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Skuntank (GP 2/2)

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by erisia, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Stalfos

    Stalfos
    is a Pokemon Researcheris a Contributor Alumnus

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    2nd check incoming !!

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    [Overview]

    <p>If you can overlook Skuntank's appearance, you'll find that it'(apostrophe)s one of the most useful Pokemon in the tier, as it can fulfill a number of offensive and defensive roles for a team simultaneously. First and foremost, Skuntank is certainly the most foolproof response to the myriad of Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon in the tier, boasting STAB Sucker Punch and Pursuit off of a respectable base 93 Attack stat. While its rival Absol may have the upper hand in terms of sheer power, Skuntank boasts neutrality to the Bug- and Fighting-type coverage moves that its prey often use, as well as a far superior HP stat, which allows it switch into combat more reliably. In combination with its unique typing and its focused support movepool, practically almost any team can benefit from Skuntank's smelly services. For example, offensive teams love Skuntank's ability to revenge kill weakened sweepers, such as Haunter, Cinccino, and Swellow, and the disruption it can cause stall teams with the use of Taunt. Meanwhile, defensive teams really appreciate Skuntank's ability to completely shut down threats such as Misdreavus and Duosion that would otherwise give them headaches, as well as the removal of Toxic Spikes every time it switches in.</p>

    <p>Unfortunately, Skuntank has somewhat been a victim of its own success, contributing to the popularity of Hidden Power Ground on many of the Pokemon it traps, as well as that of Fighting-type Pokemon such as Sawk, Emboar, and Gurdurr, which can take it on without problems. Nevertheless, Skuntank is still extremely effective as a stabilizing influence for your team, providing a solid response to a variety of threats, and if you have a free position available, Skuntank won't disappoint (unless you expect it to bring refreshments).</p>

    [SET]
    name: Bulky Attacker
    move 1: Sucker Punch
    move 2: Pursuit
    move 3: Crunch / Poison Jab
    move 4: Taunt
    item: Black Sludge / Dread Plate
    ability: Aftermath
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 252 Atk / 220 SpD / 36 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This is Skuntank's flagship set, presenting an ultimatum to all Psychics, Ghosts, and other spiritual influences within the tier. When Gardevoir, Haunter, Exeggutor, Musharna, Misdreavus, Kadabra, Duosion, and Swoobat run their usual moves, they will find themselves completely helpless should Skuntank be given the opportunity to switch in. If they try to outrun Skuntank and attack it directly, Sucker Punch will stop them in their tracks. If they try to switch out, Pursuit will hit them for the same amount of damage, crippling them at the very least. If they try to set up against Skuntank or stop it with Will-O-Wisp, Taunt will prevent them from doing so;,(comma) and if they try anything else, Crunch will hit them for the same consistent damage regardless of their actions. Although Skuntank's effectiveness is governed by how well its user can strategize and predict the opponent's moves, if played correctly, Skuntank is almost unstoppable in completing its task.</p>

    <p>Skuntank's inherent bulk, alongside its unique defensive typing, ensures that it can switch into practically any attack from its targets, survive the blow, and destroy its opponent immediately after. For example, Choice Specs Exeggutor only deals 58.04-68.39% with its signature Leaf Storm, failing to 2HKO after Black Sludge, lettingwhich lets Skuntank Pursuit trap it with ease. Meanwhile, Gardevoir has no hope of OHKOing Skuntank with a Life Orb Focus Blast, even at +1, without hazards on the field. Even Golurk can be removed if you can bring Skuntank into anything other than Earthquake, as it usually favors Drain Punch over Hammer Arm as its Fighting-type move of choice. Meanwhile, Skuntank's Poison-(remove hyphen)typing removes Toxic Spikes to aid defensive teammates,(remove comma) and makes it immune to Toxic itself, which makes it hard for defensive teams to cope with it in combination with Taunt. While Absol might be more powerful, it can only dream of accomplishing these feats, and Skuntank still retains enough power to remove Psychic- and Ghost-types with ease.</p>

