Competitive Focus: Shandera

Whats up people!  This is NL, bringing you a “heads up” on developing 5th Gen competitive battling strategies!

Now, before we get started, a few things to address- I’m a Competitive Battling Player, and I’ve been playing in Japan for almost a year now.In Japan, a regular battle is a Lv.50 Flat battle with six pokemon, and you choose three, with no legendaries or semi-legendaries(like Zapdos.) Also I know there’s a lot of buzz going on about how this pokemon might ruin everything or something.  It’s OK.  This pokemon isn’t really as strong as its stats look.  While we’re at it, lets look at what we have:

  • HP: 60
  • Atk: 55
  • Def: 90
  • Sp Atk: 145
  • Sp Def: 90
  • Spd: 80

In terms of fire type, it has the second highest special attack among all, only losing to Reshiram by 5 points.  It can usually withstand Stone Edges and Earthquakes from different types of pokemon.  Sounds like the most strongest and most intimidating monster you’ve ever heard of? Think again.  It is good against super effectives, but when it comes down to the big boys like Garchomp, Salamence and all the elite, uber, and almost uber pokemon, it won’t stand up to the heat.  Also, as high as it’s Sp Atk may be, there are still pokemon out there that can take hits from it.  Another thing is that it’s really weak to focus sash.  It will usually withstand a hit, but if the opponent has a Focus Sash and the opponent is faster, there’s really nothing you can do (that is usually the case for any pokemon, but Shandera is one that is weaker than others).  This is where the Choice Scarf comes into play, but I’ll talk about that later.  Yes, its Dream Ability is strong, but it doesn’t really change much.  It is helpful though (plus Unova pokemon with Dream Abilities won’t be released for now, the only pokemon available are Hihidaruma, and Mushaana).

Doesn’t sound convincing?  Then you’ll just have to wait for the game to hit the other countries and see for yourself.  So, shall we get into those fancy movesets (they’re in the spoiler tag, pretty long)?

[spoiler]Basic Shandera:

  • Item: Choice Scarf
  • EVs: Sp Atk – 252 / Speed – 252 / HP – 6
  • Helpful IVs: Sp Atk / Speed
  • Nature: Timid or Modest
  • Ability: Flame Body or Flash Fire
  • Fire Blast
  • Energy Ball
  • Shadow Ball
  • Hidden Power [Ice] or Hidden Power [Ground]

Yeah, very unoriginal.  With Choice Scarf, you can be faster than even Agirudaa (that ninja looking bug type) if you have a timid nature.  Unfortunately, if it’s a modest nature, Aerodactyl is faster than you, but if you don’t choose modest, you won’t have as much power (I would go with timid because more power doesn’t really change that much). You’ll have to pick your poison there. Fire blast and Shadow Ball or the main weapons, energy ball will most of the time take out those water types, and Hidden Power Ice will take out those trouble making Dragon/Flying and Dragon/Ground. No, you can’t take out Sazandora (Dark/Dragon) with a Hidden Power Ice. Be aware though, Garchomp has Focus Sash most of the time in this gen (well, in Japan anyway) so choose wisely when trying to hit a Hidden Power Ice on Garchomps. Hidden Power [Ground] would be able to take out Heatran, which is another threat for Shandera.

Defensive Wall Shandera:

  • Item: Balloon, Shuca Berry, Charti Berry, or Leftovers
  • EVs: HP – 252 / Def or Sp Def- 252 / Sp Atk – 6
  • IVs: HP, Defense, Special Defense
  • Nature: Bold
  • Ability: Flame Body
  • Will O’ Wisp, or Acid Armor
  • Evil Eye (base power doubles when opponent has status condition)
  • Calm Mind, Minimize,(raises evasiveness by two now,also banned in regular tournaments) or Shadow Ball(depending on the set)
  • Energy Ball, Fire Blast, or Hidden Power [Ice] or Hidden Power [Ground]

The idea here is, you guessed it, use Willow Wisp and follow it up with Evil Eye while also being a defensive wall because of the affect burn has.  It’s that simple.  Only catch is it’s very easy to guess what your next move is going to be after using Willow Wisp. You can get rid of Evil Eye and put in Calm Mind or Acid Bomb, and put in Shadow Ball, so you can get a balanced move to use.

Floating Shandera:

  • Item: Balloon
  • EVs: Sp Atk – 100 / Speed – 252 / HP – 158
  • IVs: Speed, Special Attack, HP, and Defense
  • Nature: Timid
  • Ability: Flame Body (or Flash Fire)
  • Fire Blast
  • Shadow Ball
  • Energy Ball
  • Hidden Power Ice

Before I start explaining this moveset, keep in mind that all the damage calculations are done perfectly.  This means Hidden Power Ice is going to have 70 power, all the IVs are going to be maxed (31), those kind of things.

So, looks like a regular set, just without a Choice Scarf and not that much Sp.Attack?  Nope.  I’ll first explain why the EV’s are why they are: 100 Sp Atk is just enough for a Shandera with a timid nature to take out a regular Garchomp (Jolly, EVs in Atk and Spd) with Hidden Power Ice.  With this Shandera you will withstand even an Adamant Garchomp’s Outrage so you’ll take him out most of the time, with the only exception of when Garchomp has a Focus Sash.  Garchomp can’t use earthquake because of the Balloon, but when Shandera is attacked it will break.

Nitro Charged Shandera:

  • Item: Focus Sash, Balloon, or Shuca/Charti Berry
  • EVs: Spd – 252 / Sp Atk – 252 / HP – 6
  • IVs: Sp Atk
  • Nature: Timid or Modest
  • Ability: Flame Body
  • Fire Blast
  • Shadow Ball*
  • Energy Ball*
  • Hidden Power [Ice]*  or Hidden Power [Ground]*
  • *One of these moves should be substituted for Nitro Charge

The entire point of this is to use Nitro Charge, raise speed, and be as fast as you are when you have a Choice Scarf.  I would recommend a timid nature so you can be faster than Agirudaa when you’ve raised your speed, but modest is OK too if you want to be slower than Aerodactyl in exchange for power.  I would recommend Energy Ball or Shadow Ball.[/spoiler]

Well, that about does it! you’ve got five movesets for a brand-new pokemon, from a Japanese Competitive Battling Player! Hope you guys enjoyed it, comments are welcome and appreciated!

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