Shiftry (Analysis) [GP 2/2]

[Overview]

<p>Shiftry is a Pokemon whose mediocre stats are balanced by his many methods of boosting them. With the moves Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, and Growth, as well as the ability Chlorophyll, Shiftry can use it's above average offensive movepool to fill a variety of sweeping roles. Shiftry's biggest issue is that it lacks the sheer power, speed, or bulk of some other sweepers with whom it competes for a team spot. Despite these shortcomings, Shiftry is certainly not to be underestimated. With proper timing, he can rip holes in your opponent's team like a gust of wind through a flimsy umbrella.</p>

[SET]

name: Swords Dance
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Seed Bomb
move 3: Sucker Punch
move 4: Nature Power
item: Life Orb
ability: Early Bird
nature: Adamant
evs: 96 HP / 252 Atk / 56 Def / 56 SpD / 44 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>This set aims to sweep by boosting Shiftry's higher Attack stat with Swords Dance. Shiftry can survive an Ice Beam from Milotic quite comfortably, making it and other bulky waters perfect setup fodder for this set. STAB Sucker Punch is very powerful for a priority attack, and at +2 will destroy almost any Choice Scarf user who doesn't resist it. Seed Bomb is [delete your more] [add a] reliable STAB attack, and it hits many of UU's walls, such as Slowbro and Donphan, for [lower case S]uper [lower case E]ffective damage. Nature Power, which becomes Earthquake in a wifi match, pairs well with Seed Bomb, providing coverage on Fire-, Steel-, and Poison-types, most notably Registeel, Nidoqueen, Roserade, and Arcanine.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Anyone using this set should prepare themselves for prediction wars, as some opponents will require you to predict correctly with either Sucker Punch or another attacking option in order to beat them. For instance, Arcanine can be beaten after Stealth Rock damage, but you have to predict either Extreme[capital s]peed or Flare Blitz, and answer with Earthquake or Sucker Punch, respectively. Many faster threats will use Substitute to dodge Sucker Punch, so you must use another attack to break the Substitutes, only using Sucker Punch when they decide to attack. Rotom-A will usually try to Trick a Choice Scarf onto Shiftry in order [add to] bypass Sucker Punch, which may require you to switch. Sunny Day support can pretty much nullify this issue, as it allows you to outspeed almost everything without a Choice Scarf. This mostly removes the need to engage in prediction wars with targets such as Arcanine, Roserade, Raikou, and Mismagius. The Choice Scarf users, on the other hand, mostly use four attacks, making them easily taken down by Sucker Punch.</p>

<p>Thanks to Sucker Punch, Shiftry can afford to run a minimal speed investment - just enough to outspeed [delete univested] Suicune [add that don't invest in speed], and by extension most of the other UU walls. This allows for a substantial investment in HP and defenses, which greatly helps Shiftry find time to switch in and use Swords Dance. In an extreme scenario, Shiftry can even survive a Heat Wave from defensive variants of Zapdos.</p>
<p>When looking for teammates for Shiftry, Victini should be a prime consideration. Victini can easily lure in bulky waters or Donphan and catch them with U-turn, allowing Shiftry a perfect opportunity to set up Swords Dance. The two also cover many of each other[delete apostraphe']s weaknesses. Like most Grass-types, Shiftry does well in a Fire-Water-Grass core, with pokemon such as Milotic, Suicune, Arcanine, and the aforementioned Victini. Rotom-H, Lanturn, and Qwilfish are additional Fire- and Water-type options that provide additional type synergy. A bulky Flying- or Ghost-type is recommended as well, to help Shiftry deal with Heracross and Hitmontop, who are perhaps his best counters.</p>

[SET]

name: Nasty Plot
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Giga Drain
move 3: Dark Pulse
move 4: Hidden Power Fire
item: Life Orb
ability: Chlorophyll
nature: Modest
evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>This Shiftry set is designed specifically for use on a Sunny Day team. The goal here is to sweep with Chlorophyll-boosted speed and Nasty Plot-boosted special attacks. Dark Pulse and Giga Drain provide great dual STAB[add s] [delete moves], each with their own beneficial side effect. Dark Pulse's flinch rate is quite useful with doubled speed, and Giga Drain allows [delete you] [add Shiftry] to recover health while sweeping. Hidden Power Fire allows Shiftry to defeat some of its usual counters, such as Heracross, bulky Grass-types, and Escavalier. Given a turn of setup, this set can be very difficult for your opponent to handle without priority moves or Chansey. Note than with Giga Drain and Hidden Power Fire, Shiftry can OHKO both of the auto-weather pokemon in UU.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>252 Speed EV[delete apostraphe']s are used to outspeed as many Choice Scarf users as possible while Sunny Day is active, although Modest is still used to help make up for Shiftry's less-than-stellar base 90 Special Attack. With this spread, Shiftry can outspeed positive nature base 105 Speed pokemon and neutral nature base 120 Speed pokemon who are holding a Choice Scarf.</p>

