Jolteon (Tradebacks OU) [QC 1/2] [GP 0/2]

Plague von Karma

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I think this one is a bit scuffed but it's better than never happening. Also, stan RG Jolteon.


Jolteon stands out as one of the few Pokemon able to definitively stop Zapdos's rampage upon Kanto, resisting its STAB moves while having the capacity to beat it in a flat one-on-one. Tradebacks have, however, allowed it to monopolise this with Growth, making Zapdos an outright liability. Otherwise, Jolteon remains largely the same: Having the highest Speed just behind Electrode also gives it one of the highest critical hit rates in the game, standing at 25.39%, which distinguishes it as a strong special attacker. Crucially, this also means it outruns tier-king Tauros while threatening it with Thunder Wave, a trait shared with very few Pokemon, namely Alakazam and Starmie out of the OU-viable picks. Thus, Jolteon will frequently get off uncontested paralysis that forces predictable plays out of the opponent, clawing back momentum very quickly. Finally, Jolteon possesses interesting physical coverage in Double Kick and Pin Missile, which gives it the potential to specialise in matchups against Chansey or Exeggutor, respectively.

However, while it counters Zapdos, like the thunderbird, Jolteon is also countered by Rhydon, which means teams featuring Jolteon will often come across similar weaknesses. Being Ground-weak also doesn't bode well for it, as it means Pokemon like Tauros can still exploit it if it gets paralyzed, which frequently happens in the matchups Jolteon comes across. In fact, Jolteon is frail in general, taking significant damage from any Body Slam thrown at it. Its damage output outside of Thunderbolt is also quite meagre and reliant on its critical hit rate, which makes Jolteon quite inconsistent.

name: Standard
move 1: Thunderbolt
move 2: Double Kick
move 3: Thunder Wave / Growth
move 4: Rest / Growth

Set Description

Thunderbolt is Jolteon's bread-and-butter, 2HKOing Pokemon like Cloyster, Starmie, Slowbro, and usually Lapras. It can rarely 2HKO Vaporeon as well, though Growth can help it climb out of KO range. Double Kick allows Jolteon to 2HKO Chansey specifically, as well as damage Rhydon in some way. Thanks to Double Kick, Rhydon can no longer switch in at around 36%, but remains very uncomfortable even at half HP should it land a critical hit. Thunder Wave lets Jolteon threaten Pokemon like Tauros and Persian, forcing them out and setting up a sweep for its teammates. Rest lets Jolteon consistently counter Zapdos, as well as give it a long-term advantage against Chansey. Chansey can't actually beat Jolteon head-on without Seismic Toss, but even this isn't consistent, and two critical hits or repeated full paralysis are all Jolteon needs to beat it with Double Kick. However, it should be noted that Jolteon tends to let Tauros and other heavy damage-dealers in once it Rests, so it may be worth swapping out to a Pokemon that forces them out to pre-empt these tactics.

However, Tradebacks gives Jolteon an option that makes it feasible to use it as a set-up sweeper: Growth. Growth gives Jolteon significant dividends, turning most of Thunderbolt's 2HKOs into outright OHKOs, even 2HKOing Snorlax at +2, at the cost of fearing paralysis. However, Thunder Wave or Rest have to be dropped, both of which bring different drawbacks. If Thunder Wave is unnecessary, Growth can instead be used alongside Rest to get increased set-up opportunities while still checking Chansey and Zapdos. However, it also loses all ability to contest fast attackers like Alakazam, Persian, and Tauros, though once set up, it isn't always an issue. Rest can be dropped instead to ensure it maintains early-game utility, but it loses its consistent Chansey and Zapdos matchups and has decreased set-up opportunities. Regardless of the dropped move choice, Growth warrants serious consideration for its serious reward when it fires off.

