Rankurusu Ah look, another Pokemon with Magic Guard... and that mediocre to terrible Psychic typing. $5 says I write Clefable next and thus write about every non-Dream World Magic Guard Pokemon. ---------------------------- [Overview] Magic Guard as an ability makes Rankurusu an awesome Pokemon before delving into its other features. Base 125 Special Attack, which is pretty awesome. STAB Psychic compliments it, which is a mixed bag. Good movepool behind it as well. Decent defenses for a slow Pokemon. 110 HP / 75 Defense / 85 Special Defense is by no means "terrible". Plethora support options; including options that help aid its sweeping capabilities. Its defenses at times still don't feel bulky enough. With max HP investment, it still is 2HKOed by a lot of the powerful attacks like Fire Blast from Infernape. Choice Band Bullet Punch 2HKOes Rankurusu. It's Speed is a major let-down. 30 Speed and mediocre defenses with little to resist isn't that great overall outside of Trick Room. [SET] name: Trick Room Sweeper move 1: Trick Room move 2: Psychic / Psycho Shock move 3: Focus Blast move 4: Shadow Ball item: Life Orb ability: Magic Guard nature: Quiet evs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Def ivs: 0 Spe Set Comments: Not many Pokemon can brag this capability: Being able to set up Trick Room and sweep effectively. Psycho Shock vs. Psychic is preference of hitting Blissey for a 2HKO (45.9% - 54.2%) or hitting Special Defensive Pokemon harder. Focus Blast compliments well with Psychic. Not only does it thrash Dark- and Steel-types, which are common to see blocking Rankurusu's STAB Psychic, it also allows it to 2HKO most Pokemon that are neutral to it. For example, Scizor is KOed by Psychic + Focus Blast. Shadow Ball is more for keeping Spiritomb out of the way as well as its Psychic-type brethren. Damage Calculations: Psycho Shock vs. Code: vs. 252/252 Bold Blissey : 45.9% - 54.2% vs. 252/4 Jolly Gliscor : 42.4% - 50% vs. 252/252 Bold Suicune : 29.2% - 34.9% vs. 4/0 Timid Suicune : 46.8% - 55.6% vs. 240/244 Modest Kyogre : 38.4% - 45.6% vs. 4/0 Timid Kyogre : 58.2% - 68.7% vs. 4/0 Jolly Garchomp : 52.8% - 62.3% vs. 232/0 Adamant Ho-oh : 48.4% - 57.2% vs. 188/104 Careful Snorlax : 43.9% - 52% vs. 188/104 Careful Snorlax +1 : 29.5% - 34.8% vs. 252/252 Bold Vaporeon : 38.4% - 45.5% vs. 240/216 Relaxed Swampert : 35.9% - 42.6% By the way, Psychic only guarantees the 2HKO on Gliscor and lets it have a chance of 3HKOing Snorlax. In most cases, Psycho Shock is superior to Psychic. Additional Comments: Sadly, Psychic's terrible offensive coverage limits its capabilities of running both Psychic and Psycho Shock. If you got a Pursuit user it does make the situation a bit easier to accept though. Shadow Ball can be dropped in that case since Focus Blast is crucial. Best to rathole this thing for Mid- to Lategame. Teammates & Counters: Entry hazards are a great blessing for this thing. Even a single layer of Toxic Spikes will wreck Snorlax, Vaporeon, and Swampert surviving the 2HKO. Pokemon that can take advantage of Trick Room's remainder (in case Rankurusu fainted) is always acceptable. Giratina(-O) has access to STAB Shadow Sneak, which ignores Trick Room's effects. Scizor 2HKOes with STAB Bullet Punch. Focus Blast does hurt (takes about 2/3 of Scizor's health), but it can survive. Crocune can beat this set if Sandstorm is absent. Focus Blast is pretty unreliable, so beware of its piddling accuracy. If you need reliability, Hidden Power Fighting does work. It does 83% - 98.2% to 0/0 Tyranitar. [SET] name: Calm Mind + Recover move 1: Calm Mind move 2: Recover move 3: Psycho Shock move 4: Hidden Power Fighting item: Life Orb ability: Magic Guard nature: Bold evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA Set Comments: Blissey has zero chances of beating this set. The only possible way to do it is if Rankurusu got extremely unlucky