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Even in a metagame where tiering changes are a thing of the past, trends come and go, and standards are frequently reinvented. It's no secret that a select few Pokémon and sets work particularly well in DPP OU, but there are still a number of new underrated sets that, despite their effectiveness, don't see the light of day too often. The following five sets are not only great for novelty value in DPP OU, but are also proven to be extremely potent, and they're great for surprising your opponents.
Togekiss @ Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 80 SpA / 176 Spe
Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
- Nasty Plot
- Heal Bell
- Air Slash
With access to Air Slash, Fire Blast, and the prized Aura Sphere, it's easy to see why many players would choose to eschew Togekiss's excellent bulk for an all-out offensive Nasty Plot set. While Togekiss can make great use of the coverage to get past its typical counters, a defensive set that takes advantage of Togekiss's strong defensive movepool is equally viable. With Nasty Plot to boost Togekiss's already sky-high Special Attack, and Heal Bell and Roost to keep it healthy, Togekiss can be one tough egg to crack, especially for stall teams.
This set functions primarily as a sweeper that focuses on muscling its way past weakened and, ideally, paralyzed teams. Togekiss's true claim to fame, however, is its ability to tear apart standard stall teams given a little bit of support. Many stall teams resort to wearing down Togekiss with Toxic, only to find their attempts unsuccessful as Togekiss cleanses itself with Heal Bell. This will usually allow for Togekiss to accumulate multiple Nasty Plots boosts to the point that it can simply Air Slash (and flinch!) its way to victory. The EV spread ensures Togekiss can get the job done on all fronts; it allows Togekiss to 2HKO Blissey at +6 with Air Slash while simultaneously having enough Speed to outpace max Speed Adamant Breloom.
Togekiss struggles a little more against offensive teams, but it has the bulk to tank most super effective hits and heal off weaker attacks with Roost. While it's true that some stall Pokémon, primarily bulky phazers such as Heatran, will be hard for Togekiss to get past, if Togekiss receives just a little bit of support or if it's your last Pokémon standing, most stall teams don't stand a chance. If you're looking for a unique sweeper that's a ton of fun to use, I definitely suggest you give this little guy a shot.
Bronzong @ Macho Brace
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
IVs: 0 Spe
Brave Nature (+Atk, -Spe)
- Trick Room
- Gyro Ball
Bronzong possesses awesome defensive stats, a slew of handy resistances, and an ability that most Steel-types would die for, meaning it's easy to overlook its respectable base 89 Attack and prowess as a Trick Room sweeper. Bronzong has all the tools it needs to sweep offensive teams, since under Trick Room, it's slower than virtually every Pokémon in the game and its Gyro Balls will very frequently be fired off at 150 Base Power. With Earthquake providing great coverage and Explosion allowing Bronzong to go out with a bang, this giant bell is an excellent choice for a unique, yet effective, late-game sweeper.
Trick Room is obviously the crux of the set, and it gives Bronzong five turns to wreck havoc against its opponents. Macho Brace is the perfect item for Bronzong, as it greatly appreciates having its Speed halved in order to "outspeed" virtually every threat in Trick Room and to boost Gyro Ball's power. Staples on offensive teams, such as Gengar and Flygon, get smacked around by Gyro Ball, and those that resist it, such as Infernape and Heatran, are promptly hit with a super effective Earthquake. Explosion is a great attack to round out Bronzong's moveset when its HP is low or when Trick Room is about to wear off, and it has a ton of power behind it, OHKOing all but the bulkiest of Suicune. This set may seem fairly unorthodox at first glance, but with a little bit of team support, Trick Room Bronzong is definitely not a Pokémon to be taken lightly.
Swampert @ Choice Band
EVs: 172 HP / 252 Atk / 84 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Stone Edge
- Ice Punch
Swampert is yet another example of a Pokémon generally considered to be a wall that actually possesses a ton of offensive potential. Choice Band Swampert packs a great deal of surprise value and can be deadly with the right prediction. The key to this set is keeping it hidden as long as possible and using it only when you're sure you can catch your opponent off guard for a kill. For example, Gyarados, a very safe counter to bulky Swampert sets, might switch in hoping for a free Dragon Dance only to get OHKOed by Stone Edge after Stealth Rock!
