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Quality Control Sylveon [QC: 0/2]


SS NU, best NU
is a Pre-Contributor

Sylveon great matchup against top threats like Mienshao, Incineroar, and Flygon alongside its set versatility make it one of the premier Fairy-types in NU. Wallbreaking sets can break through common special walls like Alolan Muk and Diancie. Sylveon can also go for a more defensive set, letting it heal up teammates that it naturally synergizes with like Incineroar, Registeel, and Swampert that lack reliable recovery. Even uninvested, Sylveon has quite a respectable Special Defense, which means it won't fall to a random special attacker like Inteleon or Diancie. However, both of Sylveon's roles are contested by another Fairy-type, namely Florges, as it has access to Trick for Choice Specs sets, sometimes circumventing the need to use Tera Blast Ground because it'll more easily chip away at Steel-types, and it has higher Speed, meaning it can outpace more threats on wallbreaking sets and invest more in its Defense for Wish-passing ones. Sylveon is also walled immensely by Steel-types like Copperajah and Klefki, but their lack of recovery leaves them susceptible to being worn down over the course of a game. Wish sets also tend to be passive and easily taken advantage of by the aforementioned Steel-types and setup sweepers like Munkidori and Feraligatr. Sylveon's subpar Defense can also let it be broken through, as it's typically forced to take Knock Off, U-turn, and Close Combat for its team all while being whittled away at by hazards.

name: Choice Specs
move 1: Hyper Voice
move 2: Psychic
move 3: Shadow Ball
move 4: Draining Kiss / Tera Blast
item: Choice Specs
ability: Pixilate
nature: Modest / Timid
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
tera type: Fairy / Ground

Set Details

Psychic allows Sylveon to hit Poison-types like Dragalge, Vileplume, and Toxtricity super effectively. Shadow Ball lets Sylveon have strong neutral move for the Steel-types that tend to switch in to Sylveon like Klefki, Registeel, and Copperajah. As Sylveon's last moveslot is its most flexible one, it prefers to run Draining Kiss as a secondary STAB move so that it doesn't get chipped away at as easily. Tera Blast Ground can instead be used to hit the aforementioned Steel-types that could sit on Sylveon otherwise; however, due to this requiring Terastallization, it typically isn't run. A Modest nature is preferred for the extra damage output, but Timid can be run to outspeed neutral-nature Incineroar. Tera Fairy allows Sylveon to reach catastrophic levels of damage with its Hyper Voice, as it's now able to 2HKO resists like Rotom-H and Vileplume.

Sylveon's main roadblock from tearing apart teams is bulky Steel-types like Registeel, Cooperajah, and Klefki; however, due to their lack of recovery there are a few ways its teammates can whittle them down. Entry hazard setters like Brambleghast, Quagsire, and Flygon can help to soften up these Steel-types for Sylveon's attacks. Another way to break through these Pokemon is teammates who carry super effective coverage to surprise these Steel-types like Close Combat Lycanroc-D, Focus Blast or Tera Blast Ground Munkidori, and Focus Blast Dragalge. It can also go through more straightforward means such as having a partner like Mienshao, Incineroar, or Flygon to pressure these Steel-types. Incineroar, Flygon, and Infernape greatly enjoy Sylveon as a partner, as they can pivot it on physically defensive Water-types that wall them like Milotic, Swampert, and Vaporeon. Choice Scarf users like Munkidori, Indeedee, and Porygon-Z and setup sweepers such as Cloyster enjoy Sylveon wearing away at Steel-types like Copperajah, Klefki, and Registeel. Sylveon easily dispatches of Dark-types like Brute Bonnet, Umbreon, and Alolan Muk. Teammates who benefit from this like Indeedee, Cresselia, and Brambleghast pair well alongside Sylveon, as they can form a wallbreaking core together.

name: Wish + Calm Mind
move 1: Wish
move 2: Protect
move 3: Calm Mind
move 4: Hyper Voice
item: Leftovers
ability: Pixilate
nature: Bold
evs: 252 HP / 212 Def / 44 Spe
tera type: Steel / Poison / Water

