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QC: Eien / Balor / scpinion
GP: Rare Poison / The Dutch Plumberjack
Approved by scpinion
Volcarona is the premier option for a setup sweeper on Bug-type teams, with access to Quiver Dance to boost three of its already high stats to higher levels, a great offensive typing, a great movepool that helps it patch up its most of its weaknesses, and reliable recovery in Roost. Volcarona can pick apart Steel-type teams, which are a huge threat to Bug-types, especially if it runs Hidden Power Ground. It also serves as a great wincon against Psychic- and Water-type teams if Bug Buzz and Giga Drain, respectively, are run. Its great base 100 Speed tier allows it to outspeed common Choice Scarf Pokemon such as Hoopa-U, Kyurem-B, Landorus-T, and Togekiss after one boost, and its good special bulk works very well with its Fire typing, allowing it to act as a switch-in to some Fire-type attacks. Volcarona is a very frail Pokemon physically, however. Therefore, it can be easily revenge killed by common priority moves such as Sucker Punch, Extreme Speed, and Aqua Jet; however, Volcarona's ability Flame Body can punish physical attackers that try to revenge kill it. Volcarona suffers from four-moveslot syndrome, as it cannot run all the coverage moves it wants to alongside Quiver Dance. Its huge 4x weakness to Stealth Rock severely hinders its sweeping capabilities.
name: Offensive Quiver Dance
move 1: Quiver Dance
move 2: Fire Blast / Fiery Dance
move 3: Bug Buzz / Hidden Power Ground
move 4: Giga Drain / Hidden Power Ground
item: Lum Berry
ability: Flame Body
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Quiver Dance boosts Volcarona's Special Attack, Speed, and Special Defense stats to high levels. At +1, Volcarona can outspeed common threats to Bug-type teams such as Choice Scarf Excadrill. Fire Blast is Volcarona's strongest Fire-type STAB move. It can nab many KOs on Pokemon such as Landorus-T and Mega Pidgeot. Alternatively, Fiery Dance can be run for its better accuracy and chance to raise Volcarona's Special Attack stat. However, it misses out on certain KOs, such as Choice Scarf Kyurem-B after Stealth Rock damage, at +1. Bug Buzz is Volcarona's strong secondary STAB move, which is more reliable than Fire Blast due to its better accuracy and PP. It allows Volcarona to act as a wincon against Psychic- and Dark-type teams, particularly hitting threats such as Victini hard. Giga Drain is a coverage move that can be used to hit Water- and Rock-types, particularly Keldeo and Mega Diancie, hard. It also gives Volcarona some form of recovery, which this set lacks. Hidden Power Ground allows Volcarona to hit Heatran, which is a huge threat to Bug-type teams. It also gives it nice coverage against Fire-type teams.
Maximum investment in Special Attack is used in order to maximize Volcarona's damage output. Maximum Speed EVs with a Timid nature allow it to outspeed threats such as Choice Scarf Kyurem-B, Choice Scarf Landorus-T, Choice Scarf Excadrill, and Mega Sharpedo while also Speed tying with Choice Scarf Victini after one boost. Flame Body allows Volcarona to punish physical attackers, priority users in particular, such as Dragonite, Mega Medicham, Azumarill, and Bisharp, with a chance to burn them. Lum Berry gives Volcarona a free turn of setup against Pokemon that would try to status it such as Jirachi and Slowbro. Life Orb can also be run to allow Volcarona to hit much harder, being able to KO Pokemon like Zapdos with Fire Blast at +1 after Stealth Rock damage, at the cost of becoming weak to status.
Entry hazard control is key when using Volcarona, especially due to the lack of Roost on this set, hindering its ability to set up. It's best to start setting up with Volcarona mid- or late-game, when its checks have been weakened, because its lack of recovery only allows one chance to attempt a sweep; however, setting up early-game can be considered in some situations, as Volcarona can boost its power up to wallbreaking levels, which helps take out checks earlier. Volcarona's great Special Attack can be used early-game to weaken its checks before actually setting up. Because of Volcarona's bad defenses, it is generally better to bring it in after a fallen teammate rather than directly switching it into an attack. Volcarona can take advantage of defensive Pokemon like Mew and Mega Latias, which do nothing to it, and proceed to set up on them. Lum Berry should be preserved until it is time for Volcarona to sweep. While Lum Berry does cleanse status once, Volcarona needs to be able to take out its foe before it gets the chance to permanently cripple Volcarona, as Pokemon such as Zapdos and Lanturn can status it twice.
