Chatot, The Music Note Pokémon. It can learn and speak human words. If they gather, they all learn the same saying. It keeps rhythm by flicking its tail feathers like a metronome. It imitates human speech.
Being a non-evolving Normal-Flying type, my first instinct was to label Chatot the Farfetch'd of the 4th generation and write it off as novelty; but that would be unfair. Whilst it certainly isn't a competitive beast, Chatot is actually a rather respectable Pokémon. It has glass-cannon defences, but it never claims to be a defensive Pokémon. Its base stats tell you what kind of Pokémon it is. Base 92 Special Attack and Base 91 Speed instantly give it the special sweeper label. So, let's measure it as a special sweeper. Does it have good Speed? As we already saw, yup. Does it have a boosting move? Yup, it has Nasty Plot. Does it have a strong reliable STAB move? Yup, Hyper Voice. Does it have other special attacking options? STAB Chatter and Heat Wave (thank you Platinum) also mean a yup here too. So, as far as the 'decent special sweeper' checklist is concerned, Chatot pretty much ticks every box. Between the gimmick move (Chatter), the lack of an evolution, low base stat total and its small stature, Chatot gives off the impression that it's little more than a novelty Pokémon. Looks can be deceiving though. For something that looks like a cute gimmick, it's quite a usable Pokémon, and deservedly fits into the Underused environment.
Tangled Feet: causes the opponent's attacks to miss 50% of the time whilst Chatot is confused. This lasts until Chatot's confusion ends.
It's a bit of a gimmicky ability. Not too many Pokémon carry Confusion-inducing moves and even if they did, Confusion is an unfavourable status, since it gets in the way of Chatot's sweeping attempts. Nevertheless, it's much more useful than Chatot's other choice, so use this ability.
Keen Eye: prevents Chatot's accuracy from being lowered. This means moves like Kinesis and Sand Attack…which are never used competitively...will fail. The only time you may ever see use for this is blocking the accuracy-lowering effect of the scarcely seen (but usable) Muddy Water, since few usable moves come with an accuracy-drop side-effect.
Encore - Nasty Plot
The strategy is simple, but effective. One of the benefits of being a Normal-Flying type is two immunities, Ground and Ghost. The Ground one is particularly potent because Earthquake graces the move-sets of almost any physically-inclined Pokémon who can carry it. This means Chatot can switch-in unscathed, accurate prediction providing of course. The tricks don't end there though. So long as Chatot is faster, it can Encore the Earthquake, forcing the foe to repeatedly use a useless move (which usually means they'll switch out, which is a free turn as far as Chatot is concerned). Obviously, there are other examples of using this strategy. Switching into Ghost moves, switching into non-offensive moves (like Stealth Rock) and switching into moves of no concern (like weak Bug moves). Either way, the point is that correct use of Encore can easily buy Chatot a free-turn…
…and with that free turn, in steps Nasty Plot. A double boost to your Special Attack should set Chatot well on its way to sweeping. You double your Special Attack stat up to 566 (since you're usually running a Timid nature) and start to pose a respectable threat. Tag on the 1.3x boost from Life Orb and then throw in a respectable STAB move like Hyper Voice and all you need to worry about are the Pokémon that resist it.
Heat Wave deals with (most) Steel types, does respectable damage to Ghosts but doesn't get you passed Rock types. Hidden Power [Ground] scores super-effective hits on Steel and Rock types, but the damage is fairly so-so on Ghosts and completely ignored by levitating/flying Ghosts. [Water] scores a super-effective hit on a lot of Steel types (since there are many with a mixed typing, such as Steelix and Aggron), but you also get additional hits on a few more Rock types (Solrock and Lunatone being the most noted examples).
- Nasty Plot
In this move-set, you're doing the same as above but dropping Encore for some added type coverage. Free turns for Nasty Plot boosting will have to come in the conventional form (switching into Choice-locked Ground or Ghost moves, switching into a Pokémon that'll flee, something that isn't threatening and etc). You lose the ease of switch-forcing from Encore but gain a little extra type coverage to keep those one or two Pokémon from halting your sweep with their resistances.
