Heracross (OU Revamp)

Jorgen

World's Strongest Fairy
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Hera's current analysis is pretty simple and outdated. Here's a proposed update.

[Overview]
Heracross has an uncommon combination of high Attack, a high-powered STAB, decent Speed and bulk, and a defensive typing that importantly resists powerful Fighting and Ground moves while being neutral to commonly non-STAB coverage types such as Ice and Rock. Unfortunately, Heracross' offensive prowess is hampered by a heavily resisted STAB type and a sparse coverage movepool. Its defensive prowess is also limited by the fact that its defensive typing is suited for checking powerful Physical Ground-types, but it is a purely Physical attacker trying to break through Grounds' stronger Defense stat. As such, slower, defensively shakier Ground-types are often preferred as Physical attackers due to their better STABs and coverage options, whereas tanky Water-types such as Suicune are preferred as defenders against Ground-types, in spite of their lack of a Ground resistance, due to their ability to force them out with Super-Effective STAB Special attacks. Regardless of its struggles, Heracross' unique combination of traits give it a place on some teams, and its Megahorn is still very strong, thereby making it dangerous to forget about Heracross when attempting to build a team without its incredibly common Flying-type counters.

[SET]
name: Sleep Talk
move 1: Megahorn
move 2: Rest
move 3: Sleep Talk
move 4: Seismic Toss / Curse
item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

Megahorn is Heracross' claim to fame. It's an incredibly powerful STAB attack with an unfortunately widely-resisted typing. When unresisted, however, even the mighty Suicune has a chance to be 3HKOed by it. Rest and Sleep Talk allow Heracross to play a role of a tank that absorbs status and maintains decent matchups against a wide variety of Pokemon; without Sleep Talk, Heracross struggles to remain active, much like Zapdos struggles to escape Rest loops without Slep Talk. The last move is a toss-up. Seismic Toss provides a 4HKO on Skarmory, which might allow Heracross to KO it if it switches in with two Rest turns remaining. Seismic Toss also offers reliable damage against Pokemon such as Steelix, Nidoking, and Machamp, all of which are Pokemon whose standard sets can struggle to break Heracross, but which resist Heracross in turn. This is especially important against Steelix, which otherwise beats Heracross by setting up on it. Curse, on the other hand, might allow Heracross to stay in against and defeat Hidden Power Zapdos with a bit of luck. Curse also forces Pokemon such as Suicune to take Heracross' threats seriously; while Megahorn can manage a 3HKO without setup, it's unlikely given the possibilities of low damage rolls and shaky accuracy. Curse is necessary for Heracross to be able to check the odd Sleep Talk Machamp as well. Heracross also has a nice Speed tier for a Curser, as it can outspeed and 2HKO Snorlax at +1. This means that it does not allow Snorlax to switch in and begin a Curse war.

Usage Tips
========

One way to think about Sleep Talk Heracross is "kind of like other Sleep Talkers, but Physical and overall not as good." The fact that it's Physical means that it doesn't let Snorlax switch in the same way Zapdos can. Its typing also makes it the best standard Nidoking counter under the sun (although Fire Blast variants will still be tricky to deal with). It's important, however, to keep its numerous limitations in mind as well. As mentioned in the introduction, Heracross struggles defensively more than Suicune and Vaporeon do, as it has the typing to make it a counter to Physical Pokemon such as Machamp and Marowak, but a Physical Megahorn has a tougher time forcing such threats to immediately switch when compared to a move like STAB Surf. It also struggles offensively due to the lack of natural coverage to pair with its STAB (unlike Zapdos, which gets Hidden Power Ice for pseudo-BoltBeam coverage alongside STAB Thunder), and perhaps more importantly, due to its inability to effectively use status moves (unlike Zapdos, there is no status possibility built into its STAB, and unlike Suicune, it cannot run Toxic effectively as Steel-types switch into it too easily). Finally, it struggles to absorb Sleep Powder from the tier's most common sleeper, Exeggutor, as Psychic is a 2HKO. This is generally a huge part of a Sleep Talker's role, and as such, using Heracross as a team's only Sleep Talker can create awkward situations for a team, much in the same way that using Raikou as a team's only Sleep Talker can create awkward situations against Nidoking.

