Pidgey is available in 2 locations in Pokémon X and Y. A level 3 Pidgey with Keen Eye is the player’s first encounter on Route 2, and has a 14% chance of appearing on that route afterward. On Route 3, Pidgey has a 10% chance of being encountered.
Many games have featured access to the Pidgey line in the first routes of the game, and Pokémon X and Y are no exception. In this Generation, Pidgey faces more competition than ever before as a Flying-type, with early-game competition coming from the Fletchling, Butterfree, Vivillon, and even Farfetch’d lines. Pidgeot has potential to outclass many of these Pokémon, but will only be able to do so in the late-game. The Pidgey line is relatively unremarkable, with no exceptionally stellar or exceptionally weak stats, and abilities that aren’t useless, but come into play rarely. Access to U-turn, however, allows Pidgeot to become a good Pokémon for scouting enemy teams in the late portions of the game.
Gym #1 - Viola (Santalune City, Bug-type): This matchup may be one of the most lucrative reasons to use Pidgey in the early portions of the game. Pidgey has a very advantageous matchup in this gym, dealing super-effective Gusts to Viola’s Bug-types. It should be noted that while Gust draws from Pidgey’s lower Special Attack, it is unaffected by Vivillon’s Harden. While Pidgey is strong in this gym, it may be a good idea to have a backup Pokémon in case Pidgey is worn down by the combination of Surskit’s Bubble and Vivillon’s Infestation. If you use Pidgey against the Vivillon, be sure that it can KO, as Infestation is a trapping move. Bringing healing items is advised either way, as even not-very-effective Infestation can be problematic in the long run.
Professor Sycamore (Lumiose City): Pidgey has a favorable matchup against Bulbasaur, due to super-effective Flying moves, and a neutral matchup against Squirtle and Charmander, where its strongest move is likely STAB Tackle. It may not be a good idea to have Pidgey face both Charmander and Squirtle, as it can be worn down fairly quickly. If you have to pick, Pidgey should be used against the Kanto starter that is strong against your own, as your starter can take on the other.
Tierno (Route 5): Tierno’s Corphish knows the dangerous Swords Dance, which is best dealt with by high offensive pressure. Pidgey should avoid this matchup unless it is at a substantially higher level.
Tierno and Trevor (Route 7, tag battle with rival): Pidgey has a very poor matchup against both Tierno’s Corphish and especially Trevor’s Pikachu, so it should not be used in this battle. Pidgeotto can do better against the former, thanks to being an evolved Pokémon, but is still not ideal for the electric rodent.
Gym # 2 - Grant (Cyllage City, Rock-type): Pidgeotto has a very poor matchup against both Tyrunt and especially Amaura, and should not be used in this battle.
Korrina (Geosenge Town, Fighting-type): Her two Lucario have set up moves in both Swords Dance and Power-Up Punch, and Pidgeotto’s best answer is neutral Gust off of its weaker Special Attack. Pidgeotto should not be used in this battle.
Rival (Tower of Mastery): Pidgeotto has mostly neutral matchups in this battle. Pidgeotto will most likely be able to defeat Meowstic, hitting its weaker physical Defense. It faces a similar situation with Absol, though Pidgeotto will probably not be able to defeat both Absol and Meowstic without its HP being worn down too much; both of them have harder-hitting moves than Pidgeotto, as well as higher base stats. Pidgeotto’s Gust hits Quilladin’s weaker Special Defense, and has a neutral matchup against Frogadier and Braixen, so Pidgeotto should use caution in this battle.
