Battle Spot Special Season 1 Report Part 2: The Regular Pokémon Crash The Party!

By Theorymon and Legofigure11.
« Previous Article Next Article »
Art by LifeisDANK

Art by LifeisDANK.

What's Battle Spot Special?

Whenever you choose to ladder on Pokémon Sun and Moon, you may notice a ladder that says "Special". Just what is this Special, you ask?

Every season in Battle Spot, Game Freak likes to throw a curveball at us and have one ladder that totally changes! Last generation, these rulesets varied wildly, such as having a metagame where only new Pokémon were allowed, a metagame where Pokémon must hold Berries, a metagame that banned the top Pokémon in Doubles (making their own UU of sorts!), and even a metagame that used inverse battles!

That trend is continuing into Pokémon Sun and Moon. This time, it's an Alolan Uber party: all Pokémon that can be caught in Alola are allowed this season!

Rules

Metagame Trends

The Regular Pokémon

For those of you who are new to the party, check out part 1 of this article!

For this second and final part, we're going to focus on the non-Uber Pokémon of Battle Spot Special Season 1. While the Alolan Ubers are the star of the show, they are by no means that only influential Pokémon in the metagame. Let's take a look at what these "party crashers" bring to the table!

Top Threats

These Pokémon either are very common or are very good at their jobs in Battle Spot Special. Most teams should prepare for these Pokémon.

Alolan Ninetales

Typing: Ice-type / Fairy-type

Ability: Snow Cloak / Snow Warning

Stats: 73 HP / 67 Attack / 75 Def / 81 SpA / 100 SpD / 109 Spe

Sample Set

Aurora Veil Setter
Ninetales-Alola
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Aurora Veil
- Blizzard
- Encore
- Moonblast / Freeze-Dry

What's the big deal?

Alolan Ninetales's stats may be rather unimpressive, but in a metagame full of Lunala, Alolan Ninetales becomes a very dangerous support Pokémon thanks to Aurora Veil. Hail is better in this metagame than usual, since breaking Shadow Shield with hail makes Lunala have a hard time against Alolan Ninetales.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Alolan Ninetales should always max out its Speed, since outspeeding Garchomp is very important. Since it isn't that bulky, maxing Special Attack is a good idea too, since it lets Alolan Ninetales OHKO important threats such as Garchomp and Ash-Greninja.

What are its flaws?

Alolan Ninetales may be a great support Pokémon, but it doesn't do very well on its own. It's Special Attack is too low for it to hit bulkier Pokémon such as Lunala very hard, and its poor coverage makes it easy to wall as well.

Garchomp

Typing: Dragon-type / Ground-type

Ability: Sand Veil / Rough Skin

Stats: 108 HP / 130 Attack / 95 Defense / 80 Special Attack / 85 Special Defense / 102 Speed

Sample Set

Swords Dance
Garchomp
Ability: Rough Skin
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Earthquake
- Outrage / Dragon Claw
- Crunch

What's the big deal?

The mascot of Battle Spot Singles always seems to find a way to succeed. Even with all the Ubers running around, Garchomp still may be the most dangerous physical attacker you'll face, thanks to its high Attack and Speed.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Garchomp must run maximum Speed, since outspeeding the likes of Lunala and Solgaleo is very important for its success!

What are its flaws?

Garchomp's 4x Ice weakness is its Achilles heel, making it much easier to KO with the lack of Focus Sash in this metagame. The large number of Fairy- and Steel-types also makes using Outrage a risky proposition.

Celesteela

Typing: Steel-type / Flying-type

Ability: Beast Boost

Stats: 97 HP / 101 Attack / 103 Defense / 107 Special Attack / 101 Special Defense / 61 Speed

Sample Set

Leech Seed
Celesteela
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Sassy / Relaxed Nature
- Leech Seed
- Protect
- Heavy Slam
- Flamethrower / Substitute / Acrobatics / Brutal Swing

What's the big deal?

