Lewis is a freelance writer and video game connoisseur, with a passion for reviewing the latest titles. His favourite series is Pokémon.
Celesteela is a solid defensive Pokemon in the tier, with a fantastic typing in Flying/Steel, well-rounded stats, and a large movepool. Steel/Flying typing along with massive bulk allows Celesteela to check many threats. Even though Celesteela lacks reliable recovery, access to Leech Seed allows it to sustain itself against non-Grass types.
Leech Seed allows Celesteela to heal against non-Grass types and annoy a lot of switch-ins that would be safe otherwise. It's also the closest thing Celesteela has to reliable recovery. Protect allows Celesteela to scout Choice item users while also letting it heal additional HP from Leftovers and Leech Seed. Heavy Slam is Celesteela's strongest STAB move and deals very solid damage to Pokemon that don't resist it. Flamethrower hits Steel types that resist Heavy Slam and hits Grass types immune to Leech Seed.
Leftovers is excellent alongside Celesteela's stalling capabilities and give it the longevity to at least survive some direct hits. Beast Boost grants it a special attack boost, strengthening Heavy Slam.
Xurkitree possesses insanely high special attack along with access to Tail Glow, which allows it to boost its Special Attack by three stages in a single turn. Its plethora of coverage moves makes it hard to wall. Its absurd Special Attack allows it to serve as a powerful revenge killer when equipped with a Choice Scarf.
Thunderbolt is its best STAB option and can be freely spammed late-game once Pokemon with a resistance or immunity to the move have been knocked out. Energy Ball is its primary coverage move, being able to deal large amounts of damage to Ground type Pokemon that may switch in on Xurkitree predicting Thunderbolt. Hidden Power Ice gives Xurkitree pseudo-Bolt Beam coverage, being able to hit Pokemon immune to Thunderbolt that do not get OHKOes by Energy Ball such as Landorus-T, and Garchomp. Dazzling Gleam is another option for the last slot. It allows Xurkitree to have a much better chance at sweeping
Choice Scarf lets it become as fast as possible. This is highly appreciated because its mediocre base Speed holds it back in most matchups. Beast Boost raises its special attack every time it gets a KO, which is amazing when cleaning up late-game.
Araquanid stands out as one of the most viable setters of Sticky Web thanks to its offensive presence and matchup against key entry hazard removers. A great ability in Water Bubble, a solid special defence stat, and resistances to types such as Ground, Fighting, and Water also make it capable of handling common threats in battle.
Araquanid makes for a good setter of Sticky Web thanks to its good power and solid defensive attributes. Liquidation is a strong STAB move capable of easily 2HKOing common entry hazard removers. Magic Coat is capable of bouncing back status moves that can disrupt Araquanid and its team, particularly Taunt. Mirror Coat is used in the last slot to take advantage of Araquanid's naturally good special bulk. The combination of Substitute and Toxic allows Araquanid to effectively stall out common threats. Leech Life grants Araquanid half of it's health back as recovery, while being it's strongest Bug STAB option.
Leftovers offsets the health reduction Substitute provides over time, and 188 HP EVs allow it to regain more health from Leftovers. It also works well alongside Leech Life to provide additional healing capability. Water Bubble boosts the power of Liquidation, and incoming Fire type damage is halfed.
Incineroar is a fantastic pivot, with its typing of Fire/Dark and ability in Intimidate allowing it to check many prominent threats in battle. Its STAB combination is only resisted by opposing Incineroar, which allows it to force many switches and gives it ample opportunities to remove items from foes. Parting Shot further allows Incineroar to be an effective pivot, making it easier for a partner to switch in. U-turn is also an option to chip down foes in conjunction with Knock Off, without providing Defiant Pokemon like Braviary and Passimian with boosts; however, it has far less utility than Parting Shot, and these Defiant users aren't very common. Toxic cripples Pokemon Incineroar can't do much against aside from removing their item, like Milotic and opposing Incineroar. Will-O-Wisp is an alternative that allows Incineroar to cripple physical attackers.
Swords Dance allows Incineroar to increase its impressive attack to even higher levels, making it incredibly hard to wall. Knock Off is Incineroar's most reliable Dark type attack and can remove items. Earthquake hits Ground, Fire, Electric and Rock types for super effective damage, allowing Incineroar to eliminate them after a Swords Dance boost if they are slightly worn down. Flare Blitz is Incineroar's hardest-hitting move in general.
Intimidate allows Incineroar to reduce an enemy's attack upon switching in, providing it with an opportunity to set up while taking less damage. Figy Berry lets Incineroar switch into entry hazards more times, lets it better check Pokemon and has good synergy with Flare Blitz.
This cute impersonator is nothing to laugh at, as Mimikyu intends to leave dominance over the battlefield with it's unique ability in Disguise, acting like a shield for incoming attack. Its STAB moves provide neutral coverage while its typing makes it one of the few Ghost types that aren't forced out by Pursuit, and it can threaten most Dark types with a super effective STAB Play Rough.
Swords Dance compensates for Mimikyu's otherwise average damage output, providing it with better chances to OHKO faster threats with Shadow Sneak. Play Rough is Mimikyu's most powerful Fairy type STAB move, allowing it to punish foes. Shadow Claw is its most powerful Ghost type STAB attack and provides it with perfect neutral coverage. Shadow Sneak gives Mimikyu a priority move, compensating for its average speed tier to revenge kill faster, weakened threats.
Mimikyu's biggest selling point is its brilliant ability in Disguise, which guarantees it a free turn without taking damage. This allows it to check and revenge kill faster offensive threats. Life Orb provides Mimikyu with a consistent damage output, making it the preferred item.
Primarina is a fearsome wallbreaker in Alola, possessing a high special attack stat that is complemented nicely by its fantastic offensive and defensive typing in Water/ Fairy. Its typing along with its solid natural special bulk allows it to reliably handle Dragon types as well as stomach hits from threats and KO in return.
Hydro Pump is Primarina's most powerful viable Water type STAB move, only held back by its unreliable accuracy. Moonblast offers Primarina a more spammable STAB move, possessing no drawbacks and few sturdy Pokemon that resist it. Sparkling Aria makes for a more reliable Water type STAB move, also hitting Pokémon through Substitute. Psychic provides great coverage alongside Primarina's STAB moves, nailing Poison types.
Torrent allows Primarina to do even more damage with its Water-type STAB moves when its HP is low. Choice Specs allow Primarina to hit as hard as possible at the cost of locking into a move.
Kartana is one of the most threatening Pokemon in Alola due to it having insanely high attack and superb speed, making Kartana incredibly hard to counter defensively. It is able to salvage its decent physical bulk thanks to a high defence stat, however, Its Grass/Steel typing also assists Kartana defensively, as it resists many different types and only has two weaknesses, Fighting and Fire. Offensively, Kartana's typing is also appreciated, especially alongside the coverage move Sacred Sword.
Leaf Blade is the Grass type STAB move that hits quite hard for a move on a Choice Scarf user thanks to Kartana's high attack stat, and Sacred Sword is the best complementary coverage move, hitting opposing Steel types such as Ferrothorn and Heatran. Another potential move can be Smart Strike, which is a secondary STAB move that can knock out Fairy types. Knock Off is a great utility move to cripple Pokemon that wall Choice Scarf Kartana such as Celesteela and Zapdos, ridding them of their Leftovers. On the utility front, Defog can be used in the final slot if you want a quick, convenient form of entry hazard removal to slap onto more offensively oriented teams.
Choice Scarf is present to let Kartana clean opposing teams and act as a revenge killer, letting it outrun everything that is unboosted. Beast Boost is Kartana's only ability, but it's a great one nonetheless, allowing Kartana to become nigh unstoppable after it claims a knockout.
Naganadel carves itself as a threat on offensive teams as a sweeper and general anti-stall Pokemon. Poison/Dragon is a good offensive typing, and access to Nasty Plot and Fire type coverage makes Naganadel a real offensive threat. A good base 121 Speed combined with its ability Beast Boost gives Naganadel the ability to get Speed boosts and minimize the adverse effects of its mediocre bulk.
