Articuno [QC 3/3] [GP 2/2]

EonX

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[OVERVIEW]

Articuno is quite an odd Pokemon in terms of typing and stat spread. Despite having a great offensive typing in Ice / Flying, Articuno's highest stats are Special Defense and Defense. However, Articuno is able to use this effectively in RU thanks to the tier's lack of solid specially bulky Pokemon capable of resisting its STAB types. Freeze-Dry is the biggest tool in Articuno's arsenal, as this unique Ice-type move allows Articuno to significantly pressure the likes of Alomomola and Slowking. Articuno's solid Speed is great in a tier where most wallbreakers hang around the base 70 and base 80 range, and Articuno happens to perform well against all of them thanks to its good offensive typing and raw bulk. Access to reliable recovery in Roost only helps to ensure Articuno can take repeated powerful neutral attacks. It also has access to nice support options in Heal Bell and Haze, which are not that common in RU, and Articuno has the bulk to pull off such a set. Articuno's most glaring issue is a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock in a tier with plenty of reliable users and limited options for entry hazard removal. As good as Articuno's typing is offensively, it's about as bad defensively with only one resistance or immunity Articuno can reliably take advantage of in Grass. Its vulnerability to Steel-types, such as Registeel, Magneton, and Escavalier, only makes it harder to use, as these are very good and common Pokemon in the tier. Articuno can be a very good Pokemon, but it must be supported very well to get the most out of it.

[SET]
name: Life Orb
move 1: Freeze-Dry
move 2: Hurricane
move 3: Roost
move 4: Ice Beam / Substitute
item: Life Orb
ability: Pressure
nature: Timid
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

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

This set makes use of Articuno's unique qualities as an offensive Pokemon in RU, namely its Speed tier and access to STAB Freeze-Dry. Freeze-Dry is the main STAB move and it allows Articuno to 2HKO Alomomola, Blastoise, and Slowking while also OHKOing Seismitoad. Hurricane is Articuno's best Flying-type STAB move, and it is able to deal with the likes of Hitmonlee, Sawk, and non-Choice Scarf Medicham with ease. Roost gives Articuno reliable recovery in order to mitigate Life Orb recoil and damage from resisted attacks it comes in on. Ice Beam is the primary option in the last slot to give Articuno a reliable STAB move to use when there isn't a Water-type present on the opposing team. Substitute is a viable alternative if Articuno's team doesn't need that and would prefer it if Articuno isn't forced out by status users or revenge killers. However, using Substitute makes it much more difficult to keep Life Orb on Articuno, and its reliable damage output will suffer against neutral targets, such as Hoopa, Exploud, and Mesprit.

Set Details
========

Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment is used because Articuno needs all the power and speed it can get in order to make use of its unique tools. A Timid nature is used over Modest, as Articuno outspeeds key threats in Venusaur and Medicham with its base 85 Speed. Life Orb is mandatory so Articuno can push through bulkier foes it typically targets with Freeze-Dry. If Substitute is being used, Articuno can opt for Icicle Plate in order to maintain Freeze-Dry's power and not be forced to Roost as often, but Hurricane's power will suffer quite a bit.

Usage Tips
========

Articuno should never be brought in if Stealth Rock is up because it'll lose 50% of its maximum HP just upon switching in. Once Articuno finds its way in, preferably against Grass-types or weak special attacks, Freeze-Dry or Ice Beam is a great opening move; Freeze-Dry is preferred when there's a Water-type on the opposing team. Due to its raw special bulk, Articuno is capable of handling an attack from powerful special attackers such as Hoopa, Exploud, and Meloetta in a pinch while 2HKOing in return. As strong as Hurricane is, Articuno should only use it when the power is absolutely necessary, as the shaky accuracy and Articuno's subpar defensive typing could lead it to being KOed early if it misses. Articuno should utilize Roost when it's between 40% and 60% HP to avoid being too predictable when it uses the move, and it's also good to use when the opponent has a Registeel or Bronzong due to Articuno's inability to deal much damage to them anyway. Substitute is best used when Articuno is able to force a switch or when the opposing Pokemon isn't able to break Articuno's Substitute with any move it commonly carries.

Team Options
========

Due to being 4x weak to Stealth Rock, Articuno absolutely needs entry hazard removal to function well. Blastoise and Flygon are easily the two best sources for that, and they are both able to take Fire-type moves for Articuno. Flygon can even handle Electric- and Rock-type moves aimed at Articuno as well while also keeping itself healthy with Roost. Fire-types, such as Delphox and Emboar, as well as fast physical attackers, such as Aerodactyl and Sneasel, appreciate Articuno's ability to remove bulky Water-types. However, do note that Emboar is the only one of these Pokemon that will not stack weaknesses with Articuno. As Articuno's defensive typing is fairly subpar, it appreciates Volt Switch and U-turn from Pokemon such as Eelektross, Magneton, and Flygon to bring it in safely. Although it's somewhat shaky, Articuno can provide a decent offensive response to Venusaur, thus making the likes of Diancie, Samurott, and Alomomola nice partners. Registeel and Bronzong are key Stealth Rock users that also happen to wall Articuno for days, so ways of removing them are a must. Fighting-types such as Virizion, Sawk, and Medicham can easily pressure these Steel-types while also taking some stray Rock-type moves for Articuno. Spiritomb is able to reliably Pursuit trap Bronzong to inflict heavy damage on it, while Dugtrio can severely weaken or outright KO Registeel thanks to Arena Trap preventing it from fleeing. Setup sweepers, especially Substitute + Calm Mind Meloetta and Substitute + Bulk Up Braviary, can use Registeel as setup fodder. Steelix or a Registeel of your own can be useful to take on Diancie, which can OHKO Articuno with Diamond Storm and is able to handle a couple of Ice Beams reliably. Spikes from the likes of Garbodor, Mega Glalie, and Accelgor can make it much easier for Articuno's team to break down the likes of Registeel and Diancie.

