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Persian carves out a niche in RBY OU with access to the strongest STAB Slash in the game, allowing it to constantly fire off an effectively 140-Base Power STAB move that ignores Reflect. It's not limited to just Slash either; Persian's special coverage, bolstered by its 22.46% critical hit rate, means that it isn't simply countered by typical Normal-type answers like Rhydon and Cloyster. This lets it pressure cores reliant on Snorlax and Cloyster as their physical checks. Persian's great Speed also allows it to outrun Tauros and tie with Starmie, which makes it an effective revenge killer. When paired with the tier-king Tauros, Persian can form a powerful sweeping core that can be very difficult to stop late-game.
However, Persian should never be considered a replacement for the rampaging bull, and this is partly why it's never seen true OU prominence. Persian is very reliant on its Speed and, ergo, very weak to paralysis—moreso than Tauros—exposing its meager bulk and making revenge killing very difficult. Due to this weakness, Persian is often forced out by Thunder Wave users like Alakazam. As a result, Persian regularly mandates multiple Pokemon to fall back on while offering little to no defensive utility in return. Additionally, Persian is reliant on Slash to a fault, dealing middling damage using anything else. Because of these factors, Persian is by no means a standard in RBY OU, but it is nonetheless a viable pick for more offensive teams.
move 1: Slash
move 2: Hyper Beam
move 3: Bubble Beam
move 4: Thunderbolt
Slash is the main reason Persian is viable, effectively ignoring Reflect thanks to its near-guaranteed critical hit rate. Hyper Beam allows Persian to KO Pokemon like Starmie, Victreebel, and Chansey after using Slash. It's perfectly valid to use Hyper Beam as a last stand in a tight spot as well, which, with the critical hit rate considered, can even flip the situation on its head. Thunderbolt gives Persian a fighting chance against Slowbro and Cloyster, 3HKOing them. Bubble Beam allows Persian to 2HKO Rhydon, and the Speed drop chance can occasionally prove useful against faster switch-ins like Alakazam and Jolteon, which are then put into an awkward position.
Persian is very straightforward and should ideally be used as a mid-game revenge killer, often as a more expendable Tauros. However, Persian should never be revealed until Gengar is accounted for, so as to not give it an opportunity to switch in and fire off an uncontested Hypnosis. Remember that Persian is faster than Tauros, which gives it the potential to duel the king of RBY OU. In a similar vein, Persian is also an excellent late-game cleaner when the opposing team has been paralyzed and most Pokemon will ideally be in Slash range.
Persian's fourth moveslot is fairly expendable, but its movepool is far from impressive. Body Slam allows Persian to scout while spreading paralysis for its teammates, though the damage isn't impressive. However, it's more consistent than Hyper Beam while dealing significantly more damage than Slash if it lands a critical hit, making Persian more effective at getting past Reflect Snorlax. Alternatively, Screech can be used alongside Hyper Beam to OHKO Pokemon like Starmie, creating mind games to encourage switches. It also gives Persian a very helpful way of checking for Counter from Chansey and Snorlax, potentially getting it off for free. Thunder 2HKOes Cloyster and deals more damage to Starmie, but its consistency leaves much to be desired.
Checks and Counters
**Gengar**: Persian can't fight Gengar at all, possessing only its special coverage to have even a hope in doing so. Even Thunder only has a vague chance to 5HKO it, so Persian is often forced out while giving Gengar free rein to use an uncontested Hypnosis or force damage onto your team. Ideally, Gengar should be accounted for and dispatched before even revealing Persian.
**Paralysis**: Persian can't handle paralysis, which makes its bulk much more apparent and easier to exploit. Worse still, being paralyzed completely diminishes Persian's potential to revenge kill, making it little more than food for opposing Snorlax and Tauros. Many Pokemon, like Exeggutor and Lapras, possess strong attacks that can even 2HKO it with little consequence when it's paralyzed.
**Starmie**: Starmie is capable of stomaching Slash + Hyper Beam while Speed tying Persian, which, on top of its access to Thunder Wave, makes it very capable of downing the cat. Persian is capable of winning against a paralyzed Starmie, but it will often rely on full paralysis to win from full HP.
**Snorlax**: Snorlax is capable of 2HKOing Persian with Body Slam if it's taken any prior damage, and Snorlax possesses the bulk necessary to stomach three hits of Slash. However, if Snorlax isn't healthy or is using Rest, Persian can use Snorlax as an opportunity to switch in and threaten to deal serious damage. If Reflect Snorlax attempts to stall Persian with continued uses of Rest, Persian does have a 6.5% chance to 3HKO with Slash, which can be realized in continued interactions.
**Exeggutor**: With its fantastic bulk, Exeggutor can win against Persian one-on-one, threatening with Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, or a 2HKO from Psychic. However, it will take massive damage in the process, often being forced to use Explosion much sooner than usual.
**Rhydon**: While 2HKOed by Bubble Beam, Rhydon is capable of threatening Persian, as it can 2HKO Persian with Earthquake while resisting Slash. Due to it effectively forcing Persian to use Bubble Beam, it can pivot to a specially bulky Pokemon like Alakazam to switch in with relative impunity unless a Speed drop occurs. Ergo, defeating Rhydon with Bubble Beam can actually be quite difficult, so Bubble Beam should be seen as a way to encourage it to switch out and force Slash damage onto the opposing team.
- Written by: [[Plague von Karma, 236353]]
- Quality checked by: [[Amaranth, 265630], [Nails, 51373]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Finland, 517429], [A Cake Wearing A Hat, 388157]]