Salamence, The Dragon Pokémon. When angered, it loses all sense of itself and destroys everything around it. The destruction will continue until Salamence has tired itself out. It flies around on its wings, which have grown in at last. In its happiness, it gushes hot flames, burning up the fields it passes over.
Salamence is a Pokémon blessed in all the right ways. Having not one but two strong offensive abilities, strong offensive stats, and solid typing. Salamence has seen better gens, being a top sweeper in gen 3, banned to Uber gen 4, though not a popular ban, and a high tier sweeper in gen 5 and 6, Salamence still holds into its title as not the beat, but not a sweeper to forget about.
+ Amazing offensive stats across the board. 100 base speed is average, but one of the best of the pseudo legendaries while 110 Special Attack and 135 Attack bring a ton of pressure
+ While not as good anymore, Dragon typing brings a plethora of resistances to common offensive types, combined with its Flying secondary type letting it resist Fighting, Water, Fire, Grass, and negate Ground.
+ Both abilities are amazing offensively and aren't outclassed directly by the other as with other abilities such as Aerodactyl
- While its Dragon typing is great offensively, Fairy, which is really common and a solid offensive type, destroys it while being 4x weak to ice, and therefore Ice Shard
- Flying makes you weak to Stealth Rocks which is super common outside of VGC
- Being mostly physically based, Salamence has trouble with Intimidate users, most common being Landorus Therian which is a staple in most Overused teams.
Intimidate- Drops the opposing Pokémon's Attack by one stage - This is just an amazing ability as it forces a switch due to the stat drop. This gives Salamence a free move, which is bad for most opponents as you can boost or nail the switch in
Hidden Ability (Available ):
Moxie - When you KO an opposing Pokémon raise your Attack by one stage - Another amazing ability, this allows Salamence to snowball its power and abuse some items better than others or forgo the turn to boost to sweep
Can't Beat The Classics
Item Attached: Flyinium Z
EVs and Nature:
Salamence's original set at core, Dragon Dance is a strong boost move furthering Salamence's offensive pressure. Outrage or Dragon Claw is the primary move of the set, hitting a lot for neutral damage with stab. Earthquake is the main coverage, hitting Steels for super effective damage while Fairies for neutral. Fly earns the last slot with the way Z moves work, giving Salamence a Flying stab for the first time since gen 3, easily removing a Dragon sponge. Lastly, while Moxie snowballs hard, Intimidate is better to create more boosting chances.
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
EVs and Nature:
Unlike Dragon Dance Salamence, Moxie is better while using a Choice Scarf as it allows you to go for a sweep off of a single revenge kill, getting a free "Dragon Dance". Moves follow similarly to Dragon Dance purely because of neutral coverage of Earthquake and Dragon stabs. Outrage is the main Dragon move due to its raw power but Dragon Claw does not have the confusion. Lastly Fire Blast is nice for Steels that tend to be more physically based or the ones that are part Flying such as Skarmory and Celesteela
Mixed - Salamence was once the best mixed dragon on OU due to its 110 Special Attack and, while still strong, its outclassed by Kyurem Black for the most part who has more Attack and a slightly better ability, negating other abilities like Levitate and Sturdy. While still good, it's not what it once was.
Fire Fang - An option over Fire Blast or such, it's not as good but is an option due to most sets investing heavily into physical Attack and not needing to run Naive giving more bulk.
Magearna - Being a more tanky partner, Magearna can switch into some of Salamence's threats such as Greninja, Tapu Koko, and other Dragons. Magearna also has access to Volt Switch allowing it to give Salamence a free switch in.
Mega Mawile - With Fairies being a major threat to Salamence, Mega Mawile can switch in and setup on a lot of them. Mega Mawile also has trouble with Steels, wearing them down or breaking them for Salamence or sweeping on its own.
