Lewis is a freelance writer and video game connoisseur, with a passion for reviewing the latest titles. His favourite series is Pokémon.
Trevenant boasts a high attack stat with decent dual STAB options, which can hit many slower Pokemon for good damage. It is also backed up by decent coverage such as Earthquake and Rock Slide, giving it solid neutral coverage. Natural Cure makes Trevenant a passable status absorber, especially with its resistance to Scald.
Wood Hammer is Trevenant's strongest STAB move, 2HKOing a majority of Pokemon that don't resist it and even some of the frailer ones that do, although it comes with hefty recoil damage. Shadow Claw is Trevenant's next best STAB option, with its better neutral coverage making it a decent move to throw out. It is also Trevenant's strongest attack against Psychic types. Earthquake can hurt Steel types such as Steelix and Aggron more efficiently. Rock Slide targets bulky Flying types, such as Eviolite Scyther, which can otherwise prove bothersome checks. Horn Leech is an alternative Grass type STAB move for Trevenant to use that restores health instead of depleting it like Wood Hammer, making it decent for extending Trevenant's longevity. Trick can be used to cripple Pokemon who rely on "choiced" items to sweep, while allowing Trevenant to switch up moves, although its attacks do lose substantial power upon doing so and Tricking Choice Band doesn't cripple many of Trevenant's checks. The aforementioned Poison-types might be holding Black Sludge as well, which puts pressure on Trevenant to Trick it away immediately, as it has horrible synergy with Wood Hammer. X-Scissor has good coverage against other Grass types.
Choice Band bolsters Trevenant's power to the point where even resisted Wood Hammer does substantial damage to frailer Pokemon that resist Grass while suiting its hit-and-run attacking style. Natural Cure allows Trevenant to take on status users without fear, particularly letting it not being permanently crippled by Scald burns.
Sylveon is a premier wallbreaker in battle thanks to the amazing damage output of its Pixilate-boosted Hyper Voice alongside its excellent coverage. It also offers solid defensive utility with its decent uninvested bulk and pure Fairy typing, allowing it to blanket check Pokemon.
Mystical Fire provides essential coverage against Steel types, while dropping their special attack by one stage. Psyshock is Sylveon's best source of damage against offensive Galarian Weezing and cleanly OHKOes on the switch. It also powers through Toxtricity, which can safely come in on Hyper Voice thanks to Punk Rock. Shadow Ball is a decent mid ground option, providing solid neutral coverage, nabbing a KO on Ghost types super effectively. Hidden Power Fire is Sylveon's best option for Steel-types, whilst Hidden Power Ground can be another option over Hidden Power Fire to gain excellent neutral coverage in conjunction with its STAB Hyper Voice.
Pixilate allows Sylveon to have a more powerful Fairy type STAB attack in Hyper Voice. Choice Specs further boosts Sylveon's power.
Thanks to its ability, Rock Head, Tyrantrum has access to an extremely powerful Rock-type STAB move with no drawbacks in Head Smash. This, coupled with a secondary Dragon typing, good coverage for Steel types and access to a great boosting move in Dragon Dance, turns it into a very fearsome physical attacker that can sweep, weaken physical walls, or revenge kill. Tyrantrum's defensive typing also gives it useful resistances to Flying, Fire, and Electric, which, when coupled with its good physical bulk, enables it to switch into Pokemon such as Talonflame.
Head Smash is Tyrantrum's primary STAB move, crushing a large majority of offensive Pokemon and potentially 2HKOing even those that resist it. Outrage hits offensive Pokemon that resist Rock, notably OHKOing Flygon while doing substantial damage to Virizion. It also can be a good late-game cleaning tool, as it boasts perfect accuracy over Head Smash. Earthquake hits Steel types such as Registeel. Dragon Claw is a reliable STAB move that can pick off weakened foes or opposing Dragon types with much less risk than its other STAB attacks. However, it's only barely stronger than a resisted Head Smash, so it's usually not worth going for in most cases. Toxic can be an option, and while it is not a move you'd choose in a majority of circumstances, it may be the only way Tyrantrum can have some presence against bulky Pokemon that can heal off its blows.
A Lum Berry enables Tyrantrum to set up on status users and prevents it from being paralyzed by Thundurus or Klefki. A Life Orb can also be used, as it lets Tyrantrum hit a lot harder, but the recoil damage can prevent it from properly sweeping.
Hawlucha is a very threatening sweeper with the combination of a terrain seed such as Electric Seed, Grassy Seed, or Psychic Seed and the Unburden ability, capable of outspeeding even extremely fast foes. Additionally, it can threaten out many defensive Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Mega Venusaur by virtue of its offensive typing.
Acrobatics and High Jump Kick are Hawlucha's STAB moves of choice because of their high Base Power. A Terrain Seed is compulsory for Hawlucha's success, because if Electric Seed is used immediately after switching into Electric Terrain, Acrobatics's Base Power is instantly doubled. Swords Dance boosts Hawlucha's Attack stat, allowing it to sweep. Roost helps Hawlucha setup on defensive Pokemon thanks to its defensive boost with Electric Seed. Drain Punch offers reliable Fighting type STAB and helps sustain Hawlucha's sweep by keeping it healthy. Substitute is an option to dodge status moves such as Leech Seed and Toxic.
The Terrain Seed used is optional, as they can all pair well alongside the Tapus, each bolstering a Terrain changing ability. Once the Seed has been consumed, Unburden grants a double increase in speed.
With a base 109 Speed stat, Heliolisk outspeeds a lot of common Pokemon. It also has a great movepool, boasting moves such as Surf, Grass Knot, Focus Blast, Thunderbolt, Hyper Voice, Volt Switch, and Dark Pulse. Heliolisk also has Dry Skin, which provides it an immunity to Water type moves and therefore allows it to threaten a multitude of Water type Pokemon in battle. It also has a nice immunity to Ghost type moves.
Volt Switch is a STAB move that provides easy momentum for Heliolisk. Hyper Voice is a decent STAB move as well, hitting all Ground types as well as striking targets through Substitute. Signal Beam is for bulky Dark type and Grass types, that may attempt to switch into Heliolisk's STAB moves. Thunderbolt is a reliable STAB move. Surf can be used instead of Signal Beam, as it hits Grass types for super effective damage. Focus Blast may also be used to hit certain Dark and Steel types a lot harder. Focus Blast also nails many special walls harder than any other move Heliolisk has.
Life Orb boosts the power of all of Heliolisk's attacks while giving it the freedom to switch between its moves, but Choice Specs can be used instead for more initial power at the cost of not being able to switch between moves. Dry Skin is used to allow Heliolisk to switch in on Water types and threaten them with a Life Orb boosted STAB Thunderbolt.
Aegislash is a monster when it was introduced in the sixth generation, and to this day, is extremely powerful, and also, notably unique. Aegislash has 150 base defence stats while in Base forme, and upon offense, Aegislash switches into Blade forme, swapping it's high defence for attack. Bolstering 8 resistances and 3 immunities thanks to It's Steel/Ghost typing, Aegislash can easily switch in and deal a heavy blow to almost any type.
King's Shield is necessary on Aegislash, allowing it to go back into Shield forme, regain its defensive stats, scout for moves, and gain an extra turn of Leftovers recovery if it's not running Iron Ball. Toxic punishes Aegislash's switch-ins as well as support teammates through it's defensive prowess. Gyro Ball allows Aegislash to threaten Fairy types, dealing decent damage to it and other offensive Pokemon who are faster than it. Shadow Ball is useful to effectively check Ghost and Psychic types. Pursuit is used to trap Pokemon, but can also help prevent team members from being sniped. If your team doesn't require Pursuit support, then Shadow Sneak can be used as priority or as a method of KOing weakened sweepers.
Leftovers is used so that Aegislash has a reliable method of recovering HP. Stance Change allows Aegislash to switch between Base and Blade form depending on the move category being used, i.e., physical or defensive.
Goodra's incredible special defence allows it to serve as an effective special tank while still being able to dish out decent damage thanks to its base 100 Attack and 110 special attack stats. Its useful defensive typing of pure Dragon, and ability Sap Sipper back up Goodra's natural bulk and makes it to a perfect counter plus also giving it three resistances and one immunity. Goodra has great coverage options; fortunately, Goodra also has the stat distribution to run both physically and specially oriented moves.
Starting with the special side, Draco Meteor is Goodra's main STAB and hits with monstrous power in combination with Goodra's decent special attack and Choice Specs. Fire Blast hits Steel-types such as Forretress, which resist Goodra's STAB moves. Sludge Bomb is useful for hitting Fairy type Pokemon, for super effective damage. Thunderbolt hits bulky Water type Pokemon, while Muddy Water can be used to hit Ground and Fire type Pokemon for super effective damage.
For it's physical side, Outrage is Goodra's main STAB attack and hits extremely hard in combination of Goodra's decent attack and a Choice Band. Earthquake hits the Steel types that resist Goodra's STAB. Fire Punch is another option for Ice types, a type which has the advantage against Goodra, which are not damaged badly by Goodra's other attacks, for more reliable damage. Superpower is an option to hit bulky Pokémon harder; however, the Attack and Defense drops can be problematic. Power Whip provides good coverage against bulky Water type Pokemon, hitting them for super effective damage. Iron Tail hits Fairy type Pokemon which are immune to Goodra's STAB moves.
Choice Band gives Goodra a massive attack stat, letting it hit incredibly hard with all of its attacks. Choice Specs gives Goodra a massive special attack stat, letting it hit as hard as possible Sap Sipper gives Goodra an immunity to Grass-type attacks as well as a free Attack boost upon switching into one.
Noivern has fantastic base 123 speed and base 97 special attack that allows it to function as a moderate wallbreaker and offense killer. Its good offensive typing of Dragon/Flying allows Noivern to work well with synergistic team members.
