Lowers the foe's Attack one stage upon entering battle. Decreases wild encounter rate.
Life Orb / Choice Band
Brave Bird Quick Attack Return U-Turn
252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 Def
This Staravia makes a very useful lead, where most people utilize Stealth Rockers or setuppers as leads, which give Staravia a chance to hit hard with a STAB Return or Brave Bird, and finish with a priority Quick Attack. U-Turn is useful for switching-out when faced with an opponent who isn't taken down by one of Staravia's attacks, in particular Marshtomp, who will likely try using Ice Beam after setting up Stealth Rock. It should be noted that switching-out immediately is often a better option if the foe packs a priority move (namely Sneasel), as Staravia cannot take much damage (especially after a switch-in to Stealth Rock), and U-Turn requires that Staravia takes this damage.
252 Speed ties Staravia with max Speed Charmeleon and Skiploom. This is rather important because Skiploom immediately threatens Staravia with Sleep Powder, while Staravia has the potential to OHKO it with Brave Bird.
Brave Bird Pursuit Return U-Turn
252 Atk / 72 Def / 186 Spd
Staravia has a rather shallow Physical movepool, but carries just enough useful attacks to be used as a revenge killer. With a Choice Scarf, Staravia now outspeeds the standard Sneasel, and any Pokemon aimed to outspeed Sneasel by one point. The surprise boost in Speed now allows Staravia to OHKO Sneasel with Brave Bird when factoring in Stealth Rock damage, and even without it, will put Sneasel in the KO range from Life Orb recoil. U-Turn is still useful in scouting the foe's team for their main Staravia counter, giving an opportunity to take down this threat to allow Staravia to sweep later in the game. If the foe does discover that Staravia is holding a Choice Scarf, Pursuit can be used on a foe such as Kadabra or weakened Electabuzz/Magmar to quickly end them from being switched back in.
Attack is maximized on this set to give Staravia the best overall attacking power, and is needed to reliably OHKO Sneasel after Stealth Rock or Life Orb damage via Brave Bird. 186 Speed puts Staravia at a Speed of 363, outpacing Sneasel and any Pokemon who aims to outpace it by one point. Staravia doesn't outspeed anything notable in the OU tier, nor any other tier, by dropping or gaining Speed EVs. Maximizing Speed can be done to tie Staravia with Scarf Quilava, but Quilava is a less-common site in OU NFE.
As said before, Staravia makes a very potent lead, being able to hit hard with a Life Orb STAB Brave Bird or Return, and finish the opponent off with a STAB Quick Attack. Having a switch-out to a physical wall or a Pokemon who resists Ice and Steel is a good option to help Staravia with priority moves and Ice Shard, which coming from Piloswine or Sneasel, means an instant death. Some contenders include Metang, who can take an Ice Shard from Sneasel or Piloswine, and threaten back with a STAB Bullet Punch or Meteor Mash. Monferno also works, as it resists Ice and can threaten the same Pokemon with Mach Punch or Close Combat, as well as giving a potential switch-back to Staravia through its Ground weakness, and Rhydon, who has high enough defenses to be able to take almost any priority move (bar Vacuum Wave Monfernos), and who has an Electric immunity, although both of these Pokemon share an Ice weakness. Staravia also appreciates a Rapid Spinner, as it is weak to Stealth Rock, and makes U-Turn less viable in some situations.
Electabuzz can threaten a OHKO against Staravia with Thunderbolt, and take at worst neutral damage from Return. Metang is resistant to Brave Bird and Return, has enough defenses to shrug off Pursuit and U-Turn, and threatens Staravia with Ice Punch or Thunderpunch. Sneasel, though it can't take Brave Bird or U-Turn, can threaten Staravia with Ice Shard, causing an instant KO. Piloswine has plenty of Defense and HP to make even Brave Bird a 2HKO (when factoring in Life Orb and Stealth Rock damage), and immediately threatens with Ice Shard. Rhydon takes little damage from anything Staravia packs, and can hit Staravia back with Ice Punch or a STAB Stone Edge.
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