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Pokemon of the Week DP: Salamence

by Blue

Salamence

Sets

SpecsMence

Item Held
Choice Specs
Nature
Timid (+Speed, -Attack) / Modest (+Sp.Attack, -Attack)
Effort Points
252 Sp.Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP
  • Draco Meteor
  • Flamethrower
  • Hydro Pump
  • Dragon Pulse

There are other Pokemon in the game with better Speed and Sp. Attack than Salamence,but SpecsMence is one of the best Choice Specs users. There are a lot of reasons that make Salamence so good at using Choice Specs. Fisrt of all there is Draco Meteor, an attack that only Steel Types can resist. Draco Meteor is so powerful that will surely hurt all other Pokemon except Steel and that’s why Flamethrower exists. With this combination, almost no Pokemon has resistance to one of Salamence’s attacks. Then, there is Intimidate, a GREAT Ability for a Choice item user because you will withdraw and send back Salamence a lot. Add its good typing, good defenses and HP and you have a Pokemon that can do a LOT of damage, lower your opponents’ Attack and take some hits. What else do you want? Hydro Pump is the only other good Special Attack that it can learn, and it can be very useful against Pokemon like Tyranitar, Rhyperior and Heatran (which resists Dragon and Fire moves). Now, the last move, Dragon Pulse has the same type with Draco Meteor but it is there because it can be used repeatedly unlike Draco Meteor which sharply lowers your Sp.Attack. You will mainly use Draco Meteor in the early battle stages and Dragon Pulse at the end of a battle when you will need to finish some Pokemon that need two attacks to be KO’ed.

CBMence

Item Held
Choice Band
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Sp.Attack) / Adamant (+Attack, -Sp.Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP
  • Dragon Claw
  • Earthquake
  • Rock Slide / Stone Edge
  • Brick Break / Flamethrower / Aerial Ace

CBMence is actually a very powerful Pokemon and is as good as it was in the Advance Generation. Stone Edge is more powerful than Rock Slide, but Rock Slide is more accurate and it can flinch, so I would suggest it. Brick Break is for things like Blissey and Snorlax, but it’s also a good choice against Tyranitar. Flamethrower is mainly for Skarmory and Aerial Ace for Heracross. SpecsMence is maybe more popular in this generation but CBMence is equally powerful in my opinion and is able to do a lot of damage with its terrific Attack stat.

Dragon Dance Sweeper

Item Held
Life Orb / Leftovers
Nature
Adamant (+Attack, -Sp.Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 136 Speed – 122 HP
  • Dragon Dance
  • Dragon Claw
  • Earthquake
  • Rock Slide / Stone Edge / Flamethrower

First of all you must know this: You should keep this EVs in Speed ONLY if you have 31 IV there because Salamence MUST reach 270 Speed. This is because it has to be faster than any Choice Band Heracross and, with a Dragon Dance, faster than any Choice Scarf Heracross. Therefore, if you have less IV in Speed you should put more EVs. Rock Slide’s accuracy and effect make it better for Dragon Dancing Salamence. Flamethrower is obviously for Skarmory. Life Orb makes Salamence even more powerful, but Leftovers make it more lasting. The choice here is yours.

Mixed Sweeper

Item Held
Life Orb
Nature
Mild (+Sp.Attack, -Defense) / Rash (+Sp.Attack, -Sp.Defense) / Hasty (+Speed, -Defense) /Naive (+Speed, -Sp.Defense)
Effort Points
128 Attack – 128 Sp. Attack – 252 Speed
  • Draco Meteor
  • Fire Blast / Flamethrower
  • Brick Break
  • Dragon Claw / Crunch

The EV spread for this set is almost totally up to you. The suggested one is a typical-balanced spread for a mixed sweeper, but you may want more Attack, more Special Attack or less Speed, depending on the rest of your team. The same applies for the chosen natures. Fire Blast is more powerful than Flamethrower although for those who prefer accuracy, Flamethrower is always good. Dragon Claw is Salamence’s best physical move but Crunch hurts Cresselia, Dusknoir and Slowbro a lot. Life Orb will give you a nice boost in any of your moves.

Other Possible Options

Roost is a quite good possible option especially in the Mixed Sweeper set. Salamence also learns Wish and Protect but I believe that by creating a support Salamence you waste its great sweeping capabilities. Salamence learns a few other good moves such as Fire Fang and Thunder Fang, but none of them can match the power of Draco Meteor or Dragon Claw. Hidden Powers such as Grass, Electric and Ground are good against certain Pokemon (Swampert, Gyarados, Heatran) but as always it is almost impossible to get the right move with the right stats (at least in the game). Yache Berry protects Salamence from a single Ice-type move and can be used for surprise. Choice Scarf can make him outspeed almost everything but it should be used only with a Physical Sweeper set and a +Attack Nature with 252 EVs in Attack.

Counters

Salamence is unpredictable and can surprise any of the Pokemon that can be considered its counters. Obviously, Ice-type moves are its greatest fear. Any Pokemon with reasonable offensive capabilities and a good Ice-type move can OHKO Salamence. Watch out though, because Salamence can surprise you using Yache Berry. Pokemon with Ice Shard such as Weavile are always good counters but it is difficult for most of them to switch in safely (Donphan can switch in against Physical sets). Gyarados with Ice Fang is a good option, especially against Physical sets thanks to Intimidate. Suicune and Milotic can hit him with Ice Beam but they are not able to resist two CB Dragon Claws. Milotic has a chance against SpecsMence but it takes a lot of damage from Draco Meteor. A properly trained Registeel can take easily almost any hit from Salamence (except Flamethrower from SpecsMence) and destroy it with Ice Punch.

Against SpecsMence Blissey, Calm Cresselia and Empoleon can do a good job. Against the Physical sets, you can use Gliscor, Rhyperior, Hippodown and Bronzong (Bronzong can be good against the Special set with a +Sp.Defence Nature and Heatproof for Flamethrower).

Pokemon with Will-O-Wisp can hurt physical Salamence while Heatran can hit the special one with Dragon Pulse, but it should have a lot of HP and Sp.Def.

Stealth Rock will do a lot of damage to Salamence and will surely be a problem against those who use Choice Items. Combining it with Sandstorm (or Sandstream), it will do 37,5% damage to a non-Leftovers Salamence that switches in and stays for a turn.

Opinion & Notes

Salamence is a great offensive Pokemon that can work wonderful with both physical and special sets. SpecsMence is a fearsome threat for every team and you should expect to see him a lot. This is also good for those who use physical sets because lots of people will not expect a physical hit from Salamence and they will not be prepared for it. Using a Rapid Spinner to support Salamence will help it a lot because Stealth Rock is a problem for it. Great stats, great Ability and great moves, make Salamence one of the best Pokemon in the game.

Note that Hydro Pump is an egg move.

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