Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Competitive Battling Spotlight #34: Old Pokemon Nine

Sableye, the Darkness Pokemon; a true gem.


Tier: UU (as of January 2012) 

H.P.: 50
Attk: 75
Def.: 75
Sp.A: 65
Sp.D: 65
Spe:  50

Keen Eye: Prevents Accuracy from being lowered. This ability really doesn’t help Sableye out much. With Accuracy-lowering moves like Sand Attack and Flash being pretty much nonexistent (if not banned) in the competitive scene, you really won’t be benefitting much from Keen Eye. What’s more, Sableye has a way better option to go for in terms of ability that makes its horrendous stats seem surprisingly worthwhile.

Stall: This Pokemon will always attack last. 50 base Speed should be enough to tell you that this ability is pretty much useless on Sableye. It will basically force you to become slower than the likes of even Snorlax and Ferroseed. The benefits of that, you ask? There are none. STAB Payback with the promise of always attacking last, and thus always hitting with 100 Power, is cancelled out by the fact that Sab has an atrocious base 75 Attack (its highest stat) and nothing else to back it up. Stall is so bad, even Keen Eye is better.

Prankster: Gives priority to moves that do no damage (i.e. Taunt, Recover, Sunny Day, etc). If abilities could be incarnated into the form of an animate being, Prankster would be the hero and savior of Sableye’s world, protecting it from the flaming depths of the lowest rung on the usage ladder. In layman’s terms, Prankster makes Sableye worth a second glance, even despite his awful stats. It is for this reason alone that Sableye has soared from the nether-depths of NU to the highly efficient fields of UU all in the matter of a generation shift. With Prankster, Sab becomes a king of stall, and stall breaking, in its own right, outwitting otherwise faster and more powerful threats, and stopping them cold before much can be done. Haxorus giving your team problems with its powerful Outrages? Priority Will-O-Wisp can fix that. Don’t want Roserade setting up multiple layers of Spikes and then putting one of your teammates to sleep? Taunt will stop it before it can even twirl a petal. In short, Prankster is an amazing asset added to Sableye’s repertoire, and with a pretty varied support movepool and absolutely no weaknesses, Sableye can utilize it very appropriately and very effectively. It makes a bad Pokemon good.


            I could save you time from reading a super long and unnecessary intro by saying that pretty much all there is to be said about Sableye is explained in the “Prankster” section above. Basically, Sableye has all the markings of a decent Pokemon; great typing that yields no “It’s super effective!’s” in battle and a movepool that grants it enough coverage and support options to do work. What made Sableye bad in prior generations, however, was its painfully low stat spread. No real offensive or defensive presence made all these great assets seem wasted, while its two ability choices did nothing at all to help.

            Prankster allows for the successful boasting of this decent movepool, and while its stats are still no better, the fact that it can now make itself useful before the opponent is able to make a move is something to be celebrated. Usable in both OU and UU, Sableye is a gimmick-turned-staller that can add some unique and efficiently annoying support to almost any and every team. It’s still not amazing, but it works.

Potential Sets:

1. Small Wall
    252 Hp/252 Def/6 SpDef
    Impish @ Iron Ball/Leftovers
    -Trick/Torment/Foul Play  

            With all of Sableye’s assets, it really has what it takes to go toe-to-toe with some of today’s most monstrous Physical Attackers in both the UU and OU tier. For this reason, this set specializes as a Physical Wall and Sweep-Stopper. With max HP, max Defense and priority Will-O-Wisp, shutting down common Scarf/Banders like Flygon and Dragonite won’t be much of a problem at all, and with Taunt certain set-uppers like Dragon Dance D-nite and Bisharp can be easily shut down before they get a chance to do much.

            Unfortunately, however, not all Physical threats can be softened with this set. Most prominently of all, Fire types, who are immune to being burned with WoW, can come in and threaten Sableye, even with max HP and Defence. Furthermore, powerful Special Attackers can be a huge pain to Sab, as this set is not in the least designed to take hits from the weaker Defensive stat. So if you don’t have too much else on your team that can deal with Fire types and/or Special Attackers, Trick may be employed in the last slot, and an Iron Ball may be equipped for the ability to Trick faster threats and slow them down, crippling them indefinitely. If these don’t seem as much of a problem to your team, Torment can be used to stop powerhouses from spamming the same move over and over, while Foul Play can be used to further counter Physical Attackers by using their own power against them, with STAB.  

