1. New to the forums? Check out our Mentorship Program!
    Our mentors will answer your questions and help you become a part of the community!
  2. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.

Explosion in GSC [QC 2/2] [GP 2/2]

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by Jorgen, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,202
    Skeleton (open)
    Introduction
    • Strongest move in GSC
    • Can usually OHKO just about anything that doesn't resist it
    • Is typically more reliable than the 50-50 affair it is in RBY
    • Also generally used for much more specific reasons: offensive, defensive, tactical
    • Despite its effectiveness, there are ways to combat its use
    • You lose a mon when you use it, so be careful
    • But then again, don't be too afraid to pull the trigger, especially when it's unexpected


    Mechanics
    • Base power 250, halves defense
    • Selfdestruct used by Lax, with 200 BP, STAB, and halving of defense
    • Fainting mechanics if used first:
    • opposing Pokemon can't move
    • no poison/burn/seed damage
    • spikes damage on yoru switch-in assessed
    • lefties assessed after spikes


    Ways to use:
    Wallbreaking
    • Often called bait-explosion
    • Criteria for a good bait-exploder:
    • Must be otherwise-countered by their target
    • Must be able to take a hit from or outspeed their target
    • Don't wait until your Exploder is about to die to pull the trigger
    • Examples: Exeggutor for Zapdos, Cloyster for Starmie, Gengar for Raikou

    Defensive
    • Stops setup sweepers and saves the game
    • Criterion for a good defensive exploder:
    • Must be able to outspeed or take a hit from their target
    • Examples: Cloyster for Vaporeon, Gengar for Agi-Passed Snorlax

    Free turns
    • Because of death mechanics, if you go first, your opponent can't move
    • Even if you can't kill, can prevent the opponent from Resting
    • At the very least, even if you go last, you get a free switch
    • Should be done sparingly, this usually isn't as good as a trade
    • Example: specific scenario

    Bluffing
    • Sometimes predicting Explosion can be just as punishing as using it
    • Use this to your advantage
    • Can bluff both offensive and defensive Explosions
    • Bluffing offensive is lower-risk, but less likely to work because of that
    • Bluffing defensive is high-risk, but more likely to work because of that
    • Examples: Egg puts Skarm to sleep, Cloyster Spikes as Drumlax switches out

    Trading down
    • If you're up in the Pokemon count, you can use Exploders to simplify into a favorable endgame
    • Or instead of simplifying, you can just outright win if you can trade all of your Exploders for all of their remaining Pokemon
    • Can also prevent last-Poke shenanigans; too much for last-Poke Lax and Vap to set up against


    Main users
    Cloyster
    • Main use is Spiking
    • Baits Starmie, but mediocre otherwise in wallbreaking
    • Good defensive boomer because of high defense and good speed tier

    Exeggutor
    • Sleep Powder and attacking power can really force the issue
    • Great at baiting ST Zapdos and also Raikou to an extent
    • Not great defensively because of speed tier and bug weak, but can deal with Lax

    Gengar
    • Great offensive Exploder with Sleep threat and coverage
    • Can bait Raikou and Lax pretty reliably, but can struggle to OHKO
    • Speed makes it a decent defensive user, especially against Agi-Passed Lax, but lack of power can miss out on KOs
    • Really, though, it's much better used offensively

    Snorlax
    • STAB Selfdestruct, not Explosion
    • Strongest sacrifice in the game
    • Good offensively, almost no risk if you run Curse to catch Skarm, or you could run coverage to catch Suicune/Miltank
    • Defensive boom is also great for opposing Curselax, has power to muscle past a Curse or two
    • Defensive boom also good for lots of other stuff such as Charizard because Snorlax is good at surviving most hits
    • Lax misses out on walling ability by using Boom, though

    Steelix
    • Has Curse & EQ to force the issue... somewhat
    • Offensive boom is OK, can break Suicune and Zapdos at +1
    • Defensive boom is basically nonexistent, can't even outspeed Lax
    • Defensive boom use is relegated to beating last-Poke Curselax
    • Very useful defensively for opposing Lax/Electrics, so usually reluctant to Explode

    Forretress
    • Main purpose in life is Spikes
    • Awful offensively, doesn't force anything to take it at all
    • Decent defensively, can survive pretty much any non-Fire hit and hits hard enough to OHKO things

    Muk
    • Another Curse Bomber
    • Offensively, it's unexpected, applies pressure with Curse, and can force basically whatever it wants to go down, although Ghosts & Rocks can be a problem
    • Defensively, it can prevent Marowak and Snorlax from setting up, and can survive a Vap Surf (although fears faster Acid Armor), not good for much else due to low Speed & EQ weak

    Golem
    • ANOTHER Curse Bomber
    • Offensively, it's kinda weak, has to catch Waters on the switch, takes a ton from Zapdos' Hidden Power
    • Defensively, it can mess with Snorlax (even Curselax), not much else


    Combatting Explosion

    Switch a Resistor into a predicted Explosion
    • the lower their health, the more likely they'll try to Explode
    • alternatively, if you're setting up, they'll also likely Explode
    • try to use Normal resists that can't be punished easily. Example: Skarm on Exeggutor


    Strategic Sacrifice
    • Explosion does little good if it KOs the wrong thing
    • Ideally your sacrifice should be low-risk
    • Example: Vap on Cloyster

    Reflect/Defense Boosts/Substitute
    • You could just outright deflect Explosion's power
    • Example: Reflect Raikou, Curse from Lax, Acid Armor from Vap, Substitute from Tentacruel

    Conclusion
    • Get out there and get a hands-on feel for how to use Explosion yourself!


    pre-QC (open)

    Introduction
    Explosion is the strongest move in GSC. It typically allows the user to OHKO whatever doesn't resist the move, even with only moderate Attack backing the move. Furthermore, in GSC, you're generally not going to see very many attempts to predict Explosions unless the Exploder doesn't have some way to harm a particular resistor, which makes using Explosion to take out specific walls surprisingly reliable despite the obvious risk inherent with fainting one of your own Pokémon. The mechanics of Explosion make it amenable to multiple different uses: obviously Explosion is useful offensively, but it is also effective as a defensive move, or even for achieving some more subtle tactical advantages. However, despite its broad usefulness and surprising reliability, Explosion is not an automatic win button by any means. There are effective ways to combat the use of Explosion to ensure that you end up on the winning end of your opponent's attempts to trade Pokémon. Knowing how to both use and combat Explosion is vital knowledge for success in GSC.


    Mechanics
    Explosion is extremely strong. It has a base power of 250, and it has the added effect of halving the opponent's Defense stat, thereby effectively making it 500 base power. This halving of Defense always occurs even with a Critical Hit, which will otherwise ignore stat changes, Reflect, and Burn if your Attack stage is lower than your opponent's Defense stage. A similar move, Selfdestruct, has 400 effective base power, but is often seen on Snorlax who, after STAB, has an effective 600 base power attack in its pocket. To put that in perspective, one Snorlax Selfdestruct is stronger than two Thick Club Marowak Earthquakes. Explosion also has the obvious effect of causing the user to faint. However, unlike in later generations, if the Exploding Pokémon moves first and the opposing Pokémon survives the attack, the Pokémon that was to move second will not be able to make a move that turn. Consequently, there will also be no poison/burn/leech seed damage assessed for the surviving Pokémon during that turn, although Spikes damage will still be assessed for the switch-in to replace the Exploder, and Leftovers recovery will still be assessed for both Pokémon after the switch-in.


    Ways to use Explosion

    Wallbreaking

    The most obvious use of a move with effectively 500 base power is for wallbreaking. However, there is a little finesse required to make sure you get the most out of Explosion. Generally, it's best to use a strategy known as bait-explosion, whereby your Exploders bait certain Pokémon into switching that also wall or check a sweeper that you are running. For example, a Pokémon such as Charizard is countered by Starmie, but Cloyster, thanks to Spikes, can frequently bait Starmie into switching in to spin away Spikes, then subsequently Explode on Starmie to KO it and open up the Charizard sweep. Growth Vaporeon is another sweeper that benefits greatly from Exploders KOing its counters: Exeggutor is a common Exploder that baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Zapdos looking to absorb Sleep Powder; Gengar baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Raikou looking to absorb Hypnosis and tank BoltBeam coverage; and Steelix baits Suicune, survives a Surf, and OHKOs with Explosion after a Curse. In general, a good offensive Exploder must have some way to force its target to switch in without risking a Normal resist easily switching in. Sleep moves and attacks that hurt normal resists are very helpful in accomplishing this.

    Defensive
    Explosion is also very useful from a defensive standpoint, primarily in terms of preventing a sweep. Sweepers such as Belly Drum Snorlax, Growth Vaporeon, and Pokémon passed Agility boosts on a Baton Pass team can instantly end a game if one is unable to KO them swiftly. In this sense, Explosion takes out these boosted Pokémon and saves the game. One of the better defensive Exploders is Cloyster, which outspeeds and KOs Belly Drum Snorlax, Quagsire, and Clefable, survives max-attack hits from all of them if they have an Agility boost, and outspeeds and KOs Growth Vaporeon with Explosion. Another good defensive Exploder is Forretress, for many of the same reasons, although it fails to outspeed Clefable or Vaporeon. Gengar is also a good defensive Exploder, as it can outspeed and Explode to KO fast threats such as Tentacruel, Charizard, and Agility-boosted Snorlax.

    Free turns
    One of the more subtle tactical uses of Explosion is gaining free turns. Because Explosion prompts a switch-in after the user faints, even if you don't KO the foe you still get an opportunity to switch a Pokémon in for free. In this sense, Explosion functions somewhat like U-turn in later generations, although it certainly isn't something you want to just spam in GSC. Also, if your Explosion goes first, even if you fail to OHKO the foe, the target will be left at very low health and unable to move because of the mechanics of GSC. This can be useful for effectively gaining two turns against a slower foe like Snorlax.

    Bluffing
    Sometimes mispredicting an Explosion can be just as bad as taking an Explosion. You can use this to your advantage with an Exploder by judiciously choosing to not explode. Most commonly, this is seen with Cloyster, who can punish a foe for switching out a boosted Belly Drum Snorlax or Growth Vaporeon for a normal Resist by Surfing instead of Exploding. This is also often abused by Exeggutor, who can spam moves like Psychic and Sleep Powder against an active Zapdos that, depending on the situation, might be deathly afraid of taking an Explosion by virtue of being the only remaining counter to a threat such as Vaporeon or Heracross.


    Trading down
    If nothing else, Explosion is generally good for just simplifying a game quickly. Because most good Exploders dissuade Normal resists from switching in, it's a fairly reliable way of getting rid of annoying pieces on your opponent's side and transitioning to a simple endgame. Trading down is a concept commonly seen in chess when a player has a material advantage and/or wants to simplify the game to avoid giving his opponent an opportunity to develop a crazy tactical attack, and using Explosion to achieve the same effect in GSC is very sound strategy.


    Main users

    Cloyster

    The main role of Cloyster is setting Spikes most of the time, but Cloyster is also a very effective Exploder on top of it all. Because of its role as a Spiker, it tends to bait Starmie and Explode on it without much trouble at all. Normally, Starmie is relegated precisely to controlling Spikes, but it also checks a few niche threats like Charizard and Machamp, and it's also pretty annoying for Ground-types to deal with, making this a key Explosion to have on most offensive teams. However, it's not very good at KOing Electrics because, while it does a good job of baiting them, it has to catch them with a very risky Explosion on the switch. Cloyster also struggles to fight its way past Explosion-immune Ghosts, although with enough Surfs on the switch, Cloyster can prevail.

    Cloyster also has a pretty decent Speed stat, a Defense stat that allows it to tank Snorlax's blows, and a typing that allows it to tank Vaporeon's Surfs. This combination makes it an extremely good defensive Exploder, as it is faster than the two most common setup sweepers in GSC and can even afford to take a hit when bluffing if the opponent calls that bluff.

    Clamp is not a standard move on Cloyster, but it helps a lot with keeping Cloyster's Explosion targets in place. It doesn't help with Electrics, obviously, but it eliminates Cloyster's need to bluff Explosion and just traps ballsy Snorlax and Vaporeon to ensure the KO. It also traps Starmie in the event that the opponent reads your team and decides they really need it, although most players will look at Starmie clearing Spikes while being Exploded to death by the Spiker and think "mission accomplished".


    Exeggutor
    Exeggutor gets Sleep Powder, which tends to draw Sleep Talkers like Zapdos and Raikou in. This is how Exeggutor gets good Explosions in spite of the Normal resists (Skarmory and Tyranitar) that match up well against it. However, despite its poor coverage movepool, it often can have everything it needs to keep Normal resists out: Giga Drain + Hidden Power Fire on a 3-attack set that foregoes a status powder keeps both Tyranitar and Skarmory out of its face. Exeggutor can also use healing from Leech Seed, Synthesis, or Giga Drain to stick around just long enough to Explode, use its typing to tank just enough hits to get an Explosion off, and spread paralysis with Stun Spore. Basically, Exeggutor is a great Exploder because he has so many ways to stick around and punish an opposing team for not just staying in and attacking with their Explosion-vulnerable Pokémon. Just don't let this thing take status, poison will put it on a timer and make its Explosion way more predictable, and paralysis might ruin your attempts to pull the trigger and leave you with a weakened, useless husk of a Pokémon.

    Exeggutor can also be a fairly decent defensive Exploder, as it outspeeds Snorlax and can tank troublesome Vaporeon and Zapdos, although it does have a couple problems on this front. The first is that its Explosion is fairly obvious when used defensively by Exeggutor; it cannot survive a Drumlax Frustration, and because it is outsped by Vaporeon and Electrics, if it doesn't pull the trigger quickly it could find itself in a situation where it is outsped and OHKOed. Being able to bluff the Explosion is a pretty important part of being a good defensive Exploder, as otherwise you just end up consistently wasting an Explosion because the risk of not pulling the trigger on Explosion is losing the game. Exeggutor also struggles as a defensive Exploder because it just isn't a great defensive Pokémon.

    Exeggutor is mostly held back as an Exploder by its limited defensive abilities. Its typing is good, but it's a primary check to nothing, second look to all, so don't expect to switch Exeggutor in willy-nilly to threaten to Explode, offensively or defensively. Even against threats it looks like it should absolutely cream, such as Machamp and Marowak, you don't necessarily force them out with Psychic or Giga Drain because they can hit you back with Hidden Power Bug. Therefore, you are often forced to Explode on them and other threats that Exeggutor seems like it should be countering pretty hard, even though it seems like you should be able to force them out and use Exeggutor's Explosion for another purpose, such as taking out Zapdos.


    Gengar
    It's fast. It gets scary BoltBeam coverage to punish switching around. It has plenty of other aces in the hole such as Fire Punch, DynamicPunch, and Hypnosis to prevent Normal resistors from feeling comfortable about switching in, and Mean Look to trap its bait and guarantee a good Explosion. Gengar is basically the ultimate Raikou lure, making it a crucial offensive Exploder for most teams, as eliminating Raikou makes it much easier to generate offensive pressure with one's own Electric-type. However, there is some finesse to using Gengar to Explode on Raikou; it's slower, is 2HKOed by Thunder, and normally doesn't OHKO with Explosion in return, so unless you plan ahead and make sure Raikou is weak enough to be taken out (and preferably paralyzed so you don't have to take a big hit or risk it using Reflect to neutralize your Explosion), you could see that Raikou barely surviving and using its ridiculous Speed to just Rest off that Explosion!

    Apart from Raikou, Gengar also targets Umbreon, Blissey, Quagsire, Snorlax, and Zapdos with its Explosion. However, all of these threats take a ton from Explosion, but are not OHKOed. Snorlax and Umbreon are especially resilient to Gengar's Explosion, taking maximum damages of 81% and 77%, respectively. Again, it's important to have Gengar's Explosion targets weakened before you pull the trigger. Gengar also targets Starmie looking to stay in to Psychic after a successful spinblock attempt, and this is actually one of the few Explosions that is guaranteed to OHKO, so feel free to Explode away when you see this opportunity.

    As far as defensive Explosions are concerned, Gengar is mostly an offensive Pokémon, but it's pretty good at taking out Drumlax, although it's not quite strong enough to get really good damage against a +1 CurseLax when needed. It can, however, outspeed a Drumlax with an Agility boost that has been Baton Passed from Jolteon, making it a great last line of defense against a Baton Pass sweep. Gengar can also Explode on Vaporeon that stays in expecting to tank a Thunderbolt and OHKO with a boosted Surf.