Because of its defensive limitations, Heracross is best thought of as a second look, rather than primary check, to most Pokemon it might want to switch in against; a second look that happens to keep Snorlax at bay. As for using it offensively, that depends on your choice of Seismic Toss or Curse in the last slot. With Seismic Toss, your aim will be to provide targeted offensive support in the form of baiting Skarmory into taking Seismic Tosses on the switch, eventually forcing it to Rest. With Curse, your aim will be more to use Heracross as a late-game sweeper.

Team Options
========
Sleep Talk Raikou is a strong complement to Heracross defensively; together, the only sleepers they truly fear are Fire Blast Nidoking and Lovely Kiss Snorlax. Heracross also provides a second look to threats such as Steelix, Marowak, and Tyranitar that Raikou teams greatly appreciate; although Suicune fulfills this purpose as well, Heracross is better at keeping Snorlax at bay and also doesn't provide typing redundancy alongside Cloyster.

Offensively speaking, Seismic Toss Heracross particularly enjoys Pursuit support. Tyranitar therefore makes a great partner. Umbreon is a good teammate as well; Heracross can do 32-38% to Misdreavus on the switch, so Gengar is really the only Ghost that Heracross is concerned with. Seismic Toss Heracross also pairs well offensively with Belly Drum Snorlax and Marowak due to its ability to wear down Skarmory and force it to Rest. Curse Heracross enjoys a team full of Exploders that aim to take out its biggest walls, thereby rendering it at least somewhat able to overcome bad team matchups. In particular, a Curse + SelfDestruct Snorlax is almost essential to pair with Curse Heracross, as otherwise there is no reliable way for it to get around Skarmory. It's also possible to try to play for a surprise KO against Skarmory by using Hidden Power Fire Exeggutor or Fire Blast Snorlax, although if you do this, you should try to hide Heracross for maximum effect. Exeggutor (with or without Hidden Power Fire) and Steelix are also solid Pokemon to pair with Curse Heracross, as they can Explode on Zapdos. Curse Heracross still appreciates Pursuit support for Gengar, although unless it runs Fire Punch, Gengar can't exactly do anything to prevent Heracross from setting up (aside from using Hypnosis to avoid damaging it while it sleeps, then going for Freezes with Ice Punch). Spikes support and a Pokemon such as Gengar or Zapdos with pseudo-Boltbeam coverage can draw Steelix in and wear it down, thereby opening the door for Curse Heracross to muscle past it.



[SET]
name: EndRev
move 1: Reversal
move 2: Endure
move 3: Megahorn
move 4: Earthquake / Seismic Toss
item: MiracleBerry / Black Belt

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========
Reversal is the signature move of this set, and combined with Endure to get Heracross down to 1 HP (or less than 4% health), it becomes a 200 base power STAB attack capable of 2HKOing the mighty Skarmory and Suicune and OHKOing several more. Megahorn can OHKO imporant Fighting resisting Psychics such as Exeggutor and Starmie. The last move can either be Earthquake for coverage against Poison-types such as Gengar and Nidoking, or Seismic Toss to deal chip damage to Skarmory, thereby pressuring it to actually attack Heracross with Drill Peck (or risk being in position to be 4HKOed on the switch), which in turn means you can then use Endure and start firing off Reversals. The choice of item is also somewhat flexible; MiracleBerry allows Heracross to avoid being paralyzed by errant Body Slams or Thunders, whereas Black Belt can allow Reversal to make certain OHKOs more likely (namely Steelix) and to make them possible from higher health thresholds, which is super important when you consider that Heracross itself is OHKOed by everything once it's firing off Reversals.


Usage Tips
========
The first step to using EndRev Heracross is to get your opponent to bring it to 1 HP. Try to leave it in to go for some Megahorns against CurseLax or Zapdos, let it take a few Surfs from Suicune, or use SToss against Skarm to try to get it to Drill Peck you. Once you're low enough on health, use Endure to ensure you hit 1HP and then start the next phase of Heracross' life. The tricky part with this phase of the battle is that it's often very transparent what you're trying to do (the lack of Leftovers gives it away pretty quickly), and your opponent may simply refuse to attack you, instead opting to set up Curses or spam Toxic. This is why Seismic Toss is useful for pressuring Skarmory into using a Drill Peck, for example. In the event your opponent refuses to bring Heracross to 1 HP, you may need to explicitly switch it into predicted weak attacks to try to titrate Heracross' health as close to 4% (the threshold for 200-base power Reversals) as possible. You might also attempt switching it into Spikes to weaken it if your opponent won't comply. Just don't forget to spin them away after Heracross' health is low enough! Another difficulty with this first phase of the battle is the possibility of secondary effects from Thunders, Body Slams, or even guessing wrong and switching into a Toxic. This is why MiracleBerry is listed as the first move on this set; otherwise, getting Heracross to 1HP would be considerably more difficult due to status fears.

