To Learn is to Earn: OU Tutor Speculation and Shake-ups

By Deck Knight. Art by icepick.
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A new generation with a collection of new Pokemon is always a reason to celebrate. As the metagame has unfolded and hidden abilities revealed, an unlimited amount of speculation has occurred. We all know more abilities are on the way, the entirety of the fifth generation is without their hidden abilities.

Still, Black and White leave something missing. A Gray area, if you will. Moves that are staple in previous generations are missing on 5th Generation Pokemon, and while Game Freak and Nintendo seem to be focusing on allowing more and more event Pokemon to shape the metagame, we can't help but feel a void on some of our new favorites.

So here I am, your master of speculation to toss you into throes of madness with tutor predictions. Everything from the mundane to the extreme will be covered, so please sit back and enjoy.

The Naturals:

Some Tutor Moves are such obvious candidates that it's better to list them here. These are the kind of moves with huge distribution but generally mediocre performance.

Sleep Talk:

We'll start with the best move first. The changes in sleep mechanics are a mixed blessing in that it can allow a few unique strategies to flourish if you can get a lucky sleep roll. RestTalking is still less powerful because you are locked in a two turn sleep, but at the same time, it can be exploited.

New Threats:

Most of the new Pokemon aren't sterling defensive candidates, but Sleep Talk can help them implement their strategies a little more effectively.

Ferrothorn stands out as a Pokemon with excellent defenses that could use Sleep Talk to spread more hazards while asleep, and use the healing to further exploit Rocky Helmet + Iron Barbs. A lack of healing has always been Ferrothorn's primary problem, and while Rest isn't really "reliable," it allows Ferrothorn to remain a threat while asleep. The set is most likely to be Rest / Sleep Talk / Spikes with either Power Whip or Gyro Ball to round it out.

Alomomola will prove potent with Rest / Sleep Talk / Calm Mind / Scald, as it will now be able to exploit its bulk outside of Rain. Although the number of Pokemon with Water-immune abilities has increased, there's no denying Alomomola will slowly grind down opponents. If Regenerator is released with it, it will also be nearly impossible to take it down before it can attempt to Rest again.

Serperior isn't that bulky, but it does have a unique niche that will make the regenerative ability of Rest + Sleep Talk valuable. With Rest / Sleep Talk / Leaf Storm / Dragon Tail on a Serperior with Contrary, Serperior's Speed and special attacking prowess can increase or it can phaze the opponent away and do hazard damage. Either way, if it can be powered up properly beforehand, it can be quite a threat even while Resting.

Throh is another bulky Pokemon that has useful Phazing applications. Rest / Sleep Talk / Bulk Up / Circle Throw may be weak, but it's an excellent way to spread hazard damage. Throh increases its offensive potential further with Guts, and Sleep Talk allows Circle Throw to bypass its priority drawback.

Archeops is perhaps the most interesting potential user. If it survives a slower opponent's attack and uses Rest it then has a 50% chance of using another brutal full-powered attack. A set consisting of Rest / Sleep Talk / Dragon Tail / Head Smash has the potential to be very aggravating, especially when Archeops is faster, as any selection of Dragon Tail does excellent damage and forces the enemy out, while Head Smash at full power can obliterate an opponent. Alternative attacks could be Acrobatics, Rock Slide, or Stone Edge.

Old Threats:

Rest + Sleep Talk Gyarados gets a lot of leverage with Intimidate, but Moxie offers a different kind of threat. Gyarados is no slouch on offense, and a single attack boost combined with the longevity offered by Rest + Sleep Talk can make Gyarados a very difficult threat to address. Moxie also somewhat reduces the need for Dragon Dance, allowing Gyarados to phaze with Dragon Tail and have a way to handle threats with a Water immunity.

Clear Body is decent if you care about Intimidate. If you don't, then like Regice, you'd prefer to use Rest + Sleep Talk with Ice Body, which greatly increases your healing factor in Hail. This isn't released yet either, but the way things are looking in OU, Permanent Hail will be the last Permaweather standing.


Always was situational, always will be. That being said, Thundurus is always Male, and Captivate gives any faster Pokemon a way to either counteract Nasty Plot or neuter it entirely.


It's been a long time since berry boosts with Flail or Reversal were relevant, and with the metagame faster than ever, Endure-based strategies simply aren't viable. Maybe if we were back in ADV...

Natural Gift:

Lets face it, Berries have even more competition for item slots these days, this isn't going anywhere.

Secret Power:

A 70 BP Normal attack with an effect chance? Not going anywhere either, sadly.

A Common History:

Some Tutor Moves have such a storied history that to expect them is obvious. The only question comes down to distribution. Here's where the fun begins.

Fire Punch:

Fire Punch is a basic coverage attack lacking from many of the Pokemon in Black and White. There are more than a few of them that would love this Steel-killing addition to their arsenal.

New Threats:

Quite possibly the easiest pick ever. With Mold Breaker and Fire Punch, Nothing will be able to switch into Haxorus' Dragon + Fire attack coverage without taking massive damage. Heatran didn't really want to switch in before with Earthquake looming. With Fire Punch to slaughter Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Scizor, and the odd Durant or Escavalier, Haxorus greatly increases its threat level. It even OHKOes Forretress through Sturdy! Druddigon also benefits from this with Life Orb and Sheer Force, but as Druddigon is kind of like a Haxorus only usable in Trick Room, Haxorus will always be the bigger threat.

