Cresselia [QC 1/3]

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  • Strong defensive Psychic-type with monstrous defenses and superb HP
  • Good movepool to support its defensive playstyle
  • Key moves in Lunar Dance, Moonlight, and Calm Mind gives it flexibility
  • Above average Speed for a defensive Pokemon
  • Reliable coverage in Moonblast to not be a sitting duck against offensive Dark-types
  • Rather poor offenses makes it pretty passive without Calm Mind
  • Typing makes it susceptible to powerful Bug- and Dark-types in the tier
  • Major competition from Reuniclus keeps it from outright dominating as a bulky Psychic-type
name: Calm Mind
move 1: Calm Mind
move 2: Moonlight / Substitute
move 3: Moonblast
move 4: Psyshock
item: Leftovers
ability: Levitate
nature: Bold
EVs: 248 HP / 220 Def / 40 Spe

  • Calm Mind boosts Special Attack and makes Cresselia nearly impossible to break on the special side
  • Moonlight gives necessary recovery while Substitute can shield Cresselia from status and revenge killing attempts
  • Moonblast hits Honchkrow, Pangoro, Kommo-o, and Flygon for super effective damage
  • Psyshock gets STAB and allows Cresselia to break through Diancie quicker and deals more damage to Heracross and Virizion than Psychic would
Set Details
  • EVs outspeed Adamant Pangoro to OHKO with +1 Moonblast before it can hit with STAB Knock Off. Rest is for maximum physical bulk
  • Leftovers gives needed passive recovery, especially for Substitute variants
Usage Tips
  • Best used on balance and stall teams as a physical wall that doubles as a late-game wincon once checks and counters are gone
  • Cresselia shouldn't attempt to setup while powerful and / or faster Bug- and Dark-types are still present on the opposing team
  • Moonlight has low PP and is nerfed by Sandstorm, so use it wisely
  • Moonblast is the go-to move for when Cresselia can't setup but is still at high HP
  • Substitute is great for when defensive Pokemon or slower offensive Pokemon incapable of doing much to Cresselia are on the field when it enters battle
  • Targets to set up on include choice-locked Fighting- and Ground-type moves, and defensive Pokemon like Diancie and Jellicent lacking Toxic
Team Options
  • Pokemon that can beat down Steel-types as Cresselia can't do much with them. Moltres, Heracross, and Rhyperior are among the solid Pokemon that have little to no trouble with Steel-types
  • Florges is a fantastic defensive partner that can cure Cresselia of status ailments and take on strong Bug- and Dark-type attacks
  • Pseudo status absorbers, particularly Heracross, can protect Cresselia from unwanted status moves from defensive Pokemon
  • Wish support from Florges and Umbreon should Cresselia opt for Substitute over Moonlight
  • Moltres and Salazzle can smack around Escavalier and Doublade as well as potentially weaken the opposing team to make it easier for Cresselia to sweep late-game
  • Sun support from Torkoal isn't mandatory, but it makes Moonlight more potent as a healing move and can keep Sandstorm from nerfing Moonlight
  • While not mandatory, Memento support from Zoroark and Whimsicott can greatly increase the number of Pokemon Cresselia can use to setup.
name: Defensive
move 1: Moonlight
move 2: Thunder Wave / Toxic
move 3: Moonblast
move 4: Psychic
item: Leftovers
ability: Levitate
nature: Calm
evs: 248 HP / 220 SpD / 40 Spe

  • Moonlight gives Cresselia mandatory recovery to outlast offensive threats
  • Thunder Wave supports slower wallbreakers and Toxic helps sweepers by putting defensive Pokemon on a timer
  • Moonblast allows Cresselia to deal with Kommo-o, Flygon, Honchkrow, and Pangoro reliably
  • Psychic deals with Nidoqueen and Salazzle in particular
  • Lunar Dance can be used over the status move to bring back a crippled wall or sweeper late-game if the utility of a status move isn't necessary
Set Details
  • EVs outspeed Adamant Pangoro while maximizing special bulk to reliable handle Salazzle, Moltres, Roserade, and Choice Specs Kommo-o
  • Leftovers provides passive recovery to help mitigate Moonlight's low PP to some extent
  • Physically defensive EV spread is viable to better handle Flygon, but is inferior to the given EV spread due to the main Fighting-types having secondary super effective STAB to hit Cresselia with
Usage Tips
  • Cresselia should be sent in on key special attackers like Kommo-o and Salazzle in order to begin supporting its team
  • Moonlight has low PP and gets nerfed if a Sandstorm is active, so be sure to use it wisely
  • Reveal Cresselia's status move on important predicted switches. Catching a Slowbro with Toxic or a Moltres with Thunder Wave can heavily swing momentum to Cresselia's team
  • Moonblast is the safest move to throw out if Cresselia is at high HP and you don't wish to reveal its status move yet due to its good neutral coverage
  • Psychic quickly eliminates Roserade, Dragalge, and Salazzle, but be wary if the opponent has Dark-types remaining on their team
  • It's generally best to use Moonblast when faced with a Fighting-type if a Dark-type still remains on the opposing team. Extra damage from STAB is usually not worth giving a free switch-in
Team Options
  • Florges is a fantastic defensive partner as Cresselia is vulnerable to status. Florges takes on powerful Fighting- and Dark-type attacks while Cresselia effortlessly switches into Roserade and Salazzle
  • Moltres, Rhyperior, and Heracross are among strong Pokemon that can beat Steel-types for Cresselia. Moltres in particular switches into Escavalier and Doublade reliably and has Roost to maintain its health
  • Torkoal also reliably handles Escavalier and Doublade, which are two of the most dangerous switch-ins Cresselia tends to attract. It sets sun to increase Moonlight's healing capabilities as well
  • Slower offensive powerhouses, such as Honchkrow, Flame Orb Heracross, and Pangoro appreciate Thunder Wave variants of this Cresselia
  • Late-game cleaners, such as Sharpedo and Choice Scarf Heracross, as well as the likes of Calm Mind Florges and Curse Snorlax appreciate Toxic wearing down defensive Pokemon

