[on-site] Opening the Door - A Guide to Entry Hazards

Finished.
Opening the Door - A Guide to Entry Hazards
Table of Contents
  • Introduction to Entry Hazards
    • Stealth Rock
    • Spikes
    • Toxic Spikes
  • Ways of Utilizing and Combating Entry Hazards
    • Setting Up Entry Hazards
    • Abusing Entry Hazards
    • Protecting Entry Hazards
    • Dealing With Entry Hazards
  • Entry Hazards on Different Teams
    • Entry Hazards on Offensive Teams
    • Entry Hazards on Stall Teams
  • Entry Hazards in Different Tiers
    • Entry Hazards in UU
    • Entry Hazards in Ubers
-------------------------------------------------------------


Introduction to Entry Hazards

Entry Hazards are Pokemon techniques that damage Pokemon when they switch into battle. There are three types of entry hazards, each hitting certain types of Pokemon and each having a specific maximum number of layers:
  • Stealth Rock
  • Spikes
  • Toxic Spikes
Stealth Rock - Stealth Rock is easily the most useful entry hazard in Pokemon, if not the most useful move in the entire game. It hits every single Pokemon who switches into it (aside from Magic Guard Clefable) and is the best defense against teams running Focus Sash (not that Focus Sash is used for anything besides a lead). Stealth Rock will do damage based on how weak a Pokemon is to Rock-type attacks.

4x Resistance: 3.125% (1/32) Damage
2x Resistance: 6.25% (1/16) Damage
1x Neutrality: 12.5% (1/8) Damage
2x Weakness: 25% (1/4) Damage
4x Weakness: 50% (1/2) Damage

While 3-25% damage might not look like much, it certainly adds up, especially since switching is an integral part of battling. Stealth Rock no longer allows your opponent to freely switch to a counter or check for your Pokemon without some sort of fee. In this case, that fee is a percentage of their switch-in's health.

Stealth Rock only takes a single turn to set up, not 2 or 3 like other entry hazards, so teams that are very offensive can viably use it due to the speed of activation. Even if it is spun away, it can very easily be set up again, which makes it very convenient, useful, and deadly.

Every team should have a slot for Stealth Rock. By damaging your opponent's switch-ins, you can gradually wear down their team to the point where one of your Pokemon can sweep. Stealth Rock is most useful on offensive teams where the battles tend to be fast and furious, with plenty of switches going on. Stealth Rock also turns some 3HKOs into 2HKOs and 2HKOs into OHKOs, so that your sweepers will be able to defeat enemies in a more timely fashion, thus reducing the damage they take in return. Pokemon EV spreads are now always made taking Stealth Rock into account. For example, a counter that can take 90% damage and OHKO back is no longer useful, since it will take 12.5% damage switching in, thus causing it to faint. Pokemon such as Gyarados and Salamence have their ability to sweep hindered due to the 25% damage they take switching into the field. All in all, Stealth Rock should always find a spot on your team.

Spikes - Spikes are set up in three layers, and damage all Pokemon that can be hurt by the move Earthquake, which is to say all Pokemon that aren't Flying-type or have the abilities Levitate or Magic Guard. Depending on how many layers of Spikes get set up, they will do different amounts of damage to opponents switching in:

1 layer: 12.5% (1/8) Damage
2 layers: 18.75% (3/16) Damage
3 layers: 25% (1/4) Damage

As you can see, a consistent 25% damage every time many Pokemon switch in can easily add up and weaken the opposing team for a sweep much faster than Stealth Rock, but at the price of being far less accessible and more difficult to set up.

Spikes are most useful on stall teams where the damage from entry hazards is the primary method of hurting opposing Pokemon. Combined with pseudo-hazing moves such as Roar and Whirlwind or moves that force switches such as Yawn, Perish Song, or Confuse Ray, Spikes can rack up massive amounts of damage. On more offensive teams, however, where the pace is very fast and losing momentum can mean losing the game, Stealth Rock is generally a better choice.

Toxic Spikes - Toxic Spikes are a slightly different form of entry hazard that induce a certain status ailment depending on how many layers are set up.

1 layers: Poison (steady 1/8th damage per turn)
2 layers: Bad Poison (1/16 * # of turns in play)

Toxic Spikes will not affect Pokemon who Levitate, are Flying type, are Steel type, or are Poison type. In fact, grounded Poison types (those without Levitate or a secondary Flying type) will absorb Toxic Spikes if it comes in contact with them.

Toxic Spikes is an excellent move for a stall team. Having every susceptible Pokemon on the opponent's team badly poisoned disables virtually all attempts to set up and break a stall team's core. However, Toxic Spikes can also be used on an offensive team to break walls and generally weaken the opposing team for a sweep later in the game. It is also a great way to cripple bulky Water-types and Ground-types such as Swampert, Vaporeon, and Hippowdon who don't normally have a way to cure status. While it may take longer to set up than Stealth Rock, the time can usually be afforded, especially in the beginning of the game.

Ways of Utilizing and Combating Entry Hazards

Setting Up Entry Hazards

Entry hazards should generally be set up as soon as possible (ideally, this would be in the first turn of the game) in order to ensure maximum effectiveness. For Stealth Rock on offensive teams, it is common to use 'suicide leads' whose sole purpose on the team is to set up Stealth Rock, and then die in order for the next member to arrive unharmed. Azelf, Infernape, and Aerodactyl are the most common suicide leads. Bulkier Pokemon such as Swampert, Metagross, Jirachi, and Bronzong can be used on most teams to not only set up Stealth Rock, but also to come back in later or serve as a check to certain Pokemon without essentially starting the game 5-6. On stall oriented teams, Swampert, Blissey, and Hippowdon are all excellent choices for setting up Stealth Rock. Skarmory may also be used, but stall teams would make better use of Skarmory by running Spikes on it instead, due to the much more limited amount of spikers.

Spikes are a bit trickier to set up. The only truly viable 'spikers' in OU are Skarmory, Forretress, Smeargle, and Roserade. Spikes should also be set up as early as possible. Toxic Spikes can be set up by Forretress, Smeargle, Roserade, Tentacruel, Drapion, or Nidoqueen with relative ease. The latter four also have the added bonus of absorbing opposing Toxic Spikes.