Landorus pines for an effective way to break through floating Steel types and Ferrothorn, and Fire Punch delivers on that. As powerful as Sand Force boosted Stone Edge is, it still has accuracy issues that are difficult to deal with. Furthermore, if Sheer Force is released, Fire Punch's value becomes even more obvious. Fire Punch also hits the vast majority of Rock / Ground resistances for super effective damage, and most of the Steel-types using Air Balloon are very vulnerable to the attack.

Conkeldurr benefits from Fire Punch in so many ways. Not only does it give a potential reason for using Sheer Force over Guts, but the combination of Conkeldurr's bulk, Bulk Up, and Life Orb along with Sheer Force-boosted attacks is truly frightening. Lack of coverage is Conkeldurr's only real problem, and Fire Punch gives it an easy answer to Skarmory, Forretress, and Celebi. It's kind of sad that Conkeldurr sucks up basically every niche to which Hariyama could aspire.

Old Threats:

Infernape picks up Iron Fist, but the way Nintendo's events have been going, they tend to release only male starters. Fire Punch gives Infernape a physical STAB it can use with Iron Fist which, unlike Flare Blitz, won't eat away gobs and gobs of Infernape's HP. A Fire Punch tutor patches that up nicely, and gives Infernape a way to keep its physical threat level up.

Rampardos gets Sheer Force as a Hidden Ability, and in the case of Fire Punch cements Rampardos as a glass cannon par excellence. Life Orb Sheer Force attacks make Rampardos even more threatening than it already was, and Rampardos has no shortage of relevant physical attack diversity to combine with its absurd Attack stat. Rock Slide + Fire Punch has excellent super effective coverage.


ThunderPunch is another basic coverage move lacking from many Black and White Pokemon. Where Fire Punch destroys Steel-types, ThunderPunch crushes bulky Water-types.

New Threats:

Darmanitan appears to be paying homage to the original "Fire-type syndrome" of RBY. Drastically outsized Attack and mediocre (terrible in Darmanitan's case) Special Attack. Well, ThunderPunch gives Darmanitan a coverage attack that completely obliterates any Water-type counters, bar those immune to Electric. Sheer Force ThunderPunch can 2HKO even through a Max/Max Slowbro w/ Leftovers. Absolutely brutal.

ThunderPunch is another excellent coverage attack for Conkeldurr. Though it competes with Stone Edge on a Guts set, with Sheer Force, ThunderPunch hits amazingly hard and easily coasts through Gyarados, Slowbro (same power as Darmanitan lol), and Jellicent. ThunderPunch is even super effective against Skarmory, who has to play the dangerous game of ThunderPunch vs. Drain Punch on a Roost.

Thunderbro uses ThunderPunch as a way to enable use of its 115 Base Attack with a non-suicidal STAB. Not only that, but with a Hidden Ability of Defiant, Thundurus might even be scarier as a physical threat with the right coverage. Wild Charge may have low recoil, but where its best targets have high HP, ThunderPunch could be a better option. Eelektross can use ThunderPunch in a similar manner, though it's not as generally threatening as Thundurus.

Old Threats:

Rampardos is back and for the same reason. ThunderPunch is probably more relevant as a Sheer Force boosted attack than Fire Punch for the sheer fact it defeats the bulky waters that plague Rampardos. Rock Slide can't quite punch through them, but ThunderPunch can, and all without Life Orb recoil.

Nidoking benefits from elemental punches in general, and since Thunder can't really replace ThunderPunch and Thunderbolt is mostly comparable, having the option just lets Nidoking mix up its attacks more, and catch different Pokemon off guard. All of the punches combine better with Hone Claws and Sucker Punch, and allow Nidoking to be customized to its teams needs.

Ice Punch:

The final infamous elemental punch, and the most common combination attack with ThunderPunch for the "BoltBeam" attack combination. Ice Punch's coverage alone is excellent, but when combined, it becomes truly frightening.

New Threats:

Physical STAB. How sweet it is. Kyurem's problem is that while Dragon STAB is good, Ice STAB is often more relevant. While Dragon STAB can't cut through Landorus, Celebi, and Gliscor, Ice STAB can. Ice Punch will be especially helpful if Kyurem also gains ThunderPunch, a possibility not explored above. Coverage moves are only helpful if they can combine offensive synergy with a STAB or with each other. Now it's true Kyurem's arms are a bit stubby, but at least it isn't a floating ball of gas. Why, such a thing would never get punches. Ha ha ha.

You didn't really think Conkeldurr would miss out on this, did you? Ice Punch gives Conkeldurr the ability to slay the nasty Dragons that try to stop its sweep. In addition it prevents Landorus from coming in, as well as allowing it to beat Gliscor. Celebi is another convenient target for Ice Punch. Ice Punch, of course, gets the same Sheer Force benefits as its brethren, and any combination of the three with Drain Punch and Bulk Up is truly fearsome on the right team. Elemental punches will become Conkeldurr's bread and butter. It already had a good run when Excadrill was all the rage, so expect a comeback.

While this could apply equally well to Thundurus, Eelektross gets top billing here because it would greatly increase its ability to cover threats, give it a new coverage type, and Eelektross would not be weak to it at the same time. Coil, along with Ice Punch and Dragon Tail, should make Eelektross a formidable stat-raising Pokemon with the ability to phaze out other threats. The accuracy boost might be unwarranted now with Garchomp gone, but beforehand it would allow it to deal with Sand Veil as well.

