Giratina, The Renegade Pokémon - The Another Forme. A Pokémon that is said to live in a world on the reverse side of ours. It appears in an ancient cemetery. The Another Forme only appears in the real world.
In a generation packed with many new legends, 'Another Forme' Giratina stands out as one of the stronger ones. Understandably, with spectacular stats and a great move-pool, it's one of those Pokémon instantly placed into the Uber battling tier.
It's unique as a Ghost-Dragon. First off, it's the only Ghost-typed Uber (barring Arceus), providing it a unique niche as the only Uber that can block Rapid Spin. Its typing also gives it six resistances and two immunities. Combined with its wonderful defensive stats, Giratina is an incredible defensive behemoth.
Its typing does come with downsides however. Giratina carries all four of the most commonplace Uber weaknesses: Dragon, Ice, Ghost and Dark. Almost every Pokémon that competes in the Uber tier carries at least one move that scores super-effective damage on Giratina, which puts it at a rather large disadvantage as a defensive Pokémon. Its immense bulkiness compensates for its common weaknesses however, and even some of the most forceful Ubers will fail to 2KO Giratina with super-effective moves.
Common weaknesses aside, the only other defensive quality Giratina lacks is a recovery alternative to Rest. Nevertheless, this absence fails to hold it back, and Giratina has comfortably afforded itself a reputation as one of the strongest Rest-Talkers in the game.
What Platinum and its 'Origin Forme' intend to bring remains to be seen, but in the current competitive climate, 'Another Forme' Giratina is comfortably settled as a top-choice Uber.
Pressure: drains two PP when Giratina is affected by an opponent's attack, as opposed to the usual one PP. Giratina's innate stalling talents go hand-in-hand with this ability, and Rest-Talking variants can quickly drain the opponent's PP to nothing. The effects of Pressure will keep most opponents from bombarding Giratina without caution. In addition, Giratina can drain moves with inherently low PP (such as Water Spout and Sacred Fire) with well-timed switches, providing a useful PP-draining service for its team-mates.
Physical Wall - Rest-Talker
Wisping Giratina is a walling beast, at least on the physical side. Giratina is already tough, but Will-o-Wisp not only enhances its defensive capabilities, but poses most physical attackers with a serious threat.
Burns aside, PP draining with Pressure will cause the opposition some problems in the long run. Rest keeps it healthy for the long run and Sleep Talk spares Giratina from being a sitting duck during those sleeping turns.
As for picking an offensive move, Giratina will want to fall back on its STAB Dragon moves. Aside from plenty of neutral coverage, Dragon moves are super-effective on its plentiful Dragon brethren. Dragon Claw is more effective for the special-oriented opposition in the Uber environment (such as Kyogre, Latias and Calm Mind users) whilst Dragon Pulse is better for the physical-oriented opposition (such as Groudon).
Calm Mind - Rest-Talker
- Calm Mind
Whilst Calm Mind doesn't pack the same immediate threat as Will-o-Wisp does, what it does do is make Giratina an offensive threat. It's a bit more exposed to physical attackers than it previously would be, but boosted Dragon Pulses pack an offensive threat, and it still has the raw defensive stats of the aforementioned move-set. Once again, Resting will keep it healthy, whilst Sleep Talk keeps it from being a sitting duck.
- Dragon Claw
Lacking Rest-Talk to keep it healthy, Choice variants lack the usual bulkiness of the more common Giratina move-sets. Giratina carries Dragon and Ghost STAB, giving it super-effective hits on a large chunk of the Uber metagame. Although it doesn't pack the raw stats for the role, it's something it can pull off to reasonable effect.
Dragon Claw tears apart the bulk of its Dragon brethren, whilst Shadow Claw tears into the plentiful Psychic opposition in the Uber environment. Earthquake dents the majority of grounded Steel opposition whilst Thunder or Hidden Power [Fire] is there for Forretress, Scizor and Skarmory.
- Shadow Ball
Again, like the Choice Band set, lacking Rest-Talk will significantly reduce Giratina's bulkiness. In exchange, you get to take advantage of double-STAB.
Shadow Ball serves as Shadow Claw's counterpart, ripping into the many Psychic Ubers Giratina will surely face.
Earth Power and Aura Sphere serve as Earthquake counterparts, each covering Rock and Steel types but having their own individual deviations. Earth Power and its Ground coverage is better for Metagross, Jirachi and Heatran whilst Aura Sphere is better for Arceus, Darkrai, Tyranitar and Blissey (although, she will wall this move-set with comfort regardless of its weakness).
Thunder is still there for Scizor, Forretress and Skarmory, but it's more favourable for its super-effective coverage on Kyogre and Ho-oh. Thunderbolt is the more accurate alternative, and probably the preferred choice if you can't guarantee Drizzle support.
