How Good is Your Eevee Matchup in VGC 2017?
Eevee is a Pokemon beloved by fans mainly for its colorful array of evolved forms. These evolved forms of Eevee have had success in a number of competitive formats, but with Pokemon Sun and Moon’s introduction of Z-Moves, Eevee has now solidified itself as a force to be reckoned with.
Eevee’s signature Z-move is Extreme Evoboost, a move that makes Xerneas’ Geomancy look pitiful by comparison. This Z-Move doubles all of Eevee’s stats, which Eevee can then Baton Pass to something that can use these boosts to sweep your team. This strategy was regarded as nothing but a gimmick earlier in the format but has risen in popularity recently due to how difficult it can be to stop.
The Evoboost strategy has a number of auto-loss scenarios involving the removal of the stat boosts or the team’s chosen sweeper. The team itself has evolved significantly to help mitigate its weaknesses, but sometimes a random Haze can ruin the team’s win potential.
In this article, we’ll go over all of the ways a team can shut down Eevee’s shenanigans by level of effectiveness. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be able to answer the question: “How good is my Eevee matchup?”
The Typical Eevee Team Members
Eevee’s move set is standard across most teams with Last Resort (needed to use Extreme Evoboost), Baton Pass and Protect being essential. Some players choose to run attacking moves like Quick Attack to help break Focus Sashes or Double-Edge to give Eevee some means of damage output.
Smeargle is not nearly as devastating with it losing access to Dark Void, but it’s by no means useless. Moody can still swing games into one’s favor with one Speed or Evasion boost and Smeargle’s support move pool remains virtually endless. You can expect the typical Fake Out, Spore and Follow Me for almost all Smeargle accompanying Eevee, but the fourth move slot has room for variance. Spiky Shield, Wide Guard, Parting Shot and Transform are all viable fourth move options.
Friend Guard plus Follow Me support is Clefairy’s game for most teams. Heal Pulse is also standard to help heal the Evoboosted sweepers to increase their longevity.
Some skilled players may Protect Clefairy on a predicted double attack into it, which usually leaves Eevee free to set up or Baton Pass. To prevent this game-costing mistake it’s usually just safe to attack the Eevee slot even with an obvious coming Follow Me.
A rather new member to the Eevee team, Whimsicott has support options unique from Clefairy and Smeargle. Whimsicott can use Tailwind to ensure Eevee and its teammates are faster than the opponent’s team. Prankster Taunt can be used to shut down an opponent’s moves like Taunt or Haze due to Prankster’s increased priority. Other potential options could be Encore, Memento, Reflect, Light Screen, Safeguard and much more.
The primary physical sweeper of the team, Krookodile is valued for its access to the move Power Trip. Acting like Stored Power (which we’ll get to soon) the base power of Power Trip increases for each stat boost on the user (Power Trip becomes a base 220 power move with the Extreme Evoboost stat raises). Krookodile’s ability could either be Intimidate to weaken its opponents or Moxie which can further increase its Attack power with each KO it picks up.
Espeon is another commonly used sweeper with it having access to the aforementioned Stored Power. This incredibly powerful 220 base power move is devastating with it even having the potential to be increased in strength from an opponent’s Psychic Terrain.
Espeon’s ability Magic Bounce makes it even more useful for this combo. Magic Bounce allows Espeon to negate status moves that target it like Roar, Whirlwind, Thunder Wave, Taunt, etc.
While already having very high Special Attack and Speed, Espeon can easily be invested more on the defensive side with little detriment to its sweeping power.
While Tapu Fini doesn’t get access to a move like Stored Power and Power Trip, it’s high base defenses and ability to set up Misty Terrain make it a valuable teammate. Misty Terrain can block status conditions while Tapu Fini itself can use Psych Up and perform the role of a sweeper. With access to Psych Up, Eevee players have options in how to use or set up Tapu Fini.
How To Beat Eevee
I decided to put Taunt at the top since its the most widely learned move in the format. Taunt does a number of things by stopping Follow Me from Clefairy and Smeargle to stopping Eevee from using Baton Pass.