    Snorlax
    This thing is a powerhouse, although he technically uses STAB Selfdestruct and not Explosion. A mixed set with Fire Blast and Earthquake is standard to nail the Normal resists, then Double-Edge to scare them into bringing some solidly defensive, non-Normal resisting wall into him, then BAM, Selfdestruct OHKOs it. Of course, there's also the option of a Curse + Selfdestruct set to bait Skarmory (at +1, STAB Selfdestruct does roughly to Skarmory what Gengar's Explosion does to Raikou - wow!), or a Selfdestruct set that foregoes a coverage move for Lovely Kiss. As is normal for Snorlax, there's way too many options.

    Snorlax is a superb defensive Exploder, too. While slow, it's OHKOed by basically nothing, and his Selfdestruct OHKOs any unboosted thing not resisting it in return, and even does a great job of putting opposing +1 CurseLax into "useless amount of remaining HP" range. Snorlax is probably the best Exploder in the game, the only thing is that you lose out on him functioning as a legitimate wall if you use a Selfdestructing mixed set.


    Steelix
    Steelix gets access to Explosion, keeps most Normal resists bar Skarmory at bay with STAB Earthquake, and can Curse up to OHKO even stubborn defensive walls with Explosion. Steelix generally fills a pivotal role as a Snorlax and Electric immunity, so it can be hard to let go of that and allow Steelix to Explode, but as an offensive Exploder it tends to target quite a few important walls. It draws Earthquake-immune Zapdos and is also good at taking out Suicune because it can survive a single Surf and, after a single Curse, is guaranteed to OHKO Suicune with Explosion. With a few more Curses, Steelix at +3 can do 95% minimum to +0 Def Skarmory, and at +6 it does the same to +1 Def Skarmory (important to consider if that Skarmory uses Curse). However, perhaps the biggest boon offered by Steelix's Explosion isn't by what, specifically, it targets, but rather in its allowing the user to trade down in the late game, especially against last-Poke Curselax who might otherwise revel in being immune to Roar, of Fire Blast Snorlax that might otherwise envision getting past Steelix easily. As far as defensively Exploding, though, Steelix is too slow and is weak to too many common types of attack to save the game in many cases, although it does have the distinction of being able to survive a 999-Attack Snorlax's Earthquake.

    Forretress
    The main role of Forretress is to set up Spikes. That's it, really. Explosion is much more secondary to Forretress' function than, say, Cloyster, because Forretress is slower and has no attacking prowess outside of a fairly weak Hidden Power Bug to dissuade Normal resists from switching in. However, Forretress has the distinction of being able to use both Explosion and Rapid Spin on the same set, and it's also defensively sturdy enough to survive any non-Fire Blast hit from Snorlax, max-Attack Earthquake from Marowak, and +1 Hydro Pump from Vaporeon and subsequently Explode on them to stop the sweep. Thus, Forretress' Explosion is good mostly for defensive emergencies and trading down in the endgame, and is basically useless as a wallbreaking tool.

    Muk
    Muk is a pretty cool, albeit unconventional, offensive Exploder. On one hand, he struggles to really damage Rock-types and Ghost-types. On the other hand, Gengar can't do much in return, Misdreavus and Rocks such as Tyranitar and Rhydon get put on a timer by Sludge Bomb poison, and Steel-types, the most prominent Normal resistors, are kept out by the threat of Fire Blast. Couple this with Muk's high Special Defense and ability to Curse up in order to take out even the sturdiest of walls with Explosion, and you have an Exploder that matches up well against plenty of threats and can Explode on pretty much anything it chooses. Generally, Exploding on a wall such as Miltank or Psychic Starmie is common, as is taking out a threatening Ground-type such as Nidoking or Marowak, or even just taking out a Zapdos that wants to beat down on it with Thunders. As a Defensive cog, however, its Poison typing leaves a lot to be desired, although outspeeding Snorlax and Marowak before a Curse, in addition to handily surviving Vaporeon Surfs, makes it a pretty solid defensive Exploder (although, as with anything slower that Explodes to stop Vaporeon, watch out for Acid Armor).

    Golem
    Golem is another unconventional offensive Exploder that has actually been rising in popularity. The idea is that it gets Earthquake to stop most Normal resistors from switching into it, but it also gets Fire Blast to cover what Steelix cannot: namely, Skarmory. From there, Golem is free to Explode on whatever non-Resisting threat it chooses, although it's important to note that Golem needs to hit Suicune on the switch-in, unlike Steelix, and does 86% minimum with Explosion. Golem is a fairly weak defensive Exploder, though; he can wall Snorlax and Curse up alongside it to ensure Explosion is able to take it out (although many times Golem would rather run Rapid Spin or Rock Slide + Fire Blast instead of Curse), although outside of the Snorlax matchup Golem is too slow and too weak to Ground and Water moves to be a consistent game-saver.


    Combatting Explosion

    Using Normal Resistors

    This is the most straightforward way to counter Explosion, and is generally the riskiest as most good Explosion users have ways of dealing with the resistors that could switch in. The best way to switch a Normal resistor into an Explosion is to do so when the risk is mitigated. For example, when the Exploder's health is low, that makes it more likely for them to pull the trigger. In addition, if you have recently set up (for example, your Snorlax has just set up Belly Drum), your opponent is likely to Explode to save the game. It also helps to have a Normal resist that matches up well against the Exploder you are trying to neutralize, such as Skarmory for Exeggutor or Gengar for Cloyster.

    Strategic Sacrifice
    Of course, if you don't have a good Resistor in your pocket, Explosion does little good if it KOs the wrong thing. Ideally, you should be sacrificing something that doesn't stand to lose very much if your opponent actually ends up bluffing. One example would be switching Vaporeon into Cloyster, who may be looking to take out your Zapdos or Raikou with Explosion. This is safer than going to a low-health Gengar that could end up being KOed by Surf and still prevents your opponent from getting the look they want.

    Reflect/Defense Boosts/Substitute
    Using certain moves, while less common, can mitigate the effect of Explosion. For example, Raikou can use Reflect to prevent Gengar from blowing it to bit, Vaporeon can use Acid Armor to protect itself from Explosion while setting up, and Tentacruel can use Substitute to block attempts to explode on it. Also, while very uncommon, it's not completely unheard-of for a Drumlax, particularly one that has been passed an Agility boost, to use Protect to foil attempts to Explode on it. Reflect is a nice way to give your whole team a reprieve from the risk of taking an offensive Explosion, thereby allowing you to more safely switch Sleep Talkers into Exeggutor, for example. Moves such as Acid Armor, Substitute, and Protect are more intended to prevent a defensive Explosion from stopping your sweep.


    Conclusion
    While this guide can act as a bit of an in-depth starting point for using and playing against Explosion, at the end of the day, there's only so much I can try to explain about Explosion with words. Ultimately, you need to just go out there, build a team with Exploders, and get a feel for when is best to Explode and when it's not, when it's best to try and call a bluff and when you should just play it safe. While somewhat reliable, Explosion is still a fairly risky move, and many "old guard" GSCers will shy away from using Explosion or trying to call bluffs because they feel they're good enough to win most games without having to take that risk. It's up to you to jump in the game and punish them for being so risk-averse.


    pre-GP (open)

    Introduction
    Explosion is the strongest move in GSC. It typically allows the user to OHKO whatever doesn't resist it, even with only moderate Attack backing the move. Furthermore, in GSC, you're generally not going to see very many attempts to predict Explosion unless the Pokemon using it doesn't have any way to harm a particular Pokemon resistant to it, which makes using Explosion to take out specific walls surprisingly reliable despite the obvious risk inherent with fainting one of your own Pokémon. The mechanics of Explosion make it amenable to multiple different uses: obviously, Explosion is useful offensively, but it is also effective as a defensive move, or even for achieving some more subtle tactical advantages. However, despite its broad usefulness and surprising reliability, Explosion is not an automatic win button by any means. There are effective ways to combat the use of Explosion to ensure that you end up on the winning end of your opponent's attempts to trade Pokémon. Knowing how to both use and combat Explosion is vital knowledge for success in GSC.

    Mechanics
    Explosion is extremely strong. It has a Base Power of 250, and has the added effect of halving the opponent's Defense stat, thereby effectively making it 500 Base Power. This halving of Defense always occurs even on a critical hit, which will otherwise ignore stat changes, Reflect, and burn if your Attack stage is lower than your opponent's Defense stage. A similar move, Selfdestruct, has 400 effective Base Power, but is often seen on Snorlax who, after STAB, has an effective 600 Base Power attack in its pocket. To put that in perspective, one Snorlax's Selfdestruct is stronger than two Thick Club Marowak's Earthquakes. Explosion also has the obvious effect of causing the user to faint. However, unlike in later generations, if the Exploding Pokémon moves first and the opposing Pokémon survives the attack, the Pokémon that was to move second will not be able to make a move that turn. Consequently, there will also be no poison, burn, or Leech Seed damage assessed for the surviving Pokémon during that turn, although Spikes damage will still be assessed for the switch-in to replace the Exploder, and unlike in DPP and later generations, Leftovers recovery will still be assessed for both Pokémon after the switch-in.

    Ways to use Explosion
    Wallbreaking

    The most obvious use of a move with effectively 500 Base Power is for wallbreaking. However, there is a little finesse required to make sure you get the most out of Explosion. Generally, it's best to use a strategy known as bait Explosion, whereby your Exploders bait certain Pokémon that also wall or check a sweeper that you are running into switching. For example, a Pokémon such as Charizard is countered by Starmie, but Cloyster, thanks to Spikes, can frequently bait Starmie into switching in to spin away Spikes, and then subsequently Explode on Starmie to KO it and open up a Charizard sweep. Growth Vaporeon is another sweeper that benefits greatly from Exploders KOing its counters; Exeggutor is a common Exploder that baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Zapdos looking to absorb Sleep Powder, Gengar baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Raikou looking to absorb Hypnosis and tank BoltBeam coverage, and Steelix baits Suicune, survives a Surf, and OHKOes with Explosion after a Curse. In general, a good offensive Exploder must have some way to force its target to switch in without risking a Pokemon that resists Normal from easily switching in. Sleep-inducing moves and attacks that hurt said Pokemon are very helpful in accomplishing this.

    Defensive
    Explosion is also very useful from a defensive standpoint, primarily in terms of preventing a sweep. Sweepers such as Belly Drum Snorlax, Growth Vaporeon, and Pokémon that have been passed Agility boosts on a Baton Pass team can instantly end a game if one is unable to KO them swiftly. In this case, Explosion takes out these boosted Pokémon and saves the game. One of the better defensive Exploders is Cloyster, which outspeeds and KOs Belly Drum Snorlax, Quagsire, and Clefable, survives hits from all of them at +6 (useful if they have an Agility boost), and outspeeds and KOes Growth Vaporeon with Explosion. Another good defensive Exploder is Forretress, for many of the same reasons, although it fails to outspeed Clefable or Vaporeon. Gengar is also a good defensive Exploder, as it can outspeed and Explode to KO fast threats such as Tentacruel, Charizard, and Snorlax even if it has an Agility boost under its belt.

    Free turns
    One of the more subtle tactical uses of Explosion is gaining free turns. Because Explosion prompts a switch-in after the user faints, even if you don't KO the foe, you still get an opportunity to switch a Pokémon in for free. In this sense, Explosion functions somewhat like U-turn in later generations, although it certainly isn't something you want to just spam in GSC. Also, if your Explosion goes first, even if you fail to OHKO the foe, the target will be left at very low health and unable to move because of the mechanics of GSC. This can be useful for effectively gaining two turns against a slower foe like Snorlax.

    Bluffing
    Sometimes mispredicting an Explosion can be just as bad as taking an Explosion. You can use this to your advantage with an Exploder by judiciously choosing to not explode. Most commonly, this is seen with Cloyster, which can punish a foe for switching out a boosted Belly Drum Snorlax or Growth Vaporeon for a Normal-resistant Pokemon by using Surf instead of Exploding. This is also often utilized by Exeggutor, which can spam moves such as Psychic and Sleep Powder against an active Zapdos that, depending on the situation, might be deathly afraid of taking an Explosion by virtue of being the only remaining counter to a threat such as Vaporeon or Heracross.

    Trading down
    If nothing else, Explosion is generally good for just simplifying a game quickly. Because most good Exploders dissuade Pokemon that resist Normal from switching in, it's a fairly reliable way of getting rid of annoying pieces on your opponent's side and transitioning to a simple endgame. Trading down is a concept commonly seen in chess when a player has a material advantage and/or wants to simplify the game to avoid giving his opponent an opportunity to develop a crazy tactical attack, and using Explosion to achieve the same effect in GSC is very sound strategy.

    Main users
    Cloyster

    The main role of Cloyster is setting Spikes most of the time, but Cloyster is also a very effective Exploder on top of it all. Because of its role as a Spiker, it tends to bait Starmie and Explode on it without much trouble at all. Normally, Starmie is relegated solely to controlling Spikes, but it also checks a few niche threats such as Charizard and Machamp, and it's also pretty annoying for Ground-types to deal with, so even without Spikes it is valuable to be able to remove Starmie with Explosion. However, Cloyster is not very good at KOing Electric-types because, although it does a good job of baiting them, it has to catch them with a very risky Explosion on the switch. Cloyster also struggles to fight its way past Explosion-immune Ghosts, although with enough Surfs on the switch, Cloyster can prevail.

    Cloyster also has a pretty decent Speed stat, a Defense stat that allows it to tank Snorlax's blows, and a typing that allows it to tank Vaporeon's Surf. This combination makes it an extremely good defensive Exploder, as it is faster than the two most common setup sweepers in GSC and can even afford to take a hit when bluffing if the opponent calls that bluff.

    Clamp is not a standard move on Cloyster, but it helps a lot with keeping Cloyster's Explosion targets in place. It doesn't help with Electric-types, obviously, but it eliminates Cloyster's need to bluff Explosion and instead simply traps risk-taking Snorlax and Vaporeon to ensure the KO. It also traps Starmie in the event that the opponent reads your team and decides they really need it, although most players will look at Starmie clearing Spikes while being Exploded to death by the Spiker and think "mission accomplished."

    Exeggutor
    Exeggutor gets Sleep Powder, which tends to draw Sleep Talk users like Zapdos and Raikou in. This is how Exeggutor gets good Explosions in spite of the Pokemon that resist Normal (Skarmory and Tyranitar) that match up well against it. However, despite its poor coverage movepool, it often can have everything it needs to keep these Pokemon out: Giga Drain + Hidden Power Fire on a 3 attacks set that forgos a status powder keeps both Tyranitar and Skarmory out of its face. Exeggutor can also use healing from Leech Seed, Synthesis, or Giga Drain to stick around just long enough to Explode, use its typing to tank just enough hits to get an Explosion off, and spread paralysis with Stun Spore. Basically, Exeggutor is a great Exploder because it has so many ways to stick around and punish an opposing team for not just staying in and attacking with their Explosion-vulnerable Pokémon. Just don't let this thing take status; poison will put it on a timer and make its Explosion way more predictable, and paralysis might ruin your attempts to pull the trigger and leave you with a weakened, useless husk of a Pokémon.

    Exeggutor can also be a fairly decent defensive Exploder, as it outspeeds Snorlax and can tank hits from troublesome Vaporeon and Zapdos, although it does have a couple problems on this front. The first is that its Explosion is fairly obvious when used defensively by Exeggutor; it cannot survive a Belly Drum Snorlax's Frustration, and because it is outsped by Vaporeon and Electric-types, if it doesn't pull the trigger quickly it could find itself in a situation where it is outsped and OHKOed. Being able to bluff the Explosion is a pretty important part of being a good defensive Exploder, as otherwise you tend to waste Explosion because the risk of not pulling the trigger is losing the game. Exeggutor also struggles as a defensive Exploder because it just isn't a great defensive Pokémon; it hard-walls very little and functions primarily as an offensive second look, so it's more something you use to punish your opponent for playing too predictably rather than something you want to rely on to hold off the Mongol horde in the clutch.

    Exeggutor is mostly held back as an Exploder by its limited defensive abilities. Its typing is good, but it's a primary check to nothing, second look to all, so don't expect to switch Exeggutor in willy-nilly to threaten to Explode, offensively or defensively. Even against threats it looks like it should absolutely cream, such as Machamp and Marowak, you don't necessarily force them out with Psychic or Giga Drain because they can hit it back with Hidden Power Bug. Therefore, it is often forced to Explode on them and other threats that Exeggutor seems like it should be countering pretty hard, even though it seems like it should be able to force them out and use Exeggutor's Explosion for another purpose, such as taking out Zapdos.