<p>Uxie is the ideal team mate to set up Sunny Day for Shiftry, as it can also utilize Stealth Rock to aid in sweeping[add comma] and Memento to [delete almost] guarantee an opportunity for Shiftry to use Nasty Plot. Predictably, Shiftry will need the aid of other pokemon who benefit from Sunny Day in order to take down a team, such as Victini, Sawsbuck, and Charizard.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>When using Swords Dance on a Sunny Day team, you can use Night Slash instead of Sucker Punch. [delete When doing this you should remove EVs from HP, Special Defense, and Defense, and put them into Speed.] [When using Night Slash, remove the EVs from HP, Special Defense, and Defense, and put them into speed.] Low Kick can be used instead of Nature Power to maintain coverage on Steel-types while helping against Abomasnow, Cradily, and Snorlax. X-Scissor is an option to hit Grass-types [lower case S]uper [lower case E]ffectively, but it should be noted that +2 X-Scissor doesn't even 2HKO Tangrowth. Rock Slide is an option to hit Flying-types while maintaining coverage on Fire-types, but of course loses coverage on Steel-types. Extrasensory can be used on the Nasty Plot set to provide a way of destroying Fighting- and Poison-types, although the most notable ones, Heracross and Roserade, already go down to HP Fire, while Technitop will take you out with priority anyway. Solarbeam can also be used with Nasty Plot to provide a great deal of power, but can leave you trapped against Abomasnow and is useless when Sunny Day is not in effect.</p>

<p>Shiftry can use a mixed set with Growth given Sunny Day support. The best way to go about this is a moveset of Growth / Sucker Punch / Seed Bomb / Hidden Power Fire, with an EV spread of 252 Atk / 148 SpA / 104 Spe. This functions essentially as a variant of the Swords Dance set which takes advantage of Hidden Power Fire to defeat Heracross and bulky Grass-types. Growth can also be used on a pure physical or special Sun sweeper to conceal the identity of the set for an additional turn. Just keep in mind that you won't be able set up effectively after the sun fades.</p>

[Checks and Counters]

<p>Hitmontop is the easiest counter to Shiftry, as it can switch in and OHKO with either set. Intimidate variants will survive a boosted attack, while Technician variants can simply OHKO with priority Mach Punch. Other bulky Fighting-types, such as Hariyama and Throh, function similarly. Heracross can survive a boosted attack from the Swords Dance set and OHKO in return, but will fall to a boosted Hidden Power Fire. Cobalion works similarly although either set will destroy it in Sun with a boost under its belt. Bulky Grass-types also wall the Swords Dance set, but usually have to wear you down more slowly. Arcanine can bypass Sucker Punch with Extreme[capital s]peed or KO with Flare Blitz, but it must predict correctly to avoid being KOed itself. Defensive Zapdos can use Toxic, Substitute, Roar or Roost to bypass Sucker Punch, but needs to be careful of taking a direct hit from a neutral or Super Effective attack. Rotom-A resists all but your Dark attacks and can Trick a Choice Scarf to cripple Shiftry. Dusclops and Confagrius can survive a +2 Seed Bomb and burn Shiftry, although Dusclops will eventually fall anyway. Chansey can wall the Nasty Plot set to no end unless it's taking +6 Solarbeams. In general, the Nasty Plot set has fewer counters with Sunny Day active, while the Swords Dance set is the only recommended set without Sun support.</p>

[Dream World]
<p>Shiftry gets Pickpocket as its Dream World ability. This [delete would] allow[add s] it to switch in on a contact move and steal the opponent's item, most notably an Eviolite from Chansey or Dusclops. This is not advisable since Shiftry really needs a Life Orb and can already kill or severely cripple Chansey, Gligar, or Dusclops who attempt to counter it.</p>
 
OK, I added all of Banedon's changes as well as many of megamanx's (just a few things from there were either addressed in Banedon's edit, disagree with smogon conventions, or with standard english conventions).
 

