Overview ######## When it comes to revenge killing, Alakazam is second to none. With its ability, Magic Guard (which makes it immune to all forms of residual damage), blazing Speed, and a high Special Attack stat, it's no wonder Alakazam is so successful. It even got an upgrade this generation in the form of a Mega Evolution, whose significantly higher Special Attack and Speed allows it to get the jump on Pokemon that were previously faster than it. However, Alakazam is definitely not without its flaws. Common users of priority such as Talonflame, Aegislash, and Azumarill run rampant through the tier, which greatly hinders Alakazam's ability to revenge kill. On top of this, its Psychic typing and poor bulk leaves it vulnerable to common Dark-, Bug-, and Ghost-type attacks. The new generation also introduced faster Pokemon such as Greninja and Mega Manectric into the metagame, meaning that Alakazam's Speed tier is no longer as significant as it used to be. Even with its share of flaws, Alakazam continues to be successful in today's metagame, and the mustached menace is always something to consider when building a team. Special Attacker ######## name: Special Attacker move 1: Psyshock move 2: Focus Blast move 3: Shadow Ball move 4: Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Fire ability: Magic Guard item: Focus Sash / Life Orb evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe nature: Timid Moves ======== Psyshock is very important for dealing solid damage to Pokemon with higher Special Defense, such as Blissey, Chansey, and Jellicent, while annihilating Poison- and Fighting-types. Focus Blast provides this set with much-needed—albeit unreliable—coverage against Tyranitar, Heatran, and Ferrothorn, which would wall this set otherwise. Shadow Ball is specifically for Aegislash, and also hits opposing Psychic-types such as Latias and Slowbro. The choice of which Hidden Power to use depends greatly upon what you want Alakazam to be revenge killing. Hidden Power Ice is the preferred choice overall because it hits a plethora of threats, such as Gliscor, Landorus, Garchomp, and Dragonite. Hidden Power Fire is still perfectly viable for hitting Scizor, as it can live a Focus Blast and threaten to KO Alakazam the following turn. There are a few other move options that Alakazam can run on this set. Psychic is an option over Psyshock to hit Hippowdon and physically defensive Rotom-W harder, but it fails to do anything to Blissey, Chansey, and Jellicent. Signal Beam always 2HKOes specially defensive Celebi, something Shadow Ball always fails to do. Dazzling Gleam is a much more reliable option to hit Dark-types, but it's incredibly weak compared to Focus Blast, and it misses out on the ability to OHKO Tyranitar, among many other things. Set Details ======== The item choice depends entirely on what role you want Alakazam to fulfill on your team. With a Focus Sash, Alakazam becomes an amazing revenge killer thanks to its immunity to all forms of residual damage, which ensures that Alakazam has to be hit a minimum of two times before going down. Life Orb, on the other hand, gives it immense power that allows Alakazam to become more of a wallbreaker but comes with the price of decreased revenged killing capabilities. Usage Tips ======== Whether you choose to run Focus Sash or Life Orb, the main purpose of this set is to take advantage of Alakazam's attributes in order for it to become a formidable revenge killer. Because of this, it fits best on offensive teams, as it is able to outspeed and revenge kill a large variety of Pokemon that give these teams trouble. Due to Alakazam's mediocre defenses, it is very important to only send it in on something it can OHKO, or else Alakazam becomes very vulnerable to being OHKOed in return or having its Focus Sash broken. However, as long as Focus Sash is intact, Alakazam has the ability to revenge kill Choice Scarf users such as Landorus-T, Terrakion, and Garchomp, giving it a huge advantage over other revenge killers. Team Options ======== Alakazam appreciates being paired with Pokemon that can beat its common checks and counters. Fighting-types such as Lucario, Keldeo, and Terrakion can easily blast through Blissey, Chansey, Tyranitar, and other special walls that are able to sponge Alakazam's attacks. Breloom is an incredible offensive partner because it can check a wide range of Pokemon that give Alakazam trouble, such as Bisharp, Azumarill, Weavile, and Greninja. Aegislash can be very problematic for Alakazam, so Diggersby, Garchomp, and Landorus-T are good partners because they are able to easily tank a Shadow Sneak and destroy Aegislash with Earthquake. Entry hazard support from the likes of Skarmory and Ferrothorn can really help weaken down opposing threats so they can be revenge killed more efficiently. Mega Special Attacker ######## name: Mega Special Attacker move 1: Psyshock move 2: Focus Blast move 3: Shadow Ball move 4: Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Fire / Dazzling Gleam ability: Magic Guard item: Alakazite evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe nature: Modest Moves ======== Psyshock is an incredible tool because it allows Mega Alakazam to 2HKO every variant of Blissey after Stealth Rock (I calced it) and deal very solid damage to Chansey, which is something that its former self fails to do without a Life Orb. Psyshock also completely obliterates anything that is weak to it, examples being Mega Venusaur, Tentacruel, and Conkeldurr. Focus Blast is specifically for Dark- and Steel-types such as Tyranitar, Heatran, Ferrothorn, and Greninja. Skarmory and Forretress are also easily 