Jolteon, The Lightning Pokémon. It accumulates negative ions in the atmosphere to blast out 10000-volt lightning bolts. A sensitive Pokémon that easily becomes sad or angry. Every time its mood changes, it charges power. It concentrates the weak electric charges emitted by its cells and launches wicked lightning bolts. Every hair on its body starts to stand sharply on end if it becomes charged with electricity. If agitated, it uses electricity to straighten out its fur and launch it in small bunches. ť
Whenever I use the term “Speed Freak”, Jolteon's name always comes up. Whilst it isn't the fastest Pokémon in the game, it's in the elite group. Choice Scarf has taken some of the shine off of this strength, but it's still a Pokémon you can count on to strike first in most situations. With Deoxys and Mewtwo locked in the Uber tier and Electrode and Ninjask barely making cameo appearances in the OU environment, Jolteon does possess the fastest natural Speed stat in the Standard tier.
Jolteon hasn't changed much in the generation shift. Shadow Ball and Signal Beam have mildly expanded its special move-pool; making a Choice Specs set just about viable, but otherwise it's essentially the same Pokémon that it was a generation ago. A Speed Freak with a hard hitting Thunderbolt and the ability to Baton Pass a Substitute, but with little else to its name. Nevertheless, that's enough to its name to carve it a niche in the Standard tier.
Volt Absorb: heals 25% of Jolteon's HP when it's struck by an Electric attack, giving it an Electric immunity in the process. This ability is pretty crucial to Jolteon's performance. The 25% HP heal will help it offset entry hazard damage (Spikes and Stealth Rock), as well as any other mild spots of damage it might pick up along the way; but more importantly, it gives Jolteon a Thunder Wave immunity (an improvement on last generation when it didn't). This alone means the Speed Freak should be able to go about its business without hindrance, since few Pokémon turn to Body Slam or Glare for dishing out paralysis. Additionally, that Electric immunity presents Jolteon with its only real viable chance of an easy switch-in, since the Electric type, whilst blessed with just one weakness, does come with just three resistances (one of which is Electric anyway; and for that matter, the other two are against far-from-common Steel and Flying attacks).
- Baton Pass
It's the second fastest Baton Passer in the game, but sadly, Jolteon doesn't have all that much to Baton Pass. Substitute is the best at its disposal, and with some proper timing, it shouldn't be too tough to set-up a Substitute and Pass it away to a team-mate who can benefit from that safety buffer (even if it is something of a small Substitute, considering Jolteon's uninspiring HP stat).
Thunderbolt is Jolteon's main means to pose a threat, although Charge Beam is mildly appealing due to the Special Attack boost that can provide Jolteon with some more expansive Baton Passing capabilities. Sadly, Charge Beam does little to match Thunderbolt for its power threat; since it's rare to get enough boosts to compensate for its significantly weaker Base Power. Hidden Power Ice and Grass are chosen for targeting Ground types; with Ice being preferable for Gliscor (and 4x weak Dragons like Salamence) and Grass chosen for Swampert.
Leftovers recovery is important, since you can't just count on Volt Absorb to recover the HP you'll lose making Substitutes and possibly also lose via entry hazards and being attacked.
Choice Specs is the only real new option presented to Jolteon in the generation shift. What Choice Specs does is provide Jolteon with a quick and powerful Thunderbolt, but little else. Hidden Power is needed to cover Ground types, with Ice being preferable for Gliscor and the 4x weak Dragons whilst Grass is preferable for Swampert.
The other two moves really do fit the term “filler.” Super-effective Shadow Ball just outmatches Thunderbolt for power, so for the most part it's only favoured for striking Rotom and a handful of Psychic types with Electric resistances (Trace Gardevoir being the most prominent example to spring to mind). Signal Beam gives you a bit more leniency on choosing your Hidden Power, since Ice is sometimes favoured for its super-effective hit on Grass types, so Signal Beam's Bug type coverage is mildly favourable. In addition, it gets a very favourable 4x hit on Celebi, who would usually fancy its chances when faced with Thunderbolt and Hidden Power [Ice].
EVs and Nature:
You're always going with Max Speed here: Timid and 252 EVs. The only real deviation from this set-up would be to drop your EVs down to 216 (reaching 385 Speed) to outrun Weavile, but the difference those EVs can make elsewhere is minimal and at least at Max Speed, you tie with Aerodactyl should that rare confrontation occur. There's little reason to deviate from the classic 252/252 spread.
Thunder Wave, Agility, Light Screen, Wish, Protect, Magnet Rise, Yawn.
Thunder Wave is one of the more useful options here for crippling some Pokémon that aren't in the OHKO range, leaving them exposed for other team-mates.
Agility can fit onto the Baton Pass move-set, although it's essentially useless for Jolteon itself.
Light Screen can provide some useful support and allow Jolteon to take a couple of hits itself, but doesn't fit onto any of its move-sets in a particularly comfortable or logical way. It's a similar story with Wish, although Wish has some extra value since it doubles as a self-healing move as well as a supporting move, and can be combined with Protect or Substitute for a close-to-guaranteed heal.
Magnet Rise is a bit gimmicky, but you can use it to catch Pokémon that try to Earthquake off-guard.
Yawn can usually force a switch (and occasionally cause the foe to fall asleep).
One problem with a Pokémon that can Baton Pass Substitutes quickly is that it's hard to get a Pokémon in place that can actually stop it. By the time you've switched to a counter, it's behind a Sub and ready to bounce off to its team-mate. “Pseudo-Hazing moves” (Whirlwind and Roar) are the popular way to stop it, since you can send the Pokémon and its Substitute out of the game in one, but Skarmory and Suicune, the two most popular users can't counter it, since they're both weak to Thunderbolts. On the bright side, minus the difficult to counter Sub-Passing, switching into Jolteon is pretty simple.
Electivire enjoys the potential Motor Drive boost and the ability to Earthquake it. Porygon2 can Trace Volt Absorb and grind away with Ice Beam. Gardevoir can also Trace Volt Absorb and (in the absence of Shadow Ball or Signal Beam) can boost up with Calm Mind. Blissey can sponge any attacks Jolteon throws its way and the same applies (less so in the case of the Specs set) to Snorlax. Tyranitar can also sponge away thanks to Sandstream's Special Defence boost. Celebi doesn't like Shadow Ball and especially dislikes Signal beam but can usually stall out Hidden Power [Ice] with the Calm Mind-Recover combo. It's a pretty simple Pokémon to counter one-on-one, but it's pretty difficult to do anything to prevent it from sending a Substitute off to a team-mate once it's thrown one up. The best you can do in most cases is try to break its Subs as it makes them and break them as it passes them, eventually winning over through attrition.
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