- Lowers the foe's Attack one stage. Decreases wild encounter rate.
- 1/3 chance to heal status every turn.
- Prevents the foe from consuming its held Berry item.
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
In a tier filled with Psychic- and Ground-type Pokemon, it is no wonder that Arbok has difficulty performing well. Arbok has subpar offensive stats, and it is rather frail, which means that just about any super effective attack—or even a strong neutral one—will OHKO it. However, it is a good setup sweeper thanks to its access to Coil, and while it isn't inherently bulky, it has a good defensive typing. Despite its Poison typing gives it weaknesses to two common offensive types, it also gives Arbok important resistances to Fighting-, Grass-, and Bug-type attacks, allowing it to set up on the likes of Scolipede, Roselia, Primeape, and more. Arbok also has two great abilities, Intimidate and Shed Skin, with the former allowing it to set up in against many physical attackers, and the latter letting it set up without any fear of status. On top of this, in a hazard-infested metagame, Pokemon that can absorb Toxic Spikes often have an easier time fitting onto teams. Overall, Arbok is a worthy candidate for a team, but it requires some support in order to succeed.
With access to Coil, a move that boosts Attack, Defense, and accuracy, as well as a high-powered STAB move, Arbok can become very threatening after a single boost. Arbok utilizes its good defensive typing and Coil to set up against a variety of offensive and defensive Pokemon, boosting its Attack while simultaneously making it harder to revenge kill. Gunk Shot is the main STAB move, and it works very well in conjunction with Coil, which brings its shaky 70% accuracy up to 91% after just one boost. Sucker Punch gives Arbok a way of defeating the faster Pokemon that try to revenge kill it. In the last slot, Earthquake can be used for coverage against Steel- and Rock-types, but Seed Bomb can be used instead in order to hit Ground-type Pokemon for super effective damage without losing coverage against Rock-types.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Arbok can use a bulkier spread with Coil in order to set up on powerful attackers more easily. However, it requires both the Attack and Speed to sweep, which such a spread would lose out on. Arbok has a few other moves it can utilize. Out of these, Thunder Fang, Ice Fang, and Fire Fang seem like good options, but they do not provide much coverage and have very low Base Power. Rock Slide is in the same boat, as it has low Base Power and offers redundant coverage. Arbok also gains access to moves such as Rain Dance, Sunny Day, Dragon Tail, and Glare, but it is typically better off attacking. Pursuit might seem like a decent idea; however, as a Poison-type Pokemon, Arbok cannot really force Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokemon to switch out—Psychic-types can just stay in and knock it out. Disable is another option, but a lack of immunities to efficiently take advantage of it makes it a poor choice. Arbok can use a Choice Band set with Switcheroo to hit hard right off the bat, but while Poison STAB offers decent neutral coverage, it isn't very good to lock into, and Gunk Shot's poor accuracy means that a miss can lead to Arbok's demise. Similarly, it can also use Choice Scarf, but its base Speed is lackluster for a Choice Scarf user, and it is very weak without a boost.
Checks and Counters
While Arbok is powerful when it has set up, it is relatively frail and will not be able to set up easily, so offensive pressure is the single best way to deal with Arbok. However, this is not to say that counters do not exist. Bulky variants of Musharna can easily OHKO Arbok with Psychic, while Arbok cannot 2HKO it back even after a Coil boost. Ground-type Pokemon such as Golurk and Piloswine can easily stomach even boosted hits and OHKO Arbok. Seismitoad must watch out for Seed Bomb, but bulkier variants can even live a +1 Seed Bomb, making it a decent check, while variants without Seed Bomb are walled and forces out. Steel-type Pokemon such as Bastiodon, Probopass, and Metang can easily deal with variants lacking Earthquake, and Bastiodon can even phaze Arbok out as well. Klang gets a special mention, as it can set up alongside Arbok and eventually KO it, and Clear Body means that Intimidate can't lower its Attack. Misdreavus and Frillish also wall Intimidate variants and can cripple it with Will-O-Wisp, but Shed Skin variants can actually set up on them. Mandibuzz can check Arbok as well; although it is 2HKOed by a +1 Gunk Shot after Stealth Rock, it can phaze Arbok out with Whirlwind or attack it with a STAB Foul Play. Encore users, such as Primeape and Liepard, can come in on Arbok while it sets up and lock it into Coil, forcing it to switch out. Finally, revenge killing Arbok is a good way to deal with it. Sawsbuck is one of the better revenge killers to defeat Arbok, as it can dodge Sucker Punch with Nature Power and deal massive damage to it. Other faster Pokemon, such as Jynx and Haunter, can set up a Substitute against Arbok in hopes of dodging a Sucker Punch and take it out.