Galarian Moltres

Moltres, The Malevolant Pokémon. This Pokémon’s sinister, flame-like aura will consume the spirit of any creature it hits. Victims become burned-out shadows of themselves. The sinister aura that blazes like molten fire around this Pokémon is what inspired the name Moltres.

Overview

The original Legendary birds receiving regional variants was a huge surprise when the Crown Tundra dropped and with its wicked Design, Galarian Moltres was well received. However, it is a bit of an odd duck among the legendary birds. Its stats are more reminiscent of Articuno’s having its best Stat in Special Defense, but Galarian Moltres gets Nasty Plot and Berserk, which lend itself to playing as a bulky setup sweeper. Further conflicting matters is that none of the Galarian birds get Roost or Defog, preventing any sets that would like to capitalize on its bulk.
Positives
Dark Flying is a Fantastic STAB combination, with few who resist both and the Max Moves side effects synergize well with Galarian Moltres’ playstyle
Boosting Options in Agility, Nasty Plot and Beserk enable Galarian Moltres to ramp up very quickly. .

Negatives
Nonexistent coverage options outside of STABs means that Galarian Moltres is reliably walled by the few who do resist its STABs
Lacks Roost which prevents Galarian Moltres from using its bulk and Berserk to the greatest effect.
Galarian Moltres is rather underwhelming before it sets up.

Movesets

Dark Phoenix

-Nasty Plot
-Agility
-Fiery Wrath
-Air Slash/Hurricane
Item Attached: Life Orb/Sitrus Berry
Ability: Berserk
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

A Double Dance set, Galarian Moltres capitalizes on opportunities to setup and roll over the opposing team. Have Galarian Moltres come in on something that threatens it, use Agility and Nasty Plot and then go for the Sweep. Fiery Wrath is the STAB of Choice, being reliable and having a Flinch chance. Air Slash and Hurricane are viable options for Galarian Moltres’ Flying STAB, Air Slash being more reliable, while Hurricane is far more powerful and generally preferred if Dynamaxing.

Dynamax

Galarian Moltres is a threatening Dynamax sweeper. Throw up a Nasty Plot before Dynamaxing and Galarian Moltres can just snowball through teams that no longer have the Pokémon to check it. STAB Max Airstream is outright amazing, dealing massive damage and boosting Galarian Moltres’ speed in lieu of Agility. Max Darkness acts as a pseudo buff to Moltres’ special attack, making it even harder to endure its Attacks.

EVs and Items

Max Speed and Special Attack to make Galarian Moltres as threatening as possible. Investing elsewhere is not recommended as Galarian Moltres is noticeably underwhelming without boosting in the first place. Life Orb is generally recommended for the power boost. However, Sitrus Berry is a viable option, giving Galarian Moltres additional health to survive setting up both Nasty Plot and Agility. Furthermore, if the Sitrus Berry brings Galarian Moltres above half health, Berserk will trigger again, giving Galarian Moltres yet another Special Attack boost. Timid Nature is preferred for the extra bit of Speed so Moltres can setup against targets like Dragonite and the Rotom Appliances who would otherwise outspeed with their positive speed natures.

Other Options

Taunt is a great disruptive tool that prevents opposing setup or healing against Galarian Moltres, opening up even more setup opportunities and could be run in place of Agility on sets dedicating to Dynamaxing.

Partners

Ground types threaten the Pokémon that resist Galarian Moltres’ STABs, so Ground types like Garchomp, Landorus Therian and Mamoswine who can also take care of Special Walls that give Galarian Moltres trouble are great partners.
Excadrill and Nidoking get special mention for also being reliable checks against Unaware Clefable in addition to their ability to check the Electric, Rock and Steel types who resist Galarian Moltres’ STABs.
Screen support from Grimmsnarl and Wish support from Clefable, Jirachi, and Blissey help Galarian Moltres survive setting up both Agility and Nasty Plot, the latter even allowing for multiple Berserk boosts if timed right.
Magnezone, Kartana and Ferrothorn all either resist or take little damage from Galarian Moltres’ weaknesses and make reliable pivots .

