|« Previous Article||Home||Next Article »|
From Pokemon whose strength comes from their versatility and unpredictability to those who rely on battering the opposition with high-powered assaults, offensive threats have defined the evolution of the DPPt metagame. Look at the top ten most used OU Pokemon: these offensive stars have been used on many teams because of their capabilities. But why? There are many ways to answer such a question.
For example, take a Pokemon like Salamence. Not only is it a versatile sweeper, capable of running both mixed attacking sets as well as physical Dragon Dance sets, its typing and stats make it “intimidating” to face. Salamence can tear through most of the OU metagame's walls, while a Dragon Dance makes it difficult to take it down without using priority or the inevitable Speed tie from something such as a Choice Scarf Jirachi.
What about others though? Well, there's Starmie. While it has difficult taking down Pokemon such as Blissey, notice Starmie's 115 base Speed, 100 base Special Attack, and its movepool. While Surf, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Recover, and Grass Knot may not seem like much, its ability to hit many Pokemon for super effective damage while outpacing the majority of the OU metagame makes it a potent threat.
There's also a different situation for Pokemon such as Scizor. At first, it doesn't seem like much of an offensive threat: Scizor is slow, it has plenty of hard counters, and has a sparse movepool. However, its true value lies in the fact that it can act as a multipurpose utility Pokemon for almost any team: a STAB and Technician-boosted Bullet Punch is excellent for revenge killing fast and frail sweepers; Pursuit wrecks fleeing Pokemon like Latias or Choice-locked Rotom-A and Gengar; U-turn wears down the opposing team while retaining offensive momentum. At the end of a match, Scizor’s bulk combined with excellent typing means it has the potential to sweep a weakened team with its powerful Bullet Punch.
The Pokemon in-depth, perhaps?
Scizor @ Choice Band
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Bullet Punch
Choice Band Scizor’s main threat comes from its utility. Its claim to fame is Bullet Punch, a 40 Base Power Steel-type priority attack. Since OU is littered with Pokemon that resist Steel (including Gyarados, Heatran, and Rotom-A), Bullet Punch is usually a mediocre attack choice. However, when boosted by Scizor’s Technician ability and a Choice Band, Bullet Punch becomes a fearsome force that is able to check many top OU threats and even sweep late-game. For example, Gengar is OHKOed after Stealth Rock damage, and Salamence has a good chance to be OHKOed after Stealth Rock damage and one round of Life Orb recoil. With U-turn, Scizor can take advantage of Psychic, Grass, and Dark-types to dent a counter and give a teammate a free switch-in. Pursuit is an awesome attack to pack against Choice users (especially Latias, Gengar, or Rotom-A), as it deals heavy damage when the opponent switches out.
However, a Choice Band set isn’t Scizor’s only option. A Swords Dance set lets Scizor transform its Bullet Punch from a primarily utility-based move into a dangerous sweeping tool. Superpower lets Scizor slam Skarmory for heavy damage while warding off Heatran or Magnezone. Bug Bite can be used in the last slot on an all-out offensive set, while Roost can make Scizor a bulky stat-upper. Scizor has more counters than the rest of the Pokemon on this list, but what sets it apart is its ability to serve as both a utility Pokemon and a dangerous offensive threat.
Scizor performs well in Ubers as well. Pursuit and STAB U-turn are awesome moves to pack in the Uber environment since many Ubers are either Psychic or Ghost-type. Bullet Punch is relatively weaker in Ubers but it works well against Pokemon such as Rayquaza, Darkrai, and Mewtwo. In Ubers, Scizor’s most effective set is Roost / Bullet Punch / U-turn / Pursuit @ Life Orb, since its versatility helps it in many situations while Roost helps it tank Choiced Dragon-attacks.
