With a dapper haircut and an ego to back it up, Staraptor is soaring into PUCL’s spotlight this week. Frankly, as far as strategy goes, Staraptor’s options are pretty clear-cut. Basically, you’re are going to charge into your opponent at full power or speed and hope that they don’t get a chance to retaliate. Fortunately, Staraptor has a fantastic ability to support this “reckless” playstyle, as said ability is Reckless.
There are two primary variants to Staraptor battle styles. These revolve entirely around the “choice” of Choice Band or Choice Scarf as its item. Either one is ultimately pretty effective, with the Choice Scarf strategy being dominant in most circumstances. Necessary moves on any Staraptor running Reckless are Brave Bird and Double Edge. U-turn is often used as the third move due to the mobility / momentum that it provides, not to mention type coverage. The choice for the last move is a bit tricky, as Staraptor suffers from 4 move-slot syndrome. Reasonable choices include Close Combat, Final Gambit, and Quick Attack. To elaborate on these, Close Combat provides the best coverage, and is probably the beginner’s best choice. Final Gambit is fantastic for all-or-nothing play styles that want to throw an opponent off balance for a few turns. For example, Staraptor is normally walled by Skarmory, so a Final Gambit on a Skarmory will deal enough damage to allow almost any switch-in to apply pressure to the opponent next turn. This is my personal favorite, but is definitely the most risky to pull off. As for Quick Attack, it benefits from the extra power provided from Choice Band more than Scarf.
Alternate Staraptor strategies would likely use its other ability: Intimidate. While this is almost never seen, I could imagine its effectiveness in Doubles or VGC. An example set that comes to the top of my head would actually be to use it in a support role with Pluck, Protect, Tailwind, and U-turn. Whether this is complete trash or not, I have no idea, as I do not specialize in that format. I imagine an EV spread featuring HP investment, and a Jolly Nature would accompany Leftovers or Focus Sash as an item. This is just brainstorming so that I can produce a bit more content, as Staraptor strategies are actually incredibly clear-cut most of the time.
252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 Defense
Jolly or Adamant Nature
For team mates, consider Ground-types to absorb any Electric or Rock-type attacks. I would advise Hippowdon and Gastrodon as fantastic options. As for Staraptor’s weakness to Ice, Mega Venusaur and Snorlax make excellent tanks. As with any sweeper, choice of pivots / tanks is imperative, so be sure to have some sort of type complementation going on. Watch out for Talonflame, Conkeldurr, and any Pokemon that could have the move Ice Shard, as these are Staraptor’s fatal flaw.
Now, I must admit I’m disappointed that there aren’t more strategies for such a cool-looking bird. I challenge you all to post potential sets in the comments below! Also, I have officially run out of a queue of “In the Metas” to write, so I am now taking suggestions for new Pokemon at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the site’s PM function. As for Staraptor, leave no mercy and dive headfirst into battle! Remember this Puclonians, and your Staraptor will be the very best.