Azelf (Full Revamp)

complete legitimacy

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#1

Azelf

[Overview]

<p>Azelf has fallen from its former OU status in DPP mostly due to the advent of Team Preview, almost destroying the need for a dedicated lead. This led to Azelf's placement in BW UU, where it is a very versatile threat with great mixed attacking stats and and Speed. It has a good movepool to use, and can even fulfill its previous role of a lead in UU arguably better than it ever did in DPP OU. However, Azelf is not invincible. There is an abundance of Choice Scarf users in UU that can dispatch Azelf without a second thought; additionally, whichever set it runs, there will always be a slight gap in Azelf's coverage that can be exploited and used against it.</p>

[SET]
name: Nasty Plot
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Psychic / Psyshock
move 3: Fire Blast
move 4: Grass Knot
item: Life Orb
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Offensive Azelf is most commonly seen using a Nasty Plot set, which has become a lot more effective due to the removal of Chansey and Alakazam from UU. Nasty Plot skyrockets Azelf's Special Attack to an astounding 698 with a Timid nature, letting it break through the bulkiest Pokemon in the tier with its amazing power and great coverage. Psychic OHKOes defensive Roserade easily, and is also a guaranteed 2HKO on Curse Snorlax after Stealth Rock (with a good chance to 2HKO even without it). Psyshock is also an option for hitting Snorlax even harder, but it is generally inferior due to its lower Base Power and lower damage output against threats such as Hitmontop. Fire Blast is a necessity to hit bulky Steel-types such as Registeel, Escavalier, and Bronzong without giving them a chance to do anything back. Grass Knot is in the the final moveslot in order to hit bulky Water-types such as Slowbro, Suicune, Swampert, and Milotic very hard, while also doing massive damage to Krookodile and Rhyperior.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Life Orb is the item of choice, as it allows Azelf to power through almost everything. Maximum Speed with a Timid nature is necessary to Speed tie Raikou, as well as outspeed common threats such as Cobalion and Froslass. Maximum Special Attack investment lets Azelf hit as hard as possible, and the remaining 4 EVs are thrown into Special Defense to prevent Porygon2 and Porygon-Z from picking up a Download boost. It is worth noting that running Stealth Rock over Nasty Plot makes Azelf an effective hazard user for offensive teams that don't want to lose momentum.</p>

<p>Thunderbolt is an option over Grass Knot to hit Houndoom while retaining super effective hits against Water-types, but is generally inferior. Grass Knot hits bulky Water-types harder, and running Thunderbolt would leave you susceptible to being defeated by the likes of Krookodile and Rhyperior. Likewise, Shadow Ball is also an option to hit Deoxys-D and Dusclops harder, but serves no purpose otherwise, and is generally a waste of a moveslot. Flash Fire Arcanine is a fantastic teammate, as it easily checks Weavile, Bisharp, Houndoom, and Victini, all of which are major threats to Azelf's sweep.</p>

[SET]
name: Choice Band
move 1: Zen Headbutt
move 2: Fire Punch
move 3: Ice Punch
move 4: U-turn / Trick
item: Choice Band
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Choice Band Azelf is a nasty surprise for those expecting a Nasty Plot set, no pun intended. It works well on offensive teams, as it can hit hard, keep momentum, and cripple a wall with Trick. Zen Headbutt is Azelf's most powerful physical STAB attack, but its imperfect accuracy might let you down sometimes. Fire Punch hits Steel-types that resist Zen Headbutt, namely Registeel, Bronzong, and Escavalier. Ice Punch gives Azelf near-perfect coverage, hitting threats such as Zapdos, Flygon, Xatu, and Togekiss super effectively. U-turn is the primary option in the last slot; it preserves offensive momentum by allowing you to switch to a counter. It also hits Slowbro harder than any other move, and can save Azelf from being helplessly stuck facing down Victini's V-create. However, Trick is also viable, as it can cripple slow walls and special attackers. NFE foes such as Dusclops, Gligar, and Hippopotas will particularly hate having their Eviolites stripped away; it can also allow a teammate to sweep once its counter is crippled. For example, Arcanine can 2HKO Dusclops with a Life Orb Flare Blitz once its Eviolite is removed.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>The EV spread is fairly simple, maximizing both Attack and Speed to hit as hard and fast as possible. There will always be a gap in this set's coverage, as it can't hit most bulky Water-types hard enough. ThunderPunch is an option to hit them harder, but it is generally inferior to hitting the aforementioned threats. There are no other viable physical moves that Azelf can make use of.</p>

<p>Rotom-H is a fantastic teammate, as the duo can abuse the VoltTurn strategy to pressure the opponent's team immensely. Rotom-H also hits both Steel- and bulky Water-types super effectively with its STABs, leaving Azelf clear to break through the opponent's team. As with the previous set, Bisharp and Weavile can cause Azelf a lot of problems, especially if it's Choice-locked into Zen Headbutt. You can use Machamp's DynamicPunch to destroy them or the switch-in, or give Cobalion a setup opportunity by bringing it in after Azelf has bitten the dust against said Dark-types. If you can manage to activate Cobalion's Justified by switching it into a rare Night Slash, all the better.</p>

[SET]
name: Dual Screens
move 1: Reflect
move 2: Light Screen
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Stealth Rock
item: Light Clay
nature: Jolly / Timid
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Azelf is arguably the best non-Uber user of dual screens, and the absence of Choice Scarf Tyranitar in UU only adds to its effectiveness. This set is perfect for offensive teams, as it allows frail sweepers to set up easily behind Reflect and Light Screen and then proceed to ravage the opponent's team. Taunt is extremely useful on this set, preventing any offensive Pokemon from boosting and beating you to the punch by setting up its own sweep first. It also prevents foes from phazing you with Roar before you can get both screens up, and can be used to prevent the enemy from using entry hazard or status moves, protecting the setup sweepers that will follow Azelf. Just be wary that Pokemon such as Bronzong and Swampert will predict Taunt and attack Azelf outright, so, depending on the situation, it can be more effective to set up a screen before using Taunt. Stealth Rock is perfect for offensive teams, as it is often the difference between a OHKO and a 2HKO. All in all, your sweepers will appreciate the massive team support provided by Azelf.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Light Clay is really the only item that should be used, as it extends the duration of Reflect and Light Screen from five turns to eight. An alternative is a Focus Sash, but this severely hinders the effectiveness of the set. Maximum Speed investment allows Azelf to Taunt as many foes as possible, and maximum HP optimizes Azelf's overall bulk to guarantee it sets up Reflect and Light Screen. U-turn could be a useful move on this set, but none of the moves are really replaceable; it is a viable option nonetheless. The choice between a Jolly and Timid nature is insignificant most of the time, but if you are using U-turn, a Jolly nature should be used so as not to reduce its power.</p>

