|Catch Rate||3 (0.4%)|
Azelf is a static legendary encounter available in all three Sinnoh games. It comes at level 50 regardless of version in Valour Cavern at the centre of Lake Valour. However it can only be obtained after the version mascot of whatever game you are playing has been defeated or captured.
The offensively orientated member of the lake trio, Azelf packs spectacular 125/125/115 offensive stats, easily allowing it to cut through Pokémon regardless of their defensive strengths. A large movepool only makes things better for the Willpower Pokémon, letting it hit a large number of foes for super effective damage. However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows for this Pokémon as while the majority of opponents who could cause Psychic-types to struggle have passed by the time you can obtain Azelf, there are still a few who can bring its rampage to a halt. These problems are only made worse by its average defensive stats, however as a offensive Psychic-type, you'll be hard pressed to find one better.
Important Matchups Edit
- Gym #8 - Volkner (Sunyshore City, Electric-type): Azelf shreds Raichu with Psychic, scoring a 2HKO in contrast with Charge Beam's 5HKO. Raichu still has the potential to be a pest however, as Thunder Wave and Light Screen both severely hamper Azelf's offensive prowess. This is made apparent against Ambipom, which is only 3HKO'd by Psychic under Light Screen and will happily Baton Pass it's Agility or Nasty Plot boosts to either remaining teammate. However it loses 1v1 against Azelf as non-STAB Shock Wave is not a threatening prospect. While Octerilly seems to be of little threat, being 2HKO'd by Thunderbolt outside of Light Screen, with its best offensive option being Octazooka's potential 3HKO, Light Screen, the sheer power behind a potential critical hit due to Sniper and the potential of it receiving a Nasty Plot boost from Ambipom makes this a significantly more risky fight then it would be at first glance. Still mostly doable, just be careful. In regards to Luxray, it shares a 2HKO between Psychic and Crunch, Azelf is significantly faster, so it should come out on top, but a colbur berry might be worth investing in, just to negate the threat of critical hits.
- Rival (Pokémon League): Azelf quickly dispatches Staraptor, with Thunderbolt being a OHKO. Heracross can potentially be dangerous as a level 53 Azelf only has a 56.3% chance to OHKO with Psychic, while Megahorn obliterates the willpower Pokémon. An expert belt or Psychic plate ensures this doesn't happen. Snorlax is too bulky for Azelf to handle, only being 4HKO'd by Psychic in contrast to Crunch's 3HKO. Roserade is effortlessly KO'd by Psychic, while Floatzel falls in a similar manner to Thunderbolt, just be careful as Crunch as a chance to 2HKO. Additionally, keep an eye on Azelf's HP, or Aqua Jet may be its undoing. Rapidash's Fire Blast has a chance to 2HKO outside of Sun, which it can set, however Psychic is a 2HKO. In regards to his choice of starter, Infernape is cleanly OHKO'd by Psychic, this is isn't too much of a problem. Torterra is a significantly bulker proposition to break through, although Fire Blast is a 2HKO. although Crunch and Leaf Storm score a 2HKO in exchange. Empoleon is 2HKO'd by Thunderbolt, while it wants a 3HKO with Shadow Claw, this should not be a problem.
- Elite Four Aaron (Pokémon League, Bug-type): At level 60, Azelf obliterates Dustox with Psychic, not even giving it a chance to try for Bug Buzz's 2HKO. Thunderbolt does the same to Beautifly, with Psychic having a high chance to flat out OHKO itself without boosts. Vespiquen is an actual challenge to OHKO, requiring Fire Blast and the expert belt or one of the type boosting items. However Attack Order is only a 2HKO, so this is a doable fight, just messier than its predecessors. Heracross is pretty much the same as the rival's one, what worked there will do here. Drapion should have marked the end of Azelf's use here, however due to lacking Dark-type STAB, it has to rely on X-Scissor, which only has a 9.8% to 2HKO. Meanwhile Fire Blast is a surefire 2HKO. Still risky, and if there is a teammate better suited to this, it should be facing it instead.
- Elite Four Bertha (Pokémon League, Ground-type): Grass Knot is your friend in this fight, starting by cleanly OHKO Quagsire. It also lacks much in terms of doing damage back, so it is potential set up fodder. Sudowoodo is 2HKO'd by an unboosted Grass Knot, while Sucker Punch is a 3HKO on a level 60 Azelf. Golem implodes to Grass Knot, and Whiscash follows suit without too much resistance from either of them. Azelf and Hippowdon share a 2HKO between Grass Knot and Crunch, Azelf's significantly higher speed stat should make this not be an issue.
