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Thread: Community POTW #134

  1. #1
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    Default Community POTW #134

    Time for the next Pokémon and this week we have a fan favourite from the RNG



    Heracross doesn't get as much use as it used to, but it is still a formidable Pokémon and its Mega Evolution has the highest Attack stat of any Pokémon not named Mewtwo

    http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-xy/214.shtml

    Go nuts

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    Heracross @ Heracronite
    Nature: Adamant
    Ability: Moxie -> Skill Link
    EVs: 240 HP / 136 Atk / 132 Spe
    ~Close Combat
    ~Pin Missile
    ~Rock Blast
    ~Substitute / Sword Dance

    Close Combat and Pin Missile is Mega Heracross's 2 important STABs, Rock Blast is the best option for coverage which also takes advantage of Skill Link, Substitute is preferred for the last slot on predicted switch. However, Sword Dance is an option for increasing Mega Heracross's attacking power to scary heights while also lessening the effects of Landorus-T's intimidate.

    This set gives Mega Heracross new life in OU.

  3. #3

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    Mega Heracross is a spectacular, if somewhat strange, Mega Evolution. Its incredible Attack is second only to Mega Mewtwo X, so yes, it actually can hit harder than a Primal Groudon. In addition, it gets some nice boosts to its defenses, allowing it to take a few neutral hits before going down. It does, however, lose a much-needed 10 base speed from its pre-Mega version; even with a Jolly nature, Mega Heracross struggles to keep pace with the speedsters of OU/BSS. Unfortunately, Mega Heracross just falls short of being great in OU/BSS due to its speed and the fact that there are too many big threats to it; that 4x weakness to Flying makes it ready bait for any Talonflame or Mega Salamence. Still, Mega Heracross can perform a fairly unique role on a team and is very good at it.

    Mega Heracross only really has one set with variations, but it works wonders, breaking any Sash or Sturdy user imaginable. Here's one I've used many times:

    Hera-cles
    Item: Heracronite
    EVs/Nature: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe, Jolly Nature
    Ability: Skill Link (Moxie on pre-Mega)
    - Close Combat / Arm Thrust
    - Pin Missile
    - Rock Blast
    - Swords Dance / Bullet Seed

    This is a set based around speed and raw attack power, an odd set but it still outpaces several rather important threats and still has that amazing damage output. Mega Heracross is a great wallbreaker, and this set brings that same capability to bear against a few faster threats, such as Breloom, which outpaces bulky sets and can use Spore to shut them down. Close Combat is the primary STAB option in the first slot, although Arm Thrust can be used to substitute power for a lack of recoil and more Sash/Sturdy breaking. However, going with Arm Thrust costs you most opportunities to use Moxie prior to Mega Evolving, so you'll use CC most of the time. Pin Missile is your other STAB and hits plenty hard, and Rock Blast gets excellent coverage. This set isn't really bulky enough for Substitute, so in the last slot we have Swords Dance to make Mega Heracross's attack all kinds of ridiculous or Bullet Seed for additional coverage, very nice for those bulky Water-types too.

    Countering Mega Heracross is a difficult task, but it can be done. The most obvious answer is Flying types, since Heracross has a nasty 4x weakness to them, and they resist both of its STABs. Quick revenge killers have no trouble with Heracross after Close Combat recoil. Fairies don't usually mind it too muck either, although they may be vulnerable to its coverage; Azumarill hates taking a Bullet Seed. Fire types may fare well, but watch out for a Rock Blast on the switch, or a Close Combat/Arm Thrust if you throw in Heatran. Just remember that it's easier to revenge kill Mega Heracross than it is to switch into it.

    Not sure how good Heracross does as a pre-Mega, or if it's any good in Doubles. Hopefully I'll learn something this week.
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    Hamstringing Heracross

    Heracross is one of the most feared physical sweepers of generations past... and has been destroyed thanks to the generation shift. In addition to a new weakness to Fairy types, many new threats emerged to take advantage of Heracross' 4x Flying weakness with Fly spam being an actual thing. Threats like Talonflame, Mega Pinsir, Mega Pidgeot, Torandus, Crobat, etc. all easily outspeed Heracross and can OHKO it with a STAB move... However none of them like switching into a potential Stone Edge and a Scarf set can potentially outspeed Mega Pidgeot and Tornadus, leaving their role to be strictly revenge killers. Prominent physical tanks like Gliscor, Hippowodon, Skarmory, and Clefable can all comfortably wall Scarf sets and only Hippowodon can't handle the Banded variant. Burning won't work on normal 'Cross due to the fact that it often carries Guts which will easily backfire on you. Aside from the aforementioned threats, anything faster with a Super effective move (Mega Alakazam, Mega Manectric) makes for a great revenge killer.