Set Details

Calm Mind allows Sylveon to use defensive walls like Swampert and Deoxys-Defense in its favor, as it can set up on them, increasing its threat. The Speed EVs allows Sylveon to get the jump on Umbreon and Vaporeon, letting it threaten the former better and not have its stat boosts thrown away by the latter's Haze before it can get a hit off. Tera Steel is preferred as it allows Sylveon to better handle Poison- and Steel-types like Vileplume and Copperajah, provides an immunity from Umbreon's and Quagsire's Toxic, and lets it soft check many special attackers in a pinch like Indeedee, Porygon-Z, and Toxtricity. Tera Poison, on the other hand, maintains Sylveon's matchup against Fighting-types and Tera Steel's utility against Toxic users and poison from Alolan Muk. However, Tera Water provides a better defensive typing that doesn't forfeit Sylveon's matchup against both Ground- and Fighting-types like Flygon, Mienshao, and Breloom.

Sylveon's access to Wish means it can support Pokemon without reliable recovery like Swampert, Alolan Sandslash, and Incineroar. Pokemon like Basculegion, Munkidori, and Registeel who are scared out by Brute Bonnet, Flygon, and Mienshao enjoy having Sylveon to check these threats. Alongside a specially defensive partner like Alolan Muk, Gastrodon, and Copperajah, Sylveon can help to form a defensive backbone for teams. Sylveon also appreciates wallbreakers like Mienshao, Flygon, and Chandelure, as they can pressure Steel-types that typically wall and take advantage of it like Klefki, Copperajah, and Registeel. Due to Sylveon's reliance on Protect to safely heal, it's be weak to setup sweepers like Cloyster, Munkidori, and Gallade, meaning Choice Scarf revenge killers like Ditto and Mienshao or Pokemon with priority like Lycanroc-D pair well. Sylveon also tends to be a momentum sink, so pivots like Flygon, Incineroar, and Mienshao that do well versus common switch-ins like Alolan Muk, Registeel, and Magnezone can help regain the lost momentum. As Sylveon can be easily chipped down by entry hazards and having to switch in to Knock Off and U-turn from Pokemon like Mienshao, a second soft check to physical attackers is welcome, so partners like Talonflame, Vileplume, and Dragalge work well to fulfill this role.

Other Options

Due to Choice Specs Sylveon already having all the coverage it needs from its first three slots, it can run many moves for its last. Sylveon can opt for Quick Attack as a means to pick off weakened threats. Hyper Beam can be used as a sort of nuke button that's able to chip away at steels heavily but leaves it open the next turn. Sylveon can even forgo Choice Specs entirely and go for a Pixie Plate set that allows it to bluff that it has a Choice Specs, surprising its opponent when it changes up its moves. However, Sylveon's overall power drops. On Wish sets, Moonblast + Cute Charm can be run on bulkier teams, as Moonblast has higher PP than Hyper Voice. Yawn can be utilized to force switches and let Sylveon bring in a powerful wallbreaker. Roar lets Sylveon not have to risk certain Calm Mind wars like those versus rare Psyshock Slowbro, and it doubles as a way to get extra chip on Steel-types trying to switch in, forcing them out to rack up entry hazard damage.

Checks and Counters

**Steel-types**: Registeel and Copperajah both wall Sylveon and can use it to set entry hazards, as they easily threaten it out with their Steel-type STAB moves. While Klefki can also wall Sylveon, use it to set entry hazards, and paralyze it with Thunder Wave, it's more of a stalemate because Klefki fails to do significant damage to Sylveon unless it carries a rare move like Steel Beam. Lucario can also threaten Sylveon with Meteor Mash, but this is an uncommon move on it, and Hyper Voice deals great damage upon switch-in. All of these Steel-types must be wary of Tera Blast Ground however.

**Poison-types**: Alolan Muk, Vileplume, and Tentacruel can take a Hyper Voice and threaten back with super effective Poison-type attacks. Dragalge can also take a hit and threaten it, but it can only do this once per game.

**Fire-types**: Pokemon like Chandelure, Talonflame, Hisuian Typhlosion, and Incineroar can all take a hit from Sylveon once and threaten it back with high-Base Power STAB moves like Fire Blast, Brave Bird, Eruption, and Flare Blitz, respectively.

**Chip Damage**: Sylveon, especially when defensive, tends to have to take Knock Off and U-turn for its team, and its lack of Heavy-Duty Boots means entry hazards also chip away at it. All of this combined with Wish taking two turns means that Sylveon can be whittled away it and beaten by wallbreakers it's supposed to beat like Mienshao and Flygon.

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