It's important to note that the first phase is only necessary due to current simulator constraints. In-cart, it is possible to bring pre-damaged Pokemon into the match. Therefore, it's possible to run a 4th move aside from Endure; Flail is a good candidate for the potential 2HKO on Zapdos. Furthermore, this obviates the need for Miracleberry as the primary suggested item, and makes a damage-boosting item such as Black Belt or Pink/Polkadot Bow (for Flail) much more appealing.

The second phase of Heracross' life is then being a constant OHKO threat. Your aim with Heracross will be to double-switch him on anticipated switches to slow Pokemon that are weak to Fighting and therefore easily OHKOed by Reversal; Snorlax is an obvious candidate for a predicted double-switch, but Tyranitar and Cloyster are also excellent opportunities for 1 HP Heracross. From here, you fire off a Reversal and, assuming you've KOed annoying things like Zapdos that both resist Reversal and outspeed Heracross, you're probably going to OHKO a Pokemon. Some Pokemon such as Gengar and Starmie might give you issues; you might need to put on your prediction cap if they consistently give you issues. Heracross will be a very in-and-out Pokemon, scoring OHKOs then ducking out after something faster or merely 2HKOed comes in to try to revenge it. For this reason it's very important that you keep Spikes off your side of the field when using EndRev Heracross, lest it become worthless.



Team Options
========
A Pokemon with Rapid Spin is almost mandatory support, as Spikes mean that Heracross can't be a double-switch threat while Reversal is active. Starmie is typically not a bad choice, as it can also provide Thunder Wave support to make it easier to deal with the likes of Raikou. Cloyster and Forretress also work well, and provide Spikes to boot, which can be important for garnering some important OHKOs against Pokemon such as Suicune and Steelix. Furthermore, Pokemon that can bait and KO Zapdos are welcome partners, as Heracross fails to do more than 3HKO it and is outsped to boot. Exeggutor and Steelix are good at drawing it in and Exploding on it, whereas Pokemon such as Nidoking and Machamp can draw it in and wear it down quite a bit. A Heal Bell user is not mandatory, but it is nice for allowing Heracross to avoid status, particularly if it's using Black Belt over MiracleBerry to get some extra OHKOs. Pursuit support from Tyranitar is especially helpful for disposing of Fighting-immune Ghost-types, especially if you forego Earthquake on your set.



[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
===========
On the Sleep Talk set, Earthquake is the "classic" coverage move for dealing with otherwise-problematic Pokemon such as Steelix, Gengar, and Nidoking. However, it's generally not preferred as it doesn't even give Heracross a prayer of doing anything to either of its ubiquitous Flying-type counters, Skarmory and Zapdos. Hidden Power Rock is also an option for keeping Zapdos out of your face; it's a very unlikely 3HKO, however, and aside from Zapdos coverage it doesn't do anything of note, so it, too, is generally not preferred. Counter is an interesting move, especially when paired with Curse; at +1, Heracross is guaranteed to survive a Skarmory Drill Peck, so it might allow you to score a quick surprise KO. More realistically, however, Counter is more likely to help you out in the event of a Curse war with Snorlax. Thief is also a decent option to consider, as it can take Leftovers from flying-types that are otherwise immune to Spikes, notably Zapdos and Skarmory. It can also catch the occasional Steelix, Gengar, and Forretress, severely compromising their survivability.



Checks and Counters
=============
Skarmory is the "classic" counter, but it is 4HKOed by Seismic Toss, which means that, because it's slower than Heracross, it can't safely switch in when it has two sleep turns remaining from Rest. Skarmory also cannot switch into a 1HP EndRev Heracross. Zapdos is also a strong counter, but can potentially struggle to beat back Curse variants and can find the rare Hidden Power Rock to be annoying to switch into. Steelix is good for Phazing Curse variants, but any variant with Seismic Toss wears it down over time. Gengar is great in most cases, but must be wary of Pursuit support and the odd Earthquake coverage. Misdreavus also works to a lesser extent, although Megahorn does 32-38% to it despite its resistance. Miltank is also not a bad check; while the potential Critical Hit Megahorn is always scary, it outspeeds Heracross and can Growl its Attack down, thereby functioning as a solid check to all Heracross variants. Charizard can be a very scary check, as it doesn't fear most of its attacks (bar the rare Hidden Power Rock), can almost OHKO with Fire Blast (93% max), and threatens to set up Belly Drum. If you're particularly strapped for ideas against Heracross, Curse + Rest Forretress can stall it out, although you generally don't want to resort to such a set.


