Gallade is one of the best Fighting-types in RU, if not the best. With a base 125 Attack stat and a powerful STAB move in Close Combat, Gallade is one of the most feared Swords Dance users in the tier, as its base 80 Speed is just enough to let it sweep through teams once it has a Swords Dance under its belt. Gallade isn't all about offense though; unlike many other RU sweepers, Gallade isn't frail and has a solid base 115 Special Defense. Along with Drain Punch, this allows Gallade to run bulkier boosting sets quite effectively. Despite not really getting any new moves from BW2 tutors, all of Gallade's important moves are now legal with Justified, something Gallade welcomes with open arms.
However, the premier Fighting-type is held back by its somewhat disappointing base 80 Speed, which is good, but not great, and low base 65 Defense makes it easily revenge killed. Gallade is also afflicted by four-moveslot syndrome, as it can't possibly carry every move it needs to demolish every relevant threat. The rise of Moltres certainly hasn't helped Gallade's cause either, as the phoenix can easily wipe out every Fighting-type in the tier, and Gallade is no exception. Don't let these drawbacks deter you though. Gallade is more than capable of demolishing teams with proper support, and if you take it lightly, Gallade will surely leave your team shattered and broken as a result of your poor judgment.
This is Gallade's bread and butter set as it sets the standard for true power. Even without a Swords Dance boost, this set hits really hard with a Life Orb. However, after a Swords Dance boost, almost nothing is safe from Gallade's wrath. A +2 Close Combat is going to take out just about everything that doesn't resist it, and even some resists get hit incredibly hard. This is quite possibly the single strongest attack in the tier, coming off of Gallade's incredible base 125 Attack stat. Shadow Sneak provides Gallade with a priority move to cover for its somewhat low Speed, and it also provides Gallade with perfect neutral coverage in the tier. With Shadow Sneak, Gallade can beat the likes of Rotom, opposing Gallade, and Jynx and also take out weakened opponents that might be faster, such as Sceptile, Manectric, and Moltres. Gallade's last move will give it coverage on certain defensive threats. Zen Headbutt is the strongest option against Poliwrath and also allows Gallade to immediately take out Amoonguss and Qwilfish while also getting a strong hit on Moltres. Night Slash gets great neutral coverage with Gallade's Fighting STAB. It's good for hitting bulky Psychic- and Ghost-types such as Uxie and bulky variants of Rotom. However, do note that one of its main targets, Slowking, gets hit harder by Leaf Blade. Leaf Blade lets Gallade cut through bulky Water-types including Slowking, Quagsire, and Poliwrath.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set takes a more defensive approach to sweeping with Swords Dance and takes advantage of Gallade's great base 115 Special Defense to find more setup opportunities. This Gallade can take virtually any neutral attack from a faster Pokemon and OHKO back with Drain Punch, which also heals Gallade so it can prepare for the next assault it might have to take. While offensive teams are unable to withstand Gallade's natural power without one of the few faster Pokemon that can actually OHKO Gallade, more defensive teams struggle with Gallade's boosted power and the use of a Lum Berry that lets it bypass status and set up. Thanks to this, Gallade can sweep through many types of teams without a second thought.
Swords Dance is the boosting move of choice and gives Gallade the power it needs to get through more defensive threats. Drain Punch is used over Close Combat for its healing and lack of defense drops. This lets Gallade perform much better against offensive teams which could have multiple threats that outspeed Gallade since it can stick around longer to get multiple KOs. Zen Headbutt is the chosen move for the third slot as it allows Gallade to bypass bulkier Pokemon it would otherwise have trouble with. Pokemon such as Qwilfish and Amoonguss are OHKOed after a boost while Misdreavus and Tangrowth are 2HKOed after a boost, although Stealth Rock and a layer of Spikes are needed to take care of Tangrowth. There are three choices to pick from for the last slot. Night Slash stands out as it allows Gallade to OHKO both Slowking and Sigilyph while also 2HKOing Uxie. Leaf Blade is a good choice as it allows Gallade to OHKO Slowking; do at least 86.29% minimum to physically defensive Quagsire, which would wall Gallade otherwise thanks to Unaware; OHKO 172/0 Spiritomb 50% of the time; OHKO Rhydon at +2, something that Drain Punch is unable to accomplish; and OHKO 252/252+ Sandslash 50% of the time after Stealth Rock and one layer of Spikes. Finally, Shadow Sneak gives Gallade a priority move, and although it is somewhat weak, it does let Gallade OHKO Rotom and Medicham at +2 as well as giving it an option for weakened, faster foes.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Gallade is a very threatening Swords Dance sweeper, it can use Bulk Up and its solid base 115 Special Defense to become a threatening sweeper as well. What this set lacks in initial power, it makes up for in longevity as this is the hardest Gallade set to revenge kill thanks to the Defense boosts and heavy investment in special bulk. This makes it incredibly difficult to deal with Gallade as, even without investment, Gallade's great base 125 Attack still lets it hit very hard after a couple of boosts.
