Heracross is a bug/fighting Pokemon from Gen2. I remember thinking at first it was an evolved form of Pinsir (I heard about it but, having no game at the time I couldn't check), but none of them actually evolves. Heracross is a powerful Pokemon, especially among the ones that never evolve, just like Hawlucha. Base stat total of 500, with a 125 base attack, a 85 base speed, a 80 base HP, 95 base special defense. Heracross can hit hard and take a special weakness (unless the opponent has a special attack stat worth that of Espeon or Alakazam). With a 75 base defense, it should avoid physical offensive opponents, unless it can beat them in one turn each. It learns strong physical moves, along with multiple hit moves like Pin Missile or Rock Blast. It also learns Facade, Counter, Reversal, Knock Off and various other useful moves.
Heracross has access to three abilities, two of them being really useful. The other one is Swarm, which raises by 50% the damage done by bug moves with less than 1/3 remaining HP. It can also have Moxie (raises Atk by one stage for each Pokemon it faints) and Guts (raises Atk by 50% when paralyzed, poisoned or burned, burn attack drop is ignored). Yes, it can have both Guts and Facade, can you imagine the power? Well, I'm later going to show you even more, stay tuned for the tenth article
Heracross gained in Gen6 a Mega-Evolution. Mega-Heracross raises its base special defense to 105, defense to 85, and attack to 185. Yes, 185. Mega-Heracross has the second best base attack stat. It loses speed (going down to a base of 75) but after a Baton Pass from Scolipede or Ninjask, it becomes a true nightmare. Almost unstoppable. Its ability changes for Skill Link. Exactly. And it has access to four multi-hit moves: Pin Missile, Bullet Seed, Rock Blast, Arm Thrust. The four combined can super-effectively hit the psychic, dark, grass, normal, rock, ice, steel, water, ground, flying, fire. Fourteen out of the existing eighteen. Now we're talking about coverage. And remember speed Baton Pass from Ninjask to Heracross is an option. And that it can have moxie prior to mega-evolving. Behold.
How to play it?
Heracross: UU tier. You don't see it as often as before, but it still gives a good fight. I've tried two different sets in monotype (fighting).
The first one is the obvious: Moxie. Give it a choice scarf and start your killing spree. You have Megahorn (180 with bug STAB) but it lacks accuracy, Close Combat (180 with fighting STAB) but it lowers your defenses. For the third move, either Knock Off to remove items or Night Slash for a greater power and a better chance to get a critical hit. The next move is up to you: Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Facade (in case of burn), Earthquake, Shadow Claw, Aerial Ace... You have decent coverage here, choose what you need in your team A fast adamant EV spread should do fine.
The second set is kind of risky, based on Guts. I tried it a year ago, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I gave it a flame orb, then a all-out attacker moveset with Megahorn, Knock Off, Facade (140 when burned, poisoned or paralyzed, plus the 50% bonus from Guts). For the fighting STAB, you can get Brick Break, Close Combat if you make Heracross fast (252 Speed, 252 Atk, jolly), or Revenge (120 if user was hit this turn, 180 with STAB) if you make it bulky. With the low defense it has I wouldn't recommand it, but as Heracross doesn't go over 300 in speed it will get hit anyway. Once again it's up to you. If you try that in UU and pass it some speed through Ninjask, you can however raise Hell with that set. Good luck
Mega-Heracross. Goes sometimes in OU, sometimes in BL. Its current tier is BL. Whichever it is you can't play it below OU anyway. If the opponent is healthy you can mega-evolve from the start, yet if it has low HP you can finish it off with regular Heracross to gain attack with Moxie, and then mega-evolve. Use the multi-hit moves that you need, there's enough coverage with them. Just remember you don't have any stronger bug move than Pin Missile (37 per hit with bug STAB), and that you will always hit five times with it. I recommand getting two of these moves including Pin Missile, then a coverage move with another type, available in the list above. Mine is Knock Off, just in case. Also if you want a fighting STAB move, I also recommand Close Combat over Arm Thrust for power reasons (Arm Thrust is weaker that the other moves of its kind, with 22 per hit after STAB boost). If you want, you can go for Revenge instead and make Mega-Heracross bulky, with the defense boost it has from mega-evolving it can be interesting, but remember Heracross can't really heal since all it has is Rest and it can't really afford it (opponent switches and uses a flying move, bye bye). A way to make your Mega-Heracross deadlier is Baton Pass from a speed boosted Scolipede or Ninjask. A super fast Mega-Heracross with an attack boost (from Moxie) is almost unstoppable. The best counter to it is Gale Wings Talonflame, but it's banned from monotype. You can also use Quick Attack from Mega-Pinsir, try Fletchinder or stop its rampage with Prankster Will-o-Wisp (Sableye). But besides that, your options are very limited.
Heracross has always been a powerful Pokemon, and its mega-evolution makes it even better (and cooler). It's still far from being invincible, because of its weaknesses (including a double one) and its limited speed. It can become another Cloyster but it needs another Pokemon to setup, then a Baton Pass, making it vulnerable to any attack for one turn (unless you somehow manage to keep a Substitute alive). For those reasons, Mega-Heracross is still more balanced than Mega-Pinsir, which can become a true nightmare without even setting up, but has also the possibility to do it on its own. When the opponent has a Heracross in his team, just remember: don't let anything set up in speed.
By Champion Blackwolf. I do not own the images. Next topic: Kangaskhan, tomorrow (Friday).
Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum