Hi. 1) I love this bird. 2) I hate what I wrote about it two years ago 3) Reckless is awesome 4) Don't make KACAWs Status: Copyediting QC Approvals (3/3): (Lavos) (ginganinja) (alexwolf) GP Approvals (2/2): (sirndpt) (Oglemi) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Badass, emo, and suicidal. And not Sasuke. Thank god. [Overview] <p>Staraptor, of all Pokemon, is perhaps the most fitting personification of an Angry Bird. Intentional pop culture undertones aside, this means that Staraptor is a horrifically powerful threat with one major setback: it frankly doesn't last very long once it actually gets in the field. In a nutshell, Staraptor's typing doesn't bring it many benefits due to very few immunities and resistances, in addition to a weakness to Stealth Rock. Pair this with Staraptor's naturally low defensive stats and reliance on recoil moves, and you have a very unstable bomb in your hands.</p> <p>However, despite these problems and a much less welcoming territory in OU, Staraptor still soars high above other threats in terms of viability and usefulness. As proven by Tornadus, Flying-type STAB has surprisingly good competitive merit, and is often unprepared for by many teams. Unlike Tornadus, however, Staraptor's main moves are 100% accurate, and are thus usable in absolutely any weather. While Staraptor's physical leanings make it walled by a distinctive list of threats, its relative rareness and nearly unparalleled power actually softens these issues significantly. It requires some support in the way of removing Stealth Rock and certain Steel-types, but overall, Staraptor is a decent assassin for offensive teams requiring a wallbreaker. Just don't expect it to last very long, and keep in mind its unparalleled perks (physical Flying-type STAB). After all, even without Reckless, the fact that Staraptor was banned from UU still stands.</p> [SET] name: Choice Scarf move 1: Brave Bird move 2: Double-Edge move 3: Close Combat move 4: U-turn item: Choice Scarf ability: Reckless nature: Adamant / Jolly evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Even without a boosting item, Staraptor mows down a multitude of threats with Brave Bird alone. Therefore, due to Staraptor's power, good Speed, and a number of opponents that threaten to outspeed it, the Choice Scarf is a most suitable item for it, turning it into both a good revenge killer and battering ram. One notable advantage of using Staraptor over similar revenge killers—especially Latios, Garchomp, and Salamence—is that Brave Bird doesn't suffer notable drawbacks aside from recoil; Staraptor can just spam it multiple times and switch out if needed. It should also be noted that Staraptor's own Brave Bird can OHKO 4/0 Dragonite after Stealth Rock damage, and is much more powerful than other common scarf users' attacks by default (i.e. Terrakion's Close Combat and Salamence's unboosted Outrage).</p> <p>The other attacks should only be used circumstantially as Brave Bird usually offers more power or better coverage. Double-Edge is a Normal-type equivalent of Brave Bird, and is Staraptor's best option against Rotom-W, Thundurus-T, and the uncommon Zapdos. Close Combat is used as a last resort against the Steel- and Rock-types that resist Brave Bird, but is somewhat average in power due to Reckless not boosting it. Finally, U-turn helps keep up constant momentum and scout out any counter attempting to tank a predicted Brave Bird or Close Combat.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>Staraptor should always have its Attack and Speed maximized to hit as hard and outrun as many threats as possible. The Adamant nature is recommended on this set, as the resulting Speed already allows Staraptor to outspeed most relevant threats (i.e. Timid Choice Scarf Rotom-W, Dragonite, Gyarados, and Haxorus), and the extra power is most welcome for more KOes and overall damage. The Jolly nature should only be used if Choice Scarf Salamence, +1 Volcarona, and Jolly Haxorus are particularly threatening to your team, although Staraptor can only hope to win the Speed tie against the former two. As far as other move options are concerned, Final Gambit is an odd but creditable one. If Team Preview shows a team where this Staraptor won't have much impact, Final Gambit can be used to take one opponent out anyways. Keep in mind that doing so effectively requires Staraptor to be at full health.