Mega Gengar threatens common defensive Pokemon like Giratina and Mega Audino with its STAB combination and effectively uses setup moves and Entrainment + Normalize sets to further pressure its slower checks. It notably can take advantage of its typing and use Spooky Plate in tandem with Judgment to not only fire off strong attacks but also have an advantageous matchup against Imposter Chansey, differentiating itself from most offensive threats such as Mega Mewtwo Y and Mega Rayquaza, as they struggle to defeat their Imposter one-on-one. This also means that Mega Gengar will not require the use of another team slot to fit in a Pokemon that has to Imposter-proof it and thus has a somewhat easier time securing its place in many teams. Mega Gengar can utilize its Ghost typing to check Sturdy Shedinja with Mold Breaker if desperately needed. Its Poison typing also leaves Mega Gengar as one of the very few offensive threats that can absorb Toxic Spikes, which sees situational use. High Speed also enables it to offensively check Mega Diancie, whose Pixilate-boosted attacks only deal resisted damage, and Kartana under the right conditions. However, the popularity of Revelation Dance and Magic Bounce from Pokemon like Primal Kyogre and Yveltal tends to somewhat limit Mega Gengar's ability to take advantage of slower foes with Normalize sets. In addition, Mega Gengar's pitiful bulk limits its offensive capabilities as a sweeper due to a prevalence of priority users like Mega Rayquaza and Kyurem-B. Mega Gengar also has a very crowded moveset as an offensive threat, meaning it will be shut down by various walls depending on what foes it decides to prepare for; to specify, Normalize sets, which do not use Poison-type attacks, are easily checked by Magic Bounce Mega Audino, forgoing Secret Sword makes Mega Tyranitar impossible to surmount, and any set lacking Tail Glow, Mold Breaker, or niche coverage moves like Moonblast or Ice Beam has little chance against Yveltal. Lastly, Mega Gengar faces a slight competition from Mega Mewtwo Y as a fast special attacker, as Mega Mewtwo Y is more multi dimensional, has slightly greater bulk and higher Special Attack and Speed stats, and is less vulnerable to the extremely common Knock Off and Spectral Thief.
move 1: Shell Smash / Tail Glow
move 2: Judgment
move 3: Secret Sword / Sludge Bomb
move 4: Lovely Kiss / Sludge Bomb / King's Shield
item: Spooky Plate
ability: Mold Breaker / Adaptability
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
in-battle alt: Mega
Shell Smash sharply boosts Mega Gengar's Special Attack, giving it enough power to OHKO checks like Yveltal and Mega Audino after some prior damage and 2HKO bulky Pokemon like Registeel. Tail Glow, on the other hand, drastically boosts Mega Gengar's Special Attack without lowering its bulk, allowing Mega Gengar to OHKO Yveltal with +3 Sludge Bomb after Stealth Rock damage and guaranteeing OHKOs on Regigigas, Registeel, Mega Gyarados, and Dialga with +3 Secret Sword. Tail Glow's lack of a boost in Speed makes Shell Smash generally a better option, however. Judgment is Mega Gengar's strongest attack and lets it Imposter-proof itself. Judgment's high damage output forces out Ghost-types like Giratina and Aegislash, as they are OHKOed with or without prior damage, and lets Mega Gengar OHKO neutral targets like Primal Groudon at +2. This move should only be used when Mega Gengar has a Spooky Plate, however. Secret Sword completes Mega Gengar's coverage by hitting targets that are resistant or immune to Ghost-type STAB moves, notably hitting Mega Gyarados, Mega Tyranitar, and Fur Coat Chansey for heavy damage after a boost. Lovely Kiss allows Mega Gengar to generate setup opportunities by putting foes to sleep and has increased effectiveness with Mold Breaker, as it then bypasses Magic Bounce. Sludge Bomb can be used to hit Mega Audino and has a guaranteed chance to OHKO non-Unaware Yveltal after Stealth Rock with a Tail Glow boost; it is used over Sludge Wave so that Mega Gengar can attempt to wear down its checks with potential poison. Note that running Sludge Bomb does not influence Mega Gengar's matchup against Imposter users in a significant way, as Mega Gengar has a heavy resistance to Sludge Bomb. Running Pursuit along with Mold Breaker is an option to trap and remove Shedinja for teams that need a Pokemon that compresses the role of an offensive Ghost-type and a check to Sturdy Shedinja, but it forces Mega Gengar to forgo one of its more useful moves. King's Shield remedies Mega Gengar's vulnerability to -ate users that can easily end its sweep if it doesn't have Dazzling. Taunt can be considered to bypass Prankster users like Registeel that do not have many ways to threaten Mega Gengar back, but Lovely Kiss is already an effective countermeasure against many defensive checks.
