Azelf (Update) [WIP]

What did I sign myself up for…? There’s only two mentions of Deoxys-D… WHATEVER, MAN.

What I’m changing: Removing mentions of Deoxys-D, updating some sets, tentatively adding my LO 4 Attack set.


Azelf

[Overview]

<p> Azelf, the avatar of willpower. It is said that Azelf gave humans the determination to face life’s difficulties. Befitting such a description, Azelf is a force to be reckoned with, boasting tremendous dual base 125 attacking stats and base 115 speed, among the fastest Pokemon of UU. Being a Psychic type, Azelf also wields a vast and impressive supporting movepool, from setting up weather to dual screens. However, there are some obstacles that halt even the Willpower Pokemon; revenge killers such as Choice Scarf Flygon and Heracross, naturally faster Pokemon like Weavile and Sceptile, and priority attackers including Azumarill and Hitmontop all put a dampener on Azelf’s plans, preying on Azelf’s poor defenses. Moreover, some walls such as Dusclops, Porygon2, and Snorlax have little to fear from Azelf. However, if your find your own will to win lacking, try out Azelf; he wasn’t OU last gen for kicks!</p>

[SET]
name: Nasty Plot
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Psychic/Psyshock
move 3: Flamethrower
move 4: Grass Knot
item: Life Orb/Expert Belt
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

  • Azelf’s best sweeping set, hits a devastating 698 Special Attack after one boost.
  • On the inclusion of Expert Belt: while Azelf’s SE coverage with the listed moves are less than stellar, there are lots of options to make that coverage much better (HP Fighting/Ice, Thunderbolt), and a +2 Azelf is nothing to be trifled with in the first place. LO is still the preferred option, but Expert Belt is also viable, much more so if you play Azelf as a clean-up sweeper.

[SET]
name: Choice Band
move 1: Zen Headbutt
move 2: Fire Punch
move 3: Ice Punch
move 4: U-turn/Trick
item: Choice Band
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

  • Same ol’ same ol’: Revenge killing, wall crippling (via Trick), maybe a bit of wall breaking.
  • Watch out for locking yourself into Zen Headbutt if they’re packing a Dark-type with Pursuit.

[SET]
name: Dual Screens
move 1: Reflect
move 2: Light Screen
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Stealth Rock
item: Light Clay
nature: Jolly/Timid
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

  • Best dual screener in the game after Deoxys-S.
  • Consider substituting U-turn in over Taunt or Stealth Rock (with a Jolly nature, of course) to avoid being too much taunt bait.
  • Watch out for any Pokemon w/Pursuit and Brick Break. Losing your screener AND your screens is no bueno.

[SET]
name: Weather Starter
move 1: Rain Dance/Sunny Day
move 2: Stealth Rock
move 3: Taunt
move 4: U-turn
item: Damp Rock/Heat Rock
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

  • A fine lead for offensive rain/sun teams.
  • Could also be used as a weather breaker against sand/opposing weather teams.
  • U-turn to avoid being Taunt bait, max speed to abuse Taunts of your own.

And now my own set which I’m really excited to put up. It’s done wonders for me.

[SET]
name: LO 4 Attacks
move 1: Psychic/Psyshock
move 2: Shadow Ball
move 3: Fire Blast/Flamethrower
move 4: Grass Knot
item: Life Orb
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Why this set deserves to be on-site:

  • Excellent clean-up sweeper, battering weakened teams into submission.
  • Shadow Ball seems weird, but there are a lot of Ghosts and Psychics that don’t like taking them.
  • Fire Blast gets the nod over Flamethrower because it has a high chance at OHKOing offensive Shaymin, whereas Shaymin has zero trouble OHKOing with Seed Flare.

Additional Comments:

  • Grass Knot drills the heavy Water-types of UU.
  • If Fire Blast misses too much for you/the power isn’t an issue, use Flamethrower, but there is a big power difference.
  • Hidden Power is cool and all, but without boosting, the power is really lacking unless you’re consistently hitting with X4 SE very often.

