Gen 4 Drifblim (NU Analysis) [GP 0/2]


Balloon n_n


Drifblim is an unique Pokemon with a great signature ability in Unburden which allows it to act as a one-time Sweeper when used in tandem with Calm Mind. It's unique typing gives it a useful Ghost STAB which hits the numerous Psychic types in the tier, namely some Special walls like Slowking, Grumpig and Hypno. It also gets handful resistances to act as an offensive check to the likes of Tauros and Sunny Day Vileplume and to invalidate most Lickilicky variants as a counter. Furthermore, thanks to its wide movepool and its other ability Aftermath, Drifblim is versatile enough to fulfill tasks such as leading, revenge killing, passing boosts, setting weather... However, its typing sports several crippling weaknesses, mainly to Stealth Rocks and to Pursuit, leaving Drifblim very vulnerable to the omnipresent Skuntank. Moreover, due to its middling Speed and Special Attack, Drifblim relies on boosts to pose a threat and thus faces heavy competition from Haunter as an offensive Ghost type.

name: SubCM
move 1: Calm Mind
move 2: Substitute
move 3: Shadow Ball
move 4: Hidden Power Fighting
item: Sitrus Berry / Petaya Berry
ability: Unburden
nature: Modest
evs: 140 SpA / 124 SpD / 244 Spe


Here is Drifblim's bread-and-butter set, which acts as a very threatening late game Sweeper. However, keep in mind that Unburden's effect disappear on switch-ins. So choose your moment to set-up and to eat your berry carefully. Calm Mind is a key set-up move that Drifblim needs to attempt a sweep thanks to the Special Attack boost. The added boost in Special Defense is very handy in a metagame were fast special attackers are so common as it makes Drifblim harder to revenge kill before Unburden is underway. Substitute is meant to be used over and over until Drifblim eats its berry. It also allows you to play around Sucker Punch users, to escape Pursuit, to protect yourself from revenge killers before Unburden activates and to avoid statues. Shadow Ball is Drifblim's best STAB and hits Psychic types like Slowking, Gardevoir and Jynx, all very common threats. Hidden Power Fighting gives you a perfect coverage alongside Shadow Ball and allows you to hit Regirock, Cradily, Magneton, Lickilicky, Regice and Dark-types not named Skuntank super effectively.


The given spread allows Drifblim to outspeed Scarf Timid Manectric after the Unburden boost, which is likely the fatest Revenge Killer you will ever face. The EVs in Special Defense ensure that the substitute won't break to Slowking's Surf after a Calm Mind. The remaining EVs are placed in Special Attack in order to hit as hard as possible. However, the EV spread is pretty customizable, depending on what you need. For instance, dropping the investment in Special Defense in order to maximize the Special Attack is perfectly doable, as it guarantees you to OHKO Tauros, Floatzel and Manectric and to 2HKO Regirock after a Calm Mind and Stealth Rock damages.

The chosen berry depends mostly on personnal preferences : Sitrus Berry doesn't require you to go on very low health, which means it may activate Unburden sooner and grant an additional Substitute. Petaya Berry, on the other hand, is very helpful if Drifblim faces too much pressure to set-up manually with Calm Mind, as it will raise its Special Attack once its HP reach the range.

Hidden Power Ground is an appealing option since it 2HKOs Skuntank even unboosted, but leaves you completely walled by Dodrio and much more vulnerable to other Dark-types, namely Shiftry and Cacturne. Statues moves like Will-O-Wisp can prove to be useful as it allows Drifblim to cripple or potentially some of its usual checks and let you avoid Sucker Punch, but outside of their accuracy issue, a Mono-Attacker Drifblim is walled by Normal types and struggles even more against Dark-types. Since Drifblim may end up being unable to sweep the opposing team, Baton Pass ensures that all the Calm Mind accumulated won't be a waste if you pack another Special attacker behind. Moreover, Baton Pass allows Drifblim to escape Pursuit. If you're holding a Petaya Berry, giving up Calm Mind is also possible as it will free a moveslot and let you using one of the above options or other offensives options like Thunderbolt or Explosion instead. Although you don't have to set-up manually with Calm Mind anymore, eating the berry requires Drifblim to be at very low health and you'll get only a +1 boost in Special Attack by doing so, sweeping under these conditions might be difficult. In some situations, Drifblim may be unable to use any move if it's facing fast and strong pokemon like Charizard or Manectric. That's why you can drop Substitute for Endure in order to have a chance to do some damages, but with its typing and bulk Drifblim will more often than not have at least one opportunity to set up in each match.

