Wobbuffet

Shadow Tag
Prevents switching.
Telepathy
Does not take damage from allies' attacks.
Type Tier
Psychic BL
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
190
- 35 38 -
Atk
33
8 9 13 14
Def
58
10 12 15 16
SpA
33
8 9 13 14
SpD
58
10 12 15 16
Spe
33
8 9 13 14

Overview

Lurking in the dark trenches of BL, Wobbuffet is sometimes pushed aside in favor of its more offensively orientated Shadow Tag-sporting cousin, Gothitelle. However, to assume that it is outclassed is unwise; rather, its mighty bulk, which allows it to tank even the most powerful of attacks, minuscule movepool brimming with perfection to properly make use of Shadow Tag, and ability to efficiently defeat Choice item users makes it arguably the better Shadow Tag Pokemon. The two play different roles entirely—Wobbuffet is best on bulky offense and balanced teams because of its ability to beat Choice item users, while Gothitelle is better on hyper offense teams due to its wide selection of attacks and decent Special Attack stat. Unfortunately, a lack of recovery, being completely stopped by Taunt, the generation's power creep, and the lowering of Encore's duration since DPP prevents BL's resident telekinetic from flipping OU upside down and being banished to Ubers like in DPP and ADV before it. BW brought with it many new problems for everyone's most loved (or hated) trapper, but it can still perform with reliability unmatched by any other trapper.

Name Item Ability Nature

Oh No, It's Wobbuffet! (Bulky)

Leftovers Shadow Tag Bold / Calm
Moveset EVs
~ Encore
~ Mirror Coat
~ Counter
~ Safeguard
28 HP / 232 Def / 248 SpD

Since the long-forgotten days of ADV, Wobbuffet has been besting its opposition with this set, and consequentially was banished to Ubers with little controversy. While Wobbuffet has not changed one bit, the Pokemon around it have become more fierce and have pushed the telekinetic fiend down to the no man's land known as BL. Regardless, Wobbuffet can still perform as a stellar trapper, and can take advantage of essentially any Pokemon that may confront it. The goal of this set is very simple—switch Wobbuffet in so that the opposing Pokemon is trapped and either KO it with Counter or Mirror Coat or give a teammate free turns to set up. Gothitelle, Wobbuffet's main rival, struggles to efficiently deal with Choice item users, while Wobbuffet has a number of traits that allow it to prevail against most. Counter and Mirror Coat, henceforth referred to as CounterCoat, are moves that Wobbuffet was built to utilize. Its enormous HP stat and low defenses mean that it loses a ton of HP when it takes attacks, but still remains relatively healthy or at the very least survives the hit. This often makes CounterCoat a guaranteed OHKO against any Pokemon with decent offensive stats. The next move is one that can claim almost sole responsibility for Wobbuffet's notoriety, and has been built upon throughout three generations—Encore. Encore allows Wobbuffet to give the free turns to its teammates that it is famous for. Although it was nerfed in the transition to BW with a reduction in duration to three turns, this is still more than enough time for teammates to set up in. Safeguard wraps up the set mainly as filler, but it prevents Wobbuffet and its teammates from being crippled by status for a few turns, which is especially helpful if a set-up sweeper or wall is waiting in the wings.

The beauty of having both Encore and CounterCoat on the same set is that the combination enables Wobbuffet to escape any mindgames that it might be faced with. There are two main archetypes of Pokemon that Wobbuffet is likely to be trapping—Choice item users and Pokemon with non-attacking moves. The latter group is troublesome given that CounterCoat is Wobbuffet's only form of "offense", as an opposing sweeper setting up or behind a Substitute renders them untouchable by said moves. However, with Encore in play, the use of these moves is a liability. It also prevents issues with mixed attackers, as they would otherwise be able to play around with Wobbuffet between their physical and special attacks. However, there are still some mindgames present; if Encore is used as the opponent attacks, Wobbuffet might be 2HKOed, and if it uses CounterCoat while the opponent uses a non-attacking move, the opponent gets an advantage. Lastly, being a threat to both Substitute users, set-up sweepers, and Choice item users makes Wobbuffet a living hell for offense.

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

Speedy

Leftovers Shadow Tag Bold / Calm
Moveset EVs
~ Encore
~ Tickle
~ Mirror Coat
~ Counter
252 Def / 76 SpD / 180 Spe

While this set has a bit of trouble switching in due to its lower bulk, it has enough Speed investment to outrun Blissey and other slower walls, while still functioning decently against weak attackers and Choice Scarf users. As opposed to the more conservative play of bulky Wobbuffet, more aggressive play is utilized here, which of course entails prediction; however, this makes it all the more deadly, especially in the hands of a skilled player. While CounterCoat still makes an appearance on this set, they take a backseat to the masterful combination of Tickle and Encore. Encore is useful for disrupting opposing set-up sweepers, though do take note that this set will have a bit of trouble tanking powerful boosted hits. However, it being used in conjunction with Tickle is what makes it so dangerous, as Tickle weakens walls for its teammates while Encore makes them unable to use their desired recovery move or entry hazard, which combines for a Wobbuffet that strikes fear into the heart of almost every wall ever seen in OU.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Wobbuffet literally has two other moves that could see the light of day—Destiny Bond and Charm. Unfortunately for Wobbuffet, this is the only place where its mediocre Speed stat really lets it down, as both moves really require Speed to function best. Charm is not a great move anyway, and if you want Destiny Bond that badly then I direct your attention to Gengar and Froslass.

Checks and Counters

If the complete definition of a counter is taken into account, then technically Wobbuffet has zero counters because nothing can actually switch into Wobbuffet except under very specific circumstances. Of course, if this were the case then Wobbuffet would surely have been banished to Ubers like in the last two generations. The rise of Shed Shell users such as Heatran and Ninetales to keep up with the rampant Dugtrio usage means that the number of Pokemon able to be trapped by Wobbuffet is slowly decreasing. The prevalence of U-turn and Volt Switch allows many Pokemon to escape Wobbuffet's wrath, but unless a Ghost-type is brought in with U-turn or a Dark-type with Volt Switch, the new Pokemon will be faced with losing a ton of health via Counter or Mirror Coat. U-turn and Volt Switch are particularly lethal when used with a Tyranitar carrying Pursuit, as then Wobbuffet is put in a checkmate position. Baton Pass functions in a similar fashion but does not run the risk of the Pokemon sent out being hit by Counter or Mirror Coat. If you want specifics, this makes Hydreigon the best Wobbuffet "counter" in the business.

There are still a bunch of other countermeasures to Wobbuffet left to discuss. The first and most notable solution is simply to throw an array of powerful attacks in Wobbuffet's direction. These will deter it from switching in, as it would risk being 2HKOed. Examples include Life Orb Scizor's Bug Bite, Life Orb Volcarona's Bug Buzz, Choice Band Victini's V-create in sun, and Choice Specs Keldeo's Hydro Pump in rain. If you have a mixed attacker, take advantage of that fact and play mindgames with Wobbuffet. This can potentially cause Wobbuffet to die using Encore or desperately attempting to get off a Counter or Mirror Coat. A fast Taunt prevents Encore, forcing Wobbuffet to blindly use CounterCoat. Tornadus (both formes) and Sableye work well for this. Magic Bounce reflects back Tickle and Encore, giving Wobbuffet a taste of its own medicine. Status, most notably Toxic, wears down Wobbuffet very quickly because of its lack of recovery outside of Leftovers. Entry hazards lessen Wobbuffet's ability to switch in and out multiple times to sponge hits without worry. If your Pokemon do not possess any of these traits, just go for the move that is least exploitable for setup bait, such as Leech Seed, Reflect, Light Screen, or Substitute. Generally, utilizing every method at your disposal to wear down Wobbuffet will do the trick, as then it is prevented from effectively meddling with your team.