Komodo

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[Overview]

<p>Shiftry is a Pokemon whose mediocre stats are balanced by its many methods of boosting them. With the moves Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, Growth, and the ability Chlorophyll, Shiftry can use its above average offensive movepool to fill a variety of sweeping roles. Shiftry's biggest issue is that it lacks the sheer power, Speed, or bulk of some other sweepers with whom it competes for a team spot. Nonetheless, Shiftry is certainly not to be underestimated. With proper timing, it can rip holes in your opponent's team like a gust of wind through a flimsy umbrella.</p>

[SET]

name: Swords Dance
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Seed Bomb
move 3: Sucker Punch
move 4: Nature Power
item: Life Orb
ability: Early Bird
nature: Adamant
evs: 96 HP / 252 Atk / 56 Def / 56 SpD / 44 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>This set aims to sweep with Shiftry's higher Attack stat by using Swords Dance. Shiftry can survive an Ice Beam from Milotic comfortably, making it and other bulky Waters perfect setup fodder. STAB Sucker Punch is very powerful for a priority attack, and at +2 will destroy almost any Choice Scarf user who doesn't resist it. Seed Bomb is your reliable STAB attack, and it hits many of UU's walls, such as Slowbro and Donphan, for super effective damage. Nature Power, which becomes Earthquake in a WiFi match, pairs well with Seed Bomb, providing coverage on Fire-, Steel-, and Poison-types, most notably Registeel, Nidoqueen, Roserade, and Arcanine.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Anyone using this set should prepare themselves for prediction,(comma) as some opponents will require you to predict correctly between Sucker Punch or another attacking option in order to beat them. For instance, Arcanine can be beaten after Stealth Rock damage, but you have to predict either ExtremeSpeed or Flare Blitz and answer with Earthquake or Sucker Punch, respectively. Many faster threats will use Substitute to dodge Sucker Punch, so you must use another attack to break the Substitutes, only using Sucker Punch when they decide to attack. Rotom-A will often try to Trick a Choice Scarf onto Shiftry in order bypass Sucker Punch, which may require you to switch. Sunny Day support can pretty much nullify this issue, as it allows you to outspeed almost everything without a Choice Scarf. This mostly removes the need to outpredict targets such as Arcanine, Roserade, Raikou, and Mismagius. Choice Scarf users, on the other hand, mostly use four attacks, making them vulnerable to Sucker Punch.</p>

<p>Thanks to Sucker Punch, Shiftry can afford to run a minimal Speed investment - just enough to outspeed Suicune that don't invest in Speed, and by extension most of the other UU walls. This allows for a substantial investment in HP and defenses, which greatly helps Shiftry switch in and use Swords Dance. In an extreme scenario, Shiftry can even survive a Heat Wave from defensive variants of Zapdos.</p>

<p>When looking for teammates for Shiftry, Victini is a prime option. Victini can easily lure in bulky Waters or Donphan and catch them with U-turn, allowing Shiftry a perfect opportunity to set up Swords Dance. The two also cover many of each other's weaknesses. Like most Grass-types, Shiftry does well in a Fire-Water-Grass core, with pokemon such as Milotic, Suicune, Arcanine, and the aforementioned Victini. Rotom-H, Lanturn, and Qwilfish are other Fire- and Water-type options that provide additional type synergy. A bulky Flying- or Ghost-type is recommended as well to help Shiftry deal with Heracross and Hitmontop, some of Shiftry's best counters.</p>

[SET]

name: Nasty Plot
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Giga Drain
move 3: Dark Pulse
move 4: Hidden Power Fire
item: Life Orb
ability: Chlorophyll
nature: Modest
evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>This Shiftry set is designed specifically for use on a Sunny Day team. The goal here is to sweep with Chlorophyll-boosted Speed and Nasty Plot-boosted special attacks. Dark Pulse and Giga Drain provide great dual STAB moves, each with their own beneficial side effect. Dark Pulse's flinch rate is quite useful with doubled Speed, and Giga Drain allows Shiftry to recover Life Orb recoil while sweeping. Hidden Power Fire allows Shiftry to defeat some of its usual counters, such as Heracross, bulky Grass-types, and Escavalier. Given a turn of setup, this set can be very difficult for your opponent to handle without priority moves or Chansey. Note that with Giga Drain and Hidden Power Fire, Shiftry can OHKO Abomasnow and nearly OHKO Hippowdon.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>252 Speed EVs are used to outspeed as many Choice Scarf users as possible while Sunny Day is active, although Modest is still used to help make up for Shiftry's less-than-stellar base 90 Special Attack. With this spread, Shiftry can outspeed positive base 105 Speed Pokemon and neutral base 120 Speed Pokemon who are holding a Choice Scarf.</p>

