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Gengar (Update) [QC 2/2] [GP 2/2] [DONE]

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by Jorgen, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    [Overview]

    <p>Gengar is an interesting Pokemon. It gets a wonderful movepool with super effective coverage and kamikaze moves that can hurt pretty much anything the OU tier has to offer. However, since Shadow Ball is physical, Gengar gets no special STAB to run off that amazing base 130 Special Attack. Gengar is also very frail, and while its Ghost typing is very useful for capitalizing off foes that only run a Normal STAB for an attacking move, it's vulnerable to Pursuit and cannot take a hit that it doesn't resist. Plus, as a Ghost-type, Misdreavus outclasses it as a spinblocker, Perish trapper, and Snorlax counter because of Gengar's unfortunate weaknesses to Earthquake and Starmie's Psychic. Furthermore, its Speed, while great, is eclipsed by Raikou's and Starmie's, which leads to particularly relevant match-up problems. In spite of these issues, Gengar is the tier's best assassin, being able to take down pretty much anything it wants to with Explosion, Destiny Bond, wonderful type coverage, or some sort of surprise. To get the most out of it, Gengar users should be sure to play to its strengths, keep their prediction caps on, know how to utilize the element of surprise, and be wary of letting it take any kind of status or unresisted hit.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Assassin
    move 1: Thunderbolt / Thunder
    move 2: Ice Punch
    move 3: Hypnosis / DynamicPunch
    move 4: Explosion / Destiny Bond
    item: Leftovers

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This is the standard Gengar set that maximizes its ability to threaten the GSC metagame. This set hits pretty much everything hard. The Electric-type move is Gengar's pseudo-STAB and, running off its high base 130 Special Attack, is what keeps bulky Water-types with high Special Defense, such as Suicune and Vaporeon, from switching in. Thunderbolt is generally preferred because Gengar is too frail to afford to miss a lot, but Thunder is a good option for the increased paralysis chance, which is particularly useful against the speedier Raikou. Ice Punch is the next move and, aside from keeping Ground-types at bay, hits Zapdos and Exeggutor super effectively. It can also be used for its freeze chance in match-ups where the opponent cannot touch Gengar, such as when Gengar switches in against Miltank or Seismic Toss Heracross. The next moveslot is generally reserved for Gengar's method of dealing with checks other than killing itself. Hypnosis is the most generally effective move, being able to put any one counter out of commission. However, Hypnosis can be caught easily by a Sleep Talk user if it is well-predicted, so it must be used judiciously. Furthermore, if sleep is used once it cannot be used again, making Hypnosis an unreliable move for dealing with foes such as Pursuit Tyranitar. For this reason, DynamicPunch is a viable alternative, as it hits Tyranitar hard enough to 2HKO it. DynamicPunch is also good for putting Snorlax and Umbreon switch-ins into Explosion KO range after Spikes damage. Finally, the last moveslot deals with Gengar's kamikaze tactics for taking out opponents. Explosion is the preferred choice as Gengar tends to draw in sleep absorbers and physically weak special walls and because Gengar is frequently chosen specifically to KO Raikou and has no other options to do that. However, if Raikou isn't a problem, you can opt instead for Destiny Bond, which is a more reliable way to take out opposing Tyranitar, CurseLax, and Steelix. All of these are slower than Gengar, take little damage from its BoltBeam combo, and can frequently have multiple Curses under their belts, making Destiny Bond the preferred (and often game-saving) way to deal with them.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Gengar pairs well with teammates that enjoy having its assassination targets removed. Zapdos makes an excellent partner, as two of its main counters, Raikou and Snorlax, are two of Gengar's more common Explosion targets. If Gengar is using Destiny Bond, it can goad Tyranitar or Steelix into attacking and killing themselves. This can be useful for Snorlax, as these Normal-resisting Pokemon can frequently give it trouble.</p>

    <p>Gengar is not just a role-playing assassin, but also works fantastically as an offensive powerhouse in its own right. It really enjoys using its immunities and its speed to avoid taking as many hits as possible. While it can be effective as a lead, Gengar is often better used later in the match, when opposing Pokemon are weakened and likely in OHKO or 2HKO range of Gengar's super effective attacks. However, if the opponent is using a Normal-type without any coverage moves, such as Miltank or a mono-attacking Snorlax, be sure to switch Gengar in early and often to take advantage of the opponent's inability to deal damage to it. If you plan to do this with Gengar, though, you should either be using DynamicPunch or be very careful with Hypnosis to ensure you can deal with Tyranitar, which is likely on the opponent's team because of the fact that they are using a Pokemon incapable of touching Gengar. Furthermore, if the opponent is using a wall that Gengar is typically used specifically to kill, such as Raikou, do not be afraid to pull the trigger with Explosion, especially if you have been throwing out attacking moves the whole time. The opponent will likely be perfectly willing to chance having their Sleep Talk Raikou killed when the risk of trying to predict an Explosion is more damaging than the risk of more super effective attacks and a possible Hypnosis against the rest of their team. Just make sure that Raikou has taken a slight amount of damage or is paralyzed when you pull the trigger, as a full-health Raikou can usually survive Gengar's Explosion and, since it outspeeds everything, easily use Rest to undo the Explosion damage without the fear of being revenge killed.</p>

    <p>Gengar can ditch the standard fare for the third option in favor of Mean Look. Using Mean Look prevents a switch-in such as Raikou from switching back out in an attempt to predict an Explosion, allowing Gengar to Explode safely. Mean Look also pairs well with Destiny Bond, as it prevents a mixed attacker such as Tyranitar from switching out to avoid knocking Gengar out when it's using Destiny Bond. Hypnosis might seem an intuitive move to pair with Mean Look, but sleep trapping (sleep move + Mean Look) is sometimes outright banned and, if not, is typically looked down upon. If sleep trapping is allowed, though, Gengar with Hypnosis and Mean Look can be an effective set. Forgoing either Ice Punch or Thunderbolt for Nightmare or Curse can make a sleep trapping Gengar particularly deadly. In addition to making room for Mean Look, the third moveslot could be forgone to allow room for Gengar to use Destiny Bond and Explosion on the same set. This allows Gengar to be more flexible with its assassination attempts. Explosion allows it to do serious damage to Raikou, Zapdos, and unboosted Snorlax, whereas Destiny Bond allows Gengar to take down Tyranitar, Steelix, and Curse-boosted Snorlax.</p>

    <p>Fire Punch could be inserted somewhere on the set, usually over the second or third moveslots. It's mostly useful for Steelix, which does not take super effective damage from BoltBeam, does heavy damage to Gengar with STAB super effective Earthquakes, and ruins Gengar's attempts at Exploding thanks to its ludicrous Defense and Steel typing. Fire Punch also allows Gengar to counter Curse Heracross, which otherwise sets up with impunity against BoltBeam, and allows Gengar to OHKO Forretress, which can otherwise set up Spikes against Gengar without taking too much damage in return. However, Fire Punch is a poor coverage option outside of these particular match-ups. Ice Punch is rarely foregone as it 3HKOes Zapdos and Ground-types, whereas DynamicPunch or Hypnosis is preferred in the third moveslot to give Gengar a way to beat Tyranitar, which otherwise Pursuits it to death.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Perish Trapper
    move 1: Perish Song
    move 2: Mean Look
    move 3: Protect
    move 4: Thunderbolt / Thunder
    item: Leftovers

