Gen 2 Heracross (OU Revamp) [GP 0/2]


Based on a Lavos Skeleton and fleshed out by me


Heracross has a decent SpDef stat and a really high Attack, which lets it take quite a few hits on the Special side and fire back hard on the Physical side. Its Bug typing is both a blessing and a curse, meaning it can switch into the very common Earthquake easily (effectively checking Nidoking and Steelix, for example, since they rarely pack any Fire-type moves) but also leaves his only prominent STAB move resisted by very common types such as Flying and Steel.


Set 1: SleepTalk
Item: Leftovers
Move 1: Rest
Move 2: Sleep Talk
Move 3: Megahorn
Move 4: Curse / Seismic Toss


Heracross has quite the shallow movepool and a decent combination of bulk and typing, which makes RestTalking the perfect strategy for it. Megahorn is the 120 Base Power STAB nuke, which heavily dents anything that doesn't resist it. Curse and Seismic Toss round up the set providing respectively late game sweeping power and a better way to hit Skarmory so another teamate (like Marowak or DrumLax) has an easier time taking it down.

Unfortunately, most things that do resist the main move are quite common and shut Heracross down quite easily, like Zapdos and (especially) Skarmory, so getting rid of its common checks is crucial for Heracross to shine. Even Seismic Toss does 30% to Skarmory and even less to Zapdos, so even if you get them on the switch, it's usually best to just switch Heracross out.

[Other Options]

Earthquake provides really good coverage, since it hits things like Gengar, Nidoking (who otherwise might stay in to chip Heracross) and Raikou (practically securing the 2HKO that Megahorn almost always fails to get) super effectively, but it does nothing to combat Hera’s main problem of Zapdos and Skarmory being unbreakable, so the main set is usually better.

You can opt to have a Curse+3 attacks (Megahorn, Earthquake and Hidden Power Rock) set if you want to exchange staying power for offensive pressure. This set works like a poor man's Curse Machamp, with better special bulk and key resistances, but it has a worse STAB move and is still hard walled by Skarmory, like the main set.

An Endure+Reversal set is marginally viable, but Heracross isn’t fast enough for it to be consistent, not to mention it’s only a one-time use if Spikes are in play.

[Checks and Counters]

Skarmory is the best defensive check, while Zapdos is the best offensive one, but Charizard and Dragonite, though far less prominent, are safe switch-ins too for almost all Heracross, bar less viable Hidden Power Rock sets. Keep in mind that Dragonite must have super effective moves or Heracross might chip it down. Steelix can’t do much besides trade with Explosion or Roar it out, but it’s hard to break and takes 5 Seismic Tosses to KO (Earthquake does roughly the same damage, but far less if Steelix already has a Curse under its belt, which is usually does). Miltank can switch in safely enough and Growl your damage and/or curse pp away while healing up with Milk Drink, but it can't really damage Heracross. Gengar is immune to Seismic Toss, takes negligible damage from Megahorn and can threaten Explosion or Destiny Bond, but must watch out for Earthquake if it doesn't want to trade and Curse sets can mitigate the danger of Explosion while helping with DBond mindgames. Do note that unless Gengar is carrying the rare Fire Punch, it cannot force Heracross out without threatening to also faint. Heracross can check itself, but it's not recommended unless you're ok with starting a pp war with your opponent or you're packing Curse and they're not.

EDIT: Added the suggested OO set and reworded the CC section to note that dnite must be the defensive set and to show that Skarmory is clearly a better counter than Zapdos. Added Miltank to the CC and noted that Gengar must watch out for curse sets and can't force Hera out too.

