4th Gen NU/Entry hazards

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Through the generations, Rapid Spin has been a move many teams have been centered around. Many people try desperately to get rid of those Spikes and what later adds on to be Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes. There has been no easy way to combat Rapid Spin, even with the ghost/Spikes combo. While ghosts may help wall rapid spin, often times it takes prediction and risk of the ghost type being killed then them spinning off all your work. I will teach you how to combat Rapid Spin and how to effectively stop it from destroying your team.

As a stall player I know how important Spikes can be. Many teams with a lot of walls rely on Spikes to hurt the foe without attacking them while they switch to their other counter to wall. This has been the main focus around RSE and continues to be a big focus in current NU DPPT today. But it has never been an easy task to just lay down 3 layers of Spikes and get away with it Scott-free. Pretty much the only thing you can switch to, to wall a rapid spin, is some variation of a ghost type Pokémon on your team. Sub' used to block Rapid Spin on Netbattle, until the glitch was fixed, so you can't rely on that anymore.


[edit] Spikers

[edit] Cacturne


Cacturne has enough bulk and good typing to not only spike successfully but also to wall enough attacks to lay down all 3 layers. With Grass/Dark typing, Cacturne can score a super effective hit versus Sandslash and Cloyster. This is a great spiker, especially if you take advantage of its Sand Veil and use it in a Sandstream team.

[edit] Cloyster


Cloyster is one of the rare Spikers to be able to not only spike, but Rapid Spin as well. Having two stab attacks, you can choose to use Surf or Ice Beam versus the spinners that come your way. While Surf super affects Sandslash, Torkoal, and Armaldo, Ice beam is probably a better choice overall. But if you notice trouble with any of these you can always adjust the team accordingly. Rapid Spinners usually will be afraid to even switch in versus Cloyster, fearing a possible OHKO many times.

[edit] Glalie


Glalie has 80 base everything, so literally is a good all around guy. You can make it special just as easy as physical, or even both in the same set. With Explosion and Ice Beam STAB, you should be able to out-speed and OHKO most Rapid Spinners that come your way. Since it has Inner Focus and priority moves like Ice Shard, this would be one of the best Spiker's if you wanted to lead with it.

[edit] Quilfish


Quilfish has the defenses and typing to pull off spikes and also absorb Toxic Spikes that may be in play. With Resttalk you can lay down spikes much easier than other methods, but Explosion or Waterfall is also a good choice, scoring SE hits vs Pokémon like Sandslash, Torkoal, and Armaldo.

[edit] Roselia


Roselia, being one of the only NFE's that also has Toxic Spikes, and Spikes, with poison typing to absorb Toxic Spikes to boot, will be able to have enough Sp D and Speed to lay down many layers of Spikes and Toxic Spikes before it dies. With its good typing, speed and high special attack, it can often kill Rapid Spinners before they even have a chance to Rapid Spin. A simple high-powered grass attack will do.

[edit] Rapid Spinners

In the NU Tier, there are only 5 viable Pokémon who can use Rapid Spin (not counting NFE's or Delibird. They are Armaldo, Cloyster, Hitmonchan, Sandslash and Torkoal. But which one is the most useful in the tier? (Each Pokémon's typing is listed next to its name along with base stats in this order: HP/Attack/Defense/Sp.Attack/Sp.Defense/Speed)

[edit] Armaldo


(Rock/Bug - 75/125/100/70/80/45 - 2x SR Damage)

Pros - It is an offensive threat with a solid attacking movepool, and can hit any ghosts switching in to block the Rapid Spin with a STAB Stone Edge or use a support move on their switch-in. Its access to Stealth Rock gives it a good shout for a team call-up.

Cons - The main one is its weakness to Stealth Rock. Its bad typing and lack of a solid recovery move mean that repeated switchins can really take their toll.

[edit] Cloyster


(Water/Ice - 50/95/180/85/45/70 - 2x SR Damage)

Pros - Cloyster is a great defensive Pokémon, with collosal Defense, can can be EV'd to take most physical hits like a real pro. It has the options to carry Toxic Spikes or Spikes, and has reasonable Special Attack, which coupled with the threat of its STAB moves allows it to switch in on a predicted SR setup and force out the (often Rock or Ground typed) Pokémon using the move. Similarly, Dusclops does not pose it a real threat and can be worn down by Cloysters special attacks. Explosion can also be useful on non-stall teams.

