Empoleon (Update)

cim

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Summary of the changes I wanna make:
  • Make Ice Beam a Set Comments option on Empoleon, it's far inferior.
  • Take out SD and deemphasize 3 attack agil
  • Edit the other sets down a bit for conciseness

[Overview]
<p>While Empoleon is often overlooked in lieu of other standard Pokemon, it is a surprisingly versatile and potent Pokemon on the right team. With Torrent, high Special Attack, key resistances to priority attacks, and Agility, Empoleon is one of the few reliable late-game set-up sweepers in OU, with a boosted Surf dealing consistently high damage. Defensively, Empoleon's unique typing lets it shine as a counter to some Gyarados, Jirachi, and bulky Water-types in general. Overall, Empoleon is a threat that needs to be seriously considered when constructing a team, as few are adequately prepared to deal with its offensive and defensive sets.</p>

[SET]
name: Agility SubPetaya
move 1: Agility
move 2: Substitute
move 3: Surf
move 4: Grass Knot / Ice Beam
nature: Modest
item: Petaya Berry
ivs: 30 HP
evs: 16 Def / 252 SpA / 240 Spe

[Set Comments]
<p>While not a very intuitive set for Empoleon's stat spread and typing, Empoleon is most threatening as a late game cleanup Pokemon. Using Empoleon is pretty simple. Near the end of the battle, bring Empoleon in on one of the 12 types he resists, Agility on the switch, and then use Substitute until Empoleon activates his Petaya Berry, increasing Empoleon's Special Attack to 529. With the added bonus of Torrent multiplying Surf's power by 1.5, Empoleon can punch right through Pokemon, even those that resist Water. What really makes Empoleon shine over other late game sweepers is his resistance to priority attacks. Other than Mach Punch and Vacuum Wave, Empoleon resists every priority attack in the game, and Scizor's Bullet Punch will never KO an Empoleon, even after 4 Subs and switching in on Stealth Rock. This makes Empoleon nearly impossible to stop if you provide some key team support with Stealth Rock, Sand Stream, and the elimination of a few key threats earlier in the game.</p>

<p>The given EVs ensure you outrun Choice Scarf Heatran, Jolly Gyarados after a Dragon Dance, and the occasional +1 positive-natured Base 80 speed Pokemon after an Agility. A 30 HP IV ensures that Petaya Berry activates on your fourth Substitute, and 24 Def ensures that Scizor won't be ruining your fun. Grass Knot and Ice Beam each cover some key Water resists.</p>

[Additional Comments]
<p>Your first major decision when using Empoleon is what to use as your 4th attack. Grass Knot is the primary option, as it can help KO particularly tricky opponents like Suicune, Vaporeon, and Gyarados. All of these Pokemon will end Ice Beam Empoleon's sweep, so having insurance against them is recommended. Grass Knot 2HKOs Gyarados after Stealth Rock and does heavy damage to both Suicune and Vaporeon, winning more often than not in the long run. Ice Beam is an option if you are scared of Salamence, Celebi, and Shaymin. Salamence is only OHKOed 50% of the time by Surf after Stealth Rock (Sandstorm damage finishes it off the other 50% of the time, but Empoleon dies first). Celebi and Shaymin will be KOed by Ice Beam with any prior damage (small chance with just SR), but they take 42.3% - 49.8% from Surf as well. Grass Knot is often the better option simply because working around Celebi and Shaymin is a lot easier for Empoleon's teammates to accomplish than working around Suicune and Vaporeon due to Celebi's Pursuit weakness and Shaymin's lack of real recovery. If your team is structured against the aforementioned bulky Waters, running Ice Beam is a solid option.</p>

<p>Empoleon is one of the rare Pokemon that is reliable enough to build a team around, and he really shines with proper support. First of all, Stealth Rock and Sand are requirements. Stealth Rock ensures vital KOs on many defensive Pokemon that don't resist Water, while helping with many who do as well, including the aforementioned Salamence. Sand Stream is also immensely beneficial to Empoleon, making a few key Pokemon unable to stop Empoleon's sweep on the switch in. For this reason, Tyranitar makes an ideal partner for Empoleon, providing Sand Stream permanent Sand for the team. Any suicide lead, including Aerodactyl or Azelf, will help Empoleon's sweep by ensuring SR makes it onto the field on turn 1. </p>

<p>Key counters to an Empoleon team include Blissey, Celebi, some Bulky Waters, and Choice Scarfed Pokemon with higher than 80 Base Speed. Choosing Pokemon for the rest of your team to eliminate these threats early is vital to the success of an Empoleon team. The best Empoleon complement is the aforementioned Tyranitar. With Sand Stream as well as a very powerful Pursuit, he is able to do significant damage to Blissey, Celebi, Rotom-A, and many of the game's fastest Choice Scarfers (including Timid Rotom, which outspeeds Empoleon). He also baits out the fairly rare Vacuum Wave Lucario. Other complements to Empoleon focus on either providing Empoleon with switch-ins or baiting and wearing down key Pokemon before Empoleon's sweep begins. Salamence is one of the best offensive complements to Empoleon, as he tends to draw Ice and Dragon attacks that Empoleon loves to come in on. In addition, Scarf Salamence can come in after an opponent's Scarfer takes out Empoleon with Earthquake or a Fighting move and revenge kill to clean up the remnants of the opponent's team. Stallbreaking Gliscor provides Empoleon with even more support, as he baits and Toxics Vaporeon and Suicune while providing a bit of support against stall teams trying to Spike or otherwise set up on your team. Tentacruel, Forretress, and Roserade all provide Toxic Spikes, which basically do Gliscor's job with the addition of hitting Blissey, Celebi, and Shaymin through Natural Cure. A baiting Heatran can Explode on bulky waters and Blissey to make way for Empoleon's sweep, but watch out for Protect. Rotom-A is useful to block Rapid Spin from taking away Stealth Rock or Toxic Spikes. Careful thought needs to be put into the entirety of your team in order to make sure Empoleon gets the support he needs; Empoleon is sadly not a Pokemon well suited to being "dropped in" on a team.</p>

