Pokémon That Benefited From the Transition to ORAS

By Mysteria, boltsandbombers, and -Clone-. Art by RitterCat.
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The transition to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire was most famous for introducing multiple Mega Evolutions. However, people tend to overlook that ORAS also introduced new move tutors, made some move combinations legal, and introduced new hidden abilities to Pokémon that were previously obscure to the competitive scene, all of which majorly influenced the metagame. Some Pokémon finally received the one trait it needed to push it from simply viable to amazing. For instance, Mega Gyarados lacked a powerful Dark-type STAB attack, forcing it to rely on Bounce or Earthquake for coverage instead of a secondary STAB move. However, with the transition to ORAS, Mega Gyarados was gifted with a great move in Crunch, which completed its STAB combination and shot it to the top of the viability rankings. Without further ado, let's explore these new traits!


Diancie + Earth Power

While Mega Diancie's introduction already made Diancie a threat in the metagame, it still lacked any good coverage for Steel-types, which walled the combination of Moonblast and Diamond Storm and weren't hit hard enough by Hidden Power Fire. However, along with its new Mega Evolution, Diancie was also gifted with Earth Power, which easily fixed its huge coverage problem and gave it nearly perfect neutral coverage. Mega Diancie's coverage and two high attacking stats to work with immediately skyrocketed it to the top of the OU metagame.

Diancie @ Diancite
Ability: Clear Body
Nature: Naive
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
- Rock Polish / Calm Mind
- Diamond Storm
- Moonblast
- Earth Power

This is the most common set that you'll find Mega Diancie running. With nearly perfect coverage thanks to Earth Power, it has a free moveslot to use for boosting, which makes it even more of a threat. Rock Polish allows Mega Diancie to sweep late-game, while Calm Mind allows it to completely dismantle defensive builds. Overall, Earth Power did Diancie the favor of letting it sweep or attack without worrying about not being able to hit opposing Pokémon.


Gyarados + Crunch

Both Mega Gyarados and regular Gyarados were already great Pokémon with the ability to sweep teams with the combination of Waterfall and Earthquake and either Ice Fang or Bounce in the last slot. Unfortunately, the combination of Waterfall and Earthquake had relatively poor neutral coverage and missed out on most Grass-types, and while Ice Fang and Bounce fixed coverage problems, they were both relatively weak. However, ORAS gave Mega Gyarados Crunch, which is a powerful STAB move that allows it to muscle through its former checks, such as Rotom-W. This alone made Mega Gyarados much more threatening, giving it the ability to completely sweep teams with just Waterfall and Crunch thanks to their good coverage while freeing up a slot for a utility move of your choice.

Gyarados @ Gyaradosite
Ability: Intimidate
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Dragon Dance
- Waterfall
- Crunch
- Substitute / Taunt

Because Gyarados has two very strong STAB moves that have relatively good coverage with each other, Gyarados can free up a slot to use Substitute or Taunt, allowing it to set up with much more ease by either freely setting up on switches it forces and Pokémon that can't do much to it or making a stall Pokémon unable to do anything to it.


Pangoro + Superpower, Knock Off, Drain Punch, and Gunk Shot

Until ORAS, Pangoro had little significance in the OverUsed tier. With the new move tutors, however, it gained access to Superpower and Drain Punch, as well as the coveted Knock Off, allowing it to make its mark among other Dark-types. Pangoro also gained access to Gunk Shot, which nails the common Fairy-types in the tier that could easily sponge up its other attacks. These new moves combined with Pangoro's great abilities for an offensive Pokémon give it a solid role in the tier.


Pangoro @ Choice Band
Ability: Scrappy / Iron Fist
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Knock Off
- Superpower / Drain Punch
- Gunk Shot
- Parting Shot / Ice Punch

This is the standard set for Pangoro. With a Choice Band equipped, Pangoro acts as an extremely powerful nuke with its outstanding Attack stat and coverage. Scrappy alleviates prediction when using Superpower, but Knock Off is Pangoro's claim to fame. It is generally very easy for Pangoro to spam Knock Off early-game thanks to its great utility in removing items. Drain Punch gives useful recovery and is boosted by Iron Fist. Gunk Shot is necessary for coverage against Clefable, Azumarill, and Mega Altaria. Parting Shot pivots Pangoro out into another attacker to threaten the foe, while Ice Punch targets the common Landorus-T and Gliscor.


Azumarill + Belly Drum, Knock Off, and Aqua Jet legal

Not much changed for Azumarill in ORAS save for one key move: Knock Off. Knock Off solves all of Belly Drum Azumarill's previous problems. No longer is it forced to run Superpower for Ferrothorn or be walled by Amoonguss. Knock Off gets OHKOs on both of these after a boost, preventing Azumarill from having to run a suboptimal move or switch out after using Belly Drum. Additionally, Knock Off hits bulky Psychic-types super effectively, such as Cresselia and Slowbro.

Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 92 HP / 252 Atk / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Belly Drum
- Aqua Jet
- Play Rough
- Knock Off

Azumarill's Belly Drum set looks like this. Maximum Attack investment with an Adamant nature is used to ensure OHKOs against many Pokémon. One such example is OHKOing offensive Garchomp with Aqua Jet, which is something Jolly Azumarill is incapable of achieving. The Speed investment is enough to outpace uninvested base 60 Speed Pokémon, which include Clefable, a Poké that is capable of living an Aqua Jet from full health. This allows Azumarill to hit it with the much more powerful Play Rough. The HP investment ensures that Azumarill's Sitrus Berry will always activate after Belly Drum, as the HP number is even.


Greninja + Gunk Shot and Low Kick

Easily the most threatening Pokémon on this list, Greninja received two gems for its movepool in ORAS: Gunk Shot and Low Kick. Despite both of these moves coming off of Greninja's lower Attack, they still hit incredibly hard thanks to Protean and Life Orb. Gunk Shot turned former checks and counters, such as Assault Vest Azumarill and defensive Clefable, into liabilities when facing the frog. With 40 Attack EVs and a Life Orb equipped, Gunk Shot OHKOes 240 HP Azumarill and 2HKOes physically defensive Clefable. Aside from these two, Gunk Shot takes care of any Fairy-type Greninja might face as well as 2HKOing other would-be checks, such as Choice Scarf Keldeo and Assault Vest Raikou. The other important move Greninja received in ORAS is Low Kick, which allows it to get past old checks like Assault Vest Kyurem-B. Low Kick also lets Greninja take on other Pokémon more easily, such as Heatran and Tyranitar, as it no longer has to rely on the inaccurate Hydro Pump to hit them. These two moves along with its other coverage options have caused many players to call Greninja overpowered, and have led it to be suspected.

In result, Greninja was deemed overpowered with the simple addition of these two moves, proving how much it benefited from ORAS.

Greninja @ Life Orb
Ability: Protean
EVs: 40 Atk / 216 SpA / 252 Spe
Naïve Nature
- Gunk Shot
- Low Kick
- Ice Beam
- Dark Pulse / Hidden Power Fire / Extrasensory

This is Greninja's standard set. 40 Attack EVs guarantee a OHKO on 240 HP Azumarill with Gunk Shot and a chance to OHKO Heatran with Low Kick after Stealth Rock damage. Ice Beam is Greninja's most spammable attack, as it sports good power and coverage while also gaining a STAB boost thanks to Protean. The last slot is customizable depending on what your team needs, though Dark Pulse is usually standard as it hits bulky Psychic-types super effectively. If luring in Ferrothorn and Scizor is needed, then Hidden Power Fire is a good option to OHKO them after minimal prior damage. Finally, Extrasensory can be used if Tentacruel poses a problem, as it otherwise counters Greninja thanks to its great Special Defense stat and typing.


Latias + Stored Power

Latias was already considered a top-tier threat in XY, sporting great Special Attack and Speed while being able to support its teammates with Healing Wish and nuking most walls with Draco Meteor. However, ORAS brought Latias Stored Power, which allows it to function as a win condition for most bulky and stall teams and put its new Mega Evolution to use. Stored Power Latias runs a bulky Calm Mind set boost the damage output of Stored Power enough to finish off the opposing team. The addition of Stored Power also means that Latias can freely invest in bulk to take advantage of its higher Defense stat rather than be a glass cannon.

Latias @ Latiasite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
- Calm Mind
- Stored Power
- Roost
- Substitute / Dragon Pulse / Hidden Power Fire

This is typically the set that Stored Power Latias will be running. Calm Mind works with Stored Power to continuously increase the Base Power of the move while making Latias more specially bulky at the same time. Roost is used to recover health. The last slot will usually come down to preference; Substitute avoids Sucker Punch and lets Latias set up more easily, Dragon Pulse is a secondary STAB move, and Hidden Power Fire nails opposing Steel-types.


Chesnaught + Drain Punch

Chesnaught gained a new toy in Drain Punch, which finally allows it to use a Fighting-type STAB move with zero drawbacks. Previously, Chesnaught had to rely on Hammer Arm, which had the drawback of reducing its Speed and a small chance to miss. Drain Punch, on the other hand, gives Chesnaught a 100% accurate move that deals good damage and heals half the damage it inflicts. This improves Chesnaught's longevity, which helps it fulfill the defensive role it usually takes.

Chesnaught @ Leftovers
Ability: Bulletproof
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature
- Drain Punch
- Spiky Shield
- Spikes
- Leech Seed

This is Chesnaught's standard defensive set. Drain Punch deals good damage, has decent coverage, and restores Chesnaught's health. Spikes helps wear down opposing teams, and Chesnaught's good bulk allows it to set them up multiple times throughout the match. Leech Seed heals Chesnaught and has the added benefit of wearing down opposing Pokémon. Spiky Shield helps scout for Choiced moves, gain additional Leftovers and Leech Seed recovery, and punish physical attackers for 12.5% of their health.


