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Discussion in 'Ruins of Alph' started by Jellicent, Jun 30, 2012.
Aha its ok, no one really acknowledges Electrode in competitive OU gameplay anyway.
Spore Electrode is pretty much the best RBY Pokemon in the Sharking, Clauseless metagame.
I let Jolteon go a day over cuz, well, you guys were still talking about it >.>
Anyway, moving along now! For Week #6, we come to Lapras. OU for RBY, BL the next two gens, and a sudden drop to NU for DPP. Lapras had a strong start, but took a long fall. So, where did it all go wrong for Lapras, and what were it's best sets throughout the gens?
Not too hard to see here. It had a strong showing in a game where it could take hits and dish it back harder to some of the hardest-to-defend against Pokemon in the game-- Snorlax and Tauros. Access to an accurate STAB Blizzard was a godsend and, paired with Thunderbolt, made it hard to defend against as well without Chansey. As the gens moved through GSC and ADV, Lapras gained very little to to increase its utility while the rest of the game offered additional means of defense. Still, its stats are solid and it owns a STAB Ice Beam backed by Thunderbolt, so it couldn't drop too low. DPP then delivered a nuke to its shell in the form of Stealth Rock. This in a game where Pokemon hit harder and run faster leaves little room for Lapras to make any kind of impact in the higher-tiered environments.
RBY - Lapras in RBY can be seen as the precursor to the concept of a "bulky water", tanking hits with its high 130 HP, and then dishing them back out with decent 95 special, along with spreading status (It can spread paralysis with Body Slam, and sleep and confusion as well). Lapras also resides in a handy speed tier for RBY, beating Exeggutor, Rhydon, and Golem, all of which it can do notable damage to with a powerful Blizzard. Lapras is by far at its best in RBY, due to the lack of Electrics that can come in on it safely (Zapdos doesn't like Blizzard at all), and the fact that the two resident Rock-type attackers, Rhydon and Golem, are also afraid of Blizzards, along with Grass-types such as Exeggutor and Victreebel, and also the virtual nonexistence of Fighting-types in RBY due to the abundance and dominance of Psychics. The standard Lapras set in RBY is the Body Slam + Confuse Ray set, which has the distinction of being able to sometimes muscle its way through Chansey, something which fellow Water-type Starmie cannot.
GSC - I've played very little GSC, and during this timespan I've seen Lapras a grand total of never. From sheer theorymon, Lapras in GSC seems similar to Lapras in ADV - an alright BL that can just about work in OU, but much of the time, it won't pull its weight.
ADV - Lapras had many new things to contend with in ADV - a new defensive Ice-type in Regice that outclassed it on the whole, Sandstorm, stackable Spikes, and new counters in Metagross, Jirachi, Dusclops and Hariyama. Despite the overall adverse conditions, Lapras makes a niche check to Calm Mind Suicune without HP Electric, but solely this attribute is not enough to merit it a place on most mainstream teams. There's actually very little to say about Lapras here.
DPP - The evolution of hazards chronicles Lapras's downfall. DPP gave Lapras a Stealth Rock weakness, an extremely undesirable quality for a wall, and it resides down in the seedy strip clubs and gutters of NU, LapDancing for a living.
Lapras is a pretty cool dude here. Tanks Snorlax and Tauros to an extent like Umby said, and it gets the combination of STAB Blizzard and Thunderbolt to set it apart from other aquatics such as Starmie and Cloyster. Plus, Lapras gets enough Attack and Body Slam to deal okay damage to Chansey, plus Confuse Ray to keep it from healing, Hyper Beam to finish it off sooner after a couple of FPs, or Sing if you want to skip all the trouble and just put the bitch to sleep. It could also Rest to keep up its health, but it's going to struggle to wake up, even against the Snorlax and Tauros it's supposed to wall, unless you're running Reflect or something, which is kinda silly since you might as well be using Cloyster if you're going to shaft Lapras' mixed attacking abilities on Offense like that. However, Lapras does have its pretty notable weaknesses. On defense, while it tanks Snorlax and Tauros as well as anything could, it still struggles against Bslam Paras or Amnesia from Snorlax or Crits from Tauros, and of course has no reliable recovery. On offense, while it can attack on both sides of the spectrum and has plenty of options to go with for the fourth slot, it's ultimately struggling to get by Tbolt Chansey and Counter Chansey wastes its Blizzard PPs, thereby making it kind of mediocre relative to other offensive mons. It's basically competent, but not great, at both offense and defense, but its ability to do both is what makes it great (and somewhat unique in RBY).
