lab report ᐛ
Blessed with outstanding defensive stats and a solid movepool, Cresselia is an excellent support Pokemon in the Overused metagame. However, the generation shift was no doubt a double-edged sword for Cresselia; a global nerf to weather abilities has caused both rain and sand to be less threatening to Cresselia's main recovery but at the same time has also decreased sun's ability to boost Moonlight. As always, status plagues Cresselia to the very end, which is a weakness only worsened by its subpar defensive typing. On the bright side, Cresselia's ability, Levitate, provides it an immunity to grounded entry hazards and Ground-type attacks. On top of this, Cresselia possesses the perfect bulk in tandem with the right moves to handle the myriad physical attackers found in the tier. With either a full-on defensive or supportive dual screens set, Cresselia can have a heavy impact on matches and prove to be a major defensive threat.
move 1: Moonlight
move 2: Psychic / Hidden Power Fire
move 3: Ice Beam
move 4: Toxic / Thunder Wave / Reflect
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Despite wishing that it just had a little bit more to work with, Cresselia can utilize an effective defensive set with its unique movepool. Moonlight is used as the primary healing move and as such will be used a lot of the time. It is important to note that Moonlight has its shortcomings; it heals less health in sand and rain and has limited PP. Because of this, it should not be used excessively. Psychic is the main STAB move and allows Cresselia to chip down opponents and hit Fighting-types super effectively. Despite its slight nerf, Hidden Power Fire can also work well in this slot. Not only does it dispose of defensive Ferrothorn, but it also gives Cresselia a way to get past Scizor. Ice Beam rounds off the coverage and is a superb move for hitting physically based Dragon-types, Pokemon that Cresselia will often need to wall. Cresselia's final moveslot is dedicated to a status move best fit to the team. Toxic allows Cresselia to spread residual damage and slowly defeat Pokemon, whereas Thunder Wave is best fit for teams that have enough offensive firepower to finish off slower threats. However, Thunder Wave is inferior to Toxic when the team has enough defense to stall Pokemon out. Reflect is an option over either of the moves and enhances Cresselia's ability to take physical hits, allowing it to escape Pursuit more easily and can be used to support teammates.
The EVs are maximized in Defense so that Cresselia can wall powerful physical attackers such as Garchomp, Terrakion, and Landorus-T. A Bold nature is chosen for the same reason, and the rest of the EVs are placed into Cresselia's Special Defense. Leftovers is a standard item for a wall such as Cresselia, providing a means of residual recovery or negating weather damage. In order to perform its role as a physical wall properly, straying from this item choice is not recommended. If one chooses to run Hidden Power Fire, an IV spread of 0 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 Spe achieves the required Hidden Power type while minimizing Foul Play and confusion damage.
This Cresselia set aims to fulfill the role of a mixed wall with a primary focus on Defense. Because of this, Cresselia is best brought in to check physical attackers or Pokemon that it can efficiently stop. It is best to keep Cresselia as healthy as possible and mainly bring it in on Pokemon that are incapable of bypassing its ridiculous defensive limits. Cresselia can be used at essentially any time in the match, depending on what opponents opt to bring out themselves. However, it is a good idea to scout opposing sets to see what Cresselia can and can't handle. For example, because it is particularly vulnerable to being poisoned, Cresselia is best leaving more defensively inclined Pokemon (which can potentially run Toxic) for teammates to deal with. Because Cresselia can also force many switches, setting up hazards before using it to stall out Pokemon is a good idea so that you can take advantage of the entry hazard damage.
If it hasn't been made clear already, Cresselia loathes Toxic. This makes Pokemon equipped with Heal Bell or Aromatherapy particularly good partners. Chansey can carry either of these moves and also makes an excellent defensive partner, being immune to Cresselia's Ghost-type weakness and taking special hits more capably. Cresselia reciprocates this support by having a resistance to Fighting-type moves. Other Pokemon commonly seen on stall teams are also great teammates for their ability to set hazards and wall the Pokemon that Cresselia cannot. Heatran is a great teammate for Cresselia because it can take care of Volcarona and Scizor, the tier's premier Bug-types. Drought support boosts Moonlight's effect while also getting rid of opposing weather. More specifically, Mega Charizard Y makes a good partner, as it sets up Drought and can take advantage of Thunder Wave support. Another excellent teammate on sun teams is Dugtrio, which can dispose of two great threats to both sun and Cresselia: Heatran and Tyranitar.
name: Dual Screens
move 1: Lunar Dance
move 2: Reflect
move 3: Light Screen
move 4: Thunder Wave
item: Light Clay
evs: 248 HP / 112 Def / 12 SpD / 136 Spe
Thanks to Cresselia's enormous bulk, setting up Reflect and Light Screen multiple times throughout a match is a simple task. Reflect and Light Screen are used with the intent of supporting teammates and, more specifically, allowing frail offensive Pokemon to set up with extra protection from incoming attacks. Lunar Dance is the key move that separates Cresselia from other dual screen users, allowing Cresselia to give Pokemon a second chance to sweep. It also allows Cresselia to make use of itself after it has done its main job and avoid being dead weight on the team. It is notable that Lunar Dance also cures status ailments and can revive Pokemon that would otherwise fall from entry hazard damage upon returning to the field. Thunder Wave is used to support teammates by crippling Pokemon that attempt to break through Cresselia and can be used if Cresselia is slower than the Pokemon it is trying to set up dual screens on.
