All Gens Pokemon Through the Ages: Flygon

Cheers, everyone ^.^

RoA is a tad disjointed with 4 different generations to discuss, so I thought it would be fun if we could each talk about how a Pokemon functioned throughout the generations. Every week, I'll pick a new Pokemon for discussion to be centered around.

A few topic points can include:

What notable sets did the Pokemon run in every generation?
Did it gain or lose any viable niches with each transition?
Were new game mechanics (Special split, Physical/Special split, introduction of items and abilities) kind or harsh to it?
If the Pokemon was less viable in OU, how did it fare in UU or NU?

There's quite a bit that we can discuss about each individual Pokemon in each generation, but hopefully this will help bring players of every past gen closer (and help teach a bit of history in the process) ^.^

Week #1 - Gengar
Week #2 - Machamp
Week #3 - Alakazam
Week #4 - Gyarados
Week #5 - Jolteon
Week #6 - Lapras
Week #7 - Starmie
Week #8 - Marowak
Week #9 - Exeggutor
Week #10 - Zapdos
Week #11 - Dragonite
Week #12 - Tauros
Week #13 - Aerodactyl
Week #14 - Cloyster
Week #15 - Dugtrio
Week #16 - Vaporeon
Week #17 - Rhydon
Week #18 - Chansey
Week #19 - Jynx
Week #20 - Slowbro
Week #21 - Nidoking
Week #22 - Persian
Week #23 - Tentacruel
Week #24 - Golem
Week #25 - Magneton
Week #26 - Snorlax
Week #27 - Moltres
Week #28 - Kabutops
Week #29 - Venusaur
Week #30 - Skarmory
Week #31 - Heracross
Week #32 - Mew
Week #33 - Steelix
Week #34 - Smeargle
Week #35 - Blissey
Week #36 - Raikou
Week #37 - Entei
Week #38 - Porygon2
Week #39 - Suicune
Week #40 - Miltank
Week #41 - Blastoise
Week #42 - Celebi
Week #43 - Espeon
Week #44 - Scizor
Week #45 - Wobbuffet
Week #46 - Mewtwo
Week #47 - Forretress
Week #48 - Victreebel
Week #49 - Politoed
Week #50 - Tyranitar
Week #51 - Ninetales
Week #52 - Crobat
Week #53 - Charizard
Week #54 - Espeon
Week #55 - Houndoom
Week #56 - Ho-Oh
Week #57 - Kingdra
Week #58 - Donphan
Week #59 - Articuno
Week #60 - Slowking
Week #61 - Lugia
Week #62 - Hitmontop
Week #63 - Scyther
Week #64 - Jirachi
Week #65 - Flygon
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For our first week, the Pokemon of choice will be Gengar. Seeing as it maintained a consistent OU status throughout the gens, I think we'll all have good things to say about this mon. So how exactly did this menace manage to keep up with and succeed in every metagame?
RBY: Gengar was notable in RBY for being the fastest sleep lead, thus allowing the Gengar user to gain an advantage from turn 1. It could also Explode, which made it a significant threat. It's also a decent defense against Wrappers. Its weaknesses to the common Psychic and Earthquake hurt it though.

GSC: Gengar didn't get much else in GSC apart from a couple of movepool upgrades. The introduction of Sleep Talk hurt it, due to Hypnosis now being less important with sleep absorbers everywhere. Also, the Special split didn't do it many favours. However, it still managed to thrive and do well on most teams with an offensive set, usually with either Dynamicpunch or Explosion. I don't play much RBY or GSC so

ADV: Gengar gained a very nice Ground immunity in ADV, along with a couple of movepool upgrades. As I play ADV mainly, I'm going to talk about how Gengar developed with the ADV metagame. One of the first Gengar sets was McGar - a mixed SubPunching set designed to break the very common SkarmBliss core of stall teams. The set was at first Substitute, Focus Punch, Thunderbolt, and Shadow Ball - Shadow Ball was for the much more common at the time Dusclops. Gradually the set evolved into McIceGar with Ice Punch over Shadow Ball. There have been many Gengar variants in ADV, such as Mixed Non-FP Gengar with Sludge Bomb, 4 attacks, and a Perish Trapper set designed to lure Blissey. The current most common Gengar set is:
Ice Punch
Giga Drain / Will-O
Hypnosis / Destiny Bond / Will-O

DPP: The future looked rosy for Gengar. Special Shadow Ball, a new coverage move in Focus Miss, and the addition of Life Orb, Choice Specs, and Choice Scarf. However, physical Pursuit made poor Gengar's job more difficult against that Tyranitar that also gained a SpDef boost in sand. I play no DPP (I'd like to learn it though), so idk what to put here.