    Mega Heracross
    Mega Heracross is a slightly different beast from normal Heracross. While many of the same Pokémon will work, you cannot under any circumstance let Mega Heracross setup. If you do, all of the Physical tanks listed bar Unaware Clefable will be destroyed or maimed if they switch into the wrong move.

    +2 252 Atk Mega Heracross Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Skarmory: 291-343 (87.1 - 102.6%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO

    +2 252 Atk Mega Heracross Rock Blast (5 hits) vs. 244 HP / 8 Def Gliscor: 295-350 (83.8 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Poison Heal


    However, Mega Heracross is far slower than normal Heracross, and can't buff its speed with a Choice Scarf, making it far easier to revenge kill. Furthermore, w/o Guts, Burning Mega Heracross is a valid strategy for minimizing the damage it can cause.
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    Quote Originally Posted by generic villager #5 View Post
    - Close Combat / Arm Thrust
    Just gonna put this out there, but I wouldn't even consider Arm Thrust. The drop in power is just too substantial. You go from base 120 to an effective base 75. While the defense drops might be a bit of a downer at times, you also have to consider that if you miss the KO and get attacked twice, you'll still be taking heightened damage as well. Plus, Sturdy isn't all that common in the grand scheme of things, and Sash is only really a concern at the lead position. Getting past Substitutes is handy, but still, Close Combat really should be your main fighting STAB due to the obscene amounts of damage it puts out.

    As for standard Heracross, it's still useful, albeit primarily in UU. It's true that its Mega Evolution's ridiculous amount of power and increased bulk make it a fearsome wallbreaker, but Heracross still does have some advantages over its Mega. The obvious one if the higher speed, since being able to outspeed base 80's is advantageous. By virtue of that higher speed and its ability to hold an item, it can run an effective Scarf set for revenge killing and late game cleaning, and Moxie can help in the latter role. Guts is also an advantage; Skill Link may be nice and all but Mega Heracross would've been substantially more dangerous if it kept Guts, since being immune to burn's attack drop would be nice enough on its own, but being powered up by absorbing status is just fantastic.

    Its most common sets right now are Choice Band and Choice Scarf; they're actually used about equally. As it so happens they're not all that different from each other as well; their movepools are pretty much identical.

    Heracross @ Choice Band
    Ability: Guts
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Adamant / Jolly Nature
    - Close Combat
    - Megahorn
    - Knock Off
    - Stone Edge / Earthquake

    Heracross @ Choice Scarf
    Ability: Moxie / Guts
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
    Jolly Nature
    - Close Combat
    - Megahorn
    - Knock Off
    - Stone Edge / Earthquake

    The main differences are that you always want Jolly with Scarf sets, and the fact that Moxie is an option for Scarf sets as well for a late game "Snowballing" effect.

    Toxic Orb sets have been declining in popularity, but are still an option.

    OO's include things such as (but not limited to) Facade, Sleep Talk, Pursuit, and so on.
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    Another week of no VGC/Doubles section :/ The recent PotW haven't exactly been M-Kangaskhan, but some of them are still pretty good or at least have a niche role. Eh, I'll keep trying.

    M-Heracross is an interesting threat in doubles. It hasn't seen much success in major VGC tournaments the past couple years, but can still be absolutely terrifying with speed control. The threat of Talonflame really hinders it, he doesn't have any great spread moves, and he doesn't have the best defensive typing (despite respectable defensive stats), but with proper support he can mow down just about any single target with his massive attack stat.

    Heracross @ Heracronite
    Ability: Moxie or Guts -> Skill Link
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
    Jolly or Adamant Nature
    - Protect
    - Close Combat
    - Pin Missile
    - Rock Blast / Bullet Seed

    Either pre-mega ability is very situational, as you'll generally want to mega evolve right away since Skill Link is amazing. Moxie is probably the preferred ability to occasionally get a free +1 knocking out a weakened foe, but Guts could be considered if you know you'll get Burned and want to get a boost instead of having your attack halved. Max investment in Attack is needed to hit as hard as possible, but Adamant vs Jolly and the amount of speed EVs you need come down to what speed control you use and what threats you are afraid of. In general though, max Speed Jolly will help the most to ensure you outspeed as many things as possible. Protect is essential for doubles. Close Combat is his best Fighting STAB and does massive damage with his attack stat. Pin Missile combined with Skill Link is deadly, and can even help you threaten bulky Pokemon like Cresselia that normally feel safe taking multiple hits. Rock Blast provides essential coverage against flying types like Salamence or Charizard. Bullet Seed is a nice alternative if your team has those threats covered though, and it can even OHKO bulky P-Kyogre if you're playing 2016 rules.

    Other options: Knock Off, Rock Slide, Earthquake, Substitute, Swords Dance (tough to fit either of the last two on without sacrificing Protect or a key coverage move)
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    Quote Originally Posted by EKZ1505 View Post
    Another week of no VGC/Doubles section :/ The recent PotW haven't exactly been M-Kangaskhan, but some of them are still pretty good or at least have a niche role. Eh, I'll keep trying.

    M-Heracross is an interesting threat in doubles. It hasn't seen much success in major VGC tournaments the past couple years, but can still be absolutely terrifying with speed control. The threat of Talonflame really hinders it, he doesn't have any great spread moves, and he doesn't have the best defensive typing (despite respectable defensive stats), but with proper support he can mow down just about any single target with his massive attack stat.

    Heracross @ Heracronite
    Ability: Moxie or Guts -> Skill Link
    Level: 50
    EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
    Jolly or Adamant Nature
    - Protect
    - Close Combat
    - Pin Missile
    - Rock Blast / Bullet Seed

    Either pre-mega ability is very situational, as you'll generally want to mega evolve right away since Skill Link is amazing. Moxie is probably the preferred ability to occasionally get a free +1 knocking out a weakened foe, but Guts could be considered if you know you'll get Burned and want to get a boost instead of having your attack halved. Max investment in Attack is needed to hit as hard as possible, but Adamant vs Jolly and the amount of speed EVs you need come down to what speed control you use and what threats you are afraid of. In general though, max Speed Jolly will help the most to ensure you outspeed as many things as possible. Protect is essential for doubles. Close Combat is his best Fighting STAB and does massive damage with his attack stat. Pin Missile combined with Skill Link is deadly, and can even help you threaten bulky Pokemon like Cresselia that normally feel safe taking multiple hits. Rock Blast provides essential coverage against flying types like Salamence or Charizard. Bullet Seed is a nice alternative if your team has those threats covered though, and it can even OHKO bulky P-Kyogre if you're playing 2016 rules.

    Other options: Knock Off, Rock Slide, Earthquake, Substitute, Swords Dance (tough to fit either of the last two on without sacrificing Protect or a key coverage move)
    Personally I feel Grass type moves are better on Ferrothorn, but Mega Heracross, Ferrothorn, Primal Kyogre, Xerneas, Togekiss/Clefairy, and maybe Meowstic would make for a cool team to play around with. Mega Heracross and Kyogre would benefit from Follow Me on either Togekiss or Clefairy, Tailwind from Togekiss, and After You (if you face a Trick Room team) from Clefairy (which Geomancy Xerneas could benefit from too). Meowstic can help by using Trick Room itself, Thunder Wave, or similar moves. Ferrothorn could benefit in Trick Room too. Mega Heracross benefits in Trick Room too, being able to outspeed Both Primals, Mega Rayquaza, Palkia and Dialga, Kyurem, Xerneas (Geomancy or not), Yveltal, Mega Salamence, Mega Kangaskhan, you get the idea. The common Trick Room abuser, Ferrothorn, can't do much against this thing either. However, you do have things to worry about when using this. One wrong move and you lose your mega to a Mega Salamence Return, Fairy STAB move from Xerneas, Primal Groudon Fire Punch, or some Trick Room counter with a deadly super-effective attack. And there are also things that are even harder to avoid since they can outspeed outside of Trick Room, such as the aforementioned Pokémon, and even under Trick Room, things like Talonflame Brave Bird and Mega Mawile Play Rough. Every Mega can be useful in VGC 16, but it takes a proper team built around it to win every battle.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ampfire101 View Post
    Personally I feel Grass type moves are better on Ferrothorn, but Mega Heracross, Ferrothorn, Primal Kyogre, Xerneas, Togekiss/Clefairy, and maybe Meowstic would make for a cool team to play around with. Mega Heracross and Kyogre would benefit from Follow Me on either Togekiss or Clefairy, Tailwind from Togekiss, and After You (if you face a Trick Room team) from Clefairy (which Geomancy Xerneas could benefit from too). Meowstic can help by using Trick Room itself, Thunder Wave, or similar moves. Ferrothorn could benefit in Trick Room too. Mega Heracross benefits in Trick Room too, being able to outspeed Both Primals, Mega Rayquaza, Palkia and Dialga, Kyurem, Xerneas (Geomancy or not), Yveltal, Mega Salamence, Mega Kangaskhan, you get the idea. The common Trick Room abuser, Ferrothorn, can't do much against this thing either. However, you do have things to worry about when using this. One wrong move and you lose your mega to a Mega Salamence Return, Fairy STAB move from Xerneas, Primal Groudon Fire Punch, or some Trick Room counter with a deadly super-effective attack. And there are also things that are even harder to avoid since they can outspeed outside of Trick Room, such as the aforementioned Pokémon, and even under Trick Room, things like Talonflame Brave Bird and Mega Mawile Play Rough. Every Mega can be useful in VGC 16, but it takes a proper team built around it to win every battle.
    That's a pretty cool team to try out! My friend loves Heracross and I actually helped him build a similar team, but I'll see what he thinks about some of these ideas.

    I do think Rock Blast is better as a coverage move, but I mentioned Bullet Seed because the power from it is surprising and actually lets you threaten one of the premier Pokemon in the format:

    252+ Atk Ferrothorn Power Whip vs. 60 HP / 252 Def Primal Kyogre: 152-182 (83 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (this spread is actually somewhat common on slower P-Kyogres for this exact attack)
    252+ Atk Mega Heracross Bullet Seed (5 hits) vs. 60 HP / 252 Def Primal Kyogre: 180-220 (98.3 - 120.2%) -- approx. 93.8% chance to OHKO, not to mention you have 5 chances to get a crit, not just 1, and MUCH better accuracy than Power Whip!

    The main problem with M-Heracross this year is that he doesn't really threaten the biggest threats, so he needs even more support than he did in VGC 2015. Every team has to have answers to the "big 4:" P-Groudon, P-Kyogre, Xerneas, and Smeargle. Without Bullet Seed, Heracross only threatens Smeargle with a Sash-breaking Pin Missile. That's only IF you get it on the turn you mega, it isn't Scarfed, or doesn't have some other support like Fake Out. After mega-evolving, you speed tie Smeargle (assuming you're Jolly), and hopefully it didn't get a speed or evasion boost (they always seem to, don't they lol). You can still do nice damage to Kyogre without Bullet Seed, but won't OHKO and likely have to take a massive water move in return, and you don't really threaten Xerneas (resists both your STABs) or Groudon (massive Defense stat, and threatens with fire moves unless you get the rain up, and even then your P-Kyogre may take a P-blades on the switch, which you won't want). Even with the speed control, you aren't doing much to M-Rayquaza (who would be on the "Big 4's" level if it didn't take up your mega slot) if its weather is up.
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    Other Options
    It has very few. What has been mentioned is pretty much everything worth putting in, but...
    Bullet Seed on M-Hera is useful for tearing down some Pokemon that you have trouble 1-2HKOing otherwise, such as Rotom-W, Suicune, Hippowdon, Quagsire, and Manaphy to name some. It also KO's Diancie 100% of the time, Mega Evolved or not. This obviously means you're forgoing another coverage option or Swords Dance. But I don't think you should sleep on Bullet Seed, either.
    Arm Trust on M-Hera can go over Close Combat if you feel destroying subs and sashes is more important, or just wanna avoid Close Combat's defense lowering recoil. But again as mentioned, you lose a lot of power and it's often not worth it.
    Bulk Up does help capitalize on M-Hera's natural bulk and makes it harder to revenge kill on the physical side, but Swords Dance is better at wallbreaking, and Hera lacks any form of recovery to take full advantage of it.
    Aerial Ace is useful for opposing Heracross, but that's literally all it's useful for.
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    So let's talk EVs.

    I know Smogon recommends 132 Speed EVs to try and speed creep Lando-T, but in fact this only works against Lando-T if it has zero speed EVs, whereas many defensive sets run 8 Speed EVs to outspeed both Mega Heracross and Modest 252 Magnezone. As a result, 132 Speed EVs is not quite as effective as it could be. Likewise, while 136 Attack EVs with an Adamant Nature can reliably 2HKO your standard Clefable, it does fall flat against fully defensive Clefable, failing to reliably 2HKO it even with Stealth Rock up (keeping in mind fully defensive Clefables tend to use Unaware rather than Magic Guard).

    So despite what Smogon may recommend, what you tend to see in practice, especially at the upper parts of the ladder, is 252 Attack and 252 Speed. Although Heracross does take a speed hit upon Mega Evolving, base 75 is still enough to outspeed certain 'Mons. For example, Breloom outspeeds Mega Heracross with only 132 Speed EVs, allowing it to be put to sleep with Spore, while full speed investment outspeeds and 1HKOs Breloom. Likewise, max speed can speed tie with Defensive Zapdos.

    That said, it's still a catch 22 of sorts since offensive teams outspeed Mega Heracross regardless of its speed investment. Base 75 speed certainly does leave a lot to be desired, and no matter how much it invests it's gonna be outrun by the myriad of base 80's or higher if they run a speed nature.

    Just some food for thought and something to generate a little further discussion.
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    Even with max investment, Unaware Clefable is only 2HKO'd by Rock Blast like 2% of the time after Stealth Rock. You need some prior damage on it or get lucky with a crit (though neither scenario is that unreasonable).

    While the bulk investment Smogon gives doesn't even seem to list any notable benchmarks (for some reason), playing with the damage calc shows that it does prevent Jolly LO Bisharp/Weavile from 2HKOing while Mega Lop only has a 0.2% chance to 2HKO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karxrida View Post
    Even with max investment, Unaware Clefable is only 2HKO'd by Rock Blast like 2% of the time after Stealth Rock. You need some prior damage on it or get lucky with a crit (though neither scenario is that unreasonable).
    This is true, although it's worth noting that the (rare) Adamant 252 2HKOs 94% of the time with Stealth Rock up. Mind you, Adamant 252 run into the very same issues of being outsped by many of the things that Jolly is better able to handle. That said, it also boasts being able to guarantee a 2HKO Skarmory with Close Combat with Stealth Rock up, so to say that max attack is difficult to switch into would be an understatement. Harder to counter, but easier to check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karxrida View Post
    While the bulk investment Smogon gives doesn't even seem to list any notable benchmarks (for some reason), playing with the damage calc shows that it does prevent Jolly LO Bisharp/Weavile from 2HKOing while Mega Lop only has a 0.2% chance to 2HKO.
    On the Mega Lopunny note though, Stealth Rock does turn that 0.2% chance into a 93% chance of a 2HKO though, so it's not a failproof amount of bulk. Likewise, Bisharp and Weavile are 2HKOing 60% and 87% respectively with Stealth Rock on the field... although in the case of Bisharp, if Mega Heracross is running Jolly 252, it outspeeds Bisharp no matter what, so Bisharp fails to 2HKO it that way regardless, since the combination of Iron Head + Sucker Punch fails to KO uninvested Mega Heracross's bulk.
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    Has anyone else noticed HOW MUCH taller Mega Heracross is?

    Anyway, I recently made a Mega Heracross team with Substitute in the last slot. As was previously mentioned, 132 Speed tends to be a little situational. However, what I've been running is max Attack with Adamant and 48 Speed EVs- this lets you speed-creep Defensive Mega Venusaur and 2HKO it. It's an OO, probably.

    Just a few lil' guys who I feel are underappreciated or that I just like.


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