VGC Pokemon of the Week: Scizor

#26
gastrodon is a great counter to rain and overall very hard to take down. it likes surf-spam partners, Heatran, Volcarona, chandelure and any other Pokemon that it can form a fwg core with. Most use either rindo or sitrus berry. Rotom-W counters it nicely, as does Virizion. *might expand on this later if I have more time*
 
#27
Gastrodon is also benefited greatly by rain because politoed can make it's special attack go up to insane levels. Rotom-w has no real way of hurting gastrodon, having to waste a moveslot for hp grass. Rotom-C counters it nicely, however.
 
#28
Gastrodon is like Scizor and Ferrothorn in that if you don't pack a Grass-type (Fire-type for Scizor and Ferrothorn) move of any sort, it's going to royally screw you over. Gastrodon is always something I fear when team building, cause I always end up developing a good counter for it, just due to how absurdly bulky it is and how much of an impact it makes when seeing it on Team Preview.

Something I've been playing with recently on Showdown and GBU is Choice Specs Gastrodon. Sure, it looses the survivability against Grass moves, but it now gets a free Storm Drain Special Attack boost from the start, and can be boosted even more with ally Surfs or making a predicted switch and absorbing an opponent's Hydro Pump. Gastrodon is then able to clean up against opposing Pokemon with a very powerful Scald/Muddy Water, Earth Power, Ice Beam, or HP Grass.

As mentioned by M. Rock, Ludicolo and Ferrothorn are the most rock-solid Gastrodon counters. Both take minimal damage from anything Gastrodon can throw at them, and solidly 2HKO back with Giga Drain or Power Whip, respectively. That's why I agree that Volcarona in Rain is a great Gastrodon partner, able to hit both Ludi and Ferro with Hurricane and Overheat, respectively. Togekiss also serves a similar role, but with Air Slash and Heat Wave.

Also, as no one has brought up, MIRROR COAT. Mirror Coat with Rindo Gastrodon is a genius way to get back at Ludicolo and other Giga Drain users, respectively, and I can attest to this as it could've screwed me over at Fall Regionals if my Ludicolo didn't get a crit on the Gastrodon.
 
#29
I've had success using an offensive Gastrodon (max Special attack + 3 attacking moves) on a Trick Room team alongside a pokemon who can use surf to abuse storm drain (in my case Slowbro). Although they share common weaknesses, they are a deadly combination once you get set up.

And as far as items go, I think Rindo is a horrible item to use. Sure it saves you once in a while but its easier to switch a teamate into a predicted grass move. Sitrus berry or ground gem on the other hand are useful in every single match. Especially ground gem, it catches so many Tyranitar and Metagross off guard, don't know why its not used more often.
 
#30
Gastrodon is like Scizor and Ferrothorn in that if you don't pack a Grass-type (Fire-type for Scizor and Ferrothorn) move of any sort, it's going to royally screw you over. Gastrodon is always something I fear when team building, cause I always end up developing a good counter for it, just due to how absurdly bulky it is and how much of an impact it makes when seeing it on Team Preview.
You sure know when a pokemon is incredible usufull, those 3 (Scizor, Ferrothorn, Gastrodon) can make a whole strategy to fall apart if you don't have a solid counter to then.

Gastrodon rise to fame came with the incresing on Rain Team, but soon enough people started to use it outside of the rain. Thanks to his bulk he found niches on every themed team (Sand, Sun, Rain, Hail, TrickRoom and Goodstuff), mostly as a check to the always famous Rain Teams.

Gastrodon even have an impact on pokemons moves choices, in the case of Suicune, the premier bulky water, he need to choose what will wall it: Ferrothorn or Gastrodon (HP Fire or HP Grass), Rotom-W, omnipresent in all Goodstuff teams, have the same tough decision, there are even Chandelures that prefer to run Energy Ball in place of Trickroom or protect, and for Jellicent energy ball and Giga Drain are a bless.

But don't overhype the slug (btw I always prefer Pink gastro over those ugly East Sea gastrodon) if there is not water type attack to redirect Gastrodon will become a punching bag in most case, or you could have a trick room under the sleeves just in case. Everybody want to OKHO gastro but in the case this is not possible apply the Cresselia Law to him (eliminate all partners first), since gastrodon may not be able to resist being targeted by both offenders pokemons.

