A Nuzlocker’s Guide to the Clefairy Line

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1

Clefairy may not seem like much. It’s a pain to get in both places it’s available, and its stats aren’t winning any awards. This is compounded by its boring typing; a pure Normal-type usually isn’t your first choice of team member unless its name is Snorlax. However, Clefairy is a perfect example of the old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Its access to both Calm Mind and ridiculous coverage turns it into a fearsome bulky sweeper. The aforementioned bulk isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s enough for the Fairy Pokémon to accrue a deadly amount of boosts. On the other hand, its Speed leaves a lot to be desired and, chances are, you’re not going to run into it anyway. Clefable is still an amazing Pokémon though, and it can fill just about any role.


Clefairy: Mt. Moon (rare), Celadon City (Game Corner prize).

(Note: If you want to catch a Clefairy before Celadon City, there is a repel trick for Mt. Moon that increases your chance of running into Clefairy. On the lowest floor of Mt. Moon (or B2F), there are only two Pokémon that can be obtained when a repel has been used and a Pokémon at exactly level 12 is leading the party. One of those is Clefairy and the other is Paras. This repel trick, while not guaranteed to work, is the best way to encounter a Clefairy before you reach Celadon City.)

Clefairy’s Match-ups in Important Battles

Clefable versus Rival in Cerulean City: If you managed to get a Clefairy in Mt. Moon, teach it Mega Punch (and possibly Mega Kick as well, if you so choose) before you reach Cerulean. You also might as well evolve it around this area unless you want a specific move. However, most of Clefairy’s moves aren’t going to be helpful anyway, bar Cosmic Power and Moonlight, both of which come rather late. Clefable’s Attack isn’t anything incredible in the long run, but it’s pretty respectable at this point in the game. Its Mega Punch is a 3HKO on Pidgeotto (whereas Mega Kick is a 2HKO). Beware of Sand Attack though since your main STAB move is already inaccurate. At least Pidgeotto’s Gust and Quick Attack are jokes. Rattata’s Hyper Fang is a possible 4HKO, but Clefable 2HKOs in return with Mega Punch (or OHKOs with Mega Kick). This can be difficult if Pidgeotto used Sand Attack on Clefable though. Clefable can handle Abra with even more ease; it can only use Teleport. Charmander is 2HKOed with either Mega Punch or Kick. The same moves will 3HKO or 2HKO Squirtle, respectively. The same goes for Bulbasaur. Clefable is likely going to take quite a bit of chip damage in this battle, so it may not be able to solo your Rival’s team unless you bring healing items. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 17; Encore, Sing, Mega Punch, Mega Kick.

Clefable versus Misty in Cerulean City Gym: Clefable is best in this gym only if you lack a Grass- or Electric-type, and an unevolved Clefairy won’t do you much good. Clefable can OHKO Staryu with Mega Kick or 2HKO with Mega Punch while taking little from Water Pulse. Clefairy takes a little more damage from Water Pulse, but it can also 2HKO Staryu. Note that the Star Shape Pokémon has Harden to make your life difficult. When Starmie comes out, that’s when Clefairy will fold. Starmie will 3HKO an unevolved Clefairy with Water Pulse while Clefairy is slower and can only 3HKO in return with the inaccurate Mega Kick. On the other hand, either Mega Punch or Mega Kick from Clefable will 3HKO or 2HKO, respectively, and Clefable can tank more attacks. You may still need healing items though; Starmie’s Water Pulse is a 4HKO. If you lack healing items, be sure to have a solid back-up plan in place. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 21; Encore, Sing, Mega Punch, Mega Kick.

