Hey everyone, as some of you may know I’ve been planning to make something like this for a while now. Essentially, this is a review of the competitive battle potential each of the new, Gen V Pokemon has to offer, where I give my personal thoughts and opinions on how I think each Pokemon will perform in battle. Due to time issues however and not really knowing what kind of game we’d end up with I ended up putting it off a bit until I felt I had more to talk about. Ultimately, I would very quickly be given something to talk about when Nintendo revealed the ruleset for the 2011 Video Game Championships not too long ago. Now, this ruleset was initially responded to with absolute outrage from many players, but that outrage would eventually die down when people realized the potential this ruleset actually had. So, here’s the VGC11 rules: - Doubles matches, 4 vs 4, each set of 4 picked from a team of 6. - No Pokemon of the same species in one team. - All hold items must be unique. - Gen V Pokemon only. - Victini, Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem, Kerudio, Meloetta and Genosect are banned from use. - Dream World abilities are banned from use. I think it goes without saying where the initial outrage came from here – none of the oldies are permitted to compete. While this does restrict teams a fair bit, upon closer inspection it turns out that Gen V has quite a kickass selection of Pokemon and ultimately, a rather well-balanced game in of itself. Since this ruleset has been fully confirmed and everyone knows what we’re dealing with here, I’ve decided to review each fully-evolved Pokemon available for use in VGC11 and say how useful (or otherwise) I feel they will be in the VGC11 environment. Now, since it’s me and I’m pretty-much back to my scathing and sarcastic usual self, I should probably take this time to warn you that some of the comments you’ll see here towards certain Pokemon will likely be extremely offensive to anyone who happens to like any of the Pokemon I decide to bash for being crap. So, if you’re the kind of person to blow a gasket if someone so much as thinks about insulting one of your favourite Pokemon, I highly suggest you spare yourself the agony of multiple burst blood vessels and STOP READING NOW! Also, grow up. To spare myself the agony of having to type out base stats, typing and abilities, every single Pokemon reviewed here will have a hyperlink in its name linking it back to its respective page on the ‘Charms Games Wiki, to give you a better idea of what you’re dealing with for each Pokemon. Anyway, enough prattling, onto the reviews: #497 Jaroda Starting out the ‘Dex here is Jaroda, the smug-looking grass snake who sadly is all looks and no substance in the VGC environment due to his horribly lacking options in doubles matches. In singles, Jaroda has two notable options: Sub/Calm Mind and Perversity Leaf Storm. Now, we can scratch the latter option right off the bat since Perversity isn’t legal in VGC11, leaving just the Sub/Calm Mind set which flops on its ass in the doubles environment since Jaroda will be immediately double-teamed to oblivion if it’s seen trying to set up anything. Having nothing to hit both opponents at once with and carrying rather meagre offensive stats all but dooms Jaroda to utter obscurity in doubles matches. Grass Oath is about the only notable doubles ability Jaroda has, and Water + Fire is the best Oath combination in the game for me. Overall, Jaroda is made of meh in VGC, and he’s better off sticking to singles competition. #500 Emboar Emboar is definitely the best starter of the lot in doubles without question. He’ll be wanting Trick Room to turn his slow speed into a benefit, allowing him to outpace faster opponents and strike them hard with physical attacks. Hammer Arm is an interesting option for Emboar in that it drops his Speed stat when he uses it, which is reversed in Trick Room conditions and actually makes him faster instead. Earthquake and Rock Slide to batter both opponents at once is very nice indeed, and Emboar’s plethora of other options makes him a guessing game of sorts whenever he’s on the field. Although he could do with being a tad slower than he is since many of the more standard Trick Room options are even slower than Emboar is and will thus outspeed him when the Trick Room is active, Hammer Arm makes up for this somewhat and Emboar’s powerful offense, great movepool and decent bulk in HP essentially guarantee him a place on many Trick Room teams. #503 Daikenki When I first thought about this article, I initially expected to see myself praising Daikenki for being an underrated dark horse in the VGC environment. Then, I took another look at Daikenki’s movepool and realized it was not anywhere near as good as I remembered it being – ain’t that just typical, huh? That said, Daikenki doesn’t have it too bad, what with Blizzard and Surf to fire off his decent Sp.Attack as well as Megahorn to clobber the abundant Psychic-types that will inevitably feature prominently on the aforementioned Trick Room teams. Speaking of Trick Room, Daikenki can be pretty decent on a Trick Room team himself, although Base 70 Speed is a bit too fast really compared to most of the other Gen V Pokemon he’ll be competing for team slots with. Daikenki’s at least fortunate in that there’s not many Water-types he’ll be having to compete with, and none of those Water-types would really fit the same role as Daikenki within a team. This guy’s OK I guess, he has a few good options going for him, but he doesn’t quite have enough to be a standard. #505 Miruhoggu Before I start I’d like to point out just how much I fucking hate this thing. It looks hideously ugly, its stats are horrible, its movepool is interesting but otherwise crap, and in doubles it performs even worse than it does in singles. There’s really not much to say beyond that, this testicle-tonguing rodent is a complete waste of ‘Dex space and deserves to be run over by a monster truck with the word “FAILURE” printed on its tyres. #508 Muurando Nice moustache. Unfortunately, when the best you can contribute to a battle is an ability that activates the moment you’re sent out, you sadly end up being pretty useless in the long run since you then become dead weight from turn one onwards. Intimidate is the best option Muurando has going for it in the VGC environment – everything else it contributes can be done far better by a ton of other available Pokemon. Next. #510 Lepardasu Ah, now this is definitely a cool cat to have on your team. An extremely fast Fake Out for your starter, very nice disruption moves in Taunt and Encore for the main course, and for dessert, kitty can also bypass Trick Room murdering his Speed stat with Sucker Punch, which will still strike