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Thread: Community POTW #036

  1. #1
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    Default Community POTW #036

    Time for the next Pokémon of the Week, and this week we have one of the current VGC staples



    It's Torkoal!

    https://www.serebii.net/pokedex-sm/324.shtml

  2. #2
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    Torkoal is pretty good in doubles these days. Access to Drought + Eruption is really scary, and that low speed means it usually goes first in Trick Room, outslowing Wishiwashi, Gastrodon, and Snorlax.

    Torkoal @ Charcoal
    Quiet nature
    Ability: Drought
    252 Sp.Atk, 252 HP, 4 Sp.Def
    -Eruption
    -Solar Beam
    -Heat Wave / Fire Blast
    -Protect

    You need a partner to help Torkoal go first. Trick Room setters are great for that. Inner Focus Oranguru sets up Trick Room fairly reliably with its immunity to flinches and a Mental Herb blocking Taunt, and Oranguru can also boost Torkoal's offensive power by Instructing its Eruption. Another popular option is to use Chlorophyll Lilligant with After You. Lilligant is really fast in the sun, so After You will cause Torkoal to go first most of the time. The downside compared to Oranguru is that you only get to launch a single attack each turn. As for the moves, Eruption is Torkoal's most powerful fire attack and hits pretty hard in the sun. Solar Beam hits water types. Heat Wave and Fire Blast are both options for when your health goes down, Fire Blast being a single-target option and Heat Wave a spread option. Finally, Protect is vital to stall for a turn for your partner to set up Trick Room.

    Torkoal needs max Sp.Atk investment to hit as hard as it can with Eruption, as base 85 Sp.Atk isn't that great. The rest is invested in Torkoal's bulk to help it survive more hits. There are some variations possible on this set. Some use Firium Z to get a powerful one-use single-target attack while Eruption and Heat Wave are spread damage. Overheat is an option on the third slot as a more powerful version of Fire Blast. Earth Power is an option if you can get it transferred over from ORAS to hit opposing Torkoal, as well as other fire types like Heatran and Mega Camerupt.

    Counters: Tyranitar is a big one. Tyranitar is bulky enough to take unboosted Earth Power in sand without much trouble, and Sandstream means it can easily switch in even if Torkoal tries Solar Beam. Tyranitar has its STAB rock moves like Rock Slide or Stone Edge to threaten Torkoal.
    Last edited by Sceptile Leaf Blade; 30th July 2017 at 12:30 PM.

  3. #3
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    Torkoal is one of the pokémon that greatly benefited from the generation shift in the form of a new ability in Drought. Now joining the club of weather setters, in addition to its great defensive stats and support moves, Torkoal is a significant asset to its team.

    Turtlin' Along
    Torkoal
    Ability: Drought
    Item: Leftovers/Sitrus Berry/Iappa Berry
    -Rapid Spin
    -Yawn/Clear Smog
    -Flamethrower
    -Solar Beam/Toxic/Yawn/Clear Smog
    Nature: Bold [+DEF, -ATK]
    EVs: 248 HP/252 DEF/8 SDEF

    This Torkoal embraces its defensive roots, while providing support to the team. Rapid Spin is there to remove any entry hazards the opponent may have setup (Torkoal is admittedly a poor Rapid Spinner, but it works, and this set will be switching a lot). Yawn and Clear Smog are used to prevent Torkoal from being setup bait. Yawn forces a nasty Catch 22 -Swap out and lose momentum, or stay in and fall asleep. Clear Smog is for those who think they can setup in front of Torkoal (and works better against boosting RestTalk sets than Yawn). Flamethrower is to prevent becoming Taunt Bait (being preferred over Lava Plume and to avoid having the Burn Chance screwing you over). Solarbeam is to ruin any Water/Ground/Rock types day (lest they are named Politoed, Pelipper, Hippowodon, Aurorus or Gigalith). Toxic maybe more preferable than Yawn against bulkier opponents (or those immune to sleep) or if there is a Sleep Clause in effect. Item is for recovery, EVs are to maximize bulk.

    The main problem with this set is that Torkoal is still rather passive, and can only take out weakened opponents that are weak to its moves, or with Toxic. Yawn and Clear Smog help a lot, but it still hurts

    Other Options
    -Heat Rock: More sun for everybody!
    -Rest: Torkoal's only reliable recovery outside of items. Sleep Talk and Chesto Berry will also be mentioned for synergy.
    -Explosion: Exploding turtles are fun!
    -Stealth Rock -thanks to Gen IV, this was once given to everybody. Works great on a defensive Torkoal set. (TRANSFER ONLY)

    Tipping Torkoal
    So how to break Torkoal? Not that difficult. Outside of Trick Room, Torkoal is horribly slow (because its a Turtle) and 70/70 Special bulk is a rather large target for any special attacker in the tier. Goodra, Heliolisk (especially Solar Power Heliolisk), Jolteon, Hoopa, Sharpedo, etc. All reliably 2HKO Torkoal. While Torkoal can run Physical sets (its ATK being equally bad as its SATK), it doesn't change the fact that it has no good physical STAB move to take advantage of it. Thus Bulky sponges like Florges, Goodra, Mantine, Milotic can easily run out Drought's clock while weathering Torkoal's sun boosted assaults, though all of them hate Toxic, and Yawn can force them out. Despite being an entry hazard remover, Torkoal hates entry hazards, being hit by all of them and taking extra damage from Stealth Rock. Couple this with no reliable recovery outside of Rest, and Torkoal is rather easy to beat down with passive damage and attacks. While 140 DEF is phenomenal, that 70 HP lets down Torkoal time and time again. Powerful physical sweepers like Rhyperior, Aerodactyl, Gigalith and Donphan can all reliably 2HKO Torkoal with their STAB moves, though an unlucky burn would make Torkoal nigh impossible to break physically.

    The other problem is preventing Torkoal from supporting its team, which considering its job is essentially done the second it hits the field makes this trickier. Opposing weather setters, like Politoed, Pelipper, Hippowodon, Aurorus, Tyranitar or Gigalith all ruin Torkoal's sun, and can beat it one on one. However, they must come in after Torkoal, because due to its low speed, Torkoal outslows every other weather setter in the game and thus Drought will overwrite their weather if they switch in simultaneously. Golduck and Altaria with Cloud Nine also deserve a mention, especially the latter having a support movepool that counters Torkoal's fairly effectively and can beat it one on one.
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    On paper, a defensive Fire type would seem like a terrible idea. Fire is a very offensive type by nature with only Will-o-Wisp & Sunny Day as support. However, the combination of Drought, amazing Fire STAB (along with Solar Beam) & being slow enough for Trick Room allows Torkoal to fill this role suprisingly well.

    Item: Leftovers
    Ability: Drought
    Relaxed or Quiet Nature
    252 HP, 252 Sp. Atk, 4 Sp. Def
    -Eruption
    -Solar Beam
    -Heat Wave/Flamethrower
    -Curse/Amnesia/Protect

    Very similar to Sceptile Leaf Blade's set. Like it, this set is meant to be used in a Trick Room team. Eruption & Solar Beam are self explanatory along with Drought. Flamethrower provides strong STAB regardless of health; as does Heat Wave but with the added effect of hitting all targets in Doubles. Curse acts like an Agility in Trick Room while also raising Torkoal already strong Defense (and its Attack but that won't really be used here). Amnesia can raise Sp. Def if needed & Protect stalls. The Leftovers are very useful considering that Eruption's power decreases as you lose health.

  5. #5
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    A nice other option on VGC Torkoal is sludge bomb over heat wave. It does around 80% to jolly or timid Tapu Koko sets and a lot of people see Torkoal, get wide guard ready, and think they're safe. Or it can OHKO Tapu Koko with an expert belt.
    252+ SpA Expert Belt Torkoal Sludge Bomb vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 130-154 (89 - 105.4%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO

    Its nice to have an alternative offensive option with all the wide guard users in VGC. And there are plenty of pokemon weak to poison.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aduro View Post
    A nice other option on VGC Torkoal is sludge bomb over heat wave. It does around 80% to jolly or timid Tapu Koko sets and a lot of people see Torkoal, get wide guard ready, and think they're safe. Or it can OHKO Tapu Koko with an expert belt.
    252+ SpA Expert Belt Torkoal Sludge Bomb vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Koko: 130-154 (89 - 105.4%) -- 31.3% chance to OHKO

    Its nice to have an alternative offensive option with all the wide guard users in VGC. And there are plenty of pokemon weak to poison.
    Idk, I think Earth Power hits Koko equally hard (except for poisoning chance), and Fire Blast or even Flamethrower hit it harder in sun

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sceptile Leaf Blade View Post
    Idk, I think Earth Power hits Koko equally hard (except for poisoning chance), and Fire Blast or even Flamethrower hit it harder in sun
    Aduro specifically mentioned VGC, so Earth Power is not option yet since Alola does not have the move tutors.
    Last edited by EKZ1505; 31st July 2017 at 3:22 PM.
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    Shell Smash is another option. With a speed boosting nature, after one smash Torkoal outruns base speed 90 pokemon at level 50, and 88 speed at level 100, while doubling his offensive stats. He also has the bulk to pull one off, though is still hampered by that miserable base 20 speed.


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  9. #9
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    So Torkoal was most commonly used at the beginning of this year in VGC. Even now, its power doesn't go unnoticed. By being the slowest weather user outside of Trick Room, Torkoal can get guarunteed Sun with Drought. Despite the only decent base 85 SpA, Eruption in the sun that Torkoal brings whilst at full health and Charcoal will 2HKO a lot. I mean a lot. Along with a bulky Trick Room user like Oranguru, who has Instruct as well, Torkoal can sweep entire teams of four per match within the five turns of sun. However, people have prepared for it since the beginning of VGC 2017. Some good counters include a change of weather, like Politoed, Pelipper, and Gigalith. Ninetales-A can get rid of sun and set up Aurora Veil, but regardless, it's still weak to Fire moves. Tapu Fini and Garchomp are nice counters by being able to bulk out attacks or hit with Tectonic Rage, respectively. To counter these Torkoal counters, some carry Solarbeam along with a Grassium Z attatched for a Bloom Doom which will OHKO opposing weather mons that counter it, but without a Charcoal, the power cut is pretty big. Teams that use Torkoal usually carry a TR user, either Mimikyu, Porygon2, and Oranguru, and a Lilligant to use Chlorophyll speed boosted After You to help Torkoal land damage outside of TR. Lilligant can also carry the Grassium Z to land the damage on opposing weather mons and Tapu Fini. However, the biggest detriment to Torkoal is losing its TR friend. Lots of teams prepare for Porygon2 these days, by virtue of Knock Off or Fightinium Z. Unfortunally, the same things work even better on Oranguru with its big weakness to Pheromosa's Bug STAB moves and heavy weakness to Knock Off. The only edge Oranguru has over Porygon2 is its access to a Mental Herb to avoid a Taunt. Personally, Mimikyu is my favorite TR user with Torkoal because it can take a guaranteed hit and take a Taunt with its Mental Herb. The absolute biggest counter I feel is an opposing Tapu Fini + Arcanine lead, because Lilligant can't Sleep Powder Arcanine under Misty Terrain, can't take out Tapu Fini with Bloom Doom/Leaf Storm if it just Protects, and if Lilligant has a Sash to take a Flare Blitz from Arcanine, it will just be KO'ed next turn with Extreme Speed. If you lead a TR user and Torkoal, Fini can just use Scald or Muddy Water on turn 1 and Arcanine can potentially Roar the TR user away. Koko Arcanine lead also accomplishes this as well for the most part. Torkoal users need to be careful in this format when using it, but it's possible to make it great! Good luck!
    Last edited by ampfire101; 1st August 2017 at 3:37 PM.

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