Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pokemon Black and White: Complete TMHM List

Here I've compiled a complete list of every single TM and HM in Black and White, and where and how you get each. I thought this might be quite useful for in-game training since a lot of these Technical Machines are scattered wildly about Unova, and some are pretty difficult to find. I hope this helps!

**Use CTRL + F to search for whichever Attack name or TM number you are looking for**

Here is the list:

TM01 Hone Claws- Cold Storage, from Zinzolin of the Seven Sages (after defeating N @ Pkmn League)
TM02 Dragon Claw- Victory Road (by Blackbelt Tyrone, go upward)
TM03 Psyshock- Giant Chasm (Forest part before entering Kyurem’s cave)
TM04 Calm Mind- Relic Castle, from Ryoku of the Seven Sages (after defeating N @ Pkmn League)
TM05 Roar- Route 10 (north of Ace Trainer Johan, on ledge)
TM06 Toxic- Route 17 (upward, past Fisherman Lydon)
TM07 Hail- Mistralton City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM08 Bulk Up- Route 14, from Giallo of the Seven Sages (after defeating N @ Pkmn League)
TM09 Venoshock- Route 15 (requires Strength)
TM10 Hidden Power- Gift from Prof. Juniper (after showing you’ve seen 110 Pkmn)
TM11 Sunny Day- Mistralton City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM12 Taunt- Victory Road (2F, outside)
TM13 Ice Beam- Giant Chasm (Forest part before entering Kyurem’s cave)
TM14 Blizzard- Icirrus City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM15 Hyper Beam- Shopping Mall Nine, Route 9 (Middle Section, Right Cashier)
TM16 Light Screen- Nimbasa City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM17 Protect- Gift from Prof. Juniper (after showing you’ve seen 60 Pkmn)
TM18 Rain Dance- Mistralton City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM19 Telekenesis- Route 18 (northernmost part of Route)
TM20 Safeguard- Nimbasa City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM21 Frustration- Nimbasa City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM22 Solarbeam- Pinwheel Forest (go right near bridge)
TM23 Smack Down- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM24 Thunderbolt- P2 Laboratory
TM25 Thunder- Icirrus City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM26 Earthquake- Relic Castle (1F)
TM27 Return- Nimbasa City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM28 Dig- Route 4 (Gift from Worker in the northern rest house)
TM29 Psychic- Route 13 (on a cliff, requires Strength)
TM30 Shadow Ball- Relic Castle (B2F)
TM31 Brick Break- Icirrus City (Gift from Old Lady in Pokemon Center)
TM32 Double Team- Route 18, from Rood of the Seven Sages (after defeating N @ Pkmn League)
TM33 Reflect- Nimbasa City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM34 Sludge Wave- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM35 Flamethrower- Abundant Shrine (west, near entrance of house)
TM36 Sludge Bomb- Route 8 (north-east of Pokemon Ranger)
TM37 Sandstorm- Mistralton City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM38 Fire Blast- Icirrus City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM39 Rock Tomb- Desert Resort (near a Pokemon Ranger, go down)
TM40 Aerial Ace- Mistralton City (south end of runway, must talk to boy in house above Pkmn Center after defeating Skyla first)
TM41 Torment- Route 4 (northwest of Worker Shelby)
TM42 Façade- Route 8 (Gift from Parasol Lady)
TM43 Flame Charge- Tubeline Bridge (Gift from Battle Girl)
TM44 Rest- Castelia City (11th floor of building on Castelia Street, Gift from Hiker)
TM45 Attract- Castelia City (Gift from girl on 47th floor of building just before entrance to Route 4)
TM46 Thief- Wellspring Cave
TM47 Low Sweep- Wellspring Cave
TM48 Round- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM49 Echoed Voice- Nimbasa City (Gift from woman in Musical Hall)
TM50 Overheat- Route 11 (requires Waterfall)
TM51 Ally Switch- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM52 Focus Blast- Wellspring Cave (B1F)
TM53 Energy Ball- Route 12 (near Breeder Ethel)
TM54 False Swipe- Gift from Prof. Juniper (after showing you’ve seen 25 Pkmn)
TM55 Scald- Cold Storage (near entrance)
TM56 Fling- Upon entering Route 9 from Tubeline Bridge
TM57 Charge Beam- Route 7 (Gift from girl near entrance from Mistralton)
TM58 Sky Drop- Mistralton City (by cargo Airplanes)
TM59 Incinerate- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM60 Quash- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM61 Will-O-Wisp- Celestial Tower (2F)
TM62 Acrobatics- Gift from Skyla (after defeat)
TM63 Embargo- Dragonspiral Tower (outside entrance, where bridge and water meet (requires Surf)
TM64 Explosion- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM65 Shadow Claw- Celestial Tower (4F)
TM66 Payback- Route 16 (requires Strength)
TM67 Retaliate- Gift from Lenora (after defeat)
TM68 Giga Impact- Shopping Mall Nine, Route 9 (Middle Section, Right Cashier)
TM69 Rock Polish- Chargestone Cave, gift from Bronius of the Seven Sages (after defeating N @ Pkmn League)
TM70 Flash- Castelia City (Gift from man behind dumpster on Narrow Street)
TM71 Stone Edge- Challenger’s Cave in Route 9 (B2F)
TM72 Volt Switch- Gift from Elesa (after defeat)
TM73 Thunder Wave- Nimbasa City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM74 Gyro Ball- Nimbasa City (purchase from Poke Mart)
TM75 Swords Dance- Dreamyard, gift from Gorm of the Seven Sages (after defeating N @ Pkmn League)
TM76 Struggle Bug- Gift from Burgh (after defeat)
TM77 Psych Up- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM78 Bulldoze- Gift from Clay (after defeat)
TM79 Frost Breath- Gift from Brycen (after defeat)
TM80 Rock Slide- Mistralton Cave on Route 6 (2F)
TM81 X-Scissor- Route 7 (eastward, near Harlequin Pat)
TM82 Dragon Tail- Gift from Drayden or Iris (after defeat)
TM83 Work Up- Gift from Chili, Cress, or Cilan (after defeat)
TM84 Poison Jab- Route 6 (requires Surf)
TM85 Dream Eater- Dreamyard
TM86 Grass Knot- Pinwheel Forest (east of Pokemon Ranger Miguel)
TM87 Swagger- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM88 Pluck- Battle Subway (purchase with BP)
TM89 U-Turn- Route 13 (Gift from girl after returning all 3 Wingull grams)
TM90 Substitute- Twist Mountain (northern cave, in Winter only)
TM91 Flash Cannon- Twist Mountain (bottom-most cave, near Ice Rock)
TM92 Trick Room- Abundant Shrine (by Landorus’s Shrine)
TM93 Wild Charge- Victory Road (outside, western)
TM94 Rock Smash- Gift from woman before the entrance of Pinwheel Forest
TM95 Snarl- Event Exclusive move, not yet released