</p> <p>Staraptor benefits best from offensive synergy rather than defensive synergy due to its frailty and general tendency to go down quickly. Rapid Spin from the likes of Starmie, Forretress, and Tentacruel is essential to let Staraptor live longer and perform more attacks. Additionally, this set works best with heavy entry hazard support in order to apply constant offensive pressure on switch-ins. Teammates that can set up Stealth Rock and/or Spikes at a fast and safe pace include Custap Lead Skarmory, Mew, Landorus-T, and Forretress.</p> <p>Bulky Steel- and Rock-type threats overall are this set's main concern, as they prevent Staraptor from spamming Brave Bird freely and force it to use the much weaker Close Combat. Rotom-W is a good teammate as it takes on these threats quite well with Will-O-Wisp, Hydro Pump, and Volt Switch, and completes the VoltTurn combination with Staraptor. Additionally, it resists Bullet Punch and Ice Shard, which are common priority attacks aimed at Staraptor. Staraptor also pairs well with Magnezone, which can trap and kill many Steel-types save for U-turn Jirachi. Amongst offensive partners, Life Orb Latios stands out because its Draco Meteor and Surf can soften up Steel-types, thus eventually giving Staraptor more leeway in attacking. Teammates with a similar regard include Choice Band Terrakion, mixed Salamence, and Hydreigon; while Terrakion can break through even the sturdiest physical walls with Close Combat alone, Hydreigon and Salamence have the necessary coverage move to also soften up specific Steel-types.</p> [SET] name: Non-Choice Attacker move 1: Brave Bird move 2: Close Combat move 3: Double-Edge / U-turn move 4: U-turn / Roost item: Life Orb / Sharp Beak ability: Reckless nature: Jolly / Adamant evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>This set definitely showcases Staraptor's offensive might. Users no longer have to predict heavily around Steel- and Rock-types, as Staraptor can alternate between Brave Bird and Close Combat depending on the situation. The combination of both moves gives Staraptor both humongous power and nearly unresisted coverage, allowing it to act as a short-term wallbreaker with very few safe switch-ins. On that note, Staraptor only has to stay in for a little amount of time, paving the way for other teammates to sweep on their own. As for other moves, Double-Edge is still a useful option, though its use is merely limited to KOing bulky Rotom-W and Zapdos, as Thundurus-T outspeeds and Brave Bird already deals heavy damage to it. You may consider using U-turn in the third slot instead for scouting and grabbing momentum. U-turn can also be used in the fourth slot alongside Double-Edge to maximize offensive utility. Staraptor tends to force many switches, which is the perfect opportunity to use Roost to recover lost health from Brave Bird and Life Orb recoil in a pinch. Avoid using Roost continuously, however, since Staraptor's defenses aren't exactly best suited for doing so.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>The item of choice will determine Staraptor's power and the way it is played. Life Orb's boost applies to all attacks, making Staraptor more of a wallbreaker and less reliant on entry hazard support, but at the cost of additional recoil. Though this seems extremely suicidal, the extra KOes against many defensive OU Pokemon such as Hippowdon, Jellicent, and Ninetales are well worth it. Sharp Beak gives Brave Bird a small but noticeable boost, and its lack of additional recoil allows Staraptor to feign a Choice set. Doing so lures in Choice set counters more frequently, only for them to be hit by Close Combat or Double-Edge.</p> <p>If using Sharp Beak, an Adamant nature is recommended to compensate for lost power, while either nature works splendidly with Life Orb. Because of Life Orb's large power boost, Staraptor can afford to use the Jolly nature to swiftly OHKO threats such as positive-natured Salamence, Ninetales, Kyurem-B, and Volcarona. In terms of power, it should be noted that Jolly Staraptor has an approximate 21.48% chance to 2HKO 252/252+ Hippowdon after Stealth Rock (44.52 - 52.38%), while Adamant Staraptor has a significantly larger 95.7% chance of doing the same (48.57 - 57.61%).</p> <p>Another move option to consider on this set is Heat Wave; with Life Orb, it can 2HKO physically defensive Skarmory, one of its best counters, and also OHKO Forretress (with Stealth Rock on the field) without resorting to Brave Bird. If using Heat Wave, use a Naive or Naughty nature to avoid lowering Staraptor's Special Attack. Additionally, keep in mind that Heat Wave is only for these specific targets, and Close Combat is generally a better option against every other Steel-type. Tailwind is also an excellent support move to use in the fourth slot; if Staraptor can manage to use it before fainting, it gives itself and its teammates a possibly gamebreaking Speed boost for a few turns. Of course, with Staraptor, setting it up is easier said than done, so make sure it's worthwhile to replace U-turn.