Clefable versus Rival on S.S. Anne: You’ll still want an evolved Clefable here, who makes short work of every member of your Rival’s team with Mega Punch and/or Kick. Clefairy has a much more dicey match-up since it takes quite a bit more damage than Clefable will and lacks the same power. Raticate in particular becomes more of a threat to an unevolved Fairy Pokémon. Case in point, Raticate’s Hyper Fang is a 3HKO on Clefairy and a 5HKO on Clefable. Also, the former cannot OHKO Raticate with anything and may miss the 2HKO with Mega Punch, as opposed to Clefable’s ability to possibly OHKO with Mega Kick and it will also never miss the 2HKO with Mega Punch. Clefable will also down Pidgeotto will two hits (watch out for Sand Attack though), OHKO Kadabra, and 2-3HKO your Rival’s starter. Clefable is just as slow as last time though, so you may need a back-up plan or healing items. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 21; Sing, Mega Punch, Mega Kick, Water Pulse/Encore.

Clefable versus Lt. Surge: Whether you have Clefable or Clefairy, it’s generally a good idea to use a Ground-type here. Barring that, both can put in some work, but Clefairy cannot stand up to Raichu. Either Fairy Pokémon will 2HKO Voltorb with Dig or Mega Punch/Kick. Clefable has a chance to OHKO with Mega Kick as well. A Dig or Mega Punch from Clefable will OHKO Pikachu; it’s not even that close. Clefairy comes pretty close to OHKOing, but it has its best chance with Mega Kick. However, Raichu’s Shock Wave and Double Team combination will likely prove to be too much for Clefairy to face. Clefable honestly doesn’t fare much better, but it can come close to 2HKOing with Dig or Mega Punch. Mega Kick is a certain 2HKO. However, keep in mind that Raichu is faster and will spam Double Team, so you shouldn’t rely on either Clefairy or Clefable unless you’re forced to. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 24; Mega Punch, Mega Kick, Water Pulse/Encore, Sing/Dig.

Clefable versus Rival in Pokémon Tower: Do yourself an enormous favor and grab at least Thunderbolt and Ice Beam from Celadon City before you fight your Rival. You may want to consider grabbing Flamethrower too, but it may not be worth the effort as it only allows you to hit the rare Magneton at least neutrally. Every other Pokémon in the game will be hit at least neutrally by BoltBeam coverage. One of these moves allows Clefable to OHKO or 2HKO Gyarados, Pidgeotto, Exeggcute, Wartortle, Ivysaur, Growlithe, and Kadabra (although Mega Punch can OHKO Kadabra anyway). As for Charmeleon, it is 2HKOed by Mega Punch. The most dangerous move Clefable will be up against is Gyarados’ Thrash, which is a 4HKO. You may need a healing item to heal off chip damage, but Clefable is capable of single-handedly decimating your Rival. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 25; Mega Punch, Mega Kick/Flamethrower/Water Pulse, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam.

Clefable versus Giovanni in the Celadon Game Corner: If Clefable has Water Pulse, it can decimate Giovanni’s Onix and Rhyhorn. However, both have such low Special Defense that Ice Beam is an OHKO anyway, so there is no need to teach Clefable Water Pulse if it doesn’t already have it. On the other hand, Clefable can’t do much to Kangaskhan, who is faster and can 3HKO with its own Mega Punch. Clefable can still be useful against it by softening it up for another team member, but that’s about it. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 28; Mega Punch, Mega Kick/Flamethrower/Water Pulse, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam.

Clefable versus Erika in Celadon City Gym: Clefable isn’t the obvious choice for this gym as it isn’t a Flying- or Fire-type, but you’ll notice that it has a habit of crushing foes when it doesn’t seem like it can do so. Clefable can 2HKO Erika’s lead, Victreebel, even if the latter Pokémon heals off some damage with Giga Drain. Victreebel is also the Pokémon that is most likely to be faster than the Fairy Pokémon, so if you can outspeed Victreebel, you’ll outspeed everything else, too. Ice Beam outright OHKOs Tangela, on to Vileplume. Clefable’s Ice Beam is likely a 2HKO unless Vileplume uses Giga Drain, in which case it is a 3HKO. The only thing Clefable needs to worry about here is status effects and possibly critical hits, so bring healing items (specifically Full Heals, Awakenings, Paralyz Heal, and/or Antidotes) or a back-up plan. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 29; Mega Punch, Mega Kick/Flamethrower/Water Pulse, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam.