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This set is basically the classic Thunder Misdreavus set slapped onto Gengar. Gengar's Poison typing generally makes it inferior for this role because this makes it take a lot more damage from Earthquake and Psychic, making Perish trap much more difficult to pull off. However, what Gengar has over Misdreavus is that nobody expects Perish trap from Gengar. Seriously, nobody sees this coming. Opponents will likely stay away from bringing their phazer in on a potential Hypnosis when scouting out Gengar's set and will instead frequently bring in their Sleep Talk Raikou or Zapdos looking to absorb Hypnosis or will try to stall you out with their non-Earthquake Snorlax only to find out that you just set up Mean Look and plan to kill it with Perish Song. Mean Look and Perish Song form the eponymous Perish trap combo that kills anything that can't phaze Gengar the turn that immediately follows the switch-in, and Protect allows Gengar to survive an onslaught from a Sleep Talk using Electric-type while it waits out the Perish Song turns. This is necessary, because otherwise Gengar is 2HKOed by Raikou and Zapdos, two common foes it is likely to bait and kill with this set. The last moveslot is commandeered by Gengar's Electric-type pseudo-STAB for two reasons. The first is to limit the range of phazers that would be able to switch in against Gengar to stop its Perish trap routine. Skarmory in particular is a very common phazer, as is Roar Suicune. Secondly, and more importantly, having Gengar's main attacking move allows Gengar to bluff its standard set and catch opponents off guard. This is crucial to Gengar's success as a Perish trapper, as without the element of surprise, Gengar is outclassed as a Perish trapper by the pure Ghost-type, Misdreavus. As usual, Thunderbolt is typically preferred for its accuracy given Gengar's low defenses; however, Thunder can be used for the increased paralysis chance, which can be helpful when trying to pull off Perish trap against a foe such as Roar Raikou.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Above all else, it should be stressed that Gengar needs to utilize the element of surprise to make this set work, lest it be outclassed by Misdreavus. As such, it's probably best to scout your opponent a bit by first tossing out a few Thunderbolts or switching out if you expect a Pursuit Tyranitar switch-in. It's also a good idea to avoid using sleep moves if any of your other Pokemon have them unless you think you can put the phazers that counter Gengar to sleep. The idea is to keep the opponent wary of Gengar possibly using Hypnosis to incapacitate their phazer. If your opponent keeps sending phazers into Gengar, it's a good idea to wear them down and either force them to Rest, have them paralyzed, or have them in Gengar's KO range before you bring it out again. If your opponent brings in a Sleep Talk user or Snorlax to check Gengar the first time you bring it out, the next time you bring Gengar out you can pull the trigger and try to catch these switch-ins with Perish trap. If all else fails, if you suspect that the opponent's Snorlax does not carry Earthquake, you can switch Gengar in as Snorlax is setting up Curses and see how the opponent reacts. If Snorlax continues to Curse up, it's likely to try to stall you out and you should be safe to try to KO Snorlax with Perish trap. In general, just make sure you are reasonably certain the opponent is not going to switch a phazer into Gengar as you use Mean Look, lest you lose the surprise factor for nothing.</p>

    <p>Gengar could run a couple of other attacking options in its attacking moveslot to hit different threats while bluffing its standard set. Ice Punch is almost always seen on Gengar, and it can be useful for preventing switch-ins by the Ground-type Pokemon that can phaze or OHKO Gengar. DynamicPunch is less frequently seen on the standard Gengar, but it is plausible and can hurt Tyranitar for major damage and confuse other phazers should you need to buy a turn to pull off Perish trap. Fire Punch is very rarely seen on Gengar but it's still plausible on the main set and can keep Steelix from switching in and stopping you cold. The Electric-type move is usually preferred because it is Gengar's strongest available attacking option that the standard set would be the least likely to go without.</p>

    <p>Perish trap Gengar has the option of running two attacking moves. For example, Gengar can forgo Protect to use Ice Punch to complete the BoltBeam combo. This gives Gengar the famous attacking coverage of its standard set and makes it easier to bluff that set. However, without Protect, Gengar cannot withstand enough neutral hits from any reasonably strong STAB move to KO with Perish trap. This makes it difficult to KO Sleep Talk Raikou or Zapdos with Perish trap, although Snorlax without Earthquake is still easy to catch and kill.</p>

    <p>Gengar could use Confuse Ray to screw up phazers or Destiny Bond to try to take certain threats down with it if it's been found out. However, these options either leave Gengar without a damaging move, thereby making it much more likely to be discovered, or without Protect, which makes Perish trapping more difficult to pull off. One non-damaging move that would seem to pair perfectly with Perish trap but is not an option is Hypnosis. This is because using a sleep move alongside Perish Song and an indefinite trapping move (Mean Look or Spider Web) is banned in any serious GSC match.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>While Gengar has a plethora of options available, most of its alternative move options have already been discussed. However, one undiscussed option is Counter, which can bounce back non-STAB Earthquakes from Snorlax or Tyranitar, or even weaker STAB Earthquakes from Steelix or Nidoking, for a KO. STAB Rock Slides from Tyranitar or non-STAB Hidden Powers and Rock Slides from Machamp are also excellent moves to bounce back with Counter. However, Counter is a fairly situational surprise, as many Snorlax do not carry Earthquake, many Tyranitar have the non-physical Crunch to nail Gengar, Nidoking has a slight chance to OHKO Gengar with Earthquake, and most of these threats can always just use Curse to have enough Attack to OHKO Gengar. However, that last point about Curse users could be taken advantage of by pairing Counter with Destiny Bond.</p>

    [Checks & Counters]

    <p>Gengar has no 100% counters, as it has ways to screw over any and every potential check. The best all-around check is Raikou, as it outspeeds Gengar, can survive Explosion at full health, can neutralize the Explosion threat with Reflect, and can even use Sleep Talk to negate the Hypnosis threat or Roar to negate the Perish trap threat. Umbreon is another top check, as it does not take a lot of damage from DynamicPunch, takes only 65-77% from Explosion, and can Pursuit Gengar to death or counter-trap a Perish trapping Gengar with a Mean Look and Baton Pass set. However, Umbreon can still be killed by Explosion if it's been weakened, can be caught by Hypnosis, and Pursuit Umbreon cannot KO Gengar quickly enough to beat the Perish trap set. Dark-types with higher Special Attack such as Tyranitar and Houndoom do a better job of using Pursuit against Gengar, and Tyranitar resists Explosion while frequently carrying Roar to deal with a high-health Perish trap Gengar. However, these threats, in addition to being vulnerable to Destiny Bond and Hypnosis, are hit hard by the potential DynamicPunch. Steelix makes a solid check to Gengar as well, since it doesn't take super effective damage from BoltBeam, resists Explosion, and just barely misses out on an OHKO with Earthquake. However, Steelix can be worn down with several Ice Punches on the switch, and of course, it is weak to the occasional Fire Punch and can always be caught by Destiny Bond or Hypnosis. Snorlax also makes a great check for Gengar, especially if it has Earthquake. It takes paltry damage from Gengar's non-STAB special attacks and only takes 28-33% from DynamicPunch and 69-81% from Explosion, even less after Curse. However, without Earthquake, Snorlax has to rely on trying to outstall Gengar, making it vulnerable to the Ice Punch freeze or even the potential Perish trap KO. Even with Earthquake, Gengar can always surprise Snorlax with Destiny Bond, incapacitate it with Hypnosis, or KO a weakened Snorlax with Explosion. Quagsire makes an okay check as it does not take super effective damage from BoltBeam while hitting back hard with STAB Earthquake, although as with most things, it can be beaten by Hypnosis, Destiny Bond, or Explosion. Blissey also sponges Gengar's special moves like a champ, although it does nothing to force Gengar out, takes a lot of damage from DynamicPunch, can be killed by Explosion, and can be ruined as a Heal Bell supporter by Hypnosis.</p>

