Gen 3 Heracross (QC 2/2) (GP 0/2)

wyc2333

A=X+Y+Z Y: Hard Work
is a Pre-Contributor
[OVERVIEW]

With its 125 Attack stat and powerful STAB Megahorn, Heracross is one of the most fearsome wallbreakers in ADV OU and threatens slow-paced teams with Pokemon such as Claydol or defensive Celebi. Even its checks are not foolproof, as Gengar dares not burn it because of Guts, while Dugtrio risks being caught on the backpedal by Substitute or Salac Berry variants. Generally speaking, with support from trappers, STAB moves boosted by Choice Band can easily overwhelm an opposing team.

However, although Heracross can pivot bulky Water-types such as Milotic, it doesn't contribute much defensively: Salamence is troublesome for offensive teams with Heracross, while some balanced teams with Heracross suffer from Moltres. In addition, a well-switched Dugtrio can let Heracross vanish into thin air before it works.

[SET]
name: Standard
move 1: Megahorn
move 2: Rock Slide
move 3: Focus Punch / Brick Break
move 4: Swords Dance / Substitute / Hidden Power Ghost / Brick Break
item: Leftovers
ability: Guts / Swarm
nature: Adamant / Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

This set mostly acts as an early- and mid-game wallbreaker, capitalizing on bulky Psychic-, Normal-, and Water-types. Megahorn OHKOs Celebi and Claydol. It also threatens to 3HKO defensive Suicune and Swampert, and to 2HKO Blissey and Snorlax. Furthermore, it can also hold its ground against more offensive grounded special threats by threatening to 2HKO offensive Suicune and OHKO Jolteon. Rock Slide predicts switch-ins such as Salamence, Gyarados, Zapdos, and Moltres. Focus Punch is for a predicted switch to Skarmory, thus being mostly used when Magneton is absent on the team. In addition, it exploits Rest Pokemon such as Snorlax and Hariyama. Otherwise, Brick Break 2HKOs Snorlax and Blissey without the inaccuracy of Megahorn, and OHKOs Magneton.

When it comes to the last slot, Swords Dance gives Heracross the ability to sweep bulkier teams, and can be used on a predicted switch or a Choice-locked Earthquake. After a Swords Dance, Rock Slide OHKOes Zapdos and offensive Gengar, while threatening to OHKO Adamant Gyarados and slower variants of Salamence. Substitute pairs well with Focus Punch, allowing Heracross to scout for Drill Peck on Skarmory and potentially play mind games with it. Substitute can also catch an attempted sacrifice into a Dugtrio trap, protect Heracross from Forretress, bring Heracross into Swarm range, and exploit the miss rate of Swampert's Hydro Pump. Adamant Hidden Power Ghost comfortably KOs Gengar in sand after Megahorn, allowing it to be a Gengar lure.

Guts is generally the preferred nature on this set to allow Heracross to face Gengar and Zapdos without fear, but Swarm is also appropriate when the team has additional Gengar pivots like Starmie and when Heracross' HP can be controlled with Substitute. The EV spread &mdash maximum Attack and Speed &mdash is straightforward. An Adamant nature increases the odds that Suicune, Swampert, Snorlax, Metagross, Gengar, and Gyarados are taken out with one less hit, but Jolly allows Heracross to outspeed slower variants of Salamence, Modest Zapdos, and Modest Moltres. Jolly Heracross only needs 216 Speed EVs to outspeeds Modest Moltres and Timid Venusaur, so the rest can be allocated to bulk.

Heracross can also be given varying amounts of bulk. Bulk EVs are useful on the Leftovers set as Heracross doesn't get chipped into range by Sand. Although maximum speed is straightforward, a little bulk can go a long way; lowering the speed to 250 and putting the remaining EVs in HP lets Heracross outspeed Adamant Claydol while increasing the odds of surviving Jirachi and Celebi's Psychic. This is really important because fast Jirachi and Celebi are frequently means by which offensive teams check Heracross. Swarm might be preferred here as Heracross gets a 50% chance to OHKO bulkless Jirachi after taking Psychic. An alternative way to EV Heracross is to make it bulky with 144 HP / 184 SpD EVs, which allows Heracross to survive Timid Zapdos' Thunderbolt twice, a single shot of Timid Moltres' Flamethrower in Sand, or +1 Adamant Dragon Dance Tyranitar's Rock Slide in Sand. The rest of the EVs are split between Attack and Speed: Heracross should achieve at least 244 Speed to outrun Jolly Tyranitar, but it is recommended to add more Speed EVs to creep Celebi, Jirachi, and Zapdos that also try to achieve the same benchmark.

Team Options
========

Dugtrio easily traps Heracross without Substitute or Salac Berry, so having one's own Dugtrio or Porygon2 as a partner can be helpful either to trap Dugtrio beforehand or to revenge-kill. By using Heracross as bait, this core also paves the way for other grounded Dugtrio-weak teammates like Tyranitar, Celebi, Jirachi, or Raikou to shine. Porygon2 also defensively synergizes with Heracross: of all hovering threats, Salamence is the one that Heracross finds the hardest time breaking through, but apart from Choice Banded Brick Break, Porygon2 nullifies whatever Salamence throws at it. In addition to the Dugtrio revenge-kill tactic, offensive Celebi and Jirachi also appreciate the chip that Heracross induces on Salamence and Zapdos, bringing them into range of a boosted Psychic. Defensively, with Dugtrio, Jirachi suffices as a Rock-resistant Pokemon that only needs to halt Aerodactyl, because Heracross exerts massive offensive pressure on Tyranitar, and Dugtrio can revenge kill Tyranitar should something go wrong. Celebi and Jirachi also appreciate Heracross's ability to pivot into Hidden Power Bug or Earthquake from Tyranitar, and Heracross gets to come in for free after Dugtrio takes the grounded Psychic-types out.

