UU Type Analysis: Flying

By marthaa.
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Introduction

Flying is a very versatile and spammable type, since only Rock, Steel, and Electric resist it, allowing common Flying-types to threaten a large chunk of any metagame. Flying can be a very strong type when utilized correctly, as most of the checks to the type lack reliable recovery. This is especially true in UU, where bulkier Steel-types like Mega Aggron and other Flying-resistant threats like Mega Manectric and Nihilego are often the only ways to counter these Pokémon, so once they have been weakened, it's easy for Flying-types to sweep. Offensive Flying-types do suffer due to a lack of resistances and bulk, however. In contrast, defensive Flying-types often have a secondary typing that grants them more resistances, such as with Gliscor, and they offer utility that can be irreplaceable for a team. While Flying has struggled to always come out on top due to the prevalence of Stealth Rock and bulky Steel-types, some Pokémon have managed to break past those barriers and become key threats in the UnderUsed metagame.


Gliscor

gliscor

Gliscor, the best Flying-type in UU, can take on a variety of roles and fit on most team archetypes, ranging from offense to stall. Its ability Poison Heal allows Gliscor to act as a status absorber for its team, letting it switch in on Toxic from foes like Blissey and other Gliscor, and after its Toxic Orb has activated, Spore from Pokémon like Amoonguss and even Breloom; it can even switch in on weak Scald from foes like Alomomola due to its bulk and ability to recover its HP so easily. Poison Heal has a lot of defensive utility, since it heals 12% of Gliscor's HP each turn, double that of Leftovers recovery. The featured set has Gliscor take on the role of a Stealth Rock setter, able to use the move quite a few times during a game, if needed, due to its abilty to recover HP with both Poison Heal and Roost; it can also pivot out of unfavorable matchups with U-turn to bring a teammate in safely. Gliscor also has access to a plethora of other utility moves such as Defog, Taunt, Toxic, and U-turn, allowing it to remove entry hazards that plague its own team as well—it takes neutral damage from Stealth Rock due to its Ground typing and is immune to all other forms of entry hazards—and pressure more defensively inclined teams. A more offensively inclined Gliscor can utilize Swords Dance, Earthquake, and Facade, which capitalizes on its Toxic poisoning to hit Ground-resistant and -immune foes like Breloom and Latias. However, Gliscor is pressured heavily by Ice-type attacks due to its 4x weakness to them, and as a result, it can become a liability against foes like Kyurem and Mega Sharpedo due to their Ice-type STAB or coverage moves. This weakness also means that Gliscor cannot effectively check the most prominent Electric-type in the tier, Mega Manectric, due to its access to a strong Hidden Power Ice.


Mega Aerodactyl

Mega Aerodactyl's high Attack and Speed stats make it a very prominent threat in the UU metagame, being the fastest unboosted Pokemon in the tier with the ability to threaten a large portion of threats with its STAB or coverage moves. Tough Claws gives it an extra layer of offensive presence, making its weak Flying-type STAB moves acceptably powerful so it can KO threats like Serperior and Mega Beedrill in a pinch. In addition, its access to coverage moves in Aqua Tail and Pursuit, as well as other options such as Earthquake and Ice Fang, allows it to pressure even more Pokémon, using Aqua Tail to threaten Ground-types and Pursuit to capitalize on the switches it forces. In addition, it can even boost its Attack and accuracy with Hone Claws, making Stone Edge strong and spammable. However, while Mega Aerodactyl has a somewhat strong offensive presense, it often struggles to beat a lot of the tier's bulkier threats, including Swampert and Hippowdon; the former can reliably beat it one-on-one with Scald and the latter can wear it down with Toxic. Its weakness to Stealth Rock is also a downfall for Mega Aerodactyl, as it is chipped down very easily and therefore loses out on opportunities to switch in and pressure opposing teams—it does have access to Roost, but using it means that it has to lose out on one of its coverage moves. Mega Aerodactyl is also weak to the tier's most notable priority users in Azumarill and Scizor.


Mega Pidgeot

Mega Pidgeot's high Speed, high Special Attack, and access to No Guard allow it to threaten balanced teams very well, utilizing its ability to spam Hurricane without any drawbacks to pressure common staples such as Amoonguss and Quagsire. It outpaces a large portion of the tier and can threaten most Pokémon with Hurricane, and some Flying-resistant Pokémon still struggle to switch in due to the move's power and confusion chance. Hurricane doesn't do so well against Steel-types, but Heat Wave hits common foes such as Mega Aggron and Doublade super effectively, and U-turn lets Mega Pidgeot pivot out into a more favorable matchup. In addition, Mega Pidgeot can also run a stallbreaker set consisting of Work Up / Hurricane / Refresh / Roost; it only has one attack, but the ability to boost its Special Attack, heal any damage it has taken, and cure itself of status makes it extremely threatening. However, Mega Pidgeot is very frail, and when coupled with a weakness to Stealth Rock, it is offensively pressured by a majority of the tier including faster Pokémon, such as Mega Aerodactyl, Mega Manectric, common Choice Scarf users such as Hydreigon and Infernape, and priority users in Scizor, Azumarill, and Breloom. It also fares poorly against Flying-resistant foes such as Nihilego.


Togekiss

Togekiss's access to Serene Grace and Air Slash has made it a notoriously annoying Pokémon, and it is a viable Flying-type threat in UU because of this and a lot more. Its additional Fairy typing gives it resistances to Dark and an immunity to Dragon, so it has a lot of opportunties to switch into foes like Krookodile and Hydreigon; when coupled with its Flying typing, this gives it a resistance to Grass and a 4x resistance to Fighting, enabling Togekiss to check key threats in Serperior, Breloom, and Infernape. Togekiss also has good bulk, allowing it to consistently check these threats. Furthermore, a very wide support movepool including Roost, Heal Bell, and Thunder Wave enables it to act as a valuable support Pokémon and cleric. Togekiss can also opt to run a more offensive set with coverage moves such as Flamethrower and Aura Sphere; when coupled with Fightinium Z, it can become a fearsome wallbreaker. However, its mediocre Speed means that it struggles with a lot of faster Pokemon in the tier such as Cobalion and Mega Beedrill. Its Fairy typing also leaves Togekiss extremely weak to Bullet Punch from Scizor, which is a very common threat in the tier.


Crobat

Crobat is a very fast support Pokémon with access to a plethora of utility moves including Taunt, allowing it to pressure almost every Stealth Rock user in the tier due to its high Speed; Roost, letting it maintain its longevity and work around Stealth Rock; and U-turn, enabling it to pivot out to more favorable matchups and serve as an offensive pivot. It also has a somewhat strong offensive presence with Flyinium Z, which turns Brave Bird into a 190-Base Power nuke capable of KOing offensive Pokémon and heavily denting defensive foes. Its ability, Infiltrator, allows Crobat to beat common Substitute users such as Serperior and Kommo-o, as it is able to KO them with its STAB attack. Defog is also an option on Crobat, but it can struggle due to lack of opportunities and frailty. However, Crobat often struggles to beat some of the tier's key offensive threats such as Mega Manectric, Mega Aerodactyl, and Latias, particularly Choice Scarf variants, and despite Supersonic Skystrike, it also finds it difficult to beat physically defensive Pokémon such as Hippowdon, Swampert, and Alomomola.


Mantine

Mantine's access to Roost and a buff to its HP in Generation 7 allowed it to become a very sturdy special wall; its ability also grants it an immunity to Water-type moves, enabling Mantine to check a variety of Pokémon. It fares well against defensive Water-types like Alomomola, Quagsire, and other Mantine, and it can even check some offensive ones like Primarina and Choice-locked Azumarill. Due to Mantine's stellar HP and Special Defense, it can take hits very well and has access to reliable recovery in Roost to keep itself healthy throughout a match. As a Defogger, Mantine is a very solid pick because it can utilize its typing and immunities to pressure key Stealth Rock users such as Swampert and non-Toxic Gliscor. In addition, its useful defensive typing gives Mantine a neutrality to Ice-type attacks, a trait that many Flying-types wish for. Unfortunately, this typing also curses it with a 4x weakness to Electric, which means that the ever-common Mega Manectric OHKOes Mantine or forces it out—it also struggles against foes that carry Electric-type coverage like Nihilego and Latias. While Mantine has a variety of utility options, it is very passive, relying only on Scald to do damage and Haze to avoid becoming setup fodder.


Moltres

Moltres, while not UU by usage like the other Flying-types covered in this article, has surged in viability as a strong wallbreaker due to its offensive typing that allows it to pressure a lot of defensive Pokémon like Amoonguss and Mega Aggron. However, Moltres doesn't only do well against defensive teams, as it can easily beat offensive threats like Scizor, Cobalion, Infernape, Breloom, and Serperior with just its two STAB moves—the combination is only resisted by Rock-types. Supersonic Skystrike from Hurricane boasts a great 185 Base Power, enough to overwhelm some of Moltres's standard checks like Swampert after some chip damage. Moltres also has the potential to reliably run a defensive set consisting of Roost / Defog / Flamethrower / Toxic with Pressure due to its resistances to common typings including Bug, Steel, and Fairy. Unfortunately, its typing is both a blessing and a curse, as it brings a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock, meaning Moltres requires reliable entry hazard control to be run viably. In addition, Moltres's attacks are somewhat unreliable due to shaky accuracy when not used with a Z-Move.


Final Thoughts

Despite some problems, such as a crippling weakness to Stealth Rock and sometimes a lack of useable Flying-type STAB moves, these Pokémon are almost always a solid choice for your UU team. There are also a variety of other Flying-types, such as Mandibuzz and Talonflame, that carve a distinct niche in the metagame as well. From powerful offensive threats to strong defensive walls, a Flying-type will be able to benefit you greatly. Get out there and try one today!

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