    <p>However, Skuntank is somewhat less imposing when used outside of its niche. Sucker Punch is still able to revenge-(remove hyphen)kill (and Pursuit is still able to trap) targets that are neutral to the attack, such as Cinccino and Swellow, but requires them to be weakened first, either through entry hazards or the recoil from their items or attacks. Likewise, while Dark-type moves have good neutral coverage in the tier, Skuntank won't be doing much damage to bulky targets due to its only-(remove hyphen)decent attacking power, so Fighting-, Steel-, and other Dark-type Pokemon can wall Skuntank effortlessly. Poison Jab's main purpose is to expand on this neutral coverage while hitting Tangela super effectively, but unfortunately it does nothing to help against Probopass and Bastiodon. Both attacks in the third moveslot are useful for hitting opponents that try to switch into Skuntank, as Sucker Punch and Pursuit will let them switch into battle without taking any damage. Overall, although Skuntank has its flaws, this set can completely stop its targets in their tracks and seize control of the match from the opponent in the process.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The above EV spread capitalizes on Skuntank's niche as a bulky trapper, as a faster spread receives more competition from Absol. Maximum Attack investment and an Adamant nature are necessary, as they give Skuntank enough power to break through its most physically defensive targets, such as Calm Mind Musharna and SubSeed Exeggutor, with the latter being 2HKOed with Leftovers and the former being 2HKOed with a Dread Plate. With the given Speed EVs, Skuntank outspeeds Adamant Torterra; although this is not useful in itself, it's a Speed tier that a lot of defensive Pokemon in the tier like to invest in, which lets Skuntank Taunt them more reliably. Meanwhile, tThe rest of the EVs are placed in Special Defense, as Skuntank has a high HP stat and investment in its poor base 61 Special Defense stat has a much greater effect. This allows Skuntank to take attacks from most of its prey with fewer issues, especially in combination with Black Sludge, which is the item of choice for this set. This is because Skuntank lacks other recovery options, and it appreciates the extra health when trying to tank powerful attacks such as Gardevoir's Focus Blast and Musharna's Hidden Power Ground. Skuntank also uses the item more efficiently than most, as it garners a lot of "free" turns through the use of Taunt, Pursuit, and its Psychic-type immunity, and it punishes the Trick-(remove hyphen)users that it commonly traps with crippling residual damage. However, if you want a little more power and don't mind the loss of recovery, Dread Plate has the advantage of boosting all of Skuntank's Dark-type attacks by 20% without causing any recoil. It's a rare luxury for a Pokemon that's able to make the most of it, and it gives Skuntank's attacks some extra "oomph", which is handy when attempting a revenge kill.</p>

    <p>Skuntank can also make use of a faster EV spread, especially in combination with a Dread Plate or Life Orb, as an offensive variant of this set. With 236 Speed EVs, Skuntank outspeeds targets such as standard Drifblim and SubWisp Gardevoir, KOing them before they can use Will-O-Wisp or Substitute. This is in addition to threats such as Absol, Samurott, Jolly Torterra,(comma) and Emboar, all of which can be hit for decent damage with Poison Jab. As Dread Plate doesn't boost Poison Jab, it's best to use Life Orb instead when running the move. Alternatively, Skuntank can shift its EVs from Special Defense into Defense; this allows Skuntank to switch into frail physical sweepers more easily, and thus trap /or revenge-(remove hyphen)kill them more effectively. For example, with 220 Defense EVs, Skuntank takes only 57.75-68.1% from LOife Orb Cinccino's Tail Slap,(remove comma) and 77.58-91.37% from Swellow's Guts-boosted Facade, and can clean them up afterwards if they've been worn down. Skuntank can also use a Lum Berry over its other items; although the drop in power is noticeable, Skuntank can switch into Will-O-Wisps, Spores, and Thunder Waves more easily.</p>

