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Is Kilowattrel a Good Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet

Kilowattrel evolves from Wattrel, the little electric bird you will often find hanging out around beaches. They are Electric/Flying type, which is actually not a common type at all. It’s certainly more Emolga than it is Zapdos, of course. But, it’s notable that the only other Electric/Flying type is the Electric-type Oricorio Pom-Pom Style, which is also in Scarlet and Violet. Still, this being an early game catch similar to how Fletchling was as an early flying/normal type in X and Y which soon evolved into a Fire/Flying type in Fletchinder. But, Wattrel starts out as Electric/Flying, which is pretty neat. 

Electric Flying isn’t a bad type at all, with weaknesses to only Ice and Rock. Of course, with Tera Types, leaning into the Electric type could be well worth the effort. Also, it’s likely to get Roost (nerfed to 5 base Power Points starting in Generation 9), so it will have easy access to recovery. Neither Oricorio nor Emolga ever enjoyed this move, but if Kilowattrel gets Roost, it could be a low-tier competitive Pokemon. Neither Emolga nor any form of Oricorio ever saw but the smallest amount of competitive play, so could Kilowattrel join the ranks of competitive early game birds like Swellow, Talonflame, and Corviknight?

Obviously we’re not getting anywhere near the level of a Legendary Pokemon like Zapdos, but it shares that typing, and should easily surpass both Emolga and Oriciorio Pom-Pom Style in viability. Kilowattrel has above-average speed at 125 and good Special Attack with 105. It can’t tank a hit with its mediocre defensive stats: 70 HP, 60 Defense, and 60 Special Defense. But, it shouldn’t really have to, thanks to being able to learn Volt Switch.

Kilowattrel also has a really neat ability called Wind Power. Whenever it is hit by a wind move, including Tailwind which it learns, the power of its next Electric-type move is boosted. While this is a good ability, it’s other possible ability is Volt Absorb, which not only soaks an Electric-type attack that hits it (besides Thunder Wave), but also heals it for one-quarter of its HP. Kilowattrel also has the hidden ability, Competitive, which boosts its Special Attack by two stages whenever its hit by a stat-lowering ability or move. 

In general, Competitive is probably the best ability in competitive Pokemon, no pun at all intended. Being able to soak an Intimidate from an opponent, set a Tailwind, then hit hard with either Thunderbolt or Volt Switch makes Kilowattrel a solid lead for Rain teams. It’s fast enough and has enough punch that it’s definitely a contender.

Even in just the first couple of weeks, Kilowattrel has seen decent amounts of play in both singles and doubles on Pokemon Showdown. In Singles, Kilowattrel has found itself on Swift Swim teams as both Electric-type coverage and as a Tailwind setter. While it’s not reported on Pikalytics which ability these Kilowattrel have run, as of this writing, we do know that Kilowattrel typically runs a move set of Volt Switch, Hurricane, Air Slash, and Tailwind, with Thunderbolt also an option in place of Hurricane. 

Its teammates are typically Pelipper, Quaquaval, Palafin, Baxcalibur, and one of the three starters. With Palafin-Hero banned in Pokemon Showdown Gen 9 OU, though, Rain teams will now have to seek out a new sweeper, likely one with Swift Swim. In any case, Kilowattrel’s offensive capabilities now become more important.

Meanwhile in doubles, Kilowattrel runs a similar moveset, with Tailwind, Thunderbolt, Protect, and Volt Switch as its primary moves. These doubles teams are much more diverse in their typing, with Garchomp, Iron Bundle, Annihilape, Tinkaton, and Scizor being common teammates. Iron Bundle has been banned already in Gen 9 OU, and Annihilape may have its Rage Fist move banned soon, as well. But, having Kilowattrel as a defensive switch to blank Ground-type moves can’t be understated. It could run any one of its three abilities, and with plenty of strong Water-type Pokemon being released in Scarlet and Violet, having a strong Volt Switch/Thunderbolt user is a key to a well-balanced doubles team. It helps even more that it’s a great Tailwind setter to give your sweepers a much needed Speed boost.

While it’s no Talonflame, Kilowattrel appears to be a strong contender for play in Battle Stadium. With no Paradox Pokemon allowed in the first season of Battle Stadium ladder, a lot of teams we’ve seen built on Pokemon Showdown suddenly are going to have a lot of open slots. Kilowattrel should be a strong option to be a lead for many teams. Could it end up having the utility of the physically minded Flame Body Talonflame, or is it just going to be another decent Generational Bird? We’ll see, especially now that Battle Stadium is live.

What do you think of Kilowattrel?

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Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy. Personal Website: https://www.thephoenixdesertsong.com

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