Competitive Pokemon – Alakazam

Alakazam was always a fan favorite even way back in the days of Red and Blue. This Pokemon had fallen out of favor until recently due to its frailty, but the Dream World ability that Alakazam received puts it right back on top. Thanks to a monster Special Attack and Speed stat, Alakazam always has the ability to threaten opponents. But Magic Guard makes him incredibly hard to counter as this ability prevents him from taking any passive damage. So weather effects, statuses, and even entry hazards do not scare Alakazam. Check out Alakazam if you need a faster offensive Psychic type, as opposed to Reuniclus.

 

original alakazam holo pokemon cardThe New Kazam

Alakazam @ Life Orb / Focus Sash

Nature: Timid

Trait: Magic Guard

4 HP / 252 Sp Atk / 252 Speed

- Psyshock

- Focus Blast

- Shadow Ball

- Hidden Power (Ice / Fire)

Here it is, the glory that is Alakazam’s move set in competitive Pokemon. Thanks to the new addition of Magic Guard, Alakazam has just the right mix of offense and damage prevention to bring down many opponents. Psyshock is the best use of Alakazam’t STAB as it will always beat Terrakion which Psychic fails to do under a sand storm. Focus Blast and Shadow Ball provide great supplementary coverage as we all know thanks to Reuniclus’ Trick Room set. Whether you want to kill Steels of Dragons is what your last move slot comes down to. Hidden Power (Fire) destroys Ferrothorn, Scizor, and Forretress, while Ice is great to hit just about every one of those threatening Dragon Pokemon. Whether you want to revenge kill or hit harder will determine your item choice. Focus Sash lets you take any hit as long as you are at full health. You will live with 1 HP and continue to decimate your opponent. But a Life Orb gives no recoil thanks to Magic Guard making this an attractive choice as well. Standard sweeper EV’s and a Timid nature let Alakazam get the jump on Pokemon like Choice Scarf Tyranitar and Terrakion which will both fall to Alakazam, pending an opposing Terrakion Quick Attack on the Life Orb set! Don’t underestimate Alakazam as he is again a top tier threat that can wreak havoc on many teams whether they are prepared for him or not.

 

Competitive Pokemon – Walrein

Walrein has been a staple on hail teams ever since the release of Abomasnow in generation 4. Thanks to his awesome bulk and Ice Body ability, there are few things that can break through this stalwart Pokemon. He also has an often overlooked Special Attack stat letting it hit opponents harder than expected. While it has the problem of being an Ice type Pokemon, this is a small price to pay for for extra recovery and 100% accurate STAB Blizzards in the hail. Even though hail is often considered an inferior play style, one must watch out for the prominent threats of these teams including Walrein, Froslass, and the devastatingly powerful Kyurem.

competitive pokemon walrein hail stall

Stallrein

Walrein @ Leftovers

Nature: Bold

Trait: Ice Body

220 HP / 244 Def / 46 Sp Def

- Substitute

- Protect

- Roar

- Blizzard / Scald / Ice Beam

Here is the famous Stallrein in all of his glory. While these EV’s might seem strange, they actually let you hit a special number which lets you recover exactly one quarter of the health lost from Substitute through both Leftovers and Ice Body while Substitute only takes a quarter of your entire health. This set is so deadly when used correctly because there is often little to nothing your opponent can do about it. If you correctly use Substitute when your opponent switches out, Walrein will have already recovered half of the lost health once the opponent switches in. You can then proceed to either attack or use Protect to get yourself back up to full health. With a PP Max or three PP Up’s Protect can have a whopping 16 PP meaning you can stall easily for an incredible 32 turns. This is unheard of in Pokemon and can cause a lot of rage quite if abused. Roar lets you switch out unfavorable Pokemon on your opponent’s side and racks up damage from entry hazards. Finally, Walrein enjoys firing off the super Blizzards granted by the hail. While Scald and Ice Beam are also options thanks to being STAB moves, the sheer power and effectiveness of Blizzard is what makes it worth using. Underestimate hail teams at your own peril as this icy Walrus will often be waiting in the ranks.

