Saturday, November 19, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #32: Move 2

            Today we look at the best scouting move in the game, argued by most to be the best move in the game, U-Turn.

What it does:

            U-Turn does 70 base damage and is of the Bug type. It also forces the user to return to its trainers, to switch places in battle with another Pokemon of the trainer’s choosing.  

*If the opponent faints while you use U-Turn, you will switch in your Pokemon first, then they will have the opportunity to send in something new after*

U-Turn vs. Switching:

            The reason this is such a good move is because it gives you the chance to see what your opponent will decide to do. By using U-Turn, one can ideally see whether the opponent chooses to stay in the battle or switch their Pokemon out for another. This allows you to switch into the appropriate counter/check for any given situation. In this regard, U-Turn is unrivaled in getting you momentum in battle.

            You be thinking, “Why use U-Turn when you can just blatantly switch your Pokemon out?”. U-Turn, however, is far better than simply switching your Pokemon out, for it allows you to see what your opponent brings in first.

The Escapists:

            U-Turn is a move that works best on Pokemon with a heavy offensive or defensive presence; those that force switches often. Also, a high Attack and/or Speed stat is ideal, but is by no means required.  For these reasons, U-Turn can be looked at as both an offensive and a defensive strategy.

Here are some of the best Pokemon at fleeing the scene:

By and by the King of using this move, Scizor, with its massive Attack stat, superb typing and ability to absolutely dominate with a Choice Band, can render the majority of the metagame immobile by utilization of U-Turn. As if all of that wasn’t good enough, Sciz gets STAB on it, making him essentially unrivaled in this strategy. Use U-Turn on Scizor with a Choice Band, Choice Scarf, or Life Orb equipped and you won’t ever regret it.

Though Ape’s usage has dwindled a bit since DPPt, it still remains an excellent U-Turner in OU with great 108 Speed and acceptable 104 Attack. Also, with STAB Fire and Fighting type moves striking fear in the hearts of many common Pokemon, Ape can predict a switch out and use U-Turn quite effectively to bring in something to deal with its new opponent.

Celebi is one of the most balanced Pokemon in the OU metagame at the moment. Its support movepool is phenomenal, which is enough to open up scouting opportunities by itself. Use this move on a defensive set with Leech Seed/T-Wave, or on a yet underrated Scarf variant, both of which can yield noticeable success.

Flygon was and is a superb U-Turn abuser due to its offensively-oriented stats and typing, and the prominence of its Scarf set. For these reasons, Gon remains one of the best scouts in the entire game. Though it was shirked to the UU tier in the beginning of Black and White, it still remains an effective team member for shuffling the opponent’s team around until you can find an opening to strike.


-Landorus; Fast, Powerful, and great typing make Landorus one threatening Pokemon with a Choice Scarf.

-Staraptor; Ideally the same as Landorus, except with a different typing. STAB Brave Bird and Double Edge along with Reckless and Close Combat for coverage emphasize the reasons Staraptor will be forcing switches and making use of U-Turn.

-Ambipom; Speed, STAB Fake Out, and Technician make Ambipom the perfect Pokemon for get-in/get-out offense. U-Turn optimizes this. 

-Archeops; A base Attack and Speed stat rivaled only by the gods make Archeops a very deadly Pokemon to force switches and scout with U-Turn. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #31: New Pokemon Eleven

Scrafty, an up-beat little lizard that's not afraid to shed its skin.

Tier: OU (as of January 2012) 

H.P.: 65
Attk: 90
Def.: 115
Sp.A: 42
Sp.D: 115
Spe:  58

Moxie: Raises Attack by one stage every time you knock out a Pokemon. A good Attack stat with a couple great boosting moves and almost perfect coverage with its STAB moves make Scrafty a very real threat with Moxie. These factors almost guarantee that Scrafty will be able to get a kill or two per match, making full use of Moxie.

Shed Skin: Has a 33% chance of removing any status ailment (Poison, Burn, Sleep) at the end of every turn. With good stats and boosting moves, Scrafty’s weakness clearly becomes status affliction. Shed Skin, however, cures this and makes Scrafty all the more deadly, wielding STAB Drain Punch for recovery. Be careful to not let Shed Skin Scrafty set up against you, or there may not be any way of stopping its sweep.

