Articuno, The Cruel Pokémon. Its feather-like blades are composed of psychic energy and can shear through thick iron sheets as if they were paper. Known as Articuno, this Pokémon fires beams that can immobilize opponents as if they had been frozen solid.
Like Zapdos and Moltres, Articuno’s Galarian form was a great shock when first revealed in the Crown Tundra and a great chance to be released from the shackles of the horrible Ice Flying typing. The change to Psychic Flying has been a mixed bag for Galarian Articuno. Getting access to the Psychic support movepool is good, but loses out on the fantastic support movepool Kanonian Articuno has. Combining Calm Mind with Competitive, STAB Max Airstream and a more offensive stat spread turns Galarian Articuno into a deadly Dynamax sweeper but poor coverage options and a speed that just falls short of the Base 100 benchmark holds Galarian Articuno back. Add in the fact that this generation is very bad for Psychic types and Galarian Articuno fails to reach the high benchmark set by the other Galarian Birds.
Base 125 Special Attack stings hard, even before boosting with Calm Mind or Competitive.
Good STAB options including Max Airstream and Psyshock and Future Sight
Numerous common weaknesses in Electric, Ice, Rock, Ghost and Dark
Poor coverage including no way of hitting Steels that resist both STABs outside non-STAB Shadow Ball
Base 95 Speed falls short of many crucial threats, making it difficult to find time to setup
-Psychic / Freezing Glare
Item Attached: Life Orb
EVs and Nature:
HP 4 / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
A set that is meant to get rolling quickly, Galarian Articuno is meant to grab a boost off of Competitive, likely from a predicted Defog or Intimidate user switch. Dynamax, get a speed boost from a Max Airstream Hurricane and go for the sweep. Psychic and Hurricane are powerful STAB moves that will cleave through anything short of dedicated Special Walls or Steel types after a competitive boost. Shadow Ball provides valuable coverage against opposing Psychic, Ghost and Steel types. Recover is in the last slot to keep Galarian Articuno healthy throughout the game as between Stealth Rock and Life Orb recoil, Galarian Articuno can be worn down quickly. Calm Mind is an option over Recover, as Competitive is reliant on what moves your opponent is using and can be difficult to trigger reliably, enabling Galarian Articuno to still get the needed boost.
DynamaxDynamaxing is crucial for this set, as it enables Galarian Articuno to patch up its subpar speed with the always accurate STAB Max Airstream as well as give it some much needed bulk and extra power for the first few turns. Sadly Galarian Articuno is part Flying, so it does not benefit from the Psychic Terrain of Max Mindstorm or the Defense drop of Max Phantasm.
EVs and ItemsMax Speed and Special attack to make Galarian Articuno as threatening as possible. Investing in HP over Special Attack may be an option if you want Galarian Articuno to survive a stat dropping Max Move to trigger Competitive, but Max Wyrmwind is the only stat dropping Max Move Galarian Articuno doesn’t mind being hit by. Life Orb brings an appreciable damage boost, even if it places Galarian Articuno on a strict timer, especially with Stealth Rock damage. Or you could forgo the Life Orb for Heavy Duty Boots so Galarian Articuno can pivot in more often.
Other OptionsYou can forgo Shadow Ball for both Calm Mind and Recover, relying on the extra boosts from Calm Mind to muscle through Steel types. Future Sight is a terrifying option, especially after a Competitive boost, essentially able to one hit KO any nonresistant target
Entry Hazard setters are near essential for Galarian Articuno, as they draw in Defog users to clear them away, which is a great opportunity to nab a Competitive boost. Excadrill, Garchomp, Kommo-o and Cobalion are all great Stealth rock setters that can easily dispatch most Steel types and their physically inclined characteristics has them draw out Intimidate users as well. Magneton and Magnezone are the premier anti Steel Pokémon that stop Galarian Articuno sweeps.
The most important thing to note when playing against Galarian Articuno is to not let it get the Competitive boost. That is too much momentum too quickly and will often result in the loss of one of your own Pokémon. Forcing Galarian Articuno to Clam Mind is a prime opportunity as there are many threats that outspeed it and it lacks the explosive power that makes it so dangerous. Galarian Articuno has no answers for Tyranitar. Even a +2 Hurricane only 3HKOs at best, and Tyranitar easily OHKOs back Steel types are great answers to Galarian Articuno, since they resist both STABs and can prey on Galarian Articuno’s lower bulk. However, Steel types must be careful as even resisted STABs after Competitive often threaten a 2HKO. Specially Defensive Heatran, Assault Vest Melmetal, and Celesteela are 3HKOd even by boosted Galarian Articuno and can KO back with their own STABs and coverage. On Galarian Articuno sets lacking Shadow Ball, Jirachi and Aegislash can be added to the list as well. Dedicated Sponges like Chansey and Blissey can weather even +2 STAB moves, but can be too passive and allow extra setup. Regieleki soundly outspeeds and OHKO’s even +1 Galarian Articuno, as do many popular Scarf users like Hydreigon, Kartana, and Dragapult. Galarian Articuno is incredibly exposed to priority and can be worn down quickly if not running Heavy Duty Boots, so priority users like Bisharp, Mamoswine and Weavile also make for good checks.