    Gengar
    It's fast. It gets scary BoltBeam coverage to punish switching around. It has plenty of other aces in the hole such as Fire Punch, DynamicPunch, and Hypnosis to prevent Normal-resistant Pokemon from feeling comfortable about switching in, and Mean Look to trap its bait and guarantee a good Explosion. Gengar is basically the ultimate Raikou lure, making it a crucial offensive Exploder for most teams, as eliminating Raikou makes it much easier to generate offensive pressure with one's own Electric-type. However, there is some finesse to using Gengar to Explode on Raikou; it's slower, 2HKOed by Thunder, and normally doesn't OHKO with Explosion in return (the minimum damage 86% against most Raikou, 90% against Raikou with Hidden Power Water, and 92% against the rare Raikou with Hidden Power Grass), so unless you plan ahead and make sure Raikou is weak enough to be taken out (and preferably paralyzed so you don't have to take a big hit or risk it using Reflect to neutralize your Explosion), Raikou might barely survive and use its ridiculous Speed to use Rest, thereby negating that Explosion!

    Apart from Raikou, Gengar also targets Umbreon, Blissey, Quagsire, Snorlax, and Zapdos with its Explosion. However, all of these threats take a ton from Explosion, but are not OHKOed. Snorlax and Umbreon are especially resilient against Gengar's Explosion, taking 81% and 77% maximum damage, respectively. Again, it's important to have these targets weakened before you pull the trigger. Gengar also targets Starmie looking to stay in to Psychic after a successful spinblock attempt, and this is actually one of the few Explosions that is guaranteed to OHKO, so feel free to Explode away when you see this opportunity.

    As far as defensive Explosions are concerned, Gengar is mostly an offensive Pokémon, but it's pretty good at taking out DrumLax, although it's not quite strong enough to get really good damage against a +1 CurseLax when needed (Explosion will only do 45-52% damage). It can, however, outspeed a DrumLax with an Agility boost that has been Baton Passed from Jolteon, making it a great last line of defense against a Baton Pass sweep. Gengar can also Explode on Vaporeon that stays in expecting to tank a Thunderbolt and OHKO with a boosted Surf.

    Snorlax
    This thing is a powerhouse, although it technically uses STAB Selfdestruct and not Explosion. On top of its raw power, because Snorlax is very often a defensive lynchpin of a team, very few people assume from the outset that Snorlax will use Selfdestruct, so this can catch a lot of people by surprise and force them to lose an important Pokemon before they even realize what is happening. However, do note that people will be much more likely to see it coming if you happen to lead with Snorlax.

    A mixed set with Fire Blast and Earthquake is standard to nail its Normal-resisting counters, then Double-Edge forces a Normal-neutral wall such as Suicune or Miltank to switch in. Selfdestruct can then OHKO that wall, typically after having also done serious damage to half of the opponent's team. Of course, there's also the option of a Curse + Selfdestruct set to bait Skarmory (at +1, STAB Selfdestruct does roughly to Skarmory what Gengar's Explosion does to Raikou), or a Selfdestruct set that foregoes a coverage move for Lovely Kiss. As is normal for Snorlax, there's way too many options.

    Snorlax is a superb defensive Exploder, too. While slow, it's OHKOed by no unboosted attack not named Explosion or Selfdestruct, and its Selfdestruct OHKOs any unboosted Pokemon that does not resist it. Selfdestruct Snorlax can also stop an opposing CurseLax that’s trying to set up much more easily than other Exploders can: unboosted, it does 75-88% damage to an opposing +1 CurseLax, which is extremely difficult for that slow Snorlax to recover from even if it isn't OHKOed, and which the opposing Snorlax will almost never see coming because of how surprising Selfdestruct is. Snorlax is probably the best Exploder in the game; the main problem is that you lose out on him functioning as the best wall in the game once you use Selfdestruct, so it's prudent to pair it with a Pokemon such as Sleep Talk Raikou that can take over its special walling duties after it goes kamikaze.

    Steelix
    Steelix gets access to Explosion, keeps most Normal-resistant Pokemon bar Skarmory at bay with STAB Earthquake, and can Curse up to OHKO even stubborn defensive walls with Explosion. Steelix generally fills a pivotal role as a Snorlax and Electric-immune Pokemon, so it can be hard to let go of that and allow Steelix to Explode, but as an offensive Exploder it tends to target quite a few important walls. It draws Earthquake-immune Zapdos and is also good at taking out Suicune because it can survive a single Surf and, after a single Curse, is guaranteed to OHKO it with Explosion. Steelix at +3 can do 95% minimum to +0 Def Skarmory, and at +6 it does the same to +1 Def Skarmory (important to consider if that Skarmory uses Curse). However, perhaps the biggest boon offered by Steelix's Explosion isn't by what, specifically, it targets, but rather in its allowing the user to trade down in the late game, especially against last-Pokemon CurseLax who might otherwise revel in being immune to Roar, or Fire Blast Snorlax that might otherwise envision getting past Steelix easily. As far as defensively Exploding, though, Steelix is too slow and is weak to too many common types of attack to save the game in many cases, although it does have the distinction of being able to survive a 999-Attack Snorlax's Earthquake.

    Forretress
    The main role of Forretress is to set up Spikes. That's it, really. Explosion is much more secondary to Forretress's function than, say, Cloyster, because Forretress is slower and has no attacking prowess outside of a fairly weak Hidden Power Bug to dissuade Normal-resistant Pokemon from switching in. However, Forretress has the distinction of being able to use both Explosion and Rapid Spin on the same set, and it's also defensively sturdy enough to survive any hit from non-Fire Blast Snorlax, max Attack Earthquake from Marowak, and +1 Hydro Pump from Vaporeon and subsequently Explode on them to stop the sweep. Thus, Forretress's Explosion is good mostly for defensive emergencies and trading down in the endgame, and is basically useless as a wallbreaking tool.

    Muk
    Muk is a pretty cool, albeit unconventional, offensive Exploder. On one hand, he struggles to really damage Rock-types and Ghost-types. On the other hand, Gengar can't do much in return, Misdreavus and Rock-types such as Tyranitar and Rhydon get put on a timer by Sludge Bomb poison, and Steel-types, the most prominent Normal-resistant Pokemon, are kept away by the threat of Fire Blast. Couple this with Muk's high Special Defense and ability to Curse up in order to take out even the sturdiest of walls with Explosion, and you have an Exploder that matches up well against plenty of threats and can Explode on pretty much anything it chooses. Generally, Exploding on a wall such as Miltank or Psychic Starmie is common, as is taking out a threatening Ground-type such as Nidoking or Marowak, or even just taking out a Zapdos that wants to beat down on it with Thunders. As a defensive cog, however, its Poison typing leaves a lot to be desired, although outspeeding Snorlax and Marowak before a Curse, in addition to handily surviving Vaporeon Surfs, makes it a pretty solid defensive Exploder (although, as with anything slower that Explodes to stop Vaporeon, watch out for Acid Armor).

    Golem
    Golem is another unconventional offensive Exploder that has actually been rising in popularity. The idea is that it gets Earthquake to stop most Normal-resistant Pokemon from switching into it, but it also gets Fire Blast to cover what Steelix cannot: namely, Skarmory. From there, Golem is free to Explode on whatever non-resistant threat it chooses, although it's important to note that Golem needs to hit Suicune on the switch-in, unlike Steelix, and does 86% minimum with Explosion. Golem is a fairly weak defensive Exploder; although he can wall Snorlax and Curse up alongside it to ensure Explosion is able to take it out (although many times Golem would rather run Rapid Spin or Rock Slide + Fire Blast instead of Curse), outside of the Snorlax matchup Golem is too slow and too weak to Ground- and Water-type moves to be a consistent game-saver.

    Combatting Explosion
    Using Normal-resistant Pokemon

    This is the most straightforward way to counter Explosion, and is generally the riskiest, as most good Explosion users have ways of dealing with the Normal-resistant Pokemon that could otherwise switch in. The best way to switch a Normal-resistant Pokemon into an Explosion is to do so when the risk is mitigated. For example, when the Exploder's health is low, that makes it more likely for them to pull the trigger. In addition, if you have recently set up (for example, your Snorlax has just set up Belly Drum), your opponent is likely to Explode to save the game. It also helps to have a Normal resist that matches up well against the Exploder you are trying to neutralize, such as Skarmory for Exeggutor or Gengar for Cloyster.

    However, be careful switching Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon into Explosions even when it's completely predictable! Explosion still does a lot of damage even when resisted: for example, an unboosted Skarmory will take 41-48% damage from Exeggutor's Explosion. If Skarmory is looking somewhat low on health and still needs to be able to wall Snorlax, it might not be the best idea to aim to use it to absorb Exeggutor's Explosion. Even if it's safe to predict Explosion, always check damage calculations and ascertain the situation to see if you even benefit from absorbing an Explosion before you attempt to do so.

    Strategic Sacrifice
    Of course, if you don't have a good Normal-resisting Pokemon in your pocket, Explosion does little good if it KOes the wrong thing. Ideally, you should be sacrificing something that doesn't stand to lose very much if your opponent actually ends up bluffing. One example would be switching Vaporeon into Cloyster, which might be looking to take out your Zapdos or Raikou with Explosion. This is safer than going to a low-health Gengar that could end up being KOed by Surf and still prevents your opponent from getting the look they want. Of course, this example assumes the common, although by no means universal, situation wherein you judge your Electric-type to be more valuable than your Vaporeon.

    However, if you don't have more than one safe switch-in to your opponent's Exploder, you might want to consider using a tactic popular in RBY, whereby you take a sleeping or extremely low-health Pokemon and switch it in on the predicted Explosion. The idea is that this Pokemon was about to die anyway, so Exploding on it was effectively a waste. However, there are much fewer true "dead men walking" in GSC than in RBY, so situations wherein such a tactic is worth the risk of losing a Pokemon to an incorrect prediction are few and far between.

    Reflect/Defense Boosts/Substitute
    Using certain moves, while less common, can mitigate the effect of Explosion. For example, Raikou can use Reflect to prevent Gengar from blowing it to bits, Vaporeon can use Acid Armor to protect itself from Explosion while setting up, and Tentacruel can use Substitute to block attempts to explode on it. Also, while very uncommon, it's not completely unheard-of for a DrumLax, particularly one that has been passed an Agility boost, to use Protect to foil attempts to Explode on it. Reflect is a nice way to give your whole team a reprieve from the risk of taking an offensive Explosion, thereby allowing you to more safely switch Sleep Talk users into Exeggutor, for example. Moves such as Acid Armor, Substitute, and Protect are more intended to prevent a defensive Explosion from stopping your sweep.

    Conclusion
    While this guide can act as a bit of an in-depth starting point for using and playing against Explosion, at the end of the day, there's only so much I can try to explain about Explosion with words. Ultimately, you need to just go out there, build a team with Exploders, and get a feel for when is best to Explode and when it's not, when it's best to try and call a bluff and when you should just play it safe. While somewhat reliable, Explosion is still a fairly risky move, and many "old guard" GSCers will shy away from using Explosion or trying to call bluffs because they feel they're good enough to win most games without having to take that risk. It's up to you to jump in the game and punish them for being so risk-averse.



    Introduction
    Explosion is the strongest move in GSC. It typically allows the user to OHKO whatever doesn't resist it, even with only moderate Attack backing the move. Furthermore, in GSC, you're generally not going to see very many attempts to predict Explosion unless the Pokémon using it doesn't have any way to harm a particular Pokémon resistant to it, which makes using Explosion to take out specific walls surprisingly reliable despite the obvious risk inherent with fainting one of your own Pokémon.The mechanics of Explosion make it amenable to multiple different uses: obviously, Explosion is useful offensively, but it is also effective as a defensive move, or even for achieving some more subtle tactical advantages. However, despite its broad usefulness and surprising reliability, Explosion is not an automatic win button by any means. There are effective ways to combat the use of Explosion to ensure that you end up on the winning end of your opponent's attempts to trade Pokémon. Knowing how to both use and combat Explosion is vital knowledge for success in GSC.

    Mechanics
    Explosion is extremely strong. It has a Base Power of 250, and has the added effect of halving the opponent's Defense stat, thereby effectively making it 500 Base Power. This halving of Defense always occurs even on a critical hit, which will otherwise ignore stat changes, Reflect, and burn if your Pokémon's Attack stage is lower than your opponent's Defense stage. A similar move, Selfdestruct, has 400 effective Base Power, but is often seen on Snorlax which, after STAB, has an effective 600 Base Power attack in its pocket. To put that in perspective, one Snorlax's Selfdestruct is stronger than two Thick Club Marowak's Earthquakes. Explosion also has the obvious effect of causing the user to faint. However, unlike in later generations, if the Exploding Pokémon moves first and the opposing Pokémon survives the attack, the Pokémon that was to move second will not be able to make a move that turn. Consequently, there will also be no poison, burn, or Leech Seed damage assessed for the surviving Pokémon during that turn, although Spikes damage will still be assessed for the switch-in to replace the Exploder, and unlike in DPP and later generations, Leftovers recovery will still be assessed for both Pokémon after the switch.

    Ways to use Explosion
    Wallbreaking

    The most obvious use of a move with effectively 500 Base Power is for wallbreaking. However, there is a little finesse required to make sure you get the most out of Explosion. Generally, it's best to use a strategy known as bait Explosion, whereby your Exploders bait certain Pokémon that also wall or check a sweeper that you are running into switching. For example, a Pokémon such as Charizard is countered by Starmie, but Cloyster, thanks to Spikes, can frequently bait Starmie into switching in to spin away Spikes and then subsequently Explode on Starmie to KO it and open up a Charizard sweep. Growth Vaporeon is another sweeper that benefits greatly from Exploders KOing its counters; Exeggutor is a common Exploder that baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Zapdos looking to absorb Sleep Powder, Gengar baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Raikou looking to absorb Hypnosis and tank BoltBeam coverage, and Steelix baits Suicune, survives a Surf, and OHKOes with Explosion after a Curse. In general, a good offensive Exploder must have some way to force its target to switch in without risking a Pokémon that resists Normal from easily switching in. Sleep-inducing moves and attacks that hurt said Pokémon are very helpful in accomplishing this.

    Defensive
    Explosion is also very useful from a defensive standpoint, primarily in terms of preventing a sweep. Sweepers such as Belly Drum Snorlax, Growth Vaporeon, and Pokémon that have been passed Agility boosts on a Baton Pass team can instantly end a game if one is unable to KO them swiftly. In this case, Explosion takes out these boosted Pokémon and saves the game. One of the better defensive Exploders is Cloyster, which outspeeds andKOesBelly Drum Snorlax, Quagsire, and Clefable,survivinghits from all of them at +6 (useful if they have an Agility boost), and outspeeds and KOes Growth Vaporeon with Explosion. Another good defensive Exploder is Forretress, for many of the same reasons, although it fails to outspeed Clefable or Vaporeon. Gengar is also a good defensive Exploder, as it can outspeed and Explode to KO fast threats such as Tentacruel, Charizard, and Snorlax even if it has an Agility boost under its belt.

    Free turns
    One of the more subtle tactical uses of Explosion is gaining free turns. Because Explosion prompts aswitch inafter the user faints, even if you don't KO the foe, you still get an opportunity to switch a Pokémon in for free. In this sense, Explosion functions somewhat like U-turn in later generations, although it certainly isn't something you want to just spam in GSC. Also, if your Explosion goes first, even if you fail to OHKO the foe, the target will be left at very low health and unable to move because of the mechanics of GSC. This can be useful for effectively gaining two turns against a slower foe like Snorlax.

    Bluffing
    Sometimes mispredicting an Explosion can be just as bad as taking an Explosion. You can use this to your advantage with an Exploder by judiciously choosing to not explode. Most commonly, this is seen with Cloyster, which can punish a foe for switching out a boosted Belly Drum Snorlax or Growth Vaporeon for a Normal-resistant Pokémon by using Surf instead of Exploding. This is also often utilized by Exeggutor, which can spam moves such as Psychic and Sleep Powder against an active Zapdos that, depending on the situation, might be deathly afraid of taking an Explosion by virtue of being the only remaining counter to a threat such as Vaporeon or Heracross.

    Trading down
    If nothing else, Explosion is generally good for just simplifying a game quickly. Because most good Exploders dissuade Pokémon that resist Normal from switching in, it's a fairly reliable way of getting rid of annoying pieces on your opponent's side and transitioning to a simple endgame. Trading down is a concept commonly seen in chess when a player has a material advantage and/or wants to simplify the game to avoid giving theiropponent an opportunity to develop a crazy tactical attack, and using Explosion to achieve the same effect in GSC is very sound strategy.

    Main users
    Cloyster

    The main role of Cloyster is setting Spikes most of the time, but Cloyster is also a very effective Exploder on top of it all. Because of its role as a Spiker, it tends to bait Starmie and Explode on it without much trouble at all. Normally, Starmie is relegated solely to controlling Spikes, but it also checks a few niche threats such as Charizard and Machamp, and it's also pretty annoying for Ground-types to deal with, so even without Spikes it is valuable to be able to remove Starmie with Explosion. However, Cloyster is not very good at KOing Electric-types because, although it does a good job of baiting them, it has to catch them with a very risky Explosion on the switch. Cloyster also struggles to fight its way past Explosion-immune Ghost-types, although with enough Surfs on the switch, Cloyster can prevail.

