Discussed with Ernesto for a bit today, Defog will not be getting a set unless more QC Members approve it, instead, Swords Dance will be the only one included. QC: radianthero156 / Kushalos / Calloflochie GP: horyzhnz / Ender Overview ######## Shiftry has a niche in the UU metagame thanks to its powerful STAB moves, Knock Off and Sucker Punch, the latter of which is also a priority move. Grass-type STAB moves are very appreciated in a tier filled with bulky Water-types such as Slowbro and Suicune, and they also get nice neutral coverage alongside Shiftry's Dark-type STAB moves. Shiftry can also use its wide special movepool to catch physically defensive Pokemon off-guard, unlike other setup sweepers. However, Shiftry doesn't have much bulk, making it a lot harder for it to set up. Shiftry is very reliant on Sucker Punch because of its middling Speed, which can easily be taken advantage of. Its base 100 Attack is not very high before a boost as well. Shiftry's typing leaves it weak to common Flying-, Fire-, Ice-, Bug-, and Fairy-type attacks, which gives it trouble switching in. Shiftry receives competition from other sweepers such as Lucario and Heracross. Its abilities are also quite useless because Shiftry cannot be put to sleep via Spore, while sun is rather uncommon in UU, and Pickpocket is extremely gimmicky. Finally, Shiftry receives competition from Cacturne; despite lacking Knock Off and being slower, Cacturne can wall Slowbro and other Water-types with its ability, which Shiftry cannot do. Swords Dance ######## name: Swords Dance move 1: Swords Dance move 2: Knock Off move 3: Sucker Punch move 4: Seed Bomb ability: Chlorophyll item: Life Orb evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe nature: Adamant Moves ======== Swords Dance bolsters Shiftry's Attack stat to threatening levels in a single turn. Knock Off is a very spammable move that cripples many Pokemon that are reliant on items and is also a strong STAB move. Sucker Punch is a powerful STAB move that allows Shiftry to hit many faster attackers such as Victini and allows it pick off weakened foes. Seed Bomb is Shiftry's most consistent STAB move that hits bulky Water-types such as Suicune very hard. Leaf Storm is a nifty option because it nails physical walls; if it is used, Naughty is the nature of choice. Low Kick nails Mega Aggron and has good overall coverage, but it has little use outside of this. Set Details ======== Life Orb enables Shiftry to hit as hard as possible, and because Shiftry isn't exceptionally bulky by any means, the recoil is not too detrimental. The listed EVs maximize Shiftry's offensive potential. An Adamant nature is chosen over a Jolly nature because it enables Shiftry to hit even harder and a Jolly nature doesn't outspeed anything notable. Lum Berry is an alternative option if Thunder Wave and Will-O-Wisp are a concern, but Life Orb's power increase will be missed. An alternative bulkier spread of 84 HP / 252 Atk / 172 Spe is an option to give Shiftry a bit more bulk while allowing it to outspeed uninvested base 100 Speed Pokemon such as Mew. Usage Tips ======== Knock Off is best used early-game thanks to its utility, while Swords Dance should be saved until late-game to allow Shiftry to sweep. Sucker Punch is very reliant on prediction, so be wary, as the opponent can predict this and either set up a Substitute or use a status move; using a coverage move such as Knock Off is often more useful in these situations. Shiftry truly shines as a late-game cleaner to sweep weakened teams. Finally, avoiding status is crucial, so stay away from potential status users, as practically all forms of status cripple Shiftry. Team Options ======== Slow U-turns or Volt Switches are the best ways to bring in Shiftry safely, as its lack of resistances and bulk makes it hard for it to switch in directly; Mega Ampharos makes a good partner because of its resistances to Fire-, Flying-, and Water-type moves, along with its ability to provide Heal Bell support. Similarly, Memento and dual screens support are effective, making Dugtrio a good partner, as it can trap and eliminate Fire-types and can also provide a switch-in opportunity with Memento. Azelf is also a good offensive partner that can aid Shiftry with its access to dual screens, and it can set up Stealth Rock as well. Rotom-Heat resists all of Shiftry's weaknesses except Fighting and can bring it in safely with Volt Switch, while Shiftry can take Water-type moves in return. Thunder Wave support is also greatly appreciated to slow down faster threats; this can be provided by Pokemon such as Mega Aggron and Mew. Finally, entry hazard support from the likes of Froslass is very beneficial to wear down bulkier switch-ins and to enable Shiftry to pick off weakened resists like Mienshao and Heracross at +2. Other Options ######## Defog sets are viable, but entry hazard removal is better left to other Pokemon such as Blastoise, as Shiftry's lack of bulk makes this very difficult to pull off. Shiftry can run a special set using Nasty Plot to bolster its Special Attack, and it has the movepool to back it up as well. Focus Blast is a usable coverage move, although its accuracy is a bit unreliable. Giga Drain is an option for a STAB move that also regains health. SubSeed is an option, but such sets are vastly outclassed by Shaymin, and Shiftry's lack of bulk prevents these sets from being very effective. Rock Slide hits Flying- and Fire-type switch-ins, but it is otherwise fairly weak. Tailwind is a nifty option as a last-ditch resort to bring in a sweeper with increased Speed. Similarly, Explosion is another last-ditch option, although it comes at the expense of Shiftry's remaining HP. Icy Wind, while very weak, hits faster switch-ins and helps to make up for Shiftry's average Speed. Sun support can be used with Chlorophyll, but sun does not last long enough to be useful, potentially rendering this set unviable . Finally, as a warning, do not use Fake Out; it is weak and does not accomplish anything significant. Checks & Counters ######## **Super Effective Attacks**: Shiftry is weak to common Fighting-, Flying-, Poison-, Bug-, Ice-, and Fairy-types. Some of these Pokemon do have secondary types, however, which can allow Shiftry to play around them. Some Pokemon that fare well against Shiftry include Lucario, Heracross, Drapion, Granbull, and Honchkrow; all of these Pokemon resist Sucker Punch and can hit back hard with their respective STAB moves. Some Pokemon like Victini and Crobat can be beaten if they switch into Knock Off and are KOed by +2 Sucker Punch, so keep this in mind. However, bulkier Pokemon that resist Shiftry's moves, such as Drapion and Granbull, are great counters. **Fletchinder**: Fletchinder resists Seed Bomb and is not hit hard by Knock Off because it does not usually carry an item. Sucker Punch can also be played around with Will-O-Wisp, which can be followed by Acrobatics for a clean OHKO. **Status**: Will-O-Wisp and Thunder Wave instantly cripple Shiftry, while Toxic slowly wears it down. **Priority**: Priority moves such as Vacuum Wave, Mach Punch, and Ice Shard can outspeed Sucker Punch's priority and hit Shiftry hard. **Hydreigon**: Hydreigon resists Shiftry's STAB moves and can easily threaten Shiftry in return with Draco Meteor, Fire Blast, and even U-turn. **Faster Pokemon that Resist Sucker Punch**: Heracross, Hydreigon, and Lucario all resist Sucker Punch and can OHKO Shiftry with their respective STAB moves.