Friday, April 1, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #5: New Pokemon Three

Here is the third B/W Pokemon to be spotlighted, Cofagrigus.


H.P.: 58
Attk: 50
Def.: 145
Sp.A: 95
Sp.D: 105
Spe: 30

Abilities: Mummy: If the opponent uses a move that makes physical contact with Cofagrigus, their ability will also be changed to Mummy. This effect lasts until the affected Pokemon switches out.
            This ability, while odd at first glance, can prove to be exceptionally useful for a Pokemon as bulky as Cofagrigus. As of now, this sarcophagus is the only Pokemon with the ability, making it unique in that sense. It is a great way of stopping powerful sweepers and other Pokemon that rely heavily on their ability in their tracks (this is a great way of shutting down speed boost Blaziken). It is also important to note that once the opponent’s ability has been changed to Mummy, any Pokemon that makes physical contact with them will then have their ability changed. In that sense, Mummy is spread throughout teams until its possessor is switched out.

            With this new ability, as well as a great amount of bulk, Cofagrigus is definitely an asset to any team, offensive and stall alike. Its movepool is not vast, but it has what it needs to perform as a great tank/wall, and can even take on the role of sweeper if circumstances permit. 95  base Special Attack is great, especially on a Pokemon with these kinds of defenses, not to mention access to Calm Mind to boost its lower, but still awesome, Special Defense, as well as Nasty Plot to attack with heavily-powered STAB Shadow Balls and a few other decent coverage options like Energy Ball, Psychic, and Hidden Power. It goes without saying that after looking through all of this Pokemon’s strengths, it has easily become one of my new favorites in competitive play. 

            Though this Pokemon is not as mainstream or as overhyped as its new defensive rivals Jellicent and Ferrothorn, it has the stats and the moves to do what is needed of it. To put it in perspective, in comparison it is essentially a better Skarmory, in terms of stats (Cofagrigus has greater Def and much greater Sp. Def, as well as a higher offensive stat), though pure Ghost might be argued as an inferior typing to Steel/Flying.

            Regardless, Cofagrigus is definitely a new Pokemon with a lot of potential in the forthcoming metagame, and it is very capable of contributing to any team that may ask for what it can do best.

Potential Sets: 

1.      The Mummy’s Curse (standard wall)
252 HP/252 Def/4 Sp. Def
   Bold @ Leftovers
   -Hex/Shadow Ball

This is the set I’ve used to the most success with Cofagrigus; it is ideal for absorbing hits from almost any physical threat. Mummy is an excellent partner with 145 Defense, rendering many effective abilities useless and shutting the opponent down with Will-O-Wisp/Protect stall. Hex is for more power when the opponent has a status condition inflicted, which is ideal when used in tandem with Will-O-Wisp. Shadow Ball may be used in its place, however, for more outright power, although its 80 base power is retained regardless of the opponent’s status condition. Haze is a great addition to this set as well, with the ability to erase any boosts the opponent might have unfortunately obtained. I’ve found this set is a superb counter to Speed Boost Blaziken, with the ability to nullify its gradual boosts in speed and completely erase any Swords Dances it might have acquired. As seen above, Toxic can be used in place of Protect to more effectively stall out more bulky Pokemon, though it can also be used in place of Will-O-Wisp.

**A good partner for this set would be Scrafty, who is also quite bulky and offensive at the same time, while Dark and Ghost are an excellent pair for synergy. I’ve also found that a trio of walls in Ferrothorn-Cofagrigus-Porygon2 is very effective as they each serve different roles for the team aside from just absorbing hits.**

2.      Plotting Coffin
252 HP/252 Sp. Atk/4 Sp. Def
   Modest @ Leftovers/Life Orb
-Nasty Plot
            -Shadow Ball
            -Hidden Power Fighting
            -Energy Ball/Psychic/Protect

95 base Special Attack, while nothing in particular to brag about, is definitely not something to be ignored, especially on something with access to Nasty Plot and great overall bulk. The trick here is simple, get Cofagrigus in on something that it can’t touch it, forcing the switch, then proceed to set up a NP. After one or two of these, with good coverage in S-Ball and HP Fighting, Cofagrigus will become a powerful force, as well as a decently potent sweeper. Also note that with an awful 30 base Speed this set will perform well (perhaps even better) with Trick Room support. Leftovers is ideal, with the ability to recover off some damage taken, while Life Orb will allow for much more powerful hits (as we all know). While probably not the best Nasty Plot sweeper out there, this is definitely a set with potential for the Coffin, if used correctly.

