I already covered Z-Tailwind earlier in the thread (here), sorry dude.Paper Machete
I've recently been trying out z tailwind kartana,
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Kartana @ Flyinium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
- Leaf Blade
- Sacred Sword
- Swords Dance/ night slash/ smart strike
I know initially people thought it was a gimmicky set but after using it for a few days I can say it definitely puts in a lot of work against most architypes but really shines against balance and stall. Before I talk about the positives I want to address its weakness. The biggest issue with the set is its poor coverage if running swords dance and the time it takes to snowball if it's not.
You want swords dance because leaf blades damage output is ridiculous after a crit and at plus 2. Here are some calcs:
+2 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Tornadus-Therian on a critical hit: 340-401 (93.9 - 110.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Kartana Sacred Sword vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Magearna on a critical hit: 336-396 (92.5 - 109%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 248 HP / 0 Def Magearna on a critical hit: 252-297 (69.4 - 81.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 248 HP / 8 Def Zapdos on a critical hit: 321-378 (83.8 - 98.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
+2 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 152 HP / 0 Def Hawlucha on a critical hit: 359-423 (107.1 - 126.2%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+2 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Latios-Mega on a critical hit: 283-333 (94 - 110.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Kartana Sacred Sword vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Scizor-Mega on a critical hit: 215-253 (62.6 - 73.7%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
+2 252 Atk Kartana Sacred Sword vs. 248 HP / 104+ Def Celesteela on a critical hit: 304-358 (76.5 - 90.1%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
The downside to running swords dance alongside tailwind is the fact that it requires two turns to set up and has relatively poor coverage, but again to reiterate the poor coverage is offset by the damage output leaf blade puts out once it is set up.
On the other hand if you opt to run night slash or smart strike kartana operates similar to its choice scarf set with double the speed -enough to outrun hawlucha- and the ability to switch attacks, the crit multiplier provides an attack boost since leaf blade and night slash (if you opt to run it over smart strike) will always crit. When compared to its choice scarf set, the pros and cons of z tailwind kartana become more apparent, it functions akin to a sweeper with higher damage output allowing it to snowball easier, has more speed but it comes at the cost of loosing the ability to switch out for fear of relinquishing the crit multiplier. Further unlike choice scarf it does have less coverage as it cannot run both smart strike and night slash.
Here are some calcs for kartana without the sword dance boost but with the crit multiplier
-1 252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 240+ Def Landorus-Therian on a critical hit: 222-262 (58.1 - 68.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Tornadus-Therian on a critical hit: 267-315 (89.2 - 105.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Tornadus-Therian on a critical hit: 267-315 (73.7 - 87%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Kartana Night Slash vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tornadus-Therian on a critical hit: 178-210 (49.1 - 58%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Kartana Night Slash vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Tornadus-Therian on a critical hit: 176-208 (58.8 - 69.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Clefable on a critical hit: 249-294 (63.1 - 74.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Kartana Leaf Blade vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Zygarde on a critical hit: 241-285 (67.3 - 79.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
One thing I have not touched on, is the utility of z tailwind kartana. Tailwind has been a gimmicky move due to its short duration but when used late game Kartana is able to punch some final holes in a team and if it happens to faint it, you still have the speed boast for another teammate or if tailwind runs out you can just set it up again. One Pokémon who appreciates the utility of tailwind is mega alakazam. Mega alakazam is the flavour of the month at the moment and currently its most common set opts to use a modest nature over timid. This provides a notable increase in power but allows it to fall prey to being outsped and speed tying with ash-gren, other alakazams and is also outsped by mega lop. Z tailwind kartana supports alakazam by allowing it use a modest nature and allowing it to then outspeed choice scarfers and set up sweepers. Another mon that pair well with kartana is magnezone, as its ability to trap steels like celesteela, scizor and ferrothorn makes kartana time of sweeping that much easier. Compounding z tailwinds kartana’s utility, is its sheer unpredictability, already it is quite difficult to judge what set kartana’s running from team preview sure it’s not like Landorus-Therian where you just have no idea what its running but there is always that risk that you could misjudge it's set. This is favourable as I mentioned earlier running swords dance means it has to set up twice, but in practice this is not difficult as it easy lure and feint opponent with its set. for example if you can set up on mega alakazam by sacrificing a mon sending out kartana, opponent switches fearing choice scarf, set up tailwind for the speed and crit and proceed to ko or set up swords dance on their check.
All in all I would rank z Kartana in either A or A- as its sheer versatility in its ability to support its teammates or just steam role by setting up cannot be understated. It functions as an amalgamation of its swords dance and choice scarf sets, and as such can be played how you want depending on the opposition. Against offence you have a mon that can set up tailwind for another mon to sweep and against balance and stall it can just straight out overpower most mons through the power of crit leaf blade and sword dance plus it does not have to worry about being outsped against balance or stall as it more often than not will be fast enough to hit the opposing mon first, meaning you only have to set up once.
In this replay Kartana is able to sweep using tailwind. The key thing here is that had it been the normal swords dance set it would have lost to zygarde and if it was the choice scarf set it would have lost to heatran because it wouldn’t have been able to switch attacks.
In this replay kartana was able to break most of the opponents team and then later sweep
In this battle the utility of z tailwind kartana is shown. It put the opponent in a check mate postion, as it eventhough it didnt crit against magearna the tailwind provided alakazam the ability to outspeed choice scarf kartana
In this battle kartana again provided utility to the team by allowing mega zam to outspeed choice scarf keldeo