Doubles OU Stage 4 Suspect Coverage: Jirachi

By talkingtree and miltankmilk. Art by LifeisDANK.
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Jirachi chasing Azumarill art by LifeisDANK


Jirachi has been a very influential support option in the Doubles OU metagame for quite some time, but it has really risen to its prominence in the last year. It is a unique suspect in that it is not the same kind of potent offensive threat that previous suspects Mega Salamance and Shaymin-S were. Rather, Jirachi's defensive typing, good bulk, and access to Follow Me made it a defining support Pokémon for the Doubles OU metagame. Its ability to redirect attacks while its partner could set up or deal with threats made the partner extremely difficult to KO. Jirachi can also provide speed control in the form of Icy Wind, Thunder Wave, and Trick Room in addition to a notable disruptive presence in its ability to flinch down its slower checks using Serene Grace-backed Iron Head. Jirachi's ability to support an array of potent offensive threats in multiple ways made the Doubles council believe that it was deserving of a suspect test.

Sample set


This is the primary set that Jirachi will run. While many different aspects of the set may differ from team to team, the way it operates will always be the same. Jirachi's primary role on a Doubles OU team is to serve as a bulky redirector with Follow Me, granting its teammates free turns with no fear of single-target attacks or status moves. Iron Head serves as Jirachi's way of dealing damage and prevents it from being complete Taunt bait, and it comes with the benefit of a 60% chance to induce flinches in its targets thanks to Serene Grace. The last two moveslots are mostly filler, with the first serving as whichever method of speed control best helps its team. Icy Wind, Trick Room, and Thunder Wave all also have the added benefit of making it more likely for Jirachi to move first so that its flinching ability will not be wasted. Finally, the choice between Protect and Helping Hand is yours. Protect allows Jirachi to take advantage of double targets and stall out field conditions, whereas Helping Hand allows Jirachi to boost an ally's attack.

Safety Goggles is by far the best and most common item for Jirachi, allowing it to safely redirect Spore and Sleep Powder so that it can keep protecting its partner the following turn. However, other decent options include Sitrus Berry for more bulk, Occa and Shuca Berry for more reassurance against Fire- and Ground-types, and Mental Herb to improve its matchup against Taunt users. The listed moves are far from the only options Jirachi has in its arsenal. Other, albeit rarer and generally inferior, options include Substitute, Rain Dance, Stealth Rock, and a surprise Choice Scarf set with U-turn and Ice Punch as coverage moves. Jirachi's ability to disrupt the opposing team in most every way helps provide its teammates setup opportunities, and its bulk ensures that it will stick around long enough to do its job.

Pro-ban arguments

On the pro-ban side, many thought that Jirachi's ability to redirect single-target attacks combined with its great 100 / 100 / 100 bulk and defensive typing made setting up a lot easier for its partners. Follow Me, unlike Rage Powder, is able to redirect single-target attacks from all foes, so Jirachi is able to take many hits that its partner should be taking. Anything strong can thus be granted a few free turns, which is often enough to turn the tide of the match. The main culprit, according to many users who were pro ban, was Azumarill, which otherwise is far easier to deal with. Diancie and Volcanion also made really good partners for Jirachi, as Diancie was very difficult to KO due to the defensive synergy between the two, while Volcanion could set up a Substitute or just fire off powerful attacks without fearing being attacked. The main methods of dealing with Jirachi and its partner were through spread attacks such as Earthquake and Heat Wave, which Jirachi is weak to and are not able to be redirected. However, these options were not very effective against Azumarill, because the common users of these moves could easily be picked off by a boosted Aqua Jet. Many players felt they just had to fold against Jirachi and Azumarill, as they are very difficult to stop once they get going and require precise positioning to prevent the setup. Another thing that sets Jirachi apart is its ability to stop its slower, bulkier checks through flinching from Iron Head. While not perfect, its 60% chance to shut down anything slower than it is very disruptive to foes, and its base 100 Speed coupled with access to many forms of speed control causes a majority of the metagame to simply hope it could avoid a flinch. This combination of great synergy with potent offensive threats, access to a wide array of support options, and its ability to flinch down slower targets is really what set Jirachi apart from other redirectors and, in the opinion of many users, made it banworthy for the DOU tier.

Anti-ban arguments

The anti-ban users had a slightly different view of Jirachi's impact on the metagame. Although everyone was able to recognize the potency of a Jirachi + Belly Drum Azumarill combination, many believed that Azumarill was the main culprit and other redirectors would be able to fill Jirachi's role, so banning Jirachi would not fix the situation. Banning Jirachi would also be unfair to its positive contributions to the metagame, as it kept the tier in balance as a solid check to powerful threats such as Mega Diancie and Kangaskhan. While the duo of Azumarill and Jirachi and many others are undeniably strong, Jirachi faces obstacles due to the omnipresence of Fire-types and Landorus-T, which make up the majority of Tier 1 in the Viability Rankings. Those threats can also hit Jirachi super effectively with the most common spread moves in the tier in Heat Wave and Earthquake, which render Follow Me useless by also damaging Jirachi's teammate. Between those common weaknesses and its reliance on Safety Goggles preventing it from using a Sitrus Berry, Jirachi gets fairly easily worn down.

Some users saw Jirachi's presence through a different lens, to the same result. Jirachi's ability to redirect and reward positional play allowed, in those players's minds, for a higher level of play and thus benefitted those players with more skill. Since any well-built Doubles OU team would not simply fold to Jirachi and one of its typical partners, the pressure is on the Jirachi player to set the game up correctly to get the right Pokémon on the field at the right time. If that player is able to set the game up so that Jirachi and Azumarill can take on the remainder of their opponent's team, they likely played well and deserved to win.


In the end, 40.8% of users voted to ban Jirachi, which was far short of the 60% necessary to send it off to Doubles Ubers. Though the banlist for Doubles OU remained unchanged, this suspect allowed many players to think more closely about how to deal with Jirachi in both the building and playing phases of a match. A few conjectures can be made as to what the metagame would be like without Jirachi. The primary belief among seasoned Doubles OU players is that Azumarill would be far less potent due to losing its best partner. Aside from that, it's reasonable to think that Fire-types would no longer be a necessity on solidly built teams, similar redirectors such as Togekiss would profit from one fewer competitor for their niche, and semi-Trick Room teams would suffer from the lack of Jirachi to help them through redirection and reliable setting of Trick Room.

Now that you're all caught up on Jirachi's position in the Doubles OU metagame, get out there and try it for yourself! Here's a sample team provided by miltankmilk, which is a fairly standard example of a Jirachi + Azumarill build.

Azumarill Jirachi Mega Kangaskhan Thundurus Landorus-T Volcanion

Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Belly Drum
- Aqua Jet
- Knock Off
- Protect

Jirachi @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 164 SpD
Impish Nature
- Iron Head
- Follow Me
- Icy Wind
- Protect

Kangaskhan-Mega @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Fake Out
- Return
- Power-Up Punch
- Sucker Punch

Thundurus @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Prankster
EVs: 244 HP / 108 Def / 8 SpA / 128 SpD / 20 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Thunderbolt
- Swagger
- Thunder Wave
- Protect

Landorus-Therian @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Earthquake
- U-turn
- Rock Slide
- Superpower

Volcanion @ Leftovers
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Heat Wave
- Steam Eruption
- Substitute
- Protect

This team was built around the combination of Jirachi and Azumarill, which can be devastating even to teams that have measures to stop Azumarill + redirection. Kangaskhan helps to enable a Belly Drum setup through Fake Out and by helping to weaken or KO Pokémon faster than Azumarill. Volcanion helps to deal with bulky Grasses while also acting as a secondary wincon while behind a Substitute. The genies, Landorus-T and Thundurus, are staples of the DOU metagame and together provide a glue to this team, providing useful speed control through their Choice Scarf and Thunder Wave, powerful spread attacks, and a way to beat bulky Waters, which can otherwise be problematic. All of these Pokémon help support an Azumarill sweep, but they also give enough other ways of winning the game so that a knocked-out Azumarill doesn't mean game over.

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