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#429 – Mismagius

#429 Mismagius

Japanese Nameムウマージ (Muumajii)

Type: Ghost

Classification: Magical Pokémon

Height: 2’11″

Weight: 9.7 lbs

Gender Ratios: Male 50% – Female 50%

Base Stats: HP 60 / Atk 60 / Def 60 / SpAtk 105 / SpDef 105 / Spd 105

Abilities: Levitate

Mismagius is a deceptively powerful force, especially in the UU tier where she really shines. With three immunities, very good Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed, and a varied movepool, Mismagius has the ability to wreak havoc against opponents. Mismagius is a very frail Pokemon in terms of physical defense, though, so even weaker physical attacks will hurt her very severely. Her base HP isn’t anything to write home about either. Still, with excellent support options and powerful offensive potential, she is a welcome addition to any team that needs her specific touch.

The biggest advantage that Mismagius has over most of her Ghost-type brethren is the combination of powerful Special offense, defense and speed. Very few Pokemon in UU have a chance to outrun Mismagius, and those that do have to contend with powerful Special defense and return fire from a strong Special offense, each stat at base 105. Physically, though, Mismagius has much to be desired. The rest of her stats are all base 60, so she will not survive many physical hits, nor will she do much of any damage with physical attacks. Instead, it is best to focus on making her as bulky, fast or hard-hitting in the realm of Special, rather than Physical, as you can.

Speaking of making her that way, meet two of Mismagius’ best friends: Calm Mind and Nasty Plot. Nasty Plot improves Mismagius’ Special Attack by two stages, making her attacks hit with terrifying power, where Calm Mind increases both Special Attack and Special Defense one stage, boosting her overall survivability along with her offensive presence, which is arguably better since her base HP of 60 leaves very little margin for error.

Mismagius has fairly decent offensive type coverage, with Thunderbolt, Psychic, Shadow Ball and Energy Ball being her standby offensive options. Her support options, though, are very interesting. Pain Split is a particularly effective option for self-healing, with her low base HP only helping her with that particular attack. Heal Bell helps dispel status conditions, something any team falls in love with. Mismagius also has the ability to use Wonder Room and Trick Room, two five-turn field effect attacks that either force each Pokemon to swap its defense and special defense or cause slower Pokemon to move first, which can be massively disruptive to an opponent. Magic Coat, Skill Swap and Trick are also some options to choose from. Overall, Mismagius can indeed do a lot of sheer damage, but she also has a niche in being a mischievous little trickster as well.

Mismagius’ best partners are those who can cover her weaknesses. Physically bulky Pokemon or physical walls can cover Mismagius’ crippling weakness to any physical hits, and Dual Screeners can help her with Reflect. Of particular note is Lucario, who resists many of the attacks that would be directed at Mismagius and can hit Dark types who would otherwise have nothing to fear from any Mismagius without Hidden Power Fighting. Mismagius will also cover bases for several other Pokemon who need her, such as Steelix. The nice thing about a pairing with a Pokemon like Steelix or other Earthquake Pokemon is that the Earthquake will miss Mismagius entirely. Just remember to pair her up with partners or define her role on a team in a solid manner and she will never fail to impress.

#369 ~ Relicanth

Relicanth artwork by Ken Sugimori#369 – Relicanth

Japanese Name: ジーランス (Jiransu)

Type: Water/Rock

Classification: Longevity Pokémon

Height: 3’03″

Weight: 51.6 lbs

Gender Ratios: Male 87.5% – Female 12.5%

Base Stats: HP 100 / Atk 90 / Def 130 / SpAtk 45 / SpDef 65 / Spd 55

Relicanth is an often overlooked Pokemon. It has weak Special Defense and is weak to several types of attacks, making it unattractive to a lot of trainers. But I stand as a testament to how unbelievably amazing Relicanth can be when placed on the proper team and given just a little support. Despite his bland appearance, Relicanth is far from a bland Pokemon!

Let’s take a look at Relicanth. Smogon sees him as being weak to common attacks from Grass, Electric, and Fighting. What they fail to note is that Relicanth is resistant to Normal, Fire, Ice, Poison, and Flying. It takes neutral damage from everything else. And with a base Defense of 130, Relicanth can pop out against a physical sweeper (save for a Fighting type sweeper) and soak up more damage than your opponent can possibly throw at it.

