Masquerain

Masquerain, The Eyeball Pokémon. It intimidates enemies with the eye-like patterns on its antennae. Its four wings allow it to fly in any direction. Its wings and antennae don’t cope well with moisture. After a rain, it faces sunward to dry off.

Overview

Masquerain is a step above many of its fellow Bug/Flying friends in several respects, in terms of both uniqueness as well as the disappointment it brings as a Bug/Flying type. Unlike other its other counterparts, Masquerain boasts a fairly impressive offensive movepool with access to both Ice Beam and Hydro Pump, giving it very useful coverage against the Rock- and Fire-types that terrorize the Bug/Flying race. Intimidate is also a very unique and useful ability for an otherwise unimpressive Bug-type even if it doesn't do much to help Masquerain's pitiful bulk. It was also blessed with generous buffs to its Special Attack and Speed, allowing it to make realistic use of Quiver Dance now. However, Masquerain still suffers from mediocre stats even with the buffs and still fails to justify losing its Bug/Water typing it had as a Surskit. Masquerain's typing and stats are ultimately what hold it back, since its movepool grants it a fair amount of options as a Quiver Dance sweeper. Unique tools aren't enough to make Masquerain stand out much against its fellow Bug/Flying friends unfortunately, so it remains as yet another Bug/Flying type that nobody takes very seriously.
Positives
+ Masquerain has a great movepool to take advantage of Quiver Dance, ranging from Hydro Pump and Ice Beam to Giga Drain and Baton Pass.
+ Intimidate may not help Masquerain's pitiful bulk much, but it's very useful for helping it take a hit at all so that it can set up.
+ It evolves from a Bug/Water type so it can at least say it used to have an interesting typing.

Negatives
- Even with its recent buffs, Masquerain isn't particularly fast or powerful. While they make it much better than it was in past gens, that's unfortunately not enough to overcome its disappointing bulk.
- Bug/Flying has never been a great typing for a special attacker and Masquerain does nothing to change that. The many weaknesses it gives Masquerain only bring it down further.
- Butterfree and Vivillon are still arguably better in the early-game Bug/Flying type department. Masquerain is no slouch there either, but if you're looking for the best of early-game Bug-type you're looking in the wrong place.

Abilities

Intimidate: Upon entering battle, the opponent's Attack lowers one stage. In a Double Battle, both opponents' Attack are lowered. Pokémon with the Clear Body, Hyper Cutter, or White Smoke ability are unaffected. In a link battle, if both sides switch on the same turn, and first player sends out a Pokémon with Intimidate, the opponent's Attack will be lowered before the opponent's Pokémon switches. Opponents in S.O.S. Battles are more likely to call for help. While it doesn't make Masquerain good, Intimidate is never a bad ability to have. If nothing else it gives Masquerain a chance to possibly set up against physical attackers.
Hidden Ability (Available):
Unnerve: The opponent Pokémon will never use their held Berry while the Pokémon is in battle. Opponents in S.O.S. Battles are more likely to call for help. While this isn't an inherently bad ability, there's almost no reason to ever use this over Intimidate.

Movesets

Ruse Mask

- Bug Buzz
- Air Slash
- Ice Beam / Hydro Pump / Giga Drain
- Quiver Dance
Item Attached: Life Orb / Focus Sash
Ability: Intimidate
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest / Timid Nature

Quiver Dance sets are about the only thing Masquerain can accomplish, but with the new buffs it's capable of at least hurting something. Bug Buzz is Masquerain's best STAB move, which conveniently allows it to bypass Substitute despite providing mediocre coverage as a primary STAB move. Air Slash provides the superior coverage that Masquerain wants in a STAB move, but unfortunately comes with less accuracy and power than Bug Buzz. The 30% flinch chance can potentially help Masquerain break through shaky matchups though. Ice Beam is the most reliable coverage move for Masquerain, allowing it to threaten Flying-types and hits Dragon-types harder than its STAB moves. Hydro Pump provides the best coverage against Rock-types and Fire-types though it suffers from shaky accuracy, but otherwise provides more useful coverage for Masquerain. Giga Drain can be used alongside Life Orb to help keep Masquerain healthy and still hit Rock-types, but the power is disappointing otherwise. Energy Ball can be used if the Grass coverage is desired with more power.

Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment is necessary to make sure Masquerain can actually sweep at all. Timid nature is less necessary with its buffed Special Attack but it allows Masquerain to outspeed as many threats as possible, notably letting it outspeed base 130 Pokémon after a Quiver Dance. However, Modest gives it an extra power boost if you're not playing in a setting where this Speed tier doesn't matter. Intimidate is the ability of choice to give Masquerain a better time setting up against physical attackers, while Life Orb boosts its damage output further at the cost of some HP. Focus Sash is an alternative to ensure Masquerain can take any single hit.

Other Options

- Bugium Z and Flyinium Z are both accpetable alternatives to Life Orb if power is desired and Item Clause is an issue.
- Baton Pass can be used to maintain momentum and pass its boosts onto a teammate, though this is not always allowed depending on the ruleset.
- Quick Attack or Aqua Jet may sound silly and wasteful, though in a 3v3 setting they can be useful for getting a surprise KO against Focus Sash users.
- Sticky Web may sound appealing as a support option, but Masquerain lacks both the typing and bulk to make any realistic use of it.

VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options

Masquerain is rare in VGC traditionally. Sticky Web, one of its most useful moves in singles, is virtually nonexistent in doubles due to the presence of Trick Room and other forms of speed control. Despite a great ability in Intimidate, Masquerain's stats and defensive typing left it with little chance to succeed. Sun and Moon gifted the bug some key stat boosts in both special attack and speed, giving Masquerain a little more hope. With its new boosts and Quiver Dance, Masquerain can try to imitate another Quiver Dancing bug, Volcarona. Despite the boosts, Masquerain is still much weaker and has a lack of spread attacks. An immunity to Earthquake and Tectonic Rage is very nice, but weaknesses to the common electric and fire attacks in the format neutralize its defensive potential.

Volcarona Masquerade

-Ice Beam
-Air Slash / Bug Buzz
-Quiver Dance
-Protect
Item Attached: Focus Sash
Ability: Intimidate
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

With its new stat boosts and Quiver Dance, Masquerain can become a respectable special attacker. Max special attack and speed lets it hit as hard and as fast as it can. A Modest nature can be considered depending on your team, but a Timid nature at +1 ensures that Masquerain outspeeds a Timid Tapu Koko. Intimidate is one of the best abilities in doubles, lowering by opponents' attack stats and making up for some of the lack of bulk on the bug. Focus Sash lets Masquerain live any one attack, especially a common electric or fire type attack from threats like Tapu Koko or Arcanine.

Ice Beam provides great coverage, and can OHKO a standard Garchomp even without a Quiver Dance boost. Your choice of STAB move may come down to what the team needs coverage for, but both have their good points. Air Slash gives a little better neutral coverage and can flinch (which works well with a speed boost from Quiver Dance), but does not have perfect accuracy. Bug Buzz's coverage is not quite as good, but it is stronger overall and bypasses Substitute. Quiver Dance is a great setup move that allows Masquerain to become a threat, and Protect is arguably the best move in doubles to keep Masquerain safe from threats that a teammate can handle.

Other Options & Team Ideas

-Unnerve is a very underrated ability with all the "super" Sitrus Berries on teams. Bulky Pokemon reliant on their berries to increase their longevity, especially Gluttony Snorlax and Alolan Muk, will not be as effective as long as Unnerve is on the field.
-Life Orb can be considered to give Masquerain a little more fire-power, but leaves it open to being OHKO'd by certain common attacks.
-Scald, Hydro Pump, Solar Beam, Energy Ball, and Shadow Ball are all other coverage options that Masquerain can use. Hydro Pump in particular may deserve a special mention, as at +1, Masquerain can OHKO most Arcanine.
-Masquerain does get a few good support moves. Whirlwind and Haze can mess with setup Pokemon like Eevee or Snorlax, and Whirlwind can also help prevent Trick Room. Stun Spore is good for speed control and full paralysis chances, but has mediocre accuracy and will not affect electric types, grass types, or Pokemon in Misty Terrain. Toxic helps wear down bulky Pokemon like Porygon2, while Sunny Day and Rain Dance can help mess with weather strategies, especially if Masquerain can live any one attack with the Focus Sash.
-Eevee is likely a better candidate to Baton Pass boosts to a teammate, but Masquerain can surprise an opponent and pass its Quiver Dance boost(s) to a teammate like Tapu Lele or Tapu Fini.

-Teams in need of Intimidate support appreciate Masquerain's ability, but many other Pokemon are better all-around Intimidators, especially Arcanine and Gyarados.
-Fake Out and redirection can help Masquerain set up a Quiver Dance, and Lightning Rod can help keep it safe from electric moves. Togedemaru in a great partner on paper as it learns Fake Out and can have Lightning Rod, while Masquerain can threaten Garchomp in return. Persian can disrupt with Fake Out and learns Parting Shot to weaken an opponent attacking Masquerain. Clefairy can keep Masquerain safe with Follow Me and Friend Guard, and Helping Hand can boost Masquerain's power.
-Rain from Drizzle users like Pelipper and Politoed can weaken fire attacks aimed at Masquerain, and the rain will boost Scald and Hydro Pump should you run either.
-Masquerain teams need a Tapu Koko counter, as it resists both of Masquerain's STAB attacks. Scarf Garchomp may be a good partner to get off fast Earthquakes, which Masquerain is immune to, and the Intimidate support will boost Garchomp's bulk.
-Oricorio can copy Masquerain's Quiver Dance with Dancer, but Chlorophyll Lilligant, Pheromosa, and even Ribombee are generally better at this due to their higher speed.

Countering Masquerain

Masquerain is actually easier to counter than some of its Bug/Flying counterparts due to the lack of Sleep Powder. The Special Attack and Speed buff make it less easy to counter, but the same weaknesses it always had remain. Stealth Rock is a huge problem for Masquerain regardless of whether or not it has Focus Sash, since Masquerain isn't fast enough to overcome losing half of its HP upon switching in. Masquerain's numerous weaknesses also make it relatively easy to have something to take down Masquerain, since Fire-, Flying-, Rock-, Ice-, and Electric-type moves are all very common on any serious team. While Intimidate may annoy physical attackers, Masquerain's bulky is abysmal, so generally any powerful attack should have little trouble taking it down. The simple answer to countering Masquerain is to have something that can take a hit from it, which is relatively easy as long as you aren't using something with a x4 weakness to Bug-, Flying- or Ice-type moves. Similarly, anything faster than base 80 Speed can make quick work of Masquerain provided that it hasn't had the chance to use Quiver Dance yet, but as long as you have at least a somewhat competent team taking down a Masquerain shouldn't be a problem. If you're reading this looking for a serious and involved answer to Masqueiran then there's probably bigger problems with the team than a bug with eyes on its wings.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Evolve Surskit

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Colosseum/XD:
Evolve Surskit (XD)
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald (Colosseum)

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Evolve from Surskit (Diamond/Pearl)
Route 229 (Platinum)

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Safari Zone

Black/White:
Evolve Surskit (White)
Trade from White (Black)

Black 2/White 2:
Route 11

X/Y:
Route 3, Friend Safari

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Route 102, Route 111, Route 114, Route 117, Route 120, Route 123, Petalburg City

Sun/Moon:
Malie Garden

Animé Appearences

Masquerain has made multiple appearances in the anime. Most notably when Drew used one during his Hoenn Contest campaign

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
353 A Fan With A Plan Formidable Enemy!? Mother Coordinator Enters! Pics
354 Cruisin' For A Losin' Pokémon Contest! Rubello Tournament! Pics
M7 Destiny Deoxys Visitor of the Space Fissure - Deoxys Pics
387 The Great Eight Fate! Sootopolis Gym! Juan, Artist of Water! (Part 1)! Pics
390 Who, What, When, Where, Wynaut? Wynaut of Mirage Island! Pics
399 Deceit And Assist! Fierce Fighting! Grand Festival! (2)! Pics
400 Rhapsody In Drew Decisive Battle! Grand Festival! (3)! Pics
456 May, We Harley Drew'd Ya! Begin! Pokémon Contest - Grand Festival! Pics
457 Thinning the Hoard May VS Harley! Double Battle On Stage!! Pics
591 Old Rivals, New Tricks Pokémon Contest! Tatsuami Convention! Pics
M16 Genesect & The Legend Awakened Extremespeed Genesect: Mewtwo Awakens Pics
911 A Watershed Moment! A Chesnaught from the Wilderness! The Tree-planting Robon!! Pics

 
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