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Zapdos (Analysis)

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by NatGeo, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. NatGeo

    NatGeo sun's coming up
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    [​IMG]


    Status: Done, approved in all categories, blah blah blah.

    QC: [2 / 2] [Locopoke] / [Kevin Garrett]
    GP: [3 / 3] [Komodo] / [RayJay] [NatGeo]

    Note that the last stamp was with GP members' consent.

    Zapdos

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    [Overview]

    <p>Zapdos has great offensive stats, with base 125 Special Attack and base 100 Speed. Assisting this offensive prowess is amazing typing, Electric / Flying, which only Thundurus, Emolga, and Rotom-S share; this typing allows for easy switching. However, Zapdos is weak to Stealth Rock; thankfully, this can be alleviated by Roost. Zapdos has a vast movepool, allowing it to run a variety of movesets for all play-styles, including Offense, Semi-Offense, Stall, and even Baton Pass. Zapdos has very few noticeable flaws and counters, which are all easily remedied. Zapdos is a very usable Pokemon and a notable threat, albeit one that hasn't been changed much since HeartGold and SoulSilver. However, this is not necessarily a good thing; with the introduction of Thundurus, Zapdos will be competing for a team spot with an opponent that can hit physically and specially with almost equal power. However, Zapdos has an edge in the form of its considerable bulk, access to Roost, Baton Pass, and Heat Wave, allowing it to hit both Steel- and Grass-types super effectively.</p>

    [SET]
    name: SubRoost
    move 1: Substitute
    move 2: Roost
    move 3: Thunderbolt
    move 4: Heat Wave / Hidden Power Ice / Toxic
    item: Leftovers
    nature: Timid
    evs: 192 HP / 64 Def / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This set is very good at stalling the opponent into oblivion, draining HP with poison, and PP with Pressure. Many walls are easy prey to this set. Anything that flies can be fried by Thunderbolt, though Zapdos needs Hidden Power Ice to effectively handle Gliscor and Landorus. Toxic is an option, although it does the same job as Toxic Spikes. If you cannot fit hazards onto your team, or you want to hit Flying-Types and Levitators, then Toxic is a viable option. Ice Punch Metagross, Calm Mind Jirachi, and Heatran are some of the few Steel-types that can switch into this set. However, Metagross without Ice Punch can be handled by Heat Wave fairly easily.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>This set manages to juggle two important feats: outspeeding most counters and beating many walls. Baton Pass can be used if you want to pass a Substitute to a sweeper. Lucario is a great example, covering Zapdos' weaknesses and being able to take out counters. U-turn may be used to scout opponents, the same being true for Volt Switch. Toxic Spikes are required to make this set efficient. The best users are Forretress and Tentacrual, since they have access to Rapid Spin, the ability to set up Toxic Spikes, and the typing to cover many of Zapdos' weaknesses. Smeargle and Roserade get mentions as they have access to sleep moves like Spore or Sleep Powder, however, they are not as effective as other Toxic Spikes users.</p>

    <p>248 HP / 228 SpD / 32 Spe can be used as an alternative EV spread, giving Zapdos the ability to stall opponents such as Jellicent and Blissey, who focus more on walling special attacks. This allows Zapdos to come in on different opponents compared to the physically defensive set.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Special Attacker
    move 1: Thunderbolt
    move 2: Heat Wave
    move 3: Hidden Power Ice
    move 4: Roost
    item: Life Orb / Leftovers
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>This set fully takes advantage of Zapdos' wonderful attacking capabilities. It carries an element of surprise due to the popularity of defensive sets. With Hidden Power Ice, very few Pokemon resist the attacking combination of Electric / Ice / Fire. Leftovers and Life Orb are both viable choices to use on Zapdos, each with its pros and cons. Timid is preferred but you can use Modest if you really want that power boost.</p>

