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Gen 2 Offense in GSC

Discussion in 'Ruins of Alph' started by Jorgen, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    thread rationale (open)
    This thread is similar to Umby's "Best Friends" thread in the ADV section, only particular to offense in GSC. Given the downward spiral into stall on PO's (sparsely-used) GSC ladder, and the bad memories of 600+ turn games in the last SPL season with the next one right around the corner, I feel like GSC in particular could use its own offensive discussion thread.

    As of late there's an inordinate amount of Blissey usage in GSC on PO. Currently ranked #2 in ranked usage for this month, was ranked #9 last month. I recall seeing a last-Poke Blissey-v-Blissey standoff on ladder one time (god that's a laugh riot). I feel like people are slipping back into the old perception that GSC can be nothing but PP stalls all the time. While PP stalls can be a big part of GSC, mostly because people tend to run these super-stally teams (see: the most recent SPL), GSC doesn't have to be this way.

    You can do offense in this generation. You should do offense in this generation unless you want to anemically wait for death against a team that actually uses attacking moves. You're not getting the OHKOs or 2HKOs you see in future generations, nor the single-boost sweeps. Things don't hinge on the outcome of a single pivotal turn here. What you instead rely on is opportunism, making the most of 30% here, 20% there, and pressing these advantages long-term to get in a position where you can start killing things. Or exploding on shit, that works too, though it's much riskier.

    So, I guess the point of this thread is to:
    • bring up offensive tactics and combinations in GSC
    • describe the most relevant things they beat
    • discuss how to use them and the support needed to make them work
    • discuss limitations of strategies that can be tough to cover with team support. You can also talk about common strategies that you dislike and place emphasis on this part to show why, despite working "on paper", they're not really worth using.

    I guess I'll start things off with the combination of Spikes + Thunder Zapdos. This is a great, simple combination that is really good at keeping offensive momentum with a little bit of team support.

    What does this beat? Well, most prominently, pairing Zapdos with Spikes is a mean way to get the standard Special Wall, Snorlax, to whimper in fear of Zapdos' mighty Thunders. It's already pretty afraid of them, but Spikes adds that little bit of extra damage to truly push Thunder over the edge and to transform Snorlax from "reluctant to switch in" to "adamantly refusing to switch in". Ground-types can't switch in either because they get smacked by HP Ice while struggling to force the Ground-immune Zapdos to switch out. Tyranitar takes too much from Thunder to keep switching in to force Zapdos out. Rapid Spinners can't ease Snorlax's switch-ins because they're all universally afraid of Zapdos.

    The result is that Zapdos stays in to terrorize entire teams and rack up big damage with Spikes + Thunder unless the opponent has something other than Snorlax to wall it. Unfortunately for Zapdos, there's a couple of those, although fortunately, there's ways around them as long as you don't play like a meathead and let them just drain your 16 Thunder PP.
    • Raikou is probably the best wall, as it takes anything Zapdos can dish out while also preventing the Spiker from enhancing Zapdos' Snorlax-scaring abilities. However, it relies on Rest for healing, hates Thunder paralysis, and a predicted Raikou switch-in can be exploited by a double-switch to teammates such as Marowak or Snorlax.
    • Blissey gets instant recovery but it doesn't scare anything at all, so other offensive mons like Vaporeon or your Spiker (Cloyster/Forretress) can afford to switch in and start doing work.
    • Quagsire is an odd counter, but it's very effective and offers more offensive potential than the other two. Plus, it's actually immune to Thunder, meaning it can't be para-lucked. However, Cloyster and Exeggutor switch in on it all day to maintain offensive momentum.
    • Aside from hardwalls, Zapdos is also temporarily thwarted by Steelix, who is exploitable in the same way that Quagsire is.
    • Zapdos also struggles finding a way to deal with Exeggutor, who fears HP Ice, but takes it well enough and has access to Sleep Powder to goad Sleep Talk Zapdos into staying in on an Explosion to the face. However, Pursuit Tyranitar can make Exeggutor's life awkward while preserving offensive momentum, and if your Spiker is Forretress, that can switch in to set up on Egg unless it's the odd HP Fire variant (which you should check for before laying down the Spikes).
    A particularly good teammate for Zapdos is the Spiker that this combination implies. Cloyster is generally better for offensive momentum, though Forretress can keep Spikes on Starmie, which is important (you'll see why in the next paragraph). Also, one of Zapdos' best bros is Gengar, who Explodes on Raikou, Blissey, and even Quagsire, its three hardwalls. However, Exploding Gengar to set up a Zapdos rampage is risky and often requires multiple Exploding teammates (e.g., Exeggutor + Cloyster) to get around the defensive redundancy that things like Tyranitar and Umbreon can provide against an Exploding Gengar.

