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[VGC] It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a...Blim?!
#1
[Image: 61a6a4dc3aed3daa64fd1d6b1e2644c20326aa77_hq.jpg]
Hey, everybody! It's 0kamii, and today I begin my long-awaited VGC standard post!

Frankly, I'm still not sure why everyone wanted to me to cover a VGC standard mon. Mainly for two reasons: 1) Worlds is coming up in a month, so the season is practically over and 2) there's a reason these mons are VGC standard, because they already have working sets. I don't see the point in reinventing the wheel, but I'm bound by the chains of suggestion. You asked, and now I'm here to answer. In my crosshairs today is the Gen 4 Ghost/Flying-Type that I largely overlooked until the appearance of one on at the Anaheim Regional Championships. Raghav Malaviya, who as far as I know, was the original creator of the Drifblim craze, and the Blimp Pokémon's place in the VGC 2017 metagame was solidified once Zoe Lou won the Melbourne International Championships with one on her team providing Tailwind support. Since then, we've set about three different sets surface around the internet, and frankly they all work just fine. But is there more to the Blimp Pokémon that has yet to be revealed? Let's dive, and find out!

Type:
[Image: drifblim.png]
Weaknesses: x2 Rock, x2 Ghost, x2 Electric, x2 Ice, x2 Dark
Resistances: x1/2 Poison, x1/2 Bug, x1/2 Grass
Immunities: x0 Normal, x0 Fighting, x0 Ground
 
Drilfblim is quite a contradiction isn't it? It has three great immunities, but five awful weaknesses. Rock-Type is very common this format thanks to Rock Slide and Rockium Z Gigalith, Ghost-Type is either a hit or miss, Electric-Types are EVERYWHERE, as is Ice-Type, and Dark-Types only have minor appearances here and there. On the flip side, immunities to Normal, Fighting, and Ground-Types are huge right now. That saves it from hard-hitting pokémon like Garchomp and its Earthquake (beware of Rock Slide, though), Close Combat from Buzzwole, Hariyama, and Facade from Snorlax. However, its typing also leaves it weak to Tapu Koko, which can OHKO it with a Life Orb and Electric Terrain. Alolan Ninetales can hit it really hard with Blizzard/Freeze-Dry, and as aforementioned, Gigalith is Drifblim's worst nightmare. I think Drifblim has the tools necessary to be useful, as has already been proven time and time again, but looking at its weakenesses, I find it surprising that it hasn't been nixed from the metagame.

Stats:
 
HP: 150 (210 - 257)
Attack: 80 (76 - 145)
Defense: 44 (44 - 105)
Sp. Attack: 90 (85 - 156)
Sp. Defense: 54 (53 - 116)
Speed: 80 (76 - 145)
 
Wow. I haven't seen an HP stat that disgusting since I analyzed Alomomola a couple months ago. Is that 210 HP without any investment? Gees, that's almost as much as Snorlax (min. 220). A Speed of 80 is easily able to outspeed common VGC threats like Tapu Koko once Tailwind is up, or Unburden is activated. Its almost equal attacking stats make it impossible to tell whether it's running Shadow Ball or Acrobatics. Both of which benefit from Unburden, but mostly Acrobatics. As for its defenses, the usual Seed set that we see boosts that quite handily, and couple with that bloated HP stat, you'll be hard-pressed to OHKO a Drifblim, but it can be done regardless. Drifblim's stats are well-rounded enough, but given the way it's fallen into the metagame as a supportive pokémon and not as an attacker should tell you all you need to know.

Abilities:

I'm noticing a trend here. All of the pokémon I've recently analyzed have one great ability, and one mediocre ability. In Drifblim's case, which is which is very obvious. Unburden is going to be the way to go here. It doubles Drifblim's Speed upon using its item, which will typically be a Psychic/Misty Seed. This lets it outspeed the majority of the things that threaten it, provided Trick Room isn't up. Aftermath is okay, but you could easily do the same thing with Destiny Bond, which we'll cover in a moment. Flare Boost is the ability that's kind of weak. Believe me, I tried using Drifblim as an attacker during testing, and it just wasn't doing enough damage, even with the x1.5 boost to its Sp. Attack. Flare Boost, in my opinion, is going to be better for Singles, but for VGC (which is all Doubles) Unburden reigns supreme for a reason. Being able to double your Speed, boost your Sp. Defense, and set up Tailwind all in one turn is just too nifty to pass up for a meager x1.5 Sp. Attack boost. Stick with Unburden, trust me on that.