Mega Charizard Y - Due to Salamence baiting in steels, Mega Charizard Y gains a free switch in and pressure most of the meta. Mega Charizard Y also baits in bulky Waters, namely Tapu Fini and make it easier for Salamence later. Drought also helps Salamence beat Steels more easily.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Salamence has had its ups and downs in VGC 2017. Always a great choice in doubles formats due to Intimidate, good stats, and an immunity to ground moves, Salamence burst onto the scene this year utilizing powerful Devastating Drakes. Then…we found out how good Tapu Fini was, and suddenly Salamence’s dragon moves were greatly hindered by Misty Terrain. Salamence’s usage plummeted, but the dragon started to show promise again as the summer rolled around. Bulky Assault Vest Salamence paired with Weakness Policy Metagross became a strong core, with Salamence using Bulldoze to slow down the opponent and activate its partner’s item. Salamence has also seen strong sets mirroring Gyarados, with Dragon Dance and a Z move, typically to use Supersonic Skystrike.
Earth, Wind, and Fire
-Flamethrower / Fire Blast
-Dragon Tail / Hydro Pump
Item Attached: Assault Vest
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 4 Def / 84 SpA / 44 SpD / 124 Spe
Salamence fulfills a bulky support set very well, with Intimidate helping its physical defense, and the Assault Vest allowing it to take special hits better. With the Assault Vest and this spread, Salamence can live a spread Blizzard from an Alolan Ninetales plus a turn of Hail damage, two spread Dazzling Gleams from a Timid Life Orb Tapu Koko, two spread Dazzling Gleams from a Modest Tapu Lele, and a Moonblast from a Modest Life Orb Tapu Lele has only a 25% chance to OHKO. Salamence can outspeed anything up to and including a neutral speed nature Pheromosa after a Bulldoze. The rest of the EVs in special attack with a Modest nature give it a bit of power to help pick up knockouts.
Draco Meteor is Salamence’s strongest attack to do significant damage to a threat. A fire type move helps with steel types who resist Draco Meteor, and the choice between Flamethrower and Fire Blast really comes down to whether you want better accuracy or power. Bulldoze is the featured move on this set, slowing down the opponent and activating the Weakness Policy on Metagross (who will not receive a speed drop from Bulldoze thanks to Clear Body). Dragon Tail is very useful to stop Trick Room or certain setup strategies, but if you can handle those well, Hydro Pump is nice for additional coverage against Arcanine or Alolan Marowak, who threaten Metagross.
”I believe I can Fly!”
-Earthquake / Dragon Claw
Item Attached: Flyinium Z
EVs and Nature:
20 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 220 Spe
Non-mega Salamence really misses a valuable attacking STAB type with a lack of strong flying type moves that do not take two turns to use. Z crystals have given Salamence new hope though, even as a one-time attack. Flyinium Z gives Mence access to Supersonic Skystrike to help it provide more offensive pressure. Intimidate weakens physical opponents, while maximum attack with an Adamant nature lets Salamence hit as hard as possible. The speed investment outruns Modest Choice Scarf Tapu Lele after Salamence has used Dragon Dance, and the rest of the EVs are put into bulk (and giving one more point in special defense so opposing Download Porygon2 get an attack boost).
Fly pairs with the z crystal for Salamence’s strongest attack (Supersonic Skystrike can even OHKO a Tapu Koko at +1). Earthquake gives strong spread damage and can hit Pokemon like Arcanine hard, but Dragon Claw is strong STAB as another option. Dragon Dance helps Mence setup similarly to Gyarados to become very fast and fire off a ridiculously strong z move. Protect keeps Salamence safe from Pokemon like Alolan Ninetales while a teammate deals with the threat.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Like mentioned in the opener, a special set w/ Draco Meteor and Dragonium Z was very strong early in the year. This set also typically carries a fire move for steel types.
-Choice Scarf sees some occasional use to fire off strong special moves.
-Tectonic Rage is another z move to use to surprise Arcanine or other Pokemon weak to ground.
-Rock Slide is a spread move with the always-useful flinch chances. Rock Tomb is another rock move that can lower the speed of a target.
