While Alakazam was widely regarded as a nonthreatening Pokemon due to its lack of bulk, Magic Guard has completely reversed this. With what is widely regarded as one of the best abilities in the game now, Alakazam can sweep without worrying about Stealth Rock, Spikes, or Toxic Spikes hampering it. Additionally, moves such as Toxic and Will-O-Wisp only aid Alakazam, as they allow it to act as a status absorber throughout a match. With a base 135 Special Attack and base 120 Speed, Alakazam can be a top-tier threat for those that lack preparation. Sadly, it is hard to find people that are unprepared for Alakazam considering the ubiquity of Genesect and Excadrill. Those that can outpace Alakazam will usually beat it, though Alakazam can definitely hold its own when given the proper support.
The most viable set in Dream World for Alakazam is its special attacker set. Like every Alakazam set, Psychic is the primary move, as it gets STAB; however, one can always opt for Psyshock in order to hit specially defensive threats such as Blissey and Chansey harder. Focus Blast and Shadow Ball serve as great coverage moves—together, they have perfect coverage, and they allow Alakazam to hit many threats such as Latios and Tyranitar hard. Just like any other offensive Pokemon with Substitute, the point of this set is to shield the user from crippling status and revenge killing attempts, should it carry Substitute. Therefore, because Alakazam forces so many switches, it makes a great user of Substitute. However, one can opt for a fourth move instead of Substitute, as Alakazam is not hindered by any status other than sleep or paralysis. Hidden Power Ice works well because it allows Alakazam to hit Dragon-types, notably Dragonite and Garchomp, for super effective damage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Alakazam has a large movepool, the metagame that surrounds it is not very supportive of it. A set with three attacks and Calm Mind is viable, though Alakazam rarely gets a chance to keep all of its boosts due to the fast pace of the Dream World metagame. Charge Beam is an adequate replacement for Calm Mind due to its ability to pick off weakened foes and sweep with a Special Attack boost, but it's generally a gimmicky move in most cases, and with the many Ground-types that roam the tier, such as Excadrill and Garchomp, it's not always reliable. Energy Ball can always be used, as it beats down Pokemon that normally only take neutral damage from Alakazam such as Gastrodon. However, its usage generally is limited to Water / Ground types, and Swampert, Gastrodon, and Quagsire are not used in the metagame. Alakazam has access to both Reflect and Light Screen, but considering its frailty, Pokemon such as Latias and Latios make better users of dual screens. Alakazam also has access to Recover, though with meager defenses, it's hard to imagine Alakazam nabbing recovery in such a fast-paced and offensive metagame.
Checks and Counters
Alakazam's great base Speed and high Special Attack make it a great special attacker, and with Psyshock, it has few true counters. Still, specially defensive Jirachi stands out as perhaps the best Alakazam counter, as it resists its STAB and takes only neutral damage from other coverage moves. While one might be tempted to use Blissey or Chansey to counter Alakazam, a combination of Life Orb and Psyshock on Alakazam can actually wear them down rather easily. Passive damage is no way to counter Alakazam, as Magic Guard prevents Toxic's and Will-O-Wisp's effects. Generally, countering Alakazam is out of the option considering its diversity; however, checking the mustache-equipped magician works much better.
Using priority moves is a good way to beat down Alakazam before it can touch your Pokemon. Dragonite's ExtremeSpeed, Azumarill's Aqua Jet, and Scizor's Bullet Punch are good ways of putting down Alakazam before it can wreak havoc. Of course, if it carries a Focus Sash, it can still dish out major damage, but these Pokemon are all able to tank at least one hit before going down. Faster threats such as Jolteon can also come in as a revenge killer and dole massive damage to Alakazam, though considering Jolteon's frailty, it cannot switch in. Tornadus-T outspeeds by one base Speed at can OHKO with a Life Orb Hurricane. Thundurus's priority Thunder Wave can really cripple Alakazam for offensive teams, and while Alakazam outspeeds, Prankster ensures Alakazam is at least paralyzed. While it seems counter-intuitive, one should never switch Alakazam into Breloom unless it holds a Focus Sash, as Breloom will OHKO with a +2 Mach Punch.
Pokemon equipped with a Choice Scarf generally demolish Alakazam, such as Choice Scarf Genesect, Chandelure, Landorus, Jirachi, Latios, Salamence, Rotom-W, and Politoed. While they do need to ensure that Alakazam has prior damage if it carries a Focus Sash, they all work marvelously as revenge killers for offensively oriented teams. Pokemon that can tank a hit and KO back are useful, though not many exist in the Dream World metagame.