All Gens Pokemon Through the Ages: Flygon


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Scyther is one of the main reasons I tend to go with Scarf Rotom as my glue/general Scarfer in DPP UU; it resists both STABs and immune to Quick Attack while taking it out with Thunderbolt. Scyther and Moltres were huge reasons why hazard control was so potent in UU, since whoever could keep rocks up was at an advantage to keep either one from coming in repeatedly. Also another big reason why I tend to lean towards Rhyperior when building in DPP UU since it both blocks Scyther from straight cleaning and Duggy can't immediately switch in and take Rhyp out.

SITB hit on Scyther's Speed being a major playing factor to its success, but I really cannot stress that point; outspeeding the base 95s is fucking glorious, and having super effective STAB against some of the top walls of the meta like Slowbro, Tangrowth, and Torterra just accounts for how stupidly good it is. It also has a crazy good lead matchup against a lot of the tier (notably against Mesprit and Uxie) and breaking Focus Sashes off the bat with U-turn is awesome. Top all that off with Lum Berry to prevent otherwise decent checks like Missy, Tomb, and Qwilfish from stopping it and you have one really good mon on your hands.

Rhyp, Regi, Kabutops, Steelix, Aggron, and Weezing, as well as getting outsped by relevant Scarfers, Swellow, Tauros, and Alakazam, prevent Scyther from becoming too overly dominant pretty handedly though.
I kinda let this die down since I wasn't sure what to do. We've basically run out of Gen 1 + 2 mons that were good (or pretty good) in any past gen (best candidates are getting down to stuff like Clefable and Quagsire.) I'm going to start doing some with Gen 3 mons, but I'll also go back to some of the older ones we already covered that didn't get much discussion the first time around or that were impactful in BW but were posted back when that was current.

Kicking off our look at ADV mons is none other than OU superstar Jirachi. Over the past few gens, Jirachi has become one of the most common sights in the OU metagame. So, what were its best sets and roles throughout the gens? What did it counter, and what best countered it? Teammates, niches, playstyles, and anything else about Jirachi in past gens is up for discussion this week ^.^

ADV Jirachi is most often seen as a Calm Mind user of some sort. The bulky Wishing variants are great Snorlax counters and initial switchins to Aerodactyl (resist to 3 of its 4 attacks, EQ isn't the end of the world). Psychic as strong, SDef-dropping STAB and then the last move can be anything; the three most common are Thunder, Reflect and Fire Punch. Other options include HP Grass, Ice Punch, Toxic and Protect; I posted about the benefits of the latter two here.

Of course I can't not mention the more offensive variants, Superachi. Popularized by Jabba's team, it trades some of its bulk for speed and power while also picking up a third coverage move, making it much more dangerous right off the bat. While it's often used to lure a Dugtrio early for Porygon2 to revenge, it is at its most terrifying in the endgame against a scouted, weakened team.

It isn't always a CMer, though; Danilo went in-depth about his Wish + Protect utility set here, I'm a big fan of it. Jira's also got some options with its signature move, Doom Desire; Triangles and I have had some fun results with a CB set.

I couldn't tell you a thing about DP Jirachi, but when I came around in Platinum I think it was most common as a Scarfer to abuse its sweet 60% Iron Head flinch rate and it's always remained a great mon, with its ability to revenge everything under the sun as well as Trick and U-turn yada yada. In the ScarfTar semi-stall era (where SubCM Jira was sometimes seen with lots of (Toxic) Spikes backing it up as the end-game sweeper, I forget whose team but the one with TrickScarf Starmie lead that was featured in the Smog is probably the best example), on teams like Megan Fox's and jumpluff/Earthworm's, a Bold Wishing Calm Mind set (like the one from ADV, yes) took everyone by storm, it was Latias' metagame and Jira was amazing against it. It always used Thunderbolt as the second move, but it alternated between the usual Psychic and the new Flash Cannon as STAB. While originally the set had its Defense nearly maxed out to do ridiculous shit like take 35% from Gliscor (very key in that meta) Earthquake, eventually it started getting faster; I remember Philip's Power Ranger's team had 308 Speed for Jolly Lucario. Neutral Salamence was all but gone from the meta by that point bar the rare bulky DDers but you wouldn't say no to beating them. Outrunning the surging-in-popularity offensive Suicune was also very key since if it's faster CM Jira is always a good check (until it Roars! but at this point it was all about the HP Electric since everyone was fascinated with this offensive Lucario check that also utterly destroyed Gyarados).

