Noivern, The Sound Wave Pokémon. They fly around on moonless nights and attack careless prey. Nothing can beat them in a battle in the dark. The ultrasonic waves it emits from its ears can reduce a large boulder to pebbles. It swoops out of the dark to attack.
Dragon types. These fearsome beasts have long since been among Pokemon’s most powerful, and have sported equally fierce designs. Fangs, claws, spikes, blades, and… speakers? With a head that looks like it’d be more at home in a surround sound system than a Pokemon, Noivern’s certainly one of the more odd dragons. As one of the earliest revealed Gen 6 Pokemon, Noivern got a lot of pre-hype. As a seemingly prominent dragon, some expected it to be Gen 6’s Pseudo-legendary. But it turned out those people were wrong, and Noivern was a more run-of-the-mill dragon type. As a result, Noivern has had difficulty making a splash. Sure, it had some interesting moves, and a blinding speed that outpaced every other unboosted dragon barring Mega Sceptile… but given it lacks both the power and the bulk of other more popular dragons, Noivern has always found it hard to fit into a team. Don’t let that fool you into thinking its not usable, though. Speed is always good, and it’s got just enough in its movepool to allow it to do some decent damage or annoy the hell out of your opponents. That said, the other dragon types, most notably the legendaries and pseudo-legendaries, will usually give you more bang for your buck due to superior power and/or bulk, so be aware when using Noivern.
+A fantastic base 123 speed tier leaves it as the 26th fastest Pokemon, allowing it to outspeed a considerable number of threats, including slower Choice Scarf users and every unboosted Dragon type barring Mega Sceptile (whose base form is still outsped).
+Its ability, Infiltrator, allows it to bypass Substitutes and Screens when doing damage.
+Base 97 special attack is enough to be usable, especially with high powered STAB attacks like Draco Meteor and Hurricane.
+It has access to the ever annoying Switcheroo, which can let it cripple some Pokemon by switching them a Choice Item.
+It has some decent coverage moves in the form of Flamethrower, Focus Blast, and Boomburst.
+Access to Roost and Taunt can let it be a nuisance to stall.
-It wishes it had a little more special attack, as it falls short of the base 100 benchmark, and is outclassed by many other special attacking dragons.
-Base 70 attack rules out any chance of an effective mixed set, despite some decent physical moves.
-85/80/80 defenses are pretty average so it can’t take too many neutral hits.
-Its typing gives it an awful 4x weakness to ice, in addition to Fairy and Rock weaknesses, the latter of which allows Stealth Rock to strip it of 25% of its HP upon each switch.
-Infiltrator is situational so it can be useless if screens or Substitutes aren't used.
Frisk: Reveals the foe’s held item. - Frisk is kind of an interesting ability. On one hand, knowing your opponent’s item can help ease prediction, especially in the case of choice items, and it can sometimes give you insight as to what your opponent’s moveset might be. That said, sometimes this is not very significant, and Noivern really prefers Infiltrator, which aids it offensively. That said, Infiltrator is situational, so if you'd like an ability that always sees use, Frisk is certainly worth consideration.
Infiltrator: The protections and stat boosts caused by the moves Substitute, Reflect, Light Screen and Safeguard by the opponent are ignored. - Infiltrator is pretty nice. While situational, Noivern’s ability to not be hindered by Substitute or Screens can make picking off Pokemon a lot easier. Plus, combined with Noivern’s blazing speed, it can revenge kill Pokemon behind a Substitute easier than you might expect.
Hidden Ability (Available):
Telepathy: Prevents damage from team-mates during Double and Triple battles. - Completely useless in singles, but it has some situational use in Doubles. Noivern’s already immune to one of the most common moves that hits teammates, Earthquake, so your mileage with this ability may vary. Still though, it has some situational usage if you’re using things like Discharge or Boomburst on your other Pokemon.
Where Noiverns Dare!
Item Attached: Choice Specs
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpDef / 252 Spe
With high speed and decent special attack, it shouldn’t take long to figure out that Choice Specs make an effective option for Noivern. With Specs attached, Noivern gets the power it so desperately craves to go along with its speed. Draco Meteor is its obvious STAB, which synergizes oh so well with Choice Specs, as you’ll often find yourself switching out after a Draco Meteor due to the stat drop, so the immediate power of Choice Specs lends itself well to it. Hurricane is a solid secondary STAB, as although the accuracy can sometimes be a letdown, it can do solid damage to most of the fairies that are immune to Draco Meteor, and it hits harder across two turns than Draco Meteor if you find yourself needing to spam it. However, this does leave an obvious gap in your coverage though, and that gap is steel types. Flamethrower or Focus Blast can take care of that gap. Flamethrower is more reliable with perfect accuracy, and hits things like Forretress harder, but Focus Blast can make it possible for Noivern to deal with Empoleon. However, Focus Blast’s shoddy accuracy usually cause Flamethrower to be preferable. Finally, Switcheroo is the crux of this set, and what makes Noivern so annoying. Switcheroo prevents putting a special wall like Blissey or Florges from being a perfect answer to Noivern, because if they get switched a pair of Choice Specs, they can find themselves heavily crippled for the rest of the match since being locked into attacks is a huge deterrent for them. Switcheroo really punishes Stall considerably, as most non-Mega stall Pokemon hate being switched a Choice item. However, your damage will suffer with the loss of Choice Specs, so don’t be over-eager to switch it away.
The nature and EVs aim to maximize Noivern’s speed, for obvious reasons; that great speed tier goes to waste if you’re not giving it enough investment to maximize it. The rest is dumped into special attack to get as much power as you can, while the remaining 4 EVs are kept out of HP to minimize stealth rock damage.
Item Attached: Life Orb
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpDef / 252 Spe
Look familiar? This particular set is remarkably similar to the previous set, but with one important distinction; it trades the power of Choice Specs for the freedom to switch attacks through Life Orb. As such, the movepool is exactly the same in many aspects. Draco Meteor is still your most powerful STAB, but it does come with the nasty special attack drop. Due to the lower power of Life Orb, in addition to the lack of needing to switch as often since you won’t be locked into attacks, you do need to be a bit more mindful of spamming it. Hurricane is still a potent secondary STAB, and its accuracy still sucks so be mindful of that. Flamethrower or Focus Blast can deal with steel types, with the former being more reliable, and the latter allowing you to take out Empoleon. Finally, without a Choice item, Switcheroo isn’t really worthwhile, so it is forgone for Roost or Taunt. Roost can allow you to offset Life Orb’s recoil, while Taunt can have a disruptive presence against more passive checks. Regardless, you’ll be using one of your three offensive attacks most often, and thanks to the ability to switch attacks, prediction is eased a bit compared to Choice Specs. In general though, Choice Specs higher power is usually preferable, as Life Orb can miss out on some 2HKOs that Choice Specs would otherwise be able to get.
As a result of being almost identical to the previous set, the EVs and nature are much the same as well; speed is maximized and the rest is dumped into special attack to bolster your power.
Item Attached: Leftovers/Life Orb
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpDef / 252 Spe
While the previous sets are meant to bust down walls and clean up lategame, this particular Noivern manages to emphasize longevity and being a general pain to stall with its fast Taunt. Many of the things that wall offensive sets, such as Blissey and Florges, really hate to be Taunted, especially on the switch. Roost, on the other hand, allows Noivern to shrug off damage from things like Blissey’s Seismic Toss and generally keep itself healthy. Due to the fact that this Noivern is more geared towards sustainability, Dragon Pulse is opted for over Draco Meteor, as the special attack drops and low PP can be detrimental to this set, as neither are very sustainable. Air Slash, while lacking the power of Hurricane, brings with it an ever annoying 30% chance to flinch, which with Noivern’s high speed allows it to flinch a significant number of Pokemon, and puts pressure on Pokemon that have already been Taunted. It’s important to remember, though, that although this set can be a nuisance to stall, it’s less threatening to offense due to the drop in power.
As always, the EVs and nature are standard; Noivern absolutely craves max speed to be as good as it is, while it needs the special attack investment to be able to threaten opponents given its lackluster base special attack. Leftovers can further increase Noivern’s longevity, but if you want a little more power to threaten things, Life Orb works just as well, although you’ll have to take the recoil into consideration as well.
-U-Turn can be considered on a choice set for its ability to Scout and steal the momentum, especially since the threat of Specs Draco Meteor can force a lot of switches. However, without Switcheroo, its Choice set is a lot less threatening to Stall.
-Super Fang is always an option for its ability to halve a foe’s HP in one fell swoop, although you do have to sacrifice valuable coverage for it.
-Boomburst is stupidly powerful with its base 140 power, and perfect accuracy. Boomburst is great! However, sometimes Noivern finds it hard to fit into its movepool due to limited coverage. Still though, it can be a reliable move that can surprise those who don't expect it.
