Alakazam, The Psi Pokémon. Alakazam uses its psychic powers to make the spoons it carries. Each spoon is an original that there’s only one of in the whole world. If it trusts someone deeply, it will let them have one of its spoons. Anything you eat with that spoon is apparently delicious. It is said to have an IQ of approximately 5,000. Its overflowing psychokinetic powers cause headaches to anyone nearby. Its brain cells continue to increase in number until its death. The older the Alakazam, the larger its head.
Alakazam has not really changed a lot throughout the generations. A classic glass cannon, Alakazam possess a high Speed & Special Attack combined with awful defenses and nice coverage options. Alakazam is a fearsome Psychic-type sweeper that can ravage unprepared teams. Its Mega Evolution makes it even a more fearsome threat as it is one of the best ones in the game. When paired with Tapu Lele, Alakazam forms a Psychic duo with the Alolan Guardian that allows them to put heavy pressure on their traditional checks, while Alakazam takes the benefits from Psychic Surge boost on its Psychic-type attacks & immunity from priority. Both base & Mega have incredibly useful abilities on Magic Guard & Trace which allows them to pull some interesting niches. However, due to its paper thin defense, Mega Alakazam & Alakazam get easily revenge killed by strong priority attacks that puts a heavy dent on both. They are also revenged killed by certain Choice Scarfers who can revenge kill both forms.
Synchronize: When this Pokémon becomes Poisoned, Paralyzed, or Burned, so does the opponent. However, Fire-type and Water Veil ability Pokémon cannot be Burned, Poison-type and Steel-type and Immunity ability Pokémon cannot be Poisoned, and Limber ability Pokémon cannot be Paralyzed. - Synchronize is a decent albeit situational ability. For things that rely on status, being able to inflict it upon them in return can be a nuisance. However, two things make this ability situational. Number one, many Pokemon are immune to the status they're inflicting; for instance, Will-o-Wisp's burns from Fire types, Toxic's poison from Poison types, and Thunder Wave's paralysis from Electric types. Second, this ability does nothing if they're not using status. This is one of those abilities you really only use if you have nothing better… but fortunately, Alakazam does have something better!
Thanks to Generation 1 making a comeback on Virtual Console, Alakazam finally obtained Counter with Magic Guard and combined with a Focus Sash, which makes a one time deadly combination that allows Alakazam to dispose most of its usual checks & counters with a simple move. Counter allows Alakazam to surprise an opponent like Mega Metagross, Landorus-Therian, Mega Mawile and Tyranitar retaliating any physical attack and OHKO it once its Sash is activated. Psychic is on this case, Alakazam's best STAB to use with this set due to its greater power output than Psyshock. Shadow Ball allows Alakazam to hit other Psychic- and Ghost-types hard, while Thunder Wave is an option to provide Speed control in case your team appreciates it. Finally, Hidden Power Fire is the preferred option on the last slot to nail Mega Scizor on the switch preventing it from ruining this strategy. Focus Blast is an option, but with the pressure of only being able to use the Sash once, its inaccuracy makes it extremely risky and unrewarding.
Max Special Attack & Speed allows Mega Alakazam to make the most out of its offensive potential and dish out the most damage possible while Speed tying with Dugtrio. A Hasty nature is used with 0 IVs on Def to maximize any physical damage to Alakazam so it is brought down to its Sash and efficiently retaliate the damage with Counter. 31 IVs on Atk are recommended to boost the power of Counter on Foul Play users like Mandibuzz.
Magic Guard is a must on this set as it gives Alakazam immunity to indirect damage from weather conditions like Hail & Sandstorm protecting Alakazam from fainting if brought down to its Sash.
· Regular Alakazam can use a Life Orb with Magic Guard as a deadly sweeper. Thanks to its ability, Alakazam doesn't takes recoil damage from Life Orb. However, Mega Alakazam's extra Speed most of the time, makes this option an inferior one. · Energy Ball and Grass Knot are worth mentioning on the Mega Alakazam set as it allows it to revenge kill Rain Sweepers like Mega Swampert more efficiently, transforming Mega Alakazam into one of its best checks.
VGC & Double Battle Options
Alakazam does not have have any staying power for the Doubles format, given its frail nature. While it has good Speed, it does not outpace Mega Gengar, which poses a difficult threat given its trapping abilities.
A la Kablam!
