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Yet another "dark horse" of Generation 5, Reuniclus is one of those Pokemon that was deemed to have some potential, but during the beginning stages of metagame progression, it kinda looked like it was going to be yet another Cresselia: an otherwise great Pokemon marred by the fact that Psychic is an awful type in a metagame filled with powerhouses like Tyranitar and Scizor. Magic Guard helped it, but there was no way that it was going to be a major threat, especially with new game changers like weather starters, Excadrill, Landorus, Thundurus, and Terrakion. Oh, how wrong we were. Reuniclus has now surfaced as one of the biggest menaces in the Generation 5 metagame. With incredible bulk, excellent Special Attack, and arguably the best ability in the entire game, Reuniclus comes with plenty of tools to tear the metagame limb from limb.
At first glance, Reuniclus doesn't seem like anything special. Psychic was only a dominant type in RBY, and ever since then, it's been seen as more of a liability than a boon for any Pokemon unlucky enough to have it as either a primary or secondary typing. However, Reuniclus is equipped with more than enough tools to turn this stereotype right on its head.
The first thing to look at is Reuniclus's stat spread. What should immediately jump out at you is its incredible 125 base Special Attack, second only to powerhouses like Heatran and Latios. This is backed by 110 HP, 75 Defense, and 85 Special Defense, which are pretty intimidating to deal with when you're looking at something with Reuniclus's power. Its only real letdown comes in the form of its base 30 Speed, but even that's a blessing in disguise, as Trick Room allows it to suddenly go from slow but bulky sweeper to ridiculously fast but bulky sweeper in the blink of an eye.
Reuniclus also sports a legitimately excellent movepool. For STAB, it can either go with the reliable power of Psychic or it can use the brand-new Psycho Shock to hit specially defensive Pokemon like Blissey where it hurts: their weak Defense stat. It also allows Reuniclus to win any Calm Mind war one-on-one without fail, allowing it to best opponents such as Latias and Suicune without relying on luck. Focus Blast is unreliable, but nevertheless bolsters Reuniclus's movepool by giving it a powerful option against tough foes such as Tyranitar and Nattorei. It also gets Shadow Ball, which puts the hurt on Psychic-types eager to wall its first two moves. Reuniclus even has a couple of interesting auxiliary coverage moves, such as Energy Ball and Thunder, but those rarely see use.
On the support side, Reuniclus has some neat options. Thunder Wave lets it cripple opponents as they switch in, which can make Reuniclus difficult to counter later in the match. Reuniclus can also set up its own Trick Room, making it a fearsome sweeper against offensive teams that rely on their Speed. Recover gives Reuniclus a kind of "immortal" feel, as it's incredibly difficult to budge a Reuniclus with defensive investment and a couple Calm Minds under its belt. It can also utilize Trick with Choice Specs or Flame/Toxic Orb to cripple common switch-ins such as Tyranitar and Scizor.
Last, but certainly not least, Reuniclus sports arguably the best ability in the game: Magic Guard. Not only does Magic Guard allow Reuniclus to set up without fear of being whittled down by status, entry hazards, and weather, but it also provides Reuniclus with an incredible power boost in the form of a recoil-free Life Orb. This means that Reuniclus effectively hits 30% harder with nearly no drawbacks, something that any offensive Pokemon would kill to have.
When it comes to Reuniclus, there are basically two main sets that you have to consider: the Calm Mind set, which relies on Reuniclus's incredible bulk to set up and break through the opponent's defenses; and the Trick Room set, which takes advantage of Reuniclus's low Speed to mount an all-out assault and take down offensive teams with ease.
The Calm Mind set is pretty simple. Just give Reuniclus Calm Mind, Recover, a STAB move, and either Focus Blast or Hidden Power Fighting, and let it do the rest. With full HP and Defense investment as well as a Defense-boosting nature, Reuniclus packs a whopping 424 HP and 273 Defense, which makes it one tough nut to crack. Combine this with the fact that Calm Mind boosts its Special Defense and you'll be hard pressed to find an attacker that can do any significant damage to it. Unlike Pokemon such as Suicune and Jirachi, Reuniclus can dish out a mad beating even without a lot of boosts. 125 Special Attack and a Life Orb give Reuniclus a ridiculous amount of power even at +1 or +2, which makes it even easier to just sneak a boost in and start pounding opponents.
