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Clefable's typing, decent bulk, and access to an amazing ability in Magic Guard as well as reliable recovery make it a great Pokemon. A wide movepool gives Clefable a bunch of options with utility moves such as Stealth Rock as well as fantastic coverage moves like Flamethrower and Thunderbolt to hit Pokemon that would otherwise switch in safely such as Ferrothorn and Toxapex. Furthermore, access to Knock Off makes Clefable much harder to punish, as its checks are severely hindered by having their item removed. Thanks to this, Clefable can fit on a bunch of bulky offense and balance teams as a defensive entry hazard setter or a Calm Mind user. Despite all the features that make Clefable a great Pokemon, its somewhat disappointing natural bulk often means it can get overwhelmed by offensive Pokemon it might be used to check like Garchomp and Landorus-T after they use Swords Dance. Clefable's mediocre defensive stats can be especially problematic in longer games because it's often used as a switch-in to a lot of Pokemon.
move 1: Moonblast
move 2: Soft-Boiled
move 3: Stealth Rock / Wish
move 4: Knock Off
ability: Magic Guard
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Clefable is a great Stealth Rock setter, as it can very easily take advantage of passive Pokemon such as Toxapex, Blissey, and Slowbro. Alternatively, Wish is a very useful move that can be used if Clefable's team already has a Stealth Rock user. It supports teammates such as Heatran, Magearna, and Ferrothorn by keeping them healthy throughout the game. Knock Off cripples any switch-in by removing its item, especially Heavy-Duty Boots from Cinderace and Leftovers from Heatran or Ferrothorn, which limits their usefulness over the course of the game. While Leftovers provides passive recovery to keep Clefable healthy and allow it to switch into attacks better, Rocky Helmet is an alternative to punish physical attacks such as U-turn from Landorus-T, Dragapult, and Mandibuzz that usually want to pivot out against Clefable.
Offensive Pokemon like Cinderace, Heatran, and Rillaboom can often overwhelm Clefable, so checks to them are good teammates. Toxapex can take on Cinderace, and Slowbro and Slowking are also decent Cinderace checks that can switch into Heatran if they are healthy. Both Corviknight and defensive Landorus-T can take on Rillaboom and other physical attackers like Garchomp and opposing Landorus-T that might overwhelm Clefable. Steel-types like Melmetal, Excadrill, and Magearna can take advantage of this Clefable set, so switch-ins to them make good teammates; Ferrothorn can switch into Melmetal and Magearna while also using Spikes to form an entry hazard stacking duo with Clefable, and Slowbro can take on both Melmetal and Excadrill but has to be wary of Toxic. Ground-types like Landorus-T and Garchomp can pressure the aforementioned Steel-types as well as Poison-types such as Toxapex, Galarian Slowking, and Nidoking that might switch into Clefable. Furthermore, both of these Pokemon are decent checks to Cinderace. Specially defensive Pokemon like Blissey and Assault Vest Galarian Slowking can form a good defensive core with Clefable by taking on powerful special attackers such as Heatran, Tapu Koko, and Shift Gear Magearna that Clefable often struggles with.
name: Calm Mind
move 1: Calm Mind
move 2: Moonblast
move 3: Soft-Boiled
move 4: Thunderbolt / Flamethrower
item: Life Orb / Leftovers
ability: Magic Guard
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Calm Mind boosts Clefable's Special Attack and Special Defense, allowing it to break through bulkier Pokemon or prepare for a sweep. Flamethrower hits Steel-types like Magearna, Ferrothorn, Melmetal, and Excadrill, while Thunderbolt lets Clefable hit Toxapex, Corviknight and Moltres super effectively and is its best attack to wear down Heatran and Cinderace. Knock Off can be run instead of a coverage move to remove Leftovers or Heavy-Duty Boots from certain Pokemon, limiting their longevity and allowing Clefable to find easier wallbreaking and sweeping opportunities. Thunder is a less accurate alternative to Thunderbolt that hits the aforementioned Electric-weak Pokemon much harder while also having a higher chance to paralyze Heatran and Cinderace as they switch in. Life Orb gives Clefable a boost that makes it much harder to switch into, allowing it to 2HKO offensive Melmetal with Flamethrower and making it much easier to beat Toxapex one-on-one with Thunderbolt. Magic Guard keeps Clefable from taking Life Orb recoil, allowing it to sweep more easily and throw off attacks without taking extra damage. It also prevents Clefable from taking entry hazard and Toxic damage, allowing it to stay healthy when switching in and find more opportunities to set up.