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RBY - There are a few things you could mention, like Gengar's huge Special, a very fast Explosion (implying high speed and therefore high crit rate), some cool immunities/resistances that allowed it to completely shut down specific Pokemon (Persian, Victreebel, Venusaur), but possibly Gengar's main attraction is access to Hypnosis, making it the fastest sleeper in the game. I wouldn't necessarily call Gengar's run in RBY successful (in comparison to things like Alakazam or Starmie), but all things considered, it is certainly a top tier Pokemon.

GSC - Gengar's Special split toned down its defensive capabilities a bit, but it's offensive capabilities started picking up a bit with access to Ice/Fire Punches to hit Exeggutor and Steelix. Gengar also gained an extra utility as a spin blocker with the advent of Spikes and Rapid Spin. Again, it had to find its niche on certain teams in its ability to target and counter specific Pokemon (Fighting or Normal types without Earthquake, Tentacruel somewhat, Rapid Spinners, of course), but it still remains one of the fastest sleepers in the game (tied with Jumpluff and now behind the irrelevant Persian) and one of the faster Exploders as well for crippling/cleaning up the opposition.

ADV - Here's where Gengar REALLY got scary. On top of its already great resistances, it now has Levitate to avoid Earthquake and Spikes. It still has access to all of its previous offensive capabilities, but now it picks up some tricky stuff like Taunt and Will-o-Wisp and Focus Punch for more *reliable* damage on things like Blissey and Tyranitar. Swampert's popularity also makes Giga Drain a viable option. All of this combined gives Gengar a huge movepool and several viable movesets to make for a dangerously unpredictable, offensive Pokemon that can still perform a few basic defensive functions. On top of that, EVs were introduced, so depending on how the stats are distributed on Gengar and its opposition, it can hit a Pokemon harder than it would in the previous generations, where all stats could be maxed.

DPP - I'm not adept at this gen, but keeping the options Gengar built up over the generations and allowing it to get STAB off moves that run from its amazing SAtk stat combined with what looks to be a more offensive metagame seems to have given Gengar potential as a true potential sweeper instead of just a high profile threat to always be considered (not that that wasn't a big deal).

edit: @Triangles, I don't think Sleep Talk hurts anyone's prowess as a Sleeper in GSC, except maybe Jumpluff, especially since Gengar has a layer of unpredictability to hide its initial sleeping intents. Sleep Talk can be annoying, due to the way it works in that gen, but people often overrate its capabilities.


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I think that Gengar is exceptional in that it not only maintained OU status throughout the gens, but it actually just got better and better, at least until DPP.

RBY - Gengar is arguably at its worst in RBY. It's forced out at the drop of a hat against Psychic-types and can't really do much in return to them. Can't defend against dangerous Physical attackers because they run Earthquake. It's good for scaring Water-type Blizzarders because of Thunderbolt, and can also use Thunderbolt to scare out Slowbro, but generally, all it's good for on defense is scaring out those waters and walling some fringe threats (Persian, Victreebel, Kingler). Its main claims to fame are fastest Sleep move to make it a great, if risky, lead; Explosion (albeit a weak one) for killing weakened Pokemon; and Ghost typing for catching Explosions and forcing Normals to use Earthquake as Exeggutor or Lapras is switched in.

GSC - Gengar is a definite wild card here, and much improved from its RBY incarnation. The pace of games is slower, and move normal resists exist, so having a Ghost-type to catch predicted Explosions is not as important in GSC, despite the Explosion buff in this generation. Furthermore, Gengar is still as frail as ever. However, the metagame is dominated by Snorlax, and unlike in RBY, he often fails to run Earthquake, rendering it walled by Gengar fairly often. Furthermore, Psychics are no longer as common, faster Pokemon than Gengar are made extremely rare by GSC's emphasis on bulk, and the aforementioned Explosion buff makes Gengar a much more deadly assassin than it was in RBY. Couple this with other movepool toys in the elemental punches (particularly Ice Punch to give it real attacking prowess against Exeggutor and Ground-types), DynamicPunch, Destiny Bond, a now-useful Counter, and even Mean Look + Perish Song, and you get a Pokemon that's one of the deadliest and most unpredictable threats in the whole metagame.

