Gourgeist, The Pumpkin Pokémon. Singing in eerie voices, they wander town streets on the night of the new moon. Anyone who hears their song is cursed. It enwraps its prey in its hairlike arms. It sings joyfully as it observes the suffering of its prey.
Gourgeist is a rather interesting Pokémon. On first look, you may check it out and think "what is this thing?", but you will soon come to realise that it's a very versatile Pokémon. Gourgeist is unique in that it has four different forms which are based on its size, and these forms fully affect its stats. Its Hit Points, Attack and Speed stats will change with the smaller sizes having less HP & Attack but higher Speed while the larger ones have higher HP & Attack. This makes it quite an interesting Pokémon to use as the Small Size Gourgeist will have to work completely differently to the Super Size ones. The bad thing is that, if you want the fast Gourgeist, you really do have to sacrifice a lot for it. Really, most of the time you will be wanting to go with the larger version.
Pick Up: Has a 10% chance of finding and holding an item after battle. Will not work if this Pokémon is already holding an item. It allows for the user to pick up the item of its opponent or ally if they used up the item in battle. - No. Just no. Don't you dare even think of using this competitively. It's almost as useless as Illuminate
The Great Pumpkin
Phantom Force is a decent Ghost-type move that was introduced in this generation, and lucky Gourgeist, it gets it. It is a two-turn move adding a turn where you can't be damaged, but when it attacks, it bypasses Protect meaning the opponent can't really defend against it as they would be able to for most two-turn moves. Seed Bomb is a great physical Grass-type move. It's not overly powerful, but with Gourgeist's Attack stat, it can do some decent damage. Will-O-Wisp works as always, burning the Pokémon for damage each turn and halving their Attack, ruining so many Pokémon, and Leech Seed is its only way to recover at this time, and chips away at health, so is always handy.
So, we have the ways to chip out at a Pokémon, but what if you wish to use Gourgeist a bit differently? Let's try it as a sweeper. Using Trick-or-Treat turns the opponent into a part Ghost-type, so if you were against a Blaziken, it'd become Fire/Fighting/Ghost, making it weak to Ghost-type moves. With Expert Belt boosting Super Effective moves, this works rather well, but Life Orb boosts it higher, but at detriment to your health. Shadow Sneak gives Gourgeist priority, which is extra handy considering its Speed. Seed Bomb is a decent STAB Grass-type move while the final move is a choice of yours. Rock Slide gives decent coverage with a chance of flinching, Explosion is powerful as a last resort, but you're screwed if you hit the opponent with Trick-or-Treat previously while Phantom Force can monopolise on that and bypass Protect. Truly handy..
Carving a niche
The smallest Gourgeist has less Attack, so you need to shift your strategy up a bit, and you can chip away at the opponent. This set is a simple Sub-Seed set. Substitute allows you to survive with Leech Seed bringing back your health. Will-O-Wisp works as it always does and Phantom Force has that two-turn move with STAB.
Flame Charge, Gyro Ball, Return, Toxic, Trick
Double & Triple Battle Options
I'm surprised it took so long for us to get a Pumpkin Pokemon, but I'm glad we did. Was it worth the wait?
Fun Fact: The Gourgeist family are the only Grass Type Pokemon to date that can learn Flamethrower and Fire Blast, additionally, they are one of three Grass type families that can learn Will-O-Wisp. The former fact would be awesome, but all Gourgeist forms have a disappointingly low base 58 Special Attack, as in Koffing can hit harder from the special side. With that in mind let's abuse the latter fact in tandem with Leech Seed.
Seeds of Despair
- Leech Seed
This set proudly boasts the ability to survive an Adamant 252 Atk, Choice Band Brave Bird from Talonflame outside of a critical hit. That's impressive considering that Gourgeist isn't Mega Venusaur. The defenses are strictly physical though. So it isn't going to stand up to Aegislash Shadow Balls or Heat Waves from Mega Charizard Y. What this set will aim to do is close a game in your favor utilizing passive damage and passive healing. Basically make it so that your opponent only has Physical Attackers that aren't Talonflame or Mega Charizard X or Pokemon that can't hurt Gourgeist terribly, be sure to get the Leech Seed up, Wisp if needed and then pass as many turns as possible, letting Leech Seed and Will-O-Wisp do the work for you.
Insomnia is the ability of choice to avoid Dark Void shenanigans from Smeargle, but Frisk reveals BOTH foe's held items. It's really up to personal preference.
