Eevee has been a fan favourite since it’s debut in Pokémon Red, Blue and Green. Competitively, the Eevee-lutions have seen a fair amount of use, with a few niche sets in various years such as Vaporeon in 2014, and Espeon in 2016, as well as the ever-prevalent Sylveon in 2015. However, with the introduction of Z-moves in Pokémon Sun and Moon, Eevee has now finally found a chance to shine.
Eevee’s exclusive Z-move is “Extreme Evoboost”. As suggested by the name, this boosts Eevee’s Att, Def, Sp. Att, Sp. Def, and Spd all by 2 stages. These stat boosts, in conjunction with Psych Up, Follow Me and various other support tools, have made for a somewhat common ‘auto-pilot’ Eevee team. Today, we will work our way through a sample Eevee team, how it works, and some suggested strategies to try and beat it!
Things discussed in this article are outlined below.
Eevee @ Eevium Z
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
– Last Resort
– Baton Pass
– Helping Hand
Smeargle @ Focus Sash
EVs: 252 HP / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Fake Out
– Wide Guard
– Follow Me
Tapu Lele @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Psychic Surge
EVs: 244 HP / 92 Def / 156 SpA / 4 SpD / 12 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
– Psych Up
Arcanine @ Assault Vest
EVs: 192 HP / 4 Def / 236 SpA / 76 Spe
IVs: 1 Atk / 30 SpA / 30 SpD
– Burn Up
– Heat Wave
– Hidden Power [Ground]
Clefairy @ Eviolite
Ability: Friend Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 140 Def / 116 SpD
IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe
– Follow Me
– After You
– Heal Pulse
Espeon @ Mind Plate
Ability: Magic Bounce
EVs: 244 HP / 180 Def / 76 SpA / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Stored Power
– Dazzling Gleam
– Psych Up
The team, as seen above, consists of Eevee, Smeargle, Tapu Lele, Arcanine, Clefairy and Espeon. The basic goal to set Extreme Evoboost with Eevee whilst Smeargle or Clefairy support it, and then bring in Tapu Lele and/or Espeon to Psych Up the boosts or Baton Pass into Tapu Lele, Arcanine or Espeon. Finally, the boosted Pokémon can sweep with powerful moves, high defences, and twice their usual speed. To ‘auto-pilot’ the team, one would lead Eevee-Smeargle, with a combination of Tapu Lele, Espeon and Arcanine in the back.
A few moves have been highlighted to focus on. Firstly, Last Resort and Baton Pass are the two standout moves on Eevee. Last Resort enables Eevee to use the Z-move, Extreme Evoboost whilst also providing a Base 140 STAB move. This, coupled with Adaptability, enables Eevee to deal damage to the foe in the case that the setup is incomplete. It should be noted that Last Resort will only work once Eevee has used all of its other moves. This can be dicey, as Baton Pass switches Eevee out and resets the move counter for Last Resort upon its re-entry. Baton Pass is essential to transfer the stat boosts to one of the three sweeping Pokémon. Helping Hand can be used to assist team mates and protect provides a consistent means to use Last Resort as well as the intended use.
The Smeargle set here is very basic. All four moves are common to Smeargle trying to support it’s teammates. Spiky Shield isn’t as necessary this year as others due to the scarcity of Fake Out.
Tapu Lele is the first ‘sweeping’ Pokémon. 2 primary STABs, including a spread move and Protect allow the final slot to be filled with Psych Up. Sitrus Berry adds some longevity to Tapu Lele and buys time for Psych Up to go off, and the sweep to be completed. Psychic Terrain also negates priority attacks and ensures the boosted Pokémon always moves first.
Arcanine acts as glue to hold the team together through Intimidate and Snarl support, as well as a means to knock out Steel types such as Celesteela and Metagross. Hidden Power Ground really stands out on this set. As Fire moves cover Steel types, HP Ground can be used cover Pokémon like Gigalith, Marowak and other Arcanine that might otherwise slow down the team.