2. Wall Stall  
    252 HP/120 Def/136 SpDef
    Careful @ Leftovers
    -Mean Look/Taunt/Protect
    -Night Shade/Taunt/Protect  

            This set is used as a more standardized means of trapping and finishing your opponent’s walls so that your sweepers can have a much easier time plowing through. The EV spread here is pretty standard, as it gives Sab a good chance to take hits well from both sides of the offensive spectrum, and with priority Recover, longevity is optimized. Toxic is again to wear down bulky monsters more efficiently, as in at most eight turns they will be downed due to the gradual increase in Poison damage.

            The last two moveslots can make this set all the more interesting and unique if played correctly. If you are confident that your opponent is not too offensively inclined and cannot destroy Sableye easily, you may choose Mean Look to keep them from switching, giving you the edge and the appropriate amount of time to stall them out. With the inability to switch out and reset the Poison counter and Night Shade to continuously sap them of 100 HP every turn, it shouldn’t be hard to finish them off and get a sweep going with one of your more powerful offensive members. However, if you’d like to forego Night Shade for the ability to prevent them from recovering with Taunt, that can be an effective strategy as well, though you’ll miss out on the added damage Night Shade can provide. Lastly, in the place of either of these slots, Protect may be used to give you an extra turn while adding to their Poison counter, though you won’t have any other means of killing them other than Toxic. Mean Look/Taunt/Night Shade are preferred in any of the aforementioned combinations.

3. The Prankster
    252 HP/120 Def/136 SpDef
    Careful @ Leftovers
    -Confuse Ray
    -Mean Look/Knock Off/Toxic
            I think this spread is truly deserving of the title “Prankster”, as it has the potential to be one of the most annoying sets out there. Simply put, with priority on both Attract and Confuse Ray, you can have your opponent screaming in frustration in no time. Plus, with Recover for yourself, you can heal off any damage you happen to take while they are likely to miss more often than they can land an attack.

            Mean Look is a good option for trapping weaker threats that can’t fell Sableye easily, though Confuse Ray won’t be damaging your opponent too much. For this reason, Toxic or Night Shade can be used to add to the damage your opponent takes each turn. Knock Off is also there to strip them of their Leftovers, furthering in their frustration.

            If you do choose Mean Look, it might be nice to have entry hazard and/or Toxic Spike support so that you have an easier time finishing your foe. Paralysis support may also help, as with Attraction, Confusion and Paralysis, your opponent will only have about a 10% chance of landing a hit! That’s pretty damn annoying.

4. Diamonds in the Sun 
    252 HP/120 Def/136 SpDef
    Careful @ Heat Rock/Leftovers
    -Sunny Day
    -Night Shade/Foul Play

            This is a little more of a gimmicky set, but can work wonders in UU where permanent sun is long gone. Essentially this is a sun-summoner to aid in the abuse of Chlorophyllers like Sawsbuck, Tangrowth, Leafeon, or Charizard (who has Solar Power). With Prankster, Sunny Day will always go first, except against other priority users. However, as Sableye is immune to Extremespeed, Mach Punch, and basically Sucker Punch (as most of Sab’s moves are not attacking moves), it is safe to say you’re almost guaranteed to get the Sun up at least once per match. Heat Rock also prolongs this effect for three extra turns, giving your Sun sweepers more of an edge.

            For recovery, Moonlight is superior to Recover in the sun, as with the Sun up it heals 2/3 of Sab’s HP, as opposed to half. This is a great way to get a lot of HP back, prolonging your life and ensuring you set up Sunny Day more and more. The only downside to Moonlight is that it has about half as much PP as Recover, but again this can be reconciled.

            The last two slots are for residual and solid damage, respectively. Toxic is good for long term, while WoW can cripple some sweepers. Likewise, Night Shade gets solid damage on everything while Foul Play hits harder against more powerful threats. The choice is yours.

