lab report ᐛ
As the only fully evolved Pokemon with access to Arena Trap, Dugtrio has a very specific niche in the OU metagame as a unique trapper and revenge killer. Dugtrio's blazing Speed stat complements this excellently, allowing it to trap and finish off a wide range of weakened threats. It also has a decent offensive movepool coupled with useful support moves in Memento and Stealth Rock. In addition to these positives, however, Dugtrio does have some notable flaws. Above all, it is extremely frail, forcing it to rely on a Focus Sash. Dugtrio's Attack stat is also rather mediocre, giving it great difficulty KOing bulky Pokemon. Furthermore, Dugtrio cannot trap Flying-types or Pokemon with levitate, which Shadow Tag users can. Despite these flaws, Dugtrio is definitely a Pokemon to be cautious of in the Overused metagame.
move 1: Earthquake
move 2: Reversal
move 3: Stone Edge
move 4: Memento / Stealth Rock
ability: Arena Trap
item: Focus Sash
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
ivs: 26 HP
Earthquake is Dugtrio's main move and most powerful STAB option when at full health. Its main use is to revenge kill weakened Pokemon and take out Heatran and Aegislash. Reversal works well with a Focus Sash and provides a great source of Fighting-type coverage; at 1 HP, Reversal is stronger than even Earthquake. It hits Pokemon such as Tyranitar and Terrakion for massive damage. Stone Edge has great coverage with Earthquake, KOing Volcarona and weakening the Flying-types unaffected by Arena Trap. Dugtrio's last moveslot is filled with some form of support for its teammates. Memento opens up setup opportunities for teammates and cripples whatever switches into Dugtrio after it has KOed a trapped Pokemon. However, Stealth Rock is also a good option if you can't fit it onto another Pokemon, and is a nigh mandatory form of support for every team.
Outside of the listed moves, Sucker Punch is usable to pick off Gengar, Alakazam, and Latios without having to rely on teammates. Alternatively, Substitute could be used as an option to give Dugtrio a shield against priority. It also allows Dugtrio to inflict massive amounts of damage to Chansey and Blissey when Dugtrio reaches full power for Reversal.
Full investment in Attack and Speed maximizes Dugtrio's revenge killing capabilities, and a Jolly nature ensues it outruns the many threats in the 100-115 range that often run Speed boosting natures. A Focus Sash somewhat remedies Dugtrio's paper-thin defenses, allowing it to take at least one hit before it faints, as well as giving it a shield against priority. 26 HP IVs are used to give Dugtrio an HP stat of 206, which gives Reversal full power after Dugtrio takes two Seismic Tosses.
Dugtrio is a Pokemon best brought in to revenge kill opposing Pokemon or on other free switches to secure KOs. This means that it can be brought in on U-turn or Volt Switch off predicted switch-ins of its primary targets, such as Tyranitar and Heatran. Because it might need to trap at any time, Dugtrio doesn't really excel at any particular point of the game. In addition, due to its mediocre power, it can only KO frail and weakened threats, generally. Memento or Stealth Rock are best used after Dugtrio has already performed its trapping duties so that it can provide a form of utility outside of its offensive role.
Defog (if you run Memento) or Rapid Spin support is highly recommended when using Dugtrio in order to ensure that its Focus Sash stays intact. Examples of teammates that can provide this support include Latios, Starmie, and Mandibuzz. Pokemon that can use Volt Switch or U-turn are excellent partners, too, as they can bring Dugtrio in safely on threats it is supposed to trap. Talonflame and Thundurus are all good partners in this regard. Dugtrio reciprocates this support by trapping and KOing troublesome counters to these Pokemon. Indeed, Dugtrio is one of the best Pokemon to pair with Talonflame by virtue of the fact that it can trap and KO one if its best counters: Heatran.
A Choice Band set is a possible option for Dugtrio, transforming it into a much more powerful revenge killer from the get-go. Notably, Dugtrio avoids the need to use prediction with a Choice Band, unlike other users of the item, by virtue of Arena Trap. A Life Orb could also be used to give Dugtrio extra power without having to be locked into a move, but both of these items are inferior options, as Dugtrio's frailty makes it very reliant on a Focus Sash to revenge kill threats. Hone Claws may also look appealing to boost Dugtrio's lackluster Attack stat; however, Dugtrio lacks the bulk or the immediate power possessed by other physical setup sweepers to pull this set off reliably.
Checks & Counters
By definition, nothing counters Dugtrio if it is revenge killing opponents that can be trapped by Arena Trap, because counters need to switch in. Although it can sometimes defeat threats, given the right conditions, there are still plenty of checks to Dugtrio. One of the best ways to beat Dugtrio is not letting it actually trap what it wants to through the use of moves such as Baton Pass and U-turn. Moreover, Pokemon with Levitate, Flying-types, and Ghost-types can always escape the clutches of Dugtrio's Arena Trap.
**Physically Bulky Pokemon**: It is no secret that Dugtrio falls far behind typical OU attacking standards and, as a result of this, most Pokemon with decent physical bulk that aren't weak to EdgeQuake can take on Dugtrio relatively well. Skarmory, Gliscor, Gastrodon, and Landorus-T wall all of Dugtrio's attacks and proceed to set up hazards in its face or outright KO it.
**Water-types**: Sturdy Water-type Pokemon almost always make for excellent Dugtrio checks. Slowbro, Vaporeon, and Suicune can all wash away Dugtrio with their super effective Scalds and take relatively low damage from its Earthquake and Reversal. Tentacruel can't switch into Dugtrio, but can take a single Earthquake and retaliate with Scald to win as well.
**Grass-types**: Thanks to their resistance to Ground and/or ability to hit Dugtrio super effectively, many Grass-type Pokemon make for great Dugtrio checks. Trevenant and Gourgeist can take any of Dugtrio's attacks with ease and either burn it or outright KO it with an appropriate move. Breloom resists both Ground and Rock while simultaneously packing priority in the form of Mach Punch. Lastly, Mega Venusaur can use its stupendous defensive stats to wall anything that Dugtrio attempts to throw at it and proceed to KO it with a super effective Giga Drain.
**Priority**: Because Dugtrio has very pitiful defensive stats, virtually every form of priority is threatening to it. Scizor, Azumarill, and Talonflame are all good users of priority moves and can take down Dugtrio with a swift revenge kill. However, Talonflame must watch out for a potential Stone Edge if Dugtrio still has its Focus Sash intact. Bisharp can also strike down Dugtrio with its powerful Sucker Punch or take advantage of Memento, gaining an Attack boost, but cannot take an Earthquake. Finally, despite their weakness to Reversal, Mamoswine and Weavile can both pack priority Ice Shard to pick off Dugtrio.