Gen 3 Vigoroth (NU) (QC 1/1) (GP 0/2)

#1
[Overview]
Vigoroth is an excellent Pokemon in the NU tier, due to its decent stats, great movepool, and plenty of sets to work with. It faces very little competition from other Normal-types in the tier, and it performs a variety of roles due to its great movepool. Vigoroth also is part of a very good speed tier, speed tying Pokemon such as Golbat, Abra, Pikachu, Venomoth, and others, while outspeeding Pokemon like Hitmonchan and Glalie. Vigoroth's Normal-typing is somewhat of a hindrance, however, as it has trouble hitting Ghost-types, particularly Haunter and Sableye, and is weak to the omnipresent Hitmonchan. While Vigoroth's bulk is good, it is quite weak on the specially defensive side, boasting a mere 55 base stat. With the right EV investment, Vigoroth can still be an incredibly bulky and threatening Pokemon in the metagame.

[SET]
name: Bulk Up
move 1: Return / Body Slam
move 2: Earthquake / Shadow Ball / Substitute
move 3: Slack Off
move 4: Bulk Up
item: Leftovers
ability: Vital Spirit
nature: Careful
evs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD

[SET COMMENTS]
The purpose of this set is to provide a bulky setup sweeper that is difficult to break after acquiring boosts. Return is the more powerful option as a STAB move of choice, however Body Slam can be used to fish for Paralysis. Earthquake is used to hit Steel-types such as Mawile and Metang, and Rock-types like Relicanth and Sudowoodo. Shadow Ball gives super-effective versus Ghost-types like Haunter, but it still is not doing very much damage to Sableye. Substitute protects Vigoroth from status, but leaves Vigoroth without useful coverage. Slack Off guarantees recovery for Vigoroth, allowing it to have a good matchup versus bulky teams lacking solid checks. Bulk Up boosts both Vigoroth's Attack and Defense, letting it become a bulky and powerful threat.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
Vital Spirit is Vigoroth's only ability, and can help versus sleepers like Venomoth and Tangela. The EV spread listed helps compensate for its poor special bulk and allows it to manually boost its physical defense with Bulk Up. Vigoroth best sets up on weaker attackers when given free turns, but needs to make sure it is able to set up multiple boosts before it attempts to take on Hitmonchan. It also should make sure any Phazers are eliminated or able to be OHKOd before they can force Vigoroth out if it wants any chance of sweeping. Vigoroth is almost hard countered by Sableye, so make sure it is removed or significantly weakened before attempting to set up with Vigoroth. Ghost-types in general trouble Vigoroth, and as Haunter is immune to Earthquake due to Levitiate it is advised that all Ghost-types are delt with. It also struggles with Rock- and Steel-types, so they should also be weakened or removed prior. This set is far less dependent than other sets to get to 1HP than the Flail and Reversal sets, and can be used more freely as an end-game win condition without the fear of keeping Spikes off the field. Vigoroth needs to be wary about Toxic, as it can render it almost useless as it nearly always needs quite a few turns to set up. Vigoroth appreciates Pursuit support from Pokemon like Houndour and Murkrow to help deal with these troublesome Ghost-types. Vigoroth also likes having teammates that can sponge Fighting-type attacks, like Golbat and Chimecho, the latter of which can also provide some crucial Heal Bell support in the event of Vigoroth getting Toxic'd.