HM01 Cut- Striaton City (Gift from Fennel after defeating Gym Leader)
HM02 Fly- Given after beating Bianca in Driftveil City
HM03 Surf- Entrance of Twist Mountain (Gift from Alder after defeating Cheren)
HM04 Strength- Nimbasa City (Gift from man in building northwest of Pkmn Center)
HM05 Waterfall- Western edge of Route 18
HM06 Dive- Undella Town (Gift from a girl outside of one of the houses)

It is also interesting to note that HMs in Black and White do not require a particular Gym Badge before they can be used. This means that once you get Fly or Cut, etc, you are able to use it even without beating the next Gym Leader.

I hope this list helps! Let me know if I've made any errors, or leave comments, etc below.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #19: New Pokemon Nine, Volcarona

The King of all Moths. 
Sun Pokemon

Tier: OU (as of January 2012) 
H.P.: 85
Attk: 60
Def.: 65
Sp.A: 135
Sp.D: 105
Spe: 100

Abilities: Flame Body: Really the only choice Volcarona has for an ability at the moment. Though much less capable of taking physical hits than special, the 30% burn chance is welcome on anything that might otherwise threaten Volc with a powerful Physical move.

Swarm: Probably a better ability for Volcarona in comparison with Flame Body, Swarm allows the power of its STAB Bug moves to be boosted if at lower health. This will definitely come in handy, but unfortunately it has yet to be released through the Dream World, so Flame Body is the one for now.

            Volcarona is today’s hottest Bug-type [literally], becoming arguably the best Special Attacking Bug since Speed Boost Yanmega of last generation. With a perfectly unique typing, overall legendary-esque stats, and an exclusive array of moves, this new fire moth shines as a wondrous new sweeper in the Black and White metagame. 

