KILL IT WITH FIRE!: A review of Entei in the OU Format

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KILL IT WITH FIRE!: A review of Entei in the OU Format

Post by Naito Raizu on Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:24 pm

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KILL IT WITH FIRE!

A review of Entei in the OU Format




A Historical Review:
When one says the phrase “The Dogs of Johto”, what does that make you think of? Many a Pokémon muggle will think of puppies, and maybe ask you what “Johto” means. For those casual Pokémon fans, thoughts often switch to either Entei or Suicune, while competitive players begin to think of Raikou. Though Raikou is the dominant dog in the competitive format, Entei himself is the topic of the day.

Entei, like other renowned Pokémon from the franchise, has historically suffered from a condition known as “Popular Terriblism”. “Popular Terriblism” is the concept that although a Pokémon is popular, it is pretty terrible competitively, and looking at Entei it’s not hard to see how he’s suffered
from this condition. Entei is a Pokémon with a literal boatload of disadvantages. Being a mono Fire-Type with a specialization in Physical Attacks created a horrible predicament for Entei in the Gold/Silver & Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald formats, as Entei’s only STAB was a Special Attack. With the introduction of the Physical/Special split in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, Entei had a little more going for him, but not much. Under Diamond/Pearl/Platinum Entei was gifted with Flare Blitz, a respectable Fire-Type attack that turned into his best STAB attack. However, faced with poor recovery options, Flare Blitz would add to the list of restrictions which halted Entei’s climb to the top. The horrible recoil of the move, as well as Entei’s limited coverage options often left Entei dead in the water, subject to the commonplace Ground, Rock, & Water-Type attacks that are so common in the top tier formats.

So after all that, why even bother with Entei? What makes this fire-breathing golden retriever worth talking about? Well, the introduction of the X/Y format does. After spending over 15 years being completely outclassed by both of his brothers and Arcanine, the old dog has learned new tricks, and is ready to leap back onto the battlefield in the OU format.  

Application in OU:
Entei has decent stats for OU, standing at 115/115/85/90/75/100, allowing this dog to be incredibly versatile in the way he’s played. Defensively, Entei has better stats than his non-legendary counterpart, Arcanine, meaning that an Entei with full investment in HP & DEF will live hits from Mega Gardevoir, Gengar, Raikou, and even Landorus-T, feats which Arcanine struggles to compete with. Furthermore, Entei has the capability to hit back a lot harder than Arcanine while uninvested, scoring around 50% - 60% on frailer combatants, and 30% - 40% on bulkier ones. Comparatively, Arcanine has a mediocre output of barely 50% on glass cannons, and barely 30% on tankier opponents. Additionally, Entei fulfills a niche of being able to Pressure stall, whittling away the PP of the opponent’s moves in retaliation for their attacks, a role that few other Pokémon in OU can perform effectively.

On the offensive side, Entei is a highly valuable choice, giving players a respectable 115 ATK base which stands higher than other Physical Fire-Type Attackers such as Talonflame & Victini, without having to give up a Mega Evolution slot, like Mega Charizard X. Due to the severity of Entei’s ATK stat he can hit hard on the switch-in, catching opponents such as Landorus, Azumarill, and Keldeo by surprise, even with resisted attacks. Entei’s stat distribution has also left him with the gift of 100 base Spe, giving him the ability to outpace several of his slower opponents (granted they aren’t wearing Choice Scarf). Furthermore, Entei carries the Fire-Typing, which holds a resistance against the newest power threat on the block, the Fairy-Type, and gives him the ability to decimate several prominent walls, such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, Tangrowth, and even Mega Venusaur, despite his Thick Fat. Additionally, with the buff to Defog, Entei has an easier time playing the role you desire as it has become even easier to remove Entry Hazards from the battlefield.  

