- Lightning-Speed Lead
- Bulky Lead
Because of its well-rounded stats and vast movepool, Jirachi is easily one of the most diverse and unpredictable leads around. In addition to its versatility, it also has a fantastic typing with several useful resistances. As such, it’s often quite difficult to tell just what kind of Jirachi is being used until it makes a move. However, most Jirachi leads have one thing in common, which is Stealth Rock.
One of the more common incarnations of Jirachi leads is the scarfer. It can take advantage of its amazing Speed to lay down Stealth Rock before any Taunt and later outspeed and attempt to flinch foes with the annoying 60% flinch rate of Serene Grace Iron Head. It also can act as an anti-lead with Trick, which cripples opposing leads and turns them into setup fodder for other Pokemon. This is arguably one of the best switches into Salamence later on, resisting Dragon and hitting it with Ice Punch.
Some leading Jirachis are built slower and bulkier than others to take advantage of the key resists offered to it by its Steel/Psychic. While outspeeding these bulkier Jirachis is generally easy, they will often take advantage of paralysis-inducing moves like Thunder Wave and Body Slam, then beating out the crippled Pokemon with flinch. These Jirachis are also good candidates for field effect starters such as Rain Dance and Trick Room. They can also use U-Turn to take a hit for a switch-in sweeper on the team.
These aren't the only ways to go with Jirachi, either. Its versatility ensures that just about any set is viable. From support to offense and from physical to special, Jirachi can be used to get the upperhand early on in the game using a variety of techniques.
In the traditional sense, countering a Jirachi lead is nothing short of impossible because there is no standard set, and a counter to one set may easily be mincemeat to another. The Choice Scarf lead is especially dangerous because a counter can be beaten by constant flinching. However, there are many Pokemon that can be a pain for it to deal with regardless.
Jirachi is a Pokemon that's very vulnerable to trapping. Magnezone is a huge threat to any Jirachi without the ability to escape with U-Turn, either because it's locked into another move or because it isn't on the set in question, or attack it with Fire Punch. It'll easily trap it and proceed to get up a sub and kill it with Thunderbolt. In the same vein, Dugtrio can trap and beat down Jirachi with Earthquake, and it's also faster than all non-Scarf variants.
Infernape and Heatran leads are a big problem for Jirachi, who will find itself not doing that much damage to them and being killed by their STAB Fire moves. Both should be somewhat wary of paralysis, though.
Leading Jirachi does poorly against Baton Pass leads. It's essentially setup fodder for both Ninjask and Lopunny, however Ninjask has to be careful to avoid Trick from Scarf Jirachi.
I would like to thank you for allowing me to write this, CM.