Psychic packs a punch give it is boosted by Alakazam's STAB, and possible Life Orb. It still remains true that Tapu Lele's Psychic Terrain is a welcomed addition to further boost Psychic's power. Energy Ball has specific targets such as Mega Swampert, which is instantly KOed, however do keep in mind that it outpaces Alakazam in rain, which is why an intact Focus Sash is crucial for this matchup. Shadow Ball works great against Aegislash, but it fails to obtain a OHKO if it is under its Shield Forme, which is a same limitation of its mega forme counter part. Focus Blast still remains rather potent at dealing with Ferrothorn and Heatran, but the attack's accuracy leaves more to be desired. Protect preserves Alakazam to live another turn, while Ally Switch is a troll move that can ruin strategies for the opponent if they were planning to gang up on him.
- Psyshock targets the opponent's defense, while utilizing Alakazam superb Special Attack. It is however slightly weaker, and only useful in niche situations.
Alakazam may have speed, power, and plenty of tricks, but it is by no means uncounterable. Sylveon is capable of beating Alakazam 1v1, especially if it lacks Psyshock. Life Orb Psychic only 3HKOs Sylveon while a Choice Specs Pixilate Hyper Voice can soundly 1HKO, ignoring Alakazam's substitutes as well. Defensive Sylveon is only 3HKO'ed by Life Orb Psyshock, while it 2HKOs with Hyper Voice. All-out offensive Alakazam struggles to get past Chansey, who is only 3HKO'ed at best by Life Orb Psyshock, although Taunt, Encore, and Substitute can be a nuisance for Chansey. Thanks to Multiscale, as long as Stealth Rock isn't up, Dragonite can switch into anything Alakazam has (including Life Orb Hidden Power Ice) and then destroy it with its Choice Band Extreme Speed. Klefki can switch into any of Alakazam's attacks (except Taunt) and proceed to cripple it with Thunder Wave, although if Alakazam sets up a Substitute this can cost you momentum. Mew's specially defensive set is only 3HKO'ed by Life Orb Shadow Ball, while it can 1HKO with Knock Off. Scizor can switch into anything but the uncommon Hidden Power Fire and 1HKO with Choice Band Bullet Punch. Meanwhile, Life Orb Focus Blast only 2HKOs Scizor, while the accuracy makes this about a 50% chance of actually being successful. Bulky Mega Scizor is typically only 3HKO'ed by Life Orb Focus Blast (which is of course Accuracy permitting), while Bullet Punch 2HKOs. Both variants of Scizor are capable of Pursuit trapping Alakazam as well, as it often switches out against them. Assault Vest Tornadus is only 2HKO'ed by Alakazam, while it outspeeds it (just barely!) and 1HKOs with Knock Off. However, it should be noted that Life Orb Psyshock can 1HKO if Stealth Rock is up, so be careful with that. Mega Sableye is only 3HKO'ed at best by Life Orb Shadow Ball while being immune to Psychic and Focus Blast, and it can either 2HKO Alakazam with Dark Pulse or Shadow Ball, or set up Calm Minds on it since it can't be Taunted or Encored. However, Dazzling Gleam is a sound 2HKO, so watch out for that. Priority can be an issue for Alakazam, because it circumvents its great speed and targets it meager bulk. Talonflame's Brave Bird soundly 1HKOs Alakazam, while things like Azumarill and Mega Pinsir can 2HKO with Aqua Jet and Quick Attack, respectively. Bisharp deserves a mention as it can play intense mind games with Alakazam due to Sucker Punch and Pursuit threatening to 1HKO Alakazam if it attacks or switches out, although this is risky because Focus Blast 1HKOs Bisharp and Substitute can troll Sucker Punch. Faster Scarf users such as Jirachi, along with naturally faster Pokemon such as Weavile and Mega Lopunny, are capable of revenge killing Alakazam due to its horrid bulk. Bulky Pokemon like Latios and Latias are capable of surviving any hit without being 1HKOed, and 1HKOing in return, although they are outsped and 2HKO'ed so they can only check. Although Alakazam is fast and strong, anything that it can't 1HKO can usually deal heavy damage to it due to its frailty, so it's not too hard to take down unless your team is heavily weakened already. Pretty much any unresisted physical attack can deal heavy damage if not 1HKO, and even resisted attacks from things with high attack can still 2HKO Alakazam; for example, Heracross's Close Combat still can deal a minimum of 70% to Alakazam. As a result, Alakazam really can't switch into anything, so it's not too hard to pressure.
