Sableye is one of the most unique Pokemon you'll ever meet, cursed with horrible stats but blessed with an amazing ability in Prankster and a movepool that meshes with it beautifully. He also has a nifty typing, sporting three immunities while having no weaknesses. The combination of these traits leaves many teams weak to him without even knowing it, and most Pokemon can't even switch in without being either heavily damaged or crippled by a burn. Sableye might have trouble switching in, but once he does, a great deal of Pokemon simply cannot do anything to him. He also walls or checks many Psychic- and Fighting-types, and can smash many Psychic-types as they come in with Foul Play, generally scoring a 2HKO at the least, all while also acting as a useful spinblocker.
And yet...Sableye suffers from a few key weaknesses. Fire- and Water-types, especially bulkier ones such as Heatran and Gastrodon, check Sableye adeptly, and Poison Heal Gliscor and Breloom can essentially neutralize him in a battle. To make matters worse, Sableye's main source of offense and defense, Will-O-Wisp, has a nasty 25% chance of missing, which can be detrimental to Sableye's health. In the end, while most Pokemon can do some damage once their checks and counters are down, Sableye is one of the few Pokemon that can actively assist in wearing down said checks and counters without being too inconvenienced or too defensive to sweep, all while being a useful defensive Pokemon, a spinblocker, and a stallbreaker.
This set doesn't really have a main move, as Sableye's first three moves are all equally important. Will-O-Wisp allows Sableye to cripple numerous physical attackers who would otherwise eat him alive, while giving him a way to wear down defensive Pokemon, and even annoy special attackers. Recover offers reliable healing, and allows Sableye to stick around long enough to be more than a momentary nuisance, potentially lasting forever against more defensive teams. Taunt shuts down defensive Pokemon, while preventing pretty much every form of setup known to man, specifically letting him defeat bulky boosters and physical sweepers that attempt to fight through burn with multiple boosts, and stops suicide leads in their tracks. Foul Play is a powerful STAB that makes use of the foe's Attack stat while ignoring their burn, so it deals great damage to strong physical attackers such as Darmanitan and Dragonite; it also conveniently hits a multitude of troubling special attackers super effectively, such as Espeon, Starmie, Alakazam, and many other Psychic- and Ghost-types.
Snarl lets Sableye wall basically any special threat by hitting it on the switch-in, although you might need to use Snarl again on extremely strong special attackers, such as Choice Specs Thundurus-T and Keldeo with a boosting item in the rain. It also lets him deal most special attackers in a one-on-one situation more easily, gives him the ability to spinblock Tentacruel and Starmie with greater ease, and even lets him force offensive Heatran and Volcarona into a stalemate, while making them easy pickings for a teammate. However, Snarl is unable to deal with powerful physical attackers that can break Sableye even when burned, and although it lets him wall threats, it won't get rid of them, and they will be back. It also leaves Sableye unable to deal much damage and increases the number of turns that Sableye is in for, which usually results in a critical hit ruining Sableye's fun. Night Shade does consistent damage to most things, even when Sableye is burned, and lets you deal more damage to Ferrothorn, Skarmory, and Scizor, while 2HKOing offensive Volcarona after Stealth Rock and dealing heavy damage to Rotom-W. It is also Sableye's only way to deal any real damage to Heatran, his eternal bane, and it breaks the Substitute of SubSD Terrakion without giving it a Justified boost.
Generally, Sableye checks or counters physical threats, notably countering Swords Dance Lucario and Toxicroak, while checking essentially every physical booster and handily dealing with OTR Reuniclus and Alakazam. Meanwhile, he shuts down most bulky boosters, such as Calm Mind Reuniclus, Cosmic Power Sigilyph, Curse Cradily, and, to a lesser extent, Calm Mind Latias. He can also reliably spinblock Forretress and defensive Donphan, as well as most Starmie and Tentacruel outside of the rain. However, offensive Donphan can get past it by hitting him on the switch with Earthquake, and Life Orb Starmie can take Sableye down with Hydro Pump in any weather but sun. Most Tentacruel and Starmie can destroy him in rain, although he can burn Tentacruel to strip it of its healing, and can still deal heavy damage to Starmie with Foul Play. The combination of Will-O-Wisp, Taunt, and Recover lets Sableye defeat most common stall Pokemon by burning them, Taunting them to prevent recovery or status moves, and recovering off any damage taken from their weak attacks.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Shadow Sneak lets Sableye hit many threats weak to it before they can hit him, possibly KOing them if they're weakened. Prankster Confuse Ray and Swagger paired with Recover and possibly Substitute or Foul Play can induce rage and force switches, although they can also result in you accomplishing nothing. Sableye can get off a priority Rain Dance, but so can Tornadus and it can actually use the summoned rain to its advantage. Metal Burst can smash a few threats, but Sableye has such low HP that he'll need to risk death to use it, making this an inferior choice. A Calm Mind set can actually sweep or just get up to some stalling shenanigans, but always lacks a crucial move and is thus rendered mediocre at best. Sableye has priority Trick, but has trouble landing that Trick on the right Pokemon. As a final note, Keen Eye and Stall are completely worthless; do not even attempt to use them.
Checks and Counters
Any faster Prankster user with Taunt gives Sableye headaches, although he can often 2HKO Tornadus, the most common one, even without Stealth Rock. Defensive Heatran cares little for anything Sableye does except Night Shade, and can become annoying with a Flash Fire boost, while offensive Heatran is much easier to wear down, but is much more dangerous with Flash Fire active. Xatu is much rarer, but is an even greater threat, reflecting back Taunt and Will-O-Wisp, all while Roosting and attacking or using Toxic on Sableye, although some Xatu are 2HKOed by Foul Play. Espeon can also reflect back those two moves, but is easily 2HKOed by Foul Play, and generally can't hit Sableye back for much. Poison Heal Breloom and Gliscor wall Sableye once statused, although if Sableye can burn them on the switch, they can do little to him.
Incredibly strong special attackers not weak to or especially resistant to Foul Play, such as Keldeo, Magnezone, Thundurus-T, and Hydreigon, to name a few, can destroy Sableye, and even those weak to it, such as Latios, Life Orb Starmie, and Life Orb Latias, can still cause problems for Sableye if they switch in safely. Guts Conkeldurr can take a burn and set up or attack, although Foul Play does respectable damage to it once it's burned. Strong Choice Band physical attackers can break Sableye despite the burn, and Choice Band Scizor can 2HKO Sableye with Bullet Punch if it comes in safely. Bulky Waters can take most of Sableye's hits and burn him with Scald while also dealing good damage. Particularly good examples include Hydration Vaporeon in the rain, which laughs at anything Sableye does, and Gastrodon outside of hail, which will take far too long to wear down. Fire-types generally don't mind anything Sableye can do, although Night Shade 2HKOes most Volcarona after Stealth Rock; while Darmanitan, Victini, and Chandelure take heavy damage from Foul Play. Finally, any wielder of the move Magic Coat can reflect a Will-O-Wisp or Taunt back at Sableye, and generally render him useless.