OU Kartana (Revamp)

Finchinator

-OUTL
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader
[OVERVIEW]

Kartana is one of the most threatening Pokemon in the USM metagame due to it having insanely high Attack and superb Speed, making Kartana incredibly hard to counter defensively. Unfortunately, low base HP and pitiful Special Defense make Kartana one of the most specially frail Pokemon in the tier. It is able to salvage its decent physical bulk thanks to a high Defense stat, however. Its Grass / Steel typing also assists Kartana defensively, as it resists many different types and only has two weaknesses, Fighting and Fire. Offensively, Kartana's typing is also appreciated, especially alongside the coverage move Sacred Sword. Finally, Beast Boost allows Kartana to boost its Attack every time it gets a KO and makes consistent defensive counterplay incredibly hard to come by.

[SET]
name: Paper Cut (Swords Dance)
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Leaf Blade
move 3: Sacred Sword
move 4: Defog / Smart Strike / Knock Off
item: Fightinium Z / Grassium Z
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

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

Swords Dance is used to double Kartana's Attack, allowing it to threaten the entire metagame. As for the most common attacking moves, Leaf Blade is the primary STAB move, and it is very strong in conjunction with Kartana's high base Attack. Additionally, Sacred Sword is the best complementary coverage move, hitting Steel-types that Leaf Blade fails to threaten sufficiently such as Heatran and Ferrothorn. Defog is often used as a support move despite Kartana's main goal being to pose a threat offensively, as the tier is full of entry hazards and having a strong, fast remover is helpful on many teams. Another attacking option is Smart Strike, which can be used to hit Fairy-types such as Clefable and do more damage to opposing Grass-types such as Mega Venusaur and Tangrowth than either of the alternative attacking options. Knock Off is an option if you deem it to be worthwhile, especially due to the fact that defensive Celesteela and Zapdos variants otherwise can prove to be problematic to Kartana while switch-ins like Choice Scarf Landorus-T can get severely crippled by a well-timed Knock Off. Finally, Substitute can also be used alongside a bulkier EV spread to allow more free setup opportunities.

Set Details
========

The EV spread allows Kartana to maximize damage output and Speed, as it is meant to threaten teams offensively, and it is part of a congested Speed tier, making Jolly the optimal nature as well. As for potential items for Kartana, Fightinium Z is a great choice, often being used to threaten a lot of would-be checks and counters to Kartana with a boosted All-Out Pummeling, damaging opposing Celesteela, Mega Scizor, and Magearna. Grassium Z is an alternative that allows Kartana to have an essential powerful one-time attack in Bloom Doom, removing opposing Landorus-T and Toxapex with minimal prior damage and even breaking through bulky switch-ins such as Zapdos with minimal residual damage at +2. The third potential Z-Move on this set would be Darkinium Z, which is the best to choice if you wish to hit Zapdos and Mega Venusaur while still damaging Celesteela to a decent extent. With this said, it is far less consistent than the two aforementioned alternatives. It is worth noting that Night Slash gives a higher Z-Move Base Power than Knock Off, making it often the best move to use in conjunction with Darkinium Z. Leftovers can be utilized on the Defog + Swords Dance variants if you wish to increase Kartana's longevity and the number of times you can switch it against hazards. Ideally, the set with Leftovers would be used with 28 Special Defense EVs in order to assure that Kartana takes under half from Clefable's Moonblast, letting you switch Kartana in on it twice with or without Stealth Rock being up, assuming it stays in afterwards to gain Leftovers recovery. Finally, if using Substitute, the EV spread should take 8 HP and 60 Special Defense EVs out of Attack so that Kartana can always survive Toxapex's Scald behind a Substitute, letting it take the most advantage of Substitute without compromising much. If you want Kartana to do this and also take Gyro Ball from Ferrothorn when behind a Substitute 100% of the time, you can opt to run a bulkier spread with 120 HP and 8 Special Defense EVs, but keep in mind this involves taking a lot of EVs out of Attack.

Usage Tips
========

Swords Dance Kartana is meant predominantly to poke holes earlier on in games. Cleaning or sweeping entire teams is not usually possible due to the plethora of revenge killers that outrun a Kartana that lacks a Speed boost or Choice Scarf. However, Swords Dance Kartana is one of the best bulky core breakers in the tier, tearing through common stall teams and sweeping them with ease due to their lack of faster Pokemon and hard counters. Also, Defog allows Kartana to essentially function as a full counter to Ferrothorn and also work as a convenient, offensive entry hazard remover that can be slapped on more offensive teams in need.

Team Options
========

Swords Dance Kartana should be used alongside teams that have some form of late-game cleaner or alternative sweeper that is meant to sweep more than break open holes, such as Magearna or Volcarona. In addition, Pursuit support is very much appreciated, as Latios and Latias outrun it while also resisting the moves that it uses most often; their ability to revenge kill Kartana limit it to one KO each time it is on the field until they are eliminated from the game. Pairing Kartana with slow Volt Switch and U-turn users such as Stealth Rock Landorus-T and Assault Vest Magearna is ideal because they let Kartana get in easier against common special attackers and threats that otherwise prevent it from getting in safely. Tapu Bulu provides Kartana with Grassy Terrain that can be beneficial for strengthening an already strong STAB Leaf Blade and gives it a bit of health each turn to make up for the lack of Leftovers recovery. Finally, when using Fightinium Z, it is great to use Swords Dance Kartana alongside a generic physical Choice Scarf user such as Landorus-T, as All-Out Pummeling gets rid of or cripples most physically defensive Pokemon.

[SET]
name: Paper Plane (Choice Scarf)
move 1: Leaf Blade
move 2: Sacred Sword
move 3: Smart Strike / Knock Off
move 4: Defog / Knock Off
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

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

Leaf Blade is the Grass-type STAB move that hits quite hard for a move on a Choice Scarf user thanks to Kartana's high Attack stat, and Sacred Sword is the best complementary coverage move, hitting opposing Steel-types such as Ferrothorn and Heatran. Another potential move can be Smart Strike, which is a secondary STAB move that can knock out Fairy-types such as Clefable. Knock Off is a great utility move to cripple Pokemon that wall Choice Scarf Kartana such as Celesteela and Zapdos, ridding them of their Leftovers. On the utility front, Defog can be used in the final slot if you want a quick, convenient form of entry hazard removal to slap onto more offensively oriented teams. Finally, Giga Impact is viable to remove Volcarona, as teams with Choice Scarf Kartana often are more offensive, lack another revenge killer, and struggle to defensively check Volcarona to the necessary extent, giving Kartana an emergency button to remove it at the cost of Kartana giving up a free turn after use to recharge.

Set Details
========

The EV spread allows Kartana to have a high damage output and Speed stat, as it is meant to be threatening and quick. Jolly is also used in order to maximize Kartana's Speed, as many Pokemon have similar base Speed stats. Choice Scarf is present to let Kartana clean opposing teams and act as a revenge killer, letting it outrun everything that is unboosted and most setup sweepers at +1. In addition, Defog can let it act as an entry hazard remover for a team that is in need of one, essentially letting you have an emergency button in case of a situation that is getting out of hand due to the presence of entry hazards on the field.

Usage Tips
========

Choice Scarf Kartana is meant to clean teams later on in games with the assistance of its ability, Beast Boost. Beast Boost lets it snowball Attack boosts and run through weakened teams. In addition, Choice Scarf Kartana functions as a revenge killer earlier on in games, outrunning and defeating or forcing out most common offensive threats in the metagame such as Greninja, Tapu Lele, and Keldeo. While locking into Defog is not particularly ideal, as Kartana has to switch out afterwards or become fodder, it is still convenient in some situations and should be used when entry hazards are proving to be problematic to your team during the early- to mid-game. Due to the fact that Swords Dance Kartana is the more common and threatening of the two sets, there are many occasions where you are facing an offensive team that lacks a true Kartana counter and you can take advantage of this via strategic utilization of this Kartana variant. Essentially, the opponent will often try to pivot to their faster, offensive checks that resist a certain move or predict you to use Swords Dance to break through a defensive pivot and Kartana can take advantage of this by hitting them with a strong attack right off the bat, making prediction easier to make, as you know it has to lock into a move.