ADV - In ADV, Gengar is still an unpredictable, frail wild card, but in a metagame with more emphasis on Speed than GSC. Plus, it got Levitate to give it even more immunities to play with (including Spikes), making its lack of bulk that much more irrelevant. Plus, everything is far less defensive due to the introduction of the EV system (defensive investments are much more complicated than offensive ones), making an unSTABbed Boltbeam off 135 base Special Attack a threat in its own right, whereas in GSC it was more a way to force specific Explosion targets to switch in. Of course, Gengar got more toys still in Focus Punch, Will-o-wisp, and thanks to Swampert a newly-useful Giga Drain, giving it the ability to act as a mixed offensive attacker or to ruin prominent Physical Pokemon such as Tyranitar.

DPP - The Special split among moves happens here, giving Gengar a legitimate STAB in Shadow Ball. However, the split does more harm than good for Gengar; it makes Pursuit Physical, making it a far more common move in general. Plus, the introduction of the insanely popular Technician Scizor and ScarfTar, with their ability to force Gengar into Catch-22's, really puts a damper on Gengar's ability to function. It's still got surprise potential, but the loss of elemental punches in return for Focus Blast wasn't really a good trade despite the improvement in neutral coverage alongside its new STAB, since it gave Gengar far less super-effective coverage with which to force plays. The introduction of Choice Scarf and the drastic increase in priority moves, most notably Bullet Punch, also limit Gengar's Speed advantage that was once so central to Gengar's greatness. Of course, Gengar is by all means still a good Pokemon; it's a nasty Special Attacker with legitimate sweeping potential thanks to its new STAB, and can always still go mixed with Focus Punch or even Explosion. It's just not as good as it was in ADV or even in GSC (though it's probably still better than its RBY incarnation). It'd probably be great (rather than simply good) if it got Nasty Plot; it's weird how Gengar, who's always been known for having all sorts of movepool toys, got shafted out of that move, especially given how the move would be so fitting for it.
RBY: Gengar's uses are limited but incredibly significant. He is an excellent pivot switch into normal type moves, allowing bulky pokemon like Lapras and Exeggutor to switch into things like Tauros and Snorlax without taking excessive damage and risking paralysis from Body Slam. The normal immunity is especially useful for absorbing Hyper Beams and Explosions, as well as slowing down wrappers. It's also the fastest (but least accurate) lead sleeper in the game, and can use Explosion, allowing it to potentially take 2 of the opponent's Pokemon out of the game with relative ease. Thanks to the Special stat convergence in RBY, Gengar's Special Defense is just as monstrous as its Special Attack is, letting it at least switch in to a few special attacks not named Psychic. Its powerful Thunderbolt makes it most useful perhaps against water types like Starmie and Lapras. Its offensive coverage is otherwise rather pathetic though and it unfortunately gets smacked by the ground and psychic attacks that are everywhere.

GSC: I've never really been impressed by Gengar in GSC. It blocks Rapid Spin, but not for long, considering how common Psychic Starmie is. It walls any Snorlax that doesn't have Earthquake, but doesn't do much of anything back. It also walls cursetalking Machamps. Putting a Pokemon to sleep is not nearly as important as in RBY, as every team has something to absorb it with Sleep Talk in a pinch, and many teams also have Heal Bell. Additionally, the dynamics of sleep are simply different, with Pokemon being able to attack the turn they wake up, for example. While Hypnosis loses some of its impact, Explosion is more important. Gengar is often used as a lure, exploding on and killing whatever Pokemon your sweepers are having trouble getting past. Psychic types are much less common, but Earthquake is still everywhere and Gengar now has Tyranitar and Raikou to deal with. The Special stat split makes Gengar somewhat less bulky, but it keeps its massive Special Attack stat and gets a few new attacks like Ice Punch and Fire Punch to round out its offensive coverage. Moves like Mean Look, Perish Song, and Destiny Bond are also kind of cool and lend to the unpredictability that makes Gengar a huge threat later in ADV.

