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 Energy Ball and Chandelure. An Editorial.

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Frost
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PostSubject: Energy Ball and Chandelure. An Editorial.    Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:48 pm

ChandelureLuring Pokémon
Shadow Tag
2x
1x
1/2x

1/4x
0x
HP60230-324
Atk55103-229
Def90166-306
SpA145265-427
SpD90166-306
Spe80148-284
Flash Fire
Flame Body

As many of you know, especially those who have read my article on Chandelure, I strongly advise against the use of the move Energy Ball on said pokemon. Because the move is catastrophically popular on it, and I recently was asked about my opinion on the subject, I thought I'd compile my thoughts here. This is mostly going to be the product of procrastination, boredom, and annoyance. Also please keep in mind while you read this, I'm speaking not only from the data I've gathered through calculations, but also about a year of experience gained from using Chandelure on almost every one of my teams.

Why people like it
When people see Energy Ball in Chandelure's movepool, they think they've got a blessing. After all, in theory it does sound good. Grass typing effectively works against 3 out of 5 of Chandelure's weaknesses, so the move should help it out a great deal right? Most Chandelure are also choiced, and in all honesty a choiced chandelure really only requires about 3 moves; a fire stab, a ghost stab, and usually hidden power fighting. Naturally for coverage's sake, Energy Ball seems like the perfect fit for that 4th slot. My goal in this article is to do my best to drive away these ideals once and for all, at least for those who read this.

The Problem
To be frank, Energy Ball is weak. It's an 80 base power move with no stab, so this is to be expected. However, Chandelure's massive special attack tends to make people think that it's enough to make the move viable. Unfortunately, it isn't. This is largely in part due to what threatens Chandelure, and what Energy Ball would actually be used on. Among various water, ground, and rock types that all threaten Chandelure, few to none of them are OHKO'd Energy Ball. Ordinarily, it would be outlandish to consider rejecting a move solely based on these grounds. However, in Chandelure's case, OHKOing threats is an absolute necessity. It's not hard to see that the thing is frail. If Chandelure doesn't OHKO the enemy or come damn close, the enemy will more often than not OHKO it. To use this pokemon effectively, it should only stay in on something if it can take it down in one shot, or live 1 hit and 2hko, which is a very rare occurrence. And Energy Ball simply cannot accomplish this necessary feat. Against extremely common threats like Rotom-W, Politoed, Vaporeon, and many others, the foes can all survive and hit Chandelure back hard enougn to one shot it. One could argue that this makes running energy ball not only pointless, but incredibly stupid. The move often tempts players to size up things that will end up koing their Chandelure. When this is considered, one would really be better off not running it at all, or at least not trying to rely on it. The "widdling down" concept is also ridiculous, because if Chandelure is choiced (which it should be unless you're playing ubers and you should NOT be using Energy Ball there) you can risk locking yourself into a very weak move with no pay off if you mispredict. This can lead to forced death foddering or other unwanted consequences. In the grand scheme of things, Energy Ball really does more harm than good.

The Numbers
If you're still unconvinced by the wall of text above, hopefully these calcs will change your mind. All of the calcs below are for a Choiced Scarf Modest Chandelure.

For a no EV politoed against a max Special Attack Chandelure:
Spoiler:
 

Max Special Defense/HP Politoed against same Chandelure
Spoiler:
 

Max Special Attack Chandelure against Max Special Defense Vaporeon
Spoiler:
 

No defensive EV's Rotom-W against Max Special Attack Chandelure
Spoiler:
 

Specially Defensive Rotom-W against Max Special Attack Chandelure
Spoiler:
 

No Special Defense EV Hippowdon against Max Special Attack Chandelure
Spoiler:
 

Max special attack Chandelure against max special defense Gastrodon
Spoiler:
 

So there you have it. Those are among the most common things a Chandelure will try and fail to use an Energy Ball on. While the damage on several of those calcs was impressive, none of them were OHKO's. While in some cases they would have been enough to deal with a weakened enemy, they would likely not come in on a Chandelure unless it was locked into an unfavorable move, and they would certainly not come in if it was locked into energy ball. While you can "nail them on the switch" blindly switching into a Chandelure while you're at low health would be an incredibly stupid move, because its non super effective stabs still deal very high damage. And of course, it goes without saying that everything listed above easily has the potential to KO Chandelure.
All calcs done with: http://kalashnikov.pokecenter.ru/damage/

If not Energy Ball, what else?
Well first of all, Energy Ball does not necessarily have to be completely abandoned. While it is extremely risky and foolish to rely on it for dealing with most of Chandelure's threats, it can still be useful for finishing them off if they don't know you carry it. However, there can still be much better alternatives for a 4th move slot. Trick is a good alternative for Choiced Sets, which in all honesty are the most viable options for Chandelure in Standard.While Psychic may seem weird, it's 10 higher bp and rips massive chunks out of Fighting types, OHKOing several of them. Solar Beam is a much more potent grass option in sun, however it has the drawback of relying on weather. Work Chandelure in with your team. Use its 4th moveslot to best complement you, even if that means using Energy Ball. Just be aware of the pros and cons if you do so.

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Last edited by Frost on Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:37 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Energy Ball and Chandelure. An Editorial.    Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:54 am

Nice 'analysis' Frost. For the 'other moves' section, I might list Trick first. A neutral Fire Blast does as much as a 2x Psychic, and there are not many Fighting Pokemon that resist Fire-typed moves. Still though, Psychic does help against Terrakion and Blaziken, so it isn't totally outclassed by Trick or anything.

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PostSubject: Re: Energy Ball and Chandelure. An Editorial.    Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:46 am

Thank you very much steel :3

The other moves weren't really listed in any sort of hierarchy, but I have no problem with changing the order around. This really wasn't intended to follow any sort of formal format, it was sort of just me venting my frustration on the topic.

Also I have to say, it really shocked me that Gastrdon wasn't even a possible OHKO. Granted it was at max special defense, but the thing is 4x weak....

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PostSubject: Re: Energy Ball and Chandelure. An Editorial.    Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:29 pm

Gastrodon usually does run max spdef though, at least I used that on it when I ran it. And to Steel, Blaziken isn't as relevant as Infernape which is another Pokemon that resists fire and is weak to Psychic.

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PostSubject: Re: Energy Ball and Chandelure. An Editorial.    Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:27 am

Invalid wrote:
Gastrodon usually does run max spdef though, at least I used that on it when I ran it. And to Steel, Blaziken isn't as relevant as Infernape which is another Pokemon that resists fire and is weak to Psychic.

True, but Infernape is pretty frail, so it is hit hard by Shadow Ball. It probably has a chance of being 2HKOed by Chandelure's Fire moves even.
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PostSubject: Re: Energy Ball and Chandelure. An Editorial.    Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:51 pm

If anyone has a similar problem with a move on another poke, feel free to try something similar. Just be sure you bring good arguments, facts, and data to the table. I don't want to see any "this sucks just cuz" types of articles XD

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