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ADV [ADV 50] Muk [Discussion Ready]

Discussion in 'Individual Analyses' started by Disaster Area, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    (holy cow I wrote a lot in the set details for the curse set. No mukking around...)

    Muk [​IMG]
    Type: Poison
    Stats: 105 | 105 | 75 | 65 | 100 | 50
    Abilities: Stench / Sticky Hold

    Introduction


    Muk combines decent attack and great special bulk, as well as only two weaknesses, to be an excellent special tank. With a reasonably deep movepool, it's pretty versatile, albeit the presence of Forretress does limit its options somewhat.

    Sets


    Curse

    Muk @ Leftovers
    Ability: Sticky Hold
    EVs: 252 HP / 116 Atk / 140 SpD
    Sassy Nature
    - Curse
    - Sludge Bomb
    - Fire Blast
    - Giga Drain / Rest / Hidden Power [Ground] / Protect

    Set Details

    Curse turns Muk into a potentially dangerous sweeper, covering its weaker defensive stat and bolstering its stronger offensive stat. Sludge Bomb is STAB, and Fire Blast prevents Muk from being Forretress bait, comfortably 2HKOing it. Sticky Hold is the preferred ability: it is slow, so it is unlikely to have many chances to flinch an opponent, making Stench hardly of use, while Sticky Hold prevents the rare Knock Off or Thief from the likes of Crawdaunt or Shiftry from being effective.

    Muk has numerous options in the final slot (beyond even those listed in the set above). Giga Drain might seem an odd choice - especially without Special Attack investment - but it's a very useful option. Most importantly, it 2HKOs Golem - a powerful Choice Band user you don't wish to grant free turns to. Secondarily, it enables it to beat Whiscash after a Curse boost (that Defense boost comes in handy to withstand Whiscash's Earthquakes), in spite of not even 3HKOing most variants, thanks to the recovery provided. It also lets it 2HKO Kabutops. Hidden Power Water and Focus Punch are the only other moves which can 2HKO Golem at Muk's disposal; Focus Punch is better suited to an all-out attacking set, like the Explosion set listed below, while Hidden Power Water trades beating Whiscash and Kabutops for doing more damage to Camerupt. However, Hidden Power Water won't 2HKO decently bulky variants of Camerupt, while Camerupt is still 2HKOing Muk with Earthquake even after a single Curse boost, so it doesn't enable Muk to win one on one anyway. Versus Pokemon without a quadruple-weakness to Water, Fire Blast or Sludge Bomb generally does a similar if not significantly greater amount of damage than Hidden Power Water.

    The best alternative coverage option for Muk is either Hidden Power Ground or Brick Break. Like Giga Drain, they deal with Kabutops, although Golem is far safer switching in and neither move offers any recourse against Whiscash. However, the main Pokemon these moves are beneficial against is Aggron - 2HKOing Choice Band Aggron, and letting it beat other Earthquake-carrying variants head-on if Muk curses as Aggron switches in (though Aggron's Earthquake just barely avoids a 2HKO of Muk after a Curse boost, so a little chip damage on Muk could easily turn the tables in Aggron's favour). Brick Break is slightly stronger and deals with the same Pokemon, but Hidden Power Ground does marginally more than Sludge Bomb versus Fire-types such as Typhlosion, and Electric-types such as Lanturn, and does significantly more versus Camerupt, although Camerupt still beats Muk even if it uses this set. The ultimate selling point for Hidden Power Ground over Brick Break, however, is that it gives Muk an edge against other Muks, should two Muks end up cursing up together, as sometimes happens.

    Besides additional coverage, Rest and Protect are also options on Muk. Rest relieves status and heals Muk fully, but due to the immobilising nature of being asleep, it certainly appreciates Heal Bell support from the likes of Chimecho, Altaria, or Mightyena. Protect doesn't relieve status (which is a notable downside as Muk attracts paralysis and the occasional burn from the Pokemon it checks as a special tank), but it provides limited recovery in conjunction with Leftovers, as well as other small upsides. It enables Muk to ensure it receives wishes from teammates, lets it stall weather turns, helps it rack up poison damage (either from Sludge Bomb or from a teammate's Toxic), and lets it scout Choice-locked Pokemon such as Golem or Granbull which switch into and put pressure on Muk.

    Muk should always run 252 HP EVs to advance its bulk and a speed-reducing nature - even with a speed-lowering nature, it outspeeds uninvested Forretress. More speed could be run to outspeed slow variants of Camerupt or Armaldo, but Muk generally gets more mileage out of Attack and Special Defense investment. Similarly, it is recommended not to invest in Special Attack or Defense; although Special Attack investment can guarantee OHKOs with Fire Blast against Scizor depending on its HP investment, and defense can prevent KOs from the likes of Granbull, Hitmonlee, Mixed Typhlosion, and Mixed Sharpedo, the benefits of that investment are rarely worth the missed KOs from not investing in Attack, or greater durability against Pokemon Muk usually faces offered by Special Defense investment.

