skeleton (Move your mouse to reveal the content) skeleton (open) skeleton (close) Overview ######## Has great physical and special movepool High offenses and speed One of the best suicide leads in the tier Low defenses Weak to common offensive types and Knock Off spam Suicide Lead ######## name: Suicide Lead move 1: Stealth Rock move 2: Taunt move 3: Flamethrower / Knock Off move 4: Explosion ability: Levitate item: Focus Sash evs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 HP nature: Naive / Jolly Moves ======== Knock Off provides utility early-game Flamethrower is for Steel types, particularly Forretress Taunt prevents other mons from setting up Stealth Rock is Stealth Rock Explosion is to inflict heavy damage on the opposing side, and to prevent spinners from clearing hazards Set Details ======== EVs are to maximize speed and damage, Naive nature is used if you're running Flamethrower Focus Sash is so it can get off at least 2 of its moves before dying Usage Tips ======== Azelf should almost always be coming out turn 1, unless it is being threatened by Fake Out leads or common scarfers, in which case it should still be in early-game. The plan is to either Knock Off or set up rocks, depending on what is on the opposing side. Taunt can be used turn 1 if other suicide leads, mainly Smeargle or Galvantula are being sent out. After it has taken a hit and got up either of these moves, Explosion should be used unless there is a ghost on the field, in which case you should be using Knock Off on the switch. This can remove at least one mon, possibly even two, and make it easier for things such as Hydreigon or Heracross to break through teams. An important note is that this set should not lead against fast taunters, such as Sableye, and Fake Out users, such as Ambipom. Team Options ======== Common Scarfers such as Hydreigon, Flygon, and Mienshao, who appreciate Stealth Rock support Mega Houndoom, who can set up on ghost types who try to switch into Azelf Fighting-types, such as Heracross, who can punish dark-types, and are generally good at wallbreaking. Nasty Plot ######## name: Nasty Plot move 1: Nasty Plot move 2: Psyshock move 3: Fire Blast / Thunderbolt / Shadow Ball move 4: Dazzling Gleam ability: Levitate item: Life Orb evs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe / 4 SpD nature: Timid Moves ======== Nasty Plot is Azelf's set-up option Psyshock is the STAB move of choice Fire Blast or Flamethrower lets Azelf hit steel-types such as Bronzong and Forretress. Thunderbolt is for muscling past bulky waters that aren't part ground. Dazzling Gleam lets it get past dark-types such as Sableye and Hydreigon Shadow Ball lets it hit Mew and Victini, who are common switch-ins for the set Set Details ======== EVs are so that it can maximize overall damage and speed Life Orb is to increase the damage output. The recoil doesn't matter, as Azelf folds at most strong attacks. Usage Tips ======== This set makes for a great sweeper, due to Azelf's blazing fast speed and good offenses. Depending on your coverage move in the last slot, Azelf appreciates bulky waters from other team members removed if using Dazzling Gleam, and dark-types such as Hydrei and Honch removed if using Thunderbolt. As such, it shouldn't be attempting a sweep until these mons are removed. Team Options ======== Mons such as Froslass and Forretress, who can set up hazards which make it easier for Azelf to sweep Fighting-types such as Mienshao and Heracross who can take care of dark-types Krookodile and Umbreon Thunder Wave support from mons such as Slowbro or Mew can be effective for its sweep Pokemon that benefit from special walls broken, such as Roserade and Mega Manectric Mons that can beat Mew with ease, such as Mega Houndoom and Hydreigon Dual Screens ######### name: Dual Screens move 1: Light Screen move 2: Reflect move 3: Taunt / Stealth Rock / Knock Off move 4: Explosion ability: Levitate item: Light Clay evs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 HP nature: Jolly Moves ======== The first two moveslots are to set up screens, obviously. The third moveslot can be either used to further support your team with rocks, cripple a good portion of the tier with Knock Off, or prevent other set up with Taunt Explosion is so that it can safely get in an offensive mon while dealing some damage. Set Details ======== The EVs are supposed to increase offenses and speed, letting it get off at least one of the screens and explode. Light Clay is used to maximize the duration of screens, so that offensive mons can safely switch in after Explosion and rip through teams. Jolly nature is used so that it outspeeds common mons while doing as much damage as possible with Explosion. Usage Tips ========= This set is best used on Hyper Offense, as it lets mons such as Porygon-Z and Mega Houndoom set up and begin their sweeps, and gives them a chance to set up without having to worry about being demolished by powerful hits. As soon as both screens are set up, Azelf