Metagame Metagame Discussion Thread!

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mad0ka

華々しい
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
Nah all you gotta do is run 25 / 14 / 14 bulk with max SpA and 9 Speed and wishtect / moonblast / psychic, to lure in shit like Foong and
Also I just noticed that Snivy and Corphish share a lot of checks? Somebody should probably look into this
They share like 3: Foongus, Ferroseed, and Croagunk. All of these take increased dmg from HP Fire, so maybe a LO snives set with hp fire would partner well with corph!
 

Celestavian

Smooth
is a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Approved by QuoteCS

Hey guys, welcome to my in-depth guide to how I use everyone's favorite wood-toting Fighting-type and biggest metagame threat, Timburr. OK, I know I'm exaggerating on that last part just a tad, but after two generations of using Timburr constantly, I can tell you it's one of the biggest threats in the metagame even though it only runs one moveset. I'm kinda known well for sticking it on every team and talking about it all the time, so I figured I'd just get it all out and write a guide based on my experiences with Timburr and how I feel is the best way to use it.

Why Use Timburr?

Timburr is a physical sweeper that's very slow, but makes up for it with very good mixed defensive stats, priority, and the ability to keep itself healthy while dishing out the pain. It's standard moveset of Bulk Up / Drain Punch / Knock Off / Mach Punch is stacked with a lot of stuff; in only four moves, Timburr has three attacking options, priority, team utility with Knock Off, defensive and offensive boosting, and recovery. Its special bulk is deceptively high when invested properly, allowing it famously to survive Sash Abra's Psychic (I have even once survived LO Abra's Psychic from full health, but that requires the lowest roll) among other things. This in conjunction with its recovery and sky-high physical bulk after setting up means that you will have a very hard time breaking through Timburr without lots of hard-hitters on your team. Timburr's biggest asset, that which sets it apart from other set-up sweepers, is its immediate usefulness and recovery while attacking. 16 Attack off the bat along with Knock Off means it will never be useless if it can't find the time to set up Bulk Up. Drain Punch's health recovery effect makes it stand out against Pokemon like CM Spritzee, who can't heal and attack at the same time, which gives your opponent free turns. Timburr can also act as a good pivot instead of boosting, switching into Knock Off users or sacrificing itself to take out something like Gastly or Abra.

Its main weakness are Fairy-types, by far. Spritzee, Snubbull, Cottonee, and other lesser Fairies all take very little damage from any of Timburr's moves and have a super-effective STAB move to hit Timburr with, making them hard stops to all but +6/+6 Timburr at full HP, which will never happen. All Timburr can do is use Knock Off on them and then switch out, or be forced to sacrifice itself. Poison Jab is occasionally used over Bulk Up to lure them in for something else on your team and eliminate them, but this of course takes away a huge part of Timburr's power. Abra, Gothita, and Gastly can also be problems, but Timburr can usually come out of top against these threats at the cost of being left with almost no HP. Poison- and Bug-types resist Fighting, but unlike Fairy, they are not super-effective to Fighting and so Timburr can eventually get past them with enough boosts. Fletchling and Doduo can both smack Timburr around with their Flying-type moves, but Timburr can beat them after a Bulk Up boost or two.

The Set

Timburr @ Eviolite
Ability: Guts
Level: 5
EVs: 116 Atk / 156 Def / 236 SpD
Careful Nature
- Bulk Up / Poison Jab
- Drain Punch
- Knock Off
- Mach Punch

This is my favorite Timburr set, and pretty much the only thing it can run effectively. Considering how effective it is, that's not really a problem at all. If you want to learn more about it, I wrote the Timburr analysis currently on-site, so go check that out. Instead of repeating that, I'll simply talk about the important parts. The EV spread listed here is my favorite, striking in my opinion the perfect balance between offense and defense. It patches up Timburr's lower, unboosted Special Defense while hitting even numbers in Attack and Defense to maximize the 50% boost that one Bulk Up gets you. You can run a more offensive spread with 17 or even 18 Attack, but I feel that detracts too much from its defensive capability. Likewise, you can also run a more defensive spread of 76 HP / 36 Atk / 156 Def / 236 SpD with Careful, which gives you an extra HP which actually comes in handy a lot, but I think it makes Timburr too reliant on Bulk Up boosts and reduces its immediate damage too much.

There's also Bulk Up vs. Poison Jab, and while I still believe that Bulk Up is the better choice most of the time, Poison Jab is still a viable option. If you're running a double Fighting core, with something like Scarf Mienfoo, having Poison Jab allows you to function as a great Fairy-type lure in conjunction with Knock Off. Knock Off + 2 Poison Jabs will KO both Spritzee and Snubbull, at the cost of a large portion of Timburr's health. You can also play it more safely and switch out after using Knock Off and then wait to hit them on the switch later, considering the high chances of your opponent switching their Fairy-type into Timburr repeatedly. Cottonee is obviously OHKOed assuming it doesn't use Memento first. Overall, I think Poison Jab is a legit choice, but it requires a lot of power from the rest of your team to make it worth giving up Bulk Up.

As for other moves and sets, they're usually either gimmicky or just outclassed by the Bulk Up set and generally not worth using. A SubPunch set with Iron Fist seems like it would be awesome, but considering that most people will just switch in a Ghost- or Fairy-type if they have one makes it hard to justify. There's also the lack of Guts, which severely hinders Timburr's ability to pivot effectively. Basically, any set that tries to take advantage of Timburr's other abilities is subject to the same thing: Guts is too good on Timburr not to use. As for moves, in addition to Poison Jab, Ice Punch and Stone Edge are two moves commonly used to take the place of Bulk Up. They hit Pokemon such as Fletchling, Vullaby, Foongus and Larvesta super-effectively, all of which make Timburr's sweep harder to perform, and so they seem like good lure options. Unlike with the Fairy-type, however, these Pokemon either lack a way to hit Timburr super effectively or do not resist Drain Punch, allowing Timburr to get past them all with a few boosts. As a result, these coverage moves are not required to get past these Timburr checks since Timburr does have a chance of just muscling past them, which it cannot do with Fairies. Sticking with Bulk Up is, in most cases, the best option.

General Tips

When you put Timburr on a team, there are two ways in general that you can play it with the same set: as a tanky pivot, or as a boosting sweeper. No Pokemon, not even Timburr, is capable of walling threats and sweeping teams in the same game without extraordinary circumstances, as trying to pivot usually makes Timburr too weak to set up and sweep late-game, while preserving Timburr for the sweep forces you to play 5-6 from the start. As such, I've noticed that I play Timburr differently depending on its sweeping chances as I consider them at the start of each match, and again sometime in the middle if Timburr is still alive. Let's take a look at some hypothetical teams and see what Timburr can do against them. These teams I'm listing will all probably suck since I'm just pulling them out of thin air, but they should be good enough to be used as an example:

Team 1:

Abra/Mienfoo/Porygon/Fletchling/Houndour/Archen

If I were to see a team like this as Timburr, I doubt I would try and use Bulk Up that much, except maybe against Mienfoo and Archen depending on their sets. This team has no real Timburr switch-in, and thus it's likely I'm not forcing many switches to grab boosts. I'd much rather toss around Drain Punches, since nothing on the team except Abra resists Fighting. Even if I did grab a boost, Abra can just come in whenever I KO something and force Timburr out. Fletchling can also be a problem, but just like Abra it doesn't want to switch in. This is an example of a team where Timburr would work best as a pivot, though if Abra and Fletchling were to be removed, you could easily sweep against this team. In my experience though, good players are annoyingly preservative of their Abras, so if you have another sweeper stopped by Abra on your team, you might want to sacrifice Timburr to get off a Mach Punch or something.

Team 2:

Mienfoo/Foongus/Chinchou/Larvesta/Drilbur/Munchlax

This is a fantastic team for Timburr to set up boosts against, even though they have two sturdy Fighting resists. Foongus and Larvesta have common weaknesses to Pokemon like Archen, Fletchling, and Abra, and just having one of those on your team is a pretty good way to keep their two walls in check. After those two are gone or weakened enough for Timburr to sweep, Chinchou, Munchlax, and Mienfoo are great set-up bait for Timburr to use, and Drilbur can be too if it's too focused on spinning or setting hazards. Timburr can force a lot of switches here, and Mienfoo and Chinchou are likely to be weak enough to set up in front of easily. Play conservatively with Timburr until you've weakened the two walls, putting your priority on Foongus since Larvesta is less able to stop Timburr if you can only eliminate one, and then come in on something like Munchlax or Chinchou and sweep the team easy.

In a nutshell, any team without a good Timburr switch-in is likely not to switch and give you free turns to boost, so you should use Timburr more as a pivot so it doesn't take so much damage while trying to set up. Against a team with Pokemon that rely on one or two Timburr checks or counters to not get massacred by it, you'll want to save Timburr until those checks are gone and then boost to get a sweep. These two categories cover a large portion of LC teams from my experience, but occasionally you might come across a stall team with 3 Fighting resists or something like that that Timburr can do nothing against. If you feel Timburr will be near worthless, just spam Knock Off and use Mach Punch to score chip damage before Timburr goes down.

Playing Timburr as a pivot specifically refers to using it as a Knock Off and status absorber for the rest of your team. It works well as a bulky switch-in to Pokemon like Chinchou, Ferroseed, or Pawniard while tossing out the occasional Drain Punch to deal good damage and heal up so it can keep switching in. Timburr takes relatively little damage from each of these Pokemon, and can threaten them out with its strong Fighting STAB while recovering the health it lost from switching into them at the same time. That said, you'll find that playing Timburr as a pivot entails spamming Knock Off a lot since most teams have at least one sturdy switch-in to Timburr, and it will be your job to predict the switch and remove their Eviolite for your team. You can also save Timburr for a big threat on your opponent's team, such as Zigzagoon or Omanyte, rather than pivoting with it throughout the match. The biggest problem with using Timburr this way is the fact that absorbing Knock Off, while easy to do, makes Timburr a lot weaker defensively, and without Mienfoo's Speed which can spare it a few hits, Timburr has a hard time pivoting effectively after having its Eviolite removed.