Draco Meteor and its massive base power will serve as the move-set's main attraction. As well as super-effective hits on its fellow Dragons, the neutral coverage guarantees strong hits on almost all opponents (the exceptions being Steel types and Blissey).
EVs and Nature:
Physical Wall - Rest-Talker
Calm Mind - Rest-Talker
Aside from a token investment, other key Speed numbers it can reach with an insignificant EV investment are available. 222 Speed (24 EVs) will let it outrun Tyranitar, who makes the occasional venture into the Uber tier. 230 Speed (56 EVs) will outrun Scizor and 240 Speed (96 EVs) sets it ahead of Metagross and slow Jirachi variants.
Stone Edge, Roar, Thunder Wave, Toxic, Protect, Shadow Force.
Stone Edge is worth half a glance for the Choice Band move-set, getting a nice 4x hit on Ho-oh, but getting outclassed by Dragon Claw against Rayquaza and outclassed by Shadow Claw against Lugia. Its Fire, Bug and Ice coverage isn't too useful in an environment practically devoid of their presence.
Roar fits onto any defensive move-set somewhat comfortably. On the physical wall, it usually means sacrificing Will-o-Wisp or Sleep Talk. Without Wisp, it loses its ability to pose a fair few physical attackers with any sort of threat, whilst it's very exposed during Rest without Sleep Talk. On the Calm Mind move-set, it would have to slot in over Sleep Talk, again, leaving it exposed during Rest.
As for what Roar provides: The Uber environment is packed with Pokémon who can stat boost, and many can turn into unstoppable forces with a boost or two under their belts. Also, some Pokémon won't see Giratina as a threat (particularly if they have a means to block Will-o-Wisp), and may take the opportunity to stat-boost in front of it. Roar will at least hurry them into action, even if Giratina can't threaten them. As always, the forced switch causes entry hazards (Stealth Rocks, Spikes, Toxic Spikes) to kick in, which is a useful bonus for teams centred around entry hazard strategies.
Thunder Wave, like Will-o-Wisp, poses opposing sweepers a major threat. It's more of a general threat to both physical and special attackers, but letting Groudon switch in freely is an unattractive prospect. Toxic poses a rather large threat to other defensive Ubers, but it leaves Giratina completely exposed to Steel types. It also doesn't pose much of a threat to offensively-oriented opposition, especially in comparison to its two status alternatives.
Protect can stall out a turn. It gives Giratina a chance to scout what the opponent intends to do next and also provides free Leftovers recovery (and possibly a free turn of passive damage, such as Burn damage).
Giratina's signature Shadow Force is getting a mention for the usual “don't use” message. Much like Fly, it gives the opponent a one-turn warning of what's about to happen, meaning they can happily switch to a resistant or immune Pokémon to absorb the attack.
Aside from the Choice sets, the two main Giratina move-sets do not pose a huge direct threat. Calm Mind variants will need time to become threatening, whilst the main physical wall variant relies on Will-o-Wisp to frighten its opposition. Unfortunately, truly countering Giratina, despite its not-so-impressive offences is far from easy due to its titanic defences.
Darkrai can beat Giratina one-on-one with Dark Void and Taunt (since Taunt prevents Sleep Talk). It has added possibilities when accounting for Calm Mind, especially against Dragon Pulsing variants. Mewtwo gives it similar problems when equipped with Taunt, and Mew can Taunt it and take the opportunity to stat-boost and Baton Pass to a larger threat.
For Giratina variants without Calm Mind, Substitute Groudon can beat variants with Dragon Claw and Calm Mind Blissey can beat variants with Dragon Pulse.
Heatran can get a 2KO with Choice Specs and Dragon Pulse, or it can get a 3KO with Dragon Pulse and rely on Taunt to keep Giratina from Rest-Talk stalling or using Calm Mind. Dialga can grab a 1KO with Draco Meteor (a guaranteed one when boosted with Choice Specs, Life Orb or Expert Belt, discounting irregularities from Giratina's EV spread). Aside from Dialga, most other Dragons can one-shot Giratina with Draco Meteor, but they need to worry about being struck by Dragon attacks themselves.
There are several Arceus variants that can beat Giratina. Ghost, Ice and Dark Plates are the best choices, but even without a Plate, it can still do the job. It'll need a boost of some sort to get a 2KO (such as a Choice item, Calm Mind or Swords Dance). Physical variants will also want a Substitute to hide behind (to avoid Will-o-Wisp), and Special variants facing a Calm Minder will want Roar too (to avoid being stalled).
As for the Choice move-sets, the Specs set is completely walled by Blissey. The rest of it is down to intelligent switching and taking advantage of resistances. Without Rest-Talk, Giratina is significantly less of a defensive behemoth, and the fact that it has so many common weaknesses can be exploited to much greater effect (since even if it's only a 3KO, at least it can't be Pressure-stalled).
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