VGC 2017 PokéAnalysis #3: Metagross

metagross___meteor_mash_by_ishmam-d8zke9v

Artwork by ishmam.

Alola! It’s Kasoman, and I’m back after almost two months with the third segment of my PokéAnalysis series! This time, I’ll be covering an old school favorite that seems to be underrated in this year’s format, Metagross. If you haven’t read my previous analysis, which covers Incineroar, you can check it out here.

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“Metagross, the Iron Leg Pokémon. A linkage of two Metang, this Pokémon can perform any calculation in a flash by utilizing parallel processing in its four brains. It firmly pins its prey using its four claws and large body. Then, the teeth in the mouth on its stomach chew the prey to bits.”


Typing and Abilities

376_metagross

Type: Psychic/Steel

  • Weaknesses: Fire, Ground, Dark, Ghost
  • Resistances: Psychic (4x), Steel, Normal, Rock, Ice, Flying, Grass, Dragon, Fairy
  • Immunity: Poison

Abilities:

  • Clear Body – Opponents’ moves/abilities which lower this Pokémon’s stats have no effect. However, this Pokémon may lower its own stats with its own moves.
  • Light Metal (Hidden Ability) – Halves the Pokémon’s weight.

Base Stat Distribution

base


Viable Movepool

movepool


Role in the Metagame

Metagross is one of the few viable Steel-type Pokémon in the format, with the other two being Celesteela and Kartana; however, it is easily outclassed by those two for a few reasons. Because of the lack of Iron Head, both of its hard-hitting STAB moves have a 90% accuracy, which makes it unreliable for most players to consider. Metagross also doesn’t have access to Ice Punch and Thunder Punch this year as well, which would have provided excellent coverage against Garchomp, Salamence, Flying-types, and Water-types if it did. Metagross is also meant to be an offensive attacker, so it does not have the great defensive capabilities like Celesteela does, and Celesteela is generally a more popular choice for Assault Vest sets. Nonetheless, Metagross can be a threatening Pokémon to stare down, and it is also cannot be intimidated by the likes of Arcanine and Gyarados, thanks to Clear Body.


Sample Sets

DISCLAIMER: These are only entry level sets, so you can get into VGC right away. I’m planning to keep future sets I create private until I release a team report for a respective tournament I place well into.

“Zed Crystal”
 
Held Item: Psychium Z
Ability: Clear Body
Nature: Adamant
EV: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
– Meteor Mash
– Zen Headbutt
– Bullet Punch
– Protect

Set Details:
The EV spread is completely standard, and the idea behind this set is to deal as much damage as possible. Psychium Z is a strong choice because of Tapu Lele’s ability to summon the Psychic Terrain to help Metagross OHKO a lot of things with the Shattered Psyche.

Assault Vest
 
Held Item: Assault Vest
Ability: Clear Body
Nature: Adamant
EV: 220 HP / 148 Atk / 140 SpD
– Meteor Mash
– Zen Headbutt
– Bullet Punch
– Earthquake / Rock Slide / Hammer Arm

Set Details:
The Assault Vest is currently the most popular item for Metagross on Battle Spot, and it’s a great testament to Metagross’s natural bulk. Despite it being able to take hits, damage output is sacrificed, which isn’t the worst thing. Nonetheless, it can still OHKO most Tapu Lele out there with a Meteor Mash.

  • 148+ Atk Metagross Meteor Mash vs. 148 HP / 92 Def Tapu Lele: 182-216 (110.9 – 131.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 148+ Atk Metagross Meteor Mash vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 93-111 (63.6 – 76%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 220 HP / 140 SpD Assault Vest Metagross in Electric Terrain: 78-94 (42.6 – 51.3%) — 3.5% chance to 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Torkoal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 220 HP / 140 SpD Assault Vest Metagross in Sun: 152-180 (83 – 98.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO

Cybertron’s San Jose Regionals Set
 
Held Item: Choice Band
Ability: Clear Body
Nature: Adamant
EV: 124 HP / 252 Atk / 132 Spe
– Meteor Mash
– Zen Headbutt
– Bullet Punch
– Earthquake

Set Details:
This is the set Aaron Zheng (@CybertronVGC) used to finish 6th at the San Jose Regional Championships. There isn’t much to note about his spread, other than being able to outspeed Marowak since he ran into a jolly one during practice. The HP investment is mainly there for general bulk, and max attack investment is to maximize damage. You can check out Cybertron’s team report on his YouTube channel.

BattleRoom’s Dallas Regionals Set
 
Held Item: Weakness Policy
Ability: Clear Body
Nature: Adamant
EV: 252 HP / 204 Atk / 52 SpD
– Meteor Mash
– Zen Headbutt
– Bullet Punch
– Protect

Set Details:
This is the set Collin Heier (@BattleRoomVGC) used to finish 2nd at the Dallas Regional Championships. Although he piloted this team, it was designed by Conan Thompson (@conanyk), and the main benchmark of this spread is to KO Tapu Koko with Meteor Mash and Bullet Punch most of the time. Conan wanted to have max HP on Metagross, and the special defense investment is there for general bulk. You can check out BattleRoom’s team report on his YouTube channel.

  • 204+ Atk Metagross Meteor Mash vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 97-115 (66.4 – 78.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 204+ Atk Metagross Bullet Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko: 43-52 (29.4 – 35.6%) — 26.1% chance to 3HKO
    • Both combined result in being able to KO 4 HP / 0 Def Tapu Koko 12/16 times (or 75% of the time)

Other Items to Explore

Steelium Z is an interesting option, although not as popular as Psychium Z. A Corkscrew Crash does a bit more damage than Shattered Psyche outside of Psychic Terrain, it can hit Dark-types, and it is also not reliant on getting boosted by any terrain.


Groundium Z is surprisingly increasing in popularity due to the abundance of Arcanine, along with the rising popularity of Alolan Muk, making this item the third most popular option for Metagross as of now. Although seemingly strong on paper, I personally don’t think it’s as consistent as Psychium Z when it comes to best of threes. This is mainly because you have to forego using Bullet Punch, which is more useful when you really need to pick up a quick KO on an opposing Pokémon with a sliver of HP left.


