The Nightmare of Alola
The Pokémon VGC 2017 season rule set brought with it a plethora of bulky and slow Pokémon. This shifting of the speed curve has seen the rise of Trick Room tactics, as can be seen by the Porygon2 on almost every Trainers team. Do not let this fool you, however. While Porygon2 is a fantastic Trick Room setter and utility Pokémon, he is not the best of the format. That title goes to Mimikyu.
Once you get past Mimikyu’s frighteningly cute exterior, you will quickly realize the arsenal of tools and tricks it masks under its sheet. Whether it is scaring opponents with a Never-Ending Nightmare or constructing a Trick Room, when Mimikyu is summoned it must be dealt with.
Taking Mimikyu at face value, it seems like a somewhat underwhelming specimen. While its Ghost/Fairy typing leaves it with a single double-resistance to Bug, and three immunities to Normal, Fighting, and Dragon, its stats leave much to be desired.
Special defense it Mimikyu’s highest stat, boasting a base of 105. However, Mimikyu’s pitiful base HP of 55 means that it won’t have the staying power to take many hits regardless of how hard it tries. Rounding these out with an average 90 base Attack and 96 base Speed, and it is easy to see why Mimikyu can get overlooked.
Trainers who follow this line of surprise are in for a shock. Mimikyu makes its average stats absolutely workable by means of a great move pool and amazing ability. The combination of these two factors leads to a game winning machine.
Don’t be Fooled by the Disguise
What really makes Mimikyu such a versatile asset while team build is the tools it can bring to a team.
First is Mimikyu’s signature ability, Disguise, acts as a single-use substitute for Mimikyu. Basically, the first time Mimikyu would take damage during a battle, the damage nullified and the Disguise is broken. From that point on during the battle, Mimikyu can be damaged normally. Disguise does not prevent status effects.
Disguise will basically give Mimikyu one free pass. This can allow it to do things such as set up Trick Room for its team or boost itself with a Sword’s Dance. It can also serve to give Mimikyu a free switch in. Whichever you choose to use Disguise, it is easy to see how effective this ability can be.
Moves to Die For
While focusing on Mimikyu’s Disguise can be tempting, forgetting about the moves it is packing can be deadly. Mimikyu is anything but a one-trick pony.
Here is a list of moves you can expect to encounter during the course of VGC17:
- Play Rough – Physical Fairy STAB attack. Packing 90 Base Power and hitting most things for at least neutral damage. Play Rough’s only real drawback is its 90% accuracy rating.
- Shadow Claw – Physical Ghost STAB attack. 70 Base Power and 100% accuracy makes it weaker, but more reliable than Play Rough. However, the two moves provide 100% neutral coverage.
- Shadow Sneak – Priority Physical Ghost STAB attack. 40 Base Power and 100% accuracy. Shadow Sneak is good due to the fact it provides elevated priority.
- Wood Hammer – High Power Physical Grass attack. While gaining no STAB, Wood Hammer provides a massive 120 Base Power at the expense of recoil damage.
- Taunt – Prevents opponents from setting up. As well as shuts down status effect users, and protects. Great Trick Room counter.
- Will-O-Wisp – Burns a Pokémon causing residual damage. Also lowers the opponent’s Attack, causing their physical damage to be lowered.
- Trick Room – One of the greatest threats Mimikyu has on the right team. Reverses speed priority causing slower Pokémon to go first.
- Swords Dance – Boost Attack stat by 2 levels. One Swords Dance will allow for immense pressure on the opposing team.
- Thunder Wave – Paralyzes and reduces speed of opponent. Recent changes have reduced its accuracy to 90% however.
- Curse – Causes massive residual damage to the opponent at the expense of 1/2 the user’s HP. Can be used to break walls.
- Toxic – Applies poison damage that increases each turn. Another way to build residual damage and break walls.
- Destiny Bond – Faints the opponent if Mimikyu faints. Paired with Ghostium Z, Z-Destiny Bond also takes on the redirection of Follow Me.
- Protect – Standard VGC move
An Item for all Occasions
Depending on the moves Mimikyu runs, here are a few items you can expect it to be holding:
- Ghostium Z – Dual use item. Use to either turn Shadow Claw/Sneak into Never-Ending Nightmare for serious damage. Otherwise, you can augment Destiny Bond to add the Follow Me effect.
- Fairium Z – Used to turn Play Rough into Twinkle Tackle, providing Mimikyu with a great way to take out major threats.
- Mental Herb – Heals effects such as Taunt and Encore. Especially effective on Trick Room builds as Mental Herb + Disguise can practically guarantee turn one Trick Room.
- Focus Sash – Due to Disguise, Focus Sash isn’t as useful. On a Swords Dance variant, it can provide a second layer of protection to set up a sweep though.
- Life Orb – Increase damage output and does damage to the user in return. Great item for a Swords Dance Mimikyu.
Whether you choose to run Mental Herb, or Ghostium Z, on your Trick Room Mimikyu, the options are plentiful. The ability to leave the opponents guessing is one of this Pokémon’s greatest assets.
Mimikyu @ Ghostium Z
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Trick Room
– Destiny Bond / Taunt
– Shadow Claw
– Play Rough
This is standard Trick Room support. Disguise works to give Mimikyu the leeway to make things happen on the first turn. Trick Room is used to give your team an advantage against faster opponents. While Destiny Bond or Taunt are taken depending on Mimikyu’s partners. Shadow Claw and Play Rough are just there for offense once supporting is done.
With Ghostium Z, the Destiny Bond variant can become particularly deadly. Using Ghostium Z will give the trainer an option to either launch a devastating Never-Ending Nightmare. Otherwise, they can power-up Destiny Bond. Adding a Follow Me effect to Destiny Bond, thereby allowing Mimikyu to redirect opponents and allow its partner to set up.
Mimikyu @ Ghostium Z / Fairium Z / Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly / Adamant Nature
– Swords Dance
– Shadow Sneak / Protect
– Shadow Claw
– Play Rough
Hyper offensive Mimikyu variant. The simple goal of this set is to use the safety of Disguise to boost with Swords Dance. If successful, Mimikyu can become a force to be reckoned with. There are few Pokémon in the VGC meta game that can take a +2 Twinkle Tackle.
With Mimikyu, You Can
No matter if you need an offensive pivot, a reliable Trick Room setter, or a supplementary support, Mimikyu has you covered. This is the Pokémon to consider if your team is missing that extra oomph. Whatever you do though, don’t look under its sheet.
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