Mawile, The Deceiving Pokémon. Mawile's huge jaws are actually steel horns that have been transformed. Its docile-looking face serves to lull its foe into letting down its guard. When the foe least expects it, Mawile chomps it with its gaping jaws. Don't be taken in by this Pokémon's cute face-it's very dangerous. Mawile fools the foe into letting down its guard, then chomps down with its massive jaws. The steel jaws are really horns that have been transformed. Attached to its head is a huge set of jaws formed by horns. It can chew through iron beams. It uses its docile-looking face to lull foes into complacency, then bites with its huge, relentless jaws.
Mawile is a good example of a Pokémon that rose from nothing to become one of the most dangerous Mega Evolutions introduced in XY. As one of the past generation Pokémon to become Fairy-type, this went a long way in giving this otherwise forgettable Steel-type another shot at the spotlight. However, that Mega Evolution is the entirety of Mawile's viability. Horrible stats all around are what keep Mawile down so hard, with not a single stat above base 85 and the majority of its stats hiding down in the embarrassing base 50 range. Even with one of the best typings in the game, Mawile unfortunately can't do much of anything without its Mega Evolution, and that's where Mawile's biggest flaw lies at the moment since its Mega Stone isn't currently obtainable. Without its Mega Stone there's almost no reason to use Mawile on a serious team, which is very unfortunate since Mawile is blessed with a fairly diverse movepool that fits well with its amazing typing. There's really only so much you can do with a base stat total as low as Mawile's, so if you're considering using Mawile for a team, you better start hoping that Mawile finds its Mega Stone soon and let it sit patiently in Poké Pelago for that time to come.
Hyper Cutter: Opponent cannot lower this Pokémon's Attack value. This Pokémon may still lower its own Attack value using a move of by itself. This ability isn't too helpful, while not being able to lower Mawile's Attack would be useful, it isn't strong enough to take advantage of that.
- Play Rough
Mawile can attempt to pull of a more defensive support set, but only if you're playing in restricted formats that make Mawile actually stand out as remotely viable. Play Rough is Mawile's best STAB move and offers excellent neutral coverage, as well as a useful chance to lower the foe's Attack stat. Super Fang is an excellent defensive move that lets Mawile chunk away at foes that Mawile can't really hurt, such as Steel-types. This helps it avoid being a completely free switch for most threats as well. Stealth Rock provides useful support that helps wear down the opposing team, and can help enable a teammate's sweep later in the battle. Knock provides more excellent utility in removing the foe's item, which helps Mawile disrupt foes further than simply cutting the foe's HP in half.
Mawile's stats don't lend themselves well to more complex EV spreads, it just needs as much physical bulk as it can get since its Special Defense is bad regardless. Impish nature boosts its Defense further and is more efficient than attempting to boost another stat. Leftovers is the preferred item to give Mawile some passive recovery, though alternatives such as Sitrus Berry or Rocky Helmet work depending on restrictions you're playing with.
- Play Rough
Sometimes you just can't wait for your favorite Mega Evolution to become available and want to take matters into your own hands. If this applies to you, this is the set you're looking for. With Life Orb and Sheer Force, Mawile's STAB moves hit surprisingly hard at the cost of losing any secondary effect. Play Rough is Mawile's strongest STAB move and provides excellent neutral coverage, while Iron Head provides it with a secondary STAB move that doesn't risk the chance of missing like Play Rough. Both are boosted by Sheer Force as well, giving them a significant power boost. Fire Blast may sound worthless given Mawile's awful Special Attack, but it's the strongest Fire-type move it gets which is useful for hitting Steel-types that otherwise wall it completely. Ice Punch is an alternative if you have better ways of covering Steel-types and instead hits bulky Ground-types like Gligar. Sucker Punch isn't boosted by Sheer Force, but it's a useful priority move that helps Mawile deal with its horrible Speed somewhat.
Maximum HP and Attack investment is self-explanatory, Mawile is too slow to make use of Speed so HP is a better investment to give it some semblance of bulk. Naughty nature is used so that its Special Attack isn't hindered more than it already is, though if not using Fire Blast than Adamant is the ideal nature.
- Baton Pass allows Mawile to escape from an anticipated bad switch-in, and prevents it from killing all momentum, though Mawile has a tough time fitting it in its moveset.
To keep things simple, Mawile is not difficult to counter at all. With only barely acceptable offensive presence and terrible stats almost all around, you don't usually need much in specific to deal with Mawile. While it has numerous resistances and immunities and only two weaknesses in Fire and Ground, both of these weaknesses are very common. Its Special Defense is also nowhere near good enough for its defensive typing, so even resisted special moves will be dealing a lot of damage. Intimidate can prove to be annoying for physical attackers, though the strongest of physical attackers will only see that as a minor setback that can be easily worked around. The only things that really need to be careful of Mawile are those that are weak to Fairy- or Steel-type moves and have no way to hit Mawile for at least neutral damage, since Mawile doesn't really pose much of a threat to most foes if it can't Mega Evolve. That's not to say that Mawile can't surprise a few foes, but really if you're having trouble dealing with a Mawile that can't Mega Evolve you probably have several things on your team that need fixing and not just a Mawile weakness.
