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

With high offensive stats, great Speed, and an expansive movepool filled with both offensive and supportive options, Azelf has the tools it needs to be a powerful threat in UU. It has a great boosting move in Nasty Plot, as well as outstanding coverage, which allows Azelf to function as a powerful special sweeper. Azelf is also one of the best leads in the UU metagame, as its high Speed and access to useful support moves such as Stealth Rock, Taunt, and Reflect allow it to support its team while still posing a legitimate threat. However, Azelf's low defenses mean that it will often fold to most powerful attacks. Its defensive typing is also very poor, giving it weaknesses to three common attacking types in UU. However, Azelf is still a threat that must not go underestimated.

Name Item Nature

Nasty Plot

Life Orb Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Nasty Plot
~ Psychic / Psyshock
~ Fire Blast / Flamethrower
~ Thunderbolt / Grass Knot
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Of all Azelf sets, this set performs best in the sweeping category. This is because Nasty Plot boosts Azelf's Special Attack, allowing it to break through a lot of threats when backed by its blistering Speed stat. Psychic is the STAB move of choice, as it breaks through anything that doesn't resist it and that doesn't have high special bulk. Fire Blast allows Azelf to get past Steel-type Pokemon such as Registeel and Empoleon, Pokemon that resist Azelf's STAB Psychic and that would otherwise phaze or set up on it. It also helps against Weavile and Bisharp, two of the Dark-type Pokemon that tend to switch in on Psychic. Thunderbolt allows Azelf to muscle past the bulky Water-type Pokemon found in the tier, barring Swampert, and adds decent coverage alongside Psychic and Fire Blast. Thunderbolt is also useful for preventing Azelf from being walled by Houndoom, as it is immune to Psychic and Fire Blast thanks to its typing and ability. If opting for Psyshock over Psychic so that targets such as Snorlax and Porygon2 won't interrupt Azelf's sweep, one should also use Grass Knot over Thunderbolt to ensure that bulky Pokemon such as Rhyperior and Swampert cannot come in, tank Psyshock, and beat Azelf.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

All-Out Attacker

Life Orb Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Psychic / Psyshock
~ Fire Blast / Flamethrower
~ Shadow Ball
~ Stealth Rock / U-turn / Grass Knot
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Thanks to its high Speed and Special Attack stats, Azelf can forgo the need to set up with Nasty Plot and attack head-on. However, unlike the Nasty Plot set, this variant is not nearly as powerful, and is more useful for picking off weakened opponents. Psychic is Azelf's best STAB attack, hitting the array of Fighting- and Poison-type Pokemon found in the Underused tier, such as Roserade, Heracross, or Machamp, for heavy damage. Fire Blast gains super effective coverage on the Steel- and Ice-types found in UU, such as Bronzong or Froslass. Shadow Ball is useful against the array of opposing Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon found throughout the tier, such as Xatu, Chandelure, or Cofagrigus. The last slot is based on preference. Stealth Rock is great for team support and damaging opponents as they switch in, U-turn is handy for scouting the opponent and providing your team with momentum, and Grass Knot is handy for punishing heavier Pokemon such as Rhyperior, Swampert, and Golurk, opening holes in the opposing team for Azelf's teammates to take advantage of.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Dual Screens

Light Clay Timid / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Reflect
~ Light Screen
~ Taunt / U-turn
~ Stealth Rock / U-turn
252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Thanks to its blistering base 115 Speed and great supporting movepool, Azelf works as the second-best dual screener in the game, falling short of only Deoxys-S. This set helps more frail Pokemon such as Sharpedo and Porygon-Z set up and begin their sweeps, as it supplies them with a temporary defensive boost from Light Screen and Reflect. Taunt shuts down opposing Taunt users, walls, and in extreme cases, setup sweepers. This can also help keep hazards off Azelf's side of the field until setup is complete. Stealth Rock is great for general team support, damaging the opponent upon switching in, and breaking any stray Focus Sashes that might delay the sweep of a teammate.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Choice Band

Choice Band Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Zen Headbutt
~ Fire Punch
~ Ice Punch
~ U-turn / Trick
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Despite having a very usable base 125 Attack, Azelf's only viable attempt at physical offense is with a Choice Band, simply because it lacks a way to boost its Attack. This set works well as a revenge killer, simply because it isn't powerful enough to break walls like other physical attackers, such as Darmanitan or Heracross. Zen Headbutt gains STAB, which will deal decent damage to most of the tier, but being locked into this move can terminate Azelf, as UU has its fair share of Pursuit users, most of which are Dark-types. Fire Punch hits Steel-type Pokemon such as Cobalion for solid damage. Ice Punch hits the handful of Grass- and Flying-type Pokemon such as Shaymin and Gligar for super effective damage, rounding out coverage with Zen Headbutt and Fire Punch. U-turn can be used for scouting purposes, generating momentum, and hitting Dark-type switch-ins that would be expecting a Zen Headbutt. However, Trick can be used over U-turn to cripple setup Pokemon and walls, as well as giving Azelf free reign to switch its moves.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

A Choice Specs set could be used for a powerful hit-and-run attacker, but Azelf is very frail, and the prospect of being locked into Psychic against Weavile or other Dark-types is very risky and is typically not recommended. Hidden Power Fighting and Shadow Ball are viable options on the Nasty Plot set, but take away coverage. Substitute eases the need for predictions, but is not recommended because of Azelf's paper-thin defenses and the lack of Pokemon it could set a Substitute up on. A Choice Scarf set consisting of Trick, Explosion, Zen Headbutt, and Ice Punch can be used, but it receives stiff competition from other Choice Scarf users, such as Flygon and Raikou.

Checks and Counters

Dark-types, especially Weavile and Houndoom, are immune to Azelf's STAB attacks and pack Pursuit and other powerful Dark-type attacks to shut it down. Weavile is naturally faster and can use Pursuit or Night Slash to destroy Azelf, and Houndoom has access to Sucker Punch, provoking mind games with Azelf that require incredible prediction skills to work around. Yanmega and Sharpedo typically have Speed Boost and Protect, and are able to outspeed Azelf after a single boost and threaten it with STAB Bug Buzz and Crunch, respectively. Snorlax fears nothing but boosted Psyshocks, and has Rest, Whirlwind, Body Slam, and Crunch to shut down Azelf. Porygon2 can weather just about anything but boosted Hidden Power Fighting and can paralyze Azelf, set up Trick Room to use Azelf's Speed against it, or KO with Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, or Tri Attack. Victini commonly carries a Choice Scarf, can take anything but Shadow Ball, and can OHKO Azelf with V-create.