Lopunny, The Rabbit Pokémon. An extremely cautious Pokémon. It cloaks its body with its fluffy ear fur when it senses danger. It is very conscious of its looks and never fails to groom its ears. It runs with sprightly jumps. The ears appear to be delicate. If they are touched roughly, it kicks with its graceful legs. ť
Lopunny makes a rather so-so contribution to competitive battling. Below average stats (aside from Speed) combined with a rather generic move-pool mean this Pokémon generally falls off the radar. The one thing that really keeps it on the radar is its unique ability, Klutz, which gives it some unique item synergies. Overall, it's pretty much the lower tier of the Underused (UU) environment, easily drifting into the “Never-used” (NU) classification.
Klutz: is the thing keeping Lopunny unique. With this ability, Lopunny is unaffected by the positive and negative effects of items (excluded from this unfortunately are the Speed-halving Iron Ball, Macho Brace and Power items). This allows Lopunny to wield hindering items with comfort and combined with Switcheroo, Lopunny can easily disrupt its opponent by sending over a hindering item. Cute Charm: is the ability choice if you want to benefit from your item. Of course, the major downside is a Cute Charm Lopunny is a pretty generic Normal-type. You get a rather unimpressive 30% chance of 'infatuating' your opponent if they hit you with a move that makes 'physical contact.' Remember, the mechanics of infatuation require an opponent of the opposite gender, so same-gender and no-gender Pokémon are unaffected.
Switcheroo + Baton Pass
Lacking in offensive threat, Lopunny is at its best when it supplies its team with support and its opponents with disruption. Switcheroo provides the disruption. Flame Orb and Switcheroo has become a popular combination for troubling physical attackers with a makeshift Will-o-Wisp and Knock Off effect, but Flame Orb is by no means the only item that can be combined with Switcheroo. Whilst Lopunny doesn't need extra Speed, Agility can benefit an appropriate team-mate, and of course, it's the only boost (discounting Berries) that Lopunny can Baton Pass.
Return can round things off, but whilst it's always nice to pack some form of offensive threat, Lopunny packs so little power that it's perfectly plausible to drop Return in favour of another supportive move (which will be glanced over in the 'Other Options' section).
- Baton Pass
A more straightforward Baton Passing move-set for Lopunny, removing the 'complications' of the Klutz-Switcheroo combination in favour of a passing focus. For a start, you'll be able to tag on a boosting berry (which for the sake of example is the Starf Berry, which will provide a 'random' two-stage boost to one of: Attack, Defence, Special Attack, Special Defence or Speed), which you can activate in tandem with Substitute (an additional Baton Passing option). Encore really helps a Baton Passer, since forcing the opponent to repeat a move gives ample opportunity for Lopunny to set-up.
Return is there once again to 'round things off', but it's dispensable. Agility can be added on again for the two-stage Speed boost, or any of the supportive-protective moves that'll be mentioned in 'Other Options.'
EVs and Nature:
Speed, being its greatest asset, is priority number one. Going all the way to max is advisable, since that sets you ahead of most of the UU tier. Dropping short of max is acceptable though, but you will want to hit the Speed numbers that'll let you outrun other Pokémon (317 for Timid Jynx or 329 for Jolly Linoone, etc).
Since your attacking stats are fairly easy to ignore (after all, they contribute little), maxing out HP for an all-round defensive boost with any excess EVs contributing towards one of your defensive stats is the main use for your remaining EVs.
Magic Coat, Healing Wish, Thunder Wave, Toxic, Mirror Coat, Lagging Tail, Choice Band, Choice Specs, Choice Scarf,
Magic Coat is one of the popular alternatives to slot into the main move-sets. Magic Coat 'bounces back' certain non-offensive moves, including moves that induce status effects, trapping moves, Leech Seed and stat-altering moves. Obviously, prediction plays a key role, but it can prove to be a useful asset.
Healing Wish is a suicidal option. Lopunny is fainted but the next Pokémon switched in receives a complete HP and status heal.
Thunder Wave and Toxic provide status-inducing options.
Mirror Coat is the special equivalent of Counter. If Lopunny takes a special hit (and survives), it'll bounce back twice the damage. Lacking a recovery move lowers its viability, but you can try mixing it with Healing Wish for some fainting synergy. If all you want to use Lopunny for is its Switcheroo potential, then it isn't an awful use of your leftover move-slots.
You can mix up Switcheroo with other items. Lagging Tail can punish a fast sweeper and all of the Choice items have some hindering potential when sent to the right opponent. Choice Band also has potential to be used for its own move-set (since Lopunny has a passable Attack stat), although it isn't recommended. If you do use a Band-set, then you have a viable move-pool to work with. Aside from Return, you have Sky Uppercut, Low Kick, Focus Punch, Fire Punch, Ice Punch and even Quick Attack as additional options.
The biggest threat Lopunny poses is sending a hindering item to you via Switcheroo. Obviously, the best means to avoid punishment from this is to Knock Off Lopunny's item. The next best option is to switch in a Pokémon who won't be harmed by the received item. If Lopunny sends over a Flame Orb, its best to have a Special Attacker in play (or better yet, a Fire, Guts or Quick Feet Pokémon). When dealing with Choice items, it'd be best to have a Pokémon who can benefit from the Choice item in question (mixed sweepers can usually benefit from all three in at least some way), and as for Lagging Tail, an already slow Pokémon would be the least affected.
The other threat Lopunny poses is a Baton Passing one. Rather than threatening directly, it turns its team-mate into a greater threat. Baton Passing is best countered by hazing (Haze), pseudo-hazing (Whirlwind and Roar) and Taunt.
As for taking out Lopunny itself, try to avoid using status moves because of the risk of Magic Coat, or to a lesser extent, Substitute. Direct damage is the safest route to take. Lopunny poses a minimal offensive threat. It'll rarely carry more than one offensive attack, so switching in a Pokémon resistant to its chosen move should be able to defeat it comfortably one-on-one.
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