I've been using an unorthodox Gastrodos Set (in the item, that's it)

Orca (yep, like the killers whales) (Gastrodon) @ Zoom Lens
Quiet Nature
Ev's (I may lie about it): 252 HP / 252 SAtk
IV's: 0 Spd
- Muddy Water
- Blizzard
- Earth Power
- Recover/Protect (you choose)

Since Gastrodon is an already slow pokemon let's make him benefit from that!. With Zoom Lens attached (and you being slowest that your target) Muddy Water have perfect accuracy (102% to being mathematecally exact) and Blizzard have a good 84% accuracy. The only think you should keep in mind is the speed tier, if you are battle against TR teams Gastrodon may be fasters than opposing pokemons.
 
#31
Gastrodon is amazing in it's own right, but it is super overrated. It is in no way a check to rain teams, Kingdra's DM does 80%, Ludicolo decimates it and Politoed's HP Grass 2HKOs with Rindo. It is also very limited offensively, which makes it very easy for the opponent to switch into it. However, Gastrodon is very good late game where it can get picks off weakened pokemon, especially in Trick Room.
 
#32
One of the great upsides to Gastrodon is that he's one of the very few Pokemon that can OHKO Metagross through conventional means. The Rindo Berry is basically useless, and full defensive variants tend to have Leftovers, so an offensive Gastrodon would do best with an Earth Gem. If you put about 12 EVs into Sp. Def, then a 252 HP EVs Gastrodon at full health should be able to survive a Dragon Gem Draco Meteor from Kingdra.
 

Jellicent

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#33

Type: Fire / Steel
Base Stats: 91 HP / 90 Atk / 106 Def / 130 SpA / 106 SpD / 77 Spe
Abilities: Flash Fire / Flame Body

If only Speed wasn't its worst stat... Anyway, Heatran here has a solid typing and awesome base 130 Special Attack, making it a fantastic choice for an offensive Fire-type. Between Heat Wave and Eruption, this thing can do some serious damage. So, what are your favorite sets, counters, teammates, etc. for Heatran? Anything and everything about this Pokemon is up for discussion ^.^
 
#34
Using Eruption on Heatran is deadly, especially in Trick Room where you have the liberty of running a Fire Gem for an even more devastating Eruption. A personal favorite of mine is using a Choice Scarf with Eruption to hit a respectable speed stat and pummeling a majority of the metagame before they can even react. Of course WolfeyTran is still super strong due to its very respectable bulk
 
#35
I like Sub Heatran, made popular by Wolfey. I find that some SpDef heavy fighting types such as Hariyama and Conkeldurr make good counters. These two also don't mind being burnt. Another uncommon counter is Gyarados. It walls everything that Heatran can get, except maybe HP Electric. Also, Latios is a good counter without HP Ice. Most dragons such as Hydreigon, Salamence and Garchomp can shrug off attacks. Politoed brings eternal rain, dampening its fire attacks and usually runs decent special bulk or can nail it with a water move. Jellicent also walls Heatran to oblivion. Swampert can hit it with a super effective STAB move and resists Heatran's moves. Most bulky waters counter Heatran. I think Heatran appreciates a FWG core. The perfect partner of it is one of my favorites, Virizion! They synergize perfectly, resisting all of eachother's weaknesses. Rotom-W also makes a good teammate, resisting most types. These above 3 are a fantastic starting point for a team based around Heatran. It also enjoys Psychic types like cress and latios, taking out fighting types and resisting EQ. All of my sets have Heat Wave and Earth Power, two good offensive moves on Heatran. protect is usually there, and the last slot is a toss-up between HP Ice and Sub.
 
#36
The problem with Heatran is that you REALLY have to watch when you use it: since Earth Power, Hydro Pump, and Close Combat are everywhere, some matches Heatran really can't be relied on. However, when Heatran shines, it REALLY shines. Four double resists and a complete immunity to Fire is an absolute godsend in this metagame, and is one of the better Pokemon to switch into Draco Meteors. There are so many Pokemon Heatran can stop cold: Hail teams, Scizor, Latios, Ferrothron... the list goes on.

As others have said, I believe Sub Heatran is the best set, but the EVs don't have to be exactly like Wolfe's. Heatran exists in a speed tier that is both good for Trick Room and non-TR teams, so its EVs are very flexible to mess around with. I personally invest about 65% of my Heatran EVs in defenses, 30% in Special Attack, and the remaining 10% in speed so I can outspeed Metagross and Hitmontop, the latter of whom I can set up a Substitute first and waste Top's Fighting Gem. Heatran is probably one of the best Heat Wave users in this meta, as Overheat and Fire Blast are best left for Volcarona.

Heatran can utilize a lot of items fairly well. I personally go for Sitrus Berry so that I can recover Substitute-payment damage in a flash, keeping my bulk up, but Leftovers is another fantastic item to hold. Type-resist berries like Chople and Shuca work well too, but only under the right conditions. Fire Gem is also another interesting item, but I feel it works better on more offensive Heatran variants.