    Cloyster also has a pretty decent Speed stat, a Defense stat that allows it to tank Snorlax's blows, and a typing that allows it to tank Vaporeon's Surf. This combination makes it an extremely good defensive Exploder, as it is faster than the two most common setup sweepers in GSC and can even afford to take a hit when bluffing if the opponent calls that bluff.

    Clamp is not a standard move on Cloyster, but it helps a lot with keeping Cloyster's Explosion targets in place. It doesn't help with Electric-types, obviously, but it eliminates Cloyster's need to bluff Explosion and instead simply traps risk-taking Snorlax and Vaporeon to ensure the KO. It also traps Starmie in the event that the opponent reads your team and decides they really need it, although most opponentswill look at Starmie clearing Spikes while being Exploded to death by the Spiker and think "mission accomplished."

    Exeggutor
    Exeggutor gets Sleep Powder, which tends to draw Sleep Talk users like Zapdos and Raikou in. This is how Exeggutor gets good Explosions in spite of the Pokémon that resist Normal (Skarmory and Tyranitar) that match up well against it. However, despite its poor coverage, it often can have everything it needs to keep these Pokémon out: Giga Drain + Hidden Power Fire on a 3 attacks set thatforgoesa status powder keeps both Tyranitar and Skarmory out of its face. Exeggutor can also use healing from Leech Seed, Synthesis, or Giga Drain to stick around just long enough to Explode, use its typing to tank just enough hits to get an Explosion off, and spread paralysis with Stun Spore. Basically, Exeggutor is a great Exploder because it has so many ways to stick around and punish an opposing team for not just staying in and attacking with their Explosion-vulnerable Pokémon. Just don't let this thing take status; poison will put it on a timer and make its Explosion way more predictable, and paralysis might ruin your attempts to pull the trigger and leave you with a weakened, useless husk of a Pokémon.

    Exeggutor can also be a fairly decent defensive Exploder, as it outspeeds Snorlax and can tank hits from troublesome Vaporeon and Zapdos, although it does have a couple problems on this front. The first is that its Explosion is fairly obvious when used defensively by Exeggutor; it cannot survive a Belly Drum Snorlax's Frustration, and because it is outsped by Vaporeon and Electric-types, if it doesn't pull the trigger quickly it could find itself in a situation where it is outsped and OHKOed. Being able to bluff the Explosion is a pretty important part of being a good defensive Exploder, as otherwise you tend to waste Explosion because the risk of not pulling the trigger is losing the game. Exeggutor also struggles as a defensive Exploder because it just isn't a great defensive Pokémon; ithard wallsvery little and functions primarily as an offensive second look, so it's more something you use to punish your opponent for playing too predictably rather than something you want to rely on to hold off the Mongol horde in the clutch.

    Exeggutor is mostly held back as an Exploder by its limited defensive abilities. Its typing is good, but it's a primary check to nothing, second look to all, so don't expect to switch Exeggutor in willy-nilly to threaten to Explode, offensively or defensively. Even against threats it looks like it should absolutely cream, such as Machamp and Marowak,Exeggutordon't necessarily force them out with Psychic or Giga Drain because they can hit it back with Hidden Power Bug. Therefore, it is often forced to Explode on them and other threats that Exeggutor seems like it should be countering pretty hard, even though it seems like it should be able to force them out and use itsExplosion for another purpose, such as taking out Zapdos.

    Gengar
    It's fast. It gets scary BoltBeam coverage to punish switching around. It has plenty of other aces in the hole such as Fire Punch, DynamicPunch, and Hypnosis to prevent Normal-resistant Pokémon from feeling comfortable about switching in, and Mean Look to trap its bait and guarantee a good Explosion. Gengar is basically the ultimate Raikou lure, making it a crucial offensive Exploder for most teams, as eliminating Raikou makes it much easier to generate offensive pressure with one's own Electric-type. However, there is some finesse to using Gengar to Explode on Raikou; it's slower, 2HKOed by Thunder, and normally doesn't OHKO with Explosion in return (the minimum damage 86% against most Raikou, 90% against Raikou with Hidden Power Water, and 92% against the rare Raikou with Hidden Power Grass), so unless you plan ahead and make sure Raikou is weak enough to be taken out (and preferably paralyzed so you don't have to take a big hit or risk it using Reflect to neutralize your Explosion), Raikou might barely survive and use its ridiculous Speed to use Rest next turn, thereby negating that Explosion!

    Apart from Raikou, Gengar also targets Umbreon, Blissey, Quagsire, Snorlax, and Zapdos with its Explosion. However, all of these threats take a ton from Explosion, but are not OHKOed. Snorlax and Umbreon are especially resilient against Gengar's Explosion, taking 81% and 77% maximum damage, respectively. Again, it's important to have these targets weakened before you pull the trigger. Gengar also targets Starmie looking to stay in tousePsychic after a successful spinblock attempt, and this is actually one of the few Explosions that is guaranteed to OHKO, so feel free to Explode away when you see this opportunity.

    As far as defensive Explosions are concerned, Gengar is mostly an offensive Pokémon, but it's pretty good at taking out DrumLax, although it's not quite strong enough to get really good damage against a +1 CurseLax when needed (Explosion will only do 45-52% damage). It can, however, outspeed a DrumLax with an Agility boost that has been Baton Passed from Jolteon, making it a great last line of defense against a Baton Pass sweep. Gengar can also Explode onaVaporeon that stays in expecting to tank a Thunderbolt and OHKO with a boosted Surf.

    Snorlax
    This thing is a powerhouse, although it technically uses STAB Selfdestruct and not Explosion. On top of its raw power, because Snorlax is very often a defensive lynchpin of a team, very few people assume from the outset that Snorlax will use Selfdestruct, so this can catch a lot of people by surprise and force them to lose an important Pokémon before they even realize what is happening. However, do note that people will be much more likely to see it coming if you happen tolead with Snorlax.

    A mixed set with Fire Blast and Earthquake is standard to nail its Normal-resisting counters, then Double-Edge forces a Normal-neutral wall such as Suicune or Miltank to switch in. Selfdestruct can then OHKO that wall, typically after having also done serious damage to half of the opponent's team. Of course, there's also the option of a Curse + Selfdestruct set to bait Skarmory (at +1, STAB Selfdestruct does roughly to Skarmory what Gengar's Explosion does to Raikou), or a Selfdestruct set thatforgoesa coverage move for Lovely Kiss. As is normal for Snorlax, there's way too many options.

    Snorlax is a superb defensive Exploder, too. While slow, it's OHKOed by no unboosted attack not named Explosion or Selfdestruct, and its SelfdestructOHKOesany unboosted Pokémon that does not resist it. Selfdestruct Snorlax can also stop an opposing CurseLax that’s trying to set up much more easily than other Exploders can: unboosted, it does 75-88% damage to an opposing +1 CurseLax, which is extremely difficult for that slow Snorlax to recover from even if it isn't OHKOed, and which the opposing Snorlax will almost never see coming because of how surprising Selfdestruct is. Snorlax is probably the best Exploder in the game; the main problem is that you lose out on itfunctioning as the best wall in the game once you use Selfdestruct, so it's prudent to pair it with a Pokémon such as Sleep Talk Raikou that can take over its special walling duties after it goes kamikaze.

    Steelix
    Steelix gets access to Explosion, keeps most Normal-resistant Pokémon bar Skarmory at bay with STAB Earthquake, and can Curse up to OHKO even stubborn defensive walls with Explosion. Steelix generally fills a pivotal role as a Snorlax and Electric-immune Pokémon, so it can be hard to let go of that and allow Steelix to Explode, but as an offensive Exploder it tends to target quite a few important walls. It draws Earthquake-immune Zapdos and is also good at taking out Suicune because it can survive a single Surf and, after a single Curse, is guaranteed to OHKO it with Explosion. Steelix at +3 can do 95% minimum to +0 Def Skarmory, and at +6 it does the same to +1 Def Skarmory (important to consider if that Skarmory uses Curse). However, perhaps the biggest boon offered by Steelix's Explosion isn't by what, specifically, it targets, but rather in its allowing the user to trade downlate-game, especially against last-Pokémon CurseLax thatmight otherwise revel in being immune to Roar, or Fire Blast Snorlax that might otherwise envision getting past Steelix easily. As far as defensively Exploding, though, Steelix is too slow and is weak to too many common types of attack to save the game in many cases, although it does have the distinction of being able to survive a 999 AttackSnorlax's Earthquake.

    Forretress
    The main role of Forretress is to set up Spikes. That's it, really. Explosion is much more secondary to Forretress's function than, say, Cloyster, because Forretress is slower and has no attacking prowess outside of a fairly weak Hidden Power Bug to dissuade Normal-resistant Pokémon from switching in. However, Forretress has the distinction of being able to use both Explosion and Rapid Spin on the same set, and it's also defensively sturdy enough to survive any hit from non-Fire Blast Snorlax, max Attack Earthquake from Marowak, and +1 Hydro Pump from Vaporeon and subsequently Explode on them to stop the sweep. Thus, Forretress's Explosion is good mostly for defensive emergencies and trading down in the endgame, and is basically useless as a wallbreaking tool.

    Muk
    Muk is a pretty cool, albeit unconventional, offensive Exploder. On one hand,itstruggles to really damage Rock-types and Ghost-types. On the other hand, Gengar can't do much in return, Misdreavus and Rock-types such as Tyranitar and Rhydon get put on a timer by Sludge Bomb poison, and Steel-types, the most prominent Normal-resistant Pokémon, are kept away by the threat of Fire Blast. Couple this with Muk's high Special Defense and ability to Curse up in order to take out even the sturdiest of walls with Explosion, and you have an Exploder that matches up well against plenty of threats and can Explode on pretty much anything it chooses. Generally, Exploding on a wall such as Miltank or Psychic Starmie is common, as is taking out a threatening Ground-type such as Nidoking or Marowak, or even just taking out a Zapdos that wants to beat down on it with Thunders. As a defensive cog, however, its Poison typing leaves a lot to be desired, although outspeeding Snorlax and Marowak before a Curse, in addition to handily surviving Vaporeon Surfs, makes it a pretty solid defensive Exploder (although, as with anything slower that Explodes to stop Vaporeon, watch out for Acid Armor).

    Golem
    Golem is another unconventional offensive Exploder that has actually been rising in popularity. The idea is that it gets Earthquake to stop most Normal-resistant Pokémon from switching into it, but it also gets Fire Blast to cover what Steelix cannot:Skarmory. From there, Golem is free to Explode on whatever non-resistant threat it chooses, although it's important to note that Golem needs to hit Suicune on the switch, unlike Steelix, and does 86% minimum with Explosion. Golem is a fairly weak defensive Exploder; although it can wall Snorlax and Curse up alongside it to ensure Explosion is able to take it out (although many times Golem would rather run Rapid Spin or Rock Slide + Fire Blast instead of Curse), outside of the Snorlax matchup Golem is too slow and too weak to Ground- and Water-type moves to be a consistent game-saver.

    Combating Explosion
    Using Normal-resistant Pokémon

    This is the most straightforward way to counter Explosion, and is generally the riskiest, as most good Explosion users have ways of dealing with the Normal-resistant Pokémon that could otherwise switch in. The best way to switch a Normal-resistant Pokémon into an Explosion is to do so when the risk is mitigated. For example, when the Exploder's health is low, that makes it more likely for them to pull the trigger. In addition, if you have recently set up (for example, your Snorlax has just set up Belly Drum), your opponent is likely to Explode to save the game. It also helps to have a Normal-resistant Pokémonthat matches up well against the Exploder you are trying to neutralize, such as Skarmory for Exeggutor or Gengar for Cloyster.

    However, be careful switching Rock- and Steel-type Pokémon into Explosions even when it's completely predictable! Explosion still does a lot of damage even when resisted; for example, an unboosted Skarmory will take 41-48% damage from Exeggutor's Explosion. If Skarmory is looking somewhat low on health and still needs to be able to wall Snorlax, it might not be the best idea to aim to use it to absorb Exeggutor's Explosion. Even if it's safe to predict Explosion,always check damage calculations and ascertain the situation to see if you even benefit from absorbing an Explosion before you attempt to do so.

    Strategic Sacrifice
    Of course, if you don't have a good Normal-resisting Pokémon in your pocket, Explosion does little good if it KOes the wrong thing. Ideally, you should be sacrificing something that doesn't stand to lose very much if your opponent actually ends up bluffing. One example would be switching Vaporeon into Cloyster, which might be looking to take out your Zapdos or Raikou with Explosion. This is safer than going to a low-health Gengar that could end up being KOed by Surf and still prevents your opponent from getting the look they want. Of course, this example assumes the common, although by no means universal, situation wherein you judge your Electric-type to be more valuable than your Vaporeon.

    However, if you don't have more than one safe switch-in to your opponent's Exploder, you might want to consider using a tactic popular in RBY, whereby you take a sleeping or extremely low-health Pokémon and switch it in on the predicted Explosion. The idea is that this Pokémon was about to die anyway, so Exploding on it was effectively a waste. However, there are much fewer true "dead men walking" in GSC than in RBY, so situations wherein such a tactic is worth the risk of losing a Pokémon to an incorrect prediction are few and far between.

    Reflect/Defense Boosts/Substitute
    Using certain moves, while less common, can mitigate the effect of Explosion. For example, Raikou can use Reflect to prevent Gengar from blowing it to bits, Vaporeon can use Acid Armor to protect itself from Explosion while setting up, and Tentacruel can use Substitute to block attempts to explode on it. Also, while very uncommon, it's not completely unheard offor a DrumLax, particularly one that has been passed an Agility boost, to use Protect to foil attempts to Explode on it. Reflect is a nice way to give your whole team a reprieve from the risk of taking an offensive Explosion, thereby allowing you to more safely switch Sleep Talk users into Exeggutor, for example. Moves such as Acid Armor, Substitute, and Protect are more intended to prevent a defensive Explosion from stopping your sweep.

    Conclusion
    While this guide can act as a bit of an in-depth starting point for using and playing against Explosion, at the end of the day, there's only so much I can try to explain about Explosion with words. Ultimately, you need to just go out there, build a team with Exploders, and get a feel for when is best to Explode and when it's not, when it's best to try and call a bluff and when you should just play it safe. While somewhat reliable, Explosion is still a fairly risky move, and many "old guard" GSCers will shy away from using Explosion or trying to call bluffs because they feel they're good enough to win most games without having to take that risk. It's up to you to jump in the game and punish them for being so risk-averse.
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
  2. Borat

    Borat

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    766
    Did you give up on this or...? I'm actually looking forward to it.
  3. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,202
    Didn't give up, just left it bulleted for comment suggestions and then time got away from me. I'll get a prose draft in the works.
  4. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,202
    Soooo guess what I finally found time to finish, guys?

    This should be ready for QC.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  5. Pocket

    Pocket Apo, the astronaut's best friend >:3
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnus
    Doubles Co-Lead

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Messages:
    8,580
    Awesome read as usual, Jorgen. Just a few nitpicks:
    Just like how you specified the mechanic differences of Explosion preventing slower opponents from moving, perhaps you should also emphasize how the part in bold is also different from future gens (specifically DPP onwards).
    I would change the part in bold to "key target for Explosion"
    typo? Did you mean "OR Fire Blast Snorlax?"
    Isn't this example kinda shaky? Assuming Growth Vaporeon is the team's win condition, switching it into Cloyster may backfire if Cloyster decides to Explode (expecting a Zapdos or Raikou). Maybe consider something like Exeggutor instead, who can tank Surfs and wouldn't be TOO bad for the team if Cloyster decides to Explode.

    QC Approved (1/2)

    PS: who else is on the old gen QC team? Borat? Mr.E ? Conflict, Floppy, Royal Flush
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  6. Crystal_

    Crystal_
    is a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    872
    Ah!, when you brought this up in Mount Silver I knew I would forget... oh well.

    Like Pocket said, it was a very good read and I enjoyed it.

    Just two random nitpicks here, but mostly because I feel like commenting something apart from giving you the approval...

    When you detail Snorlax as an exploder, you can add that it has something very important going for it: Nobody expects it to explode. The other Pokemon you mentioned pack Explosion most of the times or basically always and thus its explosion is more predictable.

    As for normal resistors, it may be interesting to point out that unless it's a ghost type, it's also taking damage. You gotta be careful, say, an Exeggutor exploding into Skarmory and leaving it in Snorlax's 999 Body Slam range or Marowak's 999 Rock Slide range could be exactly what the opponent was looking for; just an example.