            In overviewing Volc’s innumerable assets, one cannot help but notice its immensely powerful 135 base Special Attack stat, alone capable of making Volcarona a top-tier threat. This, partnered alongside a very above average Speed and excellent Special bulk, makes it very easy for this Pokemon to effectively utilize team support and solid prediction skills to take out unsuspecting opposition. However, if these aren’t enough to have you crying over Volcarona yet, wait till you hear the rest of the good news. This Pokemon loves to dance. Flamenco, ballet, you name it. Not cool enough for you? Well then, take into consideration its two favorite dance moves, Quiver Dance and Fiery Dance, and you’ve got yourself a dusty sungod just waiting to demolish things. Quiver Dance, one of the most powerful boosting moves in the entire game now, and definitely one of the best new boosters added in gen 5, gives a +1 raise to Volca’s Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed stats; it’s three highest. That is essentially a Special variation of Dragon Dance, fused with Calm Mind. After one Dance, this hot moth is capable of outpacing a huge portion of the metagame that is not itself boosted, and blasting apart Specially weak teams with its impeccable STAB moves. You are in extreme danger if you let this thing set up on you.
            But that’s not all. Its other Dance move, Fiery Dance, is no less threatening. A slightly weaker STAB in comparison with Flamethrower and Fire Blast, this 80 Base Power tango has a high chance of boosting Volcarona’s Special Attack to even greater heights [an additional +1]. When used after a Quiver Dance or two, Volc can have a reliable means of receiving continual Sp.Atk raises, while already sitting at a rather untouchable Speed stat, meaning little to nothing will be able to survive its flaming wrath. Though its coverage is limited, with a fair amount of boosts, you’ll soon forget that “Not very effective” means the target should be taking less damage!

            There is, however, an enormous detriment to the perfection of this winged beast. Though “limited coverage” is easily compensated for, you may notice that both of Volcarona’s typings share a common weakness; to the Rock type. This means that everyone’s favorite entry hazard, and therefore all its users, becomes Volcarona’s arch nemesis. In short, Volca will be losing a whopping 50% of its health upon switching into a field plagued by Stealth Rock, even further limiting its sweeping potential. This means that hazard removal/prevention is ideal when using Volcarona on a team, lest you be limited to only two switch-ins per match; not nearly enough to breeze through the opposing team.

Potential Sets:

  1. Standard Sweeper
252 Sp.Atk/6 Sp.Def/252 Spe
Timid @ Life Orb/Leftovers
-Quiver Dance
-Fiery Dance/Flamethrower/Fire Blast
-Bug Buzz
-Hidden Power Ground/HP Grass/Solarbeam

            This is probably the most commonly used Volcarona set. Outright, this spread hits 369 Special Attack and 328 Speed, making it a dangerous threat even without any Quiver boosts. However, after a Dance, Volcarona’s stats hit massive heights, making it easily one of the most deadly forces to reckon with in OU. A little reminiscent of DD Mence in 4th gen, albeit a Special version of it, this Quiver Dance set becomes all the more devastating the more boosts are acquired. In terms of moveset, the two most important STAB moves are used here, though Fiery Dance may be traded for a more powerful counterpart if you feel the need. The last slot is taken by a Hidden Power of your choice. Ground is the best bet, allowing Volcarona to hit mon that would otherwise completely wall it, such as Heatran, Infernape, and Terrakion, for SE damage, though Grass takes care of Swampert and the increasingly popular Gastrodon, as well as other Water types. If used on a Sun team (which fully optimizes Volcarona’s usability), Solarbeam may also be added into the mix for a powerful no-charge offensive. 

  1. Bulky Sweeper
248 HP/252 Def/8 Sp.Def
Bold or Modest @ Leftovers
-Morning Sun
-Quiver Dance
-Fiery Dance
-Bug Buzz

            It may appear odd to emphasize on Volcarona’s lesser defensive side, but with a rather good 85 HP stat and even usable 65 Defense, as well as Flame Body chance, this can shape Volc into a rather tough to take down offensive tank of sorts. Morning Sun is its best means of recovery, so use it wisely. The remaining three moves are obvious.
            As said before, Volcarona functions even better in the Sun, and this set is no different; Morning Sun essentially restores 2/3 of Volc’s health in a Drought, as opposed to restoring only ½ health in normal circumstances and ¼ in Rain or Sand. If you are still skeptical of the viability of this set due to a lacking physical Defense stat, consider that the investment will allow you to take hits you would not normally be able to take, in which case you may proceed to set up a Quiver Dance and recover off the damage. After a few Dances, Volc should be at high enough Speed and power to handle anything that stands in its way.
            *You may notice the EV spread requires 248 HP EVs and 8 Special Defense. The reason 252 HP is avoided here is because of the fact that Volcarona, being 4x weak to Stealth Rocks, will take an even 50% damage upon switching into SR. With 248 HP EVs invested, 373 HP is reached, which means that 186 HP (approximately half of its health) will be lost upon switching in. This leaves Volc with 187 remaining HP, enough to allow it to switch in one additional time.