Not really worth a team slot in OU unless you're gimmicking. That part Ice typing makes mixed walling a challenge, since that makes it weak to Ttar Rock Slides that a bulky water should be taking like a champ, and of course it's weak to Cross Chops from Machamp. Bottom line, it's not tanking the way Suicune does, despite what its tanky stats might say. It does get STAB Ice Beam to keep Zapdos out of its face, though, and a Sleep Talk set with Ice Beam and maybe Thunderbolt to keep Cloyster away might be good for trying to get a freeze thanks to its bulk and the aforementioned Zapdos being unable to come in safely to force it out. Surf could be used over Sleep Talk to keep Tyranitar out of the way, too, since otherwise he could get pretty annoying. You're not really going to be able to handle Snorlax, though, and letting him get free Curses or a free Belly Drum without access to either Roar or Haze means you're forced out unless you're desperate and the Snorlax freeze is your only chance of winning. I guess you could use Reflect, Curse, or even Psong to stand up to CurseLax or prevent it from getting free boosts, but there's also Raikou to worry about, and Lapras doesn't really got shit on the thundercat. Since Lapras can't really use its bulk defensively, and since it's worthless on offense because the ubiquitous Snorlax just sets up in its face and Raikou forces it out without fail, you can see why nobody bothers with Lapras in GSC.
Now that I think of it, though, a Curse set with Ice Beam/Curse/Rest/Double-Edge or something might be cool to try out because it goes toe-to-toe with Curselax to go for the freeze on it, meaning non-Raikou teams are hard-pressed to force it out. Ttar might be an issue, but he rarely Rests so he shouldn't be too hard to wreck with repeated Ice Beams on the switch.
Anyway, while a conventional tank set might not really be common or worth using in GSC, Lapras is also the classic abuser of Sing + Whirlpool + Perish Song intended to circumvent the HypnoMissy ban. It's not really going to work most of the time, but there's no real way to stop it, and it can be fun to pull out of your hat if you're into gimmicking. LK Politoed is better, though, due to its more accurate Sleep move in addition to better defensive typing and higher Speed.
I'm not even going to pretend to know anything about it in ADV or DPP.
RBY - Lapras was better in almost every respect in this generation. Blizzard was a very powerful move, and the freeze could be gamebreaking. Bar Articuno and Jynx, it was really the only Pokemon seen that could use the move that got STAB. However, over Articuno, it had a useful other Water STAB, and it lasted quite a bit longer than Jynx due to its bulk. It had good overall bulk, a pretty good movepool, and was overall just generally a good OU Pokemon, especially conidering its weaknesses weren't usually that common - Fighting-types sucked, all the Rock-types lost to it, Grass-types hated Blizzard, and the only STAB Electric users were walled by Golem. Chansey was a pain, but it was still cool.
GSC - It gained almost nothing, lost Special Attack, Snorlax became a Special Tank, Ttar existed and could survive a Surf, Machamp and Jolteon got buffed, Hidden Power means Electric-types were a lot more dangerous (Goodbye Golem), Blizzard became unreliable... it was a bit unfortunate, and its tiering suffered. At least Roar had a purpose in GSC. Basically, he worked in similar ways, but they were much less effective.