    <p>When looking for suitable teammates for Skuntank, it's hard to ignore the Fighting / Psychic / Dark cores that are extremely powerful both offensively and defensively. Psychic- and Ghost-types of your own are great for checking Sawk, Emboar, and Gurdurr that, which can all take Skuntank down with no trouble at all. Gardevoir and Haunter are well-(hyphen)suited to aggressive playstyles, with the former hitting Fighting-types extremely hard with STAB Psychic, and the latter switching into Choice-locked Close Combats and Superpowers with impunity,(remove comma) and setting up a Substitute as the opponent switches out. On the other hand, Musharna and Misdreavus provide bulkier responses,(remove comma) and can either provide team support or set up sweeps against the hopeless brawlers. Meanwhile, Fighting-type Pokemon of your own love Skuntank's ability to eliminate their best checks and counters, with Sawk being able to spam Choice Band Close Combats without fear, and Gurdurr feeling free to set up without being hopelessly walled. As Skuntank struggles against physically bulky Pokemon in general, packing powerful responses to them is useful. Torterra can take on Golem, Carracosta,(comma) and Probopass without any problems at all, while Gardevoir excels at destroying Regenerator cores, destroying their constituents with super effective coverage moves and Tracing their abilities to heal off any residual damage. Finally, as Skuntank isn't the most powerful Pokemon in existence, providing entry hazard support will help it secure KOs more easily, especially if it uses Black Sludge. Torterra and Golurk are the best candidates for providing Stealth Rock, with the former covering Skuntank's Ground-type weakness and the latter being a more imposing check to opposing Sawk. Spikes users don't have good type synergy with Skuntank in general, so if you want them, just use Garbodor or Omanyte and cover the gaps with other teammates.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Mixed Attacker
    move 1: Sucker Punch
    move 2: Pursuit / Crunch
    move 3: Sludge Bomb
    move 4: Hidden Power Ground / Fire Blast
    item: Life Orb
    ability: Aftermath
    nature: Lonely
    evs: 252 Atk / 220 SpA / 36 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>While this set is somewhat less reliable at trapping and killing its conventional prey, it specializes in luring in Pokemon that usually wall it, such as Tangela, Alomomola, and Probopass, and dealing heavy damage with unexpected special attacks. Sucker Punch and Pursuit remain present for their excellent utility,(remove comma) and are no less powerful than on any other Skuntank set, letting it revenge-(remove hyphen)kill frail opponents just as easily as beforeeasily, although the lack of Crunch and Taunt makes it harder to stop setup attempts. Meanwhile, Sludge Bomb is Skuntank's most powerful special attack, and with the given EV investment and a Life Orb boost, it manages to OHKO Tangela 100% of the time, even without any residual damage;,(comma) a significant improvement over Poison Jab's damage output. Likewise, while it falls just short of 2HKOing Alomomola, if the move's 30% Ppoison chance activates, then Alomomola will not be able to stall Skuntank out with Wish + Protect. Skuntank can also pull other tricks from its special attacking movepool for specific targets. Hidden Power Ground is the best option for slowly breaking down Probopass and Bastiodon, as well as other Skuntank, all of which lack reliable recovery. Meanwhile, Fire Blast secures the 2HKO on Torterra, as well as Amoonguss after Stealth Rock. By running mixed attacking options on Skuntank, it can takeprovide your team with yet another useful service by taking some of the pressure off of physical sweepers such as Samurott, Swellow, and Cinccino, letting them wreak havoc later on in the match, providing your team with yet another useful servicewhich lets them wreak havoc later on in the match.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Using a Life Orb alongside high Special Attack investment is necessary on this set, as Skuntank's base 71 Special Attack stat is hardly impressive,(comma) and it will otherwise struggle to break through even physically based walls. It also ensures that Skuntank's physical attacks are as strong as ever, as it would be silly not to make the most of Skuntank's trapping and revenge-(remove hyphen)killing abilities, even on a lure set. A Lonely nature is the best choice, as Skuntank's physical attacks retain their normal strength without compromising its Special Attack. The Speed investment allows Skuntank to outrun Adamant Torterra, which is actually useful in this case as it can inflict massive damage with Fire Blast. Skuntank can also use different Hidden Power types to hit different Pokemon super effectively, with Hidden Power Grass being the most notable, OHKOingas it OHKOes Golem and Carracosta if they've taken any residual damage.</p>

    <p>
    As stated above, teammates that appreciate the removal of physical walls are highly recommended; with Tangela and Alomomola removed, Golurk can blow holes in teams with its amazing coverage, while Samurott can set up deadly sweeps without worrying about being forced out. Meanwhile, Swellow and Cinccino become much more devastating once their hard counters have been removed, placing high offensive pressure on the opponent. Torterra is an excellent candidate for a Stealth Rock supporter, as it really appreciates being ablethe ability to attack without hesitation once Tangela is removed, and it can use Stealth Rock when it forces something out. Meanwhilean opposing Pokemon out. In addition, Sawk and Emboar can spam their STAB attacks of choice without fear, as Skuntank can remove both Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon, ands well as the remaining candidates that are physically defensive enough to wall them regardless.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Skuntank has quite an expansive movepool, and while Sucker Punch / Pursuit / Crunch / Taunt is the optimal configuration for trapping Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon, there are plenty of other moves that it can also be used. Substitute allows Skuntank to block status attacks from slower users,(remove comma) and also has the advantage of blocking attacks from physical sweepers that could normally break through it. With a Substitute, most opponents will have to attack twice to KO Skuntank, which means that they have to take two Sucker Punches instead of one, which can prove quite difficult after some residual damage. However, the issue with this strategy is that it doesn't help Skuntank get past physically defensive Pokemon; the likes of Golem and Probopass won't mind taking an extra hit to get rid of the Substitute, so Skuntank fails to utilize its Substitutes particularly well. Haze can be useful when dealing with opponents that have already set up, such as Musharna or Misdreavus, but in most cases the best course of action is to switch Skuntank into them before they become threats. Skuntank also learns Roar if you want a phazer on your team, but this usually contradicts Skuntank's other roles,(remove comma) and thus isn't particularly useful. Night Slash is an option, but Crunch is generally the better thanks to its more consistent power. Meanwhile, Toxic can be used to cripple walls that attempt to tank Skuntank's attacks, and can be a good option if you lack other Pokemon with the move on your team.</p>

