Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #13: Old Pokemon Four

One of the coolest-looking birds in the entire game, a great addition to any Diamond/Pearl/Platinum team, Staraptor.

The Predator Pokemon

 Tier: BL (as of January 2012) 
H.P.: 85
Attk: 120
Def.: 70
Sp.A: 50
Sp.D: 50
Spe: 100

Abilities:  Intimidate: A great ability for just about any Pokemon, lowering the opponent's Attack stat can benefit both Staraptor and its teammates greatly. Definitely a great option for just about any set.

Reckless: Attained from the DreamWorld, Reckless was exclusive only to Hitmonlee in DPPtHGSS. Now, with STAB Brave Bird and Double Edge, Staraptor can easily make the most of it, backed by that monstrous Attack.

Analysis: Perhaps the best in the never-ending series of basic Normal/Flying type bird Pokemon available (in quite annoying abundance) at the very beginning of each game. Staraptor commands total excellence over its brethren Pidgeot, Noctowl, Swellow, and Unfezant, each of whom are quite forgettable to say the least. A nice stat spread, heightened by a remarkable 120 base Attack, a great 100 base Speed and a correlation of 85 base HP, 70 base Defense and Intimidate all contribute to Raptor’s potent usability, striking design and appearance in the BL tier at the end of 4th gen. It also has a decent movepool, wielding just the right amount of powerful physical options with a meager balance between several bird-related support options.

Potential Sets:  

1.      1. Star of Choice
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Jolly/Adamant @ Choice Band/Choice Scarf
-Brave Bird   
-Return/Retaliate/Double Edge   
-Close Combat

      Banded Lead Raptor is by far my favorite set for this wonderful bird, and is also considerably one of my favorite leads. This set is not limited to Band, however, and can be used with essentially the same moveset with a Choice Scarf as its two highest stats are exploited with maximum potential in the utilization of a Choice item. U-turn is obvious on a physical Choice set, and really allows Staraptor to get in, scout, then get out (even better with Intimidate). Brave Bird is no questions asked Raptor’s best STAB, let alone its best Flying STAB, though the recoil can be a bit of a pain. The Normal STAB here is really up to circumstance/preference. Return is, in my opinion, best used on a Banded Intimidate set, for it does dish out a great amount of damage to non-resistant Monsters, while Retaliate is ideal for revenge-killing (probably Scarfed) sets; if Staraptor uses Retaliate after the opponent has KOed one of your Pokemon, it becomes a 210 base power attack, after factoring in STAB. Double Edge can work for either a Scarf or Band set, though its ideal counterpart ability would easily be Reckless here. Just keep in mind that a Banded Adamant Reckless Double Edge is going to send back A LOT of recoil. Close Combat is the last move in this set, and for great reason. It adds coverage and more power to the already excellent combination.

2.                  2. Sub Up
100 HP/156 Def/252 Spe
Jolly @ Leftovers
-Work Up
-Aerial Ace/Close Combat/Revenge

      Unfortunately Staraptor has no means of boosting its wonderful Attack stat aside from the new Work Up, but with the correct use of its assets this set can definitely prove to be a prominent one. Strategically, you will want to switch this in on a Physical attacker, one that is not TOO overpowered, mind you, and scare them out with the Intimidate. Once you are sure the opponent can’t do much to you, you can set up a Substitute on the switch, ensuring at least one Work Up or attack of some sort. Max Speed/Jolly allows this set to work best, for it exploits the nice base 100 stat to outspeed a decent number of things. The other EVs maximize Staraptor’s bulky potential with a nice HP stat and manageable Defense, alongside Intimidate to better threaten out Physical monsters. In terms of moveset here, Sub and Work Up are the center of this set. Return is the most reliable offensive option here, for its power and STAB, though the last slot is up for grabs depending on what you prefer. Ideally, Aerial Ace rounds off a secondary STAB with the bonus of never missing, though it lacks a good amount of power. Close Combat may seem ideal as well, but the Defense drops really actually cancel out the bulk investment (also you will be able to do nothing to Ghosts). Revenge is less ideal, as with 328 Speed Staraptor is by no means slow, but it adds decent coverage without lowering the valuable potential to take hits more. Additionally, Roost or Brave Bird may be used in the final slot, though at the cost of offensive coverage and health respectively.

