Bellossom, The Flower Pokémon. Bellossom gather at times and appear to dance. They say that the dance is a ritual to summon the sun. Plentiful in the tropics. When it dances, its petals rub together and make a pleasant ringing sound. When Bellossom get exposed to plenty of sunlight, the leaves ringing its body begin to spin around. This Pokémon's dancing is renowned in southern lands. A Bellossom grows flowers more beautifully if it evolves from a smelly Gloom - the stinkier the better. At night, this Pokémon closes its petals and goes to sleep. Its flower petals deepen in color through exposure to sunlight. When cloudy weather persists, it does a dance that is thought to be a ritual for summoning the sun. When the heavy rainfall season ends, it is drawn out by warm sunlight to dance in the open.
Something of a pure Grass counterpart to Vileplume, Bellossom has failed to truly assert itself in the competitive environment. All of its stats are acceptable (barring its Speed, which can be compensated for with Chlorophyll), and its move-pool is pretty decent too, having access to many of the 'cliché' Grass moves, such as Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, Leaf Storm and Synthesis. It just lacks any extra punch to truly establish itself as a unique choice.
The main reason to choose Bellossom over its Chlorophyll brethren is the fact that it is a pure-Grass type. Unlike Vileplume and Victreebel, it doesn't have a Poison type, unlike Tropius and Jumpluff it doesn't have a Flying type, and unlike Shiftry it doesn't have a Dark type. Lacking an additional type can be seen as a disadvantage. It robs Bellossom of an additional STAB and removes some potentially useful resistances, but at the same time spares it some additional weaknesses. Regardless of its positive and negative side-effects, it does separate it from other UU Chlorophyll users (barring Sunflora, who generally has inferior stats), which is enough to give it consideration.
Chlorophyll: doubles Bellossom's Speed in sunlight. Obviously, the synergy between this, Sunny Day and Solarbeam is one of the main selling points of Bellossom (as well as other Chlorophyll users).
Sunny Day sets are the most obvious application of Bellossom's sweeping capabilities. Sunny Day has a three-fold effect, activating Chlorophyll, cutting out Solarbeam's charge-up turn and boosting Hidden Power [Fire]'s power. Sleep Powder's main function is to shut-down opponents Bellossom simply can't defeat, although it also serves as team support and can open up an opportunity to use Sunny Day.
Bellossom's item choice is relatively varied. Leftovers can obviously supply a consistent source of HP recovery, whilst Heat Rock will extend the duration of Sunny Day by three turns. Lum Berry is also a popular choice, since paralysis will severely hinder any sweeping attempts. Life Orb, as well as other sweeper-orientated items (such as Miracle Seed) are also available to add an extra punch to its attacks.
Any attempt to use this move-set outside of the UU environment should exercise a great deal of caution, since the bane of Sunny-Beam move-sets are weather changers, who, whilst absent in the UU environment, are a common threat in higher tiers. The most prominent threat they present is the ability to switch-in just before the use of Solarbeam, forcing it to enter a charge-up turn (which effectively 'traps' the user in play, since the user cannot switch until Solarbeam has been used). When used in an environment that accommodates Pokémon with weather changing abilities, Solarbeam can be dropped in favour of Grass Knot or Leaf Storm, which hits four of the five fully evolved weather changers for super-effective damage (Tyranitar, Hippowdon, Groudon and Kyogre). It's worth noting that the other full evolved weather changer, Abomasnow, is 4x weak to Hidden Power [Fire], and should therefore be manageable.
- Energy Ball / Leaf Storm
Much like many Grass types, Bellossom has access to Sleep Powder and Stun Spore, presenting the opportunity to use the double-status strategy. Traditionally, this would entail the use of Sleep Powder and then the immediate use of Stun Spore on the forthcoming switch. Any succeeding switches would be handled in a similar manner, with the over-all purpose of the move-set to get as much of the opponent's team under the effects of a status.
With Synthesis, Bellossom can double as something of a defensive Pokémon. Resistances to Ground, Water and Electric moves are useful to have, although Bellossom cannot be expected to act as the primary defensive wall, since it lacks the necessary raw stats and carries quite a few common weaknesses, most notably Ice, Fire and Flying.
Energy Ball gives Bellossom a consistent source of STAB damage, although it can easily be replaced with a different Grass move. Leaf Storm is arguably the most obvious replacement. Since this move-set will not be needing to dish out consistent damage often, the initial burst of raw power can be of more value.
- Leaf Storm
An incredibly shallow offensive move-pool makes Choice Specs a questionable choice for Bellossom. The main attraction is the power of STAB, Specs-boosted Leaf Storms. The rest of the move-set generally consists of a supporting cast of filler moves.
