Research Week - USUM Edition [Week 2]

#26
RIP, I was just typing this up when the new week post popped in. Oh well. I tried all three mons this last week, hopefully I have two cents someone will find useful.

Moltres is by no means unviable, but its strengths come with hefty weaknesses. Base 110 STABs coming off 349 SpAtk are devastatingly powerful, and Z-Hurricane blows holes through enemy teams. The downside is they're both inaccurate. I've had plenty of games become losses because Fire Blast or Hurricane misses on the switch. Opting for a more reliable move brings the usual trade in power, and if you need to resort to Air Slash for your offensive Flying move, maybe M-Pidgeot would be a better option. What M-Pidge does NOT offer is typing that completely walls Scizor and M-Bee, and the Flame Body ability, which has a chance to cripple mons that make contact.



I built around a FWG core in Moltres, Rotom-W, and M-Scep. Moltres NEEDS Defog or Spin support, because while it has decent natural bulk, losing 50% of its health on switch in is...well, losing 50% of its health. Scarf Hydreigon made a Voltturn core with Rotom and provided some Speed control. M-Scep and Z-Hurricane Moltres were wallbreakers that softened teams for a CB Scizor or SD Cobalion cleanup.

Araquanid is a neat mon that has the advantage of being the bulkiest Webs setter in the tier. Having no recovery outside of a teammate's Wish or Rest is problematic, however. Like Moltres, it doesn't much care about Scizor. Magic Coat is an unexpected move that prevents you from being Taunted, should you predict correctly. Lunge bops Latiases that try to come in on Liquidation, though it can be dropped for Toxic to put set-up sweepers on a timer. Used to run Red Card to give Kommo-o the boot, but since that was banned gave it a Splash Plate instead to give some more oomph.



Didn't put too much thought into this team other than "use stuff that benefits from Webs". M-Pidge appreciates M-Bee and M-Scep being slower so it can obliterate without taking hefty hits of its own. Same goes for Primarina with...more stuff than just those two.

Couldn't build a team I was happy with for Bewear. Double RIP.

Anyway, call me RW2 Kiwami. Will try Barbaracle and Tornadus.
 
#28
RW2 Ziggy is my acc, im using Gastrodon and Barbaracle :)


Barbaracle @ Rockium Z
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Shell Smash
- Razor Shell
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake


Now maybe if I was running veil I would have a higher success rate but a lot of the time since all I was running to really help Barbaracle setup was Memento support, Barbaracle was pretty inconsistent, however if I did ever get the chance to set up with him, it usually resulted in a sweep. There were a number of times where Barbaracle was pretty useless and just not needed to win the battle, and also a number of times where it put in work and did it's job well... I'd say the pokemon is extremely dangerous and has potential, but from my experience was a little inconsistent, which may be my fault, but who knows.


Gastrodon @ Leftovers
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Scald
- Recover
- Earth Power
- Toxic


So basically Gastrodon is pretty solid in this meta because of the popularity of Volt-Turn and more specifically, Rotom-W. Gastrodon is without a doubt more durable than it's competition Seismitoad because of it's access to Recovery, but it lacks Stealth Rock as a downfall. I'd say Gastrodon does its job of "stopping voltturn" just as well as Seismitoad, but doesn't get rocks and having Seismitoad is good for role compression at the same time. I personally still like Seismitoad > Gastrodon, but Gastrodon gets the job done completely fine and could be better depending on the situation of your team.

 
Last edited:
#31
Not really sure how this works, but for this Research Week I tested out Gastrodon. I took my regular team and substituted Azumarill for Gastrodon. I decided to change things up a bit and settled on using a Curse Gastrodon. This set performs moderately well, and is capable of sweeping once the enemies toxic user is removed along with their grass types. For coverage, I used Earthquake and Body Slam. Body Slam was selected over waterfall for the paralysis and overall better coverage, since Pokemon like Latias can take Water/Ground coverage.

Below is the team in question, along with the importable, I have also included my final ELO (likely won't be playing any more) as well as some replays. Overall, I did find that I was able to have a better match up against volt-turners such as Manectric and Rotom-W at the expense of a worse Serperior matchup. Lategame, it also acted as a decent sweeper, which was nice and the water immunity allowed it to switch in freely against Perish Song Azumarills.

