VGC 17 Alolan Muk

+


[OVERVIEW]

* Alolan Muk's Poison / Dark typing makes its Knock Off and Poison Jab powerful and terrifying to face and allows it to check many of the Psychic-, Ghost-, and Fairy-types present in the metagame.
* Access to both plenty of utility moves and three useful abilities makes Alolan Muk a versatile threat in its own right.
* Its solid special bulk allows it to take special attacks with impunity.
* Many Ground-types in the tier are powerful offensive attackers, exacerbating its sole weakness.
* Its Attack stat isn't too high on its own, meaning it tends to rely on teammates or Shadow Sneak to pick up KOs.
* While decent, its physical bulk is not too stellar, meaning sufficiently strong physical attacks will heavily weaken it if not outright take it down.

[SET]
name: Tanky Trash (Bulky Attacker)
move 1: Knock Off
move 2: Poison Jab / Gunk Shot
move 3: Imprison / Shadow Sneak / Taunt
move 4: Protect
item: Figy Berry
ability: Gluttony
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

* Knock Off cripples item-reliant Pokemon.
* Poison Jab deals great damage to Fairy- and Grass-type Pokemon, and its chance to poison the target is useful in spreading status conditions.
* Gunk Shot can be used over Poison Jab for more power, but its shaky accuracy is a big price to pay in such a hit-or-miss metagame.
* Imprison prevents opposing Pokemon from using Protect of their own, making it easier for teammates to predict and outplay them. It also limits what opposing Muk can do, as their only distinct move would most likely be Shadow Sneak or Curse.
* Shadow Sneak helps finish off opposing threats with low HP, and it can finish off Flying-types even in Psychic Terrain.
* Taunt is useful for shutting down defensive and support threats that rely on status moves to function effectively, as well as preventing opposing Pokemon from using Protect to ease prediction.
* Protect lets Alolan Muk scout for an opponent's move, survive a predicted Z-Move aimed at it, or simply disrupt the opponent's momentum through a turn of immunity.

Set Details
========

* The given EV spread maximizes its offense and overall bulk, and an Adamant nature ensures Alolan Muk can hit as hard as possible on its own.
* Figy Berry allows Alolan Muk to restore half of its HP to prolong its field time. With Gluttony, this can occur as soon as it hits 50%, further decreasing the probability of a 2HKO from the opponent.
* If running Imprison, it would be a good idea to invest a little bit in Speed to outpace opposing Muk.
* Alolan Muk can run a more bulk-invested EV spread for increased longevity, but its moves will have a noticeable power drop.

Usage Tips
========

* Porygon2 is a prime target for Knock Off, as it does not function well defensively without its Evolite.
* If you think your opponent is running a Trick Room team, Alolan Muk may be a valuable option, as its low Speed helps it function well in this environment. If you have other slow Pokemon on your team, it may even be a good idea to lead with them to take advantage of all turns of Trick Room that they can get. If you have a lot of fast Pokemon on your team, it does very well against many common Trick Room setters.
* If you see a serious issue coming from one of your opponent's items, other than Z-Crystals, try to keep Alolan Muk alive until it can come in and get rid of the item with Knock Off.

Team Options
========

* Tapu Bulu mitigates Alolan Muk's weakness to Earthquake with the Grassy Terrain it brings in its wake.
* Ungrounded Pokemon or those that resist Ground-type attacks, like Pelipper and Araquanid, are good options into which it can hard switch to tank Ground-type attacks aimed at it.
* Fire-types or the previously mentioned Araquanid can absorb Will-O-Wisps that would otherwise cripple Alolan Muk's longevity and offensive presence.
* Alolan Ninetales can set up Aurora Veil to give Alolan Muk even more staying power and make it easier to dish out damage or set up Curse.