<p>When dedicated a team slot to setting up screens, you want to be sure that you have very destructive setup sweepers waiting in the wings to make the best use of the screens. Some of the most terrifying offensive setup Pokemon include Venomoth and Gorebyss, who can Baton Pass Quiver Dance and Shell Smash respectively, as well as independent sweepers such as Cobalion and Kingdra.</p>

[SET]
name: Weather Lead
move 1: Rain Dance / Sunny Day
move 2: Taunt
move 3: Stealth Rock
move 4: U-turn
item: Damp Rock / Heat Rock
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>With the increasing popularity and effectiveness of weather-based teams, Azelf is a fine lead to provide eight turns of either rain or sun, with the moves Rain Dance and Sunny Day respectively. Taunt prevents slower foes from setting up on Azelf, blocks status, and prevents entry hazards from being set up. In particular, it is immensely helpful against Deoxys-D, who is a dominant force in the metagame. Stealth Rock is a natural fit for this set as it will primarily be used as a lead, and can give an offensive rain or sun team's sweep the edge by breaking Focus Sashes and Sturdy. U-turn is an excellent move for scouting against switches once Azelf has finished setting up.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Damp Rock and Heat Rock extend the duration of rain and sun, respectively, to eight turns each. This provides ample time for Azelf's teammates to take advantage of weather, allowing the likes of Kingdra and Darmanitan to blow gaping holes in the opponent's defensive core. Maximum investment in Speed is always the most effective on Azelf's setup sets. Maximum HP increases Azelf's poor bulk to a somewhat decent level as well.</p>

<p>Safeguard is an option to keep your sweepers free of all status, but it is mostly outclassed by Taunt, which thwarts many other forms of support. Magic Coat prevents faster foes such as Crobat and Aerodactyl from using Taunt on Azelf. However, faster opponents are exceptionally few and far between, and Azelf is already pressed for moveslots. Focus Sash can Azelf survive for another turn of setup, which is useful when you mispredict with Taunt or need to get up Stealth Rock. However, losing the turns of weather assured by Damp Rock and Heat Rock greatly decreases the value of this set.</p>

<p>Various Choice Scarf users, such as Chandelure and Heracross, outspeed and threaten to KO Azelf with their super effective STAB moves. Fortunately, a Choice-locked foe and weather support can give a teammate a prime chance to set up.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>Azelf has a wide movepool, and can run a number of different sets effectively. A Life Orb late-game sweeping set can be used effectively, with U-turn replacing Nasty Plot and a Naive nature used instead. Choice Specs is not recommended on Azelf because of the poor coverage of its STAB and its frail defenses. Azelf does best when it can rely on switching to get super effective hits, avoiding the dual drawbacks of bad coverage and low Base Power of its STAB attacks. Explosion is a viable option in a throwback to the days of DPP, but it has been greatly weakened in the transition to BW, and is therefore not recommended.</p>

[Checks & Counters]

<p>Houndoom is hands down the best way of dealing with Azelf. It is immune to both Psychic- and Fire-type attacks, resists Grass Knot and Ice Punch, and is only hit neutrally by U-turn. It also has STAB Sucker Punch and STAB Pursuit to play deadly mind games with Azelf, forcing it to predict perfectly or be KOed. Victini boasts a similar set of resistances, and will decimate Azelf or one of its teammates with V-create. Choice Scarf Krookodile can come in a Psychic-type attack, outspeed, and KO with STAB Crunch. Choice Scarf Chandelure can switch in on anything other than Azelf's STAB move of choice, outspeed, and KO with STAB Shadow Ball. Weavile is immune to Azelf's STAB, outspeeds, and KOes with either Night Slash or Pursuit. Choice Scarf Pokemon that use U-turn, such as Flygon and Darmanitan, give Azelf a lot of problems, as they force it to choose between sacrificing itself or letting the enemy build dangerous momentum against Azelf's team.</p>

<p>While Azelf can power through almost anything, there are a couple of exceptions. Both Deoxys-D and Dusclops can tank anything Azelf throws at them and cripple Azelf with status. They are both immensely bulky, and Azelf will never get past them without entry hazard support. Azelf hates status, especially paralysis, which cuts off the Speed Azelf relies on for survivability.</p>
 
#2
i would swap the order of the dual screens and weather abuser sets because dual screens has more utility on more types of teams.

rest looks good. i think you can come up with a better checks and counters section though, that needs to be fleshed out a bit more
 

kokoloko

what matters is our plan!
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#4
This is a pretty minor nitpick, but running 4 SDef EVs prevents Download from working at your opponent's advantage, and since they're pretty useless anywhere else, you might as well do it.
 

complete legitimacy

Honko's Happy Funtime With Men
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#5
Well that's about as useful as lowering your HP IV to 29 to take less Life Orb damage, and as you can see that's the kind of stuff that I do, so I'm going to implement that.
 
#6
Move Thunderbolt to AC on the NP set. GK hits most bulky waters harder and also hits pokemon like Krookodile and Rhyperior. Those two are much more relevant than Houndoom is and Victini beats you regardless. Also mention in the AC of that set that replacing Nasty Plot with Stealth Rock lets Azelf become an effective hazard user on offensive teams that don't want to lose momentum.

I'm not sure what Thunderpunch actually accomplishes for the CB set; you hit Slowbro just as hard with U-turn, and Fire Punch is a very valuable move for Azelf. Move it to AC.

I'm iffy about including the weather set. While the speed is a nice advantage over other weather users, weather as a strategy is pretty bad. Looking for more QC input on that.
 
#7
i mean i would include the weather set solely because azelf is probably the best pokemon to set it up for those kinds of teams, which warrants a set onsite imo. it sucks yeah, but its a strategy nonetheless and therefore should have a set onsite.
 

blunder

the bobby fischer of pokemon
is a Tiering Contributor
#8
Stealth Rock plus 3 attacks is a good set- like SR, Psychic, Fire Blast and Grass Knot- AC material at best I guess- a Specs set could be viable as a Specs Psychic from Azelf could leave huge dents in a team- just a thought
 

AccidentalGreed

Sweet and bitter as chocolate.
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
#9
Specs belongs in OO because there's a LOT more Psychic-types that wished they had Azelf's coverage and solid stats, and have to resort to Specs. Azelf, on the other hand, only really needs the power provided by Life Orb because of its high, HIGH attacking stats and coverage to abuse alongside it. I guarantee that there's more instances where I'd want the power of Fire Blast or utility from Stealth Rock or U-turn, except there's the existence of resistant threats, so yeah.
 
#11
I don't see any reason to hold this up. Victini probably deserves a slightly bigger mention in checks/counters (resists all of Azelf's common attacks except neutral to U-turn, OHKOes with V-Create), but other than that looks good.

QC APPROVED (1/3)
 
#15

Azelf

[Overview]

<p>Azelf has fallen from its former OU status in DPP mostly due to the advent of Team Preview, almost destroying the need or use for a dedicated lead. This led to Azelf's placement in BW UU, where it is a very versatile threat with great mixed attacking stats and and Speed. It has a good movepool to abuse as well as fulfilling the role of a lead in UU arguably better than it ever did in DPP OU. However, Azelf is not invincible. There is an abundance of Scarfers Choice Scarf users in UU that can dispatch Azelf without a second thought. Also, whichever set is runs, there will always be a slight gap in it Azelf's coverage that can be exploited and used against Azelf it.</p>

[SET]
name: Nasty Plot
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Psychic / Psyshock
move 3: Fire Blast
move 4: Grass Knot
item: Life Orb
abilty: Levitate
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
ivs: 29 HP (irrelevant)

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>The primary form of Azelf's offense comes from the Nasty Plot set, which has becomes a lot more viable effective due to the recent absence removal of Chansey and Alakazam in from UU. Nasty Plot skyrockets Azelf's Special Attack to an astounding 698 with a Timid nature, letting it break through the bulkiest Pokemon in the tier with its amazing power and great coverage. Psychic OHKOs defensive Roserade easily, and also is a guaranteed 2HKO on Curse Snorlax after Stealth Rock, with a good chance to 2HKO even without it. Psyshock is also an option for hitting Snorlax even harder, but it is generally inferior due to its lower Base Power and lower damage output against threats such as Hitmontop. Fire Blast is a necessity to hit bulky Steel-types such as Registeel, Escavalier, and Bronzong without giving them a chance to do anything back. Grass Knot is in the the final moveslot in order to hit bulky Water-types such as Slowbro, Suicune, Swampert, and Milotic very hard, while also doing massive damage to Krookodile and Rhyperior.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Life Orb is the item of choice, as it allows Azelf to power through almost everything. Maximum Speed with a Timid nature is necessary to speed-tie Raikou, and outspeed everything with 114 Base Speed or lower common threats such as Cobalion and Froslass. Maximum Special Attack investment is to hit as hard as possible, and the remaining 4 EVs are thrown into Special Defense to prevent Porygon2 and Porygon-Z from picking up a Download boost. An HP IV of 29 is recommended, as it makes minimal difference otherwise, but lets you take less recoil damage from Life Orb. It is worth noting that running Stealth Rock over Nasty Plot makes Azelf an effective hazard user for offensive teams that don't want to lose momentum.</p>

<p>Thunderbolt is an option over Grass Knot to hit Houndoom while retaining super effective hits against Water-types, but is generally inferior. Grass Knot hits bulky Water-types harder, and running Thunderbolt would leave you susceptible to being defeated by the likes of Krookodile and Rhyperior. Likewise, Shadow Ball is also an option to hit Deoxys-D and Dusclops harder, but serves no purpose otherwise and is generally a waste of a moveslot. Hidden power Fighting is unusable, as it requires a crucial drop in Speed that Azelf can't afford Bisharp and Weavile are this set's worst nightmares, as they are both immune to Azelf's STAB of choice, and can either revenge kill Azelf with priority or just outspeed it. They both also have access to STAB Pursuit, which leaves Azelf in a dead-end situation. <This was a mess, and besides, if your only examples are Bisharp and Weavile, both are destroyed by Fire Blast if they switch into it. I don't see any reason at all to metion HP Fighting-- also Entei has no business in UU compared to Arcanine...> Therefore, Good partners for Azelf are include bulky Fire-types, namely Arcanine and Entei can scare them away with powerful attack and ExtremeSpeed. However, note that Arcanine should run Flash Fire so that Bisharp doesn't get a free +2 boost. Flash Fire Arcanine is a fantastic teammate, as it checks Weavile, Bisharp, Houndoom, and Victini with ease, all of which are major threats to Azelf's sweep.</p>

[SET]
name: Choice Band
move 1: Zen Headbutt
move 2: Fire Punch
move 3: Ice Punch
move 4: U-turn / Trick
item: Choice Band
ability: Levitate
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Choice Band Azelf forms is a nasty surprise from those expecting a Nasty Plot set, no pun intended. It works well on offensive teams, as it can hit hard, keep momentum, or cripple a wall with Trick. Zen Headbutt is Azelf's most powerful physical STAB attack, although the accuracy may let you down sometimes. Fire Punch hits Steel-types that resist Zen Headbutt, namely Registeel, Bronzong, and Escavalier. Ice Punch gives you near perfect coverage, hitting things like Zapdos, Flygon, Xatu, and Togekiss. U-turn is the primary option in the last slot, preserving offensive momentum by allowing you to switch to a counter; it also hits Slowbro harder than any other move, and can save you from being helplessly stuck facing down Victini's V-Create. However, Trick is also viable, as it can cripple things like Dusclops and Hippopotas, which rely on Eviolite to be as bulky as they are slow walls and special attackers. NFE foes like Dusclops, Gligar, and Hippopotas will particularly hate having their Eviolite bulk stripped away. It can also allows a teammate to sweep once their its counter is crippled.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>The EV spread is fairly simple, maximizing both Attack and Speed to hit as hard and be as fast as possible. There will always be a gap in this set's coverage, as it can't hit most bulky Water-types hard enough. ThunderPunch is an option to hit them harder, but it is inferior to hitting the aforementioned threats. As such, There are no other viable physical moves that Azelf can make use of. Rotom-H is a fantastic teammate, as you can abuse the Volt-turn strategy to pressure the opponent's team immensely. Rotom also hits both Steel-types and bulky Water-types with its STABs, leaving Azelf clear to break through the opponent's team. Like with the previous set, Bisharp and Weavile beat you whatever you do can cause you a lot of problems, especially when you're Choice-locked into Zen Headbutt. Hitmontop is a good partner for this set, as it can use Mach Punch to kill both of these Pokemon. You can use Machamp's DynamicPunch to destroy them (or punish any teammates that switch in), or give Cobalion a setup opportunity by bringing it in after Azelf has bitten the dust against these Dark-types. If you can manage to activate Cobalion's Justified by switching it into a rare Night Slash, all the better.</p>

