Taken over from Orphic Come At Me Brah Overview ######## Like all Dragon-types, Axew has suffered from the introduction of the Fairy-type this generation. Fairy-types are now another obstacle that the once mighty Dragon-types will have to deal with, but that does not mean they are no longer viable. With a great Attack, decent Speed, and access to Dragon Dance, Axew has all the necessary tools needed to sweep through teams. Despite this, Axew does have some notable downsides. First, our little dragon suffers from subpar defenses, even with the Eviolite boost. Second, unlike its older brother Haxorus, Axew does not have access to Earthquake to reliably take down Steel-types, another obstacle in the life of a Dragon-type. With all advantages and disadvantages taken into account, Axew is still a fearsome threat when given the chance to set up. Dragon Dance ######## name: Dragon Dance move 1: Dragon Dance move 2: Outrage / Dragon Claw move 3: Iron Tail / Poison Jab move 4: Superpower ability: Mold Breaker item: Eviolite EVs: 68 HP / 220 Atk / 220 Spe nature: Adamant / Jolly Moves ======== As this set's main selling point is Dragon Dance, it will obviously take the first move slot. After a boost or two, Axew becomes a strong sweeper that can be hard to take down. Outrage is the ideal powerful Dragon-type STAB; even when unboosted, the damage output is quite strong. The downside to Outrage would be the confusion afterwards. Due to this, Dragon Claw becomes a feasible alternative as it has no drawbacks. Although Axew does not have Earthquake to deal with all Steel-types, it does have a way to get rid of troublesome Fairy-types thanks to Poison Jab and Iron Tail. If Cottonee has been problematic, run Poison Jab as it will be a clean OHKO. Otherwise, stick with Iron Tail for dealing with other Fairy-types. The last slot must be saved for Superpower as it functions as a reliable way to deal with many Steel-types that would otherwise wall Axew. Set Details ======== Due to Axew's mediocre defenses, Eviolite is pretty much a necessity in order to increase its bulk as well as the possibility of a sweep. The EV spread speaks for itself here as it is quite standard for a sweeper of this sort. Maximum Speed and Attack will allow Axew to make the most out of its power, and after a Dragon Dance, this power will just be further increased. While the Adamant nature gives Axew some added power and lets it reach 22 Speed at +1, it will make Axew vulnerable to some crucial threats that a +1 Jolly Axew would be able to outspeed, namely Choice Scarf Pokemon such as Chinchou, Mienfoo, and Magnemite. Usage Tips ======== As a setup sweeper, Axew is usually saved until later in the match or at least until its checks and counters are out of the way. Also, be wary when using Superpower, as using it too early can stop the chances of sweeping due to the Attack and Defense drops. Do not get greedy when setting up; Dragon Dance should only be used when there is an extremely high chance Axew will be able to survive a hit, or as a last resort attempt. If a risky choice is made and it goes in favor of the opponent, it could cost the win. In addition, you do not want Axew to be locked into Outrage when there is a Steel-type on the other team as it wastes turns and will end up confusing Axew anyway without much damage being done. On the other hand, Fairy-types will just block Outrage, allowing Axew to use Poison Jab after Outrage is nullified. Team Options ======== Due to Axew's lack of bulk, bulky teammates that are able to sponge super effective hits for Axew are recommended. A few examples of these Pokemon are Chinchou to take Ice-type moves and Trubbish to take Fairy-type moves. Axew also benefits from having teammates that can take care of these checks and counters. Drilbur is a good example of a Pokemon that can take care of these by being able to defeat Steel-types with Earthquake and Fairy-types with Poison Jab. As with all sweepers, Axew benefits from having teammates with Knock Off. This will make Axew's job easier when it comes to sweeping as Eviolite will be out of the way. Another thing that Axew benefits from is having entry hazards out. This will mean that Axew needs to deal less damage in order to secure a KO and will increase the possibility of a sweep. Choice ######## name: Choice move 1: Dragon Claw move 2: Outrage move 3: Superpower move 4: Iron Tail / Poison Jab ability: Mold Breaker item: Choice Scarf / Choice Band EVs: 68 HP / 220 