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Moltres (Update)

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by complete legitimacy, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. complete legitimacy

    complete legitimacy Honko's Happy Funtime With Men
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    [​IMG]
    Moltres
    Credit to Cherub Agent for the original analysis.

    [Overview]

    <p>The incredible beast known as Moltres has waited its turn and now eagerly preys on the souls of many players, as its power cannot be matched. Its dominance over the metagame is felt by many, and most teams have burned at the hand of Moltres. While Moltres always had the mighty Fire Blast to pulverize opponents with, it now has a shiny new toy to play with: Hurricane. Since RU is free of automatic weather-inducers, Hurricane is a welcome upgrade over Air Slash, allowing Moltres to break through what was once arguably its best counter in Slowking with two Life Orb-boosted Hurricanes being a guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock damage. Moltres is one of the best wallbreakers in the metagame now, as it has very few defensive checks and can beat nearly all of the metagame's prominent defensive cores, including the Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core. However, this isn't as important as it once was because the core is dropping in popularity, due to new threats such as Nidoqueen, Escavalier, and of course our beloved Moltres. Moltres doesn't necessarily struggle against offensive teams either, as it boasts a base 90 Speed stat, which is pretty fast by RU standards.</p>

    <p>If all of this is true, then why hasn't Moltres been banned? First and foremost, Moltres's most crippling flaw comes with its typing; being 4x weak to Stealth Rock does it no favors. This means that Moltres must always be used alongside a spinner, and the pickings of effective spinners are rather slim in the metagame. While Cryogonal and Kabutops boast the ability to beat nearly all of the prominent spinblockers in the metagame, Pokemon such as Hitmonchan, Sandslash, and Hitmonlee are not nearly as reliable and can be responsible for Moltres's premature death. Moltres can also be revenge killed quite easily, since Hidden Power Rock is common among fast special attackers such as Sceptile, Accelgor, and Typhlosion, and priority moves such as Aqua Jet and Sucker Punch are prominent in the metagame as well. Moltres also suffers from Hurricane's extreme unreliability, since it's almost a coin flip to see if Moltres will hit two of them in a row. Nevertheless, Moltres is stupidly good at what it does, and it was almost singlehandedly responsible in Slowking's rise to fame as well as Lanturn's, and it is a top-tier threat that must be handled in some way before it's allowed to rampage through your team.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Life Orb
    move 1: Fire Blast
    move 2: Hurricane
    move 3: Hidden Power Grass / Substitute
    move 4: Roost
    item: Life Orb
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Through metagame shifts and BW2, Moltres's standard set has remained mostly the same. Moltres is most commonly seen using a Life Orb to take advantage of its awesome power and coverage, making it very difficult to directly counter. Fire Blast is the primary STAB move of the set, and is preferred over Hurricane most of the time because Fire-type attacks have better coverage in RU, hitting special walls such as Roselia and Cryogonal super effectively. However, Hurricane is still very useful, as most notably it grants Moltres a way to 2HKO Slowking after Stealth Rock. This allows Moltres to singlehandedly beat the Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core with a single move, although this was more important in a past metagame. Hurricane is also useful for Dragon-types such as Druddigon and Fraxure, as well as Fire-types such as Entei, Magmortar, and opposing Moltres. Don't count on it too much though, as it has been known to let you down with its poor accuracy.</p>

    <p>While Moltres's two STAB moves are usually set in stone, its third move most certainly isn't. Hidden Power Grass and Substitute are both very good options, with the former being more threatening to stall, and the latter being more threatening to offense. Hidden Power Grass is useful for hitting the Pokemon that resist both Fire Blast and Hurricane, such as Lanturn, Kabutops, and Rhydon. Lanturn is typically a tough nut to crack, but can be beaten with multiple Hidden Power Grasses and the help of some entry hazards. On the other hand, Substitute allows Moltres to combat two of its biggest problems: status and revenge killers. While Moltres can set up a Substitute easily against most Fighting-types, Tangrowth, and Roselia as it forces them out, it is significantly worse against stall teams, since Lanturn becomes untouchable and Slowking has a lower chance to get 2HKOed by Hurricane due to the extra turn of Leftovers recovery. It is very rare to see a stall team without one of these two Pokemon. The reason that Moltres can feasibly run Substitute is the power of Hurricane; Kabutops and offensive Omastar are 2HKOed by it, and Rhydon that didn't invest heavily in Special Defense were already 2HKOed by Fire Blast. That being said, Hidden Power Grass will be sorely missed for its perfect accuracy.</p>

    <p>Roost is really the only option in the last slot, although Moltres hardly needs a fourth move to wreak havoc. Nevertheless, Roost is useful for healing damage taken from Stealth Rock, allowing you to brace for another switch-in if your spinner is dead, or if Moltres happens to be brought in via a phazing move. It also comes in handy against the likes of Absol and Spiritomb, as they must use Sucker Punch to KO Moltres or else they die to Fire Blast. If running Substitute, Roost is even more important, because while Hidden Power Grass variants tend to come in and smash things, Substitute variants use Substitute first and then smash things, and Roost is needed a lot earlier.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EV spread is typical of a special sweeper, with maximum Special Attack used to hit as hard as possible. Maximum Speed along with a Timid nature is absolutely necessary for Moltres because it needs to be able to outspeed Lilligant so it can avoid the Speed tie and KO it first. Note that while Lilligant shares the same base Speed as Moltres, it always uses a Hidden Power that lowers its Speed IV. While the 4 Defense EVs aren't especially helpful for surviving certain attacks, they allow Moltres to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. Life Orb is the item of choice on this set, as Moltres absolutely needs its power to get several key KOs, such as the OHKO on Rhydon with Hidden Power Grass. However, Leftovers is a viable item choice when using Substitute. While Life Orb is still better most of the time, Leftovers works well since it doesn't force Moltres to use Roost as often. Despite this, note that the main reason that Moltres can afford to use only two attacking moves for coverage is that Hurricane can 2HKO most things that resist it; with Leftovers, that's no longer true. Flamethrower or Air Slash can be used for reliability, but only Flamethrower is worth the higher accuracy.</p>

    <p>Moltres should never be used without a spinner, and this set is no exception. Cryogonal and Kabutops are the two best choices, with Cryogonal taking on Electric-type revenge killers to Moltres, and Kabutops beating most of Moltres's checks with a Swords Dance set. Moltres also appreciates entry hazards so it can ensure a sweep. With Stealth Rock alone, Hurricane is a guaranteed 2HKO on Slowking, and OHKOes Magmortar and Entei. Ferroseed is a good teammate that can set up both Stealth Rock and Spikes, and also provides paralysis support for Moltres, which is useful against offensive teams. Smeargle is another effective hazard-setter that works well on offensive teams, and is certain to give your opponent a headache. Manectric is a good offensive partner that can use Switcheroo to cripple walls, and hits Slowking and Mandibuzz super effectively with its STAB moves. Tangrowth is another good partner that switches into Lanturn and Slowking that lack Fire Blast fairly easily before annihilating them with Leaf Storm. Moltres can also switch into and beat some of Tangrowth's best checks, such as Roselia and Cryogonal.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Choice Specs
    move 1: Fire Blast
    move 2: Hurricane
    move 3: Hidden Power Grass
    move 4: U-turn
    item: Choice Specs
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>While Moltres already carries immense power, it can obliterate everything in sight when equipped with Choice Specs. Choice Specs Moltres is one of the best wallbreakers in the tier, and is even better than it was before because of Hurricane. Defensive threats that used to be able to check Moltres, such as Lanturn and Clefable, don't stand a chance against this set. It's an effective lure as well, luring in the aforementioned special walls as well as Slowking, and 2HKOing all of them with the appropriate move. This set has very few safe switch-ins, but it is significantly easier to play around because of its lack of Roost. To demonstrate the destruction that Moltres is capable of causing, here are some damage calculations:</p>

    <ul class="damage_calculation">
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 252/252+ Clefable 56.29%-66.23%</li>
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 248/244+ Mandibuzz 50.95%-59.94%</li>
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 252/0 Dusknoir 75.44%-88.75%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 248/116+ Slowking 55.18%-64.93%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 104/0 Feraligatr 99.31%-116.38%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 252/0 Druddigon 87.47%-102.91%</li>
    <li>Hidden Power Grass vs. 40/252+ Lanturn 47.99%-56.46%</li>
    <li>Hidden Power Grass vs. 252/240 Rhydon 91.99%-108.23%</li>
    </ul>

