Kangaskhan, The Parent Pokémon. It raises its offspring in its belly pouch. It lets the baby out to play only when it feels safe. If you come across a young Kangaskhan playing by itself, never try to catch it. The baby's parent is sure to be in the area, and it will become violently enraged. The infant rarely ventures out of its mother's protective pouch until it is three years old.
Kangaskan is a pretty decent Pokémon. Aside from its Special Attack, all of its stats are average or above, and its move-pool is fairly diverse. It hasn't changed much with the generation shift. Scrappy is the main addition to its arsenal, giving it the ability to hit Ghosts with its STABed returns (and also saving it a move-slot that may have been spend on Crunch). The elemental punches from Emerald have also become viable options for any Kangaskhan that can obtain them.
Although a solid Pokémon, it'll probably spend much of its time in the Underused environment. Although it can viably compete in the Standard environment, it doesn't quite match up to other normal types (such as Snorlax, Miltank and Lickilicky). However, in the Underused environment it can prove to be quite a threat.
Early Bird: halves the duration of the Sleep status. For the most part, the only reason to use this ability is to combine it with Rest, cutting down the two-turn Sleep to a one-turn Sleep.
Scrappy: allows Kangaskan's Normal and Fighting attacks to hit Ghost types. This is very useful, since it spares Kangaskhan a move-slot that may have been spent on Crunch or Shadow Claw. It should be noted that Scrappy is incompatible with moves from the 3rd generation, since Scrappy is a new Ability.
Choice Band is a simple and effective way to go with Kangaskhan. Return deals the bulk of Kangaskhan's damage whilst Earthquake keeps Steel and Rock types at bay. Sucker Punch can catch faster but weakened opponents off-guard. Focus Punch gains a very strong hit when used with appropriate prediction, whilst Hammer Arm supplies a more reliable Fighting move. Fake Out is a decent option for a “risk-free” hit. With STAB and Choice Band boosting it, it can cause very respectable damage.
Early Bird Rest-Talk
- Return / Double-Edge
Although it doesn't quite compare to Recover, one turn Rests provide pretty reliable recovery, and Kangaskhan's decent defensive stats support it quite nicely.
Return provides the reliable STAB option, but with Kangaskhan being able to recover its HP, Double-Edge becomes an option for its significant power boost. Earthquake keeps Rock and Steel types at bay and hits some Ghosts for decent damage.
Despite Rest only lasting one turn, Sleep Talk is still very beneficial. Although there's a 33% chance of it picking Rest (and doing nothing), it's better to spend the turn potentially doing something than have Kangaskhan sit there and do nothing.
With Rest-Talk providing recovery, Life Orb is a decent option to give its offences a further boost, but Leftovers will give a notable increase to its survivability.
Kangaskhan is able to reach 404 HP, allowing it to produce very bulky 101 HP Substitutes (which are capable of absorbing two Seismic Tosses). Behind these Subs, it can fire off Focus Punches without fear of flinching. Sucker Punch can pick off weakened opponents whilst Return provides it with another strong attack.
EVs and Nature:
Sweeper sets may as well stick with the straightforward 252/252 EV spread. Jolly is definitely worth a look since it bounces Kangaskan above Base Speed 100 Pokémon. More defensive sets will want to work on their HP instead of their Speed. Any move-set using Substitute will want at least 404 HP to make 101 HP Subs.
Sing, Crush Claw, Avalanche, Ice Punch, Thunderpunch, Fire Punch, Counter, Endure, Reversal, Endeavour, Crunch, Shadow Claw, Choice Scarf.
Sing is available to Kangaskhan through XD. Sing is a pretty good move, although it's inaccurate its ability to shut-down a troublesome opponent is very valuable. It's worth nothing that it's incompatible with Scrappy however.
Crush Claw is an option to use in place of Return. Although there's a significant drop in power, it has a 50% chance of dropping the opponent's defence stat. This can help bring them into KO range for one of Kangaskhan's other attacks and discourages opponents from trying to stall against it with recovery moves.
Avalanche is a decent offensive option if its Kangaskhan gets hit first. There's a fair few flying types to hit with it and in the Standard environment, there's also the likes of Salamence and Garchomp.
The elemental punches from Emerald are all viable options, although their use is catered more for the Standard environment and less for the Underused environment. Ice Punch is handy for the aforementioned Salamence and Garchomp whilst Thunderpunch is good for Gyarados. Fire Punch is useful against Skarmory and Bronzing (who are immune to Earthquake and resist its STAB attacks). It should be noted that they are incompatible with Scrappy.
Counter is a pretty solid option on Kangaskhan. Its HP is fairly large and it has a decent Defence stat. It's possible to combine this with a Berry for a quick KO and then a stat boost or possible to use it with Endeavour or Reversal.
Endure-Reversal is a usable option on Kangaskhan, but lack of STAB and stat-boosting attacks makes Reversal a less attractive choice.
Kangaskhan can take advantage of Endeavour in certain situations. Although it's not the most effective user of the move, it can be effective in the right hands.
Crunch and Shadow Claw give it two reliable options to hit Ghosts with when Scrappy isn't in use. Crunch has a bit more power but Shadow Claw has the high critical-hit ratio.
Choice Scarf is an option instead of Choice Band. Choice Scarf notches it just above the majority of the largest Underused threats, and this Speed edge can give it a significant advantage.
It's a pretty strong Pokémon, but not frighteningly powerful. For the most part you'll be relying on Rock or Steel types, since they resist its STAB moves. Solrock (and to a lesser extent Lunatone) aren't too bad since they resist Return and are immune to Earthquake. Mawile can come in against Return and leave it with an Intimidate stat drop, but it'll want to avoid Earthquake or Focus Punch. Scizor resists Return and doesn't fare too poorly against Focus Punch or Earthquake.
Aside from Resting variants, Kangaskhan will be shut-down by Will-o-Wisp or Thunder Wave. Without Scrappy, Drifblim, Rotom and Froslass will cause it a lot of problems.
Looking towards the Standard environment, similar equivalents exist. Skarmory, Forretress, Rhyperior, Steelix and several others will shut it down completely.
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