Delibird, The Delivery Pokémon. It carries food bundled up in its tail. There was a famous explorer who managed to scale Mt. Everest thanks to a Delibird sharing its food. It nests at the edge of sharp cliffs. It spends all day carrying food to its awaiting chicks. If attacked, it throws its food at the opponent.
Is anyone surprised? It's Christmas, so it's the time of year we pay attention to Delibird. There's a good reason Delibird gets little attention any other time of year, and that's because it's a bottom-rung Pokémon, skimming along to Never-Used environment, which is truly the only environment where Delibird could hope to perform adequately.
The most straightforward reason why Delibird sits in the NU environment is quite simply down to raw stats, with its Base 75 Speed stat being the only semi-respectable number, although one could argue its Attack is usable after a boost from Hustle (although this comes at the cost of accuracy). If you want to look at its problems more in-depth, being an Ice type does it no favours, giving it a plentiful count of weaknesses. In particular, it also doubles up with its Flying type to cost it 50% HP to Stealth Rocks, although thankfully Stealth Rocks are less seen in NU than in the other battling environments.
The upside? Well, Ice has good offensive coverage, Base 75 Speed isn't bad by NU standards and with a Hustle boost, its Attack stat reaches past the 300 mark.
Hustle: gives it a 1.5x Attack boost in exchange for knocking the accuracy of its moves down by 80%. Needless to say, sets using physical offence should be using this ability.
Vital Spirit: is what you should be using if physical offence isn't in use. Sleep immunity isn't half bad in the NU environment, since there's several NU Pokémon with access to Sleep moves.
- Aerial Ace
The most obvious set to go with. As noted earlier, Hustle sends its Attack stat into the 300+ range. Throw on a Choice Band and you have a good shot at putting a hurting on your opponents, just watch out for the accuracy loss. Aerial Ace is the exception to this rule. It never misses, and gets STAB to boot. Ice Punch also gets STAB and some wonderful type coverage.
Fighting moves get good type coverage, especially on Rock and Steel types. Focus Punch gets a very strong hit when used with proper prediction, otherwise it'll be worthless. Brick Break is a significantly weaker alternative that is less reliant on perfect prediction.
Delibird is fast enough, but Ice Shard always strikes first, which isn't a bad option to have. It also gets STAB and has good type coverage, like Ice Punch.
- Ice Beam
Its physical move-pool is far from brimming with potential, but its special move-pool is incredibly poor in comparison. STAB, Specs-boosted Ice Beam is the main purpose of this move-set, although this set also gives Delibird a good excuse to take advantage of Vital Spirit (giving it a free switch-in on sleep moves).
Looking towards the other moves it has, it's mostly filler choices. Water Pulse is nice for Fire types, the main one of note being Magcargo. The Hidden Power choice is aimed for hitting Water types, with Grass being particularly preferable for Corsola and Whiscash. Focus Punch is very much a filler, especially since it won't be receiving any boosts, but it's the best thing it's got for hitting Steel types.
EVs and Nature:
With both sets (and indeed most possible sets) being designed with sweeping in mind, Delibird is suited for the straightforward 252/252 spread. The possibility of a Speed boosting nature is available, although there isn't a plentiful list of noteworthy Pokémon that can be outran
Rapid Spin, Toxic, Substitute, Counter, Focus Sash.
Rapid Spin is worth noting since viable spinners are few and far between. Unfortunately, Delibird isn't a viable spinner because of its 4x Stealth Rock weakness. The fact that the NU environment has very few Pokémon capable of using Stealth Rocks or Spikes leaves even less reason to use Rapid Spin.
Toxic is a useful filler for chipping away the opponent's HP, especially on some of the bulkier NU foes.
Substitute is a useful status blocker, although it isn't suited for Choice sets.
Counter and Focus Sash work as a useful combination on any fragile Pokémon, Delibird included.
By NU standards, especially with Hustle, it packs a decent amount of power. Of course, it's incredibly fragile, and has four weaknesses, including a 4x one to Rock attacks. Stealth Rocks will chip off 50% of its HP, although Pokémon who can use it in the NU environment aren't too plentiful. It'll also want to avoid Burn and Paralysis status moves.
Looking at Pokémon that can switch into it, Magcargo, Mawile, Bastiodon and Corsola resist both of its STABs, although all of them have reason to fear Focus Punch.
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