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 Chandelure, Choice Scarf, and Y(OU)

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PostSubject: Chandelure, Choice Scarf, and Y(OU)   Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:22 pm

ChandelureLuring Pokémon
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Flash Fire
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Hello everyone, it's me again. I'm here for a second time to post endless walls of text about our favorite spectral lighting fixture, Chandelure!

To begin, just because I can I'm going to tell you why I'm not completely unqualified to talk about this poke as much as I do aka the part where I brag to all of you like a jackass Put into spoilers for your convenience (you don't need to read this part at all)

Self-Indulgent Bragging:

Now that we got that out of the way....

The Point
Recently I had a discussion with someone about Choice Scarf Chandelure in OU. I've been mulling this topic over for quite a while actually, so what better to do than bore all of you to death and write about it? To start off, Substitue and Choice Specs are Smogon's top two listed sets for OU and UU, with the latter being the tier Chandelure is placed in. To be blunt, I personally believe this is to blame for Chandy's "low tier" status. In this article (if you can even call it that), I'll try to convey to you exactly why I feel this way.

To the Beginning
Flashback a few years: The dawn of generation 5. Everything is revealed, the games are released. And of course, Smogon begins their preemptive tier list. I was smitten with Chandelure from the very beginning. It was on my in-game team, and naturally I wanted to see where smogon would put it. I watched like a hawk, waiting for that work in progress page to declare where my beloved favorite would lie. When I saw it made OU, I was ecstatic! For some reason I had placed a great deal of importance on this, though it was also just before I really got into competitive play. Anyway, back then if memory serves, the first listed set they recommended was non other than Choice Specs. Some time later, suddenly Chandelure falls down in the ranks: to UU. Coincidence? Well, I personally, think not.

What Gives?
"But Frost, why would smogerns set make cherndy drop from ou?" Well, I'm glad no one you asked. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, people listen to Smogon. Not all of us do, but a fair bit of their users believe in them religiously. And I have no doubt that a large chunk of people began using this set as soon as they said so (thought that's not to say they didn't before). So why would this cause usage to drop? The answer is simple: Choice Specs Chandelure can not function in the OU tier. Why is this? I shall explain later! Bear with me (please? :<). People realized that Chandelure just wasn't working out in OU, so they stopped using it. Instead of realizing that the problem was the set, and not the Pokemon itself, they kept Specs near the top, taking second place to the equally atrocious "Sub set." Ugh

But What's Wrong With Those Sets?
The big problem with the top sets Smogon provides for Chandelure, is speed. Chandelure is too slow and just too frail to cope in a fast paced, strong tier with its 80 base speed and meager bulk. The Sub and Specs sets do not compensate adequately for this, by any means. How they continue to garner so much attention is really beyond me. It's probably because Chandelure is "Under Used" in the first place.

So...What Now?
The answer lies on the same article that in my opinion, condemned Chandelure to its low tiered fate. Choice Scarf. It's a simple solution that gives Chandelure the only thing it needs: Speed. In Breakdown Standard and OU, Chandelure performs amazingly with a Choice Scarf. It gets all the speed it needs to outpace all of its non-scarfed threats, and packs enough of a punch to drive back pretty much everything in the tier. With 145 base special attack, why are Choice Specs really even considered? Its just gratuitous. Chandelure can already deal with everything it needs to adequately, provided you compensate for its faults, which a substitute or choice specs do NOT do. A sub from Chandy is very easily broken, even in UU by things like Snorlax, which Chandelure can't even scratch. A Sub basically guarantees you one free snipe at an enemy, if you can even set one up in the first place with your frailty and mediocre speed. I rank it higher than Specs since it can offer some sort of protection, but I personally find it inadequate to perform in OU and Standard. If you can make it work there, more power to you! There's nothing wrong with trying either set in the tier, but in my experience neither of them are quite up to snuff.

The Numbers
Some folks are a little skeptical of Chandelure's 80 base speed behind a scarf. To do away with these fears, here's some Speed tiering for all of you courtesy of Invalid.


This assumes that Chandelure's fourth moveslot contains Psychic. If you run Trick, remove all fighting types. If you run Energy Ball for some reason Terrakion and Keldeo remain, with no relevant water, rock, or ground types being added since they're all slow as balls.

In a Nutshell
Scarf Chandelure is, in my humble opinion, the safest and most viable option for the OU and Standard tiers. It has the speed and power needed to manage most of its threats, which is allows it to perform at its best. If you still want to use Substitute or Choice Specs or whatever else, you're perfectly alright to do so. However, Chandelure's current Smogon tier placement as well as my personal experience suggest to me that it really cannot perform adequately with those sets in the tier, or at least not as well as a scarfer can. However, with proper team support and smart predicting, you can make them both work to suit your needs. Remember, use your pokes to best suit your team regardless of what anyone else says. This is merely a commentary of the issue from my perspective based on the experiences I've had. If you made it to the bottom of this hot mess, I sincerely thank you for reading!

Art by Orivexes
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