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Pokemon of the Week DP: Staraptor

by Ninjomewtwo

Staraptor

Sets

Choice Band Sweeper

Item Held
Choice Band
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack) / Adamant (+Attack, -Special

Attack)

Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP
  • Brave Bird
  • Return
  • Close Combat
  • U-Turn / Pursuit

With such stats and moves like Brave Bird in its movepool, Staraptor is

a great candidate if you are looking for a Choice Band user. Thanks to its

trait, Intimidate, Staraptor can easily switch in on Physical hits (of course

not on super effective ones) and start hitting with any of its moves. Brave

Bird and Return are there for STAB. Since both of them are resisted by Rock and

Steel-types, Close Combat obviously deserves a place in this moveset. In the

last move slot, U-Turn is always a nice move for Choice Band users, allowing

them to both hit and switch out while Pursuit is the way to hit Pokémon like

Celebi that will run away afraid of Brave Bird.

Scarfaptor

Item Held
Choice Scarf
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 196 Speed – 62 HP
  • Brave Bird
  • Return
  • Close Combat
  • U-Turn / Pursuit

Same set as above but with Choice Scarf instead of the Band. The EP spread given allows you to outrun nearly any Choice Scarf user including Heracross and Medicham. If an IV of 31 in Speed isn’t the case, take some EPs from HP, you’ll want to hit 285 Speed. The moves work as described in the previous set.

Other Possible Options

Double-Edge is a quite nice alternative to Return as it ensures you OHKO Zapdos (with a Choice Band boost). However, having two moves causing recoil damage will decrease even more Staraptor’s already limited survivability. Quick Attack is an option on the Choice Band set too. Endeavor can be used on a non-choice set. Well, Staraptor has access to some other moves that would usually attract our attention, like Roost or Substitute, but they are not effective on it. Generally, it hopes it could get a movepool similar to Salamence’s.

Counters

Pokémon with a high Defense stat that resist both of Staraptor’s STABed moves are quite good counters. Namely, Skarmory and Bronzong are excellent at countering it, with Metagross and Jirachi following them. All four of them take neutral damage by Close Combat as well. Rhyperior can also switch in and stop it with its Stone Edge.

Zapdos is a great counter too, resisting Brave Bird and Close Combat and being able to OHKO with Thunderbolt. Finally, Gengar, Dusknoir and other Ghost-types in general are immune to Return and Close Combat. Most of them can KO Staraptor or just use a move like Thunder Wave or Will-O-Wisp that will cripple it and render it useless.

Opinion & Notes

Pidgeot, Fearow and Swellow were never that popular but with the arrival of Staraptor, they are going to see even less use. It has access to anything a sweeper needs. Two powerful STABed attacks to take advantage of and a great move for hitting Pokémon that resist them in the name of Close Combat. With a base 120 Attack stat, it is sure to deal some good amounts of damage before going down. However, these are just the good points.

On the other hand, it is really easily worn down. Its Stealth Rock weakness destroys the hit-and-run concept of the Choice sets and Sandstorm also takes away some of its HP after every turn. And it’s not only that. Its Brave Bird’s recoil will bring its HP down even faster than opponents will sometimes so be sure to use it with caution. Anyway, Staraptor is certainly a nice Pokémon to use but it is outclassed by Salamence.

Note that Pursuit and Double-Edge are egg moves.

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