with paralysis from Blissey Thunder Wave. It's actually the best Pokemon to set up against as well. Don't be fooled by its lack of offense. While it can't pierce the physical walls so well, it's more designed to set up against Calm Mind Pokemon (think Suicune) with a semblance of balance with taking physical attacks from the weaker Pokemon. Psycho Shock is there for one reason: it ignores the Calm Minds from the opponent. This is also important for scaring off Blissey and Hidden Power Fighting OHKOes 0/0 Tyranitar after a Calm Mind - 92.4% - 109.9%. Just be very careful with dealing Choice Band Tyranitar. Additional Comments: You can invest more into Special Attack, but the biggest issue is Rankurusu's lack of being able to do both taking hits and striking hard on the first Calm Mind. It is not very threatening after a single Calm Mind, and it is only effective against Special Sweepers and walls that lack phasing capabilities (or Taunt in Gliscor's case). Teammates & Counters: You need, I repeat, need to find Pokemon that can take out Pursuit-users such as Scizor, Warubiaru, Tyranitar, and Kirikzan. These guys will put major stops to you (though thankfully Kirikizan won't always carry Pursuit and has to use Sucker Punch often, leaving little room for Night Slash). Having Pokemon such as the legendary Fighting trio (Terakkion, Birijion, and Kobaruon) will be helpful. These Pokemon resist their Dark-type STAB and receive a free Attack boost. Kobaruon resists both of Scizor, Tyranitar, and Kirikizan's STABs (though Kirikizan using its Steel-type moves is rare). Birijion resists both of Tyranitar and Warubiaru's STABs. Sadly, because this moveset is built more around keeping it bulky, physical attackers can prove to be a major downfall to it; especially those bulky enough to take the attacks thrown at it. Metagross comes to mind. Jirachi is a pretty hard counter for only one reason though: it also has access to Psycho Shock and x4 resists Psycho Shock as well. Rankurusu shouldn't come in when Jirachi starts using Calm Mind. Wobbuffet easily shuts this set down without a Ghost-type move. Rankurusu still weak after a Calm Mind, even with Life Orb. It's best to clear this thing while it's still in its infancy with setting up. Phazers such as Skarmory and Hippowdon can still work against this set since Psycho Shock targets their better defensive stat. Gliscor has Taunt and, again, gets targetted on its better stat. Rankurusu is very slow. Take advantage of that point as well. [SET] name: Choice Specs move 1: Psycho Shock / Psychic move 2: Focus Blast move 3: Shadow Ball move 4: Trick item: Choice Specs ability: Magic Guard nature: Modest evs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Spe Set Comments: The main draw to using this set is for Trick. It can absorb most items (barring Choice Band and Choice Scarf) and make good use of them. Thanks to the new mechanic, if Trick is used on a Choice Pokemon, Rankurusu is not locked onto Trick and can choose another move to use. This can also be a double-edged sword as Blissey can lock itself onto Softboiled after being Tricked Choice Specs, assuming it was foolish enough to stay in. Not much more to say really. It's fairly standard outside of using Trick on walls. Sadly its low Speed might be the main drawback on the set, but using Psycho Shock helps draw in physical walls more often. Additional Comments: You can use Flame Orb or Toxic Orb and Trick that instead. Teammates & Counters: While every Pursuit-user does not want to get thrown Specs onto them, they can threaten Rankurusu enough with their Dark- or Bug-type STABs to make Rankurusu consider running away. If the opponent switches in a Dark-type while you're locked onto a Psychic-type or Shadow Ball, you can kiss Rankurusu goodbye. Actually, Scizor is one of the few Pursuit-users that can switch-in and effectively scare this set off completely. Since it isn't OHKOed by Focus Blast (though granted it hurts), Scizor can either U-turn for free or use Pursuit to scare it off. Giratina can switch into this set well (barring Shadow Ball which hurts) and trample it with STAB Shadow Ball. Giratina-O has the perk of being immune to Trick. Wobbuffet doesn't like 2 of its moves, but thanks to Shadow Tag it can switch into Rankurusu's STAB Psychic move or Focus Blast and just revenge kill it with Magic Coat. [SET] name: Thunder Wave move 1: Thunder Wave move 2: Psychic / Psycho Shock move 3: Focus Blast move 4: Shadow Ball item: Life Orb ability: Magic Guard nature: Modest evs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Spe Set Comments: Much better team supporter than the Trick Room set, while still bragging offensive capabilities. Psychic vs. Psycho Shock boils down to preference here. Psychic has the advantage of not being screwed over by physical walls, while Psycho Shock hits Blissey and other Pokemon harder. Focus Blast and Shadow Ball have perfect coverage, but it's still hampered by the 70% Accuracy on Focus Blast. Life Orb is kept for a balance of power and bulk. Additional Comments: You can opt to use 252 HP | 200 Def | 56 SpD Calm. It balances out its defenses nicely. Leftovers can be used as well in this instance as well as Recover. Teammates & Counters: Once again, preference to find Pokemon that remove Scizor and Tyranitar from the table. Pursuit (and U-turn) are very threatening for it. Wobbuffet doesn't enjoy paralysis, but it does beat this set pretty easily. Groudon doesn't like STAB Psychic much, but it can step into Psycho Shock variants easily and shut it down. [SET] name: Bulky Psychic move 1: Recover move 2: Psychic move 3: Focus Blast move 4: Shadow Ball item: Life Orb ability: Magic Guard nature: Calm nature: 252 HP / 200 Def / 56 SpD Set Comments: Balanced defenses while applying offense with Life Orb. Focus Blast will OHKO 0/0 Tyranitar even with 0 SpA invested. It can be a decent check to Infernape thanks to it being 2HKOed by Fire Blast. Additional Comments: You can opt to take Physical or Special hits better if you'd like. Teammates & Counters: Honestly just look above. A lot of what I said there applies here. [Team Options] Fighting trio with Justice Heart ability are great teammates for Rankurusu. They appreciate the Attack boost that Rankurusu commonly draws in. Trick Room set wants slow Pokemon to benefit from it in case it dies preemptively. Roobushin helps check Tyranitar, for an added bonus of using Trick Room. [Optional Changes] It can use Toxic. Thunder and Grass Knot are good options. Grass Knot actually pairs well with Psycho Shock, though Skarmory is still a pain in the ass. It can utilize Substitute + Calm Mind, but Jirachi is superior in that aspect. Dual Screens are also applicable for it, but technically there are better Pokemon for the job. Learns Rain Dance, but with Kyogre setting it up freely and Groudon / Hippowdon screwing up the weather, it isn't worth it. If it's the offensive sets (so max SpA Modest) you can use Hidden Power Fighting. [Counters] Scizor, Tyranitar, and Warubiaru do well against him. STAB Crunch from the latter two Pokemon and Pursuit from all three of them hurt like hell. Scizor has the benefit of U-turn, meaning it can dent or kill Rankurusu and get a free switch-in. Giratina blocks many of the sets well and shuts it down with STAB Shadow Ball. Calm Mind sets are a bit trickier to work around, though Dragon Tail or Roar will aid with getting them out. Jirachi does pretty well against Rankurusu. Substitute + Calm Mind shuts down any Calm Mind set. Psycho Shock leaves it vulnerable to Physical Walls. Psychic leaves it vulnerable to Blissey. [Dream World] Regeneration gives defensive Rankurusu's more breathing space with 33% of their health being recovered. Works well on the Choice Specs set too to some extent.