Though U-turn teams interested some people during DPP, they never caught on. The fact that most U-turn users were primarily physically based created a team-wide weakness to common walls such as Skarmory. Then came Pokemon Black and White, and a new move—Volt Switch—came along with them. Volt Switch provided a special version of U-turn which finally allowed teams to abuse the switching moves. Along with Volt Switch, all of the Rotom formes gained a new typing. This furthered VoltTurn's cause by allowing the Rotom formes to strike hard with new STAB moves and escape from a dangerous situation.
So, before introducing common VoltTurn users and strategy, what exactly is VoltTurn? This strategy is an offensive playstyle that utilizes strong Pokemon with the moves Volt Switch and U-turn to maintain offensive pressure and momentum against the opponent. With the ability to constantly force one's opponent to react to a new Pokemon, often causing a switch, it is much easier to set Pokemon up and prepare them to sweep.
Offensively, it provides pressure; however, it also has many defensive roots. Most VoltTurn users have great synergy with one another. In fact, Scizor and Rotom-W have amazing synergy, being number 1 and 3 on the December 2011 regular usage statistics, respectively. In the 1337 statistics, Scizor and Rotom-W were number 2 and 3 respectively, and were each on 40% of teams. As the stats show, many people rely on the heavy offensive and defensive presence of VoltTurn, a strategy that has taken over the OU metagame.
VoltTurn's main purpose is to gain momentum and make use of it by constantly forcing your opponent to switch. Obviously, one must have two or more users of Volt Switch and U-turn for this to work. Now, let's say Rotom-W is in play and the opponent switches into Chansey to take the hit. Rotom-W is walled, right? Now Chansey is free to hit whatever switches in with Toxic or Thunder Wave! Hang on a minute—that is not necessarily the case.
With Volt Switch, Rotom-W switches out on the predicted Chansey switch, and then Scizor is sent out. However, this is no problem for the opponent, because he has a Skarmory waiting in the wings; all the opponent needs to do is send out Skarmory, right? Wrong. Scizor uses U-turn on the Skarmory and switches back to Rotom-W, while Skarmory is damaged by the Stealth Rock that was on the field. Also, Skarmory cannot touch Rotom-W, who can OHKO Skarmory with either Volt Switch or Thunderbolt.
This is just one of the many examples of the practicality of VoltTurn. Maintaining offensive pressure is often key in many matches, and VoltTurn generates that pressure. Of course, one must always watch out for Ground-type Pokemon and Pokemon that can absorb Electric-type attacks when spamming Volt Switch, but that'll be addressed later. First, we'll take a look at how to approach using a VoltTurn team.
When playing with VoltTurn, one can usually play more liberally, such as with predicting switches, because one can simply spam Volt Switch and U-turn to weaken counters. If the opponent predicts correctly, he or she can gain momentum, but this is no problem because VoltTurn teams have excellent synergy. One must always be able to keep his or her VoltTurn users safe by having a switch-in to most threats. Other than that, VoltTurn is a fairly straightforward strategy that has quickly taken over OU, and it's very easy to use.
Scizor is a fantastic VoltTurn team candidate due to its great movepool and high Attack stat. In fact, when the popularity of VoltTurn rose, Scizor hit number 1 in the usage statistics. U-turn allows Scizor to hit opponents hard while maintaining good offensive pressure. Bullet Punch gets a STAB boost, Technician boost, and priority, making it very important on the set. Superpower breaks down walls such as Chansey, Blissey, and even Gastrodon, and can also hit opponents hard on the switch. Pursuit catches fleeing Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon, especially Latios and Latias. Quick Attack can be used over Pursuit, though Pursuit is generally the better option; however, Quick Attack hits Volcarona harder than any of Scizor's other moves. One can also opt to use a more specially defensive spread to better take special attacks, such as Hidden Power Fire from even 252+ Celebi, then OHKO it with U-turn. However, specially defensive Scizor will fail to KO Tornadus after Stealth Rock damage.
For all of Scizor's strengths, its typing, only modest defenses, and quadruple weakness to Fire-type moves leave it with multiple checks. Magnezone, because of its prized ability Magnet Pull, and Heatran, with its insanely powerful Fire-type attacks, do well in keeping Scizor down, but neither can switch into a Superpower. Additionally, even with a Choice Band, Scizor still cannot hope to get past some of the premier physical walls, such as Skarmory and Gliscor.
With the overwhelming emphasis on Fire-type attacks to keep Scizor in place, Rotom-W emerges as Scizor's best partner. They share amazing defensive synergy, resisting every type except Electric, Rock, and Fighting. Scizor loathes entry hazards, as they cut down the time it can spend in battle. Rapid Spin users, especially Starmie, can help extend its durability. Pokemon that can beat Skarmory and Gliscor, such as Latios, as well as the aforementioned Starmie and Rotom-W, make great partners.
