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Old 09-11-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
Escalion
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FF Analysis 2: Shedinja!

It can be dead before it even on the field and it can sweep your team if you're not prepared for it. It's Shedinja, the hollow shell that steals your soul!



Overview: Shedinja is one of the hidden gems of the FF metagame if you know how to use it, though using it is not without risk. It's Wonder Guard ability allows it to fulfill a useful niche as it makes him immune to 12 of the 17 types, including Foresight Normal and Fighting, making it the perfect Spin Blocker with plenty of switch-in opportunities against Pokémon such as Golduck, Wartortle and Seismitoad. It does however need a lot of support to remove it's main threats, and working with a nonexistent buff is not easy. But if the proper support is provided Shedinja has the potential to become either an effective defensive pivot, taking hits with it's ability and Baton Passing out to the appropriate counter, or an offensive sweeper with Swords Dance and priority to pick off a weakened team. It is however very limited in it's item choice with only two really useful options in Focus Sash and Lum Berry. Other items are either limiting, completely useless or downright harmful. In short, Shedinja is easy to use and deal with if you know it, but it's a bitch if you don't.

Swords Dance Shedinja

Shedinja @ Lum Berry / Focus Sash
Ability: Wonder Guard
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Nature: Adamant (+Atk / -SpA)
- Swords Dance
- Shadow Sneak / Shadow Claw
- X-Scissor
- Protect / Will-O-Wisp

This is the current most used set within the FF metagame. With Shedinja's ability and base 90 attack and powerful STAB it is able to dent or kill most of the metagame after a Swords Dance boost which it is usually able to get up with a good switch-in. The power of this set lays in the it's priority move Shadow Sneak, which should almost always be chosen over Shadow Claw as the priority makes up for it's slow speed stat and a boosted, STAB Shadow Sneak is enough to pick off a weakened team in late game. Shadow Claw does provide extra power and boasts a high critical-hit ratio but for a late game sweeper the power is not really needed and often not preferred over being able to hit first with priority. X-scissor is Shedinja's most powerful STAB move and provides it with extra coverage against Pokémon immune and resistant to it's Ghost-moves such as Audino and Cacturne. The last slot on this set has several options. Protect and Will-O-Wisp are the most usefull for Shedinja with Protect enabling it to scout for moves while extending it's life and Will-O-Wisp enabling it to cripple attackers while avoiding Sucker Punch, which in itself is also an option. Sucker Punch provides a more powerful priority enabling it to hit Normal-types, but it can be a risk against status inducers. Toxic is also a viable option to wear down opponent and hit Fire-types. Shadow Claw can also be used in this slot to hit harder earlier in the game without losing out on priority.

The item to use on this set, or any Shedinja set, really depends on what kind of damage you expect it to take first. Focus Sash allows Shedinja to live one super effective attack, while Lum Berry allows it to live one Confusion inducing move, Will-O-Wisp or Toxic. EV's should speak for themselves. With 1 HP it's not needed to invest in anything other than attack and speed to maximize it's sweeping potential. A Jolly nature may also be an option to run with this set, it looses some if it's much needed power, but it allows Shedinja to outspeed a minimal speed Garbodor, which is one of it's biggest threats.

Defensive Pivot Shedinja

Shedinja @ Lum Berry / Focus Sash
Ability: Wonder Guard
EVs: 252 Atk
IV: 0 Spe
Nature: Brave (+Atk / -Spe)
- Baton Pass
- Protect
- Will-O-Wisp
- Shadow Sneak

Baton Pass is the most important move of this set. Pivot Shedinja should switch in on any Pokémon it can reliably take on thanks to it's ability Wonder Guard, forcing the opponent to switch out. It's 0 speed EV's and IV's and hindering nature then allow it nearly always Baton Pass last preventing the opponent from anticipating your switch and allowing you to bring in the appropriate counter. Will-O-Wisp is to cripple attackers and hit Pokémon immune to Shadow Sneak. Protect helps Shedinja scout for the opponents moves and Shadow Sneak allows it to finish off weakened foes and prevent it from becoming total Taunt bait.

Once again, the items are self-explanatory. They allow Shedinja to live either an attack or status. This set also does not have many other options. Sucker Punch can be used over Shadow Sneak for extra power, but is a big risk against status users. Finally Heal Block can be used over Protect to allow Shedinja to prevent the many stall abusers in this metagame from healing up and it prevents switch-ins such as Audino and Lickitung from doing their Cleric work.