Life Orb is a decent option, although it is not the best. The best thing about it is consistent damage boosts every turn without being locked into one move, and that’s especially useful for a move like Bullet Punch. If you’re looking into exploring the Life Orb as an item choice for Metagross, optimal EV investments for HP should be 28, 108, or 188, depending on how much bulk you want Metagross to have. Maximizing attack would be helpful, as well as investing in speed.


Top 10 Partners on Battle Spot

#1 – Tapu Lele

In this year’s format, Tapu Lele is the best partner for Metagross because of the Psychic Terrain. Being able to boost Metagross’s damage output for Zen Headbutt and Shattered Psyche is absolutely helpful, and can also be terrifying for your opponents to stare down. Surprisingly enough, they also have decent defensive synergy, as Metagross is a Steel-type, and Tapu Lele is a Fairy-type.

#2 – Tapu Koko

It’s no surprise to see Tapu Koko as one of the best partners for Metagross. This is most likely because of their defensive synergy, as Metagross can stop Nihilego cold, and Tapu Koko can OHKO Garchomp with ease if it holds the Fairium Z (as long as the opposing Garchomp does not carry a Choice Scarf). In general, both of them paired together can exert a lot of offensive pressure if they are in a favorable position.

#3 – Arcanine

Arcanine makes a great partner for Metagross because of Intimidate, which is especially useful for the Garchomp on many teams. Arcanine also has the ability to use Snarl to lower the opposing Pokémon’s special attack, as well as the ability to cripple physical attackers ever further with Will-O-Wisp. Arcanine can also deal big damage to Celesteela and Kartana with its Fire-type moves, being Flamethrower, Burn Up, or Flare Blitz. Arcanine can also carry the Firium Z for even bigger damage.

#4 – Tapu Fini

Tapu Fini provides excellent defensive synergy to Metagross, being able to wall Arcanine that do not carry Wild Charge, as well as being able to threaten Garchomp with Moonblast, dealing over 50% when it hits. In return, Metagross can deal with Nihilego, as well as Alolan Ninetales.

#5 – Garchomp

Because of Arcanine and Muk, Garchomp is a great friend for Metagross because of its strong Tectonic Rage, which is arguably the strongest Z-Move in the format. Garchomp is also weak to ice, which makes Metagross a good defensive partner for Garchomp as well, being able to stop Alolan Ninetales cold with a quick Bullet Punch after it gets brought down to its Focus Sash. Metagross can also deal with Tapu Lele with a hard-hitting Meteor Mash.

#6 – Pelipper

Pelipper makes a good partner for Metagross because the rain weakens Fire-type moves, and Pelipper can safely switch into Ground-type moves, thanks to its Flying-typing. Pelipper is weak to Gigalith, and Metagross can assist Pelipper by doing big damage to Gigalith with its Steel-type moves.

#7 – Snorlax

Snorlax’s bulk provides a lot of defensive pressure to opposing Pokémon when paired with Metagross, and because Snorlax’s only weakness is fighting, Metagross can stop them with Zen Headbutt, as well as with a Bullet Punch onto Pheromosa, making Snorlax much more difficult to take down.

#8 – Porygon2

Porygon2 can take hits relatively well, and it can also support Metagross by setting up Trick Room to benefit its base 70 speed, in case they both face fast Pokémon in the late game. Like Snorlax, Metagross can cover for Porygon2 against Fighting-types.

#9 – Ninetales
Alola Form
Alolan Ninetales is an interesting partner for Metagross because of its ability to set up an Aurora Veil, which can compliment greatly with Metagross’s natural bulk, especially making it difficult to take down Assault Vest variants. Ninetales can also assist Metagross even further by wiping out Garchomp with its Ice-type moves, and in return, Metagross can stop Nihilego cold.

#10 – Kartana

Kartana seems like a strange choice as a partner at first because of their crippling weakness to fire, but they way their defensive synergy works is oddly satisfying. Metagross is not only able to take hits from Fighting-types, but it’s also able to beat them, assisting Kartana in dealing a lot of damage, and this duo can get even more terrifying to stare down if Metagross gets a boost from the Weakness Policy, as performed well by Sam Schweitzer (@SamVGC) at the Dallas Regional Championships, where he placed in the Top 4. You can read his team report here.


Threats

AFK

AFK, otherwise known as “Arcanine, Fini, Kartana,” is a common core in the format, and it can be problematic for Metagross to deal with. Arcanine can deal a lot of damage to Metagross, as well as burn it with Will-O-Wisp if the opponent is skilled enough to wait for the Misty Terrain to wear out. Metagross usually can’t deal too much damage to Tapu Fini without a Z-Move because of Tapu Fini’s natural bulk, and Kartana can wall Metagross completely as Hammer Arm is not a very common move at all.

Ground-types

Sometimes, best friends can also be your worst enemies, and it really shows in Garchomp, as it can OHKO Arcanine, Muk, and Metagross with a strong Tectonic Rage. If only Metagross could have Ice Punch, it could be able to retaliate against Garchomp with Trick Room support.


Although Krookodile cannot intimidate Metagross, it is still a huge threat because of its ability to OHKO with Tectonic Rage, as well as its Dark-typing, which Krookodile can safely switch into a potential Shattered Psyche from Metagross, making the Z-Move a complete waste, aside from dealing a lot of damage with Crunch.


Naturally, Mudadale is slower than Metagross, so when the Trick Room goes up, Mudsdale poses as a huge threat to Metagross. With the ability to 2HKO with High Horsepower or possibly OHKO with a Tectonic Rage, Mudsdale’s ability Stamina allows it to gain defense boosts as it takes attacks repeatedly with its natural bulk.

Fire-types

Torkoal is one of the slowest Pokémon in the format, which makes it terrifying for Metagross to stare down in Trick Room, as Torkoal can freely spam Eruption without any worries about attacks from Metagross. It’s even worse if Torkoal is paired with Oranguru for Instruct shenanigans, or if Torkoal is paired with Liligant for After You shenanigans.