Abusing Entry Hazards

To use entry hazards (especially Spikes) to their maximum potential, entry hazard abuse is used. The most simple way to abuse entry hazards are the moves Roar and Whirlwind, which force the opponent to change Pokemon. When the new Pokemon enters the field, they will then take damage from any existing entry hazards. However, moves that usually cause the opponent to switch, such as Perish Song and Yawn are also a good way to abuse entry hazards. With Perish Song, the opponent will either die in three turns or switch in another Pokemon who will then take damage. The same goes for Yawn, except the target Pokemon goes to sleep instead, effectively eliminating it from the match for a few turns. The last way to abuse entry hazards is to use Pokemon such as Heatran and Scizor that can usually cause the opponent to switch out. This makes them suffer damage each time they switch a vulnerable Pokemon out from Pokemon with a wide array of coverage.

Protecting Entry Hazards

The most prominent threat to entry hazards is the move Rapid Spin, which completely clears the field of all entry hazards placed by your opponent. This means that if you had 6 layers of entry hazards up and your opponent uses Rapid Spin, you have just let 6 turns go to waste. The easiest way to block this move is to use a 'spin blocker'. A spin blocker is a Ghost-type Pokemon that makes the secondary effect of Rapid Spin fail because they are immune to Normal-type moves. Rotom (Appliance) is the most effective spin blocker currently available due to its outstanding typing, good defenses on both sides of the spectrum, and high Special Attack. Spiritomb and Dusknoir can also be used. Spiritomb does not have a weakness to Pursuit, which is commonly used to eliminate Rotom, and Dusknoir has access another recovery move in the form of Pain Split as well as Fighting-type attacks that will allow it to effectively deal with Tyranitar, Heatran, and Weavile, three Pokemon that Rotom routinely has trouble with. Gengar is also an option, but only if an offensive team is being used. While it does have defenses that are far below average, its three immunities and outstanding offensive stats allow it to force switches, causing more entry hazard damage.

Dealing with Entry Hazards

As stated earlier, Rapid Spin is the only move that will get rid of opposing entry hazards. Not all teams require a rapid spinner to be effective. Many offensive teams don't use one because the time it takes for it to switch in, remove the entry hazards, and then switch out again will cause the player to lose any momentum they have built up. Offensive teams that rely on many Pokemon weak to entry hazards, especially Stealth Rock, will be more likely to use entry hazards. Many common Pokemon such as Salamence, Gyarados, Zapdos, Togekiss, and Weavile all lose 1/4th of their health every time the switch into battle, severely limiting the amount of times they can come into play as well as allowing opposing Pokemon to kill them more easily. Teams using several of these Pokemon may want to consider a rapid spinner to keep Stealth Rock off the field. Bulky offensive and stall teams that severely dislike Toxic Spikes may also want to either carry a rapid spinner or a Poison-type Pokemon to get rid of them. Tentacruel is the single best Toxic Spikes remover in OU due to the fact that it can switch in with its massive 120 Base Special Defense on a resisted hit such as Flamethrower or Ice Beam, immediately remove Toxic Spikes, and even threaten to set up Toxic Spikes of its own. Tentacruel also has access to Rapid Spin, allowing it to remove Spikes and Stealth Rock as well. Roserade can also absorb and set up Toxic Spikes, but does not have the defensive stats to live for as long as Tentacruel will be able to, unless it is a SubSeed variant. Forretress also is an excellent option for a Rapid Spinner. It's incredible typing gives it only a single weakness, and its stellar Defense allows it to wall all sorts of physical attacks. Forretress can also set up all three types of entry hazards, and Explode when the job has been completed. Forretress also has access to Payback, which allows it to hurt spin blockers on the switch in. Donphan also has access Rapid Spin and amazing Defense. It can use Assurance to damage spin blockers, but is very vulnerable to Toxic Spikes without any decent form of recovery. Starmie is very useful as a rapid spinner because it has access to a reliable recovery move, outspeeds all OU spin blockers, and can deal damage to them with STAB Hydro Pump or Surf. Natural Cure allows it to switch into Toxic Spikes, remove them, and then retreat and shed the status. Claydol can also be a good choice, especially in lower tiers, due to its resistance to Stealth Rock and immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes.

Since players generally try to deploy entry hazards as quickly as possible, starting out with a fast Taunt user such as Azelf or Aerodactyl can easily stop slower spikers in their tracks. Common lead spikers such as Swampert, Roserade, and Skarmory are slower than both Azelf and Aerodactyl and can be easily neutralized, at least for a small while, via Taunt.

Entry Hazards on Different Teams

Entry Hazards on Offensive Teams

Entry hazards are supremely useful on offensive teams, since most teams tend to deal with them by switching out a vulnerable Pokemon to bring in a specific counter or resist. If Stealth Rock is up, then the Pokemon switching in will usually take 6-25% damage in addition to whatever damage the attacking Pokemon deals. Pokemon such as Zapdos and Gyarados, who would otherwise hinder a Scizor or Lucario sweep, won't be able to switch into as many attacks now that they lose an additional 25% health every time they enter the field. This easily weakens them enough to render either Pokemon unable to stop a Scizor or Lucario sweep. As mentioned earlier, the most useful Pokemon for setting up Stealth Rock on offensive teams fall into two categories: bulky and suicide. Smeargle, Aerodactyl, Infernape, and Azelf are all excellent choices for suicide leads, whose sole purpose is to set up Stealth Rock, hopefully neutralize the opposing spiker, and then die. Bulkier users of Stealth Rock include Lead/Support Metagross, Support Heatran, Bronzong, and Lead Jirachi, all who will set up Stealth Rock and then continue to support your team via resistances, Wish support, dual screens, or status. Pokemon who should not be used on offensive teams to set up Stealth Rock are Hippowdon, Skarmory, and in most cases, Forretress. These Pokemon will generally not help build momentum for your team and will not keep pressure on the opponent at all times by threatening massive damage or KOs.

