Starmie (Analysis)


<p>Starmie's role hasn't altered much in the transition to BW. In fact, it is largely the same. Starmie's stat spread may not seem to be the best, nor the most powerful, but its incredible coverage and access to excellent support options are not to be overlooked. Starmie is one of the best offensive spinners out there, competing with Excadrill for that title, and can fulfill many roles on a team. Starmie's access to Natural Cure makes it a great status absorber and can be used with Recover to highly increase its longevity. In addition, Starmie's excellent typing resists both of Keldeo's STAB moves and its Speed lets it outrun many dangerous threats such as Thundurus, Terrakion, and Gengar. This, combined with a Life Orb, gives Starmie great sweeping capabilities to augment its support capabilities.</p>

<p>Not all is well for Starmie in the Dream World metagame though. Threats like Ferrothorn, Blissey, and Chansey all wall Starmie and Ghosts, such as Gengar and Jellicent, can spinblock against non-Life Orb variants. To further complicate matters, Starmie's weaknesses to, common Pokemon such as Choice Scarf Chandelure, Choice Scarf Genesect, and Latias enable those Pokemon to threaten it with a sweep. Starmie's weaknesses do not help either, as U-turn, Pursuit, and Volt Switch are all common moves. Even though Starmie faces many challenges, it can be used to great effect on a team to serve multiple roles.</p>

name: Special Attacker
move 1: Hydro Pump / Surf
move 2: Thunderbolt
move 3: Ice Beam
move 4: Rapid Spin / Recover
ability: Natural Cure
item: Life Orb
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe


<p>This set's main goal is to attack and score revenge kills, then use Rapid Spin or Recover when necessary. One might think Starmie cannot pull this off effectively due to its average base 100 Special Attack stat, but what makes this so effective is its Speed. Starmie can easily outspeed other Pokemon such as Thundurus and Garchomp and KO them with its coverage moves. Starmie's excellent coverage and Speed give it an edge over other Pokemon being considered for its role, especially as it can outspeed crucial Pokemon such as Terrakion and Thundurus.</p>

<p>The set's main STAB move should be either Hydro Pump or Surf. This choice brings back the old accuracy-for-power debate, and it is a purely preferential decision upon what to use. Both choices provide a consistent, powerful move to help Starmie blast through walls. However, it should be noted that a Life Orb-boosted Surf cannot OHKO Gengar without Stealth Rock, so choose Hydro Pump if Gengar is especially problematic for your team. The next two moves on the set are essential as they provide the crucial coverage that makes Starmie so effective. Ice Beam is extremely useful for taking out Dragon-types such as Salamence, Dragonite, and Garchomp, and also hits Thundurus and Breloom quite hard. Thunderbolt completes the infamous, near unresisted BoltBeam combo that nets KOs on Pokemon such as Gyarados and provides coverage against Water-types, such as Jellicent and Keldeo. The final move is up to you as both are useful. Rapid Spin should be used if you can't fit it in another teammate's moveset, but will severely shorten Starmie's lifespan as it won't be able to heal residual damage. Recover is recommended if your team already has a Rapid Spin user, as it will greatly help Starmie in the long run.</p>


<p>This set's EVs are quite straightforward. Max Speed and Special Attack allow Starmie to hit as hard and fast as possible, and the extra four EVs are put in Special Defense to minimize Stealth Rock damage and prevent Download users from getting a Special Attack boost. Natural Cure is the ability of choice because it makes Starmie a great switch-in to status inducing moves, and its other abilities are practically useless. If you feel the extra coverage provided by Thunderbolt and Ice Beam are unnecessary, Starmie has a few other viable moves to replace its coverage options. Psyshock provides Starmie with a strong secondary STAB, and hits specially defensive walls, such as Chansey, harder. Hidden Power Fire is for breaking through Ferrothorn but will always fail to OHKO, so it is a bit lackluster. The problem with replacing a move on Starmie's set is that it must give up either a helpful supporting move or a coverage move. As both of these are very valuable, it is best to drop a move that helps against a Pokemon that your team already covers. Another change that can be made is the item. While Life Orb provides a great power boost, Leftovers can be used to increase Starmie's longevity and to allow you to spam Rapid Spin, but the power drop will be severe. Expert Belt can also be used to bluff a choice set and power up Starmie's moves without recoil. To prevent a Choice Scarf Chandelure coming in and ruining Starmie's day, a Shed Shell is viable.</p>

