Sylveon

Jukain

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darkie

Sorry for the wait -- I was initially just going to do the one set requirement, but I kinda got carried away...

Overview
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Sylveon finds itself stuck in a tier where Clefable, which has access to Unaware in addition to Sylveon's Wish and Heal Bell, gives it enormous competition. However, it has a few advantages; namely, a base 130 Special Defense stat that lets it go toe-to-toe with top special threats, such as Greninja, Thundurus, and Latios, and a hard-hitting Pixilate-boosted Hyper Voice that lets it dish out significant damage without any boosts. Top Steel-type threats serve to make Sylveon's life difficult, and reliance on Wish + Protect for recovery leaves it entirely open to phazers and gives the opponent free turns. Merely decent physical bulk and low Speed allow many faster physical attacks to break through it. While not a Pokemon without flaws, Sylveon manages to find a place in today's hostile OU metagame.

Cleric
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name: Cleric
move 1: Hyper Voice
move 2: Wish
move 3: Protect
move 4: Heal Bell
ability: Pixilate
item: Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 220 Def / 36 SpD
nature: Bold

Moves
========

Thanks to Pixilate, Hyper Voice, even without investment, becomes a powerful STAB attack capable of dealing significant amounts of damage, even 2HKOing threats such as Landorus. Wish + Protect allows Sylveon to heal itself, heal its teammates, and function as a scout. Heal Bell cures Sylveon and its teammates of crippling status conditions. Between Wish and Heal Bell, Sylveon can provide immense support for its teammates. Baton Pass is another option for Sylveon to fit into VoltTurn chains and ensure its teammate receives a Wish unscathed.

Set Details
========

The given EVs are necessary to patch up Sylveon's meager physical bulk, putting it into a range where it tank Latios's Psyshock comfortably, as well as avoid 2HKOs from attacks such as non-Life Orb Garchomp's Earthquake. These also allow Sylveon to deal with weakened +1 Mega Tyranitar and Mega Pinsir in a pinch if it's healthy. 36 Special Defense EVs allow Sylveon to survive a 2HKO from Landorus's Earth Power, making it a great check to non-Sludge Wave variants. Full investment in Special Defense can be used, letting Sylveon counter the likes of Choice Specs Keldeo and Mega Charizard Y, but the lack of physical bulk, especially when attempting to handle Latios and Latias, is heavily noticed. Leftovers help Sylveon keep healthy and can be utilized with Protect to gain little bits of recovery throughout the match.

Usage Tips
========

The basic goal of this set is to take advantage of Sylveon's Fairy typing and sponge a variety of mostly special hits. Know when to pass off a Wish and when to Protect. If Sylveon is running low on health, unless the match is at a point where Sylveon is completely useless, use Protect to gain the assured heal. If you can afford to lose Sylveon or if it is healthy, pass to a teammate. When using Heal Bell, note that it only has 8 PP; you shouldn't be attempting to outstall status users, and you don't need to heal every status inflicted upon Sylveon or its teammates right away. Take care in how often you use it.

Team Options
========

Sylveon is at home on balanced and semi-stall teams, which appreciate the support and certain level of power it packs into one teamslot. It should be used when the extra special bulk is preferred over Clefable's Unaware and better physical bulk. Pokemon that have to take hits constantly, but don't have any reliable form of recovery, such as Heatran, Aegislash, and Landorus-T, greatly appreciate Sylveon's support. Sylveon can also be used with sweepers such as Mega Gyarados to cure paralysis, particularly from Thundurus's Prankster Thunder Wave, and burn. Skarmory and Zapdos make for excellent partners because they can handle Mega Pinsir and Bulk Up Talonflame, which run all over Sylveon. Both can also handle threatening Steel-type attackers fairly well. Pokemon to threaten Heatran and Skarmory also partner well, as these Pokemon can come in on Sylveon and do pretty much as they please, even preventing it from healing with Whirlwind and Roar; options for this role include Keldeo, Manaphy, Earthquake Latios, and your own Earth Power Heatran, which can also handle Talonflame. Pressuring Mega Venusaur is also necessary.