Clefable versus Koga in Fuchsia City Gym: Clefable can sweep this gym with Psychic, so get it from Saffron City before challenging this gym. If you used Psychic on a different Pokémon, have that one sweep. If you are in the unfortunate scenario of having used the Psychic TM on a Pokémon that is now dead, Clefable can still put in some work, but it won’t be sweeping unless you bring healing items and quite a bit of luck. Clefable almost certainly won’t be OHKOing either of Koga’s Koffing with Thunderbolt or Ice Beam, so there is the threat of Selfdestruct. Clefable can tank a Selfdestruct, but not if it lands critically. This isn’t a threat if Clefable has Psychic, in which case it OHKOs Koffing every time. Muk is bulky and annoying; Clefable won’t be doing much damage without Psychic. Even the super-effective Psychic is just a 3HKO. Clefable should be able to pull through, just note that Muk’s Sludge is a 3-4HKO. It is also packing Toxic and, of course, Minimize. The Fairy Pokémon can 2HKO Weezing with Psychic whereas Ice Beam/Thunderbolt is a mere 4HKO. Weezing’s Sludge is a little stronger than that of Muk’s, too. On the other hand, it lacks Selfdestruct or Explosion, so that is, thankfully, not a threat. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 38; Mega Punch, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic.

Clefable versus the Fighting Dojo in Saffron City: Using Clefable here is a textbook bad idea. Sure, it can use Psychic, but it’s slow and weak to Fighting-type attacks. Not to mention the fact that both Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan have high Special Defense stats. Give the Fairy Pokémon a break and leave it on the bench. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 38; Mega Punch, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic.

Clefable versus Rival in Silph Co.: Pidgeot’s Wing Attack isn’t too threatening (a possible 5HKO) and Clefable can 2HKO with Ice Beam or Thunderbolt. Gyarados will fall to a Thunderbolt or two and it’s most threatening move is Dragon Rage. Exeggcute will be OHKOed by an Ice Beam. As for Growlithe, it is 2HKOed by the Fairy Pokémon’s Thunderbolt. Mega Punch does more damage, but it’s still a 2HKO and relies on you somehow avoiding or nullifying Intimidate. Not to mention its less-than-perfect accuracy. Alakazam’s best move is the pitiful Future Sight, which is rather weak in this generation and doesn’t even get STAB. Clefable can 2HKO with Mega Punch, so it can defeat the Psi Pokémon with relative ease. Charizard’s Flamethrower is a 3HKO on Clefable, so use a more appropriate counter if the Fairy Pokémon is weak from fighting the rest of your Rival’s team. A healthy Clefable can 2HKO with Thunderbolt, but watch out for an untimely critical hit. Blastoise’s moveset consists of Water Gun, Bite, Protect, and Bubble. Clefable will have no trouble defeating it. The Fairy Pokémon can likely 2HKO Venusaur with Ice Beam, but watch out for Razor Leaf. It’s only a 5HKO, but it has a high critical hit ratio. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 40; Mega Punch, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic.

Clefable versus Giovanni in Silph Co.: Giovanni leads with Nidorino, which falls easily to Psychic. Similarly, his Rhyhorn can be OHKOed by Ice Beam. Fighting Kangaskhan is still a bit of a risk, but Clefable can pull through if you’re wary of critical hits and have healing items. A more appropriate counter would be preferable, though. Nidoqueen’s Double Kick is pretty scary, so use another Pokémon here if you can. Clefable can 2HKO with Ice Beam, but it’s a dangerous endeavor. If you have something better for Kangaskhan and Nidoqueen, use that. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 40; Mega Punch, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic.

