Exeggutor, The Coconut Pokémon. It is called "The Walking Jungle." If a head grows too big, it falls off and becomes an Exeggcute. It is called "The Walking Tropical Rainforest." Each of the nuts has a face and will of its own. Originally from the tropics, Exeggutor's heads grow larger from exposure to strong sunlight. If a head drops off, it emits a telepathic call in search of others to form an Exeggcute cluster. Its three heads think independently. However, they are friendly and never appear to squabble. ť
I like Exeggutor, so I'm not moaning that the random number generator has chose it for this week's PotW. But despite me liking it, I don't think Game Freak does. They don't hate it, but they cursed it with the Psychic-Grass type, so there's definitely no love there. The pros of this type come in the form of plentiful resistances: six in fact; but the trade off is of equal size. Fire, Ice, Flying, Ghost and Dark moves are all super-effective, with Bug moves being painfully 4x effective.
Exeggutor is an interesting Pokémon though. Its typing may be undesirable but Game Freak didn't make it a cookie cutter Grass type. Just because it isn't a cookie cutter doesn't mean it doesn't fulfil the stereotypes associated with being a Grass type though. Chlorophyll abuse is its most famous use, and whilst it is a stereotypical Grass type ability, Exeggutor is arguably the best at the job. Backed behind this are some stereotypical Grass moves (such as Sleep Powder and Stun Spore) as well as some un-stereotypical moves (such as Explosion).
Its use has been on the drop with the generation switch. It can cut it in the Standard tier but it does take a bit of work. Funnily enough, it's one of those non-Uber Pokémon who slots into the Uber tier quite well (benefiting from its synergy with Groudon); but it's the Underused tier where it really plies its trade successfully, benefiting from some good raw stats and a fairly kind move-pool.
Chlorophyll: doubles Exeggutor's Speed in sunlight. As a Grass type, this creates some obvious synergy with Sunny Day and becomes central to a lot of Exeggutor's move-sets.
- Sunny Day
This move-set screams out as the obvious choice. With a Base 125 Special Attack stat, sweeping is an obvious possibility, and Sunny Day does the two-fold job of compensating for its poor Speed and making Solarbeam a viable option. In the Underused tier, you're fairly safe using Solarbeam, but in the Standard environment, Grass Knot is arguably preferable to give you some added insurance against Tyranitar or Hippowdon getting the wise idea to switch in as you Solarbeam (essentially ruining it by locking it into a two-turn half-power Solarbeam due to Sandstream).
You can round off the move-set with several options (including many not mentioned here; that's what the other options section is for). Sleep Powder can put an opponent to sleep, nullifying a potential counter. Explosion is of course a last ditch power move to take out a foe. In the Standard tier, it's particularly popular as a means to eliminate Blissey, and the possibility of it poses a psychological threat to any opposing Blissey user. Hidden Power [Fire] benefits from the Sunny Day boost and is particularly useful for a super-effective hit against opposing Grass, Steel and Bug types. Hidden Power [Ice] is primarily favoured for the Standard tier, doing a nice number on Salamence (who has a cosy resistance to Solarbeam and Grass Knot).
Heat Rock is useful for prolonging the length of Sunny Day by three turns, which is worthwhile if you have some team-mates who can benefit from some Sun support. Lum Berry is mostly there to prevent paralysis and sleep statuses from hindering your sweeping attempts and of course, Life Orb is there to add some extra weight to your sweeping attempts.
- Trick Room
The usual means to overcome Exeggutor's awful Speed stat is to boost passed it with Sunny Day and Chlorophyll, but the 4th generation threw in a very usable alternative in the form of Trick Room. Much like Sunny Day, it can serve as useful support to the right team as well as providing some use for Exeggutor itself.