<p>As this particular Starmie set focuses on attacking, it may have trouble breaking down walls with unboosted, non-STAB attacks. For this reason, a mixed Salamence set makes an excellent partner as it is able to break through walls easily. Starmie also helps Salamence, it resists its Ice-type weakness and can spin Stealth Rock away to enable it to switch in for free. Antoher excellent teammate is Technician Breloom. Blissey, Chansey, and Ferrothorn all stop Starmie in its tracks, but Breloom's strong Fighting-type attacks will easily break down such walls. Breloom's Mach Punch also helps against threats that can outspeed Starmie, such as Excadrill in sand or certain Choice Scarf users. This set also works extremely well with rain support from Politoed. The rain not only powers up Starmie's already dangerous STAB Hydro Pump, but enables it to use the vicious Thunder as a coverage move. Other good teammates include Pokemon that can take U-turns and Volt Switches, such as Gastrodon, Terrakion, and Magnezone. When using this set one must be wary of Pokemon that can take an unboosted move from Starmie, such as Latios and Latias. Even though it is weak to Thunderbolt, specially defensive Jellicent can also take repeated attacks from Starmie and retaliate with a STAB Shadow Ball.</p>

name: Rapid Spin
move 1: Rapid Spin
move 2: Recover
move 3: Scald
move 4: Thunderbolt / Thunder Wave
ability: Natural Cure
item: Leftovers / Shed Shell
nature: Timid
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe


<p>This set attempts to use both Rapid Spin and Recover to become a reliable spinner, while still maintaining a defensive presence. The crux of the set is Rapid Spin; it enables Starmie to become an excellent team supporter. Rapid Spin clears entry hazards for sweepers such as Volcarona, Chandelure, Thundurus, and Dragonite, and enables to sweep with greater ease. Starmie uses Recover in combination with Rapid Spin to allow it to spin many times throughout a match. This Starmie tends to use Surf or Scald instead of Hydro Pump because of its more defensive nature. Scald gives Starmie a good STAB move as well as a chance to cripple a physically inclined sweeper with a burn for the rest of a match. The final moveslot is dedicated to a coverage move for Starmie to cripple certain threats with. Thunderbolt is preferred due to the greater neutral coverage it provides, but Thunder Wave is also a good option for spreading status. Leftovers is the item of choice on this set because the set focuses mainly on Starmie's supporting abilities, rather than its power power. Shed Shell is also a useful item solely for escaping from Chandelure, a threat to Starmie, no matter what set it runs. Natural Cure is a great ability for Starmie, not only because it lacks viable alternatives, but because it lets Starmie heal itself from crippling status conditions, such as poison or paralysis.</p>


<p>Maximizing Starmie's HP stat lets it take hits much better, but still retains its high Speed. This set has the ability to use several other supporting options in place of the final coverage move. Hidden Power Fire, Psychic, and Psyshock are all viable moves thanks to the coverage they provide. In addition to these moves Starmie can use Toxic and weather moves to aid its team. Toxic, in addition to Recover, can stall out walls that would normally give Starmie trouble, such as Chansey and Blissey. Weather inducing moves are an excellent defense to weather abusing teams. Starmie can utilize either Rain Dance or Hail to induce a different weather and potentially ruin an opponent's weather-based strategy. Great teammates for this set are one's that can truly take advantage of Starmie's spinning abilities. Pokemon that are weak to Stealth Rock, Spikes, or Toxic Spikes are all great partners that love the team support that Starmie provides. Defensively, Starmie enjoys Pokemon that can handle its weaknesses to Volt Switch and U-turn, such as Landorus, Thundurus, and other Pokemon bulky enough to take the hit such as Ferrothorn. This set also makes for a wonderful Keldeo check because it can endure repeated blows from its dual STABs. Starmie can also hit back with either Psychic or Thunder Wave, thus crippling Keldeo for the match. Unfortunately, this Starmie set also has its problems. Bulky spinblockers, such as Jellicent and Dusclops, can take advantage of Starmie's low damage output and constantly block Starmie's Rapid Spin. Also, due to its lower power, Pokemon such as Gengar and Tyranitar can take a hit and retaliate with their powerful super-effective STAB moves.</p>