Clefable versus Sabrina in Saffron City Gym: Clefable isn’t well suited to fighting in this battle, but it can put in some work if need be. It can probably OHKO Sabrina’s Kadabra with Strength, which you should teach to your Clefable for now as it is just as strong as Mega Punch and more accurate. Kadabra does have Reflect, but that only reduces Strength to a 2HKO. Clefable’s Strength will 2HKO Mr. Mime only if Reflect is not up and Mr. Mime fails to use Barrier, which is an unlikely scenario. This is compounded by the fact that Mr. Mime is not a Pokémon you want to mess around with; it can Baton Pass Calm Mind boosts to Alakazam. As such, you’ll probably want something that can hit Mr. Mime hard, which Clefable likely cannot accomplish. Venomoth, on the other hand, isn’t much of a threat, especially if you have Psychic. Sabrina’s ace, Alakazam, is likely 2HKOed by Strength if Reflect is not up. However, Alakazam’s Psychic will do just as much damage in return, and Alakazam is much faster. Clefable can’t handle it by itself. You’ll need a better plan in place to deal with most of Sabrina’s team. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 41; Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic, Strength.

Clefable versus Blaine in Cinnabar Island Gym: Clefable doesn’t have any distinct advantages in this battle, but it does have access to Calm Mind now. It can set up pretty easily on Ponyta if you have healing items; otherwise, it’s best to leave Clefable on the bench. Growlithe is not set up bait as it has Roar. It’s not too tough though, so Clefable or another Pokémon should be able to handle it. Ponyta’s best move, Fire Blast, is just a 5HKO. It may also give Clefable a free set up turn when it uses Bounce. It may be annoying with Stomp if it’s faster though, which is why you’ll want healing items. You’ll want to boost three times to 2HKO Arcanine, at which point Clefable will OHKO Ponyta and 2HKO Rapidash. The Special Defense boosts allow Clefable to tank Fire Blasts more effectively, but be wary of critical hits. Fire Blast from Rapidash is a natural 4HKO while that of Arcanine’s is a natural 3HKO. However, a more appropriate counter, such as a Water-type, would be preferable here as Clefable’s lack of an advantage means that using a strong counter (perhaps the very Pokémon that carried you to Cinnabar Island) will save time and possibly lives. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 46; Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic, Calm Mind.

Clefable versus Giovanni in Viridian City Gym: Clefable certainly isn’t the best choice for this battle, but it can put in a lot of work nonetheless. Unlike the battle against Blaine, there isn’t much room for Clefable to get boosts as all of the Pokémon here hit hard with physical attacks. It can demolish both of Giovanni’s Rhyhorn with Ice Beam. Dugtrio will fall just as easily, but its Earthquake will take about a third of Clefable’s HP without a critical hit. Nidoqueen will fall to a pair of Ice Beams, but it will do more damage with Earthquake than Dugtrio. Nidoking hits even harder and is still only 2HKOed by Ice Beam. Both have Double Kick, but Earthquake hits harder anyway. It’s best to use Clefable to take out Rhyhorn and Dugtrio (if you use it at all), then switch out when Nidoqueen or Nidoking comes out. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 47; Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic, Calm Mind.

Clefable versus Rival in Route 22: Your Rival leads with Pidgeot, who isn’t too threatening as its Wing Attack is just a 5HKO. You could get some Calm Mind boosts here if you so choose. Without any boosts, Clefable’s Thunderbolt or Ice Beam will 2HKO Pidgeot. Rhyhorn is even worse as set up bait; it has Horn Drill and its Rock Blast can do a lot of damage if it gets some lucky rolls. It is OHKOed by Ice Beam, so go that route. Exeggcute is pretty passive, but its powder moves can be annoying to a Clefable trying to set up. It is also OHKOed by Ice Beam. Gyarados and Growlithe are the best to set up on. Gyarados is guaranteed to be fried by a Thunderbolt after one boost, and it can only hurt Clefable with Hydro Pump, which is a possible 4HKO. The move will continue to lose firepower as Clefable sets up, but watch out for critical hits. Growlithe won’t hit as hard as Gyarados, but it does have a physical move. Despite that, Growlithe is still the best Pokémon to set up on. Alakazam can set up alongside Clefable and has a powerful Psychic; don’t mess around with it unless you still have a physical move. As for your Rival’s starter, Blastoise is particularly easy. It relies on its weak specially-based attacks, so a few Thunderbolts will do it in. Clefable must be at +1, at least, to 2HKO Venusaur with Ice Beam. (A Clefable at +4 can OHKO.) Note that Venusaur’s Razor Leaf will take about 50% of Clefable’s maximum HP if it lands critically, and it has a greater chance to do so than other moves. Similarly, Charizard is 2HKOed by Thunderbolt after Clefable is at +1. (Clefable’s Thunderbolt can OHKO from +3 or higher.) Its Slash does about as much damage as Venusaur’s Razor Leaf when it lands critically (it, like Razor Leaf, has a high critical hit ratio), and is physical. Therefore, your Calm Mind Special Defense boosts aren’t helpful here. Clefable is still rather slow, so you may need a back-up plan or healing items for chip damage. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 48; Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic, Calm Mind.