Celesteela is one of the best defensive Pokémon of the format, being able to wall several prominent threats such as Garchomp and Tapu Bulu.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Celesteela has a ton of different natures it can run, but running physically defensive natures like Impish and Relaxed or specially defensive natures such as Careful and Sassy is usually your best bet, since you don't want to weaken Heavy Slam. Specially defensive is notable for avoiding a 2HKO from unboosted Lunala's Moongeist Beam, while physically defensive Celesteela are more reliable checks against Garchomp.

What are its flaws?

Celesteela's offensive presence isn't terrible, but even with its high-BP moves, it's liable to get set up on, especially if the opponent has Aurora Veil set up.

Tapu Koko

Typing: Electric-type / Fairy-type

Ability: Electric Surge / Telepathy

Stats: 70 HP / 115 Attack / 85 Defense / 95 Special Attack / 75 Special Defense / 130 Speed

Sample Set

Special Attacker
Tapu Koko
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid / Naive Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam
- Volt Switch / U-turn
- Calm Mind / Toxic / Brave Bird / Nature's Madness

What's the big deal?

Tapu Koko's offenses are nowhere near the level of the strong Alolan Ubers, but don't let that fool you: its speed still makes it a good offensive Pokémon to consider in this metagame.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Since Tapu Koko focuses on special attacking, a Timid nature is usually best. If you're using Brave Bird, consider a Naive nature to do more damage to Tapu Bulu.

What are its flaws?

Tapu Koko is highly reliant on Electric Terrain to deal damage. Without it, Tapu Koko is a very weak offensive Pokémon. It's also rather frail, making it easy to revenge kill.

Tapu Bulu

Typing: Grass-type / Fairy-type

Ability: Grassy Surge / Telepathy

Stats: 70 HP / 130 Attack / 115 Defense / 85 Special Attack / 95 Special Defense / 75 Speed

Sample Sets

Physical Attacker
Tapu Bulu
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Horn Leech
- Wood Hammer
- Payback / Bulk Up / Swords Dance
- Superpower / Bulk Up / Swords Dance
Leech Seed
Tapu Bulu
Ability: Grassy Surge
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
Adamant / Careful Nature
- Leech Seed
- Substitute
- Horn Leech / Wood Hammer
- Disable / Payback

What's the big deal?

Tapu Bulu's Grassy Surge is especially useful in this metagame. Magearna, Solgaleo, and Aegislash are dangerous Steel-types, and Grassy Terrain makes them even more difficult to check! It also helps that Tapu Bulu has a high Attack stat to take advantage of Grassy Terrain itself.

What can I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Usually, Tapu Bulu should focus on pumping up its HP and Attack stats for maximum bulk and power. However, if using the Leech Seed set, you have the option of running a Careful nature with maximum HP and Special Defense. This lets Tapu Bulu avoid a 2HKO from Lunala's unboosted Moongeist Beam, letting you potentially defeat it with a combination of Leech Seed and Payback.

What are its flaws?

Tapu Bulu's coverage is pretty lackluster, lending it to getting walled by the major Steel-types of the metagame. It's also pretty slow, making it easy to revenge kill once its been weakened.

Aegislash

Typing: Steel-type / Ghost-type

Ability: Stance Change

Stats: 60 HP / 50 Attack / 150 Defense / 50 Special Attack / 150 Special Defense / 60 Speed

Stats (Blade forme): 60 HP / 150 Attack / 50 Defense / 150 Special Attack / 50 Special Defense / 60 Speed

Sample Sets

Mixed Attacker
Aegislash
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SpA
IVs: 0 Spe
Quiet Nature
- Shadow Ball
- Shadow Sneak
- Sacred Sword / Flash Cannon
- King's Shield
Swords Dance
Aegislash
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
Brave Nature
- Swords Dance
- Shadow Sneak
- Shadow Claw / Iron Head
- Sacred Sword / Iron Head / King's Shield

What's the big deal?

You'd think Lunala would push slower Ghost-types out of the picture, but thanks to Aegislash's incredible bulk in its Shield forme, it's still a forced to be reckoned with, especially under Tapu Bulu's Grassy Terrain!

What can I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Aegislash will usually want to have 0 Speed IVs, so it has a chance of staying in Shield forme against opposing Aegislash and winning. This also lets it underspeed Alolan Muk, giving Aegislash a chance at defeating it.

What are its flaws?

With all the Dark-types trying to target Lunala, Aegislash suffers from them as well. While they aren't able to OHKO Aegislash, they can at least weaken it to the point where its easily revenge killable, especially since it can't fall back on Weakness Policy in this metagame.

Alolan Muk

Typing: Poison-type / Dark-type

Ability: Poison Touch / Gluttony / Power of Alchemy

Stats: 105 HP / 105 Attack / 75 Defense / 65 Special Attack / 100 Special Defense / 50 Speed

Sample Set

Bulky Attacker
Alolan Muk
Ability: Poison Touch
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant / Brave Nature
- Crunch
- Shadow Sneak
- Gunk Shot / Poison Jab
- Minimize / Brick Break

What's the big deal?

With Lunala being the queen of this metagame, Alolan Muk may just be the best shot at being a challenger to the throne, thanks to it being a Dark-type that isn't weak to any of Lunala's attacks.

What can I expect to see?

Moves
Other Moves

Alolan Muk gets access to Curse, which makes it much more difficult to KO with physical Pokémon. If you want to keep Alolan Muk healthy at all costs, you can also use Rest and Sleep Talk. Rest and Sleep Talk also ensure that Alolan Muk won't be defeated by Lunala that use Will-O-Wisp.

Other Details

Usually, you'll want an Adamant nature and maximum HP and Attack, since you need both bulk and power to defeat Lunala. However, if you want to underspeed Aegislash, a Brave nature with 0 Speed IVs can be a reasonable choice, ensuring a OHKO while it's in its blade forme. While Poison Touch isn't a fantastic ability, it's a better option than Gluttony and Power of Alchemy, which do nothing in this metagame.

What are its flaws?

Alolan Muk's physical bulk leaves something to be desired, making it fairly easy to revenge kill with Pokémon that have Earthquake. It also isn't too powerful for an offensive Pokémon, making it trivial to wall with the right Pokémon.

Pheromosa

Typing: Bug-type / Fighting-type

Ability: Beast Boost

Stats: 71 HP / 137 Attack / 37 Defense / 137 Special Attack / 37 Special Defense / 151 Speed

Sample Set

Mixed Offense
Pheromosa
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Naughty / Naive Nature
- High Jump Kick
- Ice Beam
- Poison Jab
- U-turn

What's the big deal?

Boasting Deoxys-esque stats and a great offensive movepool, Pheromosa is arguably the best mixed sweeper in Alola. It also has a blazing 151 base Speed that allows it to outpace the entire unboosted metagame.

What can I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

The choice between Naughty and Naive really depends on what you want to boost with Beast Boost—Naughty lets Pheromosa boost its Attack and therefore its sweeping potential, but Naive boosts its Speed and allows you to beat other Pheromosa. You can also use a Quiver Dance set with Bug Buzz, Quiver Dance, Focus Blast, and Ice Beam, but this means that you have to rely on Focus Blast's shaky accuracy, and it can be difficult to set up because of Pheromosa's terrible bulk.

What are its flaws?

While Pheromosa's stats are a godsend offensively, they are very lackluster defensively. This means that almost anything that manages to survive a hit can simply OHKO it with a neutral attack.

Important Pokémon

These Pokémon either aren't as common or aren't easy to put on teams as others, but they provide unique niches that make them worth serious consideration.

Hydreigon

Typing: Dark-type / Dragon-type

Ability: Levitate

Stats: 92 HP / 102 Atk / 90 Def / 125 SpA / 90 SpD / 98 Spe

Sample Sets

Special Attacker
Hydreigon
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid / Modest Nature
- Dark Pulse
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast / Flamethrower
- U-turn / Flash Cannon

What's the big deal?

