Starmie - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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Starmie - Movesets and Counters
This is a strategy guide for using Starmie in competitive play for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on the best Nature, EV spreads, Movesets, and Held Items to use with Starmie, as well as its strengths and weak points.

Starmie - Related Articles
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Basic Information for Starmie

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Water Type Psychic Type
Abilities
Illuminate Raises the likelihood of meeting wild Pokemon.
Natural Cure All status problem heal when the Pokemon switches out.
Analytic (Hidden) Boosts move power when the pokemon moves last.

Type Defenses

Type
Takes 4x damage
-
Takes 2x damage
Grass Image Electric Image Bug Image Ghost Image Dark Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Fire Image Water Image Ice Image Fighting Image Psychic Image Steel Image
Takes 1/4x damage
-
Takes 0x damage
-

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
60 75 85 100 85 115

Best Nature for Starmie

Best Natures
Timid
(+Spd, -Atk)

Strategies for Starmie

Special Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid(+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp.Atk 252 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 135 / Def 105 / Sp.Atk 152 / Sp.Def 106 / Spd 183
Ability Analytic
Held Item Life Orb
Moveset Hydro Pump
Psyshock
Thunderbolt
Ice Beam

Starmie has filled the role of a special sweeper since the first Generation, and while it faces stiff competition now from faster and stronger Pokemon, it's one of the few with the coveted "BoltBeam" coverage. This makes it a great Pokemon for teams looking for a fast sweeper that has great coverage with its moves.

About Starmie's Moves

Hydro Pump is Starmie's strongest STAB attack coming from its respectable base 100 Sp.Attack. Psyshock is its second STAB move that damages the target's Defense stat instead of defense. This allows Starmie to take on Speciall Walls better by hitting their weaker defense stat.

Starmie's last two moves provide it great coverage through what the competitive community calls "BoltBeam" - Thunderbolt allows Starmie to take on opposing Water-types that can wall it while Ice Beam hits Grass-type Pokemon for super effective damage. It also allows it to hit Dragon, Flying, and Ground-types which are very common in the current metagame.

About Starmie's EV Spread

We're using a straightforward EV spread with maximum investment in Special Attack and Speed with a Timid Nature, with the remaining 4 EVs on Special Defense.

About Starmie's Ability

We're using the Analytic ability which boosts the power of moves by 30% when an opponent moves before Starmie. While Starmie is normally faster than most Pokemon, this ability also activates when an opposing Pokemon switches out.

If Starmie is facing an opponent and they switch out, the game considers that as move done before Starmie. As a result, Starmie gets the Analytic boos. You can use this to your advantage as Starmie often forces a lot of switches.

About Starmie's Held Item

We're using Life Orb, which boosts the power of Starmie's moves by 30& at the cost of 10% recoil damage.

Other Viable Moves

Psychic Stronger than Psyshock but Starmie will have more trouble with Special Walls.
Surf Weaker than Hydro Pump but has perfect accuracy.
Recover A good alternative to either Thunderbolt or Ice Beam that allows Starmie to heal recoild damage from Life Orb.

Rapid Spinner Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid(+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 252 / Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 167 / Def 106 / Sp.Atk 120 / Sp.Def 105 / Spd 183
Ability Natural Cure
Held Item Heavy-Duty Boots
Moveset Scald
Recover
Rapid Spin
Flip Turn

Starmie's great match-up against common entry hazard setters allow it to fill the role of a fast and surprisingly bulky team supporter with Rapid Spin.

About Starmie's Moves

Rapid Spin is Starmie's most important move and allows it to clear your side of the field of entry hazards, such Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic Spikes, Sticky Web and the Sharp Steel that Gigantamax Copperajah sets up with its move G-Max Steelsurge. Using Rapid Spin also boosts Starmie's speed by 1 stage.

Starmie's other moves offer great team utility. Scald is it's main STAB move that can potentially cripple physical attackers with a Burn, while Recover provides reliable recovery that helps keep it healthy throughout the match. Flip Turn is a new move that allows Starmie to switch out and quickly pivot to a teammate without wasting a turn.

About Starmie's EV Spread

Starmie has respectable natural bulk on both defenses that we enhance by putting full 252 EV investment on HP. Full EV investment in Speed ensures it can outpace slower walls and entry hazard supporters. The remaining 4 EVs we allocate to Defense as Starmie's typing give it key resistances to types that usually use physical attacks, such as Fighting.

About Starmie's Ability

We're using Nature Cure for this Starmie, which allows it to heal off status conditions like Paralysis, Poison, or Burn by simply switching out. This works great with its new move Flip Turn!

About Starmie's Held Item

We're giving Starmie the Heavy-Duty Boots held item, which protects it completely from all types of entry hazards.