Lucario @ Life Orb
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Swords Dance
- Close Combat
- Crunch / Stone Edge / Ice Punch
At the beginning of DP, Lucario’s most popular set was the Specs set due to its high Special Attack and ability to lure in physical walls like Skarmory. After some time, players realized that Swords Dance Lucario had excellent wall-breaking capabilities and had ExtremeSpeed at its disposal to set it apart from Heracross, and to this day Lucario is one of the top physical threats in DPPt. While Crunch is currently the standard coverage move (to hit Cresselia, Rotom-A, and Celebi), Stone Edge and Ice Punch can be useful to break apart Lucario’s traditional counters to open up a sweep from its teammates.
However, a Swords Dance set isn’t Lucario’s only niche. It has access to Agility, and can use it effectively against a weakened team. Thanks to Lucario's resistance to priority attacks and immunity to sandstorm, it doesn't have much to fear from a revenge kill. A Choice Band set is also viable, since Lucario has access to a strong STAB attack, many coverage moves, and a powerful priority attack (which can stop a sweep from something like a +1 Gyarados).
Lucario's main threat is the brute force it packs with its vast movepool. A single Swords Dance can spell doom to any unprepared team. Lucario’s +2 Close Combat is nearly 15% stronger than Salamence’s +1 Outrage, and can OHKO Skarmory and Bronzong after Stealth Rock damage. If having base 90 Speed wasn't enough, ExtremeSpeed makes it difficult to pack a revenge killer against Lucario. For example, Choice Scarf Flygon wouldn't be a bad choice if it wasn't for ExtremeSpeed packing Flygon's bags after a Swords Dance. Lucario’s coverage move makes it difficult to safely switch into it; Ice Punch seals Salamence and Gliscor's fate, Stone Edge puts Gyarados and Salamence into the ground, and Crunch spells doom for Rotom-A and Celebi.
One of Lucario’s greatest assets and its main advantage over similar sweepers is its typing. Notice the resistances that Steel / Fighting packs: Lucario 4x resists Dark, Rock, and Bug while 2x resists Grass, Dragon, Steel, and Normal. Its numerous resistances allow Lucario to take advantage of Choice users like Tyranitar and Flygon to guarantee itself a free Swords Dance.
Indeed, Lucario’s Special Attack stat is actually higher than its Attack stat. Not only does it have a great physical movepool, it has just as good of a Special movepool. STAB Aura Sphere is Lucario's main selling point. Its 100% accuracy and solid 90 Base Power makes it a solid choice. Lucario is an excellent lure to physically bulky Pokemon which take a hefty amount of damage from STAB Aura Sphere. Combined with Hidden Power Ice, Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, and Close Combat, Lucario becomes a threat to a stall team if they mispredict. There's also Vacuum Wave which gives Lucario a priority option to use in tandem with Choice Specs.
Overall, Lucario is not solely threatening because of the Swords Dance set. Its ability to attack on either side of the spectrum makes it very scary to handle.
Salamence @ Life Orb
EVs: 232 Atk / 24 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive nature (+Spe, -SpD)
- Dragon Dance
- Fire Blast / Stone Edge / Dragon Claw
Salamence shows the crew what "real power" is, with STAB on the attack type with the best neutral coverage in the game: Dragon. Just when you thought your team was safe, Salamence shows its face, and boy is it "intimidating"! With STAB Outrage, Dragon Claw, and Draco Meteor to choose from, Salamence has a diverse amount of options to consider. Its most used set, the Dragon Dance set, poses a major threat for many reasons. First, +1 Speed is excellent in a metagame that is practically driven by the Speed stat. Packing 328 Speed before a Dragon Dance and 492 after, Salamence is difficult to outspeed without using something gimmicky like Choice Scarf Gengar. After a Dragon Dance, Salamence is nearly unstoppable. STAB Outrage is a dangerous move on this set for both the opponent and the user. For the opponent, it means that any Pokemon that stays or foolishly switches in takes a severe amount of damage in the process. With only Steel types resisting Dragon, it makes it difficult to stop a +1 Salamence. A high reward does come at a cost at a high risk; Salamence is extremely prone to revenge killing because of Outrage’s side effect (it is locked in and unable to switch attacks or switch out). Despite the high, Salamence is still difficult to stop in its tracks. While Earthquake is generally an attack to take down the Pokemon that resist Outrage, there are still two problem Pokemon that remain: Skarmory and Bronzong. With Fire Blast, Skarmory is fried in a single shot (thanks to Life Orb), while Bronzong doesn’t have access to recovery. Even with Heatproof, it's vulnerable to a smart player using Earthquake on it. Dragon Claw can prevent Salamence from locking itself early on and helps preserve Outrage for pinch situations. Stone Edge also discourages Gyarados and Zapdos from switching in without locking Salamence into Outrage.