    QC Approved [2 / 2(3?)]
    Pocket likes this.
  7. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,202
    Addressed all concerns. Only one I didn't abide 100% by the recommendations of was Pocket's note on the Vaporeon example under "Strategic Sacrifice". Exeggutor is kind of a poor example because it is 2HKOed by Cloyster's Ice Beam. I instead simply added the caveat that you should only sac Vaporeon if it is less valuable than your Electric, which in my experience is true more often than not. A completely airtight example of this is tough, because ideally the value of your Pokemon should be at least somewhat situation-dependent, because if it isn't, you're using an inferior Pokemon on your team and you really should change that.

    I also added a note about sacrificing "dead men walking" under Strategic Sacrifice, which is a common tactic in RBY and definitely useful in some situations in GSC, although it comes with the caveat that in practice, it really is very risky and rarely worth it in GSC.

    This is now ready for GP checks (and I guess formatting suggestions, I would also html this for y'all too but am not sure how to preserve the formatting while doing that).
  8. Kingler12345

    Kingler12345 COOKIE COOKIE COOKIE STARTS WITH C
    is a Contributor to Smogon

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,362
    Jorgen is it fine if I do html? idrc but ehh would like to do it :D
    anyway gp check n_n
    add
    remove
    comments

    Show Hide

    Introduction
    Explosion is the strongest move in GSC. It typically allows the user to OHKO whatever doesn't resist the move it, even with only moderate Attack backing the move. Furthermore, in GSC, you're generally not going to see very many attempts to predict Explosions Explosion unless the Exploder Pokemon using it (i'm not sure if this is a coined term in gsc ?_? if so, don't make this change) doesn't have some any way to harm a particular resistor Pokemon resistant to it, which makes using Explosion to take out specific walls surprisingly reliable despite the obvious risk inherent with fainting one of your own Pokémon. The mechanics of Explosion make it amenable to multiple different uses: obviously,(AC) Explosion is useful offensively, but it is also effective as a defensive move, or even for achieving some more subtle tactical advantages. However, despite its broad usefulness and surprising reliability, Explosion is not an automatic win button by any means. There are effective ways to combat the use of Explosion to ensure that you end up on the winning end of your opponent's attempts to trade Pokémon. Knowing how to both use and combat Explosion is vital knowledge for success in GSC.


    Mechanics
    Explosion is extremely strong. It has a base power Base Power of 250, and it has the added effect of halving the opponent's Defense stat, thereby effectively making it 500 Base Power. This halving of Defense always occurs even with on a Critical Hit critical hit, which will otherwise ignore stat changes, Reflect, and Burn burn if your Attack stage is lower than your opponent's Defense stage. A similar move, Selfdestruct, has 400 effective Base Power, but is often seen on Snorlax who, after STAB, has an effective 600 Base Power attack in its pocket. To put that in perspective, one Snorlax's Selfdestruct is stronger than two Thick Club Marowak's Earthquakes. Explosion also has the obvious effect of causing the user to faint. However, unlike in later generations, if the Exploding Pokémon moves first and the opposing Pokémon survives the attack, the Pokémon that was to move second will not be able to make a move that turn. Consequently, there will also be no poison/burn/leech seed poison, burn, or Leech Seed damage assessed for the surviving Pokémon during that turn, although Spikes damage will still be assessed for the switch-in to replace the Exploder, and unlike in DPP and later generations, Leftovers recovery will still be assessed for both Pokémon after the switch-in.


    Ways to use Explosion
    Wallbreaking

    The most obvious use of a move with effectively 500 Base Power is for wallbreaking. However, there is a little finesse required to make sure you get the most out of Explosion. Generally, it's best to use a strategy known as bait-e bait Explosion, whereby your Exploders bait certain Pokémon into switching that also wall or check a sweeper that you are running into switching. For example, a Pokémon such as Charizard is countered by Starmie, but Cloyster, thanks to Spikes, can frequently bait Starmie into switching in to spin away Spikes, and then subsequently Explode on Starmie to KO it and open up the a Charizard sweep. Growth Vaporeon is another sweeper that benefits greatly from Exploders KOing its counters:(change to semi) Exeggutor is a common Exploder that baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Zapdos looking to absorb Sleep Powder;(comma) Gengar baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Raikou looking to absorb Hypnosis and tank BoltBeam coverage;(comma) and Steelix baits Suicune, survives a Surf, and OHKOs OHKOes with Explosion after a Curse. In general, a good offensive Exploder must have some way to force its target to switch in without risking a Pokemon that resists Normal resist from easily switching in. Sleep-inducing moves and attacks that hurt normal resists said Pokemon are very helpful in accomplishing this.

    Defensive
    Explosion is also very useful from a defensive standpoint, primarily in terms of preventing a sweep. Sweepers such as Belly Drum Snorlax, Growth Vaporeon, and Pokémon that have been passed Agility boosts on a Baton Pass team can instantly end a game if one is unable to KO them swiftly. In this sense case, Explosion takes out these boosted Pokémon and saves the game. One of the better defensive Exploders is Cloyster, which outspeeds and KOs Belly Drum Snorlax, Quagsire, and Clefable, survives max-attack hits from all of them at +6 (useful if they have an Agility boost), and outspeeds and KOs KOes Growth Vaporeon with Explosion. Another good defensive Exploder is Forretress, for many of the same reasons, although it fails to outspeed Clefable or Vaporeon. Gengar is also a good defensive Exploder, as it can outspeed and Explode to KO fast threats such as Tentacruel, Charizard, and Agility-boosted Snorlax even if it has an Agility boost under its belt.

    Free turns
    One of the more subtle tactical uses of Explosion is gaining free turns. Because Explosion prompts a switch-in after the user faints, even if you don't KO the foe,(AC) you still get an opportunity to switch a Pokémon in for free. In this sense, Explosion functions somewhat like U-turn in later generations, although it certainly isn't something you want to just spam in GSC. Also, if your Explosion goes first, even if you fail to OHKO the foe, the target will be left at very low health and unable to move because of the mechanics of GSC. This can be useful for effectively gaining two turns against a slower foe like Snorlax.

    Bluffing
    Sometimes mispredicting an Explosion can be just as bad as taking an Explosion. You can use this to your advantage with an Exploder by judiciously choosing to not explode. Most commonly, this is seen with Cloyster, who which can punish a foe for switching out a boosted Belly Drum Snorlax or Growth Vaporeon for a normal Resist Normal-resistant Pokemon by Surfing using Surf instead of Exploding. This is also often abused utilized by Exeggutor, who which can spam moves like such as Psychic and Sleep Powder against an active Zapdos that, depending on the situation, might be deathly afraid of taking an Explosion by virtue of being the only remaining counter to a threat such as Vaporeon or Heracross.


    Trading down
    If nothing else, Explosion is generally good for just simplifying a game quickly. Because most good Exploders dissuade Normal resists Pokemon that resist Normal from switching in, it's a fairly reliable way of getting rid of annoying pieces on your opponent's side and transitioning to a simple endgame. Trading down is a concept commonly seen in chess when a player has a material advantage and/or wants to simplify the game to avoid giving his opponent an opportunity to develop a crazy tactical attack, and using Explosion to achieve the same effect in GSC is very sound strategy.


    Main users
    Cloyster

    The main role of Cloyster is setting Spikes most of the time, but Cloyster is also a very effective Exploder on top of it all. Because of its role as a Spiker, it tends to bait Starmie and Explode on it without much trouble at all. Normally, Starmie is relegated solely to controlling Spikes, but it also checks a few niche threats such as Charizard and Machamp, and it's also pretty annoying for Ground-types to deal with, so even without Spikes it is valuable to be able to remove Starmie with Explosion. However, Cloyster is not very good at KOing Electric-types because, while although it does a good job of baiting them, it has to catch them with a very risky Explosion on the switch. Cloyster also struggles to fight its way past Explosion-immune Ghosts, although with enough Surfs on the switch, Cloyster can prevail.

    Cloyster also has a pretty decent Speed stat, a Defense stat that allows it to tank Snorlax's blows, and a typing that allows it to tank Vaporeon's Surfs Surf. This combination makes it an extremely good defensive Exploder, as it is faster than the two most common setup sweepers in GSC and can even afford to take a hit when bluffing if the opponent calls that bluff.

    Clamp is not a standard move on Cloyster, but it helps a lot with keeping Cloyster's Explosion targets in place. It doesn't help with Electric-types, obviously, but it eliminates Cloyster's need to bluff Explosion and instead simply traps risk-taking Snorlax and Vaporeon to ensure the KO. It also traps Starmie in the event that the opponent reads your team and decides they really need it, although most players will look at Starmie clearing Spikes while being Exploded to death by the Spiker and think "mission accomplished."


    Exeggutor
    Exeggutor gets Sleep Powder, which tends to draw Sleep Talkers Talk users like Zapdos and Raikou in. This is how Exeggutor gets good Explosions in spite of the Normal resists Pokemon that resist Normal (Skarmory and Tyranitar) that match up well against it. However, despite its poor coverage movepool, it often can have everything it needs to keep Normal resists these Pokemon out: Giga Drain + Hidden Power Fire on a 3-attack 3 attacks set that foregoes forgos a status powder keeps both Tyranitar and Skarmory out of its face. Exeggutor can also use healing from Leech Seed, Synthesis, or Giga Drain to stick around just long enough to Explode, use its typing to tank just enough hits to get an Explosion off, and spread paralysis with Stun Spore. Basically, Exeggutor is a great Exploder because he it has so many ways to stick around and punish an opposing team for not just staying in and attacking with their Explosion-vulnerable Pokémon. Just don't let this thing take status,(semicolon) poison will put it on a timer and make its Explosion way more predictable, and paralysis might ruin your attempts to pull the trigger and leave you with a weakened, useless husk of a Pokémon.

    Exeggutor can also be a fairly decent defensive Exploder, as it outspeeds Snorlax and can tank hits from troublesome Vaporeon and Zapdos, although it does have a couple problems on this front. The first is that its Explosion is fairly obvious when used defensively by Exeggutor; it cannot survive a Drumlax Belly Drum Snorlax's Frustration, and because it is outsped by Vaporeon and Electric-types, if it doesn't pull the trigger quickly it could find itself in a situation where it is outsped and OHKOed. Being able to bluff the Explosion is a pretty important part of being a good defensive Exploder, as otherwise you tend to waste Explosion because the risk of not pulling the trigger is losing the game. Exeggutor also struggles as a defensive Exploder because it just isn't a great defensive Pokémon; it hard-walls very little and functions primarily as an offensive second look, so it’s it's more something you use to punish your opponent for playing too predictably rather than something you want to rely on to hold off the Mongol horde in the clutch.

    Exeggutor is mostly held back as an Exploder by its limited defensive abilities. Its typing is good, but it's a primary check to nothing, second look to all, so don't expect to switch Exeggutor in willy-nilly to threaten to Explode, offensively or defensively. Even against threats it looks like it should absolutely cream, such as Machamp and Marowak, you don't necessarily force them out with Psychic or Giga Drain because they can hit you it back with Hidden Power Bug. Therefore, you are it is often forced to Explode on them and other threats that Exeggutor seems like it should be countering pretty hard, even though it seems like you it should be able to force them out and use Exeggutor's Explosion for another purpose, such as taking out Zapdos.


    Gengar
    It's fast. It gets scary BoltBeam coverage to punish switching around. It has plenty of other aces in the hole such as Fire Punch, DynamicPunch, and Hypnosis to prevent Normal resistors Normal-resistant Pokemon from feeling comfortable about switching in, and Mean Look to trap its bait and guarantee a good Explosion. Gengar is basically the ultimate Raikou lure, making it a crucial offensive Exploder for most teams, as eliminating Raikou makes it much easier to generate offensive pressure with one's own Electric-type. However, there is some finesse to using Gengar to Explode on Raikou; it's slower, is 2HKOed by Thunder, and normally doesn't OHKO with Explosion in return (the minimum damage 86% against most Raikou, 90% against Raikou with Hidden Power Water, and 92% against the rare Raikou with Hidden Power Grass), so unless you plan ahead and make sure Raikou is weak enough to be taken out (and preferably paralyzed so you don't have to take a big hit or risk it using Reflect to neutralize your Explosion), Raikou might barely survive and use its ridiculous Speed to use Rest, thereby negating that Explosion!

    Apart from Raikou, Gengar also targets Umbreon, Blissey, Quagsire, Snorlax, and Zapdos with its Explosion. However, all of these threats take a ton from Explosion, but are not OHKOed. Snorlax and Umbreon are especially resilient to against Gengar's Explosion, taking maximum damages of 81% and 77% maximum damage, respectively. Again, it's important to have Gengar's Explosion these targets weakened before you pull the trigger. Gengar also targets Starmie looking to stay in to Psychic after a successful spinblock attempt, and this is actually one of the few Explosions that is guaranteed to OHKO, so feel free to Explode away when you see this opportunity.

    As far as defensive Explosions are concerned, Gengar is mostly an offensive Pokémon, but it's pretty good at taking out Drumlax DrumLax, although it's not quite strong enough to get really good damage against a +1 CurseLax when needed (Explosion will only do 45-52% damage). It can, however, outspeed a Drumlax DrumLax with an Agility boost that has been Baton Passed from Jolteon, making it a great last line of defense against a Baton Pass sweep. Gengar can also Explode on Vaporeon that stays in expecting to tank a Thunderbolt and OHKO with a boosted Surf.


    Snorlax
    This thing is a powerhouse, although he technically uses STAB Selfdestruct and not Explosion. On top of his raw power, because Snorlax is very often a defensive lynchpin of a team, very few people assume from the outset that Snorlax will use Selfdestruct, so this can catch a lot of people by surprise and force them to lose an important Pokemon before they even realize what is happening. However, do note that people will be much more likely to see it coming if you happen to lead with Snorlax.

    A mixed set with Fire Blast and Earthquake is standard to nail the Normal resists (just don't use resists as a noun, rephrase), then Double-Edge forces a solidly defensive (albeit Normal-neutral) wall such as Suicune or Miltank to switch in, and then Selfdestruct can OHKO that wall, typically after having done serious damage to half of the opponent's team. Of course, there's also the option of a Curse + Selfdestruct set to bait Skarmory (at +1, STAB Selfdestruct does roughly to Skarmory what Gengar's Explosion does to Raikou), or a Selfdestruct set that foregoes a coverage move for Lovely Kiss. As is normal for Snorlax, there's way too many options.

    Snorlax is a superb defensive Exploder, too. While slow, it's OHKOed by no unboosted attack not named Explosion or Selfdestruct, and his Selfdestruct OHKOs any unboosted Pokemon that does not resist it. Selfdestruct Snorlax can also stop an opposing CurseLax that’s trying to set up much more easily than other Exploders can: unboosted, it does 75-88% damage to an opposing +1 CurseLax, which is extremely difficult for that slow Snorlax to recover from even if it isn't OHKOed, and which the opposing Snorlax will almost never see coming because of how surprising Selfdestruct is. Snorlax is probably the best Exploder in the game, (semicolon) the main problem is that you lose out on him functioning as the best wall in the game once you use Selfdestruct, so it's prudent to pair it with a Pokemon such as Sleep Talk Raikou that can take over its special walling duties after it goes kamikaze.
    (standardize 'it' and 'he' when it comes to lax; either use 'it' or 'he')

    Steelix
    Steelix gets access to Explosion, keeps most Normal resists bar Skarmory at bay with STAB Earthquake, and can Curse up to OHKO even stubborn defensive walls with Explosion. Steelix generally fills a pivotal role as a Snorlax and Electric-immune Pokemon immunity, so it can be hard to let go of that and allow Steelix to Explode, but as an offensive Exploder it tends to target quite a few important walls. It draws Earthquake-immune Zapdos and is also good at taking out Suicune because it can survive a single Surf and, after a single Curse, is guaranteed to OHKO Suicune it with Explosion. With a few more Curses, Steelix at +3 can do 95% minimum to +0 Def Skarmory, and at +6 it does the same to +1 Def Skarmory (important to consider if that Skarmory uses Curse). However, perhaps the biggest boon offered by Steelix's Explosion isn't by what, specifically, it targets, but rather in its allowing the user to trade down in the late game, especially against last-Pokemon CurseLax who might otherwise revel in being immune to Roar, or Fire Blast Snorlax that might otherwise envision getting past Steelix easily. As far as defensively Exploding, though, Steelix is too slow and is weak to too many common types of attack to save the game in many cases, although it does have the distinction of being able to survive a 999- (is this +6?) Attack Snorlax's Earthquake.