[UPDATE] I have also tested out physically defensive gastrodon with Earth Power / Scald / Toxic / Recover. It does not possess as much stallbreaking potential as the previous set, but offers more utility and reliability to the team. I am actually considering making this a permanent addition to my team.


Blissey @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 172 HP / 252 Def / 84 SpA
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Fire Blast
- Wish
- Protect
- Toxic

Scizor @ Choice Band
Ability: Technician
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Bullet Punch
- U-turn
- Pursuit
- Defog

Aggron-Mega @ Aggronite
Ability: Filter
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Heavy Slam
- Earthquake
- Avalanche
- Stealth Rock

Chesnaught @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Bulletproof
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Wood Hammer
- Drain Punch
- Bulk Up
- Synthesis

Infernape @ Choice Band
Ability: Iron Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Close Combat
- Thunder Punch
- Flare Blitz
- Mach Punch

Gastrodon @ Leftovers
Ability: Storm Drain
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Earth Power
- Scald
- Toxic
- Recover


 
Last edited:
#34
I missed the post boat before, let me get the jump on it this time with some initial thoughts.


Barbaracle (M) @ Rockium Z
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Shell Smash
- Liquidation
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake

Barbaracle is a strange mon. Shell Smash is a risky strategy, but you may think to yourself: "Hey, this thing has 72/115/86 defenses. Surely it can take a hit, Smash, and sweep, right?" Well, sometimes. Barb's base 68 Speed means it's still outsped by some Scarfed mons, even with max Speed investment and a +Speed nature. It's also very prone to Scizor's Bullet Punch. This being said, it hits like a truck at +2, and a 185 base power Continental Crush, at the very least, is a nuke for walls. And those times you really don't want Stone Edge to miss. Barb likely has a better match-up versus bulky offense than anything else.

A strategy I have yet to try is Memento support, which Barb was often paired with in RU before it was banned.


Tornadus @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Defog
- Hurricane
- Focus Blast
- Taunt

I don't have strong feelings about Tornadus, and something I want to try to find out is why you would use this over a Defogger with more utility. Sure, priority Defog and Taunt are great, but it can't recover HP like Crobat or boost itself like Serperior (unless Defiant is involved, but that's a project for another week). Focus Blast to bop Dark types that want to ruin your Prankster fun is cool, but like Moltres last week, Tornadus's strongest moves have shaky accuracy. At least its Supersonic Sky Strike (is that right? close enough) hits very hard.

I'm p bad at team building and playing the game in general so take my words with a grain of salt ¯\(´∀`)/¯
 

Kreme

You might be right but you're not correct.
is a Contributor to Smogonis a Team Rater Alumnus
#36


Barbaracle @ Rockium Z
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Shell Smash
- Stone Edge
- Liquidation
- Grass Knot

Barbaracle's actually a pretty decent Pokemon. Throughout this week I've been using it on a variety of teams, starting with Aurora Veil then divulging into basic Spikes offense and basic normal offense. I found that like most setup sweepers, it needs two things to be able to function effectively: removing checks and having a setup opportunity. Both of these conditions were quite difficult for Barbaracle because it doesn't force too much out, it is usually unable to setup without taking at least some damage in return because of the previous reason, therefore it is increasingly vulnerable to common priority in the tier, mainly Scizor and Azumarill. As I was using a Naive nature, I'm able to outspeed all Choice Scarf users up to Infernape and Latias, which in on itself is an issue considering how those two seem to be some of the most common Choice Scarf users on the ladder.

