Gen 4 Skuntank (NU Analysis)

Honko

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#1

https://www.smogon.com/dex/dp/pokemon/skuntank/

[OVERVIEW]

Despite not being especially powerful, bulky, or fast, Skuntank is one of the most influential Pokemon in the NU metagame due to the Pursuit support it provides. By removing opposing Psychic-types such as Slowking, Gardevoir, Grumpig, and Hypno from the match, Skuntank opens the door for NU's dangerous Fire- and Fighting-type attackers to sweep opposing teams uncontested. On top of that, Skuntank's STAB Sucker Punch is one of the strongest priority attacks in the tier, and it also has access to Explosion, ensuring that it has plenty of value even in matches where your opponent doesn't have any Psychic-types to trap. You won't see Skuntank sweeping teams singlehandedly or walling all of your opponent's attackers, but it offers such unique and important support that it's worth considering on nearly any team.

[SET]
name: Offensive Trapper
move 1: Pursuit
move 2: Sucker Punch
move 3: Crunch / Taunt
move 4: Explosion
item: Black Glasses / Life Orb
ability: Aftermath
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

* Provides invaluable support for any team that aims to sweep with Pokemon like Charizard, Typhlosion, or Medicham, who have very few counters once Psychics are out of the way.
* This set also has plenty of offensive utility on top of trapping thanks to fully invested Sucker Punch and Explosion.
* Pursuit is for trapping, Skuntank's most important job.
* STAB Sucker Punch is one of the strongest priority moves in the tier, giving Skuntank additional value as a revenge killer
* Crunch is reliable STAB that doesn't require any prediction to use and has good neutral coverage. Triple Dark STAB may seem strange, but that's often all Skuntank needs.
* Taunt shuts down attempts to cripple Skuntank with status, stall with recovery moves, or set up on Skuntank after it's successfully trapped something. Has some nice synergy with Sucker Punch and Pursuit.
* Explosion is the ideal way to send Skuntank out after its job is done.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]

* Skuntank has a few coverage options it can run over Crunch (or Sucker Punch if your team doesn't need priority)
** Poison Jab is a solid alternate STAB move that hits most Dark-resists at least neutrally, most notably OHKOing Shiftry and Cacturne
** Fire Blast OHKOes Magneton while still covering Shiftry and Cacturne, but doesn't hit much else
** HP Ground also OHKOes Magneton and 2HKOes opposing Skuntank
** HP Grass or Ice hit most Ground-types harder than Skuntank's STABs, but keep in mind that they're quite weak without investment; HP Grass doesn't even OHKO Whiscash, for example
* Black Glasses is great if running triple Dark STAB
* Life Orb's extra power can be nice, especially for revenge killing with Sucker Punch or if using Poison Jab or another coverage move. Recoil can be problematic though.
* Lum Berry prevents things like Slowking's Thunder Wave and Gardevoir's Will-O-Wisp from messing with Skuntank's trappage
* Adamant highly recommended since power matters more than speed for Pursuit and Sucker Punch
* Jolly an option to outspeed base 80s and Magmortar, especially if you drop Sucker Punch
* Switch to Lonely or Hasty if using a special attack
* Skuntank's spread is very flexible. Straightforward 252/252 is best with Life Orb, but with Black Glasses you can shift some EVs into HP and SpD to take better advantage of Skuntank's bulk.
* For example, 12 HP / 240 Atk / 32 SpD / 224 Spe always survives LO Haunter's HP Ground after SR while still outspeeding same-natured base 80s
* Use this set with teammates that appreciate Psychics (Slowking/Gardevoir/Grumpig/Hypno) being gone. Fighting-types, Fire-types, Jynx, Floatzel, Gorebyss.
* Probably the simplest template for building an offensive team in NU is to combine Skuntank with one or two Fire-types and a spinner.
* Explosion is a great move, but don't be too eager to blow Skuntank up, especially if you might need its Sucker Punch to revenge something later.

[SET]
name: Bulky Trapper
move 1: Pursuit
move 2: Sucker Punch
move 3: Crunch / Taunt
move 4: Explosion
item: Shuca Berry / Lum Berry / Black Sludge
ability: Aftermath
nature: Adamant
evs: 176 HP / 80 Atk / 252 SpD

[SET COMMENTS]

* Provides invaluable support for any team that aims to sweep with Pokemon like Charizard, Typhlosion, or Medicham, who have very few counters once Psychics are out of the way.
* This set takes advantage of Skuntank's bulk and typing to act as a more reliable counter to Psychics and also things like Haunter, Shiftry, and Vileplume without needing as much prediction
* Pursuit is for trapping, Skuntank's most important job.
* STAB Sucker Punch is one of the strongest priority moves in the tier, giving Skuntank additional value as a revenge killer
* Crunch is reliable STAB that doesn't require any prediction to use and has good neutral coverage. Triple Dark STAB may seem strange, but that's often all Skuntank needs.
* Taunt shuts down attempts to cripple Skuntank with status, stall with recovery moves, or set up on Skuntank after it's successfully trapped something. Has some nice synergy with Sucker Punch and Pursuit.
* Explosion is the ideal way to send Skuntank out after its job is done.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]

