit of hampering the Flying-types, such as Gyarados and Salamence, who will not usually hesitate to switch in on Heracross's STAB moves. Other than this, Speed support in the form of Baton Passed Agility boosts or paralysis has been mentioned quite often in this thread and it cannot be stressed enough that if Heracross intends to sweep a team, rather than the hit-and-run strategy of the Choice Band set or the revenge-killer orientation of the Choice Scarf variant, it will need more Speed – base 85 is nowhere near enough to outrun most threats in the standard Metagame and Heracross can be quickly picked off by such faster threats as Infernape and Scarf Heatran.</p>

    <p>Heracross’s greatest foes are, in general, those that resist its dual STABs: Flying, Ghost, and Poison-types. The most frequently used Poison-types in OU are Gengar and Tentacruel – the former is also a Ghost-type, which overrides in terms of weaknesses when formulating a plan to defeat it. Other Ghost-types themselves are relatively few and far between – Rotom-a, the most common Ghost, is widely accepted as the most useful ‘bulky Ghost’, although Dusknoir crops up occasionally as well. Thus, the three Pokemon highlighted here are the most dangerous of their class; Tyranitar can be of assistance but don't expect too much, as it is at least crippled by Tentacruel’s Surf, Gengar’s Focus Blast, or Rotom-a’s Will-o-wisp. However, it has the useful ability to Pursuit Ghosts to prevent them from escaping and hindering Heracross any more for the remainder of the battle. Tyranitar also helps somewhat against Heracross’s numerous flying foes; though it fears barely anything from Zapdos, it faints to a Dragon Dance boosted Earthquake or Waterfall from Salamence or Gyarados respectively, so even if you use Tyranitar, it is important to consider a secondary check for these threats. A decent Bulky Water with access to Ice Beam and perhaps Thunderbolt, such as defensive Starmie, can help check Flying threats such as Salamence, Gyarados and Gliscor, and benefits from a Tyranitar available to remove Ghost-types such as Rotom-a and Gengar, as well as Zapdos. Heracross itself can remove Dark-types such as Tyranitar and Weavile. Vaporeon is also a good choice, with very good overall defensive stats and the ability to use Ice Beam as well as being a good Gyarados check. It also isn't weak to Pursuit like Starmie and is able to keep Heracross healthy with Wish support. Lastly, although it may seem redundant to run both Scizor and Heracross on one team, the two can perform vastly different jobs and work very nicely together. Scizor has the benefit of generally drawing in the same Pokemon as Heracross and Band variants can U-turn out of danger, substantially weakening those Pokemon for Heracross or another Pokemon to be able to finish off.</p>

    <p>For defensive variants, most prominently the Sleep Talk variant, your lack of coverage, owing to two move slots dedicated to recovery, will hurt and thus it is a very good idea to choose your team members according to your own limitations. For example, the set advised for the standard Sleep Talk set is walled by several Steel-types, though fortunately many of them have a secondary typing that counters their resistance to Rock or Bug, such as Metagross or Scizor. Lucario, Magnezone, and Empoleon all resist this combination and so a Pokemon that can deal with all three is advisable, but hard to come by. Blissey beats Magnezone and Empoleon but falls prey to Lucario, Tentacruel beats Lucario and Empoleon but dies to Magnezone, and Gliscor can beat Lucario and Magnezone (provided neither uses an Ice attack on the switch) but falls to Empoleon. Tyranitar can take Fire, Psychic, and Flying attacks aimed at Heracross with ease, due to its resistances and high defensive stats, while Heracross can take the Fighting, Ground and Grass attacks aimed at it, though Heracross dislikes the Sandstorm that Tyranitar stirs up; you will also need to take the weather into consideration for the rest of your team.</p>

    <p>Recurring partners to Heracross’s counters include Scizor, Metagross, Heatran and Infernape. While Heracross can damage all of them badly with a Close Combat, it cannot counter them directly or risk switching in. Bulky Gyarados can be a good partner in these situations as it resists the STAB moves of all three of these Pokemon, except for Metagross’s Zen Headbutt, which is rarely used (if ever). Gyarados only fears Thunderpunch from Infernape or Metagross, although Metagross and Heatran can also use Explosion; Infernape sometimes carries Stone Edge, which is generally too weak to do significant damage when unboosted after Intimidate and occasionally Heatran carries a rare Hidden Power Electric. Tyranitar and Lucario are also often partnered with Gliscor; Gyarados resists Lucario’s dual STAB and can defeat Lucario that do not carry Thunderpunch, as well as threatening Tyranitar with its STAB Waterfall, though it risks taking a powerful Stone Edge. Heracross itself, however, can maul any Tyranitar if it gets into play, with resistances to Dark and Ground. While it faints to a Banded Stone Edge it can threaten an OHKO on Tyranitar with STAB Megahorn or Close Combat. Lastly, Salamence and Gyarados are often used together, most frequently on fully offensive teams, and so users of these teams often have more than one Heracross check. Starmie can be a useful ally since it threatens both with Ice Beam and Thunderbolt respectively, and outruns most variants of either assuming neither has a Dragon Dance boost.</p>