    The given spread enables it to avoid being 2HKO'd by Golduck's Calm Mind-boosted Hydro Pump (assuming a single boost and 228 EVs in Special Attack), Huntail's and Mantine's Hydro Pump in rain, as well as from being 3HKO'd by Castform's Weather Ball, Chimecho's Psychic (assuming Chimecho is Modest with 140 EVs invested in Special Attack), Golduck's unboosted Hydro Pump, Ampharos's and Manectric's Thunderbolts, and Rapidash's Fire Blast. The only really notable Pokemon where greater special defense investment would make a difference against are Typhlosion (as Typhlosion has a chance to 2HKO with Fire Blast if its Special Attack is fully invested) and Ampharos (as Thunder has a roughly 50/50 chance to 2HKO Muk with Thunder if Muk maximises its Special Defense investment). However, as most Typhlosion run mixed sets anyway, and Thunder Ampharos is somewhat rarer (and requires rain be set up, otherwise it has accuracy issues also), these benchmarks are not particularly significant.

    The remaining EVs in Attack hit a number of benchmarks also: with Sludge Bomb, Ampharos (with 44 EVs in HP and 84 in Defense) is 3HKO'd, and Rapidash, Castform, and Typhlosion (assuming that it's running a defense-lowering nature and no HP or Defense investment, as is seen sometimes on mixed Typhlosion) are 2HKO'd. It also has an 85% chance to 2HKO Rain Dance variants of Mantine (which typically run 124 EVs in HP and nothing in Defense, although it may take some of those EVs out of HP into Speed, guaranteeing Muk the 2HKO), and if it carries Hidden Power Ground or Brick Break then it does enough damage to 2HKO Choice Band variants Aggron (which usually run no defensive investment and have no leftovers recovery - other variants of Aggron aren't 2HKO'd and hence beat Muk unless it curses up as they switch in instead). Sludge Bomb also has an 18% chance of 2HKOing Typhlosion (with no defensive investment but also no defense-lowering nature, and not considering the chance for Sludge Bomb to poison, or critical hits), while Hidden Power Ground, if it is used, has a 43% chance. There are upsides to greater Attack investment too however - with near maximum investment it can 2HKO Golduck (assuming it has 64 EVs in Defense), and with maximum investment it can 2HKO Huntail, and has a chance to 2HKO Ampharos (with 44 EVs in HP and 84 in Defense), Chimecho (with 252 EVs in HP and 116 in Defense), and Lanturn (assuming 20 HP and 132 Defense it has a 13% chance of being 2HKO'd by Hidden Power Ground, and Hidden Power Ground guarantees the 2HKO against Lanturn with no HP investment and 36 EVs in Defense; Sludge Bomb has a near perfect chance to do so too given that Lanturn spread). Greater Attack investment than in the listed spread can guarantee the 2HKO on uninvested Typhlosion too. Also, note that if you are running Hidden Power Ground, it forces an imperfect Special Defense IV, so 4 EVs should be moved from Attack to Special Defense to compensate.


    The Protect variant can afford more bullish investment in Attack as the leftovers recovery gathered from using Protect enables it to survive attacks that it otherwise wouldn't. A spread of 252 HP / 156 Atk / 100 SpD guarantees the 2HKO against the standard Swift Swim-abusing Mantine, but then requires Protect to prevent it from sometimes being 2HKO'd by Mantine's and Huntail's Rain-boosted Hydro Pumps and Chimecho's Psychic (assuming 140 EVs in Special Attack and a Modest nature on Chimecho), and from being 3HKOd by Castform. However, the listed spread is also a viable option for Protect Muk.

    Explosion

    Muk @ Leftovers
    Ability: Sticky Hold
    EVs: 252 HP / 116 Atk / 140 SpD
    Brave Nature
    - Sludge Bomb
    - Fire Blast
    - Explosion
    - Focus Punch

    Set Details

    Explosion Muk is great for luring Ground-types such as Sandslash, Camerupt, and Whiscash - and Explosion OHKOs all of them except for, depending on damage rolls, the most physically defensively invested Whiscash. Sludge Bomb is Muk's STAB option and Fire Blast prevents it from being Forretress bait, as well as hitting other Explosion-resistant Pokemon such as Scizor and Steelix. Focus Punch hits Aggron, Golem, and Kabutops, 3 Pokemon which resist both Sludge Bomb and Explosion. With the given investment, Golem is comfortably 2HKO'd and the rest are OHKO'd (although Aggron with higher than 208 EVs invested in HP have a chance to survive). However, EVs can be moved from Attack to Special Defense to give it greater special bulk, for example letting it avoid the 3HKO from Golduck's Hydro Pump and Ampharos's Thunderbolt. Note however that, with a Brave nature, 104 EVs are needed in Attack to guarantee the OHKO against Kabutops with Focus Punch.