    Forretress
    The main role of Forretress is to set up Spikes. That's it, really. Explosion is much more secondary to Forretress's function than, say, Cloyster, because Forretress is slower and has no attacking prowess outside of a fairly weak Hidden Power Bug to dissuade Normal resists from switching in. However, Forretress has the distinction of being able to use both Explosion and Rapid Spin on the same set, and it's also defensively sturdy enough to survive any non-Fire Blast hit from non-Fire Blast Snorlax, max- maxAttack Earthquake from Marowak, and +1 Hydro Pump from Vaporeon and subsequently Explode on them to stop the sweep. Thus, Forretress's Explosion is good mostly for defensive emergencies and trading down in the endgame, and is basically useless as a wallbreaking tool.


    Muk
    Muk is a pretty cool, albeit unconventional, offensive Exploder. On one hand, he struggles to really damage Rock-types and Ghost-types. On the other hand, Gengar can't do much in return, Misdreavus and Rock-types such as Tyranitar and Rhydon get put on a timer by Sludge Bomb poison, and Steel-types, the most prominent Normal-resistant Pokemon resistors, are kept out away by the threat of Fire Blast. Couple this with Muk's high Special Defense and ability to Curse up in order to take out even the sturdiest of walls with Explosion, and you have an Exploder that matches up well against plenty of threats and can Explode on pretty much anything it chooses. Generally, Exploding on a wall such as Miltank or Psychic Starmie is common, as is taking out a threatening Ground-type such as Nidoking or Marowak, or even just taking out a Zapdos that wants to beat down on it with Thunders. As a Defensive defensive cog, however, its Poison typing leaves a lot to be desired, although outspeeding Snorlax and Marowak before a Curse, in addition to handily surviving Vaporeon Surfs, makes it a pretty solid defensive Exploder (although, as with anything slower that Explodes to stop Vaporeon, watch out for Acid Armor).


    Golem
    Golem is another unconventional offensive Exploder that has actually been rising in popularity. The idea is that it gets Earthquake to stop most Normal-resistant Pokemon resistors from switching into it, but it also gets Fire Blast to cover what Steelix cannot: namely, Skarmory. From there, Golem is free to Explode on whatever non-resistant Resisting threat it chooses, although it's important to note that Golem needs to hit Suicune on the switch-in, unlike Steelix, and does 86% minimum with Explosion. Golem is a fairly weak defensive Exploder, though; ; although he can wall Snorlax and Curse up alongside it to ensure Explosion is able to take it out (although many times Golem would rather run Rapid Spin or Rock Slide + Fire Blast instead of Curse), although outside of the Snorlax matchup Golem is too slow and too weak to Ground-(AH) and Water-type moves to be a consistent game-saver.


    Combatting Explosion
    Using Normal-resistant Pokemon
    Resistors
    This is the most straightforward way to counter Explosion, and is generally the riskiest,(AC) as most good Explosion users have ways of dealing with the resistors Normal-resistant Pokemon that could otherwise switch in. The best way to switch a Normal-resistant Pokemon resistor into an Explosion is to do so when the risk is mitigated. For example, when the Exploder's health is low, that makes it more likely for them to pull the trigger. In addition, if you have recently set up (for example, your Snorlax has just set up Belly Drum), your opponent is likely to Explode to save the game. It also helps to have a Normal resist that matches up well against the Exploder you are trying to neutralize, such as Skarmory for Exeggutor or Gengar for Cloyster.

    However, be careful switching Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon into Explosions even when it's completely predictable! Explosion still does a lot of damage even when resisted: for example, an unboosted Skarmory will take 41-48% damage from Exeggutor's Explosion. If Skarmory is looking somewhat low on health and still needs to be able to wall Snorlax, it might not be the best idea to aim to use it to absorb Exeggutor's Explosion. Even if it's safe to predict Explosion, always check damage calculations and ascertain the situation to see if you even benefit from absorbing an Explosion before you attempt to do so.

    Strategic Sacrifice
    Of course, if you don't have a good Resistor in your pocket, Explosion does little good if it KOs KOes the wrong thing. Ideally, you should be sacrificing something that doesn't stand to lose very much if your opponent actually ends up bluffing. One example would be switching Vaporeon into Cloyster, who may which might be looking to take out your Zapdos or Raikou with Explosion. This is safer than going to a low-health Gengar that could end up being KOed by Surf and still prevents your opponent from getting the look they want. Of course, this example assumes the common, although by no means universal, situation wherein you judge your Electric-type to be more valuable than your Vaporeon.

    However, if you don't have more than one safe switch-in to your opponent's Exploder, you may might want to consider using a tactic popular in RBY, whereby you take a Sleeping sleeping or extremely low-health Pokemon and switch it in on the predicted Explosion. The idea is that this Pokemon was about to die anyway, so Exploding on it was effectively a waste. However, there are much fewer true "dead men walking" in GSC than in RBY, so situations wherein such a tactic is worth the risk of losing a Pokemon to an incorrect prediction are few and far between.

    Reflect/Defense Boosts/Substitute
    Using certain moves, while less common, can mitigate the effect of Explosion. For example, Raikou can use Reflect to prevent Gengar from blowing it to bits, Vaporeon can use Acid Armor to protect itself from Explosion while setting up, and Tentacruel can use Substitute to block attempts to explode on it. Also, while very uncommon, it's not completely unheard-of for a Drumlax DrumLax, particularly one that has been passed an Agility boost, to use Protect to foil attempts to Explode on it. Reflect is a nice way to give your whole team a reprieve from the risk of taking an offensive Explosion, thereby allowing you to more safely switch Sleep Talkers Talk users into Exeggutor, for example. Moves such as Acid Armor, Substitute, and Protect are more intended to prevent a defensive Explosion from stopping your sweep.


    Conclusion
    While this guide can act as a bit of an in-depth starting point for using and playing against Explosion, at the end of the day, there's only so much I can try to explain about Explosion with words. Ultimately, you need to just go out there, build a team with Exploders, and get a feel for when is best to Explode and when it's not, when it's best to try and call a bluff and when you should just play it safe. While somewhat reliable, Explosion is still a fairly risky move, and many "old guard" GSCers will shy away from using Explosion or trying to call bluffs because they feel they're good enough to win most games without having to take that risk. It's up to you to jump in the game and punish them for being so risk-averse.

    lol growth vaporeon; gsc seems weird 0_o
    gp 1/2!
  9. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,202
    Ye it's fine if you want to. Thanks, I'll implement when I get around to it.
  10. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,202
    Posting this as a reply mostly because I don't want to lose my changes, nor do I feel like transitioning this to word and losing the colors as I try to find all the changes I have to make.

    As for 999 Attack, it is technically +5 but it's an old gens thing to refer to it as 999. Because RBY and GSC have a 999 attack cap, it's more precise to describe Lax after Belly Drum or Marowak after Swords Dance as 999 rather than +5 or +2.

    Anyhoo first GP changes are done and implemented after half a month x_x apologies for the delay.
    Pocket likes this.
  11. GatoDelFuego

    GatoDelFuego Damn son, where'd ya find this?
    is a Smogon Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,893
    REMOVE CHANGE COMMENTS

    Show Hide
    Introduction
    Explosion is the strongest move in GSC. It typically allows the user to OHKO whatever doesn't resist it, even with only moderate Attack backing the move. Furthermore, in GSC, you're generally not going to see very many attempts to predict Explosion unless the Pokemon using it doesn't have any way to harm a particular Pokemon resistant to it, which makes using Explosion to take out specific walls surprisingly reliable despite the obvious risk inherent with fainting one of your own Pokémon. Idk if the é is necessary for articles, but make sure it's consistent The mechanics of Explosion make it amenable to multiple different uses: obviously, Explosion is useful offensively, but it is also effective as a defensive move, or even for achieving some more subtle tactical advantages. However, despite its broad usefulness and surprising reliability, Explosion is not an automatic win button by any means. There are effective ways to combat the use of Explosion to ensure that you end up on the winning end of your opponent's attempts to trade Pokémon. Knowing how to both use and combat Explosion is vital knowledge for success in GSC.
    Mechanics
    Explosion is extremely strong. It has a Base Power of 250, and has the added effect of halving the opponent's Defense stat, thereby effectively making it 500 Base Power. This halving of Defense always occurs even on a critical hit, which will otherwise ignore stat changes, Reflect, and burn if your Pokemon's Attack stage is lower than your opponent's Defense stage. A similar move, Selfdestruct, has 400 effective Base Power, but is often seen on Snorlax who which, after STAB, has an effective 600 Base Power attack in its pocket. To put that in perspective, one Snorlax's Selfdestruct is stronger than two Thick Club Marowak's Earthquakes. Explosion also has the obvious effect of causing the user to faint. However, unlike in later generations, if the Exploding Pokémon moves first and the opposing Pokémon survives the attack, the Pokémon that was to move second will not be able to make a move that turn. Consequently, there will also be no poison, burn, or Leech Seed damage assessed for the surviving Pokémon during that turn, although Spikes damage will still be assessed for the switch-in to replace the Exploder, and unlike in DPP and later generations, Leftovers recovery will still be assessed for both Pokémon after the switch-in.
    Ways to use Explosion
    Wallbreaking

    The most obvious use of a move with effectively 500 Base Power is for wallbreaking. However, there is a little finesse required to make sure you get the most out of Explosion. Generally, it's best to use a strategy known as bait Explosion, whereby your Exploders bait certain Pokémon that also wall or check a sweeper that you are running into switching. For example, a Pokémon such as Charizard is countered by Starmie, but Cloyster, thanks to Spikes, can frequently bait Starmie into switching in to spin away Spikes, (RC) and then subsequently Explode on Starmie to KO it and open up a Charizard sweep. Growth Vaporeon is another sweeper that benefits greatly from Exploders KOing its counters; Exeggutor is a common Exploder that baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Zapdos looking to absorb Sleep Powder, Gengar baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Raikou looking to absorb Hypnosis and tank BoltBeam coverage, and Steelix baits Suicune, survives a Surf, and OHKOes with Explosion after a Curse. In general, a good offensive Exploder must have some way to force its target to switch in without risking a Pokemon that resists Normal from easily switching in. Sleep-inducing moves and attacks that hurt said Pokemon are very helpful in accomplishing this.
    Defensive
    Explosion is also very useful from a defensive standpoint, primarily in terms of preventing a sweep. Sweepers such as Belly Drum Snorlax, Growth Vaporeon, and Pokémon that have been passed Agility boosts on a Baton Pass team can instantly end a game if one is unable to KO them swiftly. In this case, Explosion takes out these boosted Pokémon and saves the game. One of the better defensive Exploders is Cloyster, which outspeeds and KOes Belly Drum Snorlax, Quagsire, and Clefable, surviving hits from all of them at +6 (useful if they have an Agility boost), and outspeeds and KOes Growth Vaporeon with Explosion. Another good defensive Exploder is Forretress, for many of the same reasons, although it fails to outspeed Clefable or Vaporeon. Gengar is also a good defensive Exploder, as it can outspeed and Explode to KO fast threats such as Tentacruel, Charizard, and Snorlax even if it has an Agility boost under its belt.
    Free turns
    One of the more subtle tactical uses of Explosion is gaining free turns. Because Explosion prompts a switch in after the user faints, even if you don't KO the foe, you still get an opportunity to switch a Pokémon in for free. In this sense, Explosion functions somewhat like U-turn in later generations, although it certainly isn't something you want to just spam in GSC. Also, if your Explosion goes first, even if you fail to OHKO the foe, the target will be left at very low health and unable to move because of the mechanics of GSC. This can be useful for effectively gaining two turns against a slower foe like Snorlax.
    Bluffing
    Sometimes mispredicting an Explosion can be just as bad as taking an Explosion. You can use this to your advantage with an Exploder by judiciously choosing to not explode. Most commonly, this is seen with Cloyster, which can punish a foe for switching out a boosted Belly Drum Snorlax or Growth Vaporeon for a Normal-resistant Pokemon by using Surf instead of Exploding. This is also often utilized by Exeggutor, which can spam moves such as Psychic and Sleep Powder against an active Zapdos that, depending on the situation, might be deathly afraid of taking an Explosion by virtue of being the only remaining counter to a threat such as Vaporeon or Heracross.
    Trading down
    If nothing else, Explosion is generally good for just simplifying a game quickly. Because most good Exploders dissuade Pokemon that resist Normal from switching in, it's a fairly reliable way of getting rid of annoying pieces on your opponent's side and transitioning to a simple endgame. Trading down is a concept commonly seen in chess when a player has a material advantage and/or wants to simplify the game to avoid giving his their opponent an opportunity to develop a crazy tactical attack, and using Explosion to achieve the same effect in GSC is very sound strategy.
    Main users
    Cloyster

    The main role of Cloyster is setting Spikes most of the time, but Cloyster is also a very effective Exploder on top of it all. Because of its role as a Spiker, it tends to bait Starmie and Explode on it without much trouble at all. Normally, Starmie is relegated solely to controlling Spikes, but it also checks a few niche threats such as Charizard and Machamp, and it's also pretty annoying for Ground-types to deal with, so even without Spikes it is valuable to be able to remove Starmie with Explosion. However, Cloyster is not very good at KOing Electric-types because, although it does a good job of baiting them, it has to catch them with a very risky Explosion on the switch. Cloyster also struggles to fight its way past Explosion-immune Ghost-types, although with enough Surfs on the switch, Cloyster can prevail.

    Cloyster also has a pretty decent Speed stat, a Defense stat that allows it to tank Snorlax's blows, and a typing that allows it to tank Vaporeon's Surf. This combination makes it an extremely good defensive Exploder, as it is faster than the two most common setup sweepers in GSC and can even afford to take a hit when bluffing if the opponent calls that bluff.

    Clamp is not a standard move on Cloyster, but it helps a lot with keeping Cloyster's Explosion targets in place. It doesn't help with Electric-types, obviously, but it eliminates Cloyster's need to bluff Explosion and instead simply traps risk-taking Snorlax and Vaporeon to ensure the KO. It also traps Starmie in the event that the opponent reads your team and decides they really need it, although most players opponents will look at Starmie clearing Spikes while being Exploded to death by the Spiker and think "mission accomplished."
    Exeggutor
    Exeggutor gets Sleep Powder, which tends to draw Sleep Talk users like Zapdos and Raikou in. This is how Exeggutor gets good Explosions in spite of the Pokemon that resist Normal (Skarmory and Tyranitar) that match up well against it. However, despite its poor coverage movepool, it often can have everything it needs to keep these Pokemon out: Giga Drain + Hidden Power Fire on a 3 attacks set that forgoes a status powder keeps both Tyranitar and Skarmory out of its face. Exeggutor can also use healing from Leech Seed, Synthesis, or Giga Drain to stick around just long enough to Explode, use its typing to tank just enough hits to get an Explosion off, and spread paralysis with Stun Spore. Basically, Exeggutor is a great Exploder because it has so many ways to stick around and punish an opposing team for not just staying in and attacking with their Explosion-vulnerable Pokémon. Just don't let this thing take status; poison will put it on a timer and make its Explosion way more predictable, and paralysis might ruin your attempts to pull the trigger and leave you with a weakened, useless husk of a Pokémon.

    Exeggutor can also be a fairly decent defensive Exploder, as it outspeeds Snorlax and can tank hits from troublesome Vaporeon and Zapdos, although it does have a couple problems on this front. The first is that its Explosion is fairly obvious when used defensively by Exeggutor; it cannot survive a Belly Drum Snorlax's Frustration, and because it is outsped by Vaporeon and Electric-types, if it doesn't pull the trigger quickly it could find itself in a situation where it is outsped and OHKOed. Being able to bluff the Explosion is a pretty important part of being a good defensive Exploder, as otherwise you tend to waste Explosion because the risk of not pulling the trigger is losing the game. Exeggutor also struggles as a defensive Exploder because it just isn't a great defensive Pokémon; it hard walls very little and functions primarily as an offensive second look, so it's more something you use to punish your opponent for playing too predictably rather than something you want to rely on to hold off the Mongol horde in the clutch.

    Exeggutor is mostly held back as an Exploder by its limited defensive abilities. Its typing is good, but it's a primary check to nothing, second look to all, so don't expect to switch Exeggutor in willy-nilly to threaten to Explode, offensively or defensively. Even against threats it looks like it should absolutely cream, such as Machamp and Marowak, you Exeggutor don't necessarily force them out with Psychic or Giga Drain because they can hit it back with Hidden Power Bug. Therefore, it is often forced to Explode on them and other threats that Exeggutor seems like it should be countering pretty hard, even though it seems like it should be able to force them out and use Exeggutor's its Explosion for another purpose, such as taking out Zapdos.
    Gengar
    It's fast. It gets scary BoltBeam coverage to punish switching around. It has plenty of other aces in the hole such as Fire Punch, DynamicPunch, and Hypnosis to prevent Normal-resistant Pokemon from feeling comfortable about switching in, and Mean Look to trap its bait and guarantee a good Explosion. Gengar is basically the ultimate Raikou lure, making it a crucial offensive Exploder for most teams, as eliminating Raikou makes it much easier to generate offensive pressure with one's own Electric-type. However, there is some finesse to using Gengar to Explode on Raikou; it's slower, 2HKOed by Thunder, and normally doesn't OHKO with Explosion in return (the minimum damage 86% against most Raikou, 90% against Raikou with Hidden Power Water, and 92% against the rare Raikou with Hidden Power Grass), so unless you plan ahead and make sure Raikou is weak enough to be taken out (and preferably paralyzed so you don't have to take a big hit or risk it using Reflect to neutralize your Explosion), Raikou might barely survive and use its ridiculous Speed to use Rest next turn, thereby negating that Explosion!