Atk / 220 Spe nature: Jolly Moves ======== This set is identical to the last except that Dragon Claw is in the first slot. Dragon Claw is more of a necessity on this set as opposed to an option because Axew, by virtue of holding a choice item, will be locked into Outrage even after the first round. Dragon Claw is spammable on a Choice set without the confusion drawback that Outrage comes with. Outrage does still get its own slot, however, as it is more powerful and can secure a late-game sweep. Superpower is once again used as a coverage move to hit Steel- and Ice-types super effectively, while Iron Tail and Poison Jab are the coverage move for Fairy-types. The warning does still exist for Superpower, though, as using it too early could cost you and ruin the sweep. Set Details ======== A Choice Scarf will make Axew a fast sweeper and revenge killer, while a Choice Band will give Axew some more power. Generally, Choice Scarf is the better option for Axew as it can outspeed other Choice Scarf threats and OHKO them. Some of these include Snover and Amaura, but be careful of priority Ice Shard. The same spread from the last set applies to this set. A Jolly nature will give Axew the chance to outspeed certain Pokemon. For example, Jolly Choice Scarf Axew can outspeed +1 Tirtuoga and OHKOes the standard Shell Smash set when at -1 Defense. Usage Tips ======== A lot from the last set applies to this one. Firstly, Axew functions better when its checks and counters are out of the picture. Secondly, using Superpower too early can prevent a sweep from happening, and the same goes for Outrage, thus the option of Dragon Claw early on. Remember, Choice Scarf Axew will outspeed Pokemon that it normally would not, so pay attention to what it can and cannot outspeed if using Choice Scarf. Lastly, when the end-game comes around, go for that win with Outrage! Team Options ======== Once again, many of the same concepts from the Dragon Dance set can be used here since they are both sweeper-oriented sets. As with all sweepers, Pokemon that clear threats or obstacles that could stop a sweep need to be taken care of. In Axew's case, Drilbur can deal with Steel-types, and Pawniard can take care of Fairy-types as well as Ice-types. Since this set will be switching more often than the Dragon Dance set, Rapid Spin users are more useful here as Axew can be worn down from just switching in and out. In addition, having hazards on the opponent's side of the field makes sweeping and cleaning up easier. Once again, teammates with Knock Off make life easier for Axew since Berry Juice and Eviolite will be out of the way. Other Options ######## Night Slash can be used in order to deal with Misdreavus, but since it will not be a OHKO, this is not advisable, especially since Misdreavus can retaliate with Dazzling Gleam or Will-O-Wisp. Life Orb can be used to add some extra power, but this makes Axew easier to be taken down since the Eviolite bulk is quite important. Substitute is also an option to avoid Will-O-Wisp, Spore, and Sucker Punch. All of these hinder sweeping potential, so preventing them from happening can be useful. Lastly, Axew has the option of utilizing Dual Chop with Choice Scarf to break opposing Substitutes and Focus Sashes. Checks & Counters ######## **Fairy-types**: Fairy-types are immune to Axew's STAB Dragon-type moves and can survive an unboosted Poison Jab, sometimes even Iron Tail. Snubbull even carries Intimidate to weaken Axew. Most Fairy-type STAB attacks will OHKO Axew as well. **Steel-types**: Steel-types resist Axew's STAB Dragon-type moves and are really only wary of Superpower. A Pokemon like Honedge is also immune to Superpower, rendering Axew useless against it. Also, since dealing with Steel-types requires the use of Superpower, Axew will be weakened afterwards due to its Attack and Defense drops. **Ice-type Moves**: Since many Pokemon with Ice-type moves are not necessarily Ice-type, Axew cannot simply use Superpower. Bulky Water-types like Chinchou can be problematic with Ice Beam, and Protean Froakie is another example of a non Ice-type getting an Ice-type move. **Faster Chioce Scarf Users**: Since Axew does miss out on extra bulk on the Choice set, faster Choice Scarf users do pose a threat to Axew and can usually take it out with ease. **Priority**: Axew does have to watch for Prankster status moves so it will not be crippled, and it also takes good damage from strong Sucker Punch users, so they can be problematic.