    <p>Fire Blast is the move that will see the most use, if only for its superior accuracy compared to Hurricane. It gets better neutral coverage overall as well, hitting the many Grass-types in RU as well as Cryogonal especially hard. Hurricane is another wildly powerful STAB move that hits a lot of the Pokemon that resist Fire Blast, with the most notable examples being Slowking, Entei, and Feraligatr. It is also useful to eliminate the need for prediction in certain instances such as when facing a Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core. While your opponent will most likely switch out of Tangrowth into Slowking, you don't have to make a choice of which move to use since Hurricane does as much damage to Tangrowth as Fire Blast does, but Slowking is hit much harder by Hurricane. Hidden Power Grass rounds out Moltres's coverage, hitting the Rock-types and Lanturn that resist both of its STABs. Hidden Power Grass can 2HKO Lanturn with Stealth Rock support, and is a guaranteed OHKO on most variants of Rhydon, as well as Kabutops. While the last slot is mostly filler as Moltres can accomplish its goal with three moves, U-turn is the best option, since it can keep momentum against stall or balanced teams and can take advantage of hazards.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment makes Moltres hit as hard and fast as possible. The 4 Defense EVs are of little importance, but if put into HP then Moltres wouldn't be able to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. A Modest nature may seem like it would be a good fit on the set to hit as hard as physically possible, but a Timid nature is strongly recommended as otherwise Moltres won't even be able to outspeed Pokemon with base 80 Speed such as Gallade, Mesprit, and Medicham. A Timid nature also allows Moltres to outspeed Rotom-C and Lilligant, two Pokemon that would be troublesome if Moltres couldn't outspeed them. Air Slash can be used for its higher accuracy and flinch chance, but Hurricane grants Moltres too many KOs for it to be easily given up. Roost can be used over U-turn if you feel that Moltres needs it, and it will probably be more useful than U-turn in some matches, but it's a question of sacrificing Moltres for momentum, or allowing Moltres to live while giving up momentum.</p>

    <p>Rapid Spin support is more crucial to this set's success more than any other set, mainly because Moltres doesn't even have Roost to offset Stealth Rock damage. Cryogonal and Kabutops are both trusty spinners that can beat the majority of spinblockers in the tier. Hitmonchan is a pretty good partner that appreciates the wallbreaking that Moltres does and appreciates both Tangrowth and Slowking out of the way. It can take on Lanturn decently well, and can even stick Rapid Spin on its set to aid Moltres; don't expect it to beat spinblockers though. Smeargle is a good hazard setter for offensive teams that Moltres works well in, and with entry hazards on the field Moltres will have no safe switch-ins. Lanturn is another good partner that offers paralysis support, and can switch into Slowking and opposing Fire-types that can take advantage of Moltres locked into Fire Blast, which is the move that it will be using most of the time.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Defensive SubRoost
    move 1: Substitute
    move 2: Roost
    move 3: Toxic
    move 4: Flamethrower
    item: Leftovers
    nature: Timid
    evs: 248 HP / 32 Def / 228 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Moltres can also use a more defensive set effectively. This set takes advantage of Moltres's handy resistances as well as Pressure to be an effective Toxic staller. With Pressure, Moltres can stall out low-PP moves such as Stone Edge, as well as Electric-type moves such as Thunderbolt. Moltres is fast for a defensive Pokemon, so it is easily able to stall out the likes of Entei and Magmortar, even though they carry threatening moves. Only Poison-types, such as Nidoqueen, Qwilfish, and Drapion, can switch in freely without fear of Toxic, since bulky Water-types that would switch in to resist Moltres's Fire-type attack would be crippled by Toxic, while Steel-types that hope to avoid Toxic are wrecked by Flamethrower. Not only can Moltres spread Toxic around your opponent's team, it is also very capable of stalling out the damage using the combination of Substitute and Roost. What makes Moltres so effective as a Toxic staller is its Fire typing that can be used to obliterate Steel-types such as Escavalier and Steelix. This set is especially effective against balanced teams, since walls are stalled out, and offensive Pokemon don't want to switch in for fear of Toxic.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>248 HP EVs are used to increase Moltres's overall bulk as much as possible while still allowing it to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. 228 Speed EVs are used to outspeed Adamant Entei, Magmortar, and Rotom-C, allowing you to stall out Stone Edge or Thunderbolt before they can KO Moltres, and the remaining EVs are thrown into Defense to take physical hits better. Leftovers is the only viable item choice, as the constant recovery allows Moltres to keep making Substitutes. For a slightly different variation of this set, you can use Will-O-Wisp and invest in Special Defense instead. This allows Moltres to take on physical attackers better, but it's generally much less effective because a draw of this set is that Moltres can either Toxic stall an opponent to death or KO Steel-types with Flamethrower. Moltres is completely helpless against Fire-types when using Will-O-Wisp, since they are immune to the move and don't take much damage from Flamethrower either.</p>

    <p>As always, Cryogonal and Kabutops are the spinners that should be used along with Moltres; it's a necessity to carry a Rapid Spin user when using Moltres. While this set appreciates hazards, it appreciates a different kind of hazards than Moltres's other sets; Toxic Spikes allow Moltres to begin the cycle of Substitute and Roost without wasting a turn on Toxic, although they aren't that effective in the current metagame due to the number of grounded Poison-types. Nevertheless, Drapion, Qwilfish, and Omastar can all set them up with ease. To deal with Poison-types, a Ground-type like Rhydon, Sandslash, or Golurk may be of use to your team, taking care of Nidoqueen, Drapion, and Qwilfish somewhat easily. All of them can support Moltres with Stealth Rock should it come in handy, but Sandslash can also aid Moltres with Rapid Spin. This set is threatened by Rock Blast users, such as Rhydon, so something to absorb the hit, such as Ferroseed, is a good partner. Steelix and Mandibuzz are also fine partners because of their phazing abilities, allowing them to defeat Substitute users that can beat the set such as Gallade.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Moltres has a few other options that it can use, but none of them are as effective as the sets listed above. Atop the list is a Sunny Day set, with Fire Blast and SolarBeam both taking advantage of the sun's effects and Roost being used to ensure longevity. While this is a decent set that can be used to lure in and beat Slowking and Lanturn, Typhlosion usually does this better due to its higher Speed, allowing it to beat more offensive threats. While it may seem appealing to give Moltres a Choice Scarf to allow it to outspeed the entire unboosted tier, this is a really bad idea, because Choice Scarf users tend to switch in and out a lot, which isn't the greatest idea when your revenge killer is 4x weak to Stealth Rock. Overheat is Moltres's most powerful STAB move, but is generally inferior to Fire Blast since Moltres gets pretty much all the KOs it needs, and two Fire Blasts will do more damage than two Overheats. Both Flame Charge and Agility can be used to boost Moltres's Speed, with the latter being superior for its ability to outspeed every common Choice Scarf user after a single boost. Morning Sun is another healing move that Moltres has access to, and can be good if you don't want Moltres to lose its Flying typing while healing. Roar can also be used on more defensive sets, although it isn't as useful as some of Moltres's other moves and can't really find a place on any set. Moltres also has a decent Attack stat that it can make use out of, but lacks any good STAB moves. Its only option to use its Attack would likely be a Choice Band set using Double-Edge, U-turn, and other less useful moves.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Lanturn is the best all-purpose counter to Moltres, as it can easily take multiple Fire Blasts and Hurricanes before retaliating with Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, or Scald. However, with hazards on the field Moltres can power through it with consecutive Hidden Power Grasses. Even the defensive set is beaten by RestTalk Lanturn, which is probably the most well-equipped Lanturn set to handle Moltres throughout the match. Munchlax is another counter, but is very ineffective in the current metagame due to its over-reliance on RestTalk for any form of recovery; it can still break Moltres's Substitutes with Body Slam and phaze it with Whirlwind though. While Slowking can no longer be classified as a counter, it is Moltres's best common check, only fearing two Hurricanes after Stealth Rock. Slowking can still force it out, or else Moltres will be crippled by Thunder Wave or Toxic, and be slowly worn down by Scald.</p>

