Black Sludge

I felt that this warranted its own thread rather than a post in the Small Edits thread as this matter concerns not only an item description page, but also multiple Gen 4 and Gen 5 analyses.

Analyses have long claimed that Leftovers is superior to Black Sludge on Poison-types.

Item description said:
Most of the time, Black Sludge will be inferior to Leftovers. Why is this, I hear you ask? Surely Black Sludge is superior if held by a Poison-type, as not only does it heal the same amount, but it also damages any Pokemon who tries to use Trick? Well, yes, this is true. However, there is a problem with this - even if your opponent does accidentally get Black Sludge by Trick or Switcheroo, your Pokemon is still crippled, while the Trick user can just shrug and Trick your Black Sludge onto a different Pokemon on your team, later in the battle, thus crippling two Pokemon on your team, instead of one. Of course, you could always predict this and switch in your original Poison-type - but this is a gamble. In short, Leftovers is the safer item, even for Poison-types, but if you want to gamble with Black Sludge, they will be functionally identical in nearly all cases.
These claims are not true in practice. Switching in your original Poison-type should not be a gamble if you were willing to switch it in to begin with: it would likely have been a counter or check to the user of Trick in the first place. Furthermore, there are other factors to consider: Black Sludge will wear down its holder (absence of Leftovers plus residual damage), so if you can maintain momentum properly, the Trick user might not even have an opportunity to switch in safely and Trick the sludge back. There's also the fact that the Trick user has to waste a turn to do this, still risking the original Sludge holder / death fodder switching in.

I started using Black Sludge as soon as I realized that it was a better option. I also have noticed that several good players have started / had been using it, as it has come into play in handful of my matches (where I was the one using Trick and getting fucked over by Black Sludge).

(By the way, I dislike this description's tone, especially given the fact that I believe it is wrong.)
I agree, it's always been easy to see when the oponent will Trick again. I've only ever used it in NU, on Haunter, and on the rare occasions it's been Tricked, removing Black Sludge, I can always bring it in again to receive said Black Sludge


happiness is such hard work
is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
I never got why you wouldn't just switch the Poison type back in to the Trick user and lock it into Trick. Then all you have to do is switch to your own Choicer and no matter what they do it comes in for free.

(agree with all, used black sludge in gen 4)


what matters is our plan!
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
I never really gave this much thought when writing analyses because Poison-types (the ones that hold Leftovers anyway) are rarely what you switch into Trick users in UU. It does make more sense to give them Black Sludge though, so I'll be SCMSing that when I get some time.
At least half of fully evolved Poison-types with analyses have Leftovers among one or more of their sets so I think that Black Sludge should be considered for each of them case-by-case
My understanding on the real use of black sludge was for the Item Clause battles, both in and out of game. Where you could have a second “legal” leftovers with the “drawback” of it must be a poison type and it could back fire if tricked repeatedly.

I’m just getting back into the game after playing a lot of fourth gen, and I found there was never a shortage of good bulky beefy poison types who liked having a leftovers. Wheezing, Venusaur (in his UU incarnation of gen 4), and to a far lesser extent, Muk….

While trick/switcheroo is becoming more common, it seems like it is still not too much of a threat. In this case the trickster tricks the black sludge, then takes the hit from the poison type, and takes the damage from the attack. Then later, needs to survive to re-trick? The deadliness of using the item then steams out of 1) The most common tricks in a format, and 2) if they are resistant to the poison users.

So it is an inferior choice that’s inferiority is directly proportional to what is over all going in the format…
Seems Normal to me.
I don't have much more to add than what has already been said. Personally, I choose who gets Black Sludge and who gets Lefties on a case-by-case basis. I think, in all honesty, that it just comes down to personal preference; at least, that's how it's been in my experience.
Few of the current poisontypes in the OU metagame (Tentacruel, Gengar, Venusaur, Toxicroak) are even checks or counters to the possible trick users: Starmie, Rotom-W, Jirachi, Azelf, Metagross, Alakazam, Celebi, Bronzong and Reuniclus. It is possible Rotom-W, Jirachi and Bronzong that can be checked by some of the poison types, against all the other pokes i just mentioned, these poison types can not switch in freely, meaning you can not just easely reobtain the blacksludge as Eo Ut Mortus stated, though they get destroyed by psychic type moves. Generally spoken looking at these matchups.
@Dry Socks: This thread was already pretty much concluded, and the general consensus now is that Poison-types will get Black Sludge. The only Poison-types that would ever stay in on a Psychic-type in the first place are Drapion, Skuntank, and Toxicroak - the former two are pretty mediocre in OU, and Toxicroak might stay in to use a (failed) Sucker Punch but that's about it.

Also, welcome to Smogon!
Oops, haha and thank you @Arcticblast . I understand that this thread may be down but I still dont get why black sludge over lefties when they still can blast you with psychic if you try and switch in to get it back?

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)