Kartana is a threatening Pokemon in Mix and Mega because it makes good use of its already high Attack, decent Speed, and unique movepool to utilize Tough Claws from Metagrossite. After Mega Evolving, Metagrossite Kartana's base 191 Attack and 149 Speed allow it to outspeed and 2HKO most of the Mix and Mega metagame, including threats like Weavile, Landorus-T, unboosted Zygarde, and Lucarionite Terrakion. Kartana's useful Grass / Steel typing leaves it with a notable resistance to Fairy-type moves like Altarianite Zygarde's Extreme Speed, as well as leaving it with a key resistance to Water-type moves, allowing it to win against Golisopod one-on-one if needed. When Kartana's typing is combined with its base 151 Defense stat after Mega Evolving, Kartana is able to survive powerful resisted attacks more easily as well. However, Kartana's Grass / Steel typing also leaves it with a huge weakness to the common Fire type, which means that it is easily forced out by Primal Groudon as well as Entei and Victini if it isn't running Return. On top of that, by virtue of being a physical attacker, Kartana is easily taken on by physical walls like Zapdos, Will-O-Wisp Mew, and Aggronite Buzzwole, and with mediocre Special Defense, Kartana is left extremely susceptible to almost all special moves.
move 1: Leaf Blade
move 2: Sacred Sword
move 3: Return / Smart Strike
move 4: Swords Dance
ability: Beast Boost
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Leaf Blade is Kartana's main STAB move and 2HKOes Golisopod, offensive Primal Groudon, and Lucarionite Zygarde after Mega Evolving. Sacred Sword is Kartana's best coverage move, most notably 2HKOing Sablenite Blissey after Stealth Rock as well as OHKOing it after a Swords Dance, hitting every Steel-type for at least neutral damage, and providing otherwise decent neutral coverage. Return is preferred over Smart Strike because it provides decent neutral coverage as well, and it allows Kartana to deal with Pokemon that it otherwise can't, such as Volcarona, Zapdos, Entei, and Victini. Smart Strike can be used over Return, though, because it's Kartana's strongest Steel-type STAB move and has a chance to OHKO Altarianite Zygarde without any prior chip damage while also guaranteeing an OHKO after Stealth Rock. Swords Dance allows Kartana to boost its Attack to monstrous levels in order to change some key 2HKOs into OHKOs such as against defensive Primal Groudon to prevent it from being forced out.
Maximum Attack EVs and access to Tough Claws after Mega Evolving let Kartana hit as hard as possible, notably OHKOing Weavile and Altarianite Zygarde, and Metagrossite, maximum Speed EVs, and a Jolly nature allow Kartana to become stronger, faster, and bulkier in order to outspeed and beat them. Beast Boost is Kartana's only ability prior to Mega Evolving, but it can be useful for a free boost before Mega Evolving against weakened foes.
Before Mega Evolving Kartana, try to use it as a revenge killer against slower foes in order for it to utilize Beast Boost for free Attack boosts. Use Kartana as a fast revenge killer against offensive teams after Mega Evolving to take care of weakened Altarianite Zygarde and Lucarionite Terrakion. Unless Kartana has already set up, avoid leaving it in against healthy Fire-types like Primal Groudon, Entei, Victini, and Red Orb Shaymin-S due to its 4x weakness to Fire-type moves, and be wary about leaving Kartana in against bulky special attackers like Magearna and Lunala. Try to set up Swords Dance after opposing faster or bulkier special attackers like Magearna and Diancite Shaymin-S have been weakened or removed to decrease Kartana's risk of being forced out. Use more passive Pokemon like Venusaurite Gliscor as setup fodder for Swords Dance to enable Kartana to deal with physically bulky Pokemon like defensive Primal Groudon more easily. Kartana is still easily KOed despite its nice Defense, so try to use Swords Dance on predicted switches or against more passive Pokemon like Toxapex and the previously mentioned Gliscor.