Clefairy, similarly to Smeargle, supports Eevee and the rest of the team with Follow Me, Heal Pulse and its ability, Friend Guard. It should be noted that Heal Pulse is only available as an egg move after Pokémon Bank has been released. After You is a really neat way to guarantee the team some functionality after the opponent has set up Trick Room. Clefairy reaches a speed stat of just 36. Clefairy is able to underspeed most Trick Room Pokémon, with the exceptions of Gigalith, Torkoal and Snorlax.
Espeon, the final member of the team, acts in a similar role to Tapu Lele by using Psych Up to copy Eevee’s Stat boosts. Stored Power, with ten points of Stat boosts, results in a Base 220 STAB move. Magic Bounce stops any paralysis, sleep moves, and any status moves opponents may use to try and stop Espeon. Dazzling Gleam can be used to finish off weakened opponents whilst damaging their partner.
Eevee + Support
When it comes to Eevee, its moveset is fairly one dimensional. The above spread used MDK_yuiko0313 has 3 essential moves in Last Resort, Baton Pass and Protect on Eevee. In most cases the fourth move on Eevee can vary between Helping Hand, Return or even Double-Edge. Return and Double-Edge coupled with Adaptability and the boost to Attack allows Eevee to dish out a sizeable amount of damage onto neutral targets. Running an attacking move aside from Last Resort also allows Eevee to avoid being dead weight when Taunted.
Smeargle put on quite a spectacle in the VGC 16 format, with its unique ability to win games with Dark Void and Moody. This year Dark Void is gone, but Moody is here to stay. Timely Evasion or Speed boosts can be devastating for the opponent, and provided that Electric or Misty Terrain is not active, Smeargle can freely Spore opposing Pokémon. It’s moveset is usually fairly predictable when used to support Eevee, consisting of 4 of the following moves : Fake Out, Follow Me, Spore, Spiky Shield, Baneful Bunker, Wide Guard and Parting Shot.
Smeargle’s actions can generally be predicted depending on what the opponent leads. If Psychic Terrain is active, Smeargle is unable to use Fake Out, so it’s safe to say it either has to use the safe Follow Me option, or take a risk with Wide Guard or Spore. If Electric Terrain or Misty Terrain is active, Smeargle cannot use Spore, and it has to go for the safe Follow Me, or Fake Out and potentially let Eevee go down or get Taunted. Smeargle and Eevee are both vulnerable to Taunt, as Eevee cannot use Baton Pass if it gets Taunted, nor can Smeargle prevent the receiver of Baton Pass from taking big damage on the switch.
With a Smeargle + Eevee lead, if either Pokémon gets Taunted, the opponent can exploit this heavily by dishing out damage on a switch in.
Clefairy is an interesting partner for Eevee, and is also more or less one dimensional in terms of what moves it likes to use. Common moves include the ever useful Follow Me, Protect, and After You. Other moves that are occasionally seen on Clefairy are Encore, Light Screen, Reflect and Minimize. Two very interesting moves on Clefairy include Spotlight and Heal Pulse.
Spotlight is a forced Follow Me, which allows Clefairy to redirect attacks onto it’s partner. This is useful in situations where Eevee has gotten a boost, but the opponent has Trick Room or Tailwind up. Clefairy can redirect the attacks to Eevee and allow it to take both hits with its boosts, allowing Clefairy to survive for another turn. Keeping Clefairy on the field is especially useful to reduce the damage its partner takes due to its Friend Guard Ability. Heal Pulse on the other hand is only available after Pokémon Bank is released for Sun and Moon. In Trick Room, Heal Pulse allows Clefairy to move first and restore 50% of it’s partners health, and enable them to live through the opposing attacks with its boosts.
Clefairy, in tandem with both Smeargle and Eevee is also vulnerable to Taunt, as it is completely shut down, unless it runs an attacking move like Moonblast.
