OU Underrated Movesets

By Iconic. Art by Fatecrashers.
« Previous Article Home Next Article »


The OU metagame is a very dynamic entity, as the popularity of Pokemon in the tier continually fluctuates to coincide with both tier shifts and various trends. As such, standard sets manifest themselves every now and then, and most players prepare for and play games in a way that agrees with these standards. This article is a continuation of Reverb's series of Underrated Movesets (momentarily taken over by Snunch, who fortunately was replaced by me) and is meant to shed some light on some sets that, while occasionally used, are considered far from standard.

Choice Scarf Salamence

Salamence @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Moxie
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naughty Nature (+Atk, -SpD)
- Outrage
- Earthquake
- Dragon Claw
- Fire Blast

Prior to being banished to Ubers back in DPP, Salamence was usually seen terrorizing the OU metagame with Dragon Dance or ripping stall to shreds with its powerful mixed sets. Now that it's fighting for spots on teams with its Dragon-type brethren Dragonite and Haxorus, Salamence has found a new, unique calling card as a dedicated revenge killer with a Choice Scarf slapped onto its muscular neck. When equipped with a Choice Scarf, Salamence reaches a blistering 448 Speed, and when coupled with its nearly unmatched 405 Attack, very few Pokemon will want to switch into this beast.

Salamence differentiates itself from most Choice Scarf users due to its Dream World Ability, Moxie. This allows Salamence to excel as both a revenge killer and a sweeper, as Moxie can often give it the extra boost it needs to clean up late-game. Choice Scarf Salamence outspeeds every single unboosted OU Pokemon, meaning it can spam Outrage with near impunity once problematic Steel-types are removed from play. Outrage and Earthquake are generally the only two moves Salamence will need to use, although Dragon Claw is a safe option to prevent being locked into Outrage. With proper prediction, Salamence can utilize Fire Blast to a great deal of success to eliminate the likes of Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Scizor, three of its extremely common counters. Although this set can often struggle against stall teams with multiple Steel-types, as well as Stealth Rock if not paired with a spinner, Choice Scarf Salamence is an incredible tool to rip apart offensive teams with, and is almost always a worthy consideration for a multipurpose revenge killer.

Fast Deoxys-D

Deoxys-D @ Rocky Helmet
Trait: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Stealth Rock
- Spikes
- Taunt
- Night Shade / Magic Coat

Ever since its speedy forme was booted from standard play, Deoxys-D has arguably assumed the role as the best fast hazard user in the tier. Deoxys-D's support movepool is simply massive, which it can use to a great deal of success along with its gargantuan defensive stats. Although there are a number of hazard users to choose from in OU, Deoxys-D is perhaps the best choice on offensive teams because it can very reliably set up two layers at the start of the game, allowing behemoths like Terrakion and Lucario to wreak havoc on their would-be counters.

While Stealth Rock is a necessity on almost every team, Spikes is a huge luxury for sweepers to do an extra 12.5% on most incoming Pokemon. Deoxys-D can also support its teammates with Taunt, and thanks to its maxed-out Speed, it can easily prevent the likes of Forretress, Skarmory, and Heatran from setting up hazards of their own. Night Shade is mainly filler, but it can be useful for consistent damage after setting up Stealth Rock and Spikes. Magic Coat is a good option to stop faster Taunting leads, but those are quite rare. Deoxys-D can choose from a ton of items, ranging from Leftovers to Focus Sash to Red Card, but Rocky Helmet is perhaps the best option to dissuade Rapid Spin users, and it can actually be used in conjunction with Taunt to beat Forretress one-on-one!

Life Orb Jolteon

Jolteon @ Life Orb
Trait: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Thunder / Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power Ice
- Signal Beam
- Volt Switch

On top of being arguably the cutest Pokemon in the tier, Jolteon's claim to fame is that it is the fastest Pokemon in OU, meaning it can make great use of the flexibility and power provided by Life Orb. Jolteon makes its third appearance in an Underrated Moveset article, but this time with a set tailored to offensive Drizzle teams, as Jolteon can fill the void that Thundurus left behind on rain teams quite admirably. While Jolteon does not possess the gargantuan Special Attack stat that Thundurus did, base 110 is still very respectable, and a Life Orb-boosted Thunder coupled with STAB is incredibly powerful. Coupled with its nearly unmatched Speed and excellent coverage, Jolteon is hard to stop for a team without a dedicated special wall.