Stealth Rock is not the only entry hazard that is viable on offensive teams. Toxic Spikes will benefit any team that needs to quickly and efficiently get rid of bulky Water- and Ground-type Pokemon such as Hippowdon, Swampert, Vaporeon, and Suicune. Pokemon that will benefit by Toxic Spikes support include Empoleon (does not like to tangle with bulky Water-types, especially if running Ice Beam), Salamence (bulky Water-types carry Ice Beam most of the time), Gyarados (bulky Water-types will resist Waterfall), Suicune (Water-types will usually stop any sweeping attempts, Rotom (Swampert can routinely give him trouble), and Infernape (Vaporeon and Suicune take little damage from its attacks). The only two viable offensive Toxic Spikes users are Smeargle and Roserade. Smeargle offers perfectly accurate sleep in the form of Spore as well as Extremespeed and Fake Out, but does not have any true offensive power, making it effectively worthless after Toxic Spikes have been activated. Roserade offers less accurate sleep through Sleep Powder, but much higher offensive power via Leaf Storm and Sludge Bomb. Roserade also doubles as a Toxic Spikes remover which can be a huge boon to Pokemon such as Swampert and Tyranitar.

Entry Hazards on Stall Teams

Entry hazards are used very differently on stall teams than they are on offensive ones. Stall teams generally deal most of their damage through status or residual damage. Entry hazards are the most reliable form of indirect damage, as the combination of Spikes+Stealth Rock will hit many Pokemon in OU (i.e. all Pokemon except those with Levitate) for upwards of 25% damage every time the enter the battle. In order to do the most damage, several layers of entry hazards must be placed. It is recommended, but not required, that stall teams carry all three types of entry hazards in order to deal the largest amount of indirect damage possible. Roar and Whirlwind are excellent moves to both mess up opposing momentum and deal indirect damage.

There are many Pokemon who can set up Stealth Rock on a stall team. Swampert, Bronzong and Blissey are the best choices due to their phenomenal defensive stats and ability to counter many dangerous threats. Celebi is another choice worth considering, but it is not wise to waste Celebi's precious moveslot on Stealth Rock when so many other Pokemon can set it up.

Forretress and Skarmory are the undisputed champs of setting up Spikes on a stall team. Skarmory is invulnerable to Ground-type attacks and carries Roost, while Forretress has access to Explosion, Rapid Spin, and can deal more damage on the whole. Both carry a tremendous base Defense and great typing, allowing them to wall many physical attackers.

Forretress is also one of two viable users of Toxic Spikes on a stall team, the other being Tentacruel. Forretress has superior typing for the most part, along with better Defense, but Tentacruel can absorb Toxic Spikes and counter the ubiquitous Mixed Infernape. Both have access to Rapid Spin. Roserade can also be used, but it is inadvisable to do so due to its less than desirable defenses and typing.

Entry Hazards in Different Tiers

Entry Hazards in UU

Entry hazards are not limited to OU by any means; UU also makes full use of them, but they are played in a very different way. UU has none of the suicide leads that are so popular in OU, so players rely on bulky Pokemon such as Uxie, Donphan, and Registeel to set up Stealth Rock. Due to the prevalence of Flying- and Bug-type Pokemon in UU, Stealth Rock can be used very effectively. In particular, Scyther, Swellow, Moltres, Lapras, and the incredibly dangerous Yanmega are all severely hindered by the presence of Stealth Rock. Toxic Spikes is very rarely seen due to the tremendous amount of Poison-type Pokemon that are able to absorb it and is generally a waste of time to set up. Spikes is not as common or as beneficial as Stealth Rock in UU, but it is still a viable option to hurt Pokemon like Steelix and Registeel on the switch. While there are several Pokemon capable of setting up Spikes such as Cacturne, Cloyster, and Omastar, Roserade stands out as the best user of Spikes in UU because of its healing move Synthesis.

The most reliable way to remove entry hazards in UU is via a Rapid Spin Donphan. With proper EV investment, Donphan can 2HKO the very popular spin blockers Rotom and Mismagius as well as 3HKOing Spiritomb by using Assurance. Foresight Hitmontop is another excellent choice. Foresight allows it to hit Ghost-type Pokemon for neutral damage (and Spiritomb for super effective damage) with Fighting-type attacks such as Close Combat. Once the ghost has retreated or been killed, Hitmontop can then Rapid Spin away any entry hazards on its side of the field.

To see entry hazards having a great effect in UU, please refer to ChouToshio's warstory.

Entry Hazards in Ubers

The Ubers tier also makes great use of entry hazards. Again, different playing styles will determine what entry hazards are necessary for a player's team. Stealth Rock is practically mandatory for any Ubers team because it hurts two prominent Ubers Pokemon, Rayquaza and Lugia, as well as crippling the rare Ho-oh. It also breaks any Focus Sashes you will find on Pokemon like Deoxys and will outright kill Shedinja. Stealth Rock can be set up by many Pokemon, including Heatran, Groudon, Deoxys-s, Deoxys-d, Metagross, and Dialga. Spikes, being used mostly by Stall teams, are less common in Ubers, but their presence is still noteworthy. Deoxys-s, Deoxys-d, Forretress and Skarmory are the only Pokemon who are capable of setting up Spikes. Finally, Forretress is the only Pokemon who can set up Toxic Spikes.

There are two spin blockers that can be chosen from in Ubers; Giratina-o and Shedinja. Shedinja comes with the additional ability of outright walling anything that doesn't hit it with super effective damage, but you must carry a spinner of your own for it to be usable. Giratina-o, on the other hand, is one of the best physical walls in Ubers and isn't significantly affected by any entry hazard due to Rest and Levitate. Giratina's other forme deserves a mention due to its overall better defenses, but unlike its counterpart, it can be hurt by Spikes and Toxic Spikes.

To get rid of entry hazards in Ubers, you must rely on Forretress, who is an excellent choice due to its amazing Defense and stellar typing. As mentioned earlier, Forretress can hit both spin blockers with Payback, but does not have any hope of doing real damage to Giratina.