Spooky Plate lets Mega Gengar fire off a strong Ghost-type STAB move while having no fear of Imposter, and it should always be used with Judgment. Focus Sash is an option that is to be used with Moongeist Beam and ensures that Mega Gengar gets a chance to set up. This can be useful considering how hard it is for Mega Gengar to generally find an opportunity to set up with its horrendous bulk. A Timid nature is used to at worst Speed tie with Mega Mewtwo X and opposing Mega Gengar. Mold Breaker lets Mega Gengar blow past Unaware users with boosted attacks and use Lovely Kiss and Spore without fear of Magic Bounce. Note that the ability is revealed when Mega Gengar enters the field and therefore removes the chance that Mega Gengar can force switches by bluffing a Normalize set, however. Adaptability gives more initial power, giving Mega Gengar a good chance to OHKO Giratina and Mega Audino after Stealth Rock and 2HKO Zygarde-C after some prior damage. However, Adaptability forgoes the option to deal heavier damage to Unaware users after Mega Gengar is boosted like with Mold Breaker. Dazzling, on the other hand, grants Mega Gengar safety from priority moves at the cost of forgoing the aforementioned abilities that let it bypass certain defensive walls.
Mega Gengar's sweep can be cut short by priority users like Mega Rayquaza and Kyurem-B unless it chooses to run Dazzling, so it is important to ensure they have been eliminated. Assault Vest users can also stop Mega Gengar if it lacks a sleep-inducing move, so try to gain information about the opposing team before planning a sweep with Mega Gengar. As Mega Gengar does not have the best bulk, it should be brought in using forced switches. Depending on the moveset, the way players have to use Mega Gengar will also differ. For example, when Mega Gengar is using Judgment and is not running Mold Breaker, it will have good chance to successfully bluff Normalize sets, but when it runs Mold Breaker, which immediately reveals its ability, an opponent will typically anticipate Mega Gengar to be a setup variant and switch out to an appropriate check. As Mega Gengar will likely draw in bulky foes from a paranoid opponent, try to put them to sleep or wear them down with Sludge Bomb's potential poison. In addition, Lovely Kiss or Spore is best used with Mold Breaker, as Mega Gengar is unlikely going to have a second chance to sweep if its sleep move has been bounced back. However, these sleep moves are still unreliable against bulkier foes like Primal Kyogre that will require Mega Gengar to be lucky with sleep turns, so make sure they are weakened beforehand. Poison Heal users like Primal Kyogre and Regigigas can also be nuisances, as they can switch into Lovely Kiss freely after activating their Toxic Orb and survive a boosted attack from full health.
Entry hazard support is mandatory for Mega Gengar to meet various OHKO benchmarks against foes like Yveltal and Primal Groudon and avoid having its sweep stopped by Focus Sash users. Stealth Rock support on top of minimal prior damage weakens non-Unaware Mega Gyarados enough to be OHKOed by Secret Sword after a Shell Smash and ensures Mega Rayquaza and Yveltal are punished every time they switch in to revenge kill Mega Gengar. Spikes support is vastly appreciated to wear down Zygarde-C and Steel-types like Dialga and Registeel. Bulky Steel-types such as Registeel and Necrozma-DM can set up hazards for Mega Gengar while functioning as good switch-ins to priority users. Fairy-types like Mega Diancie and Xerneas can threaten Mega Rayquaza and Kyurem-B and defeat Dark-types for Mega Gengar. Wallbreakers such as Choice Band Mega Mewtwo X, Choice Specs Mega Rayquaza, and Primal Groudon can cause serious damage to defensive cores early-game and force opponents to play more defensively. Mega Gengar can then take advantage of defensive reactions and set up on a forced switch. Mega Gengar can also threaten passive Steel-types like Registeel and offensively check Necrozma-DM for said wallbreakers. Poison Heal sweepers such as Primal Kyogre and Regigigas can take advantage of most of Mega Gengar's checks. Primal Kyogre can wear down Unaware Pokemon with Scald or surprise them with Water Spout, while Regigigas can practically pressure any Pokemon that has enough special bulk to survive a hit from Mega Gengar. Poison Heal users' ability to absorb status and punish certain Trick users is also helpful. Imposter Chansey can help to scout Mega Gengar's setup targets to ensure that they don't carry hazardous moves like Knock Off, Spectral Thief, and Spore. Finally, Sturdy Shedinja is a considerable partner, as it threatens out a majority of the -ate users, Assault Vest pivots, and defensive Primal Kyogre that can check Mega Gengar and benefits from Mega Gengar threatening opposing Ghost-types.