[SET]
name: Dual Screens
move 1: Reflect
move 2: Light Screen
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Stealth Rock
item: Light Clay
ability: Levitate
nature: Jolly / Timid
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe


[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Azelf is arguably the best non-Uber user of Dual Screens, Dual Screen-user in the tier and the absence of ScarfTar Choice Scarf Tyranitar in UU only adds to its effectiveness. This set is perfect for offensive teams, as it allows frail sweepers to set up easily behind Reflect and Light Screen, and then proceed to ravage through the opponent's team. Both Reflect and Light Screen are the crux of the set, and are thus irreplaceable. Taunt ensures that the slower Deoxys-D won't set up hazards, as well as many other things. Taunt is extremely useful on this set, preventing any offensive Pokemon from boosting and beating you to the punch by setting up its own sweep first. It also prevents foes from phazing you with Roar before you can get both screens up, and can be used to prevent the enemy from using entry hazard or status moves, protecting the setup sweepers that will follow Azelf. Just be wary that many Pokemon like Bronzong or Swampert will predict Taunt and attack you outright, so depending on the situation, it can be more effective to setup a screen before using Taunt. Stealth Rock is perfect for offensive teams, as it is often the difference between an a OHKO and a 2HKO. Your sweepers will apreciate the massive team support provided by Azelf.</p> <Writing tip: a/an isn't decided by whether the first letter is a vowel or not-- it's decided by what the starting sound is. OHKO stars with the sound "wa," which is a consonant sound, not a vowel sound.>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Light Clay is really the only item that should be used, as it extends the duration of Reflect and Light Screen to 8 turns as opposed to only 5. An alternative is a Focus Sash, but this severely hinders the effectiveness of the set. Maximum Speed investment is to be able allows Azelf to Taunt as many things as possible, and maximum HP investment allows Azelf to live almost any attack behind a maximizes Azelf's overall bulk to almost guarantee it sets up Reflect or a and Light Screen. U-turn could be a useful move on this set, but none of the moves are really replaceable. It is a viable option nonetheless. The choice between a Jolly and Timid nature is insignificant most of the time, but if you are using U-turn then a Jolly nature should be used so as not to reduce its power. Frail set-up sweepers, on either side of the spectrum, really appreciate Dual Screen support for an easier time setting up. Examples include Weavile, Cobalion, and Rhyperior. When dedicated a team slot to setting up screens, you want to be sure that you have a very destructive setup to make the best use of the screens. Some of the most terrifying offensive setup Pokemon include Venomoth and Gorebyss, both for Baton Pass tactics, as well as independent sweepers such as Cobalion and Kingdra.</p>

[SET]
name: Weather Lead
move 1: Rain Dance / Sunny Day
move 2: Taunt
move 3: Stealth Rock
move 4: U-turn
item: Damp Rock / Heat Rock
ability: Levitate
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>With the increasing popularity and effectiveness of weather-based teams, Azelf is a fine lead to provide 8 turns of either rain or sun. Rain Dance provides rain, and Sunny Day provides sun. Taunt prevents slower things foes from setting up on you, as well as blocking status and preventing entry hazards from being set up. This is immensely helpful against the aforementioned Deoxys-D, which is a dominant force in the metagame. Stealth Rock is a great thing to have on turn 2 or 3, and can help immensely when trying to break through defensive cores a natural fit for this set that will primarily be used as a lead, and can give an offensive rain or sun team's sweep the edge. U-turn is in the last moveslot, allowing you to switch out to something immediately threatening while also allowing Azelf to perform its job again later in the match is an excellent move for scouting against switches once Azelf has finished setting up.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Damp Rock and Heat Rock extend the lifespan duration of rain and sun, respectively, to 8 turns each. This provides ample time to abuse that weather and allow things teammates such as Kingdra and Darmanitan to blow gaping holes in the opponent's defensive core. Maximum investment in Speed allows Azelf to set up the weather of choice without being Taunted first, as well as to Taunt as many things as possible is always the most effective on Azelf's setup sets. Maximum HP increases Azelf's lousy bulk to a somewhat decent level as well.</p>

<p>Safeguard is an option to keep your sweepers free of all status, but it is mostly outclassed by Taunt, which sports a greater variety of uses. Magic Coat prevents faster things foes, such as Crobat and Aerodactly, from using Taunt on you. However, Aerodactly is now RU, and Crobat isn't a threat to most bulky sweepers faster opponents are exceptionally few and far between, and Azelf is already pressed for move slots. Focus Sash can also set up weather assuredly let you survive for another turn of setup, which is useful when you mispredict with Taunt or need to get up Stealth Rock. However, loosing the turns of weather assured by Damp Rock and Heat Rock greatly decreases the value of this set. but prolonged weather is usually superior, and allows Azelf to do a better job the second time it tries to set up, too. Various Choice Scarf users such as Chandelure and Heracross outspeed and threaten to KO Azelf with their super-effective STAB moves. Unfortunately, it is usually best to sacrifice Azelf in the hopes that a teammate will take advantage of the move that they are choice-locked into. Fortunately, a choice locked foe and weather support can give a teammate a prime chance to set up.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>Azelf has a wide movepool, and can run a number of different sets effectively. A Life Orb cleaner late game sweeper set can be used, with U-turn replacing Nasty Plot and a Naive nature. This Azelf set is pretty effective if used properly. Choice Specs is not recommended on Azelf because it it unique in the fact that it can rely on its fantastic coverage with high Base Power moves already boosted by Life Orb of the poor coverage of its STAB and frail defenses. Azelf does best when it can rely on switching to get super effective hits, avoiding the power deficiency from bad coverage and base power of its STAB attacks. A Life Orb provides all the power needed while allowing Azelf to change moves. Explosion is a viable option in a throwback to the days of DPP. However, with the coming of BW, Explosion no longer halves the target's Defense stat when calculating damage. Both a Calm Mind set and a SubCharge set are both outclassed by the Nasty Plot. Although Azelf gets Acrobatics, using it with a Flight Gem is not recommended. <not even worth mentioning really...></p>

[Checks & Counters]

<p>Houndoom is your best way of dealing with Azelf. It is immune to both its STAB and its Psychic- and Fire-type coverage move attacks, resists Grass Knot and Ice Punch, and is only hit neutrally by U-turn. It also has STAB Sucker Punch and STAB Pursuit to play Azelf into a deadly mind game that it will always lose push the pixie's back to the wall. Victini boasts a similar set of resistances, and will outspeed with a Choice Scarf and OHKO decimate Azelf or its teammates with V-Create. Scarf Krookodile can come in on a Psychic-type attack, outspeed, and KO with a STAB Crunch. Choice Scarf Chandelure can switch in on anything other than Azelf's STAB, and outspeed and KO with STAB Shadow Ball. Weavile is immune to Azelf's STAB, and and outspeeds, and KOs with either Night Slash or Pursuit, the latter trapping Azelf into a lose-lose situation. Other Choice Scarf Pokemon that use U-turn are impossible for Azelf to beat, as they will outspeed and can't be hit give Azelf a lot of problems, forcing Azelf to choose between sacrificing itself, or letting the enemy build dangerous momentum against Azelf's teammates. Some of these Pokemon include Flygon and Darmanitan.</p>

<p>While Azelf can power through almost anything, there are a couple exceptions. Both Deoxys-D and Dusclops can tank whatever is thrown at them, and cripple Azelf with status. They are both immensely bulky, and Azelf will never get past them without entry hazard support. An Azelf paralyzed, burned, or Toxiced is largely ineffective. Azelf hates status, especially paralysis, which cuts off the Speed Azelf relies on for survivability.Paralyzing Azelf is especially crippling, since has frail defenses and without its Speed, it won't be able to do much damage.</p>
On the Smogon forums, we use a lot of "jargon", set phrases, that we DON'T use in analyses. Terms like "cleaner", "scarfer", etc. are not standardized in analyses and can be confusing for the reader. Read the Grammar standards for more information. In terms of these "-er" nouns, only "sweeper," "attacker," and "supporter" are allowed. In any other case, use the word "user"; "Choice Band user," "Choice Scarf user." This is better for readers, especially those with less exposure to Smogon (n00bs).

Also stop saying "things like," or "thing" when there are plenty of words that are actually good, like "foe", "teammate" or... "Pokemon."


There were a lot of problems, but:

GP Check 1/2
 
#17
[Overview]

<p>Azelf has fallen from its former OU status in DPP mostly due to the advent of Team Preview, almost destroying the need or use for a dedicated lead. This led to Azelf's placement in BW UU, where it is a very versatile threat with great mixed attacking stats and and Speed. It has a good movepool to abuse, as well as fulfilling thend can even fulfill its previous role of a lead in UU arguably better than it ever did in DPP OU. However, Azelf is not invincible. There is an abundance of Choice Scarf users in UU that can dispatch Azelf without a second thought. Also; additionally, whichever set it runs, there will always be a slight gap in Azelf's coverage that can be exploited and used against it.</p>

[SET]
name: Nasty Plot
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Psychic / Psyshock
move 3: Fire Blast
move 4: Grass Knot
item: Life Orb
ability: Levitate
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>The primary form of Azelf's offense comes from theOffensive Azelf is most commonly seen using a Nasty Plot set, which has become a lot more effective due to the recent removal of Chansey and Alakazam from UU. Nasty Plot skyrockets Azelf's Special Attack to an astounding 698 with a Timid nature, letting it break through the bulkiest Pokemon in the tier with its amazing power and great coverage. Psychic OHKOes defensive Roserade easily, and is also is a guaranteed 2HKO on Curse Snorlax after Stealth Rock, (with a good chance to 2HKO even without it). Psyshock is also an option for hitting Snorlax even harder, but it is generally inferior due to its lower Base Power and lower damage output against threats such as Hitmontop. Fire Blast is a necessity to hit bulky Steel-types such as Registeel, Escavalier, and Bronzong without giving them a chance to do anything back. Grass Knot is in the the final moveslot in order to hit bulky Water-types such as Slowbro, Suicune, Swampert, and Milotic very hard, while also doing massive damage to Krookodile and Rhyperior.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Life Orb is the item of choice, as it allows Azelf to power through almost everything. Maximum Speed with a Timid nature is necessary to sSpeed- tie Raikou, ands well as outspeed common threats such as Cobalion and Froslass. Maximum Special Attack investment is tolets Azelf hit as hard as possible, and the remaining 4 EVs are thrown into Special Defense to prevent Porygon2 and Porygon-Z from picking up a Download boost. It is worth noting that running Stealth Rock over Nasty Plot makes Azelf an effective hazard user for offensive teams that don't want to lose momentum.</p>

<p>Thunderbolt is an option over Grass Knot to hit Houndoom while retaining super effective hits against Water-types, but is generally inferior. Grass Knot hits bulky Water-types harder, and running Thunderbolt would leave you susceptible to being defeated by the likes of Krookodile and Rhyperior. Likewise, Shadow Ball is also an option to hit Deoxys-D and Dusclops harder, but serves no purpose otherwise, and is generally a waste of a moveslot. Flash Fire Arcanine is a fantastic teammate, as it easily checks Weavile, Bisharp, Houndoom, and Victini with ease, all of which are major threats to Azelf's sweep.</p>

[SET]
name: Choice Band
move 1: Zen Headbutt
move 2: Fire Punch
move 3: Ice Punch
move 4: U-turn / Trick
item: Choice Band
ability: Levitate
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Choice Band Azelf is a nasty surprise fromor those expecting a Nasty Plot set, no pun intended. It works well on offensive teams, as it can hit hard, keep momentum, orand cripple a wall with Trick. Zen Headbutt is Azelf's most powerful physical STAB attack, although thebut its imperfect accuracy mayight let you down sometimes. Fire Punch hits Steel-types that resist Zen Headbutt, namely Registeel, Bronzong, and Escavalier. Ice Punch gives youAzelf near -perfect coverage, hitting things likereats such as Zapdos, Flygon, Xatu, and Togekiss super effectively. U-turn is the primary option in the last slot,; it preservinges offensive momentum by allowing you to switch to a counter; i. It also hits Slowbro harder than any other move, and can save youAzelf from being helplessly stuck facing down Victini's V-Ccreate. However, Trick is also viable, as it can cripple slow walls and special attackers. NFE foes likesuch as Dusclops, Gligar, and Hippopotas will particularly hate having their Eviolites bulk stripped away. It can also allow a teammate to sweep once its counter is crippled; it can also allow a teammate to sweep once its counter is crippled <if you could provide examples of attacks that KO w/o eviolite if it's relevant, that'd be best!>.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>The EV spread is fairly simple, maximizing both Attack and Speed to hit as hard and fast as possible. There will always be a gap in this set's coverage, as it can't hit most bulky Water-types hard enough. ThunderPunch is an option to hit them harder, but it is generally inferior to hitting the aforementioned threats. There are no other viable physical moves that Azelf can make use of. </p>

<p>
Rotom-H is a fantastic teammate, as youthe duo can abuse the Volt-tTurn strategy to pressure the opponent's team immensely. Rotom-H also hits both Steel-types and bulky Water-types super effectively with its STABs, leaving Azelf clear to break through the opponent's team. LikeAs with the previous set, Bisharp and Weavile can cause youAzelf a lot of problems, especially when you'reif it's Choice-locked into Zen Headbutt. You can use Machamp's DynamicPunch to destroy them (or punish any teammates thatthe switch -in), or give Cobalion a setup opportunity by bringing it in after Azelf has bitten the dust against thesesaid Dark-types. If you can manage to activate Cobalion's Justified by switching it into a rare Night Slash, all the better.</p>

[SET]
name: Dual Screens
move 1: Reflect
move 2: Light Screen
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Stealth Rock
item: Light Clay
ability: Levitate
nature: Jolly / Timid
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe


[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Azelf is arguably the best non-Uber user of Ddual Sscreens, and the absence of Choice Scarf Tyranitar in UU only adds to its effectiveness. This set is perfect for offensive teams, as it allows frail sweepers to set up easily behind Reflect and Light Screen and then proceed to ravage the opponent's team. Taunt is extremely useful on this set, preventing any offensive Pokemon from boosting and beating you to the punch by setting up its own sweep first. It also prevents foes from phazing you with Roar before you can get both screens up, and can be used to prevent the enemy from using entry hazard or status moves, protecting the setup sweepers that will follow Azelf. Just be wary that many Pokemon likesuch as Bronzong orand Swampert will predict Taunt and attack youAzelf outright, so, depending on the situation, it can be more effective to set up a screen before using Taunt. Stealth Rock is perfect for offensive teams, as it is often the difference between a OHKO and a 2HKO. YAll in all, your sweepers will appreciate the massive team support provided by Azelf.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Light Clay is really the only item that should be used, as it extends the duration of Reflect and Light Screen to 8 turns as opposed to only 5from five turns to eight. An alternative is a Focus Sash, but this severely hinders the effectiveness of the set. Maximum Speed investment allows Azelf to Taunt as many thingfoes as possible, and maximum HP maxoptimizes Azelf's overall bulk to guarantee it sets up Reflect and Light Screen. U-turn could be a useful move on this set, but none of the moves are really replaceable. I; it is a viable option nonetheless. The choice between a Jolly and Timid nature is insignificant most of the time, but if you are using U-turn then, a Jolly nature should be used so as not to reduce its power. </p>

<p>
When dedicated a team slot to setting up screens, you want to be sure that you have a very destructive setup sweepers waiting in the wings to make the best use of the screens. Some of the most terrifying offensive setup Pokemon include Venomoth and Gorebyss, both for Baton Pass tacticswho can Baton Pass Quiver Dance and Shell Smash respectively, as well as independent sweepers such as Cobalion and Kingdra.</p>

[SET]
name: Weather Lead
move 1: Rain Dance / Sunny Day
move 2: Taunt
move 3: Stealth Rock
move 4: U-turn
item: Damp Rock / Heat Rock
ability: Levitate
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>With the increasing popularity and effectiveness of weather-based teams, Azelf is a fine lead to provide 8eight turns of either rain or sun. Rain Dance provid, with the moves rRain, Dance and Sunny Day provides sunrespectively. Taunt prevents slower foes from setting up on you, as well asAzelf, blockings status, and preventings entry hazards from being set up. ThisIn particular, it is immensely helpful against Deoxys-D, whicho is a dominant force in the metagame. Stealth Rock is a natural fit for this set thaas it will primarily be used as a lead, and can give an offensive rain or sun team's sweep the edge by breaking Focus Sashes and Sturdy. U-turn is an excellent move for scouting against switches once Azelf has finished setting up.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Damp Rock and Heat Rock extend the duration of rain and sun, respectively, to 8eight turns each. This provides ample time to abuse thatfor Azelf's teammates to take advantage of weather and, allow teammates such asing the likes of Kingdra and Darmanitan to blow gaping holes in the opponent's defensive core. Maximum investment in Speed is always the most effective on Azelf's setup sets. Maximum HP increases Azelf's lousypoor bulk to a somewhat decent level as well.</p>

<p>Safeguard is an option to keep your sweepers free of all status, but it is mostly outclassed by Taunt, which sports a greater variety of usesthwarts many other forms of support. Magic Coat prevents faster foes such as Crobat and Aerodactlyyl from using Taunt on youAzelf. However, faster opponents are exceptionally few and far between, and Azelf is already pressed for move slots. Focus Sash can let youAzelf survive for another turn of setup, which is useful when you mispredict with Taunt or need to get up Stealth Rock. However, loosing the turns of weather assured by Damp Rock and Heat Rock greatly decreases the value of this set. </p>

<p>
Various Choice Scarf users, such as Chandelure and Heracross, outspeed and threaten to KO Azelf with their super effective STAB moves. Fortunately, a cChoice -locked foe and weather support can give a teammate a prime chance to set up.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>Azelf has a wide movepool, and can run a number of different sets effectively. A Life Orb late -game sweepering set can be used effectively, with U-turn replacing Nasty Plot and a Naive nature. This Azelf set is pretty effective if used properly used instead. Choice Specs is not recommended on Azelf because of the poor coverage of its STAB and its frail defenses. Azelf does best when it can rely on switching to get super effective hits, avoiding the power deficiency fromdual drawbacks of bad coverage and blow Base pPower of its STAB attacks. Explosion is a viable option in a throwback to the days of DPP. However, with the coming of BW, Explosion no longer halves the target's Defense stat when calculating damage, but it has been greatly weakened in the transition to BW, and is therefore not recommended.</p>

[Checks & Counters]

<p>Houndoom is yourhands down the best way of dealing with Azelf. It is immune to both Psychic- and Fire-type attacks, resists Grass Knot and Ice Punch, and is only hit neutrally by U-turn. It also has STAB Sucker Punch and STAB Pursuit to play Azelf into a deadly mind game that pushes the pixie's back to the walls with Azelf, forcing it to predict perfectly or be KOed. Victini boasts a similar set of resistances, and will decimate Azelf or one of its teammates with V-Ccreate. Choice Scarf Krookodile can come in a Psychic-type attack, outspeed, and KO with a STAB Crunch. Choice Scarf Chandelure can switch in on anything other than Azelf's STAB, and move of choice, outspeed, and KO with STAB Shadow Ball. Weavile is immune to Azelf's STAB, outspeeds, and KOes with either Night Slash or Pursuit. Other Choice Scarf Pokemon that use U-turn give Azelf a lot of problems, forcing Azelf, such as Flygon and Darmanitan, give Azelf a lot of problems, as they force it to choose between sacrificing itself, or letting the enemy build dangerous momentum against Azelf's teammates. Some of these Pokemon include Flygon and Darmanitan.</p>

<p>While Azelf can power through almost anything, there are a couple of exceptions. Both Deoxys-D and Dusclops can tank whatever isanything Azelf throwns at them, and cripple Azelf with status. They are both immensely bulky, and Azelf will never get past them without entry hazard support. Azelf hates status, especially paralysis, which cuts off the Speed Azelf relies on for survivability.</p>


gp approved 2/2

[Overview]

<p>Azelf has fallen from its former OU status in DPP mostly due to the advent of Team Preview, almost destroying the need for a dedicated lead. This led to Azelf's placement in BW UU, where it is a very versatile threat with great mixed attacking stats and and Speed. It has a good movepool to use, and can even fulfill its previous role of a lead in UU arguably better than it ever did in DPP OU. However, Azelf is not invincible. There is an abundance of Choice Scarf users in UU that can dispatch Azelf without a second thought; additionally, whichever set it runs, there will always be a slight gap in Azelf's coverage that can be exploited and used against it.</p>

[SET]
name: Nasty Plot
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Psychic / Psyshock
move 3: Fire Blast
move 4: Grass Knot
item: Life Orb
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Offensive Azelf is most commonly seen using a Nasty Plot set, which has become a lot more effective due to the removal of Chansey and Alakazam from UU. Nasty Plot skyrockets Azelf's Special Attack to an astounding 698 with a Timid nature, letting it break through the bulkiest Pokemon in the tier with its amazing power and great coverage. Psychic OHKOes defensive Roserade easily, and is also a guaranteed 2HKO on Curse Snorlax after Stealth Rock (with a good chance to 2HKO even without it). Psyshock is also an option for hitting Snorlax even harder, but it is generally inferior due to its lower Base Power and lower damage output against threats such as Hitmontop. Fire Blast is a necessity to hit bulky Steel-types such as Registeel, Escavalier, and Bronzong without giving them a chance to do anything back. Grass Knot is in the the final moveslot in order to hit bulky Water-types such as Slowbro, Suicune, Swampert, and Milotic very hard, while also doing massive damage to Krookodile and Rhyperior.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Life Orb is the item of choice, as it allows Azelf to power through almost everything. Maximum Speed with a Timid nature is necessary to Speed tie Raikou, as well as outspeed common threats such as Cobalion and Froslass. Maximum Special Attack investment lets Azelf hit as hard as possible, and the remaining 4 EVs are thrown into Special Defense to prevent Porygon2 and Porygon-Z from picking up a Download boost. It is worth noting that running Stealth Rock over Nasty Plot makes Azelf an effective hazard user for offensive teams that don't want to lose momentum.</p>

<p>Thunderbolt is an option over Grass Knot to hit Houndoom while retaining super effective hits against Water-types, but is generally inferior. Grass Knot hits bulky Water-types harder, and running Thunderbolt would leave you susceptible to being defeated by the likes of Krookodile and Rhyperior. Likewise, Shadow Ball is also an option to hit Deoxys-D and Dusclops harder, but serves no purpose otherwise, and is generally a waste of a moveslot. Flash Fire Arcanine is a fantastic teammate, as it easily checks Weavile, Bisharp, Houndoom, and Victini, all of which are major threats to Azelf's sweep.</p>

[SET]
name: Choice Band
move 1: Zen Headbutt
move 2: Fire Punch
move 3: Ice Punch
move 4: U-turn / Trick
item: Choice Band
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Choice Band Azelf is a nasty surprise for those expecting a Nasty Plot set, no pun intended. It works well on offensive teams, as it can hit hard, keep momentum, and cripple a wall with Trick. Zen Headbutt is Azelf's most powerful physical STAB attack, but its imperfect accuracy might let you down sometimes. Fire Punch hits Steel-types that resist Zen Headbutt, namely Registeel, Bronzong, and Escavalier. Ice Punch gives Azelf near-perfect coverage, hitting threats such as Zapdos, Flygon, Xatu, and Togekiss super effectively. U-turn is the primary option in the last slot; it preserves offensive momentum by allowing you to switch to a counter. It also hits Slowbro harder than any other move, and can save Azelf from being helplessly stuck facing down Victini's V-create. However, Trick is also viable, as it can cripple slow walls and special attackers. NFE foes such as Dusclops, Gligar, and Hippopotas will particularly hate having their Eviolites stripped away; it can also allow a teammate to sweep once its counter is crippled <if you could provide examples of attacks that KO w/o eviolite if it's relevant, that'd be best!>.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>The EV spread is fairly simple, maximizing both Attack and Speed to hit as hard and fast as possible. There will always be a gap in this set's coverage, as it can't hit most bulky Water-types hard enough. ThunderPunch is an option to hit them harder, but it is generally inferior to hitting the aforementioned threats. There are no other viable physical moves that Azelf can make use of.</p>

