Breloom's ability roster is the gift that keeps on giving. In Generation 3, it was saddled with poor defenses, a near-worthless ability, and a branding as a bit of a one-trick pony. Granted, it was a neat trick, but it just didn't cut it. Generation 4 gave it Poison Heal, which is everything that it could have ever wanted—status absorption, healing for Substitutes, and a ridiculous amount of healing on Leech Seed sets. However, Generation 5 really turned it up a notch, granting it two boons: a buffed 25 Base Power Bullet Seed, and Technician, which not only gives it a priority attack rivaling Scizor's devastating Bullet Punch, but also a powerful Low Sweep and Bullet Seed.
As a result, Breloom is one of the gold standards of power in Generation 5. With Technician, Breloom basically 2HKOs the metagame with Choice Band or Life Orb. Technician Bullet Seed has the potential to be the strongest attack in the metagame, a 187.5 Base Power attack coming off of 394 Attack. Compounding that is Technician Low Sweep, which gives Breloom a free second attack against many faster opponents switching in. Combine this with Swords Dance, and cap it with Spore and BW's sleep mechanics, and Breloom is a serious force to be reckoned with. And for those with a touch of nostalgia, it's still as threatening as ever with its vicious Poison Heal sets, which can be incredibly tough to crack.
Despite these advances, very little had happened to offset Breloom's significant weaknesses. 70 base Speed is a serious problem for it, as there are a number of significant Fighting resistances that outspeed it. Combine that with barely passable defenses, and Breloom can be a bit tough to keep alive. When used well, it's a devastating force. If used carelessly, it can be nearly useless.
When you talk about terrifying physical attackers in OU, this set is one of the first that leaps to mind. The raw power of an item-boosted Low Sweep is seriously intimidating, doubly so when you consider that Low Sweep rules out a long list of would-be counters by virtue of its Speed-reducing property. Would-be checks such as Latios, Starmie, Tornadus, and others quickly find themselves unable to do their job when crippled by Low Sweep. Mach Punch gives Breloom a burst of immediate power against speedy threats such as Terrakion and Hydreigon, and Bullet Seed gives it the potential of unparalleled power with an attack capable of reaching 187.5 Base Power. Spore caps the set off, as any Pokemon capable of sponging these attacks still has to contend with the threat of sleep, rendering it helpless against Breloom's assaults. On the flip side, if Choice-locked Spore isn't your cup of tea, Stone Edge gives Breloom a way to threaten Dragonite immediately on the switch and also provides excellent neutral coverage alongside its STABs.
This set comes in two flavors: Life Orb and Choice Band. While Choice Band has the edge in raw power, Life Orb makes up for it with versatility. Life Orb can 2HKO troublesome Pokemon such as Starmie with Low Sweep into Bullet Seed, but Choice Band can simply 2HKO Pokemon such as Latios as they switch in without a second thought. In general, Choice Band rewards prediction more, while Life Orb is a bit easier to use and is more equipped to handle unforeseen circumstances.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set provides utterly unparalleled power after a single turn of setup, setup which is easily secured via Spore. After a Swords Dance, Breloom is sitting on 788 Attack. Combine that with a Technician Mach Punch, or an utterly terrifying 5-hit Bullet Seed, and there's very little that Breloom can't break through. Spore makes it easy to set up a Swords Dance, and once it's set up, this set is pretty hard to stop.
Despite being a setup sweeper, Breloom still packs one hell of a punch unboosted. Even if it's hard to get a Swords Dance or Spore in, it still provides the power of a Life Orb Mach Punch, which can mean the difference between life and death when you're staring down the likes of a fully set up Terrakion. Likewise, a Bullet Seed can take down nearly anything if it gets enough hits, and if the opponent is expecting a Swords Dance after a Spore, they can be in for a rude awakening with a little prediction.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Breloom is mostly seen as an offensive force, it can function very well in a defensive role. When invested in its bulk, Breloom is a very effective switch-in to the ever-common Water-type attacks that run rampant in the metagame. Its ability to deal with Rotom-W and Scald is priceless; typical physical Pokemon have to worry about being burnt, but since Breloom is already poisoned via Toxic Orb, it can't be crippled.
The trick to this Breloom's success is its longevity. Between Leech Seed, Poison Heal, Protect, and Drain Punch, it is consistently gaining health. While it is staying alive, it is also draining its opponent's health with Leech Seed, stacking up damage quickly with hazard support. Furthermore, with Breloom's signature move, Spore, it can incapacitate an opposing Pokemon.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While not Breloom's most effective set, Choice Scarf Breloom can be quite the potent threat. Boasting the second fastest sleep in OU—behind only Chlorophyll Venusaur's Sleep Powder in sun—as well as an incredibly powerful Bullet Seed, Breloom can shut down a number of threats that can otherwise be troublesome to deal with. It can also spread paralysis with Force Palm or surprise some especially quick foes with Choice Scarf Low Sweep, including Choice Scarf variants of fast Pokemon such as Latios. Finally, Stone Edge caps off its coverage and makes it an effective Pokemon for dealing with and eliminating Tornadus and Dragonite.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set is all power. A max Attack Adamant Focus Punch from Breloom is one of the most vicious attacks in the game, capable of OHKOing most anything that doesn't resist it and even 2HKOing many Pokemon that do. While this set sacrifices durability somewhat, the increased offensive power and additional coverage makes it much more threatening offensively.
