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ADV OU (OverUsed) Zapdos [GP Ready]

Discussion in 'Individual Analyses' started by Cowboy Dan, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. Cowboy Dan

    Cowboy Dan Host Emeritus

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    Zapdos [​IMG]
    Type: Electric / Flying
    Stats: 90 | 90 | 85 | 125 | 90 | 100
    Abilities: Pressure

    Introduction

    Zapdos has always been a top contender in the ADV 1U metagame. It has great stats across the board which allow it to fill a variety of offensive and defensive roles. It has an excellent typing which leaves it with only two 2x weaknesses, and a number of useful resistances including the coveted ground immunity. Furthermore, its movepool while nothing special gives it plenty of tools to be a multifaceted threat. Zapdos is not without its flaws. Its shallow offensive movepool leaves it easily walled and defensive sets suffer from their lack of reliable recovery. Despite these flaws however Zapdos is a force to be reckoned with and should always be a threat to consider when building any team.

    Sets

    Offensive

    Zapdos @ Leftovers
    Trait: Pressure
    EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spe
    Timid / Modest Nature
    - Thunderbolt
    - Hidden Power [Ice] / Hidden Power [Grass]
    - Toxic / Thunder Wave / Roar
    - Baton Pass / Thunder Wave / Roar

    Set Details

    This set takes advantage of Zapdos' great special attack stat and solid speed tier in order to be a powerful mid game attacker. Thunderbolt is Zapdos' main STAB move and hits just about anything that doesn't resist it quite hard. Even Snorlax doesn't appreciate switching in on it. The choice of Hidden Power often comes down to what the team requires. Hidden Power [Ice] allows Zapdos to OHKO Flygon and Salamence while also pressuring Grass types such as Celebi. Hidden Power [Grass] on the other hand prevents Zapdos from being walled by Swampert. The last two slots can include just about any combination of the moves listed. Toxic allows Zapdos to cripple Pokemon such as Swampert and Flygon who can wall Zapdos depending on the Hidden Power it chooses. It also is nice for hitting Jolteon, and can put pressure on Blissey and Celebi. Thunder Wave provides Zapdos with the ability to cripple fast attackers such as Gengar, Salamence and Jolteon, as well as Dragon Dance Tyranitar. Roar allows Zapdos to abuse Spikes by forcing attempted switches back out again. It also allows Zapdos to act as a phazer in a pinch. Finally Baton Pass is a great option for picking up tempo on predicted switches.

    The EVs maximize Zapdos' offensive potential by giving it as much speed and power as possible. A Timid nature allows Zapdos to at least speed tie fellow 100 base speed Pokemon such as Flygon and Salamence. Furthermore it generally allows Zapdos to out speed +1 Dragon Dance Tyranitar. Modest however is also an option that gives Zapdos even more power, allowing it to more easily wear down Pokemon such as Snorlax. EVs can be taken out of special attack and speed and added to bulk. If doing so, Modest Zapdos should generally attempt to reach at least 270 speed whereas Timid Zapdos should aim for at least 300 Speed.

    This set is generally found on offensive teams that appreciate Zapdos' ability to find entry and fire off powerful attacks in the mid-game. Good team mates include powerful attackers such as Metagross, Tyranitar and Snorlax who take advantage of the tempo that Zapdos provides with its threatening attacks. Trappers such as Dugtrio pair quite nicely with Zapdos, particularly when using Baton Pass as it can get a free switch in to Pokemon such as Celebi and Tyranitar attempting to counter Zapdos. Finally, Spikes are a great addition to Zapdos' team as it is great at forcing switches and racking up damage with Roar and Baton Pass.

    Rest

    Zapdos @ Leftovers
    Trait: Pressure
    EVs: 248 HP / 36 Def / 204 SDef / 20 Spe
    Calm Nature
    - Thunderbolt
    - Rest
    - Toxic / Hidden Power [Ice] / Hidden Power [Grass] / Light Screen
    - Roar / Thunder Wave / Toxic / Light Screen

    Set Details

    This set is a more defensive take on Zapdos that leverages its great bulk and typing in to a strong pivot set. Thunderbolt provides Zapdos' main source of damage, and even with no investment still hits quite hard. Rest gives Zapdos some form of recovery at the cost of two turns. It also allows it to soak up status moves such as Toxic which is important considering some of its main switch ins such as Milotic and Skarmory often carry Toxic. Rest also allows Zapdos to make use of its Pressure ability. Many defensive Pokemon such as Blissey and Swampert barely fail to 3hko it, allowing Zapdos to loop Rest until they run out of PP. It is also great at soaking up Celebi's Leech Seed PP. The last two slots have a bit more flexibility. Toxic is a great option that covers a lot of the Pokemon either Hidden Power normally would. It also allows Zapdos to be quite annoying towards Celebi and Blissey, and the combination of STAB Thunderbolt and Toxic is often hard to switch in to. Hidden Power Ice or Grass can be used to allow Zapdos to hit grounds and give it a bit more of an offensive presence but they aren't as necessary on this set as on others. Roar is the main option in the last slot as defensive Zapdos provides a fairly reliable phazer. Furthermore since most of its counters are grounded, Roar allows it to punish switch ins by repeatedly blowing them over Spikes. Thunder Wave is again a solid option for crippling faster attackers. Light Screen allows Zapdos to tank special hits more effectively allowing it to easily stall out attacks such as Swampert and Blissey Ice Beams, and Celebi Psychics, and when paired with Roar makes it far less vulnerable to being set up on by Calm Mind users.

    The EVs give Zapdos the bulk to make use of its typing to the best degree possible. 248 HP gives Zapdos as much overall bulk as possible while also minimizing the damage taken from sand and other forms of residual damage. 36 defense allows Zapdos to survive +1 Salamence's Rock Slide while sand is up. 20 speed allows Zapdos to out speed Endeavor Swampert allowing it to get off a crucial Toxic or Hidden Power before a Substitute goes up. It also puts it ahead of Magneton. The rest of the EVs are thrown in to Special Defense with a Calm Nature to give Zapdos as much special bulk as possible, allowing it act as a solid switch for bulky Water types, a decent check to special attackers such as Gengar, Starmie and Suicune, and to give it an easier time draining the PP of defensive Pokemon such as Blissey.

    Rest can make defensive Zapdos a bit of a tempo suck as it allows dangerous Pokemon such as Aerodactyl and Tyranitar in for free while it is asleep. As a result this set is generally found on stall teams who appreciate its ability to take on most defensive Pokemon, and can also provide solid switches for the Pokemon Zapdos allows in while it is sleeping. It goes without saying that this set works best with Spikes support, however this is generally a good idea when using a defensive team. Finally running some other sort of specially defensive pivot or wall alongside Zapdos is generally a good idea as powerful attackers can break through it without too much difficulty.

    Baton Pass


    Zapdos @ Leftovers
    Trait: Pressure
    EVs: 120 HP / 252 SAtk / 136 Spe
    Modest Nature
    - Thunderbolt
    - Baton Pass
    - Hidden Power [Grass] / Hidden Power [Ice]
    - Substitute / Agility

    Set Details

    This set acts as an offensive support Pokemon that uses Zapdos' ability to force switches and threaten most of the common phasers in the tier in order to pass speed or substitutes off to dangerous team mates. This set can also act as a powerful attacker in its own right however. Thunderbolt again provides Zapdos with its main source of damage. Hidden Power provides the usual coverage. Hidden Power [Grass] is a more preferable option on this set as it allows it to beat Roar Swampert, a relatively common phaser. Hidden Power [Ice] is still a solid option however. Baton Pass is the crux of this set allowing Zapdos to pass its set up move on to its team mates. Substitute allows Zapdos to give free entry to its team mates, while easing prediction for itself. Agility can also be used to pass speed boosts to slower attackers and make them far more threatening. Agility also allows Zapdos to act as a late game cleaner as after the boost it outspeeds Pokemon such as Aerodactyl who would otherwise force it out.

    The EVs give Zapdos enough bulk and power to come in and force favorable match ups for itself to set up with, while also leaving it with just enough speed to do its job. 136 speed allows Zapdos to out speed Heracross and generally puts it ahead of most defensive Pokemon. More speed can be added however particularly if running Agility this generally isn't necessary. Special Attack is maximized with a Modest Nature to give Zapdos as much power as possible, and the rest is thrown into HP to round out Zapdos' bulk.

    This set is generally found on offensive teams that can take advantage of the support Zapdos provides. The Agility set is best used alongside strong but slow attackers such as Tyranitar, Metagross, Suicune, Rhydon and Marowak among others. The Substitute set can work alongside dangerous set up sweepers such as Snorlax, Salamence, and again Tyranitar, Suicune and Metagross among others. Baton Pass Celebi can combine with Zapdos to make a nasty miniature chain where each can take advantage of each others boosts or pass them on to another team mate giving the team more flexibility. Finally Spikes are never a bad idea alongside this set if they can be squeezed in as it does force a number of switches.

    Other Options


    Zapdos has a surprising number of other options available to it. Toxic Protect Zapdos is a solid set that eases prediction against Choice Band users and allows it to stall for Toxic damage. Zapdos can run Magnet as its item on offensive sets in order to boost its power even further at the cost of sand chipping away at its health. Similarly Thunder can be used for the extra power and paralysis chance at the cost of accuracy. Both of these are strong options on offensive teams where wearing down Pokemon such as Snorlax is a must. They can even be used simultaneously. Metal Sound can be used to take advantage of special walls and force even more switches with spikes down however it is often inferior to Zapdos' other options. Sleep Talk used to be an ubiquitous move on the Rest set, and probably it's most popular set overall however following a discovery that the way the move had been implemented on simulators was incorrect the set was no longer viable. It is however still an option. Finally, Zapdos actually has a usable attack stat which makes mixed sets with its STAB Drill Peck a valid option to surprise common counters such as Celebi and to an extent Blissey. This set works best with Spikes down as many special walls can eat a Drill Peck on the switch if needed and Spikes give them less room to do so. It can even go so far as to use a Choice Band set with Hidden Power Fighting to take out Tyranitar, however once the surprise is revealed this set will often struggle to do damage.

    Checks and Counters

    Special walls generally can handle Zapdos. Blissey in particular has a monster Special Defense Stat, reliable recovery and Natural Cure to prevent Zapdos from doing much of anything to it. Snorlax takes a decent chunk from Offensive Zapdos' Thunderbolts but it can generally beat it one on one, particularly if sand is not up. Regice can also take Zapdos' attacks with ease and retaliate with STAB Ice Beam. It doesn't appreciate being hit with Toxic however. Grass types such as Celebi and Venusaur can take it on without much issue, even Hidden Power [Ice] variants don't do quite enough damage to them. They have to watch out for the rare Drill Peck however, and generally can't do much back other than Leech Seed which only has 8 PP against Pressure. Celebi also has to watch out for Dugtrio coming in on Baton Pass. Electric types such as Jolteon and Raikou can take its attacks with ease, Jolteon can even heal up on Thunderbolts, and force Zapdos out with their own STAB attacks. They generally like to avoid Zapdos' status moves however. Ground Types such as Swampert and Flygon can wall it depending on the Hidden Power and Camerupt can wall it regardless however all of them are crippled by Toxic. Steelix however isn't really affected by anything Zapdos does. Finally, Rock types such as Aerodactyl and Tyranitar can check it as they OHKO with their STAB moves. Tyranitar can even switch into it at full health and beat it one on one.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
    melle2402 and Disaster Area like this.
  2. magic9mushroom

    magic9mushroom BEST END. Member

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    Should Sleep Talk perhaps be mentioned in Other Options?
     
  3. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    Yes, good find.
     
  4. Cowboy Dan

    Cowboy Dan Host Emeritus

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    Added it in because people sometimes still use it but mentioned that it is currently not really viable.
     
    Disaster Area likes this.
  5. autumn leaves

    autumn leaves Member

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    ctrl f light screen no results. please fix
     
  6. Cowboy Dan

    Cowboy Dan Host Emeritus

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    My bad, added it in to the rest set.
     
  7. eden's embrace

    eden's embrace end. Host Emeritus

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    tox+tect zap is kind of its own thing; maybe worth a passing mention, usually runs timid?

    Wrath (Zapdos) @ Leftovers
    Ability: Pressure
    EVs: 176 HP / 172 SpA / 160 Spe
    Timid Nature
    IVs: 2 Atk / 30 Def
    - Thunderbolt
    - Toxic
    - Hidden Power [Ice]
    - Protect

    i'm running a bit of creep, probably don't really need that; at the same time idt 252 speed really does anything notable for this; probably could play with the EVs a bit
     
  8. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Ball of Furr and Power Member

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    I think defensive needs to be moved up, maybe make it into Light Screen (tbolt/rest/ls/toxic or roar) and then have a generic bulky set. I think that might clean up the slashitis too. Light Screen is DEFINITELY good enough to have its own set and be the first listed in my opinion. In addition mention how well Light Screen pairs with Spikers: it makes Skarmory much less vulnerable to Magneton and Forretress much more capable of beating Magneton 1v1. It also pairs well with Dugtrio, helping it to take out Jirachi that lack Body Slam, and pairs well with Gengar, making it less vulnerable to Pursuit Tar. Aerodactyl also likes Light Screen but it's maybe harder to write down exactly why.

    It's such a good set that to me there's no way it doesn't belong as the first set and on its own, separate from the bulky set.

    Also missing is that somewhere (maybe the intro) you should mention how and why Zapdos makes a great lead.
     
  9. wyc2333

    wyc2333 Member

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    Mixed
    Zapdos @ Leftovers
    Ability: Pressure
    EVs: 120 Atk / 252 SpA / 136 Spe
    Mild Nature
    - Thunderbolt
    - Drill Peck
    - Hidden Power Grass
    - Roar / Baton Pass / Agility / Thunder Wave
    hp fighting and bp can be mentioned in set description. tox can be listed in oo
     

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