Pheromosa possesses excellent traits as an offensive threat in Battle Spot Singles. Its high offensive stats, nearly unparalleled Speed tier, and decent movepool let it pose a threat to almost the entire metagame. Pheromosa can run a variety of sets, such as mixed attacker and special attacker, both of which are threatening in their own right. In addition, Beast Boost amplifies Pheromosa's offensive presence, as with the right nature, it will progressively become harder to defensively handle due to Beast Boost. Pheromosa's access to U-turn allows it to effectively pivot out of unfavorable matchups, which few offensive threats can do. However, its reliance on Bug- and Fighting-type STAB moves to effectively dish out damage means Pheromosa suffers from the prevalence of Ghost-types such as Aegislash, Mega Gengar, and Mimikyu, all of which not only discourage Pheromosa's strongest STAB move, High Jump Kick, but also can effectively wall or defeat it, depending on what move Pheromosa opts for on its already crowded space for coverage options. Pheromosa's horrid bulk should also be noted, as essentially any neutral hit from an offensive foe will likely KO it, and some priority moves like Mamoswine's Ice Shard can pick off Pheromosa with some prior damage. This means Pheromosa is reliant on predictions and being able to KO a foe; if it fails to accomplish either, it will not likely be given a second chance.
name: Offensive Pivot
move 1: High Jump Kick
move 2: U-turn
move 3: Ice Beam
move 4: Drill Run / Poison Jab
item: Life Orb / Focus Sash
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Naughty / Naive
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
High Jump Kick, with a Naughty nature and a boost from Life Orb, inflicts serious damage on any non-resistant foe, being capable of scoring 2HKOs on some of the physically bulkiest foes, such as Celesteela, Hippowdon, and Mega Scizor. U-turn allows Pheromosa to pivot out on forced switches and in unfavorable matchups, letting it do decent damage while securing momentum. Ice Beam OHKOes very common threats such as Landorus-T, Mega Salamence, Naganadel, and Garchomp, all of which can comfortably handle Pheromosa's other attacks. The last moveslot is flexible and can be chosen according to Pheromosa's teammates will benefit from. Drill Run OHKOes Mega Gengar and has a chance to 2HKO defensive Aegislash and Toxapex. Poison Jab hits Fairy-types, notably letting Pheromosa 2HKO Tapu Fini, which it otherwise cannot 2HKO, and quickly dispose of Tapu Lele, Assault Vest Tapu Bulu, and Primarina.
The given EV spread maximizes Pheromosa's general damage output by letting it hit foes as hard as possible with physical moves. The nature can be chosen depending on what Pheromosa has to accomplish; a Naughty nature allows Pheromosa to meet many important offensive benchmarks, such as being able to 2HKO Hippowdon, Celesteela, and Skarmory with High Jump Kick. A Naughty nature also boosts Pheromosa's Attack with Beast Boost every time it KOes a foe. A Naive nature, on the other hand, forgoes damage output in exchange for Pheromosa's ability to outspeed neutral-natured Choice Scarf variants of Landorus-T and Tapu Lele, +1 Mega Gyarados, Mega Lopunny, and Mega Manectric. Life Orb boosts Pheromosa's general damage output beyond serviceable levels by turning many 3HKOs into 2HKOs at the cost of recoil damage, which isn't too detrimental when accounting for Pheromosa's frailty. A Focus Sash prevents Pheromosa from getting OHKOed; if the item is properly preserved, it can let Pheromosa revenge kill dangerous threats like boosted Mega Salamence in a pinch.
Due to the number of foes it can threaten, Pheromosa makes an effective lead that can force switches and grab momentum for its team. If not used as a lead, Pheromosa shouldn't be brought into any attacks but through pivoting from a different teammate, double switching, or switching in after a teammate faints instead. Use prediction to maximize Pheromosa's damage output, especially when using High Jump Kick. Unless Ghost-type foes are absent, it is safer to use U-turn early in order to analyze how an opponent responds to Pheromosa and avoid retaliation from Focus Sash users. Predicting Ghost-types switching in is a promising idea, especially if Pheromosa is sure to force out a foe, as an appropriate prediction against the likes of Aegislash and Mega Gengar will make them easier to take down later. If equipped with a Focus Sash, Pheromosa can be used in a straightforward way to revenge kill a foe by utilizing its item to survive any attack from full health. When using High Jump Kick, be wary of foes that may carry Protect, such as Celesteela and Ferrothorn.