Relicanth has access to three abilities. Swift Swim, Rock Head, and via the Dream World, Sturdy. Relicanth is one of the few Pokemon who does not truly benefit from his Sturdy ability. His Dream World ability is rather inferior to his other abilities. Sure, Sturdy acts as a free Focus Sash and you can use him to set up Stealth Rocks, but there are honestly scores of Pokemon who set up entry hazards much better than him. Swift Swim makes this living fossil Pokemon an absolute terror in the Rain, though does leave him very vulnerable to the 100% accurate Thunder. Rock Head stops Relicanth from taking recoil damage from moves that result in recoil damage – Head Smash, for instance.

Relicanth has a lot of moves available to him, and it really depends on what you would like to do with this surprisingly versatile Pokemon. Let’s start off with those Defensive options. Relicanth makes a great tank, and he can become an even more potent damage-soaking force with a few moveslots. Yawn can force out a Pokemon who might pose a threat to Relicanth or put to sleep a foe who isn’t smart enough to switch out. Harden can increase his already impressive Defense, and if that slightly lacking Special Defense makes you nervous, Relicanth has access to Calm Mind! (Not to mention in a Sandstorm, Relicanth gets a Special Defense boost from being a Rock type anyway!) Not interested in the increase in Special Attack? Breed in Amnesia – a sharp increase in Special Defense for Relicanth for the mere price of an egg move! Give your Relicanth a Chesto Berry, and you can Rest/Chesto to great effect. Relicanth’s Defenses are high enough that you can predict accurately when you’ll need that Rest, and your opponents will likely throw in the towel rather than trying to whittle down your rocky fish again! Safeguard can also be a nice boon to him and to your team overall. Safeguard prevents Relicanth from getting burned, poisoned, paralyzed, or put to sleep!

Offensively, Relicanth has a lot going for him. With Rock Head, Take Down and Head Smash are open to him free of the penalties usually associated with it. That horrendous recoil damage is completely negated. Rock Polish can make Relicanth fast enough to make even some of his speedier threats. Relicanth has some other good physical attacking options available to him. Waterfall, Aqua Tail, Zen Headbutt, Rock Slide, Bulldoze, Stone Edge, and Earthquake give him very strong physical attacks to utilize that base 90 physical attack. If you go the Calm Mind route, he’s also got some interesting Special Attack options. Ancient Power, Hydro Pump, Hidden Power, Ice Beam, Blizzard, Scald, Surf, Muddy Water, Brine, and Earth Power give him some great ways to utilize that Special Attack boost.

And of course if you’re looking to spread around some status infliction, there’s always Toxic.

Held Items for Relicanth can vary greatly depending on your set or role. Leftovers are always great for HP recovery, and the Chesto Berry is vital if you plan to utilize Rest. The Choice Band can make Relicanth even more potent, as can the Life Orb. Any of these would make wonderful choices for Relicanth!

Wanna make your Relicanth more ridiculously terrifying? Throw him on a Baton Pass team. I’ve had unbelievably success with a Swords Dance / Speed Boost Ninjask baton passing to Relicanth. You can Baton Pass boosts for just about any stat to Relicanth and he can roll with them.

That being said, Relicanth is an amazing Pokemon who deserves your attention. So breed one up and prepare to watch your opponents shake in their boots after a single encounter with your craggy fish!

#235 – Smeargle

#235 Smeargle

Japanese Name: ドーブル (Doburu)

Type: Normal

Classification: Painter Pokémon

Height: 3’11″

Weight: 127.9 lbs

Gender Ratios: Male 50% – Female 50%

Base Stats: HP 55 / Atk 20 / Def 35 / SpAtk 2o / SpDef 45 / Spd 75

Abilities: Own Tempo / Technician / Moody (Hidden Ability)

Smeargle is by far the most versatile Pokemon ever. It learns only one move, Sketch, which allows it to copy and permanently use the move last used by the target for itself, which means that Smeargle has virtually unlimited capacity for movesets. However, this is counterbalanced severely with his stats, which are on the low end of the spectrum to say the least. Meager offenses make using attacks inadvisable, and weak defenses make taking a hit a gamble. What Smeargle does have going for him is speed, as he is the fastest user of the attack Spore, a 100% accuracy Sleep move that can take an opponent out of the game for a few turns. To this end, Smeargle finds a niche as a support Pokemon, more often than not carrying Spore, Baton Pass or Stealth Rock.

