Project XY NU Research Week #2

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Credit to Mazz for the OP
Approved by Raseri

I'm stopping this until NUPL is over
Welcome, NUers and all those looking for an excellent comp. 'mons experience! A fresh tier means a fresh installment of Research Group!

Keep the following things in mind during every Research Group:
  • Be open-minded, don't just say something is terrible and walk away; look at its stats, movepool, and typing and think something up!
  • Feel free to theorymon early in the research period, but make it clear you're doing so. Later in the period though, you will be expected to back up your posts with hard evidence like logs, actual sets, perhaps even teams.
  • Just because an analysis has been done for a Pokemon doesn't mean there isn't more to explore; it's very likely that something has gone unnoticed.
  • Do not post in this thread complaining about the Pokemon I choose and / or suggesting ones we should do for future weeks. Feel free to VM / PM me these suggestions, but don't expect me to always listen to you.
A few things to clarify:
  • Early period means the first three days of the research week, so let's keep the theorymoning to a minimum after. The late period refers to the last four days of the research week, where raw evidence and discussion should become the basis of the thread.
  • Sign-Ups close Wednesday nights (about three and a half days of sign-ups), so be sure to sign up before they close!
  • Errrr....I don't have any prizes (yet), but obviously, your name with be forever in this thread's Hall of Fame =]
  • You must post a ladder ranking in order to win the above prize(s).

This Week's Research Pokemon:

Sneasel | Swellow | Barbaracle | Weezing | Raichu | Ditto

How useful are these Pokemon in XY NU? What sets can they run effectively? What gives them trouble? What advantages do they have over other Pokemon? How well do they work in the metagame? If you have anything to say about any of these Pokemon, please post about them! It doesn't matter if you've used them or have just faced them in battle, anything is fine (but please, do try them). Just be sure to back up your posts with good competitive reasoning. Remember, discussion is not limited to this topic, you are encouraged to talk about these Pokemon in #neverused as well!

The Research Group Challenge:

In order to participate you must do the following:
  • Post here with a fresh alt and the name(s) of the Pokemon you will be using.
  • Use at least one of the Pokemon being researched.
  • Post your experiences with the Pokemon you're using, participate in the discussion!
  • Post logs of this Pokemon in action against other teams - don't just tell us, show us!
The first stage of the challenge will be very relaxed so theorymon will be allowed as long as its backed up by good reasoning. During the later stage, discussion will be expected to be backed up by hard evidence, such as teams, actual sets, and logs. The winner of the challenge will be the person who has the highest ladder ranking on the Pokemon Showdown NU ladder on the alt they registered at the time the challenge ends.

Minus for being a great host =]]]
Research Week #1 Winner: Magis4Life
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get a dog little longy, get a dog
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So...keep up the discussion please! I tried not to have /too/ many burds this time =]!

Lord Alphose

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I promise, I will actually do it this time


And I'm going to use all of those Pokemon, because I am a bloody adult, and I do what I want.
Alt: sneezing
Pokemon: I've used literally all of them except Ditto so far, so I'll be giving Ditto a shot. I'll use a few of the other research mons as well I'm sure! (weezing is great btw)
Alt: WIndows XD
Pokemon: Sneasel, Raichu, Barbaracle
Funny how i haven't once tested half of these pokes once in xy yet seen them all the time. This is a new alt. Hopefully I can make time to at least ladder albeit and write up a few findings.
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Paralysis is slightly less of a devil
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Hey, I've actually used some of this shit before, I'll discuss~

Sneasel: This thing's dual STABs are wonderful, allowing it to threaten a good majority of Pokemon. Having one of the strongest Knock Offs in the tier (second only to Shiftry) is scary good alongside that blistering speed, and it has some nice moves in Pursuit and Ice Shard. That said, while Sneasel has great super effective coverage, it can falter against neutral opponents, making it more akin to a 'sniper' that picks off specific threats, rather than an all-out nuke. It's pretty great.

Now this is a nuke. Physical Swellow can end games and claim llives, so long as Rocks and Steels are out of the way. It is disgustingly powerful for the kind of Speed it possesses, enough to obliterate most non-bulky Pokemon clean in one hit. Special Swellow may not pack anywhere near that destructive power (though it can still sting), but what it does excel at is luring out physical walls and hitting them where it hurts, taking advantage of its physical set's reputation, though it would need clever switching as to not give itself away. Solid threat, the biggest reason why Steels and Rocks see the usage they do.