That said, it kind of sounds like I'm describing a worse Mienfoo here since it lacks Mienfoo's Speed, Regenerator, and U-turn. So, why use Timburr when Mienfoo exists? Timburr's priority Mach Punch and Bulk Up make up for the lack of U-turn or Regenerator I feel, and rather than making it just Mienfoo lite version, sets it apart as a pivoter. Mach Punch saves you from taking a second hit from Pokemon like Aipom who can take a Drain Punch with Eviolite, and then get in one good hit before going down and only providing 1 or 2 HP in recovery from Drain Punch. Bulk Up lets you threaten switch-ins more strongly, but with possible switch-in damage or having your Eviolite removed, sweeping in a match where you've used Timburr as a pivot is very difficult. If you find that you are pivoting with Timburr more often than sweeping with, make sure you are using Timburr to its strengths rather than just having a worse Mienfoo. Timburr's advantages lie in its greater bulk and immediate Attack power, along with the potential to become a late-game threat. Mienfoo's strengths are its longevity, Speed, and momentum control at the cost of less bulk and power.

As for Timburr players who want to sweep with it, Timburr will need coddled. It seems counter-intuitive considering how much I've hyped its bulk and Drain Punch recovery, but Timburr really wants to keep itself fresh and unharmed to increase its chances of sweeping late-game. Setting up on something like Tirtouga is a lot less risky at 100% HP as opposed to 60%, since one flinch could stop Timburr in its tracks if it's not at full HP. Likewise, when getting past Pokemon such as Porygon or Ponyta who can beat Timburr if they have the HP advantage, you need to keep healthy to prevent them from stopping a sweep. To that end, you play boosting Timburr the same way you would play something like a Shell Smash sweeper: weaken the opponent's checks first, then get in on something that nets you a free turn, set up, and finally, crush what's left of your opponent's team. Shell Smash sweepers need to do this because they lower their defenses, but since Timburr is actually boosting one of its defensive stats, why does it need to be so careful? Its low Speed is the answer to that question. Fletchling, Archen, and Bunnelby are some examples of Pokemon that would be entirely decimated by Timburr if it got to strike first, but the fact that Timburr sometimes needs to take a hit before setting up means that you need to stay healthy to both beat these Pokemon and not be instantly KOed by the next Pokemon your opponent sends in.

When to Set Up
- On anything you force out

The obvious one is first. Weak attackers and Fighting weak Pokemon really do not want to waste their lives by trying to stay in on Timburr, which gives you a free chance to Bulk Up. Some examples of these Pokemon are Trubbish, Chinchou, Munchlax, Psychic-less Porygon, Lileep, and defensive Mienfoo. All of these Pokemon struggle to deal meaningful damage to Timburr and/or take double damage from Drain Punch, and so they will typically run for the hills once Timburr comes out. Naturally, it's worthless to try and boost if they switch out to something that can counter you such as Spritzee, so make sure that you are only trying to force something out later in the game when there's nothing to come in that can instantly shut down Timburr. Also be wary of uncommon sets like Acrobatics Mienfoo or ZHB Pancham that can nail you when you think you are safe.

- On anything that is trying to use support moves

What do hazard moves, Rapid Spin, Aromatherapy, Recover, and Knock Off have in common? They are all moves that deal approximately 0 damage to Timburr, and thus are free set-up turns for you along with anything else where dealing damage to Timburr is not the main goal of the move. Drilbur, Staryu, Archen, Ponyta, Ferroseed, and Dwebble, among others, all have support jobs that can get in the way of stopping Timburr. If Drilbur really wants to spin away rocks that are pinning down its Flying-type teammates, or if Ferroseed wants to Protect to get a bit of Leech Seed recovery out of you, that's your cue to set up a Bulk Up and smack them around on the next turn. Knock Off is the riskiest of the examples to set up on, but can be done if your opponent lacks strong special attackers. After a Bulk Up, your Defense is back to normal, so physical attackers (which happen to be about 95% of Knock Off users) still can't break Timburr easily even without its Eviolite.

- On opposing set-up sweepers

Timburr has a winning match-up against almost every set-up sweeper in the metagame, with the exception being special sweepers like NP Croagunk or SS Omanyte. That's because the majority of them are physical attackers, and the likes of Dwebble, Tirtouga, Scraggy, Zigzagoon, and Torchic all struggle with Timburr when it boosts alongside of them. Timburr is the only Bulk Up user in the tier that is at all successful, and so that's usually the only Pokemon capable of setting up Defense boosts. Since the rest either don't change their Defense or even lower it by setting up, Timburr has the inherent advantage because of its Defense boost. Having priority doesn't hurt either, and if for some reason Drain Punch doesn't KO the opposing sweeper, Mach Punch usually does the next turn, preventing Timburr from getting hit again which could easily turn the tables on the whole fight. In some cases, even Memento support can't stop Timburr from coming out on top, in the case of non-Eviolite wielding sweepers such as Zigzagoon and Tirtouga, though Timburr must be at full health with its Eviolite intact for this to work.

Outside of those three situations, boosting is not recommended as you take more damage than Timburr can handle. Also, note that you don't have to boost only in the late-game, as Timburr is also capable of sacrificing itself to tear holes in the opposing team early-game too. All of these situations can apply early-game as well as late-game, but it's just harder to do this early-game because your opponent's Timburr checks and counters are still healthy, especially Pokemon like Spritzee or Abra. All in all, it's up to you when the best time to boost is, or whether to boost at all. Even with only one common set, Timburr is very versatile in how to play that set, which is part of what gives it so much power.
 

Celestavian

Smooth
is a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Timburr vs. The Metagame

Here I will detail how I use Timburr against every Pokemon in the metagame ranked decently high on the viability rankings list:

When to switch into:

Only if you want to sacrifice Timburr.

When to switch out of:

If Abra's a real pain for your team to handle, you can always break its Sash with Mach Punch. Otherwise, you'll want to switch out to keep Timburr alive.

What to do when in against it:

Abra can and will stop your sweep, so always try to eliminate it or put it at 1 HP before trying to set up. If you want to sacrifice Timburr to take Abra down, Knock Off + Mach Punch KOes while you survive the Psychic. If Abra's Psychic OHKOes, then it is almost certainly running a Life Orb, but there's always a chance your opponent either got the highest roll or they are running Modest Sash Abra for some reason. You'll be switching out most of the time.


When to switch into:

Timburr is not a great switch into Aipom since it hits pretty hard and can U-turn out to prevent Drain Punch recovery.

When to switch out of:

There's no real reason to switch out of Aipom since U-turn will put you at a disadvantage if you try that. You should either predict the switch and use Knock Off or try to smack it with Drain Punch.

What to do when in against:

Aipom is both deceptively powerful and bulky, with Fake Out + Fury Swipes hitting you for a whopping 19 HP in total. It also has a fast U-turn to prevent you from recovering any HP, and Knock Off to remove your Eviolite. Mach Punch also only deals a piddling 8 HP, just barely enough to get a 3HKO. While its power is thanks to weird LC multi-hit moves mechanics, you can also use them to your advantage. After a Bulk Up, Fury Swipes goes from dealing 15 HP to only 5, making Aipom worthless against you. The same thing also happens if it opts for Double Slap, a more accurate but marginally less powerful Fury Swipes. Double Slap always deals 5 HP to Timburr with or without boosts. Because of the huge damage it can deal plus its ability to pivot to a check, setting up on it is not recommended, but if you have a boost beforehand, there's no reason to fear it.


When to switch into:

It's too powerful to switch into.

When to switch out of:

Never. 4x weak to Fighting + lack of Eviolite = Mach Punch OHKO!

What to do when in against:

Amaura is hopelessly weak to Timburr, since it has Mach Punch and usually does not run an Eviolite. Mach Punch OHKOes all the time, with or without hazards, and entirely disregards a possible Scarf Amaura might be wearing. It's too powerful to set up on, unless you predict a switch, so usually the best option is just to KO it.


When to switch into:

Timburr is a great switch-in to defensive sets that lack Acrobatics, since it resists the Rock-type move that defensive Archen usually carry and prevent it from using Roost since you are slower and then hit super-effectively with Drain Punch. Switching into offensive Archen is not a good idea.

When to switch out of:

When they are using an offensive spread.

What to do when in against it:

First, you must know whether or not it is offensive or defensive. Defensive sets are easy setup bait, while offensive sets are more tricky. Even unboosted, Acrobatics is still a threat, but if you can set up a Bulk Up beforehand, you're in a much better position. Knock Off at that point puts Archen into Defeatist range against any fast BJ set, making the Acrobatics boost pretty much moot. That said, setting up or staying in against Archen is usually a losing deal unless you were set up beforehand, so I advise caution against it.


When to switch into:

Never.

When to switch out of:

Any time nothing on your team hasn't been put to sleep yet, and otherwise if you are unboosted you should also switch out.

What to do when in against:

Bellsprout hits hard, resists Fighting, and can put Timburr down for a nap with Sleep Powder. Even a non-LO Solar Beam 2HKOes Timburr 56% of the time, so staying in on Bellsprout is not recommended. The only way to beat it is if something else on your team has already been put to sleep and you are at full HP with a boost beforehand. From there, Knock Off + Drain Punch + Mach Punch KOes as long as that 56% chance to KO you doesn't happen. Basically, you just don't want to try and fight Bellsprout.


When to switch into:

It hits too hard to switch into effectively.

When to switch out of:

If you are both unboosted and weakened, and Bunnelby has at least 15 HP, you should switch out of it if you want to preserve Timburr.

What to do when in against:

Bunnelby sure can dish out damage, but it can't take it. That said, as long as Timburr is healthy or has a boost under its belt, beating Bunnelby isn't that hard. Only an Adamant Banded Return or Adamant LO Double-Edge are capable of OHKOing Timburr at full HP, anything less leaves Bunnelby open to being KOed instantly by Drain Punch. After a boost, the above doesn't apply, and Mach Punch OHKOes after Stealth Rock all the time, meaning you don't even have to take any damage. Just don't try to boost in front of Bunnelby, because it deals too much damage for that to be a good idea.


