Alakazam - RBY OU

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Introduction

Alakazam is an exceptionally potent threat in RBY OU by virtue of its incredible Special and Speed. It's also quite flexible in how a player can use it, often being seen as a lead or late-game sweeper. The lead role is most commonly seen, thanks to being among the fastest viable Thunder Wave users, and possessing the strongest Psychic. This allows it to pressure its common checks quite well while providing a 50/50 off the bat. Alakazam's Special stat isn't something one should ignore, as this enables it to also act as a strong sponge for the rampant Special attacks of tier, though the HP stat makes it risky. Alakazam's Speed also makes it possess a strong critical hit rate, giving it a good chance to just muscle past would-be checks. It also makes it easier to wake up, making it a good Sleep absorber, which coupled with the aforementioned Special sponging, makes it fairly decent against Exeggutor. This can also apply to Gengar and Lapras, as it doesn't have a Thunderbolt weakness like Starmie. Outside the lead slot, Alakazam becomes a deadly cleaner once its checks have been removed. This requires keeping it in the back though, and if paralyzed, the strategy often falls apart. This is, in part, due to strong physical attackers like Tauros, Snorlax, and Rhydon exploiting its low Defense. It's also very reliant on Psychic, which makes it have issues muscling past Chansey, or even Slowbro if it's started using Amnesia. Overall, Alakazam is among the best RBY OU threats, but its vulnerability to physical Attackers and paralysis keeps it out of Big 4 levels of viability.

Sets

Standard

Alakazam
- Psychic
- Seismic Toss / Reflect
- Thunder Wave
- Recover

Set Details

This is the set you can expect when seeing Alakazam. Its role changes based on the second moveslot; if it's a lead, expect Seismic Toss, and otherwise it's likely to be a cleaner. Lead Alakazam is almost guaranteed to cripple something with paralysis or big damage from Psychic, as it's exceptionally fast, which lets it pressure leads well. Gengar will often switch out, as Psychic is a guaranteed 2HKO, severely crippling it. This is often to Chansey, who can sponge the Psychic well, while also turning into an amazing Sleep blocker if it's paralyzed, making it a massive headache for Exeggutor until it's KOed. Alakazam mirrors are fairly common at the start of a game, which often consists of exchanging Thunder Waves and then exchanging Seismic Tosses. A player could try to get the opposing Alakazam to a specific HP number where Recover will fail, this being 58 HP or 19%. Two Seismic Tosses and a Psychic will leave a fresh Alakazam at this golden number 10% of the time. On a Recover turn, players tend to bring in a physical attacker to try and pressure Alakazam more effectively. Switching out is a bit of a difficult game though, as your Alakazam should stay above 80% to avoid a 2HKO from Exeggutor's Double-Edge later. This strategy can also apply to Starmie, but it should be approached with caution; the rare Surf, coupled with Starmie's critical hit rate, can severely hurt Alakazam. It should be noted that with Special drops and/or critical hits, Chansey can be forced out, making Alakazam one of the few Special attackers capable of this. As such, Alakazam is very capable of spreading paralysis throughout a game.

Outside of crippling opposing leads and forcing switches, Alakazam is also good for absorbing status, namely sleep and paralysis. In this case, Alakazam's health should be watched carefully; staying healthy is pivotal to efficient sleep absorption in particular. It's almost mandatory to run Seismic Toss on lead Alakazam, as this allows it to pressure Chansey, Exeggutor, Starmie, and rival Alakazam. This greatly boosts Alakazam's attacking PP as well, making it less vulnerable to PP stall from Chansey. It also allows Alakazam to be significantly more effective at pressuring Starmie should it lack Surf or Psychic, which can sometimes force Alakazam out. However, Alakazam is vulnerable to physical attackers should it absorb paralysis, which enjoy trying to come in on a predicted Recover. This does have counterplay though, as sneaking in a Psychic or Thunder Wave can potentially allow Alakazam to stay in and threaten them.

Alakazam isn't reserved to the lead slot, though. It's possible to hide Alakazam until the late game and attempt to clean up once its checks have been KOed or crippled. In this case, Reflect is a strong option, reducing its attacking PP in exchange for a much better matchup against physical attackers. However, paralysis is a very pressing threat to its sweep, leaving it vulnerable to a potential Tauros revenge kill. It's also possible to cut the sweep off through critical hits from Zapdos or Tauros, or just blowing up on it. Explosion and Selfdestruct, should they fail to KO, can still open up Alakazam to an unparalyzed Tauros, which can lead to an unorthodox, but effective, revenge kill. Should these risks be too much, Alakazam can still use Seismic Toss, which allows it to beat Starmie and other Psychic-types a bit more consistently.

