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[Skeleton] Kecleon

Discussion in 'NU Analyses' started by Spoovo The Pirate, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Spoovo The Pirate

    Spoovo The Pirate Meep! Article Contributor Article Contributor

    Sep 29, 2012
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    == General ==

    Kecleon was once doomed to the absolute pits of obscurity, being a pokemon with nothing special worth boasting except for a unique ability; one that was far from reliable.

    However, gen 6 blessed the chameleon with a few new weapons at its disposal. The most notable of these would be the infamous Protean, best known for saving Greninja from NU and promoting it all the way to Ubers.

    Kecleon's performance may have been buffed by Protean's addition, but it didn't benefit nearly as much as Greninja did, because the poor chameleon still has many flaws. The most glaring of these is its Speed stat, at a miserable base 40. This means it can't take advantage of its new ability so easily, because it is often outrun. None of its other stats are that impressive either, sans its deceptively high base 120 Special Defence.

    Its movepool stretches to Kanto and back however, making for some unpredictability. Kecleon is also capable of many things too, be it bulky attacking, simple utility, or offensive Trick Room. At the end of the day however, Kecleon will always be one of those underrated, affable types that lurk in the depths of NU. It can't change its stripes, but it can certainly show you its true colours.

    == Assault Vest ==

    Kecleon @ Assault Vest
    Ability: Protean
    EVs: 252 Atk / 240 Def / 16 SDef
    Careful nature

    -Drain Punch
    -Shadow Sneak
    -Power-up Punch
    -Ice Punch / Knock Off

    This is what Kecleon will most likely be seen doing in gen 6 NU. The Assault Vest complements this little lizard perfectly, boosting up its already impressive special bulk with almost no drawback due to its offensive nature.

    The given EV spread may seem a bit counter-productive, as it actually reduces Kecleon's overall bulk, however the lower HP stat means that it'll regain HP faster (by percentage) when using Drain Punch, and thus become harder to actually take down, especially if it's taking on opponents with lots of HP, such as Audino (pre mega). If this spread doesn't appeal though, a simpler 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def Adamant will hit slightly harder.

    The aforementioned Drain Punch is the first listed move on this set, because it's how Assault Vest Kecleon stays healthy. Protean changes its typing to Fighting, giving it a nice STAB boost, and hitting switch-ins hard assuming they don't resist. As Kecleon's typing is expected to change randomly due to both of its abilities, it's highly likely that Kecleon will hit its target for neutral or better damage. Some prediction will likely be required however.

    Shadow Sneak in slot 2 is an important coverage and tactical choice, as it renders Kecleon immune to its sole original weakness of Fighting, meaning it can lure in and wall choiced Fighting-types such as Sawk (assuming they don't try to predict), and force switches, gaining you momentum. It also sports perfect neutral coverage alongside Drain Punch, which is ideal. It can be swapped out for Sucker Punch for more power, however Shadow Sneak is preferred.

    Power-up Punch is a useful move in slot 3, as it gives Kecleon a fairly reliable way to boost its Attack stat. With how many switches this set can force, the move can almost be spammed.

    Lastly, slot 4 yields Ice Punch and Knock Off. The former is simply coverage against Bulky Flying-, Grass-, Dragon- and Ground-types that roam the tier, and Kecleon can hit them hard with a base 75 power STAB super effective hit. Knock Off is back slashed after it because it has essentially the same coverage as Shadow Sneak, however it hits a lot harder, and has the fun utility of removing the opponent's hold item, as well as making Ghost- and Psychic-types wary of switching in. Both are very viable and worth trying. Slot 4 is very flexible, and you can use just about any coverage move in there, should it be needed. Thunder Punch can help Kecleon break into bulky Waters for example.

    == Utility ==

    Kecleon @ Leftovers
    Ability: Color Change / Protean
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
    Careful nature

    -Thunder Wave
    -Stealth Rock / Magic Coat
    -Foul Play / Knock Off

    This set is essentially a fall back to Kecleon's main niche in gen 5 NU, however it's still perfectly viable in gen 6, taking advantage of Kecleon's other ability, Color Change. Should Kecleon come in on a Choiced special attacker (example: Jolteon), it can easily wall the incoming Thunderbolts, and use that momentum to set up.

    Thunder Wave and Stealth Rock are Kecleon's setup options, allowing the lizard to cripple incoming attackers, and set up ubiquitous entry hazards. Stealth Rock can be replaced with Magic Coat if you're good at predicting, however it's a difficult move to use well.

    Recover in slot 3 is what makes Kecleon such an effective special wall. In conjunction with Color Change, Kecleon can effortlessly wall even the tier's strongest of special attackers, as long as they use a move that resists itself (i.e. Hydro Pump or Giga Drain, etc). It's obviously not recommended to switch Kecleon in on a Dragon move, as that will just backfire horribly.

