Lewis is a freelance writer and video game connoisseur, with a passion for reviewing the latest titles. His favourite series is Pokémon.
Scolipede's claim to fame lies within its amazing ability, Speed Boost. Thanks to its ability to quickly gather boosts, Scolipede boasts a threatening offensive set, being able to outrun almost everything after a single boost.
Megahorn is Scolipede's most powerful STAB attack. Aqua Tail provides coverage on bulky Ground-types, while providing excellent neutral coverage in conjunction with Megahorn. Earthquake maintains good coverage. Poison Jab provides a reliable secondary STAB move and provides coverage on Fairy-types.. Rock Slide allows you to hit Flying-types as they switch in. Protect allows Scolipede to waste a turn in order to allow Speed boost to activate, saving it from being hit by faster threats before it can gain Speed. Swords Dance allows Scolipede to boost its Attack. When using Swords Dance, running Poison Jab and Aqua Tail alongside Megahorn will maximize coverage.
A Life Orb helps Scolipede hit harder than it would normally be able to. Speed Boost grants Scolipede a faster speed every turn.
Scrafty is a great setup sweeper due to the combination of its unique typing, great bulk, and amazing abilities. Said unique typing gives Scrafty great STAB moves, including Knock Off, High Jump Kick, and Drain Punch, which let it handle common Dark, Ghost, and Psychic-types. Thanks to its great bulk, (115 in both defence and special defence) Scrafty has an easy time setting up on passive Pokémon.
Bulk Up provides Scrafty with a way to boost its Attack and Defence stats by one stage, making it a threatening setup sweeper. Knock Off is the main STAB move and allows Scrafty to cripple counters by removing their items while also doing decent damage. Having Drain Punch as Scrafty's secondary STAB move gives it a form of recovery while also decently damaging bulky Stealth Rock users like Steelix and Rhydon and smacking Dark types. Iron Head lets Scrafty hit Fairy types super effectively, which would otherwise switch into its STAB moves easily. Rest gives Scrafty an additional form of recovery, and the sleep penalty can be cured by Shed Skin.
Leftovers gives Scrafty a form of passive recovery throughout the match. Shed Skin is the ability of choice because it provides it a great way to absorb and then cure status like sleep induced by Rest.
Ferrothorn has a lot to love as a defensive Pokémon. First and foremost, it has a great Grass / Steel typing and solid mixed bulk. Together, its unique set of resistances and bulk allow Ferrothorn to check a plethora of threats.
Ferrothorn is a consistent setter of Spikes because of its great bulk and ability to beat common entry hazard removers. Stealth Rock is an alternative if your team lacks a user of the move. Because of its ability to take on common hazard removers, Ferrothorn is also one of the best defensive Spikes setters. Leech Seed gives Ferrothorn a way of recovering health. The damage Leech Seed does is also useful for chipping away at the opponent's health. Gyro Ball is Ferrothorn's primary choice for an attacking move, as it does significant damage to many fast Pokémon and Fairy types. Power Whip is generally preferred in the last slot so that Ferrothorn can dish out a powerful super effective hit to Water and Ground types. Protect in tandem with Leech Seed grants Ferrothorn even more recovery and can scout the opponent's next move. Ferrothorn appreciates all the recovery it can get as it has no form of instant, significant recovery. Finally, Ferrothorn can opt to run both Stealth Rock and Spikes at the same time, which is effective as Ferrothorn gets opportunities to set up hazards on many common Pokémon and doesn't really need any of the moves in the last slot, though this does put a lot of pressure on Ferrothorn.
Leftovers is the preferred item, as Ferrothorn heavily appreciates the added recovery. Chople Berry is another useful item that allows Ferrothorn to take less damage from Fighting types and can then cripple them with Thunder Wave. However, Shed Shell is a decent alternative over Leftovers if the ability to escape from Magnezone, which has the ability Magnet Pull, drawing in all Steel types and preventing them from escaping, is more valuable to your team than the extra recovery Leftovers provides. Rocky Helmet is an alternate option over Leftovers or Shed Shell in order to weaken physical attackers that try to hit Ferrothorn with weaker attacks, such as U-turn, Knock Off, and not very effective moves that make contact.
Mandibuzz offers a unique set of defensive traits, most notably a strong typing in Dark/Flying, respectable stats in those areas, and reliable recovery in Roost.