  1. AgiliRoost
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Adamant @ Life Orb/Leftovers
-Brave Bird
-Return/Close Combat/Double Edge 

Adamant (372 Atk) and Life Orb hit HARD, what with the excellent coverage and power granted by the afore-given moves. Agility boosts that nice Speed to astounding heights, giving you the edge over those that would otherwise attack before you. Is that Brave Bird/Life Orb combo bringing you low on health? Just Roost it all off and you’re good to go. Another benefit of Roost is that it removes the Rock, Electric and Ice weakness for a turn, though powerful, more likely Special, hits will still take you down. Also, you will become temporarily vulnerable to Fighting and Ground type attacks, so be weary.

  1. Non-Offensive Lead
            252 HP/4 Def/252 Spe
Jolly @ Leftovers/Choice Scarf
-Final Gambit 

 85 HP is definitely not bad by any standards, and with a new toy in Final Gambit, Staraptor can find an easy niche to take down some threatening monsters with lesser Hit Points. The fact that Raptor is fast only helps it more. Keep in mind that certain slow, bulky Pokemon that are taken down by a full-health Final Gambit include Porygon 2, Cofagrigus, and even Ferrothorn! This is a great way to take down certain walls that you couldn’t otherwise harm much. Aside from Gambit, this set utilizes other nice support-esque options bestowed upon Staraptor, such as Tailwind. If you have a monstrous sweeper with only sub-par Speed, allow Staraptor to fix that for about two turns. Afterward, you can just U-Turn out to the appropriate Pokemon and take over from there. The last slot again is up for grabs with the option to further harm the opponent (preferably Physical guys) with FeatherDance, the addition of some offense and STAB in Return, or even more reliable recovery if you have yet to Gambit. Leftovers is a nice touch to this set, though Scarf may be used to ensure the super-speed.

5.                  5. Reckless
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Jolly/Adamant @ Life Orb/Choice Band
-Brave Bird
-Double Edge
-Close Combat

This set just doesn’t care. It smashes through things without looking back and with little to no regard at all as to whether it survives the onslaught of oncoming POWER. With Reckless being arguably Staraptor’s most effective new addition from the fifth generation, this set employs its two most powerful (Reckless boosted) STABs, alongside the never-failing CC. Life Orb kills you faster, but allows you to hit hard with the ability to switch moves, while Choice Band epitomizes the brute force of the listed attacks. Jolly is preferable to outspeed or speed-tie with a number of good threats, though Adamant can be used for…well, do I need to say it?

Conclusion: I’m not afraid to my repeat myself in this: Staraptor is by far the best early-game bird Pokemon in the universe, and is perhaps even the best Normal/Flying type in general. Whether you agree with me or not, there is no denying a Pokemon with two excellent abilities that compliment its stats wonderfully and decent coverage to get the job done. Sure, its movepool is not large at all, especially with such a scary Attack, but it has what it needs to get the job done. I only hope you can use Staraptor with as much success as I have in the past. If we’re going to talk tiers, it was BL last gen, which is a wonderful feat, and while it is mere UU now, there is no doubt it will be either a primary contender in the Underused category, or a five Star returner to the Borderline. 

 Competitive Usability: 8 out of 10 

It's called the Predator Pokemon for a reason; I wouldn't want one of these guys chasing me down! Its fifth gen sprite makes it look a bit emo, but for some reason that's cool. I've said this several times, but I really like Staraptor quite a lot. It's definitely worth a capture. 

Aesthetic Design: 8.5  out of 10

Monday, May 16, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #12: New Pokemon Six

  Today we a have Pokemon that’s been receiving quite a bit of attention for its placement within the rough Smogon tiers, where arguments have arisen that it is either too dominant for UU or still not good enough for OU for a number of devastating factors

The Boundary Pokemon

 Tier: BL (as of January 2012) 
H.P.: 125
Attk: 130
Def.: 90
Sp.A: 130
Sp.D: 90
Spe: 95

Abilities:  Pressure: A typical ability for a Legendary Pokemon. Though there are others out there that could make Kyurem a much better Pokemon, it could always be worse. I guess beggars can't be choosers. 