Light Clay is a straightforward item choice, extending the length of Cresselia's Reflect and Light Screen in order to maximize the time a teammate can set up. With Reflect activated, the given EVs allow Cresselia to survive two Crunches from Choice Band Tyranitar after Stealth Rock. The EV spread also lets Cresselia outspeed Adamant Bisharp and Modest Politoed with maximum Speed investment, thus giving Cresselia more opportunities to set up dual screens. By having 248 EVs in HP, Cresselia hits a Stealth Rock number and thus loses less health from residual damage.
Cresselia is brought in before a sweeper to set up dual screens when it is convenient in order to prepare the field conditions. Reflect and Light Screen in conjunction allow formerly paper-thin sweepers to gain precious turns to accumulate boosts, and Cresselia needs to set these up before said sweepers can jump into the fray. It is often recommended to use Reflect before Light Screen, as most switch-ins to Cresselia tend to be physically oriented. After it has set up screens, spreading status through Thunder Wave is an excellent way to make use of Cresselia, especially when it is not appropriate to switch directly into a teammate. It is also useful to paralyze opponents before activating the dual screens so that teammates can make the most out of the limited turns that they have. In some matches, Cresselia will be able to set up screens multiple times. When this happens, it is often best to do this and then, when Cresselia's health depletes too much, use Lunar Dance to revive a teammate.
This particular Cresselia set provides excellent support for frail setup sweepers; Volcarona, Thundurus, Manaphy, and Lucario can all employ dual screens to effectively boost their offensive stats while being able to simultaneously sponge incoming attacks. Most of Cresselia's best teammates are backed up by superb coverage and power, only lacking the defensive prowess to boost under normal circumstances. Because of Cresselia's access to Lunar Dance, these setup sweepers are also capable of being given a second chance. Notably, Lunar Dance renews Dragonite's Multiscale, and therefore makes it an excellent partner. Less immediately threatening and more defensive boosters, such as Suicune and Reuniclus, can also exploit the benefits of dual screens to acquire their essential starting boosts.
A Trick Room set is also possible on Cresselia for teams that require such support. This can be used alongside dual screens or on a dedicated moveset. However, stiff competition exists for this role already and Cresselia has little offensive presence to combine it with. As an alternate form of recovering health, a RestTalk set is plausible, especially with the changed sleep mechanics. This could potentially be paired with a Flame Orb + Psycho Shift combination, but it severely limits Cresselia's moveslot options as a result. From a glance, a Calm Mind set looks reasonably good. However, Cresselia is mostly outclassed by other Calm Mind users such as Reuniclus, making the set hard to pull off as effectively.
Checks & Counters
**Sand**: One of Cresselia's greatest defensive flaws is that its recovery can be very unreliable at times. Under sand, Moonlight only recovers 33% of Cresselia's health. Moreover, the main user of Sand Stream, Tyranitar, is a large threat to Cresselia it its own right. The Choice Band and Mega Dragon Dance sets are particularly threatening, dealing massive damage to Cresselia with super effective Crunch. Cresselia's weak attacks do little to Tyranitar due to the latter's monstrous Special Defense and its only way of hurting Tyranitar properly is through Toxic.
*Offensive Threats**: Irrespective of its titanic bulk, some offensive threats exist that can still take down Cresselia. For example, various users of U-turn are capable of dealing heavy damage to Cresselia. In particular, Scizor possesses an extremely powerful U-turn which can rack up some damage; this is particularly dangerous when paired with an unfavorable weather condition or another offensive threat. More importantly, a number of boosted Pokemon such as Nasty Plot Thundurus-T and Dragon Dance Mega Tyranitar can also overpower and break through Cresselia's defenses if given the opportunity to set up sufficiently.
**Status / Taunt**: As mentioned numerous times, Toxic is a particularly troublesome status for Cresselia and is an excellent way of defeating it. Users of Toxic such as Chansey and Slowbro can inflict the condition, with the former being able to heal off Cresselia's own status attempts. On top of this, users of Taunt can lock down Cresselia's recovery method and wear it down over the match. Thundurus, Mandibuzz, and Sableye are all capable users of Taunt. Mandibuzz can also use Knock Off to get rid of Cresselia's precious Leftovers.
**Magic Guard**: As Cresselia's main form of damage is through Toxic, Pokemon with Magic Guard generally prove to be excellent checks. Pokemon such as Reuniclus and Clefable not only possess an immunity to Toxic but can also set up with impunity using moves such as Calm Mind and Cosmic Power.