Guide to Support Moves in VGC 2017 #1: Tailwind

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Welcome to a new series I'm doing. The goal is to talk about support moves within the VGC 2017 format. My hope is that you'll learn about the available Tailwind setters, as well as the ones to keep your eye on when in a battle and they bring out a Pokemon capable of using the move. Hope you enjoy and let's begin.

Basic Knowledge
Tailwind is a supportive flying type move that when used, doubles a Pokemon's speed for 4 turns after its used, though the turn it is used counts as one of those turns so you'll only have 3 turns to use it. The move has 15 PP (Power Points) and you can max it up to 24. It has no accuracy so its a safe bet to go for the move if needed. When used in conjunction with the Flying type Z-Crystal, it will boost the critical hit ratio by 1.5

Why use this Move?
Tailwind is a great move as it provides some great speed control for a team. The ability to help a slow Pokemon like Sylveon or Rotom-Wash outspend some fast Pokemon like Mega Salamence (base 120) and Mega Gengar (base 130) can turn the tide of a battle and put it in the favor of you. An interesting thing you can do that if pulled off correctly, can really put you in a favorable position is on the very last turn of Tailwind, set up Trick Room so your slow Pokemon can continue putting out major damage before the opponent. Bear in mind that fast Pokemon like Gengar wouldn't benefit from this so its best to do it when need be and is a way you can really start turning the battle in your favor more and more after each turn.

Now, I want to talk about all fully-evolved Pokemon that can learn Tailwind in VGC 2017. Sadly, without the full range of move tutors we had in the past, if the only way a Pokemon can learn Tailwind is through move tutors, I won't cover it, which mainly leaves out Crobat.

1) Butterfree 
If we're going to be honest, I don't see Butterfree being to effective this season. Its mediocre sub-par bulk in 60/50/80 means it won't be taking many hits and will need a Focus Sash to do anything, but you may need the Focus Sash on another member of the team so Butterfree will just slowly be moved off the team. Its a base 70 speed Pokemon, but even if it oupseeds something, it may not even be able to do anything after using Tailwind.

2) Aerodactyl 
Aerodactyl has the potential to be a really good Tailwind setter thanks to its base 130 speed. This means it's one of the fastest Pokemon in the format, and thanks to that, setting up Tailwind turn 1 is really promising. Also, being a Rock type, this means it can threaten all other Tailwind setters, which all share the flying typing besides Smeargle.

3) Ledian 
Like Butterfree, Ledian shares the same problem of bad typing, terrible bulk, and the slot it could feel would be better suited for a different Pokemon that can do its job, but better. It has the same issues as Butterfree, which is honestly, why it may never have a real impact in VGC or competitive Pokemon in general.

4) Smeargle
The dog that had a profound impact on the 2016 format is back. Its job as a Tailwind setter will be largely dependent on the rest of the team, but as a Tailwind setter, it could do a decent job. Even though it has terrible bulk, it's Moody ability can largely define how useful it'll be. If it gets the right boosts, it can take some strong hits and still keep standing, but if it gets the wrong boosts, it'll get weaker and easier to knock out.

5) Murkrow 
Murkrow is defined by the Eviolite item. The reason is because Murrow's 60/42/42 bulk is absolutely terrible, but as a Pokemon that has the potential to evolve and can take advantage of the Eviolite, it can get really bulky. If it can do this in combination with its Prankster ability, setting up Tailwind will be a breeze.

6) Pelipper 
Pelipper could be a really good Pokemon this format, thanks to its Drizzle ability it just got access to in Sun & Moon. Thanks to that, it'll be a Pokemon to watch out for, but it's mediocre bulk and decent offensive stats may turn it from a terrible Pokemon with no redeemable factors to a real team player.

7) Drifblim 
Drifblim is a pure supportive Pokemon that'll use Minimize cause that's what it does best. If it can use Minimize properly and dodge the right moves, then setting up Tailwind will be a breeze. If it can't, it's massive HP stat and terrible bulk will be its downfall.

8) Honchkrow 
As a Tailwind setter, Honchkrow may be a sub-par user. Its base 71 speed is subpar, but it's 100/52/51 bulk is very weak so it may struggle to set-up Tailwind, but if it can, it can at least use its 125 attack stat to cause major damage.

9) Whimsicott
Probably one of the best Tailwind setters in the game, Whimsicott’s Prankster ability will allow it to use Tailwind right away so if it faints the same turn, it can at least go down knowing it accomplished what it needed to do, which was use Tailwind and threaten disruption.

10) Mandibuzz 
In singles, Mandibuzz was great at providing support to a team through Defog to remove entry hazards and then cause a decent amount of damage. In doubles however, I feel it may be a decent Tailwind setter because of its impressive 110/105/95 bulk, which means it could take a hit and dish out a even better hit.

11) Talonflame 
Talonflame is a good Tailwind setter … until it takes only the slightest amount of damage and losses its Gale Wings ability, which only works now when it's at full HP. Because of this, it's best to have Talonflame use Tailwind right away so it can at least get it off guaranteed before it gets damaged and losses its ability.

12) Toucannon 
Toucannon is essentially a Talonflame a better attack stat, bulkier, but much slower than Talonflame. If it can set up Tailwind, then it could start to help its team out, but with still being frail and slow, it may not get the chance to accomplish that.

13) Oricorio
The final Tailwind setter in VGC ’17, Oricorio is very frail and its 70/98 attacking stats mean it won't hit hard, but it does have a 93 speed stat, meaning it's in an awkward speed tier, but it'll probably be just fast enough to use Tailwind. Hopefully it's Dancer ability will give it the right boost to do more than use Tailwind and faint.

How to beat Tailwind?
  • Trick Room – By using Trick Room when your opponent has Tailwind setup, you'll turn there fast team into the ultimate issue for them.
  • Fast & Powerful Damage – By causing a ton of damage quickly, you can essentially put them into a awkward position by the time Tailwind wears off.
  • Protect – What I mean is to use Protect every other turn to essentially only give them one turn to cause damage.
  • Taunt – If you can Taunt them before they use a Tailwind, then it won't even be a factor in battle.

I hope you enjoyed this. Check out my older content and I'll see you next time with a brand new article. Bye.


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