For those that thought that Dragon Dance was Salamence's only threatening moveset, I'm afraid to say that you are far from right. Remember how I mentioned Draco Meteor? Another of Salamence's infamous movesets is the mixed attacker. Draco Meteor inflicts massive damage on any unsuspecting physical walls that switch in. Usually Salamence packs either Earthquake or Brick Break as its next attack. While Earthquake punishes Heatran easily, Brick Break has the added benefit of 2HKOing Blissey without resorting to Outrage. Speaking of Outrage, it is a common move on the MixMence set since it is Salamence's most powerful neutral option. Roost makes the MixMence pain last longer, making it agonizing for the opponent to take down.
What's even worse is that Salamence can play as a bulky Pokemon too. With Roost and Intimidate, it has opportunities to set up on physical sweepers without super-effective attacks. There's even Wish, an NYPC move that can allow Salamence to play the Wish-passing role.
On paper Salamence seems very close to be regarded as an "uber" Pokemon. In practice, though, it does have some issues. The prevalence of Stealth Rock and Sandstorm hurts Salamence's performance. Not only does it take 25% just from switching into Stealth Rock, an extra 6% damage from Sandstorm on top of 10% per turn from Life Orb recoil wears it down extremely quickly. Remember the comment regarding to Outrage locking Salamence onto the field? That can also spell trouble since it allows a Steel-type a free switch-in after a revenge kill. For example, a Choice Band Scizor can easily KO a 50% Salamence locked into Outrage. What's worse is that Pokemon like Mamoswine and Weavile can come in for the revenge kill and easily dispatch Salamence with STAB Ice Shard.
Despite Salamence’s disadvantages, it is undoubtedly one of DPPt’s greatest offensive threats.
Gengar @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Shadow Ball
- Focus Blast
- Explosion / Hidden Power Fire
Gengar is an interesting Pokemon. Having a Speed stat of 110 as well as a Special Attack stat of 130 allows Gengar to go places. Gengar’s base stats aren’t all it has going for it; it also benefits greatly from STAB Shadow Ball, its versatile movepool, and a combination of great typing and ability. With Levitate, Ghost-typing, and Poison blocking Toxic, Gengar has many opportunities to switch into an incoming attack.
Shadow Ball is an excellent STAB. Though, “why”, you may ask. Not only does it hit many Pokemon neutral, it also hits super effective against Psychic and other Ghost-types; both of which are common in the current OU metagame. Additionally, Focus Blast offers perfect neutral coverage with Shadow Ball. That's not all though; most of what resists Shadow Ball is hit for super effective damage thanks to Focus Blast, and vice-versa. Thunderbolt covers troublesome bulky waters which would otherwise impede Gengar’s sweep from sweeping. Hidden Power is a consideration, though the only viable types are Ice and Fire. Ice prevents Dragon-types from getting very far against Gengar while Fire easily kills Forretress and Scizor. There's also Explosion which lets Gengar go out with a bang, or even blow up on an unsuspecting Blissey. There's also Trick which allows Gengar to screw up a wall, such as Blissey, and help Gengar regain versatility. While Specs or Scarf is the item of Choice with Trick, Life Orb or Expert Belt is best with the rest of Gengar's sets.