Paralysis support such as the Thunder Wave mirror from Zapdos onto opposing Zapdos or Jolteon, or Thunder Wave from Gyarados onto the whole slew of fast threats allows Heracross to fully exploit its high attack without being forced out. Substitute Heracross can also exploit opportunities generated by full paralysis. Through Baton Pass or double switching, Zapdos provides entry points into Heracross by luring Blissey, Celebi, Snorlax, Claydol, and Tyranitar. Furthermore, Zapdos provides coverage against hovering threats Gyarados, Skarmory, Gengar, Moltres and Charizard, which all annoy Heracross. Water-types such as Suicune and Swampert check Salamence, which comes in rather freely on Heracross. The former can pivot into Moltres and Charizard, while the latter can also pivot into and play mind-games with Zapdos. In addition, they can lure and weaken Zapdos for Heracross.

Other physical threats can also complement Heracross. Choice Band or mixed Metagross can lure Skarmory and Zapdos in and either wear them down or take them out with Explosion and Thunder Punch or Rock Slide respectively. Occasionally, Heracross' often-ignored but useful Ground-type resistance allows it to be a pivot into Claydol's Earthquake on Metagross. As a Water-type pivot, Heracross can bear the brunt of the opponent's bulky Water-types, softening the opponent's team before Tyranitar presents itself. Chipping Metagross, Gengar, and Zapdos with Heracross is going to be immensely useful in preparing for a sweep by Dragon Dance Tyranitar, Dragon Dance Salamence, or mixed Salamence. To obtain these setup opportunities, Dragon Dance sweepers can capitalize on Choice-locked Aerial Ace from Dugtrio, and conversely, Heracross can exploit opposing Dugtrio revenge-killing Tyranitar or Metagross in the same vein as Jirachi to chip its checks.

Finally, Magneton can be used with Heracross to remove Skarmory, but this is perhaps the set that least requires Magneton support due to Focus Punch. Still, removing especially Drill Peck Skarmory eliminates the need for making predictions with Focus Punch.

[SET]
name: SubSalac
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Megahorn
move 3: Substitute
move 4: Rock Slide / Focus Punch
item: Salac Berry
ability: Swarm
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
ivs: 30 HP

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

The key to this set is that with Swords Dance, Swarm, and Salac Berry, Heracross becomes a threatening sweeper that outspeeds and annihilates almost the entire metagame with Megahorn. Substitute is primarily used to activate Salac Berry and to get into Swarm range, but also blocks status moves and eases prediction. The last move depends on whether or not Magneton is present on the team to eliminate Skarmory. Without Skarmory around, Rock Slide provides better coverage; after a Swords Dance, Rock Slide OHKOs bulk-uninvested Salamence and Gyarados 75% of the time even after Intimidate, and OHKOs Moltres, Charizard, and defensive Zapdos as well. Note that with Swarm and STAB, even resisted Megahorn is almost as strong as super-effective Rock Slide, and with the Swords Dance boost will OHKO offensive Zapdos and Aerodactyl. Focus Punch 2HKOs Skarmory and combines well with Substitute to alleviate predictions, especially against Drill Peck Skarmory. With 30 HP IVs, Salac Berry activates after the third Substitute, avoiding Sand from immediately KOing Heracross before it can sweep.

This Heracross plays out rather differently depending on the filler move. With Rock Slide, the preferred gameplan involves taking out Heracross' checks before revealing itself, as Heracross cannot do much with unboosted Megahorn in the early game. However, with Focus Punch, Heracross can also do some wallbreaking in the early-game so that even if it eventually finds its HP too low to sweep, it has paved the way for other teammates to take over. In brief, the Focus Punch variant lends itself to more fluid situations.

Team Options
========

In general, Salac Berry Heracross features on fast-paced offensive teams. With Rock Slide in the filler moveslot, it requires Magneton support to remove Skarmory. Gengar doesn't necessarily prohibit Heracross from sweeping, but Heracross falls short of OHKOing it after a Swords Dance and Swarm boost. So, Pursuit Metagross helps to obtain that chip on Gengar: compared to Pursuit Tyranitar, it not only avoids setting up Sandstorm, which chips down Salac Heracross, but also has more offensive presence with Explosion. Speaking of Sand, having a fast Pokemon with Rain Dance or Sunny Day such as Zapdos, Salamence, or Suicune helps to clear the sky for Heracross' longevity. Magneton can also clear Sand, but it is unreliable for doing so due to its propensity of being trapped and its lackluster Speed. With Magneton for first trapping Metagross, it is also possible to use offensive Snorlax with Earthquake and Self-Destruct to bait and remove Tyranitar for the weather change. Offensive Suicune is a partner with complementary sweeping abilities. Heracross is impressive at taking out stall teams but may have some trouble breaking through a well-played Salamence, especially with Intimidate drops, or staying alive with Sand in play from late-game Tyranitar. Offensive Suicune tends to be able to clean up against these physical or mixed threats. Salamence can be a partner with multiple functions: mixed Salamence can lure in and chip Gengar, and with its Speed, it can even clean up if Heracross misses a hit, while Dragon Dance Salamence complements Heracross in its ability to cleave through offenses while Heracross punches through stalls. It can take over the sweep if the opponent sacks a bulky Pokemon in order to take down Heracross. Finally, as a minor point on Magneton, although it can be revenge-killed by Dugtrio, many teams with Skarmory and Dugtrio tend not to have other Heracross checks, so Heracross can sometimes even take the opportunity to set up on Choice-locked Dugtrio after the revenge-kill.

The Focus Punch variant similarly belongs on fast-paced offense, but without Magneton. It appreciates teammates that can similarly lure and mount a lot of pressure on Skarmory, such as Choice Band Metagross and Dragon Dance Tyranitar, to take it down in tandem. The availability of more offensive options due to relinquishing the Magneton slot also makes Sand removal support less necessary. Substitute + Baton Pass Vaporeon is an interesting partner, for Vaporeon can force in Blissey and pass a 101 HP Substitute out to Heracross, giving Heracross a free opportunity to fire off Focus Punch without predicting. Vaporeon can also turn the momentum on Celebi by hitting it hard with Ice Beam and bringing Heracross in on Recover.