-Heat Wave has slightly more power than Flamethrower, but the tradeoff is less accuracy. In general, Flamethrower’s reliability is preferable since the damage difference is not very signficant, but it should be noted that Heat Wave has added utility in Doubles due to its ability to hit multiple targets.
-Tailwind has great support value, especially in Doubles. However, in Singles, as usual coverage becomes an issue, but it still has surprise value in that it can allow a teammate to take advantage of doubled speed.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Ever feel like there's not enough Pokemon x4 weak to ice? Feel like the current Dragon/Flying types just aren't cutting it due to a lack of natural speed? Perhaps Noivern was the Pokemon you were looking for!
Base 123 Speed make it faster than Greninja and unboosted Mega Salamence. That's a lot of speed! But with base 97 Special Attack being its highest offense, it won't be dealing too much damage, so Noivern ends up being a fast supportive Pokemon with light offensive options.
Flittin Around at The Speed of Sound
Draco Meteor / Hurricane
Item Attached: Focus Sash
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SAtk, 252 Speed, 4 HP
Super fast Taunts will shut down just about every supportive Pokemon that isn't a Prankster. Draco Meteor is the prefered Dragon STAB because Dragon Pulse with base 97 SATk simply won't do any significant damage. Hurricane is a decent option if you find yourself wanting to run Noivern a little riskier or are just running rain. Super Fang will more than likely be the most reliable source of damage coming from Noivern, which isn't terrible by any means considering that it's supportive. Suddenly double targeting Cresselia WILL net you the KO. Opposing Azumarill are at 25% health rather than 75% health after a Sitrus Belly Drum. Super Fang sets up so many potential KOs it's ridiculous. Tailwind will make sure that Noivern's Partner can be ridiculously fast too.
Why Frisk over Infiltrator? Frisk will make predicting easier in knowing the items your opponent is holding, so you wan't have to be surprised that they're holding a Focus Sash. Infiltrator on the other hand lets Noivern's attacks go unobstructed byt Reflect, Light Screen and Substitute, which means it can get some free hits on common substitute Pokemon like Aegislash and Metagross, but wait... Aegislash and Metagross generally aren't afraid of Noivern because it's frail and Noivern won't be doing much to them in the first place aside from Flamethrower or Heat Wave, which again, from base 97 SAtk won't be doing much besides triggering Aegislash's Weakness Policy.
As for Mega Metagross
252 SpA Noivern Flamethrower vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Metagross: 78-94 (50 - 60.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO - Doesn't hit 75%
252 SpA Life Orb Noivern Flamethrower vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Metagross: 101-122 (64.7 - 78.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO - roughly 68% of the time you'll miss the KO while in return
252 Atk Tough Claws Mega Metagross Ice Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Noivern: 296-352 (183.8 - 218.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Not worth the risk I'd argue, especially since Mega Metagross are starting to invest more in defenses. Ideal partners for Noivern? Aside from clear and cut trick room Pokemon, generally everything enjoys being a little faster thanks to Tailwind. Sylveon enjoys spamming Hyper Voices at Mach 2 speed, especially when some of the targets have their health halved from Super Fang. Talonflame also appreciates half health opponents. Perhaps a Mega Blastoise with Water Spout too, as that would be frightening for opposing Mamoswine. DO they stay in and Ice Shard Noivern? or do they cover away from insanely powerful Water Spouts?
Noivern's greatest asset is being able to support it's team members with its high speed. It can't do that very well if it is paralyzed, which thanks to the abundance of Prankster Thunder Waves or Thunder Waves in general might happen quite often. Frail defenses mean it won't like priority much either, especially Ice Shard and Brave Bird. Quick Guard can remedy that however.
Very fast, decent Special attack, okay ish defenses. All of these describe Noivern. It likely won't last the entire battle like Cresselia, but perhaps it can give your team enough momentum early on to allow for a speedy victory. Frisk and Super Fang on one Pokemon is pretty neat, definitely worth a shot if your team can work with it.
Walling Noivern is pretty easy; as a special attacker with a special attack stat that’s not especially high, pretty much any specially bulky Pokemon can wall it. Florges and Blissey stand tall as key examples who Noivern can’t hope to break, but they do have to be wary of Taunt or Switcheroo, which may leave them helpless. However, Florges can still have a chance of 1HKOing with Moonblast no matter what, which becomes a guarantee if Stealth Rock is up. Specially defensive Porygon2 also manages to avoid being 3HKO’ed by Specs variants, and can handily dispatch of Noivern with Ice Beam. Most variants of Snorlax can manage to handle Noivern without much duress. Choice Band Snorlax avoids the 2HKO by Specs Draco Meteor and 1HKOs with Return, and specially defensive sets are only 4HKO’ed at best and can fish for Paralysis with Body Slam, which screws Noivern over by compromising its great speed. Specially defensive Empoleon can wall Noivern into oblivion if it lacks Focus Blast, although it should be noted that sets lacking Ice Beam can’t do much in return outside of phasing it out with Roar or trying to burn it with Scald, and Taunt ruins the former. Specially defensive Umbreon finds itself in much the same boat; Noivern has trouble KOing it, but it needs Toxic to beat Noivern reliably, and Taunt ruins that plan. Although Noivern may be fast, many common Choice Scarf users check it by outspeeding it and 1HKOing it. Hydreigon, Salamence, and Flygon are noteworthy examples, as they all 1HKO with their Dragon STAB. Choice Scarf Porygon-Z is also noteworthy for nuking Noivern with Ice Beam, although Adaptability Tri Attack can also 1HKO if Stealth Rock is up. Speaking of Stealth Rock, putting them up early goes a long way towards keeping Noivern in check. Being stripped of 25% of its HP is no joke, especially for the Specs set, which has to switch in-and-out to combat the stat drops of Draco Meteor. Even a single instance of Stealth Rock can allow things like Choice Scarf Darmanitan’s Rock Slide, Choice Scarf Mienshao’s Stone Edge, and Donphan’s Ice Shard to become guaranteed 1HKOs. Both Aerodactyl and its mega evolution can outspeed Noivern, and easily 1HKO it with either Stone Edge or Ice Fang. Although Noivern outspeeds the base form, Mega Sceptile is also noteworthy for outspeeding Noivern, and proceeding to 1HKO it with Dragon Pulse. Just make sure to Mega Evolve it against something else, however, as Noivern can 1HKO it with ease by outspeeding standard Sceptile.
In less restrictive formats, Noivern has many more problems. There’s a whole handful of the most common fairies who love making Noivern their victim. Sylveon is only 3HKO’ed at best by Choice Specs Hurricane (which is a daunting prospect considering the accuracy), while Sylveon can 1HKO with Pixilate Hyper Voice, even without investment. Noivern dares not to use Switcheroo on it either, as Choice Specs Pixilate Hyper Voice is a terrifying concept to face as well. Assault Vest Azumarill is typically 3HKO’ed by Choice Specs Hurricane, but it 1HKOs with Play Rough and has no trouble switching into any other attack. Clefable can set up Calm Minds on offensive Noiverns, but Taunt can be a nuisance. With Stealth Rock up however, Moonblast will 1HKO Noivern. If Noivern lacks Focus Blast, Tyranitar can prove a hard-to-handle nemesis; thanks to the special defense boost of Sandstorm, it avoids being 2HKO’ed by Draco Meteor, and can easily 1HKO with Stone Edge or Ice Punch, or set up DD. Heatran is in much the same boat, as Noivern lacking Focus Blast are only going to 6HKO Heatran, although Heatran might not do all that much in return, either. Weavile and Mamoswine can both pick off Noivern with powerful priority Ice Shards, and in Weavile’s case, it can outspeed and 1HKO with Ice Punch instead. Mega Diancie soundly 1HKOs with both Moonblast and Diamond Storm, and can switch in with relative ease thanks to its base forms bulk, but Choice Specs Hurricane can 2HKO Mega Diancie. Mega Lopunny can check Noivern by outspeeding it and picking it off Ice Punch or Return (although the latter needs some prior damage), and can use Fake Out to buy a free turn to Mega Evolve for the higher speed tier. Mega Altaria can check Noivern with Pixilate Return, although Hurricane can 2HKO, and switching in as standard Altaria can be disastrous. Choice Scarf users such as Garchomp, Landorus-T, Kyurem-B, and Latios can circumvent Noivern’s great speed and 1HKO Noivern with ease. Choice Band Talonflame can be an answer in a pinch, as it 1HKOs a little under half the time with its Brave Bird (which is a guarantee with Stealth Rock). As expected, keeping Stealth Rock up always helps with Noivern, as it’ll lose a quarter of its HP just for switching in. In addition, thanks to Noivern’s underwhelming bulk, most strong neutral STAB attacks can 2HKO Noivern, so it has to be wary against things that it can’t 2HKO itself.
Locations in Games
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Black 2/White 2:
Not in game
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X & Y