I am rather shocked this guy has been overlooked. O.o Garchomp [OVERVIEW] <p>Once upon a time, there was a serious stir when the first ever non-Legendary, non-Shadow Tag Pokemon was banned from OU. The larger internet community was up in arms, but the Smogon consensus was rock solid—Garchomp had broken DPP OU. On paper it seems the perfect design, with a stat spread that guarantees top level speed, power, and bulk coupled with a nearly flawless STAB combo and terrific defensive typing. Its movepool isn't huge, but STAB Outrage and Earthquake provide incredible coverage and power, with Swords Dance completing an impressive trio of quintessential moves.<p> <p>In the 5th Generation, Garchomp finds itself in a much less welcoming OU metagame. To put it simply, 102 speed is not what it used to be, and Garchomp is often confronted by a variety of enemies that can outspeed it, from the ranks of old enemies and new BW Pokemon alike. Latias and Latios completely change Garchomp's metagame situation, stealing the title of "Fastest Dragon in OU." The wide variety of powerful similar sweepers available, including its fellow Dragons and the new Ground-type sweepers Landorus and Excadrill leave Garchomp with stiff competition for a team slot. With the advent of Air Balloon, its STAB combo is also simply not as reliable as it used to be.</p> <p>Despite the new challenges it faces, Garchomp is still Garchomp; it still wields fantastic offensive power, one of the bulkiest stat spreads of OU, and a Speed stat and STAB combination that are not to be underestimated. It will be sure to remain a familiar face. </p> [SET] name: Choice Scarf move 1: Outrage move 2: Earthquake move 3: Dragon Claw / Dragon Rush move 4: Fire Blast / Aqua Tail item: Choice Scarf nature: Jolly ability: Sand Veil evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Choice Scarf Garchomp is placed in a terrific Speed tier, just edging over the base 100 Speed threshold and blitzing past Salamence, Haxorus and Hydreigon. It also outspeeds every Dragon Dance / Quiver Dance user at +1. With its combination of Speed, power and bulk, in addition to a sweet Stealth Rock resistance and lack of a Pursuit weakness, Garchomp could possibly find itself as the Choice Scarf user to beat in BW OU. This is also arguably Garchomp's best 5th Generation set.</p> <p>Earthquake's power, accuracy and coverage with Dragon-type moves is incredible, especially with the STAB boost. Outrage delivers tremendous power for sweeping, while Dragon Claw or Dragon Rush are better early-game moves that provide Dragon-type STAB without locking Garchomp in. The choice between the two moves comes down to a choice between reliability and power. While Dragon Rush's accuracy is very unreliable, its power advantage is significant and really shines in the early-game's transition turns, when one is trying to avoid mistakes predicting and missing is less consequential. The choice between Fire Blast and Aqua Tail is a decision on filler moves to use against specific targets. Fire Blast can 2HKO physically defensive Skarmory and also deals with Ferrothorn and all of the Bug- and Steel-type Pokemon; despite Garchomp's tremendous Attack and low Special Attack, the difference in Base Power and the heavily lopsided defenses of Skarmory and Forretress leaves Fire Fang completely inferior to Fire Blast. Aqua Tail gets a mention here for being a convenient out against Air Balloon-abusing Pokemon, most notably Heatran and Excadrill.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>Only Outrage and Earthquake are essential to the functionality of the set, while the last two slots leave room for quite a bit of flexibility. Stone Edge deserves a mention as another way of dealing with Flying-types like Zapdos and Gyarados in the early-game, and also supplies a relatively reliable attack for revenge killing Volcarona. Stealth Rock is an odd but interesting option for teams that lack it. The bottom line is that Garchomp's last move slot is always going to be filler at best, so for some teams opting to throw in Stealth Rock for difficult to predict turns could provide great utility.