Togekiss is a prime example of traditionalism. While the fifth generation brought about many new competitors and toys to play with, Togekiss remains unchanged. Last generation it maintained a unique niche in the OU tier by taking on various effective roles. Without specific super effective STAB attacks, Togekiss was and always will be deceptively hard to take down. Togekiss's infamous STAB Air Slash is also surprisingly effective in OU, where it has generally good coverage, with the only common type resisting it being the Steel-type. Furthermore, Togekiss's offensive power is augmented by Nasty Plot, with which Togekiss can become an extremely efficient sweeper and stallbreaker. With remarkable defenses (especially its Special Defense), decent typing, an exceptional ability in Serene Grace, and fantastic Special Attack, Togekiss is still a very real offensive and defensive threat.
However, Togekiss does have some rather agitating disadvantages to consider as well. Due to its Flying typing, Togekiss loses 25% of its health when it switches into Stealth Rock, lessening its natural bulk. Moreover, a low base Speed stat of 80 barely grants Togekiss any favors in a metagame infested with speedier threats. Given the large amount of faster competitors, Togekiss will require some support to defeat them, mainly paralysis support, which actually helps Togekiss dramatically in more ways than one. It will often be worn down by Stealth Rock, status, and faster attackers such as Starmie, limiting its presence on the battlefield. With minimal support, however, Togekiss will certainly make a huge, albeit annoying, impact on the metagame.
Togekiss, one of last generation's original "parahax" users, can take advantage of its excellent support options, good bulk, and marvelous ability, Serene Grace, to incapacitate the opposing team. With an instant recovery move and significant investment in both HP and Special Defense, Togekiss can brush off many special attacks with ease while providing helpful support by easily inducing paralysis. However, this is not Togekiss's main draw; the combination of Air Slash and Serene Grace allows Togekiss to fence off many foes, posing a decent offensive presence. With Air Slash's increased 60% flinch rate paired with paralysis, the opposing Pokemon is left with just a 30% chance of successfully moving. Togekiss can choose between flinching an opponent to death, or whittling it down to KO range for another teammate. The latter strategy also allows Togekiss to conserve Air Slash PP as well, in case of an emergency.
Togekiss's main function here is to paralyze as many opponents as possible. Air Slash is also a main move, allowing Togekiss to continually batter paralyzed threats with ease. In the third slot, Flamethrower is the primary option to provide a good buffer against some Steel-types, especially Scizor, Ferrothorn, and Jirachi. Aura Sphere is another good option to complete Togekiss's coverage, hitting Rock- and Steel-types for super effective damage. Aura Sphere also hits Tyranitar effectively, a significant threat Togekiss will inevitably go up against. Nasty Plot is an odd, yet viable option, allowing Togekiss to boost its Special Attack to more than usable levels and taking advantage of its access to paralysis. Keep in mind that Togekiss's primary purpose is to paralyze its opponents, and a Nasty Plot sweep should only be attempted when its counters have been crippled or eliminated, since Togekiss relies on only one move in this case. Finally, the last slot is given to Roost for reliable recovery. Roost's side effect also allows Togekiss to set up in front of originally super effective attacks.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Togekiss sports the great bulk, Special Attack, and access to a good recovery move necessary to become a deceptively dangerous sweeper and stallbreaker. After a Nasty Plot boost, sufficiently weakened or crippled teams will be hard-pressed to fight back, especially when Togekiss can also vex many opponents with Air Slash's high flinch chance. With this in mind, a boosted Air Slash may even 2HKO or 3HKO those who resist it, giving Togekiss ample time to recover with its good bulk, Leftovers, and Roost. Notably, Togekiss's typing also allows it to survive many super effective attacks by setting up on them with Roost.
In the third slot, Togekiss can choose between coverage or a healing option. Aura Sphere is mainly reserved for Tyranitar, whose popularity and ability to threaten with Stone Edge makes it the primary option. Specifically, Aura Sphere also completes Togekiss's coverage with Air Slash, with the combination of the two moves being only resisted by Zapdos. With Heal Bell, Togekiss is able to set up in front of defensively-oriented opponents, particularly important OU status users like Blissey, Chansey, Jellicent, and Ferrothorn. This allows Togekiss to potentially defeat most stall teams single-handedly and support the team by healing off its teammates' statuses, granting Togekiss marvelous offensive and supportive team traits.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Togekiss, when using Nasty Plot, is utilized primarily defensively, this set allows Togekiss to more specifically exploit its fantastic Special Attack stat. It may seem like a waste to squander Togekiss's good natural bulk; however, with the provided options, Togekiss is still able to withstand many attacks and can pack more of a punch than similar offensive sets. Once Togekiss acquires a Nasty Plot boost, it is able to 2HKO every Pokemon in OU. Even Blissey and Chansey, the two premier special walls of OU, can be shut down by the appropriate combination of Air Slash and Aura Sphere.
