Moltres, The Flame Pokémon. A legendary bird Pokémon. As it flaps its flaming wings, even the night sky will turn red. If this Pokémon is injured, it is said to dip its body in the molten magma of a volcano to burn and heal itself.
One of the first legendary trios, Moltres has been a fairly popular Pokemon that always seems to be shifting in viability over the years, never having one consistent location like its counterparts Articuno and Zapdos. Competitively, Moltres has had a hard time, lacking tools to stand with its brothers in standard play and constantly facing competition with Charizard who is faster and has a lot more options to choose from. However, Moltres stands out in its home tiers with its massive power and good coverage, highlighting just how dangerous an offensive Fire-type can be. Currently Moltres resides in Smogon UU and finds itself barely squeaking by in similar tier levels in other formats, but it maintains a niche in standard play as a defensive pivot that isn't weak to Fighting- and Ground-type moves like Heatran.
Pressure - Opponents uses 2 PP instead of 1 - Great defensively as it can quickly wear down the count on moves such as Fire Blast and Hurricane, and it provides solid utility overall on something with good recovery.
Fire Blast and Hurricane are the primary moves Moltres will use as both are high base power STABs, plus Hurricane has a high confusion rate when it hits. Roost is nice to help keep Moltres around even with hazards cause it can switch into Scizor with ease and Roost up damage. Last spot is flexible, U-turn is nice to maintain offensive pressure as it can just switch out on something coming in such as Mega Aerodactyl. Defog can bring utility to the team but Moltres isn't the best primary Defogger for your team however. Finally Agility can let Moltres clean up late game.
The offensive spread is straightforward, and Flame Body is chosen since the 30% burn chance is more likely to make a difference than Pressure burning PP on an offensive set. Flyinium Z is the preferred Z-Move here so that Moltres has a reliable Flying-type STAB for one turn, and Flying-type in general is a very deadly offensive type.
Finding its home on Stall teams, Roost is key to help Moltres stay around and check threats such as Tapu Bulu and Cobalion. Substitute works hand in hand with Roost as it allows Moltres to dodge status moves and helps stall out Pokemon it would otherwise struggle with such as Tyranitar, Kyurem Black, and Mega Aerodactyl lacking Aqua Tail due to their low PP attacks. In lower tier formats, Substitute isn't needed as much and can be switched out for Toxic for damage on tanks, while Will-O-Wisp can cripple physical threats trying to switch in safely. Roar can also be considered as it prevents Pokemon such as Lum Berry Haxorus from boosting on it. Defog is mandatory in standard 6v6 formats as it helps keep hazards out that can be set by threats that force out Mega Sableye. Flamethrower is the only attacking move but is key to checking Mega Mawile, Cobalion, and Breloom.
The given EV spread optimizes Speed so that Moltres can set up a Substitute on as many foes as possible. Dropping the Speed to 240 EVs and adjusting to 208 HP / 60 Def allows Moltres to take a Thunder Punch from Mega Mawile, though this is not relevant in all formats. You can also drop Speed slightly more depending on the format if you really want to optimize for more bulk, but that's up to you.
Choice Specs - As stated in the cons Speed section, Moltres isn't a great Choice Scarf user, however Choice Specs is different. Choice Specs Moltres is one of the best wallbreakers in lower tier formats as not much can safely take a hit from that STAB combination. Blissey is the best option but needs to be healthy to safely take it on, and Assault Vest Snorlax is decent with Thick Fat for Fire Blast, but Hurricane is the real killer of the set and punches holes for teammates like Mega Pidgeot.
Hazard Control - Does this need to be said? Losing 50% health from Stealth Rock sucks, especially without Regenerator like Ho-Oh. Latios and Latias are good Defoggers and can check Terrakion and Keldeo quite well, while Starmie is in a similar spot with Rapid Spin. Rotom Wash and Rotom Cut are great defensive options as they help check some of the big threats that Moltres can be worn down by, such as the Mega Charizards and Garchomp, while having Defog and Volt Switch to keep the tempo on your side.
Gyarados - Mega Gyarados is on of the best checks to Moltres due to typing and use of Taunt to prevent Will-O-Wisp. This with its high Special Defense means Fire Blast barely tickles and Hurricane generally doesn't hurt too much, all while threatening with a powerful Water-type STAB.
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
All Content is
Pokémon And All Respective Names are Trademark & © of Nintendo 1996-2019