All Gens Find a Niche: Kabutops

phosphor

end of transmission
is a Tutor Alumnus
BW
181517

Jumpluff @ Flying Gem
Ability: Chlorophyll
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Sleep Powder/ Protect
- Swords Dance
- Acrobatics
- Seed Bomb/ Protect maybe???

Once upon a time, it was the fastest Chlorophyll sweeper. Then, it wasn't. It could still be usable on teams with Skarmory and Heatran removal, with the deceptively hard-hitting Acrobatics and a super fast Sleep Powder to buy it more turns to set up/ get past annoying stuff/ cripple something before switching another guy in. Scarf Lando clicks HP Ice on it for instant die. Have hazard control.

The best way to make this guy work is to win the next BW Cup for voting reqs and free ChloroSun.
 
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BW
Jumpluff @ Focus Sash
Ability: Infiltrator
Evs: 252 Hp/4 At/252 Spe
Jolly nature
- Sleep Powder
- Encore
- Leech Seed/tailwind
- U-turn
Jumpluff kinda, technically, sorta has a useful niche as a decentish enabler. So imagine the scene. Your opponent has brought in a mon that plans to set up and sweep your team. The mon you have in is too threatened by it and/or too important against other things on your opponents team. Swords Dance Chomp for example. Normally this is quite the issue, requiring you to play around it, limiting it's set up, trying not to get swept. But with Jumpluff it is barely even a hitch on the way to a flawless victory. Pluff jumps into action, switching in on the set up, outspeeds next turn and encores it. Crisis averted it can u-turn on the switch to regain momentum. But wait there's more! Instead of u-turning it can use Sleep Powder on the switch and then u turn out to a more threatening mon. You can even get up a tailwind/leech seed to facilitate that mons antics. What a momentum switch! You forced a threatening sweeper out and then slept something else and got in a more threatening mon. Truly this mon has turned the tide of the battle. "But wait!" I hear you say " What if they predict this totally not gimmicky strat and attack on the switch. Well then there's two options. You either get knocked to sash and then outspeed and sleep them or you take hazard damage and die instantly. This is good however as it means they didn't get to set up and can be stopped easier. Truly this strat has no flaws.

In all seriousness, Jumpluff can work as a decent facilitator to more threatening mons, cockblocking opponent's set up and in particular sleeping something which is incredibly useful. It can also set up leech or wind or a hundred other things before u-turning if you feel brave. It strikes the best blend between speed and an accurate sleep move imo (there's faster hypnosis users but hypnosis is less accurate and more accurate spore users but they're slow af). It's speed is seriously good even without Chlorophyll where it's unmatched and without Chlorophyll it can sleep something through a sub or even encore the sub user into trying to create more thanks to Infiltrator, which isn't incredibly useful but is very funny.

It's flaws are as obvious as they are crippling and I really don't think I need to point them out. Sleep is so good in this gen tho that a mon who can set it up and then safely pivot to something actually threatening is a legitimate, if very shakey niche in my opinion. If you keep rocks and sand off, which many teams do for reasons other than this shitty cotton ball regardless, it's sash can ensure that it sleeps something which might be crucial (accuracy not withstanding). It's not an amazing niche but it can be made to do work and there's worse options available. Just pretend Amoongus, Loom and Smeargle don't exist. (They don't outspeed a lot of common shit tho so there's that)

Imagine if this fucker got Spore tho, now that would be worth the hassle
 

Century Express

melodies of life
is a Tutoris a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a former Tournament Circuit Champion

Jumpluff
Ability: None
- Leech Seed
- Sleep Powder
- Stun Spore
- Encore

It's kinda hard to justify Jumpluff, because of Exeggutor's value as a status spreader + offense enabler. However, the extra speed and its access to Encore makes Jumpluff a bit more flexible at status spread, and unlike Exeggutor, it has the perfect tools to check Mean Look Umbreon / Misdreavus, since Encore's PPs won't be an issue in this case, filling a mini-niche on teams where you can't find enough space to fit multiple phazers. Its solid speed tier helps it to play more comfortably around (some) BP teams, even outpacing +2 Speed DrumLax (via Jolteon or Smeargle).
 

McMeghan

Dreamcatcher
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I'm gonna revive this thread because I recently re-read it and I thought it was not only interesting but also quite useful. It gives us some newfound ways to use or build around underrated Pokemons.

I'm gonna start with Kabutops

Kabutops has some unique traits across the old gens so there are probably things worth talking about here. Does it fill a defensive niche that'd fit an OU team? Does it have an unique offensive set that could shine in the right situations? I can think of a few, and I'm eager to learn about yours.

