[OVERVIEW] Delphox is one of the tier's better offensive Fire-type Pokemon, as it can be used as either a balance breaker or a late-game sweeper. It has a fairly good typing that can help it check non-Earthquake Sceptile, can boost its Special Attack with Calm Mind, and can be an annoying Choice item user thanks to its access to Trick. Delphox has a good Speed tier to outspeed threats such as Typhlosion, and with a Choice Scarf it also has a unique perk in that it's faster than Slush Rush Alolan Sandslash. Not everything is great for Delphox, sadly, as the weakness to Stealth Rock can prevent Delphox from switching in multiple times, while its Psychic typing leaves it vulnerable to Pursuit and Sucker Punch. [SET] name: Calm Mind move 1: Calm Mind move 2: Fire Blast move 3: Psychic move 4: Grass Knot item: Firium Z / Colbur Berry ability: Blaze nature: Timid evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] Moves ======== Delphox should use Calm Mind to boost its Special Attack and Special Defense. This helps Delphox overcome foes offensively while providing extra protection defensively at times. Fire Blast is Delphox's main STAB attack to incinerate Steel-types such as Steelix while also catching Dark-types such as Spiritomb if they attempt to switch into Psychic. Psychic is another powerful STAB attack that is more accurate and hits Pokemon such as Emboar. Grass Knot allows Delphox to bypass bulky Water-types such as Slowbro, Slowking, and Jellicent. Psyshock is an alternative over Psychic to overwhelm specially defensive Pokemon such as Vaporeon and Assault Vest Hariyama, though outside of those circumstances it is usually an inferior option. Set Details ======== Maximum Speed with a Timid nature allows Delphox to outspeed Typhlosion, while the Special Attack EVs maximize Delphox's offensive prowess. Blaze helps Delphox hit significantly harder with Fire Blast and Inferno Overdrive if Delphox is low on health. For example, Delphox can OHKO Slowbro with +1 Inferno Overdrive if put into Blaze range. Firium Z is the recommended item with Delphox to provide a one-time powerful Fire-type attack that has perfect accuracy. If the Z-Crystal slot is taken by a teammate, Colbur Berry is also a viable item to use instead, allowing Delphox a little safety from Dark-type attacks if they attempt to Pursuit trap Delphox or hit it with Sucker Punch. Grassium Z is a slightly worse option; however, it can be a one-time nuke against specially defensive Water- and Rock-types that attempt to interfere with Delphox's carnage, though in most cases it only is slightly more effective against light Water-types such as Vaporeon and Pyukumuku. Usage Tips ======== Determining the proper time to set up Calm Mind with Delphox is critical. Bear in mind that without Colbur Berry, Delphox is very vulnerable to Dark-type attacks and opponents will attempt to exploit this. Delphox should be used as a wallbreaker or late-game sweeper that can bypass various cores that rely on Poison-types, Slowbro, and one of Steelix, Rhydon, and Piloswine as their defensive backbones. Under most circumstances, Firium Z is best used after a Calm Mind boost; however, it can be used for a 100% accurate Fire-type attack if Delphox needs to overcome the opposing team reliably. Don't forget that Delphox also has a passable Special Defense stat, which can help it survive weaker special attacks after a Calm Mind boost. Avoid setting up on a physically offensive Pokemon unless the opponent needs to keep it alive. Team Options ======== Entry hazard support from Omastar, Kabutops, or Garbodor helps Delphox punish Pokemon that switch out of Delphox and makes wallbreaking much easier. Omastar and Kabutops are solid suicide leads that support Delphox differently. Omastar provides both Stealth Rock and Spikes while being a potential opener with Shell Smash and Surf. Kabutops can only lay Stealth Rock; however, it can also prevent Stealth Rock from being safely placed on Delphox's side of the field if the opponent lacks a Ghost-type. Though offensively Garbodor offers little, it can lay Spikes and Toxic Spikes to help Delphox bypass Water-types much faster. Fighting-types such as Sawk and Hitmonlee greatly appreciate the removal of many balanced core Pokemon such as Slowbro, Vileplume, Golbat, and Garbodor. Flying-types such as Braviary and Dodrio also enjoy the benefits of Delphox being able to bypass bulky Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon to help them freely spam their STAB attacks. Clearing entry hazards on Delphox's side of the field is crucial to keep Delphox healthy and capable of doing its job effectively. Hitmonlee and Golbat are two great Pokemon that can clear entry hazards while being able to support Delphox by crippling Pokemon with Knock Off or Toxic. Rotom-C is a great teammate that can apply extra pressure to Water-types while getting Delphox in easier with Volt Switch. Rotom-C can also cripple defensive Pokemon with Trick or physical Dark-types with Will-O-Wisp. Faster Pokemon such as Choice Scarf Sawk and Choice Specs Accelgor appreciate the heavy pressure Delphox places on bulkier teams to make it easier for these Pokemon to clean up if Delphox is unable to. Responses to Incineroar and Houndoom, which are two major threats to Delphox, are recommended as well. Rhydon is a great partner that can also lay Stealth Rock, and other Pokemon such as Assault Vest Hariyama and Seismitoad also work. [SET] name: Choice Scarf move 1: Fire Blast move 2: Psychic move 3: Dazzling Gleam / Grass Knot move 4: Trick item: Choice Scarf ability: Blaze nature: Timid evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] Moves ======== Fire Blast is Delphox's primary attack with only a small drawback of low accuracy and inability to hit opposing Pokemon with Flash Fire. Once Dark-types are removed from the field or if a Pokemon such as Rhydon or Barbaracle is predicted to switch in, Psychic can be used instead, as it is a more accurate STAB option. Dazzling Gleam complements Delphox's