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[Final] Sandslash

Discussion in 'Gen 5 OU Analyses' started by Alfalfa, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Alfalfa

    Alfalfa Underappreciated

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    PO Trainer Name:
    Alfalfa
    [​IMG]
    Excadrill? Never heard of him. Is he one of those Ubers guys?

    ==General==
    At first glance, giving Sandslash an OU analysis looks like a complete joke. However, Sandslash is only one of two fully-evolved Pokemon that are both a) not banned from OU, and b) have access to Sand Rush, the other being Stoutland. With Sand Rush and a Jolly Nature, Sandslash can now outspeed Choice Scarf users with a base 102 speed or lower, such as Garchomp and Thundurus-T. Swords Dance also fixes up that average base 100 Attack, allowing him to be a very dangerous sweeper when a Sandstorm is up. Sandslash also has access to Rapid Spin, in case any Sand team would need it, boosting his usefulness even more.

    However, Sandslash has several issues that need to be addressed. First of all, even with a Jolly Nature, it fails to outspeed some common Choice Scarf users, such as Terrakion, Latios, and Keldeo. In addition, it has several weaknesses to common types, especially against the priority move Ice Shard, making him much easier to check. Sandslash is also useless outside of a sandstorm, and is thus highly dependent on the weather to thrive. Despite these flaws, Sandslash is still a good sweeper for a sand team if his issues are accommodated for.

    ==Swords Dance==
    {{set
    |name=Swords Dance
    |pkmn=Sandslash
    |item=Life Orb
    |ability=Sand Rush
    |ev= 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
    |nature=Jolly (+Spd, -SAtk)
    |move1=Swords Dance
    |move2=Earthquake
    |move3=Stone Edge
    |move4=Rapid Spin|move41=X-Scissor}}

    This is Sandslash's best set in OU, and it does it rather well. However, this set needs to be used very conservatively, as it gets worn down very easily. Once it manages to get in a Swords Dance, Sandslash is very difficult to switch into. STAB Earthquake does a lot of damage off of a Swords Dance and Life Orb boost, and can be very hard to stomach without a resist or immunity. Stone Edge rounds off the coverage, and in tandem with Earthquake, is resisted by only Bronzong. Rapid Spin allows Sandslash to clear hazards for the team, allowing teammates to be worn down much less quickly. Also, with Swords Dance, Sandslash can wear down opposing Ghosts rather quickly. However, if Rapid Spin is not needed, then X-Scissor can be used instead to hit Celebi and the Lati twins. A Jolly Nature allows Sandslash to outspeed all Choice Scarf users with 102 base speed or less, such as Garchomp, Thundurus-T, and Jirachi. Adamant can be used for more power, but then Sandslash is outsped by even more key threats.


    ===Synergy===
    This set obviously needs Sand support so Sandslash can use Sand Rush. However, Hippowdon has poor synergy with Sandslash, as they have the same typing, which amplifies their weaknesses. Tyranitar, while still compounding a couple of weaknesses, is a better partner for Sandslash, as it can soften up some of Sandslash's checks, such as Ferrothorn and Latias. Stealth Rock and Spikes support are useful to assist Sandslash in getting key OHKOs on Ferrothorn, Breloom, and Dragonite. Skarmory and Ferrothorn are good Spikes users that can help keep Sandslash from getting involved too early on. Skarmory in particular provides good checks to Landorus-T, as well as priority users such as Scizor, Breloom, and Mamoswine, all four of which give Sandslash a lot of issues. Ferrothorn, on the other hand, is a solid check to Mamoswine, while providing Leech Seed support should Sandslash get worn down too early on. Celebi and Jirachi can lay down Stealth Rock for Sandslash, while checking some Pokemon that trouble Sandslash, such as Choice Scarf Keldeo and Scarf Latios. If Sandslash is running Rapid Spin, teammates that can make use of the Rapid Spin support are good teammates. Bulky Volcarona can set up on Breloom once Sleep Clause is up, and appreciates the removal of Stealth Rock and Spikes from the field. On more balanced teams, Blissey appreciates entry hazards removed, and can provide Wish support, as Sandslash will get worn down very easily.

