Welcome to the PUCL Pokemon Contest where we have a very special guest. The reigning Champion Delcatty! Over here Delcatty, come say hi to your fans. No don’t lie over there we need you center stage…I’m sorry audience but it looks like Delcatty doesn’t feel like it today, maybe next year. However to make up for it, if you look in your brochures you will see an exclusive interview with the Delcatty by SumtimesIFly!
Description: The Prim Pokemon
Abilities: Cute Charm/Normalize
Hidden Ability: Wonder Skin
Competitive: [Smogon PU]
Evolution: Skitty -> Moonstone -> Delcatty
Origin: Delcatty is a preppy, well groomed, house cat. Its name is a combination of “delicate” and “catty”. Not much to add on to what Bulbapedia had this week.
Original Appearance: Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire
Dex Entry [Day: Sapphire]: Delcatty sleeps anywhere it wants without keeping a permanent nest. If other Pokémon approach it as it sleeps, this Pokémon will never fight – it will just move away somewhere else.
TCG: There are no Standard Delcatty cards so I picked a random one that looks nice.
Delcatty is widely known as a contest Pokemon and is very popular among trendy trainers. As far as battling goes it is not interested and the Pokedex mentions several times that it does not like fighting (or Fighting types for that matter). Honestly, it is the new low standard for our PotW competitive analysis but that makes the challenge more exciting…right? Its abilities are all average but play out differently. Cute Charm is not really worthwhile because Delcatty can’t typically take hits. Normalize is a unique ability to Delcatty and provides some interesting mechanics. Wonder Skin is the best all around ability if you don’t intend on using synergy with Normalize.
Delcatty has the standard Return and Double Edge STAB moves. Also like most Normal types it for some reason has Electric and Ice coverage. Throw in Iron Tail, Zen Headbutt, and Play Rough for more attacking types. Its utility is limited to some debuff moves, Sucker Punch, Fake Out, and Calm Mind. This movepool does not leave much room for experimentation which is why Smogon has so few sets available. That and the fact that its stats are so poor with a slight affinity to Physical attacking.
There is a Smogon set for Wonder Guard that involves Substitute and Calm Mind but that was in a world with Baton Pass. We are no longer in that world and in my opinion its too ambitious to believe Delcatty could actually set up more than once without being knocked out. The only set I think is interesting is the Normalize one. It runs Return for STAB even though every move is STAB with Normalize. Return does not get the +20% buff from Normalize so I did some research and the only move that out damages Return (102BP) thanks to that buff is Play Rough (108BP). I don’t know if the +6BP and the chance to lower the opponents attack is worth the 10% chance to miss but I would at least try it out. STAB Fake Out is always a solid move to run especially if you have a pivot into Delcatty since it will continuously get off chip damage. Normalize boosted Sucker Punch is your priority move. Since you can only use Normal attacks the fourth move can be utility, commonly Thunder Wave which is really cool in that it can Paralyze even Ground types. For an item I suggest Silk Scarf as a pseudo Life Orb on all your attacks.
I tried coming up with an interesting set despite Delcatty’s personal distaste for battling. I had already fleshed out the Physical side in the analysis so I tried a Special set. The strongest move it has access to is Blizzard (technically Solar Beam but we’ll say Blizzard). With Silk Scarf, Normalize, and STAB it is boosted to a 237.5BP move. For anything with decent Special Attack this would be amazing. Unfortunately, Delcatty has 55 SpAtt so it hardly does any damage and can never be Super Effective. None the less I took on the challenge. By pairing it in PU with Abomasnow to get Hail, definitely my favourite weather setter, you are able to use a Normal type Blizzard that never misses and has a 10% chance to freeze the target. This strategy had some nice unique properties that made me wish it was more viable than it ended up being. I tried to team Delcatty up with things that covered its weaknesses, Granbull for Fighting types, Camerupt for Steel types, Hitmonchan for Rock types etc but this was my first effort in PU so it ended up only going 10-6 at the bottom of the ladder. I had one battle where Delcatty swept the last three Pokemon and it was glorious but I closed the battle before saving it. Heartbreaking. After another hour of playing I got a second game where it did some damage (see replay below). Go Delcatty, you did something. I initially ran Blizzard, Hyper Voice Calm Mind, Substitute/Thunder Wave but I frequently found Delcatty was too slow to sweep. To compensate I replaced Silk Scarf with a Choice Scarf, still fashionable but even less powerful than before. I’m sure Delcatty only cares about that first part though. During my battles I actually encountered another interesting set, that’s right I found another Delcatty. It was using Fake Out and Last Resort with Silk Scarf and it did much better than mine so maybe try that instead!
While researching this article R.Sigma showed me a video of Wolfe Glick using an amazing Normalize strategy in doubles. He uses Gengar and Shadow Tag to essentially render his opponents completely useless while he chips them down. Check it out!
Delcatty emerges from its Luxury Ball with a purr. Upon seeing the chalk outline of a battle field it saunters to the sidelines where it proceeds to groom its already immaculate fur, much to the bewilderment of the two competitors.
Until next time, SumtimesIFly