There is more to Gengar than meets the eye. Substitute grants Gengar protection against an attack while being safe to sweep behind it. Granted, Blissey needs to disappear, though with the right teammates Substitute Gengar can be a major threat. Protect can help Gengar ease prediction. How, you may ask? Take Gengar's #1 threat, Scizor. With Protect you can scout against the Choice Band set. If Gengar uses Protect while Scizor used Bullet Punch, it is Gengar's best option to switch out. If Gengar uses Protect while Scizor uses Pursuit, it is best to use Hidden Power Fire against Scizor and take it down. While there are minor flaws to using Protect and Hidden Power Fire, the benefits of easing a Gengar sweep are worth it.
For status moves, Gengar has Hypnosis and Will-O-Wisp. There isn't much merit to using both (especially due to their lackluster accuracy); however, using either one of them can cripple a switch-in. Hypnosis's main weakness is its 60% accuracy but the reward of completely shutting down a Pokemon is worth the consideration. Will-O-Wisp can be a nasty move to use against physical attackers like Tyranitar and Scizor since they despise the attack drop.
The main reasons why Gengar dropped in usage are Hypnosis’s accuracy drop and Scizor's prevalence in the DPPt metagame. With Bullet Punch, Pursuit, and a resistance to Ghost attacks, Scizor can often put Gengar into a checkmate position. Additionally, Sandstorm and Stealth Rock combined with Life Orb recoil puts a damper on Gengar’s longevity. However, don’t be fooled by Gengar’s flaws: its high Speed, Special Attack, and type coverage lets it easily sweep unprepared teams.
Gyarados @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Dragon Dance
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake / Ice Fang
Gyarados's backstory is interesting. In RBY, it was considered a Pokemon that was slightly "unpredictable". Its decent attacking stats and versatile movepool allowed it to wreck many UU Pokemon and even step into the OU spotlight. Unfortunately, GSC changed Gyarados for the worse. It couldn’t shine in the OU metagame, but was a solid UU Pokemon. In Advance, Gyarados finally became a solid OU Pokemon. With Dragon Dance boosting its Attack and Speed to outrageous levels, it seemed Gyarados was a top threat. Then DPPt came with its Life Orb and physical Waterfall, and it seems like Gyarados will remain a top 5 threat for a very, VERY, long time.
So what exactly causes Gyarados to be a top threat? Well, we've already mentioned Dragon Dance. There's also Gyarados's STAB Waterfall. What makes it devastating is the small amount of Pokemon that resist it. Though Bulky Waters do exist in the metagame, many of OU's common physical walls are either weak to Waterfall (like Hippowdon and Gliscor) or neutral to Waterfall (like Skarmory). What makes it worse is the 20% flinch rate, which makes Gyarados a tough opponent to take down if you're slower than it. Packing Waterfall and Dragon Dance isn't all: powerful moves such as Ice Fang, Stone Edge, Earthquake, and Return give Gyarados exceptional type coverage. Ice Fang picks off the common Grass-types that wall Waterfall as well as Latias. Stone Edge is Gyarados's most powerful attack against Zapdos and other Gyarados. Earthquake pairs nicely with Waterfall and is far more accurate than Stone Edge. Finally, Return, despite not hitting anything for super effective damage, offers Gyarados near-perfect coverage with Waterfall. While not often a seen option, Bounce gives Gyarados a secondary STAB and allows it to defeat Celebi easily when paired with Dragon Dance.
Hey, that's not all! Gyarados has other options that make it a powerful threat. Taunt cripples most physical walls from using their recovery move or phazing options. Taunt, alongside Gyarados's bulk, allows it to set up more Dragon Dances. Taunt has been commonly used ever since ADV, and in DPPt it is still one of Gyarados's most common moves.
However, Gyarados has its disadvantages. A Stealth Rock weakness is a major hazard to Gyarados as it limits it from switching in and out of the field. There are also the crippling weaknesses to Rock and x4 Electric-weakness which stops Gyarados from sweeping as easily. Many bulky Waters as well as Celebi completely halt Gyarados's sweep.
