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Item Exploitation and Usage

Discussion in 'BW OU' started by Ambicrow3, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Ambicrow3

    Ambicrow3

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    Thread approved by Taylor



    Items have been in pokemon since generation 1, and as competitive battlers, there is no reason not to use an item on each and every pokemon. As I see a lack of general discussion among items within the OU threads, I decided to make this thread dedicated to the sole purpose of talking about items, and the strategy of teams that exploit them. There are many strategies that involve items, like trick foddering a pokemon. Trick foddering is basically where the pokemon tricks a choiced item onto a pokemon right before the opponent kills that pokemon. This means that the opponents pokemon is now locked into that move for another one of your pokemon to set-up on the choice locked move. As you can see, exploiting items can lead to many great scenario's for the exploiter.

    I believe there are so many items that can effect a pokemon, as each pokemon needs an item to work at its optimum. For example, is Chansey better with a eviolite or a choice scarf? That one was is quite obvious. But, let's take a harder question. What is better on Genesect, Choice Scarf or Expert Belt? Well, there is no real obvious answer, since it depends on what you need. Just from that example, you can see how important items can be. items decide what the pokemon is used for, and if you just laxly put items on pokemon, like a bunch of leftovers on a stall team, it may not work at its best. Maybe a pokemon is better with a shed shell, so your team isn't weak to sun? Maybe some type of SE damage reducing berry is needed, so you can surprise kill a counter. I find it sad the lack of thought in items nowadays among the new competitive battlers. If you look at experienced competitive battlers, you can see their item usage is more spread out, taking on items from every angle to find the perfect fit for their team. The best example that quickly comes to mind is Lavos Sun's Xatu. Lavos Spawn is a very respected battler, and he makes great use of Rocky Helmet on his Xatu. Realizing his team could not beat a Dragonite if its multiscale wasn't broken, he added Rocky Helmet to lessen this problem to a great extent, allowing other pokemon to kill it. As you can see, having a great knowledge of the items at hand can make an "ok" team into a great team.

    Offensive Item Exploitation- Exploiting your own items and making our opponent have hazardous items
    through trick, choice scarf users of your own, and then when the time comes, you can cripple an opponent by giving them a choice item, and a great set-up sweeper to take advantage, allowing for an easy set-up once your team has crippled most of the opposing team.

    ---------------------------------------------------Offensive Checklist---------------------------------------------------------​

    • Scarf Trickster
    • Offensive hazard Trickster(ex. Iron Ball, Flame Orb, and Lagging Tail)
    • Scarfed Revenge Killer
    • A strong Set-up sweep, with great coverage (2 is usually better)
    • Strong Pursuit User- takes out ghosts that destroy Tricksters (optional)
    • Bulky Water, or a Steel that resists water


    -------------------------------------------------Example Team for Offensive-----------------------------------------------​

    [​IMG]
    Latios (M) @ Choice Scarf
    Trait: Levitate
    EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Spd / 4 HP
    Timid Nature
    - Dragon Pulse
    - Psyshock
    - Surf
    - Trick

    Latios provides the team with 2 things that it really needs. 1) A great revenge killer, that can take out scarf Salamance and +1 Dragonite after rocks, and many more scarfed dragons. And 2, it gives me my first trickster, allowing me to cripple the likes of defensive pokemon, like Blissey, Chansey, and pretty much any defensively oriented pokemon.

    [​IMG]
    Empoleon @ Leftovers
    Trait: Torrent
    EVs: 56 SDef / 252 HP / 200 Def
    Bold Nature
    - Stealth Rock
    - Hydro Pump
    - Ice Beam
    - Grass Knot

    Although an offensive team, you still need a strong defensive pokemon. Filling the role of a bulky steel that resists water, he fits perfectly. A good counter to rain is never missed in this meta-game, and Empoleon does a great job. And although he does a good job countering rain and dragons, his job doesn't stop there. His important role as a stealth rocker is important to an item exploiting team. Stealth Rocks allow the Sweepers to sweep more easily, turning some 2HKO's into 1HKO's, and even more so, breaking Sturdy and Multiscale from pokemon that could end the game winning sweep.