Trace: Ability becomes the same as that of the opponent. Switching this Pokémon out of battle restores its original ability. In a Double/Triple Battle, a random opponent's ability will be copied. - Trace is an interesting ability, and one that can range from devastating to completely useless. Trace is largely matchup dependent, but some of the abilities it can copy can be awesome. For instance, Trace allows Mega Alakazam to copy Excadrill's Sand Rush, so that it can revenge kill it in a sandstorm. Likewise, Tracing Heatran's Flash Fire or Manectric's Lightningrod (before it Mega Evolves) can put pressure on them by making Mega Alakazam immune to their STAB attacks. Things like turning Gyarados or Landorus-T's Intimidate against them works fantastically as well. There's a world of possibility for Trace, but just be sure to keep an awareness of what you're putting Mega Alakazam up against… it'd be a shame to Trace something like Truant!
The Mythical 1000 year old Sage
- Psychic / Psyshock
Mega Alakazam is one of the most powerful glass cannons in the game. Psychic is Alakazam's most powerful STAB and hits really hard anything that does not resist the move. On the other hand, Psyshock is an option to hit Chansey harder, however, it's only worth considering it if you pair Mega Alakazam with Tapu Lele as the Psychic Terrain boost pushes it to a clean 2HKO on Chansey. Are Dark types a safe switch-in? Think again, as Mega Alakazam gains access to Focus Blast and nail anything that resists or is immune to Psychic attacks. Shadow Ball allows Mega Alakazam to heavily dent other Psychic types like Latios and Mew. For the 4th slot, Mega Alakazam has plenty of options depending on your preference. Hidden Power Fire allows Mega Alakazam to toast Mega Scizor and Ferrothorn on the switch-in. Calm Mind makes Mega Alakazam an even more fearsome sweeper once its checks are eliminated. Encore allows Alakazam to cripple passive Pokemon like Ferrothorn and Chansey, locking them on a move. Finally, Substitute prevents Mega Alakazam from being hit by status attacks and eases prediction against Sucker Punch users and switches.
Max Special Attack & Speed allows Mega Alakazam to make the most out of its offensive potential and dish out the most damage possible while outspeeding a huge number of offensive Pokemon like Tapu Koko, Ash Greninja, Mega Lopunny and Tornadus-Therian.
Magic Guard is the preferred ability before Mega Evolving as Alakazam will appreciate the occasional immunity to weather damage and hazards. Once Mega Evolved, Trace allows Mega Alakazam to copy the foe's ability and use it at your own advantage if the situation is ideal for, like tracing Swift Swim on a rain sweeper like Qwilfish and revenge kill it with Psychic, switch into Heatran's Fire type moves thanks to tracing Flash Fire or gain Adaptability from copying Porygon-Z's ability.
· Energy Ball and Grass Knot are worth mentioning on the Mega Alakazam set as it allows it to revenge kill Rain Sweepers like Mega Swampert more efficiently, transforming Mega Alakazam into one of its best checks.
VGC & Double Battle Options
If Alakazam is frail for Singles, then the same thing holds true for Doubles. Sans his Speed and Special Attack, the original Psychic simply does not hold its own as it falls to two hits most of the time, which can be accomplished easy in the Doubles format. The Mega form patches some of Alakazam's defensive flaws, but not enough to increase its longevity.
Mega a la Kablam!
Psychic is an all-around great STAB attack for Alakazam to rely on, especially if Psychic Terrain is set up by an allied Tapu Lele. When Mega Evolved, Psychic outpaces Mega Gengar which can be easily OHKO at that point. Energy Ball offers coverage against Tapu Fini, who might want to switch in and take control of the terrain setting, though once used the element of surprised is lost. Shadow Ball works great against Aegislash, but it fails to obtain a OHKO if it is under its Shield Forme. Focus Blast is especially potent at dealing with Ferrothorn and Heatran, albeit it has shaky accuracy that could be let down if you have accrued a miss at a pivotal time of the match. Protect preserves Mega Alakazam to live another turn, while Ally Switch is a troll move that can ruin strategies for the opponent if they were planning to gang up on him.
- Psyshock could be considered to target the opponent's defense stat, though it is slightly weaker than Psychic.
