1. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.
  2. Click here to ensure that you never miss a new SmogonU video upload!


Discussion in 'BW LC' started by iss, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. iss

    iss happily ever after
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Jun 5, 2009

    Approved by Aerrow​

    Currently a LC Council Discussion Topic

    General (open)
    I was originally going to write a brief history of Murkrow. The only problem is, it doesn't exactly have a huge amount of history to speak of. In Generation 4, it was ridiculously overpowered. People were resorting to things such as Shieldon just to beat it. Its banning has been called the "start of modern Little Cup". I wasn't around to see it. Murkrow wasn't a factor in DPP LC simply because it was impossible to use it. So unlike Porygon, which I could spend hours talking about its role in DPP LC, Murkrow simply doesn't have anything.

    At the beginning of BW LC, Murkrow was widely suggested to be banned in the theorymoning before release. When Little Cup adopted a not-so-stringent banlist, Murkrow was left in Little Cup. It wasn't really broken when you had Sun teams everywhere, with Drought Vulpix not banned. After other, more glaring suspects were banned, the Calm Mind set was created, chaos ensued, and Murkrow was banned. Sure, there were other factors, but it was banned pretty convincingly and simply.

    The unbanning of Murkrow surprised many people. Gligar and Misdreavus seemed to go together; they were two of the so-called "Big Four" (Gligar, Misdreavus, Carvanha, and Meditite). Murkrow was a mystery. Why it was unbanned is a mystery that only the Little Cup Council could explain, and I doubt they will. But it was. After the initial comments of "lol murkrow unbanned", Murkrow actually disappointed. It picked up #9 in the usage stats, far behind the #1 and #2 of Gligar and Misdreavus. People scrambled to find an explanation for Murkrow being so low. The two main reasons were that it required far more team support and that it was more skill-based. Seeing these two points, I created this thread. Murkrow at #9 is unacceptable. I hope, after reading this thread, that you all go out and try out Murkrow on your team. It will not disappoint you.
    Stats and Movepool (open)
    HP: 60
    Attack: 85
    Defense: 42
    Special Attack: 85
    Special Defense: 42
    Speed: 91
    BST: 405

    1 Peck
    1 Astonish
    5 Pursuit
    11 Haze
    15 Wing Attack
    21 Night Shade
    25 Assurance
    31 Taunt
    35 Faint Attack
    41 Mean Look
    45 Foul Play
    51 Tailwind
    55 Sucker Punch
    61 Torment
    65 Quash

    Brave Bird
    Confuse Ray
    Drill Peck
    Faint Attack
    Mirror Move
    Perish Song
    Psycho Shift
    Sky Attack
    Wing Attack

    (note: These are illegal with Prankster except for the ones available through other means. The Emerald ones (marked with a *) are illegal with Super Luck too, except for the ones available through other means.)
    Air Cutter
    Dream Eater*
    Heat Wave
    Icy Wind
    Ominous Wind
    Psych Up*
    Sky Attack*
    Sleep Talk*
    Sucker Punch
    Thunder Wave*

    04 Calm Mind
    06 Toxic
    10 Hidden Power
    11 Sunny Day
    12 Taunt
    17 Protect
    18 Rain Dance
    21 Frustration
    27 Return
    29 Psychic
    30 Shadow Ball
    32 Double Team
    40 Aerial Ace
    41 Torment
    42 Facade
    43 Secret Power*
    44 Rest
    45 Attract
    46 Thief
    47 Steel Wing*
    48 Round
    49 Snatch*
    51 Roost*
    58 Endure*
    60 Quash
    63 Embargo
    66 Payback
    67 Retaliate
    73 Thunder Wave
    77 Psych Up
    78 Captivate*
    79 Dark Pulse*
    82 Sleep Talk*
    83 Natural Gift*
    85 Dream Eater
    87 Swagger
    88 Pluck
    90 Substitute
    95 Snarl**
    H2 Fly
    H5 Defog*

    * Gen IV TM/HM. These are illegal with Prankster unless available through other means.
    ** Snarl is currently illegal (yes, the event Zoroark gets it, but nothing can transfer it to Murkrow).