    ==Other Options==
    Sandslash does not have many other options available. Rock Slide is more accurate than Stone Edge, but the power drop is significant; for example, it cannot OHKO Salamence and Dragonite after Stealth Rock, and it misses the OHKO on Thundurus-T without Stealth Rock. Night Slash can be used to hit Gengar and Jellicent harder, but Earthquake and Stone Edge hit hard enough. A Lum Berry can be used to set up against walls such as Jirachi, but most status inducers can beat Sandslash without a Swords Dance boost to begin with. Also, Stone Edge without Life Orb is fairly weak, even after a Swords Dance boost. Choice Band seems tempting, but Swords Dance and Rapid Spin are Sandslash's key advantages over Stoutland, another Sand Rush user. Sandslash can run a defensive Rapid Spin set, with its access to Stealth Rock and Super Fang, but it gets worn down too easily.

    ==Checks and Counters==
    While Sandslash can be a bit difficult to switch into, there are still solid checks out there. Skarmory, Landorus-T, Gliscor, and bulky Rotom-W can take a hit from Sandslash and disrupt its sweep, but after a Swords Dance, they come into 2HKO range. Priority users, such as Scizor, Dragonite, Breloom, and Mamoswine can wear Sandslash down with their priority attacks before it can even move, but none of them can OHKO it. Also, Sandslash will hit every single one of them very hard. Removing the Sandstorm will cut Sandslash's speed in half, but no opposing weather inducer can switch in on it, as even bulky Politoed risks being OHKOed once Swords Dance and entry hazards are put into the equation. Choice Scarf Keldeo and Latios always outspeed Sandslash and can OHKO it with Surf / Hydro Pump / Draco Meteor, though neither of them can switch in on it. Ironically, despite being a viable Rapid Spin user, entry hazards will wear down Sandslash very quickly, especially since it is generally seen with a Life Orb. In the end, have a method of being able to handle the attack and speed boosts, and Sandslash should not be that big of an issue.


    Calcs:

    [Secret]
    252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Rock Slide vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Dragonite: 187-221 (57.71 - 68.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
    252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Stone Edge vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Dragonite: 250-294 (77.16 - 90.74%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
    252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Salamence: 216-255 (65.25 - 77.03%) -- 18.75% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
    252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Stone Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Salamence: 286-338 (86.4 - 102.11%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
    252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Rock Slide vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Thundurus-T: 237-281 (79.26 - 93.97%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
    252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Stone Edge vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Thundurus-T: 315-372 (105.35 - 124.41%) -- guaranteed OHKO
    +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Politoed: 308-363 (80.2 - 94.53%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Spikes (1 layer)
    +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Earthquake vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Breloom: 213-251 (81.29 - 95.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock and Spikes (2 layers)
    +2 252 Atk Life Orb Sandslash Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 48+ Def Ferrothorn: 246-290 (69.88 - 82.38%) -- 93.75% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock and Spikes (3 layers)
    [/Secret]

    Skeleton:

    [Secret]
    *Though it is a poor man's Excadrill, Sandslash can still prove to be a decent Sand sweeper in OU.
    *Sand Rush doubles its pathetic 65 speed to more usable levels
    *Add base 100 Attack and access to Swords Dance into the mix, and you have a usable sweeper.
    *Even with a Jolly Nature, it fails to outspeed some key Choice Scarf users, such as Terrakion, Latios, Infernape, and Keldeo.
    *Pathetic Special Bulk, has common weaknesses, especially to Ice Shard
    *Fairly useless outside of Sand

    Sandslash @ Life Orb
    Trait: Sand Rush
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd
    Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SpA)
    - Swords Dance
    - Earthquake
    - Stone Edge
    - Rapid Spin / X-Scissor