ADV: This is where Gengar peaked. It has all of the offensive and defensive options it gets in GSC, but gets a few more, such as Taunt, Will-o-Wisp, and Focus Punch. The implementation of EVs made Gengar less bulky, but it had the same effect on everything else, allowing for a fast paced metagame where a glass cannon like Gengar is much more threatening. Levitate also lends it a 3nd important immunity, to Earthquake, making Gengar an excellent wall for any Snorlax that lacks Shadow Ball. Absence of Psychic Starmie and an immunity to Spikes makes Gengar a better spin blocker, while Spikes gets buffed, making blocking spin more important. McGar was a godsend for breaking standard Skarmbliss/Cune stall teams, until Swampert and Ice Beam Blissey became more popular, knocking Substitute off of Gengar for good and paving the way for Giga Drain to finally become a significant coverage move. During the TSS era, Gengars got bulkier and bulkier, first being EVed to take +1 HP Flying from the likes of DDmence and DDgyara, and eventually getting to the point where some were dropping Gengar's speed all the way to 270 and pumping its defense and HP in order to handle Adamant Heracross, and giving it Will-o-Wisp to help cripple physical attackers. Fire Punch became viable later as Jirachi and Forretress grew in popularity. From stallbreaker to spinblocker to special cleaner to physical wall, Gengar can do it all in ADV. It can also still function well as a lure with Explosion or even Destiny Bond. Defending against Gengar is a guessing game in ADV, and that makes it all the more imposing.

DPP: As a defensive spinblocker, Gengar is far outclassed by Rotom in all of its forms, so Gengar is generally relegated to strictly offensive teams. The overall increase in offensive power in DPP makes Gengar's potential defensive uses rather insignificant compared to ADV. Curselax and Heracross are nonfactors for the most part, and Rotom handles Curselax better anyway. Gengar's immunities still make it an incredibly useful defensive pivot, switching into things like Infernape's Close Combat and scaring it off with its speed and power. The benefits of the special/physical attack split are arguable for Gengar. While it still maintains perfect coverage with Focus Blast and powerful STABed Shadow Ball, it gives up the ability to hit Super Effective on a number of things without using Hidden Power, and it suffers a bit from moveslot syndrome, as it is essentially forced to use Focus Blast to combat the ubiquitous Tyranitar, who now has physical Crunch and Pursuit to combat Gengar with, and not using Shadow Ball would be silly. Gengar thus becomes much more predictable in DPP, and therefore is a bit easier to prepare for. Choice Scarf and an onslaught of priority moves makes revenge killing Gengar fairly easy as well. On the other hand, Gengar gets a few cool new tools, like Life Orb and access to Pain Split, which allow it to beat the likes of Blissey without having to split your attack EVs or explode. Overall, while Gengar is still a major offensive threat in DPP, it's not quite the dominant, metagame defining chameleon of a pokemon, capable of filling all types of roles for a team, that it is in ADV.
In think that Gengar in RBY is easily the OU whose usefulness most depends on having a good matchup. Most teams that carry Alakazam don't carry Starmie and vice versa. While when facing triple/cuadruple walls (zam, egg, golem/rhydon, chansey) + earthquakers gengar doesn't generally do much apart from sleeping and exploding into generally whatever your opponent wants to, when facing teams whose only answer to gengar apart from chansey is egg/golem/rhydon, gengar will get a good chance to actually trade with chansey/snorlax apart from getting the early sleep and/or utilizing its normal resist (also depending on if your are using SToss or Drain and if you are facing golem/rhydon or egg).
And then you have the random things Gengar walls such as non-eq snorlax, dragonite, persian, victreebell etc which are not common but in case they show up then gengar will definitely be useful. Oh and gar makes a great answer to Slowbro.

In gsc gengar is pretty much always only used to blow up on raikou but its definitely the best at it and for a lack of better pokemon with the same purpose (and due to the fact that there are 5-7 viable/common exploders), it is present on around half of the standard offensive teams featuring sweepers/more exploders that like raikou removed such as zapdos/vap/jolteon/dnite/egg/cloy. And the second most common switch-in into gengar is snorlax who dies to spikes+dp+explosion iirc, or could take Hypnosis since most snorlaxes don't st (other than ttar/umberon the third is probably zapdos who also dies to explosion or even could get 3hko'd by ice punch, or maybe steelix who could get firepunched/put to sleep and ice punch+spikes still does ok damage). The popularity of pursuittar right now is definitely bad news for gengar though, i'd say more than half gengars use dpunch for this reason.

M Dragon

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2 have always been the keys for Gengar success: it's huge movepool (it can be unpredictable) and it's great resistances and inmunities.


Ideally disables 2 mons sleeping (fastest sleeper) and exploding.
Night Shade, T-bolt, CRay, Giga Drain and Psychic are good options for the other 2 moves
Night shade so it can do something vs egg, giga drain may be useful if you need hitting hard rhydon/golem, t-bolt is gengar's best special attack, psychic is good if you want to hit other gengars and can cause special falls, and cray just to annoy.
Night Shade + T-bolt are usually the best 2 attacks.
It's good Special let it hit hard and take special attacks pretty well, it has a great normal inmunity, but its sadly weak to Psychic and Ground (2 of the most common types).


