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Community POTW #150

Serebii

And, as if by magic, the webmaster appeared...
Staff member
Admin
Time for another Pokémon of the Week and this week we remain in the Galar region

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It's Dubwool!

 

Divine Retribution

¡Zapatistas se levantar!
Dubwool is, unfortunately, about as close to useless competitively as you can get without being Magikarp or Unown or something. I see it as a weird side-grade to Furfrou, another Pokemon that sees almost no usage even in the lowest tiers. In comparison, Dubwool trades some Speed and offensive coverage for... Body Press, I guess. Fluffy is a neat ability, and Cotton Guard + Body Press can be somewhat dangerous in some circumstances, but Dubwool has no reliable recovery, no way to do serious damage to Ghost-types outside of Payback, and there so, so many better set-up sweepers, walls, and even specifically defense boosting + Body Press abusers you could use instead in all formats. If you really want to use it, I'd use a set like this, but don't expect to get your team slot's worth out of it compared to any number of a myriad of other Pokemon.

dubwool.gif

Dubwool @ Chesto Berry
Careful - Fluffy
248 HP, 8 Defense, 252 Sp. Def
-Cotton Guard
-Body Press
-Payback
-Rest

EVs maximize Special bulk. 72/90 isn't exactly fantastic, but it will at least let you take some special attacks in the lower tiers. Cotton Guard allows you to drastically boost your Defense, very rapidly shoring up Dubwool's physical defense and powering up Body Press. Payback is about the only thing in your movepool that will stop you from being hard walled by literally any Ghost-type, but it's still not all that reliable. In order to do any notable damage, Payback requires the opponent to damage you first in that turn, which requires them to outspeed you. Dubwool isn't exactly blazing fast, but it's also not all that slow either, so this can be a problem when facing slower Ghost-types like Gourgeist, Palossand, and Golurk. It might be worth running 0 Speed IVs and a -Speed nature, I'd have to double check speed tiers of relevant Ghost-types to be certain (and I'm not going to because, let's be honest, nobody is seriously using this thing). Finally, Rest + Chesto Berry gives you a one-time full heal that might just let you pull off a sweep. Maybe, in a situation where a hundred other Pokemon could have also pulled off a sweep. Dropping Payback for Sleep Talk and just accepting the fact that Ghost-types will wall you for eternity is an option too, I suppose.​
 

Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
I suppose it can run Baton Pass instead so it can pass its defence boost to other Pokémon in your team that could be better suited to taking them on, like Chansey or Goodra or whatever. Baton Passing Cotton Guard is something it can do if it sets up on physical attackers, passing to a special wall if the opponent brings in some special attackers.
 

XaelOstigian

Competitive...kinda
I suppose it can run Baton Pass instead so it can pass its defence boost to other Pokémon in your team that could be better suited to taking them on, like Chansey or Goodra or whatever. Baton Passing Cotton Guard is something it can do if it sets up on physical attackers, passing to a special wall if the opponent brings in some special attackers.
I thought Baton Pass was banned in most competitive metagames?
 

Sceptile Leaf Blade

Nighttime Guardian
Maybe some unofficial fangame formats we can't discuss here, but Baton Pass ban is dumb anyway. As if Dubwool is suddenly gamebreaking because it can Baton Pass defence boosts
 

Mestorn

Wandering Battler
Baton Pass is fine to talk about. However, passing defense boosts tends to be rather weak since while accruing enough Defense boosts can make a Pokémon unkillable, still vulnerable to Special Attacks, crits, and phazing. That being said, Dubwool also gets Swords Dance, which that is a potent Baton Pass option. And really that's all Dubwool has going for it outside of Cotton Guard Body Press shenanigans. The Normal type has been getting weaker with each generation with the rise of Steel types, and just how common Ghost types are. This generation has been particularly cruel for Normal types, removing their favored STAB in Return. And while Dubwool's defenses are above average, without any resistances, and no reliable recovery, Dubwool gets worn down quickly.

Sheepstep
Dubwool
Ability
: Fluffy
Item Attached: Salac Berry
-Swords Dance
-Substitute
-Double Edge
-Baton Pass
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SDEF / 252 SPE
Nature: Jolly (+SPE, -SATK)

Baton Pass set. Ideally Dubwool will be able to Sub down to get the Salac boost as well as get a Swords Dance somewhere along the way before passing on to a physical sweeper better able to capitalize on the boosts. Double Edge to prevent Dubwool from being Taunt bait.
 

Divine Retribution

¡Zapatistas se levantar!
Smogon formats ban Baton Pass. As far as I'm aware, there's no rule against discussing them here, since they can be played on official carts under gentleman's agreements, and whether or not talking about simulators is banned is a bit of a grey area.

That being said, as a Baton Passer Dubwool is totally eclipsed by Scolipede, who downgrades Cotton Guard to Iron Defense in exchange for much better Speed and Speed Boost, which is way more valuable both as a standalone passer and in a Baton Pass chain.
 
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