Starmie, The Mysterious Pokémon. Starmie's center section-the core-glows brightly in seven colors. Because of its luminous nature, this Pokémon has been given the nickname "the gem of the sea." Starmie swims through water by spinning its star-shaped body as if it were a propeller on a ship. The core at the center of this Pokémon's body glows in seven colors. Some people value the core as a gem. At the center of its body is a red core, which sends mysterious radio signals into the night sky.
Even noncompetitive players should be somewhat familiar with our next Pokémon of the week because this time we're covering Misty's signature Pokémon Starmie. It's been one of my all time favorite Pokémon ever since I first saw it on the anime way back when I was a little kid, and I've been using it ever since. It's not just extremely cool looking, but also it's been one of the top competitive Pokémon for since Gen I. It didn't truly find its starpower until the dawn of Gen IV though when Stealth Rock was first introduced into the competitive scene and entry hazards became a huge part of the game because. That's when Starmie really started to shine and become a superstar because it's just oh so good at spinning them away and ruining your enemy's fun. Which is its exactly what its main job is now. Sometimes its only job even because like I said it's just that good at it due to its high speed and solid special attack power. It should be noted that Starmie did see a slight drop in usage for a little while in XYORAS because of Defog and its ability to now get rid of all entry hazards on the field while not having the drawback of having to worry about Ghost Types (aka Spin Blockers) like Starmie does because Rapid Spin is a Normal Type move. However with Rapid Spin you also get to keep your own entry hazards, so Starmie remains just as useful and reliable as it ever was and I hope it remains that way forever to be perfectly honest.
+ Best rapid spinner in the game. While Defog has seen some increased usage these days Starmie remains just as reliable as it has always been. Plus unlike Defog, Rapid Spin allows you to keep your entry hazards in play whereas Defog gets rid of all entry hazards.
+ Very good Speed. Sporting an amazing Base 115. It's not the fastest mon in the game. Especially these days with all the Megas and various other things running around, but it's still very good like I said.
+ Decent Special Attack. It only has a Base 100 SpA which isn't the greatest in the world, but it's solid and passable enough to get the job done.
+ Two good abilities are very helpful. Natural Cure can prevent Status from ruining Starmie while Analytic can give Starmie's attacks a power boost against things that switch in.
- Rapid Spin is more useful, but it can't be denied that Defog is slightly more reliable since it doesn't have to worry about Spin blockers.
- While it has passable Special Attack and great Speed the rest of its stats range from average to downright mediocre. Just 60 HP , 75 Attack , and 85 Defense and Special Defense respectively.
- Its typing gives it some unfortunate weaknesses, most notably an easily exploited weakness to Dark which makes Pursuit, Sucker Punch, and Knock Off very dangerous.
Illuminate: Raises the likelihood of meeting wild Pokémon. It's not very useful competitive wise, but if you're trying to catch a Pokémon with a low spawn rate during your main story journey it can be somewhat useful. I wouldn't recommend it though unless you just hate yourself and want to run into ALL the Zubat.
Natural Cure: The Pokémon’s status (BURN, PARALYZE, SLEEP, POISON, FREEZE) is healed when withdrawn from battle. This is Starmie's most reliable ability, and it should always be the one you take because being able to absorb status effects is just too useful to ignore.
Hidden Ability (Available):
Analytic: Attack power increases by 30% if the Pokémon is the last Pokémon to attack this turn. It's a solid alternate ability. With Starmie's speed it's not going to be moving last most of the time and even if it does it has like no bulk, but it's excellent for punishing Pokémon that try to switch in.
- Rapid Spin
- Hydro Pump
- Ice Beam
- Thunderbolt / Psychic
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
This has been Starmie's main set for several generations now, and as the saying goes if ain't broke don't fix. Rapid Spin removes your enemy's entry hazards while maintaining your own unlike Defog and takes full advantage of the many switches that this set is infamous for forcing. Hydro Pump is your most powerful STAB move so always take that. . Ice Beam allows Starmie to hit Grass and Dragon types such as Celebi and Dragonite for super effective damage while providing giving great coverage with Hydro Pump. The last slot is your call. Thunderbolt provides the best coverage and can hit all the common bulky Water types that like to switch into Starmie, such as Slowbro and Manaphy. While Psychic allows Starmie to defeat certain Pokemon that resist your most powerful STAB move in Hydro Pump, like Rotom Wash and Mega Venasaur for example. Just pick whichever you think your team needs more. Both are viable.
