In the Meta: Vivillon
(Pokeball and Fancy Pattern not Pictured)
There’s an old saying in the Kalos region. “When life gives you Scatterbugs, make Vivillons.” With so many varieties (40 Including Shiny variants) there is no lack of these colorful butterflies to brighten up your PC or battlefield with. With an elegant flair for some cool moves with nice ability synergy, Vivillon can actually hold its own, and even sees adequate play in Doubles and tiers as high as UU. Vivillon is a powerhouse coming in enough varieties to be made by Bradbury Chocolates. So grab your Vivillon, and let’s get the vivid on.
Abilities and Items:
Concerning Vivillon’s abilities, basically go with Compound Eyes. There will an exception later on that deserves a fair mention for doubles using Friend Guard. Otherwise, Compound Eyes greatly increases the viability of Vivillon in synergy with its move pool. Concerning its held item, the general spiel takes import here. Focus Sash works well due to its lack of defensive prowess. Variants using the move Substitute greatly benefit from Leftovers instead. On sets focusing on offensive prowess, Sharp Beak and Life Orb both present valid reasons for their usage. If Hurricane is the only offensive move, use Sharp Beak instead of Life Orb.
Concerning moves, the two most important are Hurricane and Sleep Powder. Hurricane, normally a disappointing 70% accuracy gets boosted up to 91% accuracy with Vivillon’s Compound Eyes ability. With a delightful 30% confusion chance and a remarkable 110 BP with STAB, this is the best offensive move Vivillon has. Sleep Powder provides fungibility for Vivillon’s usage by granting turns to either deal damage, set up, or escape from the opponent. Normally 75% accuracy, Sleep Powder boosts to 97.5% accuracy with the effects of Compound Eyes.
The next most used move after those is usually Quiver Dance, taking nice synergy with Hurricane’s high BP and Sleep Powder’s status infliction. Quiver Dance should only be used if attempting to abuse Vivillon as a sweeper in singles. In support roles, Tailwind should be the other choice.
Fourth Move Slot:
The last move slot depends on which tier you are running Vivillon in. Bug Buzz is its next highest STAB attack, but a move like Energy Ball helps to deal with Vivillon’s greatest counter in Rhydon, and surprise unsuspecting pokes like Seismitoad and Quagsire. If you’re willing to put in the effort, Hidden Power Ground possesses great synergy with Hurricane, as it hits most things which resist Flying-types. If the Hurricane synergy isn’t what you’re playstyle needs, consider running Substitute as a safe alternative. Combined with Sleep Powder and the held item Leftovers, the durability and harassment of this Vivillon can be truly monstrous. On Focus Sash Vivillon, another Fourth Slot choice is Endeavor to help your team deal with what you couldn’t. Sort of a last ditch effort, but works effectively on teams with any sort of priority.
Vivillon really has a place in this format, and seems to have been built for it in every way except for defensively. With Compound Eyes, Sleep Powder and Hurricane both have the potential to shut down the opponent. Protect works well on the Compound Eyes variant to negate some damage while your team mate abuses the Sleep Powder you likely set up the turn before. Tailwind is a beautiful support move to complement this whole spiel for obvious reasons. The nice thing about using Tailwind with Vivillon is its own ability to abuse the extra speed for attacking.
If this aggressive variant isn’t what your team is quite looking for, consider switching the entire playstyle and ability. Friend Guard Vivillon may seem pretty gimmicky, but can be very useful in the early game. Giving up the accuracy boost can be rough, but 25% damage negation on your team mate is huge, especially if they’re a sweeper and need turns to set up. Able to use the priority move, Rage Powder, allows Vivillon to redirect attention to itself to serve this exact purpose in a dire scenario. To further assist this scheme, common opponents like Rotom-Heat and Megazard Y can be decimated by Vivillon’s signature move, Powder. This causes Fire-type moves to literally blow up in their user’s faces (25% damage and attack negation), and the best part is that it has priority. Added, there is no Fire-type priority attack to prevent this. Tailwind should definitely be used to further support your team. For the last move, Vivillon can risk using either Sleep Powder, or try running Light Screen. Also, Protect is never a bad choice on Doubles teams. For more info on Rage Powder / Follow Me, check out SublimeManic’s Double Trouble article on Redirection.
252 Sp. Attack / 252 Speed / 4 Defense or 4 Sp. Defense
Timid Nature (Speed is needed)
Friend Guard Support
252 HP / 252 Speed / 4 Defense or 4 Sp. Defense
Timid or Jolly Nature
Revenge killers and priority users are a must on Sweeper Vivillon teams. In NU, Seismitoad works well due to its resistances to Rhydon’s Rock Blast. Be wary against Magic Bounce users due to the importance of Sleep Powder. Bring Bug Buzz if you want an easy prediction against these. Powerful Physical Sweepers can work in tandem with Vivillon. Carracosta is a good example of one of these. On Doubles teams, try powerful Pokemon like Megazard X or Mega Heracross to fully abuse Tailwind’s potential and Vivillon’s other support moves. All the Rotoms tend to have nice synergy with the butterfly.
Once you’ve selected a color scheme, the choices still don’t end with this happy insect. Able to pack a punch and rival the sweeping power of its rivals like Butterfree and Venomoth, Vivillon bestows a good name to 6th Generation Pokemon. Always abuse the power of a nearly perfect accuracy Sleep Powder if you can, and whisk the opposition aside with an adorable storm of Hurricanes. Vivillon isn’t not a fair-playing opponent, and some may say it is Dex #666 for a reason. Remember this Puclonians, and your Vivillon will be the very best.