Another set that started gaining traction around this time was Substitute/Thunder Wave/Iron Head/Fire Punch. I remember matty's para team had it and iirc Pride/DJX09's suspect squad was packing it as well, it was the biggest nightmare on the planet. Kinda speaks for itself and it soloed many a team... it sorta died out once the dragons left but god what a terror it was/is. I don't think remember anyone running Body Slam but I'm sure someone was so annoyed by Gliscor that they made the change, although the tradeoff against Rotom kinda sucks.

Superachi started getting popular post-LatiMence ban, since Heatran was going from "very popular" to "the most popular" and HP Ground smoked it, ScarfTran was dying down at that time. No one expected its speed and power either, it was very good at cutting through the increasingly popular FWG cores (which lessened the need for Grass Knot since Swampert was almost nowhere to be seen and SDef Hippo wasn't seen too often yet) although it'd need to be wary around their best pal Scarf Flygon.

Lead Jirachi began to be a thing a little after that; I believe Earthworm used a 4 attack LO lead (who ran pretty much Superachi's set but with Iron Head > CM) to destroy Machamp while keeping the anti-Heatran thing going (there was a time when, like, Earth Power Shaymin wasn't too common and it also dunked on unsuspecting Tran). Pana used something similar, but he used Occa and SR as the 4th move (Machamp dying down or using Sash, ScarfTran resurging).

Pure utility sets, specially defensive with Wish/Protect/Body Slam/Iron Head, are not as common but they are sooooo good at shutting down offense, sorta for the same reason the Sub para set is. It's shut down by a lot of other defensive dudes but if those guys aren't around then everything is getting annoyed to no end. The bulk is immense and Protect makes it incredible at receiving Wishes, scouting choice dudes, and racking up every bit of Lefties recovery it can get.

In BW Jirachi started off the gen as a specially defensive bro to combat the terrifying Latios and LO Deoxys-S as well as the new Rankurusu (Reuniclus), it was also a great counter to the anti-rain champion Birijion (Virizion). It got ripped to shreds by newcomers Ferrothorn, Jellicent (~Nattorei Burungeru core never forget~), Poison Heal Gliscor, and old-timers Skarmory and bulky SD Scizor loved the free switch as well, but it was so good at its job that it remained a common set. Dissuading Garchomp, Randorosu/Landlos (Landorus) and Doryuuzu (Excadrill) switchins was so important that even rain teams used Body Slam on it (albeit sometimes with Thunder as well). undisputed created the Sub/CM Water Pulse set on his important rain stall, which turned the blobs + Ferro into setup fodder and trashed the Ground-types that normally screwed with Jira easily (Chomp eventually got banned).

After Exca was banned, Scarfers not named Politoed or Tyranitar started seeing the light of day again; forgive the bragging but Funkasaurus and I's team was a big progenitor in showing the masses the usefulness of ScarfRachi. It was sooo good because it was such a reliable safety net against... almost everything, chipping all in sight with hazards + the momentum-keeping U-turn (forcing out Latios and retaining your advantage was just grogeous). It was an important member of many Hippo/Forre (semi-)stalls much like the aforementioned team. It remained a key figure all throughout the post-Genesect BW2 metagame (it was a SDef set a lot then and a while after because of the terrifying Tornadus-T). Despite other sets popping up - there was a period where Superachi was having some fun, and Shuca SR sets with vast coverage depending on its team needs (everything from Icy Wind to Energy Ball [not Grass Knot, Rotom-W eats that shit) to HP Fire to christ knows what else), Scarf has remained my favorite.
Well, it seems that BKC has said.......just about everything there is to be said about Jirachi, making every other post kind of dead weight. Still, I'll add some things about my own personal preference.

