PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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Choice Band x1.3 < Sharpen x1.5
Assault Vest x1.5 < Amnesia x2
Choice Scarf x1.3 < Rock polish x2
Choice Specs x1.3 < Nasty plot x2

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First, the multiplier is always 3/2 times, or 1.5 times. Second, the assault vest is technically not a choice item because choice items force the user to use the one move it used the first turn in battle. Third, some Pokemon can't learn moves like swords dance, so choice items are the only way to raise their stats. Fourth, some people are worried that their Pokemon might get one-shot when they're using moves like swords dance, so they need the choice items to raise a stat immediately.
I don't ever use Choice Items (Except the Assault Vest).

1 Answer

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Best answer

Not all Pokemon have access to moves like sharpen, amnesia, rock polish, nasty plot, or swords dance. Using choice items is one way to compensate for that. One example includes Mamoswine (monotype), which doesn't have any means to boost its attack or speed, so it usually uses band or scarf.

Most of the time, the Pokemon that use band / scarf / specs / assault vest are either too frail or need the instant power. One example includes stuff like Hoopa-Unbound. Sure, you could run a nasty plot set. But the fact that nasty plot takes one turn to set up and the fact that Hoopa-Unbound is either too slow or is weak to any physical attack makes this set difficult to use. It's much easier using band / specs to get that attack boost.

Scarf is an interesting case because it reaches speed tiers it can't normally reach. You usually use it to revenge kill another Pokemon - if one of your Pokemon faints, you might swap in a scarfer because it outspeeds your opponent's current Pokemon. If it had Rock Polish, Agility, or some other speed boosting move, you don't get the same advantage here.

I'm not gonna talk too much about assault vest, since I don't see it often, but yea most of the time Pokemon won't have access to Amnesia.

tl;dr: Pokemon will either not have access to boosting moves, or boosting moves take too long to set up for some of the frail Pokemon that do have access to it.

This isn't to say that boosting moves aren't completely useless - there have been effective sets with swords dance or rock polish Landorus-Therian, even though scarf is also a viable option.

edit: just noticed sumwun's post - choice band and choice specs should have a multiplier of 1.5x

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tapu koko gets calm mind
I've never seen calm mind tapu koko be used in competitive.
I'll change my example though.
Assault vest is good because it makes the holder better at switching in to special attacks. Amnesia doesn't do that.
Sharpen? Who tf uses Sharpen you mean Swords Dance right?
1 sharpennis more powerful than a choice band
I already mentioned both Sharpen (because it was in the original post) and Swords Dance in my answer lol