ADV - Enter Regice, Sandstorm, and Calm Mind. Lapras could still do work if it needed to... its defenses were still great, but Swampert, Suicune, etc. were really starting to give it a pain and it had not many advantages over them. At least it still had Thunderbolt with Water Absorb, which was likely its only saving grace, and it had to take advantage of these two traits.
DPP - This is where is got nasty for it. Stealth Rock was pretty bad, but the fact that it had no way to recover HP instantly made it struggle immensley and made it undesirable. With the loss of a large BL tier and the power of OU, some Pokemon outclassed in UU as well, such as Milotic and Ludicolo. Fighting types also became much more dominant, making Lapras even harder to take advantage of anything. Then, it had to take advantage of strage grounds like being a Special Attacker and a Dragon Dance sweeper. They worked, but its offenses limited him.
Another one of those rare Pokemon to remain OU throughout its entire career, Starmie has always been a top tier threat. Discuss how it's been able to adapt throughout time, its various niches, and the best sets it has used in each gen ^.^
Starmie was once seen as a Special Sweeper par excellence, but thanks to Chansey's absurd populatiry, Starmie is now better seen as a defensive "glue" Pokemon that keeps itself going with Recover rather than as some frightening sweeper. It makes a good sleep-absorbing lead, as it scares Gengar with a faster Psychic, outspeeds Jynx and resists its attacks, and scares Eggy with Blizzard while taking little damage from Psychic in return (Mega Drain variants can be annoying, though). It also outpaces and paralyzes Tauros while taking its hits better than the other Recoverers (it isn't guaranteed to be 2HKO'd by a Bslam-Hbeam sequence), it can duke it out with Alakazam in a stall war, it's an okay answer to Golem/Rhydon once Eggy is gone, and it's also probably the best answer to Slowbro RBY has to offer. However, you'll notice that Starmie has major 4 moveslot syndrome here. It needs a STAB to do meaningful damage to Snorlax and Tauros, with Psychic being the choice if you also want to hit Gengar, and Surf the choice if you also want to hurt Alakazam. It also needs Thunderbolt for Slowbro and other waters, Blizzard for Eggy, Thunder Wave to get the most out of its support role, and Recover to stay alive. There's also the niche Reflect and Light Screen for walling certain things, but you don't even have room for all the standard attacks you could want, so how could you possibly fit those on your set? In short, Starmie wants to Special sweep, but Chansey exists, so it has to settle for abusing its movepool as a "quick fix" against myriad offensive threats, but its 4-moveslot syndrome forces it to pick and choose which threats to check.
Whatever attacking prowess Starmie had in RBY is totally shafted under King Snorlax's reign, not to mention that Electrics get a buff and things such as Umbreon and Blissey exist to wall it perpetually. Furthermore, on defense, there's much bulkier Water-types, such as Suicune, that are much better suited to taking on heavy-hitting Physical ground-type threats. So what keeps Starmie OU in GSC? Simple. Rapid Spin. Starmie is one of three Pokemon to effectively play the GSC Spikes game, the other two being Forretress and Cloyster. Unlike the other two, who get Spikes in addition to Rapid Spin, Starmie only gets Rapid Spin, but is much longer-lasting thanks to Recover in addition to providing better defensive synergy. Its Psychic typing and blazing Speed let it step in against some obscure threats such as Machamp and Charizard that the other two wouldn't really be able to handle, and its STAB Surf still allows it to function defensively as a Ground-type scare. It also gets to support its team with its fourth moveslot, with Thunder Wave and Reflect being some of its more prominent moves. Overall, Starmie is kind of mediocre, but with Rapid Spin and Recover, it carves its niche as the best Rapid Spinner in GSC, even if it does struggle to spin against Forretress.
