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ADV 50 Sharpedo [Discussion Ready]

Discussion in 'Individual Analyses' started by Disaster Area, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Fur and Power Member

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    Sharpedo [​IMG]
    Type: Water / Dark
    Stats: 70 | 120 | 40 | 95 | 40 | 95
    Abilities: Rough Skin

    Introduction

    It's pretty clear given Sharpedo's stat spread that it's destined to be a glass cannon - a fast, strong, very frail attacker. However, without any boosting items besides Choice Band (which wouldn't make use of its STABs) or items like Mystic Water (which don't provide much of a boost), and Sharpedo's speed and attack being not much above average, it even appears to struggle at doing that. Ultimately, Sharpedo is poor against fast offensive teams that use multiple faster Pokemon like Manectric, Typhlosion, and Fearow, but against teams where it can put its speed advantage to work - either more defensive teams or paralysis-oriented offenses - it can be an effective and dangerous threat.

    Sets

    4 Attacks

    Sharpedo @ Lum Berry
    Ability: Rough Skin
    EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
    Hasty Nature
    - Hydro Pump
    - Crunch
    - Hidden Power [Electric]
    - Earthquake

    Set Details

    This set, quite straightforwardly, combines Sharpedo's decent speed and power with its decent array of coverage options. Hydro Pump and Crunch are STABs and necessary for different reasons: Hydro Pump is Sharpedo's best move versus neutral targets and takes out Pokemon like Torkoal, Steelix, Nidoqueen, Armaldo, and so on which should have no business handling Sharpedo in the first place, while Crunch hits most Water resists at least neutrally, and turns it into a good answer to Chimecho, Slowking, certain variants of Misdreavus, and helps it check Banette. Hidden Power Electric hits Crawdaunt, which resists both of its STABs, and more importantly 2HKOs the excellent special tank Mantine. It also hits opposing Water-types which are neutral to Crunch - such as Golduck or Huntail - a little harder. Earthquake rounds out the set, letting it smack Lanturn and Muk - two top special tanks - super-effectively, typically 2HKOing. Even without investment, Earthquake hits those targets hard due to Sharpedo's high base attack, as well as their weakness to the move. Another move not listed but which ought to be mentioned is Ice Beam: it hits Altaria and Grass-types such as Meganium and Shiftry super-effectively. However, Altaria and Shiftry are less common than the targets of other listed moves, and Meganium is still taking Ice Beam easily, OHKOing in return with Giga Drain, so the utility of Ice Beam is fairly marginal, compared to the other moves in its arsenal.

    Lum Berry might seem a curious item choice, but its ability to take a one-time Thunder Wave from Slowking, a Hypnosis from Golduck, a Toxic from SubToxic Rapidash, and so on is more vital to its function than the limited upgrade to its staying power that Leftovers provides, or the small power boost items like Mystic Water provide. The EVs maximise speed and then power for obvious reasons, and a defense-lowering nature is used as both attacking stats are in use, and pretty much all of the attacks that Sharpedo should be taking (namely, resisted attacks) are special attacks - all of Sharpedo's resistances are to special types. Finally, it should be noted that Sharpedo's Rough Skin ability, whilst it might seem entirely pointless, does provide some small but important utility: Sharpedo can sacrifice itself to Flail and Reversal abusers to take them down, if necessary.

    Other Options

    An EndSalac set (one that uses Endure in combination with Salac Berry) is an interesting option to make Sharpedo less helpless against offensive teams, but it does struggle with the loss of coverage in having to run Endure, it relies to some degree of surprise value, and it's difficult to fit. Nonetheless, it's a serious option not to be entirely discouraged. Beyond that, in terms of more niche options, Taunt is an option that shuts down Slowking, Mantine, and some variants of Forretress, but doesn't do much beyond that. Agility is an alternative to EndSalac to clean fast teams, but it's difficult to set up. SubSalac is in a similar boat, but at least it can safely set up against any slower Pokemon. Thief is an interesting way to punish Pokemon switching into it, but with Muk, which has the ability Sticky Hold, being a decently common switch-in, there is some risk of it being ineffective, and it's more than fair to say that Sharpedo is better off attacking every time it finds itself in play.

    Checks and Counters

    Meganium is quite possibly the best answer to Sharpedo: with its great special bulk, and resistance to Water, Sharpedo needs all the help it can get to break through it, and with its access to Leech Seed and Giga Drain, it's a difficult Pokemon to consistently wear down. Vileplume is similar, although it is less bulky, and due to the moves it carries is typically simpler to wear down. Shiftry is also a good answer, as it resists all the moves Sharpedo commonly carries, however it often needs to activate Sunny Day before it can actually retaliate, and it does run the risk of Sharpedo surprising it with Ice Beam. Altaria is decently bulky and resists Water, although it doesn't OHKO Sharpedo in return and, like Shiftry, risks Sharpedo carrying Ice Beam. Offensive teams with multiple fast attackers generally have little to fear from Sharpedo, as it struggles to get into battle in the first place. Special walls like Lanturn and Muk can take on Sharpedo, but take significant damage from Earthquake, so they can't switch in repeatedly. Bulky Water-types capable of retaliating to Sharpedo, like Azumarill and Wailord, can act as checks. Forretress with Zap Cannon can beat Sharpedo in a 1 on 1 matchup, although Zap Cannon only 2HKOs, and has dire accuracy. Finally, Hitmonlee resists Crunch, has passable special bulk, and access to Mach Punch which can take Sharpedo out.
     

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