The wielder cannot be poisoned.
Toxic Boost
Attack is increased by 50% when poisoned.
Type Tier
Normal NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
- 287 350 -
239 266 329 361
140 156 219 240
140 156 219 240
140 156 219 240
194 216 279 306


Ever since its introduction in ADV, Zangoose was always outclassed with little to stand out among the plethora of Normal-types available in the lower tiers. It was often thrown aside for bigger and better options such as Swellow and Ursaring. This is no longer true, as Zangoose hit the jackpot when it comes to Dream World abilities. Zangoose's new ability, Toxic Boost, functions a lot like Guts, boosting Zangoose's Attack stat if its afflicted with the poison status. This is a godsend for Zangoose, shooting its already high Attack to astronomical levels after only being in for one turn. Combine this newfound power with Zangoose's above average base 90 Speed and one of the most powerful STAB moves in the game in the form of Facade, and you have a monster on your hands. Sadly, there is one very important attribute holding Zangoose back, and that is its frailty. 73 / 60 / 60 defenses are nothing to write home about, and with no notable resistances to take advantage of, it can be quite hard to switch Zangoose in and activate Toxic Orb. Zangoose is also held back by its own Toxic Orb; while the poison status gives Zangoose enough power to break down a brick wall with its bare hands, it also puts Zangoose on a timer, slowly wearing it down over the course of the match. Nonetheless, Zangoose's incredible power makes it a threat to watch out for, and it would be foolish to underestimate it, despite its frailty.

Name Item Ability Nature

Toxic Boost

Toxic Orb Toxic Boost Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Facade
~ Close Combat
~ Night Slash / Swords Dance
~ Quick Attack
252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

With Toxic Boost to boost its Attack stat, excellent coverage, priority, and a bone crushingly powerful STAB, Zangoose is a perfect candidate for a physical attacker set. The basic objective of the set is to get in safely and then get a boost from the Toxic Orb to start a sweep. While Facade starts off with only 70 Base Power, its Base Power doubles when Zangoose is afflicted with a status problem, so once Zangoose's Toxic Orb activates, Facade has an effective 140 Base Power. Now add on STAB and you have a massively powerful attack that's capable of 2HKOing anything that doesn't resist it. Close Combat takes care of anything that would happen to resist Zangoose's Facade such as Steelix, Ferroseed, Kabutops, and Aggron, all of which take huge amounts of damage. Night Slash rounds off Zangoose's coverage by giving it a solid option to hit the Ghost-types that are immune to both Close Combat and Facade such as Rotom and Misdreavus, allowing Zangoose to break through these Pokemon with little team support. Lastly, Quick Attack provides Zangoose with a decently powerful priority move, a great emergency weapon against faster Pokemon that might otherwise stop Zangoose's sweep prematurely. Zangoose can also give up Night Slash for Swords Dance to further bolster its Attack stat if it gets a boost in; after a Swords Dance boost, Zangoose is fully capable of cleanly OHKOing Tangrowth with Facade, among other incredible feats.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

As a Normal-type, Zangoose has a pretty varied movepool with quite a few options; sadly, there's usually no reason to use any of them due to the sheer power of a Toxic Boosted Facade. Zangoose is capable of using a wide array of special moves such as Fire Blast, Giga Drain, Focus Blast, and Ice Beam, but none of them are worth it in the long run thanks to the power of Facade. Zangoose can potentially use Double Kick over Close Combat to break down Substitutes, but the power drop is very noticeable. The elemental punches can be useful at times for hitting certain Pokemon such as Escavalier and the rare Torterra harder than Facade, but keep in mind that in the majority of cases Facade will do more than enough to the Pokemon in question anyway, making the punches obsolete. Zangoose can choose to use an item other than Toxic Orb such as Life Orb, Choice Band, or Silk Scarf if you think you can predict Toxics well enough to get the boost, but it makes Zangoose pretty unreliable and the extra item boost usually isn't worth it unless Zangoose switches into a random Toxic.

Checks and Counters

Because of how hard Zangoose hits with Toxic Boost taken into account, foolproof counters are few and far between, but there are plenty of ways to stop a rampant Zangoose from sweeping your whole team. Spiritomb is your best bet when it comes to countering Zangoose; it's completely immune to Facade and Close Combat, while its secondary Dark-type makes it take little from Night Slash. Spiritomb can then trap Zangoose with Pursuit in return, eliminating it from the match. Fast paced offensive teams can minimize the amount of damage Zangoose can do by taking advantage of its frailty, giving it little to no opportunity to switch in with powerful STAB attacks and crippling status. Outside of Spiritomb, perhaps the best way to stop Zangoose is to wear it down with its own Toxic Orb, playing around Zangoose's coverage moves with various resists as the poison damage chips away at Zangoose's HP until it falls. If all else fails, faster opponents that can take a Quick Attack are able to revenge kill Zangoose quite easily thanks to its frailty and lack of notable resistances. Choice Scarf Rotom-C, Aerodactyl, Sceptile, and Durant are all perfectly capable of pulling this off with their high Speed stats and strong offensive presence.