Other Options
  • Sunny Day support set to support sun teams and boost Moonlight's healing capabilities
  • Trick Room
  • Ice Beam on the defensive set if Z-Outrage Flygon is worrisome
  • Dual Screens set with Lunar Dance
  • Hidden Power Fire over Psychic-type coverage. This makes Cresselia have a harder time beating Rotom-H while outright losing to Moltres due to Pressure and Roost as well as Salazzle.
Checks and Counters
  • **Escavalier**: Escavalier is arguably the best switch-in for Cresselia. It's immune to Toxic, doesn't mind Thunder Wave, and doesn't care much for Cresselia's offensive moves. Choice Band Megahorn OHKOes even physically defensive Cresselia after Stealth Rock while Knock Off and Pursuit also hinder Cresselia greatly
  • **Steel-types**: Doublade resists Cresselia's common offensive options and can setup a Swords Dance to threaten a sweep, but it can be somewhat hindered by Thunder Wave due to it commonly running just enough Speed for Rhyperior. Defensive Steel-types that pack Toxic, such as Registeel and Bronzong, fear very little from Cresselia due to their immunity to Toxic and low Speed. However, Substitute variants of the Calm Mind set can overwhelm them over time due to their lack of reliable recovery.
  • **Bulky Setup Sweepers**: Pokemon like Reuniclus, Comfey, and Snorlax have ways around each Cresselia set. Reuniclus is immune to Toxic damage thanks to Magic Guard while Curse Snorlax has Rest and can even out-duel Calm Mind Cresselia due to Defense boosts and Body Slam eventually overwhelming Cresselia due to Moonlight's low PP. Comfey has access to Taunt in order to turn Cresselia into pure setup fodder and its naturally faster.
  • **Dark-types**: Pangoro, Sharpedo, and Zoroark can deal serious damage to Cresselia with their STAB moves. They must be careful of getting hit by Moonblast, though.
  • **Bug-types**: Yanmega, Durant, and Heracross are potent Bug-types that can hit Cresselia hard with super effective STAB moves. However, Heracross has to be careful of STAB Psychic moves and Moonblast while Yanmega and Durant are crippled by Thunder Wave.
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- Not feeling that dual screen set being a set on its own. I feel it is way too niche and Cresselia can honestly use Lunar Dance on the defensive set to provide extremely similar support and something like Uxie is better at pulling off this set thanks to the extra speed, and other utility moves in U-turn, Knock Off and Memento. Would honestly relegate this to Other Options if anything.

- Would mention HP Fire on Other Options. Mention the risk of dropping psychic and stuff.

- The checks and counters section need some work. I like Escavalier having its own bulletpoint cause I feel it is important to point out it is the best response regardless of set but imo, Doublade can just be thrown into the Steel-types section. Or just change that bulletpoint to **Defensive Steel-types** to emphasize so right now it is kind of confusing imo.

- Also stuff like CurseLax and comfey can be thrown together into something like **Bulky setup sweepers** where you can mention Pokemon like Curse Snorlax, Reuniclus and Comfey which are bulky Pokemon in essence and stuff that Cresselia really can beat. Mention that Snorlax has rest and doesnt mind status, Reuniclus has magic guard so he doesnt mind status either and Comfey has taunt. Pretty confident it can be compressed into a single paragraph.

- Cresselia in general despise getting statused so Id definitely mention that as a check or counter. Toxic and stuff, you know the deal.

Damn, this is pretty good and complete, well covered. QC 1/3 once implemented.

Hah, sitting duck.
There should probably be a mention of skill swap + toxic to beat reuniclus 1v1 somewhere, although I don't think it's worth its own set. I'll do an in-depth check when I get more free time.
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