Jolteon, by Keshi

Volt Absorb is definitely one of Jolteon’s defining features, and should usually dictate how it is played. Although the defenses seem fragile, this vital ability will give you plenty of opportunities to switch in (random Thunder Waves are just one example), and it will usually carry out the task you give it pretty well. Being the fastest Substitute passer of the game outside of Ninjask is exceptional, and, unlike the bug, it can defend itself with a vicious base 110 SpA and a powerful STAB move.

However, one must be careful when using Jolteon. It is still fragile, despite having that superb ability, so care should be taken. You also need to be very careful about locking yourself prematurely into its STAB move on the Specs set – Dugtrio and Pursuit users with some resistance to Electric moves (like Snorlax, who doesn’t really care for Jolteon’s offense) will destroy any Jolteon foolish enough to slap Thunderbolts around without scouting first. If used well, however, Jolteon should meet the needs of a more offensively-minded team very nicely, providing the Electric immunity that Garchomp was favored so much for.

Jolteon’s Stats


  • HP: 65
  • Attack: 65
  • Defense: 60
  • Special Attack: 110
  • Special Defense: 95
  • Speed: 130
  • Type: Electric
  • Weaknesses: Ground
  • Resistances: Steel, Flying
  • Immunities: Electric
  • Abilities: Volt Absorb
  • Tier: Overused

Choice Specs

Jolteon @ Choice Specs
Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Ability: Volt Absorb

  • Thunderbolt
  • Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Ice
  • Shadow Ball / Signal Beam
  • Baton Pass

In the light of the metagame that the Platinum changes have brought us, Jolteon’s best moveset has shifted from SubPass to sweeper. With Choice Specs, Jolteon achieves over 470 Special Attack. This alone makes it a dangerous opponent, unless you happen to resist its main form of offense.

Whilst the main aim would be to sling Thunderbolts at every opponent under the sun, it should be noted that teams will inevitably have a quick answer to such a narrow-minded assault. Hidden Power Ice deals with Dragon-types that get in your way (Flygon in particular, who is immune to Thunderbolt), and generally does well against many Ground types. However, one key Ground type that isn’t hit by Ice attacks effectively is Swampert; you will need Hidden Power Grass in order to beat that. Given that Swampert is a major thorn in Jolteon’s side, this is a worthwhile consideration, and the largely favored option. Since Jolteon’s Thunderbolt does an estimated 75% damage to Salamence, Hidden Power Grass definitely gets the nod for the simple fact of usefulness against the majority of the metagame in terms of type coverage and damage dealt. Hidden Power Ice realistically will not be doing efficient damage to the bulky Ground types, and will thus be KO’d in return by Earthquake.

Shadow Ball gives Jolteon a little more power against Psychic- and Ghost-types, which is important for three Pokémon in particular – Rotom, Celebi, and Latias. The Special Defense drop can also be useful in key situations in which your attacks could thus be turned into a two turn kill, rather than taking three turns to take out your opponent. Signal Beam can be used in this slot if you wish to go for the OHKO against Celebi, while still being able to hit Psychic-types hard (as well as have a weapon against Tyranitar) – note, however, that Rotom will resist almost all of your attacks if you forsake Shadow Ball.

It looks odd to see Baton Pass in the last slot of a Choice-locked Jolteon. Initially, it doesn’t look useful – you took the trouble to get Jolteon in unharmed, and all of that appears to have been wasted by using Baton Pass and not even passing anything. However, there are two very important uses for such a pass. The first is to scout the opponent’s team – see what they have that could potentially counter Jolteon, so as to ease your prediction next time round. This one is helped by the fact that you only switch after the opponent has moved, allowing you to maintain the advantage in the game. The second is to avoid Pursuit; although Jolteon isn’t weak to the move, those fragile defences won’t hold up against powerful Pursuit users such as Choice Band Tyranitar or Scizor. If you don’t like the idea of a move that doesn’t do anything to damage the opposition, you could use Signal Beam here, but you will lose some of the versatility that Jolteon brings to the field.

In terms of actual battling, Thunderbolt and Shadow Ball should be your main attacking moves. Seeing as how this is the case, it is wise for the user to simply bring in Jolteon late-game, once the opponent’s team has been scouted and any resistances have thus been taken out. So while the other moves are up for debate, those other two move slots are very minuscule compared to how you actually play it.

Jolteon is a potent threat on more offensive-minded teams – it has the ability to switch into potentially devastating Thunder Waves and bite back hard with a vicious STAB. One must be careful of Choice Scarf and Dragon Dance/Agility users, however, as they will often outspeed it after one boost.

Substitute Pass

Jolteon @ Leftovers / Petaya Berry / Salac Berry
Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Ability: Volt Absorb

  • Substitute
  • Baton Pass
  • Thunderbolt
  • Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Ice / Shadow Ball / Yawn

Jolteon’s main use in ADV was to be the fastest passer of Substitute in the game. While this may not sound impressive, it was often very effective at allowing sweepers that single turn needed to set up a crucial Swords Dance, Dragon Dance or Agility, and proceed to sweep.

That fact remains true today. Most of the time, you can force something to switch as you bring Jolteon in. By doing this, you gain a needed turn to use Substitute, and can then Baton Pass it to a sweeper like Gyarados or Salamence. These two in particular are immune to Ground moves, the likely form of offense against Jolteon. They also resist Water, and both have Intimidate, so defensive Swampert may not be able to break the Substitute in a single Waterfall.

If for some reason you fail to pass a Substitute, Jolteon isn’t totally useless. It still has a respectable Special Attack to go back to, and even without Choice Specs, the Thunderbolt will still hurt. Hidden Power deals with Ground types, depending on which type you go for. If you cannot get hold of a good Hidden Power, Shadow Ball is usable – however, it is generally an inferior option which will leave you more susceptible to ground types.

Should you choose to use it, Yawn allows you to force a switch, so that you can Substitute safely. It works best if the opponent switches in some form of Special Wall (or Electivire, who is expecting a Choiced Thunderbolt), since you can then Substitute in the knowledge that they won’t be able to stop it from being passed without switching and using a priority move (or a Scarfed Pokémon). This strategy won’t work well if the opponent brings in a faster Pokémon, unless they choose to switch instead of killing you.

Leftovers provides Jolteon with some mild recovery, allowing you to attempt a Substitute pass several times. With the given EVs, Jolteon’s HP are divisible by 4; this fact alone means that passing a berry boost is very viable. Petaya is more immediately useful to Jolteon itself, should you find yourself in a position to use it. Salac could be helpful against Scarfed opposition, however, and is a generic boost that all sweepers can benefit from. Other berries can be used for specific purposes, but are generally inferior due to lower consistency. This is especially true of the Starf Berry – while the boost is larger than a normal berry, it is random, and will rarely prove useful.


Jolteon @ Leftovers
Timid Nature
EVs: 248 HP / 16 SpD / 244 Spe
Ability: Volt Absorb

  • Wish
  • Substitute
  • Baton Pass
  • Discharge / Thunderbolt

This set looks strange when first seen. What it essentially comes down to is a variant on the SubPass set, that relies more on a successful Substitute pass than on Jolteon’s offensive prowess.

The high HP of this set allow Jolteon to make Substitutes that won’t be broken by many of the weaker special attacks running around in the game – Hidden Power most notably, but also attacks from walls like Blissey or Celebi (both of which are favorable switches for most Jolteon). With Wish to keep itself alive, this Jolteon can be a surprisingly resilient Pokémon.

As with all variants of Jolteon, Volt Absorb gives this set a good degree of versatility, allowing it to take on Thunder Waves that would otherwise cripple most teams. Discharge, added in Platinum, fits with the general theme of this set by delivering some useful paralysis support for the rest of your team. Unlike the SubPass set, this Jolteon can be even more useful to your team by passing Wish as well as Substitutes, allowing your team to bounce back after an unexpected Choice attack.

The speed EVs mean that you will still be faster than Adamant Gyarados after a Dragon Dance (since it maxes out at 391 Speed). While it does mean that you will be slower than other Jolteon, it usually won’t matter – almost all Jolteon will be either attacking with Choice moves (which would still break your Sub, and so you have no business dealing with them) or doing the same as you (passing Sub). You have no offense against Jolteon anyhow, so you shouldn’t be staying in regardless. Seeing as how this set is so defensive, it can be used as a fairly effective check against most Zapdos, who can be scouted and sometimes stalled by Wish and Substitute.

Light Screen is very useful when using this set, as it will further improve the defensive abilities. Watch out for Taunt, though.

Fake Tears

Jolteon @ Leftovers / Lum Berry
Timid Nature
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Ability: Volt Absorb

  • Fake Tears
  • Thunderbolt
  • Hidden Power Grass / Hidden Power Ice
  • Wish / Substitute

Sadly, Jolteon is incapable of boosting its SpA outside of Choice Specs or the unreliable Charge Beam. However, what it can do is severely cut the opponent’s Special Defense through the use of Fake Tears. You will need at the very least Stealth Rock support with this moveset, but Spikes is also very much appreciated due to the tendency for Fake Tears to force switches.

Thunderbolt and Hidden Power will be your main forms of attack, as previously discussed in the other more offensive sets. Wish is the primary option to keep Jolteon alive, but Substitute is as useful as ever to block status. On that note, whilst the constant recovery of Leftovers is appreciated, it is possible to use Lum Berry instead, so as to avoid a Choice Scarf sleeping move like Roserade’s Sleep Powder, or Gengar’s Hypnosis.

Other Options

Most of the useful moves have already been mentioned. Charm would be nice if it wasn’t so hard to find a moveslot for. Charge Beam is helpful if you can get the stat boost, but it’s rarely justified, due to the fact that the boost isn’t guaranteed, and it can miss. Replacing Thunderbolt isn’t possible either due to the extreme power difference in the moves, so it is hard to find space for.

