Levitate: This Pokemon is immune to Ground-type attacks.
Choice Specs / Life Orb
Trick / Hidden Power Ice Thunderbolt Energy Ball Shadow Ball
252 Sp Atk / 252 Spd / 4 Def
With Choice Specs, Haunter makes a very powerful special sweeper in tandem with its very high Speed. Haunter has an immunity to Ground and Fighting, granting it many opportunities to switch into foes such as Grovyle, Gligar, Piloswine and Marshtomp, and hit with the appropriate attack. If you're using Choice Specs, Trick is usually the way to go to aid in allowing another teammate to set-up on the Choiced attack that your foe uses, although Hidden Power Ice in itself is still a useful option. Hidden Power Ice hits foes such as Tangela, Bayleef, the aforementioned Gligar, and Dragonair for much more damage than any of its other attacks, and pairs well with Thunderbolt. Energy Ball tears through Marshtomp, Rhydon, Graveler, Pupitar and Hippopotas, while Shadow Ball provides general STAB. Choice Specs is the preferred item for this set for the power boost that it brings, but if you have trouble with synergy for Haunter, or you feel that it just needs the freedom that Life Orb brings, the latter is an option.
Haunter has little need for defenses because of their naturally low value, so Speed and Special Attack are maximized to give it the best sweeping ability. Haunter barely outpaces max Speed Magmar by 3 points, so a switch to 236 Speed is an option, although Haunter will likely have little use of the extra EVs outside of an extra Life Orb'ed attack.
Trick / Hidden Power Ice Thunderbolt Energy Ball Shadow Ball
252 Sp Atk / 252 Spd / 4 Sp Def
In exchange for lower Special Attack, this set ties Haunter in terms of Speed with a Scarf Gabite. With an immunity to Ground attacks and Fighting attacks (some that are priority attacks that would otherwise hinder Haunter), Haunter can find many opportunities to switch-in, and start attacking with its now blazing Speed and respectable Special Attack stat. The EVs and moves are set as the same as the previous set because of Haunter's initially same goal. This set is more useful for foes who have a susceptible Sneasel weakness if one or more of their initial counters is already KO'ed in battle. Ice Shard never OHKO'es Haunter, bar a critical hit, and may allow Haunter to get a surprise attack in on said Sneasel because of the more popular choice Specs set. While Haunter does 3HKO Sneasel with Thunderbolt, Stealth Rock and Life Orb recoil against Sneasel can allow Haunter to hit Sneasel hard enough that its Life Orb recoil on its initial attacking turn becomes a KO, where otherwise Haunter would be outsped and KO'ed before it has the chance to attack.
Hypnosis Substitute Hidden Power Fighting Shadow Ball
252 Sp Atk / 244 Spd / 12 Sp Def (Odd-numbered HP stat)
Haunter's blazing Speed is what makes this set work well. Hypnosis is first used during a switch or switch-out, being sent in on anything unScarfed, or whose name is Sneasel, and Hypnosis is used. Assuming it hits, Substitute is then set up. Because Haunter is outsped by a very low percentage of Pokemon, it has the opportunity to wittle its HP down to 1% to activate its Petaya Berry by repeatedly using Substitute, and attempt a sweep. Petaya Berry seems like an odd item on Haunter, but works in a key role in OHKOing Bulky Misdreavus, a 0 Sp Def Monferno, a bulky Dragon Dance Shelgon, the standard sets of Magmar, as well as carrying an 87% chance of OHKOing a SubDrum Poliwhirl, while almost all other sets are easily OHKOed unless Poliwhirl invests crudely in Special Defense (Stealth Rock is needed for the KO on Misdreavus and Poliwhirl, however). This set's biggest nemesis is Sneasel, who outspeeds and immediately threatens with almost any of its attacks. While Hidden Power Fighting safely disposes of Sneasel if Haunter is behind a Substitute, it is wise to scout your foe's team for this considerable threat before attempting this Haunter.
Haunter works very well as a revenge killer for any team that isn't susceptible to priority attacks and who has an exploitable Fighting and Ground weakness. Shieldon and Lairon make very good teammates for Haunter because of their x4 Fighting and Ground weakness, giving Haunter an opportunity to switch-in and KO common Earthquake-users such as Gligar, Marshtomp, Gabite and Piloswine with the appropriate attack. Lairon and Shieldon also provide Haunter a switch-out from Dark and Ghost attacks, namely Shadow Sneak. Haunter also works well in tandem with Machoke, as it attracts Dynamicpunch from Machoke and Fighting attacks from Shelgon and Monferno, giving it a chance to switch in.
Haunter provides an excellent spin blocker, as well. While Misdreavus gives Haunter extreme competition in many areas, Haunter has the Speed to take on most revenge killers that are usually switched-in, namely Sneasel and Kadabra, who leave Misdreavus answerless. Staryu, who can possibly outspeed Misdreavus and use Thunder Wave to cripple it, has no such luck with Haunter, as the listed sets all outspeed it, allowing Haunter to finish Staryu off with Energy Ball or Thunderbolt. Misdreavus is still quite the competitor against Haunter's usage, however. If your team needs more of a dedicated Special sweeper who can take on Kadabra and Sneasel, and who doesn't need extra defenses to be able to take anything, Haunter is the superior choice.
Most Haunters carry a Choice item, so once its attack is revealed, it becomes much easier to counter. Duskull doesn't enjoy Specs-boosted attacks, but immediately threatens Haunter with Shadow Sneak, forcing it to switch-out. Sneasel is at worst 2HKO'ed by any of Haunter's attacks (even Thunderbolt only manages around 53% damage), and can attack Haunter with Punishment. Diglett can come in on any Choiced attack, and threaten Haunter with Sucker Punch, although Haunter does possess Levitate, which allows it to switch-out. Murkrow is 2HKO'ed by most of Haunter's attacks, but can threaten Haunter with a STAB Sucker Punch for an instant KO.
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