Rotom-W's great typing makes it one of the most common users of VoltTurn. Hydro Pump is a vital part of this set because it deals incredible amounts of damage. Volt Switch gives Rotom-W a method of escaping specially based walls. Hidden Power Ice is always a good move to have, as it gives Rotom-W BoltBeam coverage and takes down Dragonite, Salamence, and Landorus. The last move is tailored to fit different teams; if one is weak to stall, Trick can cripple it. Thunderbolt should always be considered, though, because it allows Rotom-W to beat Substitute + Dragon Dance Gyarados. If one wants recovery instead of a hit-and-run set, Leftovers and Will-O-Wisp can be run. This set allows Rotom-W to burn physical attackers and still retain momentum with Volt Switch. One can also run a specially defensive spread and run Will-O-Wisp to cushion physical hits. All in all, Rotom-W's unpredictability makes it a great VoltTurn user.
While Rotom-W's typing grants it excellent STAB, several common Pokemon resist the combination of both its moves. Of these, the most notable is Gastrodon, whose Ground typing grants it immunity to Electric-type attacks, and whose Storm Drain ability gives it a Special Attack boost when hit by Water-type attacks. Grass-types, such as Ferrothorn, Celebi, and especially Breloom, take Rotom-W's attacks very well while threatening it with their powerful Grass-type STAB. Latios and Dragonite can come in on Rotom-W's attacks, threaten it with their own STAB, and use the pressure to either set up on or KO it. Besides Trick, Rotom-W can't do much to Chansey or Blissey, while they can in turn threaten with poison, paralysis, and Seismic Toss.
Scizor emerges as Rotom-W's best partner because of the massive defensive and offensive synergy they offer each other. Scizor can come in on many of the Grass- and Dragon-type Pokemon in OU and threaten them with U-turn or Bullet Punch. With Rotom-W's main STABs—namely Thunder and Hydro Pump—being improved by rain, Politoed is an ideal partner. Powerful Fighting-type Pokemon, especially Virizion and Breloom, make good partners because they can threaten Gastrodon and the pink blobs with their powerful STAB attacks.
Landorus has quickly become a common VoltTurn user due to its great Attack stat and access to many powerful moves. U-turn is obviously a staple on this set because it allows Landorus to preserve important offensive pressure on the opponent. Earthquake receives STAB and hits very hard; however, Landorus should not spam it until the opponent lacks Flying-types or Pokemon with Levitate. Stone Edge decimates the likes of Volcarona, which Jolly Landorus will always outspeed even at +1. Hammer Arm is useful for taking down Chansey and Blissey, while Hidden Power Ice allows Landorus to break down Gliscor. Sand Force is incredible with the right support, as it enables Landorus to hit like a truck.
While Landorus is an amazing Pokemon, it's crippled by weaknesses to the common Water- and Ice-type moves that plague OU. Its subpar defensive stats also leave it vulnerable to priority moves such as Ice Shard, Aqua Jet, and Bullet Punch. Furthermore, as with Scizor, Landorus cannot hope to get past Skarmory, Bronzong, Hippowdon, and Donphan. If it lacks Choice Band, a few additional counters arise, namely Slowbro, Jellicent, and Forretress. Additionally, as Landorus does not commonly run Flying type moves, it cannot get past Virizion nor some variants of Breloom.
Rotom-W again is an excellent partner for Landorus, as it is able to switch in on Landorus's weaknesses and threaten most of its conventional counters with its own Volt Switch or Trick. Tyranitar and Hippowdon work very well as partners because the sandstorm they summon enhances Landorus's already great Attack. Celebi is a good partner because of its ability to beat down both Virizion and Breloom with Psychic, as well as bulky Water-types with Giga Drain. It also has access to U-turn to supplement the VoltTurn chain. While Heatran shares a weakness to Water with Landorus, its Fire STAB makes it a fine answer to the Steel-types, particularly Bronzong, Skarmory, and Forretress, that wall Landorus. With an Air Balloon attached, Heatran can even serve as a makeshift check to Donphan.
Though Tornadus might seem like an odd suggestion at first, it is a behemoth to deal with, especially with proper rain and Rapid Spin support. This is simply because Tornadus's Hurricane can 2HKO even dedicated walls, most notably Skarmory. U-turn lets it maintain momentum, but Tornadus will be spamming Hurricane nearly all the time. Focus Blast and Hidden Power Ice are both coverage moves, but one can choose to forgo either for Tailwind or Rain Dance, as Prankster ensures that Tornadus can set them up reliably. Tornadus is predominantly a sweeper though, so one should keep that in mind if planning on using this genie.
