Arceus

Arceus, The Alpha Pokémon. It is described in mythology as the Pokémon that shaped the universe with its 1,000 arms. It is told in mythology that this Pokémon was born before the universe even existed. It is said to have emerged from an egg in a place where there was nothing, then shaped the world. ť

Overview

Well...we've had the creators of continents and oceans, time and space, the implied predecessor to all Pokémon (and its superior clone) and now we have the creator of it all itself, Arceus. One questions how a Pokémon supposedly responsible of what is essentially the role of “God” can be crammed into a Poké Ball and commanded by a ten year-old, but I digress, it does make for a very good Pokémon (although I'll be interested to see how GameFreak intend to outdo themselves in the Fifth Generation).

Arceus is designed to be mister versatile. Jack of all trades and King of them all too. It can defend, attack, sweep, support, be a Ghost, be a Dragon, be a Fire and so forth. There is very little Arceus can't do, and it can pretty much comfortably fit into any team. It goes without saying that it's an Uber, and slots nicely into that tier, bringing with it a lot of diversity that didn't previously exist in that environment.

Ability

Multitype: changes Arceus's type depending on what Plate it's holding. Obviously, this ability is central to most of Arceus's move-sets; although there are a few that retain Arceus's Normal type, and on those, this ability is useless.

Move Sets

ExtremeSpeed + Swords Dance

- Swords Dance
- ExtremeSpeed
- Earthquake
- Shadow Claw
Item Attached: Silk Scarf / Life Orb
Ability: Multitype
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Atk / 16 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Abusing ExtremeSpeed is one of the best excuses to maintain Arceus's Normal type. An 80 Base Power STAB move that always strikes first and can be boosted by Swords Dance makes for a very potent sweeping weapon. A single Swords Danced Extreme Speed makes for an easy OHKO on Darkrai and most variants of Palkia, Ho-oh, Rayquaza, Mewtwo and the Lati twins. It can also OHKO an offensively built Kyogre and scores around 70-85% damage on an offensively built Groudon. Earthquake is there to rip apart Dialga and Metagross whilst Shadow Claw provides some sound damage against Giratina (although it only manages an assisted 2KO with Stealth Rock or Life Orb even after a Swords Dance) and Lugia (who is in 2KO range).

Silk Scarf is enough to edge Extreme Speed into the OHKO range on some of the aforementioned Pokémon (where it would've fell short without it), and since it doesn't come with any negative side-effects, it's an easy pick. Life Orb gives a larger boost than Silk Scarf and effects all of Arceus's moves (and as noted earlier, it'll edge Giratina into the “guaranteed” 2KO range), but the downside is lost HP with every attack (and as I usually note, this can all add up).

Swords Dance Ghost Sweeper

- Swords Dance
- Shadow Claw
- Brick Break
- Substitute / Recover
Item Attached: Spooky Plate
Ability: Multitype
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 80 HP / 252 Atk / 176 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)

The other major Swords Dance sweeping alternative is to use Multitype and the Spooky Plate to shift Arceus over to the Ghost type. With a Base 120 Speed stat, sweeping is still a very accessible proposition even without a priority move, and a STAB-boosted Shadow Claw provides a very effective weapon in an environment littered with Ghost-weak Pokémon. Brick Break pairs well with Shadow Claw, providing some needed coverage over Dialga, Blissey and Darkrai. Fighting and Ghost makes for an un-resisted attacking combination, although Brick Break does leave a lot to be desired when it isn't catching a super-effective hit.

A supportive move can round off the move-set. Substitute gives some added insurance against status-users. Paralysis or Burn can easily ruin this move-set, so Substitute can keep Thunder Waves (or Thunders) and Will-o-Wisps at bay; and if you time it right (using it on the same turn your opponent tries to land a status), you can also get a free turn out of it. Arceus has pretty tough Substitutes as well, so it's not inconceivable for a Substitute to survive more than a single attack when faced with some of the Uber tier's weaker attackers. Recover provides Arceus with some lasting power; which pairs nicely with its strong defensive stats and its need to kick off a Swords Dance; although Ghost is a fairly lacklustre type to be stuck with as a defensive Pokémon.

Calm Mind Sweeper

- Calm Mind
- Judgement
- Ice Beam
- Recover
Item Attached: Spooky / Dread Plate
Ability: Multitype
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 80 HP / 176 Spd / 252 SAtk
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)

Calm Mind provides Arceus with its special alternative for stat-boost sweeping. Whilst it is a little slower to get going when compared to Swords Dance, you do get the benefit of boosted Special Defence in the process, making life a bit easier when faced with other special attackers.

