Metagame Effective Creative, and Underrated Sets

#26
Ferroseed already loses to Sub SD Alolaslash and Miltank can be broken by SD (although yeah Fightinium helps with tank so ig that's at least one thing it does). I'm not the one who invented sub and it's a completely standard move on Alolaslash at this point entirely because it beats Ferroseed without needing to resort to things like Fightinium. Can't say I see the merit in either SDless or EQless Alolaslash but ultimately it's the kind of mon which is always gonna do some work even if it's not the most optimal set so w/e
The idea is that you don't need SD to be threatening to those switch-ins. Not having to use a turn every time you want to be threatening is really valuable when you're on a timer.
 
#27

Stunfisk @ Leftovers
Ability: Static
EVs: 248 HP / 188 Def / 44 SpD / 28 Spe
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Earth Power
- Discharge
- Stealth Rock
- Toxic

Hi so I originally started with Stunfisk for the budget tour (hence why the replay I'm posting has Stunfisk on a not-so-great team) and it actually preformed pretty well in testing. Granted, while Stunfisk generally shouldn't be used over other defensive walls/ Stealth Rock setters, the thing it does have is Static which can help cripple and slow down physical attackers to be picked off later. Normally Stunfisk is max HP max Defense, but this set adds a little bit of SpDef to turn Defensive Lanturn's Scald and Palossand's Earth Power into 3HKOs while the added Speed allows you to get off a Toxic on Palossand or -Spe nature Gastrodon in a last ditch effort before they KO you. Overall still a mediocre mon that I don't recommend using over Palossand or something like that but if you must, this EV spread isn't bad.
Only replay I could find bc I'm awful at remembering to save them: https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7pu-717457315
 
#28
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Carracosta @ Fightinium Z
Ability: Solid Rock
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Shell Smash
- Superpower
- Stone Edge
- Hydro Pump

This is the awesome set I ran on Carracosta on my "The Desire to Fight" RMT during the Passimian Suspect Test. Z-Superpower is neat for catching Ferroseed, Non-Scarfed Togedemaru, and Gastrodon (that doesn't Recover on the same turn you All-Out Pummeling) off guard. Z-Superpower also hits the abundance of bulky Normal-types that are growing in popularity such as Stoutland, Kangaskhan, and Miltank, and is overall an underutilized coverage move for Costa, and works even better with Healing Wish support.

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Togedemaru @ Eject Button
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Gravity
- U-turn
- Iron Head

Gravity HO is one of the most niche team archetypes in the history of Pokemon, but that niche playstyle couldn't be more happy for PU to receive it's first (non-Smeargle) Gravity + U-Turn user, and it has Sturdy to boot. While at first glance it may seem weird to make EQ even more spammable for the 4x weak to Ground-type rodent, it doesn't really matter as it's primary job is to set up Gravity and that's it. Fake Out breaks any potential Focus Sashes and Sturdys from the opposing side, while Eject Button and U-Turn allow the conservation of limited Gravity turns. A very very very niche set for a very very very niche archetype, but Togedemaru has become by far the best lead for Gravity HO.
 
#29
View attachment 108401
Zangoose @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Toxic Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Quick Attack
- Knock Off
- Close Combat

You may think you've seen this set before. The reason why it's underrated is its use of quick attack and no facade on a Toxic Orb set. While
there are many different ways to play zangoose, the most effective way however is to keep hazards off your side and wittle down checks with toxic boosted knock off. Then you can go for a sweep on a choice locked poke (preferably scarfed), or a very passive one.The sheer base power of CC and coverage beside knock off lets me use quick attack. Although you must beware of togetic, it struggles on rocks. Which brings up hazards. Stealth Rocks is more or less mandatory to use Zangoose, wittling down many checks. As said earlier, hazards on your side are awful for zangoose to attempt its hit, run, and sweep strategy. Play smart, healing wish helps, and have fun.

The problem I have with this kind of set is that you need Facade to have that crazy high damage output that doesn't require you to set up in hopes only achieving a fraction of that power like it does. This kind of idea is sort of done better by the Belly Drum set, to some extent.
 
#30
The fact that they expect it to have facade shapes their response to it, letting you easily get ghosts and rock types out of the picture(Other Toxic SD variants usually lack Close Combat. Zangoose is a wallbreaker, a short lived one, and even his power can be played around.
252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 160+ Def Weezing: 235-277 (70.3 - 82.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 160+ Def Weezing: 218-257 (65.2 - 76.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
At +2, Knock Off and Close Combat can meet, or exceed the power of unboosted facade. Also, standard Zangoose can be killed by things like this:
252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 56+ Def Regirock: 190-224 (52.1 - 61.5%) -- 97.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers
recovery
252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Eviolite Dusclops: 170-202 (59.8 - 71.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Whereas with my set:
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 56+ Def Regirock: 376-444 (103.2 - 121.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Eviolite Dusclops: 340-400 (119.7 - 140.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Also preventing revenge kills:
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Floatzel: 319-376 (102.5 - 120.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Primeape: 297-349 (109.5 - 128.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Swanna: 288-339 (98.9 - 116.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Zebstrika: 286-337 (98.2 - 115.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 208 HP / 0 Def Hitmonchan: 240-283 (81.9 - 96.5%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after 1 layer of Spikes
In conclusion, this zangoose can overcome barriers other sets struggle with. As for belly drum, it may outclass this set when it comes to straight up sweeping, this set lets you cripple the opponents team with Toxic boosted knock offs, letting zangoose have a purpose on teams more resistant to sweeping, and making it contribute early in the game as well.
 

