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[BW2] Featured LU Pokémon: Moltres

Discussion in 'Gen 5 LU' started by Dr. Doom, Jun 4, 2013.


What Pokémon would you like to get a featured article next?

Poll closed Jun 11, 2013.
  1. Rayquaza

    5 vote(s)
  2. Scizor

    1 vote(s)
  3. Porygon-Z

    2 vote(s)
  4. Escavalier

    4 vote(s)
  5. Crawdaunt

    3 vote(s)
  1. Dr. Doom

    Dr. Doom Long time hater of stall

    Jan 1, 2012
    Likes Received:


    In RBY, Moltres had a nice home in OU. There weren't many other Fire types around in Gen 1, and the terrible mechanics of Fire Spin meant it could snag many cheap KOs. However, Gen 2 came along and changed the Fire Spin mechanics, which meant Moltres's best niche was now gone. While the addition of Hidden Power Grass meant it could now harm Rock types, it was banished to BL, put to one side and forgotten in favour of Pokémon with broader movepools. Despite getting Will-O-Wisp and Morning Sun, Gen 3 didn't alter its fortunes much. Although it got a few more points, it wasn't enough to lift it from the trenches of BL.

    In Gen 4, the drifter known as Moltres finally found a home in UU. Even though that generation bought Stealth Rock, it also gave Moltres a nice Flying STAB in Air Slash and a recovery move with more PP in Roost. It also bought Toxic Spikes, so many of the bulky Water types who used to wall it like Lanturn would have trouble dealing with more defensive sets.

    In Gen 5, Moltres slid down a tier to the newly created LU. It was banned for a bit, but then retested again where it was found not broken and allowed to stay in its new home. And in Gen 5 LU, it's one of the elite Pokémon of the tier, regularly appearing in the top 20. BW2 improved its movepool, giving it the awesome Hurricane. Now, Slowking must think twice before switching in since a Life Orb boosted Hurricane will cleanly 2HKO. It hasn't been an easy journey, but Moltres now has everything it longed for in Gen 2 and 3 - a home, a niche and high usage.

    Moltres's Qualities

    Moltres has pretty solid stats all round. With 125 special attack it packs a punch, base 90 speed is respectable in LU, and it has reasonable bulk with its 90/90/85 defences. Its movepool isn't great - beyond its STABs, Hidden Power is pretty much all it has that's worth using. Its STABs do get good neutral coverage though, with only Lanturn and Rock types resisting both. Hidden Power Grass patches up its coverage, enabling Moltres to score a OHKO on most of the tier's Rock types and a 2HKO on Lanturn after Stealth Rock and 1 layer of Spikes.

    While its typing is superb offensively, defensively it really isn't. A X4 Stealth Rock weakness is always bad, and weaknesses to other common attacking types like Water and Electric don't do it many favours either. Being immune to Spikes, Toxic Spikes and Earthquake is always nice though.

    Playing with Moltres

    Wallbreaking is generally what Moltres does best. With 2 120 power STABs that wreck everything that doesn't resist them and Hidden Power Grass for the stuff that does, there is very little in the tier that can safely switch in on Moltres. There are 2 main sets Moltres uses to accomplish this goal: Life Orb and Choice Specs.

    The Life Orb set is a standard 3 attacks + recovery set. Roost lets Moltres heal off Stealth Rock damage and Life Orb recoil while Fire Blast, Hurricane and Hidden Power Grass let it do heavy damage to most of LU. While this set does hugely appreciate Rapid Spin support, due to Roost it won't be the end of the world if you don't get the hazards spun away.

    While the flexibility of the Life Orb set does have its advantages, don't ignore the Choice Specs set. That packs even more power, meaning that with Stealth Rock down, there's nothing in the tier Moltres can't 2HKO. In terms of moves, it's pretty much the same as the Life Orb set with 2 STABs and Hidden Power Grass. The only difference is this set forgoes Roost for obvious reasons, swapping it for either U-Turn to scout or Sleep Talk so Moltres can switch in on defensive Tangrowth with impunity.

    Moltres can forgo its wallbreaking role and instead run a more defensive set. With Pressure, it can stall out low PP moves like Stone Edge and cripple many walls with Toxic. It's a good user of Toxic since Steel types never switch in. While that set is best used as a stallbreaker, it also works well against offensive Pokémon since Toxic poison quickly racks up a lot of damage with Life Orb recoil.

    If you fancy something a bit more unorthodox, Moltres can also be a late game special sweeper. Take the Life Orb set, replace Roost with Agility, give it a Modest nature and a set up of 96 HP, 4 Def, 252 SAtk, 156 Spd and you've got a Pokémon that is nigh on unstoppable once Lanturn and Slowking are down.

    Playing Against Moltres

    Countering Moltres? Hmm...That's a tough prospect. You see, to be a counter, a Pokémon must be able to switch in on any move on any set that Pokémon normally runs and either stall/force it out or KO before it itself is KOd. Defensive Lanturn comes close, only fearing a Choice Specs boosted Hidden Power Grass, which will 2KO after Stealth Rock damage. Although it hates Toxic, it can still force the SubRoost set out and Life Orb sets out (the latter only if no layers of Spikes are down on its side).

    While switching in on Moltres is a very hard thing to do, a fair Pokémon can beat it one on one. Slowking isn't OHKOd by anything, and can drown Moltres with a STAB Surf. Choice Band Druddigon can survive a Life Orb Hurricane (although it won't enjoy it) and OHKO back with Outrage. Choice Scarf Rotom(C) outruns and can OHKO with its STAB Thunderbolt, although Fire Blast will OHKO. Manectric and Galvantula outrun and can OHKO with their respective Electric STABs, but neither can even think about switching in on the offensive sets: Fire Blast OHKOs Manectric while either STAB OHKOs Galvantula. Max Special Defence Rhydon can survive a Specs Hidden Power Grass and OHKO back with Rock Slide. Choice Scarf Crawdaunt outruns and OHKOs with its Adaptability boosted Waterfall.

    Keeping Stealth Rock on the field is a great way to neuter Moltres. Sets without Roost can't switch in more than once, and that makes it a lot easier to take. For instance, Swords Dance Feraligatr's Aqua Jet is a clean OHKO after Stealth Rock. And while its STABs pack a mean punch, both have imperfect accuracy so are liable to miss.

    Fitting Moltres onto your team

    The only thing you absolutely must provide for Moltres is Rapid Spin support. Unfortunately, most of LU's Rapid Spinners share weaknesses with Moltres: Sandslash shares Water, Kabutops shares Electric, Cryogonal shares Rock. Hitmonchan doesn't share any weaknesses with Moltres and has Foresight to prevent spinblockers from doing their thing. Kabutops baits in Grass, Ground and Fighting moves that Moltres can set up on.

    Moltres works well in a FWG core team. It can switch in on the Grass moves Water types draw and the Bug and Fire type moves Grass types draw. Moltres is generally best used as a battering ram to smash holes into the opponent's team so that a sweeper may pick up what's left. Swords Dance Kabutops and Crawdaunt will be much deadlier once Tangrowth is gone. Hone Claws Durant that lack Superpower will have a much easier time once Steelix is gone. You get the idea.

    You might be tempted to run Moltres on a Sunny Day team. Don't: Hurricane only gets 50% accuracy in Sun. If you want a Fire type on a sun team, Typhlosion and Charizard do that better. Overall, that's the only thing holding you back from choosing Moltres as your team's Fire type: it has to compete with Entei, Typhlosion and Magmortar for a spot on your team. It has a better movepool than Entei, more power than Typhlosion and it's faster than Magmortar.

    Get out there

    Moltres is a Pokémon all of LU fears. If you're playing LU and you want to do well, you will need a plan for Moltres. And if you can provide Rapid Spin support, you'll rarely be dissapointed.
  2. Scene

    Scene reverie

    Dec 16, 2012
    Likes Received:
    This is a nice thread (: tbh Moltres verges on being broken in LU with no hazards, if we gained a really good spinner (say, Hitmontop or Blastoise. Hell, Claydol) or lost some good hazard setters like Uxie, idk....Moltres would be pretty scary. We need our rocks ;D