The original overpowered type from generation one, the psychic type and its pokemon still reign as some of the best in the game in generation seven. From generation one the game has seen introductions of dark and steel types as well as psychic losing an immunity to ghost (and instead becoming weak to it), all in some part in the name of nerfing psychic. Psychic has survived numerous attacks on its type, and while it might not be king in generation seven, it is still one of the strongest in the game.
The psychic type boasts some of the strongest special attackers, fast utility pokemon and a plethora of trick roomers to fill that play style, making them some of the most versatile pokemon in the game. Even as the generations rolled on psychic as a type got a lot of good physical attackers as well like Metagross, Gallade and Medicham, all of which have mega forms to further increase their power.
Psychic types are among the most versatile in the game. As a whole the type boasts a lot of Pokemon that can all fill roles any kind of team may need. There are also plenty of Pokemon who can fill multiple roles on the same team. For example Starmie is great both as a utility spinner or a choice specs attacker.
Defensively speaking the Psychic type is a relatively frail type. Most offensive pokemon in the psychic type fall easily to strong super effective attacks. With only its own type and Fighting attacks as resistance and a low physical defense stat (on average 13 points lower than special defense for fully evolved psychics) they certainly aren’t invincible.
Offensively, the psychic type comes with strong moves off of very high special attack stats across a lot of its viable Pokemon. While it has strong physical attackers as well (like Metagross and Medicham) the majority of its offense comes on the special side. One major drawback to using STAB psychic attacks though is their ability to be neutralized completely by Dark-types. The move Miracle Eye can alleviate this problem, though its limited recipients generally means it is better to find a different move to hit dark types, like Dazzling Gleam or Focus Blast.
By The Numbers
# of Pokemon with this type (Includes Mega, Alolan and Multi-types): 102
# of Fully Evolved Pokemon (Inlcudes Mega, Alolan and Multi-Types): 73
2x super effective against: Fighting, Poison
2x resisted by: Psychic, Steel
Ineffective against: Dark
2x weak against: Bug, Dark, Ghost
2x resistant to: Fighting, Psychic
Immune to: none
- Mewtwo (Mega X and Y)
- Mega Metagross
- Mega Alakazam
- Mega Medicham
- Tapu Lele
- Mega Slowbro
Physical – Zen Headbutt, Psycho Cut, Psychic Fangs
Special – Psychic, Psyshock, Extrasensory, Stored Power, Psystrike, Hyperspace Hole
Status – Hypnosis, Calm Mind, Rest, Trick, Trick Room, Healing Wish, Reflect, Light Screen, Agility, Heal Block, Magic Coat, Mirror Coat
Z-Moves: Shattered Psyche, Z-Psychic Terrain (Sets terrain and raises special attack 1 stage), Z-Trick Room (Sets Trick Room and raises accuracy 1 stage), Z-Trick (Raises speed 2 stages, can’t switch items), Z-Hypnosis (Raises speed 1 stage, puts foe to sleep)
Genesis Supernova (Mew Exclusive/Psychic) sets Psychic Terrain (must know Psychic to use)
Type in OU
Pick a playstyle, pick a role and there’s a good chance a psychic-type pokemon can fill your needs in the OU tier. While some psychics in question might be outclassed in some respects the fact remains with how many psychics exist and how strong they are on average they represent their type well no matter what tier or banlist you might be playing.
The ability to have their STAB attacks nullified by Dark-types is slightly hampering to the type in OU, however most psychic types have impressive secondary types that allow STAB coverage to hit hard (Like Latios’ Draco Meteor or Hoopa Unbound’s Dark Pulse). A lot of pokemon also get very good coverage options to satisfy their offensive abilities. Defensively look no further than the fact that two Steel/Psychic dual types are solidly in OU to give the type that versatility of offense, bulk or utility. Simply put psychics can do it all.
Tapu Lele’s unique ability to set psychic terrain passively as its ability gives it a lot of clout among a type that is already filled with some great pokemon. Additonally that psychic terrain boosting Psychic moves (which Lele already gets STAB on) can hit hard on even the best walls and resisted types. A Tapu Lele psychic under psychic terrain 2HKOs Scizor, that is the level of strength that comes from Tapu Lele. In support it offers some good moves but in reality for most teams, shielding them from priority is all that most teams need.
It’s big and scary and has six floating arms, you better believe this thing can hold its own on the battlefield. Most pokemon have 4 move slot syndrome because of how many moves it can learn and Hoopa-U sort of has that problem too. It learns a lot of viable moves across both of its attacking stats. 160 base attack and 170 base special attack while getting STAB Dark Pulse, Psyshock, Hyperspace Hole, Hyperspace Fury and Zen Headbutt and you can fill a moveset just on STAB attacks add in coverage moves that can hit via fighting, electric, grass, poison, ghost, ice and a hidden power type of the trainer’s choice. It’s a fantastic offensive option offensively.