            Analysis: In avoidance of a bias, I will hereby present a number of reasonable factors for both sides of the argument, allowing you, the great reader, to reach your own conclusion as to where Kyurem should sit in the new metagame.
First let’s begin with the bad. Initially, you might think there are so many burdens for Kyurem to carry on its glacial back, which would not at all be incorrect to assume. However, the vast majority, if not the entirety, of its problems stem from one key detriment to this monstrous Pokemon’s usage: its typing. Dragon and Ice, while offensively superb, garner too many weaknesses to common attacking types, and more particularly, to common attacks in general. Weakness to Mach Punch, especially with a lacking base 95 Speed and the fact that everything that carries Mach Punch does so with STAB leaves Kyurem with too many openings where there really shouldn’t be any. Its defensive stats in general are quite amazing, but with Pokemon like Conkeldurr, Mienshao and Terrakion running around, Kyurem doesn’t stand too much of a chance.
Its next significant weakness is to the Dragon type, where with 95 base Speed it is outsped by nearly every single Dragon out there (bar Altaria and Druddigon, but who really uses them?), resulting in an unfortunate oncoming barrage of Super Effective Dracos and Outrages to the face. Again, though its defenses are good, Dragon is one of the most powerful offensive types out there, and Kyurem does not match up well against Garchomp, Salamence, and even Dragonite, especially when it can’t outspeed and destroy them with a 4x Ice STAB.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, Kyurem is weak to the Rock type. While STAB Stone Edges and Rock Slides aren’t always too threatening, or common for that matter, perhaps its most monumental bane is to the premier entry hazard, Stealth Rock. Losing 25% of its gargantuan health upon switching in is a humongous downside to Rem’s longevity, especially as it is a Pokemon who is most effectively used when switching in and out (it has no boosting moves). What’s more, Stealth Rocks, or entry hazards in general, are used on about 95% of teams today, which makes hazard prevention and removal (i.e. Rapid Spin, Taunt, Magic Bounce, etc) that much more important if you wish to use this Pokemon.
Lastly, while not a conventional weakness as defined by its typing, Kyurem’s movepool is not nearly as useful as its stats might need it to be. It has a considerable amount of offensive moves, including (and limited to) STAB in the form of Draco Meteor, Outrage, Ice Beam and Blizzard, alongside Focus Blast, Hidden Power, Stone Edge and a couple of Ghost moves. That’s about it. As far as “support” goes, it’s got access to Toxic, Sub, and the Dual Screens, though again with its awful defensive typing it won’t make much of a Tank/Wall no matter how high its HP.

            Now for the good. A 660 Base Stat Total; higher than everything non-Uber that doesn’t have a horrendous ability (ahem, Slaking and Regigigas). Ice and Dragon STAB backed by 130 offenses and 95 Speed. Hello Choice Scarf?  Excellent defensive stats that have already been mentioned in this analysis because this really is the limit to this Pokemon’s fame. This really is the first Legendary Dragon with so much power and potential that really hasn’t lived up to its name. Or, rather, it can’t for that matter. I won’t tell you whether Kyurem is “good” or “bad”, but I will say this very exhaustive list highlights the most important things to consider in using it. It’s got what it needs to be a good Pokemon, it just needs to learn how to use them.

Potential Sets: 

  1. Special Choice Scarf Kyurem
4HP/252 Sp. Atk/252 Spe
Modest/Timid @ Choice Scarf
-Draco Meteor
-Ice Beam  
-Focus Blast  
-Hidden Power Fire

            This is my favorite Kyurem set, mainly because it’s the first one I ever used for it. With a larger and more usable Special movepool than a Physical one, this set takes advantage of both of Kyurem’s insanely powerful STABs, along with its decent Speed and other coverage moves. This set  should prove to be quite dominant in the UU tier, where the most prominent Steel type is Registeel, and as long as that is out of the way, not a lot of things are going to enjoy taking a STAB Draco (or Ice Beam) from a 394 Special Attack stat. Also, if used on a Hail team, Ice Beam may (and should) be replaced with Blizzard. Better move in Hail is better.

  1. Mixed Kyurem
128 Atk/128 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Naïve/Naughty @ Life Orb/Choice Scarf  
-Ice Beam  
-Focus Blast  
-Stone Edge

            With offensive stats like that, Mixed sets are easily the best thing for Kyu to run. This is a rather basic version, with Max Speed and Mixed offenses attained to be fast and deal damage while attempting to avoid those overly powerful Super Effective attacks (and Stealth Rock). Really, this is more of a guideline set, as with the given EV spread Kyurem can run just about any of the attacks it has. HP Fire, Shadow Ball, Psychic, Return, you name it. In terms of item, Life Orb is a good one for this set, allowing for much stronger hits, though Scarf can be used to make Kyurem outspeed just about everything that is itself not Scarfed. It’s all up to you; this set really has no boundaries.

