I'ma just do what I always go, and chuck out analyses at a stupid pace. :3 == General == Meet Greninja, yet another X/Y pokemon that's saved from mediocrity by a brilliant ability. It may be the fastest of all Water-types, at a stunning base 122, and its offences are respectable, but it's Greninja's signature ability Protean that separates the frogs from the tadpoles. This ability changes Greninja into the type of the move that it's about to use, meaning that, not only does it get STAB on every move it uses, but it technically doesn't have any weaknesses if used well. Electricity? Grass? Just become a Grass-type! Bug? Fighting? Just become a Ghost-type! It also has a brilliant movepool to accommodate its amazing ability, ranging from basic STABs to wide stretching coverage options, and even some great supporting options in entry hazards. Yes, that's right; Protean works with status moves too. If one were to search for a flaw with Greninja, it would be its frailty. 72/67/71 defences aren't pathetic, but they won't be surviving much either. It therefore goes without saying that Greninja should be kept safe at all times, as even strong neutral STABs will fell the frog. Its initial typing isn't brilliant either, at least defensively. Dark typing brings unwelcome weaknesses in Bug and Fighting, which are two of the more common attacking types, not to mention newcomer Fairy too. However, when you can change your type at will, this isn't an issue for most. All things aside, Greninja is a solid threat in OU, and isn't going anywhere any time soon. == Frogstomp == Greninja @ Life Orb / Expert Belt Ability: Protean EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd Hasty / Naive nature -Hydro Pump / Surf -Ice Beam -Dark Pulse / Hidden Power Grass -U-turn / Extrasensory Greninja's flexibility really knows no limits. When its typing can be changed almost freely, at the mere click of a button, it makes sense to take the biggest possible advantage; in fact, the only staple choice on this set is a Water move really, as it has amazing neutral coverage on its own. *The choice between Surf and Hydro Pump is mostly down to preference. Hydro Pump packs power, but that shaky accuracy may let you down in critical moments, whilst Surf always hits for a reliable base 90 power, meaning it's good in a pinch. Ice Beam in slot 2 generally keeps its placing, packing great coverage with a Water move and hitting a lot of common things hard, including the likes of Venusaur (before mega evolving) and Garchomp. Ice-type Greninja will pack a lot of weaknesses however, so be careful when you use it. The other two slots are literally up for grabs, depending on what coverage your team needs. Dark Pulse hits opposing Ghost- and Psychic-types that are lurking, and Hidden Power Grass on the other hand can help Greninja out against opposing bulky Waters like Quagsire, also letting it sponge any wayward Thunderbolts that were aimed at it. While the latter tactic isn't always a good idea, because just about anything can hold a Choice Scarf nowadays, it's always worth considering. U-turn in slot 4 is used mostly for scouting, but it can also deal some hefty damage against the right targets (such as Latios), break Focus Sashes, and keep Greninja safe from harm. Extrasensory on the other hand has essentially the same tactic as Hidden Power Grass, however this one's against Fighting-types instead. It doesn't see as much usage due to the poor coverage of Psychic moves, but it's still a worthy choice. Those last two slots can be mixed and matched almost to sheer preference, as nearly any combination will prove useful. Seriously, go nuts! The EVs are assigned so Greninja makes the most of its stat spread. The Speed and Special Attack are maxed out, with the remaining 4 being thrown into Attack to give U-turn a slight boost. The choice between Hasty and Naive doesn't matter too much, however it will affect which Download Genesect receives, so that's worth taking into consideration. Note that if you aren't using U-turn, you should use 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd Timid instead, as that doesn't waste any of Greninja's EVs or 'bulk'. Lastly, the hold items. The Life Orb's the recommended option, due to it supplying Greninja with some serious power at the cost of 10% HP per hit, which it won't mind losing anyway due to its frailty. However, the Expert Belt is also a very common choice, due to Greninja usually packing enough power anyway, and it can bluff a Choice item on occasion. Greninja doesn't often abuse Choice items, but hey, if it works... == Other Options == Among the most prominent of Greninja's alternatives is that it has access to both Spikes and Toxic Spikes. It can always find a few turns to stack some layers, because literally all of its initial