    SubRoost (open)
    name: SubRoost
    move 1: Substitute
    move 2: Roost
    move 3: Brave Bird
    move 4: Sucker Punch
    item: Eviolite
    ability: Prankster
    nature: Jolly
    evs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 20 Def / 20 SpD / 188 Spe

    Okay, here's the set that I've been calling the most skillbased set in the metagame at the moment in several threads. The general premise is pretty simple; get a Substitute and start killing things, Roosting off damage when you need to. However, while without prediction it's already an excellent set, with good prediction it becomes nearly unstoppable. Firstly, you must understand when and why to use each move:

    Substitute: You should be using this a lot. By a lot, I mean more than half of the time in some cases. Prankster Substitute, especially when paired with Roost, is like Protect--except it punishes your opponent hard for not attacking. If Stealth Rock is off the field, feel free to Substitute whenever you want; Murkrow has plenty of opportunities to Roost. Murkrow is such a threat to simply wreck most Pokemon with Brave Bird that often, you'll see your opponent switch on the second or third Substitute, fearing a Brave Bird. From the switch, you can be content with entry hazard damage and Roost up for next time, or abuse the fact that they pretty much have to attack by using Sucker Punch. Brave Bird is an option too. Keep in mind that if you have hail support (which is absolutely fantastic for Murkrow), Substitute can help you get that 5-10% extra you need for a KO.

    Roost: Roost's main effect is healing Murkrow, but there are special ways to use Roost, too. If you need to stall more turns than Substitute allows you to (in hail), Murkrow is actually pretty bulky with Eviolite and can tank a lot of hits. However, the more useful effect is removing Murkrow's Flying type for a turn, allowing Murkrow's Substitute to tank a lot of weak super effective hits. The main attack that you will encounter is Bronzor's Hidden Power Ice, which does not break Murkrow's Substitute during Roost. With perfect prediction or good prediction and some prior damage, Murkrow can easily take out Bronzor without even needing to attack.

    Brave Bird: Brave Bird is mainly useful during the earlygame and lategame. In the earlygame, Brave Bird can be extremely useful to test your opponent's defenses against Murkrow, and can even punch a few holes in some common counters for lategame sweeps. I have quite a few 6-0 Murkrow sweeps to my name just because my opponent decided to switch their supposed Murkrow counter into a Brave Bird, getting 2HKOed either naturally or via a crit, and losing the game because of that. Lategame, Brave Bird, when combined with Murkrow's great Speed, can clean up many weakened teams. During the midgame, Brave Bird isn't quite as useful because you're taking a lot of residual damage. For example, Stealth Rock usually won't be up during the earlygame, and lategame 25% off Murkrow won't matter as much, but during the midgame Murkrow really does not want to be losing HP from Stealth Rock, Substitute, Hail, and Brave Bird. Yes, Roost helps, but you really should only be using Brave Bird if it's after a kill, Murkrow's at high health, and you're facing something like Mienfoo that you can easily OHKO.

    Sucker Punch: Sucker Punch is a very situational move, and it will most likely be your least used move. There are only four circumstances where Sucker Punch should be used: against a Choice Scarfer, against a sweeper that has set up, finishing off weakened Pokemon from behind a Substitute, and when Murkrow simply cannot afford to take recoil damage (usually when Murkrow is the last Pokemon on your team). You usually will encounter at least one or two of these situations per game, and that's when Sucker Punch truly shines. Don't go around spamming Sucker Punch though. It simply isn't worth it.

    What you usually want to happen is this: Murkrow switches in, gets a free Substitute on the switch to the counter, uses Roost while scouting the move used against it, and switches out to an appropriate counter. Notice the lack of attacks in that sequence. Yes, I did mention using Brave Bird as a scouting tool in the earlygame, but this should be your general midgame plan unless you are absolutely sure you can nab a quick KO. Murkrow thrives in the lategame, and that's where you want to get to. Murkrow doesn't need to attack to do damage; like Drilbur in the last metagame, it forces your opponent to keep their checks and counters alive, while making them reluctant to use Ground-type moves or KO one of your Pokemon with a Pokemon that is weak to Murkrow. Never sacrifice Murkrow unless doing so would help you win the game.