[SET]
name: Choice Band
move 1: Megahorn
move 2: Brick Break / Focus Punch
move 3: Rock Slide
move 4: Hidden Power Ghost / Focus Punch
item: Choice Band
ability: Swarm / Guts
nature: Adamant
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

Choice Band Heracross primarily seeks to use its boosted STAB moves to overwhelm an opposing team after its most resilient checks such as Skarmory and Gengar are removed. As with the Standard offensive set, Megahorn OHKOs Celebi and Claydol, but with the boost OHKOs Tyranitar and bulkless offensive Swampert, and threatens to OHKO Blissey; Importantly, the boost significantly shortens the lifespan of physical walls, allowing Megahorn to 2HKO Metagross and defensive Swampert with certainty, and do likewise against defensive Suicune with good odds. Boosted Megahorn's ability to 2HKO Zapdos also allows Heracross to stay in and eat a Thunderbolt and finish off its check. As Megahorn can be just shy of OHKOing Blissey and Snorlax, Brick Break KOes them more reliably. If Magneton is not used, Heracross can run Focus Punch to nail Skarmory, which has a 25% chance to OHKO. Rock Slide OHKOes Aerodactyl and Moltres and is also likely to OHKO offensive Zapdos, while 2HKOing Salamence. Hidden Power Ghost OHKOs Gengar. The damage output of these boosted coverage moves allows for a high risk high reward play where a prediction is all that is needed to take out a check.

As with the Standard set, an Adamant nature increases the odds that many of Heracross's targets are taken out with one less hit, and is the preferred nature because Choice Band Heracross operates in a hit-and-run manner, pivoting in on slower threats and switching out after, but Jolly again allows Heracross to outspeed slower variants of Salamence, Modest Zapdos, and Modest Moltres.

Choice Band Heracross gets worn down to low HP pretty frequently, and sometimes the best way to deal with it is to stall it out in Sand. Thus, getting the extra power on the last few hits with Swarm can go a long way, OHKOing Aerodactyl, non-defensive Metagross, and bulkless Magneton, as well as nearly OHKOing Zapdos, and Swampert. Guts can also be used to exploit status moves from Blissey and allows Heracross to stay in on Gengar.

Team Options
========

Choice Band Heracross prefers support from trappers to remove its most sturdy checks. Magneton traps Skarmory, and if so lets Heracross drop Focus Punch. It also traps Forretress, which resists Megahorn. Pursuit Tyranitar wears down hovering threats that resist Megahorn such as Gengar, Choice Band Salamence, and Aerodactyl; with some prediction, it also chips Zapdos and Moltres. Porygon2 removes Dugtrio, which can revenge-kill Heracross; it can obtain the oppotunity to do so when Dugtrio KOs Magneton or Tyranitar.

To mitigate the momentum lost from being locked into a move, Choice Band Heracross, when compared with the other sets, tends to be used on more balanced teams with defensive backbones. Porygon2 nullifies most of what Salamence tries to throw at Heracross, though it can be taken out by a predicted Choice Band Brick Break. Celebi can force switches with Leech Seed and pivot to Heracross safely through Baton Pass especially into Blissey, Snorlax, and Tyranitar, either during an expected switch or by utilizing Leech Seed's recovery. Leech Seed's recovery can be important for mitigating damage from Sand, which Heracross cannot compensate for due to its lack of Leftovers. Celebi also checks Zapdos. Milotic shrugs off damage from Salamence, Moltres and Charizard with Recover, while it can slowly chip Zapdos.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

With Chesto Berry and Hidden Power Ghost, Heracross can lure and wear down Hypnosis Gengar. Chesto Berry can also be used alongside Rest for extra longevity. Endure or Substitute + Reversal can be really powerful, but sand limits its viability. Still, these sets can be used with a weather changers like Charizard or Kingdra, and even without Reversal, Heracross pairs well with them anyway, exploiting their Dugtrio synergy and acting as an offensive pivot into special walls. Hidden Power Rock doesn't have accuracy issues compared to Rock Slide, and Rock Tomb might help Heracross overcome hovering threats by lowering their speeds, or even deter Salamence or Gyarados from setting up with Dragon Dance. Hidden Power Flying can be used on teams weak to opposing Heracross. Thief potentially steals Leftovers from Salamence and Gengar, which are notoriously difficult to lure and remove entirely. A Bulk Up set with three attacks is an interesting prospect for Heracross. Although it is generally outclassed by its Swords Dance counterpart, with Salamence and Gyarados still OHKOing even at +1 Defense anyway, Bulk Up allows Heracross to survive Dugtrio's Aerial Ace. Earthquake is a reliable option for Metagross and Jirachi, but Megahorn usually does enough to them. Body Slam, with some odds, can be used to paralyze and disable almost all hovering threats.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Flying-types**: Salamence and Gyarados resist STAB attacks from Heracross, have Intimidate to reduce damage, and can OHKO back with Hidden Power Flying or threaten to take the opportunity to set up with Dragon Dance. Mixed Salamence also has Fire Blast for Heracross. Still, Rock Slide hits both of them hard. Skarmory resists Megahorn, takes about 30% from Brick Break, has Drill Peck against Heracross, and can take the opportunity to lay Spikes, but is unreliable because it can be severely damaged by Focus Punch and trapped by Magneton. Offensive Zapdos outspeeds Heracross, can use Roar to prevent it from setting up, and can either 2HKO with Thunderbolt or OHKO with Drill Peck, but is not a reliable check at all, as it can get taken out by Megahorn + Rock Slide. Furthermore, Choice Band Heracross can OHKO Zapdos with Rock Slide. Aerodactyl can pivot into unboosted attacks and OHKO Heracross with Hidden Power Flying, but it will neither survive Focus Punch nor boosted Rock Slide / Brick Break.

**Poison-types**: Gengar can use Fire Punch to 2HKO Heracross, Explosion for a trade, or Hypnosis to put Heracross into sleep. It can also burn Swarm Heracross with Will-O-Wisp. Weezing resists Megahorn and can eliminate Heracross with Fire Blast, Flamethrower, or Sludge Bomb. Especially with Gengar, one might want to avoid inflicting status through Will-O-Wisp for fear of activating Guts.

**Dugtrio**: Dugtrio can trap and take out Heracross with Aerial Ace. However, it's not going to take hits bar Rock Slide and HP Ghost, and is very susceptible to allowing Salac Berry variants to set up.

