VGC 2015 Liepard Analysis

Hey everyone. Thanks to Policolo for suggesting this. Today, I'll be covering Liepard, the cat that has been doing well in the current metagame. With a good movepool, average stats, and a good typing, which is why I agreed to do this. Personally, I'm a fan of Liepard, which made me want to do this even more. With that out of the way, let's start by looking at Liepard's base stats to see what they are.

64 HP - Solid. While you won't be taking to many hits, you will take enough hits to do what you need to.
88 Attack - Okay. Since Liepard isn't know for its offensive power, taking advantage of this stat can be fun when you smack a Pokémon with a powerful hit that catches them off guard.
50 Defense - Very bad. You won't be taking many hits and an item like the Focus Sash will be very helpful to help do your job.
88 Sp. Attack - While this can be a good stat, the lack of good moves can make this stat really not as useful as it may appear to be.
50 Defense - Very bad as well. With low defenses, Liepard will forever be known as the support Pokémon with no bulk, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
106 Speed - 106 puts you in an awkward position. While you're outspeeding base 100's like Mega Kangaskhan, Mega Charizard X&Y, and Mega Gardevoir, you aren't outspeeding those base 110's like Gengar & Mega Metagross, which can be troubling.

Overall, Liepard has bad defenses, but good offensive stats and a great speed stat. Now, let's see what some viable moves that are buddy Liepard has to offer. I certainly hope it has some viable moves to use, but that'll be the surprise.

  1. Assist - If you want some fun times
  2. Fake Out
  3. Taunt
  4. Snatch
  5. Protect
  6. Sunny Day
  7. Rain Dance
  8. Thunder Wave
  9. Swagger
  10. Snarl
  11. Encore
  12. Fake Tears
  13. Foul Play
My fears have been adverted. Liepard has a plethora of viable moves it can learn. The variety can be a problem as Liepard struggles from the 4MSS (4 MoveSlot Syndrome) which means you may have trouble find the set to run, but that should depend on what the team needs Liepard to do to be successful. Now, let's see what some set's that other trainers have used Liepard for.

Baz Anderson's 2013 Liepard
Liepard @ Dark Gem
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 68 HP / 4 Atk / 92 Def / 92 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Foul Play
- Fake Out
- Swagger
- Encore

This is the Liepard that Barry Anderson used to Top Cut 3 Nationals and get 9th at 2013 Worlds, all in the same season. Let's see what Barry had to say about it "It would be easy to look at Liepard as somewhat of a gimmick, especially by the time of the European Nationals because its tricks had already become common knowledge. The trick to using Liepard is knowing exactly when it is needed, rather than blindly throwing it out into each battle. Liepard usually has the fastest Fake Out, and along with Encore and Swagger makes for a superb disrupting Pokémon enabling its partners to set up. The Dark Gem Foul Play allows it to OHKO threats like Latios and Landorus-T most of the time, and puts a heavy dent in everything else, especially after a Swagger. Liepard is great for mind games with the ever present Encore; it forces switches and a reluctance to Protect, and with Swagger Liepard becomes an oppressive Pokémon that doesn’t allow opponents to play their usual game plans." - Barry Anderson (Baz Anderson)

Stephen Gibbon's 2015 Liepard
Liepard @ Black Glasses
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 108 HP / 148 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Encore
- Foul Play
- Protect

This is the Liepard that Stephen Gibbons used to get Top 4 at 2015 UK Regionals. Let's see what he had to say "As I mentioned, I added Liepard because of my poor match-up with Trick Room, and specifically the Hariyama + Cresselia lead. This might seem a bit intuitive, as Liepard is a very fast Pokemon and is weak to Hariyama’s STAB attacks, but it allows me to Fake out first so either Thundrus can Taunt the Trick Room setter or Breloom can Spore it or even just go right for a knock out onto Hariyama. Liepard can then threaten an Encore onto the setter the next turn, forcing my opponent to spend turns of Trick Room re-positioning. I didn’t come up against this in the tournament, but Liepard worked wonders in other situations. The EV spread allows it to survive Adamant Landorus-Therian’s U-turn 100% of the time as long as it doesn’t have a boosting item, whilst still allowing Liepard to be fully invested in Speed to be quicker than Fake Out users such as Kangaskhan, Lopunny and Mienshao.
Fake Out is a must on Liepard. With Tailwind on Suicune, Substitute on Metagross and Spore on Breloom, it allows me to be able to gain momentum right from turn 1 by shutting down one half of the opponents’ active Pokemon. Encore is a great move, especially when it gets the priority Prankster gives status moves. It forces opponents to worry about using Protect or a set up move, as I can then threaten them next turn with locking them into that move. Often this forces a switch out on my opponents end or enables me to do damage to a Pokemon that would otherwise have protected itself. Foul Play is the damage output and Liepard actually picked up a surprising number of knock-outs with it and the Black Glasses boost. Its worth noting that the move itself is totally reliant on the target’s Attack stat in the calculation, not Liepard’s. It’s how you can get away with no Attack investment on it. The last move is usually Swagger, which compliments Foul Play like bread and butter. However, I didn’t find many situations where I felt I’d rather have it over Protect, and I preferred having a 100% chance of avoiding damage that turn to a 50% chance that one of the opposing Pokemon doesn’t attack. The fact that Liepard doesn’t normally carry Protect also makes it a good surprise, as opponents usually assume they will be able to get damage off onto the slot Liepard is in and will attack there, again allowing me to gain momentum." - Stephen Gibbons (Hitmonste)

Baz Anderson's 2015 Liepard
Liepard @ Black Glasses
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 156 HP / 100 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Foul Play
– Fake Out
– Swagger
– Encore

After 2013, Baz Anderson picked up Liepard in the 2015 format, winning a Regional and doing very well at Worlds as well. I have included a video below to that Baz Anderson made about his Liepard.

Policolo's Liepard set
Liepard @ Black Glasses
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 20 HP / 214 Atk / 36 Def / 44 Spd / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Fake Out
- Encore
- Foul Play
- Swagger
  • Under-speeds Jolly Mega Kangaskhan by 1 point
  • Survives a Adamant Mega Kangaskhan's Power-Up Punch
  • Amoonguss's Giga Drain is a 3HKO
  • KO's +2 Mega Kangaskhan with Foul Play
This is a set I got from Policolo. Thanks for the set. Let' see what he had to say about it. "Fake Out is to disrupt the opponents on turn one. Encore punishes Fake-Out, Protect, Trick Room and other set-up users by locking them in that move. Foul Play is the crème a la crème on this set, because it just has enough power to KO a Jolly Mega Kangaskhan after a Power-Up Punch. Mega Kangaskhan's speed stats fluctuate, so you might want to change the Speed EVs at the time being because the sets change time by time. Swagger is to boost a Pokémon's Attack by 2 stages so Foul Play does more damage. The 214 Attack EVs are 'leftovers' and used so Fake-Out does more damage, which always is around 10% with the investment. Black Glasses is the main-item, but a Dread Plate can be used too because both boost Dark-type attacks by 20%, allowing to get the KO on +2 Mega Kangaskhan." - Policolo

I hoped you enjoyed this Liepard analysis. Overall, Liepard is a very interesting support Pokemon since it's very frail, but can take some hits and still gets the job done at the end of the day so it can go back to the PC a hero. Thanks again to Policolo for this idea. Follow me on Twitter @KurokyuneVGC for updates on when I post new content so you won't be out of the loop. Also, this blog is almost at 3000 pageviews so thanks for the support. I never thought it would happen so soon so thanks for helping me reach that goal. I'll see you next time. Bye!