Movepool:

Basically every notable move that Drifblim gets has been beaten to death on this site already. It does have a wide supportive movepool, but there's only so many ways you can talk about it without sounding like I'm @Black117's parrot. Here's the quick version, since they already have a very in-depth post about why Drifblim has a great supportive movepool. Tailwind is the only move that gives Drifblim any real substance. Doubling Speed for all your pokémon is great, and thanks to other pesky support moves like Will-O-Wisp, Disable, Destiny Bond, and Haze, it could easily become the most annoying pokémon on the field if left unchecked. Some good attacking options for Drifblim are Shadow Ball and Acrobatics, as previously mentioned. But it also gets Psychic and Thunderbolt f you need any coverage. Other notable moves Drifblim gets are Thunder Wave, Amnesia, Explosion, Calm Mind, Embargo, and Psych Up.

Here's the link to @Black117's post about Drifblim if you're interested: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-VGC-VGC...e-Movesets)

Overall:

I feel like over the course of this analysis I've told you nothing that you don't already know. Yes, Drifblim is a great support pokémon with a good movepool and usable stats. And...? Who didn't already know that? WHAT?! We're you expecting me to tell you that Drifblim actually has more offensive potential than previous explored? That I found an even better way to run a Drifblim that hasn't been discovered? Sorry, guys. This is why I don't analyze common VGC mons, because we already know how they work and what works with and against them. Drifblim is a fun pokémon to use, but its niche role is so well-integrated that trying to branch out from it only ended in disaster. I know, I ran over 15 battles per set. Only the one with Tailwind proved to be any use. That being said however, don't let my pessimism get the best of you. Drifblim is still and awesome pokémon, and I had a lot of fun testing one. And even though I don't think it has much room to expand, I did experiment with a sightly more...unconventional set, as you'll soon learn. As always, here's a link to the damage calculator is dispel any doubt of Drifblim's ability to sponge most hits: (https://pokemonshowdown.com/damagecalc/).

The Sets:
 
Set 1 - Tailwind Support
[Image: drifblim.png]
Drifblim @ Psychic/Misty Seed
Ability: Unburden
EVs: 92 Atk / 164 Def / 252 Sp. Def
Jolly Nature
- Tailwind
- Will-O-Wisp
- Acrobatics
- Disable
 
This is the set I used in the majority of the test battles. I got OHKOed on turn one once, and the rest of the time Drifblim helped a Choice Specs Tapu Lele into a sweep. That being said, I acknowledge that there is some room for improvement here. I could swap out Disable for Destiny Bond, but Disable saved my Garchomp on three separate occasions. I'll probably keep Acrobatics because of the rise in Buzzwole that I've seen, which:
 
92 Atk Drifblim Acrobatics (110 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Buzzwole: 180-216 (84.1 - 100.9%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
 
Drifblim outspeeds Buzzwole under Tailwind anyway, so the only concern is watch out for Stone Edge and sometimes Ice Punch depending on the set. Will-O-Wisp is really useful to stop Garchomp, Pheromosa, Snorlax, and Gyarados in their tracks. Which saved Lele every other game, almost. Thanks to Drifblim's HP stat, there's little reason to invest anything into that stat, leaving you free to max Sp. Defense, one of Drifblim's biggest weaknesses. Thanks to the Jolly nature, Drifblim's Speed becomes 220 once Tailwind is up, which allowed me to invest more into Attack. Which, as you can see from above is very useful. There's not much more to say, this is probably the most standard Drifblim set. Which I know is probably boring for the frequent readers I have, you probably want to see something more like Set 2.
 
Set 2 - Flame Orb Mixed Attacker
[Image: drifblim.png]
Drifblim @ Flame Orb
Ability: Flare Boost
EVs: 216 HP/ 92 Atk / 180 Sp. Atk / 20 Spd
Timid Nature
- Tailwind
- Shadow Ball/Psychic/Thunderbolt
- Acrobatics/Facade
- Roost/Will-O-Wisp
 
Please don't call me out on this one guys, seriously. I'm only doing this to have a little bit of fun with a rather standard VGC mon. I would never recommend this set in an actual VGC match, but all the same it was kind of humorous to use on Pokémon Showdown. I got steamrolled most of the time, but every once in a while I got a KO and I could feel my opponent fuming because they'd just been KOed by a Facade from a Drifblim. In case you're wondering what kind of damage this thing does, here's against a Life Orb Lele:
 
180 SpA Flare Boost Drifblim Shadow Ball vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Tapu Lele: 134-162 (91.7 - 110.9%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO
 
Yeah, it could be better, a lot better. But still, like you only came here for regurgitated VGC jabber? As always, Set 1 is going to be your best bet, but this one is fun to use on Showdown and against friends. I suggest you listen to the pros on this one, in the sense that since they've been to those tournaments, they know what works and what doesn't. However, I do have one more set that I used during testing.
 