    <p>Roost is usually the better option over Volt Change, since it allows Zapdos to differentiate itself from Thundurus, who lacks recovery to aid a sweep. It also gets rid of an annoying Rock weakness, which can make a difference in a metagame filled with Rock- and Ground-types. However, it gets rid of its Fighting resistance, which is risky in a metagame also filled with Fighting-types.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>As almost nothing resists Zapdos's attacking combo, Blissey will do just fine in walling it. That said, Blissey can be taken out by strong Pursuit users. Those with powerful Fighting-type moves are good for this job, such as Scizor, who has Superpower. This set is actually frail and weak to priority, especially when compared to the more defensive sets. Thus, a Pokemon that resists common priority moves will do great as a partner. Skarmory gets an honorable mention for resisting priority, as well as having high Defense, and the ability to set up hazards. While it is somewhat frail to start of, if you decide to run Volt Change instead off Roost you are not going to last as long, so support is a must if you decide to use a more hit-and-run playstyle.</p>

    <p>While speed is important on this set, the base 100 speed tier in which Zapdos resides is less important this generation than before. This creates the option of putting EVs in a defensive stat rather than Speed, and giving Zapdos a Modest Nature. This gives Zapdos the feel of a bulkier Pokemon as opposed to a fast attacker.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Physically Defensive
    move 1: Thunderbolt
    move 2: Roost
    move 3: Heat Wave / Hidden Power Ice
    move 4: Thunder Wave / Roar
    item: Leftovers
    nature: Bold
    evs: 248 HP / 228 Def / 16 SpDef / 16 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>With 125 base Special Attack and with only its Defense under base 90, Zapdos makes an ideal tank, able to absorb hits with ease from physical attackers, tanks, and walls alike. Heat Wave and Thunder Wave make a more defensive set altogether, with paralysis support, and being able to hit Steel-types and Grass-types simultaneously, especially the likes of Ferrothorn. Hidden Power Ice should be used with Roar, creating a pseudo-BoltBeam combo with Thunderbolt. However, since there are always Pokemon that resist both attacks, Roar is used to remove the opponent from the field.</p>

    <p>New attackers are giving Zapdos a run for its money, being much more powerful. Many Bulk Up users can take advantage of Zapdos, setting up and recovering health as it tries to Roost. However, Zapdos still has great walling capabilities, being able to manage several key threats.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p> Like almost any specially-oriented Pokemon, this set is walled by Blissey, so pack a good Pursuit user like Tyranitar. Zapdos is also weak to Stealth Rock, making a Rapid Spinner like Starmie or Forretress very helpful. Depending on what moves you run, different Pokemon can counter this Zapdos. Swampert will easily counter Zapdos lacking Hidden Power Grass, likewise, without Hidden Power Ice, Dragon- and Ground-types like Hippowdon and Salamence are a threat. When Heat Wave is not in a moveslot, Ice-types will be a pain. Tyranitar is a good all-around counter to this set, with boosted Special Defense in sandstorm, it can take all of Zapdos's attacks and hit hard with STAB Rock-type moves. Finally, this generation of Pokemon has brought very powerful physical attackers which can easily OHKO this set, which is why it is recommended you bring Zapdos in on a weaker attacker, or resisted attacks.</p>

    <p>Many of these Pokemon are easily taken out by their appropriate counters. Swampert is very afraid of Celebi, who can dent it with Grass Knot or Leaf Storm. Mamoswine takes care of Ground- and Dragon-types with a powerful Ice Shard. Rotom-F is a good choice as it gets STAB Blizzard and Levitate, allowing it to take on many Ground-type attacks without problems.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Specially Defensive
    move 1: Thunderbolt
    move 2: Roost
    move 3: Thunder Wave / Light Screen
    move 4: Heat Wave / Hidden Power Ice
    item: Leftovers
    nature: Calm
    evs: 248 HP / 16 Def / 228 SpD / 16 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>At first glance, this set is similar to the physical wall, though it is meant to be used in a different way. This set can switch into special attackers, like Starmie, while keeping decent all-around defenses. It can still take neutral physical attacks, though super effective hits will hurt.</p>

