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2 votes

Gen-7 didn't give us any new pranksters, so we had two generations where the big three were Whimsicott (fastest), Sableeye (great typing and can mega to become super bulky at the cost of prankster), and Klefki (great typing and bulk), with sometimes mention of Meowstic (male). Basically no one would bring up the likes of Illumise/Volbeat or Riolu. But now, with SW/SH, we've got a new prankster with a unique typing in the form of the Grimsnarl line.

I've heard some people say it does prankster better than the big three of the past couple generations, but looking at its stats and move pool, I don't see it. It's a bit faster than Sableeye, but has the exact same numbers for Def and SpDef, and two more weaknesses common to the meta to counter fairies.

So this whole process got me thinking, what are the pros and cons of every prankster, and how would you rank them in a best to worst format based on stats, typing, moves, and so on. Whimsicott is still the fastest, but it's Grass/Fairy, so has a lot of weaknesses, including a 4x weakness to poison. Sableeye is still super slow, so outsped by any other prankster, but has that great Dark/Ghost typing making it only weak to Fairy, which is super common in the meta. These kinds of comparisons are what I'm looking for. Who is the best prankster, and how does that competition between them look?

Let me clarify what I mean by a prankster. Sure, a Pokemon can have the prankster ability (and it is essential to being a prankster Pokemon), but building them as a prankster is building with a moveset that mostly if not entirely takes advantage of that. Three or more moves as status moves benefiting from the improved priority, generally designed to frustrate opponents and/or slow their momentum, while also benefiting your team. Sometimes the fourth move is an offensive one to counter things like being taunted, but not always, as Taunt is usually the bane of a prankster who has not got a substitute up. Whether these are stall strategies like SubSeed, SubToxic, WispProtect, etc., or strategies designed to hinder opponents such as TWave/Swagger, SubSwagger, or Disable on a Choice Item character, these are strategies built to counter huge offense builds, though not necessarily in the same way a wall would.

Some Pokemon with the prankster ability, such as Illumise, Volbeat, and Riolu, aren't really designed to be proper pranksters because their movesets lack many great moves for allowing such a build. Likewise, some Pokemon have the movesets, such as pretty much every Eeveelution, but lack the ability, thus their builds sway toward another style, such as a cleric for Sylveon or a stall wall for Umbreon.

edited by
Swastik hid his I believe, and I hid mine because the asker clearly didn’t approve of it
It's not that I didn't approve, it's that I was trying to build it to a better answer.  Yours was the better answer of the two, but it did lack some bits.  Both answers were downplaying klefki, which is honestly an amazing prankster.  In doubles, I would probably run a Grimmsnarl/Klefki open, with the keys as proper prankster and Grimm as the counter to opponent setup, whether as pranksters, walls, or whatever.  Both get screens, but Grimmsnarl's offensive stats are so amazing combined with a rather basic move pool for status moves that are common, and I don't see how running it as a traditional prankster (3 or all 4 moves as status moves) benefits it.
Basically, I see it as this.  Grimmsnarl needs the Prankster ability to excel as a counter to other Pranksters as well as walls, because of Taunt and its low speed.  But honestly, I think every Eeeveelution has a better pool of moves that are benefited by Prankster than Grimmsnarl, and ones like Umbreon have the stats to work better in the role than Grimmsnarl.  I love Grimmsnarl, but I'm trying to see how it ranks as a *Prankster* as opposed to a counter to Pranksters, because everyone says it's the new top dog, but the move pool is... not great.  You gave me some insight into why people think it's a good Prankster, but I don't agree that it's better, singles or doubles, for the traditional prankster roles.  Taunt is its best move benefited by Prankster, which both of you admitted to, because it is so useful for countering pranksters, walls, defoggers, hazard setup, etc.
I flagged this because the question sounds opinionated, I think you should reword it
Edited to include what I mean by a prankster pokemon, as opposed to just a pokemon who has the prankster ability.  For example, Illumise and Volbeat have access to the Prankster ability, but I don't think anyone considers either of them legitimate prankster pokemon as their moveset is rather lacking.  Likewise, something like Umbreon has the moveset to be a prankster, but lacks the ability, so it's more of a stall wall as it lacks the power of priority.

1 Answer

4 votes
Best answer

- Highest tiered Prankster Pokemon
- Gets dual screens, Thunder Wave, and Taunt
- Good Attack allows it to hold its own if Taunted
- Can shut down other Pranksters, as a Dark type with Taunt
- Slow (doesn't really matter though)
- Somewhat frail

Grimmsnarl is really good as a screen setter. It has better HP than any other Prankster Pokemon, with or without screens, meaning it can be a valuable asset. Its Dark typing also allows it to block other Pranksters.

- Good lead, with Spikes, Thunder Wave, and Toxic
- Nice Defense, though the bad HP weighs it down
- Amazing defensive typing
- Not a very good attacker

Klefki is better in the lower tiers, where it can severely cripple Pokemon with its myriad of annoying moves. Its typing allows it to resist quite a few Pokemon, and it's also immune to Toxic.

- Brilliant Special Attack and Speed
- Varied movepool
- It's better as an offensive Defiant Pokemon, really only using Prankster for Thunder Wave, Nasty Plot, and maybe Defog/Agility
- A bit weak on the defensive side

Thundurus seems better as a Defiant attacker. It works as a Prankster, but it lacks the versatility that some of the other Prankster Pokemon have.

- Excellent Special attack and Speed
- Varied movepool
- Gets moves like Tailwind, Defog, Taunt, and Nasty Plot for Prankster
- Somewhat frail

Tornadus is pretty solid, even though it only gets a few moves worth using affected by Prankster. It can be support with Defog and Tailwind, or go offensively with Nasty Plot.

- Excellent Speed
- Wonderful moves like Fake Tears, Encore, Taunt, Protect, Substitute, Defog, Light Screen, Tailwind, and Toxic
- Frail

Whimsicott is quite possibly the best Prankster Pokemon in Doubles, due to the gargantuan amount of beneficial moves it gets. If it's Taunted, it can also be a decent attacker with its Speed.

- Very fast
- Gets moves like Encore and Nasty Plot
- Can shut down other Pranksters thanks to the Dark typing
- Extremely frail
- Generally outclassed by Grimmsnarl

Liepard is in Untiered for a reason. It's too frail, and Grimmsnarl is far and away the better Dark type Prankster Pokemon. It gets screens and Thunder Wave, generally better than Encore and Nasty Plot on a Prankster Pokemon.

- Gets dual screens, Thunder Wave, Yawn, and Fake Tears
- Decently fast
- Average defenses and Special Attack

Meowstic is decent in PU, but it's just not very good in the higher tiers. Moves like Knock Off are common, and Meowstic is too frail to live more than one or two super effective hits.

- Gets moves like Toxic, Recover, Will-O-Wisp, Disable and Protect to be incredibly annoying
- Dark/Ghost typing gives it just one weakness
- That one weakness is very common in competitive, plus it doesn't resist many types
- Pathetically weak, both offensively and defensively

Sableye is a nice support Pokemon, but its garbage defense lends it to being destroyed by a lot of moves, including the omnipresent Fairy types. It was better with its Mega (even though it lost Prankster), but now that's gone, and Sableye is reduced to a ghost of its former glory.

In singles, the best Prankster Pokemon are probably Grimmsnarl, Klefki, and debatably Tornadus. In doubles, Whimsicott is the clear winner, with Grimmsnarl being very solid as well. Meowstic, Thundurus, and Tornadus are all decent in the lower tiers, but they usually aren't better than Klefki, Whimsicott, and Grimmsnarl. You have almost no reason to use Sableye and Liepard.

Hope I helped!

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