**Fire-types**: Moltres and Charizard resist STAB moves from Heracross and can OHKO uninvested Heracross, but they are OHKOed by Rock Slide. Houndoom outspeeds Heracross and OHKOs with Fire Blast.

[CREDITS]
- Written by: [[wyc2333, 336830], [vapicuno, 5454]]
- Quality checked by: [[vapicuno, 5454], [BKC, 52012]]
- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
Moderator
I've only finished editing the first set; please copy and paste. Generally, I think Heracross as an offensive Pokemon has to be written more from a standpoint of what its offensive synergies and pivot lines are, as opposed to its defensive synergies. Nothing you say is explicitly false, but I doubt that some of these things are going to be very relevant.

I removed a lot of content about defensive checks like Heracross taking Aerodactyl's Earthquake, Tyranitar taking Thunderbolts from Zapdos, because that is not so much about advancing a gameplan for a team with Heracross in it. Take for example this sentence:

"Jirachi deals with Skarmory, resists attacks from Aerodactyl bar Earthquake, and threatens Gengar with Psychic."

All this is true, but is it going to help Heracross or its teammates to win?
1. When Jirachi comes into Skarmory, Skarmory isn't necessarily going to stay in after laying its Spikes, so you aren't actually doing anything to help Heracross overcome Skarmory.
2. I don't think it's common that people switch Heracross into Aerodactyl thinking Heracross is there to resist Earthquake, but that Aerodactyl tends to come out late-game, Heracross is slow, doesn't have any terribly useful resistances, and perhaps Heracross is likely to be the most worthy thing to sack.
3. Just like Skarmory, Gengar isn't going to stay in on Jirachi, so you're not really helping to make Gengar more breakable by Heracross.

Yes, Jirachi and Heracross do go together, but in other more directed ways, which I have edited below.

Things that are good to talk about are stuff like pivot opportunities: BP Zapdos to Heracross is good, entry into Swampert's Earthquake is good, etc.

Please consider in future whether you are writing about an offensive, defensive, or supportive (like Wish Rachi supporting CBMence) role, and tailor your writing to demonstrate how those roles can be utilized most effectively.

[OVERVIEW]

With its 125 Attack stat and powerful STAB Megahorn, Heracross is one of the most fearsome wallbreakers in ADV OU and threatens slow-paced teams with Pokemon such as Claydol or defensive Celebi. Even its checks are not foolproof, as Gengar dares not burn it because of Guts, while Dugtrio risks being caught on the backpedal by Substitute or Salac Berry variants. With support from trappers, STAB moves boosted by Choice Band can easily overwhelm an opposing team.

Heracross is a good Water-type pivot, but apart from that, Heracross doesn't contribute much defensively: Salamence is troublesome for offensive teams with Heracross, while some balanced teams with Heracross suffer from Moltres. In addition, a well-switched Dugtrio can let Heracross vanish into thin air before it works.

[SET]
name: Standard
move 1: Megahorn
move 2: Rock Slide
move 3: Focus Punch / Brick Break
move 4: Swords Dance / Substitute / Hidden Power Ghost / Brick Break
item: Leftovers
ability: Guts / Swarm
nature: Adamant / Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

This set mostly acts as an early- and mid-game wallbreaker, pivoting into bulky Psychic-, Water- and Normal-types. Megahorn OHKOs Celebi and Claydol. It also threatens to 3HKO defensive Suicune and Swampert, and to 2HKO Blissey and Snorlax. Furthermore, it can also hold its ground against more offensive grounded special threats by threatening to 2HKO offensive Suicune, and OHKO Jolteon. Rock Slide predicts switch-ins such as Salamence, Gyarados, Zapdos, and Moltres. Focus Punch is for a predicted switch to Skarmory, and is mostly used when Magneton is absent on the team. In addition, it exploits Rest Pokemon such as Snorlax and Hariyama. Otherwise, Brick Break 2HKOs Snorlax and Blissey without the inaccuracy of Megahorn, and OHKOs Magneton.

When it comes to the last slot, Swords Dance gives Heracross the ability to sweep bulkier teams, and can be used on a predicted switch or a Choice-locked Earthquake. After a Swords Dance, Rock Slide OHKOes Zapdos and offensive Gengar, and threatens to OHKO Adamant Gyarados and slower variants of Salamence. Substitute pairs well with Focus Punch, allowing Heracross to scout for Drill Peck on Skarmory and potentially play mind games with it. Substitute can also catch an attempted sacrifice into a Dugtrio trap, protect Heracross from Forretress, bring Heracross into Swarm range, and exploit the miss rate of Swampert's Hydro Pump. Adamant Hidden Power Ghost comfortably KOs Gengar in sand after Megahorn, allowing it to be a Gengar lure.

Guts is generally the preferred nature on this set to allow Heracross to face Gengar and Zapdos without fear, but Swarm is also appropriate when the team has additional Gengar pivots like Celebi or Starmie, and when Heracross' HP can be controlled with Substitute. The EV spread--maximum Attack and Speed--is straightforward. An Adamant nature increases the odds that Suicune, Swampert, Snorlax, Metagross, Gengar, and Gyarados are taken out with one less hit, but Jolly allows Heracross to outspeed slower variants of Salamence, Modest Zapdos, and Modest Moltres. Jolly Heracross only needs 216 Speed EVs to outspeeds Modest Moltres and Timid Venusaur, so the rest can be allocated to bulk. An alternative way to EV Heracross is to make it bulky, with 144 HP / 184 SpD EVs. This spread allows Heracross to survive two of Timid Zapdos' Thunderbolt or a single shot of Timid Moltres' Flamethrower in Sand, and also +1 Adamant Dragon Dance Tyranitar's Rock Slide in Sand. The rest of the EVs are split between Attack and Speed; Heracross should achieve at least 244 Speed to outrun Jolly Tyranitar, but it is recommended to add even more speed to creep Celebi, Jirachi and Zapdos that also try to achieve the same benchmark.

