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ScVi OU Moveset Ideas & Analysis | Meowscarada
Hello! A new generation of Pokémon games is upon us, and with it comes a brand new meta to consider and watch. Today we won't be discussing the intricacies of the Gen 9 OU meta; instead, we'll focus on probably the most essential Pokémon you'll get - the starters! In this three-part analysis, we'll go over the moves abilities, and usage predictions of the three Paldean Starter Pokémon based on my own gameplay and experience with competitive Pokémon in gens 7 & 8. I hope you'll enjoy part one, wherein we look at my personal favorite of the trio; Meowscarada!

[Image: 590b5-16680511516111-1920.jpg]
: Grass + Dark
Hp: 76
Atk: 110
Def: 70
SpA: 81
SpD: 70
Spe: 123
Ability: Overgrow / Protean (Hidden)

In many ways, Meowscarada is the Grass Type equivalent of Grenjinja. It has the Grass + Dark combination, it's a speedy glass cannon, and probably most notable of all, it has Protean. Comp. veterans should be aware of how terrifying Protean was on Greninja, and now we have a new age of terror to watch out for. Or at least, that's what it might look like at first glance. In this generation, the Ability Protean, among a selection of others, was hit with a pretty hefty nerf. Now, the Ability can only activate once per switch-in. This means you will have to be more strategic and careful as the Protean holder before slapping a bunch of moves onto Meowscarada and praying, lest you get caught with an Electric Type against a newly switched-in Dugtrio. However, as of now, there appears to be no way to obtain the starters' Hidden Abilities, so for the purposes of these analyses, we will only focus on their primary Abilities. In this case, as it is the Grass-type starter, Meowscarada's primary ability is, of course, Overgrow. When at a certain damage threshold, the power of Mewoscarada's Grass-type moves will be increased slightly.

Meowscarada's Speed stat of 123 puts it comfortably in the top 20 fastest Pokemon of this Gen's current meta, and the top 10 when disregarding the unreleased Pokémon. Most notably, Meowscarada will outspeed Greninja by 1 point when it releases. This might force Greninjas to use Choice Scarf if they wish to counter Meowscarada specifically. Though, with Pokémon like Kilowattrel and Weavile in the current meta, this might not be too much of an issue. With this speed stat, however, Meoscarada can outspeed one of its biggest counters, Skeledirge, and can threaten it super-effectively with a STAB Night Slash. Its Attack stat is naturally the most important part. We will get into its movest later, but with the advent of Terastalizing, a high Attack stat with access to a lot of offensive prowess gives Meowscarada a lot of potential to be an oppressive force to many different Pokémon. Its Defenses are naturally pretty rough, and the usual warnings apply here. Meowscarada is a sweeper, so it's best used for what it's meant to do. Don't expect it to take too many hits, and try to hit with your hardest moves. Lastly, looking at its Special Attack, it isn't the worst. Base 81 will allow it to utilize its surprising variety of special moves if need be, and can offer opportunities for a variety of different movesets. Speaking of...

Moveset Ideas
Let's first take a look at a fairly standard set idea that you can use to practice with. of course, feel free to fine-tune any of these movesets as you like, we're in the learning phase of the meta currently.
[Image: Menu_SV_Meowscarada.png]
@ Life Orb  
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  

- Knock Off  
- Sucker Punch  
- Flower Trick  
- U-turn
Of course, we utilize the Jolly Nature to give Meowscarada the most Speed possible, while dropping its currently most useless stat, Special Attack. Putting maximum EVs in Attack and Speed is a no-brainer. Life Orb, as you know, boosts the power of attacks while dealing a little bit of recoil damage in return. Knock Off is a great STAB move that will remove the target's item when used. Notable damage calculations to take note of are a 100% chance to OHKO Skeledirge without a Defense boosting Nature or HP investment, and then a 35.7% chance to do so when it has 252 HP EVs. It's also a 100% chance to OHKO Armarouge and Ceruledge, which it also outspeeds. These are, of course, just a few examples of Pokémon Meowscarada can handle, and I encourage you all to experiment more once get more into the meta. Sucker Punch is one of two options Meowscarada has for priority, the other being Quick Attack. Both of these options are actually pretty good, as Sucker Punch can fail if the target does not use a damaging move on the same turn as you, making Quick Attack have a nice little niche usage to catch some players off guard.

Flower Trick is Meowscarada's signature move, and what a signature it is. Currently, Smogon lists it as a "usually useless" move, and I don't understand why. It has 70 base power, and is a physical Grass move, making it an already solid choice of move for a Pokémon like this. While Petal Blizzard is a stronger move with 90 base power, Flower Trick, in my opinion, clearly outclasses it. This move not only never misses, it also guarantees a Critical Hit. Off the bat, the extra damage of a C.H. is fantastic, but on top of this, this means Flower Trick is a lot like Darkest Lariat in that it will ignore the stat boost of the opponent because it always results in a C.H., making some stall options virtually useless. I really do think Flower Trick is being slept on and is Meowscarada's best move. For example Dondozo, a brand new physical tank with 150 HP and 115 Defense, is cut down in two hits by Flower Trick. While Petal Blizzard will also do fantastic damage in this situation, the potential of Dondozo's Curse and Rest makes Petal Blizzard less useful over time, whereas Flower Trick is always going to have that 70-83% damage roll on Dondozo, regardless of how tanky it gets. Flower Trick is, in my mind, a must-have when countering physical tanks like the aforementioned Dondozo.

