Tomohawk is a heavily dominant and defining force in the CAP metagame thanks to its offensive, defensive, and supporting capabilities. Its versatility is nearly unmatched, as its unique combination of traits allows it to fit onto almost any conceivable team archetype. A big part of Tomohawk's effectiveness stems from its excellent ability Prankster, which works quite well with its supporting movepool that includes moves such as Stealth Rock, Haze, Reflect, and Healing Wish. Having access to priority Roost is also helpful, greatly increasing its staying power and defensive presence. Prankster also provides Nature Power with priority, which is useful for offensive sets. Tomohawk possesses powerful STAB moves in Hurricane and Aura Sphere, as well as useful coverage in Earth Power, allowing it to take advantage of its base 115 Special Attack stat and pose a serious offensive threat. Tomohawk's Flying / Fighting typing in tandem with reliable recovery makes it a hard stop to threats like Colossoil, Landorus-T, Bisharp, and Tyranitar, and priority Haze allows it to act as an emergency check to virtually any setup sweeper lacking super effective priority. However, its typing leaves it with several exploitable weaknesses to Electric-, Fairy-, Flying-, Ice-, and Psychic-type attacks, which make it vulnerable to several common threats including Mega Altaria, Mega Diancie, Talonflame, Aurumoth, Azumarill, Clefable, Alakazam, Mega Gardevoir, and Sylveon.
Roost is mandatory on any defensive Tomohawk set; it provides Tomohawk with priority recovery thanks to Prankster, allowing it to check physical threats throughout the match and continually perform its supporting duties. Air Slash is Tomohawk's preferred STAB option due to its reliability, allowing it to hit Mega Venusaur, Pyroak, and opposing Tomohawk super effectively. Hurricane may be used in place of Air Slash, allowing Tomohawk to deal heavier damage to its switch-ins such as Mega Gardevoir, though its lower 70% accuracy is a significant drawback.
The remaining moveslots are dependent on what type of support Tomohawk is required to provide for the team. Haze allows Tomohawk to stop setup sweepers such as Gyarados, Mega Charizard X, and Mega Scizor in their tracks while also letting Tomohawk serve as an emergency check to setup sweepers that hit it super effectively, including Aurumoth, Mega Altaria, and Cawmodore, if the situation calls for it. However, if your team is capable of handling setup sweepers without Tomohawk's support, another offensive move may be used instead, giving Tomohawk a stronger offensive presence while maintaining its incredible durability. Earth Power is a prime choice for this, as it provides great coverage alongside Tomohawk's Flying STAB move, discouraging Electric-types like Cyclohm and Plasmanta from switching into it while also hitting Crucibelle, Heatran, Jirachi, and Mollux super effectively. Aura Sphere may also be used here, as it provides Tomohawk with a secondary STAB option, allowing it to hit Ferrothorn super effectively and Rotom-W neutrally, though it doesn't provide quite as much coverage alongside its Flying-type STAB move as Earth Power.
Tomohawk is a reliable user of Stealth Rock, as it has the bulk and longevity to set up the entry hazard many times throughout the course of the match. Being able to set up Stealth Rock safely against the metagame's most prominent Rapid Spin user, Colossoil, helps it tremendously in this regard. If Tomohawk isn't needed to set up Stealth Rock, it can be used as an entry hazard remover instead with Rapid Spin. Tomohawk's ability to pressure certain Ghost-types such as Necturna and Revenankh helps prevent them from spinblocking safely, increasing Tomohawk's effectiveness as a spinner. Reflect is also a viable support option; not only does it provide Tomohawk's teammates with a cushion against physical blows, it also increases Tomohawk's defensive capabilities dramatically. With Reflect up, Tomohawk is only 3HKOed by physical attackers such as Mega Altaria and Mega Metagross, allowing it to wear them down with Rocky Helmet damage while safely healing itself with priority Roost. Tomohawk can even tank super effective STAB-boosted hits from some of the metagame's most powerful wallbreakers if Reflect is up, including Mega Medicham and Azumarill. It has great synergy with Haze, as the combination enables Tomohawk to wall a vast array of setup sweepers.
Though the slashes shown on the moveset might insinuate otherwise, there are several other viable move combinations Tomohawk can run, as it's entirely dependent on what support Tomohawk is required to provide for your team. For example, if you need a Pokemon that can both set and remove entry hazards, Tomohawk can run Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin on the same set. Tomohawk can even run a set with no attacks to maximize its support capabilities, though a lack of attacking options can prove detrimental in end-game situations.