[SET]
name: Specially Defensive
move 1: Roost
move 2: Heal Bell
move 3: Freeze-Dry
move 4: Toxic / Haze
item: Leftovers
ability: Pressure
nature: Calm
evs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD

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

With a good support movepool, Pressure, and fantastic special bulk, Articuno can pull off a defensive set rather well. Roost is necessary so that Articuno is able to reliably keep itself healthy throughout a match. Heal Bell is an uncommon move outside of Fairy-types in RU, and Articuno is able to use it to keep its team healthy, most notably in the face of Venusaur. Freeze-Dry is the chosen STAB move for Articuno so that it can still put some pressure on Alomomola and Slowking. Toxic is generally preferred in the last slot to aid Articuno in pressuring the bulky Water-types Articuno targets with Freeze-Dry, but Haze is a perfectly usable alternative, as Articuno can easily stop Substitute + Calm Mind Meloetta and other setup sweepers with it. Protect can allow Articuno to scout for stray Rock-type moves, as its 4x weakness can otherwise leave it susceptible to lure moves, and Substitute can allow Articuno to more easily exploit Pressure in combination with Roost.

Set Details
========

The given EV spread is chosen to maximize Articuno's special bulk considering it has higher Special Defense and lacks any physical resistances it can reliably take advantage of. Leftovers gives Articuno some passive recovery to aid it in its defensive endeavors. There are a couple of Speed benchmarks Articuno can shoot for if it's helpful for its team. 56 Speed EVs allow Articuno to outspeed Abomasnow, but do keep in mind that this could expose Articuno to Focus Blast due to Roost removing Articuno's Flying typing. Alternatively, 44 Speed EVs can be used in order to outspeed Golbat so that Articuno can always hit it with Freeze-Dry before Golbat can Roost. However, Golbat isn't a very common threat in RU, so it's unlikely that this situation will arise very often.

Usage Tips
========

Due to its 4x weakness to Rock-type moves, it would be wise to make sure that the Pokemon Articuno switches into isn't carrying any Rock-type moves. Keeping Articuno healthy is crucial, as even the strongest of neutral special attacks from Life Orb Hoopa, Choice Specs Exploud, and Choice Specs Meloetta can struggle to 2HKO Articuno from maximum HP when factoring in Leftovers. Due to its unique combination of STAB Freeze-Dry and Heal Bell, Articuno can very easily switch into most Water-types in the tier. It is arguably the only defensive answer to Venusaur in the tier that can also threaten it offensively and stay healthy, so exploit this whenever the chance arises. Thanks to Pressure and access to Roost, Articuno can easily sap the PP of Leaf Storm and weaker Fire Blasts to help its team deal with powerful attackers. Haze and Toxic should only be used on an as-needed basis so that the opponent can't take advantage of a lack of a move early in the game. Although you should not rely on this, it should be noted that Articuno is able to stall out Toxic with its Heal Bell thanks to Pressure.

Team Options
========

Articuno is 4x weak to Stealth Rock as a defensive Pokemon, so entry hazard control is an absolute must. Blastoise is able to take Fire- and Steel-type moves for Articuno, can spin away Stealth Rock, and can even run a different move over Refresh with Articuno carrying Heal Bell. Flygon can Defog Stealth Rock, resists Fire- and Rock-type moves, has Roost to keep itself healthy, and can block Volt Switch and other Electric-type moves aimed at Articuno. Articuno is unable to do anything against the likes of Registeel, Magneton, Escavalier, and Bronzong, so it appreciates teammates that can handle them. Mega Camerupt is a great catch-all answer to these Steel-types thanks to its typing and powerful STAB moves. Emboar and Delphox can also beat these Steel-types, but they have a harder time switching into Magneton and, in the case of Delphox, Escavalier as well. Pursuit support from Spiritomb and Sneasel can quickly wear down Bronzong while Dugtrio can trap and KO Magneton locked into an Electric-type move and severely weaken Registeel. Articuno is a great check to most special attackers, specifically Venusaur, so teammates that appreciate it being covered are useful. Alomomola can provide Wish support, while Diancie can not only provide Stealth Rock but also use Earth Power over Heal Bell to wear down Steel-types; both are able to take Fire-type moves for Articuno. Registeel is able to check most Rock-types in the tier and appreciates Articuno's Heal Bell support in order to prevent burns from wearing it down. Calm Mind Slowking typically struggles with Toxic users, but Articuno can alleviate this issue while luring in Fire- and Steel-type Pokemon for Slowking to set up on.

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

Hidden Power Ground can be used on the offensive set to OHKO Magneton, while Hidden Power Fire OHKOes most variants of Escavalier and 2HKOes Magneton. However, neither does much to Registeel due to its high special bulk. Agility can turn the offensive set into a late-game sweeper, but Articuno would lose a fair bit of its mid-game utility, as such a set would need to use a Modest nature in order to have the necessary power to reliably sweep. Tailwind is another option on the offensive set to allow Articuno to give its team a temporary Speed boost when it's about to go down. U-turn can be useful if Articuno has trapping support from Spiritomb or Dugtrio alongside it. However, do note that Articuno generally doesn't have the room to run these moves due to the need of Ice Beam or Substitute on the offensive set. Roar can be used on the defensive set to shuffle through the opposing team, but this will often lead to unfavorable matchups due to Articuno's suspect defensive typing. Choice Specs and Choice Scarf can give Articuno a boost in power or Speed, but both make Articuno suffer from its 4x Stealth Rock weakness even more as well as other distinct issues; Choice Specs keeps Articuno from switching moves, while Choice Scarf sorely misses the power boost from Life Orb.