  1. Glacier Hone
4HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
Naïve @ Life Orb/Leftovers  
-Hone Claws
-Stone Edge   
- Blizzard

            Ok, so he gets one stat-boosting move (I’m still not counting Double Team). Hone Claws is a good move, but in a world where Swords Dance and Dragon Dance exist, it’s never seen as ideal for something. Unfortunately Kyurem gets no Physical Ice STAB so Blizzard will have to do. It will enjoy the accuracy boost that Hone gives it, although if you still fear a miss, Ice Beam may be put in its place. Also, if you want a purely Physical set, Return or Shadow Claw may be used in this last slot, both of which have their perks. For coverage, and to hit Steel Types that will wall the hell out of every single one of the aforementioned moves, Focus Blast may also be employed, as it too welcomes the accuracy boost.

  1. SpD Boundary
252 HP/4 Sp.Atk/252 Sp. Def
Calm @ Leftovers   
-Reflect/Light Screen  
-Dragon Pulse/Dragonbreath/Draco Meteor    
- Glaciate

As every type it is weak to is a predominantly Physical type (with the slight exception of Dragon), this set takes advantage of the other side of the spectrum, in an attempt to feign a Support/Wall variant. As long as you can avoid entry hazards and Fighting moves, you’ll find this set does a surprisingly good job in taking Special hits and setting up a Screen or two, Poisoning the opponent, or firing off with an annoying, yet powerful, STAB. Glaciate is basically a slightly stronger Icy Wind and the Speed drop on your opponents could definitely come in handy late-game. Its partner can be any of the three Special STAB, where Dragonbreath has the potential to Paralyze, Draco has the potential to kill weakened things, and Dragon Pulse is somewhere in between.

  1. The Most Powerful Offensive Frozen Dragon EVER
252 Atk/252 Sp. Atk/4 Spe
Rash/Naughty @ Life Orb/Leftovers  
-Draco Meteor/Outrage
-Ice Beam  
-Stone Edge   
- Focus Blast

Yeah, I said it. This thing can kill ANY Dragon type in the entire game (granted Kyurem can hit them before being hit). You name it, it’s dead. Does that make Kyurem the most powerful Dragon in existence? All the same, this is a very joyous set for smashing just about anything with some of the most powerful moves in the game. This set defines Wallbreaker. Though the Speed in this set is lacking, the whole point of this spread is to switch Kyurem in on something that can’t harm it too much, force a switch, and demolish whatever dares come in. Ideally, if 227 Speed is still not good enough for you, Choice Scarf may be used. With the given EVs Kyurem will hit 340 Speed, enough to outspeed base 105s and below. Then, even those will be cowering beneath Kyurem’s monumentally icy wings.
Conclusion: I must confess that Kyurem hits a soft spot somewhere in my soul, and I have grown particularly attached to it during this developing metagame. I just always saw the good in it while everyone else (including Mama Kyurem) saw his resounding flaws. Kyurem is not a bad Pokemon at all, no matter what anyone tells you. He just has so much holding him back from being a great one. Let this Pokemon be the true exemplification of the current metagame, where the things that are so viciously present are those that keep such a powerful being from the higher tiers.  I will not recap his pros nor his cons, for I’ve said enough now. The time for you to make the decision has come. Use Kyurem, use him well, and see past his flaws? Or consider the significance of the types that he is weak to as too dominant in the new game for his longevity. Whatever you decide, Kyurem will be patiently waiting for you, in the void between the black and white.

 Competitive Usability: 7.8 out of 10 

It looks badass, it has a mask and wings of ice. It looks like a frozen, deadened bird and that is somehow cool. Whether or not Pokemon Grey will bear the face of this monster, it doesn’t seem to compare much to the coolness of its Fire and Electric brethren.

Aesthetic Design: 8 out of 10

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #11: New Pokemon Five

 The winner of the first Poll, the Fifth new Pokemon to be Spotlighted, Jellicent.

Tier: OU (as of January 2012) 
H.P.: 100
Attk: 60
Def.: 70
Sp.A: 85
Sp.D: 105
Spe: 60

Abilities:  Water Absorb: Quite an excellent ability for such a bulky Pokemon, this allows Jellicent the capability of switching in to a lot more hits, also giving it a very useful immunity. With the ability to replenish some of its tremendous health by merely switching into a predicted Hydro Pump, Jellicent’s usability and great bulk really benefit here. A superb option.