Smeargle’s movepool is his greatest friend, thanks to Sketch. Magic Coat alone can be nice for a laugh as the opponent has its entry hazards reflected back at it, and Shell Smash, Shift Gear, Swords Dance, Dragon Dance or Nasty Plot can be Baton Passed away to set up an ally for an ultimate Death Star run. Unfortunately, due to his weak offenses, Smeargle’s offensive potential is… sketchy… to say the least. Every offensive move he can learn someone else can use better, so it’s just better in general to simply relegate Smeargle to a support role. He doesn’t have the stats to last long, but Smeargle is the sort that can pull off a great deal of discord before he drops, making the early or mid game loss seem that much less intimidating.

#034 – Nidoking

#034 Nidoking

Japanese Name: ニドキング (Nidoking)

Type: Poison/Ground

Classification: Drill Pokémon

Height: 4’07″

Weight: 136.7 lbs

Gender Ratios: Male 100% – Female 0%

Base Stats: HP 81 / Atk 92 / Def 77 / SpAtk 85 / SpDef 75 / Spd 85

Abilities: Poison Point / Rivalry / Sheer Force (Hidden Ability)

Nidoking is quite possibly the easiest Pokemon in the entire game to use on a team, because he does so much to great effect. With an intense movepool sporting the likes of Ice Beam, Fire Blast, Earth Power, Earthquake, Megahorn, Sludge Bomb and B/W2 Move Tutor moves Superpower, Fire/Ice/Thunder Punch, Outrage and the highly-coveted Stealth Rock, Nidoking has absolutely no trouble at all bringing to the table what your team needs for offense or support. Nidoking only increased his already-infamous power in 5th Gen by gaining the Sheer Force Hidden Ability, arguably one of the best offensive abilities in the game, and making a Special Attack set just as viable for this monster as any Physical set. Nidoking’s power, though, is also his real drawback; while his offensive power is extremely well-balanced, his defenses are lacking, and his speed leaves him slower than many of his UU bretheren, to say nothing about OU, which makes him vulnerable to revenge killing or outright slaughter.

Nidoking’s stats leave him in a very strong position in the UU tier. Base 92 Attack and base 85 Special Attack leave little to be desired, especially when coupled with the Sheer Force ability, Life Orb, or both. His typing, Poison/Ground, affords him four weaknesses to Water, Ice, Ground and Psychic, but also leaves him with immunity to Electric and resistance to Fighting, Poison, Bug and Rock. Still, when it comes to defenses, Nidoking’s average stats tend to be his true weakness. A base HP of 81 isn’t bad, but base defenses of 77 and 75 are pretty low on average, which means Nidoking’s not going to be absorbing supereffective hits very well. The key thing to remember with Nidoking is to rely on his power to muscle down an opponent, rather than outlast him. Due to his base Speed of 85, Nidoking is often left vulnerable to setup-and-recover Pokemon who are faster than he is, and is left in extreme peril at the hands of faster, or bulkier, Psychic, Water or Ice types. To that end, being able to pick and choose the battles Nidoking enters is important.

When it comes to sheer variance of attacks, Nidoking is only truly matched by the likes of Mew. On the Physical side, Nidoking can bust out Earthquake, Megahorn, Sucker Punch, Beat Up, Head Smash, Rock Slide, Stone Edge and (via the B/W2 Move Tutor) Outrage, Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, Ice Punch, Superpower and Aqua Tail, giving him the ability to use attacks of 10 different types just on his Physical side. On his Special side, Nidoking can unleash Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Thunderbolt, Thunder, Surf, Earth Power, Ice Beam, Blizzard, Sludge Wave, Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb, Focus Blast and (via B/W2 Move Tutor) Dragon Pulse, giving him nine different attack type options on his Special Attack roster. The usefulness of either side of his movepool is debatable: Nidoking has a higher Attack stat and can rip opponents apart with his B/W move roster alone, nothing considered from how much more coverage his Physical side gets from the Move Tutor, but Sheer Force has more utility with his Special attacks, considering that most of them have a secondary effect that syncs well with the ability.

