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Mienshao@Expert Belt
Trait: Regenerator
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Hasty Nature
- Hi Jump Kick
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- U-turn
- Toxic

While it is easy to select Hi Jump Kick from moveset and take advantage for its ability after U-turns, HP [Ice] is the right reply on Gligar, Tornadus and Zapdos. Expert Belt is for boosting very well and allows it to fake a Choice set.
One last trick up its sleeve it's Toxic.
That is the right deterrent vs Ghost-type, most common switch ins to Mienshao with heavy recoil for undesirable Hi Jump Kick. A possible solution here is to use Toxic whenever you predict a defensive counter coming in and so damaging (however slowly) his effectiveness.
 
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Mienshao @ Salac Berry
Ability: Regenerator/Inner Focus
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 SpD
Jolly nature
-Endure
-Swords dance
-Reversal
-Acrobatics

How would you like a +2, 200 power STAB move coming off of a base 125 attack with 509 speed? So basically the idea is to find an opportunity to swords dance and then endure, obtain +1 speed, outspeed everything in the tier bar a speed tie w/ scarf mienshao, and sweep. +2 STAB reversal is literally insane and can easily ohko suicune, zapdos (if not max def), claydol, specs slowbro after rocks (it CAN OHKO specs bro right off the bat, but its guranteed the OHKO w/ rocks up), etc. It can pretty much OHKOs 90+% of the tier and wrecks hyper offense teams. With hazards support, this unexpected threat. Regenerator helps to keep mienshao healthy so it can potentially take a weak hit and swords dance, but w/ inner focus you could lead against something like ambipom, take a fake out while you swords dance, endure while it returns and take that bitch out with whatever. Now you're ready to sweep. Otherwise, I'd mainly use this guy late-game as sort of a clean-up sweeper cuz he definitely appreciates some scouting for priority/hazards. A lot of things that can be somewhat taken for granted mienshao checks like gligar and nidoqueen now just provide mienshao with a free turn to set up as they switch-in most likely expecting the scarf/fake out set and then can bring it down to its salac berry. There's not really any way for mienshao to take out some other common checks like cofag or defensive slowbro (its best physical move to hit these two super effectively with is payback and an acrobatics > super effective payback), but this is pretty much as close as it comes as its sheer power can mean their end if they've been weakened before.

Also, pairing this beast with a max SpD gothorita w/ toxic and psychic means you wouldn't have to worry about slowbro, cofag (unless it's that rest set), sucker punch from hitmontop, qwilfish, or burns from blastoise.
 
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phantom

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Mixed Calm Mind



Mienshao @ Life Orb
Trait: Reckless
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
-Calm Mind
-Hi Jump Kick
-Grass Knot
-Hidden Power Ice

This is a nice surprise for most of Mienshao's counters. Mienshao has a surprisingly cool special movepool consisting of Calm Mind, Grass Knot, and Hidden Power Ice. The reason why Hi Jump Kick is preferred over Aura sphere is because most targets hit by Fighting-type moves are more vulnerable on the physical side; Snorlax, Porygon2, and Umbreon in particular. It also works as an excellent lure for Snorlax thinking that it can take a hit from primarily special attacking versions. Even with minimal investment, a Reckless-boosted Hi Jump Kick is still capable of OHKOing Snorlax, Registeel, and tank Porygon2. Grass Knot allows Mienshao to OHKO Slowbro, Swampert, and offensive Suicune at +1, which is really neat. Hidden Power Ice rounds out the coverage by being able to one shot both Gligar and offensive Zapdos at +1 after Stealth Rock damage. Against defensive versions of Zapdos, the Special Defense boost provided by Calm Mind allows it to take its attacks more easily, hence the Hasty nature. The same SpD boost works well in beating defensive Nidoqueen as Mienshao can use Calm Mind when it switches in, boost again (while taking at maximum 33%), and OHKO with a +2 Life Orb-boosted Hidden Power Ice.
 
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Bad Ass

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ICECREAM takes it with his spiffy mixed calm mind mienshao set!

Mienshao @ Life Orb
Trait: Reckless
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Hasty Nature
-Calm Mind
-Hi Jump Kick
-Grass Knot
-Hidden Power Ice

seems like not only an excellent lure for a ton of 'shao switch ins, but an excellent late-game sweeper with high speed and great coverage.

now, we all know azelf as the pokemon that lays down suicide rocks, perhaps sets a screen or two, and explodes; maybe even run a life orb 4 attack set for late game pummeling. however, is there any unseen niche that it can fill?
 

TPO3

Never practice; Always perform.
Azelf @Choice Scarf
Trait: Levitate
252 Atk/4 SpDef/252 Spe
~Zen Headbutt
~Ice Punch
~Fire Punch/Trick
~U-turn/Trick

Scarf Azelf has a pretty nice surprise factor to it, and with base 115 speed it will get by any of the common U scarfers as well (ie: Flygon, Mienshao, Heracross.) Scarf Azelf functions as a great revenge killer, and the coverage it gets in all 3 elemental punches is great. It's also got Explosion and Fire Blast (for Bronzong) if you want to toy around a little bit, but I think the options above are generally the best. The only thing I wish this set has was a 100% accurate STAB move, but Zen Headbutt isn't terrible, and honestly, there's no reason to use a Special Set since Meloetta will do that a lot better.
 
