In the Meta: Eelektross
Slithering, swimming, and swooping into the PUCL spotlight this week is the glorious Eelektross. With its elegant sucker and shocking powers, Eelektross knows how to stun the crowd both figuratively and literally. With a very specific physical and special move pool, combined with the only typing + ability duo making it immune to *nearly* everything you can throw at it, Eelektross has tempted once stalwart abusers of the metagame to throw aside their Talonflames and Ferrothorns to experiment with this slippery denizen of the dark. Ready or not, prepare to rejoice in wild abandon as you are eelectrified.
As previously mentioned, perhaps the most notable feature of Eelektross is the serendipitous overlap of its Electric typing and the ability Levitate. While this certainly won’t be stopping any Mold Breaker Sawks and Druddigons from tasting their share of sushi, immunity to nearly everything is not a trait to gawk at lightly. While Eelektross is normally confined to the world of Rarely Used as defined by Smogon, the possibilities to exploit its unique traits in higher tiers seem limitless to myself. Perhaps its exception Attack AND Special Attack stats have intrigued my inner brewer, thus sparking the construction of various sets useful in only niche scenarios. Alas, however, my insanity is not the topic of this humble article. Rather I shall limit myself to discussing the fungibility of this habitat-confused fish in the RU tier.
Despite its superior Attack stat, Special Eelektross sees much more usage in Rarely Used than a purely physical counterpart. The key move of any Eelektross is what allows it to serve the role as a slow pivot in the early to mid-battle. Special Eelektross tends to be preferred because Volt Switch is significantly superior to U-turn due to additional STAB power. In addition, special moves such as Giga Drain and Flamethrower contribute greatly in assisting Eelektross in the dismantling of many common Pokemon in the tier. For example, Giga Drain for Seismitoad and Rhyperior, and Flamethrower for Durant and Amoonguss. Despite having useful coverage over some areas with these moves, the opponent can abuse the knowledge that you are running a special variant against you. For this reason, it is often wise to splash physical moves into Eelektross sets primarily invested into Special Attack. While the fourth move slot may normally be filled with a powerful STAB move such as Thunderbolt, altering the stat components even slightly allow Eelektross the opportunity to run powerful coverage moves such as Knock Off or Aqua Tail with the former being significantly more viable due to the threat of Calm Mind Meloettas always on the horizon. My Eelektross runs Acid Spray, since I find the opponent will often switch to another Pokemon upon having their stats lowered, at which point I promptly Volt Switch to a counter pick.
If a physical variant becomes preferred, a very different set of coverage options becomes available boosted by the additional 10 base stat points in attack. U-turn for pivoting, Knock Off for support, and Aqua Tail for Rhyperior and Camerupt are the main attacking moves here, with the fourth being left open to debate. If looking for STAB power, Thunder Punch or Wild Charge are not bad options. Otherwise, consider longevity with either Drain Punch or Coil. Keep in mind, that almost no Eelektross are physical because special sets fare better at supporting the team, rather than trying to sweep. Eelektross is awful at sweeping due to its abysmal base 50 Speed.
Concerning items, Eelektross will almost always be holding Assault Vests. Since they rely on attacking moves to support the team, this defensive item greatly boosts its longevity despite its naturally lacking bulk. When picking a Nature, choose either the Modest or Quiet Nature for the special set or Adamant for physical variants. Quiet grants more power to Knock Off and may grant speed ties to you when facing other slow pivots. For EV investment, put everything into the chose
Although Eelektross does not suffer much from entry hazards, an excellent Rapid Spin user for team synergy is generally Hitmontop, since it can temporarily lower the Attack stat of enemies and hit hard on the complementary physical level. Many physical Dragon-types are present in the RU tier, so an excellent way to counter them is with Choice Scarfed Dragons of your own with max speed investment. If this is not desirable, consider using Glalie in your mega slot. Status can really shut Eelektross down, so consider running support Pokemon like Aromatisse to heal burns and the like.
Displayed in both its indecision on whether to fly, swim, or crawl and what types of moves to use, Eelektross is one Pokemon that can’t seem to make up its mind definitively. Nevertheless, Eelektross truly embodies what it means to be a unique Pokemon. Despite its quirks, Eelektross wants nothing more than to help out by scouting out the opponent’s moves and Pokemon before granting the spotlight to its team members. Remember this Puclonians, and your Eelektross will be the very best.