- Elite Four Flint (Pokémon League, Fire-type): At level 60, Azelf shares a 2HKO with Rapidash between Psychic and Flare Blitz, however there is a decent chance the AI will prioritise setting up Sunny Day, potentially allowing for a Nasty Plot to be used. It's risky, as a critical hit will OHKO Azelf, so it might be worth finding a better option. Steelix may seem out of place on a Fire-type specialist, until you realise there is literally two fully evolved Fire-types in Diamond/Pearl. Regardless, Fire Blast OHKOs it before it can do anything, no matter what the weather may be. Drifblim will 2HKO Azelf with Ominous Wind, and Thunderbolt does the same in response. However the threat of it setting up with Double Team and then Baton Passing the boosts to Infernape makes it paramount that it is dealt with quickly. Psychic 2HKOs Lopunny, this is a bad thing as Mirror Coat will annihilate Azelf in retaliation. With the Mind Plate equipped and a Nasty Plot boost however, this can be disregarded as Psychic will cleanly OHKO. Infernape loses to Psychic, and it needs a critical hit to OHKO Azelf in the unlikely event it outspeeds with Flare Blitz.
- Elite Four Lucian (Pokémon League, Psychic-type): Psychic-type duels tend to be drawn out affairs in Pokémon, minus the super effective coverage in either Shadow Ball or U-turn Azelf should be carrying if it is getting involved in this fight. Mr. Mime is not a real threat to Azelf in terms of damage, with its Thunderbolt only being a potential 3HKO in contrast to the aforementioned U-turn/Shadow Ball being 2HKOs. However the fact this isn't being OHKO'd means it is getting Light Screen up, which cripples Azelf's offensive pressure for the rest of the fight. Send in a powerful physical attacker here to prevent it supporting its allies or have Brick Break on something not weak to Psychic and really bulky on stand-by. Azelf can only really U-turn out on Girafarig, as it loses to Shadow Ball in a straight up exchange of attacks (with Azelf using Fire Blast for a potential 2HKO compared to Girafarig's surefire Shadow Ball). Medicham is significantly more manageable as it can only 3HKO Azelf with the elemental punches while Psychic 2HKOs in response. Alakazam is surprisingly easy pickings for Azelf, as Shadow Ball 2HKOs it and U-turn can potentially OHKO without attack investment. Meanwhile, zam's best response is a 3HKO in Energy Ball, just be careful of crits, as it is faster than Azelf. Bronzong is 2HKO'd by Fire Blast at neutral, meanwhile Gyro Ball is a 3HKO. The problem is Calm Mind, which gradually makes it more resilient to Azelf's hits. However consecutive high rolls should 2HKO it even with the boosted sp.def against the second hit. Nasty Plot is great here, allowing Azelf to set up faster than Bronzong can.
- Champion Cynthia (Pokémon League): Refrain from having Azelf fight Spiritomb, Dark Pulse just misses out on a OHKO normally at equal levels, while Fire Blast cannot even 2HKO the legion without a critical hit, and is a dice roll even if leveled to match her ace. Leading with Azelf and pivoting out into a Dark-resist through U-turn might be a good idea for chip damage, just be careful with Fighting-types as Spiritomb does have Psychic. Roserade is torn apart by Psychic, just be careful if Azelf is around its level as it can survive and OHKO back if Shadow Ball crits. Anything that ups Azelf's offensive abilities minimizes the risk however. Gastrodon shares a potential 2HKO between item boosted Psychic and Muddy Water. However its is significantly slower, and therefore should not pose too much of a threat. Lucario is not a threat due to only having Dragon Pulse to deal anything close to significant damage in a 3HKO, meanwhile Fire Blast/Flamethrower decimates it. Avoid Milotic at all costs without Nasty Plot. Mirror Coat will do unappealing levels of damage bouncing back Thunderbolt, combined with Surf being a 2HKO in contrast to the aforementioned 3HKO. Even with Nasty Plot, trying to take on Milotic after one will only get Azelf killed unless it crits with Thunderbolt as it misses out on the OHKO. Now for the big one, Garchomp. Dragon Rush hurts, effortlessly scoring a 2HKO. To make matters worse, even at plus 2 Psychic isn't a certain OHKO at equal levels. Baring crits in that situation you should come out on top, as Azelf is likely faster than its 160 speed. Be careful if lower leveled though, as the chances of it outspeeding grow inversely to your damage output.
