Depending on the current meta, there are certain team archetypes like Trick Room teams or weather teams that are commonly used. By forming a team centered around a particular archetype, you'll usually have a basic game plan in mind with the actions you need to take in order to win.
To be clear, not every archetype is a breeze to pilot.
Perish Trap is a powerful but complex archetype that combines Perish Song and Shadow Tag. Perish Song is a unique move that will make every Pokémon on the field faint in three turns unless they are immune or switch out before then. Shadow Tag is a powerful ability that prevents most Pokémon from switching out.
Once Perish Song and Shadow Tag are active on the field, it might be game over for the opponent. However, getting to that point can be difficult.
In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet VGC, using the Perish Trap
Scarlet and Violet have a greater affinity for Perish Trap teams as a result of Wolfe Glick's victory at the 2023 Orlando Regionals. Only a few viable Pokémon have access to Shadow Tag in the Gen IX Pokédex, including Flutter Mane and Scream Tail.
It's fine to run multiple Pokémon with Perish Song on their movesets since the team focuses on it.
The rest of the team will focus on damage output and stalling until the opposing Pokémon loses to Perish Song. Amoonguss is one of the best options for stalling out turns due to its ability to heal, redirect attacks, and put opponents to sleep.
Once you have your Perish Trap team, it's time to figure out what works and what doesn't on the battlefield.
In order to learn how to operate the team yourself, it is essential to understand how to operate the team. Ghost-types like Gholdengo or Flutter Mane are huge threats to Perish Trap teams.
How to Stop Perish Song:
- Moves like Taunt or Throat Chop will prevent the target from using Perish Song for two turns.
- It doesn’t affect Pokémon with Abilities like Soundproof or Gholdengo’s Good as Gold.
- Your Pokémon can be switched out to avoid fainting if Gothitelle isn’t on the field.
Shadow Tag: A Guide to Getting Over It
- Ghost-types and other Pokémon with Shadow Tag are immune.
- Pokémon can still switch out by using Volt Switch, Flip Turn, or U-Turn.
- Skill Swap will take Shadow Tag away from the target and put it on the other side of the field.
Perish Trap requires power of numbers, but it's even more important when it comes to the user. You'll eventually want to swap out three or four Pokémon at the same time, putting you in an awkward position to use Perish Song.
Even if Gothitelle's Shadow Tag isn't around to trap your opponent in, your opponent will not be able to switch their last two Pokémon out. From there, using Perish Song will ensure the battle lasts three turns or less.
It's best to keep Gothitelle alive for as long as possible, then spending the rest on Defense and Special Defense. Amoonguss is also the ideal partner for Gothitelle because it has access to both Pollen Puff and Rage Powder to redirect assaults away from the Shadow Tag user.
Once the Perish Song is used, your focus switches to stalling out the three turns until the opposing Pokémon faints. There are a bunch of moves that can assist you in stalling while keeping your team relatively healthy.
- Protecting with both Pokémon will guarantee at least one free turn of stalling.
- Fake Out will make the target flinch for one turn.
- Spore, Hypnosis, and Sing will put the target to sleep for one to three turns.
- Disable will take away one move from the target for four turns.
- Will-O-Wisp will severely weaken a physical attacker.
- Heal Pulse and Pollen Puff will help your team stay alive.
After using Perish Song, switching in and out is required. It also, however, helps a lot with stalling. For example, Fake Out can only be used on the first turn once the user has been sent out. You may then switch out and return in to flinch your opponent.
Intimidate can be cycled in and out to continually lower the opposing side's Attack. This works extremely well with Shadow Tag because the opponent will not be able to swap out their Pokémon to reset their lowered Attack stat. At that point, physical attackers shouldn't be doing too much damage to your side of the field.
Amoonguss should also be equipped with Regenerator, which allows it to heal HP whenever it switches out, making it one of the most annoying Pokémon to deal with on Perish Trap teams and in the VGC as a whole.
The ability to swap your Pokémon in and out gives you plenty more options to work with. Your opponent must complete every turn correctly and do as much damage as possible when they're on the Perish Song timer. But if you can read their moves correctly and swap in the correct Pokémon at the right time, you'll stall out another turn.
Although the whole purpose of a Perish Trap team is to beat your opponent out with Perish Song, it may not always work out. If you ever find yourself in a position where Perish Song isn't ideal, consider changing your approach to more offense.
Flutter Mane and Azumarill, a few Perish Song users, are also huge offensive threats, while Flutter Mane, another of the most successful Paradox Pokémon at Orlando, can be engineered to exert physical offensive force with Huge Power. Gothitelle and Amoonguss may not be the most offensive Pokémon in VGC, but they can still chip away at the opponent with Psychic or Pollen Puff.
Moreover, the other half of the team can focus solely on offense, thus the damage done by a Perish Trap team should never be underestimated.
Keep in mind that you can still use Perish Song's threat and pressure to your advantage, even if it's not what's directly getting the KOs. For example, if Perish Song is used without Gothitelle around, you can anticipate a switch or two from the opponent in the next few turns. Just read the switch correctly and you'll receive free damage on the vulnerable Pokémon switching in.