Cons - Stealth Rock weakness again poses a disadvantage, but equally a Haunter or Drifblim switchin on an attempted Rapid Spin threatens Cloyster's weak Sp.Def and causes a switch out without any benefits. Lack of recovery outside of Rest is also a pain.

[edit] Hitmonchan


(Fighting - 50/105/79/35/110/76 - 0.5x SR Damage)

Pros - Hitmonchan resists Stealth Rock, and poses a threat to many Pokémon (SRers included) with its STAB Fighting attacks, high Attack stat, and the threat of Choiced/Priority attacks. Able to force a switch, and has various attacks with which to threaten ghosts. It can also run a bulky set involving investment in HP and Defenses, of which its Sp.Def is already quite reasonable, although it wasn't designed with tanking hits in mind.

Cons - Fairly weak defensively, and arguably better in an offensive role.

[edit] Sandslash


(Ground - 75/100/110/45/55/65 - 0.5x SR Damage)

Pros - A great resistance to SR, along with a solid Defense stat and good typing, it is able to resist many SR setup Pokémon's attacks, and threaten back. It can tank a good number of hits and can set up SR itself, has access to the EdgeQuake combo, and Toxic really poses a problem for the majority of its counters on the switchin.

Cons - Weak on the Special Defense side of things, both in stats and typing. Struggles to combat ghosts when given both Rapid Spin and Stealth Rock, and similarly Gligar is a real menace having access to a fast Taunt and resisting Slash's attacks (taking Roost into account). Sandslash having no recovery move is a real blow, and is one of the reasons it is in NU in the first place.

[edit] Torkoal


(Fire - 70/85/140/85/70/20 - 2x SR Damage)

Pros - Reaonable Defenses, particularly on the Physical side, and ability to set up SR of its own. Torkoal has a good support movepool, is not afraid of Dusclops' Will-o-wisp, and has a fairly good attacking movepool including STAB Fire moves, and Explosion.

Cons - Torkoal is held back by its Stealth Rock weakness, and lacklustre Special Defense. Again, having no reliable recovery is a horrific disadvantage for a SR-weak Spinner, and a RestTalk set seems outclassed and horribly walled by the number of Fire Pokémon in NU who can take the opportunity to set up.

[edit] Spin Blockers

[edit] Banette


Banette is one of those Pokémon people never know exactly what to expect from it and it may scare people off just by you sending it in. Chances are they will switch to another Pokémon that they feel is safe. But if they don't feel threatened and want to stay in and try to kill Banette, then they risk being tricked or Will O Wisp'd. With its high attack and decently high special attack any Cloyster or Sandslash will want to run for the hills, along with many other Rapid Spinners. While Banette may not be extremely bulky, it gets the job done, but remember just because you blocked Rapid Spin once doesn't mean it is over for the rest of the game. You need to play smart and know when to switch in Banette and when to save it.

[edit] Drifblim


Drifblim is a great Pokémon not only at sweeping but having enough bulkiness to get the job done. Even though this Pokémon requires a little bit more prediction than the O' Dusclops or Sableye, you can use it successfully vs Pokémon that will try to not only Rapid Spin, but kill Drifblim off as well. You can often stay in versus a variety of Pokémon with hypnosis, but even without you can usually wall a few night slashes from Sandslash and fire back with shadow ball or Will O Wisp. Thunderbolt also one hit kills most Cloysters so you could try that.

[edit] Dusclops


Dusclops is a very reliable Rapid Spin blocker overall, since it carries things to lower the foe's offensive capabilities like WOW, and having great defense and well as special defense. Any Sandslash, Armaldo, Cloyster, or basically any rapid spinner is going to have trouble killing off Dusclops. There is pretty much no way unless you bring it in with very low hp or they score a critical hit. Both of which is highly unlikely but of course part of the game. But you have to have the right set on Dusclops, luckily in this case it can choose between Rain Split or Rest for recovery with Will O Wisp to help him on either set. But Rest is usually the better pick not only for guaranteed health to wall their attacks, but also because it won't out-speed these guys enough for Pain Split to fully heal them if they refuse to switch out and leave themselves with low health.

[edit] Haunter


Haunter may lack enough defenses to take repeated hits by Rapid Spinners if they choose to attack rather than go for a spin (no pun intended), but if you switch wisely and have enough offense to one-hit kill back, there is not much they can do back. If they choose to switch they get hammered by haunter's high powered special attacks. If they stay in they die, so either way you kind of get the advantage. Haunter is a good choice for an offensive team if you can predict with it right or only need to send it in one or two times.

