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 Ampharos Analysis

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PostSubject: Ampharos Analysis   Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:15 pm

Ampharos
Static
Enemies' contact moves can paralyze them.
Type Tier
Electric UU

Name Item Nature
Why Ampharos Don't Have Wool
Leftovers Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Substitute
~ Thunderbolt
~ Focus Blast / Focus Punch
~ Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Grass
208 HP / 252 SpA / 48 Spe
This set plays a lot like a UU Boah. You can come in on walls with weak attacks (such as Weezing and Mantine), set up a Substitute, and then begin to fire off powerful moves. Ampharos' Thunderbolt coming off of a base 115 Special Attack is nothing to be trifled with, and those who would shrug the hit off (Clefable for example) are dealt with through Focus Blast or an appropriate Hidden Power. Focus Punch would be of more use in OU as Ampharos constantly lures in Blissey. If you're going to use the set in OU though, it is necessary to use a Quiet nature to shift at least 216 EVs from HP and Speed into Attack. This allows for a clean 2HKO on Blissey with Focus Punch.

Ample prediction with this set is a must though. Many of the attacks are 2HKOs, so making the correct choice on your opponent's switch is key to victory when using this set.

Name Item Nature
UU Tank
Leftovers Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Discharge
~ Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Grass
~ Toxic / Thunder Wave
~ Reflect / Light Screen
252 HP / 80 SpA / 176 SpD
If "bulk" and "support" aren't words that come to mind when thinking of Electric-types, you obviously have been spending too much time around Raichu and Manectric, while neglecting Ampharos with his respectable 90/75/90 defenses. Ampharos is a fine choice to spread around paralysis with Thunder Wave, as well as setting up screens to protect your team. The choice of Hidden Power Grass or Hidden Power Ice is discussed at greater length later. Thunder Wave works with Static and Discharge to spread paralysis around, but most common switch-ins to Ampharos are immune to Electric and crippled by Toxic.

Name Item Nature
Choice Specs
Choice Specs Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Thunderbolt
~ Focus Blast
~ Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Ice
~ Signal Beam / Toxic / Sleep Talk
208 HP / 252 SpA / 48 Spe
In UU, this set packs a huge wallop. It has the ability to 2HKO almost everything in the tier, even with its small movepool. The exception is the very rare max HP, max Special Defense Hypno, which will still be worn down from repeated switch-ins. Like with the above set it is extremely important that you be gifted in the ways of prediction as this set's main attack is walled by all Ground-types and Lanturn.

Hidden Power Grass is superior to Hidden Power Ice, due to Signal Beam hitting most Grass-types for super effective damage, save those with a secondary Poison type. Hidden Power Grass hits Quagsire and other bulky Grounds for super effective damage, in addition to Lanturn, who all wall this set otherwise. However, with Hidden Power Ice you can get rid of all Grass-types in UU, in addition to the bulky Ground-types save Quagsire and Gastrodon.

In the last slot, you can choose to use Toxic to support your teammates and to get rid of special tanks. You could also use Sleep Talk to be a fairly bulky sleep absorber.

Name Item Nature
Screen Support
Light Clay / Leftovers Calm
Moveset EVs
~ Reflect
~ Light Screen
~ Thunderbolt
~ Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Ice
252 HP / 88 Def / 168 SpD
Ampharos has great defenses and this set takes advantage of them nicely. The purpose of this set is to support the rest of the team by passing screens. Ampharos is one of the bulkiest Electric-types around, and the lack of weaknesses afforded by its typing allows this set to work incredibly well in the lower tiers where things hit less hard.

Light Clay is the preferred item on this set for the turns added to Light Screen and Reflect, however Leftovers can be used instead for added survivability.

Name Item Nature
Rest Talk
Leftovers Calm
Moveset EVs
~ Rest
~ Sleep Talk
~ Thunderbolt
~ Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Ice
252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 SpD
This set works with Ampharos' good HP and Special Defense, which makes it a good switch into special attackers such as Jynx, Rotom, and Manectric, as well as being able to take status. It also helps to counter the many bulky waters that plague the UU environment. Ampharos has been blessed with above average HP and Special Defense and this set takes full advantage of it. Come in on those unboosted Surfs and begin to wreak havoc on your opponent's bulky water by firing off STAB Thunderbolt and super effective Hidden Power. Due to the primary focus of this set being countering bulky waters, Hidden Power Grass is the preferred hidden power in order to beat Gastrodon and Quagsire. Hidden Power Ice can be used, however, if one wishes to hit Grass-types and Altaria harder. Discharge can be used over Thunderbolt; as the 30% paralysis rate can be very useful since this will be sticking around for a long time.

Name Item Nature
Rain Support
Damp Rock Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Rain Dance
~ Thunder
~ Hidden Power Water
~ Safeguard / Reflect / Light Screen
252 HP / 76 SpA / 180 SpD
A support move in Ampharos' arsenal that has been neglected hitherto is Rain Dance, which Ampharos can set up and exploit with ease. With rain support, Ampharos can take advantage of Thunder, which is approximately 25% more powerful than Thunderbolt and offers a 30% paralysis rate. Hidden Power Water receives a 50% boost in power in the rain, and helps Ampharos take down Steelix and Claydol, two common UU Pokemon that would otherwise wall it. The final slot is to help a sweeper get in safely and ensure its sweep. Safeguard blocks harmful status, and can help Kabutops avoid Weezing's Will-O-Wisp, for example, or allow Omastar to avoid Hypno's Thunder Wave. Reflect is useful so priority attacks like Technician Hitmontop's Mach Punch or Absol's Sucker Punch don't stop your sweep, and Light Screen is useful to sponge Surfs from opposing bulky waters.

