Starmie

Illuminate
Increases wild encounter rate (no effect in battles).
Natural Cure
Cures status on switching out.
Analytic
Raises the power of all moves by 30% if the wielder moves last.
Type Tier
Water / Psychic OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
60
- 261 324 -
Atk
75
167 186 249 273
Def
85
185 206 269 295
SpA
100
212 236 299 328
SpD
85
185 206 269 295
Spe
115
239 266 329 361

Overview

Starmie is the best offensive spinner in OU and a staple on many offensive teams. Starmie's great Speed, decent power, and broad coverage make it a great revenge killer that is difficult for all but dedicated special walls to switch into; this difficulty is only magnified under the common field condition of rain. With Analytic, even these dedicated special walls might quickly find themselves overwhelmed. Thanks to these traits, Starmie can get past every OU spinblocker. Aside from functioning as an offensive spinner, Starmie can perform defensive duties, as it has access to the combination of Recover and Natural Cure, something that no other spinner has, giving it great durability and many chances to clear the field of entry hazards.

Even though Starmie's typing gives it good STABs, it also gives it an unfortunate weakness to Pursuit, which Tyranitar, an ubiquitous Pokemon, can capitalize on. Another problem for Starmie is that, even though it is not easy to wall, Pokemon that wall it are very popular. Ferrothorn and specially defensive Celebi are both omnipresent Pokemon that can shut down Starmie while carrying Stealth Rock themselves (and Spikes in Ferrothorn's case), preventing Starmie from using Rapid Spin as long as they are on the field. Finally, Starmie is frail, even for an offensive Pokemon, meaning that it fails to find as many switch-in opportunities as it would want in a metagame where rain-boosted Water-type attacks are everywhere.

Name Item Ability Nature

Offensive Rapid Spin

Life Orb / Leftovers Analytic / Natural Cure Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Hydro Pump / Surf
~ Thunderbolt / Psyshock
~ Ice Beam
~ Rapid Spin
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

With a combination of Speed, power, Analytic, and coverage, Starmie has everything it needs to become a threatening offensive presence as well as 2HKO every spinblocker in OU. Hydro Pump hits most Pokemon that don't resist it hard and has excellent neutral coverage. It can also be boosted by rain, pumping Starmie's power to ridiculous levels and allowing it to 2HKO even most offensive Pokemon that resist it, including Latios and Keldeo, two of the bulkiest offensive Pokemon in OU. If accuracy is preferred over power, Surf is the next choice, but the power difference is very big and causes Starmie to miss out on many OHKOs and 2HKOs. Thunderbolt gives Starmie coverage on Water-types and is especially important as it 2HKOes physically defensive Jellicent, ensuring that Starmie can later use Rapid Spin. On the other hand, Psyshock gets STAB, hits some Pokemon that resist Water-type moves, such as Tentacruel, Breloom, and Keldeo, for super effective damage and allows Starmie to 2HKO specially defensive variants of Jellicent and Rotom-W, Kyurem-B, and Blissey, all after Stealth Rock damage. Ice Beam covers the Grass- and Dragon-types that resist Starmie's main STAB, 2HKOing most of them with a few exceptions, namely Ferrothorn, Kyurem, and Kyurem-B. Rapid Spin is Starmie's most important feature, as it clears its side of field of entry hazards, helping Starmie's teammates switch in more easily, especially those that are weak to Stealth Rock.

Analytic is an excellent option for this set, taking advantage of the switches that Starmie forces to hit switch-ins very hard. With Stealth Rock and rain support, Analytic gives Starmie the ability to 2HKO many of its common switch-ins without even the need for prediction. In particular, Hydro Pump on a switch to specially defensive Rotom-W, specially defensive Celebi, and 252 HP Latias, followed by the appropriate coverage move, makes short work of these would-be checks or counters (one layer of Spikes is needed to get the 2HKO on Celebi). With Analytic, Life Orb, and Stealth Rock up, Starmie can also 2HKO specially defensive Jellicent with Thunderbolt, provided it switches into Starmie.

