New Alolan Pokémon!
With the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, trainers have encountered a lot of new Pokémon to catch, train and be creative with. This article is going to cover some of those Pokémon from the Alola Dex that have notable factors that could make them viable for the upcoming VGC season. It’s important to note that while not every Alolan Pokémon on this list will be a top-tier pick, they all individually have key points that could help them succeed. There will be example sets provided for each Pokémon, but take into account that these are purely speculative, focusing more on highlighting the Pokémon’s strengths rather than being perfect finished sets.
Ability: Blaze/ Intimidate
Incineroar was the first Pokémon in the dex to stick out. It has a notably high Attack stat, backed up by strong STAB moves in Flare Blitz and Darkest Lariat. It also has access to interesting utility moves in Fake Out, Will-O-Wisp, Snarl and Taunt to ensure its usefulness. Incineroar’s Hidden Ability is also Intimidate which is especially useful, though it is not confirmed that it’s HA will be legal.
What holds it back is that Incineroar’s Speed stat is relatively low (60 Base), and that its typing isn’t great defensively – with weaknesses to common types like Ground, Rock, Fighting, and Water. It also suffers a bit from its primary attacking move, Flare Blitz having 1/3 recoil, making sure it won’t stick around for too long if you decide to go aggressive.
Incineroar seems likely to fill a role similar to that of Scrafty in earlier seasons, providing Fake Out and other utility moves to help its teammates, while still hitting reasonably hard. You will often see teams using Incineroar with Fake Out to help get up Trick Room, and provide threat to Alolan-Marowak. An Incineroar set might look something like this:
Incineroar @ Assault Vest
Ability: Blaze / (Intimidate)
EVs: 252 HP / 180 Atk / 44 Def / 12 SpD / 20 Spe
– Flare Blitz
– Darkest Lariat
– Fake Out
- -1 252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 44 Def Incineroar: 86-104 (42.5 – 51.4%) — 5.9% chance to 2HKO
- 252+ SpA Tapu Fini Scald vs. 252 HP / 12 SpD Assault Vest Incineroar: 86-104 (42.5 – 51.4%) — 5.9% chance to 2HKO
- Outspeeds 4spe Celesteela
Other options for items could be Darkinium Z to ensure the OHKO on Alolan-Marowak, or Life Orb to help increase its damage output under Trick Room.
Ability: Torrent/Liquid Voice
Primarina seems to struggle a bit in comparison to other bulky Water-types the format has to offer, though it still has some niche moves that can put it ahead. Notably, it has access to unique status moves in Encore and Perish Song which can help to disrupt the opponent. In addition to this, Primarina has strong STAB and coverage moves like Scald, Moonblast/Dazzling Gleam and Ice Beam. Primarina could also take advantage of its Liquid Voice Hidden Ability to increase its damage output with Hyper Voice – though it’s not yet confirmed that HA’s will be legal.
Unfortunately, this starter is also held back a bit by its slow Speed and lack of speed-control options. Primarina also has a low Defense stat which limits its options versus many offensive threats. Its typing is somewhat unfortunate as well, as Water types often have access to Ice-type moves like Ice Beam and Blizzard, which have the added benefit of hitting both Dragon AND Grass-Type Pokémon.
Primarina would most likely fill a role as a bulkier Pokémon who disrupts opponents, either through Scald burns, or its unique support moves; Encore and Perish Song. A Primarina set might look something like this:
Primarina @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Torrent / (Liquid Voice)
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 188 SpA / 44 SpD / 20 Spe
– Scald / (Hyper Voice)
– Ice Beam/Dazzling Gleam/Moonblast
- 252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 44 SpD Primarina in Electric Terrain: 158-188 (84.4 – 100.5%) — 6.3% chance to OHKO
- 188+ SpA Primarina Scald vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Arcanine: 168-200 (101.2 – 120.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
188+ SpA Primarina Scald vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Alolan Marowak: 168-200 (100.5 – 119.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
Ability: Hyper Cutter/Iron Fist/Anger Point
The first thing you see when you look at this Pokémon is its notoriously F.A.T Attack stat, backed up by a bunch of abilities to keep it going. It has access to powerful STAB moves in Superpower, Close Combat and Ice Hammer, as well as a few coverage, moves like Crabhammer, Stone Edge, Rock Slide and Earthquake. Interestingly, it also can utilise Wide Guard, a move that has fairly limited distribution, in order to protect its partner.
