Abomasnow is the cornerstone of hail teams, as it's the only fully evolved Pokemon with access to Snow Warning, an ability that induces permanent hail, which most notably makes Blizzard's accuracy 100%. Abomasnow might seem like a gimmick at first due to its poor defensive typing and stats, but it has the potential to single-handedly beat all opposing weather starters, e.g. Politoed, Ninetales, Tyranitar, and Hippowdon.
Since the beginning of BW, OU has become more dangerous for Abomasnow. Old threats, specifically Breloom, have become better equipped to punish it. However, Abomasnow is still viable as a weather starter in OU, as its unique typing offers four key resistances and its solid offensive movepool lets it check and hit a wide variety of threats such as Garchomp, Heatran, and Rotom-W.
Abomasnow's flagship set in BW can wreak havoc on common weather teams due to its unparalleled coverage. Wood Hammer is Abomasnow's go-to STAB attack, flattening the many Ground-, Rock-, and Water-type Pokemon found in OU such as Hippowdon, Terrakion, and Rotom-W. Ice Shard allows Abomasnow to pick off weakened threats, patching up its middling Speed. Ice Shard also hits Dragon-type Pokemon hard, especially Dragonite, Salamence, and Garchomp due to their 4x weakness to Ice-type attacks. Hidden Power Fire allows Abomasnow to melt Steel-type foes, mainly Ferrothorn and Scizor, which could otherwise wall Abomasnow's STAB combination. The last moveslot is mostly preference-based, as Protect allows Abomasnow to scout its opponent, potentially locking a Pokemon carrying a Choice item into a move while racking up some extra hail damage, which can be the difference between an OHKO and a 2HKO. However, Earthquake can be used to heavily damage Fire-type Pokemon, like Heatran and Ninetales on the switch, two Pokemon that typically cause hail teams problems.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Abomasnow makes for a very adept physical attacker thanks to its powerful STAB Wood Hammer, priority Ice Shard, and surprise factor, as it's typically expected to be using Blizzard and other special attacks. Ice Shard is arguably the most useful move on this set, as it hits many opponents in OU hard, 2HKOing and even OHKOing a large number of threats. Here are some calculations to exemplify its usefulness:
Abomasnow's alternate STAB move, Wood Hammer, is equally as punishing, as its sheer power makes it difficult to switch into. It hits Water-, Ground-, and Rock-types, such as Jellicent, Gastrodon, and Tyranitar, hard, giving teammates more opportunities to sweep. Earthquake can be used over Wood Hammer, as it allows Abomasnow to hit Heatran and Ninetales switch-ins, as well as Electric-types, such as Magnezone, Jolteon and Raikou. Leech Seed provides Abomasnow with a somewhat reliable form of recovery, recovering 12.5% HP on top of what Leftovers recovers. It can also function as a sort of phazing move, as it discourages many opposing Pokemon from staying in for too long. Protect further bolsters Leech Seed's recovery effect, allowing Abomasnow to recover 37.5% of its HP after two turns (with Leftovers of course) while forcing the opponent to take more residual damage via hail and Leech Seed. Protect also allows Abomasnow to scout the opposition, locking opponents that carry a Choice item into a move.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Giga Drain can be used on the mixed and physical sets over Wood Hammer for extra recovery. However, it is not recommended, as Wood Hammer is just so much more powerful than Giga Drain. Focus Blast may also seem like a logical choice on the mixed set; however, its shaky accuracy makes it an unfavorable choice. Additionally, Earthquake and Hidden Power Fire have similar coverage to Focus Blast, making it redundant. Abomasnow does have access to Swords Dance, but due to its abysmal Speed stat, it cannot fully take advantage of a +2 boost to its Attack stat. Equipping Abomasnow with Choice Specs or Choice Band might seem like a decent idea, but they would require excess switching, which is not recommended for a Pokemon with a Stealth Rock weakness. The same is true for Choice Scarf Abomasnow, which is outsped by positive natured base 115s and other Choice Scarf Pokemon.
Checks and Counters
The downside of Abomasnow's typing is its crippling weakness to Stealth Rock, which arguably functions as the most reliable check to Abomasnow. Fire-, Steel-, and Fighting-types, such as Volcarona, Metagross, and Terrakion, make for reliable checks to Abomasnow due to their super effective STAB moves. Opposing weather starters, such as Ninetales and Tyranitar, also make for solid checks to Abomasnow despite having to watch out for Earthquake and Wood Hammer, respectively. Jirachi, Scizor, and Terrakion function as the best checks to Abomasnow and hail teams, being able to heavily damage the opposition while resisting key attacking types, such as the STAB of opposing Ice-types. Bulky Steel-types, such as Jirachi, Skarmory, and Heatran, in addition to Chansey and Blissey, can wall Abomasnow effectively.