- Prevents flinching.
- The wielder's accuracy cannot be lowered.
- The wielder immediately steals an item from an attacker using a contact move.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Sneasel has the makings of a good sweeper: it is incredibly fast, has acceptable attack power and it has fantastic dual STABs in Dark and Ice. This allows Sneasel to perform a rather specific niche in targeting notable threats, such as Serperior, Jynx, Swellow, Exeggutor, Haunter and Golurk. Sneasel is a total glass cannon though, as it is extremely frail with 55 / 55 / 75 defenses. Sneasel's biggest drawback however is that its moves have only average power at best, with none of its STAB options reaching 80 base power. This really hurts its offensive potential and forces it to only target pokemon weak to its STABs. Thankfully, it does a decent job at it, particularly being the best Jynx trapper due to Dark STAB and greater speed, making Sneasel a very specialized pokemon in the tier.
This set capitalizes on both of its wonderful dual STABs; it's designed to be a catch-all answer against top threats. Pursuit ensures the demise of Jynx, Kadabra and Haunter by threatening an OHKO regardless of whether they switch out or not, as well as finishing off weakened threats in general, making Sneasel a good 'finisher'. Ice Punch is Sneasel's most reliable STAB, as it nets good coverage against most of the tier, severely denting threats such as Serperior and Braviary hard and is Sneasel's strongest attack against Fighting types, namely Primeape and Sawk who would usually switch in and OHKO Sneasel. Sneasel's Dark-type STAB of choice depends on type of targets you wish to face. Punishment is handy against setup pokemon, such as Calm Mind Musharna and Baton Pass teams, while providing a more reliable Dark STAB against Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokemon, such as Misdreavus and Gardevoir who might refuse to switch to avoid massive Pursuit damage. Foul Play uses the opponent's Attack stat against them, which makes up for Sneasel's lack of raw power. Foul Play can notably OHKO Golurk, Zangoose, and +2 Scolipede. It also fares well against Choice Band users, while still deterring the frailer Fighting-types from switching in directly. However, it is ironically less effective against Ghost- and Psychic-types since they tend to have low Attack stats, meaning bulkier targets will be a hassle to take down.
Ice Shard snipes faster threats, notably Swellow, Ninjask, Unburden Drifblim, and weakened Choice Scarf users, giving Sneasel more utility as a trapper and a priority user. Taunt is useful for stopping Misdreavus, Gardevoir, and Musharna from using status moves, forcing them to switch out, only to be hit hard by Pursuit. Note that Ice Shard can be used regardless of what item Sneasel is holding, while Taunt should only be used on Eviolite Sneasel, who has a better time surviving attacks.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Unfortunately, much of Sneasel's movepool consists of low-powered moves, making most of them unviable. Sneasel has access to Swords Dance, but it is very frail and still lacks the power needed to sweep its foes. The combination of Beat Up and King's Rock can be annoying, but it weakens with each fallen teammate, making it unreliable. Counter with Focus Sash is a perfectly plausible strategy since it works well with Pickpocket, and Sneasel attracts physical attackers. Linked attacks, such as Rock Blast, and entry hazards however render it useless, and it's a one-time use.
Checks and Counters
Due to Sneasel's pathetic defenses, anything that isn't hit super effectively by Sneasel can either KO it from the get-go or stall Sneasel long enough to beat it. However, the real danger Sneasel poses is its ability to swiftly threaten or KO its targets, as even switching out is a risk due to Pursuit. If you keep Sneasel's main targets off the field, then it won't be able to threaten much else. Fighting-types are the best counters against Sneasel, but due to Sneasel's high Speed stat, they should be equipped with a Choice Scarf and/or not weakened. Priority, particularly Mach Punch and Bullet Punch, destroys Sneasel by hitting its weak Defense while bypassing its Speed, rendering it helpless. Specialized counters aren't required to deal with Sneasel, as many Pokemon can handle it, but be careful with your frailer sweepers that Sneasel can prey on, as it will quickly dispatch of them.