Lewis is a freelance writer and video game connoisseur, with a passion for reviewing the latest titles. His favourite series is Pokémon.
With a naturally high base attack of 105 and a great ability in Sheer Force, an ability that negates additional effects from moves, Feraligatr is a premier offensive threat in battle. Feraligatr's access to a variety of great boosting moves as well as a priority move in Aqua Jet allow it to perform the role of a powerful wall breaker or a sweeper, and its good typing and bulk provide it with plenty of opportunities to set up. Dragon Dance turns Feraligatr into a sweeper by boosting its Attack and Speed by one stage each. Boosted by STAB, Sheer Force, and Life Orb, Waterfall is Feraligatr's most powerful move. Crunch is a useful coverage move that hits Psychic-types super effectively and provides Feraligatr with neutral coverage on opposing Water-types. Ice Punch is a useful coverage move that hits the Grass- and Dragon-types that resist Waterfall.
Feraligatr's best friend is the Life Orb, which in conjunction with Sheer Force, boosts the power of its moves without the cost of HP. Choice Band can also be optimised for additional strength, but the synergy between Life Orb and Sheer Force permits Feraligatr to choose whichever move it needs in battle.
Skarmory is an exemplary Defog user and physical wall. With a stellar base 140 defence and Steel/Flying typing to reinforce those stats, this means it only has two weaknesses to worry about, Fire and Electric. Nevertheless, Skarmory is guaranteed to find opportunities to get rid of entry hazards, such as Stealth Rocks, against nearly any team using Defog. Moves such as Whirlwind, Taunt, Brave Bird, and Counter allow it to take on a multitude of defensive and damaging roles. Brave Bird is Skarmory's strongest STAB move with a base power of 120, enough to cripple some of the biggest walls. Thanks to its typing, stats, and the recovery afforded by Roost, Skarmory can reliably check many prominent physical attackers who threaten itself and other members of the team. Sturdy is it's recommended ability that allows Skarmory to take an otherwise fatal hit if it's at full health.
To enhance Skarmory's defence, a Rocky Hemet can be used, which inflicts damage to the attacker who scores a direct hit with Skarmory. Otherwise, Leftovers can work well alongside Roost to extend its presence on the field, allowing Skarmory to stall for longer and more effectively play its role.
Nice coverage, decent Speed, a high Special Attack stat, and access to recovery in Morning Sun are some of the traits Espeon has to offer. Without a doubt, though, the flashiest aspect of Espeon comes from its ability Magic Bounce, which sends back any status moves and hazards to its user. If the opportunity becomes available, Espeon can switch in as soon as the opponent sets up entry hazards, can then proceed to set up screens to ensure that if the foe does try attacking, it does significantly less damage. These screens include either Light Screen or Reflect, one raising the teams defence and the other their special defence. However, caution is advised when switching Espeon in blindly, as its frail defences do not hold up well compared to bulkier Psychic-types who can perform a similar role. Baton Pass can allow Espeon to escape the clutches of Pursuit users, as Pursuit does not hit Espeon if it uses Baton Pass beforehand. Psychic is Espeon's main STAB option, which completely eliminates Fighting and Poison-types thanks to its high special attack stat.
Espeon running screens are benefited by the Light Clay, an item that extends the duration of these screens further. Alternatively, Life Orb is a stellar option for more offensive variations of this Pokémon. Espeon's prescience is not to be taken lightly in battle.
Heracross has outstanding power due to its high 125 base Attack, great offensive typing in Bug/Fighting, and access to high-powered STAB moves and coverage options. Close Combat and Megahorn are Heracross's two best STAB moves, each with a Base Power of 120. Knock Off can remove the opponents held item, and hits Flying- and Poison-types neutrally and Ghost-types super effectively. Stone Edge hits Flying-types super effectively, a massive weakness for Heracross due to its quad weakness to Flying. To extend its offence even more, Swords Dance, a move which boosts its physical attack by two stages can be used in order to bypass some walls which Heracross would otherwise unlikely to eliminate instantly. Moxie is an ability which boosts the attack stat of the user by one stage once it has knocked out the opposing Pokémon, and is essential for this Heracross's success.
Upon mega evolving, Mega Heracross gains the ability Skill Link, which ensures multi-hit attacks always hit the maximum number of times. As such, Rock Blast, Pin Missile and Bullet Seed are all excellent options with devastating power, as they all become 125 base power in strength, a strong blowback to any opposing Pokémon.
As with most legendary Pokémon, Celebi is blessed with great base stats all around, to be specific, 100 in each stat. It also has a good and synergetic typing in Grass/Psychic, and a fantastic ability in Natural Cure, that lets it act as a status absorber once it has switched out, and a phenomenal move pool. Giga Drain is the standard STAB move that gives Celebi some recovery, and allows it to hit the Water-types it walls for super effective damage. Psychic is also an extraordinary move that manages to help Celebi combat Poison-types who threaten it for super effective damage. Nasty Plot and Leaf Storm are a deadly combination that can sweep teams once Celebi is given the opportunity to boost its stats. However, Leaf Storm does drop Celebi's special attack by two stages when used, so it's timing should be critical in order to take advantage of the opposing team.
Since the stats on Celebi are all the same, different held items should be considered for its role in battle. For instance, to sweep the enemy, it can use the Choice Specs, granting Celebi additional special attacking power whilst locking into one move. Likewise, a Choice Scarf boosts Celebi's speed so it needn't worry about incoming super-effective damage.
