NU Spotlight: Jynx

By skylight and Raseri. Art by elcheeso.
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In RBY, Jynx was a popular lead because of its access to a sleep move, and the ability to hit both Gengar and Exeggutor (the other common sleep leads) super effectively with its great STAB attacks. In GSC, Jynx fell to BL, but it was still a very usable threat thanks to its access to Lovely Kiss and high Special Attack. In ADV, Jynx remained in BL, still usable because of its great Special Attack and Lovely Kiss, and the newly released Calm Mind finally gave it a boosting move to sweep with. However, its sheer frailty meant it could not take any sort of hit, meaning it would never make it to OU.

As DPP came around, things got a lot worse for Jynx. Stealth Rock was released, meaning that it would lose 25% of its health upon switching in. This, combined with its terrible bulk, meant it would fall all the way to NU. Although Jynx was NU, it was still very usable in UU, as its power and Speed were often enough to defeat slower UU teams.

As BW rolled around, Jynx found itself in NU yet again. Its Dream World ability, Dry Skin, definitely improved it compared to DPP, but the Stealth Rock weakness and lack of bulk made it difficult to use it in other tiers. Despite this, it still has a niche in OU and Ubers! However, we're here to talk about Jynx in NU, and it has accomplished something nothing else has! Jynx is the only Pokémon to be banned from NU this generation! Of course, it was subsequently unbanned, but before BW2 rolled around, the NU senate unanimously voted to ban it due to how difficult it was to defeat. There were two main perpetrators to reasons for that ban, the Substitute + Nasty Plot sweeper set and the Life Orb wallbreaker set. Former NU tier leader, Zebraiken, decided to unban Jynx at the same time that Primeape, Scolipede, and Munchlax dropped from RU to NU. Much to the dismay of prominent NU players, this proved to be the right decision, as just recently, the suspect vote for Jynx was completed, and 11/15 voters chose not to ban Jynx!


Jynx is one of the most prominent NU figures overall. Jynx has base 95 Speed, which is a blessing, as it allows it to Speed tie Primeape and outspeed if it's running Scarf and Primeape isn't. Jynx also has something else amazing in its arsenal—Lovely Kiss. The move allows Jynx to basically force one Pokémon out of commission for a match and can allow Jynx to set up Nasty Plot (which Jynx appreciates, although with its base 115 Special Attack, Jynx is already threatening without the boost) or can give it a valuable turn where it can predict what's coming in and get a one-up on them.

Jynx also has two amazing STABs in the NU metagame. Ice Beam is Jynx's most used and strongest STAB and allows it to hit Pokémon such as Skuntank and other Psychic-types such as Musharna. Psychic is its other STAB, which can help it hit the various Poison-types in the tier, such as Garbodor and Weezing, super effectively. Jynx can also opt to use Psyshock for taking down bulkier specially defensive Pokémon such as Ludicolo. Additionally, it also has access to a variety of coverage moves, such as Focus Blast, Shadow Ball, Signal Beam, and Energy Ball, depending on what it needs to cover.

Jynx's other major attribute is that it is very unpredictable. You might think it's running Life Orb but instead it's running Choice Scarf and you lose your revenge killer...then you're pretty much doomed. Jynx can also vary the moves on its sets due to having so many great moves. It could use Trick and Lovely Kiss and only carry its two STABs on a Scarf set or carry Lovely Kiss and three attacks with Life Orb.

Jynx also has a great ability, Dry Skin. The ability gives Jynx an immunity to Water-type attacks and allows it to switch into various Water-types in the tier such as Samurott, Alomomola, Seismitoad, and Ludicolo. However, it isn't always easy for Jynx, as a few of those Pokémon have made moveset adjustments to cater to defeating the new threat. Samurott is forced to run Megahorn, making the physical Samurott set more popular. Like Samurott, Seismitoad has also had to make a change to make it easier to deal with Jynx. It now has to use Earthquake for the most part to OHKO Jynx; however, against everything else, Earth Power is still preferred. Jynx is also a great Pokémon to use in rain, as it can recover HP gradually while still dishing out powerful attacks with either Life Orb or Choice Scarf.

Fitting Jynx on a Team

Jynx can fit on a few different styles of teams. It is most at home on offensive teams, where it can be a revenge killer with its Choice Scarf set, a sweeper with its Nasty Plot set, or a wallbreaker with its Life Orb set. Jynx can fit onto more balanced teams too, as its Choice Scarf set is the best revenge killer in the tier, bar none. A bulky offense or balanced team that is struggling against fast sweepers can also add a Jynx, and most of their problems will go away!

Jynx is easily added to teams that are otherwise weak to Carracosta or Samurott, as it can revenge kill them due to its immunity to Water-type attacks and its high Special Attack. Charizard and other Fire-types both tend to have issues with them, and thus benefit greatly from Choice Scarf Jynx! Fire-types are also great partners, because they can defeat two of the main Jynx counters, Klang and Metang. All Jynx sets appreciate entry hazard support, so Scolipede and Golem are great partners for Jynx as well. In reality, as long as you are not using Jynx on a full stall team, it will be able to pull its weight. It offers little to no defensive synergy, but the offensive pressure it can apply is enough to make it easily one of the best Pokémon in the metagame.