    Low Murkrow usage has been attributed to the fact that Murkrow cannot just be thrown on any team the way Gligar or Misdreavus can. That is true, but Murkrow does not need a huge amount of team support. There are three main components that make Murkrow much stronger: entry hazards, Rapid Spin, and hail or sand (but preferably hail). Murkrow appreciates entry hazards just like any sweeper. There are quite a few 2HKOs that Murkrow can achieve on bulkier defensive Pokemon with Stealth Rock up, most notably defensive Gligar. While it isn't essential for Murkrow's success, it certainly does help. Rapid Spin makes Murkrow much better in the midgame, as it can use Substitute without needing to Roost every time it switches in. Staryu synergizes pretty well with Murkrow anyways, as Murkrow can easily remove defensive Grass-types while Staryu is good against most standard Steel-types. Hail not only provides additional damage for Murkrow, it allows Murkrow to do damage while using Substitute. While it may not be a lot of damage, Little Cup is a lot about small amounts of damage adding up these days. It also lets Murkrow beat Bronzor. Sandstorm works too to an extent, but Murkrow loses the ability to beat Bronzor.

    Oh, and one last note.

    236 +1 Atk Scraggy Ice Punch vs 36 HP/20 Def Eviolite Murkrow: 78.26% - 95.65%
    MixKrow (open)
    name: MixKrow
    move 1: Drill Peck
    move 2: Heat Wave
    move 3: Sucker Punch
    move 4: Icy Wind / Hidden Power Ice
    item: Life Orb
    ability: Insomnia / Super Luck
    nature: Naive
    evs: 236 Atk / 76 SpA / 192 Spe

    MixKrow is very underrated and underutilized. With proper prediction, this set not only serves as a potent revenge killer (if you can win speed ties), but also absolutely destroy team expecting only the SubRoost set. The four listed moves at least 2HKO pretty much everything in Little Cup aside from Chinchou, which takes a ton from Sucker Punch. But really, there's nothing to say about this set. Here's a summary:

    <%iss|krow> there's nothing to say about mixkrow
    <%iss|krow> you click one of four attacks
    <%iss|krow> and it does damage
    <%iss|krow> and you keep doing that until you die
    <Sledge> that sad life of a pokemon...

    Basically, if you're a newer player and don't want to jump into the deep pool of SubRoost yet, use MixKrow. It works too, and it's a lot easier to use!

    (since someone will say something about me slashing Hidden Power Ice, let me just say this: Icy Wind doesn't always OHKO defensive Gligar. sure, the speed drop is absolutely gamechanging if you can land it on a Choice Scarfer, and that's why Icy Wind is recommended. Hidden Power Ice is just an option if you're really worried about Gligar and you don't want to predict ever.)
    Calm Mind (open)
    name: Calm Mind + FeatherDance
    move 1: Calm Mind
    move 2: FeatherDance
    move 3: Roost
    move 4: Hidden Power Flying
    item: Eviolite
    ability: Prankster
    nature: Calm
    evs: 196 HP / 100 Def / 184 SpD

    A long time ago, in a land far far away, Calm Mind Murkrow reigned supreme over all of Little Cup. None could stand up to its mighty wrath. Special sweepers were unable to penetrate its meditating state, while physical sweepers were easily dispatched with a feather to the knee. Before long, all bowed to its unfathomable power, and many a sadfaced opponent GG'd out of a ladder match. The top warriors in the land of Little Cup met and tried to figure out how to defeat this monster. All of their best fighters had fallen to it. Even Elevator Music had been 6-0ed many a time (lol there's my standard cookie for EM). Eventually, someone called in the banhammer, and they won I guess. I'm sorry that I don't write good fiction.

    One day, the people of Little Cup decided that life was boring. Enough with the Drilbur sweeps! the cynics cried. Bread and water! shouted the circuses. And Murkrow was brought back as an entertainment. This time, they were ready. Many barbs of Toxic poison were thrown out from across the land, destroying any shred of invincibility that Calm Mind Murkrow used to have. Eventually, it became the subject of many a joke. And that, my friends, is what it is today. Nothing but a joke.

