Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Competitive Battling Spotlight #35: New Pokemon Thirteen

Hear no evil with Simisage! 
Tier: NU (as of February 2012)

H.P.: 75
Attk: 98
Def.: 63
Sp.D: 63
Spe:  101


Gluttony:  A held berry is eaten 50% earlier than normal when holder’s HP is low. This is really only a good ability for some Pokemon. As Simisage’s stats seem to suggest it as more of an offensive Pokemon, things like Sitrus Berry won’t be having too much effect on the set. Furthermore, Leftovers is generally more acceptable. It’s too bad the “pinch” berries (Petaya, Salac, etc) that raise stats in a pinch aren’t released yet in Black and White. Otherwise Gluttony really isn’t that good. But it’s all Simisage has for now.

Overgrow [DW]: Boosts the power of Grass type moves by 50% when HP reaches below 1/3. This is probably the better ability for Simisage, as it will allow for a harder hitting STAB when HP gets low, but unfortunately it is a Hidden Ability and as such is unreleased as of now.


            Simisage really isn’t too awful a Pokemon. Its stats serve it as a nice offensive Grass type, and its movepool compliments it decently well, with enough moves to run somewhat efficient sets.

            The problem with this grassy monkey lies, however, in the fact that it is heavily outclassed by many of today’s most potent Grass type Pokemon in the upper tiers, namely Sceptile, Celebi and Venusaur. The result is an avoidance of using Simisage by most of today’s top competitive battlers, in just about any and every tier available (it isn’t even in the top 150 Pokemon used in NU!). 

            Yet despite each of these downfalls, there still lies some level of usability in this Pokemon. Firstly, 101 base Speed allows for it to outpace a good number of common threats in each tier, while the premier Nasty Plot, and access to decent coverage moves to back its STAB Grass attacks, only furthers this potency. A physical variant can also be tested, as with options like Seed Bomb, Brick Break, Acrobatics and Crunch, a good number of opponents can be caught off guard for a sweep. Lastly, Sage’s support options are not entirely absent, as with moves like Substitute, Leech Seed and Taunt, the base 101 Speed stat can be made great use of to shut down most of NU’s common threats.


Potential Sets:

1. Nasty Plot
    6 HP/252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe
    Timid @ Life Orb
    -Nasty Plot
    -Energy Ball
    -Focus Blast   
    -Hidden Power Rock  

            As an offensive Grass type residing in the lower tiers, Simisage will forever be in the shadow of Sceptile, who boasts higher Special Attack, much higher Speed and only slightly lower Attack (but Swords Dance to make up for it). Furthermore, Sceptile has a slightly better movepool than Sage, making it all the more better.
            However, with Nasty Plot, Simisage gets an edge over even Sceptile, being able to boost its reasonable base 98 Special Attack stat to an astronomical 590 (with Timid nature; 648 with Modest). This allows the excellent coverage provided in Energy Ball, Focus Blast and HP Rock to demolish everything in RU and NU that doesn’t outspeed the grass monkey. In short, this set is the one saving grace for Sage, and the only reason to use it on your team in RU and above, where Sceptile would otherwise be supreme.

2. Mixed Hone Claws  
    212 Atk/44 SpAtk/252 Spe
    Hasty @ Life Orb
    -Hone Claws  
    -Seed Bomb
    -Rock Slide  
    -Focus Blast   

            Hone Claws is another great optimizer of the great Sage in NU (Sceptile gets Hone Claws and Swords Dance and the same movepool, so this set isn’t too vital in RU and above). The idea here is to come in against something that can’t damage you much, which isn’t a lot of things, to be honest, then set up a Hone Claws, garnering +1 Attack and +1 Accuracy. The moves again round off coverage extremely well in NU, where very few things can live a hit after a boost or two. Furthermore, Focus Blast will be hitting with near perfect Accuracy after a Hone Claws, and hits harder than Brick Break to boot.

