Hello Hat Lovers!
Today I’m here to talk about Terrakion and Bisharp as partners on a team. I’ve been using both on a lot of teams in testing and found they compliment each other fairly well.
I’ve been seeing these two show up together on a lot of high profile player’s teams. Aaron “Cybertron” Zheng and CT Mikoto Mikasa both used these two on their team to win Premiere Challenges. Both players used these two along with their Mega Salamence + Redirection combo.
I’ve found that these two can fit on most teams (I wouldn’t expect them to go well on a Trick Room team) and often were my safe leads against teams that I didn’t know what I wanted to do against.
Bisharp has become one of the top ranked Pokemon in the format for it’s Defiant Ability and the Dark/Steel coverage it brings. Having Bisharp lead with another physical attacker allows you to mitigate the loss of power from Intimidate. Trading a -1 on Terrakion is usually worth a +1 on Bisharp as Terrakion can switch out to restore its attack and then your opponent has a +1 Bisharp staring them down.
Defiant isn’t the only thing making Bisharp one of the most common Pokemon in the format. Dark and Steel have amazing coverage together. Bisharp can dispatch Sylveon with Iron Head and also does a ton of damage to common Follow Me users Togekiss and Clefable. Knock Off does a lot of damage to anything that doesn’t resist it and removing the target’s item is a great side effect, denying bulky Pokemon access to their Sitrus Berry / Leftovers. Sucker Punch can check opponents by preventing them from attacking.
Focus Sash and Life Orb are the two most common items for Bisharp. Which item you choose comes down to what you want out of Bisharp and which limitation you wish to overcome. Focus Sash allows Bisharp to take a hit without going down while Life Orb allows Bisharp to pick up several OHKOs that it can’t get without the Life Orb boost.
Just like in the TCG, Terrakion is an excellent anti-meta Pokemon and hits a lot of popular Pokemon for super-effective damage. Terrakion is an appealing Pokemon due to its high speed and ability to hit several common Pokemon for super-effective damage, such as the ever popular Kangaskhan. Being able to outrun Kangaskhan and OHKO it is as good a reason as any to put a Pokemon on a team. Terrakion also handles other Fighting-weak Pokemon like Hydreigon and Bisharp, and beats Charizard and Talonflame with Rock Slide.
In case you haven’t heard, Double Kick is on this move-set in order to KO Bisharp regardless of whether or not it holds a Focus Sash. Double Kick can also finish off weakened foes and save your defences and it breaks Heatran’s Substitute and then gets some more damage in.
Intimidate and Burn are the most common ways to nerf physical attackers. With a Lum Berry and Defiant partner Terrakion deters both methods and simply forces the opponent to attack Terrakion to get rid of it. Lum Berry also forces Thundurus to burn a turn, makes Terrakion an extreme hard counter to Kangaskhan/Smeargle and can let you Swagger your own Terrakion if you’re into that sort of thing.
While Bisharp and Terrakion can apply a ton of pressure with their STAB moves there are a few problems that get in their way.
Rotom-W, Suicune and Milotic can also sponge up a pair of physical attacks (especially if Terrakion triggers their Sitrus Berry before Bisharp attacks) and then fire back super effective Water attacks at Terrakion or burn Bisharp.
If Kangaskhan has redirection for Terrakion’s Close Combat it can Low Kick both Pokemon. Other Fighting types also present a similar problem.
This duo doesn’t play well with Garchomp. While it hasn’t seen as much usage this year Garchomp threatens both Pokemon with Earthquake. In order to KO Garchomp without taking damage this pair needs to double into Garchomp which leaves its partner free to do whatever it wants and risks losing your turn to a Protect from Garchomp.
In general these two often rely on being able to KO the Pokemon that threaten them before getting attacked, so there are going to be Pokemon that make this duo a poor lead.
A lot of great players are using these Pokemon and I expect a strong showing from them at Regionals. Be sure you have a strong answer to these two Pokemon when building your teams.