should explode to deal a good chunk of damage to unresisted mons, and lets it get a safe switch into a wallbreaker or sweeper. If ghosts are on the field, however, it should use Knock Off instead of exploding, providing it has it, so it can set up screens later if needed. Team Options ======== Offensive mons who enjoy screen support and can set up, mainly Mega Houndoom and Porygon-Z Electric types, such as Raikou or Mega Manectric, who can take care of Crobat, which is a big threat to this set. Other Options ######## Choiced sets, which aren't as viable since Azelf hates being locked into one move. However, Scarf can outspeed every other common scarfer in the tier, with access to trick, and makes a decent late-game cleaner. Specs and Band provide raw power. Substitute, which is good for Nasty Plot since it forces a fair amount of switches, however, it has bad defenses and will break at any mildly powerful hit. Grass Knot can be used to kill bulky waters who are immune to Thunderbolt, mainly Swampert. A mixed set is viable, due to how Azelf has an expansive movepool and 125 in both offenses. Expert Belt can be coupled with its large movepool to deal lots of damage while bluffing a choiced set, or sash. Checks & Counters ######## Dark-types, such as Houndoom, Hydreigon, and Mega Absol can all revenge Azelf fairly easily while having a Psyshock immunity Porygon2, who can take most hits with ease, however it must be wary of Knock Off Speed Boosters, such as Yanmega and Sharpedo, can Protect to gain a speed boost and revenge with a STAB SE hit. Sableye and Mega Aerodactyl stop the Suicide Lead and Dual Screen sets, as they have fast taunts, are immune/resistant to Explosion, and can easily kill Azelf Overview ######## Azelf is regarded as one of the best suicide leads in the tier, due to its massive offensive and supportive options, great offensive stats. Azelf even has a good boosting move in Nasty Plot, letting it function as a powerful special sweeper. However, it is easy for Azelf to do its job, and it provides good results when used right. However, Azelf is not without its faults; its poor defenses and bad defensive typing make it fold to nearly any attack and also leave it vulnerable to the powerful Dark-types in the tier, such as Hydreigon and Mega Houndoom. It also faces competition from Aerodactyl as a suicide lead. Overall, Azelf is a threat that should not be overlooked in the metagame. Suicide Lead ######## name: Suicide Lead move 1: Stealth Rock move 2: Taunt move 3: Flamethrower / Knock Off move 4: Explosion ability: Levitate item: Focus Sash evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe nature: Naive / Jolly Moves ======== Stealth Rock is the primary purpose of this set, letting Pokemon such as Roserade or Mega Manectric achieve the OHKOs or 2HKOs needed to clean and provide offensive pressure. Taunt prevents slower leads such as Donphan from setting up Stealth Rock, and deters Smeargle and Galvantula from using Spore or setting up Sticky Web, respectively. Knock Off provides utility early game and can cripple a good portion of the metagame. Flamethrower is used specifically for Forretress, who can otherwise cause problems for this set. Explosion is for after Azelf has done its job and allows a safe switch into an offensive Pokemon to put pressure on the opposing side, as well as stopping spinners or defoggers from removing entry hazards. Set Details ======== The given EVs maximize Azelf's Speed while letting it do as much damage as possible with Knock Off and Explosion. Focus Sash is used to guarantee that Azelf can set up Stealth Rock, and then use Explosion. Azelf can also use Knock Off before it uses Explosion if it's necessary. A Naive nature can be used if running Flamethrower. Usage Tips ======== Azelf should almost always used as a lead, unless it is threatened by Fake Out leads or common scarfers, but even then it should still be used early-game. The first move should be to either use Knock Off or set up Stealth Rock, depending on what is on the opponent is leading with. Taunt can be used if other suicide leads like Smeargle or Galvantula are sent out. After Azelf has taken a hit and used either of these moves, Explosion should be used unless a Ghost-type is on the field, in which case you should use Knock Off. This can remove at least one Pokemon, and make it easier for Pokemon like Hydreigon or Heracross to break through teams. It is important to note that this set should not lead against fast Taunters such as Sableye, or Fake Out users such as Ambipom. Team Options ======== This set should be used on hyper offense teams with common Choice Scarf users like Hydreigon, who barely miss the OHKO on Pokemon with decent physical or special bulk such as Mega Houndoom without Stealth Rock, and with Pokemon that can provide offensive pressure. Mega Houndoom can KO or revenge kill Ghost-types who try to switch in on Azelf as it uses Explosion. Finally, offensive Fighting-types that have a high speed stat such