Welcome to the Fortieth issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This week, we'll be discussing a mirage that only a few people have seen worldwide. This week, we discuss Mew.
Once thought to be a myth, Mew's existence has been confirmed sometime within the last decade. When viewed through a microscope, Mew's fine, short, delicate hair can be seen. Mew's DNA contains the genetic code of every Pokemon, which has caused experts to theorize that it is the ancestor of all Pokemon.
Base Stats: 100 HP / 100 Attack / 100 Defense / 100 Sp. Attack / 100 Sp. Defense / 100 Speed
To newcomers of competitive battling, Mew's role must seem very confusing. It can learn any TM, HM, and move tutor move, so certainly these incredible offensive moves should be put to use, right? Right?!
Upon looking at the base stats, you'll notice that they're all base 100, meaning that Mew is certainly good, but Pokemon such as Alakazam outclassed him in terms of raw power, even back in the days of Red and Blue, and these days Mew has even more fierce competition with the like of Latios, Mega Gardevoir, and even Mega Alakazam. While these all outclass Mew offensively, there is certainly no other Pokemon with access to as many supporting options as Mew. Defog, Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, Thunder Wave, Baton Pass, Stealth Rock, the list of support options is vast and scary.
So maybe Mew isn't the all-powerful God Pokemon it was built up to be back in the days where we were literally trying to push entire trucks with our bare hands just to find it, but Mew is special, and it's an indirect threat that can make more terrifying Pokemon more... terrifying.
Impish nature (+Defense, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 152 Speed / 104 Defense
Defog / Taunt
Mew can grant many things to a team that other Pokemon can't claim, and depending on which of the first moves you choose, this Mew plays completely differently, so pay attention! Defog is the first option, removing all dangerous entry hazards from the field. This is one of the best team support options you could ask for, as the ability to switch in freely greatly improves your ability to control the game. Taunt, however, turns Mew into one of the game's best stallbreakers. Taunt will put a full stop to any healing, potential status moves, or any defensive strategies that many defensive Pokemon employ. Softboiled keeps Mew alive and has a big advantage over Roost: it can be used while Gravity is in effect. While Gravity isn't the most common move, it has occasional use and it's better to be safer with Softboiled. Will-O-Wisp is the choice for the third slot, and it's an important one as well. Defog users typically have trouble with Bisharp switching in freely and gaining a Defiant boost when they're hit by Defog, but any Bisharp switching into Mew can have their Attack sliced in half with a deadly Burn from Will-o-Wisp. Still take caution and make smart plays when facing a Bisharp user, but access to this move alone makes Mew far more dangerous to Bisharp, as well as nearly any physical attacker than it would be without it. When choosing Taunt, Will-o-Wisp's use comes in the form of a difficult choice for the opponent: keep their Taunted defensive Pokemon on the field and use an attack, or switch out. Either way, a Burn is constant chip damage that halves the opponent's Attack stat, and if you keep entry hazards on the opposing side of the field, their choice becomes even more difficult.
The final slot is given to Knock Off, simply because it's both an attack and a supporting option. Removing the opponent's item can be crippling to many Pokemon, and ensuring Mew isn't complete Taunt bait is nice. The EVs are set to outspeed Jolly Mega Heracross to be able to Burn it before it attacks, with the rest dumped into defenses. You can drop them down to 32 Speed if all you care about is outspeeding Bisharp and Jolly Tyranitar.
Mew functions best on bulky offense teams as a means of controlling hazards when using Defog, or breaking stall on defensive teams or bulky offense teams with Taunt. Pokemon such as Dragonite, Talonflame, Charizard, and Pinsir are all good offensive teammates that appreciate the removal of Stealth Rock when using Defog. The ability to immediately remove all hazards is a powerful one, but comes with a few hitches. First, Defog will remove any hazards you set as well as the opponent's, so strategic timing of this move is important. Second, even with the investment and ability to heal, Mew is not insanely bulky and can be worn down pretty easily, so try not to use it as a wall. Remember what Mew's goal is on the team and stick to that if possible. Finally, remember that Mew cannot glue a team together on its own, and there will be times when Mew cannot switch in safely to Defog or Taunt, so be sure not to build your team too heavily weak to Stealth Rock on the assumption that Mew will solve all of your problems, or assume that Mew can just switch into Blissey to shut it down without risk.