<p>Rotom-H is a fantastic teammate, as the duo can abuse the VoltTurn strategy to pressure the opponent's team immensely. Rotom-H also hits both Steel- and bulky Water-types super effectively with its STABs, leaving Azelf clear to break through the opponent's team. As with the previous set, Bisharp and Weavile can cause Azelf a lot of problems, especially if it's Choice-locked into Zen Headbutt. You can use Machamp's DynamicPunch to destroy them or the switch-in, or give Cobalion a setup opportunity by bringing it in after Azelf has bitten the dust against said Dark-types. If you can manage to activate Cobalion's Justified by switching it into a rare Night Slash, all the better.</p>

[SET]
name: Dual Screens
move 1: Reflect
move 2: Light Screen
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Stealth Rock
item: Light Clay
nature: Jolly / Timid
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Azelf is arguably the best non-Uber user of dual screens, and the absence of Choice Scarf Tyranitar in UU only adds to its effectiveness. This set is perfect for offensive teams, as it allows frail sweepers to set up easily behind Reflect and Light Screen and then proceed to ravage the opponent's team. Taunt is extremely useful on this set, preventing any offensive Pokemon from boosting and beating you to the punch by setting up its own sweep first. It also prevents foes from phazing you with Roar before you can get both screens up, and can be used to prevent the enemy from using entry hazard or status moves, protecting the setup sweepers that will follow Azelf. Just be wary that Pokemon such as Bronzong and Swampert will predict Taunt and attack Azelf outright, so, depending on the situation, it can be more effective to set up a screen before using Taunt. Stealth Rock is perfect for offensive teams, as it is often the difference between a OHKO and a 2HKO. All in all, your sweepers will appreciate the massive team support provided by Azelf.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Light Clay is really the only item that should be used, as it extends the duration of Reflect and Light Screen from five turns to eight. An alternative is a Focus Sash, but this severely hinders the effectiveness of the set. Maximum Speed investment allows Azelf to Taunt as many foes as possible, and maximum HP optimizes Azelf's overall bulk to guarantee it sets up Reflect and Light Screen. U-turn could be a useful move on this set, but none of the moves are really replaceable; it is a viable option nonetheless. The choice between a Jolly and Timid nature is insignificant most of the time, but if you are using U-turn, a Jolly nature should be used so as not to reduce its power.</p>

<p>When dedicated a team slot to setting up screens, you want to be sure that you have very destructive setup sweepers waiting in the wings to make the best use of the screens. Some of the most terrifying offensive setup Pokemon include Venomoth and Gorebyss, who can Baton Pass Quiver Dance and Shell Smash respectively, as well as independent sweepers such as Cobalion and Kingdra.</p>

[SET]
name: Weather Lead
move 1: Rain Dance / Sunny Day
move 2: Taunt
move 3: Stealth Rock
move 4: U-turn
item: Damp Rock / Heat Rock
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>With the increasing popularity and effectiveness of weather-based teams, Azelf is a fine lead to provide eight turns of either rain or sun, with the moves Rain Dance and Sunny Day respectively. Taunt prevents slower foes from setting up on Azelf, blocks status, and prevents entry hazards from being set up. In particular, it is immensely helpful against Deoxys-D, who is a dominant force in the metagame. Stealth Rock is a natural fit for this set as it will primarily be used as a lead, and can give an offensive rain or sun team's sweep the edge by breaking Focus Sashes and Sturdy. U-turn is an excellent move for scouting against switches once Azelf has finished setting up.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>Damp Rock and Heat Rock extend the duration of rain and sun, respectively, to eight turns each. This provides ample time for Azelf's teammates to take advantage of weather, allowing the likes of Kingdra and Darmanitan to blow gaping holes in the opponent's defensive core. Maximum investment in Speed is always the most effective on Azelf's setup sets. Maximum HP increases Azelf's poor bulk to a somewhat decent level as well.</p>

<p>Safeguard is an option to keep your sweepers free of all status, but it is mostly outclassed by Taunt, which thwarts many other forms of support. Magic Coat prevents faster foes such as Crobat and Aerodactyl from using Taunt on Azelf. However, faster opponents are exceptionally few and far between, and Azelf is already pressed for moveslots. Focus Sash can Azelf survive for another turn of setup, which is useful when you mispredict with Taunt or need to get up Stealth Rock. However, losing the turns of weather assured by Damp Rock and Heat Rock greatly decreases the value of this set.</p>

<p>Various Choice Scarf users, such as Chandelure and Heracross, outspeed and threaten to KO Azelf with their super effective STAB moves. Fortunately, a Choice-locked foe and weather support can give a teammate a prime chance to set up.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>Azelf has a wide movepool, and can run a number of different sets effectively. A Life Orb late-game sweeping set can be used effectively, with U-turn replacing Nasty Plot and a Naive nature used instead. Choice Specs is not recommended on Azelf because of the poor coverage of its STAB and its frail defenses. Azelf does best when it can rely on switching to get super effective hits, avoiding the dual drawbacks of bad coverage and low Base Power of its STAB attacks. Explosion is a viable option in a throwback to the days of DPP, but it has been greatly weakened in the transition to BW, and is therefore not recommended.</p>

[Checks & Counters]

<p>Houndoom is hands down the best way of dealing with Azelf. It is immune to both Psychic- and Fire-type attacks, resists Grass Knot and Ice Punch, and is only hit neutrally by U-turn. It also has STAB Sucker Punch and STAB Pursuit to play deadly mind games with Azelf, forcing it to predict perfectly or be KOed. Victini boasts a similar set of resistances, and will decimate Azelf or one of its teammates with V-create. Choice Scarf Krookodile can come in a Psychic-type attack, outspeed, and KO with STAB Crunch. Choice Scarf Chandelure can switch in on anything other than Azelf's STAB move of choice, outspeed, and KO with STAB Shadow Ball. Weavile is immune to Azelf's STAB, outspeeds, and KOes with either Night Slash or Pursuit. Choice Scarf Pokemon that use U-turn, such as Flygon and Darmanitan, give Azelf a lot of problems, as they force it to choose between sacrificing itself or letting the enemy build dangerous momentum against Azelf's team.</p>

<p>While Azelf can power through almost anything, there are a couple of exceptions. Both Deoxys-D and Dusclops can tank anything Azelf throws at them and cripple Azelf with status. They are both immensely bulky, and Azelf will never get past them without entry hazard support. Azelf hates status, especially paralysis, which cuts off the Speed Azelf relies on for survivability.</p>