Pokémon Analysis 19: Tapu Koko!
I guess this was the obvious step right? After finishing our Analysis on the weather quartet, it’s about time Chaoticespeon.com moved on to another quartet which have all but dominated the VGC 17 metagame thanks to their unique ability to set Terrains on switch in! We’ll kick start our analysis on the Guardian Deities with Tapu Koko, the first Tapu to win an International Championship all the way back in Decemeber!
Tapu Koko summons an Electric Terrain on switch in! This terrain boosts the power of all Electric type attacks whilst preventing all grounded Pokémon from being put to sleep. The downside to this terrain lies in Koko’s amazing speed stat – outspeeding the other three Tapu’s means that if Koko’s opponent leads with their own Tapu, you immediately lose the Terrain war. Definitely worth keeping in mind should you choose to run Koko on your teams!
Despite an irritating stat distribution, Tapu Koko is still the most used Tapu on Battlespot (and second in the overall standings). It’s obvious what Koko’s designed to do – hit hard, and hit fast; for an offensive Pokémon, its 70/85/75 bulk distribution is perfectly acceptable, whilst its 130 speed stat clocks in as the second fastest Pokémon in the meta, just behind Pheromosa! However, its offensive stats – in conjunction with its movepool – provide the only potential drawback. In terms of STAB boosted attacks, the only physical move it gets is Wild Charge (nope, no Play Rough here!) which does hefty amounts of recoil to itself; certainly not ideal when considering how frail Tapu Koko is in the first place! Your best bet is going with a fully Special moveset – your Electric attacks will still do ridiculous amounts of damage thanks to the Terrain boost, but the fairly low base 95 Special Attack becomes apparent if Koko’s non Electric type attacks aren’t boosted by a Life Orb or Choice Specs.
With this in mind, let’s get into the sets!
Set 1: The Battlespot Special!
Tapu Koko @ Life Orb
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam/Discharge
– Taunt/Hidden Power [Fire]/Volt Switch/Sky Drop
This is, almost certainly, the most common Tapu Koko you’ll find on your Battlespot ladder climbs. Simple and effective, the main goal is to hit as hard as possible with boosted Electric & Super Effective Fairy attacks, before going down to something which can hit relatively hard. A Life Orb Thunderbolt in Electric Terrain puts out destructive damage against anything which doesn’t resist it whilst Protect is obligatory on a Life Orb set due to Koko’s defensive frailties. The final two move slots depend on Koko’s supporting cast. Dazzling Gleam is usually the spread attack of choice, capable of hitting Garchomp and opposing Koko for respectable damage, whilst Discharge is more destructive thanks to both the STAB & Terrain boost. Early season, Taunt was the move of choice in this fourth slot, and is still a viable way to prevent Porygon2 and Z move Mimikyu from setting Trick Room, but Hidden Power Fire to guarantee an OHKO on Assault Vest Kartana, Sky Drop – to aid Koko’s partner in setting up – and Volt Switch are all viable choices on a Life Orb set.
Life Orb Koko benefits from a simple 252/252/4 spread – you could also run a HP IV of 22 or 23 (giving it a HP stat of 141) to minimise Life Orb recoil whilst still being able to survive most of the moves we’ll be showing in the defensive Calcs section, but this is – for the most part – unnecessary, just something to keep in mind if you’re having trouble soft resetting, or can’t be bothered bottle capping, for IVs.
Terrain + Life Orb boosted Tapu Koko attacks are a menace to the VGC 17 metagame!
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Kartana in Electric Terrain: 143-169 (105.9 – 125.1%) — guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 180 HP / 148+ SpD Celesteela in Electric Terrain: 190-226 (97.4 – 115.8%) — 87.5% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini in Electric Terrain: 174-211 (98.3 – 119.2%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Buzzwole in Electric Terrain: 199-234 (92.9 – 109.3%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp: 120-143 (65.5 – 78.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
And despite its frailties, can still take a hit!
