Featured UU Pokemon: Mew

By Chou Toshio. Art by Volmise and Chou Toshio.
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After finally emerging victorious from the Safari Zone, I marched boldly to the Warden's house to trade the golden dentures for my HM 04. I busted out my slave Pidgey and flew back to Vermilion City, eagerly running towards the pier. Next, I took out my Blastoise and my shiny new Surf and Strength HMs. Triumphantly, we crossed the waves of the ocean, to the shore, where we knew our treasure truck was waiting! There it was! Blastoise and I jumped excitedly as we approached the great vehicle. Blastoise, use Strength! Blastoise huffed, and Blastoise puffed, Blastoise bashed the truck with all his might, and...


...uh, nothing happened. Try pushing harder Blastoise!


...fucking gamefaqs n00bs lied to me! I want my Mew!

This issue's featured UU Pokemon is Mew, a Pokemon I am sure we are all familiar with, and share some...history...with. Mew was the original mystery Mon, the hidden Poke behind that "150 original Pokemon," a mirage from whose DNA the mighty Mewtwo was made, and may be the ancestor of all Pokemon (except Arceus and all the Sinnoh Deity Pokemon apparently...).

It seems Mew is eternally destined to see the shadows of Standard Play, having spent the first four generations of play in Ubers. Solid 100 all around base stats and access to every TM, HM and Tutor ever was forever theorymoned to be totally broken in OU. In BW, we finally gave it a chance... at which point it immediately fell to UU levels of usage. Mew is simply not the beast it once was, and a huge movepool and "only" above average overall stats in each category is simply not enough to cut it these days. Both offensively and defensively, Mew found itself out of place in the hard-hitting / hard-defending OU metagame. Below average (for a sweeper) 100 offensive stats and groan-worthy Psychic-type STAB leave Mew decidedly inferior as an offensive Pokemon in a metagame where all sweepers have awesome offensive base stats, awesome Base Power attacks, and great STAB and coverage attacks. 100 / 100 / 100 defenses are great, but OU is very unforgiving of Pokemon that lack useful resistances (unless your name is Blissey), leaving Mew out in the cold for a defensive role. Even in its traditional Baton Pass roles, it found itself slighted in favor of the new Shell Smash passers. A jack of all trades but an ace of none, Mew found itself outclassed in a game where it couldn't hit hard, couldn't take the hard hits, and was basically outclassed in most roles it could take.

In UU... the offensive and defensive prowess of Pokemon is still very impressive. Mew will never be as impressive offensively as UU's top powerhouses like Victini, Mamoswine, Darmanitan, and Machamp, nor can it match the defensive value of Pokemon like Chansey, Slowbro, or Hippowdon. Its failings in a poor STAB type and lack of useful resistances follow it to the lower tiers, and in the BW UU, its stats are still only above average.

Nevertheless, Mew is an incredible threat in UU! In our lower tier, Mew has just enough bulk, Speed, and offensive prowess to really utilize the latent power of that incredible movepool. While the recent OU-UU shifts have brought Mew some considerable new challenges, it is without question that the original "New Species Pokemon" will always be a threat that cannot be ignored in UU.

Mew's Qualities

Every competitive battler is familiar with the all 100 stat spread, and its boons and failings have been discussed to death. Long story short, Mew's got awesome defensive stats, a Speed stat that's "kinda slow" for a sweeper while being "super fast" for a tank/wall, and offensive stats that are decidedly meh—all of which is pretty hilarious when you consider it has the exact same number in each base stat.

Mew is a pure Psychic-type, and while that's certainly not good, Mew makes it work surprisingly well in UU. Psychic-STAB is not as bad in UU as it is in OU, where there are fewer Steel-types and no Tyranitar. UU does have a lot more fellow Psychic-types that resist Pyschic, but thanks to Taunt, Roost, and generally superior Speed (Alakazam and Azelf are the only commonly seen Psychic-types that outspeed Mew, and both take hits like toilet paper), Mew usually doesn't worry about being stopped by them. STAB Psychic-type attacks also means that Mew can potentially utilize Psyshock to mess with Chansey and Snorlax. Furthermore, the general frailty of UU's Pursuit users (read: no Tyranitar), and a lack of any really strong U-turn users (Mew can recover off U-Turn damage from Flygon and Victini all day!) makes it a lot more difficult to take advantage of Psychic's usually debilitating Dark- and Bug-type weaknesses. It's even more difficult when you consider that Pokemon like Escavalier, Honchkrow, and Bisharp have to be very careful about Will-O-Wisp, while Guts users like Heracross are generally Fighting-types destroyed by STAB Psychic attacks. The only real problem with Psychic-type in UU is a lack of useful resistances, but again Mew overcomes this simply by virtue of its awesome defensive stats, great Speed (for a support/defensive Pokemon), and instant reliable recovery.

If Psychic-type is meh, than its ability, Synchronize, is also pretty meh. It's not worthless, but it's not exactly fantastic either, as most Thunder Wave users are already slower than Mew and many Will-O-Wisp users are Fire-types immune to burn. Being able to throw poison back at a bulky Water-type is nice, but Mew doesn't attract bulky Water-type switch-ins, nor does it frequently switch into bulky Water-types.

What really makes Mew shine is not its stats, typing, or ability—it's the movepool.

Mew is notorious for the most incredible movepool this side of Smeargle, which as previously mentioned, has access to every single TM, HM, and Tutor move. Access to great status moves, recovery, Taunt, and excellent Baton Pass options makes Mew a real menace. There are a number of viable sets, and even more deadly gimmicks or anti-metagame options. Even in this matured metagame, you can never be "completely sure," and must be wary of the many threats Mew could place.

Playing with Mew

The most common strategy (and probably the most feared) is some form of the "Stallbreaker." This set is incredibly difficult to handle for stall and offensive alike. The gist of the set is to burn the enemy with Will-O-Wisp, and then break them down with Roost and Taunt. Thanks to its 100 base Speed, Mew has the advantage againsts almost every other defensive Pokemon in the metagame. Taunt stops them from recovering or using their own status moves, while Mew easily sponges their weak attacks with its great defenses and Roost. On the other hand, fast sweepers generally hate burn, and Guts users fear Mew's Psychic attacks. Stallbreaker Mew is certainly a tough enemy to deal with, though it does have to fear Victini and Houndoom.

Alternatively, Mew is more than capable of going on the offensive, throwing its usual checks a real menacing curve ball. While its base 100 Attack and Special Attack stats are only above average, Mew can make them a lot more impressive with its boosting attacks, having access to Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, Bulk Up, and Calm Mind. Nasty Plot is the most common, traditional route to take, with STAB Psyshock and Aura Sphere being terrific and nasty moves to encounter on a special sweeper. Instant recovery and any number of alternative attacks make it even more hard to handle. My guess though, is that Earth Power will soon become favored over Aura Sphere or Fire Blast, because in the new metagame, the great Fire-types Chandelure, Darmanitan, and Victini are likely to become Mew's greatest nemeses, frequently trying to switch into a predicted Will-O-Wisp. Alternatively, Swords Dance might come into popularity, with Stone Edge destroying all of the aforementioned Fire-types as well as Weavile. Running Rock- or Ground-type attacks on Mew is certainly something I would consider anyway.

Finally, on top of the threat of those boosting moves... there's always Baton Pass. Mew was only used for Baton Pass in DPP, and even in Ubers, it had periods of great popularity (or maybe notoriety?). Mew is able to pass every stat in the game, and its Speed, bulk, and access to recovery and Taunt, all make it an excellent platform from which to boost and pass. It's got a lot of competition from Gorebyss and Venomoth, but definitely ranks alongside them in how lethal its passing abilities can be.

Even putting "good" sets aside, Mew is capable of any number of gimmicks, like double screens, SR/phazing support sets, Choice-trick, etc. etc., the sky is the limits, as Mew can pretty much do... anything...

Playing Against Mew

Mew can certainly be a tricky opponent to handle—after all, it can do anything. In an odd way, Mew reminds me of Mamoswine in that both of them are very hard to handle and switch into, but share the same glaring weakness: they lack useful resistances, and so, have very few opportunities to switch into battle easily. Mew is extremely bulky, and with its Speed is very good at stealing a quick Roost to recover its footing. That said, the offensive powerhouses of UU hit extremely hard (forget trying to heal against beasts like Victini or Darmanitan!), and repeatedly switching into them without resistances is simply beyond Mew's defensive abilities. Therefore, one of the best ways to inhibit Mew's usefulness is simply to not give it many opportunities to switch into battle. This method of control is particularly effective for offensive teams, though you'll want something to switch into those Will-O-Wisps (having an offensive team unprepared to absorb Will-O-Wisp in UU is pretty suicidal). To that end, one of the many powerful Fire-type Pokemon of UU would be a perfect fit. Victini totally shuts down Roost / Taunt / WoW / Psychic Stallbreaker Mew, and even Darmanitan or Chandelure can switch in and wreck Mew's game if they predict appropriately. Houndoom deserves a special mention for being immune to Psychic and Will-O-Wisp (even picking up a Flash Fire boost!), and playing mind games with Mew using Pursuit and Sucker Punch. Keep in mind that Houndoom will be instantly destroyed should Mew manage to hit it with any sort of Fighting-, Ground-, or Rock-type attack (though this likewise goes for Darmanitan and Chandelure). Choice Scarf Heracoss is also a useful check, picking up a Guts boost from burn and being able to use STAB Megahorn and Pursuit. Keep in mind that if you somehow mispredict or fail to hit Mew, STAB Psychic will devastate Heracross (though Hera's fair special bulk can take a Psychic if Mew has little to no Special Attack investment). Calm Mind Missy and Taunt Froslass can potentially use Mew to set up, though don't get too cocky. Also, at the end of the day, there's always Weavile...

Checking Mew is much harder on a defensive team. Mew's Speed and Taunt gives it the advantage against almost every defensive Pokemon in the tier, and none of the main tanks (except Escavalier, who will be rendered useless if it gets hit by Will-O-Wisp) in the metagame can deal enough damage to break through Mew's defenses and recovery. If you have Heal Bell (not a bad idea for sure), statusing it on the switch-in is always possible, using Heal Bell to fix the problems Synchronize will throw back at you. One thing is certain, if you are running a full defensive team, you will have to put careful thought into how to break the Stallbreaker.

Baton Pass is also a major threat, but really, every UU team should be prepared to face heinous Baton Pass strategies, as even putting Mew aside, Gorebyss and Venomoth are both absolutely evil. Packing 1 or 4 bulky Haze / Phaze users can never be a bad idea. Dragon Tail Milotic or Blastoise are particularly good to get through Taunt.

Fitting Mew Onto Your Team

The biggest challenge in fitting Mew onto your team is losing a whole Pokemon slot while gaining almost no useful resistances for your team. Even in UU, there are so many crazy offensive threats that using up a slot to gain almost no new resistances can be really painful to the team. On one hand, Mew will absolutely go to town on slow, bulky teams, setting up to sweep or pass all day on them, or simply outright breaking them with Taunt and W-o-W. The real trouble is dealing with offensive teams, as Mew isn't really a sound "check" to any of UU's major offensive Pokemon (except Machamp, and maybe Cobalion). So, if you go with Mew, you will probably have to put extra care into considering the defensive synergy of your remaining 5 Pokemon. A team that has trouble with slow stallish enemies will love to bring Mew into the mix, as will suicidal-minded hyper offensive teams based on Baton Pass.

Environmental Factors

Uh... Mew is neutral to every environmental factor... not really anything you need to get rid of to make Mew work, but keep in mind it also takes every form of passive damage. Pretty simple.


RESISTANCES!~! But in all seriousness, remember that Mew won't be pulling its weight, so your other teammates have got to be pretty good at working together as a defensive core. Furthermore, your team should be prepared to weather some major Fire-type attacks (though this pretty much goes for almost any UU team these days), as the Stallbreaker Mew set in particular is a magnet for them. Having Pokemon who can deal with the tier's various Dark-, Ghost-, and Bug-type Attack users is also advisable. Most Fighting-types work well here; for example, Pokemon like Machamp, Cobalion, Hitmontop, and Poliwrath. Poliwrath (and also Thick Fat Hariyama) get brownie points for additionally resisting Weavile's Ice-type Attacks and Houndoom's Fire Blasts. Having your own Houndoom to deal with enemy Victini, Mismagius, Chandelure, and Froslass might not be a bad idea either!

Get Out There!

It's a whole new UU and a whole new chapter for this mysterious critter. Mew's got endless possibilities to explore, so the sky's the limit! Go out and try it!

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