Overview ######## This generation bestowed unto Gengar a Mega Evolution and, with it, one of the most powerful abilities in the game, Shadow Tag. In a metagame focused around strategic switching and synergistic teambuilding in order to handle as many threats as possible, the ability to trap and eliminate one or more opposing Pokemon is devastating, often creating an exploitable weakness for a teammate to take advantage of. Boasting an enormous base 170 Special Attack and excellent base 130 Speed, as well as gems such as Taunt, Destiny Bond, and Perish Song in its movepool, Mega Gengar is more than capable of removing most Pokemon in the metagame from an opposing team. Although its awful bulk, combined with its inability to OHKO most Pokemon in the tier without a super effective coverage move, often forces it to sacrifice itself to eliminate a threat, the advantage that removing a crucial opposing Pokemon can bring can often decide battles. It's A Trap! (Offensive Mega Gengar) ######## name: It's A Trap! (Offensive Mega Gengar) move 1: Taunt move 2: Destiny Bond move 3: Sludge Wave move 4: Focus Blast item: Gengarite evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe nature: Timid Moves ======== With the combination of Taunt, Destiny Bond, and two attacking moves, Mega Gengar achieves optimal versatility in the number of threats it can remove. Taunt cripples defensive Pokemon, leaving them unable to heal, inflict crippling status, use support moves, or phaze Mega Gengar without Dragon Tail. Combined with Destiny Bond, it also helps Mega Gengar sacrifice itself to eliminate numerous Pokemon that it otherwise could not, as bulky attackers often threaten it more than it can threaten them. Its attacking moves allow it to annihilate many Pokemon that they hit super effectively and overpower defensive Pokemon that cannot threaten it. Sludge Wave is its most powerful STAB move and engulfs Fairy- and Grass-types. It can be used interchangeably with Sludge Bomb, which is slightly weaker but more likely to poison, which can occasionally be advantageous. Focus Blast is powerful and has good coverage alongside Poison, obliterating many Steel-, Rock-, Normal-, and Dark-types despite its unreliable accuracy. Mega Gengar also has many other options for attacking moves, which can be adapted to the needs of a team. Shadow Ball can also be used in place of either attacking move for STAB with good neutral coverage. However, Shadow Ball lacks important targets as defensive Psychic-types typically lose against Taunt and Sludge Wave, whereas offensive Psychic-types often threaten to outspeed and OHKO, and Ghost-types are able to switch out of Shadow Tag freely. It is also no more powerful than Focus Blast if both hit neutrally. Hidden Power Fire can be used to incinerate Scizor, which otherwise threatens Mega Gengar with Bullet Punch and Pursuit. It can also damage other Steel-types, especially in sun, although it is powerless in rain. Thunder can be used for coverage against Water- and Flying-types, but has poor accuracy in the absence of rain. Energy Ball can be used to KO weakened Ground-, Rock-, and Water-types. Hidden Power Rock 2HKOes Ho-Oh, allowing it to be destroyed on a predicted switch in as Gengar Mega Evolves or after switching into Stealth Rock. It has little utility otherwise, however. Icy Wind allows Gengar to anti-lead Deoxys-S and OHKO Landorus-T, Rayquaza, Gliscor, and Garchomp, but it is weaker than a STAB move against almost all other Pokemon. Set Details ======== The EVs and nature capitalize on Mega Gengar's best stats, allowing it to outspeed the vast majority of the unboosted metagame and be as destructive as possible. Due to its highly specialized stats, alternative spreads are barely viable. Usage Tips ======== Gengar must Mega Evolve relatively unharmed before it can trap an opposing Pokemon, which can be a challenge due to its abysmal bulk. It can, however, use its immunities to Normal-, Fighting-, and Ground-type moves (prior to Mega Evolution) as well as Toxic to switch in unharmed, while its four resistances can also allow it to switch in quite safely. It should be switched into Pokemon it can force out in order to allow it to Mega Evolve unharmed. It can be important to investigate the set of a potential target for Gengar, especially against more versatile threats such as Kyogre and Xerneas. Mega Gengar is usually too frail to afford mistakes and can only handle Choice Scarf users locked into resisted or weak moves. Once it has trapped an opposing Pokemon, it should proceed to eliminate the threat in the most reliable manner possible; walls and support Pokemon should typically be Taunted and then worn down with attacks, as they pose little threat, whereas against offensive Pokemon, Destiny Bond, sometimes alongside Taunt, will often be needed. Of course, whenever it can OHKO with one of its attacks, it should. Team Options ======== As Mega Gengar excels at removing various Pokemon, especially defensive ones, its best teammates are sweepers which can exploit the weakness created in an opposing team. Powerful setup sweepers such as Xerneas, Arceus, and Electric Arceus, as well as powerful Choice Scarf users such as Kyogre and Zekrom can overwhelm teams once their checks have been removed. Teammates such as Xerneas and Arceus also help to protect Mega Gengar from an opposing Scizor's Pursuit, as an opponent might rely on Scizor to check them. It should be noted however that as Mega Gengar cannot trap Ghost-types; sweepers checked by Aegislash, Ghost Arceus, or Giratina formes will require additional support in order to sweep successfully. Teammates with Volt Switch or U-turn, such as Zekrom and Scizor, can help Mega Gengar switch in safely, which it often struggles to do otherwise. Perish Trapper ######## name: Perish Trapper move 1: Perish Song move 2: Taunt move 3: Protect move 4: Disable / Substitute item: Gengarite evs: 248 HP / 84 SpD / 176 Spe nature: Timid Moves ======== Mega Gengar can also opt for a less offensive set that excels at removing Defog users for teams that rely significantly on entry hazards and can also remove Choice Band and Choice Specs Pokemon more effectively, while maintaining the ability to eliminate some defensive Pokemon. Perish Song combined with Shadow Tag allows Mega Gengar to force an opposing Pokemon to faint by trapping it on the field until the final Perish Song turn, at which point Mega Gengar can switch out to safety, while the opposing Pokemon is forced to remain on the field. In order to do so, however, Mega Gengar must survive several turns successfully. Protect is effective in preventing damage every other turn, as well as allowing Mega Gengar to Mega Evolve safely. Combined with Disable, it can prevent an opponent from using one of its moves against Gengar. As many support Pokemon and walls only have one attacking move, or only one attacking move which can hurt Mega Gengar significantly thanks to its resistances and immunities, this can prevent damage quite effectively. It also forces Choice-locked Pokemon to Struggle, as they are only able to use one move. Substitute can be used instead to mitigate the damage Mega Gengar takes, as well as preventing opposing Pokemon crippling it with status. Disable is more effective against Choice-locked Pokemon and support Pokemon, while Substitute is more effective against Pokemon with multiple moves which can hurt Mega Gengar. Taunt in the final moveslot prevents phazing with any move other than Dragon Tail, which otherwise neuters the set by allowing Pokemon to escape Mega Gengar and Perish Song. Hypnosis can also be used to help to prevent damage, but it has unreliable accuracy, lasts for an unpredictable number of sleep turns, and is difficult to fit. Set Details ======== The Speed investment allows Mega Gengar to outspeed Arceus, as other threats it could outspeed with more investment are too threatening to handle with this set. The remaining EVs maximize Mega Gengar's special bulk, as it has no attacking moves and most attacks in the tier are specially based. 248 HP EVs give Gengar an odd HP number, allowing it to use Substitute four times. Usage Tips ======== In order to use the Shadow Tag ability, Gengar must Mega Evolve first. With Protect, it can do so unhampered against any Pokemon. Once it traps a Pokemon, it should first incapacitate it as much as possible before using Perish Song and stalling it out with Protect. Against walls that rarely carry any attacking moves that hurt Gengar, such as Lugia, Chansey and RestTalk Xerneas, Taunt should be used first to prevent phazing or crippling status, as well as support moves such as Aromatherapy. Against Pokemon which only have one attacking move, such as most support Arceus and RestTalk Xerneas, Taunt should be followed up by Protect and Disable, preventing their attacking move with Disable and other moves with Taunt. Against Choice Specs or Band Choiced Pokemon, Disable can be used as soon as they are locked into a move, forcing them to Struggle. Once an opposing Pokemon has been neutered effectively, Perish Song should be used and its turns stalled with Protect, as well as Taunt where necessary. On the final Perish Song turn, Mega Gengar should be switched out to a Pokemon that is least likely to be harmed by the opposing Pokemon, as it would faint alongside the opposing Pokemon otherwise. The main niche of this set is to remove Defog users without sacrificing Mega Gengar in the process for teams that rely heavily on their entry hazards, such as Sticky Web teams and teams with Spikes or Toxic Spikes users. It must be noted that in the absence of Sticky Web to reduce the Speed of opposing Arceus, Gengar must have Mega Evolved in order to outspeed and Taunt them before they Defog. Team Options ======== As the main advantage of Perish trapper Gengar is the ability to eliminate most Defog users without sacrificing itself, it should be paired with users of powerful entry hazards in addition to Stealth Rock. Smeargle and Shuckle have access to Sticky Web, giving teammates a devastating Speed advantage against grounded opponents. The Deoxys formes, Klefki, and Ferrothorn are effective Spikes users, while Scolipede and Forretress are effective users of both Spikes and Toxic Spikes. Other Options ######## As Mega Gengar's primary role is to trap and eliminate Pokemon, its other options are quite limited. It can use Will-O-Wisp in order to cripple physical attackers, but it usually struggles to fit the move into its sets and will still take significant damage with no effective way to heal it from powerful physical attackers. It also has access to Pain Split, which allows it to heal, somewhat, but due to its poor bulk, this is rarely a worthwhile option. Dazzling Gleam has good coverage, but fails to OHKO even most super effective targets due to its low Base Power and is not much stronger than Sludge Wave against most its targets. Knock Off can be used to hamper opposing Pokemon by removing their items, but this is usually not helpful as Gengar is most effective at trapping and eliminating threats rather than weakening them. Checks & Counters ######## Mega Gengar is difficult to check in the traditional sense, as it can usually choose its matchups favorably with Shadow Tag. **Pursuit**: Pursuit users can trap Gengar themselves on the turn it Mega Evolves, thereby preventing it from removing a Pokemon of its choice. However, Mega Gengar can still eliminate the Pursuit user itself with Destiny Bond, and Dark-type Pursuit users are commonly OHKOed by Focus Blast, while Scizor is OHKOed by Hidden Power Fire. **Ghost-types**: Ghost-type Pokemon are unaffected by Shadow Tag, allowing them to switch out freely against it. Many can also threaten Gengar with STAB Shadow Sneak, and Giratina-O and Aegislash have enough special bulk to survive a Shadow Ball from Mega Gengar and OHKO in return. **Priority**: Super effective priority moves, such as Sucker Punch and Shadow Sneak, usually OHKO Mega Gengar before it can move. However, Sucker Punch fails if Mega Gengar does not attack and can still be exploited with Destiny Bond. When Mega Gengar is weakened, other priority moves can also pick it off. **Choice Scarf**: Choice Scarf users can typically outspeed and OHKO Mega Gengar, allowing them to revenge kill it or force it out on a double switch. **Shed Shell**: This held item allows a Pokemon to escape Shadow Tag freely but has no other utility, which severely limits its holder.