Pokemon of the Week 21/11/2016 – Decidueye

This is me attempting to start a new blog series yet again, and lets hope this doesn’t stop being a blog series like the monthly battle royal I started 2 months ago. Instead, we will be analyzing one Pokemon each week and coming up with potential play sets for both competitive and casual play.

With the release of Pokemon Sun/Moon, everyone is hopping on the hype train and coming up with potential new strategies for online play. This week we have one of the Sun/Moon starters, Decidueye, a Grass / Ghost type Pokemon with a vengeance. A vengeance for what? Decidueye is a Pokemon with mixed reviews and a lot of people are speculating its uselessness in competitive play. I mean when you have a competitive scene in VGC and Smogon tournaments, where nothing but the most extreme of polar stat distributions prevail, you would begin to see why people would lose hope on Decidueye.


So let’s start out with its base stats;

78 HP / 107 Atk / 75 Def / 100 SpA / 100 SpD / 70 Spe

Immediately, we can tell already what is wrong with Decidueye in terms of competitive play. It tries to do everything but isn’t great at a single thing. Having almost a 50/50 split between both Atk and SpA already removes the party fulfillment aspect. What role do I want Decidueye to play? Where should I focus on? Not to mention its mediocre borderline speed of 70… I mean this Pokemon looks fast, but oh my is it mad slow. Not only will you be unable to outpace the faster hard hitting Pokemon in the meta, you are also unable to take the hits if you invest solely on offense.

But with every con, there is a pro when deeper analysis is conducted. Sure, Decidueye has mixed stats, but from that it has the benefit of the doubt. Opposing trainers will have a relatively hard time predicting the move set of this Pokemon. On paper, Decidueye looks extremely underwhelming, but on actual play test it becomes a guessing game monster. Also, being half Ghost means that you will be immune to both Normal and Fighting type moves which are known to have extremely hard hitting moves.


Before we move on to brewing potential builds for Decidueye, lets first take some time and break down notable moves it can learn;

::Leveling Up:: ::TM:: ::Egg Moves:: ::Z Moves::
Spirit Shackle Toxic Baton Pass Supersonic Skystrike
U-Turn Hidden Power Curse Savage Spin-Out
Synthesis Protect Defog Never-Ending Nightmare
Sucker Punch Roost Bloom Doom
Leaf Blade Solar Beam Sinister Arrow Raid
Brave Bird Shadow Ball
Nasty Plot Energy Ball
Swords Dance
Grass Knot

Key Moves:
There are several interesting moves color coded in green and italicized that requires a bit of attention. Notably the move unique to Decidueye, Spirit Shackle, with a Ghost type STAB and a base power of 80. This move is no laughing matter, as any move with a base power of 80+ is considered viable for competitive play unless your name is Knock Off. What makes Spirit Shackle really special is its ability to lock an opposing Pokemon in play. This allows for a lot of different play options when coming up with potential builds. Do note that when switching out, Spirit Shackles no longer locks opposing Pokemon in play.

Utility Moves:
And on top of that, you have Baton Pass and U-Turn to help with the easy switches. Decidueye’s balanced offensive split between physical and special allows it to build towards either stats or as a mixed attacker. Having access to Nasty Plot and Swords Dance helps Decidueye build towards these polar extremes. Both of which also synergize really well with Baton Pass. Other interesting utility moves to note are Defog, Synthesis and Curse; mainly because these are moves that have proved their worth throughout competitive play.

\\Final Verdict//

Decidueye is a relatively slow Pokemon and will most likely get OHKOed by hyper offensive threats like Mega Garchomp, Gengar, Talonflame and Weavile. No matter how much investment in Speed, Decidueye will still get outpaced. Decidueye also lacks a bit in the defensive department and having weaknesses to both Fire and Dark type moves, both of which are relatively popular in the current meta, does not help either. Therefore, Decidueye requires careful predictions of opposing switches in order to be played effectively.

However, Decidueye makes for a great universal Wallbreaker / Stallbreaker thanks to Nasty Plot and Swords Dance access. It also makes a great Spin Blocker due to its ghost typing and having access to Defog allows it to act as a hazard remover when needed. The move Spirit Shackles also allows Decidueye to act as a trapper but must be extremely careful of pursuit users and other dark type trappers. As a Baton Passer, Decidueye can ensure safe Baton Passes in combination with Spirit Shackles and ghost type nullification of roar. Although there are much better options, the other role it can serve is as a potential bulky special attacker on Sun oriented teams with the use of Synthesis and Solar Beam.

\\Possible Builds//

1. Bulky Trapper

Ability: Overgrow / Long Reach
Item: Leftovers / Normalium Z
Nature: Jolly / Adamant
EVs: 242 HP / 76 Atk / 190 Spe (Adjust accordingly to speed tier)
Move 1: Spirit Shackle
Move 2: Roost
Move 3: Toxic / Swords Dance
Move 4: U-Turn / Sucker Punch

2. Baton Passer

Ability: Overgrow
Item: Leftovers
Nature: Jolly
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Move 1: Baton Pass
Move 2: Swords Dance / Nasty Plot / Substitute
Move 3: Swords Dance / Nasty Plot / Substitute
Move 4: Roost / Toxic

3. Special Attacker for Sun oriented Teams

Ability: Overgrow
Item: Life Orb / Grassium Z
Nature: Modest / Timid
EVs: 252 HP or SpA / 4 SpD / 252 SpA or Spe
Move 1: Solar Beam
Move 2: (Synthesis / Roost) if opting for HP / Shadow Ball
Move 3: Hidden Power Fire
Move 4: Nasty Plot / Shadow Ball

4. Anti Lead

Ability: Long Reach
Item: Leftovers / Life Orb / Decidium Z
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Move 1: Spirit Shackle
Move 2: Defog / Roost
Move 3: Swords Dance / U-Turn
Move 4: Brave Bird / Leaf Blade

5. Physical Attacker

Ability: Long Reach
Item: Leftovers / Life Orb / Decidium Z / Choice Band
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 76 HP / 252 Atk / 180 Spe
Move 1: Spirit Shackle
Move 2: U-Turn
Move 3: Swords Dance
Move 4: Leaf Blade

If you liked our blog this week, please leave a like and share with your friends. Also leave some suggestions and comments down below. And stay tuned for our next week’s blog, where we will be analyzing another Sun/Moon Starter, Incineroar. ^_^

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