Gen 2 Misdreavus (OU Revamp) [QC]

#1
Based on a Lavos's skeleton and fleshed out by me.

[OVERVIEW]

Misdreavus is the only pure Ghost-type available in GSC OU, which gives it an immediate niche. Indeed, this typing grants it a coveted Normal immunity, allowing it to pivot on predicted Explosion as well as checking most Snorlax variants and preventing Starmie from using Rapid Spin much more reliably than Gengar. Moreover, Misdreavus has many tricks under its sleeve thanks to its movepool: its Perish Trap set is one of the main reasons why so many teams pack a phazer, and these still have to worry about the Disrupter set.

Nonetheless, Misdreavus has its fair share of drawbacks. Its stats are pretty subpar overall, it lacks immediate firepower and is frail, which means it can be quickly overwhelm by most offensive powerhouses without doing anything significant beforehand. Misdreavus also needs to watch out for Pursuit and faces competition from Gengar, which is much more immediately threatening and doesn't care about Toxic, a move commonly used by Cloyster and Forretress, two Pokemon you typically want to check with your Ghost-type.

[SET]

Set 1: Disrupter
Item: None / Leftovers
Move 1: Thief / Toxic / Hypnosis
Move 2: Toxic / Hypnosis / Psychic
Move 3: Thunder
Move 4: Pain Split / Rest / Destiny Bond / Protect

This set aims to exploit Misdreavus's typing and movepool to its full potential by making it a spinblocker, a check to Mono-Attack and All-Out Attacker variants of Snorlax and a general annoyance due to its myriad of moves allowing it to cripple its opponent. Thief in particular is great at opening a hole in the opponent's gameplan, because unlike statues moves it will permanentely hinder Restalk users like Zapdos and Raikou as well as just about any Pokemon which isn't a Thief user itself by stealing their Leftovers or Thick Club in the case of Marowak. Just make sure you're not carrying any item when using it. It's especially effective when used alongside Toxic which wears down the opponent extremely quickly if it doesn't hold Leftovers anymore, thus forcing it to heal with Rest or putting it on a timer. Moreover, it can be spammed more freely than Thief and Hypnosis throughout the match since it doesn't need any requirement nor trigger the Sleep Clause. Toxic also compounds on the lack of Leftovers and gives Misdreavus some bite. Hypnosis, on the other hand, can put an unaware Pokemon asleep, which can be very rewarding since Restalk users are generally not initial switch-ins to Misdreavus due to the fear of the Perish Trap set. Keep in mind that the low accuracy can ruin the surprise factor though. Psychic allows you to check Machamp and to a lesser extent Heracross more easily, as well as punishing Nidoking that would come on Misdreavus almost fearlessly otherwise. Thunder is your main attacking tool and is recommended to hit Cloyster, Starmie and Forretress hard, making Misdreavus a much more reliable spinblocker and occasionnaly a paralysis spreader. In the last slot, Pain Split gives you instant recovery and potentially another way to cut down the opposing Pokemon's HP, but it's unreliable and can be played around by your opponent. You won't have to worry about that if you're using Rest, which also cures Toxic that Misdreavus is likely to take when switching on Cloyster and Forretress, at the cost of putting it asleep for two turn. Destiny Bond, on the other hand, foregoes recovery options and tries to trick the opponent into giving up a key Pokemon of theirs for what appeared to be a free kill. It can also serve as an emergency button against threats like Belly Drum Snorlax and Vaporeon. Finally, Protect lets you slowly regaining your health with Leftovers and allows you to scout your opponent's moves.

Misdreavus fits extremely well on Spikes-focused teams alongside Cloyster and Forretress due to its ability to spinblock and to further wear down its opponent with Thief or Toxic. These forms of residual damages are even more effective when exploited by a phazer like Skarmory, which fairs well against Earthquake variants of Curse and Belly Drum Snorlax, and Raikou, which is also offensively threatening on its own. Furthermore, both of these are suited to deal with hard hitters that give trouble to Misdreavus, like Marowak and Zapdos, respectively. Misdreavus itself is especially susceptile to Pursuit users like Tyranitar, Umbreon and Houndoom. Thus, Pokemon that can take advantage of most of them like Machamp, Heracross or Vaporeon make good teamates, the two latter in particular are able to use the likes of Nidoking and Steelix as set-up fodders, two Pokemon that Misdreavus may be unable to significantly threaten depending on its moveset. This Misdreavus's variant has the potential to mess with just about any Pokemon, but it doesn't have any way to eliminate Rest users alone other than a well-timed Destiny Bond. That's why packing something that appreciates common Rest users being asleep like Curse Snorlax or Tentacruel is a good idea. Finally, Misdreavus's effectiveness is hampered if it is intoxicated, paralysed or asleep. Therefore, clerics like Miltank or Blissey are welcome, especially since the added defensive presence they provide further help Misdreavus.