Countering Mega Alakazam
Fortunately, Mega Alakazam has many of the same counters as its base form. Bulky special walls like Sylveon, Mew, and Chansey are still great at dealing with Mega Alakazam, while Mega Sableye still is untouchable by any set lacking Dazzling Gleam. Powerful priority from Scizor, Talonflame, Mega Pinsir, Dragonite, and Azumarill are all capable of 1HKOing or 2HKOing Mega Alakazam, which is helpful due to Mega Alakazam's absurd base 150 speed tier. Klefki is still capable of switching into anything Mega Alakazam has and utilizing Prankster Thunder Wave to a put a stop to Mega Alakazam, although it does have to be wary of Prankster being Traced and giving Alakazam a Prankster Taunt or Substitute. A bit of a higher speed tier is needed for Choice Scarf users to overcome Mega Alakazam due to its incredible speed tier, so Choice Scarf users need to be at least base 84 speed tier to be able to outspeed Mega Alakazam. This makes faster Scarf users such as Jirachi and Excadrill good answers to Mega Alakazam. Landorus-T's Scarf Set can also deal with Mega Alakazam, but it has to be wary of its own Intimidate being Traced and turned against it. Finally, bulkier Pokemon such as Ferrothorn, Tornadus-T, Latios, and Latias can all avoid being 1HKO'ed by standard Mega Alakazam, and then 1HKO in return. The loss of Magic Guard also makes Mega Alakazam more susceptible to passive damage, so things like Toxic, Scald Burns, and Entry Hazards can all chip away at Mega Alakazam, making its already poor bulk have a harder time standing up to attacks. Its speed may have increased and it may have gotten a little more defense, but Mega Alakazam is still going to be hit hard by anything it can't 1HKO itself. Fortunately, since Alakazam and Mega Alakazam share many of the same checks and counters, in most cases, if you can handle one, you can handle the other. Mega Alakazam is still at minimum 2HKO'ed by pretty much any reasonably powerful physical attack, and it actually hits a little less hard than Life Orb Alakazam, so it's not too difficult to put a stop to, unless it's late in the game and a team is heavily weakened.
In lower tiered formats, Kadabra runs a set that is not unlike its evolution's. Although it can run an all-out offensive set as well, its lesser speed tier makes this set its most reliable. It should go without saying that Psychic is Kadabra's main STAB attack; it also has Psyshock available to it, but Kadabra really needs the extra power of Psychic more than the defense targeting of Psyshock. Shadow Ball helps it contend with things like Mr. Mime and Gourgeist, while Hidden Power Fighting deals with dark types, most notably Pawniard. However, Encore is also an option to screw with Stall, setup, and things that might try to hide behind a Substitute. Finally, Thunder Wave is a good way to put a halt to speedy threats, and can be a way to stop a sweep in conjunction with Focus Sash.
Max speed is obtained through Timid Nature and 252 Speed EVs, while 252 Special Attack EVs ensure you hit as hard as possible. The leftover 4 EVs are placed into Special Defense. Magic Guard remains the obvious choice for ability, given it's just really, really good. Focus Sash is the item of choice which allows Kadabra to be a revenge killer, given that Magic Guard ensures passive damage such as entry hazards won't break your Sash. Kadabra does have the option to go more offensive with Life Orb, but in general Focus Sash has more utility.
On the opposite end of the evolutionary spectrum, Abra is one of the mightiest Pokemon in the Little Cup. With the highest special attack in the tier, and the ability to reach the coveted unboosted 19 speed, Abra is something to be feared. Its STAB Psychic has no trouble ripping through even the bulkiest of fighting types, making even the dreaded Mienfoo's "bulky" set seem soft. Hidden Power Fighting allows Abra to get past its would-be Nemesis, Pawniard, by preying on its 4x weakness. Energy Ball destroys pretty much every Shell Smasher, such as Omanyte and Tirtouga, while also working well against Chinchou. However, Dazzling Gleam is also an option to deal with Vullaby. You can opt for whichever you don't choose in the fourth slot, or you can also opt for Protect, which exists almost exclusively to block Fake Out, which can otherwise break your Focus Sash.
240 Special Attack and 200 Speed EVs with a Timid Nature ensures you reach 20 Special Attack and 19 Speed, which maximizes Abra's offensive potency. As is the case with its evolutionary relatives, Abra always wants to use Magic Guard because it's just an amazing ability and nothing else Abra has is even remotely close to how good it is. Focus Sash allows Abra to be nigh impossible to 1HKO, which is a good thing in the fast-paced Little Cup, in addition to letting it revenge kill things such as Shell Smashers. Life Orb can be an option as well, but Abra prefers the all-around utility that Focus Sash affords it.
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