RU Ready for BW2?

By Texas Cloverleaf. Art by RitterCat.
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The announcement and subsequent release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 has undoubtedly created the greatest impact on the largest number of Pokémon yet this generation. New formes for Pokémon were unveiled, vast amounts of Dream World abilities were released, and a plethora of move tutors became available to members of all tiers. While Tornadus, Keldeo and company frolic in the Overused tier with their new formes, RU was likewise impacted heavily, albeit in the form of Dream World abilities and especially move tutors. Many Pokémon received new movepool options, allowing them greater versatility, while a similar amount received new niches through released Dream World abilities. This article will serve to highlight the most important changes to Pokémon relevant to the RU tier from the release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.

Improved Pokémon in RU

Qwilfish has always been one of the most consistent bulky Waters and Spikes setters in the Rarelyused tier. With access to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, an excellent ability in Intimidate, and a terrific defensive typing, Qwilfish typically has little trouble checking most of the prominent physical threats in the tier, such as Feraligatr and Entei. Qwilfish even deters opponents from attempting to set up on it thanks to its access to Taunt, Haze, and Thunder Wave, each with their own unique utility. Unfortunately, using Intimidate with Qwilfish left it lacking in that one element that all bulky Pokémon crave: recovery. The BW2 move tutors gifted Qwilfish with exactly that recovery in the form of Pain Split. Qwilfish is now far less susceptible to being worn down by powerful attacks, as it can switch in on a physical attacker, Intimidate, and recover much of the damage while forcing a switch. Ironically, receiving Pain Split gives Qwilfish even greater 4-moveslot-syndrome, as its ideal moveset now becomes Waterfall / Spikes / Toxic Spikes / Pain Split / Taunt / Haze / Thunder Wave. The combination with the greatest utility and the one that will become Qwilfish's standard is Waterfall / Spikes / Pain Split / Haze; however, almost any combination of the above attacks will serve Qwilfish well.

Archeops was one of the most hyped Pokémon of Gen 5, and with good reason; its titanic 140 / 112 / 110 offensive stats created the impression of an offensive monster. All the hype quickly died when it was learned that Archeops was 'gifted' with the ability Defeatist, an ability that halves Archeops's offensive stats when below half health. With a weakness to Stealth Rock, a vulnerability to priority, and no means of recovery, Archeops saw little opportunity to abuse its gargantuan offenses. BW2 changes Archeops's fortunes by providing it with Stealth Rock and Roost via move tutor. The former allows Archeops to function as a suicide entry hazards setter, much like Azelf in DPP. With Roost, Archeops can now switch in and out of battle more freely—its presence is sufficiently threatening to force switches, allowing Archeops to Roost off prior damage should the need be present. Archeops is sure to see increased usage with Roost in its moveset; a moveset of Acrobatics / Stone Edge / Earth Power / Roost is likely to become the new standard, threatening the greatest number of Pokémon, with Roost being the keystone that allows Archeops to remain alive.

Sigilyph is not a Pokémon that first appears to have benefited from the BW2 changes; both its Calm Mind and Cosmic Power sets retain viability without any particular issues. However, BW2 affected Sigilyph in two ways: first, it enjoys the release of its Dream World ability, Tinted Lens; and second, it received Trick from move tutors. These releases lend themselves to the crafting of a particularly dangerous Choice Specs set consisting of Air Slash / Psyshock / Trick and one of Hidden Power Fighting, Heat Wave, or Roost. With Tinted Lens boosting the power of any move that might be resisted by an opponent, Sigilyph no longer has to worry about prediction as almost every move it makes will strike for at least neutral damage. This allows Sigilyph to more easily deal with checks such as Slowking (Psyshock), Klinklang (Air Slash), and Steelix (Air Slash). Trick lessens the threat of defensive Pokémon beating Sigilyph as well, as catching a Munchlax with Trick will invariably cripple it for the match. Additionally, Sigilyph's offensive Calm Mind set received a significant boost in Heat Wave. With a Calm Mind boost and recoilless Life Orb behind it, Heat Wave allows Sigilyph to cleanly dispose of those same Steel-types which would wall its STABs. Despite the fact that strong checks such as Aggron and hard counters such as Mandibuzz remain to oppose Sigilyph, the addition of Choice Specs to the duo of Calm Mind and Cosmic Power as viable sets for Sigilyph serves to increase its versatility to even greater heights.

