Is Dusclops terrible? I don’t think so.

250px-356Dusclops

Have you had a pokemon where what you’ve heard about it is much different from your own personal experience? I have. Dusclops is a pokemon that I’ve played competitively and had so much fun as other players struggled against it.

If you were to go to a community like Smogon, you’d probably hear something like “Don’t use Dusclops. It’s terrible.” But here’s the thing: not only is Dusclops not terrible, it rocks pretty hard. Here is a set that I’ve used:

Snickers
Dusclops
Sassy nature
Ability: Pressure
Item: Eviolite
– Will-O-Wisp
– Night Shade
– Pain Split
– Protect
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpDef

0005_SNICKERS_Bar

Not going anywhere for a while? It might because Dusclops is walling you so well. Dusclops’ already high defensive stats are brought even higher by the presence of Eviolite, which makes it soak up moves it’s not weak to as though they weren’t a big deal. Most walls are either physically or specially oriented, but Dusclops’ physical and special defense are both really high. A Sassy nature is chosen because once burned by Will-O-Wisp, physical attackers wouldn’t be doing much damage. Night shade is there so Dusclops has something to do when Taunted, and in between racking up passive burn damage with Protect. It’s a little disappointing that Pain Split is it’s only form of recovery, but it still works pretty well against opponents that think they’re nearing a KO.

Now, there are a few concerns that players express when it comes to Dusclops:

“But Dusclops is Knock Off bait.”
Yes, Dusclops is Knock Off bait. That doesn’t mean that Dusclops is unusable. In fact, that could work well in luring in threats with Knock Off. Dusclops even has Protect to scout.

Oh, I just brought Dusclops in, and the other player is bringing in something like Weavile. I’ll just bring in a Pokemon holding a Mega Stone.
Oh, the opponent used Knock Off. How predictable. Now I know which of their pokemon has Knock Off.
So, the opponent’s surprise is lost, and they’re probably going to want to get their Knock Off pokemon out of there, unless they want it clobbered by my mega.

Strategy.

“But Dusclops doesn’t have reliable recovery.”
Dusclops’ Pain Split isn’t very good, but Dusclops benefits very well from a Wish used by Sylveon. Dusclops can even switch in easily to benefit from Wish, as long as the player doesn’t allow it’s HP to get so low, that it’s hard to switch it in. It takes foresight on the part of the player to get that to work out. Again, strategy.

“But Dusclops doesn’t work well when statused, especially with Toxic.”
Something like Toxic can make stalling backfire, but the same goes for just about any pokemon that walls. Remember how I mentioned Sylveon? It also has access to Heal Bell. Or you can have Chansey use Aromatherapy. This is the kind of team support that’s often used in competitive play, so status conditions aren’t usually much of a problem as long as the team’s healer can get out there and do it’s job, which is pretty easy to do.

“But Dusclops is slow.”
And? There isn’t much expectation that pokemon that wall go first in a turn. Unless Trick Room is up, the opponent is likely going to attack first. I know that a lot of players out there like their walls to be something that they just send out and then they shut their brains off as they watch their pokemon soak up attacks, but sometimes a person might want to use a little strategic thinking to determine that it might be a good time to get Dusclops out of there so it can later safely come in on Wish support. It might seem like Dusclops needs a lot of help from Sylveon, but Dusclops worked great for me before adding Sylveon to my team.

“But Dusclops is shut down when Taunted.”
That’s true, but here’s the thing: Dusclops can be switched out to get around it. Dusclops doesn’t need to set up to do what it does, so it’s not hurt much by the minor inconvenience of switching out of an unfavorable situation to let a teammate take over. Much of competitive pokemon does involve prediction and strategic switching. I know it sounds like I’m using the word “strategy” a lot, but that’s something that makes certain pokemon very effective.

Dusclops is the kind of pokemon that Mega Mewtwo Y wants to get a critical hit on. If Dusclops doesn’t seem to be working on your team, that might not be Dusclops’ fault. Dusclops might not be invincible, but a pokemon doesn’t need to be high on Smogon’s viability charts to be usable. Perhaps the reason so many players are having a problem with this thing is that they aren’t very well prepared for it. Or maybe they’re seriously underestimating it.

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