Welcome to our twenty-first issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This week we'll be discussing everyone's favorite chess piece power ranger. This week, we'll be discussing Bisharp.
Pawniard's body is entirely comprised of blades. When battling has dulled the blades, it sharpens them on rocks. Packs of them will viciously attack its prey by plunging blades into them, ignoring its own injuries until the prey has been immobilized. Bisharp will command packs of Pawniard to hunt and attack helpless prey. Bisharp will then move in and mercilessly finish the prey.
Base Stats: 65 HP / 125 Attack / 100 Defense / 60 Sp. Attack / 70 Sp. Defense / 70 Speed
Last generation I was kind of sad that Bisharp wasn't very good. Back then, his dual STABs were resisted by Steel, a fairly common attacking type, and he had things like Terrakion breathing down his neck on every team. This generation? Not so much. Everything seems to have worked in Bisharp's favor this generation. Steel no longer resists Dark, and far more importantly, Knock Off has been given a huge buff to base 65 power, and 97.5 base power if the foe is holding an item, and simultaneously removing that item!
With all of Bisharp's tools in this new metagame, it has become a force to be reckoned with, and one that is a bit difficult to stop, to be honest. If your team isn't prepared for Bisharp in some manner, you may find yourself in checkmate.
|Bisharp@ Life Orb / Leftovers / Blackglasses
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 170 HP / 88 Speed
Knock Off / Pursuit
Swords Dance Bisharp is an incredibly dangerous threat in the current metagame, and once you've faced one, you'll understand why immediately. While Swords Dance sweeping is certainly possible and sometimes far too easy with this set, Bisharp's real danger comes in the fact that it has the means to punish you no matter what you do. Stay in and attack on the SD? It could just Sucker Punch you for the KO if you're weakened enough, or just SD if it survives the attack. If you switch, you could easily face a Knock Off, Iron Head, or hit with Pursuit. Sucker Punch bypasses Bisharp's horrid Speed and has fantastic power. The trade-off is that it's a guessing game for both battlers, and can sometimes backfire if they switch or worse, Substitute or use a status move. Iron Head is used to hit anything nearly anything that resists Dark, as that's the main type you'll be attacking with. Finally, Knock Off is your strongest attack, and it removes the opponent's item as well, which is hugely beneficial.
The EV spread is set to outspeed 4 Speed neutral nature base 80 Pokemon, which means Bisharp can get the jump on Pokemon like Mega Venusaur, not having to lean on Sucker Punch, and able to pressure with Swords Dance if they use Synthesis or Leech Seed. A more conservative spread of 252 HP and 4 Sp. Defense can be used if you don't care about outspeeding uninvested base 80 Pokemon, or you could just max Speed, but it provides you with very little in the OU tier aside from tying with other max Speed Bisharp... and neither of you can do anything to the other unless you're running Low Kick or something weird, which is not worth a move slot with the Steel nerf.
Defiant is something to keep in mind, as it provides Bisharp with a free Swords Dance boost every time a stat is lowered. This includes things like Intimidate, Sticky Web, Defog, Sp. Defense drops from Shadow Ball, King's Shield (you risk nothing by attacking Aegislash, as the Attack drop is immediately restored by Defiant), etc.
The choice of item is down to preference. Life Orb gives you a nice x1.3 boost in power to all moves, at the cost of 10% of your health when landing an attack. Leftovers helps Bisharp stick around a bit longer, restoring 6% per turn, while Blackglasses gives a near identical boost to every attack except Iron Head.
|Bisharp@ Assault Vest
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Attack / 4 Sp. Defense
It annoys me that I even have to write this as a set. It annoys me more that I use this in competitive OU quite often now. This is what's known as a "Latios is broken, but it's still OU for some reason" set, and it aims to put standard Latios in a checkmate position, no pun intended (okay, maybe a little). This works very well if paired with Heatran, as Latios tends to spam Draco Meteor a lot, or Hidden Power Fire if a normal Steel type is your Latios counter. This way it'll do something like Surf, which maxes out at 40% on a Life Orb set. If it's Choice Specs, it'll jump to 46%, but neither will 2HKO a full health Bisharp, even with Stealth Rock on your side of the field. From there, Sucker Punch will KO if you think they'll stay in, and Pursuit will trap kill a switching Latios, which is the most common course of action in my experience. Knock Off can be used to punish a switch or staying in, unless it's Life Orb Latios, in which case you should either be predicting a switch or attack, since Surf followed by HP Fire will kill Bisharp. Iron Head for coverage, but it's mostly filler. It does hit Mega Mawile and Azumarill for neutral coverage, though, so that's worth using it. Mawile will even provoke Defiant if it's the common Intimidate version.