    <p>While Hurricane has made Moltres a bit harder to directly counter, it can still be checked easily by a number of things. One of the best checks to Moltres is the ever-present Stealth Rock, costing Moltres half its health upon switching in. Steelix, Uxie, Rhydon, and Aerodactyl are all common users of Stealth Rock. There are many fast specially attacking Electric-types in the RU metagame; Galvantula, Manectric, Rotom, and Choice Scarf Rotom-C are all adept at revenge killing Moltres. However, Manectric and Rotom-C need to use Thunderbolt to ensure the KO without a boosting item, and Rotom needs a Life Orb to KO Moltres with Thunderbolt. Other fast special attackers, such as Accelgor, Sceptile, and Typhlosion, can all use Hidden Power Rock effectively, KOing Moltres without a second thought. Primeape and Hitmonlee can run Stone Edge to deal with Moltres; while Primeape naturally outspeeds Moltres, Hitmonlee can utilize a Normal Gem-boosted Fake Out to activate Unburden, giving Hitmonlee the Speed it needs to outrun Moltres. Entei and Magmortar are also decent checks despite being slower than Moltres, since Entei has no chance to get KOed by a Life Orb Hurricane at full health, while Magmortar only has a small chance. They can both KO back with Stone Edge and Thunderbolt, respectively. Aerodactyl and Archeops both outspeed Moltres and happen to resist its STAB moves, and they can swiftly end it with Stone Edge. Moltres is also vulnerable to common priority, with Aqua Jet users, such as Feraligatr and Kabutops, and Sucker Punch users, such as Absol and Spiritomb, threatening it. However, Moltres will only be KOed after Stealth Rock, and can avoid Sucker Punch through the use of Roost.</p>

    <p>Moltres also has some shakier defensive checks, too. Clefable and Mandibuzz are the first ones that come to mind, and both can hit Moltres with a timely Toxic to keep it from sweeping the rest of their team. However, Clefable can be 2HKOed by Life Orb Fire Blast, and needs to be in tiptop shape to take on Moltres. Manidbuzz can take its hits well, but not well enough that Moltres can't easily 2HKO it after Stealth Rock. There are also some less common defensive checks to Moltres, including Flareon, Altaria, Lickilicky, and specially defensive Regirock. Flareon and Altaria suffer from the same fate as Mandibuzz, since while they are bulky and resist Fire Blast, they are hit equally hard by Hurricane and aren't bulky enough to avoid the 2HKO after Stealth Rock. Lickilicky and Regirock are both solid, but as always repeated powerful attacks will bring them down. Lickilicky has semi-reliable recovery in Wish, and can hit Moltres with Toxic or Thunder Wave, and Regirock can destroy Moltres with its STAB moves.</p>

    [Unreleased]

    <p>Moltres receives Flame Body from the Dream World, and it's a pretty good ability. It will be the ability of choice on all offensive sets, as being able to burn Medicham or Escavalier can be handy. However, Pressure will still be the preferred ability on the defensive SubRoost set, as stalling out Stone Edge or Thunderbolt is an integral part of the set.</p>
  2. Cherub Agent

    Cherub Agent Yeah, well. The Dude abides
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    Lol thanks for crediting me

    Anyway, support Lickilicky can counter Moltres, as it takes 43.4% - 51.2% from Moltres' STAB moves, and can Protect to regain Leftovers recovery. Regirock is an even better counter, as it resists Moltres' STAB moves, and the fully SpD set takes 38.5% - 45.6% from HP Grass, and will easily OHKO with its Rock-type moves. I know that both are rare, but certainly still seen enough to warrant a mention I think.

    Also, technically speaking, the Sunny Day set doesn't really fear opposing Fire-types that much. It 2HKOs all of the ones you mentioned after SR with Fire Blast (and obv OHKOs other Moltres after SR). Spikes support can get you the OHKO on Typhlosion, and they also help against Entei (who will aslo wear himself down with Flare Blitz). If you use Life Orb, then the damage calculations increase dramatically. Just for the record, I'm gonna show what happens if you use the Sunny Day sey with LO and a Modest nature:

    Fire Blast vs. Typlosion: 78.5% - 92.3%
    Fire Blast vs. Entei: 69.5% - 81.7%
    Fire Blast vs. Moltres: 69.5% - 81.7%

    Although at this point you're probably better off using Charizard... lol. Anyway, I just wanted to point out that the Sunny Day set, while uncommon, is as close to uncounterable as they get, if you go for all-out offense
  3. complete legitimacy

    complete legitimacy Honko's Happy Funtime With Men
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    Ok yeah, I'll add Licklicky and Regirock to Checks and Counters. I'll also mention that if you use LO, you can 2HKO every common Fire-type with Fire Blast in the sun (Modest is a big no-no). Thanks!
  4. DittoCrow

    DittoCrow
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    • Don't even mention HP Rock if it's useless now.
    • Don't mention the Naive nature in the Choice Specs set... it's pretty useless
    • I would stop mentioning Munchlax in the AC of stuff since no one really uses it because it's bad. Instead I would focus on the teammates that help take out Lanturn etc.
    • Possibly split up Special Attacker and Offensive SubRoost.. would like to hear other inputs
    • I'm debating whether Sunny Day deserves a set or not... I would say to put it in OO but I'd like to hear the input of other QC members.
    • Put Roar in OO

    Looks good

    [qc]1/3[/qc]
  5. Molk

    Molk tfw zoroark
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    I would like more input from QC about this, but i have some thoughts on the special attacker set. I feel like there should two be two different offensive sets, one with hidden power grass, and one with subroost. The two sets play completely differently, while one uses hidden power grass to break through many defensive switch ins on moltres, the other abuses forced switches and sucker punches to get up a free substitute and even pressure stall out low PP moves. Substitute also eases prediction and gives you more chance that you will hit hurricane at least once. the two sets should be seperated and look like this imo.

    [SET]
    name: Special Attacker
    move 1: Fire Blast
    move 2: Hurricane
    move 3: Hidden Power Grass
    move 4: Roost
    item: Life Orb
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET]
    name: Subroost (Offensive)
    move 1: Fire Blast
    move 2: Hurricane
    move 3: Substitute
    move 4: Roost
    item: Life Orb / Leftovers
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    im not sure on the order of the sets, but i feel like lefties should only be slashed on subroost, great option to make more substitutes and pressure stall more.

    Sunnybeamer is bad and never used, i would say put it in OO, moltres doesnt need solarbeam now that it has hurricane (and typhlosion is better at it due to higher speed, no 4x SR weakness, and blaze).

    Keep defensive subroost plz, dont rename or change it to subroost (defensive), with offensive subroost being subroost (offensive). At first i debated its viability due to the fact that its main niche was fucking up slowking, but at least it still fucks up molt's other checks and is actually a decent defensive pokemon.

    other than that, i agree with crow.
  6. complete legitimacy

    complete legitimacy Honko's Happy Funtime With Men
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    Ok, I've done everything so far. Personally I think the 3 Attacks LO and Offensive SubRoost should stay together, since it's gonna be really hard to differentiate the two in the actual writeup (SC wouldn't be too hard but AC would be legit the same), and HP Grass > Substitute most of the time and if you use Leftovers you're giving up Hurricane's main niche of 2HKOing Slowking after rocks and a bunch of other stuff (for example you can't 2HKO Shell Smash Omastar or Kabutops using Hurricane without LO). There's only slight differences in playstyle, because instead of smashing things off the bat you're using Sub and smashing things. Also, if you use Sub the first turn on Slowking you can't 2HKO it anymore after rocks because of Leftovers. As far as the order of slashes/sets, 3 Attacks should still be the standard.
  7. Oglemi

    Oglemi it's me heysup's gay friend, the legendary gaysup
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    yeah the sets can just be merged, there is a difference in how they're played, but not that big of a one imo. If the SubRoost set required different kind of support or something, or if losing HP Grass was a bigger deal, then I could see splitting the sets, but as it is that's not the case.
  8. alexwolf

    alexwolf King of Conquerors
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    I agree with c_l and Oglemi. You can just put a strong mention of how Lefties works good with Sub and call it a day.
  9. Texas Cloverleaf

    Texas Cloverleaf meh
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    I actually agree with Molk and DC (shocker). I find that subroost and 3 attacks play remarkably different; frankly the similarity in how thy play ends with their STABs. I fully support splitting the two sets. I would suggest, if c_l isn't confident in writing the subroost set to be different enough from the LO attacker, that c_l enlist the help of a player along the lines of lolcat or myself, one who has primarily used the subroost set, to assist him or write that set for this analysis. But in no way do I believe the sets should be merged.
  10. Omicron

    Omicron
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    No point in running Lefties when you have Roost. Moltres absolutely needs the power from Life Orb. Deslash Leftovers from the offensive set and you can call this

    [qc]2/3[/qc]
  11. complete legitimacy

    complete legitimacy Honko's Happy Funtime With Men
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    Ok implementing Omi's check but I'll stay tuned and watch this develop.

    Also, I'm gonna rename the set Life Orb since Leftovers isn't slashed anymore.
  12. Molk

    Molk tfw zoroark
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    i still think the sets should be seperate but otherwise this is okay, that can be updated later if needed


    QC approved 3/3
  13. complete legitimacy

    complete legitimacy Honko's Happy Funtime With Men
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  14. GatoDelFuego

    GatoDelFuego The little hand says it's time to rock and roll
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    Amateur Check
    REMOVE CHANGE COMMENTS

    Show Hide
    [Overview]

    <p>The incredible beast known as Moltres has waited its turn and now eagerly preys on the souls of many players, as its power cannot be matched. Its dominance over the metagame is felt by many, and most teams have burned at the hand of Moltres. While Moltres always had the mighty Fire Blast to pulverize opponents with, it now has a shiny new toy to play with: Hurricane. Since RU is free of automatic weather-inducers, Hurricane is a welcome upgrade over Air Slash, allowing Moltres to break through what was once arguably its best counter in Slowking with two Life Orb-boosted Hurricanes being a guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock damage. Moltres is one of the best wallbreakers in the metagame now, as it has very few defensive checks and can beat nearly all of the metagame's prominent defensive cores, including the Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core. However, this isn't as important as it once was because the core is dropping in popularity, due to new threats such as Nidoqueen, Escavalier, and of course our beloved Moltres. Moltres doesn't necessarily struggle against offensive teams either, as it boasts a base 90 Speed stat, which is pretty fast by RU standards.</p>

    <p>If all of this is true, then why hasn't Moltres been banned? First and foremost, Moltres's most crippling flaw comes with its typing; being 4x weak to Stealth Rock does it no favors. This means that Moltres must always be used alongside a spinner, and the pickings of effective spinners are rather slim in the metagame. While Cryogonal and Kabutops boast the ability to beat nearly all of the prominent spinners in the metagame, Pokemon such as Hitmonchan, Sandslash, and Hitmonlee are not nearly as reliable and can be responsible for Moltres's premature death. Moltres can also be revenge killed quite easily, since Hidden Power Rock is common among fast special attackers such as Sceptile, Accelgor, and Typhlosion, and priority moves such as Aqua Jet and Sucker Punch are prominent in the metagame as well. Moltres also suffers from Hurricane's extreme unreliability, since it's almost a coinflip to see if Moltres will hit two of them in a row. Nevertheless, Moltres is stupidly good at what it does, and it was almost singlehandedly responsible in Slowking's rise to fame as well as Lanturn's, and it is a top-tier threat that must be handled in some way before it's allowed to rampage through your team.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Life Orb
    move 1: Fire Blast
    move 2: Hurricane
    move 3: Hidden Power Grass / Substitute
    move 4: Roost
    item: Life Orb
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Through metagame shifts and BW2, Moltres's standard set has remained mostly the same. Moltres is most commonly seen using a Life Orb to take advantage of its awesome power and coverage, making it very difficult to directly counter. Fire Blast is the primary STAB move of the set, and is preferred over Hurricane most of the time because Fire-type attacks have better coverage in RU, hitting special walls such as Roselia and Cryogonal super effectively. However, Hurricane is still very useful, as most notably it grants Moltres a way to 2HKO Slowking after Stealth Rock. This allows Moltres to singlehandedly beat the Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core with a single move, although this was more important in a past metagame. Hurricane is also useful for Dragon-types such as Druddigon and Fraxure, as well as Fire-types such as Entei, Magmortar, and opposing Moltres. Don't count on it too much, (AC) though, as it has been known to let you down with its poor accuracy.</p>

    <p>While Moltres's two STAB moves are usually set in stone, its third move most certainly isn't. Hidden Power Grass and Substitute are both very good options, with the former being more threatening to stall, and the latter being more threatening to offense. Hidden Power Grass is useful for hitting the Pokemon that resist both Fire Blast and Hurricane, such as Lanturn, Kabutops, and Rhydon. Lanturn is typically a tough nut to crack, but can be beaten with multiple Hidden Power Grasses and the help of some entry hazards. On the other hand, Substitute allows Moltres to combat two of its biggest problems: status and revenge killers. While Moltres can set up a Substitute easily against most Fighting-types, Tangrowth, and Roselia as it forces them out, it is significantly worse against stall teams, since Lanturn becomes untouchable and Slowking has a lower chance to get 2HKOed by Hurricane due to the extra turn of Leftovers recovery. It is very rare to see a stall team without one of these two Pokemon. The reason that Moltres can feasibly run Substitute is the power of Hurricane; Kabutops and offensive Omastar are 2HKOed by it, and Rhydon that didn't invest heavily in Special Defense were already 2HKOed by Fire Blast. That being said, Hidden Power Grass will be sorely missed for its perfect accuracy.</p>

    <p>Roost is really the only option in the last slot, although Moltres hardly needs a fourth move to wreak havoc. Nevertheless, Roost is useful for healing damage taken from Stealth Rock, allowing you to brace for another switch-in if your spinner is dead, or if Moltres happens to be brought in via a phazing move. It also comes in handy against the likes of Absol and Spiritomb, as they must use Sucker Punch to KO Moltres or else they die to Fire Blast. If running Substitute, Roost is even more important, since while Hidden Power Grass variants tend to come in and smash things, Substitute variants use Substitute then smash things, and Roost is needed a lot earlier.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EV spread is typical of a special sweeper, with maximum Special Attack used to hit as hard as possible. Maximum Speed along with a Timid nature is absolutely necessary for Moltres because it needs to be able to outspeed Lilligant so it can avoid the Speed tie and KO it first. Note that while Lilligant shares the same base Speed as Moltres, it always uses a Hidden Power that lowers its Speed IV. While the 4 Defense EVs aren't especially helpful for living certain attacks, they allow Moltres to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. Life Orb is the item of choice on this set, as Moltres absolutely needs its power to get several key KOs, such as the OHKO on Rhydon with Hidden Power Grass. However, Leftovers is a viable item choice when using Substitute. While Life Orb is still better most of the time, Leftovers works well since it doesn't force Moltres to use Roost as often. Despite this, note that the main reason that Moltres can afford to use only two attacking moves for coverage is that Hurricane can 2HKO most things that resist it; with Leftovers, that's no longer true. Flamethrower or Air Slash can be used for reliability, but only Flamethrower is worth the higher accuracy.</p>

