Azelf

Levitate
The wielder is immune to Ground-type moves.
Type Tier
Psychic UU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
75
- 150 182 -
Atk
125
130 145 177 194
Def
70
81 90 122 134
SpA
125
130 145 177 194
SpD
70
81 90 122 134
Spe
115
121 135 167 183

Overview

Bearing the grand title of The Being of Willpower, Azelf does not disappoint. Its offensive stats are fantastic; base 125 in both Attack and Special Attack is nothing to be taken lightly. Azelf is also blessed with a blazing base 115 Speed, outspeeding most of the OU tier. Azelf also has a very wide movepool, which allows it to fill a variety of roles, granting it the ability to fit on a variety of teams. It doesn't end there; Azelf also is known as one of the best dual screeners in OU, having access to both Stealth Rock and Taunt, which combine to earn Azelf a spot as a respectable lead.

However, at the end of the day, Azelf doesn't come without flaws. While Azelf can play many roles, Team Preview makes it painfully obvious what role Azelf plays on a team. Azelf also has pitiful defenses; it can rarely absorb more than two hits. Nothing has changed for Azelf in the transition to BW2; Pokemon such as Espeon have traits that are more in-demand, giving Azelf major competition in the OU environment. Nonetheless, Azelf is a powerful threat and should be treated as such, as underestimating it will cause you to regret it.

Name Item Nature

Suicide Lead

Focus Sash Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Taunt
~ Thunderbolt
~ Fire Blast
4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Azelf was a very popular lead in DPP, and while it isn't as common as it was then, it's still a successful set today. The goal of this set is to set up Stealth Rock on the field while preventing the opponent from doing the same. With the help of Taunt and attacking moves, this set is very effective against other common leads, such as Ferrothorn, Forretress, and Skarmory. Thunderbolt provides excellent coverage, especially against Xatu, whose ability Magic Guard foils Azelf's plan to set up Stealth Rock. It also deals heavy damage to Starmie and Tentacruel. Fire Blast rounds out Azelf's coverage, hitting Steel-types very hard and allowing Azelf to handle opposing leads that are immune to Thunderbolt, such as Landorus-T.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Dual Screens

Light Clay Timid / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Reflect
~ Light Screen
~ Taunt
~ Stealth Rock / U-turn / Explosion
168 HP / 88 Def / 252 Spe

Thanks to Azelf's outstanding Speed and access to very useful support moves, it can run an effective dual screen set. Despite Azelf's subpar defenses, it still has the potential to get a screen or two up to aid its teammates. Reflect and Light Screen allow a fellow teammate to set up or sweep and make taking powerful hits much easier. Taunt is what makes Azelf stand out from other dual screen users, as it prevents setup sweepers from setting up against Azelf and stops opposing leads in their tracks. The final moveslot depends on preference. Usually, Azelf is unable to set up both screens and Stealth Rock. However, as both screens are not always necessary, Azelf can set the appropriate screen and proceed to set up Stealth Rock if it has the time. U-turn can be used to gain momentum when you sense danger, while Explosion gives a free switch-in to a teammate, though it should only be used after screens are up.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Special Attacker

Life Orb Timid
Moveset EVs
~ U-turn
~ Psyshock / Psychic
~ Fire Blast
~ Hidden Power Fighting / Grass Knot
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Azelf is more than capable of running an all-out attacking set with its above-average offenses and Speed. This set is great for weakening opponents late-game and can tackle a variety of Pokemon thanks to its great coverage. U-turn is useful for gaining momentum and scouting. Psyshock is the superior STAB option for Azelf, as it can hit special walls, such as Blissey and Chansey, hard. However, Psychic sports more power and a chance to lower the foe's Special Defense. Fire Blast provides coverage against Steel-types Azelf would normally have issues with. The final moveslot is based on what threats trouble your team; if you struggle with Heatran or Tyranitar, Hidden Power Fighting is the ideal choice. If you have difficulties defeating Starmie or Gastrodon, Grass Knot is a better option.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Due to Azelf's wide movepool, it has lots of options to choose from. A Calm Mind set is viable, though Azelf's frailness doesn't give it many chances to even set up Calm Mind. Azelf can also be paired with Politoed to utilize Thunder. Choice Specs is also an option for Azelf, but the Special Attacker set already accomplishes what a Choice Specs set would have without being locked into a move. Since Azelf has great selections for physical attacking moves, such as Zen Headbutt and Fire Punch, a Choice Band set could be used to utilize that. Finally, Azelf learns many useful support moves, such as Thunder Wave and Toxic, giving it the option to play a supporting role. However, Azelf's defenses once again hold it back from successfully pulling off such a set.

Checks and Counters

Azelf's poor defenses are its ultimate downfall, so KOing it isn't too difficult. Pokemon with priority moves can KO Azelf before it gets the chance to strike back. Choice Band Scizor, for example, can easily defeat Azelf with Bullet Punch. Scizor also has access to Pursuit, as does Tyranitar, both of which can prevent Azelf from switching out safely and finish it off with their STAB moves. However, the former must be wary of Fire Blast, and the latter must watch out for Hidden Power Fighting. Status inflictions, such as paralysis, can stop Azelf from achieving most of its goals. Jirachi and Prankster Whimsicott can easily paralyze Azelf. Jellicent and specially defensive Heatran can wall Azelf. However, they must be very careful of Grass Knot and Hidden Power Fighting, respectively. Reuniclus, Latios, and Latias can also wall Azelf easily if Azelf doesn't carry Shadow Ball. Latios and Latias are great switch-ins to Azelf, though a Life Orb U-turn severely dents both of them. Overall, Azelf's large selection of coverage moves make it difficult to counter, but if you can identify Azelf's moveset, defeating it isn't a difficult task.