As a primarily supporting move-set, Sleep Powder is a popular choice to add on. Explosion, once again, is there as a last ditch power move (and combines nicely with a “suicide lead” move-set; more on that later). You can round things off with a STAB move. Leaf Storm is quite nice, since you probably won't be sticking around to try and “sweep”, so that lost Special Attack isn't devastating. Grass Knot and Energy Ball provide the more reliable alternatives.
You can make a defining difference between how you use Exeggutor simply with its item choice. Leftovers leads Eggy in more of the supporting direction (and if you do go this way, see the EVs section). With Focus Sash however, Eggy takes on a very different look as a “suicide lead” (much like Sash-SR-Boom Azelf). Equipped with a Sash as the leading Pokémon, it's guaranteed to get off Trick Room successfully (except when faced with Taunt), and on the following turn has the option of landing a Sleep Powder or Explosion (or even its STAB move). Obviously, what the opponent chooses to do with their turn will influence your decision making, but Focus Sash provides Exeggutor the “guarantee” of at least one turn of survival as a lead (less so when it isn't a lead due to the risk of passive damage from Stealth Rock or Spikes).
Eggy in Ubers
- Grass Knot
Thanks to Groudon (either opposing or friendly), Exeggutor gets a real bonus in the Uber environment, getting the boost from Chlorophyll essentially 'free'. Grass Knot is preferable to Solarbeam here for hitting Kyogre (as well as saving it from the possible embarrassment of the aforementioned Tyranitar or Hippowdon situation).
Sleep Powder is there for status support, and of course, disabling an opponent is one of the greatest threats Eggy can pose in the Uber tier. Explosion provides an additional threat of similar proportion (obviously at the expense of Exeggutor's existence). You can round things off with Stun Spore, which in lieu of Sleep Powder (which suffers from the Sleep clause) can cripple most sweepers or Hidden Power [Ice], which is specialised for taking out Rayquaza, with its additional super-effective Dragon coverage allowing Exeggutor to finish off some other weakened opposition.
Life Orb or Lum Berry is a pretty obvious decision. The Life Orb really adds power to its moves, which can help Exeggutor match up to the high defences it'll face from its Uber opposition. Lum Berry is an option that'll allow Exeggutor to face status-carrying opposition with some confidence.
EVs and Nature:
On the sun-based sets, you're pretty much counting on sunlight being up, one way or another. With that in mind, you want Max Speed. That makes for an initially unimpressive 209 Speed Stat, but doubles to a very effective 418 Speed Stat under the sunlight (and more than enough to outrun the majority of opposing threats). If you're carrying Explosion (and you usually are), you'll want to run a Rash nature to keep from hindering it, but you can safely invest the rest of your EVs into your Special Attack.
On the Trick Room set, you free up a huge chunk of EVs by running a -Speed nature and avoiding Speed EVs entirely. If you're going with the “suicide lead”, you can invest those EVs in both Attacking stats (after all, Speed and your defensive stats are unnecessary). If you intend to use Trick Room Eggy in a more supporting manner, you can spread those remaining EVs across its defensive stats and Special Attack.
As an example of a more “supportive-defensive” Eggy spread that'd apply to the aforementioned “supportive” Trick Room Eggy:
EVs: 212 HP / 44 SAtk / 252 SDef
Since its Special Defence is rather lacking, a lot of attention is paid to it. After all, it packs a lot of resistances and some Special Defence can help it to take full advantage of it, with its HP being set just right to fully exploit Leftovers recovery. I would just like to emphasise where I said “example”, since any defensive Eggy spread is completely variable.
Psychic, Hidden Power [Ice / Ground], Seed Bomb, Wood Hammer, Zen Headbutt, Swords Dance, Reflect, Light Screen, Wish, Leech Seed, Protect, Synthesis, Moonlight, Thief.
Psychic gets STAB, but its poor type coverage tends to ruin its value. Super-effective hits on Grass-Poison types is one of its more valuable contributions, and a lot of neutral coverage is also valuable, but move-slots are limited on a Pokémon that has access to so many useful moves.
