Altaria, The Humming Pokémon. Altaria dances and wheels through the sky among billowing, cotton-like clouds. By singing melodies in its crystal-clear voice, this Pokémon makes its listeners experience dreamy wonderment. Altaria sings in a gorgeous soprano. Its wings are like cotton clouds. This Pokémon catches updrafts with its buoyant wings and soars way up into the wild blue yonder.
This is the most cute fluff-ball bird you'll find yourself facing in Singles and also a decent sweeper / support Pokemon if its niche role is required for your team. For starters, Altaria is a pathetic Pokemon, however, Game Freak blessed the cotton bird with a Mega Evolution that changes its typing to a respectable Dragon / Fairy. Its well rounded stats and access to plenty of offensive & utility moves allows Mega Altaria to perform as a solo sweeper or a cleric with nice versatility on its sets. However, while Mega Altaria's balanced stats are decent, its offensive stats and Speed are not impressive either which ultimately holds Mega Altaria a little bit back. Compared to other Mega Evolutions or Dragon Dance users in Battle Spot Singles like Mega Salamence and Dragonite, Mega Altaria is outclassed due to Salamence's greater offensive stats and Dragonite's extra bulk without needing a Mega slot. However, if your team requires a Pokemon that can check both Mega Charizard formes (which is something that Mega Altaria can only boast) with its niche being useful to your team, Mega Altaria is a decent pick.
Tough as a Cloud
Much like the name of the set implies, Altaria isn’t exactly the toughest Pokemon in the world… far from it actually. But, even though Altaria’s offensive stats aren’t the greatest, its movepool still lends itself well to an offensive set. Just note that if you’re playing in a format that lets you use other fully evolved dragons, then they’re usually always better options than Altaria.
Nevertheless, Dragon Dance is the crux of this set, as it allows Altaria to boost is underwhelming attack and speed to be moderately threatening. From there, Dragon Claw is its most reliable choice for a STAB attack, having modest base power with no drawbacks. Of course, steel types may trouble you, but that’s where Earthquake’s coverage comes in. Finally, in order to give Altaria a bit more longevity, Roost is an option, which in conjunction with Altaria’s decent bulk, affords it some staying power.
Adamant Nature and 252 Attack EVs try to stretch Altaria’s attack as far as it can go, while 252 Speed EVs help to maximize its speed. Jolly Nature could be used to give Altaria a little more speed, but with its meager base 70 attack, it really needs all the power it can get, so Adamant is preferred. Life Orb helps to give Altaria a bit more punch, and the recoil can be mitigated by Roost. Finally, Natural Cure is the ability of choice for its ability to prevent Altaria from being crippled by status.
Countering Altaria is not difficult in the sense that it’s not particularly threatening to play against. Eviolite Clefairy is typically only 5HKO’ed by Earthquake, while even at +1 it’s only a 3HKO. Meanwhile, Moonblast has a chance to 2HKO (which is guaranteed with Stealth Rock), or it can set up Calm Mind while it forces Altaria out. Regice is only 3HKO’ed by Dragon Claw, while at +1 Dragon Claw only 2HKOs (watch out for Stealth Rock, though), while Ice Beam soundly 1HKOs Altaria. Relicanth checks Altaria quite well by surviving Earthquake even at +1, although it can be 2HKO’ed by an unboosted Earthquake. Even so, Head Smash will obliterate Altaria in a heartbeat. Glaceon functions similarly in that it’s 2HKO’ed at +1, but can survive the +1 attack and 1HKO with Ice Beam. Avalugg stops Altaria cold (no pun intended) by only being 6HKO’ed by an unboosted Dragon Claw or 4HKO at +1, but Fire Blast or Draco Meteor from the rarer special sets can put a damper on it by 2HKOing. Gourgeist Super is only 5HKO’ed by Dragon Claw, and at +1 it’s still only a 4HKO, while it can utilize Leech Seed and Foul Play to wear down Altaria, with the latter punishing attempts to set up as well. Articuno is only 3HKO’ed by Dragon Claw, and at +1 it’s a 2HKO, but its Ice STAB 1HKOs Altaria. Armaldo’s in a similar situation of being 3HKO’ed by unboosted Dragon Claw and 2HKO’ed by +1, but Rock Blast can 1HKO Altaria with just 3 hits. Stoutland’s Choice Band set has enough power to 1HKO Altaria with Return about half the time, while it has enough bulk to survive +1 Dragon Claw. Common Scarf users such as Rotom-F and Raichu can revenge kill Altaria even if it’s at +1 speed, and 1HKO it with either Blizzard or HP Ice, respectively. In all honesty, there’s far more that can deal with Altaria, but we’d be here all day if I listed them all. Its bulk may be decent, but it’s prone to being threatened by offense given its own offensive presence prevents it from threatening things that try to deal with it. Putting Stealth Rock up also helps to wear it down as well, since it’ll lose a quarter of its HP just from switching in.
