Gen 2 Alakazam (QC 2/2) (GP 0/2)

wyc2333

A=X+Y+Z Y: Hard Work
is a Pre-Contributor
[OVERVIEW]
With the highest Special Attack in OU, ultra high Speed, and STAB Psychic, Alakazam is well positioned to take advantage of the popularity of Poison- and Fighting-type offensive Pokemon such as Gengar, Machamp, and Nidoking and severely threatens a broad swathe of the metagame. Compared to Espeon that has Growth and Baton Pass, Alakazam has Dynamic Punch to unlock a mixed set and Encore to mess things up such as catching setup Pokemon. Its Speed advantage over almost all other Pokemon makes it one of the best late-game cleaners and ensures that other fast Pokemon like Raikou and Gengar can't threaten it with Thunder or Explosion without taking a heavy hit first.

However, Alakazam faces one very large problem. Snorlax, as well as other specially bulky Pokemon such as Blissey and Dark-type Pokemon such as Tyranitar, can make it very difficult for Alakazam to deal lasting damage to an opposing team if they are not first weakened or removed by its teammates. Alakazam does have Dynamic Punch in its arsenal to give it a fighting chance at breaching these Pokemon, but it is unreliable due to its poor accuracy. In addition, status, especially paralysis from Pokemon such as Exeggutor, will compromise its potential. Furthermore, compared to Jynx, a much more common offensive Psychic-type, although Alakazam has better defensive properties and unique coverage options, it lacks Lovely Kiss and the 2HKO on Zapdos that STAB Ice Beam gives Jynx.

[SET]
name: Mixed Attacker
move 1: Psychic
move 2: Dynamic Punch
move 3: Recover / Substitute
move 4: Fire Punch / Thunder Punch / Zap Cannon / Ice Punch
item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========
Alakazam's 120 base Speed and STAB Psychic allows it to run an offensive-minded mixed set, which aims to control opposing threats such as Nidoking, Machamp, and Gengar. Recover gives Alakazam a survivability tool to function as a switch to said Pokemon, otherwise Substitute can be used to block status and scout Explosion from Pokemon like Forretress. Since Hidden Power from Zapdos and Exeggutor breaks Alakazam's Substitute less than 10% of the time (including critical hits), Alakazam can use its Speed to put up a Substitute, avoid status from Stun Spore and Thunder and exploit Thunder's low accuracy. Dynamic Punch hits not only Snorlax and Blissey but also Tyranitar for super effective damage, and its accompanying confusion can potentially open up an opportunity to break past them.

When it comes to the last slot, Fire Punch is nice for Forretress and threats such as Exeggutor, Jynx, Steelix, and Skarmory. An Electric-type attack hits not only Skarmory but also Starmie: Thunder Punch is reliable in accuracy, but Zap Cannon has inflicts crippling paralysis if it lands, which scores great synergy with Dynamic Punch and Substitute. Ice Punch hits Exeggutor, secures 3HKO against Zapdos, and has a chance to inflict a freeze.

Team Options
========
This set is used more on offensive teams with Explosion users. With access to Explosion, Dynamic Punch, and Destiny Bond, Gengar can be used to wear down Snorlax, Blissey, and Dark-types, which Alakazam appreciates. It can sometimes block Explosion for Alakazam too. Snorlax can use Self-Destruct to take out opposing Snorlax, especially Curse variants. Its coverage moves such as Earthquake can also be used to weaken Alakazam's other checks like Tyranitar. Spikes from Pokemon such as Cloyster is helpful to chip down an opposing team because most checks and counters of Alakazam can be hurt by the Spikes. Occasionally, Cloyster can use Clamp to trap Snorlax, nullify any Defense boosts with Screech, and use Explosion to remove it. Rhydon is a great choice for a complementing offensive Pokemon thanks to its ability to pivot into Electric attacks and take on unboosted Snorlax, although it needs to be wary of Curse Earthquake Snorlax if it lacks Counter. Finally, although Alakazam has Zap Cannon, paralysis support from teammates such as Zapdos is still recommended to achieve parafusion combined with Dynamic Punch.

