Sunday, February 19, 2017

VGC 17 Moveset Analysis: Tapu Koko

(Nov 30th 2016)

Deviant Art by albrt-wlson

Following its reveal before Pokemon Sun and Moon, Tapu Koko was viewed as of of the many potential new threats in the VGC 17 format. Judging by its offensive stats, Tapu Koko has a blistering base 130 speed marking it down as one the fastest natural Pokemon. Both Attack and Special Attack from Tapu Koko seem mediocre-to-decent at best at 115 and 95 respectively, though not as intermediate strong. On its typing, Electric- / Fairy-type is strong offensive to most of the VGC 17 format with STAB Thunder Bolts / Dazzling Gleams. Despite the average base 70 HP / 85 Def / 75 SpD, Tapu Koko's typing lets it resist up to five types and one immunity. Looking at its movepool, Tapu Koko has some interesting coverage options like Thunderbolt, Dazzling Gleam, Wild Charge, Roost, Calm Mind, Taunt, Grass Knot, Sky Drop, and the new Fairy-type Super Fang clone in Nature's Madness. Despite having a fast 130 speed stat, Tapu Koko average attacking stats and limited movepool seem to hold it back from being a viable fast sweeper, except when looking into its ability.

With Tapu Koko's Electric Surge ability, it can summon the Electric Terrain field effect, which lasts for about 5 turns. For as long as Electric Terrain is on the field, all "grounded" Pokemon receive a 1.5x multipier boost into their Electric-type moves and prevents any Pokemon from being put to sleep. To put this into perspective of how strong Tapu Koko's Electric Terrain-boosted Electric STABs are, they are essentially receiving a Specs or Band boost as well. Thanks to its base 130 speed, Tapu Koko can get off the first attack most of the time and hit targets with its powerful Electric Terrain STAB Wild Charge, Thunderbolts, or Discharges against its foes. To top this off, Electric Terrain activates Surge Surfer for Alolan Raichu, one of Tapu Koko's best partners who now has a double speed and threaten and Poison-types on the field.

Note not everything goes well for our fellow Electric / Fairy type as their are some notable issues. Aside its average defenses, Tapu Koko's rather mediocre offense stats force it to rely on Electric Terrain-boosted STABs to pick up OHKOs. Tapu Koko lacks a strong Fairy-type STAB for itself like Moonblast or Play Rough, with Dazzling Gleam near mandatory to run. Now with Lightening Rod users such as Alolan Marowak gaining popularity, Tapu Koko have to consider using attacks like Discharge, or relying on their partners to knock these Pokemon out, otherwise rendering its Electric-type attacks useless. As touched on multiple times, the average defense capabilities lets any Ground-type, Electric-type, or a powerful STAB attack from OHKOing the frail Guardian Deity. On a final note, there are three other Tapus who can remove the Electric Terrain with their own and threaten Tapu Koko as well.

Even so, Tapu Koko remains as one of the dangerous cleaners in the VGC 17 as its potential to hit targets with powerful Electric-Terrain boosted attacks makes it a threat. Even if it fails to OHKO key targets, Tapu Koko can serve as a strong late-game who can pick off weaken targets thanks to its fast speed stat. In short, for as long as Tapu Koko is on the field with its Electric Terrain effect, it can prove difficult to beat.

Tapu Koko

Type: Electric Fairy
Base Stats: 75 HP / 115 Attack / 85 Defense / 95 Special Attack / 75 Special Defense / 115 Speed
Weaknesses:  Poison (x2) Ground (x2)
Resistances:  Fighting x0.5  Bug x0.5 Electric x0.5  Dark x0.5 Flying x0.5
Immunities: Dragon
Abilities: Electric Surge - Summons Electric Terrrain which in turn is active for 5 turns. Electric Terrain increases the power of all Electric-type moves and prevents sleep status for all "grounded" Pokemon.

Fast Offensive Attacker

Tapu Koko @ Life Orb / Choice Specs / Electrium Z / Focus Sash
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid / Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 Def
- Thunderbolt / Discharge
- Dazzling Gleam
- Hidden Power [Ice] / Discharge / Volt Switch / Nature's Madness
- Protect

At the moment, this is one of the standard variants of Tapu Koko which run either the Life Orb, Choice Specs, or even the Electrium Z. Starting with the STAB options, Thunderbolt with the Electric Terrain boost can hit most of the format rather hard thanks to the 50% boost. Pretty much unless the target is heavily invest with Special Defense or has a Wacan Berry, Tapu Koko can OHKO almost any Water-, and Flying-type out the field. Alternatively for Thunderbolt, Discharge can be utilize to bypass Alolan Marowak's Discharge and has a 30% to paralyze each two targets. Dazzling Gleam serves as Tapu Koko's answer to any Dragon-, Dark-, and Fighting-type Pokemon on the field, though notable weaker than its boosted Electric STABs.

