In previous generations, Sharpedo received sour, yet justified criticism for being a generally average offensive Pokemon. Because Sharpedo was so held back by its frailty, bad defensive typing, and small movepool, it didn't receive much positive input or usage, despite good offensive stats and decent base 95 Speed. While Sharpedo did receive a small blessing from the Dream World in the form of a new ability, Speed Boost, it still has issues when attempting to execute a successful sweep. It's definitely not an exaggeration to say that Sharpedo is one of the frailest fully evolved Pokemon in OU, who can be easily stopped by many bulky foes.
However, a blessing is a blessing; Sharpedo can actually make exceptional use of Speed Boost, which prevents Sharpedo from being revenge killed like it was in previous generations. Sharpedo's attacking stats are also in the range of other fierce attackers, such as Starmie and Landorus, making it a very dangerous sweeper and revenge killer in OU after obtaining Speed boosts. Sharpedo can tear through most teams provided it is intelligently played and receives sufficient support. Overall, there's no better Pokemon to represent the phrase "eat or be eaten" than Sharpedo.
Sharpedo's best uses of its high offensive stats, small movepool, and newest ability, Speed Boost, lie in a mixed attacking set. Speed Boost allows Sharpedo to bypass many Choice Scarf users after a few boosts, and with Sharpedo's powerful attacks taken into consideration, it will be difficult for the opposing team to eliminate Sharpedo without being severely hurt. After a Speed Boost, Sharpedo can also revenge kill many common OU Pokemon with the appropriate attack, including but not limited to Latios, Latias, Terrakion, and Starmie.
Crunch is the main STAB move on this set, being a powerful, consistent clean-up move that strikes the numerous Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokemon in OU super effectively. Hydro Pump, boosted by Life Orb, allows Sharpedo to promptly eliminate the physical walls that would normally come in to sponge Crunch, especially Hippowdon and Skarmory. Hydro Pump is also stronger than Crunch, so despite its imperfect accuracy, Hydro Pump is another good clean-up move against bulkier opponents. The third slot depends on your preference; Ice Beam grants Sharpedo reliable, much-needed coverage against most Grass-, Flying-, and Dragon-type Pokemon such as Virizion, Tornadus, and Haxorus. Hidden Power Fire doesn't have much use outside of keeping Ferrothorn and Scizor in check; it will only manage to 2HKO Ferrothorn (who can reply with Thunder Wave or Power Whip), while Scizor is already OHKOed with Hydro Pump after Stealth Rock damage. Finally, Protect is used to scout incoming attacks and set up at least one Speed Boost in front of faster foes. Generally, Protect should be used on the first turn Sharpedo is out to bypass Choice Scarf users.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
What's scarier than a shark with a torpedo strapped on its back? Yeah, I don't know either. What is known, however, is that physically based Sharpedo is one ferocious Pokemon thanks to its great Base 120 Attack and solid dual STAB. Speed Boost is really what sets Sharpedo apart from other physical attackers, as it transforms Sharpedo from a decidedly average attacker to a flexible revenge killer and sweeper. After a single Protect, Sharpedo will outpace every OU Pokemon, and has an arsenal of powerful attacks to rip the field with. Surprisingly, despite only packing physical attacks, most physical walls, such as Gliscor and Skarmory, can't keep up with Sharpedo's onslaught, especially with Politoed's Drizzle support.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Sharpedo doesn't have too many options to experiment with outside of the main options, it has just enough to concoct pure physical or special sets. By doing this, Sharpedo can maximize both its Speed and respective attacking stat, making it more formidable and faster on either side. Sharpedo's notable physical options include Waterfall, Earthquake, Double-Edge, and Ice Fang, while its only other notable special move is Dark Pulse. Choice Band Sharpedo gets a special mention for being able to blast through teams with Drizzle support; factoring in Speed Boost, it will be incredibly difficult to counter a monster spamming a double-boosted STAB Waterfall. This has competition with Gyarados, however, due to Gyarados's ability to switch into many common moves more often than Sharpedo. Special sweeping sets are also somewhat better left off to the likes of Politoed and Starmie, although the ability to 2HKO Jellicent with STAB Dark Pulse is something to consider. Aqua Jet can be used to kill off weakened opponents and gain a Speed Boost, though Hydro Pump, after a Speed Boost and Protect, is significantly stronger than a mere Aqua Jet.
Substitute lends Sharpedo a safety net to fall back on when forcing switches, making it less susceptible to priority moves. Protect will usually be the superior option, as Sharpedo will lose massive amounts of HP due to Life Orb and Substitute. Sharpedo generally must refrain from using other support moves outside of Protect, as its frailty and Speed boosts are major factors when sweeping with it. Sharpedo also should never use its default ability, Rough Skin, since Speed Boost is the one ability making Sharpedo viable in OU.
Checks and Counters
Due to Speed Boost, few can rely on Speed and not get severely hurt when checking Sharpedo. Virtually any Pokemon with a reasonably powerful attack that can withstand Sharpedo's assaults is a solid check. Bulky powerhouses, including but not limited to Ferrothorn, Metagross, Conkeldurr, Zapdos, and Virizion, are ideal for surviving Sharpedo's attacks and striking back, provided they have not suffered too much previous damage. Priority users, such as the aforementioned Scizor and Conkeldurr, nullify Sharpedo's Speed boosts and put a damper on its sweep. Bulky Water-type Pokemon wall the majority of Sharpedo's main attacks outside of the neutral Crunch, with most being able to cripple it with a burn from Scald or Toxic poison. Most notably, Empoleon, Toxicroak, Poliwrath, who all resist Sharpedo's main options, can retaliate with their respective Grass- or Fighting-type move. Gyarados gets a special mention, as its main ability, Intimidate, weakens Sharpedo's physical attacks and it can pretty much wall Sharpedo's special attacks as well.
Sharpedo also must beware of switching in, as just about any neutral, or even resisted, attack will deal massive damage to it. Any form of passive damage, including sandstorm, hail, and entry hazards, will also severely limit Sharpedo's presence on the battlefield, cutting short its already-short lifespan. With Life Orb recoil added in, using prediction and switching in resistances will take out Sharpedo eventually.