Hoopa suffers a bit from its base 80 speed but a choice scarf fixes that issue for the most part. Its physical defense is base 60, which ordinarily would be bad, but in this case it makes your mixed sets an easier decision in terms of which defensive stat do you want to hinder. Hasty for boosted speed, Mild for boosted special attack or Lonely for boosted attack all which hinder defense.
Psychic’s most infamous glass cannon is Mega Alakazam. Considering the fact that a lot of base Alakazam sets use focus sash and it’s mega evolution boosts grant +40 to Special Attack and +30 to Speed that doesn’t grant a lot of bulk for M-Alakazam to sponge a hit. However, with a very high 175 base Special Attack and 150 base Speed there’s immense potential as a late game cleaner to outpace most of the metagame or a wall-breaker with its absurd attacking ability, depending on what your team needs. While it’s coverage may lack it’ll still hit whatever you want hard, just don’t expect it to be able to get hit that hard back.
Since being unleashed onto the OU scene, Mega Medicham has had a swift impact on the metagame. Pure Power gives it a colossal attack stat. Combine that with decent speed and a great offensive typing and you have one of the most fearsome physical attackers OU has to offer. The combination of Hi Jump Kick, Zen Headbutt, Bullet Punch, and Ice/Fire/Thunder Punch backed by its fearsome attack stat let Mega Medicham blow through the majority of the tier. Alternatively, you can run Fake Out over Zen Headbutt or an elemental punch to gain double priority and chip away at defensive cores.
The offensive half of the Eon duo Latios possesses great attacking power with 130 Special Attack and 110 in the speed department. While it does have a mega evolution (currently unreleased) the damage output by a regular Latios holding a Life Orb is actually more powerful than a Mega Latios (160 Special Attack) plus it’s mega evolution doesn’t gain any speed, so use your mega stone somewhere else.
Coverage wise Latios has a wide pool of options. On top of Dragon and Psychic STABs (which can target either defense stat) it can use strong coverage options in Ice, Electric, Grass, Ghost and Water. Latios can also heal itself with Roost but it’s 80/80/110 defenses mean it doesn’t take hits physically very well to make it workable, especially considering its best EV spread is the simple double max offense stats.
Jirachi is a great mythical pokemon that is graced with a wonderful defensive typing in Steel/Psychic. Hey speaking of grace, Jirachi’s ability Serene Grace allow it to do some serious shenanigans on the battlefield. If you are fortunate enough to get your hands on a generation 3 Jirachi that has Body Slam that move will come with a 60% paralyze chance. If you don’t, don’t worry it gets access to Thunder Wave. Then add STAB Iron Head and it’s 30% (60% with Serene Grace) chance to flinch and the parahax numbers actually equate to your opponent being less likely to move than not. (NOTE FOR ECO LINK TO MY PARAHAX ARTICLE WITH HYPERTEXT).
If you aren’t feeling that diabolic, Jirachi can also function as great support with Stealth Rocks, and Healing Wish, it can also U-Turn (with base 100 attack too) toxic stall and wish pass too.
Jirachi’s latest tool this generation is its ability to use Z-Happy Hour. By equipping Jirachi with Normalium Z and using this status move, Jirachi gains a +1 boost to all stats. This makes it nearly impossible to revenge kill and allows it to sweep with a potent combination of Steel/Psychic STABS and whatever coverage you choose.
The Mr. do everything of pokemon (feel free to voice your complaints about Mew being genderless in the comments) Mew has the ability to learn any move by some form of teaching. TM’s, move tutors plus its own moveset provides it a strong physical or special option in almost every type in terms of offense. It has base 100 stats in every stat giving it great defensive abilities, and in support it can do basically anything you need, Every TM and move tutor move covers a lot of support possibilities. Try Mew out to fill any unique hole you can come up with on an OU or mono-psychic team, and it should be able to do it.
Mega Slowbro is one of two Psychic types banned from lower tiers. It is a stellar defensive Pokemon with incredible base 180 attack. It has access to Iron Defense and Calm Mind, which allow it to set up and become nearly impregnable. Rest or Slack Off can be used for Recovery, while Scald, Ice Beam, Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Psychic, or Psyshock typically round off offensive coverage. Toxic, Yawn, and Thunder Wave allow Mega Slowbro to inflict just the right status. Unfortunately, it does suffer from a case of four-moveslot syndrome, being unable to do everything at once.
Victinia is a potent offensive threat thanks to its combination of V-Create and Bolt Strike. It is also banned from lower tier play but does not see much use in OU. It is a versatile mon capable of running sets like Choice items or Life Orb well.