    <p>Skuntank also has access to various suicide options such as Explosion and Memento, which it can use well thanks to its above-average Speed stat, especially when invested. The former will inflict over twice as much damage as Sucker Punch on most neutral targets, and while it doesn't help break through the Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon that can generally ignore Skuntank's attacks, it can OHKO bulky offensive Pokemon such as Braviary and Emboar,(remove comma) when used with Life Orb. Memento, on the other hand, cuts the opponent's attacking stats in half, allowing Pokemon such as Gorebyss or Samurott to set up more easily against offensive teams. Both of these options are best used by a high-Speed set,(remove comma) and are more suited to offensive playstyles in general. Skuntank can also have a go at running a few other movesets. With a Choice Band equipped, Skuntank has a lot more power,(remove comma) and can use Pursuit more effectively against neutral targets, but Choice-locked Sucker Punch is easy setup bait, and thus Skuntank loses the utility of one of its greatest assets. If you're desperate for recovery, Skuntank can use Rest alongside a Chesto Berry to give it a one-time kickstart; Sleep Talk is also present, but it places too many constraints on Skuntank's attacking movepool to make RestTalk a viable strategy. It also has access to Hone Claws,(remove comma) and can set up with ease whenever it switches into a Psychic- or Ghost-type Pokemon, but due to Skuntank's lackluster coverage and severe competition from Absol as a boosting attacker, it's generally not a good idea.</p>

    <p>Aftermath is by far the best ability for Skuntank, as it compensates for its low attacking power in comparison to Absol. The 25% extra residual damage it inflicts on opponents is highly appreciated,(remove comma) and can clean up revenge-(remove hyphen)kills that Skuntank isn't quite powerful enough to secure. Furthermore, a low-health Skuntank can switch into opponents such as Sawk to de-(remove hyphen)activate their Sturdy or Focus Sashes, making them much easier to respond to. While the flinches that Stench can provide are useful, the 10% activation rate is highly unappealing,(remove comma) and not consistent enough to be considered a viable option. Finally, if you have a keen eye for good Pokemon, you'll avoid using Keen Eye.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>With Skuntank's good special bulk, excellent typing,(comma) and STAB Sucker Punch and Pursuit, it can be very hard to stop Skuntank from fulfilling its role of eliminating any Pokemon weak to its attacks. Running Will-O-Wisp on Haunter, Drifblim, or Gardevoir will at least cripple Skuntank before it can kill them off with two Pursuits, providinged they run enough Speed EVs to use the move before Skuntank can Taunt them. Running Hidden Power Ground on Skuntank's targets can also throw it for a loop, but if it runs the specially defensive EV spread, this will rarely be sufficient to KO the skunk before it KOes your Pokemon in return. If your Pokemon runs Substitute, Skuntank can potentially be outplayed if it goes for Sucker Punch, letting your Haunter or Gardevoir escape with its life. Drifblim also has a fighting chance to avoid being trapped, as it can outspeed and KO specially defensive Skuntank with fully invested Acrobatics,(remove comma) after Stealth Rock damage. However, this only works if the opponent decides to use Pursuit or Taunt, as Sucker Punch will destroy Drifblim if its user mispredicts. Overall, the best way to preserve your Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon against a Skuntank user is to play smart and conservative play. Don't attempt to sweep with Pokemon such as Calm Mind Musharna or Gardevoir until Skuntank is removed, and you'll generally find that your Psychics and Ghosts will remain safe.</p>

    <p>Thankfully, Skuntank is far easier to deal with when it's outside of its comfort zone. Pretty much anything that resists Dark-type attacks or has good physical bulk is usually a safe bet. Emboar and Gurdurr can switch into Skuntank without any consequences, especially if it uses Sucker Punch or Pursuit on that turn. Emboar can proceed to break down the Skuntank user's team with its powerful STAB attacks, while Gurdurr can set up with ease and quickly become an imposing force. Using Poison Jab to hit the latter neutrally has a 30% chance of backfiring and activating Guts, which is seriously bad news for the Skuntank user. Skuntank's biggest rival,(remove comma) Absol is also a pretty good check, as it can take Dark-type moves easily due to its resistance and proceed to cripple Skuntank with Superpower or set up a Swords Dance. Bulky Ground-type Pokemon such as Torterra and Golem also excel at KOing Skuntank, OHKOing it easilyeasily OHKO Skuntank with their STAB attacks and takinge little from Crunch or Sucker Punch thanks to their excellent Defense stats. Likewise, Regirock and Carracosta can take hits all day from Skuntank and wear it down quickly, with. In addition, all of the previous four checks additionally beingre able to set up Stealth Rock as Skuntank switches out. While Skuntank can use Taunt to prevent this, it risks being OHKOed or 2HKOed by STAB attacks regardless, and generally it shouldn't risk itself to prevent hazards from being set up. Miltank is especially good at annoying Skuntank, as not only can it take its attacks with ease, but it can also outspeed Skuntank and use support moves before it even has a chance to stop it, seizing defensive momentum in the process. Probopass and Bastiodon also take next to nothing from any of Skuntank's attacks apart from Hidden Power Ground, but they can't really do anything to prevent Skuntank from Taunting them and switching to a better match-(hyphen)up.</p>


    c/p (open)