With Skuntank being Drifblim's biggest ennemy, Pokemon that can lure it out and either cripple or outright kill it like Gardevoir with Will-O-Wisp, Focus Blast or Destiny Bond or Shiftry with Explosion make good partners. Other Dark-types with super effective priorities like Shiftry and Cacturne are pretty annoying as well, although Substitute is here to help Drifblim against them. Therefore, having a good switch-in to most of them like Vileplume is appreciated. Specially bulky Pokemon with super effective coverage like Regirock, Cradily, Regice or Muk need to be out of the way or severly damaged in order to sweep with Drifblim. Fighting-types like Medicham threat all of them. Another way to wear down said Pokemon is Spike and Stealth Rock support. In this case, Drifblim's Ghost-typing is something to take advantage against opposing Spinners, although its weaknesses to Hitmonchan's Ice Punch and Sandslash's Night Slash make it a pretty subpar spinblocker. Even if Drifblim doesn't mind Stealth Rock that much as it benefits from a one-time full recovery or needs to get in Sitrus Berry's range anyway, Rapid Spin support from Hitmonchan or Sandslash is still appreciated as Drifblim will likely have an easier time to set-up if it comes at full health. Moreover, both of these Pokemon are pretty good at checking most Drifblim's fiends, namely Regirock and Skuntank. Also, due to Unburden, most Drifblim's answers are either strong priority users or specially bulky Pokemon. Nonetheless, naturally faster Pokemon can also pose a threat if they pressure Drifblim enough to prevent it from setting up. These includes most special attackers like Haunter, Jynx, Manectric... Thus, packing a special wall or tank like Lickilicky isn't a bad idea.

name: ChestoRest CM
move 1: Calm Mind
move 2: Rest
move 3: Shadow Ball
move 4: Hidden Power Fighting
item: Chesto Berry
ability: Unburden
nature: Modest
evs: 12 Def / 252 SpA / 244 Spe


An alternative to the former set, which is very effective as well if played right. Instead of lowering your health to reach the Sitrus Berry's range, you have access to a one-time full recovery with the combination of Rest and Chesto Berry. Unlike the former set, this variant has to activate Unburden manually by using Rest, which is a double-edged sword, as Unburden can't be triggered against your will by reaching a given range but you have to find a free turn to use Rest without being protected by a substitute and you can't trigger Unburden automatically in an emergency. Calm Mind stays the needed move to pull off a sweep, and this Drifblim's variant will likely be able to accumulate more boosts thanks to its ability to heal itself. Shadow Ball and Hidden Power Fighting keep a perfect coverage together and thus remain Drifblim's preferred offensive tools.


The given spread still allows Drifblim to outspeed Scarf Jolly Manectric after the Unburden boost. The Special Attack is maximized to hit as hard as possible, the remaining EVs are thrown into Defense in order to take physical hits a little better. Putting 252 EVs in Defense almost guarantees to take a Life Orb boosted Sucker Punch from Adamant Skuntank, but you won't necessarily hit hard enough in return.

Hidden Power Ground remains a potential coverage option, but Hidden Power Fighting stays the best choice overall for the same reason as the former set. Recycle is also an option as retrieving your berry allows you to abuse of the ChestoRest strategy. The selling point of this move is to activate Unburden possibly several times throughout the match. However, it's difficult to find a moveslot for it

When it comes to ennemies and partners, this variant is very similar to the previous one. You'll still to be prepared against super-effective priorities, Special walls, Stealth Rock, offensive pressure and especially Skuntank. Therefore, recommended teamates are mostly the same: Gardevoir, Medicham, Sandslash, Lickilicky...

name: Hindenburg (Lead)
move 1: Hypnosis
move 2: Explosion
move 3: Shadow Ball
move 4: Hidden Power Fighting
item: Focus Sash
ability: Unburden
nature: Mild
evs: 12 Atk / 252 Spa / 244 Spe
ivs: 2 HP / 2 Def / 30 Spa / 2 Spd / 30 Spe


Thanks to Unburden, Hypnosis, Explosion and its immunity to Fake Out, Drifblim makes a pretty effective lead. Hypnosis is a high-risk, high-reward move with which Drifblim can beat Pokemon which would normally have the upper hand against it, provided it doesn't miss. It also prevents slower Pokemon from setting Stealth Rock, and sleep disables just any Pokemon. A sleep-inducing move fits nicely on Drifblim since its Ghost STAB scares Hypno off, the most common sleep absorber. Explosion is a last-dish tool which will hopefully kill the opposing Pokemon. Once more, Drifblim's Ghost-STAB proves to be useful since it discourages opposing Ghost-types to absorb Explosion. In the best scenario, this variant of Drifblim can take two opposing Pokemon down. Shadow Ball and Hidden Power Fighting still provides a perfect coverage. The second allows Drifblim to take care of Lead Persian.


