Credit to EviArt
This gem of the sea certainly isn't called the "Mysterious Pokémon" for no reason - with a deep supportive move pool, you never know exactly what is going to be spouting forth from its featureless face. Whether you're spreading burns, controlling speed, or utilizing Starmie's new counter-redirection capabilities with Spotlight, your options are never limited. It's high speed, respectable bulk, and six resistances ensure that Starmie will be around to annoy your opponent for a while.
However, Starmie is by no means perfect. In contrast to its numerous resistances are its nearly as numerous weaknesses, meaning it has to watch out for some key threats as its certainly no tank. Spotlight certainly takes some practice and prediction, while the sea star is also partially reliant on RNG with Scald and the Thunder Wave nerfs this gen. Worst of all, its best form of speed control, Icy Wind, is unavailable as of now. But don't fret! With the proper heavy-hitting partners to compensate, and a little luck, Starmie can shine in a plethora of invaluable supportive roles.
Base Stats: 60 HP / 75 Attack / 85 Defense / 100 Special Attack / 85 Special Defense / 115 Speed
Weaknesses: x2 x2 x2 x2 x2
Resistances: x0.5 x0.5 x0.5 x0.5 x0.5 x0.5
Natural Cure: All status conditions heal when the Pokémon switches out.
Analytic: Boosts move power when the Pokémon moves last (by 30%).
Starmie @ Leftovers
Ability: Analytic / Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpA / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Recover / Psyshock
- Thunder Wave / Trick Room / Psyshock
Starmie's newest trick in Generation VII is the move Spotlight, which I'll dive into the mechanics of here. Spotlight essentially forces one of the opposing Pokemon to use Follow Me. Nothing super crazy here - your foes won't turn on themselves or anything like that. However, it does supersede any redirecting abilities from your opponent. If you're going up against an Alolan-Marowak with Lightning Rod or a Gastrodon with Storm Drain, Starmie can use Spotlight to help its own partner get past that ability and hit their partner with an Electric or Water type attack, respectively. Alternatively, you are able to use Spotlight on your own partner, though the application of this is more limited. Unlike Follow Me and Rage Powder, Spotlight is blocked by all variants of Protect, Magic Coat, and Magic Bounce. If Starmie uses Spotlight on a Pokémon that uses Magic Coat or has Magic Bounce, the Spotlight will be reflected back onto Starmie, though Starmie cannot directly use Spotlight on itself. Spotlight comes with a +3 priority, which is one higher than Follow Me or Rage Powder. This means that Starmie's Spotlight will also take priority over said moves, allowing its partner to bypass the effects of your opponent's Follow Me or Rage Powder.
Moving onto the set, the EVs are pretty straightforward, the Speed investment and Timid nature allows Starmie to outspeed a wide swath of the unboosted meta while the HP investment means it can take as many hits as possible. Make sure to have 0 Attack IVs in case your opponent is running Foul Play. Starmie doesn't do super effective STAB hits from offense-based mons with much grace (unless they're burned, enter Scald). Though it's able to gain some dignity back with its ability to take neutral and resisted hits, even taking a Moonblast from max investment Choice Specs Tapu Lele. Super Effective non STAB varies on a case by case basis - for instance, it can take an unboosted Thunderbolt from the Porygon line. But it struggles to stomach any attacks made at +1.
Analytic will generally be your most useful ability - in this meta full of weird priority and lots of speed control, you never know when you'll be moving last. However, if Toxic stresses you out and you're willing to risk switching, Natural Cure has got you covered. Finally, the leftovers are there to provide a bit of extra longevity.
Spotlight has already been discussed, and should be used to get past any troublesome opposing redirect you come up against. Always be cautious when using this though, since it's blocked by Protect, it certainly takes some prediction and mind games to use this move to its full effectiveness. Scald is the go-to move for dealing chip damage and spreading burns around to hinder physical attackers (30% of the time, it works every time). Recover provides Starmie with some staying power, and can help it utilize its numerous resistances well. If you find that you're lacking coverage, Psyshock is another option in this slot to do some decent damage to things that Scald can't touch.
The final slot is reserved for speed control. Thunder Wave can halve your opponent's Speed and potentially prevent them from moving entirely if the RNG is strong with you. Alternatively, Trick Room can be used in this slot for one of two options. Either Starmie can serve as an un-setter for Trick Room, as its bulk generally allows it to survive a few non-super effective hits (and maybe a few Super Effectives ones, too) and turn off the Trick Room to serve faster teams. The other option would be to use Starmie as an unexpected Trick Room setter to serve slower teams. While in Trick Room, Starmie can make use of its Analytic ability to gain some extra power while moving last, and this doesn't ruin Spotlight because of its priority. Overall though, given Starmie's Speed, Thunder Wave is the better speed control option once Alolan-Marowak is out of the way. If none of these speed control options appeal to you, Psyshock can be moved down to this slot, or you can run something else like Toxic.