Entei’s amazing stats give him the ability to play any way you like… or they would, if it weren’t for his movepool. Despite the advantages that Entei carries in his typing, stats, and Defog buff, he still suffers from an absolutely appalling movepool, which heavily restricts the options as to how you can
play him. Unlike his other fiery counterpart, Arcanine, Entei doesn’t carry any form of significant recovery. As a result, the defensive roles that could be open to Entei are immediately shut out, as a Fire-Type lacking reliable recovery can’t perform in that aspect. Consequently, Entei is restricted to a purely offensive role, which would be fine, if, again, Entei didn’t have such a horrible movepool. Black/White gave Entei access to Extreme Speed, an incredible attack that allows Entei to out-prioritize and pick off weakened opponents, such as Latios or Choice Scarf Landorus, and the transition to X/Y gave Entei access to Ho-Oh’s Sacred Fire, a BP 100 move with a 50% chance to burn. These two attacks alone have given Entei the ability to compete in the OU format, but that’s where Entei’s greatness stops. A poor movepool restricts Entei’s coverage greatly, giving him the options of Bulldoze, Stone Edge & Iron Head for additional moves, the last of which becomes redundant as Entei already decimates Fairy-Types such as Clefable & Togekiss with his Sacred Fire. So what can Entei actually do?  

Well, just because Entei has a poor movepool doesn’t mean that he can’t compete in OU. The stats and moves that his dog can learn allow for a unique kind of Wall-Breaker that you can’t find anywhere else in the format, and allow him to be slotted onto a wide-variety of teams. As stated before, Entei’s ability to use both Sacred Fire & Extreme Speed, combined with his amazing stats automatically make Entei viable in the format. His amazing 115 base ATK can’t be found on any other Fire-Type in the format, unless you’re willing to give up a Mega Evolution slot, but even then Entei holds Sacred Fire over all of his competitors. This attack makes it hard for opponents to swap in even the fiercest walls against Entei, including Rotom-W, for fear of 30% damage stacked on top of a 50% chance to burn. Buffed by a Choice Band or Life Orb, Entei’s Extreme Speed is also a deadly tool, giving the dog the ability to pick off weakened, frail competitors, such as Starmie, Keldeo, Choice Scarf Landorus, Gale Wings Talonflame, and Choice Scarf Garchomp. Or, in cases that a player can predict a switch, Entei’s Bulldoze will catch many faster opponents off guard, either forcing a Switch or giving Entei the speed advantage to take down his attacker. Resistance to Fairy-Type attacks allows Entei to be swapped in against Mega Gardevoir, Sylveon & Clefable, and gives him the ability to hit back hard with his STAB Sacred Fire.

Advantageous Teammates:
Entei brings out the best in his teammates, and as a result, his teammates need to bring out the best in him. The following list has been compiled as recommended for Entei to partner with, as they cover weaknesses and complement strengths.

Rapid Spinners:

Entei has a big weakness to Stealth Rock, which makes him difficult to use in the current format, as it is so Entry Hazard heavy. Entei needs these hazards removed before he touches down on the field, otherwise he’ll wear down fast. Starmie especially aids Entei, as it’s Rapid Spin can be carried alongside moves such as Hydro Pump & Psyshock allowing it to take out Pokémon such as Landorus-T & Keldeo, two big threats to Entei’s supremacy.

Defog Users:

Entei’s weakness to Stealth Rock makes a Rapid Spinner or Defogger almost mandatory. An additional benefit for Defoggers is that Entei has the potential to catch common Pursuit Trappers on the switch with Sacred Fire, either outright killing them (Bisharp & Weavile) or giving them a decent slab of damage and a potential burn (Tyranitar). The Latis especially help Entei, as they aid Entei in checking Keldeo, as well as dish out
massive damage to Landorus-T & Rotom-W. Furthermore, the Latis also help lure out Tyranitar, who poses a massive threat to Entei.

Water-Type Synergies:

Azumarill, Keldeo, Slowbro & Rotom-W all share a pretty horrific common weakness in the form of Ferrothorn, Mega Venusaur, & Tangrowth. However, when paired with Entei, these four Pokémon are given massive amounts of breathing room, due to Entei’s ability to pick off these walls. Ferrothorn & Tangrowth fall almost instantly to Entei, while Mega Venusaur takes around 55% damage while invested in his Defences, and stays at constant risk of burn. In return, Azumarill & Keldeo can take care of common threats to Entei, such as Landorus-T, Tyranitar, & Excadrill, while Slowbro & Rotom-W
provide the ability to check/wall other Entei threats, such as Azumarill (Both), Keldeo (Slowbro) and Slowbro (Rotom-W). Furthermore, Rotom-W carries Volt Switch, which will allow him to create openings for Entei.

Pursuit Trappers:

Entei has the ability to pick off a weakened Latios or Latias, but if they aren’t weakened, his Extreme Speed isn’t going to do much. Having a Pursuit Trapper gives Entei some breathing space around the Lati’s, and is advantageous if you have no other way to deal with the twin dragons.