[SET]
name: Setup Sludge (Setup Attacker)
move 1: Knock Off
move 2: Poison Jab / Gunk Shot
move 3: Curse / Minimize
move 4: Protect
item: Figy Berry
ability: Gluttony
nature: Brave
evs: 252 HP / 44 Atk / 172 Def / 40 SpD

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

* Knock Off is a good move that reduces the effectiveness of Pokemon that rely on their items.
* Poison Jab deals great damage to Fairy- and Grass-type Pokemon, and its chance to poison the target is useful in spreading status conditions.
* Gunk Shot is much stronger than Poison Jab, but it is also much less accurate.
* Curse allows Alolan Muk to augment its physical stats for higher physical power and survivability, all at only the cost of its already low Speed.
* Minimize gives Alolan Muk a chance to avoid powerful moves with its increased evasion, giving it more opportunities to deal damage, spread status, or remove items. Bear in mind that Hurricane, Blizzard, and Thunder are still guaranteed to hit Alolan Muk if used in their respective weather conditions, and that Alolan Muk becomes more susceptible to Heavy Slam and its doubled Base Power.
* Protect lets Alolan Muk stall out unwanted terrains and weather, as well as scout out what the opponent plans to do.

Set Details
========

* The given EV spread makes Garchomp's Earthquake a 4HKO after one Curse and Figy Berry recovery while still letting it deal considerable damage after said Curse.
* A Brave nature is used, as with Curse repeatedly dropping its Speed, Alolan Muk can perform very well in Trick Room.
* Figy Berry and Gluttony are a great combination and help this defensive variant of Alolan Muk be even more defensive.

Usage Tips
========

* Do not be hasty in bringing Alolan Muk out and setting up Curse. Wait for a good opportunity, such as when Trick Room is set up and the opponent only has physically offensive Pokemon, so that you know your setup will be effective and worthwhile.
* If running Minimize, on the other hand, Alolan Muk wants to avoid all the damage it can, so setting it up right away is generally a good idea. With that in mind, it is still recommended to try to find a good opportunity to do so, such as when there is no threat of Blizzard or Heavy Slam.
* Keep Alolan Muk alive if an opponent's item annoys you, and wait for an opportune moment to remove it with Knock Off.

Team Options
========

* Tapu Fini can heal Alolan Muk with its Heal Pulse, further improving its longevity, as well as set up Misty Terrain to keep it healthy and status-free.
* Trick Room setters let Alolan Muk take full advantage of its Curse, letting it move before faster threats in the twisted dimensions.
* Alolan Ninetales can set up an Aurora Veil to make it even harder to take Alolan Muk down.
* Tapu Bulu and ungrounded Pokemon are generally helpful for removing its weakness to Earthquake, in the case of the former, or being good candidates to switch into to avoid it altogether, in the case of the latter.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

* Black Sludge gives Alolan Muk longevity in battle, but VGC tends to value large spikes in HP restoration rather than small increments over time.
* Life Orb can help augment Alolan Muk's power and deal more damage to bulky threats, but then it would have no means of recovery.
* A Z-Crystal can be used to give Alolan Muk a one-time nuke, but it is usually better suited on more offensive teammates.
* Poison Touch can be useful if you want Alolan Muk to function as a status spreader, but then it may not get a chance to eat its Berry if it gets KOed from just under 50% HP from, for example, the second Bonemerang hit.
* Power of Alchemy is an interesting ability to give Muk new ways to function in the VGC metagame if played with the right teammates and with the proper timing.
* Regardless, if not holding Figy Berry, there is no point in running Gluttony, and one of its other abilities should be used instead.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Ground-types**: Garchomp, Krookodile, and Mudsdale are all capable of taking any hit Alolan Muk can dish out and return damage with a super effective Ground-type attack. Mudsdale is notable for being able to take hits even better after Stamina boosts.

**Intimidate**: Krookodile, Arcanine, and Salamence can lower its Attack with their abilities, reducing its immediate offensive presence and hitting it harder than it can hit back.

**Bulky Steel-types**: Steel-type Pokemon like Celesteela and Magnezone can take an initial Knock Off well, care little about follow-up attacks, are immune to its Poison-type STAB move, and can stall it out or hit it hard in return. If running Minimize, Celesteela is able to hit even harder with its Heavy Slam.
 
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I know it's WIP but I feel Power of Alchemy deserves at least a mention. Getting Levitate to get rid of your only weakness or Beast Boost to get free Attack boosts with Shadow Sneak revenge kills is very good and not really that difficult to set up.