Clefable versus the Elite 4: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 58; Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic, Calm Mind. (Note that you’ll want to give Clefable the Leftovers if possible, which can be found using the Item Finder. It can be found directly under Snorlax after it’s defeated. Also, make sure you have enough Ethers and Elixirs; Clefable’s biggest threat in the Elite 4 is running out of PP.)

Clefable versus Lorelei: Set up to +4 on Dewgong, at which point everything is annihilated by a single Thunderbolt bar Jynx. Dewgong will hit pretty hard with a critical hit, which takes out half of Clefable’s HP. Healing items may be required here, so only boost to +1 if you lack them. In the latter scenario, you may want to have another Pokémon deal with Jynx. Lorelei only has one Pokémon that isn’t part Water-type, the aforementioned Jynx. At +4, it may be OHKOed by Thunderbolt anyway. If you are running Flamethrower over Psychic, use that. Don’t worry if you don’t have it; again, Thunderbolt is powerful enough to propel you past Jynx without too much trouble.

Clefable versus Bruno: This is the only Elite 4 battle where Clefable should sit out. The Onix he leads with has Roar, so no opportunities to set up there. This might have been possible if you were able to set up on Bruno’s lead since some X Speeds and Calm Mind boosts make this battle manageable. However, all of Bruno’s Fighting-types can 2HKO Clefable, so a critical hit spells death no matter what. An Onix will fall to Ice Beam, but that’s all that the Fairy Pokémon should be contributing to this battle.

Clefable versus Agatha: Clefable is incredibly useful here if it has Psychic. Otherwise, this isn’t the best idea. Agatha’s first Gengar, which is also her lead, will spam Double Team right out of the gate. It can also Toxic stall and confuse its opponent. However, it cannot deal direct damage to Clefable. If you can heal poison, Gengar may be set up bait. If you cannot heal poison, then just use Psychic twice to KO. (You’ll have to hope you don’t miss, too.) After setting up, it will take a while to hit Gengar, which is why you’ll want to be able to heal poison. Clefable only needs to get to +2 to OHKO everything Agatha has with Psychic. Nothing Agatha has is particularly threatening; they’re mostly annoying. Do keep an eye on Clefable’s health though, and watch out for critical hits. Keep the Poké Flute handy as well; Clefable needs to wake up immediately if it falls asleep. Nightmares are scary.

Clefable versus Lance: Extensive use of Calm Mind may not be the best policy here; Hyper Beam hurts. You could use Calm Mind once then OHKO Gyarados with Thunderbolt since you’ll need a boost to OHKO anyway. Its Hyper Beam is a possible 2HKO, so it may OHKO with a critical hit, which is scary. If you have a faster Electric-type, use that first. Aerodactyl is scary if it gets a boost from Ancient Power, so be wary of that. Clefable will 2HKO if it has one or no boosts. At +2 or higher, Clefable can OHKO, but there’s not much room to boost unless Aerodactyl comes out after Dragonair, which is unlikely. Speaking of Dragonair, they won’t be doing much to a Clefable that is healthy. (A Clefable with its current HP below two-thirds is in danger of a critical hit Hyper Beam, though.) On the other hand, one of them has Thunder Wave. Fortunately, you’ll only have to get to +2 if Aerodactyl hasn’t come out yet or +1 if it has. At +1, all of the dragons will fall to an Ice Beam. Dragonite usually leads off with Safeguard, so you shouldn’t have to tank a hit. (Keep an eye on Clefable’s health anyway, though.)