Teammates and Counters:

  • Fighting-types. Good lord, Fighting-types. If Weavile or Houndoom switches in on the revenge or on a predicted Psychic/Psyshock, you probably just lost Azelf. Technitop is especially powerful, as he doesn’t care about Ice Shard unless it’s boosted and Mach Punch will annihilate Dark-types.
  • Hazards really help Azelf get his kills. Empoleon resists Dark, Bug, and Ghost, has access to Stealth Rocks, and can also spread burn around with Scald, crippling Pursuiters and Toxic walls, stalling them out and giving Azelf room to sweep.

[Other Options]

Azelf has an equally powerful 125 base Attack, so a fully physical set, like the Choice Band set, is possible, but he has no way to boost his attack outside of a Choice Band or Baton Pass.
Specs is available for a powerful hit-and-run attacker, but he’s very frail, and the prospect of being locked into Psychic on Weavile is very risky.

[Checks and Counters]

  • I’ve said it a million times already, but Dark-types, especially Weavile and Houndoom. They’re immune to Azelf’s STAB Psychic attacks, and pack Pursuit and other powerful Dark-type attacks to shut him down. Weavile is naturally faster and can Pursuit or Night Slash to destroy Azelf, and Houndoom has access to Sucker Punch, psyching you out.
  • Yanmega will usually have Speed Boost, and always OHKOs with Bug Buzz, assuming 252 SpA EVs.
  • Snorlax fears nothing but boosted Psyshocks, and has Rest, Whirlwind, Body Slam for paralysis, and Crunch to shut down Azelf.
  • P2 can weather just about anything but boosted Hidden Power Fighting and can paralyze, set up Trick Room to use Azelf’s speed against it, or KO with BoltBeam or Tri Attack.
  • Victini can take anything but Shadow Ball, is commonly scarfed, and is liable to KO something with V-Create unless you have something that can absorb it/resists it.

If I missed something or made a horrible mistake in how I'm doing this, PLEASE let me know. I've made a set or two, but this is the first revamp I've ever done.
 

kokoloko

what matters is our plan!
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
lol okay, I apologize for assuming that you knew how to go about this. Here's what I need you to do:

First, edit the QC tag to a [WIP] tag, so that QC members don't think you're ready for criticism (you're not).

Second, read this thread. That should give you a general idea of how to format an analysis as you're working on it. Following it to the letter usually leads to perfect analysis and speeds up the pace of your work.

You're not supposed to put stuff in paragraph form until it has passed QC. Bullet points make it easier for you to change stuff around once we QC members give you our input.

Feel free to theorymon a little when putting things up at first, its our job as QC members to fix any mistakes you make along the way.

As for actual QC input, I belive the Life Orb set can easily be slashed in with the Nasty Plot set, something like this:

[SET]
name: Life Orb
move 1: Psychic / Psyshock
move 2: Fire Blast
move 3: Grass Knot
move 4: Nasty Plot / Shadow Ball (order to be determined)
item: Life Orb / Lum Berry?
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

Then you should give an emphasis to U-turn, Stealth Rock, Expert Belt, and Colbur Berry (with NP only) in the AC section, as they're all perfectly viable in a set like this.

If there's anything else you want to know, feel free to ask.
 
Made the formatting changes like you said.

I'm iffy on the merging of the Nasty Plot and Life Orb sets. They both kinda work in a "get in, start blowing stuff the fuck up" kinda way, but LO gets in multiple times unless it's a really frail team/it's sufficiently hurt to just sweep, whereas NP waits until the really tough special walls and counters have been removed, comes in and sets up once, and then blasts the living daylight out of their team. The only reason it stops is if it's countered and shut down or the match is over. Especially since I'm loathe to just give up a +2 boost, as do most players.

That's my two cents and how I've always played Azelf, but I'll leave it to the QC crew and what they think.

(and right, I get the whole "the sets are already extremely close" mentality, but how they're played also plays a big role in their implementation on-site. Look at Ursaring's sets, for example)
 

kokoloko

what matters is our plan!
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
I don't mind either way, if you feel like writing up two different sets, then go ahead. There's still a lot you need to work on here before you get your first stamp though.

The actual content in the OP is rather lacking; you need to add more set comments to all the sets (explaining the sets's job and what each listed move does usually does it), and an Additional Comments section to all but the LO set. In the AC section, you usually explain the EV and nature choice, alternative viable EV spreads, other moves/items that set can use without changing its purpose, and in a second paragraph, good teammates for the set.