Rotom-W and Rotom-H are in my opinion, the true definitive counters to Heatran, as they take next to nothing from Heat Wave and resist Earth Power, and hit back hard with Hydro Pump or Thunderbolt, respectively. Sableye is one of my favorite Heatran partners, as it can burn Earthquake users to bluff a lot of damage off of Heatran's 4x Ground weakness, and is able to set up Gravity so that it can deal with Rotom-W a bit better and be able to hit all targets. As said before too, Rotom-W is another good partner.

Also, its Dream World ability is going to be useless thanks to how much Flash Fire benefits it.
 

Jellicent

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#40

Type: Fighting
Base Stats: 50 HP / 95 Atk / 95 Def / 35 SpA / 110 SpD / 70 Spe
Ability: Intimidate / Technician / Steadfast

With 2 useful abilities in Intimidate and Technician, along with a useful movepool including Fake Out and Wide Guard, Hitmontop offers solid utility to a variety of teams and playstyles. So, what are your favorite sets, teammates, and counters for this quirky little Pokemon?
 
#41
Ah, Hitmontop. This little guy helped me so much in my first serious year of VGC. My personal favorite set with Hitmontop is:



Cpt. Crunch @ Fighting Gem
Adamant - Intimidate
EVs: HP 252/ Atk 252/ Spe 4
-Fake Out
-Close Combat
-Sucker Punch
-Wide Guard

Fake Out is one of those moves that can change the game completely if used correctly, and with the right partners *coughVolcaronacough* it can give you a great lead.

Close Combat with fighting gem...do I need to explain this?

Sucker Punch is great for a counter to Latios, although it is not the best. "252+ Atk Hitmontop Sucker Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Latios: 98-116 (62.82 - 74.35%) -- guaranteed 2HKO"

And finally, Wide Guard is perfect for the VGC playstyle with the Heat Waves and Rock Slides being thrown all over.
 
#45
Ah, Hitmontop. This little guy helped me so much in my first serious year of VGC. My personal favorite set with Hitmontop is:



Cpt. Crunch @ Fighting Gem
Adamant - Intimidate
EVs: HP 252/ Atk 252/ Spe 4
-Fake Out
-Close Combat
-Sucker Punch
-Wide Guard

Fake Out is one of those moves that can change the game completely if used correctly, and with the right partners *coughVolcaronacough* it can give you a great lead.

Close Combat with fighting gem...do I need to explain this?

Sucker Punch is great for a counter to Latios, although it is not the best. "252+ Atk Hitmontop Sucker Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Latios: 98-116 (62.82 - 74.35%) -- guaranteed 2HKO"

And finally, Wide Guard is perfect for the VGC playstyle with the Heat Waves and Rock Slides being thrown all over.
I hope this isn't the only thing that gets notice. How have so many people forgotten about the giant that was (and still is) TechniTop?

@ Life Orb
Ability: Technician
Nature: Adamant (+Atk, -SpA)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
- Fake Out
- Mach Punch
- Sucker Punch
- Detect
In most people's eyes Conkeldurr and even TechniLoom overshadow this set. However, the Sucker Punch here can easily OHKO 4 HP Latios after a FO, and a more damaging Fake Out makes it easier for the partner to go for the KO (or just wear a target down). His main niche is nice bulk, coupled with a unique set of Fake Out (for support) and all-priority attacks.
Also, when you have a powerful all-priority attacker, this guy doesn't give a crap what the speed tiers look like. Swift Swimmers, Tailwind, and Trick Room barely affect his ability to perform, and Prankster Thunder Waves are only a minor nuisance (just hope not to get haxxed to death).
tl:dr --> If you need a good Fighting-type offense that is totally ambiguous to changes in the speed tiers, he's your guy.
 
#46
Bulky Support Top is best top IMO
Bulky Support > Offensive > Technitop
Intimidate support, Fake Out support, Helping Hand, Feint, decent strong STAB in the form of Close Combat, decent Attack and Special Defense stats, priority in the form of Mach Punch, Sucker Punch, Feint and Fake Out are always useful. Also, this helps differentiate Top from Scrafty since IMO, they play two different roles
 
#47
With the advent of DW Tornadus and the rise on defiant Bisharp, Double intimidate is not the great strategy that used to be.

Technitop sure have a niche, since salamence, gyarados and even scarfty can intimidate the opposing team.