Bold nature (+Defense, -Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 108 Speed / 148 Defense
Nasty Plot / Swords Dance
Taunt / Substitute
Mew makes a very competent Baton Passer, able to pass any of the boosts a teammate needs to become an unstoppable sweeper. Rock Polish is the first boost, and it's important to ensure whatever you're passing to is allowed to sweep, while also ensuring that Mew can get off a quick pass. Nasty Plot or Swords Dance boosts either of the attacking stats, so which you choose is dependent on what you're passing to.
The final slot has a couple options, and they're important to consider. Taunt puts a full stop to phazing or opposing Taunts, something that would make Mew a heavy burden and liability on the team otherwise, and allows you to freely pass your boosts, but Substitute can pass a beefy cushion to whatever you're passing to and block status. Taunt is generally the safer and better option just to prevent phazing, but Substitute is certainly appealing.
This kind of Mew can surprise an opponent, but the timing on this has to be nearly perfect. If your plan is revealed and fails, it will likely not have a chance to succeed again through the match. Entry hazard support is nice to aid your Baton Pass recipient's sweep. In particular, Stealth Rock is important as nearly every Pokemon will take some % from it, meaning that Sturdy Pokemon cannot survive with 1 HP and phaze you out, ruining what would otherwise be a sweep. The EVs are set to outspeed max Speed base 70 Speed Pokemon by a single point before Rock Polish, though they can be adjusted to meet other benchmarks if you so desire. Bold nature minimizes damage from Foul Play since you're not running Knock Off on this set.
Mew is unobtainable in-game, requiring one of many, many past events. If you are, for some reason, going through the game with Mew, your options are near limitless. Here's what I'd recommend, though:
Aura Sphere / Thunderbolt / Ice Beam
Shadow Ball / Thunderbolt / Ice Beam
Roost / Thunderbolt / Ice Beam / Flash Cannon
What a mess. Mew can learn any TM, HM, or move tutor, so making a set for it is a bit difficult. Psychic is the strongest attack Mew has access to, gaining STAB and good power. Aura Sphere and Shadow Ball provide perfect neutral coverage with Psychic, but Thunderbolt and Ice Beam provide more Super-Effective coverage for less perfect coverage (Magnezone's evolution line will wall you if you go with Psychic, Ice Beam and Thunderbolt, for example). Roost allows you to heal 50%, cutting down on your need for Hyper Potions, while Flash Cannon hurts the many Fairy types X/Y has to offer.
Honestly, though, Mew can learn anything and not factoring IVs and nature into it, Mew's stats are all the same (save for HP, due to the different formula that HP uses with base stats), so it really can do anything you need. For example, I have a Mew that I use as an HM slave with Fly, Surf, Cut, and Strength, so whatever you need, Mew can provide!
Mew is probably the single most important Pokemon in the history of the franchise. Everything lined up so eerily perfectly for it: the internet wasn't as vast and all-encompassing back in the days of Red and Blue as it is now, rumors and hidden content were huge parts of gaming culture, and Mew was included into Red and Blue's code right at the very end, after bug testing was already done, and without Nintendo's knowledge. If they had been asked, there's no way they've have gotten permission, since the games were set to launch too soon to do further bug testing, and if Mew had caused any game-breaking bugs, Pokemon could have been a massive failure.
But as fate would have it, no bugs were directly caused as a result of Mew's inclusion. Mew brought with it a mystery. Rumors, word of mouth, playground conspiracies, the search for an elusive creature that people spoke of, but never saw. This rumor mill would serve as fuel for kids to keep playing, to hunt and search. Then Nintendo confirmed Mew's existence and the hunt became more desperate!
Without Mew, Pokemon would have been a game where you found and captured every Pokemon and then stopped. With Mew's existence within the game, but lack of inclusion, Mew made the Pokemon world feel like more was out there than just what we found, and we would be proven right many times over, for years to come.
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