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


  1. w/o flight jewel, won't it always do better damage? no item>jewel?

  2. Yes, without flight gem Acrobatics' power will be boosted from 55 to 110. With flight gem activated its power will yield 82.5 damage. I originally thought flight gem boosted the move's power more, but I was incorrect.

  3. so can i really make full use of this pokemon ? , cuz wow its really frail x.x , but i might use him as a scout