PU Spotlight: Rotom-F

By Megazard. Art by LifeisDANK.
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PU Spotlight: Rotom-F

Rotom-F's history

Rotom-F was introduced alongside the rest of its formes with the release of Pokémon Platinum's Secret Key. It had a fairly cold reception in Generation IV, as every Rotom forme stayed Ghost-type, meaning that its only way to stand out was Blizzard, but with the addition of an Ice typing in Generation V, it managed to find a niche on lower-tier hail teams. Even when hail was banned, Rotom-F still remained relevant thanks to its unique STAB combo and solid offensive presence. However, Rotom-F fell out of favor in Generation VI with the loss of permanent weather and the perfectly accurate Blizzards that came with it. Although the addition of Defog made removing Stealth Rock easier for supporting Rotom-F, it also made its immunity to Spikes and Toxic Spikes far less relevant. Rotom-F would fail to stand out in any official tiers until the formal edition of PU finally gave it a metagame to dominate.

Rotom-F's Qualities

The first thing that stands out about Rotom-F is its incredible STAB BoltBeam coverage and base 105 Special Attack, giving it near-perfect coverage in two very strong moves. The simple combination of Volt Switch and Blizzard allows Rotom-F to threaten nearly any Pokémon attempting to prevent it from gaining momentum. Rotom-F's defensive typing and ability also grant it an immunity to paralysis and Ground-type attacks, which helped to drive its rise in popularity thanks to its ability to hard counter Stunfisk, a problem so pressing for them that they have begun to carry Stone Edge just to deal with Rotom-F. It also has access to a few other nice moves such as Will-O-Wisp, Trick, and Pain Split, although none have had as much to do with its success as its simple STAB BoltBeam coverage.

Playing with Rotom-F

Choice Scarf


Choice Scarf has been Rotom-F's bread-and-butter set since Generation V. The key to the set is that, unlike other users of Volt Switch like Zebstrika, Rotom-F has a great way of punishing Ground-types attempting to block the move. Any attempt to prevent Rotom-F from clicking Volt Switch versus a Pokémon like Simipour turns into a 50/50, whether it will go for the momentum or punish the switch into Gabite by firing off a Blizzard. Thunderbolt allows Rotom-F to use its Electric STAB without switching out, and Trick can come in handy by crippling bulky foes like Audino and Clefairy. Hidden Power Ice is sometimes used as a more accurate Ice-type STAB option to KO weakened foes, but it has only half the power of Blizzard. The set functions well on offensive teams in need of a Choice Scarf revenge killer that can still hit fairly hard with great coverage in just two types.



While Choice Scarf Rotom-F aims to revenge kill offensive threats, SubWisp's main goal is to put extreme pressure on balanced builds. Will-O-Wisp helps to chip away at Pokémon bulky enough to take Rotom-F's attacks, such as Grumpig, Audino, and Seaking, and cripples slower physical attackers as well. Rotom-F's amazing offensive presence also lets it set up a Substitute fairly easily, as it can force out many foes such as Stunfisk and Roselia. Once behind a Substitute, it's free to fire off its incredibly strong STAB attacks to keep wearing down bulky foes. Leftovers, while helping to make up for health lost by Substitute, is also key for allowing Rotom-F to more effectively pivot into resisted or weaker attacks such as Floatzel's Ice Beam or Vullaby's Foul Play with its solid natural bulk. Once the opposing team is broken down, Rotom-F's teammates are free to sweep. Any aspiring balance build has to make sure that it's ready to handle Rotom-F, or it can and will break through all of its checks given enough time to chip them down.

Other sets

While Rotom-F doesn't have a large movepool, it manages to pull out a surprising number of other niche sets. A Life Orb SubSplit set can break down balanced teams due to its massive power increase and ability to keep recovering versus the few things that can wall it like Audino. For example, with a Life Orb equipped, Rotom-F can cleanly 2HKO Camerupt on the switch in as long as it does not miss Blizzard. Similarly, Choice Specs Rotom-F's Blizzard is devastatingly strong and can put serious pressure on opposing teams. Substitute + Volt Switch sets can fool opponents into thinking that Rotom-F is running a Choice Scarf set by using Volt Switch before setting up a Substitute and proceeding to fire off attacks. If Leftovers feels like an overly passive item and Life Orb's recoil isn't desirable, Expert Belt is useful for causing confusion as to what Rotom-F's item is and granting a small power boost, and Wide Lens can help patch up Blizzard's low accuracy. Charge Beam is also a rare option to break through bulky teams even more quickly, although it can end up being fairly useless in many matchups.

Playing against Rotom-F

Audino Grumpig Chinchou

Your best bet against Rotom-F is applying solid offensive pressure and using multiple checks. Pokémon such as Grumpig, Regice, Camerupt, and Machoke can all switch in and force it out temporarily, although they won't be able to consistently come in and counter it. For this reason, fitting multiple bulky checks such as Camerupt and Grumpig onto a team is a much safer way to handle Rotom-F, as Camerupt can switch into Electric moves and Grumpig can take Blizzards. Camerupt is also notable for being one of the few Stealth Rock setters that are not weak to Electric or Ice, along with Clefairy and Metang. However, with enough strong hitters on your team and Stealth Rock on the field, that may be all you need. Rotom-F can be revenge killed by Pokémon such as Choice Scarf Chatot and Mr. Mime once it has been weakened by Stealth Rock, and the few Pokémon that both are naturally faster and carry a super effective move such as Overheat Zebstrika and Focus Blast Electabuzz do well against it. Monferno is also notable for having the only priority move that hits Rotom-F super effectively. If you're looking to switch into it consistently, there aren't too many options. Seaking and Chinchou are the only Pokémon that resist the BoltBeam coverage thanks to their respective abilities, and, while Seaking can be chipped away at without Rest, Rest Talk Chinchou is the most consistent Rotom-F counter in the metagame. Audino can also slow Rotom-F down by passing Wishes to checks that lack recovery like Grumpig, getting rid of burns with Heal Bell, and Encoring Rotom-F if it tries to set up a Substitute.

Fitting Rotom-F onto a team

The Choice Scarf set is a fairly easy fit for many offensive builds that need a team member to pick up momentum with Volt Switch and revenge kill foes like Floatzel and Leafeon. If you're looking for a consistent revenge killer, Rotom-F is a solid choice. Meanwhile, its SubWisp and other sets fit more offensively oriented balance teams geared towards wearing down opposing balance. While Rotom-F doesn't require much team support, Fighting- and Fire-type checks like Grumpig and Gabite are good teammates to fall back on when Rotom-F is finally forced out. Meanwhile, Rotom-F doesn't have much defensive utility, but it does provide a switch-in to Stunfisk for teams that have difficulty taking it on. Rotom-F is also a staple on VoltTurn teams with partners like Ninjask and Monferno thanks to its ability to counter Stunfisk while still keeping up momentum.

Get out there!

Rotom-F is an incredibly unique Pokémon with plenty of different sets and extra options to trick its foes. As Sun and Moon approach their release date, it's likely that Rotom-F will continue to be a dominant force in the PU metagame.

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