Playing With Jynx

Jynx is a lot of fun to play with. It can often be a risky Pokémon to use due to its frailty, but if you look at Jynx's assets, the benefits from using it are huge for your team. Lovely Kiss (if it hits) makes life a lot easier for Jynx, as it can guarantee something is effectively crippled for the remainder of the match. However, it's often risky, and due to Jynx's frailty, if Lovely Kiss misses it can spell the end for Jynx. For the most part, the benefits outweigh the accuracy risks, and the extra turn allows Jynx to set up, attack, or switch out. Even if Lovely Kiss misses, Jynx's base 95 Speed allows it to use it twice in a row for the most part, which makes Jynx easier to use.

The Choice Scarf set is a great revenge killer. Jynx's dual STAB allows it to hit most of the metagame super effectively. Jynx's base 115 Special Attack helps too, as it can guarantee OHKOs on most offensive powerhouses in the NU metagame. However, when using the Scarf set, you need to predict a lot because Jynx is frail, and with Stealth Rock, one mistake could mean the death of Jynx. Jynx also has to worry about Pursuit and has to keep in mind to play it safe with its moves; otherwise, getting locked into the wrong thing could could mean the end for Jynx.

The offensive set is a lot easier to use, as Jynx has the freedom to switch moves. While it does involve prediction to an extent, it's easier for Jynx, as it is less likely to have to deal with Stealth Rock as often and can avoid facing Pursuit/Sucker Punch by putting opponents to sleep with Lovely Kiss.

Playing Against Jynx

It's often hard to predict what Jynx is running, as it can easily fit onto any sort of team. Stealth Rock definitely makes it easier to manage Jynx, as it limits the amount of times it can switch in, and due to its frailty, all Jynx sets except ones in rain struggle to switch in more than 2-3 times per match (and the vast amount of priority moves on common NU Pokémon doesn't help Jynx). However, if you don't have Stealth Rock on your team (and even if you do), there are a few sure-fire counters to Jynx. Metang can switch into Scarf Jynx with ease, taking very little damage from any of the attacks it throws at it, and it can bypass Lovely Kiss with Bullet Punch if there's already some Stealth Rock damage. It can also use Sleep Talk and hit Jynx with a powerful Meteor Mash if Stealth Rock isn't up and a weaker Bullet Punch won't finish Jynx off. Grumpig resists Jynx's Psychic-type attacks and can resist its Ice-type attacks due to Thick Fat. If Jynx tries to set up a Substitute or Nasty Plot, it can blow Jynx away with Whirlwind, and if Jynx tries to attack it, Grumpig can just use Thunder Wave, which can make Jynx more manageable for the rest of the match. Munchlax can also deal with Jynx fairly well, but it generally has no other use in the metagame and the other two are more relevant counters.

For Choice Scarf Jynx, priority and Stealth Rock help wear it down. Kangaskhan in particular can come in after Jynx has killed something and use Fake Out on it, making it harder for Jynx to switch in again. It also has the option of Sucker Punch if Jynx looks to be staying in and is already locked into Psychic or Focus Blast. Skuntank, when EVed to be specially defensive, can also use Sucker Punch or Pursuit against Jynx and doesn't generally have trouble defeating Scarf Jynx as long as it isn't frozen or put to sleep. Choice Scarf Charizard doesn't have a problem with Scarf Jynx, as Charizard can outspeed and attack it outright with its STAB Fire Blast or Flamethrower and OHKO it. Choice Scarf Tauros can also deal with Scarf Jynx easily through Pursuit or Stone Edge, making it a lot harder for Jynx to escape alive. Choice Scarf Primeape is risky because both can kill each other with either Psychic or Close Combat. However, Primeape can win one on one if it gets a lucky coin flip, so for the most part, it's a risky check.

It's hard to switch into offensive Jynx, as it has the freedom of switching moves and the luxury of having a move to put something to sleep. Certain Pokémon, as a result, have to run Sleep Talk or Lum Berry to deal with Jynx, such as Samurott, which can OHKO with Megahorn after recovering with Lum Berry. Skuntank can also do the same if it wishes to do so and can Taunt Jynx on that turn, making sure that Jynx either switches or attacks. Scolipede, Serperior, Swellow, and Charizard can also deal with Jynx easily if it's not running Choice Scarf. However, none of these Pokémon can safely switch into Jynx and are better off as revenge killers.

Get Out There!

Jynx has definitely solidified itself as the queen of NU. Though there are people that believe it should be banned, it was voted to stay by a comfortable margin. Its sheer versatility has helped it become the top special attacker that NU has to offer. Although Jynx might be a top offensive threat, there are many ways to defeat it; often, just keeping up offensive pressure can be enough! Jynx is a terrifying threat in NU and one of the most powerful Pokémon the tier has ever had. So get out there and try Jynx; it's better than Liepard at least!

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