Status: Done QC: 4/4 [CyclicCompound, Labyrinthine, TRC., Ash Borer] GP: 2/2 [Legitimate Username, piikachuu] DON'T FUCKLE WITH SHUCKLE Overview ####### Last generation, Shuckle was stuck in NU, incapable of doing much besides sitting around and Toxic stalling until it fainted. But when XY came around, Shuckle got access to a rare and unique move: Sticky Web. Being the most reliable user of Sticky Web is a small but valuable niche that no other Pokemon in the metagame can boast. This, along with its useful access to Stealth Rock, allows Shuckle to see the light of OU. Despite having no offensive presence, Shuckle cannot be set up on thanks to its access to Encore. However, don't be fooled into thinking Shuckle is a flawless Pokemon. Its base 230 defenses are offset by a terrible base 20 HP, meaning that Shuckle isn't as bulky as it seems. It is crippled by Taunt and Trick, though the former is somewhat remedied by Mental Herb. Weaknesses to common Water-, Rock-, and Steel-type moves, along with no reliable recovery, mean that Shuckle won't be staying for long. It will always be moving last because of its nonexistent base 5 Speed, which means that it will have to take a hit before doing anything. It is essentially a sitting duck on the battlefield, and it has to rely on Toxic or Infestation to do any damage. It also receives competition from Smeargle as a Sticky Web user, as it gets Magic Coat to ward off Taunt and Spore to provide opportunities to set up Sticky Web. However, Shuckle is much bulkier and much more reliable than Smeargle, and can't be set up on. Despite these shortcomings, Shuckle provides valuable support to Sticky Web teams, and in the right hands, can be a thorn in your opponent's side. Sticky Web ######## Name: Sticky Web Move 1: Sticky Web Move 2: Stealth Rock Move 3: Encore Move 4: Infestation / Toxic / Knock Off Ability: Sturdy Item: Mental Herb EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD Nature: Bold Moves ====== Sticky Web is Sticky Web, and Shuckle's number one mission is to set it up. Stealth Rock creates a nice entry hazard combination with Sticky Web, as it does a lot of damage to the Flying-types that are immune to Sticky Web. Encore is very important, as without it, Shuckle is huge setup bait. It also generates useful momentum for Shuckle's team. Infestation is useful for racking up damage and trapping opponents. It also has no immunities and isn't affected by Taunt, unlike Toxic. However, if your team deals with Steel- and Poison-types fairly well, Toxic can go in the last slot, as it does more damage over time and doesn't go away after a few turns like Infestation does. Knock Off is a great utility move for Shuckle to use, as it cripples Pokemon that rely heavily on their items, such as Heatran and Chansey, but it is quite weak coming from an uninvested Shuckle and can get in the way of other Knock Off users. Set Details ======== 252 EVs with a Bold nature give Shuckle maximum bulk on the physical side, while minimizing Foul Play and confusion damage. Mental Herb gives Shuckle a chance against users of Taunt, Trick, and status, allowing it to get up at least one of its hazards. Sturdy ensures that Shuckle will lay down either Sticky Web or Stealth Rock without getting OHKOed. Usage Tips ======== As a general rule of thumb, use Stealth Rock before Sticky Web when the opponent has a Pokemon that is 4x weak to it, or when the opponent has two or more Pokemon immune to Sticky Web. Otherwise, use Sticky Web first. Once you have laid down hazards, use a combination of Infestation and Encore to trap the opponent, and switch to an appropriate counter. However, do not hesitate to use Encore if you predict a setup move. Also use Encore when you predict a Rapid Spin or Defog. One of two things will happen: they will switch out, and you get Sticky Web up on the switch, or they stay in, and you switch to a setup sweeper and attempt a sweep from there. Shuckle is best used as a lead, setting up hazards and using Infestation and Encore to mess with your opponent, switching out whenever necessary. If you need to, don't be afraid to fodder Shuckle, as its main job is to set up hazards. However, if you spot a potential Rapid Spin or Defog user on the opposing team, you should save Shuckle in order to set up hazards again. If Shuckle leads against Deoxys-D, use Encore on the first turn. If it Taunts Shuckle, switch out. Otherwise, the opponent will most likely get up hazards, and using Encore will prevent the setup of one of said hazards. Team Options ========== Shuckle should only be used on teams that intend to abuse Sticky Web to its fullest. Therefore, Shuckle works well with any Pokemon that has high Attack or Special Attack and middling Speed; examples include, but are not limited to, Manaphy, Chandelure, Kyurem-B, Haxorus, Dragonite, Hydreigon, Landorus-T, Mamoswine, Exploud, Darmanitan, Mega Gardevoir, Mega Medicham, and Mega Charizard Y. Bisharp is almost necessary for its ability to take advantage of Defog users; something that Shuckle absolutely hates. Mega Heracross, Keldeo, and Terrakion can take care of opposing Bisharp trying to take advantage of Sticky Web, and benefit from Sticky Web as well. Ghost-types, such as Aegislash or Gengar, are also useful for blocking Rapid Spin. Other Options ########## Shuckle gets a decent offensive movepool, but putrid offensive stats prevent Shuckle from running any other attacking options. Acupressure can turn Shuckle into a monstrous tank, but it is ultimately a luck-based move, and Shuckle will often not have enough time to set it up properly. Rest is an option for full recovery, but the loss of momentum generated by using Rest is so great that it's hardly worth it, even when paired with a cleric. Besides, Shuckle doesn't need to last forever, it just needs to get down a couple of hazards for its team. Power Split averages the offensive stats of two Pokemon, and can be useful as it essentially halves the foe's offensive stats as Shuckle's are nonexistent. Shell Smash can be used with Contrary to act as a pseudo-Cosmic Power along with Toxic, Rest, and Power Split. However, this set is incredibly hard to pull off correctly in the fast-paced OU metagame, as it is countered by Taunt users, Poison-types, and Steel-types. As a result, it will often be a waste of a teamslot. Checks & Counters ############# **Magic Bounce**: Pokemon with Magic Bounce, such as Espeon and Mega Absol, reflect back any hazards that Shuckle tries to set up, preventing Shuckle from completing its job. However, Shuckle can deal with these Pokemon to some extent by trapping them with Infestation and switching to an appropriate counter. **Super Effective Attacks**: Any Pokemon with a strong super effective STAB attack can deal with Shuckle decently, but will not prevent Shuckle from getting up Sticky Web. Examples include Greninja, Aegislash, Scizor, and Terrakion. **Bisharp**: Bisharp is one of the best counters to Shuckle, as the Speed drop from Sticky Web doubles its Attack via Defiant. It can then OHKO Shuckle with Iron Head and attempt a sweep. **Hazard Removal**: Rapid Spin and Defog users such as Excadrill and Mandibuzz are useful for removing Sticky Web, but they must be wary of Encore.