Set 3 - Z-Destiny Bond
[Image: drifblim.png]
Drifblim @ Ghostium Z
Ability: Aftermath
EVs: 252 HP/ 4 Def/ 252 Sp. Def
Calm Nature
- Protect
- Tailwind
- Will-O-Wisp
- Destiny Bond
 
I'm not even going to bother going into this because this set is about as gimmicky as it gets. You send in Drifblim with a vulnerable partner, like a Choice Specs Lele, and use Z-Destiny Bond to divert all attacks while Lele wrecks face. Maybe sneak in a Tailwind if you can, but generally the theme is sacrifice for the sake of a free switch-in and massive damage on both your opponent's pokémon. It's dangerous for both players, and I would only suggest it if you like making gambles. But trust me, it doesn't always work.

Partners:
 
[Image: drifblim.png] + [Image: tapulele.png]
 
This is the easiest pairing. It's well established, it works, and with smart play it can demolish unsuspecting teams. However, given its rise in popularity in recent months, people have started to prepare for it, so just be on the look out for Life Orb Kokos, Z-Move Magnezone, and literally any kind of Gigalith. Fini could also work in this situaion, but I didn't really try the Fini/Drifblim pairing yet. Lele just seemed to work better.
 
[Image: drifblim.png] + [Image: tapubulu.png] 
 
Giving a Drifblim a Grassy Seed as opposed to a Psychic or a Misty Seed raises its poor Defense and helps it against Rock Slide, Stone Edge, and the occasional Wild Charge. Bulu greatly benefits from Tailwind, letting it outspeed many things and hitting back hard with Horn Leech, Wood Hammer, Rock Slide, and Superpower. Just make sure you invest enough IVs in HP and Defense to survive a rogue Poison Jab on the off chance a Garchomp makes it past the onslaught.

Conclusion:

Gees, to be honest I haven't been this bored with a VGC analysis since Rampardos. I mean, I've been sitting here, making this post for almost three hours, and I barely have anything to show for it. We already know Drifblim works, and we already know how it fits into the VGC metagame. All the sets, sans the first, are either highly situational or just plain gimmicky. While I like to encourage unconventional strategies, I've been very vocal about not using gimmicky ones. They're far too unreliable, and usually serve as a one-trick pony. But anyway, Drifblim is still a fun pokémon to use, and while I think I'll stick with my Emolga, it's definitely a Flying-Type that surprised us over the course of this format. While you're here, feel free to check out some of my other VGC analyses. They may just surprise you!

1) Emolga: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-VGC-Emo...ith-0kamii)
2) Alomomola: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-VGC-Alo...ith-0kamii)
3) Rampardos: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-VGC-Ram...ith-0kamii)
4) Poliwrath: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-VGC-Pol...ith-0kamii)
5) Bastiodon: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-VGC-Bas...ith-0kamii)
6) Jolteon: (http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-VGC-Jol...ith-0kamii)

Thanks for reading everyone! I'll see you all on Firday with the long-awaited post about which pokémon is your ʻaumākua! I have a sneaking suspicion it's not going to be what you think it is. I'll read you all soon, battle onwards friends!

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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#2
These are amazing. The amount of work you put into these are unreal. As someone trying to slowly learn competitive in my free time, its really helpful!
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#3
@Dimmsdale

Hey, compañero. I really appreciate the feedback, and I'm glad my posts are helping you along, but as I beat to death in the bulk of my post, I hope you're only considering versions of Set 1. It really is the best one, and I want everyone that reads my posts to become better battlers, not worse. If you have any further questions pertaining to Drifblim's use in this format, I'll be glad to answer them, as there's always things I have to leave out.

Also, if you're getting into VGC, my biggest suggestion would be to watch before you battle. You can learn a lot from just watching battles before you finally build a team for yourself. Championship live streams and Showdown are good places for this. Thanks again, and battle onwards Dimmsdale!

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
Reply
#4
Can I just say, Drifblim has always been a Pokemon I thought was cool? Moreover, @0kamii, Im impressed. Even though you did a normal VGC Pokemon, you still made a great post. Good job!
So I herd u liek Tyflozions...
I'm a VGC player. Contact me if you need help with competitive battling!
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