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RBY OU / 1U (OverUsed) Rapidash [GP Ready]

Discussion in 'Individual Analyses' started by IronGattsu, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. IronGattsu

    IronGattsu Member

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    Rapidash [​IMG]
    Type: Fire
    Stats: 65 | 100 | 70 | 80 | 105

    Introduction

    Rapidash is almost never seen in 1U. It's completely outclassed by Moltres in its primary role as a Fire Spin user (and Moltres itself is already quite uncommon), due to having a whopping 45 less Special, significantly lower bulk overall, and trading in a Ground immunity for a weakness. However, Rapidash does have some things going for it that set it apart from the legendary Fire Bird - namely, no Electric & Ice weaknesses, 15 extra Speed, and access to Body Slam. Functioning as a mid-game offensive pivot, if played aggressively and kept away from paralysis, it can reward the team with significant momentum.

    Sets

    Standard

    Rapidash
    - Fire Spin
    - Fire Blast
    - Body Slam / Agility
    - Hyper Beam / Agility

    Set Details

    Fire Spin is basically the reason you use Rapidash. Being a partial trapping move, it allows Rapidash to rack up chip damage on various enemy Pokémon, usually followed up by switching into a teammate with a favorable matchup against said Pokémon. Keep in mind that with a 70% accuracy, it's not wise to spam Fire Spin like one might with AgiliWrap Dragonite, since you have a 51% chance to miss within 2 uses. Fire Blast is also mandatory, being Rapidash's strongest STAB finisher, spreading burns and virtually always 2HKOing Exeggutor, though it only comes off of a meager base-80 Special. Body Slam can spread paralysis as well as being a 99.6%-accurate move to reliably clean up late-game. Hyper Beam is the physical finisher, being able to chunk most special walls in a pinch and working well with Body Slam. Either one of its physical attacking options can be swapped out for Agility, which can give Rapidash a much more favorable matchup against Tauros, Alakazam, and Jolteon if used at the right time.

    Other Options

    Beyond this set, the only other notable option is Reflect. It can catch physical attackers off-guard, turning Tauros's EQ from a 2HKO into a 4HKO. However, switching out (something Rapidash does often) completely removes the Reflect effect, and Rapidash is honestly too frail to take full advantage of it. Really, the OHKO clause kinda neutered Rapidash, since Horn Drill coming off of that base-105 Speed would've made it much better overall.

    Team Options

    Rapidash generally fits well on teams that can spread around paralysis and have good defensive utility. For this reason, GolDon, Cloyster, Exeggutor, Chansey, and especially Starmie are all pretty good partners to consider.

    Checks & Counters

    The sad fact of the matter is that except for the Pokemon weak to Fire Blast, basically all of OU can beat Rapidash 1-on-1. As previously mentioned, paralyzing Rapidash is a sure-fire way to cripple its effectiveness. Lapras, Starmie and especially Slowbro can switch in, take minimal damage from its attacks (Body Slam is only a 5HKO on even Starmie), and paralyze/KO it. Rhydon & Golem resist all of its attacks and can OHKO with Earthquake, with an 87.2% & 17.9% chance of doing so, respectively. However, they don't appreciate a burn from Fire Blast. Tauros and Snorlax can also 2HKO with Earthquake, though both are decently chunked by Fire Blast and don't appreciate a burn either. Chansey and Alakazam can also switch in and paralyze it, though they don't appreciate getting critted, especially not by Hyper Beam (which OHKOs Alakazam).
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  2. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    No, it isn't. Same reason Tentacruel can't Wrap effectively. Tauros is on every team; at least one of Starmie and Alakazam is on most teams.

    Lapras is not especially good against Rapidash, as it does not outspeed Rapidash, does not resist Fire (Fire Blast is a 4HKO), does not carry a reliable means of paralysis and rarely carries Water moves. It is not especially bad against Rapidash either, but it shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as Starmie (which has three of those features).

    Saying that Rhydon OHKOs and Golem 2HKOs is misleading; Rhydon doesn't always OHKO and Golem sometimes does.
     
  3. Enigami

    Enigami Moderator

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    Probably needs Thunder Wave Dragonite or Stun Spore Victreebel to be worthwhile. Pokemon that don't work because Tauros exists appreciate their ability to use Wrap to pressure it in and risking paralysis if Zam or Starmie got paralyzed earlier in the match. But at that point, with Tauros & Zam/Mie out of the picture, Moltres, Flareon or Ninetales would be better options.
     
  4. IronGattsu

    IronGattsu Member

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    Eh, I'd say that being in the 5th-highest OU speed-tier is at least above-average, if anything. Should Agility be a slashed option, rather than in OO?

    But really, if Tauros - or Starmie for that matter - is switching into a Fire Spin that connects, Rapidash should almost always switch out into a Pokémon with a more favorable matchup, such as Cloyster or Chansey. Honestly, Rapidash's problems with partial trapping go far beyond it's speed, because a) Fire Spin's 70% accuracy means that you're gonna be missing very often, and b) Tauros still 2HKO's with EQ or BSlam/HBeam, while all Rapidash can really do is fish for a 30% burn from a 3HKO Fire Blast.

    Definitely a fair point. Lapras is removed from C&C.

    Added damage percentages for GolDon.

    Never tried running Rapidash with Dragonite or Victreebel to be honest, but even a paralyzed Tauros would bop Rapidash 1-on-1, and the opportunity cost to get Tauros paralyzed to begin with isn't worth it imo. Yeah, I would agree that Moltres outclasses it as a Fire Spinner and Flareon outclasses it in Fire/Normal coverage. Dunno about Ninetales though; it gets even more screwed over by special walls whereas Rapidash can at least hope for the 20.5% chance of a crit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  5. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    Agility should probably be slashed, yes.

    Rapidash is above-average, but that's all. I wouldn't call something outright "fast" until it ties Tauros, and "stellar" is reserved for 120+.
    Well, yeah, if they've switched into your Fire Spin. On the other hand, if Tauros switches into Agility you've got decent odds against it because Spin + Blast + Blast = KO.

    I mean, the fact of the matter is that Rapidash is pretty bad in general, but I think AgiliSpin is something it can do (although not as well as Moltres).
     
  6. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    it is hard to simultaneously justify over either of flareon or moltres depending on your choice of set. 105 spe isn't really better than 70 in rby ou, the difference is so marginal in that range
     
  7. Troller

    Troller From Marcoasd's DNA Member

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    You "just" outspeed Zapdos, Jynx, Cloyster and Vic+own a 20% critrate, marginal my ass
     
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  8. IronGattsu

    IronGattsu Member

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    To be fair, Moltres's base speed is 90 (not 70). The only Pokemon in OU that are between 90 and 105 are Jynx and Zapdos. Actually, in addition to its speed tier, because Rapidash lacks ice & electric weaknesses, it overall does much better against Jynx/Zapdos compared to Moltres. Not an amazing selling point, but its something? Also yeah, Rapidash's 20.5% crit rate is legitimately quite nice, compared to Moltres's 17.6% crit rate.

    Eh, maybe in theory, but in practice Fire Spin just misses far too much, imo. Moltres gets by because of its amazing Special stat, requiring less Fire Spins to deal serviceable damage, whereas Rapidash's Special stat is a bit lacking.

    Honestly, Rapidash seems closer to the bottom end of "F+"-tier pokemon. I honestly don't know how it compares to Arcanine in viability, which has better stats overall but lacks Fire Spin. At least Rapidash can kinda work on PS! simply because many mid-ladder players don't know how to optimally deal with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  9. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    The weaknesses are cancelled out by the massive gulf in Special (258 vs. 348) and Moltres' higher HP (383 vs. 333). Special vs. Special, Moltres does 35% more damage and takes 36% less damage, which means it's actually slightly ahead in a straight slugfest even with the BoltBeam weaknesses in play (Lapras is a slightly-better switch into Rapidash than into Moltres, for instance).

    Rapidash's only advantages over Moltres are Speed and Body Slam.
     
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  10. IronGattsu

    IronGattsu Member

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    On the offensive side, while Moltres has a 64.1% chance to OHKO Jynx, Rapidash still has a guaranteed 2HKO on it. Additionally, Moltres has a 3HKO on Zapdos, while Rapidash has a 4HKO. The extra Fire Blast required for Rapidash in these matchups is more or less cancelled out by Rapidash's speed advantage (though there are other factors, like Fire Blast accuracy and the pokemon's crit rates).

    On the defensive side, Jynx & Zapdos have guaranteed 2HKOs on Moltres, while virtually only 3HKOing Rapidash (Jynx has an 8.8% chance to 2HKO). Considering that Rapidash statistically does better in both of these matchups, I would still say that the lack of a BoltBeam weakness is definitely an advantage for Rapidash in certain situations. However, the Ground weakness (compared to Moltres's immunity) is still definitely much more important.
     
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  11. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    The advantage over Jynx and Zapdos doesn't come from how much damage they take/give (which is where Moltres' weaknesses are factored in), it comes from Rapidash's higher Speed. If Rapidash had the same Speed as Moltres it would be worse against them.
     
  12. IronGattsu

    IronGattsu Member

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    This is just mathematically wrong; though I guess I should try to rephrase it. One-on-one, Moltres & Rapidash both have to take 1 hit from Jynx & 3 hits from Zapdos in order to KO them from full health. The reason why Rapidash does better in these two matchups is because it can afford to take another hit, being only 3HKOd as opposed to 2HKOd.

    If Rapidash took as much BlizzBolt damage as Moltres, then there would be no advantage. If Rapidash was as fast as Moltres, it would have to take another hit to KO anyway, so there would still be no advantage. It's a combination of Speed + lack of Boltbeam weakness that give Rapidash the edge.

    Though I guess the main point I'm trying to make is that a lack of a Boltbeam weakness is a noteworthy benefit, which can be useful in certain situations. For example, Starmie will always wall Rapidash to hell and back, but the vast majority of Starmie sets won't be able to hit it super-effectively; meanwhile, Rapidash can always fish for the Body Slam paralysis chance if need be.
     
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  13. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    Moltres has a much higher Special stat than Rapidash (and a somewhat-higher HP stat). This has two effects:

    1) Moltres does 35% more damage (1.35x).
    2) Moltres takes 36% less damage (0.64x).

    Now, here's the thing. Against Ice/Electric attacks, that 0.64 is doubled, so Moltres is taking 1.28x as much damage as Rapidash (speaking in % here, not actual hit points). But that isn't enough to make up for Moltres inflicting 1.35x as much damage. As such, Moltres is ahead in terms of a slugfest, even when the weakness is in play. That's what I mean by its weakness not being an advantage for Rapidash; it is always outweighed by Moltres' better Special and HP stats.

    The advantage over Jynx and Zapdos is unique to those matchups, because there Rapidash has the additional advantage of Speed. That applies nowhere else.

    (Basically, you're adding things up in the wrong order. You're thinking "oh, well, they each need to take X hits in order to KO", but that "equality" is the sum of Moltres' better offence (which is always in play) and Rapidash's better Speed (which is not in play outside the specific cases of Jynx and Zapdos).)
     
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  14. IronGattsu

    IronGattsu Member

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    This is a valid point. I was just trying to say that the advantage v. Jynx and Zapdos - which, as you said, are exceptions because of speed tiers - wouldn't exist if Rapidash was also weak to Boltbeam.

    But against the Pokemon that hard-counter both Rapidash and Moltres - namely Starmie and Chansey - it's better for Rapidash to be using Body Slam instead of Fire Blast anyway, since a) it just deals more damage, b) you do not want to accidentally burn Starmie or Chansey, and c) paralyzing Starmie with Body Slam is always nice.

    Yeah so against the other Ice/Electric coverage attackers in the tier - Cloyster, Lapras, Jolteon, and Gengar - Moltres still definitely does better for the reasons you've mentioned. At the end of the day, Moltres's sky-high Special stat - and overall above-average (90/90/125) bulk - is crucial to it being viable in OU. Rapidash - as well as all other Fire types - which lack these traits, are therefore stuck in the lower tiers.
     
  15. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    A burned Starmie has much poorer resistance to AgiliSpin because burn damage is assessed on all the "attack continues!" turns. Burned Starmie has its ups and its downs.

    Eh, Flareon's Special stat is pretty good - good enough that it does actually have an advantage over Moltres against BoltBeam, and good enough to 2HKO Tauros - and it gets Body Slam. That's the one other Fire that I'd consider interesting - Arcanine is crippled by lacking Fire Spin and the rest just don't have the stats.
     
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