Examining Delta Vespiqueen

Back in 4th gen, among GameFreak’s new Pokemon designs happened to be a beehive Pokemon named Combee who was both the face and facilitator of the awkward and obnoxious Honey tree system that never made a return in any subsequent game. Probably because the idea of having to wait some number of hours for a chance at a Pokemon you might want wasn’t such a hot idea.

Combee happens to have the distinction of having a 50% chance of being absolutely useless, as male Combee can never evolve, unlike pretty much every single other gender-dependent evolutionary line introduced in the same generation. So with those risks in mind, plus the time-consuming nature of even getting a female Combee to begin with, you’d think that Vespiqueen is pretty good, right?

Not really.

When a Pokemon turns out to be bad, it’s usually due to some combination of, or one of three factors: Bad typing, bad ability, or bad BST distribution. In Vespiqueen’s case, it was really just the first one. Bug/Flying is a bad defensive typing even on a good day, possessing weaknesses to Fire, Electric, and Ice which are all common enough, and a quad weakness to Rock in the same generation that unleashed the unholy abomination of a move that is Stealth Rocks, which thoroughly undermined its ability to do anything since everything and its mother could learn and use the move.

Granted, it had a trio of three unique moves, Attack Order, Heal Order, and Defend Order which gave it reliable means to bolster its defenses, heal itself when it gets too damaged, and dole out decent damage, but that just wasn’t enough. It was outclassed at every turn.

Enter Delta Vespiqueen, courtesy of Insurgence. Sporting a much more defensively powerful Steel/Fire typing and the ability Levitate to eliminate its greatest weakness, the nuclear hive Pokemon fears very little outside of Water and Fighting.

Its 70/102/102 defenses aren’t constantly being undermined by its own typing, and it’s immune to Burn and Poison to boot. Not just the Poison status effect either, but the entire type, which when combined with its normal ability gives it some remarkably safe switch-ins. In fact, Levitate is the one thing Delta Vespiqueen has that Heatran would kill for.

Its offenses are still lackluster, however, at just Base 80 in both attacking stats, and base 40 speed almost ensures that it will never go first. Though that doesn’t matter as much as one would think, because Delta Vespiqueen has something else Heatran would kill for.

A massively varied movepool.

On the special side alone, Delta Vespiqueen sports the likes of Fire Blast and Flash Cannon for STAB, along with Dazzling Gleam, Scald, Sludge Bomb, Energy Ball, Thunderbolt, and a slow pivot Volt Switch.

On the Physical side, Acrobatics, X-Scissor, Wild Charge, Flare Blitz, Iron Head, Gyro Ball, Shadow Claw, Rock Slide, and Poison Jab are on tap.

Those lackluster offenses not enough to get the job done? Confuse Ray, Thunder Wave, Toxic, Will-O-Wisp, the very situational Attract, and Reflect gives you ways to fight indirectly.

Don’t feel like being so passive? Swords Dance, Calm Mind, Gear Shift (if you want to spend a turn or two making that speed stat not garbage) are all at your command to turn Delta Vespiqueen into a monster. To further sweeten the deal, it picks up Roost, Protect, and Substitute to keep it healthy, scout out attacks or just plain keep it out of harm’s way.

Did I mention that it’s hidden ability is Speed Boost? Not as good as Levitate in this case, but if it can survive a turn or two and use Gear Shift, and you can have a +3/+4 Speed boosted Delta Vespiqueen laying the smackdown surprisingly swiftly.

Oh right, another fun point. Delta Vespiqueen isn’t weak to Stealth Rocks, meaning it takes normal damage and not 50% of its max health per switch-in. It still doesn’t like SR, but it deals with it far better.

Item-wise, Delta Vespiqueen could go with quite a lot as well. Life Orb isn’t such a big deal on sets with Roost, as they can just heal off the residual damage anyway and this Pokemon appreciates the damage boost. The Choice Spec/Band items give more power, but honestly you lose out on so much versatility that it’s often just not worth it.