Ah, Fraxure, the poster child for coverage issues. Prior to BW2, Fraxure was stuck with essentially Dragon-type moves as its only form of attacking presence, allowing Steel-types to check Fraxure with ease. In addition, Pokémon with particularly strong defensive stats, such as Rhydon, would also check Fraxure with little consternation. BW2 was kind to Fraxure, however, granting it three coverage moves, Superpower, Aqua Tail, and Low Kick, with which to handle its checks and counters. While Dragon Dance and Outrage will be on every Fraxure you will ever encounter, Fraxure now gains the ability to run multiple options in the final two slots. Superpower is a useful option for a powerful coverage hit on Steel-types, and the occasional Normal-, Rock-, or Ice-type you may encounter. Low Kick is even better than Superpower in most situations, hitting every Steel in RU for comparable or better damage than Superpower bar Escavalier and Ferroseed—thus removing Steelix, Klinklang, Aggron and company as checks. Aqua Tail is notable for hitting not only Steelix and Aggron super effectively, but also Rhydon, who would otherwise take any of Fraxure's attacks easily. Other options for the final moveslot include Taunt and Substitute, both of which allow Fraxure to set up more easily on defensively inclined Pokémon.

Pokémon in NU That Might Affect RU

Golurk is an unusual creature, having constantly shifted tiers: first from RU into UU, then to RU once more, and finally down into the depths of NU. However, Golurk received massive additions from BW2, with both its Dream World ability, No Guard, being released, as well as receiving several new additions from move tutors. No Guard grants Golurk the ability to use its more unreliable movepool options, particularly Stone Edge and Dynamicpunch. With the moves accuracy being boost to 100%, Golurk can now easily power its way through Dark- and Flying-type Pokémon. The movepool additions are even more beneficial. Prior to the release of BW2, Golurk historically had issues with super effective coverage. However, Golurk now has access to Fire Punch, ThunderPunch, Ice Punch, and Drain Punch, giving it super effective coverage against a full 10 additional types with those four moves alone. Not only that, but Golurk even gained Stealth Rock as a new move, giving it the unique distinction of being the only Ghost-type in RU with access to entry hazards. With all these new toys to play with, Golurk is sure to impress in RU with its increased versatility.

It's Ditto. It got Imposter. It copies your Pokémon. Including boosts. 'Nuff said.

But in all seriousness, with Imposter, Ditto immediately copies every aspect of the opposing Pokémon bar HP. Choice Scarf Ditto is the perfect revenge killer, able to remove any troublesome Pokémon from the game. Have you managed to let a Cofagrigus set up to +6? Send in Ditto and take it out of the game. Be warned, Imposter will fail when Ditto is sent in against a Substitute.

Amoonguss has been one of those Pokémon that looks like it could be cool but never quite managed to establish itself. Good enough defensive typing, solid defensive stats and the holy grail, access to Spore gave Amoonguss enough to be intriguing, but its lack of good recovery kept it away from success. Then BW2 came and granted it its Dream World ability, Regenerator. Regenerator has been hailed as one of the best abilities the game has to offer, and for good reason, making defensive stalwarts such as Slowbro and Tangrowth titanic while making Tornadus-T even more threatening. Amoonguss is now capable of checking any Pokémon that hates Grass-types, such as Feraligatr, Sceptile, and other offensive threats. Sporting support options including Spore, Stun Spore, and Clear Smog, Amoonguss makes life very difficult for opposing sweepers. Don't expect this guy to hang around NU for long; already it has carved itself a presence in not just RU but also the Overused tier.

Zangoose has rarely seen much time in the spotlight since being introduced in ADV. Excellent Attack and good Speed were its highlights, but it never had the tools to properly abuse it. This changes completely with the release of Zangoose's Dream World ability, Toxic Boost. Toxic Boost, for those who have yet to be decimated by a Zangoose, is equivalent to Guts in that it increases the users Attack stat, except only when afflicted with the poison status. Zangoose is thus capable of setting up a Swords Dance, multiplying its already threatening base 115 Attack, and rampaging through the opposition with a combination of Facade, Quick Attack, Close Combat, and Shadow Claw; the moves allow for either unresisted coverage or access to priority. Facade, of course, is the move that makes Zangoose as threatening as it is. When boosted by Toxic Boost, and a Swords Dance, Facade is hitting the opponent at 6 times its original power—nothing that doesn't resist Facade will survive such an onslaught. Toxic Boost makes Zangoose a truly terrifying threat to be wary of in both the NU and RU tiers.

Get Out There!

With the release of BW2 came many changes to the denizens of RU. Almost every Pokémon got something of note to enhance its prowess; the previously mentioned Pokémon are only the tip of the iceberg. Challenge yourself to create innovative sets with these new options that will take the RU tier by storm!

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