5. Calm Mind  
    252 Hp/252 Def/6 SpDef
    Bold @ Leftovers
    -Calm Mind
    -Will-O-Wisp/Hidden Power Fighting
    -Shadow Ball   

             On a Pokemon with such disgusting offensive stats, the last thing you’d expect of it would be a sweeper set. However, certain attributes, most notably Prankster and its typing, make Sableye a decent, albeit gimmicky, user of Calm Mind.

            Priority CM can allow you to get a +1 Sp.Def boost before your opponent strikes, giving you a bit of an edge over them. Furthermore, with priority Recover you can heal off all damage taken and absorb hits more easily after a few boosts. Shadow Ball is the primary offensive STAB here, as it hits nearly all of UU’s top 10 for at least neutral damage, and with the abundance of Psychic and Ghost types in the tier can really punch holes through teams with enough boosts. If you’d like the coverage and ability to hit Normal types, as well as being able to hit everything for at least neutral damage, you may use HP Fighting in the last slot. However, Will-O-Wisp allows you to take Physical hits much better and offers some residual damage, though the loss in coverage is notable.

            Sableye won’t be hitting very hard right away, but with patience, team support and enough turns of Calm Mind setup, you’ll have a sweeper on your hands that no one would ever see coming.


            Sableye is easily one of the most improved Pokemon from 4th to 5th gen. It has sucked ever since its release in Ruby/Sapphire, despite its cool-looking design. Prankster has finally given it potential with its awesome typing and decent movepool, as is evident in its immediate rise to the UU tier. It’s also very usable in OU with the predominance of physical attackers and fast sweepers.

            Still, Sableye is not perfect. Its stats are still begging for improvement (possibly through evolution) that is unlikely ever to come for it. And despite its decent support capabilities with Prankster, it is by no means a primed wall and can still die off to some of the more powerful hits in the tiers. But Sableye is good and can be effective on any type of team, against many common Pokemon. Try it out for yourself; it truly is a very annoying Pokemon for opponents to face.

Competitive Usability: 
  •  Prankster
  • A typing that yields no weaknesses.
  • Quite expansive support movepool.
  • Decent offensive movepool.
  • Low HP stat, very low defensive stats.
  • Very slow.
  • Poor offensive stats.
Verdict:  8.5 out of 10 

            When I first picked up Pokemon Ruby, and my brother Pokemon Sapphire, I was disappointed to find that the cool-looking jewel-ghost was only available in his game. And what was my compensation for this? A petite, ponytail-jaw yellow freak?
Ok, so I’ve never liked Mawile, but that’s not the point. Sableye is pretty intriguing. It’s small, which makes you think it probably should evolve, but those piercing diamond eyes and that elflike stature have always appealed to my more sinister aesthetics. Maybe because I love Dark type Pokemon, Sableye is a pinnacle for Ghost types everywhere. A truly awesome pinnacle.
Aesthetic Design:  9 out of 10


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pokemon as Individuals: A Guide to IVs

        Since IVs are a staple in competitive battling, I thought I'd compile a helpful guide to learning about the wonders of IVs and what and how they affect the Pokemon scene. They are not required to enjoy the games, but they definitely help beef your monsters up if you're into more competitive play...

So What are IVs? 

Simply put, IVs (short for Individual Values) are a randomly generated value for any given stat of any given Pokemon. This value ranges from anywhere between 0 and 31, with 0 being the absolute lowest and 31 being the absolute highest value. IVs are different among every Pokemon you will ever encounter in the games, and are essentially random in their distribution.

For example, if you have two Spindas at the same exact level, with the same exact EVs in Attack and the same exact nature, you might notice that their Attack stats aren’t equal. This is because they both have different IVs in their Attack stat; one might have 26, while the other might have 4. These values also contribute directly to the Pokemon’s overall stat, meaning that if both of your Spindas are at level 100 and again have max EV investment in Attack and an Attack-boosting nature, the one with 26 IVs in Attack might have an overall stat of 235, while the one with 4 IVs might have one of 213. So the difference is not extremely impacting, but for those of you nit-pickers like myself, you might want the maximum IVs you can possibly obtain.

