Zapdos

Pressure
Enemy attacks lose one extra PP. Increases wild encounter rate.
Lightningrod
When hit with an Electric-type move, Special Attack is boosted by one stage. All Electric-type attacks are drawn to this Pokemon.
Type Tier
Electric / Flying UU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
90
- 165 197 -
Atk
90
99 110 142 156
Def
85
94 105 137 150
SpA
125
130 145 177 194
SpD
90
99 110 142 156
Spe
100
108 120 152 167

Overview

Zapdos's excellent typing and bulk allows it to check a multitude of common physical attackers such as Metagross and Garchomp. However, Zapdos distinguishes itself from other bulky Pokemon with its excellent offensive prowess; it features good Speed, high Special Attack, and excellent coverage. Although it might at first seem outclassed by Thundurus, Zapdos's greater bulk and access to Tailwind and Heat Wave keep it distinct from the genie. Unfortunately, Zapdos is weak to common spread attacks, such as Rock Slide and Blizzard, and it's also slower than several common threats, such as Latios, Weavile, and Terrakion. Overall, thanks to its bulk and power, Zapdos works well as part of a DisQuake duo, a rain attacker, a check to rain teams, or on a goodstuff team.

Name Item Nature

Special Attacker

Sitrus Berry / Charti Berry / Yache Berry Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Thunderbolt / Discharge
~ Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Grass
~ Heat Wave
~ Detect / Tailwind
140 HP / 252 SpA / 116 Spe

Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Ice have excellent coverage when used together, as Hidden Power Ice 2HKOes most of the Pokemon that resist Thunderbolt, such as Latios. Discharge can be used over Thunderbolt, as it is a spread attack and works well when paired with Earthquake, forming the well-known DisQuake combination. However, it is less powerful than Thunderbolt on a single target. If Zapdos is being used on a rain team, Hidden Power Grass can be used to deal with Swampert and Gastrodon, as the latter is a common check to rain teams. Heat Wave OHKOes Abomasnow and does severe damage to Ferrothorn, while doing slightly more damage to Metagross than Thunderbolt does. Detect allows Zapdos to avoid damage for a turn and lets its partner KO a threat. As an added plus, Imprison users such as Uxie will also not prevent Zapdos from using Detect, due to its limited distribution. Tailwind is also an option in the last moveslot, as it allows Zapdos to surprise weather teams and goodstuff teams with faster Pokemon.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Roost can let Zapdos stall out slower Rock Slides and Blizzards, allowing it to take better advantage of its multitude of resistances and good bulk. Rain Dance provides insurance if Politoed gets KOed, and can replace Detect or Heat Wave. Thunder Wave can help to slow down an opponent and the chance of full paralysis is handy, but Tailwind is often more useful and reliable. Roar can stop even Mental Herb users from setting up Trick Room, which is especially useful as Zapdos usually has trouble against most Trick Room teams. Light Screen doesn't have any specific use, but supports the team and allows Zapdos to take Blizzards more easily.

Checks and Counters

Rotom-H is a perfect counter to Zapdos; it resists any attack Zapdos can use, and can 2HKO with Thunderbolt and Overheat. Tyranitar can take any attack and do severe damage in return with Rock Slide. Abomasnow has to watch out for Heat Wave, but it resists Thunderbolt and takes little damage from Hidden Power Ice. In return, Focus Sash and Occa Berry variants can easily do huge damage or even KO Zapdos with Blizzard, while Choice Scarf Abomasnow outspeeds and does severe damage before Zapdos can attack. Weavile outspeeds and does great damage with Ice Punch, possibly OHKOing as well. Terrakion doesn't take too much damage from any attack, and easily outspeeds and 2HKOes Zapdos with Rock Slide. Rhyperior is hurt by Hidden Power Ice and is OHKOed by Hidden Power Grass if lacking Solid Rock, but does huge damage in return with Rock Slide. Archeops can't switch into Thunderbolt or Hidden Power Ice, but maims Zapdos with Rock Slide. Latios is also an excellent check, as it outspeeds Zapdos and can shrug off Hidden Power Ice while OHKOing back with a Life Orb- or Dragon Gem-boosted Draco Meteor. In addition, Latios can't be baited by a resist Berry, unlike Abomasnow or Weavile; it has to watch out for bulkier variants with Thunder Wave or Tailwind, however. Specially defensive Latias and Blissey take very little from any attack, but must watch out for Toxic, which cripples them both.

Unreleased

Zapdos gets Lightningrod from the Dream World, which makes it immune to Thunder Wave and gives it a Special Attack boost when hit by an Electric-type attack. Not only will this make it an excellent partner to Water-types such as Politoed, but it also means Zapdos can be used very effectively in a combination with another Discharge user such as Thundurus to make its attacks even more powerful.