- Post-Game: The postgame in the paired versions doesn't have too much on offer that really threatens Azelf besides potential route trainers having Pokémon with type-advantage. However, Heatran is best avoided due to being a Steel-type and having STAB Lava Plume to ruin Azelf's week.
- Gym #8 - Volkner (Sunyshore City, Electric-type): Azelf dismantles Jolteon without too much trouble, cleanly 2HKOing with Psychic in exchange for Charge Beam's 5HKO. However Thunder Wave can complicate things if Azelf is to play a pivotal role against his other Pokémon. His Raichu does not fair much better if Azelf is not paralysed, scoring a 3HKO with Signal Beam while being 2HKO'd by Psychic. In regards to Luxray, it shares a 2HKO between Psychic and Crunch, Azelf is significantly faster, so it should come out on top, but a colbur berry might be worth investing in, just to negate the threat of critical hits. Lastly Electivire. This is a legitimate threat as Psychic is not certain to 2HKO at equal levels, which makes its sitrus berry more of an nuisance. Meanwhile Thunderpunch into Giga Impact will 2HKO Azelf.
- Rival (Pokémon League): Azelf quickly dispatches Staraptor, with Thunderbolt being a OHKO. Heracross is not a threat here as a level 53 Azelf will OHKO with Psychic, completely negating the threat of Megahorn. Snorlax is still too bulky for Azelf to handle, only being 4HKO'd by Psychic in contrast to Crunch's 3HKO. Roserade is effortlessly KO'd by Psychic, while Floatzel falls in a similar manner to Thunderbolt, just be careful as Crunch as a chance to 2HKO. Additionally, keep an eye on Azelf's HP, or Aqua Jet may be its undoing. Rapidash's Fire Blast has a chance to 2HKO outside of Sun, which it can set, however Psychic is a 2HKO. In regards to his choice of starter, Infernape is cleanly OHKO'd by Psychic, this is isn't too much of a problem. Torterra is a significantly bulker proposition to break through, although Fire Blast is a 2HKO. although Crunch and Leaf Storm score a 2HKO in exchange. Empoleon is 2HKO'd by Thunderbolt, while it wants a 3HKO with Shadow Claw, this should not be a problem.
- Elite Four Aaron (Pokémon League, Bug-type): Yanmega's Bug Buzz hurts, doing about 80% to a level 55 Azelf, which combined with Speed Boost, is a recipe for disaster. As such, refrain from trying to use Fire Blast here, as both Thunderbolt and Flamethrower OHKO, to avoid the possibility of a miss. It is a similar situation with Scizor due to it having Quick Attack to finish the job if Fire Blast misses when it uses X-Scissor. However Flamethrower exterminates it before it can even think about attacking, so engage freely if Azelf has it. Heracross is pretty similar to the rival's in terms of threat, ensure that Azelf will OHKO it with Psychic before fighting it or risk dying to Swarm boosted Megahorn. Again, the Psychic Plate or Expert Belt will remove the risk if needed. Vespiquen is pretty much the same as it was in the paired versions, Attack Order 2HKOs Azelf, and it needs the expert belt or Fire Blast to OHKO the wasp. Drapion should have marked the end of Azelf's use here, however due to lacking Dark-type STAB, it has to rely on X-Scissor, which only has a 9.8% to 2HKO. Meanwhile Fire Blast is a surefire 2HKO. Still risky, and if there is a teammate better suited to this, it should be facing it instead.
- Elite Four Bertha (Pokémon League, Ground-type): She opens with Whiscash, which can only score a probable 3HKO with Aqua Tail against a level 55 Azelf, which is received with Psychic 2HKOing in exchange. No, Grass Knot isn't worth it against the fish, as it is also a 2HKO due to its low weight. Gliscor is less threatening despite its higher level, as any of its elemental fangs can only 5HKO Azelf at best, and Psychic is again a 2HKO. Just be careful of paralysis or being frozen. Hippowdon has a small chance of being OHKO'd by Grass Knot, however a critical Crunch will OHKO Azelf in response. Best avoided, and the sand it brings will complicate matters against her final two Pokémon. At least, I would say that if Grass Knot did not OHKO both Golem and Rhyperior regardless. Not that it matters in Golem's case but Rhyperior does have Megahorn, so be careful without Grass Knot.
