With a monstrously high base 150 Attack stat, combined with powerful and complementary Electric- and Dragon-type STAB moves, Zekrom has the power to devastate many teams. Zekrom's signature move, Bolt Strike, will leave enormous dents in even those who resist it, and forces people to run a Ground-type Pokemon or a very bulky Electric-type resistor in their teams. Even then, they will have to tread carefully against its extremely powerful Dragon-type STAB moves. While Zekrom does not have much to offer defensively, it is an excellent check to Ho-Oh and defensive Kyogre due to its resistances to Fire-, Flying-, and Water-type moves. However, Zekrom does have notable flaws in its rather middling Speed, common weaknesses, an almost useless ability, and a very limited movepool. Regardless, Zekrom's incredible strength is definitely something to watch out for.
Zekrom is quite a formidable mixed attacker, sporting a great base 120 Special Attack in addition to its obscenely high base 150 Attack. STAB Draco Meteor, bolstered by Life Orb and 339 Special Attack, is a frightening move to switch into. Even 252/4 Groudon, an otherwise easy safe switch-in to Zekrom, takes a painful 75%-88% from it. Bolt Strike complements Draco Meteor very well, providing almost unresisted coverage, as well as striking extremely hard on the physical side. Its immense strength and excellent type coverage allow Zekrom to blast through Kyogre, Blissey, Chansey, Lugia, Ho-Oh, and most Steel-type Pokemon, in addition to giving most Arceus formes a very tough time stalling and setting up. Dragon Claw is Zekrom's most reliable attack, but Outrage can be used if the extra power is needed, such as against Grass or Electric Arceus. Focus Blast allows Zekrom to hit the few Pokemon that resist its STABs, most notably Ferrothorn, but Volt Switch can be used to break Shaymin-S's Substitute and to escape from Wobbuffet.
The Attack EVs allow Zekrom to OHKO the standard Giratina-O with Dragon Claw after Stealth Rock damage. They also allow Bolt Strike to have a high chance of KOing Chansey after two Stealth Rock switch-ins, and to always OHKO 248 HP Scizor after Stealth Rock damage. Furthermore, assuming neutrality, 4/0 Arceus will take 71% minimum. The Special Attack EVs maximize the amount of damage Draco Meteor and Focus Blast can do. The rest are thrown into HP to give Zekrom a bit of bulk, and 4 Speed EVs allow it to outrun other base 90 Speed Pokemon that lack any investment. You may find it insufficient, however, so feel free to invest more in Speed until you feel comfortable.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Tremble in fear of Zekrom's Choice Band-boosted and powerful, complementary STAB attacks, bolstered by a maximum Attack stat of 438. Its Bolt Strike is powerful enough to terrorize even most of the Pokemon that resist it, dealing a solid 41%-49% to max HP Dialga and 44%-52% to the standard Naughty Giratina-O. With that in mind, Bolt Strike will absolutely murder those who do not resist it. However, as tempting as it is to spam Bolt Strikes, it is unwise if any Ground-types are present, as they will absorb the blow and leave Zekrom helpless. Dragon Claw is a safe move to throw out to damage the Ground-type switch ins, and is a safe move to spam in general. However, it is somewhat weak and doesn't do a lot of damage against defensive Groudon. Outrage provides Zekrom with the ability to easily 2HKO even 252/252+ Groudon after Stealth Rock damage, and allows it to clean up slower teams, but can leave it very vulnerable to revenge killing. The sole reason Fusion Bolt takes up the fourth slot is for reliability, because Bolt Strike can miss at the worst times. Volt Switch can be used to break Shaymin-S's Substitute so a faster Pokemon can switch in safely.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Zekrom's middling Speed can be patched up with a Choice Scarf, allowing it to act as a revenge killer. Zekrom possesses a couple of traits that separate it from its fellow Choice Scarf users Palkia, Dialga, and Garchomp. For one, its high Attack and Bolt Strike allow it to take down Mewtwo from 80% health down (73% with Jolly) and to murder Kyogre, Ho-Oh, and Lugia, all of whom can give Choice Scarf Palkia, Dialga, and Garchomp issues. With Adamant nature, it can also 2HKO maximum HP Arceus (assuming neutrality, of course), while Palkia, Dialga, and Garchomp are turned into setup bait. Finally, it has access to Volt Switch, which allows it to keep up the momentum against the opponent so long as a Ground-type doesn't switch in.
Bolt Strike and Outrage are the bread and butter moves of this set, both possessing immense power and STAB, hitting nearly everything for neutral damage. As a matter of fact, Zekrom's Outrage is strong enough to 2HKO offensive Groudon, something Garchomp is incapable of doing. Dragon Claw is a safe move to use should locking into Outrage or Electric-type moves be risky, but it is rather weak. Finally, Fusion Bolt can be used over Volt Switch if you find Volt Switch's utility to be too little for you, and is 100% accurate, unlike Bolt Strike.
Adamant and Jolly are equally viable on Zekrom. With Adamant, Zekrom gains the ability to 2HKO maximum HP Arceus and to OHKO Mewtwo after Stealth Rock damage and one round of Life Orb recoil. However, it loses the Speed tie against other base 90 Choice Scarf users and +1 Speed Ho-Oh and Reshiram (due to Flame Charge). Adamant also means Deoxys-A will outrun Zekrom.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Zekrom's average Speed stat makes it a mediocre sweeper on its own, so Hone Claws seems like the perfect choice to make Zekrom an even better sweeper by increasing its already ridiculously high Attack stat. However, this set's main purpose is not to use Hone Claws and Substitute to improve its attacking prowess. Instead, it aims to take advantage of one of Zekrom's most common switch-ins, Ferrothorn, while still maintaining the superb coverage granted by Dragon- and Electric-type attacks.