Competitive Pokemon – Sceptile

Having recently reviewed the other two starters from the third generation, it is about time that we took a look at the Grass starter from this generation, Sceptile. Sceptile is incredibly fast and has a high Special Attack stat to boot meaning it can use an offensive set to rip holes in opposing teams. Even though Grass does not have very good coverage, Sceptile can make up for this with access to Hidden Power and the powerful Focus Blast to hit Pokemon who dare to switch in to the lizard. As long as you play to Sceptile’s strengths, you will have no problem fitting him on your competitive Pokemon team.

competitive pokemon sceptile

Special Sceptile

Sceptile @ Life Orb

Trait: Overgrow

Nature: Timid / Hasty

4 HP / 252 Sp Atk / 252 Speed

- Leaf Storm

- Focus Blast / Earthquake

- Hidden Power (Ice / Fire)

- Dragon Pulse

If you come across Sceptile in a competitive Pokemon battle, it will likely run a set similar to this. Leaf Storm is the crux of this set as it hits hard and pairs well with you coverage moves. But choose when to use it carefully as the Special Attack drop will force you out. Standard sweeper EV’s and a Timid nature are used to make Sceptile as fast as possible. You can choose to run Earthquake on this set in exchange for using a Hasty nature, but this is not recommended as it detracts from Sceptile’s already lackluster Defense stat. Focus Blast is your main coverage option that hits many things for super effective damage. While Hidden Power (Ice) is most useful, Hidden Power (Fire) pairs better with Earthquake letting you take out Pokemon like Scizor and Ferrothorn. Dragon Pulse rounds out the set, but you could easily use another move in this last slot. Synthesis and Giga Drain let you recover lost HP from Life Orb recoil while Substitute eases your prediction and can be used to put Sceptile into Overgrow range for more powerful Leaf Storms. Even though you may not see him all that often, Sceptile is still a legitimate threat that can run a large number of sets apart from this one making him one versatile lizard Pokemon.

Competitive Pokemon – Slowbro

Thanks to his enormous bulk and access to a reliable recovery move, Slowbro is one of the premier walls in Black and White OU and certainly one of the best contenders for a bulky Water type Pokemon that fits well onto many teams. Slowbro’s secondary typing is Psychic and thanks to its decent Special Attack stat of 100, it can dish out the damage after taking a hit. Slowbro can also recover his health thanks to his Regenerator ability gained through the Dream World. This means Slowbro gains one third of his HP each time he switches out! His stats, ability, and move pool help to make him a great Water type in OU.

slowbro water psychic hippo pokemon

The Bulkiest Bro

Trait: Regenerator

Nature: Bold, Relaxed

252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Sp Def

- Scald

- Psychic

- Slack Off

- Toxic

Slowbro excels at taking hits and healing the damage off while also spreading status around your foe’s team. Max Defense is preferred with either a Bold or Jolly nature, (Slowbro doesn’t use either his Speed or Attack stat,) which lets Slowbro take on many foes on the physical side. Scald has a chance to burn the opponent while Toxic is great for damaging opposing bulky Water Pokemon who may try to switch in on you. Psychic gets STAB and is great for dealing with the many Fighting types that we see today in OU. But Slowbro does not excel as much at attacking as he does at defending! With 95 base HP and 110 base Defense, Slowbro can tank hits all day while using Slack Off to heal off what it fears. Regenerator heals for almost as much and is great because all you have to do in order to activate it is switch Slowbro out. Thanks to his semi unique typing shared with the Starmie line, Slowbro never has trouble finding his way into the ranks of many teams. All in all, Slowbro is a great Pokemon and should always be looked at when trying to fill the role of “Bulky Water” on your competitive Pokemon team.

