Porygon2 is one of the most versatile defensive threats in the Battle Spot Singles metagame, boasting incredible defenses with Eviolite and its Normal typing giving it only one weakness in Fighting. This makes Porygon2 incredibly difficult to OHKO, which also makes it one of the most reliable Trick Room setters in the format. Unlike other setters, Porygon2 has a decent offensive presence due to its respectable Special Attack and its Download ability, which allows it to take advantage of Trick Room effectively itself. Porygon2's bulk and great movepool also allow it to check a wide range of Pokemon including Mega Salamence, Landorus-T, Tapu Lele, and Mimikyu, functioning as an effective blanket check for teams lacking answers to various threats. Porygon2's reliance on Eviolite also makes it vulnerable to Knock Off, though, and its lack of resistances makes it difficult for Porygon2 to switch into boosted threats. Toxic and Stealth Rock damage also quickly chip away at Porygon2 and keep it from reliably checking more powerful threats, both of which are very common in Battle Spot Singles.
move 1: Ice Beam
move 2: Recover
move 3: Foul Play
move 4: Toxic / Discharge
ability: Trace / Download / Analytic
evs: 244 HP / 164 Def / 100 SpD
* Ice Beam offers great neutral coverage and hits numerous threats such as Mega Salamence, Naganadel, and Landorus-T.
* Recover is necessary to keep Porygon2 healthy and reliably check threats and complements its fantastic bulk.
* Foul Play lets Porygon2 punish physical attackers that can otherwise boost against it or otherwise don't take much damage from Ice Beam, giving it a useful tool against setup sweepers.
* Toxic allows Porygon2 to shut down opposing defensive threats that don't mind any of Porygon2's other moves, as its bulk and lack of weaknesses allow it to outlast most defensive threats.
* Discharge offers extra coverage that notably covers Celesteela while also providing a 30% paralysis chance to punish threats such as Blaziken and Taunt Mega Gyarados that can safely switch into it otherwise.
* Eviolite is necessary to give Porygon2 its fantastic bulk, and with Recover, the extra bulk outweighs the benefit of any other item.
* Trace lets Porygon2 use the foe's ability against it, such as using Intimidate to punish Salamence and Landorus-T or Protean to turn it into a threatening attacker that can be trickier to take down with its changing weaknesses.
* Download can be used to give Porygon2 a chance to boost its Special Attack, giving it a more consistent offensive presence to complement its already fantastic bulk.
* Analytic grants a consistent power boost, since Porygon2 will often act after the foe. This notably allows Porygon2 to OHKO +2 Mimikyu with Foul Play, which it cannot achieve without the Analytic boost.
* The EV spread with a Bold nature minimizes the chance of Porygon2 being 2HKOed by Adamant Mega Salamence's Double-Edge while also minimizing the chance of it being 2HKOed by Modest Tapu Lele's Psychic.
* A Calm nature can be used with maximum Special Defense investment to function as more dedicated special wall if the ability to check physical attackers better isn't necessary.
* Porygon2 is bulky enough to avoid being 2HKOed by a huge range of threats, so switching it directly into a Pokemon it's meant to check is often safe as long as it can safely use Recover on the next turn.
* While Porygon2's bulk allows it to outlast many threats, always be mindful of Porygon2's HP and be prepared to use Recover if it may be in 2HKO range even if it's healthy, because it will often act after the foe.
* Porygon2 hates losing its Eviolite, so be very careful around potential Knock Off users such as Landorus-T. However, Porygon2 can still function without Eviolite, so avoid letting it get KOed if its coverage can still prove useful.
* Porygon2's lack of resistances limits its ability to switch into boosted threats such as Mega Salamence, so avoid switching Porygon2 directly into these threats if Porygon2 is needed to check any boosting sweepers or powerful wallbreakers.
* If the opposing team appears to lack any answers to Porygon2, it can often win on its own, but always be careful of any potential Toxic users, since many teams will run Toxic solely to lure in Porygon2.
* Porygon2 struggles against most Fighting-types, so it should be paired with teammates that can switch into these threats, such as Ghost- and Flying-types such as Mimikyu, Landorus-T, Aegislash, and Mega Salamence.
* Fairy-types such as Tapu Fini and Primarina can deal with Fighting-types that threaten Porygon2. Tapu Fini in particular provides Misty Terrain support that can protect Porygon2 from unexpected Toxic users, though it also blocks Porygon2's Toxic and potential Discharge paralysis.