Gengar wins a lot in GSC. It wins much better coverage with the punches, and it becomes even more unpredictable, being able to perish trap, sleep (not as good as RBY sleep, but still great), explode on special walls (luring lax or raikou is huge in GSC), it can use DPunch to kill those annoying PursuitTars, or even DestinyBond to kill something that was expecting to get an easy KO. It's other big advantage is being able to block Rapid Spin.


If GSC Gengar was already unpredictable, ADV gengar is even more unpredictable. It can now also burn physical sweepers, it also wins Focus Punch and Taunt, so Bliss and Lax arent safe now (especially non SB lax versions, and non IB Bliss versions). It can be a good tank that blocks spin quite well, burns sweepers, or sleeps them, and it can also be a dangerous sweeper (with many options, like t-bolt, the punches, Giga Drain...), it can also explode, it can perish trap, it can DestinyBond.
Gengar has really great inmunities (it wins a Ground inmunity in ADV thanks to Levitate, which is huge especially when there are spikes) and great resistances (for example vs Heracross Megahorn). It can also take a +1 DDmence/DDgyara HP flying and kill it.


With the special split, Gengar sadly loses the punches, but in exchange it wins STAB with Shadow Ball, and a strong special fighting move: Focus Blast (T-tar isnt safe to pursuit it anymore), so it can hit everything at least for neutral damage with only 2 moves now. It still has a huge movepool in spite of losing the punches, it can hit harder now. Gengar also wins a new toy: Trick, making a wall useless with a choice item, or with something like Black Sludge. Life Orb is a great help too, letting Gengar hit even harder, and it can also recover HP with Pain Split, which is a good help vs Blissey, and it helps recovering from LO recoil. With Choice Scarf, Gengar can also be a great revenge killer.
It can still explode, or perish trap, or burn (quite useful vs Scizors that want to pursuit you), or sleep...
Gengar only really needs 2 moves to hit everything hard now, but it has many new and interesting options that still make it one of the most unpredictable mon of the game.

If the Pokemon was less viable in OU, how did it fare in UU or NU?
It would completely rape UU/NU (especially with chansey not being able to touch it)
Great stuff on Gengar, guys ^.^

This should be an interesting one. Machamp fluctuated a bit between gens, going from UU to OU to BL back to OU. So, why did he move around so much, and what sets did he utilize best throughout the generations?


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Machamp started off in a game where Psychic types dominated the scene. That gave it very few opportunities to switch in and do big damage. Additionally, its strongest STAB move (its second and only other option being Low Kick) hurts it with recoil damage. For its big physical strength, it doesn't have the stats (especially its Speed), typing, or tools it needs to impose itself as a big offensive threat.

Several things came into play here that made things more favorable for Machamp. The most obvious being access to better STAB moves in Cross Chop and Vital Throw. The advent of Steel and Dark types also helped it along, not only hindering the spread of Psychic types but providing more Pokemon for Machamp to hit super effective. If that wasn't enough, it also gained Curse to boost its offense. This was a boon against most opposing Cursers, what with the most common ones being weak to Fighting. In such a defensively oriented metagame, it started imposing a potentially scary offense that often required a solid check, a number of which could be trapped and killed by Pursuit users backing it up.

Once again, the advent of EVs hinders another Pokemon's defensive ability in the game's progression towards being more offensively oriented. Machamp is no slouch at hitting things hard, of course, but its speed prevents it from being truly frightening, often being outrun and outgunned by Pokemon that can field its attacks. Residual damage from Spikes and Sand Stream also stack up to make life harder for Machamp.


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lolMachamp. It really wasn't very good in RBY. Sure, STAB Submission might make for a decent gimmick to smash through Snorlaxen and Chanseys, but really, STAB Normal moves are more than enough, and Machamp is slow, fragile, and just dies too quickly taking recoil damage (or flatout missing) when trying to nail such high-HP Normals with Submission. Even when making the lower tiers, it fell through UU and, when thought it would dominate the RBY NU tier with its massive Attack, it turns out that it's merely a very good, but certainly not world-beating, player in the NU metagame. Yeah, there's no getting around it; Machamp is pretty objectively bad in RBY, and is clearly at its worst in its inaugural generation.


