All Gens Pokemon Through the Ages: Flygon

Alright, let's give a GSC mon a try. Skarmory here has been OU since its inception, and it's not hard to see why. Great typing, solid bulk, and a great support movepool has made it stand out in every gen. So, what were its best sets, roles, niches, counters, and teammates throughout the ages?


World's Strongest Fairy
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Firstly, Skarmory's bulk has never been that great. That HP stat is just horrid (ADVers and DPPers MUST invest 252 HP EVs), and its Special Defense is appalling too (Fire Blast from SNORLAX can 2HKO? Seriously?) While its Defense stat is solid, it's kind of shafted by that low HP, and as a result strong Rock Slides and Cross Chops can always break it on the Physical side.

Skarmory's main claim to defensive fame has always been its typing. No Physical weaknesses, plenty of physical resists and immunities, and even quite a few Special resistances that make strong Special Pokemon like GSC Exeggutor unable to really harm it. Even though its defensive stats are somewhat mediocre, that typing makes everything a million times better.

In GSC, Skarm can't really do much. It just sits there and doesn't die. It's not sweeping with Curse + Drill Peck, it's not really a great Spikes shuffler since pretty much anything with a Fire, Electric, or Water move will immediately force it out (although it can't really do much else, so if you have Spikes you might as well try), and it barely passes as an effective user of Toxic or Thief, not so much because it's actually good at using those moves but moreso because it really has nothing more offensive that it can do with that moveslot. However, Skarmory's "don't die" role is one of the most prized in GSC because it specifically refuses to die to the biggest threat the tier has to offer: Snorlax. Snorlax must run a Fire move or accept being walled by the metal bird (okay, Lovely Kiss could catch Skarm, too, but it's much easier to force something else to take the LK than to try to waste 8 Fire Blasts). Skarm also walls other top threats such as Exeggutor, Marowak, and Heracross, it matches up well against Machamp, and it can emergency-phaze threats such as Umbreon, so it's hardly a one-trick pony on defense. Skarmory doesn't do much, but the reason why it's good in GSC is because it doesn't let your opponent do much with some of the scariest threats the tier has to offer. It's better than something like Suicune, which is similarly passive but walls lesser threats than Snorlax (at least non-Mixed Snorlax, which is most of them).

As for ADV, it's one of the top Spikers and Phazers in the tier, the main reason Magneton is used, and overall a solid defensive Pokemon. However, CB'd Rock Slides and Fighting moves (and that aforementioned Magneton) make it less effective as a wall in this gen. Thank goodness it can Spike in ADV (and furthermore that you can set up more than 1 layer in ADV), because otherwise Skarm would have faded into mediocrity along with the loss of the stranglehold Snorlax had on the metagame.
Skarmory doesn't really change much. Phase Physical Sweepers, set up hazards, etc.

I like the Choice Band set in ADV. Hidden Power Ground for Electric/Fire types, Rock Slide for Flying types (including Zapdos and Charizard), Drill Peck and Steel Wing for STAB. The latter can even boost Skarmory's defense, helping him still maintain his role as a Physical Wall.

Royal Flush

in brazil rain
is a Past WCoP Champion
Biggest props to Skarm for actually forcing the meta to run a random fire/electric move. Or stuff like CurseRoarKanga.

Funny thing DPPt was his best gen: shed shell to avoid trapkills, motherfucking roost for instaheal, less viable spinners, rotom-a as a solid spinblock etc.
Adv gave him Spikes and 3 layers within at the cost of Magneton. Lax being nerfed didn't help either. 2 steps forward, 2 steps back.
GSC-wise he was pretty much a wildcard: unable to accomplish anything really, but able to neutralize the best pokemon of the game and a good backup phazer (I mean you sure as hell won't force spikes damage like Raikou).


Ride on Shooting Star
I think skarmory is a dominant pokemon in adv. It is very hard for many sweepers to get through both Skarmory and Zapdos. Skarm making curselax (sans magneton) into a liability until late game is pretty awesome. Skarm just provides a ton for almost any team. I magneton did not exist I think it would be the best poke in the meta.

