PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
1 vote

I've seen on a lot of move sets for Ghost and Psychic types they have Electric type moves like Thunderbolt or Shock Wave. I'd like to know why. They say it's for coverage, but against what? Ghost types are weak to Dark and Ghost and Psychic types are weak to Bug, Dark and Ghost, none of which are weak to Electric type attacks.

Tell me what your answer is.

EDIT:Sure a lot of Bug types and part Flying such as Butterfree, Ledian, Beautifly,etc, but it's rare to the point of being almost impossible to see those on the competitive scene, and even then it's likely you'll have better options like a Fire type, a Rock type or another Flying type.

edited by
If they are part-Water- or part-Flying-type, I'd see why they'd use Electric-type moves for coverage.
It may be that they are not providing coverage for themselves, but rather for other members of their team.  The other team member might have weak coverage against Flying or Water types, which the Psychic or Ghost ally is carrying the Electric move.
Honest answer: they don't know any better. Thunderbolt might be helpful to Psychic-types as a move that can land a neutral hit on other Psychic Pokemon, but otherwise Focus Blast (which is often an option for Psychic and Ghost Pokemon) solves all your problems. I probably wouldn't listen to anyone who suggests Shock Wave, it's a poor move in general.

2 Answers

2 votes

It's for coverage.

Not sure why, but Thunderbolt and Thunder are frequently available options for a lot of psychic and ghost type Pokémon. If you're running a special sweeper, you may want to prioritise coverage to ensure you can hit everything. It's not just what the Pokémon type is weak to, but what its STAB moves will struggle to damage.

Psychic type moves are not very effective against other psychics, steel, and have no effect against dark.
Ghost type moves are not very effective against dark and have no effect against normal.

Given the types listed, it may seem like a fighting type move would be a better option for coverage, however the only special fighting move many of these Pokémon can learn is Focus Blast, which has bad accuracy. Thunderbolt is easy access, good power and accuracy, and provides more complete coverage. (There will still be some Pokémon like Hydreigon that might slip through the cracks.)

But electric type moves aren't super effective on dark types, steel types and fellow psychic types.
1 vote

The most common Electric type move is Thunderbolt and honestly it's the only Electric move (apart from Volt Switch) generally seen outside of Rain teams.

While obviously coverage is the general point, I'd like to add one or two more points:

  • Spammability
  • Chance to paralyze
  • Increasing number of Water type Pokemon
  • The prevalence of lead Koko setting up Electric Terrain also boosts the move (though same argument can be used in case of Lele's Psychic Terrain, but Koko is more common lead with switch out utility whereas Lele is a wall breaker by itself)

Thunderbolt have excellent spammabillity with a maximum 24 PP, and it has a chance to paralyze. This is of great importance because most Ghost Pokemon carrying the move in the first place are offensively based, and generally fare poorly against walls and such. However, getting that critical paralysis makes it so much easier for the next Pokemon to take it down.

Further, there's plenty of Dark type Pokemon running around, and a good number of other Psychic resists (Steel and other Psychic type, both very common) that can switch in, but lesser Ground types / Electric resists. Even Electric resists (that are not Electric type) i.e. Dragon and Grass types are crippled by the Paralysis chance, Dragon even more so. Ghost moves are not so spammable as there's a good number of Dark type Pokemon running around, and don't generally have secondary status side effects.

Also, there's a lot of Water type Pokemon that are relevant in the meta that need to be threatened. Fewer Flying types now, but the bulkier Water types are annoying to deal with, so it's better safe than sorry.