Cursed Body: This new ability provides a 30% chance for the opponent’s most recent move (as long as it made physical contact with Jell) to become disabled. This is an excellent choice for this new Bulky Water, for it adds a new means of defense to its list, the possibility of it not being hit by the same move twice in a row. This gives you an opportunity to Recover off damage taken from previous turns, and is an excellent absorber of Choice Band attacks (though not SE ones).

Damp: Damp has never really appealed to me at all. Though it stops the opponent from BOOMing in your face, there is really no other bright side to it. Additionally, with the Explosion nerf in the 5th Generation (it no longer halves the opponent’s Defense), it is likely to be much less used this time around. What’s more, Jellicent is immune to Explosion and Selfdestruct. So, like, it won’t take damage from them anyway…yeah, I’m just gonna stop there and hope you understand how pointless this is.

Analysis:  Jellicent is the premier Bulky Water of its generation. With superb Specially Defensive potential, a wondrous HP stat, and sub-par but still not awful Defense, there really is no better term to characterize it. It is unique, so much to the point where it is in the Top Twenty of usage statistics in OU (as of May 1st, 2011), and while its movepool and stats are nothing to completely grovel over, it truly does hold its place as a solid Wall/Tank in the new metagame and is revered namely for its distinctive typing and its near-perfect synergy with Ferrothorn.

Potential Sets: 

1.      1. Jelly Special Wall
252 HP/24 Def/232 Sp.Def
Bold/Calm @ Leftovers
-Hex/Shadow Ball/Protect

            It’s easy to point out what Jellicent is good at, and this set utilizes that to a great extent. Absorbing hits, particularly of the Special classification, is truly what this big blob of royal jellyfishness is good at. Also, with a decent amount of support/stall options, it really serves as a wonderful Wall/Annoyer capable of taking hits and gradually lowering the opponent’s longevity. Unfortunately, this set does come at a cost. While Jellicent is primed for taking Special hits, a lack of investment in its lesser defensive stat really shows; it can be demolished without a second thought by Super Effective, and even Neutral, Physical Sweepers. Still, with what this Pokemon was given, it can attempt to cripple Physical Attackers with Wisp (or a 30% chance from Scald) or take them down slowly with Toxic, Recover, and a few switch-ins (and outs).

2.      2. U Jelly? (Taunt)
248 HP/212 Def/48 Spe
Bold @ Leftovers

Access to Taunt really helps things either with great Speed or great Bulk. Jellicent is the latter, and with a significant amount of investment and a Bold nature, its Physical Tanking days are just beginning. A slight contribution of EVs in its Speed stat allow it to be faster than a number of other Wall-ish (though still quite slow) threats, and give it the ability to Taunt them before they are able to set anything up. Also, if you can predict a good switch into something that likes to setup, you can shut them down nicely before they do. The remainder of the set again focuses on Status-ing the opponent and whittling down their HP as you Recover yours up.  

3.      3. Bulky Wost (Water-Ghost)
252 HP/252 Def/4 Sp.Def
Bold @ Leftovers  
-Shadow Ball/Toxic/Protect

A dedicated Physical Wall. While the other sets were fair in their distribution of EVs, this one asks no questions and becomes a decent check to numerous Physical threats like Scizor, Blaziken (though it’s now banned), Infernape, Darmanitan, etc. Seriously, 100 base HP is a blessing. The rest of the set, as always, employs the same other things that Jellicent utilizes the best. Not much more to say.

4.      4. Water Spout
248 HP/144 Def/116 Sp. Atk
Bold @ Leftovers
-Toxic/Shadow Ball   
-Water Spout  

An interesting attempt here, I saw that, with Water Spout, a good amount of bulk, and Recover, Jellicent might be able to pull this off nicely. The EVs are a little weird here, but, I mean, Jellicent isn’t entirely not weird itself. For this variant, try to Toxic the opponent first, so that you can get a good amount of damage on them in the long run. Protect + Lefties is nice, and with Recover allows a great means of restoring that viable ammunition to Jell’s Water Spout, its Hit Points. I’ll say it here first: this set is essentially a gimmick and is not expected to work wonders on other teams, especially with Spout capping at 8 PP. This is just here if you’re tired of using ‘Cent for what it’s good at and wanna show off with the “element of surprise”. All in all, if used properly, this set does have the potential to ideally wash out your opponent.