Bulk Up is the boosting move of choice on this set as it boosts Gallade's amazing Attack and lackluster Defense. Drain Punch is the chosen STAB move as it provides recovery, which is invaluable, and it still has the power to get past most threats. Next, Gallade has its choice of coverage move. Night Slash is the main option for the third slot as it gets the best neutral coverage with Gallade's Fighting-type STAB. It hits bulky Ghost- and Psychic-types such as Rotom and Uxie hard while also giving Gallade at least neutral coverage on every relevant threat in RU. Ice Punch is a good alternative option for its ability to smash threats such as Amoonguss, Tangrowth, and Aerodactyl. Substitute fills in the last slot as it gives Gallade protection from status moves. After a couple of Bulk Up boosts, Gallade's Substitutes become very difficult to break.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Gallade is best known for sweeping through teams with Swords Dance-boosted hits or tanking hits and systematically taking down a team with a Bulk Up set, it is more than capable of forgoing a boosting move to hit hard right off the bat. With a base 125 Attack stat and Choice Band equipped, Gallade turns into one of the most frightening wallbreakers to face in RU thanks to its great coverage, access to priority, and powerful Close Combat. With this amazing combination of power, coverage, and priority, almost nothing will be able to safely switch into Gallade without fear of being KOed by one of its moves.
Close Combat is Gallade's pride and joy for any set looking to tear apart teams and Choice Band Gallade is no different. Even some resists will be taking heavy damage from Close Combat due to the sheer power of the move. Most resists to Close Combat such as Moltres are hit hard by Gallade's secondary STAB move, Zen Headbutt. It also hits most bulky Ghost-types for heavy damage, barring Spiritomb, making it all the more easier for Gallade to spam Close Combat later. Shadow Sneak allows Gallade to bypass its middling Speed to KO the likes of Rotom, Haunter, and Kadabra as well as weakened, faster opponents such as Sceptile and Manectric. Night Slash is slashed over Stone Edge in the final slot as it demolishes bulky Ghost- and Psychic-types such as Rotom, Uxie, and Slowking. Stone Edge is good as well as it destroys Moltres and other Flying-types such as Charizard.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. Gallade also stands out because it isn't weak to Pursuit, whether by typing or just low Defense, and this is crucial because many of the top special walls are susceptible to Pursuit, including Slowking, Cryogonal, and Roselia. In fact, your opponent might be hesitant to use Pursuit on Gallade for fear of activating Justified, a common ability on Gallade, and granting it a free Attack boost. 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. 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. However, this does nothing to stop entry hazards from going up or Pokemon like Calm Mind Spiritomb or Misdreavus, which don't mind being burned due to Rest and Heal Bell, respectively. Drain Punch is a reliable STAB move that still hits pretty 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, Drapion, 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 >>>
Gallade has a wide support movepool, but it just doesn't have the defensive stats to utilize it effectively. Taunt and Will-O-Wisp can form a decent stallbreaker set, but Gallade would rather use free turns to set up with Swords Dance and Bulk Up or just smash the opposition with Close Combat. Other support options such as Thunder Wave and Hypnosis are available to Gallade, but they too fall into a similar category as Taunt and Will-O-Wisp. Gallade's base 80 Speed is sometimes too low for it to sweep effectively, so Trick Room is an option. However, even though it hits on the physical side to separate itself from other Trick Room users, Gallade doesn't have the useful support options of Uxie and Mesprit and many slower offensive threats such as Druddigon and Escavalier would actually outspeed Gallade in the twisted dimensions. Like almost all other Psychic-types, Gallade has access to dual screens. However, Uxie and Mesprit outclass Gallade at this due to their higher bulk and access to Memento and Healing Wish, respectively. A SubDisable set is possible a la Gengar in OU, but the lack of immunities really hurts Gallade. Rain Dance and Sunny Day can turn Gallade into a weather setter, but there are much better users of the move in the tier such as Uxie and Volbeat. Destiny Bond is somewhat gimmicky, but it can net a surprise kill every now and then.