- Rapid Spin
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
Most Water Type support Pokémon run Scald for a reason, and that's because Scald is just so ridiculously spammable. It's a STAB move that threatens anything that tries to switch into with the possibility of getting, allowing it to wear down its bulkier enemies and cripple would be physical attackers entirely. Rapid Spin is Starmie's main niche as a support mon, allowing it to remove your enemy's entry hazards while maintaining your, which is extremely helpful. Especially if you're running a team with Spikes and SR. Recover restores Starmie's life force, potentially allowing it to outlast the enemy's entry setters and remove their hazards from the game for good. It also allows Starmie to take on threats such as Mega Metagross and Keldeo multiple times, fulfilling an important defensive role for any team that can find a spare slot for it. Last but not least, Psyshock allows Starmie to comfortably switch into and take out Calm Mind Keldeo, It also provides great coverage alongside your spammable Scald, hitting the likes of Gengar extremely hard which would otherwise attempt to Spin Block you. Which is downright annoying. No one likes to be interrupted when they're dancing..er Rapid Spinning in this case.
- Analytic: It's a solid alternate ability for the Offensive set. It's great for hitting switch ins really hard with 30 % extra damage, and that + Life Orb could potentially turn the tide of any battle if you use it wisely. Unfortunately it's just not reliable because to get the power you have to go last whereas Natural Cure will always heal away any status moves you get hit with once you switch out. Which is better for the longevity of the battle and helps support your team as well.
- Hidden Power Fire: Things like Ferrothorn in particular are very common switch ins for Starmie, so Hidden Power Fire is a decent alternate move slot. Especially if you're running Analytic and you can catch it on the switch things like Ferrothorn and Scizor will basically be vaporized instantly.
- Gravity: Our friend Starmie is one of a few Pokémon in existence that has access to Gravity AND Thunder + Blizzard. Like that's just crazy. Thunder and Blizzard are in essence more powerful, but extremely less accurate versions of Thunderbolt and Ice Beam. However while Gravity is active they'll never miss, and they have a higher rate of paralyzing and freezing your enemies on top of all that. I definitely recommend at least trying out a Gravity set once if for no other reason than to spam the Thunder and Blizzard combo to your heat's content.
- Reflect Type: While somewhat unorthodox, Reflect Type can allow Starmie to escape from some otherwise sticky situations. Reflect Type makes Starmie's typing copy that of the opponent's; this is very handful to escape from Pursuit trappers, such as Tyranitar or Bisharp, given copying their type gives Starmie a resistance to Pursuit and allows it to more safely switch out. It can be somewhat niche but it's defensive utility cannot be denied.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Starmie is another Pokemon that is rarely seen in VGC 2016 due to the presence of the restricted legendaries. While it does have a number of useful support moves, its Psychic STAB doesn't have much use and its water moves can be nullified by Primal Groudon's ability. Even in other doubles formats such as Battle Spot Doubles, Starmie's niche in singles as an offensive Rapid Spinner is rendered essentially useless due to the lack of hazards ever being used in high level play.
"The Gem of the (VG)Sea"
-Scald / Hydro Pump
-Icy Wind / Ice Beam / Blizzard
-Gravity / Skill Swap
-Protect / Gravity / Skill Swap
Item Attached: Focus Sash
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe Timid Nature
If you're a big fan of Starmie and want to use it in VGC 2016, max speed with a Timid nature can at least speed tie with a max speed Rayquaza. Otherwise, you can actually drop to 244 Speed to outspeed max speed Serperior by 1 if you're playing in another doubles format, and put 4 EVs in both defenses. While either ability can have a role, Natural Cure is definitely preferred. Even though Toxic stalling is rare and burns don't really bother Starmie, Natural Cure can wipe out Paralysis that drops Starmie's high speed stat. It can erase sleep too, but just be aware that since there is no Sleep Clause in VGC, the Pokemon you switch in can just be put to sleep as well. Starmie does appreciate the boost from Analytic, but being slower than your opponent in doubles (especially VGC16) is rarely a good thing, and switches are less common since your opponent can simply Protect what you're targeting, and potentially take out Starmie with their other Pokemon. Focus Sash allows Starmie to take at least one hit (except from Mega Kangaskhan, unless you Intimidate it) and get off an additional support move or attack.
The main reason you would use Starmie in VGC 2016 or in any other high level doubles play is for its support moves. Gravity is great in VGC 2016 so that flying types or Pokemon with Levitate can be hit by Groudon's Precipice Blades, and it also increases the accuracy of moves like Precipice Blades and Origin Pulse. Skill Swap is great for controlling the weather, which is very important in this year's VGC format, but can also mess with Pokemon who depend on their abilities like Mega Kangaskhan or Mega Salamence. Scald or Hydro Pump can both be used for water STAB. Hydro Pump of course has higher power, and works really well if you're running Gravity. Scald has the chance to burn but is weaker, although it can still OHKO Primal Groudon if the sun is not up. An ice move is generally needed so you can hit Pokemon that resist your water STAB like Mega Salamence. Icy Wind is likely the best on a support set since it slows down the other team as well, but Ice Beam is much stronger and can actually OHKO Mega Salamence. The stronger Blizzard can be considered on a Gravity set and will also do spread damage. Protect keeps Starmie safe from Fake Out and other attacks, and can also stall out turns of your opponent's speed control.