Gym #3 - Korrina (Shalour City, Fighting-type): If you are unable to grind Pidgeotto/Pidgeot to the point where it’s learned Wing Attack, then it is not advised you use it in this Gym, unless you picked up the Aerial Ace TM from Connecting Cave (Cyllage side). Alternately, Eviolite is available in this city, which can make this battle substantially easier if Pidgeotto has not evolved yet. Pidgeotto/Pidgeot should be able to defeat Mienfoo and Hawlucha in a 1-vs-1 matchup, likely being able to KO in 2 hits before Korrina’s Fighting-types deal too much damage with Fake Out and/or Power-Up Punch, but Pidgeotto/Pidgeot should be cautious of taking on both of these Pokémon as it can be easily worn down to dangerous levels of HP. It is not advised that Pidgeotto be used against Korrina’s Machoke due to it having both decent Defense and Rock Tomb; Pidgeot is bulkier and hits harder, so it should still be able to knock out Machoke in two hits with Wing Attack or Aerial Ace, suffering not too much damage from Rock Tomb in the process.
Rival (Coumarine City): Pidgeotto/Pidgeot, having access to the much more powerful Wing Attack or Fly, should be able to defeat any Pokémon on your Rival’s Team 1-vs-1. However, it’s not advised you attempt to use Pidgeotto against more than one or two of your rival’s Pokémon, as chip damage or stray crits can always be dangerous. If your rival’s starter was Chespin, Pidgeotto/Pidgeot has an obviously strong advantage.
Gym #4 - Ramos (Coumarine City, Grass-type): Pidgeotto and especially Pidgeot should be able to KO all of Ramos’s Pokémon in one or two hits with either Wing Attack or Fly. The only thing Pidgeotto/Pidgeot needs to watch out for is the combination of Weepinbell’s Poison Powder and Gogoat’s Take Down, which, if not managed properly, could result in an unfortunate critical hit; Eviolite Pidgeotto shouldn’t be worried about it, however, and Pidgeot should be able to KO before this becomes a problem, unless the residual Poison damage piles up. The OHKO is near-guaranteed with Fly, for all of his Pokémon.
Aliana (Kalos Power Plant): Mightyena should not be a huge issue for Pidgeot, though if it has Intimidate, it may make the battle somewhat more difficult.
Gym #5 - Clemont (Lumiose City, Electric-type): Pidgeot has a very unfavorable matchup against Clemont’s Electric types and should not be used.
Rival (Route 14): Pidgeot should win every neutral (and in the case of Chesnaught, favorable) matchup 1-vs-1 here with STAB Wing Attack or Fly. Users should be cautious, however, of using Fly on Absol, as that will give it a turn to use Swords Dance, which would be disastrous if Fly missed or didn’t KO (which has a strong likelihood if the two are at similar levels).
Gym #6 - Valerie (Laverre City, Fairy-type): Pidgeot is unable to hit Mawile neutrally with either of its STAB attacks, so Pidgeot should not be used against it. Pidgeot is able to hit Mr. Mime and Sylveon’s weaker Defense stats with STAB Flying moves or even a STAB Return, but should be aware that Mr. Mime carries Reflect, which will draw out the battle even further.
Celosia and Bryony (Poké Ball Factory, tag battle with rival): Pidgeot should sub in only after Manectric is defeated, if needed, as its Electric STAB can deal considerable damage to it. Liepard is only mildly threatening with Hone Claws if it gets two or more boosts, but otherwise, Pidgeot's bulk is sufficient to take it down before it becomes dangerous.
Mable (Frost Cavern): While Pidgeot's special bulk is not too commendable, it should be sufficient to take Houndoom down, especially if Pidgeot can outspeed it. A physical move, such as Fly or Return, is advised in this situation, as Houndoom's Defense is lower than its Special Defense.
Rival (Anistar City): With the addition of Eeveelutions to your rival’s team, this battle is slightly more dangerous for Pidgeot. Jolteon has a strong advantage, and Vaporeon’s Aurora Beam can do substantial damage. However, Pidgeot still maintains its neutral matchup against the Rival’s other Pokémon, and a 4x advantageous matchup against Chesnaught. Again, be careful with Fly as it can allow Absol to set up Swords Dance.
Gym #7 - Olympia (Anistar City, Psychic-type): Pidgeot is likely unable to OHKO Sigilyph before it sets up Reflect, so if you have another option that can OHKO it, that would probably be best to use. Slowking carries Power Gem, so it’s not advised that you use Pidgeot here either. Pidgeot is probably able to defeat Meowstic in a 1-vs-1 match (especially if it has a full power Return), but should be cautious with Fly as that will give Meowstic turns to use Calm Mind.
Lysandre battle #1 (Lysandre Labs): Pidgeot should be careful around Mienfoo, as it can hit during the Fly up turn with Hi Jump Kick, or set up Swords Dance. Pidgeot is likely able to take Murkrow and Pyroar in a 1-vs-1 matchup, especially with Roost support, but should be wary of trying to take them both out as the damage can add up. Murkrow in particular gives Pidgeot the opportunity to set up Tailwind for a teammate if Pidgeot has reached level 50. Pidgeot has a disadvantageous matchup against Gyarados mostly due to Intimidate, but can be used to switch into Earthquake in a pinch and help the rest of the team wear it down.
Aliana (Lysandre Labs): Pidgeot can defeat Mightyena, preferably with special STAB if it has Intimidate. However, Druddigon should be left to a more appropriate teammate, as Pidgeot's physical prowess is not sufficient to take its Dragon Claw due to Druddigon's high Attack stat.
Celosia (Lysandre Labs): It is not advised to use Pidgeot here, as it has an unfavourable matchup against Manectric, and Drapion's Night Slash and the possibility of it scoring a critical hit make the second fight also fairly dangerous. In absence of better options, Pidgeot can slowly whittle down Drapion's health while keeping an eye on its own, potentially healing through items or Roost.
Bryony (Lysandre Labs): Pidgeot has good chances against Liepard, which does not deal a lot of damage to it. Bisharp is considerably stronger and resists both of Pidgeot's STABs however, meaning it should be defeated by a more suitable Pokémon.
Mable (Lysandre Labs): Houndoom is a good opponent for Pidgeot if the latter has physical moves to rely on. Drapion is similar to Celosia's, in that Pidgeot is not its best opponent, but can work in a pinch while keeping watch on Pidgeot's health; do not use Fly as Drapion has Acupressure, and the move gives it a free turn to boost its stats. Weavile should be avoided, due to Ice Shard.
Xerosic (Lysandre Labs): Pidgeot should be able to easily dispatch Crobat with a strong STAB attack, but should exercise caution when battling Malamar, as it can set up with Contrary Superpower. If a better option exists on your team, use it.
Lysandre battle #2 (Team Flare Secret HQ): Lysandre’s Pokémon are stronger and/or evolved in this battle, making using Pidgeot somewhat riskier. Mienshao can use the Fly up turn to set up Swords Dance, or hit with Hi Jump Kick, so it is dangerous to use this movehere; rely on another Flying STAB move for this matchup. Pidgeot is likely able to win a matchup with Honchkrow and Pyroar individually, but will likely not be able to succeed against both. Notably, Fly will allow you to avoid the boosted turn of Honchkrow’s Retaliate. Lastly, Pidgeot still has a disadvantage against Gyarados, but is still able to safely switch into Earthquake and deal some damage in an effort to defeat it, provided it can withstand one of his moves.
Xerneas (Team Flare Secret HQ, X only): Without a significant level advantage, Pidgeot will be unable to defeat this Pokémon, so it is better off to use Pokémon with a more favorable type matchup. Xerneas is especially dangerous as Pidgeot provides an opportunity for it to set up Geomancy. However, Pidgeot may be useful for catching as it is unlikely to OHKO Xerneas.
Yveltal (Team Flare Secret HQ, Y only): See Xerneas, minus the Geomancy part.
Lysandre battle #3 (Team Flare Secret HQ): This battle has a similar set of matchups as the previous battles with Lysandre. Fly leaves Pidgeot vulnerable to Mienshao’s High Jump Kick or Swords Dance, but allows it to dodge the boosted turn of Honchkrow’s Retaliate. Pidgeot will likely only be able to defeat one of Murkrow or Pyroar before needing to switch or heal. Pidgeot should not be used against Gyarados due to it still having Intimidate before Mega-Evolution, but can be used as an emergency switch in on Earthquake.
