Using Electivire as a Competitive Pokémon in "Pokémon X and Y"
The Thunderbolt Pokémon
Special Attack: 95
Special Defense: 85
When Electivire was first introduced in generation 4, it brought a lot of diversity to an already unpredictable and very variable metagame. At the time, it was the strongest physically attacking Electric-type, and is now the 2nd strongest, just behind the legendary Zekrom. Its great attack stat combined with its fantastic physical movepool, which gave it the best coverage a pokémon could ask for and its unique ability Motor Drive made it a very solid Pokémon for the duration of the 4th gen competitive scene. That and it just looks like an awesome Pokémon.
All was not well for Electivire, as 5th gen brought many things that only hurt Electivire. The advent of team preview meant that your opponent would see your Electivire strategy coming from a mile away and plan accordingly. The new Pokémon introduced were faster, stronger, and overall better than Electivire, leaving it behind in favor of better physical attackers or just better Electric-type Pokémon. Electivire's poor bulk was made especially obvious in 5th gen, as more and more Pokémon were able to OHKO with even neutral moves, which sealed its fate in the lower competitive tiers. Arguably, the only good thing that came about in 5th gen for Electivire was Wild Charge, which gave Electivire a great STAB option without relying on Thunderbolt.
The 6th generation metagame has done nothing to change anything that made Electivire a mediocre Pokémon at best, but it has changed which Pokémon are popular and which types are prominent in OU. Electivire's coverage moves are still fantastic and can OHKO a lot of unprepared Pokémon. It's poor bulk and mediocre speed before a motor drive boost still hurt it a lot though, and switching into an Electric attack is harder than ever with team preview and the fact that a lot of Electric Pokémon and Pokémon with Electric-type coverage moves have better-attacking options to OHKO you with.
All things considered, if given adequate support and when played very carefully, Electivire can be a great addition to any team that needs strong electric coverage.
Movesets to Consider
Classic Electivire (A.K.A. Spark Mandrill)
Ability: Motor Drive
Item: Life Orb/Expert Belt
EVs: 252 ATK/252 Speed/4 HP
- Wild Charge
- Cross Chop/Brick Break
- Ice Punch/Fire Punch
This is the most standard set for Electivire and has been its main set since generation 4. It's easy to see why, with four great coverage moves, the only Pokémon you can't hit super effectively are Fighting types, Psychic types, Fairy types, and some uncommon dual typings. This is fine, considering that you can still KO many dual-type Pokémon such as Azumarill and Metagross with your STAB and coverage moves. The main Pokémon to watch out for on this set are Choice Scarf Pokémon, Talonflame (Pokémon that outspeed Electivire in general), Pokémon with Strong priority moves such as Azumarill, Crawdaunt, and Scizor, and very physically bulky Pokémon. The hardest part about using this set is getting a speed boost with Motor Drive, because, without it, Electivire is susceptible to many revenge killers and with its poor bulk, it can't hope to live more than one or two un-resisted hits.
You can also go with an Adamant Nature to ensure that you're getting the most power out of this set, but this puts an even heavier reliance on Motor Drive as you'll be much slower and Electivire needs all the speed it can get. Another option for this set is running Thunderbolt or Psychic instead of a punch move, since it gives you the option of hitting Physical walls and fighting types super effectively. Brick should be used as a more reliable option over Cross Chop, but if you want more power than Cross Chop is your best bet. The most important part of this set is the Motor Drive boost, if you can get it, Electivire can tear through unprepared teams late in the game.
Ability: Vital Spirit/Motor Drive
Item: Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 Atk/252 Speed/4 Sp Atk
- Wild Charge
- Flamethrower/Ice Punch
- Cross Chop/Psychic
This is arguably the more reliable set for Electivire, and with and Adamant nature Electivire reaches 433 Speed. This is enough to outspeed just about every un-boosted Pokémon in the game except for Deoxys-S and Ninjask. This lets Electivire forego relying on Motor Drive to get a speed boost, and instead use Vital Spirit, which prevents it from being affected by sleep moves. Even better, this set can better utilize Electivire's mixed attacking prowess, letting you run Psychic and Flamethrower more reliably. If you do decide to go mixed, it would be best to go with a Naughty nature. With Electivire's attacking options, its best to give it moves that help cover certain Pokémon types that your team has trouble against otherwise. If you plan on using Electivire early in the match, you can use Volt Switch to help gain momentum early on.