As for offensive options, Gallade isn't really lacking in that department either. A Choice Scarf seems like a perfectly viable item for Gallade to use with its high base 125 Attack stat. However, Medicham—a Pokemon of the exact same typing as Gallade—is much better for the Choice Scarf role thanks to Pure Power. Gallade has the elemental punches available with Justified now, but outside of Ice Punch on the Bulk Up set, they are all conditional. Earthquake and X-Scissor are both powerful coverage moves Gallade can use, but each gets redundant coverage with at least one of Gallade's main attacks. As with most other Psychic-types, Gallade has access to Calm Mind. It has the special movepool to utilize the move with attacks such as Focus Blast, Psyshock, and Thunderbolt. However, a base 125 Attack is obviously much higher than a base 65 Special Attack, thus making Calm Mind a very poor option on Gallade.
Checks and Counters
There is no true counter to Gallade as its combination of power, coverage, and priority makes it nearly impossible to safely switch into. However, there are some Pokemon that fare much better than most on average. Chief among these is Moltres as it can take any move bar Stone Edge and KO back with a STAB Hurricane. Spiritomb is immune to both of Gallade's STABs and can even take boosted coverage moves from the bulky Swords Dance set should it be healthy. It can then use Shadow Sneak to easily 2HKO Gallade. Entei is bulky enough to take a hit from sets lacking Stone Edge and hit back hard with Flare Blitz while it easily revenge kills the offensive Swords Dance set with ExtremeSpeed. Outside of these three, though, finding your way in on resisted attacks is key against Gallade. Thankfully, you have an ally in four moveslot syndrome as Gallade simply has too many options for its own good and just can't cover everything in four moves. Without Night Slash, Gallade has a very difficult time with bulky Psychic- and Ghost-types such as Uxie, Dusknoir, and Slowking, although the latter has to be wary of Leaf Blade as well. Speaking of Leaf Blade, Gallade absolutely needs it to get past Quagsire which will wall any boosting Gallade set otherwise thanks to Unaware. If Gallade forgoes Zen Headbutt, bulky Poison-types such as Amoonguss, Qwilfish, and Weezing will have little to fear, although the former must also be wary of a possible Ice Punch. If Gallade isn't running Shadow Sneak, then Haunter and Kadabra will have few issues revenge killing it. Most Choice Scarf users in general will also have an easier time dealing with Gallade in this case. Mesprit has enough power to get past Gallade after Close Combat is used, but it must be wary of Night Slash. Offensive variants of Tangrowth can tank a hit from offensive Swords Dance Gallade and KO back with a Life Orb- or Choice Specs-boosted Leaf Storm while more defensive variants of Tangrowth can take on the other sets should they lack a Lum Berry.
Instead of trying to counter Gallade, you can opt to revenge kill it. This is much easier than trying to counter Gallade as its base 80 Speed and base 65 Defense allows most faster physical attackers to easily revenge kill it, as long as they can take a possible Shadow Sneak. Faster Pokemon with physical or STAB Flying-type moves can generally revenge kill Gallade with few problems. Examples of such Pokemon include Moltres, Archeops, Sigilyph, Sceptile, Swellow, Tauros, and Scyther. Rotom and Haunter have to look out for Shadow Sneak, but they can use STAB Shadow Ball to take out Gallade. Strong priority users can also revenge kill Gallade once it's weakened or used Close Combat a couple of times. Spiritomb, Entei, Kabutops, and Feraligatr are the best options for this as three of the four pick up STAB on their priority while Entei has ExtremeSpeed.