Viable NFEs

By Omicron. Art by paintseagull.
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Before the introduction of Black and White, NFEs were never seen in competitive play, with the exception of the (worst) tier most know as... Little Cup. However, with the fifth generation came a new item, one that not only revolutionized the way Little Cup was played, but also made many prior NFEs viable in competitive play, albeit mostly in the lower tiers. This mystical item is called the Eviolite, which grants the holder, should it be an NFE Pokémon, with a 1.5x boost to both Defense and Special Defense, a considerable increase in overall bulk. Previously, Pokémon such as Chansey would never have been used in OU thanks to the presence of its fully evolved form, Blissey, which sports better overall stats. Eviolite changes all of that; Chansey, for example, has benefited so much from this simple boost that it has now firmly cemented its place in BW OU. Eviolite has turned former non-threats such as Chansey and Porygon2 into formidable defensive behemoths. Eviolite can also help bulky boosters, such as Rhydon and Duosion, have an easier time of setting up. It is great for both offense- and defense-oriented NFEs, and has certainly made a large impact on the diverse metagames of BW, ranging from OU all the way down to Little Cup.


Chansey Porygon2


At first glance, Chansey may seem to be completely outclassed by its evolution, Blissey, which sports better overall stats. However, when Chansey is holding an Eviolite, it becomes bulkier than Blissey, to the point where it can even withstand unSTABed super effective Fighting-type attacks. Chansey provides all of the same utility that Blissey does, but with more bulk. The tools that Chansey brings to the table have elevated it from UU into OU, where it has been doing well on a variety of teams. In particular, Chansey has become a staple on rain stall teams, as it can take basically any special move in the entire game and either heal up with Softboiled / Wish or cripple the opponent with status.

However, even with the enormous boost to its defenses courtesy of Eviolite, Chansey still suffers from some disadvantages when compared with Blissey. Chansey may have better overall defenses, but it misses out on passive recovery from Leftovers. While this may seem insignificant on a Pokémon that has access to an instantaneous recovery move, it makes Chansey much more susceptible to residual damage from the likes of sandstorm and random detrimental statuses such as burn and poison. In addition, Chansey has a much lower Special Attack stat than Blissey, meaning that it must rely on Seismic Toss in order to do any damage other than Toxic. Unfortunately, this usually means Chansey will be walled by things such as Gengar and defensive Calm Mind Reuniclus, among others. Blissey, on the other hand, is able to use moves such as Flamethrower and Ice Beam to deter certain threats such as Scizor, and these moves will always break Gengar's Substitutes.

When using Chansey, make sure to keep in mind its benefit over Blissey, namely its higher defenses. In general, the rule of thumb when deciding to use either Chansey or Blissey is that Blissey can actually attack with its higher Special Attack stat and does better on sandstorm teams due to Leftovers recovery, while Chansey can take more physical hits and use a somewhat gimmicky Counter set. Overall, the choice really depends on your team.

Example Set

Chansey @ Eviolite
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Nature: Bold (+Def, -Atk)
- Wish
- Protect / Softboiled
- Seismic Toss
- Toxic / Thunder Wave


Porygon2, despite its somewhat recent shift to the UU tier, has been widely used in the OU tier and has also been dubbed a "universal counter" of sorts, thanks to its amazing defenses with the Eviolite boost and its handy ability, Trace. Of course, the fun doesn't stop there. Porygon2 also has a decent base 105 Special Attack, and with a movepool that includes the deadly BoltBeam combination as well as instant recovery in the form of Recover, Porygon2 is no slouch when it comes to striking back. The combination of Ice Beam and Thunderbolt / Discharge allows Porygon2 to 2HKO or even OHKO numerous threats in OU, such as Salamence, Gliscor, and Gyarados. Furthermore, Trace allows Porygon2 to wall some of the most dangerous Pokémon in OU that possess abilities like Flash Fire, Volt Absorb, and Water Absorb, such as Heatran, Jolteon, and Vaporeon, respectively. Trace also works well against Pokémon with the Intimidate ability, using it against them to lower their Attack upon switching in.