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

Bulky Rapid Spin

Leftovers Natural Cure Timid
Moveset IVs
~ Rapid Spin
~ Scald
~ Psyshock / Ice Beam / Thunderbolt
~ Recover
0 Atk
EVs
248 HP / 32 Def / 4 SpA / 224 Spe

This set takes advantage of Starmie's best defensive traits, Natural Cure and Recover, to turn Starmie into a reliable spinner that can last for the whole game. Rapid Spin clears the field from entry hazards, letting Starmie act as a great team player. Scald is Starmie's primary STAB, having decent power and a neat burn chance, which gives Starmie the potential to neuter some of its common switch-ins such as Ferrothorn and Kyurem-B. Psyshock is a very useful move on Starmie, allowing it to OHKO the most common spinblocker, Gengar, deal a minimum of 80% damage to Breloom, and 2HKO Keldeo (regardless of Calm Mind boosts) and Terrakion in sand, all Pokemon that Starmie outspeeds. If Dragon-types are big threats to Starmie's team, Ice Beam should be used over Psyshock, as it OHKOes Dragonite and Salamence (the former after Stealth Rock), 2HKOes Latios and Hydreigon after Stealth Rock, and deals meaningful damage to most Grass-types. Thunderbolt deals good damage to most Water-types, which Starmie can easily switch into, and lets Starmie OHKO Gyarados after Stealth Rock, allowing Starmie to act as a great check to it. Recover is one of the main advantages Starmie has over other defensive spinners, giving it great longevity and combined with Natural Cure allowing it to switch into a multitude of defensive Pokemon and find many opportunities to use Rapid Spin.

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

Choice Specs

Choice Specs Analytic / Natural Cure Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Hydro Pump / Surf
~ Psyshock / Thunderbolt
~ Trick
~ Rapid Spin / Ice Beam
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

With a Choice Specs equipped, and possibly a boost from rain and Analytic, Starmie is able to 2HKO most of OU with just Hydro Pump, minimizing the need for prediction against all but a few targets. To illustrate Starmie's raw power, with Analytic boosting its first hit, a Choice Specs Hydro Pump in the rain scores a 2HKO even on a specially defensive Rotom-W (after Stealth Rock damage)! Surf still hits very hard while being much more reliable, but the power drop is quite noticeable. Psyshock deals with some of the Pokemon that can avoid the 2HKO from Starmie's Water-type attacks, such as Blissey and specially defensive variants of Jellicent, while also OHKOing many important Pokemon, including Keldeo, Breloom, and Tentacruel (the last after Stealth Rock). On the other hand, Thunderbolt has the advantage of 2HKOing all Jellicent variants with the help of Stealth Rock and OHKOing Gyarados, but has less utility in general than Psyshock. Trick makes Starmie even harder to switch into, crippling any defensive answer to it, including the omnipresent Ferrothorn and Celebi, and is one of the main distinguishing features of Starmie over the other common Water-type Choice Specs wielder, Keldeo. Furthermore, by getting rid of Choice Specs with Trick, Starmie gains the advantage of being able to switch moves and is able to use Rapid Spin without becoming utter setup bait. Rapid Spin works well with Trick, as after Starmie cripples one of its counters with it, it can work as a spinner too, allowing Starmie to effectively fill three main roles for its team: hard hitter, lure, and spinner. However, if Rapid Spin support is not important for Starmie's team, then Ice Beam is the next best option to deal with the Grass- and Dragon-types that check Starmie, such as Celebi and Latias.

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

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Natural Cure Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Hydro Pump / Surf
~ Ice Beam
~ Thunderbolt
~ Trick
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

