Strategy Analysis: Choice Banders Choice Band: The Pokemon's Attack is raised by 1.5x, but it can only use the first move that it selects. Nearly everyone has at least one Choice Bander on their teams in the current metagame. Why is this item so popular, and why is everyone using it? Strengths -Obviously, your Pokemon's attacks will hit for colossal damage. Salamence's maximum Attack is 405. With a Choice Band, Salamence's Attack raises to a maximum Attack of 607, meaning that a STABed Hidden Power Flying will hurt any Pokemon hard! -You can save some EVs. Since Choice Band raises your Pokemon's Attack, you can save some Attack EVs and place them in the Defenses or Speed. -If you can predict well, Choice Banders will absolutely ruin your opponent's strategies. If you have a Choice Banded Medicham in against a Blissey and predict a switch, you can hit the Pokemon that switches in with a Pure Power, CBed STABed Focus Punch which will OHKO almost any Pokemon that doesn't resist fighting attacks! -Choice Band can also mess up Pokemon that aren't physical sweepers. If a Pokemon with Trick has Choice Band, the Pokemon can use Trick to give the opposing Pokemon a Choice Band, limiting its options; this strategy is dubbed "Trickbanding". Make sure that you don't give a Choice Band to a physical sweeper unless you want it to rampage through your team. Of course, there are some downfalls to using Choice Band as well. Weaknesses -Your Pokemon's options are limited. Since you can only use one attack withChoice Band, you're in trouble if you predict incorrectly and end up using an attack that's not very effective. This will cause you to switch, allowing your opponent to set up or get a free attack in. -Prediction can ruin Choice Banders as well. If your opponent outpredicts your actions, your Choice Bander will be forced to run, giving your opponent a slight edge. For the Medicham example above, if your opponent predicts Focus Punch and decides to have Blissey use Seismic Toss, Medicham will lose its focus and Focus Punch will be useless against Blissey. Blissey can keep Seismic Tossing Medicham until it dies or paralyze a Pokemon that switches in Medicham's place. -Most Choice Banders lack healing. Without Leftovers, a Choice Bander will be helpless against a status infliction such as a burn or will feel the full brunt of a Sandstorm. Covering Your Weaknesses -Consider having a Wisher and cleric. A Wisher's healing power compensates for the lack of Leftovers while Celebi or Blissey's Heal Bell/Aromatherapy can make any status effects vanish, allowing your Choice Bander to wreak havoc on your opponent's team. Sleep Talk is an alternative to any Choice Bander, since it can take sleep and randomly attack without being restricted to one move. -Make sure you have good prediction skills. If your opponent realizes that you have a Choice Bander, prediction wars will ensue. Don't make hasty decisions; stay calm and anticipate your opponent's actions, and you'll stay ahead. -Consider having a Pokemon or two with Thunder Wave. Paralyzing your opponent's Pokemon allow your Choice Banders to bent up your opponent's Pokemon before they can counterattack, making it easier for your Choice Bander to sweep. -If you don't have a move for Skarmory on your Choice Bander(s), a Magneton can be handy to trap the metal bird and kill it with a Thunderbolt. OU Choice Banders Salamence @ Choice Band Intimidate -Hidden Power [Flying] -Earthquake -Rock Slide -Fire Blast/Brick Break/Hydro Pump Arguably the most popular Choice Bander, CB Salamence is a beast with 607 maximum Attack. HP Flying 3HKOs most bulky waters such as Milotic, while Earthquake and Rock Slide do heavy damage to most Pokemon. Fire Blast 2HKOs Skarmory and OHKOs Forretress, while Brick Break is there for a fourth physical attack. Hydro Pump was first recommended by Slack King and used by 0mastar; it can OHKO Donphan, which can stand up to CBmence. Heracross @ Choice Band Guts -Megahorn -Rock Slide -Brick Break -Focus Punch/Facade/Sleep Talk CB Heracross is an absolute beast; it's sure to mess up any Pokemon that doesn't resist its attacks. With pretty good Special Defense, it can take a Psychic from a Pokemon such as Celebi and OHKO it, while Focus Punch takes out a good chunk of Skarmory's health on the switch. Facade is always nice for Weezing. If Heracross uses a move with Sleep Talk while it's asleep, the move is boosted by Guts and Choice Band, potentially allowing for a 405 power Megahorn. With Guts, Heracross can switch into status, unlike most Choice Banders, and rape the opposing team. Metagross @ Choice Band Clear Body -Meteor Mash -Earthquake -Rock Slide/Shadow Ball/Thunderpunch -Explosion Another deadly beast. Explosion does about 90% to Skarmory (although Thunderpunch can 2HKO it). Makes for a nice switch-in against Gengar, and can withstand an Earthquake from DDtar while OHKOing it with Meteor Mash. Slaking @ Choice Band Truant -Frustration -Earthquake -Shadow Ball -Focus Punch The only effective Slaking for standard play. This Pokemon will hit ANY opposing Pokemon hard; even Skarmory is 3HKOed by Frustration. This monster is slightly overlooked, as it was countered obsessively in 200 play; however, since Protect is a rare sight and Substitute's use is declining in RSEFRLG play, this Pokemon can seriously surprise people by massacring their team. Make sure Truant doesn't bite you in the ass. Medicham @ Choice Band Pure Power -Brick Break/Hi Jump Kick -Shadow Ball -Rock Slide -Focus Punch Scary as hell if you can get this in and predict well. Focus Punch almost OHKOs Skarmory, does around 80% to Salamence after Intimidate, and OHKOs almost any Pokemon Focus Punch is neutral or super-effective against. This Pokemon can hit any opposing Pokemon for at least neutral damage, and will smack sleepy opponents to hell. Dugtrio @ Choice Band Arena Trap -Earthquake -Rock Slide -Hidden Power Bug -Aerial Ace One of the best finishers in the game, Dugtrio can trap and kill most Pokemon. If it is Adamant, it can 2HKO the standard Blissey and 2HKO Celebi with HP Bug. Most of the time, it can withstand an HP Grass or HP Ice from an Electric such as Jolteon or Raikou and OHKO it with Earthquake with a few Special Defense EVs. Heracross and Breloom fear Aerial Ace. Rock Slide is mostly filler, but it's handy against a weakened Zapdos. Aerodactyl @ Choice Band Rock Head -Double-Edge -Rock Slide -Earthquake -Hidden Power [Flying] Although CBdactyl isn't as scary as some of the other Choice Banders, it is still a force to be reckoned with insane Speed. With a 30/30/30/31/30/30 IV spread for HP Flying, it can tie with Timid Jolteon (although it isn't recommended) and outspeed almost all other Pokemon. Its Attack isn't insanely high, but CBdactyl can cause some trouble. Plus, it often makes opposing Pokemon flinch with Rock Slide, which can always be handy against the metal predator dubbed Skarmory. Obscure OU Choice Banders Dodrio @ Choice Band Early Bird -Return -Drill Peck -Hidden Power [Ground]/Substitute -Quick Attack/Flail Dodrio is often neglected as a Choice Bander in OU; however, it is a potent Choice Bander since it can outspeed most standards and has STAB with two nice attacks. Choice Banded Flail is a funny surprise; with 100 base Speed, Dodrio can sweep with Flail without the aid of a Salac Berry. Blaziken @ Choice Band Blaze -Overheat -Sky Uppercut -Rock Slide -Focus Punch Switch this in on Skarmory or Blissey and proceed to sweep. This Pokemon can cause pesky Skarmory to perish in a fiery explosion with Overheat and absorb Will-o-Wisps from Weezing. This is an underrated and sexy CBer, consider it if you need a Skarmbliss counter. Tauros @ Choice Band Intimidate -Return -Hidden Power [Ghost] -Earthquake -Iron Tail/Sleep Talk CBros, a popular Choice Bander in early 386 play. Although this Choice Bander is on the decline, CBros is a sexy CBer with a decent base 100 Attack and Intimidate to scare other Choice Banders away. Unfortunately, Tauros's movepool is barren, leaving it with HP Ghost over Shadow Ball and Iron Tail as a fourth attack. Snorlax @ Choice Band Thick Fat -Return -Earthquake -Shadow Ball -Focus Punch/Selfdestruct/Sleep Talk CBlaxen, a fun Choice Bander to play around with. As a sponge, it can switch in easily on special sweepers, and is a nice surprise for people who think they can switch Heracross in freely on Snorlax. Sleep Talk is perfect if you're facing Breloom or Milotic. Pokemon XD gives Snorlax Selfdestruct, allowing you to attack with a CB'ed STAB'ed 400 base power attack! Underused Choice Banders Some people say "anything Choice Banded can work in UU". However, there are certain Choice Banders that are above par in UU. Credit goes to Dan Dan for this list. Gligar (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Hyper Cutter EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Hidden Power [Flying] - Rock Slide - Sludge Bomb 410 Attack STAB EQ is going to hurt. Hyper Cutter is awesome for a CBer, as its attack cannot be lowered. This trait is more handy in OU, as only Hitmontop and Stantler have Intimidate in UU, yet Hyper Cutter is always handy for physical sweepers. Solrock @ Choice Band Trait: Levitate EVs: 252 Atk / 120 Def / 136 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Rock Slide - Shadow Ball - Explosion You could just max speed and attack, but Solrock is more durable with defense EVs. Makes a nice switch-in against most UU Pokes; just watch out for Slowbro and Quagsire Fearow (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Keen Eye EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)/Jolly Nature (+Spd, - SAtk) - Drill Peck - Frustration/Double-Edge - Hidden Power [Ground]/[Fighting] - Quick Attack A common UU Pokemon, Fearow is agile and rips through most UU teams. It is a common starters. Muk (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Sticky Hold EVs: 252 Atk / 116 Def / 140 SDef Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Sludge Bomb - Explosion - Hidden Power [Ghost] - Focus Punch Focus Punch/HP Ghost cover every Pokemon for at least neutral damage, and Explosion OHKOs a lot. Sludge Bomb is awesome for a STAB move, and the 30% chance of poison isn't too shabby. If Golem or Aggron switch in after Muk attacks, however, Muk will be walled, so pray that your opponent switches in their defense wall immediately and nail it with Focus Punch on the switch. Ursaring (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Guts EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Focus Punch - Frustration/Body Slam - Earthquake/Sleep Talk - Hidden Power [Ghost] One of the fiercest Pokemon in UU, Ursaring is a nightmare if you can get it in safely and predict like crazy with base 130 Attack. Again, Focus Punch/HP Ghost coverage. Try to get this thing in on a Thunder Wave. Sleep Talk is an option for taking Status and activating Guts. Kangaskhan (F) @ Choice Band Trait: Early Bird EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Frustration - Earthquake - Focus Punch - Shadow Ball Suprisingly fast, with over 300 Speed, it outspeeds most threats in UU. With base 95 Attack, this Pokemon rips through UU Pokemons' vulernable defensive stats with STABed Frustration. Nidoking (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Poison Point EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Megahorn/Rock Slide - Sludge Bomb - Earthquake - Shadow Ball Hotness; STAB on two powerful physical attacks is nice. It can work in OU as well, as Megahorn gives Celebi problems and Shadow Ball can always take a Gengar by surprise. Stantler (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Intimidate EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Return - Shadow Ball - Thunder Wave/Hypnosis Cool UU Starter, Thunder Wave the first turn to paralyze Pokemon for your sweepers, or use Hypnosis to immobilize the opposing Pokemon (however, Stantler doesn't have the defensive stats to miss with Hypnosis more than once). If you start off with Thunder Wave/Hypnosis, your opponent won't suspect that you have Choice Band. Intimidate just makes this thing even cooler. Golem (M) @ Choice Band Trait: Rock Head EVs: 252 Atk / 54 Def / 204 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Focus Punch/Double-Edge - Rock Slide - Explosion 350 att, 177 Speed, and 309 Def. One of the best walls in UU, the boulder can easily laugh off a physical attack while dishing out serious damage. When it's run out of steam, it can explode on a threat such as Slowbro. Uber Choice Banders With the special-based ubers running around the uber metagame, Choice Banders are a threat every uber team must take into consideration. Metagross's Meteor Mashes and Rayquaza's attacks are forces to be reckoned with; make sure your ubers pack HP and Defense EVs to survive attacks from Banders in ubers. Credit for Quaza-A for the list. Rayquaza @ Choice Band Trait: Air Lock EVs: 252 HP / 224 Atk / 4 Def / 28 SDef Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Extremespeed - Hidden Power [Bug] - Rock Slide This thing is quite monstrous. Guaranteed to survive a non-CH max SA HP Ice from an Exeggutor, and 2 Max Adamant CBRayquaza Extremespeeds, while also dishing out a massive amount of damage Groudon @ Choice Band Trait: Drought EVs: 48 HP / 236 Atk / 224 SDef Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Hidden Power [Bug] - Rock Slide - Overheat/Body Slam without Jolly, Groudon isn't that fast, so speed won't really be that useful on it. Guaranteed to survive a Modest max SA Soul Dew Latios Ice Beam. Although 220 SDef/ 240 Atk would have worked, it is a sad truth that HP Bug lowers your SDef DV by 1. Deoxys-F @ Choice Band Trait: Pressure Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 6 SDef - Extremespeed - Rock Slide - Shadow Ball - Superpower OK, Psycho boost isn't here because Psychic-based ubers that resist the attack are rampant in the uber metagame. Thunderbolt can go somewhere if you're scared of the obscure Skarmory in ubers. Ho-oh @ Choice Band Trait: Pressure EVs: 24 HP / 232 Atk / 252 SDef Lonely Nature (+Atk, -Def) - Hidden Power [Flying] - Shadow Ball - Sacred Fire - Earthquake Ok, with the spread, it survives a 399 SAtk Kyogre's Surf, and if you have caught