    <p>Heracross in Ubers may seem an odd or wasteful choice, given its relatively low base stats (in particular Speed and defensive stats) in comparison to Pokemon such as Kyogre or Rayquaza, as well as its Fighting typing which strikes the casual battler as suicide considering the large number of Psychic-type Pokemon around. However, Heracross can be used to decent effect in the Ubers environment, where Heracross's two powerful STAB moves, Megahorn and Close Combat, can be very useful tools against the Psychic, Steel, and Dark-heavy Ubers metagame, allowing it to act to act as a decent check to many threats. The most notable example of this is Sleep Talk Heracross being one of the best Darkrai checks in the game, since it resists Darkrai's STAB, can use Sleep Talk with Choice Scarf, and both its STAB moves are capable of OHKOing. Aside from this, it is very useful at frightening Blissey, since its power is boosted by Toxic, frequent rain weakens Blissey's Flamethrower, and Heracross has STAB Close Combat and Pursuit to frighten it with. Close Combat is also a useful deterrent to any non-Scarf Dialga, though Heracross cannot afford to switch in on any of its STAB attacks. Scarf Heracross also makes for a useful revenge-killer against threats such as Latias, Latios and Deoxys, being able to outspeed and OHKO nearly all of them. Heracross's biggest foes in the way of Ubers are Giratina, whom Heracross cannot scratch with any of its moves and Giratina can recover from Toxic with Rest, and Rayquaza, who can set up for a sweep on Heracross, though Heracross can revenge-kill weakened mixed Rayquaza with Stone Edge. Bulky Dialga and Lugia, respectively, are the best bets to take them on, and Dialga can benefit from Heracross's ability to remove such threats as Blissey, Latias, and Deoxys-D, all of whom can impede one or more of Dialga's sets. These sorts of walls are the kind Heracross can defeat in relative safety or at least causes problems for them; therefore, if your sweepers have problems with them, Heracross is worth some consideration, even on an Uber team.</p>

    [Opinion]

    <p>Heracross could be seen as the herald of a dying age, as its basic game style has not changed drastically from when it was introduced. It has always had its offense-minded approach, with its massive Attack stat and high-powered STAB moves, making Heracross a huge threat to any team. Although its main role has not changed much, it has got more tools for the job with every generation and now it can fill more roles than ever before, and it is quite genuinely a force to be reckoned with.</p>

    <p>In spite of this, Heracross usage has been spiralling downwards as fewer and fewer people use it. Heracross’s speed is simply not up to scratch in such a fast-paced Metagame, and it is not sturdy enough to stand up to super-effective blows from faster foes. More and more battlers are choosing faster or more versatile sweepers such as Lucario or those that abuse priority, which Heracross has no access to. Despite these shortcomings, however, Heracross remains one of the very best physical sweepers in the game. It wasn't banned in Japan during the ADV generation for no reason! All things considered, Heracross is one of the most fearsome physical threats in the game and should under no circumstances be underestimated.</p>

    [Counters]

    <p>Flying-types are generally Heracross’s best checks and it is widely accepted that, of them, Gliscor is the best counter around. He has high defensive stats, resistances to both STAB moves, and neutrality to Rock and Dark. He has higher base Speed than Heracross so he can use Roost to heal and buy him a resistance to Stone Edge, though doing so risks a Megahorn. STAB Aerial Ace has no problem bringing down Heracross. However, Gliscor needs Aerial Ace to be able to beat most of the Swords Dance variants, in particular the Swords Dance Facade set, and if he is slower this can create problems. Salamence and Gyarados both also have resistances to both STAB moves, as well as Intimidate to help them switch in, although Stone Edge has the potential to KO them both. Gyarados can 2HKO with Waterfall, while Salamence can bring him down with Fire Blast or a STAB Dragon move. Both can set up Dragon Dance on Choice Heracross stuck on a STAB move. Zapdos has decent defensive stats too and can kill Heracross with Heat Wave and Moltres and Charizard both have quad resistances to Megahorn but have nasty 4x weaknesses to Stealth Rock and Stone Edge as well.</p>