 

peng

fuck xatu
is a Community Contributor
BW OU

Kabutops is never going to be anywhere close to a top-tier threat in BW OU, but it does carve a niche as a counter-style option vs Rain that also has access to Rapid Spin. This is reminiscent of Sand Rush Excadrill on Rain teams when it was briefly allowed, which put sand teams in really difficult positions regarding the weather war. It goes without saying that Kabutops is nowhere near as good as Excadrill - its significantly weaker, its frailer and has less useful defensive typing, and it struggles against 2 common pieces against the archetype you want to counterstyle (Ferrothorn and Keldeo), but nonetheless it might be able to fit on some highly specialised sand, or DragMag teams in place of Starmie.

/

Kabutops @ Life Orb / Rock Gem
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature [+Spe, -SAtk]
- Rapid Spin
- Swords Dance
- Waterfall
- Stone Edge

Beaten super hard by Ferrothorn so Magnezone support is near essential if you want any shot at actually beating rain. If you're already going Kabutops + Magnezone, you might as well go with DragMag and forego Starmie. From there, you have a decent rain match-up if you can get rid of Ferrothorn. Kabutops can spin in a few particular situations where Starmie can't, for example in the face of Scarf Keldeo or Latios in Rain, therefore removing rocks for something like Multiscale Dragonite. Against sand, Kabutops' lack of Pursuit weakness means it gets more longevity against Tyranitar. Its very niche but might work if you're opponent is a known rain-lover. Rock Gem is needed if you want the clean OHKO on defensive Politoed, but Life Orb does the job with rocks up and is generally better. Breloom rain is tougher but +2 LO Kabutops in Rain does 86%+ to 252/0 Breloom, so its not insurmountable.

/

Kabutops @ Life Orb / Rock Gem
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature [+Spe, -SAtk]
- Swords Dance
- Waterfall
- Stone Edge
- Aqua Jet / Low Kick

This is a more balls to the wall approach. By dropping Rapid Spin, Kabutops can find room for Aqua Jet which makes it actually match-up decently vs some sand builds. Aqua Jet dissuades Landorus-T from revenge-killing, which can be an issue for those double ground, Tyranitar / Ferrothorn / Rotom-W / Landorus / Excadrill / Latios-type teams. Magic Guard sand teams are an issue, however, as doesn't consistently beat Reuniclus unless its Rock Gem and Adamant (you need Jolly for standard Excadrill), and Sash Alakazam duh. Obviously still requires Magnezone support, unless you're willing to drop something for Low Kick.

Kabutops' biggest issues are:
1) Frail and prediction-heavy - Kabutops doesn't seem like it gets many safe opportunities to spin or SD, as its defensive typing and stats don't lend itself to generating safe turns vs the common rain teams. Every time you go for an SD or Rapid Spin has a risk attached to it, because unlike Starmie, Kabutops can't just spin in front of defensive waters and expect to survive the rain-boosted scald. Against sand, your best shot is HP Ice-locked Lando-T or Superpower/EQ-less Tyranitar, otherwise you're just praying they switch out.

2) 4MSS - you have to pick the defensive Pokemon that you're going to lose to. Kabutops can technically break through Ferrothorn with +2 LO Low Kick (116% minimum vs 252/0 ), but it can't really find the room for it. Dropping Stone Edge means you can't break Politoed or Tentacruel, and dropping Waterfall sucks vs everything. This basically necessitates Magnezone support, but because you actively want rain to be up, you probably need to use Specs Magnezone rather than Sunny Day, which makes Zone easier to take advantage of. Any Kabutops set without Aqua Jet is limited to one KO at best before Landorus-T comes in, which is just not good enough for a frail Pokemon like Kabutops that rarely generates safe turns to SD already.

Something like this can work in theory if you want to counterstlye rain, but its slower and clunkier and Starmie is far away the better choice the vast majority of the time:
:jirachi::kabutops::magnezone::latios::dragonite::garchomp:
 
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DPP - Bulky Sand Spinner


Kabutops @ Leftovers
Ability: Battle Armor
EVs: 248 HP / 164 SpD / 96 Spe
Careful Nature
- Waterfall
- Swords Dance
- Rapid Spin
- Protect / Stone Edge / Aqua Jet

Blightbringer 's used a set like this in some friendlies before - it can be decent in the right matchup. In sand, Kabutops is surprisingly fat. It tanks virtually every special move after SR (Specs Latias Draco, Heatran HP Grass, offensive Zap TBolt, etc.). Water is an amazing STAB (think CB Pert, DD Gyara) with good neutral coverage, and Tops should be able to find free turns against mons like Skarm and Clefable. Protect gives a bit more longevity and makes Tops quite better against Jirachi, as Iron Head is 5-6HKOing after Protect + Lefties. Stone Edge gives coverage against dragons and flying types. Jet lets it escape Dugtrio traps. I'd pair it with a wish passer if I were to consider using it - Tops will get worn down pretty and can struggle to generate free turns against most SR users. It excels at keeping Skarmory's spikes off the field, however.


