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Is mixed Rayquaza viable in VGC16?

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I've noticed that there are so few special attackers in this year's VGC that dual screens don't even carry light screen anymore. I've been wondering if it would work to have a Rayquaza knowing special attacks. It has the same physical attack as special attack, after all.

Rayquaza @ choice scarf
Ability: air lock
EVs: 128 Atk / 128 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty nature
- Dragon Ascent
- Dragon Pulse
- Air Slash
- Iron Head

Is hasty better than naive?

asked by
Dual screens was never really popular in VGC anyways. But there are much better mixed sets than that one, I'll answer this sometime soon.
Not really. I mean, it is an option of course, but there is always the risk of dual bulk Pokemon.  Dual bulk tends to run rampant against balanced attackers. Special Ray might be a more logical solution, or simply using a good mega alakazam.
but special Rayquaza doesn't get iron head, and mega Alakazam won't make the opponent think you're going physical. Should I just give it more SpA EVs?

2 Answers

1 vote
Best answer

Alright, so although I've kind of dropped VGC doesn't mean I can't keep up with the metagame. Rayquaza's main job is to nullify Primal weather and either nuke things with Mega Evolution + Dragon Ascent, or pick off weakened targets with ExtremeSpeed. While most go fully physical, there is merit to a mixed set. However, a mixed set should still lean more heavily towards the physical side because that's where the most payout is. Here's a comparison of Rayquaza's best Physical and Special options.

Air Slash vs. Dragon Ascent

Dragon Ascent is much, much better. Even though it lowers defences, its raw damage output and perfect accuracy is what puts it ahead of Air Slash.

0 Atk Life Orb Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Primal Kyogre: 136-161 (77.2 - 91.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
0 SpA Life Orb Rayquaza Air Slash vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Primal Kyogre: 55-64 (31.2 - 36.3%) -- 50.6% chance to 3HKO

Dragon Claw vs. Dragon Pulse vs. Draco Meteor

Of all these, Draco Meteor is probably the best for a physically-biased mixed set purely because it lets you eliminate opposing Rayquaza without harming your physical offenses. Arguably, a Dragon STAB is not needed because Dragon Ascent is so ridiculously strong and other coverage moves are more valuable.

For a specially-biased set, instead of Dragon Claw I suggest something that covers a major threat. The only relevant things that Dragon attacks hit anyways are Palkia, Giratina and other Rayquaza, and Dragon Ascent already does titanic damage.

Iron Head

While it's good on paper as Xerneas deterrent, Dragon Ascent is better and less niche.

252 Atk Life Orb Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 153-183 (76.1 - 91%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Life Orb Rayquaza Iron Head vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 138-164 (68.6 - 81.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252 Atk Life Orb Mega Rayquaza Dragon Ascent vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 177-211 (88 - 104.9%) -- 25% chance to OHKO
252 Atk Life Orb Mega Rayquaza Iron Head vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Xerneas: 161-190 (80 - 94.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Flamethrower / Overheat

This is where mixed Rayquaza is best. A Fire move lets it hit Ferrothorn, which proves especially useful on Kyogre teams. RayQuay comes in, removes the rain, roasts Ferro, retreats. Overheat is generally better because it lets you nuke other Steel-type threats like Mawile and Aegislash.

Other moves: ExtremeSpeed, Waterfall, Earthquake, Earth Power, Rock Slide

Most of Rayquaza's choice coverage moves are physical with the exception of Earth Power. ExtremeSpeed is super useful, outspending stuff like Bullet Punch and Prankster status. Waterfall lets it KO Primal Groudon with Desolate Land down. Earthquake is another Groudon and Steel-type killer if you opt out of a Fire attack. Earth Power is for when you want to hit Groudon through Wide Guard support, in the Harsh Sunlight (but even then Dragon Ascent is better). Rock Slide takes care of Ho-Oh, Thundurus, and Talonflame.

My opinons

Physical Rayquaza: Dragon Ascent + ExtremeSpeed + Protect + Waterfall — the best in most situations
Mixed Rayquaza (physically biased): Dragon Ascent + ExtremeSpeed + Protect + Draco Meteor/Overheat/Earth Power — slightly more situational than fully physical but not bad at all
Mixed Rayquaza (specially biased): – Dragon Ascent + Draco Meteor + Flamethrower + Protect — worse then a physical set but still usable
Special Rayquaza: — Dragon Pulse + Flamethrower + Earth Power + Protect — rarely useful and one of the above sets is probably better

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Not sure why freshy fresh changed my answer to a comment. If you are going special, go all out or you take away the biggest part of rayquaza. he is a pure, unadulterated beat stick. He pulls ohkos out of the stratosphere. You lose an ev max and you lose a ten percent boost for one stat if you try to dual balance. That loss actually stacks. Dual attackers are best when bulky. Dragonite does it well.

When all is said and done, you lose approximately fifteen to twenty percent of an attacks power when splitting stats if you choose a neutral nature or a non offensive nature.

Finally, scarf doesn't help the situation. If you are going for broke, an expert belt does capitalize on the versatility. There is nothing wrong with surprising an opponent with a southpaw Pokemon, but if you are locked into your moves, you lose that advantage.

answered by
edited by
But I have to be able to outspeed other Rayquazas.
You can't have everything. You don't think those other rayquazas with the dedicated attack stats are going to be running choice scarf Jolly? In that sense, it comes down to a coin toss, and you won't be strong enough to one shot anyways. No. .. if you see a ray, you should hit the deck. Have a bulky counter on standby such as Cloistyer or mamoswine with ice shard or similar. All the speed in the world can't answer priority bulk with stab and 4x type advantage.
I converted your answer because it had little detail or explanation why. Answers aren't as simple as 'yes' or 'no'. Also don't put in percents like that unless you have calcs to prove it. Professional opinion and guessing aren't the same thing.

Sorry if it feels like I'm being an asshat to you but if I don't point things out it seems that no one will anymore. It's nothing personal to you, you're actually really cool.
Ok, what you say seems like nonsense. Some statistics don't need citations. I gave the lowest to the highest percentage of stats lost when giving up on a beneficial nature. You really are going power crazy here to the point where I'm going to report you for abuse. I broke no rules and followed the guidelines. It feels like you are simply harassing. When they said in chat that you have personality flaws, I didn't know what to expect. I fully understand now. You have officially turned off yet another new member by being a power crazy wannabe mod. Could you get off of my posts if you are just going to grudge me?
I don't understand what you mean .-. I'm just nitpicking details. This is a perfectly valid answer (which I upvoted btw), the other one wasn't. I have nothing against you, it's just that you're really active and posting a lot so I deal with editing/converting all in one go opposed to doing over like 2 months for most other people.  

If you have a serious complaint either tell me right off or contact a mod. I don't want you to feel like I have something against you, I really don't. Like I said, you're really cool. I'm just nitpicking you because you're around a lot. I'm really sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable on the site. I still don't think I've done anythign wrong though.
Can you guys do this on your walls and not on my question?