Grass-Type Synergies:

While Entei has the ability to take on threats such as Landorus-T & Excadrill, those threats are much more prominent to Entei if he doesn’t catch them on the switch. Luckily, Entei doesn’t need to, as Pokémon such as Mega Venusaur, Mega Sceptile, & Serperior can clear the way for Entei. Mega Venusaur has the ability to act as a wall, beating down a lot of Entei’s enemies, while all three can sweep through his most common enemies such as Landorus-T, Keldeo, Rotom-W, & Tyranitar. In return, Entei can pick off weakened Latis and Talonflame, improving the longevity of Mega Venusaur,,
& Serperior. All three also adore Entei’s ability to score Bulldoze against unsuspecting Heatran, either killing him or dropping his speed.

VoltTurners:

Volt Switch & U-Turn allows Entei to touch down on the field much more often than he normally would. Having Pokémon that that take the hit, and then drop Entei on the field clears the risk and allows Entei to wallbreak uninterrupted.

Wish Users:

Entei has no reliable recovery to use, and despite being able to work without damage increasing items, Entei certainly appreciates having Choice Band & Life Orb attached. As a result, having a Wish User to pass on health to Entei and keep him out longer is something the old dog definitely adores.

Trappers:

Dugtrio provides a trap for Entei threats such as Tyranitar, Heatran, & Mega Diancie, and can KO them with his Ground-Type STAB, clearing away Pokémon that would otherwise threaten Entei.

Healing Wish Users:

Teams looking to take a more hyper-offensive playstyle will greatly benefit by the use of a Healing Wish user. Pokémon like Celebi & Latias can be geared to be offensive, and can fire off a Healing Wish while at low-health to give Entei a second shot. These Pokémon also benefit greatly from interacting with Entei, given that they both can destroy Rotom-W, and enjoy the destruction of Ferrothorn, Scizor, & Skarmory that Entei provides. Plus, Latias can be equip with Defog as well.

Common Threats:
Entei has a lot going for him, but also has a lot going against him. The following list has been compiled to clearly define threats to Entei’s presence on the battlefield.

Tyranitar :

Tyranitar resists Entei’s Sacred Fire, and if Entei doesn’t score a burn with his Sacred Fire, Tyranitar forces Entei out. Sand also wears Entei down slowly, ultimately giving him less time on the battlefield. However, Entei is able to score a decent chunk of damage against Tyranitar with his Bulldoze attack (granted Tyranitar has not been built for bulk.) and the speed drop has the potential to allow Entei to stay in against Tyranitar.

Landorus-T :

Landorus-T carries Intimidate, giving him a little bit of a safer time switching in on Entei, though the burn Entei can inflict often keeps Landorus-T on the back row. Carrying Choice Scarf, Landorus-T outpaces Entei in combat, and so Entei needs team support to take care of the sand genie.

Excadrill (Under Sand/Choice Scarfed) :

Like Landorus, Excadrill becomes faster than Entei when given a speed boost in the form of either Sandstorm or a Choice Scarf. In this case, Entei can’t stay in on Excadrill, for fear of a powerful Earthquake. Otherwise, however, Entei carries the advantage against Excadrill through his higher Speed stat, & Sacred Fire.

Keldeo :

Not only is Keldeo naturally faster than Entei, but Keldeo carries Hydro Pump as well. Entei absolutely needs team support to combat Keldeo, who will otherwise decimate a team. Despite this, Keldeo is still hesitant to swap into Entei for fear of burn and 40% damage that his STAB Sacred Fire provides.  

Latios :

Latios, like Keldeo, is naturally faster than Entei. And combining this with his devastating Draco Meteor, or his ability to use Surf, Latios becomes a dangerous opponent to Entei while at full health. However, weakened, Latios becomes easy pickings for Entei’s Extreme Speed, which averages around 57% damage against Latios.

Rotom-Wash :

Rotom has one of the easiest times swapping into Entei. The risk of burn is always present, but Rotom-Wash will care less than most other Pokémon when presented with the burn condition. Rotom-Wash landing a Hydro Pump will hurt Entei, and a Pain Split is something the dog never appreciates. However, it is possible to destroy Rotom-Wash through 2 – 3 Sacred Fires (granted burn condition is achieved.)