@ Colbur Berry | Levitate
Timid | 24 Def / 232 SAtk / 252 Spe
Psychic | Fire Blast | Thunderbolt | Shadow Ball

This Azelf set focuses on luring Dark types in and koing them while still being able to break walls. Colbur Berry allows Azelf to tank a Dark move like Hounchkrow's Sucker Punch and ko it with an appropriate coverage move or survive a Pursuit from something like Weavile or Snorlax and switch to an appropriate counter. The moveset is standard while the evs are customize to survive specific Dark type attacks even after Stealth Rock damage.

252 Atk Life Orb Honchkrow Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 24 Def Colbur Berry Azelf: 214-253 (73.53 - 86.94%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Life Orb Houndoom Sucker Punch vs. 0 HP / 24 Def Colbur Berry Azelf: 173-204 (59.45 - 70.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Weavile Night Slash vs. 0 HP / 24 Def Colbur Berry Azelf: 211-249 (72.5 - 85.56%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Life Orb Weavile Night Slash vs. 0 HP / 24 Def Colbur Berry Azelf: 183-216 (62.88 - 74.22%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
 

CoolStoryBrobat

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Looks like TPO3 beat me to this, eh? Ah well. I was actually going to put my hand in for Special Scarf Azelf, contrary to what he says about Meloetta outclassing.



Azelf @ Choice Scarf
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Hasty/Timid Nature
- Psyshock
- Fire Blast/Shadow Ball
- Grass Knot
- U-turn/Trick

See, what you may not realize about special Scarf Azelf, is that Psyshock always guaranteeably OHKOes Heracross as opposed to using Psychic (which has some chance of letting it live), but more importantly you have a 100% accurate STAB move to use freely while still hitting Snorlax for reliable damage. Fire Blast puts down Steel-types such as Bronzong and Cobalion, as well as proves to be the only option this set has against Weavile, but Shadow Ball can be of use if you have issues dealing with opposing Psychic or Ghost-types. Grass Knot is a staple as it wrecks Swampert, Rhyperior, Suicune, and the majority of the bulky waters in the tier. U-Turn is for momentum (duh) and actually does a nice little bit of damage to things like Umbreon if you run Hasty. Trick is useful for crippling something as Azelf is still pretty fast without its Scarf, though you may hate losing your Scarfer in the long run. Hasty is preferred since Azelf is pretty darn frail anyway and Naive isn't going to save it in a tier where the most common priority move is Sucker Punch, which it is weak to, on top of its pitiful physical defense. At the least you deny Download users a Sp. Atk boost, not that it's that big of a deal. If you run trick over U-Turn, then you can at least afford to run Timid.

I've actually used this set heck of a lot of times to some great success and honestly I can't say Meloetta outclasses it (Yeah, I have used Scarf Meloetta as well for that matter). A lot of people won't ever be expecting a Scarf set and will keep their own Scarfed Heracross/Mienshao in on it, only to see it die the subsequent turn to a surprise Psyshock. It's the fastest scarf user in the tier (Unless you're into Scarf Crobat, lol) and ties with Raikou, but instead of having Raikou's great neutral coverage between Electric/Ice, you get some more high-power moves to take on a better range of threats in the tier for solid damage on top of having much higher attacking stats. That goes for any Scarf Azelf in general, not just my posted set.
 

The Leprechaun

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Azelf @ Salac Berry
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 SDef
Timid Nature
- Nasty Plot
- Endure
- Psyshock
- Fire Blast

One of the main problems with Azelf's standard nasty plot set is the ease at which it is revenged by common scarfers thanks to its poor bulk. Using a salac berry and endure, Azelf gets past this problem because at +1, it outspeeds every common scarfer in the tier. Psyshock is used to obliterate Snorlax after a boost and fire blast is chosen as the coverage move because of the fact it hits steels hard.
 
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One thing I've noticed with Azelf, is that its one, got terrible bulk and is usually knocked out within the first 4 turns of a match, and two, it's never strong enough to put down opposing Rapid Spin users in one hit, potentially running the risk of its Stealth Rock being removed. One aspect of Azelf I fail to understand, is that many people believe that its best suited as either a sweeper or revenge killer thanks to its sky-high Attack and Speed stats, when in reality, it's actually terrible at doing both. Azelf is one of those "looks good on paper, but sucks in practice" Pokemon, which is why the Choice Scarf set never made it to the analysis. With the plethora of Pokemon now running priority moves and a significant number of Pokemon running Pursuit, Azelf is just better off running a dedicated lead set.


