Staraptor, The Predator Pokémon. When Staravia evolve into Staraptor, they leave the flock to live alone. The muscles in its wings and legs are strong. It can easily fly while gripping a small Pokémon.
Staraptor has always been a consistent, if surprising powerhouse since its introduction in Diamond and Pearl. It's not quite powerful enough to be a top threat, but if you underestimate it you will find yourself in a world of hurt. It's really strong, sporting a 120 Base Attack and it has a powerful ability called Reckless on top of that which boosts all moves that cause recoil damage by 20 %..and our friend Staraptor's 2 strongest STABS happen to be Brave Bird and Double-Edge, and it's pretty fast too so you definitely don't want to take Staraptor lightly. It does have a few notable drawbacks though. Its bulk, and in particular its Special Defense isn't the greatest, so a lot of Bulky Special Attackers can go toe to toe with you pretty easily. Staraptor is surprisingly versatile though and only a handful of things can really afford to switch in on its Attacks without fear.
Intimidate: Upon entering battle, the opponent’s Attack lowers one stage. In a Double Battle, both opponents’ Attack are lowered. Pokémon with the Clear Body, Hyper Cutter, or White Smoke ability are unaffected. In a link battle, if both sides switch on the same turn, and first player sends out a Pokémon with Intimidate, the opponent’s Attack will be lowered before the opponent’s Pokémon switches. Opponents in S.O.S. Battles are more likely to call for help. The power you lose by taking Intimidate over Reckless is definitely noticeable, but Intimidate can be more reliable at times and it will help balance out Staraptor's average Defense.
Starappa the Rapper
- Brave Bird
This is the standard Staraptor set. Brave Bird is an outstanding STAB, and when paired with the Reckless ability and Choice Scarf our friend Staraptor becomes downright scary. Double-Edge does a large amount of damage to 'mons that would otherwise resist your Brave Bird like Tapu Koko. Close Combat is your best option against things like Tyranitar and Excadrill, but you can also opt for Final Gambit instead if you're in a tight spot and need to put a major dent in your enemy's walls. Last but not least you have U-turn which allows you to keep up the momentum in the battle when you know your enemy is going to be forced to switch.
- Choice Band: I actually enjoy running Choice Band over Choice Scarf. The additional power with the already strong boost to your best STAB moves from your Reckless is just so much fun, and everyone expects the Choice Scarf so you'll likely get a few more surprise opportunities to wreck your enemy's team some more too.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Staraptor is unfortunately not in the Alolan Pokedex, so it is not available in VGC 2017, but the bird of prey is a unique and interesting choice in other doubles formats. While Reckless goes great with Staraptor's high base attack and strong moves with recoil, there is another ability Staraptor has access to that is fantastic in doubles: Intimidate. What separates Staraptor from other Pokemon with Intimidate, however, is access to Final Gambit, which can immediately take out an important piece of the opponent's team. With these two supporting features, along with its naturally high attack and speed, Staraptor has remarkable potential to help its team.
This EV spread may seem rather strange given Staraptor's stat distribution, but it maximizes its potential in doubles. 220 speed EVs with a Choice Scarf outspeeds Modest Choice Scarf Tapu Lele. This amount of speed lets Staraptor get off extremely fast attacks, especially Final Gambit. Max HP allows Final Gambit to do as much damage as possible, while the rest of the EVs and an Adamant nature gives Staraptor some firepower should it need to use another attack, or if Final Gambit will not do much. More EVs can be invested in attack if your team does not need to outspeed as much, or does not need quite as much damage from Final Gambit. Intimidate is great to lower the opponents' attack, and increase your team's bulk.
Brave Bird is a very strong STAB move with good coverage, and Close Combat covers many of the Pokemon that resist Brave Bird. Final Gambit is the most threatening move Staraptor has (assuming you are at or close to full health), and it can OHKO many bulky Pokemon, such as Porygon2. The final moveslot has a couple of options. U-turn is great to pivot into a better position and shuffle in Intimidates, while Double Edge is another strong STAB move, although Brave Bird and Close Combat generally provide enough coverage.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Reckless is still a good, but risky (since there can be two opponents on the field), option for a straight attacker. Choice Scarf can still be used for fast damage, but a boosting item (like Choice Band) can also work well, especially with speed control support to ensure Staraptor still attacks first.
Staraptor isn't particularly hard to counter. Its Special Defenses in particular are pretty bad, so Bulky Special Attackers like Nihelgo can take it on pretty easily. Staraptor also has a hard time winning out against Physical Walls like Skarmory which can and will stall you out especially if you're running Choice Scarf over Choice Band. Your only option against them is to either U-turn out or sacrifice it if you're using Final Gambit on that set. It will definitely run into problems with Electric Types like Tapu Koko and Magnezone too , but they have to be wary of Scarf Double-Edge and strong damage from Close Combat respectively. All the recoil damage from your STAB Brave Bird and Double-Edge isn't good for your longevity either as well as residual damage Stealth Rock, so it's best to use Staraptor in the early game as much as possible and revenge kill weakened 'mons and punch holes in your enemy's defenses.
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
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