first even in the Trick Room environment – pretty sweet, no? No Mischievous Heart is a shame for Lepardasu thanks to the Dream World ban, but the cat still has enough going for him to succeed in the VGC environment without it. The cat is very frail though, and his offensive stats are mediocre at best, but when Lepardasu’s team-mate can take care of the heavy-hitting for it while also deflecting some of the negative attention away from the cat, you’ll probably find its weaknesses won’t be anywhere near as glaring as they would be in singles competition. If you aren’t using Lepardasu, make sure you’re prepared for it, because this is one Pokemon who isn’t to be underestimated. #512 Yanakki He’s better than Jaroda in VGC – unfortunately, the good points for Yanakki end there. With only Rock Slide to strike both opponents with, a rather mediocre STAB in Grass overall and rather lacking coverage options by VGC standards, Yanakki is sadly a poor-at-best option in every way, even though his stats are undeniably pretty awesome. That Elvis hair is way better than Muurando’s moustache though. #514 Baokki Baokki’s a bit better than his Grass-type cousin thanks to STAB Heat Wave and Grass Knot to back it up, as well as Rock Slide again for a physical attack to strike both foes with. Unfortunately, Baokki won’t want to invest heavily in Attack at all really with STAB Heat Wave as his main source of damage, making Rock Slide a poor option at best for him. Baokki’s alright, but he’s not fantastic by any stretch of the imagination. #516 Hiyakki Hiyakki is the main reason I glossed over the other two monkeys so briefly – if you’re going to use any of these monkeys in a doubles match, Hiyakki is easily the best pick, because while it gets many of the same options as the other two monkeys, it also gets two very nice attacks for doubles matches: Surf and Blizzard. Good Sp.Attack and Speed on top of those moves is great, a fast Taunt alongside that good offensive prowess for another bonus, and a handful of surprise options to catch people off-guard and steal surprise KO’s Emboar-style make Hiyakki a naturally quick and reasonably hard-hitting Pokemon with a handful of other options to keep itself from becoming too predictable. This at least gives Hiyakki something to remain cheerful about while the furry community shits out horribly disturbing artwork featuring Hiyakki being Rule 34’d to death. Speaking of disturbing… #518 Musharna For the love of all things, do NOT let this creature near your children. I’ve already mentioned Trick Room multiple times already, and Musharna is the first Pokemon we have who can actually use the move itself. Base 29 Speed makes Musharna the slowest Trick Room user in Gen V, a major bonus to have in its favour, as well as being the only Trick Roomer to get Magic Coat, allowing it to block Taunt and disable the Taunter at the same time, granting it freedom to set up. Musharna can also put foes to sleep with Hypnosis or Yawn (and I’d recommend Hypnosis here since you won’t really want to have to wait that extra turn for Yawn in doubles,) and in Trick Room conditions Musharna will be almost guaranteed to get these moves off before the opponent can retaliate. Finally to wrap things up, Musharna’s HP is very good and its Sp.Attack is good too, both bolstered by a decent offensive movepool to boot. While Ranculus definitely outstrips it offensively in terms of stats and movepool, Musharna’s other options make it a solid VGC contender who is likely to appear on almost every Trick Room team in the game, especially since most of these teams carry two Trick Room users out of the six Pokemon they have, lessening the teamslot competition Musharna gets from Ranculus and Oobemu. Be ready for this guy, because you’re probably going to see him a lot. #521 Kenhorou …and now we’re back to the crap. Just when I thought the Normal/Flying starter birds were getting more awesome, Kenhorou comes along and manages to be quite possibly the worst of all of them. There is nothing this thing can do in doubles that can’t be done better by someone else, and honestly, that goes for singles as well. This stupid bird is almost as bad as Miruhoggu is, and when it isn’t going around penis-pecking in its spare time it’s instead being murdered by the other 99% of the ‘Dex that isn’t completely shit. NEXT! #523 Zeburaika Ehhhhhhhhhhhh…not much to say really. Discharge off an admittedly passable Sp.Attack stat, Me First to possibly give attackers a taste of their own medicine…but not a whole lot beyond that really. I’ve nothing against Zeburaika really, but some Pokemon just aren’t cut out for doubles competition, and Zeburaika unfortunately is one of them. Next… #526 Gigaiasu Wow, now this guy means business. Another attacker for the Trick Room teams right here, what with that massive Base 135 Attack and Speed even lower than Musharna’s. Rock Slide, Earthquake and Explosion will likely batter opponents into submission frighteningly quickly if the Trick Room setup is successful. Very nice defensive bulk for Gigaiasu combined with Sturdy to cushion blows from the special end of the spectrum make this guy tough to kill as well, and all in all he’s something of a hybrid of Metagross and Rhyperior in terms of how he operates, and anyone who’s anyone will tell you how hard those two monsters hit. I honestly wish this guy was Rock/Ground so he could get STAB on Earthquake as well as Rock Slide, but Gigaiasu’s definitely more than good enough as it is. #528 Kokoromori Definitely a support/disruption Pokemon here – Kokoromori is sorely lacking in both the offensive and bulk department in doubles competition, but this freaky-looking bat does have some very interesting tools at his disposal. An even faster Taunt than both Lepardasu and Hiyakki for one thing and Helping Hand to assist the partner Pokemon in dishing out damage on top of being a Flying-type, which allows the partner to spam Earthquakes to their heart’s content. This guy also gets the fiendishly disruptive combination of Imprison + Trick Room too, allowing him to block setups in a manner that even Musharna’s Magic Coat can’t prevent. Much like Lepardasu, Kokoromori isn’t likely to be KO’ing anyone in doubles competition, but he definitely has the tools to help his team-mate get the kills for him, and is worthy of consideration if you’re planning on making a team that isn’t Trick Room. #530 Doryuzu I think I’ll start out here by saying that Sandstorm isn’t completely useless now that Tyranitar and Hippowdon are out of the picture, since anything that can learn the move Sandstorm can provide 8 turns of weather with Smooth Rock as its hold item, and if Rain and Sun can cope without Drizzle and Drought in VGC09 then I’m sure Sandstorm can cope