Intimidate:  Lowers the opponent’s Attack by one stage after sending Scrafty into battle. A good ability with Scrafty’s good bulk and decent defensive typing (only 2 weaknesses). It seems to be in the shadow of the other two useful abilities, but Scrafty can benefit from the -1 Attack drop to help it either set up and sweep, or just deal straight damage to offensive threats. Not a bad ability for Scrafty when it gets released.


            Scrafty is an excellent Pokemon in the OU metagame. With two very usable abilities, high Attack and defenses, and a STAB combo only resisted by two Pokemon in the entire game, it is able to keep opponents guessing from the first turn it is sent out, then utilize their temporary pause to set up for a sweep. Stat-wise, Scrafty is similar to Bronzong, though its typing and movepool give it a blatant offensive twist. It may not be the most powerful Pokemon of its age, but with what it can do to improve upon its flaws, it is no doubt a force to be reckoned with.

Potential Sets:

  1. Bulk Up
Ability: Shed Skin
252 HP/4 Def/252 Sp.Def
Careful @ Leftovers  
-Bulk Up
-Drain Punch
- Ice Punch/Fire Punch/Substitute/Rest

A very standard set, this one makes use of Scrafty’s great bulk alongside recovery in STAB Drain Punch and Shed Skin. With the EV spread, Scrafty becomes capable of taking hits from almost all threats after a Bulk Up. Drain Punch and Payback yield near-perfect coverage, while Ice Punch hits Gliscor, who would otherwise take several boosts to knock out with Payback, hard. Fire Punch can also be used to hit Heracross and Toxicroak, the only two Pokemon that resist Dark + Fighting, giving this set completely perfect coverage. Substitute may be used in the place of the last moveslot as a means of scouting, giving you free turns of setup in some cases. Rest is also a solid option, recovering 100% of your HP and having a chance to wake up immediately with Shed Skin.
  1. The Wiggle
Ability: Moxie
12 HP/252 Atk/234 Spe
Jolly/Adamant @ Life Orb/Leftovers
-Dragon Dance
-Hi Jump Kick/Drain Punch  
-Ice Punch/Fire Punch/Substitute

            This is a standard Dragon Dance set, and since Scrafty is not a Dragon and looks as though it is very wiggly if/when it dances, this is to be called the Wiggle set. This spread is more offensively tailored than the Bulk Up one, and optimizes Scrafty’s great STAB coverage with Moxie. After a Dragon Dance and a Jolly nature, Scrafty can outspeed and K.O. anything with 105 base Speed or below, such as Mienshao, while still retaining the capability to take hits quite well. The item choice and move choice for this set essentially depend on team support. If you lack or require a very heavy hitter with little to no regard to endurance, Life Orb may be equipped with Hi Jump Kick to do the most amount of damage possible; though Life Orb recoil and the potential for Hi Jump Kick to miss means that Scrafty won’t be around for too long. This can be helped with Wish support, however.
Alternatively, for a more withstanding, yet still quite powerful variant, Drain Punch can be used for recovery alongside Leftovers.
  1. ChoiceScraf
Ability: Moxie
252 HP/252 Atk/4 Sp.Def
Adamant @ Choice Band
-Hi Jump Kick  
-Fire Punch/Drain Punch  
-Ice Punch/Fire Punch
        90 base Attack really doesn’t make Scrafty the best Fighting type (or even the best Dark type) to run a Choice Band in OU, but with its good bulk and Moxie, as well as its ability to hit 99.6% of OU for at least neutral damage, it gives you the element of surprise by being able to stop most of Scrafty’s usual counters by hitting them with a powerful move on the switch.

        Additionally, a Choice Scarf can be used with the same exact moves and 252 Speed instead of HP, though Band is probably more effective since Scraf is very slow anyway.

  1. SubAttacks
Ability: Moxie
252 HP/252 Atk/4 Sp.Def
Adamant @ Life Orb/Leftovers
- Substitute
-Hi Jump Kick/Drain Punch/Focus Punch  
-Dragon Tail  

            Because of Scrafty’s great coverage and reputation of forcing switches by setting up, a Sub + 3 Attacks set is very viable, and should be feared by everything. Setting up a Sub should be a piece of cake for this lizard, and from there you need only utilize the appropriate attack to make your opponent crumble. Hi Jump Kick and Drain Punch again have their obvious perks as Fighting type STAB, but Focus Punch may be used effectively here as well for its massive damage output over the other two. What sets Scrafty apart from most SubPunchers, however is Moxie, which increases the power of each of its hits with each kill. Also, the ability to phaze in the form of Dragon Tail, coupled with the fact that Dragon and Fighting have amazing coverage as well, make this set all the more unique.  

Among the powerhouse Fighting types released in 5th gen, Scrafty is indeed the most unique. Its typing makes it a formidable offensive threat, while its abilities keep it going continually throughout battles. Don’t let its goofy look fool you; this is one potent monster that can undermine teams and tear them to shreds if allowed to utilize its assets in full.


  Competitive Usability: 
  •  Typing that yields almost perfect STAB coverage  
  • Moxie and Dragon Dance
  • Shed Skin, Bulk Up and Rest
  • Defensive stats similar to Bronzong
  • Decent defensive typing
  • Weakness to common Fighting type
  • Very slow
  • Unable to hit hard initially (requires boosts of some kind)
Verdict:  8.5 out of 10 

Scrafty is an ugly Pokemon. Forget Magikarp. Forget Watchog. This thing is odd. Its surprising blend of absent-minded lizard and urban hoodlum is both awesome and random at the same time, forcing many head-scratches upon first glance. Still, one strong point about its look is its uniqueness. Let that decide for you whether that makes it good or bad.
Aesthetic Design:  6 out of 10

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #30: Ability Three

            Today’s ability spotlight will be of the new ability Magic Bounce.

What it Does:

Regurgitates the effect of opponent’s non-attacking, status-inducing moves (i.e. Thunder Wave, Leech Seed, Taunt, etc).

If your opponent uses Will-O-Wisp on you, assuming it doesn’t miss or they are not of the Fire type, they will become burned instead of you.

Who Has It Now:

Only three Pokemon have this ability at the moment:

-Natu; Some of the worst stats ever, but then again, what can be expected from a pre-evolved Pokemon? I am only mentioning Natu here because 1) Magic Guard is a good ability, 2) It is one of only 3 things that gets it (including its evolution), and 3) It can be made use of as a decent support Pokemon in NU with Magic Bounce .

-Xatu; Stat-wise, Xatu is inferior to its Bouncing counterpart Espeon, but with an additional Flying typing it scores several notable resistances, chief amongst them to the common Fighting type, as well as an immunity. 95 Special Attack and Speed are not horrible either, so Xatu makes a good supporter in UU, as well as in OU with these aforementioned resistances.

-Espeon; With a great stat spread and movepool, Espeon makes a great support or offensive user of Magic Bounce, stopping threats that rely on non-attacking strategies in their tracks. A great OU supporter, be on the lookout for Magic Bounce Espeon.

Bouncing for Yourself:

When using Magic Bounce on your team, be cautious. Keep in mind that it is very likely that your opponent will also be playing cautiously, ideally avoiding setting up hazards or throwing a status move into the wind. For this reason, it is very important to attempt to learn from your foe’s playstyle before sending your Espeon to an unexpected doom.

In other words, prediction is key. If your opponent sends out Ferrothorn as their lead, you can either predict them to begin to lay up hazards and send in Espeon to bounce them back, or you can predict them to expect you to send Espeon in, therefore keeping it safe from a powerful STAB Gyro Ball.

This may sound confusing, but the most important thing to keep in mind when using Magic Bounce on your team is keeping your Bouncer alive longer than their hazard/status Pokemon. With the right amount of prediction this won’t be too hard to do.

Playing against Bouncers:

Just like when using Magic Bounce on your own team, playing against it effectively requires a solid amount of prediction. Team preview may just be Magic Bounce’s worst nightmare, and should help you when facing off against it, as you’ll know whether or not your opponent has it from the very beginning of battle. This means that if you see Espeon on the opposing team, you can play your Ferrothorn a little more safely to guarantee you get your hazards up when the time is right.

