Without a doubt, Cubone is valued almost entirely for a single trait: access to Thick Club. This unique item doubles its Attack stat with no penalty, making it an extremely dangerous force in the Little Cup metagame. In fact, with its signature item, Cubone can reach an Attack stat as high as 30, easily overpowering all Pokemon without a Choice Band. Cubone is not a one-trick pony either, as its phenomenal base Defense stat of 95 allows it to switch into physical attacks and even wall some attackers, although its typing isn't helping it much in that regard.
Cubone also has some other attributes that make it a great choice, such as its very impressive movepool and good offensive typing. Cubone's Ground typing does, however, leave it with three common weaknesses and few resistances. Overall, Cubone is usually a huge asset to any team that it works well on despite its minor restrictions.
Baton Pass receiving is Cubone's trademark talent, and there is a reason behind this. 30 Attack gives Cubone a chance to sweep, and its only problem is a lack of Speed; however, using the utility of Baton Pass, Cubone's objective becomes a lot easier. With an Agility or Rock Polish boost, Cubone will outspeed and defeat many common threats that would normally defeat it, such as Staryu and Choice Scarf Snover. Cubone's great bulk means it can receive boosts very well from common Baton Pass users such as Deerling and Venonat, both of which have good synergy with it. The aforementioned Pokemon also have unique traits which make them great for passing to Cubone, namely Sap Sipper and Sleep Powder, respectively.
While Cubone's Attack is already very high, Swords Dance makes Cubone's life much easier. The best strategy is to pass to Cubone while facing a Pokemon which is easily scared by it. Fire- and Rock-type Pokemon are great examples, because it is almost guaranteed that they will switch to an opponent ready to take Earthquake, such as Gastly. Cubone can then use Swords Dance and sweep. With such high Attack and perfect coverage, nothing is stopping Cubone any time soon once it sets up.
Earthquake is the crux of Cubone's sweep. Any Pokemon that is hit at least neutrally with Earthquake will probably die, and its coverage with Fire Punch is excellent, hitting all but Mantyke, Ducklett, and Wingull for neutral damage. Swords Dance comes into play to raise Cubone's Attack to high levels, which can go up to 60 after one use. Double-Edge is considered a filler, but it is the best filler Cubone can possibly have as it completes the coverage chart and does good damage to physically defensive Pokemon.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
The Baton Pass set can be used in Trick Room too. An identical moveset with an EV spread of 196 HP / 196 Atk / 76 Def / 36 SpD and a Brave nature is ideal for a Trick Room sweep. Solosis and Bronzor are both sturdy and powerful teammates who can set up Trick Room for Cubone. An all-out attacker set with Earthquake, Fire Punch, Double-Edge, and ThunderPunch is viable. Bulldoze is also an option on any set if you want Cubone to outspeed the opponent without Speed boosts. Cubone's support arsenal is pretty wide as it has access to Stealth Rock, Knock Off, Perish Song, and some other helpful moves such as Toxic and Detect. 30 Defense with an Impish nature and Eviolite is possible, making Cubone actually play a good support role, although the lack of recovery makes this a bad choice. Additionally, you may use random filler options such as Substitute if you like their utility.
Checks and Counters
Cubone is obviously best in a Baton Pass chain, and users of Taunt can disrupt the use it. Since there isn't much to stop Taunt due to Natu, the only Pokemon in LC with Magic Bounce, being unable to use Baton Pass legally with it, it is important to have Taunt on your team to stop Baton Pass. While they are very obscure, Baton Pass chains can score some easy KOs on your team. Wooper is a great Cubone check as its ability, Unaware, ignores any boosts to Cubone's Attack. On top of this, it can hit it with super effective STAB Waterfall, which will 2HKO it. Unaware doesn't, however, ignore Thick Club's boost, so there is no full stop to Cubone.
With a bit of prediction, you can switch in Staryu or Shellder into Cubone without any Speed boosts and easily OHKO it. This is usually the best way to defeat Cubone itself because the sheer force of its attacks will not have to be faced. Lastly, priority in the form of Ice Shard and Aqua Jet can defeat a weakened Cubone, although they are both physical.