4 SpA Starmie Scald vs. 248 HP / 112 SpD Marowak-Alola: 186-218 (57.5 - 67.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 SpA Starmie Scald vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Arcanine: 210-248 (54.6 - 64.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
-1 4 SpA Starmie Scald vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Arcanine: 140-168 (36.4 - 43.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
4 SpA Starmie Scald vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Krookodile: 234-276 (70.6 - 83.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
4 SpA Starmie Psyshock vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Gengar: 264-312 (100.7 - 119%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Max SpA LO Tapu Koko
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Dazzling Gleam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 118-140 (36.4 - 43.2%) -- 97.7% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Discharge vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 354-421 (109.2 - 129.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Max SpA Specs Tapu Lele
252 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Lele Moonblast vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 267-315 (82.4 - 97.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 189-223 (58.3 - 68.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Choice Specs Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 338-398 (104.3 - 122.8%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Tapu Lele Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 226-266 (69.7 - 82%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 Atk Porygon2 Foul Play vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 92-110 (28.3 - 33.9%) -- 97.3% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 20 SpA Porygon2 Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 236-278 (72.8 - 85.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (Download Boosted)
+1 252 SpA Porygon2 Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 290-342 (89.5 - 105.5%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO (Download Boosted)
252 SpA Porygon2 Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 194-230 (59.8 - 70.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (Unboosted)
252 SpA Porygon-Z Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 232-274 (71.6 - 84.5%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Porygon-Z Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 206-244 (63.5 - 75.3%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 SpA Porygon-Z Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 346-408 (106.7 - 125.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
+1 252 SpA Porygon-Z Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 308-364 (95 - 112.3%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO
140+ Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Shadow Bone vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 236-278 (141.3 - 166.4%) -- guaranteed OHKO
140+ Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Bonemerang (2 hits) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 94-112 (56.2 - 67%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
140+ Atk Thick Club Marowak-Alola Flare Blitz vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 83-98 (49.7 - 58.6%) -- 71.1% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Gengar Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 302-356 (93.2 - 109.8%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO
252 SpA Gengar Sludge Bomb vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 169-199 (52.1 - 61.4%) -- 96.9% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 SpA Raichu-Alola Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 272-324 (83.9 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO outside of Electric Terrain
252 SpA Raichu-Alola Psychic vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 68-81 (20.9 - 25%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Garchomp Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 141-166 (43.5 - 51.2%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Garchomp Dragon Claw vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 151-178 (46.6 - 54.9%) -- 10.9% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Garchomp Rock Slide vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 70-83 (21.6 - 25.6%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Arcanine Snarl vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 68-82 (20.9 - 25.3%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
4 SpA Arcanine Burn Up vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Starmie: 80-95 (24.6 - 29.3%) -- possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Gyarados Waterfall vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 94-112 (29 - 34.5%) -- 99.7% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Gyarados Waterfall vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 142-168 (43.8 - 51.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Life Orb Gyarados Crunch vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 252-299 (77.7 - 92.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
+1 252 Atk Life Orb Gyarados Crunch vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 380-447 (117.2 - 137.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Pheromosa U-turn vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 272-324 (83.9 - 100%) -- 6.3% chance to OHKO
Guaranteed OHKO from any reasonably strong STAB Knock Off
-1 252 Atk Krookodile Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 224-266 (69.1 - 82%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
-1 252+ Atk Muk-Alola Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 230-272 (70.9 - 83.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
-1 252 Atk Weavile Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Starmie: 230-272 (70.9 - 83.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Potential Teammates include, but aren't limited to;
- Starmie fits well with Water type Pokemon such as Golduck or Gyarados, especially on Rain teams, that have trouble dealing with Storm Drain. It can learn Rain Dance if you want a fast backup setter.
- Strong Electric types such as Tapu Koko or Xurkitree appreciate Starmie's ability to bypass Lightning Rod.
- Dragon types like Garchomp and Salamence that want to spam their STAB like Spotlight's ability to go around Clefable's Follow Me.
- Glass cannons like Kartana, Xurkitree, Flygon, etc. like Scald burns and don't mind Trick Room being turned off, either.
- Alolan-Marowak has the Lightning Rod ability, which can save Starmie from the electric types running around and threaten some other weaknesses, just don't use Thunder Wave when he's on the field (unless you want to run a Special Attacking A-Wak and intentionally boost that stat, because you're crazy).
- Slow attackers like Araquanid, Hariyama, Mudsdale, etc. can all benefit from Trick Room if you want Starmie as a setter. Though if you want Torkoal, be prepared for some weak sauce Scalds.
Threats include, but aren't limited to;
- Gastrodon forms an interesting relationship with Starmie, as despite the sea star countering Storm Drain, this slug can eat Starmie's Scald with said ability and is immune to Thunder Wave.
- Electric Types such as Tapu Koko, Alolan-Raichu, Xurkitree, and Magnezone
- Dark types like Krookodile and Alolan-Muk, unless you're feeling lucky, punk, and want to burn them
- Grass types like Kartana, Lilligant, and Tapu Bulu
- Bug types like Araquanid and Pheromosa
- Ghost types such as Dhelmise, Gengar, and to a less extent A-Wak
- Counter-status like Tapu Fini or Aerodactyl with Taunt
Other Notable Moves
- As mentioned in Potential Teammates, Rain Dance can be used if you want Starmie to be a backup weather setter behind Pelliper or Politoed.
- Toxic can be used over Thunder Wave / Trick Room if you're not looking for speed control, or if you want to pair Starmie with A-Marowak more reliably.
- If you're running coverage, Psychic is an option over Psyshock to hit more physically defensive threats.
- Reflect and/or Light Screen are potential options, though that support falls more naturally in Alolan-Ninetales or Oranguru's wheelhouse.
- Ice Beam can be used if you're having trouble with Garchomp or Salamence, but you're looking at a 2HKO on both without chip damage.
- Thunderbolt honestly doesn't hit many threats much harder that Scald or Psyshock do, but there are probably some uses for it.
- Grass Knot can be thrown on if you want to watch Gastrodon
diefaint painfully, but it doesn't hit much else.
Other Notable Items
- A Sitrus Berry can provide a one-time extra HP boost without reserving a turn for Recover.
- Any variety of damage reduction berries could also be used to temporarily cover one of Starmie's weaknesses, but with Starmie's wide range of weaknesses this would be an extremely situational item choice.
So there's my first build submission! I'm open to any and all suggestions and criticism, of course. I wanted to get some feedback before I potentially work on another Starmie set.