[SET]

Set 2: Perish Trapper
Item: Leftovers
Move 1: Protect
Move 2: Mean Look
Move 3: Perish Song
Move 4: Confuse Ray

Here's the set that initially brought Misdreavus to OU, with which Misdreavus trades most of its disrupting and defensive capabilities as well as its reliability as a spinblocker with a more immediatly threatening approach, allowing it to be even more effective against Snorlax. Indeed, Mean Look and Perish Song used in tandem will put the opposing Pokemon on an inescapable timer, unless the said Pokemon happens to be a phazer or something that can eliminate Misdreavus quickly enough, but that last option requires Misdreavus to be weakened beforehand. However, Protect is there to stall out the opponent's attempts to get rid of Misdreavus or to phaze it away while the countdown gets closer to zero. There is a plenty of options for the last moveslot, but Confuse Ray is the recommended one since it's Misdreavus's best bet against phazers and most hard hitters in general. On the final turn of Perish Song, Misdreavus can choose to either switch out and give the enemy Pokemon one shot at your team, or stay in and trade one for one once it has outlived its usefulness.

Despite the presence of Confuse Ray, phazers like Tyranitar, Steelix, Skarmory, Raikou and Suicune remain the usual answers to this set, if Misdreavus doesn't manage to stay on the field. Therefore, Pokemon that can lure and cripple most of them like Lovely Kiss or All-Out Attacker variants of Snorlax make good partners. In return, Misdreavus will most likely find opportunities against opposing Snorlax, Machamp and Miltank, something that your own Snorlax will appreciate. Although its effectiveness as a spinblocker is significantly reduced by the lack of Thunder, Misdreavus's Ghost typing is still something to exploit if paired with Cloyster or Forretress. Besides, this variant of Misdreavus still fears Pursuit users and statues, hence Machamp, Heracross, Vaporeon, Miltank and Blissey remain teamates of choice for the same reasons as the former set.

[Other Options]

Perish Song is perfectly usable without Mean Look to back it up as it allows Misdreavus to force any Curse variants of Snorlax out and can serve as an emergancy button and as a counter to Baton Pass strategies. On the PerishTrap set, Attract can be used on stall teams since it has far more PP than Confuse Ray, but you lose the ability to buy time against the common Legends, Zapdos, Raikou and Suicune and Pokemon with the same gender.

[Checks & Counters]

Due to the fear of losing a Pokemon to the PerishTrap set, most initial switch-ins to Misdreavus are phazers, but there’s always a slim chance that Missy manages to get a KO anyways via multiple confusion turns and Protect stalling, and Tyranitar and Steelix in particular really want to avoid Thief, since they rarely carry Rest and Leftovers is their only form of Recovery. Pursuit users including Tyranitar, Umbreon, and Houndoom all threaten both versions of Misdreavus, especially the Disrupter set since it usually cannot cripple them fast enough, but the PerishTrap set also has an hard time fleeing on the last turn of the countdown and will generally be at least extremely damaged after taking a full-powered Pursuit. Due to its lack of offensive presence, the Disrupter variant faces a wall each time a Restalk user shows up, as it doesn't mind statues and the only thing it has to be wary about is a well-timed Destiny Bond if it is slower, but any Pokemon asleep is very vulnerable to the PerishTrap set. In the same vein, Misdreavus's lack of immediate power leave it unable to directly threaten some powerhouses like Marowak, although this one needs to watch out for Thief or Destiny Bond, since its main tools to deafeat an enemy, Toxic and Perish Song, require a time that it won't always have. Moreover, the necessity to find multiple turn to bring down the opposing Pokemon means that Misdreavus needs to stay healthy and able to move quickly, which means it needs to stay away from any kind of statues to execute its task properly.
 
#2
Tagging Lavos in order to check slashes on the first set. Besides, I've seen on others GSC OU revamps threads that entirely rewriting some on-site analysis was deemed unnecessary by some people, as some of these were still pretty accurate and relevant. In the case of Misdreavus though, I think that a complete revamp is necessary since the on-site analysis is completely focused on the PerishTrap variant which was considered as the standard and only viable set back in the day, which is no longer the case. While I could have just written the Disrupter set and changed the Intro and the C&C section, I judged that most paragraphs on the current on-site analysis were unnecessary. Overall, these are my reasons to make a full revamp.
 

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