oooh i’m very spoooky
Dusknoir finds itself in an unfortunate situation, as it was used a large amount on the ladder back in the day and has frozen into a tier that belies its viability. On paper, Dusknoir seems to carve a niche as a spin blocker that can block two of the most common Rapid Spin users in Kabutops and Cryogonal from using Rapid Spin and scare them out with its good coverage options. However, despite its seemingly good bulk, Dusknoir’s great defenses are invalidated by its abysmal HP stat and a lack of recovery options outside of Pain Split, which is unreliable. Because of this, physical attackers that it should be able to check such as Kabutops and Gallade can easily overwhelm it. Dusknoir’s Attack stat, while solid, is offset by a lack of usable STAB options, as well as generally not hitting hard enough against many of the threats in the tier. Dusknoir also faces heavy competition with other spin blockers, such as Spiritomb, Rotom, and Misdreavus, and generally is unable to stand out amongst them, as they provide much more to a team than Dusknoir can.
move 1: Will-O-Wisp
move 2: Pain Split
move 3: Fire Punch
move 4: Earthquake
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
This set aims to work as a defensively oriented spin blocker that can use its good coverage to scare out Rapid Spin users. Will-O-Wisp allows Dusknoir to threaten out physical attackers, such as Kabutops, Gallade, and Absol. It lets Dusknoir perform as a check to physical attackers. Pain Split is Dusknoir’s only option for recovery and allows Dusknoir have some sort of longevity throughout a match. Fire Punch is mainly used to threaten out Cryogonal. It can also beat out the likes of Escavalier and physical variants of Sceptile. Earthquake can hit Fire-types outside of Moltres that attempt to switch into a Will-O-Wisp, as well as being Dusknoir’s best option against Kabutops.
Dusknoir works best with hazard setters, as they allow Dusknoir to fulfill its role as a spin blocker. Pokemon such as Qwilfish and Scolipede are solid teammates because of this. Pokemon that can target Dark-types, such as Gallade, also work, as they can use Dusknoir’s ability to keep hazards up to their advantage. Wish support is beneficial for this set, as it allows Dusknoir a much more reliable form of recovery. Pokemon such as Alomomola and Clefable are good partners for this role. Despite having a solidly large movepool, Dusknoir does not have much variance outside of the standard set. Shadow Punch is an option over Fire Punch to target Psychic-types like Uxie, Slowking and Mesprit. However, this means that Dusknoir loses out on the ability to hit Cryogonal and Grass-types such as Tangrowth effectively.
**Checks and Counters**
**Ghost-type Pokemon**: Rotom is one of the best counters to Dusknoir, taking little from anything outside of the rare Shadow Punch and 2HKO-ing it in return with Shadow Ball. Although having to watch out for Will-O-Wisp, Golurk and Spiritomb take even less from Dusknoir's attacks due to its better bulk and can strike back hard with Shadow Punch and Sucker Punch. In addition, Spiritomb can trap Dusknoir with Pursuit.
**Dark-type Pokemon**: Absol can overwhelm Dusknoir with its STAB Night Slash, even OHKO-ing it with a critical hit. Drapion can overwhelm and KO Dusknoir with a boosted Crunch. However, both of these options are shut down by Will-O-Wisp, and take major damage from Earthquake, the latter being 2HKOed.
**Special Attackers**: Special attackers do not mind a burn from Will-O-Wisp, meaning that they can completely shut down Dusknoir. Moltres is one of the best at this job, being immune to Will-O-Wisp and Earthquake, and can 2HKO with ease. Special attacking variants of Sceptile can overwhelm Dusknoir with Leaf Storm, notably OHKOing it after minor chip damage, although it has to be careful switching in due to Fire Punch. Omastar, once set up, can also OHKO Dusknoir after minor chip, although it cannot switch into Earthquake.
**Taunt**: Using Taunt on Dusknoir is one of the best ways to stop it, as without Will-O-Wisp and Pain Split, it becomes heavily susceptible to being set up on or chipped down. Qwilfish is a great example of this, as it avoids the 3HKO from Earthquake and can chip Dusknoir down with Waterfall or use it as Spikes fodder.
**Status**: Dusknoir is extremely vulnerable to status, mainly poison and burn, as it leaves Dusknoir more vulnerable to being taken out by strong special hits. Pokemon such as Alomomola and Spiritomb can status Dusknoir with Toxic and Will-O-Wisp respectively, ruining any semblance of longevity Dusknoir has.
- Written by: [[BT89, 487308]]
- Quality checked by: [[SBPC, 468904], [name, id]]
- Grammar checked by: [[name, id]]