[SET]
name: Utility
move 1: Psychic
move 2: Fire Punch / Toxic
move 3: Encore / Toxic
move 4: Recover
item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
=========
Encore is a selling point of the utility set. Firstly, it is a great choice to catch setup Pokemon like Vaporeon. Secondly, it forces threats such as Zapdos to use Rest repeatedly. Thirdly, it can lock Pokemon such as Tyranitar into a phazing move. Fourthly, it can save Alakazam from trappers such as Umbreon. Fifthly, it pairs well with Recover so that it can stall out weak attacks such as Pursuit. However, although Encore may give you momentum to attack or switch, an opponent can predict Encore and switch out. Also, it is illegal with moves such as Thunder Wave, Substitute, and Counter. Alternatively, Toxic can be used to wear down Alakazam's checks so that they will use Rest or be knocked out, which pairs well with Recover in the long run against Pokemon such as Starmie without Thunder Wave. In addition, it shuts down Tyranitar without Crunch or Rest barring crits. Furthermore, Psychic / Fire Punch / Toxic / Recover is a very potent balanced set that shines once opposing Snorlax is removed.

Team Options
========
This set is used more on bulky teams that do not require hyper tempo. Offensively, Snorlax's coverage and status moves such as Earthquake and Toxic can be used to weaken Alakazam's checks such as Tyranitar. Defensively, it can absorb status from Pokemon such as Exeggutor for Alakazam. Skarmory and Umbreon help Alakazam against Snorlax and Exeggutor, while Alakazam helps the former against Gengar and the latter against Machamp.

If Alakazam is using Toxic, Roar Raikou with Spikes set by Cloyster or Forretress will provide extra damage because all of Raikou's checks are affected by Spikes. To keep Spikes on the field and provide a switch-in for Explosions, Ghost-types such as Gengar and Misdreavus make for good teammates.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============
Thunder Wave is nice because Alakazam outspeeds all Pokemon in OU and can safely cripple them, especially Starmie, Raikou, and Zapdos. Hidden Power Dark can be used for Psychic-types like Exeggutor, Starmie, and Jynx, while Hidden Power Water can be used for Tyranitar, Houndoom, Golem, and Rhydon. Light Screen helps Alakazam against special attackers and supports its team. Counter can be used to land a surprise OHKO against Snorlax. While Encore can't be used alongside Counter, the threat of Encore can be enough to deter Curse and Belly Drum and encourage it to attack Alakazam immediately. However, if Snorlax sets up in anticipation of Alakazam switching out, dealing with a boosted Snorlax could prove to be very challenging. Thief can steal an item from an opposing Pokemon, which will often deprive Alakazam's checks such as Snorlax, Blissey, and Starmie of recovery from Leftovers, however this is typically done better by Jynx and Gengar as they don't need the moveslot as much. Miracle Berry can help Alakazam shrug off status from Pokemon such as Exeggutor, but it can only work once.

Checks and Counters
===================
**Special Walls**: Special walls such as Snorlax and Blissey have great bulk to take Alakazam's special attacks and inflict status with Body Slam, Toxic, or Thunder Wave. The former frightens Alakazam with its STAB moves, while the latter can run Present or Light Screen against Alakazam teams. However, Dynamic Punch can hit these Normal-types super effectively and score confusion. Also, Blissey should be wary of Toxic.

**Dark-types**: Crunch from Tyranitar and Houndoom is useful to 2HKO Alakazam, but they should be wary of Dynamic Punch when they are switched in. In particular, Tyranitar without Rest will be severely crippled by Toxic. Umbreon can wall many Alakazam sets even if it struggles to trap it. With Toxic, it also poses a threat to Alakazam.