Countering Moltres

Tyranitar full stop is one of the best checks to Galarian Moltres. It resists both STABs and has a passive Special Defense boost from Sandstream, allowing it to comfortably soak even boosted Dynamax attacks. Unaware Clefable has the natural bulk to comfortably tank Galarian Moltres’ STABs and comfortable setup and KO Galarian Moltres back. Tapu Koko resists both STABs, easily outspeeds before Agility/Max Airstream and can OHKO with Specs Thunderbolt. Zeraora and Regieleki outspeed and threaten the OHKO with their Electric STABs, but cannot come in on a Fiery Wrath.

Kantonian Corner

Moltres, The Flame Pokémon. It’s one of the legendary bird Pokémon. When Moltres flaps its flaming wings, they glimmer with a dazzling red glow. There are stories of this Pokémon using its radiant, flame-cloaked wings to light up paths for those lost in the mountains.

Overview

Kantonian Moltres has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity since its reintroduction in the Crown Tundra. Fire Flying has been an excellent typing only held back by a crippling weakness to Stealth Rock. Thanks to the introduction of Heavy Duty Boots and removal of key Fire Flying rival Mega Charizard Y, Moltres comes to the forefront as one of the premier Fire types in the game. Gaining access to Scorching Sand from the Isle of Armor also gave Moltres a valuable Ground coverage option, meaning that Heatran is no longer the hard stop it has been. However, common weaknesses and vulnerability to Knock Off can make Moltres difficult to slot in to every team.

Positives
Moltres has an excellent 6 resistances and 1 immunity including common offensive options in Grass, Ground, Steel and Fairy along with the defenses to capitalize it.
Fire is an amazing offensive typing, melting the omnipresent Steel types and popular Grass types like Rillaboom
STAB Max Airstream and ability to setup Sun with Max Flare makes Moltres a terrifying Dynamaxer

Negatives
Lack of boosting moves outside of Sunny Day setup.
Common weaknesses in Water, Rock and Electric means that many teams have several answers to Moltres
Requires Heavy Duty Boots to not get shredded by Stealth Rocks

Movesets

False Sun

-Fire Blast
-Hurricane
-Solar Beam
-Scorching Sands/Roost
Item Attached: Life Orb / Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Flame Body
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

This set is meant to Dynamax and go for the sweep, abusing the Sun set from Max Flare. As well as the speed boosts from Max Airstream.

Dynamax

Moltres can escalate quickly under Dyanamax, with STAB Max Airstreams boosting Moltres’ speed making counter play difficult. Max Flare’s Sun boosts Moltres’ Fire STAB to scorching new heights and enables Solarbeam usage outside of Dynamax. Solarbeam powered Max Overgrowth gives Moltres a reliable out to Water and Rock types. Scorching Sands empowered Max Quake gives Moltres an out to Heatran who otherwise Walls Moltres easily, but Roost is necessary on sets not with Heavy Duty boots to recover from Stealth Rock and Life Orb damage.

EVs & Items

Max Speed and Special Attack to maximize Moltres’ sweeping Potential. Heavy Duty Boots is generally preferred so Moltres isn’t being shredded by Stealth Rocks and is as healthy as possible to take priority attacks, though the power boost from Life Orb is noticeable, guaranteeing the OHKO on targets like Dragapult, offensive Landorus-Therian, Dracovish, etc. Timid Nature is preferred for as much speed as possible. Timid Moltres at +1 can outspeed +Speed Natured Dragapult and +1 Jolly Dragonite, while Modest Moltres is outsped by them.

Partners

Since this set relies on the Sun, other Pokémon that can set the sun are appreciated, like Torkoal and Ninetails. Landorus Therian can deal with both Special Walls like Tyranitar and Blissey as well as speedy Electric types like Zeraora, Tapu Koko and Regieleki while providing extra bulk with Intimidate, and Stealth Rocks making the KOs easier to reach. If not running Scorching Sands, other Pokémon will be needed to take care of Heatran. Ground types like Garchomp stands out for being a reliable threat to both Heatran and the aforementioned Electric types as well as a pivot into any Rock type attacks that comes Moltres’ way. Rhyperior and Mamoswine can also serve this role, though their ability to check Heatran is less certain.