Competitive Pokemon – Blaziken

Blaziken is a starter Pokemon from the Hoenn region. This Pokemon received a rare gift in its Dream World ability Speed Boost, which boosts its Speed by one stage at the end of every turn! Thanks to this powerful ability and Blaziken’s impressive stats, he has been restricted to the Uber tiers in many methods of online play. But you can still use a Blaziken of your very own in game where you can use Random Matchup to fight many different opponents. Blaziken has a great Fire / Fighting typing that lets it punch holes in a lot of both the OU and Uber tiers.

blaziken blaze chicken pokemon

Boostiken

Blaziken @ Life Orb

Trait: Speed Boost

Nature: Jolly

4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Speed

- Flare Blitz

- Hi Jump Kick

- Protect

- Swords Dance

 

This set lets Blaziken destroy many teams thanks to its incredible power. Attack and Speed are the key stats here and they are Blaziken’s best ones. Don’t overestimate this Pokemon’s defenses though as they are not very good, especially by Ubers standards. A Jolly nature lets you get the jump on many of the middle of the road Speed Pokemon in the tier. Flare Blitz is ridiculously strong, but the recoil is noticeable with Life Orb. You can use Leftovers on Blaziken instead, but it is not recommended as the power lost from Life Orb is significant. Protect always lets you get one free boost, and can sometimes get you two on desperation plays if you save him as you clean up sweeper. But if Blaziken can predict an opponent switching out correctly, it can score a free Swords Dance and Speed Boost boost! This will put it at plus 2 Attack and plus 1 Speed which eliminates just about all of its potential counters. Hi Jump Kick provides supplementary STAB and has incredible base power. But beware of this move’s not so perfect accuracy and the large amount or recoil damage that Blaziken will take if he happens to miss with it.

 

Competitive Pokemon – Heatran

Heatran was one of the most talked about Pokemon as soon as the types and abilities of the fourth generation Pokemon were revealed. He has indeed delivered in the competitive Pokemon department. Heatran is easily the best Fire type in the OU tier and he is a prime candidate for one of the best Steel types as well. With great base stats, a unique Steel / Fire typing, and a Fire type immunity through his Flash Fire ability, Heatran is an anti metagame force to be reckoned with. While sun teams suit Heatran particularly well, he can perform his role adequately in any weather showing just how versatile this Pokemon can be.

fire steel type pokemon heatran

Oh Shit! It’s Dr. Tran!

Heatran @ Leftovers

Trait: Flash Fire

Nature: Calm

248 HP / 252 Sp Def / 8 Speed

- Lava Plume / Fire Blast

- Protect

- Stealth Rock / Roar

- Toxic / Will-O-Wisp

Heatran has a number of possible sets, but this is arguably his most effective one. Great defensive typing allows this Pokemon to take on a myriad of threats and still do massive amounts of damage even with an uninvested base Special Attack stat of 130. The EV’s maximize Heatran’s Special Defense with an odd HP stat in order to minimize Stealth Rock damage. A Calm nature lowers his unused Attack and boosts his Special Defense to incredible levels. While Lava Plume is usually better as it has a high chance to burn the opponent, Fire Blast is useful on sun teams or any other team that prefers the extra power. Protect is needed to get Heatran some free Leftovers recovery and to scout opponent’s moves. As he forces a lot of switches, Heatran is a great Stealth Rock user. But one can opt for Roar if another team mate is taking care of Stealth Rock. Finally, Toxic lets Heatran ruin things he would otherwise have trouble with. But Will-O-Wisp can be useful if you elect to use Fire Blast over Lava Plume. Every competitive Pokemon team needs to be prepared for the versatile threat that is Heatran.

