Venomoth, The Poison Moth Pokémon. It flutters its wings to scatter dustlike scales. The scales leach toxins if they contact skin. The wings are covered with dustlike scales. Every time it flaps its wings, it looses highly toxic dust. The dustlike scales covering its wings are color-coded to indicate the kinds of poison it has. It is nocturnal--they only are active at night. Their favorite prey are insects that gather around streetlights, attracted by the light in the darkness.The powder on its wings is poisonous if it is dark in color. If it is light, it causes paralysis.
Sometimes in life, no matter how hard you try, Gamefreak really doesn't want you to become a great Pokémon. It's the Venomoth story, or to be more precise, a story that curses the large majority of Bug types modelled after winged pests. The upside for Venomoth, is that it has performed a pretty decent fight against the tide. The physical-special split has given it special STAB, and Gamefreak have also improved it with the addition of Tinted Lens. Its stats still let it down, they're average at best, and below average if you really take a good look. It still manages to carve itself a way into the Underused tier though, and that's as good as it can wish for.
Tinted Lens: doubles the power of Venomoth's “not very effective” hits. The beauty of this is a resisted move becomes neutral and a 4x resisted move becomes a more acceptable 2x resisted move. It isn't the be all end all but it does make countering a bit more difficult for Venomoth's foes.
Shield Dust: prevents secondary effects from activating on this Pokémon, e.g. Flamethrower's burn, Thunderbolt's paralysis, but with exceptions for things like Charge Beam's Special Attack boost, Meteor Mash's Attack and so forth. If it affects Venomoth, it won't activate, but if it affects its foe, it still can. It's not bad but Venomoth was never built to take hits, and an ability centred around that is pretty unnecessary.
Attacker + Sleep Powder
- Sludge Bomb
Venomoth hasn't got the most varied and fear-inducing move-pool, but in Sludge Bomb and Bug Buzz, it has two strong STABs. Type coverage is rather limited, but that's the bonus of Tinted Lens, even with poor type coverage you can still pose a pretty decent threat. To help out the type coverage, Venomoth needs to pack a third move. Hidden Power [Ground] catches some very useful super-effective hits, especially on Steel types, whereas Psychic catches some coverage on Poison types (although Ground does too, but Psychic is stronger and hits Weezing too).
You can try both Hidden Power and Psychic if you want, but Sleep Powder is too good to pass up without at least a good long glance. 75% chance of inducing Sleep -disabling an opponent- the only real reason to pass it up is if you have something else on your side inducing Sleep.
Finally, there's a bit of an Item dilemma. Leftovers is nice for a mild increase to your defensive capabilities, but the real reason to use it is if you don't want to risk being locked to a single attack (as with Choice Specs) or to lose HP by attacking (as with Life Orb). Life Orb gives a nice 1.3x boost to your direct attacking moves, at the cost of 10% HP per attack. Choice Specs gives a 1.5x boost, but being locked into only one attacking move (especially if it's Sleep Powder) can be disadvantageous. One real benefit for a Specs Venomoth is that Tinted Lens means even when a (2x) resistant Pokémon switches in, you can stick around using the same move repeatedly with little disadvantage.
- Toxic Spikes
Although it's not the only one in the Underused tier to be able to do this, Venomoth can make for a pretty decent supporting Pokémon with Toxic Spikes. One layer is normal poison for most switch-ins, two layers is Toxic poison, which makes for all-round irritation for your opponent (unless of course, they have a Rapid Spinner or a Poison type). Roost helps this all along, somewhat compensating for Venomoth's lack of bulk. You can't use it like a Wall, but thanks to Roost, you can handle a hit or two.
A two-pronged offensive rounds things off. Bug Buzz and one of Hidden Power [Ground] or Psychic offers some decent type coverage, and while it is imperfect, at least Tinted Lens gives Venomoth something to fall back on when its coverage fails it.
- Baton Pass
Venomoth can Baton Pass, but sadly, the only thing it can pass (aside from Berries and Substitutes) is Agility. Not that a two-stage Speed boost is something to scoff at, but it doesn't make for the most impressive Baton Passing material. Sleep Powder helps it out in its Baton Passing quest however, letting it put to sleep an opponent either to nullify a threat (such as P/Hazers) or to open up a turn or two to kick off an Agility and a Baton Pass. Bug Buzz rounds things off for some reliable offence.
EVs and Nature:
In almost all cases, you'll want the 252/252 spread with Timid. Even with the Toxic Spikes move-set, you probably want more of an offensive threat than a defensive bulk, unless you fancy focusing on your passable Special Defence stat. The only real exception might be Modest on the Baton Passer, since you can somewhat rely on Agility to help you out against faster foes (but you may wish to consider Timid for those situations when you haven't boosted).
Focus Sash, Energy Ball, Stun Spore.
Focus Sash is pretty nice in Venomoth's hands. It's a fragile Pokémon, and if you're struggling for a leading Pokémon, paired with Sleep Powder and Focus Sash, Venomoth can do a passable job.
Energy Ball adds one more move to its somewhat limited move-pool, although the added Grass type coverage doesn't make much of a difference.
Stun Spore can be tagged on, either to replace or support Sleep Powder in some of the move-sets.
Whilst Venomoth is fragile and easily KOed, it's also kind of tough to take on directly. Its Special Attack isn't exactly world breaking but it's enough, especially backed by Tinted Lens. Stealth Rock is a nice bonus to use against it, since Venomoth's Bug typing lets it down in that regard. It's also pretty susceptible to paralysis. Otherwise, it's kind of down to the situation. It's a weak Pokémon and an average attacker, but a good enough Pokémon that labelling a bunch of Pokémon as perfect counters isn't possible, especially when you factor in Tinted Lens messing around with the idea of resisting its moves.
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