If one were to take only a single look at Swoobat, words such as "unimpressive" and "outclassed" might pop into mind. And indeed, Swoobat does not seem spectacular, as it appears to be just one of many Psychic-types in NU. Even its name and design scream "harmless." Indeed, as far as stats go, Swoobat isn't particularly blessed; while its spectacular base 114 Speed is certainly eye-catching, its second highest stat is a mediocre base 77 Special Attack. So why use it when there are Pokemon such as Gardevoir and Musharna with better bulk and attacking stats? Well, the answer is Simple.
Word play aside, Swoobat was gifted with the ability Simple, which when combined with Calm Mind, allows Swoobat to achieve +2 in both Special Attack and Special Defense with a single boost, elevating its mediocre special stats to threatening levels. The good news doesn't end there, as Swoobat also has access to Stored Power, which after a Simple Calm Mind changes from a measly 20 Base Power to 100 Base Power, with two Calm Minds making it as powerful as V-create. This, in combination with the STAB bonus and Swoobat's boosted Special Attack, makes it a truly threatening Pokemon. Swoobat is also immune to both Spikes and Toxic Spikes, and has a 4x resistance to the common Fighting-type moves of the tier, allowing it to become a truly devastating sweeper.
However, not all is well for our flying friend. Swoobat has horrendous bulk, which can make it difficult for it to find time to set up a Calm Mind. Swoobat is also weak to Stealth Rock that limits its switching severely. Finally, its Psychic typing leaves Swoobat vulnerable to the likes of Skuntank and Cacturne, as both have the ability to cut its sweep short with a STAB, super effective Sucker Punch, or to simply Pursuit trap it in Skuntank's case. Despite its flaws, however, if properly supported, Swoobat can sweep through many unprepared teams.
What was once considered a mediocre and outclassed sweeper in NU has ascended to the ranks of a potential top tier threat. Simple allows Swoobat to be granted a Nasty Plot and an Amnesia all in one Calm Mind boost. Thanks to Swoobat's typing, it can come in on many Choice-locked Psychic-types, outspeed them, and set up a Calm Mind while taking little damage. Psychic is the main STAB choice for Swoobat, although its Base Power is not affected by the amount of boosts Swoobat achieves, it hits hard right off the bat, something Stored Power cannot achieve. However, Stored Power does have its merits, because if Swoobat manages to accumulate two Calm Minds it can OHKO the majority of the tier with Stored Power alone. Hidden Power Ground hits the most common Steel-types in the tier, such as Probopass and Bastiodon, for super effective damage, while also scoring a super effective hit on its nemesis Skuntank. The final moveslot for the set is a tricky choice. Substitute is the primary slash as it lets Swoobat bypass Sucker Punch and score a free attack, while also letting it score a free boost on a predicted switch. This also means Swoobat can prevent Imposter Ditto from coming in and stealing its boosts. If this is the case, then Leftovers is the preferred item, as Substitute and Life Orb recoil means Swoobat will fall before it can do much damage. However, Air Slash functions as a secondary STAB option that can be used with Life Orb, and can be used to hit bulky Grass-types like Tangela.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Swoobat is best suited as a sweeper, it has a fantastic support movepool at its disposal. However, it lacks any sort of bulk to take advantage of it. Swoobat also has a large special movepool consisting of moves such as Shadow Ball, Giga Drain, Heat Wave, and Signal Beam; however, these moves are generally outclassed as they do not hit anything specific. Charge Beam is an interesting option, as with Simple Swoobat can achieve +2 if it gains the Special Attack boost; however, the boost is not guaranteed unlike Calm Mind. Swoobat can use its ability Klutz in conjunction with Trick to pass off harmful items such as Sticky Barb and Iron Ball, although Simple is the main reason Swoobat should be used. Swoobat is the fastest dual screen user in the tier, and can use its Speed to support the team. However, its bulk means it will usually only get up one screen. Finally, a bulkier version of the Calm Mind set can be utilized, consisting of Substitute / Calm Mind / Stored Power / Roost, although it fails to hit hard off the bat if need be, and Swoobat appreciates the coverage provided by Hidden Power Ground.
Checks and Counters
Countering Swoobat can be difficult, as once it has a few boosts it can rip entire teams to shreds, especially if it has a Substitute up. Generally, anything that can outspeed Swoobat can exploit its lackluster bulk and KO it. Sawk is a good choice, as it can come in on Swoobat not protected by a Substitute and KO it with either Stone Edge or Ice Punch. Bastiodon can come in and phaze with Roar if Sturdy is intact, although Hidden Power Ground will knock it down to 1 HP after a boost. Finally, for variants that run Air Slash instead of Substitute, Skuntank or Cacturne can easily come in and cut its sweep short with a Sucker Punch or simply Pursuit trap it in Skuntank's case.
A good rule of thumb is that anything that can outspeed Swoobat can usually check it. Both Rotom-S and Rotom-F can hit Swoobat with a STAB, super effective Thunderbolt (or a STAB, super effective, yet shaky Blizzard in the case of the latter), although both must be cautious if Swoobat has acquired a few Calm Mind boosts. Golem is another check thanks to Sturdy, as it can take a hit and KO with either Rock Blast or Sucker Punch if Swoobat is not behind a Substitute. If without a Substitute, Choice Scarf Imposter Ditto can come in on Swoobat, steal its boosts, and KO, if it has been weakened. Cacturne is another solid check, as it can take the attacks of all Swoobat that lack Air Slash, as it is immune to its Psychic STAB and resists Hidden Power Ground. It can then proceed to kill Swoobat with Sucker Punch or set up a Swords Dance on the switch. Finally, Timid Life Orb Gardevoir can take one Air Slash at +2 and potentially KO Swoobat with Thunderbolt after Stealth Rock damage.