Spore is here as sleep allows Breloom to set up for free while also incapacitating whatever the opponent switches in. Substitute gives Breloom the buffer that it needs to fire off its powerful STAB Focus Punch and works well with Poison Heal to heal off the damage. Focus Punch turns Breloom's targets into a fine red mist and is a huge part of why this set is so threatening behind a Substitute. The last move is used to provide coverage and give Breloom a way to attack without a Substitute up. Seed Bomb is secondary STAB and also allows Breloom to do incredible amounts of damage to threatening opponents such as Gastrodon, Hippowdon, and Sableye. It also hits Jellicent, which is immune to Focus Punch. Stone Edge is effective for taking down Dragonite, Salamence, and physically defensive Volcarona. Facade is the most powerful of the three options after the boost from poison and does solid damage to Gliscor, Landorus-T, Celebi, and Latias, but it leaves Breloom entirely helpless against Ghost-types.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Breloom does pack a bit of a move kiddy-pool, it's still got a couple of useful options. Even with Technician, Superpower is the strongest general use Fighting-type move that Breloom has. However, it can also be a bit of a liability, as it weakens Breloom and renders it more susceptible to revenge killing, as well as forcing it to switch more often. Wake-Up Slap is a cute gimmick, especially with Technician. It's still got 90 Base Power, but when used against a sleeping opponent it gets bumped up to 120. This makes it gimmicky but semi-effective to finish off sleeping opponents quickly, though it's almost always outclassed by both Low Sweep and Force Palm, which provide far more immediate utility. Rock Tomb is potentially usable, but its low 75 Base Power after Technician makes it a questionable choice for any serious set. Finally, there's double powder. While paralysis is incredibly crippling, and Spore does tend to force switches, it's better to leave the powdering to Amoonguss, which is far more cut out for it. Breloom doesn't need to double powder—once it Spores something, it can move on to killing off bigger and better things.
Checks and Counters
Technician and Poison Heal Breloom have largely different counters, but there are some notable common ones. Celebi is the ultimate counter—not only does it outspeed Breloom, but it also resists both of its STABs, has Natural Cure to heal off Spore, commonly carries Psychic or Hidden Power Ice to dispatch Breloom, and is essentially impossible for Breloom to break down. Along the same lines, Amoonguss is extremely bulky, resists both of Breloom's STABs, and can simply switch out to heal off all of the damage it takes. On top of that, its super effective Poison STAB easily eliminates Breloom. Latias is faster, can hit Breloom hard with Dragon Pulse and Draco Meteor, and resists both its STABs. However, Latias's a bit riskier, as Life Orb variants of Breloom can use Low Sweep to slow it down for Spore and Choice Band variants have a chance to simply 2HKO it with Low Sweep after Stealth Rock. Finally, Gengar is a terror to all Breloom sets, resisting Bullet Seed and being immune to Mach Punch, Low Sweep, and Focus Punch. However, it has to be careful, as not only will Spore ruin its day but its defenses are fairly low and enough hits from Bullet Seed can put it down for good.
On to the Technician-specific counters. Volcarona is one of the most notable ones, as not only does it resist Mach Punch and Low Sweep, but it also has a double resistance to Bullet Seed, and can passively burn Breloom with Flame Body. However, Volcarona needs to be especially careful of Spore or Stone Edge after a Low Sweep or on the switch, so it's not foolproof. Mamoswine is faster than Breloom (guaranteed with Jolly) and can outspeed its Mach Punch with a super effective STAB Ice Shard. However, Adamant varieties can be outsped by Jolly Breloom, so when relying on Mamoswine to deal with Breloom, Jolly is a necessity. Finally, Skarmory is a semi-unreliable counter. It can deal with Swords Dance variants if need be due to its high Defense, but it can't switch into Low Sweep from the attacking set.
Poison Heal sets rely almost exclusively on Substitute, and as a result, multi-hit moves can be troublesome. Mamoswine tops this list, as its Icicle Spear can chew through Substitute and cancel Focus Punch for the defensive variant, while it has a chance to outright KO offensive variants. However, if it fails to OHKO, it is in danger of either Spore or Seed Bomb from the offensive version. Gliscor is extremely troublesome, as Poison Heal variants are immune to Spore and take a pittance from Focus Punch and neutral Seed Bomb. Finally, Tentacruel is trouble for the defensive set due to Liquid Ooze. While it can't exactly take Focus Punches all day, it can whittle away at Breloom with its own Leech Seed or Rapid Spin it off, and its resistance to Focus Punch does give it much more of a fighting chance.