For a demonstration on the effectiveness of Stealth Rock in Ubers, please read Train Man's warstory.


Special Thanks to: franky and Antigen
 

Darkmalice

Level 3
is a Tiering Contributoris a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
Stealth Rock - Stealth Rock is easily the most useful entry hazard in Pokemon, if not the most useful move in the entire game. It hits every single Pokemon who switches into it (aside from Magic Guard Clefable) and is the best defense against teams running Focus Sash (not that Focus Sash is used for anything besides a lead). Stealth Rock will do damage based on how weak a Pokemon is to Rock type attacks.

4x Resistance: 3.125% (1/32) Damage
2x Resistance: 6.25% (1/16) Damage
1x Neutrality: 12.5% (1/8) Damage
2x Weakness: 25% (1/4) Damage
4x Weakness: 50% (1/2) Damage

While 3-25% damage might not look like much, it certainly adds up, especially since switching is an integral part of battling. Stealth Rock no longer allows your opponent to freely switch to a counter or check for your Pokemon without some sort of fee, in this case, a percentage of their counter's life.

Stealth Rock only takes a single turn to set up, not 2 or 3 like other entry hazards, so teams that are very offensive can viably use it due to the speed of activation. Even if it is spun away, they can very easily be set up again, which makes them very convenient, useful, and deadly.

Every team should have a slot for Stealth Rock. It is easily one of the most useful moves in the game. If your opponent switches to a counter for your Pokemon, they still take damage from both your attack, and from the Stealth Rock. By damaging your opponent's switch-ins, you can methodically wear down their team to the point where one of your Pokemon can sweep. Stealth Rock is most useful on ("finds the most use" is incorrect, as all teams use it) offensive teams where the battles tend to be fast and furious, with plenty of switches going on. Stealth Rock also turns some 3HKOs into 2HKOs and 2HKOs into OHKOs, so that your sweepers will only be damaged for 0 or 1 turns, rather than 1, 2 or 3, which can make all the difference. Sets are made now always taking Stealth Rock into account. A counter that can take 90% damage and OHKO back is no longer useful, since it will take 12.5% damage switching in, thus killing it. Pokemon such as Gyarados and Salamence have their sweeping ability hindered due to the 25% damage they take switching into the field. All in all, Stealth Rock is the most used and most useful entry hazard and should always find a spot on your team, no matter what kind it is.
What is in red should be removed, as it is repeat.


Also, in your section "How to Protect Entry Hazards," you should mention Spiritomb. Whilst it is inferior in terms of defensive stats, it has no weaknesses, especially no Pursuit weakness. I wouldn't say Dusknoir is completely inferior to Rotom-A; it has some advantages over Rotom - better defenses, Pain Split and Earthquake/Brick Break/Focus Punch for Tyranitar, Heatran, and Weavile. Mention that Gengar is a good choice on (and only) offensive teams. It is fragile, but 130 SpA and 110 SpA + it's many immunities and ability to force switches means it can put a hurt on many teams with SR support.
 
Hello. I think that you need to further explain how entry hazards benefit certain types of teams. For example, stall teams really rely on all sorts of entry hazards and a combination of effective walls, while offensive teams might rely on Stealth Rock (and Spikes/Toxic Spikes to some degree). I also think you should review the Pokemon you classified as viable to set up certain entry hazards. On what teams should they be in? For example, offensive teams will rely on Smeargle and Roserade (for, say, Toxic Spikes); stall/defensively-based teams will rely on Skarmory and Forretress (for Spikes). On top of all this, you can also mention how entry hazards affect different playing styles - for example, offensive teams can rely on SR/Spikes to help Wallbreakers like Salamence; defensive teams can rely on Toxic Spikes and a strong defensive core that uses constant healing to stall out poison damage until foes faint - you get the idea.

You should also expand your descriptions on Rapid Spin. What are some essential Rapid Spinners in today's metagame? On what teams do they belong to? By listing these down, players will have somewhat of a clear idea of what to choose as Rapid Spinners (so they won't pick like Cloyster or something) and what to expect/do against Spin Blockers (for example, Forretress can use Payback to deal reasonable damage to Rotom formes if it predicts them coming in). Good luck with the guide!

By the way, this guide: http://www.smogon.com/dp/articles/team_support already has mentions of entry hazards.
 
I'm working on incorporating Erodent's suggestions into the draft, but it could be a while. Thanks for your patience.
 

Reverb

World's nicest narcissist
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
How to Set Up Entry Hazards
Entry hazards should generally be set up as soon as possible (ideally, this would be in the first round of the game) in order to ensure maximum effectiveness. For Stealth Rock on offensive teams, it is common to use 'suicide leads' whose sole purpose on the team is to set up Stealth Rock, and then die in order for the next member to arrive unharmed. Azelf, Infernape, and Aerodactyl are the most common suicide leads. Bulkier Pokemon such as Swampert, Metagross, Jirachi, and Bronzong can be used on most teams to not only set up Stealth Rock, but to come back in later or serve as a check to certain Pokemon without essentially starting the game 5-6. On stall oriented teams, Swampert, Skarmory, Blissey, and Hippowdon are all excellent choices for setting up Stealth Rock.

I made Skarmory red because I do not think it is ideal to set up Stealth Rock for stall, since the only other relevent OU Stall poke that can use spikes is Forretress and no one would use Forretress and Skamory on the same team. Skarmory is ideal as the "Spikes poke". Furthermore, since Roost is required recovery, Whirlwind is very important for phazing, and Brave Bird is needed to allow Skarm to attack, I do not feel a good Stall team can have SR Skarmory, so I think you should remove Skarmory from that sentence.
 

zorbees

Chwa for no reason!
is a Forum Moderator Alumnus
Should this be geared for tiers other than OU as well? Entry hazards are important in all tiers.
 