Professor Sycamore (Couriway Town): In Couriway Town, the U-Turn TM becomes available. This allows Pidgeot to scout the moves of neutral matchups, such as Sycamore’s Blastoise and Charizard, and switch out if they start to pull ahead in the neutral matchup. Pidgeot’s STAB Flying moves should be able to defeat Venusaur easily, as well.
Shauna (Route 19): Since you are unable to re-order your Pokémon between battles, a Pidgeot with U-Turn makes a very good lead for these battles as it will allow you to switch into the most favorable matchup while putting forth offensive pressure. Against Shauna, Delcatty is weak enough that a strong STAB move will likely KO in one hit. Pidgeot hits Goodra’s weaker physical side, so it will most likely win this matchup, too, but has to watch out for status from Body Slam and Sludge Wave. U-Turn also gives you a way to hit Greninja super-effectively, giving Pidgeot a favorable matchup against two of the starter Pokémon Shauna can have. Avoid fighting the Delphox as Pidgeot can give it an opportunity to set up Calm Mind.
Tierno (Route 19): Pidgeot with Fly should watch out for Talonflame’s Swords Dance. In addition, most of Pidgeot’s offensive moves make contact, which can activate Talonflame’s Flame Body, severely crippling Pidgeot’s Attack. Pidgeot can use Roserade to set up Tailwind, in order to support slower teammates for the Crawdaunt, as Pidgeot can quickly dispatch of Roserade due to it only knowing resisted Petal Dance. Pidgeot’s U-Turn hits Crawdaunt hard, but will give it a chance to set up Swords Dance, so be sure to switch into a Pokémon that can finish it off quickly.
Trevor (Route 19): Trevor leads with Raichu, whose high speed will likely allow it to hit Pidgeot with a super-effective Electric attack before Pidgeot gets the opportunity to U-Turn, so it’s best to use a hard switch for this matchup. You also don’t want Raichu’s Static to activate off U-Turn. Aerodactyl resists Pidgeot’s STAB attacks, and should not be battled with Pidgeot. Pidgeot can hits Florges’ weaker Defense stat, but has to be wary of it’s STAB Moonblast. If better options are available for this battle, they should be used over Pidgeot.
Gym #8 - Wulfric (Snowbelle City, Ice-type): Pidgeot has mostly unfavorable matchups in this Gym. While it’s able to hit Abomasnow super-effectively with STAB Flying moves, other options should be used.
Rival (Victory Road): The Rival has several Pokémon weak to Bug moves, so Pidgeot’s U-Turn can be quite useful here. Meowstic can be taken down with a strong STAB move or U-Turned out of for major damage. U-Turn also allows Pidgeot to be less of a liability against Absol. Jolteon and Greninja have Super-effective moves and high speed, making it dangerous to attempt a U-Turn, so a hard-switch in these battles is more advisable. Pidgeot hits Altaria’s weaker physical Defense, so this matchup is fairly favorable, but Pidgeot should be cautious of Vaporeon’s Aurora Beam.
Elite Four Wikstrom (Pokémon League, Ironworks Chamber, Steel-type): On paper, Pidgeot seems useless in this battle, but it can be useful. Do not use Pidgeot against Klefki, as that just gives it more turns to set up Spikes. It is useful against Probopass, however, as U-Turn can break Sturdy without forcing Wikstrom to use a Full Restore. It has a neutral matchup against Scizor, but if a Fire move exists on another teammate, that’s likely a better option. Pidgeot has no way of dealing any amount of considerable damage to Aegislash, so it should not be used in this matchup.
Elite Four Malva (Pokémon League, Blazing Chamber, Fire-type): While Malva’s Pyroar does know Wild Charge, a Pidgeot may be able to take advantage of this by baiting the Wild Charge and U-Turning into a Pokémon that is immune to or takes little damage from Electric attacks. Torkoal is a poor matchup against Pidgeot due to its high Defense and access to Stone Edge. Pidgeot can hit Chandelure and Talonflame for decent damage, but has to beware their Flame Body (and in the case of Talonflame, being out sped and hit by Flare Blitz or Brave Bird).
