Monotype Alakazam

#1
[OVERVIEW]
========
Alakazam can effectively check sweepers and other setup Pokemon, especially physical attackers such as Bisharp and Mega Sharpedo, that could otherwise run through Psychic teams uninhibited. Counter Alakazam works exceedingly well on hyper offensive teams as a guaranteed check to setup sweepers thanks to Magic Guard protecting it from indirect damage and preserving its Focus Sash. With its diverse movepool, Alakazam is capable of hitting the entire metagame without being walled by common typings, ensuring that it can put out consistent damage. However, because of its Psychic typing and low physical bulk, Alakazam is haunted by Pokemon capable of Pursuit trapping it such as Alolan Muk, Scizor, and Tyranitar. Alakazam completely depends on preserving its Focus Sash to be effective in matches most of the time; otherwise, it most likely won't be able to use Counter and loses one of its most important roles in checking physical sweepers. Counter Alakazam is also incredibly limited in its damage output, as it has no damage-boosting item or ability and only has a single STAB type.

[SET]
name: Counter + Focus Sash
move 1: Counter
move 2: Psychic
move 3: Focus Blast
move 4: Shadow Ball
item: Focus Sash
ability: Magic Guard
nature: Hasty
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
ivs: 0 Def

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

Counter gives Psychic teams a guaranteed check to physical sweepers such as Bisharp, Choice Scarf Heracross, and Mega Sharpedo as well as countless others. It is also the best way to effectively check any physical threat the opposing team has and can do more damage and be more reliable than Alakazam's other moves. Psychic is Alakazam's main STAB move, maximizing its standard damage output. Focus Blast provides Alakazam with an option for hitting Pokemon that either resist or are immune to Psychic, such as Ferrothorn, Heatran, and Hydreigon. Shadow Ball allows Alakazam to hit Ghost-types such as Alolan Marowak super effectively and makes Alakazam into a potent threat against other Psychic teams thanks to Psychic having only one viable Ghost-type check in Meloetta. Hidden Power Fire could be used over Shadow Ball as a way to manage both Bug- and Steel-type threats more reliably, such as Scizor.

Set Details
========

Full investment in Alakazam's Special Attack enables it to hit opposing Pokemon as hard as possible. Maximum investment in Speed with a Hasty nature lets Alakazam make use of its great Speed tier, outpacing Pokemon such as Latios, Latias, Gengar, and Thundurus as well as base 60 Choice Scarf users such as Magnezone. 0 IVs in Defense and a Hasty nature allow Alakazam to take as much physical damage as possible in order to make Counter even more powerful. Focus Sash lets Alakazam check physical sweepers that are major threats to Psychic teams like Scolipede and Choice Scarf Heracross. It also works in tandem with Counter to provide a guaranteed check to a multitude of physical threats such as Mega Gyarados and Mega Scizor. Magic Guard prevents Alakazam from taking damage from entry hazards, status, and weather, which is key to preserving Focus Sash and ultimately preventing Alakazam from losing its role of a general check to sweepers.

