In a tier where Grass-types such as Vileplume and Tangela are common, Beartic is notable for its ability to get past these usually troublesome foes. With a good offensive typing in Ice and a nice base 110 Attack, Beartic can hit pretty hard. Beartic's decent 95 / 80 / 80 bulk also means it's somewhat hard to wear down while its good movepool gives it perfect neutral coverage. Unfortunately, Beartic is held back by several factors. For one, while Ice is a good offensive typing, defensively it bestows weaknesses to Stealth Rock and common Fire-, Fighting-, and Rock-type attacks. In addition, its Speed isn't very high, and it also competes with Piloswine as an offensive Ice-type, due to the latter's secondary Ground-type STAB, STAB priority, and neutrality to Stealth Rock. In contrast to Piloswine, however, Beartic has the ability to use Focus Punch, lacks a Grass-type weakness, and has access to Taunt. Overall, Beartic is a dangerous offensive Pokemon with the right support.
This set aims to take advantage of Beartic's excellent coverage and good offensive typing to do as much damage as possible. Thanks to Beartic's decent bulk, it tends to last quite a while and thus can deal quite a bit of damage over the course of a match. Icicle Crash is the main STAB option as it is Beartic's most powerful physical Ice-type attack, while Superpower is used to get past Steel-types that resist Icicle Crash, as well as Thick Fat Miltank. Notably, this combination is only resisted by Shedinja, Grumpig, Lampent, and Frillish, none of which are particularly common. Stone Edge is preferred for the third slot as it is Beartic's best option against most Fire-types such as Charizard, Flareon, and Torkoal.
The final moveslot largely comes down to personal preference. Taunt is generally preferred as it prevents walls like Musharna and Garbodor from setting up on Beartic, which allows Beartic to wear them down. Taunt also allows Beartic to use its coverage more effectively against stall teams, as it can wear down these teams as Beartic absorbs their relatively weak hits well due to its bulk. However, Aqua Jet also has its uses as it is Beartic's only priority option, allowing it to pick off weakened foes despite its low Speed stat.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
At first glance, Beartic might seem outclassed by other SubPunch users, due to a lack of Fighting-type STAB. However, since none of the fully evolved Fighting-type Pokemon in the tier can learn Focus Punch, the lack of STAB is less undermining. In addition, when Beartic is behind a Substitute, Beartic's Ice-type STAB means it can defeat Haunter, Drifblim, and Golurk, three of the four most common Ghost-types in the tier.
As with any SubPunch set, the goal is to set up a Substitute on a Pokemon that Beartic can scare out off, and then use Focus Punch. Despite the lack of STAB, it is still Beartic's most powerful move and hits very hard. Because all the common Pokemon in NU are hit neutrally or better by the combination of Focus Punch and Icicle Crash, Toxic is preferred in the fourth slot to mess up walls like Alomomola, which have high enough bulk to take the other moves.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Beartic's offensive movepool is rather shallow, but it still has a few other options to consider. Swords Dance makes it powerful, but it's too slow to use it effectively, which, combined with its poor defensive typing, makes it very easy to revenge kill. Bulk Up and Hone Claws are also similarly difficult to set up due to these weaknesses. Night Slash is able to hit Frillish and Grumpig very hard, but they are too uncommon to worry about.
Beartic has a decent support movepool including useful moves such as Yawn, Roar, and Encore. However, Beatic's defensive typing is bad, so pulling off a support set is rather difficult. Beartic also has access to Rain Dance, although it usually is better off if a teammate can set it up, because it needs all the moveslots it can get. Beartic's other ability, Snow Cloak, can be useful in hail, but hail is never seen within NU.
Checks and Counters
The easiest way to take down Beartic is to take advantage of the weaknesses its Ice typing brings. Fighting-types, such as Sawk, Gurdurr, and Throh, easily destroy Beartic with their powerful STAB moves. Sawk is also always faster than Beartic. In general, physical walls like Alomomola, Misdreavus, and Weezing can take on Beartic well. Although they must be wary of Taunt, even when afflicted they can still hit back and slowly wear Beartic down. Armaldo has STAB Rock-type moves to defeat Beartic as well, along with decent bulk to take on a Stone Edge if necessary.
Regirock needs to be wary of Fighting-type moves, but its massive bulk and Rock STAB makes it a solid answer to Beartic. Although not particularly common, Frillish and Lampent resist Beartic's Ice STAB and Fighting moves, and both can also burn Beartic, crippling it for the rest of the match. Setting Stealth Rock up makes Beartic easier to revenge kill. For example, after Stealth Rock damage, Pinsir is able to OHKO with Close Combat.