Elite Four Drasna (Pokémon League, Dragonmark Chamber, Dragon-type): Pidgeot should avoid a 1-vs-1 fight with Dragalge as it has Thunderbolt. Druddigon’s Rough Skin makes Pidgeot’s matchup with it unfavorable, as well, unless you’re relying on Air Slash. Altaria’s Cotton Guard can make the matchup a chore, but Pidgeot can defeat Noivern relatively easily due to its fragility.
Elite Four Siebold (Pokémon League, Flood Chamber, Water-type): Clawitzer is unable to hit with anything super-effective, so a decently-leveled Pidgeot can safely set up Tailwind and U-Turn to the teammate with the most favorable matchup. Starmie is hit super-effectively by U-Turn, but if you have a Pokémon that can OHKO Starmie before it sets up Light Screen, that’s probably the best option. Pidgeot should not be used against Barbaracle or Gyarados, as it is hit super-effectively by their moves, and allows Gyarados to set up Dragon Dance while dealing paltry damage due to Intimidate. In an emergency, attempting to flinch it with Air Slash is an option, but is unreliable even in the best case.
Champion Diantha (Pokémon League, Radiant Chamber): Pidgeot can easily dispatch Hawlucha and Gourgeist with a super-effective Flying move. Avoid battling her fossils as they have an obvious advantage. Pidgeot can be used to defeat or get chip damage on Goodra as it hits its weaker Defense, but has to be wary of being worn down or being hit by stray crits. Mega-Gardevoir carries Thunderbolt, but U-Turn can be used to bait it into something that is immune to Electric moves and has a favorable matchup against Gardevoir.
Upon capture, Pidgey will have the move Tackle, providing a usable STAB base 50 Power move throughout the early portion of the game. At level 5, Pidgey learns the move Sand Attack. This move can be used to deal with threats that Pidgey has no other way of defeating (for instance, in event of a Sololocke) and can even be used mid to late game as an opportunity to set up X items, but is unreliable, and generally inferior to Double Team in this regard. Pidgey gets its first STAB Flying move in Gust, and although it draws from Pidgey’s weaker Special Attack, provides an advantage against the many Grass and Bug Pokémon encountered in the early portions of the game. Pidgey gets a STAB priority move in Quick Attack, which will allow it to finish off weakened opponents or out-prioritize other priority users if faster. It gets the move Whirlwind before it evolves, but phazing is rarely very useful outside of a competitive environment. At level 22, Pidgeotto gets Twister, but this is a weak, non-STAB move drawing off of Pidgeotto’s weaker Special Attack, so it has very little usage. Gaining Feather Dance at level 27 can allow Pidgeotto to cripple physical attackers, but Pidgeotto often is better off simply using an offensive move instead. Agility rarely changes the outcome of battles due to Pidgeotto out speeding most opponents anyway. The turns taken using Agility are usually better suited to using an offensive move.
At about the time Pidgeotto is ready to evolve, you should be getting the Fly HM. You’ll have to decide whether or not you want to use Wing Attack (or the Aerial Ace TM, acquired using Strength in Connecting Cave after Gym #2) at Level 38 or Fly as your primary Flying STAB move. Fly hits much harder and allows you to dodge dangerous moves like Self-Destruct or Retaliate, but has a chance to miss, and allows opponents to set up moves like Swords Dance. Wing Attack/Aerial Ace is weaker, but more reliable. At level 44, Pidgeot gets Roost, which can be very useful for healing off Ice, Rock, and Electric moves, but leaves you more vulnerable to Fighting moves. In general, healing items cover this role, but Roost can be useful in Nuzlockes that restrict healing items. Tailwind is a viable support move that can help slower teammates outspeed dangerous Pokémon. Tailwind is especially notable as it synergizes with U-Turn, found via TM in Couriway Town. Mirror Move has situational use, but is unpredictable and there are better moves to dedicate to Pidgeot’s move slots. Air Slash, learned at level 62, is generally not preferred to a physical Flying move as Pidgeot has higher physical Attack; your mileage may vary depending on your Pidgeot’s nature, however. If you want to grind all the way to level 68 for Hurricane, this is (when used in conjunction with the Rain Dance TM available in the Lumiose City Pokémon Center) a viable Special Attack as Hurricane’s high base power offsets Pidgeot’s lower Special Attack. This tactic should only be used if it synergizes well with teammates who can utilize Rain.