I have made several edits and have written a new section [How to Deal With Entry Hazards]. From here, these are the new sections that will be written:

Soon to come
-Entry Hazards in Ubers (I am going to need help with this)
-Entry Hazards on Offensive Teams
-Entry Hazards on Stall Teams
-Entry Hazards in UU (I really have no experience in UU, so I'm going to need a lot of help if this is to be written)

I am going to need assistance in writing about other tiers, especially UU. I know how SR is used in Ubers, but not Spikes or TS.

I know absolutely nothing about UU Entry Hazards except for who can set them up, who can spin, and a few things that get hurt (like Swellow and Scyther).

Thank you for your help, everyone.
 

franky

aka pimpdaddyfranky, aka frankydelaghetto, aka F, aka ef
is a Top Team Rater Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnus
I have made several edits and have written a new section [How to Deal With Entry Hazards]. From here, these are the new sections that will be written:

Soon to come
-Entry Hazards in Ubers (I am going to need help with this)
-Entry Hazards on Offensive Teams
-Entry Hazards on Stall Teams
-Entry Hazards in UU (I really have no experience in UU, so I'm going to need a lot of help if this is to be written)

I am going to need assistance in writing about other tiers, especially UU. I know how SR is used in Ubers, but not Spikes or TS.

I know absolutely nothing about UU Entry Hazards except for who can set them up, who can spin, and a few things that get hurt (like Swellow and Scyther).

Thank you for your help, everyone.
PM me about UU hazards and Ill tell ya what I know and you can write up about it
 
Two new sections added:

Entry Hazards on Offensive Teams and Entry Hazards on Stall Teams

Just two more sections to go.


Edit: 9:28 PM - UU Section added. Looking for proofreaders, UU section updating, and Ubers section assistance.

Edit: 9/12/09 2:49 AM - Ubers outline added, still looking for skilled Ubers players to check it; ToC added

Edit: 9/13/09 1:15 AM - Ubers section completed; ToC updated
 
A proofread as you requested ;)

Edits are in bold red;
Certain comments are in bold green.

Introduction to Entry Hazards

Entry Hazards are Pokemon techniques that damage Pokemon when they switch into battle. There are three types of entry hazards, each hitting certain types of Pokemon and each having a specific maximum number of layers.
  • Stealth Rock
  • Spikes
  • Toxic Spikes
Stealth Rock - Stealth Rock is easily the most useful entry hazard in Pokemon, if not the most useful move in the entire game. It hits every single Pokemon who switches into it (aside from Magic Guard Clefable) and is the best defense against teams running Focus Sash (not that Focus Sash is used for anything besides a lead). Stealth Rock will do damage based on how weak a Pokemon is to Rock-type attacks.

4x Resistance: 3.125% (1/32) Damage
2x Resistance: 6.25% (1/16) Damage
1x Neutrality: 12.5% (1/8) Damage
2x Weakness: 25% (1/4) Damage
4x Weakness: 50% (1/2) Damage

While 3-25 (did you mean 3-50?) % damage might not look like much, it certainly adds up, especially since switching is an integral part of battling. Stealth Rock no longer allows your opponent to freely switch to a counter or check for your Pokemon without some sort of fee. In this case, that fee is a percentage of their switch-in's health.

Stealth Rock only takes a single turn to set up, not 2 or 3 like other entry hazards, so teams that are very offensive can viably use it due to the speed of activation. Even if it is spun away, it (you should keep using "it" if you started with "it", not "they" - or choose one :P) can very easily be set up again, which makes it very convenient, useful, and deadly.

Every team should have a slot for Stealth Rock. By damaging your opponent's switch-ins, you can methodically wear down their team to the point where one of your Pokemon can sweep. Stealth Rock is most useful on offensive teams where the battles tend to be fast and furious, with plenty of switches going on. Stealth Rock also turns some 3HKOs into 2HKOs and 2HKOs into OHKOs, so that your sweepers will be able to defeat enemies in a more timely fashion, thus reducing the damage they take in return. Sets are made now always taking Stealth Rock into account (Hmm..a little confusing. Can you be a little more specific - for example, it's not necessarily the set that takes SR into account, it's the EVs of a Pokemon). For example, a counter that can take 90% damage and OHKO back is no longer useful, since it will take 12.5% damage switching in, thus causing it to faint. Pokemon such as Gyarados and Salamence have their ability to sweep hindered due to the 25% damage they take switching into the field. All in all, Stealth Rock should always find a spot on your team. (fantastic)

Spikes - Spikes are set up in three layers, and damage all Pokemon that can be hurt by the move Earthquake, which is to say all Pokemon that aren't Flying-type or have the ability Levitate (Clefable?). Depending on how many layers of Spikes you set up, they will do different amounts of damage to opponents switching in:

1 layer: 12.5% (1/8) Damage
2 layers: 18.75% (3/16) Damage
3 layers: 25% (1/4) Damage

As you can see, a consistent 25% damage every time many Pokemon switch in can easily add up and weaken the opposing team for a sweep much faster than Stealth Rock, but at the price of being far less accessible and more difficult to set up.

Spikes are most useful on stall teams where the damage from entry hazards is the primary method of hurting opposing Pokemon. Combined with pseudo-hazing moves such as Roar and Whirlwind or moves that force switches such as Yawn, Perish Song, or Confuse Ray, Spikes can rack up massive amounts of damage. On more offensive teams, however, where the pace is very fast and losing momentum can mean losing the game, Stealth Rock is generally a better choice.

Toxic Spikes - Toxic Spikes are a slightly different form of entry hazard that induce a certain status ailment depending on how many layers are set up.

1 layers: Poison (steady 1/8th damage per turn)
2 layers: Bad Poison (1/16 * # of turns in play)

Toxic Spikes will not affect Pokemon who Levitate, are Flying type, are Steel type, or are Poison type (again, Clefable). In fact, grounded Poison types (those without Levitate or a secondary Flying type) will absorb Toxic Spikes if it comes in contact with them.