Team Options
========

Choice Scarf Kartana is primarily used to clean up later on in games, so it should be paired with an early-game breaker that can poke holes and do significant damage to opposing defensive cores, such as Choice Band Tyranitar or Mega Medicham. Also, Spikes support is appreciated by Choice Scarf Kartana, as the residual damage does rack up on opposing teams over time, but it is worth noting that there is some awkward overlap with the fact that Kartana itself could have to use Defog to clear away its own Spikes depending upon the situation. Pursuit support is appreciated by this variant of Kartana as well, as Latios and Latias can get in the way of Kartana trying to sweep with Leaf Blade or Sacred Sword, which are its two most commonly used moves. Tapu Bulu is a great teammate, as Grassy Terrain lets you clean up late-game with Leaf Blade fairly often, and it also provides Kartana with a bit of recovery each turn. Finally, offensive teams often appreciate the presence of Choice Scarf Kartana much more than other archetypes, as it gives them a quick Defog user and compresses roles while also posing as a very valuable offensive Steel-type that happens to have a plethora of resistances.

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

Choice Band has grown in popularity due to Knock Off making Kartana able to still spam something that is not a STAB move when facing otherwise counters like Zapdos and Celesteela. Normalium Z with Giga Impact can be used to hit Volcarona, Mega Venusaur, and Zapdos hard, doing a ton of damage, but otherwise it is inferior to the other Z-Crystals, and Normal moves are not particularly helpful on Kartana. In addition, using Defog plus three attacks lets Kartana make the most of Defog while still posing as a threat, and it can use any of the aforementioned Z-Moves or even Muscle Band to improve damage output or Leftovers to improve longevity against entry hazard setters or when switching into entry hazards. Tailwind can be utilized in order to make Kartana faster than anything on the opposing team while doubling the Speed of teammates for a few turns as well. In addition, Z-Tailwind increases Kartana's chances to get a critical hit, making it an intriguing gimmick option on Kartana. Lastly, some Kartana users have flirted with using a Timid nature on it, with 19 Attack IVs, in order to let it get +1 Speed with Beast Boost, but the difference in damage output is drastic, and the lack of Attack boost upon getting a KO makes it much less threatening and makes the Speed boost much harder than take advantage of than one would think, making the strategy simply impractical and not worthwhile a vast majority of the time.

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

**Defensive Steel-types**: Defensive Steel-types such as Mega Scizor and Celesteela are capable of walling most Kartana, but a +2 All-Out Pummeling can still do enough damage to remove them after a couple of Stealth Rock switch-ins, so be wary.
**Faster Special Attackers**: Anything that outruns Kartana and has a special attack essentially ensures a revenge kill due to the horrible special bulk of Kartana.
**Bulky Grass-types**: Bulky Grass-types are able to wall Kartana outside of the aforementioned +2 All-Out Pummeling, which still does a large amount of damage. They often have some means of retaliating or replenishing their health to the point where Kartana is no longer going to be effective in the situation.
**Defensive Zapdos and Volcarona**: With a bit of investment into bulk on Zapdos, it is capable of walling non-niche variants of Kartana while the same can be said for Volcarona naturally due to the typing it has.
**Hidden Power Fire**: With Pokemon unlikely to run Hidden Power Fire such as Ferrothorn and Landorus-T seeing some use with it solely due to Kartana's presence in the tier, it should be kept in mind that any Hidden Power Fire is sure to knock out the specially frail Kartana, and this could limit its ability to set up or stay alive in some matchups.
 
Last edited:

Finchinator

-OUTL
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader










QC READY

--

Willing to make a second SD set for Sub SD, but I did the revamp for that and if people decide that it is necessary to separate, which I personally do not, then can we just use that with the addition of a mention or two of Blacephalon as it is legit all the same and semi-recent
 
Very cool analysis. I enjoyed reading it. But is Timid Kartana really other options worthy? It is honestly just wasting kartana breaking potential in order to become a bargain bin sweeper. There are much better sweepers out there that I would never use timid kartana outside of a meme team.
Is Z giga also really other options worthy? It is quite inferior to Darkinium Z, which not only Kos the same things, but is also not completely useless after using the Z move.
Really good analysis btw.
 
Very cool analysis. I enjoyed reading it. But is Timid Kartana really other options worthy? It is honestly just wasting kartana breaking potential in order to become a bargain bin sweeper. There are much better sweepers out there that I would never use timid kartana outside of a meme team.
Is Z giga also really other options worthy? It is quite inferior to Darkinium Z, which not only Kos the same things, but is also not completely useless after using the Z move.
Really good analysis btw.
tbh, I think Timid Kartana in OO is more of an advice for new players not to use, that's probably why it's the last other option set mentioned and Finch does make it clear how inferior it is to Kartana's other sets. As for Z-Giga Impact, it's for sure OO worthy in my opinion, as it hits much harder than Darkinium Z making it a much more effective way to hit the likes of Zapdos and Mega Venusaur (BHE can't guarantee a KO on neither of them without previous damage whereas BNB guarantees the OHKO on both). Obviously, it's still inferior, but it's for sure OO material.

Also, I really love the set names, very creative on your part Finch :)
 

Leo

after hours
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
MPL Champion
Sacred Sword is the best complimentary coverage move, hitting Steel types that Leaf Blade fails to threaten sufficiently.
Add some examples here
Substitute can also be used alongside an EV spread with 8 HP and 60 SDef EVs so that it can avoid having to predict when it gets a free turn and it can take advantage of passive Pokemon. The EV spread allows you to live a Toxapex Scald behind a substitute, making it a free set-up opportunity.
I would just mention that it needs a bulkier spread and expand on the details in set details
Choice Band has grown in popularity in recent weeks
I think this should be reworded a bit since the analysis will be on site for a while

Rest looks good 1/3 QC
 

Martin

A monoid in the category of endofunctors
is a Smogon Discord Contributoris a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
I think it’s probably worth also mentioning Zapdos as a Bloom Doom target, considering that it otherwise hard walls Kartana:
  • +2 252 Atk Kartana Bloom Doom (175 BP) vs. 248 HP / 240+ Def Zapdos: 297-349 (77.5 - 91.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
  • +2 252 Atk Kartana Bloom Doom (175 BP) vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Zapdos: 416-489 (108.6 - 127.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Ik it’s already listed under Darkinium, but trading the unboosted kill for a +2 one which hits other stuff beyond it+celest is definitely still worth noting imo.
 

Finchinator

-OUTL
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader
Very cool analysis. I enjoyed reading it. But is Timid Kartana really other options worthy? It is honestly just wasting kartana breaking potential in order to become a bargain bin sweeper. There are much better sweepers out there that I would never use timid kartana outside of a meme team.
Is Z giga also really other options worthy? It is quite inferior to Darkinium Z, which not only Kos the same things, but is also not completely useless after using the Z move.
Really good analysis btw.
tbh, I think Timid Kartana in OO is more of an advice for new players not to use, that's probably why it's the last other option set mentioned and Finch does make it clear how inferior it is to Kartana's other sets. As for Z-Giga Impact, it's for sure OO worthy in my opinion, as it hits much harder than Darkinium Z making it a much more effective way to hit the likes of Zapdos and Mega Venusaur (BHE can't guarantee a KO on neither of them without previous damage whereas BNB guarantees the OHKO on both). Obviously, it's still inferior, but it's for sure OO material.

