Gen 2 Dugtrio (NU) [QC 0/?]

#1
[OVERVIEW]
Dugtrio is one of the best Pokemon in the NU tier, and for good reason: its the fastest Pokemon available, and is able to use this and its decent attack stat to throw off STAB boosted Earthquakes. Ground-typing is excellent in a tier where Pikachu is extremely dangerous, and Dugtrio is probably the closest thing to consistent counterplay that Pikachu has. It outspeeds it and is able to OHKO it, which no other Pokemon can do, and it can actually survive a Surf from Pikachu from max HP if needed. On the other hand, Dugtrio is somewhat frail and has to watch its HP very carefully throughout a match. However, Dugtrio is extremely good at cleaning up at the end of a game, and makes for one of the best Pokemon available in NU.

[SET]
name: Standard
move 1: Earthquake
move 2: Sludge Bomb
move 3: Rock Slide
move 4: Substitute / Screech
item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]
Earthquake is Dugtrio's primary attack, being powerful and receiving a STAB boost on top. Sludge Bomb hits Grass-types like Tangela, and Rock Slide covers Flying-types like Pidgeot and Fearow which are immune to Earthquake. Substitute eases prediction with Dugtrio, as well as making it easier to clean. Additionally, Screech can be used to boost Dugtrio's wallbreaking potential, particularly able to beat certain RestTalk users that Dugtrio normally cannot break.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
Dugtrio is the most effective Pikachu check in the tier, and therefore is easily splashable on nearly any team. Substitute needs to be used carefully, as if Dugtrio isn't at full health it is not able to survive a Surf from Pikachu. It's also the best clean-up Pokemon available, and using its powerful attacks in combination with its speed to finish off weakened threats is its greatest strength. Substitute also has the advantage of forcing Grass-types to use Hidden Power Ice instead of Giga Drain, as Giga Drain always misses against Pokemon behind a Substitute. It also discourages swtiches from the opponent, and things like Pineco are unable to break the Substitute without exploding. Haunter often doesn't carry much to damage Dugtrio, and Dugtrio threatens to OHKO it in return. Switching in on Mr. Mime's Thunder Wave or Rest is also a fairly advantageous situation if it has taken any prior damage at all, as it can set up a Subsitute or fire off attacks. Dugtrio needs to work around the Flying-types of the tier, Fearow and Pidgeot, as they take relatively little from Rock Slide and are immune to Earthquake. Dugtrio is a decent option as an Attack boost recipient from Baton Pass, but note it is unable to OHKO Octillary at +2 with Earthquake while it OHKOs in return. Spikes support is great with Dugtrio, as it is able to 2/3HKO the majority of the tier at worst, making many of these KOs easier to achieve reliably.

[Other Options]
Thief or Pursuit can be used as a niche option to attempt to cripple the opponents team, but often takes away from Dugtrio's main strength, but Pursuit is illegal with Rock Slide so Hidden Power Rock must be run. A SubToxic set could also be ran to circumvent some of Dugtrio's normal counters, but again is usually inferior to Dugtrio's amazing performance when it comes to cleaning up and dealing with Pikachu. Double Edge can be used as a powerful cleaning option at the end of the game as long as Haunter is removed. Swagger can be alternate option to help break through fat Pokemon like Dewgong in combination with Substitute and Rock Slide flinching.

[Checks and Counters]
Bulky Water-types like Dewgong or Octillery, particularly RestTalk variants, stop Dugtrio in its tracks, taking little from its attacks and capitalizing on Dugtrio's relatively frail defenses. Hitmontop takes relatively little damage and can Curse up on Dugtrio. Pokemon immune to Earthquake, in particular Fearow and Pidgeot, can switch in decently well even to a Rock Slide and do a lot of damage back. Shuckle is extremely bulky and Dugtrio can have trouble breaking through it without some luck. Tangela and other Grass-types threaten Dugtrio, but have to watch out for a super effective Sludge Bomb. There are very few Pokemon that can completely wall Dugtrio when they are not at completely full HP, as it can break through anything with the right set and some luck from Rock Slide flinches and Confusion.
 
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#3
I don't think Double-Edge deserves a mention at all. Screech is probably worth a slash with either Sub or SBomb, and Swagger could be added to other options since it can give Dugtrio a way to get past Dewgong etc and synergises with Sub and RS flinch. From memory thief and/or pursuit are illegal with Rock Slide so maybe that could be mentioned, in those cases I have used HP Rock.

If you want to add more synergies or something, it makes a pretty good Attack boost recipient from BPers, although +2 EQ doesn't ohko Octillery and it usually ohkos back with Surf.
 
