In the past, Venomoth has been often neglected in favor of other fellow Bug-type Pokemon, particularly Yanmega. It is safe to say, however, that the advent of BW has been very kind to it, courtesy of the introduction of Quiver Dance, which is arguably the best boosting move in the game. With a surprisingly healthy amount of support options, Baton Pass, decent offensive stats, and more importantly, the ability to use Tinted Lens in combination with Quiver Dance, Venomoth can become a devastating threat that can turn the tides of the game if played correctly.
However, that is not to say Venomoth is practically perfect in every way. The bar for offensive stats has been dramatically raised, leaving Venomoth's Special Attack in the dust. In addition to the bugs of past generations, Venomoth faces particularly severe competition from Volcarona, which sports better stats and a larger movepool. That said, in order to use Venomoth to its full potential, one must abuse its advantages over other Pokemon, most notably its unique ability to Baton Pass Quiver Dance.
With the introduction of Quiver Dance in its movepool, Venomoth now has the ability to Baton Pass to a teammate the destructive boosts that Quiver Dance provides. Access to Sleep Powder allows Venomoth to successfully gain at least one boost while crippling an opponent in the process. Despite the minimal EV investment in Special Attack, Venomoth can hit hard against problematic Pokemon like Tornadus and Whimsicott. This is aided further by Quiver Dance and Tinted Lens, the latter making the lack of coverage in this set a relative non-issue.
Sleep Powder is crucial to this set's success as it allows Venomoth to achieve a guaranteed boost, and thus, a possible free Baton Pass. Bug Buzz acts as Venomoth's obligatory STAB attack and allows it to defeat Whimsicott and occasionally Tornadus. An offensive EV spread may be utilized over the current spread listed, but Venomoth's purpose is mainly focused on Baton Passing and thus, in most situations, it does not require additional power to succeed in its goal. Life Orb is not recommended over Leftovers for the same reasons. Nidoking makes a great Baton Pass recipient, because of its decent stats, and perfect coverage with Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, and Flamethrower. Additionally, its ability, Sheer Force, boosts the power of Nidoking's attacks by 30% while removing their secondary effects.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This Venomoth takes advantage of its offenses, and becomes a potentially devastating sweeper in the right environment. Thanks to to Sleep Powder, Venomoth can smoothly cripple and set up against a slower enemy. Tinted Lens greatly enhances the neutral coverage of Venomoth's two attacks, and essentially eliminates the opponent's ability to defend against Venomoth using their resistances.
The choice in the last slot is based on what you want Venomoth to hit. Hidden Power Ground is Venomoth's best attack against Heatran, which is the most common OU Pokemon with a 4x resistance to Bug, and it can cleanly defeat Venomoth with its powerful Fire-type attacks. Unfortunately, Air Balloon is a very common item for Heatran to run, so Venomoth should focus on popping it with Bug Buzz so it can proceed to OHKO with Hidden Power Ground. Psychic grants perfect neutral coverage alongside Bug Buzz factoring in Tinted Lens, and also provides an attack with which to hit Skarmory.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Sludge Bomb can be utilized as Venomoth's secondary STAB, but that just leaves it further troubled by Steel-types. Venomoth has a vast range of support options, consisting of Sleep Powder, Stun Spore, Toxic, Toxic Spikes, and Defog. A support set is viable, but Venomoth is just too frail to make effective use of it. Due to its decent offensive stats and Tinted Lens, a Choice Specs set can be considered. When not using Quiver Dance though, Venomoth is largely outclassed by Tinted Lens Yanmega.
Venomoth's Dream World ability is Wonder Skin, an interesting ability that decreases the accuracy of major status moves by 50%. Avoiding paralysis or sleep can be nice, though Venomoth cares little about burn and is immune to poison. The most interesting thing about Wonder Skin is that it has a 50% chance to make Taunt miss (though it does not affect Encore). This seems like an incredibly useful ability for a Pokemon aiming to set up, though, like Mental Herb, it will rarely be needed on Venomoth. Generally speaking, Tinted Lens is a fantastic ability that is too hard to pass up.
Checks and Counters
Because of its ability to put a Pokemon to sleep, usually after a Speed boost from Quiver Dance, Venomoth is surprisingly annoying to counter. Once Sleep Clause is in effect though, countering Venomoth becomes far easier, providing it hasn't put one of its counters to sleep. Blissey and Chansey wall Venomoth completely because they can shrug off any attack that Venomoth can throw at them. The pink behemoths also render Sleep Powder useless due to Natural Cure. They cannot prevent Venomoth from using Baton Pass, though. A Specially Defensive Skarmory not only walls most of Venomoth's moveset, but can use Whirlwind to phaze it as well. Heatran can counter Venomoth that lack Hidden Power Ground. While they aren't counters by any means, Tornadus and Whimsicott can prevent any attempts to Baton Pass unless Venomoth runs Wonder Skin and it takes effect.