Curse is also very good in Trick Room, that should be mentioned with Oranguru and Porygon2 everywhere.
 
I know it's WIP but I feel Power of Alchemy deserves at least a mention. Getting Levitate to get rid of your only weakness or Beast Boost to get free Attack boosts with Shadow Sneak revenge kills is very good and not really that difficult to set up.

Curse is also very good in Trick Room, that should be mentioned with Oranguru and Porygon2 everywhere.
Yeah, I was going to mention this as I made more progress on this.

I've been a bit busy the past few days with Hanukkah and all, but I'll try to get this ready for QC by tomorrow night, CST.
 
Well, this is now up for QC checks. I probably missed a few key things (by a few I mean several and by several I mean a lot), but I think this is sufficient as a rudimentary start-up for those who want to know how to use this. Happy New Year to all!
 
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Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
is a Contributor to Smogon
I'd wait and see where QC thinks it should go, but do you think Imprison should be added to OO? It's not usually the best choice for a Pokemon, but unlike Ninetales, Muk definitely has the staying power to abuse Imprison + Protect.
 
I'd wait and see where QC thinks it should go, but do you think Imprison should be added to OO? It's not usually the best choice for a Pokemon, but unlike Ninetales, Muk definitely has the staying power to abuse Imprison + Protect.
I originally thought that Muk couldn't run Imprison due to having to breed it with Pokémon not found in Alola, but I just read up on Litwick being available through Island Scan. Slashed after Curse.
 
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Jio

:]
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VGC Co-Leader
Wow, i'm not sure how i managed to miss this >_>

Anyway the set looks good. Imprison is fine, but I would stick it in OO for now and also make note that you would want to run extra speed to creep on the other Muk you plan to imprison. Also, I think Ninetales deserves a mention as a teammate for being able to check Garchomp as well as set up Aurora Veil which makes setting up Curses a breeze.

Either way good start. QC 1/2!
 
Honestely, I would split it into 2 sets - one all-out-attacker/utility set with
- Knock Off
- Poison Jab/Gunk Shot
- Shadow Sneak/Taunt
- Protect
Gluttony + Figy Berry OR Power of Alchemy/Poison Touch + Life Orb

and then have a separate set for the Curse Muk with
- Knock Off
- Poison Jab
- Curse
- Protect
Gluttony + Figy Berry

utilizing a more defensive EV approach, like 252/44/172/40, as you can have less attack while still grabbing the important 1HKOs after Curse. This spread turns Garchomp EQ into a 4HKO after 1 Curse + Figy Berry.

Other than that looking fine. Waiting on giving the second QC approval to see if you want to implement the changes.
 
HibikiVGC I'm not entirely sure if Muk needs those two sets separately. They would function pretty much the same (apart from the first one being used in a more utilitarian way and the second one as a setup attacker) and have pretty much the same team options, and apart from the third moveslot, Gunk Shot, and the EV spread, the sets are pretty much the same. I personally think it would be better to keep it as one set, slash Taunt in the third moveslot, and mention the bulky EV spread in set details. I haven't seen too many abilities or items apart from Gluttony + Figy Berry, and they seem to be more than enough for Muk to function, so I moved Life Orb to OO.

If you strongly think that two sets are necessary, however, I'll be content with making the changes.
 
HibikiVGC They would function pretty much the same
This is where the big difference lies. The boosting set is oftentimes paired with Trick Room setters, Heal Pulse Tapu Fini and generally teammates that aim to support your setup, whereas the Taunt/Imprison/Shadow Sneak set can be used on a bigger variety of teams. To differentiate a bit more, you could write the boosting set as Curse / Minimize as opposed to just Curse.

I feel like that the variants require enough of a different teambuild/playstyle that it justifies having two sets.
 

blarajan

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VGC Co-Leader
slash gunk shot on the curse set

add imprison to the slashes for the first set

imprison / shadow sneak / taunt

imprison is too good not to make the main option

mention bulkier spreads and that imprison might want to invest in speed to creep other imprison muk
 

P Squared

whether it's rain or shine i know i'm fine
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Social Media Leader
GP 1/1

good job!
[OVERVIEW]

* Alolan Muk's Poison / Dark Dark and Poison typing makes its Knock Off and Poison Jab powerful and terrifying to face, (RC) and allows it to check many of the Psychic-, Ghost-, and Fairy-types present in the metagame.
* Access to both plenty of utility moves and three useful abilities makes Alolan Muk a versatile threat in its own right.
* Its solid special bulk allows it to take special attacks with impunity.
* Many Ground-types in the tier are powerful offensive attackers, exacerbating its sole weakness.
* Its Attack stat isn't too high on its own, meaning it tends to rely on teammates or Shadow Sneak to pick up KOs.
* While decent, its physical bulk is not too stellar, meaning sufficiently strong physical attacks will heavily weaken it if not outright take it down.

[SET]
name: Tanky Trash (Bulky Attacker)
move 1: Knock Off
move 2: Poison Jab / Gunk Shot
move 3: Imprison / Shadow Sneak / Taunt
move 4: Protect
item: Figy Berry
ability: Gluttony
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

* Knock Off cripples item-reliant Pokemon.
* Poison Jab deals great damage to Fairy- and Grass-type Pokemon, and its chance to poison the target is useful in spreading status conditions.
* Gunk Shot can be used over Poison Jab for more power, but its shaky accuracy is a big price to pay in such a hit-or-miss metagame.
* Imprison prevents opposing Pokemon from using Protect of their own, making it easier for teammates to predict and outplay them. It also limits what opposing Muk can do, as their only distinct move would most likely be Shadow Sneak or Curse.
* Shadow Sneak helps finish off opposing threats with low HP, and it can finish off Flying-types even in Psychic Terrain.
* Taunt is useful for shutting down defensive and support threats that rely on status moves to function effectively, as well as preventing opposing Pokemon from using Protecting themselves to ease prediction.
* Protect lets Alolan Muk scout for an opponent's move, survive a predicted Z-Move aimed at it, or simply disrupt the opponent's momentum through a turn of immunity.

Set Details
========

* The given EV spread maximizes its offense and overall bulk, and an Adamant nature ensures Alolan Muk can hit as hard as possible on its own.
* Figy Berry allows Alolan Muk to restore half of its HP to prolong its field time. With Gluttony, this can occur as soon as it hits 50%, further decreasing the probability of a 2HKO from the opponent.
* If running Imprison, it would be a good idea to invest a little bit in Speed to outpace opposing Muk.
* Alolan Muk can run a bulkier EV spread, with more investment in defenses (if this includes HP, say bulk instead), for increased longevity, but its moves will have a noticeable power drop.

Usage Tips
========

* Porygon2 is a prime candidate target for Knock Off, as it does not function well defensively without its Evolite.
* If you think your opponent is running a Trick Room team, Alolan Muk may be a valuable option, as its low Speed helps it function well in this environment. If you have other slow Pokemon on your team, it may even be a good idea to lead with them, (RC) to take advantage of all turns of Trick Room that they can get. If you have a lot of fast Pokemon on your team, it does very well against many common Trick Room setters.
* If you see a serious issue coming from one of your opponent's items, other than Z-Crystals, try to keep Alolan Muk alive until it can come in and get rid of the item with Knock Off. (i am dumb so extra clarity is good heh)

Team Options
========

* Tapu Bulu mitigates Alolan Muk's weakness to Earthquake with the Grassy Terrain it brings in its wake.
* Ungrounded Pokemon or those that resist Ground-type attacks, like Pelipper and Araquanid, are good options into which it can hard switch to tank Ground-type attacks aimed at it. (a very cool sentence construction, i give you props)
* Fire-types or the previously mentioned Araquanid can absorb Will-O-Wisps that would otherwise cripple Alolan Muk's longevity and offensive presence.
* Alolan Ninetales can set up Aurora Veil to give Alolan Muk even more staying power and make it easier to dish out damage or set up Curse.

