Let’s see here scribble scribble scribble, welcome to Pokemon of the Week scribble scri-owowowowow, urrrrrrrgh a paper cut these things are the worst. You know what’s not the worst, this week’s Pokemon, Kartana! This origami samurai may have the grace of a paper swan but it will still cut you like a hot knife. I’m excited to do an article on Kartana, so lets get started.
Origin: Kartana is based on an origami samurai. For being such a simple concept it feels like a creative design and my favourite of the Ultra Beasts. The name appears to me to be derived simply from Katana but Bulbapedia mentions a Sanskrit word for cutting “kartana” as a possible explanation for the “r”.
Original Appearance: Pokemon Sun and Moon
Dex Entry [Moon]: One of the Ultra Beast life-forms, it was observed cutting down a gigantic steel tower with one stroke of its blade.
My favourite Kartana story is still the one Whimsicott tells of when she first encountered this ferocious beast and then it zooms out to show that it is actually tiny and adorable. Having yet to play Sun I have not encountered it, but the image is quite clear and I love it. Now Kartana is an amazing Pokemon with tons of sets and I have officially left my unemployed life behind so the details might not be as in depth as usual.
Kartana’s ability is Beast Boost, standard among Ultra Beasts. With a gigantic Attack stat of 185 (!!!) and decent Speed Kartana is most commonly used as a Physical Sweeper, Wallbreaker, or set up ‘mon. To synergize with Beast Boost, the Attack stat is often made higher than the Speed so that Kartana only gets more powerful with each knock out, allowing it to plow through slower teams. R.Sigma’s set (originally from PokeaimMD) actually breaks this mold and EVs such that Speed is higher than Attack. This makes it very much like a Speed Boost Pokemon instead of a Moxie Pokemon. This way it can boost its Speed alongside its already incredibly high Attack to sweep through teams that are fast and frail such as hyper offense. I learned something new about Ultra Beasts here that you I want to share in case you aren’t familiar yourself. Choice Band and Choice Scarf do not affect which stat gets Beast Boosted meaning you can have a fast Kartana that still boosts Attack by using a Choice Scarf.
Kartana’s STAB moves include Leaf Blade and Smart Strike. For coverage it has access to Night Slash, Aerial Ace, Psycho Cut, Brick Break/Sacred Sword. Something new that I learned were the non-attacking moves it has in its arsenal, since it is almost always run as an attacker, Defog, Swords Dance, and Synthesis.
The most common OU sets run Jolly with max Attack and Speed, with Swords Dance, Sacred Sword, Leaf Blade, and Smart Strike. Fightinium Z is a great item for letting it break through counters like Ferrothorn and start boosting to victory. That is one mean paper cut. Personally, I think that any set running Swords Dance should use the Speed Beast Boosting technique I mentioned earlier to balance out the sweeping stats which would mean playing with the EVs. An alternate singles set is Choice Scarf with the two STAB moves and two coverage moves, helping it to outspeed things like Tapu Koko and create some easy late game sweeps with Leaf Blade spam.
My fun set for this week is actually from the VGC which is apt because Kartana is a very popular choice there. Normally, it is run as a Focus Sash attacker but Human came up with a set that uses Scope Lens (boosts Critical Hit rate) to amplify its high critical rate moves such as Night Slash, Psycho Cut, and Leaf Blade. Now I’ll leave it up to you to experiment with what moves to use, his set runs Substitute, Detect, Leaf Blade, and Sacred Sword, but I really like this idea because critical hits are a mechanic that have not been experimented with enough. On top of that in VGC where Intimidate is so common critical hits are twice as valuable to ignore the Attack drop.
Kartana is one of the few Pokemon that you can actually make in real life, you know if you study origami for many years. Myself I think I will just stick to my video game Kartana.
Until next time, SumtimesIFly