The Face of a Demon
move 1: Protect
move 2: Double-Edge
move 3: Ice Beam
move 4: Thunderbolt / Flamethrower
evs: 248 HP / 112 Atk / 120 SpD / 28 Spe
Castform cements itself as a meta-defining threat thanks to its exceptional stats— for the tier— and plethora of coverage moves. It excels as a specially defensive tank can threaten a wide variety of Pokemon. Furthermore, Forecast makes Castform the most reliable answer to teams that use weather, letting automatically resist a majority of their primary moves. Protect allows Castform to scout would-be revenge killers that use Choice Band such as Aipom and Pidgeotto, while also netting recovery from Leftovers. Castform's STAB Double-Edge removes Pokemon that resist its coverage, such as Chinchou and Elekid, while threatening special walls such as Dustox, Delcatty, and Sunflora. Thunderbolt allows Castform to nail Water- and Flying-types such as Horsea, Seaking, and Pidgeotto. Ice Beam enables Castform to threaten Ground- and Grass-types such as Rhyhorn and physically defensive Lileep. Flamethrower is an option to threaten Magnemite, but it requires Castform to forgo Thunderbolt, which limits its effectiveness against rain teams. Castform's EVs allow it to outpace maximum Speed Rhyhorn while still maintaining enough Attack to threaten special attackers such as Growlithe, Elekid, and Seaking. Castform's Special Defense investment allows it to avoid 2HKOs by Seaking, Horsea, and Cyndaquil, and possibly Growlithe with favorable Fire Blast damage.
Castform excels on balance and offensive teams that appreciate an answer to weather or a special sponge. Physical wallbreakers such as Aipom, Pidgeotto, and Tailow appreciate Castform's effectiveness against Elekid. Special attackers such as Growlithe, Elekid, and Staryu enjoy the pressure that Castform puts on special walls like Dustox and Delcatty with Double-Edge. Elekid pairs particularly well with Castform, as it is able to threaten physical wallbreakers such as Aipom and Pidgeotto. Due to its lack of reliable recovery, Castform preforms best with secondary defensive support from Pokemon such as Dustox, Delcatty, and Sunflora. Delcatty provides Castform with recovery in Wish while also keeping it safe from status thanks to Heal Bell. Physically defensive Pokemon such as Lileep, Koffing, and Magnemite prevent Castform from being revenge killed by Aipom, Pidgeotto, or Taillow. Koffing and Castform form a great core, as Koffing can cripple physical attackers with Will-O-Wisp, while Castform can tank special attacks for Koffing.
A physical wallbreaker set utilizing Choice Band is an option, though this is largely outclassed by Choice Band Aipom. Toxic can be used to catch potential switch-ins off guard, such as Lileep; however, this means Castform has to forgo Protect or one of its coverage options.
Checks and Counters
**Status Users**: Pokemon that run status such as Butterfree, Lileep, and Koffing can all severely limit Castform's effectiveness. Toxic discourages Castform from using Double-Edge or Protect while greatly reducing its opportunities to switch in. Will-O-Wisp tanks Castform's Attack, effectively voiding its capabilities as a tank, since it can no longer threaten special attackers.
**Magnemite**: If Castform lacks Flamethrower, then Magnemite can cripple Castform with a status move or 3HKO it with Thunderbolt.
**Water-types**: If Castform lacks Thunderbolt, it has a harder time dealing with Water-types such as Seaking, Horsea, and Staryu. Staryu deserves a special mention as it slowly wears down Castform through its own recoil, healing off Double-Edge damage with Recover. Notably, the lack of Thunderbolt means Horsea can withstand at least one attack from Castform at full HP, which lets it fire off multiple Hydro Pumps.
**Physical Wallbreakers**: Pokemon such as Aipom and Pidgeotto outpace Castform and 2HKO it with their STAB moves. Cubone can OHKO a weakened Castform, while Castform can only 2HKO with Ice Beam and Double-Edge when Cubone is healthy.
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