Gen 3 Bayleef (NU Analysis) (QC 0/1)

#1
[Overview]
Bayleef is the only conceivably viable Grass-type that gets both Light Screen and Reflect. This, and being one of the mere handful of viable Pokemon that have these moves, much less which can afford to run them, makes Bayleef have a unique niche in the NU tier. It has quite a bit of natural bulk, and mono-Grass typing is usually useful in a tier full of Water-types. However, Bayleef's niche isn't always that useful in a tier that punishes passive Pokemon like Bayleef with setup and is dominated by Toxic. While it may be bulky, it has no offensive presence, gets shut down by Taunt, neutered by Encore, and easy to be taken advantage of. Bayleef is best used to set up screens quickly and allow a teammate to set up at reduced risk.

[SET]
name: Support
move 1: Light Screen
move 2: Leech Seed / Toxic
move 3: Synthesis
move 4: Reflect / Hidden Power Grass / Toxic
item: Leftovers
ability: Overgrow
nature: Calm / Bold
evs: 252 HP / 128 SpD / 128 SpD

[SET COMMENTS]
Light Screen and Reflect reduce damage the team takes for a few turns, and Bayleef can take advantage of its bulk to set them up versus many common Pokemon that doesn't hit it super effectively. Leech Seed and Toxic are both great options for passive damage on the opponent and they both force switches. Synthesis gives Bayleef reliable recovery to keep it healthy and set up screens multiple times if needed. Hidden Power Grass is a STAB attack that prevents Bayleef from being completely disabled by Taunt, but is extraordinarily weak anyway.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
The EV Spread is extremely customizable, and Special Defense and Defense EVs along with the nature can be altered to augment Bayleef's bulk to whatever a particular team needs most. Calm is the suggested nature, to lessen the damage received from a plethora of special attackers including Flareon and Huntail. Bayleef should only be used with Pokemon that appreciate the ability to set up easier, such as Crawdaunt, Lickitung, Hitmonchan, Huntail, Sableye, Chimecho, and many others. Bayleef should not be used as a lead, however, as it loses to many common ones such as Glalie and other Taunt users, while getting set up on by others. Bayleef is able to set screens versus some more passive variants of Pokemon like Wailord and Roselia, and should try to find an ample opportunity to do so throughout the match. Leech Seed is useful for providing passive recovery to teammates as well as forcing switches to allow teammates to get in safely or setup freely. Taunt and Toxic can both completely render Bayleef useless, so it should be scouted for adequately.

[Other Options]
Protect can be used with Leech Seed or Toxic to help rack up damage versus opponents. Counter can make use of Bayleef's natural defensive bulk to surprise many heavy hitters who think that Bayleef cannot do anything in return. Grass Whistle has horrible accuracy issues, but can be used to attempt to put opponents to sleep. Offensive Bayleef sets should not be used as it is lacking in both its movepool and its attacking stats, as well as there being a multitude of more effective alternatives. Safeguard can be an interesting option to protect its teammates from crippling Toxic for a few turns, giving them more freedom to setup.

[Checks and Counters]
Taunt is the most effective counter to Bayleef, as its utility is almost completely dependent on the use of status moves. Taunt users like Vigoroth, Chimecho, and Golbat can all effectively prevent screens from going up. While Bayleef has excellent defenses, powerful super effective moves from attackers like Murkrow, Golbat, Glalie, and Flareon can put a huge dent into Bayleef's and it cannot do much in return. Pokemon using Substitute can effectively do so versus Bayleef, as it will likely not be able to break it with even Hidden Power Grass if it is running it. Once the opposing Pokemon has set up a Substitute, it is free to start setting up stat boosts or firing off attacks at Bayleef or its teammates.
 
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