I believe having Leftovers as the held item is paramount to the success of this set, extra recovery only helps Gourgeist and with the ammount of turns passed in using Protect and Phantom Force, it seems too good to use another item. But if you're forced to, Rocky Helmet deals passive damage to the enemies who make contact with Gourgeist. Phantom Force serves two purposes, the first being to avoid damage and pass a turn, and the second to do some actual damage to the opponent, regardless if they Protect or King's Shield. Some players may value Seed Bomb to take advantage of Grass STAB though.
Great partners for Gourgeist will take care of Talonflame, Charizard, Aegislash, and various Dark types. If Garchomp can handle half of those, then Azumarill can handle the other half. If you decide to pair up Azumarill with Gourgeist you're only one Fire type away from completing a FWG (Fire Water Grass) core for your team. Rotom-H is a wildly popular (and solid) choice, and can even Will-O-Wisp some Pokemon for Gourgeist to take advantage of later.
Gourgeist, despite being Grass/Ghost, is a defensive titan. Despite that, it is almost completely shut down by Taunt users. Some offensive Pokemon even opt out of using Protect for Substitute, that also puts Gourgiest in a bad spot. And it does have forms other than Super, but they fall short on some level or another, seeing as they know the same moves so they more or less fill the same role. Small Gourgeist was close to being useful, but falls short because of base 99 Speed, if it were base 103 Speed (faster than Garchomp) then we would have a fast Leech Seeder to play with, but we don't, and thus many players just use the Super Sized. Despite its defensive stats it's still weak to common attacking moves like Ice Beam and Fire Blast. So in closing, Gourgeist doesn't just come in at any time and close battles for you, the environment needs to be just right for it to perform well.
Despite its beastly defences, unless a large focus is put in Defense and Hit Points, Gourgeist's worst enemy is still Talonflame, due to priority Brave Bird essentially being able to OHKO non-Defensively focused Gourgeist. Alternatively, you need to hit Gourgeist with Special moves. Special Fire-type moves especially will get rid of Gourgeist with great ease, so Pokémon like Charizard are perfect for taking it out. Alternatively, Ghost-type or Dark-type Pokémon to focus on the Ghost-type of Gourgeist also work out with moves like Shadow Ball and Dark Pulse being perfect for taking it out.
I Couldn’t Think of Any Pun-kins for Pumpkaboo
Pumpkaboo is... interesting to say the least. First of all, there’s four different forms of them: Small, Normal, Large and Super. The smaller the size, the more speed Pumpkaboo will have in its base stat, at the cost of its health stat. The bigger the size, the more health it has at the cost of speed. It’s a Grass/Ghost combo type, which gives it many supportive advantages like being able to block Rapid Spin, and resist common attacking types like Water, Ground and Fighting. What kills Pumpkaboo though, is its mediocre stats in general and how it’s outclassed. Pumpkaboo doesn’t fail anywhere important to it’s usability, but it doesn’t excel and Cottonee, Ferroseed, and even Lileep are much better at being supportive Grass-Types. Since Pumpkaboo fits the role of a tanky supportive Grass-Type the best, using the Super form of Pumpkaboo is the best, since speed doesn’t matter as much and extra health is nice. Substitute works well for blocking status ailments and works even better with the healing moves Pumpkaboo has for now. Pain Split is a great way to whittle down your opponent and works even better with Substitute, as the more times you use Sub, the more health you’ll gain back. This also works with Leech Seed, if you want to provide a smaller full-team bonus. Will-O-Wisp is an amazing move. The burn cripples any physical attacker, and helps speed up the process of whittling down your opponent. Toxic could be used in the same sense, but Will-O-Wisp is far superior. Bullet Seed is a nice STAB Attacking move, that breaks down substitutes. Seed Bomb can be used for a more reliable source of damage for a Grass-Type STAB. Shadow Sneak provides a physical Ghost-STAB that can be used to finish off low-health opponents. Eviolite further brings Pumpkaboo’s defences up. Frisk is the most useful ability at Pumpkaboo’s disposal, since Insomnia is already neutralized by Pumpkaboo’s immunity to Spore and Sleep Powder. The EV’s and nature choice further boost Pumpkaboo’s defensive stats. Being this tanky, it still is not that hard to deal with Pumpkaboo. A strong Fire, Flying and or Ghost type attack will usually do sizeable damage to Pumpkaboo. It is also destroyed by priority (especially of the aforementioned types) and Taunt, since it is basically full utility and its attacking properties aren’t that special. A special mention to the very common Knock Off on basically every pokemon easily ends everything about Pumpkaboo. Even with these weaknesses and the fact that it is outclassed, Pumpkaboo still brings some very nice utility and presence and can be a very spooky addition to your team.
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