    <p>Moltres should never be used without a spinner, and this set is no exception. Cryogonal and Kabutops are the two best choices, with Cryogonal taking on Electric-type revenge killers to Moltres, and Kabutops can beating most of Moltres's checks with a Swords Dance set. Moltres also appreciates entry hazards so it can ensure a sweep. With Stealth Rock alone, Hurricane is a guaranteed 2HKO on Slowking, and OHKOes Magmortar and Entei. Ferroseed is a good teammate that can set up both Stealth Rock and Spikes, and also provides paralysis support for Moltres, (AC) that is useful against offensive teams. Smeargle is another effective hazard-setter that works well on offensive teams, and is certain to give your opponent a headache. Manectric is a good offensive partner that can use Switcheroo to cripple walls, and hits Slowking and Mandibuzz super effectively with its STAB moves. Tangrowth is another good partner that switches into Lanturn and Slowking that lack Fire Blast fairly easily before annihilating them with Leaf Storm. Moltres can also switch into and beat some of Tangrowth's best checks, such as Roselia and Cryogonal.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Choice Specs
    move 1: Fire Blast
    move 2: Hurricane
    move 3: Hidden Power Grass
    move 4: U-turn
    item: Choice Specs
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>While Moltres already carries immense power, it can obliterate everything in sight when equipped with Choice Specs. Choice Specs Moltres is one of the best wallbreakers in the tier, and is even better than it was before because of Hurricane. Defensive threats that used to be able to check Moltres such as Lanturn and Clefable don't stand a chance against this set. It's an effective lure as well, luring in the aforementioned special walls as well as Slowking, and 2HKOing all of them with the appropriate move. This set has very few safe switch-ins, but it is significantly easier to play around because of its lack of Roost. To demonstrate the destruction that Moltres is capable of causing, here are some damage calculations.</p>

    <ul class="damage_calculation">
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 252/252+ Clefable 56.29%-66.23%</li>
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 248/244+ Mandibuzz 50.95%-59.94%</li>
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 252/0 Dusknoir 75.44%-88.75%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 248/116+ Slowking 55.18%-64.93%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 104/0 Feraligatr 99.31%-116.38%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 252/0 Druddigon 87.47%-102.91%</li>
    <li>Hidden Power Grass vs. 40/252+ Lanturn 47.99%-56.46%</li>
    <li>Hidden Power Grass vs. 252/240 Rhydon 91.99%-108.23%</li>
    </ul>

    <p>Fire Blast is the move that will see the most use, if only for its superior accuracy compared to Hurricane. It gets better neutral coverage overall as well, hitting the many Grass-types in RU as well as Cryogonal especially hard. Hurricane is another wildly powerful STAB move that hits a lot of the Pokemon that resist Fire Blast, with the most notable examples being Slowking, Entei, and Feraligatr. It is also useful to eliminate the need for prediction in certain instances such as when facing a Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core. While your opponent will most likely switch out of Tangrowth into Slowking, you don't have to make a choice of which move to use since Hurricane does as much damage to Tangrowth as Fire Blast does, but Slowking is hit much harder by Hurricane. Hidden Power Grass rounds out Moltres's coverage, hitting the Rock-types and Lanturn that resist both of its STABs. Hidden Power Grass can 2HKO Lanturn with Stealth Rock support, and is a guaranteed OHKO on most variants of Rhydon, as well as Kabutops. While the last slot is mostly filler since Moltres can accomplish its goal with three moves, U-turn is the best option, since it can keep momentum against stall or balanced teams and can take advantage of hazards.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment makes Moltres hit as hard and be as fast as possible. The 4 Defense EVs are of little importance, but if put into HP then Moltres wouldn't be able to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. A Modest nature may seem like it would be a good fit on the set to hit as hard as physically possible, but a Timid nature is strongly recommended as otherwise Moltres won't even be able to outspeed Pokemon with base 80 Speed, such as Gallade, Mesprit, and Medicham. A Timid nature also allows Moltres to outspeed Rotom-C and Lilligant, two Pokemon that would be troublesome if Moltres couldn't outspeed them. Air Slash can be used for its higher accuracy and flinch chance, but Hurricane grants Moltres too many KOs for it to be easily given up. Roost can be used over U-turn if you feel that Moltres needs it, and it will probably be more useful than U-turn in some matches, but it's a question of sacrificing Moltres for momentum at times, or allowing Moltres to live while giving up momentum.</p>

    <p>Rapid Spin spin support is more crucial to this set's success more than any other set, since Moltres doesn't even have Roost to offset Stealth Rock damage. Cryogonal and Kabutops are both trusty spinners that can beat the majority of spinblockers in the tier. Hitmonchan is a pretty good partner that appreciates the wallbreaking that Moltres does, (RC) and appreciates both Tangrowth and Slowking out of the way. It can take on Lanturn decently well, and can even stick Rapid Spin on its set to aid Moltres; don't expect it to beat spinblockers though. Smeargle is a good hazard setter for offensive teams that Moltres works well in, and with entry hazards on the field Moltres will have no safe switch-ins. Lanturn is another good partner that offers paralysis support, and can switch into Slowking and opposing Fire-types that can take advantage of Moltres locked into Fire Blast, which is the move that it will be using most of the time.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Defensive SubRoost
    move 1: Substitute
    move 2: Roost
    move 3: Toxic
    move 4: Flamethrower
    item: Leftovers
    nature: Timid
    evs: 248 HP / 32 Def / 228 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Moltres can also use a more defensive set effectively. This set takes advantage of Moltres's handy resistances as well as Pressure to be an effective Toxic staller. With Pressure, Moltres can stall out low-PP moves such as Stone Edge, as well as Electric-type moves such as Thunderbolt. Moltres is fast for a defensive Pokemon, so it is easily able to stall out the likes of Entei and Magmortar, even though they carry threatening moves. Only Poison-types such as Nidoqueen, Qwilfish, and Drapion can switch in freely without fear of Toxic, since bulky Water-types that would switch in to resist Moltres's Fire-type attack would be crippled by Toxic, while Steel-types that hope to avoid Toxic are wrecked by Flamethrower. Not only can Moltres spread Toxic around your opponent's team, it is also very capable of stalling out the damage using the combination of Substitute and Roost. What makes Moltres so effective as a Toxic staller is its Fire typing, (RC) that can be used to obliterate Steel-types such as Escavalier and Steelix. This set is especially effective against balanced teams, since walls are stalled out, and offensive Pokemon don't want to switch in for fear of Toxic Or did you mean fire blast?.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>248 HP EVs are used to increase Moltres's overall bulk as much as possible while still allowing it to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. 228 Speed EVs are used to outspeed Adamant Entei, Magmortar, and Rotom-C, allowing you to stall out Stone Edge or Thunderbolt before they can kill Moltres, and the remaining EVs are thrown into Defense to take physical hits better. Leftovers is the only viable item choice, as the constant recovery allows Moltres to keep making Substitutes. For a slightly different variation of this set, you can use Will-O-Wisp and invest in Special Defense instead. This allows Moltres to take on physical attackers better, but it's generally much less effective because a draw of this set is that Moltres can either Toxic stall an opponent to death, (RC) or KO Steel-types with Flamethrower. Moltres is completely helpless against Fire-types when using Will-O-Wisp, since they are immune to the move and don't take much damage from Flamethrower either.</p>

    <p>As always, Cryogonal and Kabutops are the spinners that should be used along with Moltres; it's a necessity to carry a Rapid Spin user when using Moltres. While this set appreciates hazards, it appreciates a different kind of hazards than Moltres's other sets; Toxic Spikes allow Moltres to begin the cycle of Substitute and Roost without wasting a turn on Toxic, although they aren't that effective in the current metagame due to the number of grounded Poison-types. Nevertheless, Drapion, Qwilfish, and Omastar can all set them up with ease. To deal with Poison-types, a Ground-type such as Rhydon, Sandslash, or Golurk may be of use to your team, taking care of Nidoqueen, Drapion, and Qwilfish somewhat easily. All of them can support Moltres with Stealth Rock should it come in handy, but Sandslash can also aid Moltres with Rapid Spin. This set is threatened by Rock Blast users such as Rhydon, (comma) so something to absorb the hit such as Ferroseed is a good partner. Steelix and Mandibuzz are also fine partners, as they can defeat Substitute users that can beat the set, such as Gallade.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Moltres has a few other options that it can use, but none of them are as effective as the sets listed above. Atop the list is a Sunny Day set, with Fire Blast and SolarBeam both taking advantage of the sun's effects and Roost being used to ensure longevity. While this is a decent set that can be used to lure in and beat Slowking and Lanturn, Typhlosion usually does this better due to its higher Speed, allowing it to beat more offensive threats. While it may seem appealing to give Moltres a Choice Scarf to allow it to outspeed the entire unboosted tier, this is a really bad idea, because Choice Scarf users tend to switch in and out a lot, which isn't the greatest idea when your revenge killer is 4x weak to Stealth Rock. Overheat is Moltres's most powerful STAB move, but is generally inferior to Fire Blast since Moltres gets pretty much all the KOs it needs, and two Fire Blasts will do more damage than two Overheats. Both Flame Charge and Agility can be used to boost Moltres's Speed, with the latter being superior for its ability to outspeed every common Choice Scarf user after a single boost. Morning Sun is another healing move that Moltres has access to, and can be good if you don't want Moltres to lose its Flying typing while healing. Roar can also be used on more defensive sets, although it isn't as useful as some of Moltres's other moves and can't really find a place on any set. Moltres also has a decent Attack stat that it can make use out of, but lacks any good STAB moves. Its only option to use its Attack would likely be a Choice Band set using Double-Edge, U-turn, and other less useful moves.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Lanturn is the best all-purpose counter to Moltres, since it can easily take multiple Fire Blasts and Hurricanes before retaliating with Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, or Scald. However, with hazards on the field Moltres can power through it with consecutive Hidden Power Grasses. Even the defensive set is beaten by RestTalk Lanturn, which is probably the most well-equipped Lanturn set to handle Moltres throughout the match. Munchlax is another counter, but is very ineffective in the current metagame due to its overreliance on RestTalk for any form of recovery; it can still break Moltres's Substitutes with Body Slam and phaze it with Whirlwind though. While Slowking can no longer be classified as a counter, it is Moltres's best common check, only fearing two Hurricanes after Stealth Rock. Slowking can still force it out, or else Moltres will be crippled by Thunder Wave or Toxic, and be slowly worn down by Scald.</p>

