Staraptor

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.

Overview

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.
Positives
+ High Base 120 Attack
+ Great Base 100 Speed as well
+ Two very useful abilities in Intimidate and Reckless
+ A variety of support moves like Defog, Tailwind, Toxic, and Feather Dance
+ Has access to a reliable recovery move in Roost

Negatives
- Its HP and Defense are passable but not the greatest
- Its Special Defense is even worse sporting a mere Base 60

Abilities

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.
Hidden Ability (Available through transfer):
Reckless: The power of moves that have recoil damage is increased by 20%. This is always the ability I choose in Singles because the power boost is just too awesome to ignore. If you're worried about a lot of recoil and residual damage though stick with Intimidate.

Movesets

Starappa the Rapper

- Brave Bird
- Double-Edge
- Close Combat / Final Gambit
- U-turn
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
Ability: Reckless
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 Def
Jolly Nature

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.

Other Options

- 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.
- Supersonic Skystrike: It's an incredibly powerful Flying move without the recoil damage of Brave Bird, so it's worth mentioning..but it's also less powerful than a Choice Band + Reckless Brave Bird and you can only use it once because it's a Z-Move.
- Z-Mirror Move: Again it's a Z-Move so you can only use 1, but it's at the very least a free + 2 Attack boost and you might get lucky and get some damage bonus damage in as well
- Defog: Other Flying 'mons run Defensive sets better imo, but Staraptor does get access to Defog and its Defenses are more than passable when you factor in Intimidate.

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.

Bravest Bird

-Brave Bird
-Close Combat
-Final Gambit
-U-turn / Double-Edge
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 36 Atk / 220 Spe
Adamant Nature

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.
-Flyinium Z is another item choice for powerful damage. Supersonic Skystrike is very powerful, but the z crystal can also be used with Mirror Move. While not the easiest the pull off, Z-Mirror Move will raise Staraptor's attack by two stages and then use the z move that corresponds with whatever Mirror Move copies.
-As always, Protect is incredible in doubles, allowing the user to dodge Fake Out, let a teammate take out a threat, or stall out speed control. Protect is necessary if Staraptor is not holding a Choice item.
-Tailwind, available through an ORAS move tutor, is great for speed control to help Staraptor and its teammate outspeed the opponent.
-Quick Attack is strong STAB priority, especially if boosted by Choice Band.
-Whirlwind is a niche move to prevent Trick Room or ruin boosts by Pokemon setting up.

-Teams in need of a fast Intimidate user appreciate Staraptor, though Landorus-T is a more common choice for this role.
-Staraptor's best role in past VGC formats was part of a Trick Room team. While it could be part of a fast mode with the Choice Scarf, it would typically lead with a Trick Room user. Intimidate would make it more difficult to take out the Trick Room user, and Staraptor could immediately take out (or at least severely damage) an opponent with Final Gambit. While getting the knock out is great, it would also allow a free switch to a sweeper under Trick Room.
-Setup sweepers also appreciate the Intimidate support and ability to take out a threat instantly with Final Gambit. Though they are not "sweepers" in the traditional sense, bulky Pokemon that can stall out multiple opponents with their recovery and bulk, such as Celesteela and Ferrothorn, love for Staraptor to remove the one Pokemon threatening them on the opposing team.
-Lightning Rod can help keep Staraptor safe from single-target electric attacks, and Wide Guard keeps it safe from Rock Slide spam or other spread moves.
-As ghost types are immune to Final Gambit, Close Combat, and Double-Edge, Staraptor may need help in taking out certain ghost types, especially Aegislash.