    [​IMG]
    Cloyster @ King's Rock / Leftovers
    Trait: Skill Link
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd
    Naive Nature
    - Shell Smash
    - Icicle Spear
    - Rock Blast
    - Surf

    The first set-up sweeper of the team. When looking for a sweeper, you want one that can set-up and be powerful after just one turn of setting up. Cloyster fills this role greatly. Having near perfect coverage, at + 2 in both attack stats, and in his speed, not much can stop him after setting up. Cloyster can come in on any choiced defensive pokemon who's main attack is physical, and just set-up and wreck. Also, Cloyster works very well in tandem with Whimsicott to be a revenge killer himself.

    [​IMG]
    Volcarona @ Leftovers
    Trait: Flame Body
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
    Timid Nature
    - Quiver Dance
    - Fiery Dance
    - Bug Buzz
    - Giga Drain

    The second set-up sweeper. This is another threat that is extremely powerful after just 1 turn of setting up. Although this set is walled hard by quite a number of OU threats, it really does well vs Rain and Sand teams, which usually beat it quite easily. Volcarona can come in on a plethora of used pokemon in this metagame, most notably, Genesect. Volcarona can easily come in after Whimsicott cripples a pokemon that Volcarona could not really set-up on before, and make it very easy to. Volcarona also becomes a great revenge killer with Whimsicott at its side.

    [​IMG]
    Whimsicott @ Lagging Tail
    Trait: Prankster
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spd
    Bold Nature
    IVs: 0 Atk
    - Switcheroo
    - Charm
    - Encore
    - Taunt

    Whimsicott is a great user of Switcheroo, because of priority. Whimsicott's main job is to stop pokemon that have set-up, or allow the team to set-up against HO teams. Switcheroo can be used to make any pokemon that has set-up in speed, and can no longer be out speed through scarfed means to struggle to get a kill after. For example, a Salamance can be at +2 in both stats after a couple dragon dances, and after he used the second, Whimsicott comes in. Whimsicott will out speed and use Switcheroo before the Salamance can attack, thus making Salamance always move last. This allows Cloyster or Latios to easily revenge it without any worries. Charm can stop offensive team in its tracks, as it allows Cloyster to easily set-up, and to be honest, Cloyster wrecks offensive teams.

    [​IMG]
    Espeon @ Choice Scarf
    Trait: Magic Bounce
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
    Timid Nature
    - Trick
    - Psychic
    - Hidden Power [Ground]
    - Grass Knot

    Espeon is a great choice as another trickster, as it is easy to switch in on defensive pokemon due to Magic Guard, and its already blazing fast speed, making it into a very powerful revenger. Hidden Power ground allows it to easily destroy Heatran, who often comes in on Espeon, just to get a scarf to the face and a HP ground the following turn. Grass Knot allows you to 2HKO an incoming Sp. Defensive Tyranitar after Rocks, so it cannot Pursuit trap you. Espeon provides a great trick user, rounding off the team with 3 cripplers, so that the opponent has 3 next to useless pokemon on his team, allowing for easy set-up, or just a complete and total match-up advantage.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Defensive Item Exploitation

    If I am going to be completely honest, I could think of a good definition, but the guidelines would be hard. If anyone would like to give the definition of Defensive Item Exploitation a try, I welcome it with open arms. The first idea I had was, contrary to offensive item exploitation where you cripple defensive threats, is that you cripple offensive threats by lowering their speed and attack stat through items, and slowly whittle your opponent's stats down until you can find an opening to bring in a bulky mixed 4 attacker (best type of offensive threat in my opinion for this type of team).

    So, for defensive definitions, I would like people to submit their best definitions of it, so I may but up a worthy definition, and maybe even a great sample team. Go forth Smogonites, and find the power within the items that we use.
  2. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
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    For defensive:
    An item is used that hinders the functionality of offensive Pokemon.

    This could range from Leftovers making defensive Pokemon mote difficult to break to Shed Shell messing with trappers to Black Sludge messing with Trick users. This could also apply to things like Trick + CB Bronzong.