    [Overview]

    <p>If you can overlook Skuntank's appearance, you'll find that it's one of the most useful Pokemon in the tier, as it can fulfill a number of offensive and defensive roles for a team simultaneously. First and foremost, Skuntank is certainly the most foolproof response to the myriad of Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon in the tier, boasting STAB Sucker Punch and Pursuit off of a respectable base 93 Attack stat. While its rival Absol may have the upper hand in terms of sheer power, Skuntank boasts neutrality to the Bug- and Fighting-type coverage moves that its prey often use, as well as a far superior HP stat, which allows it switch into combat more reliably. In combination with its unique typing and its focused support movepool, practically any team can benefit from Skuntank's smelly services. For example, offensive teams love Skuntank's ability to revenge kill weakened sweepers, such as Haunter, Cinccino, and Swellow, and the disruption it can cause stall teams with the use of Taunt. Meanwhile, defensive teams really appreciate Skuntank's ability to completely shut down threats such as Misdreavus and Duosion that would otherwise give them headaches, as well as the removal of Toxic Spikes every time it switches in.</p>

    <p>Unfortunately, Skuntank has somewhat been a victim of its own success, contributing to the popularity of Hidden Power Ground on many of the Pokemon it traps, as well as that of Fighting-type Pokemon such as Sawk, Emboar, and Gurdurr, which can take it on without problems. Nevertheless, Skuntank is still extremely effective as a stabilizing influence for your team, providing a solid response to a variety of threats, and if you have a free position available, Skuntank won't disappoint (unless you expect it to bring refreshments).</p>

    [SET]
    name: Bulky Attacker
    move 1: Sucker Punch
    move 2: Pursuit
    move 3: Crunch / Poison Jab
    move 4: Taunt
    item: Black Sludge / Dread Plate
    ability: Aftermath
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 252 Atk / 220 SpD / 36 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This is Skuntank's flagship set, presenting an ultimatum to all Psychics, Ghosts, and other spiritual influences within the tier. When Gardevoir, Haunter, Exeggutor, Musharna, Misdreavus, Kadabra, Duosion, and Swoobat run their usual moves, they will find themselves completely helpless should Skuntank be given the opportunity to switch in. If they try to outrun Skuntank and attack it directly, Sucker Punch will stop them in their tracks. If they try to switch out, Pursuit will hit them for the same amount of damage, crippling them at the very least. If they try to set up against Skuntank or stop it with Will-O-Wisp, Taunt will prevent them from doing so, and if they try anything else, Crunch will hit them for the same consistent damage regardless of their actions. Although Skuntank's effectiveness is governed by how well its user can strategize and predict the opponent's moves, if played correctly, Skuntank is almost unstoppable in completing its task.</p>

    <p>Skuntank's inherent bulk, alongside its unique defensive typing, ensures that it can switch into practically any attack from its targets, survive the blow, and destroy its opponent immediately after. For example, Choice Specs Exeggutor only deals 58.04-68.39% with Leaf Storm, failing to 2HKO after Black Sludge, which lets Skuntank Pursuit trap it with ease. Meanwhile, Gardevoir has no hope of OHKOing Skuntank with a Life Orb Focus Blast, even at +1, without hazards on the field. Even Golurk can be removed if you can bring Skuntank into anything other than Earthquake, as it usually favors Drain Punch over Hammer Arm as its Fighting-type move of choice. Meanwhile, Skuntank's Poison typing removes Toxic Spikes to aid defensive teammates and makes it immune to Toxic itself, which makes it hard for defensive teams to cope with it in combination with Taunt. While Absol might be more powerful, it can only dream of accomplishing these feats, and Skuntank still retains enough power to remove Psychic- and Ghost-types with ease.</p>

