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    Lugia Analysis

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    Immanent God LANCE
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    Lugia Analysis

    Post by Immanent God LANCE on Tue 17 Jun - 6:30

    In very many ways, a Pokémon trainer is similar to a swordsman, most notably in that it is through their own Pokémon, their skill at wielding such, and of course, luck, which is how they triumph over other Pokémon trainers in battle. But as history both within and beyond the Pokémon world has shown, swordsmen often also equip themselves with shields. And between the fateful release of Pokémon Gold and Silver in 1998 and now, there has only ever been one shield that has been recognized as the ultimate of such in the world of Pokémon. Dubbed the title of "Great Wall" by the Smogon University, as insignificant as such may be, as of the third generation of Pokémon, this ultimate shield, Lugia, has continued to maintain that title up to this day. Although the Diving Pokémon has exhibited a surprising degree of versatility in past generations, gracing even offensive roles such as the famous Cursegia set from Generation II and the Choice Band set from Generation III, the dramatic rise in the offensive prowess of many other super legendary Pokémon relative to Lugia as of Generation IV has limited the Guardian of the Seas only to what it excels at. Although in spite of that, the thought that the winds of time have led to the erosion of the Psychic/Flying-type Pokémon's glory would be nothing short of a mistake. Blessed with the coveted Ability Multiscale as of Pokémon Black and White 2, the sturdiness of the Pokémon world's ultimate shield has been taken to a whole new level, allowing it to put a complete full-stop to the vast majority of offensive threats found in the Übers metagame. Although Lugia's other claim to fame, the entry hazard + pseudo-Hazing strategy, has been nerfed beyond belief with the Defog buff, such a change in the move's mechanics has also simultaneously benefited Lugia immensely by making it much easier than ever to keep Stealth Rock off the field and prevent it from ruining Lugia's Multiscale. And adding to the long list of offensive Pokémon from previous generations that are completely stopped by Lugia is Xerneas, by far the deadliest sweeper to have ever graced the Übers metagame ever since Extreme Killer Arceus. With Lugia's seemingly infinite defensive and supportive utility in mind, the very existence and dominance of Xerneas in the Generation VI Übers metagame makes this Pokémon a prime choice for an addition to any team that does not wish to see itself trampled under the Life Pokémon's foot.

    As much as its Multiscale Ability makes it seemingly invincible, the Guardian of the Seas must ironically fear the powers of fire, ice, and lightning: Reshiram, Kyurem-W and Zekrom, with their Mold Breaker-like Abilities, are able to bypass Lugia's Ability and hit it for massive damage with either a Sun-boosted or super effective Same Type Attack Bonus attack. Although the Great Wall's defensive capabilities are undeniable, even it can be swiftly fallen at the hands of a well-played Dragon of Unova.

    The Great Pokémon Master's Supreme Ultimate Shield



    Lugia @ Leftovers
    Trait: Multiscale
    EVs: 252 HP / 52 Def / 204 Spd
    Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
    - Roost
    - Thunder Wave/Aeroblast
    - Toxic
    - Whirlwind