252+ Atk Pheromosa Poison Jab vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Tapu Koko: 118-140 (81.3 – 96.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Buzzwole Poison Jab vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Tapu Koko: 120-142 (82.7 – 97.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Tapu Koko: 127-151 (87.5 – 104.1%) — 25% chance to OHKO (Outside Grassy Terrain)
-1 252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Tapu Koko in Electric Terrain: 98-116 (67.5 – 80%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Is the Life Orb already taken on your team? Why not take Tapu Koko shopping for some snazzy new glasses?
Set 2: Went to Specsavers!
Tapu Koko @ Choice Specs
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 20 HP / 116 Def / 216 SpA / 156 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
– Hidden Power [Ice]
– Volt Switch/Discharge/Grass Knot
At the cost of losing your ability to Protect and switch up your attacks, Choice Specs allows you to mess around with Tapu Koko’s EVs a little whilst gaining a little extra damage output! The EV spread here is incredibly specific – 20/116 Defensive investment gives you a good chance of surviving an Earthquake from Garchomp and Poison Jabs from Muk & Life Orb Pheromosa. The Special Attack investment let’s you OHKO non bulky Garchomp with Hidden Power Ice whilst 156 Speed investment still lets us Base 117 (so Salazzle) opponents and below. Thunderbolt and Dazzling Gleam are moves you’ll want to round off the set with the last slot – again – coming down to personal preference. Volt Switch allows you to hit something hard whilst switching out, Discharge grants a more powerful spread attack than Gleam, at the risk of damaging your own partner Pokémon and Grass Knot is suggested in case you want to hit Gastrodon for significant damage. Volt Switch is by far the better option but the others are certainly worth some consideration.
The addition of Choice Specs grants Koko a few extra KO’s!
216 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Buzzwole in Electric Terrain: 219-258 (102.3 – 120.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
216 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 180 HP / 148+ SpD Celesteela in Electric Terrain: 212-252 (108.7 – 129.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
216 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini in Electric Terrain: 192-228 (108.4 – 128.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
216 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Hidden Power Ice vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp: 184-220 (100.5 – 120.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
216 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Koko Grass Knot (60 BP) vs. 228 HP / 60 SpD Gastrodon: 180-212 (83.7 – 98.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Whilst the additional EVs provide some much needed added bulk:
252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 20 HP / 116 Def Tapu Koko in Electric Terrain: 128-152 (86.4 – 102.7%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Pheromosa Poison Jab vs. 20 HP / 116 Def Tapu Koko: 135-161 (91.2 – 108.7%) — 56.3% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Muk-Alola Poison Jab vs. 20 HP / 116 Def Tapu Koko: 132-156 (89.1 – 105.4%) — 25% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 20 HP / 116 Def Tapu Koko: 114-135 (77 – 91.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO
Wait… Your Life Orb’s already taken? You can’t afford to take your Koko to Specsavers? You… you want… memes? Welp…. okay then, time to spice our Koko’s up!
Set 3: Sugar, Spice and all things Koko!
Tapu Koko @ Electric Seed
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 68 HP / 180 Def / 4 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Natures Madness/Dazzling Gleam
Electric Seed? Thief? Yep. You see where this is going – give Koko a guaranteed defence boost on its first turn then steal one of your opponents items. The disruption possibility here is endless – take away Snorlax’s pinch berry to prevent it from sitting around endlessly recycling in the end game, significantly lessen Alolan Marowak’s offensive output by removing its Thick Club or steal away a Life Orb to reduce your opponent’s damage output, whilst enhancing your own… so many possible shenanigans.
There’s not really too much scope for change in this set. Volt Switch would remove the +1 defence boost granted by Electric Seed whereas going fully physical with a Jolly nature and Wild Charge leaves you vulnerable to intimidates and chipping yourself down through recoil damage. Thunderbolt still hits fairly hard in Electric Terrain despite the low investment (even more so if you can acquire a Life Orb), so stick with that. In the final slot you could run Dazzling Gleam, but without a boosting item Gleam’s output will be fairly low; at least Natures Madness guarantees taking away half your opponents HP.
The defence boost from Electric Seed makes Tapu Koko pretty physically bulky!