Also, I really love the set names, very creative on your part Finch :)
lot of what I look for in OO things on a pkmn like Kartana are things with a clear niche and I feel like Timid and Z-Giga Impact both have that, so I will keep them for the time being. Thanks for bringing this up, however, as I might change my mind or another QC member could give their thoughts.

Add some examples here
I would just mention that it needs a bulkier spread and expand on the details in set details
I think this should be reworded a bit since the analysis will be on site for a while

Rest looks good 1/3 QC
good points, implemented changes

I think it’s probably worth also mentioning Zapdos as a Bloom Doom target, considering that it otherwise hard walls Kartana:
  • +2 252 Atk Kartana Bloom Doom (175 BP) vs. 248 HP / 240+ Def Zapdos: 297-349 (77.5 - 91.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
  • +2 252 Atk Kartana Bloom Doom (175 BP) vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Zapdos: 416-489 (108.6 - 127.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Ik it’s already listed under Darkinium, but trading the unboosted kill for a +2 one which hits other stuff beyond it+celest is definitely still worth noting imo.
added
 
it's surprising that mega venusaur wasn't mentioned at all in the entire analysis considering its one of the hardiest switch-ins to kartana. it hard walls bloom doom and all-out pummeling sets with ease, leaving darkinium as one's best bet against it (not counting giga impact) with prior damage in mind. so it'd be cool if venusaur was listed as a z-knock (or z-night slash ig) target and placed in c&c along with amoong and tang.

+2 252 Atk Kartana Black Hole Eclipse (120 BP) vs. 248 HP / 88 Def Mega Venusaur: 260-307 (71.6 - 84.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
 

Finchinator

-OUTL
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader
it's surprising that mega venusaur wasn't mentioned at all in the entire analysis considering its one of the hardiest switch-ins to kartana. it hard walls bloom doom and all-out pummeling sets with ease, leaving darkinium as one's best bet against it (not counting giga impact) with prior damage in mind. so it'd be cool if venusaur was listed as a z-knock (or z-night slash ig) target and placed in c&c along with amoong and tang.

+2 252 Atk Kartana Black Hole Eclipse (120 BP) vs. 248 HP / 88 Def Mega Venusaur: 260-307 (71.6 - 84.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
Good catch, I edited to add Mega Venusaur.

I also added a point in the OO to mention Leftovers as a viable option on the Defog variants -- brought it up briefly in QC here
 

p2

Banned deucer.
some comments

- Substitute can also be used alongside a bulkier EV spread to allow more free set-up opportunities.
you should list the ev spreads, 120 hp / 8 spd which allows you to 100% safely set up on non hp fire ferro because none of its common moves will ever break the sub. this also means pex scalds cant break the sub with a single hit either. also leftover 4 evs into spd its far more efficient compared to hp or defense

when you mention tailwind in other options you should mention z tailwind too which increases crit rate by 2 stages and makes leaf blade even harder to switch into, its mostly a product of theorymon but it can negate landt drops and outspeed every relevant scarfer, its effectiveness vs offense shouldnt be understated

you should also put stray hp fires in other options, kartana is notorious for setting up on things like ferrothorn bulky landt and both of these mons are examples which can switch up their moveset to lure kartana on balance and pick off your best potential breaker. things like tangrowth also fall in this category since it generally opts for hp ice in order to beat zygarde, which can provide set up opportunities for kartana, obv it doesnt if you hp fire it.
 
Good catch, I edited to add Mega Venusaur.

I also added a point in the OO to mention Leftovers as a viable option on the Defog variants -- brought it up briefly in QC here
Also add Mega Venusaur as a Breakneck Blitz target, as it and Zap are the only reasons to actually use it. I'd also mention in OO that Night Slash has a niche over Knock Off in Darkinium sets as Knock's Z-Move only reaches 120 which misses out on most KO's BHE from Slash got.

Great analysis btw :)
 

Gary

Can be abrasive at times (no joke)
is a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
Mention Lefties in set details of SD. Lets it set up better on non Knock Ferrothorn and can keep it out of range of being 2HKOed by like Clef's Moonblast with very little SpD investment.

I agree with p2 of mentioning Z Tailwind due to guaranteed crit with Leaf Blade. Also agree that in C&C section, stray fire coverage is definitely something to mention. Examples are HP Fire Lando-T or Ferro, Tangrowth, Flame Clefable, and HP Fire Mega Scizor (really rare but is also a fine option for super Kart weak Sciz balances).

Looks good otherwise QC 2/3
 

Finchinator

-OUTL
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader
some comments


you should list the ev spreads, 120 hp / 8 spd which allows you to 100% safely set up on non hp fire ferro because none of its common moves will ever break the sub. this also means pex scalds cant break the sub with a single hit either. also leftover 4 evs into spd its far more efficient compared to hp or defense
I mentioned the 8 hp / 60 sdef spread that's for Pex Scald, but this spread does that and assure you can set up on Gyro Ferro, so I will mention that option in exchange for another 60 EVs p much because I believe it is sometimes worthwhile

when you mention tailwind in other options you should mention z tailwind too which increases crit rate by 2 stages and makes leaf blade even harder to switch into, its mostly a product of theorymon but it can negate landt drops and outspeed every relevant scarfer, its effectiveness vs offense shouldnt be understated
added

you should also put stray hp fires in other options, kartana is notorious for setting up on things like ferrothorn bulky landt and both of these mons are examples which can switch up their moveset to lure kartana on balance and pick off your best potential breaker. things like tangrowth also fall in this category since it generally opts for hp ice in order to beat zygarde, which can provide set up opportunities for kartana, obv it doesnt if you hp fire it.
pretty sure you mean checks and counters as kartana itself would not be running the hp fire, but yea sure

--

Also add Mega Venusaur as a Breakneck Blitz target, as it and Zap are the only reasons to actually use it. I'd also mention in OO that Night Slash has a niche over Knock Off in Darkinium sets as Knock's Z-Move only reaches 120 which misses out on most KO's BHE from Slash got.

Great analysis btw :)
ye doing

Mention Lefties in set details of SD. Lets it set up better on non Knock Ferrothorn and can keep it out of range of being 2HKOed by like Clef's Moonblast with very little SpD investment.
I added point to OO as I mentioned a few posts above, but will move to set details.

I agree with p2 of mentioning Z Tailwind due to guaranteed crit with Leaf Blade. Also agree that in C&C section, stray fire coverage is definitely something to mention. Examples are HP Fire Lando-T or Ferro, Tangrowth, Flame Clefable, and HP Fire Mega Scizor (really rare but is also a fine option for super Kart weak Sciz balances).
both added

Looks good otherwise QC 2/3
solid, writing up

---

done and written-up, ready for third check and reflected in the title
 
Last edited:
Knock can probably be a slash at this point on SD, and I'd honestly put sub last on that list of slashes (after knock strike defog in no order). Also in addition to mentioning the knocking of celes/zap you can probably mention that it knocks like scarf off lando and such things - generally just a safe move to go for vs say steel(ferro) + lando.

I saw dark-z mentioned in set details of SD, but the move night slash itself isn't written anywhere until oo so it should probably be mentioned earlier.

Regarding the team options portion of SD, scarf landos much more momentum based than "cleaning up teams with weakened physical walls" and scarf chomps sorta on a massive drowntrend of viability so i'd probably remove/rework this portion.

I think Bulu should be a partner listed (especially w scarf) because it sorta compresses the defensive roles nicely where kart lacks if u dont wanna use AV magearna and the grassy terrain support for scarf is amazing.