[Overview]
Heracross has an uncommon combination of high Attack, a high-powered STAB, decent Speed and bulk, and a defensive typing that importantly resists powerful Fighting and Ground moves while being neutral to commonly non-STAB coverage types such as Ice and Rock. Unfortunately, Heracross' offensive prowess is hampered by a heavily resisted STAB type and a sparse coverage movepool. Its defensive prowess is also limited by the fact that its defensive typing is suited for checking powerful Physical Ground-types, but it is a purely Physical attacker trying to break through Grounds' stronger Defense stat. As such, slower, defensively shakier Ground-types are often preferred as Physical attackers due to their better STABs and coverage options, whereas tanky Water-types such as Suicune are preferred as defenders against Ground-types, in spite of their lack of a Ground resistance, due to their ability to force them out with Super-Effective STAB Special attacks. Regardless of its struggles, Heracross' unique combination of traits give it a place on some teams, and its Megahorn is still very strong, thereby making it dangerous to forget about Heracross when attempting to build a team without its incredibly common Flying-type counters.

[SET]
name: Sleep Talk
move 1: Megahorn
move 2: Rest
move 3: Sleep Talk
move 4: Seismic Toss / Curse
item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

Megahorn is Heracross' claim to fame. It's an incredibly powerful STAB attack with an unfortunately widely-resisted typing. When unresisted, however, even the mighty Suicune has a chance to be 3HKOed by it. Rest and Sleep Talk allow Heracross to play a role of a tank that absorbs status and maintains decent matchups against a wide variety of Pokemon; without Sleep Talk, Heracross struggles to remain active, much like Zapdos struggles to escape Rest loops without Slep Talk. The last move is a toss-up. Seismic Toss provides a 4HKO on Skarmory, which might allow Heracross to KO it if it switches in with two Rest turns remaining. Seismic Toss also offers reliable damage against Pokemon such as Steelix, Nidoking, and Machamp, all of which are Pokemon whose standard sets can struggle to break Heracross, but which resist Heracross in turn. This is especially important against Steelix, which otherwise beats Heracross by setting up on it. Curse, on the other hand, might allow Heracross to stay in against and defeat Hidden Power Zapdos with a bit of luck. Curse also forces Pokemon such as Suicune to take Heracross' threats seriously; while Megahorn can manage a 3HKO without setup, it's unlikely given the possibilities of low damage rolls and shaky accuracy. Curse is necessary for Heracross to be able to check the odd Sleep Talk Machamp as well. Heracross also has a nice Speed tier for a Curser, as it can outspeed and 2HKO Snorlax at +1. This means that it does not allow Snorlax to switch in and begin a Curse war.

Usage Tips
========

One way to think about Sleep Talk Heracross is "kind of like other Sleep Talkers, but Physical and overall not as good." The fact that it's Physical means that it doesn't let Snorlax switch in the same way Zapdos can. Its typing also makes it the best standard Nidoking counter under the sun (although Fire Blast variants will still be tricky to deal with). It's important, however, to keep its numerous limitations in mind as well. As mentioned in the introduction, Heracross struggles defensively more than Suicune and Vaporeon do, as it has the typing to make it a counter to Physical Pokemon such as Machamp and Marowak, but a Physical Megahorn has a tougher time forcing such threats to immediately switch when compared to a move like STAB Surf. It also struggles offensively due to the lack of natural coverage to pair with its STAB (unlike Zapdos, which gets Hidden Power Ice for pseudo-BoltBeam coverage alongside STAB Thunder), and perhaps more importantly, due to its inability to effectively use status moves (unlike Zapdos, there is no status possibility built into its STAB, and unlike Suicune, it cannot run Toxic effectively as Steel-types switch into it too easily). Finally, it struggles to absorb Sleep Powder from the tier's most common sleeper, Exeggutor, as Psychic is a 2HKO. This is generally a huge part of a Sleep Talker's role, and as such, using Heracross as a team's only Sleep Talker can create awkward situations for a team, much in the same way that using Raikou as a team's only Sleep Talker can create awkward situations against Nidoking.