2HKOed by the move due to their low Special Defense stat. Shadow Ball is mainly for coverage against Aegislash and Gourgeist, while also hitting opposing Psychic-types very hard. Once again, the choice between Hidden Power Ice and Hidden Power Fire is completely down to personal preference and what you want Mega Alakazam to hit the hardest. Hidden Power Ice provides this set with maximum coverage against Landorus-T, Gliscor, Garchomp, and other Dragon-types, while Hidden Power Fire nails Scizor and Ferrothorn. If none of the previously mentioned threats are much of an issue, Dazzling Gleam is actually usable even with Focus Blast because it allows Mega Alakazam to always OHKO Swift Swim Kingdra, a noteworthy threat that Mega Alazakam is able to revenge kill thanks to its new ability, Trace. Signal Beam has a high chance of OHKOing specially defensive Celebi after Stealth Rock, while Shadow Ball fails to even 2HKO it. Set Details ======== Maxing out both Speed and Special Attack is essential in order to make Mega Alakazam as threatening and fast as possible. Alakazite allows Alakazam to Mega Evolve and achieve a massive boost in Speed and Special Attack, and a slight increase in physical bulk. Unlike with normal Alakazam, a Modest nature is preferred because Mega Alakazam is already so fast that there aren't too many noteworthy things that outspeed it with Timid, so you're better off giving it as much power as possible. For example, with a Modest nature and Stealth Rock damage, Mega Alakazam is able to achieve the 2HKO on Blissey with Psyshock, the OHKO on specially defensive Tyranitar and physically defensive Ferrothorn with Focus Blast, the 2HKO on specially defensive Jirachi with Shadow Ball, and much more. Usage Tips ======== Unlike regular Alakazam, Mega Alakazam can outspeed almost the entirety of the unboosted metagame even with a Modest nature, allowing it to hit just as hard as standard Life Orb Alakazam and with higher Speed to boot. It is meant to function as a potent wallbreaker and revenge killer, making it a perfect fit for offensive teams in need of a powerful special attacker. Although it loses out on the useful residual damage immunity that Magic Guard brings, Trace gives Mega Alakazam an interesting niche because it allows it to use the opponent's abilities against themselves. For example, it can copy Kingdra's Swift Swim and revenge kill it, copy Heatran's Flash Fire ability to make it immune to Fire-type attacks, and copy Greninja's Protean ability so it can obtain STAB on all of its coverage moves. Keep in mind that even with these interesting attributes, Mega Alakazam is more prone to being revenge killed than normal Alakazam because of its lack of a Focus Sash and Magic Guard, so getting rid of priority users is of great importance. Team Options ======== Fighting-types such as Keldeo, Breloom, and Lucario, as well as other powerful physical attackers, are very important partners because they can break through Chansey, which can easily sponge any of Mega Alakazam's attacks. Heatran can deal with Talonflame, Bisharp, Mega Mawile, and Scizor, which all threaten Mega Alakazam with their priority moves. Much like the previous set, entry hazard support is incredibly important for securing important OHKOs and 2HKOs, so pairing Mega Alakazam with common entry hazards users such as Ferrothorn, Skarmory, or Landorus-T is a must. Landorus-T and Rotom-W can also check a lot of physical attackers that threaten Mega Alakazam, such as Scizor and Talonflame. Other Options ######## There are a few interesting move options that Alakazam can pull off. Encore is an interesting move that can give its teammates setup opportunities, but it's very hard to fit onto any of its sets because of Encore's lack of coverage and reliance on prediction. Thunder Wave can cripple switch-ins and even a few of its checks, such as Greninja, Weavile, and Talonflame. A Choice Specs set seems interesting on paper, but due to its poor bulk and somewhat weak coverage options, Alakazam can't afford to be locked into a move. Energy Ball can OHKO Gastrodon and deal heavy damage to Rotom-W. Calm Mind can turn Alakazam into a terrifying late-game sweeper if given the chance to set up, but there lies the problem; its terrible bulk and susceptibility to being revenge killed makes it unsuccessful at sweeping. Checks & Counters ######## **Specially Defensive Walls**: Blissey and Chansey both have no problem walling Alakazam's Life Orb and Focus Sash sets, but only Chansey can avoid the 2HKO from Mega Alakazam's Psyshock. They both also threaten to cripple Alakazam with Thunder Wave. Jirachi and Metagross are both barely 3HKOed by Alakazam's Shadow Ball despite their weakness to it. Hippowdon can avoid the 2HKO from Alakazam's Psyshock and hit back hard with an Earthquake. **Dark-types**: Sableye is a great switch-in to both of Alakazam's sets, as it is immune to its Psychic-type STAB and takes minimal damage from Shadow Ball, and thus fears only the rare Dazzling Gleam. Although they cannot outspeed Alakazam once it Mega Evolves, Greninja and Weavile can easily check it before it does so. Bisharp's Sucker Punch also completely destroys Alakazam. **Priority Attacks**: Priority moves are by far the most efficient way to check Alakazam because of its pitiful physical bulk. Talonflame and Aegislash can OHKO both forms of Alakazam with their priority moves, the latter only needing a bit of residual damage to OHKO its Mega Evolution. Scizor only fears Hidden Power Fire and can deal a huge amount of damage with Bullet Punch. Mega Pinsir can pick off weakened Mega Alakazam and can pick off Focus Sash Alakazam.