Team Options
========

Dugtrio easily traps Heracross without Substitute or Salac Berry, so having one's own Dugtrio or Porygon2 as a partner can be helpful either to trap Dugtrio beforehand or to revenge-kill. By using Heracross as bait, this core also paves the way for other grounded Dugtrio-weak teammates like Celebi, Jirachi, or Raikou to shine. Porygon2 also defensively synergizes with Heracross; of all hovering threats, Salamence is the one that Heracross finds the hardest time breaking through, but apart from Choice Banded Brick Break, Porygon2 almost entirely nullifies whatever Salamence throws at it. In addition to the Dugtrio revenge-kill tactic, Offensive Celebi and Jirachi also appreciate the chip that Heracross induces on Salamence and Zapdos, bringing them into range of a boosted Psychic. Defensively, with Dugtrio, Jirachi suffices as a Rock-resistant Pokemon that only needs to halt Aerodactyl, because Heracross exerts massive offensive pressure on Tyranitar, and Dugtrio can revenge kill Tyranitar should something go wrong. Celebi and Jirachi also appreciate Heracross' ability to pivot into Hidden Power Bug or Earthquake from Tyranitar, and Heracross gets to come in for free after Dugtrio takes the grounded Psychic-types out.

Paralysis support such as the Thunder Wave mirror from Zapdos onto opposing Zapdos or Jolteon, or Thunder Wave from Gyarados onto the whole slew of fast threats allows Heracross to fully exploit its high attack without being forced out. Substitute Heracross can also exploit opportunities generated by full paralysis. Through Baton Pass or double switching, Zapdos provides entry points into Heracross by luring Blissey, Celebi, Snorlax, Claydol, and Tyranitar. Furthermore, Zapdos provides coverage against hovering threats Gyarados, Skarmory, Gengar, Moltres and Charizard, which all annoy Heracross. Water-types such as Suicune and Swampert check Salamence, which comes in rather freely on Heracross. The former can pivot into Moltres and Charizard, while the latter can also pivot into and play mind-games with Zapdos. In addition, they can lure and weaken Zapdos for Heracross.

Other physical threats can also complement Heracross. Choice Band or Mixed Metagross can lure Skarmory and Zapdos in and either wear them down or take them out with Explosion and Thunder Punch or Rock Slide respectively. Occasionally, Heracross' often-ignored but useful Ground-type resistance allows it to be a pivot into Claydol's Earthquake on Metagross. As a Water-type pivot, Heracross can bear the brunt of the opponent's bulky Water-types, softening the opponent's team before Tyranitar presents itself. Chipping Metagross, Gengar, and Zapdos with Heracross is going to be immensely useful in preparing for a sweep by Dragon Dance Tyranitar, Dragon Dance Salamence, or Mixed Salamence. To obtain these setup opportunities, Dragon Dance sweepers can capitalize on Choice-locked Aerial Ace from Dugtrio, and conversely, Heracross can exploit opposing Dugtrio revenge-killing Tyranitar or Metagross in the same vein as Jirachi to chip its checks.

Finally, Magneton can be used with Heracross to remove Skarmory, but this is perhaps the set that least requires Magneton support due to Focus Punch. Still, removing especially Drill Peck Skarmory eliminates the need for making predictions with Focus Punch.
I will edit the other sets in due time. Feel free to ask me or any of the qc team members questions if you don't get what I'm saying.
 
Last edited:

wyc2333

A=X+Y+Z Y: Hard Work
is a Pre-Contributor
I've only finished editing the first set; please copy and paste. Generally, I think Heracross as an offensive Pokemon has to be written more from a standpoint of what its offensive synergies and pivot lines are, as opposed to its defensive synergies. Nothing you say is explicitly false, but I doubt that some of these things are going to be very relevant.

I removed a lot of content about defensive checks like Heracross taking Aerodactyl's Earthquake, Tyranitar taking Thunderbolts from Zapdos, because that is not so much about advancing a gameplan for a team with Heracross in it. Take for example this sentence:

"Jirachi deals with Skarmory, resists attacks from Aerodactyl bar Earthquake, and threatens Gengar with Psychic."

All this is true, but is it going to help Heracross or its teammates to win?
1. When Jirachi comes into Skarmory, Skarmory isn't necessarily going to stay in after laying its Spikes, so you aren't actually doing anything to help Heracross overcome Skarmory.
2. I don't think it's common that people switch Heracross into Aerodactyl thinking Heracross is there to resist Earthquake, but that Aerodactyl tends to come out late-game, Heracross is slow, doesn't have any terribly useful resistances, and perhaps Heracross is likely to be the most worthy thing to sack.
3. Just like Skarmory, Gengar isn't going to stay in on Jirachi, so you're not really helping to make Gengar more breakable by Heracross.

Yes, Jirachi and Heracross do go together, but in other more directed ways, which I have edited below.

Things that are good to talk about are stuff like pivot opportunities: BP Zapdos to Heracross is good, entry into Swampert's Earthquake is good, etc.

Please consider in future whether you are writing about an offensive, defensive, or supportive (like Wish Rachi supporting CBMence) role, and tailor your writing to demonstrate how those roles can be utilized most effectively.



I will edit the other sets in due time. Feel free to ask me or any of the qc team members questions if you don't get what I'm saying.
ik hera threatens some milo teams and is an offensive check to cune, but hera is not a typical water-type pivot
252+ SpA Swampert Hydro Pump vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 169-199 (55.9 - 65.8%)
252 SpA Swampert Hydro Pump vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 153-181 (50.6 - 59.9%)
252 SpA Starmie Hydro Pump vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 171-202 (56.6 - 66.8%)
occasionally, there are also some rain attackers

pivoting into psychic- and normal-types isn't typical too.
196 SpA Celebi Psychic vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 246-290 (81.4 - 96%)
252+ Atk Snorlax Body Slam vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Heracross: 173-204 (57.2 - 67.5%)

when it comes to adamant>jolly, pert isn't a typical example since there is tect on defensive variants.

if raikou is one of other grounded Dugtrio-weak teammates, ttar is a more common choice.

thunder punch isn't a move on main sets of gross. maybe hp fire can be included. i think u are saying thunder punch is for skarm and boom is for zap, while this set often pairs with hp grass for pert so that this set of mixed gross can lure these two targets more easily than psychic + hp fire
 
