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Inner Focus: Prevents flinching.

Steadfast: Raise this Pokemon's Speed by 1 stage when it flinches.


Element Symbol




Sp Atk

Sp Def




Set Name Nature Item

Reversal Adamant Liechi Berry

Moves EVs

252 Atk / 112 Sp Def / 146 Spd

At 1 HP, Riolu can do a very sizeable amount of damage to nearly any UU NFE in the game other than those who highly resist it, and Ghost-types, both of which can be dealt with by a boosted Crunch. The main idea here is to use Agility on a resisted or low-power move to boost Riolu's mediocre Speed stat to 384, and then use Endure to activate Riolu's Liechi Berry, as well as maximize Reversal damage. Here are a few calculations on Riolu's capabilities at this point, courtesy of DialaceStarvy:

252 Adamant Riolu +1 Reversal:

  • vs. 252/252 Bold Wailmer : 98.3% - 115.7%
  • vs. 252/252 Bold Shellder : 97.7% - 115.2%
  • vs. 252/252 Bold Koffing : 46.8% - 55.3%

It should be noted that this set is horribly hindered by priority users, and so is best used later in the game when you know who your foe's priority attackers are, and you effectively rid of them.

The Speed EVs allow Riolu to outpace a Choice Scarf Mankey after one Agility boost. Dropping 16 Speed EVs to still outspeed Choice Scarf Staravia and Quilava is nearly useless considering Riolu's defensive stats, and Staravia in itself may still carry Quick Attack; the most rational reason for changing this set's Speed stats is a change to 197 Speed / 90 Defense, which allows Riolu to outpace a neutral-natured, 252 Speed Loudred, and max Speed Gloom, Gulpin, Phanpy, non-Scarf Porygon, Sandshrew and Teddiursa before an Agility boost. Because none of these Pokemon can get a surefire OHKO against Riolu apart from Porygon, meaning Riolu can simply use Agility on the first turn and then Endure, which is Riolu's end goal, anyway. Attack is maximized to give Riolu the best attacking output, while the remaining EVs were delegated to Special Defense to aid in taking weaker special attacks from Ice and Grass-type attacks, giving Riolu a chance to set up.

Set Name Nature Item

SD Riolu Jolly Life Orb

Moves EVs

Swords Dance
Bullet Punch
Shadow Claw
Cross Chop
252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 Def

Riolu has a lot of competition with other UUs for a Swords Dance set, but can still pull it off for teams who need a Dark or Rock resistance. Swords Dance is the initial first attack to skyrocket Riolu's Attack to 478, allowing Bullet Punch to KO Abra, who otherwise threatens an instant death. After a Swords Dance, Shadow Claw OHKOs Drowzee 50% of the time when factoring in Stealth Rock damage and Leftovers, and always OHKOs a maximum Defense Chingling. Drifloon, unless it invests almost entirely in Defense, is also OHKOed, even without Stealth Rock. With Cross Chop, max Defense Loudred, Specially-defensive Rhyhorn, 252 HP, 0 Defense Lombre, and any form of Larvitar or Houndour.

Team Benefit kirlia smoochum meditite chingling kabuto ivysaur

Riolu has some serious competition with other Pokemon in terms of a Swords Dance set. Ivysaur, Prinplup, Cubone, Teddiursa, Lickitung, Corphish, Anorith and Chimchar can all learn Swords Dance, and for the most part have better defenses than Riolu, and some are just faster. Using Riolu as your Swords Dance sweeper means you will have to switch Riolu in on a weak Dark or Rock attack from Pokemon like Onix, Geodude, a Choice-locked Stunky or Carvanha because otherwise, Riolu will be extremely weak after setting up Swords Dance, and will not function if the foe sends in a priority attack-user, Pokemon of which are very common in UU NFE. Having teammates such as Natu, Kirlia, Meditite, Smoochum and Chingling to attract Rock and Dark type attacks is essential to Riolu's success with the Swords Dance set. Use Riolu as a Swords Dance-user with care. As for the Reversal set, Riolu needs to be sent in when you are sure that the foe doesn't pack a bulky priority user such as Wartortle or Prinplup, as it will be unable to function. Priority lures such as Anorith and Kabuto are advisable, as well as anti-priority Pokemon such as Ivysaur or Gloom (in general, any bulky Pokemon who can shrug off Water attacks).

Counters wartortle phanpy croagunk onix vibrava prinplup

For the Reversal set, bulky priority users such as Prinplup, Wartortle, Magby, Phanpy, Croagunk and Seel work well, as they ultimately win Riolu over by repeatedly using their respective priority moves. Prinplup and Wartortle work best thanks to their high Defense and HP, however. Because of the nearly perfect coverage of Dark and Fighting, no Pokemon in UU can reliably withstand both Crunch and Reversal, so hitting Riolu with a priority move, or outspeeding it is the only way to effectively counter it. Ponyta can outspeed Riolu, and has just enough Defense to take a Crunch or non-boosted Reversal from Riolu in time for it to always KO it with Flamethrower or Flare Blitz.

The Swords Dance set is much easier to counter. Any faster Pokemon who resists Bullet Punch means Riolu must switch out, or possibly be KOed. Remoraid, Skorupi, Poliwag, Onix, Vibrava, Magby and Staryu all threaten Riolu, and take little damage from a +2 Bullet Punch. As with the Swords Dance set, Prinplup, Wartortle, Seel and Croagunk all work as counters for the Swords Dance set thanks to their priority moves.


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