Hello Pokemon enthusiasts, I’m SumtimesIFly with an article on our Pokemon of the Week, Lycanroc. A ball of rocky energy during the day it is a truly loyal partner but that is a hard personality to keep up all the time and by evening this Pokemon is trapped deep in its feelings. It slows down and looks inwards shielding itself from others. I know that traditionally Lycanroc’s form is based on the world in which it evolves and is permanent, but as I mentioned in the Discord I think that the newly announced Dusk form should have transitioned between night and day based on time of instead of being a fusion. Without further ado, I choose you Lycanroc…no buddy stop playing fetch with that Bounsweet and get back here for some pictures!
Description: The Wolf Pokemon
Abilities: [Day: Keen Eye/Sand Rush] [Midnight: Keen Eye/Vital Spirit]
Hidden Ability: [Day: Steadfast] [Midnight: No Guard]
Competitive: [Smogon RU: Day Form] [Smogon NU: Midnight Form] [PokeaimMD Day Form] [PokeaimMD Midnight Form]
Evolution: Rockruff -> Level 25 -> Lycanroc
One of these things is redder than the others, what is up with that color scheme. Looks cool though.
Origin: Lycanroc is based on a wolf. Thanks to some Bulbapedia links I have learned that there used to be two subspecies of grey wolf in the Japanese archipelago that have since gone extinct, the Japanese Wolf and the Hokkaido Wolf. The Japanese Wolf is highly associated with mountains in Japanese culture as both are seen as dangerous so that might explain the rock typing. Personally I think that the Hokkaido Wolf looks a lot like Midnight form and the Japanese Wolf fits better with Day form. Of course, they have been extinct before cameras were invented so the comparisons are tough to make.
Original Appearance: Pokemon Sun and Moon
Dex Entry [Day: Moon]: When properly raised from a young age, it will become a trustworthy partner that will absolutely never betray its Trainer.
Dex Entry [Midnight: Sun]: The more intimidating the opponent it faces, the more this Pokémon’s blood boils. It will attack with no regard for its own safety.
Lycanroc in my opinion is the Pokemon that Sun and Moon handled the worst. It seemed like such a great companion to have early game from all the promotion they were doing, but in the game it was actually hard to come by Rockruff, especially if you didn’t look up where to find it. On top of that I played Moon and I didn’t really have the enthusiasm for Midnight Form to try chasing it down. I wish it were more like an Umbreon/Espeon style evolution. Hopefully, with the focus on Dusk Form in USUM they will make adjustments to when you can find Rockruff. All of this moaning and groaning is so I have an excuse for my limited knowledge of Lycanroc but hey that’s what these articles are for right? Learning new things about a Pokemon.
Last week we looked at Tyranitar, possibly the best Sand setter in the game. That ability is actually great synergy with the Day form Lycanroc and its ability Sand Rush. The other Day form abilities are not even worth mentioning here unfortunately. Midnight form is rocking No Guard as its strongest ability, mostly so that it can hit guaranteed with Stone Edge, but say good bye to those High Jump Kick misses (as some one who uses Hawlucha on every team, thank you!). If you aren’t running any low accuracy attacks then Vital Spirit is also a great ability, providing an Amoongus Spore or Ninetales Hypnosis immunity…or Relic Song Meloetta because they are in the same tier that’s how low we are. From a stat’s perspective Day form is more of a Sand Sweeper and Midnight form is a Wallbreaker or Rock setter.
Lycanroc’s movepool is really it’s weakest attribute. Each form has a signature move, Midnight has Counter and Day has Accelrock. Rock is a fantastic offensive typing so STAB Stone Edge is nothing to complain about. However, this is a one trick puppy since its coverage aside from that is Fire Fang, Thunder Fang, Brick Break, and Crunch. Maybe if it had Strong Jaw this would be appealing but aside from No Guard boosting the Fang move accuracy it is really disappointing. By looking at this movepool you can see that pairing Lycanroc with a Fire type is very beneficial since it can take out both the Steel and Grass Pokemon that can wall Lycanroc. On the other hand this Pokemon’s utility moves are impressive since it is perfect for a suicide lead. Taunt, Stealth Rock, Swords Dance, Bulk Up, and Sucker Punch.
I am sorry this article might be dragging on but there are two forms this week and we are covering both! The best way to run the Day form is on a Sand team, and it is pretty much the only way to do it in OU. The speed boost puts it at the top of the Speed tier list and Swords Dance boosts its bite to be equal to its bark. Then you want to run Stone Edge and Accelrock for STAB and a coverage move. The most popular set for Midnight Form is as a Rock setter and Wallbreaker. It runs No Guard Stone Edge for a broken STAB attack, Sucker Punch for priority, and Swords Dance for the same reason Day form does. One difference is that it runs Stealth Rocks to keep all those who want to be close to it away. Its too emotional for friends, you don’t understand. The set runs Focus Sash I expect to give it a chance to set up rocks or SD. I think a neat alternative to this set should run Stone Edge, Stealth Rock, Taunt, and Counter. The Taunt/Stealth Rock combo is legendary among leads since it prevents opponents rocks while you get yours up. On top of that you can combine Taunt/Counter/Focus Sash to get a KO when they are forced to attack you. If Midnight form isn’t fast enough you can replace it with Day form and use Accelrock instead of Counter.
My set this week will focus on the misunderstood Lycanroc, the lower tier Lycanroc, the Dark but not Dark Lycanroc. Its strength over Day form is the additional bulk so lets boost that by running Bulk Up instead of Swords Dance. If we are relying on bulk then we want to run Leftovers or a 50% heal Berry instead of Focus Sash. Since we are still slower than other offensive Pokemon we need to run Sucker Punch for priority. The final attack we will want to run is either coverage or Substitute depending on how it plays when you test it out. You will likely want to run EVs to improve your HP but the majority should go in Attack. The last thing to consider is the Speed you want to run for the tier you are in because it doesn’t need to be fast but there will be threats you want to be outspeed (Stone Edge targets instead of Sucker Punch). This is a low tier only set because it will get blown away in upper tiers and +1 Lycanroc can’t break through the defensive cores present in say OU. Let me know in the comments if you have any favourite Lycanroc sets or which form you prefer. I’m a Day Form man myself. Side note, we are now posting all articles to the subreddit so if you want a better comment forum feel free to do so there since I watch both threads.