-Magic Coat is another great support move to deal with opposing Smeargle by bouncing Dark Void back on both your opponents (just remember it does not protect your teammate from it though).
-It may seem strange to not run a Psychic STAB move, but Psychic just isn't a great offensive typing in VGC16 (for example, Cresselia and Bronzong rarely run it this year). Psychic can hit things like Primal Groudon a little harder than Ice Beam if you can't get rid of Desolate Land's effects, but it doesn't have much value otherwise. Psyshock could work in a similar way and would hit Primal Kyogre harder than Psychic, but you're better off running an electric or grass move for Primal Kyogre. In formats where the restricted legendaries are banned, Psychic STAB definitely can be used on an offensive Starmie set.
-Speaking of which, Starmie can potentially beat a Primal Kyogre 1v1 if you run Thunder and it doesn't. Thunderbolt is an option if you need the coverage and rain or Gravity won't be up. Grass Knot can also do big damage to Kyogre, while also taking a nice chunk out of Primal Groudon as well.
-Focus Sash isn't as necessary in non-VGC16 doubles formats. Starmie greatly appreciates the damage boost from Life Orb, Choice Specs, or even Expert Belt, while Choice Scarf can allow you to get a surprise OHKO on something like Choice Scarf Landorus-T.
-Starmie also has Thunder Wave and Trick Room as speed control options, though it is probably one of the worst options for Trick Room since it is so fast and doesn't have Prankster to use support moves first still under Trick Room.
-Reflect and Light Screen can allow your restricted legendaries and mega to stay on the field longer.
-Starmie has a few other strong attacks for coverage if your team needs to deal with a specific threat better in Flash Cannon, Dazzling Gleam, Signal Beam, and Power Gem, but they are rarely on a set.
-Some VGC players in the lower ladder of Battle Spot Doubles run Minimize and Cosmic Power to try and become unkillable, but it heavily depends on luck and rarely works out.
-Recover is really only useful on the Minimize sets, since Starmie's bulk is unimpressive.
-Psych Up on Starmie is generally as bad as the Minimize set, but could be really fun to copy a Xerneas' boosts (or something like a Volcarona or Cresselia's in other doubles formats) if it somehow works out.
To counter Starmie is somewhat atypical because in all honesty, pretty much everything in the game can KO it. However, as long as it puts something to sleep, it can do its job, so a different approach is needed. Magic Bounce users pretty much stop Starmie cold; all it can hope to do is Skill Swap, given they’ll bounce back its Sleep move, and can bounce back hazards as well. Espeon and Xatu are the best users given they can readily switch into Starmie, while Mega Absol, Mega Diancie, and Mega Sableye can only do so after Mega Evolving first. Things that can’t be put to sleep due to their abilities, such as Magmortar or Slurpuff, are usually able to start beating on Starmie without fear of duress. Grass types are immune to Spore, but have to be wary of Dark Void. Anything that can set up a Substitute and is faster than Starmie is pretty much free from any threat from Starmie, and the very same Substitute can protect from anything that may come in via Baton Pass as well. Taunting Starmie may sound good in theory since it shuts it down completely, but most Starmie in Singles carry Magic Coat for that very reason, so be aware. Given Starmie typically relies on its Sash, users of Fake Out, such as Mienshao, can break the Focus Sash and then KO Starmie outright. If Starmie is Baton Passing, phasing by using Whirlwind, Dragon Tail, etc. can get rid of the boosts, even on the turn the boosts are passed. For hazard setting Starmies, given it tends to be “Suicide Lead” in that it sets up its hazards and then gets KO’ed, Rapid Spinners or Defoggers can ensure that those hazards go away, and do not get a second chance to be put up. Overall Starmie’s not too hard to get rid of, nor is it very threatening on its own, but its support is what makes it a threat, so take care not to get steamrolled by the rest of Starmie’s team if they take advantage of that support.
Locations in Games
Evolve Staryu (LeafGreen)
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/LeafGreen (FireRed)
Snagged from Cipher Admin Snattle in Citadark Isle (XD)
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/LeafGreen (Colosseum)
Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Staryu (X)
Trade from Y/Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (Y)
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire: