Meloetta is a Pokemon that is sure to keep its opponents on their toes. There aren't many Pokemon that can boast being able to change into a completely different Pokemon with a single move, and Meloetta is able to make great use of its ability to do this. This is especially effective because many of Meloetta's counters, such as Blissey, Chansey, and Tyranitar, are beaten by Meloetta-P. But Meloetta's effectiveness doesn't stop with a mixed set. Thanks to its naturally high special defense and HP and its expansive movepool, Meloetta is able to run effective Calm Mind, all-out attacker, and specially defensive sets as well. Its Normal typing might seem useless at first, but the Ghost immunity that comes with it makes Meloetta a great counter to the likes of Gengar and Alakazam. To top it all off, Meloetta is gifted with one of the best abilities in the game: Serene Grace. This means that its Psychic, Shadow Ball, and Focus Blast all have twice the chance to lower Special Defense and it can support the team with a 60% paralysis chance Thunder.
However, Meloetta's Defense is lacking, its low Speed means that it will have trouble against faster offensive teams in its Aria forme, and it has to waste an entire moveslot and turn to switch into its Pirouette forme. The turn it uses to set up can be costly, as it means that you won't be able to hit opposing Pokemon with the appropriate coverage move on the switch. And because Relic Song is a Normal-type move, the forme change can be blocked by Ghost-types, giving them a free switch-in and losing momentum for Meloetta. However, these flaws are dwarfed by the sheer versatility and power that Meloetta can bring to the team.
Few Pokemon can run a mixed attacker set as effectively as Meloetta. Relic Song allows Meloetta to change into its Pirouette forme, a Normal / Fighting type with base 128 Attack and Speed. Common switch-ins to Meloetta, such as Blissey, Chansey, and Tyranitar, are destroyed by a STAB Close Combat from Meloetta-P. Conversely, Pokemon such as Skarmory, Landorus-T, and Gliscor that switch in on Meloetta-P might find themselves on the wrong end of a Thunder or Hidden Power Ice. Furthermore, one cannot ignore the importance of shifting from a merely decent base 90 Speed into a blazing fast base 128 Speed. Changing into Meloetta-P as the opponent sends in a faster Pokemon—such as Choice Scarf Tyranitar or, if it runs Ice Punch, Choice Specs Latios or Calm Mind Latias—can turn the tide of a match. In fact, one of the biggest draws of the relic mixed set is its unrivaled ability to apply pressure to the opponent. With the constant fear of Meloetta changing formes, the opponent will have to choose between sending in Tyranitar to take a Hidden Power Ice or Landorus-T to take a Close Combat. The mind games that Meloetta creates give its user a major advantage. It is also important to note that prediction is key when using this set. Using Relic Song on a switch can be an effective way to keep momentum without actually switching; however, using Relic Song when the opponent stays in can be costly, as the opposing Pokemon can take advantage of Meloetta being in the wrong forme.
Close Combat is a useful move for late-game cleaning and is Meloetta-P's main STAB move. It smacks Pokemon such as Tyranitar and Blissey, which are full stops to Meloetta's Aria forme. Meloetta's coverage moves really come down to what your team needs. Thunder is an amazing option for Meloetta in the rain, as Serene Grace doubles its paralysis chance to 60%. This allows Meloetta to support the team while also keeping on the offensive. Thunder can even keep Latios and Latias, common switch-ins to Meloetta, at bay, because they fear the paralysis that might come with taking a hit. On the other hand, Shadow Ball can hit Celebi, Latios, and Latias on the switch for decent damage, and the 40% chance of lowering their Special Defense can come in handy to prevent them from Life Orb stalling Meloetta or trying to set up on it. The final moveslot largely determines what Pokemon Meloetta can KO and how it goes about doing so. With Hidden Power Ice, Meloetta can lure and OHKO Landorus-T and Gliscor, regardless of what forme it finds itself in. This can later clear the way for Meloetta-P to clean with Close Combat. Psychic is a secondary STAB option for Meloetta, hitting Tentacruel, Breloom, and Gengar for super effective damage. Finally, Ice Punch is a decent option to help Meloetta-P clean late-game. After a Relic Song, Choice Specs Latios, Calm Mind Latias (guaranteed 2HKO only with Stealth Rock damage), Landorus-T, and Gliscor will all be OHKOed by an Ice Punch coming from Meloetta-P. The choice between Hidden Power Ice and Ice Punch comes down to whether letting Meloetta wallbreak or clean up is more important to the team.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Meloetta can run a decent Substitute + Calm Mind set with Psychic and Focus Blast, but this is usually done better by Jirachi and Latias and Calm Mind Meloetta needs to play to its advantages if it wants to separate itself from other Calm Mind users. A Choice Specs set with Psychic / Hyper Voice / Shadow Ball / Focus Blast seems effective, as base 128 Special Attack is impressive and Meloetta's Speed is high enough to support it. However, locking Meloetta into any of those moves is undesirable, as they all have types that are immune to them. A mixed set with Relic Song and Work Up can boost both of its attacking stats, but Meloetta already has to waste a turn to switch formes, so finding an additional turn to boost is difficult and usually isn't worth it. Physically, Meloetta can use a Hone Claws set that can switch to Meloetta-P and then boost its attack to sweep. It can also use a Relic Song set with three physical attacks and play exclusively as Meloetta-P. However, Meloetta still has to use up one of its moveslots and a turn to even transform into Meloetta-P in the first place, meaning it usually isn't worth it.
Checks and Counters
Specially defensive Jirachi is the best counter to the mixed set, not caring about any of Meloetta's attacks and crippling it back with paralysis while also slowly wearing down Meloetta with Iron Head. Specially defensive Celebi is a hard counter to the mixed set, as it is not 2HKOed by any of Meloetta's moves; however, if Meloetta runs Ice Punch, Celebi will be forced to stall out Life Orb recoil with Recover, as it comes close to 2HKOing. Specially defensive Hippowdon avoids the 2HKO from any of the mixed set's moves and can also stall out Life Orb recoil, with sandstorm damage helping to wear down Meloetta even faster. If Meloetta decides to use Ice Punch then even physically defensive Hippowdon can counter it. On the same set, if Meloetta lacks Ice Punch, Latios and Latias can check it, as they don't take much damage from Hidden Power Ice and resist Thunder, though they do fear paralysis. Ghost-types such as Jellicent and Gengar can prevent Meloetta from changing formes, as they are immune to Relic Song. However, Jellicent has to watch out for Psyshock and Thunder, and Gengar has to watch out for any Psychic STAB while it can't do anything significant back. Scizor can threaten any set with U-turn and can pick off Meloetta after it has been weakened with Bullet Punch, while switching relatively easily into most of Meloetta's attacks. Fast physical attackers, such as Choice Scarf Salamence, Choice Scarf Jirachi, and Choice Scarf Garchomp, can effectively revenge kill Meloetta when it is holding a Life Orb, as this takes away from its already lacking physical bulk.