Support moves are few on Nidoking, but certainly have their uses in special circumstances. Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes are able to be had on Nidoking, but are arguably better used by Nidoking’s wife Nidoqueen. Nidoking can learn Amnesia, helping cure its weakness to a host of attacks that are more often Special in nature, but he is a bit too slow and a bit too fragile to use it effectively, especially without a reliable means of HP recovery. Hone Claws is also another interesting support move, which permits the more accurate use of moves like Thunder, Blizzard and Fire Blast, but Nidoking often isn’t fleet-footed enough to utilize the extra Attack and Accuracy effectively, and builds centered around those higher-damage, lower-accuracy attacks have a bad habit of being dependant on Hone Claws with Nidoking.

Partners for Nidoking should play off of Nidoking’s shortcomings, which are a specialized set in and of itself. Since most bulky Psychic types are often countering Nidoking quite easily, having a faster, hard-hitting Pokemon with a Dark type attack, or a Dark type itself, would never go amiss. Rotom forms are also very dangerous to Nidoking, as they can levitate their way out of danger from Nidoking’s Ground-type attacks and several have resistances to some or all of Nidoking’s attacks, so having a partner that can blast a Rotom out of the air can also help out. Those two points having been made, Pokemon like Mismagius and Togekiss are great partners to Nidoking. They’re tough, they’re relatively fast, and they can both bring options Nidoking benefits from. Need a Pokemon taken down a peg in Speed? Togekiss can take a hit and paralyze the opposition, striking fear into an opponent’s heart. If Psychic types are a problem, Mismagius can enter the field. While not immune to Psychic attack, Mismagius is fast and hard-hitting, and has a great natural special defense, which can let her take a hit on a switch and reply back with Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, or any other number of attacks.

When it comes to abilities, Sheer Force is really the best way to go. Poison Point depends on Nidoking taking physical contact damage, which most people won’t actually use on Nidoking when Psychic, Surf, Scald, Earthquake, Ice Beam and Earth Power can all do the job. Rivalry is slightly better, but is still a mixed blessing. Rivalry can increase the power of Nidoking’s attacks when presented with another male Pokemon to battle, which actually isn’t that uncommon, considering how many people run Pokemon with Egg Moves and like to keep male Pokemon around to continue passing the attacks along. But Rivalry can also backfire if your opponent is female, lowering Nidoking’s attack power, which is more likely to happen in the VG than on simulators. That aside, having Sheer Force to increase Nidoking’s attack power at the cost of an attack’s secondary effect is more than ample reason to take it, especially when you can guarentee yourself the attack boost anyway via careful move selection or the use of the Life Orb.

#087 ~ Dewgong

Dewgong artwork by Ken Sugimori#087 Dewgong

Japanese Name: ジュゴン (Jugong)

Type: Water/Ice

Classification: Sea Lion Pokémon

Height: 5’07″

Weight: 264.6 lbs

Gender Ratios: Male 50% – Female 50%

Base Stats: HP 90 / Atk 70 / Def 80 / SpAtk 70 / SpDef 95 / Spd 70

Dewgong is one of those Pokemon that I think people forget is actually a Pokemon. She is absolutely as “never-used” and NU Pokemon come, and perhaps many trainers would think that is for good reason. Her typing is not anything amazing and leaves her with several weaknesses. Her base stats are average at best and slightly hindering at worst. But with the right trainer and the right team, Dewgong can really shine. You just have to be willing to put a little extra time, effort, and strategy behind her.

Let’s take a look at what a lot of people consider to be Dewgong’s weaknesses, her base stats and her typing. With no base stats above 100, Dewgong doesn’t have a really solid role that jumps out to the forefront when planning a team. But with stats that don’t range away from one another too much, Dewgong has the ability to make an interesting all-around wall or even a choice-scarfed sweeper on the physical or special front. A special defense of 95 is really nothing to sneeze at, and Dewgong can make amazing use of her solid defenses thanks to her wonderful abilities, which we’ll look at in a second.

Dewgong’s second main weakness, to the large majority of Pokemon trainers, is just that – her weaknesses. She takes double damage from Electric, Grass, Fighting, and Rock. This makes her a Pokemon you don’t want to send out into Stealth Rocks (which run rampant on every tier) as well as one you wouldn’t want to leave standing out against any Electric Pokemon, as nearly every Pokemon of the Electric type will outpace this snowy white sea lion. Fighting and Grass are also going to cause Dewgong a substantial number of problems.

These issues that face Dewgong are not by any means insurmountable. Let’s take a look at Dewgong’s three abilities: Hydration, Thick Fat, and Ice Body. Thick Fat is an ability best left on the wayside. Dewgong doesn’t take double damage from Fire or Ice as it is, and Hydration and Ice Body are really what make Dewgong an amazing addition to a team. On a Rain Dance team (because let’s face it, Dewgong isn’t going to be competing on an OU team with a Drizzle Politoed, no matter how much I might want to put her up there), Dewgong gains the ability to use nearly limitless Rest as well as being able to pop in on foes that you believe will attempt to Wil-O-Wisp or Spore another of your teammates. Whereas Ice Body gives Dewgong some healing ability on a Hail team. Each of these abilities can be complimented by the Leftovers, but each ability can also essentially take the place of Leftovers, giving you more flexibility and opportunity for creativity with your item choices. On a Hail Team, the slow HP regeneration on the field might let you experiment with a Choice Scarf set, particularly on the NU tier. Alternatively, making surprising use of an elemental Gem could throw your opponent for a loop.

Dewgong’s movepool is just expansive enough to make it interesting. With equal opportunity to hit as a physical attacker or a special attacker, your foe will find it difficult to predict what you’ll be carrying. The first thing I want to mention is the fact that Dewgong can learn Ice Shard, a priority Ice move (which is STAB for Dewgong). This helps Dewgong face down Grass types that she would otherwise be weak to. On top of that, Dewgong can learn Encore, which can be used as a pivot to stop a foe’s stalling Pokemon or a Pokemon you fear is about to start setting up on you (such as the Dragon Dance Crawdaunt). Dewgong has several other damaging move options, including Signal Beam, Aqua Jet, Brine, Aqua Tail, Ice Beam, Hidden Power, Blizzard, Surf, and Waterfall through level-up or TM/HM. In that same vein, level-up and TMs give Dewgong some interesting support options as well. On a Hail Team, Safeguard could help to prevent a foe from burning Dewgong in an effort to mitigate the HP regeneration from the hail. The aforementioned Rest and Encore are also wonderful options, as well as things like Aqua Ring, Toxic, and Protect.  Egg moves for Dewgong can be rather interesting as well, including everything from Lick to Horn Drill, Perish Song, Horn Drill, Fake Out, Water Pulse, Iron Tail, Stockpile, Spit Up, and Swallow.

With these options available, on lower-tiered weather teams, Dewgong really can shine. One just has to be willing to look past her rather lackluster stats and see the potential this lovely sea mammal has to offer!

#151 ~ Mew

Mew artwork by Ken Sugimori#151 – Mew

Japanese Name: ミュウ (Myuu)

Type: Psychic

Classification: New Species Pokémon

Height: 1’04″

Weight: 8.8 lbs

Gender Ratios: Mew is Genderless

Base Stats: HP 100 / Atk 100 / Def 100 / SpAtk 100 / SpDef 100 / Spd 100

Mew is a very strange Pokemon on the competitive front. Considered an OU Pokemon by Smogon and a UU Pokemon by Pokemon Online, everyone involved can at least agree that Mew’s versatility is limitless. With the ability to learn every HM, TM, and Move Tutor move in the game and decent stats across the board, Mew has literally limitless builds. I’m going to do my best in the following post to detail out a few archetypal Mew builds as well as providing some insight on unique builds that will hopefully inspire you to go about creating your very own New Species Pokemon.

Let’s start with a Support Role Mew. This build for Mew allows the Pokemon to take advantage of its typing as well as working to cripple your opponent’s team. Mew has several very exciting options for a Support role, and since none of them are Egg moves, they can be used in any combination. Rock Polish, Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, Barrier, Amnesia, Hone Claws, Calm Mind, Bulk-Up, Work Up, and Iron Defense give Mew the ability to boost up itself in any stat or combination of stats that can then subsequently be Baton Passed off to your other party members. This boost in stats can turn a natural wall into a powerful sweeper or turn a frail sweeper into a powerhouse with unbelievable staying power. With a set revolving around these moves, Mew provides an amazing pivot for your team. As such, pumping its defenses and HP is going to give Mew the staying power it needs to build up enough boosts to make the set worthwhile.

Mew can also fill a Cleric role. It can set up both Reflect and Light Screen to give the rest of the team a bit of staying power. It also has access to Heal Bell to remove any status conditions afflicting teammates. Alternatively, it can use Safeguard to prevent new status conditions from occurring. This role can also be supplemented with one of three HP restoration moves – Roost, Synthesis, and Soft-Boiled.

Mew also has the ability to act as a grief Pokemon. It can break walls, cripple enemy sweepers, and wreak absolute havoc on a team. In this role, Mew can make amazing use of status condition moves like Wil-O-Wisp, Toxic, and Thunderwave. Mew can also make amazing use of moves like Taunt to shut down stalling walls. Other options to wreak havoc on your foes include Reflect Type, Roar, Telekinesis (which could be especially effective in Doubles battles), Torment, Facade, Thief, Fling, Quash, Embargo, Swagger, Snarl, Block, Covet, Gastro Acid, Pain Split, Skill Swap, Spite, Trick, and Worry Seed.

Another very interesting thing Mew can do is set up a very specialized team. Mew has access to Gravity, Trick Room, Wonder Room, Tailwind, Magic Room, and Magic Coat.

Mew also has amazingly diverse options for damaging moves. Psychic and Aura Sphere are two of Mew’s most iconic damaging moves, but that is only the surface of what this powerful Pokemon has to offer. Dragon Claw, Psyshock, Venoshock, Ice Beam, Blizard, Solarbeam, Thunderbolt, Thunder, Earthquake, Shadow Ball, Brick Break, Sludge Wave, Sludge Bomb, Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Overheat, Focus Blast, Energy Ball, Charge Beam, Acrobatics, Explosion, Shadow Claw, Payback, Stone Edge, Volt Switch, Rock Slide, X-Scissor, Dragon Tail, Poison Jab, Grass Knot, U-Turn, Flash Cannon, Wild Charge, Surf, Waterfall, Aqua Tail, Bounce, Dark Pulse, Dragon Pulse, Drain Punch, Drill Run, Dual Chop, Earth Power, Electro Web, Fire Punch, Foul Play, Giga Drain, Gunk Shot, Heat Wave, Hyper Voice, Ice Punch, Iron Tail, Outrage, Seed Bomb, Signal Beam, Sky Attack, Super Power, Thunderpunch, and Zen Headbutt are all damaging moves that Mew can make use of. With that many options, there is absolutely no way that your foe will be able to accurately predict you. This also gives Mew a unique edge in being able to effectively counter any Pokemon who may come into the battlefield to threaten it.

Because Mew’s role is so diverse, choosing an EV spread that will suit its role is vital. If you’re going with a sweeper, you need to make sure you tailor the moveset so that Speed and either Attack or Special Attack become the main focus of your EV training plan. A Mew meant to act as a Cleric, Supporter, or Griefer needs to have a different EV plan. Those roles are better supported by a boost to Defenses and HP. You’re going to want to do a lot of research when EV training your Mew because with base stats of 100 across the board, it can be difficult to push Mew into the levels of other Pokemon who could fill similar roles.

Mew’s major draw is its diversity and unpredictability on the battlefield. This Pokemon has so many options available to it, that a foe may begin to play much more conservatively just to try and figure out what you have going on. Give Mew a lot of thought when planning your next team and be sure to choose a role for it that will make effective use of its diverse movepool as well as providing your team with an amazing boost.

(Disclaimer: Mew is my favorite Pokemon of all time. I believe that every team needs a Mew. Even if it is a Legendary.)

#196 ~ Espeon

Espeon artwork by Ken Sugimori#196 – Espeon

Japanese Name: エーフィ (Eifi)

Type: Psychic

Classification: Sun Pokémon

Height: 2’11″

Weight: 58.4 lbs

Gender Ratios: Male 87.5% – Female 12.5%

Base Stats: HP 65 / Atk 65 / Def 60 / SpAtk 130 / SpDef 95 / Spd 110

Espeon is one of the three Eeveelutions to continue earning her place in the OU tiers. This Pokemon has some serious ability to work as a flexible member of your team, despite her very limited movepool. With true ability to function as a wall, a cleric, or a sweeper in her own right, the lovely lilac Espeon is one Pokemon I am constantly surprised by when I include her in my roster.