  1. SpecsCarona
252 Sp.Atk/6 Sp.Def/252 Spe
Timid @ Choice Specs
-Fiery Dance/Flamethrower/Fire Blast 
-Bug Buzz
-HP Ground/HP Grass
- Hurricane/Solarbeam/U-Turn

            Even though Volcarona has one of the mightiest Special Attack stats in the OU metagame, a Choice Specs is rarely, if ever, seen. This may be due to the fact that one Quiver Dance alone gives it the equivalent of a Choice Specs and Choice Scarf boost, meaning it might not see too much of a need to be locked into one move only. Another reason for this may also be Volcarona’s Stealth Rock weakness. With Specs, it loses out on potential recovery from Leftovers or Morning Sun, meaning its switch-in capabilities are inalterably confined here. For these reasons, Rapid Spin support is almost a necessity with this set, as it will allow Volcarona to flourish more completely, and with its already high Speed, it can function as a late-game sweeper/moderately fast revenge killer with its powerful movepool.
            Fiery Dance is awesome to have on this set, especially due to the fact that many opponents will suspect you to be a standard QD set, and perhaps attempt to Taunt you. This means you can fire off a Dance, possibly receive an additional +1 Special Attack, and continue to wreck whatever else your opponent sends in to counter you. I personally like this set all the more because of its unpredictability, and it can score a few notable kills that Volcarona might not otherwise see through.

  1. VolcaResto
160 HP/252 Sp.Atk/96 Spe
Modest @ Chesto Berry
-Quiver Dance
-Fiery Dance
-Bug Buzz

            Because of its excellent stat spread and exceptional boosting move in Quiver Dance, Volcarona is an ideal user of the Chesto-Resto strategy, where it boosts up as much as conceivably possible, then proceeds to recover off ALL acquitted damage and status inflictions with a Rest. By being asleep with Rest, Volc’s Chesto Berry will then activate, immediately waking it up and allowing for it to either continue setting up, or begin to sweep.
            The given EVs to this set provide maximum offensive power, along with as much bulk as possible, with a Speed stat (260) capable of  outspeeding notable things like Gliscor, Skarmory,  and even Scizor, so that you are then able to act accordingly. This also outspeeds Special Wall Jirachi, who might otherwise be scared out due to a prospective Fiery Dance or burn rate from Flame Body. I would try to get this set in mid to late game, when you already know a majority of the opponent’s sets, and have possibly idealized your position by removing certain threats. This way, you will know what you are up against precisely, and can effectively attack or setup while your opponent worries about how to handle you. Obviously, removal and/or prevention of Stealth Rocks is needed for this set, as otherwise Volcarona’s setup and sweep capabilities will be diminished greatly, and you will very unlikely get up even one QD. Another threat to this set is opposing Sleep moves (Spore, Sleep Powder, etc) and fast Taunters. The former, while rare, is quite predictable, and is probably better to use something else on your team as Sleep Fodder, lest Volcarona’s Chesto Berry be used prematurely. As for the fast Taunters, the majority of these (bar some Prankser users) are typically very fragile, and can thereby be dealt with by another one of your team members.

  1. Choice Scarf
252 Sp.Atk/6 Sp.Def/252 Spe
Timid or Modest @ Choice Scarf
-Fiery Dance/Flamethrower/Fire Blast 
-Bug Buzz
-HP Ground/HP Grass
- Hurricane/Solarbeam/U-Turn

            This set shouldn’t need too much explanation, as it functions as a quicker version of the Specs set. Fiery Dance is the most optimal move here, as by boosting Volcarona’s Sp.Atk, in tandem with the Choice Scarf Speed increase, you may turn into an excellent Revenge/Sweeper, as long as certain things like Heatran and Dragonite are out of the way. Otherwise, if you can deal with those two, and anything else that walls the set (particularly Fiery Dance), you can have a great time disposing of your opponents in a quick, probably painful, manner.

            Conclusion: There really is nothing quite like Volcarona. It cannot be compared to other Quiver Dancers, as it very easily outclasses them. Its role in the new metagame as one of the most dominant Special Sweepers remains strong, and although it retains one of the most crippling entry-hazard weaknesses in the entire game (weak to all 3 types of hazards!) its pros very easily outweigh the cons, and its generous enough movepool and required team support are ideal in overcoming these. You could say it is one of the most blessed Pokemon in BW OU, possessing several tools that allow it to follow through with its flaming wrath of destruction. Volcarona is overall a solid threat in the current metagame, and will likely remain so for a very long time to come.

Competitive Usability: 8.5 out of 10 

I think Volcarona is pretty cool as far as design goes. As a new Bug-type threat it is generally original, and though we’ve seen several Moth Pokemon before now, its unique secondary Fire typing really does shine through an orange and red fade of the wings. I also like the contrast presented in the light blue sides of its underbody, and the shimmering diamond-blue eyes that seem to pierce coldly into the hearts of its opponents, while the rest of it burns radiantly around. I like this Pokemon’s design, even though I feel a little worn out in the whole Moth department.  

Aesthetic Design: 8 out of 10


Friday, August 19, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #18: New Pokemon Eight

A Badass amongst Baddasses in the new Metagame. 