Usage Tips
========

Use Alakazam sparingly, as its overall damage output is fairly limited due to its single typing and lack of an offensive ability and item. In matchups where your team faces immense offensive pressure, preserve Alakazam for checking the most pressing threats, especially physical threats such as Bisharp, Mega Scizor, and Mega Sharpedo, as Counter will most likely be able to OHKO them. If Alakazam is needed for using Counter in a match, be sure to prevent Focus Sash from being broken, or else Alakazam will be rendered useless and its ability to check sweepers and setup Pokemon will go to waste. Thanks to its Focus Sash, this Alakazam set can take on the role of a revenge killer, coming in after a teammate faints or through the use of U-turn. If there is a possibility that the opposing team could Pursuit trap Alakazam, avoid switching in Alakazam unless absolutely necessary. In the case that Alakazam does happen to be caught by a Pursuit trapper such as Alolan Muk and is at full health, simply use Counter and Alakazam will either OHKO the opposing threat or do enough damage that the opposing Pokemon will be able to be KOed by one of Alakazam's other moves. Do not directly switch Alakazam into any opposing Pokemon unless they do not carry attacking moves. Focus Sash Alakazam needs appropriate team support to get onto the field safely, such as with defensive pivot Jirachi or by punishing a switch with U-turn Victini. If worse comes to worst, preserving a weakened Pokemon with the intention of allowing a free switch for Alakazam is a viable strategy. Be careful when facing Pokemon that may run Substitute such as Mega Gyarados and Buzzwole. These threats should be attacked with Focus Blast and Psychic, respectively, in order to avoid missing out on an OHKO by using Counter on their Substitute. Avoid confrontations with any specially defensive Pokemon such as Araquanid, Chansey, Gliscor, and Zapdos, as they can easily break Alakazam's Focus Sash.

Team Options
========

Victini is an amazing teammate for Alakazam, as it has astounding physical wallbreaking potential thanks to V-create and Bolt Strike and can manage teams that Alakazam often struggles with such as Bug and Steel. Choice Scarf Victini also puts immense pressure on opposing teams and can force switches that it can take advantage of with U-turn to bring Alakazam in for free. Mega Gallade is one of Psychic's best options for a Mega Evolution, especially on offensive teams, as it's able to break down a plethora of defensive cores such as Normal's and Poison's, which Alakazam and the rest of the Psychic team heavily appreciates. Celebi is a solid option to quickly take control of matchups such as Fairy and Water due to these types generally running into issues with managing offensive Grass-types. Deoxys-S is an integral part of offensive Psychic teams, as it acts as the team's suicide lead, running either Stealth Rock and dual screens or hazard stack with Spikes. Choice Scarf Latias is a pretty decent option for keeping faster foes in check thanks to having similar stats to Latios but with the great option of running Healing Wish to potentially full heal Alakazam in a pinch if it has been chipped down and its Focus Sash has yet to be broken. Mega Latias is a solid Mega option for more balanced builds, as it can set up with Calm Mind and put immense pressure on opposing teams as well as potentially sweeping. Jirachi provides incredible utility support through setting Stealth Rock, spreading status, and returning Alakazam's health back to full with Healing Wish. It also has a slow U-turn that can get Alakazam onto the field without the risk of taking damage, ultimately keeping its Focus Sash intact. Slowbro and Mega Slowbro are both great physically defensive Pokemon that are the backbone of the Psychic defensive core and can mitigate damage that Alakazam would greatly prefer not to take. Both also serve as checks to physical attackers in their own right in case Alakazam's Focus Sash has been expended to manage a threat already. Mew's dynamic roles of stallbreaker and setup sweeper can give Alakazam solid support in their own rights. Stallbreaker Mew can cripple opposing threats with Will-O-Wisp and Knock Off, which can take off some of the pressure in needing to preserve Alakazam as a check to sweepers. Meloetta serves as Psychic's only switch-in to Ghost-type Pokemon; Alakazam can safely switch to Meloetta against Ghost-types, such as Blacephalon, Jellicent, and Mimikyu, that it would otherwise struggle with. Meloetta can also serve as a special wallbreaker, alleviating some of the pressure to use Alakazam in more risky situations just for its special damage. Latios in an excellent special wallbreaker that pairs fairly well with Alakazam. Latios is able to spam Draco Meteor and has coverage for Pokemon that Alakazam may struggle with on its own such as Ferrothorn and Heatran. It can also use Defog, which would support the team in general more so than Alakazam.

