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If you ever watched the anime as a kid, you probably noticed that Team Rocket is a travesty of an organization. With disconnected leadership, incompetent team members, and overall weak Pokémon (seriously, Arbok?), it's no surprised that Ash and his cohort of Little Cup-legal Pokémon can consistently thrash what is supposed to be the most feared and powerful league of supervillians in Kanto. However, the one good thing I can say about Team Rocket is that its Research & Development wing is unparalleled. While Apple R&D may have brought us the iPod, Team Rocket R&D has brought us the original Uber, Mewtwo. Throughout the five generations, Mewtwo has always been one of the top members in the Uber tier, including that brief stint in RBY when it was the single most powerful Pokémon ever in existence (eat your heart out, Kyogre). This generation is no different, since Mewtwo's buddies in R&D have come up with another great toy for it in Psystrike. Although Mewtwo has not matched Kyogre in usage or even effect this generation, it is still arguably one of the most threatening Pokémon in the entire game.
As the original Uber, you would expect that Mewtwo has some pretty good stats. You would be wrong. Mewtwo does not have good stats—it has God Tier stats. With 154 base Special Attack, it has more firepower than even Kyogre, the crowned “King of Ubers” (although it doesn't have a 150 BP STAB move, but that's beside the point). It also has a blazingly fast base 130 Speed stat, putting it as third fastest of commonly used Pokémon in Ubers, only behind Deoxys-S and Deoxys-A. Not only this, but it also has a very respectable base 110 Attack to fall back on if necessary, as well as fair bulk in 106 / 90 / 90 defenses. Mewtwo is not as universally terrifying as Arceus's straight 120 stats, or even as disproportionately terrifying as Deoxys-A's engorged pen—I mean Attack, Special Attack, and Speed, but it comes very close, combining some of the bulk of Arceus with the sweeping prowess of Deoxys-A. The fun doesn't stop here though. Mewtwo has a sexy movepool and it loves to flaunt it. While it will most commonly use Calm Mind, Fire Blast, Aura Sphere, Ice Beam, Thunder, or the new Psystrike, it has a ton of other options including, but not limited to, Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, the dual screens (awesome support set!), Recover, and Grass Knot. Speaking of Psystrike… wow, just wow. In the days of old, Mewtwo would have a bitch of a time (can I say bitch? Well, I'm saying it now) facing Blissey, since she would often carry both Toxic and Seismic Toss, both of which would pose major problems for Mewtwo. However, with the advent of Psystrike, Mewtwo gets to cheat: it is able to hit against special walls' less resilient Defense while using its own more powerful Special Attack, bypassing any sort of weakening as a result of running a mixed set. When one considers this, it's pretty easy to see why Mewtwo can outdo even Groudon, Kyogre's number one competitor in terms of weather control, in usage.
With a movepool like Mewtwo's, it is sort of expected that many sets would result. This is actually not the case. The reason for this isn't that Mewtwo is strapped for options, but rather that the few sets it does use are just so good. The most fearful set you can possibly run is definitely a Calm Mind set, usually utilizing Psystrike, Ice Beam, and Aura Sphere. Calm Mind boosts Mewtwo's fearsome Special Attack all the way to a testicle-shriveling (apologies to all female Pokemasters) 610 Special Attack with a Timid nature. Yeah, you read that right. It gets even better though; Calm Mind boosts Mewtwo's already very decent Special Defense, increasing its bulk even more, making it that much harder to stop. Remember too that Psystrike, a move that hits like a physical move, also feeds off Mewtwo's Special Attack, meaning that you are technically boosting a mixed set as well! While you may be thinking, “this sounds pretty awesome, why the hell would anybody use anything else,” there are some other options that work very effectively as well. Mewtwo can use an all-out attacker type set, eschewing Calm Mind for even better coverage. While this Mewtwo may find it harder to sweep a team that has not been sufficiently weakened, it is almost unparalleled in finishing off the remainder of a well-worn team. Another possibility is to go in the direct opposite path: Stalltwo. Most people either start laughing when I bring this up, or start spamming some asinine crap like “smh” (“shaking my head,” for the uninitiated); don't listen to them though, they're uncultured heathen. Stalltwo can actually work quite well with some support in the form of entry hazards by running such mind-blowingly annoying moves as Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, Recover, and either of Reflect or Light Screen. This set is No Joke (tm), despite being pretty strange at first. I have actually stalled out entire teams with this in conjunction with some Spikes and Stealth Rocks. Try it out and be amazed.
Frequent readers of my column will remember that the first step in dealing with some Pokémon, such as Dialga, was to not panic and find out what set it's running. I'm going to take that back here. Go ahead and panic if you see Mewtwo, because this thing is terribly hard to stop if it gets rolling. With its absurd attacking stats, it is unlikely that you will live through its attacks, much less outspeed it. Even then, it is deceptively bulky and you must take this into account when trying to revenge kill it (since, like many Ubers, it has no counters). On the bright side though, you should feel assured in knowing that a Calm Mind set is a fairly safe assumption when assessing what set you are facing. The only thing that can reliably come in against Mewtwo are things that outspeed it and can kill it before it gets rolling or at least before it decimates your entire team. While it is always important that you have at least one reasonably fast, preferably Scarfed, Pokemon, Mewtwo makes this advisory pretty much mandatory. Good luck, brave soldier.
Once you have accepted Mewtwo as your personal lord and savior, you're going to want to give it a bit of help to make sure it reaches its full potential. Mewtwo is such a beast that it doesn't need too much help, but there are a few things that it does appreciate.
I'm going to skip the little talk about offensive Pokemon appreciating entry hazards. Like the “birds and the bees” talk, everybody hears it many more times than they would like or would need, so I'll just leave it at that. Mewtwo would like it very much if you could keep Toxic Spikes off its half of the field though. When Mewtwo is set up, it plays for keeps, and so the mounting poison damage will severely hamper what could otherwise be a clean sweep of your opponent's team, especially since Mewtwo will not likely have gotten in unscratched.
While Mewtwo scoffs at the bulk of many Pokemon, it has to humbly respect those Pokémon who outspeed it. Even though it is only outsped naturally by Deoxys-S and Deoxys-A (since nobody uses Deoxys-N), Choice Scarf is a pretty good item I hear, and many Pokemon can hold it to force Mewtwo out. There are two ways to deal with such a situation: Wobbuffet and paralysis. Wobbuffet, the big blue blob that most of us know and love, is extremely adept at trapping Choice users and KOing them with either Mirror Coat or Counter, which will clear a path for Mewtwo to do naughty things to your opponent's team (please don't use a Naughty nature). Another possibility is to use a Pokemon who can use paralysis to great effect, such as Ferrothorn with Thunder Wave or Jirachi with Body Slam. With the only Pokémon faster than Mewtwo on your opponent's team being paralyzed, it will be hard for them to stand up to its onslaught unless they are carrying some extremely bulky Pokémon. Other than disabling faster Pokémon, Mewtwo actually doesn't need that much help to sweep your opponent quite easily. Once you have Mewtwo set up, your opponent should start writing his or her will. This would be an appropriate time to cackle maniacally.
I'm going to be honest—if reading this article hasn't made you at least a bit excited about Mewtwo, I've failed as a writer. Using Mewtwo will likely be the closest you will get to ruling the world (read: tier), so get out there and exercise your inner megalomaniac!
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