Finally, assuming you're going to keep the LO set, make the set order as follows:

1. Nasty Plot
2. Life Orb
3. Choice Band
4. Dual-Screens
5. Weather Lead

I think you'll find that once you actually begin to start writing it up, it'll be very difficult to actually differentiate the first two, though.
 
Okay, I see what you mean. I'm not doing very many changes; just removing Deoxys-D mentions, so I didn't see too much point in breaking down sets that already received a QC pass.

But whatever else happens, I'll try to have the QC-ready skeleton up by Saturday/Sunday.
 
Ok the LO is good but I don't think it should be that narrow. This should probably get its own set because it's not really a cleaner but more of an offensive Stealth Rock set up momentum swinger etc.

[SET]
name: Stealth Rock
move 1: Psychic
move 2: Fire Blast
move 3: U-turn
move 4: Stealth Rock
item: Life Orb
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

- AC can include using a physical spread with Zen Headbutt / Explosion over Fire Blast + Psychic with Normal Gem as the item...gimmicky but I've seen it.
 
Nooo. Azelf suffers heavily from 4MSS, and he already has Rocks on two utility sets.

I'm also horribly, horribly against using U-turn in a "mixed" set. It might "dodge" the bonus power on Pursuit, but Azelf is frail enough that he's crippled by it anyway. Also, if it's a Houndoom or something with Sucker Punch in general, if they predict the attack instead of the outright switch, you still lose Azelf.

U-turn is becoming something of a Protect on the UU board. People on the OU board just throw it on a set because a Pokemon has it and try to get a set written up. Leave U-turn for physical sets or for sets that don't have anything better to put, not on special sets with as much range as Azelf.

He doesn't even get STAB on it!
 

kokoloko

what matters is our plan!
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Top Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
I'm kind of on the fence here.

I don't think a straight 4 attacks set would do nearly as well as something with some kind of support, but at the same time, I don't think both U-turn and Stealth Rock deserve their own slash.

[SET]
name: Life Orb
move 1: Psychic / Psyshock
move 2: Fire Blast
move 3: Grass Knot / Shadow Ball
move 4: Stealth Rock / U-turn
item: Life Orb
nature: Timid
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

That's legit, covers everything you both want to cover, and plays differently enough from the NP set to warrant its own set.

Lord of Bays, it seems to me you underestimate how useful U-turn really is.
 
I still think U-turn goes too well with Stealth Rock because Azelf often needs to duck out early game and you don't want to risk the wrong switch and lose momentum. What does Grass Knot really do early in the game that's worth that? Azelf beats Swampert and other mons that GK would KO with the exception of Slowbro.
 

FlareBlitz

Relaxed nature. Loves to eat.
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Top Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Champion
Scarf Azelf probably deserves a set, it's a great utility revenger.

Azelf @ Choice Scarf
Jolly / Naive
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

-Trick
-Explosion
-Zen Headbutt / Thunderbolt
-Ice Punch / U-Turn

The purpose of this set is basically to either explode on things that bother you or trick things that bother you or flat out ohko things that bother you. Azelf's exceptional speed means that it can revenge a variety of Pokemon that would otherwise be untouchable - things like Scarf Flygon, +2 Omastar / Gorebyss are all revenged easily by this set's coverage moves, while things like +2 Stoutland, +2 Kingdra, Scarfzap / Scarfkou, and other fast scarfers are revenged by Explosion. This set is especially useful against weather teams as well.

Zen Headbutt and U-Turn should be used together, and this is only if your primary motivation with this set is to have a failsafe for +2 Kingdra and Stoutland without really caring about Scarf Flygon or Omaster - if you do care about those, run the pseudo bolt-beam coverage. This isn't useless against stall or balanced teams either, as it can Trick to cripple one of its members while still posing a moderate threat with the respectable bolt beam coverage or STAB / U-Turn.
 
I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to bow out of doing this rewrite. My schedule at work picked up and is leaving me exhausted, and I just don't have enough creative juice/motivation going to make this attempt.

Also: Doing full analyses for a Pokemon (even a rewrite) is exhausting!
 

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