name: Utility Pivot
move 1: Will-O-Wisp
move 2: Brave Bird
move 3: U-turn
move 4: Roost
item: Heavy-Duty Boots
ability: Flame Body
evs: 252 Atk / 16 Def / 240 Spe
Talonflame's niche comes from its Fire resistance, Steel resistance, access to Will-O-Wisp, and ability in Flame Body. Talonflame faces strict competition from Crobat and Noivern as fast Flying-type Pokemon, with Crobat having more useful defensive utility and Noivern being better offensively. However, Talonflame is able to check certain Steel-types such as Metagross, Durant, and Steelix well unlike its Flying-type competition. Talonflame is also able to stave off Fighting-types such as Mienshao and Heracross. Will-O-Wisp allows Talonflame to cripple common Flying-resistant Pokemon such as Diancie and Stakataka, Steel-types like Cobalion and Steelix, and setup sweepers like Swords Dance Doublade and Swords Dance Mimikyu. U-turn is helpful to keep momentum and bring in frailer wallbreakers and other teammates. Flare Blitz and Toxic can be run over Brave Bird and Will-O-Wisp to make Talonflame more immediately threatening to Steel-types and Electric-types; Toxic also makes it harder for Water-types to handle it. However, this leaves it without a move to hit Chandelure and is less threatening to Stakataka. Talonflame has the option to run a Swords Dance set with maximum Attack investment as well as Flare Blitz and Swords Dance over U-turn and Will-O-Wisp, which threatens common Flying-resistant Pokemon like Raikou and Steelix. Swords Dance Talonflame still struggles to break past most bulky Water- and Rock-types and loses immense utility by not having U-turn or Will-O-Wisp, however. 240 Speed EVs let Talonflame outspeed Ribombee. While an offensive EV spread is preferred, Talonflame can alternatively run a physically defensive EV spread of 16 HP / 252 Def / 240 Spe to more reliably check Mienshao, Durant, and Metagross, but it gives up the ability to guarantee a 2HKO on Chandelure.
Talonflame cannot do much to the many Rock- and Water-type Pokemon like Diancie, Milotic, and Gastrodon in the tier, so Celebi, Milotic, and Vileplume make good teammates that are able to switch in and threaten these Pokemon. Vileplume and Celebi are especially notable, as they also handle Electric-types that threaten Talonflame like Raikou and Xurkitree. Talonflame's ability to lure in Rock- and Water-types such as Stakataka, Diancie, and Milotic can give free switches to teammates like Golurk, Decidueye, and Virizion thanks to U-turn. Talonflame appreciates cleric support from Diancie, Vileplume, and Sylveon to reliably handle Toxic users such as Metagross and defensive Stakataka. Talonflame isn't a reliable Fighting-type check on its own, so Vileplume and Sylveon make good teammates for it that are able to reliably handle Mienshao. Knock Off can ruin Talonflame by removing its Heavy-Duty Boots, making it vulnerable to Stealth Rock; Knock Off absorbers like Cobalion, Vileplume, and Gastrodon can take Knock Off for Talonflame. Frailer wallbreakers like Life Orb Mienshao and Choice Band Golurk appreciate Talonflame's ability to easily bring them in with U-turn.
- Written by: [[Yourwelcomethanku, 541847]]
- Quality checked by: [[Mac3, 291087], [GoldCat, 359771]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Deetah, 297659]]