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

Dazzling Gleam can be a good coverage move for getting super effective damage off on Dark-types like Mega Sableye and Dragon-types such as Garchomp, but this would involve giving up one of Alakazam's three most essential coverage moves or its check to priority and trapping. Mega Sableye also commonly runs a specially defensive set, meaning Dazzling Gleam can't 2HKO it. Plus, other team options such as Gardevoir, Latios, and Latias could easily make up for this coverage with their own STAB options. Mega Alakazam can also be used over the Counter + Focus Sash set as a fast, late-game sweeper, but Psychic has much better Mega options available to it, and Alakazam's main role as a check to physical sweepers is much better for Psychic teams.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Priority Attacks**: Because Alakazam has rather poor physical bulk, priority moves like Bullet Punch, Extreme Speed, Shadow Sneak, and Sucker Punch are extremely dangerous and can take it out of matches instantly. Pokemon like Mega Scizor, Dragonite, Doublade, Mimikyu, and Bisharp are the most common of these priority users that can take out Alakazam if it is not at full health.

**Pursuit Trapping**: Thanks to its single typing of Psychic paired with poor physical bulk, Alakazam is the textbook example of Pursuit bait. The only way to approach this issue is to avoid sending in Alakazam until the Pursuit trappers are either eliminated or put into KO range for either form to take them out. Alakazam can be used as bait to get Pursuit trappers to switch in, but only when it is absolutely safe to do so.

**Physical Attackers**: Having switch-ins for physical threats ready to go is the only assured way to handle them. Although Alakazam is meant to check physical threats with Counter, this role disappears if it is not at full HP or Focus Sash is broken.

**Special Walls**: Specially defensive Celesteela, Chansey, and Zapdos can prove to be a real pain to deal with for Alakazam because barring Special Defense drops and hazards, it cannot 2HKO any of these Pokemon. The only way to deal with these is by dealing chip damage as they switch in and going into an appropriate teammate designated to breaking special walls.

**Ghost-types**: Focus Sash Alakazam can run into some trouble against Ghost teams, as its main purpose of utilizing a practically free Counter is rendered useless. Although it can put out super effective damage with Shadow Ball, the Ghost defensive core of Mega Sableye and Jellicent doesn't mind taking a hit or two while also forcing Alakazam out.

**Faster Pokemon**: Some major threats to Psychic teams that can safely outspeed Alakazam include Pokemon such as Greninja and Tapu Koko.
 
Last edited:

Eien

I'll face myself
is a member of the Site Staffis a Community Leaderis a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Server Moderator
Monotype Leader
#3
Other Options:
- Need to note that Mega Sableye is often specially defensive nowadays, and Dazzling Gleam can't even 2HKO it as a result.

Checks and Counters:
- Dark-types and Bulky Attackers should probably just be dropped.

I think Hidden Power Fire is super good vs Bug and Steel teams. I'd put it in the Moves section personally but OO at the absolute very least.

QC 3/3
 
#5
GP 1/2

[OVERVIEW]
========

Alakazam can effectively check sweepers and other setup Pokemon, especially physical attackers such as Bisharp and Mega Sharpedo, that could otherwise run through Psychic teams uninhibited. Counter Alakazam works exceedingly well on hyper offensive teams as a guaranteed check to setup sweepers thanks to Magic Guard protecting it from indirect damage and preserving its Focus Sash. With its diverse movepool, Alakazam is capable of hitting the entire metagame without being walled by common typings, ensuring that it can put out consistent damage. BHowever, because of its Psychic typing and low physical bulk, Alakazam is haunted by Pokemon capable of Pursuit trapping it such as Alolan Muk, Scizor, and Tyranitar. Alakazam completely depends on preserving its Focus Sash to be effective in matches most of the time; otherwise, it most likely won't (changed apostrophe) be able to use Counter and loses one of its most important roles in checking physical sweepers. Counter Alakazam is also incredibly limited in its damage output, as it has no damage-boosting item or ability, and only has a single STAB type.