    <p>Aside from the above checks, there are a few other Pokemon that don't match as well with Gengar one-on-one, but can still step in to tango with it if need be. Zapdos is one of these. It frequently has Sleep Talk, so Hypnosis isn't too big of a deal, and can hit Gengar hard and possibly paralyze it with STAB Thunder, although it is 3HKOed by Ice Punch and can always be KOed in return by Explosion or Destiny Bond. In addition, Ice-weak Ground-types such as Rhydon, Nidoking, and Marowak can hit hard enough to OHKO Gengar, so if they manage to switch in as Gengar Thunderbolts, it can be forced to switch out, ceding offensive momentum to you. However, one Ice Punch on the switch effectively ruins these Pokemon, and not just as Gengar counters, so do this sparingly. In addition to Ice-weak foes that can hit hard in return, anything that can take BoltBeam reasonably well can act as a Gengar counter in some form. Misdreavus, your own Gengar, Heracross (barring Fire Punch), and even Miltank can all switch into Gengar to take its hits and force it to use its surprise tactics to beat you. However, keep in mind that unless you have a way to force Gengar to switch out, such as Earthquake on Heracross or Perish trap on Misdreavus, Gengar can always stay in and just go for the freeze with Ice Punch.</p>
  2. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    Ready for QC checks
  3. Crystal_

    Crystal_
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    I think I'm approving this right away. Great work Jorgen!

    I personally kinda feel that the overview, is a bit messed up. If I didn't know how good Gengar was, it kinda first says that it's interesting, then it's bad, then it's good again, and finally lol idk. Maybe it's just me though... And maybe it's a bit to small for an overview?

    Seems to me that you give much more weight to the ban in this second part, while the first part kinda says that sometimes it's banned and sometimes not, kinda like what you would say for rby wrap.

    grass and water also hit ttar for se damage, hp 3hkoes ttar after spikes damage which is useful. and water also hits houndoom for se (heh, it pursuits). maybe mention that a big drawback is that they lower your DVs, grass does it down to 299 hp (water to 307), so maybe say alongside giga that hpgrass is not worth it because of that or something.

    And I can't think of anythign else to say. Great work!

    Approved 1/2
  4. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    Gengar is a bit of a mixed bag, though, so I feel like the overview should reflect that. It's already listed as OU, so even those unfamiliar with GSC should know that, overall, it's a good mon.

    About referring to the bans with different weights: the first time I mention it, I'm referring to Sleep Trap in general (which isn't banned in most Smogon GSC tournaments), whereas the second one is referring to Sleep Trap + Psong (which is always banned).

    I might actually just shorten the HP Water description because it's kind of in the depths of OO where, yeah, it's theoretically an option, but seriously don't use this crap. So adding a description about why not to use HP Grass instead of Giga is kinda pointless imo because in the end, you really shouldn't be using either.

    Also upon ctrl-F'ing for Starmie I realize that I mentioned it a grand total of once. I should definitely talk more about it and how it makes Gengar an inferior spinblocker to Missy, but I'm not sure where the best place to bring that up would be. It doesn't pertain to any one set, just to Gengar in general, so should I bring it up in the set description/AC section for both sets, or talk about it more in the overview, or both, or what?
  5. Crystal_

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    oh lol true, nevermind, sorry.

    Maybe the overview could show a bit of gar vs missy, something like gar's more versatile, unpredictable, much better sweeper, explosion, etc but missy's not part poison so resists psychic so better spinblocker vs psychic starmie, better trapper, also better suited for some defensive duties such as non-eq snorlax etc.
  6. .Maguss.

    .Maguss.

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    It looks weird when you suggest something you're never going to use, like Hidden Power [Water]. But it even worse when you suggest something saying it is an inferior option. So why I'll use it? It's like suggesting Ursaring over Snorlax; it can do something different (Roar), but in all, it's an inferior option.

    You can't use Explosion on this set. It's illegal.
  7. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    Oh wow I totally forgot about Explosion being illegal with Psong.

    And yeah you're right about most of the OO section.
  8. Crystal_

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    I'm personally okay with how the OO section is right now. You clearly say that they are inferior options and not recommended, and inferior options are what OO is for afterall.
  9. .Maguss.

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    Definitelly not. If it is not recommended, just ignore it. Other Options should list the good and very useful surprise options, like Counter.
  10. Crystal_

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    I think apart from Counter, at least HP water should stay. But yeah, remove Shadow Ball and Psychic... Giga is a toss up imo, I won't mind if it's removed or not.
  11. Chou Toshio

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    I wonder if in the overview it's worth mentioning Gengar's flaw of having no STAB moves. Or rather, it has a tremendous Special Attack, but both Ghost and Poison (don't even get poison moves) are physical.

    A lot of younger members who didn't know about (or are just getting into) 1-3rd gen might not easily remember that you can't just expect Gengar to use Shadow Ball.
  12. Tamahome

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    I agree that Counter should be mentioned. About the other moves like HP Water, it's up to you imo...

    Also agreeing with the post above. Some people, even when playing ADV, think that Shadow Ball is a special move, and since these analyses aren't just for old people, I think it's worth mentioning the STAB issue.

    Approved (2/2)
  13. Borat

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    I've never used gengar with HP water. Why is this desirable again? Fire hits steelix/egg/skarm, ice hits egg/zap/nido/marowak, thunderbolt hits cune/vap/starmie/cloy/skarm. Water would hit steelix/nido/marowak? Ttar doesn't count since it takes like 20% from it.

    The main reason for this bias is because any dual attacking gengar "should" run ice punch. Freeze is too good to pass up, and Zapdos coverage is the most important out of all mentioned, egg second. Water overlaps wayy too much imo.

    Not saying it's not viable, just saying... it's not really viable lol.
  14. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    The idea with HP Water is to nail Steelix and Rhydon and kinda Ttar too (30-36% is the actual damage calc, which is actually decent damage coming from a 100% accurate Gengar attack). Coverage against other Grounds is a bonus. This way, you have all the coverage you need in only 2 moves to force a relevant Explosion, as all the normal resists are covered to some extent by Electric/Water. You're not outright KOing Zapdos or Egg unless you blow up, but that's the price you pay. At least you still have some way to kill them.

    That being said there's a reason HP Water is OO and not AC or a main set slash, but in the newest revision, I firmly believe that HP Water can actually be a worthwhile option if Gengar's sole purpose for you is to pull off a "relevant" Explosion, hence why it's staying in OO.

    EDIT: Updated the OP taking into account QC's suggestions. GP, it's your time to shine.
  15. Crystal_

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    Hp water usually 3hkoes ttar after spikes.

    I'd say it's just an inferior alternative for the Dpunch/Hypnosis/MeanLook/FirePunch slot. But still worth a mention in OO imo. Heh, I've gotten away with even inferior OO moves in some rby analyses.
  16. .Maguss.