    Oh yeah, I have some qualms about you saying that a Pokemon is 'abusing' an item. 'Abusing' has a negative connotation and isn't really the right word to use for what is essentially "a Pokemon utilizing an item to cripple something". Obviously that's superfluous, but using "abuse" sounds weird to me. idk, others might think differently.

    Your example team seems kind of strange too... you probably want a spinner over Espeon because both of your sweepers are so ridiculously hazard weak thus you need the reliabiliy, and I don't see what Whimsicott does that say Sableye cannot (so fix that). That team is also weak to a ton of stuff, but I won't get into that.

    This concept itself is interesting, and I'm interested to see what can eventually come out of it.
  3. Masamune

    Masamune

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    [​IMG]
    Sableye @ Iron Ball
    Trait: Prankster
    EVs: 252 HP / 6 Def / 252 SDef
    Calm Nature
    - Will-O-Wisp
    - Taunt
    - Recover
    - Trick

    Great 'defensive' Pokémon right here. As the held item slows the target by 50% and makes Flying/Levitate users susceptible to ground attacks, it's incredible when paired with a sweeper like Landorus/Garchomp.

    WoW is to cripple physical attackers - it halves their attack, which is why the spread is SDef orientated instead. Taunt stops walls etc in their tracks and combined with WoW/recover, you can actually burn stall them to death.
  4. Ambicrow3

    Ambicrow3

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    Ya, I agree the team is quite weak to a bunch of general stuff, but it was just an example of how a team would look like, because expressing thoughts through a team may be easier to see than a good description for some people. Also, statistically speaking, you are right, the example team is hilariously weak to stuff, but you got to remember to that after you have tricked a couple items back and forth, the match-ups are different. I believe that most teams centered around items will look weak to common threats on paper, but are easily handled do to the hazardous items that they will obtain. For example, you say the example team would like a reliable spinner. When used in practice, this team will only switch in the sweepers once, and if done correctly, it is game over. That is pretty much the strategy. get to a point in the match in which your sweeper is facing a choice locked resisted move. From there it is done. Just clean with another pokemon if he dies, and you win.

    Now back onto the topic at hand.

    I believe there are so many items that can effect a pokemon, as each pokemon needs an item to work at its optimum. For example, is Chansey better with a eviolite or a choice scarf? That one was is quite obvious. But, let's take a harder question. What is better on Genesect, Choice Scarf or Expert Belt? Well, there is no real obvious answer, since it depends on what you need. Just from that example, you can see how important items can be. items decide what the pokemon is used for, and if you just laxly put items on pokemon, like a bunch of leftovers on a stall team, it may not work at its best. Maybe a pokemon is better with a shed shell, so your team isn't weak to sun? Maybe some type of SE damage reducing berry is needed, so you can surprise kill a counter. I find it sad the lack of thought in items nowadays among the new competitive battlers. If you look at experienced competitive battlers, you can see their item usage is more spread out, taking on items from every angle to find the perfect fit for their team. The best example that quickly comes to mind is Lavos Sun's Xatu. Lavos Spawn is a very respected battler, and he makes great use of Rocky Helmet on his Xatu. Realizing his team could not beat a Dragonite if its multiscale wasn't broken, he added Rocky Helmet to lessen this problem to a great extent, allowing other pokemon to kill it. As you can see, having a great knowledge of the items at hand can make an "ok" team into a great team.

    PS. @Masamune-Sableye is great for balanced Item Abuse teams, or just as a general core component that could be devastating on a regular team, that would lack the team coverage to handle such threats that could avoid SE damage from your sweepers.
  5. Dracule Mihawk

    Dracule Mihawk

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    Items are a important part of the competitive scene, and many pokemon can run different items. As you've stated in the OP evolite is the best item for Chansey, but with some other pokemon it can be quite more diverse. Using the given example of Genesect. A team might prefer a scarf version of Genesect, or rather a ebelt version to net surprise kills. Items like gems, ebelts and plates are very good in faking choiced items. A good example is the Dragon gem dclaw mence set. A person would think it is a scarf mence and expect it to be choice locked into something. But bam and it can net a surprise kill and get a moxie boost, plus the gem gives dragon claw the power of outrage. Gems are quite good items as well, being used in things like acroscor or unburden pokemon in lower tiers.

