Gen 4 Victreebel (NU) [QC 2/2] (GP 0/2)



[OVERVIEW]

Victreebel is widely regarded as the most immediately dangerous weather based sweeper in the metagame due to its solid offensive stats coupled with its ability Chlorophyll, moves such as Sleep Powder and Weather Ball, and its Toxic immunity which allows it to harass offensive and bulky teams alike under Sunny Day. Its strong Grass STABs in Solar Beam and Leaf Storm are especially effective at threatening metagame staples such as Regirock and Slowking.

Nonetheless, Victreebel's Speed outside of Sunny Day and bulk are pretty lackluster, and weaknesses to common types such as Fire and Psychic make Victreebel easy to revenge kill and hard to bring safely onto the field, which means that Victreebel tends to be very reliable on Sunny Day to accomplish anything against offensive teams. Furthermore, while Victreebel is certainly powerful, its Special Attack isn't enough to reliably break through common special walls such as Cradily, Lickilicky, and Hypno. The omnipresent Skuntank is also very troublesome as it resists Victreebel's STABs and threatens it with Pursuit and Sucker Punch.

[SET]

name: Chlorophyll Sweeper
move 1: Sleep Powder
move 2: Solar Beam
move 3: Weather Ball
move 4: Sludge Bomb / Hidden Power Rock
item: Life Orb
ability: Chlorophyll
nature: Timid / Modest
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

This set is one of the main reasons why Sunny Day is a solid team archetype in NU. Sleep Powder cripples the opposing Pokemon so it cannot disturb Victreebel and its teamates. Solar Beam is a powerful STAB attack without any drawbacks under Sunny Day. Weather Ball is a key move on this set as it grants a 100 base power Fire attack under Sunny Day, which threatens common checks to Victreebel such as Drifblim and Skuntank with a potential OHKO after Stealth Rocks damage. Sludge Bomb is a secondary STAB that hits Fire-types very hard and is Victreebel's most consistent attacking move when Sunny Day is gone. Hidden Power Rock can be considered as it OHKOes Charizard and heavily damages Drifblim, which otherwise would freely set up on Victreebel if Sunny Day isn't underway.

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

The special attack is maximized so Victreebel can get the aforementioned KOs when holding a Life Orb. Timid nature with 252 EVs in Speed is recommended in order to outspeed some of the most common Choice Scarf users such as Typhlosion and Manectric under Sunny Day, the first one in particular is very threatening for this kind of teams. Nonetheless, Modest should also be considered as it grants a very likely OHKO on Skuntank and Drifblim with Weather Ball after Stealth Rocks, both of which could shrug off Sleep Powder with KLum Berry or Chesto Berry and cause major troubles otherwise.

On dedicated sun teams, Regirock is highly recommended as a Sunny Day setter due to its access to Stealth Rock and ability to check opposing Fire-types which could take advantage of the sun. Other notable sun inducers are Persian and Jumpluff as they're guaranteed to use Sunny Day in the lead position due to their Speed and various disrupting moves such as Taunt and Sleep Powder to hinder the opponent. Shiftry is another staple of sun teams and can get rid of most Victreebel's foes. With Sucker Punch, it can threaten the very troublesome Gardevoir that would be tempted to revenge kill Victreebel by virtue of its ability Trace. Shiftry is also able to break through the problematic special walls such as Cradily and Lickilicky with Explosion or moves boosted by Swords Dance and Nasty Plot. Fire-types provides a strong offensive presence with their STAB power enhanced by Sunny Day and ability to use Solar Beam reliably. Typhlosion in particular is very dangerous with its extremely powerful Eruption. Ninetales is also a good candidate due to its ability Flash Fire which permits it to swallow opposing Fire attacks aimed at Victreebel and its teammates and become tremendously powerful by doing so. Skuntank is a valuable partner as it can use Pursuit to threaten the very bothersome Gardevoir, which can revenge kill Victreebel under Sunny Day by copying Chlorophyll with its ability Trace, and Hypno, which ignores Sleep Powder and take Victreebel's attacks quite well.