Shockingly, Gyarados's typing allows it to do many things. Its resistances to Steel, Fighting, Bug, Water, and Fire on top of a Ground immunity allows it to easily switch in on a large portion of the OU metagame. There's also Intimidate, a key ability that allows Gyarados to weaken physical sweepers. While Life Orb is often seen as a staple to sweepers, these key factors are the reason why Leftovers is never a bad idea on Gyarados; especially if it decides to go toward a more bulky EV spread.
An old saying "the best offense is a good defense" is an excellent way to describe Gyarados. Without a doubt, its bulk, Intimidate, and offensive movepool define Gyarados as a major threat.
Heatran @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty (+Spe, -Def) / Naive (+Spe, -SpD) nature
- Fire Blast / Flamethrower
- Earth Power
- Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Grass
Heatran was first looked at by new players as something useless due to the x4 Ground weakness. That didn't last long. People realized Heatran's potential. STAB Fire Blast and Flamethrower punctures the mass Steel-types that roam around in the OU metagame. Notice that the vast majority of Steel-types in OU are usually weaker on the Special Defensive side of the spectrum. Still, STAB Fire is not the only reason. It extends further than that, to say the least.
First off, Heatran has a great movepool. Earth Power and Dragon Pulse are Heatran's other noteworthy special attacks. Earth Power pairs well with Fire Blast as it punctures other Heatran and dents Tyranitar. Dragon Pulse hits the numerous Dragon-types that reign in the OU tier. There's Hidden Power, which ranges from Ice, Electric, or Grass. Hidden Power Ice nails Dragon / Flying Pokemon easily, Electric nails Gyarados, and Grass destroys Swampert. Electric and Grass has the benefit of hurting the vast majority of Water-types that reside in OU. Finally, Explosion can top off many of Heatran's movesets as it gives Heatran the "last resort" option. Heatran also has access to Stealth Rock, and can set it up easily due to its solid defenses.
Heatran’s ability, Flash Fire, makes it even more of a threat. If you thought STAB Fire Blast was ridiculous enough, a Flash Fire boost gives it the ability to 2HKO Salamence and Gyarados despite their resistance to Fire.
There's one last advantage to Heatran. Steel / Fire is an excellent typing combination. Not only does it resist the common Fire + Dragon attack combination, it also gives Heatran resistances against Steel, Normal, Ghost, Dark, Flying, and Poison. Immunity to Poison means Heatran isn’t affected by Toxic Spikes, which are becoming more popular in OU.
Offensive Heatran commonly carry Choice Scarf to outspeed threats such as Lucario and Jirachi. Heatran's added benefit of resisting many of OU's priority attacks makes it difficult to take down. Choice Specs boosts Heatran's Special Attack to 538 with a Timid nature; 591 with a Modest nature. Life Orb boosts Heatran's power while maintaining versatility.
It's true that Heatran is one of the few Top 10 Offensive Threats that is easily walled by Blissey. This shouldn't stop your thoughts of Heatran being a threat. Heatran has two strategies that play mindgames with Blissey. The first is Taunt. Taunt allows Heatran to shut down Blissey’s recovery, which easily lets it wear down Blissey. The second strategy Heatran can employ is Torment. While Heatran still cannot beat Blissey so easily one-on-one, it can prevent Blissey from completely walling the team for a short period of time. There's also Explosion, but it does have the disadvantage of being fairly predictable.
Overall, Heatran has a lot of advantages. From its decent movepool to its excellent typing, Heatran is certainly a major threat.
Latias @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Draco Meteor
- Thunderbolt / Grass Knot
It's no surprise that another Dragon exists in the Top 10 Offensive Threats. It's typing is very unique in comparison to its brethren, as it is one of only two Dragon-types in OU that isn't 4x weak to Ice-type attacks. In return, however, it obtains a Psychic-typing. Of course the secondary typing is a mixed blessing because it introduces more weaknesses to Latias (Bug, Dark, and Ghost). So with Latias's weaknesses, is it hindered that much? If it was hindered that much, it wouldn't be on the Top 10, would it?