Outside of attacking stats, however, Crabominable suffers from relatively low overall bulk, and a Speed stat that makes it require heavy speed control to be effective. It is also hindered by its most powerful moves, Superpower and Close Combat, reducing its stats after use. Because of this Crabominable would most likely find a role as a ‘glass-cannon’ offensive Pokémon to be used in Trick Room, especially on teams that would appreciate Wide Guard support.
A Crobominable set might look something like this:
Crabominable @ Life Orb
Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
IVs: 0 Spe
– Close Combat
– Ice Hammer
– Wide Guard/ Stone Edge/ Earthquake/ Crabhammer
- 252+ Atk Life Orb Crabominable Ice Hammer vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Xurkitree: 164-192 (103.1 – 120.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252+ Atk Life Orb Crabominable Crabhammer vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Arcanine: 198-234 (100.5 – 118.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
Ability: Honey Gather/Shield Dust/Sweet Veil
Ribombee isn’t a Pokémon you’d expect great things from at first glance, but it has a few tricks up its sleeves for sure. First of all, its the only Pokémon who can learn the move, ‘Pollen Puff’, which has the unique effect of damaging enemies, but healing allies depending on who you target. It also picks up a move new to Gen 7 in Speed Swap, which can be used to transfer Ribombee’s high speed to an ally (or an enemy).
Aside from these cool new moves, however, Ribombee doesn’t pick up a whole lot else that would make it useful. Its best option for fairy STAB is Dazzling Gleam, which coming from a base 95 stat isn’t especially potent. It does get access to Quiver Dance, but its generally low defensive stats would make its survivability pretty questionable, even with a +2 to Special Defense.
If Ribombee were to fit on a team, it would most likely fill a heavily supportive role, wherein the focus would be protecting and powering up a strong, damage-dealing ally. A Rimombee set might look something like this:
Ribombee @ Focus Sash
Ability: Shield Dust
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Pollen Puff
– Dazzling Gleam/Struggle Bug
– Speed Swap
- 252 SpA Ribombee Dazzling Gleam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp: 92-110 (50.2 – 60.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 252 SpA Ribombee Pollen Puff vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Oranguru: 116-138 (58.8 – 70%) — guaranteed 2HKO
45/140/130/140/135/30 & 45/20/20/25/25/40
Wishiwashi is a Pokémon that there’s been a lot of discussion about. On the one hand, its Schooling forme stats look incredible, with both Attack stats at 140, and both Defenses at 130. This comes with a drawback, however, as when falling below 25% HP, its stats dramatically fall, and Wishiwashi effectively becomes dead weight. This is especially important to consider when its base HP stat is only 45.
On the plus side, it has access to some cool moves like Muddy Water and Hydro Pump, as well as the old classics of Scald and Ice Beam, all of which give it decent coverage options. It also has a few moves that can make it useful even in its weakened state, like Endeavor, Soak and Helping Hand.
All said and done, picking Wishiwashi seems like a bit of a gamble. In order to get benefit out of this Pokémon, you have to keep it above 25% HP. This forces a lot of uncomfortable scenarios, as it makes double-attacking Wishiwashi a high-risk, high-reward play. Either they successfully eliminate the threat of Wishiwashi, or they hit into your Protect and waste a turn.
A Wishiwashi set might look something like this:
Wishiwashi @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 Hp/ 252 SpA / 4 Def
IVs: 0 Spe
– Muddy Water
– Ice Beam
- 252+ SpA Wishiwashi-School Scald vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Arcanine: 192-228 (115.6 – 137.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252+ SpA Wishiwashi-School Ice Beam vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp: 272-320 (148.6 – 174.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
Ability: Own Tempo/Stamina/Inner Focus
Mudsdale’s strengths lie in its high attack stat and general bulk. It has access to the new move ‘High Horsepower’, which is a 95 BP Ground-type, single target something a lot of ground types lack. It also learns moves like Earthquake, Superpower, Rock Slide and Close Combat – all of which provide decent coverage. Finally, one of its abilities, ‘Stamina’ is a new addition that increases its Defense stat when hit by an attack, which would be very useful for increasing its survivability.
Like a lot of other Pokémon from Gen 7, Mudsdale suffers from a slow Speed stat, meaning that it relies on hard speed control, namely Trick Room, to succeed. Mudsdale could be used in a few ways, either playing around its high Attack stat with a more offensive set or trying to capitalise on its Stamina ability with a bulky-offensive set. Typically, Mudsdale will be seen with partners like Porygon2 or Oranguru, who will attempt to set up Trick Room.
