Salamence, The Dragon Pokémon. When angered, it loses all sense of itself and destroys everything around it. The destruction will continue until Salamence has tired itself out. It flies around on its wings, which have grown in at last. In its happiness, it gushes hot flames, burning up the fields it passes over.
Salamence is a Pokémon blessed in all the right ways. Having not one but two strong offensive abilities, strong offensive stats, and solid typing. Salamence has seen better gens, being a top sweeper in gen 3, banned to Uber gen 4, though not a popular ban, and a high tier sweeper in gen 5 and 6, Salamence still holds into its title as not the beat, but not a sweeper to forget about.
Intimidate- Drops the opposing Pokémon's Attack by one stage - This is just an amazing ability as it forces a switch due to the stat drop. This gives Salamence a free move, which is bad for most opponents as you can boost or nail the switch in
Can't Beat The Classics
Salamence's original set at core, Dragon Dance is a strong boost move furthering Salamence's offensive pressure. Outrage or Dragon Claw is the primary move of the set, hitting a lot for neutral damage with stab. Earthquake is the main coverage, hitting Steels for super effective damage while Fairies for neutral. Fly earns the last slot with the way Z moves work, giving Salamence a Flying stab for the first time since gen 3, easily removing a Dragon sponge. Lastly, while Moxie snowballs hard, Intimidate is better to create more boosting chances.
Unlike Dragon Dance Salamence, Moxie is better while using a Choice Scarf as it allows you to go for a sweep off of a single revenge kill, getting a free "Dragon Dance". Moves follow similarly to Dragon Dance purely because of neutral coverage of Earthquake and Dragon stabs. Outrage is the main Dragon move due to its raw power but Dragon Claw does not have the confusion. Lastly Fire Blast is nice for Steels that tend to be more physically based or the ones that are part Flying such as Skarmory and Celesteela
Mixed - Salamence was once the best mixed dragon on OU due to its 110 Special Attack and, while still strong, its outclassed by Kyurem Black for the most part who has more Attack and a slightly better ability, negating other abilities like Levitate and Sturdy. While still good, it's not what it once was.
Magearna - Being a more tanky partner, Magearna can switch into some of Salamence's threats such as Greninja, Tapu Koko, and other Dragons. Magearna also has access to Volt Switch allowing it to give Salamence a free switch in.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Salamence has had its ups and downs in VGC 2017. Always a great choice in doubles formats due to Intimidate, good stats, and an immunity to ground moves, Salamence burst onto the scene this year utilizing powerful Devastating Drakes. Then…we found out how good Tapu Fini was, and suddenly Salamence’s dragon moves were greatly hindered by Misty Terrain. Salamence’s usage plummeted, but the dragon started to show promise again as the summer rolled around. Bulky Assault Vest Salamence paired with Weakness Policy Metagross became a strong core, with Salamence using Bulldoze to slow down the opponent and activate its partner’s item. Salamence has also seen strong sets mirroring Gyarados, with Dragon Dance and a Z move, typically to use Supersonic Skystrike.
Earth, Wind, and Fire
Salamence fulfills a bulky support set very well, with Intimidate helping its physical defense, and the Assault Vest allowing it to take special hits better. With the Assault Vest and this spread, Salamence can live a spread Blizzard from an Alolan Ninetales plus a turn of Hail damage, two spread Dazzling Gleams from a Timid Life Orb Tapu Koko, two spread Dazzling Gleams from a Modest Tapu Lele, and a Moonblast from a Modest Life Orb Tapu Lele has only a 25% chance to OHKO. Salamence can outspeed anything up to and including a neutral speed nature Pheromosa after a Bulldoze. The rest of the EVs in special attack with a Modest nature give it a bit of power to help pick up knockouts.
Draco Meteor is Salamence’s strongest attack to do significant damage to a threat. A fire type move helps with steel types who resist Draco Meteor, and the choice between Flamethrower and Fire Blast really comes down to whether you want better accuracy or power. Bulldoze is the featured move on this set, slowing down the opponent and activating the Weakness Policy on Metagross (who will not receive a speed drop from Bulldoze thanks to Clear Body). Dragon Tail is very useful to stop Trick Room or certain setup strategies, but if you can handle those well, Hydro Pump is nice for additional coverage against Arcanine or Alolan Marowak, who threaten Metagross.
”I believe I can Fly!”