Choice Specs
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name: Choice Specs
move 1: Hyper Voice
move 2: Psyshock
move 3: Shadow Ball
move 4: Hidden Power Fire / Baton Pass / Hidden Power Ground
ability: Pixilate
item: Choice Specs
evs: 244 HP / 252 SpA / 12 Spe
nature: Modest

Moves
========

Hyper Voice is this set's STAB attack; it packs immense Base Power due to Pixilate and ignores Substitutes, using brute force to cover most targets Sylveon comes up against. The other moves cover specific otherwise-counters to this set. Psyshock heavily damages Mega Venusaur, and Shadow Ball hits Aegislash. The last slot is a toss-up between tearing apart Ferrothorn and Mega Scizor with Hidden Power Fire, gaining free momentum against switch-ins with Baton Pass, and using Hidden Power Ground to KO threatening Heatran.

Set Details
========

The EVs maximize bulk and power whilst enabling Sylveon to outrun minimum Speed Tyranitar.

Usage Tips
========

Hyper Voice should be used in most scenarios, even dealing large damage to certain Pokemon that resist it; for example, it 2HKOes Skarmory. Coverage moves should be used on predicted switch-ins. If Baton Pass is chosen, it should be used when the opponent either has something that Sylveon can't heavily damage or multiple potential outs such that it becomes risky to pick any one coverage option because the opponent's next move is unclear.

Team Options
========

Pokemon such as Fire Blast Garchomp, Mega Charizard X and Y, and Talonflame are helpful at eliminating threatening Steel-types and Mega Venusaur for Sylveon. Sticky Web support patches up Sylveon's mediocre Speed, making Shuckle and Smeargle good teammates. A lure such as Earthquake Latios or Focus Punch Mega Mawile can remove Heatran from the game, making Hyper Voice spam much easier. Landorus can eliminate Mega Venusaur, Heatran, Ferrothorn, and weakened Mega Scizor, all major threats to Sylveon, which can check Latios and Latias in return. Defog or Rapid Spin support is also critical because this Sylveon has no method of healing itself and thus is easy to wear down due to its low Speed.

Other Options
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A Choice Scarf set can be run to boost Sylveon's meager Speed to respectable levels, pivoting about with Baton Pass and even boasting the ability to do mini-sweeps with Echoed Voice. Yawn can function as a pseudo-phazing move to prevent dangerous threats from setting up on Sylveon. Pixilate-boosted Hyper Beam hits extremely hard and nets many KOs that Sylveon couldn't otherwise, but it is undesirable because it provides the opponent with free turns. RestTalk allows Sylveon to heal against phazers and can make a Calm Mind sweeper set that doesn't have to worry about status. However, the RestTalk Calm Mind set is outclassed by Suicune, and lacking Wish as well as being asleep is immensely detrimental.

Checks & Counters
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**Poison- and Steel-types**: Mega Venusaur, (Mega) Scizor, Heatran, Aegislash, and Ferrothorn are some of the biggest counters to Sylveon, as they can tank at least Hyper Voice well and threaten in return with their super effective STAB attacks.

**Phazers**: Pokemon such as Skarmory and Heatran that can phaze ensure Sylveon can't heal itself with Wish, even ignoring Protect. This makes Sylveon much easier to wear down and generally deal with.

**Powerful Physical Attackers**: Despite Sylveon's rather respectable physical bulk with full investment, overwhelming physical attackers like Mega Charizard X and Mega Pinsir can KO a slightly weakened one with their powerful, possibly boosted, attacks.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TheManlyLadybug

Banned deucer.
- It's also much bulkier than Clefable in terms of special bulk at least, whilst boasting comparable special bulk.

First of all, huh?(most likely you meant to say "comparable physical bulk") And second, comparative traits between Sylveon and Clefable should be mentioned in the overview, not Team Options.

Also, in the set details for the Baton Pass set, mention why Cute Charm is used over Pixilate. I'm assuming it's for the 30% chance to infatuate physical attackers, giving Sylveon the free turns it needs to boost up.

Edit: Thoughts on Pixilate vs. Cute Charm on the Baton Pass set?
 
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Personally, I'd still run Pixilate/Hyper Voice on Baton Pass if I wasn't using Stored Power.. just for the damage increase. Also, does Cute Charm even trigger when you're behind a Substitute? According to Bulbapedia (couldn't really find this information on Smogon), "Hitting a substitute does not make contact with the Pokémon behind it." - http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Contact

So considering that, you'd be better running Pixilate/Hyper Voice no?
 
