Battle Spot and You September: Fairy Face-Off

By Antemortem. Art by Faxxifer.
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Background and Rules

Last month we explored Pikachu Tournamentchu, the Battle Spot competition limiting players to the use of Pokémon that are available in the Kalos dex as well as the mandatory use of Pikachu. This month, the Battle Spot competition was known as Fairy Face-Off, a rousing game of "which Fairy's best?" in which the only Pokémon permitted for use were the newly introduced Fairy-types. During the competition, levels were also reduced to 30, and to top it off, Xerneas, Diancie, and Arceus-Fairy were banned.

Common Usage and Threats

Fairy Face-Off was a singles format, and while you brought six Pokémon to the match, only three were chosen to battle. This format was fairly straightforward, though it offered some strategic advantages if one mispredicts what their opponent opted to bring out. This also means that one could choose to include, say, both Gardevoir and Mawile on their team, both holding their Mega Stones. Since only one Mega Evolution was permissible per battle, one could gain the upper hand by choosing the Pokémon that the opponent didn't account for.

Pokémon choices were fairly limited, as only Fairy-types were allowed in the competition. However, there were some powerhouses with redeemable qualities such as Mawile, Gardevoir, Azumarill, Klefki, and Togekiss. Two of these, Mawile and Gardevoir, have Mega Evolutions at their disposal and could make use of the power gained to decimate teams unprepared for whichever one was used in battle. Of course, since these were the most commonly appearing powers in the metagame, it's safe to say that preparing for them was a rule of thumb.


Mawile has been the killer of dreams and all things holy ever since it was given the grace of God himself in the form of Mawilite. With this, Mawile Mega evolves into Mega Mawile, with Huge Power skyrocketing its Attack stat to a massive 678. Some opted to run Substitute and Swords Dance, or just Swords Dance by itself, and if it was successful in setting up, Mawile proceeded to decimate everything that would come its way. An unboosted Sucker Punch wouldn't KO much since most everything in the metagame resisted Dark-type moves, what with all the Fairies running around, but if something like Carbink threw up Trick Room and Mawile opted for a Brave nature, the game was over for anything faster. Matches were typically short, given the three available team slots, and Mawile saw to it that not much stayed alive, what with its STAB Iron Head that hit most everything super effectively except for Azumarill and Klefki, though they still took neutral damage. Mawile could also Knock Off whatever it pleased, stopping things like Choice Band or Assault Vest Azumarill from trying to take momentum away.


Fortunately, Mawile didn't have the limelight to itself when it came to Mega Evolution. Once Gardevoir Mega evolves, it receives Pixilate, which turns Normal-type attacks into Fairy-type. It also gives them a 1.3x boost, and Gardevoir has access to 90 Base Power Hyper Voice, a hugely powerful STAB move. Not much in the tier resisted Gardevoir's moves, and anything that did was likely to be swiftly removed from the game by something in the other three conveniently open spots in its moveset. Gardevoir benefited from team support from the likes of Klefki, as it could paralyze anything that might survive a Hyper Voice, or set up dual screens so that any frailty that remained after Mega Evolving was reduced to a minimum. Gardevoir was a force to be reckoned with, regardless of not being able to hit everything in the tier super effectively. The little Fairies still cower in fear.


This bulky bird-thing has always been a cutie pie, and it was made even better this generation with its new secondary Fairy typing. In this particular metagame, Togekiss didn't have many different things that it could do. However, Togekiss was a valuable component in removing Mega Mawile from play because it was a powerhouse like Gardevoir, but it resisted Sucker Punch, unlike its part Psychic-type companion. Since it resisted Mawile's only priority move, Togekiss was free to run rampant with Flamethrower or Fire Blast and OHKO Mawile without a second thought. It's also got its usual toys in Serene Grace, Thunder Wave, and Air Slash, but those weren't nearly as useful in practice as wasting Mawile.


Klefki fills a similar role in every metagame and team it's in, and Fairy Face-Off was no exception. The jangly key Pokémon has access to dual screens, Safeguard, and Thunder Wave, all prone to abuse thanks to Prankster. Dual screens were invaluable since they promoted longevity in otherwise partially frail team members and against the opposing offensive threats Mawile and Gardevoir. Safeguard allowed Klefki to protect its team from getting crippled by opposing Klefki, and Thunder Wave allowed it to do the exact opposite. Paralyzing things like Choice Scarf or Choice Specs Togekiss and Mega Gardevoir opened up opportunities for hax as well as openings to outspeed and decimate otherwise heavy threats. Togekiss was a detriment to Mawile if it ran Fire Blast or Flamethrower, and most did, but Thunder Wave gave Mawile the chance to outspeed and take down the bird. Alternatively, Klefki could also run Choice Specs or Life Orb with Flash Cannon for strong neutral damage on Mawile and Azumarill and super effective, likely-to-OHKO damage on everything else. It wasn't preferred for it to be offensive, but it could act well on the role if need be.


I'm only mentioning Azumarill as a primary threat because it's got Huge Power, as well as a nice Special Defense stat to don an Assault Vest with and use it appropriately, to which OU players will attest. The heightened Special Defense boosted Azumarill's ability to power through a Pixilate-boosted Hyper Voice from the likes of Mega Gardevoir and send a Huge Power-complemented Waterfall back in its direction and clean it up with Aqua Jet. Team support might've been required, as the loss in power was ultimately the downfall of using Assault Vest over Choice Band. Regardless, Azumarill was a powerhouse unto itself in the metagame and shouldn't be thought of as otherwise.

As far as alternative options went, there were very few. Whimsicott was one of the best, as it could provide a priority Tailwind boost, and this lead to Togekiss outspeeding Mawile and KOing it with Fire Blast. It also could've lead to Gardevoir winning the accursed speed tie. Additionally, Whimsicott could use Memento to drag the opponent's offenses through the mud. Another likely candidate for teams was Dedenne, which got an invaluable asset in Entrainment. Entrainment nerfed the primary threats in the tier, Prankster, Huge Power, and Pixilate, in the blink of an eye. Dedenne could actually change the tide of games with this simple move, but otherwise, it greatly lacked in versatility.

Wrapping Up

To be frank, this metagame was hardly even a metagame. It was a "whose Mawile/Gardevoir can use the most resources to remove possible hurdles the best" game, and that's the end of it. If you picked the proper team support, your Mawile might've been able to best your opponent's. You could burn, parahax, or dual screen your way to victory, but no matter which way you turn it, the game was dominated by two primary powerhouses, and there was no way around it. I thought that Fairies were supposed to be motherly and grant wishes; this was definitely not what I signed up for.

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