Crobat, The Bat Pokémon. It flies so silently through the dark on its four wings that it may not be noticed even when nearby. Having four wings allows it to fly more quickly and quietly so it can sneak up on prey without its noticing. If this Pokémon is flying by fluttering only a pair of wings on either the forelegs or hind legs, it's proof that Crobat has been flying a long distance. It switches the wings it uses if it is tired. Crobat sneaks up on its intended prey using wings that barely make a sound. This Pokémon rests by hanging on a tree branch with its rear legs that serve as wings.
You’ve probably encountered a Zubat in your playthroughs of Pokemon. Maybe even two or three… thousand. As the generic annoying Pokemon who seemed to appear in every wild Pokemon encounter when trekking through caves, people have grown to hate Zubat with a bloody passion. People have tucked them away in the darkest corner of their PCs. People have mashed the run button as soon as they appear. People have used dozens of repels just to avoid the sight of them. And some people still have obliterated them with reckless abandon out of not wanting to see the stupid things. But, despite the mass hatred that Zubat was forced to endure, for those select few who show it the opposite end of the spectrum, and give it some love, then it can prove itself useful by evolving into the speed demon that is Crobat. Despite its humble beginnings, Crobat proves itself to be very useful by not only being one of the fastest Pokemon in the game, but also having a decent movepool that lets it be a major nuisance to stall while still having some decent offensive presence as well. Unfortunately, Crobat definitely has a few things holding it back. While its speed is definitely top notch, every stat not named speed is average at best, meaning it’s not going to be sweeping teams or busting down walls by itself, and thanks to average bulk it has to rely on resistances to continuously sponge hits. Don’t let that dissuade you from using this bat, though. With a speed tier that outspeeds almost every unboosted Pokemon in the game, and a disruptive movepool to go along with it, you’ll find that Crobat is good enough to justify actually showing one of the thousands of Zubat some love.
Inner Focus: This Pokémon will not flinch. Does not prevent flinching with Focus Punch. - Inner Focus is a rather underwhelming ability. It’s not that being immune to flinching is necessarily bad, but rather, flinching is just very, very rare so most of the time this ability won’t do anything. It may help rarely when Fake Out if thrown out, but other than that, it’s usually not going to give you much bang for your buck.
With high speed and decent attack, it’s pretty obvious that Crobat can make good use of a Choice Band to put the hurt on your opponents. Brave Bird is the main attack that you will be spamming when you want things to die; with STAB, high power, and the naturally good coverage that Flying type provides this generation, it’s very easy to punch holes in things. The one downside, however, is that the recoil can and will catch up to you. For this reason, it helps to ensure that your opponent’s team is sufficiently worn down before you start spamming Brave Bird to clean things up. In the meantime, however, U-Turn will find itself being used just as often. Crobat has some obvious switch-ins, namely Steel types, so U-turn to put in some chip damage and pivot out to an appropriate counter is an easy way to steal the momentum of a match. Cross Poison’s use is more situational, given its lower power and generally worse coverage than Brave Bird, but with no recoil it is a relatively safe attack that can pick off things like Fairies if the situation demands it. The final move is large filler, due to the fact that Crobat has so few decent options. Sleep Talk can be used to allow it to to absorb the Sleep status, which makes it an excellent switch-in to Roserade. Haze and Defog suck to be locked into, but they can be used as a surprise move if you need to get rid of boosts (such as Calm Mind Suicune) or hazards, and many people won’t expect them on a Choice Band set.The nature and EVs maximize Crobat’s speed, while also doing as much damage as possible. The remaining EVs are put into defense rather than HP to minimize Stealth Rock damage. Infiltrator is always the preferred ability, due to the fact that it will allow it to deal with Pokemon who might think hiding behind a Substitute is enough to keep them safe.
Crobats in the Belfry
And here we have Crobat taking more of a supportive role rather than a straight up offensive role. Brave Bird continues to be Crobat’s main means of offense, and even without much investment, it can obliterate almost every fighting type it comes across. This helps prevent Crobat from being completely passive in its supportive role. Defog brings the ever-important hazard control that many teams need, and of course being immune to grounded hazards helps in that role. Of course, a Stealth Rock weakness may be a nuisance, but fear not, for between Black Sludge’s passive recovery (the same as leftovers, while also being a mildly unpleasant experience for those who try to Trick it), and Roost’s instant recovery, Crobat is more than capable of healing off the damage it takes. The final slot depends on your team’s needs. With Taunt, Crobat can absolutely crap on stall by shutting down many very passive Pokemon such as Blissey, Florges, etc., and can prevent some offensive threats from setting up on it as well. Meanwhile, Toxic can help to wear down foes, and works well in conjunction with Roost.
