Sharpedo, The Brutal Pokémon. It pursues its prey at speeds of 75 mph and finishes them off with fangs that can crush iron. It is known as the bully of the sea. It has a sad history. In the past, its dorsal fin was a treasured foodstuff, so this Pokémon became a victim of overfishing. The spines sprouting from its head are transformed fangs. If they’re injured or broken off, the spines will regenerate countless times. As a consequence of Mega Evolution, its combative instincts exploded. The yellow marks it bears are scars from a long history of battles.
Sharpedo is the epitome of a glass cannon, and at first glance that doesn't sound promising for something with only average Speed. Sharpedo has the offensive stats and movepool to tear through a wide range of threats, but even a slight breeze is enough to bring Sharpedo down. In a game where priority moves are far more widespread, Sharpedo finds it difficult to sweep through teams even with Speed Boost patching up its Speed problem, while its poor defensive typing and nonexistent bulk make it impossible to reliably switch Sharpedo into any attack that isn't Psychic-type. Despite its impressive Attack stat, physical sets are entirely outclassed by Mega Sharpedo, which itself faces tough competition from Mega Gyarados. However, Sharpedo is still perfectly capable to sweeping through weakened teams with proper support. Access to Destiny Bond also allows it to use its frailty to its advantage and bring down a foe that Sharpedo has no way of beating otherwise. Sharpedo still struggles to keep up with top threats, but that doesn't mean Sharpedo can't surprise an unsuspecting opponent every once in awhile.
Rough Skin: The opponent is hurt by 1/16th of his maximum Hit Points of recoil when using an attack, that requires physical contact, against this Pokémon. This is a fairly useful ability on Pokémon that can take hits. Unfortunately Sharpedo is not a Pokémon that can take hits so you'll never want this ability.
- Hydro Pump
If you're using Sharpedo without its Mega for any reason, a Special set is typically the best approach. While Hydro Pump's accuracy can be let you down at the worst times, it's Sharpedo's strongest Water STAB move and it's entirely necessary since anything that Sharpedo fails to KO is going to KO it back anyway. Dark Pulse gives Sharpedo a reliable Dark-type STAB that can also result in nasty flinches against most foes due to Speed Boost raising its Speed every turn. Ice Beam gives Sharpedo a way to beat Grass-types and also hits Garchomp harder than Hydro Pump, though Destiny Bond lets Sharpedo bring down a foe that Sharpedo can't beat otherwise. Protect is also necessary in order to let Sharpedo safely get a boost, even if it can be somewhat predictable.
The EVs need no explanation, Sharpedo just wants to hit as hard and fast as possible and a Modest nature boosts its damage output further, since KOing foes is more important than slightly more Speed when Speed Boost is covering it there. Life Orb is ideal for giving Sharpedo more power since Sharpedo doesn't care about recoil damage, though Focus Sash is useful in 3v3 formats and is preferred if using Destiny Bond.
- A physical set with Crunch, Waterfall, and a coverage move like Poison Jab or Earthquake is viable, though physical sets are better left to Mega Sharpedo.
VGC & Double Options
Sharpedo has not been a common Pokemon on the VGC circuit. While it can pack a punch in singles, its effectiveness in doubles is limited due to its frail defenses and lack of spread moves. While it can be blazing fast, it typically can only OHKO opponents from full health if it uses a super-effective attack. In a format with so much creativeness, however, Sharpedo may be able to find its niche role on certain teams that need its speed.
At first glance of its stats, it may seem like Sharpedo is better as a physical attacker. While physical sets are still usable, Intimidate from Pokemon like Arcanine and Gyarados is on nearly every team in VGC 2017, which really hinders Sharpedo's capabilities. Additionally, without its mega stone, Sharpedo does not gain the added attack or Strong Jaw boost. For those reasons, a special set is preferred for this format. Max speed and special attack allow Sharpedo to do its job as best it can. Sharpedo can use all the help it can get to do damage, so Life Orb is the item of choice. Though Rough Skin is not a bad ability, Speed Boost is still absolutely the preferred choice, as it allows Sharpedo to become one of the fastest Pokemon in the format after a boost or two. The nature really comes down to what you hope to outspeed. Modest is still very fast after a boost, and further maximizes Sharpedo's damage output. Timid is among the fastest Pokemon around, outspeeding common Pokemon like Modest Choice Scarf Tapu Lele, Adamant Choice Scarf Garchomp, and able to speed-tie Timid Choice Scarf Tapu Lele.
Hydro Pump is a little riskier than Scald due to the accuracy, but the higher base power is generally needed. Dark Pulse is Sharpedo's strongest Dark STAB move, while Ice Beam gives good coverage need to Hydro Pump and is great for targets like Garchomp. Protect is still arguably the best move in doubles to stall out turns of Aurora Veil or speed control, but is even more necessary on Sharpedo to safely gain a Speed Boost.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Focus Sash is good to guarantee that Sharpedo can live one attack, but it will lose out on some power.