Articuno, The Freeze Pokémon. It’s said that this Pokémon’s beautiful blue wings are made of ice. Articuno flies over snowy mountains, its long tail fluttering along behind it. This Pokémon can control ice at will. Articuno is said to live in snowy mountains riddled with permafrost.
While Zapdos and Moltres have been enjoying amazing success in the competitive scene, Articuno is forgotten, languishing in the depths of usage. While Articuno too enjoys the introduction of Heavy Duty Boots, enabling it to wall without being hard stopped by Stealth Rocks, defensive Ice types just are not viable. Too many weaknesses on a defensive stat spread and a movepool that lacks options against Steel types makes it hard to justify Articuno over other options.Positives
Good Defenses 90/100/125 bulk is great with reliable recovery and Pressure. If Articuno isn’t being hit by a weakness, it can tank several hits before going down
Great Support movepool -Defog, Haze, Heal Bell and Tailwind are all moves that other Pokémon wish they had access to.
Good Offensive Typing -Ice is a great STAB type to have especially with how many quadruple weak to Ice Pokémon there are.
Poor Defensive typing -Ice Flying is terrible with a crippling Quadruple Weakness to Rock, and only an immunity to Ground and resistance to Bug and Grass to show for it.
Poor Offensive Options -Articuno has no coverage moves for Steel Types and no way to boost its offenses
Reliant on Heavy Duty Boots -Articuno is maimed by Stealth Rocks and with Knock Off being everywhere, this can make Pokémon that Articuno can otherwise wall an undesirable matchup.
Ninja Bird of the Mist
Item Attached: Heavy-Duty Boots
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Articuno’s fantastic bulk is put through its paces in this set, being able to outlast more passive targets like Amoonguss, Gastrodon, Milotic and Suicune. Substitute is key to Articuno’s walling abilities, protecting it from Status and allowing it to eat repeated hits without too much damage while quickly draining PP with Pressure. Substitute plus Pressure can put a serious clock on moves with low power points, especially ones with less than perfect accuracy like Stone Edge and Fire Blast. Roost enables Articuno to take repeated hits and Substitutes and recover back without much issue. Toxic enables Articuno to take down non Poison immune walls, as it can easily block any attacks or status with Substitute while running down the clock. Freeze Dry rounds out the set, having excellent all around coverage even uninvested and prevents Articuno from become Taunt bait.
DynamaxThis Articuno is far too passive to consider Dynamaxing. This set cannot function except outside of Dynamax.
EVs & Items
Max HP to make Articuno as bulky as possible, while Max Speed ensures it gets the jump and can throw up a Substitute against as many Pokémon as possible. Heavy Duty boots is mandatory to avoid being ruined by Stealth Rocks
Defog -Articuno can trade Substitute for Defog, enabling Articuno to support its team by repeatedly removing Entry Hazards and Screens, in return for a worse matchup against Status.
Heal Bell -another alternate Substitute Option, Articuno can act as a Cleric on Heavy Duty Stall teams, keeping the team healthy
Haze -An option over Toxic that enables Articuno to reset setup sweepers aiming to take Advantage of how Passive Articuno is. Toxic tends to punish such sweepers as well, but for the Poison immune ones, Haze does prove to be the superior option.
Pokémon that can take out Steel types that otherwise wall Articuno and can’t be Poisoned come highly recommended. Magneton and Magnezone stand out for excelling at this role and can safely bring Articuno in with Volt Switch. Poliwrath, Swampert and Keldeo similarly stand out for being Anti Steel, while resisting all of Articuno’s weaknesses and can pivot Articuno in with Flip Turn. Pokémon that discourage Knock Off such as Cobalion, Virizion and Gallade make for good partners in keeping Articuno’s Heavy Duty Boots on.
Checks & Counters
Steel types that Resist Ice are some of the most reliable Articuno counters. Melmetal and Klingklang stand out for their Multi-Hit STABs that bust through Substitute. Faster Rock types work well. Lycanroc preys on Articuno with Priority Accelrock maiming it, while Aeordactyl performing similarly with Rockslide, though neither are bulky enough to take repeated Freeze Drys, and can lose if Substitute is up on the switch. Item disruption is a reliable method of dealing with Articuno. Articuno needs Heavy Duty boots to perform, and without them, can force your opponent to sack their Articuno if Stealth Rocks are up.
Locations in Games
Trade from Red/Blue/Yellow
Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen
Snagged from Cipher Boss Greevil in Citadark Isle (XD)
Roaming Sinnoh (Platinum)
Trade from Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver (Diamond/Pearl)
Transfer from Generation IV
Black 2/White 2:
Transfer from Generation IV
Sea Spirit's Den
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y
Trade from Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Ultra Space Wilds
Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
The Crown Tundra (Galarian Form)
Dynamax Adventure (Kantonian Form)