    Apart from Raikou, Gengar also targets Umbreon, Blissey, Quagsire, Snorlax, and Zapdos with its Explosion. However, all of these threats take a ton from Explosion, but are not OHKOed. Snorlax and Umbreon are especially resilient against Gengar's Explosion, taking 81% and 77% maximum damage, respectively. Again, it's important to have these targets weakened before you pull the trigger. Gengar also targets Starmie looking to stay in to use Psychic after a successful spinblock attempt, and this is actually one of the few Explosions that is guaranteed to OHKO, so feel free to Explode away when you see this opportunity.

    As far as defensive Explosions are concerned, Gengar is mostly an offensive Pokémon, but it's pretty good at taking out DrumLax, although it's not quite strong enough to get really good damage against a +1 CurseLax when needed (Explosion will only do 45-52% damage). It can, however, outspeed a DrumLax with an Agility boost that has been Baton Passed from Jolteon, making it a great last line of defense against a Baton Pass sweep. Gengar can also Explode on a Vaporeon that stays in expecting to tank a Thunderbolt and OHKO with a boosted Surf.
    Snorlax
    This thing is a powerhouse, although it technically uses STAB Selfdestruct and not Explosion. On top of its raw power, because Snorlax is very often a defensive lynchpin of a team, very few people assume from the outset that Snorlax will use Selfdestruct, so this can catch a lot of people by surprise and force them to lose an important Pokemon before they even realize what is happening. However, do note that people will be much more likely to see it coming if you happen to lead with Snorlax.

    A mixed set with Fire Blast and Earthquake is standard to nail its Normal-resisting counters, then Double-Edge forces a Normal-neutral wall such as Suicune or Miltank to switch in. Selfdestruct can then OHKO that wall, typically after having also done serious damage to half of the opponent's team. Of course, there's also the option of a Curse + Selfdestruct set to bait Skarmory (at +1, STAB Selfdestruct does roughly to Skarmory what Gengar's Explosion does to Raikou), or a Selfdestruct set that forgoes a coverage move for Lovely Kiss. As is normal for Snorlax, there's way too many options.

    Snorlax is a superb defensive Exploder, too. While slow, it's OHKOed by no unboosted attack not named Explosion or Selfdestruct, and its Selfdestruct OHKOes any unboosted Pokemon that does not resist it. Selfdestruct Snorlax can also stop an opposing CurseLax that’s trying to set up much more easily than other Exploders can: unboosted, it does 75-88% damage to an opposing +1 CurseLax, which is extremely difficult for that slow Snorlax to recover from even if it isn't OHKOed, and which the opposing Snorlax will almost never see coming because of how surprising Selfdestruct is. Snorlax is probably the best Exploder in the game; the main problem is that you lose out on him it functioning as the best wall in the game once you use Selfdestruct, so it's prudent to pair it with a Pokemon such as Sleep Talk Raikou that can take over its special walling duties after it goes kamikaze.
    Steelix
    Steelix gets access to Explosion, keeps most Normal-resistant Pokemon bar Skarmory at bay with STAB Earthquake, and can Curse up to OHKO even stubborn defensive walls with Explosion. Steelix generally fills a pivotal role as a Snorlax and Electric-immune Pokemon, so it can be hard to let go of that and allow Steelix to Explode, but as an offensive Exploder it tends to target quite a few important walls. It draws Earthquake-immune Zapdos and is also good at taking out Suicune because it can survive a single Surf and, after a single Curse, is guaranteed to OHKO it with Explosion. Steelix at +3 can do 95% minimum to +0 Def Skarmory, and at +6 it does the same to +1 Def Skarmory (important to consider if that Skarmory uses Curse). However, perhaps the biggest boon offered by Steelix's Explosion isn't by what, specifically, it targets, but rather in its allowing the user to trade down in the late-game, especially against last-Pokemon CurseLax who that might otherwise revel in being immune to Roar, or Fire Blast Snorlax that might otherwise envision getting past Steelix easily. As far as defensively Exploding, though, Steelix is too slow and is weak to too many common types of attack to save the game in many cases, although it does have the distinction of being able to survive a 999 Attack Snorlax's Earthquake.
    Forretress
    The main role of Forretress is to set up Spikes. That's it, really. Explosion is much more secondary to Forretress's function than, say, Cloyster, because Forretress is slower and has no attacking prowess outside of a fairly weak Hidden Power Bug to dissuade Normal-resistant Pokemon from switching in. However, Forretress has the distinction of being able to use both Explosion and Rapid Spin on the same set, and it's also defensively sturdy enough to survive any hit from non-Fire Blast Snorlax, max Attack Earthquake from Marowak, and +1 Hydro Pump from Vaporeon and subsequently Explode on them to stop the sweep. Thus, Forretress's Explosion is good mostly for defensive emergencies and trading down in the endgame, and is basically useless as a wallbreaking tool.
    Muk
    Muk is a pretty cool, albeit unconventional, offensive Exploder. On one hand, he it struggles to really damage Rock-types and Ghost-types. On the other hand, Gengar can't do much in return, Misdreavus and Rock-types such as Tyranitar and Rhydon get put on a timer by Sludge Bomb poison, and Steel-types, the most prominent Normal-resistant Pokemon, are kept away by the threat of Fire Blast. Couple this with Muk's high Special Defense and ability to Curse up in order to take out even the sturdiest of walls with Explosion, and you have an Exploder that matches up well against plenty of threats and can Explode on pretty much anything it chooses. Generally, Exploding on a wall such as Miltank or Psychic Starmie is common, as is taking out a threatening Ground-type such as Nidoking or Marowak, or even just taking out a Zapdos that wants to beat down on it with Thunders. As a defensive cog, however, its Poison typing leaves a lot to be desired, although outspeeding Snorlax and Marowak before a Curse, in addition to handily surviving Vaporeon Surfs, makes it a pretty solid defensive Exploder (although, as with anything slower that Explodes to stop Vaporeon, watch out for Acid Armor).
    Golem
    Golem is another unconventional offensive Exploder that has actually been rising in popularity. The idea is that it gets Earthquake to stop most Normal-resistant Pokemon from switching into it, but it also gets Fire Blast to cover what Steelix cannot: namely, Skarmory. From there, Golem is free to Explode on whatever non-resistant threat it chooses, although it's important to note that Golem needs to hit Suicune on the switch-in, unlike Steelix, and does 86% minimum with Explosion. Golem is a fairly weak defensive Exploder; although he it can wall Snorlax and Curse up alongside it to ensure Explosion is able to take it out (although many times Golem would rather run Rapid Spin or Rock Slide + Fire Blast instead of Curse), outside of the Snorlax matchup Golem is too slow and too weak to Ground- and Water-type moves to be a consistent game-saver.
    Combating Explosion
    Using Normal-resistant Pokemon

    This is the most straightforward way to counter Explosion, and is generally the riskiest, as most good Explosion users have ways of dealing with the Normal-resistant Pokemon that could otherwise switch in. The best way to switch a Normal-resistant Pokemon into an Explosion is to do so when the risk is mitigated. For example, when the Exploder's health is low, that makes it more likely for them to pull the trigger. In addition, if you have recently set up (for example, your Snorlax has just set up Belly Drum), your opponent is likely to Explode to save the game. It also helps to have a Normal-resistant Pokemon that matches up well against the Exploder you are trying to neutralize, such as Skarmory for Exeggutor or Gengar for Cloyster.

    However, be careful switching Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon into Explosions even when it's completely predictable! Explosion still does a lot of damage even when resisted; (SC) for example, an unboosted Skarmory will take 41-48% damage from Exeggutor's Explosion. If Skarmory is looking somewhat low on health and still needs to be able to wall Snorlax, it might not be the best idea to aim to use it to absorb Exeggutor's Explosion. Even if it's safe to predict Explosion, always check damage calculations and ascertain the situation to see if you even benefit from absorbing an Explosion before you attempt to do so.
    Strategic Sacrifice
    Of course, if you don't have a good Normal-resisting Pokemon in your pocket, Explosion does little good if it KOes the wrong thing. Ideally, you should be sacrificing something that doesn't stand to lose very much if your opponent actually ends up bluffing. One example would be switching Vaporeon into Cloyster, which might be looking to take out your Zapdos or Raikou with Explosion. This is safer than going to a low-health Gengar that could end up being KOed by Surf and still prevents your opponent from getting the look they want. Of course, this example assumes the common, although by no means universal, situation wherein you judge your Electric-type to be more valuable than your Vaporeon.

    However, if you don't have more than one safe switch-in to your opponent's Exploder, you might want to consider using a tactic popular in RBY, whereby you take a sleeping or extremely low-health Pokemon and switch it in on the predicted Explosion. The idea is that this Pokemon was about to die anyway, so Exploding on it was effectively a waste. However, there are much fewer true "dead men walking" in GSC than in RBY, so situations wherein such a tactic is worth the risk of losing a Pokemon to an incorrect prediction are few and far between.
    Reflect/Defense Boosts/Substitute
    Using certain moves, while less common, can mitigate the effect of Explosion. For example, Raikou can use Reflect to prevent Gengar from blowing it to bits, Vaporeon can use Acid Armor to protect itself from Explosion while setting up, and Tentacruel can use Substitute to block attempts to explode on it. Also, while very uncommon, it's not completely unheard of for a DrumLax, particularly one that has been passed an Agility boost, to use Protect to foil attempts to Explode on it. Reflect is a nice way to give your whole team a reprieve from the risk of taking an offensive Explosion, thereby allowing you to more safely switch Sleep Talk users into Exeggutor, for example. Moves such as Acid Armor, Substitute, and Protect are more intended to prevent a defensive Explosion from stopping your sweep.
    Conclusion
    While this guide can act as a bit of an in-depth starting point for using and playing against Explosion, at the end of the day, there's only so much I can try to explain about Explosion with words. Ultimately, you need to just go out there, build a team with Exploders, and get a feel for when is best to Explode and when it's not, when it's best to try and call a bluff and when you should just play it safe. While somewhat reliable, Explosion is still a fairly risky move, and many "old guard" GSCers will shy away from using Explosion or trying to call bluffs because they feel they're good enough to win most games without having to take that risk. It's up to you to jump in the game and punish them for being so risk-averse.
    [​IMG]
    2/2
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  12. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,202
    And implemented. Thanks Gato, any chance anyone is willing to HTML this bad boy? :x
    Pocket likes this.
  13. Redew

    Redew
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,563
    ya i can html

    Jorgen YOU ARE LEAVING NO :(

    HTML:
    [Title]
    Explosion in GSC
    
    [Head]
    <meta name="description" content="Explosion in GSC." />
    
    [Page]
    <div class="author">By <a href="/forums/members/jorgen.53302/">Jorgen</a>.</div>
    
    <h2>Introduction</h2>
    
    <p>Explosion is the strongest move in GSC. It typically allows the user to OHKO whatever doesn't resist it, even with only moderate Attack backing the move. Furthermore, in GSC, you're generally not going to see very many attempts to predict Explosion unless the Pok&eacute;mon using it doesn't have any way to harm a particular Pok&eacute;mon resistant to it, which makes using Explosion to take out specific walls surprisingly reliable despite the obvious risk inherent with fainting one of your own Pok&eacute;mon.The mechanics of Explosion make it amenable to multiple different uses: obviously, Explosion is useful offensively, but it is also effective as a defensive move, or even for achieving some more subtle tactical advantages. However, despite its broad usefulness and surprising reliability, Explosion is not an automatic win button by any means. There are effective ways to combat the use of Explosion to ensure that you end up on the winning end of your opponent's attempts to trade Pok&eacute;mon. Knowing how to both use and combat Explosion is vital knowledge for success in GSC.</p>
    
    <h3>Mechanics</h3>
    
    <p>Explosion is extremely strong. It has a Base Power of 250, and has the added effect of halving the opponent's Defense stat, thereby effectively making it 500 Base Power. This halving of Defense always occurs even on a critical hit, which will otherwise ignore stat changes, Reflect, and burn if your Pok&eacute;mon's Attack stage is lower than your opponent's Defense stage. A similar move, Selfdestruct, has 400 effective Base Power, but is often seen on Snorlax which, after STAB, has an effective 600 Base Power attack in its pocket. To put that in perspective, one Snorlax's Selfdestruct is stronger than two Thick Club Marowak's Earthquakes. Explosion also has the obvious effect of causing the user to faint. However, unlike in later generations, if the Exploding Pok&eacute;mon moves first and the opposing Pok&eacute;mon survives the attack, the Pok&eacute;mon that was to move second will not be able to make a move that turn. Consequently, there will also be no poison, burn, or Leech Seed damage assessed for the surviving Pok&eacute;mon during that turn, although Spikes damage will still be assessed for the switch-in to replace the Exploder, and unlike in DPP and later generations, Leftovers recovery will still be assessed for both Pok&eacute;mon after the switch.</p>
    
    <h3>Ways to use Explosion</h3>
    
    <h4>Wallbreaking</h4>
    
    <p>The most obvious use of a move with effectively 500 Base Power is for wallbreaking. However, there is a little finesse required to make sure you get the most out of Explosion. Generally, it's best to use a strategy known as bait Explosion, whereby your Exploders bait certain Pok&eacute;mon that also wall or check a sweeper that you are running into switching. For example, a Pok&eacute;mon such as Charizard is countered by Starmie, but Cloyster, thanks to Spikes, can frequently bait Starmie into switching in to spin away Spikes and then subsequently Explode on Starmie to KO it and open up a Charizard sweep. Growth Vaporeon is another sweeper that benefits greatly from Exploders KOing its counters; Exeggutor is a common Exploder that baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Zapdos looking to absorb Sleep Powder, Gengar baits and Explodes on Sleep Talk Raikou looking to absorb Hypnosis and tank BoltBeam coverage, and Steelix baits Suicune, survives a Surf, and OHKOes with Explosion after a Curse. In general, a good offensive Exploder must have some way to force its target to switch in without risking a Pok&eacute;mon that resists Normal from easily switching in. Sleep-inducing moves and attacks that hurt said Pok&eacute;mon are very helpful in accomplishing this.</p>
    
    <h4>Defensive</h4>
    
    <p>Explosion is also very useful from a defensive standpoint, primarily in terms of preventing a sweep. Sweepers such as Belly Drum Snorlax, Growth Vaporeon, and Pok&eacute;mon that have been passed Agility boosts on a Baton Pass team can instantly end a game if one is unable to KO them swiftly. In this case, Explosion takes out these boosted Pok&eacute;mon and saves the game. One of the better defensive Exploders is Cloyster, which outspeeds andKOesBelly Drum Snorlax, Quagsire, and Clefable,survivinghits from all of them at +6 (useful if they have an Agility boost), and outspeeds and KOes Growth Vaporeon with Explosion. Another good defensive Exploder is Forretress, for many of the same reasons, although it fails to outspeed Clefable or Vaporeon. Gengar is also a good defensive Exploder, as it can outspeed and Explode to KO fast threats such as Tentacruel, Charizard, and Snorlax even if it has an Agility boost under its belt.</p>
    
    <h4>Free turns</h4>
    
    <p>One of the more subtle tactical uses of Explosion is gaining free turns. Because Explosion prompts aswitch inafter the user faints, even if you don't KO the foe, you still get an opportunity to switch a Pok&eacute;mon in for free. In this sense, Explosion functions somewhat like U-turn in later generations, although it certainly isn't something you want to just spam in GSC. Also, if your Explosion goes first, even if you fail to OHKO the foe, the target will be left at very low health and unable to move because of the mechanics of GSC. This can be useful for effectively gaining two turns against a slower foe like Snorlax.</p>
    
    <h4>Bluffing</h4>
    
    <p>Sometimes mispredicting an Explosion can be just as bad as taking an Explosion. You can use this to your advantage with an Exploder by judiciously choosing to not explode. Most commonly, this is seen with Cloyster, which can punish a foe for switching out a boosted Belly Drum Snorlax or Growth Vaporeon for a Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon by using Surf instead of Exploding. This is also often utilized by Exeggutor, which can spam moves such as Psychic and Sleep Powder against an active Zapdos that, depending on the situation, might be deathly afraid of taking an Explosion by virtue of being the only remaining counter to a threat such as Vaporeon or Heracross.</p>
    