* This set is very customizable depending on what you want Skuntank to beat
* Shuca Berry allows Skuntank to switch in and 100% counter Haunter without needing to predict with Sucker Punch since LO HP Ground will never 2HKO even after SR. Also neat to survive an EQ from something like Whiscash or Tauros and KO them with Explosion.
* Lum Berry protects Skuntank from WoW from Gardevoir and Ghosts and from T-Wave from Slowking/Grumpig/Hypno
* Black Sludge for recovery
* Can use Poison Jab over Crunch to act as a solid counter to most Grass-types, especially mixed Shiftry
* With the listed spread and a Shuca Berry, LO Haunter's HP Ground will never 2HKO even after SR, meaning Skuntank can actually counter it without having to predict with Sucker Punch
* With the listed spread and Black Sludge, defensive Slowking's Surf will never 3HKO even after SR, which makes mispredicting when it will stay in vs. switch out much less punishing
* Feel free to change the spread up depending on what you want Skuntank to beat. Big gap between HP and Def/SpD stats means it's often better to spend EVs in defenses first, especially when aiming for a specific target.
* Use this with teammates that appreciate Psychics (Slowking/Gardevoir/Grumpig/Hypno) being gone. Fighting-types, Fire-types, Jynx, Floatzel, Gorebyss.
* Probably the simplest template for building an offensive team in NU is to combine Skuntank with one or two Fire-types and a spinner.
* Explosion is a great move, but don't be too eager to blow Skuntank up, especially if you might need its Sucker Punch to revenge something later.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
================

* Choice Scarf
* Rain Dance / Sunny Day
* Memento

Checks and Counters
================

* Don't bring Psychics.
* Bring Psychics, but never click Psychic or Toxic.
* Regirock
* Probopass
* Magneton, Sandslash, Gligar, Hitmonchan, Poliwrath, Whiscash can all force it to use Explosion 1v1
* Faster Pokemon with Substitute force it to predict well with Sucker Punch (Haunter, Jynx, Charizard, Venomoth)
* Good/lucky prediction: staying in on Pursuit, switching out on Crunch, recovering/statusing on Sucker Punch, etc
 
Last edited:

Bughouse

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#2
Really good start. Hard mon to write for since it’s so flexible with slight tweaks even black glasses and LO play a bit different, much less Lum or shuca. I wonder if one set is the right approach but everything that is here is great. Just maybe leaves too much for the reader to decide to have 2x3x3 options.
 

Honko

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#3
Hmm yeah that is an awful lot of options for a single set. Splitting it up seems good but I still find myself with quite a few slashes on each set lol. Does this look right to you?

[SET]
name: Offensive Trapper
move 1: Pursuit
move 2: Sucker Punch
move 3: Crunch / Taunt / Poison Jab (mention Fire Blast and HP Ground/Grass/Ice in AC)
move 4: Explosion
item: Black Glasses / Life Orb (mention Lum Berry in AC)
ability: Aftermath
nature: Adamant (mention Jolly and Lonely in AC)
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET]
name: Bulky Trapper
move 1: Pursuit
move 2: Crunch / Taunt
move 3: Sucker Punch / Taunt
move 4: Explosion
item: Shuca Berry / Lum Berry / Black Sludge
ability: Aftermath
nature: Adamant
evs: 164 HP / 92 Atk / 252 SpD
 

Oglemi

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Secret Boss Mod
#4
Agree on the split between the two. I would probably just not slash pjab on the first set, and deslash taunt next to sucker punch on the second since I don't think I would ever not run it on a set with no speed
 

Bughouse

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#5
kinda true on pjab. I almost never wish I had it when i don't have it and I almost never miss it when I don't.

And yeah 0 speed taunt seems ass. like you can't even taunt a RP Regirock/Regice, DD Whiscash, etc etc. Just loses a lot of the point. You're gonna end up wanting to Boom on most of those mons instead to serve the same purpose of not being set up.

I'd also point out specific bulk benchmarks. Skuntank for example can move just a touch of speed/attack to bulk to live Haunter's HP Ground 100% after rocks. I think I've run
16 HP / 236 Atk / 32 SpD / 224 Spe Jolly before - don't run this with LO though since it kinda defeats the purpose. This still outruns +speed 80s and the 4 points of Attack are basically never noticeable. The only downside is Magmortar and other Skuntank (though this is generally a trade/switch to physical tank anyway).

My bizarre Rain Dance Skuntank spread that I used on the Parasect team in NUPL was
Skuntank @ Damp Rock
Ability: Aftermath
EVs: 24 HP / 248 Atk / 68 Def / 24 SpD / 144 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Rain Dance
- Crunch
- Pursuit
- Explosion


Basically, without getting into specific bulk benchmarks aside from maybe like Haunter's HP Ground and one or two others, mention that Skuntank's bulk is totally serviceable and you can invest in it to meet specific benchmarks. The things Skuntank most needs to be around to beat, it will beat almost regardless of set. Dropping some attack won't stop Skuntank from beating any psychic, except if you're like Lum against max def slowking. It's not just a choice between 252/252 and a properly bulky skuntank. You can do any of tons of benchmarks between the two.
 
Last edited:

Honko

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is a member of the Site Staffis a Programmeris a Contributor to Smogon
#6
Alright, thanks for the suggestions. I've split out the separate sets and did my best to describe how customizable Skuntank is without getting bogged down too much in specific examples. What do you guys think?
 

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