    The double status Lugia moveset I personally invented back in Generation V is still as effective as ever. With Stealth Rock off the field, which is extremely easy to achieve thanks to the Defog buff, this Lugia can switch into any Geomancy Xerneas, Extreme Killer Arceus, Calm Mind Arceus, Swords Dance and/or Rock Polish Groudon, Palkia, Mewtwo without Taunt, Dragon Dance or Swords Dance Rayquaza, Deoxys-A, Shaymin-S, Swords Dance Garchomp, Swords Dance Blaziken, Soul Dew Latias and Latios, and many other offensive threats, and either neutralize them most likely indefinitely with a simple Thunder Wave (so that they can later be easily outrun and picked off by a powerful but not very fast attacker such as Life Orb Ho-Oh), or Toxic them if they happen to be immune to Thunder Wave or if the situation is such that it would be more beneficial to badly poison them, before blowing them away with a simple Whirlwind for the purpose of negating any stat boosts they may have acquired, racking up entry hazard damage, or both. When using Lugia, it is always important to try to keep its Multiscale intact as much as possible, especially before switching it out of the field. For example, after switching Lugia into a Palkia's Spacial Rend or a Latios's Draco Meteor, if one sees that the opponent has a Pokémon such as Ferrothorn, Giratina-A or Chansey in their team, then rather than recklessly clicking "Thunder Wave" in hope to paralyze Palkia or Latios as soon as possible, it would often be far more beneficial to use Roost instead in order to reactivate Multiscale, as the odds of the opponent sending out Ferrothorn, Giratina-A or Chansey to absorb the Thunder Wave are overwhelmingly high, and once they have switched into Lugia, the Diving Pokémon won't be able to stay in and Roost on the next turn without risking being crippled by a status move. Likewise, after paralyzing, say, a Mewtwo, then rather than immediately switching to a Pokémon that can now outrun and threaten it, a good idea would be to use Roost repeatedly while tanking Mewtwo's Ice Beams until a turn comes in which Mewtwo is fully paralyzed (the chance of Mewtwo being fully paralyzed far exceeds the chance of Ice Beam freezing Lugia) and Lugia regains its Multiscale, before switching a Pokémon such as Ho-Oh into the next Ice Beam and then outrunning Mewtwo while threatening to KO it. Making sure Lugia is at full health before switching it out is a very important way to ensure that the opponent does not simply send in a setup sweeper such as Xerneas or Arceus-Normal when Lugia is not out, boost on the turn when one sends in their Lugia which isn't at full health, and then KO Lugia or deal more than 50% damage to it on the next turn.

    Once Lugia has switched into a Pokémon, the choice between using Thunder Wave and Toxic is extremely dependent on the situation. For example, even if the opponent has a fast attacker such as Latios out, if Lugia's Multiscale is intact and the opponent has a Groudon in their team, it may sometimes even be beneficial to use Toxic despite the fact that Latios dislikes paralysis more than Toxic, as the odds of the opponent sending out Groudon to absorb the Thunder Wave and then either set up Stealth Rock or cripple Lugia with a status move are very high, and even if Latios gets badly poisoned, Lugia can still Toxic-stall it anyway. Another very important point to note is that the choice between using Thunder Wave and Toxic is very dependent on the remaining members of one's own team, as much as it is dependent on the remaining members of the opponent's team. For example, if one's Life Orb Ho-Oh or any other heavy attacker they have is still in good condition, then paralyzing the opponent's fast offensive Pokémon so that one's own heavy attackers can outrun and pick them off later would more often than not be the optimal choice. But in a lategame situation in which one's Life Orb Ho-Oh or other heavy attackers have already fainted or are somehow paralyzed themselves, which creates a situation where one's team no longer possesses the offensive power necessary to pick off a paralyzed team, then badly poisoning the opponent's Pokémon would be the better choice. And needless to say, regardless of the situation, having at least Stealth Rock on the opponent's field makes Lugia far more effective at doing its job, as it prevents the opponent from simply switching their Steel, Poison, or already-paralyzed Pokémon infinitely into Lugia. And needless to say, extremely bulky Pokémon, especially those that are largely unaffected by the Speed drop of paralysis, such as Extreme Killer Arceus, should be badly poisoned rather than paralyzed, at all costs.

    One should, of course, always try to keep Lugia out of the reach of status-inducing moves, especially Toxic and burn, or attacks with a very high chance of inducing such status conditions, such as Sacred Fire and Scald. While Lugia can switch into and counter Ho-Oh perfectly well, even after being burned by Sacred Fire, getting Lugia's Multiscale ruined by the burn would allow the opponent's other Pokémon, especially setup sweepers such as Xerneas and Arceus-Normal to get past it much more easily. As such, even though Lugia is technically a Ho-Oh counter, one should avoid actually using Lugia to counter Ho-Oh, or expose it to its Sacred Fire in any way at all, unless the observation of the opponent's remaining Pokémon shows that there is no risk in doing so.