While Starmie doesn't have the highest Special Attack around, its great Speed and wide coverage allow it to become a decent revenge killer that can outspeed the whole metagame when holding a Choice Scarf. Hydro Pump is Starmie's main STAB, OHKOing Pokemon such as Terrakion and Landorus-T and also allowing Starmie to sometimes clean up late-game if rain is present. Surf is more reliable but misses the guaranteed OHKO on Terrakion and makes it much harder for Starmie to clean up. Ice Beam takes care of the plethora of boosting sweepers weak to it, such as Salamence, Dragonite, and Garchomp, while also hitting Grass-types super effectively. Thunderbolt deals with Gyarados and Keldeo to an extent, while hitting most other Water-types for solid damage. Trick rounds out the set and makes sure that Starmie isn't easy to switch into, especially by defensive teams.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Starmie can use a dual screens set, but it faces major competition from Azelf, which has Stealth Rock and Taunt over Starmie, making it a more successful Pokemon in that role overall. However, Starmie does have some advantages over Azelf, and those are Water-type STAB, Recover, Natural Cure, and Rapid Spin, so make sure to take advantage of them. Hidden Power Fire can be used on any set if Starmie is being used on a sun team, mainly to hit Ferrothorn and Scizor, two Pokemon that can hit Starmie hard and Starmie can't properly damage otherwise under sun, and even outside of it in Ferrothorn's case. Hidden Power Grass and Grass Knot are options for teams that struggle with Gastrodon and Rotom-W while still hitting most Water-types, such as Jellicent and Politoed. However, Starmie loses coverage on Flying-types and Tentacruel, leaving it easier to wall in general. Signal Beam can be used on any offensive set to 2HKO Celebi, one of Starmie's hardest enemies to remove. When used on a hail team, Starmie can opt to use Blizzard over Ice Beam, increasing its damage output. Thunder Wave allows Starmie to support its team and cripple some of its usual switch-ins, including Latias, Kyurem, and Kyurem-B. Starmie can also support its team by changing the weather to more favorable or less threatening conditions with Rain Dance or Hail. This strategy is usually only effective if the opponent's weather starter is down, though. Rain Dance powers up Starmie's Water-type STAB moves but is redundant against rain teams, while Hail is only usable to cancel out the opponent's weather but is effective against all of the most popular weathers.

Checks and Counters

Chansey and specially defensive Celebi are the best counters to Starmie, as they are able to handle every single one of Starmie's sets with no worries, except for the rare Trick and the even rarer offensive sets with Analytic. Ferrothorn completely walls Starmie, can punish the use of Rapid Spin with Iron Barbs, and can OHKO back with Power Whip while only fearing a Scald burn from defensive variants, which admittedly troubles Ferrothorn a lot. Blissey can take on most Starmie variants easily, fearing only Psyshock from Life Orb and Choice Specs variants and Trick. Calm Mind Latias can switch into anything Starmie has, except for Life Orb-boosted Ice Beam, and start setting up on it, making it an excellent check to Starmie. Defensive variants of Kyurem-B wall most offensive sets of Starmie and can set up on them, but can't switch into defensive Starmie so well, in fear of a Scald burn, which would neuter Kyurem-B. Kyurem makes for a very good switch-in to defensive Starmie, as unlike Kyurem-B it doesn't mind getting burned, and can set up a Substitute to comfortably start attacking. All offensive versions of Kyurem and Kyurem-B can also check offensive Starmie with Leftovers pretty well, avoiding the 2HKO from all of its moves even with Stealth Rock up. All Jellicent variants are also very good checks to Starmie, walling Starmie's defensive set and preventing Rapid Spin from working. Furthermore, physically defensive Jellicent walls offensive Starmie sets with Psyshock while specially defensive Jellicent walls offensive Starmie sets with Thunderbolt (Thunder 2HKOes both variants easily though). Rotom-W, especially the specially defensive set, is an excellent switch-in to Starmie, resisting Hydro Pump and not fearing any of its coverage moves aside from Life Orb or Choice Specs-boosted Psyshock and Thunder. Amoonguss is a good check to Starmie that lack Psyshock, as it is able to switch into anything but Ice Beam and 2HKO Starmie with Giga Drain. Any Starmie set that lacks Ice Beam can be taken advantage of by the various Dragon-types that reside in OU, such as Dragonite and Latios.

Pursuit users have the potential to eliminate Starmie under certain circumstances. Tyranitar can trap and KO Starmie with Pursuit, provided it switches in as Starmie uses Rapid Spin or comes in for free in some other way and avoids getting burned from Scald. Scizor can do the same with Pursuit as long as it too gets in for free but fails to trap Life Orb and Choice Specs Starmie in rain, as those sets can OHKO with Hydro Pump. Weavile is the only Pursuit user that has the advantage of outspeeding Starmie, but like other Pursuit users, it struggles to switch into Starmie, as Hydro Pump from offensive variants threatens to OHKO and Scald from defensive sets can neuter Weavile with a burn. Finally, most faster Pokemon can revenge kill Starmie. For example, Jolteon, Alakazam, Choice Scarf Latios, Choice Scarf Terrakion, and Choice Scarf Landorus-T can all dent or OHKO Starmie, but most of them can't switch in safely.