A Jolly nature and 176 speed EVs gives Crobat enough speed to outpace base 120’s such as Sceptile and Alakazam. You can bump it up to 184 if you want to outpace Mega Pidgeot, or 200 if you want to outspeed Noivern, but in general, both of these Pokemon tend to beat Crobat 1v1 if it does stay in, so outspeeding them may not always be worth it for you. 248 EVs in HP maximize its HP while minimizing Stealth Rock damage, which helps it sponge hits. The rest of the EVs are dumped into attack to help amp up Brave Bird’s power so that it's not too passive.
It might seem completely batty (gratuitous pun intended) to use Crobat as a special attacker, but surprisingly Crobat has access to Nasty Plot to boost its special attack quickly, and is actually the fastest user of the move. As a result, this set can have surprise value, but I must point out that this should NEVER be your first choice when using Crobat, as it’s the least effective and is rather mediocre if it can’t set up.
Nevertheless, Nasty Plot is the crux of this set. Without it, Crobat is a really lackluster special attacker, so you’ll always want to ensure it gets the boost off. Sludge Bomb and Air Slash are its obligatory STAB attacks, which should go without saying. Heat Wave is Crobat’s best final option, as it allows Crobat to hit the steel types that would otherwise wall it into oblivion.
The nature and EVs once again maximize speed, but this time focus on Special Attack. A Life Orb can push your damage a little higher, helping to secure some crucial 1HKOs and 2HKOs, although you’ll have to watch out for the recoil.
-Super Fang can be a nasty attack due to the fact that it instantly takes out half of your opponent’s HP, which can help against things like Steel types who otherwise have nothing to fear from Crobat.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Crobat is one of the fastest Pokemon available with an insanely high base 130 speed. Previously, being part Poison type was nothing to brag about, but since Fairies like Sylveon are ever present being Poison isn't so bad. With Inner Focus and access to neat supporting moves like Tailwind and Taunt, chances are that Crobat will get at least one move off before falling victim to its 85/80/80 defenses.
Taking The Crobat
Immune to Fake Out and other random flinches, Crobat is ready from the start to set your team up. Tailwind will double your speed letting you put on offensive pressure knowing you'll move first. Taunt can stop Will-O-Wisps, Spores, things you don't want to take in general. But Quick Guard fits in nicely with Tailwind as often an opponent will use Priority to lessen Tailwind's impact on them. Another interesting option to run here is Sunny Day or Rain Dance to further support your weather team. THe last two moves are your most reliable STAB moves, though Super Fang will soften anything that isn't a ghost type for its partner to pick up the KO soon after. Strongly worth considering.
Crobat appreciates just about any Pokemon that will benefit from Crobat's support. Choice Band Talonflame enjoys half health enemies, Sylveon loves first turn Hyper Voices not having to fear Fake Out with Quick Guard. The list goes on. And Crobat's small defenses don't allow it much in terms of switching in. Immunity to Earthquake is great, but most Earthquakers have Rock Slide or Stone Edge too.
Crobat has a niche, it's just a frail one. When facing one online expect to see Tailwind and Super Fang on it at least, looking to it's partner to guess the rest of the moveset to perhaps gracefully take it down. Though two or three Rock Slides are usually more than enough. Crobat will also have a hard time wanting to lead with the amount of Incarnate Thundurus flying around right now. It's not what I believe to be a solid enough Pokemon to build a team around, but rather to supplement a team needing something fast and reliable, but not minding how frail it can be.