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vapicuno

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ik hera threatens some milo teams and is an offensive check to cune, but hera is not a typical water-type pivot
252+ SpA Swampert Hydro Pump vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 169-199 (55.9 - 65.8%)
252 SpA Swampert Hydro Pump vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 153-181 (50.6 - 59.9%)
252 SpA Starmie Hydro Pump vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 171-202 (56.6 - 66.8%)
occasionally, there are also some rain attackers

pivoting into psychic- and normal-types isn't typical too.
196 SpA Celebi Psychic vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Heracross: 246-290 (81.4 - 96%)
252+ Atk Snorlax Body Slam vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Heracross: 173-204 (57.2 - 67.5%)
When I say pivot into x-types, I am talking about x-type Pokemon, not x-type attacks. That means I am not trying to get in on Celebi's Psychic, but Recover or HP Grass. I am also trying to come in on Swampert's Earthquake or Ice Beam, not Hydro Pump. But even if Heracross comes in on Hydro Pump, it can still severely weaken Swampert or force it to switch out, so it is still a threat to Swampert. Anyway, there are more Water-types that Heracross can pivot in on. It can trade with or force our Suicune, and it can certainly force out Milotic and even Vaporeon. Just because it takes a lot of damage from offpert doesn't mean it's universally bad at dealing with waters. In fact, Heracross is what people use on physical offense teams to partially cover the water weakness.

This is something that people with finite attention spans and intake, not computers, read. Talk about the big picture first, then dive into the details. Talking about exactly what variant of what water type pokemon Heracross can check is going to be way too much information for the reader, imo.

when it comes to adamant>jolly, pert isn't a typical example since there is tect on defensive variants.
Precisely because of Protect, there is a difference between Jolly and Adamant.
252 Atk Heracross Megahorn vs. 248 HP / 216+ Def Swampert: 153-180 (37.9 - 44.6%)
252+ Atk Heracross Megahorn vs. 248 HP / 216+ Def Swampert: 166-196 (41.1 - 48.6%)
For Jolly, the minimum damage on Megahorn after Protect (2x leftovers recovery) is 37.9%-12.5% = 25.4%. So the minimum damage after 3 Megahorns is 25.4% * 2 + 37.9% = 88.7%.
For Adamant, the minimum damage on Megahorn after Protect is 41.1% -12.5% = 28.6%. Minimum damage after 3 Megahorns is 28.6% * 2 + 41.1%. 98.3%.
So it's not a guaranteed 3HKO, and Adamant gives you better odds.

if raikou is one of other grounded Dugtrio-weak teammates, ttar is a more common choice.
Are you saying Tyranitar is a more common partner than Heracross? I really don't know where you got that from. Raikou isn't a common Pokemon, and Hera + Dug/P2 + Raikou teams do exist. Even if it's more common, how does that change any of the arguments made?

thunder punch isn't a move on main sets of gross. maybe hp fire can be included. i think u are saying thunder punch is for skarm and boom is for zap, while this set often pairs with hp grass for pert so that this set of mixed gross can lure these two targets more easily than psychic + hp fire
Okay, there are many ways to think about this. Thunderpunch/HP Grass Metagross is avoided by Swampert and Skarmory, but completely walled by Zapdos because its Meteor Mash is weak, so this variant of mixgross can lure Zapdos in to boom on it. Psychic / HP Fire is more prone to luring in and trading with Swampert.
 
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wyc2333

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Are you saying Tyranitar is a more common partner than Heracross?
i was saying "Tyranitar is a more common partner with Heracross than Raikou".
Even if it's more common, how does that change any of the arguments made?
"By using Heracross as bait, this core also paves the way for other grounded Dugtrio-weak teammates like Tyranitar, Celebi, Jirachi, or Raikou to shine."
 

vapicuno

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ok sure, go ahead and add Tyranitar in the way you did then.
 

vapicuno

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Again, same issues about the relevance of talking about defensive support for an offensive Pokemon. I basically overhauled the team options section.

"Water-type Pokemon such as Suicune offer a pseudo check to Salamence and Moltres for Heracross."
- This is another example of how talking about defensive support on an offensive Pokemon is not helpful for demonstrating how one can push forward with the offensive gameplan. If Heracross is primarily going to come in late-game, Salamence/Moltres might not even see it till then, and even if it needs to come in as an emergency pivot, that's not the main point.

By the way, I might have accidentally added double spaces after full stops / periods, so sorry about that, please check and replace it.

[SET]
name: SubSalac
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Megahorn
move 3: Substitute
move 4: Rock Slide / Focus Punch
item: Salac Berry
ability: Swarm
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
ivs: 30 HP

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

The key to this set is that with Swords Dance, Swarm, and Salac Berry, Heracross becomes a threatening sweeper that outspeeds and annihilates almost the entire metagame with Megahorn. Substitute is primarily used to activate Salac Berry and to get into Swarm range, but also blocks status moves and eases prediction. The last move depends on whether or not Magneton is present on the team to eliminate Skarmory. Without Skarmory around, Rock Slide provides better coverage; after a Swords Dance, Rock Slide OHKOs bulk-uninvested Salamence and Gyarados 75% of the time even after Intimidate, and OHKOs Moltres, Charizard, and defensive Zapdos as well. Note that with Swarm and STAB, even resisted Megahorn is almost as strong as super-effective Rock Slide, and with the Swords Dance boost will OHKO offensive Zapdos and Aerodactyl. Focus Punch 2HKOs Skarmory, and combines well with Substitute to alleviate predictions, especially against Drill Peck Skarmory. With 30 HP IVs, Salac Berry activates after the third Substitute, avoiding Sand from immediately KOing Heracross before it can sweep.

This Heracross plays out rather differently depending on the filler move. With Rock Slide, the preferred gameplan involves taking out Heracross' checks before revealing itself, as Heracross is cannot do much with unboosted Megahorn in the early-game; the Magneton pairing is intended to support the dedicated Heracross sweep. With Focus Punch however, Heracross can also do some wallbreaking in the early-game so that even if it eventually finds its HP too low to sweep, it has paved the way for other offenses to take over. The Focus Punch variant lends itself to more fluid situations.


Team Options
========

Salac Berry Heracross in general features on fast-paced offensive teams. As mentioned earlier, Salac Heracross with Rock Slide in the filler moveslot almost certainly requires Magneton support to remove Skarmory. Gengar doesn't necessarily prohibit Heracross from sweeping, but Heracross falls just short of OHKOing it after a Swords Dance and Swarm boost. Pursuit Metagross also helps to obtain that chip on Gengar; Pursuit Metagross' niche here compared to Pursuit Tyranitar is in avoiding setting up Sandstorm, which KOs Heracross eventually, and also having more offensive presence with Explosion. Speaking of Sand, having a fast pokemon with Rain Dance or Sunny Day such as Zapdos, Salamence, or even Suicune helps to clear the skies for Heracross' longevity. Magneton can also clear Sand, but is unreliable for doing so due to its propensity of being trapped and its lackluster speed. With Magneton for first trapping Metagross, it is also possible to use offensive Snorlax with Earthquake and Self-Destruct to bait and remove Tyranitar for the weather change. Offensive Suicune is a partner with complementary sweeping abilities. Heracross is impressive at taking out stall teams but may have some trouble breaking through a well-played Salamence, especially with Intimidate drops, or staying alive with Sand in play from late-game Tyranitar. Offensive Suicune tends to be able to clean up against these physical or mixed threats. Salamence can be a partner with multiple functions; Mixed Salamence can lure in and chip Gengar, and with its speed even clean up should Heracross miss a hit; Dragon Dance Salamence complements Heracross in its ability to cleave through offenses while Heracross punches through stalls. It can take over the sweep should the opponent sacrifice a bulky Pokemon in order to take down Heracross. Finally, as a minor point on Magneton, although it can be revenge-killed by Dugtrio, many teams with Skarmory and Dugtrio tend not to have other Heracross checks, so Heracross can sometimes even take the opportunity to set up on Choice-locked Dugtrio after the revenge-kill.

The Focus Punch variant similarly belongs on fast-paced offense, but without Magneton. It appreciates teammates that can similarly lure and mount a lot of pressure on Skarmory, such as Choice Band Metagross and Dragon Dance Tyranitar, to take it down in tandem. The availability of more offensive options due to relinquishing the Magneton slot also makes Sand removal support less necessary. Substitute + Baton Pass Vaporeon is an interesting partner, for Vaporeon forces in Blissey, and can pass a Substitute out to Heracross, giving Heracross a free opportunity to fire off Focus Punch without predicting. Vaporeon can also turn the momentum on Celebi by hitting it hard with Ice Beam and bringing Heracross in on Recover.
 

wyc2333

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Again, same issues about the relevance of talking about defensive support for an offensive Pokemon. I basically overhauled the team options section.

"Water-type Pokemon such as Suicune offer a pseudo check to Salamence and Moltres for Heracross."
- This is another example of how talking about defensive support on an offensive Pokemon is not helpful for demonstrating how one can push forward with the offensive gameplan. If Heracross is primarily going to come in late-game, Salamence/Moltres might not even see it till then, and even if it needs to come in as an emergency pivot, that's not the main point.

By the way, I might have accidentally added double spaces after full stops / periods, so sorry about that, please check and replace it.
implemented. btw cb hera is ready for qc
 

vapicuno

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Please try your best to avoid overlapping content. If we request a separate for the standard and choice band set, it's because the choice band set can achieve something the standard set cannot. You should try to make that clear in your writing, as I have done for you;

I think Jolteon is irrelevant. Also removed mention of the lack of leftovers in set description.

I'll work on team options in due time. Please copy and paste back into the OP.

[SET]
name: Choice Band
move 1: Megahorn
move 2: Brick Break / Focus Punch
move 3: Rock Slide
move 4: Hidden Power Ghost

item: Choice Band
ability: Guts
nature: Adamant
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

Choice Band Heracross primarily seeks to use its boosted STAB moves to overwhelm an opposing team after its most resilient checks such as Skarmory and Gengar are removed. As with the Standard offensive set, Megahorn OHKOs Celebi and Claydol, but with the boost OHKOs Tyranitar, and threatens to OHKO Blissey; Importantly, the boost significantly shortens the lifespan of physical walls, allowing Megahorn to 2HKO Metagross and defensive Swampert with certainty, and doing likewise against defensive Suicune with good odds. Boosted Megahorn's ability to 2HKO Zapdos also allows Heracross to stay in and eat a Thunderbolt and finish off its check. As Megahorn can be just shy of OHKOing Blissey and Snorlax, Brick Break ensures the KO. If Magneton is not used, Heracross can run Focus Punch to nail Skarmory; it has a 25% chance to OHKO. Rock Slide OHKOes Aerodactyl and Moltres and is also likely to OHKO offensive Zapdos, while 2HKOing Salamence. Hidden Power Ghost OHKOs Gengar. The damage output of these boosted coverage moves allows for a high risk high reward play where a prediction is all that is needed to take out a check.

As with the Standard set,
an Adamant nature increases the odds that many of Heracross's checks and targets are taken out with one less hit, and is the preferred nature because Choice Band Heracross operates in a hit-and-run manner, pivoting in on slower threats and switching out after, but Jolly again allows Heracross to outspeed slower variants of Salamence, Modest Zapdos, and Modest Moltres.
 

vapicuno

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Magneton does not trap Skarmory with Thunderbolt, it traps Skarmory and KOs it with Thunderbolt, but you don't need to mention Thunderbolt. Try to explain the motivation behind everything you write, as demonstrated below.

Team Options
========

Choice Band Heracross prefers support from trappers to remove its most sturdy checks. Magneton traps Skarmory, and if so lets Heracross drop Focus Punch. It also traps Forretress, which resists Megahorn. Pursuit Tyranitar wears down hovering threats that resist Megahorn Gengar, Choice Band Salamence, and Aerodactyl; with some prediction, it also chips Zapdos and Moltres. Porygon2 removes Dugtrio, which can revenge-kill Heracross; it can obtain the oppotunity to do so when Dugtrio KOs Magneton or Tyranitar.