Talonflame :

Talonflame poses a greater threat to Entei than others, considering that Entei cannot burn Talonflame. Catching Talonflame on the switch with a Stone Edge will guarantee Entei an OHKO (246% at a minimum), however, once Talonflame is down, Entei’s job becomes harder. Talonflame will 2HKO Entei with Gale Wings Brave Bird, making it dangerous for Entei to stay in. However, a weakened Talonflame is out prioritized by Entei’s Extreme Speed, permitting Entei to pick it off (with a 63% average).

Heatran:

Heatran, like Talonflame, is immune to burns. Furthermore, Heatran will also absorb Entei’s Sacred Fire, making him perhaps the most dangerous threat to Entei out of any of his potential foes. Entei definitely needs team support to take on Heatran, though can still cause some serious damage through his Bulldoze. However, don’t keep Entei out against Heatran, as Heatran often carries Ground-Type coverage.

Slowbro :

Slowbro is a devastating counter to Entei. Being a Water-Type Defensive Tank, Slowbro will only take around 23% from any of Entei’s attacks (his highest scoring damage is Stone Edge, at 33%). In return, Slowbro also hits back with a Scald that averages around 65% with every hit. Slowbro further causes Entei trouble with his Regenerator Ability, making it so that even a weakened/burned Slowbro can’t be worn down. Whatever the condition, it is a poor decision to keep Entei in against this beast.  

Mega Diancie :

Mega Diancie is another dangerous opponent for Entei to face in combat. Diamond Storm alone is a OHKO against Entei, and with a 110 base Speed, Entei cannot stay in against Mega Diancie. However, catching Diancie on the switch can greatly benefit Entei, as Entei has the ability to deal around 80% to a Diancie with a well-placed Bulldoze.

Garchomp :

Garchomp is an infuriating opponent for Entei to face. With a higher base Speed, Garchomp will typically outspeed Entei, and can OHKO Entei with his STAB Earthquake. Outrage and Stone Edge will also further cause Entei grief, as they can smack Entei for around 65% - 75%. Catching Garchomp on the switch won’t do much to this landshark either, with an uninvested Garchomp taking 45% at most from any of Entei’s attacks. However, if Entei can score a burn with Sacred Fire, that will grant Entei’s teammates an easier time in dealing with Garchomp.  

Hippowdon :

Hippowdon is another of Entei’s great foes. Armed with Slack Off & STAB Earthquake, Hippowdon will outlast and beat down Entei every time they square-off. Burning this hippo will aid Entei’s allies in taking him down, but keeping out Entei against Hippowdon is typically a death sentence for the dog, as Earthquake & Stone Edge from Hippowdon are both 2HKOs. However, Entei can hit Hippowdon for an average of 45% with Sacred Fire, permitting him to take out weakened Hippowdon.

Manaphy :

Entei will die.  

Starmie :

Entei fighting Starmie is a feat he can achieve, but only if played wisely. Offensive Starmie will automatically outspeed and kill Entei with a Hydro Pump (which deals 133% at a MINIMUM) while Utility Starmie will hit Entei for a 2HKO with Scald. However, Entei can pick off weakened versions of both Starmie. Catching Offensive Starmie on the switch can enable Entei to deal anywhere between 50% - 85% from his attacks, and his Extreme Speed will score an average of 63% against Offensive Starmie. Utility Starmie has better survivability against Entei as long as it keeps its Water-Typing, but Entei can still catch a weakened one with Extreme Speed. However, Reflect-Type Starmie that loses its Water-Typing dies quickly to Entei, as Scald will no longer deal anything above 46%, and unresisted, Entei’s Sacred Fire will rip through Starmie with an average of 97% damage.

Conclusion:
Entei has spent years being outclassed by Suicune & Raikou on the competitive battlefield. However, with the introduction to X/Y, Entei’s movepool has found itself expanded just enough that this old dog can finally enter onto the true field of combat. Combining the unique niche & fantastic stats Entei has always had with the movepool expansion & Fairy-Type resist that X/Y has given him, Entei finally has a shot of showing up his brothers for the first time in his long, long history.

©Naito Raizu. All Rights Reserved.
All damage calculations supplied by A Pokémon Calculator.




Last edited by Naito Raizu on Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:31 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: KILL IT WITH FIRE!: A review of Entei in the OU Format

Post by Orange on Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:18 pm

beautifully written qwq)b

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