Tactical Tuesdays #16 – Electivire

Cody

Welcome back to Tactical Tuesdays, where we take a Pokemon every week and attempt to provide an in-depth competitive analysis of it. This week, we’re taking a look at Electivire! If you have any comments, questions, or requests, please leave them below.

#466 – Electivire


Species: Thunderbolt Pokemon
Abilities: Motor Drive, Vital Spirit (HA)
Height: 5’11
Weight: 305.6 lbs

Notable Moves:

Fire Punch
Low Kick
Thunder Wave
Light Screen
Thunder Punch
Discharge
Thunderbolt
Thunder
Earthquake (TM)
Psychic (TM)
Brick Break (TM)
Flamethrower (TM)
Focus Blast (TM)
Charge Beam (TM)
Volt Switch (TM)
Rock Slide (TM)
Wild Charge (TM)
Power-Up Punch (TM)
Cross Chop (Egg move from Machamp line)
Ice Punch (Egg move from Hitmonchan, Medicham)
Meditate (Egg move from Hypno, Hitmonlee, Medicham, Mienshow line)
Iron Tail (BW2 Tutor)

Overview:

Back when Generation IV was released, one of my favorite things about it was how many already-existing Pokemon got additional evolutions (something that’s been sadly not present the past two generations). Generation IV was also when I got into the competitive battling scene, as I attempted to EV train my first Pokemon. That was Pokemon was Electivire, the evolution of the original 150-mon lineup Electabuzz. Not only is Electivire perhaps the most intimidating Electric-type there is, it was also given a large role in the anime at that time, being owned by Ash’s two biggest rivals Gary and Paul. But looks are one thing; can Electivire hold up in the meta-game two generations later? Well, the answer is “kinda”. Electivire has some excellent strengths in its abilities and move-pool, and even has a unique stat-spread to work with. Although he’s fallen mostly to the lower tiers of RU, Electivire still does have a good amount to offer in a game where Electric types can kind of be hard to come by.

“A mixed Electric type” is something that isn’t seen that often; in fact, many high-tier Electric-types are usually special, given the skew of the type in that direction when it comes to attacking. But although Electivire is primarily physical due to its base 123 attack, it also has a sizeable base 95 special attack it can utilize to fairly good effect.

In all actuality, many would argue that Electivire would be far better off had some of that base special attack gone instead into speed. They wouldn’t be completely wrong either, as a base 95 speed is quite mediocre in tiers such as OU where you need to have great defensive prowess to back up your middling speed (Prime examples are Tyranitar and Scizor). Electivire sadly doesn’t have that luxury, another characteristic of the type itself. So what you have here is truly a strange stat spread, seemingly meant to go mixed with average defenses and a lackluster speed. All things considered, Electivire doesn’t seem to be naturally built for good competitive play at all. But that’s ignoring its move-pool and abilities, which, with the right item, can successfully patch up Electivire’s less-than-optimal stat spread and create a pretty terrifying mixed attacker.

Electivire’s move-pool has a plethora of options, especially when it comes to picking whether you want an attacking type to be physical or special. Electric-type moves are of course its specialty, with Thunder Punch, Thunderbolt, Wild Charge, Volt Switch, and Thunder among the many choices you have. Other good attacking types such as Fire and Fighting also bring with them the same diversity, with Fire Punch, Flamethrower, Cross Chop, and Focus Blast. In theory, Electric-Fire-Fighting coverage is one of the best in the game, but Electivire doesn’t stop there; although the rest of its move-pool lacks the ability to choose between physical or special variants, other superb coverage moves include Ice Punch, Rock Slide, Psychic, and Iron Tail (which is a relevant choice in Gen VI with all the fairies running around). With an attacking spectrum so diverse, Electivire can easily bring the “surprise” value with it. What coverage moves will it have? Will the coverage be special, physical, or mixed? When played with correctly, Electivire does a good job popping people where they don’t expect it.

But just having a better-than-average move-pool might not be enough to make Electivire worth your while. Luckily, Electivire has two excellently viable choices with its ability that boosts its attractiveness even more. A complete immunity to Electric moves via Motor Drive on top of a boost of speed is exactly what Electivire needs to truly be a sweeper, and prevents your opponent from freely Volt-Switching to gain offensive momentum. Vital Spirit and an immunity to sleep is also an excellent ability to have this generations, due to the multiple annoying Bug types that carry Spore/Sleep Power on top of the terrifying Quiver Dance

Stats Breakdown:

