Friday, February 25, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #3: Rate my Team One

Hey guys! Here is my first team-related post. I would like viewpoints/opinions on what works and what doesn't work here. This is a team I made a while ago, when 5th Gen was fairly new to everyone, but I was able to use it to pretty decent success, and as such I thought I'd share it here.

So here it is:
[Image: shiburidon.png]
Eelektross @ Leftovers
Type: Electric
Ability: Levitate
Quiet [+spatk, -spe]
252 HP/104 Atk/152 Sp. Atk
- Dragon Tail
- Thunderbolt
- Gastro Acid
- Thunder Wave

Generation V has introduced yet another pokemon with no weaknesses in Eelektross. This electric eel thing is of the Electric type, yet its only would-be weakness is nullified by its ability, Levitate.
Eelektross is actually quite good, and very useful on this team, and with 85/80/80 defenses, it is not unbulky. With max HP it can take hits quite well, and dish out some powerful STAB T-Bolts with its great 105 Special Attack. The slight EV investment in Attack help for Dragon Tail to do a decent amount of damage (coming off an excellent 115 Atk stat) while forcing a switch.
While Eelektross is quite slow (50 base Speed), its main usage is not in quickly dealing damage or setting up. Instead, it is meant to paralyze would-be threats with T-Wave, and then either force them out, kill them, or nullify their own ability (this set shuts down Blaziken and Erufuun leads). Overall, this is a quite effective lead that can force switches while dealing damage, can take hits well, and can negate any annoying abilities like Speed Boost or Mischievous Heart with Gastro Acid. I've found it deals with Blaziken quite nicely.

[Image: wargle.png]
Braviary @ Choice Band
Ability: Sheer Force *(boosts power of attacks that have an extra effect, but remove this extra effect)*
Jolly [+spe, -spatk]
252 Atk/252 Spe/4 HP
- Superpower
- Shadow Claw
- Thrash *(now 120 BP, like Outrage)*
- Brave Bird

Not much to say about this new Normal/Flying addition, except that it is awesome. Cool design, amazing base 123 Attack, and OK Speed and Defences allow this thing to fully utilize the greatness of a Choice Band. Also, with Superpower and Shadow Claw, it nets perfect type coverage. STAB base 120 Brave Bird and now Thrash are also amazing forces to be reckoned with. This thing will be dealing damage.

[Image: Agirudaa.png]
Accelgor @ Life Orb
Type: Bug
Ability: Hydration
Modest [+spatk, -atk]
252 Sp. Atk/252 Spe/4 HP
- Focus Blast
- Energy Ball
- HP Ghost
- Bug Buzz

A decent Special sweeper in this new bug-type. While its standout stat is its unbelievable base 145 Speed, it has enough offence potential (100 base Sp. Atk) to be a good sweeper. Modest nature ensures powerful attacks, with an already well above average speed stat. Again, the Fighting and Ghost-type combo deal perfect offensive coverage, while STAB Bug Buzz is another great asset to the set. Energy Ball is more filler, but can stop Bulky Waters from doin stuff, as well as eliminating Swamperts. I like this set because it differs from the quite common Spikes/Death Gambit leads I've been seeing from this Pokemon.

[Image: Sazandora-1.png]
Hydreigon@ Life Orb
Ability: Levitate
Hasty [+spe, -def]
104 Atk/152 Sp. Atk/252 Spe
- Draco Metero
- Dark Pulse
- Earthquake
- Flamethrower

One of my personal favorites so far from this gen. Sazandora is an amazing offensive threat, and with the ability to attack from both spectrums (as well as a very powerful Draco Meteor) it is a great sweeper/wall-breaker. Not to mention it's a freaking HYDRA!!! This set not only has great coverage, it utilizes two very powerful STAB moves of Hydreigon, ensuring complete destruction. 104 Attack is for Earthquake to do awesome damage off the 105 Atk stat, while a Hasty nature and 252 EVs is to utilize its above-average, yet still-not-up-to-par base 98 Speed. Oh wait, did I mention base 125 Special Attack (highest of all pseudo-legendaries)???!

[Image: Quagsire.png]
Quagsire @ Leftovers
Ability: Unaware
Careful [+spdef, -spatk]
252 HP/252 Def/4 Sp. Def
- Amnesia
- Rest
- Waterfall
- Curse

The would-be Physical Wall turned Sweeper. This set is devastating. Seriously, this set has surprised even me. Unaware was a blessing for Quagsire this gen (who, with Water Absorb, was not a bad Pokemon before). This utilizes the Curse strategy to its greatest potential by switching in on a resisted move or a pokemon attempting to setup for a sweep (Dragon Dancers, etc.) and ignores any boosts they may have made thus far. Quagsire then proceeds to Curse (or Amnesia first, if it is a Calm Mind/Nasty Plot-er) and Rest off any high damage and/or status ailments. Once at +6 Atk, the sweep shall begin. Of course, two great problems with this set are Grass-types and Water Absorbers like Burungeru and Vaporeon. While Burungeru does often times utilize Cursed Body instead, Vaporeon is potentially the major threat. I suppose if Vaporeon is that much of a problem to this set I can switch Amnesia with Return (or Earthquake, for Burungeru and Vaporeon), but either way, this set is very effective and I have swept several teams with it.