5.      5. Trick Room
248 HP/216 Def/44 Sp.Def  (0 Speed IVs)
Relaxed @ Leftovers
-Trick Room

            Last but not least, Trick Room. This set is also not ideal for what Jellicent can do, but it is decent at switching up the dimensions. With the given EV spread, Jellicent can take a good number of hits from really almost anything, allowing it to set up TR without question. Once up, with 0 IVs, a Relaxed nature, and a meager 60 base Speed, you’re free to Recover off the damage, poison and/or Taunt your opponent, and sear them to death with a torrent of scalding hot water. Or you can switch out to a slow Sweeper that can utilize Trick Room better.

            It is arguable that a good portion of Jellicent’s high usage ranking has been a result of the monstrous Ferrothorn’s steely ascent, but without the spike-ball’s synergy, Jellicent is still a decently effective Tank. Though many of its sets (as you’ve now seen) look vastly similar, this only seems to reflect the potential this floating King of doomed waters has in the forthcoming metagame. Also, because it does not have the variety of things like Bronzong, Forretress, and even Ferrothorn, it becomes able to focus more on what it can do. While this lack of versatility does have its downsides (i.e. predictability), there is absolutely no doubt that this is a great Pokemon, and an asset to really almost any type of team.

            In terms of design, Jellicent really exhibits qualities of the families of both of its types. Though it tends to look more like a Ghost to me, it is fishy features do stand out, with its wiggly-like arms and its deep blue coloration. It is also one of only two families of 5th gen Pokemon to have a gender-difference, the other being the Unfezants. Both genders of Jellicent are very cool and unique, though I can’t help thinking of the episode of Spongebob in which the “King Jellyfish” pursues Spongebob and his role model Kevin (and his group of Jellyfishing goonies). It has also been said several times that the male version of this Poke looks a lot like the Pringles guy. I am not going to refute that.

Competitive Usability: 9 out of 10 

Aesthetic Design: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pokemon Black and White: EV Training Guide

Here is a tentative list I’ve compiled of the places in Black and White where I like to EV train my Pokemon. I hope it will help you all. Also, this list is subject to change if any additional places come to my attention.



Area: Just about anywhere where there is grass (it only appears with the “grass shaking method”)
EV Yield: 2 HP points
(with Pkrs OR Macho Brace): 4HP points
(with Pkrs AND Macho Brace): 8HP points
(with Pkrs AND Power Weight): 12HP points
# of Audinos killed to reach Max HP Evs: 21 (with Pkrs and Power Weight)

There really is no set place to attain HP EVs in B/W, so I’ve figured that Audino is about the safest bet for it. While it does take a slight bit more effort to encounter these, the payoff is great and they appear almost everywhere in the whole game. I’d recommend Route 1 or 2 though, for the shaking spots of grass in these routes yield Audino 100% of the time, whereas other Routes have the potential to encounter other Pokemon in these spots.


 Golett and Mienfoo
Area: Dragon Spiral Tower (Inside)
EV Yield: 1 Atk point
(with Pkrs OR Macho Brace): 2 Atk points
(with Pkrs AND Macho Brace): 4 Atk points
(with Pkrs AND Power Bracer): 10 Atk points
# killed to reach Max Atk Evs: 25 (with Pkrs and Power Bracer), then remove Power Bracer and kill one more (this will get you to an even 252. If you kill 26 with Power Bracer on, you will hit 255 EVs, 3 of which will become useless).


EV Yield: 2 Atk points
(with Pkrs OR Macho Brace): 4 Atk points
(with Pkrs AND Macho Brace): 8 Atk points
(with Pkrs AND Power Bracer): 12 Atk points
# killed to reach Max Atk Evs: 21 (with Pkrs and Power Bracer)

This is ideally the best place to EV train for Attack, because each of these three Pokemon yields Attack EVs.


 Roggenrolla, Yamask, Klink and Ferroseed
Area: Wellspring Cave, Relic Castle or Chargestone Cave
EV Yield: 1 Def point (each one)
(with Pkrs OR Macho Brace): 2 Def points
(with Pkrs AND Macho Brace): 4 Def points
(with Pkrs AND Power Belt): 10 Def points
# killed to reach Max Def Evs: 25 (with Pkrs and Power Belt), then remove Power Belt and kill one more (this will get you to an even 252. If you kill 26 with Power Belt on, you will hit 255 EVs, 3 of which will become useless).