If using Alakazam as a sweeper is desirable, the entire team should work on taking down Alakazam's checks prior to revealing it. This includes resists such as Starmie, Exeggutor, Slowbro, and opposing Alakazam. Chansey should be treated as a pseudo-resist in this case, as while Alakazam can definitely muscle past it, it's far from a guarantee and the threat of Thunder Wave shouldn't be ignored. Tauros should be put in range of Psychic (42.7% minimum) to avoid its critical hit rate and Body Slam paralysis chance as well. This can be achieved through a Tauros mirror, as two Body Slams will put it in range for this. A Blizzard from Cloyster can also put Tauros into a very favorable range. Should all else fail, almost any Explosion or Selfdestruct should put Tauros into range for a Psychic KO. Alakazam should avoid paralysis at all costs, as the reason it's capable of being a cleaner is because of its Speed.

Other Options

Recover, Psychic and Thunder Wave should almost never be removed, as these are what make it so effective in the first place. While Alakazam's movepool is shallow, it does have relevant options it can make use of.

Counter would be the first choice. While Alakazam's HP and Defense make this initially look awful, it's very effective when considering its mechanics. Forcing out a threat after one of your Pokémon has been KOed with Hyper Beam or Explosion can allow Alakazam to deal absurd damage to the incoming check, possibly OHKOing it. This is also effective against Seismic Toss users, such as opposing Alakazam or Chansey.

Kinesis is also effective for forcing threats such as Chansey and Slowbro out, though the accuracy is a bit unreliable. Its value against Ice Beam Chansey is notable though, effectively reducing the chance of being frozen. This makes PP stalling it a bit less risky as well. There isn't much utility outside of this though, often making Alakazam significantly more vulnerable to threats like Starmie.

While initially weak, Psybeam can be used alongside Psychic Special drops to deal respectable damage. In fact, it deals just a little bit more than a normal Psychic while potentially confusing the foe. The PP is also equal to Seismic Toss, providing Alakazam with more PP to use over prolonged games. However, without Special drops, the damage is a bit negligible, making it a suboptimal move to click a lot of the time.

Should winning against opposing Alakazam and Jynx be important, Hyper Beam can be used to end them early. Four Psychics against an opposing Alakazam puts it in range for a Hyper Beam KO every time. For Jynx, three will put it in range guaranteed. However, outside of these niche scenarios, Hyper Beam can be seen as a detriment, as it otherwise deals negligible damage.

Checks and Counters

Physical Attackers: Tauros, Snorlax, and Rhydon can all exploit a weakened and/or paralyzed Alakazam and KO it with strong STAB moves. While Reflect can make this better when using Alakazam in the back, they still remain significant threats. They should switch in on a predicted Recover so as not to be crippled with paralysis or big damage, though. Rhydon has a bit more leeway if Alakazam has been paralyzed, as it's immune to Thunder Wave. Snorlax deserves particular note, as it can shrug off a Psychic should it not drop Special, and doesn't care too much for paralysis.

Exeggutor: Exeggutor can come in on Alakazam and immediately try to put it to sleep, which is quite relevant on Turn 1. It's also notable for resisting Psychic and threatening paralysis through Stun Spore. It's also capable of using Double-Edge to 3HKO Alakazam, or even Hyper Beam to KO from 52.7%. However, Exeggutor will likely have to take a Thunder Wave and Seismic Toss when switching in, greatly reducing its longevity. This can make the play less desirable, as it makes it much worse at checking Rhydon later. However, if Alakazam switches out in fear of status, putting what's likely a Chansey to sleep without taking damage gives a huge advantage. Should Alakazam not be concerned with paralysis, however, Exeggutor struggles to pressure Alakazam. This is because Recover allows it to stall out Double-Edge while Exeggutor takes recoil damage. As a result, in prolonged exchanges, Exeggutor will very likely be forced to Explode.

Slowbro: Alakazam really struggles with Slowbro, as it resists Psychic and threatens with paralysis. Should Alakazam be paralyzed, Slowbro can set up Amnesia, eventually outspeed it, and KO with Surf. This is also relevant if Alakazam switches out, as Slowbro can effortlessly pick up an Amnesia. However, Seismic Toss can force Slowbro to Rest earlier, allowing the Alakazam player to switch in Electric-types like Zapdos or Jolteon. This can lead to Slowbro being forced out by threat of critical hits.

Starmie and other Alakazam: Both Starmie and Alakazam resist Psychic and are only 4HKOed by Seismic Toss. However, it can really swing either way, with Special drops and full paralysis determining who wins the exchange. Seismic Toss is important to wear them down to force a Recover, which can allow you to get a better situation through switching into a better check, like Snorlax.

Chansey: Alakazam, like every Special attacker, is effectively checked by Chansey. Chansey is a fairly big threat, acting as a pseudo-resist to Psychic while threatening with paralysis. It can also pressure Alakazam with Seismic Toss, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt. Sometimes, Chansey will try to fish for a freeze with Ice Beam should it opt not to paralyze Alakazam. This forces Alakazam to Recover should it choose to stay in, allowing Chansey to switch into a physical attacker. Chansey tends to lose prolonged exchanges, however, due to Alakazam's excellent critical hit rate and Psychic's Special drops. Untimely full paralysis can also hamper Chansey should it have absorbed it earlier in the game. Ergo, forcing out Chansey with Alakazam is very possible. In a Turn 1 scenario, it's common to see Chansey switch in to absorb a Thunder Wave to block sleep later, and sometimes even use Sing to try and put it out of commission.

