Any Pokemon that wields a 60% chance to flinch is bound to be annoying, and Togekiss is no exception. With a meaty base 120 Special Attack, two solid abilities, and a wide offensive movepool, Togekiss is a very able offensive Pokemon, thanks in particular to Nasty Plot, one of the best boosting moves in the game. It's no slouch defensively either, with 85 / 95 / 115 defenses and a decent defensive typing giving it impressive mixed bulk. These factors are complemented by a great defensive movepool, with access to Wish, Roost, and Heal Bell.
However, a nasty weakness to the omnipresent Stealth Rock severely hampers its defensive potential. Weaknesses to common Ice- and Electric-type moves don't do it any favors either, especially because Togekiss is slower than most users of these moves. Nevertheless, incredible versatility, a phenomenal movepool, and balanced stats combine to make it one of the most threatening Pokemon in the UU tier.
It might seem strange to advocate a physically defensive set on a Pokemon with special bulk as excellent as Togekiss's, but with two of its three weaknesses usually seen as special attacks, and a STAB Air Slash to maul UU's common Fighting-type Pokemon, it fulfills this role far better than its base stats might suggest. Togekiss's STAB Air Slash has great coverage in UU, and can even break through some resists. Roost allows Togekiss to heal itself of passive damage, particularly Stealth Rock, and gives it the longevity needed to handle a range of weak physical attackers such as Crobat and Hitmontop. Though uninvested, Togekiss still retains great special bulk, and with Heal Bell it has no trouble switching into Scald from bulky Water-types without fearing a burn. However, without investment in its Special Defense, it must be wary of the Ice Beam these Pokemon sometimes carry.
Nasty Plot is the most dangerous part of this set. It transforms Togekiss from a mediocre tank into a devastating offensive threat, doubling its Special Attack after a single use. Common special walls such as Snorlax and Umbreon are quickly worn down by repeated Air Slashes, with the chance to flinch often preventing them from healing at a crucial moment. Heal Bell is the primary option in the third moveslot, allowing Togekiss to cure it and its team of status and become an excellent supporter. In particular, burns and Toxic poison quickly wear Togekiss down, so the ability to remove them makes it a much better check to Pokemon such as Toxic Hitmontop. The ability to remove paralysis is useful too, because the speed drop prevents Togekiss from flinching most opponents. Thunder Wave is a strong alternative that trades longevity and team support for instant offense; a paralyzed Pokemon hit by Togekiss's Air Slash only moves 30% of the time. Thunder Wave can still support your team, too, and is particularly appreciated by Pokemon such as Druddigon who excel when nothing can outspeed them. Unfortunately, Thunder Wave is useless against Ground-types, but many of these are reluctant to switch into Togekiss for fear of taking a possibly boosted Air Slash. Only Togekiss's nemesis, Rhyperior, fears neither.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set takes a more conventional approach, focusing on Togekiss's fantastic base 115 Special Defense. Once again, Air Slash is a reliable STAB, with its handy 60% flinch chance allowing Togekiss to beat many things it would otherwise struggle with. Roost mitigates damage suffered from Stealth Rock, hail, and other passive sources and does a good job of keeping Togekiss healthy despite its common weaknesses. This set appreciates Heal Bell a lot as it may frequently be called on to switch into Scald from bulky Water-type Pokemon; the resulting burns hamper its longevity and the ability to remove them on a whim is very useful. However, Thunder Wave is still a solid choice, allowing Togekiss to paralyze and flinch faster special attackers that it might otherwise struggle with.
Nasty Plot makes Togekiss a fearsome tank, doubling its Special Attack in a single turn. It serves as a vital part of Togekiss's flinching strategy by making sure every flinch counts and allows it to power through walls it would otherwise struggle with. For example, without Nasty Plot, Umbreon would effortlessly wall Togekiss, but with it, Togekiss can boost to +6 against Umbreon and nonchalantly 2HKO it with Air Slash.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Due to its incredible versatility, Togekiss has a myriad of options not mentioned above. A more offensive Nasty Plot set is usable, with Air Slash, Fire Blast, and Aura Sphere; however, Togekiss is rather slow and suffers from the mediocre Base Power of Air Slash when using a more offensive set because any counter it fails to flinch will likely cripple or KO it thanks to the lack of defensive investment. Additionally, giving up Roost makes Togekiss much more vulnerable to passive damage from Stealth Rock and hail. Togekiss can also make use of Hustle in conjunction with Work Up and ExtremeSpeed to run a physical set; however, this is outclassed by other physical attackers such as Darmanitan, Heracross, and Mienshao when it is not using ExtremeSpeed and suffers badly from Hustle's accuracy-lowering drawback. This turns the usual frustration when facing Togekiss on its head by forcing it to miss 20% of the time.
Togekiss can also use either a Choice Scarf or Choice Specs effectively. The former seems particularly enticing because it allows Togekiss to flinch a wider range of Pokemon, but Togekiss is too slow to outrun any other notable Choice Scarf users and too weak without a boost to KO much. It does learn Trick, however, which is useful for crippling unsuspecting walls. No matter its Choice item, the lack of Roost will always trouble Togekiss, who will only be able to switch into Stealth Rock four times without the ability to heal itself.
Togekiss's defensive sets can also use a move from its wide offensive movepool, such as Psychic, Aura Sphere, Grass Knot, Fire Blast, or Shadow Ball, to hit problematic Pokemon. However, these are all inferior to the listed options if your team does not have particular trouble with the threat you choose to hit. Togekiss can also use Hyper Voice as a second STAB move, but this does not offer any meaningful coverage alongside Air Slash, so it should generally be avoided. Although Thunder Wave is the primary option for spreading paralysis, Body Slam can also be used, sporting a 60% chance to paralyze thanks to Serene Grace and hitting Ground-types immune to Thunder Wave. However, it does pitiful damage even with STAB, and the reliability of Thunder Wave is generally preferred.
Checks and Counters
Without a doubt, Stealth Rock is Togekiss's most hated foe. It strips the fairy-bird of 25% of its health every time it switches in, quickly wearing it down. Electric-type Pokemon such as Raikou and Zapdos are also excellent answers, easily absorbing Air Slash due to their resistance and hitting Togekiss hard with a STAB Thunderbolt or Volt Switch. As these Pokemon are naturally faster than Togekiss, it cannot flinch them either. However, neither of these will appreciate being paralyzed. Rhyperior is also a very good counter: it is immune to Thunder Wave and takes pitiful damage from even boosted Air Slash while hitting back with super effective STAB Rock-type moves. It must watch out for Aura Sphere and Grass Knot, though. Snorlax is also a pretty good answer, wearing Togekiss down with Body Slam or simply KOing it with Choice Band-boosted Return; however, it can be beaten with repeated flinches.
If you don't carry one of these Pokemon, your best bet is simply to hit it hard and fast. Togekiss has three common weaknesses and few resistances to speak of, so Pokemon such as Choice Band Flygon and Life Orb Darmanitan can give it a lot of trouble. Weavile can easily smash Togekiss with a STAB Ice Punch; similarly, Nidoking's Life Orb, Sheer Force-boosted Ice Beam will quickly clip Togekiss's wings. Mienshao, Heracross, and Victini can also plow right through it; really, any faster physical attacker gives Togekiss a lot of trouble. Hard hitters on the special side have more trouble, but can usually still get the job done if they are strong enough.