The EVs ensure that Ampharos is never OHKOed by Omastar's rain-boosted Life Orb Surf, even after taking Stealth Rock damage into account, making it an emergency check against opposing teams that attempt to exploit your rain and turn it against you.

Other Options

Heal Bell can be a viable option and can aid the team on a support oriented set. Discharge and Thunder offer 30% paralysis rate; also, the latter is more powerful and could be used on the Specs set for a little extra “oomph." However, it's not advised to use Thunder without rain support. Hidden Power Water could be used to do extra damage to Camerupt. Signal Beam also gets a mention for doing the most damage to Celebi, Exeggutor, and Shiftry.

Counter could be the basis for a set. It can get quite a few surprise kills as Ampharos takes weaker Earthquakes like a champ. If you're going to make such a set, take the Reflect Support set, go with 252 HP / 204 Def / 52 SpA instead of the standard EVs, and then use Counter over Reflect. Those EVs allow Ampharos to take incredibly powerful hits. Even CB Relicanth can't muster an OHKO on Ampharos with Head Smash. Watch as your opponents lose their precious physical attackers to Ampharos' bulk.

A combination of Body Slam and Thunder Wave allows Ampharos to paralyze anything and everything (excluding Limber Pokemon) that an opposing team may throw at it, however, Serene Grace abusers generally do this better than Ampharos can.

Hidden Power: Ice vs. Grass

The choice between Hidden Power Grass or Ice is dependent on what you need coverage against. Grass gets coverage against Lanturn, Quagsire, and Gastrodon. Hidden Power Ice gets coverage against Altaria, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, and Grass-types. Generally Ice is the preferred option because Altaria, Venusaur, and Nidoking are very threatening and common whereas Lanturn, Quagsire, and Gastrodon are not extremely prevalent. However, a lot of it depends on what set you use.

On the Support set, if you use Toxic, Hidden Power Ice is preferable because Venusaur, Vileplume, Nidoqueen, and Nidoking are all immune to Toxic and Thunderbolt, which would otherwise allow them free switch-ins. However, with Thunder Wave, Hidden Power Grass may be preferable because Lanturn and the Water/Grounds are immune to the attack, unlike Altaria and Grass-types. On the Specs set, Focus Blast hits Lanturn, Gastrodon, and Quagsire for neutral damage, whereas Altaria, Venusaur, Vileplume, Nidoking, and Nidoqueen resist it.

EVs

HP should always be maxed, except for the first set, because it allows Ampharos to take advantage of its bulky stat spread. If you’re using an offensive set, then obviously maxing Special Attack is the next place to go with your EV spread. More defensive sets should be geared toward Special Defense EVs unless you’re using the Counter set, where near max Defense is desired to take physical attacks better.

The EVs suggested on the SubPuncher set allow you to 2HKO Blissey with Focus Punch. You could get a 143 Speed stat to beat Swampert with a hindering Speed nature to the punch when using Hidden Power Grass. Both of these stat benchmarks are obselete in the lower tiers, obviously. On the UU Tank set, the HP and Special Defense EVs allow Ampharos to never be OHKOed by Omastar's Rain-boosted Surf, factoring in Stealth Rock and Leftovers. On the Choice Specs set, 48 Speed EVs allow Ampharos to outspeed neutral nature, 4 Spe Clefable.

Opinion

Ampharos is generally considered to be the Electric that broke the mold. It’s not fast in any sense of the word, but it’s not going to be killed by a light wind either. The way to go with Ampharos is to take advantage of its bulk, and its beastly base 115 Special Attack stat. Movepool wise, take advantage of Focus Blast and its healthy list of support options rather to make it stand out versus its other Electric UU brethren Raichu and Manectric. Ampharos is a potent threat that should be prepared for on any UU team.

Counters

RestTalk Camerupt is an amazing counter to all Ampharos sets lacking Hidden Power Water with its great Special Defense and HP stats. It also has access to STAB Earth Power to send Ampharos back to the farm.

Hypno makes an excellent counter to the offensively based Ampharos, as does Grumpig. However, it doesn't like the status effects that Ampharos has to pass along, nor Signal Beam.

Lanturn has enough Special Defense to take tough hits from Ampharos, especially with its immunity to Electric attacks. It can then prey on Ampharos' lack of recovery with STAB Surfs. However, Choice Specs Focus Blast will 2HKO the standard Lanturn, and any attempts to status Ampharos can be negated by the RestTalk set.

As a general rule of thumb, play to its Hidden Power. Without Hidden Power Water, Camerupt and Steelix take it out. Without Hidden Power Grass, Gastrodon and Quagsire take it out. And without Hidden Power Ice, Vileplume, Altaria (with Roost), and Venusaur all handle it with ease.
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