The forgotten Levitating Ghost. Has a few neat tricks, and is a pretty good support pokemon/pivot. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ http://www.smogon.com/dp/pokemon/duskull Status: Complete. Could need more grammar overview. Added: Grammar edits. Rest and Confuse Ray mentioned in OO. Pain Split slash and paragraph in support set. [SET] name: Support move 1: Will-O-Wisp move 2: Shadow Sneak move 3: Ice Beam move 4: Disable / Pain Split / Trick Room item: Oran Berry ability: Levitate nature: Relaxed evs: 196 HP / 116 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpA / 116 SpD [SET COMMENTS] <p>Duskull plays entirely differently from its Levitating Ghost-type brethren. It has low Speed and high Defenses, and thus uses its three immunities to wall opponents entirely, not set up.</p> <p>Each attack on this set has its own purpose. Will-O-Wisp incapacitates physical attackers of all kinds. It can switch in on powerful Normal- and Ground-type attacks and threaten to cripple the attacker. Shadow Sneak provides Duskull a means to deal with the other Ghost-types. It 2HKO's Misdreavus and can OHKO Hasty Gastly. Duskull can usually survive an unboosted Misdreavus Shadow Ball, but is doomed against boosted ones. Ice Beam can OHKO 0/0 HP/SpD Gligar 100% of the time, and 156/0 HP/Def Gligar 80% of the time.</p> <p>The last slot depends on your team. One of the most common answers to Ghost-types is Pursuit Munchlax. Because Duskull can easily survive an unboosted Pursuit, it can Disable the move and switch out freely or attempt to burn with Will-O-Wisp next turn (in either order, really). Disable also works wonders against pokemon that use Sucker Punch to punish Ghost-types, and predicting it can prevent use of the move until the opponent switches out. Disable can miss as it only has 80% accuracy, but when it works it often provides an impasse for the would-be counter. Pain Split gives Duskull additional recovery when it is weakened. Provided Duskull can survive another attack from a healthy opposing Pokemon, it can drain their HP and tank a little longer. If you are using a Trick Room team, Duskull is one of the best pokemon to start it. It is naturally slow, has many chances to switch in, and is bulky enough to set it up more than once.</p> <p>Duskull is an excellent partner to any pokemon with Stealth Rock. Spinners are rare in Little Cup to begin with, but because a large number of Duskull's counters hate dealing with Stealth Rock, the ability to stop a spin and take several hits is an invaluable asset. Whether it is breaking a Sash, eating away 25% of HP, or just getting an opponent in KO range, Duskull appreciates life with Stealth Rock on the field. Anorith is notable for its good speed and high offensive prowess, it is especially effective at taking down similarly built Houndour who otherwise are the stuff of Duskull nightmares. Bringing a Houndour of your own can also help Duskull survive, since a Houndour mirror match is usually a draw. Ponyta can also work, warding off Houndour with strong physical attacks and immunity to Flamethrower. Munchlax is also a solid counter with its high Special Defense and Thick Fat.</p> [SET] name: Calm Mind move 1: Calm Mind move 2: Shadow Ball move 3: Hidden Power [Fighting] move 4: Shadow Sneak item: Oran Berry ability: Levitate nature: Sassy evs: 36 HP / 120 Def / 200 SA / 120 SpD [SET COMMENTS] <p>Calm Mind Duskull plays a bit differently than Calm Mind Misdreavus. Calm Mind primarily boost its special defense, letting it tank special attacks and get opponents into the KO range of Shadow Sneak. After a Calm Mind Duskull's Special Defense jumps to an impressive 27, and its special attack is at a fairly threatening 18. Combined with its notable defensive ability it can tank through hits and pose an offensive threat with the unresisted Ghost/Fighting combination. It also has some room to play around Sucker Punch, being able to Calm Mind again, and does not fear Pursuit anywhere near as much as Misdreavus or Gastly.</p> <p>The fourth slot is a priority move. It is necessary for Duskull to have priority here so it can remain healthy after getting HP back with Oran Berry. When you come in you will want to Calm Mind, tank through a hit, have Oran activate, and finish with Shadow Sneak to remain healthy and repeat the process for a second KO. The inability to hit Normal-types is a nuisance, but Munchlax is slower and Porygon gets a useless Attack boost switching in. That leaves Meowth as the only common Normal-type that might give Duskull trouble with a Technician-boosted super effective Bite.</p> <p>This set generally works standalone to surprise an opponent. It receives a great boon from Diglett, who can trap the Houndour that make pulling this off difficult, in addition to Diglett's ability to set rocks. Gligar works for similar reasons although it can't trap, so it isn't foolproof. Anorith is again helpful for its speed and ability to set up Stealth Rock. Breaking Sashes greatly increases the efficiency of this set.