Volbeat

Illuminate
Increases wild encounter rate (no effect in battles).
Swarm
Boosts power of Bug-type moves by 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Prankster
Moves that do not deal direct damage have their priority increased by one level.
Type Tier
Bug NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 271 334 -
Atk
73
163 182 245 269
Def
55
131 146 209 229
SpA
47
117 130 193 212
SpD
75
167 186 249 273
Spe
85
185 206 269 295

Overview

Volbeat's most common role is to set up weather, which he achieves relatively easily thanks to his access to Prankster. He can also provide safe switch-ins for his teammates with Encore and U-turn. Additionally, he is notable for being the only Pokemon in the game, aside from Smeargle, that is able to Baton Pass Tail Glow boosts, which is his main claim to fame. Prankster gives these strategies priority, meaning that Volbeat will usually succeed in his goal. However, his mediocre bulk and Stealth Rock weakness limit Volbeat's chances to support the team multiple times. The fact that Volbeat cannot actually use his own Tail Glow boosts very well means that a player would have to cater their team around him, so make sure your team can use every bit of support this cute bug provides.

Name Item Ability Nature

Weather Supporter

Damp Rock / Heat Rock Prankster Bold / Relaxed
Moveset EVs
~ Rain Dance / Sunny Day
~ U-turn
~ Encore
~ Thunder Wave
248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD

Volbeat's role with this set is to support his teammates with weather moves. Rain Dance and Sunny Day are given priority due to Prankster and are almost guaranteed to be set up if Volbeat can safely enter the field. U-turn is usually the best move to use after setting up your selected weather in order to provide a safe switch-in for your sweepers while wasting as few turns of weather as possible. Volbeat doesn't invest in Speed, so he will usually move last, letting him safely bring in a teammate by taking the opponent's attack. Encore is used to create openings for Volbeat to either set up or safely switch in a teammate. Thunder Wave is not quite as useful, but it is excellent for hindering Pokemon holding a Choice item who don't care about Encore; it's also effective against Pokemon who have a high base Speed and don't set up. Encore and Thunder Wave are generally the most effective when they are used before Volbeat sets up weather in order to prevent the loss of too many weather turns.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Baton Pass

Leftovers Prankster Bold
Moveset EVs
~ Tail Glow
~ Baton Pass
~ Substitute
~ Encore / Thunder Wave
248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD

Volbeat is the only Pokemon in NU that is able to Baton Pass Tail Glow, and this set is the best way he can accomplish this. Tail Glow provides an amazing +3 boost to Special Attack, which Baton Pass then gives to a teammate. Substitute is another option to use alongside Baton Pass, providing its recipient with a shield against attacks as well as status conditions. Encore is the best move for the last slot, locking the opposing Pokemon into an ineffective move to guarantee at least a single turn to safely set up. However, Thunder Wave is a viable option in order to cripple opposing sweepers, and it still provides a small chance of providing free setup turns thanks to paralysis.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Volbeat doesn't have many effective options other than the ones listed, with an offensive Baton Pass set utilizing Tail Glow, Baton Pass, Bug Buzz, and Thunderbolt being the most notable one. However, such a set relies on Volbeat's average Speed while lacking enough bulk to take even resisted attacks well. Swagger and Confuse Ray are options alongside Thunder Wave and gain priority thanks to Prankster, but they are very luck reliant without Foul Play to take advantage of the confused opponents. Moonlight can be used with Sunny Day to recover a larger amount of HP, but Volbeat still prefers spending his turns supporting his teammates rather than trying to extend his own longevity. Light Screen can patch up Volbeat's low Special Defense, but without Reflect, he cannot fully support his teammates in this way. A priority Trick is usable with Choice Band or Iron Ball to hinder the opposing team and enhance U-turn (by boosting U-turn's power or increasing the chance that Volbeat will go last), but Encore and Thunder Wave are reusable and far more reliable. Psych Up can steal boosts from an opposing Pokemon for Volbeat to Baton Pass, but it is generally unreliable to depend on your opponent to have a certain moveset. Mental Herb can be a useful item to ignore Taunt once, but that is generally not worth sacrificing a weather rock or Leftovers.

Checks and Counters

Volbeat isn't difficult to counter as he isn't very threatening on his own. Murkrow is Volbeat's best counter, as it has higher base Speed, Prankster Taunt, and a super effective Brave Bird to take Volbeat out. Liepard is also a great counter if Volbeat lacks Bug Buzz, as it can hit him with a status move that cripples his ability to set up. Rock Blast users, such as Golem and Gigalith, can take Volbeat out pretty easily, as they can break through his Substitutes. Taunt users, such as Samurott and Misdreavus, can make Volbeat useless if he lacks Bug Buzz, and even with that move, he isn't that threatening offensively. Encore users can lock Volbeat into a move as he will generally go first thanks to Prankster. Roar and Whirlwind users can phaze away his boosts, as well as phazing his recipients on the switch. Haze can make Volbeat's Baton Pass sets useless as well by removing Tail Glow boosts. Preying on Volbeat's defensive typing and low bulk is an effective way to prevent him from setting up more than once. Pokemon such as Swellow, Zangoose, Raichu, and Seismitoad aren't affected by Thunder Wave thanks to their abilities or typing and aren't that hindered by Encore as well; the former two need to have their status orb already activated in this situation. Choice Band Golurk is a notable Pokemon that Volbeat cannot touch at all, as it is immune to Thunder Wave and is already locked into a move. Stealth Rock and other entry hazards are a reliable way to limit how often Volbeat can switch in, usually restricting him to setting up only once. It is important to note that it is often better not to directly counter Volbeat, but to target at his incoming teammates who benefit from his support, as he isn't that threatening on his own.