Mega Mawile is a shining example of a Pokémon not needing a permanent evolution in order to be fantastic. While it only boasts an unimpressive 480 BST, Mega Mawile's stat boosts work wonders for its bulk even though its stuck with an awful base HP. The most important part is Mega Mawile's ability, Huge Power, which turns its awful Attack stat by Mega Evolution standards into one of the highest in the game. Mega Mawile is the entire reason to use Mawile at all, with its fantastic typing, solid movepool and huge Attack stat giving it everything that Mawile lacks otherwise. Awful HP and Speed still bring it down, but Mega Mawile is the offensive powerhouse that you never expected from it to be in Gen 3. With all that being said though, Mega Mawile suffers from a problem that most Mega Evolutions that are not part of the Alola Dex suffer from. Namely, their Mega Stones are not currently obtainable, so Mawile has no choice but to wait for its Mega Stone to be made obtainable sometime in the future or for a lucky Battle Tree trainer to use it against you. Until we find out where all these Battle Tree trainers found their Mega Stones though, Mawile will have to wait before it can have fun with its incredible strength.
Huge Power: The Pokémon's Attack stat is doubled while it has this ability. This is self-explanatory, doubling Mega Mawile's Attack is the entire reason it's so good. As with any Mega, it has no other ability option so there's not much else to say other than Huge Power is good.
- Play Rough
Mega Mawile is a physical powerhouse, so the entire purpose of Mega Mawile is to take full advantage of its incredible power to break through foes. Play Rough is Mega Mawile's primary STAB move, providing great coverage and breaking through most foes that don't resist it. Sucker Punch gives Mega Mawile a powerful priority move that can be used to help sweep through teams after a Swords Dance boost. However, in some formats there aren't really any opportunities to set up and if more powerful threats are thrown into the mix, Mega Mawile can become a huge momentum sink. This makes Baton Pass a useful option to maintain some momentum in anticipation of a switch. Knock Off provides fantastic coverage alongside Play Rough and gives Mawile a strong Dark-type move that avoids ugly Sucker Punch mindgames while also disrupting foes that might otherwise switch into Mega Mawile comfortably, such as Porygon2. Fire Fang can be used if the option to hit Steel-types like Ferrothorn and Skarmory harder is preferred. Iron Head offers very little coverage, but it's a useful secondary STAB if the utility of Knock Off or Fire Fang is unnecessary.
Mawilite is naturally the only item choice since it's necessary for Mega Evolution. Maximum HP and Attack investment are necessary to take advantage of Huge Power while making Mega Mawile reasonably bulky. It's also too slow to make realistic use of heavy Speed investment, while HP investment helps offset the low base HP. Adamant nature is generally preferred so that it can at least outspeed the slower walls near its Speed range, though Brave should be used if Mega Mawile is being used as a Trick Room attacker.
- Mega Mawile can utilize Substitute to great effect since it will often force switches, so this can be used to help beat switch-ins that otherwise have no issue beating Mega Mawile.
Countering Mega Mawile
Mega Mawile is a dangerous threat that is difficult to safely counter, especially with its incredible strength and Sucker Punch. Most Fire-types give Mega Mawile a difficult time though, resisting both of its STAB moves and OHKOing it with their respective Fire-type STAB. Sucker Punch can be dangerous for more frail Fire-types though, so in most cases you'll need to be careful of that. Heatran, Blaziken, Charizard, Rotom-H, and Entei are just a few of the Fire-types that can give Mega Mawile a difficult time. Ground-types such as Garchomp, Landorus-T, and Hippowdon can also give Mega Mawile a tough time since they don't mind Sucker Punch and can easily OHKO with Earthquake. Special Attackers in general still give Mega Mawile a tough time since its Special Defnese is decent at best, though thanks to its Special Defense boost it isn't as simple as hitting it with any decently powerful Special Attack. Fire and Ground moves are also common coverage moves for a lot of Pokémon so hitting Mega Mawile is not too difficult despite it fantastic defensive typing. The important thing you need to worry about is Sucker Punch, if you can play around that option or neuter it with Psychic Terrain then Mega Mawile becomes much more manageable. If you encounter Mega Mawile in less restricted settings though, options like Primal Groudon shut it down completely as well. While Mega Mawile has crazy power that makes it difficult to directly switch into, it isn't overly difficult to deal with. Just be very careful with Sucker Punch mindgames, as this is a huge part of what makes Mega Mawile difficult to deal with. This is often easier said than done, but it's absolutely one of Mega Mawile's most dangerous traits and should never be neglected.
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