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curiosity

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Thank you everyone for voting yet again! In another landslide vote, Flame from Heaven's Weakness Policy Dragon Dance set is this week's winner! Congratulations! I promise i'll actually update the Hall of Fame this time.

Click Me also!

This week's case study will be Kartana! That's right, your expectations have been subverted. While Kartana has not been a consistent top tier threat, it has proven itself to be one of the most threatening breakers and cleaners in the current meta! You know what I say, you know what I do. Deadline is no friday the 25th. Happy Posting!

Here are this week's banned sets

Also, i've gone back and added music to each case study, so feel free to go check them out. I promise there's some diversity in artists.
 
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Reserving Z-Critwind

E: Hope someone does special attacking Kartana for the top kek
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Kartana @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Tailwind
- Leaf Blade
- Night Slash
- Sacred Sword

This set is definitely an interesting unorthodox set with Kartana. Thanks to Z-Tailwind, Kartana gets to have plus 2 speed for 4 turns, and a Focus Energy boost. Thanks to that Focus Energy Boost, Leaf Blade and Night Slash will always crit, giving Kartana incredibly powerful moves, as well as giving Night Slash a reason to be used. But the main draw of this set is how quickly is can snowball out of control. Thanks to Beast Boost, Kartana will always net a plus 1 in attack, which multiplies with the crit boost, making Kartana's total damage output incredibly huge. This set also has the benefits of ignoring intimidate drops so that Kartana has nothing to fear about a Landorus switch-in. Because of this, this set will have an easy time snowballing through offense and balance once it finds the opportunity to set-up

Without Focus Energy Boost

252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew: 189-223 (55.4 - 65.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew: 283-334 (82.9 - 97.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+2 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew: 378-445 (110.8 - 130.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+3 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew: 472-556 (138.4 - 163%) -- guaranteed OHKO

With the Focus Energy Boost

252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew on a critical hit: 283-334 (82.9 - 97.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew on a critical hit: 424-501 (124.3 - 146.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew on a critical hit: 567-667 (166.2 - 195.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+3 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mew on a critical hit: 708-834 (207.6 - 244.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO


As you can see, the boost to critical hits is incredibly noticeable
 
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Reserving SD normalium Z

Kartana @ Normalium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Giga Impact

This set needs Magnezone support, to take out threats like M-Scizor, Celesteela or the rare Skarmory.
What is the deal with this set that Grassium or Fightinium can't do? It gives coverage against shit that both Z Crystal does not, such as against AV Amoonguss, which is on the rise latelly, against M-Venusaur which is a great all around check for almost every set. Also, gives coverage against Tapu Bulu, a pain for Fightinium to deal. Gives Kartana a nuke against defensive Zapdos, as Bloom Doom needs rocks or Grassy Terrain to achieve the feat, both things that doesnt will happen in every match. Finally, it gives a way to hit M-Latis on the switch. Oh, and it doesnt gives Volcarona a free setup after Z crystal was used.
This set pairs really well with M-Pinsir, as this set can lure in Zapdos and take it out, giving the bug free time to wreak Havoc. Hawlucha also profits of this. Ash-greninja appreciates the fact of bulky grasses gone.

+2 252 Atk Kartana Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 96 Def Amoonguss: 659-776 (152.5 - 179.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Black Sludge recovery

+2 252 Atk Kartana Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 248 HP / 88 Def Venusaur-Mega: 434-511 (119.5 - 140.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO

+2 252 Atk Kartana Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 248 HP / 240+ Def Zapdos: 452-532 (118 - 138.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252 Atk Kartana Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Tapu Bulu: 496-584 (144.6 - 170.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Grassy Terrain recovery

252 Atk Kartana Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Latios-Mega: 280-330 (93 - 109.6%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO

252 Atk Kartana Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Latias-Mega: 238-281 (65.3 - 77.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Kartana Giga Impact vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Volcarona: 298-351 (95.8 - 112.8%) -- 75% chance to OHKO

:mad:
 
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Felixx

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Kartana @ Adrenaline Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Knock Off

This set basically emulates Timid Kartana (but actually has some firepower), taking advantage of the omnipresent Landorus by using an Adrenaline Orb, which boosts Kartana's speed after it gets hit by an Intimidate, and with an SD up you're actually set to sweep a lot of offensive teams that rely on Scarf Lando to be their speed control. The move set and EVs are standard, the set dosen't really deviate much from here. Now something to note is that the Adrenaline Orb is one-time use, so you only get one chance to sweep, and your opponent has to go to their Landorus for this to work.
 
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lyd

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Kartana @ Fightinium Z / Grassium Z / Metronome
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Defog
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Smart Strike / Knock Off

Not gonna lie, this isn't by any means the most optimal Kartana set, but Defog 3 Attacks allows Kartana to make the most out of Defog, acting as a surprisingly reliable remover for offensive teams alike while still keeping that juicy damage output courtesy of Z-moves / Metronome and that sky-high Attack stat. With three attacks Kartana becomes much more of an offensive pivot instead of a wallbreaker, which despite being undesirable in certain matchups, is actually very much helpful in others.
 