ADV - Flail Sweeper


mania (Kabutops) @ Salac Berry
Ability: Battle Armor
EVs: 24 HP / 244 Atk / 44 Def / 20 SpD / 176 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Flail
- Rock Slide
- Swords Dance
- Endure

SD Tops is a Salac sweeper that's immune to sand, which means it can easily Endure down to 1 HP, get a Speed boost to be faster than everything, and do some damage. The bulk on this spread hits a few benchmarks, although I can't remember what exactly - I imagine you can take offensive Starmie TBolt and DDTar EQ at a minimum. Tops does have problems once boosted, however - its attack combo is resisted by steel, meaning Metagross and Jirachi are always strong stops to this set, and it barely misses some crucial OHKOs. I've tried to make it work on a few teams but ultimately it's a wholly inconsistent mon.

Kabutops is solid in DPP and BW Ubers - it's the premier offensive spinner in both tiers and can certainly sweep under the proper conditions.
 
Oh, hey, USUM OU is now in RoA.

USUM OU


Kabutops @ Rockium Z
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Liquidation
- Stone Edge
- Superpower

Kabutops is nowhere near as consistent of a Swift Swim sweeper as Mega Swampert, but it does have a few key qualities that helps set itself apart from other rain abusers. In fact, Mega Swampert actually appreciates what Kabutops can do for it.

Swords Dance along with its coverage allows this Pokemon to muscle past some of rain's usual Grass-type checks. After one Swords Dance, Superpower nails Ferrothorn, while Continental Crush OHKOes Mega Venusaur, Tapu Bulu, Amoonguss, and even physically-defensive Tangrowth after Stealth Rock.
 

GaryTheGengar

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I'll go ahead and take credit for blight's kabutops team for the sake of sharing the set here:

Kabutops @ Leftovers
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 HP / 16 Atk / 240 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Stone Edge
- Aqua Jet
- Protect / Mimic / SD / Filler

Decided to use kabutops as I wanted a spinner that wasn't weak to pursuit or magnezone. I wanted to run careful but without the power of adamant, you're getting sat on by rotom all day, even with base 115 atk. With ada 16 atk, you've got a good shot to 3hko resttalk rotom with sand + edge. Aqua jet further helps with more offensive rotom sets, with scarf not enjoying the combo of rocks, edge and aqua jet in sand. prios always great, and it can specifically help with nape, a weakened luke, or a faster tar. also helps to avoid dug trap as zf mentioned above. Last slot was initially mimic to steal skarm's spikes as I made the team as a total joke, but protect is the best filler for extra sand chip + lefties recovery. I never found much use for SD, but it can be used to pressure passive pokes like cm clef or a bulky latias. I think its more useful to just spin and then switch to something else though as kabutops isn't ever gonna sweep.

Ultimately kind of shitty, but its fun to use.
 
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Diophantine

Banned deucer.
GSC

Kabutops
Ability: None
- Swords Dance
- Ancient Power
- Thief
- Submission / Hidden Power Fighting

Very much a gimmick that I would never use in a serious game, but this is what I came up with. Why not Rapid Spin? It's outclassed by Golem in every way. 4x weak to Giga Drain from Forretress, 3HKOd by Cloyster's Surf nearly all of the time, and isn't immune to Toxic. Yes, Golem has all these drawbacks too, but Golem is difficult to spin-block, whereas Kabutops is a lot easier to (HP Ghost 19.7% chance to 2HKO Gengar after Leftovers) while is easily 2HKO'd back or put to sleep.

I decided to go with this set. Ancient Power is very fittingly Kabutops' best STAB attack. The aim is to get a SD up and fish for an AP boost. Thief is there to disrupt its switch ins like Forretress, Skarmory, Exeggutor and Raikou. Without Leftovers, Skarmory is always 3HKOed by +2 Ancient Power, so there's that I guess. Fighting-type attack is for Snorlax, both options 2HKO it at +2, and Tyranitar, since we're not running Water STAB. Submission for the extra base power (better odds vs Steelix) and better IVs, but HP Fighting for accuracy and a lack of recoil damage. I guess this is a sweeper that resists Normal (Boom and Snorlax STAB specifically). You could run Hydro Pump over Thief for Rhydon, Steelix, and a way to 3HKO Skarmory without boosting, but it makes it less of a "team player", while not being able to threaten too much by itself anyway. Only having 8 PP and less than reliable accuracy bites too.
 
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