    <p>However, Skuntank is somewhat less imposing when used outside of its niche. Sucker Punch is still able to revenge kill (and Pursuit is still able to trap) targets that are neutral to the attack, such as Cinccino and Swellow, but requires them to be weakened first, either through entry hazards or the recoil from their items or attacks. Likewise, while Dark-type moves have good neutral coverage in the tier, Skuntank won't be doing much damage to bulky targets due to its only decent attacking power, so Fighting-, Steel-, and other Dark-type Pokemon can wall Skuntank effortlessly. Poison Jab's main purpose is to expand on this neutral coverage while hitting Tangela super effectively, but unfortunately it does nothing to help against Probopass and Bastiodon. Both attacks in the third moveslot are useful for hitting opponents that try to switch into Skuntank, as Sucker Punch and Pursuit will let them switch into battle without taking any damage. Overall, although Skuntank has its flaws, this set can completely stop its targets in their tracks and seize control of the match from the opponent in the process.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The above EV spread capitalizes on Skuntank's niche as a bulky trapper, as a faster spread receives more competition from Absol. Maximum Attack investment and an Adamant nature are necessary, as they give Skuntank enough power to break through its most physically defensive targets, such as Calm Mind Musharna and SubSeed Exeggutor, with the latter being 2HKOed with Leftovers and the former being 2HKOed with a Dread Plate. With the given Speed EVs, Skuntank outspeeds Adamant Torterra; although this is not useful in itself, it's a Speed tier that a lot of defensive Pokemon in the tier like to invest in, which lets Skuntank Taunt them more reliably. The rest of the EVs are placed in Special Defense, as Skuntank has a high HP stat and investment in its poor base 61 Special Defense stat has a much greater effect. This allows Skuntank to take attacks from most of its prey with fewer issues, especially in combination with Black Sludge, which is the item of choice for this set. This is because Skuntank lacks other recovery options, and it appreciates the extra health when trying to tank powerful attacks such as Gardevoir's Focus Blast and Musharna's Hidden Power Ground. Skuntank also uses the item more efficiently than most, as it garners a lot of "free" turns through the use of Taunt, Pursuit, and its Psychic-type immunity, and it punishes the Trick users that it commonly traps with crippling residual damage. However, if you want a little more power and don't mind the loss of recovery, Dread Plate has the advantage of boosting all of Skuntank's Dark-type attacks by 20% without causing any recoil. It's a rare luxury for a Pokemon that's able to make the most of it, and it gives Skuntank's attacks some extra "oomph", which is handy when attempting a revenge kill.</p>

    <p>Skuntank can also make use of a faster EV spread, especially in combination with a Dread Plate or Life Orb, as an offensive variant of this set. With 236 Speed EVs, Skuntank outspeeds targets such as standard Drifblim and SubWisp Gardevoir, KOing them before they can use Will-O-Wisp or Substitute. This is in addition to threats such as Absol, Samurott, Jolly Torterra, and Emboar, all of which can be hit for decent damage with Poison Jab. As Dread Plate doesn't boost Poison Jab, it's best to use Life Orb instead when running the move. Alternatively, Skuntank can shift its EVs from Special Defense into Defense; this allows Skuntank to switch into frail physical sweepers more easily, and thus trap or revenge kill them more effectively. For example, with 220 Defense EVs, Skuntank takes only 57.75-68.1% from Life Orb Cinccino's Tail Slap and 77.58-91.37% from Swellow's Guts-boosted Facade, and can clean them up afterwards if they've been worn down. Skuntank can also use a Lum Berry; although the drop in power is noticeable, Skuntank can switch into Will-O-Wisps, Spores, and Thunder Waves more easily.</p>

