Skarmory

Keen Eye
The wielder's accuracy cannot be lowered.
Sturdy
If the wielder is at full HP, it will survive any attack. OHKO moves will fail.
Weak Armor
Boosts Speed by 1 stage and lowers Defense by 1 stage when hit by a physical move.
Type Tier
Steel / Flying OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 271 334 -
Atk
80
176 196 259 284
Def
140
284 316 379 416
SpA
40
104 116 179 196
SpD
70
158 176 239 262
Spe
70
158 176 239 262

Overview

Skarmory, one of the best physical walls since GSC, returns in BW to protect its team from Ubers' physical titans: Extreme Killer Arceus, Groudon, Rayquaza, and Excadrill. In fact, the steel bird is the best Swords Dance Arceus counter in general, specifically Extreme Killer Arceus, that exists. With base 140 Defense, reliable recovery in Roost, great defensive typing, and a wide arsenal of support moves such as Spikes, Stealth Rock, Whirlwind, Toxic, and Taunt, Skarmory makes for a great Pokemon to support your team. Skarmory's Sturdy ability allows it to tank and scout hits when at full health, which can prove helpful in some situations such as when facing Choice Scarf Kyogre or Palkia. Skarmory does have its downfalls, though; it is worn down quickly by common special attacks such as Surf and Focus Blast. Weaknesses to Fire- and Electric-type moves also make it prone to Fire Blast and Thunder, two moves that are very common in Ubers. Nevertheless, the armored bird's qualities are by far greater than its frailties, making it a great addition to any team, be it offensive or defensive one.

Name Item Ability Nature

Support

Leftovers Sturdy Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Spikes
~ Roost
~ Whirlwind
~ Toxic / Taunt / Brave Bird
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD

Spikes-stacking is an extremely dangerous playstyle in Ubers because it's very hard to Rapid Spin with bulky Ghost-types lurking everywhere—Ghost Arceus and the Giratina formes. Skarmory is one of the lucky Pokemon to get access to Spikes, which can easily wear down the opponent, and, thanks to its excellent defensive typing, it can often lay down several layers in one game. With the ability to phaze with Whirlwind, Skarmory can easily stack more and more residual damage on the opposing Pokemon, eventually KOing them unless they have a recovery move. Roost provides reliable recovery, and it grants Skarmory the ability to take on a few, even boosted, physical hits with its base 140 Defense; this also makes it the best Extreme Killer Arceus counter you can find. Toxic is the preferred option in the last slot, as without it, Skarmory will not be able to stop Extreme Killer Arceus one-on-one. Toxic is also a great move against common switch-ins to Skarmory such as Kyogre, Palkia, Reshiram, and setup sweepers such as Calm Mind Arceus, as none of them appreciate Toxic. Taunt stops Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Forretress from freely setting up entry hazards on Skarmory, whereas Brave Bird lets Skarmory attack in case it has been Taunted itself.

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

Custap Lead

Custap Berry Sturdy Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Taunt
~ Stealth Rock
~ Spikes
~ Whirlwind
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Skarmory is a staple of bulky entry hazard setters. However, when Skarmory takes a more offensive turn by becoming a suicide lead, it performs just as well. It has many qualities that other entry hazard Pokemon lack: great defensive typing, fantastic bulk, and an awesome support arsenal. Even without any investment in physical defense, Skarmory is still as bulky as ever: +0 252+ Life Orb Rayquaza's Outrage and +2 252+ Life Orb Extreme Killer Arceus aren't a 2HKO, allowing you to phaze them away, racking up entry hazard damage. Yet, if someone is trying to overpower Skarmory with special attacks or repeated physical hits, have no fear—the combination of Sturdy and Custap Berry will almost always guarantee you another move.

This set is pretty self-explanatory. Stealth Rock and Spikes are a phenomenal way to apply pressure and support your team. Skarmory's base 70 Speed and the Speed EVs allow it to outspeed other common Pokemon such as Groudon and Dialga, which are now prevented from laying their own Stealth Rock by Skarmory's Taunt, which also prevents status inflictions. Whirlwind is a great method of stacking up entry hazard damage, also stopping Pokemon such as Ghost Arceus, Rayquaza, and Groudon from setting up on Skarmory.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Unfortunately, Skarmory does not have many other options. A spread of 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD can be used, but Skarmory needs all the Special Defense it can get to tank common special moves such as Draco Meteor. A gimmicky Swords Dance + Autotomize set can be used, but it would not work well with Skarmory's poor selection of STAB attacks and mediocre base 80 Attack.

Checks and Counters

As previously mentioned, Skarmory has a glaring weakness to special attackers due to its mediocre base 70 Special Defense, so Pokemon such as Reshiram, Kyogre, and Palkia make fantastic counters, though they will not enjoy being poisoned. Dialga deserves a special mention as it can switch into everything Skarmory has, including Toxic thanks to its Steel typing, and can OHKO with Fire Blast, or Thunder if it's raining. Thanks to Rayquaza's Air Lock ability, it ignores any weather changes, so it can come into Skarmory and OHKO with Fire Blast or V-create regardless of the weather. Reshiram, with its Turboblaze ability, and Zekrom, with its Teravolt ability, ignore Sturdy's new effect and can OHKO Skarmory with their Fire- and Electric-type STAB moves, respectively. Xatu also shuts down Skarmory with its Magic Bounce ability and access to Roost.

Unless Skarmory is using Brave Bird, it is completely shut down by Taunt users such as Mewtwo and Thundurus. Although Gliscor is usually unable to touch Skarmory, in fact Skarmory is often considered to be one of its most reliable counters, when running Taunt Gliscor can easily stop Skarmory from doing anything, and can even set up a Substitute on it. Calm Mind Arceus can set up on Skarmory, but unless they carry Refresh, they fear Toxic and do not enjoy being phazed. Ho-Oh can easily OHKO Skarmory with its signature move, Sacred Fire, if it's not raining, but it does not enjoy being phazed if Stealth Rock is present. Giratina-O can OHKO with Thunder in the rain and Hidden Power Fire in the sun, but like many others, it does not enjoy being poisoned. Choice Band Terrakion can easily 2HKO Skarmory with Close Combat, whereas the Swords Dance variant can attempt to set up, but it takes 54.32% - 64.19% from Brave Bird at -1 Defense, making it a shaky check. Groudon with a Fire-type move, such as Fire Punch, Fire Blast, or Overheat, can land a surprise kill on Skarmory thanks to the sun it summons.