Across various forms of media, including television shows, a trading card game, and many video games, the Pokemon franchise has become a dominant force in the gaming industry. All of their shows and game series include pocket monsters of different elemental types. Each focuses on being proficient in different combat techniques and strategies.
Psychic-types in video games are known for their much higher than average Special Attack and sometimes Special Defense. They also have some unique ways to utilize their stats with appropriate high base-power moves and versatile abilities. However, not all Psychic pokemon fit the mold of special sweeper or special wall like the more popular picks in competitive gameplay. Some get overlooked for their average stats or lackluster movepool, however, a pokemon's true strength is determined by the planning and forethought of their trainer.
Once a king of the battlefield in Generation I Pokemon games due to Psychic-types having no real counter back then, Alakazam has been picked less and less for competitive battles these days. They are quite frail, so it usually only takes an attack or two for them to be knocked out.
However, due to their remarkable Speed base stat of 120 and Special Attack stat of 135, it is the archetype of the special sweeper strategy. Able to learn devastating Psychic-type moves via leveling up like Future Sight, as well as heavy-hitting ones from other types like the Ghost move Shadow Ball and the Fighting-type Focus Blast, grant this spoon-wielding wizardly warrior many ways to annihilate opposing teams by themselves if left unchecked.
Despite being a cute, little flying pixie, Azelf has great potential in battle if one knows how to utilize their strengths. Their subpar HP and defensive stats limit how effective they can be for protracted conflicts, and their middling Speed of 70 does them no favors when trying to outspeed their foes. These two things combine to mean that Azelf won't ever last very long in battle.
The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Azelf doesn't need to remain in a battle for more than a couple of turns to be of worth. As a lead, Azelf would be expected by opponents to buff themselves before doing anything, or possibly immediately launching an attack because of their excellent Attack and Special Attack stats of 125 each. None would expect them to unleash two of the least considered moves for a Psychic-type. The hazardous Stealth Rock on turn one for guaranteed switch-in damage and Explosion on turn two for a devastating surprise.
Hatterene suffers from minuscule HP, which makes their decent Defense of 95 and adequate Special Defense of 103 substantially less useful in providing them combat longevity. They also have abysmally low Speed at 29, making them one of the slowest Psychic pokemon ever. As a point of comparison, Slowbro has a base Speed stat of 30.
However, this silent pokemon boasts outstanding Special Attack with 1 base point more than Alakazam at 136. Their typing, being part Fairy, grants them access to two of the best offensive Same Type Attack Bonuses (STAB) as well as moves that can capitalize on this, such as Psychic and Dazzling Gleam.
Adorable pokemon are accordingly seen as non-threatening, however, judging a book by its cover is never a wise decision in battle. Jirachi is a beast hidden behind a cute face and misleading lore. Anyone who has faced them in combat will have many tales to tell of being locked down and beaten into submission by this cherubic Steel and Psychic-type.
Their ability, Serene Grace, bestows all of their suitable attacks with double the chance to activate their secondary effects. With this, Jirachi has double the chance to cause a foe to flinch with Zen Headbutt while simultaneously doing damage. Since they can also learn Thunder Wave via Technical Machine (TM), they can combo these two moves for a lockdown maneuver that can dominate most opponents.
Allegorical blobs representing cell division make an odd concept for a Psychic-type pokemon, although Reuniclus ended up being a unique-looking pokemon with some unique skills that make it very usable in battle. A very low Speed stat of 30 and middling defensive stats results in this multiplying pokemon getting picked off quite easily by the stronger Dark and Bug-type attacks.
However, Reuniclus can learn Trick Room, which lets its low Speed become a strength, almost guaranteeing them the opportunity to move first in the following few turns. All they need to do is tank at least one hit with their 110 base HP stat on the turn they set up Trick Room and on the next, they can begin slamming foes with heavy-hitting moves that take advantage of their excellent Special Attack stat of 125.
Xatu originates from the Generation II games, and even back then it was overshadowed by other Psychic-types for their unimpressive Special Attack of 95 as well as many other Flying-types for their Speed of the same number.
Where this mystic shines is in their ability to manipulate status ailments during the course of a battle. Of their three potential abilities, two focus on doing so: Synchronize causes the foe to be afflicted with whatever status ailment is applied to Xatu, and Magic Bounce reflects status moves to their sender to give them a taste of their own medicine.
There are few Psychic pokemon as versatile as Starmie, though their stats betray their usability. They often get overlooked due to their 100 base Special Attack paling in comparison to those of other Psychic-type sweepers. With most of their other stats failing to break 100, they at first seem like a sub-par version of other options. However, this is only until one looks at their Speed and movepool.
With 115 points of base Speed to work with, Starmie can outspeed many adversaries. This combined with their plethora of excellent special moves such as Psychic, Hydro Pump, Blizzard, as well as Electric-type attacks like Thunder, make this star-shaped pokemon an unpredictable and effective lead.
Originally an Ice and Flying-type, the legendary pokemon Articuno has gained a Galarian variation in the second Pokemon Sword & Shield expansion, Crown Tundra. This new form has swapped their Ice typing for Psychic, giving them a whole new way to battle.
There are many players who are skeptical about this pokemon's strength, making it almost never used in the current meta-game. This may simply be due to how new it is, for it has many battle-worthy boons. It may not be as fast as it could have been, though their 95 base Speed is not entirely useless. Especially when paired with their 125 base Special Attack and great moves like its signature Freezing Glare, which does decent Psychic-type damage while also having a 10% chance to freeze the target.
With an expression that sometimes results in their eyes looking in different directions, Bronzong is understandably hard to identify as a threat. Regardless, their typing as both Steel and Psychic grants them a unique niche. They function better as a wall because of solid Defense and Special Defense stats of 116 each, further enhanced by Steel-types' natural resilience.
The quality it gains the most from being part Psychic is easy access to certain status moves like Light Screen and Reflect, which half the damage taken by enemy special and physical attacks respectively. Teaching a Bronzong with these moves Toxic can create one of the toughest stall-strategies in the meta-game.
Much like their fellow Psychic and Flying-type Xatu, Sigilyph's Special Attack (103) and Speed (97) get eclipsed by their brethren in both types. Don't be fooled by this, though, because this totem-like pocket monster can set up and unleash one of the most devastating boosting-plays in the entire franchise.
Firstly, use their naturally learned move Cosmic Power to buff their Defense and Special Defense simultaneously. Continue to do this while healing with Roost when needed. When their defenses have been maxed out, use Stored Power, which can be learned via TM, to unleash tremendous damage that gets boosted by all of Sigilyph's accumulated buffs born from Cosmic Power. For some perspective, with the 12 total boosts gained at max Defense and Special Defense, Stored Power will have more base power than Explosion.
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