Pokémon Analysis 13: PorygonZ!
Everybody knows about Porygon2 right? With Trick Room playing a major part in the VGC 17 meta, P2’s access to Eviolite and reliable recovery has turned it into, arguably, the best Trick Room setter in the format. But what about its almost forgotten evolution, Porygon Z?
In the earlier stages of the Meta, Sejun Park used a Choice Scarf Porygon-Z on his team, which offered reliable offensive support and coverage. However, with the introduction of Z moves in Gen 7, Porygon-Z certainly lives up to the Z in its name by having access to the moves Conversion, which raises each stat by one stage when turned into Z Conversion, and Hyper Beam, which delivers a destructive base 200 blow to unfortunate recipients.
One glance at Porygon-Z’s base stats tells you all you need to know; it’s a destructive Special Attacker with decent – if not blistering – speed. 85/70/75 bulk isn’t the best, but is enough to take a few hits before going down, as long as the attack isn’t super effective that is…
Ranking 30th Most used on Battlespot’s Championship ladder, the most used moves graphic demonstrates what Porygon Z’s base stats had already indicated, it’s designed to be a hard hitting special powerhouse, with the occasional Trick Room thrown in. Having access to the trio of Hyper Beam, Ice Beam and Thunderbolt means you’ll be dishing out some severe damage to your opponents.
The items are the key to deciding what purpose your Porygon-Z will be fulfilling. Choice Scarf/Specs Adaptability Hyper Beam works wonders by catching people off guard as one of their bulkiest Pokémon is taken down with relative ease. Normalium Z boosted Hyper Beams are deadly to just about anything which isn’t a Ghost whilst a Z-Conversion can turn the tides in your favour if utilised at the right time. Life Orb is also a viable alternative, still providing a boost to your attacks whilst allowing you to change between moves. However, losing chunks of HP after each attack is far from ideal for this relatively frail duck.
Not sold on using Porygon Z just yet? Well, hopefully these spreads will have you ripping up the Battlespot or Showdown ladders in no time!
Set 1 – Hack the mainframe: Porygonium-Z!
Porygon-Z @ Normalium Z
EVs: 44 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 204 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Ice Beam
– Protect/Tri Attack/Hyper Beam
This is one of, if not the, most used sets on a PorygonZ. As we mentioned above, Z-Conversion boosts every stat of the user by one stage; in addition to that, conversion takes away PorygonZ’s normal typing, replacing it with the type of the first move in your slot. Most commonly, trainers like to convert their PorygonZ into the Electric type (making it only weak to Ground type attacks) though you should cater this to your team specifically. However, if you feel, instead, like just straight up using a one time nuke to rid the field of a threat a Breakneck Blitz Tri Attack or Hyper Beam can be devestating to your opponents, especially with an Adaptability boost. Opting not to Z convert can be pretty risky, especially with PZ’s almost paper thin defenses which means protecting your unboosted Cyber Duck becomes increasingly important.
With that increased stage of Special Attack, the added STAB and Adaptability boosts, PorygonZ’s Thunderbolts will be doing ridiculous amounts of damage:
+1 252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 248-292 (140.1 – 164.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Arcanine: 206-244 (104.5 – 123.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
+1 252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Thunderbolt vs. 164 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Lele: 156-184 (93.9 – 110.8%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO
Whilst a Z Hyper Beam… well… it’s a Z Hyper Beam…
252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 180-214 (101.6 – 120.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 244 HP / 140+ SpD Eviolite Porygon2: 142-168 (74.3 – 87.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Breakneck Blitz (200 BP) vs. 68 HP / 0 SpD Snorlax: 238-280 (97.5 – 114.7%) — 81.3% chance to OHKO
Defensively, the +1 boosts allow PZ to live some extremely powerful attacks it wouldn’t normally have a chance of surviving:
252+ SpA Life Orb Tapu Lele Psychic vs. +1 44 HP / 4 SpD Porygon-Z in Psychic Terrain: 140-165 (84.3 – 99.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. +1 44 HP / 0 Def Porygon-Z: 116-138 (69.8 – 83.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Pheromosa High Jump Kick vs. +1 44 HP / 4 Def Porygon-Z: 146-173 (87.9 – 104.2%) — 25% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. +1 44 HP / 4 Def Porygon-Z in Grassy Terrain: 150-177 (90.3 – 106.6%) — 37.5% chance to OHKO
Set 2: High Speed Internet/1080p
Porygon-Z @ Choice Scarf/Specs
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Ice Beam
– Hyper Beam
– Tri Attack/Shadow Ball
The item choice here depends on what sort of team you have and how much support you’re willing to afford PorygonZ; if you’re confident of keeping it supported by Tailwind then the extra damage Choice Specs grants could be invaluable. More often than not however, if you want to do things like Sejun, throwing a Choice Scarf onto your PZ allows it to provide your team with amazing offensive support. The choice is yours when it comes to Porygon Z’s ability; Adaptability provides a guaranteed boost to PZ’s normal type attacks although, if you’re feeling lucky scoring a Special Attack boost, Download provides a boost to all of your attacks.