weaknesses are 'countered' by simply using one of the two moves. When using Spikes, Greninja becomes a Ground-type, and thus immune to the Electricity it's normally weak to, and on the flip side, if it uses Toxic Spikes it becomes resistant to Grass, Bug, Fairy, and Fighting. Spikes are more recommended than Toxic Spikes, because they are 'harder' to remove, and generally deal more damage if you can force switches well, not to mention helping Greninja to secure some OHKOs and 2HKOs that it otherwise wouldn't, however both hazards have their niches. If you ever have a free slot with Greninja, don't be afraid to give one of these a try. It also packs a decent base 95 Attack and a plentiful physical movepool, giving physical sets some viability. Its signature move, Water Shuriken, deserves a solid mention here, as it is a priority, multi-strike move, and this can really disrupt things. Other notable physical moves include Shadow Sneak, Return, Night Slash, Rock Slide, Waterfall, and Acrobatics, however bear in mind that the latter will only be particularly effective once the Flying Gem has been released. Also note that, in spite of the decent Attack stat and even access to Swords Dance, physical Greninja often lacks the power to sweep teams, and thus much be used with caution (and preferably hazard support). Other Hidden Power types are worth mentioning, such as Fire to get a solid hit on the likes of Scizor and Greninja, or even Electric to take large chunks out of Gyarados. It was mentioned earlier in the analysis that Greninja doesn't often use choice items, but don't let that stop you. Scarf or Specs Greninja can really surprise opponents by hitting much harder or faster than expected. With STAB on every move, it can be very effective, however the lack of being able to switch moves is a big setback for Greninja. Scald is also worth mentioning, as it isn't much less powerful than Surf, and comes with a nifty burn chance. Greninja also gets a few fun supporting options, such as Substitute to evade status, Haze to remove stat changes, and Mat Block to protect itself and become a Fighting-type. Role Play gets its mention for novelty, and it can steal useful abilities from opponents, such as Volt Absorb. However, the cost of using Role Play would be losing Protean, which might not be such a good idea. == Checks and Counters == Greninja is far from easy to counter, as its type is continually changing, and thus it is very difficult to actually hit it hard. However, since its own power is limited, dedicated walls such as Chansey and Blissey can wear it down pretty quickly. It can't hit either of them hard enough to actually threaten, so the nurses will just force Greninja to eat its own Life Orb recoil every time they switch in, and then likely force it to U-turn out afterwards, meaning Greninja will lose at least 20% of its HP every time. Both have access to Soft Boiled to heal themselves, so Greninja can't hope to wear them down, and they also have access to Seismic Toss to take large chunks out of its HP. Greninja can render itself immune to Seismic Toss with Shadow Sneak, but the nurses are immune, so that would only be a waste of time. Just about anything with a Choice Scarf can outrun and hit Greninja hard, providing it is not Scarfed itself, and the holder of the Choice Scarf is faster than a Scizor. The likes of Garchomp and Rotom-W can generally switch in safely (although Garchomp must be wary of Ice Beam) and strike Greninja with their respective STABs for heavy damage. Things that are naturally faster than Greninja are few and far between, however the likes of Talonflame, Jolteon, Mega Alakazam or even Crobat can outrun and hit it hard with a powerful STAB, as long as they switch in safely. This is far from guaranteed in every situation. While Greninja can change its typing freely, its initial typing is Water/Dark, and this renders it vulnerable to all three entry hazards, which can be used to weaken it sufficiently. Anything using Mach Punch or Vacuum Wave can hit Greninja hard before it changes its typing, and some good users of these would include Breloom, Conkeldurr, and Lucario. No matter what combination of moves Greninja runs, there always seems to be something that slips through its coverage, and can't be hit for super effective damage. If it has some bulk, and can't be hit for super effective, it's generally considered a good initial switch in for Greninja. Some examples of these would be most Fairy-types, Tentacruel, Gyarados, and Empoleon, among others. Greninja's frailty means that even neutral STABs will hurt it, so they don't even need to be powerful to threaten. Lastly, if you can paralyse Greninja it's screwed. Klefki and Whimsicott are good choices if you're going with this tactic, as they have Prankster to help them.