    <p>Continuing in the vein of Pokemon that resist both STAB moves, we come to Poison-types. Like Gliscor, Weezing has a high Defense stat and can handle unboosted Stone Edges. Flamethrower or Fire Blast can 2HKO Heracross, but be careful that you don't burn Heracross with Will-O-Wisp; otherwise Heracross poses that little bit more of a threat. Crobat has quad resistances to both STAB moves and, while it is weak to Stone Edge, can kill any Heracross with STAB Brave Bird. Nidoqueen with Aerial Ace works well thanks to her resistances to everything Heracross normally carries, except for Pursuit and Night Slash. Nidoking and Toxicroak also have the appropriate resistances, but their lower defensive stats and lack of a solid super-effective attack make them rather shaky switch-ins against the Choice Band set. A defensive Hitmontop with Intimidate and Aerial Ace can switch into anything apart from CB Close Combat. More attack-minded sets can bring down Heracross with a combination of Fake Out and Bullet Punch.</p>

    <p>In the manner of Ghosts, Fire Punch Dusknoir and Overheat Rotom-h are also good choices thanks to their Fighting immunities and Bug resistances; however they cannot use Will-o-wisp on Heracross due to Guts and without super-effective attacks they can fall prey to Night Slash or Pursuit if they try to flee.</p>

    <p>Steel-types that take neutral damage from Close Combat can work as counters, since they often have naturally high defensive stats. Jirachi can survive any of the attacks on the Choice Band set and use Zen Headbutt to kill off Heracross. It won't OHKO without significant EV investment, but if you make Jirachi faster he can grab some luck with the flinch rate of Zen Headbutt or Iron Head. Switching into a Close Combat allows for an OHKO when factoring in the stat drop recoil. Metagross works in a similar way, but will require a Choice Scarf to ensure he is faster than Heracross. Finally, although it takes massive damage from Choice Band Close Combat, Skarmory can counter every other form of Heracross with its massive defensive stats and STAB Flying-type moves to dispose of Heracross.</p>

    <p>Lastly, although they are not technically counters, plenty of things are faster than Heracross and have OHKO potential. Dugtrio gets a mention for his ability to trap and kill Heracross with Aerial Ace, but he can be out-sped by the Choice Scarf set and OHKOed by one of Heracross’s STAB moves. Heracross still resists Sucker Punch. Heatran resists Megahorn and Scarf variants can outrun and OHKO with STAB Fire Blast while Scizor can revenge-kill with Bullet Punch.</p>


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Post-critique changes:
    • Received Choice Band, Swords Dance and Reversal sets as well as separate Counters section from monsieurmal (Discontinued)
    • Rewrote Choice Band, Swords Dance and Reversal sets (Done)
    • Rewrote Counters and Opinion sections (Done)
    • Grammar Check 1, thanks to Pet Pikachu (Done)
    • Tweaked EV spread on Bulk Up set (Done)
    • Added Ubers section in Team Options and a few sentences on Choice Scarf set. (Awaiting critiques)
  2. BRShooter

    BRShooter

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    There was far too much passive writing. I did what I could to make it more active.
    Besides that, do you think Skarmory should be mentioned as an issue on the Bulk Up set? Unlike Gliscor, it has more Defense AND a 4x Megahorn resist.
  3. Iggeh

    Iggeh

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    Minor fixes: You don't need the cedille or whatever on Facade. Also Heracross does not resist Rock and will be OHKO'd by a boosted Stone Edge.

    Scizor defintely ought to get a mention as a Heracross teammate, since the two more or less have the same counters, which U-turn does a great job in weakening. Vaporeon should get a mention with its ability to Wishpass, which Heracross can utilize due to its decent bulk, not to mention also beating Gyara and lolGliscor. You don't make Tyranitar sound like a particularly appealing team option, and Sandstorm really hurts Heracross, consider taking it out.

    Again I am going to throw in my opinion that the Bulk Up Heracross set should be running like 252 HP / / 40 Def / 216 SDef Careful. IMO getting even one extra Bulk Up with Heracross's vastly improved Special Defense should outweigh the neutral nature for Attack. As for the drop in speed, Jolly Tyranitar's aren't very common, only occuring in Dragon Dance sets which don't hurt too bad before a DD, and its highly unlikely your opponent is going to switch in their Tyranitar to beat a Heracross. The only consequence of getting outsped by Celebi is if the opponent risks staying in and throwing up Reflect. The only important speed battle you lose is against Defensive Zapdos, which only does 37.36% - 43.96% with Heat Wave now, and Zapdos now cannot use Roost on Heracross.

