Gallade is the most versatile Fighting-type in RU. With a great stat spread, superb movepool, and solid typing, Gallade is capable of running many sets, ranging from a Choice Band set to a specially defensive set and almost everything in between. Gallade's versatility is further enhanced by setup moves such as Swords Dance, Substitute, and Bulk Up, along with a very high Attack stat. Additionally, Gallade's great Special Defense allows Gallade to run bulkier boosting sets while its typing leaves it with few exploitable weaknesses. This unpredictability leads to major difficulty when dealing with Gallade, as simply knowing what setup move it has won't make it any easier to handle.
Gallade has a few limitations that keep it from plowing through most teams. It suffers one of the most severe cases of four-moveslot syndrome in RU, as it will never be able to cover all of RU's major threats at once. The ubiquity of Spiritomb also doesn't help either, as it's immune to both of Gallade's STABs and has the bulk to handle anything else Gallade tries to throw at it offensively. Gallade's base Speed might be good, but it's not blazing fast, and a low Defense stat means most faster physical attackers will force Gallade off the field. Nevertheless, Gallade is a top threat and should be prepared for when building any team.
This is Gallade's most commonly seen set in RU. With a base 125 Attack stat, a solid base 115 Special Defense, and a decent typing both offensively and defensively, a bulky Swords Dance set fits Gallade perfectly. This is aided by Gallade's decent base 80 Speed, which allows it to outspeed most defensive Pokemon with minimal investment.
Swords Dance is Gallade's boosting move of choice on this set. Once Gallade gets in, it can easily threaten out an opposing Pokemon and set up a Swords Dance on the switch. Drain Punch is the primary STAB move, which has solid power, great coverage, and the ability to restore Gallade's HP which sets it apart from other offensive sets by significantly increasing its longevity. This is important as few Pokemon possess the ability to outspeed and OHKO Gallade. Psycho Cut is a solid secondary STAB move that is able to get past many Pokemon that can take Drain Punch, such as Qwilfish, Amoonguss, and opposing Gallade. The last slot gives Gallade coverage on Pokemon that can handle its STAB combination. Night Slash is preferred to handle Mesprit, Sigilyph, and Uxie. However, Leaf Blade is an option to get past Alomomola, Quagsire, and Rhydon, the latter of which is not OHKOed by +2 Drain Punch when holding Eviolite and can retaliate with a powerful STAB Earthquake that will leave Gallade extremely susceptible to the next thing that comes in. Regardless of whether one chooses Night Slash or Leaf Blade, both will hit Slowking and Golurk hard, which is important as both can handle Gallade's STAB moves and retaliate with Psyshock or Shadow Punch, respectively.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Gallade is capable of boosting its Attack stat with Swords Dance and Bulk Up, a simple Substitute + 3 Attacks set suits Gallade very nicely. Thanks to the sheer offensive presence Gallade imposes when it enters the battle, it can force many switches, thus buying it time to set up a Substitute to ease prediction and showcase its great coverage.
Substitute shields Gallade from revenge killers and status moves, which are two common methods of dealing with it. Once it's behind a Substitute, Gallade can unleash its great power and coverage to pick apart the opposing team. Drain Punch is the chosen STAB move and it gives this set great staying power. With it, Gallade is able to deal serious damage and heal itself of the HP it lost through making Substitutes and Life Orb recoil. Gallade's coverage move comes down to whether you need it to be more of a standalone attacker or a lure for a teammate. Night Slash is the more useful move for Gallade itself as it easily 2HKOes Uxie, Mesprit, and Sigilyph. This allows Gallade to better handle Uxie, and to seriously dent or KO two of the most common offensive responses to Gallade. However, if you need Gallade to handle physical walls to aid a teammate, then Leaf Blade is perfectly usable. With it, Gallade is able to take on the likes of Alomomola, Rhydon, and Quagsire without a second thought, which can easily clear a path for a teammate to sweep unimpeded. Regardless of the move you choose, both will hit Slowking, a very common threat, for super effective damage. Psycho Cut fills up the last moveslot as it allows Gallade to get past Qwilfish and Amoonguss without much difficulty, while also OHKOing Emboar, a common revenge killer that typically targets Gallade.