For the third slot, Tapo Koko has a choice between Hidden Power Ice, Discharge, Volt Switch, and Nature's Madness. HP Ice is used to deal with quad weak Dragons or similar typing, though note these attacks won't pick up the OHKO. For instance, a Modest LO HP Ice isn't even a 100% OHKO on a Garchomp, who in turn could have bulk investment or a Yache Berry to retaliate back with an EQ. Once again Discharge is listed down to avoid getting locked down by Lightening Rod users such as Alolan Marowak. Volt Switch allows Tapo Koko to deal damage while get the switch initiative with its fast speed to pivot out for terrain advantage. Finally Nature's Madness can reduce the target's HP by 50%, though avoid using this with the Life Orb item.

For the EV spread, usually most sets are either 4 / 252 / 252 given Tapu Koko is a rather frail and Life Orb recoil can stack over time. Natures is usually between whether the players want to speed tie with opposing Tapo Kokos with Timid, or get extra damage from Modest. Item selection here is somewhat negotiable with Life Orb, Choice Specs, or even the Electrium Z. Life Orb allows Tapu Koko to select between moves with an increased 1.3x boost in its attacks, though receives a 10% decreases in HP every time it attacks. Choice Specs allow Tapu Koko to get another 1.5x boost in its Electric STABs to hit harder, though it will be locked into one move. Electrium Z can suffice to hit a target in Electric Terrain incredibly hard and serve as an alternative if both Life Orb and Specs are held by other teammates. If Tapu Koko needs to take one threatening hit, then Focus Sash can allow it to withstand a potential Z-Move attack or super effective hit such as Garchomp's Earthquake.

Mixed Attacker

Tapu Koko @ Life Orb
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 156 Atk / 100 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
- Wild Charge
- Thunderbolt  / Sky Drop
- Dazzling Gleam / HP Ice
- Protect

While most standard Tapo Koko sets are fully special, remember its base 115 Attack is still respectable to utilize especially with the Electric Terrain boost. This set acts as somewhat of a lure to OHKO or deal heavy damage to things like Nihilego, Milotic (with a special defense boost), Lapras, Politoed, and other specially defensive / AV users who can take a Thunderbolt, but instead get hit with Wild Charge. Will like to point out that Wild Charge will do more damage than Thunderbolt given how Tapo Koko has a higher attack stat to utilize. For the other two options, Tapu Koko can run either Thunderbolt / Discharge, Dazzling Gleam, HP Ice, or Sky Drop. Once again, Thunderbolt / Discharge is up in the air, but it depends whether Lightening Rod Marowak is a threat to the team. Dazzling Gleam hits somewhat less, but it is Tapo Koko's best way to deal damage against Dragon-, Dark-, and Fighting-type Pokemon. Sky Drop is an interesting choice here as it allows Tapo Koko to grab a Pokemon and take it out of play for one turn before finishing its attack the next. With its base 130 speed, Tapu Koko can surely Sky Drop most Pokemon that isn't too heavy for it to carry. Lastly HP Ice is here to hit quad weak Dragons, Grass-, and Ground-types.

Fast Assault Vest

Tapu Koko @ Assault Vest
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 236 HP / 12 Def / 12 SpA / 148 SpD / 100 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam
- Volt Switch
- Nature's Madness / Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Fire

- Has a 6.3% chance to be OHKOed by Z-Hydro Pump from Golduck in Rain
- Withstands one EQ from Garchomp.
- Outspeeds base 110 Pokemon like Gengar.

