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Pokemon of the Week DP: Heracross

by Ninjomewtwo

Heracross

Sets

Choice Bander

Item Held
Choice Band
Ability
Guts
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 152 Speed – 106 HP

Some simple calculations can show how extremely powerful Heracross can be. We’ve got two attacks with a base power of 120 which becomes 180 by STAB, fired from an Attack stat of 383, which becomes 574 due to the Choice Band, with a possibility of it rising to 861 if you switch in on a Will-o-Wisp. Obviously, those two STABed moves will be included in the moveset, as will Stone Edge which is useful for knocking out those Flying-type Pokémon like Salamence that come in to counter you. About the last moveslot, Pursuit hits slower Psychic-type Pokémon that flee, afraid of Megahorn. Night Slash is an alternative for hitting them if they predict Pursuit and stay in. But Pursuit is the superior choice most of the time. Let’s see now how those Physical Walls like Skarmory (which is easily 2HKOed by Close Combat) are turned into wannabes by the power of this bug!

The Effort Points listed, assuming Heracross has a Speed IV of 31, give 244 Speed, enough to outrun Jolly Tyranitar. However, feel free to add as much as you like, depending on what other Pokémon you want to outrun. Jolly nature is also an option is you want to outrun some more Pokémon like Adamant Electivire but after all they won’t be switching in on any of Heracross’ moves.

Choice Scarfer

Item Held
Choice Scarf
Ability
Guts
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP

Without the boost from Choice Band, Heracross is still proud of his pretty high Attack stat. With a Speed of 404 and a possible Attack of 574 due to Guts, this bug seems unstoppable. The moves suggested are the same ones as above with Pursuit being an even better choice than it was before as a Choice Scarf Heracross threatens even fast Psychic-types like Azelf and Alakazam.

Swords Dancer V1.0

Item Held
Salac Berry
Ability
Swarm
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 Defense

First of all, this Heracross needs an HP stat divisible by 4. An IV of 30 in HP will do. If that’s not the case, just take the EPs you need from Defense and Attack. This is because Salac Berry must activate after 3 uses of Substitute, leaving Heracross with 25% of its HP instead of 4 which would leave Heracross with 1% of its HP.

Now, the whole idea of the set is quite simple. Hide behind your Substitute, getting to Swords Dance as many times as you can, until that Salac Berry is activated. Then sweep using your Megahorn which gets boosted by STAB, Swords Dance and Swarm, delivering ridiculously high amounts of damage to your opponent. Close Combat is an option for another STABed move but Stone Edge stops those Flying-type Pokémon that try to ruin your fun.

Swords Dancer V2.0

Item Held
Flame Orb
Ability
Guts
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP

Switch in on something that will flee and Swords Dance as they switch out. After just one Swords Dance, no Pokémon can come in safely. The sheer power of Heracross’ Close Combat and Facade are enough to OHKO most of its counters, like Skarmory and Gliscor to name but two, after a Swords Dance. Beware of revenge killers though, as Dugtrio can easily catch you off guard after a KO and OHKO Heracross with its Aerial Ace.

Rest-Talker

Item Held
Life Orb
Ability
Guts
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
204 HP – 153 Attack – 153 Speed

A bulkier Heracross set, which was pretty common in Advance, is now back in D/P. Heracross is one of the best Rest-Talkers in the game as Rest activates Guts, letting it sweep with a free boost while healing itself. Life Orb is a good item choice since you’ll be etting the HP back with Rest.

Endure + Reversal

Item Held
Salac Berry
Ability
Swarm
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP

The basic Reversal set here. Swords Dance as they switch, Endure their hit, which will also activate the Salac Berry and then sweep with a full power, Swords Dance boosted, STABed Reversal. However, with Tyranitar’s and Hippowdon’s Sandstorm being everywhere in OU, Heracross will have trouble pulling this set off effectively, unless you have a Sunny Day/Rain Dance user in your team.

Other Possible Options

With six sets listed above, Heracross doesn’t even need any other options. And that’s good, as it doesn’t have any other noteable moves. Rock Slide and Brick Break get a mention in case you don’t like the low accuracy of Stone Edge or the side effect of Close Combat. Earthquake, Aerial Ace and Shadow Claw can be found in Heracross’ movepool but the bug has little to no use for them. Bulk Up could be used, replacing Swords Dance in a set but, generally, Swords Dance is the best choice.

Counters

Countering Heracross will not be easy as you can’t be sure what it’s going to throw at you. Gliscor is definitely the number one Heracross counter though as it resists Heracross’ both STAB moves and knocks it out with Aerial Ace. Dusknoir and Weezing function similarly as they can both get some hits and KO with Fire Punch/Fire Blast. Of course, if you do the mistake to burn Heracross, things will get difficult.

Jirachi and Choice Scarf Metagross can get a hit an take Heracross down with their Zen Headbutt. Skarmory can also survive a hit and KO with its Flying-type move. Beware though as a Choice Band boosted Close Combat will 2HKO the steel bird.

Finally, Gyarados and Salamence with their Intimidate threaten Heracross but if it predicts them switching, it can OHKO them with Stone Edge.

Opinion & Notes

Whatever one says about Heracross, it is not enough. Its immense power and two STABed, 120 base power attacks, it can bring down whole teams as those Physical Walls cannot easily stop it. Of course, it can’t only have advantages. Its 4x weakness to Flying and mediocre Defense mean that any Aerial Ace user will force a switch, causing it to lose all of its Swords Dance boosts. However, once again Heracross finds a way to counter that, and that way is called Stone Edge. All in all, if you don’t take Heracross seriously, it can easily beat you.

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