    *With access to both Sand Rush and Swords Dance, Sandslash can prove to be a good sweeper in a sandstorm
    *Earthquake is Sandslash's STAB of choice, and everything that does not resist it or is immune to it will get hit hard at +2
    *Stone Edge is Sandslash's best option against Flying-types, such as Thundurus-T and Salamence
    *Although taking Life Orb recoil from Rapid Spin is never fun, Sandslash can wear down opposing Ghosts rather quickly, thanks to Swords Dance.
    *If Rapid Spin is not needed, then X-Scissor can be used to hit Celebi and [email protected] harder.
    *Jolly Nature is preferred to outspeed some key Choice Scarf users, such as Landorus-T, Thundurus-T, Salamence, Garchomp, Jirachi, etc. However, Sandslash will always be outsped by any Choice Scarf user with 105 base speed or more

    *Sandslash needs Sand support to work; however, Hippowdon is a poor choice, at it has the same typing as Sandslash, and amplifies their weaknesses. Tyranitar, while not great in terms of synergy, is a better partner for Sandslash, and can soften up some of Sandslash's checks, such as Ferrothorn and Latias
    *Stealth Rock and Spikes support help Sandslash grab key OHKOs on Ferrothorn, Breloom, and Dragonite. Skarmory and Ferrothorn are Spikes users that synergize well with Sandslash, whereas Celebi and Jirachi can lay down Stealth Rock while checking some key threats to Sandslash, such as Choice Scarf Keldeo and Latios.
    *Sandslash appreciates good checks to Landorus-T and priority users, such as Scizor, Breloom, and Mamoswine. Skarmory can handle all four of them, as well as laying down entry hazards to help Sandslash with Pokemon it has troubles beating

    *Don't bother with anything else; the above set uses Sandslash to its highest potential.
    *Rock Slide is too weak for Sandslash, as without it, it cannot OHKO Salamence and Dragonite after Stealth Rock, and cleanly OHKO Thundurus-T without Stealth Rock up.
    *Night Slash can be used to hit Ghosts harder, but Earthquake and Stone Edge hit hard enough.
    *Sandslash gets worn down too easily to run a defensive Rapid Spin set, despite its access to both Stealth Rock and Super Fang
    *Choice Band seems tempting, but Swords Dance and Rapid Spin are Sandslash's key advantages over Stoutland, another Sand Rush user.
    *Lum Berry can help Sandslash set up against walls like Jirachi, but most status inducers can beat Sandslash without a Swords Dance boost. Also, Stone Edge misses out on a lot of power without Life Orb, even after +2.

    *Skarmory, Landorus-T, Gliscor, and bulky Rotom-W can take a hit from Sandslash and shit on it back, but after a Swords Dance, they can tend to come into 2HKO range.
    *Banded Scizor/Dragonite and Mamoswine can take a chunk out of Sandslash's health with their priority attacks, but they cannot OHKO it
    *Removing the weather halves Sandslash's speed, but no weather inducer switch in on Sandslash, as even bulky Politoed risks being OHKOed once a Swords Dance boost and entry hazards are put into the equation.
    *Scarf Keldeo and Scarf Latios can outspeed Sandslash and OHKO it with Surf / Hydro Pump / Draco Meteor.
    *Ironically, entry hazards wear Sandslash down quickly
    [/Secret]
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  2. Finchinator

    Finchinator IT’S FINK DUMBASS

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    Finchinator / Finch
    Looks good, maybe slash leftovers.
    Will take a more in depth look later!
     
  3. Daybreak

    Daybreak can't touch this

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    Daybreak
    i wouldn't call this viable but somthing in other options is that sandslash gets stealth rocks
     
  4. Alfalfa

    Alfalfa Underappreciated

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    Alfalfa
    Mentioned in OO with that outclassed defensive set