When to switch into:

Waterfall hurts and ZHB is always a possibility, but if it uses Protect, Aqua Jet, or Crunch, Timburr can switch into Carvanha well.

When to switch out of:

When it is at entirely full HP and you know it has Destiny Bond, it can survive the Mach Punch and force a 1 for 1 if you don't switch.

What to do when in against it:

Carvanha, once Timburr is in safely, is trivially easy to defeat when it's not at full health. Unfortunately, it can survive Mach Punch since it only does 18 HP of damage, and even less if you get the lowest roll, out of Carvanha's 19 HP. Using Drain Punch is not recommended since the most HP you can recover is 9 while Waterfall and especially ZHB easily outdamage that. The real problem with using Drain Punch, however, is the possibility of Destiny Bond. So long as you use Mach Punch, all it can do is try and chip away at you a bit with Aqua Jet or be forced out, but it has the option of taking you down with it if you use Drain Punch for some greedy recovery. Do not risk boosting in front of it unless you are certain that the opponent will switch.


When to switch into:

You can switch in as it's setting up hazards to force it out or allow you to set up easily.

When to switch out of:

Chespin poses no threat to Timburr, so unless you are at like 20% and need to keep Timburr alive, stay in and beat it up.

What to do when in against:

Chespin has two main sets: Spike stacker and Bulk Up user. The Spike stacking set poses no threat to you, since you boost your Defense and it is very weak, so as long as you don't mind a lot of Spikes on the field, you can set up on it easily. The Bulk Up attacker is an even better match-up, since it has pretty much none of the advantages Timburr has when using Bulk Up, while not even having Spikes to make up for it. It has no priority, it can't heal and attack at the same time, it can't use Knock Off, and it is pathetically weak without boosts. Start a Bulk Up war with it, remove its Eviolite, and show it who the real Bulk Up sweeper of LC is.


When to switch into:

Timburr can take Chinchou's weak attacks all day, and makes a great switch into Scald or Thunderbolt.

When to switch out of:

No real reason to switch out of Chinchou unless you are at very low health and want to preserve Timburr for whatever reason, or are predicting a switch.

What to do when in against it:

Specially defensive Timburr can smack Chinchou around all day, as not even a Modest 16 SpA Chinchou's Dazzling Gleam or Hydro Pump can 2HKO without two high rolls. Just use Drain Punch on it and counteract any damage it can do. If you get Scald burned, that's just even more damage for you. It's also great for setting up Bulk Up, since it's basically a free turn. Volt Switch can be a problem early-game when Timburr's checks are still healthy, but that's really the only thing Chinchou can threaten Timburr with.


When to switch into:

Corphish is very powerful and has the Speed advantage, so even switching in on Knock Off is a bad idea since you are just going to get smashed by Crabhammer the next turn.

When to switch out of:

If you don't have a Bulk Up boost out, you should probably switch out. You'll need one beforehand to win a fight with Corphish.

What to do when in against:

Corphish 2HKOes with Crabhammer even without using Knock Off, so trying to set up against it is a losing proposition. After only one Bulk Up boost, you still take 10 HP damage from each Crabhammer while recovering only 5 HP from each Drain Punch. since Corphish is faster and even has priority that's faster than yours, Timburr is going to lose against Corphish without having a Bulk Up boost beforehand. If you have to set up the boost in front of it, you are going to lose, so just switch out in that case.


When to switch into:

Never.

When to switch out of:

Pretty much always, unless you have Poison Jab.

What to do when in against it:

Cottonee is less bulky and lacks the reliable recovery that Spritzee has, but you still aren't getting past it without Poison Jab any time soon. Really all you can do is use Knock Off and get out of there. That said, do be wary of Encore, and don't stay in if you used anything other than Knock Off before Cottonee came in so you don't get locked into something like Drain Punch and waste a turn.


When to switch into:

Cranidos, although a frail Rock-type, is just so powerful that switching into it is too risky unless you know it is Scarfed and locked into Rock Slide.

When to switch out of:

If you have no boosts and you know Cranidos is LO, Zen Headbutt is actually capable of OHKOing Timburr without hazards, so switch out if it is not in Mach Punch's KO range.

What to do when in against:

Cranidos is the definition of "glass cannon" in LC, and even a bulky Fighting-type like Timburr has reason to fear it. A Life Orb Zen Headbutt from Cranidos is capable of OHKOing Timburr from full HP with no hazards or Bulk Up boosts, which makes it the only non-STAB SE move in the tier capable of OHKOing Timburr. Mach Punch, though, only KOes reliably when Cranidos is at 78%. Not all Cranidos are LO, though, and Scarf sets are more common on non-Sticky Webs based teams, so you can take those on easy with an unboosted Drain Punch. Just don't try and boost against it unless it's locked into Rock Slide.


When to switch into:

Not a good idea to switch into Croagunk. Let it switch into you.

When to switch out of:

If it's a Nasty Plot or Bulk Up variant, you are not going to win at all. If it's the 9 Speed pivot set, you can eventually beat it, but you will likely end up with a low health Timburr missing its Eviolite.

What to do when in against it:

Timburr can acutally set up in front of physical or mixed Croagunk, since it's normally faster or tied with Croagunk and Croagunk users like to spend a turn using Knock Off. After just one Bulk Up, you'll be doing the same damage with your Drain Punch as Croagunk can do to you even with max investment. That said, much like against Abra or Gastly, Timburr is not going to be very healthy after beating Croagunk if it succeeds, and you should only try to fight it if the rest of your team really wants Croagunk gone. Otherwise, try and use Knock Off as Croagunk switches in and get out of there.


When to switch into:

If you can somehow switch into Diglett, Timburr is a pretty good switch considering that Diglett likely used Rock Slide to hit whatever floating Pokemon you had out.

When to switch out of:

Why are you running Shed Shell Timburr?

What to do when in against it:

LO EQ can actually 2HKO, so don't try and get greedy with boosts unless you know it's Sashed. Drain Punch heals for 7-8 HP depending on the roll and Mach Punch obviously finishes the deal, putting you at pretty good health after the encounter. Memento isn't that big of a problem, since you can actually still beat Zigzagoon after taking a Memento, even if you didn't predict the Memento and failed to use Bulk Up. Timburr is not threatened very much by Diglett unless it is weakened heavily.


When to switch into:

Never.

When to switch out of:

Pretty much always.

What to do when in against:

Doduo has the same Attack stat as Murkrow, and we all know how powerful Murkrow's LO Brave Bird is. Timburr couldn't survive that, and naturally, it can't survive Doduo's Brave Bird either. Even at +1 Defense, Doduo's LO BB KOes Timburr almost all the time if SR is up, and also OHKOes even if you are at full health with +2 Defense and your Eviolite Knocked Off. Obviously, you can't set up in front of it either. If you're at +2 Mach Punch does have a decent chance to OHKO, but otherwise you should get out of Doduo's way as fast as possible.


When to switch into:

You can switch into Calm Mind sets easily on any move, but against Acrobatics Drifloon, even a 55 BP Acrobatics 2HKOes you, so don't switch into those.

When to switch out of:

Whe Stealth Rock isn't up, Knock Off doesn't OHKO all the time, so you should switch to avoid triggering Berry Juice and doubling Drifloon's Speed and Acrobatics' power.

What to do when in against:

With Stealth Rock up, Timburr OHKOes all Drifloon sets that carry Berry Juice with Knock Off while not dying to Acrobatics, so you're in the clear if you don't mind Timburr losing 60% of its health. Otherwise, some slightly defensively oriented Drifloon spreads can take a Knock Off from full HP and massacre Timburr from there. There's also the problem of Substitute using sets, which prevent you from ever KOing Drifloon before it can get its Unburden boost. If Drifloon switches in on you, using Bulk Up is usually the best choice if SR is not up, and then use it again after it switches in to see if it has Destiny Bond. Destiny Bond is a nasty surprise, so you must always be wary of Drifloon having it. Finally, outside of Destiny Bond, Drifloon sets lacking Acrobatics are basically harmless to you unless the CM set has a few boosts. Just use Knock Off on them and beware of Destiny Bond.


When to switch into:

Switching into Rapid Spin is fine and dandy, but its really not a good idea to switch into Drilbur because of its powerful Earthquake. In addition, you really want the turn advantage on Drilbur, so only switch in if you have nothing else.

When to switch out of:

Timburr can beat Drilbur easily, especially if it sets up Stealth Rock while Timburr is in, but it does enough damage that if you want to sweep late-game it might be a good idea to switch out.

What to do when in against it:

If Drilbur does not set up Stealth Rock at all and simply uses EQ against you, you can set up a Bulk Up, then use Drain Punch + Mach Punch to KO and end up with 14 HP. If that's a good deal in exchange for entirely preventing SR from going up, then go ahead and do it, and otherwise switch out. If however Drilbur does set up SR, you can get away with being at +1 and full HP if it uses SR on the first turn, and close to full HP if it sets up SR on the second turn, while being KOed by Mach Punch regardless of what it does on the third turn. Having a Bulk Up boost beforehand obviously trivializes this since Drilbur cannot touch you at all and you win easily. Timburr vs. Drilbur is not a hard match-up at all, especially if Drilbur wants to do its support job at all.


When to switch into:

Dwebble is pretty safe to switch into unless it is boosted. If it has not boosted yet and you're expecting it to boost, Timburr is a good switch-in.

When to switch out of:

If you're overly afraid of Knock Off or Counter from the hazard setting set, then you might want to preserve Timburr by switching out.

What to do when in against:

Hazard stacker Dwebble may have a nasty surprise in the form of Counter waiting for you, so always Knock Off first before you boost. Once its Berry Juice is gone, you can boost as it sets hazards (having a spinner/Defogger is recommended if you do this!) or switches, and if it stays in, finish it off with +1 Drain Punch after the Knock Off damage unless it's running a very defensive set. If you choose not to boost, Drain Punch + Mach Punch KOes after the Knock Off damage. SS Dwebble is a fantastic match-up for Timburr and it is very easy to boost alongside it, or if it is already at +2/+2, just use Drain Punch twice followed by Mach Punch to avoid the EQ 2HKO and get through its Berry Juice. The only way to lose to it if Dwebble has both Aerial Ace and a boost under its belt before Timburr comes in; from there you are 2HKOed through DP recovery and are forced to use Mach Punch to break its Sturdy before going down. Aerial Ace is rare though, and beyond that one case Timburr has the advantage.


When to switch into:

Elekid hits too hard to switch into, especially since it usually carries Psychic.

When to switch out of:

If you have 16 HP or less, switch out, because Psychic will KO you.

What to do when in against:

Elekid has two main sets: physical attacker and special attacker, with the latter being a lot more common, although both deal about the same damage to Timburr. On paper, it looks simple, since Drain Punch + Mach Punch OHKOes both sets all the time while taking 9-10 net HP damage depending on the Drain Punch roll. Volt Switch complicates this, allowing Elekid to cheat death and deal good damage at the same time. Even the uninvested Volt Switch from the physical set still does 33% minimum! Thus, it's risky to deal with Elekid using Timburr so long as the enemy team has a good Timburr switch-in. It's not good set-up bait either, considering how powerful it is if it doesn't decide to switch. Your best bet is to have a teammate weaken it down to 9 HP for the OHKO with Mach Punch, and bypass its insane Speed to pick up the KO.


When to switch into:

The only move you don't want to switch into is Leech Seed. Otherwise, Timburr makes a good switch into Ferroseed, absorbing Thunder Wave and threatening it out.

When to switch out of:

When you've been seeded on the switch, you are at a pretty big disadvantage. If they've revealed Protect earlier, I'd say switch out to clear the seeds.

What to do when in against it:

Timing Bulk Up to go with a Protect or when it sets a hazard will win you the match-up. Otherwise, Leech Seed + Iron Barbs lets Ferroseed bruise Timburr pretty badly. Ferroseed will likely switch out, and since its usual partner-in-crime is Spritzee, using Knock Off is also a good idea. Even if you hit Ferroseed with it, that at least increases your Drain Punch recovery against it to lessen the impact of Iron Barbs, and also weakens Ferroseed for the rest of your team. Be wary of the occasional Knock Off Ferroseed, since that can be a final farewell to ensure its next teammate can KO you.


When to switch into:

Pretty much never.

When to switch out of:

Any time you do not have a Bulk Up boost, unless you want to sacrifice Timburr or are predicting a U-turn, you should switch out.

What to do when in against it:

Fletchling is a big problem for Timburr when it doesn't have any Bulk Up boosts. Acrobatics is never OHKOing at full HP without a crit, but Drain Punch isn't dealing enough damage to Fletchling either, failing to OHKO after SR without at least one Bulk Up. You obviously can't set up in front of it, so if you are not boosted then you should just switch unless you've got the balls of steel needed to predict the U-turn. That said, beating Fletchling with a Bulk Up boost and at least 20 HP is easy without crits or high rolls, since Drain Punch 2HKOes and provides enough recovery to survive two Acrobatics at the aforementioned amount of HP, with Stealth Rock making it an OHKO. Unless of course, they get smart and SD when they are at full health since that OHKOes Timburr at full HP even after the Bulk Up boost.


When to switch into:

If Timburr is worthless at that point in the game and you want to sacrifice something to the Spore, that's pretty much the only time Timburr should ever switch into Foongus.

When to switch out of:

Most of the time. If nothing has been put to sleep yet and you want to spare Timburr, or if they have Clear Smog, and if you don't have at least one Bulk Up beforehand, you should switch out unless Foongus is weakened.

What to do when in against it:

Foongus can pretty much stop Timburr unless it's boosted a lot. Spore obviously shuts it down, but Clear Smog can as well, since boosts are the only way Timburr will ever get past Foongus' Giga Drain recovery. If something has already been Spored and Timburr has a few boosts under its belt, however, Foongus needs to watch out. After a Knock Off, 2 Bulk Up boosts are needed to come out on top, but that takes three turns to accomplish, all of which time you are not recovering health. Have something else to deal with Foongus for Timburr.


When to switch into:

It deals too much damage to safely switch into.

When to switch out of:

Anytime you don't want Timburr to be KOed or lose most of its health.

What to do when in against it:

Gastly is a pretty hard stop to Timburr's chances of sweeping even if it will be KOed itself. Knock Off OHKOes Life Orb and Scarf sets easily, and Sash Gastly can't 2HKO Timburr without poisoning Timburr on the first turn, but even then the poison will only kill Timburr after Gastly gets KOed by the second Knock Off. That said, even if Timburr does dispel the pesky Ghost, it's going to be at low health, possibly Tricked a Scarf, or maybe it will catch a Destiny Bond and trade 1 for 1. If you have a safer way of taking it out, such as a Porygon with Thunder Wave, or a Chespin, then go ahead and switch to one of those, but otherwise, like with Abra, Timburr is more than capable of beating Gastly at the cost of most or all of its health.


When to switch into:

Even if you could, you wouldn't want to.

When to switch out of:

It would be great if you could switch out, but unfortunately you can't.

What to do when in against it:

Modest Scarf Gothita's Psychic does 18 HP of damage normally and even on the highest roll is incapable of KOing you. Knock Off, on the other hand, always KOes after SR and even if it's not there you still have Mach Punch. Basically, handle this the same way you would an Abra, except you don't get to switch out.


When to switch into:

Switching into Hippopotas is not a good idea because you can't hurt it enough justify eating a possible EQ.

When to switch out of:

That said, there's really no reason to switch out of it because it will switch Timburr out for you, and in that case switching your best Hippo check in is actually a bad idea because then it can't be dragged in by Whirlwind.

What to do when in against:

Hippopotas is bulky, but it still needs to respect Timburr's damage and Knock Off. The best way to "beat" Hippopotas is by forcing it to phaze you out by setting up Bulk Up while it tries to attack or set SR. Using Knock Off on it the first chance you get is your best play, and from there, start spamming Drain Punch, and if you predict a Slack Off, Bulk Up immediately. After one Bulk Up, you deal 34% to Hippo if its Eviolite is still intact, and actually have a chance to 2HKO it without its Eviolite, all of which will stack up quickly if it doesn't get you out of there with Whirlwind. You only take 3 HP of damage after a Bulk Up with Hippo's Eviolite intact from EQ with Drain Punch recovery (2 net HP from the attack, 1 HP from sand) so it's not like it can break through you without phazing you, so weaken it as best you can and hope whatever comes in from Whirlwind is a special attacker.


When to switch into:

Honedge's Shadow Sneak is not powerful at all if you aren't weak to it, so that presents a great switch-in opportunity.

When to switch out of:

If you are at such a low HP where Shadow Sneak KOes and you really need Timburr's priority, switch out. Otherwise, stay in and hit something with Knock Off.

What to do when in against:

Honedge is very bulky, and despite possessing an Attack stat that surpasses Timburr's, is still weak thanks to its low BP moves. It's also slower than Timburr, meaning that it can set up a Bulk Up and blunt Honedge's blows, while firing back with a Knock Off. The problem with setting up in front of Honedge is the fact that you cannot recover HP against it, meaning that you have to be careful not to rack up too much damage, enough that a revenge killer can come in and force you out or OHKO you. A +1 Knock Off with SR support OHKOes 0/116 BJ Honedge, but besides that its a 2HKO on Eviolite spreads and a 3HKO at +0 with no SR.


When to switch into:

You can switch in when you predict a Crunch, Sucker Punch, and Pursuit easily, but beware of Fire Blast.

When to switch out of:

There is no reason at all to switch out if you have SR up since Mach Punch always KOes at that point. Otherwise, if you are below 70% HP, you should be careful.

What to do when in against:

Houndour would be the easiest Pokemon to fight with Timburr ever if only Mach Punch OHKOed full HP Naive Houndour without hazards. The on-site analysis for it advises Hasty, which indeed Timburr does OHKO with Mach Punch without hazards, but just the possibility of your opponent knowing that Naive Houndour can survive it is enough for you to second guess immediately hammering on the Mach Punch button. If you are at full health, I suppose you can just Drain Punch anyway, but you'll take 7 HP net damage which could be avoided if only you were certain that Mach Punch were an OHKO. That said, all it takes is one round of LO recoil for even Naive Houndour to always be OHKOed by Mach Punch without hazards, so just keep hazards up or have it use an attack first and then you're golden. Obviously, setting up in front of a powerful LO special attacker is not in Timburr's best interest, so don't try that unless you think it is going to switch.


When to switch into:

If you are certain it's going to use Will-o-Wisp and have no other burn absorber then I suppose you can switch in Timburr, otherwise don't bother.

When to switch out of:

If you have no boosts and you're not at full health and you want to keep Timburr alive, switch out.

What to do when in against:

Larvesta is very similar to Ponyta for Timburr, except it actually resists Fighting so it's even harder to break through. Unlike Ponyta, however, Larvesta loses half its max HP when it switches into SR, and there lies your key to beating it. From there, Larvesta is practically forced to recover, which gives you a free Knock Off. If it attacks with Flare Blitz at 50%, recoil damage + Knock Off + Mach Punch KOes. If you have at least two boosts, I'd say that you're capable of beating Larvesta with or without hazards. Otherwise, you're going to need a boost and hazards to beat it. Don't disregard the burn damage if Flame Body activates since that does stack up over time, just like with Ponyta.


When to switch into:

Besides the occasional Body Slam paralyze, it is very easy to switch into Lickitung and force it out when it tries to wall your special attackers.

When to switch out of:

No reason to switch out at all unless you predict a switch.

What to do when in against:

Like Munchlax, Lickitung is a high HP Normal-type special wall; in other words, a juicy target for Timburr to beat up. Boosting here is somewhat risky, not because you are in any danger, but more because of the chance of Dragon Tail coming out and erasing your hard work, while allowing it to get a free Wish as you switch Timburr back in. It's a good idea to use Knock Off first, since it is likely to switch, and even if it doesn't, it's still pretty bulky, so removing its Eviolite will allow you to deal even more damage to it. Curse sets are, like Munchlax, pretty easy to beat, but be careful of Dragon Tail winning the war for your opponent.