252 EVs in both HP and Defense alongside a Bold nature maximize Tomohawk's physical bulk. Leftovers provides Tomohawk with passive recovery, increasing its longevity even further. At the cost of longevity, Rocky Helmet may be used instead to punish physical attackers more aggressively, and it is the optimal choice on sets with Reflect. For teams that rely on Tomohawk to sponge Knock Off from the likes of Colossoil and Bisharp, it's also the preferred choice over Leftovers. Prankster gives priority to all of Tomohawk's non-attacking moves, making it an effective supporter.
Tomohawk walls a wide variety of physical attackers such Colossoil, Landorus-T, Excadrill, and Bisharp, so switch it into these Pokemon throughout the match. From there, Tomohawk can wear them down by attacking while keeping itself healthy with Roost. However, Tomohawk will often force these Pokemon to switch out, so take advantage of the opportunity to use a support move such as Stealth Rock or Rapid Spin. If Tomohawk is running Haze and you suspect it will be required to stop a specific setup sweeper during the match, keeping Tomohawk alive (and preferably healthy) should be a top priority so that it can take advantage of priority Haze when the time comes. For example, if Tomohawk is needed to remove a Belly Drum boost from Cawmodore, it must be kept above 45% health to survive a +6 Bullet Punch, as Tomohawk won't be able to prevent Cawmodore from sweeping otherwise. If using Reflect, Tomohawk can generally wear down opposing physical attackers by repeatedly using Roost as they continue to take Rocky Helmet damage. However, it may also be optimal to switch to a teammate that can take better advantage of the Reflect boost and handle or set up on the foe, as Tomohawk can usually find an opportunity to use Roost later in the match even if it has been heavily weakened thanks to Prankster.
Covering Tomohawk's weakness to Fairy-type moves is very important, so it pairs well with defensive Steel- and Fire-types, including Mollux, Pyroak, Heatran, Ferrothorn, Jirachi, and Skarmory. Strong special attackers in general tend to overwhelm Tomohawk, so Chansey pairs very well with it to sponge hits from them and provide cleric support. Chansey in return appreciates Tomohawk's ability to handle Knock Off users such as Colossoil with ease. Bulky Ground-types such as Assault Vest Colossoil, Tank Garchomp, and mixed defensive Hippowdon can also pair well with Tomohawk, as they cover its weakness to Electric-type attacks and prevent opposing Volt Switch users from gaining momentum. Tomohawk can handle Grass-types in return. Pokemon resistant to Flying, such as Cyclohm and Rotom-W, are also helpful defensive partners for Tomohawk. Unaware Clefable is another nice defensive teammate, as its ability reduces the need for Tomohawk to run Haze, freeing up one of its moveslots to run another supporting move. Unaware Clefable can also handle most variants of Aurumoth, which can be a troublesome foe for Tomohawk to face.
Life Orb Hurricane hits very hard; it can 2HKO Clefable and deal massive damage to many of Tomohawk's non-Electric checks, such as Mega Gardevoir. Despite its shaky accuracy, Hurricane is still preferred over Air Slash, as Air Slash is much weaker and prevents Tomohawk from 2HKOing Clefable and Mega Sableye. Aura Sphere smacks Dark- and Steel-types for heavy damage, such as Tyranitar, Colossoil, and Ferrothorn. It also 2HKOes Rotom-W and specially defensive Skarmory after Stealth Rock damage. Earth Power does massive damage to foes such as Cyclohm and Kitsunoh. With Prankster, Nature Power becomes Tri Attack with +1 priority, allowing Tomohawk to pick off various weakened faster threats and Choice Scarf users. Nature Power also prevents several of Tomohawk's usual checks, such as Mega Gardevoir, Thundurus, and Assault Vest Tornadus-T, from switching into it safely, as they are all KOed by the combination of Hurricane and Nature Power after Stealth Rock damage. Roost allows Tomohawk to heal off the damage it takes from Life Orb, usually on forced switches, extending its longevity. On some teams, particularly hyper offense, Tomohawk's longevity isn't of much importance. Healing Wish is often a more suitable option in this case, as it allows Tomohawk to bring one of its teammates back to full health while preserving offensive momentum for the team.
