Wednesday, April 19, 2017

VGC 17 Analysis: Mandibuzz

[VGC 2017] Mandibuzz Support Moveset

March 2, 2017

Deviant Art by hajimikimo

Soaring from the skies is a stark though built vulture Pokemon who seeks prey upon low level Pokemon. As a Dark/Flying-type Pokemon, Mandibuzz glides as one of the most defensive support-oriented Pokemon in the VGC format due to its rather high defensive allocation and utility coverage. In term of defenses, Mandibuzz is rather bulky with a defensive BST of 110 HP / 105 Def / 95 SpDef and respectable speed stat for a Pokemon of its nature. Defensively, Mandibuzz serves as a strong pick to take on opposing Psychic-, Ground-, Grass-, Ghost-, and Dark-types with its high natural defense and resistances / immunities to all most of these types. Even one of its abilities in Overcoat allows Mandibuzz to withstand most residual damage from weather and bypass opposing powder moves such as Sleep Powder, Spore, or Rage Powder. Mandibuzz is not limited to being strong against these types, but can serve as a support Pokemon with moves such as Foul Play, Tailwind, Snarl, Taunt, Whirlwind, etc to disrupt the opposition.

Even for a bulky bird like Mandibuzz, it can still fall prey to some of the most common offensive types in the format such as Fairy, Electric, Ice, and Rock types as all four can deal super effective damage. Unfortunately, Mandibuzz offensive capabilities is only limited to using STAB Foul Play against physical attackers, which isn't enough to stop the opponent from exploited this weakness. Given Mandibuzz is normally used as a support Pokemon, offensive capable Pokemon such as Tapu Koko or Tapu Lele can still heavily pressure Mandibuzz, especially as it can't do much but Snarl back at them at best. Despite these shortcomings, Mandibuzz is a strong defensively built Pokemon who can withstand some of the most punishing hits in the VGC format, while still support the team effort thanks to its wide variety of utility and disruption options. In short, Mandibuzz is a Pokemon who can withstand most hits from its prey and slowly wither it down until it or its allies can pick them off when the time's right.


 :dark: :flying:
Base Stats: 110 HP / 65 Attack / 105 Defense /  55 Special Attack / 95 Special Defense / 80 Speed
Weaknesses:  :fairy: [x2] , :electric: [x2] , :rock: [x2] , :ice: [x2]
Resistances: :dark: [x0.5], :ghost: [x0.5], :grass: [x0.5]
Immune To: :psychic: [x0] :ground: [x0]

Ability 1 : Big Pecks  - Defense Stat cannot be lowered.
Ability 2: Overcoat - Grants immunity to powder moves and sand/hailstorm damage.
Hidden Ability - Weak Armor - Raises the speed stat by two stage every time the user is hit with a physical move, but lowers defense stat by one as well.

Bulky Bird (Support)

Mandibuzz @ Misty Seed / Psychic Seed
Ability: Overcoat
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Def / 4 SpA / 228 SpD / 12 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Foul Play
- Tailwind
- Roost
- Snarl / Taunt / Whirlwind

- Can take Tapu Koko's Z-Thunderbolt at +1 Special Defense (without Electric Terrain) ; Has 6.3% chance of being OHKOed if Timid.
- Rock Slide from neutral 252 Garchomp is is a minimal 4HKO.
- Can take two Moonblast from Modest Tapu Lele without an item.
- Can Withstand Golduck's Z-Hydro Pump in Rain.
- Torkoal's Sun-boosted Eruption is a 3HKO.
- Withstands two LO Power Gems from Nihilego (has a 0.4% chance to 2HKO).