name: Choice
move 1: Hydro Pump / Surf
move 2: Ice Beam
move 3: Thunderbolt
move 4: Trick / Hidden Power Fire / Rapid Spin
ability: Natural Cure
item: Choice Scarf / Choice Specs
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe


<p>When equipped with a Choice item, Starmie becomes either a great revenge killer or a powerful attacker. Choice Scarf is a great item for Starmie thanks to its rare and high Speed tier, which enables it to outspeed crucial threats such as Scarf Terrakion, Scarf Garchomp, +1 Dragonite, Deoxys-S, Modest Venusaur in sun, and +1 Salamence. On the other hand, Choice Specs gives Starmie a huge boost in power, as not much can stand up to a rain-boosted Choice Specs Hydro Pump. Hydro Pump is the move of choice for both items because of its sheer power, which compensates for the Choice Scarf set's average Special Attack and ensures maximum power for the Choice Specs set. Surf can be used as it is more reliable, but it is significantly less powerful. Ice Beam and Thunderbolt are special attacking staples, and give great coverage alongside Starmie's STAB Water-type attacks. Trick can be used for getting rid of one's own choice item while messing with the opponent's walls, although there are other options that can be used in place of it. Hidden Power Fire is a viable choice for the Choice Specs set as it has a chance to OHKO Ferrothorn with entry hazards support. Rapid Spin can be used with Choice Scarf for a quick removal of hazards, which allows Pokemon like Dragonite and Volcarona to set up.</p>


<p>The EVs on this set maximize Starmie's offensive presence and take advantage of its unique speed tier. Taking any EVs away from either offensive stat is not recommended, but the last 4 EVs can be used at one's leisure to determine which of Genesect's stats becomes boosted should it switch in. Psychic and Psyshock both have their merits as a secondary STAB; each hits different threats to Starmie, although Psyshock is noted for its ability to 2HKO Blissey with hazard support and ability to hit Keldeo much harder. Thunder or Blizzard can be used over Thunderbolt or Ice Beam, respectively, with the appropriate weather support. The best possible teammates for this set are ones that can take Volt Switches and U-turns, both of which it is extremely vulnerable to. Pokemon that synergize well with Starmie include Gastrodon, Garchomp, Dragonite, and any other Pokemon that are bulky enough to take the appropriate switching move. Another good choice is Magnezone; it resists both Volt Switch and U-turn and can trap Ferrothorn, a primary wall to Starmie.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>In addition to the aforementioned sets, Starmie can also run an effective Dual Screens set. Although this may appear effective thanks to Starmie's blistering Speed, its lackluster bulk makes it undesirable for such a role. A set utilizing Gravity can be used with Blizzard, Hydro Pump, and Thunder, each of which gain perfect accuracy while the condition is in effect. The main problem with this, though, is its lack of general utility outside of setting up Gravity. Shed Shell is viable on any Starmie set in order to escape Choice Scarf Chandelure, but the HP recovery or power boost granted by other items will be sorely missed. Hidden Power Fire is a good move on any set if Starmie is used on a Sun team, as it roasts many common counters such as Ferrothorn.</p>

[Checks and Counters]

<p>Although Starmie possesses amazing tools that are available to few other Pokemon, its list of checks and counters is long. VoltTurn teams tend to rip Starmie apart; as Starmie is weak to both moves and only hits Rotom-W for neutral damage, it is a lot less useful in matches against these teams. Starmie also has a rough time against Sun teams, as they reduce the power of Starmie's main attack greatly. In addition, Chlororphyll sweepers such as Venusaur and Shiftry can come in on Starmie and threaten it out with their Grass-type STAB moves.</p>