Tomohawk's Special Attack and Speed are maximized to ensure top offensive potential. A Modest nature is preferred over Timid to increase Tomohawk's damage output, ensuring that the combination of Hurricane and Nature Power KOes Assault Vest Tornadus-T after Stealth Rock damage. Life Orb boosts the power of all of Tomohawk's offensive moves while still allowing it to switch moves as it pleases, which lets it take advantage of its non-attacking moves, as well as Nature Power, effectively. 29 HP IVs are used to lower the damage taken from Life Orb recoil. Prankster gives priority to Tomohawk's Nature Power, Roost, and Healing Wish.
Keep in mind that Tomohawk isn't terribly bulky without investment, so it should only be directly switched into predicted Ground-type attacks or other resisted hits if at all possible. Getting Tomohawk in via a free switch is ideal. Once it's in, simply click the appropriate coverage move for the situation; Tomohawk's STAB moves are pretty safe options most of the time. If there are still healthy Pokemon that resist Flying present on the other team, such as Mega Crucibelle, Krilowatt, and Rotom-W, you can consider predicting their switch in to smack them with the appropriate coverage move or pull a double switch into a teammate. If running Healing Wish, save Tomohawk for at least mid-game so it has something to heal when it's about to go down.
Pairing Tomohawk with a Stealth Rock setter is vital to ensure several OHKOs and 2HKOs as well as dissuade the opponent from switching. Garchomp, Jirachi, and Clefable can all work well in this regard. Offensive Pokemon that can set up on Pokemon that Tomohawk is weak to pair well with it, as they preserve offensive momentum and make for good Healing Wish recipients. Mega Charizard X, for example, can set up on many of the Electric-types that check Tomohawk. Talonflame and Cawmodore can set up on certain Fairy-types and can form an effective wallbreaker + sweeper combination with Tomohawk, as they appreciate having their checks being heavily worn down by Tomohawk. Steel-types such as Mega Metagross, Mega Scizor, and Kitsunoh pair well with Tomohawk to help check opposing Fairy- and Ice-types.
With access to both Prankster and Hurricane, Tomohawk makes for a great setter of Rain Dance. Hurricane provides Tomohawk with a powerful, perfectly accurate STAB move in the rain. Earth Power provides super effective coverage against several Pokemon that resist Hurricane, such as Crucibelle, Cyclohm, Jirachi, Mollux, and Plasmanta. Aura Sphere also provides strong coverage against the Steel- and Rock-types that resist Hurricane. It also provides good neutral damage against Rotom-W. Roost provides Tomohawk with longevity so that it may continue to set up Rain Dance multiple times throughout the match.
The combination of Prankster, Rain Dance, and reliable recovery is what sets Tomohawk apart from other manual weather setters, as it can set up rain and heal itself with increased priority, making it quite a reliable setter. Maximum Special Attack investment with a Modest nature allows Tomohawk to hit as hard as possible. Maximum HP improves Tomohawk's bulk, increasing the number of foes it can safely set up Rain Dance against. Damp Rock lets Tomohawk provide eight turns of rain instead of the usual five, giving Tomohawk and its teammates even more time to take advantage of the rain. At the cost of three rain turns, Life Orb may be used over Damp Rock to allow Tomohawk to wallbreak much better. An EV spread of 232 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 20 Spe should be used in this case, as this allows Tomohawk to outspeed Rotom-W and 2HKO it with Aura Sphere, as well as minimizing Life Orb recoil.
Bring Tomohawk in on Pokemon it can safely set up Rain Dance against. Many opposing Ground-types work well for this, such as Garchomp and Hippowdon. Though it may be necessary at times, try to avoid directly switching into Knock Off, especially if your team is reliant on the extra turns of rain that Damp Rock provides. After Rain Dance is set up, start attacking with Tomohawk's powerful, perfectly accurate Hurricane if it isn't being immediately threatened. If Tomohawk finds itself up against, say, a faster Electric-type like Mega Manectric, use the opportunity to bring in a teammate that can handle it and take advantage of the rain, such as Mega Swampert. It's in your best interest to try preserving Tomohawk if at all possible so that it can set up rain as many times as needed throughout the match. If Tomohawk is paired up with another rain setter such as Politoed, try to keep at least one of them alive throughout the match for this purpose.
