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A popular bulky Water-type in Advance, Milotic may not have changed much in the transition to DP—but the metagame did. The advent of new and more powerful threats who Milotic struggled to counter, such as SpecsMence, Lucario, and Garchomp, caused her usage to plummet, and she ended up wallowing in BL until it was merged with UU. Since then, Milotic has remained the premier bulky Water of UU.
Milotic's defensive abilities are stellar, especially when taking into consideration the lack of weaknesses associated with her pure Water-typing. She cannot be 2HKOed by most neutral hits and can even survive a number of super effective attacks, such as Rotom's Thunderbolt. Her ability to take hits is further supplemented by her access to Recover and her ability, Marvel Scale, which boosts Milotic's Defense by 50% if she is inflicted with a status condition. Milotic can sometimes be seen running a RestTalk set to get the most mileage out of this ability.
Base 100 Special Attack ensures that Milotic can do more than just sponge hits. Unlike many walls, she is capable of posing a reasonable offensive threat, with access to STAB Surf as well as coverage moves in Ice Beam and Hidden Power (usually Grass). Milotic is sometimes even used as a Life Orb sweeper rather than as a purely defensive Pokémon. Her base 81 Speed is just enough to beat the threatening base 80 attackers, including Blaziken and Venusaur.
Milotic is well-rounded enough to be used on almost any type of team. She is almost always used as a tank; however, she can still fill a large number of niches. Her most prominent role is as a catch-all to UU's threatening Fire-types. Milotic is capable of switching into almost any attack from the likes of Moltres, Houndoom, Blaziken, and Arcanine and retaliating with a super effective Surf. From there, Milotic can be customized to counter a wide variety of threats. The preferred spread for a defensive Milotic is max HP / max Def with a Bold nature; however, Milotic can also adopt a more specially defensive spread so she can switch into Pokémon such as Moltres more comfortably. It is also possible for Milotic to outrun Pokémon such as Aggron, Torterra, Absol, and Blaziken with various levels of Speed investment.
Milotic nearly always runs Surf and Recover. Her last two moves vary according to what one wants her to cover. Ice Beam, Hidden Power Grass, and Toxic are the most common choices. Ice Beam helps against Altaria and Grass-type switch-ins, Hidden Power Grass lets Milotic beat offensive Water-types such as Feraligatr and Azumarill, and Toxic aids in wearing down opposing bulky Water-types like Milotic and Blastoise. Other options include Haze, which helps against Curse Registeel and Calm Mind Spiritomb, and Hidden Power Psychic, which damages Toxicroak and Qwilfish.
Milotic is not often used as a sweeper; however, she can perform the role with great aplomb. A moveset of Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and Hidden Power Grass achieves near-perfect coverage, and with Life Orb, few Pokémon besides Chansey and other Milotic can switch into Milotic without the risk of taking a large amount of damage.
One generally cannot rely solely on neutral hits to defeat Milotic, as even the strongest ones will usually only muster a 2HKO. Pokémon like Swellow and Hitmonlee are better off trying to hit Milotic on the switch rather than attempting to beat her one-on-one.
Grass-type Pokémon are the best answers to Milotic. Venusaur works especially well, posing the threat of Sleep Powder along with either Power Whip or Leaf Storm, although neither will KO without adequate Attack and Special Attack investment respectively. Sceptile has a harder time switching into Ice Beam but is nonetheless a decent Milotic check, capable of KOing Milotic with Leaf Storm. Leafeon can threaten Milotic with Leaf Blade; however, it requires a Swords Dance boost to OHKO, and Milotic's Ice Beam cleanly OHKOes most Leafeon. Milotic's only other weakness is to Electric-type attacks. Electric-types have a much more difficult time switching in on Milotic as they do not resist Surf, but they can force her out just as easily as Grass-types can. Rotom and Manectric are probably the best candidates for the job.
If you can't break through with sheer offense, there are a few other ways to defeat Milotic. Toxic ruins any Milotic without Rest or Refresh. Any Milotic without Hidden Power Grass is vulnerable to Azumarill and Poliwrath, especially SubPunch versions, as well as Swords Dance and Dragon Dance Feraligatr. Without Hidden Power Psychic, Milotic can barely scratch Toxicroak, who is healed when hit by Water-type attacks thanks to his Dry Skin ability. Milotic who lack Haze can be set up on by stat-boosters like Curse Miltank, and even with Haze, Milotic struggles against certain boosters, such as Life Orb Calm Mind Clefable.
And finally, there are many Pokémon who are adept at luring Milotic into play and 2HKOing it. For instance, Choice Band Arcanine's Thunder Fang 2HKOes Milotic switch-ins expecting a Flare Blitz, and the Milotic who dares switch into Rhyperior must predict whether or not Rhyperior will stay in and Earthquake or switch out, as mispredictions will either leave Milotic short on health or KOed, respectively.
Milotic is a nice fit on both offensive and defensive teams. Both types of teams benefit from her ability to take a wide range of attacks, and her decent offensive ability ensures she is never just set-up bait.
Milotic takes neutral damage from Stealth Rock and is vulnerable to both Spikes and Toxic Spikes. She can function in most scenarios without Rapid Spin support; however, she will have difficulty switching into certain Pokémon with even just one layer of hazards up, Moltres and Blaziken especially. Additional layers are much more crippling, so while carrying a Rapid Spinner is not completely necessary, it is recommended. Hitmontop and Donphan are ideal spinners. Neither have much defensive synergy with Milotic; however, Milotic is capable of handling a number of their common switch-ins, including Moltres, Uxie, and Mesprit. Hitmontop can also switch into Rhyperior and Intimidate him, making him easier for Milotic to wall, and Donphan can take Electric-type attacks aimed at Milotic, although he cannot do much to Rotom outside of forcing out Choiced versions locked into Thunderbolt. Blastoise is redundant with Milotic in most cases; however, using it as a spinner can provide extra security against Fire-types.
Pokémon who cover up Milotic's few weaknesses are ideal partners, along with those who bear solid resistances to Milotic's neutralities. Venusaur covers her Electric- and Grass-type weaknesses perfectly, while she deals with the Fire-types that plague Venusaur's existence. Weezing is another popular teammate, as he can stave off most of UU's Grass-types, including all variants of Venusaur. Registeel is capable of taking threatening Flying-type attacks from the likes of Swellow and Scyther and Normal-type attacks from Choice Band Tauros and Kangaskhan. It also can check Mismagius and Alakazam, both of whom can be troublesome for Milotic to face. Spiritomb is also a commonly-used teammate for this reason.
Milotic is an excellent Pokémon. There are hardly any drawbacks to using her, and she can fit on almost any team—in fact, it's probably harder not to use her than to use her! Try her out; you'll be satisfied with the results.
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