Baton Pass + Psych Up Pokémon
There are a number of Pokémon that can be used alongside Eevee. This section discusses some of the Pokémon that are most commonly seen utilizing Eevee’s boosts, or using Psych Up to make use of them.
Arcanine is a Pokémon that Eevee loves to Baton Pass into. It provides Intimidate support, and its Fire Typing allows it to switch into a variety of moves without taking too much damage. Combined with an Assault Vest, Arcanine makes for one of the most useful Pokémon to abuse Eevee’s Baton Pass.
After receiving the boosted stats, it’s able to fire off +2 Heat Waves, as well as neuter the Special Attack of opposing Pokémon with Snarl. It can also make use of Burn up to essentially give it a one-time nuke, while removing it’s weaknesses. HP Ground is fairly common on Arcanine, as it allows it to chunk opposing Fire Type Pokémon.
Other possible options for Arcanine include making use of a different item, giving it access to Morning Sun. This increases Arcanine’s longevity even more. Arcanine is usually used to clear the field of threats to Tapu Lele and Espeon, enabling them to Psych Up and start sweeping.
Tapu Lele is a Pokémon that is able to fully utilize Extreme Evoboost. With its high Special Attack and Speed, and its ability Psychic Surge, Tapu Lele makes for an incredible sweeper. Setting up Psychic Terrain boosts its already impressive Special Attack, and with the boosts from Eevee, Tapu Lele deals ridiculous amounts of damage with Psychic. It can also use its STAB spread move in Dazzling Gleam to pick off already weakened Pokémon.
In comparison with Arcanine’s role as the primary recipient of Eevee’s boosts through a direct Baton Pass, Tapu Lele receives the stat boosts via Psych Up, preferring to come onto the playing field after Arcanine has already gotten the boosts from Eevee. Thanks to the good type synergy between Tapu Lele and Arcanine, Arcanine is usually able to remove the current threat to Tapu Lele, thereby allowing it to Psych Up with ease. Tapu Lele is generally responsible for the main source of damage on Eevee teams, while Arcanine acts the middleman to enable Tapu Lele to set up.
One key benefit Psychic Terrain provides to Eevee teams is the negation of priority moves. After the Speed boost from Extreme Evoboost, Arcanine, Tapu Lele, and Espeon are able to move first without worrying about the possibility of a surprise priority move from the opponent, or an errant Fake Out disrupting the team’s momentum.
In the rare case that both Tapu Lele and Espeon are brought, setting up Psychic Terrain also boosts Espeon’s Stored Power. Allowing boosted Espeon and Tapu Lele to be on the field at the same time will only lead to a quick loss.
Espeon is a Pokémon that can really make use of the boosts from Eevee. The 10 Stat boosts from Extreme Evoboost gives it the ability to use an incredibly powerful 220 BP STAB Stored Power. In conjunction with Psychic Terrain from Tapu Lele, Espeon is able to put incredible pressure on the opponent.
Due to Espeon’s frailty, it’s not the Pokémon Eevee would usually Baton Pass into, but its high Speed Stat does allow it use Psych Up before the opposing Pokémon can hit it. Espeon’s ability Magic Bounce allows it to freely switch in and negate any sort of status moves like Thunder Wave, Taunt, Roar, Whirlwind, etc.
Espeon’s high Base Speed and Special Attack make it a dangerously potent sweeper, as you can see from some of the following Damage Calcs.
Krookodile is a fantastic Pokémon to use on Eevee teams. It has a number of features that Eevee teams greatly appreciate. Intimidate is great utility alongside Clefairy to help support the team. It can also make use of a strong spread move in Earthquake once it gets boosted. Krookodile’s defining factor for being on an Eevee team is in its access to the move Power Trip.
