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[Skeleton] Scrafty

Discussion in 'NU Analyses' started by Spoovo The Pirate, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Spoovo The Pirate

    Spoovo The Pirate Meep! Article Contributor Article Contributor

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    == General ==

    *Meet Scrafty, one of the NU tier's most versatile and dynamic threats. Great typing, great overall base stats, amazing movepool.
    *Three great abilities, all of which have plenty of reason for usage.
    *One major downside in a 4x Fairy weakness, which is likely the only thing that keeps him in NU.
    *With so many viable sets however, your opponent can lose a pokemon just finding out what set you're running. This unpredictability makes Scrafty a very dangerous pokemon.
    *Not the fastest, at a miserable base 58, however Dragon Dance makes up for this, and it's more than fast enough to outrun the tier's walls. Brilliant 65/115/115 bulk makes up for this though.
    *When all is said and done though, the NU tier must prepare for the punk rock lizard, on penalty of defeat.

    == Bulk Up ==

    Scrafty @ Leftovers
    Ability: Shed Skin
    EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Spd
    Careful nature

    -Bulk up
    -Rest
    -Drain Punch
    -Knock Off / Ice Punch / Dragon Tail

    *If you see a Scrafty in NU, this is most likely what it'll be doing. Maximal Special bulk makes it very tough on that side, and it can easily set up on the likes of defensive Vileplume, who can't reliably do a thing to it thanks to Shed Skin and impressive special bulk.
    *Bulk Up is the crux of the set, boosting Scrafty's Attack and Defence to complement the Special bulk. It only takes one or two boosts for Scrafty to threaten with this build, however it can easily boost to +6 if played well.
    *Rest combines well with Bulk Up and Shed Skin, more or less rendering Scrafty immune to stall teams as long as they don't pack a phazing move or Taunt/Encore user. Shed Skin has a 33% chance of waking Scrafty up immediately, so Rest becomes semi-reliable.
    *Drain Punch in slot 3 is the go to attack when Scrafty has finished setting up. Not only does it deal respectable damage, coming from STAB and Bulk Up boosts, but it also restores Scrafty's HP with each hit, making the lizard that much harder to take down.
    *Slot 4 is where things get interesting. Scrafty has three coverage choices in this slot; Knock Off deals heavy damage after boosts, and also strips opponents of their hold items (assuming they can be removed). It's generally the recommended choice, due to also packing STAB. Ice Punch in slot 2 however yields almost the same neutral coverage, but threatens specific opponents more, such as Dragon- and Grass-types, not to mention at least hitting Fairies for neutral damage.
    *Lastly, Dragon Tail is there so that Scrafty can adopt a shuffler approach to its set, Bulking Up against an opponent that is also setting up, and then simply Dragon Tailing them out once they've gained a couple boosts, and this gaining the advantage.
    *The Leftovers are the given hold item for this set, being by far the most reliable. Another item choice would be the Chesto Berry to combine with Rest, but that's often redundant alongside Shed Skin. It is slightly more reliable than Shed Skin, but it won't come in useful as often.

    == Dragon Dance ==

    Scrafty @ Leftovers / Life Orb
    Ability: Shed Skin / Moxie
    EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
    Adamant / Jolly nature

    -Dragon Dance
    -Drain Punch
    -Knock Off
    -Poison Jab / Ice Punch

    *If Scrafty isn't using its Bulk Up set, there's a good chance that it's going Dragon Dance instead, utilising its underwhelming base 58 Speed to the fullest and aiming for a late game sweep.
    *The main thing to notice about this set is that it is actually two sets that function slightly differently to each other. Stallbreaker Dragon Dance Scrafty uses Shed Skin so that it doesn't fear status, while Moxie sets aim solely for dealing as much damage as possible.
    *The Leftovers are the first listed hold item, however that's mostly to align with corresponding slashes. If you're using the Leftovers, go Adamant for the nature, and Shed Skin for the ability, while Life Orb Scrafty wants a Jolly nature for optimal Speed, and Moxie for the ability. Jolly may seem like a waste of a poor base stat, however it allows Scrafty to outrun the likes of Starmie at +1, so it's definitely worth considering.

    *Now, the moves. Dragon Dance is obligatory, seeing as it is the name and purpose of the set itself.
    *Drain Punch and Knock Off are again more or less staple on a Scrafty set, being its main tools for both utility and sweeping at the same time.
    *The last slot is interesting however. Poison Jab gets the front listing this time, because Fairy-types are the bane of Scrafty, and a swift Poison Jab to the gut will deal with most of them easily. Ice Punch gets a backslash after Poison Jab however to help Scrafty better deal with bulky Dragons and Grass-types that can tank a STAB, such as Torterra. The choice of move depends on which threats the rest of your team can remove.