This means if you have Ferrothorn in and your opponent has a different Pokemon, you might want to hold off on setting up Stealth Rock or Leech Seeding the foe, lest they send in their Magic Bouncer to make your efforts in vain. If you do predict an Espeon switch, you may fire off a STAB Gyro Ball or Power Whip, both of which will do loads of damage, hitting both Esp and Xatu from their weaker defensive side (ensuring a 2HKO on all standard variants).

Who Should Get It:

-Bronzong; With a superb defensive typing and stats to boot, Zong would make an extremely effective, extremely annoying, abuser of Magic Bounce. Sure, losing out on Levitate is a downer, but with the capability of forgoing entry hazards and being immune to status and Taunt would make this ancient bell ring with potency.

-Starmie; Fast, powerful, and capable of Recovering off stray damage, Starmie would become a deadly Bouncer for most rain teams, becoming both offensively and defensively threatening like never before. Magic Bounce would also render Rapid Spin semi-obsolete on most sets, allowing you to fill that slot with another, more effective choice.

-Mismagius; A fast, bulky Ghost with decent support options and a good Special Attack make Mismagius one tough threat to shake. Add in an ability to never be Paralyzed or Taunted again, and you’ve got yourself one solid counter to most of today’s common UU Ghost threats.

-Deoxys; Considering only Defense and Speed forms are available in the metagame, Deoxys would make a massive threat in combination with its formidable stats and a new addition of Magic Bounce. Deoxys-D can already take hits all day from all types of threats, making it perhaps the perfect Pokemon to speculatively receive Magic Bounce. While this would become one of the best supporters in the entire meta, I think it’s safe to say Deoxys-D not having MB generally is a good thing for the time being. Otherwise it just wouldn’t die!

How It Could Be Better:

Magic Bounce really can’t get too much better than it already is, but if I had to choose an improvement, I’d say that even added effects from certain attacks should be bounced back. Could you imagine Suicune’s Scald burning itself instead of your Xatu? That would indeed make Magic Bounce several times more effective, but it doesn’t take away from the already outstanding effects of this ability.


Limited to only 3 users makes Magic Bounce a very unique ability. And though only two of those are even remotely viable in the competitive realm, and that they share a common typing and similarly poor defensive stats, it remains a very helpful ability. Use Magic Bounce to help you get the edge over your opponent’s team, as it can often times stop certain Pokemon dead in their tracks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #29: Old Pokemon Eight

  The ruler of the Ancient Skies, Aerodactyl.
The Fossil Pokemon
H.P.: 80
Attk: 105
Def.: 65
Sp.A: 60
Sp.D: 75
Spe: 130

Rock Head: Is not affected by recoil from recoil-causing moves, such as Double Edge, Brave Bird, Wild Charge, etc. This is an excellent ability for just about any Pokemon with competent enough stats to abuse recoil causing moves, but on Aerodactyl it is only sub-par. The reasoning for this is that Aero has just one move in its arsenal that allows it to abuse Rock Head (Double Edge), and while this can come in handy on an offensive set, it then becomes the sole reason for running Rock Head in the first place. If Aerodactyl got Head Smash, I think things would be a lot different for the metagame.

Pressure: Opponent loses 2 PP upon hitting Aerodactyl, as opposed to one. This ability, as I’ve stated in other posts on this site, works best with Stall sets. And since Dactyl is anything but a Stall Pokemon, Pressure seems a futile choice. It does, however, tend to work with some success on a Sashed Lead set, but on any other variant, you are probably better off running a different ability. Pressure is a good choice if you don’t know which trait to use on Aerodactyl, but there are other monsters that can flaunt it better.

Unnerve: Prevents opponent from using their held Berry when Aerodactyl is in play. The newest of Dactyl’s traits, Unnerve proves to be the most effective in a situational sense. It allows you to switch in on a Pokemon that relies on Berry usage to get the job done, and completely annihilate their strategy. This could definitely turn the battle in your favor, since a lot of Berry-holding sets are efficient in setting up for sweeps and other problematic scenarios. The problem here, though, is that Berries are quite rare in the UU scene. Furthermore, the most common user of Berries, Resto/Lum Kingdra, demolishes Aerodactyl with natural bulk and STAB Super Effective Water moves. This makes Unnerve a rather unusable trait during many battles, but when it is used efficiently, you will not be displeased. UnnerveDactyl also serves as a good check to the increasingly popular Resto Volcarona set in OU. So don’t count this as completely imbecilic an ability.