So in a nutshell, here are the basics:

  • ·         IVs are a randomly generated value for each individual Pokemon; two Pokemon of the same exact species might have completely different IVs for any given stat.

  • ·         IVs differ for every stat of a Pokemon, meaning that your Scyther might have 29 IVs in Attack, 30 in Defense, and 3 in Speed. Again, it’s all random.

  • ·         IVs range in value from 0 (the lowest) to 31 (the highest).

  • ·         Unfortunately, as of now there is no true way to determine your Pokemon’s exact IVs in-game, though there are certain ways of finding out generally which stat has the most IVs.

  • ·         A Pokemon’s IVs can be passed down to its offspring through breeding.

 (Kinda) Determining your Pokemon’s IVs

If you’ve ever looked at every minute detail of a Pokemon’s “Summary” page, you might have noticed that at the bottom, under where it shows the Nature and place met of the Pokemon, it has a little phrase about the Pokemon’s personality, such as “Likes to Eat” or “Proud of its Power”. This, while seemingly pointless at first glance, actually has a bit more use than you might think, as it reveals the Pokemon’s stat with the highest IVs. It’s not a completely precise means of learning your Pokemon’s IVs, but it does give you a little bit of insight. Below are the different phrases and what they mean. The phrase will display which of the six stats your Pokemon has the highest IVs in, with a few different possibilities of what those IVs could be. If more than one of its stats are tied for the highest, one will be displayed at random.

If the highest IVs are Hit Points (HP):
-“Often dozes off”= 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31 IVs in this stat.
-“Loves to eat”= 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 IVs in this stat.
- “Likes to relax”= 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29 IVs in this stat.
-“Scatters things often”= 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28 IVs in this stat.
-“Often scatters things”= 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27 IVs in this stat.

If the highest IVs are Attack:
-“Likes to thrash about” =1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31 IVs in this stat.
-“Proud of its power” = 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 IVs in this stat.
-“Quick tempered” = 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29 IVs in this stat.
-“Likes to fight” = 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28 IVs in this stat.
-“A little quick tempered” = 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27 IVs in this stat.

If the highest IVs are Defense:
-“Capable of taking hits” =1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31 IVs in this stat.
-“Sturdy body” = 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 IVs in this stat.
-“Good perseverance” = 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29 IVs in this stat.
-“Good endurance” = 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28 IVs in this stat.
-“Highly persistent” = 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27 IVs in this stat.

If the highest IVs are Special Attack:
-“Mischievous” =1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31 IVs in this stat.
-“Highly curious” = 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 IVs in this stat.
-“Very finicky” = 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29 IVs in this stat.
-“Often lost in thought” = 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28 IVs in this stat.
-“Thoroughly cunning” = 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27 IVs in this stat.

If the highest IVs are Special Defense:
-“Somewhat vain” =1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31 IVs in this stat.
-“Strong willed” = 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 IVs in this stat.
-“Somewhat stubborn” = 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29 IVs in this stat.
-“Hates to lose” = 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28 IVs in this stat.
-“Strongly defiant” = 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27 IVs in this stat.

If the highest IVs are Speed:
-“Alert to sounds” =1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, or 31 IVs in this stat.
-“Likes to run” = 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 IVs in this stat.
-“Quick to flee” = 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, or 29 IVs in this stat.
-“Somewhat of a clown” = 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, or 28 IVs in this stat.
-“Impetuous and silly” = 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, or 27 IVs in this stat.

*Take a look at your Pokemon’s “Summary” screen. When you identify its trait, search for it on this page by clicking CTRL+F on your computer so that you can see which of these IVs your Pokemon might have.

Also, keep in mind that if your Pokemon has two or more stats with the same exact IVs, it will still only display one of these phrases, displaying one of those stats at random. 

I hope this helped!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Competitive Battling Spotlight #33: New Pokemon Twelve

Scolipede, the Megapede Pokemon, makes an appearance as one of today's most effective Offensive Support Bugs.