Cavern Pokemon 

 Tier: OU (as of January 2012) 

H.P.: 91
Attk: 129
Def.: 90
Sp.A: 72
Sp.D: 90
Spe: 108

Justified: A quite unique ability, Justified comes with the added benefit of boosting Terrakion’s astounding Attack stat after being hit by a Dark type move. The problem with this, however, is that not too many Pokemon in OU abuse Dark moves, or even carry them frequently, for that matter. With two of the most notable Dark move wielders being Tyranitar with Pursuit and Toxicroak with Sucker Punch, Terrakion will find it difficult to abuse Justified at all. This does not render this abilitiy useless, though. If you see an opening through which you can predict an oncoming Crunch, all the more power to you. But it goes without saying that even without a +1 Justified boost, Terrakion has more than enough power to deal damage in the current metagame.

Terrakion is the epitome of an offensive sweeper, boasting a sky-high Attack stat, complimented very nicely by a base 108 Speed. Alongside that, it has excellent bulk that allows it to take neutral hits well, and come in to take next-to-no damage from Stealth Rock.
            Its movepool does nothing but further promote Terrakion’s excellent offensive capability, as with two moves to boost its already monstrous offensive stats to even higher heights, as well as two of the most powerful offensive STAB moves that yield near-perfect coverage, this is one Pokemon that unquestionably rocks (pun intended) the new metagame to its very foundations, and can easily dent teams that don’t make appropriate adjustments for its greatness.
            But Terrakion is not without its share of flaws. While it resists 6 of the 17 types, it is weak to 6 more. These weaknesses include ever-common Ground type attacks and not so common (but still deadly) Psychic and Grass attacks, as well as a Weakness to Water, Fighting and Steel types (3 very common types of Priority moves) and really limit the already godly potential of this earthly beast. However, if you are able to predict well, and can employ helpful teammates to bring out the best in Terrakion, you will find yourself greatly pleased with this awesome force. With that being said, should you ever face one, do not panic and try to exploit its weaknesses, so as to play around it accordingly.

Potential sets:

  1. Rock Band
252 Atk/6 Sp.Def/252 Spe
Jolly @ Choice Band
- Quick Attack/Earthquake/Retaliate
-Stone Edge
- Close Combat

            Welcome one of the hardest hitting, probably most effective abusers of Choice Band in the OU tier. With 108 Speed, Terrakion is able to outpace and KO many standard threats that could threaten the rest of your team, and for that reason this set is an excellent Wall Breaker that allows for the setup of other teammates to sweep after certain Mons like Blissey, Gliscor and Ferrothorn have been blasted out of the way. It is important to consider, also, what this set draws in. If your opponent knows you are Banded, they are less likely to switch in something like Ferrothorn or Jellicent, and instead might try to outdo you by sending in Gliscor or Skarmory, two very popular Terrakion switchins. If you can predict this well enough, you are sure to get the upper hand, as a Banded Stone Edge is capable of hitting Gliscor for over half of its health! (max damage calc). That means that after two or three turns (if they try to Protect stall), your opponent will be missing their physical wall, paving the way for one of your other sweepers, or even Terrakion itself) to dispose of the remaining opposition. Skarmory meets a similar fate, with less Hit Points than Gliscor, and a less reliable means of recovery. Some outright things that threaten this set are definitely going to be faster, more powerful monsters. In the Sand (which is probably one of the best team types to use Terrakion on, as it benefits greatly from the Sp.Def boost), Excadrill can come in on the locked Stone Edge or X-Scissor and basically get a free Swords Dance off. Also, Starmie and Latios can be sent in on a resisted CC, or even on a free switch after you’ve killed something, and proceed to abuse Terrakion as they will. For this reason, Tyranitar, while an obvious pair with Terrak, is great for picking off the latter two Psychic types with a Pursuit. Conkeldurr is also great in tandem with this set, as it can dispose of Excadrill and any other fast, non-Psychic threats.
            The moveset is standard here, with the obvious STAB and X-Scissor for additional coverage, but the top slot is more of a grab-bag of options. Quick Attack is nice, as it adds some needed priority for picking off weaker threats, and also reshapes this set into a rather powerful Revenge Killer, but EQ adds even more coverage potential, and is a more reliable bet against the likes of Jellicent since Stone Edge has such shaky accuracy. It is also the best thing to take Jirachi down with. Lastly, Retaliate furthers the notion of Revenge Killer, though with the risk of being hit by opposing priority first. If sent in after the death of a teammate, Terrakion will be working with a 140 base Power move. Added in with CB, well, that’s quite a lot of damage to be taken.

  1. Double Dancer
252 Atk/6 Sp.Def/252 Spe
Jolly/Adamant @ Life Orb or Leftovers
-Swords Dance
-Rock Polish
-Close Combat
-Stone Edge

            Terrakion as a setup sweeper is perhaps even more deadly than its Banded variant, though at the cost of a turn of setup. Swords Dance and Rock Polish may seem odd in conjunction on the same moveset, but with near-perfect coverage in just its STAB moves, Terrakion will grandly welcome the opportunity to set up either of its already phenomenal offensive stats. Furthermore, with such a great typing that just screams power, Terrak will find it only far too easy to force switches and get up a free +2 boost. As with any standard set, prediction is the key to setting up for a sweep. My advice for this set would be to know your opponent’s team, and try to learn their play style before getting Terrakion in. Once this is done, prediction will be very easy, and will mean the difference between setting up a Rock Polish on an oncoming Starmie and KOing it with Stone Edge, and going for CC on a Blissey that proceeds to switch into Gliscor or Jellicent. Simply put, if you know your opponent’s team, this set will be very easy, and very successful, to use.

  1. Rockin that Scarf!
252 Atk/6 Sp.Def/252 Spe
Jolly/Adamant @ Choice Scarf
-Close Combat
-Stone Edge
- Earthquake/Quick Attack /Retaliate

            Not so different than the Choice Band set, Scarfed Terrakion is perfect for stopping some of Terrakion’s nemeses like Infernape, Lati@s, Deoxys-S and Starmie, who would otherwise move faster than the Rocky Beast (Infern. would Speed tie) and KO with a powerful STAB. With Jolly you hit 519 and 357 Attack, perfect for stomping on weakened foes. The last moveslot is again up for grabs and should be decided upon accordingly.

  1. Air Balloon
252 Atk/6 Sp.Def/252 Spe
Jolly @ Air Balloon
-Close Combat  
-Stone Edge  
-X-Scissor/Rock Polish/Swords Dance/Substitute  
-Rock Polish/Swords Dance/Substitute/X-Scissor

A peculiar, but no less usable, set, with Air Balloon Terrak is allowed to more easily switch in, particularly on predicted Ground moves, and either set up or attack. This set becomes an excellent counter to Excadrill, who would otherwise run all over Terrakion’s hide. The idea here is simple; switch in on a predicted EQ or Swords Dance, or after something of yours has died, then proceed to demolish face with a STAB SE Close Combat.
The core of this set is the offensive prowess of CC and Edge-Scissor, but the last slot can be used to further stir up some trouble. Should you switch in on an Earthquake, you will then have an opportunity to set up, should you wish to do so. Rock Polish guarantees you outspeed Cadrill, making you the fastest thing in the Sand, capable of thrashing many top-tier threats. Swords Dance and Substitute are other great options to abuse Air Balloon with, but should not be used against Excadrill, as it will outspeed you initially and KO you immediately after you set up. These can be abused, however, against slower things like Heatran or Landorus.
**WARNING: Beware if your opponent’s Excadrill has Brick Break, as this can easily ruin your chances with it.

Conclusion: Terrakion is without a doubt one of the best offensive Pokemon to be introduced in Black and White. With its near-unstoppable STAB combination and its high stats all across the board, this is one beast you’d do well not to second guess. In short, it is a machine designed specifically for the ideal of ripping holes in weakened (and even not-so-weakened) teams, and is even capable of destroying its few counters, with the right amount of prediction and team support. Terrakion is a must for beginners and experienced trainers alike.

Competitive Usability: 9.5 out of 10 

Its design didn’t really catch my eye to begin with, to be honest. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a Rock type, big, bulky, and boasting of an angry sneer, but I think the fact that it is a quadruped dual Fighting type makes it unique. It’s definitely monstrous, and just by glancing at it you already know it’s to be a competitive threat. But honestly I wasn’t swept off my feet. I like it, (the fact that it’s amazing in competitive play only bolsters that), but it’s not one of my favorites in the design category.

Aesthetic Design: 8 out of 10

Friday, August 12, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #17: New Pokemon Seven

 An ideally unique Bug-type; perhaps one of the most memorable of all.
EleSpider Pokemon

H.P.: 70
Attk: 77
Def.: 60
Sp.A: 97
Sp.D: 60
Spe: 108
Where it stands: RU Top 20 [#16] (as of July 2011)

Introduced in Black and White, Galvantula is easily one of the most unique designs bestowed upon us to refresh our hopes for originality. Bug and Flying types? Boring. Electric rodents? Getting old. Instead, this awesome spider-guy combines two very exceptional typings and brings them together for a very new take on Bug Pokemon. Defensively, several of Galvantula’s would-be weaknesses from the two typings alone are nullified, providing for neutral damage taken from Flying and Ground type attacks that might have otherwise takencc it down. Of course, though this allows for a reasonable amount of switch-in potential (combined with four resistances to rather common types), Galvy is anything but a bulky bug, and should be utilized with reasonable caution. It is also, very tragically, weak to Stealth Rock, so Spin support is very nice to consider on a team with this exceptional offensive threat.