Alola Form
Marowak is also slower than Metagross, and it is able to easily threaten Metagross with all of its attacks: Flare Blitz, Shadow Bone, and Bonemerang. With that in mind, Metagross is nowhere near safe switching into the presence of Alolan Marowak.


Of all the fire-types, Incineroar can be the most threatening as it stops Metagross cold, if and only if Metagross does not carry Earthquake or Hammer Arm. Without any of those moves, Metagross can only tickle Incineroar with a Meteor Mash, while Incineroar can just pick up the KO with Flare Blitz, Darkest Lariat, or even a strong Z-Move, as both of Incineroar’s STAB Z-Moves easily KO Metagross. Outside of Psychic Terrain, Incineroar also threatens with Fake Out pressure, making it even harder for Metagross to do anything. Incineroar’s Dark-typing allows it to safely switch into a potential Shattered Psyche from Metagross, making the Z-Move a complete waste.

Muk
Alola Form
Muk is one of the biggest threats to Metagross, as it is extremely bulky with Gluttony and Figy Berry, it is the strongest Knock Off user in the format, and it also has access to Shadow Sneak, which can greatly threaten Metagross. Alternatively, Muk can expand its bulk by setting up with Curse, which makes it even more problematic for Metagross to deal with. Muk is also a Dark-type, so it can safely switch into a potential Shattered Psyche from Metagross, making the Z-Move a complete waste.

Celesteela

Because Celesteela is a bulky Steel-type, it can wall Metagross completely, and it is able to able to sap away HP with Leech Seed. Celesteela also has access to Flamethrower for decent damage, as well as a 10% chance to burn Metagross, or it can even set up a Substitute to ensure that Metagross cannot touch it. With Groundium Z being the third most popular item choice for Metagross on Battle Spot, Celesteela can safely switch into a Tectonic Rage and make it a complete waste.


Closing Thoughts

Although Metagross is outclassed by Celesteela and Kartana, it’s still a strong Steel-type to consider if you want to exert offensive pressure to opposing Pokémon with a respectable amount of bulk. Think of Metagross as the middle-ground between Kartana and defensive Celesteela. If you need a Steel-type that’s not frail, and can deal a lot of damage, Metagross just might be the one for you.

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VGC 2017 PokéAnalysis #2: Incineroar

incineroar

Artwork by All0412.

Alola! It’s Kasoman, and I’m back with the second segment of my PokéAnalysis series! This time, we have an analysis on Incineroar, the fire starter of Alola, and a Pokémon that is overlooked and underappreciated in the VGC 2017 format.

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“Incineroar, the Heel Pokémon. This Pokémon has a violent, selfish disposition. If it’s not in the mood to listen, it will ignore its Trainer’s orders with complete nonchalance. After hurling ferocious punches and flinging furious kicks, it finishes opponents off by spewing fire from around its navel.”


Typing and Abilities

727incineroar_dream

Type: Fire/Dark

  • Weaknesses: Water, Fighting, Ground, Rock
  • Resistances: Fire, Grass, Ice, Ghost, Dark, Steel
  • Immunity: Psychic

Abilities:

  • Blaze – When HP is below 1/3rd its maximum, power of Fire-type moves is increased by 50%.
  • Intimidate (Hidden Ability)* – Upon entering battle, the opponent’s Attack lowers one stage. In a Double Battle, both opponents’ Attack are lowered. Pokémon with the Clear Body, Hyper Cutter, or White Smoke ability are unaffected.

* = Not available


Base Stat Distribution

incineroarstats


Viable Movepool

incineroarmoves


Role in the Metagame

Incineroar is often used as a utility Pokémon, thanks to the moves Fake Out, and sometimes Snarl. However, it is outclassed by Arcanine currently because Incineroar’s Hidden Ability, Intimidate, has yet to be released. With Intimidate, Incineroar can easily compete with Arcanine as a more offensive version due to its base 115 attack. Nonetheless, Incineroar is still viable in the format because of its typing, bulk, and movepool. It is one of the few Pokémon that can OHKO Marowak after being intimidated. Incineroar is also one of two Fire-type Pokémon in the format that has access to Fake Out, with the other being Salazzle.

Fun fact: Four players made it to Day 2 of the European International Championships with Incineroar, one of them being 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati (@Mean_vgc), and another being 2016 Worlds Runner-Up Jonathan Evans (@EzraelVGC).


Sample Sets

DISCLAIMER: These are only entry level sets, so you can get into VGC right away. I’m planning to keep future sets I create private until I release a team report for a respective tournament I place well into.

IT’S JOHN CENA!!!

Held Item: Incinium Z
Ability: Blaze
Nature: Adamant
EV: 148 HP / 132 Atk / 28 Def / 68 SpD / 132 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Fake Out
– Protect

Set Details:
This set utilizes Incineroar’s signature Z-Move, Malicious Moonsault. Intimidate support is nice for this set, but not mandatory, although Incineroar can take more hits with that kind of support. The reason why I chose the Incinium Z as opposed to the Firium Z is because Incineroar can OHKO 252 HP / 4 Def Alolan Marowak after an intimidate, and Malicious Moonsault’s damage output will not be reduced by rain. Have I also mentioned that Malicious Moonsault has the best animation of all the Z-Moves?

