Espeon, The Sun Pokémon. It unleashes psychic power from the orb on its forehead. When its power is exhausted, the orb grows dull and dark. It can instantaneously sense its opponent’s movements by feeling air currents with its fine fur.
Espeon is a Pokémon that was almost immediately popular in Gen 2 solely by virtue of being one of the many evolutions of Eevee. Popularity isn't the only thing Espeon has going for it though, since it also was lucky enough to have the Eevee evolution stat spread distributed very well for an effective special attacker. While Espeon's offensive movepool and bulk leaves a little bit to be desired, it has plenty of unique tools like Magic Bounce and Baton Pass that set it apart from otherwise superior Psychic-types such as Tapu Lele and Hoopa. Espeon still suffers from the so-called power creep of newer generations though, so while it isn't a bad Pokémon by any means, it struggles to keep up with the top threats each generation and continues to slowly fall out of favor in the competitive environment. Not all Eevee evolutions are lucky enough to be competitively viable though, and while it might not be the one that's adapted best to the newer generations it's certainly not a bad choice for a team member.
Synchronize: When this Pokémon becomes Poisoned, Paralyzed, or Burned, so does the opponent. However, Fire-type and Water Veil ability Pokémon cannot be Burned, Poison-type and Steel-type and Immunity ability Pokémon cannot be Poisoned, and Limber ability Pokémon cannot be Paralyzed. This isn't a particularly bad ability, but it depends entirely on Espeon itself being hindered in some way and it definitely isn't the kind of Pokémon that can afford to be afflicted by any status.
Espeon functions fairly well as a Calm Mind user despite its poor physical bulk thanks to Magic Bounce. Psyshock is typically the preferred Psychic-type move on a Calm Mind user since it allows Espeon to stand a chance against opposing Calm Mind users that will otherwise boost against it without fear. Morning Sun gives Espeon a reliable healing move to keep itself healthy and set up more safely, though be mindful of the low PP and vulnerability to weather aside from Sun. Dazzling Gleam provides great coverage with Psyshock and prevents it from being completely walled by Dark-types, though it leaves it walled by Steel-types. Shadow Ball is useful for hitting other Psychic-types and Ghost-types harder though it doesn't really help against Dark-types. Hidden Power Fire provides the best coverage against Steel-types but doesn't hit anything else very hard. Running two coverage moves over Morning Sun is an alternative, though this makes it more difficult for Espeon to set up.
Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment ensures Espeon hits as hard and fast as possible, while a Timid nature is used to take full advantage of its Speed tier. Leftovers helps Espeon stay healthier while setting up so that it doesn't rely entirely on Morning Sun for recovery, while Magic Bounce protects it from status moves. A bulkier spread is a viable alternative though the specifics will usually depend on the format since Espeon lacks the bulk to make a simple 252 HP spread a reliable option.
Espeon has the offensive stats to function well as a Choice Specs user, despite having a bad typing for a choiced attacker. Psychic is a better primary STAB move than Psyshock on a choiced set since the extra power is usually more useful when Espeon won't be able to continually boost its Special Attack further. Dazzling Gleam is Espeon's best way of hitting Dark-types and is also useful against Dragon-types. Shadow Ball provides great neutral coverage and most importantly prevents Steel-types from completely walling Espeon, though this won't necessarily let it break through bulkier ones. Trick lets Espeon permanently shut down a defensive foe for the rest of the battle since no defensive Pokémon wants to be locked into a single move, though it does not work against Z-Crystals so its reliability has fallen a bit this gen as a result. Psyshock is an alternative as a secondary STAB move to hit special walls like Blissey and Chansey if the risks of Trick are too worrying for you.
Maximum Special Attack and Speed investment ensures Espeon is taking full advantage of its great offensive stats, while Timid nature ensures it can outspeed as many foes as possible. Choice Specs allows Espeon to function as a wallbreaker which it allows it to make immediate use of its Special Attack and solid Speed tier. Magic Bounce is still the preferred ability on this set since reflecting status moves is always better than copying status after being afflicted with it.
- Grass Knot can be used on the Choice Specs set to hit heavy Water-, Rock- and Ground-types harder than Psychic would, but Grass Knot is typically a really bad move to be locked into.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Espeon has not been one of the most common Pokemon in recent VGC formats, but it has had its roles, especially against one of the biggest annoyances in VGC. Even though it could not protect its teammate, Espeon's Magic Bounce would reflect Dark Void from opposing Smeargle back onto both opponents, turning the tables on one of the most frustrating moves in VGC. Thankfully, Dark Void has been severely nerfed, and cannot even be used by Smeargle anymore. Espeon's good offensive stats and great ability have still found their way onto many teams in the wide-open format of VGC 2017, especially on teams featuring its pre-evolution. .
ESPeoN: The Worldwide Leader in Pokemon
-Psychic / Psyshock
One look at Espeon's stats and it appears to be a very offensive Pokemon. With the same base special attack as Tapu Lele and a great base 110 speed, Espeon can be a strong attacker. This set maximizes that potential, although unfortunately it does not have Psychic Surge (which essentially gives Tapu Lele a Choice Specs boost to its Psychic-type attacks) or a secondary STAB. Magic Bounce is still a great ability to bounce back status moves aimed at Espeon. Timid nature with maximum speed outspeeds up to Kartana and Alolan Ninetales, while the item choice boosts Espeon's already impressive special attack stat.
Psychic is Espeon's typical strong STAB move, while Psyshock is slightly weaker, but hits the opponent's physical defense, which can be useful against a Pokemon like Nihilego. Shadow Ball covers ghost types, while Dazzling Gleam hits for spread damage and can hit dark types super-effectively. Protect is arguably the best move in doubles and necessary if using Life Orb, but Psyshock can be fit alongside Psychic if using Choice Specs.
Now for some fun! Espeon typically is not the first Pokemon that Eevee will Baton Pass boosts. Rather, after Eevee passes into a bulky sweeper like Tapu Fini, Espeon comes in and utilizes its good speed stat to copy its teammate's boosts with Psych Up.
Magic Bounce is still fantastic to block Thunder Wave or other moves that could mess up your sweep. Espeon can run a wide range of EV spreads depending on its teammates and support Pokemon, but this specific spread allow Espeon to outspeed max speed Unburden Drifblim after getting to +2, meaning that it is just about the fastest Pokemon in the format. Additionally, before the boosts, Espeon can outspeed Adamant Arcanine and Modest Tapu Lele, and survive a Life Orb Thunderbolt from Timid Tapu Koko. The Aguav Berry (or any "pinch" berry that heals 50% of its health without causing confusion) will restore 50% of Espeon's health, which can make it very difficult to take down after receiving the boosts. Maximum special attack is honestly overkill when you'll be using Stored Power most of the time after boosting, but it does allow Stored Power to OHKO just about the entire format, and Dazzling Gleam's power will be maximized should you need to pick up a double KO.
Again, Stored Power is what is going to make Espeon so deadly. With all the boosts from Eevee's Z move, Stored Power becomes a base 220 power STAB move. At +2 Special Attack, it can OHKO just about anything. For example, it has a 50% chance to OHKO 252 HP / 0+ SpD Celesteela, and can OHKO nearly any Porygon2 100% of the time. Dazzling Gleam is for Dark types and to give Espeon a spread move. Shadow Ball is an alternative though if you have coverage for those dark types and Metagross causes potential problems. Psych Up again copies the target's boosts, and Protect is arguably the most important move in the format.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Focus Sash can guarantee that Espeon lives any one move. It may not be as necessary if you are investing in bulk, but it can still ensure that Espeon is able to get a support move off or use Psych Up.
Espeon suffers from movepool problems just like the rest of the Eevee evolutions, and with that comes difficulty with Dark-types. While Espeon commonly runs Dazzling Gleam to circumvent this problem, Dark-types otherwise have little trouble taking down Espeon. Alolan Muk in particular is reasonably bulky and is not weak to Dazzling Gleam and can Pursuit trap Espeon, while Tyranitar is bulky enough with the Sandstorm boost to not be too bothered by Dazzling Gleam. Bulky Steel-types in general fear very little from Espeon since it can't do anything to them without Shadow Ball. The likes of Celesteela and Ferrothorn don't really mind anything from Espeon aside from Trick, though they definitely can't afford to be Tricked so they must be wary if Espeon is running Choice Specs. Bug-types such as Pheromosa, Volcarona and Scizor can also give Espeon trouble though the former can't afford to switch in directly and instead relies on its superior Speed. Similarly, any physical attacker that outspeeds Espeon also does fairly well since Espeon's physical bulk is very poor. This also means Espeon is very vulnerable to priority moves which are mostly physical, which makes it very easy to revenge kill it. Espeon relies a lot on defeating foes before it can take hits so in general, anything that can take a hit from Espeon and retaliate is usually bad news for Espeon.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Although many people were skeptical of Z moves when they were introduced, they are now on essentially every team in VGC 2017, and have made a number of Pokemon that were once thought of as "weaker" much more threatening. This is true for no other Pokemon more than Eevee. Eevee's Z move is perhaps the greatest setup move there is, boosting every stat by two stages. With support moves like Follow Me in doubles, Eevee can be a threat to safely Baton Pass these ridiculous boosts to a teammate who can become practically unstoppable. While there are ways to check Extreme Evoboost, Eevee is still an exciting Pokemon to use successfully, and every team needs to be prepared to face it.
This set is Eevee's bread-and-butter in VGC this year. Eevee needs max speed and max HP to outspeed as much as it can, take damage as well as it can, and successfully use Baton Pass to pass a sweeper its boosts. Adaptability is good for the rare opportunities it may need to attack, and of course, it needs the Eevium Z in order to use Extreme Evoboost.
Last Resort is needed to use Eevee's Z move, and Baton Pass passes the boosts from the Z move onto a teammate. Protect is necessary to keep Eevee safe from moves like Fake Out before it can boost. Those three moves are standard, and the fourth move is where Eevee can mix it up. Helping Hand has generally been more common for the situations where Eevee comes in again and can boost its teammate's already strong moves. Quick Attack, however, can help pick off opponents holding a Focus Sash or at very low HP.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Return, Frustration, and Double-Edge are all alternatives in the fourth slot to do a little more damage than Quick Attack, but generally you are probably in a bad spot if it comes down to needing Eevee to attack.
Locations in Games
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