            With that, there is something that makes up for the Electro Spider’s limited bulk: his wondrous Speed stat. Boasting one of the fastest stats in the entire grouping of RU, Galvantula commands total attention on two of its most popular sets; Specs and Life Orb, as each have their own share of great advantages. What’s more, one of the few things that can outpace Galvy, the 120 base Speed Forest Gecko (Sceptile), really doesn’t threaten it too much, as some of the most common moves on a Sceptile set (Leaf Storm, Focus Blast) are resisted and answered back with a STAB SE Bug Buzz. Speaking of Super Effective STABs, Galvantula hits every one of the current top five (Mega, Cress, Krow, Pedo, Blastoise) for Super Effective damage from one of its two STABs, making it easily one of the most underrated monsters in its tier.

            But the greatness doesn’t stop there! Though Vantula has quite a limited movepool, its great amount of assets seem to quickly make up for its flaws. Firstly, 97 Sp. Atk and 108 Speed together make an excellent revenge killer/Specs runner/late-game clean-upper, and its combination of STAB is only resisted by Rhyperior and Steelix in RU! As if that weren’t enough, its ability Compoundeyes boosts the accuracy of all its moves by 30%, making its most powerful attack in Thunder (one of the most powerful in all of RU) hit a superb 93% accuracy. That’s more than Overheat! Again, with Bug Buzz and Hidden Power Ice or Fire for coverage, Galvantula is sure to tear the new metagame to shreds. It has no means of boosting its stats, bar Agility, but I think that only further proves to us that this Electric Web-slinger was built for a Choice item. Cross its web at your own risk!

Compoundeyes: No doubt Galvantula’s greatest ability, this exclusive Bug-type trait helps Galv more than it’s probably helped any of its other wielders to date! The reason? A welcomed accuracy boost to STAB Thunder. No questions asked, this is a defining ability for Galvantula and really should be the only thing to use for its offensive sets.

Unnerve: This ability can prove to be very useful in only very rare circumstances. While this could greatly subdue your opponent’s Harvest Exeggutor or Lum Berry Kingdra, the odds of running into a Berry wielder these days are few and far between. Compoundeyes is superior to this one, since Galvantula is much more tailored for obliterating things with lightning bolts than preventing them from eating their favorite fruit.

Swarm: The unreleased Dream World addition. Swarm could come in great handy on a Focus Sash or Substitute set, as it allows for Vantula’s STAB Bug Buzz to be driven by a little more oomph, but again, as this has yet to be released, and as an accurate Thunder is much more likely to KO something than a boosted bug move, I think it’s only obvious which is the better end of the deal here.

Potential Sets:

  1. Choice Specs Spider
6 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid @ Choice Specs
-Volt Switch
-Bug Buzz
-Hidden Power Ice/HP Fire

            A true winner of a set, this is definitely my favorite of Galvantula’s. With Specs, 439 Special Attack is attained, as well as a blistering 346 Speed. This, coupled with excellent coverage and STAB moves, makes Galvantula one of the deadliest scouters/power hitters in RU. Volt Switch is to get initiative and momentum going as you predict switches, while secondary STAB in Thunder is for…well, you know. Bug Buzz is another great addition to this set, and hits most of the things that Thunder can’t, and Hidden Power is to round off the coverage perfectly! Ice is preferred for that pseudo Bolt/Beam, though Fire can further threaten things like Durant and Amoonguss.

  1. ElectroLegs!
6 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid or Modest @ Choice Scarf
-Volt Switch/Electro Ball/Discharge
-Thunder/Electro Ball/Discharge
-Bug Buzz
-Hidden Power Ice/HP Fire

            With a Timid nature and a Choice Scarf equipped, Galvantula will be spinning webs so fast, your opponent won’t know what hit ‘em! At first glance, this set is identical to the Specs variant, and for good reason. It can do everything from the previous set, but with a tradeoff of power for speed. If you so wish, one of the Electric-type STABs may be replaced for Electro Ball, a gimmicky anti-Gyro Ball that hits for more power the slower the opponent. This means that if used correctly, Galvantula can be wielding a 150 base power move, before STAB! Thunder’s 30% paralyze rate helps wondrously with this, but if you fear a rare miss, Discharge may also be employed for less power, but equally successful paralysis. This set is perfect for outspeeding quick monsters, and can outpace and OHKO RU’s two most threatening Speed Boosters Yanmega and Sharpedo if they manage to get to +1. The last two moveslots are standard, and the Hidden Powers again must be chosen with care. With 519 Speed, Galvy will be faster than, and able to KO, Scarf Krookodile and +2 Rock Polish Golurk, while HP Fire is essential for outspeeding and threatening Venomoth after a Quiver Dance.