Regarding the Specs set, I'd really get Echoed Voice out of there lol, it takes what, 4 uses of it to become stronger than Hyper Voice? (not bothered to calc). Only thing I can think of that that'd be useful against is the blobs, which just Seismic Toss you down and Recover anyway. Even Hyper Beam sounds better than that. Mabe an alternate EV spread of near max Speed (212 neutral beats min Rotom-W) could be mentioned, as it's very nice to Hyper Voice the little shit before it can Volt Switch (252+ SpA Choice Specs Pixilate Sylveon Hyper Voice vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Rotom-W: 264-312 (86.8 - 102.6%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock), as the quick removal of Rotom-W is appreciated by tons of Pokemon.

if we're going with other Normal-type moves don't forget the pro af Quick Attack
 

Punchshroom

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Maybe an alternate EV spread of near max Speed (212 neutral beats min Rotom-W) could be mentioned, as it's very nice to Hyper Voice the little shit before it can Volt Switch (252+ SpA Choice Specs Pixilate Sylveon Hyper Voice vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Rotom-W: 264-312 (86.8 - 102.6%) -- 93.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock), as the quick removal of Rotom-W is appreciated by tons of Pokemon.

if we're going with other Normal-type moves don't forget the pro af Quick Attack
252 Speed can actually outrun 0 Spe Landorus-T, but Rotom-W and Landorus-T are trying to speed creep each other all the damn time (almost none run 0 Spe) so I'm not sure if Sylveon should bother trying to catch up to them. It would also lose out on a ton of bulk if it does so, meaning Landorus-T's EQ might just wreck Sylveon if it manages to outspeed anyway.
 
i agree sylveon needs all the bulk it can have. it is unfortunate that it can't catch common voltturners that it could otherwise kill before they get away but oh well. 60 base speed is just too slow and it will be taking hits first most of the time anyway even with full investiment.
 

Ash Borer

I've heard they're short of room in hell
This looks very good, the sets are simple, standard and optimal and the usage tips are all there.

QC 2/3
 

alexwolf

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I think that Specs Sylveon should have enough Speed to outrun Defog Mega Scizor and 2HKO it with SR up before it has a chance to use Roost.
 

Jukain

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I don't think compromising that much bulk, especially for a threat that isn't nearly as common as bulky/offensive SD variants, which can destroy it, is worth it in any way.
 
Smeargle prevents Roar and Whirlwind from affecting the chain at any point due to Whirlwind, generates free turns via Spore, and provides supplementary boosts if needed with Quiver Dance.
Is this really reliable? I mean, what if they choose to attack/Taunt instead?
 

Srn

5/6 Doctors agree Russian Roulette is totally safe
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BP teams will have something with Magic Bounce, like Espeon, to reflect Taunt back or even a Taunt user of their own.
About this, the only pokemon that learns both baton pass and taunt (and can actually contribute to the chain) are mew and mr. mime. Mew is actually undesirable due to lack of synergy with espeon and usually other members, so I use Taunt on Mr. Mime. It's basically the only option.
 

Srn

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Pretty sure Gliscor has the same move combo.
It does, but in terms of contributing to the baton pass, it can only manage agility (scolipede does this), a hone claws (useless), or and SD (useless). All of these are useless except for increasing stored power's power, which is often unnecessary by the time you're ready.
Meanwhile, mew and mr. mime can increase sp. def, which is always an issue with baton pass teams. This is much more valuable to baton pass than gliscor's ability and typing are. Mew has amnesia too, which increases sp. def better than CM, but obviously not helping out the type synergy.
 

HypnoEmpire

Yokatta...
When I saw Sylveon, the first thing that came to mind was Assault Vest. I was very surprised when there wasn't a single mention of this amazing item. 95 HP and 130 SpD is nothing to laugh about, and boosting that SpD with an AV gives Sylveon amazing special bulk while also hitting very hard with that 110 SpA stat. You are able to stop almost any special attacker in OU this way. I see absolutely no reason why Sylveon wouldn't perform well with an Assault Vest and it definitely deserves a set of its own. Any thoughts on this?
 
Sylveon gets reliable recovery in Wish, which is much more helpful to its bulk than Assault Vest. If it ran Assault Vest, it would have no way of regaining any HP. It has a ton of special bulk already, so that's not especially helpful. Assault Vest isn't the kind of item you can just slap on any Pokemon, and Sylveon is one that is actively hurt by it.
 