Because of its defensive limitations, Heracross is best thought of as a second look, rather than primary check, to most Pokemon it might want to switch in against; a second look that happens to keep Snorlax at bay. As for using it offensively, that depends on your choice of Seismic Toss or Curse in the last slot. With Seismic Toss, your aim will be to provide targeted offensive support in the form of baiting Skarmory into taking Seismic Tosses on the switch, eventually forcing it to Rest. With Curse, your aim will be more to use Heracross as a late-game sweeper.

Team Options
========
Sleep Talk Raikou is a strong complement to Heracross defensively; together, the only sleepers they truly fear are Fire Blast Nidoking and Lovely Kiss Snorlax. Heracross also provides a second look to threats such as Steelix, Marowak, and Tyranitar that Raikou teams greatly appreciate; although Suicune fulfills this purpose as well, Heracross is better at keeping Snorlax at bay and also doesn't provide typing redundancy alongside Cloyster.

Offensively speaking, Seismic Toss Heracross particularly enjoys Pursuit support. Tyranitar therefore makes a great partner. Umbreon is a good teammate as well; Heracross can do 32-38% to Misdreavus on the switch, so Gengar is really the only Ghost that Heracross is concerned with. Seismic Toss Heracross also pairs well offensively with Belly Drum Snorlax and Marowak due to its ability to wear down Skarmory and force it to Rest. Curse Heracross enjoys a team full of Exploders that aim to take out its biggest walls, thereby rendering it at least somewhat able to overcome bad team matchups. In particular, a Curse + SelfDestruct Snorlax is almost essential to pair with Curse Heracross, as otherwise there is no reliable way for it to get around Skarmory. Exeggutor and Steelix are also solid Pokemon to pair with Curse Heracross, as they can Explode on Zapdos. Curse Heracross still appreciates Pursuit support for Gengar, although unless it runs Fire Punch, Gengar can't exactly do anything to prevent Heracross from setting up (aside from using Hypnosis to avoid damaging it while it sleeps, then going for Freezes with Ice Punch). Spikes support and a Pokemon such as Gengar or Zapdos with pseudo-Boltbeam coverage can draw Steelix in and wear it down, thereby opening the door for Curse Heracross to muscle past it.



[SET]
name: EndRev
move 1: Reversal
move 2: Endure
move 3: Megahorn
move 4: Earthquake / Seismic Toss
item: MiracleBerry / Black Belt

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========
Reversal is the signature move of this set, and combined with Endure to get Heracross down to 1 HP (or less than 4% health), it becomes a 200 base power STAB attack capable of 2HKOing the mighty Skarmory and Suicune and OHKOing several more. Megahorn can OHKO imporant Fighting resisting Psychics such as Exeggutor and Starmie. The last move can either be Earthquake for coverage against Poison-types such as Gengar and Nidoking, or Seismic Toss to deal chip damage to Skarmory, thereby pressuring it to actually attack Heracross with Drill Peck (or risk being in position to be 4HKOed on the switch), which in turn means you can then use Endure and start firing off Reversals. The choice of item is also somewhat flexible; MiracleBerry allows Heracross to avoid being paralyzed by errant Body Slams or Thunders, whereas Black Belt can allow Reversal to make certain OHKOs more likely (namely Steelix) and to make them possible from higher health thresholds, which is super important when you consider that Heracross itself is OHKOed by everything once it's firing off Reversals.


Usage Tips
========
The first step to using EndRev Heracross is to get your opponent to bring it to 1 HP. Try to leave it in to go for some Megahorns against CurseLax or Zapdos, let it take a few Surfs from Suicune, or use SToss against Skarm to try to get it to Drill Peck you. Once you're low enough on health, use Endure to ensure you hit 1HP and then start the next phase of Heracross' life. The tricky part with this phase of the battle is that it's often very transparent what you're trying to do (the lack of Leftovers gives it away pretty quickly), and your opponent may simply refuse to attack you, instead opting to set up Curses or spam Toxic. This is why Seismic Toss is useful for pressuring Skarmory into using a Drill Peck, for example. In the event your opponent refuses to bring Heracross to 1 HP, you may need to explicitly switch it into predicted weak attacks to try to titrate Heracross' health as close to 4% (the threshold for 200-base power Reversals) as possible. You might also attempt switching it into Spikes to weaken it if your opponent won't comply. Just don't forget to spin them away after Heracross' health is low enough! Another difficulty with this first phase of the battle is the possibility of secondary effects from Thunders, Body Slams, or even guessing wrong and switching into a Toxic. This is why MiracleBerry is listed as the first move on this set; otherwise, getting Heracross to 1HP would be considerably more difficult due to status fears.