    One thing that really limits this combo is that while it's great for smashing walls and setting up a landscape for you to start killing things, it often struggles to finish the job or allow Zapdos to defend against certain threats thanks to Thunder's 70% accuracy. Plus, Starmie can be a nuisance since it outspeeds Zapdos to prevent it from switching in at low- to moderate-health, and it also spins against Cloyster all day unless you also have Misdreavus in tow, and Misdreavus' lack of attacking prowess kind of goes against the momentum this strategy tries to build.
  2. gene

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    it's kind of a disgrace that blissey is the #2 most used, people should just use drumlax against those shit teams for free wins

    outside of the obvious offensive choices of lax, thunder zapdos, nidoking, marowak, growtheons and machamp, i'd like to mention the forgotten drumzard, sd tentacruel and moltres. moltres is especially pretty neat because it's like zapdos but can hit more types. a lot of standard teams actually can't wall moltres very well unless they have suicune or some shit. i used fire blast/flamethrower/rest/sleep talk @ charcoal when hp legends were banned, but i guess hp grass somewhere works too. i'd just be slightly concerned about running out of pp.
  3. Crystal_

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    I wouldn't really use HP grass in that set. It doesn't beat Suicune or Starmie anyway, and you'll get worse sleep talks if using it. And the PP issue. Rhydon still takes some decent damage from fire blast, and ttar will get worn down with spikes down eventually. Not that HP grass does "a lot" more to ttar anyway. Just make sure you have a solid answer to ttar (and rhydon) such as suicune, miltank or vap.

    Talking about moltres, another interesting set would be Fire Blast | Sunny Day | Reflect | HP Grass/Flamethrower/Rest/filler @ leftovers or charcoal. It can be scary if they don't have suicune/starmie/blissey.

    As for good offensive combinations, I'll start with a pretty straightforward one, Machamp + Cloyster. Cloyster can take out Starmie or Zapdos with Explosion, two of the best Machamp counters (especially starmie), while Spikes will help wearing down other Machamp checks, such as Exeggutor and ghost-types. You are not keeping Spikes vs Starmie though (unless maybe you have Toxic and a lot of patience), but you can at least take it out.
    The limitations? Machamp's well-known mediocre staying power, and the possibility of mispredicting Cloyster Explosion or not geting/not being able to get the desired target with it. Also, the fact that if you are running into triple+ counters such as Skarm+Starmie+Zapdos or just Egg+Zapdos+Spikes machamp will have a hard time.
  4. .Maguss.

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    I think Paralysis and Screens are the most forgotten options for offensive teams. A lot of offensive teams relies on combination of Pokémon with Spikes and Explosion and a strong attacker, and ignore these simple but pretty effective options. Both Reflect and Light Screen helps you setup easily with big threats like Drumlax, Vaporeon, Marowak, Machamp... And Paralysis helps even more, as you can see, the best counters of those Pokémon are faster than them.
  5. Jorgen

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    I think the biggest issue with screens and paralysis is that they usually have a pretty steep opportunity cost and thus tend to lose the fight for that last moveslot. For example:
    • Zapdos isn't the tank we all know and love with Thunder Wave > Sleep Talk.
    • Raikou gives up either Hidden Power or Sleep Talk for Reflect.
    • Snorlax misses out on Double-Edge by using Body Slam.
    • Eggy would usually rather use Sleep Powder than Stun Spore.
    • and so on.
    The Pokemon that can afford to spend time spreading paralysis and setting up screens are generally passive Pokemon that have nothing better to do, such as:
    • Miltank with Body Slam,
    • Blissey with Light Screen,
    • Starmie with Thunder Wave/Reflect,
    • Porygon2 with Thunder Wave
    Thus, it can be hard to incorporate heavy paralysis or screen support on an offensive team that applies constant pressure. Instead, you generally see it on slow stally teams to give Pokemon that are otherwise totally passive a way to help set the stage for Drumlax.
  6. Borat

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    I think Porygon2 with reflect and/or screen is probably one of the best uses for it. Since it sure as hell isn't sweeping.
  7. .Maguss.