<p>You can run Timid with a spread of 12 HP/48 Def/252 SpA/196 Spe and a 31 HP IV in order to beat Scarf Rotom, but you lose a massive amount of power and ensure far fewer KOs, so it is a poor option. Hydro Pump gains guaranteed KOs on Salamence, Rotom, and some other borderline Pokemon, and can offset the use of a Timid nature, but the last thing you want your late game sweeper to do is miss a vital attack, so Hydro Pump is an inferior option. When you consider how useful Scarf Rotom's perfect counter, Tyranitar, is, it becomes even less appealing as an option. </p>


[SET]
name: Lead
move 1: Hydro Pump / Surf
move 2: Aqua Jet
move 3: Stealth Rock
move 4: Grass Knot / Ice Beam
nature: Modest
item: Focus Sash / Chople Berry
evs: 156 HP / 252 SpA / 100 Spe

[Set Comments]
<p>Empoleon makes a pretty decent lead, being able to set up Stealth Rock fairly reliably while doing heavy damage to many common leads. Hydro Pump followed by Aqua Jet will pick off Azelf and Aerodactyl, preventing these Pokemon from touching Empoleon. Hydro Pump also takes out bulker leads like Hippowdon, Heatran, and Forretress. Against Metagross, Empoleon can Stealth Rock as Metagross Earthquakes, leaving Empoleon in Torrent range while not being vulnerable to Bullet Punch due to the 4x resistance. The boosted Hydro Pump has a chance of OHKOing Metagross, leaving a nice dent in the opponent's team. Due to Focus Sash, many other leads will activate Torrent, allowing Empoleon to do heavy damage.</p>

<p>Your final move depends on if you worry more about Swampert or being set-up bait for Salamence. Grass Knot will KO Swampert about 60% of the time, while Ice Beam keeps Salamence at bay while also serving as a more accurate alternative to Hydro Pump for Gliscor and Aeroactyl. Empoleon is EVed to outrun most Tyranitar and Machamp, while providing itself with a bit of bulk for dealing with Metagross leads.</p>

[Additional Comments]
<p>Empoleon has a few options with this set in order to counter a few different leads. Running a Chople Berry will let you 2HKO Machamp with Hydro Pump about 32% of the time factoring in Accuracy and Confusion. Most Earthquakes won't OHKO Empoleon anyway, so it also helps to beat Fake Out Infernape, but you no longer guarantee Stealth Rock or surviving a turn, so some obscure moves could beat you. Surf can be used if you don't care about Metagross. You need a Rash nature and 52 Def / 104 Atk / 252 SpA / 100 Spe in order to beat Azelf with Surf + Aqua Jet, but Surf never misses which makes Empoleon more reliable. </p>

<p>Empoleon has a lot of trouble with a few particular leads. Any Sleep lead will beat Empoleon as he lacks Taunt or any other method to prevent status, but luckily Roserade and Smeargle are becoming less common. Pairing Empoleon with something that can set up on Roserade, Smeargle, and Infernape (if Empoleon has Focus Sash) will help Empoleon's team keep momentum despite the bad initial matchup. Bulky Dragon Dance Gyarados is a good choice after Empoleon absorbs the Sleep, as he can Taunt Roserade and Smeargle while setting up on Infernape. Suicune can set up on lead Infernape and Smeargle, while absorbing the sleep of the latter, while a better choice for setting up on Roserade would be (?)? </p>

basically it beats up on machamp and azelf and aero and metagross while getting out SR against your standard non-suiciders too

[SET]
name: Defensive
move 1: Surf
move 2: Grass Knot
move 3: Hidden Power Electric / Stealth Rock
move 4: Roar / Ice Beam
nature: Calm
item: Leftovers
evs: 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe

[Set Comments]
<p>Empoleon's Water / Steel typing is very unique, offering rare combinations of resistances. Combine this with Empoleon's respectable bulk and you have a respectable tank that can deal with a variety of physical and special threats in the OU metagame. While not a traditional "Bulky Water", Empoleon can cause a lot of problems for some key sweepers in the metagame, including most Gyarados, flinching Jirachi, and other Water types.<p>

<p>Surf provides Empoleon with a STAB attack for consistent damage. Grass Knot lets Empoleon counter other Water types with his high Special Defense and Water resistance.

<p>The last two slots can be mixed and matched depending on a team's need. Hidden Power Electric can be used to do heavy damage to opposing Gyarados. As the only Pokemon that resists Water, Flying, and Rock, most Gyarados variants cannot hit Empoleon for netural damage. Roar is very handy to phase Pokemon like Calm Mind Suicune, most Celebi, or Nasty Plot Togekiss. You can also use Roar initially to scout for Magnezone. Ice Beam is mostly useful for deterring Salamence, though boosted Outrages are not Empoleon's best friend. It also can 3HKO Celebi and Shaymin. Stealth Rock is nice if your team does not have another Pokemon to set it up, and works in tandem with Roar.</p>

