Lately, I've been seeing people say something along the lines of Infernape can counter Swampert if it has Grass Knot. Okay, it can't counter it, but it can surely revenge kill Swampert with Grass Knot. I am writing this to clear up any confusion, and alert the masses that Infernape is not a counter to a Swampert, or anything to that extent.
Having that said, a counter is a really tough term to define; thankfully, the competitive battling crew has researched it and is able to provide you, the reader, with a definition for it!
Attributes of a counter:
- They must be able to switch into the majority of a Pokemon's moves - To list an example, seeing as this is pretty self-explanatory, Gliscor can safely switch into Heracross because it resists Megahorn, Close Combat, takes neutral damage from the rest of Heracross' potential moves, and is also completely immune to Earthquake.
- Definition of 'safely' - Less than 50%, 52% with Leftovers, for max damage. It's a bit iffy to be able to switch into a Pokemon with 49% on the damage average since it can be any of the other values and be able to 2HKO it. Because a counter cannot take as little as 2 hits before killing another Pokemon. For example, Dusknoir cannot take two hits from Gengar Shadow Ball without going down, therefore it cannot safely switch in. Also, one must take into account Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic Spikes, Sandstorm, and other things before being able to say it can safely switch in, although this fact is not really as much considered as others.
- Must be able to KO or scare the opponent before going down - fairly self-explanatory. You can't counter something unless it can KO back, because then countering it would be pretty pointless. You can also force a Pokemon to switch out, which also defines a counter. The goal is to be able to destroy the Pokemon you switch into right off the bat.
- Stat boosts - In many cases, they'll also have to take damage or outspeed according to stat boosts. This is hard to explain, but an example is the fact that Lucario can indeed counter Tyranitar, under the assumption that it does not have one Dragon Dance - however, if it does have a Dragon Dance, can Lucario counter it now? No, because this time around, it's outspeeded and Mach Punch/Vacuum Wave don't even OHKO it. And this fact does not constitute Lucario as a DDTar counter.
- They are simply able to come in and KO it - this is definitely wrong, for they have to be able to safely come in and KO the Pokemon. It's because of the doctrine that they can safely KO that people often assume frail Pokemon as counters to other frail or bulky Pokemon. ex; many people assume that a Pokemon as frail as Infernape can counter Tyranitar due to Close Combat - but Infernape has little way of actually coming in without being destroyed the next turn, therefore Infernape is not viable a counter.
- They only have to safely switch in - this is not nearly as common as the misconception before this, however it's still a common mistake. Any bulky Pokemon can switch into a sweeper, but whether or not they can do anything to it in the process is another thing. Because there's no point in bringing something in, and keeping it in, against something it's going to do almost nothing to, is there?
- Revenge Killing is simply the act of switching in after one of your Pokemon are fainted and killing off whatever's left of an enemy. Typically, Revenge killers are fast and they hit hard with an item like Choice Band or Life Orb, with examples being Heracross, Weavile, and Aerodactyl. This is typically what people tend to confuse the term "counter" with, and it is an overall different term than "counter".
It's hard to find a counter to a lot of Pokemon considering the requirements but you can't honestly counter everything, can you? Besides, there are some Pokemon that aren't formal counters, but can counter Pokemon anyway; any Psychic or Ghost type is easy switch in bait for Weavile, seeing as it takes at least 30% damage from Shadow Ball (0% from Psychic) and returns with Pursuit for the KO. But a counter is not a light term to throw around; if something can or cannot counter something else, back it up. Because if I had a nickel for everyone who's said "'x' (frail) Pokemon can easily counter 'y' Pokemon", I'd be a very rich man and be able to prove them wrong in the process.
Page written by Lord Raven.
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