Royal Flush

in brazil rain
is a Past WCoP Champion
Well he is indeed dominant when you realize magnet pull was created solely for him (well there's forry too, but in a lesser extent), seeing Mence/Flygon running Fire Blast, Thunderpunch/HP Fire Metagross etc. but at the same time 3rd gen gave lots of options to hit skarm on the physical side: good fight moves, tyranitar, aero, choice band and so on.
Taking a look at the OU mons, only Gyarados and Snorlax are actually hardwalled by him. Oh and there's also Clerics being less viable. In fact, that was probably the biggest downside, considering it's tougher to Rest compared to GSC.
shed shell's awful in dppt, like legitimately the worst thing you could possibly run on skarmory

aug 2010 is the last recorded dpp usage stat
29 | Magnezone | 66052 | 6.87

thats 7% of people using magnezone post mence ban (our current dpp). even assuming magnezone usage doubled in the current meta (which is absurd and pretty much impossible, but let's humor this idea and say at higher levels of play magnezone is more common)

even if 14% of users were using magnezone, that is 86% that you won't encounter one. thats more than 6/7 battles!

in dpp skarm NEEDS leftovers. it's not debatable. unless you like losing to heavy pressure from dd gyarados + dd dnite, or losing significant health everytime you switch into SR, or being unable to roost stall (i guess you could argue it can run lum for the lead skarm but that is suuuuuch a waste of skarmory)

hell, with shed shell skarm doesn't even enjoy switching in on terribly weak shit like flygon's u-turn - you're taking 3% and they get to threaten skarm right back out again with what they bring in. without the leftovers trade netting you 3%, you're just slowly losing health and tempo. it adds up

if you're that worried about magnezone and your team just falls apart if skarm dies, well first reconstruct your team, but more importantly, don't play into the magnezone
Well he is indeed dominant when you realize magnet pull was created solely for him (well there's forry too, but in a lesser extent), seeing Mence/Flygon running Fire Blast, Thunderpunch/HP Fire Metagross etc. but at the same time 3rd gen gave lots of options to hit skarm on the physical side: good fight moves, tyranitar, aero, choice band and so on.
Taking a look at the OU mons, only Gyarados and Snorlax are actually hardwalled by him. Oh and there's also Clerics being less viable. In fact, that was probably the biggest downside, considering it's tougher to Rest compared to GSC.
Edit: I completely misinterpret him, my apologies.
uhhh there's a pure offensive version of gyarados in adv? if you're not using taunt on ddos (kehehkeheh) i think you're doing it wrong there. as for gyarados vs skarm, skarm would win if it's using hp flying/drill peck but you really shouldn't be using those moves right now in adv, so id say chalk that up as a victory for gyarados tbqh

as for that list of mons for dppt ou, definitely wouldnt want to switch in on lucario o_o

Royal Flush

in brazil rain
is a Past WCoP Champion
Pretty sure Skarm always beats Gyarados spamming Drill Peck. HP Flying deals pathetic damage to the bird even after some boosts and taunt working only for 2 turns with the first one being the turn you actually used it make it quite questionable (creates a lot of mindgames). But huh Gyara is not really used in this post-adv meta so whatever.

And I do agree with everything you said about Shed Shell, kd, it's the same reason why I dislike BW Chansey. I just felt like pointing it out since it was created in that gen and well I can recall Zone had higher usage at some point, it was just the way the meta shifted.
Anyway I still believe it was a big gen for Skarm: Roost, Rotom-A, extra hazards to couple with Spikes etc.
Whoops, I thoguht you were talking about DPPT here, not ADV. DPPT Gyarados can Taunt set up with DD, then Waterfall Skarm. ADV Gyarados has a harder time due to Skarmory resisting his Physical STAB.

Speaking of Drill Peck, 4th gen gave Skarmory a boom with BRAVE BIRD instead of Drill Peck and STEALTH ROCK instead of Spikes. Tyranitar got a Special Defense boost with Sandstream, so SkarmTar became a combo as well as the infamous SkarmBliss.
skarmory is amazing. main reason magneton is used in adv etc etc

in dpp you can't really get /too/ creative with it. always has roost (restalk spikes ww is cute but this isn't adv), then chooses between spikes/stealth rock/whirlwind/taunt/brave bird. sdef spread with careful is best because it can actually check offensive suicune pretty well and it can also effectively sponge draco meteors!

skarm pairs really nicely with starmie for hazard control, spike on the switch to the #1 sr mon in the game (heatran) then go to starmie and spin their shit away as soon as they set it up. sdef heatran feeds off skarm's weaks and vice versa while setting up sr. pack a pursuit ttar (this also helps starmie spin) and/or rotom to beat starmie & you should have the hazard game under control with smart play!

for fun i have been messing around with a set i believe earthworm used in the latimence era, torment/spikes/whirlwind/protect. gimmicky, sure, but it's a lot of fun and it screws over choiced switchins like heatran/magnezone/infernape. it can even spinblock sometimes lol

btw shed shell is garbage


Banned deucer.
Skarmory is a pimp. Loved it in gen 4.

