nothing to fear and nothing to doubt
Mega Ampharos is a very niche but workable bulky attacking pivot due to a few key qualities. Its Electric/Dragon typing gives it several useful resistances that allow it to come in on attacks such as Roserade's Leaf Storm and defensive Mega Blastoise's Scald. In addition, Mega Ampharos' Volt Switch is difficult to block courtesy of its very high Special Attack and good coverage in Dragon Pulse and Focus Blast, which let it scare away Ground-types such as Flygon and Steelix and make it generally hard for defensive teams to switch into. Unfortunately, Mega Ampharos struggles against all manner of offensive teams because of its atrocious Speed, which usually forces it to take a hit before pivoting out, and its only decent bulk and lack of reliable recovery means any fairly strong unresisted STAB move, such as Salazzle's Sludge Wave or Virizion's Close Combat, will put a sizable dent in its longevity. Mega Ampharos' typing also gives it weaknesses to common attacks such as Bronzong's Earthquake and Milotic's Ice Beam, limiting the amount of defensive Pokemon it can safely take advantage of. Finally, Mega Ampharos is very awkward to fit on teams because it takes up the team's Mega slot and is difficult to justify over Mega Blastoise and Mega Sceptile, similarly dangerous special attackers that offer better typings, stat spreads, and utility than Mega Ampharos.
name: Offensive Pivot
move 1: Volt Switch
move 2: Dragon Pulse
move 3: Focus Blast
move 4: Thunderbolt
evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Focus Blast supplies very strong coverage against Snorlax, Registeel, Rhyperior, and Steelix. Thunderbolt gives Mega Ampharos a powerful Electric-type STAB move that does not force it out to reliably pressure defensive Pokemon such as Bronzong and Slowking; it also OHKOes Mega Blastoise.
Static is Ampharos' most useful ability before Mega Evolving, most notably allowing it to punish Meteor Mash from Metagross and U-turn from Pokemon such as Flygon and Noivern. Maximum Speed investment allows Mega Ampharos to outspeed other slow offensive Pokemon such as Araquanid and Rhyperior, but it can run less Speed if desired; 136 Speed lets it catch Mega Abomasnow, while 48 Speed lets it outpace Donphan, Dragalge, and Registeel. In either case, the remaining EVs can be pooled into HP to allow Mega Ampharos to better take attacks like Metagross's Earthquake and Swellow's Boomburst.
If the opponent has a very dangerous threat that Ampharos should optimally attempt to punish with Static, such as Choice Band Metagross, you should wait to Mega Evolve it until after Static is of no further probable use. Otherwise, Ampharos should Mega Evolve right away if you will need the resistances provided by its Dragon typing to handle a threat such as Roserade or Ninetales. Mega Ampharos should generally use Volt Switch once in play to build momentum, especially against faster Pokemon that it can tank a hit from. If Mega Ampharos finds itself matched up with a slow Pokemon that it forces out, such as Slowbro or Dragalge, it should use Volt Switch unless you predict the opponent to switch in a healthy Ground-type; Mega Ampharos can 2HKO every common Ground-type in the tier with the right move, and making the correct prediction can allow Mega Ampharos to be significantly more threatening in the same position later in the game. It is worth noting that while many faster Pokemon can hit Mega Ampharos super effectively, not many can actually OHKO it without a strong STAB move or boosted Z-move; even Mega Sceptile has a low chance to OHKO from full health with Dragon Pulse. With this in mind, it is often worthwhile to trade Mega Ampharos for a faster, more threatening Pokemon, such as Mega Blastoise or Salazzle, if your team lacks the tools to deal with these threats long-term.
First and foremost, Mega Ampharos should be paired with setup sweepers that benefit from its slow pivoting and wallbreaking potential. Mismagius is an excellent partner that appreciates Mega Ampharos's ability to break down its checks such as Snorlax and Mandibuzz, while Snorlax itself is a strong partner on more defensive teams due to Mega Ampharos destroying its physically defensive answers. Mega Ampharos needs partners that can remove entry hazards to preserve its bulk; for this purpose, Donphan is a fantastic partner that can handle physical attackers such as Zygarde-10% that threaten Mega Ampharos and appreciates the latter's help when checking Metagross. Entry hazard setters are similarly important to help Mega Ampharos exert more pressure with Volt Switch. Roserade can set Spikes for Mega Ampharos and give it opportunities to come in with Sleep Powder, and Mega Ampharos can obliterate Flying-types and Dragalge for Roserade in return. For Stealth Rock, Uxie is a good option that can lure in Mandibuzz and pivot Mega Ampharos in safely with U-turn, while Bronzong covers all of Mega Ampharos's weaknesses. Golisopod and Choice Scarf users like Houndoom and Flygon can revenge kill quick attackers such as Salazzle and Sneasel and provide more options to pivot Mega Ampharos into play. Finally, Mega Ampharos enjoys being paired with defensive pivots that can handle the powerful breakers it lures in. Slowbro can take on Metagross and strong Fighting-types like Passimian and Bewear, while Florges can wall Mega Blastoise and Mega Sceptile and keep Mega Ampharos healthy with Wish, and in return Mega Ampharos puts pressure on their switchins, such as Milotic and Registeel.
Rest and Sleep Talk can give Mega Ampharos more longevity on very defensive teams that can supply it with Heal Bell support, since it only needs Volt Switch and Dragon Pulse to fulfill its main purpose as a pivot. However, Mega Ampharos's lacking defensive profile can make this an awkward strategy, and the loss of coverage takes away from its potency against defensive cores.
Checks and Counters
**Fairy-types**: Florges is one of Mega Ampharos's most solid defensive checks, as it can heal off even Thunderbolt with ease, outspeed Mega Ampharos, and hit it hard with Moonblast. Diancie is outsped by Mega Ampharos but can take two hits after Stealth Rock and deal solid damage back. Gardevoir can take any one hit and OHKO with Moonblast, while Ribombee is OHKOed by Thunderbolt but can force Mega Ampharos out to set up with Sticky Web or Quiver Dance if it can get in safely.
**Ground-types**: All Ground-types threaten to halt Mega Ampharos's momentum if they can properly predict Volt Switch. With enough specially defensive investment, Rhyperior can take a Focus Blast and OHKO back with Earthquake, while Donphan can take a single Dragon Pulse and retaliate the same way. Zygarde-10% and Flygon can outspeed Mega Ampharos and force it out, but they cannot risk switching into Dragon Pulse. Nidoqueen both outspeeds Mega Ampharos and tanks Dragon Pulse, giving it unique potential to block Volt Switch.
**Offensive Pokemon**: Various setup sweepers, such as Mismagius, Houndoom, Virizion, and Salazzle, can nuke Mega Ampharos after setup, but must be wary if Mega Ampharos is healthy and they have already expended their Z-Move. Powerful attackers with super effective STAB moves, such as Sneasel and Goodra, can threaten an OHKO on Mega Ampharos and easily force it out. Still other wallbreakers, such as Mega Blastoise, Metagross, and Aerodactyl, cannot safely trade blows with Mega Ampharos but carry super effective coverage moves in Ice Beam and Earthquake to force huge damage on it.
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