Gliscor, The Fang Scorp Pokémon. It observes prey while hanging inverted from branches. When the chance presents itself, it swoops! Its flight is soundless. It uses its lengthy tail to carry off its prey... Then its elongated fangs do the rest. It dances silently through the sky. When it approaches prey, it can land a critical hit in an instant.
Back in Gen 2, there was a rather unique and quirky Pokemon introduced. Its name was Gligar. Sporting a unique Ground/Flying typing, and a cool Scorpion/Bat theme, Gligar was certainly an interesting Pokemon… but underwhelming stats prevented it from ever really accomplishing much. However, all of that changed in Generation 4, when Gligar was among a handful of lucky Pokemon selected to receive an evolution. And thus marked the coming of Gliscor, who would improve on Gligar in basically every way and create a top tier threat who would be relevant for generations. Gliscor’s staggering defense stat gives it some sturdy physical bulk to work with, but it can also run some surprisingly effective specially defensive sets as well to make itself a solid mixed wall. In addition, its attack and speed stats both sit at a respectable base 95, which is actually surprisingly good for a defensive Pokemon. But perhaps the greatest boon of all came in Gen 5, when Gliscor got access to Poison Heal through is Hidden Ability. As a result, by equipping a Toxic Orb, Gliscor finds itself with a pseudo-immunity to status, and passive healing that is twice that of Leftovers. However, all is not well for Gliscor. Although it has a solid defense stat, base 75 HP and special defense mean it’s not quite as sturdy on the special side without some serious investment. In addition, its typing does have a few exploitable weaknesses due to a weakness to water and a 4x weakness to ice, and the general power creep has not made Gliscor’s job any easier. Don’t let that fool you into thinking Gliscor has gotten worse; it’s still as sturdy a Pokemon as ever, and it’s hard to keep down.
Hyper Cutter: Opponent cannot lower this Pokémon’s Attack value. This Pokémon may still lower its own Attack value using a move of by itself. - Hyper Cutter is… okay. It’s not a bad ability per se, especially since Intimidate is moderately common, but it’s often overlooked in favor of superior abilities on many of the Pokemon who get it, and Gliscor is no exception. While it’s not a bad ability, Poison Heal is just so much better. Plus, the main set of Gliscor that still used Hyper Cutter, an Acrobatics-centric set, is no longer viable in Gen 6 due to the fact that Flying Gem is unreleased. Hyper Cutter may not be bad, but you’ve got a better option available to you in the form of Poison Heal, so there’s no real reason to use Hyper Cutter.
Gliscor One For The Team
While Swords Dance may seem odd on a defensive Pokemon, Gliscor has all the tools it needs to absolutely crush defensive teams with it, in addition to dealing well with Balance. With its pseudo-immunity to status and passive healing, many bulky but passive Pokemon have difficulty breaking Gliscor, which affords it the opportunity to set up Swords Dance and subsequently break through defensive Pokemon. Earthquake is the STAB of choice to go with, as its infamous coverage and power without drawbacks makes it a potent offensive choice. Knock Off helps hit the things that are immune to or resistant to Earthquake, and in particular hits things like the Lati-twins and Gengar hard. Plus, not much outside of Mega Evolutions and maybe Terrakion really enjoy switching into Knock Off due to its ability to strip Pokemon of their items. Finally, Roost helps keep Gliscor healthy, and in combination with Poison Heal’s passive healing, it can help prevent Gliscor from being worn down, and make it particularly annoying to take down.
Although 244 HP EVs hit the same Poison Heal number as 252 HP EVs, Max HP isn't divisible by 4, so there's no threat of higher passive damage by going max HP EVs. 252 HP EVs allow Gliscor to take hits slightly better on both the physical and special side, so it is used over 244 HP EVs, in order to maximize bulk. The given speed EVs are intended to outspeed neutral natured base 70’s, most notably Breloom and Bisharp. Meanwhile, a Careful nature and 200 Special Defense EVs helps Gliscor be surprisingly bulky on the special side, while also maintaining its natural physical bulk, making it a solid mixed wall. The given EVs also allow it to be a solid answer to things such as Gengar, who can only 3HKO Gliscor with Life Orb, after accounting for Poison Heal Recovery. It should go without saying that Poison Heal is the only ability you should consider using for Gliscor, and naturally, Toxic Orb goes hand in hand with it to activate it.