STAB Draco Meteor and Dragon Pulse are the main attractions for Latias. Packing a Special Attack base of 110 followed by a Speed base equal to its Special Attack makes it a difficult threat to take down. Not to mention that STAB Dragon is hard to take in the first place as the only Pokemon that resist such a powerful assault are usually the Steel-types. Latias has Surf to pair with its Dragon-type attacks and creates combination only walled by Empoleon and Shedinja, the latter rarely ever seen in OU. There's Thunderbolt which gets a niche in beating down bulky waters. Grass Knot does nearly the same; however, it trades Base Power against Vaporeon for Swampert. Grass Knot also lacks the x4 effectiveness vs. Gyarados that Thunderbolt has. Hidden Power Fire can destroy Scizor switch-in.
Latias has many support moves. Trick is a common move that is great when Latias equips itself with a pair of Choice Specs or a Choice Scarf. Substitute blocks status and allows Latias to get a free Calm Mind or more control of the field. Speaking of Calm Mind, it can be used to boost Latias's Special Attack and Special Defense. Thanks to its 2x weakness to Ice, it doesn't have much fear of Swampert aside from a random freeze or Roar. For recovery options, Latias has either Roost or Recover. There is literally no difference between the two except that Roost is a TM while Recover is a level-up move. Refresh has a niche use to help Latias beat Blissey with a combination of Calm Mind, Dragon Pulse, and Recover. Finally there's Roar which allows Latias to shuffle the opponent's team around to scout for dangerous Pokemon.
As for items, Life Orb is common on Latias, since it allows her power and versatility at the cost of 10% of its health. With Recover, Latias doesn’t mind the HP loss much since it can easily gain it back. A Choice Specs Draco Meteor is extremely hard to switch into, while Choice Specs Surf 2HKOs most Scizor. A Choice Scarf gives Latias the ability to revenge kill +1 Gyarados and Salamence. When facing a Latias with a Choice item, remember that Trick is never far behind. This makes it difficult to switch in a wall like Blissey due to the possibility of being tricked. The only other option left is Leftovers to help Latias keep healthy.
As an added bonus, Latias has the Levitate ability. This means Latias only takes damage from Stealth Rock when it switches in.
Technically Latias was an Uber Pokemon throughout the ADV-era and the beginning of the DPPt-era. However, as a result of suspect testing, it was allowed into OU in February 2009 on the condition that it can’t use its signature item, Soul Dew. This actually makes sense, since many Nintendo events like the Battle Tower allows Latias and Latios without Soul Dew. Latias is currently undergoing testing again to see if it is Uber or not.
Being a Dragon-type is one reason why Latias is such a huge threat. In conjunction with its great movepool, typing, and ability, Latias can truly play an "Uber or not" card against the entire OU metagame.
Tyranitar @ Choice Band
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 164 HP / 252 Atk / 92 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Stone Edge
- Aqua Tail / Earthquake
Whew, this thing has a massive movepool. Tyranitar is a major threat to the OU metagame. While it has many glaring weaknesses, it's Tyranitar's key elements of play that make it an intimidating threat. This Tyranitar can 2HKO almost every Pokemon in the OU metagame. STAB Stone Edge and Crunch are hard to take unless you're a Fighting- or Steel-type. Aqua Tail 2HKOes Hippowdon and Gliscor, though the latter is faster than Tyranitar and can force Tyranitar out. Earthquake's only benefit in comparison to Aqua Tail is hurting Jirachi and other Tyranitar harder than Crunch and Aqua Tail, respectively. Pursuit is a key attack to this set. Most Pokemon that Tyranitar can switch into are scared to face many of its attacks. With Pursuit, the opponent is punished if he/she decides to switch. This is an excellent tactic to deploy on Choice users such as Rotom-A and Latias. It makes revenge killing easier thanks to this attack as the opponent might barely scratch Tyranitar.