Unfortunately, even an extremely useful Pokémon such as Porygon2 has its faults, which probably caused its fall from OU to UU. First off, Porygon2 is extremely slow, meaning that it will almost always take a hit before dishing one out. This can prove to be a fatal flaw, should your opponent carry an extremely hard-hitting Pokémon such as Choice Band Terrakion, which can cleanly OHKO Porygon2 even with the Eviolite boost. Porygon2's Normal typing is both a curse and a blessing, as it leaves Porygon2 with only one immunity and one weakness. Porygon2 is also extremely vulnerable to bulky Calm Mind users such as Reuniclus, which also doesn't care about status thanks to Magic Guard and can easily set up on it. In addition, Porygon2 absolutely despises Toxic Spikes and the Toxic status in general, as it has no way of removing it. Entry hazards in general also do a number on Porygon2, as it is susceptible to all three types, and with the health lost from several layers of entry hazards, Pokémon that could not normally OHKO Porygon2 can now easily power through it. Taunt also annoys Porygon2 to some extent, rendering it unable to use Recover or status moves. Trick is yet another move that absolutely destroys any use that Porygon2 has, taking away its precious Eviolite, which is the only reason Porygon2 is viable in OU, and leaving it vulnerable to revenge killing.

While Porygon2 is an amazing utility Pokémon, its flaws should always be taken into account before putting it on your team. Porygon2 isn't meant to be the focus of any team; rather, it serves as a very useful defensive pivot and momentum grabber, and can stop most sweepers in their tracks. For this reason, Porygon2 does best on balanced teams, which provide a variety of teammates that can make good use of Porygon2's advantages. If you use it correctly, this little cyber duck will certainly not disappoint!

Example Set

Porygon2 @ Eviolite
Ability: Download
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
Nature: Modest (+SpA, -Atk)
- Tri Attack
- Thunderbolt / Discharge
- Ice Beam
- Recover


Dusclops Hippopotas


In the days of ADV, Dusclops was one of the best spinblockers thanks to its massive defenses and useful support moves. Unfortunately, in the DPP era, Dusclops was granted an evolution, Dusknoir, which sported better defenses and a usable Attack stat. This essentially rendered Dusclops obsolete, at least until B/W came around. With Eviolite, Dusclops has much better defensive stats than Dusknoir, meaning that it eventually became more popular; it now enjoys a spot in the UU tier, while its previously superior evolution has been left in the dust in RU.

However, Dusclops does have its downsides, and many may consider them more prominent than its upsides, perhaps the reason for its steadily declining usage in UU. Similarly to the dilemma associated with Chansey, Dusclops sorely misses its Leftovers recovery. Also like Chansey, Dusclops lacks a usable Attack stat, meaning that it must rely on Night Shade.

Dusclops's access to Pain Split, RestTalk, Will-O-Wisp, and more makes it a very useful support Pokémon, and it can usually stop most Rapid Spinners. In addition, any attempt to outstall Dusclops will be useless, as Dusclops's ability, Pressure, quickly causes the opponent to lose all of their PP should they try. Overall, Dusclops is probably one of the best spinblockers in UU, and fits well onto most stall teams. It's amazing how Dusclops has bounced back and forth from its glory days in ADV to its less happy days in DPP, and back again to its (somewhat) glorious days in BW, albeit in the UU tier.

Example Set

Dusclops @ Eviolite
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 176 Def / 80 SpD
Nature: Bold (+Def, -Atk)
- Will-O-Wisp
- Pain Split
- Toxic / Taunt
- Night Shade / Seismic Toss


Ever since Hippowdon was banned from UU, its little brother Hippopotas has been the staple for UU sand teams. Hippopotas is currently the only perma-weather starter in the tier, which already makes it one of the most important Pokémon. When equipped with an Eviolite, Hippopotas's Defense shoots through the roof, allowing it to take a multitude of physical attacks, even super effective ones. In addition, Hippopotas has Slack Off, and can also set up Stealth Rock for your team and phaze with Roar in order to rack up entry hazard damage. Unlike several others which make use of the Eviolite, Hippopotas actually has a decent HP stat to work with, meaning it can take certain hits better.

