Cobalion

Justified
Raises Attack one stage when hit by a Dark-type move.
Type Tier
Steel / Fighting UU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
91
- 166 198 -
Atk
90
99 110 142 156
Def
129
134 149 181 199
SpA
90
99 110 142 156
SpD
72
82 92 124 136
Spe
108
115 128 160 176

Overview

Despite UU being a tier filled with Fighting-types, Cobalion has no trouble distinguishing itself from the rest with its unique typing, which grants it a good number of resistances—including a 4x resistance to Stealth Rock and immunity to poison—on top of its excellent physical bulk, good speed, and access to Swords Dance, Calm Mind, and Stealth Rock. On the other hand, it has problems taking special attacks due to its bad Special Defense. Its Steel typing has notable drawbacks in a metagame full of Fighting-type moves, and its offenses can be somewhat lacking. Nonetheless, Cobalion remains a potent threat.

Name Item Nature

Swords Dance

Life Orb / Lum Berry Naive / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Close Combat
~ Stone Edge
~ Hidden Power Ice / X-Scissor
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

This is Cobalion's main offensive set. After setting up a Swords Dance on physical attackers like Snorlax or defensive Pokemon like Registeel, Porygon2, and Roserade, it reaches 558 Attack and can attempt a sweep. Close Combat is a reliable STAB move, doing good damage to anything that doesn't resist it, while Stone Edge is essential for hitting Zapdos and Chandelure super effectively. Hidden Power Ice allows Cobalion to get past Gligar, who would otherwise wall it. X-Scissor hits Slowbro super effectively, but can only 2HKO it with a Life Orb, giving it a turn to cripple Cobalion with Thunder Wave.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Calm Mind

Leftovers Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Calm Mind
~ Focus Blast
~ Hidden Power Ghost / Hidden Power Ice
~ Flash Cannon / Substitute
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Due to Cobalion normally using physical moves, this set can surprise the opponent with boosted special attacks. Calm Mind is essential for increasing both Cobalion's special attack and defense, patching up its weakness to special moves. Focus Blast is used as the main STAB due to a lack of more reliable alternatives. Hidden Power Ghost hits Slowbro as well as Ghost-types super effectively, while Hidden Power Ice is useful for dealing with Gligar and Zapdos. Flash Cannon is the secondary STAB, but its coverage is mostly redundant with Hidden Power Ice, making it more useful in combination with Hidden Power Ghost. Substitute is used to avoid status moves and sponge weaker special attacks after a boost without fading.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Utility

Leftovers Jolly / Naive
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Sacred Sword / Close Combat
~ Volt Switch
~ Toxic / Hidden Power Ice
248 HP / 28 Atk / 232 Spe

This set takes a more defensive approach, supporting its team with Stealth Rock, serving as a pivot for physical attacks and crippling its usual switch-ins with status. Sacred Sword serves as the reliable STAB; Close Combat is a stronger alternative but comes at the cost of defense drops and a worse match-up against Curse Snorlax. Volt Switch preserves momentum against any switch-ins that aren't immune to it. Toxic can cripple defensive switch-ins like Slowbro and Sableye, while Hidden Power Ice scores a 2HKO on Gligar.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Cobalion has a variety of options not covered in the sets. For example, it can opt for a Choice set instead of relying on set-up moves for power; Choice Specs offers a stronger Volt Switch and Hidden Power Ice while Choice Band doesn't have to rely on Focus Blast's shaky accuracy. Work Up is usable on a mixed attacking set, but is generally not recommended due to Cobalion's lacking offenses. Aerial Ace can be used to deal with Heracross who don't carry a Choice Scarf, and Quick Attack finishes weakened opponents, but is very weak and will rarely be strong enough to KO anything.

Checks and Counters

Slowbro is easily Cobalion's best counter; the Swords Dance set's best option against it is a boosted X-Scissor—which will still barely 2HKO. Gligar beats physical sets without Hidden Power Ice, but Iron Head variants can get past it with flinches. Nidoking and Heracross can take almost all hits from Cobalion and OHKO back. Iron Head can help, but Choice Scarf versions leave Cobalion no chance. Choice Scarf users in general almost always have STAB attacks that hit Cobalion super-effectively; Chandelure, Darmanitan, and Mienshao easily OHKO while Flygon and Krookodile come close. Hitmontop has Intimidate and takes physical hits well, meaning it beats physical sets without Substitute easily. Suicune and Blastoise can take boosted Close Combats and either hit back to weaken Cobalion or simply phaze it with Roar. The last mention goes to special Sharpedo, who can use Protect to get a Speed boost and then has a good chance to OHKO with Hydro Pump.