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Blacephalon

Blacephalon, The Fireworks Pokémon. It slithers toward people. Then, without warning, it triggers the explosion of its own head. It’s apparently one kind of Ultra Beast. A UB that appeared from an Ultra Wormhole, it causes explosions, then takes advantage of opponents’ surprise to rob them of their vitality.

Overview

If you're looking for a glass cannon that lights up itself faster than a candle at the top of a birthday cake, then you might be thinking on Blacephalon. Blacephalon has an astonishing Special Attack capable of frying top tier threats like Magearna, Latios, Mega Scizor and Serperior. At base 107 Speed, Blacephalon is capable of outspeeding a nice range of threats as well, such as Terrakion, Mega Charizard X, Zygarde and Volcarona. On top of that, Blacephalon's Beast Boost ability can boost its Special Attack by one stage after each KO or can be tuned to boost its Speed, further bolstering its late-game cleaning capabilities. However, not everything is good news for the dimensional jester. In first place, Blacephalon is hurt by all forms of hazards which greatly hinders its switch-in opportunities. Additionally, Blacephalon is vulnerable to priority and Tyranitar is basically a cold stop to any set.
Positives
A very high base 151 SpA makes Blacephalon an incredibly threatening special wallbreaker along with the right STABs to plow through the opposition.
A great base 107 Speed allows Blacephalon to outspeed relevant threats such as Volcarona, Garchomp, Zygarde and Jirachi.
Beast Boost is an excellent ability as depending on its spread, Blacephalon can boost either its Speed or Special Attack.
Ghost / Fire is a decent offensive typing and Blacephalon will barely need coverage options to deal insane amounts of damage.

Negatives
Base 53/53/79 defenses are very disappointing and Blacephalon will barely even be able to avoid being 2HKOed even by strong resisted attacks..
Due to its frailty, Blacephalon is easily picked by strong priority moves like Mega Mawile's Sucker Punch, Mimikyu's Shadow Sneak, Azumarill's Aqua Jet and even Scizor's Bullet Punch after Stealth Rock damage..
Defensively, Ghost / Fire is very vulnerable to all forms of hazards with weakness to common attacking types like Water, Rock and Ghost..
Blacephalon's movepool is very limited and it mostly relies on Hidden Power to rely on coverage. However, due to G7's IV mechanics, it is unable to use HP Fighting..
Tyranitar pretty much destroys any Blacephalon set thanks to its sheer bulk, Sandstorm boost and resistances to Blacephalon's STABs.

Movesets

CARNIVAL FUN

- Shadow Ball
- Overheat
- Fire Blast / Flamethrower
- Trick / Hidden Power Grass
Item Attached: Choice Specs
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs and Nature:
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

Shadow Ball becomes the most spammable move on this set due to its great coverage and ridiculous damage output thanks to Blacephalon's Specs boost. Overheat becomes a quick hit-and-run nuke capable of muscling through Landorus-Therian and Clefable, but it drops Blacephalon's Special Attack two levels and leaves it heavily exposed to Pursuit. Fire Blast is a more reliable STAB with its imperfect accuracy being its only drawback. Finally, Trick is an option to stall-break and cripple walls such as Chansey and Toxapex. On the other hand, Hidden Power Grass obliterates Gastrodon, 2HKOs Tyranitar after some prior damage and OHKOs Greninja.

Maximum Speed investment along with a Timid nature puts Blacephalon at a nice Speed tier for a wall-breaker, outspeeding base 100s like Mega Medicham and Mega Charizard X as well as everything slower. Maximum Special Attack investment maximizes Blacephalon's power and makes Beast Boost increase Special Attack.

Beast Boost is Blacephalon's only ability and it's not really that useful, since the Specs boost already dishes out a lot of damage and this set is easily forced out by revenge killers or opposing Scarf users.

Choice Specs increases Blacephalon's ridiculously high Special Attack to jaw-breaking levels.

CHOCOLATE DISCO

- Shadow Ball
- Flamethrower
- Fire Blast
- Trick / Explosion
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs and Nature:
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid / Hasty Nature

Shadow Ball is a decent STAB that hits a wide array of targets for decent damage. Flamethrower is a reliable Fire STAB move, without drawbacks. Fire Blast is this set's strong nuke that can be useful whenever Blacephalon grabs a KO, but its unreliable accuracy can be a huge let-down specially on the late-game. Finally, Trick prevents Blacephalon from being complete dead-weight against stall builds and cripple walls like Chansey and Toxapex, trapping them in one move. Explosion, on the other hand, allows Blacephalon to revenge kill a +1 Volcarona and KO it.

Max Special Attack and Speed are needed in order for Blacephalon to outspeed crucial targets such as Scarf Tapu Lele, Garchomp and +1 Volcarona or Mega Charizard X and maximize its role as a revenge killer.

Beast Boost is a much more useful ability on a Choice Scarf set due to its initial lack of power. Once Blacephalon accumulates Special Attack boosts, it becomes very hard to stop on the late-game. Choice Scarf is what allows Blacephalon to act as a fantastic revenge killer capable of outspeeding Scarf Tapu Lele, Landorus-T and +1 Volcarona.

ALOLAN MIROR B

- Substitute
- Shadow Ball
- Flamethrower
- Calm Mind
Item Attached: Ghostium Z
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs and Nature:
232 HP / 4 Def / 20 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

Flamethrower is Blacephalon's most reliable Fire-type STAB move due to its perfect accuracy, and it is chosen over Fire Blast because the extra power isn't needed. Shadow Ball is Blacephalon's best Ghost-type STAB move and provides great coverage because it has only one resistance and one immunity. Substitute eases prediction on switches, makes Blacephalon harder to revenge kill, and gives it a number of setup opportunities, such as turning Chansey into setup fodder with avoidance of Toxic and immunity to Seismic Toss. Calm Mind boosts Blacephalon's Special Attack and Special Defense, meaning it can pose as more of a threat to bulkier Pokemon and, in some situations, take some hits despite its frailty.

