Gen 3 Pineco (NU Analysis)

Oglemi

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https://www.smogon.com/dex/rs/pokemon/pineco/

[Overview]

You'll have to be pretty desperate to consider Pineco for your team, but it has a niche in the tier as the only Spikes user that can beat Hitmonchan one-on-one over the course of a match (if it lacks Rock Slide). Roselia can kind of do this too if it's played extremely well, but it lacks the ability to switch directly into boosted Earthquakes multiple times. Pineco also has access to Rapid Spin and can beat Roselia and Cacturne pretty easily. However, the good news stops right around there. Pineco is ridiculously specially frail and laughably slow, meaning outside of the small niche it has it's going to be deadweight. Explosion at least will let Pineco take something out with it if it's timed well. In the end, Pineco can make a quirky anti-metagame addition to your team to conceivably win the hazard war with your opponent, but outside of being a surprise gimmick I would not seriously consider it.

[SET]
name: Spikes
move 1: Spikes
move 2: Rapid Spin / Toxic
move 3: Hidden Power Flying
move 4: Explosion
item: Leftovers
ability: Sturdy
nature: Impish
evs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def

[SET COMMENTS]
- With max Defense Pineco is only 4HKOed at worst by CB Hitmonchan lacking Rock Slide and can set Spikes up all over it
- Rapid Spin allows Pineco to also spin away Spikes if desired, but it should not be counted on to spin and Spike for your team, it'll likely be able to do one or the other
- Toxic is a good alternative to spread some chip damage and cripple Sableye looking to block Explosion and Rapid Spin
- HP Flying deals a good amount of damage to Hitmonchan and 2HKOes Roselia
- Explosion strong enough to OHKO Huntail and deal up to 90% to Dewgong

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
- Some Attack EVs can be run to get the 2HKO on Hitmonchan, but largely unimportant
- Earthquake can be run over Rapid Spin to get a decent hit on Mawile and Flareon
- Fits on teams that want their Spiker to be able to beat Hitmonchan, best on balanced defensive teams where Pineco has enough teammates to fall back on
- Needs a specially defensive teammate like Wailord and Flareon with Roar that can take advantage of Spikes
- Works well with Pokemon weak to Hitmonchan like Mawile, Relicanth, and Raticate

[Other Options]
- Choice Band
- Counter
- Light Screen, Reflect
- Sunny Day

[Checks and Counters]
- Anything with a special attack. Huntail OHKOes outside rain, Plusle, Haunter
- Flareon
- Sableye
- Mawile, Relicanth, Lairon
- Wartortle
 

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