<p>In addition to certain playstyles, several Pokemon wall Starmie. Gastrodon, although rare, is immune to both Hydro Pump and Thunderbolt and takes very little from Ice Beam. Ferrothorn resists both Starmie's STAB attacks and Thunderbolt, and takes little damage from Ice Beam. Ferrothorn can also retaliate with a super effective STAB Power Whip. Choice Scarf Chandelure is able to trap Starmie and hit it with a super effective STAB Shadow Ball, which effectively eliminates it from the game. Chandelure must be careful not to switch into a Hydro Pump, though. Both Chansey and Blissey take little damage from any move in Starmie's arsenal, bar Psyshock. They can spam Starmie with repeated Seismic Tosses in return to wear down the Life Orb set. Rotom-W can severely dent, if not OHKO, Starmie with its STAB Electric-type attacks, such as Volt Switch, Thunderbolt, and Thunder. The most Starmie can do to Rotom-W is use Thunderbolt, and this will never OHKO Rotom-W. Jellicent and Dusclops can stop Starmie's spinning attempts, but Dusclops must be wary of a strong Life Orb boosted Hydro Pump and Jellicent cannot take too many Thunderbolts in a row. Choice Scarf Genesect also gives Starmie problems, as a super effective STAB Bug Buzz or U-turn will always OHKO Starmie, regardless of which stat Download boosts. Choice Scarf Tyranitar is also an excellent check to Starmie, being able to come in after a KO and trap it with Pursuit or KO it with Crunch. Lastly, faster threats that can OHKO Starmie, such as Weavile, can come in and easily OHKO Starmie with super effective moves, although they must beware of switching into one of Starmie's more powerful attacks.</p>


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Hey nice work! I think you should emphasize Genesect more, and instead of mentioning Bug Buzz, mention U-turn and how destructive that is. In your intro when you list all the threats that outspeed Starmie / beat it, I would mention Genesect there as well.

Also Rapid Spin should probably be the first set.

edit: lol didn't notice that Rapid Spin was slashed in the first set.

edit 2: Psychic hits Breloom harder, pokemon0078
Thanks for the tips Harsha, I'll put them in
EDIT: Sorry but I forgot to address the set positions. I think the offensive set should be first because it plays much harder on Starmie's offensive presence, rather than support options. The offensive set is also arguably the most effective set. as it lets Starmie serve as a spinner and revenge killer. Both sets can utilize Rapid Spin effectively, one just focuses on supporting more.
The first set should be called Special Attacker>Attacker. I also think that Psychic is a useless move even to be mentioned in AC. There is really nothing accomplished by Psychic other than hitting Conkeldurr harder that cannot be done by Psyshock.
Psychic is just good for a powerful, reliable secondary STAB. If you don't need Psyshock's advantages, it can be weak. So use Psychic instead. It's not used for coverage, it's used if you don't want coverage.
The second set looks rather redundant with the first set. I'd just remove it. Scald is something that should really only used on defensive Pokemon, as Starmie really appreciates the power from Hydro Pump or Surf over the 30% burn chance from Scald. There should also be two separate Choice sets. Choice Specs is a great surprise for shit like Tyranitar, as Specs Hydro Pump 2HKOes even 252/252+ Tyranitar in sandstorm, and has a 75% chance to OHKO 0/0 Tyranitar. Choice Scarf outspeeds annoying shit like +1 Garchomp and Blaziken, and is an overall useful revenge killer. Add those two sets and I'll give this another look.
I hope that this isnt approved without a defensive rapid spinning set, similar to the one in the ou analyses sub forum thingy. Bulky Starmie beats non HP Ghost Keldeo, beats rain stall, and is an overall great mon. I've been using it to combat Blazikien out of the sun as well!
Double posting, but just saying I updated the OP to reflect changes. I added both a Scarf and Specs set as well as changed Rapid Spin to Bulky Rapid Spin, per Sir's suggestion.
The problem with that is that you don't beat Keldeo. Keldeo can just laugh at you while you do nothing to it. I run Thunderbolt on my bulky Starmie rain stall teams, but Psychic/shock is viable for hitting Blazikien out of the sun and Keldeo. Bulky rapid spin should be the second set. Although i havent tested scarf+specs, I imagine they're mediocre because that's what they're in OU. You should probably consider merging Scarf + Specs. Slash Psychic on the Specs set. It should be Trick / Psychic / Hidden Power Fire.
The second set looks rather redundant with the first set. I'd just remove it. Scald is something that should really only used on defensive Pokemon, as Starmie really appreciates the power from Hydro Pump or Surf over the 30% burn chance from Scald. There should also be two separate Choice sets. Choice Specs is a great surprise for shit like Tyranitar, as Specs Hydro Pump 2HKOes even 252/252+ Tyranitar in sandstorm, and has a 75% chance to OHKO 0/0 Tyranitar. Choice Scarf outspeeds annoying shit like +1 Garchomp and Blaziken, and is an overall useful revenge killer. Add those two sets and I'll give this another look.
^this. Sir, please read the thread first. And if you wanna use Bulky Spin Starmie to counter Keldo, go ahead and use Psychic, that's why it's recommended in the AC.
why isnt thunderbolt s atleast a second slash in the defensive rapid spin set? It's not even mentioned in the ac! It stops Starmie from being laughed at by all the water-types in the tier. def warrants a slash
I don't see how it still doesn't warrant atleast an AC mention. It discourages Keldeo, Manaphy, and other offensive water-types from setting up
It's a 3HKO on Manaphy and you do 46-55% to Keldo. I really think you're better off switching out or using Psychic to counter Keldo (A very solid 2HKO).