One of the reasons to Mandibuzz's rise in usage is the introduction of respective "Terrain Seed" such as Psychic And Misty Seed that raise the Special Defense stat by one stage upon entering either Psychic or Misty Terrain respectively. Given the terrain mechanics, either Psychic/Misty Seed will always activate as long as either Tapu Lele, or Tapu Fini has been on the field once, even before the battle hasn't even started! With the boosted Special Defense stat, this allows Mandibuzz to withstand some of the most powerful special attacks in the format such as Sun-boosted Eruptions from Torkoal, Z-Hydro Pump from Golduck in Rain, and take a hit or two from some of the respective Tapu Fairy-types. Keep in mind, Misty/Psychic Terrain is one time use as Mandibuzz will lose its Special Defense raise upon switching out, though it might be nessesary at times if it can't do much on the field.

Speaking of its movepool, Mandibuzz boasts some of the best utility and support moves in the format in order to aid its team. Foul Play is Mandibuzz's best form of damage output as it sometime 2HKO physical offensive attacks while deals more damage with STAB and if the opponent boosts their attack stats. Tailwind is Mandibuzz's main speed control option to offer as it can double the speed of its allies while become fast enough to outspeed both Tapu Koko and neutral Pheromosa with its small speed investment. Roost allow Mandibuzz to replenish its HP if it gets too worn down from constant attacks, and can remove its part Flying-type for at least one turn, which has its pros and cons depending on how the opponent targets down Mandibuzz, especially with Tailwind up, or if they are naturally slow.

The last moveslot is up for discretion, but generally speaking depends on the team structure. Snarl allows Mandibuzz to lower the special attack damage output from its opponents by one stage each. By reducing the special attack of the opponents combined with Mandibuzz's +1 SpDef raise and Roost recovery, it can effectively wall most special attackers in the format. Taunt is another viable disruption. option to prevent the opponent from using any status, setup, or support options such as Tailwind, Recover, Toxic, Sword Dance, Trick Room, etc. Lastly, Whirlwind allow Mandibuzz to phaze out any Pokemon who either attempt to setup Trick Room or any stat boosts.

The following are some defensive damage calculation centered around Mandibuzz's newfound special bulk thanks to its respective terrain seed.

Offensive Calcs:

Foul Play

0- Atk Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Garchomp: 85-102 (46.4 - 55.7%) -- 69.1% chance to 2HKO
0- Atk Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 220 HP / 36 Def Metagross: 144-170 (78.6 - 92.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0- Atk Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 180 HP / 0 Def Celesteela: 63-75 (32.3 - 38.4%) -- 2% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
0- Atk Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Marowak-Alola: 120-144 (71.8 - 86.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0- Atk Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Arcanine: 96-114 (48.7 - 57.8%) -- 9% chance to 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
0- Atk Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Gyarados: 105-124 (61.7 - 72.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0- Atk Mandibuzz Foul Play vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Raichu-Alola: 126-150 (92.6 - 110.2%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO


Defensive Calcs:


Physical Defense

252+ Atk Arcanine Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 96-114 (44.2 - 52.5%) -- 18% chance to 2HKO
180 Atk Celesteela Heavy Slam (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 76-91 (35 - 41.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Kartana Smart Strike vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 73-87 (33.6 - 40%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Garchomp Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 62-74 (28.5 - 34.1%) -- 0.7% chance to 3HKO
252+ Atk Meadow Plate Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz in Grassy Terrain: 96-113 (44.2 - 52%) -- 13.3% chance to 2HKO
252+ Atk Muk-Alola Poison Jab vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 61-73 (28.1 - 33.6%) -- 0.5% chance to 3HKO
252+ Atk Pheromosa All-Out Pummeling (195 BP) vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 178-211 (82 - 97.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Water Bubble Araquanid Liquidation vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 102-120 (47 - 55.2%) -- 68.4% chance to 2HKO
252 Atk Aerodactyl Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 78-92 (35.9 - 42.3%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
228+ Atk Gigalith Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 12 Def Mandibuzz: 102-120 (47 - 55.2%) -- 60.2% chance to 2HKO

Special Defense (with +1 Special Defense)

