Gengar

Levitate
This Pokémon is immune to Ground-type moves.
Type Tier
Ghost / Poison OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
60
- 261 324 -
Atk
65
149 166 229 251
Def
60
140 156 219 240
SpA
130
266 296 359 394
SpD
75
167 186 249 273
Spe
110
230 256 319 350
  • Overused

Overview

Gengar is a very powerful threat due to its great stats and diversity, and its vast movepool is aided by its high Special Attack and Speed. Though held back by its awful defenses, Gengar will often have multiple opportunities to switch in safely thanks to immunities to Ground-, Fighting-, and Normal-type attacks. Because of its versatility and great coverage, Gengar is very difficult to properly counter once it is on the offensive. Gengar also has a wide variety of support moves at its disposal, ranging from status moves, such as Will-O-Wisp and Hypnosis, to Destiny Bond and Perish Song. Gengar can easily clean up late-game when teams have been weakened and opposing Pokemon are in KO range of its potent attacks.

Name Item Nature

Status

Leftovers Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Thunderbolt
~ Ice Punch
~ Giga Drain / Will-O-Wisp
~ Hypnosis / Will-O-Wisp / Destiny Bond / Explosion / Taunt
172 HP / 148 SpA / 188 Spe

This set combines Gengar's great coverage with a variety of support moves to cripple Pokemon that normally switch into it. Thunderbolt and Ice Punch create a pseudo-BoltBeam combination, which hits all but dedicated special walls for huge damage. Giga Drain is a great attack to nail Swampert, who can be problematic due to its bulk and immunity to Thunderbolt. However, Will-O-Wisp can be used in its place, as Giga Drain has little use outside of Swampert, who is crippled by Will-O-Wisp anyway. Will-O-Wisp also shuts down other physical attackers, such as Tyranitar and Metagross, both of whom Gengar is otherwise virtually useless against.

A myriad of choices are available in the last slot. Hypnosis is the preferred option as it allows Gengar to put one Pokemon to sleep and essentially render it useless; its terrible accuracy is its main drawback though. Destiny Bond is very useful in the last slot, as it grants Gengar one last kill as it is taken down. It can also give Gengar free turns during which it can attack, spread burns, or switch out for free, as not many players will attack it after it has used Destiny Bond. Explosion lets Gengar go out with a bang; it is particularly useful against Blissey and Snorlax, both of whom otherwise wall Gengar.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

McIceGar

Leftovers Hasty
Moveset EVs
~ Thunderbolt
~ Ice Punch
~ Substitute
~ Focus Punch
184 Atk / 136 SpA / 188 Spe

A relic from the early days of ADV, this set has since declined in usage, but it is still effective. The idea of the set is to use Substitute and Focus Punch to beat the Pokemon that wall purely special variants, namely Blissey, Snorlax, and Regice, all of whom take around 50% from a Focus Punch. Blissey cannot touch Gengar without Ice Beam, as Gengar is immune to Seismic Toss, and Substitute blocks Thunder Wave. The other two moveslots contain the BoltBeam combination of Thunderbolt and Ice Punch, giving Gengar great coverage alongside Focus Punch. The former nails the bulky Water-types common in the tier, most notably Vaporeon, Suicune, and Gyarados, as well as Skarmory. The latter puts a dent in Celebi and Zapdos on the switch, and can also OHKO Dragon-type Pokemon such as Flygon, Salamence, and Dragonite.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

All-Out Attacker

Leftovers Timid / Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Thunderbolt
~ Ice Punch
~ Giga Drain
~ Fire Punch
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

High Speed and Special Attack stats as well as a great movepool make Gengar an excellent all-out attacker. This set sacrifices support moves such as Will-O-Wisp and Hypnosis to gain the widest possible coverage against common Pokemon. With perfect neutral coverage, this is an anti-metagame set that is effective against teams that play off resistances. Thunderbolt hits Skarmory and bulky Water-types such as Gyarados, Suicune, and Vaporeon, whereas Ice Punch nails Zapdos and Celebi for around 40%, and OHKOes the common Dragon-types. Giga Drain nails Swampert, who shrugs off Gengar's other attacks and 2HKOes it with Hydro Pump. As Swampert is a common switch-in to Gengar, the opponent will have trouble against this set if Swampert is their only reliable check to it. Fire Punch, Gengar's last move, allows it to OHKO Forretress and Scizor, and 2HKO Magneton and Metagross, as well as standard Jirachi after Spikes damage.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Perish Trapper

Leftovers Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Mean Look
~ Perish Song
~ Substitute / Taunt
~ Destiny Bond / Protect / Hypnosis
252 HP / 96 Def / 80 SpD / 80 Spe

Perish Trapping Gengar is often unexpected and can turn the tables on typical Gengar counters. The idea of the set is to use Mean Look as a Gengar counter such as Blissey or Snorlax switches in and trap it, then use Perish Song to KO it. Substitute effectively provides free turns at the cost of a quarter of Gengar's HP. After two turns, Gengar switches to an appropriate switch-in, scoring a free KO on the trapped opponent. Destiny Bond is used in the final moveslot to let Gengar take out another Pokemon after successfully Perish Trapping something. It should only be used as a last resort, such as when Gengar has lost most of its HP from making Substitutes. Taunt can be used instead of Substitute to stop attempts at crippling Gengar with status moves or phazing it, but Protect must then be used in the final moveslot as Gengar needs free turns to pull off the strategy. Hypnosis is an alternative to put the trapped Pokemon to sleep, rendering it useless as Perish Song takes effect. However, its low accuracy makes it a risky option.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Choice Band Gengar is a gimmicky option, but an option nonetheless, as it has two strong physical STAB attacks in Sludge Bomb and Shadow Ball. This set can do serious damage to Pokemon that normally counter Gengar, as Blissey and Snorlax are nailed by Focus Punch, and Celebi by Sludge Bomb. Once the opponent discovers the set, however, Gengar can be easily countered and will often end up resorting to Explosion quite quickly. Shadow Ball used to be a common move for dispatching of Celebi and other Gengar. Sludge Bomb is the only other physical move worth using on Gengar, as it dents Blissey for about 25-30% and has a chance to poison. This will force Blissey to resort to using Softboiled, which is when Gengar can hit her with Focus Punch for the 2HKO. Gengar can run a mixed set with both special and physical attacks, but this would be less effective overall due to the split EVs. Additionally, it would run into serious issues with Metagross and Jirachi, and is generally not effective in this metagame. Taunt is an option to prevent Snorlax and Blissey from healing, and becomes a decent option with some HP EVs and Spikes support.

Checks and Counters

Blissey can come in on most Gengar sets with ease; special attacks do virtually nothing to it, and Natural Cure makes status moves ineffective. That said, it is usually wise to switch out to a sleep absorber on Hypnosis to activate Sleep Clause. Curse + RestTalk Snorlax can set up on Gengar without fear of Will-O-Wisp; the standard RestTalk Regice is a solid Gengar counter as well. Teams that use resistances to defend against strong special attackers will often have to figure out or guess Gengar's set first, as it is very versatile.

With some careful playing, Calm Zapdos will usually be able to switch in; Ice Punch deals considerable damage, but Gengar will usually lose one-on-one. Celebi can take on Gengar well thanks to Recover and Calm Mind, as Gengar won't usually risk staying in and taking Psychic. Jirachi works in a similar way, except it takes less damage from Thunderbolt than Celebi takes from Ice Punch. Bulky Sleep Talk Tyranitar and Metagross can usually switch in on Gengar easily—McIceGar isn't that common, so Tyranitar is usually safe. With maximum HP and some Special Defense investment, these Pokemon can reliably shut Gengar down. Tyranitar will also be able to trap and eliminate Gengar with Pursuit.

Raikou is a good counter too, because it doesn't take much damage from Thunderbolt or Ice Punch, and can outspeed and do around 70% damage to Gengar with Thunderbolt; it should be wary of an incoming Hypnosis or Will-O-Wisp though. Rest + Sleep Talk Raikou, though situational, is a hard counter to Gengar. Dusclops is in the same boat; Rest + Sleep Talk sets will easily switch in on Gengar, but the Pain Split variant should watch out for status.