Armaldo is a great partner to Volcarona thanks to its ability to get rid of Stealth Rock from the field with Rapid Spin as well as set Stealth Rock itself, increasing Volcarona's offensive pressure. The Assault Vest variant can check threats such as Mega Charizard Y, as it can take a hit and OHKO with Stone Edge. Forretress is also a great partner to Volcarona, being able to get rid of entry hazards like Stealth Rock with Rapid Spin while also acting as a great switch-in to physical moves that threaten Volcarona like Stone Edge. It can set entry hazards such as Stealth Rock, Spikes, and Toxic Spikes, which can help turn certain 2HKOs into OHKOs. Forretress can also safely bring in Volcarona with a slow Volt Switch, giving it an easier time setting up. Shuckle also deserves a mention, as it has a wide range of support moves like Toxic, Encore, and Knock Off, as well as the ability to compress the roles of a Stealth Rock setter and a Sticky Web setter in one Pokemon. Mega Heracross has great offensive synergy with Volcarona, as they can both weaken each other's checks. Volcarona can beat Pokemon such as Doublade, while Mega Heracross can break through Pokemon like Chansey, which would otherwise wall Volcarona. Regular Heracross, too, can check Pokemon such as Heatran, allowing Volcarona to freely run Giga Drain over Hidden Power Ground. Mega Pinsir appreciates Volcarona's ability to break its checks such as Skarmory, Doublade, and Hippowdon, allowing it to set up and clean late-game more easily. Mega Pinsir can also outspeed and OHKO Mega Charizard Y, which walls Volcarona. Yanmega is a nice partner to Volcarona, as, together, they can share coverage moves such as Giga Drain and Bug Buzz and can free each other's moveslots. Galvantula can pressure the opposing side with Sticky Web, allowing Volcarona to outspeed and Speed tie with certain Choice Scarf Pokemon that would normally be used to check it like Choice Scarf Victini. Galvantula can also find opportunities to bring in Volcarona with Volt Switch, allowing it to set up more easily. Both regular and Mega Scizor can pivot into a plethora of physical attacks that threaten Volcarona and begin to set up. Their ability to clean up Rock-type teams is invaluable to Volcarona. Scizor can also find opportunities to bring Volcarona in with U-turn. In return, Scizor appreciates Volcarona's ability to beat its checks like Skarmory and Hippowdon, which would otherwise wall it.
name: Bulky Quiver Dance
move 1: Quiver Dance
move 2: Fiery Dance
move 3: Roost
move 4: Bug Buzz / Giga Drain
ability: Flame Body
evs: 248 HP / 156 Def / 104 Spe
Quiver Dance boosts Volcarona's Special Attack, Speed, and Special Defense to high levels. Fiery Dance is the STAB move of choice, giving Volcarona a good chance to raise its Special Attack stat whenever it's used. Roost keeps Volcarona healthy and somewhat mitigates Stealth Rock damage. The last slot is generally coverage for what the team needs. Bug Buzz is a strong secondary STAB move that allows Volcarona to check Psychic- and Dark-types while also being able to hit Dragon-type Pokemon. Giga Drain can be run to hit Water-types, especially bulky Water / Ground Pokemon like Swampert and Gastrodon, which could otherwise phaze Volcarona with Roar or status it with Toxic. Alternatively, Hidden Power Ground can be used to deal with Heatran, but its damage output is quite underwhelming, and it is useless in most other matchups.
248 EVs in HP maximize Volcarona's bulk and allow it to switch into Stealth Rock twice. 104 EVs in Speed with a Timid nature let it outspeed maximum Speed Mega Gyarados and other threats such as Togekiss and Hoopa-U. The rest of the EVs are put in Defense, allowing Volcarona to take physical hits much better, such as Aqua Jet from Choice Band Azumarill and V-create from Choice Scarf Victini. Flame Body is the ability of choice, which can punish physical attackers with a decent chance to burn. Leftovers is the preferred item, which gives Volcarona passive recovery. An alternative EV spread of 248 HP / 244 Def / 16 Spe with a Timid nature can be run to outspeed base 70s such as Breloom and Bisharp while retaining more bulk.