Hidden Power [Ground] is quite favourable in the Standard environment purely for annihilating Heatran, who is safe against every other direct move Eggy has (although it's still threatened by Sleep Powder, but Sleep Powder can be taken out of the equation by Sleep clause).
Seed Bomb, Wood Hammer and Zen Headbutt represent its physical options. Since Eggy carries Explosion quite often, it's nice to save it from splitting its EVs whilst making the most out of its one-off boom.
Swords Dance is mildly viable in conjuncture with its physical STABs and Explosion, but Eggy suffers from type coverage issues and Speed issues when it tries to go down the physical path.
Reflect and Light Screen provide two useful defensive-supportive moves, Light Screen in particular aids its otherwise woeful Special Defence. Wish is a brilliant supportive move, doubling up as healing move for Exeggutor when paired with Protect. Unfortunately, Wish is only accessible by 3rd generation Eggys who were picked up from those lucrative NYPC events, so it isn't the easiest of moves to get a hold of. Leech Seed provides a poor replacement in that dual healing-supporting role, but has value of its own and also pairs nicely with Protect (although Eggy is too slow to be playing the Sub-Seed game).
Luckily, Wish-Protect isn't Eggy's only source of reliable healing, and if you aren't content to simply boom when Exeggutor's on the brink of fainting, Synthesis and Moonlight provide semi-reliable healing options (both are hindered by low PP and risk major hindrance in unwanted weather conditions, although both flourish in sunlight).
Thief is an option entirely catered to the Uber environment. Items obviously make a huge difference in the tier of titans, and Exeggutor can make a nuisance of itself by stealing the opponents item. It isn't such a bad idea. After all, Eggy's usual Uber routine is to put something to Sleep, maybe nail a Grass Knot and promptly explode; it may as well take an opponent's item with it.
It's worth noting immediately that any opposing Exeggutor has a very high chance of carrying Sleep Powder. Sleep is just something you need to prepare for, and this countering section will go ahead assuming you already have a Pokémon who can absorb the status and activate the Sleep clause, allowing the true counters to get on with their job.
Up against the Sunny-Beamer, a fair few Pokémon can flourish acceptably. For a start, Fire Types are very safe against it with an adequate Special Defence investment. Their typing means they're resistant to both Solarbeam and its usual Hidden Powers (Fire and Ice). Explosion always poses a threat, but the likes of Arcanine, Ninetales, and Torkoal can prove effective walls. Houndoom is especially effective since it can hunt it down with Pursuit. The pain from Stealth Rock is worth noting though, which is what made me stop short of naming Charizard in this list.
Steel types are next up, although they may want to opt out when faced with Hidden Power [Fire], but they get the added bonus of an Explosion resistance. Registeel is probably the most capable of this bunch when considering Underused Pokémon.
Poison Types are also adequate, although they should beware of the occasional use of Psychic. Muk, Swalot and Crobat (in the absence of Hidden Power [Ice]) represent probably the safest options from this batch of Pokémon.
When accounting for the Standard tier, Heatran walks all over Eggy, barring the rare Hidden Power [Ground] or Stun Spore (again, we're pretending the Sleep clause is already active). You can also try to mess about with its Sunlight using Abomasnow, Tyranitar or Hippowdon, although in all cases, the three are at some risk (Hidden Power [Fire] for the snowman and Grass Knot for the Sandstreamers).
Paralysis really ruins Sunny-Beaming almost completely, although the Lum Berry isn't uncommon to try and interfere with this.
When dealing with a Trick Room “suicide lead”, you can only really beat it by using Taunt or switching straight to a slower, Grass and Explosion-resistant Pokémon on the turn it uses Trick Room. Up against a supporting Trick Room move-set, or indeed any other supporting set, Taunt is still a massive aid but by diverting its attentions away from type coverage, Eggy becomes fairly easy to counter, with the general rule being “don't be weak to Grass moves and don't let it explode at an undesirable time.”
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