There is no perfect place to EV train for Defense in the games, so the next best thing are the Wellspring Cave, Relic Castle and Chargestone Cave, which have about 50% encounter rate of Roggenrolla, Yamask, and Klink + Ferroseed, respectively. This means that since there are no places in which 100% of the Pokemon yield Defense EV, it might get a little annoying when trying to kill Yamasks quickly, but you keep encountering Sandile. Despite this setback, however, this is the best I could find.
Also, in the lower floors of Relic Castle, you will encounter Sandslash (2Def pts), Cofagrigus (2Def pts) and Onix (2Def pts), though this area is only accessible after beating the Elite Four the first time. Also, these three Pokemon together add up to a 65% encounter rate, where the other 35% of the time you will find Krokorok.

Special Attack:

Litwick and Elgyem 
Area: Celestial Tower
EV Yield: 1 Sp. Atk point each
(with Pkrs OR Macho Brace): 2 Sp. Atk points
(with Pkrs AND Macho Brace): 4 Sp. Atk points
(with Pkrs AND Power Lens): 10 Sp. Atk points
# killed to reach Max Sp. Atk Evs: 25 (with Pkrs and Power Lens), then remove Power Lens and kill one more (this will get you to an even 252. If you kill 26 with Power Lens on, you will hit 255 EVs, 3 of which will become useless).

My favorite place of the game, because it contains two of my favorite Pokemon in the game, and also allows for the flawless EV training of my favorite stat in the game. Celestial Tower, like Dragon Spiral Tower for Attack, is the most reliable and most simple place to EV train for Special Attack, where 100% of the time you will encounter one of these two cute little guys to aid you in reaching your maximum Special prowess.

Special Defense:


Area: Routes 4, 17, 18, P2 Laboratory and Driftveil City
EV Yield: 1 Sp. Def point
(with Pkrs OR Macho Brace): 2 Sp. Def points
(with Pkrs AND Macho Brace): 4 Sp. Def points
(with Pkrs AND Power Band): 10 Sp. Def points
# killed to reach Max Sp. Def Evs: 25 (with Pkrs and Power Band), then remove Power Band and kill one more (this will get you to an even 252. If you kill 26 with Power Band on, you will hit 255 EVs, 3 of which will become useless).

Another reliable Pokemon, Frillish will appear 100% of the time in each of the above mentioned bodies of water (bar the shaking water spots that may rarely appear). I’d recommend Driftveil City, because as opposed to the other four listed places, you can fly immediately there and start EV training once you enter the water, whereas in the other places you’ll have to trek through grass, sand and who knows what to get to that beloved jellyfish thing.


Area: Route 1
EV Yield: 2 Spe points
(with Pkrs OR Macho Brace): 4 Spe points
(with Pkrs AND Macho Brace): 8 Spe points
(with Pkrs AND Power Anklet): 12 Spe points
# killed to reach Max Spe Evs: 21 (with Pkrs and Power Anklet equipped)

There are several bodies of water throughout the game in which Basculin can be encountered, but I’ve found that the most efficient is in Route 1, where it appears 100% of the time, and where even the shaking spots of water will yield a Basculin (though of a different form). Both forms of Basculin give 2 Speed EVs, and for that they are no different. This is definitely the place to train for Speed, which is a very important stat.
While I might update this list if I find new places, this is the most compiled list I’ve made as of yet. I truly hope this will help many of you who may wish to begin EV training. The ideal means of doing this involves acquiring Pokerus (in this article abbreviated Pkrs) and allowing your Pokemon to hold the Power item that will raise the EVs of its respective stat.

If you wish to begin EV-ing your Pokemon but do not yet have Pokerus, feel free to contact me, either by email, PM or comment, and I will gladly arrange a trade with you to further help you out. Any questions/criticisms are welcome.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #10: A Step Toward an Official Metagame

Last night on Smogon a list of the usage statistics for Pokemon Black and White was revealed, showing the list of every Pokemon in the order of which they are most used. This in turn reveals a rough OU and UU category, though nothing is set in stone as of now. There are some slight surprises, and some not-so-surprises, and I will discuss my brief thoughts here. Feel free to share your own thoughts in regards to this developing scene.