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    If you say it IS an inferior alternative, then it doesn't worth a mention at all.
  17. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    Given the vocal opposition to HP Water (yeah I know it's been over a month, better late than never) I'm removing the mention of HP Water to remove any ambiguity in QC approval status for potential GPers (it's definitely ready for GP checks). Upon further review it turns out I spent a whole paragraph defending it as a worthwhile option, which is pretty telling.
  18. Borat

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    Just to nitpick on a couple points:

    Gengar is the one pokemon where I feel thunderbolt is the only real option. I'm hugely biased towards thunder, yet with gengar, I'd never touch it. On zapdos/raikou it makes sense because it hits snorlax just that much harder. It makes playing with snorlax so awkward having to switch into 27-30% + spikes + paralysis. It makes playing raikou/zapdos that much more awkward as well. You can read your opponent like a book, you can predict the world, but you can't predict luck. And thunder rides luck. And on nidoking, it makes a lot of sense to at least have a shot at the 3hko on cune, AND to break the speed tie. And definitely prevents starmie from switching in altogether. Hits for like 90% on cloyster which is sweet.

    Anyway, back to gengar. The only reasoning I could find was that it'll potentially para raikou. That's zapdos/raikou's job. If by chance you're getting enough opportunities to actually do it, you should just explode on it. Not necessarily because Raikou is a better pokemon (albeit that much is true), but odds are, Raikou serves a much greater purpose to your opponent's team than Gengar to yours. Gengar is a "splashable" poke, Raikou is a core member. Always.

    And as for the moveset itself, I think Mean Look is a far better standard than dpunch. I think it's more popular anyway. Third slot should be Hypnosis/Mean Look. DP should be left for other options. Counter could be an option here.

    For the 4th slot, it should just be Explosion. Destiny Bond should definitely be left for "other options". My personal favorite in this slot is Perish song [with mean look obviously] since you're actually doing something to the mono curselax you've just trapped.

    For the perish trapper, I honestly don't think thunderbolt (again no thunder!) is the best attack here. Since it'd just be an inferior misdreavus. I think ice punch or firepunch works equally well; icepunch might actually be the best option here.

    Of course, that whole set is a gray area. Hell, gengar is a gray area. Just list 10-12 common moves and pick any 4.
  19. .Maguss.

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    Are you saying use Perish Song over Explosion? Because you can't Perish Song and Explosion on the same set.
  20. Borat

    Borat

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    Yes I am.
  21. NixHex

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    [Overview]

    <p>Gengar is an interesting Pokemon. It gets a wonderful movepool with super-effective coverage and kamikaze moves that can hurt pretty much anything the tier has to offer. However, since Shadow Ball is Physical, it gets no Special STAB to run off that amazing base 130 Special Attack. Gengar is also very frail, and while its Ghost typing is very useful for capitalizing off foes that only run a Normal STAB for an attacking move, it's vulnerable to Pursuit and cannot take a hit that it doesn't resist. Plus, as a Ghost-type, Misdreavus outclasses it as a spinblocker, Perish Trapper, and Snorlax counter because of Gengar's unfortunate weaknesses to Earthquake and Starmie's Psychic. Furthermore, its Speed, while great, is eclipsed by Raikou's and Starmie's speeds, which leads to particularly relevant matchup problems. In spite of these issues, Gengar is the tier's best assassin, being able to take down pretty much anything it wants to with Explosion, Destiny Bond, wonderful type coverage, or some sort of surprise. To get the most out of it, Gengar users should be sure to play to Gengar'its strengths, keep their prediction caps on, know how to abuse the element of surprise, and be wary of letting it take any kind of status or unresisted hit.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Assassin
    move 1: Thunderbolt / Thunder
    move 2: Ice Punch
    move 3: Hypnosis / DynamicPunch
    move 4: Explosion / Destiny Bond
    item: Leftovers

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This is the standard Gengar set that maximizes its ability to threaten the GSC metagame. This set hits pretty much everything hard. The Electric move is Gengar's pseudo-STAB and, running off Gengar's high base 130 special attack, is what keeps bulky Water-types with high special defense such as Suicune and Vaporeon from switching in. Thunderbolt is generally preferred because Gengar is too frail to afford to miss a lot, but Thunder is an good option for the increased paralysis chance, which is particularly useful against the speedier Raikou. Ice Punch is the next move and, aside from keeping Ground-types at bay, hits Zapdos and Exeggutor super- effectively. It can also be abused for its Freeze chance in matchups where the opponent cannot touch Gengar, such as when Gengar switches in against Miltank or Seismic Toss Heracross. The next moveslot is generally reserved for Gengar's method of dealing with checks that do not involve Gengar killing itself. Hypnosis is the most generally effective move, being able to put any one counter out of commission. However, Hypnosis can be caught easily by a Sleep Talker if it is well-predicted, so it must be used judiciously. Furthermore, if sleep is used once it cannot be used again, making Hypnosis an unreliable move for dealing with foes such as Pursuit Tyranitar. For this reason, DynamicPunch is a viable alternative, as it hits Tyranitar hard enough to 2HKO it. DynamicPunch is also good for putting Snorlax and Umbreon switch-ins into Explosion KO range after Spikes damage. Finally, the last moveslot deals with Gengar's kamikaze tactics for taking out opponents. Explosion is the preferred choice as Gengar tends to draw in sleep absorbers and physically weak special walls before Normal resistors, and because Gengar is frequently chosen specifically to KO Raikou and has no other options to do that. However, if Raikou isn't a problem one, you can opt instead for Destiny Bond, which is a more reliable way to take out opposing Tyranitar, CurseLax, and Steelix. All of these are slower than Gengar, take little damage from Gengar's BoltBeam combo, and can frequently have multiple Curses under their belts, making Destiny Bond the preferred (and often game-saving) way of dealing with them.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Gengar pairs well with teammates that enjoy having its assassination targets removed. Zapdos makes an excellent partner, as two of its main Ccounters, Raikou and Snorlax, are two of Gengar's more common Explosion targets. If Gengar is using Destiny Bond, it can goad Tyranitar or Steelix into attacking and killing themselves. This can be useful for Snorlax, as having these Normal-resisting Pokemon can frequently give it trouble.</p>

    <p>Gengar is not just a role-playing assassin, but also works fantastically as an offensive powerhouse in its own right. It really enjoys abusing its immunities and its Speed to avoid taking as many hits as possible. While it can be effective as a lead, Gengar is often better used later in the match, when opposing Pokemon are weakened and likely in OHKO or 2HKO range of Gengar's super- effective attacks, thereby allowing Gengar to force a lot of switches and avoid taking hits. However, if the opponent is using a Normal-type without any coverage moves, such as Miltank or a mono-attacking Snorlax, be sure to switch Gengar in early and often to abuse the opponent's inability to deal damage to Gengarit. If you plan to do this with Gengar, though, you should either be using DynamicPunch or be very careful with Hypnosis to ensure you can deal with Tyranitar, who is likely on the opponent's team because of the fact that they are using a Pokemon incapable of touching Gengar. Furthermore, if the opponent is using a wall that Gengar is typically used specifically to kill, such as Raikou, do not be afraid to pull the trigger with Explosion, especially if you have been throwing out attacking moves the whole time. The opponent will likely be perfectly willing to chance having their Sleep Talk Raikou killed when the risk of trying to catch an Explosion is more super-effective attacks and a possible Hypnosis against the rest of their team. Just make sure that Raikou is in KO range or paralyzed when you pull the trigger, as a full-health Raikou can usually survive Gengar's Explosion and, since it outspeeds everything, can easily use Rest to undo the Explosion damage without the fear of being revenge killed.</p>

