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Well I was just thinking of a competitive team in 2v2 2020 VGC format and I began thinking of Talonflame with Gale Wings. Next morning, I run some calcs and I am quite surprised with my results.

FYI: 108 HP, 252 Attack, 96 defense, 52 speed, ADAMANT (not Jolly)
Item: Life orb

I have just a few questions:
a) Talonflame's weaknesses
Sure it's vulnerable to Rock Slide. However, that can easily be checked by Talonflame's teammate.
Sure it's frail. However, run it alongside a Rage Powder Amoongus or a Follow me Togekiss, set up swords dance and the opponent is in for a ride.

I just want to know why it isn't used that much. Is it because of its low damage output? If so:
252+ Atk Life Orb Gale Wings Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Cinderace: 136-161 (87.7 - 103.8%) -- 25% chance to OHKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Gale Wings Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Dragapult: 134-160 (82.2 - 98.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Gale Wings Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 184 Def Amoonguss: 229-273 (103.6 - 123.5%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Gale Wings Talonflame Brave Bird vs. +1 252 HP / 0 Def Grassy Seed Rillaboom: 156-187 (75.3 - 90.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
**And mind you, that's a Grassy Seed Rillaboom**
252+ Atk Life Orb Talonflame Flare Blitz vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Excadrill: 320-377 (172.9 - 203.7%) -- guaranteed OHKO

Some Max-Airstream calcs:

252+ Atk Life Orb Gale Wings Talonflame Max Airstream vs. 252 HP / 148+ Def Incineroar: 107-126 (52.9 - 62.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252+ Atk Life Orb Gale Wings Talonflame Max Airstream vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Kingdra: 133-156 (88.6 - 104%) -- 18.8% chance to OHKO
**Will do more damage to the mons above**

As for defensive:
252+ Atk Libero Cinderace Gunk Shot vs. 108 HP / 96 Def Talonflame: 121-144 (72.4 - 86.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Rillaboom Grassy Glide vs. 108 HP / 96 Def Talonflame in Grassy Terrain: 22-26 (13.1 - 15.5%) -- possible 7HKO
Rillaboom not a threat

As far as I can see, it has great offensive potential, alongside with some defense against the metagame in Sw/Sh.

b) What are some of Talonflame's good teammates?
Pretty self explanatory.

c) What is the standard way of using Talonflame?
Tailwind support? Swords dance sweeper? Wall-breaker?

edited by
from what i see tailwind and also max airstream spam

2 Answers

6 votes
Best answer

Hi! I’ll try and answer your questions.

A. Talonflame’s Weaknesses
As you mentioned, Rock Slide is very bad for talonflame. Fake Out is also bad because it removes gale wings and takes away a turn of setup. Another weakness of talonflame is its relatively low base attack, but this can be overcome. A quick glance at Pikalytics (A website for Pokémon usage stats, it’s vey helpful) tells me that the common Pokémon that can exploit talonflame’s weaknesses are Tyranitar, Rillaboom and Incineroar.

Of course, Talonflame is very weak to stealth rock, but nobody uses them in VGC anyway.

B. Good Teammates for Talonflame
Looking at talonflame’s threats, Rillaboom, as you mentioned, is checked by talonflame anyway, so You need a way to deal with tyranitar and incineroar. A very niche pick would be Hitmontop. It offers fake out to help setup, wide guard to stop rock slide, and close combat to hit both incineroar and Tyranitar hard, not to mention intimidate. However, Dynamaxing Tyranitar will destroy both fake out and wide guard, so you might be better off with redirection, but keep in mind that rock slide will beat ridirection.

If you’re using an offensive Talonflame, a defiant Pokémon is probably good to scare off incineroar, because talonflame already has low attack. I’d pick Passimian over bisharp or braviary because braviary plus talonflame equals very bad rock slides, and bisharp is weak to incineroar anyway. Passimian, however, counters both incineroar and Tyranitar.

If you’re using a support talonflame, I think that Water Urshifu would be fantastic because priority tailwind means it can outspeed cinderace, and adamant expert belt is a OHKO even when Dynamaxed (no bulk). It also counters Tyranitar.

C. What Talonflame set is commonly used

This question is easy, Pikalytics says that Talonflame’s most common move is tailwind, with taunt being up there as well. Dual wing beat is also used to OHKO whimsicott through sash with priority. This shows that it’s usually support, but it has some offensive usage.
Hope I helped!

selected by
Thanks for the detailed response! Couldn't have asked for a better answer :>
Of course! Happy to help :)
Wow, so detailed! I'll learn on making strategies like this in the future.
Cool! It’s probably a little overkill, but I find that going really in depth for these kind of questions actually helps my understanding of the game as well, because I’ll learn things I wouldn’t have found out otherwise.
0 votes

[email protected] Orb
Ability: Gale Wings
Nature: Lonely
EV: 252 Spe/ 252 Atk/ 4 SpA
-Swords Dance
-Flare Blitz/Flame Charge
-Air Slash/Brave Bird

Swords dance to make Talonflame break through walls (lol). Life Orb so Talonflame can hit hard. Flare Blitz for maximum STAB power, but you can also do Flame Charge to increase your speed. Air Slash to flinch dangerous boost stealers like Marshadow or maybe Pokemon weak to it but still can threaten your Talonflame. You can do Brave Bird instead to access STAB power. Roost to abuse recoil if you chose Flare Blitz, which I highly recommend. A good teammate for it would be Clefable, because it's pretty bulky and can learn Follow Me. If you have the right teammates, you're Talonflame will sweep the entire opponent's team (OK, maybe not all of them.) Use Rapid Spin Torkoal to set up sunnny day and Rapid Spin Sticky Web and stealth rock that would prove a threat for Talonflame. You can also use Excadrill, but I prefer using Torkoal cause Sunny Day makes Talonflame's Flare Blitz even more powerful.

edited by
Focus Sash is futile tho...
FLare Blitz going to get you recoil...
Plus, After roost, your ability to STAB brave bird is gone, not abusing its Gale Wings ability as it is built for...
Additionally, you could change its speed investment to at least tank something before dying...
Not the best but I like your teammate ideas.
Actually, roost only removes flying type for that turn. So you’d become weak to ground but neutral to electric, which would revert back to normal after that turn.