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1 vote
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If you have a good competitive moveset for Zapdos, post an answer below and upvote the best ones. Movesets for its pre-evolutions, if any, can also be shared on this thread.

Be sure to include full set details in your post, e.g. items, abilties, natures and EVs. Some detail, including the intended game mode for your set, is also appreciated. Access the full list of guidelines here.

Zapdos Pokédex and learnset for reference.

Sprite

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Zapdos @ Leftovers
Trait: Lightningrod
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Agility
- Discharge
- Hidden Power [Flying]
- Roost
Does Zapdos get lightning rod?
No it's pressure or static

13 Answers

2 votes

Having Thunder AND Thunderbolt is a complete waste of a move spot.

Zapdos has great Special Attack so tailor towards that:
- Thunderbolt (more reliable than Thunder)
- Heat Wave (via tutor)
- Ancientpower (covers Ice weakness)
- either Steel Wing to cover Rock weakness, or Signal Beam (tutor), or something like Roost for recovery.

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Steel Wing also covers weakness to Ice. So does Heat Wave.
What nature?
Modest or timid.
Steel wing covers also rock
2 votes

Pressure Stall Zapdos*

Zapdos # Leftovers
Nature: Timid (^Speed -Atk)
Ability: Pressure
~ 252 Speed EVs / 200 HP EVs / 58 Defense EVs

  • Thunderbolt
  • Substitute
  • Roost
  • Toxic / Roar

Note: This set works a kajillion times better if the enemies are already Poisoned, from my experience. (Like Toxic Spikes, or a previous staller using Toxic) Although Zapdos comes with Toxic here, you can replace it with Roar if you have Toxic Spikes. Zapdos needs as much time as possible to set up a Substitute, and with the Speed to do it!

Zapdos can make a pretty good Pressure Staller! Although you can still sweep normally with this set, once you encounter something that bothers you, you can just start Substituting, and Roosting to begin the stall! Thunderbolt is there for the STAB, and just to help finish foes off. Substitute is there so that you can Sub & Roost all day long! :D
Have Toxic if you do not have a team with Toxic Spikes. If you have Toxic Spikes, repalce instead with Roar since you won't need Toxic anymore if they are already poisoned, and to bring in some foes to get them poisoned too!

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2 votes

Here is my Current Zapdos Moveset on my UU Team:

Zapdos@ Choice Specs

Trait: Pressure

EVs: 4 HP, 252 Sp. Attack, 252 Speed

Timid Nature:(-Attack, +Speed)

  • U-Turn
  • Thunderbolt
  • Heat Wave
  • Hidden Power [Ice]

This Movesrt is self explanatory. U-Turn makes Zapdos Scout, chosen over Volt Switch to strike opposing Lead Azelf and Mew. Thunderbolt is STAB, which strikes really hard paired with Choice Specs. Heat Wave is there for pesky Steel Types like Bronzong who can utterly wall Zapdos that lack Heat Wave. HP Ice is great coverage over Flygon, who rules the current UU Metagame* Considering most Zapdos are Scarfed, Most people won't dare keep Flygon in on a Zapdos.

*I mentioned Smogon Tiers there, not DB Tiers


-Mike

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2 votes

My predicted Moveset for Zapdos once it goes OU(If it does):

Zapdos @Life Orb/Choice Specs
Trait: Lightningrod
EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd
Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
- Thunder/Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Hidden Power Ground/Fighting/Ice
- Ancientpower/Roost

This is it. Thunder should be used on Rain Teams, but can be used on a non-weather Team due to Rain being so common in OU. Heat Wave nails those annoying Steels that plague OU. The Type of Hidden Power depends on what you need to be covered. HP Ground nails Heatran, HP Fighting nails Tyranitar, and HP Ice nails Dragonite/Salamence/Garchomp. Use Ancientpower with HP Ground/Fighting only, and Never with HP Ice. Roost can be used if you run HP Ice, but HP Ground and Ancientpower are the more prefered Moves(EdgeQuake Coverage). Item really varies on what you prefer, run Life Orb with Roost, and Choice Specs with All-Out Offense Variant.

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0 votes

Gen V

Zapdos @ Life Orb

Trait: Pressure

EVs: 64 HP / 252 SAtk / 64 SDef / 128 Spd

Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)

  • Heat Wave
  • Discharge
  • Roost
  • Tailwind

Discharge gives you a nice STAB that can paralyze the foe. Tailwind helps Zapdos and the rest of the team move faster, which can help change the tide of battle. Roost heals Zapdos, and Heat Wave provides type coverage. Life Orb puts more power behind your attacks, and you can just heal off the damage with Roost. Your EVs give you decent bulk that works well with good typing and Roost, good Speed for use with Tailwind, and good Special Attack.

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0 votes

Zapdos @ Life Orb

Role: Rain Scout

Trait: Pressure

EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd

Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)

  • Thunder
  • Hidden Power [Water]
  • Extrasensory
  • Volt Switch

Thunder gets STAB , perfect accuracy in the rain, and 30% chance to paralyze.
HP Water gets a rain boost, while Extrasensory is Coverage. And Volt Switch lets him scout.

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Don't you mean a Modest Nature? A Timid Nature ups speed, but lowers attack. A Modest Nature ups special attack but lowers attack.
No, he means Timid for the boost in speed.
XD  Sorry!!! I made a stupid mistake! It looked like it said special attack instead of speed for a second!
Why Thunder? It’s not gonna hit 30% of the time
0 votes

Double/Triple Battle

Zapdos @ Life Orb
Trait: Lightningrod
EVs: 196 Atk / 60 SAtk / 252 Spd
Hasty Nature (+Spd, -Def)
- Light Screen
- Drill Peck
- Discharge
- Hidden Power [Ground]

I have to admit, I feel strange passing up Air Cutter, Heat Wave, and Tailwind. But Lightningrod is worth it. However, your movepool becomes limited, so I put in EVs in Attack to allow for Drill Peck. Okay, yeah, really feeling strange about this. Drill Peck thankfully gets STAB and can hit any foe in a Triple Battle. As for 300 Special Attack, just use a Discharge teammate. Light Screen provides team support, and makes me feel weird about using a Defense lowering nature. Discharge is STAB and a great move in multi-battles. HP is coverage. Yeah, this set just makes me feel weird. I've used it a few times (I love Zapdos) and it works out pretty good, but I still can't get over all the lessons I've learned throughout the years all being thrown away in one set.

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0 votes

My Zapdos' Moveset :

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Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Spd / 4 HP
Timid Nature
- Thunderbolt
- Heat Wave
- Roost
- Substitute


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0 votes

Zapdos @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Pressure
252 Special Attack, 252 Speed, 4 Hp
Modest nature

Thunderbolt
Heat Wave
Volt Switch
Hidden Power(Ice)

Choice Scarf allows him to outspeed the many Greninja running around these days, allowing you to take out a big threat. Heat Wave is coverage. Volt Switch allows you to switch while doing damage, and it will go first 99% of the time with the Scarf. Hidden Power ice provides coverage against dragons and ground type Pokemon.

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I'd say he's more of a special attacker. Volt Switch is physical, while the rest of his moves are special.
Courtesy to any who might get confused, the above is wrong; Volt Switch is a Special move, not a Physical move.
0 votes

Zapdos @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA
Modest Nature
- Thunder
- Roost
- Thunder Wave
- Defog

A very straight forward bulky build for Zapdos. You\ bring it out to stop set ups or sweeps. Once you slow them down with t-wave, you got roost to replenish your health while you sweep. With all the bulk, it should take most hits pretty well, and with a massive special attack, you can take out most heavy hitters with the thunder. (Talonflame, Charizard, etc.) Also, the t-wave is a really great combo with the roost, to stall out your opponent with all that bulk. The defog is just in case if you got stealth rocks shoved up your ass.

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0 votes

Zapdos is a good special attacker

Thunderbolt - Good SpA electric move and has 100% accuracy with 90 power
Roost- Good for recovering and may cause opponent to rage quit... LOL
Heat Wave- Covers ice weakness, 90% accuracy and 95 power
Hidden Power (Ice)- Covers ground weakness

Item- Choice Band, or any Electric Type Item
Ability- Static, 30% of paralyzing opponents Pokemon if it makes contact
EV- 248 HP, - Atk, 252+ SpA, 8 SpD

Modest Nature

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Choice Band = Physical, do you mean Specs? And I dont think its legally possible for it to get Static...
yes, sorry for the confusion
It gets Static as it’s hidden ability
0 votes

[email protected]/Choice Scarf
EVs:252 Sp.Atk/190 Atk/68 Spd
Trait:LightningRod
Nature:Mild(+Sp.Atk -Def)
Moves:
Thunder/ThunderBolt-STAB
Rain Dance(If your running Thunder)/Ancient Power-Coverage
Heat Wave-More Coverage
Roost/Drill Peck/Hidden Power[Flying]/Volt Switch/U Turn

Alright, so since Zapdos doesn’t really get to many good special flying moves I decided to allow drill peck, and that’s why I have some EVs for Attack when Zapdos is mainly a Special Attacker, So the other moves are pretty predictable, ThunderBolt for STAB, you could go thunder but I think ThunderBolt is better for the accuracy, Heat Wave covers your ice weakness better than ancient power, ancient power is there for that nice boost in all your stats if you get lucky, if you don’t want drill peck then go for hidden power because Zapdos is definitely a better Special Attacker, or roost to, well... you know #TRIGGERD, You might want Volt switch or you turn to just get out of a bad situation.
So if your running scarf then you out speed those annoying Greninjas running around and you can take out a very fast and big threat. Leftovers just for more recovery.

-RainbowSheep.

sheepswag

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0 votes


Ability: Static
Modest Nature
252 HP, 6 Def, 252 Sp. Atk
Item:Leftovers
- Discharge
- Heat Wave
- Hidden Power Ice
- Roost

This combines utility with power. Zapdos has few weaknesses and with its resistances, can go toe-to-toe with many different Pokemon. It can switch easily into Steel, Grass, and Bug-type moves and hit their STAB users hard with Heat Wave. It also does well against Fighting and Flying-Types with Discharge; Static with Discharge work together to give you a very good chance of paralyzing other Pokemon (On a turn where Zapdos uses Discharge and an opponent uses a contact move, you have a 51% chance of landing paralysis.) Many Bug, Fighting, Steel, and Flying type moves also make contact, so not only does Zapdos switch into them easily, Static punishes their users just from the act of allowing Zapdos to switch in. If they retreat, Discharge can potentially paralyze non-Ground, non-Electric Pokemon they fall back to. Paralyzed targets will almost always be slower than Zapdos, and it even gives it the potential to enable Roost spam--you'd use it contentiously until the opponent becomes fully paralyzed and gives you a free turn. Both of these are reasons to have Max HP instead of Max Speed, and taking hits better also draws out the usefulness of Lefties and Roost. Hidden Power Ice is mainly to strike Ground and Dragon Types, especially Pokemon 4x weak to Ice like Landorus or Garchomp.

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