Sylveon

Sylveon, The Intertwining Pokémon. Its ribbonlike feelers give off an aura that weakens hostility in its prey, causing them to let down their guard. Then it attacks. Once a fight breaks out, it will unflinchingly charge at dragon Pokémon that are many times larger than itself. Sylveon wraps its ribbonlike feelers around its Trainer’s arm because this touch enables it to read its Trainer’s feelings.

Overview

Sylveon is one of the most powerful evolutions Eevee has access to. Its good Fairy typing allows it to switch into Dark-, Fighting- and Dragon-type moves while offering cleric support with Wish & Heal Bell, or deal great amounts of damage with Pixilate boosted attacks, despite the nerf on the ability. Sylveon also has a nice special bulk which allows it to take some powerful special attacks sometimes. However, this is where the praise ends for Sylveon. A mediocre defense stat means that almost any physical attack will be powerful enough to 2HKO it or OHKO even with heavy defensive investment. Sylveon also possess weaknesses to Steel & Poison types which make Pokemon like Metagross, Bisharp and Mega Beedrill the bane of its existence. Outside the weak Hidden Power, Sylveon has no way to cut through bulky Steel types like Mega Scizor & Empoleon who can take its boosted Hyper Voices all day. Sylveon also has a terrible Speed stat which means that it will find itself outpaced by a huge amount of Pokemon, that mostly, will have the ability to force it out. In addition, on the current generation, Sylveon is completely outclassed by the Tapus who boast a better stat distribution, a better ability and a helpful secondary typing that makes them really hard not to consider on a team.
Successfully applying Sylveon to a team might be a daunting task, however, play Sylveon to its own strengths and you can find yourself with a Pokemon that will definitely support your team and dish out damage.
Positives
+ Sylveon's Hidden Ability, Pixilate, makes Normal type moves turn into Fairy type and adds a x1.2 boost. This means that, as an example, Hyper Voice (90 base power) turns into a 162 base power attack factoring the Pixilate & STAB boost
+ Sylveon has a nice 110 Special Attack meaning that Sylveon will definitely be able to dish out damage. It also makes it viable to use with a Choice Specs.
+ Base 95 HP & 130 Special Defense gives Sylveon really good special bulk.
+ Fairy is a solid typing and gives Sylveon opportunities to switch into Fighting, Dark and Dragon type attacks.
+ It has an interesting movepool that allows Sylveon to execute multiple roles on a team. It can support its team with Wish & Heal Bell or deal damage with Hyper Voice, Psyshock and Shadow Ball.

Negatives
- A pathetic base 65 Defense stat means that Sylveon will pretty much succumb to almost any physical attack. Even with heavy investment on its HP & Defense stat, Sylveon won't be able to endure these attacks.
- Weaknesses to Poison & Steel means that Sylveon has no chance against Pokemon like Bisharp and Mega Beedrill.
- A base 60 Speed is terribly slow and it makes Sylveon find itself outspeed by powerhouses like Tyranitar and Metagross.
- Outside Hidden Power's weak damage output, Sylveon has no reliable way to hit Steel types that can easily switch into its Hyper Voice and force her out.
- As a Fairy type, Sylveon finds itself outclassed by the 4 Alola Guardians making it really difficult justifying a place on a team.
- Albeit circumstantial, Soundproof completely walls Sylveon as most sets rely on Hyper Voice as its main attack to deal damage.
- Unfortunately, the Z-Crystals don't activate with Pixilate, only accessing Breakneck Blitz without a boost, so you won't be getting massively powerful Twinkle Tackles from Hyper Voice

Abilities

Cute Charm: The opponent has a 20% chance of being induced with Attract when using an attack, that requires physical contact, against this Pokémon. - Like we've mentioned in previous articles Cute Charm just sucks.This ability is unreliable due to its 20% chance to activate, and the fact that this only includes attacks that make contact. Not only that, but it only works on Pokemon of the opposite gender, so it does nothing at all to same-gendered or genderless Pokemon. Cute Charm is a very poor ability all around due to being EXTREMELY unreliable.
Hidden Ability (Available):
Pixilate: Increases the power of Normal-type moves by 20%. It then changes those moves to Fairy-type. - This should always be your ability of your choice. It's essentially a free Life Orb for your Normal Type moves, and turns them into STAB attack as well. Sylveon is the only non-Mega Evolution to get this amazing ability, so always, ALWAYS use it.