QC 3/3
 
Last edited:

Finchinator

-OUTL
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader
Knock can probably be a slash at this point on SD, and I'd honestly put sub last on that list of slashes (after knock strike defog in no order). Also in addition to mentioning the knocking of celes/zap you can probably mention that it knocks like scarf off lando and such things - generally just a safe move to go for vs say steel(ferro) + lando.
implemented and also changed order of mentions to reflect the slash order

I saw dark-z mentioned in set details of SD, but the move night slash itself isn't written anywhere until oo so it should probably be mentioned earlier.
fixed

Regarding the team options portion of SD, scarf landos much more momentum based than "cleaning up teams with weakened physical walls" and scarf chomps sorta on a massive drowntrend of viability so i'd probably remove/rework this portion.
removed scarf chomp

I think Bulu should be a partner listed (especially w scarf) because it sorta compresses the defensive roles nicely where kart lacks if u dont wanna use AV magearna and the grassy terrain support for scarf is amazing.
doing

fire.
 

autumn

after midnight
is a Site Content Manageris a Member of Senior Staffis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
C&C Leader
don't forgot to change the tag to copyediting btw.

GP 1/2
add remove comments

[OVERVIEW]

Kartana is one of the most threatening Pokemon in the USUM USM metagame due to it having insanely high Attack and superb Speed, making Kartana incredibly hard to counter defensively. Unfortunately, low base HP and pitiful Special Defense make Kartana one of the most specially frail Pokemon in the tier. It is able to salvage decent physical bulk thanks to a high Defense stat, however. The Grass and Steel Its Grass / Steel typing also assists Kartana defensively, (AC) as it resists many different types and only has two weaknesses, Fighting and Fire. On the offensive end of the spectrum, Grass and Steel Offensively, Kartana's typing is also appreciated, especially alongside the coverage move Sacred Sword. Finally, Beast Boost is a great ability, allowing allows Kartana to boost its Attack every time it gets a kill KO and making makes consistent defensive counterplay incredibly hard to come by.

---

[SET]
name: Paper Cut (Swords Dance)
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Leaf Blade
move 3: Sacred Sword
move 4: Defog / Smart Strike / Knock Off / Substitute
item: Fightinium Z / Grassium Z
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

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

Swords Dance is used to double Kartana's Attack, allowing it to threaten the entire metagame. As for the most common attacking moves, Leaf Blade is the primary STAB move, (AC) and it is very strong when used in conjunction with Kartana's high base Attack. Additionally, Sacred Sword is the best complimentary coverage move, hitting Steel-(AH)types that Leaf Blade fails to threaten sufficiently such as Heatran and Ferrothorn. Defog is often used as a support move despite Kartana's main goal being to pose a threat offensively, (AC) as the tier is full of entry hazards and having a strong, fast remover is helpful on many teams. Another attacking option is Smart Strike, which can be used to hit Fairy-(AH)types such as Clefable and do more damage to opposing Grass-(AH)types such as Mega Venusaur and Tangrowth than either of the alternative attacking options. Knock Off is an option if you deem it to be worthwhile, especially due to the fact that defensive Celesteela and Zapdos variants otherwise can prove to be problematic to Kartana while switch-ins like Choice Scarf Landorus-T can get severely crippled by a well-timed Knock Off. Finally, Substitute can also be used alongside a bulkier EV spread to allow more free set-up setup opportunities.

Set Details
========

The EV spread allows Kartana to maximize damage output and Speed, (AC) as it is meant to threaten teams offensively, (AC) and it is part of a congested Speed tier, making Jolly the optimal nature as well. As for potential items for Kartana, Fightinium Z is a great choice, often being used to threaten a lot of would-be checks and counters to Kartana with a boosted All-(AH)Out Pummeling, helping for damaging opposing Celesteela, Mega Scizor, and Magearna. Grassium Z is an alternative that allows Kartana to have an essential nuke powerful one-time attack in Bloom Doom, removing opposing Landorus-T and Toxapex with minimal prior damage and even breaking through bulky resists such as Zapdos with minimal residual damage at +2. The third potential Z-Move on this set would have to be Darkium Darkinium Z, which is best to go with if you wish to hit Zapdos and Mega Venusaur while still damaging Celesteela to a decent extent. With this said, it is far less consistent than the two aforementioned alternatives. It is worth noting that Night Slash has a higher Z-Power than Knock Off, making it often the best move to use in conjunction with Darkinium Z. Leftovers can be utilized on the Defog plus Swords Dance variants if you wish to increase Kartana's longevity and the amount number of times you can switch in against hazards. Ideally, the set with Leftovers would be used with 28 Special Defense EVs in order to assure that you Kartana takes under half from Clefable's Moonblast, letting you switch in on it twice with or without Stealth Rocks being up, (AC) assuming you it stays in afterwards to gain Leftovers recovery. Finally, if using Substitute, the EV spread should take 8 HP and 60 Special Defense EVs out of Attack so that it can always live a survive Toxapex's Scald behind a Substitute, making it take the most advantage of Substitute without compromising much. If you want to do this and also take Gyro Ball from Ferrothorn when behind a Substitute 100% of the time, you can opt to run a bulkier spread with 120 HP and 8 Special Defense EVs, but keep in mind this involves taking a lot of EVs out of Attack.

Usage Tips
========

Swords Dance Kartana is meant predominantly to poke holes earlier on in games. Cleaning or sweeping entire teams is not usually possible due to the plethora of revenge killers that outrun Kartana that lacks a Speed boost or Choice Scarf. However, Swords Dance Kartana is one of the best bulky core breakers in the tier, tearing through common stall teams and sweeping them with ease due to their lack of faster Pokemon and hard counters. Also, Defog allows Kartana to essentially function as a full counter to Ferrothorn and also work as a convenient, offensive entry hazard remover that can be slapped on more offensive teams in need.

Team Options
========

Swords Dance Kartana should be used alongside teams that have some form of late-(AH)game cleaner or alternative sweeper win condition that is meant to sweep more than break open holes, (AC) such as Magearna and Volcarona. In addition, Pursuit support is very much appreciated, (AC) as Latios and Latias outrun it while also resisting the moves that it uses most often; their ability to revenge kill Kartana limit it to one kill KO each time until they are eliminated from the game. Pairing Kartana with slow Volt Switch and U-turn users such as Stealth Rock Landorus-T and Assault Vest Magearna is ideal because they let Kartana get in easier against common special attackers and threats that otherwise prevent Kartana from getting in safely. Tapu Bulu provides Kartana with Grassy Terrain that can be beneficial for strengthening an already strong, (RC) STAB Leaf Blade and giving gives it a bit of health each turn to make up for the lack of Leftovers recovery. Finally, when using Fightinium Z, it is great to use Swords Dance Kartana alongside a generic physical Choice Scarf user such as Landorus-T, (AC) as All-(AH)Out Pummeling gets rid of or cripples most physically defensive Pokemon.

[SET]
name: Paper Plane (Choice Scarf)
move 1: Leaf Blade
move 2: Sacred Sword
move 3: Smart Strike / Knock Off
move 4: Defog / Knock Off
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

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

Leaf Blade and Sacred Sword are the two staples on this set.
(fluff) Leaf Blade is the Grass-type STAB move that hits quite hard for a move on a Choice Scarfed Pokemon user thanks to Kartana's high Attack stat, (AC) and Sacred Sword is the best complimentary coverage, hitting opposing Steel-(AH)types such as Ferrothorn and Heatran. Another potential move can be Smart Strike, which is a secondary STAB move that can knock out Fairy-(AH)types such as Clefable. Knock Off is a great utility move to cripple things Pokemon that wall Choice Scarf Kartana such as Celesteela and Zapdos, ridding them of their Leftovers. On the utility front, Defog can be used in the final spot slot if you want a quick, convenient form of entry hazard removal to slap onto more offensively oriented teams. Finally, Giga Impact is viable to remove Volcarona, (AC) as teams with Choice Scarf Kartana often are more offensive, lack another revenge killer, and struggle to defensively check it Volcarona to the necessary extent, giving you Kartana an emergency button to remove it at the cost of Kartana giving up a free turn after use to recharge.