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

**Stealth Rock**: Articuno is 4x weak to Stealth Rock, and thus it has much of its raw bulk stripped away if it has to switch in with the hazard up. Registeel and Bronzong are by far the best setters against most Articuno sets, since they can beat Articuno one-on-one and set Stealth Rock. Be careful, though. Setters that Articuno can easily switch into on the Stealth Rock turn, such as Seismitoad and Mesprit, aren't as reliable to punish Articuno.

**Diancie**: While it can be worn down some due to a lack of reliable recovery, Diancie's Rock typing lets it resist Hurricane, and it isn't weak to Ice-type moves like most other Rock-types. It can then OHKO Articuno with a STAB Diamond Storm or set up Stealth Rock as Articuno switches out.

**Faster Attackers**: Pokemon such as Jolteon, Houndoom, Choice Scarf Emboar, and Aerodactyl all resist one of Articuno's STAB types and are able to outspeed Articuno and OHKO it with their powerful STAB moves.

**Specially Bulky Pokemon**: Escavalier, Eelektross, and Meloetta can take a hit or two and retaliate with heavy damage or an OHKO to Articuno. However, Meloetta can struggle to get past the specially defensive set.

**Knock Off**: Although Articuno is not weak to the move, it relies heavily on Life Orb for its damage output. Without Life Orb, Articuno is no longer capable of pushing past Slowking and specially defensive Alomomola reliably with Freeze-Dry. Venusaur is a great choice to lure in Articuno with, since the bird will sometimes be switched into Venusaur in an attempt to maintain offensive momentum for its team. Alomomola is another good option to simply put Knock Off on without losing much functionality. The specially defensive set is not hurt nearly as much by Knock Off, but like with any other defensive Pokemon, it is pressured much more easily without Leftovers recovery.
 
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Aurora

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Now that Amoonguss has left the tier, I feel as if Articuno faces even more intense competition with Venusaur for a teamslot to the point of near-unviability. While Articuno has the upper hand in some respects as it can beat Flying-types that Venusaur struggles against, such as Golbat, Venusaur can do most things Articuno can do and more. It can switch into most of the tier's Grass-types, shut down switch-ins with Sleep Powder, also has access to reliable recovery and has even more switch-in opportunities than Articuno thanks to the fact that it has resistances to speak of. Venusaur is also stronger, has a good Speed tier in its own right, does not have to rely on an incredibly unreliable STAB move to do damage, destroys bulky Water-types and is not worn down by entry hazards nearly as easily, meaning it can function without the huge team support Articuno requires. It is for this reason that I question the need for an Articuno analysis, as it is incredibly difficult to justify for a team slot.

On a different note, I know you mentioned some of them under Stealth Rock setters but I feel you should still give Steel-types their own mention in Checks and Counters since they all beat Articuno one-on-one. Registeel (especially) and Bronzong just laugh at it, and even Mega Steelix avoids the 2HKO from Ice Beam 91% of the time after one round of Stealth Rock damage and OHKOes back with Heavy Slam.
 
Now that Amoonguss has left the tier, I feel as if Articuno faces even more intense competition with Venusaur for a teamslot to the point of near-unviability. While Articuno has the upper hand in some respects as it can beat Flying-types that Venusaur struggles against, such as Golbat, Venusaur can do most things Articuno can do and more. It can switch into most of the tier's Grass-types, shut down switch-ins with Sleep Powder, also has access to reliable recovery and has even more switch-in opportunities than Articuno thanks to the fact that it has resistances to speak of. Venusaur is also stronger, has a good Speed tier in its own right, does not have to rely on an incredibly unreliable STAB move to do damage, destroys bulky Water-types and is not worn down by entry hazards nearly as easily, meaning it can function without the huge team support Articuno requires. It is for this reason that I question the need for an Articuno analysis, as it is incredibly difficult to justify for a team slot.

On a different note, I know you mentioned some of them under Stealth Rock setters but I feel you should still give Steel-types their own mention in Checks and Counters since they all beat Articuno one-on-one. Registeel (especially) and Bronzong just laugh at it, and even Mega Steelix avoids the 2HKO from Ice Beam 91% of the time after one round of Stealth Rock damage and OHKOes back with Heavy Slam.
Amoonguss barely effects Articuno's viability because tbh Amoonguss was just not a stellar mon. Articuno does need team support but it's effective enough with the support to justify an analysis, and a lot of the team support is good mons that synergize well with Articuno anyways. Ice/Flying is a really cool offensive typing and it even has enough bulk to survive a lot of random offensive attacks as long as SR is off the field (which isn't that hard to do anyways with our great removers). I'm also a little confused at how you can compare Venusaur and Articuno because Articuno has Hurricane STAB (which is much more spammable than Leaf Storm) and better bulk, as well as a totally different set of resistances (albeit for the most part worse). It also outpaces base 80's which is nice but not a huge thing.
 
test out specially defensive articuno with a set of roost / ice beam or freeze dry / heal bell / haze

it's a defensive mon with fast instant recovery + heal bell, checks venusaur, checks abomasnow, checks meloetta, hoopa, sigilyph, and most special attackers in general. it also pressures flygon. seems like pretty nice role compression to me obviously you need to keep sr off the field to do most of this.

pressures is also actually a really cool ability because with heal bell you can shit like toxic out, as well as stall low pp offensive moves like blizzard and leaf storm.
 