[SET]
name: Focus Sash + Counter
move 1: Counter
move 2: Psychic
move 3: Focus Blast
move 4: Shadow Ball
item: Focus Sash
ability: Magic Guard
nature: Hasty
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
ivs: 0 Def

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

Counter is the cornerstone of this set, as it gives Psychic teams a guaranteed check to physical sweepers such as Bisharp, Choice Scarf Heracross, and Mega Sharpedo as well as countless others. Counter is also the best way to effectively check any physical threat the opposing team has and can do more damage and be more reliable than Alakazam's other moves. Psychic is Alakazam's main STAB move, maximizing its standard damage output. Focus Blast provides Alakazam with an option for hitting Pokemon that either resist or are immune to Psychic, such as Ferrothorn, Heatran, and Hydreigon. Shadow Ball allows Alakazam to hit Ghost-types such as Alolan Marowak super effectively. It and also makes Alakazam into a potent threat against other Psychic teams thanks to Psychic's only viable Ghost-type check being Meloetta. Hidden Power Fire could be used over Shadow Ball as a way to manage both Bug- and Steel-type threats more reliably, such as Scizor.

Set Details
========

Full investment in Alakazam's Special Attack enables it to hit opposing Pokemon as hard as possible. Maximum investment in Speed with a Hasty nature lets Alakazam make use of its great Speed tier, outpacing Pokemon such as Latios, Latias, Gengar, and Thundurus as well as base 60 Choice Scarf users such as Magnezone. 0 IVs in Defense and a Hasty Nnature allow Alakazam to take as much physical damage as possible in order to make Counter even more powerful. Focus Sash lets Alakazam check physical sweepers that are major threats to Psychic teams like Scolipede and Choice Scarf Heracross. It also works in tandem with Counter to provide a guaranteed check to a multitude of physical threats such as Mega Gyarados and Mega Scizor. Magic Guard prevents Alakazam from taking damage from entry hazards, status, and weather, which is key to preserving Focus Sash and ultimately preventing Alakazam from losing its role of a general check to sweepers.

Usage Tips
========

Use Alakazam sparingly, as its overall damage output is fairly limited due to its single typing and lack of an offensive ability and item. In matchups where your team faces immense offensive pressure, preserve Alakazam for checking the most pressing threats, especially physical threats such as Bisharp, Mega Scizor, and Mega Sharpedo, as Counter will most likely be able to OHKO them. If Alakazam is needed for using Counter in a match, be sure to prevent Focus Sash from being broken, or else Alakazam and its ability to check sweepers and setup Pokemon will be rendered useless. Thanks to its Focus Sash, this set allows Alakazam to take on the role of a revenge killer, coming in after a teammate faints or through the use of U-turn. If there is a possibility that the opposing team could Pursuit trap Alakazam, avoid switching in Alakazam unless absolutely necessary. In the case that Alakazam does happen to be caught by a Pursuit trapper such as Alolan Muk and is at full health, simply use Counter and Alakazam will either OHKO the opposing threat or do enough damage that the opposing Pokemon will be able to be KOed by one of Alakazam's other moves. Do not directly switch Alakazam into any opposing Pokemon unless they do not carry attacking moves. Focus Sash Alakazam needs appropriate team support to get it onto the field safely, such as with defensive pivot Jirachi or by punishing a switch with U-turn Victini. If worse comes to worst, preserving a weakened Pokemon with the intention of allowing a free switch for Alakazam is a viable strategy. Be careful when facing Pokemon that may run Substitute such as Mega Gyarados and Buzzwole. These threats should be attacked with Focus Blast and Psychic, respectively, in order to avoid missing out on an OHKO by using Counter on their Substitute. Avoid confrontations with any specially defensive Pokemon such as Araquanid, Chansey, Gliscor, or Zapdos, as ithey can easily break Alakazam's Focus Sash.