</p> <p>For teammates, Tyranitar is Garchomp's partner-in-crime, brewing up the sand for Garchomp's Sand Veil and robbing enemy tanks (notably bulky Water-types) of their Leftovers recovery. The mixed attacking sets make particularly effective partners, as they are capable of luring in and dismantling enemy Steel-types with Fighting- or Fire-type attacks. Speaking of Steel removal, Magnezone makes a return as an excellent partner to any Dragon.</p> <p>Steel-types in general are excellent partners for Garchomp, letting it easily switch away from incoming Dragon- and Ice-type attacks. In particular, Spikes users like Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Forretress are especially welcome. Choice Scarf Garchomp presses the enemy with a constant threat to sweep, without even needing any setup. The weaker the enemy team becomes, the greater the threat of a Garchomp sweep, making Spikes, Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes support much appreciated by this set.<p> <p>To complement its offensive power, Garchomp loves to see other Dragon-types and priority users amongst its teammates—these Pokemon are capable of opening an opportunity for Garchomp to sweep, or abusing holes that Garchomp may open. Salamence and Hydreigon are especially notable for their special and mixed sweeping capabilities that can severely debilitate enemy checks, though Dragonite's many sets can easily achieve similar results. Amongst priority users, Conkeldurr is an especially notable potential partner, able to check faster problem opponents like Excadrill and Terrakion. Jellicent can check Fighting-type Pokemon, cripple bulky Water-types with Toxic, and beat bulky Ground-type Pokemon such as Gliscor and Hippowdon.<p> [SET] name: Swords Dance move 1: Swords Dance move 2: Outrage / Dragon Claw move 3: Earthquake move 4: Fire Fang / Aqua Tail / Substitute item: Yache Berry / Haban Berry / Leftovers nature: Jolly ability: Sand Veil evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>This is the set that got Garchomp banned last generation. With a Swords Dance under its belt and the coverage provided by Dragon- and Ground-type STAB attacks, it could 2HKO the metagame! That said, it has lost a lot of its former glory. With the introduction of Latias and Latios into OU, Garchomp is no longer the fastest OU Dragon, which seriously impedes its sweeping capabilities. Furthermore, a simple influx of many fast and powerful threats, such as Terrakion, Thundurus, and Excadrill, has dramatically raised the bar on Speed, and put a serious damper on Garchomp's sweeping prospects. One thing worth mentioning is that because of Garchomp's ability to boost its power, this set is the least dependent on entry hazard support of Garchomp's potential sets.</p> <p>All problems aside, Swords Dance Garchomp is still not to be underestimated. Base 102 Speed is still very fast, especially in combination with Garchomp's awesome defensive stats. This unique blend of power, speed, bulk and lack of weaknesses is what gave the infamous Yache-Chomp unstoppable power in DPP, and it can still hammer its way through the BW metagame even now.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>The EV spread is the simple offensive one, maximizing speed and power for Garchomp's sweep. Fire Fang does 62.9% - 74.3% to Skarmory after a Swords Dance ensuring a 2HKO even through Leftovers. In BW, Aqua Tail finds itself a viable option for coverage as well, and can be used to take out Air Balloon Pokemon, namely Excadrill and Heatran. Alternatively, you could always try to abuse Garchomp's Sand Veil ability with Substitute. On a quick note, Pursuit Tyranitar is probably the best possible teammate for Swords Dance Garchomp; not only does it provide sand support—neutralizing enemy Leftovers and activating Sand Veil—but it can also ensure the removal of Latias and Latios from the enemy team. Once Latios and Latias are removed from the picture, Yache Berry Garchomp becomes much more difficult to bring down. Other Pursuit users like Scizor can also be effective. It should also be noted that Garchomp is one of the best potential receivers of a Shell Break boost from Baton Pass, notably from Gorebyss. Garchomp is immune to Electric-type attacks aimed at Gorebyss, and to Thundurus's priority Thunder Wave. It also has the bulk to stand up to most weaker priority attacks. If Yache Berry Garchomp is being used as the receiver of a Baton Pass Chain, you can replace Swords Dance with Aqua Tail.