Draco Meteor is the classic go-to wallbreaking Dragon-type move once Fairy type Pokemon have been dealt with. Hurricane is another powerful STAB move, though it can miss. Flamethrower offers coverage on Steel types, while Air Slash offers a reliable secondary STAB option with a 30% chance to make the foe flinch. Switcheroo lets Noivern cripple a check or counter that attempts to take a wallbreaking move, while U-turn gives Noivern the chance to further retain momentum if it finds the matchup to be poor. Taunt prevents entry hazards from being set up on your side of the field. It also takes some pressure off prediction when dealing with setup sweepers. Roost is for added longevity.
Leftovers provides passive recovery and is a good option alongside Roost. Life Orb is another option for making Noivern's STAB attacks hit harder, scoring some extra KOs on Pokemon. Infiltrator completely voids the usefulness of the opposing Pokémon's Substitute, bypassing it and as such, dealing damage.
Talonflame is able to carve a powerful placement as a threatening sweeper and revenge killer for offensive teams thanks to its great speed, excellent offensive typing in Fire/Flying, ability Gale Wings, and access to the boosting move Swords Dance. Its typing allows it to hit most opponents for neutral damage and grants it key resistances to Fire, Fighting, and Fairy type attacks as well as an immunity to the common Ground type. Its ability Gale Wings allows Talonflame to hit faster threats with its Flying type STAB move before being hit in return.
Brave Bird hits very hard and has priority, enabling Talonflame to break past Choice Scarf Pokemon as well as priority users that may try to revenge kill Talonflame. Acrobatics can also be chosen to prevent Talonflame from taking large amounts of recoil damage, but is significantly weaker than Brave Bird since it requires Talonflame to carry no item. Flare Blitz is Talonflame's best option against Steel and Electric types, with the unfortunate downside of recoil. Swords Dance enables Talonflame to increase its attack to dangerous levels, helping it sweep offensive teams, which typically lack Pokemon that resist Flying, and put large dents in bulkier teams as well. Roost helps Talonflame set up, stops it from going down from Brave Bird recoil, negates Stealth Rock damage, and generally gives it some longevity. Taunt is an option for breaking past certain defensive Pokemon; however, by running it, Talonflame loses either important coverage or reliable recovery.
Gale Wings is the best ability for Talonflame because it gives it priority on Brave Bird and Roost. Sharp Beak increases Brave Bird's power. It is preferred over Life Orb because its recoil combined with Brave Bird's wears down Talonflame very quickly and often prevents it from sweeping and because most Flare Blitz targets are already hit hard enough without a Life Orb.
Greninja is without a doubt, the strongest Pokemon from Kalos if you exclude legendaries, courtesy of its stellar speed tier and amazing ability in Protean, is one of the metagame's premier offensive threats, as it is more than capable of pressuring both faster, offensively inclined teams and bulkier builds. Its expansive movepool is a major contributing factor to its potency as an offensive force as well: because it has such a high number of move options, it can circumvent would-be counters and defensive checks. Additionally, Greninja is one of the few viable offensively inclined user of Spikes and Toxic Spikes, which it is a stellar user of.
Hydro Pump is Greninja's best move to hit Rock and Fire types, for the greatest amount of damage. Gunk Shot is useful for hitting Grass types that commonly attempt to pivot into Greninja as well as Fairy types. It also gives Greninja a better matchup against Electric types thanks to the poison chance. Alternatively, Ice Beam can be used over Gunk Shot to give Greninja a better matchup against Dragon types, which can cause issues if Greninja lacks Dark Pulse. Hidden Power Fire allows Greninja to dent Steel types like Ferrothorn and Assault Vest Magearna, two common Pokemon used to check Greninja. Spikes is a great utility move due to the number of switches Greninja forces in addition to Greninja's ability to beat common Defog users; it also weakens some of its common switch-ins. U-turn can be used to ease prediction and gain momentum against anything that attempts to switch into Greninja. Extrasensory allows Greninja to beat bulky Poison types, such as Toxapex, one of it's hardest counters, with the help of Metronome. Lastly, Dark Pulse pairs nicely with Metronome, allowing Greninja to muscle through Psychic type Calm Mind users with ease.
Protein is an ability exclusive to Greninja and Keckleon, changing the type of said Pokemon depending on the type of move it has used. This grants Greninja STAB power and allows it to become a premier threat.
And of course, we cannot finish without talking about Ash-Greninja. Ash-Greninja is a top Pokemon because its excellent offensive typing combines with its monstrous Special Attack and Speed stats to turn it into a dangerous attacker that is capable of shredding offensive teams. This is further enhanced by its access to Water Shuriken, which is one of the most powerful priority moves in the game if Battle Bond has activated. Greninja is best utilised as normal Greninja, in order to activate Battle Bond, you must KO an opposing Pokemon to grant it's new form and additional stats. Choice Specs can be helpful to ensure Greninja transforms at a faster rate, dealing massive damage to the opposing team. As Ash-Greninja, its Water Shuriken has 20 base power and always hits 3 times.
© 2020 Lewis Usher