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.
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
nature: Timid / Modest
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
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.
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.
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
nature: Modest / Rash
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
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.
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.
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.
- Written by: [[Wenderz, 331114]]
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