Mental Herb is actually not a bad choice since Taunt gives this Pokemon substantial trouble, and can allow you to get in a boost when it wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Leftovers gives this Pokemon more longevity too.

EV-Wise, since its defenses are equal it’s likely better to just dump as much as possible into HP instead and put the remaining EVs into your preferred attacking stat. Since Delta Vespiqueen’s speed stat is so low, Adamant, Modest, Brave, and Quiet all work depending on what you want it for.

As an aside, Trick Room teams can make good use of this Pokemon as its low speed stat means it will end up out-speeding nearly everything else. A speed-reducing nature is even better for this setup. On the other side, it running Thunder Wave can drag opponents down to its level instead.

Honestly, this thing can slide itself into so many roles so readily, it’ll be easier to just talk about this thing’s shortcomings and leave the movesets up to people who actually have ideas about how to go about it.

First of all, Base 80 in each offensive stat is distressingly low for offensive roles, so it’s reliant on items or buffs to do any meaningful damage. Taunt users in general will cripple its ability to do anything meaningful despite the sheer variety of moves at its disposal, though if you planned on Volt Switching out anyway it’s nothing more than a mere annoyance.

Its reliance on buffs means that Roar/Whirlwind (Dragon Tail and similar moves) users can force it out to lose the buffs, though anyone relying on this needs to be careful in case it’s packing a super-effective move since anything using those moves will go last. Haze is a better option since it doesn’t have negative priority, albeit one I don’t see packed into a team that often.

Just straight-up overpowering it is an option as well, since while its list of weaknesses is limited to just Water and Fighting in this case, there are powerful, swift Pokemon that can launch moves of both types. If it’s running Speed Boost over Levitate, anything with a Ground type move can obliterate it in the same way Rock would obliterate regular Vespiqueen, but honesty one shouldn’t count on the opponent running its Hidden Ability unless it’s supposed to be a set that can ignore Taunt anyway.

Granted, one still has to be careful to be sure that you can in fact OHKO it and not leave it within an inch of its life where it can hit back for super-effective damage itself. Water types have to worry about Electric and Grass being flung its way, Fighting has to worry about this thing’s ability to inflict Burn. Unless said Fighting type is running Guts, but then you probably had a way to self-inflict the status anyway.

Additionally, its offensive stats are again so low, that going for a mixed set is impractical at best.

Aside from that this thing is probably one of the few Pokemon in Insurgence that can give Garchomp a run for its money in terms of the sheer number of things it can do, and with no clear indication of what it’s doing until it’s hitting your Pokemon in the face with it.

Delta Vespiqueen can fit onto a lot of teams with minimal effort, and functions especially well as a partner for Pokemon that hate Ground, Poison, Burns, Toxic, ect… There’s also no easy answer for it either since it can readily punish a switch, or take advantage of the opportunity to nope.avi its way out as well.

I highly recommend this thing, and outside of the obvious Taunt problems cannot fathom why it’s still listed in Never Used.


In the lower tiers, I could see it running an offensive set using it’s amazing typing + ability to set up. I would use 252ATK/252SPD with Shift Gear/Flare Blitz/Iron Head/ Substitute or coverage move. In OU, it’s amazing typing + ability allow it to perform as a decent check for several pokemon such as Bulky Talonflame/Garchomp/Jirachi/Metagross w/o Hammer Arm. The EV spread I would use is 252 HP/252 DEF with Lava Plume/Thunderbolt/Toxic?/not sure about the other moves yet until more tms are released. Still, I think I would use Heatran instead, but D-Vespiquen becomes an ok option due to the levitate ability.

Where’d you get this info? Can’t see X-Scissor, Wild Charge, Rock slide or poison jab on the wiki, along with swords dance and calm mind, flash cannon, fire blast, sludge bomb or volt switch

That’s the moveset he is referring to: