Hello Hat Lovers!
I’m sure you’ve all been enjoying Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Many of you have used a Sceptile or Swampert and their respective Mega Evolutions during the game. Now we’re going to take a look at how these two fare in Battle Spot Doubles.
I probably wouldn’t have given Sceptile the time of day if not for the team I’ve been using for the last stretch of VGC 2014. I’ve always really liked Sceptile, but never used it because it was terrible.
Lightning Rod was an interesting choice of an Ability. It keeps Electric attacks away from your partners and prevents Thunder Wave from slowing you down. M-Sceptile almost seems tailor-made to pair with a Scarf Zapdos. The only way to get the most out of M-Sceptile is to boost it’s special attack yourself.
Sceptile-Mega @ Sceptilite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Leaf Storm
– Dragon Pulse
– Energy Ball
This is the set I’ve been using on Battle Spot Doubles. The Nature and EV spread are as basic as possible. Timid is important so you can out speed Latios and other base 110-115 Pokemon before Mega Evolving and out speed base 130-135 Pokemon after Mega Evolving. Make sure that Sceptile is slower than it’s Discharge partner so you can make good use of the boosts.
Leaf Storm is Sceptile’s strongest attack, and after a couple boosts it will KO most Pokemon. Dragon Pulse is a reliable 100% accurate STAB move that hits most of the game for neutral damage and takes out opposing Dragons. Protect is standard, and is especially important on something as frail as Sceptile. Energy Ball isn’t essential for the moveset, but Sceptile’s move pool is so bad that I prefer the convenience of Energy Ball over anything else. Hidden Power Ground would allow Sceptile to beat Heatran. Sceptile gets Quick Guard now and is faster then most Fake Out users. Sceptile could conceivably use a physical attack to take advantage of it’s 115 base attack. Detect
looks cooler then Protect gets around that 1/1 billion player that uses Imprison.
There are a number of common threats that will make life hard for M-Sceptile. Cresselia is going to be on ~1/3 of all the competitive teams again, and even at +2 Sceptile can’t OHKO Cresselia with Leaf Storm. Togekiss invalidates Sceptile with Follow Me, although Togekiss isn’t going to enjoy taking repeated Discharges. Heatran walls any Sceptile not using HP Ground. Icy Wind is going to be a very popular move now that move tutors are back and Sceptile is very allergic to it. The pace of battles will likely slow down from what we saw in 2014. Sceptile thrives in fast hyper-offensive battles and won’t enjoy battles that take several turns to complete.
That said, there are some positives to come from 2015. Talonflame is going to see less play since nearly every legendary we lost in 2014 beats it pretty handily. Another factor that will make Sceptile at least somewhat usable is the return of Togekiss, which makes almost anything usable with Follow Me. M-Sceptile is the fastest Dragon in the format, so it can check M-Salamence, Hydreigon, Garchomp and Latios.
Currently I’m not optimistic about Sceptile in VGC 2015. I don’t think a ScrubChu team will be as strong in this format as it was in 2014. I see Sceptile failing to do enough damage to OHKO threats and getting OHKO’d in return.
I’ve also always liked Swampert, and because he wasn’t garbage I actually used him in battles (he also beats all of RSE in-game). When people saw Mega Swampert’s stats and Ability the first thing they probably thought about was Politoed + Swampert. Then they realize that Earthquake hits Politoed and they get destroyed by Ludicolo.
When I think about using M-Swampert I think back to Randy’s Excadrill/Togekiss team from 2013. Swampert can do the same things that Excadrill could (more or less) and who doesn’t love Togekiss?
Swampert-Mega @ Swampertite
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 236 HP / 236 Atk / 36 Spe
– Ice Punch
This Swampert hits 95 speed, which outspeeds many bulky Ludicolos. It will also outspeed Garchomp in Rain/Tailwind. The attack stat is an 11n number. The remainder was put into bulk. Because Swampert’s defences are higher than its HP, not going with X HP / 4 Def / 4 SDef is better. A Modest LO Zapdos’ HP Grass has a 19% chance to OHKO, so anything weaker than HP Grass from Life Orb’d Base 125 SpA won’t OHKO this M-Swampert.
Waterfall and Earthquake are obvious STAB moves. I’m using Ice Punch so that Swampert isn’t walled by Salamence. Swampert has a ton of bulk and only has a single weakness, so it’ll be tough to remove from the field.
Flying types make logical partners for Swampert. Togekiss can redirect Grass attacks, Will-O-Wisp and really strong attacks that threaten Swampert. Thundurus/Tornadus can set up Rain for Swampert. Tornadus can spam Hurricane in the rain to take out Grass types. Politoed sets up rain for Swampert, but has to worry about taking an Earthquake. You could run an Eject Button Politoed and play like Sejun did in 2014. Swampert can form a Dis-Quake combo, which is always worth mentioning.
Overall, I think Swampert will be able to find a niche in the metagame thanks to its great typing, attack and bulk.
The Hoenn starters don’t have the obvious potential as some of the other Mega Evolutions. I don’t think Sceptile is going to cut it in VGC 2015, but I’ll still try to make it work. Swampert seems more immediately usable, though it probably won’t establish itself as a top tier Mega like Kangaskhan, Mawile or Charizard did.