Murkrow's high Speed and the possession of the strongest priority attack in NFE makes it a useful revenge killer for any team who needs a Ground immunity, or counter to Kadabra. Heat Wave gives Murkrow a reliable way of dealing with Bronzor, as well as giving Murkrow a more powerful attack against Grass-types than Hidden Power Ice. Sucker Punch is Murkrow's main attack, slamming Misdreavus, Haunter and most notably Kadabra, very hard, while having the glory of STAB. Taunt works well in forcing the foe to either switch, or use an attacking move, which allows you to be sure the foe doesn't set-up on a turn that you use Sucker Punch. Brave Bird is an alternative to provide Murkrow a secondary STAB attack, and give Murkrow a surefire way of dealing with Monferno and Machoke, although most Monfernos carry a priority attack of their own. Both abilities can work here, as Insomnia is useful against Yanma, Haunter and Golbat, who may try to use Hypnosis on Murkrow, although the Super Luck boost can at times lead to OHKOs that would normally be 2HKOs.
80 Sp Atk ensures Heat Wave is always a 2HKO on a 252 HP / 0 Sp Def Metang with Leftovers. It's also a 2HKO against a Levitate Bronzor who doesn't invest very heavily in Special Defense. Heat Wave is also a 2HKO on any Grotle that doesn't invest more than 252 HP / 100 Sp Def with a +Sp Def Nature. Speed is maximized with this set to make most use of Taunt and Murkrow's revenge-killing strategy, putting it one point under neutral-natured, 252 Speed Electabuzz and Kadabra, although Sucker Punch is one's best option against these two, making a Speed tie nearly meaningless.
Thunder Wave Taunt Snatch / Roost Sucker Punch
112 HP / 4 Atk / 68 Def / 76 Sp Def / 248 Spd
This Murkrow works as a lead, as well as being a very annoying teammate. Taunt shuts down the likes of Bronzor, and sometimes forces switches, allowing Murkrow to paralyze the switch-in with Thunder Wave if the foe isn't a Ground-type. Snatch is a nasty surprise for those who predict Sucker Punch, and try to use the turn to set-up. After using Snatch to steal stat boosts, Murkrow can often use Taunt to prevent the foe from using it again, allowing it to use Sucker Punch or Thunder Wave on the foe. Common set-up attacks include Dragon Dance and Swords Dance, which Murkrow can make full use of with Sucker Punch and its other utility moves.Sucker Punch is key to take down faster foes, such as Kadabra. Although the low PP is undesirable, it provides Murkrow the best direct damage output, and works well in tandem with Taunt by forcing the foe to attack, or switch. For those who don't want to chance Snatch, and whose team would benefit more from direct Thunder Wave and Taunt usage, Roost is an option over Snatch.
248 Speed puts Murkrow just behind a neutral-natured, 252 Speed Electabuzz and Kadabra, giving Murkrow the most Speed to pull off Taunt and Thunder Wave to cripple fast-moving foes. Defenses are maximized to allow Murkrow opportunities to use Thunder Wave multiple times before being revenge KOed by the foe. 4 Attack ensures that Murkrow's Sucker Punch is always a OHKO on a 0 HP, 0 Defense Misdreavus after Stealth Rock damage. Other than that, Murkrow doesn't gain any key OHKOs or 2HKOs with Sucker Punch without significant Attack investment, which would then interrupt its main role of annoying the foe.
Murkrow provides a nearly unique immunity to both Ground and Psychic attacks, giving Poison-type Pokemon very good synergy. Nidorino and Nidorina make potent teammates because of this, giving them a potentially free switch-out to Murkrow if one of their weaknesses are exploited, but have a hard time dealing with Murkrow's most common counters in themselves. Tentacool works in the same way with Psychic and Ground weaknesses. While they do both fear Electric attacks, Tentacool can counter common problematic Pokemon such as Magmar and, if Tentacool carries Ice Beam, Shelgon.
Murkrow, especially the specially the UtiliKrow set, highly appreciates a rapid spinner to rid of Stealth Rock damage, as it takes 25% away from it, making Tentacool another viable teammate. Staryu can sometimes lure Grass attacks that Murkrow can switch into, although it should be noted that Murkrow won't usually be taking too much damage before it faints. Metang is also notable, as it resists Rock and Ice attacks, and is neutral to Electric attacks. Metang can then switch to Murkrow when faced with a Ground attack. The Dual Screen set can also switch to Murkrow if met with Taunt, which MixKrow won't mind.
Sneasel outspeeds any Murkrow, and can KO with Ice Punch, while taking little damage from Sucker Punch. Marshtomp has enough defenses to take nearly any attack from Murkrow, and cause serious damage with Ice Punch, although one must be wary of the Taunt variation if Stealth Rock is Marshtomp's initial job. Magmar has enough defenses and typing to take most of Murkrow's attacks, and retaliate with Thunderpunch. Shelgon only fears a non-STAB Shadow Ball, and can retaliate with Dragon Claw, or use Murkrow as setup bait for Dragon Dance.
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