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In the moonlight n°26: The Gengar line, lurking in your shadow since 1996

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In the moonlight n°26: The Gengar line, lurking in your shadow since 1996

Post by Champion Blackwolf on Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:04 am


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Gastly is the very first ghost type Pokemon, and also the lightest Pokemon along with Haunter and Flabebe (100g each). It was available in Gen 1 in Lavender town’s tower. Using a tower as a graveyard, just why? You can’t dig any grave in the upper floors…
Even as the first member of a three-stage evolution line, Gastly has always been an above average fast special sweeper, and is the second best among the LC Pokemon (behind Abra). With a 100 base attack and 80 base speed. Add a good movepool and you don’t need anything else, but to remember that it isn’t meant to last long (30 base HP and defense, 35 base SpD). It’s mostly there to hurt the opponents, and Gen 3 granted it one ability, Levitate, that removes its ground weakness.

Comparing it to its evolved forms: Haunter is one of the best fast special sweepers among the Not Fully Evolved Pokemon (it even got moved up by Smogon), above Electabuzz and Magmar but behind Kadabra. It reaches a base SpA of 115 and speed of 95, yet the evolution can seem disappointing, considering its BST goes from 310 to 405. Even Mega-Evolutions gain more. It keeps Levitate but also a poor bulk, with 45 base HP and defense ans a 55 base SpD. An eviolite won’t be any good on it, but you can still enhance its power or speed to deal heavy damage. It’s useful even in ghost monotype when you want more than one Gengar but you can’t.

Gengar is offensively great: 130 base SpA, 110 base speed. Still behind Alakazam, Gengar remains a big threat thanks to a high speed, power and the access to Hypnosis or Destiny Bond, as well as various coverage moves. Its ridiculous bulk (for an OU Pokemon) justifies the use of a focus sash, but also a scarf or specs, because “in this world, it’s kill or be killed” (Flowey from Undertale). Back in Gen 1, the ghost type was meant to be THE counter to psychic, with an immunity to it, but somebody messed up and the ghost type ended up getting neutral damage from psychic moves, but as there was only the Gengar line and they were all ghost/poison dual typed, psychic was actually super-effective on them. This issue led to the creation of the dark type. So please join me and thank Gengar’s line for leading to the appearance of Tyranitar, Weavile, Houndoom, Yveltal or Umbreon. Yet that doesn’t explain why they created a whole new type with the psychic immunity given that psychic was also immune to ghost and that they merely fixed that in Gen 2.

Gengar became even more of a threat with Gen 6, in the form of a Mega-Evolution. Mega-Gengar’s stats evolve like they’ve always done: its special attack and speed raise even more (170 and 130) and its poor bulk barely changes (still a 60 base HP, defense goes up to 80 and special defense to 95), but it starts resembling a UU-like bulk, maybe even OU, but still too weak for its tier which is… Ubers. Mega-Gengar is Uber despite a 600 BST because of the new ability it gets: Levitate is replaced with Shadow Tag, which prevents anything that isn’t a ghost (or doesn’t have the same ability) from switching out. That way, you can torture them to death with Will-o-Wisp, Toxic, Pain Split, Substitute, Curse, Protect, Perish Song… That Shadow Tag + Perish Song combo enabled me to win by forfeit against a guy who was using a lvl 200 Arceus in a battle with particular rules: custom battle for him, Uber for me, and I couldn’t run Endeavor. Basically a legal Mega-Gengar made a cheater ragequit. Be afraid, be very afraid.

How to play them?


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Gastly: LC tier. With its poor bulk, don’t bother giving Gastly an eviolite, that won’t work well enough. Better focus on its power or speed, with a choice scarf, choice specs or a life orb. Then, give it good coverage, with Shadow Ball for STAB, and two other moves such as Sludge Bomb/Wave (with poison STAB), Dazzling Gleam (for Scraggy), Energy Ball, Thunderbolt. You can get a fourth offensive move for coverage, but I’d fill the last slot with Destiny Bond instead: if Gastly is KOed before its next move, the opponent faints as well. Even with a scarf, you can run Destiny Bond: that might be the only way to stop a rampaging sweeper.

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Haunter: NU tier. When I wrote the French version of this article, it was still NFE, and now it is recognized as a useful NFE, enough for NU. You can play it in a tier above if you want, or in monotype if you don’t have enough with Gengar. An eviolite won’t help it, better get a choice scarf, or specs. You need a good coverage, you won’t get a KO unless you aim the weaknesses. For STAB, you can get Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb/Wave. Then, you can choose between Thunderbolt, Psychic, Dazzling Gleam; Focus Blast… If you’re playing monotype with a Haunter, you most likely have a Gengar in the same team, so give Haunter the coverage moves Gengar doesn’t have. You can also get Destiny Bond, with a scarf it can actually eliminate a big threat. In case you want more power with your STAB moves, get Hex and Venoshock. Hex’ power doubles if the target has any status condition (very useful against something that uses Rest) while Venoshock doubles against a poisoned target. They both go up to 130 and the STAB raises that to 195. Some ghost users aren’t easily ashamed and spam Will-o-Wisp with a Sableye, a Mega-Banette, or even four ghosts from the same team. In case you don’t like to do that, Cofagrigus learns Toxic Spikes, giving Hex and Venoshock their full power against most targets, except flying, poison, steel types (and normal types for Hex). 252 SpA 252 Speed, modest or timid depending on the item.