If a Pokemon is a steel type, odds are Crobat hates it. Aggron and Mega Aggron laugh at pretty much any physical attack that comes their way, can’t be poisoned, and can 1HKO or 2HKO Crobat with ease. Special Sets can be a nuisance if Crobat gets off the Nasty Plot, though. Empoleon fears absolutely nothing from Crobat, and can scare it off with the threat of a Scald burn. Mega Aerodactyl is one of the few Pokemon that outspeeds Crobat, and thanks to its rock typing it can stomach a Brave Bird and threaten to 1HKO Crobat. Mega Ampharos is plenty bulky enough to deal with even Choice Band Crobat, has Heal Bell to rid itself and its team of Toxic, and easily 1HKOs Crobat with its electric STAB. Defensive Arcanine can be a nuisance due to Intimidate and can burn Crobat or 2HKO with Flare Blitz, but it has to watch for Toxic, which can ruin its longevity. Defensive Rotom-H doesn’t mind much outside of Toxic, and can scare it off with the threat of Volt Switch. Crobat may be tricky to check due to its high speed, but fortunately, the myriad of Choice Scarf users can outspeed it and either 1HKO it or force it out. This includes, but is not limited to, Darmanitan, Chandelure, Rotom-H, and Hydreigon. Of course, Stealth Rock also helps secure some crucial 1HKOs by stripping Crobat of a quarter of its health every time it switches in, so getting the rocks up early helps, even against support Crobat and its Defogging prowess. In addition, Crobat’s bulk isn’t the best, so almost any strong STAB that it doesn’t resist can 2HKO it.
If you’re using Crobat in more inclusive formats, it has more problems. Heatran is an immovable object for Crobat, as it walls both physical and special sets, and doesn’t care about Toxic either. Taunt can be a nuisance for Heatran, but it has no problem just threatening Crobat with Lava Plume, which can leave it with a burn. Tyranitar completely walls offensive sets as well, and Toxic is the only thing that really bothers it, and it has no problem 1HKOing Crobat or scaring it out. Mega Metagross fears absolutely nothing from most Crobat as it often runs 4 attack sets so Taunt does nothing to it, it’s immune to Poison, and its supreme bulk tends to shrug off any physical attack Crobat throws its way. It also has sufficient power to 1HKO Crobat with ease. Bisharp can frighten the support set immensely due to the fact that Defog will give it a free +2 attack thanks to Defiant, so its mere presence on a team will give Crobat pause. Jirachi has plenty of bulk to shrug off any of Crobat’s attacks, and is immune to Poison and resists Brave Bird. Rotom-W and Landorus-T can both threaten Crobat with their bulk (and Intimidate in the form of Landorus-T), but also hate Toxic. Magnezone threatens support and choice band sets with its bulk and Electric STAB, but Heat Wave from a rare special set can be a nuisance. Crobat also has to deal with certain Mega Evolutions outpacing it, such as Mega Manectric and Mega Lopunny, the former of which slashes its attack with Intimidate, while Mega Lopunny 2HKOs with the combination of Fake Out and Return (which ironically would be one of the very few instances where Inner Focus would actually be useful). Crobat can also be picked off by powerful priority, such as Talonflame’s Brave Bird, and Mamoswine’s Ice Shard, which can circumvent its great speed and 1HKO if Stealth Rock is up. Regardless of the format though, Crobat still has to deal with mediocre bulk allowing most strong neutral STAB attacks to reliably 2HKO it.
With a giant mouth and an equally long tongue, Golbat’s always been a rather… odd Pokemon. It also tended to share the aversion that many people had for Zubat, given it replaces Zubat in the latest caves in the games. Nevertheless, thanks to Gen 5’s advent of Eviolite, Golbat manages to make itself fairly useful, despite lacking the insane speed that Crobat has. Base 90 speed is still fairly good for a defensive Pokemon though, which is what Eviolite’s bulk allows it to be.
Golbat’s movepool is much the same as a supportive Crobat. Brave Bird prevents it from being too passive, while Defog grants it great hazard control to keep hazards from wearing down your team. Roost is absolutely imperative to keep Golbat alive, especially since it can’t carry Black Sludge or Leftovers for passive recover with Eviolite in tow. Toxic lets Golbat wear down foes, and is more important given Golbat is built as a defensive Pokemon, sporting a lower attack than Crobat as well.
The given EVs and nature maximize physical bulk while minimizing stealth rock damage. This allows Golbat to function as an effective anti-fighting type Pokemon. However, it can also opt for a nearly identical specially defensive spread if you’d like to to deal with certain grass types. And it goes without saying that Eviolite is the crux of this set, and what allows Golbat to be as bulky as it is.
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