Azelf @ Life Orb
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Naive Nature
- Taunt
- Stealth Rock
- Psychic
- Explosion

The goal of this set is to get Stealth Rock up, and keep it there. On the non-Nasty Plot sets, Azelf actually has a fair bit of difficulty managing to bypass the majority of Spinners available to UU, Hitmontop being the only exception. In fact, without Nasty Plot, the best Azelf can manage is a 2HKO or even a 3HKO against the likes of Blastoise, Claydol, and Cryogonal. However, taking away from the Final Gambit tactic that Accelgor effectively runs, Azelf can sacrifice itself against an opposing Spinner, prevent the spin from working since there's no target, and allow a check to said spinner to enter the field, creating a plethora of offensive momentum. The EV distribution of this set is relatively straightforward - maximize Azelf's Speed to ensure that Stealth Rock is laid and that Taunt prevents other hazard setters from doing their job. After that, Special Attack is maximized in order to secure an OHKO on opposing Hitmontop, keeping Stealth Rock up. Explosion, much like Accelgor's Final Gambit, is there to take a solid chunk of HP out of a spinner or other bulky threat if the opposing team neglects to run one, preventing the Rapid Spin, and bringing out a better-suited check for said spinner. Since Azelf is not a Pokemon that traditionally finds itself lasting throughout a match, this strategy won't see any real downside to running this Azelf variant - it's usually knocked out within the first four turns anyways.
 

Azelf @ Expert Belt
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 152 Atk / 104 SAtk / 252 Spd
Naive Nature (+Spd, -SDef)
- Zen Headbutt
- Grass Knot
- Ice Punch
- Fire Blast

ebelt mixed azelf to nails rhyperior, bronzong, swampert, gligar etc mostly physical walls to hit stronger after with Zen Headbutt the main attack on Azelf. Ebelt helps bluffing better and helps to HKO Swampert with GK w/o Steath Rock on the field. You need something for a part of Dark types such Scrafty or Houndoom between others and Empoleon, anyways Azelf will be walled by other stuff always because movepool also i'm not considering HP fighting since is just weak and no secunday effect, at least should to need Nasty Plot.
 
Azelf @ Flame Orb
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Trick
- Stealth Rock
- Psychic/Psyshock
- Explosion

This is a fun pseudo-suicide lead set for Azelf. First turn you go for trick to burn whoever your opponent chooses as a lead (with the exception being Crobat who will Taunt you and Ambipom who will use Fake Out). After that, throw down some Rocks. If something comes in you can hit and take a hit from, start dropping Psychic or Psyshock. If it's not a favorable matchup or is a Spinner, use Explosion to deal hefty dmg to the other poke and keep your rocks up.
 
Azelf @ Flame Orb
Trait: Levitate
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
- Trick
- Stealth Rock
- Psychic/Psyshock
- Explosion

This is a fun pseudo-suicide lead set for Azelf. First turn you go for trick to burn whoever your opponent chooses as a lead (with the exception being Crobat who will Taunt you and Ambipom who will use Fake Out). After that, throw down some Rocks. If something comes in you can hit and take a hit from, start dropping Psychic or Psyshock. If it's not a favorable matchup or is a Spinner, use Explosion to deal hefty dmg to the other poke and keep your rocks up.
Cabol, I'd consider using a Toxic Orb over a Flame Orb, and for a few reasons. First, Azelf will take less residual damage over the first two turns than it would a Flame Orb. This allows Azelf to potentially survive being picked off by an opposing priority move. Second, Toxic Orb has a better distribution than Flame Orb, and Toxic status is better for breaking down opposing walls than burn, as the exponential damage will wear them out quickly. Thirdly, Flame Orb will end up burning Azelf if it isn't deployed fast enough, vastly reducing Explosion's damage output. Even though it's simply a way to get Azelf out and bring a decent check to the table, the additional Explosion damage helps your sweepers bypass said walls or spinners, thus making the match slightly easier to win.

For this set however, I'd consider using U-turn over Explosion or even Psychic, as any Dark-type leads will force you to explode prematurely before Stealth Rock can be set or Toxic Orb can be tricked.
 
Cabol, I'd consider using a Toxic Orb over a Flame Orb, and for a few reasons. First, Azelf will take less residual damage over the first two turns than it would a Flame Orb. This allows Azelf to potentially survive being picked off by an opposing priority move. Second, Toxic Orb has a better distribution than Flame Orb, and Toxic status is better for breaking down opposing walls than burn, as the exponential damage will wear them out quickly. Thirdly, Flame Orb will end up burning Azelf if it isn't deployed fast enough, vastly reducing Explosion's damage output. Even though it's simply a way to get Azelf out and bring a decent check to the table, the additional Explosion damage helps your sweepers bypass said walls or spinners, thus making the match slightly easier to win.

For this set however, I'd consider using U-turn over Explosion or even Psychic, as any Dark-type leads will force you to explode prematurely before Stealth Rock can be set or Toxic Orb can be tricked.
I decided on Flame Orb because literally the first move you do is Trick to pass it to the opposing lead. That way Flame Orb doesn't activate on Azelf and you'll steal their item.
 

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