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RBY [Violet] Gengar

Discussion in 'Individual Analyses' started by Disaster Area, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Catto of Furr and Power Member

    May 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Gengar [​IMG]
    Type: Ghost / Poison
    Stats: 60 | 65 | 60 | 130 | 110

    Changes In Violet Pertinent To This Analysis:
    - Dream Eater is a 200 BP, Ghost-Type move which works versus sleeping, poisoned, and badly poisoned foes. It heals 100% of damage dealt.
    - Ghost-type attacks are now super-effective rather than ineffective versus Psychic-types.
    - Bug-type attacks are now not very effective rather than super-effective versus Poison-types.
    - Mega Drain heals 100% of damage dealt.
    - Submission is now 100 BP, with 100% accuracy.
    - For a full list of changes in Violet, see this thread.


    The change to Dream Eater in Violet has been a game-changer for Gengar. With high speed, access to Hypnosis, and STAB on Dream Eater, Gengar is a great abuser of the move, and its upsides don't stop there. As a Poison-type, it is one of the few Pokemon which can't be poisoned and hence is unaffected by Dream Eater if it isn't slept (Normal-types are of course unaffected by Dream Eater whatever their status condition), making it a good check to some abusers like Poliwrath and Beedrill, and its unique typing gives it a small plethora of resistances and immunities, making it a great check to various threats in Violet, such as Tangela, Vileplume, and Pinsir.

    Overall, Gengar is a splashable, unique, versatile, and fast offensive threat with decent defensive utility, on top of being the fastest user of a sleep move in a metagame where every team should have a sleeper, so it's no wonder it's considered one of the best Pokemon in Violet, despite major flaws such as its Ground- and Psychic-type weaknesses.


    Dream Eater

    - Dream Eater
    - Hypnosis / Toxic
    - Psychic
    - Toxic / Submission / Explosion / Mega Drain

    Set Details

    Per the introduction, Dream Eater is one of Gengar's best options, and this set aims to maximise what Gengar can get out of it. Hypnosis is a natural move to run alongside the move, although Toxic can be run instead of (or alongside) it - some teams may opt to run a different partner with a sleep move, albeit Gengar's high speed makes it a good choice of sleeper. Normal-types are immune to Dream Eater, and Poison-types are immune to Toxic, so Gengar should run moves alongside Dream Eater which are effective versus those targets. Hence, Psychic is a must, as it hits Poison-types super-effectively, 2HKOing Nidoqueen for example, as well as doing acceptable damage to the Dream Eater-immune Tauros and Snorlax. The last slot is very flexible and should be tailored to a team's individual needs. If not running both Hypnosis and Toxic together, Submission deserves strong consideration in the final slot, as it does upwards of 40% to Chansey, enabling it to 2HKO it with some chip damage, making Gengar that much harder to wall. Explosion is also an option, opting to lure Pokemon such as Chansey or Snorlax for its partners, letting Gengar play a more supportive role. Mega Drain 2HKOs Golem; although Golem can OHKO it in return, it's still a potent lure as Golem is one of the few Pokemon only 3HKO'd by Dream Eater. Thunderbolt is an option worth mentioning too: although it doesn't particularly complement Dream Eater, it can do impressive damage to the tier's numerous Water- and Flying-types without requiring that they are poisoned or asleep first.


    - Hypnosis
    - Explosion
    - Night Shade
    - Psychic

    Set Details

    Gengar can be run without Dream Eater - given the defensive niches it fills, some teams may want it without running a synergistic approach to status spread. This set, hence, is designed to get the best out of Gengar without being reliant on Dream Eater. Hypnosis and Explosion are two strong moves which at their best can each remove an opponent's Pokemon from the battle, making it an excellent supporter. Gengar best lures special walls and tanks such as Chansey and Snorlax, so Pokemon which appreciate those Pokemon weakened or removed make for ideal partners. Night Shade and Psychic are probably the best options in the remaining slots - without Dream Eater, Gengar can't hope for anything near perfect coverage, though Night Shade ensures the ability to do consistent, if sometimes meagre, damage to any foe, while Psychic hits Pokemon such as Vileplume and Poliwrath that Gengar is typically relied upon to respond to. As is the case with the previous set, depending on the team different options beyond those already listed are worthy of consideration. Mega Drain hits Golem - a decent Gengar answer and Explosion resist - super-effectively, 2HKOing it, while Thunderbolt 2HKOs Aerodactyl - a common Pokemon in the tier which also resists Explosion.

    Other Options

    Beyond those listed or discussed, Gengar's further options are largely insignificant. For example, Seismic Toss has greater PP than Night Shade, but can be countered. Gengar learns Counter too, but it's not a move you should even consider unless you have a clear idea of when you intend to use it. Thunder is a stronger, far less accurate alternative to Thunderbolt, and Hyper Beam is another option Gengar has versus more physically vulnerable foes such as Chansey, but often another move such as Submission does a better and more reliable job. Body Slam can spread paralysis, but is weak, and Confuse Ray is, to say the least, unreliable and difficult to use well. Rest is an option that heals Gengar and clears it of status, but is not useful versus enough teams, and a sleeping Gengar is often easy to exploit.

    Checks and Counters

    Normal-types are immune to Dream Eater, so are amongst the first Pokemon worth considering as checks to Gengar. Snorlax takes a pittance from any attack short of Explosion, but Snorlax variants lacking Earthquake will only be able to do pittance in return. Chansey isn't 2HKO'd by Gengar without having already accrued some damage and Gengar carrying Submission, making it a great check that can retaliate with Thunder Wave. Tauros is at worst 3HKO'd by Submission or 4HKO'd by Psychic, and 2HKO's back with Earthquake, making it a viable check.

    Beyond Normal-types, Dugtrio is one of the best Gengar answers out there. Although Dugtrio is frail, only Explosion or Dream Eater can manage better than a 3HKO (notwithstanding critical hits), and Dugtrio has a high chance to OHKO in return with Earthquake. It also outspeeds Gengar to boot. Magneton is so bulky that it is not even 2HKO'd by Dream Eater - a rare feat for non-immunities - and can paralyze Gengar with Thunder Wave in return. No other move of Gengar can hope to do even better than 4HKO - Submission 4HKOs and all other moves fail to do even that - making Magneton one of the best checks to Gengar available. Paralyzing Gengar makes it far easier to respond to, as then Pokemon with access to Earthquake or Psychic like Nidoqueen, Butterfree, or Charizard can force it out more easily. Golem is also merely 3HKO'd by Dream Eater, but it does have to worry about Mega Drain which 2HKOs Golem. Golem can OHKO Gengar in return however with Earthquake.

    Gengar is far more difficult to beat once the opponent has successfully slept or poisoned most of your team. Hence, being able to execute your own gameplan quickly and using offensive threats such as Psychic-types, which are weak to Dream Eater yet can do incredible damage to Gengar with their STABs - often OHKOing or 2HKOing - is also a viable way of handling Gengar.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019

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