Breloom, The Mushroom Pokémon. Its short arms stretch when it throws punches. Its technique is equal to that of pro boxers. It scatters poisonous spores and throws powerful punches while its foe is hampered by inhaled spores. It scatters spores from holes in the cap on its head. It loves warm and humid climates. It feeds on trees and plants in fields and forests. The seeds on its tail are made of toxic spores. It knocks out foes with quick, virtually invisible punches.
Breloom’s a strange Pokemon, to say the least. Between its stubby arms, derpy face, and mushroom cap, it’s not exactly something that looks very threatening. Fortunately, Breloom is a case of not being able to judge a book by its cover, because although those arms may be stubby, they pack a massive punch with a huge base 130 attack backing them up. Between its uncommon typing, useful abilities, and precise movepool which includes the coveted Spore, Breloom’s been able to stay relevant for generations, despite having mediocre stats everywhere that isn’t attack. Unfortunately, Gen 6 has become the hardest generation for Breloom to thrive, as it dealt many blows to Breloom while giving it very little in return. The new Fairy types give it yet another weakness, while also resisting its Fighting type STAB. Its trump card, Spore, got a nerf now that it no longer affects Grass types or Pokemon with Overcoat, so the former difficulty of finding something that can switch into Breloom is lessened. Not only that, but its weaknesses are more prevalent than ever, with fire and flying types being incredibly potent in the metagame, as things such as both Mega Charizards, Mega Pinsir, and Talonflame having no problem swiftly dispatching of Breloom and are very easy to fit onto a team. Don’t let that fool you into thinking Breloom has become a bad Pokemon, though. Its ability to check things such as Mega Tyranitar, Bisharp, and Terrakion can’t be denied, and if you’re not packing a grass type or Overcoat user, something is going to get put to sleep by Spore.
Effect Spore: The opponent has a 10% chance of being induced by PARALYZE, POISON, or SLEEP when using an attack, that requires physical contact, against this Pokémon. - Effect Spore is easily the least useful of Breloom’s abilities, as it is incredibly unreliable and doesn’t help it in an offensive or defensive role. Plus, the things that make contact with Breloom are usually going to leave it seriously hurting, so you don’t want to be having things make physical contact against you regardless. Ever since Gen 4 and Gen 5 gave it vastly superior abilities, there’s no longer any reason to use Effect Spore.
Fruit of Breloom
This is Breloom’s most commonly used set right now, and for good reason. It packs the utility and power Breloom needs to stay a threat, even when the generation shift has gone out of its way to try and spite it. Spore is mandatory because its potency as a sleep-inducer allows Breloom to completely incapacitate a huge number of switch-ins; it may have taken a hit this generation, but it puts pressure on opponents nevertheless, as they may be hesitant to switch in non-grass types, lest they be guaranteed to get put to sleep. Mach Punch is one half of its STAB combination; thanks to Technician boosting its power to an effective base 60, and being backed by STAB and base 130 attack, it’s a respectably powerful priority attack, and one that picks off things like Bisharp and Mega Tyranitar without a second thought. Bullet Seed is Breloom’s secondary STAB, and although its multi-hit characteristic can make it a little unreliable, it still does solid damage thanks to each hit being boosted by Technician. For its final move, Rock Tomb is its most reliable option that offers the best coverage. It actually got a few buffs in X/Y, having its PP, power, and accuracy increased; now it not only has base 60 power, which maximizes its Technician boost to an effective base 90 power, but also has 95 accuracy, so timely misses are going to be less frequent. Rock Tomb is important because it hits many of Breloom’s checks for super effective damage, especially a few that resist both STAB attacks. Things like Talonflame, Charizard, Dragonite, etc. are a bit more hesitant to switch into Breloom out of fear of Rock Tomb. Not only that, but with its guaranteed speed drop that it inflicts, many switch-ins are put at in instant disadvantage no matter what.
The given EV spread is pretty self explanatory; maximizing attack and speed for optimal offensive presence. Jolly Nature is preferred over Adamant, as it allows Breloom to outspeed Adamant Mamoswine and Bisharp, and beat their priority, but the extra power than Adamant wields cannot be denied. Focus Sash has risen in popularity as a check to offensive teams; many will try to obliterate Breloom outright, which can give it an opportunity to Spore a threat and steal the momentum. This functions decently well as a lead, too, as it’s almost guaranteed to put something to sleep given you won’t have any hazards on turn 1. However, Life Orb’s higher power can let it secure some KOs it might otherwise miss, such as on Excadrill, giving it situational usefulness.
Ah, SubPunch. This set is a relic of times long passed, but it still has some surprise value to this day, which causes it to still be seen, albeit rarely. The premise is very simple: Set up a Substitute on something you know you can force out (which is very easy to do with the threat of Spore), and then proceed to fire off stupidly powerful Focus Punches now that you have a Substitute to allow prevent a loss of focus. Seed Bomb is a seconday STAB for all the times when you might not want to use Focus Punch, and Spore is there because it’s practically a no-brainer; it forces switches, and generally screws non-grass types over due to its 100% accuracy. Spore is what affords Breloom turns to set up Substitutes, and thus abuse Focus Punch to its fullest.