Although Pheromosa requires relatively minimal support from its team to successfully perform its role, some Pokemon are notable for providing invaluable support when paired with it. Tapu Lele is one of the best teammates to Pheromosa for a number of reasons. Not only does Tapu Lele break through Poison-types like Toxapex and Mega Venusaur with ease, it also summons Psychic Terrain, which protects Pheromosa from priority moves like Shadow Sneak from Mimikyu and Ice Shard from Mamoswine. Tape Lele is also capable of weakening physically defensive foes that Pheromosa could struggle to break past, depending on its moveset. Dark-types generally aid Pheromosa thanks to their ability to deal with Ghost-types. Tyranitar provides Stealth Rock support, removes or weakens Ghost-types with Pursuit, checks Mega Salamence and both Mega Charizard formes, and, if running an offensive set, benefits from Pheromosa's ability to threaten traditional physical walls like Landorus-T and Porygon2. The rare Hydreigon can threaten Ghost-types while also providing Pheromosa a safe switch-in with U-turn. If paired with Hydreigon, Pheromosa can run Poison Jab to effectively punish Fairy-types that massively threaten Hydreigon. Steel-types provide Pheromosa with a safe switch-in for Fairy- and Flying-types, depending on their own typing. Celesteela blanket checks all Fairy-types with the exception of Tapu Koko and offensive Tapu Fini, both of which Pheromosa can lure in and punish with Drill Run and Poison Jab. Ferrothorn provides Stealth Rock support to ensure Flying-types that attempt to switch into High Jump Kick or U-turn are punished and proves to be a more reliable check to Fairy-types than Celesteela . Heatran can also set Stealth Rock, lure in Tapu Fini and eliminate it with Bloom Doom, and check Aegislash.
name: Special Attacker
move 1: Focus Blast
move 2: Ice Beam
move 3: Quiver Dance / U-turn
move 4: Bug Buzz / Hidden Power Ghost / Hidden Power Ground / Shock Wave
item: Fightinium Z / Buginium Z / Life Orb
ability: Beast Boost
nature: Modest / Timid
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Focus Blast is this set's main STAB move that does massive damage to foes, particularly the ones that can handle physically oriented variants of Pheromosa. While Focus Blast's accuracy is unreliable, with Fightinium Z it turns into a perfectly accurate attack that OHKOes Celesteela and Tapu Koko after some prior damage, even when unboosted. Ice Beam hits Flying-types that resist Focus Blast like Mega Salamence and Gliscor. It is also capable of 2HKOing most Tapu Bulu variants after Stealth Rock damage with investment in Special Attack. The third move allows Pheromosa to capitalize on the switches it forces in different ways. Quiver Dance boosts Pheromosa's already good damage output to the point where All-Out Pummeling's power reaches lethal levels, and it also lets Pheromosa outspeed all Choice Scarf users, making it significantly more difficult to revenge kill without a priority move. U-turn, on the other hand, is still a justifiable move due to the momentum Pheromosa can provide its team with on forced switches. Bug Buzz is a secondary STAB move that can 2HKO Mega Venusaur and specially defensive Mega Sableye after a boost, which Ice Beam fails to do. Alternatively, Hidden Power Ghost OHKOes both Mega Gengar and Mimikyu without Disguise after Stealth Rock damage and a Quiver Dance boost. Hidden Power Ground, on the other hand, 2HKOes Toxapex at +1. Shock Wave has a chance to OHKO Gyarados, which is otherwise a good check to this set, while still hitting Toxapex as hard as Hidden Power Ground would. Shock Wave also OHKOes Mega Charizard Y after Stealth Rock damage.
The given EV spread is ideal for maximizing Pheromosa's damage output and Speed. A Modest nature allows Pheromosa to hit as hard as possible while gaining a Special Attack boost every time it KOes a foe, while a Timid nature allows unboosted Pheromosa to outspeed some setup sweepers that are at +1 and some Choice Scarf users like Tapu Lele and Landorus-T. Fightinium Z turns Focus Blast into All-Out Pummeling, which is very hard to handle, especially when Pheromosa has accumulated boosts, and is perfectly accurate. Buginium Z lets Pheromosa use Savage Spin-Out to OHKO Tapu Lele, Mega Metagross, and Cresselia, which are offensive or defensive checks to Pheromosa. Life Orb, on the other hand, improves Pheromosa's general damage output and lets +1 Pheromosa OHKO Mega Gengar with Hidden Power Ground or Hidden Power Ghost and have a chance to OHKO Tapu Koko and Mega Charizard Y with Focus Blast and Shock Wave after Stealth Rock, respectively.
Pheromosa aims to gain an opportunity to sweep by netting a surprise KO on a foe that expects a different set and gaining a boost from Beast Boost or by setting up with Quiver Dance on a forced switch. If Pheromosa opts for U-turn over Quiver Dance, it can bluff another set by acting as a pivot early-game. Otherwise, Pheromosa can proceed to set up Quiver Dance on a foe it naturally threatens and overwhelm the switch-in with coverage moves or a boosted All-Out Pummeling. However, as this set may lack a coverage move to hit Ghost-types or other foes like Toxapex, they must be weakened or removed beforehand. Mimikyu in particular is problematic, as it can't be OHKOed by any move with full HP and has Disguise to even take on boosted Pheromosa. Entry hazards aid Pheromosa with bypassing Focus Sash users and wearing down checks like Mega Charizard Y, Gyarados, and Volcarona.