Type in Mono
Psychic has been and remains one of the best types in this format due to the tender love it has been given over the years. Psychic teams are potent threats capable of dismantling a variety of teams with their wide coverage. However, they can do very little to defend themselves against Dark, Ghost, and even some Bug teams.
The Defense and Speed forms of Deoxys are both permitted in monotype. Often these will make their way onto Psychic teams as setters of Spikes, which is something Psychic teams otherwise lack. While they are considered too powerful for OU, their singular typing and disparate stats make them a good fit for the monotype metagame.
Psychic is one of the few monotypes that can effectively run Trick room. This is half in part to the wide pool of pokemon that get access to Trick Room (mostly due to it being a psychic status move) but also with just how many psychic pokemon there are there’s plenty of slow tanky psychic pokemon that do work under trick room.
Popular Trick room setters in the psychic type are Bronzong, Cresselia any of the Guardian Spirits, Reuniclus, Hoopa, Slowbro and more. There’s about a dozen fully evolved psychic pokemon that are below 80 base speed (some in the 30s like Bronzong and Reuniclus). Combine those two facts together and the trick room options are quite plentiful for a monotype.
Type in Other Metas
Ubers is well represented with psychic pokemon.
Most notable among these is Mewtwo and its two different mega forms (each boasting 190+ attacking stats in their respective mega forms).
Lugia is perhaps the bulkiest Psychic type with a great Psychic/Flying dual typing and Multiscale. However, it is a bit passive.
Solgaleo and Lunala are the two new Psychic-type ubers this generation. Each has excellent offensive and defensive capabilities between their awesome typings, movepools, and stats.
With the plethora of psychic types in the National Dex the type is also well represented in lower tiers too. One of UU’s top threats also is in the Psychic type in Latias (top 10 in usage on the Beta ladder). Victini was also seeing high usage in UU before it was quickbanned out near the end of UU’s beta phase. It is the first pokemon the tier is re-testing from its quickbans. Azelf also sees a lot of use in this tier with its ability to set rocks quickly, outspeed other hazard setters with taunt and explode as a possible suicide lead. Necrozma can also serve as a bulkier rock setter or a special attacker to play mind games as to what set you might bring to a UU battle.
A great bulky water type for psychic, Slowbro’s 95/110/80 defenses mean it doesn’t sponge thunderbolts all that well, but most other things it tanks like a champ. With solid recovery options in Slack Off and the ability Regenerator it can really be a thorn in the side of an unprepared opponent by toxic stalling for example. In terms of damage output Slowbro’s 100 Special Attack is pretty serviceable, but investing in bulk suits it more. Slowbro can run Calm Mind sets to help its lower Special defense stat get raised and simultaneously becoming a special attacking powerhouse. With Water and Psychic STAB plus access to Ice, Grass and Fire for coverage.
And if none of that does it for you, it’s got a mega evolution that gets even bulkier and is immune to critical hits. Needless to say it’s got a lot of tricks up its sleeve (or in its Shellder)
Prior to generation 7, Starmie was a lifetime member of the OU tier (impressive considering it’s a gen one pokemon, so over 20 years old). While it has fallen to UU, Starmie still possesses great utility in its ability to Rapid Spin away hazards. With 100 base Special Attack and 115 Speed and Beam Bolt coverage it can also be an offensive force in the right circumstance. With access to recover and natural cure as an ability Starmie can also take care of itself well healing wise but it’s not going to be able to sponge many hits on 60/85/85 defenses.
Starmie’s other useable ability Analytic offers a 30% boost to damage output if it goes last. The only problem with that is Starmie’s natural speed prevents it from using that to its full potential, good on paper but not so much in execution.
Necrozma is a cool legendary Pokemon available after you have captured all of the Ultra Beasts in the post-game sequence. It is a more defensively inclined Psychic type, and has not seen much play in OU. Recently with the Baton Pass fetish there has been some use of a set including Calm Mind and Stored Power, but it remains mostly confined to lower tiers.
Tips and Tricks
Using the psychic type at first could lead to a case of analysis paralysis. With all the different options and playstyles the type can fit whether it be as a monotype or not, this is to be expected. Using pokemon known to be at the top of their class with whatever tier or banlist is being played is a good start and then one shouldn’t be afraid to get creative with psychic pokemon. Their versatility in attacks (both STAB and coverage) as well as the wide amount of utility most of the pokemon get allows a trainer to customize a pokemon and its moveset specifically to their needs without much given up in terms of lost power or opportunity. Pokemon sometimes is all about experimenting, psychic types are a good test subject for that.
Psychic is still a top level monotype in the pokemon world. While it doesn’t run as grossly unchecked as it used to, the versatility and sheer power the type possesses is enough to keep any opponent on their toes.