Zoroark

Illusion
The wielder appears as the last Pokemon in the party to the opponent.
Type Tier
Dark UU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
60
- 261 324 -
Atk
105
221 246 309 339
Def
60
140 156 219 240
SpA
120
248 276 339 372
SpD
60
140 156 219 240
Spe
105
221 246 309 339

Overview

With a respectable base 105 Attack and base 120 Special Attack, and enough of a movepool to utilize them, Zoroark can do some serious damage if left alone. However, with its poor base 60 / 60 / 60 defenses, Zoroark can be OHKOed by powerful STAB moves. Fortunately for Zoroark, its unique ability, Illusion, helps it out both offensively and defensively. Illusion lets Zoroark masquerade as the last Pokemon selected in a team of four. However, thanks to Team Preview, the opponent will still be alerted to Zoroark's existence. While some might say that Team Preview ruins Zoroark's surprise factor, simply knowing that Zoroark might show up does not say anything about when it will actually reveal itself, or if it is even in the battle at all. With the right timing and the right Illusion, this master of disguise will leave the opponent wondering what just hit them.

Name Item Nature

Mixed Attacker

Focus Sash Lonely
Moveset EVs
~ Sucker Punch
~ Dark Pulse / Night Daze
~ Flamethrower / Focus Blast
~ Protect
252 Atk / 180 SpA / 76 Spe

Zoroark tends to get one good surprise attack on the opponent before he or she becomes aware of Zoroark's presence on the field. Sucker Punch is extremely effective, surprising opponents with an unexpected STAB priority attack. Dark Pulse is used in tandem with Sucker Punch for a secondary STAB move. It is also useful for striking down Trick Room users, as many are weak to Dark-type moves. Night Daze can be used over Dark Pulse if you're willing to trade a bit of accuracy for a bit more power; the choice between these moves is personal preference. Flamethrower allows Zoroark to catch Steel-types such as Ferrothorn and Scizor off-guard and deal heavy damage to them. Focus Blast can be used over Flamethrower, as it still hits Steel-types hard, while also enabling Zoroark to take on Pokemon such as Heatran and Tyranitar. However, Focus Blast's lackluster accuracy is a major issue. The last move for Zoroark is Protect, which is especially useful as it blocks incoming attacks while keeping Illusion intact. Using Protect will not give away Zoroark, as it is a common move on many Pokemon.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Special Attacker

Focus Sash Timid / Hasty
Moveset EVs
~ Dark Pulse / Night Daze
~ Flamethrower / Sucker Punch
~ Focus Blast / Sucker Punch
~ Protect
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

This set focuses on putting Zoroark's base 105 Speed to use. Dark Pulse serves as Zoroark's main attack and is interchangeable with Night Daze, trading a bit of accuracy for extra power. Flamethrower and Focus Blast provide good coverage, allowing Zoroark to hit hard against many common Pokemon, such as Tyranitar, Metagross, and Abomasnow. Sucker Punch can be used instead of one of these moves as it can still do some respectable damage, and priority moves are always welcome on any moveset. However, it will leave some gaps in Zoroark's offensive coverage. Lastly, Protect allows Zoroark to block incoming attacks and maintain Illusion.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Grass Knot can be useful to hit Water-types super effectively. Hidden Power Ice can be useful as Zoroark can outrun Pokemon such as Salamence, Garchomp, and Landorus, and hit them hard. Substitute is an interesting option for Zoroark, as damage dealt to a Substitute does not break Zoroark's Illusion. Substitute variants of Zoroark also pair well with Fake Out users. However, a few issues arise: Zoroark's frailty means that just about anything will be able to break its Substitutes, and the opponent will likely get suspicious if the Pokemon Zoroark is masquerading as suddenly outruns something it should not normally be able to. Zoroark can use Taunt to disrupt support moves, particularly Trick Room or Tailwind, and from behind an Illusion, can catch opponents off-guard. Lastly, Counter can allow Zoroark to deal the ultimate surprise attack against physical attackers, but it is extremely risky.

Checks and Counters

It can be a bit difficult to try to handle Zoroark without knowing if it is even present on the field. About all that can be done is to wait for it to show itself, or show that it's not around. A bit of caution can go a long way. Once Zoroark has shown itself, Fighting-types tend to be best in confronting it. Hitmontop, Conkeldurr, and Terrakion in particular can easily take Zoroark's attacks and OHKO it with Fighting-type moves. Tyranitar and Heatran can also wall Zoroark as long as Zoroark doesn't run Focus Blast.