    Another thing has anyone ever used the Sleep Talk set to some success? (non Bulk Up set)

    You really ought to talk about how to play Scarf Heracross , instead of dedicating the majority of the set comments to describing how the set was built. Revenge killer or late game sweeper? I don't know!
  4. bugmaniacbob

    bugmaniacbob Floats like a Butterfree, stings like a Metapod
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    Thanks, I don't know why I put the rock resist in, I must have been quite tired.

    I was thinking of putting Scizor in, I have seen the combination and used it myself to varying amounts of success before, I was simply questioning whether it would be a tad redundant to advise someone to put them both together on a team, but I see your point. I'll add it in.

    I was also thinking about Vaporeon, but I felt that Starmie did Vaporeon's job better; I forgot to consider Wish support, merely thinking about countering Heracross's counters. Still, a few sentences wouldn't hurt.

    On the subject of Tyranitar - I value it in the Team Options for its resistances, which are uniquely suited to aid Heracross, not to mention its treasured ability to remove nearly any Ghost from the game. Ifind it acts as a relatively reliable check to a great number of things not bothered by Heracross, though I agree Sandstorm hurts it and that I should remove a couple of Tyranitar references.

    I agree that not being 2HKOed by Zapdos' Heat Wave is a useful asset, and I think that is reason enough to add it in, but I would question the 40 Def EVs - do they do anything in particular, other than bulk it up a bit, or can they be shifted to Attack?
    I'll change the EV spread to your one for the time being, and add a footnote; the subject remains a hot potato, as it were.

    I believe that there are a number of pokemon that use the general strategy a bit better than Heracross, and I was considering whether to merge the Bulk Up and Sleep Talk sets to conserve space, but rejected it as they play slightly differently. I have not before had any reason to use Sleep Talk Heracross over a Choice version, nor have I considered it in any way superior to a Choice variant in the same slot, so no, that does not apply to me.

    That's true, well spotted - I believe I must have left it out accidentally, so I have elaborated on the first paragraph of the Choice Scarfer. I wondered why it was so short.

    Er... what's wrong with passive writing?

    Still, I've added in most of your changes, except the horrible cliché phrases.

    I do indeed; that's quite an important note, thanks for spotting it. I don't know why I left it out, but I'll add it in now.
  5. BRShooter

    BRShooter

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    Passive writing is just too wordy and akward. That's what's wrong with it.

    I mean, what do you think sounds better, "Aerodactyl gets owned by Jirachi" or "Jirachi owns Aerodactyl"? The latter is short, sweet, and straight to the point.
  6. Iggeh

    Iggeh

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    Yeah the 40 Defense EV's don't do anything in particular. They can be put into Attack, I just like the fact 10 points to a stat of 186 has more of an effect than adding 10 points to a stat of 286.

    Also reserving post for stuff on the rest of the analysis (mainly CB Set) and perhaps if anymore team options come to mind.
  7. jrrrrrrr

    jrrrrrrr wubwubwub
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    This analysis needs some mention of Heracross in the Ubers environment, most notably on the Choice Scarfer, which can use Sleep Talk really well to counter Darkrai, in addition to providing a great check to Mewtwo, Darkrai, non-scarf Dialga, Blissey, Latios/Latias etc.

    Just like with UU analyses, if the pokemon has a really solid niche in the tier above it...theres no real reason to ignore it in the analysis.
  8. bugmaniacbob

    bugmaniacbob Floats like a Butterfree, stings like a Metapod
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    EDIT: Apparently what I said upset some people. I should like to offer my sincerest apologies for what I said, and I hope I did not come across as wanting to start a war, so yeah... sorry.

    I've put them in Attack for now in the analysis, and added a few notes concerning other usable EV spreads; if anyone wants to contest this, feel free to input your opinion.