To mitigate the momentum lost from being locked into a move
, Choice Band Heracross, when compared with the other sets, tends to be used on more balanced teams with defensive backbones. Porygon2 nullifies most of what Salamence tries to throw at Heracross, though it can be taken out by a predicted Choice Band Brick Break. Celebi can force switches with Leech Seed and pivot to Heracross safely through Baton Pass especially into Blissey, Snorlax, and Tyranitar, either during an expected switch or by utilizing Leech Seed's recovery. Leech Seed's recovery can be important for mitigating damage from Sand, which Heracross cannot compensate for due to its lack of Leftovers. Celebi also checks Zapdos. Milotic shrugs off damage from Salamence, Moltres and Charizard with Recover, and it can also slowly chip Zapdos.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

With Chesto Berry and Hidden Power Ghost, Heracross can lure and remove Hypnosis Gengar. Chesto Berry can also be used alongside Rest for extra longevity. Endure or Substitute + Reversal can be really powerful, but sand limits its viability. Hidden Power Rock doesn't have accuracy issues compared to Rock Slide, and Rock Tomb might help Heracross overcome hovering threats by lowering their speeds, or even deter Salamence or Gyarados from setting up with Dragon Dance. Hidden Power Flying can be used on teams weak to opposing Heracross. Thief potentially steals Leftovers from Salamence and Gengar, which are notoriously difficult to lure and remove entirely. A Bulk Up set with three attacks is an interesting prospect for Heracross. Although it is generally outclassed by its Swords Dance counterpart, with Salamence and Gyarados still OHKOing even at +1 Defense anyway, Bulk Up allows Heracross to survive Dugtrio's Aerial Ace. Earthquake is a reliable option for Metagross and Jirachi, but Megahorn usually does enough to them. Body Slam, with some odds, can be used to paralyze and disable almost all hovering threats.
 

vapicuno

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This part is mostly alright, I think emphasis must be placed that Skarmory is not a reliable Heracross check. Once this is copypasted, qc 1/2.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Flying-types**: Salamence and Gyarados resist STAB attacks from Heracross, have Intimidate to reduce damage, and can OHKO back with Hidden Power Flying or threaten to take the opportunity to set up with Dragon Dance. Mixed Salamence also has Fire Blast for Heracross. Still, Rock Slide hits both of them hard. Skarmory resists Megahorn, takes about 30% from Brick Break, has Drill Peck against Heracross, and can take the opportunity to lay Spikes, but is unreliable because it can be severely damaged by Focus Punch and trapped by Magneton. Offensive Zapdos outspeeds Heracross, can use Roar to prevent it from setting up, and can either 2HKO with Thunderbolt or OHKO with Drill Peck, but is not a reliable check at all, as it can get taken out by Megahorn + Rock Slide. Furthermore, Choice Band Heracross can OHKO Zapdos with Rock Slide. Aerodactyl can pivot into unboosted attacks and OHKO Heracross, but it will neither survive Focus Punch nor boosted Rock Slide / Brick Break.

**Poison-types**: Gengar can use Fire Punch to 2HKO Heracross, Explosion for a trade, or Hypnosis to put Heracross into sleep. It can also burn Swarm Heracross with Will-o-Wisp. Weezing resists Megahorn, and can eliminate Heracross with Fire Blast, Flamethrower, or Sludge Bomb. Especially with Gengar, one might want to avoid inflicting status through Will-O-Wisp with for fear of activating Guts.

**Dugtrio**: Dugtrio can trap and take out Heracross with Aerial Ace. However, it's not going to take hits bar Rock Slide and HP Ghost, and is very susceptible to allowing Salac Berry variants to set up.

**Fire-types**: Moltres and Charizard resist STAB moves from Heracross and can OHKO uninvested Heracross, but they are OHKOed by Rock Slide. Houndoom outspeeds Heracross and OHKOs with Fire Blast.
 

vapicuno

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wyc2333 Sorry, can you please copy and paste the set description for the first set into the OP again? I made some small changes.
 

wyc2333

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if the qc team thinks that this analysis is mostly written by vapi, i can let vapi be a co-author
sth i want to say is that focus punch deserves being slashed on the 4th slot of the cb set. salac hera needs to mention 264 spe in set description
 
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vapicuno

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thanks but there is no need to give me credit. just treat this as a learning experience in writing analyses.

about focus punch and salac speed, we will let the other qcers decide. in my opinion, there is no need to mention speed because heracross by default is going to be max speed which outspeeds everything in the metagame after a boost (and that i did edit to mention). i cannot think of any reason for extra bulk on heracross apart from surviving starmie's psychic, and even then there is no need to drop to 264 speed. besides, tying the heracross mirror is always nice.
 

wyc2333

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may not be qualified enough to implement adv quality checks any more. i have added vapi as a co-author
 
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vapicuno

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I'll take over for now. If you want to come back to this at any point to implement checks, let me know.
 
I think swarm should be mentioned on cb. hera naturally gets knocked down to low health a lot and this is a way to make its final hit really count.the opponent can no longer stall sand by pivoting around megahorn with aerodactyl, magneton (bulkless mag is cleanly ohkoed) or zapdos (offensive takes around roughly 84-99), while swampert/metagross can no longer eat a hit in a 1v1. on average, this is more gamebreaking and readily abusable than guts.

cbhera sometimes also likes having brick break + focus punch on the same set, so I'd do some slashing with hpghost.

bulk can also go a long way. 269 speed is often wasted and every hp ev counts when facing many offensive teams' best option for outspeeding and threatening hera: superachi/celebi psychic. this is especially useful on the lefties attacker since it doesn't get chipped into range automatically by sand. swarm might also be the preferred option here so you have a shot to ohko rachi (50% from full hp).

finally, while OO is fine for it, reversal should be given more emphasis as a legit option alongside weather clearing - hera naturally makes for a wonderful offensive pairing with charizard/kingdra regardless.
 

vapicuno

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implemented all these changes and awaiting the second qc.
 
maybe mention that cb megahorn cleanly ohkos offensive swampert? otherwise this looks great, 2/2
 

vapicuno

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done and thanks! ready for gp.
 

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