    Lastly, Foul Play and Knock Off in slot 4 are offensive options to stop Kecleon from being effortlessly Taunted. These are the main reason why Protean is given a back slash as the ability, but they both offer great utility. Foul Play hits incoming sweepers for heavy damage, easily 2HKOing offensive pokemon like Golurk, while Knock Off has the same purpose it always does; stripping opposing pokemon of their precious items.

    Protean has another use, it's worth mentioning. While Color Change Kecleon can't risk switching in on Dragon moves, Protean Kecleon can easily tank two Draco Meteors from a Choice Specs Noivern, and simply Recover off the damage. It's not much, but worth noting.

    == Offensive Trick Room ==

    Kecleon @ Life Orb / Leftovers
    Ability: Protean
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
    IVs: 0 Speed
    Brave nature

    -Trick Room
    -Drain Punch
    -Knock Off
    -Ice Punch / Recover

    If Kecleon's poor Speed has always been what's turned you off using it, feel free to give this set a try. Its miserable base 40 Speed becomes nigh on impossible to outrun under Trick Room conditions, and this means that Kecleon can take full advantage of Protean without having to resort to priority moves and good prediction.

    Trick Room gets the first listing, as it is obviously the crux of the set. Drain Punch in slot 2 is the primary attack, dealing solid damage coming with a STAB and possible Life Orb boost, as well as keeping Kecleon healthy all the while. Knock Off in slot 3 is primary coverage, and Kecleon's most powerful attack, also handily removing the hold items of whatever switches into it (assuming no mega stones). Between it and Drain Punch, only Fairy-types resist in NU.

    Slot 4 has Ice Punch as the main filler option, once again used to hit incoming Dragon-types and similar, however Recover has its uses here too, for keeping Kecleon healthy. It likely won't find much usage, due to this being a heavily offensive set with Drain Punch, however it's still useable if needed. A different coverage move can be used here if preferred, such as Fire Punch to render Kecleon immune to burns and hit incoming Bug-types, however this is fairly redundant. Utility moves such as Stealth Rock can also be used here, if you're having trouble finding room for it.

    == Other Options ==

    A hybrid set can be done, i.e. an offensive Stealth Rocker. It would simply be a set with 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def Adamant, and some combination of Drain Punch, Shadow Sneak/Knock Off, Thunder Wave, Stealth Rock, and Recover.

    SubPunching is also perfectly viable for Kecleon, as its constantly changing type helps it force switches, and can even keep its Substitutes in tact if played well. Disable's also in Kecleon's movepool, and combines well with Substitute.

    Special attacking isn't Kecleon's forte, and likely best left to Protean Frogadier or some other special attacker, but it's worth noting that Kecleon does get Nasty Plot and an annoyingly good special movepool, including Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Ice Beam, Grass Knot, Shadow Ball and various Hidden Powers among other things, so don't be afraid to give it a try if you're feeling adventurous.

    Trick is in Kecleon's movepool, and it can easily Trick a Choice Band onto a wall to cripple it. Rain Dance and Sunny Day are also there, allowing Kecleon to set up weather if it needs to. Fake Out, Rock Tomb, Aqua Tail, and Iron Tail are about the only other moves in its movepool that are worth mentioning.

    == Checks and Counters ==

    Kecleon's type changing abilities make it difficult to properly counter. If you can predict well, hitting with a Dark- or Ghost-type move after it uses Shadow Sneak for example, it becomes easier to handle, but that argument goes both ways.

    Physical walls are generally out of the question too, because there are very few that can wall Kecleon efficiently AND have access to a recovery move. Weezing is among these, with its shaky Pain Split stopping Kecleon from being too healthy, while Weezing also has access to Will-o-Wisp, which can burn Kecleon and render it almost useless. Weezing stops the utility sets one on one as well, as long as Thunder Wave paralysis doesn't ruin it.

    Bulky Waters are good initial switch ins, tanking hits just well enough to switch in safely, and then potentially burning Kecleon with Scald. Milotic is a good example, being able to take hits, Recover off the damage, burn Kecleon with Scald, and even take advantage of Thunder Wave with Marvel Scale. All bulky Waters must watch out for Thunder Punch however, as that will hurt.

    Vileplume and similar bulky Grasses can wear Kecleon down with their STABs as long as they can avoid Ice Punch. Bulky Ghosts can come in on Fighting moves and burn Kecleon with Will-o-Wisp, however they must watch out for Shadow Sneak and especially Knock Off.

    At the end of the day though, Kecleon is no powerhouse, nor is it a wall. If the opponent has some bulk, and Kecleon can't hit it for super effective damage, it'll usually do a decent job of fending off the chameleon. The likes of Emboar, Hariyama and physical Eelektross are all fair examples of this.

    Anything else needing added? I think I've got it covered. :3
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015