This will be done by the end of the day. All Hail the King! Skeleton up. It's freaking Nidoking! ------------------------------------------------------ http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-bw/034.shtml [Overview] Encourage has been released and is Nidoking's biggest selling point. Massive Encourage boostable movepool. Typing grants impressive normal battle condition immunities: Toxic, Thunder Wave and Sandstorm as well as a resistance to Stealth Rock. It's freaking Nidoking! [SET] name: Special Attacker move 1: Earth Power move 2: Fire Blast move 3: Ice Beam / Shadow Ball move 4: Thunderbolt / Focus Blast item: Life Orb ability: Encourage nature: Timid evs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe / 4 Def Set Comments: Encourage gives a massive boost to Nidoking's considerable special movepool, boosting the power of nearly every move by 30%. To put it in perspective, special attacks used by max SpA Nidoking should be treated as if they came off a Pokemon with 125 Base Special Attack, not 85. When a Pokemon with Encourage uses an Encourage boosted move (which would be every move on the set), it does not suffer from Life Orb recoil if it is holding a Life Orb. Combined with its Sandstorm immunity it means that Nidoking is almost never on a timer when it uses Life Orb boosted moves. Earth Power is the main STAB move, while Fire Blast is it's most powerful and fairly reliable backup attack. Either move can destroy Doryuuzu. You are free to mix and match Nidoking's other moves based on your team needs. Ice Beam covers Dragons (OHKO's Sazandora) and most Flying types, Thunderbolt obliterates Gyarados and bulky waters generally. Shadow Ball and Focus Blast are more niche, but again which specific combination of moves you use is mostly based on your team needs. 4 Defense EVs are selected because it avoids a point of Stealth Rock damage that would occur if you added to HP. Additional Comments: Modest Nidoking hits harder but susequently loses speed battles with the multitude of 80 Base Speed Pokemon and Gyarados. Unfortunately Focus Blast still can't 2HKO most Blissey so Timid is preferred. Sludge Wave does slightly more damage than Fire Blast to a select few targets, but Fire Blast's coverage is otherwise entirely superior. Nidoking can be used on any weather team, using Thunder with Rain Dance and Blizzard with Hail to enhance it's offensive threat level further. This set can easily be converted to a Special Attacking Scarf set, where it speed ties Modest Scarf Sazandora. Ice Beam does 68-80% to Sazandora for reference. Choice Specs is an alternative that has more raw power and can net crucial OHKO's like Ice Beam on Sazandora, however since it doesn't suffer Life Orb recoil the extra damage is not worth losing the versatility. Although it lacks the raw power it gains versatility and is not on a timer unlike most Life Orb sweepers. Sucker Punch and perhaps a Naive Nature can be placed over one of the special attacks to finish off a weakened opponent. 10% recoil damage is a small price to pay for not taking a hit or bursting a Doryuuzu Baloon before Nidoking goes down. Teammates & Counters: Nidoking still can't break through a full health Blissey or Evolution Stone Chansey even with Focus Blast, so back it up with strong physical sweepers that can take care of the blob(s). Nidoking absorbs Toxic Spikes so it can remove those from the field for your other threats, and once they are weakened Nidoking can switch into both Toxic and Thunder Wave to finish the job. Nidoking enjoys having Stealth Rock on the field in addition to any other hazards. Bronzong is notable for being able to set up these hazards as well as resist most of Nidoking's weaknesses. Nidoking will be situationally countered based on the moves you select. Make sure whatever holes Nidoking leaves open for itself are covered by your other Pokemon. [SET] name: Mixed Choice Scarf move 1: Earth Power move 2: Megahorn move 3: Head Smash move 4: Fire Blast item: Choice Scarf ability: Encourage nature: Naive evs: 236 Atk / 48 SpA / 224 Spe Set Comments: Encourage acts like a Life Orb for Nidoking's special movepool, and gives its mixed sets more viability. While it's fairly risky with all the inaccurate moves, Scarf Nidoking can revenge kill large swaths of the metagame or at least cripple them beyond a point they can recover from. Speed EVs are set to outrun +1 Jolly Gyarados. Earth Power and Fire Blast return to wipe out Doryuuzu and Skarmory. Either move can KO Doryuuzu with Spikes down, while Special Defensive Skarmory is resoundingly 2HKO'd by Fire Blast. Head Smash can OHKO Offensive Gyarados and can take out Bulky Gyarados after SR. Megahorn does 68-81% damage to Sazandora, KOing it most of the time after it switches into SR damage twice or takes Sandstorm damage. Additional Comments: Nidoking can user safer moves like Thunderbolt and Ice Beam to take out targets like Gyarados and Salamence, however its physical movepool is not as compelling if it isn't invested, as Nidoking doesn't get much help from Encourage there. The element of surpise and general customability of Scarf Nidoking is where its strengths lie, but it does have a problem with trying to do too much. Pick the targets of Scarf Nidoking wisely. Teammates & Counters: Mixed Scarf Nidoking is the defintion of Four Moveslot Syndrome, it's purpose is to plug the holes in your team, so you want to build Nidoking around your team rather than building your team around it. Nonetheless, Scarf Nidoking enjoys as much hazard support as it can get. Skarmory