Smeargle

Own Tempo
Prevents confusion.
Technician
Increases the Base Power of moves with 60 or less by 50%.
Moody
A random stat is lowered by 1 stage and another is boosted by 2 stages every turn.
Type Tier
Normal RU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
55
- 22 25 -
Atk
20
7 8 11 12
Def
35
9 10 13 14
SpA
20
7 8 11 12
SpD
45
9 11 14 15
Spe
75
12 14 17 18

Overview

Smeargle has always been a unique Pokemon in that it has access to almost every single move in the game via Sketch. However, its stats are horrible in every way, so trying to use it offensively or defensively is not a good idea. Its only usable stat is its Speed, although 75 base Speed is still fairly mediocre. Even its abilities are horrible, with confusion being extremely uncommon and Technician being wasted on something with zero offensive capabilities; Smeargle's one good ability, Moody, is banned. However, having access to every move in the game means access to the coveted Spore, which turns Smeargle into perhaps the single best user of Baton Pass in the entire game. While Smeargle is almost always relegated to Baton Passing, it is quite good at its niche, and it is nigh-impossible to stop Smeargle from pulling off a Baton Pass within the first 3 or 4 turns of the match. A not-so-threatening Smeargle can turn into an impossible-to-stop Terrakion in a matter of a few turns; consequently, Smeargle's ability to create opportunities to set up and Baton Pass boosts to its teammates make it a prime choice for any team looking to use Baton Pass, as it leaves most other potential Baton Pass users outclassed in its wake.

Name Item Ability Nature

Baton Pass

Focus Sash Own Tempo Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Baton Pass
~ Shell Smash
~ Spore
~ Taunt / Ingrain
80 HP / 96 Def / 80 SpD / 252 Spe

Smeargle has one niche and one niche only—SmashPassing with access to Spore. In the lead position, it is very hard to stop Smeargle from pulling off a pass without very careful playing and precise prediction. To ensure an intact Focus Sash, Smeargle is best used as a lead, allowing a teammate to attempt a sweep early-game; however, with dual screens support, Smeargle can Baton Pass in mid- or late-game scenarios just as easily. In fact, waiting to use Smeargle until mid-game will allow its teammates to set up entry hazards in order to make the recipient of Smeargle's Baton Pass much more devastating. Nothing enjoys facing a Pokemon with +2 in both offenses and Speed, and Smeargle is perhaps the best Pokemon to give a teammate the powerful boost given by Shell Smash.

At first glance, Smeargle may seem outclassed by the other major Baton Pass user with access to Shell Smash: Gorebyss, who can actually hit hard on its own and has Hydration to make itself essentially immune to any status under rain. However, Spore gives Smeargle an edge over Gorebyss; Smeargle can put its opponent to sleep with Spore, follow it up with Shell Smash as the opponent remains asleep or switches out, and then Baton Pass its boosts to a teammate waiting to sweep. Should the opponent have a Pokemon with access to priority attacks, Smeargle can instead Shell Smash before using Spore while relying on its Focus Sash to survive the hit, then Spore its opponent as the priority user switches in. Spore, Shell Smash, and Baton Pass are the only three moves that Smeargle really needs to achieve its goal, so the last moveslot is mainly used to prevent strategies that would stop Smeargle from Baton Passing. Taunt is a great option, stopping Roar and Whirlwind users from making Smeargle lose its boosts as well as preventing Leech Seed (which can be Baton Passed) from afflicted Smeargle or its recipient. Ingrain is also useful, providing a great foundation for any Baton Pass team, as it makes it so nothing can phaze Smeargle or whatever Pokemon it passes to.

