NFE Life Orb (Kadabra) @ Life Orb
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Energy Ball
- Shadow Ball
- Hidden Power [Ground] / Hidden Power [Fire]
- Calm Mind
- Psychic Terrain
- Thunder Wave
- Choice Specs
- 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 Spe (Timid)
Overview: Tied with Electabuzz for the fastest unboosted Pokemon in the tier and boasting an incredible Special Attack stat, it is no surprise Kadabra stands out as a major offensive presence in the NFE metagame. Speed, power, and wide coverage options make it very hard to deal with. However, Kadabra is somewhat held back by the presence of Alolan Grimer on many teams, which can trap it.
Focus Sash: Kadabra’s fantastic ability Magic Guard means that it can completely ignore entry hazard and status damage, which allows it to perfectly pull off a Focus Sash set and safely revenge kill foes during the game. Psychic is Kadabra’s strongest STAB attack and severely dents frailer foes that don’t resist it. Counter is a key move on this set. With Magic Guard and the Focus Sash, Counter allows Kadabra to check physical attackers that try to take advantage of its pitiful Defense a lot more easily, including Pursuit trappers such as Alolan Grimer, Krokorok, and Pawniard. Dazzling Gleam is the best attacking option against popular Dark-types like Krokorok and Pawniard. Encore stops bulky setup sweepers like Clefairy, Curse Sliggoo, and Duosion from setting up on Kadabra. Shadow Ball hits Ghost- and Psychic-types such as Duosion, Misdreavus, Dusclops, and Metang hard. Hidden Power Fire is a good coverage move which hits Ferroseed very hard while retaining coverage on other Steel-types like Pawniard and Klang.
Life Orb: Life Orb can be used for more power and makes Kadabra extremely hard to switch into. Without a Focus Sash, Kadabra can’t successfully use Counter anymore. However, the increased power it receives in exchange lets it hit most of the tier hard. Psychic outright OHKOs Fighting-types such as Machoke and Monferno, and always 2HKOs specially defensive Roselia and maximum HP Servine after Stealth Rock damage. Energy Ball OHKOs Krokorok on the switch-in and hits bulky Water-types like Prinplup, Marshtomp, and Wartortle hard. Hidden Power Ground hits Alolan Grimer hard, OHKOs Pawniard after Stealth Rock damage, and annihilates Lairon.
Checks and Counters: Special walls such as Clefairy, Servine, Sliggoo, and Munchlax can take any of Kadabra's hits and retaliate by either breaking its Focus Sash or OHKOing it. Dark-types such as Alolan Grimer, Krokorok, and Pawniard pressure Kadabra well since they are immune to Psychic and can tank a Dazzling Gleam or two if defensive. They can Pursuit trap Kadabra and both Alolan Grimer and Krokorok can bypass Counter; Alolan Grimer with a special attack and Krokorok with Beat Up. However, they do have to watch out for Counter or losing a potential 50/50. Ferroseed and Klang can tank Kadabra's hits well and potentially OHKO it with Bullet Seed or Gear Grind. However, Ferroseed fears Hidden Power Fire. Offensively, Choice Scarf users such as Frogadier, Monferno, and Staravia outspeed Kadabra and threaten it out. However, none appreciate switching into Kadabra.
Optional EVs/IV(s): An alternative spread of 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 Spe with a Timid nature is viable for the Barrier, Calm Mind, Recover, and Psyshock Kadabra set. This set acts as a late-game wincon which is capable of sweeping through teams once it starts boosting. The set maximises Kadabra's Defense and Speed, which ensures that it can nearly always boost before being hit. This set beats Calm Mind Clefairy. However, it is completely walled by Dark-type Pokemon, so teammates which pressure Dark-types are appreciated.