HP: 75 – Average, not helping Electivire’s poor bulk
Attack: 123 – Excellent, making physical variants the most common
Defense: 67 – Okay, but acts as Electivire’s biggest weak point
Special Attack: 95 – Acceptable, although a higher one would make Electivire a bit better going mixed
Special Defense: 85 – Average, meaning defensive sets aren’t viable too much
Speed: 95 – Painfully average; a Mega Evolution with base 105 would be really cool…

Viable Sets:

1.) “Ohm’s Law”

[email protected] Orb
Ability: Motor Drive
Nature: Lonely
EVs: 252 Attack, 126 Special Attack, 126 Speed
– Wild Charge/Thunder Punch
– Ice Punch
– Flamethrower
– Focus Blast

– Taking full advantage of Electivire’s mixed capabilities, we have a set that can easily get past dedicated walls with the right move selection. A Life Orb works very well on four-attacking moves sets, and acts as a good way to strengthen Electivire’s attacks across the board without favoring the physical or special side. The EVs are weighted towards the physical side, however as, unlike Infernape, Electivire’s stat spread still favors the physical side a bit more.

– Wild Charge is used over Thunderbolt or Volt Switch because it’s best to have Electivire’s lone STAB option as power as it can be, which of course would be a physical move. However, the fact remains that Wild Charge recoil is a total bummer on top of Life Orb damage, and doesn’t do much to help Electivire’s average defenses. Because of that, and if it becomes a problem, Thunder Punch isn’t that bad of an alternative in place of Wild Charge.

– Ice Punch acts as Electivire’s lone Ice-coverage option, and it’s a really good one just due to the attacking nature of the Ice type in the first place, hitting Grass types that might hope to switch in on a resisted Electric move. And if that Grass type just happens to be more physically defensive oriented, that’s where the utility of Flamethrower comes in. Not only is Fire a good attacking type in general, a physical Fire moves does absolute wonders against dedicated Steel walls that can take Electivire’s physical hits (or just downright be immune to them), such as Steelix, Mega Aggron, and even Skarmory.

– No one likes Focus Blast, but the honest truth is that Cross Chop doesn’t have much better accuracy, at a middling 80%. Focus Blast is a good surprise option, and brings with it the good coverage that the Fighting type naturally brings with it. It also acts just as good neutral coverage when you don’t know what to anticipate on the switch.

2.) “Electrical Engineer”

[email protected] Orb
Ability: Motor Drive
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 252 Attack, 252 Speed, 4 HP
– Wild Charge
– Ice Punch
– Cross Chop
– Earthquake

– “But you just got done saying Electivire can go mixed!”. Yeah, I did. But the fact remains that Electivire’s physical attack is still a great deal higher than that of its special stat, so not all sets are going to be geared towards the notion that Electivire is best used mixed. A base 123 attack is nothing to scoff at, and Electivire’s great physical coverage on top of proper prediction with Motor Drive can make Electivire a terror in the lower tiers.

– Motor Drive being able to boost your speed is something that Electivire desperately needs to be effective, and is actually easier than it may seem if your opponent has a heavy Volt-Switch/U-turn core that you can exploit with proper prediction. One a fully invested Electivire has just one speed boost under its belt, it becomes a matter of just trying to revenge kill it through powerful priority, something that is somewhat lacking in the lower tiers.

– The coverage can speak for itself; it can hit just about everything at the very least neutrally, and since it can freely modulate between moves that would be effective or not, this set lends itself well towards “over-prediction”, where the risk vs reward of going for the “super-effective” hit is more weighed towards the “reward”side of things, especially after a speed boost from Motor Drive.

– “Four Attack” sets are usually used very well with a Life Orb. Although a Choice Band is theoretically viable, Electivire doesn’t have the natural speed to take advantage of it. Other common Choice Band users also have less coverage moves that Electivire does, and taking away that sole advantage doesn’t do very well in tiers where being able to “bluff” a Choice Band or a Choice Specs right off the bat can be beneficial.

– The EVs are also that of a “traditional sweeper”, despite Electivire lacking the speed to make it worth as well as other threats such as Garchomp or Infernape. The speed EVs are mainly a way to make sure you make the absolute best of a potential Motor Drive boost, as not investing in the stat at all could very well make the ability functionally useless.

Conclusion:

- The Electric type is my favorite type, and Electivire is one of the cooler ones out there when compared to the numerous “cutesy” rodents we tend to get every generation. Although its not exactly a top tier threat, Electivire remains an interesting option for someone looking for the very rare mixed Electric types. Hopefully Electivire eventually gets a Mega Evolution at some point, as I feel it would be one of the better Pokemon with one.


Categorized under: Articles, Editorial, Pokeditorials, Tactical Tuesdays
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