252+ Atk Pheromosa Acid Downpour (160 BP) vs. +1 68 HP / 180 Def Tapu Koko: 130-154 (84.4 – 100%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Muk-Alola Gunk Shot vs. +1 68 HP / 180 Def Tapu Koko: 122-146 (79.2 – 94.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. +1 68 HP / 180 Def Tapu Koko in Grassy Terrain: 108-127 (70.1 – 82.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
252+ Atk Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. +1 68 HP / 180 Def Tapu Koko: 60-72 (38.9 – 46.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO [After stealing Thick Club!]
252+ Atk Arcanine Flare Blitz vs. +1 68 HP / 180 Def Tapu Koko: 63-75 (40.9 – 48.7%) — guaranteed 3HKO
180 Atk Celesteela Heavy Slam (120 BP) vs. +1 68 HP / 180 Def Tapu Koko: 51-61 (33.1 – 39.6%) — 100% chance to 3HKO
Inside Electric Terrain we still manage respectable Thunderbolt damage!
4 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 76 HP / 12 SpD Arcanine in Electric Terrain: 88-105 (50.2 – 60%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Figy Berry recovery
4 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 180 HP / 148+ SpD Celesteela in Electric Terrain: 116-138 (59.4 – 70.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini in Electric Terrain: 104-126 (58.7 – 71.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Definitely a fun set to play around with, though probably shy away from using this too extensively in a competitive setting!
It’s become increasingly common for Tapu Koko to carry a Z crystal, let’s go through the three viable options for a Z move Koko!
Not content with just having your Thunderbolts (or Thunders if you’re feeling particularly destructive) boosted by Electric Terrain? Electrium, Terrain boosted Thunderbolts do outrageous amounts of damage, essentially turning your Tapu Koko into a one turn WMD!
252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Arcanine in Electric Terrain: 217-256 (110.1 – 129.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 244 HP / 252 SpD Mandibuzz in Electric Terrain: 300-354 (138.8 – 163.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Tapu Koko Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 252 HP / 44+ SpD Tapu Fini: 170-204 (96 – 115.2%) — 75% chance to OHKO [Outside E-Terrain!]
Wow… you really want that OHKO on opposing Garchomp don’t you? Tapu Koko is hindered here by only having access to Dazzling Gleam with which to take advantage of Fairium Z… but it does the job!
252 SpA Tapu Koko Twinkle Tackle (160 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp: 252-296 (137.7 – 161.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Tapu Koko Twinkle Tackle (160 BP) vs. 28 HP / 116 SpD Hariyama: 278-330 (124.6 – 147.9%) — guaranteed OHKO
Not too much to say on the final Z move – It guarantees taking 75% off the target’s HP, so can be vitally useful in helping to remove the bulky Porygon2 from the field, just beware of wasting it on a Pinch Berry Pokémon…
Alolan Raichu is Tapu Koko’s prime partner in crime! With its ability Surge Surfer doubling Raichu’s speed in Electric Terrain and being able to fire off Terrain boosted Thunderbolts, Alolan Raichu/Tapu Koko can do some serious damage if left unchecked. I’ll pop a sample spread for Alolan Raichu below; there are definitely more than this standard looking one out there (such as Jamie Kean’s Choice Specs Raichu) so definitely find one which matches your needs!
Standard Alolan Raichu
Raichu-Alola @ Focus Sash/Raichunium Z/Psychium Z/Life Orb
Ability: Surge Surfer
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Fake Out
A fairly versatile spread which can utilise a variety of held items; Psychic and Thunderbolt are your attacks of choice which give very solid coverage, Raichu’s Fake Out in Electric Terrain is the fastest in the game and so is guaranteed to go first. The last move comes down to personal preference, I like to take advantage of having a guaranteed to go first Encore whilst Protect increases Raichu’s longevity.
So there we are! Our first Alolan Guardian has been reviewed… and with it comes an exciting new giveaway on our website’s Facebook page! We’ll be giving five lucky winners one of the three Tapu Koko spreads covered in this analysis! Check out the page for more details and future giveaways!