Jolteon is best kept in the back until either Zapdos reveals itself, a need to break through Chansey reveals itself, or a sweeping route has been established. Jolteon finds entry routes on Zapdos and non-Seismic Toss Chansey quite easily should Thunder Wave be a discounted possibility, and otherwise doesn't mind coming in via smart double switches. Alternatively, Jolteon can be used as a lead, aiming to paralyze whatever is in front of it and force the opponent to make a difficult decision out of the gate. However, Jolteon dislikes getting paralyzed early itself, and sleep leads will disable it for what could be the rest of the game. Jolteon is best used on teams that are weak to Zapdos, namely those that stack Water-types. Thus, teams featuring Cloyster, Starmie, Slowbro, and Vaporeon all make valid partners. In return, they will stifle a Rhydon team's attempts to stop Jolteon. Exeggutor makes a good partner in this department as well, being one of the most consistent Rhydon switch-ins in the game while also firing off Sleep Powders and Explosions to cleave open opposing teams.

Other Options

When customizing Jolteon, its fourth move is usually the first to go. This means forfeiting a consistent Chansey matchup or a consistent sweeping opportunity, and thus doing so should be approached with caution and careful teambuilding.

Pin Missile is a valid, albeit inconsistent option to cover Exeggutor, but requires some luck for Jolteon to actually win before it gets Sleep Powder off. Lack of STAB, uncertain accuracy, and high damage variance means that while it does average out at a 2HKO when factoring in critical hits, whether it actually happens is another ballgame, and the punishment for not is a disabled Jolteon. In the case Jolteon is being used as a lead, Pin Missile is recommended to ensure it doesn't let Exeggutor in early.

Agility can be used to ignore the Speed drop from paralysis, but Resting and switching out usually does the job just fine in conventional game states. Body Slam helps Jolteon more consistently contest Exeggutor while spreading paralysis and damage at once, but the latter is pitiful and doesn't really help Jolteon. Headbutt, however, not only benefits from Jolteon's Speed but also synergizes with Thunder Wave, allowing Jolteon to utilize a "paraflinch" set to score cheap KOs. However, this is a bit RNG-reliant and doesn't advance Jolteon's core game plan. Thunder is a niche option to use alongside Thunderbolt, which can OHKO Cloyster, as well as 2HKO Alakazam and Snorlax at +1, but its unreliable accuracy makes Jolteon's consistency a bit dubious.

Checks and Counters

**Exeggutor**: Exeggutor dislikes facing the inconsistent Pin Missile, but without it, Jolteon can't fight Exeggutor at all, as it resists Thunderbolt and Double Kick. Exeggutor can threaten in return with fierce STAB Psychics, Sleep Powder, or even Stun Spore.

**Rhydon**: A Rhydon at full HP is the bane of Jolteon's existence, forcing it out with the threat of an OHKO from Earthquake with only Double Kick to fear. Now, this fear is valid: Rhydon can't switch in repeatedly, with two Double Kicks dealing 30.8% minimum. One critical hit can skyrocket the range to 43.9%, so if Rhydon is at half HP, it is very uncomfortable having to switch in again.

**Snorlax**: Snorlax doesn't want to fight a Growth Jolteon, but if it has Earthquake, it is perfectly capable of beating Jolteon quickly. Even without this, its STAB Body Slam deals serious damage and can potentially paralyze Jolteon, ending its run quickly.

**Paralysis**: Jolteon is a fragile, fast Pokemon, which makes it one of the Pokemon most debilitated by paralysis. Rest can erase the baleful yellow magic, but Jolteon still needs to switch out to remove all its effects, and it doesn't always run this. Ergo, Pokemon like Alakazam, Starmie, Chansey, Zapdos, Slowbro, and Stun Spore Exeggutor variants all force non-Rest Jolteon out, and majorly inconvenience Rest Jolteon.

- Written by: [[May, 236353]]
- Quality checked by: [[Torchic, 43049], [, ]]
- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
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Lead Jolteon should run Pin Missile for 4th slot.
In general Thunder Wave should be a slash move in Tradebacks, for example Growth + Rest can work, you are also not restrict to Growth setup + Rest heal gameplay, you can utilize those moves depend on the situation respectively. For example when you switch into a +1 Vap, Vap can 2HKO non-boost Jolteon 2/3 of the time with Surf so you want to Growth. And for later game you may want Rest to deal with Chansey/Zapdos.
Thunder should be mentioned as an option but you still need to have Thunderbolt at the same time tho.

QC: 1/2
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