    I thought that Heracross usage in Ubers passed out after early DP when Darkrai usage died down? In any case, I wouldn't call it a 'really solid niche'. I suppose the reason I didn't add any comments at all was because I would never have used it myself in Ubers, but I would like more opinions as to whether Heracross merits a mention of Uber qualities. As of now, I've added a tentative 5th paragraph in Team Options and a few brief comments on the Choice Scarf set.
  9. Amphetamines

    Amphetamines

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    Well, since Darkrai got Nasty Plot instead of Embargo in Platinum, Heracross is defiantly a staple on Ubers teams. Darkrai usage is now pretty high, thanks to the fact that Darkrai can double it's special attack while the opponent is sleeping. Heracross, with resistance to Focus Blast and STAB Dark Pulse, can switch into Darkrai easily and Sleep Talk, having around a 50% chance of killing it with it's STAB moves.

    I really think a bigger Ubers tier mention should be in there, with the spread of > 24 HP / 252 ATK / 232 SPE @ Adamant. This outruns Mewtwo, Darkrai, and Lati@s with a speed of 396. The rest of the EVs are dumped into HP, and can help Heracross take weaker Dragon blows, and a chance of survival against +1 Bulk Up Dialga. Also, Fighting + Megahorn is what half of the pokemon limited to the uber tier cannot switch into safely, mainly Megahorn.
  10. bugmaniacbob

    bugmaniacbob Floats like a Butterfree, stings like a Metapod
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    Apologies for the delay, everybody; I only just found out why MM hadn't posted here, owing to the fact that his computer was broken. We agreed that he would go to a friend's house to type it up again (he had a paper copy too) but I haven't received any word from him thus far. Having the day off today, I forced myself to get the job done by myself (Stellar's PM made me fall off my chair by accident; I may have taken it the wrong way, but still...). Here's the new stuff:

    [SET]
    name: Choice Band
    move 1: Megahorn
    move 2: Close Combat
    move 3: Stone Edge
    move 4: Pursuit / Night Slash
    item: Choice Band
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 96 HP / 252 Atk / 160 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>The Choice Bander, once Heracross’s flagship set, is now currently decreasing in usage in favour of the Scarf variant to accommodate for a particularly speed-related offensive Metagame. The power it wields is incredibly potent, and very few things that do not have the assurance of resistances can switch into it safely. Unlike the Choice Scarfer, Band Heracross often takes the role of a wall-breaker, using its power to knock holes in bulkier teams to perhaps create sweeping opportunities for others.<p>

    <p>Again, Heracross has its powerful STAB moves to work with, and again it can have coverage issues with certain types. A well-predicted Stone Edge can remove your Flying-type foes, though it leaves you exposed to a set-up sweeper like Lucario as you are stuck on a weaker move. The last slot is the greatest deviation from the Scarf variant, and should be altered to reflect the different role as well as the increased power. Pursuit is an excellent move that Heracross can use to chase down fleeing Psychic-types that attempt to escape death by Megahorn, and can also rid you of weakened Chansey. CB Scizor and Tyranitar can perform this trapping role a bit better, since they have stronger Pursuits, but Heracross has the advantage of being able to bluff a Scarf set, one that does not normally carry Pursuit, and thus catching them off-guard should they attempt to stay in and attack, but even in the event of a successful kill Lucario can again take the opportunity to set up, though this is a problem for all Pursuit-users. Night Slash is an option for a bit more secure coverage against Ghost-types, and Sleep Talk is feasible, as with the Choice Scarf set, to act as a Sleep absorber. The EVs allow you a fair amount of bulk while outrunning Jolly Tyranitar and defensive base 100s such as Zapdos and Celebi, which is about the limit to what you will outrun. In accordance with the sheer power inclination of the set, an Adamant nature is the best choice, since Heracross cannot afford to waste power while not outrunning anything of significance.</p>

    <p>The Choice Bander has a very similar list of checks to the Choice Scarf set, though few of them are as much counters as for the Choice Scarf set owing to repeated hits taking a toll on them, on top of Stealth Rock damage on Flying-type foes. However, this list now extends to pokémon faster and able to OHKO, such as Scarf Heatran and Salamence. Heracross is relatively bulky however, so if you haven’t used Close Combat you should be relatively safe from neutral hits. While very few can afford to switch in directly, Heracross is slow enough that simple revenge killing can be the easiest way to get rid of it. Heatran can come in on a resisted Megahorn, and Salamence and Gyarados both resist Bug and Fighting and, while Stealth Rock weak, can weather assaults with Intimidate. Porygon2 can make an acceptable partner if these threats specifically worry you, since it can Trace Flash Fire from Heatran and Absorb its Fire Blasts aimed at Heracross, or Trace Intimidate back at Salamence and Gyarados, and has Ice Beam and Thunderbolt to OHKO both respectively, on top of good defensive stats and Recover. These threats are quite situational however, and a Bulky Water can often make a better universal check. Vaporeon in particular can take on most opposing threats, including Heatran and some Infernape, while also being able to use Ice Beam or Hidden Power Electric on top of STAB Surf, and can also heal Heracross with Wish support. Be prepared for a Draco Meteor from Salamence though, since it will inflict heavy damage.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Swords Dance
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Megahorn
    move 3: Close Combat
    move 4: Stone Edge
    item: Life Orb / Wide Lens
    ability: Guts
    nature: Jolly
    evs: 252 Atk / 6 SpD / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Heracross’s Choice sets may be his most usable options, but neither constitutes a straightforward sweeping set, not only for the inability to switch attacks but also the large number of pokémon that resist its individual attacks. Swords Dance represents Heracross’s best set for a deliberate sweep, and it is fair to say that Heracross can perform the role of a physical sweeper admirably, taking into account its great power, indifference to burns and decent coverage. The greatest fault one can find is its low speed stat, which is detrimental for any sweeper, and must be worked around to consistently set up a sweeping opportunity.</p>