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    Starmie is great at supporting. Snorlax can be better with Body Slam various times. Exeggy can Double Powder. You forgot Forry learn Reflect. There is also Dragonite (DP/Ice Beam/Thunder/Thunder Wave is great!). There are options. Saying Pokémon can do better things just reforce my point that Screens and Status are underrated and overlooked.
  8. Mr.E

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    I've never really liked the offense/stall terminology ported from the newer generations back to RBY and GSC. The fact of the matter is that with max stats on everything, some of the more overpowering new moves like improved entry hazards and Overheat variants, Sleep Talk being able to activate Rest, even Alakazam is fairly bulky and Blissey can rely on more than Seismic Toss for offense. The differences between old-gen teams are a lot more subtle.

    Anyway, paralysis is great. I suppose the old version of my team would be classified as offensive as such but I used both T-Wave on Zapdos and regularly Light Screen on Blissey to set up Marowak. Zapdos is a good Sleep Talker because it's a one-dimensional attacker who has the moveslot space to use it, not because it has nothing better to do (Suicune) or isn't viable otherwise (Tauros), but paralysis is really damn good. When everything is super-bulky and everything that doesn't explode has recovery, losing a turn when you needed to Rest or die is a killer. PUN INTENDED HOHO. Giving Marowak a free switch-in without taking damage is a good way to lose too. The speed loss itself is a free turn of sorts to slower mons but more often it's the full paralyses that get shit done.

    Body Slam is a pretty easy choice most of the time at least. The damage boost upgrading to Return/Frustration is too miniscule a payoff for losing the paralysis chance. The only places it makes any real difference is what, Snorlax possibly 3HKOing Zapdos through Rest-Talk and Miltank dissuading 100% Snorlax from Belly Drumming? Double-Edge just gets yourself killed too easily, especially against Blissey, and it's only a real option on Snorlax anyway. (Well, Porygon2...) Miltank doesn't even learn it and Body Slam is specifically used for the paralysis chance anywhere else it tends to pop up, like on Marowak.

    Screens, though still useful, aren't as good. The simple truth is that losing a turn is much harsher than dealing half damage. At any rate, the hard part is taking advantage of their brief timeframe, since if you don't quickly force a favorable matchup to get your preferred guy in then the screen wears off and you don't accomplish anything. Else they're just a deterrent for switching out of bad matchups, so Snorlax doesn't chunk your switch-in from Starmie. But hey, you get Marowak set up behind a Light Screen with Spikes down and that's game, sans bshax.

    You know what else helps? Leech Seed. Aside the fact that it's Eggy's only real deterrent against Sleep Talkers, it also gives you excellent switch opportunities. A Leech Seeded mon can't fight much of anything effectively but huge type weaknesses, so it's a good way to guarantee certain matchups or wear down targets. Bonus points if you Explode on something that survives it to force the issue. 8) Ghetto Memento.

    Confusion is sorta the real forgotten option here, though. When Raikou inevitably comes in to wall Gengar's ass, you've got a 50/50 shot of instead further wearing it down and preventing the Rest (or saving your switch-in from atatck). Like paralysis, causing the opponent to lose their turn at the wrong time can lead to kills. Confuse Ray is sadly quite restricted but lots of shit can learn Swagger if you're willing to take that risk. It might be fairly safe on someone like Skarmory that generally forces special attackers in, where the attack boost is pure upside.
  9. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    I actually agree that offense/stall terminology is weird in older gens because, as you said, the difference is generally more subtle. Offense and defense are so intertwined that it's often hard to make a distinction. That being said, the terms are there, and people often look at "offensive" things "only" 3HKOing stuff and assume offense doesn't exist so they go in with the mindset that GSC is "all stall" and don't attack at all!

