Interesting little Pokemon. Pretty fun for my first LC write up. It's a pretty short write up but I feel there isn't actually that much to say. Status: Needs Proof Reading Updates: Created New Analysis Posted New Analysis... That's all so far. http://www.smogon.com/dp/pokemon/spinarak ------------------------------------------------------ [SET] name: Baton Pass Lead move1: Agility move2: Baton Pass move3: Spider Web move4: Protect item: Focus Sash ability: Insomnia nature: Timid evs: 196 HP/ 36 Def / 36 SpD / 196 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>There is very little separating Venonat and Spinarak, except that Venonat is generally a great deal better thanks to its near-perfect accuracy Sleep Powder and higher Speed. However, with the popularity of sleep-inducing leads, Spinarak finds a small niche with which to differentiate itself; Insomnia. This ability makes Spinarak immune to Sleep, one common method of preventing a Baton Pass set up.</p> <p>This set is fairly straightforward. Agility with the protection of your Focus Sash, then Baton Pass to a sweeper and attempt a sweep. If your Focus Sash remains intact, you can use a support option like Spider Web. Spider Web is particularly useful against Stealth Rock leads such as Diglett and Gligar. When trapped they become absolute set up bait for most Pokemon with high defense and no Ground-weakness. Protect helps you scout Taunt, Trick, and perhaps most importantly block Fake Out. It's also critical in helping you decide if you should stay in or retreat against certain Pokemon. Another option is Toxic Spikes, though it's rarely as useful as Protect and you're unlikely to get more than one layer down.</p> <p>This set has little utility after its Focus Sash has been lost, and zero utility with one health remaining. This means that it's important to quickly withdraw Spinarak if it's not going to get its job done so it can try again later. Spinarak won't get its job done against any lead with more than 26 speed, any lead with Taunt, any lead with Trick, and most leads with priority moves. If you intend to use Spinarak as a lead it's necessary that you prepare for all of these possibilities. Knowing when to switch is eased somewhat by Protect, but it's by no means foolproof.</p> <p>As far as leads with more than 26 Speed go, you're only likely to encounter Scarf Abra and Scarf Ponyta. Both of these are checked by Houndour, who is coincidentally a great Baton Pass recipient. Mantyke, another good Baton Pass recipient, can take most hits from Abra and Ponyta easily, though it has to be wary of Hidden Power Electric.</p> <p>Many of the leads which have the option to Taunt (Gastly, Meowth, Voltorb) often choose another move it its place, making it a sensible option to stay in on your first turn and try to Agility anyway. If Taunted simply switch to an appropriate counter. Choiced Pokemon with Pursuit are good to have on stand-by because most common Taunters are frail. Additionally, common Trick users Abra and Gastly are both weak to Pursuit.</p> [Other Options] <p>What Spinarak has, Venonat usually has more of. Be careful of that when choosing other options.</p> <p>Offensively Spinarak has very poor stats, even by Little Cup standards, but it can still cause havoc with a Sub or Endure Agility Petaya set if played correctly. Spinarak has decent priority options with Shadow Sneak and Sucker Punch, but even when you slap on a Choice Band, its poor type coverage, Stealth Rock weakness, and low attacking stats make it fairly useless.</p> <p>Running Spinarak outside of the lead position is almost pointless as its one real advantage over Venonat, Insomnia, becomes far less useful. However, with 12 Attack; Sucker Punch and Shadow Sneak become more useful than Protect, and can help you stop frail sweepers in a pinch.</p> <p>If you intend to make a Baton Pass team, Spinarak is the only Trap-Passer in Little Cup. Unlike Smeargle however, Spinarak has no means of making up for its poor stats, so this becomes really difficult to pull off. It's so difficult to pull off in fact, that you may as well forget about it.</p> [EVs] <p>Spinarak needs to be as fast as possible after an Agility so that it can outspeed as many threats as possible. A spread of 116 HP / 196 Def / 196 Spe Timid gives you more physical defense, which is useful against non-Life Orb Meowth if you aren't running Protect. That's really all you can, or rather should do, with Spinarak's EVs.</p> [Team Options] <p>All recipients really need to work with Spinarak is a Fire resistance or a decent amount of bulk. Dragon-, Water-, Ground-, and Fire-types make the best recipients usually, thanks to their well-matched resistances.</p> <p>Houndour is probably the best recipient of Spinarak's Speed pass. Firstly, it can turn Fire-type moves, which are often directed towards Spinarak, into power boosts, and secondly it's immune to Psychic-type moves, which hit Spinarak for Super Effective damage. Additionally, If a Choiced Fire- or Psychic-type move is used (as they often are), it gives Houndour a free opportunity to Nasty Plot. Similar strategies can be employed with Ponyta and Growlithe, though the loss of the Psychic immunity hinders their effectiveness.</p> <p>Another great choice for a Baton Pass recipient is Rhyhorn. It resists Fire, Flying, Rock, and Normal - which helps it switch more easily into Fake-Out users like Meowth and Aipom whom rarely have coverage against Rock-types. Similarly Gible has useful resistances to both Fire and Rock, but is surprisingly frail and therefore harder to use.</p> <p>Gligar and Mantyke make great pass options because they're able to really take advantage trapped Stealth Rock leads. Most Pokemon that fit into this category can't switch in against Phanpy however. Most Stealth Rock leads including Phanpy are at the mercy of Bug-types when trapped, but all suitable Bug-types share most of Spinarak's weaknesses while there's no guarantee you'll actually trap something. <p>An interesting option that can be a little hard to pull off is giving Spinarak Sunny Day instead of Protect. The Sun won't last very long, and a Speed pass isn't terribly useful to most Sunny Day sweepers, but it allows you to boost the strength of the aforementioned Flash Fire Pokemon. If you're ambitious enough, you can try working with Solar Power Sunkern.</p> [Opinion] <p>Spinarak is a very niche Pokemon. It's got an interesting, but altogether barren movepool, making it quite predictable. It relies heavily on the right circumstances to achieve its goal, which is what sets it apart from Venonat. Sleep Powder allows Venonat to have some say in how it works, while Spinarak remains largely at the mercy of what lead the opponent sends out.</p> <p>Fortunately the right circumstances are common enough for Spinarak to function with some degree of reliability. This is provided, of course, that you have the right Pokemon waiting in the wings.</p> [Counters] As mentioned before, the lead set is countered more by moves than specific Pokemon. It's not usually worth running Taunt, Trick, or an overly quick Scarf-lead just to counter Spinarak, but if you have them, by all means use them. Otherwise your best bet is to predict the boosted switch-in. Generally Pokemon with Vacuum Wave do well. A full health team should be able to stop a Pokemon at +2 speed with the knowledge that the switch-in is likely a Fire or Ground type. Blasting with a powerful attack on the Baton Pass is often the best option, and will either significantly weaken or KO the recipient in most instances. ------------------------------------------------------ I'm sure my capitals are a mess and my Australian English isn't right. Please proof-read. Cheers.