[Additional Comments]
<p>Empoleon is a general defensive tank who can wall a surprising number of troubling Pokemon. Gyarados without Earthquake is no match for Empoleon. Bulky variants almost never pack Earthquake, opting for either Stone Edge to hit Zapdos or Bounce to hurt Celebi and other Water-types. Empoleon is never 3HKOed by Bulky Gyarados after a DD, 2HKOing back with Hidden Power Electric. Grass Knot can still occasionally get the 3HKO with Stealth Rock, but phasing Gyarados with Roar would be more useful if not packing Hidden Power Electric. Pure Dragon Dance variants are more likely to lack Earthquake, but without it Gyarados can never 2HKO Empoleon. A smart Empoleon user should notice the lack of Leftovers when switching him in to Gyarados and scout for Earthquake by switching in a Ground immune Pokemon. RestTalk variants are another safe switch in for Empoleon.</p>

<p>Sub-Iron Head Jirachi, while incredibly annoying for most Pokemon, doesn't bother Empoleon in the slightest. Empoleon can Roar Jirachi away as it absorbs a Thunder Wave, or do a little damage with Surf if it didn't use Substitute on the switch. Iron Head only does about 2% damage per turn factoring in Leftovers, making a PP stall viable. Unlike Jirachi's other big counter, Heatran, defensive Empoleon doesn't care about paralysis, so Jirachi is almost completely helpless versus Empoleon.</p>

<p>In addition to the above two Pokemon, Empoleon can take random physical and special attacks it resists with ease. Scizor's CB U-turn only does 33% maximum to Empoleon. Scarf Tyranitar's Stone Edge only does 25% max. Celebi's Earth Power does only 32% max to Empoleon. Life Orb Starmie only has a small chance to 2HKO Empoleon with Thunderbolt, while Grass Knot does 55% back. If you come in on another of Starmie's attacks, with Sandstorm and Stealth Rock, Empoleon counters Starmie nicely. Bulky variants have trouble with the 3HKO. </p>

<p>If one opts to run Defensive Empoleon on their team, a bit of support goes a long way toward increasing Empoleon's effectiveness. Pokemon that resist Ground and Fighting attacks make great partners as they can cover Empoleon's weaknesses. Defensive Zapdos, Rotom-A, and Stallbreaker Gliscor are natural choices, as Empoleon covers all of their weaknesses. Rotom-A can also provide Will-o-wisp or Reflect support for Empoleon, while Gliscor can Toxic opponents while threating Blissey and Magnezone with Toxic and Earthquake. In terms of offensive support, Empoleon serves as a good lure for Electric attacks, which makes Pokemon like Jolteon and Flygon great partners for this set. Flygon can also come in on Ground attacks aimed at Empoleon and threaten with powerful Outrages. </p>

<p>EVs are dumped in HP and Special Defense, with the extra 4 put in Speed to outrun neutral Swampert in order to KO with Grass Knot. Extra Defense EVs don't really change any KOs, as Empoleon takes resisted hits fine with a 252 / 0 spread, but does not take SE or neutral hits significantly better without major Defense investment. If you're terrified of Kingdra, you can run 160 Defense EVs to survive two +1 Life Orb Outrages, but Kingdra isn't common enough for the spread to be viable.</p>

[SET]
name: 3 Attack Sweeper
move 1: Agility / Substitute
move 2: Surf
move 3: Ice Beam
move 4: Grass Knot
nature: Modest / Timid
item: Life Orb
evs: (raikoulover's magic EVs?)

[Set Comments]
ugh

[SET]
name: Choice Specs
move 1: Surf
move 2: Ice Beam
move 3: Grass Knot
move 4: Sleep Talk / Hidden Power Electric / Hydro Pump
nature: Modest
item: Leftovers
evs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Spe

[Set Comments]
Few Changes, but specs isn't bad with enough resistances to repeatedly come in on cool stuff like starmie, azelf, whatever

basic "you should have salamence checks and ground immunes" for teammates, same rotom and gliscor as everywhere

[Team Options]
More detail into "how to build an empoleon team" basically, that should be the main focus. the other sets use basically the same support anyway

[Optional Changes]
Swords Dance, 3 Attack Agility, Choice Band, Rest Talk basically that's it

[Counters]
A bit of an expansion on the old counter set, i wrote it so i know what's up
 
I just double checked, there's already no mention of Latias in the analysis (I personally went and took out any mention of Latias in OU analyses after she was banned, so I thought I skipped Empoleon by accident when you said you were taking out Latias mentions...)

I also would like to see Ice Beam still slashed on the Sub Petaya set, because even though Latias is gone, it still allows Empoleon to hit Salamence, and Grass-types are on the rise now too with the lack of Latias. If Mence gets banned, we'll see even MORE Grass types commonly being used (see: Shaymin's usage spike on the Suspect ladder), so I definitely think it deserves a slash.

The lead set loses to Machamp, so you should edit that bit out.

I do not want to see the defensive set go, because Empoleon has very unique defensive typing with decent stats to back it up, and it can actually be a real pain in the ass to deal with.

Finally, I'm a bit reluctant to see the three attack set go. I have seen people do some hefty damage with the set in the past, and I think it would be cool to add a bit in AC about passing an Agility to the set and allow for Sub Petaya instead of Agility + LO (which is a really damn good strategy).
 
a small nitpicky thing: do the 24 def EVs in the Agility SubPetaya set help Empoleon survive any physical attacks in particular? I don't see why 30 IVs in HP is necessary. putting 12 EVs in HP and 12 in Def (with 31 HP IV) would make Empoleon's HP 4 points higher while its Def would only be 3 points lower.
 

jc104

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a small nitpicky thing: do the 24 def EVs in the Agility SubPetaya set help Empoleon survive any physical attacks in particular? I don't see why 30 IVs in HP is necessary. putting 12 EVs in HP and 12 in Def (with 31 HP IV) would make Empoleon's HP 4 points higher while its Def would only be 3 points lower.
Yeah, agreeing with this largely, except that 232 speed EVs is kind of pointless too. I always run 12hp 32def 252spatk 212spe. This outruns scarf Heatran, and the only notable things it loses out on are +1 max speed Dragonite and Togekiss, which are hardly relevant.

