Overview ######## Despite its ridiculous power, Staraptor is often ignored because of its unimpressive Speed and horrific frailty. While its STAB-boosted Brave Bird 2HKOes nearly every Pokemon in the tier, Staraptor struggles to take even resisted hits. In addition, it is weak to Stealth Rock and relies heavily on recoil-inducing moves, so it is worn down very quickly. Staraptor is very one-dimensional in nature; in nearly every match, it uses Brave Bird a few times, OHKOes or 2HKOes a couple of opponents, and dies to recoil in the process. It is one of the best partners to Talonflame, as it has the raw power to easily break through the walls that Talonflame struggles to get past on its own. While Staraptor may not stick around for very long, its ability to hit everything that dares to step in its way with the strength of a wrecking ball ensures that its impact on the game is very hard to ignore. Choice Band ######## name: Choice Band move 1: Brave Bird move 2: Double Edge move 3: Close Combat move 4: U-turn / Final Gambit / Quick Attack ability: Reckless item: Choice Band evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe nature: Jolly Moves ======== Staraptor's Brave Bird is ridiculously powerful; it can OHKO or 2HKO nearly every Pokemon that does not resist it and a considerable number of Pokemon that do. Double Edge has the same power as Brave Bird, but it is resisted by more common types and fails to touch another due to their immunity, so it should be used sparingly, as Brave Bird is most often the better choice. Close Combat is another situational move, and its main targets are Heatran and Tyranitar. Nearly every Pokemon that Close Combat hits is 2HKOed by Brave Bird, so predicting switch-ins is usually unnecessary. U-turn should only be used in specific situations, as Staraptor rarely gets a chance to safely switch in and attack, so making the most of these few opportunities is important in order to use it to its full potential. Final Gambit is great for crippling Skarmory, Staraptor's most reliable defensive check, and allows another Pokemon to come in for free. Quick Attack is an option to revenge kill severely weakened faster threats, but it is a horrible move to be locked into and Staraptor is better off leaving revenge killing duties to another Pokemon such as Talonflame. Set Details ======== Maximum Attack and Speed EVs are invested because, as a frail offensive Pokemon, Staraptor's main purpose should be to hit things hard and fast. Staraptor needs as much Speed as possible as it cannot afford to be outsped in most cases, so a Jolly nature is preferred. The extra power of an Adamant nature doesn't help it attain many more notable KOs, but the Speed drop means that Staraptor will be outsped by a ton of important Pokemon from around base 90 Speed and up. However, an Adamant nature can still be used to get a few OHKOs and 2HKOs that Jolly cannot. The most significant of these are the 2HKOs on Heatran and Rotom-W after Stealth Rock with Brave Bird and the OHKOs on them with Close Combat and Double Edge, respectively. Choice Band is the perfect item for Staraptor, as the 1.5x boost to its Attack makes it much more threatening. Furthermore, it only uses Brave Bird in most situations so there's no real need for it to be able to switch moves. Usage Tips ======== Click Brave Bird and watch things faint. There's no secret to using Staraptor; Brave Bird is the best attack in almost every circumstance. Double Edge and Close Combat should only be used to hit specific Pokemon that resist Brave Bird, such as Rotom-W and Tyranitar, respectively. U-turn should usually only be used if the opponent has an Aegislash or Skarmory, but it can be useful early on if there's a specific wall you want to save Staraptor for. Staraptor is so frail that it cannot comfortably switch into even resisted attacks, so when it does get in, it should be used to deal as much damage as possible before going down, as it may not get many more chances to come in. Team Options ======== Talonflame is by far Staraptor's best partner. Staraptor can lure in and remove checks to Talonflame such as Heatran, Rotom-W, and Tyranitar, giving Talonflame free reign to clean late-game. Pinsir is another great partner, as it combos with Staraptor and Talonflame to create a nearly unwallable triple "bird" core. Excadrill can provide much needed Rapid Spin support and set up Stealth Rock, which turns a few 2HKOs into OHKOs, most notably against Heatran and Rotom-W. Defog support from the likes of Latios, Scizor, or Latias is also useful in removing Stealth Rock from the playing field. Latias also has Healing Wish, which can give Staraptor or one of its allies a second chance to tear through the opposing team. Additionally, any