Suicune has access to amazing natural bulk, with 115 base in both defences, and 100 in HP, this Pokémon is unquestionably a huge wall, backed by a solid defensive typing in pure Water. Calm Mind makes Suicune a terrifying bulky setup sweeper, as it boosts not only Suicune's special attack but also its special defence. Scald is a consistent STAB attack that also has a good chance to burn the opponent. To fully utilise its defensive prowess, Rest can give Suicune a form of instant recovery that not only heals it to full HP but also removes any status conditions. Sleep Talk ensures that Suicune isn't useless when it's asleep. Ice Beam is also an option in the fourth move slot, giving Suicune super-effective coverage against Grass- and Dragon-types while also having good neutral coverage with Scald. Suicune's defensive qualities are further augmented by Pressure, an ability that allows Suicune to outlast a lot of Pokémon that would otherwise wall it.
Leftovers gives Suicune a form of passive recovery, thus extending its longevity.
Scizor's great typing of Bug/Steel, excellent bulk, variety of support moves, Technician-boosted Bullet Punch, and good coverage moves such as Superpower and Quick Attack make it worthy of the number four position. Scizor also finds itself a comfortable place in every playstyle, as it can be a strong wall breaker, a devastating sweeper, a scary cleaner, or a reliable Defogger. U-turn is Scizor's preferred STAB move because it allows Scizor to take advantage of the many switches it forces by gaining momentum in the player's favour, which maximizes its potential as a pivot. Pursuit also takes advantage of the switches Scizor forces to potentially trap and either remove or severely weaken Pokémon. Furthermore, Scizor has good coverage moves such as Superpower and Acrobatics, allowing it to hit Pokémon that resist its STAB moves for at least neutral damage and making the task of countering it much more difficult.
Scizor was given a mega evolution in "XY", basically enhancing its prowess even further with an additional increase to all of its stats. This Pokémon is downright terrifying, with priority boosted moves at its disposal, it can shred through teams with ease. The main way of countering Mega Scizor is to have a Fire-Type on hand, because there are more than a few types that Steel can resist.
Tyranitar, the Pokémon equivalent to Godzilla, is the most intimidating Pokémon in Johto, and this is evident in its stats and move variety. Tyranitar's high Attack stat coupled with powerful, spammable STAB moves in Stone Edge and Crunch makes it a fearsome wallbreaker and tough for the opponent to reliably counter. Earthquake is a solid coverage option that allows Tyranitar to threaten opposing Steel-types who may attempt to take advantage of it's Rock attribute. Ice Punch can smack Ground-types hard with its incredible strength. Alternatively, Dragon Dance boosts can provide Tyranitar with that much-needed boost to its speed—its weakest stat—crushing any foes with powerful Rock and Dark STAB moves. Sand Stream is Tyranitar's only ability which activates Sandstorm upon entry, which enhances all rock types special defence stat, in addition to negating chip damage for all Rock-, Steel- and Ground-types.
An Assault Vest is an important item to power up the holder's special defence whilst using only damaging moves, otherwise, Choice Band can be opted instead for additional attack, complimenting Tyranitar's powerful move selection.
If that wasn't enough, Mega Tyranitar's power, impressive bulk, and difficulty to revenge kill makes it an effective user of Dragon Dance, outperforming non-Mega Tyranitar due to its increased Speed and defences. Mega Tyranitar is destructive in more ways than one, bringing its overall position so high on this list.
Lugia's impressive typing of Psychic/Flying, coupled with it's colossal defensive bulk allows it to play as one of the most durable walls in Johto. Unlike most walls, this flying beast is able to take both physical and special hits like a champ, sometimes even stalling out powerful STAB super-effective hits with the help of Reflect or Light Screen. Lugia is really more defence-oriented than Ho-Oh, but can be made offensive with the assistance of powerful moves at its disposal, such as Aeroblast, a 100 base power move with the chance to score a critical hit. Toxic can be advantageous to Lugia in the long run due to it's increased damage output every turn, coupled with it's access to Roost for recovery. Multiscale is an essential ability to run, so long as Lugia has full health, the ability will half the damage from incoming attacks. Another option is Whirlwind, which can remove a foe from the field, letting Lugia shut down a setup sweeper that it can't stall out reliably. Whirlwind also has benefits of phasing foes behind Substitute.
Leftovers can grant chip recovery throughout the stalling stage, but a newer item introduced in the 8th generation were the Heavy Duty Boots, which negate the damage from entry hazards, especially Stealth Rocks, which Lugia is naturally weak to.
Ho-Oh stands out in battle as both a defensive and offensive threat, with an impressive base 154 special attack stat, intertwined with a base 106 HP stat, Ho-Oh has enough bulk to survive most un-boosted super effective attacks. From a defensive standpoint, Ho-Oh's resistances to Fire, Fairy, and Steel and immunity to Ground when combined with its high Special Defence make Ho-Oh a formidable, powerful force during battle. Brave Bird is Ho-Oh's strongest STAB move, with a high damage output. Sacred Fire is a secondary STAB attack that lacks recoil and has the additional utility of spreading burns apart from threatening Steel-types. Regenerator is the most important aspect of Ho-Oh's viability, after every switch, it gains a 1/3 of its total health back as recovery, allowing Ho-Oh to pivot in and out of battle quite easily in comparison to other Flying-types.
Ho-Oh can utilise a variety of held items, the most common would be Choice Scarf, enhancing Ho-Oh's 110 speed and placing it in a position to efficiently revenge kill. Alternatively, a defensive variant should use Leftovers in combination with Regenerator to keep Ho-Oh healthy for longer.
© 2020 Lewis Usher