Sawsbuck

Chlorophyll
Speed doubles in sun.
Sap Sipper
Grants immunity to Grass-type moves and boosts Attack by 1 stage when hit by a Grass-type move.
Serene Grace
This Pokemon's secondary effect chances are doubled.
Type Tier
Normal / Grass NU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
80
- 155 187 -
Atk
100
108 120 152 167
Def
70
81 90 122 134
SpA
60
72 80 112 123
SpD
70
81 90 122 134
Spe
95
103 115 147 161

Overview

Sawsbuck possesses several traits that set it apart from other physical Grass-types, namely its ability Sap Sipper and Normal typing. This blesses it with a handy immunity, potential Attack boosts, and excellent neutral coverage with its STABs alone. With a solid movepool containing gems such as Horn Leech, Double-Edge, Nature Power, Swords Dance, Substitute, and Baton Pass, it has everything it needs to lay wreckage to the opposing team. Its high base Speed further benefits it, letting it outspeed the majority of the metagame and putting it on par with threats such as Jynx, Primeape, and Haunter. Unfortunately, it is rather frail, leaving it prone to being revenge killed—its weaknesses to common attacking types and vulnerability to priority don't do it any favors. Nevertheless, no other physical Grass-type in the tier's offensive capabilities and movepool can compare to Sawsbuck's.

Name Item Ability Nature

Swords Dance

Life Orb Sap Sipper Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Double-Edge / Return
~ Horn Leech
~ Nature Power / Substitute
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

This is by far Sawsbuck's most common and threatening set. The goal is simple: set up a Swords Dance and dish out as much damage as possible. Double-Edge is chosen as the primary Normal STAB because of its sheer damage output, OHKOing Ludicolo and Sawk after Stealth Rock and generally helping to check things even without a Swords Dance boost. However, if the recoil turns you off, Return is a suitable replacement but the power difference is noticeable. Horn Leech is Sawsbuck's best Grass-type STAB, hitting Rock-types and Golurk hard and providing a semi-reliable form of recovery that helps patch up Life Orb and Double-Edge recoil. Finally, Nature Power (as it turns into Earthquake) provides the best coverage with Sawsbuck's STABs, hitting Steel-types like Metang for super effective damage as well as letting it bypass Sucker Punch from the likes of Kangaskhan and Skuntank. Substitute, on the other hand, works in tandem with Swords Dance, allowing Sawsbuck to set up in the face of Alomomola, Tangela lacking Hidden Power Ice, defensive Seismitoad, and Misdreavus without Foul Play. It's worth noting that if you do decide to use Substitute, Return is the Normal STAB of choice. However, both Double-Edge and Return are suitable alongside Nature Power.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Sap Sipper Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Double-Edge
~ Horn Leech
~ Nature Power
~ Baton Pass
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

While Sawsbuck might be a bit lacking when compared with other possible Choice Scarf users, especially the faster and more versatile Tauros, it is still a viable choice. It sets itself apart from Tauros with its secondary Grass typing and Sap Sipper and still hits just as hard. That said, Tauros is still usually the superior option and should always be considered before using Sawsbuck as a Choice Scarf user. Double-Edge is the best Normal-type STAB for this set, as Sawsbuck needs all the power it can get due to lacking the boost from Life Orb. STAB Horn Leech is one of Sawsbuck's main advantages over Tauros and helps deal damage against Golurk, Rock-types, and bulky Water-types. Nature Power helps revenge kill Steel-types, such as Metang, Probopass, and Bastiodon, who would otherwise wall Sawsbuck completely. Finally, the last slot is reserved for Baton Pass and allows Sawsbuck to escape walls that it can't break through, as well as potentially passing Sap Sipper boosts.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Sawsbuck can opt to use its other ability, Chlorophyll, which proves to be extremely useful on a dedicated sun team, turning it into a deadly cleaner that cannot be outsped in the sun. Choice Band can be used to give an even bigger power boost than Life Orb; however, this denies Sawsbuck the ability to switch moves and boost Attack via Swords Dance, making it an inferior option. Jump Kick provides similar coverage to Nature Power, but is inferior due to its inability to provide super effective coverage against Metang and Poison-types and cannot bypass Sucker Punch. Retaliate can be used on the Choice Scarf set, as it is more of a hit-and-run type of Pokemon; however, Double-Edge is usually strong enough and is a far more reliable option should you decide to stay in. A set with Substitute and Leech Seed is interesting, and Sawsbuck separates itself from other SubSeeders with its higher offensive presence, but it doesn't generally accomplish anything the other sets don't. Sawsbuck is also unable to break through the common Grass-types of the tier who are immune to Leech Seed. Aromatherapy provides protection against status, but Sawsbuck is too frail to effectively utilize it and Substitute is generally a better option. Finally, Sawsbuck has access to two forms of status, namely Thunder Wave and Grasswhistle. However, it is too frail to make use of the former, and the latter is far too inaccurate to be worth using.

Checks and Counters

The Ghost-types of the tier are an ever-present nightmare to Sawsbuck, particularly Drifblim, Misdreavus, and Haunter. Drifblim is the best offensive check to Sawsbuck available, resisting all of its common moves while only fearing the rare Wild Charge, and can OHKO with Acrobatics. Misdreavus, particularly Foul Play variants, can also handle Sawsbuck extremely well, breaking its Substitutes with Foul Play and burning it with Will-O-Wisp. Finally, while Haunter does not enjoy taking a boosted Horn Leech to the face, it fears nothing else and can OHKO with Sludge Bomb. Weezing's combination of typing, bulk, and ability make it an adept counter to Sawsbuck, tanking any attack and KOing with STAB Sludge Bomb. Gurdurr is another Pokemon that counters Sawsbuck fairly well, being able tank any attack with its Eviolite-boosted defenses and threaten back with Drain Punch and Mach Punch. Defensive Sap Sipper Miltank is immune to Horn Leech, can shrug off one or two Double-Edges or Returns, and can paralyze Sawsbuck with Body Slam. Scolipede and Charizard are two excellent offensive checks; while they dislike eating a Double-Edge or Return to the face, particularly with their pronounced Stealth Rock weakness, they can easily switch in on Horn Leech and proceed to OHKO. Finally, priority is very effective at taking down a weakened Sawsbuck, particularly Gurdurr's Mach Punch and Kangaskhan's Fake Out.