  1. GalvantuLifeOrb
6 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid @ Life Orb
-Energy Ball/Volt Switch/Charge Beam
-Bug Buzz
-Hidden Power Ice/HP Fire

Vastly similar to the previous two sets, this one relinquishes a bit of Speed or Power for the ability to switch moves at will. The last three slots are identical to the previous versions, but the first one may be changed around a bit. Energy Ball is nice for hitting bulky/powerful things that would normally wall Vantula, such as Rhyperior, Steelix and Gastrodon, and Volt Switch optimizes scouting just like a Choice variant. Charge Beam, on the other hand, may be used with good prediction skills to potentially become a deadly setup sweeper capable of outspeeding and KOing a very large portion of the tier after only one or two boosts.

  1. Galvagility
6 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Modest @ Life Orb
-Bug Buzz/Hidden Power Ice/HP Fire
-Hidden Power Ice/HP Fire/Substitute

Not much needs to be explained here. This Agility set allows Galvantula to run a Modest nature, giving it a much needed Sp. Atk boost with Life orb. Substite can be used in any of the last two moveslots for an even greater advantage on switches and for a more difficult way to take Galvy down.

  1. Sub + Disable
6 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid @ Leftovers/Life Orb
-Bug Buzz/Hidden Power Ice 

            A fun variation on Gengar’s Sub/Disable set. While Galvantula may do this to a lesser extent than Gar (it’s slower, less powerful and has no immunities), it still has the Speed to make it proportionally ideal for the job in its current tier, as well as the coverage to knock out notable threats. The idea is simple here: send in Galvy on something like Tinted Lens Yanmega or Blastoise, etc, force a switch, and then proceed to Sub up. Once the appropriate Counter/Check comes in, you’re free to either attack, or Disable its choice of move to break your Sub. After that, you will have a much easier time walling it and can whittle its HP down from there. Disable also works well with Galvantula’s high Speed, as it allows you to prevent opponents from setting up, spamming a powerful/annoying move, or laying down multiple layers of entry hazards.

  1. Subport-ish Spider
6 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid @ Leftovers/Life Orb 
-Substitute/Charge Beam
-Electro Ball 
-Bug Buzz/HP Ice/Energy Ball  

My own personal creation, the idea of this set is to destroy the opponent’s sanity while upping the power of Electro Ball. There are many ways to go about doing this. Firstly, you may try a combination of Sub and Discharge, which with the 30% paralysis rate should have your opponent slowing down in no time. Also, Agility may be used if 30% is too low of a rate for you, as after +2 Speed, anything with 173 Speed and below will be hit by a 150 base power Electro Ball! Additionally, Charge Beam may be used in place of Substitute, as it allows for an even more disastrous boost to Electro Ball once the opponent is much slower than you. The last slot again is for coverage. Bug Buzz and HP Ice are standard, but if you’re running Substitute, Energy Ball may be used, lest you be walled entirely by a Ground-type like Perior or Gastro.

  1. Down Came the Rain, and Helped the Spider Out!
6 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
Timid @ Damp Rock/Focus Sash/Life Orb
-Rain Dance
-Volt Switch
-Bug Buzz/Hidden Power Ice/Energy Ball  

Another one of my own ideas, the Itsy Bitsy Spider returns here, this time not washed out from the Rain, but aided by it. Rain Support Galvantula is so promising and unconventional, mainly because it can set up a Dance, then proceed to abuse it with its STAB. In Rain, Thunder will never miss, adding a huge bonus to the 180 Base Power behemoth of a move. Volt Switch is to scout, and so that you may switch out to something else that can effectively abuse Rain. Notable partners for this set are Ferroseed, Omastar, Kabutops, Ludicolo, Gorebyss, Sharpedo and Poliwrath, just to name a few. The last slot, as always, is for coverage. 

Conclusion:  Galvantula is a Pokemon that has grown on me. It caught my eye at the beginning of 5th Gen, and has held fast ever since. While Bugs are generally frowned upon for their lack of worthy coverage and weakness to Stealth Rock, Galvantula turns the tables in its favor with its supreme number of assets, making it one of the best Bugs of RU. Its unique typing, beautiful ability and potential to run a Choice set quite effectively make it a force to be reckoned with in any tier. I would recommend using Galvantula on one of your teams. You won't be sorry. 

Competitive Usability: 8.5 out of 10 

          As much as I like Galvantula as a competitive Pokemon, its awesome design and cool coloration do nothing but help my sympathies toward it. Sure, we've seen a Spider Pokemon done before (albeit quite poorly), but Galvantula is very nicely done in that it offers a refreshing appeal to Bug and Electric-type Pokemon alike. It might have even become one of my favorites from Black and White! 

Aesthetic Design: 9 out of 10