BoltBeam is a traditionally deadly combination on powerful Special Attacks so should be a staple on this set. Hyper Beam delivers a destructive nuke, though you’ll be unable to move the turn after attacking; the real choice on this set is your final move – Tri Attack should be preferred if you want a second STAB boosted attack which doesn’t require a turn to recharge whereas Shadow Ball deals significant damage to the likes of Marowak and Metagross.
Even without the Z Conversion or Specs boost, PorygonZ is doing a ton of damage:
252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Hyper Beam vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Arcanine: 228-270 (115.7 – 137%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Porygon-Z Ice Beam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kartana: 136-161 (100.7 – 119.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Hyper Beam vs. 164 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Lele: 172-204 (103.6 – 122.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
But with a Choice Specs, we can pick up plenty of surprise KOs:
252+ SpA Choice Specs Adaptability Porygon-Z Hyper Beam vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 204-240 (115.2 – 135.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Porygon-Z Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 92 SpD Marowak-Alola: 166-196 (99.4 – 117.3%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Adaptability Porygon-Z Hyper Beam vs. 68 HP / 0 SpD Snorlax: 266-314 (109 – 128.6%) — guaranteed OHKO
252+ SpA Choice Specs Adaptability Porygon-Z Hyper Beam vs. 244 HP / 140+ SpD Eviolite Porygon2: 158-188 (82.7 – 98.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Okay, so we’ve covered two more common options for PorygonZ, so we all know what time it is…
Set 3: Spicy Meme Time!
Porygon-Z @ Wiki Berry
EVs: 204 HP / 92 Def / 108 SpA / 100 SpD / 4 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Tri Attack
– Ice Beam/Toxic
– Recover/Trick Room
Okay, put your hands up. Who said PorygonZ couldn’t be bulky? Everyone? Well, try and bear with this spread, it could surprise you… which is precisely the point. Though PZ is trying to be more like its cool, bulky, celebrity little brother it can actually do a similar job under the right circumstances. When your opponents see PorygonZ during team preview, they’ll be expecting one of the two spreads above, so Imagine their surprise when you don’t go down in one hit and either start dishing out significant damage back or set an unexpected Trick Room? It could provide the perfect momentum to take charge of game one in a best of three. Just remember to adjust your speed stat if you choose to run Trick Room on this spread.
Offensively, PorygonZ can dish out solid damage, especially when Adaptability or Download are utilised correctly:
112+ SpA Adaptability Porygon-Z Tri Attack vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Arcanine: 112-132 (56.8 – 67%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Figy Berry recovery
+1 108+ SpA Porygon-Z Thunderbolt vs. 180 HP / 148+ SpD Celesteela: 124-146 (63.5 – 74.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 108+ SpA Porygon-Z Ice Beam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kartana: 184-217 (136.2 – 160.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
And, with a 50% berry, this PorygonZ can take a surprising amount of punishment:
252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 204 HP / 100 SpD Porygon-Z in Psychic Terrain: 142-168 (76.3 – 90.3%)
+1 252+ Atk Snorlax Return vs. 204 HP / 92 Def Porygon-Z: 151-178 (81.1 – 95.6%)
164+ SpA Choice Specs Tapu Fini Hydro Pump vs. 204 HP / 100 SpD Porygon-Z: 127-151 (68.2 – 81.1%)
252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 204 HP / 92 Def Porygon-Z: 76-90 (40.8 – 48.3%) — guaranteed 4HKO after Figy Berry recovery
This analysis was brought to ChaoticEspeon.com by the newest addition to our writing team, Ricardo Gayle. Check out some of his work on Deviant Art and expect to see more entries from him in the near future!