            The EVs are perfect and unique in that they optimize Physical Power and Speed, while still retaining enough Special Attack to oust things that take Super Effective damage from FB like Lickilicky, Absol and Cinccino (though the latter outspeeds). Also, after +1 Attack, Rock Slide OHKOs 248HP/0 Def Articuno as well as 252 HP/252 Def Cryogonal. Of course, Stealth Rock is an excellent aid here as well.

            Lastly, Seed Bomb is there for obligatory STAB and can deal great damage to things that don’t resist it. In short, if used correctly, this set has the potential to pull off a surprisingly high number of sweeps in the NeverUsed tier.

3. Choice Specs  
    6 HP/252 SpAtk/252 Spe
    Timid/Modest @ Choice Specs
    -Leaf Storm
    -Energy Ball    
    -Focus Blast  
    -Hidden Power Rock
            While Simisage’s offensive stats are identical, there is one asset in particular that tends to scream for a solely Special spread. This is the powerful move Leaf Storm, which has the potential to decimate weakened and/or non-resistant foes. Its coverage is also not horrible in NU, so with Simisage’s great Speed and power, a lot of things will be terrified to switch in, giving you full command of the battle.

            As always, the last three moveslots are occupied by the obligatory coverage, and with a Choice Specs donned, even these moves will be smashing through things not designed to take Special hits.

4. Physical Hone Claws   
    6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
    Jolly @ Life Orb/Leftovers /Flight Gem
    -Hone Claws  
    -Seed Bomb    
    -Rock Slide  
    -Brick Break/Taunt/Substitute/Acrobatics

            While the Mixed Hone Claws set is built to outdo opponents regardless of their defensive stature, the Physical Hone Claws spread is here to optimize outright Attack damage. Seed Bomb and Rock Slide have nice power and coverage after +1 (and Rock Slide will thankfully never miss), and if you’re lucky enough to get up multiple boosts, it’s going to be very difficult for anything to effectively stop you.

            The last move is up for grabs here, as Taunt and Substitute both can prevent status, but Brick Break adds even more coverage to help out. Acrobatics may even be used here with Flight Gem, for a little bit of a surprise factor and to add in on the interesting coverage display.

5. SubSeed   
    40 Hp/216 SpAtk/252 Spe
    Timid @ Leftovers
    -Leech Seed    
    -Energy Ball    

             The fact that Simisage is fast should never be overlooked, as, being a Grass type, it has one more benefit over many other support Pokemon in NU; Leech Seed. Despite its nearly absent defensive stats, 101 base Speed and enough offensive prowess to force out some walls make this set considerable, as a Substitute can be set up on a switch, and the opponent can be Seeded from there.

            The EV spread is for giving the most HP in the Substitutes, while still attempting to hit hard enough from the Special side.


            While Simisage will never see usage in RU as long as Sceptile remains, it is definitely not a complete lost cause. High Speed and decent offensive stats capable of being boosted make it a very underrated lower-tier threat, while its movepool is really not too detestable either. Surely in OU and UU you’ll have a very easy time finding a much more efficient offensive Grass type, but in NU Simisage shines more than it’s given credit for. Give it a go on one of your teams, and just watch how surprisingly good it actually can be.

Competitive Usability: 

  • 101 base Speed
  • Nasty Plot
  • Movepool with all the coverage it needs.
  • 98 base Attack and Special Attack
  • Very poor defenses
  • Less Speed, Power and Defenses than most competitively viable Grass types
Verdict:  6.5 out of 10 

            Of the three elemental monkeys in Black and White, Pansage was easily my favorite. It looked like it had a tree growing out of its head, which was cool. However, once it evolved it looked something like an Elvis impersonator; one that was trying way too hard. Admittedly none of the evolutions of these three monkeys are all that outstanding, but Simisage remains as probably the best-looking.
Aesthetic Design:  5.5 out of 10


No comments:

Post a Comment