Welcome to Pokemon of the Week, this episode we are interviewing Pikachu, a crowd favourite. Pikachu how does it feel to be here “Mim-Mimikyu”….wait a minute are you really a Pikachu, what’s under that sheet…AHHHHHH ITS TERRIFYING HELP HELP SECURITY. “Mimikyu :(“. Mimikyu is the actual Pokemon of the Week and I think that was a little dramatic because I know several people, Jushiro and myself, love Mimikyu and all of its ghoulish insecurities! The goal of our article today is to help everyone understand and appreciate our friend Mimikyu!
Origin: Mimikyu’s name is a combination of “mimic” and “you” as in mimic you. I initially thought that the end of the name was to make it sound similar to Pikachu, furthering the disguise. For those of you that have played Dark Souls the similarity to a mimic is striking. Mimikyu is based on bed sheet ghosts (think Casper), specifically one disguised as Pikachu in an effort to be more easily accepted.
Original Appearance: Pokemon Sun and Moon
Dex Entry [Sun]: Its actual appearance is unknown. A scholar who saw what was under its rag was overwhelmed by terror and died from the shock.
Dex Entry [Sun – Busted form]: After going to all the effort of disguising itself, its neck was broken. Whatever is inside is probably unharmed, but it’s still feeling sad.
Mimikyu is one of the most creative Pokemon to come out of Sun and Moon. From appearances alone there are so many origins you can infer or stories to dream up, and I am glad because every Pokemon game needs characters like this. It has definitely drawn many fans to it since being released. Mimikyu just happens to be one of the rare cute Pokemon to also be very competitively viable. With decent Speed, decent Attack, and low HP it lends itself to being a Physical attacker. Much to my surprise its strongest stat is actually its Special Defense at 105 but without recovery or HP it is hard to put to use.
The real key to Mimikyu’s success is its ability Disguise. Shoring up its weak bulk by giving it one free turn to absorb a hit and potentially set up. It is very similar to Sturdy in that way but superior in that it doesn’t leave you at 1HP at the end. Mimikyu has an extensive Special movepool but unfortunately its Special Attack stat makes it almost worthless. On the Physical side it is limited to strong STABs in Shadow Claw and Play Rough, priority in Shadow Sneak (Mimikyu would look awesome performing this move leaving its disguise in place and sneaking out from underneath), Bug coverage in Leech Life/X-Scissor, and Grass coverage in Wood Hammer. Thankfully it can shore up that weak movepool with strong boosting moves, Hone Claws and Swords Dance. I do however feel bad for Mimikyu because it has such an amazing support movepool but not enough bulk to do anything with it. This includes Taunt, Will-o-Wisp, Pain Split, Destiny Bond, Trick Room, Mimic, and Swagger.
The set dominating OU right now is the Swords Dance cleaner, running Jolly all out attacker with SD, Shadow Sneak, Play Rough, Shadow Claw. Not much in the meta resists both these STABs allowing it to set up and sweep the late game easily, once its checks are whittled down, using Shadow Sneak to take out faster threats. The downside to this set is that 96 speed isn’t that fast for a sweeper so it is often paired with Sticky Web or Trick Room to give it the freedom to let loose with Shadow Claw and Play Rough. On top of that Disguise only works once leaving you with only one chance to make it count. My opinion is that Shadow Claw is unnecessary because at +2 Play Rough and Shadow Sneak OHKO most of the Pokemon Shadow Claw targets (Psychics and other Ghosts are often frail). This allows you to try out all sorts of fourth moves, Will-o-Wisp to hamper incoming checks, Substitute to preserve your Disguise, another coverage move, or my favourite Destiny Bond to get one last KO.
Being an Alolan native Mimikyu is in VGC 2017 and has actually found a role on several teams especially when paired with Snorlax. I’m not as familiar with the VGC meta because it changes so fast but I know that Mimikyu has many viable sets. It has access to fast Taunt or Will-o-Wisp. I’ve seen it run with Life Orb or a Z-Crystal. Most notably it has access to Trick Room so it can easily find a role as an attacker on a Trick Room team. The only other set I have seen is similar to the OU version with Swords Dance to clean up in the end game. If those readers familiar with VGC know some of the most current sets feel free to post because I would love to know.
For a fun set this week I was toying around with Weakness Policy Mimikyu to give you an automatic Swords Dance when they hit your disguise…and then I felt real silly when I remembered Weakness Policy only activates if you take damage from the move ruining that plan. One thing that does work behind Disguise is Red Card which could allow you to set up a double Swords Dance if you get lucky with your new matchup, but if that is the case then just run the Magikarp special, Z-Splash!!! for that more reliable +3 to Attack. Due to the limits of Mimikyu’s attacking movepool the offensive version is rather set in stone. I tried to come up with a bulky Mimikyu which makes use of that SpDef stat but it is likely a gimmick at best. It would run a Careful nature and Leftovers, with max HP and a split between SpDef and Speed depending on the speed tier you want to land in. From there it runs Taunt, Will-o-Wisp, Play Rough/Shadow Claw, Destiny Bond/Pain Split. The problem is that as much fun as it can be to eat a Specs Lele Psychic with a Mimikyu, it is hard to do anything threatening in return. The real goal is to catch common switch-ins, like Landorous-T and Scizor, with a Will-o-Wisp. I love the move Pain Split so that is why I included it but if I had to guess Destiny Bond is probably better. I was also thinking of an Assault Vest set that ran Shadow Sneak, Shadow Claw, Play Rough, and Leech Life. Unfortunately without a boost it just is not threatening enough for OU. One last idea to toy with if you are a VGC player is the Psych Up variant on an Evoboost Eevee team.
Mimikyu is a great companion to have, it loves spending time with its trainer, but make sure you don’t add a Pikachu to your team because Mimikyu’s envy will sneak up on you from the shadows.
Until next time, SumtimesIFly