So what more about Tyranitar? It has Sandstream as an ability, which can be used for many purposes. With it, Tyranitar can be a good lead, since it breaks Focus Sashes automatically. Sandstorm boosts Tyranitar's modest Special Defense by x1.5, which makes Tyranitar a good Pokemon to switch into Special Attacks. Even those that strike Tyranitar for super effective damage can barely scratch a 3HKO on Tyranitar when it invests in Special Defense. This isn't just excluded to Tyranitar though. Any Pokemon that is a Rock-type gets the Special Defense boost. For example, a max HP / max Special Defense Careful Rhyperior takes Hidden Power Grass from Raikou and turns it to a 3HKO. That's not easy to do with a move that is x4 super effective on you. Finally it chips any Pokemon that isn't Rock, Steel, or Ground-type for 6.25% damage per turn, making sandstorm a useful stall tactic and an excellent way to nullify Leftovers on many Pokemon.
Shockingly, yes. Tyranitar can deploy Dragon Dance to make its Attack even more ridiculous and boost its mediocre Speed. Granted its Speed barely hits past Timid Starmie, but one must remember that very few of those Pokemon faster than Starmie are often used. Tyranitar's only fears are other Choice Scarf users or Bullet Punch Scizor. Tyranitar can solve its Scizor fears with a Babiri Berry (Steel-resist); however, Tyranitar loses an item that could otherwise boost its offense. Rock Polish is often a forgotten move, though Scizor makes it a bit harder to use. Still, even with a neutral nature Tyranitar hits a max of 486 Speed, which is just enough to outspeed many Choice Scarf users (barring +nature base 100s). Tyranitar has enough HP to create 101 HP Substitutes, which means Blissey cannot break its Substitutes with one Seismic Toss; in fact, the mixed TyraniBoah set focuses on setting up these unbreakable Substitutes to beat stall teams. Taunt stops Skarmory from using Roost or Whirlwind and turns it into setup bait.
There's more to its offensive movepool. With a modest 95 SpA base stat, Tyranitar can easily use moves such as Ice Beam and Fire Blast to great success. With Fire Blast, Tyranitar roasts many of the Steel-types that attempt to switch into it (barring Heatran). Ice Beam puts Gliscor in a shivering grave while warding off Hippowdon. Tyranitar can use either of these moves on a set with Life Orb, Choice Scarf, or Expert Belt to great success. Expert Belt and Life Orb have the benefit of versatility, which limits the amount of switch-ins against Tyranitar. Tyranitar can even throw on a pair of Specs and work alright thanks to Superpower KOing any Blissey that tries to wall its special attacks.
Tyranitar can function with many items, many roles, and many attacks. With a combination of its great base stats, it is hard to ignore Tyranitar as a Top 10 threat.
Metagross @ Life Orb
Ability: Clear Body
EVs: 112 HP / 252 Atk / 12 Def / 132 Spe
Adamant nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Meteor Mash
- ThunderPunch / Ice Punch / Explosion
Metagross is an odd offensive threat. Its typing is unique in that it has few weaknesses (only Ground and Fire); it has an awesome ability, Clear Body, which prevents abilities such as Intimidate from fazing Metagross. You almost have to ask, what more could you want from an awesome Pokemon? STAB Meteor Mash is tough to take on if you don't resist it, and even if your Pokemon does, it usually has to withstand an Earthquake. Earthquake easily shuts down all the grounded Steel-type Pokemon. What's left is beating the levitating Pokemon that resist such a combo. Ice Punch devastates Salamence and Zapdos while ThunderPunch damages Gyarados and Skarmory. There's Explosion which allows Metagross to take the opponent out with a bang. While it is often overlooked, Zen Headbutt is Metagross's best STAB to puncture the likes of Rotom-A.
The support movepool is what makes Metagross very interesting. We've already seen Agility is used as an option for Metagross. When you consider that Metagross with a neutral nature trounces Choice Scarf Jirachi with a positive nature, you know something's up. Interestingly enough, Metagross learns both Reflect and Light Screen, allowing Metagross to use its excellent typing and defenses to an advantage. Finally there's Trick to pair with Choice Band and Choice Scarf for Metagross to screw around with Skarmory and Hippowdon switch-ins as they could not only lose an important item, they also are locked to using only one attack.
