Zoroark

Illusion
The wielder appears as the last Pokemon in the party to the opponent.
Type Tier
Dark UU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
60
- 135 167 -
Atk
105
112 125 157 172
Def
60
72 80 112 123
SpA
120
126 140 172 189
SpD
60
72 80 112 123
Spe
105
112 125 157 172

Overview

Zoroark's ability, Illusion, is both a blessing and a curse. Illusion allows Zoroark to appear as the last Pokemon in the party, giving it the element of surprise and possibly allowing Zoroark to net a KO. However, Team Preview alerts the opponent to Zoroark's presence, meaning that much of Zoroark's surprise factor is gone. Because of this, many players are discouraged from using Zoroark. However, Zoroark still has the potential to be a devastating factor in any VGC match, and should not be overlooked when considering a possible teammate.

Name Item Nature

Special Attacker

Focus Sash / Life Orb / Dark Gem Timid / Naive
Moveset EVs
~ Dark Pulse / Night Daze
~ Flamethrower
~ Hidden Power Ice
~ Protect / Sucker Punch
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

This set is able to heavily damage almost all Trick Room users, and even some of its sweepers. Dark Pulse hits most common Trick Room users for super effective damage. Night Daze has more power than Dark Pulse, but lower accuracy. Night Daze also has the downside of immediately giving away Zoroark's disguise, making Dark Pulse the better choice in most situations. Flamethrower deals heavy damage to Amoonguss and Whimsicott. Hidden Power Ice OHKOes Landorus lacking Yache Berry and 2HKOes Hydreigon, who resists the rest of Zoroark's moves. Protect is always useful in VGC, allowing your partner to set up Tailwind or to stall out an opponent's Trick Room. Sucker Punch is useful for attacking while Trick Room is up and picking off weakened Pokemon, but Protect is generally the superior option for longevity.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Counter

Focus Sash Hasty
Moveset IVs
~ Counter
~ Sucker Punch
~ Low Sweep / Flamethrower
~ Protect
0 Def
EVs
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

While its effectiveness has been reduced by Team Preview, this set is still viable. When Zoroark is hit by a physical attack, it survives using the Focus Sash and doles out twice the damage with Counter! If you think you're getting hit with a special attack, then Sucker Punch can take out the threat. Low Sweep can lower the foe's Speed, while also allowing Zoroark to support its team. Flamethrower can be used if you have problems with Amoonguss. Protect helps stall and allow time for threats to be taken out.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Grass Knot hits Water-types such as Samurott and Seismitoad hard, but Hidden Power Ice has better overall coverage. Extrasensory could be used for Fighting-types, but Hidden Power Ice hits more Pokemon and Extrasensory won't OHKO most Fighting-types anyway. Night Slash could be used on the Counter set if you don't like Sucker Punch, but the priority from the latter is usually too good to pass up. Taunt is always useful in VGC, but it's often better utilized by a Pokemon with Prankster, such as Tornadus or Thundurus. Furthermore, the Pokemon you would be using Taunt against are Trick Room users, which are weak to Dark, so you are usually better off just attacking. Aerial Ace is also an option on the Counter set, dealing with Fighting-types to an extent. Focus Blast can hit Dark-types such as Hydreigon hard, but the 70% accuracy is very unattractive. A Choice Scarf set could be utilized to come in late-game and clean up the remaining Pokemon, but with Zoroark's paper defenses, this doesn't always work.

Checks and Counters

Ironically, the main check to Zoroark is not a Pokemon itself. Team Preview allows Zoroark's opponent to plan for it, possibly leading to Zoroark being OHKOed. Otherwise, Fighting-types can hit it very hard, and outside of Extrasensory, Aerial Ace, or Counter, Zoroark can't damage Fighting-types. Bug-types such as Escavalier also give Zoroark trouble.