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Gengar : OU tier. Four items work well on it: choice scarf (to outspeed boosted Cloyster), choice specs (to compensate a timid nature), life orb (same but with all moves available) and focus sash (to combine with its high speed and Destiny Bond). For the STAB, you can get Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb/Wave, but you can also try Hex or Venoshock if you have something to set Toxic Spikes or Will-o-Wisp. You can also use Hex to counter Rest. Then, get one or two coverage moves between Dazzling Gleam, Focus Blast (watch out for the 70% accuracy), Thunderbolt, Energy Ball, Psychic. You can also try Hypnosis + Dream Eater if you miss Gen 1 that much, but watch out for the 60% accuracy on Hypnosis. Last move, Destiny Bond, because the poor bulk Gengar has makes this move very useful, especially combined with a focus sash or even a choice scarf. Whatever your coverage moves are, take some you won’t give Haunter if you get both in your team. 252 SpA 252 Speed, timid.

In the metagame Hidden Type, a Pokemon can get custom IV to match the type of Hidden Power you want, and getting that type in addition to its ordinary typing. This can result in triple type Pokemon. By getting the IV for Hidden Power Dark (you don’t need to actually have Hidden Power), Gengar gets a ghost/poison/dark typing, combined with Levitate, for four immunities and no weakness at all, plus STAB boost for Dark Pulse. Add choice specs or a life orb and you get a butcher.

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Mega-Gengar: Uber tier. I didn’t actually test that one in Ubers, besides that particular battle I described above. That was my first time playing Megga-Gengar and I made a lvl 200 Arceus user ragequit. Everyone can do it, that’s how easy it is. Play Mega-Gengar, watch the foe ragequit, give up on bravery. There actually is an offensive set, but most Mega-Gengars I’ve seen were disgusting as Hell. Here are Smogon’s sets.

Offensive set: Taunt is included, to block Klefki, Cresselia and some others, prevent the likes of Xerneas and Arceus from setting up, and even counter Wobbuffet (if you don’t see it often in Ubers just tell me and I’ll be laddering just for you). I’d replace that with Destiny Bond just in case. Then, get some STAB with Shadow Ball or Sludge Wave. Then the same old coverage moves I gave all the time Wink Smogon also suggested Will-o-Wisp and Protect but this is supposed to be an offensive set, not a new nominee for the Hall of Shame. With the potential it has it could be purely offensive, but oh well, there’s still Mega-Kangaskhan in Ubers.

Now the ragequit machine. I’m ashamed to give it to you guys, but I have to or this article will not be complete. You can also learn to counter it. It has Taunt, Perish Song to KO the opponent after three turns (and they can’t switch out because of Shadow Tag), Substitute and Protect to buy time until they die. Cheap, disgusting. An Uber version of Gothitelle.

Gengar is from a great special sweeper family. Brave ones. But such a mega in cowardly hands is bad for its reputation. I’m surprised I didn’t see Mega-Sableye played in Ubers to counter Mega-Gengar though. Another proof that the Pokemon itself isn’t as important as what you do with it.


By Champion Blackwolf. I do not own the pictures. Next topic: Mandibuzz. Out of the 13 articles I have yet to translate, 5 are about legendaries, brace yourselves Wink

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Re: In the moonlight n°26: The Gengar line, lurking in your shadow since 1996

Post by Woyaojinkela on Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:11 pm

what does thunderbolt, energy ball and psychic on gengar hits

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Re: In the moonlight n°26: The Gengar line, lurking in your shadow since 1996

Post by Champion Blackwolf on Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:28 pm

Thunderbolt hits Gyarados and other flying types, as well as water, but Energy Ball is the alternative, for the likes of Gastrodon. Psychic for fighting and poison, is the alternative to Dazzling Gleam that hits dark. What Gengar doesn't run, Haunter can.

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Re: In the moonlight n°26: The Gengar line, lurking in your shadow since 1996

Post by Woyaojinkela on Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:45 pm

you don't really need energy ball to kill gastrodon tho, and you don't need psychic for fighting types either

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Re: In the moonlight n°26: The Gengar line, lurking in your shadow since 1996

Post by Champion Blackwolf on Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:25 pm

dazzling gleam instead, yeah, but there's not just Gastrodon. There are Swampert, Quagsire... Volt absorb guys too. Don't know what to replace coverage moves with, if it isn't Substitute, but unless I'm using Baton Pass, I'm too proud to run Substitute.

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Re: In the moonlight n°26: The Gengar line, lurking in your shadow since 1996

Post by Woyaojinkela on Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:22 pm

ur right, screw subsitute XDXD im too dank to use that

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