After the pre-battle tintinnabulation is completed, please stare in pure, unadulterated horror and ominous presentiment at what is unequivocally the best and most versatile Pokemon in the game. Dare not incur Arceus's divine wrath, or else the consequences shall be severe and merciless, and life shall become but an evanescent wisp.
Thanks to Arceus's supreme bulk and the priority of ExtremeSpeed, this set is extremely difficult to revenge kill. Combine it with a meaty base 120 Attack stat, Swords Dance, and STAB on said ExtremeSpeed, and you get one of the most frightening late game sweepers in the entire game, capable of decimating offensive teams and cleaning up weakened defensive teams with ease.
Swords Dance will boost the power of Arceus's STAB ExtremeSpeed to horrifyingly powerful levels, devastating anything in Arceus's way that isn't resembling a physical tank. With just a Silk Scarf and Swords Dance boost, it is more than strong enough to OHKO even the bulkiest of Uber titans, such as Mewtwo, Kyogre, Reshiram, Palkia, Zekrom, and Ho-Oh. Shadow Claw is necessary to allow Arceus to repel Ghost-type Pokemon such as Giratina-O, who can come in on ExtremeSpeed without any hassle. However, Shadow Force provides a good deal more power, so much so that Lugia and Giratina risk being OHKOed by Shadow Force after taking Stealth Rock damage provided Arceus has used Swords Dance once, is Adamant, and is holding Life Orb. Shadow Force also alleviates any fears about Wobbuffet. Unfortunately, Shadow Force's charge turn makes it easy for the opponent to play around.
Earthquake enables Arceus to break down Rock- and Steel-type Pokemon that could otherwise take ExtremeSpeed, such as Dialga and Tyranitar. Brick Break isn't nearly as strong against Dialga or Heatran, but it is significantly more effective against Ferrothorn, who can otherwise annoy Arceus with Leech Seed. Recover keeps Arceus around longer to get in more boosts, but it limits coverage quite a bit.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
In addition to being a nigh unstoppable sweeper, Arceus can also function as a nearly unbreakable wall. Arceus's excellent HP, Defense, and Special Defense stats already lend it to taking hits well, and Recover as well as a litany of support and coverage moves only sweeten the deal. Although its Normal typing isn't the best pick for a defensive Pokemon, a lone weakness and the ability to hold Leftovers are a couple of huge advantages Normal Arceus can boast over its other formes.
Normal Arceus generally lends itself more to taking physical hits, and with good reason. In addition to a certain fat pink blob being far better of a dedicated special wall, Arceus learns a couple of useful moves to disable physical attackers, namely Will-O-Wisp and Reflect. The former allows Arceus to disable nearly every physical sweeper in Ubers—Groudon, Rayquaza, other Arceus, Garchomp, and Zekrom, to name a few—for the rest of the match with a crippling burn. Will-O-Wisp also saps the afflicted opponent's HP, allowing Arceus to simply keep healing itself with Recover until the burned opponent faints. However, Will-O-Wisp's accuracy is shaky and it does nothing to Fire-type Pokemon such as Ho-Oh. Reflect, although it only lasts five turns, does not miss and also benefits the whole team. Return provides a solid STAB attack that can cause a nice chunk of damage to most Uber Pokemon, who generally have lower Defense.
Arceus can run quite a few options in the last slot. Roar is generally the most useful choice, as allows Arceus to phaze away the opponent's physical attackers after they have been neutralized by Will-O-Wisp or Reflect, while spreading entry hazard damage around the opponent's team. Ice Beam gives Arceus a way to kill off the likes of Groudon, Zekrom, Rayquaza, and Garchomp more quickly, and is a useful move in general as a lot of Pokemon in the Uber metagame are weak to Ice-type attacks. Lastly, Perish Song provides a way to force switches while stopping last-Pokemon stat boosters such as Calm Mind Kyogre and Bulk Up Dialga from completely laying waste to your team.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Arceus's excellent bulk and Speed stat lend it to abusing Calm Mind well. Although its coverage is much worse than the other Arceus formes, Normal Arceus is capable of holding Leftovers, which bolsters its survivability quite a bit. Normal Arceus can also take advantage of Choice Band to give it a sizable Attack boost, making it a good revenge killer with ExtremeSpeed. However, Arceus doesn't get any notable KOs by using Choice Band, and Swords Dance makes it much more of an offensive threat, so the Extreme Killer set is usually better. Light Screen has some use on the Wallceus set to boost Arceus's Special Defense. Thunder can be used on the Extreme Killer set to 2HKO Skarmory in the rain. The potential paralysis can hamper Lugia as well. Arceus can attempt to run a mixed set with Work Up, but the other Arceus formes generally do that more effectively as they have STAB moves with better coverage. Finally, Safeguard can be used on the Extreme Killer set to stop physical walls from using Will-O-Wisp on Normal Arceus, a common way to stop it, but it limits type coverage.
Checks and Counters
The Extreme Killer set is best handled by another bulky Arceus with Will-O-Wisp. A burned Arceus poses no threat, and the defensive Arceus can simply Roar away the boosts the Extreme Killer has gotten. Fighting Arceus is particularly good at this as it can also smack Normal Arceus with a powerful, super effective STAB Judgment. Lugia can also set up Reflect and stall out Arceus's ExtremeSpeed with help from Pressure. Toxic and Whirlwind will stop Arceus from trying to set up further. If Arceus has Shadow Force, Lugia can simply set up Reflect before it gets hit to lessen the damage taken. Giratina can survive anything except a boosted Shadow Force from Normal Arceus, and cripple it with Will-O-Wisp. If it lacks Overheat, Skarmory can handle anything Arceus throws at it and set up Spikes in its face before blowing it away with Whirlwind. Defensive Groudon can also handle a hit or two and repel Normal Arceus's assault with Dragon Tail. Choice Scarf Terrakion and Dialga can also survive a boosted ExtremeSpeed and do massive damage to Arceus with Close Combat or Draco Meteor.
The Wallceus set is best handled by a Fighting-type with Guts such as Heracross, as they get an Attack raise from Will-O-Wisp thanks to their abilities, and will quickly pulverize Arceus with a mighty STAB Fighting-type attack. Heatran, Ho-Oh, and Reshiram also fear nothing from Will-O-Wisp, and easily roast Arceus to a crisp with their powerful STAB Fire-type attacks. Strong special attackers such as Kyogre and Mewtwo are pesky in general as Arceus is generally built to take physical assaults.
While Arceus does not receive a Dream World ability, there is one significant Pokemon that Normal Arceus is both helped and hurt by: Shadow Tag Chandelure. With Shadow Tag and powerful STAB Fire- and Ghost-type attacks, it can spell the doom of many of the Extreme Killer's counters, such as Lugia, Giratina, and Skarmory. Chandelure is also immune to Normal Arceus's only weakness—Fighting-type moves. However, Normal Arceus itself is also afraid of opposing Chandelure, as Shadow Tag and a quick sun-fueled Overheat can spell its doom. In the Dream World environment, you will have to play with Normal Arceus more carefully to avoid Chandelure frying it alive.