5 Reasons why Milotic isn’t Bisharp

Hey there Hat Lovers!

Today is a discussion on Milotic vs. Bisharp as the two most common Pokemon you’ll see trying to put pressure on Intimidate users. While one Pokemon is proudly Defiant in the face of Intimidate, the other pretends like it’s Competitive, and hopes the opponent won’t notice the reality of the situation; the reality being that Milotic isn’t very good.

Why isn’t Milotic very good? Why isn’t it just an alternate Bisharp? Well… here are 5 reasons why Milotic isn’t Bisharp:

1. It’s out-classed, and its stats aren’t right for its role


Milotic’s base stats

While it’s not uncommon for me to 3HKO a Milotic (mainly when they have Sitrus/Recover), I also rarely get 2HKOd back. Most of the time, I just don’t have to focus on Milotic as a result, so I get to take out the rest of their team while Milotic sits there feeling important.

Anything you can do…

For comparison, Suicune has


Thus, for a loss of 10 SpA and 10 SpDef you pick up 5 HP, 36 Def, and 4 Spe. That’s a net increase of 25 base stat total, and primarily in bulk, where it matters most for this kind of Pokemon. The typing is the same, the movepool is even almost exactly the same. Suicune just has more and better options. Of the Top 10 moves Milotic used on Battlespot, 8 are learned by Suicune, and one of the Milotic-only moves is Safeguard which was used on 3.3% of Milotic; yes, Suicune gets Mirror Coat.

Think about it this way… Running a Bold 252 HP/252 Def Milotic is like running a Bashful Suicune that’s missing 68 EVs and has a 22 Speed IV. That is how terrible Milotic is.

2. No priority


Bisharp, an actual Intimidate deterrent

One of the reasons Bisharp is so threatening is because no matter how fast you are, you could be taking a Base 80 STAB move from a Base 125 attack, possibly at +1 and boosted by Life Orb. That’s about a 69% chance to OHKO a 4 HP Landorus-T, meaning that if Landorus-T has taken any damage whatsoever, it’s going to be KOd.

Milotic almost always invests in bulk over speed, and it never out-speeds anything it’s trying to threaten. You could at least give Milotic enough speed to out-speed stuff after an Icy Wind, but if you’re using Icy Wind then you could just be using Suicune, and potentially using Tailwind instead if that suits ‘yer fancy.

Competitive doesn’t matter if you don’t get to attack at +2. I’ve played Mega Salamence a fair bit this generation, and most of the time I don’t even think twice about bringing Salamence in on Milotic. Why? Because I can Double Edge to finish it off. If Milotic has been hit by anything already, bringing in my Intimidate Salamence is a completely safe move. That’s how much the lack of speed and priority hurts Milotic. One of the main things it’s trying to counter doesn’t even care about it.

3. Weak coverage


Even Scizor uses Knock Off over its strongest STAB move

Bisharp’s Dark and Steel STABs are a boon to most teams, warranting its inclusion. Knock Off’s buff in Gen 6 has been especially good for Bisharp as it allows Bishy to fire off a Base 97.5 power move from a Base 125 attack stat, often coupled with Life Orb. Those are good numbers.

Milotic’s best STAB is Scald (Base 80), 17.5 base power weaker than Bisharp’s Knock Off; only 8.3% of Milotic carry Hydro Pump for a reason. It brings Ice moves to the team, but again… Suicune… The only reason to use Milotic is to get the Competitive boost.

If the only reason to use Milotic is to get a Competitive boost, then you’re really only looking to Milotic as an Intimidate deterrent. But… looking at the most common Milotic spread on Showdown, people just dump all their EVs into HP and Defence, leaving Milotic at a piddly 121 SpA stat. At +2, Milotic therefore has 242 SpA. For comparison, Bisharp starts with 194 Attack, and gets a STAB that’s 17.5 Base Power stronger. A Life Orb Bisharp (most common item) at +0 is stronger than a Milotic at +2. So essentially… trying to fulfill the same attacking role, unboosted Bisharp is stronger than Milotic even when Milotic has gotten its boost.

Milotic is pretty weak, and its moves are pretty weak. When +0 Bisharp out-damages you at +2, you’re pretty pathetic.

4. It’s really really good looking

Max has a rule that I’ve taken to heart. If you love something, and it’s hella bad, don’t send it out to die all the time. I don’t spend my time trying to make Crawdaunt teams (in public), Max doesn’t have strange notions about Umbreon working (except on that M-Gengar team), Milotic is the same.