Hyper Voice is a given, of course. Heat Wave is pretty undisputable as well. The last move-slot is just a Hidden Power dedicated to dealing with Rock types, with the same couple of choices as before. [Water] is very nice for its aforementioned hits on Lunatone and Solrock whilst [Ground] is favourable for the 4x hits on Probopass, Bastiodon and Aggron.
EVs and Nature:
There isn't really any option besides the 252/252 sweeper spread. Timid is pretty much a given too, since a fair few UU Pokémon lie between the 281 and 308 Speed stats (and keep in mind, because your Base Speed stat is an unusual 91, so you do get the jump on Pokémon from the Base Speed 90 tier when they've got a Speed boosting nature too). You can give half a consideration to Modest, but you should really just let Nasty Plot do the talking and cash in on that extra Speed.
Chatter, Ominous Wind, Taunt, Substitute, Choice Specs.
Chatter is a meagre base 60 base power, but at least you gain STAB off of it to make it a respectable attack. Its super-effective coverage is unexceptional however, and with Heat Wave doing more damage to Ghosts, Chatter's pretty much off the usage list.
Ominous Wind gets a strong hit on Ghosts (though only 20 base power more than Heat Wave) but does abysmal damage to Steel types and doesn't concern Rocks. Short of the odd boost you might get off it, it's probably one to ignore, but merits a mention.
Taunt can mess around with some Pokémon who take non-offensive methods to try and stop your sweep (status attacks being the big one), but otherwise, it's an unnecessary waste of a move-slot. Substitute is there for the same reason as well, blocking off statuses (although with the extra benefit of a defensive buffer if the opponent switches/doesn't attack directly).
You can just about cobble together a Choice Specs move-set, but there's no need to. Life Orb and Nasty Plot is where the power is, and you don't have enough base Special Attack to really make good use of Specs like other Pokémon can.
Most Chatot variants will carry Nasty Plot, and properly played, should always be able to get one off. With that in mind, you do want to turn to Pokémon with chunky Special Defence stats and the right resistances.
Cradily resists Hyper Voice and can hit back with STAB Rock moves. Its typing keeps it relatively safe from Chatot's other attacks, and if there's a Sandstorm flowing, its Special Defence goes from good to immense. Probopass is the next in line. It's pretty safe provided there's no Hidden Power to take advantage of its 4x weaknesses, and its 4x Hyper Voice resistance is very helpful.
Mr. Mime gets what's effectively a Hyper Voice immunity from Soundproof and the same applies to all other Soundproof Pokémon (although most leave a bit to be desired as defenders).
Magcargo doesn't blow the world away with its Special Defence, but it resists Chatot's two main moves (Heat Wave and Hyper Voice). Its 4x weaknesses mean it has to be very aware of Hidden Power however. Also, despite resistances, Hyper Voice is still a 2KO after an Orb and Plot boost.
Solrock and Lunatone have a resistance to Hyper Voice and Heat Wave, and additionally can skip out on a Hidden Power [Ground] weakness due to levitate (watch out for Ominous Wind and Hidden Power [Water] however). Solrock is 2KOed by a Plot-boosted Hyper Voice, whilst Lunatone can knock it down to a 3KO with some EV investment. Both will get 2KOed regardless if a Life Orb is equipped (with Solrock taking up to 90% damage from Hyper Voice after an Orb and Plot boost).
Chatot is rather on the straightforward side. I used the phrase bulldozer with Dragonite last week, and the same (kind of) applies here as well. It'll rarely go without a Life Orb and it won't be trying any sweeping without a Nasty Plot, so despite its small stature, it can actually stack a lot of power behind its moves. Be sure to take advantage of the time it spends using Nasty Plot though. It'll almost always try and use Plot on a forced switch, so when you switch, switch wisely. Some of the above may be 2KOed after a Plot-boost, but without Nasty Plot, Chatot doesn't pose much of a threat to them.
As noted in the overview, it is a glass cannon. It's not difficult to bring down, and its Stealth Rock weakness and Life Orb recoil certainly do its abysmal defences no favours. As evident by so many of the 'counters' listed here suffering 2KOs (after a Plot-boost), you might not be able to throw something in its way easily. However, one thing you can do is pick it off with a move like Quick Attack or Sucker Punch, and of course, you can turn to faster Pokémon too. Glass cannon doesn't mean it'll fall to pieces from a feathery tap…but a respectable shove will usually get the job done.
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