    <p>Thunderbolt, its main STAB attack, always does a large amount of damage, even without investment in Special Attack. It can keep firing off Thunderbolt, while Roost helps restore half of its HP and alleviating its Rock weakness, which helps against several Pokemon. Thunder Wave can be used to cripple switch-ins. Light Screen may be used for team support,increasing Zapdos's ability to sponge special attacks. The last moveslot can be used to hit Steel-types and Grass-types with Heat Wave, or Dragon-types and others with Hidden Power Ice, creating a pseudo-BoltBeam combo. Heat Wave gets extra merit as it hits Ferrothorn, a prominent threat.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Blissey is a pain in the neck, as is Tyranitar; make sure you pack something like Scizor or Conkledurr, both of which can cover its weaknesses, and eliminate Zapdos' counters. Swampert and Celebi can also switch on this set, although they have a hard time dealing damage. This set welcomes Toxic Spikes from users like Tentacruel. Also, since this set lacks Defense, Pokemon like Ferrothorn and Gliscor work with Zapdos, especially if Light Screen can cover their weaker defensive side.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Baton Pass
    move 1: Baton Pass
    move 2: Agility
    move 3: Substitute
    move 4: Thunderbolt
    item: Leftovers
    nature: Timid
    evs: 248 HP / 140 Def / 88 SpA / 16 SpDef / 16 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>The idea of this set is to come in on something weak to Zapdos, use Agility on the switch, and proceed with either Substitute or Baton Pass. Since Zapdos will outspeed the majority of OU after a +2 boost, not many Speed EVs need to be invested. The extra EVs can go into defense 16 Speed EVs are used to outspeed Base 70 Speed Pokemon like Breloom and Metagross. The EVs in Defense can be put in Special Defense to withstand special attackers and vice-versa. Each support move has its own benefits; Agility helps slow, bulky, Pokemon, while Substitute gives frail Pokemon a buffer against attacks. Above all, be careful: this is not meant to sweep.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Zapdos is fairly unique among Baton Passers, with its blend of resistances, great bulk, and amazing special attacking prowess. Baton Pass users are usually hard to defeat one-on-one, this one more so due its high defenses. Fighting- and Steel-types are excellent recipients of boosts as they resist most of Zapdos's weaknesses.</p>

    <p>There are some important Speed tiers you must watch for once you use Agility. 246 makes you tie with Scarfed base 100 Pokemon after an Agility. 213 Speed helps avoid a speed tie with Choice Scarf Chandelure. All of these numbers are important, because if Zapdos ties with any of these, the recipient has a chance of getting hit. In many cases, that is undesirable.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Choice
    move1: Thunderbolt
    move 2: Heat Wave
    move 3: Volt Switch / U-turn
    move 4: Hidden Power Ice
    item: Choice Scarf /Choice Specs
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>With a Choice Scarf equipped, Zapdos makes an excellent anti-lead, especially with great Speed, offense, and passable bulk. It can hit many leads super effectively, especially since Drizzle Politoed is running around, as well as other leads that set up hazards, like Azelf and Ferrothorn. Zapdos can outspeed many opposing leads, and has the ability to hit many of them for hard damage, especially with good coverage in Electric / Ice / Fire.</p>

    <p>Thunderbolt is a great attack, hitting any Pokemon that doesn't resist it hard. Heat Wave allows it to hit Ferrothorn, who resists Thunderbolt. Ferrothorn also sets up Stealth Rock, which is debilitating for this set more so than the others. Hidden Power Ice rounds out coverage for Zapdos, allowing it to hit threats such as Salamence and Dragonite. If you come in on a bad situation, Volt Switch can be used to keep offensive momentum going to a counter. U-turn can also be used, since common Ground-types such as Excadrill and Landorus are immune to Volt Switch. U-turn also has the advantage of hitting many common Psychic-types for super effective damage, such as Reuniclus and Deoxys-S.</p>


    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>This set shares counters with most of the other sets. Blissey and Eviolite Chansey will be able to stall 'till the cows come home, while Swampert and Tyranitar can counter Zapdos who lack Hidden Power Grass. Water-types, surprisingly enough, can wall Zapdos if it is not locked on Thunderbolt. Strong physical attackers can take these threats easily, providing Zapdos with support.</p>