This set's biggest problem is Pokémon with strong Priority moves, as was the case with the life orb set. Another thing that hurts this set is being locked into one move, but this is the case with all Choice Itemsets, and Volt Switch helps remedy that to an extent. Make sure your team is ready for Pokémon like Azumarill and Scizor before putting Electivire on any team. In some situations, however, you can beat Scizor and Azumarill one-on-one, mostly by means of revenge killing. This is a very reliable and threatening set to teams that lack strong Priority. The immediate Speed a Choice Scarf gives you is more than enough to catch a lot of Pokémon off guard and KO them. If you have trouble with Landorus and Gliscor, Hidden Power Ice is a fantastic option over Ice Punch.
Electivire works well with teammates that not only cover his ground weakness, but can help eliminate his counters and Pokémon that it has trouble with. Since Electivire can sometimes rely on switching in and out of battle, it's important to remove entry hazards to prevent them from severely taxing your switch-ins. Other than that, pairing Electivire with a Pokémon that is equally adept at sweeping or punching holes in teams is never a bad idea, and creating an offensive core around Electivire is a great option for faster offensive teams.
- Tornadus-T is a fantastic Volt-Turn partner for Electivire. Its fast U-turn ensures that Electivire can switch into a resisted hit or one of the two Status effects it's immune to (Paralysis and Sleep). Tornadus also has great coverage and utility with moves like taunt and Knock Off to cripple threatening Pokémon or especially bulky Pokémon and allow Electivire to KO them later in the game. Its ability Regenerator allows it to switch-in and out as it pleases even with Stealth Rock on the field, as it heals 33% of its health upon switching out. This makes it a partner that can stick around for the duration of the match, and its great speed only makes it even better against Pokémon the rest of your team can't outspeed.
- Latias is always a great addition to most balanced teams, and with the changes to Defog, its great at clearing hazards from both sides of the field. It is one of the only defoggers that isn't weak to Stealth Rock and still immune to Spikes. Levitate allows it to switch into the ground type moves with impunity. Latias' ability to fill multiple roles is also a great asset to Electivire, since defensive Latias can wear down many of the Pokémon that Electivire can't OHKO without prior damage. Latias' great Speed and Special Defense lets it tank lots of hits from Special Attackers and easily KO them back.
- Gliscor is an amazing physical tank, and that is a great contrast to Electivire's poor bulk. Gliscor is notorious for being one of the best physical walls, capable of out-stalling nearly any Pokémon and completely wearing down physical attacking Pokémon. Its Ground/Flying typing gives it an immunity to Ground and Electric moves, which is good news for Electivire. Gliscor is easily the best support Pokémon for Electivire on this list, since it can wear down the opponent's team and put them in the perfect position to be KOed by Electivire. Covering Gliscor's Ice and water weaknesses is crucial to its success, however, and should be considered when placing it on your team.
Electivire in Action
This battle shows just how powerful a standard Electivire can be and, in the right conditions, pick off Pokémon without a hitch. Although it is very frail, it more than makes up for that in this battle.
Which Pokémon should I cover next?
All in all, not much has changed for Electivire since 5th gen or even 4th gen. Its just as strong, if not stronger thanks to Wild Charge. The most important thing to consider when using Electivire is that it's a team player—and not the star of the show. It does a fantastic job at supporting its teammates offensively, and when it comes down to it, it can clean up weakened teams fairly well. Electivire's numerous options when it comes to its movepool also let it fit on lots of different offensive teams that need a strong support Pokémon. It's two great abilities also offer some unpredictability along with its mixed attacking stats. In the end, Electivire is a Pokémon that takes some practice and getting used to, but once you figure out what you want him to do on your team, he can be invaluable.
As always there will be a Reader Poll to decide which Pokémon I write about next! If you have any suggestions for other move sets or if I missed anything, let me know in the comments below!