Power Trip is a Dark type move with a Base Power of 20. It functions similarly to Stored Power. For every Stat boost it receives a 100% boost to the Base Power of the move, which is essentially a +20 BP for every Stat boost. Extreme Evoboost provides 10 Stat boosts to Krookodile, powering up Power Trip by 200 BP. This gives Krookodile access to a 220 BP STAB move, coupled with the +2 Attack boost from Extreme Evoboost. Krookodile also heavily benefits from the Defense, Special Defense and Speed boosts, giving it incredible survivability and enough speed to outspeed almost everything in the format.
Intimidate also helps Krookodile itself, triggering the ability on entry after being Baton Passed into, increasing its survivability even more. Krookodile usually also has Earthquake, Protect, and either Rock Slide or Rock Tomb to help with coverage. That being said, at +2, the coverage moves are almost irrelevant, as you can see from the following Damage Calcs.
Tapu Fini is yet another Pokémon that is frequently seen on Eevee teams. Misty Surge enables it to override opposing Terrains, and coupled with the boosts from Eevee it’s already impressive bulk is further increased. While Tapu Fini is not a Pokémon known for its high damage output, the Special Attack Boosts from Evoboost rectify this and enable it to deal substantial amounts of damage with Moonblast, or spread Muddy Water.
Typically Tapu Fini will be seen running a moveset of Moonblast or Dazzling Gleam, Muddy Water, Psych Up and Protect. It’s important to note that Tapu Fini also gets access to Soak, Blizzard, Hydro Pump and Nature’s Madness. Similarly to Tapu Lele, Tapu Fini prefers to come onto the field after Eevee has already passed the Baton to another Pokémon. That being said, Tapu Fini’s bulk does allow it to be a recipient of the Baton Pass should the situation ever come to it.
With Misty Surge as its ability, Misty Terrain activates upon its entry to the field. Misty Terrain allows Eevee and its teammates to act freely without the worry of paralysis, burn, poison or sleep. Once Tapu Fini has used Psych Up to obtain the boosts, it can be extremely difficult to take down, as it usually carries Leftovers on this type of team.
Tapu Bulu is an interesting Pokémon on Eevee teams. It stands out from the rest, as it is a Pokémon that does not have access to strong spread moves, discounting Rock Slide. Tapu Bulu greatly benefits from Eevee’s Evoboost, boosting it’s high Attack and Defense even more, and allowing Tapu Bulu to overcome the issues it has with its low Speed.
Tapu Bulu may not have a great spread move, but with Grassy Terrain boosted Horn Leech, it can easily recover almost all the damage that is dealt to it. Horn Leech, Substitute, Psych Up and Protect are generally what you’d expect to see on Tapu Bulu when on an Eevee team. In tandem with the recipient of Baton Pass like Krookodile or Arcanine, Tapu Bulu may find itself in situations where it can freely set up a Substitute with no risk at all.
While Grassy Terrain is not as useful as Misty Terrain or Psychic Terrain when it comes to supporting the team, Grassy Terrain does provide constant recovery for everything on the field. In conjunction with Horn Leech, this makes Tapu Bulu a force to be reckoned with if it is able to set up.
Strategies to beat Eevee
Arguably the easiest counter to fit on most teams, Taunt renders Smeargle, Clefairy and other support Pokémon useless enabling attacks to rain onto Eevee and the others ‘sweepers’ before they can fully set up. It can also prevent Eevee from using Baton Pass. Many Pokémon that carry Taunt in this format are also of types that are super effective against Tapu Lele and Espeon, namely Gengar and Krookodile.
A variety of other Pokémon also get Taunt, including Aerodactyl and Tapu Koko, which both also get access to Sky Drop, enabling them to completely ignore Follow Me.
Perish Song is one of the easiest ways to shut down Eevee teams. Leading with a Pokémon that can threaten Eevee alongside a Perish Song user will almost certainly prevent the Eevee team from fully setting up. The effects of Perish Song are also carried over by Baton Pass, so whatever Eevee Baton Passes into will also be affected by the Perish counter. It’s best to stay wary of Psych Up Pokémon, as if they are able to Psych Up before the boosted Pokémon goes down, the game can still go either way.