Also, I have noticed that in the lead position pretty much only fighting-type moves are capable of bringing lead Empoleon down to its sash (apart from Mamoswine who beats you anyway short of Shuca berry), meaning that Chople berry is probably the superior option IMO. This helps you to beat Infernape and gives a chance to beat Machamp without it killing you with bullet punch.

Also supporting Ice beam on SubPetaya. Getting walled by dragons and grass-types isn't fun.
 

cim

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I also would like to see Ice Beam still slashed on the Sub Petaya set, because even though Latias is gone, it still allows Empoleon to hit Salamence, and Grass-types are on the rise now too with the lack of Latias. If Mence gets banned, we'll see even MORE Grass types commonly being used (see: Shaymin's usage spike on the Suspect ladder), so I definitely think it deserves a slash.
Empoleon does 69.2% - 81.6% to Salamence with Surf, with SR and Sand that's a KO. I think running Ice Beam for just that is pretty silly.

Shaymin's on the rise, yeah, but Celebi is easy to deal with by just Pursuiting with the Tyranitar your Empoleon based team should already have. While Shaymin is a legitamite concern, there are far fewer Grass types than Water types (Suicune, Vaporeon, other Empoleon, etc) and running Ice Beam makes you auto-lose to these more common and harder to deal with Pokemon.

The lead set loses to Machamp, so you should edit that bit out.
Sure. Interesting note, though. If you lower Empoleon's speed as much as possible you can make Empoleon activate Torrent for Hydro Pump which has a small chance to KO. I'll look into this...

I do not want to see the defensive set go, because Empoleon has very unique defensive typing with decent stats to back it up, and it can actually be a real pain in the ass to deal with.
Cool. I was thinking that as well.

Finally, I'm a bit reluctant to see the three attack set go. I have seen people do some hefty damage with the set in the past, and I think it would be cool to add a bit in AC about passing an Agility to the set and allow for Sub Petaya instead of Agility + LO (which is a really damn good strategy).
I honestly feel that the strategy you outline is more viable than the actual set, but then how do you make a set to take advantage of that? Agility + LO has given me very little success in the past when you have stuff like Starmie, etc that can be fast and use Life Orb right out of the gate.

a small nitpicky thing: do the 24 def EVs in the Agility SubPetaya set help Empoleon survive any physical attacks in particular? I don't see why 30 IVs in HP is necessary. putting 12 EVs in HP and 12 in Def (with 31 HP IV) would make Empoleon's HP 4 points higher while its Def would only be 3 points lower.
Bullet Punch and Ice Shard from Mamoswine and Scizor. I remember doing the calcs for this. Seems really nitpicky but it's won me a match or seven.

Yeah, agreeing with this largely, except that 232 speed EVs is kind of pointless too. I always run 12hp 32def 252spatk 212spe. This outruns scarf Heatran, and the only notable things it loses out on are +1 max speed Dragonite and Togekiss, which are hardly relevant.
There was something really specific I ran 232 for. I think it got edited out, but I remember running 212 Speed until I ran into a Pokemon, going "FUCK!" and then bumping it up. Was it Scarf Mamoswine? Either way I'll double check and possibly edit the set to this as the extra bulk for priority attacks would be nice.

edit: i'll check in a bit but i think it was scarf rotom

Also, I have noticed that in the lead position pretty much only fighting-type moves are capable of bringing lead Empoleon down to its sash (apart from Mamoswine who beats you anyway short of Shuca berry), meaning that Chople berry is probably the superior option IMO. This helps you to beat Infernape and gives a chance to beat Machamp without it killing you with bullet punch.
This also lets you beat lead Machamp (with surf so fuck you accuracy), so I will make it a slash.

Also supporting Ice beam on SubPetaya. Getting walled by dragons and grass-types isn't fun.
Except as previously stated, you don't.
 
That is not considering bulky Salamence, and even worse, not considering Dragonite who is naturally bulkier and, again, very prevalent in a Mence-less metagame. Finally, Grass Knot is only hitting Suicune for hard damage in the OU environment. Vaporeon is hardly tickled by GK, and Swampert is destroyed by Surf anyways. Hell, even Suicune will beat Grass Knot Empoleons, because they can just start Calm Minding up and not let you activate your Petaya berry. In the end, Ice Beam benefits you more than GK does and should be the main slash IMO.
 

cim

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That is not considering bulky Salamence, and even worse, not considering Dragonite who is naturally bulkier and, again, very prevalent in a Mence-less metagame. Finally, Grass Knot is only hitting Suicune for hard damage in the OU environment. Vaporeon is hardly tickled by GK, and Swampert is destroyed by Surf anyways. Hell, even Suicune will beat Grass Knot Empoleons, because they can just start Calm Minding up and not let you activate your Petaya berry. In the end, Ice Beam benefits you more than GK does and should be the main slash IMO.
I think adding a slash if Dragonite becomes prevalent if Salamence gets banned is something we can do later rather than assume now.

Suicune CMing when Emp has an Agility and a Sub still means Suicune loses, as each CM means you throw out a Grass Knot, and with several CMs you're bound to have CHed at least once. Toxic Spikes can rectify this as well if you have Grass Knot, but with Ice Beam you instantly lose no matter what to Suicune.