[Image: birijion.png]
Virizion @ Leftovers
Ability: Justice Heart *(raises attack stat if hit by a dark-type move)*
Hasty [+spe, -def]
252 HP/156 Sp. Def/100 Spe
- Holy Sword *(90 BP, Physical, Fighting-Type move. Attacks regardless of opponent's defensive boosts)*
- Giga Drain *(now with 75 BP)*
- Taunt
- Toxic

This is my team's Special Wall, and it works very well. Virizion has base 91 HP, complimented with a base 129 Special Defense, allowing for a great wall. With base 108 Speed it's not slow, either. This set utilizes Giga Drain's new power boost to recover off some damage, as well as Taunt to stop stallers/setup-ers. Toxic helps as well.

Well, there is my team. In my opinion this is a great team, and I have won many battles with it. Let me know what you all think, and if I missed something, or need to fix something.

Thanks for your time and help!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #2: New Pokemon Two

          The second new Pokemon to be spotlighted, Archeops.


H.P.: 75
Attk: 140
Def.: 65
Sp.A: 112
Sp.D: 65
Spe: 110

Faint-Hearted: This Pokemon's Attack and Special Attack are halved when HP is below 50%.
An awful ability for a Pokemon with such amazing stats, it sits right there with Truant and Slow Start as one of the most depressingly hindered Pokemon in the game. While Archeops has wonderful offensive powers alongside an great speed stat, its defenses are completely lacking, and will not allow it to take really any neutral (let alone super effective) hits at all. This means Faint-Hearted will be rather easy to activate. What's more, Archeops has a crippling weakness to Stealth Rock, limiting its switch in potential, and after two switch-ins with Rocks on the field, Archeops is already at half health.Essentially, once this ability is activated, Archeops becomes dead weight for your team.

          With all that out of the way, it is time to commend Archeops for what it is actually good at. 140 Attack and 112 Special Attack with 110 Speed and good STAB make for a very threatening force in this ancestral bird Pokemon. Basically it is a much more overpowered Aerodactyl that can destroy things much more easily. Defensively, its typing is quite bad. Weaknesses to Electric, Ice and Water, three very common types from very powerful Pokemon, make for an unfortunately high number of things that can take Archeops down. Also, an aforementioned weakness to Stealth Rocks (and powerful Stone Edges) and Scizor's Bullet Punch make for more reasons to not love this Pokemon. I remember when the sprites of every Black and White Pokemon were revealed, my attention was immediately drawn to this prehistoric bird. It just looked like a monster. Imagine flying on one of these! When the stats were revealed I was beside myself. This Pokemon is amazing!, I thought.
          Well, bottom line, this Pokemon is amazing, if used correctly. That means great prediction skills on your part, Rapid Spin/Taunt/Magic Mirror support to relieve your team of entry hazards, and even Wish support, so that if and when Archeops does drop below half health, he will not be more useless to your team than Luvdisc would be.

Potential Sets: 

1. The Oldest Bird's Choice 
  252 Atk/252 Spe/4 Def 
   Jolly/Adamant @ Choice Band/Choice Scarf
   -Stone Edge
   -Dragon Claw/Crunch 

 With some of the best offensive stats you could ask for, and a good typing, Archeops is an excellent user of a Choice item. My preference is Band, as it adds to an already enormous Attack stat, and with the given EVs/nature, Archeops reaches 568 Attack and 350 Speed, enough to outspeed a number of powerful threats, as well as speed tie with others. Even better, when faced with Lati@s, who typically run Hidden Power Fire these days, Archeops will always outspeed due to the fact that HP Fire drops their Speed IVs to 30. The moveset here is simple; U-Turn to scout, Stone Edge for amazing power and STAB, Earthquake for coverage, and either Dragon Claw (for Dragons) or Crunch (for not Dragons) as more filler. I've found this set to be very useful, and should never be underestimated. Of course, as always, watch out for Rocks. 

**Also, with 112 Special Attack, Archeops is a great candidate to run a Specs set (see Special Set below).** 

2. The Acrobat 
252 Atk/252 Spe/4 HP 
  Jolly @ Flight Jewel
   -Stone Edge

This set utilizes another of Archeops' assets, his Flying STAB. After a boost from the Flight Jewel, Acrobatics will deal a nice amount of damage, and thereafter, it will deal even more. Stone Edge and Earthquake again are together here for coverage, while U-Turn remains the prime scouting option. 

