Darkest Lariat is a move where Incineroar rapidly performing a series of discus lariats. Its early hit is powerful - even being a KO option with or without Revenge - but weakens over time with its gradually changing hitboxes. Due to the way the hitboxes work, however, the move will always poke or break shields unless the opponent perfect shields or dodges the last hit. As a result, the move is relatively safe to use as a shield pressure tool. It can also be used after hitting shield with an aerial to guard against slow out of shield options.
It can trample throughout its duration, beating out many moves and thus making it a prime defensive option. It comes out on frame 5, with invincibility on Incineroar's whole body from frames 5-6, but only if used on the ground. After this, the head and arms become invincible for a frame, before it remains on the arms until frame 57, allowing it to completely negate weak projectiles and out-prioritize attacks without sufficient reach. However, while it is strong as a defensive option, the committal nature makes it extremely punishable against a prepared opponent. It is also vulnerable to moves with armor or disjoints.
While using it, Incineroar can also move along the ground, albeit slowly, similarly to the grounded versions of Spinning Kong and Mach Tornado. Additionally, it can slow Incineroar's air speed while being able to move as well, making it a niche recovery option. It can also be used when running off the ledge as an edgeguarding option against poor recoveries.
Darkest Lariat is a Dark-type move introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon, and was Incineroar's signature move; in Pokémon Sword and Shield, this move was made available to more Pokémon via TR93. It has 85 base power, ignores all changes to the opponent's Defense and Evasion stats, and can be upgraded into the Z-Move Malicious Moonsault while Incineroar holds Incinium Z.
Darkest Lariat's properties bear a major resemblance to—and are likely directly inspired by—the Double Lariat, an attack originated by Mike Haggar from the Final Fight series. However, the move has been adopted and is arguably more commonly associated with Zangief from the Street Fighter series. When explaining the move, Masahiro Sakurai compared Incineroar to a "Red Cyclone", which is a reference to Zangief's nickname.
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