This set functions particularly well because Swampert has two powerful dual STABs to work with in Waterfall and Earthquake. In fact, they're so powerful that Earthquake does a minimum of 101% to standard Life Orb Starmie, while specially defensive Skarmory is 2HKOed on average after Stealth Rock by Waterfall. Stone Edge is mainly for the aforementioned Gyarados, while Ice Punch will make any Celebi or Shaymin think twice before trying to hop in. All in all, Choice Band Swampert makes for a strong bulky attacker that doubles as a pivot for offensive teams, and its sheer surprise factor will often give you the leg up on your opponent.
Zapdos @ Choice Specs
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Hidden Power Flying
- Heat Wave
When most people think of effective leads in DPP OU, it's unlikely that Zapdos first comes to mind. However, with Choice Specs equipped, it makes an extremely potent anti-lead thanks to its combination of raw power and stellar defensive typing. Zapdos's true strength as a lead lies in the fact that it can 2HKO virtually all slower, bulky leads and OHKO most faster leads, while almost nothing bar an Explosion will take Zapdos down in one shot.
A quick look at common DPP OU leads will show why Choice Specs Zapdos works great in this position. The wildly popular Machamp is OHKOed 90% of the time by Hidden Power Flying, while Starmie is pummeled by Thunderbolt and can't OHKO Zapdos with Ice Beam without its own Choice Specs. Heatran and Metagross are 2HKOed by Thunderbolt, and Swampert suffers the same fate at the hands of Hidden Power Flying. Choice Band Azelf is cleanly OHKOed by Thunderbolt, and must resort to Explosion to OHKO Zapdos, meaning its best option is to just U-turn out.
Heat Wave provides nice additional coverage, and it has a shot at OHKOing Choice Scarf Jirachi leads trying to flinch their way past Zapdos. U-turn is a phenomenal move on any lead, and it allows Zapdos to escape more troublesome match-ups, such as Focus Sash Infernape and Roserade, as well as the odd lead Tyranitar and Dragonite. In DPP OU, a tier where lead match-up is so critical, Choice Specs Zapdos is a great option for any team that wants to hit hard right off the bat and start the game off strong.
Kingdra @ Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 92 HP / 252 SpA / 164 Spe
Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
- Rain Dance
- Hydro Pump
- Dragon Pulse
- Signal Beam
Kingdra received a ton of new toys in DPP, including a physical Water-type attack in Waterfall and access to Outrage. This has resulted in Dragon Dance sets that abuse these great dual STABs to become standard fare for Kingdra in DPP OU. Although sets like ChestoRest and Substitute + Dragon Dance are very powerful indeed, keep in mind that Kingdra has an equally solid Special Attack stat and a special movepool that's arguably better than its physical counterpart.
This brings us to special Rain Dance Kingdra, a very formidable sweeper in its own right. In the rain, Kingdra is faster than virtually every common Pokémon, as it has just enough Speed to outpace Choice Scarf Flygon and Jirachi. Since Kingdra's modest Attack stat means that Steel-types can generally tank even +1 Waterfalls, this set is a great way to catch them off guard with a Special Attack stat of 317 and incredibly powerful, rain-boosted Hydro Pumps. To give you an idea of its sheer power, standard Skarmory, Forretress, Metagross, and Scizor are all OHKOed in the rain, while even the most defensive Jirachi is 2HKOed. Dragon Pulse provides nice neutral coverage on Pokémon that resist Hydro Pump, while Signal Beam is used to OHKO the otherwise annoying Celebi. With great coverage, a ton of power, and nearly unmatched Speed, special Rain Dance Kingdra can be deadly given the chance to set up.
Although DPP OU sometimes gets pushed aside due to its label as a "dead" metagame, it's a great break from playing BW OU, and there's plenty of room for creativity to thrive in DPP OU. It's an extremely balanced tier where nothing is truly overpowered, and it's a lot of fun to play once you really get into it. I hope you enjoyed reading about some of these underrated movesets, and that you give them a shot in what I consider to be the most fun tier to play!
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