Although Hippopotas sports an enormous Defense stat, its Special Defense is severely lacking, even with the boost from Eviolite. What makes this even worse is that all of Hippopotas's weaknesses are often specially based, such as Water-, Grass-, and Ice-type moves, meaning that they will easily 2HKO, or in most cases, OHKO. And again, like many other Eviolite-reliant Pokémon, Hippopotas is extremely vulnerable to Trick, Knock Off, and Taunt, as well as being very slow.

Hippopotas is vital to any sand team, as it provides the eternal sandstorm that is needed. It supports teammates such as Stoutland, which has the ability Sand Rush, doubling its Speed in sandstorm. The sandstorm brought by this little hippo further benefits Pokémon with abilities such as Sand Veil, and it also provides a means of passive damage, canceling out the opponent's Leftovers recovery as well as doing a little damage every turn to those that don't carry Leftovers. Hippopotas is incredibly common in UU thanks to the aforementioned traits, and rightly so.

Example Set

Hippopotas @ Eviolite
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Nature: Impish (+Def, -SpA)
- Stealth Rock
- Slack Off
- Earthquake
- Toxic / Roar


Ferroseed Gligar Magneton Rhydon


Ferroseed is perhaps one of the best mixed walls in RU thanks to its fantastic defensive stats after the Eviolite boost. Grass / Steel is an amazing typing for a defensive Pokémon such as Ferroseed, giving it a grand total of 10 resistances, including a 4x resistance to Grass-type moves. Ferroseed is also immune to Poison-type moves, which is a great asset to have on any defensive Pokémon. It doesn't have a particularly versatile movepool, but it does well with what it has at its disposal. Ferroseed can make good use of its access to Leech Seed, Stealth Rock, Spikes, and Thunder Wave in order to support your team. In addition, should it get Taunted, it can also hit most targets pretty hard with Gyro Ball, given Ferroseed's abysmal Speed stat. Ferroseed can easily wall many of RU's top threats if they lack a powerful Fighting- or Fire-type move.

Despite Ferroseed's seemingly endless good qualities, it does have a few drawbacks, the most obvious of which is its glaring 4x weakness to Fire-type moves. Almost any Fire-type attack will outright OHKO Ferroseed, and it cannot do much back to virtually any Fire-type in return, as they resist both of Ferroseed's STAB moves. Ferroseed is also quite slow, meaning that it is easily Taunted and can only hope to use Gyro Ball in a futile attempt to deal some damage in such a situation. Furthermore, it is prone to getting set up on by things that can avoid Leech Seed and take little damage from Gyro Ball. Like with the other Pokémon that rely on Eviolite, Ferroseed is extremely vulnerable if its item is removed, whether through the use of Knock Off or Trick.

Ferroseed can serve as an amazing mixed wall for your team, and can set up entry hazards to boot. This little spiky ball fits well onto nearly any team needing a mixed wall (watch out for Fire-types!), and it can support the team in numerous ways. Also, completely unrelated, but how in the name of heaven does Ferroseed not know how to use the move Rapid Spin? Have you seen its animation? It's practically a spiky spinning top! Anyway, Ferroseed is a great addition to most teams, and easy to use. Don't underestimate this tiny little spike ball, or you'll be in for a world of pain (mostly psychological).

Example Set

Ferroseed @ Eviolite
Ability: Iron Barbs
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Nature: Relaxed (+Def, -Spe)
- Spikes / Stealth Rock
- Leech Seed
- Thunder Wave / Protect
- Gyro Ball


Gligar has the perfect stats with which to abuse Eviolite. It has an enormous base 105 Defense stat and decent base 65 Special Defense and HP stats. Not only does it have great defensive stats, but also a decent Speed stat which allows it to outspeed many walls in RU even without investment, and Taunt the living daylights out of them in order to prevent itself from being statused. Its dual Ground / Flying typing gives it many advantages, including a neutrality to Stealth Rock, an immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes, and an immunity to Electric-type moves. Gligar also has access to instant recovery in the form of Roost (starting to see the trend here?), which allows it to easily heal off any damage it might have taken. Gligar's movepool is also exceptionally large, and therefore allows it to run a variety of different sets ranging from Baton Pass, Swords Dance, Defensive, and more.

