Kyogre, The Sea Basin Pokémon. A mythical Pokémon said to have swelled the seas with rain and tidal waves. It battled with Groudon . It is said to have widened the seas by causing downpours. It had been asleep in a marine trench. Through Primal Reversion and with nature's full power, it will take back its true form. It can summon storms that cause the sea levels to rise.Kyogre is said to be the personification of the sea itself. Legends tell of its many clashes against Groudon, as each sought to gain the power of nature.
Kyogre has made quite the splash ever since its inception back in Gen 3 (gratuitous pun intended). With its torrential rain and beastly special attack, the Sea Basin Pokemon has been pretty much banned from every battle format ever due to how powerful it is. And well, that hasn't really changed all that much over the years. Kyogre's been pretty consistent, with its main role being to fire off stupidly powerful Water Spouts until everything becomes dead, and it has tended to outshine its counterpart Groudon at every turn. However, Gen 6 did bring a few things to spite it. With the nerf to weather, Kyogre now only has five turns of rain, as opposed to the infinite duration that it used to have. This doesn't hurt its ability to fire off nuclear Water Spouts too much, but it does hurt its ability to support the rest of the team with its rain. ORAS brought another new introduction to give it a headache as well, and that would be Primal Groudon. With its Desolate Land, it can completely negate Kyogre's water attacks and there's not a thing Kyogre can do about it. Well, except for maybe utilizing its own primal form, but sadly Primal Kyogre got the short end of the stick and wasn't quite as much of an improvement as everyone hoped. As a result, standard Kyogre still sees a lot of use despite its primal form. Don't make the mistake of thinking all of this makes Kyogre any less dangerous though, as it can 2HKO almost everything in the game if you're not careful.
Drizzle: Weather changes to Heavy Rain when the Pokémon enters the battle. As of X & Y, this lasts 5 turns. - Kyogre's only option for an ability is a very good one. Drizzle's rain boosts the already high power of its water STAB attacks, and makes Thunder perfectly accurate. Plus, its teammates such as Palkia or Ferrothorn can take advantage of the rain as well. It may only last five turns thanks to the weather nerf in Gen 6, but it's still a fearsome ability.
Kyogres are like Onions
This is the set you will see most people run, choosing either Choice Scarf to make up for its lower base speed or Choice Specs to boost its incredibly High Special Attack to even greater heights in an effort to make anything afraid to switch into this thing. Water Spout at full health is highly spammable, as very little barring Palkia and Primal Groudon want to switch into it. To put it in perspective, even specially defensive Ferrothorn is 2HKO'ed by a full health Choice Specs Water Spout in the rain. Ice Beam hits dragons who think they can switch in, such as Rayquaza and Zekrom. Thunder can deal with opposing Kyogre, and thanks to Drizzle it becomes perfectly accurate. Origin Pulse, Surf, or Scald can be used to fire off Water STAB attacks if your HP gets a bit low for Water Spout to be effective. Origin Pulse has high power, Surf has perfect accuracy and moderate power, and Scald has the lowest power but can get the chance burn, which can monumentally screw things like Ferrothorn and Zekrom if they try to switch in.
The EVs are fairly self explanatory by opting for max power and speed. A timid nature tends to be preferable on a Scarf set to maximize speed, but a Modest set can be used to maximize its power to make it harder to switch into. However, Modest can be largely overkill, as even Chansey can be 2HKO'ed by Specs Water Spout in rain with Stealth Rock mixed in.
Kyogre and Under
- Thunder Wave
When it's not shackled by a Choice item that locks it into the same attack, Kyogre can utilize Thunder Wave to screw over a lot of switch-ins. Something like Palkia or opposing Kyogre may think they can switch into Kyogre's Water STAB, but when the Thunder Wave comes knocking, they find themselves screwed over considerably. This set prefers consistency over raw power, so Surf or Origin Pulse (depending on your preference for accuracy vs. power) is considered. Thunder and Ice Beam offer the same coverage that was mentioned above against Water and Dragon types, and thanks to Drizzle, Thunder has perfect accuracy.
This set opts for a bulkier Kyogre rather than a speedy one, and thus it invests in HP and SpA, while also being mindful to minimize stealth rock damage. Leftovers tends to be Kyogre's best option, given it adds a bit of survivability without any downsides, and allowing it to abuse Thunder Wave on switch-ins. However, be mindful of the fact that Electric types like Zekrom can't be paralyzed, in addition to Ground types like Primal Groudon.
Sleep in the Rain
Although Kyogre is primarily used as an offensive Pokemon, it does have merit as a specially defensive Pokemon given its solid 100/140 special bulk. However, it lacks reliable recovery, so it has to resort to a classic RestTalk set. Scald is the preferred move on a defensive set, due to its ability to physical attackers that may try to switch-in. Roar prevents any wise guys who think they'll be able to set up on this set, while also not having the negative priority if chosen by Sleep Talk. Rest and Sleep talk are obvious for keeping Kyogre healthy while also preventing it from being a sitting duck while sleeping. However, Sleep Talk does have a bit of luck involved, so sometimes things can go awry.
The nature and EVs maximize its special bulk while also minimizing the damage it takes from Stealth Rock. This set is almost impossible to 1HKO with a special attack, as it only takes about 71% max from Choice Specs Kyurem-W's Draco Meteor. However, be wary of taking repeated hits, especially when asleep already.
Damp Rock, Thunderbolt, Calm Mind
Double & Triple Battle Options
Kyogre was feared for having the heaviest hitting attack in the game in a Modest Choice Specs Water Spout in the rain. Nothing bar from Assault Vest Palkia dared switch in on it, and even then Kyogre would sometimes be able to muscle through Palkia's x4 resistance. And now in ORAS it was given essentially a Mega Evolution, how much terror will Kyogre bring to today's metagame?
Turns out there was a point in time where Kyogre was legal to use in the Video Game Championships, one wildly popular set was the Choice Scarf set, detailed below.
Playtime is Kyogre
- Water Spout
Base 90 speed isn't wildly fast, but with a Choice Scarf it is. The main move of this set is Water Spout for obvious reasons. For anyone who's played in the VGC 2014 format just imagine if Mega Charizard Y's Heat Wave did an additional 63% damage to your team members AND was 100% accurate. That's the kind of power we're dealing with, assuming Kyogre's HP is full. Thunder is 100% accurate in the Rain, which Kyogre provides. Ice Beam is single target with 100% Accuracy, while Blizzard is Double Target, with lower accuracy UNLESS, it is used in Hail, which might not be as relevant today as it was yesterday with weather wars being a thing you could count on. Kyogre's new signature move, Origin Pulse will be the back up Water STAB when Kyogre has taken a few hits, it has slightly better accuracy than Hydro Pump too which is nice. Hidden Power Ground is an option over Origin Pulse because Primal Groudon will be switching in on pretty much every Kyogre thanks to its Primordial Sea ability, but Ice Beam can usually 3KO it if you were worried about having a back up plan for Water Spout.
Fun Fact: Apparently Hidden Power Flying was used as an alternate way to hit Grass types like Ludicolo, who x4 resisted Water.
Back in VGC 2010, there was a popular combo known as Top Ogre, which referred to the leads of Hitmontop and Kyogre together. Hitmontop providing intimidate and Fake Out support, alongside other Priority like Mach Punch, which would usually be just enough damage to get the opponent into KO range for Kyogre's Water Spout. Needless to say, Hitmontop made a good partner for Kyogre, but who else would? Generally, other Pokemon with intimidate help, because one of Kyogre's weaknesses is in its base 90 Defense, which isn't terrible, but still doesn't survive a +2 Extreme Speed from Arceus. Swift Swimmers aren't a bad idea either for a super fast offensive front. Talonflame also makes a great partner despite being a Fire type. Priority Brave Bird ruins any Ludicolo's day alongside any other Grass types, but also brings even more Pokemon down to KO range for Kyogre's Water Spout.
Kyogre's only real flaw now isn't its own fault, it's just that Desolate Land has been introduced. To be frank, fighting a Groudon without a Blue Orb is about as rare as finding a Sturdy Carbink in the wild in X and Y (Don't count on it).
Countering Kyogre is a daunting prospect, as Choice Specs Kyogre can 2HKO pretty much everything in the game in the rain, including special walls such as Chansey. However, Kyogre tends to thrive on choice items, so if you can lock it into the right move, you can dispatch it. Palkia and opposing Kyogre can switch into its Water STAB, but have to watch out for Thunder. If you can manage to strip it of its weather, then it is much easier to handle, as Ferrothorn and Chansey can take any hit Kyogre can muster. Primal Groudon gets a mention as well, since it can completely negate Kyogre's Water STAB and proceed to shred it with Earthquake, although it has to watch out for repeated Ice Beams.
Checking Kyogre is very easy due to its low (by legendary standards) base 90 defense and speed. Zekrom can 1HKO with Bolt Strike every time, and often carries a Choice Scarf, so it usually outspeeds. Xerneas can try to set up Geomancy on Kyogre since Geomancy's Special Defense boost can allow it to survive a Water Spout, but Specs Water Spout can 1HKO with Stealth Rock so it has to be wary. Darkrai can put Kyogre to sleep with Dark Void, but Sleep Talk sets can be an annoyance. Mega Salamence and Mega Kangaskhan can prey on Kyogre's low defense, but hate switching into it. Shaymin-S can 1HKO with Seed Flare if Rocks are up or try to play luck with Air Slash flinches, but it can't take even a resisted Water Spout and Ice Beam obliterates it. It's also worth noting that although Kyogre's Water Spout has raw power, it loses power as Kyogre's HP goes down. For this reason, hazards help to whittle its HP down, limiting the number of times it will want to switch in.