ADV: Wish CM I use to pass wishes and keep stuff alive in case I can't keep Spikes off the field. Defensively it checks CurseLax/Aero nicely, especially with Reflect (My favorite thing to run on WishCM : Stops so much stuff and facilitates set-up for a variety of things as well. If I want to run two attacks I'll go TBoltor Ice Punch, HP Grass leaves me walled by Steels/Houndoom). Superachi is also fun, this thing has so many options it's crazy, I will run any of Toxic/Fire Punch/Thunderbolt/HP Grass/Ice Punch in the last two slots. Also similarly to DPP, it lures Swampert/Dugtrio and other common DDTar stops, which can be handy to remove them. Lastly is the Wish+Protect set, that thing is surprisingly handy and Danilo was dead serious about the things it checks: Non-EQ CurseLax/Aero/MixMence/Zapdos get stopped straight up, and there are a lot of other things that get messed up by BSlam paralysis. It even passes Wishes which is great for an offensive Team.

DPP: Unlike the other two metas, I have no favorite set here, everything is ridiculous in its own way. Scarf, as in BW, is ridiculously great as a catch all revenger: Beats Agility Empoleon w/o it's Sub up, DDTar (even Babiri gets ruined if Flinch), DDNite, DD Gyara (excluding Sub variants), and of course SD Lucario, best sweeper in the tier. Of course it can't beat all of them at once (I run IH/2 Punches/U-Turn or Trick and rely on my team to beat whatever I missed), but it gives you a really nice amount of flexibility with team choice, and it can also sweep a weakened team with Iron Head (I once triple flinched a Hippo straight into its grave), or pass Healing Wish on offense (less common but scary if successful). SpDef, as BKC said, is also ridiculous in shutting down offense: It is the best Gengar check in the meta (unlike ScarfTar you don't have to risk getting FBed off the map or sac something to trap it, and you beat it whether it has a Sub or not), and also checks CMCune, LO Shaymin, Mix Nite. ....basically every Special Attacker barring Heatran and every Mixed attacker barring Nape/Stuff with EQ, and it even threatens the latter with BSlam para, while passing Wishes to keep a team alive. With the proper EV spread this thing can even lead, I think BKC posted a lead set somewhere but I don't remember exactly where.

CM Jirachi is also ridiculous in DPP, as it threatens all sorts of teams. The most common CM sets today are, like in ADV, Superachi and CM WISH (SubCM is good but not many people use it). Superachi is still ridiculous in this meta despite the overuse of TTar and Tran (especially cause you have to choose which one you want to lose to), but overall versatility keeps it alive in that regard, especially because neither mon is particularly hard to break. (To break TTar use CM/Psychic/Grass Knot/HP Fire: Also owns Hippo and a few other things in exchange for being straight up walled by Tran). CM+Wish is also fun: handy team player with Wish Passing plus a good late game sweeper for bulkier teams. It also pulls it's weight defensively: The EVS allow it to tank Adamant Gyarados' +1 Life Orb EQ all the time and destroy it with TBolt, making it a fairly solid check (at least until they started running Wacan Berry)

Mixed Jirachi is also a really solid variant, that I like mainly because it doesn't really have to be walled by anything: Iron Head beats down Bliss+TTar, HP Ground slays Tran, TBolt has solid coverage as always...basically it kills so much. It can also benefit the team a lot: Special Sweepers appreciate Bliss+TTar+Tran dead, Physical Sweepers like Pert and Hippo out of the way. As a lead it pressures just about everything slower and even a bunch of faster things with Iron Head Flinch plus ridiculous coverage and the resist Berry.

Lastly is the SubTox set, basically the only thing not mentioned above cause it never really caught on and got used everywhere like everything else on the list. Still though, underestimate it at your peril. Same as the SubPara set above but with Toxic over TWAVE. Basically all the things that commonly like to switch in to Jirachi (barring Tran), get worn down really easily by Poison, so why not lob a Toxic at them? The Sub is hard to break with Iron Head flinching all over the place, and Fire Punch cam get through other Steels. Spikes support is also really nice with this cause it forces a ton of switches, especially handy in wearing down Heatran. I think this set was made by reyscarface+panamaxis back in SPL 2 or so, and it got featured on an RMT rey made
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BKC pretty much said everything.

I'll add Jirachi is probably one of the best Expert Belt user of DPP and BW. Fantastic lure if played well, with many options available. Also one of the premier user of Healing Wish, a move which saw a lot of utilisation at some point in BW, and some people got inspired by it and started running it in DPP (altho the mechanics for HW aren't as great there, it can still be clutch late-game); I remember a game TV-Rocka won in SPL thanks to a late-game HW from Scarf Rachi and nobody saw it coming.