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  • Outspeeding Chandelure is mostly irrelevent since a vast majority of them use Choice Scarf.
(Special) Attacker Starmie
  • Again un-Scarfed Chandelure is mostly irrelevent. Use a different example.
  • Also mention Ice Beam hitting Breloom
  • A well-played Starmie can spin more than once.
  • Psychic does not need an AC mention.
  • AC: Jolteon is pretty much irrelevant. Mention Excadrill in sand or something instead.
  • All of these sets need AC mentions of teammates who can take Volt Switches or U-turns safely. (Garchomp, Excadrill, Skarmory, Gastrodon, etc.)
Defensive Starmie
  • This set should be second.
  • Slash Thunderbolt before Thunder Wave.
Choice Starmie
  • The Choice Scarf and Choice Specs sets should be merged. There is not enough of a difference in movesets to justify them being separated. Slashes for the last slot would be Trick / Hidden Power Fire / Rapid Spin.
Other Options
  • This needs a bit of beefing up.
Checks and Counters
  • You're being too vague about Chlorophyll sweepers. A better example would be "Chlorophyll sweepers such as Venusaur, who can switch into Starmie fairly easily and threaten it out with Giga Drain or SolarBeam".
  • Choice Scarf Tyranitar
  • Remove the mention of Choice Specs Jolteon.
Once these changes are made:

Keep in mind though I may pop back in later with some more tweaks. The prose here needs a little bit of work.
Hidden Power Fire should be given a mention in the OO; it can feasibly be run over Surf on a sun team, and easily takes care of Starmie's more popular checks, such as Ferrothorn and Scizor. It also takes out Genesect. Nothing common in Dream World has base 115 Speed besides Raikou (who really isn't that common anyway...), so the lowered Speed IV won't really matter.
There should also be two separate Choice sets. Choice Specs is a great surprise for shit like Tyranitar, as Specs Hydro Pump 2HKOes even 252/252+ Tyranitar in sandstorm, and has a 75% chance to OHKO 0/0 Tyranitar. Choice Scarf outspeeds annoying shit like +1 Garchomp and Blaziken, and is an overall useful revenge killer. Add those two sets and I'll give this another look.
I originally had two, but should I go back on this?

eedit: I meant one ;-;
The second set looks rather redundant with the first set. I'd just remove it. Scald is something that should really only used on defensive Pokemon, as Starmie really appreciates the power from Hydro Pump or Surf over the 30% burn chance from Scald.
I'll OO it, but since I've already taken it out, as requested by Omicron I'd say leave as is.

EDIT: Completely forgot I had the Rapid Spin set there ;-; That's plenty defensive enough

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