Lastly, U-Turn is a staple of Pokémon like Meowscarada, if a Pokémon that can counter you swaps in and you know you can't  OHKO it, you can dip and leave it a bit of damage as a parting gift. That said, U-Turn isn't as great this gen as you might initially expect. there's a new Pokémon called Glimmora that acts like Nihilego 2.0 in many ways. Glimmora is a Poison + Rock type, already making a solid check on Meowscarada, but it also has one of the best new abilities in this gen. Toxic Debris will set up a layer of Toxic Spikes when the opponent is hit by a move that makes contact. This means you could accidentally endanger the rest of your team by using U-Turn to switch out from a Glimmora, and it's something that threatens quite a few Pokémon in this current meta. This, in my opinion, is why I'd run a Glimmora or another Poison-type of my own to clear Toxic Spikes. Naturally, with Foretress back in the meta, this is something else to consider as a check to Glimmora This Pokémon is one of the scariest in the meta, and if you plan to run Meowscarada, it is something you should be aware of.

[Image: Menu_SV_Meowscarada.png]
"TERA-ble Pun"
@ Choice Scarf  
Ability: Overgrow  
Tera Type: Rock  
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe  
Jolly Nature  
- Tera Blast  
- U-Turn 
- Flower Trick  
- Knock Off

Now we move onto a set that utilizes the Terastalizing gimmick of the new Generation. When Terastalizing a Pokémon, its type changes to whichever its "Tera Type" is. This has a lot of implications in competitive, such as removing weaknesses you once had and making yourself resistant to them, a good example would be an Ice-type changing to a Water-type to negate Fire-type damage. Another thing that happens is moves of the same type as your Tera Type will have a boost of 1.5x (I think, still need to check that soon). this stacks on top of your normal STAB boost, meaning you will essentially deal double damage, all before other factors like weakness and resistance are taken into consideration. In any case, this is obviously a really great gimmick when it comes to pure damage output, but wouldn't you know, there's another bonus to all of this. Tera Blast is a move that changes to match the type of your Tera Type, meaning you get a STAB move for free and can run any Tera Type thanks to this move. On top of all of that, tera Blast changes to be either Physical or Special - depending on what your higher stat is.

This set runs a Choice Scarf to help outspeed some of its more oppressive and dangerous threats, giving it a nice maximum speed of about 538. While your Tera Type can, and should, change to fit whatever Pokémon you feel most threatened by, this set opts to run a Rock-type Tera Blast to counter Kilowattrel, an Electric + Flying type which outspeeds it, as well as OU veteran Talonflame. Meowscarada can run Power Gem, but as it is a Special Move, for this set I believe it makes more sense to take advantage of all of Meowscarada's physical prowess and go with a phys. Tera Blast. Other options include a Ground-type Tera Blast to counter Electrode and Jolteon, Ice to counter Noivern, or Fire to counter Foretress. These, of course, are just some early predictions and you can be free to experiment as you like.

To cap off the moveset section , I'll list a few other noteworthy moves Meowscarada has here;
- Acrobatics
- Brick Break
- Hone Claws
- Low Kick
- Play Rough
- Shadow Claw

Smogon/Showdown currently pushes Meowscarada as a potential mixed attacker, and at a glance I can see why. It has access to Nasty Plot, as well as moves like Giga Drain, Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse and Power Gem to name a few. A Focus Sash set could make for a nice special sweeping set, and help to quickly steamroll teams that way. But in my opinion, I feel like Meowscarada is going to be in its best when it is utilizing the attack stat. A Low Kick from this Pokémon can threaten a Pokémon like Tyranitar, whereas a Grass Knot may as well be useless. You could also run a Choice Specs to help with damage, but then you lose access to Nasty Plot.

No matter what way I look at it, a special Meowscarada is most likely going to be less viable than the physical sets I've shown here today. We are very early into the meta, of course, and this can change as we progress and learn more, but for right now I think it will be best used as a physical sweeper, with niche special sweeping usage, and the potential for a mixed set in the future.

Potential teammates for Meowscarada any Pokémon which will be able to handle some of the tougher threats it will face. Good Water-types which can set up the rain, like Pelliper, immediately comes to mind. A Pokémon like Foretress or Donphan is a great spinner to clear hazards Meowscarada cannot deal with on its own, most notably Toxic Spikes. A Pokémon with Sticky Web is also worth considering to help Meowscarada get a little bit more of an edge over some faster, or Scarfed Pokémon it might not be able to outspeed normally.

A few other items to consider are Expert Belt for more damage on super-effective hits, Choice Band if you run a full attacking set, Focus Sash if you choose to run Hone Claws or Agility, Miracle Seed for Meowscarada's Grass-type moves, new item Covert Cloak, which protects the holder from secondary effects, making a move like Nuzzle useless, and of course Tanga Berry to halve super-effective Bug-type moves, a pretty good option to consider for a Pokémon 4x weak to it.

So to end this analysis, I think Meowscarada will be quite the force to reckon with eary on. I don't actually see Protean being a massive game changer to its overall playstyle, and if anything I think overgrown might end up being better. Flower Trick is a move you cannot sleep on, and finding ways to predict and counter that specifically will be how you work around an opposing Meowscarada. I hope this guide gave you a good idea of how you can use Meowscarada, and I can't wait to see how this Pokémon adapts to the meta.

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