Hydreigon is a Pokémon with excellent Special Attack and a Speed tier that puts it just above some of the metagame's biggest threats—Lunala, Solgaleo, and Zygarde—which it can slam with its powerful super effective STAB moves. It also has good coverage options that grant it perfect neutral coverage.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Timid and Modest are both very good choices for Hydreigon—Timid allows it to outspeed all Solgaleo and Lunala, but Modest allows it to hit considerably harder. Most Solgaleo are Adamant over Jolly, so if outspeeding Lunala is not one of your priorities, then using a Modest nature would be recommended. Dragon Pulse can also be used over Draco Meteor, but the power loss is very noticeable and means that Hydreigon is unable to OHKO Zygarde.

What are its flaws?

While good enough to outspeed Solgaleo, Lunala, and Zygarde, Hydreigon's Speed still leaves a lot to be desired. This allows it to be outsped and OHKOed by the likes of Garchomp, Pheromosa, and Tapu Koko.

Mandibuzz

Typing: Dark-type / Flying-type

Ability: Big Pecks / Overcoat / Weak Armor

Stats: 110 HP / 65 Atk / 105 Def / 55 SpA / 95 SpD / 80 Spe

Sample Sets

Specially Defensive
Mandibuzz
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 252 HP / 244 SpD / 12 Spe
Calm Nature
- Foul Play
- Roost
- Snarl
- Taunt / Tailwind / Toxic / U-turn
Physically Defensive
Mandibuzz
Ability: Overcoat
EVs: 252 HP / 236 Def / 20 SpD
Bold Nature
- Foul Play
- Roost
- Taunt
- Toxic / Tailwind / U-turn

What's the big deal?

In a metagame dominated by powerful Psychic- and Ghost-types, a defensive Dark-type Pokémon instantly becomes a force to be reckoned with. Mandibuzz stands out in this metagame for its ability to survive attacks from the hard-hitters and either retaliate directly with Foul Play or use its support movepool to enable its allies to get set up more easily.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Moves

Brave Bird can be used to allow a healthy Mandibuzz to beat Pheromosa 1v1, but aside from that it offers little coverage and utility.

Other Details

A Careful or Impish nature can also be used for those who wish to use physical attacks such as Brave Bird and U-turn.

What are its flaws?

Despite being an excellent answer to powerful Pokémon such as Solgaleo, Lunala, and Aegislash, Mandibuzz's typing does leave it with several exploitable weaknesses—it is hit hard by Fairy-, Ice-, Electric-, and Rock-type attacks. The fact that moves of these types are commonly carried as coverage moves on a whole host of Pokémon can sometimes lead to Mandibuzz becoming overwhelmed. It also relies heavily on Foul Play as its main source of damage, which can leave it as a sitting duck against special attackers, especially on sets that lack Toxic.

Weavile

Typing: Dark-type / Ice-type

Ability: Pressure / Pickpocket

Stats: 70 HP / 120 Atk / 65 Def / 45 SpA / 85 SpD / 125 Spe

Sample Sets

Physical Attacker
Weavile
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Ice Shard
- Icicle Crash / Ice Punch
- Throat Chop
- Poison Jab

What's the big deal?

Weavile is a fast Pokémon with good Attack and great Speed that feels right at home in a metagame full of powerful Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokémon. It also has a useful secondary Ice typing, allowing it to also tackle Dragon-types with ease.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Jolly is chosen over Adamant to make full use of Weavile's excellent base Speed. Brick Break can be used over Poison Jab in order to break opposing Aurora Veil, although this leaves Weavile very weak to Alolan Nintales.

What are its flaws?

Despite its excellent Speed and Attack, Weavile is quite susceptible to opponents that can survive its attacks and take advantage of its subpar defenses.

Incineroar

Typing: Fire-type / Dark-type

Ability: Blaze / Intimidate

Stats: 95 HP / 115 Atk / 90 Def / 80 SpA / 90 SpD / 60 Spe

Sample Sets

Trick Room Attacker
Incineroar
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
Brave Nature
- Flare Blitz
- Darkest Lariat
- Cross Chop
- Will-O-Wisp / Outrage / Brick Break
Flame Charge
Incineroar
Ability: Blaze
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Flame Charge
- Darkest Lariat
- Flare Blitz
- Cross Chop

What's the big deal?