And don’t even think about trying to use Altaria in more inclusive formats. Its abysmal power fails to leave a dent in powerful physical threats such as Registeel, Rhyperior, Skarmory, Hippowdon, etc. The higher speed and power creep leaves it unable to withstand the assaults of things like Mega Charizard X, Tapu Lele, Tapu Koko, Garchomp, Starmie, and more. Honestly, so many things mutilate standard Altaria that it’s not even worth listing everything that does, or we’d be here all day. Standard Altaria has no business being used in anything but the most restrictive formats. It’s just not a good enough Pokemon to carry its weight.
Altaria, The Humming Pokémon.
Dragon Dance Sweeper
- Return / Double-Edge
Altaria makes for a solid Dragon Dance sweeper due to its typing granting it fantastic resistances and opportunity to set up. Return is the preferred STAB move since it's boosted by Pixilate and has no drawbacks, though Double-Edge can give Mega Altaria a bit more of a push offensively. Earthquake complements the Fairy-type STAB extremely well, allowing Altaria to deal with Poison- and Steel-types after a boost, though it may be a bit lacking in power without the boosts. Roost gives Altaria some extra longevity which is useful for letting Altaria find multiple opportunities to set up.
Mega Altaria's offensive stats are fairly underwhelming for a Mega so it wants as much of a help offensively as possible, with an Adamant nature being chosen over Jolly because Mega Altaria will likely boost more than once and the extra power is more important. Natural Cure is the ideal ability pre-Mega because it allows Altaria to sponge status early-game before it needs to Mega Evolve. Don't rely on this though because Altaria doesn't want to avoid Mega Evolving for too long.
- Return / Body Slam
Using your Mega for defensive purposes isn't usually the best use of a Mega slot, but Mega Altaria has the typing and bulk to pull it off. Return and Body Slam are both effective STAB choices though Body Slam gives up power for a nasty paralysis chance to try and threaten setup sweepers directly. Roost allows Mega Altaria to keep itself healthy throughout the battle as it will often be switching into powerful attacks. Defog is a very useful support tool for keeping hazards off the field and luckily Mega Altaria loses its Stealth Rock weakness after Mega Evolving which helps its longevity, though Heal Bell is another useful option for keeping status away from the team. Earthquake prevents Mega Altaria from being deadweight against Steel-types, though it isn't powerful without investment so running both support moves instead is also an option. Maximum physical bulk with an Impish nature is taken to take on the stronger physical attackers that Mega Altaria's typing lends itself to dealing with, such as Mega Charizard X. Natural Cure is useful to taking a burn or Toxic without being crippled provided it has yet to Mega Evolve.
Mega Altaria has some decent special moves to utilize with STAB Hyper Voice and Fire Blast though this is best used on a mixed set. However, this is difficult to use in most standard formats due to Mega Altaria's middling power for a Mega. Refresh allows Mega Altaria to become a more sustainable and durable setup sweeper though this comes at the cost of coverage and demands some more bulk than usual. Regular Altaria with Leftovers can work in lower tier formats as a bulky support if the Mega Stone isn't legal, though these are very specific circumstances and it isn't recommended otherwise.
Countering Mega Altaria
Even with access to Earthquake and Fire Blast, Mega Altaria struggles against Steel- and Poison-types if it can't boost and simply cannot break through them if it doesn't run this coverage. It also can't cover all Steel-types effectively since it can only run one of these moves, which means that it will always suffer against something like Scizor, Ferrothorn, Celesteela, or Heatran depending on what coverage move it picks. Likewise some Poison-types such as Amoonguss and Toxapex can be an issue regardless of which coverage move is picked.
Opposing Fairy-types can also be an issue since Mega Altaria can't always break through bulkier foes such as Tapu Fini or Primarina without heavy boosts, and they can threaten back with Fairy-type STAB moves of their own. Bulky Fire-types can also prove problematic especially if Earthquake is foregone, and some Fire-types such as Rotom Heat are difficult to break through regardless.
Locations in Games
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