3.  Special Set 
252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe/4 HP 
Timid/Modest @ Leftovers
   -Dragon Pulse
   -Earth Power
   -Focus Blast 

Although both of its offensive stats are lowered with Faint-Hearted, and for that 140 Attack seems ideal, a Specially oriented set can be used for the "element of surprise" factor, or simply if you seek a reprieve from using Archeops' monstrous Attack power. Ancientpower isn't the best, but it's all Archeops' got in terms of Special STAB. Earth Power and Dragon Pulse are for coverage, and are also great moves when used effectively. Focus Blast provides great coverage and power as well, but the 70 Accuracy isn't always fun. If you'd prefer reliability, HP Fighting can be used in its place, or even HP Fire or Ice, depending on what you want to hit (Ferrothorn/Scizor/Forretress or Dragons/Gliscor/Landorus).     
In addition to the above mentioned set, Choice Specs may also be used for more powerful success. If that is the case, you need not change anything, but if you'd like some scouting potential, U-turn can be used in place of the last moveslot, or any other moveslot for that matter (it should be noted that even with a Timid nature and no Attack investment, a useful 283 Attack is still reached). 

4. Quickly or Precisely 
 252 Atk/252 Spe/4 Def
Jolly/Adamant @ Leftovers
   -Claw Sharpen/Agility
   -Stone Edge
   -Dragon Claw/Taunt/Substitute 

A basic boosting set, this one effectively employs the use of either Claw Sharpen to wreck things with Stone Edge, or Agility to outspeed just about everything. This set demands great prediction skills, though, as you must efficiently switch in on something that cannot damage you (which is very few things, so try switching in on a Ground-type user), force the switch, and proceed to set up a boost of your choice. As always with this Pokemon, Leftovers recovery is wonderful, and can help you out of a couple tight spots. If you truly fear being hit in the process of setting up though, Substitute can be used, although at quite a large risk. 

5. Lead? 
252 Atk/252 Spe/4 HP 
Jolly @ Leftovers/Flight Jewel
   -Stone Edge

A possible lead set that uses Taunt to prevent setup, and U-Turn to get-the-hell-out-of-there afterward. The rest is pretty self-explanatory; EdgeQuake for coverage and power, although Acrobatics may also be used with Flight Jewel. The reason Focus Sash is not used on this frail lead is because of that horrendous ability Once Sash is activated, Archeops is essentially useless, and it's better to have it die than have it dealing next to no damage. 

          Overall, Archeops is a truly deadly force when used correctly. However, its true strengths do not lie solely in its offensive capabilities, but in the efficiency of team support used to allow Archeops to sweep. As mentioned before, Wish, Rapid Spin and Taunt are a few options among many others that can help this wonderful bird to destroy things. The bottom line is: don't let a crippling ability turn you off to this gargantuan Pokemon.

Competitive Usability: 
  • 140 base Attack and 110 base Speed 
  • 112 base Special Attack 
  • Great movepool with good coverage options  
  • Horrible ability 
  • Lacking Special movepool 
  • Awful Defenses 
  • Weakness to MANY common types, including Stealth Rock
Verdict: 7.5 out of 10

Aesthetic Design: 
It's mean-looking and colorful. Based on the oldest known ancestor of the common bird, it was one of the first in prehistory to fly. I personally love dinosaurs, and though this Pokemon isn't exactly a dinosaur, it's awfully close. Probably the coolest fossil Pokemon we've ever been given, I'll be sure to pick one up for my team when Black and White come out. out of 10

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #1: New Pokemon One

          Here is the first Competitive Battling Spotlight for the Generation 5 scene. I will hereby shift evenly between Pokemon, Abilities, Moves, and other aspects. This Pokemon was chosen at random and is the new ant Pokemon, Durant.

H.P.: 58
Attk: 109
Def.: 112
Sp.A: 48
Sp.D: 48
Spe: 109

Swarm: A decent ability, it relies more on strategy than anything else. While not the best, it is by no means a bad one.
Hustle: Probably the ideal choice for Durant. Though it lowers Accuracy, it boosts the already-powerful 109 base Attack by 50%, making for an automatic +1.
The inferior, perhaps most useless, ability of Durant's. The only reason to use this ability is if doing so with the move "Make Friends", to hinder your opponent. The problem is, with Make Friends Durant doesn't lose Truant, so you are still essentially at a loss. 

          Durant is yet another unexciting installment in the Bug/Steel saga of Pokemon, but I will say that it is superior to many of its identically typed-brethren. With awesome overall attacking stats, a decent movepool (for an ant), and a couple of quite useful abilities, this pokemon definitely has the potential to be a fine force in the new metagame. 