When to switch into:

Magnemite is very powerful, so switching in against it isn't a great idea unless you have nothing else that can take it.

When to switch out of:

Not much Magnemite can do against Timburr once it's in at a good amount of health besides Volt Switch out, so you should only switch when predicting a switch.

What to do when in against it:

Magnemite is in much the same boat as Chinchou, except it trades a lot more power for being weak to Fighting. Endure + BJ sets are annoying, and they Volt Switch out too fast for you to Drain Punch them. They are weak to Mach Punch, however, but only take 12 HP (63% of their health) from it, and less if they have any kind of defensive investment. Scarf and Eviolite sets are easier to deal with without having recovery, and are much more inclined to stay in and try to KO Timburr in my experience. Don't try and set up in front of Magnemite unless you know they are going to Volt Switch and there's nothing on their team that can come in and easily beat Timburr.


When to switch into:

It's not recommended to switch into Mienfoo since Timburr really wants to be at least even in turn advantage with Mienfoo, but you can easily pivot into a Knock Off or U-turn. Mienfoo's Drain Punch deals pretty good damage, and HJK from Scarf sets 2HKOes, so you kinda have to be careful when switching into Mienfoo.

When to switch out of:

If it has used Acrobatics earlier in the game and has lost its item, it's a good idea to leave the field. Otherwise, when you are trying to sweep with Timburr and don't want to have Knock Off used against you, that's a good time to leave.

What to do when in against it:

Mienfoo is a widely varied threat in the metagame, and depending on what it is running, it's either easy setup bait, or will KO Timburr easily. Thankfully, the more common defensive Eviolite set is the one that's setup bait. If you don't mind losing your Eviolite, just start setting up in front of it without ever using Knock Off on it unless you're trying to clear the way for something like Fletchling or Omanyte or if you are predicting a U-turn, since it might have Acrobatics. If you're dealing with the Scarf set, never use Bulk Up on it, since HJK has a good chance to 2HKO even after the boost from Bulk Up. LO is in the same boat as Scarf. For other weird sets people might be running, just use your best judgment.


When to switch into:

Munchlax can hit pretty hard, but as long as you are at full HP and aren't afraid of Body Slam paralyzing, Timburr makes a great switch-in to Munchlax.

When to switch out of:

Munchlax does not pose enough of a threat to Timburr at all to force it out, so basically never.

What to do when in against:

Munchlax really dislikes this match-up since Timburr hits hard and can stop its Recycle nonsense with either Knock Off or just by outright KOing it. Curse won't save it either, since Timburr has the Speed, recovery, and type advantage, and of course can just Bulk Up alongside of it. Finally, unlike most other Pokemon, Munchlax's bulk comes mainly from its HP, and there is nothing Timburr loves more than a big, juicy Munchlax to restore it from 10 HP to full health with one Drain Punch. Munchlax is likely running for the hills in this match-up.


When to switch into:

You can switch in on a Shell Smash if no hazards are present, but otherwise you would like to stay at full HP to handle this thing.

When to switch out of:

When you are not at full HP vs. a boosted Omanyte, you are probably going to want to switch Timburr out.

What to do when in against it:

How one deals with Omanyte is entirely based on whether it carries Hydro Pump or Surf. With Surf, Timburr always survives, and can even take 2 SR switch-ins and still survive. From there, it's just a simple usage of Drain Punch and Mach Punch to KO it. With Hydro Pump, however, you absolutely need to be at full HP, and with the set I've detailed above, you still have a 37.5% chance to be KOed by Hydro Pump, unadjusted for accuracy. Mach Punch does about 60% of its HP, so if it is weakened enough (for example, by a Fletchling that it set up on) you can still stop it even if you are not at full HP. Do not try to set up on Omanyte unless you are in a straight 1v1, which is not likely since Omanyte would never try to boost in front of Timburr. it's not recommended to use Timburr as your only Omanyte check.


When to switch into:

Timburr can switch into Stealth Rock or Stone Edge when you want to force Onix out, but Timburr really likes having the turn advantage against Onix since it sometimes has Explosion.

When to switch out of:

If you're afraid of Explosion chunking Timburr's health, you should probably switch out after it has set up Stealth Rock. Otherwise, you beat Onix easily.

What to do when in against:

Onix has the highest Defense of any Pokemon in LC, but this is mostly mitigated by it running Berry Juice over Eviolite most of the time. In fact, the Timburr spread at the beginning of the article has better effective physical bulk than BJ Onix does. Bulk Up + Knock Off + Drain Punch is the way to go here, depriving Onix of its Berry Juice before finishing it off with Drain Punch if it stays in. if it flees after you use Bulk Up, then whatever comes in will eat a boosted Knock Off. If for some reason you don't want to boost, Knock Off + Drain Punch + Mach Punch will KO it as well. As rare as Explosion is, it's Onix's best way to hurt you, and deals over 50% damage even after a Bulk Up.


When to switch into:

It'd not a good idea to switch into Pancham, since it might have Zen Headbutt. Even if it doesn't, Knock Off on the switch will give Pancham a big advantage.

When to switch out of:

If you know it has ZHB then switch out, otherwise you've got the advantage if you've used Bulk Up or Knock Off.

What to do when in against it:

Pancham has an extra Speed point on Timburr, which makes all the difference. In Pancham's favor, it can Parting Shot out of you with pretty much nothing you can do to it besides wasting your turn tickling it with Mach Punch. In your favor, you get your Drain Punch recovery second, and it lacks Bulk Up, so if you get a turn to use it you're going to easily beat Pancham if it lacks Swords Dance. If it does have Swords Dance though, your Drain Punches will deal the exact same damage as each other after you use Bulk Up and Pancham uses Swords Dance. As I said, you have the second Drain Punch advantage along with Mach Punch, so you should win, but unlike a Timburr boosting war, you're not coming out of it at +6 so it may not be worth it.


When to switch into:

If you aren't planning on setting up Bulk Up, Timburr makes a pretty good switch-in to Pawniard as it resists Knock Off and threatens it out easily. Be careful after losing your Eviolite though since Iron Head can then deal a lot of damage.

When to switch out of:

There's really no reason to switch out unless you are predicting a switch to something like Spritzee or if you really want to keep Timburr healthy.

What to do when in against it:

Pawniard really does not like Timburr, so you have the upper hand here. Using Bulk Up here is not usually a good idea, since Pawniard is switching out a lot of the time into a Timburr check, and even if it doesn't Iron Head deals good damage with a high flinch chance which forces you to use Mach Punch after setting up if you don't want to be flinched to death, which deprives you of Drain Punch recovery. The most important thing to note here is that a Mach Punch does not OHKO Eviolite Pawniard without the highest roll. In fact, it only deals 16 HP damage, which is about 76%. Only use Mach Punch on it below that percentage or if it is LO or BJ. Just use Drain Punch, KO it, and get back any health you lost to Iron Head or Knock Off. Only use Knock Off if you are predicting a switch.


When to switch into:

It's generally not a good idea to try and switch into Ponyta unless you are sure they are using Will-o-Wisp and you have no other good burn absorber.

When to switch out of:

If you're not at full HP or close to it and have no boosts, it's usually a good idea to switch out if you have something like Skrelp that can take it on better than Timburr.

What to do when in against it:

Ponyta hits hard and is usually running a physically defensive set that can take a lot of hits and recover off the damage. It also has enough damage to make Timburr think twice about setting up in front of it. The burn from Flame Body, Flare Blitz, or Will-o-Wisp, while increasing Timburr's Attack, is actually not very good here just because of the extra damage you take. You're also going to have to use Knock Off on Ponyta at some point to deal enough damage to it to heal off Flare Blitz damage and possibly burn as well, which wastes a turn. With a boost beforehand and good enough health, Timburr can take on Ponyta, but otherwise, it can deal enough damage to stop Timburr's chances of sweeping and is best avoided if you have a more solid check.


When to switch into:

Porygon hits pretty hard and sometimes has Psychic, making it not a good choice for a switch-in unless you are sure it is using Thunder Wave on you.

When to switch out of:

When you are at or below 60% HP and it has the gall to switch in on you, that means it is likely carrying Psychic. Download is especially bad, since it gives a Special Attack boost against Timburr's even defenses.

What to do when in against it:

If Porygon lacks Psychic, you can just Drain Punch away and smack it around. If it does, even with a Download boost, it's still incapable of OHKOing you, but it will most likely end up halting your sweep. The main problem here is that Drain Punch + Mach Punch does not KO 236 HP / 36 Def Porygon even after SR, which means it is guaranteed 2 uses of Psychic in a 1v1 situation if you try and do that. If they lack Download, Psychic never 2HKOes after Drain Punch recovery, so just go the safe route there and use Drain Punch twice. Otherwise just switch out.


When to switch into:

When you have no other burn absorber, Timburr can take it.

When to switch out of:

Pumpkaboo can't hit very hard, especially after a Bulk Up, so only switch out if you don't like the burn damage.

What to do when in against it:

Pumpkaboo-Super is usually specially defensive, relying on its resistances and immunities along with Will-o-Wisp to deal with physical threats. Since Timburr is immune to its Attack dropping move, Pumpkaboo doesn't like being against Timburr unless its the only Fighting move switch-in on the team. Having a boost up beforehand makes for an easy fight since you 2HKO with Knock Off, but otherwise you miss out on the 2HKO unless you have SR up. Pumpkaboo is faster with reliable recovery, though, so it probably won't let that happen. Grab a boost or a free Knock Off as it switches in and Pumpkaboo will be in a pinch, otherwise it will be able to harass you with Bullet Seed.


When to switch into:

You can switch into DD Scraggy at any time as long as it is not boosted yet, and Timburr is one of the best switch-ins since it can take a +1 Zen Headbutt and KO with Drain Punch + Mach Punch.