[edit] Misdreavus


Finally a Pokémon who can trap a Rapid Spinner and kill it before it decides to switch all of a sudden after a turn or two goes by. Since it walls pretty much every Rapid Spinner's attacks with its relatively high bulkiness in both stats, with levitate to boot, it will be able to take at least two attacks from pretty much any Rapid Spinner, giving it enough time to do the Mean Look-Perish Song combo while adding in protect and/or sub to stall. Diglett-Misdreavus combo will aid in stalling for perish song turns if you have trouble stalling enough with Missy or don't want to have to use an attack like Protect or Sub' to help stall with Perish Song. Once you trap that Rapid Spinner and kill it, you don't have to worry about it for the rest of the game, so this is one of the only Pokémon that can effectively only worry about Rapid Spin for usually one time.

[edit] Sableye


Sableye has many great things to take advantage of. Without worrying about something super affecting it, it has more freedom to stay in rather than flee. Unlike most other Rapid Spin blockers it has an instant recovery that heals without having 2 turns of rest after-wards, or relying on the foe's hp to heal yourself. Recover may help in some times rest doesn't. With enough defenses and speed to effectively Will O Wisp a physical Rapid Spinner to ensure it can recover without taking more damage than it recovers, it can wall all day as long as the foe decides to stay in. Any special attacker that also uses Rapid Spin will have a field day doing more than half its health with one hit.

[edit] Shedinja


Shedninja not only walls Rapid Spin but can take 0 damage from most attacks Rapid Spinners bring to the table. Only being super affected by a limited amount of things, it is usually either completely wall or not wall at all. You will need some prediction with this guy, more than others, but it has a lot of potential if you know what to expect from the foe. If for example you switch into Shedninja after you have spikes down and the foe has a Sandslash, expect him to Night Slash or Stone Edge the next turn (after it uses rapid spin or EQ), now you can Will O Wisp but if you don't want sash to activate you can again, like with any other Pokémon, switch to something knowing it will Night Slash or Stone Edge and then out-speed and kill if it doesn't want to switch. And if you kill it, well, it can't Rapid Spin. So you win either way if you use Shedninja and many other ghosts correctly that require prediction against certain Rapid Spinners.

[edit] Strategy

Ok, now that I have named all the Spikers, the Rapid Spinners, and the Rapid Spin blockers, I will take some time to explain the method you should use for Pokémon in general for spiking, and blocking Rapid Spin. Of course you know Stealth Rock is probably the best move overall vs Spikes or Toxic Spikes as the first thing you lay down. Now basically moves like Spikes do 12.5% each turn, but after that only add on an additional 6.25% in damage.

So rather than laying down spike after spike, it is usually better not only for variety sake, but also for better effectiveness sake, to Stealth Rock first if you can (assuming no rapid spinner that you know of yet), then use one layer of Spikes, then one layer of Toxic Spikes if you take the necessary precautions, then it is probably better now to lay down another layer of spikes vs toxic spikes in case they happen to have a poison type so you make sure you hit them harder overall with spikes. Then now Toxic Spikes and Spikes have about the same priority, but Toxic Spikes is of course better now if they have no poison type, but chances are that they do, two layers of Toxic Spikes would make the damage do more each turn but in the fast pace meta-game right now, spikes would do about as well.

A good tip to remember is: You might want to start out using Toxic Spikes over spikes if you have it and see no poison type or not very many Pokémon immune to it like steel types and flying types. This way when they send in a Rapid Spinner they take status damage each turn. But be careful, they may have a secret poison type they haven't revealed or something else up their sleeve, like Guts or Quick Feet.

Now for blocking Rapid Spin: Usually Rapid Spinners will try to Rapid Spin first time after they see at least two layers of any entry hazards, like say Stealth Rock then Spikes, or two layers of Spikes, or Toxic Spikes and Spikes, etc. They usually attack if it is only one layer since it isn't such a big threat to them and they expect a ghost to come in. So remember that while you try to block Rapid Spin. Also you should make sure not to use your ghost so much that it becomes too weak when having to deal with a Rapid Spinner. Of course you don't have to worry about this when the Rapid Spinner is finally dead, but in the meantime try to use other Pokémon until their Rapid Spinner dies. If you are unsure who to pick as a good Rapid Spin blocker overall, then I recommend trying out Dusclops or Sableye. With their few weaknesses and good defenses, they can wall the majority of Rapid Spinners that come their way.

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