Toxic Spikes is an excellent move for a stall team. Having every susceptible Pokemon on the opponent's team badly poisoned disables virtually all attempts to set up and break a stall team's core. However, Toxic Spikes can also be used on an offensive team to break walls and generally weaken the opposing team for a sweep later in the game. It is also a great way to cripple bulky Water-types and Ground-types such as Swampert, Vaporeon, and Hippowdon who don't normally have a way to cure status. While it may take longer to set up than Stealth Rock, the time can usually be afforded, especially in the beginning of the game.
I've just got to say I'm impressed. You write really well. You've kept me interested, which is always a good thing (most of the time I get bored after reading a section or two). Cheers!

Ways of Utilizing and Combating Entry Hazards

Setting Up Entry Hazards

Entry hazards should generally be set up as soon as possible (ideally, this would be in the first turn of the game) in order to ensure maximum effectiveness. For Stealth Rock on offensive teams, it is common to use 'suicide leads' whose sole purpose on the team is to set up Stealth Rock, and then die in order for the next member to arrive unharmed. Azelf, Infernape, and Aerodactyl are the most common suicide leads. Bulkier Pokemon such as Swampert, Metagross, Jirachi, and Bronzong can be used on most teams to not only set up Stealth Rock, but also to come back in later or serve as a check to certain Pokemon without essentially starting the game 5-6. On stall oriented teams, Swampert, Blissey, and Hippowdon are all excellent choices for setting up Stealth Rock. Skarmory may also be used, but stall teams would make better use of Skarmory by running Spikes on it instead, due to the much more limited amount of spikers.

Spikes are a bit trickier to set up. The only truly viable 'spikers' in OU are Skarmory, Forretress, Smeargle, and Roserade. Spikes should also be set up as early as possible. Toxic Spikes can be set up by Forretress, Smeargle, Roserade, Tentacruel, Drapion, or Nidoqueen with relative ease. The latter four also have the added bonus of absorbing opposing Toxic Spikes.

Abusing Entry Hazards

To use entry hazards (especially Spikes) to their maximum potential, entry hazard abuse is used. The most simple way to abuse entry hazards are the moves Roar and Whirlwind, which force the opponent to change Pokemon and deals damage with any entry hazards currently on the field (a little confusing...reword it a bit?). However, moves that usually cause the opponent to switch, such as Perish Song and Yawn, are also a good way to abuse entry hazards. With Perish Song, the opponent will either die in three turns or switch out, causing more damage to their team (how? perhaps reword / explain a bit). The same goes for Yawn, except the target Pokemon goes to sleep instead, effectively eliminating it from the match for a few turns. The last way to abuse entry hazards is to use Pokemon such as Heatran and Scizor that can usually cause the opponent to switch out. This makes them suffer damage each time they switch a vulnerable Pokemon out from Pokemon with a wide array of coverage.

Protecting Entry Hazards

The most prominent threat to entry hazards is the move Rapid Spin, which completely clears the field of all entry hazards placed by your opponent. This means that if you had 6 layers of entry hazards up and your opponent uses Rapid Spin, you have just let 6 turns go to waste. The easiest way to block this move is to use a 'spin blocker'. A spin blocker is a Ghost-type Pokemon that makes the secondary effect of Rapid Spin fail because they are immune to Normal-type moves. Rotom (Appliance) is the most effective spin blocker currently available due to its outstanding typing, good defenses on both sides of the spectrum, and high Special Attack. Spiritomb and Dusknoir can also be used. Spiritomb does not have a weakness to Pursuit, which is commonly used to eliminate Rotom, and Dusknoir has access another recovery move in the form of Pain Split as well as Fighting-type attacks that will allow it to effectively deal with Tyranitar, Heatran, and Weavile, three Pokemon that Rotom routinely has trouble with. Gengar is also an option, but only if an offensive team is being used. While it does have defenses that are far below average, its three immunities and outstanding offensive stats allow it to force switches, causing more entry hazard damage. (great job)

Dealing with Entry Hazards

As stated earlier, Rapid Spin is the only move that will get rid of opposing entry hazards. Not all teams require a rapid spinner to be effective. Many offensive teams don't use one because the time it takes for it to switch in, remove the entry hazards, and then switch out again will cause the player to lose any momentum they have built up. Offensive teams that rely on many Pokemon weak to entry hazards, especially Stealth Rock, will be more likely to use entry hazards. Many common Pokemon such as Salamence, Gyarados, Zapdos, Togekiss, and Weavile all lose 1/4th of their health every time the switch into battle, severely limiting the amount of times they can come into play as well as allowing opposing Pokemon to kill them more easily. Teams using several of these Pokemon may want to consider a rapid spinner to keep Stealth Rock off the field. Bulky offensive and stall teams that severely dislike Toxic Spikes may also want to either carry a rapid spinner or a Poison-type Pokemon to get rid of them. Tentacruel is the single best Toxic Spikes remover in OU due to the fact that it can switch in with its massive 120 Base Special Defense on a resisted hit such as Flamethrower or Ice Beam, immediately remove Toxic Spikes, and even threaten to set up Toxic Spikes of its own. Tentacruel also has access to Rapid Spin, allowing it to remove Spikes and Stealth Rock as well. Roserade can also absorb and set up Toxic Spikes, but does not have the defensive stats to live for as long as Tentacruel will be able to, unless it is a SubSeed variant. Forretress also is an excellent option for a Rapid Spinner. Its incredible typing gives it only a single weakness, and its stellar Defense allows it to wall all sorts of physical attacks. Forretress can also set up all three types of entry hazards, and Explode when the job has been completed. Forretress also has access to Payback, which allows it to hurt spin blockers on the switch in. Donphan also has access to Rapid Spin and amazing Defense. Unfortunately, it can't do much back to Ghost-type Pokemon outside of hitting them with Ice Shard (actually, Donphan can very viably use Assurance, as proven by the "Captail of UU Stall", Eo Ut Mortus) and is very vulnerable to Toxic Spikes without any decent form of recovery. Starmie is very useful as a rapid spinner because it has access to a reliable recovery move, outspeeds all OU spin blockers, and can deal damage to them with STAB Hydro Pump or Surf. Natural Cure allows it to switch into Toxic Spikes, remove them, and then retreat and shed the status. (I would also consider mentioning Claydol, who is immune to both Spikes and Toxic Spikes.)

