Electric Monotype: An In-Depth Analysis

By Vid.
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Art by anundeadboy

Art by anundeadboy.

Introduction

Electric has proved to be a powerful force in the early stages of SM Monotype. Its new additions have propelled it from a low-tier type to one of better types in the Monotype metagame. Without further ado, let's look at why Electric is such a great type in SM Monotype.

Let's briefly look over the Pros and Cons of using an Electric-type team in SM Monotype.

Pros

Cons

ORAS Electric

In ORAS Monotype, Electric was not a viable option because it lacked a viable Stealth Rock user, a strong physical attacker, and a decent wallbreaker. Electric teams were walled by special walls such as Chansey and Zapdos because of the lack of viable physical attackers. Last generation, most Electric teams did not run Stealth Rock, as Stunfisk was the only Stealth Rock user, and wasn't really a viable option. Before, Electric teams would often need to run suboptimal sets such as Choice Band Thundurus to break certain Pokémon.

New Additions

Let's look at some of the new core Pokémon Electric-type teams gained in SM Monotype.

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko is an excellent Pokémon because of its ability, Electric Surge, allowing it to set up Electric Terrain. Electric Terrain boosts the power of Electric-type attacks by 1.5x, so Pokémon that are typically late-game sweepers such as Xurkitree and Alolan Raichu become fearsome wallbreakers. With this new addition, Electric teams are able to wallbreak with their powerful Electric-type attacks. Tapu Koko also provides much-needed Fairy-type coverage to check Dragon- and Dark-types such as Dragonite, Hydregion, and Mega Sableye that Electric-type teams in ORAS struggled against.

Alolan Raichu

Alolan Raichu

Alolan Raichu has the unique ability of Surge Surfer, which doubles Alolan Raichu's Speed in Electric Terrain. It also has a base 110 Speed, which means in conjunction with Electric Terrain, Alolan Raichu outspeeds the entire boosted metagame. One problem with Electric teams in ORAS was that there was no reliable way to break Mega Venusaur outside of Choice Specs Extrasensory Raikou. Alolan Raichu remedies this because it can check Mega Venusaur with its powerful STAB Psychic-type attacks.

Alolan Golem

Alolan Golem

Alolan Golem was a much-appreciated addition because it is a reliable Stealth Rock user and a solid physical attacker. Along with this, it also has Galvanize to change its Normal-type attacks into Electric-type attacks while giving them a slight boost.

Unreleased Mega Stones

Mega Manectric

Mega Manectric

Mega Manectric was a great pivot in ORAS and could punish offensive teams because of its high Speed. However, Electric has not been hurt by this loss because of the addition of Tapu Koko, being just as fast while also hitting much harder. When Mega Manectric gets released, it will most likely not be used on most Electric-type teams because Tapu Koko performs a similar role as a pivot, but much better.

Mega Ampharos

Mega Ampharos

Mega Ampharos was a tank that also served as a Mega Sableye check with Mold Breaker Toxic. Outside of that, it was a bulky Pokémon with powerful Dragon-type attacks that tanked hits and dished out massive damage. However, the loss of Mega Ampharos does not hurt Electric teams in SM Monotype; the addition of Tapu Koko makes Mega Ampharos's niche obsolete because Tapu Koko checks Dragon-types and Mega Sableye with ease. When Mega Ampharos is released, it will most likely not be a primary option because it doesn't have a necessary niche anymore.

Why use Electric?

Electric is simply an easy type to understand, as it has both offensive and defensive capabilities. It also is only weak to Ground-type attacks and has only a few bad matchups. Electric's team structure is rather easy to understand because most Electric-type teams are extremely similar, only with subtle differences.

Teambuilding

When building a successful Electric-type team, a couple things need to be kept in mind. Typically, most Electric teams utilize Tapu Koko, Alolan Raichu, Rotom-W, Zapdos, and Alolan Golem because they simply compress multiple roles nicely.

Electric-type teams typically either start with an offensive core of Tapu Koko + Alolan Raichu or a defensive core of Zapdos + Rotom-W.

Offensive Pokémon

Tapu Koko's main role on Electric-type teams is to set up Electric Terrain for Alolan Raichu. Outside of that, Tapu Koko is a great pivot, having access to both Volt Switch and U-turn, which allows it to bring in its teammates safely. With its Fairy-type attacks, it can check Dragon-types such as Hydreigon and Garchomp. Tapu Koko's high Speed also allows it to outspeed the majority of the metagame. The best item is Magnet, as it boosts Tapu Koko's Electric-type attacks without either locking itself into an attack or taking recoil damage. Life Orb can be used to give its attacks extra power, but Tapu Koko would have to deal with constant recoil damage, making it extremely hard to preserve it.