</p> [SET] name: Choice Band move 1: Outrage move 2: Dragon Claw move 3: Earthquake move 4: Fire Blast / Fire Fang / Aqua Tail item: Choice Band nature: Jolly / Adamant ability: Sand Veil evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Choice Band Garchomp makes an excellent wallbreaker, capable of smashing through even the toughest of physical walls. Thanks to its excellent STAB combination and alternative coverage moves, it can achieve perfect coverage with both power and flexibility/consistency. This set is used to hit and run. In a metagame where Choice Band in general has lost a lot of popularity (compared with previous generations), Garchomp makes for a formidable Choice Band user.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>Outrage, Dragon Claw and Earthquake all have their uses and provide power, flexibility and coverage. Choosing between Fire Blast and Fire Fang is a bit more complicated when the boost from Choice Band is added to the mix. Adamant Fire Fang does 40.7% - 47.9% damage to physically defensive Skarmory and 52.7% - 62.3% to specially defensive variants. Inversely, Fire Blast does 51.5% - 61.1% to the former and a mere 35.3% - 41.9% to the later. The choice should probably be made while considering the most current metagame shifts. Fire Blast is probably a good bet if you are using Jolly Garchomp.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>Because of the wallbreaking capabilities of this Garchomp, it will especially appreciate set-up sweeper teammates, most preferably priority users like Conkeldurr and Lucario, which are incredibly proficient at finishing off weakened teams. Excadrill can be a very capable teammate by similar logic, and both enjoy the same sand weather. Spikes and Stealth Rock support can put the enemy between a rock and a hard place considering all the switches induced by the raw power of this Garchomp's attacks.</p> [SET] name: Chomp Tank move 1: Stealth Rock / Dragon Claw move 2: Dragon Tail move 3: Earthquake move 4: Protect / Aqua Tail item: Leftovers nature: Jolly ability: Sand Veil evs: 252 HP / 76 Def / 120 SpD / 60 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>This set takes full advantage of Garchomp's fantastic bulk, which is statistically higher than that of Swampert and Heatran, ranking it amongst the bulkiest of OU's Pokemon, and capable support movepool. With its new toy, Dragon Tail, Garchomp can abuse its awesome STAB combo while including Protect, Stealth Rock and phazing all on the same set. Very few Pokemon create Substitutes able to hold up to its Dragon Tail, which lets it phaze even through Taunt. A general lack of weaknesses combined with power, speed, and bulk makes Garchomp a terrific check to a number of threats including Heatran, Tyranitar, Terrakion, and Excadrill.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>The EVs are set first to outrun neutral base 90 Speed Pokemon, with the remaining EVs utilized to maximize Garchomp's durability. 76 Def EVs let it survive a +2 Earthquake from Air Balloon Excadrill. Protect lets Garchomp scout and heal a bit more with Leftovers. Substitute could replace Protect to abuse Sand Veil, but it loses a lot of utility with the relatively low Speed and power of this Garchomp set. Garchomp can be EVed to make 101 HP Substitutes as well. Roar is also an option over Dragon Tail, providing perfect accuracy and phazing through Substitute (though it has issues with Taunt).</p> <p>Dragon Claw could replace any move to provide reliable Dragon-type STAB, preferably over Stealth Rock, should you have another Stealth Rock user. If you don't use Stealth Rock, Rough Skin makes for a fine alternative ability. Rocky Helmet could be used with Rough Skin for even more passive damage. Haban Berry is another interesting defensive item that could be used to get surprise revenge kills with Dragon Claw, but giving up on Leftovers represents a big loss in tanking ability.