    <p>Regular counters to Zapdos will suffice here. Blissey and Evolution Stone Chansey will be able to stall till the cows come home, and Swampert and Tyranitar can counter Zapdos who lack Hidden Power Grass. Water-types take Hidden Power Ice and Heat Wave, though it is unlikely your opponent take that risk, though if they do, you are forced to switch, taking Stealth Rock damage. Strong physical attackers like Conkledurr, Haxorus, and Scizor can take on many of these these threats with boosted attacks.</p>

    <p> Unfortunately, without Roost at its arsenal, Zapdos is decidedly inferior to Thundurus. Also without Roost, Zapdos loses one of its major assets, its longevity. Rapid Spin support is a definite must from users like Forretress. If however, you cannot fit this, Wish support is a good idea, making Chansey and Blissey very viable teammates. Also, Choice Specs is a viable option on Zapdos, acting like a tank of sorts, with its decent bulk and typing, as well as its powerful Special Attack stat.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>With infinite rain appearing on many teams, Thunder is a viable option to replace Thunderbolt, having a higher Base Power and a good chance to paralyze the opponent. That said, Sunny Day teams are also common, so Rain Dance is an interesting option, allowing Zapdos to fire off Thunder and nullifying the benefits of sun.</p>

    <p>Hidden Power Grass was standard on almost all Zapdos in previous generations to combat its arch-enemy, Swampert. However, Swampert usage as a whole is not nearly as high as it was last generation, due to the input of better Stealth Rock users and bulky Water-types. Thus, Hidden Power Grass is not needed on any of these sets. However, if you have a serious problem with Pokemon like Swampert or Quagsire, Hidden Power Grass can work as an option.</p>

    <p>A RestTalk set is viable, being the standard in ADV, though it most certainly has lost its effectiveness with the advent of powerful attackers. Thunder Wave is another interesting option, allowing it to pave a way for slower sweepers like Eelektross and Escavalier. Discharge can be used if you want a damaging move with a chance to paralyze the opponent, though the loss of power is not reccommended. Metal Sound has a niche role, though it requires more investment and less payoff than other sets.</p>

    <p>Defensive sets generally have near max HP and heavy investment on one of its defensive stats, with the rest being put into Speed. 248 is the norm for HP investment, since it allows you to switch into Stealth Rock five times instead of four, not counting Leftovers. If you are worried about Leftovers, you can still run max HP. Max Speed and a Speed-boosting nature are an absolute must on offensive sets, allowing you to, at worst, speed tie with positive-natured base 100s like Celebi. If you want Lucario to be out of the picture on defensive sets, however, you will generally need 176 EVs in Speed to outspeed all non boosted Lucario. Remaining EVs should be placed in HP, then the rest thrown into Defense or Special Defense. Also, 32 Speed EVs can be used to run absolutely all unboosted Tyranitar, but it is not really necessary.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Special walls like Blissey and Eviolite Chansey will wall all special attackers, including Zapdos. Other Pokemon with high Special Defense can take Zapdos well. Snorlax gets an honorary mention for being immune to Toxic Spikes due to Immunity, though Thick Fat versions will have to be on their toes. Anything resistant to Thunderbolt, its main STAB, will be fine as well, including Jolteon and Zebstrika.</p>

    <p>Hidden Power also makes a big decision on what you can and cannot counter. Non-Hidden Power Ice Zapdos can be countered by Ground-types like Gliscor and Hippowdon. Dragons are in the same boat, though to a lesser extent due to special bulk in Pokemon like Latias. Swampert can take all variants of Zapdos without Hidden Power Grass.</p>

    <p>Fighting-types can be a threat to Zapdos if they carry Drain Punch or a Rock-type move. Roost is useless in the face of many Fighting-types, since they are most likely to be slower. The exception would be Terakion, which has good enough STABs that it can run two boosting moves, and threaten with boosted Rock-type moves.</p>

    <p>Tyranitar is the greatest threat to Zapdos. Its Special Defense is boosted in sand, and it can fire back with powerful STAB moves. Lastly, powerful attackers introduced this generation can take all Zapdos out, defensive or not, such as Chandelure, Darmanitan, and Haxorus.</p>

    [DREAM WORLD]