Substitute allows Zekrom to set up on Ferrothorn—probably Zekrom's most common switch-in—and scout other switch-ins. Outrage and Bolt Strike are amazing STAB moves, as both are extremely powerful and have wide coverage in conjunction with each other. The choice between Dragon Claw and Outrage is up to the user. Outrage's undeniable power—it OHKOes Giratina-O and 2HKOes Max HP Dialga after Stealth Rock damage—makes it the superior option. However, if you don't want to be locked into Outrage and risk hitting yourself in confusion, feel free to use Dragon Claw. It should be noted, however, that doing so will cost you some crucial OHKOs and 2HKOs, such as the ones that have been mentioned above.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Zekrom's mediocre base 90 Speed makes it nearly impossible for the poor Dragon to sweep, so this set attempts to remedy this by utilizing Tailwind. Under the effects of Tailwind, Zekrom can outspeed a majority of the tier, even when running mixed offensive EVs. Draco Meteor, despite lacking full investment, packs a huge punch, allowing Zekrom to heavily dent any troublesome Groudon and support Arceus that might try to halt its sweep. Bolt Strike is extremely strong with maximum Attack investment, and can do heavy damage to Pokemon, such as OHKO 0 HP Arceus after Stealth Rock and Spikes damage. The last moveslot is based on the team's needs. Outrage gives Zekrom a strong STAB move to spam after it has used Draco Meteor, but beware, as it may leave Zekrom locked in after Tailwind has ended. Volt Switch allows Zekrom to keep momentum by scouting for any potential double switches and can give Tailwind's Speed boost to another teammate. Lastly, Focus Blast allows Zekrom to kill weakened Ferrothorn, as the move always 2HKOes after Stealth Rock damage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
As stated before, Zekrom's movepool is lackluster, and there aren't a lot of options for it to play around with. Thunder Wave can be used to slow down Lugia so it cannot stall Zekrom's Bolt Strikes with Reflect and Roost. Imprison can be used to block Draco Meteor and Outrage, but will still leave it vulnerable to Spacial Rend and Earthquake. Zekrom learns Reflect and Light Screen, and can use Volt Switch to aid in safely sending in its target teammate, but its rather low Speed and common weaknesses hinder it from setting them up easily. Finally, Zekrom learns Dragon Tail for phazing.
Haban Berry is an interesting option to use over Life Orb on the mixed set, which allows Zekrom to take a hit from opposing Dragons and OHKO them back with its own attacks. Air Balloon can be used to avoid Earthquake and escape Dugtrio, but will pop after getting hit by a single attack. Groudon can simply Dragon Tail Zekrom away while Garchomp can penetrate Zekrom with Outrage or Dragon Claw. Dragon Fang is an option over Life Orb for the mixed attacker if you despise taking 10% each turn due to Life Orb, but should only be used with the slower variants, as it requires investment in both Attack and Special Attack to deal a good amount of damage in the absence of Life Orb.
Checks and Counters
Zekrom is difficult to counter due to its immense strength and coverage, but there are several Pokemon in the game that can annoy it. Ferrothorn resists both Electric- and Dragon-type moves, but needs to be wary of Focus Blast from the mixed set. Also be aware that Choice Band Outrage or Bolt Strike 3HKOes specially defensive Ferrothorn. Although Groudon needs to be wary of Draco Meteor and Outrage, it can take on Zekrom's other physical attacks and retaliate with Earthquake. The best counter to Zekrom, however, is Ground Arceus, as it can take a hit and outrun Zekrom to KO it with Earthquake or Judgment.
Zekrom is fairly easy to revenge kill due to its low Speed and weaknesses to Ground-, Ice-, and Dragon-type attacks. Garchomp can switch into a predicted Bolt Strike and KO Zekrom back with Earthquake or Outrage. Keep in mind, however, that maximum HP Zekrom takes only 81% maximum from Garchomp's Earthquake. Palkia, Rayquaza, Dragon Arceus, and Choice Scarf Dialga are all faster than Zekrom and OHKO it with their Dragon-type attacks. Mewtwo is much faster than Zekrom and can knock it out with Ice Beam, provided Zekrom has taken a bit of residual damage. Wobbuffet can to an extent pose problems for Zekrom, as it revenge kills the Choice Scarf set, and the Choice Band set if Zekrom is not locked into Bolt Strike or Outrage. Dugtrio, though rare, can trap and revenge kill Zekrom. Choice Zekrom in particular needs to be wary of this, as Dugtrio can set up Hone Claws on a Choice-locked Electric-type move. Although practically nonexistent in the Uber metagame, Steelix is the best Choice Zekrom counter in the game, sporting a base 200 Defense to go along with its resistance to Dragon and immunity to Electric.
There are other ways to play around Zekrom. Against the mixed attacker, you can attempt to lure out its Draco Meteor and send in a Steel-type Pokemon to take the hit and weaken Zekrom's Special Attack, then send in Groudon to wall it. Zekrom in general hates Toxic Spikes, so laying it down will cut its rampage short. This especially applies to the mixed attacker, as it would take at least 22.5% every time it launches a successful hit.