The second phase of Heracross' life is then being a constant OHKO threat. Your aim with Heracross will be to double-switch him on anticipated switches to slow Pokemon that are weak to Fighting and therefore easily OHKOed by Reversal; Snorlax is an obvious candidate for a predicted double-switch, but Tyranitar and Cloyster are also excellent opportunities for 1 HP Heracross. From here, you fire off a Reversal and, assuming you've KOed annoying things like Zapdos that both resist Reversal and outspeed Heracross, you're probably going to OHKO a Pokemon. Some Pokemon such as Gengar and Starmie might give you issues; you might need to put on your prediction cap if they consistently give you issues. Heracross will be a very in-and-out Pokemon, scoring OHKOs then ducking out after something faster or merely 2HKOed comes in to try to revenge it. For this reason it's very important that you keep Spikes off your side of the field when using EndRev Heracross, lest it become worthless.



Team Options
========
A Pokemon with Rapid Spin is almost mandatory support, as Spikes mean that Heracross can't be a double-switch threat while Reversal is active. Starmie is typically not a bad choice, as it can also provide Thunder Wave support to make it easier to deal with the likes of Raikou. Cloyster and Forretress also work well, and provide Spikes to boot, which can be important for garnering some important OHKOs against Pokemon such as Suicune and Steelix. Furthermore, Pokemon that can bait and KO Zapdos are welcome partners, as Heracross fails to do more than 3HKO it and is outsped to boot. Exeggutor and Steelix are good at drawing it in and Exploding on it, whereas Pokemon such as Nidoking and Machamp can draw it in and wear it down quite a bit. A Heal Bell user is not mandatory, but it is nice for allowing Heracross to avoid status, particularly if it's using Black Belt over MiracleBerry to get some extra OHKOs. Pursuit support from Tyranitar is especially helpful for disposing of Fighting-immune Ghost-types, especially if you forego Earthquake on your set.



[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
===========
On the Sleep Talk set, Earthquake is the "classic" coverage move for dealing with otherwise-problematic Pokemon such as Steelix, Gengar, and Nidoking. However, it's generally not preferred as it doesn't even give Heracross a prayer of doing anything to either of its ubiquitous Flying-type counters, Skarmory and Zapdos. Hidden Power Rock is also an option for keeping Zapdos out of your face; it's a very unlikely 3HKO, however, and aside from Zapdos coverage it doesn't do anything of note, so it, too, is generally not preferred. Counter is an interesting move, especially when paired with Curse; at +1, Heracross is guaranteed to survive a Skarmory Drill Peck, so it might allow you to score a quick surprise KO. More realistically, however, Counter is more likely to help you out in the event of a Curse war with Snorlax.



Checks and Counters
=============
Skarmory is the "classic" counter, but it is 4HKOed by Seismic Toss, which means that, because it's slower than Heracross, it can't safely switch in when it has two sleep turns remaining from Rest. Skarmory also cannot switch into a 1HP EndRev Heracross. Zapdos is also a strong counter, but can potentially struggle to beat back Curse variants and can find the rare Hidden Power Rock to be annoying to switch into. Steelix is good for Phazing Curse variants, but any variant with Seismic Toss wears it down over time. Gengar is great in most cases, but must be wary of Pursuit support and the odd Earthquake coverage. Misdreavus also works to a lesser extent, although Megahorn does 32-38% to it despite its resistance. Miltank is also not a bad check; while the potential Critical Hit Megahorn is always scary, it outspeeds Heracross and can Growl its Attack down, thereby functioning as a solid check to all Heracross variants. If you're particularly strapped for ideas against Heracross, Curse + Rest Forretress can stall it out, although you generally don't want to resort to such a set.


EDIT: Updated according to QC feedback.
 