Bulky Water-types such as Toxapex, Slowbro, and Slowking can switch into Cinderace, while the latter two can also take on Heatran for Clefable if they're healthy. Additionally, Toxapex can spread poison with Toxic or Toxic Spikes, making it easier for Clefable to sweep. Ferrothorn can set up entry hazards, which is really useful for wearing down Clefable's switch-ins, as well as covering Melmetal, while Corviknight can take on Excadrill. Since Clefable can weaken or KO bulky Steel-types with Flamethrower, Pokemon that take advantage of this like Excadrill, Melmetal, and Rillaboom are good teammates. Rillaboom can also pivot with U-turn to bring Clefable in safely against Pokemon such as Mandibuzz and Corviknight. Garchomp is an excellent teammate that appreciates Clefable KOing Corviknight. It also takes on Heatran and can set up Stealth Rock to wear down the opposing team. If you're running Thunderbolt, Cinderace is a decent teammate that appreciates Clefable's ability to weaken or KO Toxapex. Cinderace can also use U-turn to bring Clefable in against Toxapex and Slowbro or use High Jump Kick to remove Heatran.
A Wish + Teleport set can be used to support Clefable's teammates. However, Clefable isn't the most effective Wish passer, as it lets in Pokemon such as Magearna, Melmetal, and Nidoking that prevent it from using Teleport safely. A specially defensive set can be used to let Clefable take on the likes of Hydreigon and Dragapult better, but this set can't take on physical attackers like Garchomp and Landorus-T as effectively and is inferior in most cases. Unaware can be used so that Clefable can take on setup sweepers like Swords Dance Garchomp and Landorus-T. However, without Magic Guard, Clefable is a lot more susceptible to being worn down by entry hazards or status effects and requires strong entry hazard removal. A set with Choice Scarf and Trick can be used to cripple Pokemon like Toxapex, Ferrothorn, and Blissey, making it easier for Clefable's teammates to take them on. However, this set has limited utility, as Trick is often useless after being used once, and Clefable only has one other moveslot to choose between Stealth Rock, Calm Mind, and a coverage move. Similarly, a set with Sticky Barb and Trick can be used to wear down Pokemon that switch into Clefable, but it also has limited utility for the same reason. Thunder Wave can be used to spread paralysis and is especially useful for crippling Pokemon like Heatran and Cinderace. Aromatherapy can be used to heal status conditions, which is appreciated especially by teammates such as Garchomp, Landorus-T, and Rillaboom.
Checks and Counters
**Steel-types**: Steel-types like Magearna, Melmetal, and Excadrill can switch in and force out Clefable. Ferrothorn and Corviknight can switch in multiple times and pressure Clefable if they have a super effective move or set up entry hazards in the case of Ferrothorn. However, they all dislike being hit by Knock Off and need to be wary of Flamethrower or, in the case of Corviknight, Thunderbolt.
**Fire-types**: Heatran is one of the best counters to Clefable, taking very little from its attacks and hitting back very hard. Other Fire-types like Cinderace, Victini, Volcarona, and Moltres can also switch into Clefable. However, getting their Heavy-Duty Boots removed by Knock Off will limit their longevity if entry hazards are up. Moltres also needs to be wary of Thunderbolt.
**Poison-types**: Poison-types such as Toxapex, Galarian Slowking, and Nidoking can all switch into Moonblast; the latter two can threaten Clefable with super effective attacks. However, Nidoking gets a lot weaker if it loses its Life Orb to Knock Off, and Toxapex can lose to the combination of Calm Mind and Thunderbolt. Assault Vest Galarian Slowking can also lose to Calm Mind sets.
**Powerful Wallbreakers**: Despite its decent bulk, Clefable can get overwhelmed by strong wallbreakers like Rillaboom, Swords Dance Garchomp, and Landorus-T.
- Written by: [[DKM, 402001]]
- Quality checked by: [[Jordy, 395754], [ausma, 360720]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Milak, 262594], [The Dutch Plumberjack, 232216]]