When to switch out of:

If it's a Scarf Scraggy and you're in range of HJK to KO you, you should switch so that its Moxie does not activate. Otherwise, if DD Scraggy has revealed High Jump Kick and is at +1, you should switch out because that will OHKO you.

What to do when in against:

Scraggy sure has fallen from grace this generation even with the Knock Off buff. Timburr still retains the ability to deal with it effectively, being able to switch in on a DD or Drain Punch and proceed to KO Scraggy with its SE Fighting STAB. If you're fighting Scraggy 1v1, you can even Bulk Up as it Dragon Dances and come out on top with a boost to help you against the next opponent, but this will rarely happen. Scarf Scraggy hurts a lot off the bat, but as long as it has no Moxie boost you OHKO it most of the time with Drain Punch and only take 7-8 net HP in damage from HJK after Drain Punch. Scraggy is likely not going to switch out of you at +1 however, since most people don't want to leave after setting up and think they can beat you.


When to switch into:

Switching into SS Shellder is a bad idea since even after a Shell Smash you can't KO it with Drain Punch + Mach Punch. Scarf Shellder is much easier to switch into, especially if you predict Rock Blast.

When to switch out of:

If you don't have a boost and are facing someone good, you should switch out.

What to do when in against it:

Shellder has a sky-high Defense stat, but after you raise your Attack with Bulk Up and it lowers its Defense with Shell Smash, it becomes easy pickings. You should only lose about 8 HP if there are no crits or high rolls, and Drain Punch + Mach Punch always KOes without any hazards after each Pokemon has used their respective boosting moves. The problem is that a player who has done their damage calculations will know that boosting against Timburr is a bad deal and will simply use an unboosted Icicle Spear to kill you. Bulk Up doesn't reduce the damage of an unboosted Icicle Spear after a boost, meaning you take 20 HP of damage if it uses Icicle Spear twice before you even get to attack after boosting. From there, even when boosted, your Drain Punch doesn't do near enough to take those kinds of hits, so you will lose if your opponent is smart. That said, most players can't resist setting up Shell Smash anyway since they think Icicle Spear will be able to outdamage Timburr's healing after a Bulk Up boost, so in most ladder games I'd recommend trying to set up anyway, because you never know if your opponent will take the bait.


When to switch into:

Shellos is super weak, so you can switch in pretty easily and start boosting.

When to switch out of:

No real reason to switch out.

What to do when in against:

Shellos has a small niche of a Knock Off absorber that gets to keep its Eviolite after the fact. Unfortunately for Shellos, Timburr would much rather smack it with boosted Drain Punches rather than try to remove its Eviolite. Shellos functions, in this case, like an even weaker Chinchou with no ability to use Volt Switch, meaning easy Bulk Up boosts for Timburr. Just be careful of the occasional Toxic, as even though it gives you an Attack boost, it also puts a timer on your sweep.


When to switch into:

Skrelp hits way too hard to switch into, and it resists Drain Punch anyway.

When to switch out of:

Unless you have a lot of boosts or are trying to sacrifice a low HP Timburr, switching out is the best option.

What to do when in against it:

Skrelp hits like a truck while absorbing anything you can throw at it with relative ease. The only way you can beat Skrelp is to have at least two boosts beforehand, then use Knock Off + Drain Punch + Mach Punch in that order, and even then you need to rely on a Speed tie on the second turn since Sludge Bomb/Wave always 2HKOes disregarding the low roll. Stay out of Skrelp's way.


When to switch into:

You can try to switch in and absorb a Thunder Wave for your team, but it's not the best option because of its Psychic STAB.

When to switch out of:

+0 Knock Off is a 3HKO, and Psychic is a 2HKO. If you don't have the HP advantage or a boost, switch out either immediately or after using Knock Off and taking a hit.

What to do when in against:

Slowpoke is super bulky, but unlike in the BW2 metagame, Timburr actually has a weapon against Slowpoke in the form of Knock Off. That said, without a boost, it's still not enough to take down Slowpoke without losing a lot of HP. Drain Punch is a non-option in all situations, so that damage sticks. You obviously can't boost in front of it either unless you want to eat a lot of damage, so in most cases, your best option is just to switch out or take a bit of damage in order to weaken it for your teammates.


When to switch into:

If you are feeling really confident, you can try to absorb a Glare or unboosted Hidden Power for your team, but otherwise, you should not switch into Snivy.

When to switch out of:

If Snivy still has its Berry Juice and you are unboosted, switch out. Even if it did use it, if it is at 100% and there are no hazards on their side of the field or you are unboosted, switch out.

What to do when in against:

Snivy got a very nice boost in the form of its Contrary ability, which has made it a powerful boosting sweeper, and one that can roll over Timburr all too easily. The Berry Juice set, its most common item, takes only 12-13 HP in damage from a +0 Drain Punch, which it will then heal off if it has its Berry Juice. In return, Leaf Storm hits for 10 HP at +0 and 19 HP at +2, and while it can't OHKO you if you were at full health, 2 unboosted Drain Punches + Mach Punch is still not enough to KO it through Berry Juice, making it impossible to win if it still has its item. At +1, however, the match-up is far more in your favor. You have a 50% chance to outright OHKO after SR, and even if you don't, you heal for 9 HP from the first Drain Punch, allowing you to comfortably take the next +2 Leaf Storm and KO it with Drain Punch + Mach Punch for a total of 11 HP net damage to your Timburr.


When to switch into:

Never.

When to switch out of:

Pretty much always.

What to do when in against it:

Another hard counter, but this one is debatedly even better of a counter than Spritzee. It has Intimidate, which blunts Timburr's resisted blows even further. Not even Poison Jab will save you; an Intimidated Poison Jab does barely enough damage to pop BJ Snubbull's Berry Juice, and it's not like you have Bulk Up to counteract that. If it wasn't obvious from Snubbull's Fairy typing, I'll say it out loud: do not try to fight Snubbull unless you are somehow at +6/+6.


When to switch into:

Never.

When to switch out of:

Pretty much always.

What to do when in against it:

Spritzee is a hard counter to Timburr, and the only thing you can do is use Knock Off on the switch and leave unless you want to lose Timburr. Naturally, you can sacrifice it by using Knock Off and taking a Moonblast since that doesn't OHKO, but you will end up at 30% or so. Unless you have Poison Jab, don't mess with Spritzee.


When to switch into:

Switching in on Staryu is kinda hard since Psychic is all the rage these days, but it can be done if it's running a defensive spread and you get in on Scald.

When to switch out of:

If you have no boost and you know it has Psychic, you might want to switch out.

What to do when in against it:

Staryu these days is mainly seen running a defensive spread with Scald and Psychic as its attacking moves. Its Psychic may be weak (any Staryu running 0 SpA can't 2HKO with it), but you can't 2HKO 116 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Staryu even after a Bulk Up boost either. Basically, you are unable to set up on Staryu unless it lacks Psychic since you can't outheal the damage you are taking from Psychic. If Staryu is weakened or really wants to Rapid Spin you may be able to get away with it, but in a full HP straight 1v1, boosting against defensive Staryu is a losing proposition.


When to switch into:

Considering that Stunky is both weak and rarely runs Poison STAB, Timburr is a pretty safe switch-in to Stunky whenever you predict a Dark-type move or whenever you predict Stunky will switch into whatever you have out now.

When to switch out of:

There's really no reason to ever switch out of Stunky since it poses so little of a threat. It can occasionally run Play Rough, but that means it can't run Defog, which is usually more valuable.

What to do when in against:

Stunky's job is to KO Abra, Gastly, and Gothita. Timburr is not one of those three Pokemon, so Stunky has trouble with it. If it lacks Play Rough and Taunt, you can set up right in front of it and all it can do is use Sludge Bomb if it has it. Stunky invests much more heavily into Special Defense as opposed to Defense, so you'll have an easier time getting past it. The only thing to worry about here is Aftermath, which takes away 25% of your max HP whenever you KO it, meaning the absolute most HP you can have after fighting Stunky is 18 HP. That's pretty much the only threatening part about Stunky, so don't be too shy about setting up in front of it.


When to switch into:

Never.

When to switch out of:

Pretty much always, unless it's a full special attacker Taillow.

What to do when in against:

Taillow has a super strong Guts Brave Bird to smack you with, OHKOing Timburr with a Guts boost even at +2 Defense. That said, at +2 you do OHKO with Mach Punch after SR, but otherwise Timburr is best served getting out of battle as fast as possible. Some people use Boomburst Taillow, however, and Timburr can beat those at +0 without hazards by using Drain Punch + Mach Punch. This only applies to full special attacker Taillow sets, as sometimes they do go mixed LO with Brave Bird, which always OHKOes at +0 even with no Attack investment from Taillow. Even if you do eat and survive a Boomburst, Timburr is going to end up at about half HP, so you might just want to avoid Taillow regardless of what it is running.


When to switch into:

There's no reason to switch into Tentacool at all.

When to switch out of:

After using Knock Off, switch out immediately to prevent it from stacking or removing hazards freely.

What to do when in against:

Tentacool, thanks to Liquid Ooze, is a very unique check to Timburr. While most Poison-types can be overcome with enough boosts and Drain Punch recovery, Tentacool accelerates Timburr's demise by reversing Drain Punch's recovery. It still doesn't like eating Knock Offs, especially boosted ones, but time spent chipping away at Tentacool with Knock Off is time spent allowing Tentacool to support its team with Toxic Spikes or Rapid Spin.


When to switch into:

Switching into another Timburr, unless it's after they knock something out and their Timburr has no boosts, is not a good idea since it puts you at a one-turn disadvantage in case of a Bulk Up war.

When to switch out of:

If you're expecting a Bulk Up war you cannot win, get out early. Also, being at an HP disadvantage is not good in a Timburr vs. Timburr match-up, so consider switching out then.

What to do when in against it:

Ah, the mirror match. Probably one of the most important mirror matches in the tier since there is a strong possibility one of the two Timburrs is coming out of the battle at +6/+6, which can win the game most of the time just by spamming Mach Punch. So how do you win the Bulk Up war? Well, that's a good question, one that I'm not sure I know the answer to. A lot of it is luck, thanks to the Speed ties and of course the possibility of a crit at any time, but easily the best way to win is to be a turn ahead. If you have a boost already when the opposing Timburr comes in or they switch into a Knock Off, it's a pretty good idea to start Bulking Up in front of them. I'm also unsure of the best time to use Knock Off. At the beginning? In the middle? At the end as your first move after hitting +6? I don't really know considering how infrequently I come across Timburr Bulk Up wars. I think the best way to win a Timburr Bulk Up war is to have Abra on your team, so if you lose you just laugh and take out the opposing Timburr at the cost of your Sash, while winning will likely clinch the match.


When to switch into:

Switching into Tirtouga as it uses Shell Smash puts you at a turn disadvantage if Tirtouga is at full health. If Sturdy is broken, however, switch in all you want.

When to switch out of:

No real reason to switch out of it since it only does 66% to unboosted Timburr with Waterfall after a Shell Smash. Maybe if you get flinched and you have a backup check to Tirtouga and want to save Timburr then you can switch I guess.

What to do when in against it:

Tirtouga cannot do much damage to Timburr without a boost, and when it does get a boost, that lowers its Defense. Against a Tirtouga with Sturdy active, Knock Off + Mach Punch is an easy KO that only takes away 9 HP from Aqua Jet. When Sturdy is not active, just Bulk Up as it boosts and KO it with Drain Punch, getting back pretty much all of the HP from Waterfall damage. If you get flinched at this point you are 2HKOed by Waterfall, but a +1 Mach Punch KOes if Tirtouga has its Sturdy broken. Defensive Tirtouga is extremely tanky, being able to survive two Drain Punches at +1 even after SR. That said, it's pretty much setup bait for you since it's slower and can only really use Knock Off since Scald carries the chance of giving you a 50% damage boost. Beware of fighting Defensive Tirtouga early-game since Knock Off hurts you more than you can hurt it at that point. Late-game its a non-issue as long as you're at good health.


When to switch into:

While Timburr doesn't like being down a turn, it can boost alongside Torchic and makes for a good switch-in if you have nothing else that can beat it. Do not switch into LO sets.

When to switch out of:

No real reason to switch out of BP sets since they pose exactly 0 threat to you on their own. LO sets can hit you very hard but there's no way to tell if they are running LO Torchic, so it's not like you can plan to switch out.

What to do when in against:

Timburr is a fantastic check to Quickpass Curse Torchic, whether it's passing Swords Dance or Curse boosts. All you have to do is boost alongside Torchic, which is easy enough, and from there you can either predict the turn that it uses Baton Pass and smack the receiver with Drain Punch or Knock Off, or you can Bulk Up until the receiver comes in and likely have a one turn advantage over your opponent. Timburr cares nothing about the Speed boosts, since it usually is outsped by any Baton Pass receivers Torchic can pass to even before the Speed boosts. I'd recommend using the first strategy against SD passing sets, and the latter strategy against Curse passers. Passing SD boosts means that the receiver is going to hit harder than you, so the best time to hit them is as they come in. For Curse passing, when you Bulk Up with Torchic, you always get at least one extra Bulk Up since it has to use Baton Pass, which gives you enough of an advantage that you don't need to smack the receiver on the switch. LO sets are tricky and disguise themselves as Baton Pass Torchic, so using Bulk Up as you get smacked by a powerful Fire Blast basically means you lose Timburr for free, which is likely what will happen since you can't tell what set Torchic is running just by looking at it. In any case, you always survive LO Fire Blast, and a +1 Mach Punch does a decent 12 HP of damage, so you might as well hit it before going down.


When to switch into:

You can switch in anytime pretty much, though repeated Gunk Shots will start to add up.

When to switch out of:


No real reason to switch out here, since after a boost or two it needs crits to harm you.

What to do when in against:

Trubbish, in its heyday, was touted as the premier Fighting-type check. It resists Fighting, takes Knock Off with ease, and can recover with BJ + Recycle as much as it wants thanks to Sticky Hold. It even has Spikes and Toxic Spikes to be supportive beyond that. Then I discovered that Timburr can just boost in front of it as it stands around and talks about how good at checking Fighting-types it is. As it were, a single boost allows you to outdamage Trubbish with Drain Punch as opposed to its Gunk Shot, and after that, you recover more HP than it can deal with Gunk Shot. On top of that, Gunk Shot has a chance to poison which boosts your damage by 50% on top of Bulk Up, and a chance to miss and give you a free turn. Trubbish has now pretty much disappeared, but if you do see one, be prepared to chalk up another win in short order.


When to switch into:

It's a very bad idea to switch into Vullaby.

When to switch out of:

Unless Vullaby is below 50% HP, you'll probably lose.

What to do when in against:

Vullaby is both very bulky and powerful enough to make even a once-boosted Timburr think twice about staying in. Brave Bird obviously smacks Timburr around pretty hard, but comes at the cost of recoil. Even with that recoil, Vullaby can take on boosted Timburr as long as Timburr is missing at least 5 HP, and obviously beats unboosted Timburr. Its Speed is both a blessing and a curse in this match-up, since a faster Brave Bird makes Timburr flee in terror, but if it's low on HP, it can't Roost against Timburr because then it will take double damage from Drain Punch. Basically, unless you have a large HP advantage, you'll want to switch Timburr out.


When to switch into:

It's too powerful to switch into.

When to switch out of:

If it reveals Hypnosis (usually by missing lol) you might want to switch Timburr out, but otherwise you can stay in.

What to do when in against it:

LO Vulpix hits pretty hard, but Timburr will always come out on top disregarding crits in a straight 1v1. Modest LO Overheat does 19 or 21 HP, while Drain Punch only heals for 6 HP, so you're going to take a beating in the meanwhile. After LO recoil, Drain Punch + Mach Punch KOes that spread all the time. Specs is rare and OHKOes with Overheat, but after that it's setup bait for something like Omanyte if you have it. Heat Rock sets might have a bit more bulk to them, but they don't deal very much damage at all and you'll end up close to full HP after KOing Vulpix. Not much to say here, only try and take out Vulpix if you really want it dead and can risk weakening Timburr.


When to switch into:

Switching into Zigzagoon is not a good idea since you need the turn advantage to beat it.

When to switch out of:

If you are not at absolutely full HP, then you should switch if you want to preserve Timburr.

What to do when in against:

Zigzagoon is a very scary sweeper, capable of reaching +6 Attack in one turn and then proceeding to spam a +2 priority 80 BP STAB move. It's arrival is also often preceded by a Memento user that effectively halves the attacking stats of any Pokemon and gives Zigzagoon a free switch. Too bad Timburr doesn't care about any of that! Even after a Memento, a full HP Timburr will come out on top against Zigzagoon disregarding crits. All Timburr has to do is Bulk Up alongside Zigzagoon's Belly Drum and spam Drain Punch until it drops. Zigzagoon has about an equal chance of doing 15 or 16 HP with one ExtremeSpeed, while Timburr at -1 Attack does 18 HP damage to 132 HP / 108 Def Zigzagoon with Drain Punch, giving you 9 HP back. 16 - 9 + 16 = 23, meaning you beat Ziggy with just one HP left over in the worst common case so long as you have taken no damage. Even if you have taken SR damage, there's a 75% chance of the 15 HP roll coming up at least once, so you can still win. By extension, if they didn't use Memento, you should win even harder. Even if you don't boost, you can still 2HKO Ziggy with Drain Punch if no Memento was used cause Timburr can still survive a +6 ExtremeSpeed with no Defense boosts as long as it's at full HP. Basically, just Bulk Up against Zigzagoon as it sets up and you win.
 

Holiday

on my best behavior
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Cele, you could've gone outside and shot some hoops. You could've learned to play an instrument, do origami, volunteered at your local community shelter. There's a lot of beneficial things to do is the point. Hell, when's the last time you told your mom you appreciated her? But nope. You made an essay on a Pokemon that literally just clicks Bulk Up on things weak to Fighting and wins.
 

Celestavian

Smooth
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Cele, you could've gone outside and shot some hoops. You could've learned to play an instrument, do origami, volunteered at your local community shelter. There's a lot of beneficial things to do is the point. Hell, when's the last time you told your mom you appreciated her? But nope. You made an essay on a Pokemon that literally just clicks Bulk Up on things weak to Fighting and wins.
This took at most 6 hours. Chill.

Plus, QuoteCS has been encroaching on my territory. He needs to know who Timburr truly belongs to.
 
so today my borthers + parents woke me up at an ungodly hour to do Christmas Things. i proceeded to do them then returned to my bed for a brief nap, as is my wont.

fell asleep and began to dream. user and tier leader: macle had posted a suspected thread... of Mienfoo and Abra. Much excitement in the lc community, especially from this user. i immediately start preparing a tl;dr post discussing the impacts of abra in both a strategic and tactical sense (this is, in fact, a good idea, wait for this boys).

In his brief blurb, macle had mentioned the recent advent of 4attack abra and it's increased devestation power, usuable because Fake Out isnt really a thing people use in the modern meta. User: Melonz posts a 1liner: "4attacks Abra is bad anyone who uses it should feel bad". 3 paragraphs in my in-writting post depend on 4attack abra. QuoteCS isn't deleting, struck by indesicion; Mambo is too busy blowing some other dude's flute or whatever music majors do to scrub the forums of this scourge.

I fly into a blinding rage. i flame skype, tell entirely unrelated user Oma to "suck a fat dick and die you abra-dependent ladder hero" (?), and put LOTS of subtle jabs in my tl;dr post [my passive-agression weights a ton]. I wake up mad and check the forums looking for likes. Turns out this was merely a dream... or a nightmare.

I will now seek professional help.

Merry Christmas lc!!!!
 

doomsday doink

v̶̱̅i̵̢̕l̶̦̈́ļ̵͗a̷̙̓g̸͈͝ę̵̎ ̵̱̌g̷̭͆û̷̦a̵̰͛ȓ̶̜d̸
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Yeah! Let's ban Abra! Fuck Mienfoo!

