The Role of the Bulky Psychic

By Nachos and twash, with help from Zystral.
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Psychic-types are very unique Pokemon. From the outside, they appear to be steeped in mystical prowess. In fact, the Psychic-type is the most common typing among legendaries. It has always been virtually impossible to generalize Psychic-types into a specific role, as their different offensive and support roles and stats have never lent themselves to any fixed role. This article looks at the potential for generalizing the bulky Psychic by comparing the various common Psychic-types in the current metagame. Several Psychics have defensive base stat spreads, but in a metagame where there is such rife competition for a team slot, the need for a wide movepool has become increasingly valuable. In this article, we will look through the popular bulky Psychic-types and what roles they can currently perform.


Mew is definitely one of the top bulky Psychic-types out there. With base stats of 100 across the board, Mew can be both a physical and special wall. However, Mew is best suited to taking physical attacks, as it has weaknesses to several common specially attacking types, such as Dark and Ghost. Even powerful threats such as Terrakion will struggle to harm Mew without a Swords Dance boost (while the Choice Band set will hurt, it can be easily walled if it come in on the right move). Mew can cripple physical threats with Will-O-Wisp, which can then be capitalized on by allowing something such as Dragonite to set up on the crippled threat. In a metagame packed to the brim with offensive physical threats, Mew can shine by burning the likes of Tyranitar, Dragonite, Lucario, Mamoswine, and Landorus.

What makes Mew especially difficult to face, however, is its Speed. Mew doesn't need to run any Speed EVs to outspeed standard defensive threats such as Skarmory, Blissey, and Jellicent. This gives bulky Mew a huge advantage over stall teams, who will often struggle to stop it from Taunting and Will-O-Wisping their Pokemon. Mew has reliable recovery too, which means that, ideally, you'll want to hit Mew with a high Base Power move in order to KO it, or put it into KO range for something else. Unpredictability is also a huge factor of Mew's effectiveness, as its diverse movepool means that it can always threaten to surprise you and turn the game on its head.

Mew is an underrated Pokemon, and we can't help but wonder why more people don't use it. Just because it is UU, does not mean that it is a poor choice. Mew is incredibly frustrating to face, something which few people seem to be noticing.

Of course, when you look a little deeper, especially into the metagame, it becomes very apparent. If you are running a defensive Mew, chances are, your offensive and Speed investment will be low. As a result, against more aggressive teams, Mew will be left struggling. It may be able to take a few physical attacks and strike with its naturally high Speed, but in an environment where many Pokemon are equipped with a Choice Scarf or have naturally high Speed coupled with a boosting item, Mew will struggle to consistently tank hits. Defensively, it is great for fighting fire with fire, but offensively, it can do very little against attackers barring Will-O-Wisp, as opposed to say, Ferrothorn, who can Power Whip some of its foes. Mew is definitely worth considering in your team, but make sure you have the firepower to back it up, because it's definitely no Skarmory, and doesn't have the strength to fight back like Bronzong or Ferrothorn.


One of the most frustrating Pokemon to face in the game. With his ability Regenerator, Slowbro can keep switching in and out to regain HP for free, making for a Pokemon that doesn't really fear entry hazards as much as other Pokemon. Slowbro's high overall physical defense allows him to take on strong physical attackers, and his Water typing also allows him to take on the incredibly strong Darmanitan (a true monster on sun based teams), whose Flare Blitz has sent many a Pokemon player back to Pallet Town. Like Mew, Slowbro has a reliable recovery move in Slack Off, making for one infuriating Pokemon to take down, especially in tandem with Regenerator.

He has a solid movepool too. Ferrothorn can't really exploit Slowbro's Grass-type weakness due to the possibilty of getting roasted by Fire Blast. Even in rain, Fire Blast will still do a large chunk of damage. Thunder Wave is good at crippling Pokemon such as Latios, who try to switch in for free on Slowbro's other moves. Because of his typing, Slowbro can fit well on teams needing a reliable Water-type. Be warned though, as Slowbro is still nailed by Politoed's Choice Specs Hydro Pump.

So where does it all go wrong? It's his environment. In a place where powerful special attacks from the likes of Rotom-A, Zapdos, and Shaymin are commonplace, Slowbro will struggle to survive the incoming onslaught of Thunderbolt and Seed Flare. On top of this, despite being a defensive powerhouse, he is left high and dry when faced with anything else. Opposing defensive teams wall Slowbro to the ends of Earth; Taunt creates a large gap in his defenses by nullifying Slack Off, and a powerful Pursuit user does enough damage to negate his Regenerator boost, and then some. Be very careful with Slowbro, as one wrong enemy will completely invalidate his use.