The Trick Room set is a lot more straightforward. Full HP investment keeps it bulky, but with maximized Special Attack and a Life Orb, this is a Reuniclus set that's ready to drop the hammer as soon as it comes out. The big advantage to this set is room for Shadow Ball, which allows Reuniclus to muscle through common foes such as Latios/Latias, Spiritomb, and opposing Reuniclus. Furthermore, with only 30 base Speed, it's looking at a Speed stat as low as 58, which is only "out-slowed" by Ferrothorn, who is hard-pressed to do any significant damage before being dispatched by Focus Blast.
There are also some other sets that can cause problems. Reuniclus gets Trick, which can cripple or at least seriously annoy its common switch-ins, such as Tyranitar, Skarmory, and Nattorei, by gifting them a Flame Orb and saddling them with a nasty burn. It can also utilize Thunder Wave as more of a supportive sweeper, choosing to bring foes down to its level rather than using Trick Room. It can even combine that with Confuse Ray for a Parafusion-based set, though it's often more effective just to straight up kill them with Reuniclus's top-notch offense.
You can't deal with Reuniclus in the same way that you might deal with other bulky threats. With most other defensive stat boosting Pokemon, you can whittle them down with Toxic or burn or weather damage, but Reuniclus's Magic Guard ability makes that impossible. Recover further complicates things, as it allows Reuniclus to heal off any weak attacks that it receives. This means that the only way to deal with it is decisive offensive power on the physical side.
Scizor and Tyranitar are your best bets for dealing with Reuniclus. Both of them pack incredible physical power, can shrug off Psychic attacks, and have super effective STABs with which to put the hurt on Reuniclus. Scizor is the more effective one, as it isn't susceptible to Reuniclus's Focus Blast, and can also deal with Trick Room variants much more easily than Tyranitar. In addition, it can profit from a retreating Reuniclus by either Pursuiting it on the switch, scouting with U-turn, or using the opportunity to set up a Swords Dance for free. Escavalier works in a similar manner to Scizor, and it's even more specially defensive than its Bug/Steel brethren. In addition, it's "faster" than Reuniclus in Trick Room if it runs a negative Speed nature, and can use Trick Room to turn the tables on opponents using offensive Reuniclus.
While these are the most effective ways to deal with Reuniclus, they aren't the only ones. Reuniclus is extremely susceptible to Trick, and it just so happens that most Trick users are Psychic-types, who resist both Reuniclus's STAB and Focus Blast. In addition to that, Reuniclus isn't especially bulky on the special side if it doesn't have a couple Calm Minds up, so a Choice Specs Latios can deal significant damage with Draco Meteor. If Stealth Rock isn't up yet, Volcarona can get in a Butterfly Dance or two and pound it with a super effective Bug Buzz. Finally, if Reuniclus doesn't have Psycho Shock or Shadow Ball, Calm Mind Latias can stop it dead in its tracks, get up to +6, and start hitting it with Dragon Pulse.
Reuniclus is an interesting Pokemon to support. The most important thing to remember is that if you can get Scizor and Tyranitar out of the way, Reuniclus can often just blow through teams, facing zero resistance in its way.
Reuniclus's ability, Magic Guard, makes it one of the most environmentally simple Pokemon to support. It's completely immune to every single environmental factor, including entry hazards and weather, meaning that there's no need to use Rapid Spin support. Offensively, the Trick Room variant of Reuniclus benefits significantly from entry hazard support, as it not only needs to be able to kill things as quickly as possible, but Trick Room also promotes constant defensive switching, which allows Spikes to do significant damage.
Thundurus is a great teammate for Reuniclus, as it can use Hammer Arm to lure in and eliminate Tyranitar. It can also use priority Thunder Wave to slow Tyranitar down, which allows Calm Mind Reuniclus to hit it with a Focus Blast before it can Crunch. Latios is also an effective ally, as it shares many counters with Reuniclus. If you can hit Scizor or Escavalier on the switch with Hidden Power Fire or whittle them down with Draco Meteor, then Reuniclus can sweep with ease.
If you haven't given Reuniclus a shot in one of your teams, you should definitely drop it in. This adorable little jelly blob is certainly a force to be reckoned with, and definitely shouldn't be underestimated in this new generation of Pokemon.
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