H.P.: 60
Attk: 90
Def.: 89
Sp.A: 55
Sp.D: 69
Spe:  112

Poison Point: Toxic Poison is way better than regular Poison in most cases, especially with Scolipede’s main role as a Toxic Spike set-upper. For these reasons, Poison Point really isn’t the best ability for Scolipede to wield, especially when it has better options.

Swarm: This is the ability you’ll always want to run for Scol. By boosting its most powerful move, Megahorn, when at low health, you can really make the most of a sticky situation. Considering the fact that Scol often times runs Focus Sash on most of its sets, you are likely to reach Swarm range in battle and begin firing off those powerful Horns. But even if you’re not running Sash, Life Orb or Substitute to bring you down to Swarm’s boost, this ability still reigns supreme over the others to be chosen.

Quick Feet: On most Pokemon this ability might seem good, as it acts similar to Guts, but boosts Speed rather than Attack. However, on Scolipede it is almost pointless. It already boasts excellent Speed that allows it to outrun a lot of common threats, and boosting it would only allow it to outspeed a few more. In addition to this, the means by which most activate Quick Feet is through possession of a Toxic Orb or Flame Orb; Toxic Orb won’t affect Scolipede because it is a Poison type (so it can’t be Poisoned) and Flame Orb will Burn Scol, cutting its Attack in half, which really puts you in a worse place than even before the Speed boost. This means that the only effective way for Scolipede to actually have Quick Feet activated is by being Paralyzed, but you then have to hope your opponent even has a Pokemon with a Paralysis move on their team. Really, all these factors should be turning you away from using this ability, as it more often than not isn’t worth it. Plus, it’s not even released yet.

Tier: RU (as of January 2012)


            Scolipede is a very unique Bug type Pokemon, but then again, just about every  Bug type released in Black and White is no different. It has a not-so-unique typing that grants it a 4x resistance to Fighting hits, but plagues it with a Stealth Rock weakness. It has a usable, but not amazing, base 90 Attack stat, reminiscent of other Bugs like Ninjask, Forretress and Shedinja. And it even has access to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, which make it a diverse support Pokemon, with a STAB Megahorn to back up just about any set. But perhaps the icing on this insect cake that really ties all of these factors together and makes them all seem more wonderful is its unique base 112 Speed, which makes it fast enough to do these jobs well, and even fast enough to outpace a lot of threats. Scolipede also has the coveted Baton Pass in its movepool, backed by both Swords Dance and Agility, giving it a surprising role away from supporter/sweeper.
            But the Bug gods weren’t all good to this creepy crawler. Aforementioned weakness to Stealth Rock really hurts, especially if you have no Rapid Spin support. Also, weaknesses to Fire and Flying type, two common ones in UU make you less likely to want to face up against certain mons that you would otherwise outspeed, for fear of not KOing them. All of these downsides, however, can be remedied, and if you play to its strengths, Scolipede can be a marvelous asset to just about any team in the UU or RU tier, and even in OU as well.

Potential Sets:

1. Spikesipede
    252 Atk/6 Def/252 Spe
    Jolly @ Focus Sash
    -Toxic Spikes 
    -Rock Slide/Poison Jab

One of Scolipede’s best functions on any team (in any tier, really) is its ability to set up both Spikes and Toxic Spikes, and its ability to do so rather quickly with its base 112 Speed. This, along with Focus Sash will essentially guarantee you get at least one layer up per match (unless against Magic Bouncers or Pranksters with Taunt). Add in the decent base 90 Attack coupled with STAB Megahorn, and you’ve got yourself a very useful niche Pokemon.

When taking into account all of the above listed reasons, it becomes apparent that Scolipede is really not outclassed by any Pokemon with this set. Sure, Roserade can set up Spikes and T-Spikes in UU, but with Scholipede’s blistering Speed stat, it really gets the upper hand against threats that would otherwise outspeed and Taunt/KO Rade. Additionally, Scol can smack the Fire type switchins with which Rose might have problems with a Rock Slide, resulting in at least one layer being thrown up. Similarly, in OU Scolipede provides a slightly different level of usability than Forretress (who also has access to both Spikes), again with its much higher base Speed and ability to physically threaten slower Pokes. You might argue that Forretress has the same Attack as Scolipede, but with its much higher defenses, much lower Speed, and access to Rapid Spin, it becomes clear that Forretress will most often times be running a predominantly defensive set with little-to-no offensive presence.