    <p>Zapdos got a major upgrade this generation in Lightningrod. Whenever it switches into an Electric attack, it has no risk of paralysis, and raises its Special Attack to astonishing levels. With max investment and a Timid nature, it hits 524, which is nothing to laugh at. Lightningrod and Heat Wave are illegal together, as is the same for Lightningrod and Baton Pass. With these limitations kept in mind, Lightningrod would likely be most viable on the special wall, as it allows Zapdos to beat its opponents easier. This is also because all the other sets need one of the illegal moves or Pressure.</p>
  2. NatGeo

    NatGeo sun's coming up
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    Bump.

    Should be done by the end of the day, have one last set left, as well as a few small things.
    If you have any comments on the sets, fell free to say them.

    Also, 111th Post. Yay.
  3. Forte.EXE

    Forte.EXE

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    I think this needs a Dream World section for Lightning Rod. It needs to be mentioned that Lightning Rod prevents Zapdos from using Heat Wave and Roost, taking away loads of durability and coverage.
  4. Husky

    Husky

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    I lol'd seeing Toxic being only slashed in the "Toxic Staller" set...
  5. NatGeo

    NatGeo sun's coming up
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    Actually DONE now, feedback appreciated.

    EDIT: Thanks for pointing that out, I will add that
  6. Leman

    Leman

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    Actually, Zapdos gets Roost via level up, so Lightning Rod and Roost are legal. Heat Wave and Lightning Rod are not. Lightning Rod would probably the preferred ability on the Specially defensive set allowing Zapdos to counter Offensive Zapdos, Jolteon, and Voltlos, as well as being able to switch into Pokemon like Genosect, Starmie and Rotom more easily. Immunity to Thunder Wave from Togekiss, Celebi and Jirachi is also a major boon. AgilityPass might also be able to benefit from it since it can pass the +1 SAtk too, and cannot get paralyzed. Pressure+Heat Wave is probably better on the physically defensive sets to beat the offensive Steel types like Scizor, Metagross and Lucario, while the Subroost set thrives on the ability to stall out PP, and the offensive set needs the coverage provided by Heat Wave.
  7. Husky

    Husky

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    I highly doubt that as Baton Pass is only obtainable via Gale of Darkness and therefore illegal with Lightning Rod.
  8. ungulateman

    ungulateman

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    Considering that Aerodactyl got Stealth Rock as one of its bonus moves in Dream World, Zapdos might receive Baton Pass. For now, don't use it though.
  9. Shnoogle

    Shnoogle

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    "Roar should be used with Hidden Power Ice, and Heat Wave with Hidden Power Ice."

    I think you meant that Roar should be used with Hidden Power Grass, and Heat Wave with Hidden Power Ice.
  10. Fatecrashers

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    Definitely should be Roar with Hidden Power Ice, and Heat Wave with Hidden Power Grass. Electric/Ice gets you good neutral coverage and Electric/Fire/Grass does likewise. Electric/Grass not so much. Don't take my word for it, go read the onsite Zapdos analysis. NatGeo fix your slashes please.
  11. NatGeo

    NatGeo sun's coming up
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    Just noticed that, actually meant it to read the way you say it should be.
    :p
    anyways, will be fixed.
  12. soonerorlater

    soonerorlater

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    Your Specially Defensive set uses Def EVs insetead of SpD EVs. Also, the Toxic Staller set still has Toxic slashed in, and a 2nd option at that.
  13. NatGeo

    NatGeo sun's coming up
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    THanks for pointing all this out.
    Loving the feedback, it is my first analysis and all.
  14. NatGeo

    NatGeo sun's coming up
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    Finished, ready for QC checks.
    EDIT: Fixed that.
  15. The Great and Powerful Oz

    The Great and Powerful Oz

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    On the offensive set, I think you meant "If you do fear Swampert use hp grass" as opposed to do not.
  16. Alan

    Alan

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    [SET]
    Name: Choice
    Move1: Thunderbolt
    Move 2: Heat Wave
    Move 3: Volt Change / U-turn
    Move 4: Hidden Power Ice / Grass
    Item: Choice Scarf / Choice Specs
    Nature:Timid / Modest
    evs: 4 Defense / 252 Special Attack / 252 Speed
  17. A Man In Black