</p> <p>Do keep in mind that because this set greatly reduces Garchomp's Speed, it will be integral to include teammates that can deal with enemy Dragon-types looking to revenge kill Garchomp—probably the set's greatest weakness. Skarmory and Ferrothorn come as especially good teammates, able to sponge Dragon-type attacks, work on stall or semi-stall teams, and provide entry hazards to make the most of Dragon Tail. Bronzong is also capable of handling most Dragon-types (notably Choice Specs Latios), and can also provide Stealth Rock support, freeing Garchomp of the role and allowing it to abuse Rough Skin.</p> [OTHER OPTIONS] <p>There are some options to discuss with Garchomp. Stone Edge, Brick Break, and Crunch are other attacks Garchomp could make use of. Unfortunately, they all have very situational uses and are generally repetitive alongside its STAB attacks. Dual Chop could replace Dragon Claw on almost any set, sacrificing 10% accuracy for the ability to potentially hit through Substitutes. Early DPP saw the birth of mixed Garchomp, and Draco Meteor or Surf combined with some Special Attack EVs could still be used as a gimmick to take down enemies like Hippowdon and Gliscor.</p> <P>Toxic is a status move Garchomp has, and could work (even on the Choice sets) to debilitate bulky Water- or Ground-types that try to check Garchomp. Substitute can be used to try and fully abuse Garchomp's Sand Veil. Unfortunately, a much faster metagame, a ban on Bright Powder and Lax Incense, and the overwhelming popularity of Politoed and Ninetales make Sand Veil abuse much more difficult in BW. Also, a defensive set with RestTalk could be used for reliable recovery, as well as that fast Dragon Tail. Unfortunately, Rough Skin is illegal with Sleep Talk.</p> [CHECKS AND COUNTERS] <p>It's hard to name a perfect counter for Garchomp, but Skarmory will give almost all Garchomp sets a difficult time by easily walling its STAB moves. One must be careful of potential Fire-type attacks, and be aware that there is little Skarmory can do against Garchomp aside from phazing it. Levitate Bronzong with Hidden Power Ice handles Garchomp very well, and can even absorb its Fire-type attacks with relative ease. While it may seem like an over-specialized counter, it is surprisingly useful in BW, being able to counter very dominant threats like Latios, Landorus, Excadrill and Gliscor in addition to Garchomp. Cloyster is another Pokemon viable in OU that can completely counter Garchomp. Its huge physical bulk allows it to shrug off Garchomp's attacks even after taking Stealth Rock damage, and BW's boosted Icicle Spear will make short work of Garchomp. You may not want to include Cloyster as a sole Garchomp check because filling that role will detract from Cloyster's sweeping abilities, but be aware that it is a very powerful check.</p> <p>Levitating Pokemon, Flying-types, and Air Balloon users have a good chance of setting up on Garchomp, especially with the increased popularity of the Choice Scarf set. Air Balloon Heatran, in particular, resists everything Garchomp could throw out save for the relatively rare Aqua Tail. Should Heatran get in against Garchomp on a Choiced attack or with its Air Balloon unscathed, it can comfortably stay in and finish the job with Dragon Pulse or Hidden Power Ice (both being fit more easily onto Heatran's set due to BW's Explosion nerf). Amongst potential set-up sweepers, Excadrill is especially notable as it is faster than Choice Scarf Garchomp in the sand and OHKOes Garchomp with Earthquake after using Swords Dance. It even resists Dragon-type attacks (though it will not like taking Outrage).</p> <p>Finally, scraping the bottom of the barrel, Ice Shard users like Weavile and Mamoswine obviously revenge kill Garchomp effectively, while other priority users like Scizor and Conkeldurr can beat Garchomp should it be heavily weakened. Deoxys-S will outspeed the Choice Scarf set and can eliminate it with Ice Beam.</p> [DREAM WORLD] <p>Rough Skin can replace Sand Veil on most sets (especially if you lack Tyranitar or Hippowdon), but most Garchomp will only be taking two to three hits per game, and Sand Veil's evasive abilities can dramatically change the outcome of games with a timely miss.