Gen 3 Loudred (NU Analysis) [QC 1/1] (GP 0/2)

Despite having one of the best movepools in the game, Loudred is a pretty horrible choice in the NU metagame. It has mildly decent mixed attacking stats, but a lack of bulk, terrible typing, and utterly mediocre Speed makes it extremely difficult to use. However, Loudred finds a singular redeeming quality in its ability, Soundproof, which allows it to block Roar from phazers like Wailord and Flareon. This, in combination with its workable movepool, makes Loudred a niche, but decent choice for a recipient of a Baton Pass chain. However, Octillary's existence makes Loudred's place in the metagame questionable, as better attacking stats and an ability that can also block Whirlwind is often more useful.

name: Baton Pass Recipient
move 1: Return
move 2: Shadow Ball
move 3: Earthquake / Substitute
move 4: Fire Blast / Flamethrower
item: Leftovers
ability: Soundproof
nature: Naughty / Lonely
evs: 100 HP / 252 Atk / 16 SpA / 140 Spe

Return is STAB boosted and hits decently hard off base 71 Attack, especially if boosted. Shadow Ball allows Loudred to hit Ghost-types such as Haunter, which is immune to Return. Earthquake hits Steel-types and Rock-types like Metang, Relicanth, and Sudowoodo. Fire Blast is a powerful attack that hits certain Pokemon harder than Loudred's other moves, such as Mawile and Tangela. Flamethrower is also an option that doesn't miss, although does less damage. Substitute can be used to protect Loudred from status and ease prediction, as well as being able to possibly take hits if Loudred has been passed defensive boosts. It can also protect Loudred from an incoming Mach Punch from the likes of Hitmonchan as it is coming in, however Loudred is extremely frail to begin with and it requires perfect prediction. You might as well run Octillary, which has a great movepool of its own, much higher attacking stats, and cannot get phazed by Roar or Whirlwind.

252 Attack EVs along with a positive nature makes sure that Loudred can hit its foes as hard as possible. 140 EVs are placed into Speed so that Loudred can outspeed uninvested base 65s like Chimecho without a Speed boost, as well as outspeeding the entire metagame at +2. 16 EVs are placed into Special Attack to ensure that Loudred OHKOs Tangela with Fire Blast and avoids being put to sleep, and the rest of the EVs are placed into HP to marginally increase Loudred's bulk. Leftovers are the item of choice, allowing Loudred to passively make up damage racked up from chip and opposing attacks, especially if running Substitute. The chosen nature doesn't really matter, as both of Loudred's defensive stats are equally low and the drop will be unlikely to mean much. Soundproof is the whole point of using Loudred, as it is immune to Roar, therefore making it usable as a recipient of a Baton Pass chain. Loudred should be exclusively on Baton Pass teams, which are not very common and are extremely niche. Some options that are seen on these Baton Pass teams often include Mawile, Beedrill, Plusle, Minun, Ariados, and multiple others, however the strategy in itself is always matchup reliant and often ineffective.

[Other Options]
Ice Beam can be used to hit Flying-types hard, particularly Golbat can run Whirlwind and still force Loudred out. Thunder Punch is a much weaker option that hits Water-types and Flying-types alike, however another move would likely do nearly as much if not more, and takes up another moveslot that could be better used. Endure and either a Salac or Liechi Berry could be used to get a last ditch boost, but leaves Loudred even more vulnerable to priority.

[Checks and Counters]
Whirlwind, while not common, is not blocked by Soundproof and can still remove Loudred from play, effectively winning the matchup singlehandedly if played correctly. The most effective way of stopping Loudred is by breaking the Baton Pass chain. Things like Taunt, Encore, and powerful setup sweepers or breakers can shut down a Baton Pass chain so that Loudred cannot have an opportunity to win. Common users of these moves include Glalie, Vigoroth, Abra, and Pikachu, as well as some viable others that can end the Baton Pass strategy with ease. Hitmonchan's Mach Punch will do a monstrous amount of damage to Loudred because of its low defensive prowess, as a Choice Band boosted one can OHKO Loudred if it doesn't have Defense boosts passed to it.
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grubbing in the ashes
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UU & Tour Head
I’d mention somewhere the competition it gets from Octillery as a receiver.

Edit: oh, you mentioned in set details, missed that. May want to move the reference to intro.
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best girl
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Secret Boss Mod
Definitely agree that competition with Octillery should be in the overview, otherwise this is fine to write up

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