Set Details
========

The EV spread allows Kartana to have a high damage output and Speed stat, (AC) as it is meant to be threatening and quick. Jolly is also used in order to maximize Kartana's Speed, (AC) as many Pokemon have similar base Speed stats in the current metagame. (could get outdated very quickly) The item Choice Scarf is present to let Kartana clean opposing teams and act as a revenge killer, letting it outrun everything that is unboosed and most set-up setup sweepers at +1. In addition, Defog can let it act as an entry hazard remover for a team that is in need of one, essentially letting you have an emergency button in case of a situation that is getting out of hand due to the presence of entry hazards on the field.

Usage Tips
========

Choice Scarf Kartana is meant to clean teams later on in games with the assistance of its ability, Beast Boost. Beast Boost lets it snowball Attack boosts and run through weakened teams. In addition, Choice Scarf Kartana functions as a revenge killer earlier on in games, outrunning and defeating or forcing out most common offensive threats in the metagame. (such as?) While locking into Defog is not particularly ideal, (AC) as you have Kartana has to force switch out afterwards or become fodder yourself, it is still convenient in some situations and should be used when entry hazards are proving to be problematic to your team during early or middle portion of games early- to mid-game. Due to the fact that Swords Dance Kartana is the more common and threatening of the two sets, there are many occasions where you are facing an offensive team that lacks a true Kartana counter and you can take advantage of this via strategic utilization of this Kartana variant. Essentially, the opponent will often try to pivot to their faster, offensive checks that resist a certain move or predict you to use Swords Dance to break through a defensive pivot and you Kartana can take advantage of this by hitting them with a strong attack right off the bat, making prediction easier to make, (AC) as you know you have it has to lock into a move.

Team Options
========

Choice Scarf Kartana is primarily used to clean up later on in games, so it should be paired with an early-(AH)game breaker that can poke holes and do significant damage to opposing defensive cores such as Choice Banded Tyranitar and Mega Medicham. Also, Spikes support is appreciated by Choice Scarf Kartana, (AC) as the residual damage does wrack up on opposing teams over time, but it is worth noting that there is some awkward overlap with the fact that Kartana itself could have to use Defog to clear away its own Spikes depending upon the situation. Pursuit support is appreciated by this variant of Kartana as well, (AC) as Latios and Latias can get in the way of Kartana trying to sweep with Leaf Blade or Sacred Sword, which are its two most commonly used moves. Tapu Bulu is a great teammate, (AC) as Grassy Terrain lets you clean-(RH) up late-(AH)game with Leaf Blade fairly often, (AC) and it also provides you it with a bit of recovery each turn. Finally, offensive teams often appreciate the presence of Choice Scarf Kartana much more than other archetypes, (AC) as it gives them a quick Defog user and compresses roles while also posing as a very valuable offensive Steel-(AH)type that happens to have a plethora of resistances.

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

Choice Band has grown in popularity in since the drop of USUM (cross-gen/meta reference) due to Knock Off making Kartana able to still spam something that is not a STAB move when facing otherwise counters like Zapdos and Celesteela. Normalium Z with Giga Impact can be used to nuke hit Volcarona, Mega Venusaur, and Zapdos hard, doing a ton of damage, but otherwise it is inferior to the other Z-Crystals, (AC) as the Normal typing is Normal-type moves are not particularly helpful on Kartana. In addition, using Defog plus three attacks lets Kartana make the most of its learning Defog while still posing as a threat, (AC) and it can use any of the aforementioned Z-Moves or even Muscle Band, (RC) to improve damage output, (RC) or Leftovers, (RC) to improve longevity against entry hazard setters or when switching into entry hazards. Tailwind can be utilized in order to make Kartana faster than anything on the opposing team while doubling the Speed of teammates for a few turns as well. In addition, Z-Tailwind increases your Kartana's chances to get a critical hit, making it an intriguing gimmick option on Kartana. Lastly, some Kartana users have flirted with using a Timid nature on it, with 19 Attack IVs, in order to let it get +1 Speed with Beast Boost, but the difference in damage output is drastic, (AC) and the lack of Attack boost upon getting a kill KO makes it much less threatening and makes the Speed boost much harder than abuse take advantage of than one would think, making it simply impractical and not worthwhile a vast majority of the time.

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

Defensive Steel types:
**Defensive Steel-types**: (don't bold c&c headers) Defensive Steel-(AH)types such as Mega Scizor and Celesteela are capable of walling most Kartana, but a +2 All-(AH)Out Pummeling can still do enough damage to remove them after a couple of Stealth Rock switch-ins, so be wary.

Faster Special Attackers: **Faster Special Attackers**: Anything that outruns Kartana and has a special attack essentially assures ensures a revenge kill due to the horrible special bulk of Kartana.

Bulky Grass types: **Bulky Grass-types**: Bulky Grass-(AH)types are able to wall Kartana outside of the aforementioned +2 All-(AH)Out Pummeling, which still does a large amount of damage. They often have some means of retaliating or replenishing their health to the point where Kartana is no longer going to be effective in the situation.

Defensive Zapdos and Volcarona: **Defensive Zapdos and Volcarona**: With a bit of investment into bulk on Zapdos, it is capable of walling non-niche variants of Kartana while the same can be said for Volcarona naturally due to the typing it has.

Any Hidden Power Fire user:
**Hidden Power Fire**: (more concise imo but up to you) With Pokemon as unlikely to run Hidden Power Fire such as Ferrothorn and Landorus-T seeing some use with it solely due to Kartana's presence in the tier, it should be kept in mind that any Hidden Power Fire is sure to knock out the specially frail Kartana, (AC) and this could limit its ability to set-up set up or stay alive in some match-ups matchups.
 
Shouldn't Mega Venusaur be named specifically in Checks and Counters? If a shaky check at best like Volcarona gets a name drop in C&C than Mega Venu deserves same thing.

And under bulky grass type, I think tangrowth WITHOUT HP fire should be mentioned to caution people that it's not a check to Kartana but a set-up fodder even.

And even if defensive Volcarona were a thing, Volcarona as a check at all seems wrong?
 
Last edited:

Finchinator

-OUTL
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader
Did the first GP check. Implemented it all, but I changed the you to Kartana instead of it near the end of team options for the Choice Scarf set because I feel that fit best.
 

P Squared

a great unrecorded history
is a Site Content Manageris a Community Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Social Media Contributor Alumnusis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
not even 1 generally :(

GP 2/2

[OVERVIEW]

Kartana is one of the most threatening Pokemon in the USM metagame due to it having insanely high Attack and superb Speed, making Kartana incredibly hard to counter defensively. Unfortunately, low base HP and pitiful Special Defense make Kartana one of the most specially frail Pokemon in the tier. It is able to salvage its decent physical bulk thanks to a high Defense stat, however. Its Grass / Steel typing also assists Kartana defensively, as it resists many different types and only has two weaknesses, Fighting and Fire. Offensively, Kartana's typing is also appreciated, especially alongside the coverage move Sacred Sword. Finally, Beast Boost allows Kartana to boost its Attack every time it gets a KO and makes consistent defensive counterplay incredibly hard to come by.