[SET]

name: Non-Sun Attacker
move 1: Sleep Powder
move 2: Leaf Storm
move 3: Sludge Bomb
move 4: Morning Sun / Sucker Punch
item: Life Orb
ability: Chlorophyll
nature: Modest / Rash
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

While it faces competition with the more popular Shiftry, Victreebel distinguishes itself thanks to its access to Sleep Powder, Toxic immunity, and better Special Attack to work outside of dedicated sun teams. Sleep Powder makes Victreebel harder to play around as putting the opposing Pokemon asleep can prevent it from bothering Victreebel, which can be very rewarding since most teams only have one reliable switch in to Leaf Storm from Victreebel. Speaking of which,Leaf Storm is Victreebel's strongest attack, scoring an OHKO on Regirock and most Slowking. Keep in mind that it should be used carefully as the special attack drop essentially forces Victreebel out. Sludge Bomb is a reliable STAB atrack that deals a lot of damages to Fire- and Grass-types that would be tempted to switch into Leaf Storm. It can also inflict poison which is extremely awkward for bulky which cannot afford to see their Leftovers recovery cancelled. However, be wary of poisoning a foe that would be more hindered by Sleep Powder.

Morning Sun is a semi-reliable form of recovery which allows Victreebel to counterbalance the health loss induced by Life Orb recoil, entry hazards, and other forms of damages. It drastically improves Victreebel match-up against stall teams as it allows it to switch on Pokemon such as Cradily, specially defensive Regirock, Meganium, and Politoed throughout the match and heal off the damage. However, Victreebel can make use of its 105 base Attack by using Sucker Punch to deter Pokemon such as Haunter, Jynx, Gardevoir, and various weakened Choice Scarf users from revenge killing Victreebel, which makes it more menacing for offensive teams instead.

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

Maximum special attack and Life Orb allows Victreebel to OHKO Slowking with Leaf Storm. The remaining EVs are dumped into Speed in order to outspeed some Pokemon such as defensive Gardevoir and Meganium that would be tempted to invest into Speed as well. Modest is usually the nature choice to get as much damage as possible, but a Timid nature can be chosen to outspeed Pokemon sitting at base 80 such as Medicham, Gardevoir, and Shiftry with a neutral nature. Rash is recommended if Victreebel packs Sucker Punch.

Thanks to its typing, Victreebel absorbs Toxic Spikes upon entry and can serve as an offensive check to Poliwrath lacking Ice Punch, a trait greatly appreciated by bulky Pokemon such as Regirock, Cradily, Lickilicky, and Sableye. In return, these Pokemon make solid defensive backbones potentially able to check offensive threats that tend to force Victreebel out such as Charizard, Skuntank, Tauros, Gardevoir, Jynx, Magmortar, Haunter, Drifblim, and Medicham. Furthermore, Cradily and Regirock can set up Stealth Rock, which limits Charizard, Jynx, Magmortar, and Drifblim's ability to revenge kill Victreebrel. Victreebel tends to struggle against specially defensive Pokemon such as Cradily, Lickilicky, and especially Hypno, which has the luxury of safely switching into Sleep Powder by virtue of its ability Insomnia. Therefore, physical wallbreakers such as Tauros, offensive Regirock, and Medicham are teammates of choice. Nonetheless, Victreebel can still cripple its defensive checks with Sleep Powder or, to a lesser extent, poison induced by Sludge Bomb. Other specially offensive Pokemon such as Haunter and Charizard may have an easier time getting past the aforementioned special walls if they have been statued by Victreebel beforehand. With Hypno and Drifblim being some of Victreebel's biggest nemeses, Skuntank is naturally a good partner as it can get rid of both of these annoyances with Pursuit. It also helps against other troublesome Pokemon such as Gardevoir, Haunter, and Jynx.

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

Victreebel can turn into a self sufficient sweeper by using Sunny Day itself, which can outspeed common Choice Scarf users such as Typhlosion and Manectric with a Timid nature, something that Vileplume cannot accomplish. However, it takes away an important moveslot and Victreebel's bulk makes it difficult to succesfully pull off. Swords Dance, in tandem with STAB Leaf Blade, lets Victreebel lure and dent typical switch-ins such as Cradily and Lickilicky and can be very difficult to deal with under Sunny Day. However, Shiftry is usually a better user of Swords Dance due to its STAB on Sucker Punch and better physical movepool. Choice Scarf allows Victreebel to act as a revenge killer with a fast Sleep Powder, but its STAB attacks are easily covered and being locked into Leaf Storm can be very punishing. Other disrupting moves such as Encore and Stun Spore have some merits once Sleep Clause is underway, but they are hard to fit into a set.