Hidden Power is there to handle Grass-resistant opponents. Fire is preferable for Grass, Bug and Steel types, whilst Ice is preferable for Grass, Dragon and Flying types.
Sludge Bomb is Bellossom's strongest non-Grass special move, although Poison has poor type coverage. It could be dropped in favour of Energy Ball, to provide consistent damage, as opposed to the bursts of damage provided by Leaf Storm.
Sleep Powder, whilst not benefiting from the Choice Specs boost, will at least provide a means to shutdown an opponent, and as far as fillers are concerned, it's a pretty decent choice.
EVs and Nature:
In the case of the Sunny Day move-set, Bellossom can comfortably run max Special Attack and max Speed. With a neutral nature and max EVs and IVs, Bellossom's Speed caps out at a suitable 199. Doubled with the effects of Chlorophyll, and within the UU environment, it'll outrun almost all threats (the main exceptions are Electrode, other Chlorophyll users and some Choice Scarf users).
The more defensive Double Status move-set can focus a significant amount of EV focus on its HP and Special Defence. Its Defence is of some value as well, since Bellossom possesses some useful physical resistances (such as Earthquake), although its special resistances are much more valuable.
In the case of the Choice Specs move-set, max Special Attack is obviously a priority. Without a Chlorophyll boost, its Speed is rather invaluable, since even maxed it won't be outrunning too many opponents. As a result, the excess EVs can be simply dumped into its HP or Special Defence.
Grass Knot, Giga Drain, Charm, Toxic, Safeguard, Lucky Chant, Moonlight, Swords Dance, Razor Leaf, Drain Punch, Return, Leech Seed.
Whilst Energy Ball and Leaf Storm form the core of its STAB offence, it has some alternatives. Grass Knot is obviously more useful than Energy Ball against heavier opponents. In particular, in the higher tiers, heavy Pokémon are much more frequently encountered. In the UU environment, encountering them is still relatively common, but not as frequent, and at times, hitting for rather meek damage off of your core attack can be quite crippling. Giga Drain has rather weak base power for a core move, but the fact that it drains back HP to the user makes it rather valuable, especially when it can score a lot of damage from a super-effective hit.
Charm can force some switches and allows Bellossom to stand-up to a lot of physical attackers.
Toxic is another status option it has access to. Rather than 'crippling' an opponent like Stun Spore would, it'll slowly drain away HP. Combined with other sources of passive damage, it can quickly sap at its opponent's HP, but Stun Spore is generally favoured for its ability to immediately hinder sweeping threats.
Safeguard is a supporting move it has access to. It keeps statuses away for five turns, which is useful, but whether it's enough to justify the use of a move-slot is questionable. Lucky Chant keeps critical-hits away for five turns. With critical-hits being so unpredictable, it could very well be entirely useless for all five turns. Much like Safeguard, although to a greater extent, whether its worthy of a move-slot is questionable.
Moonlight does the same job as Synthesis. It's simply an alternative.
Swords Dance opens up a physical route, although lacking any strong physical STAB to work with makes it unattractive. Razor Leaf is its best Grass STAB, and its weak base power is only saved by a high critical-hit ratio. Aside from that, the other physical moves it has to work with are Drain Punch and Return. Not exactly a sparkling set of choices..
Leech Seed is a 3rd generation promotion move, akin to Wish Salamence. You won't see too many Bellossom's running around with this move as a result, but it is a good move. Using the Sub-Seed strategy, as most Leech Seed Grass types do, is its most obvious application, although other variations can be put together.
Due to having a rather shallow offensive move-pool, beating Bellossom one-on-one isn't the toughest task. However, as with all Pokémon who have access to status moves, Bellossom always presents the threat of landing a crippling status on its counters. Sleep Powder is the most problematic of these status attacks, but Stun Spore is also a pain.
Since the bulk of Bellossom's offence consists of a Grass move supported by Hidden Power, finding Pokémon who can wall it is a simple task. It's really just a matter of finding Grass resisters who aren't weak to its Hidden Power of choice. In the absence of Hidden Power [Ice], Altaria and Xatu can deal with Bellossom (and both have useful abilities to deal with the threat of statuses, Natural Cure and Synchronize respectively). In the absence of Hidden Power [Fire], Scizor and Wormadam [Steel] can deal with it. Muk, Swalot, Ninetales and Flareon can deal with most of its offensive combinations, barring the use of an obscure Hidden Power. The main problem for these counters is the aforementioned use of status moves. In particular, it'll be important to activate the sleep clause before trying to take it on (after all, you wouldn't want your best counter to be incapacitated by sleep).
Although it presents a threat from statuses, Bellossom itself is threatened by statuses as well. Paralysis really hinders the offensive capabilities of Sunny Day move-sets whilst Toxic will quickly sap away at the HP of more defensive variants.
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