#5
To nitpick further, I wouldn't call the metagame "dominated" by Pikachu. I would say Mr. Mime is the most dominant Pokemon, and it has a favourable matchup vs Pikachu. That's just my opinion and experience though, and obviously if you neglect Pikachu answers you are asking to get wrecked. In fact, thinking about it, Dugtrio is a major reason that Pikachu is not that dominant...

Many Pokemon are either 3HKOed or come close, especially with Spikes up (e.g. Hitmontop/chan, Octillery, Lickitung, Kingler, Dewgong, Stantler, Xatu, Tangela etc). There are basically no Pokemon at all that wall Dugtrio completely, as it can get past anything with flinches, confusion, or 3hkos with Spikes, but there are quite a few that are difficult for it to take out from full health, or if it doesn't have the right move (it will not be likely to take out a Restalk Curse Hitmontop without Screech or Swagger for example, or a Tangela without Sludge Bomb). Also, there are numerous big threats it outspeeds and 1/2HKOs (pika, mime w. spikes, enemy Dug, haunter, rapidash, sudowoodo etc). So that's a more accurate explanation of why it is so good in the meta.
 
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#6
[OVERVIEW]

[Other Options]
If opting to run Double Edge, Haunter needs to be cleared out before a sweep is attempted, but otherwise there are no more relevant Ghost-types to worry about.
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I don't understand that, levitate don't exist in 2 gen. so earthquake OHKO the ghost. But....is double edge worth? The edgequake combo + sludge bomb gives perfect coverage in this gen.
Thief is a MT, so is legal with rock slide.
 
#7
To nitpick further, I wouldn't call the metagame "dominated" by Pikachu. I would say Mr. Mime is the most dominant Pokemon, and it has a favourable matchup vs Pikachu. That's just my opinion and experience though, and obviously if you neglect Pikachu answers you are asking to get wrecked. In fact, thinking about it, Dugtrio is a major reason that Pikachu is not that dominant...

Many Pokemon are either 3HKOed or come close, especially with Spikes up (e.g. Hitmontop/chan, Octillery, Lickitung, Kingler, Dewgong, Stantler, Xatu, Tangela etc). There are basically no Pokemon at all that wall Dugtrio completely, as it can get past anything with flinches, confusion, or 3hkos with Spikes, but there are quite a few that are difficult for it to take out from full health, or if it doesn't have the right move (it will not be likely to take out a Restalk Curse Hitmontop without Screech or Swagger for example, or a Tangela without Sludge Bomb). Also, there are numerous big threats it outspeeds and 1/2HKOs (pika, mime w. spikes, enemy Dug, haunter, rapidash, sudowoodo etc). So that's a more accurate explanation of why it is so good in the meta.
I put as much of this in as I could, its a bit difficult to say this stuff directly in an analysis but I tried to convey it throughout to get a more accurate description. Thanks for the input.
I don't understand that, levitate don't exist in 2 gen. so earthquake OHKO the ghost. But....is double edge worth? The edgequake combo + sludge bomb gives perfect coverage in this gen.
Thief is a MT, so is legal with rock slide.
Great catch.... I had a brain fart and was subconsciously automatically thinking of Choice Band Dugtrio/Diglett from ADV when writing that sentence. Thanks for the legality check, but Double Edge gives more powerful neutral coverage I guess? I didn't really make the set, it was given to me, and its only in Other Options as well so I dont think its harmful to have in there.
 
#8
Just a couple more notes: Substitute also has the benefit of forcing opposing grass types to use HP Ice instead of Giga Drain, since Giga Drain always misses against Pokemon that are behind Substitutes. This can force grass types into mindgames against Dugtrio, which is useful.

Further, it gets switch-in opportunities against some very common and valuable Pokemon in the tier which allows it to throw up a substitute fairly easily. For example, Pineco does not want to explode into Dugtrio's Substitute, but Spikes is very valuable so a lot of teams use it, and it often does not have a move to break the Substitute. Switching into Pikachu is obviously very risky but then Pikachu is not going to stay in to break the Dugtrio Substitute very often. Haunter often doesn't carry much to hurt Dugtrio and Dugtrio is a massive threat to it. Switching in on Mr. Mime's TWave or Rest is also a fairly advantageous situation if it has taken any prior damage at all.

Also, I think the checks and counters section is now slightly overstating Dugtrio's ability to break through things (which might be my fault haha). In reality a lot of Pokemon are able to tank its attacks while they are healthy. I think it would be better to organise that section by mentioning the most solid checks first (Dewgong, Hitmontop, Pidgeot, Octillery, Tangela, Shuckle, and especially Restalk versions of most of these), then later mentioning that it does possess the capability of breaking most things with the right set and some luck.
 
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