[SET]
name: Flail + Reversal
move 1: Endure / Substitute
move 2: Flail
move 3: Reversal
move 4: Shadow Ball
item: Salac Berry
ability: Vital Spirit
nature: Adamant / Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
A more offensive approach to Vigoroth, this set aims to take advantage of the fact that it is the only Pokemon capable of running Flail + Reversal, and it uses this to great effect. Endure is used to guarantee a 1HP survival if brought down to it, however it is more prediction reliant than Substitute. however, Substitute requires you to be faster than whatever you are subbing up on before Salac Berry activates, and can get thoroughly messed up by any Spikes currently on your side of the field and obviously altering HP. Flail is a powerful STAB move that will have 200 BP in ideal circumstances. Reversal can be a powerful 200BP Fighting-type move as well that hits the Steel- and Rock-types that resist Flail, but is also reliant at being low on HP. Shadow Ball also allows Vigoroth to hit Haunter as well as Sableye, but you're still not doing anything to Sableye if it has any sort of HP left.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
A more offensive approach to Vigoroth, Salac Berry is the item of choice because of its property of raising Vigoroth's speed when it is under a quarter of its total HP. If running Substitute, more HP investment might be useful as Vigoroth might be able to survive some weak hits behind a sub, however Vigoroth should always have an odd HP number as to allow it to get down to 1 HP. Adamant can be used for more power, but Jolly can be used if Vigoroth wants to outspeed Huntail in rain after its Salac Berry activates. Vigoroth appreciates Pokemon that can deal with Ghost-types, such as Steel-types, Pursuit trappers, and many specially defensive RestTalk users. Ground-types can be used to deal with Pokemon like Metang, which resists Flail and takes Reversal neutrally, though it is 2HKO'd by a max-BP Reversal. Rapid Spinners like Hitmonchan and Wartortle are a necessity for sets involving Substitute to work properly, and it is still appreciated on sets utilizing Endure as well.

[SET]
name: Choice Band
move 1: Return / Double Edge
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Shadow Ball
move 4: Focus Punch / Brick Break
item: Choice Band
ability: Vital Spirit
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
[SET COMMENTS]
Choice Band is a good option if Vigoroth wants immediate power. Return or Double Edge can be used, but Return is preferred for its lack of recoil damage even though it doesn't hit as hard as Double Edge. Earthquake hits the aforementioned Rock- and Steel-types, and Shadow ball nails Ghost-types that every Vigoroth set struggles with. Focus Punch is a more powerful option to hit normal-resists on the switch, but requires far more prediction than Brick Break, which also happens to be far less destructive.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
An Adamant nature and maximum Attack investment lets Vigoroth hit as hard as possible. 252 Speed EVs allows Vigoroth to outspeed Jolly Hitmonchan. A Choice Band gives Vigoroth a boost in initial power, but prevents the freedom of switching moves. This set is significantly more prediction reliant than other Vigoroth sets, but this is to be expected when equipping a Choice Band. As usual, Vigoroth appreciates Pokemon that can remove its normal counters of Ghost-, Rock-, and Steel-types while also enjoying teammates that appreciate its breaking power.

[SET]
name: SubPunch
move 1: Substitute
move 2: Bulk Up
move 3: Focus Punch
move 4: Flail / Shadow Ball / Body Slam
item: Salac Berry / Leftovers
ability: Vital Spirit
nature: Adamant
evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
The main boon of this set is Focus Punch, which allows Vigoroth to deal with many of its conventional checks that are not Ghost-type. Substitute eases prediction and sets up Focus Punch. Bulk Up is a useful boosting tool to increase both Vigoroth's power and bulk. Flail has the potential to be a powerful STAB attack but often requires ideal scenarios to work properly. Shadow Ball lets Vigoroth hit the pesky Ghost-types like Haunter and Shedinja. Body Slam is a more consistent option that is useful for fishing for Paralysis as well as a solid damage output without the needed setup or prediction with using Focus Punch.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
Vital Spirit is Vigoroth's only ability. Maximum Attack and Speed investment with an Adamant nature allows Vigoroth to hit as hard as possible while still outspeeding Hitmonchan. Salac Berry is the preferred item due to its ability to boost Vigoroth's speed in a pinch, but Leftovers can be used for more longevity. Note that Leftovers should never be used in combination with Flail. Vigoroth needs Pokemon that deal with Ghost-types as they are most likely a hard stop to Vigoroth. If using Flail, Rapid Spin support from Pokemon like Hitmonchan and Wartortle is required to ensure that Flail works optimally.

[SET]
name: Taunt Lead
move 1: Taunt
move 2: Return
move 3: Earthquake / Shadow Ball
move 4: Shadow Ball / Encore / Slack Off
item: Leftovers
ability: Vital Spirit
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Taunt is an optimal move for preventing status and hazards, and allows Vigoroth to shut down Pokemon like Roselia, Venomoth, and Glalie. Return is a solid STAB move with consistent damage, and Earthquake hits Steel- and Rock-types that resist Return. Shadow Ball hits Ghosts, and Encore is a very useful option that locks setup-users into their setup move and generally allowing more flexibility in general at the cost of being completely walled by Ghost-types. Toxic is another viable move for this set to help wear down opponents. Slack Off can be run in the last slot in order to give Vigoroth a more useful long-term purpose in a match, being able to wear down many Pokemon while having recovery of its own.