The EVs and Nature obviously maximize Attack, but 12 HP EVs maximize the amount of HP healed from Poison Heal each turn, while the rest of the EVs are put into speed. Poison Heal is necessary on this set to ensure your HP stays high enough to put up Substitutes more than once, and naturally, Toxic Orb is there to ensure that you get the effect. In fact, two turns of Poison Heal is enough to restore the HP lost from making a Substitute, so it is fairly sustainable.
However, this set has fallen from grace in recent years, for a number of reasons. The most obvious of which is the fact that it has very limited coverage; Fighting+Grass alone has a few holes in its coverage that are easy to exploit, most notably due to the fact that both are resisted by flying, bug, and poison types, not to mention numerous dual-types. In addition, sound-based moves now penetrate Substitute, meaning that your Focus Punches may not be as safe as you’d want them to be. With things like Boomburst, Bug Buzz, and Hyper Voice ignoring your substitutes, you may find yourself unable to fire off your mighty Focus Punches, and thus have sacrifices 25% of your HP for nothing. This set has novelty and can be nasty if it catches people off-guard, but it should not be your first choice when using Breloom.
Swords Dance, Bulk Up, Leech Seed, Drain Punch, Force Palm, Stone Edge, Iron Tail, Thunder Punch, Wake-Up Slap, Power-Up Punch
Double & Triple Battle Options
When you see Breloom, it is always safe to assume that it knows one or both of Spore and Mach Punch. Is that all it's good for? Base 70 speed was Breloom's main downfall and Technician Low Sweeps helped mitigate that.. before X and Y gave Low Sweep a 5 point boost in base power. Now Breloom is just feels too slow even when fully invested. It has a gargantuan base 130 Attack, for reference that's 10 points higher than Arceus, but 20 points lower than Groudon. And there's definitely worse defensive spreads for "top heavy" Pokemon than 60/80/60, but being Grass and Fighting does it close to no favors defensively, as in Fighting only resists Bug for the Grass typing, while the Grass typing provides another Flying weakness, so switching it in safely is easier said than done. Not to mention the gratuitous use of Intimidate, Charm and Will-O-Wisp will hamper its offensive capabilities greatly. Despite those nuisances, Grass/Fighting turns out to be an excellent offensive typing. Placing Tyranitar, Rotom-W and Lucario in check. Include the fact that Breloom can ignore "Rage Powder" and opposing "Spore" and we have ourselves a veritable threat.
- Mach Punch
A high risk, high reward set here. Technician STAB LO Mach Punch will KO from a surprising range and is good priority in general. Seed Bomb is your reliable Grass STAB, but Bullet Seed gets the Technician boost and if it hits 4-5 times will absolutely destroy whoever was unfortunate enough to be hit by it, assuming they don't resist it, it can get past Substitutes too if the opportunity arises. Swords Dance is the most risky move on this set, but the pay off is so great... +2 Technician STAB LO Mach Punch will exceed expectations. But Rock Tomb isn't a bad idea either, see even if the intended target switches out, the Pokemon who got hit instead will lose some speed, more than likely allowing Breloom (or its Partner) to outspeed and KO with another move. Substitute is another really risky move, but the pay off again is tremendous.
Breloom can also take advantage of it's Poison Heal to make Substitutes and launch Focus Punches, but sub Punch hasn't been really big in Doubles/Triples.
Great partners for Breloom will be able to handle flying type moves, fire type moves, maybe even fairy type moves, instantly, Rotom-H comes to mind first as it resists all three and checks Mega Charizard Y and Talonflame pretty well. Though covering Breloom's weaknesses is going to be more difficult when Heat Wave becomes more commonly seen in ORAS, but more so than that, the King of Dragons, Mega Salamence will be tearing holes in the metagame with Aerialate Double Edges and Returns, something that all Breloom will want to avoid.
With this in mind it may be too risky to run Breloom at all. The new Fairy type hasn't been kind at all, and Talonflame is just waiting for an excuse to use Brave Bird again. Though if your team is well prepared for those threats, but still struggles with Tyranitar, Rotom-W and the likes of Pokemon weak to Grass but don't care because Grass is a hardly utilized attack type or Pokemon that happen to be weak to fighting... Breloom may be what you need to bring your team to a full... fairy circle.
Grass types are the name of the game for countering Breloom. If you want a Pokemon who can counter Breloom with ease, look no further than Venusaur and its mega evolution. Thanks to its typing, it resists both of Breloom’s STAB attacks and is immune to spore. Meanwhile, its solid bulk and reliable recovery lets it take hits all day long, and it destroys Breloom with Sludge Bomb. Amoongus and Vileplume function similarly to Venusaur, packing the same typing and good bulk as well; they can shrug off anything Breloom can throw at them and retaliate with Sludge Bomb. Amoongus gets special mention due to Regenerator allowing it to shrug off the damage, and the fact that it can Spore obvious switch-ins as Breloom flees from it. Celebi is very much in the same boat; with its all-around good bulk, immunity to Spore, and resistance to Breloom’s STABs, it has very little to fear and can crush Breloom with Psychic. Although it’s certainly no longer the great Pokemon that it used to be, Exeggutor accomplishes the same ends as Celebi thanks to its typing and physical bulk. Both Gourgeist and Trevenant are immune to Breloom’s Fighting STAB and Spore, resist its Grass STAB, and can easily burn Technician Breloom with Will-o-Wisp to cripple it (although Poison Heal Breloom only has one turn to be burned before Toxic kicks in), or assault it with their Ghost STABs. Escavalier doesn’t mind Spore due to Overcoat, and 4x resists Breloom’s Grass STAB. It can 1HKO with Megahorn, but it has to be wary of Breloom’s fighting STAB, as repeated attacks can wear it down, such as Technician Mach Punch 3HKOing it.