252+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. +1 252 HP / 228+ SpD Mandibuzz: 88-109 (40.5 - 50.2%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO
252+ SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. +1 252 HP / 228+ SpD Mandibuzz: 134-162 (61.7 - 74.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. +1 252 HP / 228+ SpD Mandibuzz: 92-110 (42.3 - 50.6%) -- 2% chance to 2HKO
164+ SpA Choice Specs Tapu Fini Moonblast vs. +1 252 HP / 228+ SpD Mandibuzz: 102-122 (47 - 56.2%) -- 78.9% chance to 2HKO
252+ SpA Golduck Hydro Vortex (185 BP) vs. +1 252 HP / 228+ SpD Mandibuzz in Rain: 108-127 (49.7 - 58.5%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO
252+ SpA Charcoal Torkoal Eruption (150 BP) vs. +1 252 HP / 228+ SpD Mandibuzz in Sun: 73-87 (33.6 - 40%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. +1 252 HP / 228+ SpD Mandibuzz: 132-156 (60.8 - 71.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Life Orb Nihilego Power Gem vs. +1 252 HP / 228+ SpD Mandibuzz: 88-109 (40.5 - 50.2%) -- 0.4% chance to 2HKO


Potential Teammates include, but aren't limited to:
  • Tapu Lele / Tapu Fini - Arguably two of Mandibuzz's best partners are both Tapu Lele and Tapu Fini given both Tapus can activate Mandibuzz's respective Terrain Seed item (Misty/Psychic) to raise its special defense stat. In turn, the additional special defense boost allows Mandibuzz to take even the strongest of special hits in the format. Thanks to Mandibuzz's high defense value, it can withstand most hits for Tapu Lele or Fini while able to support the team effort. 
  • Ground-types - Like all Flying-type Pokemon, Mandibuzz appreciates Ground-types who are able to deal with opposing Electric- and Rock type Pokemon who threaten it and allow its ally to freely spam Earthquake  ( Ex. Garchomp, Mudsdale, Krookodile, Gastrodon, etc)
  • Steel-types - Defensive Steel-type Pokemon can withstand the majority of Mandibuzz's primary weaknesses of Fairy-, Ice-, Rock-types respectively and can often retaliate back with their strong STAB options.  ( Ex. Celesteela, Metagross, Magnezone, Scizor, Kartana, etc. ) 
  • Intimidate Support -  Any Pokemon who can lower the offensive attack potential for a relatively bulky Pokemon in Mandibuzz is appreciated. ( Ex. Arcanine, Krookodile, Gyarados, Salamence, etc). 

Threats include, but aren't limited to:
  • Fairy-types - Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Tapu Fini, Mimikyu, etc.
  • Electric-tyes - Tapu Koko, Magnezone, Xurkitree, Alolan Raichu, etc 
  • Rock-types - Nihilego, Gigalith, Aerodactyl
  • Ice-types - Lapras, Alolan Ninetales, Weavile, Alolan Sandslash, etc. 
  • Dark-types - Alolan Muk, Krookodile, Incineroar, etc
  • Specially Defensive Pokemon 
  • Taunt users 

Other Notable Options
  • 50% Berries like the Iapapa, Figy, Wiki, Mago, and Aguav Berry can replenish Mandibuzz's HP by about 50% when at 25% HP or below.
  • Rocky Helmat 
  • Electric / Grassy Seed are reciprical to the Psychic / Misty Seeds in that both raises Mandibuzz's Defense stat by one stage when either Tapu Koko or Tapu Bulu have been sent to activate their respective terrains. 
  • Type-Reducing berries such as Roseli, Charti, Yache, and Wacan Berry can help Mandibuzz take one super effective hit. 
  • Despite being its only status move, Toxic can be useful to wear down opposing defensive Pokemon. 
  • Knock Off is useful to remove items from the opponent, which can be invaluable information. 
  • NOTE: Despite featuring only one set, the Mandibuzz's EV Spread can be work around to have more speed or defense EVs to withstand or outspeed certain benchmarks.

Well despite being only one set, trust me that Mandibuzz is definitely a strong support Pokemon for this format. 

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