A weakness to Stealth Rock and dependence on rain are the main reasons Tornadus isn't higher in the OU usage statistics. Opposing weather inducers, especially Tyranitar, can create problems for Tornadus by removing the rain it dearly cherishes, in addition to threatening it with powerful Rock-type STAB moves and passive damage. While Tornadus is definitely faster than most of OU, Choice Scarf Pokemon and those faster than it can still cause problems. Starmie can threaten Tornadus with its powerful Hydro Pump and BoltBeam coverage, while Jolteon can deal massive damage with Thunderbolt or Volt Switch. Notable Choice Scarf users, such as Rotom-W, Tyranitar, and Terrakion, can outspeed and threaten Tornadus with their STAB moves. While it isn't too frail, priority moves that aren't Mach Punch, such as Scizor's Bullet Punch, Dragonite's and Lucario's ExtremeSpeed, and Azumarill's and Feraligatr's Aqua Jet, can all keep Tornadus in its place.
Politoed is the first partner one will want to consider for Tornadus, if only for its access to Drizzle, which boosts the accuracy of Tornadus's deadly STAB Hurricane. Rapid Spin users, to keep Stealth Rock off the field, should also be considered as potential teammates. Starmie is the best choice for the job because of its ability to keep up offensive pressure. Hitmontop can be considered as it resists Rock, which Tornadus is weak to, and has access to Close Combat to destroy Rock-types. Forretress is another good spinner to keep in mind, thanks to access to all three hazards, Rapid Spin, and Volt Switch, as well as an excellent defensive typing. As Steel-types resist Hurricane, Magnet Pull Magnezone makes a good teammate. Jolteon has great offensive synergy with Tornadus and helps continue the chain with Volt Switch.
Jolteon is extremely fast and hits very hard; both these traits make it a great Choice Specs user and VoltTurn candidate. Volt Switch is the primary reason to use Jolteon on a VoltTurn team; Jolteon's Electric typing means that the move will not only provide momentum, but will also deal heavy damage to opponents thanks to STAB. Shadow Ball is used for coverage and does decent damage, but one should make sure that all opposing Normal-types are KOed before locking Jolteon into it. Hidden Power Ice offers pseudo BoltBeam coverage, and it defeats +1 Dragonite. Thunderbolt is recommended if you aren't using a rain team, while Thunder lets Jolteon hit harder in rain; either move can be used when the opponent is significantly weakened and Volt Switch's momentum isn't necessary. An Expert Belt can be used to bluff a Choice item, and Signal Beam is another option to hit Celebi, Hydreigon, and Tyranitar hard.
While Jolteon is fast, it can hardly leave a dent in Chansey, Blissey, or Tyranitar. The former two can switch in, heal off the pittance that Jolteon will deal with its attacks, and threaten with Toxic or Seismic Toss. Tyranitar can switch in, change the weather from rain to sand, and threaten Jolteon with Stone Edge, Crunch, or Pursuit. All three can also set up Stealth Rock when they force Jolteon out. Bulky Ground-type Pokemon, such as Gastrodon, Quagsire, and Swampert, make excellent switch-ins to Jolteon lacking Hidden Power Grass. While a less reliable means of keeping Jolteon down, Choice Scarf users can leave Jolteon reeling in terror or KOed. Notable amongst these are Terrakion and Landorus, who can switch in after Jolteon has KOed a teammate and threaten it with their powerful STAB moves. Additionally, Jolteon's low Defense and HP leaves it vulnerable to powerful physical priority moves from Pokemon such as Dragonite, Lucario, and Conkeldurr. In the rain, Azumarill becomes a situational check to Jolteon.
Having a teammate that can beat both the pink blobs and Tyranitar is a necessity if using Jolteon. Toxicroak is an excellent teammate for that purpose, but is largely dependent on rain and shares a Ground weakness with Jolteon. On the topic of rain, Politoed is an excellent teammate thanks to Drizzle, which raises Thunder’s accuracy to 100% and protects Jolteon from sandstorm or hail damage. A strong Grass-type, such as Ferrothorn or Celebi, is helpful in dealing with the Ground-type Pokemon that are immune to Jolteon's STAB. Gyarados is a great partner because it is immune to Jolteon’s one weakness while Jolteon benefits from Gyarados's 4x Electric weakness. Azumarill works well with Jolteon to blaze through the opponent’s team in the rain. Tornadus, despite having horrible defensive synergy with Jolteon, helps maintain the VoltTurn chain with its STAB Hurricane and access to U-turn.
Arguably one of the most underrated VoltTurn users, Infernape makes its way onto this list because of its usefulness. Overheat is a great move that will leave a dent in Infernape's usual counters, and even after the drop in Special Attack, Infernape can still pose a threat with its physical moves. Close Combat will deal huge damage to most opposing Pokemon, and opponents that send out Chansey, Blissey, or Tyranitar after seeing Overheat will pay a costly price. U-turn allows Infernape to switch out on counters such as Swampert, Jellicent, and Gastrodon and maintain momentum. Mach Punch gives Infernape useful priority, whereas Stone Edge grants it coverage against Dragonite and similar opponents. The choice between the moves depends on how many priority users you have. One must be careful when using this set, though, as the Life Orb will take its toll, and hazards will hurt as well.