    <p>Gengar can ditch the standard fare for the third option in favor of Mean Look. Using Mean Look prevents a switch-in such as Raikou from switching back out in an attempt to predict an Explosion, allowing Gengar to Explode on Raikou safely. Mean Look also pairs well with Destiny Bond, as it prevents a mixed attacker such as Tyranitar from trying to avoid killing Gengar when it's using Destiny Bond. Hypnosis might seem an intuitive move to pair with Mean Look, but Sleep Trap is sometimes outright banned and, if not, is typically looked down upon. If Sleep Trap is allowed, though, Gengar with Hypnosis and Mean Look can be an effective set. Forgoing either Ice Punch or Thunderbolt for Curse or Nightmare can make a Sleep Trapping Gengar particularly deadly. In addition to making room for Mean Look, the third moveslot could be forgone to allow room for Gengar to use Destiny Bond and Explosion on the same set. This allows Gengar to be more flexible with its assassination attempts. Explosion allows it to KO Raikou and unboosted Snorlax, whereas Destiny Bond allows Gengar to take down Tyranitar, Steelix, and Curse-boosted Snorlax.</p>

    <p>Furthermore, Fire Punch could be inserted somewhere on the set, usually over the second or third moveslots. It's mostly useful for Steelix, who does not take super- effective damage from BoltBeam, does heavy damage to Gengar with STAB super- effective Earthquakes, and ruins Gengar's attempts at Exploding thanks to its ludicrous Defense and Steel typing. Fire Punch also allows Gengar to counter Curse Heracross, who otherwise sets up with impunity against BoltBeam, and also allows Gengar to OHKO Forretress, who can otherwise set up Spikes against Gengar without taking too much damage in return. However, Fire Punch is a poor coverage option outside of these particular matchups. Ice Punch is rarely foregone as it 3HKOes Zapdos and Ground-types, whereas DynamicPunch or Hypnosis is preferred in the third moveslot to give Gengar a way to beat the Tyranitars that otherwise Pursuit it to death.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Perish Trapper
    move 1: Perish Song
    move 2: Mean Look
    move 3: Protect
    move 4: Thunderbolt / Thunder
    item: Leftovers

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This set is basically the classic Thunder Misdreavus set slapped onto Gengar. Gengar's Poison-typing generally makes it inferior for this role because this makes it take a lot more damage from the common Earthquake and the less-common Psychic, making Perish Trap much more difficult to pull off. However, what Gengar has over Misdreavus is that nobody expects Perish Trap from Gengar. Seriously, nobody sees this coming. Opponents will likely stay away from bringing their Phazer in on a potential Hypnosis when scouting out Gengar's set, and will instead frequently bring in their Sleep Talk Raikou or Zapdos looking to absorb Hypnosis or will try to stall you out with their non-Earthquake Snorlax only to find out that you just set up Mean Look and plan to kill it with Perish Song. Mean Look and Perish Song form the eponymous Perish Trap combo that kills anything that can't Pphaze Gengar the turn that immediately follows the switch-in, and Protect allows Gengar to survive an onslaught from a Sleep Talking Electric while it waits out the Perish Song turns. This is necessary, because otherwise Gengar is 2HKOed by Raikou and Zapdos, two common foes it is likely to bait and kill with this set. The last moveslot is commandeered by Gengar's Electric-type pseudo-STAB for two reasons. The first is to limit the range of Pphazers that would be able to switch in against Gengar to stop its Perish Trap routine. Skarmory in particular is a very common Pphazer, as is Roar Suicune. Secondly, and more importantly, having Gengar's main attacking move allows Gengar to bluff its standard set and catch opponents off guard. This is crucial to Gengar's success as a Perish Trapper, as without the element of surprise, Gengar is outclassed as a Perish Trapper by the pure Ghost-type, Misdreavus. As usual, Thunderbolt is typically preferred for its accuracy given Gengar's frailty against neutral hits, however Thunder can be used for the increased paralysis chance, which can be helpful when trying to pull off Perish Trap against a foe such as Roar Raikou.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Above all else, it should be stressed that Gengar needs to abuse the element of surprise to make this set work, lest it be outclassed by Misdreavus. As such, it's probably best to scout your opponent a bit by first tossing out a few Thunderbolts or switching out if you expect a Pursuit Tyranitar switch-in. It's also a good idea to avoid using Sleep moves if any of your other Pokemon has them unless you think you can catch Gengar's Pphazing counters. The idea is to keep the opponent wary of Gengar possibly using Hypnosis to incapacitate their Pphazer. If your opponent keeps sending Phazers into Gengar, it's a good idea to wear them down and either force them to Rest, have them paralyzed, or have them in Gengar's KO range before you bring it out again. If your opponent brings in Sleep Talkers or Snorlax to check Gengar the first time you bring it out, the next time you bring Gengar out you can pull the trigger and try to catch these switch-ins with Perish Trap. If all else fails, if you suspect that the opponent's Snorlax does not carry Earthquake, you can switch Gengar in as Snorlax is setting up Curses and see how the opponent reacts. If Snorlax continues to Curse up, it's likely to try to stall you out and you should be safe to try to KO Snorlax with Perish Trap. In general, just make sure you are reasonably certain the opponent is not going to switch a Pphazer into Gengar as you use Mean Look, lest you lose the surprise factor for nothing.

    <p>Gengar could run a couple of other attacking options in its attacking moveslot to hit different threats while bluffing its standard set. Ice Punch is almost always seen on Gengar, and it can be useful in preventing switch-ins by the Ground-type Pokemon that can Phaze or OHKO Gengar. DynamicPunch is less frequently seen on the standard Gengar, but it is plausible and can hurt Tyranitar for major damage and confuse other Pphazers should you need to buy a turn to pull off Perish Trap. Fire Punch is very rarely seen on Gengar but it's still plausible on the main set and can keep Steelix from switching in and stopping you cold. The Electric move is usually preferred because it is Gengar's strongest available attacking option that the standard set would be the least likely to go without.</p>

    <p>Gengar has the option of running two attacking moves. For example, Gengar can forgo Protect to use Ice Punch to complete the BoltBeam combo. This allows Gengar the famous attacking coverage of its standard set and makes it easier to bluff that set. However, without Protect, Gengar cannot withstand enough neutral hits from any reasonably strong STAB move to KO with Perish Trap. This makes it difficult to KO Sleep Talk Raikou or mixed Tyranitar by surprise or to force Pphazing variants of these Pokemon to actually consider using Roar instead of attacking.</p>

    <p>Gengar could use Confuse Ray or Attract to screw up Phazers, or Destiny Bond to try to take certain threats down with it if it's been found out. However, these options either leave Gengar without a damaging move, thereby making it much more likely to be discovered, or without Protect, which makes Perish Trapping more difficult to pull off. One non-damaging move that would seem to pair perfectly with Perish Trap but is not an option is Hypnosis. This is because using a Sleep move alongside Perish Song and an indefinite trapping move (i.e., Mean Look or Spider Web) is banned in any serious GSC match.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>While Gengar has a plethora of options available, most of its alternative move options have already been discussed in the Additional Comments sections of each set. However, one hitherto-undiscussed option is Counter. Counter, which can bounce back non-STAB Earthquakes from Snorlax or Tyranitar, or even weaker STAB Earthquakes from Steelix or even Nidoking, for a KO. STAB Rock Slides from Tyranitar or non-STAB Hidden Powers and Rock Slides from Machamp are also excellent moves to bounce back with Counter. However, Counter is a fairly situational surprise, as many Snorlax do not carry Earthquake, many Tyranitar have the non-physical Crunch to nail Gengar, Nidoking has a slight chance to OHKO Gengar with Earthquake, and most of these threats can always just use Curse to have enough Attack to OHKO Gengar. However, that last point about Cursers could be abused by pairing Counter with Destiny Bond. However, this usually deprives Gengar of a moveslot for dealing with Raikou.</p>