Bisharp is one of those Steel types that can't really capitalize on its Dragon resistance and serviceable Defense because it lacks an effective way to hit Dragons. Ice Punch patches that up. While it's excellent alone, combined with ThunderPunch it allows Bisharp to take on the two most threatening Pokemon with Intimidate, Salamence and Gyarados. Defiant complements the coverage very well, and in a set of Swords Dance / Sucker Punch / Brick Break /Ice Punch, Bisharp will have an excellent range of coverage with priority.

Old Threats:

Ice has the best coverage and often the most relevant targets. Again, the elemental punches added back into Nidoking's movepool simply allow it more versatility. Sheer Force is too amazing not to explore all options. Blizzard is the same as Thunder when it comes to reliability, and as before, Ice Beam is merely comparable to Ice Punch.

What a surprise, another Sheer Force user! Given Game Freak's tendency to only release male starters, Feraligatr would prefer to have a stronger, more accurate boosted Ice-type attack. Ice Fang only goes so far, and the questionable accuracy does it no favors. In any case, having it as a breeding move might not be enough, so a tutor is the best way to get that critical Water + Ice coverage.

I've Seen These G4:

Here are a few TM and tutor selections that came from the last generation that had massive effects on the metagame.


As flawed a move as Superpower is, it had a good run in the 4th Gen on Pokemon that switched in and out often, a staple of Choice Band and Choice Scarf Pokemon who needed a single fast, powerful Fighting-type hit.

New Threats:

Escavalier is somewhat like the second coming of Scizor. It has a lot of resistances, good bulk, and hits like a truck. No U-turn makes it different in function, but more often than not, Scizor needs to be able to choose its attacks on a turn-by-turn basis. Truly, Escavalier's only wish in the world is for a decent Fighting-type attack. Superpower fits the bill, allowing it to smash through the Steel types that resist Megahorn. That just leaves Ghost-types, all of which take decent damage from Iron Head.

Kyurem is a Pokemon with a great Attack stat that simply goes unused for a lack of moves to use it. Ice Punch, as mentioned above, helps with STAB, Superpower gives it Ice / Fighting coverage with decent power, and just makes it easier to go mixed. So many top threats are vulnerable to the combination that it's almost a no-brainer, just don't sling it around too wildly.

Archeops defines "fast, powerful attacker." Ground / Rock / Flying is pretty good coverage, but Archeops could use more powerful and simultaneously accurate attacks. It'd give it something to bash Ferrothorn's face with, and combined with Fighting Gem, would give it and Acrobatics good synergy. Since Superpower tends to be handed to anything with 110 Base Attack or more, call this one likely. If you don't you're just a Defeatist.

Probably not as useful as Fire Punch because of the stat drop, but hell if Haxorus wouldn't enjoy bashing something's head in with a 120 Base Power, no-drawback (first use anyway) move. When Brick Break just doesn't do the job for you, break glass for Superpower. Hydreigon also likes this, although its a far better Scarfer than Bander with U-turn in its movepool.

What if you had 100 Base Attack, a +1 Atk / +2 Spe booster, and no physical movepool? Well, then you'd really want Superpower, because hell, you didn't get much else. I hope Game Freak has mercy on our Giga Gear here, because so far they've trolled it so very, very hard. At least with Superpower, Shift Gear, and Gear Grind, it could make an attempt at attacking.

Old Threats:

Mamoswine also got trolled hard when it's Thick Fat variant was released. Basically, all of its good attacks were taken out. Giving it Superpower back will fix that problem somewhat, and while it won't have anything better than Ice Fang or Icicle Spear, at least it will be able to smack all of the Air Balloon carrying Steels down once again. Now if we can just get it Ice Shard...

Honchkrow is in the same boat as Mamoswine. You get a great new ability, except it guts your best coverage attack. That's not a great statement to make, but the fact a KO with Superpower negates the Attack drop with Moxie makes it an excellent comeback tutor for Don Karasu. There'll be a mob to get it.

So you finally get a good ability, and they take away your best coverage attack. Well, no more! Flareon probably still won't rise to the top, but at least with a Toxic Orb in UU it'll be able to do some real damage. Game Freak hates Flareon though, so it's almost guaranteed not to be released now that I've speculated about it. What a ripoff.

Sucker Punch:

While the move also has flaws akin to Superpower, there's no denying that even a chance to have a physical 80 Base Power priority move, conditional or otherwise, is an opportunity many Pokemon can pounce on. Sucker Punch isn't a reliable STAB and as a coverage option it's sketchy, but used properly it can be a very effective weapon.

New Threats:

Scrafty has cool abilities and a unique, fairly decent typing to go with it. The only stat it is truly lacking in is Speed, and Sucker Punch gives it a STAB attack to use when Dragon Dance simply doesn't lift it high enough. With Moxie it becomes even more dangerous, turning Scrafty into an unpredictable and powerful threat.

Krookodile is in a similar boat to Scrafty, having decent Attack power but a questionable Speed tier. While it's not as bad as Scrafty, the fact remains that Krookodile can't boost its speed, so all it has is Swords Dance. A STAB, Swords Dance boosted Sucker Punch is a formidable threat indeed, and Krookodile can either keep the boosts coming with Moxie or weaken the foe when it comes in with Intimidate. Either way, it gives Krookodile a method to raise its offensive profile effectively.

Scary crazy Base Attack? Check. Swords Dance / Dragon Dance? Check. Stupidly powerful existing coverage in two moves? Check. Haxorus has both the space and the means for using Sucker Punch effectively, and would like nothing more than to rip Latias and Trick Room Reuniclus variants to shreds, in addition to getting a jump on Mamoswine. Requiring your Haxorus check to be able to survive a +1 or +2 Life Orb Sucker Punch just to get their attack in will not be a fun prospect.

So you have a niche as one of the few Pokemon with the inclination to use Hone Claws, your ability is Hustle, and one of your defenses is suspect while the other is crap? Sucker Punch may be a good option for you. Sucker Punch hits the same things as Crunch, but has the added benefit of getting the jump on a lot of faster threats, especially those pesky opponents hovering at 110 Base Speed. Durant just isn't the kind of Pokemon opponents want to play guessing games with.

Even with Work Up and Hone Claws as your only boosting attacks, STAB Sucker Punch can go a long way when you find yourself in the ridiculous speed tier of 98. Too slow to catch Base 100s, too fast to do anything useful in say, Trick Room. The ability to catch several faster Pokemon off guard is invaluable to Hydreigon, a Pokemon with no lack of offensive prowess.

Gigalith has a good case as a pure-rock counterpart to Golem for access to Sucker Punch, and with 135 Base Attack, it isn't lacking for power. Given how truly terrible pure Rock is as a defensive type, Gigalith's Sturdy doesn't go as far as you think it would. It goes far enough, however, as it can allow Gigalith two attacks from full health. Moreover, Gigalith doesn't exactly suffer from 4MSS, it's pretty bread and butter with Stone Edge / Earthquake / Stealth Rock / Explosion as its set now. Getting SR or Explosion to move over shouldn't be difficult.

Old Threats:

Hitmonlee comes back with Unburden as a Dream World ability, and with a Dark Gem Sucker Punch, could do some serious damage and give Hitmonlee the Speed boost. In any case, if Unburden Hitmonlee has any useful applications, Sucker Punch will serve it well.

Heat Wave:

Heat Wave was notable for being an inaccurate variant of Flamethrower, but 90% was not bad, and the key to Heat Wave's success as a tutor was what it did for its recipients. Well, nothing has changed, and Heat Wave can still have another good run.

New Threats:

Tornadus got its claim to fame in the Rain, but it's just as weak to Thunder as anything else. While it can't get the best of both worlds weather-wise, Heat Wave gives Tornadus some excellent special coverage, and unlike Thundurus, it doesn't really have anything competing for a moveslot. The ability to swap in Air Slash on a Sunny Day team and use Hammer Arm to address Tyranitar like its Thunderbro, Heat Wave should give Tornadus a new day in the sun.

Sigilyph currently has nothing for Steel-types that switch in on it, but Heat Wave fixes that in a single move. While its Magic Guard-related tricks will probably still be its best set, the addition of a decent coverage move won't hurt more offense oriented sets. After all, there's nothing to be lost from a Life Orb boosted Heat Wave.

Old Threats:

So what was Zapdos's worst dilemma if it got Lightningrod? It'd switch that sweet, sweet Electric immunity for a lack of Heat Wave to help its coverage. Not a problem with a Heat Wave Tutor. The one move that made Zapdos truly frightening is back, and with an ability that can raise its Special Attack if played properly, it will only get more menacing.

So you can bounce back Taunt, Toxic, Thunder Wave, and hazards. But you can't hit Steel types? Worry no longer, because Heat Wave can give you a reprieve. Xatu will probably never be among the upper echelons of Pokemon, but at least Heat Wave greatly increases its threat level to a lot of the Steel types that carry Stealth Rock.

It's got a lot of Moxie to show its face around here. With a decent Special Attack to take care of Steel-types, Honchkrow can use its new ability to increase its mixed threat potential. Fire coverage is really key in dealing with a lot of the new Steels, and Heat Wave tends to hit the weaker defense of a lot of Pokemon weak to it.

Iron Head:

What? A Steel-type tutor being noteworthy? Well, as a move Iron Head isn't that bad. 100 Accuracy and a 30% chance to flinch with 80 Base Power is nothing to balk at, and as bad as Steel STAB is, it has several applications.

New Threats:

And you thought Rock Slide was annoying? Rock Slide can flinch, but so can Iron Head, and Iron Head doesn't have any accuracy issues. Excadrill's Iron Head also hits harder than Frustration on Pokemon that don't resist either attack, and it gives Excadrill a credible Steel STAB to use with Sand Force - an Adamant Choice Scarf set will still hit well above 400 Speed. Say, wasn't it a 20% chance not to be able to hit an insanely powerful, fast Swords Dancer that got Garchomp banned? I wonder...

So what if you had 100 Base Attack... oh, I already said that. Shift Gear + Iron Head would be one of the most annoying combinations ever created. I'm not sure how effective it would be, but given that Jolly, max Spe Klinklang after a Shift Gear boost outspeeds Sand Rush Excadrill, I'd say it'd be good for at least knocking off some Air Balloons, and maybe if Klinklang is a good inorganic automaton, following up with Superpower. Hope for Christmas in July.

Old Threats:

A pipe dream for me I'm sure, but as long as you have Sheer Force, why not go for a STAB where you'll clearly get no benefit from flinch anyway? Steelix actually has a fairly expansive Sheer Force applicable movepool, its just it has trouble shining with such little Speed and mediocre power. I can always dream of a place where Steelix is a hazardous monstrosity.


Remember when Skarmory didn't have reliable recovery and couldn't play games with slower Stone Edges? Me neither. Roost has to be one of the greatest single attacks ever created, and its mind-game abilities combined with its general usefulness made it a defining move on several Pokemon in UU and OU. This wasn't a tutor, but it was a TM, and by golly if it doesn't return for the sequel.

New Threats:

I can think of no Pokemon that would enjoy Roost more than a Pokemon that is only an absurdly powerful sweeper over 50% HP. Archeops can't take a lot of hits in particular, so you might need to use it with Substitute, but the fact remains that a first bird that isn't stuck in its last 50% HP is a huge threat.

Hydreigon's defenses are fairly mediocre, but they're strong enough to be able to take a hit after Life Orb damage, and that's all Hydreigon really needs to decimate foes. Roost would simply make it much more difficult to risk switching out of, because it could be back up to full power immediately. Definitely a scary prospect.

Take Morning Sun, then remove weather dependency. Meet the new, improved Volcarona. It goes without saying that such a powerful pokemon with one of the best stat-up moves in the game would love a more reliable form of recovery, and Roost suits the need of this big bug perfectly.

Poor Druddigon needs some love, and at least it has wings to use. Its decent bulk and Rough Skin make the move a good fit, and with its more offensive Sheer Force, it could still use some healing for the one or two moves that don't benefit from it.

Old Threats:

Poison Heal and Roost? Believe it! Poison Heal already makes Gliscor a nightmare to deal with, Roost would just be piling on.. Hope you brought a strong special attacker, otherwise you'll be SOL.

New-s you can Use:

These can be old moves or they can be new moves. Either way, they've never been tutors before, though they may have had cameos as TMs way back in the day. These are far less likely than the previous entries, but a man can dream, can't he?


Spikes has always been an excellent move hampered by poor distribution. Much like Stealth Rock's TM Status last Gen solidified it as a metagame-changing force, a more available set of Spikes users could drastically shift the metagame.

Gen V Threats:

The scariest Spikes users are those that have the bulk to set them up and the force to threaten any active threats. Escavalier performs this role well, and unlike many Pokemon that would enjoy Spikes, it has little competition in its moveslots. Its high Defense and crucial Dragon resist make setting up a layer child's play when used properly.

Galvantula would be a Spiker more in the mold of Roserade. It's powerful Electric and Bug STABs address Flying types and the large number of Levitating Psychics, and it's fast enough to get a hit on most of them. While it is frail, it can often get that attack in, and the threat it offers can give it an opportunity to use Spikes.

Cobalion mixes the offensive and defensive Spiking style, having an excellent defensive typing backed up with decent speed and solid offense. Close Combat / Roar / Thunder Wave / Spikes provide a good mix of support and shuffling functions, while still breaking through a select few targets.

Old Threats:

Finally a chance for a Ground-type to learn Spikes. Steelix has possibly the best mix of skills for a slow Spikes user, having absurd Defense, passable special bulk, phazing, Taunt, and even double hazards with Stealth Rock. Steelix takes approximately lol% switching into Outrage and can quickly get hazards up and phaze opponents away. Its only true weakness is a lack of reliable recovery, but Steelix has enough other positives to make up for it.

With exceptionally good bulk, excellent offensive options, and a well-balanced typing, Metagross can utilize Spikes just as well as its 4th Gen iteration could use Stealth Rock. Spikes is more relevant in this metagame, and so is having a Steel-type with neutrality to Fighting. Metagross provides both, and a backstop to many special attackers. Combine Spikes with another of Metagross's Tutor moves, Gravity, and Metagross can be quite a potent strategic force on any team.

Nidoqueen might enjoy some punches with Sheer Force, but truly, as a defensive Pokemon, she'd rather pick up a hazard outside Toxic Spikes, and either Spikes or Stealth Rock would work. The ability to set up a more relevant metagame hazard combined with a boosted Ice Beam will make Nidoqueen a much more versatile threat, and as such, she'd also be the only Spiker with access to Fire Blast, an attack that trumps other Spikers. Nidoking could also perform this function with Spikes, but Nidoking is much better off using Sheer Force for all-out offense rather than threat maintenance.

Another Ground-type, Sandslash can exemplify a faster Spiker by utilizing Spikes with Sand Rush. With decent physical bulk and a minimum speed of 332 in Sand, Sandslash has some playing room for EVs, and unlike Excadrill, it doesn't have to focus solely on offense. Overall it has somewhat of a mediocrity problem, but with Rapid Spin, Super Fang, and the old standby of Earthquake and Stone Edge as movepool options, Sandslash could be a formidable Spiker.

Zap Cannon:

In ancient times long past, getting a 50% Accuracy move to hit was an impossible endeavor if you didn't have Lock-On or Mind Reader. With Telekinesis, Gravity, No Guard, and even Hone Claws and Coil, that statement is not entirely true anymore.

New Threats:

So you've got No Guard, Dynamicpunch, and now Zap Cannon, and you're the only Pokemon immune to both attacks. Combined with Substitute or even the aforementioned Iron Head (or possibly Zen Headbutt), this could be the single most excruciating set to play against. If you fail, just Golurk more.