While Infernape is fast, it is not fast enough to outpace some of its counters. While Starmie, Latios, and Latias won't like switching into a U-turn, they can come in once Infernape has KOed a teammate and threaten it with their super effective STAB Psychic, while Starmie also gets Water STAB to douse Infernape's flame. Infernape is frail, so priority from the likes of Dragonite and Conkeldurr can deal a number to it. Alternatively, Pokemon that don't mind Infernape’s attacks, such as Slowbro and Jellicent, can come in and threaten with their own STAB moves and defenses. If it's using Mach Punch, Dragonite, Gyarados, and Salamence can switch in with impunity. Choice Scarf Pokemon that resist Mach Punch and carry moves that can threaten Infernape, such as Landorus, Latios, and Celebi, are also excellent checks to it.
Though Infernape does not require sun support to be effective, Ninetales is still a fantastic teammate. Sun boosts the power of Overheat, lowers the power of Water-type moves, and opens up a new range of teammates for Infernape to pair up with. Under the sun, Venusaur, Lilligant, and Sawsbuck are great partners thanks to their ability to beat Water-types, who are barely harmed by Infernape's STAB. Cresselia, while not normally seen in OU, is a great partner for Infernape because of its ability to benefit from the sun and deal with the physically offensive Pokemon that give Infernape problems. Late-game sweepers, such as Volcarona, Salamence, and Dragonite, appreciate Infernape's ability to break walls and obtain momentum.
Mienshao is a great VoltTurn user due to its amazing ability, Regenerator, which allows it to gain back 33% of its HP upon switching, often negating Life Orb recoil. Hi Jump Kick provides Mienshao with an extremely strong STAB move with excellent coverage. U-turn obviously preserves momentum, and works extremely well alongside Regenerator. Hidden Power Ice is to take down Gliscor, who would otherwise wall this set, while Stone Edge hits most other Flying-types harder. Alternatively, Mienshao can opt to flinch the opponent with Fake Out, then U-turn to preserve momentum. Either choice works well, and it's basically down to taste. Mienshao cannot take many hits, so it's important that it is played as a hit-and-run attacker. Finally, Mienshao can viably use a Choice Scarf, but it is not recommended as Mienshao will be unable to switch moves.
Mienshao may be powerful, but it still has problems dealing with Ghost-type Pokemon, such as Gengar, Sableye, and Jellicent, who can switch into Hi Jump Kick and force it out with the threat of powerful moves or a burn. Faster Psychic-type Pokemon, namely Latios, Latias, and Espeon, outspeed Mienshao and threaten to KO with their STAB attacks. Physically defensive Pokemon, such as Reuniclus, Hippowdon, Skarmory, and Gyarados, make great answers to Mienshao as well. Should Mienshao lack Hidden Power Ice, it will be powerless against Gliscor and Landorus.
Dark-type Pokemon, such as Tyranitar, Zoroark, and Hydreigon, make great partners for Mienshao because they are able to beat its main counters: Ghost-type Pokemon. Hazard setters, most notably Deoxys-D and Ferrothorn, can help Mienshao turn 3HKOs into 2HKOs, and so on. Strong late-game sweepers, such as Dragonite, Terrakion, and Landorus, appreciate Mienshao's ability to remove walls and easily form powerful cores with great offensive synergy. Special attackers, particularly Rotom-W, Latios, and Starmie, work well alongside Mienshao by dealing with bulky physical walls that Mienshao cannot defeat.
Hydreigon should never be overlooked when building a team; it has great offensive stats and above-average bulk. When these assets are coupled with a Choice Scarf, Hydreigon becomes a great VoltTurn user. Draco Meteor works nicely with the theme of VoltTurn, which is essentially to hit hard and switch out. Fire Blast and Focus Blast nab good coverage against foes such as Skarmory and Heatran, so they are obvious choices on this set. U-turn is another asset to Hydreigon, allowing it to switch out on predicted switches or impending super effective moves. Levitate provides ample switch-in opportunities, which is another reason Hydreigon should always be considered; it's immune to both variants of Spikes. Choice Specs can be used on this set, but Choice Scarf is often the better option because it allows Hydreigon to outspeed many +1 threats.
Despite its powerful Dragon STAB, Hydreigon still has no means of beating Chansey, Blissey, or Jellicent, who take a pittance from all of its attacks, even Focus Blast. While they can’t do much to it directly aside from Seismic Toss, they can threaten it with status. Provided they avoid Fire Blast, Jirachi and Metagross are excellent options to deal with Hydreigon, with the former threatening it with paralysis and the latter a powerful Ice Punch, Hammer Arm, or Meteor Mash. While Heatran won't like Focus Blast all that much, it can switch in and either lay hazards or phaze Hydreigon out with Roar.