Hey, Machamp is good now. It's still slow and easily beat down upon, so it's more of a low-tier OU in a GSC metagame that generally prizes longevity above all else. Still, it's got a massively powerful, likely-to-crit STAB Cross Chop under its belt, and Hidden Power for dealing with those pesky Psychics. Having the advent of Steels and Darks helps, as they become pretty popular and Machamp can break through them all, but I'd say the biggest factor in Machamp's rise in GSC is the concurrent meteoric rise of Snorlax. Snorlax went from Physical threat in RBY to outright unkillable monster in GSC, and Machamp fills a niche as an offensive monster that cleanly 2HKOs an unboosted Snorlax, assuming its Cross Chops don't miss.


I don't know too much about RSE Machamp, I've only ever toyed around with the OUs. Still, Machamp has all its toys from GSC, but now fails to preserve its bulk thanks to the new EV system. This, in addition to perpetual Sandstorm and new-and-improved Spikes, causes Machamp's glaring weakness through the generations (slow and easy to beat down upon) to shine through even uglier in ADV as it's just taking so much more damage left-and-right than it ever was before. Furthermore, it's pretty largely outclassed as a heavy hitter thanks to the existence of things like Heracross, Medicham, and Aero, and the choice it has to make between struggling with Celebi or struggling with Gar/Clops makes it far less attractive from a pure damage output standpoint. It's apparently too good for ADV UU, though, with the reason probably being that far fewer competent Spikers and the lack of Sand Stream actually allows Machamp to survive long enough to get a couple of really good shots in.


Machamp gets a new toy in DPP: No Guard. Now, its lifelong struggles with Accuracy are entirely kaput, as it can freely use even DynamicPunch to hilarious hard-hitting and confusion-inducing effect. DynamicPunch is what makes Machamp really shine, and in combination with new tools such as newly-Physical Ice Punch, Payback, perfectly-accurate Stone Edge, and a new Priority move in Bullet Punch for finishing off sashed crap, Machamp is one of the most feared attacking leads that the lead-centered DPP metagame has to offer. Machamp is most definitely better in DPP than it is in any other generation.
in ADV, restalk makes machamp a good counter for mixtar ^ _ ^ and not a bad switchin to snorlax. machamp's just too slow and not quite bulky enough, and lacks the movepool to deal with or break through defenses though, especially with things like celebi and salamence around that were banned/unborn in gsc.

in DPPt no guard and dynamic punch as well as a superior movepool that includes the elemental punches, bullet punch, payback etc turns machamp into an incredibly irritating anti-lead and a stall-breaker extraordinaire.


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I'm not familiar with gens prior to DPP, but I'd like to add my 2c here.

Machamp was simply a monster in DPP, and I don't hesitate to say that it was one of the best Pokemon in the game. The thing that has infuriated me about enemy Machamp for so long is its surprising bulk. 90 / 80 / 85 is pretty good for a purely offensive Pokemon like Machamp; its lack for a need of Speed let it invest in HP so it couldn't be OHKOed by almost any unboosted Pokemon, and could just smack it with Dynamicpunch. Then you think "oh, I'll just switch in a Ghost-type"... but who? Gengar? Gengar is easy to predict, therefore it can't switch into Machamp's 100 BP Payback, and Bullet Punch / Sand makes Focus Sash a worthless option. Even if Gengar is lucky enough to switch into DynamicPunch, it can't even 2HKO Machamp without a Life Orb while it dies to the next attack: Payback. What about Rotom-A? Choice Specs Overheat / Leaf Storm aren't even a guaranteed 2HKO (Hydro Pump / Blizzard are) while Rotom-A takes 93.8% - 111.2% from Payback. Defensive Rotom-A can't even muster a 3HKO, while Payback is a 2HKO!

edit: Rotom's Thunderbolt should have been mentioned above because it's 2.5 more powerful than Overheat / Leaf Storm. Sorry.
I'm just going to say a bit about ADV Machamp, as I have very little knowledge of the other gens. Machamp, as previous people have mentioned, lowerved in effectiveness due to the introduction of EVs (it could now no longer be both an potent offensive threat and have the bulk necessary to repeatedly siwtch into the likes of Snorlax), Spikes that could now be stacked and the passive damage of the Leftovers-negating sandstorm. However, with a defensive spread and RestTalk, it works well as a counter to most forms of Tyranitar, especially the new breed of fully special Luretar or those Luretar that use Rock Slide as their sole physical attack. Machamp makes for a particularly sexy RestTalker due to that Guts boost it gets when asleep. Machamp can also run a fairly effective Bulk Up set, but many very common pokes in ADV OU stops it cold and it can't sweep due to its slowness and lack of a high Special Defense stat. However, it makes a good lure for the likes of Salamence with the combination of Bulk Up and Counter (but Hariyama does this better). Machamp can also slap on a Choice Band to be truly destructive with good prediction skills, but Choice Band Machamp is whittled down very quickly by passive damage and doesn't stay around for long. The main reason that Machamp struggles to pull its weight in ADV OU is because it's very slow and not massively bulky, and as such it quickly dies to repeated attacks before it has the chance to pose an offensive threat. But who knows, there might be an opening for Machamp in the current ADV metagame (as shrapn3l mentioned) as a check to the increasingly common Luretar...