Sometimes you just need to leave your childhood dreams as dreams, or you’ll find out how disappointing they really are.

5. Their designs




Milotic is a sea snake, while Bisharp looks like a skewered ninja. This is also a reason why Milotic is not Bisharp.


The one thing you should have taken away from the conversation today is that Milotic is a Competitive Pokemon in the format, and I hope you’re using it at Regionals.


Crawdaunt out

Feature image originally from oranguin, can’t find a better link to their content than this: http://38.media.tumblr.com/e3f635d26c60cf79b53793b762aa4433/tumblr_n2i9mhhlVf1s20o0yo3_500.gif


  1. You say milotic is bad because even with a +2 it’s still ridiculously weak, but what if you invested a lot more in its SpA (and used hydro pump) over the generic physically defensive sets on showdown?

    Is it a bad pokemon completely or are people just using it wrong?


    1. Even with 252 Special Attack, a Modest Nature and a +2 boost from Competitive Milotic isn’t that strong, and is weaker than a +1 Life Orb Bisharp.

      If you invest fully in Special Attack you lose a lot of physical bulk and then you don’t have the survivability needed to get attacks off.

      Its not that Milotic is a terrible Pokemon it is just outclassed by Suicune and Bisharp.


    2. There was a Timid scarfed Milotic that fatum used that was neat. I think that’s a better use of Milotic. A Scarfed Politoed is similar though, except with stronger Scalds because of rain. A Scarfed Suicune is similar as well, but more physically bulky. Scarfed Milotic could work because when you get a Competitive Boost and have invested in SpA, it’s much cooler. But it’s also not the ideal scarfer because it lacks coverage.


  2. I really liked the analysis here. But I did feel like the comparisons could be a little misleading.

    Milotic loses to Suicune as the bulky Water-type. And it loses to Bisharp as the offensive Intimidate counter. You’re right in that it doesn’t outperform either Pokemon in those specific roles.

    But Milotic also has the option to be a *bulky* Intimidate counter. In that way, it’s not really a superior to Suicune or Bisharp. It’s a moderate combination of both.

    So yeah, don’t use Milotic if you’re looking for *just* a bulky Water. Or if you *just* want an offensive Intimidate counter. Use it to cover the gap in between.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry but this article is so far off in so many ways. First off, you’re comparing apples and oranges. Yes, they are both fruits (intimidate deterrents) but other than that, they are completely different and they fill completely different roles. Milotic is a bulky water type while Bisharp is more offensive. Milotic is a pokemon that can literally win games just because it sits around and can’t be taken out because of its bulk. Bisharp will typically get 2 or 3 attacks off before it gets taken out. Bisharp’s defensive typing is worse too. Bisharp is weak to Fire and Ground, two very popular attack types in this metagame. And it really doesn’t have a reliable way to outspeed or OHKO any of the popular Pokemon that use those attacks. Also, so many more teams have 3+ Ground/Fire attacks. I see a lot of Heatran/Charizard/Lando teams, a team that Bisharp is essentially useless against. And this isn’t even counting the Fighting type moves that so many teams have. Now let’s look at Milotic. Being a pure water type, it has two weaknesses: Electric and Grass. And other than Rotom, Thundurus, Breloom, Venusaur and the occasional Virizion, there really aren’t any pokemon that can hit Milotic with STAB super effective moves. And most of those Pokemon can’t reliable OHKO Milotic due to its tremendous bulk. Also, you say that Suicune is similar to Milotic and while they are both bulky water types with similar movepools, Milotic typically has the edge because of two things: Recover and Competitive. Suicune’s power is horribly underwhelming, even when hitting things super effectively. A base 100 Pokemon at +2 may not be sweeping teams, but it’s certainly something that you should give your attention to or else you’re in trouble. And recover allows Milotic to stick around forever. There’s nothing more demoralizing than when you chip a Milotic down to red health, only to have it use Recover to get back to green health. A few more things to consider when looking at Milotic vs Bisharp: 1) Bisharp is quickly hindered by burn 2) Milotic is able to get to +2 with its boost while Bisharp typically only gets to +1 (Unless it gets snarled, then the reverse. But intimidate happens a lot more than Snarl) 3) The things that use intimidate are typically dealt with much better by Milotic than by Bisharp (Salamence, Landorus, Scrafty, Mawile). I think that these facts clearly show that Milotic is overall the better intimidate deterrent. However, Bisharp can still fit on certain teams and may be better on certain teams than Milotic. Final thought: Don’t throw in looks if you want to write a serious VGC article.