Pokemon that can eliminate Steel-types from the match, namely Infernape and Magnezone, are excellent partners, as are Pokemon that can beat down the pink blobs and Heatran, such as Terrakion, Lucario, and Landorus. While Hydreigon isn't as dependent on weather as some other VoltTurn users, Ninetales still complements Hydreigon well thanks to its access to infinite sun, which powers up Hydreigon’s Fire Blast. If using Ninetales, one can also consider Pokemon with Chlorophyll, particularly Sawsbuck and Venusaur.
While Magnezone's typing gives it several crippling weaknesses, it enjoys a plethora of resistances, and can hit like a truck off its high Special Attack. When this typing is coupled with the Speed granted by a Choice Scarf, Magnezone can be fearsome. Thunderbolt allows Magnezone to pick off weakened sweepers and walls, and also defeats Skarmory, who can be troublesome for VoltTurn teams. Hidden Power Fire gives Magnezone a way to defeat Ferrothorn, who causes trouble to almost all other VoltTurn users, while Hidden Power Ice allows Magnezone to defeat Dragons before they set up. Flash Cannon gives Magnezone another reliable STAB move, as well as a stronger option against Tyranitar and Terrakion. Volt Switch allows Magnezone to preserve momentum against predicted switches, and it's essential to Choice Scarf Magnezone's success because it deters opponents from sending out counters.
Magnezone may be the special counterpart to Scizor, but it's nowhere near as good as the preying mantis, simply because Ground-type Pokemon are immune to its Electric STAB. If Magnezone is locked into Thunderbolt, Ground-types can find a way in and ruin Magnezone's day with STAB Earthquake or set up as it switches out. A Magnezone locked into Flash Cannon is an open invitation for Heatran and other Fire-type Pokemon to start spreading STAB attacks around. Hidden Power Fire gives Dragonite, Haxorus, and Salamence a free turn to set up a Dragon Dance. Bulky Fighting-type Pokemon, such as Conkeldurr and Scrafty, can switch into any move that Magnezone dishes out and threaten with their own Fighting STAB.
Scizor, despite sharing a weakness with Magnezone, is ultimately the best answer to the Dragon-types that will set up on it. Politoed's Drizzle reduces Magnezone's Fire weakness and lets it make use of a perfectly accurate Thunder. Psychic-types such as Espeon, Latios, and Alakazam can deal with the Fighting-type Pokemon that plague Magnezone. In the rain, Gyarados and Tornadus form excellent partners for Magnezone, being able to deal with many of Magnezone's threats. Outside of weather, Dragonite and Salamence have perfect synergy with Magnezone, resisting all of its weaknesses and supplying your team with strong physical attacks.
Forretress is obviously not the embodiment of VoltTurn offense. However, Forretress is able to effectively preserve momentum while laying hazards that will assist the team. Stealth Rock and Spikes do just that, going a long way to help VoltTurn's cause by punishing your opponent for switching, while Rapid Spin ensures that your VoltTurn users will last as long as possible by eliminating entry hazard damage. Volt Switch preserves momentum for the match, and it adds to the offensive pressure you put on the opponent. Leftovers is just a recovery option, and if played correctly, Forretress can come back for more hazards later in the match. It's also helpful for removing Gyarados's Substitute if you're facing one that is trying to set up.
Forretress is slow and shares the same typing as Scizor. As of such, many of Scizor's counters also apply, and if anything, work better against Forretress. However, due to its higher Defense stat, certain physical moves that would normally overwhelm Scizor, such as Close Combat, don't faze Forretress. Additionally, as Forretress is slower, some potential counters will need to watch for a boosted Gyro Ball. Regardless, Fire-type attacks deal heavy damage to Forretress, and the lack of power behind Forretress’s moves makes it setup fodder for many sweepers.
To deal with Fire-type Pokemon, a partner with Flash Fire, such as Heatran or Chandelure, is an ideal solution. Alternatively, one could employ Politoed, whose Drizzle reduces this weakness. Because Forretress's hazards are vulnerable to being spun away by the likes of Starmie, Hitmontop, and other Forretress, spinblockers are vital teammates. Gengar and Jellicent make excellent use of the hazards that Forretress lays and can act as spinblockers. Sweepers that can exploit hazards, such as Tornadus, Terrakion, and Gyarados, work well with Forretress too.
