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Choice Locking: Worth It?


If I was a wizard this wouldn't be happening to me
May 20, 2012
Sub-Orbital Trajectory
As anyone familiar with the competitive scene knows, Choice Items are very popular, and can give a vital edge in any match.

Choice Scarf:

Effect: Multiplies Speed stat by 1.5x
Useful for outspeeding normally faster Pokemon, such as Greninja.

Choice Band:

Effect: Multiplies Physical Attack by 1.5x
Useful for packing an extra punch on physical attackers.

Choice Specs:

Effect: Multiplies Special Attack by 1.5x
Gives already fast Special Sweepers extra power.

Of course, these all have the same secondary effect; you are locked into the first move you choose (this can be reset by switching out). As a result, Choice users can be easily countered if your opponent predicts you.

The question is, is it worth it to you (individually) to use a Choice item? If so, which one(s), and what sets have you had success with?
Dec 14, 2008
Louisiana, USA
Choice locking is most definitely worth the risk, as long as you know how to properly use a Choice item, and you know what Pokemon to use it on.

Choice items were, quite frankly, a revolution in competitive battling. These items coupled with the special/physical split brought on a near infinite amount of possibilities. Pokemon that were naturally out-sped and countered such a Tyranitar were now fast enough to promptly OHKO their biggest counters, and Pokemon with wicked inherent speed were granted more power from either their special or physical attacks, turning 2HKOs into OHKOs. A 1.5 boost to ANYTHING is a massive amount, and makes already dangerous Pokemon completely potent with the right Choice item and the right strategy behind it. It's nearly impossible to fully explain how the proper use of Choice items is damn-near mandatory for success on today's competitive scene, and likely WILL be an enormous staple of the metagame for generations to come. Items like this come around ever so often and shape the entire scope of the game - Life Orb, Eviolite, Assault Vest, all incredible items on the right Pokemon, and Choice items are no different at all.

But is it worth it to people personally? That's kind of tough, but as I said above, Choice locking is hardly a problem if you know what you're doing. Slapping a Choice Scarf on just about everything just because it has lackluster speed is a terrible idea; it's quite literally not worth it to slap a choice scarf on something like Conkeldurr to "patch up" it's terrible speed, as you lose the absolutely vital coverage that Conkeldurr needs to be effective, and for what? Out-speeding base 80s like Gallade? It's not a good choice, and you gain nothing from it. Why lock yourself into a common Fighting move for no reason? But a Choice Band? That's completely different. Conkeldurr boasts such a massive attack stat worth of OU wall-breaking, and additional 1.5 boost to its attack makes it absolutely lethal. This is where Choice locking is completely acceptable, as anything but dedicated physical tanks that resist Conkeldurr's move of choice will be dented severely. Of course, your team synergy should compliment Conkeldurr, and take into account the large amount of switching he'll likely need to accommodate the Choice Band.

That's an example of Scarf vs Band, and I think it's somewhat effective at least. Yes, it'll suck when you lock yourself into something that the opponent's switch is immune to, and yes, that'll happen from time to time. But proper team-building, and just knowing how to work around Choice locking, means it's without a doubt worth it in the long run.
Jun 22, 2014
I have used all three, and the sets I try with Choice items usually resemble those described in the OP. And all the items are useful, though I find without thinking it's easier for most people to slap on a Choice Scarf compared to Band or Specs, mostly because it's easier to tell when you're making your effective Speed unnecessarily high as opposed to Attack or Special Attack. If more defensive items like Eviolite, Assault Vest, and Focus Sash crop up and become more commonly used just because, would that make Band or Specs even more difficult or even impossible to use?
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Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
As others have stated, objectively yes they can very well be worth the while in the competitive scene. Put them on the right Pokemon with the right setup and they might sweep through the opponent's entire team.

Me personally, I haven't had much luck with them, besides slapping a Scarf on a HP-invested Imposter Ditto and screwing with people by doing anything they can do faster. I like to have more options to play with when in a match, and to me, sheer power or speed isn't as important as unpredictability. If I have a very specific goal in mind for a mon, like I really really really just need a fast sweeper, yeah I might give someone a Scarf or a Sash. But most times I like to use other items.

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