Gligar may be no slouch defensively, but its crippling 4x weakness to Ice-type moves does set it back quite a bit. Many Water-types in the RU tier run Ice Beam as a coverage move—granted, Gligar shouldn't be staying in on Water-types in general. Even though Gligar only has two weaknesses, to Water- and Ice-type moves, they are some of the most common attacking types in the entire game, meaning that Gligar will often be hard-pressed to do anything back before getting KOed.

What Gligar does best is wall physical threats such as Entei, Durant, and Scolipede. Its colossal 508 Defense after full investment and the Eviolite boost works wonders, and with access to Roost and Taunt, Gligar can be incredibly difficult to take down. A Swords Dance set can hit surprisingly hard, and the EdgeQuake combination hits many targets in RU for super effective damage. If your team is in need of a physical wall, look no further than Gligar, one of the best RU has got to offer (not to mention it also gets Stealth Rock!).

Example Set

Gligar @ Eviolite
Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Nature: Impish (+Def, -SpA)
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Toxic / Taunt
- Roost


Magneton is one of the premier Steel-types in RU, if not the best one out there. It boasts a unique dual Electric / Steel typing, which gives it an amazing 12 total resistances, with a 4x resistance to Steel- and Flying-type moves, as well as an immunity to Poison-type moves. For an NFE, Magneton has one of the best stat distributions—it has a decent base 95 Defense and a passable base 70 Special Defense and Speed, as well as a stellar base 120 Special Attack. Magneton is well known as a 'Steel killer', meaning that it can trap Steel-types with its ability, Magnet Pull, and proceed to set up and destroy them. A STAB Thunderbolt, coming off of an outstanding base 120 Special Attack, can really hurt. In fact, Magneton has the highest Special Attack of not only any Electric-type in the tier, but also any special attacker in the entire RU tier, with the exception of Moltres. A simple set with Thunderbolt / Flash Cannon / Hidden Power Fire / Filler is surprisingly effective. Magneton can also utilize Magnet Rise to evade super effective Earthquakes. In addition, unlike many of the other Pokémon featured in this article, Magneton is not limited to using an Eviolite; it can run a very effective Choice Scarf set which dominates its usual counters, and overall, is very useful.

Magneton's faults are few and far between, but the one that is instantly noticeable is its unfortunate 4x weakness to Ground-type attacks. Although Magneton can remedy this rather problematic issue by using Magnet Rise, it often won't get a chance to use it before getting hit by Earthquake, due to its mediocre Speed. Magneton also sports weaknesses to common attacking types, such as Fire- and Fighting-type moves. Another one of Magneton's drawbacks is its relatively low Speed, which, although can be fixed by using a Choice Scarf, still hinders it to an extent.

It comes as no surprise that Magneton is fairly common in the RU metagame, especially because of all its great attributes. Fitting Magneton on your team is easy to do, as it can fulfill a variety of useful roles. There's not much else to be said here, other than: GO OUT AND USE MAGNETON ALREADY!!

Example Set

Magneton @ Eviolite
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 168 HP / 252 SpA / 88 Spe
Nature: Modest (+SpA, -Atk)
- Substitute
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power Fire
- Magnet Rise


Rhydon is one of the best abusers of Eviolite, thanks to its monstrous Defense and excellent HP stats. It also has a very high base 130 Attack with which to pummel the RU tier. Although Rock / Ground may not be the best defensive typing out there, it certainly provides a great STAB combo which hits nearly everything in the RU tier for super effective or neutral damage, with the exception of Claydol, which is easily handled by using Megahorn. It can also run a very effective defensive set, with access to Stealth Rock and Roar / Dragon Tail. Even its abysmal Speed can be fixed with the use of Rock Polish, which doubles its Speed in just one turn. Rhydon's movepool is quite expansive, with useful moves such as Swords Dance and the elemental punches, as well as the ones mentioned above.

Although Rhydon is an offensive powerhouse and a useful defensive pivot, it suffers greatly from its two 4x weaknesses to Grass- and Water-type attacks. In addition, it has many other weaknesses, including a weakness to Fighting-, Ground-, and Ice-type moves. While these moves most likely won't OHKO thanks to the Eviolite boost, they can easily 2HKO in most cases, and with Rhydon's terrible Speed, it usually won't be able to do anything back.

Even though Eviolite greatly boosts Rhydon's defenses, it can plausibly run a Life Orb set with Rock Polish to boost its Speed. With a base 130 Attack, it can hit extremely hard, hitting the majority of the RU tier for neutral or super effective damage, with its excellent type coverage. Don't let Rhydon's glaring 4x weakness to Grass- and Water-type attacks get you down; try it out!

Example Set

Rhydon @ Eviolite
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Nature: Impish (+Def, -SpA)
- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Stone Edge / Rock Blast
- Megahorn / Substitute


Misdreavus Wynaut Zweilous


Misdreavus has the honor of being perhaps the best defensive Ghost and spinblocker in the NU tier, its only competition being Eviolite Frillish. It has excellent stats even before Eviolite. Furthermore, Ghost is an excellent defensive typing, providing two immunities (three if you include Levitate), and a few resistances. Misdreavus also possesses a decent base 85 Special Attack stat, something Frillish lacks, meaning that it can actually strike back moderately hard with a STAB Shadow Ball. A whole host of awesome support options are available to Misdreavus, including but not limited to Will-O-Wisp, Mean Look, Perish Song, Pain Split, Taunt, and Destiny Bond. Will-O-Wisp is arguably the most useful out of the ones mentioned, as it absolutely cripples any physical attacker that lacks the Guts ability, making it that much more difficult to take Misdreavus down.

However, like most other Eviolite-boosted Pokémon, Misdreavus suffers from being slow thanks to no Speed investment, and weaknesses to common attacking types such as Ghost- and Dark-type moves. Many Pokémon in the NU tier, such as Absol and Haunter, can easily muscle through Misdreavus with their powerful, super effective STAB moves. In addition, many physical attackers in the NU tier such as Ursaring, Raticate, Swellow, Throh, and Gurdurr have the Guts ability, making Will-O-Wisp useless. Shadow Ball coming off of an uninvested base 85 Special Attack won't be doing much damage to most targets unless super effective.

Although Misdreavus suffers from the typical problems that arise from relying on Eviolite, it can certainly hold its own. You won't find a better spinblocker anywhere in NU, so make good use of Misdreavus!

Example Set

Misdreavus @ Eviolite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 232 Def / 24 Spe
Nature: Bold (+Def, -Atk)
- Shadow Ball
- Will-O-Wisp / Toxic
- Pain Split
- Heal Bell / Taunt


At first glance, Wynaut seems like a terrible Pokémon that no one would ever use. Why, you ask? Well it's simple, really. It has terrible stats with the exception of a slightly above average HP stat, a grand total of 8 moves in its movepool, and sports an appalling typing to boot. However, once you get past all of that and take a closer look, you will find that Wynaut can be an absolutely deadly force, thanks to its near-unique ability, Shadow Tag. With Shadow Tag, Wynaut can trap any Pokémon that lacks U-turn, Volt Switch, Baton Pass, or Shed Shell. Although Wynaut's movepool consists of a measly eight moves, it really only needs four of those to do its job. Counter, Mirror Coat, Encore, and Tickle are all Wynaut needs to take down the opponent. Counter and Mirror Coat deal double the damage that was received, and with Eviolite equipped, Wynaut can actually take quite a beating. Encore allows Wynaut to screw over set-up sweepers, and give a free turn to a teammate while the opponent wastes a turn either switching or being forced to use the same harmless move again. Tickle works well with Pursuit users, as the opponent will most likely switch after all the stat drops, making Pursuit that much more powerful.

