Gen 3 Quilava (NU Analysis)

Oglemi

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#1
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https://www.smogon.com/dex/rs/pokemon/quilava/

[Overview]

At a first glance, you may wonder why you would choose Quilava over Charmeleon as they are basically the same considering they have the same stat spread and extremely similar movepools. While Charmeleon has access to Rock Slide in order to get past Flareon more easily using a special attacking set, Quilava gets access to one of the most dangerous moves in NU: Reversal. Quilava faces some fierce competition as a Reversal sweeper from Raticate, Yanma, and Vigoroth, as they are all faster and stronger, but Quilava is the only one that has the option of going mixed thanks to its decent Special Attack and ability Blaze. At low health, Quilava's Blaze-boosted attacks pair perfectly with Reversal, allowing it to sweep through Pokemon the aforementioned Pokemon could only dream of. Unfortunately, Quilava's Speed means completing a sweep is much harder than it would appear at first, making it a much more unreliable choice on the whole.

[SET]
name: Reversal
move 1: Substitute / Endure
move 2: Reversal
move 3: Fire Blast
move 4: Quick Attack
item: Liechi Berry / Salac Berry
ability: Blaze
nature: Naive
evs: 8 HP / 248 Atk / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
- Choose your method of getting down to 1 HP, Substitute is easier against more defensive teams whereas Endure is tougher to use on the whole but makes getting down to 1 HP safely against more offensive teams possible
- Reversal is very strong at 1 HP and at +1, even with Quilava's subpar Attack, OHKOing things like Huntail (with Spikes), Hitmonchan, Dewgong, and Sudowoodo
- Fire Blast shreds through Mawile, Roselia, and Sableye when backed by Blaze, even without any SpA investment
- Last slot will probably never see use, Quick Attack is the only good option as everything else in Quilava's movepool is outdamaged by Reversal and Fire Blast, even HP Grass does less to max Def Relicanth than Reversal

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
- Liechi Berry is the recommended item to actually achieve KOes, especially against more defensive teams. But Salac Berry is an option if you're confident in your ability to sufficiently weaken the other team before bringing it out and prevents faster Pokemon from revenge killing it, particularly Haunter, Raticate, and Pidgeot among others
- Needs Water-types, particularly Wailord, weakened before bringing Quilava out as it can only 2HKO with Reversal and even if Quilava is behind a Sub Wailord can just Roar it out
- Contingency plan needs to be in place to deal with anything faster than it if not using Salac Berry; Rapid Spin is probably the best support in order to ensure Spikes are off the field and allow for the possibility of getting Quilava in and off the battlefield to fire off attacks

[SET]
name: Special Attacker
move 1: Fire Blast
move 2: Blast Burn
move 3: Hidden Power Grass
move 4: Focus Punch
item: Charcoal / Leftovers
ability: Blaze
nature: Naive
evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
- Fire Blast is Quilava's consistent STAB move with Blast Burn being available as a nuke option should it be needed. Blast Burn is just slightly stronger than Charmeleon's Overheat, but it does guarantee a OHKO on Raticate
- Hidden Power Grass is for Rock- and Water-types
- Focus Punch is the other move that separates Quilava from Charmeleon, allowing it to 2HKO Kecleon and Dewgong, something Charmeleon wishes it could do. Very hard to use though without Substitute

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
- Rash an option to increase Quilava's power, but it will leave it outsped by Jolly Hitmonchan
- Brick Break an option as well but it's just so much weaker than Focus Punch it's not really worth it
- Body Slam to have an option to spread paralysis, though Ponyta does it better
- Works well as a lead to limit Glalie to one or no layers of Spikes and threaten every other lead, Lum Berry an option to take on Venomoth
- As a late-game option, Petaya or Salac Berry is usable with Endure to get Quilava into Blaze range. A +1 Blaze-boosted Blast Burn is ridiculous, nearly OHKO max SpD Kecleon and have a chance to OHKO SpD Swalot. Even nearly OHKO max HP Pelipper. Fire Blast no slouch either at +1 and a Blaze boost.

[Other Options]
- Covet
- Roar, Toxic

[Checks and Counters]
- Wailord, other bulky Water-types
- Lickitung, Kecleon avoiding Focus Punch/Reversal
- Chimecho
- Huntail, Seadra
- Anything faster, Pidgeot, Haunter, Raticate
 

Fakes

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#2
Does Reversal Quilava have any actual advantages over Combusken?

Combusken (M) @ Salac Berry
Trait: Blaze
EVs: 252 Atk / 52 SAtk / 204 Spd
Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef)
- Substitute
- Reversal
- Fire Blast
- Quick Attack

Combusken has MUCH higher attack, slightly higher SAtk, Fighting type and shares the Blaze ability. Salac Berry Combusken's Reversal is even stronger than Liechi Berry Quilava's. The only possible merit of Quilava I can possibly think of is higher initial speed, which makes it easier to "Substitute down" to 1 HP.

The one thing that sets it apart from Reversal Combusken is the fact that it is fast enough to actually omit Salac Berry and use a Petaya Berry to burn through Sableye with its +1 Blaze Fire Blast. So the Reversal set should probably focus on that:
+1 176 SpA Blaze Quilava Fire Blast vs. 252 HP / 252 SpD Sableye: 304-358 (100 - 117.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO

I really think the Special Attacker should be its primary/main set. Substitute should be mandatory, Petaya and Salac Berry should be the items of choice and Overheat should replace Blast Burn (only marginally weaker (~7%), but does not disable you the following turn). Sunny Day, Toxic and possibly Swagger all deserve to be "slashed" alongside HP Grass, Focus Punch and Overheat. Essentially the same as ADV OU Charizard.
 
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