Common Pokémon that get access to Perish Song include Gengar, Marowak-A and Politoed. Murkrow also gets Perish Song, and both Gengar and Murkrow also get Taunt as well. These Pokémon can prove to be difficult to deal with if they have Perish Song.
Haze has always been a potent move in singles, and it was also common on Crobat in VGC 16 in order to shut down Xerneas and Smeargle. Haze renders Evoboost void, completely shutting down the Baton Pass and Psych Up strategy. Eevee teams are usually reliant on Evoboost, so Haze is a great check to Eevee.
Strong Pokémon that learn haze include Tapu Fini, Milotic and Gengar, as well as Murkrow. Tapu Fini and Gengar look to be extremely useful to shut down Eevee, as Misty Terrain prevents Spore, and allows Tapu Fini to freely Haze after Eevee has boosted, while Gengar has a plethora of moves to disrupt Eevee.
Hyper Offense + Terrains
By using extremely quick Pokémon that threaten both strong single and double target moves, one can stay a turn ahead of the slow two turn setup required to really pull of this sweep. For example, Ninetales or Vanilluxe can both break Smeargles Sash and threaten a spread move forcing a Wide Guard. This enables their partner to fire off a single target move, or better yet, a Z-move. The chance of a freeze stopping Eevee is not high, but it’s not low either, as there is a 10% chance with every Blizzard. Aurora Veil can also mitigate the damage done by the sweepers on Eevee teams.
Tapu Koko + Kartana/Nihilego/Garchomp are also very viable leads to try and shut down Eevee. Tapu Koko immediately threatens the OHKO on Eevee, as well as preventing any Spore. Discharge also gives Tapu Koko a chance at scoring a paralysis on Eevee. Garchomp and Tapu Koko combined are able to threaten Eevee with both spread moves and single target Z moves. This forces Smeargle to make the decision to Wide Guard and prevent Discharge/Rock Slide RNG, or follow me the potential Z move away from Garchomp.
Tapu Koko alongside Kartana or Nihilego are dangerous for the Eevee player. As both Nihilego and Kartana are slower than Tapu Koko, if Smeargle uses Follow Me the Ultra Beasts are guaranteed to obtain a Beast Boost, which is especially dangerous. Tapu Koko also threatens the Taunt on Eevee, making it a precarious position for Eevee and friends.
Tapu Fini is also useful, as it prevents Spore. The Calm Mind Tapu Fini set can be used to be on par with Evoboost, and Muddy Water’s accuracy drops can make it difficult for Eevee teams if they get the accuracy drop.
Whilst general speed control like Thunder Wave and Icy Wind are not as common this year, hard speed control such as Trick Room and Tailwind can be used to ensure your Pokémon move before the opposition. Clefairy should be made wary of, as whilst it is slow, it’s still undersped by Pokémon such as Gigalith, Snorlax and Torkoal can all underspeed Clefairy and attack before the boosted partner.
Roar and Whirlwind
Roar and Whirlwind are both moves with -6 priority and can be redirected with Follow Me. These moves are still useful in preventing Eevee teams from setting up. Roar/Whirlwind into a Follow Me allows Eevee to set up, but it remains vulnerable to another Roar or Whirlwind on the very next turn, as both Roar and Whirlwind go through Protect. It is wise to tread cautiously around Psych Up Pokémon, as they can Psych Up the boosts since only one Pokémon will be affected by Roar or Whirlwind.
Snarl and Intimidate
Snarl and Intimidate can also be used effectively to mitigate the damage output of Eevee teams. While it is difficult to prevent all the boosts, Intimidate and Snarl greatly hamper the sweeping ability of Pokémon on Eevee teams. Arcanine can use Snarl twice and render null the Special Attack boost from Evoboost. The other boosts will still be in effect and the Psych Up/Baton Pass Pokémon will still be hard to take down, but the playing field will be more level in terms of damage taken. Preventing Tapu Lele, Arcanine, Tapu Fini and Espeon from being able to sweep prolongs the game, and also presents more opportunities for Critical Hits.