There are a number of viable Pokemon that have access to Taunt that can also out-speed Smeargle such as Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Aerodactyl, Whimsicott, Murkrow, etc.
A lesser seen move in competitive play, but quite a useful move in this format. Haze eliminates all stat changes (even negative ones) on the field. With the stat boosts gone, there’s nothing for the Eevee strategy to work with so it usually falls apart.
Support Pokemon like Murkrow and Drifblim can take advantage of their speed. Murkrow is particularly effective since it is immune to Prankster Taunt due to its Dark-typing. We’ve even seen haze tech’d onto Choice Specs Tapu Fini sets which is a great way to catch an Eevee team off-guard.
3) Perish Song
With the absence of Shadow Tag, Perish Song has not seen much use in VGC 2017. Luckily, the Perish Song counter transfers through Baton Pass ensuring that either the sweeper and/or the boosted stats are gone in three turns.
The downside of Perish Song is that it requires either an uncommon teammate like Politoed, Murkrow, or Gengar or the sacrifice of a more common move on a Pokemon like Marowak.
These moves are quite common with potential use on popular Pokemon like Arcanine, Gyarados, Tapu Koko and Tapu Bulu. If Eevee can be targeted on turn one, then Roar can force Eevee out and remove all of its boosts.
The reason why Roar is harder to use as an answer these days is because of the increased usage of Espeon. Still, Roar can be a surprise to win a first game if the opponent is not expecting it.
5) Trick Room
I initially made this section just “Speed Control” but with the growing popularity of Whimsicott, Tailwind is significantly less effective. Pokemon like Smeargle and Clefairy can prove troublesome for Trick Room as Smeargle can Spore the Trick Room setter and Clefairy’s low speed makes it easier to spam Heal Pulse under Trick Room. The reason I believe Trick Room is the most effective method of speed control for dealing with Eevee teams is that Trick Room sweepers like Snorlax, Gigalith, and Torkoal can all either boost themselves or fire off strong attacks from the get-go.
Of course, if you don’t have a special tech move you can always try to overwhelm Eevee and its teammate to make turn one a bit more difficult. It’s a difficult situation for both players as there is a bunch of mind games with potential Protects and Smeargle shenanigans.
Tapu Koko in combination with another fast Pokemon like Garchomp, Kartana and Nihilego threaten huge damage to Eevee and its partner with the Electric Terrain blocking Spore. Tapu Lele plus another heavy hitter can prevent Smeargle from using Fake Out with Tapu Lele potentially threatening a KO or a Taunt.
There are a good amount of combinations that threaten Eevee solely based on damage output, but there is still a large prediction game to deal with.
7) Snarl + Intimidate
This “strategy” is at the bottom since Snarl isn’t too common and Intimidate is useless in the face of Espeon or Tapu Fini. Still, lowering your opponent’s stats is a good way to check the Eevee player’s damage output, but there’s going to have to be a lot of switching and predicting involved with this strategy as well.
8) Good Individual Pokemon Against Eevee
An already established Trick Room setter that also has access to Taunt. Or if you want to be like Gary Qian, you can use Curse to inflict a Perish Song-like effect onto Eevee and its potential Baton Pass targets.
Kartana’s fantastic typing plus its ability Beast Boost make it a huge threat to Eevee on its own. It can hit a lot of the Eevee team for super-effective damage and even rival in stat boosts if it’s able to pick up KO’s.
Arcanine is pretty much on every team plus it gets access to moves like Roar and Snarl to accomplish two of the aforementioned strategies. Just a good Pokemon to have in general.
Rating Your Eevee Match Up
Any of the Top 3 listed = Great!
4/5 = OK
Anything below 5 = Consider the first 5
Any combination of the above strategies is an “OK” or better.
I hope this article was able to help any players out there who struggle with the Eevee matchup. If you’re looking to potentially try the Extreme Evoboost strategy for yourself, check out Giovanni Costa’s 2017 teams so far or check out Sejun Park’s team he used to get Top 4 at the Korean National Championships. Good luck with Eevee!
Thanks for reading!
Art/Images of Pokémon from Pokémon and Ken Sugimori
Featured Image from Pokémon Sun and Moon