The spread stays untouched, you may also encounter Scarf Manectric as a lead. Drifblim's defensives stats are minimized so the Focus Sash can be broken more easily, which is necessary since Unburden won't activate otherwise.

Memento and Destiny Bond aren't bad alternatives since they are far less predictable than Explosion. The former gives a plenty of opportunities early-game and the latter can caught Pokemon like Regirock and is a great tool against Sucker Punch users when the Sleep Clause is on. Nonetheless, the immediate threat of Explosion is hard to give up. Sucker Punch is a pretty neat priority attack which allows you to get some surprise KOs against opposing sashed lead, but it's hard to fit.

Faster sleep inducers like Jynx, Venomoth and Jumpluff are extremly threatening since they can prevent Drifblim from doing anything. Therefore, a sleep absorber like Hypno or Restalk Mantine makes good partners. Faster lead like Floatzel and Glalie can possibly win the 1v1 or get multiple layers of Spikes, respectively, as long as they predict Hypnosis correctly or simply avoid it. So be sure to have something to deal with them afterwards. Even if Drifblim survives at 1 HP, Priority users and Rock-types like Regirock don't fear much from Drifblim if the Sleep Clause is already active. So packing a Pokemon that can take advantage of most of them like Poliwrath is something to consider.

name: Choice Scarf
move 1: Trick
move 2: Shadow Ball
move 3: Thunderbolt
move 4: Explosion
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Aftermath
nature: Naive
evs: 4 Att / 252 Spa / 252 Spe


Drifblim makes a good use of Choice Scarf as it gives a very appealing role compression between Trick, Explosion, its defensive utility, its ability to spinblock and to revenge kill fast Pokemon. Its other ability Aftermath is something to note, as it can outspeed and damage the opposing Pokemon with its attacking moves before further wearing it down if it eliminates Drifblim with a contact move, which can prove to be useful in case Explosion wouldn't work. Trick is a neat tool, especially when your team has trouble against Skuntank, Regirock, Lickilicky or Cradily, since it either cripple of make them outright useless. Shadow Ball stay Drifblim's best and mandatory STAB and Thunderbolt is Drifblim's best option to revenge kill Charizard, Dodrio, Floatzel, Sharpedo and Crawdaunt. Whereas Explosion is an immediately threatening offensive move which can take down most Pokemon that don't resist it and save you in emergency cases. Just like the previous set , this variantDrifblim can ideally severely cripple two opposing Pokemon, by using Trick and Explosion.


Naive is the nature of choice since it's needed to outspeed Electrode and slower scarf users like Magneton without lowering the power of Explosion. Hidden Power Fighting is very underwhelming unboosted but has a similar a similar purpose against Shiftry and Cacturne.

Hidden Power Grass is available if you're really afraid of Dragon Dance Wishcash and Rock Polish Rhydon, but their usage is still pretty low. Baton Pass can be useful to scout the opponent's team and bring an answer to the incoming switch-in. Do note that it allows you to escape safely from Pursuit.

Since Skuntank will either faint or be at low health after eliminating Drifblim due to Explosion Aftermath, anything that likes having it out of the way is a good teamate. Examples include Jynx, Shiftry, Gardevoir... You also may end up giving your Choice Scarf to bulky Pokemon like Regirock, Cradily, Muk or Regice with Trick. If that's the case, Pokemon like Tauros or Haunter will have a much easier time sweeping through the opponent's team once these annoyances are crippled.

[Other Options]

Drifblim makes a very good user of Baton Pass due to its ability to pass high HP Substitutes and either Calm Mind or Stockpile. The lack of phazers in the tier helps its case. Drifblim can also act as a Sunny Day or Rain Dance inducer in dedicated weather teams. Its access to Weather Ball, Thunder and Explosion allows it to deal with common threats to these kinds of team. A Choice Specs is an option if you really want immediate power, but Life Orb Haunter hits harder and is faster so you should better stick with it. A support set with moves like Memento can work in some Hyper Offensive teams, but Dual Screeners are generally better options. Drifblim can act as a statues spreaders with moves such as Will-O-Wisp, Hypnosis and Thunder Wave, but more powerful Pokemon like Gardevoir are more suited for this task. A defensive variant with moves like Will-O-Wisp and Haze has some merits due to Drifblim's unique typing, but its Stealth Rock weakness and the existence of Sableye and Dusclops hinder it.