Like its counterpart Groudon, Kyogre got a Primal form as well. Unlike Groudon though, Primal Kyogre is... not quite as good as everyone hoped. It does get a bit more special attack, but sadly the power from Specs or the Speed from Scarf is still often preferable. It got a substantial boost to its attack as well, but sadly it lacks the movepool to effectively utilize it. And as the final nail in the coffin, Primordial Sea is not that much better than standard rain as it is. The added ability to negate fire attacks is largely useless, as no one's really going to be using fire attacks against Kyogre anyway. Plus, it loses its ability to provide rain support for the rest of its team. It's not all doom and gloom though, as Primal Kyogre did get a boost to its special defense as well, which allows it to run a Calm Mind set a little better than standard Kyogre. In addition, Primal Kyogre's Primordial Sea can override Primal Groudon's Desolate Land, depending on who comes in last. As a result, Primal Kyogre can be a situational check to Primal Groudon, but often times, it's standard Kyogre who still sees use.
Primordial Sea: Creates the Heavy Rain weather. This lasts until the Pokémon exits battle, and renders Fire-type moves useless. - Not quite as good an ability as anyone hoped. Fire type attacks are already practically useless when Kyogre is in play, so the ability to negate them does very little. Plus, given it ends when Primal Kyogre switches out, it can't support its teammates with its rain unless you're playing in Doubles.
Primed and Ready
- Origin Pulse
Primal Kyogre's movepool doesn't differ all that much from standard Kyogre. However, since it tends to take hits due to having to stay in as opposed to the hit and run style of a Choice set, Origin Pulse is taken over Water Spout for its consistency. Thunder and Ice Beam are still for the same additional coverage that has been mentioned over and over; Thunder can hit opposing Kyogre, Lugia, and Palkia, while Ice Beam deals with Dragons and is its best tool against Primal Groudon if Desolate Land is active. With its huge special attack and special defense, it can further its potency by boosting both stats, a set that it performs marginally better than standard Kyogre. HP Ground can be used over Calm Mind to deter Primal Groudon from switching in as it can 2HKO it (assuming it's not specially defensive).
Double & Triple Battle Options
Groudon's Primal Reversion has solidified it's position as a top of the line pick for a No Restrictions environment, turning what would have been a x4 weakness into an immunity allows it many opportunities to switch in and turn the tide of battle. What about Kyogre?
Kyogre's Primal Reversion gives it a jaw dropping base 180 Special Attack, base 150 Physical attack, and base 160 Special Defense. Broken down, this means that Kyogre hits as hard as Attack Form Deoxys from the Special Side, hits as hard as Zekrom on the Physical side AND takes Special hits better than Goodra. On top of that, its Primordial Sea is permanent rain, until Primal Groudon or Mega Rayquaza come in. Though Primaordial Sea is where Kyogres Pros and Cons mix. On the plus side Kyogre doesn't have to worry about silly things like Abomasnow or regular Groudon but the downside is that the ability gives Kyogre an immunity to a type it already resisted, essentially making it that the only benefit Kyogre gets from Primordial Sea is being immune to Will-O-Wisp from Giratina, Mewtwo or Arceus.
Kyogre's movepool ironically, is shallow. This set or a variant of it will be what to expect when facing it in battle. Despite it being predictable, it doesn't mean Kyogre won't destroy your team if you're complacent. With one Calm Mind, any and all attempts to take it down from Special Offense become laughable. Because of Kyogre, it's a good idea to keep a strong Physical Attacker on your team, like EKiller Arceus or Ho-Oh as Kyogre doesn't handle +2 Extreme Speed or Brave Bird very well. But if for some terrible reason you aren't able to one shot Kyogre, prepare to be in a world of hurt as +1 Rain Boosted STAB Origin Pulse will HURT. Thunder is one way around Assault Vest Palkia that has a 30% Paralysis rate. It's also a safe move to use when you're expecting a switch to something that isn't Primal Groudon.
Primal Kyogre's best partners will aid Kyogre's weak Defense, help boost its speed, take advantage of the Permanent Rain, or check Groudon somehow. Therian Landorus has intimidate and a powerful Earthquake to dish out, while Scizor has Tailwind, priority and benefits from the rain. Both are good partners for this Kyogre.
Primal Kyogre's weaknesses are only apparent when comparing its strengths with Primal Groudon's.
-Primal Groudon can switch in on Primal Kyogre just fine, but Primal Kyogre can't switch in safely on Primal Groudon because Precipice Blades/Earthquake hits too hard..
From here, it's apparent that Kyogre got the short end of the stick in ORAS, and from here using it as freely as in previous generations is going to be difficult. Careful playing, sound predictions and team building will be key in getting the most out of Primal Kyogre.
Countering Primal Kyogre
Pretty much everything that counters Kyogre also counters Primal Kyogre. In truth, Choice Specs Kyogre actually hits harder than Primal Kyogre, but it can switch attacks and you can't wait out its rain. Its defense and speed remain unchanged, so everything that can check Kyogre has no increased difficulty in doing so to Primal Kyogre. Hitting it hard on the physical side can usually wear it down, and Electric attacks from things like Zekrom, Xerneas and opposing Kyogre tend to be very potent against Primal Kyogre. Xerneas also has a little easier time setting up Geomancy against Primal Kyogre due to the lower power. Once again, Primal Groudon can be an answer as well, given its Desolate Land can override Primordial Sea if Primal Groudon switches in last. Primal Kyogre can be tricky to switch into, but due to its underwhelming base 90 speed, a lot of things can take a huge chunk of its HP out once they're in.
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