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Mightn't Hariyama be better at all of Machamp's possible defensive roles? Unlike Machamp, it hardly needs to invest in HP, so it can get more out of its EVs by concentrating them in the Defense of choice. Plus, between equally-invested Machamp and Hariyama, the latter is bulkier on both sides of the spectrum.


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Yea, as Umby mentioned in the unofficial ADV meta discussion, Hariyama does the defensive sets much better. Hariyama is only hitting 6% less harder than Machamp, so the power drop is nominal.

If Machamp wants to do a really defensive spread, then Hariyama totally outclasses it - Hariyama would actually have enough EVs to invest in Atk, and may even afford to run a +Atk nature. In this case, Hariyama ends up having a slightly higher attack than Machamp, who must forego the +Attack Nature and invest more in defensive EVs.

DPP was a great gen for Fighting-types, with the addition of STAB Close Combat, Stone Edge, PAYBACK! The Physical - Special split also provided them with the nifty elemental Punches. What really set Machamp from the rest of the fighting pack is No Guard Dynamic Punch.

Fighting-types were useful in GSC, because of the new inclusion of Dark- and Steel-types, which were weak to Fighting and also discouraged Psychic-type usage. Fighting-types also had a much easier time bypassing most physical walls, particularly Skarmory and Miltank. Machamp was really the only choice for Fighting-types (other than Heracross, which was really more of a Bug-type than a Fighting-type), because it was the only one with useful bulk and a strong Fighting STAB move in Cross Chop.
In DPP, Machamp was just one of those rage-inducing Pokemon that I always loved to use. The lead set in particular was devastating, as it could net a big advantage so early on. Even Pokemon that would normally check or counter Machamp don't like switching into a STAB DynamicPunch for huge damage and auto-confusion. The only truly safe DynamicPunch switch-ins were Ghost-types and Slowbro (which didn't see much usage as there were plenty of better bulky Water-types in the tier), and those did not appreciate DPP's Payback mechanics. Priority in Bullet Punch was also a huge boon, as it let Machamp pick off fast and frail Focus Sash leads.

Mid-game, I found the Sub + 3 attack set to be the best option, as it kept Machamp safe from burns and attacks from faster switch-ins. Machamp's Speed and sub-par special bulk made the Bulk Up set unreliable for me. I played around with a few Choice Band sets, but there are better options for CB and it doesn't bring out Machamp's real potential. If Machamp wasn't my lead, it was running Substitute.


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I've never played anything before DPP but I guess I'll try to put in whatever knowledge I have of those gens! >.>

Back in the good old days known as RBY, Psychic (or so I heard) was the best type! It had only one weakness to Ghost (right?? >.>) and the only Ghost-type is demolished by Psychic as well. With Psychic-types being so potent in the metagame, none of the Fighting-types fared well in RBY at all. The only usable STAB move is Submission which causes recoil and Machamp is easily dented / KOed by the common Psychics and Drill Peck from Zapdos. Machamp and pretty much every single Fighting-type back then didn't really do well in RBY :/ The only reason to use it was probably to nab Normal-types and maybe Golem and Rhydon. Machamp required quite some paralysis support, common in RBY, to function well I guess...

I guess pairing Machamp up with a Dark-type isn't a bad thing as Machamp attracts Psychic-types for Dark-types such as Tyranitar to switch in for free. Machamp became more versatile in GSC thanks to a slightly improved movepool. It also has a fairly decent and useable bulk to take a few hits and attack back with its high base 130 Attack. Finally Machamp is OU in GSC lol :x It had to fight with Heracross for the top Fighting-type in GSC as brought up by someone I think?