Incineroar may seem like the kind of Pokémon that would only appear on in-game teams. While not very common, Incineroar's Fire / Dark typing makes it a good offensive check to Lunala and Solgaleo. These qualities also make Incineroar a particularly good Pokémon to use with Magearna's Trick Room support.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Most Incineroar will want a Brave Nature and 0 Speed IVs, since it works best under Trick Room and Incineroar has fairly usable bulk. For example, Solgaleo is unable to OHKO maximum HP Incineroar with Earthquake. However, if using the niche Flame Charge set, it's best to go with a Jolly nature so Incineroar outspeeds Kartana and Alolan Ninetales.

What are its flaws?

Most Incineroar heavily rely on Magearna's Trick Room support to sweep. If Magearna is taken out early, Incineroar's low Speed stat can make it much easier to revenge kill than you'd think.

Kartana

Typing: Grass-type / Steel-type

Ability: Beast Boost

Stats: 59 HP / 181 Atk / 131 Def / 59 SpA / 31 SpD / 109 Spe

Sample Sets

Swords Dance
Kartana
Ability: Beast Boost
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Swords Dance
- Leaf Blade
- Night Slash
- Sacred Sword

What's the big deal?

While a lot of the top Alolan Ubers tend to deal with Kartana well, Kartana's decent physical bulk gives it chances to set up Swords Dance on prominent Pokémon, making it a very threatening late-game sweeper thanks to Beast Boost.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

Kartana needs a Jolly Nature so it can at least Speed tie with Alolan Ninetales and outspeed Garchomp. Don't bother investing in physical defense: while it does have a good Defense stat, Kartana needs all the power it can get with the low Base Power of its moves.

What are its flaws?

Kartana's Special Defense is absolutely horrible, meaning that it struggles to set up against even weak special attackers such as Blissey. Kartana may have a huge Attack stat, but its moves are also of fairly low Base Power, making it easier to wall than you'd expect.

Mimikyu

Typing: Ghost-type / Fairy-type

Ability: Disguise

Stats: 55 HP / 90 Atk / 80 Def / 50 SpA / 105 SpD / 96 Spe

Sample Sets

Swords Dance
Mimikyu
Ability: Disguise
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly / Adamant Nature
- Swords Dance
- Play Rough
- Shadow Sneak
- Shadow Claw / Destiny Bond

What's the big deal?

You'd think with Moongeist Beam and Sunsteel Strike ignoring Disguise, Mimikyu would disappear. However, thanks to Shadow Sneak and dealing well with other common Pokémon, Mimikyu still finds a way to stick around thanks to Disguise.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

A Jolly nature works best for ensuring Mimikyu outspeeds Adamant Solgaleo and the rare Timid Tapu Lele, but an Adamant nature does make better use of Shadow Sneak.

What are its flaws?

The lack of items really hurts Mimikyu's offensive potential in this metagame, as it simply does not work well early in the game due to its low Attack stat.

Snorlax

Typing: Normal-type

Ability: Immunity / Thick Fat / Gluttony

Stats: 160 HP / 110 Atk / 65 Def / 65 SpA / 110 SpD / 30 Spe

Sample Sets

Physical Attacker
Snorlax
Ability: Thick Fat
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def
Adamant / Brave Nature
- Return
- Earthquake
- Crunch / Pursuit
- Curse / Pursuit
Rest Talk
Snorlax
Ability: Thick Fat
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Def
Adamant / Brave Nature
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
- Return
- Crunch

What's the big deal?

Snorlax heavily benefits from the lack of offensive items running around in this metagame. With its massive Special Defense, Snorlax is a fairly good bulky attacker that can check Lunala.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

The given spread maximizes Snorlax's Defense and Attack. Not only are most special attacks too weak to effectively break through Snorlax in this metagame, but Snorlax's HP stat also is so massive that investing in Defense is more effective overall than in HP. A Brave nature and 0 Speed IVs should be considered for Trick Room teams. There are plenty of other viable spreads that can be finetuned to your team as well; consider using a damage calculator if you want to get more creative.

What are its flaws?

Snorlax's Achilles heel is its lack of reliable recovery, which forces it to lose either setup potential or coverage. Snorlax doesn't last particularly long against physical attackers without Trick Room support either, with many 3HKOing Snorlax.

Gyarados

Typing: Water-type / Flying-type

Ability: Intimidate / Moxie

Stats: 95 HP / 125 Atk / 79 Def / 60 SpA / 100 SpD / 81 Spe

Sample Sets

Dragon Dance
Gyarados
Ability: Intimidate
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Dragon Dance
- Waterfall
- Crunch
- Substitute / Earthquake / Ice Fang

What's the big deal?

Thanks to Intimidate and its typing, Gyarados is one of the few viable Speed-boosting sweepers in this metagame.

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

As tempting as it may be to go with an Adamant nature, Jolly is preferable to outspeed Tapu Koko.

What are its flaws?

Gyarados has good special bulk, but its 4x weakness to Electric-type attacks can undermine that, especially since some Pokémon will run it to check Gyarados.

Blissey

Typing: Normal-type

Ability: Natural Cure / Serene Grace / Healer

Stats: 255 HP / 10 Atk / 10 Def / 75 SpA / 135 SpD / 55 Spe

Sample Sets

Special Wall
Blissey
Ability: Natural Cure
4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD
Bold Nature
- Toxic
- Soft-Boiled
- Flamethrower / Minimize
- Ice Beam / Minimize

What's the big deal?

With Eviolite being banned and Lunala everywhere, Blissey returns to becoming the premier special wall of this metagame!

What should I expect to see?

Moves
Other Details

The given spread maximizes Blisseys defenses. Since Blissey has such a gigantic HP stat, investing in its Defense and Special Defense lets it take hits better overall. A Bold nature is used so Blissey can take on light physical attacks as well.

What are its flaws?

Blissey has big problems with physical sweepers. If they manage to get in safely, they can crash through its defenses and even sweep your entire team. Blissey's low power further makes it setup bait in the face of these threats.

Niche Pokémon

These Pokémon either are uncommon or only work on a small number of teams. While they aren't unusable Pokémon, you should only consider them if they fulfill a very specific niche that your team requires filling.

Alomomola

Typing: Water-type

Ability: Healer / Hydration / Regenerator

Stats: 165 HP / 75 Atk / 80 Def / 40 SpA / 45 SpD / 65 Spe

What's up with this Pokémon?

Alomomola may seem rather silly, but it's quite possibly the best Solgaleo check allowed besides Zygarde-C, with not even Wild Charge 2HKOing it. Unlike Zygarde-C, it can also Wish pass to support the rest of your team, and it does better against Garchomp and Weavile. However, it also has much poorer Special Defense than Zygarde-C, so most teams will prefer that as a Solgaleo check rather than Alomomola, which tends to only fit on stall teams.

Nihilego

Typing: Rock-type / Poison-type

Ability: Beast Boost

Stats: 109 HP / 53 Atk / 47 Def / 127 SpA / 131 SpD / 103 Spe

What's up with this Pokémon?

Nihilego is a good special attacker with an excellent Speed stat that allows it to outspeed the likes of Garchomp. Unfortunately, without a Beast Boost, its damage output is somewhat lacking (failing to OHKO Garchomp with Hidden Power Ice) due to the lack of Life Orb. It can also take a more defensive approach by utilizing its good HP, Special Defense, and Speed to be an effective hazard setter—Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes are both very useful because they break Shadow Shield and inflict poison, respectively.

Tapu Lele

Typing: Psychic-type / Fairy-type

Ability: Psychic Surge / Telepathy

Stats: 70 HP / 85 Atk / 75 Def / 130 SpA / 115 SpD / 95 Spe

What's up with this Pokémon?

Tapu Lele hits pretty hard with its STAB attacks thanks to the Psychic Terrain that it summons upon entering the field, but it is weak to a lot of common threats in the meta such as Lunala, Solgaleo, Aegislash, Pheromosa, Magearna, and Mimikyu. Because of this weakness, it will often find itself on the bench, but it is excellent at supporting its team because of Psychic Terrain. Psychic Terrain makes all priority moves fail to hit grounded targets, so this can allow Pokémon such as Pheromosa to sweep more easily, as well as letting Lunala not have to worry about a slower threat breaking its Shadow Shield with a priority move. It also boosts the power of Psychic-type moves, allowing Solgaleo and Lunala to dish out huge damage with their STAB attacks.

Kingdra

Typing: Water-type / Dragon-type

Ability: Swift Swim / Sniper / Damp

Stats: 75 HP / 95 Atk / 95 Def / 95 SpA / 95 SpD / 85 Spe

Pelipper

Typing: Water-type / Flying-type

Ability: Keen Eye / Drizzle / Rain Dish

Stats: 60 HP / 50 Atk / 100 Def / 95 SpA / 70 SpD / 65 Spe

What's up with these Pokémon?

Weather outside of hail is uncommon in this metagame, but Pelipper can lead against Alolan Ninetales to foil its attempts at setting up Aurora Veil and also give Kingdra the means to sweep. If you use this combination, make sure to prepare extra hard for Lunala, since after it sets up a Calm Mind, neither of these Pokémon can break through it. Kingdra itself often gets its sweep cut short by Alolan Ninetales as well.

Magnezone

Typing: Electric-type / Steel-type

Ability: Magnet Pull / Sturdy / Analytic

Stats: 70 HP / 70 Atk / 115 Def / 130 SpA / 90 SpD / 60 Spe

What's up with this Pokémon?

Magnezone has access to Sturdy, basically making it one of the few Pokémon to have a pseudo-Focus Sash of sorts. This can make it a nice emergency stop to sweepers such as Garchomp and Gyarados. It can even use Thunder Wave or Toxic to cripple Lunala switch-ins. However, Magnezone won't stop Lunala on its own, and its low Speed stat makes it easy to stop outside of Trick Room.

Toxapex

Typing: Water-type / Poison-type

Ability: Merciless / Limber / Regenerator

Stats: 50 HP / 63 Atk / 152 Def / 53 SpA / 142 SpD / 35 Spe

What's up with this Pokémon?

Toxapex is an option to consider on stall teams. Its access to Haze and a 100% accurate Toxic can make it a decent check to Lunala, and it has a good matchup against opposing stall teams. Unlike Blissey, Toxapex can do reasonably well against several physical threats as well, such as Solgaleo, Gyarados, and Incineroar. However, Toxapex's weakness to Earthquake is an issue, especially when many physical threats consider running that themselves.

Skarmory

Typing: Steel-type / Flying-type

Ability: Keen Eye / Sturdy / Weak Armor

Stats: 65 HP / 80 Atk / 140 Def / 40 SpA / 70 SpD / 70 Spe

What's up with this Pokémon?

Skarmory is a reasonable option over Celesteela on stall teams. Skarmory is a more reliable check to Garchomp, and unlike Celesteela, Skarmory can use Whirlwind to stop Zygarde-C from setting up on it. However, Skarmory has an awful time against special threats such as Lunala, which usually means that it's best paired with Blissey and therefore doesn't fit well on balanced teams.

Conclusion

This season's Battle Spot Special perfectly highlights the new Pokémon this generation, from the incredibly strong Uber beasts such as Lunala, Solgaleo, and Zygarde-C, to more obscure Pokémon that are suddenly made much more important than usual, such as Alolan Ninetales, Alolan Muk, and Incineroar.

This Battle Spot Special in particular wasn't the most active, since it started at the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, so players needed some time to gather the good Pokémon for this metagame. However, with the game becoming more established over the months, Battle Spot Special has a bright future ahead of it. Stay tuned for Game Freak's crazy ideas each season, and who knows: with enough practice, maybe you can win a Battle Spot Special someday yourself!

HTML by Dominatio, SparksBlade, and The Dutch Plumberjack | Script by Quite Quiet.
« Previous Article Next Article »