Martin

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When I saw Sylveon, the first thing that came to mind was Assault Vest. I was very surprised when there wasn't a single mention of this amazing item. 95 HP and 130 SpD is nothing to laugh about, and boosting that SpD with an AV gives Sylveon amazing special bulk while also hitting very hard with that 110 SpA stat. You are able to stop almost any special attacker in OU this way. I see absolutely no reason why Sylveon wouldn't perform well with an Assault Vest and it definitely deserves a set of its own. Any thoughts on this?
To add to Swamp Links point, 110 SpA is, while high, not that good unboosted and its physical bulk is quite pitiful, meaning that if you sacrefice that recovery you are basically f***ed the moment that a physical attacker comes in, meaning that it is forced out way more often than when it does something useful.
 

HypnoEmpire

Yokatta...
I would like to point out that Goodra, a common Assault Vest user, has the same Special Attack as Sylveon and almost the same physical bulk. Goodra is a little bulkier on the Special side, but Sylveon makes up for that with a better Defensive typing. Sylveon arguably has a better and more reliable STAB attack in Pixilate Hyper Voice.
Sylveon gets reliable recovery in Wish, which is much more helpful to its bulk than Assault Vest. If it ran Assault Vest, it would have no way of regaining any HP. It has a ton of special bulk already, so that's not especially helpful. Assault Vest isn't the kind of item you can just slap on any Pokemon, and Sylveon is one that is actively hurt by it.
That is very questionable, considering that the only set up above with Wish is the Defensive set. Not having Wish obviously doesn't hurt it so much to the point where it can't have a Choice Specs or Baton Pass set. One problem with having Wish > Assault Vest is that it forces you to invest a ton of EVs in HP and Defensive stats to really be able to use it well while with an Assault Vest, you can run max HP max Special Attack with a Modest nature. The point of an Assault Vest is to get Sylveon's Special bulk to really high levels so it can take any Special hit and retaliate with a powerful Hyper Voice (very similar to Assault Vest Goodra).
 

Srn

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I would like to point out that Goodra, a common Assault Vest user, has the same Special Attack as Sylveon and almost the same physical bulk. Goodra is a little bulkier on the Special side, but Sylveon makes up for that with a better Defensive typing. Sylveon arguably has a better and more reliable STAB attack in Pixilate Hyper Voice.

That is very questionable, considering that the only set up above with Wish is the Defensive set. Not having Wish obviously doesn't hurt it so much to the point where it can't have a Choice Specs or Baton Pass set. One problem with having Wish > Assault Vest is that it forces you to invest a ton of EVs in HP and Defensive stats to really be able to use it well while with an Assault Vest, you can run max HP max Special Attack with a Modest nature. The point of an Assault Vest is to get Sylveon's Special bulk to really high levels so it can take any Special hit and retaliate with a powerful Hyper Voice (very similar to Assault Vest Goodra).
I'd like to point out that AV goodra sucks.
It's special bulk is the only good thing about it; it is weak, very frail on the physical side, rather slow, and really not that threatening.
Not only does sylveon lack the great coverage moves goodra has, it's EVEN slower, and EVEN frailer on the physical side.
Comparing the two just proves how bad an AV sylveon set would be.
Furthermore, comparing the two also shows how much better Choice Specs fit both Goodra and Sylveon.
 
The Baton Pass set is completely different and shouldn't come into this discussion for obvious reasons.

When Sylveon uses Choice Specs, it's serving a completely different role. That set works because it's trying to hit extremely hard and does not need to recover. The point is to be a relatively hit-and-run wallbreaker. If you want something that tanks hits, you should use the defensive set. It still hits back hard enough, and I guarantee that in practice against skilled opponents, Assault Vest Sylveon would be inferior to both Choice Specs and Defensive sets. If Goodra had access to a move like Recover, it would definitely be using that on bulky sets instead of Assault Vest.
 
On the first set:

darkie
Team Options
========
- Sylveon is at home on balanced/semi-stall teams, which appreciate the support and even power it packs into one teamslot.
- It's also much bulkier than Clefable in terms of special bulk at least, whilst boasting comparable special bulk.
I think that, on the second line, you meant to say:
"- It's also much bulkier than Clefable in terms of special bulk at least, whilst boasting comparable physical bulk."

As Sylveon's special bulk can't be comparable to Clefable's when you just said it's better! ;) Great analysis overall, keep it up!
 

TheManlyLadybug

Banned deucer.
In OO, mention that a Calm Mind set could possibly work, but lacking coverage and undesirable physical bulk hold it back tremendously, and Sylveon has better things to be doing
 

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