Lead Metagross has been useful for a long time. In the beginning all it did was do nothing but lay Stealth Rock and switch out. Now it becomes much more complicated. Equipping an Occa Berry allows Metagross to circumvent a Fire Blast from Heatran and Infernape Fire Blast and allow Metagross to lay Stealth Rock. The combination of Meteor Mash + Bullet Punch will maim many leads such as Aerodactyl and Azelf. Finally Metagross finishes it off with a kaboom thanks to Explosion. A Lum Berry lets Metagross easily dispatch Roserade and Smeargle.
Metagross can not only be feared for its versatility to fit many roles, but also its great movepool and typing. It even functions perfectly as a lead. Whenever you see Metagross, brace yourself. Agility is a serious threat that is difficult to stop when you resist or take neutral damage from all priority attacks.
Infernape @ Life Orb
EVs: 64 Atk / 252 SpA / 192 Spe
Naive nature (+Spe, -SpD)
- Close Combat
- Fire Blast
- Grass Knot
- Hidden Power Ice
Infernape is, in short, a threat that terrorizes many things that it touches. When your STABs put a world of hurt on many Pokemon you know something is up. Infernape's well-rounded stats (104 base Attack and Special Attack alongside 108 Speed) make it an excellent Pokemon to deploy on a team. The main role with Infernape is a mixed sweeper. Carrying STAB Fire Blast for its main attack it is paired alongside Grass Knot for Bulky Waters and Hidden Power Ice for Dragons. Infernape has only two problems really: Vaporeon and Blissey. Blissey is the easiest fix for Infernape thanks to STAB Close Combat. Unfortunately, Vaporeon is only 3HKOed and seeing Wish without Protect is a rare sight. At best, Infernape can finish off a weakened Vaporeon in the lategame. Of course one can forego using Hidden Power Ice and use Nasty Plot instead. With Nasty Plot even Suicune cannot switch into Infernape safely as Grass Knot nearly decimates it. Even Cresselia, one of the best mixed walls in OU, takes a pretty large chunk of damage from a boosted Fire Blast.
Life Orb is the main item that makes Infernape a major threat too. Making your offense even more solid combined with versatility is no joking matter. With Stealth Rock in play, even Gyarados and Salamence don't enjoy too many Fire Blast assaults. Expert Belt is not a terrible option, but the loss of power is noticeable especially against anything Infernape hits for neutral damage. Any Choice item is reasonable to put onto Infernape, though Scarf is noteworthy as it outspeeds +1 Salamence. Focus Sash allows Infernape to play as a lead. Endeavor, Stealth Rock, and Fake Out play major contributions to the lead set as Fake Out eliminates Focus Sash from activating while Endeavor allows Infernape to annoy the opponent even when it is almost down for the count. Taunt allows Infernape to shut down Metagross and Swampert from setting up Stealth Rock safely.
Infernape has a good physical movepool. The main qualm with it is the STAB Fire-type attack. While Flare Blitz sounds appealing with Swords Dance, the recoil does not. Blaze Kick is rather inaccurate and Fire Punch has a rather mediocre Base Power, even with STAB factored in. Aside from that we already know that Infernape learns Close Combat. Stone Edge pairs well with Close Combat as it derails many Flying-type Pokemon that resist Close Combat. U-turn is great on a Choiced Infernape as it hits two common switch-ins, Latias and Starmie, for super-effective damage. Finally, there's ThunderPunch, which hits Gyarados harder than Stone Edge and also hits Tentacruel for super-effective damage. Mach Punch gives Infernape priority, although many faster Pokemon either resist it (Starmie) or are immune to it (Gengar). It does have the benefit of hitting Choice Scarf Heatran for super effective damage as well as beating Lucario without eating an ExtremeSpeed. Combined with Swords Dance, it makes physical Infernape sound great.
Infernape's versatility makes it a dangerous threat. Even though it's stopped by Pokemon such as Latias and Vaporeon, good luck finding a safe switch-in to Infernape late-game.
|« Previous Article||Home||Next Article »|