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

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