Hitmontop is one of those few pokemons that do well in almost any team, with an expansive movepool, great type and usefull abylities he can support a whole team. But keep in mind that not all is joy for him, one of his deadly counter is Prankster Sableye. Sablaye can burn him, trick a lagging tail while privating him from his precious gem or simple recover stall all sucker punch PP's, there is nothing in hitmontop movepool that can hurt sableye.
 
#48
It still marvels me that even with new Intimidate Pokemon like Landorus and Scrafty, Cresselia and Metagross' domination of the metagame, and new Defiant Pokemon, Hitmontop is still one of the best Pokemon in VGC, a testament to just how truly good it is. Fighting Gem Close Combat is like Latios' Draco Meteor: something every team must EV properly and prepare for. What places Hitmontop over other Intimidate Pokemon is how easy it can switch out and switch back into reactivate Intimidate, and is the only Pokemon besides Scrafty to have Intimidate and Fake Out, but outclasses Scrafty by having much better speed. The real thing that makes Hitmontop so deadly is how well it synergizes with almost any team archetype and any Pokemon: Wide Guard is another fantastic asset for him, and Fighting is one of the best offensive types in the game. Because of this, Hitmontop in VGC can be very hard to counter, as its teammate usually covers for all of his weaknesses. Hitmontop works very well in high levels of play too with Feint, the unexpected Helping Hand, and Stone Edge to counter Volcarona. Scrafty is a little better Pokemon to choose if you have a Trick Room team, imo, but Hitmontop will be one of the top VGC Pokemon for years to come. Hell, it even works well in Ubers VGC, with the world-famous "TopOgre".
 

Jellicent

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#49
Fell behind on this due to no computer for a bit, but I'm back~


Type: Steel / Psychic
Base Stat: 80 HP / 135 Atk / 130 Def / 95 SpA / 90 SpD / 70 Spe
Ability: Clear Body / Light Metal

Metagross here recently made the jump to #3 in the usage stats, so I thought he'd be a fun one to take a look at this week. So, what are your favorites sets when using it, and what are it best teammates and counters?
 
#50
Ooh, Metagross, an old favorite ^_^
THE bulky steel to use and, of course, a solid check to most vgc dragons, I personally find Metagross to be one of those pokemon that is a real game changer, particularly when those stupid Swagger Cresselias started gaining popularity. Metagross has always been a popular choice for a lot of vgc teams, and it isn't hard to see why - massive base stats, great STABs, only two weaknesses, sacred ability that shrugs off Icy Wind and Intimidates, huge movepool featuring elemental punches and priority... the list goes on. It is one of the few pokemon that can check Latios without the risk of being fragged by Draco Meteor and then still be able to handle a large number of common partners to the thing, such as Hitmontop.

The introduction of the Therians to vgc has allowed Metagross to shine a bit more over its more recent rival Scizor, courtesy of its higher bulk, immunity to Intimidate and access to Ice Punch. I can't really say that Metagross is definitely better, or more popular, than Scizor, but Metagross is one of those pokemon that will always be around, and will always be dangerous.

Metagross has a fair few viable teammates - because it is one of the best counters to Tyranitar, it can form the 'weak against TTar + strong against TTar' combo (if you don't know what that is, it speaks for itself), which means it likes to pair up with stuff like Thundurus, Latios, Cresselia etc. Thundurus and Cresselia are particular favorites since they can control opponent's speeds, making it easier for Metagross to do damage.

Metagross's huge bulk means true counters aren't that easy to come across - even Garchomp is beaten if Metagross has a Life Orb or Steel Gem. Heatran is one of the best counters, being able to outspeed the 'Gross, though it needs Fire Blast or Overheat to be guaranteed the KO - and even then, if Metagross is somehow faster, it can really dent Heatran with Earthquake. Gastrodon is another good counter, since Metagross cannot OHKO it, but Gastrodon can with Ground Gem Earth Power, though it really needs to pay close attention to Metagross's partner. The best is Landorus-T, holding Life Orb or Ground Gem, because it will definitely OHKO Metagross with Earthquake, even with the spread multiplier on, which is helped by the fact that Metagross rarely carries Shuca Berry.

My current favorite set is not the usual. It was used by RubeNCB in the UK nationals last year, with a few tweaks:

Metagross @ Lum Berry
Adamant: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Trait: Clear Body
-Earthquake
-Ice Punch
-Bullet Punch
-Protect
I like this set a lot because it really helps against a lot of things in the current metagame - Earthquake as a great spread move and to deal with enemy 'Grosses, Ice Punch for the Therians, and Bullet Punch because it's great priority. Not much else to say.
Obviously there are sets that use Metagross's strong STAB options, but this set works really well in the current Metagame.