Team Options
========

Victini is an amazing teammate for Alakazam, as it has astounding physical wallbreaking potential thanks to V-create and Bolt Strike and can manage teams that Alakazam often struggles with such as Bug and Steel. Choice Scarf Victini also puts immense pressure on opposing teams and can force switches that it can take advantage of with U-turn to bring Alakazam in for free. Mega Gallade is one of Psychic's best options for ma Mega Pokemon, especially on offensive teams, (AC) as it's able to break down a plethora of defensive cores such as Normal's and Poison's, which Alakazam and the rest of the Psychic team heavily appreciates. Celebi is a solid option for Psychic teams, (AC) as it's able to quickly take control of matchups such as Fairy and Water asdue to these types can generally running into issues with managing offensive Grass-types. Deoxys-S is an integral part of offensive Psychic teams, (AC) as it acts as the team's suicide lead, either running either Stealth Rock and Dual Sdual screens or hazard stack with Spikes. Latias is a pretty decent option as a speed control option for Psychic with a Choice Scarf thanks to having similar stats to Latios but with the great option of running Healing Wish, which could potentially full heal Alakazam in a pinch if it has been chipped down and its Focus Sash has yet to be broken. Mega Latias is a solid mMega option for more balanced builds, (AC) as it can set(add space)up with Calm Mind and put immense pressure on opposing teams as well as potentially sweeping. Jirachi provides incredible utility support through setting Stealth Rock, spreading status, and returning Alakazam's health back to full with Healing Wish. It also has a beneficial slow U-turn that can get Alakazam onto the field without the risk of taking damage, ultimately keeping its Focus Sash intact. Slowbro and Mega Slowbro are both great physically defensive Pokemon that are the backbone of the Psychic defensive core and can mitigate damage that Alakazam would greatly prefer not to take. Both also serve as checks to physical attackers in their own right in case Alakazam's Focus Sash has been expended to manage a threat already. Mew's dynamic roles of stallbreaker and setup sweeper can give Alakazam solid support in their own rights. Stallbreaker Mew can cripple opposing threats with Will-O-Wisp and Knock Off, which can take off some of the pressure in needing to preserve Alakazam as a check to sweepers. Meloetta serves as Psychic's only switch-in to Ghost-type Pokemon.; (SC) Alakazam can safely switch to Meloetta against Ghost-types, such as Blacephalon, Jellicent, and Mimikyu, that it would otherwise struggle with. Meloetta can also serve as a special wallbreaker, alleviating some of the pressure to use Alakazam in more risky situations just for its special damage. Latios in an excellent special wallbreaker that pairs fairly well with Alakazam. Latios is able to spam Draco Meteor and has coverage for Pokemon that Alakazam may struggle with on its own such as Ferrothorn and Heatran. It can also use Defog, which would support the team in general more so than Alakazam.

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

Dazzling Gleam can be a good coverage move for getting super effective damage off on Dark-types like Mega Sableye and Dragon-types such as Garchomp, but this would involve giving up one of Alakazam's three most essential coverage moves or its check to priority and trapping, also. Mega Sableye also commonly runs a Special Defense setspecially defensive set, (AC) meaning Dazzling Gleam can't 2HKO. Plus, other team options such as Gardevoir, Latios, and Latias could easily make up for this coverage with their own STAB options. Mega Alakazam can also be used over the Counter + Focus Sash set as a fast, late-game sweeper, (AC) but Psychic has much better mMega options available to it, (AC) and Alakazam's main role as a check to physical sweepers is much better for Psychic teams.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Priority Attacks**: Because Alakazam has rather poor physical bulk, priority moves like Bullet Punch, Extreme Speed, Shadow Sneak, and Sucker Punch are extremely dangerous and can take it out of matches instantly. Pokemon like Mega Scizor, Dragonite, Doublade, Mimikyu, and Bisharp are the most common of these priority users that can take out Alakazam if it is not at full health.

**Pursuit Trapping**: Thanks to its single typing of Psychic paired with poor physical bulk, Alakazam areis the ideal Pokemon to be subjected to Pursuit traps. The only way to approach this issue is to avoid sending in Alakazam until the Pursuit trappers are either eliminated or put into KO range for either form to take them out. Alakazam can be used as bait to get Pursuit trappers to switch in, but only when it is absolutely safe to do so.