Movesets

The Bow of Love

- Hyper Voice
- Psyshock
- Hidden Power Fire / Hidden Power Ground
- Shadow Ball
Item Attached: Choice Specs
Ability: Pixilate
EVs and Nature:
4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature

With a Choice Specs, Sylveon becomes into a deadly special attacker that will deal huge amount of damage to anything that is not a Steel type and/or has a high Special Defense. Hyper Voice is Sylveon’s most spammable move as it becomes a powerful move thanks to Pixilate and it also bypasses Substitutes. Psyshock provides coverage against Poison types like Mega Venusaur and Nidoqueen who can tank boosted Hyper Voices. Shadow Ball lets Sylveon nail Pokemon like Metagross & Bronzong harder while Hidden Power Fire is solely use to smack Scizor & Ferrothorn. Hidden Power Ground is an option if Magnezone & Heatran are a bigger concern.

Maximum Special Attack and Speed EVs allow Sylveon to hit as hard and as fast as possible. However, you can use a bulkier spread in order to let Sylveon tank hits in a better fashion. As a benchmark, 12 Speed EVs should be the minimum Sylveon should invest on Speed as this allows it to outsped min Speed Tyranitar.

A Modest nature is the preferred nature to allow Sylveon deal high outputs of damage which is further bolstered by Choice Specs.

Angelic Ribbons

- Wish
- Protect
- Heal Bell / Hidden Power Fire
- Hyper Voice
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Pixilate
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpA
Bold Nature

In the cleric role, Sylveon makes a fine team supporter with access to Wish and Heal Bell. Thanks to its base 95 HP, Wish becomes a reliable recovery move for Sylveon and its allies. Protect allows Sylveon to scout opponent's sets, Choice items and reliably heal itself. Heal Bell allows Sylveon to get rid of unwanted status conditions on itself and its teammates. If Heal Bell support is not needed, you can opt for Hidden Power Fire to hit Steel types on the switch. Even uninvested, Hyper Voice hits decently hard thanks to Pixilate and can land some KOs on frailer Pokemon such as Mega Sceptile and Mega Absol, and as such, it is the main attacking move.

Maximum HP and Defense investment allows Sylveon to pass larger Wishes to its teammates, as well as better check Dragon- and Dark-types, while letting Sylveon take physical attacks better.

A Bold nature further boosts Sylveon weak defense stat and gives her more opportunities to switch into Fighting-type Pokemon who usually have the means to weaken Sylveon. Leftovers provides the passive recovery Sylveon needs on this set to increase its durability throughout the match.

Other Options

- A set consisting of Calm Mind and Baton Pass could be an option in order to pass Calm Mind boosts to other teammates. However, it is too slow to pull something like this and unless Sylveon is run on a dedicated Baton Pass team, it will achieve very little on a match.
- Yawn is an interesting move that makes Sylveon very annoying to face throughout the match as the target is at risk of falling asleep on the next turn.
- Hyper Beam allows Sylveon to nuke something seriously on the Specs set. Factoring the Pixilate & STAB boost, it hits a horrendous 270 base power! Even Pokemon that resist the move will find themselves not wanting to switch into this. This move however, comes with the huge disadvantage of rendering Sylveon unable to move for one turn, which is something that can be easily exploitable by the opponent.

Double & Triple Battle Options

Sylveon still remains as the only non Mega Pokemon to have Pixilate, its niche augmented by access to Hyper Voice. Specifically, it still has reliable way to bypass Substitutes and target both opponents simultaneously. Despite the nerf for all -ate abilities, a 20% boost in power to all normal-typed attacks is nothing to scoff off. Still, it faces stiff competition from the slew of Fairy-types introduced in Gen VII, and it is often inferior to Mega Gardevoir at consistently breaking through opponents.

