Zangoose

Immunity
The wielder cannot be poisoned.
Toxic Boost
Attack is increased by 50% when poisoned.
Type Tier
Normal NU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
73
- 23 27 -
Atk
115
16 18 21 23
Def
60
10 12 15 16
SpA
60
10 12 15 16
SpD
60
10 12 15 16
Spe
90
13 15 18 19

Overview

Zangoose is a fearsome wallbreaker thanks to its perfect coverage and its ability, Toxic Boost. It has access to Swords Dance, and it's known for being able to nearly OHKO the entire tier after one turn of setup. Priority is also a highlighted trait on Zangoose; its Quick Attack can OHKO Jynx after Stealth Rock and can nearly KO -1 Primeape. Unfortunately, Zangoose is quite frail, and it does not like to take even neutral hits, so it can be difficult to set up Swords Dance and activate Toxic Orb unscathed. Zangoose is hindered not only by Toxic Orb putting it on a timer, but also by the prevalence of priority in the tier, such as from Kangaskhan, Carracosta, Gurdurr, and Skuntank. It also faces competition from fellow status Orb sweepers, specifically Swellow and Ursaring; the former is faster but has poorer coverage, and the latter can be faster or stronger than Zangoose with its abilities, but Zangoose possesses a mixture of both.

Name Item Ability Nature

All-Out Attacker

Toxic Orb Toxic Boost Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Facade
~ Close Combat
~ Night Slash
~ Quick Attack
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

This set acts as a wallbreaker, as it's able to break down NU's most sturdiest walls. Facade becomes a powerful move after Toxic Orb is activated, reaching a Base Power of 210 when STAB is factored in. Close Combat grants additional coverage on Rock- and Steel-types that resist Facade, such as Golem, Regirock, and Probopass. Night Slash completes Zangoose's coverage, as it is able to hit Ghost-types, specifically Golurk and Misdreavus, which would otherwise be able to switch freely into any other move Zangoose has. Finally, Zangoose has access to Quick Attack, which allows it to defeat weakened, faster opponents, such as Jynx and Primeape.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Swords Dance

Toxic Orb Toxic Boost Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Facade
~ Close Combat
~ Quick Attack / Night Slash
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

This set, if used properly, can nearly OHKO the entire tier after a boost. Factoring in Swords Dance, Zangoose hits 658 Attack with a Jolly nature. A +2 Toxic-boosted Facade will OHKO Alomomola and can possibly OHKO Tangela. However, due to its frailty, Zangoose struggles to set up Swords Dance; in the long run, it might not even be worth the hassle to set it up. Close Combat will demolish Rock- and Steel-types, such as Bastiodon, Carracosta, and Gigalith. The fourth move depends on what Pokemon Zangoose wants to defeat. Quick Attack allows Zangoose to bypass faster Pokemon that try to revenge kill it, but it is then walled by Ghost-types. Night Slash permits Zangoose to hit Ghost-types, but it is then checked by faster Pokemon such as Primeape, Jynx, and Scolipede.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Zangoose has a few other options, but it should generally be running its standard moveset. Pursuit allows Zangoose to trap fleeing Ghost- and Psychic-types, although it's ideally better to just run Night Slash. Zangoose has access to all of the elemental punches, but they don't add additional coverage. The only notable one is Ice Punch, which allows it to OHKO Torterra. Zangoose has access to a wonderful specially offensive movepool with powerful moves such as Fire Blast, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt, but they're unusable because of Zangoose's low base 60 Special Attack. Final Gambit with max HP will generally allow Zangoose to take down one Pokemon, but that wastes its potential. Taunt is interesting, as it'll stop walls such as Alomomola and Musharna from recovering health. Finally, other items, such as Choice Band, Life Orb, Choice Scarf, and Silk Scarf, can replace Toxic Orb if you can predict a Toxic, but it is an unwise decision; predicting a Toxic that Zangoose can switch into is very difficult and unlikely, making it not worth the risk to run another item.

Checks and Counters

Very few Pokemon can outright counter Zangoose. With that being said, Metang is a perfect counter, as it isn't weak to Close Combat and can take down Zangoose with Meteor Mash. Any relatively bulky Pokemon, such as Gurdurr, Golurk, and Piloswine, can take an unboosted hit and strike back with their STAB moves. Furthermore, faster Pokemon that can take a Quick Attack can check Zangoose; Tauros, Scolipede, and Haunter are good examples. Priority users such as Carracosta, Kangaskhan, Swellow, and Golem can take down a weakened Zangoose. Walls such as Tangela and Alomomola can take on Zangoose one-on-one, with the former being able to take any of Zangoose's hits while striking back with Giga Drain, and the latter is able to Toxic stall Zangoose; however, they must be wary of a Swords Dance-boosted attack. Before Zangoose activates its Toxic Orb, many Pokemon can easily tank a hit and KO it, as Zangoose lacks the power from Toxic Boost as well as a double-powered Facade.