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

Special walls such as Cradily and Lickilicky take most Victreebel's fairly well and stall it out as long as they avoid Sleep Powder and, to a lesser extent, Sludge Bomb poison, which is especially awkward if Victreebel's team relies on Sunny Day and can't afford to waste turns. Hypno gets a special mention due to its ability in Insomnia which allows it to shrug off Sleep Powder. Drifblim resists Victreebel's STAB, can play around Sleep Powder with either Substitute or Chesto Berry, and can attempt to set up with Calm Mind. Nonetheless, it should be wary doing so against a Victreebel under Sunny Day, seeing that a boosted Weather Ball does up to 70 %. It also takes a noticeable amount of damage from Leaf Storm with Stealth Rock down and should be wary of Sucker Punch. Poison-types naturally check Victreebel due to their typing. Skuntank in particular is extremely dangerous as it outspeeds Victreebel and can threaten it with Pursuit and Sucker Punch if it's facing a Victreebel under sunlight, although Leaf Storm isn't slouch. Venomoth can stomach a Leaf Storm with relative ease and force Victreebel out. However, both of these Pokemon need to avoid boosted Weather Ball as well as Sleep Powder. Although much rarer, Muk is a solid counter to Victreebel due to its naturally great special bulk and power.

Unless the field is covered by Sunny Day, Victreebel's lackluster Speed leaves it very susceptible to faster Pokemon such as Charizard, Magmortar, Tauros, Haunter, Jynx, Medicham, and the list goes on. Noteworthy examples include Choice Scarf Typhlosion and Manectric, which are fast enough to revenge kill Modest Victreebel under Sunny Day, as well as Shiftry and Gardevoir, which will force Victreebel out regardless by virtue of their ability Chlorophyll and Trace. Even under Sunny Day conditions, Victreebel's frailty remains a problem against strong priority users such as Skuntank and Cacturne. However, Sleep Powder enables Victreebel to play around these. Fake Out users such as Medicham not only severly cripple Victreebel, but also stall out precious Sunny Day turns. Finally, while much less common, Ice Shard users such as Piloswine and Sneasel threaten Victreebel with a potential OHKO.

[CREDITS]
- Written by: [[Wenderz, 331114]]
- Quality checked by: [[Oglemi, 40358], [Bughouse, 52547], [Rabia, 336073], [Honko, 42413]]
- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
 
Last edited:

Oglemi

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Just noticed I never posted here, woopsie daisy

For the first set, I almost think that Sucker Punch should be slashed in the last slot. It just gives you an out vs a whole mess of stuff and in general just makes Vic more menacing for some offenses to handle, also lets it revenge some stuff like weakened Scarfers. Morning Sun is also about as situational as Sucker would be and really would just come down to how you play the match out and the rest of your team tbh.

Don't think I would emphasize Drifblim so much as a counter, seeing as how it can only switch into Leaf Storm twice even with 252 SpD (once with SR down (Leaf Storm 35.1 - 41.4%)) and has no recovery outside ChestoRest.

Chloro sweeper definitely wants Timid, you absolutely want to outspeed Scarf Typh/Zard. Modest is probably more pertinent on full sun teams, but as a late-game sweeper you want Timid.

I'm fine with the rest of this, Vic is pretty straightforward
 

Bughouse

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I think I'd swap the sets around a bit. The two primary options imo are Timid with Sleep Powder and Modest with Weather Ball, both primarily for full sun teams. Victreebel in my opinion lacks the bulk to reliably set sun for itself so it's really best used by far on a full sun team (though it can certainly carry the move on a full sun team as a backup setter). Vileplume (and Shiftry, though less directly comparable) is much better at supporting itself as a one-off threat.

So why specifically these sets:

Modest with Weather Ball has a great roll to OHKO an uninvested Skuntank after rocks. True you can try to Sleep Powder Skunk, but if it's Lum Berry as it often is, it may just absorb the sleep and explode in your face. The ability to damage Drifblim is huge as well, since, again Drifblim often has Chesto Berry to shrug off the Sleep Powder (and STABs will do nothing), while, again, Weather Ball has a roll to OHKO uninvested after SR. Timid with Weather Ball just doesn't quite do the job here and requires more preparation to get the game rolling in your favor, which takes positioning and time, which Sun teams don't always have the luxury of using up. The last thing you want to have happen with your Victreebel is failing to neuter Drifblim, have it Rest to become faster than you and fully heal, then use CM so you're not 2HKOing anymore, all while stalling out your sun turns.