When it comes to checking Breloom, there are considerably more options, since it’s slow and frail, but a lot are hesitant to switch in. Virtually every flying type in existence can obliterate Breloom thanks to its 4x weakness to their STAB, but certain ones are especially good at it. Talonflame and Mega Pinsir stand tall, as their flying type priority attacks will absolutely shred Breloom without any effort, but they hate switching into Spore or Rock Tomb, the latter of which 1HKOs without fail. Charizard (and its Mega Evolutions), Togekiss, and Dragonite are in the same boat as well; they can usually dispatch of Breloom, but Rock Tomb and Spore on the switch can ruin their day. Skarmory doesn’t like being Spored, but it can tank any attack Breloom throws at it as it’s only 6HKO’ed, and can either Whirlwind it away, set up hazards, or just 1HKO Breloom outright with Brave Bird. Latios and Latias both resist Breloom’s STAB combo, and have enough bulk to tank a hit or two, but like many others, Spore puts a damper on their day. Espeon can switch into Spore thanks to Magic Bounce and 1HKO Breloom, but Bullet Seed can deal massive amounts of damage to Espeon, if not 1HKO it outright (with a little luck). Sableye can’t switch into Bullet Seed or Spore, but it can utilize its ever annoying Prankster Will-o-Wisp to cripple Technician Breloom’s damage output. It can’t do much to SubPunch sets, though. Weezing tanks Breloom’s hits with ease, as it is generally 6HKO’ed at best by Breloom, and it can try to burn Breloom with Will-o-Wisp or destroy it outright with Sludge Bomb, but like many others, it doesn’t appreciate being put to sleep by Spore. Doublade’s unique typing and good physical bulk lets it tank anything Breloom throws at it, although being so slow it’s an easy target for Spore. At the end of the day though, virtually every Fire, Flying, Poison, Fairy, or Psychic type that can outspeed and tank a Mach Punch checks Breloom with remarkable ease (Ice types can as well but they have to watch for Mach Punch). This includes, but is not limited to, Gardevoir, Starmie, Roserade, Medicham, Arcanine, Victini, Staraptor, Crobat, Salamence, Alakazam, Zapdos, Hawlucha, Darmanitan, Entei, Nidoking… the list goes on. Not a lot of things like switching into Spore or the appropriate coverage move, but once they are in, they can easily dispatch of Breloom with swift and cruel ferocity.
Fill them with Shroom(ish)
Shroomish is one of very few pokemon that have access to the 100% accurate Spore move. It still brings so much utility for set-up sweepers, and canceling out threats at 100% accuracy. Though Shroomish is put down in value compared to Foongus, Shroomish can still serve a slightly different role. Synthesis and Leech Seed are great for stalling HP, both being good in a set with Toxic healing and general tanky healing. Toxic is very good paired with Leech Seed and for killing very tanky Pokemon. Giga Drain is a general great move that provides sustain and a STAB attacking move. Drain Punch is akin to Giga Drain, but most obviously more useful the more Attack-based sets. It helps for a bit more coverage against things like Magnemite. Bullet Seed can be used for a STAB move on a physical set and helps deal with annoying Sturdy users like Onix and Tirtouga. Hidden Power Fire can be used for Special coverage against Steels like Magmemite and Ferroseed. Protect is useful if you are stalling with Leech Seed and/or Toxic. Eviolite should be paired with Effect Spore to cause annoying statuses (which can occasionally cause Sleep to Grass-Types) to be used as a tanky attacker. On the contrary, Toxic Orb should be used with Toxic Heal to make it a regenerating monster with moves like Leech Seed, Giga Drain, Drain Punch, Synthesis, and Protect. EV’s really depend; taking out ideas for Attack and/or Special Attack for extra defences or use for the other stat if you are not using those types of moves. If you are using a Toxic Healing set, always keep HP EVs at 198, this allows Shroomish to gain 3 health per turn. Nature also depends on your type of Shroomish. Bold is great for a tankier special attacker. Brave and Adamant are both useful for Shroomish that use moves like Bullet Seed and Drain Punch. Shroomish still struggles with high-burst attackers that it can’t stall through like Fletchling and Ponyta. It also is severely weakened by Knock Off, though a Toxic Healing Shroomish can tank the first Knock Off and then act as a Knock Off tank thanks to it already being poisoned and not needing the orb. It is fairly slow as well, so you can take advantage of that too. Shroomish with its stalling HP game and utility of status ailments can bring an edge to a match.
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