-Roar is another way to prevent Trick Room or setup strategies, and unlike Dragon Tail, it can stop fairies like Mimikyu.
-Dragon Pulse, Fire Fang, Thunder Fang, Stone Edge, Crunch, Zen Headbutt, Brick Break, and Shadow Claw are all additional options for attacks, but other than Dragon Pulse for a consistent dragon-type move that will not lower your stats, they are all rarely seen.
-Like previously mentioned, Metagross is a great partner with Salamence for the Bulldoze strategy. Salamence can also freely switch in on ground-type attacks aimed at Metagross, and Metagross threatens fairies that give Mence trouble.
-Tapu Koko can threaten Tapu Fini for Salamence, and appreciates the support from Intimidate. -Tapu Bulu is typically slower than Tapu Fini, and can reliably override Misty Terrain, and then threaten the Fini with very strong grass attacks. Kartana is another grass Pokemon who threatens Tapu Fini.
-Muk has good switch synergy with Salamence, and can threaten the Tapus.
-Weather control can be useful for Salamence. Any other weather user will be slower than Alolan Ninetales to override its terrain and make it so that Blizzard can miss. Sun and rain can boost Salamence’s fire moves and Hydro Pump, respectively, and rain Pokemon like Politoed or Pelliper are often found on the teams with Metagross to weaken fire attacks against it.
Revenge Killers - Most revenge killers can easily catch Salamence due to its base 100 Speed even after a Dragon Dance. With the mixed set, Greninja and Tapu Koko can beat due to their high speed.
Landorus Therian - Due to Intimidate, Landorus Therian can pressure out Salamence, allowing it to either boost, U-Turn out on the switch, or set up Stealth Rocks making it harder for Salamence to come back in.
Celesteela - Outside of the mixed set, Celesteela can harass Salamence quite easily, forcing the Choice Scarf set to use Fire Blast, while the Dragon Dance can't really break through it.
Mega Salamence further improves on Salamence's amazing stats, giving it more bulk to survive as well as more Speed to help with its average base 100 Speed. All this plus another amazing offensive ability makes Mega Salamence a major threat..
+ Immense offensive pressure between its high Attack and Speed as well as Aerilate make it really hard to deal with or switch into.
+ While Mega Salamence didn't gain a lot of offensive stats, it gained a lot of defensive stats, making it easier to either setup or just pressure.
- Stealth Rocks are a pain for Mega Salamence due to it being Flying.
- With Aerilate, Mega Salamence tends to lean on its Flying stabs making it hard for Salamence to deal with Steels and Rocks.
Aerilate - Normal moves are changed to Flying - Salamence continues to get blessed with amazing abilities. Aerilate allows Salamence to abuse its otherwise forgotten Flying type which is really good offensively
Viva la France
Item Attached: Salamencite
Ability: Aerilate (Initimidate before Mega)
EVs and Nature:
With Dragon Dance, Mega Salamence can outpace most of the revenge killers, scarfed wise, that are relevant. This allows Mega Salamence to pressure through most threats abusing its ability Aerilate. Double Edge is the main damage skill, blasting through most threats in tier with ease, while Facade is a nice another move so you don't mind being hit with stats moved, ex switching into Ho-Oh's Sacred Fire. Lastly Roost rounds it out to heal off Double Edge's recoil as well as stats damage as well as help keep around for longer.
Earthquake - An option to be used over Double Edge to allow coverage over Steel and Rock threats that would wall or at least be hard to break through. You do lose out on major damage but the coverage is really nice.
Xerneas- Most of Mega Salamence's checks and counters are easy to set up on for Xerneas, allowing it to go for its own sweep. They do share some checks as well such as Lugia if Xerneas lacks Ingrain, and Scizor
Primal Groudon - Being a solid Stealth Rock user, Primal Groudon pairs well with Mega Salamence. Primal Groudon can also switch into most of Mega Salamence's checks with its bulk and Ground stab.
Spike Users - Spike users are really nice with Mega Salamence as it helps limit the survivability of threats switching into Mega Salamence. Ferrothorn is one of the best options with its strong defenses and status support.