The Top Five:

Ferrothorn, Tyranitar and Scizor as the respective First, Second and Third slots really don't surprise me all that much. Of course T-tar and Scizor are as effective as ever in the new metagame, but I am a slight bit surprised that something like Latios or Reuniclus didn't take over from there. Ferrothorn is no surprise at all, as with its worst nightmare Chandelure banned, it is one of the best (if not the best) walls in the entire game. As annoying as it is, I have to hand it to Ferro as deserving of the top spot. The number four spot, Garchomp, again didn't surprise me as much. With something that is ideally no worse than it was 4th gen (and in 4th gen it was Uber!) its great Speed, monstrous Attack and excellent bulk make it a promising force to be reckoned with. The last slot is filled by none other than Gliscor, presumably thanks to its new Poison Heal ability that allows it to not be burned, put to sleep or paralyzed and also recovers more health than Leftovers. This is just the asset Gliscor has needed and along with good bulk, fast Speed and a decent Attack stat (as well as access to Swords Dance) it has easily soared into the Top Five. Of course, whether or not it holds its place in the coming months is about anyone's guess right now.

Other things that were expected:

Excadrill, Rotom-W, Conkeldurr and Politoed came in at 7, 10, 11 and 13 respectively, and while some of those numbers could have been a little higher, it is without question that each of these is deserving (almost annoyingly so) of a secure spot in OU. Three of these four have the extreme potential to abuse weather, being arguably the only reason for Excadrill's and Politoed's ascent. Conkeldurr, however, is just monstrous and with a stat spread, movepool and typing like that, I'd be surprised if this thing were anything less than OU. It really has the ability to fit on almost any type of team.

Jirachi, Gengar, Dragonite, and Skarmory (among a few others) have returned to OU, with essentially the same exact role as last generation (bar Dragonite, who now has an amazing new ability). I think this reflects both how much the metagame has shifted since last Gen and also how much it has not. That something like ScarfRachi with Iron Head/Body Slam or Spikes/SR/Whirlwind Skarm is still an effective teammate in the new metagame reveals the need for such Pokemon in such a fast-paced, heavily-offensive pregame. If they were any lower in position, it would show that the metagame has increased in power by a lot (which it obviously hasn't), and if they were any higher in position, it would show that the metagame really hasn't changed at all. It is with these OU returners that we can see a true landmark in the rankings of the Pokemon, and in turn can attempt to compare the old with the new.

Thundurus, Jellicent, Volcarona and Scrafty are all examples of new Pokemon that have come in and have taken the metagame by storm. With the mixture of good abilities, great stats, and never-before-seen typings, these four have really found their place in the new game. These are all about Middle OU, and for that I think it's safe to say they are cemented in place. They each have their own niche, and they each have their share of wondrous qualities that prevents them from being outclassed by anything. It is definitely interesting to see good Pokemon like this blend in well with the good Pokemon of last gen.

Things that were unexpected: 

The first frame of mention is over the "cutoff spot" in the OU tier. Tornadus, the pure Flying type genie, has secured this place. While its great stats (identical to its brother Thundurus) are not to be overlooked, it is essentially inferior to Thundurus in that Flying is a much weaker typing than Electric/Flying. Also, its movepool is much lacking, bar its STAB Hurricane. But even with that, it really has no great usage potential outside of the rain.

While on the topic of Electric/Flying, Zapdos has been relegated to UU, which does seem a bit unfair. We were shown how much of a monster this thunderbird could be last generation, and it hasn't gotten any worse at all in the shift. In fact, it gained an asset of Lightningrod, adding a new immunity to its arsenal and allowing for the potential to boost its already powerful Special Attack. Of course, with Lightningrod a number of its 4th gen moves like Heat Wave cannot be used, but I think this is an even tradeoff. Hopefully Zapdos will pick it up in the coming months to earn a bottom slot in OU.

Overall, there is a lot to be discussed with this new revelation, and while there is much more I would like to say, I am going to cut it off here. I will likely be making a new post sometime later today or tomorrow adding to these thoughts, so stay tuned. Also, I am very aware that these statistics are not 100% definite, and this is not the "Official" standings, but it is always fun to see how things change in the months of playing Pokemon. Until there is an official metagame, this is all we've got, and I do say that there is a lot to be learned from it, and a lot to be anticipated in the very near future.

Thank you all!

Click HERE to see a list of the original posting on Smogon :D