[SET]
name: Paper Cut (Swords Dance)
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Leaf Blade
move 3: Sacred Sword
move 4: Defog / Smart Strike / Knock Off
item: Fightinium Z / Grassium Z
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

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

Swords Dance is used to double Kartana's Attack, allowing it to threaten the entire metagame. As for the most common attacking moves, Leaf Blade is the primary STAB move, and it is very strong when used in conjunction with Kartana's high base Attack. Additionally, Sacred Sword is the best complementary complimentary coverage move, hitting Steel-types that Leaf Blade fails to threaten sufficiently such as Heatran and Ferrothorn. Defog is often used as a support move despite Kartana's main goal being to pose a threat offensively, as the tier is full of entry hazards and having a strong, fast remover is helpful on many teams. Another attacking option is Smart Strike, which can be used to hit Fairy-types such as Clefable and do more damage to opposing Grass-types such as Mega Venusaur and Tangrowth than either of the alternative attacking options. Knock Off is an option if you deem it to be worthwhile, especially due to the fact that defensive Celesteela and Zapdos variants otherwise can prove to be problematic to Kartana while switch-ins like Choice Scarf Landorus-T can get severely crippled by a well-timed Knock Off. Finally, Substitute can also be used alongside a bulkier EV spread to allow more free setup opportunities.

Set Details
========

The EV spread allows Kartana to maximize damage output and Speed, as it is meant to threaten teams offensively, and it is part of a congested Speed tier, making Jolly the optimal nature as well. As for potential items for Kartana, Fightinium Z is a great choice, often being used to threaten a lot of would-be checks and counters to Kartana with a boosted All-Out Pummeling, damaging opposing Celesteela, Mega Scizor, and Magearna. Grassium Z is an alternative that allows Kartana to have an essential powerful one-time attack in Bloom Doom, removing opposing Landorus-T and Toxapex with minimal prior damage and even breaking through bulky resists (use "switch-ins" or "resistant Pokemon" or something) such as Zapdos with minimal residual damage at +2. The third potential Z-Move on this set would have to be Darkinium Z, which is the best choice to go with if you wish to hit Zapdos and Mega Venusaur while still damaging Celesteela to a decent extent. With this said, it is far less consistent than the two aforementioned alternatives. It is worth noting that Night Slash gives has a higher Z-Move Base Power than Knock Off, making it often the best move to use in conjunction with Darkinium Z. Leftovers can be utilized on the Defog plus (that can be an actual + if you want!) Swords Dance variants if you wish to increase Kartana's longevity and the number of times you can switch it in against hazards. Ideally, the set with Leftovers would be used with 28 Special Defense EVs in order to assure that Kartana takes under half from Clefable's Moonblast, letting you switch Kartana in on it twice with or without Stealth Rock being up, assuming it stays in afterwards to gain Leftovers recovery. Finally, if using Substitute, the EV spread should take 8 HP and 60 Special Defense EVs out of Attack so that Kartana it can always survive Toxapex's Scald behind a Substitute, letting making it take the most advantage of Substitute without compromising much. If you want Kartana to do this and also take Gyro Ball from Ferrothorn when behind a Substitute 100% of the time, you can opt to run a bulkier spread with 120 HP and 8 Special Defense EVs, but keep in mind this involves taking a lot of EVs out of Attack.

Usage Tips
========

Swords Dance Kartana is meant predominantly to poke holes earlier on in games. Cleaning or sweeping entire teams is not usually possible due to the plethora of revenge killers that outrun a Kartana that lacks a Speed boost or Choice Scarf. However, Swords Dance Kartana is one of the best bulky core breakers in the tier, tearing through common stall teams and sweeping them with ease due to their lack of faster Pokemon and hard counters. Also, Defog allows Kartana to essentially function as a full counter to Ferrothorn and also work as a convenient, offensive entry hazard remover that can be slapped on more offensive teams in need.

Team Options
========

Swords Dance Kartana should be used alongside teams that have some form of late-game cleaner or alternative sweeper that is meant to sweep more than break open holes, such as Magearna or and Volcarona (since cleaner / sweeper are singular). In addition, Pursuit support is very much appreciated, as Latios and Latias outrun it while also resisting the moves that it uses most often; their ability to revenge kill Kartana limit it to one KO each time it is on the field until they are eliminated from the game. Pairing Kartana with slow Volt Switch and U-turn users such as Stealth Rock Landorus-T and Assault Vest Magearna is ideal because they let Kartana get in easier against common special attackers and threats that otherwise prevent it Kartana from getting in safely. Tapu Bulu provides Kartana with Grassy Terrain that can be beneficial for strengthening an already strong STAB Leaf Blade and gives it a bit of health each turn to make up for the lack of Leftovers recovery. Finally, when using Fightinium Z, it is great to use Swords Dance Kartana alongside a generic physical Choice Scarf user such as Landorus-T, as All-Out Pummeling gets rid of or cripples most physically defensive Pokemon.

[SET]
name: Paper Plane (Choice Scarf)
move 1: Leaf Blade
move 2: Sacred Sword
move 3: Smart Strike / Knock Off
move 4: Defog / Knock Off
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

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

Leaf Blade is the Grass-type STAB move that hits quite hard for a move on a Choice Scarf user thanks to Kartana's high Attack stat, and Sacred Sword is the best complementary complimentary coverage move, hitting opposing Steel-types such as Ferrothorn and Heatran. Another potential move can be Smart Strike, which is a secondary STAB move that can knock out Fairy-types such as Clefable. Knock Off is a great utility move to cripple Pokemon that wall Choice Scarf Kartana such as Celesteela and Zapdos, ridding them of their Leftovers. On the utility front, Defog can be used in the final slot if you want a quick, convenient form of entry hazard removal to slap onto more offensively oriented teams. Finally, Giga Impact is viable to remove Volcarona, as teams with Choice Scarf Kartana often are more offensive, lack another revenge killer, and struggle to defensively check Volcarona to the necessary extent, giving Kartana an emergency button to remove it at the cost of Kartana giving up a free turn after use to recharge.

Set Details
========

The EV spread allows Kartana to have a high damage output and Speed stat, as it is meant to be threatening and quick. Jolly is also used in order to maximize Kartana's Speed, as many Pokemon have similar base Speed stats. Choice Scarf is present to let Kartana clean opposing teams and act as a revenge killer, letting it outrun everything that is unboosted and most setup sweepers at +1. In addition, Defog can let it act as an entry hazard remover for a team that is in need of one, essentially letting you have an emergency button in case of a situation that is getting out of hand due to the presence of entry hazards on the field.

Usage Tips
========

Choice Scarf Kartana is meant to clean teams later on in games with the assistance of its ability, Beast Boost. Beast Boost lets it snowball Attack boosts and run through weakened teams. In addition, Choice Scarf Kartana functions as a revenge killer earlier on in games, outrunning and defeating or forcing out most common offensive threats in the metagame such as Greninja, Tapu Lele, and Keldeo. While locking into Defog is not particularly ideal, as Kartana has to switch out afterwards or become fodder, it is still convenient in some situations and should be used when entry hazards are proving to be problematic to your team during the early- to mid-game. Due to the fact that Swords Dance Kartana is the more common and threatening of the two sets, there are many occasions where you are facing an offensive team that lacks a true Kartana counter and you can take advantage of this via strategic utilization of this Kartana variant. Essentially, the opponent will often try to pivot to their faster, offensive checks that resist a certain move or predict you to use Swords Dance to break through a defensive pivot, and Kartana can take advantage of this by hitting them with a strong attack right off the bat, making prediction easier to make, as you know it has to lock into a move.

