Suicune Support Guide
Supports play a vital role in match-ups across the board in Pokkén Tournament DX and are pivotal in shaping and informing your approach to a given match-up. In this guide I’ll be walking you through common, strong support choices for Suicune, discussing why they’re effective and a bit about how to maximize their benefit.
Supports – Diminishing Weaknesses or Amplifying Strengths
Generally speaking support Pokémon are chosen for 1 of two reasons, either to 1) to diminish a characters inherit weaknesses AND/OR 2) to amplify their strengths. Whenever you sit down to choose a support in a given match-up, set, game, etc… it’s helpful to think in these terms. Ask yourself these questions: “What are the core issues Suicune has in this match-up?,” “Are my base tools enough to reliably win neutral?,” “When I lose this match-up what’s often the leading cause of that loss?,” “Does my specific opponent play or approach the game in a unique and unfamiliar way, if so is there a support I could choose to counteract that play-style or make it more difficult for them to carry out their game-plan?”
Understanding and answering these questions is a vital step in the process of apt support selection. The Framedata sheet has info on Support Pokemon which should be used in tandem with play experience to assist with helping you evaluate your picks.
Tier 1 Supports – most common, most useful, most reliable
Emolga | 20s/30s, 15s speed debuff applied, counter pierce
One of the most effective ways to play around Suicune’s zoning options is for opponents to CADC projectiles to gain meter. Situationally there are ways to punish opponents for doing so, but the most effective way to do so is by utilizing Emolga. This full screen, fast charging counter pierce support is a fantastic pick for Suicune because it allows him to zone with or without a life lead much more effectively. Advancing or retreating jys in duel phase are often CADC’ed by opponents, with Emolga fully charged you can easily react to this and punish. Additionally, the speed debuff Emolga offers (15s if all hits connect) makes Suicune’s Field Phase zoning tools (sY, s[Y], jy, ]a[, bY, b[Y]) more effective as it’s hard for the opponent to avoid them when slowed. The threat of Emolga alone is strong, use it when presented with opportunities, but be mindful of the fact that even when Emolga is up the threat of it is providing benefit.
Core issues addressed: no reliable counter pierce in DP, weak FP zoning
Frogadier | 20s/20s
One of Suicune’s greatest weaknesses is that he has a weak field phase, especially the first field phase as he doesn’t have the time that winning Duel Phase might provide to get setup and utilize his strong FP oki tools, because of this Frogadier is a great support choice for Suicune because it addresses this weakness. It does so by 1) giving Suciune a way to approach in FP, if called from a distance you can follow the first bubble salvo from Frogadier in as he effectively provides “cover” for you, and 2) gives you a safe mixup opportunity. To explain what I mean by this, Frogadier has two salvos, or waves, of attacks. After the first salvo and just before the second salvo (practice this timing, it’s important), Suicune can go for a grab. If the grab lands then you win the phase, if they get hit by the second salvo (often times trying to escape or break your grab attempt) then you can jx to shift for hard-knockdown in Duel Phase and keep your momentum going. fY is also a reliable option to shift with but doesn’t provide hard-knockdown so it’s generally the weaker option. Frog for this use alone is worth it, however, it’s also a nice supplemental tool to Suicune’s zoning in Duel Phase, allowing him to take space effectively when needed. As Frogadier is a 20s charge players should feel free to use it liberally and often.
Core issues addressed: Weak Field Phase (especially initial FP)
Sylveon | 20s/40s, defense up for 10s, heals 70hp
While the previous two supports are chosen to diminish a weakness of Suciune’s, Sylveon is selected to amplify a strength, his large hp pool. At 630hp Suicune has lots of opportunity to take risk and assert his gameplan on the opponent. Sylveon is tremendously useful in match-ups where his base tools are enough to reliably win neutral and if Sylveon being used to supplement Suicune’s hp pool will make it difficult for your opponent to keep tempo with damage. What do I mean by this? There are certain characters in the game, Pikachu, Mewtwo, Decidueye who have very strong tools but average damage overall, these characters are a difficult time dealing with a defense buffed and healed up Suicune which generally allows Suicune to play from the life lead more often (a huge boon in any match-up) and survive later in the round when opponents comeback factor is at its peak either via red health and/or burst.