To be honest, I ran Shed Shell for a long time, and... eh. It's nice, but looking back, it probably wasn't worth it. My memories of gen 4 are all mixed up. I would like to point out that shed shell is badass just for that 'haha fuck you' feeling though, escaping from Magnezone is always a great surprise. I was sort of nooby back then and I hated being trapped (Still do today, although it's more justified this gen), so I ran Shed Shell. Shed Shell is nice because you can afford to run a team more weak to everything Skarm walls and not worry about Magnezone teams ruining you. I haven't really played in a while, so that could also be metagame shifts making it garbage.

To be fair, as for what KD24 says about Skarm, I never used it to handle either of those threats primarily, I usually just went to my Scarfgar and owned them hard. (It could have been just me playing bad players, but no one ever expected it.)
I was never a big fan of Taunt, you're either Taunt bait yourself (lol), or you can't heal/phase/spike. There were occasonal situations where I wished I had it but nothing huge. (I actually ran Subtran with Skarm, which was pretty great.)

Best gimmick set ever is Iron Defense Skarmory, which I once ran in tandem with Stockpile Hippowdon. It was nice setting up alongside Lucario but in the end it wasn't too great.

A solid OU for GSC and ADV, Heracross settled comfortably into BL in DPP. With unique typing, solid base 125 Attack, and decent bulk, Heracross made a name for itself as an offensive threat throughout the gens. So, what were its best sets, roles, niches, teammates, and counters throughout history?


World's Strongest Fairy
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Long-ass description incoming:

In GSC, I don't think anybody would consider Heracross a true top-top OU. It's kind of like Porygon2, OU by name only, although it definitely sees more play than Pgon2. In theory, Heracross should be great; 120 BP STAB running off 348 Attack, a solid defensive typing, and decent enough 80/75/95 defenses? Sign me up! However, Megahorn is resisted by a LOT of Pokemon, and Heracross lacks any great coverage options with which to hit the Flying-types that love to switch into it - and basically every team has at least one of Skarmory or Zapdos. Furthermore, while its typing is great for absorbing Earthquakes and Cross Chops, it can't scare out strong Physical sweepers the same way Specially-based mixed walls can. And to top it all off, those "decent enough" defenses are actually very mediocre in practice, and it can always be 3HKOed by the odd Fire Blast from the few Pokemon it could otherwise tank without a problem.

Heracross's two main sets in GSC are the classic Sleep Talker set and the more gimmicky EndRev set. The former tries to take advantage of Heracross's solid defensive typing to make it a mixed wall that, unlike Suicune, can also maintain offensive momentum. In theory, it should be a Physical version of ST Zapdos, although as discussed above, it falls quite short of these lofty expectations. The last move on this set is usually either Seismic Toss or Curse, with the former allowing Heracross to wear down Skarmory and the latter allowing Heracross to set up against and beat most of its counters not named Skarmory or Steelix. Yes, even Zapdos can fall to Curse Heracross (as long as it's not running Drill Peck, which it shouldn't be), although it's not exactly a "winning" matchup for Heracross. Another option on the Sleep Talk set is HP Rock for the potential 3HKO on Zapdos. Earthquake and HP Fighting are other, classic options on ST Cross, but are honestly pretty bad since they do nothing to deter the Flying-type switch-ins.

As for Heracross's EndRev set, this is definitely more gimmicky but also much more impactful offensively. If you can keep Spikes off your side of the field and find a way to deal with Zapdos, EndRev Heracross bulldozes through most teams. Base 85 Speed is pretty zippy for GSC, and that STAB 348 Attack-backed Reversal is a godsend that OHKOes half of GSC and 2HKOes even super-defensive neutral targets such as Skarmory and Suicune. In short, when Heracross gets in unscathed (well duh, that's the only way something with 1 HP can get in), things die. Megahorn is another selling point to EndRev Cross, as it allows OHKOes against Starmie and Exeggutor, something other STAB Reversal users cannot possibly do. The last move is usually Earthquake so that Gengar doesn't ruin all your fun, although SToss could be used to goad Skarmory into taking you to 1 HP even if the opponent knows what's up, and HP Rock allows Heracross to weaken Zapdos on the switch prior to being taken to 1 HP (at 1 HP, Reversal does more to Zapdos). The fun thing about EndRev Cross, too, is that it doesn't want Leftovers, so you can actually use another item on it! MiracleBerry is probably the best since any status whatsoever cripples EndRev Cross, although Black Belt could be viable to boost Reversal's power, whereas Focus Band and Quick Claw are more situational items that could kick in at just the right time to preserve your sweep.