Jynx: While rarely used as an Alakazam check, Jynx is capable of pulling it off. Similar to Alakazam and Starmie, it resists Psychic and is only 4HKOed by Seismic Toss, allowing it to try and stall with Rest. However, after two Seismic Tosses, a critical hit Psychic will KO 43.6% of the time. This approach to checking Alakazam is quite passive, and the Alakazam player can always switch out to try and threaten Jynx with physical Attackers. As such, this is only really done in simplified situations, usually in the late game.


Author: Plague von Karma
Quality Checked by: mmf and Disaster Area
Grammar Checked by: Eseque
Publish Date: 6th October 2020

Alakazam - RBY 1U

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Introduction

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Sets

Standard

Alakazam
- Thunder Wave
- Psychic
- Seismic Toss / Ice Punch / Thunder Punch
- Recover

Set Details

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Other Options

Reflect

Checks and Counters

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Author: Melanie
Publish Date: 7th June 2020

Alakazam - Violet

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Introduction

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Sets

Standard

Alakazam
- Psychic
- Recover
- Thunder Wave
- Seismic Toss

Set Details

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Other Options

Counter, Reflect, Tri Attack, Toxic

Checks and Counters

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Author: Disaster Area
Publish Date: 10th June 2020

Alakazam - NC97

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Introduction

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Sets

Double Team

Alakazam
Level: 55
- Psychic
- Seismic Toss / Toxic
- Double Team
- Recover

Set Details

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Thunder Wave

Alakazam
Level: 52 / 55
- Psychic
- Seismic Toss / Reflect
- Thunder Wave
- Recover

Set Details

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Other Options

Dig, Mimic, Psybeam, Rest. Substitute in Poke Cup.

Checks and Counters

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Author: zalarye
Quality Checked by: Plague von Karma
HTML by: Plague von Karma
Publish Date: 13th November 2020

Alakazam - NC98

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Introduction

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Sets

Counter + Substitute

Alakazam
Level: 30
- Psychic
- Thunder Wave
- Counter
- Substitute

Set Details

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Other Options

Double Team

Checks and Counters

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Author: Plague von Karma
HTML by: Plague von Karma
Publish Date: 9th November 2020

Alakazam - NC99

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Alakazam - Petit Cup

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Alakazam - Pika Cup

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Introduction

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Sets

Counter

Alakazam
Level: 20
- Psychic
- Seismic Toss
- Counter
- Thunder Wave

Set Details

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Other Options

Other Useful Moves

Checks and Counters

This analysis is a placeholder with a sample set. If you want to contribute new analyses for the site, contact Disaster Area on Discord.

Author: Beelzemon 2003 and FriendOfMrGolem120
Quality Checked by: Plague von Karma
HTML by: Plague von Karma
Publish Date: 27th October 2020

Alakazam - RRIB

Type:   Normal
 
Tier:   OU
HP:   
Attack:   
Defense:   
Special:   
Speed:   

Introduction

Alakazam remains a strong pick in Rose Red/Iris Blue, with its great 120 speed and 135 special allowing it to be a powerhouse while still having good utility options. However, a lot of competition has caught up to it. The buffs to bug type Pokemon and attacks make absorbing Paralysis a risky task for Alakazam, and the rise of Dream Eater teams makes brainlessly absorbing sleep or poison dangerous as well. Furthermore, many special attackers gained strong mixed offensive tools, notably flying-type attackers like Moltres and Articuno, that can prey on Alakazam's weak physical bulk. In short, Alakazam is still a strong pick but now it can't be used as brainlessly as standard RBY.

Sets

Offensive Utility

Alakazam
- Psychic
- Recover
- Thunder Wave
- Seismic Toss

Set Details

Some things never change, and Alakazam's strengths are certainly one of them. Spread paralysis with the threat of a Psychic backed by powerful 135 special, and use Seismic Toss against opposing psychic types that resist your attacks.

Other Options

Reflect can be used to try tanking physical hits and weaker explosions. Counter can catch a normal-type attacker by surprise, but the rise of other physical attacking types makes this less useful.

Checks and Counters

Butterfree: The dedicated anti-psychic Pokemon can comfortably switch into Alakazam, threaten sleep or paralysis, and heal off damage with Leech Life.
Bug-type attackers: From speed demons like Beedrill to bulky tanks like Parasect, many physical bug types can scare off Alakazam.
Bulky physical attackers: If Alakazam is paralyzed, then bulky attackers like Snorlax can threaten a lot of damage.
Dream Eater: A poisoned or sleeping Alakazam is now susceptible to getting hit by a 180 bp ghost-type attack.

Author: Kurai
Publish Date: 24th July 2020