Still Screaming Externally

-Hyper Voice
-Psyshock
-Hidden Power Ground
-Hyper Beam / Moonblast / Shadow Ball
Item Attached: Choice Specs
Ability: Pixilate
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SAtk, 252HP, 4Def
Modest Nature

This set has remained mostly unaltered since the introduction of Sylveon. Hyper Voice remains a staple, allowing to hit both opponents for the price of one attack. Psyshock should not be overlooked as it allows for Sylveon to not be dead weight against popular Poison-type Pokemon such as Gengar, Amoonguss, and Venusaur; the latter two are guaranteed to be 2HKO'ed. Hidden Power Ground allows for Sylveon to pummel Stakataka, and non Shuca Heatran variants for a guaranteed OHKO. Hyper Beam deserves a mention as it becomes insanely powerful with Pixilate and Choice Specs as it allows for a last resort nuke against a neutral target, even producing the occasional OHKO if used against Mega Kangaskhan or offensive variants of Tyranitar under Sand.

Bowties are still en Vogue

-Hyper Voice
-Calm Mind
-Baby-Doll Eyes / Helping Hand / Hidden Power Ground
Protect / Substitute
Item Attached: Pixie Plate / Leftovers
Ability: Pixilate
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SAtk, 252HP, 4 Atk
Modest Nature

If your style is not being locked into a move, Sylveon could always opt for a non-choice item that suits your needs. Hyper Voice remains with this set as its attacking utility remains unparalleled. Calm Mind can further boost its stats, increasing bulk and power all in one. Your third move is completely dependent on what you are trying to accomplish. Baby-Doll Eyes lessens both of your opponent's Attack stat whilst having increased priority. Helping Hand buffs one of your allies move to deal significantly more damage, earning a coveted KO in some occasions. Hidden Power Ground increases coverage, hitting Stakataka and Heatran for some mean damage. Protect eases prediction against double targetting, while Substitute mitigates status affliction. For items, you can choose an extra punch of power for Hyper Voice with Pixie Plate, or longevity with Leftovers.

Other Options

- Iapapa Berry deserves a notable mention, given the fast-paced nature of Doubles. Restoring a nice chunk of health in one go might prove more beneficial than the long-term recovery of Leftovers.
- Quick Attack can be considered for a last-ditch effort at dealing damage. It won't do a ton, nevertheless it can break a potential Focus Sash and dent some opponents enough to be picked off by a teammate.
- Wish or Heal Bell support is not as easy to pull off for Doubles format. Emphasis on low returns, your Pokémon should focus on different aspects of Doubles such as speed control or damage control since the playstyle tends to flow quickly.
- Fake Tears when combined with an ally that can trap the opposing Pokemon could in theory increase your damage output for Psyshock.
- Skill Swap is a fun utility gimmick; it can a trade a subpar ability off your ally for Sylveon's Pixilate. Very situational, usually returns are low with this one once the element of surprise is gone.
- Psych Up should not be overlooked in Doubles; it can copy the boosts of you or your opponent's Pokemon.
- Dual Screens + Light Clay is an option, but Aurora Veil accomplishes the same effect while conserving a move slot.
- Z-Celebrate is a welcomed gimmick, though don't expect to accomplish a whole lot with it.
- Allies that can Fake Out or Intimidate the opponent are always a welcomed pairing.

Countering Sylveon

Countering a Cleric Sylveon is a bit easier since without any investment, all it can do is utilize Hyper Voice to protect itself. Mind you, Pixilate gives it modest power for an uninvested defensive Pokemon, but it's still fairly easy to counter. Basically, any steel type or Poison type can counter it. Gengar and Heatran get specially mention, as both can switch in easily, and can disrupt cleric duties by Taunting it. Bulky steel types such as Mega Metagross, (Mega) Scizor, Ferrothorn, Jirachi, and Excadrill really don't care what cleric Sylveon tries to do to them, and can threaten it out with their STAB attacks. Mega Venusaur is in the same boat, and can utilize Sleep Powder to shut it down or 2HKO it with Sludge Bomb. It's honestly not very threatening, and you can utilize phasing to mess up Sylveon's Wishes so that the wrong target gets the Wish, perhaps one that doesn't need it. In addition, users of Trick can be a hindrance to Sylveon, since getting tricked a Choice Scarf or something is a real pain for the cleric set, since it absolutely needs to switch attacks.