    <p>While Hurricane has made Moltres a bit harder to directly counter, it can still be checked easily by a number of things. One of the best checks to Moltres is the ever-present Stealth Rock, costing Moltres half its health upon switching in. Steelix, Uxie, Rhydon, and Aerodactyl are all common users of Stealth Rock. There are many fast specially attacking Electric-types in the RU metagame; Galvantula, Manectric, Rotom, and Choice Scarf Rotom-C are all adept at revenge killing Moltres. However, Manectric and Rotom-C need to use Thunderbolt to ensure the KO without a boosting item, and Rotom needs a Life Orb to KO Moltres with Thunderbolt. Other fast special attackers such as Accelgor, Sceptile, and Typhlosion can all use Hidden Power Rock effectively, KOing Moltres without a second thought. Primeape and Hitmonlee can run Stone Edge to deal with Moltres; while Primeape naturally outspeeds Moltres, Hitmonlee can utilize a Normal Gem-boosted Fake Out to activate Unburden, giving Hitmonlee the Speed it needs to outrun Moltres. Entei and Magmortar are also decent checks despite being slower than Moltres, since Entei has no chance to get KOed by a Life Orb Hurricane at full health, while Magmortar only has a small chance. They can both KO back with Stone Edge and Thunderbolt, respectively. Aerodactyl and Archeops both outspeed Moltres and happen to resist its STAB moves, (RC) and can swiftly end it with Stone Edge. Moltres is also vulnerable to common priority, with Aqua Jet users such as Feraligatr and Kabutops and Sucker Punch users such as Absol and Spiritomb threatening it. However, Moltres will only be KOed after Stealth Rock, and can avoid Sucker Punch through the use of Roost.</p>

    <p>Moltres also has some shakier defensive checks, too. Clefable and Mandibuzz are the first ones that come to mind, and both can hit Moltres with a timely Toxic to keep it from sweeping the rest of their team. However, Clefable can be 2HKOed by Life Orb Fire Blast, and needs to be in tiptop shape to take on Moltres. Manidbuzz can take its hits well, but not well enough that Moltres can't easily 2HKO it after Stealth Rock. There are also some less common defensive checks to Moltres, including Flareon, Altaria, Lickilicky, and specially defensive Regirock. Flareon and Altaria suffer from the same fate as Mandibuzz, since while they are bulky and resist Fire Blast, they are hit equally hard by Hurricane and aren't bulky enough to avoid the 2HKO after Stealth Rock. Lickilicky and Regirock are both solid, but as always repeated powerful attacks will bring them down. Lickilicky has semi-reliable recovery in Wish, and can hit Moltres with Toxic or Thunder Wave, and Regirock can destroy Moltres with its STAB moves.</p>

    [Unreleased]

    <p>Moltres receives Flame Body from the Dream World, and it's a pretty good ability. It will be the ability of choice on all offensive sets, since being able to burn Medicham or Escavalier can be handy. However, Pressure will still be the preferred ability on the defensive SubRoost set, as stalling out Stone Edge or Thunderbolt is an integral part of the set.</p>
  15. Honko

    Honko
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    That check looks good.

    [gp]1/2[/gp]
  16. complete legitimacy

    complete legitimacy Honko's Happy Funtime With Men
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    Implemented. Thanks GatoDelFuego and Honko!
  17. Oglemi

    Oglemi it's me heysup's gay friend, the legendary gaysup
    is a Tournament Directoris a member of the Site Staffis a Super Moderatoris a Pokemon Researcheris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Tiering Contributor Alumnus
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    [Overview]

    <p>The incredible beast known as Moltres has waited its turn and now eagerly preys on the souls of many players, as its power cannot be matched. Its dominance over the metagame is felt by many, and most teams have burned at the hand of Moltres. While Moltres always had the mighty Fire Blast to pulverize opponents with, it now has a shiny new toy to play with: Hurricane. Since RU is free of automatic weather-inducers, Hurricane is a welcome upgrade over Air Slash, allowing Moltres to break through what was once arguably its best counter in Slowking with two Life Orb-boosted Hurricanes being a guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock damage. Moltres is one of the best wallbreakers in the metagame now, as it has very few defensive checks and can beat nearly all of the metagame's prominent defensive cores, including the Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core. However, this isn't as important as it once was because the core is dropping in popularity, due to new threats such as Nidoqueen, Escavalier, and of course our beloved Moltres. Moltres doesn't necessarily struggle against offensive teams either, as it boasts a base 90 Speed stat, which is pretty fast by RU standards.</p>

    <p>If all of this is true, then why hasn't Moltres been banned? First and foremost, Moltres's most crippling flaw comes with its typing; being 4x weak to Stealth Rock does it no favors. This means that Moltres must always be used alongside a spinner, and the pickings of effective spinners are rather slim in the metagame. While Cryogonal and Kabutops boast the ability to beat nearly all of the prominent spinblockers in the metagame, Pokemon such as Hitmonchan, Sandslash, and Hitmonlee are not nearly as reliable and can be responsible for Moltres's premature death. Moltres can also be revenge killed quite easily, since Hidden Power Rock is common among fast special attackers such as Sceptile, Accelgor, and Typhlosion, and priority moves such as Aqua Jet and Sucker Punch are prominent in the metagame as well. Moltres also suffers from Hurricane's extreme unreliability, since it's almost a coin flip to see if Moltres will hit two of them in a row. Nevertheless, Moltres is stupidly good at what it does, and it was almost singlehandedly responsible in Slowking's rise to fame as well as Lanturn's, and it is a top-tier threat that must be handled in some way before it's allowed to rampage through your team.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Life Orb
    move 1: Fire Blast
    move 2: Hurricane
    move 3: Hidden Power Grass / Substitute
    move 4: Roost
    item: Life Orb
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Through metagame shifts and BW2, Moltres's standard set has remained mostly the same. Moltres is most commonly seen using a Life Orb to take advantage of its awesome power and coverage, making it very difficult to directly counter. Fire Blast is the primary STAB move of the set, and is preferred over Hurricane most of the time because Fire-type attacks have better coverage in RU, hitting special walls such as Roselia and Cryogonal super effectively. However, Hurricane is still very useful, as most notably it grants Moltres a way to 2HKO Slowking after Stealth Rock. This allows Moltres to singlehandedly beat the Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core with a single move, although this was more important in a past metagame. Hurricane is also useful for Dragon-types such as Druddigon and Fraxure, as well as Fire-types such as Entei, Magmortar, and opposing Moltres. Don't count on it too much though, as it has been known to let you down with its poor accuracy.</p>