The fastest Shell Smasher in the tier (Jolly Barbaracle outspeeds most Scarfers after +2), and the most versatile in terms of coverage. Its movepool is diverse and strong enough to threaten most of its counters, meaning the counter's effectiveness can hinge on the move Barbaracle carries. Oh yeah, and Tough Claws can back up its power well too, so it won't be lacking in that aspect at all.

A nice physical wall, although its susceptibility to wall Mold Breaker Sawk is bothersome, as is its inability to absorb Toxic Spikes. However, it does have Toxic Spikes of its own, and has Will-O-Wisp to neuter physical threats. Clear Smog makes it one of the best Gurdurr counters to exist, and it can defend itself with moves such as Flamethrower. Pretty okay imo.

Nasty Plot Raichu has the coverage and speed to threaten stuff, though sadly not the bulk to set up safely; it does have Encore to help alleviate this issue. Scarf Raichu is also an alternative since it outspeeds all Shell Smashers and KOes them easily. Dunno about physical Raichu (SubPunch?), since Luxray exists. Decent.

Outspeeds almost any setup sweeper, which is very handy to thwart opposing sweeps or deter an opponent from setting up at all. Despite its reputation as a 'catch-all' threat, be aware that Ditto falters against bulky Pokemon, especially bulky boosters using Bulk Up / Calm Mind, in which case it being Choice-locked and having limited HP will hold it back.


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IMO, i think reducing the number of pokes to like 3-4 would be best so we can really hone in on more in depth discussions.
Sneasel and gurdurr sound like a great pairing, with sneasel being able to deal with psychics, ghosts and vileplume pretty good (minus spiritomb) and can free the way for gurdurr. Ill go with sneasel at least, with maybe some of the others also working when i team build

ALT: xynuresearchweek2 (come at me)


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I'll try and play this week. I've might have used Ditto already in NU, but the rest I have yet to get around to, so this is perfect.

Alt: VioletDSmog

Pokemon: Sneasel, Raichu

QuickEdit: OK, so I've tested Life Orb Sneasel and Choice Scarf Raichu, as they stood out in my mind as notable sets to try.

Sneasel: It is an excellent Pokemon with the Knock Off offensive buff and the Steel defensive nerf. That amazing base 115 Speed lets Sneasel beat out so many unboosted threats (And some boosted as well) it's not even funny. I used Pursuit rather than Ice Punch, so I gave up a reliable Ice STAB in exchange for being able to Pursuit trap common Psychic and Ghost types that run in fear of Knock Off. It is easily worn down, but either you are using it to clean up late game, or you are switching out immediately after attacking regardless, so Sneasel shouldn't be worried about taking hits. It hits decently hard, but it really cannot do too much early game except spam Knock Off since it lacks brute force with only a base 95 Atk. I like Low Kick for coverage, but Ice Punch ends up being very tempting as well as in the end Knock Off usually is more crippling to anything that can switch into Sneasel's STABs.

Raichu: I may end up trying out its Nasty Plot set, as I am conflicted about the Scarf set I am using. It has that great base 110 Speed, which allows it to outspeed Jolly Barbaracle at +2 and KO it. The problem is that Raichu really wants the power from a Modest nature as base 90 Special Attack leaves so much to be desired. But giving up Timid means that Jolly Barbaracle outspeeds you after a Shell Smash, making one of the main reasons for using Scarf Raichu pointless. I'd say that Scarf Zebstrika is probably the better option, and that Raichu should just stick to Nasty Plot instead.
Forgot to save replay urls, but here's a battle
Sneasel cleans up, Raichu has a quick cameo
Close battle, again Raichu ends up not working out while Sneasel does a decent job
Finally, Raichu does some clean up, but its not spectacular
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So I think it might be interesting to try this out. After all, I really wanted to use Barbaracle but never got the chance to do so.

Alt: OhMyBug
Pokemon: Raichu, Barbaracle, Swellow

Feelings:<br />
<br />
Barbaracle: This thing is a beast once it gets the time to set-up. The coverage move is up to you, but you can hit very hard once you start boosting. Does have a feel counters, but still a very good Pokemon.

