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

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