    1. Back when this was written (April 27th), Milotic had done practically nothing in the format. Meanwhile, both Suicune and Bisharp were popular picks. The article is largely a direct comparison of Milotic vs. Bisharp, with some Suicune stats thrown in for reference.

      Reason 1: it is an inferior Bisharp, and it is an inferior Suicune. But yes, it does have its own niche of offering strengths of both to a team. That was always true, but without the results to back it up no one would defend that position back in April, and it was a completely fair comment.

      Reason 2: No, it doesn’t have priority. That’s an important advantage something like Bisharp has, and I cite that Salamence can just come in fearlessly and Intimidate Milotic as long as it’s in Double-Edge range (~60% HP remaining). Reason 3 is also still true, Milotic has weak coverage. It can Ice Beam 4x weaknesses, and it can Scald to chip better and fish for burns. If the opposing team doesn’t have Intimidate, Milotic usually isn’t worth bringing. Both Bisharp and Suicune have an easier time coming to games because Bisharp has great STABs and Suicune offers Tailwind support, Snarl, and better stats.

      I fully grant Milotic is a better Pokemon than I gave it credit for back in April. But not a single comment was made on this post until AFTER Milotic had picked up some steam in Spring Regionals.

      If your point is that it’s definitely easier to defend Milotic now than back in April, then I grant that. But commenting now, beating up on a 2.5-month old post using the power of hindsight is ridiculous.


  4. Was not aware that this was a 2.5 month old post. It was just posted on my Twitter today. I would’ve defended Milotic back then though as well. I’ve always felt its underrated, especially considering how well bulky waters do in this format


    1. Ah yeah, after responding I was alerted that the influx of views was from Wolfe’s tweet. Makes more sense now. I was thinking this was just an adamant response out of nowhere. In Spring Regionals, Milotic took 4 spots in cut I think, while Suicune only had 1-2. Bisharp was on the downturn as well as Sylveon started investing in bulk. But in Nats, Wolfe’s was the only Milotic that made day 2 while a couple Suicunes and a Bisharp made it. Seems like now none of the three are seeing all that much success, but will pop up here or there.


    1. No way! That’s stupid. This article reflects a mentality that wasn’t uncommon post-Winter Regionals, and thus represents part of normal metagame development. I’m happy to have written opinions that don’t agree with current ones (even my own).

      I’m happy to say that Milotic is better than the credit this article gives it, because teams appreciated having the strength of a bulky water coupled with a bit of Intimidate deterrent. And the #5 most common move at the time of writing (Recover, was on about 40-50%) is Milotic’s niche that Suicune doesn’t have.

      But just look at what the usage stats were like at the time of writing this:
      Suicune had 14 cuts to Milotic’s 2, and Bisharp’s 14. This is not an unwarranted article for the time period it was written. Milotic was nowhere to be seen, and Suicune and Bisharp were atop the metagame.

      What’s happened since then? Milotic hasn’t really gotten better… Suicune and Bisharp have gotten worse. They’ve dropped down to Milotic’s level of usage (4 cuts to each of them in Spring Regionals, 4 total amongst all of them through US Nats Day 2).