</p> <p>This set doesn't require too much entry hazard support since Staraptor isn't locked into a single attack, though the added offensive pressure is still very useful to break through physically defensive walls such as Hippowdon. Additionally, because of Staraptor's Stealth Rock weakness and the possible added recoil from Life Orb, Rapid Spin support is also essential. Good teammates with Rapid Spin include Starmie, which also provides good offensive synergy thanks to its astounding coverage, and Forretress, which also provides entry hazard support along with a good defensive backbone. Magic Bounce users also work, though Espeon is recommended over Xatu to avoid typing overlaps and so Staraptor and its teammates can take advantage of dual screens. As far as other teammates are concerned, they should be able to take advantage of the holes the Staraptor makes in the opposing team. Choice Scarf Salamence is an outstanding teammate in this respect since Staraptor greatly weakens many Steel-types and physical walls, making it easier for Salamence to spam Outrage. A less priority-vulnerable example is Keldeo, who appreciates the removal of walls such as Ferrothorn and Jellicent in order to spam Hydro Pump.</p> [SET] name: Choice Band move 1: Brave Bird move 2: Close Combat move 3: U-turn move 4: Quick Attack / Double-Edge item: Choice Band ability: Reckless nature: Adamant / Jolly evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>The Choice Band takes Staraptor's wallbreaking powers to murderous extremes. Thanks to the stacked boosts from STAB, Reckless, and Choice Band, Brave Bird is now one of the most hard-hitting physical attacks in OU, just short of Kyurem-B's Outrage. Moreover, it is now powerful enough to power through several counters; after one layer of Spikes, 252 HP Jirachi is facing a potential 2HKO (45.04 – 53.21%) from Adamant Brave Bird. Thus, the game plan when using this set is to weaken the checks and counters of its teammates by spamming Brave Bird alone. Keep in mind that it is usually better to be locked into Brave Bird rather than Close Combat or Double-Edge due to immunities to those moves being very common in OU. If physically bulky Pokemon resistant to Brave Bird are present, simply use Close Combat or U-turn to work around them. The Normal-type STAB move of choice depends on preference, but Quick Attack is preferred over Double-Edge as it gives Staraptor a decent form of priority to use in a pinch, and Brave Bird and Close Combat both already do heavy damage to Thundurus-T and even bulky Rotom-W.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>An Adamant nature would be best on this set to maximize wallbreaking potential, and Staraptor already outspeeds relevant threats outside of positive-natured base 90's and 100's. However, if your team wishes to ensure victory over threats such as positive-natured Landorus-T, Kyurem, Kyurem-B, Modest Volcarona, and defensive Ninetales, the Jolly nature is worth consideration as well. Staraptor is still very powerful with either nature, so this is a matter of either breaking through physical walls more easily or killing off more faster targets.</p> <p>As Staraptor will be locked into Brave Bird the majority of the time, offensive support against Steel- and Rock-types is absolutely essential to spam it freely rather than resort to Close Combat. Keep in mind, however, that this isn't necessarily setting up for sweeping; Staraptor's first line of duty is to kill and break through as many threats as possible before fainting early-game, so don't worry too much about giving it heavy support. As usual, Rapid Spin (from the likes of Starmie or Tentacruel) or Magic Bounce (preferably from Espeon to avoid typing redundancies) support allows Staraptor to spam Brave Bird more often. Offensive teammates that benefit from Staraptor's wallbreaking abilities also apply; Rotom-W is a good candidate for this, as it can threaten Skarmory and scout out the opponent's moves with Volt Switch.