    Other Options

    Muk has a handful of other options. Although it is slow, it does appreciate the power boost from a Choice Band - Choice Band-boosted Focus Punch is the only move that enables Muk to always OHKO an incoming Golem at full HP. Also, even with a Special Attack-reducing nature, Muk's Fire Blast still 2HKOs Forretress, so Choice Band Muk does not have worse problems with Forretress than most Choice Band users, even though it's immune to its only STAB.

    There are more possible curse variants too. Hidden Power Rock and Steel are the only options for Muk which do really significant damage to Armaldo, but are an inferior choice otherwise. A Curse set without Fire Blast has problems with Forretress, but running Rest alongside Sludge Bomb and a second physical attack such as Brick Break or Hidden Power Ground can surprise some typical answers to Curse Rest Muk, although on the whole is not a worthwhile choice. A RestTalk set struggles far too much with the fact that Steel-types are immune to its STAB.

    Beyond that, it has a handful of other moves that stand out in their own way. Shadow Punch hits Ghost-types, and could be worthwhile on an Explosion set if only it had the space. Body Slam provides a limited means of spreading paralysis. Toxic is a quite poor option on Muk given its low speed and habit of drawing in Steel-types such as Aggron. Thief lets it steal an item from its switch-ins, but given how the occasional Choice Band user such as Golem, Aggron, or Granbull switches in, it can backfire, and it's a hard move to make room for anyway. Imprison is a gimmicky but funny option on Muk; it lets it beat other Muk more reliably than any other option, but does nothing else of value. Memento could be used to set up a boosting sweeper (such as Belly Drum Azumarill). And Haze can be used to stop boosting sweepers.

    Checks and Counters

    The best answer of all to Muk is Armaldo, as it's only weak to Muk's most obscure move options, takes Muk's attacks easily, and is not weak to Explosion. It's also quite physically bulky, but its main downside is being vulnerable to Sludge Bomb's poison. Similarly, Sandslash and Camerupt are great answers, albeit they are OHKO'd by Explosion. Whiscash is also an excellent answer to Muk, though Giga Drain Curse Muk beats it 1 on 1 and it can be OHKO'd by Explosion. Aggron takes a pittance from most of Muk's attacks, although the Explosion set's Focus Punch and Curse Muk's occasional Ground- or Fighting-type coverage can give it some issues. Slowking is physically bulky and has Psychic-type STAB, making it a solid check in spite of being slower until Muk has used a Curse. Granbull is frustrated by the risk of being poisoned by Muk's Sludge Bomb, eating into its lifespan, but Intimidate means it takes a manageable amount of damage from Muk's attacks (although Focus Punch from Muk puts Granbull into range of Sludge Bomb if it switches in again), and the threat of Choice Band-boosted Return or Earthquake is incredibly challenging and risky to switch into without a Misdreavus or a Forretress. Golem is about as difficult to switch into, and takes almost nothing from Sludge Bomb and Fire Blast. However, Muk often runs Giga Drain to lure it, making it not the best as a stand-alone answer. Kabutops is also a decent Muk check, but just about any coverage move outside of Fire Blast does hefty damage to it, so it certainly can't be relied upon alone. Steelix is a decent check, but its weakness to Fire Blast limits its ability to check Muk. Chimecho is quite bulky and can hit Muk super-effectively, but doesn't resist Sludge Bomb, so it shouldn't be relied on alone to handle Muk. Venomoth resists Sludge Bomb, but due to its frailty still takes significant damage from it, and it's 2HKO'd by Fire Blast. However, it has Sleep Powder and can dent Muk with Psychic. Ghost-types such as Misdreavus don't exactly make great answers to Curse Muk, but they can be tricky for Explosion Muk to get through. Having a phazer such as Mightyena or Steelix can be handy in dealing with Curse Rest Muk, especially in conjunction with Spikes.


    Beyond that (rather long) list of more defensively-inclined checks, a few Pokemon such as Vileplume can lure Muk in to be slept, neutering it, Pokemon such as Glalie and Shiftry can attempt to explode on it, SubSalac Endeavor Crawdaunt can attempt to weaken it beyond use, using Endeavor, and offensive teams (either physically or specially inclined) can try to wear it down through sheer repeated assaults.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018 at 2:46 PM

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