move 1: Entrainment
move 2: Quiver Dance / Shell Smash
move 3: Judgment
move 4: Boomburst
item: Spooky Plate
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 252 Spe
in-battle alt: Mega
Entrainment replaces the foe's ability with Normalize, leaving it unable to damage Mega Gengar with almost any attacking moves, with exceptions like Revelation Dance and Z-Moves. Quiver Dance boosts Mega Gengar's Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed, making it harder to revenge kill. Shell Smash is an alternative option that provides Mega Gengar with more immediate power, but it comes at the cost of making Mega Gengar very vulnerable to -ate users. Judgment, with Spooky Plate intact, turns into a STAB Ghost-type attack that hits any neutral target with noticeable damage and remains a Normal-type attack for common Imposter-users that don't carry Plate items, letting Mega Gengar defeat them. Boomburst is the strongest secondary attack Mega Gengar can run to hit Normal-types that are immune to Judgment while leaving Imposter users unable to retaliate. Psystrike is an alternative option to hit specially defensive foes like Chansey, Primal Kyogre, and Mega Audino harder than Boomburst. Its lower damage output against Yveltal can be detrimental, however. Taunt can be used to deal with Prankster users like Registeel and prevent recovery moves and status moves such as Spore, which still affects Mega Gengar even after the foe gains Normalize. Note that forgoing a Normal-type attack move is going leave Mega Gengar completely walled by Normal-types. King's Shield, on the other hand, prevents Mega Gengar from easily folding against priority users by halving their Attack stat if they use contact move, though this move faces similar opportunity cost to Taunt.
Maximum investment in Speed with a Timid nature allows Mega Gengar to at worst Speed tie with Mega Mewtwo X and outspeed slower foes like Kartana. Spooky Plate allows Mega Gengar to use Ghost-type STAB Judgment while also being immune to the Normal-type Judgment of common Imposter users. Normalize is needed for Mega Gengar to give foes Normalize through Entrainment, changing most of their attacking moves to Normal-type and leaving them with no way to damage Mega Gengar.
Before attempting to neutralize an opposing Pokemon with Entrainment, scout for foes that can effectively counter this set. This means Pokemon with Magic Bounce, Comatose, Revelation Dance, and Z-Crystals should be identified. Even when one has ensured that an opposing Pokemon cannot hurt Mega Gengar in any way after gaining Normalize, be wary of status moves such as Spore, Glare, and Taunt, as they are still effective. Priority move users like Mega Rayquaza should also be faced with caution, as they can strike the frail Mega Gengar first. Trick and Switcheroo will still affect Mega Gengar and take its Spooky Plate away, significantly hampering its overall usefulness. Lastly, keep Mega Gengar away from any form of damage, as priority move users, even Mega Diancie, may be able stop a weakened Mega Gengar from cleaning a team lacking a proper check. When these conditions of safety are met, Mega Gengar can easily finish weakened teams without much concern.