Clefable versus the Champion: Your Rival, as always, leads with his bird. This time, Pidgeot is packing Whirlwind. Pidgeot is pretty weak and its AI is bad, so you may be able to get to +2 and OHKO without being whirled out. That’s recommended if you’re willing to risk it as there aren’t many good options for set up bait here. Clefable can 2HKO Alakazam at +2, and the Special Defense boosts allow the Fairy Pokémon to tank some Psychics. Healing items may be needed, especially since a critical hit Psychic can easily be deadly. You must be at +1 or higher to OHKO Rhydon. You must be at +2 or higher to OHKO Exeggutor, who also has Light Screen to deter any further boosting. Gyarados’ Thrash is a 3HKO, so be wary of that. It falls to a Calm Mind-boosted Thunderbolt. Arcanine is tough though; it has Roar and can only be 2HKOed from +3. Its Extreme Speed will also 4HKO. Your best bet is to spam Thunderbolt and hope that it doesn’t send you packing. Thunderbolt will 2HKO both Blastoise and Charizard, while Ice Beam will do the same to Venusaur. Tread lightly here, and keep a close eye on Clefable’s health.

Everything in Between

Caves and Mountains: The Fairy Pokémon should steer clear of Mt. Moon, where it won’t have a good STAB move to use. Rock Tunnel is also difficult as it is full of Geodude that Clefairy/Clefable can’t hurt yet. Once you get BoltBeam coverage, Clefable will do just fine in caves. Just be wary of exploding Geodude.

Vermilion City Area: Clefable only has to worry about Magnemite/Magneton and Dugtrio here. It will annihilate everything else with Mega Punch; it has great bulk for this point in the game. Clefairy still performs well, but you must be more careful with it.

Mid- to Late-Game: Clefable is great for Pokémon Tower if it has (at least) Ice Beam. Otherwise, it should stay away; it can’t hit Ghost-types with Mega Punch and Marowak is too tough. With Ice Beam, it can stand up to Marowak and Ghost-types alike. It can handle all of the water routes with Thunderbolt, bar none. It must avoid the Fighting-types of Cycling Road, but it can handle the Poison-types if it has Psychic. Watch out for exploding Koffing. Any bird trainers will fall easily to either Thunderbolt or Ice Beam. The Power Plant is risky with exploding Electrode running around, and Clefable has no super-effective moves for them. I wouldn’t recommend toying with the Fairy Pokémon’s life here. The Pokémon Mansion is traversable if a little risky. Again, the water routes are a joke.

Checks and Counters

Fighting-types: It’s pretty obvious that Fighting-types give the Fairy Pokémon some trouble. It’s the only type that can hit Clefable super-effectively. Bruno’s team and the Fighting Dojo come to mind. As such, you’ll want a Psychic- or Flying-type Pokémon that can deal with these threats. In return, Clefable can deal with a lot of the Pokémon that would give these Pokémon some trouble, such as Lorelei’s team.

Overall Grade: A

Clefable’s wide movepool and solid stats allow the Fairy Pokémon to be incredibly versatile. It’s only real problems are its rarity and relatively low speed. Its fantastic positive traits, combined with its low amount of negative ones, allow Clefable to perform very well throughout the Kanto region. Some highlights of its prowess can be seen in the Elite 4, where it can annihilate three of the members and a lot of the Champion’s team, too. All in all, Clefable is an incredible (and incredibly rare) Pokémon that will be a huge boon to just about any team regardless of the set you run.

Resources to Utilize

Clefable’s Learnset:https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/clefable/moves/3

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.