<p>Uxie is the ideal team mate to set up Sunny Day for Shiftry, as it can also utilize Stealth Rock to aid in sweeping and Memento to almost guarantee an opportunity for Shiftry to use Nasty Plot. Alone, Shiftry is not likely to sweep a full team, so use other Pokemon who benefit from Sunny Day such as Victini, Sawsbuck, and Charizard.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>When using Swords Dance on a Sunny Day team, you can use Night Slash instead of Sucker Punch. If you do this you should remove EVs from HP, Special Defense, and Defense, and put them into Speed. Low Kick can be used instead of Nature Power to maintain coverage on Steel-types while helping against Abomasnow, Cradily, and Snorlax. X-Scissor is an option to hit Grass-types super effectively, but it should be noted that +2 X-Scissor doesn't even 2HKO Tangrowth. Rock Slide can be used to hit Flying-types while maintaining coverage on Fire-types, but of course loses coverage on Steel-types. Extrasensory on the Nasty Plot set provides a way of destroying Fighting- and Poison-types, although the most notable ones, Heracross and Roserade, already go down to Hidden Power while Technitop will take Shiftry out with priority anyway. SolarBeam can also be used with Nasty Plot to provide a great deal of power, but can leave you trapped against Abomasnow and is useless when Sunny Day is not in effect.</p>

<p>Shiftry can use a mixed set with Growth if given Sunny Day support. The best way to go about this is a moveset of Growth / Sucker Punch / Seed Bomb / Hidden Power Fire, with an EV spread of 252 Atk / 148 SpA / 104 Spe. This essentially functions as a variant of the Swords Dance set but with Hidden Power Fire to defeat Heracross and bulky Grass-types. Growth can also be used on a pure physical or special sun sweeper to conceal the identity of the set for an additional turn. Just keep in mind that you won't be able set up effectively if the sun fades.</p>

[Checks and Counters]

<p>Hitmontop is the best counter to Shiftry, as it can switch in and OHKO with both its sets. Intimidate variants will survive a boosted attack, while Technician variants can simply OHKO with priority Mach Punch. Other bulky Fighting-types, such as Hariyama and Throh, function in a similar way. Heracross can survive a boosted attack from the Swords Dance set and OHKO in return, but will fall to a boosted Hidden Power Fire (assuming Sunny Day is in effect). Cobalion works similarly although both Shriftry sets will destroy it in the sun if they have managed to acquire a boost. Bulky Grass-types can wall the Swords Dance set, but usually have to wear Shriftry down slowly. Arcanine can bypass Sucker Punch with ExtremeSpeed or KO with Flare Blitz, but it must predict correctly to avoid being KOed itself. Defensive Zapdos can use Toxic, Substitute, Roar or Roost to bypass Sucker Punch, but needs to be careful of taking a direct hit from a neutral or super effective attack. Rotom-A resists all but Shriftry's Dark-type attacks and can Trick a Choice Scarf to cripple Shiftry. Dusclops and Confagrius can survive a +2 Seed Bomb and burn Shiftry, although Dusclops will be 2HKOed by a +2 Seed Bomb, even taking burn into account for the second attack. Chansey can wall the Nasty Plot set to no end unless it's taking +6 SolarBeams. In general, the Nasty Plot set has fewer counters with Sunny Day active, while the Swords Dance set is the only recommended set without sun support.</p>

[Dream World]
<p>Shiftry gets Pickpocket as its Dream World ability. This allows it to switch in on a contact move and steal the opponent's item, most notably an Eviolite from Chansey or Dusclops. Nonetheless, this is not advisable since Shiftry really needs a Life Orb and can already kill or severely cripple Chansey, Gligar, or Dusclops (although Chansey walls the Nasty Plot set).</p>


Mainly Pokegrammar issues, few minor things, but this can have its second stamp.

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It's been a while since I used shiftry, and I remembered it could beat dusclops despite being burned, but I forgot the details and wrote that it 2hkoes even being burned the second turn. I ran some calcs and realized I was wrong. It's actually a lot messier, and the reason you can win is that Pain Split sucks against something that's taking LO and burn damage, and Shiftry can keep boosting up. It's a little different because it can be circumvented if Shiftry boosts and Dusclops Seismic Tosses, (if both just attack Shiftry still wins) so I changed the sentence dealing with Dusclops to this:

Dusclops and Confagrius can survive a +2 Seed Bomb and burn Shiftry, although Dusclops can still be beaten as it is unable to utilize Pain Split effectively with Shiftry taking so much passive damage from Life Orb and Burn.
 

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