As mentioned, Thunder is Jolteon's attack of choice when used on a Drizzle team, since its perfect accuracy in the rain and huge Base Power make it very appealing. Thunderbolt is a solid alternative for teams with no room for Politoed, though. Hidden Power Ice provides Jolteon with some much-appreciated additional coverage, and it's great for nailing troublesome Dragons, as well as certain Pokemon that are immune to Thunder, such as Gliscor. Signal Beam might seem like an odd choice, but it's quite a good filler move for its ability to pick off weakened Psychic-types and OHKO Celebi, something that Shadow Ball cannot accomplish. Volt Switch is a fantastic move for scouting purposes, as it allows Jolteon to both escape troublesome incoming Pokemon and hit quite hard simultaneously. When coupled with fellow scouters such as Scizor and Landorus, Jolteon becomes quite a potent threat against stall.

Hidden Power Ice Forretress

Forretress @ Leftovers
Trait: Sturdy
EVs: 252 HP / 220 Def / 36 SpA
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Spikes / Toxic Spikes
- Rapid Spin
- Hidden Power Ice
- Volt Switch

What appears to be a joke at first glance actually translates to a fairly effective set upon closer inspection. Forretress is a classic case of a good Pokemon that just can't do it all. While it can tank Earthquakes and Outrages better than almost any other Pokemon thanks to its typing and Defense, it often struggles to do any meaningful damage back to its opponents. Hidden Power Ice, while very weak off Forretress's pitiful Special Attack stat, helps mitigate this problem by smacking around the likes of Salamence and Dragonite when they're locked into Outrage. More importantly, it gives Forretress a means of dealing with the incredibly popular Gliscor, which would otherwise Taunt it into oblivion and outstall Gyro Ball, Forretress's more popular attack. Salamence, Gliscor, and Landorus are all guaranteed 2HKOes with Hidden Power Ice, while the slightest of damage on Dragonite will ensure the 2HKO since it will break Multiscale.

Hidden Power Ice may be the attack that separates this from Forretress's more common sets, but its primary objective is still to provide both Spikes and Rapid Spin support. Forretress is one of the few Pokemon that can fulfill both roles, meaning it's a great asset to both stall teams and bulky teams that find themselves susceptible to hazards or need some extra passive damage in the form of Spikes. Toxic Spikes is a solid alternative to cripple walls, but unfortunately Forretress can't afford to pack both forms of hazards. When coupled with Hidden Power Ice, Volt Switch provides Forretress with not only possibly the weakest BoltBeam combination in the history of competitive Pokemon, but also a means of scouting and eluding incoming Magnezone. It's also a great move when anticipating Rapid Spin users, such as Starmie or Tentacruel, to come in and attempt to clear Forretress's hazards.

Sweeper Alakazam

Alakazam @ Life Orb
Trait: Magic Guard
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Psychic
- Focus Blast
- Shadow Ball
- Charge Beam

Alakazam's Dream World ability pretty much transformed it into Reuniclus's pseudo-twin, but it instead relies on its amazing Speed to sweep compared to Reuniclus's great bulk. With Magic Guard negating damage from hazards, status, weather, and Life Orb, Alakazam becomes literally impossible to wear down, and players will often have to use a priority or Choice Scarf user to take it out. Alakazam is a cool cleaner because it has great coverage with Psychic, Focus Blast, and Shadow Ball, and it can also nab a Special Attack boost with Charge Beam on a weakened foe. With +1 Special Attack and a Life Orb boost, not even Blissey is safe, as the standard Bold variant takes a minimum of 57% from Focus Blast.

As mentioned, the key to Alakazam's success is its phenomenal coverage. Psychic is its obligatory STAB attack, and it has surprisingly decent neutral coverage. Focus Blast and Shadow Ball hit everything that resists Psychic, and their great Base Powers complement Alakazam's sky-high Special Attack stat very well. Since it gets all the coverage it needs between those three moves, Charge Beam can be used in the last slot after Alakazam comes in on a revenge kill, as it has a 63% chance of grabbing a boost. Even if it doesn't have the opportunity to set up, Alakazam can frequently clean up since it's naturally faster than most other threats, packs a huge punch, and can hit a large array of Pokemon super effectively.

What now?

The purpose of this article, like every other rendition of Underrated Movesets, is to demonstrate that the fact that certain sets are used infrequently does not necessarily mean they are inherently worse. The metagame is continually shifting and new standards are always being popularized, so utilizing sets to catch your opponent off-guard is a great way of gaining the upper hand in a match. Definitely give these sets a try; I doubt you'll be disappointed!

« Previous Article Home Next Article »