EDIT2: changed the part about defensive Dragonite, added that it must have the correct moves. Reworded how Zapdos and Skarm check Hera. Also corrected minor english mistakes :p
Last edited:


sign of things to come?
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris the 4th Smogon Classic Winneris a Past WCoP Champion
one thing you should mention in OO is that a curse + 3attacks set (megahorn, hp rock, eq) is actually borderline decent. functions as a more specially bulky machamp with niche resistances but doesn't boast the powerful fighting stab. also gets hard walled by skarm but you can always hope they don't have it lol. my fault for not including it in the skeleton, wasn't sure if it warranted any consideration but I gave it a try and it's not horrible if you want 2 machamps on your offense team. other than that, looks good, heracross is really as simple as they come so not much needs to be said. consider it QC'd
Great analysis, as always. I'm not sure if I should try to add anything since it's already QCed, but if it still helps...

I think you should mention somewhere (in the intro maybe) that Heracross can act as a decent check to the likes of Machamp and Marowak, which is a big reason to play it in my opinion.

In the C&C section, I'm not sure if we should claim that Zapdos is the best Heracross answer alongside Skarmory unless he packs Drill Peck, as Thunder fails to 2HKO Heraceoss with Leftovers recovery, which means you have to hope for a crit against an opposing Curse Heracross if you want to beat it, because if you don't it will probably overpower you. Don't forget the accuracy of Thunder too. Offensive Dragonite doesn't stop Heracross reliably neither, since most of them don't use Fire Blast or HP Flying. The Defensive variant, however, is an excellent counter. Also, since you mentionned Gengar as an answer despite the necessity to sacrifice himself or to carry the uncommon Fire Punch in order to take the insect down, you should add Misdreavus too because the Perish Trap variant is really scary, Confuse Ray is also very annoying, although he takes much more damage from Megahorn. Finally, Miltank is a decent answer as well even though he can't kill Heracross by himself, but will completely shut down his offensive capabilities.

Again, great job.
I'm totally on board with the points made about Miltank, Dnite and Skarm being better than Zapdos(still think Zapdos is a clear cut above other options though) and already made the proper changes.

It does already say on the intro that Hera has a key resistance to eq, which suggests a decent matchup against any user of eq as a main source of damage, but since wak takes only one turn to hit incredibly hard and if you (happen to be Curse and) curse up once you're then slower and succeptible to rs flinches (while still taking 40+% damage), I'm not sure if Hera is a decent enough check for wak to be noted on the intro, as wak most likely wins the 1v1 (granted there aren't many things that can be called decent checks to it, so I believe this is still up to debate). Also the fact that fblast on champ is fairly common and that if you get unlucky sTalks you drop to the 3HKO (or of it gets lucky with CC crits) makes me unsure about calling Hera a decent check to it, the low pps on both moves do make a case for Hera, though.

I also think Missy takes a lot of damage from Megahorn and must carry Rest for it to be a reliable check to Hera, since Hera can just switch out and can sometimes even stay in to go for the kill. But seeing that Gengar can't really force out Hera without threatening to sacrifice himself or running uncommon moves, I think this might be more of a case to remove Gengar than to add Missy.

Gonna tag Lavos so he can speak his mind about all this, so we can decide what to keep/add/remove
Last edited:


sign of things to come?
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris the 4th Smogon Classic Winneris a Past WCoP Champion
Miltank and Misdreavus are not Heracross checks. Gengar is a check in the sense that it can boom or Dbond, but it still gets worn down and can't meaningfully chip Hera without Fire Punch, which is barely used. So it's only "checking" Hera by trading with it, and that's not always a good trade to make. Reflect+Haze Dragonite is so rare nowadays that it's hardly worth a mention.

Zapdos is the best offensive answer to Heracross and it does threaten a 2HKO with Spikes damage accounted for. Hera can't break it, so it doesn't matter if Thunder misses the 2HKO from full, Zap can force it to Rest and is likely to kill it from there. Skarm is a good defensive answer but provides far less return momentum, additionally most Skarm don't run Sleep Talk meaning Hera can eventually force a Rest via Stoss which will open up a hole for the Hera user to exploit.
What is it that I'm failing to see about Miltank? I get that mHorn is a 3HKO on flat stats, but imo she can switch in and growl+milk drink away, rendering hera useless easily enough. Also, since defensive Dnite is rare, does the offensive one pack STAB Flying or a Fire move frequently enough to force hera out?


sign of things to come?
is a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris the 4th Smogon Classic Winneris a Past WCoP Champion
Ok I'm pretty neutral on Miltank, list it if you want. Offensive Dnite is also pretty rare but it's almost exclusively the standard Boltbeam+Dpunch+para move (body slam or twave). Hera can chip it down unless it has one of those coverage moves
Zapdos+Skarm are the 2 quintessential Heracross counters.