          Durant has an ideal defensive typing, yielding only one weakness (though a painful one) and a number of resistances to notable types such as Dark, Ghost, and Bug, as well as a Poison immunity. These factors, coupled with a 112 Defense stat and (usable) 58 HP will allow Durant to easily take a great number of physical hits, while effectively setting up or dealing with opposing threats. Offensively, Bug and Steel is not a great type combination, but as it is, inevitably, compared to Scizor, it is manageable. Notable moves in Durant's arsenal include Crunch, Dig, Shadow Claw, Stone Edge, Thunder Fang, and even Aerial Ace, to round off its coverage nicely. Some good strategy moves at its disposal also include Agility, Hone Claws, Double Team, and Baton Pass. The bottom line is that, while inferior to Scizor as an offensive threat in many ways, this is still a good Pokemon and should be used for what it has over Scizor, such as great Speed, slightly higher Defense, and a free +1 Attack in the form of Hustle. 

Potential Sets I've come up with:

1. Hustle/Hone Claws 
   252 Atk/252 Spe/4 Def 
   Hustle; Jolly @ Leftovers/Life Orb/Focus Sash
   -Hone Claws 
   -X-Scissor/Iron Head
   -Stone Edge

Not the best coverage in one set, but with the given EVs, Durant reaches 348 Speed, enough to outspeed anything up to Infernape (and the legendary horse things) that is not Scarfed or boosted and a whopping 475 Attack! That's before using Hone Claws! After one Hone, Durant hits 712 Attack, and accuracy for moves returns to normal, allowing for a severely hard-hitting sweeper before and after only one turn of setup. Lefties recovery is always nice, but of course if you'd prefer even more power, Life Orb is excellent. Focus Sash can also be used as an option here, to insure at least one turn of setup, though with Focus Sash (unless you're using Durant as a lead) it becomes essential that you keep entry hazards off the field, otherwise the Sash will break as Durant switches in. 

2. Agile Ant 
252 Atk/252 Spe/4 Def (or 4 HP) 
Swarm (or Hustle); Adamant @ Life Orb 
-Iron Head
-Stone Edge/Aerial Ace

This set, if using Swarm, loses a bit of power, but has the potential to remain a threatening force, outspeeding just about everything after one turn of setup. Iron Head is for flinch hax, while Stone Edge provides decent coverage and great power. Ideally, if Hustle is being used on this set, Aerial Ace is a viable option as it offers good power, Super Effective damage to Fighting, Bug and Grass types, and 100% accuracy all the time. Also, Dig can be considered here [Durant doesn't get EQ :( ], as it offers great offensive coverage and can effectively take down Sand Rush Excadrill after an Agility. Just watch out for Balloons! 

3. Let's Be Friends! 
252 HP/56 Def/ 200 Spe
Truant; Jolly @ Leftovers 
-Make Friends
-Protect/Double Team
-Thunder Wave
-Iron Head/X-Scissor/Crunch 

A potentially risky set, this one seems to work best with good teamwork. I once lost to a team after Durant used Make Friends on my Pokemon, then switched out to Shadow Tag Shandera (who was not banned at the time) and proceeded to Protect + Calm Mind/Acid Armor stall me until +6 was acheived. Not cool. This set is great when used correctly, but has the risk of backfiring, as Truant is never a good ability. For anyone. 

**On a quite unrelated note, I will commend Gamefreak for their subtle use of irony here... A lazy ant?! Who'd have thunk!!!***

4. Baton Pass? 
252 HP (or 252 Atk)/252 Spe/4 Def
Swarm; Jolly @ Leftovers 
- Agility
- Claw Sharpen
- Iron Head
- X-Scissor/Thunder Wave/Double Team

Why ignore the option of Baton Pass on a Pokemon with decent defensive capabilities and good setup moves? I am sure there is a Pokemon out there who can do this better(*ahem* Ninjask), but as I've said, Durant is an individual, man! Let him be! 

     Overall, I respect Durant's strengths more than I seem to cringe at its flaws, and for that I definitely recommend using it on a team. Of course its typing leads it to be compared to things like Scizor, Forretress and Genosect, but as I've said, Durant has numerous skills that its Bug/Steel comrades do not, and, when used correctly, can result in the creation of a deadly (though quite miniscule) sweeper.

Competitive Usability: 8 out of 10 

Aesthetic Design: 8 

I hope you all enjoyed my first attempt at a Gen. V analysis, I will continue to post and get better at writing these as time goes on. Best of luck in battling! 


Pokemon Generation 5 English names confirmed!

As many are well aware by now, a full list of the correct English names for every new Black/White Pokemon has been released. The confirming source here is Serebii. Check it out if you have not already.

I will comment by saying that a number of these names are quite odd and sound a bit foolish, but then again this is only the beginning and I am sure they will take some getting used to.

Serebii's confirmed list:

Let me know what you think!