[SET]
name: Setup Sludge (Setup Attacker)
move 1: Knock Off
move 2: Poison Jab / Gunk Shot
move 3: Curse / Minimize
move 4: Protect
item: Figy Berry
ability: Gluttony
nature: Brave
evs: 252 HP / 44 Atk / 172 Def / 40 SpD

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

* Knock Off is a good move that reduces the effectiveness of Pokemon that rely on their items.
* Poison Jab deals great damage to Fairy- and Grass-type Pokemon, and its chance to poison the target is useful in spreading status conditions.
* Gunk Shot is much stronger than Poison Jab, but it is also much less accurate.
* Curse allows Alolan Muk to augment its physical stats for higher physical power and survivability, all at only the cost of its already low Speed.
* Minimize gives Alolan Muk a chance to avoid powerful moves with its increased evasion, giving it more opportunities to deal damage, spread status, or remove items. Bear in mind that Hurricane, Blizzard, and Thunder are still guaranteed to hit Alolan Muk if used in their respective weather conditions, and that Alolan Muk becomes more susceptible to Heavy Slam and its doubled Base Power.
* Protect lets Alolan Muk stall out unwanted terrains and weather, as well as scout out what the opponent plans to do.

Set Details
========

* The given EV spread makes Garchomp's Earthquake a 4HKO after one Curse and Figy Berry recovery, (RC) while still letting it deal considerable damage after said Curse.
* A Brave nature is used, as with Curse repeatedly continuously dropping its Speed, Alolan Muk can its lowered Speed lets it perform very well in Trick Room.
* Figy Berry and Gluttony are still a great combination and help this defensive variant of Alolan Muk be even more defensive.

Usage Tips
========

* Do not be hasty in bringing Alolan Muk out and setting up Curse. Wait for a good opportunity, such as when Trick Room is set up and the opponent only has physically offensive Pokemon, so that you know your setup will be effective and worthwhile.
* If running Minimize, on the other hand, Alolan Muk wants to avoid all the damage it can, so setting it up right away is generally a good idea. With that in mind, it is still recommended to try and to find a good opportunity to do so, such as when there is no threat of Blizzard or Heavy Slam.
* (don't assume they have read the other set) As with the first set, kKeep Alolan Muk alive if an opponent's item annoys you, and wait for an opportune moment to remove it with Knock it Off.

Team Options
========

* Tapu Fini can heal Alolan Muk with its Heal Pulse, further improving its longevity, as well as set up Misty Terrain to keep it Muk healthy and status-free.
* Trick Room setters let Alolan Muk take full advantage of its Curse, letting it move before faster threats in the twisted dimensions.
* Alolan Ninetales can set up an Aurora Veil to make it even harder to take Alolan Muk down.
* Tapu Bulu and ungrounded Pokemon are generally helpful for removing its weakness to Earthquake, in the case of the former, or being good candidates to switch into to avoid it altogether, in the case of the latter.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

* Black Sludge gives Alolan Muk gradual longevity in battle, but VGC tends to value large spikes in HP restoration rather than small increments over time.
* Life Orb can help augment Alolan Muk's power and deal more damage to bulky threats, but then it would have no means of recovery.
* A Z-Crystal can be used to give Alolan Muk a one-time nuke, but it is usually better suited on more offensive teammates.
* Poison Touch can be useful if you want Alolan Muk to function as a status spreader, but then it may not get a chance to eat its Berry if it gets KOed from just under 50% HP from, for example, the second Bonemerang hit.
* Power of Alchemy is an interesting ability to give Muk new ways to function in the VGC metagame if played with the right teammates and with the proper timing.
* Regardless, if not holding Figy Berry, there is no point in running Gluttony, and one of its other abilities should be used instead.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Ground-types**: Garchomp, Krookodile, and Mudsdale are all capable of taking any hit Alolan Muk can dish out and return damage with a super effective Ground-type attack. Mudsdale is notable for being able to take hits even better after Stamina boosts.

**Intimidate**: Krookodile, Arcanine, and Salamence can lower its Attack with their abilities, reducing its immediate offensive presence and hitting it harder than it can hit back.

**Bulky Steel-types**: Steel-type Pokemon like Celesteela and Magnezone can take an initial Knock Off well, care little about follow-up attacks, are immune to its Poison-type STAB move, and can stall it out or hit it hard in return. If running Minimize, Celesteela is able to hit even harder with its Heavy Slam.
 
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