EonX

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After playtesting with it, I went ahead and added the SpDef set. Made it the 2nd set because I feel it gets hurt a lot more if your source of hazard removal gets taken out by a lure or something whereas the offensive set can at least still outspeed a decent portion of the meta and fire off an attack or two. Stressed the need for hazard removal and made note of some low Speed benhmarks Articuno can shoot for should that be beneficial to its team.
 
hi dont have much experience with the mon but since I doubt anybody does i'll attempt to check anyways.
-mention fighting types in team options.
-for sdef set i think toxic should be main slash over haze because you can just toxic not sub things setting up on you. furthermore with haze checking things like meloetta and hoopa can become somewhat of a drag especially with chances of sdef drops and crits because of how weak articuno is without investment.
-when mention registeel in team options for the second set add that it appreciates the heal bell support from articuno.
-in oo mention roar for the sdef set since it does well against many ru pokemon and forces things to switch out racking up free damage. it also stops things from setting up on it.
-you can also mention tailwind in oo. it is a cool move to use when you are about to let it die and want to help the thing you want to bring in afterwards. make sure to say that that the main set hates missing out on any of the standard moves so this option is kind of not great in most situations.

if you disagree with any of these changes i'd be open to anything you say considering you have much more experience with this mon than i do so just let me know and we can talk it over. qc 1/3
 

The Dutch Plumberjack

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GP 1/2
[OVERVIEW]

Articuno is quite an odd Pokemon in terms of typing and stat spread. Despite having a great offensive typing in Ice / Flying, Articuno's highest stats are Special Defense and Defense. However, Articuno is able to use this effectively in RU thanks to the tier's lack of solid specially bulky Pokemon capable of resisting Ice and Flying its STAB types. Freeze-Dry is the biggest tool in Articuno's arsenal, as this unique Ice-type move allows Articuno to significantly pressure the likes of Alomomola and Slowking. Articuno's solid Speed is great in a tier where most wallbreakers hang around the base 70 and base 80 range, and Articuno happens to perform well against all of them thanks to its good offensive typing and raw bulk. Access to reliable recovery in Roost only helps to ensure Articuno can take repeated powerful neutral attacks. It also has access to nice support options in Heal Bell and Haze, which are not that common in RU, and Articuno has the bulk to pull off such a set. However, Articuno's has quite a few shortcomings that keep it from being very splashable, though. The most glaring issue is a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock in a tier with plenty of reliably Stealth Rock users and limited options for entry hazard removal. As good as Articuno's typing is offensively, it's about as bad defensively with only one resistance or immunity Articuno can reliably take advantage of in Grass. Its vulnerability to Steel-types, such as Registeel, Magneton, and Escavalier only makes it harder to use as these are very good and common Pokemon in the tier. Articuno can be a very good Pokemon, but it must be supported very well to get the most out of it.

[SET]
name: Ice Wave! (Offensive)
move 1: Freeze-Dry
move 2: Hurricane
move 3: Roost
move 4: Ice Beam / Substitute
item: Life Orb
ability: Pressure
nature: Timid
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

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

This set makes use of Articuno's unique qualities as an offensive Pokemon in RU, namely its Speed tier and access to STAB Freeze-Dry. Freeze-Dry is the main STAB move and it allows Articuno to 2HKO Alomomola, Blastoise, and Slowking (RC) while also OHKOing Seismitoad. Hurricane is Articuno's best Flying-type STAB move, and it is able to deal with the likes of Hitmonlee, Sawk, and non-Choice Scarf Medicham with ease. Roost gives Articuno reliable recovery in order to shrug off mitigate Life Orb recoil and damage from resisted attacks it comes in on. Ice Beam is the primary option in the last slot to give Articuno a reliable STAB move to use when there isn't a Water-type present on the opposing team. Substitute is a viable alternative if Articuno's team doesn't need that and would prefer it if Articuno isn't forced out by status users or revenge killers. However, using Substitute makes it much more difficult to keep Life Orb on Articuno, (AC) and its reliable damage output will suffer against neutral targets, such as Hoopa, Exploud, and Mesprit.

Set Details
========

Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment is used as because Articuno needs all the power and speed it can get in order to make use of its unique tools. A Timid nature is used over Modest, (AC) as Articuno outspeeds key threats in Venusaur and Medicham with its base 85 Speed. Life Orb is mandatory so Articuno can push through bulkier opponents it typically targets with Freeze-Dry. If Substitute is being used, Articuno can opt for Icicle Plate in order to maintain Freeze-Dry's power and not be forced to Roost as often, but Hurricane's power will suffer quite a bit.

Usage Tips
========

Articuno should never be brought in if Stealth Rock is up due to losing because it'll lose 50% of its maximum HP just upon switching in. Once Articuno finds its way in, preferably against Grass-types or weak special attacks, Freeze-Dry or Ice Beam is a great opening move; Freeze-Dry being is preferred when there's a Water-type on the opposing team. Due to its raw special bulk, Articuno is capable of handling an attack from powerful special attackers (RC) such as Hoopa, Exploud, and Meloetta (RC) in a pinch while 2HKOing in return. As strong as Hurricane is, Articuno should only use it when the power is absolutely necessary, as the shaky accuracy and Articuno's subpar defensive typing could lead it to being KOed early if it misses. Articuno should utilize Roost when it's between 40% and 60% HP to avoid being too predictable when it uses the move, and it's also good to use when the opponent has a Registeel or Bronzong due to Articuno's inability to deal much damage to them anyway. Substitute is best used when Articuno is able to force a switch or when the opposing Pokemon isn't able to break Articuno's Substitute with any move it commonly carries.