Imposter Chansey is helpful to Normalize Mega Gengar due to its ability to switch into various foes and identify their movesets and abilities. Yveltal is one of the more problematic enemies for Mega Gengar, as it commonly runs Revelation Dance, so Fairy-types like Mega Audino and Xerneas should be used to guard Mega Gengar against it and other Dark-types, and they are also generally great switch-ins to Knock Off if running Poison Heal. Steel-types such as Solgaleo and Kartana effectively threaten Magic Bounce Mega Audino, which is a serious problem for Mega Gengar to deal with. Defensive Steel-types in general are good partners, as they can generate momentum with U-turn and switch into any offensive priority moves. Knock Off and Poison Fang from various walls can make Fur Coat Chansey easier to handle, as its tremendous bulk lets it check Mega Gengar lacking Taunt easily. Regigigas and Shedinja appreciates Mega Gengar threatening Ghost-types like Giratina and Aegislash. The former can also switch into status moves, which defensive foes might rely on to check Mega Gengar. Entry hazard support is appreciated, as this variant of Mega Gengar forces a lot of switches. Stealth Rock is helpful to punish Yveltal, and Toxic Spikes can be used to wear down Chansey and Mega Audino; Mega Gengar can also remove Toxic Spikes itself in case they are bounced back. Teams lacking solid counterplay against Normalize Mega Gengar will rely on it getting slowly worn down over the match. Entry hazard removal support from Pokemon like Giratina can prevent Mega Gengar from taking unnecessary damage from Stealth Rock and Spikes, while Magic Bounce users like Mega Audino and Registeel can also be considered. Magic Bounce users can also pivot into status moves like Spore or Glare that could be crippling. Mega Gengar has an unfavorable matchup against Primal Kyogre, as it commonly runs Revelation Dance and has high special bulk that can be further amplified if running Assault Vest. Effective countermeasures like Primal Groudon can become necessary for this reason. Though they are less common, Trick and Switcheroo can be problematic to deal with. Thus, aforementioned Pokemon with irremovable items, such as Giratina with Griseous Orb and Groudon with Red Orb, can be helpful. Other bulky Pokemon using Darkinium Z in tandem with Z-Parting Shot can fulfill the same role while fully restoring Mega Gengar's HP in a pinch.
A Choice Specs set running Adaptability with Moongeist Beam, Sludge Bomb, Volt Switch, and Trick or Ice Beam is an interesting option due to its more immediate damage output, but the lower Base Power of the STAB moves and the fact that Choice-locked Mega Gengar is very exploitable due to the presence of Pokemon immune to its STAB moves leaves this option outclassed by Mega Mewtwo Y. A Choice Scarf set can similarly be run to surprise faster Pokemon like Mega Mewtwo Y, but the lack of power may be disappointing. Ice Beam and Moonblast are alternative coverage options; Ice Beam OHKOes Mega Rayquaza, solves problems with Zygarde-C, and hits Yveltal hard, while Moonblast enables Mega Gengar to hit Yveltal while having a way to hit Mega Gyarados for considerable damage, but they have worse coverage against the majority of the metagame. Ice Beam also struggles to find its place in sets other than Choice Specs, and Moonblast's lower damage output against Mega Tyranitar and inability to threaten Chansey make it an inferior option compared to Secret Sword. As the fastest Ghost-type, Mega Gengar can effectively run a suicide lead set in offensive teams with Mold Breaker to prevent any form of entry hazard removal. This set commonly runs Curse, Stealth Rock, Spikes, and Taunt and also has a merit of being difficult to anticipate than other suicide leads like Deoxys-S, as this set can't be predicted well in Team Preview and before Mega Gengar reveals its moves. Contrary can surprise checks like Yveltal and Primal Kyogre, as both Unaware and Assault Vest sets can be overpowered by moves like Fleur Cannon and Leaf Storm. Prankster users will also struggle to deal with Mega Gengar due to it increasing power from boosts after each attack, so there are very few Unaware users that can avoid 2HKO from this set. A Ghost-type attack of choice, Sludge Bomb, Fleur Cannon, and Leaf Storm are run in this set, and the first move should be Judgment if running Spooky Plate or Moongeist Beam if running Focus Sash. This set, however, relies on forced switches to safely gain enough power. Perish Song can be employed by the Normalize set with Anchor Shot to trap and remove a foe, and this can be done easily once a foe gains Normalize and cannot damage Mega Gengar. However, many defensive foes can circumvent this set with moves like Parting Shot and Baton Pass and Pokemon like Zygarde-C can still hit Mega Gengar if their Z-Move is available. Overall, this set suffers from the inability to do anything notable to foes that conventionally check Normalize Mega Gengar. Mega Gengar can also use Skill Swap over Entrainment to give foes Normalize to cripple Magic Bounce users, but Mega Gengar can neutralize a foe only once this way until it switches out. With dedicated team support, Mega Gengar can utilize No Guard and Merciless. However, Toxic Spikes is quite difficult to be used successfully due to the prevalence of Magic Bounce users and Imposter Chansey possibly mimicking the strategy, and the damage output is quite inconsistent with moves like Hex and Venoshock.