Swellow: Decent Revenge Killer and wallbreaker. Does have trouble with Rock and Steel-types though.

Raichu: Nothing amazing, but still useful. It's kind of like Chatot in a way, frail, fast and not so strong attackers that are fairly decent. If you have trouble with Seismitoad, Regirock, Rhydon and the like you can run Grass Knot. However, it really likes to have Encore and Nasty Plot, though can't have both sadly due to 4mss. (Honestly I want Eel back damnit, but Raichu is very similar to it in a few ways, so there's that)

Ladder Ranking: Somewhere in the 1100's. Not exactly sure.
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Alright this seems like a good way to get back in NeverUsed.

I'll be using the alt : NU_AA_RW with Swellow.

Having used Swellow rather extensively last generation I'm pretty confident it can pull of the same sort of antics this generation. Though I do kind of want to use Boomburst, having used special Swellow last generation, that's a toy it would really like.

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Alright, I just started off, and I wanted to talk about Ditto. Choice Scarf Transform is one of the most common sets for Ditto. At least, I think it is. Well, I've been running it and it's incredible. I don't have much time to talk about it, but I wanted to instigate discussion about it. Go!
Alright so some comment on Raichu first, Raichu received a buff in speed this gen making it too base 110 from base 100, it is one of the quicker things in the tier, however its base 90 Spa is very lacking it would have been nice if Raichu had received a buff in that department as well but did not, it can hit fast but most times it can't hit too hard, it also lacks in the coverage department with Grass Knot and Focus Blast being its two best options for the most part and everyone knows about Focus Blast and it's accuracy. Grass Knot however makes for a really nice option from my experiences with Raichu as it allows it to deal with Ground types like Rhydon who may come in on a predicted Volt-Switch/T-Bolt/any other electric type move. Another option i have been liking on Raichu is Volt-Switch, Raichu with its speed can execute it fairly well and set up momentum for your team, so far the set i have liked best is this one.

Raichu @ Choice Specs/Choice Scarf
Ability: Lightningrod
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe / 4 SpD
- Thunderbolt
- Volt Switch
- Grass Knot
- Focus Blast


jingle bears
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I'm too lazy to ladder but I've played around with Scarf Raichu in the past, and I actually found a physically-based variant better than special. Volt Tackle is about 25% stronger than Tbolt (for reference, just slightly weaker than LO Tbolt) which helps to alleviate the lack of power of an unboosted Raichu (in particular, it OHKOes Missy after rocks and does significantly more to Ludicolo). It still gets all the KOes it needs against Shell Smashers after SR so it's not missing out in that regard either. The set I used was Volt Tackle | Volt Switch | Grass Knot | Knock Off--Grass Knot bops Toad (in particular RKing Swift Swim variants after some prior damage) and Knock Off just there to cripple stuff you can't kill (though there are probably better potential options over it). It's still nothing to write home about but it may help with people who are struggling to work with Scarf Raichu :]
Sneasel | Swellow | Barbaracle | Weezing | Raichu | Ditto
Okay so ive never done anything like this before but I have used these mons all before in NU and above so lets give it a shot.
Sneasel: Now this is just an opinion on my part, but I personally think Sneasel is one of the top tier threats to NU. It rocks a huge base attack and speed stat, some of the highest in the tier I believe. Now while the power of its main STABs are less than desirable, it has ways of boosting its attack through sword dance. One of the most clever Sneasel sets I have seen is a lead variant with the ability pickpocket holding a focus sash. This actually capitalizes on its fraility, because chances are it will be knocked down to its sash reguardless of what your opponent hits you with, and while they attack you set up an SD, readying the rape train for action. This also potentally leaves the foe's pokemon at risk of losing its item, because if contact is made and Sneasel loses its sash, all hell will break loose on the other side of the field. You can then procede to ice shard, ice punch, or knock off, depending on what you are running, and almost always be guerennted a KO.

Swellow: Swellow is yet another very strong pokemon, due to its very high speed and great abilties. Because of its guts ability, along with the STAB it gets from facade, swellow's 85 base attack is not a hinderance to its gameplay, and therefore is another top tier threat. While its movepool is shallow and quite frankly, shitty, it can get the job done with its Stab Facade and Bravebird, while avoiding toxic damange with Uturn. Overall, Swellow is not something you want to fuck with.