 

Competitive Pokemon – Swampert

Swampert was a favorite upon his release in the third generation as well as in the DPP era. Sadly, this Pokemon has fallen out of favor due to the inevitable power creep that takes place every couple of generations. While Swampert no longer excels at his once prominent defensive role, he can still adequately perform the role of a hard hitting tank, especially on rain teams. With access to powerful moves like Waterfall boosted by the rain and Earthquake, Choice Band Swampert is no Pokemon to underestimate this generation. Swampert certainly isn’t as popular as he once was, but don’t let that deter you from fitting this Pokemon on your team.

competitive pokemon swampert

Master Pert

Swampert @ Choice Band

Trait: Torrent

Nature: Adamant

172 HP / 252 Atk / 84 Speed

- Waterfall

- Earthquake

- Superpower

- Ice Punch / Stone Edge

If you see Swampert in the OU tier this generation, this is the most likely set it will be running. Waterfall and Earthquake are mandatory as Swampert gets STAB on them and both have high base power. Part of the reason that this Pokemon fell out of favor is the success of the new Grass type Pokemon: Ferrothorn. As Swampert has a quadruple weakness to Grass attacks being a Water / Ground type, Ferrothorn forces him to switch out a lot. This is where Superpower comes in as you can nail your number one nemesis with it on a predicted switch. Ice Punch is usually the superior choice in the last slot, but Stone Edge has the benefit of hitting Gyarados for super effective. While the EV’s may seem strange, they simply let Swampert hit a speed benchmark. This amount of speed lets him outrun minimum speed Skarmory. But if this Pokemon isn’t much of a problem for your team, you can easily just dump all those Speed EV’s into HP. Finally a Choice Band, Adamant nature, and max Attack EV’s make the fully grown mud fish hit HARD. Though he may be different from last generation, any competent team builder will want to keep Swampert in mind.

Competitive Pokemon – Garchomp

Garchomp is one of the most feared Pokemon in the entire metagame. With STAB on two of the most powerful physical attacks in the game in Outrage and Earthquake, he can deal massive amounts of damage to anyone crazy enough to switch in. As if that weren’t enough, this dragon also has pretty good defenses ensuring that he can take a hit or two before going down. All in all, Garchomp is an amazing Pokemon and should never be underestimated by any team.

garchomp fan art pokemon

Scarf Chomp

Garchomp @ Choice Scarf

Nature: Jolly

Trait: Rough Skin

4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Speed

- Outrage

- Dragon Claw

- Earthquake

- Stone Edge

This is your bread and butter set for any Garchomp. As some of you may know, Garchomp was voted an Uber Pokemon until just recently. With evasion abilities being banned altogether in OU, it was again time to take a look at the amazing sand shark Pokemon. With the Rough Skin ability, Garchomp is perfectly usable in OU these days. A Jolly nature and an amazing base 102 speed with a Choice Scarf let Scarf Chomp get the jump on just about everything in the game except for faster Choice Scarf users. Standard attacker EV’s maximize this beast’s damage as well. While Outrage hits much harder, you do not want to be locked into such a move when your opponent has Pokemon that wall Garchomp still remaining. These are times in which Dragon Claw is useful. Earthquake provides great supplementary coverage and STAB while Stone Edge can hit Flying, Ice, and Bug Pokemon for more damage. Choice Scarf Garchomp is a powerful force in today’s OU metagame and can be seen on many teams.

Type of the Day – Dragon

Today, we finally come to the most popular type of all in OU Pokemon: the Dragon type! Pokemon of this type are usually incredibly powerful thanks to their high base stats. In fact, the majority of the strongest Pokemon in the OU tier are of the Dragon type. This is partly due to the great coverage provided by Dragon attacks. If you are looking for a Pokemon that can rip through your opponent’s teams without support, then look to the many Dragon types of OU.

pokemon dpp legendary dragons

Dragon as an Offensive Type

garchomp ground dragon typeIt is for its offensive prowess that the Dragon typing is so well known. High base power moves like Draco Meteor and Outrage help these Pokemon break through walls that would give trouble to most others. Only one type resists Dragon in the entire game, and that type is Steel. This is why both Dragon and Steel type Pokemon are probably the two most used types in OU. In addition to this, Dragon is also super effective against Dragon type Pokemon. This means that you have to be careful of opponent’s Dragons when using your own. As it is the game’s most popular type, it is no wonder that the Dragon type is the offensive monster that it is. Just about any offensive team will appreciate the amazing power provided by many of OU’s Dragon Pokemon.