Pokemon that appreciates specific walls or walls in general being removed is a good teammate for Staraptor, as Staraptor is proficient at breaking down nearly every defensive Pokemon in OU. Choice Scarf ######## name: Choice Scarf move 1: Brave Bird move 2: Double Edge move 3: Close Combat move 4: U-turn / Final Gambit ability: Reckless item: Choice Scarf evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe nature: Jolly Moves ======== In most circumstances, Brave Bird is the only move Staraptor ever needs to use. However, as this set has quite a noticeable drop in power when compared to the Choice Band set, Double Edge and Close Combat are often handy to gain 2HKOs that Brave Bird cannot, such as against defensive Rotom-W and Heatran, respectively. The momentum that U-turn provides is also very beneficial, but the move is very situational as Brave Bird is usually the best move to use. Staraptor can utilize Final Gambit as well to dent Pokemon it cannot hope to get past, such as Skarmory. Set Details ======== 252 Attack and Speed EVs are used to maximize Staraptor's offensive capabilities. A Jolly nature is used so that Staraptor can Speed tie with +1 base 100 Speed Pokemon such as Mega Charizard X after a Dragon Dance boost. Choice Scarf makes Staraptor a great late-game cleaner against offensive teams by boosting its disappointingly low Speed, which can otherwise prevent it from being overly effective against them. Usage Tips ======== Choice Scarf Staraptor isn't that great of a revenge killer due to its frailty, susceptibility to priority, and weakness to Stealth Rock. Where it truly shines, however, is as a late-game cleaner. Once all of the opponent's Flying-type resistant Pokemon have been removed, offensive teams can do very little to stop Staraptor from cleaning up. Choice Scarf Staraptor should usually be saved for late in the game and then brought in when it has a good opportunity to clean. Once again, all of Staraptor's moves not named Brave Bird are fairly situational; nearly every time Staraptor is out, Brave Bird is the best play. Team Options ======== Talonflame is Staraptor's best partner. In fact, if you aren't using Choice Scarf Staraptor alongside Talonflame, you're better off just using Choice Band Talonflame instead. However, Choice Scarf Staraptor and Choice Band Talonflame make great partners as late-game cleaners against offensive teams. Excadrill is the best Rapid Spinner in OU and has decent synergy with both Staraptor and Talonflame. Stealth Rock reduces the number of times Staraptor can use Brave Bird (read: KO Pokemon), so having a reliable way to remove the entry hazard is essential. Defog support is good for the same reason, and in some ways is even better because it cannot be spinblocked. Other Options ######## Staraptor is a very straightforward Pokemon with few other options. It can run a Life Orb set to take advantage of Roost, but it is much better suited to running Choice sets since it rarely ever needs to switch moves. A SubRoost set with Intimidate is usable as Staraptor is good at forcing switches. However, Staraptor is horribly frail and not that fast, so a SubRoost set is mediocre at best and is a waste of its potential. Checks & Counters ######## **Aegislash**: Due its great typing, Aegislash is one of the only offensive Pokemon in the game capable of avoiding a 2HKO from any of Staraptor's moves. It also has access to King's Shield, allowing it to deter Staraptor from staying in and attacking it. However, it cannot switch into Choice Band Brave Bird more than two times, especially as it lacks reliable recovery. **Skarmory**: Skarmory is by far the best defensive counter to Staraptor, if not the only one. It cannot be 2HKOed by any of Staraptor's moves and can easily stall it out with Roost. **Fast Offensive Pokemon**: As Staraptor is pitifully frail, the best way to deal with it is often to attack it with a faster Pokemon or ones with priority. Almost any attack will do huge amounts of damage to Staraptor. **Rocky Helmet, Iron Barbs, and Rough Skin**: Staraptor gets worn down incredibly easily, and Pokemon with Rocky Helmet exacerbate this issue by forcing it to take massive amounts of damage when it attacks. Garchomp and Ferrothorn are notable holders as they can use Rocky Helmet in conjunction with their damage-dealing abilities, Rough Skin and Iron Barbs, respectively. **Mega Aggron**: With its insane defenses and Filter, Mega Aggron fears very little from Staraptor. However, if Aggron has not yet Mega Evolved, it is easily dealt with by Close Combat, so it is not the most reliable switch-in. **Rhyperior**: Rhyperior can switch into Staraptor's STAB moves with ease and OHKO it, but can be worn down by multiple Close Combats.