Sunday, August 12, 2012

Competitive Battling Spotlight #38: New Pokemon Fifteen

Currently the final Pokemon in the National Pokedex, the Amazing Genesect.
Tier: OU (as of August 2012)

H.P.: 70
Attk: 120
Def.: 90
Sp.D: 90
Spe:  99


Download: Boosts Attack if opponent has higher Special Defense than Defense. Boosts Special Attack if opponent has higher Defense than Special Defense. This ability is almost perfect for Genesect, and only further lengthens the book-length list of reasons to use it. With great Attack and Special Attack, STAB U-Turn and great Special coverage, Genesect can really take advantage of either of these two boost, dealing significant damage to almost any threat daring enough to switch into it. I cannot think of a better ability for this amazing Pokemon.


            Genesect has finally been released into the OU metagame, which marks a significant moment in Pokemon history, as all 649 monsters are now officially up for grabs (at least in Japan). What this means competitively, however, is that we now have a deadly force running rampant in our Overused metagame.

            Let’s start with the worst. Genesect has base 71 HP which, backed by two base 90 defenses is almost forgotten once you see this beast start to take hits. Its typing further erases the doubt brought on by this stat. Base 71 really isn’t that bad after all for an offensive Pokemon. Next, Sect has a rather low (by this metagame’s standards) Speed stat of 99. While this does allow it to outspeed and KO potent (but not very popular) threats like Lucario, Hydreigon and Haxorus, it still misses the bump on the tier’s most deadly threats. This low Speed isn’t such a problem, though, when Genesect is equipped with a Choice Scarf, arguably the best item for it to hold. Lastly, Genesect holds a four times weakness to the ever-common and ever-powerful Fire type. Sure, that’s a downer, but with no other weaknesses below its belt, a slew of notable resistances, and great power and coverage, I think one four times weakness is little compared to the world of hurt that this techno beast can unleash on the world.

            Now that all of the “bad” of Genesect has been covered, let’s look at all the outright factors it has going for it. First, it has beautiful coverage. With its four moves of choice it can dismantle many of today’s most effective threats, which is great on an individual level. However, Genesect’s raw power and coverage spans a much greater scale when factoring in its ability Download. This provides it a boost in either of its huge offensive stats, blessing it with the potential to diminish whole teams to laser dust. With a Choice Scarf equipped, STAB U-Turn and three coverage moves, Genesect can do no wrong. It also has plenty of other options in its movepool (such as Sub and Rock Polish) to abuse these factors in quite different ways. This thing is being hailed as the Special Scizor, and for good reason. However, I think Genesect has everything it needs to distinctively set itself apart from its bug-cyborg brethren.


Potential Sets:

1. GeneScarf
   16 Atk/252 SpAtk/240 Spe
    Rash @ Choice Scarf
    -Bug Buzz/Flamethrower
    -Ice Beam/Flamethrower

            Probably as standard a set as can be. While the spread may not be entirely standard, I made sure to give it just enough Speed to beat Scarf Modest Hydreigon or Scarf Adamant Haxorus, neither of which is super common, but still effective nevertheless since with a Scarf Genesect can still beat out every non-Scarfed, non-boosted Pokemon anyway. Max Special Attack and a Rash nature mean that all of Sect’s Special moves will be hitting hard, especially with a +1 boost from Download. U-turn is there to take advantage of any +1 Attack boosts received from Pokemon that would take the Special Attacks a lot better (like Blissey, etc) and the 16 leftover EVs from Speed are invested here just to give it a little more bump.

            In terms of which three coverage options you want Genesect to use, that will depend on your team. If you’re having a harder time dealing with Gliscor and Landorus, Ice Beam is supreme, though Flamethrower notably 2HKOs both of these. Bug Buzz is there for more STAB, and it gives you the supreme edge over the likes of Celebi and Tyranitar, but the former can still be KOed with Flamethrower, and the latter with U-Turn. Basically, to save myself space and to save you time, just choose whichever three options you think are best suited for your Genesect. They all work greatly against any team.

            You can go purely Special Attack and Speed in regards to investment, as well as using a Speed boosting nature to outspeed plenty more threats, just remember to never use an Attack diminishing nature if you’re using U-Turn, since Genesect can really utilize its Attack stat effectively thanks to Download.  

2. Offensive Non-Scarf
    6 Atk/252 SpAtk/252 Spe
    Naive @ Life Orb/Expert Belt  
    -Bug Buzz   
    -Ice Beam

            This one is very similar to the previous set, with a slightly more concentrated focus; forcing switches. Thanks to all of Genesect’s already stated assets (great coverage, power, etc), it can switch into many Pokemon with ease, while scaring them out for fear of being KOed. You may then proceed to hit the incoming threat with a boosted move, dealing a hefty chunk of damage, all the while being able to switch moves at will, should you mispredict. It should be noted that with Download and Life Orb, these moves will be dealing much more damage than the Choice Scarf set, and the lack of Speed is aided by the great bulk and typing.

            If you’d like to feign a Choice Scarf set to gain an edge on your opponent in the long run, Expert Belt is a great option to use, as with this stellar coverage you are likely to be hitting a lot of threats for Super Effective boosted damage. The coverage dilemma returns in this set, so again, choose the three moves you think are best suited for your team. U-Turn is also great to have as it again makes scouting a lot easier and it takes advantage of those stray Attack boosts, but if you’d wish for a more Special Attack-tailored spread, you may forego it for a Timid or Modest nature, as well as being able to use all four coverage moves in one set.


