Set-Up Butterfree

12-ButterfreeButterfree is the final evolution of one of the traditional “weak” Bug-types you find early in all of the Pokémon games. These Bugs have been stereotyped as useless for competitive play, and for good reason. Their stats are low, and they have plenty of weaknesses. However, if used properly, Buterfree can make a good set-up or “Toxic Stall” Pokémon.

One of Butterfree’s Abilities is Compoundeyes, which raises its accuracy by 30%. This makes moves like Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, and Toxic more likely to hit. It can also learn moves like Tailwind to make your Pokémon faster, and Whirlwind to get rid of an opposing threat. Also, it can learn the weather moves, like Sunny Day and Rain Dance, so it can set up for teams that rely on these conditions.

Butterfree has many options for move sets and EV spreads. Here are a few suggestions:

Set-Up Butterfree
Ability Compound Eyes
Held Item 1 Focus Sash
Held Item 2 Sitrus Berry
Move Set 1 Sleep Powder, Tailwind, Whirlwind, Sunny Day
Move Set 2 Toxic, Roost, Bug Buzz, Protect
EV Spread  252 Sp Def / 252 Spd / 4 Def
IVs HP 31 / Atk – / Def 31 / Sp. Atk 31 / Sp. Def 31 / Spd 31
Nature Calm (+10% Sp Def, -10% Atk)


Depending on how you run your Butterfree, you will use it at different times in a battle. Using Butterfree to set up Tailwind, Sleep Powder, or weather conditions would lead you to use Butterfree first, while a Butterfree running a “Toxic Stall” can be used later in the match.

If you lead off with Butterfree, give it the Focus Sash. Use the move that you most want to set up first, like Tailwind or Sunny Day, then follow that move up with secondary moves, like Sleep Powder to immobilize your opponent or Whirlwind to get rid of an opposing Pokémon that is trying to set up itself.

If you run a “Toxic Stall,” give Butterfree the Sitrus Berry. When you send it in, use Toxic to badly Poison your opponent. Then, alternate Protect with Bug Buzz or Roost to whittle away at your opponent’s HP with the Poison damage while staying alive as long as possible. If an opponent can’t finish you off quickly, they will die from the Toxic.

Things to Watch Out For

  1. Stealth Rock. This entry hazard takes away 50% of Butterfree’s HP when it switches in, and makes its Focus Sash useless. Makes sure to have a Rapid Spinner to get rid of this hazard if you plan to run any kind of Butterfree.
  2. Taunt. If an opponent uses Taunt on Butterfree, Butterfree can only use moves that deal damage, making it essentially useless until it switches out.
  3. Steel-type Pokémon. These Pokémon are immune to Toxic, so a “Toxic Stall” Butterfree is useless against a Steel-type opponent.

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