    <p>Swords Dance can be used by nearly any physical sweeper and those that don’t have it often perform less well in comparison to those that commonly carry it. By boosting Heracross’s attack stat sky-high, Heracross can charge through a slower or weakened team with a bit of support. Megahorn and Close Combat again form the core STAB moves, while Stone Edge covers everything they cannot hit together barring Nidoking, Nidoqueen and the rare Toxicroak. Life Orb further boosts attack power and can be useful to grab some crucial OHKOs and 2HKOs on certain foes, for example a 2HKO on 252/228 Bold Weezing with Leftovers is only guaranteed, not counting misses, with a Life Orb boost, and crucially it is possible to get an OHKO on Skarmory with Close Combat only with the Life Orb boost. However, Wide Lens can be useful at times by boosting the accuracy of Stone Edge and Megahorn to near-perfect accuracy, allowing you to avoid a costly miss at the wrong time, and also comes without the negative side-effect of Life Orb. Guts allows you to block status and is one of the main reasons for using Heracross over any other physical sweeper, and since you won’t want to intentionally drop to a low HP stat Swarm is not worth it as an ability. The EVs are fairly straightforward - a simple 252/252 spread to maximise sweeping efficiency. A Jolly nature is chosen as speed is, as they say, of the essence when it comes to sweeping, and Heracross needs to be as fast as possible to secure a sweep comfortably.</p>

    <p>Stealth Rock support is useful to weaken walls as well as aiding in the destruction of airborne foes, as with all set-up sweepers. As already mentioned, Heracross’s worst foe is its own poor speed, and unfortunately this cannot be stressed enough; it is not at all unfeasible for a Scarf Heatran to easily dispatch you with a Fire Blast. For this reason, it is recommended that you spread Paralysis around the opponent’s team before attempting a sweep, or Baton Passing an Agility boost to Heracross before the attempted sweep. Other than this, bulkier pokémon that resist its STAB moves and take neutral or resisted damage from Stone Edge are the ones to watch out for, since an UnSTABed neutral Stone Edge from Heracross, even with a Swords Dance behind it, is nowhere near as powerful as its other attacks. Even so, Bulky Weezing is 2HKOed by Stone Edge with Stealth Rock in play, and cannot defeat Heracross with Will-o-wisp and will never OHKO with 80 SpA Fire Blast, and while Crobat boasts quad resistances to both STAB moves alongside a 4x effective STAB Brave Bird to use, it is out-sped assuming a speed boost on Heracross’s part. Skarmory is crippled by +2 Close Combat but can OHKO with STAB Drill Peck. Rotom and Dusknoir can both be dealt with by a strong Pursuit-user, and while Gliscor is a potent threat it can be dealt with by repeated Stone Edges if it is slower and does not carry Aerial Ace or Roar, or can be got rid of with a Bulky Water. In general, though, you will want to concentrate support towards improving Heracross’s relative speed, in order to maximise your chances of bringing a sweep home.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Reversal
    move 1: Reversal
    move 2: Megahorn
    move 3: Substitute / Endure
    move 4: Swords Dance / Focus Punch
    item: Salac Berry
    ability: Swarm
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>The mighty Reversal-cross, possibly Heracross’s most infamous set, is one of those sets that will almost always pull off a sweep given the right conditions. Sadly, with these conditions almost never reachable without ridiculous amounts of support, Reversal-cross’s glory days are almost certainly at an end. The set hinges on reaching 1 HP successfully, be it via Endure or Substitute, hopefully getting a Swords Dance boost on the way, and then destroying everything you can catch with a vicious 200 base power STAB Reversal and Swarm-boosted Megahorn. There are many problems in getting this done, and more often than not you will trip up, but a Reversal-cross sweep is probably one of the most satisfying you can get.</p>