/me no idea of ADV

This is the generation where Machamp truely shined!! Everyone knows of its famous No Guard and DynamicPunch. It's so irritating especially when DynamicPunch hurts! It's no Close Combat but the confusion can often make your checks rather shaky and unreliable. Machamp really only had 2 hard counters and they were both UU: Spiritomb and Slowbro. There was no easy way of killing it other than by revenge killing it. It's a definitely annoying anti-lead and can easily defeat most other leads with ease. Like what Jelli said, Stone Edge, Payback, and Bullet Punch were all great toys for Machamp to play with! A Stone Edge that doesn't miss? Yes please. A Fighting-type that can defeat Ghost-types? There goes the safe switch-in to DynamicPunch. Nothing is truely safe when Machamp is on the field. The best bet is probably to send out your most physically defensive Pokemon and hope confusion hax doesn't hamper you too much.

And to agree with Jelli, Sub+3 Attacks Machamp was the best Machamp set! It has no coverage issues and can just cause people to rage by throwing up a Substitute instead of a DynamicPunch and maybe let Machamp hit with a coverage move for free. Machamp causes plenty of switches, and most teams probably won't pack multiple checks / counters for it. With Sub+3, Machamp can just slowly wear them down. I'd say it's better than the lead set as Machamp does not fully realize its potential as a lead, though it makes a very very good one. Sub+3 Machamp can take down Pokemon after Pokemon and repeat the cycle for every free switch in. The only thing that hampers Machamp besides its 2 counters are Toxic Spikes. Toxic Spikes render Sub+3 Machamp rather useless and gets easily stalled out. Intimidate is also good against Machamp to soften its attacks too. Machamp is also pretty bulky, surviving even some Psychics. Skarmory, the premier physical wall, also cannot attempt to Roost against Machamp in case it faces a super effective Dynamic Punch. All it can do is to Brave Bird it or try to phaze it out with Whirlwind.

Machamp was really quite a formidable threat in DPP OU. It's just plain annoying >.> When Machamp is out, nothing is safe against it.
in rby i think psychic types are actually immune to lick (the only ghost attack that is affected by type. night shade hits everything) but either way psychics are weak to bug moves (pin missile, twinneedle). everything else is more or less correct.

Another week, another Pokemon ^.^

Alakazam had a slow decline in power. From OU to BL twice in a row, to a drop to UU, its fall from grace was subtle. That said, Alakazam was never absent as a threat in any of these gens. So what caused this decline, and how did it continue to still find use despite these drawbacks? As always, what sorts of sets did Alakazam use that really made it shine?
short summary:

rby - good wall, utility mon, sleeptaker + high critchance; set: psychic, recover, twave, reflect/stoss
gsc- sucky mon, doesnt counter shit, doesnt hit hard enough (only 4hko vs lax still), encore is nice though; set: psychic, recover, encore/firepunch/thunderpunch/toxic/screens
rse - worse than in gsc; set: psychic, firepunch, cm/encore/recover/hp[grass]
dpp - even worse than rse since pursuit is now physical and scizor exists, maybe sash+counter-set or lo-set?; set: psychic, fblast, hp[fire], protect/recover/cm/encore or dualscreen
ADV: In 200 play, Alakazam was a badass. It benefitted massively from the lack of special walls Blissey and Snorlax (Regice, being the next best special wall, often capitulated to boosted Fire Punches, and it also lacked Psych Up and Seismic Toss, two moves it could use in 386 to cover Alakazam - Earthquake or Toxic was the best thing to cover the cereal-eating magician), and also the Pursuit-using Dark-types Houndoom and Tyranitar. It was a dominant force in 200, to the extent where Crobat was used specifically for revenge killing it (what's wrong with good old Quick Attack Dodrio...). However, in full ADV, things weren't at all rosy for poor Alakazam-ikins. All the things that I just mentioned for being absent in 200 were now at large in 386, and Alakazam was about as potent in OU as a slightly off-colour potato salad. It's up there in BL because it would have defecated on UU in ADV, with the lack of special behemoths and half-decent stalkers. Also, there wouldn't be much able to revenge Alakazam in ADV UU.
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Alakazam's glory days were in RBY imo (well, Psychic types in general were amazing in that generation). It's even better if you're playing RBY with tradebacks, since it gets the elemental punches then.
RBY: I've bagged on zam for so long, but I've come back to say that it's probably the 4th or 5th best in RBY (with egg). Starmie is the one with the identity crysis imo. Still not better than Chansey though. Reflect zam is boss, plain and simple.

GSC: God zam sucks here. It's just so bad. There are a lot of pokemon not deserving of their once OU title: jumpluff is pretty high up there, kingdra too. But zam is just horrible. In terms ranking how bad this event was in American history, it'd go something like this:

1. zam in GSC OU
2. slavery
3. pearl harbor and 9/11 combined

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