    Confusion is garbage unless you're also doing damage at the same time (i.e., with DynamicPunch). Otherwise the same gripes you raise about screens apply: you waste a turn and the effect only lasts a short while (even shorter than with screens because the opponent could always switch out of it). It's really only worth it to use a move like Confuse Ray if the one or two turns you're buying are extremely impactful (e.g., Misdreavus Perish-Trapping a Phazer, which is kind of durty taktiks, but whatever).

    Also in terms of my own contributions I figure I should mention Quagsire as not only a check to stuff like Zapdos, but also as an offensive behemoth in its own right! But only with Belly Drum, don't use Curse it sucks. Quag is kind of in the same boat as Vaporeon; not much of a threat without setup, but with setup it's a monster. The difference is that Quag makes the transition over a single turn whereas Vap slowly but surely steamrolls you. Quag survives a STAB Surf from everything, so Belly Drumming at full health isn't actually that hard, and you can stay at full health by switching in on Thunders from the ubiquitous Electrics. Skarm and Exeggutor are the only really good counters, and the former doesn't really do much in return to Quag whereas the latter can be worn down pretty easily with something like PursuitTar or goaded into Exploding on something like ST Zapdos. I guess Suicune and Cloyster counter Quag, too, but they're iffy and only work at really high health, with both taking heavy damage without doing 56% in return (unless Cloy is Exploding, of course).
  10. Crystal_

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    While it's true that Exeggutor can be dealt with with a pursuit user most of the times, Skarm basically completely walls Quagsire when used alngside a heal bell user. It's kinda the same story as with Drumlax, with the exception that Quag can't Body Slam para it or even get the lucky crit D-E KO, and that Dpeck does a bit more damage in return (2hkoing after a hidden power from an electric). Of course, if Drumquag is played with Marowak, Drumlax or another threat that can put pressure on Skarm, then everything becomes possible. I just want to point out that Quagsire alone is generally too slow for Skarmory, also since sometimes other things such as Suicune or Cloyster (and of course Egg/Meganium) are also possible switches (spin cloy and suicune do nothing to drumlax).

    Oh well, I guess that's what happens when you compare something with Snorlax lol. The thing is, when I use Drumquag I either feel it's too slow for skarm stall teams, or when I play more offensive teams, it's really hard to get a good chance to drum and of course, Exeggutor is a bitch.
  11. shrapn3l

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    where da zap cannon rhydons and slowbros at
  12. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    Last decade. Not to say they can't still be useful for spreading paralysis, but that's where they are, mostly because they're too slow and take too much damage from what they are supposed to match up well against.

    How about that Machamp, though? With Body Slam it's probably the only thing in the game that can bait Starmie into taking Paralysis, which helps itself and also other sweepers such as Marowak and Charizard. Oh, and that paralysis can also let Cloyster keep Spikes on Starmie by preventing it from spinning, which is really nice. Main problem though is that it generally needs to give up Curse to do this, which makes life difficult against Skarms and Suicunes (but not impossible thanks to Paralysis and Cross Chop's crit rate!)
  13. Borat

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    If Miltank could learn Double Edge, I wouldn't hesitate to use it. Not using Double Edge on lax because of Blissey is terrible justification.

    Body Slam is pitifully weak even with STAB, and it certainly doesn't come without shortcomings as you would have lead people to believe, Mr.E.
  14. Mr.E

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    Double-Edge in general opens Snorlax to getting revenge killed too easily when you generally shouldn't be allowing that to happen. Snorlax is too good at walling everything and pummeling the shit out of them to let the opponent trade 1-for-1 with it, which is really hard to avoid when you have to deal 20-25% to yourself to kill most things. (Blissey is a whopping 46%!) With Belly Drum it's usually gratuitous overkill and even where it isn't, Return/Frustration is usually strong enough or you'd have been better off with Body Slam for the chance at PAR. Maybe on Curse-Talk, or if you're running Selfdestruct...