Foul Play is Mandibuzz's preferred STAB attack because it improves the matchups against Pokémon with high attack stats, although Knock Off is a good alternative for removing the opponents item. U-turn is great for pivoting out of checks and bringing in the appropriate answers. Although Mandibuzz is commonly used as a Defogger, it can drop Defog on teams that include an alternative source of entry hazard removal. Taunt lets Mandibuzz shut down passive Pokémon, preventing them from setting or removing hazards, while Knock Off helps Mandibuzz punish switch-ins . Toxic can also be considered to cripple Pokémon.
Overcoat prevents Mandibuzz from being worn down by weather and being put to sleep. Leftovers provides Mandibuzz with additional recovery, further helping it remain healthy. Alternatively, Rocky Helmet allows it to wear down opponents that make a direct hit against Mandibuzz.
Its excellent defensive typing and decent natural bulk make it able to switch into Pokémon lacking Focus Blast. It is hard to wear down because it's 4x resistant to Stealth Rock and immune to sand; this means Excadrill recovers more health from Leftovers and can effectively run Protect, making it even harder to wear down. It is incredible offensively because it's so strong and has good STAB attacks, which makes it hard to defensively answer
Earthquake and Iron Head are Excadrill's STAB moves, sporting high power and fantastic coverage. Life Orb boosted Earthquake is extremely powerful, generally pummelling pretty much any Pokémon that does not resist it. Iron Head has a useful chance to flinch and hits most non-grounded foes, for a high amount of damage. Rock Slide is Excadrill's best coverage move, hitting Flying types such super effectively. Swords Dance turns Excadrill into a fearsome balance breaker; for instance, it gives it a high chance to KO Slowbro and standard Choice Scarf Landorus-T after Stealth Rock damage with Earthquake and Iron Head, respectively. However, Rapid Spin is a viable alternative if removing entry hazards, especially Stealth Rock, is important for Excadrill's teammates.
Life Orb is the preferred item to increase Excadrill's damage output, but easily wears Excadrill down. An Air Balloon can be used instead to gain free switches into Choice locked Ground types and improve Excadrill's matchup against opposing Ground types in general. Sand Force is the preferred ability, as it lets Excadrill nail a 2HKO on Ferrothorn and Reuniclus with Earthquake while also 2HKOing Choice Scarf Landorus-T that don't have much bulk investment.
Equipped with the highest attack stat out of all Fighting types in the game and three amazing abilities to further bolster its offensive presence, Conkeldurr is a fearsome attacker in battle. Moreover, Conkeldurr is supplied with a vast movepool, including a priority move in Mach Punch and the elemental punches, making it difficult to wall. Conkeldurr is also backed up by its reasonable durability, unlike most other Fighting-types, and a boosting move in Bulk Up to make it even harder to deal with.
Drain Punch is Excadrill's primary attack, backed by STAB and a Life Orb boost while recovering Conkeldurr's HP. Thunder Punch and Ice Punch are Conkeldurr's coverage moves; the former is particularly useful against bulky Water types, while Ice Punch is handy versus bulky Ground and Grass types, as well as the many Dragon-types. Mach Punch is used to chip off the last portion of the foe's health without having to take a hit. It also comes in handy when facing faster Pokémon with Fighting type weaknesses. Fire Punch is an alternative to defeat Grass/Steel types much more easily.
Iron Fist is an interesting ability because it boosts all of Conkeldurr's attacks, but it causes Conkeldurr to suffer from recoil. It should be noted, however, that Iron Fist Hammer Arm packs an absurd amount of power, 2HKOing or OHKOing almost everything. It's also possible to run Guts with Flame Orb if you are fearful of potential burn or poison status, making Conkeldurr a reliable status absorber on offensive teams that don't run cleric support.
As far as bulky Water types are concerned, Jellicent deviates far from the norm due to its host of distinguishable characteristics that make it one of the most effective, self-sufficient defensive Pokémon in the Unova region, while being a very potent stallbreaker at the same time. Its unique Water/Ghost typing makes Jellicent the go-to Pokémon for resisting multiple types, while also functioning as a suitable spinblocker.
The combination of Taunt and Will-O-Wisp allows Jellicent to stallbreak, prevent the spread of status effects and entry hazards, and cripple incoming checks with a burn. Recover makes Jellicent a consistent and support-free wall, as it can take the opportunity to replenish its health when a switch is forced or when a wall or passive Pokémon is subdued with Taunt. The choice of Hex or Scald depends entirely on the matchup. For instance, if one carries additional checks to Fire types, then Hex makes Jellicent much more difficult to deal with, Scald must be used in order to do so and is more often than not the better default option. Hex Jellicent can also pressure Rapid Spin users much better than Scald can when burned. Utilizing Hex does have additional special benefits though: it allows Jellicent to heavily damage Pokémon that otherwise have no difficulty switching in on most defensive threats. Another variation of this set involves dropping Will-O-Wisp and instead going for dual STAB with Scald + Hex, the advantage being that Jellicent gets the best of both worlds in beating Fire-types and destroying statused Pokémon.