While Wynaut seems like a somewhat broken Pokémon thanks to its ability to take out at least one Pokémon per match, it does come with several disadvantages. Taunt, while not extremely common in the NU metagame, completely screws Wynaut over, as it can then only use Counter and Mirror Coat, leaving it susceptible to outprediction. In addition, Counter and Mirror Coat don't affect Ghost- and Dark-types respectively, meaning that those types can come in and pound Wynaut with attacks without the fear of being hit for double the damage. The best Wynaut can do at that point is Encore a move, but alas, that won't be enough to prevent Wynaut's imminent demise. Wynaut's HP stat may be decent, but its defenses are extremely poor, even with Eviolite, meaning that powerful STAB super effective moves will easily 2HKO Wynaut, if not flat out OHKO.

Wynaut plays an interesting role on the team, as it doesn't necessarily need any team support—rather, it endeavors to support the rest of the team by eliminating one or more key threats. It can be essential to eliminate certain threats in order to help a teammate set up, and that is what Wynaut does best. So, Wynaut use it?

Example Set

Wynaut @ Eviolite
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 152 Def / 148 SpD / 208 Spe
Nature: Bold (+Def, -Atk)
- Encore
- Counter
- Mirror Coat
- Tickle / Destiny Bond


Zweilous is a very interesting NFE, as it has several unique traits that make it stand out among the crowd. First of all, its average base 85 Attack is boosted to absurd levels thanks to its ability Hustle. Secondly, it has a unique type combination: Dragon / Dark, which gives it two very potent STABs. It has access to the extremely powerful Outrage, and due to the lack of Steel-types in NU, it can easily smash through entire teams if given the chance. Zweilous is also surprisingly bulky with an Eviolite equipped, as 72 / 70 / 70 defenses become quite good after the boost, especially with HP investment.

Unfortunately, every rose has its thorns, and Zweilous is no exception. Although Hustle increases the power of its physical moves by 50%, the accuracy is also lowered by 20%, making every 100% accurate move as accurate as the ever-so-lovely Stone MISS. This accuracy drop can not only be incredibly infuriating, but also extremely game-changing. One untimely miss can mean the end. In addition, Zweilous is slow as balls, and although decently bulky with Eviolite, it still can't take super effective hits. It is weak to many common attack types, such as Fighting, Ice, and Bug.

Zweilous functions extremely well under Trick Room conditions, as its low Speed and great Attack allows it to make the most of it. Zweilous can also pull off a successful Choice Scarf set that can surprise its normal checks, although the 80% accuracy is still annoying as ever. As one of the few Dragons in NU, use Zweilous to its advantages, and you won't be missing out! Well, occasionally you will miss... but that ain't my fault!

Example Set

Zweilous @ Eviolite
Ability: Hustle
EVs: 236 HP / 252 Atk / 20 Spe
Nature: Adamant (+Atk, -SpA)
- Outrage
- Crunch
- Fire Fang
- Substitute / Dragon Tail


NFEs are very interesting choices to use in battle, and although they mostly populate the lower tiers, they can surprise you by being effective in some of the higher tiers. Just as their evolutions are varied and diverse, NFEs can be anything from a wall to a sweeper to both! Who knows? There is absolutely no limit as what you can do with NFEs, as long as you are creative. In fact, if it weren't for several individuals who were initially brave enough to try out these NFEs in serious competitive play, we might never have seen the light of how useful NFEs can actually be. The fact that a lot of them don't need an Eviolite in order to be successful is a sign that they are viable in their own right. Just because they are Not Fully Evolved doesn't mean they are Not Freakin' Exceptional!

Although this article features quite a few NFEs, there are many, many more that have not been discussed, but are perfectly viable. Some of the more prominent ones include but are not limited to: Scyther, Munchlax, Haunter, Duosion, Golbat, Tangela, Natu, Whirlipede, and Gurdurr. This is just a taste of the actual number of viable NFEs; in actuality there are dozens more, and perhaps some that haven't yet been explored. So without further ado, stop reading and get out there! Try these NFEs for yourself, and don't be smirking... Because I know you won't be smiling when you get swept by a Pikachu.

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