There are advantages to being an Electric type with neutrality to Ground attacks. Between Compoundeyes and Gravity set up by an ally, your Zap Cannon is raised to 100% Accuracy (108% if you want to be technical). Have fun doing incredible damage and paralyzing your enemies at the same time. The regular 65% Accuracy is shaky I suppose, but then, no one suspects the spider.

There are probably more glamorous things for a living lantern to do than troll opponents with Shadow Tag, Telekinesis, and Zap Cannon, but by golly if it isn't going to be entertaining. It'll be a trick to pull off, but fun nonetheless. Just imagine a set of Telekinesis / Zap Cannon / Inferno / Calm Mind. Problem, accuracy?

Old Threats:

Feelin' lucky? I guess Golurk does Dynamicpunch + Zap Cannon better than Mew, but then again, Mew can also set up Gravity and U-turn away. Can we get Horn Drill back too?

With Gravity on the field, Zap Cannon has 86% accuracy, and Starmie does love spreading paralysis. I suppose Thunder is safer but hey, live a little. Everyone loves implausible hitting Zap Cannon! Starmie can also use Telekinesis for the same effect, although the opponent can switch out.

It's been a long time since Espeon had a good coverage move, and while I suppose Telekinesis ruins the surprise, it also lets you finally hit with it. The fact you can get free switch-ins on hazards and force your opponent out can't hurt though.

Icicle Crash:

Finally an Ice move with decent Base Power. To recap, it's 85 Base Power, 90% Accuracy, and has a 30% chance to flinch. Pretty good stats, too bad its distribution is so terrible. It begs for more access.

Gen V Threats:

Carracosta will always have somewhat of an accuracy problem with any attack but Waterfall. Icicle Crash gives it a strong addition to its coverage, and the chance for flinch makes Carracosta even more dangerous after a Shell Smash. I suppose it could also have used Ice Punch above, but 108 Base Attack is nothing to write home about in OU, even boosted.

Once again, Kyurem needs physical STAB, any physical STAB. Icicle Crash will fit well on Kyurem, especially Scarf variants. Kyurem is really powerful enough where consistency matters more than power, but all the same, Icicle Crash would be very welcome addition.

Samurott is another Pokemon that could do with adding some physical Ice attacks. While its previous forms could probably justify Ice Punch, Icicle Crash would go a long way to at least giving Samurott some credibility. Throw in Superpower while the going is hot, this Pokemon needs it, it's just Samurott-en otherwise.

Old Threats:

Sneasel's relatives have only been pining for strong physical Ice moves since GSC. Icicle Crash would give Weavile a much needed upgrade that would work well off of its high speed. A definite new must in any set.

Remember when I said Thick Fat Mamoswine got trolled? Yeah, that's the reason it's here again. With Icicle Crash in the Thick Fat Mamoswine arsenal, it won't have nearly as many problems damaging opponents. It just hits so hard, it's ridiculous.

Not only does Kingler have a massive 130 Attack, its Hidden Ability is Sheer Force, which would make Icicle Crash a formidable part of its offense and give it the kind of coverage move it always wanted. While we're on the subject of wish lists, giving Kingler Razor Shell couldn't hurt either, Game Freak. Just sayin'.

Huntail may be the ugly cousin of Gorebyss when it comes to Smashpassing, but Icicle Crash would give it an excellent addition to its physical movepool to allow it to be a more physically oriented Smashpasser. Ice Fang just doesn't cut it for power.

An odd choice perhaps, but Donphan has a fairly odd movepool among Ground types. Icicle Crash would make it a much more viable dragon slayer than Ice Shard does now, and its access to Sturdy can often provide it the turn it needs to use the attack.

Drill Run:

Another unique attack in Gen V. It's much weaker than Earthquake with only 80 Base Power, 95% Accuracy, and a high crit chance, but it has a very niche distribution that could be expanded.

Gen V Threats:

Escavalier has always had coverage problems, and anything that can alleviate that need is welcome on a Pokemon with such massive offensive capability. Drill Run doesn't hit as many targets as Superpower, but it does fragment Fire-type attackers, maim several Steel types, and eliminate what few Electric-types remain. Definitely more useful under Gravity, where Megahorn becomes reliable as well.

An unlikely candidate as it isn't really Drill-based at all, but again, Klinklang's physical movepool sorely lacks diversity, and anything that allows it to use its unique Shift Gear attack is incredibly helpful.

Old Threats:

For all of Lapras' expansive movepool, it never received Earthquake. Drill Run patches up a hole in its offense, allowing it to strike Electric-types hard after a Dragon Dance. If combined with Icicle Crash the set would be very formidable indeed. Lapras is not lacking for bulk, and in Drizzle, it can utilize Hydration + Rest to get back to full health immediately. Even without Icicle Crash, Waterfall and Ice Shard would serve it well.

Rapidash's Speed is probably under-appreciated with all the new 108 Spe legends running about, but it's still a tick faster than many Pokemon, and Drill Run adds some much needed offensive diversity to its physical movepool.

SEAKING FUCK YEAH! No sense in being immune to Electric attacks if you can't hit them back. Too bad it still can't drill through Ferrothorn.


One of the most unique attacks out there, it raises Attack, Defense, and accuracy. A lot of Pokemon could put that to good use.

