Underrated UU Movesets

By kokoloko. Art by ium.
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If you read the UU forum at all, you probably know that the Pokémon you encounter often when laddering are not necessarily the best in the tier. The best players are constantly finding new and better ways to deal with common threats, which in turn creates new threats which have to be dealt with, necessitating the need for even more innovation... and the cycle continues. This process is what I like to call "tier evolution". The average ladder player doesn't necessarily keep up with all the new trends the top players are setting, so the process tends to lag at the bottom of the ladder, but becomes a lot more apparent the higher up you go. This article aims to somewhat remedy that by giving everyone a peek at some of the new toys the great UU players have been using lately. So without further ado, here are some of the rising stars in the current metagame.

Offensive Nidoqueen

Nidoqueen @ Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs: 100 HP / 252 SpA / 156 Spe
Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
- Earth Power
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast / Ice Beam
- Stealth Rock / Ice Beam

Right about now you're probably asking yourself why you would ever use Offensive Nidoqueen in the tier where the faster and more powerful Nidoking is available. The answer is simple: bulk. Unlike Nidoking, who dies to a light poke and therefore can't use its resistances properly (it gets 2HKOd by Adamant Choice Scarf Heracross's Close Combat, for example), Nidoqueen can switch into the plethora of Fighting-types in the tier much more easily and proceed to heavily damage them or anything that takes their place. It's also worth noting that Modest Nidoqueen is actually slightly more powerful than Timid Nidoking, and that the only important things it misses out on, Speed-wise, are outspeeding Chandelure and tying with opposing Nidoking, Heracross, and Kingdra.

The given set is the most common, having just enough Speed to beat Xatu—which is important, as one of the main draws of using Nidoqueen is being able to set up Stealth Rock in its face—and the right amount of bulk to take advantage of its great resistances. It also has the best range of coverage possible, with Fire Blast to secure the OHKO on Heracross and heavily damage Grass-types, Focus Blast to get past common walls like Snorlax, Umbreon, and Porygon2, and Ice Beam to nail Flygon and the aforementioned Xatu on the switch for an OHKO or 2HKO, respectively (though you can also beat Xatu with Fire Blast if you weaken it a bit beforehand).

Choice Band Druddigon

Druddigon @ Choice Band
Ability: Mold Breaker
EVs: 152 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 100 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Sucker Punch
- Dragon Claw / Superpower

It's kind of amazing that people haven't caught on to just how good this thing is when it's nothing short of a nuke button. Seriously, unless your opponent has a Steel-type (and there's only like 2 viable ones in UU) or something stupidly bulky like Gligar, you're getting a free kill every time this monster steps into the field without even needing to predict. Obviously, the move you'll be using 99% of the time is Outrage, but the other three moves do have at least some occasions where they can be useful. Earthquake, for example, can be used in conjunction with Mold Breaker to ensure Bronzong doesn't get in the way and to ignore Rhyperior's Solid Rock. Sucker Punch is nice because priority is great and Dragon Claw serves as a secondary form of STAB in case you don't want to lock Druddigon into Outrage. Superpower is almost exclusively for Porygon2, which Druddigon just so happens to outspeed thanks to the given EV spread.

QuiverPass Venomoth

Venomoth @ Leftovers
Ability: Tinted Lens
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Bug Buzz
- Quiver Dance
- Baton Pass
- Sleep Powder

The fact that this thing was banned from the tier where people refuse to ban broken things (that would be RU, for the slow ones) should speak volumes as to how good it really is. It basically works like this: you get it in safely, preferably against something slower or something that can't hurt it (like, say... Heracross locked into Megahorn). You then proceed to either use Quiver Dance or Sleep Powder, depending on what you saw in Team Preview and how safely Venomoth can Quiver Dance right then and there. You obviously want to get as many boosts as possible, so if you are confident you can boost on a switch, then put something to sleep next turn and boost again; you definitely want to do that. Don't get too greedy, though; two boosts are usually enough to secure a sweep, so you probably want to use Baton Pass once you have that. Bug Buzz is honestly only used in the rare occasion that passing Venomoth's boosts away becomes suboptimal. Kingdra, Nidoking, Zapdos, Shaymin, and Mew all make for excellent receivers, as all of them have great coverage and the longevity needed to sweep an entire team.

Swords Dance Heracross

Heracross @ Leftovers
Ability: Guts
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Megahorn
- Close Combat
- Swords Dance
- Stone Edge

You're probably wondering why after presenting three non-UU Pokémon, I'm now going to talk about the single most used Pokémon in the tier. Well, to be honest, I don't think people have been using Heracross to its fullest potential lately. Ever since the release of Moxie Heracross, people have been caught up in this whole "oh look! new toy!! must use!!!" funk, which has prevented people from exploring possibilities outside the standard Choice Scarf Moxie set. This leads to people being over-prepared for the aforementioned Choice Scarf set, but extremely under-prepared for Swords Dance Heracross, even giving it free setup by switching their "counter" into it. If you're wondering what I mean, go do some damage calculations of standard Cofagrigus's Shadow Ball and Gligar's Earthquake vs Heracross and see how well they take +4 or +6 Stone Edges. On top of this, Swords Dance Heracross is one of those Pokémon that strike absolute fear into the hearts of stall teams, so if you're packing one, you can pretty much count that as a win (assuming you don't suck, of course).


I hope, if nothing else, this article inspired you to try new things on the ladder. Who knows? You might have the next top set somewhere in your brain and not even know it. After all, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. So use your creativity, break out of the bog standard, and use different things to try and gain an advantage on the metagame. But please, for the love of all that is holy, know that when I say this, I am not condoning the use of garbage like Ambipom and Dusclops. So, until next time! See you on the ladder!

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