Moltres is a niche Pokemon in the OU environment. On one hand, it is possibly the best Scizor counter outside Ubers. On the other, it loses half its health whenever it switches into Stealth Rock, a common battle condition. Rapid Spin support is a must when using Moltres, as the damage is just too devastating to its survivability without it. Moltres fills a stalling role few others can but is all too often held back by Stealth Rock, so tread with caution.
Unique typing coupled with good defenses allows Moltres to stall out many defensive Pokemon with Toxic, even in the OU metagame. Flamethrower is a reliable STAB move which hits nearly every Pokemon immune to Toxic super effectively. Roost recovers your HP in a pinch, and removes Moltres's Electric-type weakness and grants Moltres a resistance to Ice-type attacks. Substitute helps Moltres stall out attacks such as Stone Edge and also guards against status. If your team uses Toxic Spikes, Roar can replace Toxic so that you can rid yourself of annoying RestTalkers such as Gyarados and Suicune. However, you may still want to keep the status move so Moltres can better harm Pokémon not affected by Toxic Spikes, such as Gliscor.
A combination of Toxic, Roost, and Substitute allows Moltres to defeat walls such as Vaporeon, Blissey, and Gliscor with a little prediction. Since it resists Fighting-, Steel-, Bug-, and Fire-type attacks, Moltres is able to counter Scizor, Jirachi, Infernape (if he lacks Stone Edge), and numerous other physical attackers without many drawbacks. Scizor cannot break Moltres's Substitute with Bullet Punch, meaning Moltres can switch in (even on Stealth Rock), set up a Substitute on the likely switch, and Roost off the damage. An Adamant Lucario's Swords Danced Life Orb Close Combat will only 2HKO, so if the foe doesn't have Stone Edge, Moltres makes a good counter to Lucario as well.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Moltres can use Air Slash alongside Hidden Power Grass in an offensive set decently, but is outclassed by Heatran, who takes neutral damage from Stealth Rock and possesses a slightly higher Special Attack score.
A lead Moltres with a Choice Scarf is viable, as many of the common OU leads are weak to Fire-type attacks, but they will likely switch out anyway, leaving you in against your counter. Aerodactyl, Tyranitar, and Swampert are fairly common leads who will probably beat such a Moltres as well.
248 HP is preferred to simply maxing HP as it means Moltres can switch into Stealth Rock three times rather than two, which can be crucial in certain situations. Investing in Special Defense is viable as it helps you stall against weaker Surfs and Thunderbolts. 60 Speed EVs allow Moltres to outspeed 88 Speed Rotom-A, most Breloom, Adamant Scizor, and Adamant Tyranitar. 112 Speed EVs are enough to beat Jolly Tyranitar, while 160 Speed EVs with a boosting nature are enough to beat Adamant Lucario.
Checks and Counters
Bulky Water-types, as well as Blissey, do a decent job at countering Moltres, but will often get crippled in the process. Tentacruel is immune to Toxic, and thus can Surf Moltres without much fear of retaliation. The best counters to Moltres use Rest to eliminate poison damage and repeated Flamethrowers. Heatran makes a wonderful counter to Moltres if he has Taunt. A Taunted Moltres will always be forced to switch against Heatran or just end up activating Flash Fire. RestTalk Suicune and Gyarados can recover off Toxic damage, and also use Calm Mind and Dragon Dance, respectively, to sweep. Snorlax with Thick Fat takes next to no damage from Moltres and can use Curse to set up on it. When poison has taken its toll, he can then use Rest to recover his health. Tyranitar makes a decent switch-in to Moltres as he does not fear Flamethrower and can use Stone Edge to easily OHKO Moltres. Be wary of Pressure stalling, however. Curse Tyranitar is a wonderful counter to Moltres. The sandstorm that Tyranitar brings also greatly limits Moltres's ability to continuously stall Pokemon. Dragonite can come in on a Flamethrower, but usually fears Toxic.