Still a premier Rapid Spinner, but it's also bolstered on offense, too, thanks to the EV system robbing many Pokemon of Special Tankiness. Snorlax is still pretty popular, though, and Blissey is also mega-popular, plus Regice exists, so it's rarely getting a chance to Special sweep, but there's still teams out there that rely on Celebi and Zapdos to take Special hits, so it could be threatening. It's still better off focusing on its role as a reliable, Recovering spinner, especially with multiple layers of Spikes being introduced, but ADV also brought with it the extra-bulky Dusclops, which Starmie is kinda powerless against. Clops isn't so popular in ADV at the moment, but he's historically a pretty big deal, and he makes Starmie's role as spinner pretty difficult without Pursuit support. I guess it's also worth mentioning that it outpaces Gengar and +1 Adamant DDTar, putting it into a potentially game-saving Speed tier.
DPP was a blessing and a curse for Starmie. On the blessing side, access to Life Orb allows it massive damage output from its otherwise decent-but-not-great Special Attack, and a metagame obsessed with Speed and hard-hitters makes its Speed much more of an asset while leaving its primary checks, Blissey and Snorlax, less popular than they were in prior generations (though they're still pretty prominent). Even then, it gets access to Trick and Choice items to screw over those defensive mons, and is a very good revenger with Scarf and attacker with Specs before using Trick. On the curse side, though, while Starmie still gets Rapid Spin and is indeed still one of the best spinners in the game, it's got even better spin blockers in Rotom-A and Spiritomb to contend with, plus the ever-present ScarfTar and, to and extent, Scizor can wreck it with powerful Pursuits. It's less the reliable spinner with Recover this generation and is instead better known as the spinner that can wreck spin blockers with STAB Hydro Pumps, but it's hardly unique in being a spinner that's able to beat spin blockers. Overall, Starmie is less effective in its traditional support/Rapid Spin role, but it gets new toys and a faster-paced metagame to make it the legitimate Special threat it always wanted to be.
Wow, posting after Jorgen posts in one of these threads is a bit redundant, but nonetheless, here's a bit about Starmie in ADV. Starmie is actually a pretty damn good spinner, in that - for every Dusclops you see wandering the lower rungs of the ladder desolately, you'll see five grinning Gengars being brandished by top players. Starmie can take the smirk off the faces of those Gengars with powerful Surfs or Psychics (which is actually a seriously underrated option for Starmie IMO) on the switch and freely spin from thus onwards, and is such a very competent spinner. As Jorgen did emphasize though, it might have a difficult time spinning against a team with Resting Dusclops spinblocking without the help of a large Stalkersaurus Rex.
A Rapid Spinning Starmie in ADV runs about 28-42 speed EVs with a boosting nature and usually hits around 301 speed (some might go to 307 for 196-212 Speed Timid Houndoom and Jynx, or 310 for fast Celebi), depending on what you want to speed creep. Both of the aforementioned threats are quicker. The only variant of Starmie that gets the jump on +1 DDtar and most conventional Gengar is the all-out sweeper, a rarely seen set due to the prominence of Blissey, Regice, and Snorlax.
Triangles, I would say that most Starmie's run near max Speed with a Timid nature. The set on Smogon really doesn't accurately reflect what people are running nowadays. Starmie's Speed stat is largely why it's such a great Pokemon and most people make good use of it, like outspeeding Adamant/Naughty DDtar.
Another thing I noticed that people did not mention is that Starmie made for a good MixApe counter since Infernape was the most popular mixed attacker back in the days of DP.
Personally, the slowest I've gone is 301 and the fastest I've gone is 321, but most people probably run theirs quicker. I've always liked that extra punch and/or bulk though which comes with lowering the speed.
I can concur with this, never have I run a max speed Starmie. Once I ran a modest spinner with max speed, but never Timid. Vast majority of the time I'm on 301 though.
You don't need more than 352, though hitting between 331-333 can suffice.