Intimidate is a very useful tool to prevent Pokémon like Krookodile and Tapu Bulu from steamrolling through teams. At +1 (200 BP), Krookodile’s Power Trip is not nearly as powerful as it is at +2 (220 BP). If Intimidate is utilized properly, Power Trip at neutral is reduced to a just a 180 BP STAB move. This also makes it easier to deal with Tapu Bulu, as without its Attack boosts it is unable to do too much damage.
As stated before, Arcanine is verstatile, with its Intimidate ability and access to the move Snarl. It is able to mitigate the damage done by sweepers on Eevee Teams.
Mimikyu’s typing is superb against Pokémon like Tapu Lele and Espeon. It also gets access to Taunt and Trick Room. Its ability “Disguise” enables it to take a free hit and get off another move. Alongside a partner that is able to threaten Eevee like Hariyama or Tapu Koko, it is able to threaten both Taunt and Trick Room. A not so common move that was recently put on display at the San Jose Regionals by Gary Qian is Curse. Curse is similar to Perish Song, as its effects are also carried over by Baton Pass. With both Taunt and Curse, Gary used Mimikyu well to defeat Giovanni Costa’s Eevee team, as you can see here in the video down below. Giovanni has also featured his Eevee team on his YouTube channel, so check that out if you want to see more games featuring this strategy.
Kartana gets a special mention here due to it’s typing and ability. It hits a lot of Eevee teams for Super Effective on most Pokémon, and its Beast Boost ability makes it very hard to deal with if it gets KOes.
Key Things to Remember
- Extreme Evoboost + Baton Pass is a 2 turn setup.
- Smeargle cannot Spore under Misty or Electric Terrain.
- Smeargle cannot Fake Out in Psychic Terrain.
- Eevee cannot Baton Pass when Taunted.
- Baton Pass passes on the effects of Perish Song and Curse.
- Roar and Whirlwind can be Magic Bounced.
- Haze and Perish Song cannot be Magic Bounced.
- Snarl and Intimidate are good tools to mitigate the damage done.
- Trick Room teams must be wary of Clefairy.
- Leading with two Pokemon that can both OHKO Eevee almost certainly forces a Follow Me.
Extreme Evoboost teams play similarly to how most Xerneas teams played in early VGC 16. Following a “flowchart” is usually the most effective way to get the team’s sweepers set up. Those accustomed to playing with Xerneas last season may like playing with Eevee as they function similarly, but something else to remember is that everyone played VGC 16 last season, and so the flowchart mode can be exploited against them. Keeping this in mind, it’s not impossible to check Eevee teams and prevent losing to them.
This is the team that was analyzed earlier in the article.
This type of Eevee team is heavily reliant on the Eevee setting up. Teams that are completely reliant on Eevee are usually not able to function if the setup or the pass is prevented. So it’s not surprising to see teams alter slightly from this norm, and opt for a route with more options.
Here is another sample Eevee team.
As you can see here, this team has the Eevee mode with Clefairy, Eevee, Krookodile and Tapu Fini. But it also has two “other” Pokémon. These other two Pokémon can be anything, and will usually be used if the Eevee player thinks that they cannot set up their sweepers properly. These other two Pokémon can take on a range of roles in order to help the team out, and they may also have Psych Up.
At San Jose Regionals, Giovanni Costa used Pheromosa and Tapu Bulu as the 5th and 6th slots on his team. Pheromosa is a powerful Pokémon on its own, as it threatens a lot of the format with its coverage and high Speed and both Attack and Special Attack stats. Tapu Bulu on the other hand acted as another Psych Up Pokémon, adding on to the Eevee mode.
Finally, we hope this analysis gives you a deeper understanding of Eevee teams and a broader perspective as to how to beat, and play against them. Whilst very threatening, it is not advised to dedicate specific techniques to beating this matchup, but rather have a prepared game plan for your team.