is a good partner for laying down hazards and Nidoking can pivot in on Electric attacks aimed at it. Of particular note is it will block Volt Change through its immunity. [SET] name: Mixed Claw Sharpen move 1: Claw Sharpen move 2: Earthquake move 3: Sucker Punch move 4: Blizzard / Thunder / Focus Blast item: Life Orb / Baloon ability: Encourage nature: Naive evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe Set Comments: Claw Sharpen is Nidoking's only means of boosting Attack, and combined with Encourage it can do quite well exploiting the huge boosted Base Powers of its inacurate special attacks. Each 120 BP attack gets boosted to an impressive 156, more than a super-effective Hidden Power to start. Although it isn't boosted by Encourage, a +1 Life Orb STAB Earthquake is nothing to sneeze at, soundly 2HKOing Blissey and generally anything that doesn't resist it. Sucker Punch allows Nidoking to get the drop on faster opponents. It took doesn't benefit from Encourage and therefore suffers from Life Orb recoil, however taking 10% to prevent much greater damage is an acceptable tradeoff. Choose your special attack based on your team. One Claw Sharpen doesn't entirely negate the accuracy problems of Blizzard, Thunder, or Focus Blast, but 93% is good enough all things considered. Be wary that Thunder still has a Sandstorm problem so Thunderbolt is advised if you want it to get a drop on Gyarados specifically. Although the power drop is considerable, Baloon gives Nidoking a chance to burst the Baloons of other attackers. Focus Blast is notable here for hitting many of the Pokemon that utilize Baloon, including Heatran and Doryuuzu, both of which are cleanly 2HKOd, Doryuuzu by a combination of Focus Blast and Sucker Punch. Additional Comments: Nidoking's Physical Encourage movepool is uninspiring, consisting of Rock Slide, Iron Tail, and Poison Jab, however these moves will not suffer recoil damage from Life Orb. Fire Blast's acuracy issue is completely removed after Claw Sharpen, however on this particular set Nidoking aims to cover one of its weaknesses rather than enhancing overall coverage. Nonetheless Life Orb Fire Blast does cleanly 2HKO Special Defensive Skarmory and unlike Thunder doesn't suffer an acuracy drop in Sandstorm. Teammates & Counters: This Nidoking wears down the opponents walls and can pick off weakened opposing Pokemon, so sweepers that require a little bit of prior damage can rely on Nidoking to weaken the opponent. Hazard damage is also important here, either with Spikes, Stealth Rock support, or both. The Skarmory + Nidoking combo also holds true here for fending off Electrics, as a Choice Scarf Volt Change is a chance for Nidoking to use Claw Sharpen. Nidoking only tends to carry one special attack for coverage on this set, so anything that can deal with Earthquake and Sucker Punch and whatever move it selects (Salamence in the case of Thunder or Focus Blast, Bulky Gyarados for Blizzard or Focus Blast, etc.) will counter it. [Team Options] Nidoking's great versatility means you should plan Nidoking around your team, not your team around Nidoking. It's problem has always been being too mediocre and Encourage solves a lot of that, but it's still primarily backup. Blissey and Evolution Stone Chansey wall the majority of its sets so a Pokemon that can break through them is greatly appreciated. Rohpushin has respectable bulk and easily sets up on those opponents, with Guts to exploit Boiling Water or Iron Fist to help weaken foes for Nidoking with Mach Punch. Hazards are very valuable to Nidoking, and Nattorei can set them up as well as deal with Nidoking's Water and Psychic weaknesses. Since Fire is a common problem type for Nidoking and many of its partners, a strong offensive Dragon type like Salamence or Sazandora who can punch holes in the opponent as well are also good partners. [Optional Changes] Nidoking has Taunt to prevent an opponent from setting up hazards or phazing out its boosts with Roar or Whirlwind. Nidoking can also lay down a layer of Toxic Spikes if it can force something out, although it has difficulty setting down a second layer and should generally focus on eliminating whatever is in front of it Nidoking does have Stealth Rock from the 4th Gen TMs, however it is incompatible with Encourage and Rivalry is a much more suspect ability. Nidoking does have a physical movepool large enough for Choice Band even after removing 4th generation tutors, however Encourage's boosts to its more useful special attacks biases it much more to the special side. [Counters] Blissey and Evolution Stone Chansey wall the majority of Nidoking's sets. Skarmory can Roost off the damage from most of the attacks Nidoking would select on the Claw Sharpen set, howevr it should avoid the Special Attacking and mixed sets like the plague. Nidoking otherwise has very few direct counters because of it's great offensive versatility. Once you know it's set and item it can be played around, but until then Nidoking is a menace. Revenge killing Nidoking is usually just a matter of having a faster Pokemon with Ground, Water, Psychic, or Ice moves, however be careful because while Nidoking's defenses are mediocre, few of the faster Pokemon enjoy taking any hit from it, and it can usually take an unboosted hit once before going down. [Dream World] Nidoran (M) has been released into the Dream World and thus Encourage Nidoking is now entirely legal. Sets have been listed to reflect that. Encourage or something like it is what the Nidos have been wanting for 4 Generations now. Seriously.