Draco Meteor is Naganadel's strongest STAB option, which, after a Nasty Plot boost, scores important OHKOs on even legendary Pokemon like Ho-Oh and Kyogre. Sludge Wave offers great neutral coverage with Draco Meteor and lets Naganadel check threats such as Fairy types. Nasty Plot boosts Naganadel's Special Attack and allows it to function as a sweeper. Fire Blast hits Steel types, the only Pokemon that resist Naganadel's STAB combination hard. Dragon Pulse can be used over Draco Meteor for more consistent damage, but it is rather weak in comparison. Tailwind lets Naganadel provide speed control support, helpful in keeping up the pressure its team applies, letting them outrun most foes unabated.
Beast Boost grants Naganadel an additional stat boost in special attack when it has defeated the opposing Pokemon. Assault Vest works to provide additional defence but at the cost of only damaging moves, so sacrificing Nasty Plot. Otherwise, Life Orb is an all round better choice for additional power.
Kommo-o is a valuable addition to a number of offensive teams, as the combination of colourful coverage, and access to Stealth Rock makes it simultaneously one of the best sweepers and Stealth Rock users for such teams. Likewise, Belly Drum with Salac Berry is also a deadly sweeper that can be quite the useful addition to hyper offense by cleaning up teams or punching hole for fellow sweepers. Kommo-o's bulk and typing are beneficial to its offensive role too, letting it act as a soft check to many Pokemon that are troublesome to offense, while allowing Kommo-o to set up Stealth Rock or Substitutes on a number of common Pokemon. Its bulk and typing also make it resistant to a number of forms of revenge killing.
Kommo-o's decent bulk and useful typing of Dragon/Fighting allow it to set up Stealth Rocks easily. Clanging Scales is a powerful STAB move and the preferred choice in battle. Close Combat is crucial for hitting Steel types, which resist or are immune to Kommo-o's other moves. Poison Jab hits Fairy types such as the Tapus for decent damage when boosted, as they'd otherwise wall Kommo-o. Flamethrower is an option to hit Grass and Bug types, which can easily take a Close Combat. It also hits Steel types and Grass types like Amoonguss while avoiding the defence and special defence drops from Close Combat and Clanging Scales. However, giving up Poison Jab leaves Kommo-o walled by Fairy-types. Drain Punch provides Kommo-o with some extra recovery and pressures Pokémon.
Salac Berry is a situational item which increase Kommo-o's speed by one stage if it's health is low. Bulletproof is the preferred ability, which grants immunity to ballistic moves. Ballistic moves include Bullet Seed, Octazooka, Barrage, Rock Wrecker, Zap Cannon, Acid Spray, Aura Sphere, Focus Blast, and all moves with Ball or Bomb in their name.
Pheromosa possesses many traits that enable it to threaten offensive threats in battle. It has nearly unmatched speed that lets it outspeed lot's of Pokémon, which allows it to revenge kill or force switches, generate momentum with predictions by utilizing U-turn, and use coverage moves like Ice Beam to OHKO other foes. Although Pheromosa seems like a threatening attacker when factoring in Beast Boost, its decent offensive stats, and its ability to outspeed and OHKO many threats in the tier, there are a myriad of Pokemon that force flawless predictions for Pheromosa to be effective.
Despite its poor coverage, U-turn is Pheromosa's most important move, allowing it to pivot out against its numerous checks and do considerable damage to its switch-ins. It's also Pheromosa's best way to hit Psychic types while serving as a safer move to use against Dark types when various foes are going to predict Low Kick and switch out. Low Kick is the safest and the most consistent Fighting type STAB move for Pheromosa, as it threatens various Dark and Steel types. Low Kick also has enough power to enable Pheromosa to revenge kill foes after little prior damage. Ice Beam hits many Pokemon that can pivot into U-turn and Low Kick hard. The fourth moveslot is the best used to improve Pheromosa's matchup against its typical checks. Throat Chop is STAB coverage. Poison Jab enables Pheromosa to KO Fairy types that threaten it's poor defences.
Life Orb improves Pheromosa's damage output to achieve the aforementioned KOs with physical attacks. Beast Boost boosting Speed after every KO almost never proves to be useful, however.
© 2020 Lewis Usher