Gen V Threats:

Megahorn immediately comes to mind as a move that benefits from Coil, but don't forget Scolipede can also use Baton Pass. Coil can be quite enviable to Pokemon with imperfect accuracy or patchy Defense, and it cleans up the accuracy of moves like Thunder, Focus Blast, and Blizzard quite nicely.

Much like Quiver Dance and Volcarona, Coil raises Klinklang's best stats. Additionally it can use the accuracy boost on Gear Grind to patch up Zap Cannon's accuracy for the more sadistic among you. One Coil during Gravity ups Zap Cannon's Accuracy to over 100%, but that was discussed earlier.

Old Threats:

Milotic's only real weak point is its Defense. Marvel Scale only works when Miltoic is statused, and Toxic Orb and Flame Orb simply aren't conducive to tanking, even if you have Recover. Milotic can also utilize the accuracy boost Coil offers, bringing Hypnosis up to a respectable 80 Accuracy after one use, patch up Hydro Pump and Blizzard, and even allow Milotic to use Dragon Tail more effectively to phaze, a skill it only obtained in this generation.

With Sheer Force in its arsenal, Accuracy is Steelix's only hobgoblin. Coil is possibly the most synergistic move Steelix could ever possess, bumping up its Sheer Force boosted Iron Tail to over 100% accuracy and patching up Rock Slide and the elemental Fangs, while simultaneously boosting Steelix's two most relevant stats. As a giant iron snake, one wonders why Steelix did not get Coil before, but surely it could use it well. Steelix has no lack of inaccurate physical attacks it would like to use.

The serpentine Dragonair or Dratini could help Dragonite inherit this move, and Dragonite would happily abuse it to the maximum extent. Not only does it patch up Dragonite's horde of 70% accurate Special Attacks, it also buffs Dragon Rush in both Attack and Accuracy, making it a very reliable attack with good power and a flinch chance. This is to say nothing of what it does for bulky sets, which could run it with Roost, Dragon Tail, and Multiscale.

The Biggest Winners (and Losers)

While all this is still speculative, tutors always favor some Pokemon over others. This listing is based on the most likely tutors to be implemented (those listed as well as previous tutors that may advance forward from a previous generation). Here are my predictions for the biggest winners and losers. These won't necessarily become the top metagame threats, they'll just be the Pokemon that benefit most.

Top 5 Winners:

1. Conkeldurr

Once Conkeldurr gets some coverage in its movepool, all bets are off. Elemental Punches are useful on every set, and will be usable with all 3 of Conkeldurr's abilities. Sheer Force Life Orb will finally have enough diversity to be considered over Flame Orb Guts, and both sets are absolutely monstrous combined with Bulk Up + Drain Punch. Each set will, for the most part, have different counters based almost solely on what attacks Conkeldurr is utilizing. Conkeldurr will still have some issues with Reuniclus, but most of its other checks and counters will have a much, much more difficult time dealing with it.

2. Haxorus

Like Scizor's Bullet Punch in Generation IV, Haxorus really only needs one move to massively increase its threat level. Fire Punch alone allows it to break through its two biggest nuisances, Skarmory and Ferrothorn, and if combined with even more esoteric attacks like Sucker Punch, Superpower, and Zen Headbutt, Haxorus is going to see a meteoric rise. It will always have that Speed issue clocking in at 97 Base, but its simply terrifying to think of the havoc it could wreak. Maybe this is just more overhype that was common at its initial release, but people already know what Haxorus is and what Haxorus does.

3. Mamoswine

On the flip side of a tutor release, there are Pokemon that exploit the increasing 4MSS of all metagame threats. Given even a few useful tutors of its own like Icicle Crash and Superpower, Thick Fat Mamoswine can abuse its "BoltBeam" resistance to pressure switch-ins and, in general, exploit the increased frequency of Electric and Ice coverage moves. Even without such a blessing, decent HP / Defense and neutrality to Ice still make Mamoswine a top contender, and if Haxorus rises, so too will the need for a powerful Ice Shard user.

4. Kyurem

If Kyurem unlocks even a semblance of a reliable physical movepool from tutors, its neutrality to the elemental punches and excellent general bulk will allow it to thrive. Kyurem's mixed attacking prowess is mostly held up by the fact you can't "go mixed" if you're limited to Outrage, Dragon Claw, and Stone Edge as good physical attacks.. Ice Punch (and / or Icicle Crash) and Superpower will go a long way in giving Kyurem a wallbreaking reputation. In the end, it will function much like Dragonite, save it won't have the threat of Dragon Dance (but will have much, much nastier special attacks). If these are released with elemental "Sky Attacks," as limited as those might be, they'll provide a threat too large to ignore. Not that special attacks would harm it either. Earth Power would also be a great pick-up.

5. Klinklang

If tutors can unlock Klinklang's physical movepool, it might go somewhere yet. It's got an excellent stat booster and nothing to really use it with. If tutors fix this and give it a few other toys, Klinklang might not rise too much, but it will find its niche. Being pure Steel isn't usually beneficial unless you have the offense to exploit it, and if Shift Gear becomes a legitimate offensive threat, then Klinklang will see use yet.