    <p>The core move in this set is Reversal, which at 1HP is one of the most powerful moves in the game, and has monstrous power when backed up by a Swords Dance – for reference, 248/228 Bold Zapdos is OHKOed after Stealth Rock damage. Megahorn provides secondary STAB and gets a boost from Swarm. The third slot determines how you reach 1HP exactly – Substitute is favoured for its ability to not only scout the switch but also to block status from bulkier opponents, which is far more detrimental to this Heracross than Guts variants. It also lets you decide for yourself whether it is safe to Swords Dance or whether to play it safe and sub down. Endure helps against faster opponents that are liable to attack first, and are also often faster than Heracross, so Heracross can Swords Dance on the switch and then survive the blow from the opponent. Endure also has the benefit of not being destroyed as a strategy if Heracross suffers any residual damage, as Substitute will. For example, if Heracross takes Stealth Rock damage he loses 12.5% of its health, resulting in the fact that you can now only create 3 substitutes, leaving you with about 12.5% of your health left, which grants you a Reversal of base power of 100, half the power of what you would have had. For the final move, Swords Dance is useful to add some overkill power to Heracross’s flailing fists. Focus Punch is also an option, if only to deal some damage to the Skarmory that attempts to force you out with Whirlwind, ending your sweep prematurely. If you have Magnezone support this shouldn’t be necessary.</p>

    <p>There is very little that can stop Reversal-cross once it gets going, but there are several things that can stop it setting up. As already mentioned, Skarmory can come in and Whirlwind it away as it sets up, so Magnezone support is advisable if you are concerned about it. Also mentioned above were entry hazards and how they affect Reversal’s power; for this reason Rapid Spin support is also advisable, as is something to set up Stealth Rock on your part to aid in OHKOing Flying-type foes. Weather support is extremely crucial – Tyranitar, Hippowdon or Abomasnow have only to switch in to end you with Sandstorm or Hail damage, so you should have a pokémon that knows Sunny Day or Rain Dance to remove harmful weather after defeating the opponent’s weather-changer. Strong Fighting-types can remove Tyranitar and Abomosnow, and a Bulky Water with a strong Surf such as Suicune can rid you of Hippowdon. Another quick demise comes in the form of powerful priority-users such as Scizor and Lucario, both of whom can be trapped by Magnezone but both of whom can also kill it on the switch. Both die to strong Fire-type moves so a Zapdos with Heat Wave can help or at least ward them off. Lastly, powerful bulky pokémon that resist STAB moves can be troublesome – Of Poison-types, Weezing can be taken care of by Heatran, and most Flying-types fear Magnezone. Ghosts are by far the most troublesome, resisting both STAB moves and blocking Rapid Spin at the same time. A strong Pursuit-wielder such as Tyranitar is the best choice in this case.</p>

    [Opinion]

    <p>Heracross could be seen as the herald of a dying age, as it basic game style has not changed drastically from when it was introduced. It has always had its attack-minded approach, with its massive Attack stat and high-powered STAB moves, making Heracross a huge threat to any team. Although its role has not changed much, it has got more tools for the job with every generation, and now it can fill more roles than ever before, and it is quite genuinely a force to be reckoned with.</p>

    <p>In spite of this, Heracross usage has been spiralling downwards as fewer and fewer people use it. Heracross’s speed is simply not up to scratch in such a fast-paced Metagame, and it is not sturdy enough to stand up to super-effective blows from faster foes, and more and more battlers are choosing faster or more versatile sweepers such as Lucario, or those that abuse priority, which Heracross has no access to. Despite these shortcomings, however, Heracross remains one of the very best physical sweepers in the game. Not for nothing was it banned in Japan during the ADV generation. All things considered, Heracross is one of the most fearsome physical threats in the game and should under no circumstances be underestimated.</p>

    [Counters]