Swords Dancing isn’t all Gliscor can do to screw up Stall; with a Taunt centric set, Gliscor can cripple the myriad of Pokemon who rely on non-attacking moves, prevent setup, and much more. Many sets are shut down entirely by Taunt, especially on Stall. From there, Toxic is utilized to whittle down opponents’ HP, and it really puts a damper on defensive Pokemon in particular. Earthquake or Knock Off can be used to prevent Gliscor from being too passive; Earthquake has STAB and more reliable damage, but Knock Off has fewer safe switch-ins, and has added utility due to its item-removing prowess. Finally, Roost keeps Gliscor in the match with its reliable and instant healing.
The EVs and nature are identical to the previous set; 252 HP and 200 SpDef with a Careful nature gives Gliscor special bulk to make it a solid mixed wall, while 56 Speed EVs allow it to outspeed neutral natured base 70’s. Poison Heal and Toxic Orb continue to go without saying, as the pseudo-immunity to status and passive healing are perfect for any set.
Gliscor and Seven Years Ago
Here we have a relic of days long past, and one that has massively fallen out of favor. Back in the day, this set, often dubbed Stallscor, was heralded as one of the more annoying Stall tricks. The premise of this set is simple. By poisoning things with Toxic, Gliscor could stall them out. Setting up a Substitute helped this, and thanks to Poison Heal, two turns of passive healing would replenish the HP lost from setting the Substitute. Roost could be used to rapidly restore Gliscor’s HP, while Protect was another option to burn a turn for an extra turn of Toxic damage and Poison Heal recovery. Finally, Earthquake can prevent Gliscor from being entirely passive, although with the recent buff Knock Off can also be viable as well.
So why has this set fallen out of favor? It has always been rather passive and is easily shut down by Taunt, but there are new things that can circumvent it entirely. Namely, sound-based moves that can now penetrate Substitute and hit Gliscor regardless are a huge threat, and as it would happen, things like Mega Altaria, Mega Gardevoir, and Sylveon can do just that to make Gliscor’s life miserable with their Pixilate Hyper Voices. Plus, it’s really not all that threatening compared to the previous sets. Things like Gengar, Magic Guard Clefable, and Mega Sableye really aren’t bothered by it at all.
Regardless, 252 HP EVs continues to be ideal for maximizing bulk. 56 Speed EVs continues to outspeed neutral natured base 70’s, while the remainder of your EVs go into Defense; an Impish nature is also used so that this set adopts a more physically bulky spread. This allows it to better handle physical threats at the cost of special threats being more threatening. Of course, the specially defensive spread from previous sets works just as well. By this point, it should be obvious that Poison Heal and Toxic Orb are standard.
-More Speed EVs can be an option to outspeed certain threats; for instance, 72 speed EVs outspeeds Jolly Tyranitar, while 148 Speed EVs outspeeds speed-natured base 70’s. Doing so will cut into your bulk, however.
VGC, Double & Triple Battle Options
Gligar evolved before Farfetched did. Now that that's out, Gliscor is on the physically defensive side of things. With Poison Heal keeping it healthy it doesn't neccessarily need a recovery move to keep it around, unless it's playing with Kyogre and Groudon. In which case you may want to switch the Toxic Orb for a Focus Sash if you're determined for Gliscor to make a move in the coming battles.
Tooth and Claw
Gliscor is going to find itself among the vast majority of Pokemon who are simply too risky to use in the current Kyogre and Xerneas infested environment. It can stick around for awhile thanks to Poison Heal, but healing off damage is moot when the attacks aimed at Gliscor are going to OHKO it.
Basic strategy here is to Fling the Toxic Orb at something like Cresselia then have STAB Acrobatics to use afterwards. Though don't expect to get many KOs with Acrobatics thanks to rampant Intimidates and Pokemon with base 160 Defense just about on every team.
Gliscor is not a bad Pokemon, it's just that this format, there are a lot of stronger options.