Max Speed is required for Blacephalon to outspeed crucial targets such as Mega Medicham and Mega Charizard X. 20 Special Attack EVs give Blacephalon as much firepower as possible while keeping its Special Attack one point lower than its Speed to ensure Beast Boost boosts Blacephalon's Speed. The rest of the EVs are dumped in HP to give Blacephalon some decent bulk and 4 EVs are thrown into Defense to ensure that Blacephalon can use Substitute 4 times instead of 3.

A Ghostium Z is the required item to upgrade Shadow Ball into Never Ending Nightmare and nuke Pokemons like Heatran, Garchomp and Gliscor.

Other Options

Blacephalon's movepool is quite pathetic and it's barely worth mentioning something useful out of it. Knock Off is a decent option on the Specs set that allows Blacephalon to cripple Chansey without resorting to use Trick.
Smack Down is an option to nail Volcarona but it is so weak, that it even fails to OHKO form full health with a Hasty nature.

VGC & Double Battle Options

Let's not sugarcoat this, Blacephalon is not very good in Doubles. As a frail Ghost/Fire Pokemon with only decently high Speed, things aren't going to be very great for Blacephalon if you take it into Doubles. However, it does have a few neat traits that can lead to some very unexpected snowballing if you're looking for something different, namely Beast Boost Heat Wave spam. That's really all there is to Blacephalon though, it has a very limited movepool with few options beyond its powerful STAB moves and that alone isn't going to get you very far when you're weak to just about every common spread move and walled by Incineroar. This is all ignoring the current GS Cup ruleset as well, if you're looking for a Pokemon to use in this format then you're not looking in the right place. Go use Lunala or something, Blacephalon's home is in Singles.

Colour Ball

- Heat Wave
- Shadow Ball
- Overheat / Hidden Power Ice
- Hidden Power Ice / Trick
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest / TimidNature

The point of Blacephalon is simple, find a good time to bring it in and try to break holes with fast Heat Waves or efficiently clean up late-game. With Beast Boost this can snowball very quickly, though it may be somewhat reliant on this to break through foes with Heat Wave's spread reduction. Shadow Ball is a secondary STAB that allows Blacephalon to threaten foes that resist Heat Wave, such as Tapu Fini. Overheat may be a bit of a filler but it can allow Blacephalon to nuke something if you need a focused Fire-type STAB, preferred over Flamethrower or Fire Blast due to its power though this can easily be replaced with those options. Hidden Power Ice allows Blacephalon to deal with Landorus-Therian which is always valuable, especially for a Pokemon that is both faster and weak to it. Trick can be used to disrupt a foe reliant on their item slot such as Chansey or Snorlax, though the prevalence of Z-Moves makes this difficult to use unless you're playing in a 6v6 Doubles setting.

Choice Scarf allows Blacephalon to function as a revenge killer and cleaner while the EV spread is self-explanatory, Blacephalon has no use for its bulk so maximizing its offense is optimal. Modest nature is actually preferred because Blacephalon still outspeeds Jolly Choice Scarf Landorus-Therian with it, and you want all the power you can get. However, Timid nature is not bad either to make sure you're outspeeding everything possible.

Other Options

- Firium Z is worth consideration if you don't want to be restricted by a Choice item, and it allows for some flexibility in your Fire-type STAB options. Ghostium Z can be considered for similar reasons if you just want a strong Ghost-type nuke.
- Choice Specs can be used if you just want to nuke stuff with Blacephalon, though it's highly advised that you have plenty of speed control options like Tailwind if you go this route.>br ? - Hidden Power Grass or Grass Knot can be used if you really want to be able to hit Tyranitar at all, though it's usually not worth it. Note that Hidden Power Fighting is not an option here.

Countering Blacephalon

Tyranitar is Blacephalon's true counter. Thanks to its sheer special bulk, which is further boosted by Sandstorm, and a resistance to Blacephalon's dual STABs; Tyranitar can easily switch with impunity and destroy Blacephalon with Pursuit. Tyranitar only has to fear the occasional Specs boosted HP Grass from Blacephalon.

Common priority moves like Water Shuriken from Ash-Greninja, Sucker Punch from Mega Mawile and Bisharp, and Shadow Sneak from Mimikyu force out Blacephalon pretty reliably, since it's not bulky enough to take any of those hits.

Residual damage from entry hazards, weather, and poison all stack up pretty quickly and can severely cripple Blacephalon, especially Stealth Rock, since it loses 25% of its HP every time it switches in.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game.

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Not in game.

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game.

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game.

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game.

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Not in game.

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Not in game.

Black/White:
Not in game.

Black 2/White 2:
 Not in game.

X/Y:
Not in game.

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Not in game.

Sun/Moon:
Not in game.

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Poni Grove (Ultra Sun)
Trade from Ultra Sun (Ultra Moon)

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Not in game.

Animé Appearences

Blacephalon has made an appearance in the anime. In it, it appeared through an Ultra Wormhole and used its head to create firework displays

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
1021 Twirling with a Bang! Ultra Beast Clash! Operation: Boom Boom Crackle!! Pics
1033 Securing the Future! Connect to the Future! The Legend of the Blinding One!! Pics

 
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