Behold the mighty Aztec Bird, known for its power to annoy the living hell out of every challenger who dares to oppose it. Unless your team has some extremely hard hitters, or a Dark-type, it will be nigh impossible to stop Sigilyph. This is thanks to its great typing, movepool, and stats that go hand-in-hand with its ability, Magic Guard. Its typing provides it with an invaluable quadruple resistance to the growing population of Fighting-type moves and a nifty immunity to Ground-type attacks; this allows Sigilyph to gain plenty of switch-in opportunities and wall a number of dangerous UU Pokemon. Its movepool contains a reliable recovery move in Roost; boosting moves, such as Calm Mind and Cosmic Power; and many coverage options, such as Heat Wave and Ice Beam. It is commonly seen running the classic bulky sweeper set, which is known for making its opponents bald as they rip their hair out in pure frustration. It can also run the most durable offensive set of its kind that performs just as well. Its ability, Magic Guard, is really what makes Sigilyph a Pokemon worth writing home about, as an immunity to common forms of passive damage, such as Toxic, hail, and Stealth Rock, is extremely helpful and what makes Sigilyph so difficult to break past.
At this point, you might be wondering why is Sigilyph not banned to Ubers; the reason lies in the fact that common Pokemon aren't really forced out by it, especially specially offensive Pokemon that can hit it hard, such as Raikou, Zapdos, and Zoroark. Dark-types are also the bane of almost all Sigilyph. Phazing is another strategy Sigilyph hates to face, as it comes into the field wanting to stay there for a long time before either fainting or switching out. However, you should never underestimate Sigilyph unless you would like it to sweep you.
This is Sigilyph's bread-and-butter set. Its fantastic typing gives Sigilyph plenty of opportunities to set up. It also has a pseudo-immunity to status thanks to its ability, Magic Guard. The game plan for this set is simple; come in on something that Sigilyph forces out (preferably a wall) and boost as it switches. If the switch-in is a physical attacker, then burn it with Psycho Shift; if not, then continue boosting, Roost whenever you feel necessary, and once you're certain you've gotten enough boosts sweep with Stored Power. However, for this game plan to work, you must have any and every Dark-type on the opponent's team removed, as they are immune to Sigilyph's only attacking move, Stored Power.
Cosmic Power is the boosting move of choice, as it turns Sigilyph into an unbreakable tank save for critical hits. Calm Mind, on the other hand, provides Sigilyph with a way to boost its Special Attack while simultaneously boosting its Special Defense. Calm Mind is listed because Sigilyph can cripple most physical attackers by passing them its burn with Psycho Shift. Speaking of Psycho Shift, this move occupies the second slot because it is capable of passing the burn (or any status condition not named sleep or freeze) Flame Orb causes onto the foe, crippling it with residual damage. Stored Power is the STAB move of choice, as it gains more power the more Sigilyph boosts, with or without Calm Mind. After it is fully boosted, Stored Power reaches a whopping 240 Base Power, which is enough to dent the most frightening specially defensive Pokemon of UU, Snorlax, comfortably 2HKOing it (this turns into an OHKO if Sigilyph is using Calm Mind). Roost is Sigilyph's reliable recovery move, preventing the opponent from whittling down Sigilyph's health. Roost also temporarily removes Sigilyph's weaknesses to Electric-, Ice-, and Rock-type attacks.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Sigilyph's great mixture of durability and power makes it a unique offensive Pokemon in the UU metagame. Its ability, Magic Guard, is what makes this set good, as it enables Sigilyph to be very resilient on the battlefield while dishing out powerful attacks thanks to its decent base 103 Special Attack. Psyshock is generally Sigilyph's STAB move of choice because it gets a noticeably stronger hit on specially defensive tanks, such as Snorlax. Psychic, on the other hand, can be used for raw power and has a rare but useful chance of lowering the foe's Special Defense. Air Slash can be used as Sigilyph's secondary STAB; it gets a harder hit on Scrafty, a Pokemon Sigilyph would otherwise fear. Ice Beam, however, hits similar targets to that of Air Slash and also gets an OHKO on Flygon and Gligar; although if Sigilyph runs Ice Beam, its completely walled by Slowbro and Slowking. Heat Wave occupies the third slot for getting a super effective hit on Steel-types, such as Bronzong and Registeel, as well as OHKO Abomasnow. Roost is an excellent option for the last slot, as it provides reliable recovery and gives Sigilyph even more durability. On the other hand, Hidden Power Fighting gets a super effective hit on Dark-types and Empoleon. Make sure you run at least one of Hidden Power Fighting and Air Slash, as otherwise Pokemon such as Umbreon and Sharpedo will wall it to hell and back.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Sigilyph has a large movepool, so there are quite a few more options worth considering. Sigilyph can utilize support moves such as dual screens, Thunder Wave, Toxic, and Whirlwind, but it is outclassed by Xatu in using them. Hypnosis, however, is a move that is somewhat unique to Sigilyph, being able to shut a Pokemon down and providing opportunities for set up, although it is still very unreliable, and Sigilyph has a hard time finding a moveslot to spare for it. As far as offensive options go, it can make use of Charge Beam as another way to boost its Special Attack while doing a bit of damage in the process, but Calm Mind is almost always a superior option due to the fact that it barely does any damage anyway. Sigilyph can use a Choice item on the offensive set, but they have their own issues. Life Orb outclasses Choice Specs, as its residual damage it cut out by Magic Guard, and it also gives Sigilyph the ability to freely switch moves. Choice Scarf makes Sigilyph a good revenge killer, but Sigilyph's Special Attack and the Base Power of its moves are somewhat lacking by UU standards. Sigilyph can also attempt gimmicky sets such as Trick Room and Gravity, but they end up being a little too gimmicky to be viable. As for abilities, Tinted Lens is actually decent, but so much not on a Pokemon that has access to the far more superior Magic Guard, as Sigilyph enjoys the immunity to forms of residual damage, such as Stealth Rock and Toxic, more than being able to hit most resistances for neutral damage. While Wonder Skin allows Sigilyph to avoid some forms of status, Flame Orb does that more reliably and Sigilyph would once again prefer the immunity to residual damage.
Checks and Counters
Sigilyph has entirely different checks depending on the set it runs. The bulky sweeper set's archenemies are Dark-types. Sableye is probably the best Dark-type to take care of Sigilyph, as it has priority Taunt to stop Sigilyph's boosting and recovery, is immune to Stored Power, has Recover to mitigate burn damage, and can strike it hard with a super effective STAB Foul Play. Hitting it with insanely powerful attacks so it can't Roost off the damage or continue boosting in fear of being KOed is another excellent way of checking Sigilyph. One of the best candidates for this is Chandelure, as it hits extremely hard with a STAB Shadow Ball coming off of a base 140 Special Attack, especially when powered up by Choice Specs. Raikou and Zapdos are also good at this job thanks to their Electric-type STAB and good Special Defense. Pokemon that are capable of phazing are also great; Calm Mind Suicune is a perfect example, as it can boost alongside Sigilyph and Roar it out granted it runs both moves.
The offensive set is surprisingly easier to check and counter. Specially defensive Umbreon can stop it because it is only 5HKOed at best, giving it more than enough time to strike Sigilyph down with STAB Foul Play or Payback. Snorlax can also take any attack thrown at it and then OHKO back with a Choice Band-boosted Crunch. If you decide against running both Air Slash and Hidden Power Fighting, then Dark-types (especially Sharpedo) become even bigger threats, as they can easily switch in and threaten to severely hurt or even outright OHKO it. Sigilyph is also easily revenge killed by any decently powerful Pokemon after some prior damage.