Here are some calculations for this set:

  • 132+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tapu Lele: 177-208 (100 – 117.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • -1 132+ Atk Incineroar Malicious Moonsault vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Marowak-Alola: 174-206 (104.1 – 123.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Superpower vs. 148 HP / 28 Def Incineroar: 158-188 (83.5 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252 SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 82-97 (43.3 – 51.3%) — 6.3% chance to 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 55-66 (29.1 – 34.9%) — 4.6% chance to 3HKO [Spread Damage]
    • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 148 HP / 68 SpD Incineroar: 74-87 (39.1 – 46%) — guaranteed 3HKO [Single Target]
  • Speed creeps uninvested Tapu Bulu by 2

Trick Room Assault Vest

Held Item: Assault Vest
Ability: Blaze
Nature: Brave
EV: 244 HP / 156 Atk / 108 SpD (0 Spe IV)
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Snarl
– Fake Out

Set Details:
With a base 60 speed, Incineroar can take advantage of its bulk with a Trick Room set. Incineroar’s bulk can be impressive while holding an Assault Vest, allowing it to take a Devastating Drake from a Salamence with ease, as well as even being able to survive a Hydro Pump from a Golduck in the rain. Snarl is the fourth move to further increase Incineroar’s longevity on the special spectrum, as Incineroar is already difficult to take down in one hit. This can also function with an adamant nature if you don’t feel the need to use Incineroar in Trick Room, although a brave nature slightly increases the damage output of Snarl. Credits to fellow Hawaiʻi player Jeremy Whipple (@KOA_Monte) for the concept! Here are some calculations for this set:

  • 252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar in Electric Terrain: 79-95 (39.3 – 47.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 58-69 (28.8 – 34.3%) — 2% chance to 3HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Dazzling Gleam vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 36-43 (17.9 – 21.3%) — possible 5HKO
  • 252 SpA Nihilego Power Gem vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 86-104 (42.7 – 51.7%) — 5.9% chance to 2HKO
  • 252+ SpA Golduck Hydro Pump vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar in Rain: 162-192 (80.5 – 95.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 SpA Salamence Devastating Drake vs. 244 HP / 108 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 96-114 (47.7 – 56.7%) — 85.5% chance to 2HKO

Examples of Partners

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko can make a good partner because it’s fast, and it covers Incineroar’s weakness to Water-type Pokémon, while Incineroar can deal with Marowak. The main concern for this pair is their weakness to Ground-type moves.

Tapu Lele

Tapu Lele covers Incineroar’s weakness to Fighting-type Pokémon like Hariyama and Phreromosa, while Incineroar covers Tapu Lele’s weakness to Steel-type Pokémon like Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross. Both also have high offensive stats, as well as the ability to use strong Z-Moves, which provides opponents a lot of offensive pressure.

Tapu Bulu

Tapu Bulu easily deals with Water-types, especially Gastrodon. Thanks to its ability, Grassy Surge, the Grassy Terrain weakens the damage output of Earthquake, which is a move Incineroar is weak to, and is also prevalent on Garchomp. In return, Incineroar covers against Steel-types such as Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross.

Porygon2

Porygon2 makes an excellent partner for Incineroar because it takes hits well, and it can also set up Trick Room to benefit Incineroar’s slow speed. In addition to that, Incineroar also provides Fake Out pressure for Porygon2 to safely set up Trick Room. Porygon2 also has one of the biggest movepools in the format, sometimes making it unpredictable on what moves it would use.

Gastrodon
East Sea
Gastrodon makes an excellent partner for Incineroar because it can redirect Water-type attacks away from Incineroar with its Storm Drain ability, while Incineroar deals with Grass-types like Tapu Bulu and Kartana.

Milotic

Because Incineroar is a physical attacker, Milotic makes a great partner with its Competitive ability, which boosts its special attack sharply each time a stat gets lowered. This makes it safe for Incineroar to be chosen as a lead when there’s Pokémon with the Intimidate ability on the opposing team.

Araquanid

Araquanid makes a good partner because of the offensive pressure it provides to Rock-types and Ground-types with added Wide Guard support, while Incineroar can deal with Tapu Bulu easily. Araquanid also usually carries the Waterium Z, which provides a lot of offensive pressure to the opposing side.

Gyarados

Gyarados is an excellent partner for Incineroar because it provides support with its Intimidate ability, and it can also deal with Rock-types and Ground-types. Gyarados usually carries the Waterium Z, providing immense offensive pressure towards opposing Pokémon, especially after it sets up with Dragon Dance.

Mudsdale

Mudsdale makes an interesting partner for Incineroar because it can deal a lot of damage , and it can easily switch into Rock-type moves, thanks to its bulk as well as its ability, Stamina, which boosts its defense by one stage each time it gets hit. In return, Incineroar covers for Mudsdale’s weakness to grass. Mudsdale also makes an excellent check to Trick Room.

Garchomp

Garchomp can synergize with Incineroar because it can deal with Rock-types by using Earthquake, while Incineroar can deal with Ice-types such as Alolan Ninetales. Both can provide a lot of offensive pressure with their high base attack stats.

Salamence

Salamence provides support with its Intimidate ability, and also has access to a very powerful Z-Move, which helps provide a lot of offensive pressure to the opponent’s side. Incineroar can deal with Ice-types such as Alolan Ninetales in return.

Ninetales
Alola Form
Alolan Ninetales is a fast Pokémon that can deal with Ground-types, as well as Water-types with Freeze-Dry. It can also set up a quick Aurora Veil to increase Incineroar’s longevity in battle. In return, Incineroar can deal with Marowak, as well as Celesteela, Kartana, and Metagross.

Kartana

Kartana deals with Water-types, Rock-types, and Ground-types, which makes it an excellent partner for Incineroar. Incineroar also helps deal with Marowak, as well as opposing Kartana, which are both huge threats to Kartana.

Celesteela

Celesteela can deal with Rock-types such as Aerodactyl, Gigalith, and Nihilego with Heavy Slam, while Incineroar can deal with Marowak and Kartana. Incineroar also provides Fake Out pressure for Celesteela to safely set up a Substitute, and Celesteela also has access to Wide Guard, which can block spread moves such as Rock Slide and Earthquake.


Threats

Water-types
East Sea
Because Incineroar is weak to water, these Pokémon are able to deal a lot of damage to Incineroar, possibly being able to OHKO it easily. Rain teams are especially threatening because their damage output is increased, allowing them to OHKO Incineroar, and it also becomes nearly impossible to outspeed Golduck outside of Trick Room. Incineroar’s damage output for Flare Blitz is also lowered by the rain. Gastrodon and Milotic are able to sponge Darkest Lariats from Incineroar while being able to heal themselves with Recover. Gyarados has Intimidate as its ability, and can provide offensive pressure with Waterfall, which has an additional 30% flinch rate. Tapu Fini is probably the worst matchup for Incineroar, as it walls Incineroar completely with its Water/Fairy typing, along with its high defenses.