Team Options
========

Choice Scarf Kartana is primarily used to clean up later on in games, so it should be paired with an early-game breaker that can poke holes and do significant damage to opposing defensive cores, such as Choice Band Tyranitar and Mega Medicham (are these early-game breakers? right now it looks like they are a defensive core. if breakers, change and -> or). Also, Spikes support is appreciated by Choice Scarf Kartana, as the residual damage does rack up on opposing teams over time, but it is worth noting that there is some awkward overlap with the fact that Kartana itself could have to use Defog to clear away its own Spikes depending upon the situation. Pursuit support is appreciated by this variant of Kartana as well, as Latios and Latias can get in the way of Kartana trying to sweep with Leaf Blade or Sacred Sword, which are its two most commonly used moves. Tapu Bulu is a great teammate, as Grassy Terrain lets you clean up late-game with Leaf Blade fairly often, and it also provides Kartana with a bit of recovery each turn. Finally, offensive teams often appreciate the presence of Choice Scarf Kartana much more than other archetypes, as it gives them a quick Defog user and compresses roles while also posing as a very valuable offensive Steel-type that happens to have a plethora of resistances.

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

Choice Band has grown in popularity due to Knock Off making Kartana able to still spam something that is not a STAB move when facing otherwise counters like Zapdos and Celesteela. Normalium Z with Giga Impact can be used to hit Volcarona, Mega Venusaur, and Zapdos hard, doing a ton of damage, but otherwise it is inferior to the other Z-Crystals, and (i guess? something was missing here) Normal moves are not particularly helpful on Kartana. In addition, using Defog plus three attacks lets Kartana make the most of Defog while still posing as a threat, and it can use any of the aforementioned Z-Moves or even Muscle Band to improve damage output or Leftovers to improve longevity against entry hazard setters or when switching into entry hazards. Tailwind can be utilized in order to make Kartana faster than anything on the opposing team while doubling the Speed of teammates for a few turns as well. In addition, Z-Tailwind increases Kartana's chances to get a critical hit, making it an intriguing gimmick option on Kartana. Lastly, some Kartana users have flirted with using a Timid nature on it, with 19 Attack IVs, in order to let it get +1 Speed with Beast Boost, but the difference in damage output is drastic, and the lack of Attack boost upon getting a KO makes it much less threatening and makes the Speed boost much harder than take advantage of than one would think, making this strategy it simply impractical and not worthwhile a vast majority of the time.

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

**Defensive Steel-types**: Defensive Steel-types such as Mega Scizor and Celesteela are capable of walling most Kartana, but a +2 All-Out Pummeling can still do enough damage to remove them after a couple of Stealth Rock switch-ins, so be wary.

**Faster Special Attackers**: Anything that outruns Kartana and has a special attack essentially ensures a revenge kill due to the horrible special bulk of Kartana.

**Bulky Grass-types**: Bulky Grass-types are able to wall Kartana outside of the aforementioned +2 All-Out Pummeling, which still does a large amount of damage. They often have some means of retaliating or replenishing their health to the point where Kartana is no longer going to be effective in the situation.

**Defensive Zapdos and Volcarona**: With a bit of investment into bulk on Zapdos, it is capable of walling non-niche variants of Kartana, while the same can be said for Volcarona naturally due to the typing it has.

**Hidden Power Fire**: With Pokemon unlikely to run Hidden Power Fire such as Ferrothorn and Landorus-T seeing some use with it solely due to Kartana's presence in the tier, it should be kept in mind that any Hidden Power Fire is sure to knock out the specially frail Kartana, and this could limit its ability to set up or stay alive in some matchups.
 
Last edited:

Finchinator

-OUTL
is a Tournament Directoris a Top Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Top Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Top Smogon Media Contributoris a Top Dedicated Tournament Hostis a Senior Staff Member Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past WCoP Championis the defending OU Circuit Championis a Two-Time Former Old Generation Tournament Circuit Champion
OU Leader
not even 1 generally :(

GP 2/2

[OVERVIEW]

Kartana is one of the most threatening Pokemon in the USM metagame due to it having insanely high Attack and superb Speed, making Kartana incredibly hard to counter defensively. Unfortunately, low base HP and pitiful Special Defense make Kartana one of the most specially frail Pokemon in the tier. It is able to salvage its decent physical bulk thanks to a high Defense stat, however. Its Grass / Steel typing also assists Kartana defensively, as it resists many different types and only has two weaknesses, Fighting and Fire. Offensively, Kartana's typing is also appreciated, especially alongside the coverage move Sacred Sword. Finally, Beast Boost allows Kartana to boost its Attack every time it gets a KO and makes consistent defensive counterplay incredibly hard to come by.

[SET]
name: Paper Cut (Swords Dance)
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Leaf Blade
move 3: Sacred Sword
move 4: Defog / Smart Strike / Knock Off
item: Fightinium Z / Grassium Z
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

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

Swords Dance is used to double Kartana's Attack, allowing it to threaten the entire metagame. As for the most common attacking moves, Leaf Blade is the primary STAB move, and it is very strong when used in conjunction with Kartana's high base Attack. Additionally, Sacred Sword is the best complementary complimentary coverage move, hitting Steel-types that Leaf Blade fails to threaten sufficiently such as Heatran and Ferrothorn. Defog is often used as a support move despite Kartana's main goal being to pose a threat offensively, as the tier is full of entry hazards and having a strong, fast remover is helpful on many teams. Another attacking option is Smart Strike, which can be used to hit Fairy-types such as Clefable and do more damage to opposing Grass-types such as Mega Venusaur and Tangrowth than either of the alternative attacking options. Knock Off is an option if you deem it to be worthwhile, especially due to the fact that defensive Celesteela and Zapdos variants otherwise can prove to be problematic to Kartana while switch-ins like Choice Scarf Landorus-T can get severely crippled by a well-timed Knock Off. Finally, Substitute can also be used alongside a bulkier EV spread to allow more free setup opportunities.

Set Details
========

The EV spread allows Kartana to maximize damage output and Speed, as it is meant to threaten teams offensively, and it is part of a congested Speed tier, making Jolly the optimal nature as well. As for potential items for Kartana, Fightinium Z is a great choice, often being used to threaten a lot of would-be checks and counters to Kartana with a boosted All-Out Pummeling, damaging opposing Celesteela, Mega Scizor, and Magearna. Grassium Z is an alternative that allows Kartana to have an essential powerful one-time attack in Bloom Doom, removing opposing Landorus-T and Toxapex with minimal prior damage and even breaking through bulky resists (use "switch-ins" or "resistant Pokemon" or something) such as Zapdos with minimal residual damage at +2. The third potential Z-Move on this set would have to be Darkinium Z, which is the best choice to go with if you wish to hit Zapdos and Mega Venusaur while still damaging Celesteela to a decent extent. With this said, it is far less consistent than the two aforementioned alternatives. It is worth noting that Night Slash gives has a higher Z-Move Base Power than Knock Off, making it often the best move to use in conjunction with Darkinium Z. Leftovers can be utilized on the Defog plus (that can be an actual + if you want!) Swords Dance variants if you wish to increase Kartana's longevity and the number of times you can switch it in against hazards. Ideally, the set with Leftovers would be used with 28 Special Defense EVs in order to assure that Kartana takes under half from Clefable's Moonblast, letting you switch Kartana in on it twice with or without Stealth Rock being up, assuming it stays in afterwards to gain Leftovers recovery. Finally, if using Substitute, the EV spread should take 8 HP and 60 Special Defense EVs out of Attack so that Kartana it can always survive Toxapex's Scald behind a Substitute, letting making it take the most advantage of Substitute without compromising much. If you want Kartana to do this and also take Gyro Ball from Ferrothorn when behind a Substitute 100% of the time, you can opt to run a bulkier spread with 120 HP and 8 Special Defense EVs, but keep in mind this involves taking a lot of EVs out of Attack.