Dragonite/Gengar/Nidoking can check Hera depending on their moveset (aka using a Fire-Move). Muk and Machamp can somewhat check Hera too with their respective Firemove because they resists MHorn. Stoss-Hera can wear most of these mons down tho (exception: Gengar).
Steelix and Miltank arent really checks because they cant really do much back to Heracross but they can delay it (especially the Cursevariants) and stall its moves for a bit. So they are fine midgame answers to Hera.

Generally one can say that Heracross derives most of its value from its defensive qualities (typing+stats) which makes it one of the best checks to a gross amount of mixed attackers and physical threats like Machamp/Marowak. Most of the time Heracross wont be a huge offensive presence due to its rather peculiar move pool but its Mega Horn is strong enough to threaten most of GSC with a 3hko and his 100% counters are few and far between. If those few counters werent as popular as they are Heracross would be a greater threat. Mega Horn is just barely strong enough to attain critical KO's (3hko on Suicune, 2hko on Marowak after Spikes, 2hko vs Raikou, 3hko vs Lax).

Seismic Toss is the more useful 4th move most of the time because with it Hera provides value during the entire game chipping away at all mons and countering/checking the shits hes supposed to check better (mixed stuff like Nido who resists Mhorn, Machamp).
Curse on the other hand makes Heracross a potent lategame powerhouse that needs alot of support to remove the multitude of its checks (for example Steelix somewhat counters Curse-Hera whereas Stoss-Hera checks Steelix).

EQ is a niche option that is worse than both Curse/Stoss most of the time and only works on very few teams. Hidden Power Rock is a bad 4th coverage because it doesnt achieve even a 3hko vs Zapdos its most important target. HP[Rock] is probably only worth it on a Curse3ATk-Set which isnt really viable either.
HP[Fighting] has probably more worth than HP[Rock] tbh.

Good writeup all in all. :thumbsup:


World's Strongest Fairy
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
The difference between a "check" and a "counter" should be kept in mind when critiquing what is listed in C&C sections.

Like, yeah, nothing holds a torch to Skarm & Zapdos' ability to counter Heracross. But Miltank & Misdreavus can show up in a pinch to force it out. Missy obviously needs to be full-health and have Ptrap, whereas Miltank (like all the things it checks) also needs to be plenty healthy and dies to an unfortunate crit, but it still works well enough because even HP Fighting variants fail to 2HKO (which you need to be able to beat something with instant recovery).

It's worth noting that an SPL team of Exeggutor/Cloyster/Raikou/Misdreavus/Miltank/Snorlax got me plenty of wins, and that team basically leans on Miltank for Heracross support. And it does pretty well against Heracross, too. It's usually things like Gengar & Exeggutor (especially those with Thief, haha) that give that team headaches.

Reversal probably needs to have a deeper treatment; it's pretty good, for real. Reversal can even get a 2HKO on Skarm. Shit's bananas when it goes off. The main problems are cleric clause & getting a savvy opponent to actually bother attacking Heracross so you can Endure down to 1HP. Spikes are an obvious issue too, but that actually has an easy (if hand-tying) fix: just run Starmie as mandatory support. Heracross' base 85 speed is also not a liability, that's positively blistering in the GSC metagame. Against a Zapdos/Cloyster/Exeggutor/Snorlax/Steelix/Machamp team, blow up on the Zapdos and guess what else can outspeed Heracross? Nothing baby!

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)