Tier: RU (as of January 2012) -previously UU


            Aerodactyl was one of the best leads in the OU environment in 4th Gen, boasting a nearly unrivaled Speed stat, excellent Attack, and a pretty good STAB combination. All of this together, with a Focus Sash equipped, allowed Dactyl to lay up Stealth Rocks just about 100% of the time, and prevent slower leads from doing the same with Taunt.

            Not much has changed about this prehistoric bird in Black and White. And while Aero is probably as good as it was back in the day, the enormous amount of increase in Speed and Power in the new metagame has essentially done no less than leave it in the dust with bigger, badder Leads to choose over it. What’s more its offensive capabilities, while beneficial in the Lead slot, prove to be sub-par on a solely offensive set. All of these reasons account for Aerodactyl’s drop from OU to UU in the four year shift, but in the latter tier is perhaps where Dactyl is best suited for now.  

Potential Sets:

  1. Sash Lead
Ability: Pressure
252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spe
Jolly @ Focus Sash
-Stealth Rock
-Stone Edge

A staple set in  4th gen, Aerodactyl returns as an effective Stealth Rock/Anti-lead-esque threat in Black and White. With one of the best Speed stats in its tier and Focus Sash equipped, Dactyl is almost always guaranteed to set up Rocks for you in battle. EdgeQuake is there for the good coverage and power it provides and, with base 105 Attack, should be doing some damage to opposing team members. Taunt is to stop things like Frosslass or Roserade, and works nicely with Dactyl’s fast Speed.

  1. AeroHoneClaws
Ability: Pressure/Rock Head
252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spe
Jolly @ Life Orb/Leftovers
-Hone Claws
-Stone Edge
-Earthquake/Double Edge

Aerodactyl’s often times overlooked offensive prowess can be made excellent use of with a Hone Claws set. The Accuracy boost works perfectly with STAB Stone Edge, and after just one HC, Edge will hit 100% of the time. Earthquake, of course, is there for coverage again, but Double Edge can be used in its stead for less coverage, but a little more power to boot. The second moveslot can be filled by several moves. Taunt prevents annoying status from stopping your sweep, and also stops fellow Taunters in their tracks, though Roost can restore Dactyl’s dwindling health, especially with Life Orb equipped. However, if you enjoy forcing switches and scouting opposition before you set up, Substitute may be the best choice to aid in your sweep.

  1. ChioceDactyl
Ability: Rock Head
252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spe
Adamant @ Choice Band/Choice Scarf
-Double Edge
-Stone Edge
-Aqua Tail/Fire Fang/Pursuit
        With its good power and ability to outspeed nearly everything in OU and UU, Dactyl makes a superb Choice user. Adamant nature is ideal here to hit everything harder than normal, and even with a Choice Band equipped, it still hits 359 Speed, which outpaces everything up to base 113’s. Of course, whether you choose Band or Scarf depends on how you want to play this set.
        EdgeQuake is here again for coverage, while Double Edge again works nicely with Rock Head, and also adds a bit more coverage as well. The last moveslot may be filled with Aqua Tail in OU, as it hits things like Landorus and Gliscor for hard damage, though Fire Fang is always nice to hit Escavalier and Ferroseed in UU. 

  1. Phazer
Ability: Pressure
252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spe
Jolly @ Leftovers
- Taunt/Stealth Rock
-Stone Edge

Again with the amazing Speed, Aerodactyl makes a pretty decent phazer. In short, this set acts as a more offensively oriented Skarmory, with the ability to force Pokemon out on the switch and gain some nice momentum, as well as rack up some hazard damage. Roost is nice to shrug off the damage of any hits you take, though with sub-par defenses you won’t want to take too many hits all at once. For this set you’ll want to switch Dactyl in on something that can’t harm it in any way, then proceed to either Stone Edge or Whirlwind on the predicted switch. For this reason, a great partner for this set is something like Roserade or Frosslass, as they can stack up the hazards that Dactyl will be forcing switches into.