Klefki + Magnet Rise

Klefki was notorious in early XY for using the combination of Swagger, Foul Play, and Prankster to effectively shut down all physical attackers. Later on, after the dreaded Swagger was banned, people realized that utilizing Klefki's Prankster for other assets in its movepool, such as Spikes, Light Screen, and Reflect, was also effective. Klefki has also been known for being a catch-all stop to setup sweepers with its bothersome priority Thunder Wave. With ORAS, Klefki gained access to Magnet Rise, an incredibly useful move for Steel-types such as itself to gain an immunity to Ground-type attacks from common Pokémon such as Garchomp, Mamoswine, and the Landorus formes for 5 turns.

Klefki @ Leftovers / Sitrus Berry
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Careful / Calm Nature
- Spikes
- Thunder Wave
- Magnet Rise / Toxic
- Play Rough / Foul Play

Here is Klefki's most common set. Spikes is a great entry hazard in this metagame with the number of common grounded Pokémon, and Klefki is a great setter because it puts immense amounts of pressure on the two most common Defog users in the tier, Latios and Latias. Thunder Wave cripples setup sweepers and all offensive Pokémon and has +1 priority with Prankster. Magnet Rise alleviates one of Klefki's biggest weaknesses, giving it more opportunities to set up Spikes. Toxic punishes bulky Ground- or Electric-types trying to absorb a Thunder Wave. Play Rough prevents Klefki from being Taunt bait and also deals solid damage to Latios, Latias, Weavile, Mega Gyarados, and others. Alternatively, Foul Play can check physical attackers.


Diggersby + Knock Off and Fire Punch

Diggersby has always been known as a powerhouse in the OU tier with the ability to demolish the majority of defensive Pokémon with its STAB moves alone. However, Gengar had been an issue for the hard-hitting bunny, as it was immune to Return and Earthquake and threatened to burn it with Will-O-Wisp or OHKO it with Focus Blast. With ORAS move tutors, however, Diggersby now has access to Knock Off, which demolishes Gengar that attempt to get a free switch in. Another issue for this hare has been Skarmory, which also walls Diggerby's STAB moves. Previously, Diggersby had to rely on Wild Charge specifically to hit Skarmory despite offering no other useful coverage. With ORAS move tutors, Diggersby also has access to Fire Punch to roast Skarmory, 2HKOing it after Stealth Rock damage. Fire Punch also catches Scizor and Ferrothorn off guard.

Diggersby @ Life Orb / Lum Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant / Jolly nature
- Earthquake
- Return
- Knock Off / Fire Punch
- Quick Attack

This is Diggersby's all-out attacker set. Return and Earthquake are mandatory as STAB moves, which hit ridiculously hard with Huge Power. Knock Off smacks Gengar and has great utility overall, while Fire Punch provides useful coverage against select Steel-types, such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Scizor. Quick Attack is mandatory to hit faster Pokémon such as Keldeo, Latios, Thundurus, Mega Charizard X, Mega Gardevoir, and Mega Sceptile.


Dragalge + Adaptability

Before ORAS, Dragalge was a very niche Pokémon in the OverUsed tier. However, ORAS gave it one simple gift: Adaptability. Because of Adaptability, Dragalge immediately became one of the strongest Pokémon in the entire tier; for reference, its Choice Specs Draco Meteor is only marginally weaker than Choice Band Victini's V-create. This allows Dragalge to OHKO most Pokémon that don't resist Draco Meteor while still 2HKOing many that do. An amazing defensive typing and great bulk mean Dragalge can also pivot in easily and deal heavy damage without any cost.

Draglage @ Choice Specs
Ability: Adaptability
Nature: Modest
EVs: 200 HP / 240 SpA / 12 SpD / 56 Spe
- Draco Meteor
- Sludge Wave
- Hidden Power Fire
- Scald / Focus Blast

This is easily Dragalge's best set. Choice Specs Draco Meteor is one of the most powerful attacks in the entire metagame and is one of the main reasons to use Dragalge. Sludge Wave is used as a more reliable secondary STAB move and nails Fairy-types that would like to switch into Draco Meteor. Hidden Power Fire nails Ferrothorn, which resists both Draco Meteor and Sludge Wave. Scald can hit threatening Ground-types, while Focus Blast hits Heatran. The EVs allow Dragalge to outrun Azumarill while maximizing bulk and power.


All in all, ORAS brought many new changes to various Pokémon, thus improving their viability significantly. Overall the most significant buffs belong to Greninja and Dragalge; the former's buffs were so helpful to it that it ended up being banned from its rightful tier, while the latter was brought completely out of obscurity and became relevant.

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