VGC & Double Battle Options
Mega Salamence has been arguably the best mega evolution in every doubles format (even giving Mega Rayquaza a run for its money in VGC 2016). This powerhouse has a great pre-mega ability in Intimidate, followed up with fantastic attack stats, great speed, good defenses, and a useful offensive ability as a mega. Mega Salamence is capable of multiple physical, special, or mixed sets that have dominated VGC 2015 & 2016 in the past, and continue to do very well in Battle Spot Doubles.
Your Worst Flightmare
-Tailwind / Draco Meteor / Fire Blast / Flamethrower
Item Attached: Salamencite
Ability: Aerilate (Intimidate before Mega)
EVs and Nature:
4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Mega Salamence is great offensively, and this set thrives in such a role. Maximum speed with a Naďve nature lets it outspeed a majority of all unboosted Pokemon, while max special attack powers up its best move in doubles, Hyper Voice. Mega Mence is still a strong physical attacker even with minimum investment, but more EVs can be added should your team composition need it.
Hyper Voice, despite the small nerf to Aerilate in generation 7, is still one of the best spread moves in doubles, and the move you will likely use most often. Double Edge makes use of Mega Salamence’s great attack, and can hit Pokemon who have lower physical defense. Though it no longer needs a turn to safely mega evolve since it gains the speed boost right away upon mega-evolving in generation 7, Mega Salamence still needs Protect to dodge threatening attacks or stall out your opponents’ speed control. The last slot has a number of possibilities. Tailwind is good for speed control and was a good option in VGC 2016, while Draco Meteor is a strong attack to decimate a target. A fire move to hit steel types that resist your flying moves can also be considered.
Other Options and Team Ideas
-An Adamant nature with a set including Dragon Dance and either Return or Frustration (should you fear a Ditto copying your boosts) can be very threatening to an opponent, especially with redirection support.
-Earthquake and Rock Slide are good spread moves for Mega Salamence. Earthquake can hit most steel types, and Rock Slide is good with Mence’s high speed.
-Façade is useful on certain sets to take advantage of a burn.
-Roost does not see much use, but can keep Salamence healthy, especially after Double Edge recoil.
-Hyper Beam and Giga Impact are risky due to the turn to recharge, but are ridiculously strong with Aerilate if you can find a slot to find one.
-Substitute has been very useful in the past to dodge status moves or if you predict a Protect from your opponent.
-“Japan Sand” is a very strong core from VGC 2015 that typically featured Mega Salamence, (often Choice Scarf) Tyranitar, and Sand Rush Excadrill. With the invention of z moves, this core has even more potential with Excadrill having access to moves like Tectonic Rage.
-Redirection keeps Salamence healthy, especially on Dragon Dance setup sets.
-Fake Out support can also help with Dragon Dance or Tailwind strategies.
-Helping Hand support turns Hyper Voice into a decimating attack.
-A counter or way to prevent Trick Room may be necessary. Despite its good defensive stats, Mega Salamence does not love attacking last in Trick Room.
Countering Mega Salamence
Zygarde C - Being the best physical wall in Ubers, Zygarde C can just laugh at Mega Salamence's attacks and phase it away with Dragon Tail
Dialga - Without Earthquake, Dialga checks Mega Salamence with ease, easily KOing it with Draco Meteor or Dragon Pulse while it has to struggle through Dialga with Double Edge
Support Arceus - With its tanky build and generally carrying Ice Beam, support Arceus can check or counter Mega Salamence based on the type, Rock being the best. Mega Salamence has a harder time breaking through due to only pulling off a single Dragon Dance
Locations in Games
Not in game
Not in game
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald
Snagged from Cipher Admin Eldes in Citadark Isle (XD)
Evolve Shelgon (Pearl, Platinum)
Trade from Pearl/Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver (Diamond)
Evolve Shelgon (White)
Trade from White/Black 2/White 2 (Black)
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire: