Heracross

Gary

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#1

You bitches thought I was bad.....

Overview
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With the addition of a Mega Evolution to its arsenal, Heracross no longer has to worry about being completely overshadowed by the other Fighting-types that reside in OU. Sporting a gigantic base 185 Attack stat and extremely powerful STAB moves, Mega Heracross is one of the hardest hitting Pokemon in the game. Its ability, Skill Link, allows it to take advantage of Rock Blast, Bullet Seed, and the newly buffed Pin Missile to the fullest possible extent, giving Mega Heracross valuable coverage options against a ton of threats. It even has access to Swords Dance to boost its already insane Attack stat to ridiculous levels, allowing for it to function as a potent sweeper. In addition, Mega Heracross's very solid 80/115/105 defensive stats keep it from being taken out easily by powerful attacks, making it a fearsome tank. To put it simply, Mega Heracross is the definition of a wallbreaker, not only because it is nearly impossible to switch into, but also its amazing move coverage which allows it to break through a vast majority of defensive Pokemon.

Unfortunately, Heracross is plagued with a nasty 4x weakness to Flying-type attacks, on top of its common Fire-, Psychic-, and Fairy-type weaknesses. Its Mega Evolution is also noticeably slower than its non-Mega counterpart, missing the jump on Pokemon such as Dragonite, Heatran, and Gyarados. Nevertheless, Mega Heracross is definitely something that should never be underestimated, because its awesome power and fantastic wallbreaking capabilities make it a force to be reckoned with in the metagame, capable of leaving teams in shambles.

Offensive
########
name: Offensive
move 1: Close Combat
move 2: Pin Missile
move 3: Rock Blast
move 4: Earthquake / Swords Dance
ability: Moxie / Guts
item: Heracronite
evs: 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spe
nature: Adamant

Moves
========

Close Combat reaches jaw dropping power coming off Mega Heracross's massive Attack stat, and there's very little that can stomach it easily. It's also its best option for dealing with bulky Steel-types such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Air Balloon Heatran. Pin Missile is also an extremely powerful STAB move, cutting through Psychic-types such as Deoxys-D, Reuniclus, Latias, and Latios, as well as Dark-types such as Greninja and Tyranitar. In general, Pin Missile is Mega Heracross's most reliable option against Pokemon that don't take super effective damage from any of its coverage moves, such as Rotom-W or Hippowdon, both of whom are 2HKOed after Stealth Rock. Rock Blast provides important coverage against Togekiss, Gengar, Gyarados, and Dragonite, which would wall this set otherwise. It's also useful for hitting Talonflame and Mega Pinsir on the switch. Earthquake is the best option in the last slot to hit Aegislash, who resists all of its coverage moves and threatens to completely wall Heracross without it. Swords Dance gives Heracross a way to boost its Attack stat to terrifying heights, and it can easily clean up defensive teams once it gets up a boost. At +2, it can also demolish full Baton Pass teams because of its ability to break through Substitute's with Rock Blast and Pin Missile.

Bullet Seed can be used in the last moveslot if Aegislash isn't too much of a problem for your team, boasting the ability to OHKO Azumarill, Quagsire, and physically defensive Rotom-W, while also 2HKOing Hippowdon. Megahorn, although much less accurate and powerful than Pin Missile, gives Heracross a second reliable STAB move to use in conjunction with Guts if it happens to get burnt before Mega evolving. Bulk Up can be used over Swords Dance if you want Heracross to function as more of a bulky sweeper. Alternatively, Substitute is an option, as it blocks revenge killing attempts and status, while also immensely easing predictions.


Set Details
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With the given EVs, Mega Heracross can outspeed Adamant Bisharp while still retaining as much bulk and power as possible. An Adamant nature should always be used because it gives Mega Heracross an insane amount of power that isn't worth giving up for slightly more Speed. It should be noted that with an Adamant nature, Mega Heracross is capable of 2HKOing Skarmory with Close Combat, a feat that most other Fighting-types could only dream of achieving. With a Jolly nature and 212 Speed EVs, Mega Heracross can outspeed Adamant Dragonite and Gyarados, but forgoing the extra bulk and and power generally isn't worth it. Heracronite is obviously needed in order for Heracross to Mega-Evolve into the monster that is Mega Heracross. Moxie is the preferred ability, as if Heracross manages to KO something before it Mega Evolves, it obtains a +1 Attack boost and instantly becomes more terrifying. On the other hand, Guts keeps Heracross from being completely useless if happens to get burned, but only Close Combat and Earthquake will be reliable moves afterwards, so it's not worth it.

Usage Tips
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Heracronite turns Heracross into a devastating wallbreaker, capable of breaking through a vast majority of defensive Pokemon, including Rotom-W, Chansey, Skarmory, Aegislash, Heatran, Zapdos, Ferrothorn, Quagsire, and much more. Although it can also sweep decently with Swords Dance, it's mostly meant to function as a bulky wallbreaker that can tear apart defensive cores, allowing a teammate can come in and sweep. Don't forget that Mega Heracross is actually very bulky, capable of surviving a decent amount of super effective hits as well.

Team Options
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Although Mega Heracross lacks a lot of true counters, it is very important to pair it with something that can eliminate them, as well as cover its terrible 4x weakness to Flying-type moves. Thundurus is hands down the best offensive and defensive partner because it checks Flying-types such as Talonflame and Mega Pinsir with ease, and it can also check Gliscor and Landorus-T, which are some of the few counters to Mega Heracross. Keldeo can break through all of the aforementioned Pokemon, as well as offensive Heatran. It also appreciates the elimination of the Grass- and Psychic-types that Mega Heracross can run all over. Heatran and Heracross have near perfect defensive synergy; Heatran resists Fire-, Flying-, Psychic-, and Fairy-type moves, while Mega Heracross shrugs off Fighting- and Ground-type attacks. Scizor and Aegislash can check the bulky Fairy-types that don't fear any of Mega Heracross's coverage moves, such as Clefable and Sylveon.

Other Options
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Because most of Heracross's usage stems from its Mega Evolution, there really aren't too many other options it can viably run in OU without facing stiff competition from other Pokemon. A RestTalk Bulk Up set with Pin Missile can take advantage of Mega Heracross's bulk, boasting the versatility to be used offensively with Attack EVs or defensively with Special Defense EVs. A Mega SubPunch set can bust huge holes into the opposing teams, but it lacks Leftovers recovery and requires a lot of prediction to work. Choice Band Heracross is very powerful, but is almost completely outclassed in OU by Terrakion, as well as other powerful physical attackers. Choice Scarf Heracross can function as a great late-game cleaner thanks to Moxie, but it faces fierce competition from other Choice Scarf users too, such as Terrakion. A Toxic Orb Swords Dance set using Guts is quite powerful, and isn't threatened by Rotom-W's Will-O-Wisp, but is mostly outclassed by Mega Heracross itself.

Checks & Counters
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**Physically Defensive Walls**: Gliscor and Landorus-T are among the only defensive Pokemon that can actually switch into Mega Heracross's moves without being 2HKOed. Clefable is arguably the best counter to it as it resists both of Heracross's STAB moves, avoids the 2HKO from Rock Blast, and can 2HKO in return with Moonblast.

**Flying-types**: Because of Heracross's glaring 4x weakness, Flying-types are the safest checks to Mega Heracross. Talonflame, a prominent OU Pokemon, can take it out with its powerful priority Brave Bird. Mega Pinsir is also a fantastic check thanks to its ability, Aerilate, granting it a powerful STAB Flying-type Return and Quick Attack. Offensive variants of Togekiss that run Speed investment can switch into anything but Rock Blast and KO with Air Slash or Dazzling Gleam. Skarmory can't switch in on Close Combat, but it can tank any other hit in addition to one Close Combat, and OHKO in return with Brave Bird or Counter.

**Fire-, Fairy-, and Psychic-types**: Powerful Fire-types that can OHKO Mega Heracross such as Volcarona, Victini, and both Mega Charizard formes are good checks to it. Mega Gardevoir and Azumarill can threaten Mega Heracross with a powerful Hyper Voice and Play Rough, respectively. Life Orb Latios, Deoxys-S, and Mega Alakazam can all OHKO it with powerful Psychic-type attacks. If Landorus carries Psychic, it can easily check Mega Heracross, too, as it resists both of its STAB moves.

**Will-O-Wisp**: The easiest way to deal with Mega Heracross is just to shut it down with a burn. Sableye can easily ruin its day with a Prankster Will-O-Wisp, as well as Gengar, but keep in mind it still takes significant amount of damage from Rock Blast. Faster variants of Rotom-W outspeed Heracross and can burn it with Will-O-Wisp.
 
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#2
Offensive
########
name: Offensive
move 1: Close Combat
move 2: Pin Missile
move 3: Rock Blast
move 4: Earthquake / Swords Dance
ability: Moxie / Guts
item: Heracronite
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
nature: Adamant / Jolly
I think a slash for Substitute should be in move slot 4.
 

Gary

Can be abrasive at times (no joke)
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#3
I think a slash for Substitute should be in move slot 4.
Substitute is more AC material IMO, because Mega Hera appreciates coverage against Aegislash or sweeping power. Protection from status and easing prediction is nice and all, but the main purpose of Mega Cross is to wallbreak, and EQ gives it a huge boon for Aegi. I might slash Sub and put SD in AC after a bit more testing, but so far the extra power or coverage has been pretty much mandatory so far.
 

CyclicCompound

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#4
You know, I'm not sure that Pin Missile is 100% necessary for Heracross. Its benefit is that it allows Heracross to use a strong STAB attack without lowering its defenses, but coverage-wise, it doesn't hit anything notable apart from the Lati twins, Slowbro, and Tangrowth. Looking at the usage stats, most of the things common in OU that are weak to Pin Missile are also weak to Close Combat, and putting away Pin Missile gives Heracross Fighting/Ground/Rock coverage, which hits everything at least neutrally except for the irrelevant Claydol. That lets you use Substitute or Swords Dance in the final slot, both great options for Heracross.

I haven't tested this out yet for myself, so my apologies if I'm missing something big. I'm not really even sure if this warrants a new set or some new slashes just yet, and the thought of taking away Heracross's most powerful STAB is a little bit unnerving. But looking at it from this standpoint, it might be the most effective way to let Heracross use either Substitute or Swords Dance without forfeiting coverage.
 

DarkSlay

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#5
After a bit of testing, a SubPunch MegaHeracross set is perfectly viable and performs admirably as a mid-game hole puncher. The sheer power, increased bulk, and Substitute to help soften the blow of decreased Speed makes MegaHera one of the best SubPunchers in the metagame. This also vastly differentiates itself from normal Heracross, who actually rivals MegaHeracross' spot as a SD sweeper thanks to Moxie and a freed item slot.

name: SubPuncher
move 1: Substitute
move 2: Focus Punch
move 3: Pin Missile
move 4: Rock Blast
ability: Moxie / Guts
item: Heracronite
evs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
nature: Adamant

Simple strategy: you come in on something favorable, Sub up and Focus Punch to poke holes in opposing teams. Pin Missile is complimentary (and powerful) STAB, whereas Rock Blast is for coverage against normal checks like Talonflame and Zapdos. Some impressive calcs:
252+ Atk Mega Heracross Focus Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Hippowdon: 226-267 (53.8 - 63.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ Atk Mega Heracross Focus Punch vs. 248 HP / 216+ Def Rotom-W: 249-294 (82.1 - 97%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (62.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock)
252+ Atk Mega Heracross Focus Punch vs. 252 HP / 232+ Def Skarmory: 202-238 (60.4 - 71.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (guaranteed 2HKO with Focus Punch + Rock Blast)
252+ Atk Mega Heracross Focus Punch vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Mega Blastoise: 301-355 (83.1 - 98%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252+ Atk Mega Heracross Focus Punch vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Mega Scizor: 262-310 (76.1 - 90.1%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
These are just some notable examples (resists are normally 2HKO'd, and things like Latios take damage up to the 70%'s) which illustrate either instances where Focus Punch can cater to normal checks or put MegaHera in a situation where it can deal a lot of damage without sacrificing bulk (Close Combat). Needless to say, MegaHeracross can usually OHKO most neutral hits with less bulk than these examples. Not to mention the main perks of SubPunch (avoiding status, softening checks and switch-ins, 150 BP > 120 BP, etc) It still has issues with Gliscor/Lando(-T) and Aegislash, but the offense-biased checks have a much harder time dealing with this set than SD sets.
 
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#6
I personally am trying a strange set which has
eq
pin missile
rock blast
sub
and it has been oddly successful. Also for teammates someone to spread paralysis should be mentioned (and maybe a wish passer).

edit: also with this set in a sub gliscor does not counter him very well, rockblast does around 50% and when he roosts if you predict it you can hit for more dmg with pin missile. (in fact if you are able to get in a sub most of the check and counters u mentioned fail to stop mega hera.
 

Gary

Can be abrasive at times (no joke)
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#7
Gary2346

I'm surprised that a Physically defensive set is not mentioned anywhere. It makes a great counter to Physical Mega Lucario, Landorus-I, Landorus-T and Terrakion, while also packing more offensive presence than a fully invested Adamant Escavalier. It looks something like this:

Heracross @ Heracronite
Ability: Guts
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spd
Impish Nature
- Low Kick
- Knock Off
- Rest
- Sleep Talk

Low Kick is chosen as the main STAB move due its reliable Power and accuracy and does not lower your defenses like CC does. Knock removes the foe's item, which is particularly useful against Landorus-T, Aegislash lacking King's Shield, and most bulky walls in general. Restalk is used for recovery.

I think this set should be in OO due to the fact that it cannot wall some of the premier attacker in OU (Talonflame, Genesect, Deoxys-S) but I wouldn't mind it getting it getting its own set, as it is one of the best Mega Lucario counters in the game.

(sorry if this is confusing)
I'm sorry, but this is just way too gimmicky to be put on the analysis. Many of the Pokemon you mentioned that this set counters are all also walled completely by Mega Venusaur, which is better in almost every way possible as a physical wall. The only bulky set that Mega Hera can really afford running is a bulky BU set, because it can abuse its above average bulk to set up with ease and sweep. Besides, Low Kick is not a reliable move, because it's power range solely depends on the weight of the opposing Pokemon. Arm thrust or Brick Break is almost always a superior alternative to CC. But yeah, this set is compeltely outclassed by other physical walls, and it isn't the correct way to use Mega Heracross (a wallbreaker/sweeper) at all. You're better off using a different physical wall or Mega Venusaur otherwise.
 

alexwolf

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#8
Also, Arm Thrust would be much better on this set than Low Kick, as Arm Thrust has a constant 100 BP against everything.
 
#13
Arm Thrust has 112,5 BP (Factoring STAB in each hits.) vs 180 for a STABed Close Combat, which one is the best depends on what you need : If your Heracross is going to stay on the field or have problem with breaking subs, then Arm Thrust probably is better than Close Combat, which fits a more hit and run strategy.

Also I dont really see the point in maxing Heracross's Speed instead of his bulk, enough to outspeed key foes (Like 6 EV Speed Tran or something like that.) looks better to me and makes use of Heracross's amazing bulk.


Night Slash in other options ?
 

Gary

Can be abrasive at times (no joke)
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#15
Arm Thrust has 112,5 BP (Factoring STAB in each hits.) vs 180 for a STABed Close Combat, which one is the best depends on what you need : If your Heracross is going to stay on the field or have problem with breaking subs, then Arm Thrust probably is better than Close Combat, which fits a more hit and run strategy.

Also I dont really see the point in maxing Heracross's Speed instead of his bulk, enough to outspeed key foes (Like 6 EV Speed Tran or something like that.) looks better to me and makes use of Heracross's amazing bulk.


Night Slash in other options ?
I'm holding off on making any Speed benchmarks for now, I'll let QC decide if they want to delve into that. I personally am against investing in bulk if there isn't something specific it can survive with extra bulk investment, and Speed creeping other Pokemon can be risky due to the ever changing metagame. 252 is just a safe benchmark that lets it outspeed most defensive Pokemon; Rotom-W, Heatran, Mandibuzz, Skarmory, etc. and a few other offensive mons like Breloom and Mega Mawile. I'm definitely open to a more specific EV spread though.
 
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Ernesto

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#16
Well, I personally (dat redundancy) use enough for Adamant Scizor and min Speed Gliscor, but that might be a bit too much, I dunno.

Also I'm really leaning towards Mega CroCross being worthy of more than an OO mention, I know it lets in some pretty dangerous things like MegaLuke, the flamebird, and the sword and is a big setup bait for Skarm, but it outlasts most things extremely well, is a great switch to bulky Water- and Grass-types (that don't pack an SE STAB, of course) alike, as well as being a pretty amazing counter to defensive Gliscor and Mandibuzz. It's just a really good tool for defensive teams, imo. If QC doesn't think it's good enough then OK, but I thought I'd say it anyway.

(Btw this is the set I use:

name: Mega CroCross
move 1: Bulk Up
move 2: Pin Missile
move 3: Rest
move 4: Sleep Talk
ability: Guts
item: Heracronite
evs: 248 HP / 16 Atk / 68 SpD / 176 Spe
nature: Adamant

It could probably invest more in bulk, but the Speed tier seemed a pretty good one to me.)

EDIT @below: Enough Speed for Adamant Scizor and min Speed Gliscor like I said (you'd probably want more to creep on Gliscor if you're gonna run it), max HP and the rest in Special Defense. I put 16 EVs on Attack with an Adamant nature because 185>>>105, so you're getting more final points than if you'd just use 84 SpD Careful, ie 451 instead of 406 and 263 instead of 293, respectively; I dunno if it's necessary but it feels right.
 
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Gary

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#18
Well, I personally (dat redundancy) use enough for Adamant Scizor and min Speed Gliscor, but that might be a bit too much, I dunno.

Also I'm really leaning towards Mega CroCross being worthy of more than a OO mention, I know it lets in some pretty dangerous things like MegaLuke, the flamebird, and the sword and is a big setup bait for Skarm, but it outlasts most things extremely well, is a great switch to bulky Water- and Grass-types (that don't pack an SE STAB, of course) alike, as well as being a pretty amazing counter to defensive Gliscor and Mandibuzz. It's just a really good tool for defensive teams, imo. If QC doesn't think it's good enough then OK, but I thought I'd say it anyway.

(Btw this is the set I use:

name: Mega CroCross
move 1: Bulk Up
move 2: Pin Missile
move 3: Rest
move 4: Sleep Talk
ability: Guts
item: Heracronite
evs: 248 HP / 16 Atk / 68 SpD / 176 Spe
nature: Adamant

It could probably invest more in bulk, but the Speed tier seemed a pretty good one to me.)

EDIT @below: Enough Speed for Adamant Scizor and min Speed Gliscor like I said (you'd probably want more to creep on Gliscor if you're gonna run it), max HP and the rest in Special Defense. I put 16 EVs on Attack with an Adamant nature because 185>>>105, so you're getting more final points than if you'd just use 84 SpD Careful, ie 451 instead of 406 and 263 instead of 293, respectively; I dunno if it's necessary but it feels right.
Actually a set like this is already in the OO! It's definitely a cool set and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that.
 

Colonel M

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#19
Night Slash is worthy of a mention just because Aegislash is a total prick against Mega Heracross.

I've also seen Scarf Moxie Heracross. It does okay but some of the new threats really annoy the shit out of it. I'm only mentioning it because it isn't even in OO where it should be at worst.
 

Gary

Can be abrasive at times (no joke)
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#21
Night Slash is worthy of a mention just because Aegislash is a total prick against Mega Heracross.

I've also seen Scarf Moxie Heracross. It does okay but some of the new threats really annoy the shit out of it. I'm only mentioning it because it isn't even in OO where it should be at worst.
I thought I put Scarf in OO, but I guess not. But yeah Night Slash is pretty redundant when EQ gives it basically the same coverage, and it isn't susceptible to King's Shield. It does hit Jellicent harder than anything else bar Bullet Seed, but it's too rare to consider.