it on the switch with HP Fly/EQ, then you can get rid of it before it wrecks stuff. Shedinja @ Choice Band Trait: Wonder Guard Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 6 Whatever - Shadow Ball - Silver Wind - Hidden Power [Rock] - Baton Pass/Toxic/Aerial Ace Sheddy. Not Uber, but it scares many ubers away. Toxic can catch stuff offguard, and Aerial Ace is complete filler. BP is comedy. HP Rock can catch Ho-Oh, and Shadow Ball/Silver Wind is STAB Lugia @ Choice Band Trait: Pressure EVs: 52 HP / 252 Atk / 204 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Aeroblast - Earthquake - Shadow Ball - Recover/Hidden Power [Rock](EVs: 48 HP / 252 Atk / 208 Spd) /Ancientpower/Light Screen This guy is dangerous. Last slot is up to you, whether you want a staying CBer or supporter/CB combo or hit Ho-Oh. Unusual Choice Banders Here are less common Choice Banders that can still work. Donphan @ Choice Band Sturdy -Earthquake -Rock Slide/Hidden Power [Rock] -Rapid Spin -Roar/Hidden Power [Bug] CBphan, first suggested by Jshadias. Donphan usually attacks once before it switches out; Choice Band gives Donphan a little more power behind its base 120 Attack. A Choice Banded Earthquake 2HKOs Dusclops, eliminating Spikes-based teams' Rapid Spin protection. With Dusclops out of the way, Donphan is free to switch in and Spin away Spikes later. Claydol @ Choice Band Levitate Earthquake Rapid Spin/Explosion Rock Slide Shadow Ball CBClaydol, first tested out by Warthog. Choice Band makes up for its mediocre attack, allowing it to eliminate Gengar or Dusclops with Shadow Ball and Spin away the Spikes later. With decent defenses and an immunity to Sandstorm, Claydol can last a bit longer than most CBers. Tyranitar @ Choice Band Sand Stream -Rock Slide/Hidden Power Rock -Earthquake -Focus Punch -Body Slam/Hidden Power Bug hipmonlee's CBtar. This Pokemon can outspeed most bulky waters and survive a Surf while dishing out damage. Rock Slide does serious damage to Skarm and has a 30% flinch rate, while Hidden Power Bug OHKOs Claydol and Celebi. Body Slam's 30% paralysis rate is always sexy. Jirachi @ Choice Band Serene Grace -Aerial Ace/Doom Desire -Hidden Power [Steel] -Body Slam -Shadow Ball lol, CBJirachi. It's definetly an interesting Choice Bander. Body Slam has a sexy 60% paralysis rate while HP Steel/Aerial Ace ruin Tyrantiar and Heracross that believe they can switch in freely. Shadow Ball is for Pokemon like Gengar. It could work with 100 base Attack. See this thread (http://www.smogon.com/community/showthread.php?t=8329) for an extensive analysis on Doom Desire. Choice Band Teams A team of Choice Banders can work in standard play. If you are an expert at predicting, you can make your opponent fear to switch any Pokemon into your Choice Banders due to massive damage. However, a team of six Choice Banders isn't a wise idea; your team will lack healing and protection from status effects, meaning that a Weezing can halt your team with Will-o-Wisp, a sandstorm from Tyranitar can eventually eat your Choice Banders up, and Spikes will slowly sap the health of your team. Fortunately, there are Pokemon that can support your Choice Banders. Magneton @ Leftovers Magnet Pull -Thunderbolt -Hidden Power Fire/Hidden Power Grass -Thunder Wave/Substitute -Substitute/Metal Sound The magnet trio traps and kills Skarmory, allowing your Choice Banders to sweep without fear of the metal bird. With proper prediction, you can prevent Skarmory from laying any Spikes down, allowing your Choice Banders to switch in easier. Celebi @ Leftovers Natural Cure -Heal Bell -Leech Seed -Psychic -Recover The standard Celebi. Heal Bell removes annoying status ailments from your Pokemon. Leech Seed can act as a mini-phazing move, allowing your Choice Banders to switch in without fear of retaliation. Blissey @ Leftovers Natural Cure -Softboiled -Aromatherapy -Seismic Toss -Thunder Wave Blissey, hated by clausewhores everywhere. Thunder Wave paralyzes random Pokemon, allowing slow Pokemon such as Medicham to outspeed opposing Pokemon and sweep more efficiently. Vaporeon @ Leftovers Water Absorb -Baton Pass -Substitute -Surf -Wish WishPassing Vaporeon. This Vaporeon heals your weakened Choice Banders and can pass Substitutes to fragile Choice Banders such as Medicham and Aerodactyl. Jirachi @ Leftovers Serene Grace -Calm Mind/Light Screen -Psychic -Thunder/Reflect -Wish Wishing (and pseudo-passing) Jirachi. Thunder has a nasty 60% paralysis rate with Serene Grace, allowing your Choice Banders to sweep if you get the paralysis hax. Conclusion If you can predict and keep your Choice Banders healthy, they can seriously damage your opponent's team. If you handle these Pokemon with care, they are a welcome addition for almost every team.