  1.  Smackdown!
Ability: Pressure
252 Atk/4 Def/252 Spe
Adamant @ Life Orb
- Substitute
-Smack Down

          This set has really only ever been seen on Landorus in OU, but Aerodactyl brings some extra usability to the table with its plethora of assets over Landorus. Firstly, even with an Adamant nature Dactyl outspeeds Jolly Landorus, and reaches an Attack stat of only 10 points less than Lando. Also, Aero gets STAB on Smack Down, meaning it will do more initial damage than when Landorus does it, though it is still quite a weak move. Lastly, Aerodactyl has access to Roost, which allows it to reliably remove Life Orb and Substitute damage and increase its longevity.  
            The objective of the Smackdown spread is to safely set up a Sub on the forced switch, or blatantly predict something particular to come in, then use Smack Down to remove its Ground type immunity, hitting it then with a LO boosted Adamant Earthquake. The reason this set is quite effective is that it catches a lot of opponents off guard, as they believe their Skarmory or Bronzong can effectively wall Aerodactyl. With the given spread, however, both Skarm and Zong are 2HKOed by Earthquake after taking Smackdown damage. This set may appear to be more of a gimmick, but its surprise value, coupled with the fact that Dactyl is naturally fast and powerful, make it one to not overlook in UU, and even notably in OU.

Aerodactyl is never the first choice for an offensive threat on most teams, but given its godly Speed and mixed array of support/attacking options it makes for a uniquely mixed bag that can be quite unpredictable if used as an anomaly from what is expected of it. Give Aerodactyl a chance, and you’ll find its assets are more than enough reason to push through many top-tier monsters, even as they predict an old standard lead set.


  Competitive Usability: 
  •  130 base Speed, enough to outpace almost everything in OU and UU.
  • STAB Rock type Attacks and decent support movepool (Taunt + SR)
  • Good base 105 Attack makes for a decent sweeper.
  • Weakness to common Rock, Ice and Electric attacks (and Steel in OU)
  • Poor Defenses
Verdict:  8 out of 10 

I’ve always thought Aerodactyl to be a really cool Pokemon. It’s based off the ancestral bird that lived during the era of dinosaurs, which is always awesome, and its fierce gaze is enough to strike fear into the hearts of prey and trainers alike. I’d say Aerodactyl is about as cool as it is competitively viable; not the best out there, but still pretty darn awesome.
Aesthetic Design:  8 out of 10

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight

A new Competitive Pokemon Analysis will go up later tonight (as scheduled). I have started working on it, but probably won't finish in the near future, and I have to be somewhere tonight.

Thanks for your patience!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #28: Ability Two

Today we will go in depth about the rare but effective ability, Hustle.

            What it Does:

Increases damage output of physical attacks by 1.5 times (50%), however, decreases the accuracy of moves by approximately 20%.

Durant with Hustle will have the equivalent of +1 Attack (like having a Choice Band equipped without being locked into a move), but moves with 100% Accuracy will now only be 80% accurate. Likewise, the already inaccurate Stone Edge will be relegated from 80% to 60% Accuracy.

            Who Has It Now:

-Delibird; Probably not well worth mentioning competitively, but Delibird does have STAB Aerial Ace, which will always hit 100% of the time. Slap on a Choice Band and you’ve got yourself an offensive threat that really won’t be doing much of anything.  

-Darumakka; I am only mentioning little Darm because of his base 90 Attack stat which, with Hustle and Fire type STAB, is pretty darn good. However, as the rest of his stats are below awful, this thing will really only be even decently threatening in the abysses of NU or Little Cup. 

-Durant; 109 Attack and Speed with the same typing as Scizor make Durant a truly phenomenal abuser of Hustle. If you don't miss your attacks, Durant should be punching holes in most teams. 

-Zweilous; Hustle is something that the much more prominent evolution, Hydreigon, lacks, and Zweilous makes fair use of it in the lower tiers with 85 base Attack, STAB Outrage, and pretty good type coverage.

-Raticate; In my personal opinion, Hustle actually makes Raticate decently viable in competitive terms. Giving its rather average base 81 Attack a much needed +1 boost, it allows this over-sized hamster to gnaw its way through quite a lot of threats with STAB normal moves and stuff like Wild Charge and Sucker Punch for coverage. Also, with an Adamant nature and Choice Scarf, its middling 97 Speed is compensated for, while Hustle gives it ideally a Choice Band boost all the while.

