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February 25

Butterfree, A Competitive Pokemon Guide

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Butterfree is an extreme force to be reckoned with strong flex potential. If you want to play this incredibly strong Pokemon, our guide will help you understand what the best EVs, Nature, and Movesets!


Build In Action!


Why Play Butterfree?

Since Pokemon’s inception, Butterfree showed very little competitive capabilities due to poor stats and poor typing. Although its move library has gotten better with time, it still lacked the power to break through certain Pokemon and become a threat in the competitive meta. However, Butterfree was given the move Quiver Dance, which many of you know is abused mostly by Volcarona, to enable it to boost its special attack, special defense, and speed by one stage. If that was not enough, Butterfree was given a gigantimax form and the move G-Max Befuddle which would either poison the opponent, paralyze the opponent, or put them to sleep. This has allowed Butterfree to be an extreme force to be reckoned with if the Pokemon that can flex at it are put out of commission and no checks are on board against it.

Butterfree

butterfree-gmax

Best Competitive Build

Effort Values

  • 252 Special Attack
  • 252 Speed
  • 4 HP 

(Modest Nature)

Quiver Dance

Raises the user's Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed by 1 stage.

Bug Buzz

Has a 10% chance to lower the target's Special Defense by 1 stage.

Hurricane

Has a 30% chance to confuse the target. This move can hit a target using Bounce, Fly, or Sky Drop, or is under the effect of Sky Drop. If the weather is Primordial Sea or Rain Dance, this move does not check accuracy. If the weather is Desolate Land or Sunny Day, this move's accuracy is 50%. If this move is used against a Pokemon holding Utility Umbrella, this move's accuracy remains at 70%.

Psychic

Has a 10% chance to lower the target's Special Defense by 1 stage.


Main Moveset

When deciding on nature, it all depends on where you want to stand with your Butterfree. If you want to win certain speed battles, which can be critical then a Timid nature is best. However, after a Max Airstream on top of Quiver Dance being out sped by certain threats is unlikely so a Modest nature is best in my opinion to ensure Butterfree will hit those critical knockouts it is looking for. Bug Buzz is an excellent STAB for Butterfree and gives it G-Max Befuddle in gigantimax form. It should also be noted that this move will hit past a substitute. With the ability Compound Eyes, Hurricane goes from being 70 accuracy to 90 and can be abused a bit more without a worry of a miss. Psychic will give Butterfree a good amount of neutral coverage on other Pokemon and sets up psychic terrain when in gigantimax form to protect it from priority attacks like Sucker Punch or Ice Shard. Another notable move that should be mentioned is Sleep Powder which Butterfree can also abuse thanks to Compound Eyes and could likely give it the turn it needs to set up rather than relying on switching and pivoting. Other moves to consider:


Optional Moves

  • Shadow Ball- Has a 20% chance to lower the target's Special Defense by 1 stage.
  • Giga Drain-The user recovers 1/2 the HP lost by the target, rounded half up. If Big Root is held by the user, the HP recovered is 1.3x normal, rounded half down.
  • Energy Ball-Has a 10% chance to lower the target's Special Defense by 1 stage.
  • Venoshock-Power doubles if the target is poisoned. 
  • Electroweb- Has a 100% chance to lower the target's Speed by 1 stage.
  • Draining Kiss-The user recovers 3/4 the HP lost by the target, rounded half up. If Big Root is held by the user, the HP recovered is 1.3x normal, rounded half down.

Held Items

For the held item, Heavy-Duty Boots is most likely the best option due to Butterfree having a 4x weakness to Stealth Rocks. However, if you have a rapid spinner or defogger on the team a Life Orb or Expert Belt is worth mentioning to get some extra damage out of Butterfree’s attacks. If you have any other ideas for items then please engage in the comments section below and leave us your ideas!

heavydutyboots

Heavy-Duty Boots

When switching in, the holder is unaffected by hazards on its side of the field.

Lifeorb

Life Orb

Holder's attacks do 1.3x damage, and it loses 1/10 its max HP after the attack.

expert-belt

Expert Belt

Holder's attacks that are super effective against the target do 1.2x damage.


Tips and Tricks

Looking at Butterfree’s move pool, it does not have a decent answer for steel types unless you run a build with Shadow Ball. The downside is this will leave Butterfree open to priority attacks which it already does not have the best defenses. Shields are greatly appreciated though (Reflect/Light Screen/ Aurora Veil) to help it set up and soak attacks. Before you set up it is better to make sure all steel types that may resist Butterfree are knocked out to pave the way for it to sweep.


Conclusion

In conclusion, Butterfree is an extreme force to be reckoned with strong flex potential. Having a strong array of status effects and a wide array of moves gives it amazing versatility. If you have any other recommendations for items and moves then please engage in the comment section below! We love to see unique builds and strategies! I would like to add a special thanks to Richard Thibault for assisting me with the builds and providing some information for me to use in this article.


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Spartan Alphazulu

About the author

Hello my fellow readers! I am Spartan Alphazulu and I am a 32 year old Air Force veteran that loves to nerd out over Pokemon, World of Warcraft, and Magic: the Gathering. I have always enjoyed competitive play in gaming since I was a child and am hoping to assist my readers with strategies and ideas that they can apply to their hobbies like many have done for me. I am married with five children who, like me, are showing interests in the many hobbies of gaming and nerd culture that I enjoy and am looking to set the example for everyone that doing what you love is not always a “waste of time” like many have told me growing up. Sometimes fate extends a hand and it is up to you to recognize and take the risk.

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