Arceus-Flying is the only Arceus forme that is immune to Ground-type moves, which gives it more opportunities to switch in than most other formes. It is also the only Arceus forme that is immune to all of Spikes, Toxic Spikes, and Sticky Web, meaning that teams reliant on these entry hazards to function can struggle against it. These characteristics, in conjunction with an offensive typing that no Pokemon is immune to, allow Arceus-Flying to attempt to act as a stallbreaker. Unfortunately, Arceus-Flying has many issues that make it very difficult to justify on most teams. Its lack of many useful resistances and weakness to Stealth Rock greatly undermine its bulk. Additionally, Arceus-Flying faces immense competition from Mega Salamence, which hits much harder and has more defensive utility due to Intimidate prior to Mega Evolution and a superior defensive typing. In preparing for Mega Salamence and its powerful Flying-type moves, most teams will also have Arceus-Flying accounted for, which makes it difficult to use. Arceus-Flying also competes heavily with other Pokemon immune to Ground for a teamslot; Yveltal and Ho-Oh are much more offensively threatening, Giratina-O can combine the ability to remove entry hazards with more immediate offensive presence and a lessened vulnerability to Stealth Rock, and Lugia is a much more potent defensive force due to Multiscale. The most glaring reason not to use Arceus-Flying, however, is that it offers very little over other Arceus formes. It is outclassed as a Calm Mind user by Arceus-Dark and Arceus-Rock, as a support Arceus forme by Arceus-Water and Arceus-Ground, and even as a Swords Dance user by Arceus and Arceus-Ghost, all of which provide more offensive or defensive utility in exchange for the precious Arceus teamslot. This multitude of issues and subsequent lack of a real niche in the metagame means that Arceus-Flying should not be used on a serious team.
name: Calm Mind
move 1: Calm Mind
move 2: Judgment
move 3: Recover
move 4: Refresh
item: Sky Plate
evs: 112 HP / 144 SpA / 252 Spe
Calm Mind allows Arceus-Flying to boost its offensive and defensive capabilities against passive Pokemon that struggle to deal with it, such as most support Arceus formes. Judgment is a powerful STAB move that no Pokemon is immune to, making it a consistent option. Recover allows Arceus-Flying to regain health it may have lost from Stealth Rock damage, switching into attacks, or a status condition such as burn or poison. Refresh allows Arceus-Flying to remove status conditions that bulkier Pokemon, such as Blissey, may try to inflict upon it.
112 HP EVs ensure that Arceus-Flying is never 2HKOed by Ice Beam or neutrally effective Judgment from support Arceus formes with no Special Attack investment after Stealth Rock. This also gives Arceus-Flying a HP value that is not divisible by four, allowing it to switch into Stealth Rock four times. 252 Speed EVs and a Timid nature let Arceus-Flying Speed tie with maximum Speed Arceus formes and ensure that it is not dead weight against offense. 144 SpA EVs make Arceus-Flying more immediately threatening offensively.
Arceus-Flying can afford to directly switch into passive Pokemon that are common on bulkier teams, such as support Arceus formes, Mega Sableye, and support Primal Groudon lacking a Rock-type move, and attempt to set up with Calm Mind. However, do not attempt to set up if Unaware Clefable is present on the opposing team, as it is a hard stop to Arceus-Flying. If Arceus-Flying is afflicted with status, use Refresh as soon as possible to prevent damage from accumulating and to limit the number of turns wasted clicking Recover. Arceus-Flying is hard pressed to directly switch into offensive teams due to its lack of resistances, especially if Stealth Rock is up, so it should be pivoted in, switched into predicted Ground-type moves, or brought in after a teammate has fainted. Play it more aggressively against offense; Arceus-Flying's Speed investment lets it hit first most of the time, and few Pokemon on these teams enjoy taking neutrally effective Judgments.