    And not that Miltank can, so the argument is purely hypothetical, but why? Miltank can't kill much anyway. It's better off trying to PAR enemies so the shit that's actually supposed to kill things can do so more effectively, also so it has more free turns to Milk Drink and Heal Bell. Non-STAB users, of course, have no reason to use Double-Edge since they have stronger STAB moves.

    Confusion buys you an average of 1.25 turns, and you get your turn back if the opponent switches out of it, so Confuse Ray and Swagger are statistically worth using in general. (i.e. You gain more time than you spend.) The real question is what else would you be doing with the move slot? The four OU pokémon that learn Confuse Ray generally don't have much better to do anyway, though it is inferior and semi-redundant to Protect on the Ghosts' Perish Trapping sets.

    • Starmie can use Confuse Ray as a support move instead of T-Wave or a screen, the advantage being that it's equally useful in all circumstances. Reflect and Light Screen only work against particular pokémon, T-Wave can be absorbed by things already under status.

    • Gengar is versatile but not especially powerful, so running a good neutral utility can be just as good as more coverage. Hypnosis is limited by Sleep Clause and isn't needed if you have another sleeper. Dynamicpunch is not useful in the same manner, great for turning the tables on Tyranitar but shaky accuracy when you're not really sure of the opponent's action. Do you TBolt Starmie and risk giving Marowak a free switch or Ice Punch and risk Starmie staying in? Confuse Ray partially covers you either way plus Options C, D, and E, basically reducing your need to predict if it isn't necessary or a safe risk.

    • Umbreon only learns 6-7 potentially useful moves anyway and Toxic isn't even that good with Pursuit, let alone on its own. Confuse Ray does give you a 3/16 shot at a free Mean Look BP and a good switch out where Charm doesn't work, like Raikou or Vaporeon.

    Screens buy you half damage for a reliably longer period of time but only against particular pokémon and more importantly, damage is all they block. Losing turns is powerful because it stops everything, whether it's Zapdos' Thunder or Snorlax's Curse or Suicune's Roar. That's kinda the reason Sleep Clause exists. Doesn't hurt to have Spikes to force people to fight under confusion more often, though, unless you're just trying to cheese trap-pass Umbreon.
  15. Conflict

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    Without D-Edge Bdrum Lax loses to noncurse-skarm though.....

    You shouldnt disregard a move so fast when it has its niche. And noone good uses Blissey anyways so that 46% self dmg is kind of a weird example.

    And you are listing the perks of confuse ray but 50% of the time it does nothing whereas screens/status have a reliable longer lasting effect.
  16. Mr.E

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    Drumlax still has to crit Skarmory to get around it and that's one of the few times you may even want Double-Edge. Even then, Body Slam is arguably better since you probably won't crit and the potential, much more likely PAR cripples Skarmory for the future harder than a little extra damage. The few other situations where DE potentially has a niche on Drumlax are also generally better played with either Return/Frustration, which deal enough damage without the recoil, or Body Slam for the same reason one might prefer it against Skarmory as before. And just in general it weakens Snorlax's ability to make favorable trades, since the added damage from DE is less than the self-damage penalty.

    Screens? They don't do anything a lot of the time themselves, that's why they're not as good. Confusion can be switched out of but Reflect/LS can be switch stalled too, in addition to being rendered useless for other reasons. I would say that T-Wave is generally superior to Confuse Ray, as PAR persists through switching and the turn loss isn't PAR's only appeal (speed drop), but not always. Confusion is better against Sleep Talkers and avoids redundancy with other status-causing attacks on your team.

    also why must you post like this

    also blissey is a perfectly good pokemon

    also it's not like I'm saying confusion is some almighty status effect that everyone should abuse because it's super broken, however it is something disruptive most people probably never seriously consider that they really should
  17. Borat

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    I will trade 46% of laxes life to kill off Blissey. So would you.

    Honestly for a non-BD lax, I'd say DE is the staple, with BS being second. Return and Frustration are the niche moves. BS sucks in snorlax mirror match. BS fails to 3 hit even vaporeon. +1 BS is like a regular DE. BS is all around pathetic for attacking. That shit weak.

    Confuse ray nets you .25 turns. Para nets you kills.
  18. Mr.E

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    Depends where it starts, going from 100-54 is a lot different than 46-0. :[ And Vaporeon can actually hurt Snorlax, so I'm not convinced DE is better there since it helps Vaporeon kill Snorlax just as fast as Snorlax kills Vaporeon faster. Case in point, DE Snorlax actually takes more damage from BS Snorlax than vice-versa because of recoil, let alone the chance of PAR to avoid a speed tie on the next turn and potentially force DE Lax to miss his. (i.e. BS Snorlax wins more often.) DE might be better anyway because chances are Curse will cause a stalemate and a crit DE is more likely to surprise KO but honestly the correct answer most of the time is "whichever one switched in last loses."

    PAR nets you .25 turns per four turns the status persists. Of course, that can be a long-ass time in GSC so that's why paralysis is awesome but I never said otherwise, did I? The speed drop is also a situational, static 1 turn gain as well. Still, it's only a consideration on Starmie since the other three Confuse Ray mons don't even learn T-Wave. Confusion and PAR also stack.
  19. Jorgen

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    That's only really the correct answer if both Laxes DE. Otherwise, a Lax switching in on another Curselax Curses up on Body Slams with ease without being forced to rest super-early. DE forces rests, BS allows the stalemate, in which case DE goes on to win by crit. BS doesn't even have a chance in the stalemate unless it gets a double-crit: Crit Bslam does a max of 56%, non-crit does a max of 23% at full boosts. So it's not really a "stalemate" at all is what I'm saying. DE wins.

    I'll agree that BS is better on Belly Drum sets, though, mostly because it's hard enough trying to find time to sacrifice half of lax's life to set that up, and now you want to drain Lax's life as it kills stuff, too? I tend to find that DE Drumlax kills Skarm and nothing else because of this. On the other hand BS Lax can still kill Skarm thanks to Para and isn't forced to murder itself when sweeping.
  20. Borat

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    Vaporeon is just an example of how weak BS lax is hitting.

    BS curselax doesn't beats de curselax lol. Return/Frustration might with crits, but BS doesn't. What game are you playing?

    DE forces rest loop, and all it has to play for is a speed tie. CH's will do like 80%. And 3 high rolls is enough too.

    For BD lax, BS is better if you're a rester. Return/Frustration if you run LK.

    Par nets you much more than that. You're neglecting the speed decrease altogether.
  21. Jorgen

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    Just waned to point out that these aren't mutually exclusive. Either way, if it LKs and Rests I prefer Return.
  22. Borat

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    Yeah, but if you run both, I think you can get away with either as well.
  23. gene

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    i don't think i'd even consider anything other than d-e on curselax. bs does a better job of (eventually) fucking over skarmory than d-e on drumlax.

    heh, good joke
  24. gene

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    i'm very new to gsc
  25. M Dragon

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    Body slam has the paralysis bonus, which is awesome if you have something like Marowak in your team, and paralysis can also make you beat Skarm if you are lucky, but sometimes it doesnt do as much damage as it needs.

    Double-Edge is a more powerful option, but recoil is annoying, especially if you are using Belly Drum. Losing 50% of your HP when using BD + DE recoil damage is pretty suicide, but its the strongest option, even OHKOing skarm after a BD with a CH.

    Return/Frustration is an intermidiate option. Its more powerful than BD, but it cant paralyze (so its the worst option vs something like Skarm, unless you are using FB/FT or LK), and a less powerfull version of DE but without recoil (something useful if you use BD).

    So if you use a fire attack and/or LK, BS is usually the inferior version, unless you need the paralysis.

    If you use BD, Return (with fire attack/LK) is usually the best option, and BS (with EQ or mono normal) is usually the best option.

    Without BD you can use any of the 3. BS if you want para, DE is the most powerful option, and return for a more powerful option than BS with no recoil, but usually in curse wars (if you are using Curse), BS (para) and DE are the best options. Also, I have missed sometimes a 3HKO vs things like Return vs a Zapdos, which is annoying.



    BTW, Bliss sucks in GSC (not a terrible option though, but there are better options)

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