Welcome to the first issue of sixth generation's Pokemon of the Week! It's been a heck of a month, collecting so much information that my brain is overflowing with all of the new Pokemon, moves, and indeed, strategies for Gen 6 OU. So before I get on with the actual Pokemon, I'd like to address a few things here first:
-Generation 6 OU is wildly unpredictable, with people wanting to try out everything, so things like Speed tiers and specific numbers for targeting specific Pokemon... they're just impractical at the moment
-Some of these sets for probably every Pokemon I cover will absolutely become outdated as tiers shift and old threats disappear while new ones come in. Do not take these as foolproof or eternal sets.
-For now, I don't believe we have images for new Pokemon uploaded to pkmn.net, but Joeno has told me that they will come eventually, so be patient.
-New sets my pop up in the future that aren't listed here. In fact, I'd say this is inevitable.
-I am only human :P
With that out of the way, I'd like to discuss one of the most interesting Pokemon introduced in generation 6, Aegislash!
Aegislash begins life is a sword that has been possessed by the soul of someone who has died. That sword splits in two upon evolution, though both swords seem to be inhabited by the same soul, and communicate via telepathy. Finally, evolving once more returns it to being one single sword, and one shield. Aegislash battles by switching between a defensive and offensive stance, blocking powerful hits with the shield before the sword delivers devastating blows. Aegislash is said to have the ability to manipulate both human and Pokemon alike with spectral powers.
Shield Form Base Stats: 60 HP / 50 Attack / 150 Defense / 50 Sp. Attack / 150 Sp. Defense / 60 Speed
Blade Form Base Stats: 60 HP / 150 Attack / 50 Defense / 150 Sp. Attack / 50 Sp. Defense / 60 Speed
Aegislash has emerged as one of the single most threatening Pokemon to come out of the new batch we received this generation, and it's not hard to see why once you inspect it, but it does take some understanding first. Defensive Stance Aegislash has defenses comparable to Deoxys Defense, with better defensive typing that lends it 3 immunities and a whopping 9 resistances, and with a single command, this can be switched to an offensive beast comparable to Deoxys Attack, with a better offensive typing, a boosting move that doubles it's Attack (with Deo-D defenses until it uses an attacking move), access to a STABed priority attack, and a Protect-esque move in King's Shield that not only prevents damage, but reverts it to Shield Form and drops the Attack of any foe that tries to land a contact move, and Sacred Sword to for coverage.
While it's not hard to see why Aegislash is often one of the most feared Pokemon in the metagame, it is a bit harder to see the faults of this Pokemon, but rest assured, they're there. First, in Attack form, Aegislash has very pathetic defenses, which drop to base 50 each. While this can be mitigated by King's Shield returning it to defensive form, this is not only predictable, but can land Aegislash in situations that end up getting it Will-O-Wisped or setup on, both of which can put Aegislash on the losing end of the battle. Secondly, Aegislash has four moveslot syndrome like nobody's business, being able to do entirely too much very well to fit into four moves. These problems are what you make of them, though, as Aegislash is very diverse and can easily run multiple different sets depending on what your team needs.
|Aegislash@ Leftovers / Life Orb|
Brave nature (+Attack, -Speed)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Attack / 4 Defense
Sacred Sword / Iron Head
This has been the flagship set since the birth of X/Y, though not necessarily the best (since they all accomplish different things), and it's easy to see why. Swords Dance allows Aegislash to double it's frightening Attack stat to 876, which is... absurd, really. From there, Shadow Sneak is your main STAB, ignoring Aegislash's low Speed and dealing heavy damage to anything that doesn't resist it. Speaking of resisting Ghost, Sacred Sword grants you perfect neutral coverage alongside Shadow Sneak, but Iron Head can be used as a secondary STAB that hits much harder than Shadow Sneak, at the loss of some important coverage.
King's Shield rounds out the set by ensuring that you can revert to Shield Form immediately if needed. This is especially useful when a fast threat that resists Shadow Sneak comes in to target Blade Form's low defenses. This can allow Aegislash not only a turn to restore Shield Form's high defenses, but a turn of Leftovers recovery. Beware, however, that King's Shield does not protect from status moves, and this can be used to the opponent's advantage to fire off a crippling status such as Will-O-Wisp or Spore.
The item choice depends on preference. Leftovers provides greater bulk and survive-ability, while Life Orb adds even more destructive force to Aegislash's attacks at the cost of 10% health per attack.
Brave nature helps you to ensure you take a hit in Shield Form when using Sacred Sword.
Quiet nature (+Sp. Attack, -Speed)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Sp. Attack / 4 Attack
Iron Head / Sacred Sword
This Aegislash forgoes a boosting move in order to run a bulky mixed set that eliminates usual physically defensive checks and counters. King's Shield allows Aegislash to revert to Shield Form and pose a threat to physical attackers with contact moves. Shadow Ball is your main STAB this time around, dealing massive damage to any physically bulky switch-ins such as Gliscor, Skarmory, and Hippowdon. Shadow Sneak makes a return in this set, bypassing the even lower Speed stat of this set and picking off weakened threats. Iron Head fills the last slot as your secondary STAB to deal with Fairy types, as well as Pokemon that resist Ghost. Sacred Sword is an option again, providing good coverage alongside Ghost type moves, but isn't as essential on this set as the last due to this set aiming to act as a tank and not a sweeper.