QuoteCS and macle I would like to return whatever present you guys may have gotten me for Christmas and, instead, receive a suspect test of these Little Cup cancers. And while we're at it, let's get rid of Thunder Wave too. And Hidden Power, that shit's broken af.

Merry Christmas kids, hope it's flames
 

Celestavian

Smooth
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perhaps you could give us a manifesto on how to run abra in the current metagame versus every decently high ranked Pokemon on the viability rankings :)
Are you serious? All you do is Protect when you aren't sure what they're going to do and then hit stuff. Maybe predict a switch every once in a while. Do you really think this game is that complicated?
 

Holiday

on my best behavior
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Are you serious? All you do is Protect when you aren't sure what they're going to do and then hit stuff. Maybe predict a switch every once in a while. Do you really think this game is that complicated?
Sorry, I'll start marking my jokes with a J/ before I start posting them

I still run protect to see if some dumb shit is running a weird move or if they predict a double and I can hit something hard that switches in. The game really isn't complicated, J/ I was just suggesting that you should enlighten us with a more in depth analysis of a give Pokemon :)
 

Merritt

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Head TD
I honestly feel like protect is nowhere near mandatory on Abra. Sure it's a viable choice, but at the current point in the meta I'd personally put it around the same usefulness as encore since Fake Out is not as popular. It's not a useless move like it is on around 90% of Pokemon since Abra has that great free slot, but it's not something I'd put over something like Energy Ball.

A very weird gimmick I did maybe twice and worked once was Psych Up Abra, which proceeded to countersweep my opponent's Omanyte team. It's a gimmick for obvious reasons I hope. Still fun to do when it works, kind of like Snatch Fletchling. I've seen (on low ladder granted) Screens Abra once, which was interesting since Abra provides pretty much guaranteed double screens which is nice for helping set up.

The point is, Abra has a lot of possibilities that can be fun to play around with.

Also Merry Christmas LC, and let's have a good year.
 
If I'm not running Knock Off I'd rather just run a screen/Safeguard/T-Wave. I understand Protect has uses, but imo there are other options that are way more useful.
 
Abra has insane 4mss in the current meta, protect is almost hard to rationalize. Obviously there's Energy Ball to OHKO things like Tirt and Oma and Shadow Ball to nail Psychics and Honedge, but there's also Knock Off, Thunder Wave, and Encore (I actually use this a lot it's fun). Scoutting Scarfers is a great utility but you are trading concrete KOing and other utility moves for something that's arguably just to avoid predicting a rarely used items attack.
 

Sken

feet of clay
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In fact, a lot of teams, mostly offensive ones, rely on one or two scarf mons and maybe some priorities in order to check Abra due to its 19 speed tier, so facing scarfers won't be that uncommon for this monster, which means that running protect to scout them isn't that bad of an idea.
 
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Merritt

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It's really not needed though, since most scarf mons are somewhat obvious in at least some way considering that they're sending something in on abra. If your opponent is sending their Pawniard in on your abra, it's either scarf or it's trying to sucker punch you. Either way protect doesn't really do much, and it's the same for most scarfers. If you can't predict it then there's really no advantage to protecting. Either they're scarf and you have to switch out (granted you get a minor advantage in knowing what move they're using, but they also know that you know what move they're locked into, actually putting them in a good position if they go for a double) or they're not and you didn't actually learn anything.

It's not a bad move, it's just that it's not really good enough to really be the clear top from a choice of something like seven moves.
 

Celestavian

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It's not just for scouting scarfed Pokemon just like it's not just for Mienfoo's Fake Out either. Here are some of the ways besides those two things that I have used Protect for:

- Stalling out weather turns
- Avoiding Sucker Punch and starting Sucker Punch mindgames
- Stalling for extra burn/poison/weather damage
- Checking for strange moves like Hypnosis Ponyta
- Allowing me to hit Tirtouga after it has Shell Smashed, rather than before, to get the extra damage

There's plenty of things it can do, and if your team isn't super weak to Tirtouga or Omanyte then it's a good choice, and probably the second best behind Energy Ball if not the best.
 

Merritt

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- Stalling out weather turns
- Avoiding Sucker Punch and starting Sucker Punch mindgames
- Stalling for extra burn/poison/weather damage
- Checking for strange moves like Hypnosis Ponyta
- Allowing me to hit Tirtouga after it has Shell Smashed, rather than before, to get the extra damage
Stalling out weather turns is (while technically a thing you can do) not useful in most cases. Since you can already OHKO the weather sweepers, you're basically saying that you're going to give the opponent a completely free turn (because that's really what protect is, it's just that a lot of the time they waste it equally much) in order to either stall out one more turn of weather that isn't particularly threatening unless you've got something at 1 HP you want to come in win or something idk or you're going to stall one more turn in order to die the next turn because nothing on your team can take a bellsprout/drilbur attack and you got sash broken. That's not a good position no matter how you're swinging it.

Against Sucker Punch it's just better to have Encore. Protect adds almost nothing but a way to add a couple of free turns stalling out sucker punches. It's still not really a great position, while Encore can force them to sucker punch over and over and you now have a way to guaranteed stall them out of sucker punches. You have to win one 50/50 there, not several.

While you can do this, it's still about as useful as an extra turn of burn damage is in most cases. That is, usually not that much. If toxic was more common in LC then this would be a stronger argument.

This is the most valid point, but in general if you've sent in Abra it's either because you don't have a 100% answer that's better or you want to put some massive pressure on the opponent. The Ponyta example, to look at it, doesn't put you in a good position. Now you have to choose something else to sac to sleep, and now your opponent has a Ponyta in on your sleeping mon that will not wake up next turn and you can't bring in Abra on Ponyta because who brings in Abra on a hard switch when your opponent can do whatever they want. It's barely useful.

...wut.

No seriously I have no clue what it is you're trying to say with the Tirtouga thing. It sounds like you're saying "I'm going to let it shell smash for free so I can hit it after it smashes instead of both before and after it smashes". Please explain this, because it's not making sense to me.

I'm not saying Protect is a bad move, but it's really most useful for stopping Fake Out. It has some other minor uses, but it's kind of like fitting protect on Ferroseed. It has some uses, but Ferroseed's already strapped for space and it's not usually more useful than other options.

Slightly different note, but I personally feel like Energy Ball is more useful than Dazzling Gleam. It hits a lot more threatening stuff like Staryu, Shell Smashers, Chinchou, Ground types, Rock types, while Dazzling Gleam hits only a couple things. If I was going to replace something with protect on 4specialattacker Abra, then 8/10 times it's Dgleam and not Energy Ball.
 

Fiend

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Why are we debating the merits of Protect Abra versus Protectless Abra? It is not mandatory as Merr has stated, however it is a solid choice yet not flawless due to obviously losing an offensive move. However, the only two mandatory moves on Abra are Psychic and a Hidden Power, typically Fighting but also possibly Ground if ran in tandem with Gastly. Dazzling Gleam, Energy Ball, Protect, Knock Off, Sub, Thunder Wave, Taunt, and even Encore all have merits to usage, and the viability of each move is entirely dependent on your team structure. If you want to create a rather arbitrary list of 'more viable/better/more useful' moves on Abra for whatever reason, you are truly not understanding pokemon as a dynamic game in which certain play styles and commonalities of your own building create circumstances in which certain moves are much more viable than others and that pokemon such as Abra or Tirtouga or Mienfoo or even Diglett have enough flexibility to run equally viable moves in their respective slots. If I was to create a list in descending usage of the moves Abra could viably run from which it is running in every ORAS team in my teambuilder the list would be the following:
  1. Psychic
  2. Hidden Power [Fighting]
  3. Knock Off
  4. Substitute
  5. Energy Ball
  6. Protect
  7. Dazzling Gleam
  8. Hidden Power [Ground]
  9. Calm Mind
  10. Taunt
  11. Encore
  12. Charge Beam (lol)
  13. Torment
  14. Hidden Power [Fire] (lol)

From this list we can see that I enjoy Life Orb Abra and Abras which break walls, and it shows that my teams are offensively included more often than not. However if I build teams which Abra giving up a "free" turn, or knocking off Porygon, or OHKOing Drilbur/Chinchou/2HKOing Slowpoke was less useful, Protect would be higher, Dazzling Gleam might drop, and Subsite and Knock Off would be much, much lower on that list. If I was to arrange the list via viability assumed by number of circumstances the move is useful, it would be perhaps:
  1. Psychic
  2. Knock Off
  3. Substitute
  4. Taunt
  5. Protect
  6. Encore
  7. Dazzling Gleam
  8. Energy Ball
  9. Hidden Power [Fighting]
  10. Hidden Power [Ground]
  11. Hidden Power [Fire]
  12. Calm Mind
  13. Charge Beam
  14. Torment

I think this should better reflect how useful the moves on Abra are, as utility options were consistently placed higher than the more offensive options, due to being more game swinging in nature and thus more useful to the intent of my Abra and my team. I do realize this is an entirely subjective ranking, and will probably be argued that the popularity of other options forces my opponents to play around them and thus creating a larger opportunity for these other options to work, but this should cement the ideology that Protect is not useless then as it saves Abra from Fake Out or a random Scarf Pokemon. It is not a dead turn as Merr is implying, especially considering thus far his posts have only touched really Sash Abra--which needs to not be taken by surprise by random Scarfers or Fake Out or otherwise weird phenomenon to which you were not naturally aware of. Merr also brought up the point of Abra being used on teams which otherwise have a hole, to which I would argue better accentuates the fact: Abra does not have a "best set," a "best 4th move," or any other finite option to stand by outside of always running Psychic and some hidden power. The so called best option is entirely based on the team, on how you play, and in some cases what you're expecting to fight. And thus, Protect should fight for a slot on Abra, but not be used on teams which have a multitude of options for Scarf Pokemon and when you have a very strong prediction game.

tl;dr: Protect is better the worse you are at pokemon, but isn't horrendous when you're good. Not super useful, but nevertheless not too niche.
 
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