[Checks and Counters]

Dark-types are Drifblim's biggest nemesis mainly due to their super effectives priorities which bypass the Unburden boost, some of them also trap it with Pursuit. The omnipresent Skuntank in particular will often spell doom on Drifblim with either Sucker Punch, Crunch or Pursuit, only fearing Hidden Power Ground. Sneasel can fire off Ice Shard without hesitation and threaten Drifblim with Pursuit as well, but has to be wary of Hidden Power Fighting. Shiftry and Cacturne are extremely scary as well with their strong Sucker Punch, but Substitute variants can play around them. Rock-types like Regirock or Cradily are bulky enough to withstand even boosted hits and will do massive damage with their Rock STAB. Specially bulky Pokemon with super effective coverage like Regice, Muk and Lapras have the upper hand against Drifblim if they're healthy, but they can be in trouble if it has already several Calm Minds under its belt. Some special walls or tank can cripple Drifblim in their own way: Politoed can lock it with Encore, Mantine may erase its boost with Haze and Lickilicky can pack another offensive move specifically for Haunter and Drifblim. Finally, a ton of revenge killers can take care of Drifblim if Unburden isn't underway or if it isn't covered by Substitute or Calm Mind boosts. To name a few : Manectric, Haunter, Jynx, Charizard, Scarf Magneton, Sharpedo...
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fever dream
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tbh blim's play doesn't change that much between the two tiers. But it really doesn't need this many sets for NU, don't think I've ever seen half of them. I would just list CM and Lead and leave the rest in OO. Scarf is debatable to keep.

Cut the bulk out and let's see how it looks from there
As asked, I removed the BP and Weather set. I decided to leave the Scarf set until it's decided to keep it or not. I think it deserves a set but I'm fine with getting rid of it as well.

How is it "identical" to the on-site analysis ? Believe me or not, but I didn't "calc" my analysis on it. Some sets seem effectively almost untouched but the comments are focused solely on the NU metagame. I've discussed a bit with Honko about how this analyis would look like before writing it, so I like to know his opinion as well.


he of many honks
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Scarf is good, it should stay. I'd personally change the moves up a bit though so it's just Trick / Shadow Ball / Thunderbolt / Explosion. HP Fighting sucks imo since it only does like 60% to Tauros (who will switch out anyway since it's probably locked into a move Drifblim is immune to) and Shiftry (who probably has Sucker Punch), doesn't really hit anything else, and makes you lose the speed tie against other scarf 80s. Mention it and BP in the comments but I don't think they're worth slashing.

BP was a pretty common back Drifblim set in the old PO ladder days, and I'm convinced that the only reason we don't see it anymore is because of the post-BW stigma against BP. Especially now with hail/sand banned (indirectly making Taunt/Encore and phazers less common) I think BP would be really solid in NU if anyone bothered using it. It probably deserves a set, but I at least agree that it would be 4th after CM/Lead/Scarf, so I guess we can leave it in OO until someone decides to use it in some tournaments.

Weather Balloon in OO makes sense.

The most important difference between this and the UU analysis should be an emphasis on offensive SubCM + Sitrus/Petaya, since that's probably Drifblim's best set now and it currently only gets a tiny mention buried in the comments on UU ChestoRest. I think I'd actually prefer to see SubCM and ChestoRest split into two different sets, since there are a lot of interesting tweaks you can make to SubCM (EV spread, Sitrus vs Petaya, HP Fighting vs Ground, and then the more adventurous stuff like dropping CM for Thunderbolt or Explosion, or dropping coverage for BP or WoW, or dropping Sub for Endure...), and almost none of that stuff applies to ChestoRest.
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Updated and made the asked changes. Sorry it took so long.

I'm not sure if they are other options that are really worth slashing in the SubCM, although I could understand if you really want me to slash HP Ground due to the ubiquity of Skunktank.

By the way, should I repeat in the second set every single problems and teamates for Drifblim since they're pratically unchanged from the set ?