Since players generally try to deploy entry hazards as quickly as possible, starting out with a fast Taunt user such as Azelf or Aerodactyl can easily stop slower spikers in their tracks. Common lead spikers such as Swampert, Roserade, and Skarmory are slower than both Azelf and Aerodactyl and can be easily neutralized, at least for a small while, by (delete "using") Taunt.
Entry Hazards on Different Teams

Entry hazards are supremely useful on offensive teams, since most teams tend to deal with them by switching out a vulnerable Pokemon to bring in a specific counter or resist. If Stealth Rock is up, then the Pokemon switching in will take 6-25 (50%??)% damage in addition to whatever damage the attacking Pokemon deals. Pokemon such as Zapdos and Gyarados, who would otherwise hinder a Scizor or Lucario sweep, won't be able to switch into as many attacks now that they lose an additional 25% health every time they enter the field. This easily weakens them enough to render either Pokemon unable to stop a Scizor or Lucario sweep. As mentioned earlier, the most useful Pokemon for setting up Stealth Rock on offensive teams fall into two categories: bulky and suicide. Smeargle, Aerodactyl, Infernape, and Azelf are all excellent choices for suicide leads, whose sole purpose is to set up Stealth Rock, hopefully neutralize the opposing spiker, and then die (haha! Also, mention that they can often deal heavy damage to opponents before they die). Bulkier spikers (do you mean SR users?) include Lead/Support Metagross, Support Heatran, Bronzong, and Lead Jirachi, all who will set up Stealth Rock and then continue to support your team via resistances, Wish support, dual screens, or status. Pokemon who should not be used on offensive teams to set up Stealth Rock are Hippowdon, Skarmory, and in most cases, Forretress. These Pokemon will generally not help build momentum for your team and will not keep pressure on the opponent at all times by threatening massive damage or KOs.

Stealth Rock is not the only entry hazard that is viable on offensive teams. Toxic Spikes will benefit any team that needs to quickly and efficiently get rid of bulky Water- and Ground-type Pokemon such as Hippowdon, Swampert, Vaporeon, and Suicune. Pokemon that will benefit by Toxic Spikes support include Empoleon (does not like to tangle with bulky Water-types, especially if running Ice Beam), Salamence (bulky Water-types carry Ice Beam most of the time), Gyarados (bulky Water-types will resist Waterfall), and Infernape (Vaporeon and Suicune take little damage from its attacks) (Also mention Suicune/Rotom - there are teams in the RMT archives whose strategies are based on Suicune + Toxic Spikes or Rotom + Toxic Spikes sweeps). The only two viable offensive Toxic Spikes users are Smeargle and Roserade. Smeargle offers perfectly accurate sleep in the form of Spore as well as priority (what?), but does not have any true offensive power, making it effectively worthless after Toxic Spikes have been activated. Roserade offers less accurate sleep through Sleep Powder, but much higher offensive power via Leaf Storm and Sludge Bomb. Roserade also doubles as a Toxic Spikes remover which can be a huge boon to Pokemon such as Swampert and Tyranitar.

Entry Hazards on Stall Teams

Entry hazards are used very differently on stall teams than they are on offensive ones. Stall teams generally deal most of their damage through status or residual damage. Entry hazards are the most reliable form of indirect damage, as Spikes+Stealth Rock will hit many Pokemon in OU (i.e. all Pokemon except those with Levitate or are Flying-types) for upwards of 25% damage every time the enter the battle. In order to do the most damage, several layers of entry hazards must be placed. It is recommended, but not required, that stall teams carry all three types of entry hazards in order to deal the largest amount of indirect damage possible. Roar and Whirlwind are excellent moves to both mess up opposing momentum and deal indirect damage.

There are many Pokemon who can set up Stealth Rock on a stall team. Swampert, Bronzong, and Blissey are the best choices due to their phenomenal defensive stats and ability to counter many dangerous threats. Celebi is another choice worth considering, but it is not wise to waste Celebi's precious moveslot on Stealth Rock when so many other Pokemon can set it up.

Forretress and Skarmory are the undisputed champs of setting up Spikes on a stall team. Skarmory is invulnerable to Ground-type attacks and carries Roost, while Forretress has access to Explosion, Rapid Spin, and can deal more damage on the whole. Both carry a tremendous base Defense and great typing, allowing them to wall many physical attackers.

Forretress is also one of two viable users of Toxic Spikes on a stall team, the other being Tentacruel. Forretress has superior typing for the most part, along with better Defense, but Tentacruel can absorb Toxic Spikes and counter the ubiquitous Mixed Infernape. Both have access to Rapid Spin. Roserade can also be used, but it is inadvisable to do so due to its less than desirable defenses and typing.
Wow...great stuff!

Entry Hazards in Different Tiers

Entry Hazards in UU

Entry hazards are not limited to OU by any means; UU also makes full use of them, but they are played in a very different way. UU has none of the suicide leads that are so popular in OU, so players rely on bulky Pokemon such as Uxie, Donphan, and Registeel to set up Stealth Rock. Due to the prevalence of Flying- and Bug-type Pokemon in UU, Stealth Rock can be used very effectively. In particular, Scyther, Swellow, Moltres, Lapras, and the incredibly dangerous Yanmega are all severely hindered by the presence of Stealth Rock. Toxic Spikes is very rarely seen due to the tremendous amount of Poison-type Pokemon that are able to absorb it and is generally a waste of time to set up. Spikes is not as common or as beneficial as Stealth Rock in UU, but it is still a viable option to hurt Pokemon like Steelix and Registeel on the switch. While there are several Pokemon capable of setting up Spikes, such as Cacturne, Cloyster, and Omastar, Roserade stands out as the best user of Spikes in UU because of its healing move Synthesis.