    == Assault Vest ==

    Scrafty @ Assault Vest
    Ability: Intimidate / Shed Skin / Moxie
    EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Def / 4 SDef
    Impish nature

    -Drain Punch
    -Knock Off
    -Poison Jab
    -Ice Punch / Dragon Tail

    *As if Scrafty didn't look ghetto enough already, Game Freak's amazing innovation of a stab proof vest couldn't suit it more, boosting up its already impressive special bulk with little cost, and letting it fully abuse its movepool without the hindrance of setup moves.
    *This set is perhaps the most versatile of them all, as the chosen ability and EV spread are both very flexible. Any of Scrafty's three abilities are viable on this set, because Intimidate weakens physical attackers, essentially giving Scrafty a free Cosmic Power boost for simply switching in while holding the Assault Vest. Shed Skin on the other hand keeps Scrafty relatively status free, with a 33% chance of whatever status being healed on its own, without cleric support. Lastly, Moxie just lets Scrafty function as a bulky cleanup sweeper, making the most of its respectable 279 Attack stat.
    *The EVs can be configured to your liking too. As long as the Attack is maxed out, so that Scrafty at least packs a punch, you can max out almost any of the other stats. 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spd Adamant gives Scrafty the best overall bulk, while 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 SDef Careful takes the Assault Vest's utility to its absolute maximum, and 252 Atk / 4 SDef 252 Spd Adamant is even viable, letting Scrafty outrun many walls and hit hard while retaining bulk thanks to the Assault Vest (and possibly Intimidate too). The given spread is listed because it's the most efficient for Scrafty's needs, however don't be afraid to give another set a try.

    *Now, because Scrafty is wearing the Assault Vest, it can't use setup moves, but this can actually work in its favour, letting it abuse its wide movepool to the fullest. Drain Punch and Knock Off are once again staples on the set, while Poison Jab is again useful for hitting Fairies on the switch in, 2HKOing most due to NU Fairies generally being very frail on the physical side.
    *Lastly, Ice Punch and Dragon Tail are slot 4's choices. They function the same as they did on previous sets, with the former hitting bulky Grass-, Flying- and Dragon-types, while Dragon Tail also hits Dragons, but has the bonus of phazing out whatever it hits. Scrafty's increased bulk thanks to the Assault Vest means that it can take almost any hit without too much worry, and thus Dragon Tail is viable.

    == Other Options ==

    *Scrafty is a deceptively good SubPuncher, having more than enough bulk to set up Substitutes, and throw out Focus Punches from behind them. It tends to be overshadowed by the likes of Emboar or Cacturne though, because they have a priority Sucker Punch to complement both moves.

    *Dragon Dance sets can also use a Lum Berry to help them set up, however this is often considered redundant when the pokemon has access to Shed Skin. Don't be afraid to run Lum Berry on Moxie sets however.

    *Scrafty can function well with the Choice Band. It's not the best Choice Band user in the world, however in combination with Intimidate, it can work as a bulky hole puncher.

    *Alternate STABs that haven't been mention include High Jump Kick, which works well on Dragon Dance sets for more power, and Crunch, which has a higher base power than Knock Off, and works better against targets that aren't holding items (or are holding Mega stones). While both moves are viable, they usually aren't recommended over listed moves.

    *The rest of Scrafty's offensive movepool includes Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, Iron Head, Stone Edge, Zen Headbutt, Dual Chop, Fake Out and Power-up Punch. Most of these moves at least have reason for usage, however they aren't recommended over listed moves. It's worth noting that Power-up Punch could be used on Assault Vest sets, however this would generally be considered inferior to Moxie.

    *Lastly, it's worth noting that Scrafty has access to a couple of stallbreaking options, such as Super Fang and Taunt. There's little call for either move on a Scrafty, however the Dragon Dance sets could employ Taunt with stallbreaking purposes in mind.

    == Checks and Counters ==

    *As mentioned a few times in the analysis, Fairy-types are the bane of Scrafty. While it readily carries Poison Jab to deal with them, sets that don't have it (i.e. the common Bulk Up set) will quickly fall to the Fairies. Any STAB move will hit Scrafty for heavy damage - if not OHKO - and most Fairy-types resist both of Scrafty's STAB options. Of these Fairy-types, Granbull would be the best available choice, being the most physically bulky of them all thanks to Intimidate. Granbull can then punish Scrafty with a STAB Play Rough, 2HKOing at the worst while Scrafty can do nothing back.

    *If you don't have a Fairy-type, bulky Flying-types like Golbat are a reliable choice, taking all but boosted Ice Punches well enough to not care, and having access to Taunt to shut most sets down. Golbat won't like having its precious Eviolite removed via Knock Off, but Scrafty won't like Golbat's Brave Bird any more, so it's a fair trade. Other bulky Flying-types in the tier include Eviolite Scyther, who also won't appreciate Knock Off, but can hit Scrafty hard with Technician and STAB boosted Aerial Ace.

    *Opposing Fighting-types can hit Scrafty hard, with the likes of Choice Scarf Sawk destroying with a STAB Close Combat. Scarf Sawk may not OHKO Scrafty power Bulk Up, however if its Sturdy stays intact, it gets a second chance.

    *Imposter Ditto can easily revenge kill Scrafty with its own moves, particularly the Dragon Dance sets. Anything with a Choice Scarf, a super effective STAB, and a base Speed above 60 will generally do the job. Emboar is a prime example of this, being able to take one boosted anything and fire back a Superpower for an easy OHKO.

    ...anything else? :3