Barbaracle: In my opinion, Barbaracle is one of the most underated pokemon in the tier. While it does have its flaws, such as a shitty typing and mediocre abilitles at best, Barbaracle can get the job done, all thanks to shellsmash. A +2 Attack barbaracle already hits like a tank, and the 33% boost from tough claws can really help him out. While I do think its somewhat hilarious that the two best stab moves it has access to are under 100% accuracy, and cross chop only has 80%, the point is that Barbaracle can stand out from the rest of the tier by being able to boost its attack and speed in one move, and then hit the opponent hard.

Weezing: Even though poison types got buffed, weezing recived the short end of the stick, and didnt change much from last generation. Actually, I'm pretty sure Weezing is the exact same compaired to last generation, a very good bulky physical wall. Gamefreak was kind enough to boost WOW's acccuracy up to 85, and this does help Weezing tank hits from a mostly physical meta. With access to painsplit, it has a okay recovery move, but it isn't perfect and certainly has flaws. All in all, Weezing is the exact same compaired to last gen except for a few boosts, but none are notable enough for it to make a bigger impact in NU.

Raichu: Nintendo decided to bless Raichu this generation by boosting his good base speed of 100 to a very solid speed of 110, making it one of the faster mons in the meta. With access to moves such as fake out, knock off, and volt switch, and 90 attack and special attack, Raichu is a very good lead to ponder over. However, the fun and games end there. Raichu has shit for defences, and will get obliterated at the slightest movement of the earth. On top of this, its strongest and signature move, volt switch, does 33% recoil at a price of 120 base power. That means Raichu's longevity is shortened tremondously, and if you want the electric rodent to do significant damage, you need to equipt it with a life orb. Overall, Raichu is a somewhat decent mon in NU, but it doesnt have the defence to be able to take many hits, or the offencive power to be any sort of sweeper.

Ditto: Dude, its a fucking ditto. All you gotta do is slap on a choice scarf and steal the opponents boosts. Its viable in almost any tier.

Whelp, thats my take on this weeks mon's. Reply to yell at my stupidity or praise my genus, idgaf.


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Ok, so I'm going to start this discussion off by reporting the remains of my findings rom my first post.

Sneasel @ Life Orb
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 SDef
Jolly Nature
- Knock Off
- Pursuit
- Ice Shard
- Low Kick

All-out-attacking Sneasel here, meant to trap annoying Psychic and Ghost mons to clear the way for my team. I gave up Ice Punch for Low Kick, which does occasionally help me. I have yet to find myself in a situation where I NEEDED Ice Punch, as Ice Shard did enough for the most part. What I liked about it is the fact that Sneasel has utility throughout the game, mainly because of Knock Off and Ice Shard (Pursuit as well depending on the situation). The only disappointment was the fact that Sneasel's average power forced me to use Life Orb to make the most of its strength, making an already frail Pokemon even frailer. I noticed that Ijkee mentioned Focus Sash SD Sneasel, which is an interesting idea. Of course, trying to use it early game is odd as Sneasel would like annoyances like Gurdurr and Hariyama out of the way; using it mid-to-late game means you need to keep hazards away from your field. Shiftry (the most common Defogger for offensive teams) clashes typewise with Sneasel. I suppose you can use a spinner too. I find that a very valuable teammate for Sneasel is Gothorita. I use the Specs set to remove annoyances such as Poliwrath, Gurdurr, Vileplume, Weezing, and Seismitoad; this clears the way for Sneasel to tear through opposing teams with its potent Knock Off.

Raichu @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Lightningrod
EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Spd / 4 Def
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Thunderbolt
- Grass Knot
- Focus Blast

I must try Dat Blast's set, because this variant of Scarf Raichu is a bit underwhelming. Being choiced locked into Grass Knot and Focus Blast really sucks considering the former's unreliable BP and the latter's poor accuracy. What I do like about Raichu is the fact that it stops Barbaracle, as well as the fact that it deters careless Volt Switch spam. With this set's own reliance of Volt Switch though, I generally prefer to use a teammate to remove Ground and Electric types instead of relying on Grass Knot (especially for Lanturn). Grass-types work pretty well in this regard, and I have been using Ludicolo in this capacity (as well as a secondary sweeper).