It might sound odd to have an Assault Vest on a frail Pokemon such as Tapu Koko, but the idea here is to help improve the opposing matchups to weather-based teams such as Rain- and a Sun-based teams. The investment allows Tapu Koko to withstand either one Earthquake from Garchomp, or Z-Hydro Pump from Golduck in Rain, which is enough to retaliate back. With the Assault Vest, Tapu Koko can take some the stronger special attacks in the format in attempts to pivot itself around with Volt Switch, or deal damage with its coverage options. For STAB, Electric Terrain-boosted Thunderbolt is Tapu Koko's STAB option of choice to hit opposing Water- and Flying-types such as Tapu Fini, Celesteela, Gyarados, Pelipper, etc relatively hard. STAB Dazzling Gleam is Tapu Koko's main Fairy-type move for Dragon-, Fighting-, and Dark-type Pokemon, though considerably weaker to the Specs or Life Orb options. Volt Switch allows Tapu Koko to pivot around the opposing team, possibly in response for a switch in. The last moveslot is entirely up to the player's needs. Nature's Madness makes up for Tapu Koko's lack of damage output by dealing 50% to any target Pokemon, but can miss. Hidden Power Ice or Fire is mainly there to hit either Garchomp or Kartana. Keep in mind, HP Ice does fail to net the OHKO on Chomp, and while Kartana is OHKOed by HP Fire, Assault Vest sets can withstand this.

Calm Mind Setup

Tapu Koko @ Electric Seed
Ability: Electric Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 84 Def / 20 SpA / 4 SpD / 156 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam / HP Ice
- Calm Mind
- Roost

-Survives STAB EQ from Garchomp/Mudsdale with +1 Def (Electric Seed)
-Outspeed Salazzle by two points.
- Can 2OHKO most neutral targets after one CM boost

The idea of this Tapu Koko set is to setup against targets that normally fear it such as Water-, Dragon-, Flying- types, etc. To those asking what does Electric Seed do, well it increases the the defense of a Pokemon by one stage, if under Electric Terrain. Essentially this allows Tapu Koko to tank a STAB Earthquake even from the likes of Garchomp and Mudsdale, which is a huge improvement. Intimidate support is ideal for this Tapu Koko set as it can further take physical hits better than before. In terms of the moveslot, Thunderbolt and the choice of HP Ice / Dazzling Gleam are the ideal attacking moves, though watch out for any Pokemon who resist BoltBeam, or Tapu Koko's STABs. Calm Mind and Roost is the crux of this main setup as it allows Tapu Koko to boost its Special Attack and Special Defense to become a special tank. Once boosted, Tapu Koko can either attack with either of the following attacks, or use Roost to recover back HP. Once boosted Tapu Koko can hit most targets relatively hard with its attacks, but know that the Electric Terrain boosts will fade away after 5 turns as it gradually setups.

Potential Teammates include, but aren't limited to:

Alolan Raichu - Gains double the speed with Surge Surfer activated and threatens Poison types.
Electric Types - Receives 1.5x boost in STABs Electric hits ( Alolan Raichu, Xurkitree, Vikavolt, Alolan Golem, etc)
Intimidate Users - Lowers damage output for physical attackers ( Gyarados, Krookodile, Salamence, etc)
Psychic Types - Threatens Poison-type Pokemon for Tapo Koko ( Tapu Lele, Metagross, Alolan Raichu, Starmie, etc)
Water Types - Threatens most Ground-type Pokemon (Gyarados, Starmie, Tapu Fini, Gastrodon, Milotic, etc)
Steel Types - Beats opposing Fairy-types (Kartana, Celesteela, Metagross, Magnezone)
Ground Types - Beats opposing "Lightening Rod" users like Alolan Marowak while takes Discharge well. ( Garchomp, Gastrodon, Mudsdale, etc )
Rain - Overpowers opposing Ground-, Rock-, and Fire-types (Politoed, Pelipper, etc)

Threats include, but aren't limited to:

Poison-Types - Salazzle, Gengar, Nihilego, Alolan Muk, etc
Ground-Types - Garchomp, Krookodile, Mudsdale, Gastrodon
Grass-Types - Tapu Bulu, Parasect, Trevenant
Lightening Rod - Alolan Marowak, Togedemaru
Coverage Moves consisting of Poison- and Ground-type moves.
Opposing Terrains - Tapus (Bulu, Lele, Fini) to remove Electric Terrain.
Trick Room-Based Teams (Torkcoal, Oranguru, Drampa, etc)
Overall Strong Attacks as Tapu Koko has average defenses.

Other Notable Options

Air Balloon and Shuca Berry to mitigate the damage done by Earthquake.
A Fully Physical Offensive Tapu Koko can be opted.
A Defensive Screen Sets suggested by Jamesspeed in his video.
An Assault Vest Tapu Koko set suggested by Wolfey in his video.

Two down, Two to go. After covering the Tapus, does anyone want me to do an overview of the a certain mon/core? If so post down below. In addition, anyone is welcome to suggest/post sets, or leave discussion about Tapu Koko in the comments below.

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