Hey, it's Reuniclus, something that everybody thought would be yet another NU Pokemon when the BW Pokemon were released! Instead, Reuniclus is arguably one of the hardest Pokemon to defeat in OU once it gets going, and there are a limited number of Pokemon that actually scare it. The two most commonly known checks are Tyranitar and Scizor, both of whom are very common in the current metagame.

Unlike Slowbro, Reuniclus has two equally frightening sets that can toss an unprepared team around like a rag doll. The most common is the bulky Calm Mind set. With Magic Guard, Reuniclus is immune to any sort of entry hazards or passive damage, making it an immediately strong fit on most teams. Reuniclus can easily come in on something it doesn't care about, such as the common Ferrothorn, and start setting up with Calm Mind. If you don't react quickly, it probably means that it is game over. Amazingly, even Choice Band Tyranitar's Crunch will not OHKO on average against the most defensive Reuniclus, and is promptly crushed by Focus Blast in return (unless it misses, of course). A Chople Berry remedies this, but bear in mind, if Tyranitar has taken any previous damage (which is likely if its been in a weather war with Ninetales or Politoed), then it is possible that it'll be KOed through the Chople Berry. Scizor with lots of Special Defense EVs is a better answer, as it can take a +1 Focus Blast and respond with a high powered Bug-type attack. Other options include hitting it hard with a strong boosted move such as Outrage from Choice Band Haxorus. With Magic Guard, Reuniclus can become a great pivot for teams, and this in combination with the fact that the Calm Mind set is public enemy #1 for every stall team makes Reuniclus a great Pokemon to use.

Its other set is the Trick Room set, more commonly seen on offensive teams. Arguably the best cleaner in the game, the entire game is under threat after a Trick Room, due to Reuniclus's perfect coverage and poor Speed. Trick Room Reuniclus is even scarier when backed up by a non-recoiling Life Orb. Hidden Power Fire is sometimes used over Focus Blast for Scizor and other Steel-types, and this unpredictability makes Reuniclus very awkward to play against. This set is fantastic when paired with something that resists its weaknesses, such as Conkeldurr, who also benefits from Trick Room due to its low Speed stat. Trick Room Reuniclus can flip the momentum of a game in a single turn, and will force the opponent to predict moves accurately, whilst waiting for Trick Room to run out.

To sum it up, Reuniclus is easily one of the most horrible Pokemon to face in OU. Its Calm Mind set eats stall teams, while the Trick Room set sends alarm bells ringing at any offensive team's HQ. Reuniclus is very difficult to deal with, but this doesn't mean it is impossible. Depending on the set, you can either hope to Taunt it before it can set up Calm Mind, or use an equally defensive Pokemon of your own to soak up its Trick Room barrage. Once Reuniclus runs out of firepower, it becomes easy picking for anything with a high-powered attack.


Although the given name implies it, Deoxys-D isn't a defensive titan, despite those massive defensive stats. What makes him deadly is his support movepool, which is easily one of the best in the entire game. Deoxys-D utilizes Stealth Rock and Spikes well, being one of the few Pokemon to reliably be able to set both of them up. Perhaps unknown is Deoxys-D's solid Base 90 Speed stat; a bulky, fast, and annoying Toxic and Taunt set can make him a real pain to face. Reliable recovery means that Deoxys-D won't die quickly, either.

Not needing to invest in attacking EVs is beneficial, and Deoxys-D can get away with this as Night Shade does a great job of knocking off 100 HP from whatever is out at the time. While he's not on the same level as Mew and Slowbro in terms of threatening whole teams, his ability to set up two types of hazards is a godsend if you're looking to fit a "two Pokemon in one teamslot" type of Pokemon onto your team.

Of course, against much faster, more momentum-based teams, even Deoxys-D will struggle to prove his worth. Incredibly fast Taunts and even faster attacks will leave Deoxys-D dazed and helpless as the repeated assault takes him down. Nearly all the standard threats give him problems once he's been Taunted; Haxorus, Tyranitar, Scizor, Landorus, and Salamence just tear through his defenses, not needing to worry about the Spikes Deoxys-D has failed to set up.