MixRachi, with leftovers, is one of my favorite spikes abuser of BW, Iron Head + ability to nail some of its premier switch-ins (Skarmory, Gliscor, Landorus-T, Scizor, etc) is amazing, and it still keeps some its utility due to its natural typing and bulk.


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OU has been covered so let's talk Ubers:

Like in OU, ADV Ubers Jirachi is usually a bulky Calm Mind set. CM BoltBeam X is a popular attacking set in ADV Ubers and Jirachi is one of the better abusers of the combination, it has the Speed to outrun the base 90 crowd and the typing + bulk to take on Blissey and the Latis. Serene Grace also makes switching into its Thunder (60% para) and Ice Punch (20% freeze) rather irritating as well, and Wish both keeps it going and provide a unique brand of team support only matched by the much more passive WishBliss. It can also run a Specially Defensive set with Body Slam, making it one of the most reliable Lati checks.

In DPP Ubers the Specially Defensive set was the most common by far. Having a fat Steel to sponge Draco Meteors and Outrages from the many powerful Dragons in the tier was extremely important, and Jirachi's bulk + access to reliable healing in Wish made it one of the best at doing this. It's one of the best Lati sponges, can handle other dudes like Shaymin-S/Darkrai (in a pinch), and could even take on stuff like Mewtwo and Dialga if it had rain support. Scarf was good here too, a bit easier to wall than in OU but it could take on fast special mons (M2, Darkrai, Skymin), revenge all Rayquaza variants, and Trick gave it some utility against stall in comparison to other Scarfers.

Not too much to say in BW2 as its old sets from DPP were still usable here. It is worth mentioning that it had a lot more competition for a teamslot in its roles, however. Ferrothorn was a nuisiance, it not only walled the mess out of Jirachi but could also fill the role of bulky Steel + lay Spikes and take on Kyogre, things Jirachi could not do. Wish, Serene Grace, and lesser Fire weakness + Fighting neutrality + Ice resist still gave Jirachi a solid niche, however. Genesect also gave the Scarf set massive competition, as it could check similar things as Scarf Jirachi while being significantly more powerful, although Jirachi's noticeably greater bulk and access to Healing Wish still gave this set a niche as well. It's still a solid mon, just not quite as dominant in its roles.
Flygon in gen 3 is pretty underrated imo, its typing is its biggest asset. it makes it one of the most reliable dd tar answers in the game, it is also immune to most forms of residual damage, and it can handle hp grass electrics. It can run a variety of offensive and defensive sets. The most common set nowadays is probably the jolly choice band set, usually with eq rock slide hp bug and toxic or fire blast. This set is able to check a number of pokemon on CM spam teams to give them a hard time. HP fire celebi is always outsped and ohko'd by hp bug, rachi has a speed tie at best and gets smashed by STAB eq, raikou needs hp ice to hurt it and gets ohko'd by eq. It is somewhat similar to dugtrio in these match ups except it trades arena trap for defensive utility and more power.

Outside of the choice band set it can also use a bulkier set, this set spreads toxic and acts as an answer to tyranitar and electrics. the bulky set sometimes has a bit of 4mss. It needs eq, and for the other moves it can run toxic, fire blast, rock slide, hp bug and sub. Toxic is important since it is kinda non threatening otherwise, fire blast helps vs skarm who otherwise hard walls it, without rock slide it can't beat rest zapdos, and hp bug can be nice for celebi. Substitute is really cool due to the switches it forces but it's really hard to fit it on the set.

Its main issues are its lack of power without a choice band, and its reliance on stab eq. This means things like gengar, salamence skarm and other fliers can often get free turns against it, still its great typing and decent well rounded stats make for a pretty good pokemon. If you want a solid ddtar answer/cmspam check this is a nice poke to turn to.
in ADV, Flygon ran CB and its tank set, both of which had a good combination of power and bulk. Its Ground STAB meant that would-be answers such as rachi were demolished. It walled DDtar as well as Electrics that forwent HP Ice, also being an additional Rock resist for stuff like CB Aero (although unreliable in this regard due to Stone Edge's massive damage). It had great coverage w/ EQ, Rock Slide, HP Bug and Fire Blast and could also run HP Flying if your team was extra weak to loomer or HERACROSS (which is a mon that most teams need to be able to deal with). Paired with Swampert, it could be used to wall Electric types regardless of their Hidden Power type, although RestTalk Zapper was annoying to break through. It could also threaten common mons such as Rachi, being a decent check to CM variants, Celebi, TTar, Metagross, Magneton, HP Grass Electrics and so forth.

It's also great to have a mon immune to Spikes, as in ADV it's advisable to have a lot of Ground immunities (Aero, zap, flygon, mence, skarm, gar) if you can't afford a spinner or Magneton (which STILL gives away 2 layers of spikes vs. forry or skarm w/ investment in spdef so..). Flygon is a pretty solid mon, but it does get walled by cune, pert, skarm (fire blast 2hkoes i guess but it's still a really solid answer), p2, opposing flygon with Toxic, mence deals well w/ it i guess, and flygon has quite poor power without CB, leaving anything bulky and not weak to its attacks wall it to some extent (it also can't OHKO most threats such as ttar or celebi without a choice band, which makes it a significant drawback). Flygon is a pretty great mon that's used a lot though, and for good reason.

In gen 4, Flygon's choice sets are really nice (Choice Scarf is basically a utility revenge killer that can generate momentum w/ U-turn, provides a decent Fire resist for tran and co., and solid DDTar answer, while Choice Band is a great wallbreaker that can be paired with Magnezone to lure and slay Skarm). It wasn't a great answer to Electrics imo but could revenge kou without a sub up i guess? It also provided a catch-all being able to revenge stuff like LO gengar that offensive teams couldn't really counter. Scarf was quite commoner though, and although it was weak it did a great job at its role. I've also faced a mixed Flygon set with Life Orb that hits physical walls like pert really hard, but haven't used it myself, although it seems like a really cool wallbreaker/lure with Draco Meteor doing a ton of dmg.

From what I remember of BW UU, Flygon still had the same roles: Choice Scarf was the most common and Choice Band sorta served as a wallbreaker; having Bronzong in the tier as well as Porygon2 was irritating because it could be checked by these. It provided a Fire resist which WAS quite useful during the chandy meta but i think it's a dead tier rn so hard to gauge whether that's useful anymore. It did manage to stomach a hit or two from Scarf Darm and outspeed, not something to be overlooked.

Overall I feel that Flygon didn't change too much over the gens, although it did get to utilize its amazing Dragon STAB in gen 4 after the physical/special split. Its role was still that of a utility/catch-all mon that had excellent STABs and a nice ground immunity, as well as the option to go wallbreaker mode.
Hm, Flygon's always been a pretty underrated mon in both DPP and ADV, and it takes the cake as a really solid glue mon in both Gens.

ADV you have two options, CB as a hard hitter, revenge killer, CMSpam check, and DDTar + Electrics answer, but plays a lot more offensively than standard checks to these. Also can mess up Bulky Waters with Toxic/a surprisingly painful EQ which is nice for DDTar. Aside from that the Bulky set is also nice as a more durable Tar/Electrics check, and for spreading Toxic, but I don't like it as it gets more easily walled by Gengar/Skarm (assuming no FB). Flygon 's issues are its lack of power without CB, and it's tendency to become set-up fodder with it as there are a lot of levitating mons in the tier. Beyond that it's competing with Swampert for the position of ground type glue: both mons check the same things more or less, but Pert checks a lot more stuff and has way more options (plus it's established itself as the go-to defensive glue in everyone's minds, though Flygon does have its edges.

As for partners: Mag and Pert are nice ones off the top of my head: ResTalk Mag traps Skarm and stops Gengar which is much appreciated. Pert kinda doubles up Flygon giving you better insurance against DDTar, stopping HP Ice Electrics, and taking on Physical Offense: makes a really solid defensive core. DDTar is also nice too ironically, as it appreciates Flygon luring in stuff like Pert and P2 and poisoning them. Spikes is handy too as Flygon can force switches. Overall Flygon slots well into TSS teams or even sand teams in general, does well on Physical Offense too.

DPP later, but for one thing Scarf Flygon is really bad. Don't use it.
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