Arceus-Flying's Stealth Rock weakness makes Defog or Rapid Spin support essential. Giratina-O makes for a good partner on bulkier teams, while Excadrill and Cloyster are useful on more offensive teams. Arceus-Flying also appreciates Stealth Rock support of its own from Pokemon such as Primal Groudon, Excadrill, and Dialga to help gradually wear down bulkier Pokemon. can all provide Stealth Rock for Arceus-Flying. Primal Groudon also doubles as a useful check to Rock- and Steel-types for Arceus-Flying, as these Pokemon are difficult for Arceus-Flying to remove due to their resistance to Judgment. Mega Lucario and Mega Blaziken can provide similar utility. Clefable is extremely dangerous to Arceus-Flying due to Unaware, allowing it to ignore Arceus-Flying's Calm Mind boosts; Mega Lucario and Mega Gengar can eliminate Clefable, making Arceus-Flying's life easier.
A Swords Dance set with Flyinium Z can make for an interesting Mega Salamence partner. Both can wear down each other's checks, potentially paving the way for a sweep; unfortunately, using this combination in a team creates sizeable defensive holes that are difficult to remedy. Opting to run an additional attack over Refresh makes Arceus-Flying an inferior stallbreaker, as it is then left with no way of removing burn or bad poison. However, if such a situation is desired, either one of Earth Power or Fire Blast can be used. Earth Power hits both Steel- and Rock-types for super effective damage but leaves Arceus-Flying vulnerable to Steel-types immune to Ground, such as Bronzong, Skarmory, and Celesteela. Fire Blast broadens the variety of Steel-types Arceus-Flying can hit but leaves it even more vulnerable to Rock-types. Finally, a support set carrying Toxic, Fire Blast, Judgment, and Recover can be considered, but Arceus-Flying's subpar defensive typing makes this a terrible option.
Checks and Counters
**Rock-types**: Tyranitar and Arceus-Rock both wall Arceus-Flying. Tyranitar receives a Special Defense boost from sand, letting it easily shrug off even boosted Judgments, and can OHKO Arceus-Flying with a Choice Band-boosted Stone Edge. Mega Tyranitar is even more threatening to Arceus-Flying, as it can use Arceus-Flying as setup fodder for Dragon Dance. Arceus-Rock can boost alongside Arceus-Flying with Calm Mind and will always win due to its offensive and defensive type advantage. Physically offensive Pokemon that carry Rock-type coverage moves, such as Primal Groudon and Swords Dance Arceus-Ground, can also overwhelm Arceus-Flying.
**Clefable**: Unaware allows Clefable to ignore Arceus-Flying's Calm Mind boosts and PP stall it.
**Ho-Oh**: Offensive Ho-Oh 2HKOes Arceus-Flying with Brave Bird, while defensive Ho-Oh can pressure Arceus-Flying into using Recover and Refresh with the threat of Toxic or burn from Sacred Fire. However, if Stealth Rock is up, Ho-Oh's efficacy as a check greatly diminishes; even defensive sets will be 2HKOed by unboosted Judgment if they try to switch into Arceus-Flying.
**Steel-types**: Most Steel-types, such as Celesteela, Solgaleo, and Aegislash, can wall Arceus-Flying but will have trouble dealing with it if it has accumulated enough boosts. Magearna is the most dangerous Steel-type to Arceus-Flying, as it can easily take a boosted Judgment and steal Arceus-Flying's Calm Mind boosts with Heart Swap. Arceus-Steel, while uncommon, also hard counters Arceus-Flying, as it takes very little from even boosted Judgments and can use Arceus-Flying as setup bait for Swords Dance. Dialga can set up Stealth Rock on Arceus-Flying and phaze it with Roar, removing any Calm Mind boosts Arceus-Flying has accumulated.
**Electric-types**: Zekrom, Arceus-Electric, Tapu Koko, and Xurkitree can all use Arceus-Flying as setup fodder.
**Ice-types**: Arceus-Ice Speed ties with Arceus-Flying and can hit it for super effective damage with Judgment. However, it does not resist Flying-type Judgment, which makes stopping a boosted Arceus-Flying a difficult task. Kyurem-W OHKOes unboosted Arceus-Flying with Ice Beam but cannot switch in at all, especially if Stealth Rock is up.
**Blissey and Chansey**: Chansey and Blissey that run Confide can cause problems for Arceus-Flying, as they can remove Arceus-Flying's Special Attack boosts and stall it out. However, all other variants of Blissey and Chansey will lose.
**Mega Gengar**: Mega Gengar cannot safely switch into Arceus-Flying, but variants that carry Taunt and Destiny Bond can force trades by forcing Arceus-Flying to attack.