Absol, The Disaster Pokémon. Every time Absol appears before people, it is followed by a disaster such as an earthquake or a tidal wave. As a result, it came to be known as the disaster Pokémon. Absol has the ability to foretell the coming of natural disasters. It lives in a harsh, rugged mountain environment. This Pokémon very rarely ventures down from the mountains. It is a long-lived Pokémon that has a life-span of 100 years. It appears when it senses an impending natural disaster. As a result, it was mistaken as a doom-bringer.ť
The generation shift did Absol a great deal of favours. In the 3rd generation, Absol didn't have a physical STAB, a good priority move to make up for its mediocre Speed or all that much of a move-pool. In stepped Sucker Punch to deal with the first two problems, whilst moves like Superpower, Psycho Cut and Stone Edge solve the third problem. Absol always had a 130 Attack Base Stat and Swords Dance, and now it can really put that to use. Don't be misled by my praise, because just like last generation, Absol is still a Pokémon anchored to the Underused tier. The difference is that in this generation, it's a very good Underused Pokémon.
Super Luck: is another bonus that came along in the generation shift. All moves get raised by one critical-hit stage. An in-depth guide to critical-hit stages is available here, but basically, you're going to get critical-hits a lot more often. In particular, Absol is blessed with several worthwhile high critical-hit ratio moves (Night Slash, Psycho Cut and Stone Edge), so it can really abuse its much increased odds of a critical-hit.
Pressure: causes the opponent to lose 1 extra PP for each attack it lands. It simply pales in comparison to Super Luck, since Pressure is a defensive-minded ability and Absol is an attack-minded Pokémon. It's not a useless ability, but stick with Super Luck.
- Swords Dance
394 Attack + Swords Dance + a STAB priority move = Let the fun begin. To be more accurate, it's 394 Attack, Swords Dance and Life Orb. You don't need a calculator to work out that that's a lot of power stacked together. Unfortunately, you are running about with a rather mediocre Speed stat (249 without Jolly), but Sucker Punch helps you overcome this weakness with style. A great deal of prediction is warranted here (since a slip-up could see Absol on the wrong end of a Will-o-Wisp), but get it right, and not much should be stopping you.
When you're dealing with slower opponents, the rest of the move-pool can stand in the limelight. Superpower may lower your Attack and Defence stats with each use, but it's worth it for the Fighting type coverage it provides as well as its marvellous 120 Base Power. Also, the Dark-Fighting combination is only resisted by Heracross, someone who is firmly excluded from the Underused environment.
You can round off the move-set with one of two moves. Psycho Cut is a Psychic attack, which is very nice for hitting Fighting types (who are both resistant to Dark moves and also able to throw a hitch in your plans with either Choice Scarf or Mach Punch). Night Slash gives you a reliable STAB that can be used consistently in a row, without having to worry about your opponent going the non-offensive route. In both cases, both moves have an innate high critical-hit ratio, which teams up nicely with Super Luck.
- Night Slash
Speed is less of a problem here, but you are relying on your (rather impressive) Base Attack to do much of the heavy lifting. With the Choice Scarf boost, you can comfortably forego Sucker Punch for Night Slash, which provides the STAB as well as a tantalising synergy with Super Luck. You'll still want to be carrying Superpower for its coverage, and that stat-drop is less of an issue when you're switching about as often as you will be with the Choice-lock in effect. Psycho Cut is there for its Fighting coverage, as well as its wonderful synergy with Super Luck. Pursuit is available for its hunting effect. If your opponent catches onto the Scarf, they may be more likely to make the switch. It's not quite as prediction-reliant as Sucker Punch, but to get the full benefit out of it, you'll need to have fairly sharp prediction.
EVs and Nature:
You're not varying much from Adamant 252/252. You can give Jolly a bit of consideration on the first move-set, since a little extra Speed doesn't hurt. You skip from 249 to 273, and in the Underused environment a fair few Pokémon can or do linger in that area, so that can help take some of the reliance off of Sucker Punch.
Choice Band, Scope Lens/Razor Claw, Focus Sash (+ Counter), Baton Pass, Mean Look, Calm Mind, Taunt, Perish Song, Thunder Wave, Will-o-Wisp, Toxic, Magic Coat.
I'm doing the items first, rather than last. Choice Band + Sucker Punch is a very effective combination, both in the Underused tier but especially in the higher tiers. You get a flat 1.5x Attack boost without having to take the time to stat-boost, meaning you can smack your opponent with a Sucker Punch straight off the bat (or at the very least threaten to). You can throw in Pursuit as well just to add an extra element of prediction, in case the opponent thinks switching is a good way to get you Choice-locked into an ineffective Sucker Punching routine.
Scope Lens and Razor Claw both have the same effect. They raise your critical-hit stage by one stage, so if you want to go the unreliable but potentially effective route of critical-hit abuse, you can mix high critical-hit ratio moves with Super Luck and Scope Lens/Razor claw for a stage four (33.3%) chance of scoring a CH with each attack.
Focus Sash is more-oriented to the higher tiers, or for trying to use Absol as a lead. Your weak defences will survive at least one hit. You can effectively abuse the Counter-Sash strategy, or rely on Focus Sash to let you kick off a Swords Dance, and other alternatives generally based around the idea of that one turn being game-changing. Remember, once you hit 1 HP, you can be picked off by Hail or Sandstorm damage, and if you take so much as a speck of damage (such as passive damage from Stealth Rock), Focus Sash will be rendered useless.
Absol has Baton Pass access and a surprisingly large set of passing options to go with it. Swords Dance is an obvious one, and Baton Pass could tag onto the main move-set quite comfortably for a hybrid sweeper-passer. It can also Baton Pass Mean Look and Calm Mind.
Taunt can help out with the aforementioned Baton Pass (to prevent P/Hazing). On the usual move-sets it can stop attempts to status Absol and so forth, but it's a bit of a risk to be using it on such a fragile Pokémon (especially one that needs to rely on a lot of prediction with Sucker Punch - adding Taunt in adds more prediction-reliance).
Perish Song can mix with Mean Look for a Perish-Trapper move-set. It isn't the best way to utilise Absol's skills, but it's something unconventional at its disposal.
Absol gets a surprisingly strong supporting move-pool. It has three status options: Thunder Wave for paralyse, Will-o-Wisp for Burn and Toxic for Poison. You also have Magic Coat, which is a highly situational bundle of fun, bouncing back any status attempts, Leech Seed, stat-dropping moves and a handful of others.
It's hard to name Pokémon who aren't severely damaged by Absol, particularly after a Swords Dance. Mach Punch Hitmontop with the aid of Intimidate is a safe-“ish” option. You still need to worry about being hit by a Psycho Cut switching in, and even with a resistance, Life Orb, Dance and STAB make that Sucker Punch hurt. Other Fighting types with Mach Punch can pose the same kind of worry, but they don't have the bonus of Intimidate (and in some cases, good defensive stats). Dark types also pack a Sucker Punch resistance and if they're faster, can pose a real threat. Drapion's the best off since it doesn't carry a Fighting weakness, but Superpower still stings a lot.
As I said, it's really hard to name counters here. Absol has the tools at its disposal to hurt almost everything in its path, and Sucker Punch just adds a sting in the tail when even your faster Pokémon aren't assured to strike first (if you have any means to play prediction games, such as Substitute, they'll be a big helper). Its weaknesses lie in poor defences and relatively low Speed (again, Sucker Punch throws a wrench in that though), which are what you'll have to exploit as best as possible. Try not to give it an easy opening, since like many stat-boosters, it's the type that can run away with the battle if given the chance.
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