Gen 1 Alakazam (OU revamp) [QC 0/2]

[OVERVIEW]

In a generation where the Psychic type is only resisted by itself, and its only weakness (Bug) is very uncommon in OU, it's not surprising that Alakazam is an overprevalent Pokemon in RBY OU. Alakazam is most commonly seen in the lead slot due to possessing excellent speed and Thunder Wave - it outspeeds every Pokemon that has access to a sleep move, allowing it to immediatly cripple them with paralysis - and a very strong Psychic that can heavily pressure its most common checks. It is also good at blocking sleep, since it resists the most common sleep inducer's STAB (Exeggutor) and, unlike Starmie, it's not weak to Thunderbolt, which makes it more effective at blocking sleep from the likes of Gengar and Lapras. Alakazam can also prove to be very effective outside the lead slot if its most common checks have been removed. However, Alakazam possesses a very exploitable defense stat. Add to that the fact that it's hard to consistently keep it away of paralysis, and it can quickly find itself overwhelmed by a strong physical attack or an untimely full paralysis.

[SET]
name: Lead
move 1: Thunder Wave
move 2: Psychic
move 3: Seismic Toss
move 4: Recover

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

Alakazam is undisputably one of the best leads in RBY OU. Since it's the fastest lead that regularly sees use, it's guaranteed to be able to immediatly cripple something from the start of the game. Alakazam is also able to consistently pressure any lead with this moveset. Against other Alakazam, one generally wants to paralyze it and try to get a physical attacker in on a predicted Recover - generally Snorlax or Tauros. However, be careful to not leave the field too scathed, as Exeggutor can have Double-Edge or Hyper Beam to pressure Alakazam. Generally you don't want to switch out at less than 80%, which allows Alakazam to survive two Double-Edges from Exeggutor almost all of the time. Gengar leads generally switch out of Alakazam, due to the threat of an instant OHKO by a critical hit Psychic. Starmie should generally be approached the same way as other Alakazams. Chansey leads should not be paralyzed, so that you can later put something to sleep more easily.

A lead Alakazam's role, besides crippling the opposing lead, is mostly to block sleep (assuming the opponent wasn't using a sleep lead). As mentioned before, pay attention to your health - keeping Alakazam healthy is paramount to efficiently blocking sleep. Lead Alakazam can also be used to block paralysis from paralysis spreaders like Chansey, Starmie and other Alakazam - especially Chansey without Seismic Toss and Starmie without Psychic or a water move. Alakazam also tends to attract physical attackers like Snorlax, Tauros and Rhydon - so you if you can correctly predict the switch, you might be able to sneak in a Thunder Wave or a Psychic on them. Moreover, due to Alakazam being one of the few pure special attackers that can force Chansey out, it is also an efficient paralysis spreader, and can be used as such throughout the course of the battle.


[SET]
name: Late-game cleaner
move 1: Thunder Wave
move 2: Psychic
move 3: Reflect
move 4: Recover

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========

Although not as common to be found as a late-game cleaner as in the lead slot due to most teams having several ways of dealing with it, Alakazam can also perform this role. Despite the moveset being very similar to lead Alakazam, they are played quite differently. Instead of blocking status and crippling the opponent's team early game, this Alakazam stays hidden throghout most of the game, and attempts to clean up the opposing team once its checks have been removed. Reflect gives Alakazam a much needed defense boost, but it means you only have 16 attacking PP, and a Reflect Alakazam can still be taken care of through paralysis, critical hits (namely from Tauros and Zapdos) or Explosion (especially if paralyzed, a Reflect Alakazam that is exploded on will generally be revenge killed by Tauros or Snorlax).

Like mentioned before, the rest of the team should work on removing Alakazam's checks before it's revealed. These checks include special sponges such as Starmie, Alakazam and Chansey and Pokemon that resist Psychic such as Slowbro or Exeggutor. Moreover, this Alakazam should generally try to avoid paralysis as much as possible, as the reason it's able to compete with other late-game sweepers for a team slot and a lot of its usefulness comes from its speed. Ideally, Tauros should also be put in Psychic range to avoid its high crit rate and Body Slam's paralysis chance. Fortunately, that can easily be accomplished through a Tauros 1v1, a common scenario in RBY battles, since two Body Slams will leave the opponent's Tauros in said range.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

Thunder Wave, Psychic and Recover should never be dropped. Without tradebacks, Alakazam's movepool is very shallow, and it should generally stick to the sets mentioned. Counter might have some situational use, but Alakazam is generally better off just using Psychic or switching out of potential Counter targets. Kinesis could also be used as a way to force switches to spread paralysis, but generally Seismic Toss is a superior option due to superior accuracy and its ability to pressure Pokemon such as Starmie and other Alakazam.

Seismic Toss could be used in the late game cleaner set in place of Reflect to give you a better option to overwhelm Pokemon like Starmie and Alakazam without wasting precious Psychic PP, but generally special sponges should be removed before attempting a sweep with Alakazam.


[CHECKS AND COUNTERS]

**Chansey**: Alakazam is a special attacker, and like all special attackers Chansey is a common switch-in. However, due to Psychic's secondary effect and Alakazam's big critical hit rate, Chansey will eventually be forced out or if it gets unlucky with full paralysis, even KO'd.

**Physical attackers**: Strong physical attackers such as Tauros, Snorlax and Rhydon can hit Alakazam through its weak defense and KO it, especially if it's paralyzed. They should try to switch in on Recover though, or Thunder Wave in Rhydon's case, as Psychic will do a big chunk of damage to all of them.

**Alakazam and Starmie**: Alakazam and Starmie can check Alakazam, but must watch out for repeated full paralysis and Special drops from Psychic.

**Exeggutor**: Exeggutor can use moves such as Double-Edge or Hyper Beam to overwhelm Alakazam or even Explosion if it comes to that.

**Slowbro**: Since Alakazam can't do much to Slowbro, Slowbro can start setting up in front of it, eventually outspeed it, and KO with Surf.

[CREDITS]
- Written by: [[Sceptross, 123746]]
- Quality checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
 
Last edited:

Honko

he of many honks
is a member of the Site Staffis a Programmeris a Top Contributor
Minor suggestion: A common misconception I see from less experienced players in the Ruins of Alph room is that they assume Alakazam is one of the "big four", so I think it would be useful to add a sentence to the overview that makes it more explicit that Alakazam, although very common and very good, is replaceable.
 

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