But perhaps this set’s true chance to shine resides in the lower RU tier, where almost nothing can contest with the aforementioned assets. But no matter which tier you use this in, it has its own unique set of perks that almost always give it an edge over that tier’s common doers of these tasks. 

2. Swords Dance
    252 Atk/6 Def/252 Spe
    Jolly @ Focus Sash/Life Orb/Leftovers
    -Swords Dance
    -Rock Slide  
    -Earthquake/Substitute/Poison Jab

            With a great Speed stat and a decent Attack made better with Swords Dance, this set becomes another viable option for Scolipede to run. After an SD, Scol reaches a gargantuan 558 Attack stat, and it is then ready to decimate still-standing foes. Megahorn and Rock Slide yield very nice coverage here, while Earthquake refines it to perfection. If you’d like to forego EQ, however, for the ability to scout and optimize your sweeping chances with Substitute, you are also more than welcome to. And lastly, Poison Jab may be chosen in the last slot for decent added coverage with STAB, but generally the other two options are favorable, with Megahorn hitting Grass types (and more) already.
            The choice of item with this spread really depends on what kind of sweeping role you’d like Pede to execute. This set arguably works best in late-game conditions, once priority users and Scarfed threats (or Alakazam) are dead, but using Sash on a late-gamer seems foolish. For this reason, Life Orb may be used for added oomph, though of course your longevity is sacrificed. Also, if you’d like to increase your duration of spamming Megahorn at the cost of some power, Leftovers may be used as well. Of course, Stealth Rock are a huge pain, so Rapid Spin or Magic Bounce support is greatly welcomed to aid in Scol’s sweep. Conversely, you can employ entry hazards of your own to more quickly dispose of opposition and make the cleaning process a bit more smooth. Still, keep in mind that with a Sash activated, you have a Swarm boosted Megahorn on your hands. That should hurt a lot of things. And with Life Orb, you will activate Swarm sooner than with Leftovers.  

            SD Scolipede works wonders in any tier (even OU), as its unique base 112 Speed allows you to outpace and often times OHKO fast threats like Latios, Tornadus, Espeon, and more. In the lower tiers, however (where Alakazam is not present), this set reigns supreme.

Problems for this set:
The biggest headaches for SD Scolipede are given by threats that can hit for Super Effective damage. This includes both super speedy mons that carry SE STAB (i.e. Alakazam, Scarf Victini, Scarf Darmanitan, etc) and very bulky tanks that can easily absorb a hit and answer back twofold (like Rhyperior, Landorus, etc). Pairing Scolipede with supporters like Taunters and powerful walls is a great way to get its sweep going. Also, as I said before, entry hazard support is grand.

3. ScoliChoice
    252 Atk/6 Def/252 Spe
    Jolly/Adamant @ Choice Band/Choice Scarf
    -Rock Slide  
    -Pursuit/Poison Jab/X-Scissor

            Choice Band Scolipede is more of an unexpected variation, and with its powerful array of moves, can prove to be a force against opposing teams. Essentially, STAB Megahorn is the crux of this set, demolishing countless Psychic, Grass and Dark types who would not expect its power. Furthermore, Megahorn and Pursuit seem to be perfect synergetic partners on this powerful set, especially against Psychic types who will be scared out by the prospect of the powerful Megahorn, then Pursuited near to death. Rock Slide and EQ are here again for coverage, and they score loads of damage on things that would otherwise take none from Megahorn (notably Fire types).

            But sadly, this set is dismally outclassed by Choice Banded Scizor in OU, who can threaten more things with Bullet Punch, and boasts a more effective means of trapping with a Technician boosted Pursuit. Also, U-Turn is a plus as well. Still, with its unique Speed Scolipede can work quite well in OU, where it can serve to threaten Latios to the bones and outspeed and kill the likes of Dragonite, Gyarados and Mence (after the former’s Multiscale is broken, of course) with Rock Slide. Jolly CB Scolipede’s Megahorn also deals more outright damage than Adaman CB Scizor’s U-Turn. Who else can boast that?