The most reliable way to remove entry hazards in UU is via a Rapid Spin Donphan. With proper EV investment, Donphan can 2HKO the very popular spin blockers Rotom and Mismagius as well as 3HKOing Spiritomb by using Assurance. Foresight Hitmontop is another excellent choice. Foresight allows it to hit Ghost-type Pokemon for neutral damage (and Spiritomb for super effective damage) with Fighting-type attacks such as Close Combat (mention that you can also hit them with Rapid Spin). Once the ghost has retreated or been killed, Hitmontop can then Rapid Spin away any entry hazards on its side of the field.

Entry Hazards in Ubers

The Ubers tier also makes great use of entry hazards. Again, different playing styles will affect what entry hazards are necessary for your team. Stealth Rock is practically mandatory for any Ubers team because it hurts two prominent Ubers Pokemon, Rayquaza and Lugia, as well as crippling the rare Ho-oh. It also breaks any Focus Sashes you will find on Pokemon like Deoxys and will outright kill Shedinja. Stealth Rock can be set up by many Pokemon, including Heatran, Groudon, Deoxys-s, Deoxys-d, Metagross, and Dialga. Spikes are less common in Ubers, being used mostly by Stall teams, but their presence is still noteworthy. Deoxys-s, Deoxys-d, Forretress and Skarmory are the only Pokemon viable in Ubers who are capable of setting up Spikes. Finally, Forretress is the only Pokemon who can set up Toxic Spikes.

There are two spin blockers that can be chosen from in Ubers, Giratina-o and Shedinja. Shedinja comes with the added ability of outright walling anything that doesn't hit it with super effective damage, but you must carry a spinner of your own for it to be usable. Giratina-o, on the other hand, is one of the best physical walls in Ubers and isn't significantly affected by any entry hazard due to Rest and Levitate (also, mention Giratina-o's brother, Normal Giratina, who has better defenses than it).

Forretress is the only Pokemon capable of effectively using Rapid Spin in Ubers, but it is a good choice nonetheless due to its amazing Defense and stellar typing. As mentioned earlier, Forretress can hit both spin blockers with Payback, but will not have any hope of doing real damage to Giratina.
This is a great guide. I did not get bored while reading it. A LOT of useful information is collected and written through beautiful and varying sentence structures, making the whole guide appealing to readers.

I have a minor suggestion for you to consider: you could link to some rennowned RMTs, like JabbaTheGriffin's Rotom team and maybe a couple others you may find in there whose names escape me. Maybe this will give players ideas of entry hazards in action.

Overall, excellent work. Keep writing, Dark Talon! :)
 
Whew... everything is updated. Does anyone else have any final comments or corrections?

Edit:

Erodent, a few things that I did not change were:

Entry hazards are the most reliable form of indirect damage, as Spikes+Stealth Rock will hit many Pokemon in OU (i.e. all Pokemon except those with Levitate or are Flying-types)
If a Pokemon is flying type, more often than not they will take 25% damage switching in (except for Gliscor).

6-25 (50%??)%
I ignored the two extremes because very few Pokemon are hurt that much. Most only take 6-25.

Toxic Spikes will not affect Pokemon who Levitate, are Flying type, are Steel type, or are Poison type (again, Clefable).
Toxic Spikes will still poison Clefable, but Clefable will not take damage from poison.

Again, thank you for your proofread. I really appreciate that. :)
 

Jimbo

take me anywhere
is a Top Tutor Alumnusis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
darkie asked me to HTMLize this so if everything is finished I'll start HTMLing it tonight. It'll be done by next weekend.


noting that it doesn't take me a week to htmlize, I'm just saying a week tops.
 
Dealing with Entry Hazards

As stated earlier, Rapid Spin is the only move that will get rid of opposing entry hazards. Not all teams require a rapid spinner to be effective. Many offensive teams don't use one because the time it takes for it to switch in, remove the entry hazards, and then switch out again will cause the player to lose any momentum they have built up. Offensive teams that rely on many Pokemon weak to entry hazards, especially Stealth Rock, will be more likely to use entry hazards (Are you sure about this? Maybe you meant Rapid Spin here...). Many common Pokemon such as Salamence, Gyarados, Zapdos, Togekiss, and Weavile all lose 1/4th of their health every time the switch into battle, severely limiting the amount of times they can come into play as well as allowing opposing Pokemon to kill them more easily. Teams using several of these Pokemon may want to consider a rapid spinner to keep Stealth Rock off the field. Bulky offensive and stall teams that severely dislike Toxic Spikes may also want to either carry a rapid spinner or a Poison-type Pokemon to get rid of them. Tentacruel is the single best Toxic Spikes remover in OU due to the fact that it can switch in with its massive 120 Base Special Defense on a resisted hit such as Flamethrower or Ice Beam, immediately remove Toxic Spikes, and even threaten to set up Toxic Spikes of its own. Tentacruel also has access to Rapid Spin, allowing it to remove Spikes and Stealth Rock as well. Roserade can also absorb and set up Toxic Spikes, but does not have the defensive stats to live for as long as Tentacruel will be able to, unless it is a SubSeed variant. Forretress also is an excellent option for a Rapid Spinner. It's incredible typing gives it only a single weakness, and its stellar Defense allows it to wall all sorts of physical attacks. Forretress can also set up all three types of entry hazards, and Explode when the job has been completed. Forretress also has access to Payback, which allows it to hurt spin blockers on the switch in. Donphan also has access Rapid Spin and amazing Defense. It can use Assurance to damage spin blockers, but is very vulnerable to Toxic Spikes without any decent form of recovery. Starmie is very useful as a rapid spinner because it has access to a reliable recovery move, outspeeds all OU spin blockers, and can deal damage to them with STAB Hydro Pump or Surf. Natural Cure allows it to switch into Toxic Spikes, remove them, and then retreat and shed the status. Claydol can also be a good choice, especially in lower tiers, due to its resistance to Stealth Rock and immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes.

Since players generally try to deploy entry hazards as quickly as possible, starting out with a fast Taunt user such as Azelf or Aerodactyl can easily stop slower spikers in their tracks. Common lead spikers such as Swampert, Roserade, and Skarmory are slower than both Azelf and Aerodactyl and can be easily neutralized, at least for a small while, via Taunt.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top