Competitive Spotlight: Choice Items

Hello Azurillanders, and welcome to this month’s Spotlight, where we’ll be looking at all three Choice Items: Choice Band, Choice Specs, and Choice Scarf! All three Choice Items have a similar effect, and at least one is used on almost all Competitive teams.

Explanation

With the Choice Items, the holder’s Attack (Choice Band), Special Attack (Choice Specs), or Speed (Choice Scarf) will be boosted by 50%. However, that Pokémon will also be locked into using only the first move they choose.

For example, if an Aerodactyl holding a Choice Band uses Earthquake, that is the only move it can use from then on unless it switches out. Because of that, the Choice Items can be both a blessing and a curse. Since this Pokémon is now locked into Earthquake, the opponent can switch into either a Flying-type or a Pokémon with the Levitate ability, making the Pokémon completely unable to attack them. Even so, this Pokémon can easily switch out as well, coming in later without the burden of being locked into Earthquake.

With the basic explanation out of the way, let’s look at movesets for each Choice Item.

Choice Band

[email protected] Band

Ability: Pressure

EVs: 252 Atk/ 4 SpD/ 252 Spe

Adamant Nature(+Atk, -SpA)

Moves:
-Sacred Fire
-Extreme Speed
-Stone Edge
-Flare Blitz

Entei has a great 115 Attack Stat and a great signature move, shared only with Ho-oh, in Sacred Fire: a 100 Base Power Physical Fire-type move with a 50% chance to burn the target. This is an immensely powerful move that not only packs a powerful punch, but also has a high chance to burn the target, allowing this Mythical Beast to cripple opposing Physical attackers reliably. Extreme Speed is one of the most powerful Priority moves, while Stone Edge helps take care of opposing Fire-types like Chandelure. Flare Blitz is there to give you an even more powerful STAB move if the opponent is too bulky for Sacred Fire.

 

Choice Specs

Exploud @Choice Specs

EVs: 4 Def/ 252 SpA/252 HP OR 252 Spe

Ability: Scrappy

Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)

Moves:
-Boomburst
-Ice Beam
-Fire Blast
-Surf

Boomburst is easily Exploud’s best move, being a 140 Base Power 100% accurate Special Normal-type attack with no drawbacks. This move allows Exploud to hit nearly every Pokémon extremely hard, even some of the Steel and Rock types that resist. Also, thanks to its Scrappy ability, Exploud can hit Ghost-types. This makes Exploud a dangerous Pokémon that is extremely difficult to switch into.
Fire Blast and Surf are there to hit aforementioned Steel and Rock types, while Ice Beam is there mostly for coverage.  However, you’re rarely going to use anything but Boomburst, thanks to its monstrously high Base Power. If I’m being completely honest, most of Exploud’s other moves besides Boomburst are there as filler.

For its EV spread, I personally go for a more bulky sweeping set, so I give it 252 HP. However, 252 Speed can also be helpful, since Exploud only has 68 Speed and can certainly use a speed boost. So its EV spread depends on if you want bulk or speed.

Choice Scarf

Tyrantrum @Choice Scarf

Ability: Rock Head

EVs: 4 HP/252 Atk/252 Speed

Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)

Moves:
-Head Smash
-Outrage
-Earthquake
-Crunch

Tyrantrum only has 71 Speed, so a Choice Scarf is a very helpful item for it. Couple that with a Jolly Nature, and Tyrantrum is able to outspeed even the likes of Jolteon and Swellow, which are some of the fastest Pokémon in the RU tier.

Head Smash, a 150 Base Power Physical Rock-type move with 50% recoil, is Tyrantrum's most powerful move. You may be wary to use this move since the user takes half of the damage in recoil; however, thanks to the Rock Head ability, that recoil damage does not apply. This gives Tyrantrum a 150 BP move with no drawbacks aside from the shaky 80% accuracy. This means that Tyrantrum can OHKO many Pokémon in the tier, and can even do sizable damage to Pokémon that resist it. Outrage is Tyrantrum’s best Dragon-type move, and, since it’s holding a Choice Scarf, it’s already going to be locked into it, so the only real drawback to Outrage is the confusion. Earthquake is there to hit Steel- and Rock-types that resist Head Smash, while the fourth move is, like Exploud, pretty much filler. Crunch is probably your best bet, as it's Tyrantrum's best answer to the bulky bell that is Bronzong.

Conclusion

The three Choice Items are some of the most popular moves in the Competitive scene, and for good reason. The 50% Base Power boost is invaluable. However, being locked into one move can be very troublesome, as counters can easily switch in and force you to switch out, giving the opponent a free turn. With some careful planning, though, the Choice Items can easily turn the tide of any battle.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this month's Spotlight. Do you have a favorite Choice item set? Share it in the comments!
Thanks for taking the time to read our Spotlights! See you next month!

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