Stealth Rock setters like Shuckle, Primal Groudon, and Landorus-T are appreciated because Kartana enjoys having as much chip damage dealt to the opposing team as possible to make its job easier. Shuckle is also greatly appreciated due to its ability to set up Sticky Web because Kartana appreciates being able to outspeed foes like Diancite Terrakion. Kartana's special bulk is abysmal, so specially bulky Pokemon like Ho-Oh and Magearna make for good teammates; Ho-Oh is especially useful because it has great type synergy with Kartana, covering Kartana's weakness to Fire-type moves from defensive Primal Groudon while Kartana covers Ho-Oh's weakness to Rock-type moves and physical Water-type moves. Kartana is extremely weak to Fire-type moves; this can be mitigated by having Blue Orb users like Golisopod, Magearna, and Primal Kyogre as teammates. Golisopod is also helpful because it offers utility in the form of Spikes. While not as common, Kartana has issues with Fighting-types like Diancite Terrakion and Keldeo when Sticky Web isn't up, so Altarianite users like Zygarde and Entei are good teammates. Even though Kartana doesn't take much damage from Stealth Rock and is immune to Toxic Spikes, it still loses a significant amount of health from Spikes and can have its effectiveness hindered by a potential Sticky Web being set up on its side of the field, so hazard control from Defoggers like Gliscor, Zapdos, and various Arceus formes is helpful. Venusaurite Gliscor and Zapdos are also useful because they have Thick Fat after Mega Evolving to help Kartana deal with Fire-types, and their type combinations and bulk allow them to deal with Fighting-types as well. Slow pivots like Gliscor, Sablenite Zapdos, and Sablenite Mandibuzz are also helpful to get Kartana in safely to force out more Pokemon for free setup opportunities, and they can use Toxic + Roost to help weaken and stall foes that Kartana struggles with.
Kartana can run Lopunnite over Metagrossite for a bigger Attack boost after Mega Evolving and a type change to Grass / Fighting to gain STAB from Sacred Sword to eliminate both the need for Smart Strike and the worry of Ghost-types switching in thanks to Scrappy; however, Lopunnite makes Kartana slower, frailer, and weaker to more types, especially -ate Extreme Speed from Pokemon like Altarianite Zygarde. If you're running Kartana on a Sticky Web team, you can opt to use Lucarionite or Aerodactylite over Metagrossite, as they both provide larger Attack boosts while remaining nearly the same in regard to bulk and abilities; however, note that if the Sticky Web on the foe's side of the field is removed or never gets set up, Kartana becomes more susceptible to being outsped and KOed. Despite the Speed drop, Smart Strike from Lucarionite Kartana 2HKOes Cameruptite Magearna and is therefore a great choice for offense teams that are prone to a counter sweep. Make note that Lucarionite Kartana also runs Substitute over Sacred Sword to potentially block status and to prevent it from being phazed with Dragon Tail. In addition to Lucarionite and Aerodactylite, Kartana can run Pinsirite with Return to get an Aerilate-boosted Flying-type STAB move for better type coverage. While running Defog over Smart Strike or Return might seem like a good option, it severely restricts Kartana's coverage and causes it to miss out on a lot of key KOs.
Checks and Counters
**Aggronite Buzzwole**: Aggronite Buzzwole can completely invalidate almost anything that Kartana attempts to do to it due to its immunity to Toxic after Mega Evolving, meaning that bulkier teammates cannot Toxic stall it for Kartana.
**Fire-types**: Fire-types like Primal Groudon, Entei, and Victini are able to switch in on Kartana on a resisted hit and KO in return with their respective Fire-type STAB moves; however, Entei and Victini are 2HKOed by Return.
**Status**: Mew and Arceus-Ghost can cripple Kartana by burning it with Will-O-Wisp, and certain targets like Zygarde and Zygarde-C can paralyze Kartana with Glare, making it easy to revenge kill.
**Bulky Flying-types**: Bulky Flying-types, namely Zapdos and Mandibuzz, are able to easily take one of Kartana's hits and, in Zapdos's case, either force it out or KO it with Heat Wave, and in Mandibuzz's case, threaten to OHKO it with Foul Play. Rarer Flying-types like Arceus-Flying also take care of Kartana relatively easily with STAB moves like Judgment, as well as the surprise factor that they present.
**Magearna**: Even though Kartana is able to eventually break through Magearna with enough boosts from Swords Dance, Cameruptite Magearna is able to either set up Trick Room to force Kartana out, outspeed and KO it due to its pitiful special bulk, or utilize Pain Split with its attacking moves to wear down Kartana and its teammates.
**Bulky Dragon-types**: Bulky Dragon-types like Arceus-Dragon and Giratina-O can annoy Kartana by either burning it with Will-O-Wisp or OHKOing it with Shadow Ball.
**Faster Attackers**: Diancite users, specifically Terrakion, Shaymin-S, and Tapu Lele, are able to outspeed and KO Kartana if they don't have Sticky Web up on their side, and even if Sticky Web is up in Shaymin-S's instance, its Flying typing makes it immune Sticky Web, so it still outspeeds Kartana. However, none of the Diancite users are able to safely switch in on Kartana and risk being OHKOed if they do so. Choice Scarf users like Ditto also pose a threat to Kartana because even if Sticky Web is up on Ditto's side, it can transform into Kartana to copy Kartana's stat changes to get rid of a lowered Speed stat and then outspeed and KO.
- Written by: [[Kris, 241023]]
- Quality checked by: [[Chazm, 376369], [Quantum Tesseract, 297239], [In The Hills, 324242]]
- Grammar checked by: [[A Cake Wearing A Hat, 388157], [Electrolyte, 148071]]