    On a more serious tone, Calm Mind would be fantastic if Murkrow had five moveslots. If only it could carry Substitute too, it would certainly be one of the best Murkrow sets. As is, though, it's easier to beat than blarajan. If you want to use it, check that your ladder points are under 800 before attempting. Failure to do so may result in humiliation.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. prem

    prem failed abortion
    is a Battle Server Moderatoris a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Mar 25, 2011
    murkrow, the legend.

    its honestly not that hard to beat, it loses to all 19 speed mons besides missy, while bulky mons like hippopotas, gligar, porygon, and bronzor can easily just take hits all day. even slowpoke could win because krow doesnt use a reliable dark stab
  3. Ray Jay

    Ray Jay "Jump first, ask questions later, oui oui!"
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    May 20, 2010
    Porygon trololos at Murkrow all day, but let's get real; so many Pokes can take advantage of Porygon. Basically, if the opponent decides to let their Choice Scarf users get weakened and they switch their main counter into a Brave Bird while you're behind a Substitute, it's GG. Personally SubRoost is one of my favorite sets in the metagame due to the amount of skill it takes to play.

    Prem said it loses to all 19 Speed mons, but that's the thing, if you play it right, it doesn't. Iss hinted at the fact that it's not really a mid-game mon. Gligar totally is a mid-game mon in the fact that it just starts spamming Acrobatics or whatever; Murkrow is more of something you finesse. In other words, any Gligar Murkrow faces should be weakened (the same goes for Staryu, to an extent; if it's later in the game and Staryu's switching in, it should honestly be at low enough health that you kill it with BB if you win the Speed tie).

    Overall, if I had to describe Murkrow in a word, it would be unique. He's not to be underestimated, and you see more and more teams dedicating an entire spot (Porygon, Elekid) to beat it and some of its common teammates.
  4. comatthew6

    is a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    Jan 7, 2010
    This has already been addressed in the past, but the reason as to why Murkrow is so low in usage is because it requires more support than the other two. Gligar is like the most versatile Pokemon in Little Cup (those stats and movepool), whereas Misdreavus can even manage to beat Pokemon that are supposed to counter it (Stunky). Though Murkrow can be incredibly powerful, if played correctly, the right situations MUST occur in order for that to happen. For instance, you better remove Scarf Shellder if you're using subroost, as Icicle Spear will easily ohko. If you're using MixKrow and SR is on your side of the field, you better make sure that you can OHKO your opponent's team otherwise you might not even get a single kill. If you're using CM + Featherdance, you better make sure you have a Balloon + Magnet Rise Magnemite, otherwise you'll easily lose to Toxic Bronzor.


    I'm not saying that Murkrow is bad in any way. I'm saying that it requires a lot of support to work properly, and its primary supporters are "bad" in this metagame so that's why Murkrow's usage is so low. That being sad, I don't use Murkrow.
  5. iss

    iss happily ever after
    is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Jun 5, 2009
    Bumping this thread, as Murkrow has been named a LC Council discussion topic. Regardless if you're on the council or not, please post in this thread your opinions on if Murkrow is broken or not!
  6. Trakyan


    Dec 8, 2011
    Murkrow is amazing and the sole reason i even go on the smogon server. I made a mono attack set and it was great sub/roost and CM when you have time while your opponent thinks 'lets batter it with attacks, of course it will work!' and finds their special attacks getting worse by the turn while others find sucker punch doesnt seem to be working for their planed revenge kill or something, some even find all the PP seems to be gone from their moves HP flying makes for good coverage since nothing is immune to it and the only thing you will see resisting it is bronzor would couldnt touch murkrow and has no recovery.
  7. spuds4ever


    Oct 4, 2011
    Murkrow, if put in the right hands, can be very, very dangerous. It has a very nice movepool but I think that his best set is the sub+roost set with BB and s punch as flying already gets awesome coverage in the tier, only really resisted by chinchou and bronzor, the latter of which can't do anything to touch the set except oran berry recycle stall it and the earlier can be stalled out with roost and beaten with sucker punch.

