Welcome to the thirty-seventh issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This week we'll be discussing a polarizing and somewhat controversial Pokemon introduced to us in Hoenn. This week we discuss Gardevoir.
Ralts uses its horn to sense the emotions of people and Pokemon around it. It hides if it senses hostility. It only appears before humans with kind hearts. The cheerful spirit of its Trainer gives Kirlia energy for its psychokinetic power. This power enables it to distort the space around it and see into the future. Gardevoir will expend all its Psychic powers to create a black hole to protect its Trainer. It can also predict the future, and uses this power to ensure the safety of its Trainer.
Base Stats: 68 HP / 65 Attack / 65 Defense / 125 Sp. Attack / 115 Sp. Defense / 80 Speed
Gardevoir has always been pretty mediocre. Being a frail Psychic type without enough Speed to deal damage with its strong 125 Sp. Attack left it outclassed by many Pokemon, such as Alakazam, Azelf, and Latios, to name a few. Generation 6 has gone to great lengths to make Gardevoir stand out by granting it Fairy sub-typing, and it could not have asked for more. Removing the weakness to Dark while simultaneously giving it a STAB that hits Dark Super-Effectively is wonderful for it. Unfortunately, this brought some new problems with it. Gardevoir's now weak to Steel, meaning Scizor can come in and Bullet Punch it to death in one shot. The stats still aren't wonderful, but Gardevoir was also blessed with a Mega Evolution that I'll discuss in the Mega Evolution section.
|Gardevoir@ Choice Scarf|
Timid nature (+Speed, -Attack)
EVs: 252 Sp. Attack / 252 Speed / 4 Sp. Defense
Healing Wish / Trick / Memento
Equipped with a Choice Scarf, Gardevoir's Speed issues are remedied, making her faster than nearly every unboosted Pokemon in OU. Moonblast is the main STAB attack here, providing very good neutral coverage and Super-Effective coverage on many important threats such as Dragonite, Garchomp, Latios, and Medicham. Psyshock is chosen as the secondary STAB because Psychic would be largely redundant alongside Moonblast, but Psyshock's ability to hit the opponent's physical Defense gives Gardevoir the opportunity to deal with Assault Vest Conkeldurr, while also dealing with Mega Venusaur, and dealing more damage to Chansey and Blissey. Focus Blast is for Steel types, as well as for Tyranitar, who takes more from it than it would from Moonblast. The unreliable accuracy and low PP of this move should be taken into account when choosing, but Gardevoir has no other choice for this slot.
Healing Wish is generally the best option for the last slot. Sacrificing Gardevoir when its use has expired to full restore another Pokemon can bring a game from un-winnable to shifting the tide in your favor. Be careful about when you use this, however, as using it too early can be a waste, and neglecting to take advantage of it at the right time could find one of your other key Pokemon fainting before you've had a chance to restore it. This requires careful planning, so always keep the opposing team in mind and determine which of your Pokemon need to stay alive for your success. Trick is an option here as well, and it will completely cripple common Gardevoir switch-ins such as Chansey, Blissey, and defensive Heatran. It comes at a price, however, as Pokemon with Mega Stones will block Trick entirely, and losing the Scarf makes Gardevoir terribly slow for OU, allowing it to be killed much more easily. Finally, Memento is an option to cripple an opponent and allow a teammate to setup a boost and sweep. Good examples of teammates that could take advantage of this are Dragonite, Talonflame, or Azumarill.
Trace is one of the best abilities in the game, and provides Gardevoir with many opportunities to switch in and sometimes force the opponent to switch. Some handy things you might be able to nab are Dragonite's Multiscale, Gyarados's Intimidate, or Heatran's Flash Fire, just to name a few. This is by far her best ability for OU singles, so don't even consider Synchronize or Telepathy.