Team Options
========

Due to being 4x weak to Stealth Rock, Articuno absolutely needs entry hazard removal to function well. Blastoise and Flygon are easily the two best sources for that, and they are both able to take Fire-type moves for Articuno. Flygon can even handle Electric- and Rock-type moves aimed at Articuno as well (RC) while also keeping itself healthy with Roost. Fire-typed, such as Delphox and Emboar, as well as fast physical attackers, such as Aerodactyl and Sneasel, appreciate Articuno's ability to remove bulky Water-types. However, do note that Emboar is the only one of these Pokemon that will not stack weaknesses with Articuno. As Articuno's defensive typing is fairly subpar, it appreciates Volt Switch and U-turn users, support from Pokemon such as Eelektross, Magneton, and Flygon (RC) to bring it in safely. Although it's somewhat shaky, Articuno can provide a decent offensive response to Venusaur, thus making the likes of Diancie, Samurott, and Alomomola nice partners as they don't like dealing with Venusaur. Registeel and Bronzong are key Stealth Rock users that also happen to wall Articuno for days, so ways of removing them are a must. Fighting-types (RC) such as Virizion, Sawk, and Medicham can easily pressure these Steel-types while also taking some stray Rock-type moves for Articuno. Spiritomb is able to reliably Pursuit trap Bronzong to inflict heavy damage on it, (AC) while Dugtrio can severely weaken or outright KO Registeel thanks to Arena Trap preventing Registeel it from fleeing. Setup sweepers, especially Substitute + Calm Mind Meloetta and Substitute + Bulk Up Braviary, can use Registeel as setup fodder. Steelix or a Registeel of your own can be useful to take on Diancie, (AC) as it which can OHKO Articuno with Diamond Storm and is able to handle a couple of Ice Beams reliably. Spikes from the likes of Garbodor, Mega Glalie, and Accelgor can make it much easier for Articuno's team to break down the likes of Registeel and Diancie.

[SET]
name: Frozen Bells (Specially Defensive)
move 1: Roost
move 2: Heal Bell
move 3: Freeze-Dry
move 4: Toxic / Haze
item: Leftovers
ability: Pressure
nature: Calm
evs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD

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

With a good support movepool, Pressure, and fatnastic fantastic special bulk, Articuno can pull off a defensive set rather well. Roost is necessary so that Articuno is able to reliably keep itself healthy throughout a match. Heal Bell is an uncommon move outside of Fairy-type Fairy-types in RU, and Articuno is able to use it to keep its team healthy, most notably in the face of Venusaur. Freeze-Dry is the chosen STAB move for Articuno so that it can still put some pressure on Alomomola and Slowking. Toxic is generally preferred in the last slot to aid Articuno in pressuring the bulky Water-types Articuno targets with Freeze-Dry, but Haze is a perfectly usable alternative, (AC) as Articuno can easily stop Substitute + Calm Mind Meloetta and other setup sweepers with it. Protect can allow Articuno to scout for stray Rock-type moves, (AC) as its 4x weakness can otherwise lead to leave it easily being lured susceptible to lure moves, (improper usage of lure, this should be borderline fine afaik) and Substitute can allow Articuno to more easily exploit Pressure in combination with Roost.

Set Details
========

The given EV spread gives is chosen to maximize Articuno's as much special bulk as possible considering it has higher Special Defense and lacks any physical resistances it can reliably take advantage of. Leftovers gives Articuno some passive recovery to aid it in its defensive endeavors. There are a couple of Speed benchmarks Articuno can shoot for if it's helpful for its team. 56 Speed EVs allows allow Articuno to outspeed Abomasnow, but do keep in mind that this could expose Articuno to Focus Blast due to Roost removing Articuno's Flying typing. Alternatively, 44 Speed EVs can be used in order to outspeed Golbat so that Articuno can always hit it with Freeze-Dry before Golbat can Roost. However, Golbat isn't a very common threat in RU, so it's unlikely that this situation will arise very often.

Usage Tips
========

Due to its 4x weakness to Rock-type moves, it would be wise to make sure that the Pokemon Articuno switches into isn't carrying any Rock-type moves. Keeping Articuno healthy is crucial, as even the strongest of neutral special attacks from Life Orb Hoopa, Choice Specs Exploud, and Choice Specs Meloetta can struggle to 2HKO Articuno from maximum HP when factoring in Leftovers. Due to its unique combination of STAB Freeze-Dry and Heal Bell, Articuno can very easily switch into most Water-types in the tier. It is arguably the only defensive answer to Venusaur in the tier that can also threaten it offensively and stay healthy, so exploit this whenever the chance arises. Thanks to Pressure and access to Roost, Articuno can easily sap the PP of Leaf Storm and weaker Fire Blasts to help its team deal with powerful attackers. Haze and Toxic should only be used on an as-needed basis so that the opponent can't take advantage of a lack of a move early in the game. Although you should not rely on this, it should be noted that Articuno is able to stall out Toxic with its Heal Bell thanks to Pressure.

Team Options
========

Articuno is 4x weak to Stealth Rock as a defensive Pokemon, so entry hazard control is an absolute must. Blastoise is able to take Fire- and Steel-type moves for Articuno, can spin away Stealth Rock, and can even run something a different move over Refresh with Articuno carrying Heal Bell. Flygon can Defog Stealth Rock, resists Fire- and Rock-type moves, has Roost to keep itself healthy, and can block Volt Switch and other such Electric-type moves aimed at Articuno. Articuno is unable to do anything with the likes of Registeel, Magneton, Escavalier, and Bronzong, so it appreciates teammates that can handle them. Mega Camerupt is a great catch-all answer to these Steel-types thanks to its typing and powerful STAB moves. Emboar and Delphox can also beat these Steel-types, but they have a harder time switching into Magneton and, in the case of Delphox, Escavalier as well. Pursuit support from Spiritomb and Sneasel can quickly wear down Bronzong while Dugtrio can trap and KO Magneton locked into an Electric-type move and severely weaken Registeel. Articuno is a great check to most special attackers, specifically Venusaur, so teammates that appreciate it being covered are useful. Alomomola can provide Wish support, (AC) while Diancie can not only provide Stealth Rock (RC) but it also can use Earth Power over Heal Bell to wear down Steel-types; both are able to take Fire-type moves for Articuno. Registeel is able to check most Rock-types in the tier and appreciates Articuno's Heal Bell support in order to prevent burns from wearing it down. Calm Mind Slowking typically struggles with Toxic users, but Articuno can alleviate this issue while luring in Fire- and Steel-type Pokemon for Slowking to set(space)up on.