[ADDITIONAL SET COMMENTS]
This set is optimal in the lead spot, having very few bad matchups against most of the common leads seen in the tier. A Jolly nature and maximum Speed investment is required for Vigoroth to outspeed common Glalie leads. The rest of the EVs are put into Attack to allow for Vigoroth to have an offensive presence as well. Vigoroth retains excellent stallbreaking potential with Taunt and Encore with this set, and should be used optimally in stall matchups and not riskily switch into potential Toxics, which completely neuter Vigoroth. In case of emergency, Vigoroth does appreciate clerical support from teammates like Roselia and Chimecho. Leftovers is the preferred item for its consistent and reliable recovery.

[Other Options]
Rock Slide is a niche option that allows Vigoroth to hit Flying-types like Golbat super effectively while also catching Fire-types like Flareon and Torkoal.

[Checks and Counters]
Ghost-types are the most significant counter to Vigoroth, though Haunter has to watch out for Shadow Ball. Sableye in particular walls every Vigoroth set excluding Taunt. Steel-types like Metang and Mawile are difficult to break without Earthquake, but the latter needs to watch out for Reversal, Brick Break, or Focus Punch as well. Bulky Rock-types like Sudowoodo and Relicanth resist Vigoroth's Normal STAB and take surprisingly little from all super-effective coverage due to their sheer bulk. Toxic renders almost every Vigoroth set useless, as many require certain HP or multiple turns to set up, thus reducing Vigoroth's overall usefulness throughout a match.
 
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Oglemi

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Secret Boss Mod
#2
A Taunt lead is the last set I think that should be added:

[SET]
name: Taunt Lead
move 1: Taunt
move 2: Return
move 3: Earthquake
move 4: Shadow Ball / Encore
item: Leftovers
ability: Vital Spirit
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

It completely shuts Venomoth and Rose, stops Spikes from Glalie, easily beats Magby and Flareon, and really just doesn't have any poor matchups from the lead slot except for maybe Sudowoodo and Relicanth. It also retains obvious stallbreaker utility throughout the match as well with Taunt and Encore, with Toxic being another viable move to place somewhere on the set.

Otherwise for the other sets, I'm of the opinion that Slack Off is non-negotiable on the Bulk Up set, especially with the specially defensive spread, so I would deslash Shadow Ball from next to it. By virtue of the set you'll end up walled by something, the hole just gets patched up through teambuilding. If you want to use both Earthquake and Shadow Ball you should be using an offensive EV spread, which you can add as a note in the AC or something. I would also probably deslash Bulk Up from the Flail set, I don't think the boost is significant to warrant it, and you need Shadow Ball to hit Haunter and more importantly Sableye (although it still won't save you from losing to Sableye if it's above ~30%)
 
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#3
Oglemi god i wrote the last 3 sets of this and accidentally hit cancel and had to rewrite again, but im ready for QC. i felt less need to go into great detail and repeat teammate options and obvious stuff that i said like 3 times already in AC later down the setlist, hope thats okay
 

Hogg

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UU & Tour Head
#4
I typically run Slack Off in the last slot for Taunt lead. Still does what it needs to do in the lead slot but increases longevity, and Taunt + Slack with decently strong Normal + Ghost coverage is a pain for bulky teams to deal with. Even strong resists like Mawile or defensive Reli end up getting Taunted and worn down (and a Taunted Mawile in particular is a free switch for a huge chunk of the tier). Probably at least worth a mention if not a slash.
 

Oglemi

best girl
is a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnus
Secret Boss Mod
#6
Make sure to explain what the sets do before diving into the moves, ie. what the goal of the set is and what type of team it should be on, especially for something like the Bulk Up set it might not be readily apparent to newcomers what it does.

Otherwise the sets are good QC-wise
 

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