            Again, this set will work quite well (if not better) in UU and below, where not too many other powerful Bug types (except Heracross) reside [Durant doesn’t get Megahorn and has the potential to miss with Hustle]. And if you’d prefer Speed over power, Choice Scarf may be used, but the drop in power is extremely significant and with its already fast Speed seems unnecessary. Use this if you’d like to surprise and KO Zam, but otherwise, Band is always superior. 

4. Baton Pass
    240 HP/16 Atk/252 Spe
    Jolly @ Leftovers
    -Swords Dance
    -Baton Pass

            The last noteworthy task that Scolipede can accomplish with its great Speed is Baton Passing boosts to teammates. Pede gets both Swords Dance and Agility, opening up opportunities for most types of sweepers that lack from either stat. The given EVs also optimize Leftovers recovery, while allowing you to take one more Stealth Rock switchin should you fail to spin them away.

            The idea of this set is rather straightforward, and requires that you utilize team support (and preferably hazard support as well) to get these boosts to your sweeper or link in your BP chain and start wrecking things. Megahorn is there if you run into Taunters, or if you’d just like to abuse the SD boosts yourself. Being greedy really never hurt anyone, except your opponents. The given EVs allow Scol to take hits if it needs to, but by no means make it a wall or a tank, so be cautious with whom you allow attack you.


            Scolipede might just have what it takes to be a good Pokemon. It isn’t amazing by any means, but it has what it needs to have its own niche in each tier. Furthermore, its RU status is more of a blessing than a curse, as it makes Scol one of the few Pokes in that tier capable of being used effectively in any of the above. Sure, it won’t be common, but it is this exact reason that you can use Scolipede to your advantage by catching your opponent off guard. It might be generally decent at best, but it still remains true that Scolipede is almost never outclassed with what it does.

  Competitive Usability: 
  •  Spikes and Toxic Spikes support
  • Unique Speed stat that allows it to outspeed a good share of things
  • STAB Megahorn
  • Decent Attack stat with Swords Dance to boost it
  • Baton Pass support
  • Weakness to Stealth Rocks
  • Not very powerful without boosts
Verdict:  8 out of 10 
        Scolipede is pretty cool-looking. As a Bug type it's unique, in that the whole Centipede Pokemon has never been done before. It's pretty threatening as well, and its shiny form looks pretty damn bright. Overall, I like Scolipede's design, all the way from its horned head down to its multitude of toes.
Aesthetic Design:  8 out of 10

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Most Recent Smogon Tier Updates

Hello everyone!

Once again, the Smogon tiers have been updated according to the usage of Pokemon in the last three months. This update has shaken things up almost as much as the last, and it's about time to welcome a slew of new threats into the OU, UU and RU tiers.

Changes for OU 


The most noticeable and significant change of any Pokemon from any tier, ever. Trio shot straight up to OU from the nether regions of the Neverused, bypassing RU and UU on the way, and laughing at the faces of those tier's threats. The reasoning for this huge jump? Simple. Dugtrio is primed as one of the best trappers and revenge killers in OU, taking a top spot of eliminating opposing Tyranitars or Ninetails in a tier where weather teams stand just around every corner. Furthermore, it could also trap and dispatch of weaker threats such as Tentacruel or Magnezone who might otherwise ruin your team's fun. While 80 base Attack and a set of god-awful defenses that are so bad they won't even be mentioned plague the tri-mole, it is apparent that these assets of Arena Trap and 120 base Speed were enough to have folks using it endlessly in OU. But will it stay? We shall see.


A pretty big jump for the super-smart wizard as well, Zam's rise to OU really doesn't come as much of a surprise. It's very weak defensively, but with Magic Guard, excellent coverage moves, 120 Speed and 135 Special Attack, I think its assets far outweigh its set of cons. Personally, I am content with this jump, though using Zam in UU was no less fun.


At long last, offensive players and stall-haters of UU can rejoice! After many, many months of dealing with Chansey's exceptional bulk in the Underused tier, it has finally been used enough in OU to the point where it has secured a slot in that tier. But with its older sister already in OU, how will the egg nurse fare against the tier's common share of threats?