      An interesting article now wouldn’t be what’s good about Milotic, but rather why have Suicune and Bisharp fallen from grace? There are plenty of reasons regarding metagame development to discuss (bulky Sylveon, increasing Venusaur usage, increasing Gardevoir usage etc…).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In my opinion, this article is complete bullshit. Honestly, mitotic is one of the best pokemon in the game, right now, it has access to recover (which you failed to mention, and is by far a superior option to rest), and is able to dish out damage. Don’t say mitotic doesnt dish out damage, and then proceed to use suicune which doesnt have competitive and has 10 less sp atk. Unlike bisharp, mitotic only has two type weakness, as opposed to being weak to Fire, Ground, Fighting, three of the most prominent types (move wise) in the metagame right now. In addition to this, you CANNOT by any means, make an effective comparison between mitotic and bisharp. they have one thing in common, the ability to deter intimidate and negative stat changes, and both of them are capable of abusing their respective abilities the same amount, with slight variation only depending on your set and what your team needs. Bisharp is supposed to be an offensive all out attacker, whereas mitotic is supposed to serve as a wall capable of deterring the games biggest threat, landorus therian. Shoutout for Pyromaniac, for setting this article in the right direction with a great post before i could. Lastly, this is your title: 5 REASONS WHY MILOTIC ISN’T BISHARP. in reason one, you proceed to talk about THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SUICUNE AND MILOTIC. Enough said. Reason 3 is wrong, mitotic has water + ice coverage, and the only pure type and ice + water move can’t hit is water type itself. Reasons 4 and 5 are completely irrelevant, as sexy as they look, saying that “bisharp is a ninja, mitotic is a sea serpent” is something that a 4 year old could tell me, and is something incredibly obvious to any reader. its basically saying “A snake and an elephant are different because a snake looks like a snake, and an elephant looks like an elephant”, my reply to that particular comment would be “no shit sherlock”, and thats exactly what i was thinking when i read parts 4 and 5. Honestly, this article might have potential, mitotic and bisharp are different, and its something that could help the community, however, your explaining it for all the wrong reasons. I sincerely hope that you can take my advice (as cynical as it might sound, its 1pm, and thats my attitude towards stuff I’m not fond of regardless of the time), and that you can improve your article, so that it can be a better help to the VGC community. if you have any questions about how you can improve this article, feel free to pm me on nuggetbridge or on pokemon showdown, id be glad to help out, anything to help the community grow. Anyways, thats it for now.



    1. That’s a cool opinion, but you’re really late to the party, Twitter already had a field day with this article.

      The reason why Mark made this post was that people kept using Milotic on Showdown and it baffled us because we had a really easy time dealing with it compared to Suicune and Bisharp. Facing so many Milotic was annoying because you didn’t see a lot of Milotic at Regionals if you were winning your games (I faced 1 between my 2nd at Oregon, 7th at Washington and 2nd at Utah) so this resulted in Showdown being a worse source of testing.

      To get some perspective look at the teams we played back then (Oregon Regionals and Spring Regionals from the VGC 2015 teams tab up top) both teams had a Grass type and an Electric type, so bulky water types weren’t much of a threat to us.

      Now look at what Milotic does to these teams in team preview. I don’t want to lead Salamence/Landorus when they had Milotic, but I still don’t want to against Suicune because the threat of Ice Beam was enough on its own. Salamence/Landorus would be brought in back and if they didn’t have Milotic out they were free to switch in and if they did have Milotic out then in exchange for not being able to safely bring in Salamence/Landorus we got to fight then 2v1 because Milotic just sat there not accomplishing anything. Suicune wasn’t much better, but it could set up Tailwind which made its partners more threatening and it was harder for Salamence to KO if it every came down to it.

      Bisharp applies far more pressure than Milotic did. While Milotic is bulkier Bisharp can potentially have a Focus Sash and we planned to 2HKO Milotic with super effective moves anyways. Oregon Regionals could handle Bisharp pretty easily with Breloom and Togekiss but Spring Regionals had a much harder time because Bisharp limited our options in team preview in a way Milotic just couldn’t.

      Finally, the last two points were just meant to be silly. Not sure why you got so caught up on them. Instead of telling us how you’d do things, how about you start a blog? IMO more players need to start doing this

      TLDR: The teams we played this season had an easy time countering Milotic which gave us the opinion that it was bad compared to similar options out there.


    2. I’d add to Starmetroid’s comment: I’ve already written a response to that twitterfest as well:


      Notably pointing out:

      A) This article was written in April 2015, before Spring Regionals had even occurred. Thus, only Winter Regionals had tested Milotic’s mettle, and it was seriously outperformed by Suicune and Bisharp in Winter Regionals (if you use Top Cuts as a metric of performance).

      B) Recover saw an increase in usage on Battlespot over the season, as did Maranga berry. These two were not used in combination prior to… really… Wolfe’s Nationals team. Maybe a few in Spring Regionals, but team info is sparse there, and there weren’t that many Milotic in Spring Regionals either.

      C) Bisharp and Suicune were atop the metagame in April 2015, but have since fallen to mediocrity. At the time of writing that response, they were seeing about as many Top Cuts as Milotic.

      Lastly, I haven’t looked at the recent Fall Regionals results, and it doesn’t look like info is on pokemon.com or nuggetbridge. I know Wolfe won one, but he also won with Banette this past year, so I don’t really view Wolfe’s success as an argument for any given Pokemon. I think Wolfe’s just really good and can put together a good team with whatever he wants. I mean… he used Exeggutor in 2012 Worlds. So barring Wolfe, I don’t think Milotic’s really done much since Spring Regionals 2015…


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