Say hello to Crobat, a Pokemon banished to BL in the past two generations, hinting at just how good it really is. Its good defensive typing and decent bulk allow it to act as a very good check to a lot of the metagame's most prominent threats, such as Roserade, Shaymin, Mienshao, Scrafty, and Heracross. Crobat also performs excellently as a stallbreaker, thanks to a combination of Taunt, Roost, and its great Speed. A decent Attack stat and the high Base Power of Brave Bird also allow it to deal heavy damage without the need for much investment. Crobat's poor offensive movepool and a weakness to Stealth Rock let it down at times, but fret not, as this speedy bat is still one of the best at what it does, and as long as you know its limitations, it will not let you down.
This set works wonders on offensive and balanced teams in need of a solid response to stall teams. It's fantastic typing and nicely placed stats also allow it to check many prominent offensive threats, such as Roserade and various Fighting-types—most notably Mienshao, Heracross, and especially Scrafty, who remains slower than Crobat even after it uses Dragon Dance. This means that no matter what type of team you face, Crobat will always be useful in battle.
Brave Bird is Crobat's best STAB move, and thanks to its high Base Power, it will do a good amount of damage to just about anything that doesn't resist it. Taunt allows Crobat to do its job as a stallbreaker by preventing the opponent from using non-damaging moves. Roost lets Crobat stick around for a while and somewhat alleviates it's weakness to Stealth Rock. U-turn is a quality move on Crobat, as a lot of the time it forces switches, allowing you to grab the momentum of the battle. Toxic can be used because it hits a lot of Crobat's counters on the switch, such as Zapdos, Slowbro, and other bulky Water-types, and with Taunt preventing recovery, they are bound to get worn down pretty quickly. Finally, Super Fang is the only move Crobat has to damage Steel- and Rock-types, and much like Toxic, can also be used to wear down Pokemon until they are in Brave Bird's KO range.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With a Choice Band attached, Crobat eschews its role as a defensive pivot and instead uses its speed and newfound power to become a swift, deadly assassin. Brave Bird is the core of the set, functioning as a powerful STAB move which allows Crobat to outspeed and OHKO a vast majority of offensive Pokemon in the tier. It also deters all but the most physically bulky Pokemon from safely switching in. U-turn allows Crobat to maintain momentum, and punishes physically bulky Pokemon by damaging them and then bringing them face-to-face with a counter. Cross Poison, while a poor move with limited coverage, is nonetheless Crobat's only option for covering the ubiquitous Electric-type Pokemon in UU. Note that Cross Poison's use is highly situational, as even a resisted Brave Bird 2HKOs offensive variants of Zapdos and Raikou after Stealth Rock. Super Fang is an option to strip 50% from the health of Bronzong, Rhyperior, Magneton, Registeel, and other physically bulky Pokemon which Crobat cannot otherwise harm. These Pokemon typically lack reliable recovery, giving the move substantial utility. The final slot is highly situational. Sleep Talk may seem like an odd choice, but several of the Pokemon Crobat enjoys switching into are Grass-types, and commonly pack Sleep Powder. Given the sleep mechanics in the current generation, Sleep Talk could be the difference between a useful Pokemon and death fodder. Roost is an option to alleviate the residual damage Crobat will be accumulating from Stealth Rock and Brave Bird recoil. It is best used to save Crobat from near-death, as using Roost will cost a substantial amount of momentum.
Neither of Crobat's abilities are more than incidentally useful, but the choice is nevertheless worth discussing. Infiltrator allows Crobat to ignore Reflect, which could be very useful against dual screen hyper offense teams that rely on it to shield their frail sweepers. Inner Focus, on the other hand, dissuades Mienshao and Ambipom from using Fake Out, and also allows Crobat to beat Togekiss even while paralyzed. The choice of nature also has trade-offs: Jolly allows Crobat to outrun every Pokemon in the tier without Speed boosts, and a few Pokemon even with Speed boosts (such as Choice Scarf Chandelure and slower variants of Dragon Dance Kingdra). Adamant, on the other hand, secures important OHKOs, such as against +1 Bulk Up Scrafty and max HP Togekiss after Stealth Rock. It also secures 2HKOs against physically defensive Slowbro and Swampert. The inability to outrun any Pokemon above base 115 Speed with an Adamant nature is a marked disadvantage, however.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Due to Crobat's limited movepool, it is lacking in the form of alternatives. That said, there are a couple of interesting toys in its repertoire which can surprise the opposition. For example, a Nasty Plot set using Sludge Bomb, Heat Wave, and Giga Drain will definitely surprise your opponent and has a very limited number of safe switch-ins. However, the main problem with this set is that they often find themselves outclassed by other Pokemon who simply hit harder and have better coverage, such as Azelf.
Haze can be utilized in order to halt slower stat boosters, such as Bulk Up Machamp, but as you may have noticed already, Taunt is usually enough in these situations. Whirlwind can also be used, as it is sure to shuffle the opponent's team around and rack up some residual damage in the process. However, this move's negative priority nullifies Crobat's greatest advantage: its Speed. Screech is also an option, as it can force switches on opponents who don't want to be hit with Brave Bird while their Defense is halved. While a set employing Acrobatics and Flying Gem might seem like a good idea at first, one must consider that Brave Bird will outdamage Acrobatics 100% of the time and that the lack of Black Sludge recovery will wear down Crobat much faster. Finally, Crobat's Dream World ability, Infiltrator, isn't very useful when it's doing most of its damage through Toxic or Super Fang, and it also has Taunt to stop the opponent from setting up screens anyway. It could prove to be much more useful on more offensive sets, however.
Checks and Counters
Countering Crobat usually comes down to hitting it hard enough so that it cannot Roost off the damage. With that in mind, Bronzong is the optimal counter, as it is immune to Toxic, resists Brave Bird, and has Gyro Ball to seriously hurt Crobat. Zapdos can tank pretty much any of Crobat's moves and Roost off any damage while threatening it back with Electric-type STAB. Rotom-H can also utilize its Electric-type STAB to scare away Crobat, but both need to be wary of Toxic. Bulky Water-types, especially Slowbro with its ability, Regenerator, and STAB Psyshock, fear very little from Crobat and can burn it with Scald or hit it hard with Ice Beam. Rhyperior doesn't fear anything Crobat can throw at it and can use the opportunity to set up Stealth Rock or simply blast Crobat with its Rock-type STAB. Bisharp and Registeel can easily come in on anything Crobat throws at them and proceed to set up as Crobat retreats. If all else fails, you can always resort to revenge killing the speedy bat through the use of a hard-hitting Choice Scarf user, such as Victini or Darmanitan.