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

Hidden Power Ground can be used on the offensive set to OHKO Magneton, while Hidden Power Fire OHKOes most variants of Escavalier and still 2HKOes Magneton. However, neither does much with to Registeel due to its high special bulk. Agility can turn the offensive set into a late-game sweeper, but Articuno would lose a fair bit of its mid-game utility, (AC) as such a set would need to use a Modest nature in order to have the necessary power to reliably sweep. Tailwind is another option on the offensive set to allow Articuno to give its team a temporary Speed boost when it's about to go down. U-turn can be useful if Articuno has trapping support from Spiritomb or Dugtrio alongside it. However, do note that Articuno generally doesn't have the room to run these moves due to the need of Ice Beam or Substitute on the offensive set. Roar can be used on the defensive set to shuffle through the opposing team, but this will often lead to unfavorable matchups due to Articuno's suspect defensive typing. Choice Specs and Choice Scarf can give Articuno a boost in power or Speed, but both make Articuno suffer from its 4x Stealth Rock weakness even more as well as other distinct issues; Choice Specs keeps Articuno from switching moves, (AC) while Choice Scarf sorely misses the power boost from Life Orb.

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

**Stealth Rock**: Articuno is 4x weak to Stealth Rock, and thus it has much of its raw bulk stripped away if it has to switch in (RH) with the hazard up. Registeel and Bronzong are by far the best setters against most Articunos Articuno sets, (AC) since they can beat Articuno 1v1 one-on-one and set Stealth Rock. Be careful, (AC) though. Setters that Articuno can easily switch into on the Stealth Rock turn, such as Seismitoad and Mesprit, aren't as reliable to punish Articuno.

**Diancie**: While it can be worn down some due to a lack of reliable recovery, but Diancie's Rock typing lets it resist Hurricane, (AC) and it isn't weak to Ice-type moves like most other Rock-types. It can then OHKO Articuno with a STAB Diamond Storm or set(space)up Stealth Rock as Articuno switches out.

**Faster Attackers**: Pokemon such as Jolteon, Houndoom, Choice Scarf Emboar, and Aerodactyl can all resist one of Articuno's STAB types and are able to outspeed Articuno and OHKO Articuno it with their powerful STAB moves.

**Specially Bulky Pokemon**: Escavalier, Eelektross, and Meloetta can take a hit or two and retaliate with heavy damage or an OHKO to Articuno. However, Meloetta can struggle to get past the specially defensive set.

**Knock Off**: Although Articuno is not weak to the move, it relies heavily on Life Orb for its damage output. Without Life Orb, Articuno is no longer capable of pushing past Slowking and specially defensive Alomomola reliably with Freeze-Dry. Venusaur is a great choice to lure in Articuno with, (AC) since the bird will sometimes be switched into Venusaur in an attempt to maintain offensive momentum for its team. Alomomola is another good option to simply put Knock Off on without losing much functionality. The specially defensive set is not hurt nearly as much by Knock Off, but like with any other defensive Pokemon, it is pressured much more easily without Leftovers recovery.
 
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P Squared

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GP 2/2

[OVERVIEW]

Articuno is quite an odd Pokemon in terms of typing and stat spread. Despite having a great offensive typing in Ice / Flying, Articuno's highest stats are Special Defense and Defense. However, Articuno is able to use this effectively in RU thanks to the tier's lack of solid specially bulky Pokemon capable of resisting its STAB types. Freeze-Dry is the biggest tool in Articuno's arsenal, as this unique Ice-type move allows Articuno to significantly pressure the likes of Alomomola and Slowking. Articuno's solid Speed is great in a tier where most wallbreakers hang around the base 70 and base 80 range, and Articuno happens to perform well against all of them thanks to its good offensive typing and raw bulk. Access to reliable recovery in Roost only helps to ensure Articuno can take repeated powerful neutral attacks. It also has access to nice support options in Heal Bell and Haze, which are not that common in RU, and Articuno has the bulk to pull off such a set. Articuno's most glaring issue is a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock in a tier with plenty of reliable users and limited options for entry hazard removal. As good as Articuno's typing is offensively, it's about as bad defensively with only one resistance or immunity Articuno can reliably take advantage of in Grass. Its vulnerability to Steel-types, such as Registeel, Magneton, and Escavalier, (AC) only makes it harder to use, (AC) as these are very good and common Pokemon in the tier. Articuno can be a very good Pokemon, but it must be supported very well to get the most out of it.

