Seviper, The Fang Snake Pokémon. For many generations, it has feuded with Zangoose. It whets its bladed tail on rocks for battle. It sharpens its swordlike tail on hard rocks. It hides in tall grass and strikes unwary prey with venomous fangs. It's swordlike tail serves two purposes - it slashes foes and douses them with secreted poison. It will not give up its long- running blood feud with Zangoose.ť
Seviper is an awkward Pokémon. Both of its attacking stats are strong but are severely hampered by poor Speed and poor defences. It doesn't have any interesting novelties to compensate for this disadvantageous stat distribution; and whilst it does have good attacking capabilities, it doesn't have the best. If the Never-used (NU) tier ever gets defined, Seviper is likely to be a member of it. It's not awful, but it doesn't have much going for it either.
Shed Skin: has a 30% chance to heal statuses each turn. This is quite neat, though unreliable. It means your opponent can't rely on statuses to shut you down, and if you have the misfortune of picking up a status along your way, you have a decent chance of losing it.
- Poison Jab
Seviper can comfortably grab 2KOs on most UU and NU opposition with Life Orb's help. Whilst Poison Jab has poor super-effective coverage, it hits neutral on most types and is Seviper's main STAB choice. Earthquake is ever-present for its type coverage, particularly its coverage over Rock and Steel types (resistant and immune to Poison Jab respectively).
In your final move-slots, you have some options:
Giga Drain gets a nice super-effective hit on Ground types (who are also resistant to Poison Jab), particularly the likes of Golem and Whiscash. As an added bonus, you do get some HP back, which is some slight compensation for the Life Orb damage.
Crunch is good for its super-effective hit on Ghosts (again, Poison Jab resistant). It'll do more than Poison Jab to Psychics, although the defensively-weak Psychics should be reeling from your STAB anyway (although if you do use Seviper in the UU environment, it does catch a useful super-effective hit on Claydol).
Flamethrower catches a super-effective hit on Steel types, and unlike Earthquake, strikes at their (usually weaker) Special Defence. You're also gaining a few super-effective hits on Grass types who aren't Poison-weak, as well as Ice and Bug types.
- Poison Jab
It's very much a case of 'same as above', only this time you sacrifice that 1.3x power boost for Speed. You do gain the ability to outrun opponents (most of the UU tier and almost all of the NU tier), but the sacrifice is that some 2KOs become 3KOs, making sweeping a more distant possibility and also hurting your hitting power. You're also Choice-locked into the same move, so you won't carry the same threat of versatility as you would have with the Life Orb move-set. Nevertheless, the Speed boost means you can switch in for 'revenge-kills' when a team-mate has fallen and lets you pick off weakened foes.
EVs and Nature:
Max out your Attack stat (you can sacrifice Defence or Special Defence, but since your resistances are primarily physical, in this case the sample nature sacrifices Special Defence). You'll want some Speed, at least enough to outrun Meganium and Venusaur (Base 80 Speed tier), which requires at least 124 Speed EVs (getting you to 197 Speed with a 31 IV). The excess EVs can be dumped into Special Attack, to power up Giga Drain and/or Flamethrower.
On the Scarf set, you might want to consider some more Speed. Getting ahead of the Fearows and Ninetales' of the world (Base 100 Speed tier) is probably as much dedication as you'll need to seriously consider. Their Speed caps at 328, so you'll want at least 329 after the Scarf boost. You'll need 220 Speed (216 EVs), which'll get you to 330 after the Scarf boost. Otherwise, it's the same as before. Max Attack and excess in Special Attack.
Sucker Punch, Aqua Tail, Dark Pulse, Sludge Bomb, Taunt, Knock Off, Choice Band, Choice Specs. Sucker Punch is just about the only move Seviper has to compensate for its poor Speed. You can catch some confident-but-fragile Pokémon off-guard. It can also fit in where Crunch does, for hitting Psychics and Ghosts (particularly Psychics who might get some added confidence from their super-effective STAB). It basically merits a spot on the main sets, but unlike Crunch, it can't be used on Pokémon switching in, which is a fairly significant loss when Seviper does like to hit Pokémon as they switch in.
Aqua Tail also comes with Platinum. You get some good Water type coverage, doing a similar job to Giga Drain by hitting Rocks and Grounds. It's physical instead of special, which is noteworthy because Rock and Ground types tend to weaker to special attacks rather than physical attacks. You're also losing out on the 4x hit on Ground-Water and Rock-Water types if you opt for Aqua Tail over Giga Drain, which is why Giga Drain is the one suggested.
Dark Pulse is a special alternative to Crunch. Again, the main incentive for using Crunch is Psychic types having a stronger resilience to special attacks than physical attacks.
Sludge Bomb is a special STAB option. Physical is probably preferable since most special walls don't pack a Poison resistance, whilst most physical walls do (and ergo would be better attacked by your non-STAB options). Since Poison STAB is all about neutral type coverage, you'll want the one that hits harder on the neutral targets.
Taunt and Knock Off represent its supportive-disruptive options. Taunt I wouldn't say is great, since Seviper isn't the type to attract the attention of status attacks; Knock Off on the other hand is good for disrupting the efforts of most opponents, although not posing all that significant a threat compared to a potential 2KO it could get from correctly predicting with its other moves.
Seviper can make Choice Band or Choice Specs work, but it's at its best as a mixed sweeper, so committing to one path causes you to lose some potential. Also, as is the case with many Pokémon, being outclassed by some of its compatriots makes it a less attractive move-set choice.
Despite being quite low on quality, Seviper does have the offensive stats to land a 2KO on most UU and NU opposition. Speaking of UU Pokémon, Steelix works when Flamethrower's absent; Quagsire and Gastrodon when Giga Drain is absent; and Rotom and Drifblim when Crunch is absent (although even these Pokémon risk 2KOs from neutral attacks).
Dealing with the lower end of the Underused environment (the Pokémon who might find themselves with a similar 'Never-used' tag like Seviper is likely to receive): Ground types are a good start when you aren't dealing with Giga Drain, such as Sandslash, Golem and Whiscash. Once again, for the most part everything is at risk of a 2KO when you take note of Life Orb, but Seviper is a slow and fragile Pokémon. With all slow and fragile Pokémon, once you're in play its all about posing a threat back. It's only got a Ground and Psychic weakness to worry about, but weak defences do make strong STABs a solid threat. However, one thing to note to Seviper's advantage is that Shed Skin means Burn and Paralysis doesn't pose a huge threat to it.
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