She's less commonly seen these days, as Latios does offensive sets better, and the Timid Calm Mind set is ripped a new one by Tyranitar, but Latias still fills a void that not many other Pokemon can fill. Fantastic resistances, great Speed, and arguably the best mono-attacking type (Dragon) can allow her to counter many offensive threats. Latias is one of those Pokemon that can quickly shift a game in her favor if you're not quick enough to react, as she is very hard to take down with a couple of Calm Minds under her belt. However, the set that we are currently liking is the Bold Reflect and Calm Mind Latias set, with 252 EVs in both HP and Defense. This means that Latias is no longer completely destroyed by Tyranitar and Scizor, allowing her to survive and potentially run through a weakened team later on in the game. If you have lost confidence in Latias's ability due to being fearful of Tyranitar, we suggest you try out this set as it really does help her to survive.

Latias has some other options, though. Hidden Power Fire can be used on her standard Calm Mind set to deal with Scizor, beating it handily. Refresh can remove status ailments and allow Latias to come out on top against Toxic Blissey, whilst Roar can be used to shuffle the opponent's team if entry hazards are down. Roar will also help Latias delay the worry of dealing with bulky set-up Pokemon, such as Reuniclus. Whilst the problem is not completely dealt with, it can mean that you are able to plan ahead to deal with these threats later on in the game.

She may not be as incredible as she was during her short time in Generation IV, and the same problems still plague her. Even with a great bulk, especially with investment, the amount of high-powered attackers in this metagame is simply too great. Not even super effective attacks are necessary to take her down; Landorus and Terrakion have enough power under their belts to solidly dent her defenses. Her movepool is vast, and so it may be difficult to find the right answer, but Latias can be taken down with the right answer. Her high Speed and good offensive prowes prevent her from becoming the standard Taunt-bait, but she still has problems steamrolling the opponent.


We always get worried when we see Xatu in Team Preview. Xatu's ability, Magic Bounce, essentially reflects pseudo-conditions, which means that you can't set up entry hazards, use Taunt, or even use status moves such as Thunder Wave safely, because if Xatu is on the field, the effect is just bounced back onto your team. Xatu is a Pokemon that will change the pace of the game, and no longer is it feasible to just go about setting up your entry hazards without removing it beforehand; this is a huge annoyance that can make it very awkward to push forwards, break your opponent, and win the game. For that reason, we don't know why it isn't used more. Xatu doesn't have the best defenses, but going Bold with max EVs in HP and Defense allows it to utilize its amazing ability to a decent extent.

Xatu is incredibly hard to kill, but if you can set up before it hits play, then Stealth Rock is chipping a whole 25% off its health. As well as this, Xatu has a boatload of common weaknesses: Ice, Electric, Rock, Ghost, and Dark. These are all extremely common in OU in both physical and special attacks. This makes it very difficult to keep Xatu alive against offensive teams that care less about status conditions and hazards, as they will just focus on pounding your team to the ground, Xatu and all.


Jirachi is commonly seen as a specially defensive wall. Its fantastic resistances mean even moves like the mighty Draco Meteor from a Choice Specs Latios will fail to take it down. While Jirachi doesn't have any special move going for it, it has the perfect combination of supporting movepool, typing, and base stats, and this allows to function well as a wall. Its ability means that it can frustrate the opponent to a great extent. It has a 60% chance to paralyze or flinch the enemy Pokemon with Body Slam and Iron Head respectively, which means more often than not, it'll get some useful status on something even if doesn't do too much damage (although a STAB Iron Head does dent the foe's armor). With Wish, it can heal itself after tanking an attack, or heal up a partner who lacks reliable recovery.

A Calm Mind set is also scary to face. It is becoming increasingly common for people to run "odd" sets with their Jirachi; Psyshock and Thunder are two popular moves on a Calm Mind Jirachi, but it is not totally unusual to see them use Water Pulse. On a rain team, Thunder will paralyze the opponent 60% of the time, whilst Water Pulse deals with Ground-types that otherwise absorb the strong Electric-type attack. Water Pulse's power is boosted to 90 in the rain, and it also has a 40% chance to confuse the opponent. Jirachi can often make use of the free turns from paralysis / confusion by Calm Minding, making it one hugely infuriating set to play against.

For the most part, nothing is really safe against Jirachi, except for maybe Jellicent (although watch out for Thunder on Calm Mind versions). Even if you switch in something that resists both Body Slam and Iron Head like Scizor, that 60% chance to cripple it with Body Slam is basically a win in Jirachi's book.