Countering Staraptor

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

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Evolve Staravia

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Evolve Staravia

Black/White:
Evolve Staravia (White)
Trade from White (Black)

Black 2/White 2:
Trade from White

X/Y:
Evolve Staravia

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y

Sun/Moon:
Evolve Staravia

Animé Appearences

Staraptor has made multiple appearances in the anime. Most notably Ash used one during his Sinnoh League campaign

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
469 Following a Maiden Voyage! Begin! From Twinleaf Town to Sandgem Town! Pics
534 Lost Leader Strategy! Lucario & The Aura Sphere of Rage! Pics
535 Crossing the Battle Line! Dawn's First Gym Battle! Pics
540 Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu (2) Pokémon Ranger! The Wave-Guiding Riolu! (Part Two) Pics
568 Aiding the Enemy Turtwig, Grotle...& Torterra! Pics
569 Barry's Busting Out All Over! Rival Trainer Jun Appears! Pics
578 Steeling Peace of Mind! Riley & Lucario! Pics
579 Saving the World from Ruins The Hidden Ruins of Iron Island! Pics
586 Pursuing a Lofty Goal PokéRinger! Big Decisive Sky Battle!! Pics
587 Trials and Adulations! Clash! Mamoswine VS Aggron! Pics
588 Not Aired Mysterious Creatures: Pokémon Pics
589 The Lonely Snover The Lonely Snover! Pics
595 Sliding Into Seventh Snowpoint Gym! Ice Battle!! Pics
596 A Pyramiding Rage! Pyramid Battle! Brandon VS Paul! Pics
598 Frozen on Their Tracks Ampharos Train! Looker Appears!! Pics
599 Pedal to the Mettle Full Battle! Paul VS Ash! (Part One) Pics
600 Evolving Strategies Full Battle! Paul VS Ash! (Part Two) Pics
601 Uncrushing Defeat Uxie's Shadow! Pics
M12 Arceus & The Jewel of Life Arceus - Towards Conquering Space-Time Pics
P12 Not Aired Pikachu's Great Sparking Search Pics
605 Three Sides to Every Story Marill, Piplup & Elekid! Pics
611 An Egg Scramble Johto Festa! Chikorita and Totodile Appear!! Pics
615 Bagged Then Tagged Ash and Dawn! Tag Battle!! Pics
616 Try for the Family Stone! Misdreavus, Murkrow & the Dusk Stone! Pics
617 Sticking With You Know Who Pikachu & Piplup Keep Away! Pics
618 Unlocking the Red Chain of Events! The Red Chain! Team Galactic Start!! Pics
620 The Battle Finale of Legend! Dialga and Palkia! The Final Battle!! Pics
622 Mastering Current Events! Air Battle Master Appears! Gliscor VS Scizor! Pics
624 A Meteoric Experience! Gible & Draco Meteor! Pics
628 A Marathon Rivalry! Get Fired Up Snorlax! Prince of Pokéthlon! Pics
632 Piplup, Up and Away Piplup Becomes Separated! Pics
S24 Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (1) Pokémon Ranger: Tracks of Light (1) Pics
S24 Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (2) Pokémon Ranger: Tracks of Light (2) Pics
635 Teaching the Student Teacher Beach Pokémon School! Pics
638 An Elite Coverup! Elite Four Bertha! Hippowdon vs Torterra!! Pics
641 Dealing With a Fierce Double Ditto Drama! Ditto - Transformation Battle! Which One Is It That's Real!? Pics
646 For The Love Of Meowth Goodbye Team Rocket! Meowth's Love! Pics
M13 Zoroark - Master of Illusions Phantom Champion Zoroark Pics
P13 Not Aired Pikachu's Really Mysterious Adventure Pics
651 League Unleashed! Opening! Sinnoh League - Suzuran Tournament!! Pics
654 Familiarity Breeds Strategy! Rival Decisive Battle! Ash VS Paul! Pics
655 A Real Rival Rouser! Intense Fighting Full Battle! Ash VS Paul! Pics
656 Battling a Thaw in Relations Rival Battle Conclusion! Ash VS Paul! Pics
659 Memories Are Made of Bliss Memories are Pearl! Friendships are Diamond! Pics
M16 Genesect & The Legend Awakened Extremespeed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens Pics
803 Dream Continues! My Dream: Pokémon Master! Pics
880 A Relay in the Sky! The Pokémon Sky Rally Challenge! Fly, Noibat!! Pics

 
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