A lot of things make Jolteon prominent in OU (arguably moreso than in the UU tier from which it came). Among these are the fact that it is extremely fast, has a good base Special Attack stat, and carries a STAB Electric typing, boasting moves like Volt Switch and 100% accurate Thunder in the rain. Volt Absorb doesn't make it any worse, either. Basically, this list details my speculation for why Jolteon has risen again to OU. I haven't really used it much myself this gen.

Donphan and Mamoswine 

These two things are very similar, yet also very different, and I think they can both be used very effectively in the OU metagame. STAB Earthquake is never a bad thing, while Ice Shard for coverage (Mamo carries it with STAB) allows for an excellent way to outspeed and dispatch of certain Dragons. Furthermore, Stealth Rock is a very important component to have on any team, and Donphan's ability to Rapid Spin makes it that much more useful with Sturdy. This pair's rise spells good news for OU and bad news for those who loved using it in UU.


He's back! Just a few months after his twin brother's ban from the OU tier, Tornadus has claimed his spot as one of the tiers top genies. With amazing offensive stats, he's able to destroy a lot of the tiers common threats, and with a 100% accurate STAB Hurricane in the rain, he can blast holes in weakened teams with a Specs set. Look out for Tornadus on Rain and even non-Rain teams.

New in Underused 


Perhaps one of the most widely received drops from the OU tier, Swampert offers great bulk and decent offensive potential in the new UU. However, this might have come a little late, as with Roserade dominating the tier as high queen, Pert will be very limited in effectiveness and might not see too much usage despite its strengths.


An interesting new asset to the UU scene, Bronzong brings with it its awesome typing, great support movepool and solid defenses to take the cake as possibly one of UU's most potent Psychic types/defensive Pokemon. Try it out for yourself!


Not unexpected here, Prankster Sableye makes its debut in a solid tier since its banishment from RU. This thing optimizes as one of the most annoying Pokemon to encounter in UU, but if you come prepared it shouldn't be all that difficult to fell.


Last but not least, Krookodile also rose to the ranks in UU, making up for the drop of its Ground type brethren Golurk. And with Moxie, great Speed with a Choice Scarf and good coverage in its STAB, Krook can be used as a very effective late-game sweeper in this tier.

RU Ready?

The RarelyUsed tier saw the most significant improvement, receiving mons from both UU and NU to make for a very crowded metagame. As there are several, I will only discuss the potentially most prominent new RU threats, and will list all the changes after.

Under UnderUsed 

A lack of competent usage in UU sent things like Aerodactyl, Sigilyph, Golurk and Spiritomb down in rank. What's funnier, Whimsicott continues its decent down the tier ladder, falling now from UU to RU as well. And in other news, Cresselia, primed queen of RU before her banishment to UU a few months ago, is now back in RU and ready to wall the hell out of everything. I am not happy.

Never Say Never! 

Quite a lot of things also got the ticket to the RU show, leaving their Neverused days behind. These Pokemon are very potent in RU (and possibly even UU) and come as really no surprise for rising.


Great typing, faster Speed than its evolution, good defenses and Special Attack, and ability to wield Eviolitee all make Magneton an excellent Pokemon to use in any of the lower tiers. Don't underestimate it and use it as much as you can.


The most versatile movepool in the entire game! Smeargle really isn't all that bad, despite what its horrendous stats say. Just remember to put it on your team to serve a particular role and give it appropriate team support, and you've got yourself a shining star.


With stats and movepool not far off its evolution, Rose is really as effective in RU as Rade is in UU. Remember that.


The others to make the jump to the RU tier were Poliwrath, Rhydon, Lanturn, Slowking, Scolipede, Klinklang and Druddigon. Each of these has a potency worth using in the lower tiers, and has been bumped up for very good reasons.

I hope you will enjoy these new tier changes. As the tiers are updated every three months, let's see how things change from now until then. I will also update the tier list here on the site to match that of Smogon. Let's make an impact in the metagame! Don't be afraid to use things not commonly seen.