Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
In a tier filled with a dozen viable Grass-types with their own quirks, Leafeon faces some serious competition for some sunlight and attention. As an offensive Pokemon, Sawsbuck gives Leafeon a run for its money, with access to STAB Normal-type moves and Nature Power. Defensively, Leafeon can neither take repeated attacks like Tangela, nor absorb Toxic Spikes like Vileplume. Atypical of Grass-types, Leafeon's best status options are the rather lackluster Grasswhistle and Toxic. The fact that Leafeon loses to most of the competing Grass-types does not help. However, Leafeon compensates for its weaknesses with an unique movepool and a combination of power, bulk, and Speed; Roar and Wish are moves that a defensive Grass-type would kill for. Leafeon's power and Speed allow it to not miss a beat as a sweeper, while its bulk makes it a superior Baton Pass user to Sawsbuck. Leafeon, just like the other dozen Grass-types of NU, occupies a small and highly specific niche; if—and only if—you play to its unique strengths, Leafeon can be a Grass-type worthy of use over a myriad of alternatives.
Offensively, Leafeon is a rare breed: it hits the magical base 95 Speed tier, has a great Attack, and yet manages to have a very respectable Defense stat. In Return (pun intended), Leafeon is shafted by its nearly non-existent coverage. Swords Dance boosts its decent Attack to new heights, and allows Leafeon to bust through defensive Pokemon that does not resist its STAB. Leaf Blade is a strong physical STAB, and will be Leafeon's main offensive move. Substitute allows Leafeon to scout opponents and set up on opposing defensive Pokemon without worrying about status moves. With Leafeon's bulk, its Substitutes can stand up against the attacks of some defensive Pokemon. Return, its best coverage option, enables Leafeon to hit Charizard and other Fire-types. Alternatively, Baton Pass lets Leafeon pass the Substitute or the Attack boost when Leafeon is inevitably walled by the likes of Vileplume and Tangela.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With access to both Wish and Heal Bell, Leafeon makes a stellar cleric and a decent physical wall. Depending on the rest of the team, Leafeon can choose to either replenish their health or remove their statuses. Wish is the move that truly sets Leafeon apart from other defensive Grass-types, and is naturally listed as the primary option because there are alternatives, such as Vileplume and Meganium, whicho also have access to Aromatherapy. Protect is recommended alongside Wish, as Protect allows Leafeon to reliably heal itself and scout the opposition. On the other hand, Synthesis pairs better with Heal Bell, as Leafeon cannot last long without reliable recovery. Roar is the crux of the set, and allows Leafeon to phaze opposing Pokemon and force entry hazard damage. In fact, Leafeon is one of the few Grass-types in NU that can both Roar and support the team. Finally, Leaf Blade is a reliable STAB with no drawback, and allows Leafeon to deal damage when the need arises.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Befitting an Eeveelution, Leafeon's offensive movepool suffers greatly. This is especially damaging for Leafeon, as Grass-type moves have subpar coverage. Bullet Seed is a possibility to KO Golem through Sturdy and break frail Substitutes, but sees very situational use. Dig is Leafeon's best option to hit Probopass and Bastiodon, but it hits very little outside of those two Pokemon. Leafeon is a decent Sunny Day sweeper, and can afford to set it up by itself with Sunny Day and Synthesis. A dedicated Baton Pass set can be viable, but such a set needs a team built around Baton Pass, and is rather circumstantial. Finally, Curse is an option, but wastes one of Leafeon's redeeming traits in its high Speed.
Checks and Counters
Swellow, Charizard, and Choice Scarf Braviary, among others, are great offensive replies to Leafeon, as they can outspeed and OHKO Leafeon. However, these Fire- or Flying-types are limited by Stealth Rock. Tangela, Vileplume, and are superb defensive replies, as they resist Leaf Blade and take nothing from boosted Return. Vileplume can retaliate with its Poison-type STAB, while Tangela's Hidden Power Ice will easily do in Leafeon. Alternatively, Garbodor can set up entry hazards on Leafeon and erase its Swords Dance boosts with Clear Smog. Klang can take any attack from Leafeon and break its Substitute with Gear Grind. Altaria and Bastiodon can prevent any Baton Passing attempts with Roar, but they do not appreciate repeatedly taking boosted hits.