- Hoopa-Unbound possesses colossal 160/170 attacking stats, mixed offenses which are unmatched by any other Pokemon in the tier.
- This immense strength is supplemented by STAB Dark Pulse and Hyperspace Fury (the latter of which can break Substitutes/Protect), along with a slew of powerful coverage, whether it be Thunderbolt, Focus Blast or Hidden Power Fire on the Special side, or Gunk Shot and the elemental punches on the Physical side. This makes it both powerful and unpredictable.
- Hoopa-Unbound also has a very high 130 Special Defense, which can live quite a lot with proper investment.
- Unfortunately, it is crippled by a laughably low 60 base Defense, meaning it can be easily disposed of by many top physical attackers.
- It’s 80 Speed, while decent, is not enough to get the jump on many prominent Pokemon.
- Hoopa-Unbound’s typing leaves a lot to be desired defensively: While it has few weaknesses, it also has no resistances. Of the two weaknesses it does have, one of them (Fairy) is common and easy to exploit.
Hoopa-Unbound @ Choice Specs
EVs: 64 HP / 200 SpA / 100 SpD / 144 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Dark Pulse
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Focus Blast / Thunderbolt
- 144 Speed allows Hoopa-U to outspeed Bulky Icium Kyurem-Black and OHKO it with Focus Blast, as well as creeping other threats such as Tapu Fini.
- 64 HP and 100 SpD allow Hoopa-U to take Timid Special Gigavolt Havoc from Tapu Koko.
- The rest is put into Special Attack for maximum offensive firepower, with a Modest nature and a Choice Specs further complementing it.
- Dark Pulse is Hoopa-Unbound's most powerful and spammable STAB attack, hitting many threats for high damage, such as Mega Slowbro. It also has a 20% chance to flinch, which can help it muscle past certain Sturdy users like Donphan.
- Psyshock allows Hoopa-U to beat Chansey, Blissey and Charge Tapu Koko.
- HP Fire can KO some Steel types, notably Ferrothorn and Mega Scizor, as well as Buzzwole lacking extreme special defense investment.
- Focus Blast can be a cool surprise option to OHKO Gyarados if it mega evolves Turn 1. Alternatively, Thunderbolt hits bulky Waters and Celesteela harder.
- If your opponent has more than one physical attacker, be wary when using Hoopa-U. Do not send out Hoopa-U against powerful physical attackers like Mega Charizard X, Blaziken and Mega Pinsir.
- Try to send out Hoopa-U predicting a special attacker like Heatran or a wall like Mega Venusaur, Mega Slowbro or Ferrothorn
- If you have Focus Blast, use it against Gyarados turn 1. They will almost always mega evolve turn 1 to evade your STABs or Thunderbolt.
- Use Dark Pulse against Pokemon Hoopa-U outspeeds but cannot KO like Donphan and Dragonite for a chance to flinch and KO the following turn.
- Kyurem-Black is an excellent partner, as it helps against a lot of the physical attackers and Sturdy users Hoopa struggles with, such as Landorus-T, Donphan, Golem, Garchomp and Choice Scarf Kyurem-Black.
- Steel types such as Mega Metagross and Magearna take care of this set’s Fairy troubles.
- Dedicated answers to Bug types such as Mega Heracross and Genesect, while not necessary, are appreciated. These can include the likes of Mega Charizard X and Nihilego.
Hoopa-Unbound @ Choice Band
EVs: 64 HP / 200 Atk / 100 SpD / 144 Spe
- Hyperspace Fury
- Gunk Shot
- Fire Punch
- Zen Headbutt
- The defense EVS serve to tank Timid Koko's Gigavolt Havoc. Since this set can’t beat Kyurem-Black, the speed investment is instead important to outspeed Tapu Lele.
- Hyperspace Fury is a ludicrously powerful STAB, doing big damage on even resists, such as Greninja. It also helps against Jumpluff due to bypassing Substitute.
- Gunk Shot is this set’s main niche, allowing Hoopa to get past mons the Specs set loses to, primarily fairies such as Choice Specs Tapu Fini, Tapu Lele, Assault Vest Tapu Bulu and Primarina.
- Fire Punch does the same thing as HP Fire on the Specs set, allowing Hoopa to beat Ferrothorn and the rare Scizor.
- Zen Headbutt is useful for defeating Mega Venusaur.
- Once again, avoid sending out Hoopa-U against strong physical attackers such as Mega Pinsir and Landorus-Therian.
- Hyperspace Fury is better than Fire Punch against Celesteela, as it does more damage and bypasses Protect.
- Hoopa can be sent out against some Fairies such as Primarina and Tapu Fini due to Gunk Shot.
- Once again, Kyurem-Black functions as one of Hoopa’s best partners, and is even more important for this set, as it can’t defeat opposing Kyurem-Black.
- Mega Charizard X and Y help out against Mega Mawile and Magearna, two Fairies this set can’t beat, as well as Mega Metagross and Genesect.
- Terrakion is a cool partner that can do good against other Mega Charizards and Mega Tyranitar. Hoopa-U in turn can help cover it's weaknesses to Tapu Fini, Primarina and Mega Venusaur.
A Choice Scarf set is possible to beat some conventional checks such as Durant and Kartana. On the Band set, Drain Punch can be run for Mega Tyranitar. 252 HP and 72 defense EVs can be used to take max Attack Adamant Mega Metagross’ Meteor Mash and KO it back with Specs Dark Pulse/Band Hyperspace Fury. Trick can be an option to disable certain walls such as Leftovers Celesteela and Chansey and KO them easier. A bulky Trick Room set with a Z-crystal can be used to take down Mega Charizard X and Y.
Checks and Counters
Physical Attackers: Due to it’s very low physical Defense, Hoopa-U is checked by most, if not all physical attackers that outspeed it or take a hit. This includes Landorus-Therian, Garchomp, Mega Metagross, Mega Charizard X, Choice Scarf Kyurem-Black, Kartana, Snorlax and more.
Sturdy Users: Seeing as Hoopa-U has no way to get around Sturdy users barring Dark Pulse flinch hax, every one of them can easily KO Hoopa with their respective Z-moves, whether it be Golem with Continental Crush, or Sawk with All-Out Pummeling.
Fairy Types: Hoopa-U's Dark types leaves it vulnerable to the many powerful fairies that inhabit 1v1, such as Magearna, Mega Mawile, Choice Specs Tapu Fini, Primarina and Tapu Lele. The latter three must beware of Choice Band, however, as they can be bopped by Banded Gunk Shot.
Bug Types: While not super common, Pokemon like Durant, Genesect, fast Mega Heracross and Buzzwole (If lacking Psychic) can take advantage of Hoopa-Unbound’s 4x Bug weakness and dispose of it quickly.