**Psychic-types**: Starmie can use Thunder Wave or Thunder to cripple Alakazam, but without these it will struggle to KO Recover Alakazam and could be crippled by Toxic or take heavy damage from Thunder Punch or Zap Cannon. Exeggutor can run Stun Spore or Sleep Powder to cripple Alakazam and Explosion for a trade, but Alakazam can potentially have Fire Punch or Ice Punch to hit it super effectively and Substitute to block Explosion and Giga Drain.

**Steel-types**: Steelix can trade for Alakazam with Explosion, Skarmory can cripple it with Toxic, and Forretress can threaten it with Explosion or Toxic, but all of them, especially Forretress, are heavily threatened by Fire Punch. Substitute Alakazam can cause major problems for Forretress and Steelix; the former struggles to break Alakazam's Substitute without Hidden Power Bug or Hidden Power Ghost and is OHKOed by Fire Punch, whereas the latter must guess whether Alakazam will use Fire Punch or Substitute and use Earthquake, Roar, or Explosion accordingly.

**Electric-types**: Raikou and Zapdos can paralyze Alakazam with Thunder or Thunder Wave in Zapdos's case, but neither can break its Substitute with neutral Hidden Power, so if they are using the inaccurate Thunder, they may be forced to hit several in a row to beat Alakazam. Alakazam can also 3HKO Zapdos with Ice Punch reliably and has a chance of 3HKOing with Psychic, whereas Raikou survives three hits from Psychic but must be wary of Spikes damage racking up. Alakazam can also force them to switch out by using Encore to lock them into Rest.

**Bulky Water-types**: Suicune and Vaporeon can wall most Alakazam sets with Rest. Suicune can threaten to poison it, while Vaporeon can potentially PP stall Encore if Alakazam is being relied upon to check Vaporeon due to its high PP count.

[CREDITS]
- Written by: [[wyc2333, 336830]]
- Quality checked by: [[Fear, 2005], [Earthworm, 15210]]
- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
 
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With the combination of Speed higher than all Pokemon in OU, STAB Psychic, and a pure Psychic typing, which resists Fighting-type attacks, Recover allows Alakazam to provide a solid answer to threats such as Nidoking after Sleep Clause is activated, Machamp, or Gengar. Dynamic Punch hits many checks such as Tyranitar, Snorlax, and Blissey hard. Substitute can be used to block status, exploit miss rates of moves such as Thunder and Megahorn, shut down Exeggutor, and scout Explosion.
Alakazam's 120 base speed and STAB Psychic allows it to run an offensive minded mixed set, which aims at controling opposing threats such as Nidoking, Machamp or Gengar. Dynamic Punch mainly hits Tyranitar but also Snorlax and Blissey for Super Effective damage. Recover gives it a survivability tool in order for Alakazam to function as a switch to said Pokemon, otherwise Substitute can be used to block status, exploit miss rates of moves such as Thunder and Megahorn, shut down Exeggutor, and scout Explosion.

Edit / fix this paragraph in replacement. Most of the analysis is finalised with the set changes.

Also, the analysis would be more complete if the second set was named Utility since we are narrowing down to 2 sets. Add a toxic slash with Encore, Psychic / Fire Punch / Toxic / Recover being a very potent balanced set that shines once Snorlax is removed, add the appropriate wording changes that go along with it.
 
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wyc2333

A=X+Y+Z Y: Hard Work
is a Pre-Contributor
Alakazam's 120 base speed and STAB Psychic allows it to run an offensive minded mixed set, which aims at controling opposing threats such as Nidoking, Machamp or Gengar. Dynamic Punch mainly hits Tyranitar but also Snorlax and Blissey for Super Effective damage. Recover gives it a survivability tool in order for Alakazam to function as a switch to said Pokemon, otherwise Substitute can be used to block status, exploit miss rates of moves such as Thunder and Megahorn, shut down Exeggutor, and scout Explosion.

Edit / fix this paragraph in replacement. Most of the analysis is finalised with the set changes.

Also, the analysis would be more complete if the second set was named Utility since we are narrowing down to 2 sets. Add a toxic slash with Encore, Psychic / Fire Punch / Toxic / Recover being a very potent balanced set that shines once Snorlax is removed, add the appropriate wording changes that go along with it.
done. thx so much! can this analysis get qc 1/2?
 

Earthworm

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Overall this is looking pretty good I think. Going to suggest some changes to the overview to add more information:

Thanks to a pure Psychic typing and STAB Psychic, Alakazam threatens dangerous Pokemon such as Gengar, Machamp, and Nidoking.
This isn't untrue but you could say something more insightful like "With the highest Special Attack in OU, ultra high Speed, and STAB Psychic, Alakazam is well positioned to take advantage of the popularity of Poison- and Fighting-type offensive Pokemon such as Gengar, Machamp, and Nidoking and severely threatens a broad swathe of the metagame."

Another thing is that its Speed is higher than Gengar, Starmie, and Raikou.
Maybe something like "Its Speed advantage over almost all other Pokemon makes it one of the best late-game cleaners and ensures that other fast Pokemon like Raikou and Gengar can't threaten it with Thunder or Explosion without taking a heavy hit first."

However, Dynamic Punch isn't reliable and Alakazam tends to be walled by Pokemon such as Snorlax, Blissey, and Tyranitar.
I think this doesn't emphasise enough how much difficulty Alakazam usually has in breaking these Pokemon. I would consider saying something like "However, Alakazam faces one very large problem. Snorlax, as well as other specially bulky Pokemon such as Blissey and Dark-type Pokemon such as Tyranitar, can make it very difficult for Alakazam to deal lasting damage to an opposing team if they are not first weakened or removed by its teammates. Alakazam does have Dynamic Punch in its arsenal to give it a fighting chance at breaching these Pokemon, but it is unreliable due to its poor accuracy."


Other various things I noticed:
Recover gives Alakazam a survivability tool to function as a switch to said Pokemon,
It kind of sounds like Alakazam is switching into Snorlax here. Maybe reorganise this paragraph a bit.
Substitute can be used to block status, exploit miss rates of moves such as Thunder and Megahorn, shut down Exeggutor, and scout Explosion from Pokemon like Forretress.
I think it's worth mentioning that Hidden Power from Zapdos and Exeggutor breaks Alakazam's Substitute less than 10% of the time (including critical hits), which can put them in awkward situations.

Counter can be used when Pokemon such as Snorlax uses a physical attack because Encore deters Curse and Belly Drum, which has synergy with Light Screen to attract a physical attacker, but it may fail due to the fact that Alakazam can be paralyzed by Body Slam or hit by other moves when Snorlax is predicting a swtich. Also, a physical attacker can be switched out so that Counter can be scouted.
Although you mentioned it earlier, I think it is worth making it clear that Encore can't be used with Counter here too.
"because while Encore can't be used alongside Counter, the threat of Encore can be enough to deter Curse and Belly Drum".

I think the biggest risk involved with this Counter bluff is that Snorlax might predict Alakazam switching out and use Curse despite the threat of Encore. This will probably put the Alakazam user in a very awkward position. It's quite unlikely that they will switch Snorlax out.


For Checks and Counters, Umbreon deserves to be mentioned since it can wall many Alakazam sets even if it struggles to trap it. With Toxic it also poses a threat to Alakazam.

In the Steel-type section, Steelix is also put into an awkward position by Substitute Alakazam (as long as it has Fire Punch) and in the Electric-type section, Raikou's Rest is also susceptible to Encore.

I think it is also worth adding a Bulky Water-type section with Suicune and Vaporeon, as they can wall most Alakazam with Rest, Suicune can threaten to poison it, and Vaporeon can potentially PP stall Encore if Alakazam is being relied upon to check the Growth set since Growth has so much PP.
 
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wyc2333

A=X+Y+Z Y: Hard Work
is a Pre-Contributor
Overall this is looking pretty good I think. Going to suggest some changes to the overview to add more information:

This isn't untrue but you could say something more insightful like "With the highest Special Attack in OU, ultra high Speed, and STAB Psychic, Alakazam is well-positioned to take advantage of the popularity of Poison- and Fighting-type offensive Pokemon such as Gengar, Machamp, and Nidoking and severely threatens a broad swathe of the metagame."

Maybe something like "Its Speed advantage over almost all other Pokemon makes it one of the best late-game cleaners and ensures that other fast Pokemon like Raikou and Gengar can't threaten it with Thunder or Explosion without taking a heavy hit first."

I think this doesn't emphasise enough how much difficulty Alakazam usually has in breaking these Pokemon. I would consider saying something like "However, Alakazam faces one very large problem. Snorlax, as well as other specially bulky Pokemon such as Blissey and Dark-type Pokemon such as Tyranitar, can make it very difficult for Alakazam to deal lasting damage to an opposing team if they are not first weakened or removed by its teammates. Alakazam does have Dynamic Punch in its arsenal to give it a fighting chance at breaching these Pokemon, but it is unreliable due to its poor accuracy."


Other various things I noticed:
It kind of sounds like Alakazam is switching into Snorlax here. Maybe reorganise this paragraph a bit.
I think it's worth mentioning that Hidden Power from Zapdos and Exeggutor breaks Alakazam's Substitute less than 10% of the time (including critical hits), which can put them in awkward situations.

Although you mentioned it earlier, I think it is worth making it clear that Encore can't be used with Counter here too.
"because while Encore can't be used alongside Counter, the threat of Encore can be enough to deter Curse and Belly Drum".

I think the biggest risk involved with this Counter bluff is that Snorlax might predict Alakazam switching out and use Curse despite the threat of Encore. This will probably put the Alakazam user in a very awkward position. It's quite unlikely that they will switch Snorlax out.


For Checks and Counters, Umbreon deserves to be mentioned since it can wall many Alakazam sets even if it struggles to trap it. With Toxic it also poses a threat to Alakazam.

In the Steel-type section, Steelix is also put into an awkward position by Substitute Alakazam (as long as it has Fire Punch) and in the Electric-type section, Raikou's Rest is also susceptible to Encore.

I think it is also worth adding a Bulky Water-type section with Suicune and Vaporeon, as they can wall most Alakazam with Rest, Suicune can threaten to poison it, and Vaporeon can potentially PP stall Encore if Alakazam is being relied upon to check the Growth set since Growth has so much PP.
implemented. can this analysis get qc 2/2?
 

Earthworm

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I checked for any further thoughts from the QC team and FOMG said the following:
FOMG said:
Rhydon can pivot Electric-type moves and handle Snorlax, Tyranitar, and Houndoom for Alakazam

Is this really necessary? If so, it should be explained in more detail as Rhydon is no long term check vs EQ Lax, needs to watch out for EQ or even Surf against Tar. Houndoom is not as common, pressures Don with Crunch or threaten Solar Beam on Sunny Day sets. Not to mention the risk of switching into HpWater or Ice against the electrics.
In short, I would make it clear that Rhydon is an offensive mons and relies on momentum/threatening the opponent itself and not being as reliable defensively as the paragraph might make it seem.

For the second Zam set, I would add that it shuts down non Crunch Tars barring crits if Alakazam has Toxic. The analysis overall makes it sound as if Tar is a problem when in fact it is not against this set (unless Rest/Crunch/ bad luck with Toxic accuracy or crits).
I agree with these points, they should be clarified.

Also, I think you could add a brief comparison with Jynx in the overview, since Jynx is a much more common offensive Psychic-type. Alakazam has better defensive properties and unique coverage options but lacks the sleep move and the 2HKO on Zapdos that STAB Ice Beam gives it.

QC 2/2 once implemented.
 

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