While Jumpluff may not be what many people would consider a competitive Pokemon nowadays, the Grass/Flying type does have its uses. Thanks to a couple of strong abilities, a deep movepool, and good Speed and Special Defense stats, Jumpluff is able to compete in the limited Pokedex of the Paldea region featured in Scarlet and Violet.
Right away, it’s good to note that in Scarlet with Koraidon’s ability to set Sun when it enters play, any Chlorophyll Pokemon are good to use. The Chlorophyll ability doubles the Speed stat of any Pokemon with it when Morning Sun is up. Of course, Koraidon isn’t usable in Battle Stadium or Pokemon Showdown singles or doubles, so you have to settle for the Drought ability of Torkoal or Pokemon who can afford to waste a turn using Morning Sun as a move.
Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen Jumpluff get some usage in Battle Stadium doubles in the early going, with Torkoal as its most common partner, along with Armarouge as a Fire-type sweeper. Jumpluff isn’t going to sweep anything with its pitiful 55 Attack and 55 Special Attack base stats. Still, its 110 Speed is already above-average, and with Chlorophyll active, it’s likely going to move first in most situations.
Being that it’s not going to hit anything hard, Jumpluff is best suited for a utility role in doubles, running a moveset of Tailwind, Sleep Powder, Rage Powder, and Pollen Puff. Tailwind boosts your team’s speed for a few turns, while Sleep Powder is self-explanatory, putting one of your opponent’s Pokemon to sleep. Rage Powder allows Jumpluff to be the sole target of your opponent’s attacks for a turn, and with its decent Special Defense, it can take a special attacking hit as long as it’s not super effective. Lastly, while Pollen Puff has 90 base power, it’s much better used to heal your partner Pokemon.
Jumpluff can also run Strength Sap, regaining HP at the cost of the target’s Attack stat. Other moves it can run are Helping Hand, which boosts the target’s next attack, or U-Turn to be able to chip in for some damage before switching out.
In singles, Jumpluff is even more integral to Sun teams, with Torkoal as the Sun setter, Scovillain and Volcarona enjoying the Fire-type attack boost, Leafeon as another Chlorphyll Pokemon, and Sandy Shocks whose ability boosts its Special Attack stat in the Sun, as well. Generally, these singles Jumpluff will run Sleep Powder, Leech Seed, and Strength Sap, along with Acrobatics as a same-type atttack bonus (STAB) move. While it won’t deal a ton of damage to neutral targets, it can hit for super-effective damage.
Another possible build of Jumpluff is to use Baton Pass with Cotton Guard for defense boosts. Cotton Guard boosts physical Defense by three stages. Passing such a boost to a sweeper like Kingambit, Azumarill, Dragonite, or Scovillain is pretty darn scary. These Jumpluff will often use Light Ball as its held item for Fling; while it only gives Fling a 30 base power, it also will paralyze the target on contact. Baton Pass Jumpluff can also use Memento, sacrificing itself to cripple the target’s Attack and Special Attack stats by two stages. This sacrifice actually fuels Kingambit’s Supreme Overlord ability for a 10 percent attack boost, too.
In any case, the best nature for Jumpluff is Timid, boosting Speed by 10 percent at the cost of 10 percent of Attack. You’ll want to max out your EV’s (Effort Values) in HP and Speed. While investing instead in Special Defense may appear to be the best use of your EV’s, having the extra HP will allow you to tank extra hits.
While Jumpluff does enjoy both a second ability in Leaf Guard and a Hidden Ability in Infiltrator, you don’t typically see them used on Jumpluff in competitive Pokemon. Leaf Guard is like Chlorophyll in that it’s only active during Morning Sun, but instead of doubling Speed, it prevents the Pokemon from receiving any status conditions. While this is good, the Speed is much more important in competitive battles.
Infiltrator is a good ability in general, allowing the Pokemon with it to hit opponents through Substitutes and ignoring screens such as Reflect, Light Screen, Safeguard, Mist, and Aurora Veil. But, Jumpluff simply doesn’t do very much damage on its own anyway, so it’s not an optimal ability to have in general on this Pokemon.
All in all, Jumpluff is a good, if underwhelming utility Pokemon that only really shines in the Sun (pun intended). In game, it’s a bit better if you’re playing with Koraidon or Torkoal on your team to get the full use of its abilities. As a Grass/Flying type that can be acquired early in the game as a Hoppip, it’s not a bad team member to have for most of your Treasure Hunt. It’s super effective against quite a few of the Gym Leaders, a couple of the Titans, and at least one of the Team Star bosses.
Jumpluff isn’t even going to sweep anything, but as a Pokemon who can out-speed many things, even outside of Sun, it’s an entirely usable team member. Is Jumpluff a Pokemon you would use on a competitive team? Why or why not?