I also think I shoul re-add the BP but I'll wait for a clear answer.


he of many honks
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This looks pretty good to me. Leave BP in OO for now. A few comments:

  • That EV spread is ok, but I'd at least mention some alternatives since Drifblim is pretty customizable. For example, dropping the SpD and maxing SpA guarantees you OHKO Tauros/Manectric/Floatzel and 2HKO Regirock after SR, whereas they all have a chance to survive with 140 SpA.
  • I would never run Thunderbolt or Explosion over HP Fighting. They're only worth mentioning in the case where you drop CM and run SubPetaya + 3 attacks. I also don't think Hypnosis is worth mentioning at all on this set.
  • Remove the Sneasel mention; it's not relevant outside of leading, and Vileplume would not be a good answer to it even if it was.
  • Aftermath isn't really a big selling point so I wouldn't highlight it as much. It's a neat ability but it's not the main reason you'd use this set.
  • The real selling points of this set are fast Explosion and its ability to spinblock in a pinch the same way Haunter does, and to a lesser extent Trick. It's useful for certain teams to be able to compress the roles of spinblocker and catch-all emergency revenge killer with a single teamslot. And as you mention, Trick is great for crippling most of Drifblim's switch-ins. Against defensive teams you have a good chance of crippling 2 things with Trick + Explosion.
  • Your sentence about taking Skuntank down with HP Ground is confusing. I think you mean that hitting it with HP Ground on the switch puts it in Aftermath range so that it dies when it kills you with Sucker Punch the next turn, but that's not actually true: 252+ SpA Drifblim Hidden Power Ground vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Skuntank: 194-230 (55.9 - 66.2%).
  • HP Grass would be for Whiscash and Rhydon. Gastrodon isn't really a threat, and even if it was, HP Grass only does like 50% to it.
  • Tailwind isn't worth mentioning.
Thanks for the feedback! I've implemented your comments and removed the HP Ground mention from the Scarf set, as no matter what you do you'll die against Skuntank if you use an offensive move, so you better use Explosion anyway.

Just so you know, I already faced and got swept by a BP team featuring Gligar and Drifblim so I'm pretty sure that BP is a viable strategy. But I'll stick with your decisions. Here's the BP set, just in case I'll have to add it :
name: Baton Pass
move 1: Baton Pass
move 2: Substitute
move 3: Calm Mind / Stockpile
move 4: Shadow Ball / Hypnosis
item: Leftovers / Sitrus Berry
ability : Aftermath / Unburden
nature: Timid
evs: 132 Def / 124 Spd / 252 Spe

- In a tier where phazers are almost non-existent, Baton Pass is a pretty easy strategy to pull off. Drifblim is probably the most viable Pokemon which are able to pass Calm Mind, and the only one noticeable to pass Stockpile.
- Drifblim's tremendous HP stat lets it give very sturdy to its teamates so you can bring them safely, especially against passive statues spreaders.
- The set-up depends mostly on the nature of the recipients. Calm Mind is the obvious choice if you pack one or several special sweepers, and allows Drifblim to be offensively threatening on its own. Stockpile suits more bulky teams with Pokemon that can boost themselves further in their own way.
- Shadow Ball remains Drifblim's best STAB and ensures it's not helpless against Taunt users. Hypnosis allows Drifblim to set-up more easily by preventing the opposing from disturbing it, but suffers from accuracy issues.

- The Speed is maximized so Drifblim can use Substitute or its set-up before most Pokemon try to mess with it. The EVs in Special Defense guarantee that the Subsitute takes a Surf from Defensive Slowking after a boost. The remaining EVs are put in Defense.
- Leftovers increase Drifblim's longevity so you can accumulate as much set-ups as possible. Since it's not a consumable item, Aftermath is the ability of choice. But you can still opt for Unburden in tandem with Sitrus Berry as an item because outspeeding the whole metagame after eating the berry can make the set-up much easier. However, keep in mind that the Unburden boost cannot be passed.
- If you're using Calm Mind, then your team must include one or several special sweepers, possibly fast or physically bulky, like Electrode or Porygon2. But if you opted for Stockpile, then bulky sweepers like Swords Dance Lickilicky, Meganium or Cradily are the best recipients.
- Faster Taunt users that don't mind Shadow Ball like Skuntank or Persian completely shut down this variant, so being able to deal with them is strongly advised, Regirock does the job pretty well.
- Drifblim has an hard time setting up if it faces to much offensive pressure from faster Pokemon, which are special attackers gor the most part. Thus, special walls like Lickilicky are good teamates.

May I consider this analysis QCed and ready to see my english skills hammered by the GP team ?


he of many honks
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I approve this. I think you should get at least one of Bughouse or Oglemi to take another look and approve before you move forward though. I'm ambivalent about the BP set, so I leave that it up to those guys whether you should include it or not.

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