Using Manectric as a Competitive Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y
The Discharge Pokémon
Special Attack: 105
Special Defense: 60
Manectric is a decent Electric type Pokémon, but that hasn't been enough to push it into high competitive tiers in the metagame. Good Special Attack and Speed stats coupled with an even better movepool have made Manectric a solid choice for an electric type, but low defenses really hold it back. Manectric is a very frail Pokémon, and in a metagame full of strong priority moves and bulky Pokémon, this can mean everything. Lightningrod helps Manectric a bit by giving a few more switch-in opportunities and gives it a much appreciated boost which lets it grab a KO or two against slower Pokémon.
Things aren't all bad for Manectric, since it has decent Speed, and access to moves like Flamethrower and Signal Beam give it good coverage against lots of common types. Even niche moves like Switcheroo aren't a bad idea with a Choice Specs set, which gives you a bit of control against special walls and opposing physical attackers. Manectric may not have many options, but with solid offensive stats and good moves to go along with them, the few things it can do it can do very well. Manectric can surprise lots of players even when they think they know what to expect.
Special Attack: 135
Special Defense: 80
Mega Manectric's most notable boost is its Speed and Special Attack, which are on par with some of the best Special Attackers in the game. Not only do its offenses get a boost but Mega Manectric gains a decent amount of bulk with 70/80/80 defenses. While this may not seem like much at first glance, Mega Manectric's ability Intimidate gives it even more physical bulk and plenty of switch-in opportunities. 135 Speed is great in this metagame as it outpaces most Pokemon in the highest tiers of competitive play and lets Manectric get the jump on Pokemon that would otherwise KO Manectric. 135 Special Attack is no joke either, giving Manectric one of the highest Special Attack stats of any Electric type.
Things aren't all great for Manectric though, since even with its decent defenses and great ability,it can still be OHKO'ed by strong Ground type attacks or most powerful Special Attacks from Special sweepers. Even with Manectric's ability giving it numerous switch-in opportunities, Electric types are notoriously easy to predict and even after an Intimidate Manectric can still be severely dented or even KO'ed by a strong Earthquake or boosted physical attacks. Even with all of these flaws Manectric is still one of the best Electric types and its great movepool allow it to break through unprepared teams easily.
Movesets to Consider
252 Sp Atk/ 252 Speed/ 4 Def
Hidden Power Ice/Signal Beam
This is a fairly standard set for Manectric and for good reason. Manectric has good coverage with a combination of Electric/Fire/Ice moves and with a meaty 135 Special Attack stat. With its high Special Attack Manectric can plow through any Pokemon it hits super effectively, and severely dent any that it doesn't. Manectric's Thunderbolt is enough to even 2HKO Milotic with maximum Special Defense, so it's no slouch. Volt Switch gives Manectric lots of utility outside of just sweeping and punching holes in an opponent's team, as it combines well with Intimidate and allows for many opportunities for stopping strong Physical Sweepers such as Dragonite or Conkeldurr.
Volt Switch and Intimidate may seem like a great strategy for Manectric, especially when paired with a strong U-Turn user like Scizor or Infernape, but Manectric's only passable bulk combined with residual damage from entry hazards limits the usefulness of this strategy. This doesn't mean that the Volt-Turn strategy isn't viable however, as it's a reliable way to gain momentum in the early game and hinder a physical attacking threat while letting you set up your own Pokemon or counter the opposition. It's important to watch out for Pokemon like Garchomp or Excadrill, who are immune to Manectric's Electric type attacks and can easily KO it with STAB Earthquake. There are also other Pokemon, mainly Dragon Dance users that commonly carry Earthquake and can outspeed and KO Manectric after setting up. Jolteon can also pose a threat thanks to Lightningrod giving it immunity to your Electric attacks, however it can't hit back too hard so its arguably the least threatening on the list.
252 Speed/200 Sp Atk/56 HP
Roar/Hidden Power Ice
This is a much more unorthodox set but it takes advantage of Manectric's unique traits; its high speed, Intimidate and Volt Switch. Not only that but it can spread status fairly easily and reliably thanks to Intimidate forcing out some Pokemon or giving you a bit more bulk with which to cripple a fast sweeper or poison a defensive tank. Flamethrower is a great coverage movefor taking care of Pokemon like Ferrothorn that are immune to being poisoned and don't mind being paralyzed. The important thing to remember with this set is to use Manectric as more of a tool to dismantle your opponent's strategy and disrupt their set up and less of a special attacker. This means that you'll have to keep Manectric away from threats as much as possible until it has a good switch-in opportunity and once it cripples a threat you can bring in a counter or a sweeper to gain momentum early in the game or clean up a weakened team in the late game.
Typically you'll need to watch out for the same Pokemon as with the other Manectric set, but Steel types can be especially troubling if you run Toxic over Thunder Wave. Another thing to watch out for is bulky Pokemon like Hippowdon that are immune to two of your Electric attacks, This is remedied by Toxic and Hidden Power Ice which can make quick work of hippowdon but STAB Earthquake is something to watch for as well. There aren't too many Pokemon in competitive play that can outspeeed Mega Manectric, but the few that can can prove to be troublesome. Mega Aerodactyl is one example since it carries Earthquake and can OHKO Manectric if it hasn't been intimidated. Other than that it's important to Keep Manectric away from strong priority users like Conkeldurr or Azumarill, because even after an intimidate they can still prove to be a threat.
Conkeldurr is one of the best Fighting Pokemon in competitive play and arguably one of the best fighting types of all time. It has great bulk which is even better now thanks to the Assault Vest and can hit much harder than most other fighting types. Not only that, but its great coverage with moves like Ice Punch and Knock Off make it an immediate threat combined with its priority move Mach Punch. Drain Punch gives Conkeldurr a reliable form of recovery while making it hard to wall or stall, especially since its ability Guts only makes trying to take it down with status ailments a risky endeavor at best. Conkeldurr also has great utility with Knock Off, crippling any Pokemon without a Mega Stone and giving you an advantage early on.
Volcarona is one of the few Pokemon that is a threat every time it appears on the battlefield. Not only is it a great sweeping Pokemon but it can also run a bulky set up moveset that can tank hits and set up much more reliably. When partnered with Manectric it can more easily handle Pokemon that counter it like Talonflame or Azumarill. With those threats out of the way Volcarona can breeze through weakened teams in the late game or punch big holes early on. Quiver Dance makes Volcarona one of the best Special Sweepers thanks to its unique coverage and huge Special Attack stat. Manectric can provide some much needed support to this unique bug type.
Flygon isn't usually the first choice when it comes to choosing a Dragon type for your team. However, the choice for Flygon comes down to more than just brute force or sweeping ability. Flygon has more utility than other Dragons thanks to its typing, ability and movepool. U-turn makes it an obvious candidate for a Volt-Turn partner for Manectric, and levitate gives it immunity to the Ground type attacks that threaten Manectric. Flygon is also a great Choice Scarf user that can scout threats or pick off weakened foes with its respectable STAB attacks. It also makes a great utility partner for Manectric as it can keep momentum early in the game and help Manectric score some early KO's.
Mega Manectric in Action
This very short battle shows just how hard Mega Manectric can hit and how easily it can take down an unprepared team when given the opportunity.
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All in all Manectric is an all around solid Pokemon that can much harder than it would appear. Not only can it outspeed most threats but it has a great ability to help support the other Pokemon on your team that have trouble with physical attackers. Manectric is a severely underrated Pokemon that deserves a spot on any team in need of a great electric type that can pack a punch in any situation.
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