A Mudsdale sets might look like this:
Mudsdale @ Assault Vest
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– High Horsepower
– Close Combat/Heavy Slam
– Rock Slide
- 252+ Atk Mudsdale High Horsepower vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Metagross: 140-168 (89.7 – 107.6%) — 50% chance to OHKO
- 252+ Atk Mudsdale Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Xurkitree: 180-212 (113.9 – 134.1%) — guaranteed OHKO
Salazzle is one of the most interesting Alolan Pokémon to be introduced in Sun/Moon. Its Speed stat puts it above the majority of the playing field, and its move set includes a tonne of options to help it capitalise on this. Its utility options include moves like; Fake Out, Encore, Disable, Will-O-Wisp, and Knock Off. It also has access to strong STAB moves like Flamethrower, Overheat and Sludge Bomb.
Salazzle’s weaknesses lie in its low Defensive stats, meaning that its usefulness can be severely hindered by enemy priority moves or speed control. As well as this, its Special Attack stat, while at a respectable 111, could be a bit underwhelming given that you would most likely run a Timid nature to outspeed base Pokémon like Gengar, Raichu, Ninetales and Nihilego.
Salazzle would most likely fit a role on a team similar to Weavile or Infernape in previous Seasons. That being said, it offers a bit more than those Pokémon did, with a wider pool of support moves. A Salazzle set might look like this:
Salazzle @ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
– Sludge Bomb
– Fake Out (Available after Pokebank)
- 252 SpA Salazzle Overheat vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Metagross: 218-258 (139.7 – 165.3%) — guaranteed OHKO
- 252 SpA Salazzle Sludge Bomb vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Alolan Ninetales: 138-164 (92.6 – 110%) — 62.5% chance to OHKO
Ability: Flower Veil/Triage/Natural Cure
Comfey is a Pokémon who doesn’t immediately look fantastic, though has some cool tools that it could use to be effective. Its newly introduced ability, ‘Triage’, makes its healing move gain +3 Priority – which would allow it to support its teammates somewhat reliably with ‘Floral Healing’ (Heals 50% HP of a target). It also has 100 base Speed which puts it above a lot of the Gen 7 Pokémon. Its other supportive moves include; After You, Helping Hand, Leech Seed, and Taunt.
Comfey suffers a bit from low Attacking stats, and a low HP stat. It also only gets Dazzling Gleam for a STAB move, which will be generally underwhelming. On a supportive Pokémon like Comfey however, where bulk is emphasised over offensive pressure, this may not be a huge concern, as its supportive moves will help compensate. A Comfey set may look like this:
Comfey @ Sitrus Berry
EVs: 252 HP / 236 Def / 4 SpA / 12 SpD / 4 Spe
– Dazzling Gleam
– Floral Healing
– Helping Hand
- 252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 236+ Def Comfey in Grassy Terrain: 133-157 (84.1 – 99.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 252 SpA Salazzle Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 12 SpD Comfey: 126-150 (79.7 – 94.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
Ability: Inner Focus/Telepathy/Symbiosis
Oranguru is the last Alolan Pokémon we’ll be looking at for Part 1. It has reasonable Defensive stats with a 90/80/110 split, and an acceptable Special Attack stat for a primarily supportive Pokémon. Given its move-pool and stats, Oranguru will most likely find a role as a Trick Room setter. It also has access to ‘Instruct’, a new move, which will force a Pokémon to use its last move again. This can be used to help its partner dish out more damage by effectively doubling its damage output. Oranguru also gets 2 great abilities for a Trick Room setter in Inner Focus and Telepathy. Inner Focus will help it to ignore Fake Out flinches, and ensure that it can Trick Room safely, while Telepathy will protect it from its partner’s spread moves, and allow it to Instruct moves like Earthquake or Lava Plume without fear of damage.
An Oranguru set might look like this:
Oranguru @ Sitrus Berry/Mental Herb
Ability: Inner Focus
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Def / 20 SpA / 92 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Trick Room
- 252+ Atk Thick Club Alolan Marowak Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 140 Def Oranguru: 166-196 (84.2 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
- 20 SpA Oranguru Psychic vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Salazzle: 144-170 (100 – 118%) — guaranteed OHKO
That’s it for Part 1. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!