The argument for Timid with Sleep Powder is that Vileplume in Sun is slower than some scarfers, most notably Manectric, Haunter, Typhlosion, Magmortar (ties if Vileplume is 252 Timid, though it's generally Modest), or Jolly Scarf Medicham (again, if Vileplume is Modest). Modest Vic outruns all of them up to the 95s (so up to Haunter), but it does not outrun Scarf Manectric or Typhlosion, who might be the most common scarfers in the meta, both of whom easily OHKO, since Manectric carries (sun-boosted) fire coverage. So if you're particularly worried about these guys, you'd want to run Timid, at which point no scarfer outruns. Tauros ties at 478, so the only things that will outrun you are like... Jumpluff and Gardevoir. Once you're running Timid, though, you lose the good OHKO with Rocks rolls on Skunk and Blimp, so I'd prefer at that point to go Sleep Powder. Now you at least have a 75% chance to beat any Skuntank that ISN'T Lum, whereas Timid Weather Ball will never KO after Rocks. Same goes for Drifblim. If you predict it to try to Rest off your attack, you have a 75% chance to burn its Chesto Berry before it Rests, so that Rest actually puts it to sleep for good.

As something like Scarf Typhlosion might be the single largest threat to a full sun team, Timid with Sleep Powder is probably the overall preferred set for a full sun team, though builds with Modest do exist.

If you did want to use Victreebel as a self-setting sun sweeper basically just wherever Vileplume fits on assorted teams, I think you'd have to use Timid, as the whole benefit at that point relative to Vileplume in the risk/reward is outrunning all scarfers, even if setting sun safely is much harder. Timid with Sleep Powder is also still preferred here, since it can give you the set up opportunities to begin with by Sleeping something slow BEFORE you set Sun. Unlike for a full sun team, though, for this kind of team I think Timid with Weather Ball could be OK, since it's generally coming out later in the game so you should have chipped something like a Skuntank already. This might make sense on a team with a few other status users, whose inflicted status would block you from being able to use Sleep Powder anyway.
But again, I'd advise against using Victreebel as a standalone sweeper since it will usually take 12.5% from Rocks and at least 60% from almost anything it tries to set Sun up against. You're quite likely to only manage to get 2 attacks off before LO knocks you out, if you're lucky. Your options for setting Sun safely with Vic's bulk are pretty slim... you're either doing it on stuff you've put to sleep, or it's like Choice locked Manectric on Tbolt/HP Grass, defensive Meganium, Toxic (ie not Twave), Boom-Less SpDef Regirock, and not a whole lot else.

The 2 attacks set that you listed first I guess has implied sun support, but if it doesn't, it seems pretty much strictly worse than a similar LO 2 attacks sleep roost set that Venomoth can run, since Venomoth has better speed and Tinted Lens. This sort of set, to me, is better mentioned in OO.
 

Rabia

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fwiw I don't really see a reason to slash Rash after Modest on the first set (and I agree that Timid should get noted there); Sucker Punch isn't a slash on the set, so it'd probably be better to just mention that you'd use Rash instead on such sets to avoid dropping damage

I've used a team with that first set outside of sun rather extensively throughout this year's NU DPP cup, and it's certainly good; you're still strong as fuck and get a lot of chances to come in and doink stuff like Regirock and Slowking. I'm not against swapping set order and admittedly have much less experience than Bughouse in this tier, but I do believe this set isn't just bad Venomoth
 

Bughouse

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TBH I've never even seen that set used in my like... decade of playing this tier. But if it has had success on builds that I just haven't seen before, that's cool. I'm fine to be wrong about its utility.

I can certainly see how its Leaf Storm OHKOs Regirock is something pretty huge that it has over Venomoth. Venomoth probably wasn't the best comparison anyway. There's also LO synthesis Shiftry, which I have seen used plenty and used myself. And so I guess the set makes more sense to me now. I'm still not sure I'm sold on using it over Shiftry in most cases, due to the speed difference, higher degree of unpredictability of what a Shiftry will be doing, and my general obsession with Explosion in old gens, but I can't deny if Shiftry learned Sleep Powder it would be a great option for it on a LO Synth set. So Vic has that over Shiftry. And the Toxic immunity is certainly nice as well as the ability to break through things like Meganium or Cacturne. So I stand corrected and would acknowledge that the Vic set has a niche. Not one I'd likely choose to build around, but definitely a niche.

