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.
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.