As this Aegislash isn't trying to sweep on it's own, partners with good defensive synergy can be helpful. Rotom-W covers both Fire and Ground type moves that Aegislash becomes a target for. Klefki is a decent team-mate, resisting Dark while providing entry hazard support and possible Paralysis/Screen support, all of which Aegislash appreciates greatly.
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 88 HP / 252 Attack / 168 Speed
Sacred Sword / Iron Head
Aegislash is very capable of running a Double Dance set of sorts to good effect, fixing his low Speed issue while also being able to double his terrifying Attack stat to create a fast and powerful sweeper. Depending on the opponent's team and what Pokemon they have remaining, choosing the right time to boost the right stat is crucial. Against a fast, offensive team, Automatize may be the best option, allowing you to outspeed and knock out their fast but frail threats. But against a slow, more defensive team, Swords Dance will help you score some crucial KOs, especially with the help of entry hazards.
As for offensive moves, Shadow Claw is your best STAB, with Sacred Sword providing perfect neutral coverage. Iron Head is an option over Sacred Sword, however, to be able to hit with two STAB moves, though you lose out on some coverage.
This particular Aegislash works well on more offensive teams. The surprise value can catch switch-ins off-guard, giving you valuable time to setup a boost or two, which can open the way to sweeps. Be sure to eliminate any counters before attempting a setup, though, as Pokemon like Landorus-T, Gliscor, and Hippowdon will end your sweep pretty quickly without you accomplishing much at all. Once again, Rotom-W makes a wonderful teammate that can easily deal with any of these.
|Aegislash@ Spooky Plate / Life Orb|
Quiet nature (+Sp. Attack, -Speed)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Sp. Attack / 4 HP
This set is meant to serve as a powerful wall-breaker. By running no boosting move and no King's Shield, Aegislash has enough move slots open to run every offensive move it needs. Shadow Ball hits extremely hard and wears down common physical wall switch-ins that Aegislash faces. Shadow Sneak provides a powerful STAB priority move to finish off weakened opponents. Iron Head provides a physical STAB to deal with special walls. Finally, Sacred Sword gives you perfect coverage, as well as allowing Aegislash the means to reliably beat Dark, Steel, and Normal opponents.
This set appreciates entry hazard support, as it can easily turn 3HKOs into 2HKOs. Any team that appreciates the removal of bulky walls for sweeping will like having this Aegislash around. The choice between Spooky Plate and Life Orb depends on what you prefer. Spooky Plate doesn't give as big a boost, but it gives Aegislash much better bulk, especially if it has to switch out frequently, which is likely in most games. Life Orb does give a bigger damage output, however, and it's not limited to just Ghost type moves, so make your decision based on what you feel is more important to you.
Honedge can be found in both X and Y in the grassy part of Route 6, allowing fairly early access to what is easily one of the best Pokemon in the game. After evolving at level 35, Doublade requires a Dusk Stone to evolve into Aegislash, which is most easily obtained in Super Training's extra event "Watch Out! That's One Tricky Second Half", if you get a top score, but can also be found in Laverre City, Terminus Cave, and Route 18. Here's what I would recommend for an in-game Aegislash:
King's Shield / Shadow Sneak
In-game, Aegislash doesn't have to worry too much about boosting moves and is better off just functioning as a sweeper, as most in-game Pokemon are. Shadow Claw is an early TM in X/Y and gives Honedge a good STAB move to use from early in the game to the time it fully evolves. Iron Head is a late level-up move, but really helps against Fairy types, which are abundant in X/Y. Sacred Sword rounds out the coverage, allowing you to beat Steel types and other specific threats. The last slot offers a choice between King's Shield and Shadow Sneak. While protecting moves aren't usually that useful in-game, a move that can give Aegislash his defenses back to take a hit before he hits the opponent again can be very useful. The main problem here is that by the time you get Aegislash it may be faster than some other in-game Trainer's Pokemon, making it nearly useless, besides the possible 2 stage Attack drop it can provide. Shadow Sneak can provide an extra hit to finish off those faster threats , which is often enough to finish off an opponent after one of your stronger attacks.
Like I've said before, Aegislash is an easy contender for best Pokemon in the game, in terms of battling. Stance Change is such a unique ability and forces prediction on both sides. It can fit on nearly any team with little-to-no support, and can perform well almost every single time. Honestly, the list of counters to this Pokemon are few and far between until you know what set it's running, and even then, it may be too late for your counter to be able to do just that.
In terms of design, I think Aegislash is pretty cool from a visual standpoint and a creative standpoint. A possessed sword is a pretty cool idea, and Aegislash just looks badass. This is definitely one of my favorites from this generation, and I'm really happy that they decided to be so creative with it. Not everything has to be a little fox, folks!
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Thanks Hahex, fixed! Glad you're enjoying the article everyone! Hey Richard, Jackal and I found something interesting on the Hero's bane set. If you hold a weakness policy and SD on a suspected super effective move, you gain more attack. I Know it's gimmicky, but it's pretty cool, and it works! So many Zelda Puns