In this edition of Pokemon of the Week, we will be analyzing everyone’s long favorite since gen 1, Clefable. Although we have yet to see what Clefable can do competitively in the upcoming meta, we would like to take some time to conduct a brief analysis on this pink Pikachu err, I mean balloon. There are so many new Fairies with the release of Sun/Moon that I feel Clefable might be outclassed. Although the meta favors offensive supports more, none of the new Fairies have provided a reasonable cleric support role thus far.
\\STAT & TYPE ANALYSIS//
Let’s start out the analysis with its base stats and typing;
95 HP / 70 Atk / 73 Def / 95 SpA / 90 SpD / 60 Spe
Although on the weaker side, Clefable has pretty balanced stats across the board that allows it to fulfill many different roles. With the introduction of Pokemon Sun/Moon, Clefable experienced no changes to its overall stats, remaining the same lovable pink balloon. The 95 HP is solid, allowing it to take hits reasonably well against invested neutral attacks. Clefable can also take a lot of hits against special attacks when EVs are invested into its base 90 SpD and in tandem with investments into HP. Although not very effective, it can also take some hits from physical attacks when EVs are invested into Def, but this is not recommended as there are much better Pokemon options. This is only possible because the Fairy typing has 2 weaknesses, Poison and Steel, both of which are not physically hard hitting in general.
The 95 SpA allows Clefable to hit hard when needed and is enough to 2HKO most Dragon, Dark and Fighting types even if uninvested. As for the 70 Atk, you can pretty much ignore that since Clefable learns nothing too amazing for physical attacks. Clefable is also pretty slow with a 60 base Speed, rendering it incapable of sweeping effectively out of harms way.
Before we move on to brewing potential builds for Clefable, lets first take some time and break down notable moves it can learn;
|::Leveling Up::||::TM::||::Egg Moves::||::Z Moves::|
|Encore||Calm Mind||Aromatherapy||Twinkle Tackle|
|Follow Me||Toxic||Belly Drum|
|Cosmic Power||Hidden Power||Heal Pulse|
|Healing Wish||Light Screen||Wish|
|Thunder Wave||Stealth Rock|
There are not a lot of moves to take note of here other than the ones italicized in pink, in which most of them are support moves. The smogon guides pretty much sum up the most optimized build there is out there as of ORAS but moving into Sun/Moon Pre-Pokebank, we lose some important moves such as Heal Bell and Stealth Rock. The primary attack move for Clefable is still Moonblast due to its high base power of 95, or 140 with STAB. The other key moves for Clefable is the Protect + Wish package. This is pretty standard, simply use Wish then follow it up with Protect to ensure the Wish carries through. It is also a must have in a cleric set and will continue to be relevant in the upcoming Sun/Moon meta.
The nerf to Thunder Wave is somewhat significant since it now has a 10% chance of missing. And missing with Thunder Wave can be detrimental since Clefable has borderline stats to begin with and will be a loss in momentum. However, Thunder Wave is a great move nonetheless, able counter Sweepers that invest everything into speed. The dual screens, Light Screen and Reflect, are both going to see a lot more play judging by the average defensive stats of Pokemon in Sun/Moon. The format might move to a relatively bulky format and if mitigating 2HKO into 4HKO is possible, then the dual screens will come in handy. Aromatherapy is great when running a team with a lack of non-volatile status checks, allowing you to recover from them. The last move, Healing Wish is pretty underrated in my opinion. It has its own niche to serve in glass cannon like team builds, for example, it can be used to catch-up in momentum since it also sends the Pokemon chosen into battle at the end of the turn.
Clefable is still one of the best Clerics out there, able to take hits effectively and support teams by recovering from status ailments. However, this generation, Clefable might not see as much play as it would during XY/ORAS meta. This is simply because there will be more anti-fairies like Salazzle, Kartana or Alolan Marowak running around during the Sun/Moon meta. If anything, Clefable will still be used due to its hidden ability Unaware, allowing it to ignore poison and burn damage. This is an extremely useful tool for Clerics to have as it prolongs their longevity.
The loss of Stealth Rock in Sun/Moon removed the possibility of Clefable to take on the hazard setter role. This narrowed the choices for Clefable and made it a lot easier to predict in competitive play. If you are planning to run Clefable in competitive play this season, you might want to change things up a bit by adding moves like Healing Wish, Toxic or Encore to make predictions harder for the opponent. Calm Mind + Heal Pulse with any Pokemon that can lock opposing team in place during doubles is something that could be looked into as well. All in all, Clefable can still be used but will be easily checked in this current meta relying on specific Pokemon to switch in to in order to be played effectively.
Nature: Calm / Bold
EVs: 248 HP / 248 Def or SpD / 12 Spe
Move 1: Wish
Move 2: Protect
Move 3: Moonblast
Move 4: Aromatherapy / Thunder Wave
2. Bulky Special Attacker
Ability: Magic Coat / Unaware
Item: Choice Specs / Choice Scarf / Life Orb
Nature: Timid / Modest
EVs: 248 HP / 248 SpD / 12 Spe
Move 1: Healing Wish
Move 2: Flamethrower
Move 3: Moonblast / Dazzling Gleam
Move 4: Psychic / Hidden Power – Ground
3. Toxic Stall
EVs: 248 HP / 248 SpD / 12 Spe
Move 1: Toxic
Move 2: Substitute
Move 3: Wish
Move 4: Protect / Moonblast
4. Doubles Support
Ability: Unaware / Magic Coat
EVs: 248 HP / 248 SpD / 12 Spe
Move 1: Reflect / Light Screen
Move 2: Moonblast
Move 3: Healing Pulse
Move 4: Calm Mind
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