Base Stats: 68 HP / 85 Attack / 65 Defense / 165 Sp. Attack / 135 Sp. Defense / 100 Speed
With the absense of Aegislash in OU, Mega Gardevoir has risen as one of the premier threats in OU. The combination of Pixilate and Hyper Voice makes her one of the strongest special attackers in the OU metagame, and she's extremely difficult to switch into. Access to Focus Blast means that everything is hit for neutral with Psychic/Fairy/Fighting. The biggest difference here is her buffed Speed - 100 is a decent Speed tier to have for OU and the buffed Sp. Attack and new Fairy move really make her a force to be reckoned with. Her HP and Defense stay the same as her original form, however, making her a frail target, and while 100 is a good Speed tier for OU, it's nowhere near the best, and many common threats will outspeed her, such as Talonflame, Greninja, Landorus-Genie, and Gengar. Even so, her raw power leaves most things 1-2HKO'd, and unlike Mega Medicham, her main STAB has crazy power without a chance of missing.
Timid nature (+Speed, -Attack)
EVs: 232 Sp. Attack / 252 Speed / 24 Defense
Focus Blast / Hidden Power Ground
Taunt / Will-O-Wisp
Mega Gardevoir is one of the strongest special attacking threats in OU, and is incredibly hard to switch into. Pixilate turns Normal type moves into Fairy type moves and gives them a 1.3x boost in power, giving Hyper Voice a base power of 117, before accounting for STAB. Your secondary STAB is Psyshock, dealing physical damage off Mega Gardevoir's powerful Sp. Attack stat. Focus Blast is for Steel types, but Hidden Power Ground is a more reliable method of removing Heatran, dealing slightly more damage without the chance of missing. It does less to most other Steel types, however, so think carefully before deciding.
The last slot provides utility, because there really aren't any other offensive options that it needs. Taunt stops it from being crippled by status attacks, and shuts Chansey down. Will-O-Wisp, on the other hand, cripples many common switch-ins such as bulky Mega Scizor while providing a pseudo Defense buff that Mega Gardevoir greatly appreciates.
Mega Gardevoir greatly appreciates Wish support to keep itself alive, as well as Defog or Rapid Spin support. Magnezone is an option if you want to trap Scizor and other Steel types with 4x weakness to Fire and KO with Hidden Power Fire. It also puts pressure on any Choice Band Scizor that could Bullet Punch Gardevoir for an easy KO, since Magnezone would immediately come in and revenge-kill it, or worse, come in on the 4x resisted Bullet Punch and KO without losing Gardevoir. Conkeldurr makes a great physical attacking partner as well, since it switches into Chansey for free, with a possible Toxic activating Guts, and Seismic Toss damage being negligable with Conk's Drain Punch and Wish support from something else. Sticky Web support is nice to have, but not necessary. Paralysis is more beneficial, since Defog is very common, and most Sticky Web users are pretty mediocre or bad choices.
Ralts can be found on Route 4 in Kalos, and from there you only have to level it up to 20 for evolution, and 30 for Gardevoir. Here's what I'd recommend for an in-game Gardevoir:
Thunderbolt / Shadow Ball
Gardevoir is very straightforward in its usage in-game. Moonblast provides the strongest special attack it has access to, while Psyshock deals physical Psychic damage and is more useful in this case than Psychic would be. Focus Blast is your only option for damaging Steel types, but may require some PP Up's and patience with the unreliable accuracy. Thunderbolt fills out the final slot as a filler attack that deals powerful damage against many common Pokemon. Shadow Ball is a usable alternative filler for damaging Psychic types more than anything else you have, while also dealing Super Effective damage to Ghosts.
I've made no attempt to hide the fact that Gardevoir is one of my favorite Pokemon. The bond between a Trainer and Pokemon is special, and Gardevoir's willingness to do anything to protect their Trainer is an admirable quality. I love the design, and I love the Mega Evolution's design. Unfortunately, the internet exists, and has not been kind to Gardevoir's existence. Just make sure to turn safesearch on when you Google Gardevoir. ._.
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