without Sand Stream you spoiled, whiny fucktards. Now, onto Doryuzu – I think it goes without saying this guy, despite his massive HP and Attack stats, won’t really be operating at full potential unless there’s a sandstorm blowing around the field, and you’ll definitely want Sand Throw for this guy to operate at his best since he needs the boosted Speed more than the boosted damage. STAB Earthquake is awesome off such a high Attack stat, Rock Slide combined with awesome Speed from Sand Throw will bring the flinch-hax rolling in if you’re lucky, and since OHKO Clause isn’t present you can use Fissure if you feel lucky. Doryuzu’s very straightforward in operation, but undoubtedly effective once the sandstorm gets going. I wouldn’t write off Sandstorm teams just yet if I were you, because this guy is one of several reasons why they can still succeed without Tyranitar and Hippowdon around. #531 Tabunne An interesting Pokemon to say the least. Potentially viable as a Trick Room user, being one of few non-Psychics to get the move along with Base 50 Speed to boot, although it won’t be doing much of the attacking itself with only Blizzard as a decent offensive option in doubles matches. Tabunne’s hardly useless though, since once it has gotten a Trick Room active it can proceed to support its team-mate with moves like Helping Hand, Healing Beam and Heal Bell where necessary. Simple Beam combined with Emboar’s and Roopushin’s Hammer Arm could be an interesting (if overkill) combination as well, for a more specific example of how Tabunne can support the team. I do feel Tabunne will be overlooked by many due to Trick Room’s all-out-attack nature once the setup is complete, but I feel it deserves some notice at least for the awesome support options it can provide Trick Room teams with, and it’s not like Cresselia was some kind of attacking goddess back in VGC09 either. Tabunne’s definitely worth having a look at at least if you’re planning a Trick Room team, and possibly even if you aren’t, since its support options can potentially help out any team that may need them. #534 Roopushin I swear, if I hear one more metagamer dick-ride this thing I’m going to start bricking people’s windows. Seriously, the way people go on about it you’d think Roopushin was better than Reshiram and Zekrom combined…but enough about that. Roopushin is a force to be reckoned with, no question about it – very low Speed, making him another member of the Trick Room squad, massive Base 140 Attack, the highest so far, good HP and nice Defense too in the stat department. Earthquake and Rock Slide are common moves for Fighting-types too, Roopushin being no exception, Hammer Arm as well like Emboar to make himself steadily slower where necessary, and the icing on the cake: Guts. Give this guy a Flame Orb and watch him wreck shop like a beast. Wide Guard is pretty cool too, although it certainly isn’t Roopushin’s claim to fame and is more of a side bonus really alongside his deadly offensive potential. You’ll definitely need to be prepared for this guy if you’re playing competitive VGC doubles, or your win record will be down the toilet before you know it. It isn’t as good as Reshiram or Zekrom though, no matter what anyone else might tell you. #537 Gamageroge Back to mediocrity – this guy isn’t really useful for anything. Decent offenses, decent bulk, decent Speed, decent movepool. Sadly, you really need to be a lot better than decent in at least one category to succeed, and the only place where this guy will ever have a chance of being even remotely useful is on a Rain team, and given the generally lacking weather options in VGC11 I can’t see this guy ever being successful, and that’s not just because it’s a hideous, warty frog either. In summary, this thing is about as good-looking as it is useful. #538 Nageki Outclassed sorely by Roopushin in every way really. Inner Focus is nice for Fake Out immunity, but Nageki is rarely ever going to be targeted by Fake Out anyway, so it’s essentially wasted on this guy. Guts is cool, but Roopushin already gets it and vastly superior offensive stats on top of it as well. I have no further comments really – use Roopushin instead, you’ll get the same end result except better. #539 Dageki Nice attack, pretty decent Speed, a good doubles movepool to boot and no-one to steal his job – Dageki certainly has it a lot better than his red brother in VGC11, that’s for definite. Sturdy for one thing is cool, especially since this guy’s other ability option is Inner Focus, which may make opponents wary about using Fake Out on him and potentially wasting the move. Earthquake and Rock Slide again – get used to these two moves being mentioned because they’re awesome in doubles – as well as STAB Close Combat off of Base 125 Attack gives Dageki all the offensive prowess he will need to succeed. He is quite frail though without Sturdy to help him out, and he’ll be crippled quite badly under Trick Room conditions, but if you can keep the game in control Dageki can really lay a nasty hurting on your opponent. #542 Hahakomori Hahahaha…haaa…yes, that was a pun on this Pokemon’s name if you hadn’t already guessed. An extremely lame pun wasn’t it? You’re probably facepalming right now, in fact – embrace that feeling of disgust, because that feeling just about sums up Hahakomori’s effectiveness in doubles competition. Good Attack and Speed, but a doubles movepool that sucks ass through a straw, something that is fairly consistent throughout the Bug and Grass-types sadly, so you’ll probably know what to expect from all the other Pokemon of either of these types that are coming up now. Chlorophyll’s cool for Sun teams, but I’ve already mentioned how strapped for options all the weather teams bar Sandstorm are here, and Chlorophyll doesn’t make your movepool any better unfortunately. I get the feeling I’m going to be hitting one crap Pokemon after another for quite a while at this point… #545 Pendora Basically a Bug/Poison version of Hahakomori except without Chlorophyll and with the Attack and Speed stats switched around. Megahorn’s cool to twat the Psychic Trick Roomers with, but when you’re weak to Psychic yourself no-one in their right mind will pick you as an option to beat Psychic-types with. This thing sucks ass, and now we shall move on. #547 Erefuun For the love of all things, why the hell would anyone give something with Base 116 Speed TRICK ROOM!? Ugh, the idiocy…mercifully, Erefuun does have something going for it: Mischievous Heart. This means it gets priority on Taunt, Encore, Switcheroo and Memento. It gets Helping Hand as well, and overall Erefuun does have a fair few tools at its disposal to make it at least useful in the VGC environment. Mischievous Heart will be its claim to fame, and