Arceus's signature Judgement makes its first appearance on this move-set. In this case, it's either a Dark or Ghost move, which comes with essentially the same type coverage (most importantly; super-effective hits on Psychic types). The choice of Plate is more of a defensive-minded decision. Spooky Plate gives Arceus several useful immunities but exposes it to Ghost and Dark weaknesses. Dread Plate comes with Ghost and Dark resistances, although you do expose yourself to a Fighting weakness and take neutral hits from Normal Attacks.

Ice Beam backs up Judgement. Whilst the type coverage is imperfect, it's selected for its super-effective hits against the other dominant type in the Uber environment (Dragon).

Recover rounds things off. Whilst Substitute has its charms, the boosting process is a bit slower on this move-set when compared to its physical alternative; and whilst it isn't built as a defensive Pokémon; Calm Mind Arceus isn't without its defensive capabilities and when the opportunity arises, it may as well exploit them.

Mono-Attack + Calm Mind

- Calm Mind
- Judgement
- Recover
- Substitute
Item Attached: Dread / Draco Plate
Ability: Multitype
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Def / 16 Spd
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)

As noted, Arceus is more than capable of performing as a defensive Pokémon. Whilst it sacrifices a lot of sweeping potential by running with just a single attacking move, the mix of Substitute (blocking statuses, especially Toxic), Recover and Calm Mind should make it fairly impenetrable when faced with special attackers.

Judgement performs as your sole attack, and has a fair amount of weight on which Plate you select. Dread Plate turns you into a Dark type (which also makes Dark Pulse a fair alternative, for its increased PP). Defensively, the major benefit is a Ghost and Dark resistance. Offensively, you've got super-effective hits on Psychic types and a fair bit of neutral type coverage. Draco Plate turns you into a Dragon type. The defensive downside of this is that the Uber environment is designed to take out Dragon types, so you have plenty of Ice and Dragon moves to be on the wrong end of. The offensive upside is that you get super-effective hits on other Dragons and only one type resists it.

Mono-Attack + Swords Dance

- Swords Dance
- Dragon Claw
- Substitute
- Recover
Item Attached: Draco Plate
Ability: Multitype
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 80 HP / 252 Atk / 176 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)

Arceus really can get by in the Uber tier with just one attack. Through sheer force of Swords Dance power, STAB Dragon Claw can cause mountains of damage; and of course, the only Pokémon that resist it are Steel types (and even then, Dialga doesn't, leaving resistances to the non-Uber Steel types such as Heatran and Forretress). Swords Dancing is made much easier when Arceus can hide behind a Substitute (which protects it from statuses) and with the safety of Recover easing the process too.

EVs and Nature:

Extreme Speed + Swords Dance
Speed EVs are pretty unnecessary on this move-set, since Extreme Speed is hitting most Pokémon (and you'll naturally outrun Giratina and Dialga when it turns to Shadow Claw and Earthquake anyway). There are times however when you'll want to conserve Extreme Speed PP, and this is where Speed EVs can pay off. A very insignificant investment of 16 Speed EVs will outrun Groudon and Kyogre provided they aren't Timid/Jolly. A much larger investment of 124 Speed EVs will make up the difference if they have a +Speed nature (getting you to 307 Speed), which is also the kind of area that Lugia and the Lati twins will linger in, if you want to make a mild further investment to get passed them.

Swords Dance Ghost Sweeper
When it comes to Speed, you want to hit the 352 mark (outrunning Timid Lati@s). That's Jolly + 176 Speed EVs. After that you can max out Attack and dump the remaining EVs in HP.

Calm Mind Sweeper
This is pretty much the same as above, only with Special Attack instead of Attack. Outrun the Lati twins, max out Special Attack and dump the rest in HP.

Mono-Attack + Calm Mind
EVs here can really decide the emphasis of the move-set. You can go very defensive, investing just 16 Speed EVs from an “offensive” perspective and otherwise maximising HP and Defence. Alternatively, you can go with a similar spread to the Calm Mind sweeper and take a more attacking route.

Mono-Attack + Swords Dance
You're copying the “Swords Dance Ghost Sweeper” for the EV spread here. Your EVs outrun the Lati twins with Attack being maxed and the excess being dumped into HP.

Other Options

No doubt I haven't covered every Arceus set. For a start, with the Uber environment having a very predictable set of Pokémon to prepare for, Arceus can easily be moulded into an “anti-metagame” Pokémon, designed to take out popular threats, as opposed to being built with a self-serving strategy in mind as with the aforementioned sets. As I noted, it's King of all trades. It can put together all sorts of effective move-sets with its wide and varied move-pool; and of course, it can be any type it wants.

On the offensive side of things, you have: Thunder, Overheat, Grass Knot, Dark Pulse, Draco Meteor, X-Scissor, Outrage, Choice Band, Choice Specs.

Thunder is popular in the Uber tier for its 30% paralysis chance added with 100% accuracy during Kyogre's rain. The primary target for Thunder is Kyogre itself, although strong power, a decent chance of paralysis and some decent neutral coverage makes it viable for “general use” as well.

Overheat's main use is to take out Skarmory and Forretress, with Flamethrower and Fire Blast being acceptable alternatives.

Grass Knot gets 120 Base Power super-effective hits on Kyogre, Groudon and Tyranitar.

Dark Pulse got a mild mention already, but its super-effective hits on the plentiful Psychics littered all over the Uber tier makes it a very attractive option.

Draco Meteor gets a huge super-effective hit on the many Dragons littered around the Uber tier.

X-Scissor also gets a super-effective hit on Psychics, as well as Darkrai. It mainly competes with Shadow Claw, which has similar coverage but trades in the hit on Darkrai for a hit on Giratina.

Outrage again falls into that Dragon coverage, although its usefulness is somewhat shaky when you consider that you're locked into repeating it for 2-3 turns, followed by confusion.

With all of these, as well as aforementioned options like Extreme Speed and Multityped Judgement, Arceus has a viable move for pretty much every threat in the Uber tier. And of course, with such a wide move-pool, Choice Band and Choice Specs are perfectly viable.

On the supporting and disrupting side of things, you have: Stealth Rock, Will-o-Wisp, Thunder Wave, Toxic, Reflect, Light Screen, Perish Song, Roar, Refresh, Gravity, Trick Room.

Stealth Rock is an eternal favourite no matter what environment you're in. Even though the Uber tier carries a much faster pace to it, Stealth Rock ruins Focus Sash and damages most of the present Pokémon at least neutrally (and of course, Ho-oh is completely mauled by it).

Will-o-Wisp works great at countering and ruining physical sweepers. Thunder Wave generally ruins all sweepers, but the main risk of course is giving a free switch-in to Groudon. Toxic is aimed towards ruining the more defensive-minded Ubers (see Lugia for a prime example).

Reflect and Light Screen are both fairly effective in the Uber tier, giving a five turn defence boost. Light Screen is probably the more attractive of the two with Will-o-Wisp being an arguably better option for halting the physical attackers in the environment.

Perish Song works as a makeshift pseudo-hazing move, although occasionally you can successfully pull off a KO using it. It's a bit gimmicky, and of course, it means at some point Arceus will have to switch, but it's usable. Roar provides a more direct pseudo-hazing move, sending the Pokémon out immediately, along with any stat boosts it carries.

Refresh works as an alternative to Substitute on some of the aforementioned move-sets. It serves the same “anti-status” purpose, but without Substitutes juicy “buffer” benefits. On the bright side, it means if you catch a status switching in or something like that, you're not stuck with it.

Gravity raises the accuracy of “low accuracy” moves and makes those immune to Ground moves not-immune anymore. It's rather gimmicky and can work for some teams, but doesn't fit into Arceus's plans comfortably. Trick Room is again, a gimmicky move that works for some teams, although Arceus is a bit too fast for it.

Countering Arceus

I can truly say nothing counters every plausible Arceus move-set. As I said, it's Jack and King of all trades; a big part of facing Arceus will be figuring out what move-set it's running. When you narrow that down a bit, finding a usable counter starts to become more realistic.

Up against the Extreme Speed move-set Giratina is a very competent counter, posing a great threat with Will-o-Wisp and being able to withstand Dance-boosted Shadow Claws. Skarmory can Whirlwind away its boosts, but it needs to watch for the occasional Overheat and Lugia can stand up to it in the absence of Shadow Claw. Arceus itself can be built to take this variant of itself on, taking advantage of its own Will-o-Wisps.

Up against the Ghost-typed physical sweeper, Skarmory is again a decent counter. Arceus itself is also well built to take it on, although Will-o-Wisp might get stopped by a Substitute. Groudon can also work when sufficiently defensively built.

It of course varies on what type Arceus chooses to be, but in most cases, Heatran can counter the Calm Mind variants (who mostly rely on Ghost, Dark, Ice and Dragon moves). Once again, Arceus itself is also pretty viable. If you're up against a Dragon typed mono-attacker, you can also throw Metagross into this category.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Not in Game

Colosseum/XD

Not in Game

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Not in Game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

Hall of Origin

Animé Appearences

Arceus has had the one Animé Appearence. In its appearance, it came and attacked the land of Michina after it finds it was betrayed by Damos, a person whom it helped in the past.

Movie 12: Arceus - Towards Conquering Space-Time

 
All Content is ©Copyright of Serebii.net 1999-2014.
Pokémon And All Respective Names are Trademark & © of Nintendo 1996-2014