    [Checks & Counters]

    <p>Gengar has no 100% counters, as it has ways to screw over any and every potential check. The best all-around check is Raikou, as it outspeeds Gengar, can survive Explosion at full health, can neutralize the Explosion threat with Reflect, and can even use Sleep Talk to negate the Hypnosis threat or Roar to negate the Perish Trap threat. Umbreon is another top check, as it does not take a lot of damage from DynamicPunch, takes only 65-77% from Explosion, and can Pursuit Gengar to death, although it can still be killed by Explosion if low on health, can be caught with Destiny Bond or Hypnosis, or can flat-out lose to the Perish Trap set. Dark-types with higher Special Attack such as Tyranitar and Houndoom do a better job of using Pursuit against Gengar, and Tyranitar frequently carries Roar to deal with a high-health Perish Trap Gengar and carries an Explosion resistance. However, these threats, in addition to being vulnerable to Destiny Bond and Hypnosis, are hit hard by the potential DynamicPunch. Steelix makes a solid check to Gengar as well, since it doesn't take super- effective damage from BoltBeam, resists Explosion, and just barely misses out on an OHKO with Earthquake. However, Steelix can be worn down with several Ice Punches on the switch, and of course it is weak to the occasional Fire Punch and can always be caught by Destiny Bond or Hypnosis. Snorlax also makes a great check for Gengar, especially if it has Earthquake. It takes paltry damage from Gengar's non-STAB special attacks and only takes 28-33% from DynamicPunch and 69-81% from Explosion, which are made even weaker after Curse. However, without Earthquake, Snorlax has to rely on trying to outstall Gengar, making it vulnerable to the Ice Punch Freeze or even the potential Perish Trap KO. Even with Earthquake, Gengar can always surprise GengarSnorlax with Destiny Bond, incapacitate it with Hypnosis, or KO a weakened Snorlax with Explosion. Quagsire makes an okay check as it does not take Ssuper-E effective damage from BoltBeam while hitting back hard with STAB Earthquake, although as with most things it can be beaten by Hypnosis, Destiny Bond, or Explosion. Blissey also sponges Gengar's special moves like a champ, although it does nothing to force Gengar out, takes disconcerting damage from DynamicPunch, can be killed by Explosion, and can be ruined as a Heal Bell supporter with Hypnosis.</p>

    <p>Aside from the above checks, there are a few other Pokemon that don't match as well with Gengar one-on-one, but can still step in to tango with it if need be. Zapdos is one of these. It frequently Sleep Talks, so Hypnosis isn't too big of a deal, and can hit Gengar hard and possibly paralyze it with STAB Thunder, although it is 3HKOed by Ice Punch and can always be KOed in return by Explosion or Destiny Bond. In addition, Ice-weak grounds such as Rhydon, Nidoking, and Marowak can hit hard enough to OHKO Gengar, so if they manage to switch in as Gengar Thunderbolts, it can be forced to switch out, ceding offensive momentum to you. However, one Ice Punch on the switch effectively ruins these Pokemon, and not just as Gengar counters, so do this sparingly. In addition to Ice-weak foes that can hit hard in return, anything that can take BoltBeam reasonably well can act as a Gengar counter in some form. Misdreavus, your own Gengar, Heracross (barring Fire Punch), and even Miltank can all switch into Gengar to take its hits and force it to use its surprise tactics to beat you. However, keep in mind that unless you have a way to force Gengar to switch out (e.g., such as Earthquake on Heracross, and Perish Trap on Misdreavus), Gengar can always stay in and just go for the freeze with Ice Punch.</p>

    Good job. I always enjoy reading these old gen analyses. You did a great job explaining how to use the set rather than what the set does which is something lacking in current gen analyses.
    [gp]1/2[/gp]
  22. Jorgen

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

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    Jun 5, 2010
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    1,298
    NixHex's check has been implemented. Sorry for the delay.
  23. melvni

    melvni
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,148
    GP check. Good job on writing this. Just a couple comments: super effective>super-effective, status effects shouldn't be capitalized, and be careful when using abuse since it means "to use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse," which usually isn't what people mean when they use it. Other than that, this looks good.
    Additions in Blue
    Subtractions in Red
    Comments in Purple

    Show Hide
    [Overview]

    <p>Gengar is an interesting Pokemon. It gets a wonderful movepool with super-effective (remove hyphen) coverage and kamikaze moves that can hurt pretty much anything the OU tier has to offer. However, since Shadow Ball is Physical, it Gengar gets no Special special STAB to run off that amazing base 130 Special Attack. Gengar is also very frail, and while its Ghost typing is very useful for capitalizing off foes that only run a Normal STAB for an attacking move, it's vulnerable to Pursuit and cannot take a hit that it doesn't resist. Plus, as a Ghost-type, Misdreavus outclasses it as a spinblocker, Perish Trapper, and Snorlax counter because of Gengar's unfortunate weaknesses to Earthquake and Starmie's Psychic. Furthermore, its Speed, while great, is eclipsed by Raikou's and Starmie's, which leads to particularly relevant matchup problems. In spite of these issues, Gengar is the tier's best assassin, being able to take down pretty much anything it wants to with Explosion, Destiny Bond, wonderful type coverage, or some sort of surprise. To get the most out of it, Gengar users should be sure to play to its strengths, keep their prediction caps on, know how to abuse utilize the element of surprise, and be wary of letting it take any kind of status or unresisted hit.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Assassin
    move 1: Thunderbolt / Thunder
    move 2: Ice Punch
    move 3: Hypnosis / DynamicPunch
    move 4: Explosion / Destiny Bond
    item: Leftovers