Ground-types

An Earthquake from any of these Pokémon can 2HKO Incineroar, and Mudsdale can easily OHKO it with High Horsepower. Mudsdale also raises its defense with its Stamina ability, while Krookodile can lower Incineroar’s damage output with its Intimidate ability. Furthermore, Garchomp can deal extra chip damage with its Rough Skin ability since Incineroar is a physical attacker. These Pokémon also typically learn Rock Slide, which provides them a 30% chance to flinch Incineroar.

Fighting-types

Hariyama is a very bulky Fighting-type Pokémon with access to Thick Fat as one ability to lower the damage output of Flare Blitz, allowing it to wall Incineroar completely, while having the ability to pick up the OHKO with Close Combat. Haryiama also has access to Guts as an ability, which allows it to deal a lot more damage when afflicted by a status condition, making Intimidate support useless against it. Pheromosa can also pick up a OHKO on Incineroar with High Jump Kick, aside from its shaky 90% accuracy, which can allow Incineroar to pick up a KO in retaliation. Even when intimidated, Pheromosa nearly KO’s Incineroar.

Rock-types

Aerodactyl isn’t guaranteed to 2HKO Incineroar, but the 30% chance to flinch from Rock Slide, as well as the ability to disrupt with Sky Drop make up for its lower attack stat. Gigalith is terrifying to stare down in Trick Room, as it is slower than Incineroar, it 2HKO’s with Rock Slide, and it is also guaranteed to pick up a OHKO with Continental Crush if holding a Rockium Z. Nihilego may have low physical defense, but they normally carry a Focus Sash, making it safe to 2HKO Incineroar with Power Gem.


Closing Thoughts

Incineroar is an underrated Pokémon in the format, and should be considered as an option for both a Fire-type and a Dark-type. It may not have Intimidate, but it can still deal a respectable amount of damage, and it can also provide some useful support for its teammates. If you want a Fire-type with a cool Z-Move, try an Incineroar today!

VGC 2017 PokéAnalysis #1: Araquanid

Artwork created by Alexalan.

Alola! For the first time, I’ll be providing something a little different, and that’s an analysis of a Pokémon that has been recently on the rise in the VGC 2017 format, the water spider known as Araquanid.


“Araquanid, the Water Bubble Pokémon. It delivers headbutts with the water bubble on its head. Small Pokémon get sucked into the bubble where they drown. Despite what its appearance suggests, it cares for others. If it finds vulnerable, weak Pokémon, it protectively brings them into its water bubble.”


Typing and Abilities

Type: Water/Bug

  • Weaknesses: Rock, Flying, Electric
  • Resistances: Water, Ice, Fighting, Ground

Abilities:

  • Water Bubble – Takes 50% damage from Fire-type moves, doubles the power of Water-type moves before adding STAB, and cannot be burned
  • Water Absorb (Hidden Ability) – Heals up to 25% HP when hit by a Water-type move

Base Stat Distribution


Viable Movepool

movepool


Role in the Metagame

Araquanid is a very interesting Pokémon, being able to deal a lot of damage with its Water Bubble ability, as well as take hits with its respectable bulk. Araquanid can easily shut down sun teams, and it can also OHKO many things in the format such as Marowak, Arcanine, Tapu Koko, etc. It also has a great movepool for this format as well, with moves such as Liquidation, Lunge, Leech Life, and even something like Wide Guard. It can also function as a special attacker, although not seen very often due to the lack of special Bug-type moves. In general, Araquanid is used as an offensive attacker, and it can fit nicely on a lot of teams.


Sample Sets

DISCLAIMER: These are only entry level EV spreads, so you can get into VGC right away. I’m planning to keep EV spreads I create private until I release a team report for a respective tournament I place well into.

Standard Physical Attacker

Held Item: Waterium Z / Life Orb
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Brave / Adamant
EV: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def (0 Spe IV for Brave)
– Liquidation
– Leech Life / Lunge / Poison Jab
– Lunge / Wide Guard / Poison Jab
– Protect

Set Details:
This set has a wide movepool with many options to choose from. Obviously, Liquidation and Protect are mandatory to have, but two Bug-type moves, Wide Guard, and even Poison Jab can be difficult to decide on. The natures can be a bit of a toss up as well with Brave helping it function in Trick Room, or Adamant to outspeed something like neutral uninvested Gastrodon and minimum speed Porygon2. As far as the moveset, many people would opt to choose one Bug-type move and go with Wide Guard as the third option as Leech Life and Lunge have the same base power, although you could also go with both for a fully offensive set. Between those two moves, it comes down to personal preference of whether you want to keep Araquanid around for longer, or lower the attack of the opposing Pokémon. Poison Jab is only recommended if your team has a bad matchup against Tapu Lele and/or Mimikyu. As far as the items, Waterium Z is the more popular choice as a Hydro Vortex paired with Araquanid’s ability is very powerful. Life Orb is also a strong choice if you want to use a Z-Crystal on a different Pokémon, or simply increase the damage output of all moves as Araquanid has a mediocre base attack of 70.

Special Attacker

Held Item: Life Orb / Waterium Z
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Quiet / Modest
EV: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA (0 Spe IV for Quiet)
– Scald
– Ice Beam / Blizzard
– Wide Guard / Surf
– Protect

Set Details:
Not very common, but not a terrible set either. This idea was picked up from 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati (@Mean_vgc), who made it to Day 2 of the European International Championships with a special attacking Araquanid. Scald and Surf are the only STAB moves that are special, so Araquanid will not be able to have a Bug-type move in this set. Life Orb is the preferred choice to boost the damage output of Ice Beam as its base special attack is only 50; however, Waterium Z is a strong option to consider when paired with Ninetales, as Araquanid can be threatening with two powerful spread moves, Blizzard and Surf. A Hydro Vortex based off Surf can deal a significant amount of damage, which can make up for Araquanid’s low special attack stat. It doesn’t fit well on many standard teams due to its low damage output, but the Waterium Z set is a strong choice for a team with Ninetales.