    Fortunately, I haven't seen a lot of Murkrow put in the right hands (and none of the sub roost sets) so I can't give the most accurate review here. Apart from the subroost set which I can't accurately review at this point, I find murkrow is not broken, mixkrow, while having awesome coverage and being potentially very dangerous, can be beaten by clever switching and any scarfer that can take a sucker punch or priority and also suffers from being very hard to switch in due to lack of resistances and bulk without eviolite and with it, you lose the important OHKOes that life orb grants.

    I think Murkrow deserves another round at least.
  8. Heysup

    Heysup Monsters are dangerous and kings are dying like flies.
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

    Jun 28, 2008
    I think the reasoning for my original vote for Murkrow being banned still applies, though it's hard to argue that Murkrow is going to be sweeping with massive amounts of recoil. Murkrow has the ability to 2HKO almost anything just by spamming Brave Bird (Slowpoke, Frillish, etc still die) and either following up with another Brave Bird or using Heat Wave / Hidden Power Ice to finish them off. Bronzor is probably the safest switch-in solely because it's pretty uncommon for Murkrow to open with Heat Wave unless it also KOes the Pokemon currently on the field......however it can't really do anything back and actually still loses. Nothing can switch in safely and then actually kill it.

    This isn't even considering Sucker Punch and how hard it is to play around considering the only Pokemon that are fast enough for Murkrow to need to use it against are Choice Scarfers....Choice Scarfers don't have the option to mess around with set up / non attacking moves. Every other Pokemon is just slower.

    If you want to bring up the lack of a stable bar of HP, just think about what that means first. If Murkrow has very little HP because of Brave Bird / Life Orb, that means it successfully got a bunch of attacks off, and especially in Brave Birds case, it actually means you did a lot of damage. If the only argument against Murkrow being banworthy is "once it takes out a couple Pokemon, it's low on HP" then I don't think it's possible to have a two-sided discussion, unfortunately.
  9. Ray Jay

    Ray Jay "Jump first, ask questions later, oui oui!"
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus

    May 20, 2010
    Yeah I have to agree with Heysup on a lot of points, although I don't necessarily think it's banworthy, I've been having MAJOR problems playing around Life Orb Brave Bird sets lately, especially the ones that opt for Heat Wave (as they can actually Porygon one on one). Part of the argument for Murkrow's original banning was that its sets have completely different counters, and we didn't see that earlier in the meta because Murkrow didn't have a dominant set people prepared for. Now that the meta has settled down, people have been mostly prepared for SubRoost and offensive variants are extremely effective nowadays.

    I'd actually go as far as to compare it as a Drifloon from last meta on steroids. IE, last meta, you got Drifloon in and you could force a lot of stuff out, late game, you could pull off a sweep if Bronzor and Ferroseed were weakened. The downside was it couldn't afford to use Acrobatics early because then it lost the Flight Gem and Unburden boost if it switched out. Murkrow's actually pretty similar, since it often can't afford to spam Brave Bird and stuff early game because it needs to stay healthy. The difference is Murkrow is not item dependent, so it can either be much bulkier with Eviolite or have Life Orb to consistently deal massive damage, and Sucker Punch and Brave Bird hit waaaay harder (even if one doesn't factor in Murkrow's higher base stats). The phrase we used about Drifloon last meta definitely applies here, and to a higher degree: if you get it in at the right time mid-late game, there's a high chance your opponent is going to lose at least two Pokemon.
  10. Heysup

    Heysup Monsters are dangerous and kings are dying like flies.
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Forum Moderator Alumnus

    Jun 28, 2008
    I have a hard time drawing the same comparison because Murkrow functions as "whatever works best" for that battle at that time while Drifloon has one all-or-nothing use that doesn't always even get one KO.

    What I mean is, Murkrow can break down 2-3 (or more..) Pokemon before being too weakened from SR / weak attacks from Bronzor / Recoil at any given point in the game, whether its late game or early game.

    Drifloon functions as a simple late-game sweeper after its counters are weakened. One of the simplest Pokemon in the metagame in my opinion.

    I'm not even talking about the Eviolite set, I always found that set lame and a waste anyway.

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)