Carnivine

Carnivine, The Bug Catcher Pokémon. It attracts prey with its sweet- smelling saliva, then chomps down. It takes a whole day to eat prey. Hanging from branches using its tentacles, it looks like a plant. It awaits prey, mouth wide open. It binds itself to trees in marshes. It attracts prey with its sweet- smelling drool and gulps them down. ť

Overview

Much like Zilla-Gorilla last week or boxer-in-a-skirt the week before, we've gotten another “Never-used” Pokémon on the analysis list. This time around it's Carnivine… who I have no stupid nicknames for because it actually looks quite cool.

Anyway, it isn't a bad Pokémon, but when you've been assigned to the Grass type, you already know you'll need to be something special just to break out of the Underused environment, much less the Never-used environment. It's got okay stats and the fairly generic Grass move-set. Aside from Levitate, this means it has little to separate it from its Grass brethren, and sadly, this'll probably keep it locked into the NU tier for good.

Ability

Levitate: gives you a nice immunity to Ground moves, Spikes and Toxic Spikes. The Ground immunity isn't much of a difference maker, since Grass types resist Ground moves anyway, and the Spikes immunity is pretty irrelevant in the NU tier where there's few Spikers around. Toxic Spikes is an okay immunity (since there are a few NU Toxic Spikers), but even that isn't hugely widespread. It's an okay ability, but it isn't excellent in Carnivine's hands.

Move Sets

Swords Dancer

- Swords Dance
- Power Whip
- Stun Spore
- Crunch / Sleep Powder
Item Attached: Life Orb / Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Swords Dancing isn't the sole domain of Carnivine amongst Grass types, but it's still a pretty solid option. One real problem that Carnivine will run into is a real lack of Speed, which hinders sweeping attempts significantly. In fact, it's probably best to save stat-boosting for later until you've managed to spread a few Stun Spores around, since paralysed opponents help to compensate for your own lack of Speed. Once you do get around to firing off a Swords Dance, this is when Power Whip comes into play. 85% accuracy is a little shaky but it's worthwhile for 120 Base Power and STAB.

That lack of move-pool starts to show as you round things out. Crunch is your only other viable physical attack, short of maybe Return. The other, and arguably better “rounding it off” alternative is Sleep Powder, which can give you a good way to give yourself an opportunity to kick off a Swords Dance, or just a means to shed an irritating opponent's company.

Double-Powder

- Sleep Powder
- Stun Spore
- Power Whip
- Knock Off / Synthesis
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk)

Double-status is an effective strategy, and something of a Grass type staple. Sleep Powder forces the switch and then you land a Stun Spore on whoever shows up next. Power Whip is obviously there for a strong source of reliable damage, and you can finally round things off with either Knock Off to ruin your opponent's day some more or Synthesis to heal up when it's needed.

EVs and Nature:

Swords Dancer
In the case of the Swords Dancer, Speed is a problem that EVs can't solve. A nice Speed investment will make you a bit faster than the other slow Pokémon, but you'll still be relying on Stun Spore heavily to make up for your shortfalls, EV investment or not. It's either 252/252 HP and Attack or 252/252 Speed and Attack.

Double-Powder
Here you'll want to run a somewhat defensive EV spread. 252 HP is an obvious starting point, and whilst you might want to consider some offensive EVs, defensive EVs are probably the priority. Both of your defensive stats are passable but could do with a hand. For the sake of example, I've just gone with 252/252 on HP and Defence. Be more creative if you fancy, or just go for maxing out the attacking stat instead, either route is viable.

Other Options

Leech Seed, Substitute, Seed Bomb, Energy Ball, Grass Knot, Hidden Power [Fire / Ice].

Sub-Seed (Leech Seed and Substitute) is a Grass type staple as well, although Carnivine lacks the Speed to really pull it off to perfection.

Seed Bomb is a plausible replacement for Power Whip if you have some major accuracy concerns, but the power difference is pretty large, making Power Whip the more attractive option, even at the cost of a little risk.

