Overshadowed by the likes of Jolteon and Raikou in higher tiers, Manectric finds its niche in the UU metagame as one of the more fearsome Electric-types available. While its movepool is nothing spectacular, Manectric is one of the only Electric-type Pokemon with access to powerful Fire-type attacks, and when paired with Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Grass, Manectric gains near flawless coverage, resisted only by the rare Shelgon and Dragonair who both lack the bulk to absorb powerful special attacks. It also has access to Switcheroo, making it unique as far as Electric-type Choice users go. On the downside, poor defenses and lack of resistances means Manectric rarely finds time to switch in safely, in addition to being relatively easy to KO with priority and neutral hits from faster Pokemon. Despite these downfalls, if you play Manectric's offensive attributes to their maximum potential, you will quickly find it to be a dangerous and commonly underrated special attacker.
Manectric's fantastic Speed, exceptional type coverage, and above-average Special Attack make it a natural candidate for a Life Orb set. Thunderbolt is the primary option and main draw of this set, being one of the most potent STAB attacks in the game. Flamethrower and Hidden Power Grass complement Thunderbolt well by hitting Pokemon who can safely take a hit from it; the former hits Registeel, Steelix, and Grass-types such as Venusaur and Torterra, while the latter hits Lanturn and Ground-types including Rhyperior, Claydol, and Donphan. Charge Beam rounds off the set by providing Manectric with a means of raising its Special Attack for greater offensive potential.
Overheat is a viable alternative to Flamethrower despite lowering Special Attack, as its incredible Base Power can secure some important KOs which would otherwise be impossible with Flamethrower. For example, a combination of Thunderbolt and Overheat has a high chance of OHKOing specially defensive Venusaur after Stealth Rock damage, while Registeel takes a minimum of 78% (factoring in Leftovers recovery) when switching into Charge Beam followed by a +1 Overheat. In general, Overheat is useful for hit-and-run approaches rather than sweeping. Substitute can replace Charge Beam in the final slot to minimize prediction and protect Manectric from status and revenge killers. It will also make your opponent think twice before switching in Dugtrio in an attempt to trap and OHKO Manectric with Earthquake.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
105 base Special Attack and Speed, access to important coverage with access to important coverage moves, and Switcheroo to hinder special walls that try to sponge his attacks all enable Manectric to run a Choice Specs set well. This set is best used with a hit-and-run strategy in mind and for revenge killing. Manectric can also disrupt the opponent's strategy with Switcheroo and potentially cripple one of his or her Pokemon.
Thunderbolt is Manectric's primary STAB attack and does serious damage to anything that doesn't resist it. Access to both Overheat and Flamethrower separate Manectric from its fellow Electric-types, as they allow him to hit Grass-, Steel-, Ice-, and Bug-type Pokemon for super effective damage. Overheat is the better option over two turns if you don't mind the Special Attack drop; however, Flamethrower is more accurate and won't drop the power of Manectric's other moves, which is relevant once you have used Switcheroo. Hidden Power Grass is used to round off Manectric's coverage by allowing him to hit 8 types for super effective damage and everything else for neutral damage. An alternative Hidden Power type could be used here if you have a special need for it on your team. Switcheroo allows Manectric to cripple potential counters, most notably Clefable, Registeel, and Chansey, by handing them Manectric's Choice Specs.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Modest can be used over Timid for the extra power at the loss of outspeeding base 95 Pokemon such as Houndoom and Leafeon, and tying with Mismagius and Scyther. Manectric can run a Choice Scarf set quite well, acting as a reliable revenge killer to many threats thanks to its great offensive stats. Discharge can replace Thunderbolt or take up the fourth slot to spread paralysis, although Manectric's high Speed and the need for as much power as possible generally makes it unnecessary unless your team significantly appreciates paralysis support. Manectric can fill the role of a fast Rain Dance supporter with Damp Rock, while also benefiting itself with a powerful 100% accurate Thunder and powered up Hidden Power Water. Manectric has access to some decent support moves including Roar, Light Screen, Thunder Wave, and Toxic, but it unfortunately lacks the defensive qualities to use them effectively.
Checks and Counters
Chansey and Clefable are the most solid counters to Manectric, being able to stall it out with ease thanks to their great Special Defense and instant recovery, although they must be wary of Switcheroo from Choice sets. Specially defensive Venusaur, Torterra, Registeel, and Steelix must be careful of Overheat (and sometimes Flamethrower), but they can otherwise safely take Thunderbolt and Hidden Power Grass and retaliate with status or strong STAB attacks. Ground-types who also invest heavily in Special Defense, such as Donphan and Nidoqueen, counter Manectric well thanks to their STAB Earthquake and Electric-type immunity, and they can even handle a super effective Hidden Power or two. Arcanine is yet another specially defensive Pokemon who can counter Manectric with Morning Sun to heal and ExtremeSpeed for priority; however, it is 2HKOed by Timid Choice Specs Thunderbolt after Stealth Rock damage. Finally, Lanturn's Volt Absorb, resistance to Fire, access to Thunder Wave, and natural bulk makes it an excellent Manectric switch-in.
Revenge killing with a Choice Scarf, priority moves, or naturally faster Pokemon is usually the easiest way to remove Manectric. Aqua Jet Azumarill, Mach Punch Hitmontop, and Sucker Punch Absol are examples of common priority attacks, all dealing severe damage. Swellow, Sceptile, Alakazam, and Ambipom can all outspeed and OHKO Manectric, as can Dugtrio who of course seals its fate with Arena Trap. Blaziken, Moltres and Hitmonlee are notable Choice Scarf users who can swiftly OHKO Manectric with strong STAB attacks.