Heracross also gets access to Counter, which can be paired with Curse to survive Skarmory Drill Pecks and bounce them back for the OHKO. Counter could also be nice if, say, you end up in a Curse war against Snorlax or something. Heracross also gets Thief, which could be nice for crippling the walling abilities of Skarmory or Zapdos as they switch in. Given Heracross's dearth of coverage moves in GSC, it's not exactly missing out on a ton by using Thief, and the Megahorn threat means that it's better than, say, Skarmory at consistently stealing Lefties from a specific switch-in.

Royal Flush

in brazil rain
is a Past WCoP Champion
I actually like Hera a lot against those teams without Zapdos in GSC. You can potentially force Skarm matchups every time then capitalize with Lax later.
Pairing with Eggy to bait explode Zapdos can also work I guess, but meh, Heracross itself is usually a waste of slot. ):

RSE Hera is a whole different level: Swords Dance, (good) Fight STAB, Choice Band... at the cost of Dugtrio. I see a lot of potential on him on this post-meta.
heracross was a monster in early DP. everyone was psyched about it getting the new best fighting move in the game, close combat, and choice scarf helped make up for its middling speed. gliscor rose in usage as people tried to find a solid counter to it not named weezing, and glis even resorted to aerial ace just to make sure hera didn't sd in its face multiple times. however, when platinum rolled around, another bug by the name of scizor got bullet punch, took the #1 spot in usage by a ridiculous amount, and no one even looked at heracross anymore.

it eventually dropped to UU in HGSS, and it raped just about everything during its short stay in the tier. all of its sets were great but restalk megahorn close combat @ life orb was the most popular set among the better players.
May I motion that we take a look at Mewtwo and/or Mew at some point? They were never OU, but it certainly wasn't for lack of capability. We could instead look at why they were too powerful for OU.
Sounds fun to me~

Mew here's been Uber from RBY to DPP. So, what factors have kept it out of standard play all these generations, and how did it fare in Ubers? What were its best sets, roles, counters, and anything else you'd like to touch upon?
Mew is simply too dangerous and bulky for RBY OU. It can even sponge Tauros' and Snorlax's attacks outside of timely fps/crits thanks to base 100 defense and HP and access to Softbolied. Swords Dance turns Mew into an extremely dangerous attacker. Mew just doesn't die anytime soon and only after one boost it is able to do lots of damage between Earthquake and Hyper Beam or Body Slam. Mew can even learn Explosion, Thunder Wave and every kind of special attack, as well as Counter, Reflect, Light Screen... making it even more unpredictable.

In Ubers, it faces competition from Mewtwo, who has similar bulk but hits a lot harder and is faster. While Mewtwo is clearly the better set-up sweeper and Pokemon of the two, Mew still remains the second best Pokemon in Ubers and is the top physical threat of the metagame. Mew often uses Explosion there however, since anything that may help you take out Mewtwo is a good thing.

In GSC Mew argubably becomes the #1 Pokemon even in Ubers, as it is a top threat with a Swords Dance set. Mew can also utilize special attacks to surprise checks like Skarmory and can choose between Softboiled for longevity or Explosion to open up other sweepers by taking out something like Lugia. The key was that, while mew didn't exactly gain much, mewtwo suffered a lot from the special split that caused Amnesia to become an useless move. With the other three Ubers in GSC being mostly defensive Pokemon, Mew shines as a very dangerous and unpredictable sweeper.


World's Strongest Fairy
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Let's be real, Mew isn't that unpredictable in GSC Ubers. Its stats are too unexciting to consistently sacrifice one of its moves for a Special attack with which to hit the fairly-uncommon Skarmory. Hell, you could just Explode on it if it gives you that much trouble. You're either handicapping your sweeper or sacrificing it.

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