QC: PK Gaming, Fuzznip, ShootingStarmie GP: sirndpt, Wyvern56 Overview ######## While it was a serious force to be reckoned with in past generations, Salamence has since declined in effectiveness as others, such as Dragonite and Mega Charizard X, generally outperform it as a setup sweeper, thanks to their respective abilities, Multiscale and Tough Claws. The introduction of the Fairy-type further hurt Salamence as it lacks the coverage moves to break through bulky Fairies. Furthermore, a weakness to Stealth Rock and base 100 Speed—which falls just short of many threatening Pokemon in OU—mean that Salamence can be revenge killed fairly easily even at +1, and cannot sweep teams as effectively as it once could. However, Salamence has a few redeeming qualities. It has access to the fantastic setup move Dragon Dance, which when backed by its high base Attack, allows Salamence to hit extremely hard after a boost. Intimidate is an excellent ability which makes setting up a Dragon Dance boost slightly easier, while Moxie allows Salamence to plow through defensive and balanced teams. In addition, Salamence's decent Special Attack and access to Fire Blast prevent common physical walls such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Forretress from stopping it completely. Dragon Dance ######## name: Dragon Dance move 1: Dragon Dance move 2: Outrage / Dragon Claw move 3: Earthquake move 4: Fire Blast ability: Intimidate item: Lum Berry / Life Orb evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe nature: Naive Moves ======== Dragon Dance is imperative on this set, as it provides a vital boost to Salamence's Attack and Speed, allowing it to outrun all of the unboosted Pokemon in the metagame, with the exception of Deoxys-S. Outrage is the preferred Dragon-type STAB move due to its high Base Power, but Dragon Claw is perfectly viable if being locked into Outrage is undesirable. The decrease in power is significant, though. Steel-types that resist Salamence's Dragon-type attacks are hit hard by Earthquake and Fire Blast. Earthquake hits the likes of Heatran, Aegislash, and Excadrill super effectively and is Salamence's best option against most Fairy-types. Fire Blast covers Steel-types such as Skarmory, Forretress, Ferrothorn, and Scizor, all of which can survive a boosted Earthquake. If desired, Fire Fang can be used for its higher accuracy, its power being boosted by Dragon Dance, and useful burn and flinch chance. However, it fails to OHKO Skarmory, Forretress, and Ferrothorn even at +1, and so is generally inferior to Fire Blast. Finally, Hydro Pump is an interesting option over Fire Blast. It allows Salamence to defeat Landorus-T and Hippowdon; Pokemon that are usually excellent answers to Physical attackers. Set Details ======== A Naive nature ensures maximum Speed without reducing the power of Fire Blast. If Fire Fang is used instead, a Jolly nature is ideal. The item choice comes down to personal preference. A Lum Berry gives Salamence insurance against status, allowing it to set up a Dragon Dance on the likes of Rotom-W and Jellicent, and can cure confusion induced by Outrage. On the other hand, a Life Orb provides greater attacking power and ensures that Salamence can OHKO defensive Skarmory and Ferrothorn with Fire Blast after Stealth Rock. Intimidate is preferred, as it can potentially grant more opportunities to set up a Dragon Dance, as well as weaken opposing Pokemon. Moxie is an option if the extra Attack boosts are appealing; however, Salamence often cannot defeat its checks even at +1 or +2. Usage Tips ======== Salamence's role is to attempt a late game sweep, or to weaken opposing walls to allow a teammate to sweep more easily. If using Lum Berry, Salamence can safely set up Dragon Dance against opposing status inducers, as long as they are not Pokemon with Prankster. Naturally, only set up in this situation if you are sure that Salamence can KO the status user on the next turn. Life Orb sets are more suited to wallbreaking, especially when facing more defensive teams. Be wary of your opponent baiting you to lock Salamence in with Outrage; it is wise to avoid immediately selecting Outrage if your opponent has a healthy Fairy- or Steel-type remaining. If Salamence is locked into Outrage and not confused, any Fairy-type can easily revenge kill it. Remember, with Intimidate, Salamence can provide useful team support in the event that it is less effective against the opposing team, or if it has been crippled by status. As such, it can occasionally be a good idea to preserve Salamence in order to weaken opposing physical sweepers. Be cautious about using Salamence's Intimidate against Defiant users, particularly Bisharp, which will have their Attack boosted to +1 rather than dropped to -1. Team Options ======== Salamence is best suited to offensive teams with partners that can weaken each others' checks. Lucario, Mega Charizard X, and Scizor appreciate the opposing physical walls being weakened or removed, and in turn can weaken walls for Salamence. Entry hazard support is very useful; for example, two layers of Spikes give Lum Berry variants an 87% chance to OHKO 252 / 48 Ferrothorn with Fire Blast, making offensive Spikers such as Deoxys-S and Greninja good partners. Similarly, Salamence's weakness to Stealth Rock means that Rapid Spin support is appreciated; Defog is usually not optimal as it removes all hazards, and Salamence really needs them on the opponent's side of the field. Excadrill is an excellent spinner which can lay down Stealth Rock as well as threaten Fairy-types with Iron Head. Starmie is also a good Rapid Spin user; in addition, it is a nice check to Mamoswine. Other Options ######## Salamence has several alternate options at its disposal. Stone Edge is useful to hit Togekiss super effectively, as it completely walls Salamence otherwise. A Choice Scarf set designed to sweep using Moxie boosts can potentially be effective, but Salamence has poor coverage moves to be locked into. A dedicated mixed attacker set can take common physical walls by surprise with Draco Meteor, but this comes with a decrease in physical attacking power which makes wallbreaking difficult. Salamence's decent bulk and access to Roost makes a bulky support set possible, but this is outclassed by Dragonite and generally a waste of Salamence's offensive potential. Similarly, Tailwind or Defog can provide team support, but all of Salamence's moves are very important and leave it sorely lacking in coverage if one is removed. Checks & Counters ######## **Fairy-types**: Togekiss is an excellent counter, as it is immune to Salamence's Dragon-type STAB as well as Earthquake, and takes very little from Fire Blast. Azumarill can KO with Play Rough or set up with Belly Drum on a locked-in Outrage. Clefable, especially Unaware variants, takes little from Salamence's attacks even when boosted, and can retaliate with a STAB Moonblast. **Common Priority**: Revenge killing with priority is a good way to check Salamence; Ice Shard from Mamoswine and Weavile is able to revenge kill even Salamence that have set up, making it particularly effective. Scizor, Bisharp, and Talonflame have strong neutral priority moves and can potentially KO Salamence after Stealth Rock damage. **Physical Walls**: Physical walls such as Mega Blastoise and Hippowdon can take boosted hits and either KO or phaze Salamence out. Similarly, bulky Steel-types such as Aegislash and Heatran can switch into Outrage easily, though they must be wary of switching into Earthquake. **Stealth Rock**: Salamence loses 25% of its health when it switches into Stealth Rock, which limits its sweeping potential by making it easier to revenge kill. Hippowdon and Landorus-T can set up Stealth Rock and comfortably wall Salamence, making them worrisome for it. **Faster Choice Scarf Users** Strong Choice Scarf users that can outrun Salamence at +1 and KO, such as Garchomp, Terrakion, and Latios, make for good checks.