Wolfey (@WolfeyGlick)’s Assault Vest

Held Item: Assault Vest
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Careful / Sassy
EV: 252 HP / 188 Atk / 68 SpD (0 Spe IV for Sassy)
– Liquidation
– Leech Life
– Lunge
– Poison Jab

Set Details:
This set was taken from 2016 World Champion Wolfe Glick’s Competitive Araquanid Guide on YouTube, and the idea behind this set is for Araquanid to have a wide option of attacks while taking advantage of its massive base special defense of 132. With the Assault Vest, Araquanid makes a hard counter for Torkoal as Wolfey stated how much he hates Torkoal. Check out the video for more of his crazy sets involving a Wacan Berry and even a Choice Band! Here are some defensive calculations below:

  • 252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 56-68 (32 – 38.8%) — 97.2% chance to 3HKO
  • 252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 56-68 (32 – 38.8%) — 6.1% chance to 3HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid in Psychic Terrain: 58-69 (33.1 – 39.4%) — 99.8% chance to 3HKO
  • 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 39-46 (22.2 – 26.2%) — possible 5HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252+ SpA Torkoal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Water Bubble Araquanid in Sun: 27-33 (15.4 – 18.8%) — possible 6HKO
  • 252+ SpA Torkoal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Water Bubble Araquanid: 18-22 (10.2 – 12.5%) — possible 8HKO

Examples of Partners

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko can make a good partner for Araquanid as it can deal with Pelipper, one of the few Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage with a high-powered special attack. Tapu Koko can also help deal with opposing Araquanid, being able to 2HKO those that don’t carry an Assault Vest. Tapu Koko can also help deal with Garchomp by using Dazzling Gleam, as that can also 2HKO those that don’t carry an Assault Vest.

Tapu Lele

Tapu Lele paired with Araquanid can provide a lot of offensive pressure. You can give yourself a bit more flexibility on choosing which Z-Move to use, one being physical and one being special, or you can give one of them a Z-Crystal if you would prefer that. Many players tend to pair Tapu Lele with Araquanid because of their flexibility in item choices along with their offensive prowess.

Tapu Bulu

Tapu Bulu pairs well with Araquanid as they cover each other’s weaknesses, being fire and steel for Tapu Bulu, and electric and rock for Araquanid. The Grassy Terrain recovery is also very beneficial for Araquanid, and Tapu Bulu can also OHKO Gastrodon with ease, as it can redirect Araquanid’s Water-type attacks away.

Porygon2

Porygon2 makes an excellent partner for Araquanid because of its bulk, as well as its ability to set up Trick Room, which compliments Araquanid’s slow speed. Porygon2 also has one of the biggest movepools in the format, sometimes making it unpredictable on what moves it would use.

Arcanine

Arcanine can cripple many physical attackers with its ability, Intimidate, as well as use Will-O-Wisp, which is extremely helpful for Araquanid’s lower base defense. Arcanine also has the ability to use Snarl, which makes Araquanid even harder to take down thanks to its massive base special defense. Araquanid can also help Arcanine by dealing with Rock-type and Ground-type Pokémon.

Marowak
Alola Form
Alolan Marowak is an interesting partner for Araquanid because it has the ability, Lightningrod, which redirects any Electric-type moves away from its partner. Because Araquanid is a Water-type, Lightningrod would be extremely beneficial by its side. Marowak is also a Pokémon that can hit hard thanks to its typing and its item, the Thick Club. Araquanid can also help Marowak by dealing with Rock-type and Ground-type Pokémon, as well as opposing Marowak.

Ground-types

Garchomp and Mudsdale are helpful for Araquanid as they are Ground-types that can deal with Tapu Koko, as well as Gigalith and Aerodactyl. Garchomp and Krookodile are fast, offensive attackers with different capabilities. Garchomp has a better movepool than Krookodile and has better bulk; however, Krookodile has Intimidate as its ability, which can be useful for many teams. Mudsdale, on the other hand, is slow and bulky, and also has the ability, Stamina, which raises its defense by one stage each time it gets hit by a physical attack, making it a very safe switch-in for any Rock-type move.

Muk
Alola Form
Muk is an interesting partner because it is one of the few Pokémon that can deal with Tapu Bulu with ease. Tapu Bulu can be a huge threat to Araquanid by dealing over 70% to it with a Wood Hammer. Muk is easily able to OHKO a Tapu Bulu with a Poison Jab, and it also has solid bulk paired up with its ability, Gluttony, along with the Figy Berry. Muk also has access to Knock Off, which can make it significantly easier for Araquanid to deal with the likes of Porygon2 and Celesteela.

Kartana

Like Tapu Bulu, Kartana is a Grass-type that can OHKO a Gastrodon with ease. Kartana is also four times weak to fire, which makes Araquanid a great partner for Kartana. Kartana also has an easier time dealing with Aerodactyl and Tapu Bulu as it is also a Steel-type.

Celesteela

Celesteela makes a defensive partner for Araquanid as it can wall most of the Pokémon in the format, and Araquanid can help Celesteela deal with the Fire-types out there with its Water-type moves. Celesteela can also help deal with Aerodactyl and Tapu Bulu, as it is a Steel-type. If you plan to use Celesteela with Araquanid, Marowak is a mandatory partner to redirect Electric-type moves away from both Celesteela and Araquanid.


Threats

Gastrodon
East Sea
Gastrodon is easily one of the biggest threats to Araquanid as it can redirect Water-type moves away thanks to its ability, Storm Drain, also giving Gastrodon a special attack boost each time it gets hit. This is especially dangerous for Araquanid, as Gastrodon can potentially waste the Hydro Vortex coming towards its side. Tapu Bulu and Kartana are the easiest answers to Gastrodon, although you can also get creative and include Grass-type moves on other Pokémon like how Gavin Michaels (@komvgc) did to win the 2017 San Jose Regional Championships with his Drampa by including Energy Ball as one of its moves.