STAB moves as well as hitting Dark-types without risking a miss from Fire Blast. It does significant damage to Dragon-types such as Druddigon, Guzzlord, Scrafty, and Drampa as well. Grass Knot is a useful option to trip Rock- and Water-types on the switch in. Grass Knot allows Delphox to be an effective revenge killer against +2 Barbaracle, as Choice Scarf Delphox outspeeds it. Trick gives Delphox the option to switch its Choice Scarf with a foe's item to potentially cripple a defensive Pokemon such as non-Z-Crystal Slowbro or Jellicent. Trick also allows Delphox to attack more freely so long as it does not obtain another Choice item. Psyshock is a viable option over Psychic to hit Virizion on its weaker Defense stat as well as hitting Assault Vest Hariyama much harder. Toxic is also viable for crippling bulky Water-types while not running the risk of Trick giving Z-Crystal Slowbro and Slowking a free turn. Set Details ======== Maximum Speed EVs, a Timid nature, and Choice Scarf make Delphox faster than Jolly Alolan Sandslash in hail and faster than many boosted threats such as Barbaracle. The remaining EVs are placed into Special Attack to maximize Delphox's power. Usage Tips ======== Delphox should be used as a revenge killer that also has the option to cripple bulkier Pokemon with Trick or Toxic. If running Trick, preserve Choice Scarf for as long as possible, as the loss of the item could make Delphox's team more vulnerable to setup sweepers such as Vivillon. Trick should be used against bulkier Pokemon if they are a larger threat than Pokemon that may be faster than Delphox after it gives away its Choice Scarf. Be careful, as Trick will fail in circumstances such as against Slowbro holding a Z-Crystal or Sticky Hold Accelgor. Avoid Dark-types as much as possible—especially Dark-types that have access to Sucker Punch and Pursuit. In situations facing these Pokemon, use Delphox to force your opponent to switch out and double switch with a Pokemon that can handle these threats easier. Team Options ======== Clearing Stealth Rock and other entry hazards is highly recommended. Hitmonlee and Golbat are excellent partners that can clear entry hazards for Delphox. Defog Skuntank is a solid partner that can absorb Toxic Spikes for Delphox while applying pressure to Psychic-types such as Sigilyph with STAB Sucker Punch or Pursuit. Strong wallbreakers, preferably those not heavily bothered by Dark-types, are great partners. Swords Dance Virizion, Choice Band Sawk, and Flame Orb Machamp can do significant damage to many of Delphox's checks and counters. Rotom-C is an excellent partner that harasses Water-types and Rock-types with access to Volt Switch to help pivot Delphox in safer against Grass-types. Whimsicott and Granbull are great checks to Dark-types. Granbull can provide Heal Bell support if necessary and is another bulky switch-in to many physical Dark-types. Meanwhile, Whimsicott can pressure foes offensively with STAB Moonblast and Giga Drain, as there aren't many switch-ins to both of the moves. Teammates that can handle Houndoom and Incineroar such as Rhydon, Seismitoad, and Hariyama are also great teammates to have around and should be on standby, as Delphox gives Houndoom and Incineroar free switches in. Choice Specs Guzzlord is a great Pokemon to take advantage of many of Delphox's common switch-ins such as Slowbro and Houndoom while threatening with STAB Dark Pulse or Draco Meteor. [STRATEGY COMMENTS] Other Options ============= Choice Specs is an option to boost Delphox's modest Special Attack and give it extra power behind STAB Fire Blast and Psychic. Overheat is a great option on this set too for extra power. Substitute + Salac Berry can be used to give Delphox a Speed boost to outspeed potential threats such as Dodrio and Accelgor. This can be used alongside Calm Mind and Blaze for maximum power potential. Flamethrower is a more accurate option over Fire Blast, though the power drawback is noticeable—especially with Choice Scarf. Psychium Z with Hypnosis works well with Delphox, as Delphox can use the Z-Crystal either for +1 Speed with Hypnosis, for Shattered Psyche with Psychic, or to reset stat drops with Z-Calm Mind. Signal Beam can compress hitting both Slowbro and Guzzlord without resorting to using both Grass Knot and Dazzling Gleam, but this leaves Delphox vulnerable to other Water-types. Checks and Counters =================== **Dark-types**: Houndoom, Incineroar, and Guzzlord deserve the biggest mentions, since they resist almost every attack Delphox throws at them. Barring Dazzling Gleam on Guzzlord, all three of these Pokemon can take a boosted hit from Delphox without any issues and threaten them with their Dark-type STAB moves. Sneasel, Spiritomb, and Skuntank have a variety of methods to apply major pressure to Delphox. Sneasel often have the combination of Pursuit and Knock Off as well as being faster than Delphox. Spiritomb and Skuntank carry the more lethal combination of Sucker Punch and Pursuit to force Delphox into an unfavorable position. Spiritomb can also bypass Colbur Berry altogether with STAB Shadow Sneak. **Bulky Water-types**: Vaporeon is the best check to Delphox, as it takes little damage from Grass Knot and can withstand almost any boosted attack Delphox throws at it barring Psyshock and Bloom Doom. Slowking and Jellicent must be cautious of Calm Mind-boosted Grass Knots; however, they can withstand unboosted hits without too many issues and respond with their respective STAB attacks. Slowking gets an additional bonus of being able to use Dragon Tail to phaze Delphox. Slowbro can obtain immunity from Trick thanks to Waterium Z, though it must be wary of switching into a boosted Grass Knot. **Faster Pokemon**: Though Delphox has a respectable Speed tier, it is still slower than many Pokemon. Tauros, Mismagius, and Dodrio are naturally faster than Delphox and pose an immediate threat with their STAB or coverage options. Choice Scarf users such as Braviary also prey on Delphox's lower Defense stat.