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Substitute SD
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Kartana @ Fightinium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 8 HP / 188 Atk / 60 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Swords Dance
- Sacred Sword
- Substitute
Substitute is actually pretty cool on Kartana right now. With this EV spread, you can get a free sub up against mons like Toxapex, Ferrothorn, Sableye, etc. It also helps to scout for lures like HP Fire Lando and Ferro and Thunder Wave Chansey, as well as Skarmory’s Counter. This helps Kartana break stall more easily.
Substitute can also help a lot against teams that rely on a faster non like Koko or Greninja to revenge kill it. For an example, if the opponent’s forced to go into Ferrothorn hoping it’s Scarf, I can get a free SD and Substitute, and they can no longer revenge kill Kartana. These scenarios happen a lot more than you would think.
 
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Psychium Kart:

Kartana @ Psychium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Psycho Cut
- Swords Dance

Psycho cut gives Kartana great coverage, hitting common answers such as MVenu and Amoongus super effectively, and with the z move it can take out checks that resist the standard fightinium (most prominently Zapdos after rocks). Amusingly, it also takes out any Hawlucha that think it is setup bait (which the standard knock set is). Honestly this is my go to kart over fightinium now, which I find to generally be a waste of the Z now as it only really takes out mage and mons that are becoming less and less common like celesteela, both of which can be beaten by this set if they are worn down to around 60%, which is not that hard as neither has reliable recovery. It also takes out toxapex at +2 without rocks (which leaf blade doesnt) so it cant haze your boosts or burn you with scald, which is another minor bonus of this set. I prefer this over normalium due to the fact psycho can be useful after the z is used, where giga impact isn't, which can be useful V teams such as buzzwole stall that may also have an amoon/venu as it allows you to 6-0 these teams where normalium won't as it will need to use non z giga to break through the other, and therefore be killed by something else on the recharge turn, and it also bops venu/amoon/pex at +0 which normalium doesn't.

Calcs:
252 Atk Kartana Shattered Psyche (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 88 Def Venusaur-Mega: 306-360 (84.2 - 99.1%) -- 75% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Kartana Shattered Psyche (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 88 Def Venusaur-Mega: 608-716 (167.4 - 197.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Kartana Shattered Psyche (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 44 Def Amoonguss: 494-582 (114.6 - 135%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Black Sludge recovery
252 Atk Kartana Shattered Psyche (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Toxapex: 272-320 (89.7 - 105.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Black Sludge recovery
+2 252 Atk Kartana Shattered Psyche (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 240+ Def Zapdos: 317-373 (82.7 - 97.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+2 252 Atk Kartana Shattered Psyche (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 48+ Def Buzzwole: 516-608 (123.7 - 145.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+2 252 Atk Kartana Shattered Psyche (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Tapu Bulu: 347-409 (101.1 - 119.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Grassy Terrain recovery
252 Atk Kartana Shattered Psyche (140 BP) vs. +1 152 HP / 0 Def Hawlucha: 332-392 (99.1 - 117%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock (if it tries to set up on you)
 

Jordy

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Kartana @ Choice Band
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Smart Strike
- Knock Off

Choice Band Kartana is actually a pretty strong wallbreaker because it can beat a lot of defensive cores. Its STAB moves aren't all that spammable but most of its merit comes from a super strong, spammable Knock Off. Knock Off cripples many defensive and offensive Pokemon and allows it to beat Zapdos so it can spam its STABs after, which can still be pretty strong when boosted by Choice Band. This set also does quite a lot to defensive Landorus-T which is good for pretty much any physical attacker. This set obviously still has many struggles like Tornadus-T and Tapu Koko etc. pretty much anything faster than it, which makes Choice Scarf a better set most of the time, though this set can be pretty nice to bust through defensive cores, which Choice Scarf can't do.


Week 8: To Be Announced!
 
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Reserving Timid

Kartana @ Fightinium Z / Grassium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 19 Atk

- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Knock Off

So the point of Timid Kartana is to Beast Boost Speed rather than attack to help clean better and ignore Non-Priority Revenge killers. I'm not sure if this is the correct EVs and Moveset but SD boosts attack because otherwise it is really modest, Leaf Blade for STAB, Sacred Sword for Coverage, Knock Off for more Coverage. Maybe Sub can be used to get a few more SDs?
 
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Toxic Kartana

Kartana @ Life Orb/Z-Crystal
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Toxic


General idea
The idea is plain and simple: Toxic allows you to lure many checks/counters -not being Steel type- with relative ease circumventing Intimidate and Iron Barbs/Rocky Helmet users.
What I really love about this status is that puts a pressuring timer onto the opposite threat, thus helping you to achieve KOs you are not able to score regularly.

EVs spread and item
The EVs spread is the standard one: Jolly nature + 252 Atk and 252 Spe.
The item chosen is not that important: it can be a Z-Crystal or a Life Orb/whatever boosting item you want. It doesn't affect the viability of Toxic, so you are free to pick one of these options.