Megazard

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#31
The fact that they expect it to have facade shapes their response to it, letting you easily get ghosts and rock types out of the picture(Other Toxic SD variants usually lack Close Combat. Zangoose is a wallbreaker, a short lived one, and even his power can be played around.
252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 160+ Def Weezing: 235-277 (70.3 - 82.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 160+ Def Weezing: 218-257 (65.2 - 76.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
At +2, Knock Off and Close Combat can meet, or exceed the power of unboosted facade. Also, standard Zangoose can be killed by things like this:
252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 56+ Def Regirock: 190-224 (52.1 - 61.5%) -- 97.7% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers
recovery
252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Eviolite Dusclops: 170-202 (59.8 - 71.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Whereas with my set:
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 56+ Def Regirock: 376-444 (103.2 - 121.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Eviolite Dusclops: 340-400 (119.7 - 140.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Also preventing revenge kills:
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Floatzel: 319-376 (102.5 - 120.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Primeape: 297-349 (109.5 - 128.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Swanna: 288-339 (98.9 - 116.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Zebstrika: 286-337 (98.2 - 115.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252+ Atk Toxic Boost Zangoose Quick Attack vs. 208 HP / 0 Def Hitmonchan: 240-283 (81.9 - 96.5%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after 1 layer of Spikes
In conclusion, this zangoose can overcome barriers other sets struggle with. As for belly drum, it may outclass this set when it comes to straight up sweeping, this set lets you cripple the opponents team with Toxic boosted knock offs, letting zangoose have a purpose on teams more resistant to sweeping, and making it contribute early in the game as well.
The fact that Zangoose could still set up to +2 and not be able to OHKO a Weezing when its entire niche is "I'm frail and awkward but really, really strong" basically defeats the point of using it. If you drop Close Combat, you struggle with Rock-types, but at least those can be chipped by running other mons to help you out. The lack of Facade means you're intentionally giving up the ability to be as immediately threatening. Whether you drop CC or Facade you're going to miss out on hitting some targets, the difference is Facade is noticeably more important because it allows Zangoose to not be worthless before it sets up an SD, something which isn't awfully easy to do. I think the idea of being immediately threatening was what Allstar was trying to allude to, but it didn't quite come across.
 
#32
Keep in mind that the downgrade is not from Facade-Quick Attack, but from Facade-CC/Knock Off. If you do 3 consecutive battles, the chance of the opponent having a bulky rock or steel type is nearly 100%. And it makes sense, in a tier with Boomburst spammers and plenty of Hurricanes. A +2 knock of will fail to KO things like Aggron,Magcargo,Relicanth,Bastiodon, Regirock,Carracosta and Probobass, with the formers able to tank it even after a decent amount of prior damage. There are even more dangerous checks such as Carbink(resists knock off) and Shuckle(encore+bulky). In order to adapt to this, Facade is replaced with Close Combat. Sure, if the team is built without the rock/steel wall, which is rare, Facade will be more useful. But since rock/steel types are used often, I adapt my Zangoose to this trend in the meta. In conclusion, yes Facade could be more useful in certain situations, but if you're up against these common checks, Close Combat will prove more useful. Thanks for the feedback though, it made me more thoroughly examine my set.
 
#33

Combusken @ Fightinium Z / Firium Z
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Protect
- Fire Blast
- Focus Blast
- Defog

This is a set that I've used recently as an offensive remover, and it has not disappointed. Although at first sight it seems that it might compete heavily with Hitmonchan as a Fighting-type remover, what it offers over it is a far more offensive alternative. The basis behind this set is Combusken's ability to force switches and get off free Defogs, as well as a nice matchup against certain removers such as Weezing, Ferroseed, and Regirock; even if it doesn't beat certain setters such as Mesprit and Palossand 1v1, it can pressure them very well with its STABs. However, this set is not without its flaws: being affected by all forms of entry hazards and no recovery, this gets worn down extremely easily. Despite this, Defog Combusken is definitely a set that I think merits consideration on teams wanting offensive hazard control.


Floatzel @ Choice Band
Ability: Water Veil
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Waterfall
- Frustration
- Pursuit
- Ice Punch

Inspired by Many's Next Best Thing nomination, I genuinely believe that, despite my occasional memeing around this, this ORAS classic deserves more love. It's able to lure common answers to specially offensive Floatzel, such as Clefairy and Eelektross, making them eat a Banded Waterfall on the switch, as well as chipping Lanturn far easier. Unlike the Bulk Up set, this set also has immediate power. Pursuit is a nice perk, allowing you to trap Pokemon such as Magmortar and Oricorio-Sensu as pointed out by Many in their post. Focus Punch and Brick Break are options to lure Ferroseed as well, but I prefer the given options most of the time. I made a post in the Good Cores thread featuring this set, so give that a look as well!
 

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