Electric-types

They can easily 2HKO Araquanid with their super-effective attacks. Tapu Koko is especially dangerous as it summons the Electric Terrain when it enters battle with its ability, Electric Surge. Togedemaru is especially obnoxious for Araquanid to deal with as Zing Zap is a physical move, and it also has a chance to flinch its target. Togedemaru can also Encore Araquanid into Protect or Wide Guard, which can bring forth a dire situation. Marowak is the greatest answer for these threats thanks to its ability, high attack power, as well as its access to Bonemerang. Ground-types like Garchomp, Krookodile, and Mudsdale are viable answers to these Pokémon as well.

Tapu Bulu

Tapu Bulu can be a great partner for Araquanid, but it can be a great threat to Araquanid as well. Tapu Bulu is one of the few Pokémon in the format that can easily deal over 70% damage to Araquanid without a super-effective hit. With that in mind, there’s no way Araquanid can be guaranteed to survive a Choice Band boosted Wood Hammer from this Pokémon.

  • 252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 129-153 (73.7 – 87.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
  • 252+ Atk Miracle Seed Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 156-184 (89.1 – 105.1%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO
  • 108+ Atk Choice Band Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 175-207 (100 – 118.2%) — guaranteed OHKO

Gigalith

Although it doesn’t seem so, Gigalith can be terrifying for Araquanid to stare down in Trick Room, as Gigalith is much slower than Araquanid. Gigalith may not be able to OHKO with Rock Slide, but the 30% chance to flinch can be heartbreaking for Araquanid, which can result in missing the KO on Gigalith. Players also opt to use Rockium Z for a powerful Rock-type attack that doesn’t miss, and the Continental Crush can easily OHKO Araquanid.

  • 0 Atk Gigalith Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 218-258 (124.5 – 147.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • -1 124+ Atk Gigalith Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 176-210 (100.5 – 120%) — guaranteed OHKO

Aerodactyl

Aerodactyl is obnoxious for Araquanid as it carries the Focus Sash, and it can also 2HKO Araquanid with both of its STAB moves, Rock Slide and Sky Drop. Sky Drop is especially threatening for Araquanid, as Aerodactyl can prevent it from moving for a turn, and Aerodactyl can easily take advantage of this move if a Wide Guard were to be predicted. The 30% flinch rate from Rock Slide is also not a great thing for Araquanid to deal with either.

Pelipper

Although Araquanid benefits from the rain, Pelipper is one of two Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage to Araquanid with a special attack that cannot be redirected away, which would be one of its moves, Hurricane. Hurricane will never miss in the rain, it can 2HKO Araquanid that do not carry an Assault Vest, and it also has a 30% chance to confuse its target, which is terrifying for Araquanid to stare down. Trick Room and Electric-types can deal with Pelipper easily.

Braviary

Although rarely seen, Braviary is one of Araquanid’s worst nightmares. Recently, a Japanese player who goes by Cantona (@AuGUROSU), placed Top 4 at the Kanto Regional Championships in Japan with a Braviary, and he used it to check Pokémon with Intimidate thanks to its own ability, Defiant. This is especially bad news for Araquanid because its main means of damage to Braviary has a 20% chance to lower defense, which means a 20% chance for an attack boost on Braviary. Lunge is not a wise choice either, as Braviary will also get a free attack boost from that move while taking nearly no damage. Here are some calculations I made with the EV spread I read from his team report (Note: He did not have Facade in his set; I’m only showing how threatening Braviary can be):

  • 204+ Atk Braviary Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 222-264 (126.8 – 150.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • +1 204+ Atk Braviary Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 195-229 (111.4 – 130.8%) — guaranteed OHKO

Nihilego

Nihilego has very low defense, and can be easily OHKO’d by a Liquidation; however, many Nihilego carry a Focus Sash to make up for its low defense. Nihilego can easily 2HKO Araquanid that do not carry an Assault Vest with Power Gem, which is bad for 1V1 situations. This makes Nihilego one of two Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage to Araquanid with a special attack that cannot be redirected away.


Closing Thoughts

Araquanid is a strong Pokémon in the format, and should be considered when teambuilding when it comes to deciding what you want to use, or preparing how to beat Araquanid. With is respectable bulk and ability, Water Bubble, it is no surprise how threatening Araquanid can be. If you want something that can deal with Arcanine, try an Araquanid today!

Can 244 Be the New 252? An In-Depth Look into the 244-Tech

Hey, everyone! I decided to bring up a tech that has been widely used by many players out there, including myself. However, not many people know exactly how this tech works, or even the purpose of it in general. This article will give an in-depth look into what I call the “244-Tech”.

What is the 244-Tech?

It is a type of EV spread that is similar to the standard 252/252 spread, but provides a slight bit more bulk with the slight cost of damage output.

When is this Tech Normally Used?

It is normally used for a Pokémon with a jolly or timid nature, but in some cases, a naive or hasty nature as well.

Standard Sweeper Spread:

  • Physical: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
  • Special: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

244-Tech:

  • Physical: 4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
  • Special: 4 HP / 4 Def / 244 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

How Useful is this Tech?

Although it’s not meant to guarantee a Pokémon to survive certain moves, it can lower individual damage rolls, which can be very helpful as it increases the chances of survivals by a margin. The 244-Tech works on most moves, but sometimes, it doesn’t make a difference on some moves.

Let’s take a look at the most commonly used Pokémon in VGC 2016, Groudon, and the damage rolls from a Mega Salamence’s Draco Meteor associated with each respective EV spread.

Standard 252/252 Spread:
groudon-primal
Groudon @ Red Orb
Jolly Nature
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Damage Calculation:

  • 252 SpA Mega Salamence Draco Meteor vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Primal Groudon: 115-136 (65.3-77.2%)
    • Rolls: {115, 117, 118, 120, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 135, 136}

Using the 244-Tech:
groudon-primal
Groudon @ Red Orb
Jolly Nature
4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Damage Calculation:

  • 252 SpA Mega Salamence Draco Meteor vs. 4 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 114-135 (64.7-76.7%)
    • Rolls: {114, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 135}

Quick Note: Hyper Voice made no difference for the 244-Tech, and it’s common for certain moves to make no difference for this tech.