Vermilion Bird

-Defog
-Roost
-Mystical Fire
-Scorching Sands/Will-o-Wisp
Item Attached: Heavy-Duty Boots
Ability: Flame Body
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 4 SAtk / 252 Spe
Bold Nature

Moltres’ good bulk and defensive typing lend it well to a defensive set. Roost enables Moltres to pivot in repeatedly and recover off attacks, maintaining a constant presence throughout the battle. Defog gives Moltres valuable utility, clearing away entry hazards as well as Screens and Terrain that your opponent may be using to setup. Mystical Fire is the Fire STAB of choice, enabling Moltres to reduce a target’s Special Attack, allowing it or a partner to survive Special attacks better and can arrest an opponent’s momentum by forcing them to switch out. Scorching Sands has an impressive 30% chance to burn, improving Moltres’ physical bulk and provides an out to Heatran, while Will-o-Wisp is a near guaranteed burn and will work on opposing Flying types. Flame Body is preferred as the ability as that allows Moltres to punish physical attackers like Conkeldurr, Rillaboom and Kartana as it switches in maintaining momentum.

Dynamax

While the additional bulk is appreciated, you would generally want to avoid Dynamaxing in this set as it cannot supply the necessary pressure expected of a Dynamax.

EVs & Items

Max HP to make Moltres as bulky as possible, while Max Speed ensures Moltres gets the jump on Excadrill, Mamoswine, and Togekiss. Heavy Duty boots is mandatory as Moltres is expected to switch in on entry hazards including Stealth Rock.

Other Options

Weather Ball can give Moltres further coverage and actually earns it a spot on Rain teams as a decent Ferrothorn answer that can utilize Weather Ball and Hurricane.
U-Turn gives Moltres a reliable pivot option, but running off of Moltres’ lower attack and without STAB make it a less appealing option.

Partners

Ground types like Landorus Therian and Garchomp can deal with both Special Walls like Tyranitar and Blissey as well as speedy Electric types like Zeraora, Tapu Koko and Regieleki while providing extra bulk with Intimidate, and Stealth Rocks making the KOs easier to reach. Forming a Fire Water Grass core with Moltres also works well, as Water types like Swampert appreciate Moltres’ checking Grass types and Moltres in turn appreciates the anti Water, Rock and Ground support that Grass and Water types provide. Rillaboom punishing Electric types like Tapu Koko and Regieleki are also appreciated.

Checks & Counters

Blissey and Chansey stand out as the premier Moltres counters, taking pittance from everything except Toxic which they can Aromatherapy/Heal Bell away. They unfortunately are not a hard stop for Defog, but Moltres will have to switch out or lose to them. Heatran easily walls any Moltres set lacking Scorching Sands, but unless it is running Toxic, can do little in turn. Bulky Water types like Toxapex, Suicune and Slowking can easily deal with defensive sets, though they do not like Offensive sets with Solar Beam. Tyranitar also has the special bulk in Sand to shrug off Moltres’ attacks and quickly OHKO with a STAB rock move, though it does not enjoy being burned


Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Victory Road

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Trade from Red/Blue/Yellow

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Mt. Ember

Colosseum/XD:
Snagged from Cipher Boss Greevil in Citadark Isle (XD)

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Roaming Sinnoh (Platinum)
Trade from Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver (Diamond/Pearl)

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Mt. Silver

Black/White:
Transfer from Generation IV

Black 2/White 2:
Transfer from Generation IV

X/Y:
Sea Spirit's Den

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y

Sun/Moon:
Trade from Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Ultra Space Wilds

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Victory Road

Sword/Shield:
Isle of Armor (Galarian Form)
Dynamax Adventure (Kantonian Form)

Animé Appearences

Moltres has made a few appearances in the anime. It is often seen with other birds and Ash has battled multiple of them during his travels.

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
17 The Island of Giant Pokémon Island of Enormous Pokémon!?! Pics
76 All Fired Up Moltres! Declaring the Pokémon League! Pics
M2 The Power of One Revelation Lugia Pics
C18 The Search For A Legend Galloping Sky Legend - Richie & Moltres!! Pics
M12 Arceus & The Jewel of Life Arceus - Towards Conquering Space-Time Pics
M13 Zoroark - Master of Illusions Phantom Champion Zoroark Pics
S40 Hoopa’s Surprise Ring Adventures Hoopa's Appear Operation Pics
889 A Legendary Photo Op! Moltres in Focus! Snap the Legend!! Pics
913 An Electrifying Rage! Zapdos and Noivern! A Furious Strike of Lightning!! Pics
M20 Pokémon I Choose You! Pokémon I Choose You! Pics
1157 TBC Rivals for Goh?! The Road to Mew!! Pics