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This is a more offensive approach to Swords Dance. While this set lacks the longevity and flexibility of its bulkier counterpart, this Gallade is much less reliant on boosting to leave its mark on the opposing team. Swords Dance skyrockets Gallade's already dangerous Attack stat, while Close Combat is the chosen Fighting STAB move, as its incredible 120 Base Power allows Gallade to even weaken some Pokemon that resist Fighting-type moves after a boost. Psycho Cut is Gallade's secondary STAB move and hits the likes of Qwilfish and Amoonguss much harder than Close Combat would. Night Slash is the preferred option in the final slot, allowing Gallade to get past bulky Psychic-types such as Uxie, Slowking, and Mesprit much more easily. However, Shadow Sneak is an option to fend off revenge killers and faster, frail Pokemon like Rotom and Archeops looking to take advantage of the defense drops caused by using Close Combat.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Gallade is more commonly known for its offensive prowess, it can also take advantage of its stellar Special Defense and typing to use a specially defensive set that can beat some of the metagame's most threatening special attackers. Specially attacking Sceptile, Rotom-C, Galvantula, Expert Belt Magmortar, and Omastar are only a few of the threats that Gallade checks. Gallade has many unique traits that separate it from the rest of RU's special walls; the most notable of these is access to reliable recovery in the form of Wish. Also, Gallade is resistant to Stealth Rock, making it hard to wear down through double switches unless your opponent has Spikes up. These traits make Gallade perfect for defensive balance or full stall teams.
As said before, Wish is a great move that Gallade has access to and helps set it apart from Pokemon like Uxie, which is more physically bulky. Protect ensures that Gallade receives the recovery from Wish, as without it Gallade could just be forced out again and again until it is within 2HKO range from a threatening sweeper. Protect can also be used to scout moves from Choice item users such as Slowking and Switcheroo Manectric. Be careful though, as Protect gives your opponent a free turn to set up, and sometimes it's best to use Will-O-Wisp to deter a physical sweeper that might try to get a free boost off of Protect. Drain Punch is a reliable STAB move that still hits decently hard even without investment thanks to Gallade's high base Attack, and has that cool side effect of regaining a bit of health afterwards. Will-O-Wisp is another great move for Gallade, as it can cripple its common switch-ins easily such as Spiritomb and Escavalier. As mentioned before, it also ensures that Gallade isn't setup fodder for any moderately bulky physical sweeper; Pokemon such as Feraligatr and Fraxure will think twice about setting up as opposed to attacking.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Gallade is most commonly seen striking fear into an opponent with a setup move, the simplicity of a Choice Band can also be quite effective. The inability to switch moves or set up is made up for with the immediate power boost Gallade receives from said item. Close Combat is the main STAB move on this set. With a massive 120 Base Power, few things will be safe from Gallade's wrath. The defense drops are somewhat mitigated with the hit-and-run nature of this set. Psycho Cut allows Gallade to lay the hurt on Qwilfish and Amoonguss without much difficulty. Night Slash is very important for being able to deal with Uxie and Slowking and keeping them from trying to cripple Gallade with paralysis or a burn. The last slot reinforces Gallade's coverage on certain threats. Stone Edge is preferred, as it's the strongest move Gallade has to hit Spiritomb with while it also destroys any Moltres that tries to switch in. Leaf Blade provides a safer move to use in order to hammer Alomomola, Rhydon, and Quagsire, but keep in mind that a neutral Close Combat will hit just as hard as a 2x super effective Leaf Blade.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Gallade's other sets become a major threat after just one turn of set up, this set attempts to use Bulk Up to slowly become a threat while simultaneously becoming more and more difficult to revenge kill. While this might be the hardest set to pull off a sweep with, it is also the hardest offensive set to revenge kill and use walls to deal with thanks to heavy investment in special bulk and boosting its Defense through Bulk Up.
Bulk Up is the chosen boosting move for this set, as it boosts Gallade's great Attack stat and subpar Defense as well. Drain Punch fits the goal of this set perfectly; it provides solid power and simultaneously heals Gallade in the process, thus increasing its longevity. The coverage option is a difficult choice, as it will leave Gallade open to certain defensive threats. Night Slash is generally preferred thanks to the neutral coverage it gets with Gallade's Fighting STAB while being able to smash Slowking, Uxie, and Mesprit. Substitute fills in the last slot to shield Gallade from status and to make revenge killing this set that much harder.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Thanks to its wide movepool, Gallade has plenty of other options at its disposal. A Choice Scarf set seems like a perfect fit thanks to Gallade's base 125 Attack and a somewhat middling Speed stat when not holding said item. However, Medicham is much better for this role thanks to Pure Power. Gallade has the elemental punches available to it, but for the most part, they aren't really useful when compared to Gallade's main attacks. Earthquake is powerful, but it runs into the same problems that the elemental punches do. Like many other Psychic-types, Gallade has access to Calm Mind, as well as various special moves such as Psyshock, Focus Blast, and Thunderbolt. However, a paltry base 65 Special Attack makes this a bad option for Gallade.
In terms of support options, a combination of Taunt and Will-O-Wisp can be used to break down stall teams, but these types of teams aren't too common in RU. A dual screens set with Memento is usable, but it faces stiff competition from Uxie and Mesprit in this role, as both have better overall bulk than Gallade. A set utilizing Trick Room is possible to make up for Gallade's mediocre Speed. However, it still runs into competition with Uxie and Mesprit, and on top of that, it lets major threats such as Escavalier and Druddigon outspeed Gallade. Destiny Bond is gimmicky, but it can net a surprise kill every once and a while. Finally, a SubDisable set is possible a la Gengar in OU, but Gallade's lack of immunities limits its viability.
Checks and Counters
Gallade is difficult to counter due to its versatility, power, coverage, and support options, but there are ways to deal with each set. Spiritomb, specifically with a defensive set, is the best response, as it is able to handle every Gallade set thanks to its immunity to both of Gallade's STABs, solid bulk and Foul Play. If it lacks Rest, however, it must be careful around specially defensive sets because Will-O-Wisp can cripple offensive Spiritomb. Choice Specs Slowking can tank all of Gallade's unboosted attacks and can OHKO with Psyshock; similarly, defensive Slowking can take hits more easily and 2HKO with Psyshock or burn Gallade with Scald. Moltres and Mesprit are two of the safer options to handle Gallade, as each resists one or both of Gallade's STAB moves. can outspeed, and only fear one of its coverage moves. Perhaps the easiest way to deal with Gallade is to use its major case of four-moveslot syndrome to your advantage. Most sets use a setup move and two STAB moves, so finding out its coverage move will go a long way when handling Gallade. If Gallade lacks Leaf Blade, Alomomola and Quagsire can handle it admirably. Without Night Slash, Mesprit becomes all the more dangerous while Uxie can generally outlast Gallade in most scenarios. Tangrowth only fears a +2 Close Combat and the rare Ice Punch and X-Scissor, and it can KO a slightly weakened Gallade with a STAB Power Whip on its weaker Defense stat. However, Bulk Up sets can set up on Tangrowth without Power Whip. Escavalier is capable of overpowering Gallade with its powerful STAB Megahorn, but the Substitute set 2HKOes with Drain Punch and might have a Substitute up to block Escavalier's first attack, and the specially defensive set can cripple Escavalier with a burn. The specially defensive set struggles with most Flying-types; Pokemon such as Braviary, Moltres, and Sigilyph are more than capable of dealing with this set. Cinccino can easily check the Substitute set, but it has no hope of actually switching into it thanks to its frailty.
Preying on Gallade's base 80 Speed and lackluster base 65 Defense is perhaps the easiest way to limit the damage Gallade can do. Choice Scarf users such as Emboar and Braviary do quite well, while naturally fast Pokemon such as Swellow, Tauros, and Durant are capable of smashing Gallade before it gets a chance to strike them. Pokemon that can take a hit and KO back with a STAB move, such as Golurk and Exeggutor, can check Gallade as well. Priority users can also be effective, with examples being Entei, Spiritomb, and Feraligatr. Note that Sucker Punch users such as Absol run the risk of activating Justified if they are unable to KO Gallade and will likely be hit with a decisive blow after the attack. As Gallade will often want to use a setup move before attacking, one can always resort to offensive pressure to limit Gallade's chances to setup. However, this is risky as Gallade usually has enough raw power and coverage to do damage even without a setup move, and the Choice Band set doesn't set up at all.