</p> [Other Options] <p>Outside of Heat Wave being used with Life Orb, there is absolutely no good reason for Staraptor to use other special attacks competitively. Pursuit is a semi-decent option on either Choice set to deal huge damage to escaping Psychic- and Ghost-types. Beware when using it on the Choice Band set, however, as Staraptor lacks the speed and resistances to take on common Pursuit targets such as Latios, Espeon, and Gengar. Pursuit has more value on the Scarf set, against which these targets are likely to flee in fear of a fast Brave Bird or U-turn. Agility may seem good on paper, though Staraptor barely finds opportunities to freely set up, and the Speed boost is somewhat useless when faring against Pokemon that can take at least one attack and KO Staraptor in return. Agility Staraptor is also short-lived thanks to its reliance on recoil moves and the popularity of priority attacks. Tailwind is a much better option in this case as it also benefits Staraptor's teammates when it eventually goes down. A SubRoost set may also seem plausible, though Staraptor is already hard-pressed for free turns, and will rarely successfully cycle between attacking moves, Roost, and Substitute.</p> <p>Return can take the place of Double-Edge on any set to avoid recoil, though without a large Base Power and the boost provided by Reckless, Return fails to KO Double-Edge's main target: Rotom-W. Speaking of which, Intimidate can also replace Reckless on any set, although lowered physical attacks still already lower Staraptor's lifespan, and Staraptor itself will miss the free added power to Brave Bird and Double-Edge. Overall, since Staraptor is a glass cannon, Double-Edge and Reckless will almost always be the preferred combination on it.</p> [Checks and Counters] <p>As stated before, Staraptor's defensive vulnerability and reliance on recoil attacks will mostly prove to be its undoing in battle. Stealth Rock, sandstorm or hail, Leech Seed, and other forms of chip damage also greatly shortens Staraptor's life span even further in the long run. All of these factors ensure Staraptor will not last as long as it maximally should, though if the opponent isn't careful, Staraptor will have likely done some heavy damage by the time it faints, which in itself is its main role.</p> <p>As far as non-passive counters are concerned, physically defensive Skarmory is easily the best counter, as it sports extremely high Defense and a neutrality to Close Combat. Even the Choice Band set cannot manage to 2HKO it, and the only way Staraptor can effectively deal with it is by using the uncommon combination of Life Orb and Heat Wave. Similarly, Jirachi, Metagross, and Bronzong all resist Brave Bird and are neutral to Close Combat, through without heavy investment in physical defense, they are all 2HKOed by Choice Band Close Combat or even Brave Bird with entry hazards. Other non-Steel-type physical walls such as Hippowdon also apply if they have enough health to take an attack, though most of them cannot withstand a second Brave Bird or Double-Edge. Aside from these, there is little else that can safely switch into Staraptor's attacks.</p> <p>Provided Staraptor isn't holding a Choice Scarf of its own, any threat that can somehow outpace base 100 Pokemon or take one of its attacks makes an excellent check to it. Choice Scarf Rotom-W is a common example of this, being able to take momentum away by threatening to OHKO with a fast and deadly Volt Switch. Another example is Gengar, who is immune to both Double-Edge and Close Combat and can either Disable Brave Bird or hit with Focus Blast. A more defensive answer is bulky pivot Landorus-T, who can take Adamant Reckless Brave Bird with ease (after Intimidate) and OHKO with Stone Edge. Staraptor is also vulnerable to common forms of priority, including Scizor's Bullet Punch, Breloom's Mach Punch, Mamoswine's Ice Shard, and Dragonite's ExtremeSpeed. All these revenge killers, however, are hard-pressed to switch into Staraptor as they will be greatly weakened, if not instantly OHKOed, by Brave Bird or Double-Edge.</p> Old Skeleton (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Old Skeleton (open) Old Skeleton (close) [Overview] Best word to describe Staraptor: jihad. Or Kacaw. Whatever you guys call Birkal. Horrifically powerful Yeah I'll come up with a better intro later Basically though Staraptor is high risk, and has many flaws that makes don't allow it to stay very long like other Pokemon in OU Staraptor's main issue lies in its short life span; it does not have the defenses to sponge even some resisted attacks, and its typing gives it a Stealth Rock weakness and very little opportunities to switch into attacks. Staraptor's recoil attacks also ensure it won't live very long; it only has a few chances to use them effectively before going down. Don't expect it to live long if you use it; it's supposed to kill or significantly damage at least one Pokemon on the other team before going down. Very devastating if used correctly. Don't