The only problem Jirachi has is a weakness to Earthquake, coupled with the fact that it is simply a jack-of-all-trades. It can pull off pretty much any set, defensive or offensive, and pose a threat in those roles, but that isn't to say it is insurmountable. Salamence, Choice Scarf Haxorus, Terrakion, and Mienshao are all huge threats for Jirachi, as they aren't just faster (meaning they can smash Jirachi before they get crippled in whatever way Jirachi feels like), but they're ridiculously powerful, and a Jirachi without any protection will be wishing for a second life very soon.


Less commonly seen in BW than in DP, Bronzong has the same typing as Jirachi but also has Levitate, meaning that he only has one weakness, to Fire-type attacks. There aren't too many Pokemon in OU that carry strong STAB Fire-type attacks, so if you want something that can take a hit well from just about anything, Bronzong is your man. Be warned, though, he lacks any reliable recovery move, which is why other bulky Psychic-types such as Jirachi are often chosen over him.

There aren't really that many advantages to using Bronzong; he's the sort of Pokemon you should never build a team around because of his inability to push forwards in matches. There are times when he will answer his call of duty though, and will just happen to be the perfect fit on the team. Taking no damage from Spikes and Toxic Spikes (and reduced damage from Stealth Rock) is a huge benefit, as it means that you don't need to worry about supporting Bronzong with a Rapid Spinner. With his strong Gyro Ball, backed up by STAB and his low base Speed, Bronzong can also hit pretty hard (remember to change the Speed IV to 0, or 2 if you're using Hidden Power Ice).

Bronzong is capable of so much. Trick Room, Rain Dance, or just simple tanking. The problem here, is that once he fulfills his duty and has taken a few hits, he becomes a dead weight. Defensive teams may find they would rather a more offensive presence in their team to deal with slow matches. Offensive teams would rather a more reliable answer to dedicated stall. It is extremely difficult to find a spot on your team for Bronzong because there's always competition.


Celebi's typing wouldn't suggest it to be a stellar defensive Pokemon, and yet throughout the generations, that is what it has become known for. Access to Recover, as well as plenty of stalling options such as Thunder Wave, Leech Seed, Calm Mind, Heal Bell, Stealth Rock, and dual screens. Another Psychic with base 100 across the board, Celebi is no slouch when it comes to offense either. In fact, the infamous Tinkerbell set is known for being able to take some attacks and dish out some damage back.

Celebi is very similar to Jirachi and Mew in that it has an incredible support movepool, is capable of its own offense, and has great stats with which to perform its defensive role with. What makes it great, however, is its (almost) unique typing. Grass and Psychic combined have a huge number of resistances, including Fighting, Ground, Water, Electric, Grass, and Psychic. This makes it an invaluable teammate, as a lot of common attackers are weak to these types.

The only problem being, like Mew and Jirachi, Celebi's stats are high, but not that high. Even with high investment, a powerful STAB, and oftentimes super effective, attack can bring Celebi down with ease. This is accentuated by the fact that while Psychic / Grass offers incredible resistances, it is also plagued with some dangerous weaknesses. Dark, Fire, Ghost, Ice, and a quadruple weakness to Bug (read: Scizor) mean that Celebi is often ripped apart by the very Pokemon it can be used to help protect.


Ah, Wobbuffet. The blue blob has dropped severely in status since its fling back in Gen IV OU. Stronger threats and a nerfed Encore have pulled the rug from under Wobbuffet's feet, but it still has the ability to be a major annoyance, and almost always gets at least one kill a match.

Wobbuffet is the one of the best, if not the best revenge killer in the game. Send it on a Pokemon locked in on a move from a Choice item and choose Counter or Mirror Coat appropriately. Encore lets you mess with common stall users and set-up sweepers, and you can utilize Tickle and Encore with something like Choice Band Tyranitar's Pursuit to send slower Pokemon such as Blissey back to the Dream World. Encore can also be used to give a teammate one turn of setup, providing you Encore something which it can take advantage of. Under the use of a good player, Wobbuffet is an incredibly scary Pokemon. Perhaps one day, someone will make it popular again, and it'll terrorize the peaceful inhabitants of OU, just as it did 3 years ago...


We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and more importantly, hope that you suddenly have an urge to try one of the Pokemon featured here. We feel that the bulky Psychic is the new "in" type to have, much like the bulky Water was for the last couple of generations. However, if you do happen to make one of the more unknown Pokemon here popular one day, please send us an envelope containing lots of money, the keys to a nice car and a note saying that this article inspired you!

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