Masquerain, The Eyeball Pokémon. Its antennae have eye patterns on them. Its four wings enable it to hover and fly in any direction. The antennae have distinctive patterns that look like eyes. When it rains, they grow heavy, making flight impossible. It intimidates foes with the large eyelike patterns on its antennae. Because it can't fly if its wings get wet, it shelters itself from rain under large trees and eaves. Masquerain's antennas have eyelike patterns that usually give it an angry look. If the "eyes" are droopy and appear sad, it is said to be a sign that a heavy rainfall is on its way. This Pokémon flaps its four wings to freely fly in any direction - even sideways and backwards - as if it were a helicopter.
Masquerain joins an unfortunate list of Pokémon cursed with the Bug-Flying typing. Many weaknesses, including a massive Stealth Rock weakness, leave Masquerain crippled from the get-go by its typing alone. As if that wasn't enough, its awful typing is overpopulated, and in the UU (Underused) environment, it shares its typing with: Scyther, Mothim, Ledian, Butterfree, Vespiquen and Beautifly.
Although it shares its typing with several other Pokémon, and competes with many other UU Bug types, it is able to stand out from the crowd. The one major advantage Masquerain has over its brethren is its access to a limited version of the 'generic water move-pool'. It's the only Bug that has access to Hydro Pump and Ice Beam, and combined with access to Air Slash, Bug Buzz, Energy Ball and Shadow Ball, Masquerain boasts a rather diverse special move-pool.
Lacking raw stats or a good typing means Masquerain is never going to be more than a mediocre UU, but its good move-pool gives it the chance to make a useful contribution to its team, as well as competitive battling in general.
Intimidate: is a very good ability, lowering the foes Attack stat by one stage. Masquerain isn't a Pokémon with good Defence, but it does pack useful Bug, Fighting and Grass resistances, and those combined with Intimidate allow Masquerain to viably take a hit.
Stun Spore - Special Attacker
- Stun Spore
Stun Spore provides it with a source of paralysis. Its usefulness lies primarily in the fact that it quarters the foes Speed, making up for one of Masquerain's weaker stats. The additional 25% chance of full paralyse is a nifty bonus, and when combined with Air Slash, you're left with a semblance of the para-flinch strategy (albeit, one not as effective as those utilised by Togekiss and Dunsparce).
In addition to Air Slash STAB, Masquerain has room for two more attacks. Hydro Pump packs a lot of power and provides useful super-effective hits on Fire, Rock and Ground types. Ice Beam boasts plenty of type coverage, but most notably, it catches a super-effective hit on Flying types. Bug Buzz is its strongest STAB move, and also comes with the usual Bug type coverage.
Life Orb is the out-and-out sweeper item, providing a large 1.3x power boost at the cost of 10% 'recoil'. If you don't feel Masquerain can afford that recoil, then Expert Belt is the alternative, granting a 1.2x power boost on super-effective hits. Stealth Rock shouldn't factor in the decision, since Masquerain should never be switching in whilst Stealth Rock is active.
Agility - Special Attacker
It's really a matter of 'same as above', only this time, Masquerain can use Agility to make up for its poor Speed stat, as opposed to bringing down the opponent's Speed stat. The obvious advantage is that Masquerain doesn't need to status every opponent it faces. Since you won't be able to take advantage of para-flinch, Bug Buzz can take precedence over Air Slash as its core STAB move.
- Bug Buzz
Despite being slow and fragile, Masquerain's 4x Fighting and Grass resistances, 2x Bug resistance, Ground immunity and Intimidate give it plenty of switch-in possibilities, allowing for the use of Choice Specs. Of course, being slow and fragile, Masquerain may wish to alleviate one of those problems by using Choice Scarf, allowing it to outrun the majority of its UU opposition.
As a result of STAB and reliable accuracy, Bug Buzz is Masquerain's power move. In addition to that, it has Air Slash STAB, which comes with some useful type coverage over Bug-resistant Fighting types. Hydro Pump decimates Fire and Rock types, whilst Ice Beam catches Flying types, keeping threatening opposition at bay.
- Bug Buzz
Masquerain, like many of its Bug brethren, can be a decent Agility-passer. In-depth explanation isn't really needed. Switch-in on a non-threatening opponent, use Agility and then Baton Pass. Before Baton Passing, you have the additional option of using Substitute to activate a pinch berry, with the Petaya and Liechi berries being the favourable ones for their offensive boosts.
EVs and Nature:
Masquerain has rather straightforward EV spreads. In almost all cases, you'll be running max Speed and Special Attack. Defensive investment has little effect, and HP is just generally a dumping ground for excess EVs. In the case of the Baton Passer, when you're intending to use Substitute to activate a pinch berry, you'll want a HP stat divisible by four (in the case of a Max HP IV, this requires 12 HP EVs). Timid has some value when Masquerain is using Choice Specs, since it has nothing else to compensate for its poor Speed stat. Timid takes it from 219 to 240 Speed. Most notably, this'll jump it ahead of Pokémon from the Base 70 Speed group (who cap at 239 Speed when they lack a Speed-boosting nature).
Energy Ball, Shadow Ball, Roost, Haze.
Energy Ball is mostly useful for Water types (since Hydro Pump deals with the majority of Ground and Rock types).
Shadow Ball is useful for Bug-resistant Ghost types, Rotom in particular, who has resistances to both of its STABs.
Masquerain has Roost and Haze, both useful moves that are close to useless on Masquerain.
Despite packing two power moves (Bug Buzz and Hydro Pump), as well as packing a fairly diverse special move-pool, Masquerain lacks the raw stats to barge its way through some of the stronger defensive UU Pokémon. It also lacks the Speed to strike ahead of most sweeping opposition, meaning it'll always be exposed to faster sweepers.
Mantine walls it comfortably. It resists its two strongest moves, and with its bulky Special Defence stat, it sponges up even Specs-boosted Air Slashes with comfort. Muk handles it with similar comfort as well, benefiting from a Bug-resistance and plenty of Special Defence. Noctowl can't handle Specs-boosted Ice Beams, but otherwise has the natural bulk to survive its offence. Rotom takes a big sting from boosted Hydro Pumps, but is otherwise well off with its resistances. Clefable handles it with an ideal EV spread, but since it lacks a Bug resistance, Specs-boosted Bug Buzzes will leave a rather large dent. The same can be said for a host of bulk water types. Gastrodon, Walrein, Lapras, Lanturn and Whiscash can all endure its offences relying on raw stats, rather than resistances.
Ninetales, Flareon and Magcargo can cope when they aren't thrown in the way of Hydro Pump. The same can be said for Wormadam (Steel), Probopass and Bastiodon.
As motioned several times previously, Stealth Rock chips off 50% of its HP, and will severely limit Masquerain's capabilities.
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