even compare it to Salamence. [SET] name: Choice Scarf move 1: Brave Bird move 2: Double-Edge move 3: Close Combat move 4: U-turn item: Choice Scarf ability: Reckless nature: Adamant / Jolly evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] Extremely fast and powerful; Reckless Brave Bird outdamages CS Salamence's Outrage! So yeah if your team's already taken care of Flying-type resists (the only common one being Steel), go crazy with Brave Bird. Double Edge is used as an equally powerful alternative STAB aimed mainly at Rotom-W and Thundurus-T. Close Combat should only be used in emergencies due to it not being boosted by STAB and Reckless; it helps clean off weakened Steel-types. U-turn grabs momentum and helps predict around Celebi and Steel-types. [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] Adamant nature is preferred over Jolly since it already helps Staraptor outrun and kill relevant threats (like Choice Scarf Rotom-W) and have some extra power. Jolly can be used if you require Staraptor to tie with Timid Volcarona. Final Gambit is an alright option that can go over Double Edge or U-turn; suppose you're against a defensive team and it looks like Staraptor can't really damage much. Staraptor can use Final Gambit to go and get a kill anyway, making it useful against both offensive and defensive teams! Keep Stealth Rock off the field Pokemon that can clean up after Staraptor or damage Steel-types beforehand Magnezone and Gothitelle support for certain bulky Pokemon Keep offensive pressure against Jirachi and Skarmory, since Staraptor can U-turn out of them. Rotom-W is a good teammate for this since it can burn Jirachi and threaten Skarmory regardless. It can also achieve the VoltTurn combo with Staraptor. Pairs well with things like LO Latios, since LO Draco Meteor softens up Steels, and later there's less things that can safely switch into Staraptor [SET] name: Non-Choice Attacker move 1: Brave Bird move 2: Close Combat move 3: Double-Edge / U-turn move 4: U-turn / Roost item: Life Orb / Sharp Beak ability: Reckless nature: Jolly / Adamant evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] Basically if you're slower than this thing and you're not Skarmory or Jirachi, you're dead. Like, really dead. Really, extensively, horrifically dead. Dead is really. Life Orb + Reckless basically equals a Choice Band boost, so Staraptor can just spam Brave Bird and smash anything that switches in, even some resists Ideally you want to switch in Staraptor after a teammate dies, since it has little switch-in opportunities. Close Combat now 2HKOes Jirachi, and ruins other Steel-types Double Edge for Rotom-W U-turn can go in either the third or fourth slots since Double Edge isn't exactly necessary on this set now (LO BB + Close Combat 2HKOes SpD Rotom-W) You barely get any opportunities to use it, but Roost is nice for recovery. Remember to use it only when you're sure Staraptor can force the opponent out. [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] Jolly + Life Orb is the most offensive combination. Sharp Beak should only be used with Adamant to make up for the power. Heat Wave + Naive/Naughty nature is nice to 2HKO Skarmory Tailwind Have teammates that can clean up after Staraptor This Staraptor should be used early game to blast holes in the opposing team, so take advantage of those holes. Choice Scarf Salamence in particular works well since Staraptor can soften up Steel-types in preparation for a moxie sweep. [SET] name: Choice Band move 1: Brave Bird move 2: Close Combat move 3: U-turn move 4: Quick Attack / Double-Edge item: Choice Band ability: Reckless nature: Jolly / Adamant evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] Staraptor's most powerful set Staraptor uses the same moves with the exception of Quick Attack Close Combat and Brave Bird already hurts Rotom-W quite a bit with both Brave Bird and Close Combat, so Double Edge isn't exactly needed here unless you're extremely Zapdos-phobic. Quick Attack is more useful for giving decent priority in a pinch. [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] Return is strong enough with Choice Band to KO Rotom-W, though the KO usn't gaurunteed without SR, and Brave Bird is enough to 2HKO most variants anyway Offensive support against Steel- and Rock-types, since Staraptor can't freely Close Combat them, but it's not needed since Staraptor's supposed to die early Teammates that can take advantage of Staraptor holes. Again, Choice Scarf Salamence can do this since Reckless CB Brave Bird softens up even Steel-types, and it can then freely spam Dragon-type moves.