Sharpedo is a Pokémon that can be difficult to take down if it comes in once your team has been weakened, but playing safely against Sharpedo can easily keep it in check. Sharpedo relies entirely on trying to clean up late-game once all of its checks have been weakened, so making sure you have something that can take a hit is important, as Sharpedo is unlikely to survive any moderately powerful attack. Fairy-types such as Tapu Fini, Clefable, and Azumarill give Sharpedo a difficult time, especially since it struggles to break through them without a Poison-type move. Sharpedo is easily revenge killed by priority, so any priority user can make short work of Sharpedo unless it carries Aqua Jet. Grass-types don't like taking an Ice Beam or Ice Fang, but otherwise they can switch into Sharpedo's strongest STAB move and take it down. Bulky Steel-types also don't mind any of Sharpedo's moves, so keeping something like Ferrothorn or Celesteela healthy can make Sharpedo a relatively simple foe to deal with.
Mega Sharpedo is a Mega that most people expected coming into ORAS, and while Speed Boost wasn't quite enough to help Sharpedo stand up to high level threats, Mega Sharpedo certainly makes it powerful enough. While Mega Sharpedo doesn't have that completely optimized boosts that many of the ORAS Megas do, access to Strong Jaw and boosts to its nonexistent bulk go a long way to making Sharpedo a powerhouse that can actually take weaker hits. A slightly higher Speed tier also helps it outspeed even Naive Pheromosa without needing a Speed-boosting nature, making it easier for Sharpedo to sweep with only one Speed Boost. However, most of the problems that bring Sharpedo down still apply to Mega Sharpedo. Namely, Mega Sharpedo is still rather frail for a Mega, and it only has a slightly better time breaking through the Steel-types and Fairy-types that shut it down before. Mega Sharpedo also competes with Mega Gyarados, which fills a similar role but with superior bulk and access to Dragon Dance. That being said, Mega Sharpedo is still a noticeable upgrade from its base form, and while it might not be one of the best Mega Evolutions around, it's definitely a very capable sweeper.
Strong Jaw: Increases the power of biting moves by 50%. A Choice Band boost speaks for itself, you don't have a choice with Mega Sharpedo but you also don't need one when all of its biting moves are now so much more dangerous.
Mega Sharpedo is best used as a late-game sweeper, and Strong Jaw boosted Crunch is Mega Sharpedo's primary tool for this. Waterfall is unfortunately not boosted by Strong Jaw, but it's Mega Sharpedo's strongest physical Water-type move. Ice Fang becomes a more powerful equivalent of Ice Beam with Strong Jaw, and allows Mega Sharpedo to deal with Grass-types as well as Garchomp, Salamence, and Landorus. However, Earthquake is an alternative that allows Mega Sharpedo to beat Tapu Koko and other Steel-types such as Empoleon. Poison Jab covers most Fairy-types more generally and lets Mega Sharpedo break through Tapu Fini and Azumarill, though this is weaker than Ice Fang against Grass-types. Protect is also still mandatory on Sharpedo in order to safely get a Speed boost before Mega Evolving, which is important if Mega Sharpedo has any chance at sweeping.
Sharpedonite is necessary in order to Mega Evolve, while Speed Boost is mandatory before Mega Evolving in order to give Sharpedo the Speed it needs to sweep. Maximum Attack and Speed investment is self-explanatory since Sharpedo still can't afford to reliably take hits even with its noticeable defensive boosts. Adamant nature is preferred to give Mega Sharpedo the extra boost in power, though Jolly nature allows it to beat out Choice Scarf users such as Timid Tapu Lele that otherwise outspeed and OHKO Mega Sharpedo.
- Poison Fang is an alternative to Poison Jab that trades a tiny bit of power for a 50% chance to badly poison the foe. This is more useful on Battle Spot than it is in 6v6 formats though, where the extra poison damage can be used to break down a wall that thinks it can switch into Mega Sharpedo safely.
Countering Mega Sharpedo
Mega Sharpedo is a bit more difficult to beat than regular Sharpedo due to Strong Jaw Crunch being incredibly powerful, though otherwise most of the same answers to Sharpedo apply to Mega Sharpedo as well. Mega Sharpedo isn't OHKOed by any and all priority moves so simply carrying priority moves isn't enough to cover Mega Sharpedo, though that doesn't mean that priority moves aren't effective for bringing down a weakened Mega Sharpedo. Fairy-types such as Azumarill, Tapu Fini, and Tapu Lele still can check Mega Sharpedo, though the former two must be wary of Poison Jab and the latter can only revenge kill Mega Sharpedo, and only if it isn't running a Jolly nature. Fighting-types can also deal with Mega Sharpedo that lacks Psychic Fangs, since it struggles to beat the likes of Buzzwole, Conkeldurr and Keldeo otherwise. Bulky Steel-types can also beat Mega Sharpedo as well, though they must be wary of Strong Jaw Crunch especially if they aren't physically defensive. In general, physical walls can usually win out against Mega Sharpedo since it can't really boost its own Attack, so the likes of Toxapex, Mega Venusaur, or Skarmory can usually win assuming it lacks the appropriate coverage move. Mega Sharpedo can only afford one coverage slot though so it's usually a matter of figuring out what it's running before it's too late. It may be a more dangerous shark than it used to be, but as long as your team isn't a hyper-offensive team this shark shouldn't be overwhelmingly difficult to deal with.
Locations in Games
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