    <p>While Moltres's two STAB moves are usually set in stone, its third move most certainly isn't. Hidden Power Grass and Substitute are both very good options, with the former being more threatening to stall, and the latter being more threatening to offense. Hidden Power Grass is useful for hitting the Pokemon that resist both Fire Blast and Hurricane, such as Lanturn, Kabutops, and Rhydon. Lanturn is typically a tough nut to crack, but can be beaten with multiple Hidden Power Grasses and the help of some entry hazards. On the other hand, Substitute allows Moltres to combat two of its biggest problems: status and revenge killers. While Moltres can set up a Substitute easily against most Fighting-types, Tangrowth, and Roselia as it forces them out, it is significantly worse against stall teams, since Lanturn becomes untouchable and Slowking has a lower chance to get 2HKOed by Hurricane due to the extra turn of Leftovers recovery. It is very rare to see a stall team without one of these two Pokemon. The reason that Moltres can feasibly run Substitute is the power of Hurricane; Kabutops and offensive Omastar are 2HKOed by it, and Rhydon that didn't invest heavily in Special Defense were already 2HKOed by Fire Blast. That being said, Hidden Power Grass will be sorely missed for its perfect accuracy.</p>

    <p>Roost is really the only option in the last slot, although Moltres hardly needs a fourth move to wreak havoc. Nevertheless, Roost is useful for healing damage taken from Stealth Rock, allowing you to brace for another switch-in if your spinner is dead, or if Moltres happens to be brought in via a phazing move. It also comes in handy against the likes of Absol and Spiritomb, as they must use Sucker Punch to KO Moltres or else they die to Fire Blast. If running Substitute, Roost is even more important, because while Hidden Power Grass variants tend to come in and smash things, Substitute variants use Substitute first and then smash things, and Roost is needed a lot earlier.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EV spread is typical of a special sweeper, with maximum Special Attack used to hit as hard as possible. Maximum Speed along with a Timid nature is absolutely necessary for Moltres because it needs to be able to outspeed Lilligant so it can avoid the Speed tie and KO it first. Note that while Lilligant shares the same base Speed as Moltres, it always uses a Hidden Power that lowers its Speed IV. While the 4 Defense EVs aren't especially helpful for surviving certain attacks, they allow Moltres to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. Life Orb is the item of choice on this set, as Moltres absolutely needs its power to get several key KOs, such as the OHKO on Rhydon with Hidden Power Grass. However, Leftovers is a viable item choice when using Substitute. While Life Orb is still better most of the time, Leftovers works well since it doesn't force Moltres to use Roost as often. Despite this, note that the main reason that Moltres can afford to use only two attacking moves for coverage is that Hurricane can 2HKO most things that resist it; with Leftovers, that's no longer true. Flamethrower or Air Slash can be used for reliability, but only Flamethrower is worth the higher accuracy.</p>

    <p>Moltres should never be used without a spinner, and this set is no exception. Cryogonal and Kabutops are the two best choices, with Cryogonal taking on Electric-type revenge killers to Moltres, and Kabutops beating most of Moltres's checks with a Swords Dance set. Moltres also appreciates entry hazards so it can ensure a sweep. With Stealth Rock alone, Hurricane is a guaranteed 2HKO on Slowking, and OHKOes Magmortar and Entei. Ferroseed is a good teammate that can set up both Stealth Rock and Spikes, and also provides paralysis support for Moltres, which is useful against offensive teams. Smeargle is another effective hazard-setter that works well on offensive teams, and is certain to give your opponent a headache. Manectric is a good offensive partner that can use Switcheroo to cripple walls, and hits Slowking and Mandibuzz super effectively with its STAB moves. Tangrowth is another good partner that switches into Lanturn and Slowking that lack Fire Blast fairly easily before annihilating them with Leaf Storm. Moltres can also switch into and beat some of Tangrowth's best checks, such as Roselia and Cryogonal.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Choice Specs
    move 1: Fire Blast
    move 2: Hurricane
    move 3: Hidden Power Grass
    move 4: U-turn
    item: Choice Specs
    nature: Timid
    evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>While Moltres already carries immense power, it can obliterate everything in sight when equipped with Choice Specs. Choice Specs Moltres is one of the best wallbreakers in the tier, and is even better than it was before because of Hurricane. Defensive threats that used to be able to check Moltres, such as Lanturn and Clefable, don't stand a chance against this set. It's an effective lure as well, luring in the aforementioned special walls as well as Slowking, and 2HKOing all of them with the appropriate move. This set has very few safe switch-ins, but it is significantly easier to play around because of its lack of Roost. To demonstrate the destruction that Moltres is capable of causing, here are some damage calculations:</p>

    <ul class="damage_calculation">
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 252/252+ Clefable 56.29%-66.23%</li>
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 248/244+ Mandibuzz 50.95%-59.94%</li>
    <li>Fire Blast vs. 252/0 Dusknoir 75.44%-88.75%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 248/116+ Slowking 55.18%-64.93%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 104/0 Feraligatr 99.31%-116.38%</li>
    <li>Hurricane vs. 252/0 Druddigon 87.47%-102.91%</li>
    <li>Hidden Power Grass vs. 40/252+ Lanturn 47.99%-56.46%</li>
    <li>Hidden Power Grass vs. 252/240 Rhydon 91.99%-108.23%</li>
    </ul>

    <p>Fire Blast is the move that will see the most use, if only for its superior accuracy compared to Hurricane. It gets better neutral coverage overall as well, hitting the many Grass-types in RU as well as Cryogonal especially hard. Hurricane is another wildly powerful STAB move that hits a lot of the Pokemon that resist Fire Blast, with the most notable examples being Slowking, Entei, and Feraligatr. It is also useful to eliminate the need for prediction in certain instances such as when facing a Tangrowth + Slowking Regenerator core. While your opponent will most likely switch out of Tangrowth into Slowking, you don't have to make a choice of which move to use since Hurricane does as much damage to Tangrowth as Fire Blast does, but Slowking is hit much harder by Hurricane. Hidden Power Grass rounds out Moltres's coverage, hitting the Rock-types and Lanturn that resist both of its STABs. Hidden Power Grass can 2HKO Lanturn with Stealth Rock support, and is a guaranteed OHKO on most variants of Rhydon, as well as Kabutops. While the last slot is mostly filler as Moltres can accomplish its goal with three moves, U-turn is the best option, since it can keep momentum against stall or balanced teams and can take advantage of hazards.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment makes Moltres hit as hard and fast as possible. The 4 Defense EVs are of little importance, but if put into HP then Moltres wouldn't be able to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. A Modest nature may seem like it would be a good fit on the set to hit as hard as physically possible, but a Timid nature is strongly recommended as otherwise Moltres won't even be able to outspeed Pokemon with base 80 Speed such as Gallade, Mesprit, and Medicham. A Timid nature also allows Moltres to outspeed Rotom-C and Lilligant, two Pokemon that would be troublesome if Moltres couldn't outspeed them. Air Slash can be used for its higher accuracy and flinch chance, but Hurricane grants Moltres too many KOs for it to be easily given up. Roost can be used over U-turn if you feel that Moltres needs it, and it will probably be more useful than U-turn in some matches, but it's a question of sacrificing Moltres for momentum, or allowing Moltres to live while giving up momentum.</p>

