Milotic may have appeared to have fallen from grace in the transition from ADV, but it still fills a rare and valuable niche in the OU metagame as the only bulky Water-type with access to an instant recovery move. In fact, the ability to regain a consistent 50% of her health through just one moveslot, combined with her pure Water typing, is perhaps the only reason to use it in OU. Still, Milotic has quite a bit going for it in the higher levels of play, with Special Attack on par with Starmie and a massive Special Defense stat. In particular, her unique ability, Marvel Scale, lets her absorb status, giving her the potential to have better physical walling abilities than Skarmory. Despite her UU status, Milotic is still a reliable defensive Pokemon and a great choice for teams that need a bulky Water-type with extra coverage.
Recover lets Milotic stand out from her bulky Water-type brethren, precisely because it frees up an extra moveslot. Rather than lose two spots for RestTalk or Wish and Protect, Milotic can focus on the almost perfect neutral coverage provided by Water-, Ice-, and Electric-type attacks or disruption in the form of Haze.
Milotic's Water typing allows it to switch into many different types of moves, while Marvel Scale lets it absorb Will-O-Wisp, Thunder Wave, and the first layer of Toxic Spikes without any hassle. In the past, Milotic relied on the fairly inaccurate Hypnosis, leaving it vulnerable to Taunt. However, with several offensive options at her disposal, Milotic can handle many users of Taunt, especially Gyarados.
Milotic is not by any means invincible, but she can still act as a pivot against the likes of Dragonite, Gliscor, Heatran, and Gyarados, and generally takes unboosted neutral and resisted hits with ease. Even stat-boosting Pokemon, such as Scizor and Lucario, who think they can set up on you with relative impunity will not enjoy taking a hit off 236 Special Attack, and will find themselves in a stalemate if Haze is in Milotic's repertoire.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
A Calm nature with an EV spread of 252 HP / 200 Def / 56 SpD is also highly recommended because it takes full advantage of Milotic's special bulk, while still leaving it hardy enough for the physical attackers and more than tough enough for mixed attackers. This spread also makes Milotic ideal for taking on her fellow bulky Water-types.
60% accuracy has made Hypnosis all but obsolete, but if your team is desperate for a sleep-inducer that can take a hit, it's not total suicide. Mirror Coat can score a surprise KO on an opposing special sweeper, but it requires both prediction and heavy investment in Special Defense if Milotic is hoping to survive Grass- and Electric-type assaults. Hidden Power Grass is an option, too, but with more prevalent Flying-types in the tier, and with Swampert being taken care of with Surf, it's situational at best.
Without a stat-boosting move, Milotic just can't keep up with the rest of the Sleep Talk users in OU, but if you want to take full advantage of Marvel Scale, try a moveset of Surf, Rest, Sleep Talk, and Recover. Despite only being able to attack 33% of the time, it will still be able to keep her health up with increased Defense from Marvel Scale while sleeping.
Checks and Counters
Milotic's OU counters are pretty straightforward, as it falls to the STAB moves of Zapdos, Celebi, Jolteon, Shaymin, the Rotom formes, and Breloom, although Ice Beam will punish a good number of these Pokemon. Other bulky Water-types will most certainly need Hidden Power Electric and Toxic to deal with Milotic, as Tentacruel stands out as a decent counter due to her high Special Defense. Cresselia with Charge Beam and Blissey can also out-stall Milotic. Grass Knot acts as the bane to this heavy bulky Water-type's existence. Keep in mind that Milotic's above average defenses by no means make it invincible, so powerful neutral hits should be able to wear it down after a while.
Toxic and a second layer of Toxic Spikes ruins Milotic's staying power, although for the first couple of turns it will be somewhat harder to take down because of Marvel Scale. Milotic will also be heavily disrupted if given a Choice item by Trick, which prevents it from healing or freely enjoying her coverage. Still, one must be wary of swapping Choice Specs onto it, as Milotic will most likely benefit from the Special Attack boost.
Milotic without Haze will be susceptible to stat-boosting attackers like Snorlax, Scizor, Lucario, and Calm Mind Suicune, while Milotic without Ice Beam will quickly fall prey to Dragon- and Grass-types. It is of interest to note that the combination of Water, Ice, and Electric is only resisted by Lanturn and Shedinja, although neither of these are particularly common in OU.