Using Noivern as a Competitive Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y
The Sound Wave Pokemon
Special Attack: 97
Special Defense: 80
At first glance Noivern's stats aren't too impressive, but its Speed and movepool, combined with its classic Dragon/Flying typing make it a very solid Pokemon in 6th Generation competitive play. Noivern can outspeed the majority of non Mega-Evolved Pokemon and hit surprisingly hard with it's dual STAB attacks; Draco Meteor and Hurricane. Noivern also has access to the new move Boomburst, which is a Normal type Special Attack with 140 base power. It also has the Ability Infiltrator, which can bypass Reflect, Light Screen and even Substitutes. This is the less used Ability though, as his other Ability, Frisk, can alert you to possible movesets or threats on your opponent's team.
One thing that veteran players will notice about Noivern is that its Stats look very similar to that of another Pokemon, Crobat. While Crobat is faster and has access to Defog(which received a nice power up this Generation, removing entry hazards from both sides of the field) he lacks the power and typing to be as threatening as Noivern, although some would argue that Crobat's Poison Typing is now better than ever.
Movesets to Consider
252 Sp Atk/252 Speed/4 Def
Item: Choice Specs
This is a very simple set, and can provide some very convenient OHKO's when used correctly. Noivern can outspeed the majority of Pokemon that don't carry a priority move, and with Choise Specs it can One Hit KO them even without super effective damage. That being said, watch our for priority users such as Aegislash, Mega-Pinsir and Scizor, as they can potentially KO you before you can even touch them. Aside from those few Pokemon, this set has nearly perfect coverage and can clean up an opponent's weakened team with little opposition.
Although it may not seem like it, Noivern has decent bulk even without EV investment and can switch in on resisted hits and hit back with a very powerful STAB Draco Meteor or Hurricane. If you're not utilizing Noivern on a Rain team, Air Slash might be the better option, as it has better accuracy and a 30% chance to flinch.
252 Sp Atk/252 Speed/4 Atk
Item: Life Orb/Leftovers
Dragon Pulse/Draco Meteor
This set works best on Rain Teams, but works just as well on balanced teams. The idea is to get around Pokemon that abuse Substitutes and either Toxic them, or inflict massive damage with Draco Meteor or Hurricane. You can run U-Turn if you already have a reliable status inflicting Pokemon and would like to keep momentum while simultaneously doing damage. Depending on which Pokemon are a threat to your team, you can opt to run the weaker, but more reliable STAB moves.
This is a great Stall breaking set and get can you around Pokemon like Gliscor very easily. As well as Hydreigon and Ferrothorn, Pokemon that enjoy hiding behind Substitutes. This set also help against Klefkis that like to set up dual screens. Being able to KO Pokemon behind subs is an Ability many Pokemon would love to have, and Noivern is a great candidate for it. This set lacks the raw power of the Choice Specs set however, and should be used with more caution.
Come Rain or Shine, You Need Reliable Partners
Noivern has the versatility to work on Rain teams as well as balanced and offensive weatherless teams. His lack of bulk does mean that he'll need plenty of support from teammates that can cover his weaknesses, as well as remove Noivern's enemies. This means Fairies as well, since there isn't much Noivern can do in the face of Azumarill or Klefki.
Politoed is one of the best bulky water types in the game, and even with Drizzle only providing 5 turns of rain now(8 with a Damp Rock) he is still as useful as ever. Politoed is also the ONLY Pokemon besides Kyogre to have the ability Drizzle, and his Bulk makes him a good teammate for Noivern. These days Politoed is a pretty big Grass Knot target, and Noivern double resists grass type moves, allowing him to switch in and start spamming perfectly accurate Hurricanes, something only Dragonite could do before, and with Noivern being much faster than Dragonite, he is easily the favorite for rain teams.
Scizor the King of OU can fit on almost any team, and his steel typing and Technician boosted Bullet Punch make him a great partner for Noivern, as he can KO Togekiss with a Bullet Punch, and Two-Hit KO Azumarill with Bullet Punch if it's Choice Banded into Play Rough. Scizor's extremely powerful U-Turn allow you to scout while scaring off threats with a Choice Specs Noivern. Usually Scizor is seen on more balanced teams, and Noivern is right at home on these team, and can preform exceedingly well with the right support.
Togekiss is a returning Competitive Pokemon this Generation, with it's new Fairy/Flying typing, it's an even more reliable wall and Paraflinch Pokemon. The important thing for Noivern is that Togekiss is immune to the Dragon Type attacks that Noivern fears, as Togekiss can even completely wall some Garchomp variants that don't carry Stone Edge. Thunder Wave is also a great support move for later in the game to set up a potential sweep for Noivern.
Noivern Wi-Fi Battle (Credit to Shofu)
Noivern in Action
Here's a taste of what Noivern can do, although it doesn't show an optimal situation for a sweep, it still showcases a pretty common way to play with Noivern.
It's important to consider a Rapid Spin user on your team as well, since losing 25% of your health isn't something you can afford to do on a regular basis.
Which Pokemon Should I Cover Next?
Noivern is a very unique Pokemon, with it's Ability, Moves and Stats. This gives him a very nice place in the metagame, as a very fast special sweeper or a quick hitting special attacker. Even though Rain teams aren't as popular as they once were, it's still a good Pokemon to have on your side in that situation. Some would say that it even outclasses Dragonite in the rain.
However, Noivern's biggest drawback is it's frailty, and the fact that without Choice Specs it's Special Attack stat is not amazing. Certain priority moves can easily OHKO you if you're not careful, and some bulky Pokemon can live through even the strongest of your STAB moves. This only means that you need to be more careful about the situations you leave your Noivern in, or the ones you choose to run away from. All things considered, Noivern is very threatening to a lot of Pokemon and can keep your opponent on their toes for the duration of the battle.
As always there will be a Reader Poll so you guys can choose which Pokemon I cover next! If I missed anything or you have any suggestions for a better set, leave them in the comments below!
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