Other Viable Moves

Thunder Wave A good alternative to Flip Turn that allows Starmie to threaten sweepers with paralysis.
Reflect Another alternative to Flip Turn that boosts team Defense.
Light Screen Another alternative to Flip Turn that boosts team Special Defense.

Expanding Force Doubles Sweeper Moveset & Best Build

Nature Timid(+Spd, -Atk)
EV Spread Sp.Atk 252 / Sp.Def 4 / Spd 252
Final Stat Values HP 135 / Def 105 / Sp.Atk 152 / Sp.Def 106 / Spd 183
Ability Analytic
Held Item Colbur Berry
Moveset Expanding Force
Hydro Pump
Thunderbolt
Ice Beam

With its new move, Expanding Force, Starmie becomes a threatening sweeper in Doubles with the right conditions.

About Starmie's Moves

Expanding Force is Starmie's most important move. When Psychic Terrain is in effect, this move gets a 1.5x power boost in addition to the 1.3x boost from the terrain itself. This move also hits both opposing Pokemon. Under ideal conditions and thanks to Starmie's great speed, it can easily sweep slower opposing teams!

Hydro Pump hits Fire and Ground-type Pokemon for super effecitve damage, while Thunderbolt and Ice Beam make up "BoltBeam" that gives it near perfect coverage against other types.

About Starmie's EV Spread

We're using a straightforward EV spread with maximum investment in Special Attack and Speed with a Timid Nature, with the remaining 4 EVs on Special Defense.

About Starmie's Ability

We're using the Analytic ability which boosts the power of moves by 30% when an opponent moves before Starmie. While Starmie is normally faster than most Pokemon, this ability also activates when an opposing Pokemon switches out.

Switching in and out is very common due to the fast-paced nature of the battle format, which means plenty of opportunities to activate this ability!

About Starmie's Held Item

We're using Colbur Berry for Starmie's held item this time. Starmie is susceptible to getting KO'd by Sucker Punch. This item halves its damage, allowing it to survive such hits and continue to sweep the next turn.

Other Viable Moves

Dazzling Gleam An alternative to either Thunderbolt or Ice Beam that hits Dark and Dragon-type Pokemon for super effective damage.
Surf Weaker than Hydro Pump but has perfect accuracy. Be careful using this as it hits your ally Pokemon in Doubles!
Recover A good alternative to either Thunderbolt or Ice Beam that allows Starmie to heal recoild damage from Life Orb.

How to Use Starmie Effectively

A Fast Special Sweeper with Great Coverage

Starmie is a veteran of the competitive battling scene since Generation 1, and not a lot has changed when it comes to using it. While it now faces stiffer competition from faster sweepers like Dragapult, it's still played as a fast special sweeper.

What sets it apart from other sweepers is its access to "BoltBeam" coverage, allowing net super effective attacks against its opponents. It can also forgo its usual offensive sets and fill the role of a support Pokemon with its wide support movepool.

How to Build a Team with Starmie

It's easy to fit Starmie into different teams thanks to its versatility and offensive presence, though there are certain teams where it excels the best.

As Part of an Offensive Core

Starmie is a great choice to fill in an exsting team's offensive core thanks to its superior move coverage, and is often partnered with slower physical sweepers in Hyper Offense teams.

Check out our article below to learn how to build an Offensive Team with Starmie.
How to Build an Offensive Team | Best Hyper Offense Team

A Powerful Sweeper in Doubles

With the addition of Expanding Force to its movepool, Starmie fills the role of a powerful sweeper in Doubles. It's best partnered with Pokemon that can immediately set up Psychic Terrain, such as Indeedee. Not only does Psychic Terrain boost the power of Expanding Force, it also protects Starmie from priority attacks, such as Rillaboom's Grassy Glide or Bisharp's Sucker Punch.

Counters for Starmie

Outpace it with a Faster Sweeper

While Starmie has great speed, there are new Pokemon that are faster than it and can easily knock it out with a super effective move.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Dragapult ImageDragapult Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster than Starmie and can easily knock it out with Shadow Ball

Moveset & Best Build for Dragapult
Dracovish ImageDracovish Ranking: ★★★★★
・Faster than Starmie with Choice Scarf and can easily knock it out with Strong Jaw boosted Crunch

Moveset & Best Build for Dracovish

Hit it With Priority Moves

Starmie is also susceptible to getting knocked out by slower but stronger Pokemon with priority moves.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Rillaboom ImageRillaboom Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can easily knock out Starmie with Grassy Surge boosted Grassy Glide

Moveset & Best Build for Rillaboom'
Bisharp ImageBisharp Ranking: ★★★★★
・Has no problem knocking out Starmie with STAB Sucker Punch

Moveset & Best Build for Bisharp

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