    <p>Rapid Spin spin support is more crucial to this set's success more than any other set, mainly because Moltres doesn't even have Roost to offset Stealth Rock damage. Cryogonal and Kabutops are both trusty spinners that can beat the majority of spinblockers in the tier. Hitmonchan is a pretty good partner that appreciates the wallbreaking that Moltres does and appreciates both Tangrowth and Slowking out of the way. It can take on Lanturn decently well, and can even stick Rapid Spin on its set to aid Moltres; don't expect it to beat spinblockers though. Smeargle is a good hazard setter for offensive teams that Moltres works well in, and with entry hazards on the field Moltres will have no safe switch-ins. Lanturn is another good partner that offers paralysis support, and can switch into Slowking and opposing Fire-types that can take advantage of Moltres locked into Fire Blast, which is the move that it will be using most of the time.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Defensive SubRoost
    move 1: Substitute
    move 2: Roost
    move 3: Toxic
    move 4: Flamethrower
    item: Leftovers
    nature: Timid
    evs: 248 HP / 32 Def / 228 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Moltres can also use a more defensive set effectively. This set takes advantage of Moltres's handy resistances as well as Pressure to be an effective Toxic staller. With Pressure, Moltres can stall out low-PP moves such as Stone Edge, as well as Electric-type moves such as Thunderbolt. Moltres is fast for a defensive Pokemon, so it is easily able to stall out the likes of Entei and Magmortar, even though they carry threatening moves. Only Poison-types, such as Nidoqueen, Qwilfish, and Drapion, can switch in freely without fear of Toxic, since bulky Water-types that would switch in to resist Moltres's Fire-type attack would be crippled by Toxic, while Steel-types that hope to avoid Toxic are wrecked by Flamethrower. Not only can Moltres spread Toxic around your opponent's team, it is also very capable of stalling out the damage using the combination of Substitute and Roost. What makes Moltres so effective as a Toxic staller is its Fire typing that can be used to obliterate Steel-types such as Escavalier and Steelix. This set is especially effective against balanced teams, since walls are stalled out, and offensive Pokemon don't want to switch in for fear of Toxic.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>248 HP EVs are used to increase Moltres's overall bulk as much as possible while still allowing it to switch into Stealth Rock twice without dying. 228 Speed EVs are used to outspeed Adamant Entei, Magmortar, and Rotom-C, allowing you to stall out Stone Edge or Thunderbolt before they can KO Moltres, and the remaining EVs are thrown into Defense to take physical hits better. Leftovers is the only viable item choice, as the constant recovery allows Moltres to keep making Substitutes. For a slightly different variation of this set, you can use Will-O-Wisp and invest in Special Defense instead. This allows Moltres to take on physical attackers better, but it's generally much less effective because a draw of this set is that Moltres can either Toxic stall an opponent to death or KO Steel-types with Flamethrower. Moltres is completely helpless against Fire-types when using Will-O-Wisp, since they are immune to the move and don't take much damage from Flamethrower either.</p>

    <p>As always, Cryogonal and Kabutops are the spinners that should be used along with Moltres; it's a necessity to carry a Rapid Spin user when using Moltres. While this set appreciates hazards, it appreciates a different kind of hazards than Moltres's other sets; Toxic Spikes allow Moltres to begin the cycle of Substitute and Roost without wasting a turn on Toxic, although they aren't that effective in the current metagame due to the number of grounded Poison-types. Nevertheless, Drapion, Qwilfish, and Omastar can all set them up with ease. To deal with Poison-types, a Ground-type like Rhydon, Sandslash, or Golurk may be of use to your team, taking care of Nidoqueen, Drapion, and Qwilfish somewhat easily. All of them can support Moltres with Stealth Rock should it come in handy, but Sandslash can also aid Moltres with Rapid Spin. This set is threatened by Rock Blast users, such as Rhydon, so something to absorb the hit, such as Ferroseed, is a good partner. Steelix and Mandibuzz are also fine partners, as they can defeat Substitute users that can beat the set such as Gallade.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>Moltres has a few other options that it can use, but none of them are as effective as the sets listed above. Atop the list is a Sunny Day set, with Fire Blast and SolarBeam both taking advantage of the sun's effects and Roost being used to ensure longevity. While this is a decent set that can be used to lure in and beat Slowking and Lanturn, Typhlosion usually does this better due to its higher Speed, allowing it to beat more offensive threats. While it may seem appealing to give Moltres a Choice Scarf to allow it to outspeed the entire unboosted tier, this is a really bad idea, because Choice Scarf users tend to switch in and out a lot, which isn't the greatest idea when your revenge killer is 4x weak to Stealth Rock. Overheat is Moltres's most powerful STAB move, but is generally inferior to Fire Blast since Moltres gets pretty much all the KOs it needs, and two Fire Blasts will do more damage than two Overheats. Both Flame Charge and Agility can be used to boost Moltres's Speed, with the latter being superior for its ability to outspeed every common Choice Scarf user after a single boost. Morning Sun is another healing move that Moltres has access to, and can be good if you don't want Moltres to lose its Flying typing while healing. Roar can also be used on more defensive sets, although it isn't as useful as some of Moltres's other moves and can't really find a place on any set. Moltres also has a decent Attack stat that it can make use out of, but lacks any good STAB moves. Its only option to use its Attack would likely be a Choice Band set using Double-Edge, U-turn, and other less useful moves.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Lanturn is the best all-purpose counter to Moltres, as it can easily take multiple Fire Blasts and Hurricanes before retaliating with Thunderbolt, Thunder Wave, or Scald. However, with hazards on the field Moltres can power through it with consecutive Hidden Power Grasses. Even the defensive set is beaten by RestTalk Lanturn, which is probably the most well-equipped Lanturn set to handle Moltres throughout the match. Munchlax is another counter, but is very ineffective in the current metagame due to its over-reliance on RestTalk for any form of recovery; it can still break Moltres's Substitutes with Body Slam and phaze it with Whirlwind though. While Slowking can no longer be classified as a counter, it is Moltres's best common check, only fearing two Hurricanes after Stealth Rock. Slowking can still force it out, or else Moltres will be crippled by Thunder Wave or Toxic, and be slowly worn down by Scald.</p>

    <p>While Hurricane has made Moltres a bit harder to directly counter, it can still be checked easily by a number of things. One of the best checks to Moltres is the ever-present Stealth Rock, costing Moltres half its health upon switching in. Steelix, Uxie, Rhydon, and Aerodactyl are all common users of Stealth Rock. There are many fast specially attacking Electric-types in the RU metagame; Galvantula, Manectric, Rotom, and Choice Scarf Rotom-C are all adept at revenge killing Moltres. However, Manectric and Rotom-C need to use Thunderbolt to ensure the KO without a boosting item, and Rotom needs a Life Orb to KO Moltres with Thunderbolt. Other fast special attackers, such as Accelgor, Sceptile, and Typhlosion, can all use Hidden Power Rock effectively, KOing Moltres without a second thought. Primeape and Hitmonlee can run Stone Edge to deal with Moltres; while Primeape naturally outspeeds Moltres, Hitmonlee can utilize a Normal Gem-boosted Fake Out to activate Unburden, giving Hitmonlee the Speed it needs to outrun Moltres. Entei and Magmortar are also decent checks despite being slower than Moltres, since Entei has no chance to get KOed by a Life Orb Hurricane at full health, while Magmortar only has a small chance. They can both KO back with Stone Edge and Thunderbolt, respectively. Aerodactyl and Archeops both outspeed Moltres and happen to resist its STAB moves, and they can swiftly end it with Stone Edge. Moltres is also vulnerable to common priority, with Aqua Jet users, such as Feraligatr and Kabutops, and Sucker Punch users, such as Absol and Spiritomb, threatening it. However, Moltres will only be KOed after Stealth Rock, and can avoid Sucker Punch through the use of Roost.</p>

    <p>Moltres also has some shakier defensive checks, too. Clefable and Mandibuzz are the first ones that come to mind, and both can hit Moltres with a timely Toxic to keep it from sweeping the rest of their team. However, Clefable can be 2HKOed by Life Orb Fire Blast, and needs to be in tiptop shape to take on Moltres. Manidbuzz can take its hits well, but not well enough that Moltres can't easily 2HKO it after Stealth Rock. There are also some less common defensive checks to Moltres, including Flareon, Altaria, Lickilicky, and specially defensive Regirock. Flareon and Altaria suffer from the same fate as Mandibuzz, since while they are bulky and resist Fire Blast, they are hit equally hard by Hurricane and aren't bulky enough to avoid the 2HKO after Stealth Rock. Lickilicky and Regirock are both solid, but as always repeated powerful attacks will bring them down. Lickilicky has semi-reliable recovery in Wish, and can hit Moltres with Toxic or Thunder Wave, and Regirock can destroy Moltres with its STAB moves.</p>

    [Unreleased]

    <p>Moltres receives Flame Body from the Dream World, and it's a pretty good ability. It will be the ability of choice on all offensive sets, as being able to burn Medicham or Escavalier can be handy. However, Pressure will still be the preferred ability on the defensive SubRoost set, as stalling out Stone Edge or Thunderbolt is an integral part of the set.</p>


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