    Finally, for stall teams that do not appreciate paralysis support, Aeroblast is a very good option over Thunder Wave to deal with Mega Mewtwo X with Taunt.

    The EVs are designed to give Lugia maximum HP, enough Speed to outrun the myriad of Pokémon with base 90 Speed that run 252 EVs in Speed along with a Speed-raising nature, and the rest of its bulk is invested into its naturally lower defensive stat, its physical Defense, in order to make it a double-sided wall.

    Defog Support



    Lugia @ Leftovers
    Trait: Pressure
    EVs: 252 HP / 120 Def / 136 Spd
    Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
    - Defog
    - Roost
    - Whirlwind/Thunder Wave/Toxic
    - Toxic/Aeroblast

    If one cannot fit a Defog Arceus into their team for whatever reason, such as if they are opting to use the highly dangerous Extreme Killer Arceus or Swords Dance or Calm Mind Arceus-Ghost, one naturally turns towards other Pokémon for their Defog user, and a prime choice among such is Lugia, the very Pokémon famed for its immense bulk on both the physical and special sides, making it an extremely sturdy Pokémon that can easily outlast many entry hazard users throughout a match, especially given its ability to completely stone-wall many common entry hazard setters such as Groudon, Hippowdon and Dialga (although Lugia cannot actually touch the last one, so a teammate that can easily KO support Dialga, such as Earth Plate Groudon or Mega Mewtwo X is recommended). Unfortunately, Defog's is incompatibility with the coveted Multiscale prevents this Lugia from countering anywhere close to the number of offensive threats it can with its The Great Pokémon Master's Supreme Ultimate Shield set, meaning that one should have additional checks to immense offensive threats such as Extreme Killer Arceus, Geomancy Xerneas and Swords Dance Blaziken if they are opting for this Lugia set. However, being stuck with Pressure is hardly a bad deal, considering the fact that this Ability forces the opponent's Stealth Rock user to use up two PPs of that move per use allows Lugia's Defog to out-stall the opponent's Stealth Rock, PP-wise, although it should be noted that this strategy does not work against Stealth Rock Dialga, since it also possesses the Pressure Ability. Additionally, Pressure also allows Lugia to easily stall out the PPs of moves it would more than likely tank, such as the Stone Edge of Groudon as well as the ExtremeSpeed of Arceus-Normal. Roost is obviously an inseparable move from Lugia for the purpose of healing and stalling, while Whirlwind allows Lugia to negate the stat boosts of set-up sweepers such as Extreme Killer Arceus while also being able to rack up damage on the opponent's team if entry hazards are up. However, if one's team already handles Arceus-Normal well enough, Thunder Wave also becomes a viable option over Whirlwind due to how much of an advantage paralysis support can benefit a team, and Toxic is also a viable option on this slot if one chooses Aeroblast for the fourth slot. Aside from the aforementioned utility, this Lugia is also one of the few Pokémon in the Übers metagame capable of boasting of being able to safely switch into and counter Ho-Oh, and not only does this Lugia not mind burns as much as a typical Lugia due to its lack of reliance on Multiscale, but its Pressure Ability also helps to stall out Sacred Fire's PPs. As such, for any team that cannot afford to carry Arceus-Rock but are otherwise weak to Ho-Oh, this Lugia serves as an excellent candidate for a member, especially considering the fact that it fulfills one of the main roles Arceus-Rock plays: that of a Defog user.

    As for the final move, Toxic is recommended due to Lugia's lack of offensive power, meaning that badly poisoning the opponent's Pokémon and then stalling them would oftentimes be a much more effective way to wear them down than attacking them. However, Aeroblast becomes the better option for any team that lacks an answer to the incredibly threatening Taunt Mega Mewtwo X.

    The EVs are designed to give Lugia maximum HP, enough Speed to outrun Adamant Rayquaza, and the rest of its bulk is invested into Defense in order to maximize this Pokémon's ability to tank the assaults of Pokémon such as Groudon, Ho-Oh and Extreme Killer Arceus.

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