- Elite Four Flint (Pokémon League, Fire-type): Houndoom is a Dark-type with a high power STAB move, stay away. Flareon's high special bulk is Azelf's undoing here, as Psychic is only a 3HKO compared to Overheat's 2HKO under normal conditions, rising to a extremely high chance of OHKOing in sun at equal levels. Rapidash shares a 2HKO between Psychic and Flare Blitz, regardless of weather, a dangerous proposition, particularly when Sunny Day is up due to Flare Blitz doing 90%, but doable in a pinch. Azelf vaporises Infernape with Psychic, however be careful at low health as Mach Punch might be enough to pick off the willpower Pokémon, having 141 speed or more makes this a safe disposal otherwise. Magmortar is a powerhouse, 2HKOing Azelf under normal conditions with Flamethrower while Psychic is a 3HKO without item support. If Azelf brought its glasses and you are willing to gamble on not getting crit, go ahead.
- Elite Four Lucian (Pokémon League, Psychic-type): If holding choice specs, a level 57 Azelf can OHKO Mr. Mime, preventing it from setting up screens. However this is a coinflip, and the barriers make dealing with the rest of his team significantly harder. With a nature that boosts special attack however, this becomes trivial as Shadow Ball will OHKO. Espeon is a relatively risky fight depending on Azelf's speed stat, as both 2HKO the other with Shadow Ball, Azelf should be faster in most circumstances but 144 speed is the benchmark here. Bronzong does not present much of a threat even with Calm Mind, as Azelf cleanly 2HKOs it with Fire Blast, and even Gyro Ball is reaching for a chance at 4HKOing in exchange. Shadow Ball is a 2HKO on Alakazam, which can only 3HKO back with Energy Ball, however there is a decent chance that it is faster then you, so be careful of sp.def drops. Gallade's Stone Edge hurts, sharing a potential 2HKO with Shadow Ball. However Azelf's higher speed stat should make it win out, although using specs or any item that increases Azelf's attack power is advised to make the 2HKO clean.
- Champion Cynthia (Pokémon League): Spiritomb still eats any Psychic-type foolish enough to try and fight it alive with it's Dual STABs, do not bother leading with Azelf unless you have U-turn. Psychic has a small chance to OHKO Roserade at equal levels with a neutral nature, meanwhile it lost Shadow Ball in favour of Toxic, Sludge Bomb still 2HKOs though, so a boosting item is advised to avoid the risk of a crit. Togekiss is incredibly bulky, with Azelf needing item support or a special attack boosting nature to ensure Thunderbolt is a 2HKO, while Air Slash has a chance at matching it. While Azelf is faster than Lucario, and Fire Blast is a OHKO, be careful as Shadow Ball easily brings Azelf down into Extremespeed's KO range, which is a likely threat in the event Azelf misses. Milotic is best dealt with by physically leaning Azelfs (or those with Nasty Plot + Thunderbolt and a boosting item), as Thunderpunch and Thunderbolt both share a chance to 2HKO. However Milotic has Mirror Coat, which can be catastrophic if it counters an unboosted Thunderbolt. Otherwise Surf has a chance to 2HKO, but Azelf should come out on top. Platinum's move tutors has made Garchomp significantly less threatening, as expert belt Ice Punch or a +2 Psychic easily 2HKOs it even with the sitrus berry. However it is still a Garchomp, and Dragon Rush will kill Azelf on a critical hit, have 151 speed or more and you are golden, otherwise stay away.
- Post-Game: For the double battle against Flint and Volkner, apply appropriate measures from their respective fights, just be careful of them proccing each others abilities. Outside of this though, stay away. While Heatran might be more manageable due to its lower level, it still walls non-Water Pulse Azelf six ways to Sunday and Dialga and Palkia demolish the willpower Pokémon.
While Azelf's initial moveset is almost identical in all three games, having Uproar, Future Sight and Nasty Plot regardless if it is being fought in the paired versions or Platinum, in Diamond and Pearl it has Detect as its last move, while Swift is present instead in Platinum. Beyond this, its learnset is the same regardless of game, starting with Extrasensory at level 51. While its 30% flinch chance works well with Azelf's high speed stat, it is weaker than Psychic which is a renewable TM (although having 3 times the PP of Psychic may be appealing in restricted healing runs). After this it learns Last Resort at level 61, which despite its high power is too gimmicky to make real use of. Natural Gift at level 66 is cool, and gives Azelf a one off surprise option to hit things it otherwise would be walled by, however you've had access to the TM since Veilstone if you wanted it to learn this. Lastly, and this will likely only pop up in the postgame, Azelf will learn Explosion at level 76. Should be pretty self-explanatory why a move that causes the user to faint is a bad thing in a nuzlocke.