All I know is I've run into one or two max speed Starmies when running Adamant DDTar and it was really annoying. I think I narrowly avoided the OHKO and OHKOed in return, but man I did not want to take that hit. But yeah, on further inspection, having all that Speed isn't really needed, we aren't in DPP territory yet. Starmie wants to be effective as a stable spinner and not as some sort of weird revenge killer, which means sacrificing Speed for power against Gengar or bulk for general tanking.
From UU to OU to BL to NU, Marowak has literally seen it all. Definitely one of the more interesting threats, his sudden rise and slow fall is unlike any other. Discuss what caused such a dramatic change for this little guy, and what some of his best sets were throughout the ages ^.^
I may not even know what I'm talking about, but it is my impression that the Pokémon that fall between generations don't necessarily have things taken away from them; they simply aren't given enough to keep up with the other ones. Marowak was given something grand in Gen II, and that was it. In later generations, he wasn't really given anything significant (correct of wrong), so as one would expect, he fell behind. His OU status in Gen II might also have something to do with the emphasis on bulk in that metagame, which is easier for Marowak to deal with than a speed-oriented metagame.
Marowak is so bad in RBY. It might as well be an unevolved Sandslash.. And lets be honest, Sandslash isnt very good.
I mean, at the bottom of RBY there are some pretty terrible pokemon, but it is kinda sad for a pokemon with electric immunity, STAB earthquake and Blizzard to be down among the likes of Hitmonchan and Seadra..
But somehow it still isnt the worst ground..
Marowak is one of my faves, which is why its so sad that the only times I see him are with some nub Speedpassing from a Ninjask.
In ADV, hes got problems no matter what strategy you take with him. Agilipassing is totally reliant on getting the pass, Sub + 3 attacks is just bad because Wak isnt the sturdiest or fastest thing around and he doesn't gain Lefties to help with that. 4 attacks seems best, but it doesn't solve his issues of low speed and frailty. Additionally, when you consider Band Flygon reaches 492 attack, which isn't far off, can fire off STAB EQ, has Levitate, better typing, more versatility, and more speed, it's pretty hard to justify a spot for Marowak over Flygon (or even Band Donphan, if youre into that). The only real benefit Wak provides is the ability to switch moves, but Wak is often too slow and frail to take advantage of that.
RBY Marowak is terribad. Nothing really to say about it, maybe if its custom move, Bonemerang, was effectively two earthquakes or something, it'd be worth using, but as it stands, its stats are awful and put it way out of the big leagues. Funny, considering how rare it is in-game and how it's not an obvious joke/gimmick mon like Farfetch'd or Ditto. I'd argue that it is the worst ground, at least in OU, since Onix at least has that Rock typing, Bind, and Explosion (albeit a weak one) to mess around with.
GSC Marowak got doubled attack power in the form of Thick Club. Pairing it with Jolteon to give it Speed is the classic gg combo, though JoltLax is usually better unless you're up against an Exploding Gengar (faster than +2 Lax) or something. Marowak is also worth using without Agi-Pass, something that actually took a while to catch on. It's surprising it took people so long to come around, though, considering that GSC was filled to the brim with stallers, making Marowak's slowness and frailty less of an issue, and the fact that it 3HKOs even the mighty Skarm with Rock Slide after a Swords Dance (or you could just Fire Blast it). Still, standard Wak isn't too hard to play around, since even after a Swords Dance it fails to guarantee an OHKO against so many things all while taking a bunch of unrecoverable damage from even things like Miltank Body Slam. Even in the days before HP Electrics it was losing large chunks of health to Drill Pecks and Crunches from Zapdos/Raikou. It's really hard to use effectively, but if you pair it with para support or manage to get it an Agi boost it has a chance to force the opponent into awkward situations. Marowak also has an okay-ish Sleep Talk set that everyone always forgets about: EQ, Body Slam, Rest, Sleep Talk. Nice for forcing switches and inflicting para on things like Skarm, Zapdos, and Suicune, all while actually being able to afford switching in on weak attacks every now and then, though using Wak for para can kinda seem like a waste, especially since Sleep Talk doesn't really help as much as you'd think with the longevity issue.