while I’m unsure whether that’s really enough to make it more worthy of team slots than the likes of Lepardasu or Taunt Hiyakki since this guy has practically no offensive ability whatsoever in doubles competition, it at least has something to allow it to stand out from the crowd. At the end of the day, this guy is actually pretty cool, although I can’t see him being a standard in VGC. #549 Doredia Erefuun was like taking a gulp of air before submerging your head back into a tank of urine – Hahakomori and Pendora were both trash, and so is this stupid thing. I’m not going to harp on about how much Sun sucks in VGC11 beca-oh wait, I’ve already said it again…my bad. Anyway…this thing REALLY wants to be on a Sun team – it even learns Sunny Day by level up, and admittedly its good Sp.Attack combined with Chlorophyll to boost Speed is good in of itself, but just like Hahakomori and Pendora, this guy suffers from having a movepool made of ass. Teeter Dance is pretty cool though, although this hardly makes Doredia worth using. #550 Basurao OH FOR GOD SAKES! How much more shit must we go through before we reach something good!? This shitpickle of a fish couldn’t even get Blizzard, as if having complete ass for stats wasn’t bad enough. Muddy Water is OK I guess since it doesn’t hit the team-mate, but that’s hardly enough to make up for this thing being a craptacular disaster of ass in every other way. May the next Pokemon be something that doesn’t suck dicks… #553 Warubiaru Err, speaking of dicks…ah, anyway, Warubiaru is thankfully a pretty good Pokemon in the doubles environment, getting good Attack, above average Speed and Earthquake/Rock Slide to murder stuff with for the backbone of his functionality. Other options Warubiaru gets to play with include getting either Intimidate or Overconfident for abilities, the former dropping both opponent’s Attack and the latter boosting Warubiaru’s Attack whenever he gets a KO, something he is more than capable of achieving. Taunt is a nice filler option for this guy, Crunch lets him batter the Psychic-type Trick Roomers (a valuable trait to have here) and Dragon Claw to scare off enemy dragons potentially as well. Warubiaru’s a good Pokemon overall, and for that I am very grateful at this moment in time. #555 Hihidaruma For the purposes of this review I’m going to go over Hihidaruma’s two formes separately. Hihidaruma’s regular forme is almost like a fast Roopushin in terms of stats and moves, since it gets its own STAB move as well as Earthquake/Rock Slide for coverage. Encourage certainly makes Fire Punch and Rock Slide a lot more damaging, although at the cost of Fire Punch’s burn chance and, more notably, Rock Slide’s flinch-hax chance. Getting Taunt is a nice surprise bonus for Hihidaruma, although I can’t see it having space for it along with its attacks due to Protect being an almost mandatory move on every doubles set in existence. If you want something that hits very hard while also having good Speed (that doesn’t require a Trick Room setup) then Hihidaruma’s worth taking into consideration #555 Hihidaruma (Daruma Mode) When Daruma Mode activates, Hihidaruma goes from being a fast, physical attacker to being a slow, special attacker. It also becomes Fire/Psychic instead of just pure Fire, and this mode only activates when Hihidaruma’s HP drops below 50%. Needless to say, Daruma Mode itself would work best in Trick Room conditions, but Base 55 Speed leaves it in an awkward spot where it can’t outspeed other Trick Room standards in Trick Room conditions, and is far slower than everything else outside of Trick Room – combine that with the rather nasty forme change requirements and the somewhat lacking special movepool and ultimately, I can’t see Daruma Mode being too useful. Base 140 Sp.Attack to shoot off Fire Blasts with is evil, but missing out on Heat Wave is a major kick in the teeth for Daruma Mode, and only goes further in making this forme a weak option at best. #556 Marakachi …this some kind of joke? More shit Pokemon, after we just got done with the Chlorophyll clowns earlier and that stupid waste Basurao after that? Joy…Marakachi is crap even by Gen V Chlorophyll-user standards, and when you’re shit compared to them lot, you are one pitiful waste of ‘Dex space indeed. Whoever designed this thing deserves to have a cactus shoved up their ass, and how appropriate an ANALogy that is, in more ways than one. #558 Iwaparesu Not really suited for doubles competition unfortunately. Gets all the right moves (Earthquake/Rock Slide basically) and is slow enough for Trick Room standards, but this guy’s Attack stat really begs to be far higher than it is. Stealth Rock is of very little use in the heavily offense-oriented style of VGC, and really that’s what Iwaparesu’s role is for the most part. That said, Base 95 Attack is pretty good, and STAB X-Scissor for the Psychics is a nice bonus on the side, but when the other Trick Room team attackers have Attack stats hitting the 120+ mark, you’re not really going to be able to compete if your Base Attack can’t even get into three digits. Useable, but not recommended. #560 Zuruzukin This guy’s movepool is as strange as his appearance. Rock Slide and no Earthquake for one thing, Fake Out as an Egg Move, making Zuruzukin one of the slowest Fake Out users in the game with Base 58 Speed, a mostly offense-oriented movepool on a mostly defensive stat spread…whose backwards idea was this guy anyway? Trick Room attacker seems like the most obvious direction for Zuruzukin, but Base 90 Attack ruins that a bit when compared to Emboar and Roopushin. Dark-type is pretty awesome though, and Crunch can do heavy damage to enemy Psychics in a Trick Room vs Trick Room confrontation, and as a Fake Out user Zuruzukin isn’t crippled by Trick Room being activated unlike many of its Fake Out-using VGC11 peers. It has a very slow Taunt, although it’d still get in before Trick Room would due to Trick Room’s negative priority forcing it to always go last in a turn, giving it some disruption options to play with, and with Base 115 defenses Zuruzukin’s bulk is definitely on the good side. This guy is a very odd Pokemon, but there’s definitely some hidden potential in this guy. #561 Shinbora Not much going for Shinbora unfortunately in this environment. None of his options stand out as being useful except possibly Tailwind, and when half of VGC11 is slow as all hell and then on top of that Trick Room reverses Tailwind’s effects, Shinbora’s just been disarmed of his best support option. Offensively Shinbora does little better, with only Air Cutter to strike both opponents and a movepool that’s overall no better than that of Musharna and Ranculus, and when your stats aren’t any better than “good but not amazing,” it makes