While the Willpower Pokémon's natural movepool is quite limited, Azelf has access to a huge list of TM and tutor moves, albeit the latter is only open in Platinum. Traditional Psychic-type coverage options like Thunderbolt, Grass Knot and Shadow Ball provide solid coverage atop the Psychic TM, its strongest STAB move. Water Pulse is also a pretty decent way to hit Ground and Rock-types, with the addition of Fire-types separating it from Grass Knot, although Psychic will hit most of its targets harder. What makes Azelf stand out on the special side is its access to Flamethrower and Fire Blast, these combo brilliantly with its STAB moves, melting Steel-types trying to tank Psychic. U-turn is also an option, allowing for Azelf to abuse its high speed to serve as an effective lead, pivoting out of bad matchups while chipping the foe for its teammates. Beyond that Azelf gets the usual smorgasbord of utility moves associated with Psychic-types, like Thunder Wave, Toxic, Reflect and Light Screen and Substitute. However, while it gets all of this and Stealth Rock, Azelf is best suited as a sweeper in game, regardless of its abilities as a lead in competitive play.
The Platinum move tutors serve to flesh out Azelf's physical movepool, with access to Zen Headbutt for STAB, and the elemental punches for coverage. Everything else is flavour moves at best, RIP Knock Off; not even close to the glory days of the present.
Nasty Plot: Nasty Plot, Psychic, Flamethrower, one of Azelf's many coverage options
Four move attacker: Psychic, Flamethrower/Fire Blast, Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball/Grass Knot/U-turn
Physical (Platinum only): Zen Headbutt, Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch/U-turn
Recommended Teammates Edit
- Steel-types: As a pure Psychic-type Pokémon, Azelf encounters difficulties when faced with Dark, Ghost and Bug-type Pokémon, even if it does have access to ways to hit them super effectively. As such, particularly with its vulnerability to being Pursuit trapped, having a strong Steel-type Pokémon to cover these weaknesses is ideal. In exchange, Azelf tears apart any Fighting-type threatening its teammate, and can abuse their Ground weakness for a free switch-in due to Levitate.
- Fighting-types: While a Steel-type Pokémon is ideal in handling Azelf's weaknesses, they are of limited number outside of Platinum, and while Fighting-types may only be neutral to Ghost, they still cover Dark and Bug-type Pokémon quite effectively. Azelf gets to put its resistance to Psychic to good use here, being able to take out those threatening its allies. Additionally, while it has trouble coming in on most Flying-types in Sinnoh, it can take them down with Thunderbolt.
- Defensively focused Pokémon: While Azelf is extremely powerful on the attack, it does suffer in regards to standing up to repeated hits, given the sheer power of some of the Pokémon lurking within Sinnoh. Therefore, it is advised that Azelf is accompanied by bulky Pokémon that can stand up to whatever heavy hitters Azelf wants to avoid.
Azelf's stats Edit
|At Lv. 50||At Lv. 100|
|135 - 182||260 - 354|
|117 - 194||229 - 383|
|67 - 134||130 - 262|
|117 - 194||229 - 383|
|67 - 134||130 - 262|
|108 - 183||211 - 361|
- What Nature do I want? In the paired versions, due to the limited physical options open to Azelf, the best natures would probably be Modest (+sp.atk, -atk) or Timid (+spd, -atk) to make use of its mostly special movepool. Platinum raises a few more issues, as natures that hinder special attack are nowhere near as bad due to move tutors, and Azelf enjoys the utility of U-turn and Ice Punch. Therefore it is probably looking for a Naive (+spd, -sp.def) or Hasty (+spd, -def) nature to maximise its speed while avoiding weakening its attacking prowess. Natures like Adamant and Modest are still viable, but limit Azelfs able to run both offensive stats.
- How good is Azelf in a Nuzlocke? Azelf is, without a doubt, one of the best offensive Psychic-types in Sinnoh. While it may be slower and weaker on the special side than Alakazam, its bulkier overall and has a much better movepool, along with the stats to use it, which lets it handle situations the old guard could not. Even with the increased competition in Platinum it still carves a solid niche for itself through its high mixed offensive stats and speed. Just be careful around the old nemeses of its type and you should be fine.
- Weaknesses: Bug, Ghost and Dark
- Resistances: Fighting and Psychic
- Neutralities: Normal, Flying, Poison, Rock, Steel, Fire, Water, Grass, Electric, Ice and Dragon
- Immunities: Ground (Levitate)