Teammates support
A way to deal properly with Steel types is mandatory (such as a Fire type, which helps to bring down some bulky Grass pokemons) as well as hazards support to clean the opposite team more effectively.
 
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Mellow

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is a Pre-Contributor

Kartana @

Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Knock Off / Smart Strike
- Sacred Sword

If your Z crystal is already in use, Life Orb is a viable replacement for it on SD Kartana. A lot of the things Kartana needs the Z for this set actually breaks through as well - Zapdos (if Knock Off), Mega Venusaur (if Smart Strike), Amoonguss, Magearna, Landorus-T, Mega Mawile etc. The recoil from LO isn't as bad as it would be on other mons due to it being incredibly hard to stall out Kartana and the fact that it dies to most special moves anyway.

+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Zapdos: 400-472 (104.4 - 123.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 240+ Def Zapdos: 286-337 (74.6 - 87.9%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Smart Strike vs. 248 HP / 88 Def Venusaur-Mega: 298-351 (82 - 96.6%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 44 Def Amoonguss: 445-524 (103.2 - 121.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Smart Strike vs. 248 HP / 44 Def Amoonguss: 481-567 (111.6 - 131.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Smart Strike vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 339-399 (93.3 - 109.9%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Sacred Sword vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Magearna: 291-343 (80.1 - 94.4%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 240+ Def Landorus-Therian: 286-339 (74.8 - 88.7%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery (its super easy to chip lando in range)
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Smart Strike vs. 40 HP / 0 Def Mawile-Mega: 238-281 (94.8 - 111.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Kartana Sacred Sword vs. 40 HP / 0 Def Mawile-Mega: 203-239 (80.8 - 95.2%) -- 12.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
 
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Reserving Z-Critwind

E: Hope someone does special attacking Kartana for the top kek


Kartana @ Leftovers
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 240 HP / 16 Def / 252 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Calm Mind
- Air Slash
- Synthesis
- Giga Drain / Hidden Power Ground

With good STABs, a Toxic immunity and reliable recovery, Kartana has all it needs to become a fearsome Calm Mind sweeper. Air Slash has no immunities and the ability to nail threats like Tangrowth and Mega Venusaur that usually wall Kartana. Giga Drain 2HKOs Quagsire, a rarity for any sweeper, and preserves Synthesis' PP, while HP Ground lets it weaken its own checks, easily 3HKOing offensive Heatran and Magnezone.

The given EVs ensure that Kartana will receive a Defense boost from Beast Boost while maximizing its special bulk,. It appreciates Tapu Koko and Greninja as partners; the former can set up screens and the latter can lay down Toxic Spikes and beat the Fire types that give Kartana trouble.

Replays:

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-749664688 Kartana proves to be a crucial wincon, 2HKOing Buzzwole and winning a CM war against Necrozma

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-749669904 Kartana weakens and lures in Gyarados' checks, allowing it to sweep later

https://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/gen7ou-749672220 My opponent literally begs for death as Kartana sweeps
 
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Defensive Kartana

Kartana @ Rocky Helmet
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 72 Def / 184 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Leaf Blade
- Knock Off
- Synthesis
- Toxic

EVs are designed to outspeed timid Medicham and anyone else in that speed tier. This guy takes on physical attackers. It punishes U-turn spammers, along with fake out-ing medicham and lopunny. Synthesis keeps health high, toxic and knock off cripple, and leaf blade still hits unresisted mons like a trunk. While the set is definitely better in BSS, where it originates from, it still has its use in OU and has a bunch of surprise factor.
 

Kartana @ Salac Berry
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 132 HP / 116 Atk / 8 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Substitute
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword

Substitute + Salac Berry Kartana is a very cool set which allows Kartana to get a +1 in Speed when it is at 25% thanks to its item. This is pretty cool because it allows Kartana to outspeed faster pokemons such as Greninja, Tapu Koko and Mega Alakazam which would threaten it otherwise without having to run a Timid Nature or a Choice Scarf and still having the ability to boost its attack through Swords Dance. The given EV Spread ensures that Kartana's sub isn't broken by Toxapex's Scald or Ferrothorn's Gyro Ball and hits an HP number that is divisible by 4, which means that you can get the Salac Berry boost after 3 subs.
 
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curiosity

formerly curi
is a Community Contributoris a Live Chat Contributor
Slightly late, but here I am nonetheless.



I changed the np

I must once again thank everyone for another solid week! It would be wrong to say that there weren't any interesting sets included this week, so without further ado, here are this week's nominees:

@

Z-Tailwind by stuuful12
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Normalium Z by PrideMustang
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Adrenaline Orb by Felixx
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3 Attacks + Defog by lyd
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Sub SD by Flame from Heaven
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Psychium Z by BlueLobster
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Choice Band by Jordy
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Toxic + SD by nameless90
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Life Orb SD by mellowyellowhd
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Sub SD + Salac by MFJr King
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Calm Mind by lordoftets
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Timid SD by Chessking345


edit:
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Defensive by 1_TrickPhony

my vote will be lyd.

voting closes in 24 hours! sorry not sorry
happy posting!
 
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