Let’s take a look at those stats. On the physical side, Espeon is very frail. She genuinely has some flaws as far as physical attack and defense are concerned. But on the special side, Espeon is a monster and has the speed to back it up. While she is far from the fastest Pokemon in the game, she certainly outpaces a large number of foes. With a huge amount of special bulk and the hitting power to make amazing use of her admittedly limited movepool, Espeon has some interesting options.

Espeon’s movepool is, as I’ve said, pretty small. She doesn’t have a lot of tools at her disposal, but the tools that she does have give her the ability to fill several well-defined roles on a team. It’s most powerful damaging options are STAB Psychic and Psyshock, but this can become a major problem for Espeon with the myriad of Dark type Pokemon now cluttering the OU tier. Because of that, it might not be a bad idea to include a good Hidden Power on your set. Hidden Power Fire and Fighting are the two most coveted options for Espeon, but anything with significant power and that will hit foes for at least neutral damage is a better option than leaving yourself completely toothless against Scrafty or Scizor. Espeon can also learn Shadow Ball and Grass Knot through TM as options other than the often frustrating Hidden Power. The Black and White 2 Move Tutor also gives Espeon an interesting option through the use of Signal Beam.

Non-damaging moves are really what are going to define Espeon’s role on your team. Wish is one of the biggest tools in Espeon’s arsenal, and being one of the few Eeveelutions with the bulk to really make Wish-passing viable, it would be an oversight to not even consider adding this to Espeon’s set. Wish can either allow Espeon to begin to work as a strong wall, healing away damage she has taken herself. Wish can alternatively allow her to work as a Cleric, popping in with enough bulk to soak a hit and then pulling away to give a nice refresh to a teammate who would otherwise be on the brink of fainting. Espeon has the ability to become an even more potent Cleric with the introduction of the Move Tutor in Black and White 2. Espeon will now have access to the amazing move Heal Bell, allowing her to pop in and not only be able to heal away damage with Wish but now also heal away status conditions afflicting your other party members. \

Espeon has the ability to work as a very competent wall as well. Calm Mind is another staple in many movesets for Espeon, which give her more hitting power and more staying power by significantly boosting her already strong Special Attack and Special Defense. This boost can, depending on how brave you want to be, boost an already fully EV invested stat or could alternatively be used to boost up Special Defense if you have chosen to pump 252 EVs into Defense to give the Sun Pokemon more staying power on the physical side.

Espeon’s other main role that is determined by non-damaging moves is that of a Dual-Screener. With the Light Clay held to extend the duration of these moves, Espeon can support other more frail teammates by providing them with a reduction in damage from both physical and special attack. Popping out on a Special attacker gives Espeon the time to get both screens up which can allow your team to wreak more havoc with less fear.

Each of these builds is viable for Espeon, which makes her extremely versatile despite her limited movepool. Held Items are going to vary widely depending on what set you’re running. Leftovers are always great if you plan to have her on the battlefield for long periods of time. A Fighting or Fire gem can give her Hidden Power a little more punch if you are worried about being forced off the field by Scizor, Scrafty, or any other Dark or Bug type Pokemon. The Light Clay is absolutely necessary for a Dual-Screening set. An argument could also be made for the Choice Specs if you’re running a sweeping set.

As far as abilities are concerned, I would almost always suggest going Magic Bounce over Synchronize. Magic Bounce is Espeon’s DreamWorld ability, and giving her the ability to pop out on a known Leech Seeder or an incoming set of Stealth Rocks, Toxic Spikes, or Spikes can rapidly turn the tides of battle in your favor. Magic Bounce also reflects all moves that affect status, everything from Toxic to Yawn to Thunder Wave. It also reflects moves like Swagger and Attract, not to mention Worry Seed and Mean Look. Magic Bounce, in my opinion, is going to be superior to Synchronize 95% of the time.

Natures are really going to depend on the set you are running for Espeon and the role you want her to fill. I have seen everything from Defense positive natures to Speed positive natures to Special Attack positive natures, though every time, Espeon benefits from an Attack negative nature. Espeon has no use for Physical Attack, so choosing a nature that detracts from that particularly worthless stat for her is ideal.

As I hope you can now see, Espeon has a lot of potential on the OU tier, even moreso than a lot of trainers give her credit for. She can run interesting sets even with her limited movepool and do surprising things that break from the normal Dual-Screener or Calm-Minder. She is a flexible teammate who can flesh out several roles on many teams, and she certainly deserves consideration for your next team!

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