3. Rock Polish   
    124 HP/ 252 SpAtk/116 Spe
    Modest @ Life Orb/Lum Berry  
    -Rock Polish
    -Bug Buzz  
    -Ice Beam/Flamethrower    
            So you acknowledge that Genesect’s Speed is mediocre, but you don’t want to use a Choice Scarf set to make up for it? Well, as if Genesect couldn’t get any better, it also possesses the ability to double its Speed, taking it from “meh” to “Oh MEH God!”. With its natural ability to force switches and its good bulk to take neutral and resisted hits, Genesect won’t have too many problems getting up a Rock Polish and obliterating weakened opponents in the late game.

            The EV spread for this set is a little different. With the given EVs, Genesect has as much power as possible, while being given just enough Speed to still be faster than Timid Scarf Latios after a Polish, which gives you the opportunity to give it a little bit more bulk so that it can take even more hits.

            Again, you may choose any three coverage moves you feel will be best suited for this set, but the three listed give perhaps the best coverage possible, while lacking the ability to OHKO Ferrothorn (who is 2HKOed by Bug Buzz anyway). In terms of item, Life Orb is preferred, as it gives Genesect the maximum possible power for this set, but if you’d like to use Lum for fear of having your sweep ruined by status, that also works. You could even use Expert Belt if you don’t wish to take 10% recoil from Life Orb, but L.O. is probably the most optimum bet.

            Lastly, of course, if you do not wish to get all technical with the spread, the standard 252 Sp.Atk/252 Spe Modest spread may be used, as it will do essentially the same exact thing.

4. Sub + 3 Attacks  
    8 HP/252 Atk/248 Spe
    Modest @ Life Orb/Expert Belt/Leftovers  
    -Bug Buzz    
    -Ice Beam   
            A good spread that makes prediction on your part a little easier than the standard Life Orb variant. With a Substitute up, Genesect is free to safely fire off any of these three powerful moves, likely scoring a KO if it’s Downloaded some Special Attack. With 8 HP, Sect can set up a maximum number of Subs while being able to dish out an additional hit in the right circumstances. Life Orb is great for the power, but it can wear Genesect down very quickly in tandem with Substitute. For this reason, Expert Belt can provide a minor boost against certain threats, while Leftovers increases longevity at the cost of some oomph.

            Other than the fact that Substitute eases prediction and optimizes Genesect’s other stats, this set is still not too different from all the others. Still, it is very effective if used correctly.


5. GeneSpecs
    6 Atk/252 SpAtk/252 Spe
    Modest/Jolly @ Choice Specs
    -Ice Beam     

             This last set is a little bit different from the others in that its main purpose is to mow down anything that switches in to Genesect’s wrath. With brilliant coverage and great power naturally, Choice Specs is an obvious aid to this Pokemon’s dominance. However, Genesect has something that no other Specs abuser in OU can boast of; Download. This means that if you send Genesect in on something with high Defense, it will be blessed with an unbelievable 50% boost to its already sky-high Special Attack. That’s 837 Special Attack with a Modest nature and Choice Specs factored in, which is, needless to say, very deadly.

U-Turn is still here in case you are granted an Attack boost, as it can still allow you to scout your opponent’s team efficiently. Use this set with Thunder Wave support and you’ll be able to sweep any type of team later in the game.

Other Options:

Genesect does have a few other move choices that you would think might be viable, but not too many of them are, given its hit-and-run nature as well as the fact that all of the above listed moves usually get the job done better. On the off-chance you are using Sect on a Hail team, you may use Blizzard over Ice Beam. Likewise, Thunder over Thunderbolt can be selected on a Rain team. Solar Beam is decent on Sun teams, and Hidden Power is there to tighten up the coverage furthermore. Also, Psychic may be used to have an easier time against Terrakion, but this is generally unfavorable due to the fact that Terrakion is probably the only reason you’d run Psychic anyway (as everything else weak to it can be handled with another move).

            As far as physical options go, there really aren’t any that make use of the wonderful 120 Attack stat aside from U-Turn. Quick Attack is there for priority, but its coverage sucks and it’ll seem more like a wasted moveslot more times than not. It even gets Hone Claws, which could be good, but isn’t because the only physical move Genesect will be using would erase that boost anyway.            


            Despite Genesect’s one-sided movepool, it has plenty of other blessings that make it a truly versatile and prominent Pokemon in the OU metagame. It’s an excellent offensive threat capable of fitting onto any type of team you can come up with. There is some speculation that it might even be banned to Ubers, but until that day comes let’s enjoy the havoc caused by this ancient bug on a metagame that deserves its potential, but probably doesn’t need it too badly.

Competitive Usability: 

  • Download
  • Good Defensive Typing
  • Solid Defensive stats for an Offensive Pokemon
  • Great base 120 Offensive stats
  • Amazing Coverage
  • 4x Weakness to Fire
  • Middling base 99 Speed
Verdict:  9.5 out of 10 

            Genesect looks pretty cool. It reminds me a bit of Yanmega, as if the two could be prehistoric mecha-cyborg counterparts or something, which is nice. Genesect also looks robotic in its features, and with that badass cannon on its back, you know that it’s not willing to take s*** from any Pokemon! Overall, I commend Genesect’s originality. It also has an amazing back story; Team Plasma was attempting to enhance certain species of Pokemon by giving them biologically-attached weapons in an attempt to create the “perfect Pokemon”. N pulled the plug on this project, however, leaving Genesect in an imperfect (albeit still very powerful) form. Probably my favorite background story for any legendary Pokemon.
Aesthetic Design:  9 out of 10

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