Top 5 Losers:

1. Ferrothorn

So many Pokemon have been pining for a way to defeat the thorny nuisance that even though both Fire Punch and Superpower activate Iron Barbs + Rocky Helmet, everything in the metagame still wants a way to punch this thing in the face. Wide distribution of the attacks will endure Ferrothorn sleeps less soundly in general and against Haxorus specifically. It will always have its bulk in Rain, but without an ability to switch in at little risk against most 5th Generation threats, Ferrothorn will receive what many believe is a long-overdue trip to the middle of the pack.

2. Dragonite

Whenever Dragons faster than Dragonite get a major boost, Dragonite suffers. Getting Superpower back with Multiscale would certainly help it in some instances, but the proliferation of Ice Punch, along with the buffing of Haxorus and Kyurem, leaves Dragonite out in, well, the cold. It will still be difficult to unseat, but there's no denying the caliber of attackers that want to use Ice Punch this generation is much higher, and Roost + Multiscale only goes so far.

3. Politoed

With everyone gunning for Ferrothorn, very few players will forget what enables it to be such a menace. Needless to say, Politoed suffers like Dragonite does from a lot of strong physical attackers getting access to a super-effective physical attack (ThunderPunch to Dragonite's Ice Punch). What used to be an easy switch in to Darmanitan now becomes a big gamble, to say nothing of the new Fighting-types who might want ThunderPunch to aim at both it, Jellicent, and Gyarados. Mienshao and Bisharp again come to mind as Pokemon with no qualms shifting around their coverage options, and both of them have Swords Dance to boot.

4. Landorus

As the list bears out, the biggest losers in a tutor release tend to be those Pokemon that are huge metagame threats now, but have 4x weaknesses to a new, widely distributed Move Tutor. Unlike Gliscor, who benefits from huge Defense and possibly Roost + Poison Heal if it gets lucky, Landorus gets no such benefit, and a widely distributed Ice Punch to powerful metagame attackers dampens its threat. Where before it could switch into Conkeldurr with relative impunity, Conkeldurr behind a Bulk Up can now crush Landorus in the blink of an eye. Although this speculation only covers the top beneficiaries, the general availability of the attack also has an impact. Mienshao for example isn't listed, but it's faster than Landorus and has an excellent 125 Base Attack. The implications of wide distribution make it that much harder for Landorus to do it job.

5. Forretress

While Forretress might deserve a higher spot because it's higher on the threat list than Landorus, Forretress doesn't make out too badly even in light of Pokemon aiming for Ferrothorn. In the first place, it's not weak to Superpower and it resists Ice Punch, a much more important attack than ThunderPunch generally. Most tutor releases greatly bias physical attacks, and that's where Forretress has its best bulk. In addition, if Spikes or Stealth Rock actually do become tutors, Forretress still has the Rapid Spin function. All in all it still won't be pretty, but Forretress still has its uses.

Niche Corner:

A little bonus if you haven't had enough speculation. Here's a few Pokemon with past Gen Tutors or TMs who would flourish with an old move.

Focus Punch:

Throh's offense has always been suspect, but its great defenses along with 101 HP Subs make it an excellent user of Focus Punch. Its defenses are a bit more balanced than Hariyama's, so it can use this and Guts in tandem to offer a credible threat. Zoroark can use Focus Punch in an entirely different manner, faking out opponents and forcing them to switch into the powerful attack.

Giga Drain:

When Venusaur picked up Chlorophyll, it lost Giga Drain. With Growth boosting both offenses by +2 in the Sun, Giga Drain becomes more potent than ever, and provides Venusaur with an offensive healing option not unlike Conkeldurr enjoys with Bulk Up and Drain Punch. Giga Drain is certainly more reliable than SolarBeam, and its effect is more useful than Energy Ball's.


Whimsicott has the unenviable combination of Chlorophyll for an ability and Hurricane for a coverage attack. Obviously this makes operating in sun a challenge if Whimsicott ever wants to attack, but Gravity patches that and a few things up. Gravity would be useful on both Chlorophyll and Prankster sets, increasing GrassWhistle's accuracy to 91%. Whimsicott also naturally resists Ground-type attacks, so it has nothing to fear from disabling immunities to Ground. Even in sun, Hurricane supported by Gravity still has 83% Accuracy. Finally, Whimsicott has U-turn, so it can act as the perfect pivot on a Gravity team.

Gunk Shot:

Gunk Shot has every quality Nidoking could possibly want. It's got high Base Power, STAB, and an effect chance, meaning that Nidoking can boost it with Sheer Force. What's more, its only drawback is questionable accuracy, which can be fixed with Hone Claws. Needless to say, this makes Nidoking a dangerous physical threat with a set of Hone Claws / Gunk Shot / Earthquake and a coverage move of choice @ Life Orb.

Pain Split:

Unbelievably, Cofagrigus has no form of healing outside of Rest. Pain Split addresses the issue, allowing Cofagrigus to use Mummy and its defenses more proactively against strong attackers. A burned Conkeldurr without Guts is useless against Cofagrigus. Likewise taking a bit hit from an attack like Outrage and Pain Splitting will allow Cofagrigus a decent shot of coming in later, after your Steel-type absorbs the second hit.


Salamence is back with a lot of Moxie. With a female available in Dream World and this tutor, Salamence will be back in its top, terrifying form. Without Intimidate, it won't have quite the buffer against Fighting attacks it used to, but both the Dragon Dance and Scarf sets will welcome back the sheer power of Outrage. Salamence with Outrage, Dragon Dance, and Moxie will be the end.

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