But I still think the first thing anyone should see when they look up Vic on the dex should probably be its full sun set, as that's its most common and most devastating use.
 

Honko

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Bughouse I used the no-Sun 2 attacks set in NUPL last year. LO Synthesis Shiftry is the right comparison. You trade [Explosion + unpredictability + ability to switch in on Slowking] for [Sleep Powder + Toxic immunity]. The Toxic immunity is actually pretty nice in the current meta, since along with Morning Sun it means Vic can switch in on stuff like Cradily, ProTox Regirock, Politoed, Meganium, and non-Ice Punch Poliwrath all game long without ever getting worn down. Shiftry's still better overall, but I'd always at least consider Vic over it on any team that doesn't need the Dark typing and doesn't already have a sleeper.

That said, I 100% agree with Bughouse that the full sun sweeper should be listed first, and that we shouldn't recommend Vic set its own Sunny Day.

The overview talks a lot about Vileplume, but I don't think that's a very useful comparison. Vic and Vileplume have almost no overlap in the sets they should run (sun sweeper on full sun team or LO attacker for Vic, standalone sun sweeper or defensive for Vileplume). The overview should focus on these three points: (1) Vic's place on full sun teams as the scariest weather sweeper in the tier, (2) its ability to threaten defensive cores with Sleep Powder + strong Grass STAB + Toxic immunity, both in and out of sun, and (3) its poor bulk + lack of resistances + meh speed making it hard to accomplish anything vs offensive teams unless it has teammates setting up sun.
 

Bughouse

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Wenderz this looks good to me. Just some minor tweaks imo. Also tagging Honko for his additional review if he wants. IMO credit all of Oglemi, Rabia, Honko, and myself for QC.

I'd take Ice out of the overview, since it's not a particularly common attacking type in NU (at least on mons faster than Vic)

For the first set:
I'm not sure what the standard really is for talking about Weather Ball, but "150 base power Fire attack under Sunny Day" reads kinda funny to me. It's 100 BP, and boosted by Sun, whereas this almost sounds like it's 150 BP and even further boosted by Sun.

"Modest should also be considered as it grants a very likely OHKO on Skuntank and Drifblim after Stealth Rocks, both of which could shrug off Sleep Powder with KLum Berry or Chesto Berry and cause major troubles otherwise."
Specify that the OHKO in question here is with Weather Ball. Should be obvious, but no reason not to say it imo.

For the second set:
nature: Modest / Timid / Rash - that's kinda awkward. I'm not aware of a set recommending 3 natures. Let's go with just Modest / Rash. Timid is mentioned in the set comments anyway. This set is mostly meant to prey on bulky teams and Modest is more helpful for that.

"Thanks to its typing, Victreebel absorbs Toxic Spikes upon entry and can serve as an offensive check to Poliwrath" - specify that it's Poliwrath lacking Ice Punch.

"Therefore, physical wallbreakers such as Swords Dance Charizard, Pinsir, and Medicham are teammates of choice"
SD Charizard and Pinsir are not particularly common. Let's go with Tauros (particularly useful since it outruns Zard, Jynx, etc) and offensive Regirock.
 

Honko

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A few small comments on the 2nd set:

Rename it to something like "Non-Sun Attacker". Calling it "2 attacks" doesn't make sense if Sucker Punch is gonna be slashed.

"Victreebel distinguishes itself thanks to its better Special Attack, Toxic immunity, and access to Sleep Powder" -- Reverse the order of this list. Sleep Powder is the key advantage, Toxic immunity is a nice perk, the extra SpA is not really much of a factor.

Emphasize that a lot of teams only have 1 Pokemon that can switch in on Leaf Storm, and switching that in right away is risky because it might just get put to sleep.

Mention that Morning Sun gives Victreebel a really nice matchup vs defensive teams since it can switch in on common defensive mons like Cradily, ProTox Regirock, Politoed, Meganium over and over and stay healthy. Basically, Morning Sun makes it a nightmare for stall, whereas Sucker Punch gives that up in exchange for extra value vs offense.

Other than that and the changes Bughouse asked for, this looks good to me.
 

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