Non-mega Salamence really misses a valuable attacking STAB type with a lack of strong flying type moves that do not take two turns to use. Z crystals have given Salamence new hope though, even as a one-time attack. Flyinium Z gives Mence access to Supersonic Skystrike to help it provide more offensive pressure. Intimidate weakens physical opponents, while maximum attack with an Adamant nature lets Salamence hit as hard as possible. The speed investment outruns Modest Choice Scarf Tapu Lele after Salamence has used Dragon Dance, and the rest of the EVs are put into bulk (and giving one more point in special defense so opposing Download Porygon2 get an attack boost).
Fly pairs with the z crystal for Salamence’s strongest attack (Supersonic Skystrike can even OHKO a Tapu Koko at +1). Earthquake gives strong spread damage and can hit Pokemon like Arcanine hard, but Dragon Claw is strong STAB as another option. Dragon Dance helps Mence setup similarly to Gyarados to become very fast and fire off a ridiculously strong z move. Protect keeps Salamence safe from Pokemon like Alolan Ninetales while a teammate deals with the threat.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Like mentioned in the opener, a special set w/ Draco Meteor and Dragonium Z was very strong early in the year. This set also typically carries a fire move for steel types.
Revenge Killers - Most revenge killers can easily catch Salamence due to its base 100 Speed even after a Dragon Dance. With the mixed set, Greninja and Tapu Koko can beat due to their high speed.
Mega Salamence further improves on Salamence's amazing stats, giving it more bulk to survive as well as more Speed to help with its average base 100 Speed. All this plus another amazing offensive ability makes Mega Salamence a major threat..
Aerilate - Normal moves are changed to Flying - Salamence continues to get blessed with amazing abilities. Aerilate allows Salamence to abuse its otherwise forgotten Flying type which is really good offensively
Viva la France
With Dragon Dance, Mega Salamence can outpace most of the revenge killers, scarfed wise, that are relevant. This allows Mega Salamence to pressure through most threats abusing its ability Aerilate. Double Edge is the main damage skill, blasting through most threats in tier with ease, while Facade is a nice another move so you don't mind being hit with stats moved, ex switching into Ho-Oh's Sacred Fire. Lastly Roost rounds it out to heal off Double Edge's recoil as well as stats damage as well as help keep around for longer.
Earthquake - An option to be used over Double Edge to allow coverage over Steel and Rock threats that would wall or at least be hard to break through. You do lose out on major damage but the coverage is really nice.
Xerneas- Most of Mega Salamence's checks and counters are easy to set up on for Xerneas, allowing it to go for its own sweep. They do share some checks as well such as Lugia if Xerneas lacks Ingrain, and Scizor
VGC & Double Battle Options
Mega Salamence has been arguably the best mega evolution in every doubles format (even giving Mega Rayquaza a run for its money in VGC 2016). This powerhouse has a great pre-mega ability in Intimidate, followed up with fantastic attack stats, great speed, good defenses, and a useful offensive ability as a mega. Mega Salamence is capable of multiple physical, special, or mixed sets that have dominated VGC 2015 & 2016 in the past, and continue to do very well in Battle Spot Doubles.
Your Worst Flightmare
Mega Salamence is great offensively, and this set thrives in such a role. Maximum speed with a Naďve nature lets it outspeed a majority of all unboosted Pokemon, while max special attack powers up its best move in doubles, Hyper Voice. Mega Mence is still a strong physical attacker even with minimum investment, but more EVs can be added should your team composition need it.
Hyper Voice, despite the small nerf to Aerilate in generation 7, is still one of the best spread moves in doubles, and the move you will likely use most often. Double Edge makes use of Mega Salamence’s great attack, and can hit Pokemon who have lower physical defense. Though it no longer needs a turn to safely mega evolve since it gains the speed boost right away upon mega-evolving in generation 7, Mega Salamence still needs Protect to dodge threatening attacks or stall out your opponents’ speed control. The last slot has a number of possibilities. Tailwind is good for speed control and was a good option in VGC 2016, while Draco Meteor is a strong attack to decimate a target. A fire move to hit steel types that resist your flying moves can also be considered.
Other Options and Team Ideas
-An Adamant nature with a set including Dragon Dance and either Return or Frustration (should you fear a Ditto copying your boosts) can be very threatening to an opponent, especially with redirection support.
Countering Mega Salamence
Zygarde C - Being the best physical wall in Ubers, Zygarde C can just laugh at Mega Salamence's attacks and phase it away with Dragon Tail
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
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