This Bisharp set is really only intended to remove Latios and Latias, and doesn't really serve much of a purpose outside of that. That doesn't mean it's useless, as it also makes a decent switch-in to special attacking Aegislash, but overall it's not very amazing. If you're using it, you're using it for the utility it brings in removing the Eon Pokemon.
Pawniard can be found on Route 15 and the Lost Hotel. Raising a Bisharp in-game is a very rewarding experience, as it crushes many of the Fairy types you'll encounter with Iron Head. It does, however, lack Knock Off, which was a B2/W2 tutor, and Sucker Punch is an Egg move. Still, it's a very powerful Pokemon and has everything you need to succeed in-game.
Night Slash / Sucker Punch
Low Sweep / Stone Edge
Bisharp's best moves are either locked away as past tutors or Egg moves, but it still has enough to form a good set in-game. Swords Dance is great for boosting your Attack, especially if you're willing to breed for Sucker Punch, as you're then free to boost once and Sucker Punch everything that doesn't resist. Night Slash is a usable alternative, however, if you don't want to breed Sucker Punch on from Spinda, Cacnea, or Croagunk lines. Low Sweep damages Steel types nicely and lowers the opponent's Speed, while Stone Edge hits Flying types, take your pick.
Pokemon Unearthed makes a welcome return with the addition of my friend, Dragoncat. She'll be writing Unearthed from here on, for hopefully a long time to come, so I hope you enjoy her take on the origins of Pokemon, and I hope you learn something! Over to you, Dragoncat!
When I found out this week’s PotW was Bisharp, the first thing I did was google search “Pokémon chess set”. I am sad to report that there is no official Pokémon chess set, with or without Bisharp and its pre-evolution, Pawniard. This is pretty disappointing, given that their names are a very clear reference to the bishop and pawn pieces in chess. Bisharp’s name can also be broken up into bi (a prefix meaning “two”) and sharp (could be referring to the blades on its torso or arms). Or, it could be a pun (bi = two which sounds like too, making its name ‘too sharp’.)
While its English seems pretty threatening, it’s nothing compared to its name in other languages. In English, its name is just made of nouns, not really doing much. For all we know it could just be cutting vegetables with those two blades. Not likely, but we don’t know that. But in other languages its name is made of verbs, making it sound far more threatening. In Japanese, its name is Kirikizan, coming from kirikizamu, meaning ‘to mince’, and zan, meaning ‘to cut or slay’. So now at least we know vegetables are not what it’s cutting. In French, its name is Scalproie, coming from scalper, meaning ‘scalp’, and proie, meaning ‘prey’. Now we know exactly what it’s doing. And in Korean, its name is 절각참 Jeolgakcham, coming from 절 (切) jeol, meaning ‘to slice or mince’, 각 (刻) gak, meaning ‘to carve’, and 참 (斬) cham, meaning, ‘to behead’. That is absolutely terrifying.
It’s not too difficult to figure out why Bisharp is a Steel type. It’s absolutely covered in metal armor and blades, what other type could it possibly be if not Steel. The fact that it looks a bit like a samurai helps too. It also resembles traditional Japanese bandits, in both appearance and behaviour, acting as the leader to a group of Pawniard, which is likely the reason for its Dark typing.
Bisharp has a cool design, and last generation I wished he'd be better. I certainly got my wish this generation, as everything around Bisharp changed for the better, as I explained earlier. He's got awesome typing, a badass design, and a cool shiny form that allows you to be one of two power rangers! Don't let his steely exterior fool you, he's a big softy inside. No, he's not stabbing your favorite Pokemon right now, I promise. Go on, give him a hug... he won't cut you up and eat you, I swear!
Guys help, he's making me say all of this right now OH GOD HE SEES ME TYPI
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