However, Barbaracle has the unique effect of being an actually effective stallbreaker as shown here , here and here (do note discrepancy in set due to replays being taken in between set changes). This is partly thanks to Grass Knot being able to take out Quagsire and the Defense drop not actually boosting Quagsire's EQ damage, but also because Shell Smash is probably the only single turn move that boosts all offensive stats which helps it get past a lot of what stall would usually use to get past setup sweepers like Aerodactyl. Speaking of Aerodactyl, Barbaracle can setup on it, the threat of doing so greatly putting off opponents from KOing Pokemon with it in the same capacity Magneton dissuades any revenge kills from Scizor through Bullet Punch. Barbaracle can also use the likes of Alolan-Muk to setup after it revenge kills Latias, making Latias quite a good teammate, especially Scarf with Healing Wish since that gives Barbaracle players the ability to be more reckless with Shell Smash and not care too much about being stopped after their first attempt at sweeping. Barbaracle can also be a good check to many Pokemon you'd think otherwise like Mega Sharpedo because of its natural bulk, assuming Barbaracle is kept healthy of course, and has often surprised me with its ability to take a hit and OHKO in return. Lastly, Barbaracle definitely feels good in USUM because of Liquidation and Rockium-Z; the former is a consistent and decently powerful STAB attack that has 100% accuracy (which Razor Shell didn't have) and the latter is another move with perfect accuracy that breaks through many common walls like Alomomola but more so than that, it allows Barbaracle players to not worry about missing against easy targets like Latias or Serperior.

Overall, it's a nifty Pokemon that can be really nice in certain matchups whereby they only have limited options of stopping you from setting up and only a couple checks to prevent you from sweeping them completely. I forgot to save replays that demonstrated perfectly how to play Barbaracle whereby you just force something weak to hit you like a Tricked Alolan Muk's Pursuit and they only have one priority user that isn't too strong like defensive Scizor and you just win but essentially that's an easy way to defeat opponents with Barbaracle. It's best with a lot of support and frankly most people would probably rather have more useful Pokemon as I find myself liable in sacking Barbaracle in many games as it simply doesnt have a matchup whereby the previous two conditions for sweeping are met and setting up for it to probably trade for another Pokemon is just not worth the trouble. I've had fun in using it throughout the week and it's worth checking out as its very fun to use, but shouldn't be something you'd look to fit on a team as opposed to looking to fit your entire team around it, which can be a hassle in on itself.

Edit: Here's the team I used. Peaked around 1687 I think but after major tilts and such I should end around 1680~ regardless.
 
Last edited:
#37
This week i used:
Barbaracle @ Rockium Z
Ability: Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Shell Smash
- Stone Edge
- Liquidation
- Earthquake/Grass knot

I found that barbaracle was a pretty decent mon. The problem with using it was primarily it taking 2 turns to set up. Scizor was also a problem as bullet punch would do too much since it couldn't really set up without taking damage so i decided to pair it with dual screens klefki. Klefki also fit in as a semi-wall for against some pokemon. Alot of the times i got to set it up and it was starting to sweep i either missed stone egde(which i did about 90% of the times :(). I felt that i had to sack it a few of the games since it just couldn't do anything and tbh it isn't the most reliable pokemon to use. I would probably not use it since i just don't like that kind of teams aha but if u like set up sweepers i definitely think u should give it a try!
 

Ark

is a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Moderator
#38
With Smogon's recent upgrade, this week finished a bit chaotically; eht and I have checked the ladder scores as Research Week ended, though. We will be announcing the winner alongside the new week shortly after Tier shifts occur. Please stay patient until then, and feel free to post your research in case you didn't manage to do that yesterday. Thanks!
 
#39
Forums are finally up!

Barbaracle is a really interesting Pokémon. It has a decent base attack, decent bulk, Tough Claws, and Shell Smash, which potentially make it a very threatening sweeper; there aren't many things that appreciate taking a +2 STAB Stone Edge, or a +2 Tough Claws boosted Liquidation.

However, Barbaracle's low speed tier really shows the reason why it's not used more. It has a really bad speed tier; being outspeed by Scarf Infernape and Scarf Latias even after a Shell Smash. It also has a bad defensive typing, which holds it back.
252+ Atk Choice Band Technician Scizor Bullet Punch vs. -1 0 HP / 4 Def Barbaracle: 214-253 (75 - 88.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Its offensive typing, while isn't necessarily bad, makes it so Barbaracle is completely walled by Pokémon like Gastrodon and Chesnaught. It also can't do any work against stall, unless running Grass Knot instead of coverage.

In conclusion, Barbaracle has a really small niche as a Shell Smash sweeper, but it requires so much support to work.