for one thoroughly mediocre Pokemon. Sorry Shinbora, you’re better off sticking to singles. #563 Deathkan This guy sort-of falls into the same category as Iwaparesu earlier stat-wise, except with even lower Speed and superior bulk. Deathkan is saved from falling into the same pit of mediocrity however by quite a few factors. First of all, it learns Trick Room and has Base 30 Speed, making it a prime candidate for setting up the move. Secondly, it can learn Imprison to bar the opponent from using Trick Room if you do not want it active. Finally, this thing’s Destiny Bond is brutally quick in Trick Room conditions, allowing it to steal a surprise KO out of nowhere that could tip the balance of a match in your favour quite easily. Overall, Deathkan’s definitely a lot more suited to be on Trick Room teams rather than countering them with Imprison, and while his offensive stats aren’t particularly amazing, Base 90 Sp.Attack is better than nothing and once again, if Cresselia can cope so can this guy. Base 145 Defense and 105 Sp.Defense all but ensures Deathkan won’t go down easy, and with his impressive array of options Deathkan will be a potent alternative to the Trick Room norm methinks. #565 Abagoora This beefy tortoise reminds me of Rhyperior a bit, and yes, this is a good thing because Rhyperior was a beast in VGC09. Although Abagoora’s stats don’t really have much on Rhyperior’s, the turtle does have some interesting options that allow him to keep up with Rhyperior and stand out on his own. The turtle’s impressive versatility allows him to operate nicely on Rain, Sandstorm and – you guessed it – Trick Room teams very nicely. Abagoora’s offensive stats combined with great offensive STAB in doubles lets him run Surf, Earthquake and Rock Slide all at once to great effect, although his Sp.Attack stat could have done with being a little higher. Finally, Abagoora’s most prominent weakness (Grass) is neutered somewhat by the Grass-type’s generally lacking doubles options, leaving only Ground, Electric and Fighting for Abagoora to really need to worry about, and his very nice Defense stat can take a couple hits before going down. Abagoora’s offensive stats could have done with being a bit higher than they are, and for that reason I’m not sure how popular this guy will be in the end, but Base 32 Speed makes him a fine choice for the Trick Room crowd at least, which gives him some potential to shine. #567 Archeos This poor bird got lamped with one of the worst abilities in the game – he loses half his HP, and his offensive stats go down the toilet. Luckily for Archeos, doubles competition provides Archeos with all the necessary tools to avoid being utterly crippled by his own ability, namely the ever-present Protect to defend himself from attack as well as a team-mate to deflect some of the negative attention away from Archeos. It’s a case of give and receive here though, as Archeos certainly gives a lot back to the team itself: Base 140 Attack and 110 Speed for one thing, STAB Rock Slide and Earthquake for coverage also, and can utilize moves like Endeavor, U-Turn, Dragon Claw and Crunch also for coverage and utility options. Earthquake immunity is a major bonus for Archeos as well, allowing the team-mate to fire Earthquakes freely without having to worry about Archeos’s survival. His Sp.Attack is useable, but Archeos doesn’t really have any good options to run off of it and his Attack is vastly superior anyway. Overall, Faint Hearted is far less of an issue in doubles for Archeos thanks to Archeos having a team-mate as well as access to a Protect that does far more than just delay the inevitable, and his options in doubles are more than good enough to allow him to cause some major damage. #569 Dasutodasu A garbage bag, how appropriate. Best option this stupid thing gets is Explosion, and when your only purpose in a team is killing yourself for damage, then it’s safe to say you’re a dismal failure at best. Sludge Wave would be cool if Dasutodasu had more than Base 60 on Sp.Attack, which renders that option null and void right off. Dasutodasu is, quite literally, completely rubbish. #571 Zoroark There has been a lot of talk about this guy and how Illusion will fare in doubles competition. Zoroark’s ability to hide his true identity from the opponent is one that should not be underestimated, as there’s no giveaway signs to show it is in fact Zoroark until he decides to attack, by which time it may already be too late. Zoroark also gets a fast Taunt to disable foes, he gets Imprison by level-up which is a major kick in the teeth since he can’t get Trick Room and lock it down, but Imprison + Protect can still work nicely for him. Zoroark’s offensive stats are very nice, especially Sp.Attack, but lacks any attacks that hit both foes in battle. Sucker Punch is nice though, and Snatch could also potentially prove useful now that it can steal a wider range of moves – Zoroark is quite the toolbox. Overall, I feel Zoroark is a bit like Lepardasu except without Fake Out and with the ability to actually KO stuff if you don’t factor in Illusion – if you do factor in Illusion, you’ve got quite a fiendish fox on your hands here. I’m not sure how much you’ll see this guy, but true to his appearance I do believe this Pokemon will always be hiding in the shadows as a potential doubles candidate, and due to Illusion hiding his true identity, his surprise value could easily make him a very deadly foe. #573 Chirachiino Helping Hand is about the only useful thing this guy gets unfortunately. Chirachiino was obviously made to destroy Substitute users – big problem there is that Substitute itself is a very poor move in doubles competition, essentially rendering Chirachiino’s biggest strength utterly useless. Another Pokemon who really needs to stick to singles. #576 Gochiruzeru A Trick Room user, and sadly one of the worst in Gen V. Base 65 Speed makes it one of the fastest Trick Room users in the game, which is definitely not a good thing, especially when the one Trick Room standard you speed-tie with (Emboar) can lower his Speed and you can’t. I’ve already mentioned Base 95 on offense isn’t too great, and Gochiruzeru’s offensive options don’t come close to making up for this deficiency. Mirror Coat’s pretty cool I suppose, but that isn’t nearly enough to put Gochiruzeru on the level of Musharna and Ranculus, and this loligoth freakshow will never be a worthy option with all the other, superior Psychic-types out there. Speaking of which… #579 Ranculus You’ll have seen his name several times already now, and this is where we analyze this cell-like creature. Massive HP, massive Sp.Attack, very low Base 30 Speed which is only one point higher than Musharna’s, and a very impressive special movepool to