Energy Ball and Grass Knot are special options, and there's only a 10 Base Stat difference between Carnivine's Attack and Special Attack, making special attacking a viable option. This also opens up the Hidden Power route for you as well, with Fire and Ice being the preferable ones.

Countering Carnivine

The status threat is a very problematic issue for any counter to potentially face. Short of Pokémon with a Lum Berry and Pokémon with self-inflicted statuses (such as Fire Orb or Rest-Talk), there's not too many Pokémon you can turn to who can safely deal with its status options. As far as its actual attacking goes, it doesn't offer a great deal of variety. Its core moves are Grass moves (obviously) and there's little else at its disposal. Grass-Poison types like Vileplume and Venusaur get a 4x resistance and STAB Poison moves to abuse, and the same applies to Bug-Flying types (such as Mothim, Beautifly and Vespiquen) who have a 4x resistance and super-effective STABs… and I never thought I'd mention Bug-Flying types as a counter for… anything… ever… You've got Poison types too, Fire types and other assortments since Grass is resisted by a lot of types. The only potential complication comes in the form of Hidden Power, which isn't an unheard of option (despite being listed in other options as opposed to the main move-sets). Even then, Hidden Power isn't the strongest of moves so working around it shouldn't be too difficult. As I stated at the start, the biggest threat it poses to Pokémon who resist its Grass STAB come in the form of statuses, and sadly, there isn't really an easy way around that problem.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Not in Game

Colosseum/XD

Not in Game

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Not in Game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

Great Marsh

Animé Appearences

Carnivine has had a fair few Animé Appearences. All of them have it under the control of James after he picked it up when he first arrived in Sinnoh.

Episode 470: Two Degrees of Seperation!
Episode 472: Dawn of a New Era
Episode 473: Gettin' Twiggy With It!
Episode 474: Different Strokes for Different Blokes
Episode 475: Like It or Lup It
Episode 478: Not On My Watch Ya Don't!
Episode 480: Arrival of a Rival
Episode 481: A Staravia Is Born
Episode 482: Leave it to Brocko!
Episode 493: Oh Do You Know the Poffin Plan!
Episode 494: Getting the Pre-Contest Titters!
Episode 497: The Champ Twins!
Episode 498: Some Enchanted Sweetening!
Episode 499: The Grass Type Is Always Greener
Episode 500: An Angry Combeenation!
Episode 502: Buizel Your Way Out Of This!
Episode 503: An Elite Meet & Greet!
Episode 504: The Secret Sphere of Influence
Pikachu's Summer Festival
Episode 509: A Stand-Up Sit-Down
Episode 520: Smells Like Team Spirit
Episode 521: Tears For Fears!
Episode 522: Once There Were Greenfields!
Episode 523: Throwing A Track Switch
Episode 526: Nosing 'Round The Mountain
Episode 527: Luxray Vision
Episode 530: Tanks For The Memories!
Episode 533: Sleight of Sand!
Episode 541: Crossing Paths
Episode 544: A Full Course Tag Battle!
Episode 548: Thief That Keeps On Thieving
Episode 550: Cream of the Croagunk Crop!
Episode 551: A Crasher Course in Power
Episode 552: Hungry For the Good Life!
Episode 555: The Psyduck Stops Here
Episode 560: Lean Mean Team Rocket Machine
Episode 565: Double Team Turnover!
Episode 567: A Trainer and Child Reunion
Episode 569: Barry's Busting Out All Over!
Episode 571: Jumping Rocket Ship
Episode 574: A Breed Stampede
Episode 578: Steeling Peace of Mind!
Episode 579: The Hidden Ruins of Iron Island!
Episode 582: Pokémon Contest! Akebi Convention!!
Episode 584: Froslass In A Blizzard
Episode 585: Team Rocket Breakup!?
Episode 589: The Lonely Snover!
Episode 590: Evolution! This Time For Piplup!?
Episode 593: Cherubi! Brave Battle!?
Episode 594: Teacher Candice of the Trainers' School!

 
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