No comment for RBY.
In GSC, it is excellent. I think it works best with abundant paralysis support, but it is good even without it. It is easily one of the most difficult Pokemon to wall, especially since Skarm has to risk flinches to phaze it and Cloyster/Suicune need to be at nearly max HP to always survive 999 EQ and don't OHKO it with Surf. It hits extremely hard without any set-up whatsoever. Add to that the massive popularity of Zapdos and Raikou and Marowak's ability to usually take 2 Hidden Powers from both and you can see why GSC is its best gen.
Once it has taken damage (getting phazed in while Spikes are up can really take its toll without leftovers) it does become a lot less threatening, so rapid spin support is also helpful. Trying to get it in for free is also important (come in on the electric moves rather than the hp ice, and coming in on resting pokes that don't have stalk [or even just taking a 2/3 chance of getting in unscathed]).
I see it as being able to fulfil three purposes: hit and run, midgame trades, and endgame sweeping. Not much in GSC can really hit and run, so it is pretty unique in that aspect. Numerous Pokemon can trade at any point they want with Explosion, but with Marowak, it is more forced, because you can't absorb a predicted Explosion from Marowak, you gotta phaze it or trade your Water-type or maybe eggy for it. Having both a Water-type and Skarm can allow you to play around it if you're in a good position, but otherwise it can be really hard to avoid. Endgame sweeps are usually facilitated by paralysis but the potential to do it with joltwak is also there. Early game joltwak is pretty bad imo since every team either has a solid defensive core or a cloyster...
In RSE it is pretty much a gimmick, but might be alright on a paralysis support team or speed passing team. Unfortunately having to split EVs between HP and Speed will probably mean you either can't outspeed some things you'd like to or you won't be very bulky at all.
Doesn't really stand much of a chance in DPP OU, everything is too strong for it to take the hits it would need to and there is too much emphasis on special attacks that hit wak SE, plus there are things like Gliscor and Rotom-A that Marowak lacks tools to deal with effectively. Not sure about UU; it would probably be a gimmick there. Maybe Trick Room could help it... In NU it is probably pretty viable.
In RBY marowak is basically a poor-man's sandslash whose niche was in stadium, where he could use focus energy and bonerang had the chance to break subs and damage the opponent in one turn. He is still bad in stadium, but at least there he had something to distinguish himself from sandslash apart from blizzard.
In RBY NU he functions like OU rhydon moreso than rhyhorn, in that apart from walling electrics he can put holes in paralysed team late games because unlike the other grounds in the tier (who are all rock/grounds) he doesn't die in one hit to special attacks.
In ADV, Marowak as a concept is dead simple. It functions similarly to the way a strong-but slow Choice Bander would (hit-and-run), just without the Choice Band bit. It can also Swords Dance and transform into a threatening mid-lategame sweeper with an Agility passed to it from Zapdos, or some Speed Boosts from Ninjask (but the latter is for nubs). What makes Marowak struggle in the metagame though is the invention of 8 Speed Suicune, which can scrape past Jolly Marowak and OHKO with Surf. Skarmory and a Bulky Water such as the aforementioned Suicune in conjunction are a very safe answer to Marowak. However, a Marowak played right (getting it in on double switches, weakeneing its counters and perhaps not revealing it until later in the game, providing opportunities through it to set up through well-timed sacrifices) with good team support (i.e. paralysis + either a Magneton or something like Cloyster which can circumvent Skarmory's Spiking, or a Skarmory lure such as TPunch / HP Fire Metagross) can wreak havoc on the vast majority of teams though.
Exeggutor had a rather slow drop. OU for RBY and GSC, this kingpin dropped to BL, and then UU, for ADV and DPP, respectively. Discuss how it fit in each metagame, where things went wrong for it, and what it's best sets were. I'd love to hear from some DPP UUers on this guy, too~