</p> [EVs] All of Duskull's stats end in 0 except for Speed. Speed is useless on Duskull, and in fact when running Trick Room, less is more. In the calculator I used, Duskull's defenses stopped reducing the damage range of common atttack scenarios after 17, or 116 EVs (36 with a positive Nature). Duskull also doesn't gain any damage when its attack was raised above 12, or 116 EVs. [Other Options] <p>Mentioned in the first set, it bears repeating that Duskull is an excellent user of Trick Room. All you need to do is set its Speed IV to 0 and you are done. Duskull can also set up Rain Dance for your team, although it isn't a fan of boosted Water-type attacks itself. Duskull is a bit too slow to run Taunt effectively. Duskull can easily set up Substitute on Choice item Normal-, Fighting-, and Ground-type attacks and punish a switch-in with an attack followed by Shadow Sneak. Confuse Ray has the potential to buy you a few turns and potentially let you escape from Pursuit using Pokemon unharmed. 50% is still unreliable and they can snap out of Confusion quickly, so be aware this is a high-risk high-reward move.</p> <p>Duskull supports Hail teams well with an immunity to Fighting and access to the powerful Blizzard. Leftovers can serve it a bit better there to keep Hail at bay and Protect stall, since Duskull is immune to Toxic Spikes and Spikes. Duskull's other Ice-type attack is Icy Wind, although lowering Speed isn't helpful unless you intend to raise Duskull's a little bit, or exploit it with another of your Pokemon.</p> <p>Curse, Grudge, Memento, and Destiny Bond are all oddball options if you like to leave your opponent with a nasty surprise, but they are each hard to use. The easiest thing to Grudge is probably Sucker Punch. Imprison is a rather silly way to lock the Shadow Ball of opposing Ghosts and Porygon, but it can be done; Will-O-Wisp or Disable address Pursuit better than Imprison in most cases.</p> <p>Duskull can use Rest to stay in the battle longer. Unfortunately it leaves Duskull vulnerable, especially to Pursuit so Pain Split is usually recommended for mid-battle healing. Sleep Talk can be used with Rest to reduce Rest's liabilities, since Ice Beam and Shadow Sneak keep a few major metagame threats in check.</p> [Team Options] <p>Largely covered in the two sets, but for emphasis pick things that set up Stealth Rock and destroy Houndour. Anorith, Diglett, and Ponyta all fulfill one or both of these needs by being faster than Houndour, capable of OHKO'ing it, or making its life miserable with Stealth Rocks. Water types with Aqua Jet also perform well; Kabuto has a 4x resistance to Flamethrower and can easily KO Houndour. Do watch out for Hidden Power Grass though. Mankey and Gligar can pivot to Duskull after a U-turn to avoid taking damage from Return or Ice Punch, both of which Duskull easily survives. Duskull's 3 immunities and solid defenses make it a crucial pivot, and its ability to incapacitate physical attackers puts pokemon like Munchlax, Chinchou, and Mantyke at ease. Immunity to Quick Attack and Mach Punch allow it to finish off weakened Elekid and Magby, although watch out for Static and Flame Body; Shadow Sneak is a contact attack and can activate them. Essentially, choose things that benefit from Duskull's strengths as a support pokemon. Duskull is a pokemon you use to fill the holes in the rest of your team, not a pokemon you build your team around.</p> [Opinion] <p>Duskull plays a unique role as a defensive Ghost-type in a metagame where Ghost-types are nearly synonymous with offense. Don't let its defensive nature frighten you away from using it, with unique access to Ice Beam and at least a prayer of surviving unboosted Night Slash, Duskull can spook Gligar like no other. Duskull is a team player, not the star of the show. It can remove some pretty big metagame threats when played properly, but it will not sweep entire teams.</p> [Counters] <p>Houndour. Getting a boost to Flash Fire from Will-o-Wisp, possessing STAB Pursuit and Sucker Punch, and being able to cover most of Duskull's favored allies with HP Grass makes Houndour the stuff of nightmares. This applies to Ponyta to an extent, since Duskull's Defense, while decent, is not made for eating Flash Fire boosted Flare Blitz. Guts Machop, Makuhita, and Larvitar have Dark attacks they can utilize to put the hurt on Duskull, even if unSTABed. Bronzor works to an extent in a "war of the walls" way on a support set, but it completely fails at addressing Calm Mind.</p> <p>Revenge killing Duskull is not always as simple as using super-effective attacks. Gligar can finish it with Night Slash but should stay away otherwise for fear of Ice Beam. Misdreavus and Gastly both have to watch out for Shadow Sneak. What works most effectively is powerful attacks from pokemon that Duskull can't do much damage to. Wailmer is a prime example, since Shadow Sneak doesn't chip off much HP and Water Spout does immense damage. Strong special attackers like Magnemite and Staryu break through it easily with little fear of retaliation, and most Fire-types can scare it away. Basically if you resist Ice Beam, use special attacks, and aren't weak to Shadow Sneak, you can probably force Duskull out.