Entry hazard control is essential when using Volcarona. Its 4x weakness to Stealth Rock is no joke, hindering its ability to switch into weak attacks and its setup sweeping capabilities. Avoid status conditions such as poison and paralysis, which would cripple Volcarona and ruin its sweep. Due to the bulky nature of this set, Volcarona would usually need more than one boost to become a real threat. Therefore, it is recommended that Volcarona set up mid- to late-game when its checks have been weakened. The added bulk along with access to recovery in Roost allows Volcarona to set up on a plethora of Pokemon such as Magnezone and Rock Slide-less Landorus. Volcarona should take care of its health with Roost if it gets used early-game. It usually needs to be able to take at least one hit before it sets up and can start walling special attackers. Even with the extra bulk, it is still recommended to bring in Volcarona safely through a pivot or a fallen teammate.
Forretress is a great switch-in to Rock-type moves that threaten Volcarona while also being able to get rid of entry hazards. Forretress can also set entry hazards of its own, such as Spikes, Stealth Rock, and Toxic Spikes, letting Volcarona's checks be slowly whittled. Armaldo can also support Volcarona through hazard control. Assault Vest Armaldo is a great defensive complement to Volcarona, being able to check Pokemon such as Mega Charizard Y. Yanmega is a great partner to Volcarona, as it can run a variety of coverage moves that this set lacks, such as Air Slash, Hidden Power Ice, and Ancient Power, while also being able to weaken Volcarona's checks. Mega Heracross can easily break through stall or defensively oriented teams that trouble Volcarona. It can also break through Volcarona's checks such as Zapdos, Chansey, Heatran, and Tyranitar. Regular Heracross can also deal with Volcarona's defensive checks such as Chansey, Tyranitar, and Heatran. Mega Scizor is a great complement to Volcarona in being able to switch into most Rock-type Pokemon and threaten them out with Bullet Punch. It can also find opportunities to safely bring in Volcarona with U-turn. Regular Scizor is also a good partner in being able to check the same Pokemon that Mega Scizor does but also freeing up a Mega slot. Mega Pinsir assists Volcarona in being able to beat Fighting-types, revenge kill threats with Quick Attack, and deal with Heatran, Chansey, and Tyranitar thanks to its access to Close Combat. Conversely, Mega Pinsir enjoys having Volcarona to deal with Pokemon like Doublade and Skarmory, which otherwise wall it, allowing it to clean up late-game more easily. Having both a special and a physical setup sweeper, such as Volcarona and Mega Scizor or Mega Pinsir, can put tremendous pressure on the opposing side. Galvantula's access to Sticky Web helps Volcarona a lot due to its lower Speed, allowing it to run the bulky spread freely.
Focus Sash can be run to guarantee a Quiver Dance boost; however, it requires very reliable entry hazard control, which Bug-type teams lack. Hidden Power Ice is an interesting coverage option that can allow Volcarona to lure in and KO Pokemon like defensive Landorus-T and Dragonite, which would otherwise take at least one hit from a +1 Volcarona and retaliate with a strong physical attack. Sitrus Berry can be run as a possible one-time healing option on the offensive set.
Checks and Counters
**Stealth Rock**: Volcarona's 4x weakness to Stealth Rock severely hinders its offensive capabilities, making it more easily revenge killed by common priority moves.
**Chansey**: Chansey can easily wall a boosted Volcarona and can proceed to cripple it with Thunder Wave or Toxic while repeatedly using Soft-Boiled.
**Heatran**: All variants of Heatran, whether an offensive set with Stone Edge or a defensive set with Toxic, can wall all Volcarona sets that lack Hidden Power Ground.
**Revenge Killers**: Faster threats such as Choice Scarf Victini, Choice Scarf Terrakion, and Swift Swim Kingdra can easily revenge kill a Volcarona at +1. Priority users such as Bisharp, Dragonite, and Mega Pinsir can also revenge kill Volcarona, but only after prior damage. Azumarill does not require any chip damage to OHKO offensive Volcarona with Aqua Jet. However, the defensive set does not fear Bisharp.
**Special Walls**: Most special walls, like Chansey, Zapdos, and Lanturn, can easily tank Volcarona's attacks and retaliate with status.
**Status**: Both offensive and defensive variants of Volcarona are very weak to status, even with the former having a Lum Berry. Thunder Wave can permanently put a stop to its sweep, and Toxic decreases its already poor longevity by putting it on a timer.
**Rock-types**: Rock-type Pokemon like Cradily and Tyranitar can easily take a Giga Drain, due to lack of STAB, and can OHKO back with a Rock-type STAB move. If Volcarona lacks Giga Drain, Pokemon like Mega Diancie, Rhyperior, and even Omastar can check it.
**Water-types**: Volcarona generally needs to get to +2 in order to check Water-type Pokemon. This makes Pokemon like Manaphy, Volcanion, and Tentacruel great checks to it.
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