Baton Pass Shedinja

Shedinja @ Lum Berry / Focus Sash
Ability: Wonder Guard
EVs: 252 Atk
IV: 0 Spe
Nature: Brave (+Atk / -Spe)
- Baton Pass
- Hone Claws
- Agility
- Shadow Sneak

This set is all about Baton Passing some accuracy, power and speed to offensive teammates with less reliable moves or speed. The idea is to get in, get off a Hone Claws and/or Agility and Baton Pass out to the sweeper. A slow Baton Pass is needed for this to allow the incoming sweeper a safe switch-in, thus explaining the minimal EV investment en 0 speed IV's. Shadow Sneak is there to prevent Shedinja from becoming total Taunt bait and provides it with a priority move to make up for it's minimal speed.

As with the Pivot set, the items are self-explanatory. They allow Shedinja to live either an attack or status, though because of it's low speed and need to get of a boosting move and Baton Pass the Sash is the preferred option here. Furthermore, this set has only one other option to run. Sucker Punch can be used over Shadow Sneak for a more powerful, but less reliable, priority. Also note that even though Shedinja has access to Swords Dance, it is illegal to use it with a Baton Pass set, so Hone Claws and Agility are the only options there.

Team options:

All of Shedinja's sets need a lot of team support to be able to function properly. And all three sets need the same type of support as they really cannot work if there are hazards on the field as any hazard will kill Shedinja. Rapid Spin support is therefore mandatory. Wartortle is a good option for this as it is the most reliable spinner in the FF metagame due to it's bulk and access to foresight and can cover some of Shedinja weaknesses. Torkoal however is the preferred choice for the offensive set as it can spin and lay down Stealth Rock which Shedinja greatly appreciates. In that regard Garbodor is also a good teammate for it as it shares no weaknesses with Shedinja and can lay down Spikes. Finally Natu can also be used for both sets due to Magic Bounce preventing hazards from landing in the first place.

Another thing to keep in mind is weather. Hail and Sand mean death for Shedinja and in this weather infested metagame it is important to have a weather counter. Once again Wartortle can be used for this as it has access to Rain Dance. But for the offensive set a Sunny Day user may be a better option. Though offensive Shedinja also works great on a Sun team with Vulpix, being able to come in on Water and Ground attacks, but one has to be weary of the overall weaknesses of the team due to stacking weaknesses to Rock, Fire and/or Flying.

Finally it should be noted that the Baton Pass and Defensive Pivot sets may also benefit from Heal Bell / Aromatherapy support. Due to these sets being deliberately slow, they may get inflected by status before they Baton Pass out, with the status now preventing them from switching in again. Audino or Meganium are good options to provide this support depending on your team. If this support is present, the Focus Sash becomes the preferred item to run on these respective sets.

Other options:

Shedinja has quite a shallow movepool so there are no many different options. Toxic can be used over Will-O-Wisp to help it hinder Fire-types, but it often means death so it limits it's usefulness. Dig is also an option to hurt Steel-types and cover it's Rock and Fire weaknesses, but it brings the risk of a Flying-type switch-in which Shedinja does not appreciate. Grudge is an option to discourage Choice item users from attacking. Shedinja has access to Sunny Day itself too and might be an option so it can deal with Sand or Hail by itself if there is no other support for this, keep in mind thought that Shedinja cannot just recklessly switch into weather.

Counters:

As mentioned earlier, any entry hazard will instantly kill Shedinja and any Pokémon that can set up hazards can be a threat. This goes especially for Garbodor as it can set up Spikes and it can also switch in on Shedinja, killing it with Rocky Helmet recoil, Rock Blast or forces it out to set up Spikes again to prevent a new switch-in and on top of that Garbodor is able to survive a +2 X-scissor and Shadow Sneak. Any status wall such as Lickitung can also safely switch-in and kill it with Toxic as they are bulky enough, or immune, to survive an attack and have Shedinja consume it's Lum Berry if it carries one before the kill. Finally Shedinja has to be extremely careful with any Pokémon from one it's five weaknesses, those being Fire, Rock, Ghost, Dark and Flying. Steel-types also completely wall it and can carry Rock Blast to finish Shedinja off through his Focus Sash or have another Rock move at their disposal. Though in the end Shedinja has to watch out for everything with super effective moves and damaging weather or status.
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