Vaporeon does take enough damage from Grass Knot to make countering it possible despite the low weight. There are two cases:
-Switching in on Agility: Toxicing Vaporeon makes it beatable if it has HP Electric. If it doesn't, since Vaporeon doesn't have status attacks, you can just Grass Knot instead of Substituting down to do enough damage to it, getting free Subs on stuff like Protect, eventually beating it.
-Switching in after setup: Needs HP Electric to win, otherwise Grass Knot 2HKOs with Sand and SR.

Both of these cases give Empoleon enough of an upside to warrant Grass Knot for Vaporeon.

Ice Beam as the primary slash gives you far more Pokemon you and your team can't possibly "play around" than Grass Knot does, and overall makes Empoleon less versatile. I'll put it as a slash, but it really is completely inferior when you run the calcs and consider the entire team in addition to just Empoleon.
 

supermarth64

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Make a mention of Timid in AC for SubPetaya to outspeed Timid Scarf Rotom-A but note the huge drop in power.
 
I'm not really sure why you're trying to be stubborn about not slashing Ice Beam. It's pretty clear that the benefits from Ice Beam are at least as good as, if not better than Grass Knot. Suicune is winning no matter what. Even if you have Toxic Spikes, you have to rely on a crit to beat Cune, and that's not very reliable IMO. I'd much rather have a guaranteed option for Dragons and Grass-types than an option for hitting Suicune and possibly winning if you're lucky. You also don't need to set up Toxic Spikes to have a chance against Grass-types, and I'm sure the majority of teams which use Sub Agility Empoleon will not want to be forced into using Toxic Spikes on all their teams. Additionally, I'm sure people do not want to be forced into using a Pursuit user just to help eliminate Celebi for Empoleon's sweep, and again, Shaymin usage is on the rise... by a LOT - especially at higher levels of play. Finally, even with the calc you showed for min-min Salamence, you're not even guaranteed to KO with Surf, so that's the difference between fully sweeping and exchanging KOs.

Adding a slash does not take away from the analysis whatsoever, so again, I'm not sure why you seem so adamant on not doing so. If Ice Beam was seriously a terrible choice for the set, I would not be advocating it so much. Anyways, I will not approve that set unless Ice Beam is slashed.
 

cim

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I probably should have made it more clear (and I edited), I agreed to the slash. Sorry about any confusion.

I'd rebut, but I'm putting the slash so I don't really see the point of convincing you "Grass Knot is better". Over 6 turns, you are at about 50% odds of having at least one CH, assuming no Toxic.
 

Seven Deadly Sins

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Yeah, I have to agree with Chris. I've used Empoleon on MANY occasions. If you pack Grass Knot you can still get around stuff that resists both (Salamence, Dragonite, Celebi, Shaymin) since they either need very little extra residual damage or a little bit of team support to be beaten by Surf. Hell, Max HP Celebi/Shaymin eat likely 2HKOs from Torrent Surf with SR. If you pack Ice Beam, there is a 0% chance that you are getting around Suicune and Vaporeon. NEVER. Not happening. Your ass is grass. The chance of you beating them is dick.

See where this is going? One option has a couple tenuous counters that rely on them being at 100% or damn near it, while the other has 100% counters that are going to beat you no matter what. Ice Beam deserves a slash since at times I guess you can eat an unboosted Outrage and KO with Ice Beam? However, not in a million years would I even consider it as the "primary option".

EDIT: Suicune beats you 100%? What?

+1 Grass Knot vs:
252/0 Bold: 70.8% - 83.7%
252/0 Bold +1: 47.5% - 55.9%

I think we're unclear on what's beating what. Hell, +0 is a 2HKO on Suicune.

+0 Grass Knot:
+0 Suicune: 47.5% - 55.9%
+1 Suicune: 31.7% - 37.6%

Even if you roll minimum damage both times,

As for Vaporeon...

+1:
188/0 Bold (Standard Wish): 45.1% - 53.1%

+0: 30.4% - 35.7%

Looks like a perfectly fine 2HKO from me with SR support after the Petaya boost, wouldn't you say?

Also, what the hell? Why would you ever ever EVER not run a Tyranitar on an Empoleon team. Sandstorm helps it get a lot of random KOs, it removes Celebi, one of the few legitimate "counters" to the set, it eliminates Scarf Rotom-A, which actually outspeeds +2 Empoleon with Timid, etc. Not using Tyranitar with Empoleon is a terrible, terrible idea, and saying people "shouldn't be forced to run pursuit" is ridiculous. It's the "cost of doing business" for Empoleon.
 
if you have toxic spikes as chris is me so generously assumed then why do you need grass knot to beat bulky waters
 
kk, cool. Also, I would be cautious of lowering the speed to activate Torrent vs. Machamp - I think you're better off going for either guaranteed damage, or guaranteed SR than a 50% chance to KO (confusion). Instead, the Chople suggestion sounds good for a slash for dealing with Machamp, or at the very least, leaving with some HP in tact. With that addition (which I think you already said you agreed to, but just making sure) I will approve this analysis.

Edit @ SDS: A good player won't switch Suicune in after Empoleon gets the Petaya boost -__-. As soon as you see Agility, bring Suicune in and start Calm Minding up. Again, same with Vaporeon. If they come in after the Petaya boost, Empoleon will not have a Substitute, meaning you need to OHKO (which you don't do) or get KOed in return.
 

cim

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if you have toxic spikes as chris is me so generously assumed then why do you need grass knot to beat bulky waters
I didn't assume that, I just said "for trouble cases you can toxic" which could be done with Tspikes, British Gliscor, etc. Both Pokemon can frequently be beaten without Toxic but it helps for specific cases.