Strength amplified: large hp pool
Victini | 40s/40s, crit buff for 10s, heals 60hp, grants 15cc of synergy
Mew | 20s/30s, chance for atk buff, crit buff, or both, last for 10s, grants 15cc of synergy
We’re looking at these two supports together because they provide a similar benefit with slightly different niches. Why are they useful? Suicune has powerful combos that start off critical hits of 8y and 5/6x, hitting these attacks with crit buff means a phase win, solid damage, and momentum. So crit buff makes it so some of our best attacks are single hit phase wins buttons for 10s, that’s excellent. Another benefits of crit buff (and in Mew’s case, atk buff) is that it allow you to avoid opponent’s light attack armor when in burst, giving Suicune access to his strong light attacks (8y,5y, 4y, 6y, jy) when fighting bursted opponents. Additionally because both supports grant synergy and landing critical hits grants additional synergy, these support options enable Suicune to get into his strong bust mode more quickly.
Generally Mew is better for highly volatile match-ups that are likely to end quickly as its 20s/30s charge and recharge time come into play. It’s also better for match-ups where having your own burst quickly is important as it fills this role better.
In match-ups that are likely to go to time Victini is a reliable option that gives you a bit of everything and having the 60hp heal is certainly appreciated as well. Both of these supports are great, experiment with each and try to figure out you like for which match-up and think about why. You’re likely to learn a bit about yourself as a Suicune player, what tempo you tend to want to play the game at, how much you value burst, etc… Some people like to point out that Victini has an attack component, and while it’s true that it does, that should factor into your selection of this support too much.
Fennekin | 30s/40s, frame 1 invul
Out of all the reversal supports in the game, Fennekin is the mostly useful overall for Suicune. It offers a number of things that Umbreon, Ninetales, and Pachi do not. Specifically, 1) follow-ups on hit, 2) reset to neutral / 6x range on block, and 3) offers a + on block mix-up as it’s +4 (Umbreon is -4 and offers litte in terms of pushback and conversion opportunity). Users of Fennekin should be mindful of the instances that it can and cannot be called. Fennekin is not a useful tool against an opponent in burst for the most part, so it should be used as a tool to help get oneself out of disadvantage states in the corner, to reestablish neutral, or win phases against overly aggressive opponents during the synergy race. Given that Fennekin is +4 it’s also appropriate to utilize it as an offensive pressure tool at times; for example, Fennekin can be called at mid-screen to utilize its pushback and further establish stage control. This support certainly isn’t for everyone but in most match-ups that Suicune might want to run a reversal assist in, Fennekin has the most merit and should not be overlooked.
Core issue addressed + Strength amplified: Allows for neutral reset once opponents have worked their way past 6x range, synergizes nicely with 6x / 8a to allow for moderately rewarding conversion off hit
Tier 2 – Situationally useful
Litten | 20s/40s
Support pick of choice against Scizor as it cannot be hover stanced like Emolga can be, gives you a valuable tool to fight back against Scizor players who choose to hover stance in and mix. Litten is inherently better on high hp characters because its Level mechanic is tied to hp, meaning hp characters are likely to have access to Level 2/3 more frequently and for longer. Level 1 Litten can be used early on in Duel Phase, Level 2 and 3 Litten are effective in both phases and lead to phase wins and solid damage. Once active it absorbs projectiles, a trait that can be relied on as a way to get in against certain tools in some match-ups. Info on Litten:
Levels of Litten are tied to the user’s hp
100% - 50% = Level 1
50% - 25% = Level 2
> 25% = Level 3
Level 1 = 15f links (4y, 2x, 8y)
Level 2 = 19f links
Level 3 = links into anything
Snivy | 20s/20s
20s/20s supports in Pokkén offer above average value and Snivy is no exception. Generally this support is chosen by characters looking to supplement their kit with strong anti-airs and to create favorable mix-up situations as Snivy is +16 on block. Suicune has strong anti-airs already (8y, 7/8/9a, 5/6x, 4y, CAy, situationally 8x) and also sports numerous ways to be reliably plus (jy, ]a[, hail, m5x, etc…), but Snivy still has a niche as on block it gives the user time to charge and deploy Icy Wind as well as converts to meaningful damage. I don’t use Snivy all that much but depending on player preference it could certainly be a valuable support for your Suicune.
