Milotic moves into the new generation retaining her status as the only bulky, pure Water-type with instant, self-sufficient recovery. Above-average HP, excellent Special Attack, and phenomenal Special Defense stats allow Milotic to function as a great mixed wall that is also capable of dishing out her own damage. Marvel Scale remains a unique defensive ability that sets Milotic apart from other bulky Water-types as a status absorber or a Sleep Talk user. Despite only a minute increase to her already shallow movepool, Milotic has some new toys to play with in BW. Scald is a welcomed asset, burns helping protect Milotic's weaker defensive stat and Dragon Tail gives her much-needed phazing. Since these options are TM-based, Milotic is one of the few Pokemon who can enjoy the generation transition with no detrimental impact. In a chaotic, new world dominated by offense, Milotic establishes herself as a moderate defensive check, not supporting the team so much as disrupting the opponent.
This set takes advantage of Milotic's access to Recover, which frees up an extra moveslot for both offensive and support moves. Scald and Ice Beam allow Milotic to exercise her robust 100 base Special Attack. Scald's 30% burn chance means that most physical sweepers must be wary of switching in, lest they be crippled. Ice Beam rounds out Milotic's coverage, notable targets including Salamence, Dragonite, and Haxorus.
The choice of support move is at the player’s discretion, each having its own merits; Toxic allows Milotic to make short work of her fellow bulky Water-types and works well with Recover-stalling, whereas Dragon Tail allows Milotic to bounce away setup sweepers and inflict extra damage through entry hazards. It also bypasses Taunt, but unlike Haze, it is liable to miss, albeit rarely, and fails to get rid of opponents behind a Substitute.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
The fabled strategy of RestTalking is definitely still viable on Milotic because she is the only Pokemon that receives a defensive reward for using Rest, through Marvel Scale. Scald, again, is the primary STAB because of its chance to enhance Milotic's walling ability. Dragon Tail finally allows Milotic to join the phazing ranks of Gyarados and Swampert, becoming a team player of sorts as it can hamper opposing efforts to set up or spread status. With Sleep Talk, Dragon Tail loses its negative priority, allowing Milotic to phaze slower opponents before they even have a chance to move. Milotic is a solid choice over Gyarados in this niche because of her lack of Stealth Rock weakness, better Special Defense, the boost from Marvel Scale, and lack of an easily exploitable 4x weakness to Electric-type moves.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With Scald disabling physical sweepers, Milotic can try Mirror Coat to nail special attackers as well. For this, a spread focusing on Special Defense is recommended as Milotic needs all the investment it can get to survive and reflect the most powerful of special moves. Light Screen, when combined with Scald, can be used to increase Milotic's overall defenses. A Calm nature with 252 HP / 200 Def / 56 SpD makes a good balance, but Milotic will want to focus most of her EVs on Defense this generation to differentiate herself from Jellicent.
Hidden Power Electric and Hidden Power Grass are offensive alternatives to Ice Beam or the support options on the Recover set, but Milotic won't be doing as much damage to her fellow Water-types as she would with Toxic. Hidden Power Fire is another option to deal with Ferrothorn, but doesn't offer many other benefits. A Life Orb set is also a possibility, but can be hard to pull off—although Milotic has great Special Attack, barely better-than-average Speed, a poor offensive movepool, and a lack of setup moves leave her to coverage-based tanking at best.
Magic Coat's increased versatility this generation extends to Milotic as well, although more often than not, Milotic is happy to take a status move. Hypnosis was once a staple on Milotic last generation and it remains a viable option with the sleep counter shenanigans of BW, although Scald and Toxic are more consistent options.
Checks and Counters
For all of her splendor and bulk, Milotic is easily 2HKOed by powerful Grass- and Electric-type moves. Zapdos, Virizion, Breloom, Celebi, Jolteon, and Lilligant can all counter Milotic quite effectively with their STAB moves, but the majority of them won't like being hit by Ice Beam or badly poisoned. Ferrothorn and Whimsicott make Milotic's life hellish as they can sap massive amounts of health through Leech Seed—Ferrothorn is especially troublesome as it can set up entry hazards. However, Scald can be troublesome as Ferrothorn will be unable to kill Milotic with Power Whip if it's burned. The RestTalk set can also outrun Ferrothorn and, should Sleep Talk select Dragon Tail, phaze it before it gets a chance to move. If Milotic switches into either Ferrothorn's Thunder Wave or Whimsicott's Stun Spore, killing her will be much harder.
Milotic needs Ice Beam to slay dragons and Grass-types, Toxic to overcome bulky Water-types, and Haze to counter Substitute sweepers. Once you figure out her support move, she'll be relatively simple to counter appropriately. Jellicent might have a chance against the Recover set if it's running Energy Ball or Toxic. Taunt is its best option against the RestTalk set, however, because Milotic can easily outspeed Jellicent and use Toxic itself, while Jellicent will find it hard to do any damage back. Tentacruel can easily set up on Milotic, but runs the risk of being stalled to death if Milotic is burned. Additionally, if Tentacruel is used to set up Toxic Spikes, one should be careful of a Milotic switch-in nabbing the Marvel Scale boost on the first layer.