Vespiquen, The Beehive Pokémon. Its abdomen is a honeycomb for grubs. It raises its grubs on honey collected by Combee. When endangered, grubs from its six-cell honeycomb strike back. There is only one Vespiquen in a colony.
Bug-Flying is a recurring type within the Pokémon games, although Vespiquen is a sharp departure from the norm. Whilst most Bug-Flying types are fragile, Vespiquen has quite good defensive stats. Unfortunately, these stats are let down by its typing. Bug-Flying has never really been a blessing, but this generation has made things worse, and Vespiquen came along at the right time to experience the newest problem. Obviously, this problem is Stealth Rock, which pretty much crushes the viability of any Pokémon that's 4x weak to it.
The Stealth Rock weakness is really the killer, but it has other problems. Even without the Stealth Rock weakness, Bug-Flying leaves it with several weaknesses, worsening its defensive capabilities. As far as its move-pool is concerned, there's little of note, and certainly nothing outstanding enough to draw attention to it. It's a UU Pokémon simply enough. It's usable, but bringing along a Rapid Spinner is advisable, if not necessary.
Pressure: lowers the opponent's PP by 2 instead of 1 when they land an attack on Vespiquen. Up against low PP moves (such as Close Combat), this can drain the opponent's PP to zero quite quickly, which can be invaluable at times. Since Vespiquen is a defensive-minded Pokémon, this ability is fairly well suited to it.
- Attack Order
Roost and Heal Order provide it with two different choices for healing, but Roost is usually considered superior. Roost 'removes' its Flying type, and in turn, the weaknesses that come with that type. It also removes the associated resistances, but that basically means the Ground immunity becomes a 2x resistance, and the 4x Grass and Fight resistances become 2x resistances. Aside from losing a Bug resistance, it isn't a particularly unfavourable trade. The main thing to keep in mind is that it removes the Flying type after being used, and being so slow means Vespiquen will rarely have an opportunity to use it before the opponent's attack.
Attack Order provides it with its most reliable form of offence. It picks up STAB, begins at a healthy Base 90, has good PP and accuracy and has a high critical-hit ratio as a bonus. Unfortunately, aside from Attack Order, it has little in the way of reliable offence. Toxic can be turned to for another source of damage, racking up some decent damage over time and working favourable with Vespiquen's stalling capabilities.
The final move-slot is something of a filler.
Purely defensive stat boosting is an uncommon sight, because defence boosts won't defend against critical-hits (an inevitability when stalling) and weaknesses will still hurt. It hasn't got much else to pick from however, and each boost of Defend Order raises both of its defences quite nicely, making it more durable.
Hidden Power [Ground] is an okay alternative though. Attack Order and Toxic are both stopped by Poison and Steel types, who are exposed to Ground moves. Steel types in particular, tend to have poor Special Defence, which can be capitalised on.
- Silver Wind
The viability of Choice items on Vespiquen, or indeed any Pokémon 4x weak to Stealth Rock, is entirely reliant on getting Stealth Rocks off of the field. Otherwise, Vespiquen will simply wear itself into unconsciousness trying to mimic the fast switching nature of a Choice Pokémon.
Silver Wind is a source of Bug STAB, albeit rather weak STAB. The 10% chance of an all-round boost is of little value when you can easily be forced to switch when faced with a resistant opponent, but there is no better alternative (aside from Hidden Power, which will unfortunately be occupied anyway). Power Gem is a Base 70 Rock move, which is quite nice to throw in the direction of Fire and Flying types. Sludge Bomb has awful type coverage, due to being a Poison move, but it is its strongest Special Attack, and hits a fair amount of opponent's for neutral damage. The 30% chance of inflicting poison is a decent bonus as well.
Hidden Power [Ground] is one of the more important moves available to it. Without it, it simply won't get around Poison and Steel types.
- Attack Order
As with the Specs set, the same reliance on a Rapid Spinner is required to make Choice Band viable. As a physical attacker, it has several advantages over its special counterpart, most notably a better Bug move and a STAB Flying move, Attack Order and Aerial Ace respectively. However, once STAB moves are used, its shallow move-pool once again becomes a problem. Pursuit is a decent move for hitting runners, particularly Psychics, who are likely to run from Attack Order. Despite being a physically inclined move-set, it still has to fall back on Hidden Power [Ground] to handle Steel types. The only consolation is that Steel types tend to have weak Special Defence, meaning Hidden Power should hit for respectable damage.
EVs and Nature:
The tank move-set will obviously want a defensive focus. Maxing its HP should be the first priority. The rest of the EVs can be allocated to whatever defensive stats are preferable. Vespiquen can easily run a move-set with both defences relatively equal, or with one being superior to the other.
EVs: 252 HP / 72 Def / 184 SDef
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
If you're using Hidden Power [Ground] with physical moves, the first thing you'll want to do is change up a -SAtk nature for a -Spd nature.
The choice sets have self-explanatory EVs. There's no need for any Speed, so after maxing its offensive stat, the remaining EVs can be dumped into its HP.
U-Turn, Destiny Bond, Heal Order.
U-Turn is quite a neat move, since it gains STAB and allows Vespiquen to switch-out in the same turn. On faster Pokémon, it's used to pick up some damage and switch-out freely. Since Vespiquen is so slow, it's utilised in a different manner. Rather than switching-out freely, Vespiquen would absorb the opponent's attack and allow one of its team-mates to switch-in freely.
Destiny Bond is a useful “take the opponent down with me” move for faster Pokémon, but Vespiquen is generally too slow to use it before the opponent hits it with the knockout blow.
Heal Order is an alternative to Roost. As stated in the tank set, Roost tends to be superior when there is a difference, but the difference between the two isn't seen often.
With Attack Order and Toxic forming the core of its offensive threat, Poison and Steel types are the most obvious counters. Steel types are pretty much resistant to everything it's got, except for Hidden Power, whilst Poison types do need to keep an eye open for boosted Aerial Aces and Hidden Power, but little else. Among Poison types, Nidoking, Nidoqueen and Muk are pretty strong options. Mawile, Wormadam (Steel), Aggron, Probopass and Bastiodon represent Steel types strongly, although the latter three really need to worry about Hidden Power Ground and Fight.
Guts Swellow can benefit from Toxic and has a comfortable resistance to Attack Order. Boosted Power Gems or Aerial Aces can cause some problems for its unconvincing defensive stats, but it's capable otherwise. It's a similar story for Guts Hariyama, who doesn't mind taking a Toxic and has a comfortable resistance to Attack Order, as well as Stone Edge access. STAB Aerial Aces will cause it problems though. Aside from Swellow and Hariyama, generally any sweeper that isn't daunted by taking an Attack Order or Toxic can deal with it, provided they have a super-effective move.
No counters section would be complete without mentioning Stealth Rock once again. With a 4x weakness to it, it'll take 50% damage whenever it switches in with them active on the field. A layer of those should serve nicely to keep it away, or at least leave a substantial mark on its HP stat.
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