Comparing the Two Sets of Damage Rolls:

4 HP / 0 SpD:
{115, 117, 118, 120, 120, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 135, 136}
4 HP / 4 SpD:
{114, 115, 117, 118, 120, 121, 121, 123, 124, 126, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 135}
Differences:
{1, 2, 1, 2, 0, 0, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1}

  • 2/16 damage rolls made no difference
  • 7/16 damage rolls have a difference of 1
  • 7/16 damage rolls have a difference of 2

Looking at the comparison, you’ll see two individual rolls having no difference, which is quite common when using this tech. However, you’ll also notice the rest of the damage rolls improving. Almost half have a difference of 1, and almost half have a difference of 2. It doesn’t seem like much of an improvement, but after looking at the damage rolls themselves, this is actually a very nice tech to consider. I’ve used a max speed Groudon with the 244-Tech, and it was able to hang on with a sliver of HP a few times. I can safely assume it’s all thanks to this tech. It doesn’t do as much damage as the 252/252 spread, but this slight touch of bulk might have been able to save me for a few games.

Making Improvements on this Tech

Maybe you decided to use this tech as a starting point, and you want to make adjustments to the EV spread for specific calculations in the future. Let’s take a look at a slight tweak at the 244-Tech Groudon EV spread, which was shown to us by Kyle Cole in this YouTube video.

groudon-primal
Groudon @ Red Orb
Jolly Nature
12 HP / 236 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Damage Calculations:

  • +2 252 SpA Fairy Aura Xerneas Dazzling Gleam vs. 12 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 75-88 (42.3 – 49.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO
  • +2 252 SpA Xerneas Grass Knot (120 BP) vs. 12 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 149-176 (84.1 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • +2 252 SpA Xerneas Hidden Power Ground vs. 12 HP / 4 SpD Primal Groudon: 150-178 (84.7 – 100.5%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO

As you can see here, this EV spread allows Groudon to survive two Dazzling Gleams from a timid Xerneas after a Geomancy boost. In addition to this, Groudon can also survive a +2 Grass Knot, as well as a +2 Hidden Power Ground 15/16 times. As DaWoblefet said, one point can make a difference when it comes to EV training, and this is a great example by increasing the HP stat by one.

Other Ways to Use this Tech

Pokémon with a Naive Nature

Salamence and Rayquaza are the best known Pokémon in the meta to have a naive nature. Let’s take a quick look at Jaime Boyt (MrJellyLeggs)’s Mega Rayquaza set he used to win the Wakefield Regional Championships:

rayquaza_xy_mega_icon
Rayquaza @ Life Orb
Naive Nature
4 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpA / 252 Spe

Notable Damage Calculations:

  • 252 Atk Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 hits) vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mega Rayquaza in Strong Winds: 140-200 (77.7 – 111.1%) — approx. 93.8% chance to OHKO
  • 252 Atk Cloyster Icicle Spear (5 hits) vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Mega Rayquaza in Strong Winds: 140-200 (77.3 – 110.4%) — approx. 6.3% chance to OHKO

As silly as this sounds, Boyt said the 4 EV’s in HP significantly increases Rayquaza’s chances of surviving a 5-hit Icicle Spear from a Choice Scarf Cloyster. Because of this calculation, I honestly don’t feel safe without this particular investment whenever I would utilize a Rayquaza. Since he made this investment in HP, he was able to make slight investments in defense as well as special attack, which helps Overheat to have a slightly better damage output, as well as increasing Rayquaza’s chances of surviving a Double-Edge from an adamant Mega Kangaskhan by 7%, although that can still KO a bit over half the time.

Bulky Kangaskhan That’s Not Too Slow?

Maybe you want to use a Kangaskhan in a TailRoom team, but you don’t know where to start. Commonly, players would go with 252 HP / 252 Atk and choose one defensive stat for the remaining 4 EV’s, but if you want to use this tech, this might be a good starting point:

kangaskhan-mega
Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Adamant Nature
252 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 4 Spe

With this spread, you don’t have to worry about choosing between two defensive stats for those 4 EV’s because why not invest in both? In addition to this, you also have a slight investment in speed, which can help Kangaskhan outspeed any uninvested base 90’s before mega evolution, as well as any uninvested base 100’s after mega evolution. Because Kangaskhan’s speed is a bit mediocre with this spread, it can function in Trick Room, and it can also outspeed most Pokémon in the metagame under Tailwind.

When Not to Use this Tech

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to use this tech on very frail Pokémon like Weavile and Gengar, two Pokémon that commonly carry the Focus Sash. This tech would only work on Pokémon with natural bulk. I would say the stats should be at least around base 90 for defensive stats, along with a reasonable base HP (usually, most of these Pokémon would have a base HP of around 100 at the least).

Would Everyone Use this Tech?

This really depends on the player’s style. If you would want as much damage output as possible, the 252/252 spread would be your best bet, but if you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of damage output for a slight touch of bulk, this tech is the way to go. There are several top players out there who use this tech, and I was actually influenced to use this tech by Daichi Kumabe (Scar). According to Scar’s analysis of his 2015 Worlds Team, he decided to utilize the 244-Tech for his Landorus during the morning of Day 2, which helped it survive a Life Orb boosted Hidden Power Ice from a Thundurus 15/16 times while carrying an Assault Vest. As simple and last minute as it may have seemed, it was also a very effective tech for him to utilize in order for him to do so well.

Closing Thoughts

Although the 244-Tech is something not all players would use, it’s still an increasingly popular choice for those who would appreciate just a bit more bulk on their fast Pokémon, and this tech definitely makes a great starting point. I would personally recommend utilizing this tech, but there are others out there who would prefer the simpler and more offensive build. I only wrote this article because this tech has been widely used for quite a while; yet, no one has really ever went in depth into this subject. If you ever want a bit more bulk on your fast Pokémon, try the 244-Tech!