On dedicated rain teams, Politoed is an excellent partner for Tomohawk, as it can set up rain automatically via its Drizzle ability, taking some of the pressure off Tomohawk and allowing it to function as a secondary rain setter. Swift Swim users such as Mega Swampert, Kingdra, and Kabutops make for great partners, as they benefit from the rain that Tomohawk provides. Tornadus-T appreciates having a perfectly accurate Hurricane and can form a solid Flying spam core with Tomohawk. Cyclohm can take on opposing Flying-types for Tomohawk and can benefit from rain by running Thunder and Hydro Pump. Mollux can take advantage of the rain with Dry Skin and can help check Fairy-types for Tomohawk. Steel-types such as Ferrothorn, Cawmodore, Mega Metagross, and Mega Scizor can all help Tomohawk deal with Fairy-types, and all of them appreciate taking reduced damage from Fire-type attacks.
Taunt allows Tomohawk to prevent opposing Pokemon from healing or setting up on it, turning it into an effective stallbreaker. Tomohawk also makes for an effective user of Baton Pass. It can pass any of Substitute, Bulk Up, and Work Up to its teammates, or it can simply opt to run Baton Pass without any of these moves for the sole purpose of maintaining momentum on forced switches. Memento is an option on offensive teams to provide one of Tomohawk's teammates with a much easier chance to set up. Substitute + Toxic is an option for stalling out foes, but the prominence of Pokemon with Pixilate + Hyper Voice make this a somewhat unreliable strategy. Whirlwind may be used to phaze opposing setup sweepers as well as rack up entry hazard damage; however, Prankster Haze is usually much more reliable for stopping opposing setup sweepers. A specially defensive set can stop opposing Electric- and Ice-types much more easily, as priority Roost can remove Tomohawk's weaknesses to these typings before they can harm it, though Tomohawk is still vulnerable to powerful Fairy- and Flying-types such as Sylveon, Mega Gardevoir, and Tornadus-T. Tomohawk can also function as a reliable sun setter with Heat Rock + Sunny Day. Heat Wave provides alternative coverage against Steel-types, can be boosted by sun, and hits Mega Scizor for massive damage, though Aura Sphere and Earth Power usually provide better coverage in other cases. Yawn can threaten to put a foe to sleep and force it to switch out, which works particularly well on entry hazard-stacking teams. Intimidate allows Tomohawk to check physical attackers such as Mega Swampert more easily, but the priority to utility moves provided by Prankster is usually too useful to give up. Focus Blast provides Tomohawk with a much stronger Fighting-type STAB move; with Life Orb, it has a decent chance to OHKO Rotom-W after Stealth Rock damage. However, Aura Sphere is almost almost the superior option due to its reliability.
Checks and Counters
Fairy-types: Fairy-types such as Clefable, Mega Gardevoir, Mega Diancie, and Sylveon all pose a serious threat to Tomohawk with their STAB attacks. Life Orb Tomohawk isn't easy for them to switch into, however, as they all take considerable damage from Hurricane or, in Mega Diancie's case, Earth Power. Bulky variants of Sylveon are able to avoid the 2HKO from Life Orb Tomohawk's Hurricane, making them the most reliable switch-in out of the Fairy-types listed.
Flying-types: Tornadus-T and Mega Pidgeot can deal massive damage to Tomohawk with Hurricane. Setup sweepers such as Mega Pinsir and Talonflame can hit Tomohawk with boosted priority attacks before it can use Haze, making it extremely difficult or impossible for Tomohawk to stop them. They generally function as revenge killers to Tomohawk, especially Mega Pinsir, as they don't appreciate switching in on its attacks repeatedly.
Psychic-types: Mega Alakazam, Aurumoth, Latias, Latios, and Starmie can all serve as offensive checks to Tomohawk and deal massive damage with their STAB moves. Illusion Aurumoth is particularly threatening, as it can lure Tomohawk by disguising itself as a Pokemon that Tomohawk walls and proceed to KO it with its Psychic STAB move of choice.
Electric-types: Faster Electric-types, such as Mega Manectric, Krilowatt, Plasmanta, Raikou, and Thundurus can all serve as great offensive checks to Tomohawk; they just can't be directly switched into Earth Power. Bulky Electric-types such as Cyclohm, Rotom-W, and Zapdos can all serve as good defensive checks, though Cyclohm must be wary of Earth Power, and Rotom-W risks being 2HKOed by Life Orb Aura Sphere.
Ice-types: Kyurem-B and Syclant are excellent offensive checks to Tomohawk, as they can OHKO it with Ice Beam. However, they are generally limited to revenge killing Tomohawk, as they can't switch into it very easily.