PKMN.NET :: Pokemon of the week #8 - Sylveon :: #8 of Pokémon of the Week - Generation 6 :: Columns
Pokemon of the week #8 - Sylveon by Richard and Blaziken at Sun 23 Feb 2014 05:00:00 UTC

Welcome to the eighth issue of 6th Gen Pokemon of the Week! This week we'll be covering the only new evolution of an older Pokemon we got this generation. This week we discuss Sylveon.

Pokemon Overview

Eevee is a rare Pokemon with an unstable genetic makeup. It tends to evolve depending on its environment. Sylveon is a special case, however, as Eevee is only known to take on this form when it shares an unbreakable bond with a Trainer. Sylveon wraps its ribbon-like feelers around the arm of its Trainer and sends a soothing aura through them, strengthening the bond between the two.

Competitive Corner

Base Stats: 95 HP / 65 Attack / 65 Defense / 110 Sp. Attack / 130 Sp. Defense / 60 Speed

Fairy types are in an odd spot, competitively speaking. Fairy itself is probably the single best type in the game now, and any Pokemon that gets this type added to them is immediately better (except Dedenne, who lacks a special Fairy type attack... why, Game Freak? Just... why?), but many Fairy types are falling into middling tiers. The reason for this becomes apparent when you look at every Fairy type (excluding Xerneas and Arceus): Fairy types generally have a couple really awful stats that hold them back.

So let's take a look at Sylveon. The stat layout is closest to Vaporeon, since all Eeveelutions share the same 6 base stat numbers, just placed in different stats. 95/65/65/110/130/60 (HP/Att/Def/Sp.A/Sp.D/Speed) leaves a lot to be desired in some areas. While the Sp. Attack and Sp. Defense are very good with decent HP to boot, the Defense and most importantly, Speed, are far too low for OU. Hell, even non-Mega Scizor outspeeds you, and it doesn't even have to, given its access to Bullet Punch. Another rather noticeable problem is Sylveon's offensive movepool. Being an Eeveelution is a horrible, horrible curse, granting you very few coverage options. Sylveon gets Psyshock and Shadow Ball, neither of which are particularly wonderful, though the former is a nice surprise for the nearly non-existent OU Poison types.

Sylveon does have the typical Eeveelution support movepool, however, and this is helpful for providing team support in the forms of Wish, Heal Bell, and even Yawn if you so choose. Overall, Sylveon has trouble in the OU tier, but it can be used effectively if it has teammates that help remove troublesome would-be counters.

Sylveon@ Leftovers
Bold nature (+Defense, -Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Defense / 4 Sp. Attack
Hyper Voice
Heal Bell / Roar / Calm Mind / Hidden Power Fire

Look familiar? Yeah, this is pretty much what Vaporeon has been using for the past few generations, only slapped on Sylveon. Wish and Protect keep it alive, with Wish also healing teammates (though not nearly as much as Vaporeon's Wishes). Hyper Voice differentiates it from Vaporeon, however, as it is much stronger than Vaporeon's usual choice of Scald, and has far better neutral coverage.

The last slot has many options. Heal Bell removes debilitating status conditions from the entire team, further providing team support. Roar is a good option alongside entry hazards, especially Spikes, given that Sylveon tends to force switches to Steel types quite often. Calm Mind can turn this Sylveon into a bulky sweeper, but the lack of coverage can be disappointing, and this set generally isn't built to be able to accomplish this. Hidden Power Fire provides some great coverage to roast Scizor and Ferrothorn, but still leaves you open to Heatran. Hidden Power Ground isn't mentioned here, however, since having one slot to exclusively hurt Heatran is pretty pointless on a defensive Pokemon.