Water Absorb should be the only ability Jellicent uses, as the immunity to Scald burns is crucial for it to function. Colbur Berry compromises Jellicent's passive recovery in exchange for a much better matchup against Knock Off wielding Fighting-types. In addition, Colbur Berry makes Jellicent much less vulnerable to Pursuit and allows it to beat Dark-types one-on-one.
Krookodile's main selling point is its ability Moxie; combined with a unique typing of Ground/Dark, granting it great coverage and usable Attack and Speed stats, it is capable of easily sweeping teams.
Earthquake is Krookodile's strongest STAB move, nailing many Pokémon, for heavy damage. Crunch gains decent coverage alongside Earthquake, hitting a number of the Psychic and Ghost Type Pokémon, many of which have an immunity to Ground type attacks. Stone Edge completes the EdgeQuake coverage, hitting the various Flying and Ice type Pokémon hard. Other notable moves are either between Pursuit or Superpower. Pursuit can be used to trap Psychic and Ghost type Pokémon, opening holes for Krookodile's team; however, Superpower is Krookodile's best move against bulky Normal type Pokémon.
With a Choice Scarf, Krookodile functions as a great revenge killer with its high attack stat. Its ability compliments this well, being Moxie, which allows it to rack up attack boosts as it kills Pokémon, turning it into a very fast and hard-hitting sweeper.
Hydreigon belongs to the special group of Pokémon that can boast they possess no true counters: they potentially carry a move that can OHKO or 2HKO any Pokémon in the game, and as such are virtually impossible to switch into. Hydreigon's typing of Dark/Dragon gives it almost perfect neutral coverage with its STAB moves; the only type that resists both is Fairy. Defensively, Hydreigon's typing has some great resistances and, taking Levitate into consideration, two immunities. Hydreigon's movepool is simply fantastic, which makes it a really versatile threat.
Draco Meteor hits most Pokémon incredibly hard and not many foes resist it, making it a great move. Dark Pulse allows Hydreigon to hit Steel-type Pokémon that resist Draco Meteor for good damage and also has decent super effective coverage. Superpower allows Hydreigon to threaten Normal, Rock and Steel types with a potential KO. Fire Blast hits Steel-type Pokémon for super effective damage, making it useful on sets without Dark Pulse, and also allows Hydreigon to hit bulky Grass-type Pokémon for massive damage without relying on Draco Meteor. Roost gives Hydreigon more longevity. Iron Tail allows Hydreigon to kill Fairy-type Pokémon. Flash Cannon can be used because it has 100% accuracy and hits Fairy-types harder than Iron Tail.
Levitate is the only ability available, but it can be utilized to freely switch into the likes of Ground types with Earthquake or Earth Power. A Choice Scarf increases speed, turning Hydreigon into a reliable revenge killer.
Despite what would normally be considered a crippling Bug/Fire typing, Volcarona has the perfect combination of stats, movepool, and typing to make it a top threat. With a whopping 135 base Special Attack, 100 base Speed, great dual STAB, and access to one of the best boosting moves in the game in Quiver Dance, Volcarona has everything it needs to make a huge impact. While it operates best in the sun, it can even take charge in the rain, and still has plenty of tools in sand as well.
Between an obscene 135 base Special Attack, Quiver Dance, Life Orb, and a STAB Fire Blast or Bug Buzz, Volcarona hits with nuclear force, wiping most foes off the map in one hit. Bug Buzz is the primary STAB, since it's powerful, accurate, reliable, and weather-independent. Fire Blast is the preferred secondary STAB due to its power, but Fiery Dance gives it a 100% accurate Fire-type move, as well as a 50% chance to boost its Special Attack even further. Finally, Giga Drain is the most powerful option against rain teams (and especially Politoed), and can help heal off Stealth Rock damage and preserve Volcarona's decent bulk. However, Hidden Power Ground is an option also. Hidden Power Rock is a decent choice for the fourth slot, as it hits the many Fire-resistant Flying types. Substitute is a solid option for sun teams that can control the weather and simply muscle through opponents and would rather have a way to gain or keep momentum.
As for items, Life Orb is the preferred item, as it provides Volcarona with the power it needs to secure OHKOs with its neutral moves. However, Lum Berry can allow Volcarona to set up on Body Slam, Thunder, or Thunder Wave, as well as random sleep moves and Toxic.
© 2020 Lewis Usher