Gen 3 Porygon (NU Analysis)


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Trace is a really cool ability that allows Porygon to counter and check a wide swath of Pokemon just by switching into them, but unfortunately its subpar stats across the board, particularly its Speed, is a huge issue that prevents it from being a bigger threat. On the plus side, Porygon's wide movepool allows it to essentially pick and choose its victims, however that lends Porygon to be very matchup dependent and deadweight in some matches. Porygon can make a very fun anti-meta pick, but "hit or miss" perfectly sums it up.

name: Tracer
move 1: Ice Beam
move 2: Thunderbolt
move 3: Recover
move 4: Toxic / Thunder Wave
item: Leftovers
ability: Trace
nature: Modest
evs: 252 HP / 208 SpA / 44 SpD

- BoltBeam gives Porygon the best possible coverage to deal with a few Pokemon Porygon can take on one-on-one
- Recover is a huge perk to using Porygon and gives it some much needed longevity when up against a stall team
- Toxic helps Porygon be less deadweight against stall teams and can cripple other Pokemon Porygon can counter, particularly Flareon
- Thunder Wave allows Porygon to cripple dangerous Pokemon like Sunny Day Bellossom and Vigoroth

- The EV spread is designed to always survive a Timid Huntail's Hydro Pump in the rain and have chance to OHKO with Thunderbolt in return
- A Quiet nature can be run with Return in the last slot to better threaten Flareon and other physically frail Pokemon
- Psychic can be used for Hitmonchan and to hit Poison-types a little harder
- Some Defense can be run to take less damage from Diglett when counter trapping it
- Porygon works well on balance teams that want a solid check to Flareon and security against Diglett and weather sweepers
- Porygon should be more of a team filler option rather than something to build a team around, it doesn't offer much in regards to team synergy due to its frailty and slowness

[Other Options]
- Choice Band
- Agility
- Zap Cannon
- Solar Beam, Thunder, Icy Wind
- Conversion, Conversion 2

[Checks and Counters]
- Hitmonchan
- Flareon switching in
- Swalot
- Whiscash
- Lickitung, Kecleon
- Porygon is really slow so most things will 2HKO it before it can 2HKO them
I understand because I play the tier, but its somewhat unclear, especially to somebody who would look at the smogdex, what Porygon can really specifically do with Trace. I'd say Porygon's biggest niches, in order, are:
- Tracing Flareon's Flash Fire and becoming a counter to special sets.
- Reverse Trapping Diglett
- Tracing Roselia's Natural Cure and being a good status absorber / check (your spread barely misses out on the 2hko on max spdef but most run a mixed defensive spread anyway so thats not an issue and it wont really matter. Roselia obviously can't do anything back attack wise.)
- Tracing Mawile's Intimidate, often leaving it at a disadvantage to baton pass a negative boost

You highlight the first two somewhat, though I would be a bit more specific on the importance of tracing Flash Fire, how it doesn't counter Physical sets (particularly the CB set), and how it can't directly switch into Diglett and can only revenge kill or a well timed double.

This next bit is merely personal opinion so take it with a grain of salt.

Not sure about the spread. Mystic Water seems increasingly more common, and Thunderbolt doesnt have a chance to OHKO. (208+ SpA Porygon Thunderbolt vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Huntail: 209-246 (82.9 - 97.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery)
I'd just either throw the full 252 in SpA or put 116 in Special Defense to guarantee the live of Mystic Water in rain, as the damage roll with Thunderbolt doesn't really matter. Thunder maybe could be an option to guarantee the OHKO? I haven't used it personally.

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