    <p>When looking for suitable teammates for Skuntank, it's hard to ignore the Fighting / Psychic / Dark cores that are extremely powerful both offensively and defensively. Psychic- and Ghost-types of your own are great for checking Sawk, Emboar, and Gurdurr, which can all take Skuntank down with no trouble at all. Gardevoir and Haunter are well-suited to aggressive playstyles, with the former hitting Fighting-types extremely hard with STAB Psychic, and the latter switching into Choice-locked Close Combats and Superpowers with impunity and setting up a Substitute as the opponent switches out. On the other hand, Musharna and Misdreavus provide bulkier responses and can either provide team support or set up sweeps against the hopeless brawlers. Meanwhile, Fighting-type Pokemon of your own love Skuntank's ability to eliminate their best checks and counters, with Sawk being able to spam Choice Band Close Combats without fear, and Gurdurr feeling free to set up without being hopelessly walled. As Skuntank struggles against physically bulky Pokemon in general, packing powerful responses to them is useful. Torterra can take on Golem, Carracosta, and Probopass without any problems at all, while Gardevoir excels at destroying Regenerator cores with super effective coverage moves and Tracing their abilities to heal off any residual damage. Finally, as Skuntank isn't the most powerful Pokemon in existence, providing entry hazard support will help it secure KOs more easily, especially if it uses Black Sludge. Torterra and Golurk are the best candidates for providing Stealth Rock, with the former covering Skuntank's Ground-type weakness and the latter being a more imposing check to opposing Sawk. Spikes users don't have good type synergy with Skuntank in general, so if you want them, just use Garbodor or Omanyte and cover the gaps with other teammates.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Mixed Attacker
    move 1: Sucker Punch
    move 2: Pursuit / Crunch
    move 3: Sludge Bomb
    move 4: Hidden Power Ground / Fire Blast
    item: Life Orb
    ability: Aftermath
    nature: Lonely
    evs: 252 Atk / 220 SpA / 36 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>While this set is somewhat less reliable at trapping and killing its conventional prey, it specializes in luring in Pokemon that usually wall it, such as Tangela, Alomomola, and Probopass, and dealing heavy damage with unexpected special attacks. Sucker Punch and Pursuit remain present for their excellent utility and are no less powerful than on any other Skuntank set, letting it revenge kill frail opponents easily, although the lack of Crunch and Taunt makes it harder to stop setup attempts. Meanwhile, Sludge Bomb is Skuntank's most powerful special attack, and with the given EV investment and a Life Orb boost, it manages to OHKO Tangela 100% of the time, even without any residual damage, a significant improvement over Poison Jab's damage output. Likewise, while it falls just short of 2HKOing Alomomola, if the move's 30% poison chance activates, then Alomomola will not be able to stall Skuntank out with Wish + Protect. Skuntank can also pull other tricks from its special attacking movepool for specific targets. Hidden Power Ground is the best option for slowly breaking down Probopass and Bastiodon, as well as other Skuntank, all of which lack reliable recovery. Meanwhile, Fire Blast secures the 2HKO on Torterra, as well as Amoonguss after Stealth Rock. By running mixed attacking options on Skuntank, it can take some of the pressure off of physical sweepers such as Samurott, Swellow, and Cinccino, letting them wreak havoc later on in the match.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Using a Life Orb alongside high Special Attack investment is necessary on this set, as Skuntank's base 71 Special Attack stat is hardly impressive, and it will otherwise struggle to break through even physically based walls. It also ensures that Skuntank's physical attacks are as strong as ever, as it would be silly not to make the most of Skuntank's trapping and revenge killing abilities, even on a lure set. A Lonely nature is the best choice, as Skuntank's physical attacks retain their normal strength without compromising its Special Attack. The Speed investment allows Skuntank to outrun Adamant Torterra, which is actually useful in this case as it can inflict massive damage with Fire Blast. Skuntank can also use different Hidden Power types to hit different Pokemon super effectively, with Hidden Power Grass being the most notable, as it OHKOes Golem and Carracosta if they've taken any residual damage.</p>

    <p>As stated above, teammates that appreciate the removal of physical walls are highly recommended; with Tangela and Alomomola removed, Golurk can blow holes in teams with its amazing coverage, while Samurott can set up deadly sweeps without worrying about being forced out. Meanwhile, Swellow and Cinccino become much more devastating once their hard counters have been removed, placing high offensive pressure on the opponent. Torterra is an excellent candidate for a Stealth Rock supporter, as it really appreciates the ability to attack without hesitation once Tangela is removed, and it can use Stealth Rock when it forces an opposing Pokemon out. In addition, Sawk and Emboar can spam their STAB attacks of choice without fear, as Skuntank can remove both Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon, as well as the remaining candidates that are physically defensive enough to wall them regardless.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Skuntank has quite an expansive movepool, and while Sucker Punch / Pursuit / Crunch / Taunt is the optimal configuration for trapping Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon, there are plenty of other moves that it can also use. Substitute allows Skuntank to block status attacks from slower users and also has the advantage of blocking attacks from physical sweepers that could normally break through it. With a Substitute, most opponents will have to attack twice to KO Skuntank, which means that they have to take two Sucker Punches instead of one, which can prove quite difficult after some residual damage. However, the issue with this strategy is that it doesn't help Skuntank get past physically defensive Pokemon; the likes of Golem and Probopass won't mind taking an extra hit to get rid of the Substitute, so Skuntank fails to utilize its Substitutes particularly well. Haze can be useful when dealing with opponents that have already set up, such as Musharna or Misdreavus, but in most cases the best course of action is to switch Skuntank into them before they become threats. Skuntank also learns Roar if you want a phazer on your team, but this usually contradicts Skuntank's other roles and thus isn't particularly useful. Night Slash is an option, but Crunch is generally better thanks to its more consistent power. Meanwhile, Toxic can cripple walls that attempt to tank Skuntank's attacks, and can be a good option if you lack other Pokemon with the move on your team.</p>

