Volbeat

Illuminate
Increases wild encounter rate (no effect in battles).
Swarm
Boosts power of Bug-type moves by 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Prankster
Moves that do not deal direct damage have their priority increased by one level.
Type Tier
Bug NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 271 334 -
Atk
73
163 182 245 269
Def
55
131 146 209 229
SpA
47
117 130 193 212
SpD
75
167 186 249 273
Spe
85
185 206 269 295

Overview

Volbeat is one of many mediocre Pokemon blessed with a fantastic hidden ability. With Prankster granting it priority on all non-attacking moves, including a buff to its near-signature move, Tail Glow, Volbeat finally has a chance to function competitively by passing colossal Special Attack boosts to Pokemon that can actually use them. On the downside, it still has a very poor stat distribution and lacks the tools to prevent phazing attempts on its own, which makes a successful setup rather difficult to pull off against a well-prepared team. All things considered, Volbeat's performance is directly akin to the strength and fortitude of its teammates—don't let your guard down for a second, or you may find yourself on the losing end of a sweep.

Name Item Ability Nature

Baton Pass

Leftovers Prankster Bold
Moveset EVs
~ Tail Glow
~ Baton Pass
~ Bug Buzz / Substitute
~ Thunder Wave / Encore
252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe

Volbeat's job in UU as a supporter is very straightforward: Tail Glow, Baton Pass, and if all else fails, paralyze things until it faints. Little else is required of it—its mammoth +3 Special Attack boosts do all of the talking. Tail Glow turns anything that receives the boosts into an offensive monster, causing the equivalent of a Nasty Plot boost with an additional Calm Mind boost, all in one turn! This set is great at changing the flow of the battle. Volbeat can easily shift the momentum into an offensive team's favor, and can help its teammates force their way through counters. For instance, while Shaymin and Roserade are normally great switch-ins to Suicune, a +3 Ice Beam will send them packing in a hurry. In situations where Volbeat lacks a free turn to set up successfully, Thunder Wave gives it another avenue for team support, crippling faster offensive threats, while Encore can be used to keep set-up sweepers and Substitute users at bay. Bug Buzz is Volbeat's only viable attacking option, and can deal a decent chunk of damage to Pokemon that don't resist it when it's backed by a Tail Glow. Substitute can be used in place of Bug Buzz to prevent Dragon Tail from phazing it out, thus making Baton Passing easier, but it comes at the cost of making Volbeat a sitting duck for phazers that use Roar or Whirlwind.

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

Weather Support

Damp Rock / Heat Rock Prankster Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Rain Dance / Sunny Day
~ Thunder Wave
~ Encore
~ U-turn
252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe

This set champions an old school method of weather support. Rain Dance and Sunny Day being used first under most conditions means that even if the firefly is unlikely to make it to the next turn, it will be a huge asset to its team by ensuring the desired field condition is up and running before it goes down. U-turn allows Volbeat to safely scout switch-ins for its teammates and get out when needed, as the last thing a rain sweeper needs is to take a hit on the switch-in after being weakened by an attack from the opponent, such as Stone Edge from Rhyperior. Thunder Wave is a great supporting move overall, and should be used on any variant of Volbeat thanks to its crippling Speed drop and the ability to make any moderately fast offensive Pokemon shiver. Encore is a rather poor option on this set, as there aren't very many moves Volbeat would want to Encore with its poor durability and lack of Leftovers recovery, but it's one of the few options the little bug possesses and can at least screw over boosting sweepers in a pinch.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

There isn't much else Volbeat can do. Thunderbolt helps it get past the many Water-type phazers of the tier, such as Milotic, Suicune, and Blastoise, and Trick can be useful in hindering walls or sweepers that trouble the team. Confuse Ray requires a lot of luck, but it helps to delay phazers and Pokemon that may threaten the Baton Pass recipient. Other than that, the options provided are the best and only ways to realize Volbeat's full potential.

Checks and Counters

There is no offensive way to prevent a Volbeat from passing its boosts without a faster priority attack or an ExtremeSpeed user waiting in the wings, but it is easy to phaze it out if Volbeat does not have Xatu as its partner. Roar and Whirlwhind users are abundant, the most common among those being Suicune, Zapdos, and Snorlax, none of which Volbeat can damage significantly before being forced out. Haze users such as Milotic and faster Pokemon with Prankster, such as Murkrow and Whimsicott, will also keep it at bay. Entry hazards shorten Volbeat's life span and limit the number of times it can switch in and set up. Another sigh of relief comes from the fact that regardless of how dangerous its teammates are, Volbeat can't pass Speed boosts. Because of this, revenge killing with Choice Scarf users and strong priority attacks from the likes of Arcanine, Bisharp, Azumarill, and Hitmontop are always great options to take down either Volbeat or the Baton Pass receiver.