as Heracross and Mienshao are good partners due to their great wallbreaking capabilities. Dual Screens ######### name: Dual Screens move 1: Light Screen move 2: Reflect move 3: Taunt / Stealth Rock / Knock Off move 4: Explosion ability: Levitate item: Light Clay evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe nature: Jolly Moves ======== Light Screen and Reflect are obvious, as Azelf's blazing speed lets it set up both screens quickly. The third moveslot has many options: Taunt lets it cripple other set-up Pokemon, Stealth Rock lets it support the team, and Knock Off provides utility. Explosion deals lots of damage while ensuring a safe switch in and avoiding a potential Defog. Set Details ======== The EVs are standard, maximizing Attack and Speed in order to get the job done. Light Clay maximizes the amount of turns the screens stay up. Usage Tips ======== Depending on which Pokemon you're facing, you should set up the appropriate screen to take less damage from their attacks. As soon as both screens are up, Azelf should use Explosion to deal a good chunk of damage to most Pokemon, and allows a safe switch into a wallbreaker or sweeper. If Ghost-types are on the field, however, Azelf should use Knock Off instead of Explosion, so it can set up screens later if needed. Team Options ======== Dual Screens support is best used with Pokemon who enjoy an easier time setting up, such as Mega Houndoom, Porygon-Z, and Mega Absol, since most setup sweepers don't need more than five turns to start preparing for a sweep. Electric types such as Mega Manectric and Raikou are good for taking care of Crobat and Mega Aerodactyl, who both check this set, with the Infiltrator ability and a higher Speed stat, respectively. Nasty Plot ######## name: Nasty Plot move 1: Nasty Plot move 2: Psyshock move 3: Fire Blast / Thunderbolt / Shadow Ball move 4: Dazzling Gleam ability: Levitate item: Life Orb evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe nature: Timid Moves ======== Nasty Plot boosts Azelf's Special Attack to towering levels, making it very dangerous when coupled with its high speed. Psyshock is the STAB move of choice, having decent coverage and hitting Florges for massive damage. Fire Blast hits Steel-types such as Mega Aggron and Forretress for massive damage. Thunderbolt lets it muscle through bulky Water-types that aren't part Ground-type. Shadow Ball is for Victini, a common switch-in to Azelf. Dazzling Gleam prevents it from getting completely walled by Dark-types like Mega Houndoom and Hydreigon. Set Details ======== The EVs and Timid nature let it outspeed as many threats as it can while doing as much damage as possible. Life Orb maximizes the damage output. Usage Tips ======== Depending on the coverage move in the last slot, Azelf appreciates having bulky Steel-types removed if using Thunderbolt, and Water-types such as Vaporeon and Slowbro removed if using Fire Blast. As such, it shouldn't attempt a sweep until these Pokemon are removed. Azelf should also be setting up when common Choice Scarf users are removed. Team Options ======== Nasty Plot Azelf enjoys entry hazard support from hazard setters such as Froslass and Forretress, which help get it past Pokemon with Focus Sashes. Fighting-types such as Mienshao and Heracross also make good partners for Azelf as they take care of Dark-types such as Krookodile and Umbreon. Paralysis support is also beneficial for Azelf, letting it outspeed most scarfers trying to revenge kill, so Slowbro and Mew make for good partners. Azelf also appreciates Pokemon that can break through Mew, such as Nidoking with Megahorn. Azelf should also be paired with Pokemon that want special walls out of the way, like Mega Houndoom and Hydreigon. Other Options ######## Choice sets are an option, although they aren't as viable since Azelf hates being locked into one move. For instance, a Choice Scarf lets it outspeed every other common user of Choice Scarf in the tier and makes a decent late-game cleaner, whereas Choice Specs and Choice Band provide raw power. Substitute can be used on the Nasty Plot set since Azelf forces a lot of switches; however, it is forced to give up a coverage move for this. Grass Knot can be used to KO bulky waters that are part Ground-type, such as Swampert. A mixed set is viable, thanks to Azelf's expansive movepool and equally strong mixed offenses. Expert Belt can be used with this to bluff a Focus Sash, Light Clay, or Choice item. Checks and Counters ######## **Dark-types** The biggest stops to Azelf are Dark-types, such as Mega Houndoom, Hydreigon, and Mega Absol, who can put the hit it for super effective damage with their STAB moves. **Porygon2** Porygon2 can take most hits with ease; however, it must be wary of getting its Eviolite knocked off. **Fast Taunt users** Fast users of Taunt, in particular Sableye and Mega Aerodactyl, stop the suicide and dual screen sets in their tracks as Azelf can't reliably damage them, and both are immune or resistant to Explosion.