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Isa

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Curse should be the main slash imo. Seismic Toss is really really bad at wearing down Skarmory by itself since the bird is Spikes immune and Hera just doesn't find enough opportunities to switch in to make it worth the effort. It also has nothing on Zapdos so it really fails to do anything vs. offense as well unless you get Gengar, Zapdos and/or sorta Steelix removed as well. Curse suffers many of the same issues but at least wins in the long run vs. things like Gengar.
 

Pocket

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I know Belly Drum Zard isn't really a thing anymore, but Heracross is pretty much set-up bait for it.

As always, your analyses are always so scholarly, Jorgen @.@
 
It learns Thief just for the record and is very specific in what Pokemon it steals from (Skarmory, Zapdos).

Curse/Bodyslam/Selfdestruct Snorlax might be a good partner, since it probably is the most efficient way to unexpectedly kill a Skarmory.

The first phase of Reversal Heracross is only necessary due to shortcomings on the simulators' behalf. AFAIK, it is possible to enter a link battle with pre-damaged Pokemon up to Gen 2, which would not only abolish the struggle to get <4% HP, but also enable it to use a 4th move other than Endure.
 

Jorgen

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Ping. Update. Addressed feedback in bolded bits of the analysis. Also replying below:

Curse should be the main slash imo. Seismic Toss is really really bad at wearing down Skarmory by itself since the bird is Spikes immune and Hera just doesn't find enough opportunities to switch in to make it worth the effort. It also has nothing on Zapdos so it really fails to do anything vs. offense as well unless you get Gengar, Zapdos and/or sorta Steelix removed as well. Curse suffers many of the same issues but at least wins in the long run vs. things like Gengar.
*I disagree. Gengar and Zapdos can be dealt with semi-reliably via Pursuit and Explosion. Against Skarm you don't really have any similar options, but SToss at least gives you a chance to take it down. It's better than nothing. Also, Steelix does not work as a check to SToss Cross. Not without Rest anyway, but who does that?


I know Belly Drum Zard isn't really a thing anymore, but Heracross is pretty much set-up bait for it.
*Drumzard is a thing and very scary. Adding a mention in Checks and Counters.

It learns Thief just for the record and is very specific in what Pokemon it steals from (Skarmory, Zapdos).
*I'd considered it, but Heracross didn't strike me as a particularly good user of it. It's not that specific either; Gengar and Steelix are also potential targets. Rethinking it though, who would complain about nabbing lefties from them? Anyway, adding Thief to OO.

Curse/Bodyslam/Selfdestruct Snorlax might be a good partner, since it probably is the most efficient way to unexpectedly kill a Skarmory.
*That's why I mention it. I'm also going to add a mention of Fire Blast Lax/HP Fire Egg, as those can also catch Skarm unawares.

The first phase of Reversal Heracross is only necessary due to shortcomings on the simulators' behalf. AFAIK, it is possible to enter a link battle with pre-damaged Pokemon up to Gen 2, which would not only abolish the struggle to get <4% HP, but also enable it to use a 4th move other than Endure.
*Oh right I forgot about this! Adding.
 
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About Reversal Team Options:

Bringing 1 HP Heracross into battle is almost as troublesome as reducing its HP in the first place, since you have to be very conservative about guessing switches/Rests, as it won't forgive even the slightest mistake. So the replacement of fainted Pokemon, being roared in (by Steelix, Tyranitar, paralyzed Raikou or low health Skarmory) and the turn after the opponent's use of Rest with Sleep Talk being absent are very likely to be your best - and only - bets.

A possible way to circumvent this problem is Baton Pass: The user should preferably be very slow and encourage switches to Heracross victims with <268 Speed. Jolteon attracts Steelix, but also Raikou and gives no opportunities to Heracross, if the opponent decides to stay in. Vaporeon lures Exeggutor and Snorlax, however both Electrics as well and it may be better off with all four moves dedicated to itself. Umbreon is as slow as Vaporeon (137 minimum with full HP) and provides Pursuit for Gengar, but can be met with the Electrics (discount variants without Roar, if it has Mean Look) everytime. Espeon is ideal regarding the Pokemon it baits into battle (Tyranitar, Snorlax), but shares Jolteon's high speed problem.

Mean Look/Baton Pass Umbreon and Baton Pass/Growth Espeon look promising at first glance, but two "gimmicky" Pokemon on a single team might be a bit too audacious, plus you still need Rapid Spin and Snorlax, which leaves you with only two Pokemon to fix all of the remaining team issues. Don't know, whether these are worth a mention in Team Options...
 
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