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

Lead

Focus Sash Own Tempo Timid
Moveset EVs
~ Spore
~ Stealth Rock
~ Spikes
~ Glare / Memento / Whirlwind / Magic Coat
4 HP / 252 Def / 252 Spe

The goal of this set is simple: get off a Spore first turn to cripple the opposing lead, then proceed to set up as many entry hazards as possible. Unlike other common leads such as Custap Berry Skarmory, Smeargle is also capable of crippling with Spore and spreading paralysis with Glare, giving it a different kind of niche. Spore is arguably one of the best moves in the game because it can always put something to sleep; it works out great on Smeargle, as it gives it a free turn to set up Stealth Rock or a layer of Spikes while also possibly crippling something for the rest of the match. Stealth Rock is amazing to have on a lead seeing as it is also one of the best moves in the game. Spikes is for forcing the opponent to take as much residual damage as possible in order to help out Smeargle's teammates. The last move is very interchangeable, as Smeargle has no limit to what moves it can learn, but Glare is the all around better choice, as it gives Smeargle a second form of crippling outside of Spore. Unlike Thunder Wave, Glare can even paralyze Ground-types such as Landorus-T and Garchomp and cripple them, as well as Pokemon with Lightningrod and Volt Absorb. Memento is another great option because it heavily cripples the opponent, protects entry hazards against slower spinners, and gives a teammate an opportunity to set up for a sweep. Whirlwind can be used to prevent anything from setting up on Smeargle, while also racking up residual damage from entry hazards. Magic Coat can be very useful with proper prediction, as it can bounce back opposing entry hazards while also possibly preventing faster leads such as Terrakion from stopping Smeargle with Taunt. Item-wise, Focus Sash is mandatory. It ensures that Smeargle can almost always set up two layers of entry hazards, while also giving it a free turn to get off a Spore.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Despite having such a vast movepool, Smeargle has very few other options that are not outclassed by another Pokemon. A gimmicky Endeavor / Focus Sash / ExtremeSpeed / Spore set can be used in a similar manner to the FEAR strategy, except with Spore to cripple opponents and therefore make it easier for Smeargle to get off an Endeavor and KO with ExtremeSpeed. Belly Drum and Baton Pass can be combined with a Salac Berry and a Substitute in order to pass +6 Attack and +1 Speed, perhaps the most devastating boost a physical attacker can get. Smeargle also used to have a niche as an entry hazards layer, but that role is now outclassed by Forretress and Ferrothorn, mainly due to Smeargle's lack of bulk and subpar typing. As previously mentioned, any attempt at an offensive or defensive set is not worth the effort, as Smeargle's horrible stats make them ineffective.

Checks and Counters

With its Focus Sash broken, Smeargle is OHKOed by pretty much anything due to its nonexistent bulk; on the other hand, while its Focus Sash remains intact, Smeargle poses quite a threat with its potential to trigger a devastating sweep. However, there are ways to bypass Smeargle's seemingly impenetrable methods of Baton Passing. Lum Berry Tyranitar is excellent for the job, as Lum Berry will wake Tyranitar up from Spore immediately, allowing Tyranitar to bring Smeargle down to 1 HP with a STAB Crunch and let the damage from sand finish it off. Vaporeon is unaffected by Spore under rain due to Hydration, making it nearly impossible for Smeargle to pull off a Baton Pass against it, as Vaporeon can Roar Smeargle and its boost away in addition to having utility against many physical attackers attempting to set up outside of beating Smeargle. Magic Coat and Taunt from Pokemon such as Mew can also prove effective, the former having the advantage of reflecting Spore and the latter of preventing Smeargle from doing anything if it is not running the rare Magic Coat itself. Magic Bounce is useful in a similar manner as Magic Coat. Phazing is an effective strategy if Ingrain has not been set up, though it is impossible to phaze Smeargle once it has used Ingrain. Anything that can break Smeargle's Focus Sash while preventing it from gaining a free turn is excellent at preventing Smeargle from pulling off a successful pass. Sand, hail, Fake Out, and Iron Head Jirachi are all excellent at doing so. Of course, if for some reason Smeargle is not running a Baton Pass set, it is not nearly as much of a threat.