Based on a Lavos's skeleton and fleshed out by me.
As a pure Electric-type, Jolteon faces heavy competition from Raikou due to the latter's better bulk and power, which means that it outclasses as a special wall and as a phazer. Furthermore, the popularity of other Electric-types such as Zapdos makes Pokemon like Steelix and once again Raikou popular, which hinders Jolteon even more.
However, there's still a reason why Jolteon is viable in OU: Baton Pass. Alongside boosting moves such as Agility and Growth, a sky-high Speed stat and an Electric STAB attack that allows it to pressure common phazers like Skarmory and Suicune, Jolteon makes for a very effective user of this move.
name: Baton Pass
move 1: Baton Pass
move 2: Agility / Growth
move 3: Hidden Power Water / Hidden Power Ice
move 4: Thunder / Thunderbolt
This set exploits Jolteon's main advantages over Raikou, with Baton Pass being the selling point. Indeed, Jolteon itself doesn't benefit from Agility due to its natural Speed; it's meant to be passed to a slower Pokemon that could attempt a sweep. Alternatively, Jolteon becomes more individually threatening with Growth, because of its Speed and the damage output of a boosted Thunder. The type of Hidden Power depends on your team, but since Steelix is one of Jolteon's biggest problems, Hidden Power Water is often the preferred option, as it allows Jolteon to 3HKO it, as well as doing plenty of damage to Rhydon and Golem, which are even more threatening offensively. Hidden Power Ice, on the other hand, gives better overall coverage and dents dangerous Pokemon like Exeggutor. In the same vein, the choice between Thunder and Thunderbolt is based on personal preference. Thunder hits much harder, especially when boosted by Growth, and can land paralysis on opposing Pokemon like Raikou, whereas Thunderbolt is a weaker but safer option.
Jolteon's access to multiple boosting moves can be worrying at first for your opponent, but you must keep in mind that once you've revealed the boosting move, your opponent can get a pretty clear idea of the remaining members of your team if you haven't shown them already. Jolteon is likely paired with slow and powerful Pokemon if using Agility or with other special attackers if using Growth. In the former case, common partners include Machamp, Belly Drum Snorlax, and especially Marowak, with which it forms a well-known core called "JoltWak". However, Growth Jolteon's teammates, like Exeggutor, Gengar, and Jynx, will probably not sweep an entire team at +1, but they will be potentially able to overpower their usual answers, especially if they manage to put them to sleep. Nidoking deserves a special mention for its ability to immediately threaten Raikou, arguably the best special wall overall, while still benefiting from Growth, since boosted Ice Beam and Thunder are much more punishing for Zapdos and Suicune, respectively. Finally, Jolteon is extremely common on dedicated Baton Pass teams, alongside Smeargle and to a lesser extent Scizor and Umbreon.
Jolteon can try to pass Substitutes, but it's so frail that they will almost always break from any attacking move. Although it's outclassed as a defensively oriented phazer, Jolteon can still make a good use of Roar by lowering its Speed below 328 in order to be slower than Raikou and prevent it from phazing Jolteon first, possibly even dropping it to 320, since some Roar variants of Raikou lower their Speed for the same reason. Be wary of going further, though, since Jolteon will have to Speed tie with Gengar if both are paralyzed at 319. This move can also be a pain for other answers like Snorlax and Steelix if used in tandem with Spikes. Rest is an option that allows Jolteon to switch on Thunder without taking such a huge risk of being crippled by paralysis for the rest of the game and improves Jolteon chances of sweeping late-game with Growth if it has a solid defensive core to back it up.
Checks and Counters
Preventing Jolteon to pass any boost is the best way to check it. Roar Raikou is arguably Jolteon's worst nightmare, since Raikou can take numerous hits from Jolteon and only really fears paralysis from it. Raikou can also attempt to paralyze Jolteon with its own Thunder, which if successful is a death sentence for Jolteon. Steelix is another phazer that deals heavy damage with STAB Earthquake if Jolteon tries to stay in, but it takes a significant amount from Hidden Power Water in return. Tyranitar is bulky enough to withstand three Thunders most of the time, enabling it to phaze Jolteon at least once or go for either the 3HKO with Rock Slide or the 2HKO with Earthquake if it carries it, but just like Steelix, it will have to check other Pokemon too and thus can be worn down pretty quickly. Rhydon and Golem also pack Roar most of the time and can be used as an emergency check to Jolteon, since they both can take a Hidden Power Water at full health and threaten Jolteon with their STAB Earthquake, which is an OHKO most of the time. None of these phazers are completely safe against Jolteon, so it is important to always consider the risk of allowing Jolteon to get away with the Baton Pass against the risk of allowing it to land a hit on your phazer. Sometimes it can be best to try to trade hits or to use Explosion instead of phazing Jolteon. Snorlax, Exeggutor, Nidoking, and Marowak are all common offensive Pokemon that can throw out powerful hits, spread sleep and paralysis, and use Explosion or boosting moves in front of Jolteon. Quagsire, although far less common, walls Jolteon but isn't as immediately powerful as the aforementioned Pokemon, so it usually doesn't threaten the recipient as much. Finally, most special walls can shut down Jolteon, since it doesn't hit hard enough to keep them at bay. Blissey can threaten any recipient with Sing and to a lesser extent Toxic; Light Screen variants are especially painful to face for teams based around Growth pass, and so are Present variants, which can deal a lot of damage to most recipients. Umbreon ensures that physically oriented recipients won't pose much of a threat with Charm, which Baton Pass also transfers, but it has to watch out for the potential paralysis from Thunder and for some recipients like Belly Drum Snorlax or other Belly Drum users, which can overpower it. In the same vein, Meganium and Venusaur, although uncommon, can cripple any switch-in with Leech Seed and either dual screens or Sleep Powder, respectively.
- Written by: [[Wenderz, 331114], [Lavos, 129513]]
- Quality checked by: [[Earthworm, 15210], [FriendOfMrGolem120, 424525]]
- Grammar checked by: [[The Dutch Plumberjack,232216 ], [, ]]