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This is the standard Gengar set that maximizes its ability to threaten the GSC metagame. This set hits pretty much everything hard. The Electric Electric-type move is Gengar's pseudo-STAB and, running off Gengar's high base 130 special attack Special Attack, is what keeps bulky Water-types with high special defense Special Defense, such as Suicune and Vaporeon (add comma) from switching in. Thunderbolt is generally preferred because Gengar is too frail to afford to miss a lot, but Thunder is a good option for the increased paralysis chance, which is particularly useful against the speedier Raikou. Ice Punch is the next move and, aside from keeping Ground-types at bay, hits Zapdos and Exeggutor super-effectively (remove hyphen). It can also be abused taken advantage of for its Freeze freeze chance in matchups where the opponent cannot touch Gengar, such as when Gengar switches in against Miltank or Seismic Toss Heracross. The next moveslot is generally reserved for Gengar's method of dealing with checks that do not involve Gengar other than killing itself. Hypnosis is the most generally effective move, being able to put any one counter out of commission. However, Hypnosis can be caught easily by a Sleep Talker if it is well-predicted, so it must be used judiciously. Furthermore, if sleep is used once it cannot be used again, making Hypnosis an unreliable move for dealing with foes such as Pursuit Tyranitar. For this reason, DynamicPunch is a viable alternative, as it hits Tyranitar hard enough to 2HKO it. DynamicPunch is also good for putting Snorlax and Umbreon switch-ins into Explosion KO range after Spikes damage. Finally, the last moveslot deals with Gengar's kamikaze tactics for taking out opponents. Explosion is the preferred choice as Gengar tends to draw in sleep absorbers and physically weak special walls before Normal resistors, and because Gengar is frequently chosen specifically to KO Raikou and has no other options to do that. However, if Raikou isn't a problem, you can opt instead for Destiny Bond, which is a more reliable way to take out opposing Tyranitar, CurseLax, and Steelix. All of these are slower than Gengar, take little damage from Gengar's its BoltBeam combo, and can frequently have multiple Curses under their belts, making Destiny Bond the preferred (and often game-saving) way of dealing with them.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Gengar pairs well with teammates that enjoy having its assassination targets removed. Zapdos makes an excellent partner, as two of its main counters, Raikou and Snorlax, are two of Gengar's more common Explosion targets. If Gengar is using Destiny Bond, it can goad Tyranitar or Steelix into attacking and killing themselves. This can be useful for Snorlax, as these Normal-resisting Pokemon can frequently give it trouble.</p>

    <p>Gengar is not just a role-playing assassin, but also works fantastically as an offensive powerhouse in its own right. It really enjoys abusing using its immunities and its Speed to avoid taking as many hits as possible. While it can be effective as a lead, Gengar is often better used later in the match, when opposing Pokemon are weakened and likely in OHKO or 2HKO range of Gengar's super-effective (remove hyphen) attacks. However, if the opponent is using a Normal-type without any coverage moves, such as Miltank or a mono-attacking Snorlax, be sure to switch Gengar in early and often to abuse take advantage of the opponent's inability to deal damage to it. If you plan to do this with Gengar, though, you should either be using DynamicPunch or be very careful with Hypnosis to ensure you can deal with Tyranitar, who which is likely on the opponent's team because of the fact that they are using a Pokemon incapable of touching Gengar. Furthermore, if the opponent is using a wall that Gengar is typically used specifically to kill, such as Raikou, do not be afraid to pull the trigger with Explosion, especially if you have been throwing out attacking moves the whole time. The opponent will likely be perfectly willing to chance having their Sleep Talk Raikou killed when the risk of trying to predict an Explosion is more super-effective (remove hyphen) attacks and a possible Hypnosis against the rest of their team. Just make sure that Raikou has taken a slight amount of damage or is paralyzed when you pull the trigger, as a full-health Raikou can usually survive Gengar's Explosion and, since it outspeeds everything, can easily use Rest to undo the Explosion damage without the fear of being revenge killed.</p>

    <p>Gengar can ditch the standard fare for the third option in favor of Mean Look. Using Mean Look prevents a switch-in such as Raikou from switching back out in an attempt to predict an Explosion, allowing Gengar to Explode on Raikou safely. Mean Look also pairs well with Destiny Bond, as it prevents a mixed attacker such as Tyranitar from trying to avoid killing Gengar when it's using Destiny Bond. Hypnosis might seem an intuitive move to pair with Mean Look, but Sleep Trap is sometimes outright banned and, if not, is typically looked down upon. If Sleep Trap is allowed, though, Gengar with Hypnosis and Mean Look can be an effective set. Forgoing either Ice Punch or Thunderbolt for Nightmare or Curse can make a Sleep Trapping Gengar particularly deadly. In addition to making room for Mean Look, the third moveslot could be forgone to allow room for Gengar to use Destiny Bond and Explosion on the same set. This allows Gengar to be more flexible with its assassination attempts. Explosion allows it to do serious damage to Raikou, Zapdos, and unboosted Snorlax, whereas Destiny Bond allows Gengar to take down Tyranitar, Steelix, and Curse-boosted Snorlax.</p>

    <p>Furthermore, Fire Punch could be inserted somewhere on the set, usually over the second or third moveslots. It's mostly useful for Steelix, who which does not take super-effective (remove hyphen) damage from BoltBeam, does heavy damage to Gengar with STAB super-effective (remove hyphen) Earthquakes, and ruins Gengar's attempts at Exploding thanks to its ludicrous Defense and Steel typing. Fire Punch also allows Gengar to counter Curse Heracross, who which otherwise sets up with impunity against BoltBeam, and also allows Gengar to OHKO Forretress, who which can otherwise set up Spikes against Gengar without taking too much damage in return. However, Fire Punch is a poor coverage option outside of these particular matchups. Ice Punch is rarely foregone as it 3HKOes Zapdos and Ground-types, whereas DynamicPunch or Hypnosis is preferred in the third moveslot to give Gengar a way to beat Tyranitar, which otherwise Pursuits it to death.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Perish Trapper
    move 1: Perish Song
    move 2: Mean Look
    move 3: Protect
    move 4: Thunderbolt / Thunder
    item: Leftovers

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This set is basically the classic Thunder Misdreavus set slapped onto Gengar. Gengar's Poison-typing (remove hyphen) generally makes it inferior for this role because this makes it take a lot more damage from the common Earthquake and the less-common Psychic, making Perish Trap much more difficult to pull off. However, what Gengar has over Misdreavus is that nobody expects Perish Trap from Gengar. Seriously, nobody sees this coming. Opponents will likely stay away from bringing their Phazer phazer in on a potential Hypnosis when scouting out Gengar's set, (remove comma) and will instead frequently bring in their Sleep Talk Raikou or Zapdos looking to absorb Hypnosis or will try to stall you out with their non-Earthquake Snorlax only to find out that you just set up Mean Look and plan to kill it with Perish Song. Mean Look and Perish Song form the eponymous Perish Trap combo that kills anything that can't phaze Gengar the turn that immediately follows the switch-in, and Protect allows Gengar to survive an onslaught from a Sleep Talking Electric Electric-type while it waits out the Perish Song turns. This is necessary, because otherwise Gengar is 2HKOed by Raikou and Zapdos, two common foes it is likely to bait and kill with this set. The last moveslot is commandeered by Gengar's Electric-type pseudo-STAB for two reasons. The first is to limit the range of phazers that would be able to switch in against Gengar to stop its Perish Trap routine. Skarmory in particular is a very common phazer, as is Roar Suicune. Secondly, and more importantly, having Gengar's main attacking move allows Gengar to bluff its standard set and catch opponents off guard. This is crucial to Gengar's success as a Perish Trapper, as without the element of surprise, Gengar is outclassed as a Perish Trapper by the pure Ghost-type, Misdreavus. As usual, Thunderbolt is typically preferred for its accuracy given Gengar's frailty against neutral hits, (change to semicolon) however (add comma) Thunder can be used for the increased paralysis chance, which can be helpful when trying to pull off Perish Trap against a foe such as Roar Raikou.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Above all else, it should be stressed that Gengar needs to abuse utilize the element of surprise to make this set work, lest it be outclassed by Misdreavus. As such, it's probably best to scout your opponent a bit by first tossing out a few Thunderbolts or switching out if you expect a Pursuit Tyranitar switch-in. It's also a good idea to avoid using Sleep sleep moves if any of your other Pokemon has have them unless you think you can catch Gengar's phazing counters. The idea is to keep the opponent wary of Gengar possibly using Hypnosis to incapacitate their phazer. If your opponent keeps sending Phazers phazers into Gengar, it's a good idea to wear them down and either force them to Rest, have them paralyzed, or have them in Gengar's KO range before you bring it out again. If your opponent brings in Sleep Talkers or Snorlax to check Gengar the first time you bring it out, the next time you bring Gengar out you can pull the trigger and try to catch these switch-ins with Perish Trap. If all else fails, if you suspect that the opponent's Snorlax does not carry Earthquake, you can switch Gengar in as Snorlax is setting up Curses and see how the opponent reacts. If Snorlax continues to Curse up, it's likely to try to stall you out and you should be safe to try to KO Snorlax with Perish Trap. In general, just make sure you are reasonably certain the opponent is not going to switch a phazer into Gengar as you use Mean Look, lest you lose the surprise factor for nothing.</p>