Pheromosa mostly needs teammates that can take on Ghost-, Fairy-, and Poison-types and reliably set entry hazards. This means that durable Steel-types that can switch into Fairy-types, set Stealth Rock, or do both, such as Ferrothorn, Heatran, and Celesteela, are good partners to this set. Tapu Lele protects Pheromosa from priority moves by summoning Psychic Terrain and blasts through Toxapex, which is very problematic for sets lacking Hidden Power Ground. Dark-types can combat Ghost-types that Pheromosa may struggle to defeat when lacking Hidden Power Ghost. Tyranitar is a good teammate that can weaken or remove Ghost-types for Pheromosa in advance with Pursuit. Should Pheromosa need a safe condition that guarantees a turn to set up, dedicated leads like Alolan Ninetales, Tapu Koko, and Hippowdon that can set dual screens or Aurora Veil and use Memento or Yawn are feasible options.
High Jump Kick's chance of missing and crash damage may make Low Kick seem like a reasonable substitute, but its inconsistent Base Power can prove to be quite detrimental against certain foes. Pheromosa generally has a hard time fitting any other moves other than the ones that are already listed. Lunge weakens a switch-in, and unlike U-turn, it aids Pheromosa better in an event when it can sweep without forcing Pheromosa out, but it is generally not worth forgoing Pheromosa's ability to pivot . Taunt might seem useful especially when Pheromosa is used as a lead, but Pheromosa it already forces out the majority of entry hazard setters, and its lack of bulk prevents it from effectively preventing the use of status moves even against the likes of Hippowdon, which 2HKOes Pheromosa with Earthquake and sandstorm damage. Protect prevents Mega Kangaskhan and Mega Lopunny from chunking away at Pheromosa's health with Fake Out and breaking its Focus Sash, but it has little use outside of this. Lastly, Groundium Z in tandem with Drill Run can be used to reliably 2HKO Aegislash and Toxapex as well as easing predictions against the former's King's Shield, but forgoing the consistent boost in power from Life Orb isn't ideal.
Checks and Counters
**Ghost-types**: Ghost-types such as Mimikyu, Aegislash, and Mega Gengar force Pheromosa into predictions by discouraging the use of High Jump Kick. Ghost-types also resist U-turn, meaning there isn't a significant risk involved when they switch into Pheromosa. Aegislash hopelessly shuts down any Pheromosa lacking Drill Run, and offensive variants can take advantage of the move to activate Weakness Policy and OHKO Pheromosa next turn with +2 Shadow Sneak after it has switched into Stealth Rock or has taken recoil damage from Life Orb. Mimikyu would generally avoid switching into Pheromosa in order to preserve Disguise unless desperately needed, but it is guaranteed to win in a one-on-one scenario thanks to its ability.
**Poison-types**: Toxapex and Mega Venusaur can take on Pheromosa thanks to their typing. However, the former is 2HKOed by Drill Run after Stealth Rock damage, and Life Orb-boosted U-turn from Naughty Pheromosa does upwards of 36% damage to the latter.
**Fairy-types**: Fairy-types resist both of Pheromosa's STAB moves. Therefore, Tapu Fini, Primarina, and Assault Vest Tapu Bulu can switch in and either force out or KO Pheromosa. However, it is important to note that Poison Jab can OHKO or 2HKO all of them, and some variants of Tapu Bulu may be 2HKOed by Life Orb-boosted Ice Beam after Stealth Rock, depending on Tapu Bulu's investment. After Intimidate, Mega Mawile narrowly avoids a 2HKO from High Jump Kick from Pheromosa lacking Life Orb and can easily OHKO it in return.
**Priority Moves**: Pheromosa's horrendous bulk leaves it susceptible to priority moves like Fake Out, Bullet Punch, Sucker Punch, and Ice Shard from various foes like Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Mawile, Mamoswine, and Mamoswine, especially if it continues to take damage from Life Orb recoil or switching into entry hazards.
**Choice Scarf Users**: Certain Choice Scarf users, such as Garchomp and Timid Tapu Lele, can outspeed and OHKO Pheromosa before it is able to pivot out with U-turn or KO them first.
- Written by: [[DMDW, 434601]]
- Quality checked by: [[Jhon, 159382], [Theorymon, 29010]]
- Grammar checked by: [[martha, 384270], [The Dutch Plumberjack, 232216]]