    <p>Skuntank also has access to various suicide options such as Explosion and Memento, which it can use well thanks to its above-average Speed stat, especially when invested. The former will inflict over twice as much damage as Sucker Punch on most neutral targets, and while it doesn't help break through the Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon that can generally ignore Skuntank's attacks, it can OHKO bulky offensive Pokemon such as Braviary and Emboar when used with Life Orb. Memento, on the other hand, cuts the opponent's attacking stats in half, allowing Pokemon such as Gorebyss or Samurott to set up more easily against offensive teams. Both of these options are best used by a high-Speed set and are more suited to offensive playstyles in general. Skuntank can also have a go at running a few other movesets. With a Choice Band equipped, Skuntank has a lot more power and can use Pursuit more effectively against neutral targets, but Choice-locked Sucker Punch is easy setup bait, and thus Skuntank loses the utility of one of its greatest assets. If you're desperate for recovery, Skuntank can use Rest alongside a Chesto Berry to give it a one-time kick start; Sleep Talk is also present, but it places too many constraints on Skuntank's attacking movepool to make RestTalk a viable strategy. It also has access to Hone Claws and can set up with ease whenever it switches into a Psychic- or Ghost-type Pokemon, but due to Skuntank's lackluster coverage and severe competition from Absol as a boosting attacker, it's generally not a good idea.</p>

    <p>Aftermath is by far the best ability for Skuntank, as it compensates for its low attacking power in comparison to Absol. The 25% extra residual damage it inflicts on opponents is highly appreciated and can clean up revenge kills that Skuntank isn't quite powerful enough to secure. Furthermore, a low-health Skuntank can switch into opponents such as Sawk to deactivate their Sturdy or Focus Sash, making them much easier to respond to. While the flinches that Stench can provide are useful, the 10% activation rate is highly unappealing and not consistent enough to be considered a viable option. Finally, if you have a keen eye for good Pokemon, you'll avoid using Keen Eye.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>With Skuntank's good special bulk, excellent typing, and STAB Sucker Punch and Pursuit, it can be very hard to stop Skuntank from fulfilling its role of eliminating any Pokemon weak to its attacks. Running Will-O-Wisp on Haunter, Drifblim, or Gardevoir will at least cripple Skuntank before it can kill them off with two Pursuits, provided they run enough Speed EVs to use the move before Skuntank can Taunt them. Running Hidden Power Ground on Skuntank's targets can also throw it for a loop, but if it runs the specially defensive EV spread, this will rarely be sufficient to KO the skunk before it KOes your Pokemon in return. If your Pokemon runs Substitute, Skuntank can potentially be outplayed if it goes for Sucker Punch, letting your Haunter or Gardevoir escape with its life. Drifblim also has a fighting chance to avoid being trapped, as it can outspeed and KO specially defensive Skuntank with fully invested Acrobatics after Stealth Rock damage. However, this only works if the opponent decides to use Pursuit or Taunt, as Sucker Punch will destroy Drifblim if its user mispredicts. Overall, the best way to preserve your Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon against a Skuntank user is smart and conservative play. Don't attempt to sweep with Pokemon such as Calm Mind Musharna or Gardevoir until Skuntank is removed, and you'll generally find that your Psychics and Ghosts will remain safe.</p>

    <p>Thankfully, Skuntank is far easier to deal with when it's outside of its comfort zone. Pretty much anything that resists Dark-type attacks or has good physical bulk is usually a safe bet. Emboar and Gurdurr can switch into Skuntank without any consequences, especially if it uses Sucker Punch or Pursuit on that turn. Emboar can proceed to break down the Skuntank user's team with its powerful STAB attacks, while Gurdurr can set up with ease and quickly become an imposing force. Using Poison Jab to hit the latter neutrally has a 30% chance of backfiring and activating Guts, which is seriously bad news for the Skuntank user. Skuntank's biggest rival Absol is also a pretty good check, as it can take Dark-type moves easily due to its resistance and proceed to cripple Skuntank with Superpower or set up a Swords Dance. Bulky Ground-type Pokemon such as Torterra and Golem easily OHKO Skuntank with their STAB attacks and take little from Crunch or Sucker Punch thanks to their excellent Defense stats. Likewise, Regirock and Carracosta can take hits all day from Skuntank and wear it down quickly. In addition, all of the previous four checks are able to set up Stealth Rock as Skuntank switches out. While Skuntank can use Taunt to prevent this, it risks being OHKOed or 2HKOed by STAB attacks regardless, and generally it shouldn't risk itself to prevent hazards from being set up. Miltank is especially good at annoying Skuntank, as not only can it take its attacks with ease, but it can also outspeed Skuntank and use support moves before it even has a chance to stop it, seizing defensive momentum in the process. Probopass and Bastiodon also take next to nothing from any of Skuntank's attacks apart from Hidden Power Ground, but they can't really do anything to prevent Skuntank from Taunting them and switching to a better match-up.</p>


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  2. erisia

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    Oh blimey, I must have overdone it with the punctuation there. Never mind, at least this will be on site before the next games are released.
  3. Zebraiken

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