Checks and Counters
**Yveltal**: Unlike other Dark-types, Yveltal can viably run Revelation Dance and takes neutral damage from Secret Sword. Thus, it is able to check almost every variant of Mega Gengar when healthy, though it may be overwhelmed by Tail Glow-boosted attacks. Normalize Mega Gengar can also overpower Yveltal with Shell Smash-boosted Boombursts after Stealth Rock damage. Assault Vest and Unaware variants avoid concerns about boosted Mega Gengar if it lacks sleep-inducing moves and effectively handle Mega Gengar.
**RegenVest Walls**: RegenVest users tend to struggle against Normalize Mega Gengar if lacking Revelation Dance, but Pokemon like Primal Kyogre and Dialga can defensively check setup variants of Mega Gengar. They are particularly hard to wear down due to their ability, and Mega Gengar is forced to rely on excessive prior damage or multiple layers of hazards to surmount them. However, all of them are neutralized by Spore and Entrainment and will struggle to immediately take down Mega Gengar using Quiver Dance. Some of the RegenVest walls like Dialga are vulnerable to boosted Secret Sword as well.
**Primal Kyogre**: Although it does not resist Judgment, Primal Kyogre's massive special bulk allows it to tank boosted hits when running a RegenVest or Unaware set. A majority of Primal Kyogre variants also run Revelation Dance, meaning it is a good blanket check to Normalize variants as well. Note that Primal Kyogre lacking Spectral Thief will struggle to check Mega Gengar running Quiver Dance due to the Special Defense boost.
**Priority Users**: Priority users like Aerilate Mega Rayquaza and Refrigerate Kyurem-B can easily revenge kill Mega Gengar lacking Dazzling or Queenly Majesty by using Fake Out and Extreme Speed, bypassing its high Speed. Although they dislike switching into Judgment, they can take out any variant of Mega Gengar after Stealth Rock damage. Though King's Shield remedies issues with -ate to a degree, the move itself is quite difficult to fit in the first place and Triage Mega Rayquaza can still revenge kill Mega Gengar.
**Chansey**: Chansey's enormous special bulk makes it a strong check to Mega Gengar, shutting down sweep attempts unless Mega Gengar is overly lucky with sleep turns or has a combination of Mold Breaker and Secret Sword.
**Magic Bounce and Comatose Users**: Foes with Magic Bounce or Comatose such as Zygarde-C and Registeel cannot have their abilities removed by Entrainment and can check Mega Gengar, given they can handle Judgment. They can also harshly punish Mega Gengar by bouncing back Spore from setup variants, if Mega Gengar lacks Mold Breaker.
**Faster Foes**: Faster threats like Mega Mewtwo Y can easily outspeed and KO Mega Gengar, though they will be KOed back if Mega Gengar has Focus Sash and cannot take on Mega Gengar if it is boosted by Shell Smash and Quiver Dance.
**Poison Heal Regigigas**: Regigigas has enough bulk to survive a +2 Secret Sword from Shell Smash Mega Gengar from full health and can OHKO back with Knock Off or Spectral Thief. It can also shut down Normalize Mega Gengar with a sleep move, which it commonly carries.
**Pursuit**: Mega Gengar's tendency to retreat from bulky Dark-types like Mega Gyarados and Mega Tyranitar due to its frailty and resulting hazardous matchup against them, depending on its moveset, makes Pursuit one of the viable methods to guarantee its removal or at least leave it heavily damaged. They may struggle trapping Normalize variants, but they can also use Trick to throw a wrench in the matchup and cripple Mega Gengar.
**Item Removal**: Knock Off not only hits Mega Gengar super effectively but also removes Spooky Plate, leaving Mega Gengar nearly useless and unable to take on its own Imposter. Trick and Switcheroo can also cripple Mega Gengar by removing Spooky Plate.
- Written by: [[Lotus, 434601]]
- Quality checked by: [[Funbot28, 255984], [GL Volkner, 330455], [Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request), 233142]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Electrolyte, 148071], [The Dutch Plumberjack, 232216]]
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