Dragon as a Defensive Type

Defensively, Dragon does not shine quite as much. It is weak to both Dragon and Ice type attacks so these Pokemon are by no means invincible. However, they do have quite a number of useful resistances which lets them switch in often. Dragon Pokemon resist Fire, Water, Electric, and Grass type attacks making them a great switch in to many common attacks. One of the banes of the Dragon type is that it is often paired with Flying. This gives it a quadruple weakness to Ice attacks, a new weakness to Rock attacks, and also removes its useful Electric resistance. Even with their less than stellar defensive capabilities, you still see Dragon types on many teams. This is because of the sheer offensive power that Dragons bring to the table making them some of the most popular Pokemon in the entire tier.

Fitting a Dragon Type on Your Team

powerful dragon type haxorus pokemonIf you want a Pokemon that can rip opposing teams apart with its power, then the Dragon types are for you. Dragon is the only type in the game that only has one type that resists it in Steel. This means that there is little preventing your sweep once your opponent’s Steel types have been removed. For this reason, Magnet Pull Magnezone makes an excellent partner to Dragon type Pokemon as it can trap and kill these Steel types with ease. There are plenty of different Dragons in OU which each have their own role. Salamence is an excellent mixed sweeper that can tear teams apart with its wall breaking prowess. Garchomp is an exceptionally speedy Dragon that can use its secondary Ground typing to hit opponent’s with STAB Earthquakes. There are also specially oriented Dragon Pokemon like Latios that has a unique secondary Psychic typing among Dragons. Whichever Dragon or Dragons you choose for your team, they are sure to carry their own weight and then some.

Competitive Pokemon – Lucario

One of the most popular Pokemon released in generation four was Lucario. With stellar offenses offset by lower than average speed and defenses, some might think of Lucario as a waste of team space. But this could not be farther from the truth. With a great movepool and the ability to beat many prominent threats in the Black and White OU metagame, Lucario is a great Pokemon to choose. Underestimate the Aura Pokemon and his incredible power at your own peril.

competitive pokemon - lucario

Luc Skywalker

Lucario @ Life Orb / Air Balloon

Nature: Adamant / Jolly

Trait: Justified / Inner Focus

4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Speed

- Swords Dance

- Close Combat / Hi Jump Kick

- Extremespeed

- Ice Punch / Crunch / Bullet Punch

If you want to use Lucario in a competitive environment, this is probably the best set he can run. Even though his Special Attack is higher than his Attack, a lack of coverage moves and the loss of Extremespeed make a physical set the more attractive option. An Adamant nature is usually preferred, but Jolly can help you outrun neutral natured Jirachi, Celebi, Gliscor, Hydreigon, and opposing Lucario. A Life Orb grants lots more power, but an Air Balloon can be used if you dislike the Life Orb recoil while also giving Luc a Ground immunity. The standard EV’s maximize Attack and Speed while we have another choice in Lucario’s trait. Justified is easily better, but difficult to obtain legally in the US. For this reason, Inner Focus is a decent second choice that prevents flinching. Swords Dance is the crux of this set which doubles Lucario’s Attack which can be further boosted by predicting a Dark move and switching into it. Lucario quadruple resists this type as well as Rock which makes him great at switching in. Close Combat is usually the best choice for a STAB move, but Hi Jump Kick can be used for greater power, but lower accuracy and more severe consequences. Extremespeed is the strongest priority move in the game and helps Lucario patch up his mediocre Speed. The last move depends on which Pokemon give your team the most trouble. Ice Punch is usually best to take on threats like Landorus, Gliscor, and Dragonite, but Crunch can also be used to defeat Reuniclus, Jellicent, and Slowbro. If none of these Pokemon worry you, Bullet Punch can be used as another priority move with STAB that easily defeats Pokemon like Terrakion and even Gengar who takes the attack neutrally. Lucario is an amazing Pokemon that has just the right combination of stats to succeed in OU competitive Pokemon.