Jirachi is often used as a revenge killer and not often considered a part of a VoltTurn core, but it can still be used to great effect and to gain offensive momentum. Iron Head will annoy just about everything due to its flinch chance, while Ice Punch lets Jirachi revenge kill Ground- or Dragon-types, and it's especially helpful against a +1 Dragonite. Fire Punch adds to Jirachi's coverage, and its 20% burn rate is very handy. U-turn preserves momentum while also allowing Jirachi to escape from Dugtrio and Magnezone. All in all, Jirachi works as an excellent annoyer on a VoltTurn team.
While Jirachi may pluck Lady Luck’s harpstrings more often than not, its attacks won’t faze bulky Steel-types such as Skarmory, Forretress, and Heatran. If Jirachi locks itself into Iron Head, Magnezone and Jellicent become excellent checks, while if it's using a coverage move, bulky Waters such as Slowbro, Gyarados, Milotic, and, again, Jellicent can threaten it with a burn or paralysis. Alternatively, one can look to a faster revenge killer, such as Landorus or Terrakion, to keep Jirachi down.
Fire- and Fighting-types such as Infernape, Terrakion, and Lucario can help Jirachi deal with Skarmory, Forretress, and Heatran, all of whom notably impede its progress. Bulky Water-types can be dealt with by Rotom-W or Jolteon. Magnezone, normally an excellent counter to Jirachi, won't like having to deal with Dugtrio and Gastrodon, making them great partners. Scizor, despite sharing a weakness to Fire, can use its powerful Bullet Punch to keep revenge killers away from Jirachi. Dragon-type Pokemon synergize well with Jirachi, as they resist Fire-type moves and break the opponent down for Jirachi to handle.
Celebi is a great VoltTurn user due to its ability to shrug off status as it switches out; it also beats some of the best counters to VoltTurn, such as Breloom and Virizion. Leaf Storm is an extremely powerful attack that can devastate the opponent when used properly. Both Hidden Power Ice and Fire are usable, so it's best to go with whatever type coverage the team needs more. Earth Power destroys any Heatran that tries to wall Celebi, while U-turn is the glue for this set and is key when trying to maintain momentum. This Celebi can take a more defensive route and use Recover, but it gets optimum coverage if using an attacking move instead.
Celebi isn't used as often as other VoltTurn users for several reasons. For one, its STAB moves are easily walled by several common OU Pokemon, and it doesn't have the power or Speed of many other VoltTurn users. If Celebi chooses to use a Choice Scarf or Choice Specs, many Pokemon will be able to switch in with ease on it, making both these items poor options. Should Celebi opt to lock itself into Leaf Storm, Scizor, Heatran, and Volcarona can switch in with impunity and proceed to either set up or threaten it with a super effective STAB move. If it elects to run Hidden Power Fire, Dragonite can switch in without much fear; whereas Metagross and Jirachi can switch in easily on Hidden Power Ice variants. If it uses Earth Power, Gyarados, Salamence, Tornadus, and other offensive Flying-types or Levitating Pokemon can find themselves with one free turn of setup. Finally, Blissey and Chansey, being the fat pink blobs they are, can switch into everything that Celebi can throw at them and heal up or threaten it with status, forcing it out.
Having teammates that can deal with these threats is critical when using Celebi. Water-type Pokemon, such as Politoed and Gyarados, are great partners for Celebi, as they take care of many of the Pokemon that give it problems. Dragons can be punished by Steel-types, the aforementioned Politoed, and Mamoswine. Magnezone gets a mention for its access to Magnet Pull, which lets it consistently beat down Steel-types that plague Celebi. Heatran completes an effective core known as CeleTran, which has excellent defensive synergy as they resist each other's weaknesses.
Though Darmanitan is UU, it is by no means bad: Flare Blitz deals ridiculous amounts of damage to most Pokemon. In fact, a sun-boosted Flare Blitz can OHKO many Pokemon that resist it, to say nothing of Pokemon that are hit neutrally. U-turn allows for scouting and is useful for preserving momentum. Rock Slide hits Flying-types hard, but as it is a relatively weak move, it should be used with caution. Superpower eliminates Heatran, one of the few Pokemon that are immune to Flare Blitz, who would be a menace to this set otherwise. Earthquake can be used, though, as it hits similar targets. As Darmanitan can 2HKO even those resistant to Fire, one question might come to mind: why is it not OU? Darmanitan does a lot of switching with U-turn, and a devastating weakness to Stealth Rock effectively ruins it without constant Rapid Spin support. Nevertheless, Darmanitan is one of the most powerful VoltTurn users in the game.
Despite Darmanitan's sheer offensive prowess, it won't enjoy dealing with opposing weather conditions, entry hazards, nor Pokemon faster than it. Stealth Rock is the main obstacle in Darmanitan's path to glory on the battlefield, and the recoil suffered via Flare Blitz—Darmanitan's main STAB—will only aggravate this problem and prematurely end its life on the field. Rain is another imposing presence that Darmanitan must deal with; it reduces the power of Flare Blitz and amplifies Darmanitan's Water weakness. Furthermore, while Choice Scarf Darmanitan might be fast, its base 95 Speed can only carry it so far. Faster Pokemon, such as Landorus, Latios, Salamence, and Terrakion, can easily come in after Darmanitan has KOed a teammate and threaten to KO with their powerful STAB moves.