When it comes to countering Gliscor, there are many things that can handle it, but several of Gliscor’s sets can still be a nuisance. Gyarados can switch into Earthquake pretty easily, lower its attack with Intimidate, and cares little for Knock Off on Mega Sets. Meanwhile, it can threaten Gliscor with Waterfall (which 2HKOs), but Toxic can cut down Gyarados’s longevity. Manaphy’s bulk means it doesn’t take much damage from any of Gliscor’s attacks, and with Stealth Rock up it can reliably 1HKO Gliscor with Ice Beam; even without Stealth Rock, it can 2HKO with Ice Beam or Scald. Toxic can be a nuisance to certain Manaphy sets, although with Rain Hydration will make Toxic a non-factor. Kyurem-B is in the same boat as Manaphy; it’s got plenty of bulk to take attacks, and can mutilate Gliscor with Ice Beam, which 1HKOs. It doesn’t like Toxic, however. Azumarill’s Waterfall can 2HKO Gliscor, or 1HKO on Choice Band sets, but again, Toxic is a nuisance and it can’t take repeated Earthquakes, especially since Gliscor outspeeds it. Keldeo’s high-powered Water STAB destroys Gliscor in a heartbeat, and Substitute sets can ward off Toxic to an extent. Mega Slowbro can 2HKO Gliscor and doesn’t mind physical attacks thanks to its insane bulk, but Toxic can really hinder its longevity. Rotom-W has the same issue; it doesn’t mind the Swords Dance set and can 2HKO Gliscor, but Toxic will wear it down and prevent it from doing its job. Offensive Starmie can 1HKO with either Ice Beam or Hydro Pump, and Toxic doesn’t bother it much thanks to Natural Cure, but its low physical bulk means that it can’t take repeated hits. Anything packing an ice type attack ends Gliscor in a heartbeat; Mamoswine and Weavile can both soundly 1HKO Gliscor in addition to outspeeding it, but neither likes Toxic and Earthquake can do a sizable chunk of damage to Weavile. Things that carry Hidden Power Ice, such as Thundurus, can 2HKO Gliscor; in fact, Thundurus is also immune to Earthquake and can Taunt Gliscor to prevent it from using Toxic. Things such as Gengar can also carry HP Ice to lure in and dispose of Gliscor. Serperior doesn’t like Toxic, but it can 2HKO Gliscor with Leaf Storm thanks to Contrary, and it resists Earthquake. Mega Charizard Y is immune to Earthquake and takes pittance from Knock Off, and sun-boosted Fire Blasts can 1HKO about half the time after Stealth Rock damage. Other powerful Mega Evolutions such as Mega Charizard X, Mega Metagross, Mega Medicham, and Mega Altaria can all manage to 2HKO Gliscor, especially if Stealth Rock is up, although some have to watch out for Earthquake due to their typing. In general, although Gliscor can be annoying due to its great survivability, it can still be 2HKO’ed by several things, especially the numerous water and ice type attacks that tend to be common on most teams. Just keep plugging away at it, and the scorpion bat will fall.
Like many Pokemon who were previously considered fully evolved but subsequently received an Evolution, Gligar can still be viable thanks to Gen 5’s advent of Eviolite. It may not anywhere near as viable as Gliscor due to the lack of passive healing and pseudo-immunity to status that Poison Heal Brings, and being more passive due to lower speed and attack, but Eviolite makes it a solid bulky Pokemon in formats where Gliscor cannot be used. Just be wary of Knock Off, because without Eviolite Gligar is an underwhelming Pokemon.
Like most defensive Pokemon, Roost is the crux of Gligar’s set, giving it the survivability it needs to be able to take repeated hits, and thus preventing it from being worn down. Earthquake is Gligar’s main means of damaging opponents, and although its base 75 attack isn’t terribly impressive, Earthquake’s good coverage and solid base 100 power makes up for it. From there, Gligar has a few choices available to it. Defog is infamous for its hazard controlling prowess, but unfortunately for Gligar, it is illegal in combination with its Hidden Ability, Immunity. Defog is a great reason to use Gligar, so unfortunately you’ll often be stuck with the weaker Hyper Cutter. However, if you don’t need Gligar’s hazard control, you can always utilize its hazard setting instead by throwing down Stealth Rock. For the final slot, U-Turn helps it pivot out and maintain momentum, especially on obvious switch-ins. However, you can also opt for Stealth Rock if you utilized Defog; just be wary of blowing away your own hazards.
As was mentioned earlier, the combination of Immunity and Defog is not legal, so if you want to utilize Defog, you must use Hyper Cutter. However, Immunity is a better ability due to allowing Gligar not to be worn down by Toxic, which is the bane of many defensive Pokemon, so if you’re not planning on using Defog, then Immunity is very much worth it. For EVs, 248 HP EVs, 252 Defense EVs, and an Impish Nature maximize physical bulk while minimizing Stealth Rock damage. The remaining 8 EVs are put into its weaker special defense. The only item Gligar should use is Eviolite; the bulk it provides is what makes it viable.
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