    <p>Gengar could run a couple of other attacking options in its attacking moveslot to hit different threats while bluffing its standard set. Ice Punch is almost always seen on Gengar, and it can be useful in for preventing switch-ins by the Ground-type Pokemon that can Phaze phaze or OHKO Gengar. DynamicPunch is less frequently seen on the standard Gengar, but it is plausible and can hurt Tyranitar for major damage and confuse other phazers should you need to buy a turn to pull off Perish Trap. Fire Punch is very rarely seen on Gengar but it's still plausible on the main set and can keep Steelix from switching in and stopping you cold. The Electric Electric-type move is usually preferred because it is Gengar's strongest available attacking option that the standard set would be the least likely to go without.</p>

    <p>Gengar has the option of running two attacking moves. For example, Gengar can forgo Protect to use Ice Punch to complete the BoltBeam combo. This allows Gengar the famous attacking coverage of its standard set and makes it easier to bluff that set. However, without Protect, Gengar cannot withstand enough neutral hits from any reasonably strong STAB move to KO with Perish Trap. This makes it difficult to KO Sleep Talk Raikou or Zapdos with Perish Trap, although Snorlax without Earthquake is still easy to catch and kill.</p>

    <p>Gengar could use Confuse Ray to screw up Phazers phazers, (remove comma) or Destiny Bond to try to take certain threats down with it if it's been found out. However, these options either leave Gengar without a damaging move, thereby making it much more likely to be discovered, or without Protect, which makes Perish Trapping more difficult to pull off. One non-damaging move that would seem to pair perfectly with Perish Trap but is not an option is Hypnosis. This is because using a Sleep sleep move alongside Perish Song and an indefinite trapping move (Mean Look or Spider Web) is banned in any serious GSC match.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>While Gengar has a plethora of options available, most of its alternative move options have already been discussed. However, one undiscussed option is Counter, which can bounce back non-STAB Earthquakes from Snorlax or Tyranitar, or even weaker STAB Earthquakes from Steelix or Nidoking, for a KO. STAB Rock Slides from Tyranitar or non-STAB Hidden Powers and Rock Slides from Machamp are also excellent moves to bounce back with Counter. However, Counter is a fairly situational surprise, as many Snorlax do not carry Earthquake, many Tyranitar have the non-physical Crunch to nail Gengar, Nidoking has a slight chance to OHKO Gengar with Earthquake, and most of these threats can always just use Curse to have enough Attack to OHKO Gengar. However, that last point about Cursers could be abused taken advantage of by pairing Counter with Destiny Bond. However, this usually deprives Gengar of a moveslot for dealing with Raikou.</p>

    [Checks & Counters]

    <p>Gengar has no 100% counters, as it has ways to screw over any and every potential check. The best all-around check is Raikou, as it outspeeds Gengar, can survive Explosion at full health, can neutralize the Explosion threat with Reflect, and can even use Sleep Talk to negate the Hypnosis threat or Roar to negate the Perish Trap threat. Umbreon is another top check, as it does not take a lot of damage from DynamicPunch, takes only 65-77% from Explosion, and can Pursuit Gengar to death, (remove comma) or counter-trap a Perish Trapping Gengar with a Mean Look and Baton Pass set. However, Umbreon can still be killed by Explosion if it’s (change to straight apostrophe) been weakened, can be caught by Hypnosis, and Pursuit Umbreon cannot KO Gengar quickly enough to beat the Perish Trap set. Dark-types with higher Special Attack such as Tyranitar and Houndoom do a better job of using Pursuit against Gengar, and Tyranitar resists Explosion while frequently carrying Roar to deal with a high-health Perish Trap Gengar. However, these threats, in addition to being vulnerable to Destiny Bond and Hypnosis, are hit hard by the potential DynamicPunch. Steelix makes a solid check to Gengar as well, since it doesn't take super-effective (remove hyphen) damage from BoltBeam, resists Explosion, and just barely misses out on an OHKO with Earthquake. However, Steelix can be worn down with several Ice Punches on the switch, and of course (add comma) it is weak to the occasional Fire Punch and can always be caught by Destiny Bond or Hypnosis. Snorlax also makes a great check for Gengar, especially if it has Earthquake. It takes paltry damage from Gengar's non-STAB special attacks and only takes 28-33% from DynamicPunch and 69-81% from Explosion, which are made even weaker even less after Curse. However, without Earthquake, Snorlax has to rely on trying to outstall Gengar, making it vulnerable to the Ice Punch Freeze freeze or even the potential Perish Trap KO. Even with Earthquake, Gengar can always surprise Snorlax with Destiny Bond, incapacitate it with Hypnosis, or KO a weakened Snorlax with Explosion. Quagsire makes an okay check as it does not take super-effective (remove hyphen) damage from BoltBeam while hitting back hard with STAB Earthquake, although as with most things (add comma) it can be beaten by Hypnosis, Destiny Bond, or Explosion. Blissey also sponges Gengar's special moves like a champ, although it does nothing to force Gengar out, takes a lot of damage from DynamicPunch, can be killed by Explosion, and can be ruined as a Heal Bell supporter with by Hypnosis.</p>

    <p>Aside from the above checks, there are a few other Pokemon that don't match as well with Gengar one-on-one, but can still step in to tango with it if need be. Zapdos is one of these. It frequently Sleep Talks, so Hypnosis isn't too big of a deal, and can hit Gengar hard and possibly paralyze it with STAB Thunder, although it is 3HKOed by Ice Punch and can always be KOed in return by Explosion or Destiny Bond. In addition, Ice-weak grounds Ground-types such as Rhydon, Nidoking, and Marowak can hit hard enough to OHKO Gengar, so if they manage to switch in as Gengar Thunderbolts, it can be forced to switch out, ceding offensive momentum to you. However, one Ice Punch on the switch effectively ruins these Pokemon, and not just as Gengar counters, so do this sparingly. In addition to Ice-weak foes that can hit hard in return, anything that can take BoltBeam reasonably well can act as a Gengar counter in some form. Misdreavus, your own Gengar, Heracross (barring Fire Punch), and even Miltank can all switch into Gengar to take its hits and force it to use its surprise tactics to beat you. However, keep in mind that unless you have a way to force Gengar to switch out, such as Earthquake on Heracross or Perish Trap on Misdreavus, Gengar can always stay in and just go for the freeze with Ice Punch.</p>


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  24. Jorgen

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    Thanks for the check, melvni. After removing all those hyphens (I do seem to like them, don't I?), this thing is finally ready to be put on-site.
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