Usage Tips
========

Swords Dance Kartana is meant predominantly to poke holes earlier on in games. Cleaning or sweeping entire teams is not usually possible due to the plethora of revenge killers that outrun a Kartana that lacks a Speed boost or Choice Scarf. However, Swords Dance Kartana is one of the best bulky core breakers in the tier, tearing through common stall teams and sweeping them with ease due to their lack of faster Pokemon and hard counters. Also, Defog allows Kartana to essentially function as a full counter to Ferrothorn and also work as a convenient, offensive entry hazard remover that can be slapped on more offensive teams in need.

Team Options
========

Swords Dance Kartana should be used alongside teams that have some form of late-game cleaner or alternative sweeper that is meant to sweep more than break open holes, such as Magearna or and Volcarona (since cleaner / sweeper are singular). In addition, Pursuit support is very much appreciated, as Latios and Latias outrun it while also resisting the moves that it uses most often; their ability to revenge kill Kartana limit it to one KO each time it is on the field until they are eliminated from the game. Pairing Kartana with slow Volt Switch and U-turn users such as Stealth Rock Landorus-T and Assault Vest Magearna is ideal because they let Kartana get in easier against common special attackers and threats that otherwise prevent it Kartana from getting in safely. Tapu Bulu provides Kartana with Grassy Terrain that can be beneficial for strengthening an already strong STAB Leaf Blade and gives it a bit of health each turn to make up for the lack of Leftovers recovery. Finally, when using Fightinium Z, it is great to use Swords Dance Kartana alongside a generic physical Choice Scarf user such as Landorus-T, as All-Out Pummeling gets rid of or cripples most physically defensive Pokemon.

[SET]
name: Paper Plane (Choice Scarf)
move 1: Leaf Blade
move 2: Sacred Sword
move 3: Smart Strike / Knock Off
move 4: Defog / Knock Off
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Jolly
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

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

Leaf Blade is the Grass-type STAB move that hits quite hard for a move on a Choice Scarf user thanks to Kartana's high Attack stat, and Sacred Sword is the best complementary complimentary coverage move, hitting opposing Steel-types such as Ferrothorn and Heatran. Another potential move can be Smart Strike, which is a secondary STAB move that can knock out Fairy-types such as Clefable. Knock Off is a great utility move to cripple Pokemon that wall Choice Scarf Kartana such as Celesteela and Zapdos, ridding them of their Leftovers. On the utility front, Defog can be used in the final slot if you want a quick, convenient form of entry hazard removal to slap onto more offensively oriented teams. Finally, Giga Impact is viable to remove Volcarona, as teams with Choice Scarf Kartana often are more offensive, lack another revenge killer, and struggle to defensively check Volcarona to the necessary extent, giving Kartana an emergency button to remove it at the cost of Kartana giving up a free turn after use to recharge.

Set Details
========

The EV spread allows Kartana to have a high damage output and Speed stat, as it is meant to be threatening and quick. Jolly is also used in order to maximize Kartana's Speed, as many Pokemon have similar base Speed stats. Choice Scarf is present to let Kartana clean opposing teams and act as a revenge killer, letting it outrun everything that is unboosted and most setup sweepers at +1. In addition, Defog can let it act as an entry hazard remover for a team that is in need of one, essentially letting you have an emergency button in case of a situation that is getting out of hand due to the presence of entry hazards on the field.

Usage Tips
========

Choice Scarf Kartana is meant to clean teams later on in games with the assistance of its ability, Beast Boost. Beast Boost lets it snowball Attack boosts and run through weakened teams. In addition, Choice Scarf Kartana functions as a revenge killer earlier on in games, outrunning and defeating or forcing out most common offensive threats in the metagame such as Greninja, Tapu Lele, and Keldeo. While locking into Defog is not particularly ideal, as Kartana has to switch out afterwards or become fodder, it is still convenient in some situations and should be used when entry hazards are proving to be problematic to your team during the early- to mid-game. Due to the fact that Swords Dance Kartana is the more common and threatening of the two sets, there are many occasions where you are facing an offensive team that lacks a true Kartana counter and you can take advantage of this via strategic utilization of this Kartana variant. Essentially, the opponent will often try to pivot to their faster, offensive checks that resist a certain move or predict you to use Swords Dance to break through a defensive pivot, and Kartana can take advantage of this by hitting them with a strong attack right off the bat, making prediction easier to make, as you know it has to lock into a move.

Team Options
========

Choice Scarf Kartana is primarily used to clean up later on in games, so it should be paired with an early-game breaker that can poke holes and do significant damage to opposing defensive cores, such as Choice Band Tyranitar and Mega Medicham (are these early-game breakers? right now it looks like they are a defensive core. if breakers, change and -> or). Also, Spikes support is appreciated by Choice Scarf Kartana, as the residual damage does rack up on opposing teams over time, but it is worth noting that there is some awkward overlap with the fact that Kartana itself could have to use Defog to clear away its own Spikes depending upon the situation. Pursuit support is appreciated by this variant of Kartana as well, as Latios and Latias can get in the way of Kartana trying to sweep with Leaf Blade or Sacred Sword, which are its two most commonly used moves. Tapu Bulu is a great teammate, as Grassy Terrain lets you clean up late-game with Leaf Blade fairly often, and it also provides Kartana with a bit of recovery each turn. Finally, offensive teams often appreciate the presence of Choice Scarf Kartana much more than other archetypes, as it gives them a quick Defog user and compresses roles while also posing as a very valuable offensive Steel-type that happens to have a plethora of resistances.

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

Choice Band has grown in popularity due to Knock Off making Kartana able to still spam something that is not a STAB move when facing otherwise counters like Zapdos and Celesteela. Normalium Z with Giga Impact can be used to hit Volcarona, Mega Venusaur, and Zapdos hard, doing a ton of damage, but otherwise it is inferior to the other Z-Crystals, and (i guess? something was missing here) Normal moves are not particularly helpful on Kartana. In addition, using Defog plus three attacks lets Kartana make the most of Defog while still posing as a threat, and it can use any of the aforementioned Z-Moves or even Muscle Band to improve damage output or Leftovers to improve longevity against entry hazard setters or when switching into entry hazards. Tailwind can be utilized in order to make Kartana faster than anything on the opposing team while doubling the Speed of teammates for a few turns as well. In addition, Z-Tailwind increases Kartana's chances to get a critical hit, making it an intriguing gimmick option on Kartana. Lastly, some Kartana users have flirted with using a Timid nature on it, with 19 Attack IVs, in order to let it get +1 Speed with Beast Boost, but the difference in damage output is drastic, and the lack of Attack boost upon getting a KO makes it much less threatening and makes the Speed boost much harder than take advantage of than one would think, making this strategy it simply impractical and not worthwhile a vast majority of the time.

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

**Defensive Steel-types**: Defensive Steel-types such as Mega Scizor and Celesteela are capable of walling most Kartana, but a +2 All-Out Pummeling can still do enough damage to remove them after a couple of Stealth Rock switch-ins, so be wary.

**Faster Special Attackers**: Anything that outruns Kartana and has a special attack essentially ensures a revenge kill due to the horrible special bulk of Kartana.

**Bulky Grass-types**: Bulky Grass-types are able to wall Kartana outside of the aforementioned +2 All-Out Pummeling, which still does a large amount of damage. They often have some means of retaliating or replenishing their health to the point where Kartana is no longer going to be effective in the situation.

**Defensive Zapdos and Volcarona**: With a bit of investment into bulk on Zapdos, it is capable of walling non-niche variants of Kartana, while the same can be said for Volcarona naturally due to the typing it has.

**Hidden Power Fire**: With Pokemon unlikely to run Hidden Power Fire such as Ferrothorn and Landorus-T seeing some use with it solely due to Kartana's presence in the tier, it should be kept in mind that any Hidden Power Fire is sure to knock out the specially frail Kartana, and this could limit its ability to set up or stay alive in some matchups.
done, thanks

this is all ready now
 

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

Top