PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
0 votes

Without Mega Evolution, Shadow Tag Gengar is gone, leaving opponents with the ability to switch out at will.
After having a look at mons with shadow tag, I found Gothitelle.
She has great defenses and could potentially possess slight offensive pressure.
She can fake out, set up trick room and set up screens.

So what would be her effectiveness in 2020 VGC?

EDIT: This can be both doubles and singles. However, I'm sure Gothitelle offers more pressure in doubles.

edited by
Gothitelle is definitely a lot worse in doubles than singles, mostly because double battles have less switching.

2 Answers

1 vote
Best answer

Gothitelle has been primarily used on perish trap teams as it has an (almost) unique ability. Wolfe Glick, The 2016 World Champion, has won regional tournaments with this style of team so it’s clearly not a bad strategy. (He’s also used Gothitelle other times- this was my favorite.)

I’m case you don’t know what perish trap is, this YouTube video explains it pretty well.

Basically, perish trap employs the move perish song and various trapping effects. Your opponent won’t be able to switch out, so you’ll get 2 free KOs if you can stall it out correctly. Then, you can do it again with your back two Pokémon. If one of your Pokémon is the slowest thing on the field, you’ll win. It’s an interesting style as you technically don’t have to do any damage.

In the past, gothitelle was the only good trapper, as wobbuffet is bad and Whirlpool/Fire Spin only target one opponent. However, Mega Gengar was a great perish trap Pokémon, as it had both shadow tag and perish song. That’s obviously gone now, but new things like Sandaconda and Centiskorch’s Gmax Move and Grapploct’s Octolok (Haha, say that 10 times fast) also prevent Pokémon from switching, although Octolok only targets one Pokémon as well. Dugtrio can also trap Pokémon, but generally doesn’t have enough bulk to be effective in perish trap.

So basically, Gothitelle is usually a staple on Perish Trap Teams due to its almost unique ability, but it did have some use competitively even in 2020. Gothitelle won a regional tournament this year and the player mentions in the report that it allows you to pivot into a favorable spot while locking the other player in his position.

Overall, Gothitelle had a niche role as a perish trap staple which has slightly diminished over the years, but can still be very advantageous in getting a good board position.

As to singles, Arena Trap and Shadow Tag are banned in OU because:

Arena Trap removes one of the core aspects of competitive Pokémon—the ability to switch—which makes playing and building around Pokémon that are vulnerable to an Arena Trap user far more difficult.

Obviously this would be the same with Shadow Tag. Source

I’m Ubers, however, it’s not banned, I’d imagine because of more powerful offensive threats able to get rid of it faster. Even still, Gothitelle is up there in usage ranks (around 40th), and is mostly used as a Choice Item + Trick Trapper. (Shadow Tag Gothitelle is also on the top of Showdown’s Featured Replays- The GetBacker Vs CrashingBoomBang one. Obviously, you should never set hazards in front of a Gothitelle as a majority of them will trick a choice item on you.

Overall, Gothitelle had a niche role in doubles as a perish trap staple which has slightly diminished over the years, but can still be very advantageous in getting a good board position. I’m singles, it’s primarily used to get rid of threats to your sweepers to open up the game in your favor, and (Shadow Tag) was so good that it was banned to Ubers.

I hope that this helps and that there aren’t too many links :)

edited by
Gothitelle is allowed and viable in some other singles formats, like Ubers.
Edited. I completely forgot about Ubers, thank you :)
1 vote

Even though it's not the most popular choice for a Trick Room setter, Gothitelle has all of the standard TR setting options alongside a few unique ones that let it carve a small niche for itself in BSD/VGC 2020. While other TR setters also have the following options, it doesn't hurt that Goth has access to Ally Switch, STAB Expanding Force, Heal Pulse, and the semi-common Imprison+TR combo.
It has a niche among the common TR setters in also being able to have Fake Out. Its main niche, though, is of course Shadow Tag. In addition to removing your opponent's option of switching out a Pokémon that's threatened or switch-stalling your TR/DMax turns, it also pressures them during team preview to lead something that can handle Goth, making their lead easier to predict.
Unfortunately, it is neither as bulky as Dusclops or Porygon2 nor as powerful as Hatterene, which is usually more desirable for a TR setter. It has a niche, but it's often overshadowed by other Pokémon.