Choice Specs Sylveon on the other hand can be a little trickier due to its raw power and its coverage moves. You can take comfort in knowing that 90% of the time it will be spamming Hyper Voice, however. Sets lacking Hidden Power Ground are completely shut down by both offensive and defensive variants of Heatran. However, even if Sylveon carries Hidden Power Ground to deal with Heatran, then Scizor and Ferrothorn become deadly counters. Both fear Hidden Power Fire though; Scizor is worth noting because although it fears Hidden Power fire, it can easily check Sylveon with Technician Bullet Punch. Mega Venusaur hates Psyshock but generally doesn't care about anything else Sylveon has, and can 2HKO it with Sludge Bomb. Jirachi flat out cannot be 1HKO'ed by Sylveon and can troll the heck out of it with Serene Grace Iron Head's flinch hax, or can 2HKO it outright. Mega Metagross has to be wary of Shadow Ball but can absolutely demolish Sylveon with Meteor Mash. Excadrill isn't 1HKOed by anything, although both variants of Hidden Power can take a bit out of it, and it can maim Sylveon with Iron Head. Although a bit less viable, Mega Aggron can also withstand Sylveon's assaults to put a massive dent in it, and thanks to Filter it's only 3HKO'ed at worst. Fortunately, this set's not particularly fast, and lacks the recovery of the Cleric set, so it finds itself able to be worn down, especially if you're hitting it from the physical side. A lot of strong STAB attacks, such as Talonflame's Brave Bird and Bisharp's Iron Head can do a major chunk of HP to Sylveon, and even the things that don't KO it usually leave it hurting in the process. As with all Choice sets, Sylveon's often forced to switch in and out, so putting hazards such as Stealth Rock up can help wear it down.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Not in game

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Not in game

Black/White:
Not in game

Black 2/White 2:
Not in game

X/Y:
Evolve Eevee

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Evolve Eevee

Sun/Moon:
Evolve Eevee

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Evolve Eevee

Animé Appearences

Sylveon has made a few appearances in the anime. Most notably, it is used by Valerie in her Gym Battle against Ash and Serena's Eevee evolved into one and helped her in her Pokémon Showcase campaign.

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
P14 Eevee Friends Pikachu & Eevee Friends Pics
816 Kindergarten Chaos! Sylveon VS Froakie! Commotion in Kindergarten!! Pics
863 Showcase, Debut! Aim to Become Kalos Queen! Serena's Grand Debut!! Pics
876 A Fashionable Battle! We Will Have a Battle at the Fashion Show! Bagon VS Spritzee!! Pics
877 Fairy-Type Trickery! Laverre Gym Match! The Beautiful Fairy Trap!! Pics
893 Tag Team Battle Inspiration! A Tag Battle is a Friendship Battle! Eevee Fights for the First Time! Pics
908 Party Dancecapades Ash and Serena! Getting One at a Dance Party!! Pics
909 A Meeting of Two Journeys The Strongest Mega Battle! Greninja VS Mega Charizard!! Pics
911 A Watershed Moment! A Chesnaught from the Wilderness! The Tree-planting Robon!! Pics
912 Master Class Choices! The Master Class Trial! What Will You Do, Serena!? Pics
915 Master Class is in Session! The Master Class Begins! A Maidens' Fight Where Sparks Fly!! Pics
916 Performing a Pathway to the Future! Aria VS Serena! Open the Door to the Future!! Pics
918 Battling at Full Volume! Serena Becomes Ash! The Ultimate Pikachu Showdown!! Pics
M19 Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel Volcanion & The Ingenious Magearna Pics
932 Kalos League Passion With a Certain Flare! Fierce Fighting at the Kalos League! Gather, All of My Passion!! Pics
935 A Towering Takeover! Team Flare Attacks! The Zygarde at the Prism Tower!! Pics
937 The Right Hero for the Right Job! Attack on Lumiose Gym! The Clembot Forever!! Pics
939 Forming a More Perfect Union! Zygarde Fights Back! The Final Battle for Kalos!! Pics
940 Battling With a Clean Slate! We Start at Zero! Clemont's Decision!! Pics
941 The First Day of the Rest of Your Life! One Last Battle with Ash! Serena's Choice!! Pics
943 Till We Compete Again A Zero With No End! Till the Day We Meet Again!! Pics
1008 TBC Ilima and Eevee Have Ilimade Their Entrance!! Pics

 
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