Ninetales is Darmanitan's best friend thanks to Drought, which powers up Flare Blitz to unbelievable levels. Rapid Spin support is the next order of business, as Stealth Rock and other hazards will severely cripple it; Forretress, Hitmontop, and Starmie are all great spinners. If Darmanitan is used in the sun, Pokemon with Chlorophyll, especially Venusaur and Lilligant, make great partners to dispose of Water-type Pokemon. Due to the heavy recoil induced by Flare Blitz, Wish users, such as Jirachi, Chansey, Blissey, and Vaporeon, form excellent partners for it.
This is a standard Xatu set recommended for VoltTurn teams. One of this set's most important features is Thunder Wave, which can paralyze the opponent and make it easier for Xatu's teammates to sweep later on. Roost is a great option for recovery, and it temporarily rids Xatu of its Rock- and Ice-type weaknesses. Night Shade and Psychic can both be used, with the former being better against Substitute users such as Hydreigon and Magnezone and the latter against Breloom. U-turn is key to this set because it preserves offensive momentum. However, the crux of this set is actually Xatu's ability, Magic Bounce. Magic Bounce not only keeps hazards off the field, but also forces them onto your opponent's side. When their support Pokemon is pitted against Magic Bounce Xatu, many opponents will opt to switch out, letting your team gain offensive momentum with U-turn. U-turn also deters people from attempting to hit a predicted switch-in with a status move, for fear that they might accidentally status themselves.
Xatu's bane ultimately lies in its frailty. Any modestly powerful physical attack from titans such as Scizor, Terrakion, or Tyranitar will deal devastating damage to it. Dark-types, notably Tyranitar and Scrafty, can make short work of Xatu with a super effective Crunch. Blissey and Chansey can take anything Xatu throws at them and use Wish or Softboiled to heal off the damage taken; however, their only method of retaliation is Seismic Toss. Powerful super effective special moves, such as Thunderbolt from the likes of Magnezone, Raikou, and Jolteon, can clip Xatu’s wings. Trick ultimately ruins Xatu’s main purpose—supporting—by leaving it stranded without Leftovers and possibly locked into one move.
Given that Xatu will primarily be playing the role of a supporter, Pokemon that appreciate such support partner well with it. Conkeldurr, Reuniclus, and Scizor all appreciate paralysis to make up for their low Speed stats. As Xatu is a massive lure for Dark-type moves, Terrakion, Lucario, and other Pokemon that can exploit Dark-type moves form great partnerships with it.
While Rotom-H's selling points are fewer than Rotom-W's, it has other things to offer. For instance, Overheat is a 210 Base Power move that will leave a dent in nearly everything that does not resist it. Volt Switch preserves momentum and lets Rotom-H escape from the likes of Tyranitar. Hidden Power Grass might seem odd, but it hits Gastrodon, Swampert, and Quagsire especially hard. Trick goes a long way towards crippling the opponent, especially stall teams. Rotom-H needs serious Rapid Spin support to be viable, but that shouldn't stop one from considering it; its power alone is a great reason to use it.
Rotom-H isn't in OU for a reason, though. Its crippling weakness to Rock- and Water-type moves that are rampant in OU are more than enough to keep it down. In fact, Tyranitar can switch in on any of the moves listed and threaten to KO with Pursuit or Stone Edge. While not as safe a switch-in as Tyranitar is, Politoed can switch into an Overheat and threaten with boosted Water-type attacks. Much like its washing machine counterpart, Rotom-H cannot get past Chansey and Blissey with sheer force, and instead must rely on Trick to deal with them. Gastrodon and Quagsire are problematic, but both have to watch for Trick as well. Ironically, Rotom-W also serves as a good check to Rotom-H, as it is able to switch in on both Overheat and Thunderbolt.
Keeping Rotom-H's weakness to Stealth Rock in mind, Starmie pops up as one of the best partners to Rotom-H. The two have good defensive synergy, and Starmie can let loose STAB Water-type attacks and BoltBeam coverage after Rotom-H eliminates its counters. Conkeldurr, Mienshao, and Virizion make excellent partners for their ability to eliminate Tyranitar, and in the case of Virizion, Politoed. Unlike other VoltTurn members listed earlier, Ninetales gets the noted weather inducer spot for boosting the power of Rotom-H’s Overheat and reducing its Water weakness. If Ninetales is used, then Pokemon with Chlorophyll, such as Venusaur and Lilligant, make excellent teammates.