Ditto: I have used Ditto a bit this gen, and honestly it hasn't been too useful for me. Except for Shell Smashers, most boosting Pokemon end up boosting their defenses as well, meaning that Ditto has trouble breaking though the Pokemon it copies. While I generally found that Ditto had few opportunities to make a difference in battle, the times that it does makes it worthwhile IF your time has a gaping weakness to Shell Smash Pokemon (many do after all).

For the others, I have yet to use them so I can only theorymon. So instead, I'll ask those who tested them:

1. Were the Pokemon you tested worth using over a similar Pokemon?
2. What were some good teammates that you found brought out the most potential in your chosen Pokemon(s)?
3. How much support was needed to make the Pokemon function consistently, and was the support efforts worth the reward?

For anyone who tested Weezing (since I see only one person who actually said they would but others might have as well), I have a couple of additional questions:

4. What kind of team did you use Weezing on playstyle-wise? If stall, do you feel Weezing is a good option for stall in this offensive metagame?
5. Did you use a bulky pivot/wall set or did you try a Toxic Spikes support set? DId you go completely out of the box? If you tried TSpikes, did you find them being effective very often?

I'd love to see the answers from anyone who participated, as it would help everyone understand these underrated Pokemon a little better.
Though I haven't tested too much yet and will not do so until later, I have begun testing Raichu and will soon test Barbaracle. I must say, I really like Raichu as an electric type in nu. We have so few electric types in the tier that are actually viable with only lanturn, electrivire, and perhaps zebstrika to name a few. Compared to the new Electrivire, Raichu matches up much better against offensive teams, as GF has blessed Raichu with additional speed that lets it outpace threats like Mismagius, Pyroar, and Typhlosion while also speedtying with archeops, something Electrivire wishes it could do. Though not quite as excellent as Electrivire, Raichu also has focus blast and grass knot for coverage. As previous people have mentioned, the coverage moves are unfortunately unreliable and generally are pretty bad to be locked into. I have especially tested out the choice specs set and a mixed lo attacker.

Raichu@life orb
Nature: Hasty
EVs: 252 Atk/ 4 SAtk/ 252 Spe
Volt Tackle
Volt Switch
Grass Knot
Knock Off/Brick Break

Dat Blast suggested a similar set for choice scarf Raichu and so I decided to try it with lo and had some pretty solid results. At times I wanted to have a fighting coverage move for Probopass/Bastiodon and used Brick Break in place of knock off though the fourth slot is essentially filler (or at least I cannot make up my mind for the fourth slot). Many do not expect to see a much more physically based variant of Raichu and deals much more damage to Audino, Lickilicky, and demolishes Missy.

Some damage calcs demonstrating the power of the physical variant:
252 Atk Life Orb Raichu Volt Tackle vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Audino: 226-266 (55.1 - 64.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Raichu Volt Tackle vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Lickilicky: 208-246 (49 - 58%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Raichu Volt Tackle vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Probopass: 144-172 (44.4 - 53%) -- 26.2% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Raichu Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Electivire: 148-175 (50.6 - 59.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Life Orb Raichu Brick Break vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Probopass: 239-286 (73.7 - 88.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery

This raichu set surprises a lot of special walls and tanks trying to take o raichu and even manages to 2HKO them after Stealth rocks are set up and for some even without it. Brick Break is also far more reliable for hitting Probopass and Bastiodon who can be annoying otherwise. Raichu makes an excellent pokemon for gaining momentum. That said, ground types like Steelix and even Sandslash can be annoying for it due to the obvious immunity to electric moves. Seismitoad gets smashed by grass knot and thus isn't as much of a problem. I like pairing raichu up with other voltturners as it is frail and likes the momentum that voltturn builds. I also like pairing it up with wallbreakers like Guts Ursaring or cb Sawk who appreciate the momentum raichu gives while also dealing with more defensive cores that raichu still hates, even the mixed attacker set. I will post replays when I ladder much more heavily with raichu and the others.


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Submit your ladder rankings guys, I forgot ;-; (don't make me check everyone manually like last time too lmao !!!)
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