    <p>Flying-types are generally Heracross’s best checks, and it is widely accepted that of them Gliscor is the best counter around. He has high defensive stats, resistances to both STAB moves and neutrality to Rock and Dark. He has higher base Speed than Heracross so he can use Roost to heal and buy him a resistance to Stone Edge. STAB Aerial Ace has no problem bringing down Heracross. However, Gliscor needs Aerial Ace to be able to beat most of the Swords Dance variants, in particular the Swords Dance Facade set, and if he is slower this can create problems. Salamence and Gyarados both also have resistances to both STAB moves, as well as Intimidate to help them switch in, although Stone Edge has the potential to KO them both. Gyarados can 2HKO with Waterfall, while Salamence can bring him down with Fire Blast or a STAB Dragon move, and both can set up Dragon Dances on Choice Heracross stuck on a STAB move. Zapdos has decent defensive stats too and can kill Heracross with Heat Wave, and Moltres and Charizard both have quad resistances to Megahorn but have nasty 4x weaknesses to Stealth Rock and Stone Edge as well.</p>

    <p>Continuing in the vein of pokémon that resist both STAB moves, we come to Poison-types. Like Gliscor, Weezing has high defensive stats and can handle unboosted Stone Edges. Flamethrower or Fire Blast can 2HKO Heracross, but be careful that you don't burn Heracross with Will-O-Wisp though, otherwise Heracross poses that little bit more of a threat. Crobat has quad resistances to both STAB moves and, while it is weak to Stone Edge, can kill any Heracross with STAB Brave Bird. Nidoqueen with Aerial Ace works well thanks to her resistances to everything Heracross normally carries, except for Pursuit and Night Slash. Nidoking and Toxicroak also have the appropriate resistances, but their lower defensive stats and lack of a solid super-effective attack make them rather shaky switch-ins against the Choice Band set. A defensive Hitmontop with Intimidate and Aerial Ace can switch into anything apart from CB Close Combat. More attack minded sets can bring down Heracross with a combination of Fake Out and Bullet Punch.</p>

    <p>In the manner of Ghosts, Fire Punch Dusknoir and Overheat Rotom-h are also good choices thanks to their Fighting immunities and Bug resistances, however they cannot use Will-o-wisp on Heracross and without super-effective attacks can fall prey to Night Slash or Pursuit if they try to flee.</p>

    <p>Steel-types that take neutral damage from Stone Edge can work as counters, since they often have naturally high defensive stats. Jirachi can survive any of the attacks on the Choice Band set and use Zen Headbutt to kill off Heracross. It won't OHKO without significant EV investment, but if you make Jirachi faster he can grab some luck with the flinch rate of Zen Headbutt. Switching into a Close Combat allows for an OHKO when factoring in the stat drop recoil. Metagross works in a similar way, but will require a Choice Scarf to ensure he is faster than Heracross. Finally, although it risks a Choice Band Close Combat, Skarmory can counter every other form of Heracross with its massive defensive stats and STAB Flying-type moves to dispose of Heracross.</p>

    <p>Lastly, although they are not technically counters, plenty of things are faster than Heracross and have OHKO potential. Dugtrio gets a mention for his ability to trap and kill Heracross with Aerial Ace, but he can be out-sped by the Choice Scarf set and OHKOed by one of Heracross’s STAB moves. Heatran resists Megahorn and Scarf variants can outrun and OHKO with STAB Fire Blast, and Scizor can revenge-kill with Bullet Punch.</p>

    I've been testing Heracross in Ubers while I waited for MM's Updates to turn up, and I have to say it functioned reasonably well, though I am not sure about the opponents I faced, mainly due to the fact that all of them left their Dialga in on Heracross for some reason. If somebody is willing to write a short paragraph for the Choice Scarf or Sleep Talk sets I would be grateful, if not, if more people give their support to the endeavour then I will try to write it myself.
  11. Stellar

    Stellar
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a SPL Winner
    Orange Islands

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    Heh. Didn't mean to make you fall out of your chair. -.-
    Thanks for finishing this up bmb, great work ethic!
  12. X-Trader

    X-Trader

    Joined:
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    I put the first and last sentences of the paragraphs where you used the wrong HTML tags. Other then that, its very well-written. You should do some more ;)
  13. Lee

    Lee @ Thick Club
    is a Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

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    Rock.
  14. Stellar

    Stellar
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a SPL Winner
    Orange Islands

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    This was well written (and extremely long!) but you have a couple of recurring grammatical problems that I want to point out for future reference.
    • We use the serial comma on Smogon. Therefore, a comma should be used prior to the "and" in a list.
    • We use the Americanized spellings of certain words such as favor and color.
    • A comma should be used after an introductory clause at the beginning of a sentence.
    • Pokemon is always capitalized.
    • Stats are always capitalized (such as Speed, Attack, and Defense).
    I've corrected all the grammar so I'm going to upload this to the site.

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