    Some items are staples, such as lefties on defense mons or orb on certain offense mons. It's up to players how to use items effectively and to the best effect.
  6. Somebody Anonymous

    Somebody Anonymous

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    Abuse is the wrong term. Abuse makes it sound like we are using un-strategic means to win battles. Eg. Brightpowder, Quick Claw, etc. We use items. Anyway, some defensive items would be damage reducing berries(eg. yache berry), air baloon, red card(?), leftovers, evolite, toxic orb+poison heal, flame orb+ magic guard+ psycho shift...etc.
  7. Masamune

    Masamune

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    I disagree. Abuse means 'to take advantage of', so isn't taking advantage of an item - i.e. using eblet to fool the opponent into thinking you're choice locked - a form of abuse?
  8. Lord of Bays

    Lord of Bays

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    Masamune, that makes sense, but "abuse" is so ingrained in our vocabulary as a negative word that for the purposes of the wiki (is Smogon a wiki? Or is it Bulbapedia? Dammit) I think "abuse" isn't the right word.
  9. Masamune

    Masamune

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    That's because abuse is usually for self-gain, and any action which benefits yourself at the cost of other is likely to be negative. For example, you could abuse a person for sexual gratification - a negative example. Likewise, you could also abuse an old woman by helping her across the street (in order to feel good about yourself) - an infinitely more positive example. Like I said, it only means 'to take advantage of' - that can be for good or bad purposes, depending on the situation. Giving yourself an edge in a game is pretty darn harmless, if you ask me.

    TL;DR: I think the word's use in this case is perfectly fine. :heart:

    (anyway, don't want to go off topic/turn this into a flame war!)
  10. Somebody Anonymous

    Somebody Anonymous

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  11. Ambicrow3

    Ambicrow3

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    Although I am totally against this whole idea of changing the name of the thread, I am going to so you guys will STAY ON TOPIC. Remember, the point of this thread is to discuss the usage of items, how much they effect the current metagame, and if they can be exploited.
  12. dragonuser

    dragonuser The only thing I look up to is the sky
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    Items are a huge part of our metagame and can most definitely be exploited. Items can give your walls passive recovery or boost your attacks incredibly. There is also enough variety in items to specialize unique sets to work around them. Interesting examples of this is the use of gems or damage reducing berries. The extent of usefulness an item has is at the discretion of the battler and how much thought they put into their team building and planning.
  13. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
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    Well, obviously the metagame is centered around items.

    Let's say I've got a Heatran. Now, keep in mind that there are a ton of items you can run on Heatran. Just the item choice changes Heatran significantly. Heatran can effectively run all of Leftovers, Life Orb, Air Balloon, Shed Shell, Choice Specs, and Choice Scarf. Hell, you could run Chople Berry for all intents and purposes. With Leftovers, Heatran does better at taking things like Scizor U-turns/Bullet Punches and stuff like that, small hits that add up over time. It's much harder than you would think to take out a Leftovers Heatran comparatively. With Life Orb, Heatran hits pretty damn hard, but it can still switch moves. Heatran doesn't have very much survivability with Life Orb; however, it is difficult to take hits from and generally reliably switch into. With Air Balloon, Heatran plays all weird. You want to play conservatively to prevent Air Balloon from being broken. However, then I can't just bring in my Landorus-T or Dugtrio; I have to be sure to break Air Balloon, and this is difficult when people are flawlessly avoiding attacks. With Shed Shell, I'm in the bad position when I bring in Dugtrio, not Heatran. Against Choice Specs, I sure as hell better keep my Fire resist(s) alive. Choice Scarf makes Heatran an amazing revenge killer.

    So yeah, items have a gigantic effect on the metagame. There's many others, like Lum Berry and Choice Band, and they inarguably shape the metagame.

    The thread title is much better now, btw. The word 'abuse' is defined as misusing for a bad purpose, so it was definitely the wrong word. That's moot anyway.
  14. ChrisTehAwesome

    ChrisTehAwesome

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    Imo Choice Specs Zoroark is the best user of Trick right now. It can really cause some havoc midgame. I particularly like disguising myself as a forretress and tricking the specs to a Cloyster as it Shell Smashes.

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