Sylveon@ Life Orb / Leftovers
Modest nature (+Sp. Attack, -Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Sp. Attack / 4 Speed
Hyper Voice
Hidden Power Fire / Ground / Fighting
Calm Mind / Wish
Wish / Protect / Psyshock

Sylveon can attempt a sweeper role, but the low base 60 Speed really lets it down. Nevertheless, a bulky sweeper is certainly possible, and having very few weaknesses is a big plus. Hyper Voice is your main attacking move, sporting a huge base 117 power after accounting for Pixilate. Hidden Power Fire puts a huge dent in any Ferrothorn that tries to wall you, with most of them being 2HKO'd by it, and even more being OHKO'd if you manage to setup a Calm Mind first. Ground should be considered as a Hidden Power alternative, however, for destroying Heatran who would otherwise wall you completely. Fighting is the third option, hitting most Steel types in OU for neutral at the very least, and still scoring Super Effective on Heatran and Ferrothorn. The lack of muscle behind it is disappointing, though, as there are very few good Pokemon with a 4x weakness to Fighting.

Calm Mind is the main option for the third slot, boosting Sp. Attack and Sp. Defense by one stage, which can put many Steel types in KO range, depending on your Hidden Power, as well as just making you a harder threat to take down. Wish is another option for this slot, and can pair well with Protect in the last slot, or you can use Calm Mind and Wish together to turn Sylveon into a special tank that becomes absurdly hard to bring down from the special side. Finally, there's Psyshock to consider, for hurting Mega Venusaur and... not much else in OU.

A Timid nature with max Speed can be used here, but it doesn't achieve very much, given that Sylveon's in a horrible Speed tier of base 60, which doesn't have much competition. It does, however, allow you to outspeed most Magnezone and OHKO with HP Ground, or at the very least tie Speed with opposing Timid Magnezone. If they're running HP Fire, you'll always outspeed them with HP Ground, assuming your IV spread is 31/30 /31/30/30/31, which is the ideal IV spread for a Timid HP Ground Sylveon.

Take A Bow
Sylveon@ Leftovers
Pixilate / Cute Charm
Bold nature (+Defense, -Attack)
EVs: 230 HP / 112 Defense / 168 Speed
Baton Pass
Calm Mind / Wish
Hyper Voice / Roar

Sylveon, like every other Eeveelution, has access to Baton Pass. Like I've said, Sylveon's stat spread is most closely related to Vaporeon, and this set functions identically to Vaporeon, with only the attacking move changing. Substitute is essential for any and all Baton Pass chains, preventing status and protecting from damage (excluding sound based moves and Infiltrator Pokemon this generation). Calm Mind is Sylveon's best move to pass, buffing Sp. Defense and Sp. Attack simultaneously.

Hyper Voice provides a powerful STAB option in the last slot, while Roar can prevent the opponent from phazing you out by phazing them out first! The EVs accomplish a specific goal - 168 Speed allows Sylveon to outspeed positive natured base 130 Speed Pokemon at +2 Speed, while the HP EVs allow Sylveon to make the biggest subs while causing the least Stealth Rock damage. The rest is put into Defense to give Sylveon as much physical bulk as possible.

The main problem with this kind of Sylveon is that most Baton Pass teams carry Espeon who does all of this... but also has Magic Bounce and Stored Power. Vaporeon also does this set much better, with Acid Armor instead of Calm Mind, so I'm not really sure why you'd ever even want to use this Sylveon on a Baton Pass team, honestly, but... if you do, this is the set to use!

Spriting Specs!
Sylveon@ Choice Specs
Modest nature (+Sp.Attack, -Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Sp. Attack / 4 Speed
Hyper Voice
Hidden Power Fire / Ground / Fighting
Shadow Ball
Wish / Baton Pass

First off, a very special mention goes to Spriter for mentioning the idea of a Choice Specs set! Sylveon's base 110 Sp. Attack and access to a very powerful move in Hyper Voice makes for a scary powerful special attacker behind the boosted strength of Specs. Hidden Power is a must, and the choice comes down to what you fear most. Fire is generally the most useful, but leaves you vulnerable to Heatran, which can be dealt with by using Ground, which then leaves you open to specially defensive Skarmory and Bronzong. Fighting is nearly a Steel cover-all, so that's another option, though it doesn't hit most of the common Steel types as hard as the previous options. Shadow Ball is chosen in the third slot solely because Aegislash exists... and Sylveon's movepool doesn't.