[SET]
name: Ice Wave! (Offensive)
move 1: Freeze-Dry
move 2: Hurricane
move 3: Roost
move 4: Ice Beam / Substitute
item: Life Orb
ability: Pressure
nature: Timid
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

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

This set makes use of Articuno's unique qualities as an offensive Pokemon in RU, namely its Speed tier and access to STAB Freeze-Dry. Freeze-Dry is the main STAB move and it allows Articuno to 2HKO Alomomola, Blastoise, and Slowking while also OHKOing Seismitoad. Hurricane is Articuno's best Flying-type STAB move, and it is able to deal with the likes of Hitmonlee, Sawk, and non-Choice Scarf Medicham with ease. Roost gives Articuno reliable recovery in order to mitigate Life Orb recoil and damage from resisted attacks it comes in on. Ice Beam is the primary option in the last slot to give Articuno a reliable STAB move to use when there isn't a Water-type present on the opposing team. Substitute is a viable alternative if Articuno's team doesn't need that and would prefer it if Articuno isn't forced out by status users or revenge killers. However, using Substitute makes it much more difficult to keep Life Orb on Articuno, and its reliable damage output will suffer against neutral targets, such as Hoopa, Exploud, and Mesprit.

Set Details
========

Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment is used because Articuno needs all the power and speed it can get in order to make use of its unique tools. A Timid nature is used over Modest, as Articuno outspeeds key threats in Venusaur and Medicham with its base 85 Speed. Life Orb is mandatory so Articuno can push through bulkier opponents foes it typically targets with Freeze-Dry. If Substitute is being used, Articuno can opt for Icicle Plate in order to maintain Freeze-Dry's power and not be forced to Roost as often, but Hurricane's power will suffer quite a bit.

Usage Tips
========

Articuno should never be brought in if Stealth Rock is up because it'll lose 50% of its maximum HP just upon switching in. Once Articuno finds its way in, preferably against Grass-types or weak special attacks, Freeze-Dry or Ice Beam is a great opening move; Freeze-Dry is preferred when there's a Water-type on the opposing team. Due to its raw special bulk, Articuno is capable of handling an attack from powerful special attackers such as Hoopa, Exploud, and Meloetta in a pinch while 2HKOing in return. As strong as Hurricane is, Articuno should only use it when the power is absolutely necessary, as the shaky accuracy and Articuno's subpar defensive typing could lead it to being KOed early if it misses. Articuno should utilize Roost when it's between 40% and 60% HP to avoid being too predictable when it uses the move, and it's also good to use when the opponent has a Registeel or Bronzong due to Articuno's inability to deal much damage to them anyway. Substitute is best used when Articuno is able to force a switch or when the opposing Pokemon isn't able to break Articuno's Substitute with any move it commonly carries.

Team Options
========

Due to being 4x weak to Stealth Rock, Articuno absolutely needs entry hazard removal to function well. Blastoise and Flygon are easily the two best sources for that, and they are both able to take Fire-type moves for Articuno. Flygon can even handle Electric- and Rock-type moves aimed at Articuno as well while also keeping itself healthy with Roost. Fire-types, such as Delphox and Emboar, as well as fast physical attackers, such as Aerodactyl and Sneasel, appreciate Articuno's ability to remove bulky Water-types. However, do note that Emboar is the only one of these Pokemon that will not stack weaknesses with Articuno. As Articuno's defensive typing is fairly subpar, it appreciates Volt Switch and U-turn from Pokemon such as Eelektross, Magneton, and Flygon to bring it in safely. Although it's somewhat shaky, Articuno can provide a decent offensive response to Venusaur, thus making the likes of Diancie, Samurott, and Alomomola nice partners. Registeel and Bronzong are key Stealth Rock users that also happen to wall Articuno for days, so ways of removing them are a must. Fighting-types such as Virizion, Sawk, and Medicham can easily pressure these Steel-types while also taking some stray Rock-type moves for Articuno. Spiritomb is able to reliably Pursuit trap Bronzong to inflict heavy damage on it, while Dugtrio can severely weaken or outright KO Registeel thanks to Arena Trap preventing it from fleeing. Setup sweepers, especially Substitute + Calm Mind Meloetta and Substitute + Bulk Up Braviary, can use Registeel as setup fodder. Steelix or a Registeel of your own can be useful to take on Diancie, which can OHKO Articuno with Diamond Storm and is able to handle a couple of Ice Beams reliably. Spikes from the likes of Garbodor, Mega Glalie, and Accelgor can make it much easier for Articuno's team to break down the likes of Registeel and Diancie.

[SET]
name: Frozen Bells (Specially Defensive)
move 1: Roost
move 2: Heal Bell
move 3: Freeze-Dry
move 4: Toxic / Haze
item: Leftovers
ability: Pressure
nature: Calm
evs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD

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

With a good support movepool, Pressure, and fantastic special bulk, Articuno can pull off a defensive set rather well. Roost is necessary so that Articuno is able to reliably keep itself healthy throughout a match. Heal Bell is an uncommon move outside of Fairy-types in RU, and Articuno is able to use it to keep its team healthy, most notably in the face of Venusaur. Freeze-Dry is the chosen STAB move for Articuno so that it can still put some pressure on Alomomola and Slowking. Toxic is generally preferred in the last slot to aid Articuno in pressuring the bulky Water-types Articuno targets with Freeze-Dry, but Haze is a perfectly usable alternative, as Articuno can easily stop Substitute + Calm Mind Meloetta and other setup sweepers with it. Protect can allow Articuno to scout for stray Rock-type moves, as its 4x weakness can otherwise leave it susceptible to lure moves, and Substitute can allow Articuno to more easily exploit Pressure in combination with Roost.

Set Details
========

The given EV spread is chosen to maximize Articuno's special bulk considering it has higher Special Defense and lacks any physical resistances it can reliably take advantage of. Leftovers gives Articuno some passive recovery to aid it in its defensive endeavors. There are a couple of Speed benchmarks Articuno can shoot for if it's helpful for its team. 56 Speed EVs allow Articuno to outspeed Abomasnow, but do keep in mind that this could expose Articuno to Focus Blast due to Roost removing Articuno's Flying typing. Alternatively, 44 Speed EVs can be used in order to outspeed Golbat so that Articuno can always hit it with Freeze-Dry before Golbat can Roost. However, Golbat isn't a very common threat in RU, so it's unlikely that this situation will arise very often.

Usage Tips
========

Due to its 4x weakness to Rock-type moves, it would be wise to make sure that the Pokemon Articuno switches into isn't carrying any Rock-type moves. Keeping Articuno healthy is crucial, as even the strongest of neutral special attacks from Life Orb Hoopa, Choice Specs Exploud, and Choice Specs Meloetta can struggle to 2HKO Articuno from maximum HP when factoring in Leftovers. Due to its unique combination of STAB Freeze-Dry and Heal Bell, Articuno can very easily switch into most Water-types in the tier. It is arguably the only defensive answer to Venusaur in the tier that can also threaten it offensively and stay healthy, so exploit this whenever the chance arises. Thanks to Pressure and access to Roost, Articuno can easily sap the PP of Leaf Storm and weaker Fire Blasts to help its team deal with powerful attackers. Haze and Toxic should only be used on an as-needed basis so that the opponent can't take advantage of a lack of a move early in the game. Although you should not rely on this, it should be noted that Articuno is able to stall out Toxic with its Heal Bell thanks to Pressure.

Team Options
========

Articuno is 4x weak to Stealth Rock as a defensive Pokemon, so entry hazard control is an absolute must. Blastoise is able to take Fire- and Steel-type moves for Articuno, can spin away Stealth Rock, and can even run a different move over Refresh with Articuno carrying Heal Bell. Flygon can Defog Stealth Rock, resists Fire- and Rock-type moves, has Roost to keep itself healthy, and can block Volt Switch and other such Electric-type moves aimed at Articuno. Articuno is unable to do anything with against the likes of Registeel, Magneton, Escavalier, and Bronzong, so it appreciates teammates that can handle them. Mega Camerupt is a great catch-all answer to these Steel-types thanks to its typing and powerful STAB moves. Emboar and Delphox can also beat these Steel-types, but they have a harder time switching into Magneton and, in the case of Delphox, Escavalier as well. Pursuit support from Spiritomb and Sneasel can quickly wear down Bronzong while Dugtrio can trap and KO Magneton locked into an Electric-type move and severely weaken Registeel. Articuno is a great check to most special attackers, specifically Venusaur, so teammates that appreciate it being covered are useful. Alomomola can provide Wish support, while Diancie can not only provide Stealth Rock but also use Earth Power over Heal Bell to wear down Steel-types; both are able to take Fire-type moves for Articuno. Registeel is able to check most Rock-types in the tier and appreciates Articuno's Heal Bell support in order to prevent burns from wearing it down. Calm Mind Slowking typically struggles with Toxic users, but Articuno can alleviate this issue while luring in Fire- and Steel-type Pokemon for Slowking to set up on.

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

Hidden Power Ground can be used on the offensive set to OHKO Magneton, while Hidden Power Fire OHKOes most variants of Escavalier and 2HKOes Magneton. However, neither does much to Registeel due to its high special bulk. Agility can turn the offensive set into a late-game sweeper, but Articuno would lose a fair bit of its mid-game utility, as such a set would need to use a Modest nature in order to have the necessary power to reliably sweep. Tailwind is another option on the offensive set to allow Articuno to give its team a temporary Speed boost when it's about to go down. U-turn can be useful if Articuno has trapping support from Spiritomb or Dugtrio alongside it. However, do note that Articuno generally doesn't have the room to run these moves due to the need of Ice Beam or Substitute on the offensive set. Roar can be used on the defensive set to shuffle through the opposing team, but this will often lead to unfavorable matchups due to Articuno's suspect defensive typing. Choice Specs and Choice Scarf can give Articuno a boost in power or Speed, but both make Articuno suffer from its 4x Stealth Rock weakness even more as well as other distinct issues; Choice Specs keeps Articuno from switching moves, while Choice Scarf sorely misses the power boost from Life Orb.

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

**Stealth Rock**: Articuno is 4x weak to Stealth Rock, and thus it has much of its raw bulk stripped away if it has to switch in with the hazard up. Registeel and Bronzong are by far the best setters against most Articuno sets, since they can beat Articuno one-on-one and set Stealth Rock. Be careful, though. Setters that Articuno can easily switch into on the Stealth Rock turn, such as Seismitoad and Mesprit, aren't as reliable to punish Articuno.

**Diancie**: While it can be worn down some due to a lack of reliable recovery, Diancie's Rock typing lets it resist Hurricane, and it isn't weak to Ice-type moves like most other Rock-types. It can then OHKO Articuno with a STAB Diamond Storm or set up Stealth Rock as Articuno switches out.

**Faster Attackers**: Pokemon such as Jolteon, Houndoom, Choice Scarf Emboar, and Aerodactyl all resist one of Articuno's STAB types and are able to outspeed Articuno and OHKO it with their powerful STAB moves.

**Specially Bulky Pokemon**: Escavalier, Eelektross, and Meloetta can take a hit or two and retaliate with heavy damage or an OHKO to Articuno. However, Meloetta can struggle to get past the specially defensive set.

**Knock Off**: Although Articuno is not weak to the move, it relies heavily on Life Orb for its damage output. Without Life Orb, Articuno is no longer capable of pushing past Slowking and specially defensive Alomomola reliably with Freeze-Dry. Venusaur is a great choice to lure in Articuno with, since the bird will sometimes be switched into Venusaur in an attempt to maintain offensive momentum for its team. Alomomola is another good option to simply put Knock Off on without losing much functionality. The specially defensive set is not hurt nearly as much by Knock Off, but like with any other defensive Pokemon, it is pressured much more easily without Leftovers recovery.
 
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