**Since this set isn’t nearly as bulky as the previous one, or even the Calm Mind set, a good partner for this is anything that can set up Trick Room safely, such as Reuniclus or Bronzong. Both have their pros and cons, and both are amazing Pokemon to use; Reuniclus is bulky and Specially-offensive (not unlike Cofagrigus himself) and Bronzong is much less offensive, but has the ability to set up Stealth Rocks and the Screens, all of which can greatly aid Cofagrigus’s attempted sweep.**

3.      Calm Coffin
252 HP/252 Def/4 Sp. Atk
Bold @ Leftovers
 -Calm Mind
-Shadow Ball
-Hidden Power Fighting

This set functions roughly like the Curselax set, where the smaller defensive stat is boosted to easily take hits from both sides of the spectrum and retaliate with some very powerful attacks. Of course, while Cofagrigus lacks a good amount of HP, its defenses are outright monstrous, allowing it to survive a great number of hits without any boosts. Once it has a few Calm Minds under its belt (or…lid, rather) it can Rest off the damage taken and proceed to sweep a good portion of the opponent’s team. This set comes at a bit of a risk, though, as with Generation 5’s new sleep mechanics Cofagrigus must endure the two turns of Rest sleep without switching out, otherwise its sleep counter will be reset. Overall, this is a very effective set that should not be underestimated.

**A good partner for this set is any form of powerful sweeper that can take down any of the opposing team’s strong Special Attackers who would otherwise hit Cofagrigus’s weaker defensive stat before it is able to boost it up.**

  1. Zoroark’s Death Box
252 HP/136 Def / 120 Sp. Def
Calm @ Leftovers
-Nasty Plot
-Shadow Ball
-Hidden Power Fighting

With an immunity to Fighting and a resistance to the Bug-type, Cofagrigus absorbs Dark-type Pokemon’s weaknesses very nicely. Namely, it absorbs Zoroark’s weaknesses, which works nicely in tandem with its ability Illusion. This set is crafted to absorb hits from both physical and special attackers, and to utilize moves that Zoroark can also learn, leading the opponent to believe that this actually is Zoroark. This set works very well with Cofagrigus’s numerous assets, but it works best when the opponent knows that you have a Zoroark on your team, that way they will be confused as to which Pokemon they are truly facing, and won’t know whether to hit you with a Fighting/Bug type move or a Ghost/Dark type move. Either way, if played well, you can keep your opponent guessing, perhaps giving you the edge to set up a few Nasty Plots and attempt a sweep.

**A great partner for this set is, obviously, Zoroark, but any of the above mentioned Pokemon can help here as well. Something that can set up a lot of entry hazards, like Ferrothorn or Scolipede or Forretress, will also help out a lot since if the opponent knows you are trying to trick them with Zoroark, they will likely be switching in and out a lot to attempt to remove its guise.**

            Cofagrigus is definitely a unique Pokemon in its own right and it seems to take some characteristics from the metagame’s best Ghosts, such as a good Special Attack stat, like Gengar, and good bulk like Jellicent. Its exclusive ability in Mummy is also a great advantage over many other walls, for it stops a lot of good Pokemon with good abilities from doing what they do best. I give Cofagrigus two thumbs up for being an overall great Pokemon and, while it is not excellent in any sense, it still gets the job done and is not outclassed by anything due to its individuality.

Competitive Usability: 8.5 out of 10 

            In terms of aesthetic design, Cofagrigus is actually really cool. It’s got four arms that remind me of those sticky hands that used to be sold in those little vending machines and the idea of a cursed coffin Pokemon is definitely very original and very welcome in a generation where yet another two-stage cat Pokemon evolutionary line and another Fire/Fighting type starter Pokemon exist. It is also the only Ghost-type Pokemon whose main coloration is not a dark or cool color like purple, black or blue. Also, it does legitimately resemble an Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus. The evil eyes and grin also keep the typicality of the Ghost-type, making this perhaps one of the coolest and most unique designs of the 5th Generation.

Aesthetic Design: 9 out of 10 


  1. I really wish Mummy's effect ended at the end of battle instead of just until switch-out. That would make it much easier to spread the ability throughout the entire team instead of just getting the opposing Pokemon.

    On a related note, it is worth pointing out that Cofagrigus makes an excellent counter to Scizor, since Mummy will nullify its Technician boosts and its typing allows it an immunity to Superpower and a resistance to U-Turn and Bug Bite.

  2. Yea, that would have made it much more of a threat to Offensive teams.

    But you are correct, with that wonderful Physical bulk and Mummy, Scizor is almost completely shut down by Cofagrigus.
    Also, things like Jirachi and Shed Skin Scrafty, who are otherwise quite annoying are stopped with it :)