Cubone | 20s/30s
Cubone is one of a few offensive Field Phase supports. These supports are chosen almost exclusively to patch up Suicune’s field phase (Frogadier and Farfetch’d also fall into this category). The idea behind using Cubone is to call it in a Field Phase trade situation or against some characters sY and then likely trade, but be able to recover and convert before the opponent can as Cubone has a high degree of hitstun. 20s/30s is a great charge rate. If you’re looking for an offensive Field Phase support, Cubone is worth considering.
Magikarp | 50s/20s, applies 15s speed debuff on hit
One of the most common support picks in DX patch 1.2. When Magikarp is active it allows the player to take more risks as Magikarp triggers on hit meaning your opponent cannot meaningful convert off of punishes and in fact attempting to do so will apply a 15s speed debuff to themselves. A trade-off of Magikarp is its slow initial charge. This all but forces players to use Standard or Support cheer and run Pachi (its partner Pokemon round 1 as its quicker charge has more utility and sets up a rd 2 and/or 3 Magikarp). For me the benefits of running Magikarp don’t outweigh the costs of having to run a Cheer skill I’m disinterested in. Sylveon fills a similar niche and for Suicune is the better pick in most situations —however I’d be remiss to not mention Magikarp, certainly a good option and one you should explore for yourself.
Rotom | 20s/30s, applies 13s speed debuff on hit
Rotom is an interesting support for Suicune. We don’t need the help in terms of having another anti-air but it’s a situationally valuable counter-pick to characters/players that like to take to the skies. Another interesting quality of Rotom is that when it’s up, it allows Suicune to combo from 2x and 4y, even when those moves connect in situations where they’re too far away from the wall to wallsplat as Rotom will trigger on successful hit of those moves. In most match-ups there’s probably better picks but if you’re interested in Rotom it has good charge time and it’s utility as a combo tool and extender for Suicune is underexplored.
Togekiss | 20s/40s, speed buff on self for 10s, heals 70hp
Overall in the meta game Togekiss is probably the most commonly picked enhance-and-heal support, others include Eevee, Sylveon, and to a lesser degree Victini (all these support provide a buff and heal you, hence being “enhance and heals”). Togekiss is the most commonly picked for good reason. Speed buff is a valuable tool on high base movement characters allowing you to close space more quickly and play more effective footises. Regrettably Suicune’s low Duel Phase base walk speed makes the increased movement a bit less overall effective than someone with a higher base walk speed (Mewtwo for example), but there’s still some use for it there. The core benefit of Togekiss for Suicune is enhancing his already strong Field Phase movespeed and allowing him to make even more use of his strong homing attack. I’m not picking Togekiss as often these days but it’s an overall solid support that Suicune players can look to in specific character/player match-ups.
Farfetch’d | 30s/30s
The next offensive Field Phase support on the list. Farfetch’d fills a similar niche to Cubone and Frogadier. If Cubone is for trades, Frogadier is for mix-ups, then Farfetch’d is for reactions and packing a punch. This support offers greater overall damage than the other two options, comes out quickly, and is fairly safe on call. Evaluate all three and see which one matches your play-style best.
Dragonite | 40s/40s
Dragonite has two primary appeals, 1) high shield damage, and 2) paired with Victini. Dragonite is mostly viable against low shield health characters as a setup tool. It being paired with Vicitni helps its case as it makes Standard cheer builds for these two supports more viable. Dragonite warrants further exploration overall but has potential in both Duel Phase as well as in use for Field Phase oki setups.
Eevee | 20s/40s
The last enhance-and-heal on our list. Eevee is strong overall but in my opinion largely outclasses by Mew/Victini for Suicune as crit buff is overall much more valuable for Suicune than attack buff. As this servers a similar niche in allowing Suicune to fight back against busted opponents due to it allowing us to ignored light attack armor, it’s still a viable and strong option in match-ups where bursted opponents are giving you trouble and having access to light attacks back (4y, 8y, 5y, 6y, jy), might help tip the scales.
Tier 3 – Niche use, potentially useful but likely outclassed
Tier 4 – Not useful or almost always outclassed
As a closing note! Please remember these are just my opinions, hopefully you find them useful, if not that's okay too! Part of the joy of Pokkén is discovery. If you think I'm wrong about a certain support it's quite possible that I am. Test, experiment, grow, and share!
Feel free to ask me any questions here or on Twitter at @BurnsideBH.