Alolan Raichu is a mediocre Pokémon, but with Surge Surfer, it becomes a great late-game sweeper in Electric Terrain. Its Psychic typing allows it to check Mega Venusaur, which is a major threat to Electric-type teams. Alolan Raichu heavily relies on Tapu Koko for Electric Terrain so that it can outspeed the entire metagame. It also has a surprise factor in its coverage because Grass Knot and Hidden Power Ice are often interchangeable between Tapu Koko and Alolan Raichu.

Defensive Pokémon

Rotom-W is the premier physical wall on Electric-type teams. With Levitate, it has a handy immunity to Ground-type attacks while also being able to deal significant damage to Ground-types with Hydro Pump. Rotom-W is an excellent slow pivot with Volt Switch, which allows Tapu Koko and Alolan Raichu to be brought in safely. It also has access to Will-O-Wisp, which is a valuable asset to Electric-type teams because outside of Rotom-W, Electric-type teams don't have many Pokémon that can take multiple powerful physical attacks very well. However, Rotom-W lacks reliable recovery and is easily pressured by wallbreakers such as Mega Charizard Y and Landorus.

Zapdos is the main special wall on Electric-type teams, being able to take a majority of powerful special attacks while also being immune to Ground-type attacks. In addition to this, it also has access to reliable recovery in Roost, which allows Zapdos to maintain its health. Zapdos also has access to Defog, which allows it to remove entry hazards for its teammates. Zapdos is a great pivot with Volt Switch, enabling Electric teams to constantly gain much-needed momentum. With Heat Wave, Zapdos can deal with Grass- and Steel-types such as Ferrothorn and Excadrill. It also has Toxic to pressure walls such as opposing Zapdos and Porygon2, which can be threatening to Electric-type teams.

Stealth Rock

Alolan Golem's main job is to set up Stealth Rock for Electric-type teams. With Stealth Rock, Electric-type teams can pressure Flying-, Fire-, and Bug-types. It also is the only viable physical attacker on Electric teams, being able to break Chansey under Electric Terrain. However, its typing is not the best, stacking a Ground-type weakness, meaning it heavily relies on its teammates, Rotom-W and Zapdos, to be successful.

Magnezone vs Xurkitree

The last Pokémon slot is typically very hard to decide because Electric teams have two viable options.

Magnezone helps against common Fairy-types, namely Clefable and Gardevoir, while also adding another offensive pivot. On top of all of this, it is also able to trap and KO Steel-types such as Scizor, Excadrill locked into Rock Slide, and Ferrothorn. Air Balloon can be used over Choice Specs because it allows Magnezone to easily trap Excadrill regardless of what move it is locked into, but it comes at the cost of not being able to pressure Fairy-types as much.

Xurkitree has an extremely high Special Attack stat, which allows it to become a fearsome revenge killer with a Choice Scarf. Although it is limited by its other lackluster stats, its sheer power often makes up it. Xurkitree's movepool is quite shallow as well, but it usually suffices because it can KO Ground-types with its coverage moves. Tail Glow is another option that can be used to wallbreak early-game and possibly sweep late-game, meaning that Xurkitree is somewhat unpredictable.

Magnezone Xurkitree

In the current metagame, most players prefer Magnezone, as there is an abundance of Steel- and Fairy-types in SM Monotype. However, Xurkitree has a better matchup against teams that lack a reliable Electric-resistant Pokémon. Typically, Magnezone is the preferred option because of Magnet Pull trapping so many threats to Electric-type teams such as Ferrothorn and Excadrill.

Some other options can be used on specific team builds, but typically they are outclassed by Magnezone and Xurkitree.

Other Options

Thundurus

Thundurus

Thundurus's only niche on Electric teams is that it has a decent Attack stat along with Superpower, which allows it to easily eliminate Chansey. Outside of that, Tapu Koko can perform a similar role while also setting up Electric Terrain.

Raikou

Raikou

Raikou can run a Substitute + Calm Mind set that can be used to sweep unprepared teams, but often many teams can revenge kill it with ease.

Tough Matchups

Ground

How to win?

The matchup against Ground is extremely difficult to win, as Electric teams lack a reliable way to revenge kill Ground-types. The key Pokémon in this matchup is Rotom-W because it is immune to Ground-type attacks while also being able to deal significant damage to them with Hydro Pump. However, Rotom-W is never enough, so Pokémon such as Tapu Koko and Alolan Raichu with coverage moves such as Hidden Power Ice and Grass Knot can also eliminate Ground-types. With Hidden Power Ice and Grass Knot, threats such as Landorus, Garchomp, and Seismitoad are easily revenge killed. The biggest issue in this matchup is Dugtrio because it can trap and KO Alolan Raichu. Against a Dugtrio, setting up Stealth Rock should be a priority because without Focus Sash, Dugtrio is easily revenge killed by Alolan Raichu or Tapu Koko. Typically Rotom-W weakens Ground-type teams so that Grass Knot Alolan Raichu can sweep late-game, but usually Garchomp must be KOed for this to occur.

Tips

Normal

How to Win?

Normal is a hard matchup because Electric teams lack serviceable physical attackers outside of Alolan Golem. Most of the time, Tapu Koko should set up Electric Terrain for Alolan Golem as early as possible because without it, Alolan Golem cannot break Chansey. Diggersby is also a big threat because Electric-type teams lack a reliable switch-in for Choice Band-boosted Return. Typically, Diggersby needs to be crippled by Rotom-W's Will-O-Wisp or revenge killed by Xurkitree. Xurkitree alternatively can run Tail Glow to get past Chansey, but Tail Glow Xurkitree makes Ditto a massive threat, opening the possibility of a reverse sweep. Other threats such as Meloetta and Porygon-Z can break through specially defensive Zapdos with ease. Typically, Porygon-Z can be revenge killed by powerful special attackers such as Xurkitree and Tapu Koko, but Meloetta cannot be easily revenge killed by special attackers, which means Alolan Golem needs to be preserved.

Tips

Dragon

How to Win?

Dragon is a tough matchup because Dragon-type teams have access to a plethora of wallbreakers. The biggest threat is Kyurem-B because Electric-type teams don't have a reliable switch-in for it, meaning it needs to be revenge killed. Tapu Koko is extremely important in this matchup because of its high Speed and Fairy typing, which allow it to easily revenge kill most Dragon-types. Alolan Raichu is also a decent revenge killer in Electric Terrain, being able to pick off certain threats such as Garchomp and Dragonite with Hidden Power Ice. Stealth Rock from Alolan Golem makes sweeping with Tapu Koko much easier, neutralizing threats such as Kyurem-B and Dragonite.

Tips

Poison

How to Win?

Electric teams often struggle against Poison-type teams because of the combination of Mega Venusaur + Alolan Muk. The main issue in this matchup is that Alolan Muk can trap Alolan Raichu with Pursuit, which means Mega Venusaur can potentially beat an entire Electric-type team one-on-one. Nidoking and Nidoqueen are also threats because they are immune to Electric-type attacks and can retaliate with powerful Ground-type attacks. The best way to approach this matchup is to eliminate Alolan Muk as early as possible to allow Alolan Raichu to sweep late-game. Usually, Xurkitree is very useful in this matchup because it can revenge kill Alolan Muk due to its extremely high Special Attack stat. Tapu Koko is necessary for supporting Alolan Raichu by setting up Electric Terrain, which allows it to outspeed Choice Scarf Gengar and Choice Scarf Nihilego.

Tips

Sample Team

Golem-Alola @ Focus Sash
Ability: Galvanize
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Explosion
- Stealth Rock
- Return
- Stone Edge


Tapu Koko @ Magnet
Ability: Electric Surge
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Thunderbolt
- Dazzling Gleam
- Hidden Power [Ice]


Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 240 SpD / 16 Spe
Calm Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Discharge
- Heat Wave
- Roost
- Defog


Rotom-Wash @ Leftoversv Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Volt Switch
- Will-O-Wisp
- Hydro Pump
- Pain Split


Raichu-Alola @ Life Orb
Ability: Surge Surfer
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Psychic
- Thunderbolt
- Focus Blast
- Grass Knot


Magnezone @ Choice Specs
Ability: Magnet Pull
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 1 Atk
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Volt Switch
- Thunderbolt
- Flash Cannon

Conclusion

Electric-type teams are a great place to start for both inexperienced and experienced Monotype players because of the defined team structure. They are also blessed with the ability to have a chance against some of their bad matchups, but often the player cannot make any mistakes in overcoming this obstacle. Despite this, Electric is an extremely consistent type in the Monotype metagame. Why not try it out?

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