Regardless if your 25% Empoleon kills something and Tspikes poisons Vaporeon, doesn't do you much good as it surfs you twice...

As for the Suicune vs Empoleon:
Emp agilities, Cune comes in
You GK, do about 50%, he CMs
GK for a little less, if he CMs you win, if he Rests you get more tries for crits (as in more than 6 or 7) all while being at full health so you can sub down later and stuff

Empoleon does not get OHKOed by either HP Electric, he's got a ton of bulk. IIRC it's like 40%, so yeah if they have a complete full health cune with no residual at all and HP electric too you lose, i guess, if they hold off on bringing him in on the set up which you yourself said was not the smart option?
 

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And you intend to say that in the time it takes for Suicune to CM enough times to actually try to start hurting Empoleon, it's not going to get critted? I'm not saying rely on it, but we're talking having to set up and attack for 3-4 turns, plus having to heal since Empoleon is actually dishing out solid damage (it's almost a 2hko vs. +0 and +1), etc. You think Garchomp makes shit unreliable? The chance of actually living long enough to not get critted is surprisingly low.

Also let's say that you're actually running offensive Suicune. Now you're 2HKOed by Grass Knot EVEN IF YOU CALM MIND, and for what?

+1 252 Special Attack Life Orb HP Electric vs. 0/0 Empoleon: 74.7% - 88.3%

Not only is it not a KO, but it puts Empoleon into Petaya range AND gets you killed.

As for Vaporeon, well...

Standard Vaporeon HP Electric vs. 0/0 Empoleon: 35.7% - 42.2%

What is this shit? OHKO or get KOed? It's not even a 2HKO, for christ's sake. Empoleon gets to sit on its ass Grass Knotting you while you can't even TRY to avoid putting it into Petaya range.
 
Sigh, this is pretty retarded that I have to go and do calcs to prove a fellow Quality Control team member wrong.

Versus Crocune:

1. Empoleon uses Agility or Substitute as Suicune switches in.
2. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 47.5% - 55.9% while Suicune uses Calm Mind.
3. Empoleon uses Grass knot for 31.7% - 37.6% while Suicune uses Rest. (slight chance to KO if SS and SR are up)
4. As long as Suicune wins in sixteen turns, odds are in its favor.
5. Keep in mind, Empoleon either has an Agility or a Sub at this point, not both. It would need to waste a turn to be fully set up to sweep, making Suicune's job that much easier.

Versus Vaporeon (best case scenario):

1. Empoleon uses Agility as Vaporeon switches in.
2. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 30.4% - 35.7% while Vaporeon uses HP Electric for 35.7% - 42.2%.
3. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 30.4% - 35.7% while Vaporeon uses Wish.
4. Protect.
5. Repeat 3+4 until Vaporeon is at full HP again.
6. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 30.4% - 35.7% while Vaporeon uses Wish.
7. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 30.4% - 35.7% while Vaporeon uses HP Electric for 35.7% - 42.2% putting Empoleon in Petaya range. Wish heals Vaporeon 50%.
8. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 45.1% - 53.1% while Vaporeon finishes it off with Hidden Power Electric.
9. This sequence has Vaporeon taking significantly less than sixteen Grass Knots, meaning the odds are Vaporeon wins.

If Toxic Spikes are up, a good player will just keep breaking Empoleon's Substitute with something and sacrifice it to get Vaporeon in and finish Empoleon off. You are not winning.

I also wanted to note that I went and did calcs for Torrent + Petaya Surf versus min/min Naive Salamence, and you only do 61.6% - 72.8%. That means that even after Stealth Rocks damage you are guaranteed to NOT KO Salamence. That is a huge fucking deal, and merits Ice Beam all in it's own.

I will concede that you at least have a better shot versus Suicune... but I'm pretty sure I said earlier that Suicune is the ONLY Pokemon in OU that you get a shot at beating by using Grass Knot instead of Ice Beam. With Ice Beam, you get guaranteed KOs on Salamence and Dragonite, and you beat Celebi and Shaymin as well (don't make me explain how you beat these two too). The benefits of Ice Beam outweigh Grass Knot and it should therefore be the main slash. Period.

Don't put me in a situation like this again, SDS. Especially during the NBA finals -__-.
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
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Sigh, this is pretty retarded that I have to go and do calcs to prove a fellow Quality Control team member wrong.

Versus Crocune:

1. Empoleon uses Agility or Substitute as Suicune switches in.
2. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 47.5% - 55.9% while Suicune uses Calm Mind.
3. Empoleon uses Grass knot for 31.7% - 37.6% while Suicune uses Rest. (slight chance to KO if SS and SR are up)
4. As long as Suicune wins in sixteen turns, odds are in its favor.
5. Keep in mind, Empoleon either has an Agility or a Sub at this point, not both. It would need to waste a turn to be fully set up to sweep, making Suicune's job that much easier.
Let's assume it used Agility because Sub right away is generally a poor choice. Suicune has a 64% chance of a CH in those 16 turns, assuming Surf during Sleep Talk doesn't bring it closer to Petaya, and also assuming it gets at least one CM during that initial Sleep Talk. This is a "worst case" scenario, any prior damage is a loss for Suicune.