    A Man In Black

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    I understand using specs on Zapdos, but why Modest? There's a ton of stuff that you won't outspeed when you lose that speed boost.
  18. Calm Pokemaster

    Calm Pokemaster
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    Remove Volt Change from the AgiliPass set; it doesn't make sense to switch with Volt Change when you are securely behind a Substitute at +2 Speed. Pokemon like Tyranitar and Blissey take little damage from Volt Change as well, and you are not going to gain any offensive momentum by Volt Changing out when you have +2 Speed.

    Azelf is not exactly a lead used solely for laying entry hazards, as mentioned in the Scarf set. Mention Pokemon like Deoxys-S there. Slash in Scarf with Specs, as Zapdos can make an excellent Specs user with its bulk and typing.

    The correct abbreviations for Special Attack and Special Def are SpA and SpD respectively. Correct these in your EV spreads.

    Good analysis. Work on it a little more, correct some spelling errors and grammatical mistakes, and this will be ready for the QC and GP checks. Good luck.
  19. NatGeo

    NatGeo sun's coming up
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    Bump.

    Added in everything, ready for QC and GP checks.

    :)

    EDIT: *facepalm* Totally forgot. Thanks.
  20. Charmander

    Charmander mfw i have a mane and am actually the sun
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    Hey don't forget Rotom-F!
  21. locopoke

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    approved 1/2
  22. Seven Deadly Sins

    Seven Deadly Sins ~hallelujah~
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    This analysis needs to deal with a couple things.

    1: Every single set should leverage at least one of these things:

    - Heat Wave
    - Roost
    - Better defensive stats
    - Baton Pass

    Voltlos basically purely outclasses Zapdos as a special sweeper now, especially with better speed, Nasty Plot, 111 Attack and Hammer Arm. As such, Zapdos REALLY needs to leverage these advantages to stay competitive. You also need to mention this issue a lot.

    2: Questioning the viability of the Physical Wall currently, as the nature of physical attackers has shifted far away from Generation 4 and toward attackers that Zapdos just can't do anything about. Doryuuzu, Roobushin, Terakion, and a minor resurgence of Stone Edge Breloom are just some of the major issues that physically defensive Zapdos confronts. I'd consider either moving it down or moving it to Additional Comments, though I want the input of other QCers on it.
  23. NatGeo

    NatGeo sun's coming up
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    Edited in SDS's suggestions, and labeled physical wall as tentative. Definitely looking for QC input on that.
  24. Kevin Garrett

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    Approved 2/2

    I suggested he add an option for a Specially Defensive EV spread on the Toxic Stall set in the description on IRC.
  25. Eo Ut Mortus

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    Not too keen on the way the sets are arranged. Toxic Staller (should be renamed Substitute, as it was in 4th gen, by the way) should be nearer the top; Choice should be nearer the bottom. As SDS said, Voltlos is much better than Zapdos as a sweeper. I agree with SDS in regards to the physical wall set (additionally, Lucario is gradually becoming more specially-based than physically-based.

    So I basically think the sets should be ordered something like this (might need more input; this is just the general idea):

    Substitute
    Offensive
    Special Wall
    Physical Wall
    Choice
    AgiliPass

    Note that the special wall might increase in usefulness once Lightningrod is released; however, for now, its main niche is really just switching into Shaymin-S, as Zapdos's typing isn't well-suited for a special wall.

    As for the sets themselves:

    The Toxic Staller's primary focus should not be Toxic; it should be Substitute. Poison Heal Gliscor and Nattorei, two fairly common threats, just manhandle it; however, Sub + Heat Wave/Hidden Power Ice is fairly effective. Therefore, I suggest that Hidden Power Ice and Heat Wave both be slashed before Toxic.

    On the offensive set, de-slash Volt Change. Zapdos is much better off with the recovery, especially due to a Stealth Rock weakness, and if you're not using Roost, you're probably better off using Voltlos.

    Rest is fine as far as I can tell.

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