**Physical Attackers**: Having switch-ins for thesephysical threats ready to go is the only assured way to handle them. Although Alakazam is meant to check physical threats with Counter, this role disappears if it is not at full HP or Focus Sash is broken.

**Special Walls**: Specially defensive Celesteela, Chansey, and Zapdos can prove to be a real pain to deal with for Alakazam because, barring Special Defense drops and hazards, it cannot 2HKO any of these Pokemon. The only way to deal with these is by dealing chip damage on theiras they switch in and going into an appropriate teammate designated forto breaking special walls.

**Ghost-types**: Focus Sash Alakazam can run into some trouble against Ghost teams, as its main purpose of utilizing a practically free Counter is rendered useless. Although it can put out super effective damage with Shadow Ball, the Ghost defensive core of Mega Sableye and Jellicent doesn't mind taking a hit or two while also forcing Alakazam out.

**Faster Pokemon**: Some major threats to Psychic teams that can safely outspeed maximum investment Timid Alakazam include Pokemon such as Greninja and Tapu Koko.

sorry this took so long. just remember that you can ping gp members to check your analysis if it's been sitting too long (think 3+ weeks)
 

The Dutch Plumberjack

ace of wands
is a member of the Site Staffis a Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Super Moderatoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Smogon Media Contributor
Articles Co-Leader
#7
also make sure you remove all your double spaces please

remove add / fix (comments); (AC=add comma; RC=remove comma; SC=semicolon)
GP 2/2
[OVERVIEW]
========
Alakazam can effectively check sweepers and other setup Pokemon, especially physical attackers such as Bisharp and Mega Sharpedo, that could otherwise run through Psychic teams uninhibited. Counter Alakazam works exceedingly well on hyper offensive teams as a guaranteed check to setup sweepers thanks to Magic Guard protecting it from indirect damage and preserving its Focus Sash. With its diverse movepool, Alakazam is capable of hitting the entire metagame without being walled by common typings, ensuring that it can put out consistent damage. However, because of its Psychic typing and low physical bulk, Alakazam is haunted by Pokemon capable of Pursuit trapping it such as Alolan Muk, Scizor, and Tyranitar. Alakazam completely depends on preserving its Focus Sash to be effective in matches most of the time; otherwise, it most likely won't be able to use Counter and loses one of its most important roles in checking physical sweepers. Counter Alakazam is also incredibly limited in its damage output, as it has no damage-boosting item or ability (RC) and only has a single STAB type.

[SET]
name: Counter + Focus Sash
move 1: Counter
move 2: Psychic
move 3: Focus Blast
move 4: Shadow Ball
item: Focus Sash
ability: Magic Guard
nature: Hasty
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
ivs: 0 Def

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

Counter is the cornerstone of this set, as it gives Psychic teams a guaranteed check to physical sweepers such as Bisharp, Choice Scarf Heracross, and Mega Sharpedo as well as countless others. Counter It is also the best way to effectively check any physical threat the opposing team has and can do more damage and be more reliable than Alakazam's other moves. Psychic is Alakazam's main STAB move, maximizing its standard damage output. Focus Blast provides Alakazam with an option for hitting Pokemon that either resist or are immune to Psychic, such as Ferrothorn, Heatran, and Hydreigon. Shadow Ball allows Alakazam to hit Ghost-types such as Alolan Marowak super effectively and it also makes Alakazam into a potent threat against other Psychic teams thanks to Psychic's having only one viable Ghost-type check being in Meloetta. (more logical nuance) Hidden Power Fire could be used over Shadow Ball as a way to manage both Bug- and Steel-type threats more reliably, such as Scizor.

Set Details
========

Full investment in Alakazam's Special Attack enables it to hit opposing Pokemon as hard as possible. Maximum investment in Speed with a Hasty nature lets Alakazam make use of its great Speed tier, outpacing Pokemon such as Latios, Latias, Gengar, and Thundurus as well as base 60 Choice Scarf users such as Magnezone. 0 IVs in Defense and a Hasty nature allow Alakazam to take as much physical damage as possible in order to make Counter even more powerful. Focus Sash lets Alakazam check physical sweepers that are major threats to Psychic teams like Scolipede and Choice Scarf Heracross. It also works in tandem with Counter to provide a guaranteed check to a multitude of physical threats such as Mega Gyarados and Mega Scizor. Magic Guard prevents Alakazam from taking damage from entry hazards, status, and weather, which is key to preserving Focus Sash and ultimately preventing Alakazam from losing its role of a general check to sweepers.

Usage Tips
========

Use Alakazam sparingly, as its overall damage output is fairly limited due to its single typing and lack of an offensive ability and item. In matchups where your team faces immense offensive pressure, preserve Alakazam for checking the most pressing threats, especially physical threats such as Bisharp, Mega Scizor, and Mega Sharpedo, as Counter will most likely be able to OHKO them. If Alakazam is needed for using Counter in a match, be sure to prevent Focus Sash from being broken, or else Alakazam will be rendered useless and its ability to check sweepers and setup Pokemon will be rendered useless go to waste. Thanks to its Focus Sash, this set allows Alakazam set can to take on the role of a revenge killer, coming in after a teammate faints or through the use of U-turn. If there is a possibility that the opposing team could Pursuit trap Alakazam, avoid switching in Alakazam unless absolutely necessary. In the case that Alakazam does happen to be caught by a Pursuit trapper such as Alolan Muk and is at full health, simply use Counter and Alakazam will either OHKO the opposing threat or do enough damage that the opposing Pokemon will be able to be KOed by one of Alakazam's other moves. Do not directly switch Alakazam into any opposing Pokemon unless they do not carry attacking moves. Focus Sash Alakazam needs appropriate team support to get it onto the field safely, such as with defensive pivot Jirachi or by punishing a switch with U-turn Victini. If worse comes to worst, preserving a weakened Pokemon with the intention of allowing a free switch for Alakazam is a viable strategy. Be careful when facing Pokemon that may run Substitute such as Mega Gyarados and Buzzwole. These threats should be attacked with Focus Blast and Psychic, respectively, in order to avoid missing out on an OHKO by using Counter on their Substitute. Avoid confrontations with any specially defensive Pokemon such as Araquanid, Chansey, Gliscor, or and Zapdos, as they can easily break Alakazam's Focus Sash.