The final slot is a toss-up. Wish can allow Sylveon to perform a dual-role on the team, and is an interesting mind-game once the opponent figures out you're running Specs early in the game. Most opponents will take the opportunities to switch a resistant Pokemon into an expected attack, only to be met with Wish and you escaping to heal a teammate. Baton Pass is an option, however, for the same reason: once the opponent knows you're Specs and begins switching, you've got time to Baton Pass to a teammate, which can be especially helpful if you use HP Ground alongside HP Fire Magnezone, trapping the Steel types that wouldn't care much about HP Ground.

This set appreciates entry hazards a lot, especially Spikes, as punishing switches to the fullest extent can turn resistant 3HKOs into 2HKOs, allowing you to more comfortably spam Hyper Voice. Keep your Hidden Power choice in mind and build your team accordingly!

In-Game Information

Eevee can be found on Route 10, most commonly in the yellow flowers, and in Friend Safari. From there, evolving it is as simple as having a Fairy type move (Baby-Doll Eyes and Charm both work), having 2 hearts in Pokemon Amie, and leveling up once. Here's what I'd recommend for an in-game Sylveon:


Draining Kiss
Shadow Ball

As I mentioned before, Sylveon is cursed with being an Eeveelution, which gives it an extremely shallow offensive movepool. Nevertheless, it can find 4 moves to put together to form a decent in-game moveset. Moonblast is your main STAB, dealing good damage with the possibility of weakening the opponent's Sp. Attack. Draining Kiss is nice to restore some health against a weakened opponent. Psyshock damages Poison type Pokemon, while Shadow Ball is there because... Sylveon doesn't have many other options.

If you want to breed for Wish, that can be used in conjunction with Protect, but it's largely unnecessary in-game, where you want to just mow through most of the dumb AI opponents.

My Thoughts

Oh boy am I torn on this one. Sylveon is absurdly over-the-top cute. I'm sure it's a matter of opinion, but you can't deny that Sylveon was designed to be cute... but that's also the problem. Sylveon seems designed. It doesn't feel like a natural progression that any animal would make. What kind of evolutionary advantage do asymmetric bows and ribbons provide? Especially the ribbon that tends to wrap itself around Sylveon's front right paw... that would end up causing it to trip more than anything. While all of Eevee's other evolutions make sense to some degree or another, Sylveon comes off as 100% pure fan-service. I just wish I could be more angry about it. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Pokemon Amie.

Digg this! | | Reddit | Stumble Upon | Facebook

Tags: None!

SirBlaziken on Tue 25 Feb 2014 01:13:37 UTC.
Sir, if you need help with evolving one, just trade to me, and wait half an hour.

And this isn't a listed set, but I run:

Sylveon @ Leftovers


252 SpA 252 SpD 4 HP/Def/Spe

Hyper Voice
Calm Mind
Heal Bell
Draining Kiss
SirBlaziken on Tue 25 Feb 2014 01:15:16 UTC.
So basically one of your sets with some modifications.
Richard and Blaziken on Tue 25 Feb 2014 03:28:20 UTC.
252 HP is /much/ more effective on that set, by a significant margin. Draining Kiss is too weak to be considered seriously, in my opinion, and your lack of coverage hinders what the set can actually accomplish before being forced out by a Steel type. If you're going to run that set, switch to 252 HP and pair it with Magnezone to stop Scizor and Ferrothorn from constantly forcing you out or worse, setting up on you.
Guest on Tue 30 Sep 2014 17:25:31 UTC.
I run this: Sylveon @ Life Orb Cute Charm Modest 252 Hp 252Def remainder SpAtt or SpDef Moonblast Calm Mind Protect Shadow Ball I typically pair with Darmanitan.