Dunsparce

Dunsparce, The Land Snake Pokémon. When spotted, this Pokémon escapes backward by furiously boring into the ground with its tail. If spotted, it escapes by burrowing with its tail. It can float just slightly using its wings. It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there.This Pokémon is known to make its nest in complex shapes deep under the ground. It can fly just a little. ť

Overview

The term “annoyer” is occasionally thrown around to describe a Pokémon. If any Pokémon epitomises the meaning of “annoying”, it would be Dunsparce. Para-flinch is an awful combination to be on the wrong end of, and aside from Togekiss (who is safely tucked away in the OU environment), no other Pokémon can really pull it off like Dunsparce does. Dunsparce may not have the stats to rip an opponent in two with a single strike, but it might make you rip your hair out.

Poor stats (barring HP) relegate Dunsparce to the Underused tier without any questions. It'd even make a comfortable fit in the Never-used tier with few eyebrows raised. If it wasn't for Serene Grace it would simply slip through the cracks, but due to Serene Grace, it can prove to be an effective “gimmick” Pokémon.

Ability

Serene Grace: doubles the chance of secondary effects. Headbutt flinches 60% of the time, Ice Beam freezes 20% of the time, Charge Beam boosts Special Attack 100% of the time and so on. It's a great ability and as noted before, keeps Dunsparce from slipping through the cracks.

Move Sets

Para-Flinch - Body Slam / Thunder Wave / Glare
- Headbutt
- Bite
- Rock Slide / Earthquake
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

This is the move-set you'll expect to see when Dunsparce shows its face. You have three ways to paralyse your opponent. Body Slam gets STAB and a 60% chance at paralysis. Thunder Wave is guaranteed paralysis but you'll get no change out of Ground types. Glare will be able to paralyse Ground types, but its shaky accuracy is slightly unfavourable.

Once you've got an opponent paralysed they should: A) be slower than Dunsparce and B) have a 25% chance to be fully paralysed. In come: Headbutt (for STAB), Bite (for Ghosts) and Rock Slide (for funzies), all benefiting from 60% flinch chances. Earthquake is an option you could slip in to clear out Steel and Rock types if you want to give yourself some added type coverage, but otherwise, there's little need to deviate from this general move-set.

EVs and Nature:

Obviously maxing out your core Attacking stat is the obvious priority. After that, you'll be playing about with a defensive spread, since paralysis should be filling in for Speed. Feel free to play about with a more efficient defensive EV spread if you like, but for pure simplicity, max HP and a dinky point in your defensive stat of choice keeps things easy.

Other Options

Charge Beam, Thunder, Ice Beam, Flamethrower, Shadow Ball, Ancient Power, Calm Mind, Roost, Stealth Rock, Zen Headbutt.

You don't have to play the para-flinch game with Dunsparce if you don't want to. Its ability makes a lot of other moves much more tantalising, although at the same time its below average stats removes a lot of the gloss.

Charge Beam is an 100% chance of a Special Attack boost, so despite its low base power it can be a useful move to go along with any special attacking move-set. Although Thunderbolt is more accurate, Thunder's 60% chance of paralysis makes it very difficult to pass up, and of course, where there's an Electric move, Ice Beam follows behind for the “Bolt-Beam” coverage, as well as a rather neat 20% freezing chance. Flamethrower and Shadow Ball round out its strong special attacking moves, with AncientPower being a fairly tasty option for that 20% chance of an all-round stat boost. If you don't fancy investing your hopes in repeated Charge Beams, you can go with Calm Mind for a Special Attack and Special Defence boost.

Roost is 50% recovery at no cost (since you don't have a Flying type to 'drop'). Since para-flinch can be a bit of an attrition war, you might want to consider it (if several turns of 'free' Leftover recovery isn't satisfactory enough), and of course, any non-para-flinch set can benefit from it too.

Stealth Rock is a great move, which is my only reason for mentioning it. It doesn't really gel with Dunsparce's design.

Zen Headbutt is another flinching move (albeit a less impressive 40%), but the Psychic type coverage is pretty “meh”. Super-effective hits on Poison and Fighting types is nice but nothing to sing home about.

Countering Dunsparce

Being immune to paralysis is a good way to keep yourself away from the clutches of para-flinch. Not only will you avoid that irritating 25% chance of full paralysis, but also, you'll probably be faster than Dunsparce and therefore deprive it of its chance to flinch. Hitmonlee and Persian represent the “Limber” Pokémon who are immune to paralysis. Since Thunder Wave is its favoured source of paralysis, Ground types are also decent alternatives. “Bulky” isn't really a requirement, just “durable”. Quagsire, Whiscash, Sandslash and Golem should work out fine. Whilst it still puts you at risk of being paralysed, Inner Focus prevents flinching, so you can just about throw Glalie and Girafarig in there as well.

As for actually taking out Dunsparce, you aren't matched with a Pokémon that screams survivability. Base 100 HP looks impressive but Base 70 Defence and Base 65 Special Defence are quite unimpressive, so any solid attacker should be able to land a good strong hit against it. It also doesn't pose the greatest of offensive threats either, so provided you aren't carrying weaknesses (or are one of those Pokémon who'd be considered “fragile”), you should be able to withstand its offences; of course, this applies more-so to countering the move-sets that don't revolve around para-flinching, since para-flinch tends to succeed in battles of attrition.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen/Colosseum

Colosseum/XD

Snagged from Rider Sosh in Pyrite Cave (Col.) Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen/Colosseum (XD)

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Three Isle Port

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

Route 208 Swarm

Animé Appearences

Dunsparce has had a couple of Animé Appearences. First, A whole school population had captured some. After that, one was used in a contest.

Episode 193: The Dunsparce Deception
Episode 469: Following A Maiden Voyage
Episode 529: Team Shocker

 
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