Versus Vaporeon (best case scenario):

1. Empoleon uses Agility as Vaporeon switches in.
2. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 30.4% - 35.7% while Vaporeon uses HP Electric for 35.7% - 42.2%.
3. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 30.4% - 35.7% while Vaporeon uses Wish.
4. Protect.
5. Repeat 3+4 until Vaporeon is at full HP again.
6. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 30.4% - 35.7% while Vaporeon uses Wish.
7. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 30.4% - 35.7% while Vaporeon uses HP Electric for 35.7% - 42.2% putting Empoleon in Petaya range. Wish heals Vaporeon 50%.
8. Empoleon uses Grass Knot for 45.1% - 53.1% while Vaporeon finishes it off with Hidden Power Electric.
9. This sequence has Vaporeon taking significantly less than sixteen Grass Knots, meaning the odds are Vaporeon wins.
Your sequence isn't a best case scenario. Actually, believe it or not Vap doesn't run HPE all the time, but I'll give you a worst case and assume it does.

1. Agility
2. Grass Knot: 30.4% - 35.7% HPE: 35.7 - 42.2
3. Wish
4. Protect, here you assume the Emp doesn't see that coming. if you use Sub, which is easy to do since Protect is coming from a mile away you get the upper hand

Empoleon wins even in the surprisingly somewhat rare case that Vap has HPE, thanks to that Sub.

I also wanted to note that I went and did calcs for Torrent + Petaya Surf versus min/min Naive Salamence, and you only do 61.6% - 72.8%. That means that even after Stealth Rocks damage you are guaranteed to NOT KO Salamence. That is a huge fucking deal, and merits Ice Beam all in it's own.
69.2% - 81.6% is what I got. You did the calcs wrong and made Empoleon's stat +2 rather than +1 and activating Torrent manually with the HP slider. The difference is very important damage wise. SDS and I have played this set extensively over the past two years, and we've put hours of analysis into this very question in addition to "real world" play time. Without Latias, Ice Beam is never the best option (regardless i am slashing it but i won't be very nice to it in the AC)
 

Seven Deadly Sins

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Just for the record... there's a ~64% chance of getting AT LEAST one CH over 16 attacks, and your assumption that the Empoleon user is just Grass Knotting over and over again while you're Wishprotecting is iffy at best. If it's Substituting down or Agilitying while Vaporeon has to burn 2 turns to Wish + Protect, things get touchy. Also note that your situation requires Vaporeon to be at 100%? Against a lategame sweeper? Good fucking luck.

If we're calling Focus Blast a way for Gengar to beat Tyranitar, yet not calling the likelihood of a Grass Knot CH a chance to beat Vaporeon and/or Suicune... what the hell?

EDIT: Adding on to that...

Note that with Sandstorm up, Empoleon needs to roll minimum damage all three times against Suicune to not 3HKO it at +1. This means that Suicune NEEDS to hit Calm Mind at least once in the first two Sleep Talks to survive. It also has to hope that the berry doesn't activate while it's +1 or +2. You're allowed to rely on luck with Sleep Talk in 2 crucial turns and Empoleon isn't allowed to roll for a CH over 16? Don't make me laugh.

As for Salamence, I just did a calc of Modest +1 Torrent Surf versus Naive Min/Min Salamence, and the result was 69.2% - 81.6%. Torrent is a multiplier that takes place AFTER stat boosts, not just a lazy +1 boost.

Also, in the end, it must be realized that Grass Knot only does badly against rare sets. HP Electric is on Vaporeon what, 27% of the time? Without HP Electric, Vaporeon loses hands down. Meanwhile Suicune runs Sleep Talk 32% of the time. No Sleep Talk? No counter. Ice Beam variants lose to these two 100% of the time. Meanwhile, Surf still has the ability to 2HKO and muscle past all of the things that resist Water + Grass. How often is Salamence bulky enough to not get owned by Surf? 84% run no HP, 97% run no Special Defense. Celebi not being 2hkoed? Needs SDef. Doesn't run SDef 88% of the time, only runs CM 12% of the time. Dragonite is a jerk, but once again, slight residual damage. Compare that to Suicune, where NO AMOUNT OF RESIDUAL DAMAGE will allow an Ice Beam variant to beat it.

You beat 4 things slightly better at the cost of losing 100% to 2 things. I'm not buying it.
 
You're right about the Torrent calcs. I didn't know Smogon's calc functioned like that. Regardless, you're still not guaranteed to KO, and that's the absolute lowest defense you'll get from Salamence.

Subbing with Empoleon on Protect does nothing for you, because the ultimate goal is letting Vaporeon try to get you to the Petaya boost while continually attacking it. I guess you protect yourself from a crit coming from Vaporeon by using Substitute, but the outcome is still the same. Hell, if you sub down to the Petaya berry yourself after taking an initial hit from Vaporeon, you end up with less HP should you actually get lucky and crit Vaporeon, allowing something like Scizor to even revenge KO you.

Edit: You guys seem to be understanding me wrong. I'm saying the chances of getting a crit is 1/16, not that you win in 16 turns. You win in far less than 16 turns. I'm saying if you crit before 16 turns, you beat the odds.

Edit #2: Vaporeon just needs to be at 36% to pull that scenario off -__-.

Edit #3: Again, you're ONLY beating Suicune more "reliably" with Grass Knot. Nothing else. Compare that to the usage of all the other Pokemon? Yeah "I'm not buying it".
 

Seven Deadly Sins

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Seriously? You're going to grouse about the fact that Scizor beats you after you've beaten your #1 counter?

In the end of the day, the counters to Surf + Grass Knot are tenuous at best (all 2hkoed by Surf, Dragons need slight residual damage over the course of the game), while the counters to Surf + Ice Beam are 100% ironclad "you are fucked". Case closed.

