== General == *Not your first choice in OU, but with unique typing, good overall stats, useful resistances and a piledriving base 185 Attack, (Mega) Heracross is a brilliant alternative for those who want a bit of a fresh change. *Two useful abilities when normal (Guts and Moxie), while Mega has the incredible Skill Link, plus a movepool that fully abuses it. *Not very fast when Mega, but it is very bulky, sporting 80/115/105 defences. *Quadruple Flying weakness and ubiquitous Talonflame means that Heracross can't thrive in the tier, and Fire, Fairy and Psychic weaknesses don't help it either, but Ground, Grass, Dark, Fighting, and Bug resistances all make up for it. == Mega Heracross == Heracross @ Heracronite Trait: Moxie -> Skill Link EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) / Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Close Combat - Pin Missile - Rock Blast - Bullet Seed / Substitute *Mega Heracross' Speed may not be amazing, but 273 is enough to outrun most walls, and the given attacks have enough coverage to batter almost anything that comes in against it. *A Jolly nature is chosen to make the most of a lackluster Speed stat, however Adamant can be used if you prefer, as that gives Mega Heracross a huge boost of 46 Attack points, in exchange for 24 Speed points. *Moxie is the chosen ability for normal Heracross before mega evolving, as this allows it to pick up a free Attack boost if it can pick off a weakened switch in. Guts can be used to deter opponents from using status moves on it, but this would cripple Heracross should it mega evolve, so this isn't recommended without a cleric. *Close Combat is the simple, hard hitting STAB with great coverage. Targets that don't resist will be getting hurt. *Pin Missile is a Bug STAB that hits harder and more reliably than even Megahorn thanks to Skill Link. 95% accuracy still isn't the best, but it's far better than Megahorn's 85. *Rock Blast functions similarly to Pin Missile, hitting the Flying-types that resist both STABs, with Talonflame and Tornadus both being strong mentions, as well as the likes of Dragonite, as this attack will pierce through its Multiscale. *Lastly, slot 4 has Bullet Seed, for breaking bulky Waters such as Rotom-W, and Substitute to help Mega Heracross avoid status. It outruns many of the walls that use status moves, such as the aforementioned Rotom-W, and this means Mega Heracross can pummel it with attacks without risk of getting burned, however this will likely just prompt Rotom-W to Volt Switch away. == Choice Band == Heracross @ Choice Band Trait: Guts EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) / Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Close Combat - Megahorn - Knock Off - Stone Edge / Facade *The Choice Band, combined with Guts, can turn Heracross into a fearsome stallbreaker, ploughing through just about everything that doesn't resist its attacks, and even some that do. *Guts lets Heracross come in on status moves such as Toxic or Will-o-Wisp without fear, and may even let Heracross act as a lure, for those expecting a mega evolution. The huge power boost granted by Guts can really throw people. *An Adamant nature is chosen because it best complements the Band, however Jolly can be used to outrun a few more things, such as Jolly Mega Gyarados. An alternate spread of 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spd Adamant can be used for more bulk, however the Speed is usually preferred. *Close Combat is, as always, Heracross' go to STAB, hitting for great power and coverage with a negligible drawback. Megahorn is the listed Bug STAB this time because Pin Missile isn't so reliable without Skill Link to back it up. Be wary of its sketchy accuracy, however. *Knock Off in slot 3 mauls incoming Ghost- and Psychic-types, both of whom are likely to switch in on a Heracross. It also makes a great utility move that can literally just be spammed, thanks to Heracross' mammoth 574 Attack. *Lastly, Stone Edge and Facade are listed in slot 4 to help Heracross muscle its way past would be counters such as Tornadus and Clefable, respectively. The choice can be a difficult one, however. *Sleep Talk is also a viable option for this set, as it'll let Heracross absorb sleep for the team as well, not to mention the sleep status activating Guts, however sleep inducers are comparatively rare in Gen 6 OU, due to new mechanics. Sleep Talk is therefore not recommended over the listed options. == Guts + Orb == Heracross @ Toxic / Flame Orb Trait: Guts EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spd Jolly nature (+Spd, -SAtk) / Adamant nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Protect / Swords Dance - Close Combat - Megahorn - Knock Off / Facade *The previous set could reliably act as a status absorber, but only if it switched into a status move. This set inflicts itself using a status orb, giving it the power to threaten without relying on the opponent. *Otherwise, it's a very similar set. Jolly is chosen over Adamant this time for the sake of outrunning as much as possible, and the power difference is little. Adamant can still be used if you prefer, however. *Close Combat and Megahorn are once again staples. *Protect in slot 1 guarantees the activation of the status orb, while Swords Dance can be used for a risky, yet more than worthwhile boost. Heracross' Attack would get boosted to heroic levels if it can pull off both boosts, and it will be able to devastate stall teams. *Lastly, Knock Off is in slot 4 for coverage and utility purposes, while Facade is also given a main listing on this set for the power it brings when Heracross is statused. It can reliably hit incoming checks like Gliscor for much heavier damage than anything else Heracross has access to. *The choice between orbs can be surprisingly difficult. the Flame Orb deals constant damage, meaning Heracross can stay in for longer, however the Toxic Orb deals less damage over the first two turns than the Flame Orb, meaning it is therefore better suited to those who switch more often. *Toxic Orb is more suitable for early or mid game, while Flame Orb works better for late game cleaning. == Other Options == *Bulk Up can be used, with or without max SDef investment to turn Mega Hera into more of a tank. Close Combat and Bulk Up don't agree however, so Brick Break or Focus Punch would be the next best alternatives. Focus Punch can combine well with Substitute. *Arm Thrust is worth mentioning as another STAB, one that gets fully powered up by Skill Link. However, its imperfect accuracy, lackluster power, and tendency to just help targets holding the Rocky Helmet (Ferrothorn, Garchomp and Landorus being some common abusers) means that it's generally recommended not to use it. *Choice Scarf is perfectly viable still, working well with Moxie for late game cleaning. *Leftovers, Assault Vest and Life Orb are a few alternate hold items worth mentioning. Heracross will rarely be seen holding any of them, but they're at least viable. *Rock Tomb, Earthquake and Reversal/Flail are about the only other viable move options that haven't been mentioned previously. The former can be used to take advantage of more offensive teams, while Earthquake offers very specific coverage against the likes of bulky Poison-types like Tentacruel, and the latter work well with Substitute. == Checks and Counters == *As previously mentioned, Flying-types like Tornadus and Talonflame instantly threaten if they can get in safely. Both fear Rock Blast on the switch in, and Talonflame's frailty means that it even fears Fighting STABs, however both can easily vanquish Mega Heracross with a Flying STAB. This also applies to the likes of Mega Charizard Y, Crobat and even Skarmory. Skarmory may kill itself in the process though, taking heavy damage from Close Combat. *Gliscor is a solid answer in spite of it rarely carrying a Flying STAB, due to its amazing physical bulk and ability to outstall Mega Heracross regardless of the set. Gliscor may take a while to beat Mega Heracross one on one, but it will always force it out. The same more or less applies to Landorus-T. Both must be wary of Guts abusing sets, however. *Bulky Fairies like Clefable are good answers too, as they can't be hit for super effective damage and have a STAB Moonblast to hit back hard with, as well as reliable recovery. Togekiss is in the same boat too if it can avoid Rock Blast.