While Rotom-C was relegated to RU, it actually received a few boons from BW. Access to Grass-type STAB allows Rotom-C to blow through several common counters to VoltTurn, especially Gastrodon and other Ground-type Pokemon, and it can Volt Switch away from the rest of the threats when running a very viable non-Choice set. With Thunder Wave, Rotom-C can control the tempo of the match and cripple threats that assume the lawn mower holds a Choice item. When a legitimate threat comes in, Rotom-C can always use Volt Switch to save itself. Leaf Storm works well as a secondary STAB move because it allows Rotom-C to defeat the Ground-type Pokemon that are immune to both Thunder Wave and Volt Switch, while Hidden Power Fire ruins opposing Scizor and Ferrothorn. While Rotom-C can use a Choice Scarf or Choice Specs set, the offensive scout set does a fine job of VoltTurning.
Rotom-C, despite having the ability to dispose of Gastrodon, has its share of exploitable weaknesses. Faster Fire-type Pokemon can threaten to KO Rotom-C with their STAB moves, while Chansey and Blissey will tank Leaf Storm with no problems. Heatran in particular can switch into a Leaf Storm and set up Stealth Rock, caring very little about a -2 Volt Switch or Thunder Wave. Dragon-types are also problematic for Rotom-C as they resist all of the moves it carries and can retaliate with their own strong STAB moves. However, none of them will enjoy switching into a stray Thunder Wave unless running a Lum Berry.
Infernape can deal with Heatran, Chansey, and Blissey easily with its STAB Close Combat, all while retaining momentum with U-turn. Terrakion can also achieve the same, sans U-turn. Since this Rotom-C has Thunder Wave, slower, bulkier sweepers along the lines of Conkeldurr, Reuniclus, and Scrafty have an easier time against the opponent. Even though Scizor shares a Fire-type weakness with Rotom-C, it makes for an excellent partner to take many of the stray Ice- and Bug-type attacks hurled at Rotom-C.
The main point that one should take away from this list is the effectiveness of weather and hazard support. Hazards make the opponent pay every time he or she switches out, which will happen a lot against VoltTurn. Weather powers up Water-type moves and raises the accuracy of Thunder and Hurricane, which many VoltTurn members have access to. Another essential teammate is a second VoltTurn user; every VoltTurn team needs at least two Pokemon that can use the strategy, preserving the momentum that the first one attains and allowing you to keep the opponent on his or her heels.
Other than the listed threats, there isn't much more that you can do to stop VoltTurn outside of high powered attacks and status. Burn especially cripples Scizor and Landorus, as they lose a ton of power, while paralysis will harm all of the above other than Scizor, as missing a turn can be fatal in a metagame where one turn can decide the entire match. Sleep is one of the worst statuses for a VoltTurn user to be afflicted with, as it completely shuts down the offensive momentum the team was trying to maintain. Celebi, thankfully, can escape from a deadly sleep thanks to Natural Cure. Protect is also very hard for VoltTurn users, especially Choice-locked ones, to deal with. Protect completely neuters momentum, and the user must rely on good prediction skills to beat a Protect user.
Landorus (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Sand Force
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef)
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Stone Edge
Scizor (M) @ Choice Band
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Atk / 16 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Bullet Punch
Rotom-W @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 SAtk
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Volt Switch
- Hydro Pump
- Pain Split
Celebi @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef)
- Leaf Storm
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Earth Power
Mienshao (M) @ Life Orb
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SAtk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Hi Jump Kick
- Fake Out
- Stone Edge
Xatu (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Magic Bounce
EVs: 248 HP / 188 Def / 72 SDef
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
VoltTurn teams are focused around building and maintaining momentum through the use of U-turn and Volt Switch. Keeping in accord with that motto, ToF's team possesses no hazard setter. Seeing that this team was made for the "No Hazards" #dw challenge, ToF had to find a way to work without entry hazards. In came Magic Bounce Xatu. While the stalwarts of VoltTurn offense, Scizor and Rotom-W, were present, ToF also branched out and used some of the less common VoltTurn users such as Celebi, Mienshao, and the aforementioned Xatu. His use of unconventional sets such as Expert Belt Landorus and defensive Rotom-W help to further distance his team from the mold of standard VoltTurn teams. Overall, while this team might be a relic of the past, it is still a great example that demonstrates how easily VoltTurn teams can gain and maintain momentum.
Great offensive pressure and excellent defensive synergy are a lot of what VoltTurn has to offer. It also allows your team to mindlessly mess with your opponent while throwing powerful attacks around. There aren't many downsides to VoltTurn other than the lack of the element of surprise; that is to say, most people are prepared for VoltTurn teams. However, this strategy is by no means bad, and it's very fun to use. Additionally, note that one does not necessarily have to use the top three VoltTurn users to make a successful team, as diversity aids VoltTurn immensely.