Nasty Plot boosts Togekiss's already high Special Attack to very threatening numbers after one turn of set up. Air Slash, as always, is a given on this set due to reliable STAB and a consistent 60% flinch rate, courtesy of Serene Grace. Against paralyzed or slower opponents, Air Slash's flinch rate also allows Togekiss potentially to secure lost KOs. Fire Blast is used to cover the foes that resist Air Slash, specifically Jirachi, Bronzong, and some Electric-types. After one Nasty Plot boost with Life Orb, Fire Blast OHKOes many of Togekiss's usual counters, dealing upwards of 80% to standard physically defensive Zapdos. Any Pokemon frailer than Zapdos, especially some Rotom formes, are inevitably OHKOed.
In the final slot, Aura Sphere is the main option to pick off Tyranitar and Heatran, both of whom otherwise wall Togekiss and are very significant threats. Roost can alternatively be used as a means of healing off damage caused by Life Orb, Stealth Rock, and attacks.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Togekiss's most viable options have been listed, it still has a good number of tricks up its wing. A set consisting of Baton Pass, Nasty Plot, and two main options can be used to aid another special attacker in its sweep. Taking Togekiss's good bulk and ability to use the boost into account, it is often not hard to Baton Pass Nasty Plot boosts. In this department, Togekiss has some competition, mainly in Baton Pass Gorebyss. Another notable support option is Encore, which forces slower opponents, such as Reuniclus and Ferrothorn, to struggle while Togekiss sets up. Without paralysis support though, Togekiss finds itself rarely using Encore effectively. Togekiss also has access to Light Screen and Reflect, which are decent alternatives on a paralysis set. To differentiate itself from other dual screen users, such as Bronzong or Mew, Togekiss has a niche in its Normal / Flying typing, though its Stealth Rock weakness is rather unfortunate.
Togekiss can entirely forgo setting up for all-out offensive sets. Choice Scarf is usually a constructive way of fixing up its Speed, and, in reminiscence of Choice Scarf Jirachi, can weaken its foes by continually flinching them with Air Slash. Choice Specs may also be used to frighten slower opponents and put "oomph" into an already potent Air Slash without prior set up. Paralysis support is urgently needed to actually flinch a wider range of foes, though. Additionally, a set with three attacks, Roost, and significant Special Attack investment allows Togekiss to surprise and eliminate its normal counters. Finally, Togekiss can use an entirely unusual mixed Work Up and Hustle set (with ExtremeSpeed) to completely surprise the opponent. The main reasons why these sets aren't too practical are because of Togekiss's Stealth Rock weakness and its average Speed. While Togekiss is still naturally bulky and hard-hitting, it can find itself being defeated faster than usually should without significant defensive investment.
As for other offensive options, Togekiss has just a few. Grass Knot can more easily eliminate Ground- and Water-types without relying on flinch chances. In Drizzle conditions, Water Pulse is reasonable for its power boost in Rain and increased 60% chance of confusing the foe after Serene Grace, which functions rather beautifully with accompanying paralysis. Togekiss may also run a Hidden Power to swiftly defeat certain foes, preferably Dragon-types. In this case, Hidden Power Ice is usually the best choice for all-around coverage. Ominous Wind, AncientPower, and Silver Wind are nice novelty options to boost all stats; however, their effects, despite being doubled by Serene Grace, still have a low 20% chance of occurring. As a word of note, Air Slash, Aura Sphere, and Fire Blast all already provide perfect coverage, and with Nasty Plot, Togekiss can usually KO many Pokemon using Air Slash. Therefore, one may expect to find some coverage options redundant.
Checks and Counters
Due to Togekiss's relatively average Speed and easily exploitable weaknesses, it is only moderately difficult to counter it. However, all checks and counters should be very aware of the threat of paralysis or a powerful attack waiting in the wings. With a resistance to Air Slash and neutrality to Aura Sphere, Electric-type Pokemon such as Jolteon, Raikou, and some Rotom appliances are generally the best checks and counters. In particular, Zapdos resists the combination of Air Slash and Aura Sphere and makes short work of Togekiss with STAB Electric-type attacks, among other things. Jirachi, with its superior Speed and the ability to set up multiple Calm Minds or paralyze Togekiss, is also a moderately solid counter if Togekiss lacks a Fire-type move to hit it super effectively. Bronzong, sharing the same typing with Jirachi, sponges Togekiss's Aura Sphere fairly well and retaliates with Gyro Ball, while not minding paralysis or Air Slash much.
One of Togekiss's biggest hindrances is its Stealth Rock weakness, which instantly strips 25% off of Togekiss's health upon entering the battlefield. Any status also cripples any variant of Togekiss in some way. When paralyzed, Togekiss is more susceptible to revenge killing, even in front of other paralyzed foes, while being burned or badly poisoned means Togekiss's life span has been given an expiration date. Without paralysis support, there are many possibilities of revenge killing Togekiss as well. If having successfully avoided paralysis, Landorus-T, Terrakion, Mienshao, and others can take Togekiss out with a powerful super effective move.