Rabsca is a Bug/Psychic type Pokemon that evolves from the mono-Bug type dung beetle Rellor. While many Pokemon fans agree we probably didn’t need a dung beetle Pokemon, the fact that it evolves into a halfway decent Bug/Psychic type at least makes up for this inclusion. Having to walk 1,000 steps with Rellor and level it up to evolve it is tedious, and sometimes it doesn’t seem to work correctly, but it’s well worth the investment.
Thing is, we just had a Bug/Psychic type in Sword and Shield with Orbeetle, which never really found much of a competitive niche. It seemed to be a decent Pokemon on paper, but it had difficulty being anything but a low tier Sticky Web and screen setter because of its typing being very bad defensively. But, is Rabsca a better Pokemon than Orbeetle?
The good news is that Rabsca enjoys a Base Stat Total (BST) of 470, which is in the realm of competitive viability. Unfortunately, it lags behind Orbeetle in that respect, who has 505. Fortunately for our scarab friend, base stat totals are not everything; it’s their distribution that really matters. Still, to say you’re on the power level of Dodrio, Torkoal, and Xatu is nothing to ashamed of at all. (Actually, I was surprised Torkoal was that low in BST, too.)
Because Orbeetle and Rabsca are the only Bug/Psychic dual type Pokemon in history, it makes sense to pit them directly against one another. So, here are their base stats on top of one another.
Orbeetle: 60 HP, 45 ATK, 110 DEF, 80 Special ATK, 120 Special DEF, 90 Speed
Rabsca: 75 HP, 50 ATK, 85 DEF, 115 Special ATK, 100 Special DEF, 45 Speed
You don’t have to be a math expert to see that while Orbeetle has some nice defensive numbers, it doesn’t really have the HP to tank many hits. Also, while not slow, Orbeetle doesn’t outspeed most things that threaten it, and it also doesn’t hit hard enough to be worth investing in any of its decent offensive moves. This is why at best Orbeetle could set Reflect, Light Screen, or Sticky Web, then U-Turn the hell out of Dodge.
As the much more bulky Scarab beetle, Rabsca is pretty darn slow, but that’s OK. It can actually take a neutral hit with its decent defenses and 115 Special Attack is enough to use something like Bug Buzz or Psychic. The only issue I see with Rabsca is its typing; Bug/Psychic is weak to Bug, Dark, Fire, Flying, Ghost, and Rock moves, only resisting Fighting, Ground, Grass, and Psychic moves.
All this being said, Rabsca is actually better than Orbeetle as an offensive presence. Sure, it’s slow, but it can also set Trick Room for slower teams. This seems to be how most people are using it in VGC Series 1 thus far. It also helps that Rabsca, like Pawmot, learns the move Revival Blessing. This move literally revives a fallen Pokemon in your party. While this move has only one Power Point (PP), you can put on a Leppa Berry to use it twice. Strange oversight by Game Freak, but there you go.
While it’s not that slow, it could exist on teams without Trick Room, too, especially because it has that Revival Blessing perk. Also, you can just pick your spots when to actually bring it out on the Battle Stadium; thanks to Team Preview, you can tell which potential Pokemon you still have to worry about. In 6v6, though, it’s best to just let it stay on Trick Room teams where it’s most effective.
If Rabsca isn’t going to take a super-effective hit, you’re probably good to bring it in and clean up, especially with Trick Room active. More likely, you’re going to use Rabsca as a pivot that can also hit back. If you’re willing to drop Revival Blessing, you could perhaps giving it Choice Specs, since most times you’re only using one of its two big attacks or Dazzling Gleam, which it also learns. Even though Choice Specs does lock your Pokemon into a single move with the benefit of 50 percent more Special Attack, you can always just switch out if you get into a bad matchup.
Unfortunately, I don’t think Rabsca is going to last in higher tiers of competitive Pokemon outside of Battle Stadium in the late Fall and Winter season of Scarlet and Violet. Even just a week into the ladder being played, its usage rate is hovering around 1 percent according to Pikalytics. Still, at least this dung beetle that many players weren’t thrilled to see in the game is viable in competitive ladder play. It’s not a Pokemon I plan to lean on very much, but against the Grass and Psychic Gyms and the Fighting Team Star base, plus the Ground-type Titan, Rabsca is a good Pokemon to have in your possession, for sure.
What do you think of Rabsca as a competitive Pokemon?