Again, you're ONLY beating Suicune more "reliably" with Grass Knot. Nothing else. Compare that to the usage of all the other Pokemon? Yeah "I'm not buying it".
This is bullshit. Grass Knot Empoleon beats Suicune more reliably than Focus Blast Gengar with a Substitute up beats Tyranitar. It needs to not crit once over 16 turns, PLUS Suicune needs to be a: carrying Sleep Talk (only happens 32% of the time) AND b: hit a 33% chance at least once over 2 turns. It is more likely for Empoleon to get a critical hit than it is for Empoleon to actually need that critical hit.
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
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You're right about the Torrent calcs. I didn't know Smogon's calc functioned like that. Regardless, you're still not guaranteed to KO, and that's the absolute lowest defense you'll get from Salamence.
Actually with sand, the KO is guaranteed. Granted it's after you die if you get unlucky, but you're also assuming a 100% Salamence has taken zero prior damage and that you can't clean up your opponent with two pokes down. That is a strong assumption to make, honestly. Going from >50% on mence worstcase to 100% isn't worth gaining several ironclad guaranteed counters, when you have a team of 5 other pokemon to make him less of a problem.

Subbing with Empoleon on Protect does nothing for you, because the ultimate goal is letting Vaporeon try to get you to the Petaya boost while continually attacking it. I guess you protect yourself from a crit coming from Vaporeon by using Substitute, but the outcome is still the same. Hell, if you sub down to the Petaya berry yourself after taking an initial hit from Vaporeon, you end up with less HP should you actually get lucky and crit Vaporeon, allowing something like Scizor to even revenge KO you.
No, actually it isn't because you get an extra free Grass Knot, basically. Gives you more time to try for crits, while having a Sub for when Vap does get to 100% which just makes the cycle take longer. Again, in the worst case 100% vap scenario, in the late game. Scizor can revenge you if you get unlucky with damage rolls and switch in on SR, but far from reliably.

Edit: You guys seem to be understanding me wrong. I'm saying the chances of getting a crit is 1/16, not that you win in 16 turns. You win in far less than 16 turns. I'm saying if you crit before 16 turns, you beat the odds.
You break 50% chance of a crit on Turn 11, which Suicune has to reach and Vaporeon can reach. Again also assuming zero prior on Vap, which a well designed Empoleon team can avoid with baits like Britcore, Gyarados, etc.

Edit #2: Vaporeon just needs to be at 36% to pull that scenario off -__-.

Edit #3: Again, you're ONLY beating Suicune more "reliably" with Grass Knot. Nothing else. Compare that to the usage of all the other Pokemon? Yeah "I'm not buying it".
36% vap: Emp used agility in comes vap, emp used grass knot it wished, protect you sub. If it doesn't attack you you just win more reliably and can't be revenged by scizor due to too high HP, if it does Vap loses since it doesn't HPE initially

also "more reliably" means "over 66% of the time, with the set that is 100% best suited for beating empoleon, absolute worst case scenario"
 

shrang

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Take out Agillity + 3 Attacks, it's not really viable stand-alone and the tiny coverage gain doesn't make up for the power IMO
I'm sorry, but I disagree with this, Agility + 3 Attacks is actually quite viable (I mean come on, Specs is viable but Agility + LO isn't)?? It has the same resistances as the Specs set, LO gives off a similar power boost (not as much, but pretty good) but has the option of changing moves and outspeeding pretty much all non-Scarfers outside Ninjask. It's quite a good late-game cleaner.
 
Are you both forgetting that if Vaporeon is above 70%, it still doesn't even die to a crit? Again, the ONLY thing you have a better chance at beating is Suicune.

@ SDS: I only brought up Scizor saying that using Substitute is really stupid, because on the off chance that you beat Vaporeon, you have successfully put yourself in a situation where Scizor can revenge KO you. Please read what I'm posting before making comments like that.

@ CIM: What kind of moron will switch Salamence in outside of a revenge KO if SS is up?
 

cim

happiness is such hard work
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Are you both forgetting that if Vaporeon is above 70%, it still doesn't even die to a crit? Again, the ONLY thing you have a better chance at beating is Suicune.
You need to be Wishing when that crit happens or else you lose.

@ CIM: What kind of moron will switch Salamence in outside of a revenge KO if SS is up?
If you kill two mons late game, wouldn't you say that's a fair enough trade? Assuming you get unlucky and don't clean OHKO it, that is. Also, if you bring in Sand late game I guess you could get prior damage on a mence but yeah i see your point. Still, 50%+ chance of a KO is really "good enough" when you consider it lets you avoid instantly losing to others.

It is significantly easier to "pre-prepare" for all of the pokemon Ice Beam would hit than all of the Pokemon Grass Knot hits, this is pretty much undisputable. It is pretty easy to build a team around getting Celebi out of play, Pursuiting Scarf Rotom, getting Sand and SR out, and maybe baiting Vap for Toxic if it has HPE than it is to trap and kill Suicune and Vap (yes you need to trap them because Surf and Ice Beam make Emp instantly lose). This has been the case for a long time and SDS and I have both tested Empoleon extensively (like, over the course of several months in several OU metagames).
 

Seven Deadly Sins

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@ SDS: I only brought up Scizor saying that using Substitute is really stupid, because on the off chance that you beat Vaporeon, you have successfully put yourself in a situation where Scizor can revenge KO you. Please read what I'm posting before making comments like that.
Substitute allows you to activate Petaya with a substitute up, which means that now your Grass Knots have a solid chance to 2HKO. That's also assuming that your opponent's priority is still alive. Also, if Vaporeon rolls anything other than minimum damage when it's HP Electric-ing you, then Scizor will be able to revenge after Vaporeon goes down anyway. What point did this have anyway?

@ CIM: What kind of moron will switch Salamence in outside of a revenge KO if SS is up?
Where did he actually talk about Salamence NOT coming in on a revenge KO?
 

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