boot, making him essentially an offense-oriented Musharna. Sadly, no attacks to strike both foes, but Latios never needed them thanks to its raw power and Ranculus won’t suffer too much without them either. Trick Room (which Ranculus can set up himself) will make Ranculus one of the fastest Pokemon in the game, and from then onwards Ranculus is free to batter his opponent senseless with his gigantic Sp.Attack stat. Magic Guard ensures only offensive moves can harm Ranculus, allowing the blob to use a Life Orb’s damage boost and suffer no recoil whatsoever in the process. Ranculus does get other options such as Trick, Imprison and Snatch, but with all the offensive capabilities Ranculus has going for it I feel that all-out attack will be the dish of the day here. This guy is a guaranteed staple in the Trick Room arsenal along with Musharna, and if you’re not using him you’d better be ready for him. #581 Swanna Flying-type and STAB Surf are all this thing has really. Like Basurao, this silly bird couldn’t even get Blizzard, and with mediocre stats across the board Swanna won’t be winning any awards besides Razzies for poor performance. Tailwind + Me First might be fun, but when that’s about the only remotely useful option you have, that is extremely dire. The only use you’ll have for this thing is teaming it up with Muurando and pretending to play Duck Hunt with your opponent – if said opponent is over the age of 20, expect Muurando to get KO’d first. Next. #584 Vaivanilla Ah, a Hail option at last. Sadly, Hail gets very little support across the board in Gen V, and Vaivanilla’s nice Sp.Attack and STAB Blizzard aren’t really enough to help it out. Taunt, Magnet Rise and Sheer Cold are potential options and Ice Body is pretty cool (no pun intended,) but Vaivanilla’s movepool is otherwise as lacking as Hail’s general options in Gen V. Unfortunate really, but I don’t think Vaivanilla would have been amazing anyway even if Abomasnow was around. I guess with two faces, you could call the left face “Ben” and the right face “Jerry” or something…ugh, next… #586 Mebukijika Yay, a Grass-type, we all know how this will end. Nice Attack and Speed, Chlorophyll to boost Speed further, and sadly not a single decent option to bring to the doubles table. This guy’s sticking to singles – he looks awesome though, so points for that at least. Moving on. #587 Emonga This guy would be awesome if he wasn’t complete shit. You may think this goes for every shit Pokemon in the game, but Emonga really takes this to a whole other level by having very nice doubles options and god-awful stats to ruin it all with. Typing? Awesome without a doubt. Movepool? STAB Discharge, STAB Air Slash and Speed enough to pull it off, as well as a fast Encore and Taunt. All this would be fantastic if not for the fact Emonga’s stats are all horrid except Speed – seriously, if Emonga’s Sp.Attack was increased to 100 from 75, he’d actually be pretty decent. Sadly, this isn’t the case, and Emonga ultimately amounts to little more than what his fellow Pikaclones amounted to: fuck all. Can we have a good Pokemon now? #589 Shubarugo Wish granted. Shubarugo is a beast – Bug/Steel typing is evil with only one (granted, 4x) weakness to Fire and a whole plethora of resistances on top of that, gigantic Base 135 Attack on top of very nice Base 105 defenses, STAB Megahorn to fire off that Attack stat and the icing on the cake: Base 20 Speed. That’s right, this guy is even slower than Musharna and Ranculus, making him the ultimate Pokemon to slay both of them not just on their setup turn (remember, Trick Room always goes last in the turn when used, so Shubarugo can outspeed and KO the user before it goes up) and if Trick Room is active, Shubarugo is still faster due to his lower Base Speed. Unfortunately, Shubarugo doesn’t get much more than Megahorn in terms of offense, and is limited to Knock Off and Pursuit to mess with the Psychic-types further. Overall, Shubarugo is a very, VERY dangerous threat to the Trick Room Psychic-types which in itself makes him worthy of a spot on many teams, and also guarantees that all of the Trick Room Psychics will be looking to have Hidden Power Fire on their movesets just to deal with this guy. A very nice anti-Trick Room option, and a nice option for Trick Room teams themselves as well. #591 Morobareru What, a Grass-type that ISN’T completely useless in doubles? Unthinkable! May as well believe it though, because while Morobareru doesn’t have a huge number of options available to him, the ones he does have are as unique as they are potent. Base 30 Speed and Spore make him by far the best “Sleeper” Trick Room teams have as an option, and Power Rage works the same as Follow Me, allowing Morobareru to protect his partner from attacks by drawing those attacks onto himself – this is especially potent when drawing Fake Out, since you can trigger Effect Spore on the Fake Out user and cripple them for the rest of the match, and Morobareru’s high HP and passable defenses allow him to take a few hits before going down. Overall, Morobareru doesn’t get much, but what he does get are two good options that are pretty-much unique to him, essentially guaranteeing him his place in the game. #593 Burunkeru Ah, Gen V’s Water Spouting Trick Room candidate. Sadly, Burunkeru isn’t anywhere near as good as Octillery was before it for several reasons, the first and most notable being that Octillery had higher Sp.Attack and lower Speed. Couple that with Octillery’s superior movepool and Burunkeru isn’t really going to be matching Octillery’s effectiveness anytime soon unfortunately. Burunkeru’s bulk is superior to Octillery’s but in doubles it’s the offensive prowess that matters most in many cases, and in this case Burunkeru drew the short straw. I think Burunkeru will have its own, personal niche in the game due to Water Spout, but otherwise it’s pretty underwhelming across the board really – even learning Trick Room itself isn’t much of a boon since you’ll very likely have to sacrifice Water Spout’s effectiveness in the setup process which leaves Burunkeru looking very mediocre indeed, and Base 60 Speed is actually approaching the weaker end of the Speed spectrum as far as Trick Room goes in Gen V. Interesting and unique, but overall Burunkeru’s options just aren’t solid enough to make it any better than decent. #594 Mamanbo Essentially Tabunne all over again except without Trick Room but with superior bulk. Tabunne hilariously has it a fair bit better than Mamanbo does offensively speaking due to Mamanbo’s Surf and Blizzard attacks being utterly crippled by Base 40 Sp.Attack, but overall Mamanbo has the support options where it counts with Helping Hand and Healing Beam to contribute to team-mates. Wide Guard can protect team-mates as well from attacks, giving Mamanbo one option over its fellow cleric Pokemon at least. Base 65 Speed could have done with being a bit lower really even with Helping Hand’s priority, but it’s nothing too horrible really since Mamanbo won’t be attacking and thus probably won’t care much about Speed anyway. I feel Tabunne may be a little bit better than Mamanbo as a support/cleric Pokemon in doubles, but Mamanbo’s definitely a viable alternative at the very least. #596 Dentula Fantastic, if your opponent happens to suffer from arachnophobia. Otherwise, STAB Discharge and a few coverage moves are all Dentula really has to offer to the doubles game. He could put a dent in Psychic-types with his STAB Bug Buzz potentially, but I can’t see Dentula being a standard simply because his options are so few and so mediocre overall. Oh well… #598 Nattorei Nattorei’s essentially Gen V’s version of Forretress for all intents and purposes, and Forretress was never that great in doubles anyway. Nattorei manages to do slightly worse actually, lacking Forretress’s Earthquake and being left with a nerfed Explosion as well. STAB Gyro Ball off Base 20 Speed is very nice by Trick Room standards, but unfortunately that, Explosion and possibly Gravity are all Nattorei really has going for it as far as doubles options go. Useable in doubles, but I don’t feel he’s really suited for it overall. #601 Gigigear I don’t know who it was who stole this guy’s movepool but…gosh dang does this guy suck some serious ass. Good Attack, nice Speed, for some reason gets Trick Room as if that wasn’t the biggest troll in the world, and a non-STAB Discharge off a low Base 70 Sp.Attack as his best overall option. This waste of space couldn’t even get Explosion, and why? It’s a machine, right? Those gears look like they’d hurt if the thing suddenly blew up in your face, but apparently someone at Game Freak decided that Gigigear was meant to be a dismal failure of a Pokemon from the get-go. There’s nothing else to say really, Gigigear sucks ass no matter how you look at it. #604 Shibirudon Electric-type Levitator? About time one of these showed up. Shibirudon’s stats scream “mixed attacking Trick Room sweeper” although this guy does run into the slight issue of having STAB Discharge as his best attack. See, when the opponent is paralyzed in a Trick Room, they suddenly become extremely fast – not too useful really. As silly as this sounds, I feel this will be the biggest limiter to Shibirudon’s otherwise fantastic potential in VGC11, because otherwise this guy has it all: Earthquake immunity, no weaknesses, very nice stats and a great movepool to back it all up. Having to pray that Discharge doesn’t paralyze anyone sucks a bit really, although you could theoretically have Discharge paralyze your own partner to make them even quicker in the Trick Room environment, but you could risk being haxed by paralysis preventing you from attacking (although the opponent suffers the same fate themselves.) Granted, you could use him outside of Trick Room, but then you’d likely have to rely on Discharge paralyzing the foes – either way, you have to gamble a bit with it in battles to succeed. Overall, fantastic potential here for Shibirudon, but you may find it performs significantly worse than you’d expect it to if you’re especially unlucky with Discharge. I’d give it a try nonetheless though. #606 Oobemu This alien invader is the third Psychic-type I can see being used a fair bit to set up Trick Room, and while his Speed and HP aren’t quite up to scratch in the Trick Room pecking order compared to Ranculus, Oobemu does have one major factor in its favour: Telepathy. With this ability, Oobemu cannot be harmed at all by its team-mate, making it a one-size-fits-all partner for any Pokemon that want to spam Surf, Discharge or Earthquake all day. Base 125 Sp.Attack is on par with Ranculus too, and while Oobemu doesn’t get the same Life Orb trick that Ranculus does he can still hit very hard, and his special movepool is approximately on par with Ranculus’s as well. Overall, I think Ranculus is the more solid option as far as Psychic-type Trick Room special attackers go, but not by a whole lot – Oobemu’s Telepathy is an amazing boon for it and it’s more than worthy for consideration when constructing a Trick Room team. #609 Shanderaa I know you probably expected me to say Shanderaa kicks ass here, and far be it from me to disappoint you because he certainly does kick ass. STAB Heat Wave off Base 145 Sp.Attack makes Daruma Mode cry itself to sleep every night wishing it could do the same, Shadow Ball off the same stat will viciously put down any Psychic or Ghost-types that try to come out and play, and if that wasn’t enough, Shanderaa also gets the Imprison + Trick Room combination as well as Taunt to disarm the likes of Ranculus, Musharna and Deathkan before crushing them with Shadow Balls. Base 80 Speed lies in a rather suspect part of the spectrum though where you’re not really that great in or out of Trick Room conditions, but overall Shanderaa has more than enough going for it to make up for this problem. Also, am I the only one who thinks this thing looks like a Heartless? #612 Ononokusu This guy reminds me of that person you get at school or work groups who is a complete prick and would rather do everything himself because he feels the rest of the group would only hold him back. Why? Because Ononokusu’s Mold Breaker combined with Earthquake is very liable to strike his partner and crush them if their only defence against it is Levitate – Ononokusu cares not for his team-mates, only for crushing his opponent and anything else that dares stand in his way. Otherwise though, Ononokusu’s pretty damn awesome – Earthquake + Rock Slide off the highest Attack stat VGC11 has to offer, STAB Dragon Claw to crush any individual threats, nice Base 97 Speed to boot and quite a swift Taunt to run off of it as well. I can’t see there being a huge amount of variance between Ononokusu sets really and I feel he’ll be used almost exactly the same way Garchomp was back in VGC09 except minus the Sandstorms. Mold Breaker may be a bit hard to work around (and Rivalry’s not worth using in its place by any stretch of the imagination) but Ononokusu otherwise is a fearsome threat that could effortlessly tear through entire teams if left unchecked. #614 Tsunbear Mediocre really. Another Pokemon who wants to play in Hail, but given Hail’s poor Gen V options Tsunbear is left a bit disarmed in that area. Trick Room is OK with his Base 50 Speed, but his movepool and stats aren’t amazing and there are far superior options out there for Trick Room sweepers than this guy. Use something else. #615 Freezio Icy Wind, Blizzard, Levitate and Sheer Cold are Freezio’s best options here, and once again it’s a rather mediocre end result when taking Freezio’s decent-at-best base stats into account. He’s better than Tsunbear, but still nothing special really thanks to his otherwise poor movepool. Next. #617 Agirudaa What is it with Game Freak and super-fast ninja bugs? First we had Ninjask, and now this guy. Very, VERY fast Pokemon here, Gen V’s fastest actually, but his movepool is only really suited for offense, and that movepool suffers from the same issues as almost all the other Bug-types in Gen V in that Agirudaa has nothing to strike both opponents at once with. Me First could potentially steal such a move for Agirudaa to utilize, but Base 70 Attack isn’t the best to use this with considering Earthquake and Rock Slide are the best and most common moves of this kind to steal, and Me Firsting a Rock Slide and failing to KO the user guarantees Agirudaa’s own demise due to its horrid Defense stat. This bug couldn’t even get Taunt, and combined with an overall mediocre special movepool Agirudaa’s pretty average at the end of the day. Next… #618 Maggyo Whose idea was it to give this thing the most amazing offensive doubles movepool in Gen V and poor offensive stats to ruin any potential it would have otherwise had? Seriously, you’ve got STAB Earthquake, STAB Discharge, Rock Slide, Muddy Water, Surf AND Sludge Wave to fire off from this thing, Base 32 Speed to make it perfect as a Trick Room attacker, and it’s left with Base 66 Attack and Base 81 Sp.Attack. What…the…FUCK!? This is the biggest troll in the ‘Dex so far, Maggyo would have been amazing if not for those horrid offensive stats, but as a result all we’re left with is the biggest waste of potential Gen V has. No wonder this thing looks so fucking miserable… #620 Kojondo Easily my favourite Fake Out user in Gen V for a number of reasons. First of all, Base 125 Attack is awesome as is Base 105 Speed, giving it one of the fastest Fake Outs in the game. Secondly, it gets Feint to strike through Protect/Detect as well, moves that would otherwise prevent Fake Out from operating. Thirdly, STAB Hi Jump Kick from this thing is BRUTAL. Gets Rock Slide too, allowing Kojondo to potentially operate as a very nice sweeper, and also gets U-Turn if it’d prefer to let someone else do the sweeping for it. Kojondo’s options are numerous and potent and its stats are perfect for its role. Speedy Taunter as well, although I can’t see Kojondo having space for Taunt with all those other moves available to pick from. Fabulous in appearance and fabulous at his job, Kojondo will likely be a VGC11 standard and deservedly so. #621 Kurimugan A Trick Room dragon? Definitely a unique role Kurimugan has here, what with Base 48 Speed and 120 Attack, but it’s a role he performs admirably to say the least. Kurimugan essentially operates within Trick Room the same way Ononokusu operates outside it except Kurimugan doesn’t trash his team-mate in the process if they only have Levitate. Another Dragon Claw/Earthquake/Rock Slide dragon here really, and while there’s not much to say about it there’s no doubt it’s effective. Kurimugan is a great and unique option for a Trick Room sweeper, and I like it just for being the first Dragon-type to be made for Trick Room use. This guy’s cool, no doubt about it. #623 Goruggo Another nice attacker for the Trick Room assault squad. Iron Fist STAB Shadow Punch is very deadly running off of Base 124 Attack, and STAB Earthquake to boot makes Goruggo quite a deadly beast indeed. Combine that with Hammer Arm to lower Goruggo’s Speed further (something he may need to do since Base 55 Speed is a bit higher than you’d really want it to be) and Rock Slide for coverage and Goruggo’s got all the tools he needs to do well. Another simple-yet-effective Pokemon here, and I expect him to become fairly standard in VGC11’s time. #625 Kirikizan This guy looks like a bad-ass metal samurai, and for that alone he gets some kudos. He’s got a very anti-Psychic theme going for him here, but I honestly feel this job is already done better by Shubarugo, and Kirikizan can’t do a whole lot beyond that really. Base Attack and Defense are nice, but his Speed lies in a very awkward spot for his job role and being weak to the Fighting and Ground-type attacks you’re likely to see fired off by Trick Room’s physical attackers means Kirikizan will likely get murdered shortly after doing…whatever he ends up doing. There are better options out there than Kirikizan unfortunately. #626 Buffalon Similar to Goruggo in terms of stats, but otherwise lacks the same support Goruggo gets from its ability, typing and movepool really. Base 100 Attack is outstripped considerably by Trick Room’s other offensive mainstays, and while Reckless Afro Break is extremely powerful without question, I’m not sure it’s enough to put Buffalon up there with Roopushin and Goruggo really. I’d definitely give this guy a try though if you’re using Trick Room because he can definitely succeed, but I don’t feel his options or stats are as good as the ones other Pokemon in his field have available to them. #628 Wargle Staraptor was great in singles but not so great in doubles. The same unfortunately applies to Wargle, who is almost identical to Staraptor in every way except for abilities and differences in HP and Speed. Wargle’s better off staying in singles, although if you want to represent the U.S of A in your team then make your country proud and use this guy to your heart’s content. IN AMERICA! #630 Barujiina This ugly-looking vulture has no decent options for doubles unfortunately. If you’re not attacking, then you’re on setup/support duty, and Barujiina lacks the stats and the movepool to do either job at all. Also, it looks even more ugly than Miruhoggu – can someone repaint that monster truck’s tyres and bring it back over for another round? #631 Kuitaran We’re really not improving any here…where’d all the good Pokemon go, I thought we were approaching the end of the ‘Dex? STAB Heat Wave off good Sp.Attack is all this guy has really, Speed stat is more suited for Trick Room but Base 65 is nowhere near slow enough to make up for this thing’s severely lacking movepool options. #632 Aianto Quick and quite powerful, but sadly lacking in decent options otherwise. Shubarugo at least had his place in the game with the options he brought to the table, and Aianto can’t really match that due to vastly inferior STAB and once again suffering from the same issues as Kirikizan where another Pokemon (Shubarugo) does your job better than you do and you can’t do anything else besides that one job. Swarm could be pretty nasty if you can pull it off, but overall Aianto’s not that great in doubles competition. We going to get someone good now or what?