Shining In the Sun – Espeon’s Meta Breaking Adventure!

Espeon has been my favourite Pokémon ever since its debut in Pokémon Gold & Silver – back in those days leaks surrounding new Pokémon titles were far from common making a completely blind first playthrough very possible. Not knowing Eevee had acquired two new evolutions, you can imagine my surprise at eight years old watching my Eevee randomly evolve into a psychic cat of destruction!

At least once every format I attempt to make my favourite Pokémon viable; ironically 2016, in a format full of big, scary cover legendary Pokémon, was the last time Espeon displayed it’s potential in competitive play with its ability to bounce back Dark Voids from Smeargle and Trick Xerneas’ Power Herb away. Naturally, I took full advantage of this surprise viability by featuring Espeon in my 2016 nationals team and that, I thought, would be it for this fabulous Pink creature…

That is, until, the new Dynamax feature was unveiled for VGC 20 which promised to be a mechanic in which all Pokémon would be given a chance to shine in competitive play. How could I resist giving Espeon another shot at the realms of competitive play?

The Stats

esp base stats

Especially in a restricted format, Espeon’s base Special Attack and Speed are ridiculously high, boasting the second most powerful Psychic in the game (only behind Hatterene). On the surface Espeon’s bulk of 65/60/95 seems lackluster at best; however, when Dynamaxed, Espeon becomes surprisingly bulky on the special side and can still stand up to some powerful non super effective physical attacks.

The Movepool

In generations gone by, a big issue for the Eeveelutions, and one of the reasons they are usually so overlooked in competitive play is their shallow movepools.

Espeon has access to some interesting support moves, the most notable consisting of:

  • Yawn
  • Trick
  • Charm
  • Skill Swap
  • Fake Tears
  • Ally Switch
  • Trick Room
  • Helping Hand
  • Reflect/Light Screen

For me, the most optimal Espeon spread, and the ones we shall be covering, consists purely of offensive moves. In generation eight, Espeon has been granted access to Weather Ball – an attack which changes type to match the weather on the field and also doubles in power. An interesting quirk with this move is that it changes in type even whilst Dynamaxed, granting Espeon some surprise KO’s on usual threats such as Ferrothorn, Tyrannitar and Charizard; check out the calcs below!

252 SpA Espeon Weather Ball (100 BP Fire) vs. 252 HP / 36+ SpD Ferrothorn in Sun: 268-316 (148 – 174.5%) — guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Life Orb Espeon Weather Ball (100 BP Water) vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Tyranitar in Rain: 224-265 (108.2 – 128%) — guaranteed OHKO

252 SpA Life Orb Espeon Helping Hand Max Rockfall (130 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Charti Berry Charizard: 328-387 (107.1 – 126.4%) — guaranteed OHKO

Sun is currently one of the most common archtypes on the VGC Ladder and Espeon has an extremely favourable matchup. Magic Bounce allows Espeon to ignore Sleep Powders from Venusaur and can KO Torkoal with a Max Mindstorm or KO Charizard with a max Rockfall provided you can switch a Sand Setter in on the turn Espeon wants to attack.

 

The Partners

As alluded to above, the main pull with using Espeon is the access to Weather Ball, so naturally Pokémon which can change the weather make an ideal partner. Pokémon which can boost Espeon’s damage output and speed are also invaluable partners, we’ll list some sample spreads for partner Pokémon below!

Tyranitar

Tyranitar @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Sand Stream
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 44 Atk / 60 Def / 124 SpD / 28 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Rock Slide
– Crunch
– Superpower
– Protect

Tyranitar acts as an excellent switch in, allowing Espeon to catch out some of the more common threats and score surprise KO’s with Max Rockfall against non Charti Berry Charizard and more offensive Incineroar.

Whimsicott

Whimsicott @ Focus Sash
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Energy Ball
– Tailwind
– Sunny Day
– Helping Hand

Whimsicott provides Speed Control to make Espeon the quickest Pokémon on the field, sets Sunny Day to give Espeon access to Max Flare (which helps take care of troublesome Ferrothorn) and also increases the damage output with Helping Hand. Fake Tears is also a somewhat viable option, but keep in mind it will be unusable against grounded Pokémon should Espeon set Psychic Terrian using Max Mindstorm. Whimsicott also outspeeds Espeon so you’re able to knock out opposing Mimikyu trying to set Trick Room with Max Phantasm once Energy Ball breaks the disguise.

Mega_Sableye

Sableye @ Roseli Berry
Ability: Prankster
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 164 SpD
Sassy Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Quash
– Helping Hand
– Rain Dance
– Foul Play

Sableye offers similar support to Whimsicott, this time setting the Rain to provide Espeon access to Max Geyser.

Follow this link for a paste of the sample weather team!

Gengar_Spooky

Gengar-Gmax @ Salac Berry/Petaya Berry
Ability: Cursed Body
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 244 Def / 4 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Fling
– Taunt
– Icy Wind
– Shadow Ball

Salazzle

Salazzle (F) @ Salac Berry/Petaya Berry
Ability: Corrosion
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Fling
– Fake Out
– Overheat
– Helping Hand

Other notable options for this combination are Inteleon, Salazzle & Whimsicott; the idea here is to partner Gengar/Salazzle with Espeon and fling either the Salac or Petaya Berry at an Espeon holding Weakness Policy. Fling will activate the Weakness Policy and the flung berry will activate providing Espeon a speed boost or an additional Special Attack Boost. The rest of the moves on Gengar/Salazzle should be tailored to your particular team.

Sample Espeon Spreads

Whilst Espeon does have a wide range of support moves, there are many better options to utilise the majority of these support moves. As a consequence, we will only be covering the offensive variants of Espeon which can be used in conjunction with the partners listed above:

espeon1

Espeon @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Magic Bounce
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 188 Def / 180 SpA / 4 SpD / 100 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Psychic
– Shadow Ball
– Dazzling Gleam

This spread is to be used in conjunction with a Salac Berry fling user. The spread allows Espeon to outspeed Dragapult at +1 and survive a Max Phantasm at full health whilst Dyamaxed; if you don’t feel the need for the additional bulk you can reinvest the EV’s in Special Attack and Speed for a basic 252/252 spread. If your fling user of choice is Gengar, ensure Espeon’s speed stat is at least a point lower to allow your Weakness Policy to activate before attacking.

Espeon @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Magic Bounce
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Protect
– Psychic
– Shadow Ball
– Dazzling Gleam

If your Berry of choice is Petaya, you’ll be best served running this spread to maximise Espeon’s Speed and damage output.

I run Protect on both of these spreads to provide the option of having Weakness Policy activated by opposing max moves whilst setting up your desired Speed Control, however this slot can be tweaked depending on the composition of your team!

espeon2

Espeon (F) @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Bounce
Shiny: Yes
EVs: 44 HP / 180 Def / 28 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Psychic
– Shadow Ball
– Weather Ball
– Dazzling Gleam

In terms of EV’s for weather Espeon you have two main options. The above spread ensures Espeon will survive a Max Phantasm from opposing Dragapult & a turn of Life Orb whilst Dynamaxed; the other option is just your basic 252/252 spread, however the difference in damage output isn’t too noticeable between the two spreads.

And that’s pretty much it for Espeon! I’ve had a blast using Espeon in 2020 and you can watch me using it below!

I’m not the only content creator to experience the power of Espeon! Pokétubers James Baek and Aaron Zheng have both had experience with Espeon this season, their video’s can be watched below!

If you have any suggestions for Pokémon or strategies you wish to see covered on the site, feel free to reach out over at Facebook or Twitter

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