* Porygon2 struggles with Steel-types such as Aegislash, Ferrothorn, and Celesteela, so Fire-types such as Mega Charizard Y and Volcarona can help deal with them.
* Mega Gengar is a huge threat to Porygon2, so teammates such as Mimikyu and Choice Scarf Tapu Lele can help pressure it and discourage it from switching in.
* If Porygon2 lacks Toxic, it benefits greatly from wallbreakers such as Aegislash and Mega Blaziken that can help take down opposing defensive threats such as Cresselia and opposing Porygon2.
move 1: Ice Beam
move 2: Shadow Ball
move 3: Recover / Trick Room
move 4: Tri Attack / Hidden Power Fire / Thunderbolt / Recover
ability: Download / Analytic
evs: 244 HP / 12 Def / 252 SpA
* Ice Beam provides Porygon2 with excellent coverage for Ground- and Dragon-types, most importantly hitting Mega Salamence, Landorus-T, Naganadel, and Garchomp.
* Shadow Ball provides great neutral coverage that complements Ice Beam well while also hitting Ghost- and Psychic-types such as Mimikyu, Aegislash, and Tapu Lele.
* Recover allows Porygon2 to keep itself healthy, which is especially important for helping it check threats without full investment in bulk.
* Trick Room turns Porygon2's low Speed into an advantage, allowing it to function more effectively as an offensive threat and support other slow teammates. Trick Room is typically not used with Recover, though, because using Recover under Trick Room wastes turns it should be using to attack.
* Tri Attack gives Porygon2 a reliable STAB move to hit foes that aren't weak to Ice Beam or Shadow Ball harder, making it a more consistent offensive threat.
* Hidden Power Fire is primarily used to hit Ferrothorn, which otherwise walls Porygon2, but it also hits other Steel-types such as Celesteela and Mega Mawile.
* Thunderbolt can be used if Celesteela is a bigger problem than Ferrothorn, and it has the benefit of being able to take advantage of Tapu Koko's presence under Electric Terrain.
* Eviolite is necessary for Porygon2 to take advantage of its solid defensive typing and bulk and gives it a lot of staying power even without full defensive investment.
* Download gives Porygon2 a chance to gain a 1.5x boost to its Special Attack, giving it a significant boost to break through foes.
* Many Pokemon are EVed specifically to avoid giving Porygon2 a Download boost, so Analytic can be used instead for a more consistent but smaller 1.3x boost. Analytic also requires Porygon2 to act after the foe, though its low Speed means this usually isn't a problem unless running Trick Room, in which case Download should be used instead.
* Maximum Special Attack investment with a Modest nature makes Porygon2 as powerful as possible, and the 244 HP EVs give it an odd HP value to reduce residual damage from the likes of Stealth Rock and sand. The remaining EVs are placed in Defense to increase its bulk.
* A Modest nature is typically used over a Quiet nature because minimizing Porygon2's Speed doesn't help it outspeed much under Trick Room. This also lets Porygon2 outspeed similarly slow Pokemon such as Azumarill outside of Trick Room and consistently attack after Aegislash under Trick Room.
* However, a Quiet nature can be used on teams that struggle with Mega Mawile, which most frequently runs an Adamant nature.
* Porygon2 lacks the same level of bulk as a defensive variant, so be careful switching it into powerful attackers such as Mega Salamence and Tapu Lele, especially if it lacks Recover, since they're more likely to 2HKO Porygon2. It can still be relied upon as a blanket check to many threats, though, such as Mimikyu, Garchomp, and Greninja.
* If using Download, try to find opportunities to give Porygon2 the Special Attack boost so that it can break through teams more easily. Porygon2's Special Attack is still respectable without the boost, but it can have trouble breaking through bulkier foes such as Aegislash and Mega Kangaskhan without it.
* Porygon2 often forces switches due to its fantastic bulk, so take advantage of these switches to use Recover or to punish incoming threats if using Analytic.
* If running Trick Room, Porygon2 functions well as a lead so that it can set Trick Room up as soon as possible, since it has an easy time setting doing so unless the foe is a Fighting-type or running Fightinium Z.
* While Porygon2 will usually have teammates to take advantage of Trick Room as well, Porygon2 has enough offensive presence to make use of this itself, so it doesn't always need to rely on its teammates.
* Unlike defensive sets, losing its Eviolite doesn't bother offensive Porygon2 as much, since it can still rely on its power and coverage moves to beat foes, so avoid letting it get KOed too early even if it loses its Eviolite.
* Porygon2 struggles to take powerful hits without heavy defensive investment, so be mindful of situations where Porygon2 is better off getting in one last hit before going down instead of healing itself, especially if it can put a teammate in position to sweep.
* Porygon2 appreciates teammates that can deal with Fighting-types, so Ghost-, Fairy-, and Flying-types that can switch into them safely such as Mimikyu, Tapu Fini, Landorus-T, Aegislash, and Mega Salamence are effective teammates.
* Fire-types such as Heatran, Blaziken, Mega Charizard X, and Mega Charizard Y that can beat Steel-types pair well with Porygon2, since Porygon2 can't run coverage for all relevant Steel-types.
* Stall teams are problematic for Porygon2, since it lacks the power to break through bulkier teams, so it appreciates stallbreakers such as Taunt Tapu Fini and Mega Gengar to break through them.
* If running Trick Room, slow and powerful attackers such as Mega Mawile, Mega Heracross, Primarina, and Araquanid greatly benefit from Porygon2's reliable Trick Room support.
* While Porygon2 is a reliable Trick Room setter, it appreciates having another Trick Room user on the team that can threaten Breloom such as Safety Goggles Cresselia.
* Faster teammates such as Tapu Koko and Mega Salamence can still fit on teams with Trick Room Porygon2 and are particularly important so that you have fast teammates when setting Trick Room isn't a safe option.
* Thunder Wave can be used to cripple faster threats and create a sweeping opportunity for Porygon2's teammates, though relying on Discharge's paralysis chance is often safer, since it isn't completely shut down by Taunt and Substitute and provides some offensive pressure.
* Hidden Power Ground can be used on offensive variants specifically to deal with Heatran and Stakataka, which are often troublesome for common Trick Room setups. It provides little coverage beyond that, though, so it should only be considered if the aforementioned threats are an issue.
* Return can be used with Analytic on specially defensive sets to break through specially bulky foes such as Volcarona and Mega Charizard Y more easily. Return can also take advantage of Attack boosts from Download, though it relies on Attack boosts to be useful in this manner and can be a dead moveslot otherwise.
Checks and Counters
**Fighting-types**: Fighting-types such as Blaziken, Mega Lucario, Breloom, Mega Lopunny, Mega Heracross, and Pheromosa can threaten Porygon2 with their STAB moves. Breloom in particular can threaten Trick Room setups with Spore, while Mega Heracross can take advantage of Trick Room itself, though the others must be wary of Trick Room, since they struggle if Trick Room is set up.
**Steel-types**: Porygon2 can't run coverage for all relevant Steel-types and can't use Toxic on them unlike most defensive threats, so Steel-types such as Aegislash, Ferrothorn, Celesteela, Heatran, and Mega Mawile can usually outlast or set up on Porygon2. Porygon2 typically beats special Aegislash unless it triggers Weakness Policy, since Sacred Sword isn't strong enough otherwise. It can also run coverage for any of the other Steel-types, so scouting out its set is important, though otherwise Porygon2 can't threaten them much.
**Toxic Users**: Porygon2 is difficult to take down without a Fighting-type move, so surprising it with an unexpected Toxic is an effective way to slowly break it down. Common defensive Pokemon such as Zapdos and opposing Porygon2 are effective Toxic users, but unexpected offensive threats such as Mamoswine are also effective Toxic users.
**Knock Off**: While Z-Moves make Knock Off more difficult to use safely, it's still an effective way to shut down Porygon2 and make it much easier to deal with. Landorus-T, Ferrothorn, Mega Mawile, Mega Scizor, and Alolan Muk are all viable Knock Off users and most of them aren't overly threatened by Porygon2.
**Z-Moves**: Porygon2 is bulky enough to survive most Z-Moves, but as a defensive threat, Porygon2 is often a prime target of powerful Z-Moves that it struggles to recover from if it doesn't anticipate them. Fightinium Z users such as Thundurus-T, Tapu Bulu, and Kartana can realistically OHKO Porygon2, but other powerful Z-Move users such as Volcarona, Naganadel, and Tapu Lele can boost and surprise it to KO or come close enough to KOing that Porygon2 can't recover from it.