With the Players Cup 2 finished and Wolfe’s victory, VGC20 enters its final lap. But that doesn’t mean we’re gonna stop playing, and to help you guys continue to thrive in the online ladder/tourneys we present our first VGC Pokémon analysis!
To start things off, we would like to put the spotlights on the ‘mon that showed itself as the biggest thread of the Series 7 format, Moltres-Galar. The meta has evolved quite a bit since October when the Crown Tundra newcomers arrived, and Moltres’ usage percent has dropped significantly but its offensive pressure stills as high as day one.
How to use Galarian Moltres
Moltres can serve two main roles on a team, early game sweeper and/or late game sweeper. Set wise they are almost (if not) identical: a lot of investment in Sp. Atk and Speed and an offensive item, so the same exact build can be used in both roles, the main difference is the way you approach the game.
Early game sweeper
You’d want to make sure there is no Pokémon on the opposite site that can threaten an OHKO or one that can tank your max moves. Dynamax turn 1 or 2 and start picking up KOs, setting up speed control via Max Airstreams or weakening the foes Sp. Def with Darkness.
Late game sweeper
If you identify that your opponent does have a mon that threatens Moltres, or you just don’t fell comfortable leading with it, you can make use of its well-rounded stats, having amazing offensive power and quite an impressive bulk to clean up already weakened mons using its signature move: Fiery Wrath, allowing it to hit both foes and giving you a 1/5 chance of flinching one of them. A Moltres fulfilling this role has the advantage of being useful with or without dynamax.
Partners, checks & counters for Galarian Moltres
One of the most common teammates for Moltres is Tapu Fini, but we feel that’s a consequence of Fini being super a popular pick all around rather than an actual synergy.
For type coverage it doesn’t get any better than a good steel type. They can cover Moltres both, offensively and defensively, clearing its path for a good old sweep or switching-in to tank dangerous attacks. Kartana and Metagross are perfect partners, the first one focusing more on paving the way for the bird and the second one functions as a jack of all trades.
For support-oriented teammates, Comfey and Raichu can enable Moltres to sweep safely. Comfey can activate a Weakness Policy with its +3 priority Draining Kiss, as well as keeping Moltres healthy with Floral Healing. On the other hand, Raichu provides Fake Out pressure, speed control with Nuzzle and protection against electric attacks via Lightning Rod. That being said, Raichu’s effectiveness relies heavily in the presence of other electric types, and for now only Regieleki and Rotom-H are in the top 10 of usage, so be cautious picking it.
For checks Fini, Glastier, Rotom-H and Nihilego can tank 2 or 3 hits, and dish out powerful super-effective moves against Moltres, some even OHKOing.
As for counters, Tyranitar completely walls you out and can easily 2-shot you or just sit there and scare you out of combat.
Sets and builds
As the sweeper it is, Moltres can make good use of the OG 252/252 EV distribution paired with a Modest or Timid nature alongside a classic Life Orb or a Weakness Police.
For more optimized sets, 228 EVs on speed plus a Timid nature ensures you outspeed Adamant Urshifu and max speed Rotom, this allows you invest more EVs on bulk which Moltres has a very decent amount.
If you want a super bulky set for a W.P sweeper, you can put 140 EVs on Hp and 44 on Sp.Def to survive the Thunderbolt from a Timid Regieleki (given that it isn’t holding an offensive item).
- Fiery Dance
- Air Slash/Hurricane
- Nastly Plot/Taunt
Another route you can take is to try getting two Berserk procs making use of a Sitrus Berry; this isn’t as consistent as a L.O or a W.P set but, the hp regeneration from the berry can help making some 2HKO into 3HKO
Abilities: Well…Berserk… just Berserk.
So, you can combine these investments as you please to build the Moltres set that fits your needs the best. Be creative!
Share your thoughts on Galarian Moltres
Do you enjoy using Moltres’ new regional form competitively? Have any suggestions to our analysis above? We’d love to read your opinions in the comments below or on our Discord server!