The Pidgey line has few viable TMs and HMs. Every Pidgeot should be utilizing U-Turn as it turns Pidgeot into a scouting teammate that can get chip damage on opponents and switch into the most appropriate teammate. Return provides a strong, reliable, STAB Normal-type move, but some people prefer to run Quick Attack due to priority and ability to do minimal damage to potential catches. Fly is probably the most common Flying move to be put on Pidgeot due to it’s high base power and out-of-battle utility. Fly also allows Pidgeot to potentially dodge dangerous moves like the boosted turn of Retaliate or Self-Destruct. However, Fly can give enemy Pokémon a turn to set up moves like Swords Dance or Calm Mind, and should be used with caution. In addition, Fly does have a 5% chance of missing. Aerial Ace is can be used for Korrina’s Gym before Pidgeotto evolves, but many users delete this upon receiving the stronger Fly. Toxic is a surprisingly viable move, as it synergizes well with Protect and Fly to rack up high amounts of passive damage. However, it’s generally easier to use Pidgeot as a direct attacker. Roost requires you to go back to earlier routes with HMs acquired in the later portions of the game, but Pidgeot learns Roost via level up. Facade is another strong Normal STAB move, but Return is likely stronger than an un-boosted Facade by the time you get the TM. Giga Impact will allow Pigeot to OHKO most opponents who don’t resist Normal moves, but Pidgeot is able to deal more damage with 2 Returns than one Giga Impact, without being left vulnerable. Lastly, Rain Dance can be used in conjunction with Hurricane if it synergizes well with the rest of the team.
Recommended moveset: U-Turn, Fly / Aerial Ace, and any two between Return / Quick Attack / Roost / Tailwind
Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.
Pidgey Line Ratings
What Nature do I want? Generally, Special Attack lowering natures are preferred, with Adamant (+Attack) and Jolly (+Speed) being the ideal natures. Speed and Attack boosting natures can be useful, as well. Speed lowering natures should be avoided as they give Pidgeot a disadvantage when U-Turning. Special Attack boosting natures can make Air Slash and Hurricane sets more viable, but Pidgeot has few other Special Attacking options.
Which Ability do I want? Keen Eye is the most useful as it makes annoying moves like Sand-Attack or Smokescreen a non-issue. Tangled Feet can be useful, but Confusion is dangerous in Nuzlockes, and a Speed boost likely won’t be necessary as you will likely be out-speeding most opponents.
At what point in the game should I be evolved? You will generally want to evolve Pidgey as soon as possible. This can be as early as Route 5 or as late as Connecting Cave. You may want to delay Pidgeotto’s evolution as it will learn Wing Attack faster, but this makes little difference as you should be getting the Fly HM around this time (you should be around Shalour City or Coumarine City).
How good is the Pidgey line in a Nuzlocke? The Pidgey line is fairly mediocre in a Nuzlocke. However, it can be useful for many situations, such as switching into Ground moves, and using Fly out of battle. It faces a lot of early game competition from Fletchling, Butterfree, Vivillon, and Farfetch’d, and is simply outclassed as a Normal type due to Tackle being it’s strongest Normal move for a significant portion of the game. Often, Fire-types overlap in coverage, as the Pidgey line only has a reliable type advantage against Bug and Grass-types, since many Fighting-types can KO with an unresisted Fighting move or a coverage Rock move, which are deceptively common.