Agility could be used if you like, but it is difficult to justify using Jolteon instead of Zapdos for this purpose (apart from the fact that Baton Pass Zapdos is extremely hard to get on Wi-Fi). Roar is decent, but difficult to use on something as fragile as Jolteon. Thunder Wave could catch some switches, but the majority are Ground type, and are therefore immune to it. Toxic might help a little more as a result, but most of the time it isn’t worth using over Substitute or Yawn. A Rain Dance set is also viable, if only for the very high speed Jolteon possesses. However, bulkier alternatives such as Jirachi or Zapdos usually surpass, as they can pull the dance off multiple times. Electrode is also faster than Jolteon, and has Taunt, and so it is usually more useful for setting up weather quickly.

Life Orb on Jolteon is really only useful in very specific offensive teams. If your team is unable to bounce back from a setup caused by your Choice item, then anything that locks you in would be a horrible team building move. In any case, Life Orb is still able to deal massive amounts of damage with Thunderbolt, but your overall damage output and longevity will strongly suffer. Focus Sash might help on non-Substitute sets, giving you a second chance if you mispredict and take a heavy physical blow.

Choice Scarf is just about plausible, using a Modest nature. Hidden Power Fire can be used here in place of Grass or Ice without worrying about the speed loss, but the purpose of this is unclear, as it won’t hit anything particularly hard that Jolteon won’t be able to outspeed normally. Choice Scarf by itself is generally a waste of Jolteon’s talents, but if you’re paranoid about Choice Scarf Dugtrio then it may be useful.

Hidden Power Fire could be used on most sets to irritate Magnezone and Scizor, but the loss of that single speed point makes it highly unfavorable, as you lose the ability to come in on other Jolteon and force a speed tie at the very least.


Technically, nothing counters the SubPass sets, as nothing can take both Jolteon and the Substitute out in one turn, meaning that it will always get at least the pass off. Users of Roar or Whirlwind can force it (or the Pokémon it switches to) out, but Jolteon is capable of OHKO’ing most of the common Pokémon that use these moves, making it harder to phaze.

Prediction is usually the best weapon against the Choice set. Generic special walls such as Blissey or Snorlax (Latias is hit by Shadow Ball, Empoleon is hit by Thunderbolt) will avoid taking large amounts of damage from it, but note that it could easily be Baton Passing in the turn you switch. Make sure not to automatically associate a dry Baton Pass with Choice Specs, as the opponent may well have used pass just to see what counter you bring in to take on a SubPass set.

If Hidden Power Grass isn’t present, Swampert will counter Jolteon nicely, and will be able to Roar it out if it tries to SubPass. If Hidden Power Ice isn’t present, Flygon can take most hits outside of Choice Specs Shadow Ball, and can eliminate Substitute by using U-Turn and switching to a faster counter.

Sand Stream or Snow Warning limits the use of the Substitute Pass sets, as they will find it difficult to repeatedly Substitute. Tyranitar is top of the list due to gaining Special Defense in the sand (the more recent Tyranitar sets would be able to more easily take on even SpecsJolt thanks to higher Special Defense). However, one should also be careful about making their Tyranitar the simple counter to SpecsJolt, as it can only take so many Thunderbolts. Hippowdon doesn’t like Specs boosted Hidden Power, but is otherwise fine, and Roar can remove Jolteon’s SubPass strategy. Abomasnow resists Thunderbolt, and usually doesn’t fear any of Jolteon’s moves (except Signal Beam), but often struggles to do anything back to SubPass sets without Ice Shard.

Most Electric types (except Zapdos) generally fare well against Jolteon, although many lack a way to deal with it due to Volt Absorb. Electivire is top of the list here – Motor Drive is an excellent way to gain an advantage over Jolteon, and it has Earthquake to deal with it once in. Outside of Specs boosted Hidden Power Grass, Lanturn makes for a good counter as well, since it has STAB Surf to fight back with. Magnezone resists all form of offense and can proceed to use either Substitute or Magnet Rise, but doesn’t really do a lot to counter Jolteon due to Volt Absorb.

Taunt really messes up SubPassing attempts, but it is difficult to get the Taunt in before Jolteon can pass out. It can be useful even if you don’t pull it off in time though, as it prevents the Pokémon coming in from being able to further set up.

Copying Volt Absorb is an effective way of dealing with offensive Jolteon. Porygon2 is preferred for this, since it doesn’t fear a secondary attack, and has instant healing in Recover. However, Gardevoir has more options to use against Jolteon (Taunt being one), and can use a status move on an incoming opponent.

Celebi irritates SubPass sets by using Perish Song, which limits the usefulness of the recipient. It must tread carefully around Specs set though, as Shadow Ball will 2HKO. Signal Beam is a OHKO on all Celebi with less than 257 Special Defense, factoring in Stealth Rock (296 Special Defense without the rocks, although anything less than 305 Special Defense has a chance to OHKO).

As mentioned before though, it is virtually impossible to counter the SubPass set, as by the time you bring in a counter, it is already gone. Even if you break the Sub using Choice Scarf or priority moves, the opponent will still get the pass off, and is now more informed about your team than before. It is dangerous to simply attack Jolteon without knowing the set first, however, since it is easy to mispredict and take a powerful Choice attack. Cautious aggression is perhaps the best tactic to employ against Jolteon.