The Good and the Bad of Hustling:

            When put into perspective, Hustle is a high risk, high reward kind of ability, giving a few Pokemon the edge they need over otherwise annoying/bulky threats. The best part is that if used on an Attack boosting set (i.e. Swords Dance or Hone Claws), it won’t take many turns of setup  before your attacks are wrecking things.

Still, the Accuracy drop is very risky, and when considering that really nothing that gets Hustle has bulk worth mentioning, you’ll find yourself losing valuable Hustle Pokemon if they miss an attack. Also, the fact that nothing that gets Hustle (besides Durant) has really awesome initial Attack or Speed, many players consider this to be a wasted ability; one with great potential but nothing more.

        The Best Hustlers:

     Here are no doubt the best Hustle abusers. Despite the fact that each one of these is confined to the lower tiers, they are still reasonably viable threats in even UU, and could serve as very threatening powerhouses in NU and RU if the Miss Gods are not against you. 

Zweilous @Choice Band
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe, Adamant
-Dragon Tail
-Fire Fang

Since Heatran is the only Pokemon that resists the Dragon+Fire coverage combo, this set is essentially unresisted in the lower tiers. With Choice Band + Hustle + Adamant nature, Zweilous reaches unbelievably high Physical power, managing to OHKO a good portion of non-defensive threats. The bulk and Speed of this set are pretty absent, so as long as you are able to get Zwei in safely and fire off a monstrous hit, you will not be disappointed. 

Raticate @ Choice Scarf
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe, Adamant
-Quick Attack/Sucker Punch
-Double Edge/Return
-Wild Charge

            Though not the best type coverage, with Hustle, this set yields essentially Choice Band and Choice Scarf in one, reaching 400+ on each stat. Priority is essential here against things that have it themselves/are (somehow) faster. Also, for choice of STAB, Double Edge is amazing, though the recoil may not be too favorable. Return may be used if the recoil scares you, and Retaliate can be used for Revenge Killing purposes. 

Durant @ Life Orb/ Leftovers
4 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe, Jolly
-Hone Claws
-Iron Head
-Stone Edge/Crunch

            Durant is definitely the best user of Hustle in the entire game. With amazing Speed and good natural power, Ant can charge through teams with ease. Hone Claws was built for this Bug, as after only one turn it nullifies the Accuracy drop of Hustle, as well as adding in an additional Attack boost. Coverage on this set is limited, as is Durant’s movepool, but it remains strong as one of the best Sweepers in RU at the moment.

Who Should Get It:

Infernape- With Fantastic Speed and Attack, as well as superb coverage, Ape would become arguably more dominant in OU if it had an ability like Hustle. The Attack boost would make its Flare Blitz and Close Combat hurt even more than they already do now, and the viability of a Choice Band set would increase several times over. Plus, as an acrobatic monkey, Hustle seems a logical choice in terms of real-life perception of the beast.

Tornadus- Base 115 Attack and STAB Aerial Ace would make Hustle truly monstrous on this already-dominant genie. Pair that with the ability to already outspeed a good portion of OU at the moment, and you’ve got yourself one nasty physical Attacker on your team. Plus, the viability of a physical set over a very common Special set would make for a refreshing choice of options for Tornadus.

Flygon- Black and White brought no change for Flygon, sinking it to the middling realms of UU. However, with Hustle, a whole new level of play for the premium Dragon scout Pokemon would become available, dishing out harder hits with those U-Turns and STAB EQ+Outrage combo. If Flygon got its act together, the entire UU metagame would tremble beneath its wings.

How It Could Be Better:

Why should Hustle limit users to just physical Attacks? If there were a counterpart for Special Attackers, i.e. Togekiss, things would be very interesting. Of course, this isn’t an improvement on the ability itself (as I can’t think of many ways to make it better without making it broken), but rather a separate ability for Special Attackers, like Togekiss, who can abuse the power boost with their STABs and a never-missing Aura Sphere. How about we call this one Overzealous?


            Hustle is actually a very good ability when used in your favor. Its reasoning for being so rarely seen is possibly due to the fact that not too many competitively potent Pokemon have it. However, if you can get past the 20% Accuracy drop (ideally with Hone Claws), you will see that this ability has the potential to make many threats crumble. Don’t let Hustle’s underrated potential fool you.