Team Options
========

Victini is an amazing teammate for Alakazam, as it has astounding physical wallbreaking potential thanks to V-create and Bolt Strike and can manage teams that Alakazam often struggles with such as Bug and Steel. Choice Scarf Victini also puts immense pressure on opposing teams and can force switches that it can take advantage of with U-turn to bring Alakazam in for free. Mega Gallade is one of Psychic's best options for a Mega Pokemon Evolution, especially on offensive teams, as it's able to break down a plethora of defensive cores such as Normal's and Poison's, which Alakazam and the rest of the Psychic team heavily appreciates. Celebi is a solid option for Psychic teams, as it's able to quickly take control of matchups such as Fairy and Water due to these types generally running into issues with managing offensive Grass-types. Deoxys-S is an integral part of offensive Psychic teams, as it acts as the team's suicide lead, running either Stealth Rock and dual screens or hazard stack with Spikes. Choice Scarf Latias is a pretty decent option as a speed control option for Psychic with a Choice Scarf for keeping faster foes in check thanks to having similar stats to Latios but with the great option of running Healing Wish, which could to potentially full heal Alakazam in a pinch if it has been chipped down and its Focus Sash has yet to be broken. Mega Latias is a solid Mega option for more balanced builds, as it can set up with Calm Mind and put immense pressure on opposing teams as well as potentially sweeping. Jirachi provides incredible utility support through setting Stealth Rock, spreading status, and returning Alakazam's health back to full with Healing Wish. It also has a beneficial slow U-turn that can get Alakazam onto the field without the risk of taking damage, ultimately keeping its Focus Sash intact. Slowbro and Mega Slowbro are both great physically defensive Pokemon that are the backbone of the Psychic defensive core and can mitigate damage that Alakazam would greatly prefer not to take. Both also serve as checks to physical attackers in their own right in case Alakazam's Focus Sash has been expended to manage a threat already. Mew's dynamic roles of stallbreaker and setup sweeper can give Alakazam solid support in their own rights. Stallbreaker Mew can cripple opposing threats with Will-O-Wisp and Knock Off, which can take off some of the pressure in needing to preserve Alakazam as a check to sweepers. Meloetta serves as Psychic's only switch-in to Ghost-type Pokemon; Alakazam can safely switch to Meloetta against Ghost-types, such as Blacephalon, Jellicent, and Mimikyu, that it would otherwise struggle with. Meloetta can also serve as a special wallbreaker, alleviating some of the pressure to use Alakazam in more risky situations just for its special damage. Latios in an excellent special wallbreaker that pairs fairly well with Alakazam. Latios is able to spam Draco Meteor and has coverage for Pokemon that Alakazam may struggle with on its own such as Ferrothorn and Heatran. It can also use Defog, which would support the team in general more so than Alakazam.

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

Dazzling Gleam can be a good coverage move for getting super effective damage off on Dark-types like Mega Sableye and Dragon-types such as Garchomp, but this would involve giving up one of Alakazam's three most essential coverage moves or its check to priority and trapping. Mega Sableye also commonly runs a specially defensive set, meaning Dazzling Gleam can't 2HKO it. Plus, other team options such as Gardevoir, Latios, and Latias could easily make up for this coverage with their own STAB options. Mega Alakazam can also be used over the Counter + Focus Sash set as a fast, late-game sweeper, but Psychic has much better Mega options available to it, and Alakazam's main role as a check to physical sweepers is much better for Psychic teams.

Checks and Counters
===================

**Priority Attacks**: Because Alakazam has rather poor physical bulk, priority moves like Bullet Punch, Extreme Speed, Shadow Sneak, and Sucker Punch are extremely dangerous and can take it out of matches instantly. Pokemon like Mega Scizor, Dragonite, Doublade, Mimikyu, and Bisharp are the most common of these priority users that can take out Alakazam if it is not at full health.

**Pursuit Trapping**: Thanks to its single typing of Psychic paired with poor physical bulk, Alakazam is the ideal Pokemon to be subjected to textbook example of Pursuit traps bait. The only way to approach this issue is to avoid sending in Alakazam until the Pursuit trappers are either eliminated or put into KO range for either form to take them out. Alakazam can be used as bait to get Pursuit trappers to switch in, but only when it is absolutely safe to do so.

**Physical Attackers**: Having switch-ins for physical threats ready to go is the only assured way to handle them. Although Alakazam is meant to check physical threats with Counter, this role disappears if it is not at full HP or Focus Sash is broken.

**Special Walls**: Specially defensive Celesteela, Chansey, and Zapdos can prove to be a real pain to deal with for Alakazam because barring Special Defense drops and hazards, it cannot 2HKO any of these Pokemon. The only way to deal with these is by dealing chip damage as they switch in and going into an appropriate teammate designated to breaking special walls.

**Ghost-types**: Focus Sash Alakazam can run into some trouble against Ghost teams, as its main purpose of utilizing a practically free Counter is rendered useless. Although it can put out super effective damage with Shadow Ball, the Ghost defensive core of Mega Sableye and Jellicent doesn't mind taking a hit or two while also forcing Alakazam out.

**Faster Pokemon**: Some major threats to Psychic teams that can safely outspeed Alakazam include Pokemon such as Greninja and Tapu Koko.
 
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