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 Altaria Analysis

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PostSubject: Altaria Analysis   Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:13 pm

Altaria
Natural Cure
Cures status on switching out.
Type Tier
Dragon / Flying UU

Name Item Nature
Dragon Dancer
Life Orb Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Dragon Dance
~ Outrage
~ Earthquake
~ Roost / Sing
72 HP / 252 Atk / 184 Spe
Even with its mediocre Attack stat, Altaria can cause havoc with its Dragon Danced Outrages, especially in UU. This set holds a fair bit of power, and after a Dragon Dance will easily OHKO many Pokémon such as standard Venusaur and Hypno, provided Stealth Rock is in play. Earthquake provides great coverage with Outrage, hitting all of UU for at least neutral damage (except Shedinja).

Roost can be used in the last slot for healing Life Orb damage, whilst also halving Altaria's Ice and Rock weakness, possibly allowing for more Dragon Dances. Altaria can achieve this relatively effectively due to its good defenses and being able to outspeed most things after a Dragon Dance. Roost also allows the user to restore damage from Stealth Rock. Sing can be used to allow for multiple Dragon Dances, for after Altaria gets two it will often shred teams apart. However, its low accuracy makes it an inferior option to Roost.

The 184 Speed EVs allow you to outspeed Timid Persian after a Dragon Dance, although it is perfectly fine to run 252 Speed, allowing you to also get the jump on all neutral base 75s, such as Absol and Kingler. It also allows you to outspeed Swellow after a Dragon Dance.

Name Item Nature
Defensive
Leftovers Calm
Moveset EVs
~ Roost
~ Toxic / Sing
~ Dragon Pulse
~ Flamethrower
252 HP / 200 Def / 56 SpD
Altaria's typing, which provides useful resistances paired with its impressive defenses make Altaria a great team player. Roost is used to keep Altaria alive for longer. If you really want, you can use Rest but it comes with a two turn penalty. Most of the time though, Roost is preferred, as Altaria also has Natural Cure to rid itself of status if need be.

Since this Altaria is somewhat lacking in offensive power, Toxic is a great choice to help wear down opponents. You can use Sing instead, but only if you're feeling lucky. 55% accuracy is really shaky, but Altaria is sturdy enough to afford the occasional miss. If Toxic and Sing don't appeal to you, then you can use Safeguard to protect your team from status or Heal Bell to cure it. Perish Song is also a good option for phazing and stopping some Baton Pass teams.

Dragon Pulse and Flamethrower hit the whole of UU for at least neutral damage while working from Altaria's decent Special Attack, and they help Altaria deal with threats such as Steelix and Venusaur. However, Dragon Claw and Earthquake may be used to hit the likes of Aggron harder, though it is just personal preference.

Name Item Nature
Choice Specs
Choice Specs Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Draco Meteor
~ Fire Blast
~ Dragon Pulse
~ Rest / Hidden Power Ground
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Choice Specs Altaria is almost a clone of Choice Specs Salamence. Draco Meteor provides a brilliant STAB move that will hit many things incredibly hard, although it should be used for more of a "hit and run". Fire Blast gives great coverage in UU paired with a Dragon-type move, and also hits Steel-types hard. Dragon Pulse is for late game sweeping, when everything is weakened and Altaria can make easy KOs. Rest is used in the last slot as Altaria can often find time to use it as a set like that often causes a lot of switches, and then Altaria can switch out and be healed by Natural Cure. However, Hidden Power Ground gives a wider type coverage, whilst helping against Bastiodon, Aggron and Probopass.

Name Item Nature
Choice Band
Choice Band Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Outrage
~ Earthquake
~ Dragon Claw / Pursuit
~ Rest / Pursuit
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
The thought of a STAB Choice Band Outrage is rather frightening, even more so when you consider it 2HKOs many of the standard UU physical walls. Outrage will 2HKO standard Rotom, Claydol, and Clefable, and will do a minimum of 47% to standard Quagsire (maximum being 55%). This can then leave many physical walls struggling, allowing a sweep from another team member.

Earthquake gives great UU coverage, whilst dealing serious damage to Steel-types, namely Aggron, Bastiodon, and Probopass. Dragon Claw provides more of a safe route than Outrage, albeit with a lower base power. Rest can be used in the same way it is on Choice Specs; healing and then switching out to lose the status. This allows Altaria to come in later for more. Pursuit is a good option over either Dragon Claw or Rest, as it can do a minimum of 74% to standard Grumpig and 63% to Hypno, provided they are switching out. This also opens a possibility for an easier sweep from a team member.

Name Item Nature
Mixed Altaria
Life Orb Mild
Moveset EVs
~ Draco Meteor
~ Outrage
~ Fire Blast
~ Earthquake / Roost
112 Atk / 252 SpA / 144 Spe
The UU MixMence. In UU, a lot of common walls fall prey to Altaria, leaving the rest of your team free to sweep. 204 Attack and 262 Special Attack is nothing to laugh about in UU with Life Orb and such high powered moves.

Draco Meteor is an incredibly powerful 140 base power move, let alone when you add STAB, as well as the fact that it is only resisted by Steel-types. Draco Meteor hits pretty much everything incredibly hard, bar the few Steel-types in UU such as Aggron, Probopass, and Bastiodon. Outrage is another strong STAB move, and can cause destruction to many of the UU Pokémon, and helps break walls like Hypno and Grumpig. Earthquake will 2HKO Aggron, Probopass and Bastiodon unless they invest in an abnormal amount of Defense EVs. Earthquake also covers the Poison-types, such as Muk, who likes to take your Draco Meteors, and Swalot. Fire Blast handles other Steel-types, as well as many Grass-types such as Meganium and Venusaur. However, Roost can be used to heal Life Orb and Stealth Rock damage.

112 Atk guarantees a 2HKO on 252 HP / 4 Def Relaxed Aggron with Earthquake. Max Special Attack is fairly obvious, giving Draco Meteor even more power, not to mention giving Fire Blast more of a bite. The Speed EVs let you beat max Speed base 55s such as Relicanth, Omastar and Cacturne.

Name Item Nature
RestTalk
Life Orb Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Rest
~ Sleep Talk
~ Outrage
~ Dragon Dance / Earthquake
252 HP / 108 Atk / 64 Def / 64 SpD / 20 Spe
Altaria can be a decent Dragon Dancer whilst utilizing Rest and Sleep Talk, although it needs to be set up properly. Sleep Talk will not lock you into Outrage, which holds good power after a few Dragon Dances. If people switch to their wall and it doesn't carry a super-effective move, Altaria can Dragon Dance a few times and then Rest off the damage, ready for another bout. Earthquake may be used however, for more coverage, although generally Dragon Dance provides more sweeping opportunities. However, Earthquake may be used over Dragon Dance if you don't like the idea of only having Outrage as your attack.

The EVs of this set are very situational. The Speed allows you to outspeed neutral base 100s after a Dragon Dance, and the Attack allows you to OHKO the most defensive Rotom after two Dragon Dances, provided you factor Stealth Rock damage into the equation. The rest of the EVs go into the defenses to help boost Altaria's survivability, allowing for more Dragon Dances. Life Orb is preferred over Leftovers as it gains many more KOs.

Other Options

FeatherDance can slow down incoming physical attackers. If you want a more accurate Fire attack, Flamethrower is usable on the Choice Specs or Mixed sets but Altaria really does need the higher base power that Fire Blast gives.

EVs

For the Dragon Dance set, you'll want to decide who you want to outspeed first. To outspeed Timid Persian after a Dragon Dance, Altaria will need 242 Speed (Adamant, 184 EVs). 256 Speed (Adamant, 240 EVs) allows Altaria to get the jump on Jolly Swellow after a Dragon Dance Dance, while 278 (Jolly, 228 EVs) outruns max Speed Electrode.

For the supporting set, maximize HP and focus on the defenses. You can throw some EVs into Attack if you wish; just take a few from Defense. Normally though, the Defense is more welcome than the extra Attack.

For Choice sets, just maximise the attacking stat and Speed.

Opinion

Altaria may be at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Dragon-types, but it is by no means a weak Pokémon. Provided you keep to the lower tiers, Altaria can be either a useful supporter or a fairly powerful sweeper. Outrage means Altaria can now score many extra KOs which it couldn't before.

Counters

Walrein is by far the best counter, shrugging off Altaria's hits. Make sure you play it safe though, for a +1 LO Altaria can 2HKO with Outrage. A Bold 252/252 Articuno also takes Altaria's hits, but you need to be running maximum HP and a lot of Defense to stall it out, as a Choice Band Outrage would manage an average of 43% to max HP / max Defense Articuno. You also need to watch out for Stealth Rock. Most things will struggle to wall Altaria, but once you work out what set it is running you should be able to predict.

For the Choice Specs and Choice Band sets, prediction is key. If you can consistently predict the opponent their Altaria will struggle to do damage, although if you predict wrong you will almost certainly take big damage. On the Choice Specs set, Probopass and Bastiodon can cause problems if Altaria doesn't carry a super effective Hidden Power. If you can get Steelix in on a Choice Band Outrage, you should be fine. For the RestTalk set, again, most Steel-types are best provided Altaria doesn't carry Earthquake. Steelix is an exception, who can Curse in Altaria's face and eventually OHKO with Gyro Ball. If it does carry Earthquake Quagsire will counter it, as Altaria would be able to 2HKO Quagsire with a +1 Life Orb Outrage 97% of the time (with Leftovers factored in), whilst Quagsire fails to OHKO back.
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