    <h4>Trading down</h4>
    
    <p>If nothing else, Explosion is generally good for just simplifying a game quickly. Because most good Exploders dissuade Pok&eacute;mon that resist Normal from switching in, it's a fairly reliable way of getting rid of annoying pieces on your opponent's side and transitioning to a simple endgame. Trading down is a concept commonly seen in chess when a player has a material advantage and/or wants to simplify the game to avoid giving theiropponent an opportunity to develop a crazy tactical attack, and using Explosion to achieve the same effect in GSC is very sound strategy.</p>
    
    <h3>Main users</h3>
    
    <h4>Cloyster</h4>
    
    <p>The main role of Cloyster is setting Spikes most of the time, but Cloyster is also a very effective Exploder on top of it all. Because of its role as a Spiker, it tends to bait Starmie and Explode on it without much trouble at all. Normally, Starmie is relegated solely to controlling Spikes, but it also checks a few niche threats such as Charizard and Machamp, and it's also pretty annoying for Ground-types to deal with, so even without Spikes it is valuable to be able to remove Starmie with Explosion. However, Cloyster is not very good at KOing Electric-types because, although it does a good job of baiting them, it has to catch them with a very risky Explosion on the switch. Cloyster also struggles to fight its way past Explosion-immune Ghost-types, although with enough Surfs on the switch, Cloyster can prevail.</p>
    
    <p>Cloyster also has a pretty decent Speed stat, a Defense stat that allows it to tank Snorlax's blows, and a typing that allows it to tank Vaporeon's Surf. This combination makes it an extremely good defensive Exploder, as it is faster than the two most common setup sweepers in GSC and can even afford to take a hit when bluffing if the opponent calls that bluff.</p>
    
    <p>Clamp is not a standard move on Cloyster, but it helps a lot with keeping Cloyster's Explosion targets in place. It doesn't help with Electric-types, obviously, but it eliminates Cloyster's need to bluff Explosion and instead simply traps risk-taking Snorlax and Vaporeon to ensure the KO. It also traps Starmie in the event that the opponent reads your team and decides they really need it, although most opponentswill look at Starmie clearing Spikes while being Exploded to death by the Spiker and think "mission accomplished."</p>
    
    <h4>Exeggutor</h4>
    
    <p>Exeggutor gets Sleep Powder, which tends to draw Sleep Talk users like Zapdos and Raikou in. This is how Exeggutor gets good Explosions in spite of the Pok&eacute;mon that resist Normal (Skarmory and Tyranitar) that match up well against it. However, despite its poor coverage, it often can have everything it needs to keep these Pok&eacute;mon out: Giga Drain + Hidden Power Fire on a 3 attacks set thatforgoesa status powder keeps both Tyranitar and Skarmory out of its face. Exeggutor can also use healing from Leech Seed, Synthesis, or Giga Drain to stick around just long enough to Explode, use its typing to tank just enough hits to get an Explosion off, and spread paralysis with Stun Spore. Basically, Exeggutor is a great Exploder because it has so many ways to stick around and punish an opposing team for not just staying in and attacking with their Explosion-vulnerable Pok&eacute;mon. Just don't let this thing take status; poison will put it on a timer and make its Explosion way more predictable, and paralysis might ruin your attempts to pull the trigger and leave you with a weakened, useless husk of a Pok&eacute;mon.</p>
    
    <p>Exeggutor can also be a fairly decent defensive Exploder, as it outspeeds Snorlax and can tank hits from troublesome Vaporeon and Zapdos, although it does have a couple problems on this front. The first is that its Explosion is fairly obvious when used defensively by Exeggutor; it cannot survive a Belly Drum Snorlax's Frustration, and because it is outsped by Vaporeon and Electric-types, if it doesn't pull the trigger quickly it could find itself in a situation where it is outsped and OHKOed. Being able to bluff the Explosion is a pretty important part of being a good defensive Exploder, as otherwise you tend to waste Explosion because the risk of not pulling the trigger is losing the game. Exeggutor also struggles as a defensive Exploder because it just isn't a great defensive Pok&eacute;mon; ithard wallsvery little and functions primarily as an offensive second look, so it's more something you use to punish your opponent for playing too predictably rather than something you want to rely on to hold off the Mongol horde in the clutch.</p>
    
    <p>Exeggutor is mostly held back as an Exploder by its limited defensive abilities. Its typing is good, but it's a primary check to nothing, second look to all, so don't expect to switch Exeggutor in willy-nilly to threaten to Explode, offensively or defensively. Even against threats it looks like it should absolutely cream, such as Machamp and Marowak,Exeggutordon't necessarily force them out with Psychic or Giga Drain because they can hit it back with Hidden Power Bug. Therefore, it is often forced to Explode on them and other threats that Exeggutor seems like it should be countering pretty hard, even though it seems like it should be able to force them out and use itsExplosion for another purpose, such as taking out Zapdos.</p>
    
    <h4>Gengar</h4>
    
    <p>It's fast. It gets scary BoltBeam coverage to punish switching around. It has plenty of other aces in the hole such as Fire Punch, DynamicPunch, and Hypnosis to prevent Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon from feeling comfortable about switching in, and Mean Look to trap its bait and guarantee a good Explosion. Gengar is basically the ultimate Raikou lure, making it a crucial offensive Exploder for most teams, as eliminating Raikou makes it much easier to generate offensive pressure with one's own Electric-type. However, there is some finesse to using Gengar to Explode on Raikou; it's slower, 2HKOed by Thunder, and normally doesn't OHKO with Explosion in return (the minimum damage 86% against most Raikou, 90% against Raikou with Hidden Power Water, and 92% against the rare Raikou with Hidden Power Grass), so unless you plan ahead and make sure Raikou is weak enough to be taken out (and preferably paralyzed so you don't have to take a big hit or risk it using Reflect to neutralize your Explosion), Raikou might barely survive and use its ridiculous Speed to use Rest next turn, thereby negating that Explosion!</p>
    
    <p>Apart from Raikou, Gengar also targets Umbreon, Blissey, Quagsire, Snorlax, and Zapdos with its Explosion. However, all of these threats take a ton from Explosion, but are not OHKOed. Snorlax and Umbreon are especially resilient against Gengar's Explosion, taking 81% and 77% maximum damage, respectively. Again, it's important to have these targets weakened before you pull the trigger. Gengar also targets Starmie looking to stay in tousePsychic after a successful spinblock attempt, and this is actually one of the few Explosions that is guaranteed to OHKO, so feel free to Explode away when you see this opportunity.</p>
    
    <p>As far as defensive Explosions are concerned, Gengar is mostly an offensive Pok&eacute;mon, but it's pretty good at taking out DrumLax, although it's not quite strong enough to get really good damage against a +1 CurseLax when needed (Explosion will only do 45-52% damage). It can, however, outspeed a DrumLax with an Agility boost that has been Baton Passed from Jolteon, making it a great last line of defense against a Baton Pass sweep. Gengar can also Explode onaVaporeon that stays in expecting to tank a Thunderbolt and OHKO with a boosted Surf.</p>
    
    <h4>Snorlax</h4>
    
    <p>This thing is a powerhouse, although it technically uses STAB Selfdestruct and not Explosion. On top of its raw power, because Snorlax is very often a defensive lynchpin of a team, very few people assume from the outset that Snorlax will use Selfdestruct, so this can catch a lot of people by surprise and force them to lose an important Pok&eacute;mon before they even realize what is happening. However, do note that people will be much more likely to see it coming if you happen tolead with Snorlax.</p>
    
    <p>A mixed set with Fire Blast and Earthquake is standard to nail its Normal-resisting counters, then Double-Edge forces a Normal-neutral wall such as Suicune or Miltank to switch in. Selfdestruct can then OHKO that wall, typically after having also done serious damage to half of the opponent's team. Of course, there's also the option of a Curse + Selfdestruct set to bait Skarmory (at +1, STAB Selfdestruct does roughly to Skarmory what Gengar's Explosion does to Raikou), or a Selfdestruct set thatforgoesa coverage move for Lovely Kiss. As is normal for Snorlax, there's way too many options.</p>
    
    <p>Snorlax is a superb defensive Exploder, too. While slow, it's OHKOed by no unboosted attack not named Explosion or Selfdestruct, and its SelfdestructOHKOesany unboosted Pok&eacute;mon that does not resist it. Selfdestruct Snorlax can also stop an opposing CurseLax that’s trying to set up much more easily than other Exploders can: unboosted, it does 75-88% damage to an opposing +1 CurseLax, which is extremely difficult for that slow Snorlax to recover from even if it isn't OHKOed, and which the opposing Snorlax will almost never see coming because of how surprising Selfdestruct is. Snorlax is probably the best Exploder in the game; the main problem is that you lose out on itfunctioning as the best wall in the game once you use Selfdestruct, so it's prudent to pair it with a Pok&eacute;mon such as Sleep Talk Raikou that can take over its special walling duties after it goes kamikaze.</p>
    
    <h4>Steelix</h4>
    
    <p>Steelix gets access to Explosion, keeps most Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon bar Skarmory at bay with STAB Earthquake, and can Curse up to OHKO even stubborn defensive walls with Explosion. Steelix generally fills a pivotal role as a Snorlax and Electric-immune Pok&eacute;mon, so it can be hard to let go of that and allow Steelix to Explode, but as an offensive Exploder it tends to target quite a few important walls. It draws Earthquake-immune Zapdos and is also good at taking out Suicune because it can survive a single Surf and, after a single Curse, is guaranteed to OHKO it with Explosion. Steelix at +3 can do 95% minimum to +0 Def Skarmory, and at +6 it does the same to +1 Def Skarmory (important to consider if that Skarmory uses Curse). However, perhaps the biggest boon offered by Steelix's Explosion isn't by what, specifically, it targets, but rather in its allowing the user to trade downlate-game, especially against last-Pok&eacute;mon CurseLax thatmight otherwise revel in being immune to Roar, or Fire Blast Snorlax that might otherwise envision getting past Steelix easily. As far as defensively Exploding, though, Steelix is too slow and is weak to too many common types of attack to save the game in many cases, although it does have the distinction of being able to survive a 999 AttackSnorlax's Earthquake.</p>
    
    <h4>Forretress</h4>
    
    <p>The main role of Forretress is to set up Spikes. That's it, really. Explosion is much more secondary to Forretress's function than, say, Cloyster, because Forretress is slower and has no attacking prowess outside of a fairly weak Hidden Power Bug to dissuade Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon from switching in. However, Forretress has the distinction of being able to use both Explosion and Rapid Spin on the same set, and it's also defensively sturdy enough to survive any hit from non-Fire Blast Snorlax, max Attack Earthquake from Marowak, and +1 Hydro Pump from Vaporeon and subsequently Explode on them to stop the sweep. Thus, Forretress's Explosion is good mostly for defensive emergencies and trading down in the endgame, and is basically useless as a wallbreaking tool.</p>
    
    <h4>Muk</h4>
    
    <p>Muk is a pretty cool, albeit unconventional, offensive Exploder. On one hand,itstruggles to really damage Rock-types and Ghost-types. On the other hand, Gengar can't do much in return, Misdreavus and Rock-types such as Tyranitar and Rhydon get put on a timer by Sludge Bomb poison, and Steel-types, the most prominent Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon, are kept away by the threat of Fire Blast. Couple this with Muk's high Special Defense and ability to Curse up in order to take out even the sturdiest of walls with Explosion, and you have an Exploder that matches up well against plenty of threats and can Explode on pretty much anything it chooses. Generally, Exploding on a wall such as Miltank or Psychic Starmie is common, as is taking out a threatening Ground-type such as Nidoking or Marowak, or even just taking out a Zapdos that wants to beat down on it with Thunders. As a defensive cog, however, its Poison typing leaves a lot to be desired, although outspeeding Snorlax and Marowak before a Curse, in addition to handily surviving Vaporeon Surfs, makes it a pretty solid defensive Exploder (although, as with anything slower that Explodes to stop Vaporeon, watch out for Acid Armor).</p>
    
    <h4>Golem</h4>
    
    <p>Golem is another unconventional offensive Exploder that has actually been rising in popularity. The idea is that it gets Earthquake to stop most Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon from switching into it, but it also gets Fire Blast to cover what Steelix cannot:Skarmory. From there, Golem is free to Explode on whatever non-resistant threat it chooses, although it's important to note that Golem needs to hit Suicune on the switch, unlike Steelix, and does 86% minimum with Explosion. Golem is a fairly weak defensive Exploder; although it can wall Snorlax and Curse up alongside it to ensure Explosion is able to take it out (although many times Golem would rather run Rapid Spin or Rock Slide + Fire Blast instead of Curse), outside of the Snorlax matchup Golem is too slow and too weak to Ground- and Water-type moves to be a consistent game-saver.</p>
    
    <h3>Combating Explosion</h3>
    
    <h4>Using Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon</h4>
    
    <p>This is the most straightforward way to counter Explosion, and is generally the riskiest, as most good Explosion users have ways of dealing with the Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon that could otherwise switch in. The best way to switch a Normal-resistant Pok&eacute;mon into an Explosion is to do so when the risk is mitigated. For example, when the Exploder's health is low, that makes it more likely for them to pull the trigger. In addition, if you have recently set up (for example, your Snorlax has just set up Belly Drum), your opponent is likely to Explode to save the game. It also helps to have a Normal-resistant Pokémonthat matches up well against the Exploder you are trying to neutralize, such as Skarmory for Exeggutor or Gengar for Cloyster.</p>
    
    <p>However, be careful switching Rock- and Steel-type Pok&eacute;mon into Explosions even when it's completely predictable! Explosion still does a lot of damage even when resisted; for example, an unboosted Skarmory will take 41-48% damage from Exeggutor's Explosion. If Skarmory is looking somewhat low on health and still needs to be able to wall Snorlax, it might not be the best idea to aim to use it to absorb Exeggutor's Explosion. Even if it's safe to predict Explosion,always check damage calculations and ascertain the situation to see if you even benefit from absorbing an Explosion before you attempt to do so.</p>
    
    <h4>Strategic Sacrifice</h4>
    
    <p>Of course, if you don't have a good Normal-resisting Pok&eacute;mon in your pocket, Explosion does little good if it KOes the wrong thing. Ideally, you should be sacrificing something that doesn't stand to lose very much if your opponent actually ends up bluffing. One example would be switching Vaporeon into Cloyster, which might be looking to take out your Zapdos or Raikou with Explosion. This is safer than going to a low-health Gengar that could end up being KOed by Surf and still prevents your opponent from getting the look they want. Of course, this example assumes the common, although by no means universal, situation wherein you judge your Electric-type to be more valuable than your Vaporeon.</p>
    
    <p>However, if you don't have more than one safe switch-in to your opponent's Exploder, you might want to consider using a tactic popular in RBY, whereby you take a sleeping or extremely low-health Pok&eacute;mon and switch it in on the predicted Explosion. The idea is that this Pok&eacute;mon was about to die anyway, so Exploding on it was effectively a waste. However, there are much fewer true "dead men walking" in GSC than in RBY, so situations wherein such a tactic is worth the risk of losing a Pok&eacute;mon to an incorrect prediction are few and far between.</p>
    
    <h4>Reflect/Defense Boosts/Substitute</h4>
    
    <p>Using certain moves, while less common, can mitigate the effect of Explosion. For example, Raikou can use Reflect to prevent Gengar from blowing it to bits, Vaporeon can use Acid Armor to protect itself from Explosion while setting up, and Tentacruel can use Substitute to block attempts to explode on it. Also, while very uncommon, it's not completely unheard offor a DrumLax, particularly one that has been passed an Agility boost, to use Protect to foil attempts to Explode on it. Reflect is a nice way to give your whole team a reprieve from the risk of taking an offensive Explosion, thereby allowing you to more safely switch Sleep Talk users into Exeggutor, for example. Moves such as Acid Armor, Substitute, and Protect are more intended to prevent a defensive Explosion from stopping your sweep.</p>
    
    <h2>Conclusion</h2>
    
    <p>While this guide can act as a bit of an in-depth starting point for using and playing against Explosion, at the end of the day, there's only so much I can try to explain about Explosion with words. Ultimately, you need to just go out there, build a team with Exploders, and get a feel for when is best to Explode and when it's not, when it's best to try and call a bluff and when you should just play it safe. While somewhat reliable, Explosion is still a fairly risky move, and many "old guard" GSCers will shy away from using Explosion or trying to call bluffs because they feel they're good enough to win most games without having to take that risk. It's up to you to jump in the game and punish them for being so risk-averse.</p>
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    Monte Cristo likes this.
  14. Oglemi

    Oglemi I ask consent before I thrash anuses.
    is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Community Contributoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis an Administratoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
    C&C Leader

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,479

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)