The Roleout: Pivots
Hey everyone! Welcome to the third edition of the one and only Roleout! Where every other week I pick a competitive role and analyse/explain it. Last week we looked into Leads, a very important role to a team. In fact, Cores and Leads are the two roles absolutely necessary to a team. You always have someone go first and you always need a game plan. That’s why I feel I should give a disclaimer that the following roles that I will write about, including this one, are all optional roles. Based on your core’s strengths and weaknesses, I will dictate what additional roles you should add.
Now away from that! The best answer of last week’s question was Rylan! (AKA Reveneight). Even though I made the set like he said, he picked the Pokemon, and Swampert is a great choice. Also other fellow writers felt he was the best choice as well! With his 5th gen access to Stealth Rocks, Swampert has the potential of being a Stealth Rocker almost impossible to take down. With only one weakness to grass, his biggest lead counter, Ferrothorn, is too slow to even set up or take him out. Just roar him out of commission. Later in the article I also go over some other move possibilities in our Up and Coming Leads section, guess who’s representing. Anyway, Congrats Rylan! Unfortunately, after a full 30 boxes of Joltiks I couldn’t grab a shiny… But, to make it up to all of you, everyone that participated will gain their very own 6IV Joltik! Rylan will get the special prize of a Fully trained 6 IV Galvantula ready to battle. Also, because of the sheer number of 5 IV Joltiks I have, tonight at 8:00 EST I will be wonder trading them all away with the names PUCLLEAD. So be sure to try to grab one tonight I have a full 3 boxes!
This week’s role is one of my personal favorites, the pivot. A pivot is used to allow clean switches in a battle and thus allows the player to try to control the momentum of the match. For beginners reading, I’ll go over what I just said. In order to understand a pivot, you must know the basics of Prediction and Momentum.
Wiser’s Super Amazing Lesson About the Basics of Battle Theory!
Prediction is something that you use at a more intermediate level of competitive battling. Its exactly as it says, prediction is guessing what your opponent’s moves will be and reacting accordingly. But, no one can tell you how to predict perfectly as your opponent could move in a number of ways. What you can do is gain experience by battling and trying to guess logically what your opponent will do. Switch out if your Pokemon won’t stand a chance of what you think is coming or attack with a move that ends up doing the safest damage in case your opponent decides to switch. Predicting switches and switching at the right time will help you maintain momentum and win the match.
Momentum is important to competitive battling because it gives control to the player with the better positioning. There is only one way to gain momentum and there is only one way to slow momentum. Attacking will raise your momentum because you have to attack to win. Defense ensures that the least possible damage is being made and is thus slowing down the momentum of your opponent. The key to winning is using these two methods in order to keep yourself on a bigger run than the one you play against. A good way of controlling momentum when you don’t really have a role to do it is using a Poke as deathfodder. A Pokemon that has over stayed its welcome or has so little HP left it would die anyways are great Mons to use as deathfodder. By giving your opponent a KO on you, you are given a chance to switch into Pokemon without worrying about taking damage or status.
A defensive pivot has the characteristics of a wall. It is super bulky in order to take switch-ins when your Poke can’t really handle what’s in front of it. Once it’s there it will pelt you with status conditions and recover moves until you decide to switch out to the poke that you wanted in. You can force a switch by using moves like leech seed or yawn that threatens the health of the opponent if it were to stay in another turn. You can even give it moves like roar, whirlwind or dragon tail to force switches, removing any boosts or momentum that your opponent was gaining. But, the most popular move that pivots use is U-turn and Volt Switch. They attack then switch out. But what if the opponent is slower? Won’t it just put you back in the position you were in before? That’s why the key to a good pivot is tanking its speed stat. That’s right, 0 IV and 0 EV in speed stat allows your pivot to take an attack then switch to another Poke safely.
Some good abilities for defensive pivots are abilities like volt absorb or levitate that give the pivot an extra resistance to hang in there just a little bit longer. The ability Regenerator is godly for a pivot. Since pivots switch a lot, Regenerator will allow them to gain back 1/3 of it’s health every time it switches out. Its counterpart, Natural Cure, that cures your pivot of any status condition upon switching out, is also good for the same reasons. Rest in combination with Natural Cure is crazy.
Items for defensive pivots also involve giving it more staying power. Leftovers is a given because it gives health back every turn. Lum berries cure status conditions and are really good for switching into a Will ‘O Wisp. Sitrus Berry allows your pivot to gain back some crucial health. A powerful combination is Chesto Berry used with Rest. It is used over a Lum Berry in order to not get sniped with another status condition. Rest even cures you of other statuses anyways.
Two examples of good pivots are Amoongus and Rotom. Amoongus can annoy you for days with Spore and Giga Drain, then, because of its Regenerator ability, it gains health back every time it switches out. Rotom is naturally slow and can be very bulky, so it is one of the best Volt Switch users for defensive pivots. It’s ability Levitate gives it a much needed ground resistance and it can Will ‘o Wisp you consistently.
Offensive pivots have a completely different mindset to allow clean switches. Offensive pivots are fast and powerful forces. Their whole point is to scare your opponent into switching. You really need to have an understanding of prediction in order to use this type of pivot. The goal is to put out known metagame powerhouses like Greninja, Talonflame or Charizard X and get your opponent in a position that will either have him switch or get OHKOed. U-turn and Volt Switch are great when you predict their switch because they take a good chunk off your opponent then go to the poke you wanted out anyways. Choice items are great to put some extra power to induce that scare. Also give your pivots Whirlwind or Roar to rattle your opponent, or just to stop a bit of momentum. Dragon Tail also works nicely but with a damaging effect at the cost of some accuracy.
Up and Coming Pivot
You guessed it folks! Mega Swampert in the house! With Swampert’s huge bulk and new mega ability Swift Swim, Mega Swampert will have the unique ability to become a defensive pivot or offensive pivot at the drop of the hat! Or Rain Dance I should say! Give it Yawn or Roar to force switches and Rest for staying power. It can also be given Whirlpool to trap an opponent for a couple of turns to force the sleep condition. Earthquake and Surf will be devastating attacks as well.
Well, that’s all I have on pivots! Don’t forget to check out some of our other writers here too. Check out Viger’s Pokemon news for all the latest updates for ORAS or Pokemon in general. My question for you this week is pretty similar to what it is always. What do you think is a good set for a pivot? Make sure your submissions are something you haven’t used yet this time. Comment Below and the best answer will receive their submission at a competitive ready state! Thank you for reading and keep PUCLing folks!