Absol is considered the "Disaster" Pokémon because it is thought to bring bad luck to anyone who meets it, including its opponent. Absol's biggest selling point, its STAB Sucker Punch, is the most powerful priority move in the game. Swords Dance and a monstrous base 130 Attack stat make switching into Absol difficult; and if that weren't bad enough, Super Luck gives Absol a good chance of landing a critical hit. Absol's only real downfalls are its lackluster defenses and average Speed stat.
Absol's amazing base 130 Attack stat, coupled with Swords Dance and the strongest priority move in the game, makes it a devastating sweeper against those who aren't prepared.
Sucker Punch helps mitigate its mediocre Speed. With it, Absol becomes a challenge to take down as Sucker Punch can severely dent or even OHKO would-be revenge killers. Superpower is a great move to pair with Sucker Punch, as it damages Steel- and Dark-type Pokémon, such as Steelix and Drapion, who take little damage from Absol's STAB Dark-type attacks. Night Slash allows Absol to eliminate Pokémon who try to outsmart you by refusing to attack while Absol tries to Sucker Punch, and works extremely well with Absol's Super Luck ability. Psycho Cut, which also benefits from Super Luck, can maim incoming Poison- and Fighting-type Pokémon, such as Weezing, Hitmontop, and Hariyama.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Choice Scarf makes up for Absol's mediocre Speed, boosting it to a reasonable 373 with an Adamant nature. Due to this great increase in Speed, Sucker Punch becomes a lesser option; Night Slash is a far better choice to hit almost as hard without worrying about opponents potentially using non-damaging moves. Superpower will intimidate those who resist Absol's Dark-type STAB attacks, such as Steelix and Registeel, while Psycho Cut eliminates Fighting-type Pokémon who also enjoy switching in on Absol's STAB attacks. Pursuit is Absol's best choice for the last slot, as it allows Absol to take out retreating Ghost- and Psychic-types.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Choice Band allows Absol to forgo Swords Dance and hit hard right off the bat. Absol is capable of reaching a whopping 591 Attack, making it a fierce competitor.
Absol should generally always run Sucker Punch as it helps support its mediocre Speed and is Absol's strongest option to deal huge amounts of damage. However, it is well worth noting that locking yourself into Sucker Punch can be a very dangerous move if the opponent outpredicts and decides not to attack. Superpower is a great secondary option, as it allows Absol to deal super effective damage to Dark- and Steel-type Pokémon who resist Absol's STAB moves. The standard Steelix takes a minimum of 66% damage, meaning Absol can always 2HKO. Like on the Choice Scarf set, Pursuit is an excellent option to rid your team of Ghost-types and special walls. In this case, it is stronger against Chansey, and therefore carries less risk in case of a misprediction. However, it cannot be used to checkmate Rotom and Mismagius the way it can with the Choice Scarf set, though it is still quite effective against them. Night Slash is a reliable attack and serves as Absol's "safe" option on this set, since all three other moves have undesirable side-effects.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Absol's combination of an outstanding Attack stat, high critical hit rate, superb coverage, access to a priority move (albeit the unreliable Sucker Punch), and trapping abilities allow it to function as an effective offensive lead. It takes some daring and knowledge of the metagame for Absol to flourish, but if used well, the rewards can be excellent. Absol also boasts the most powerful priority attack in the game, allowing it to function decently in the mid-game as well.
Night Slash is a given. Backed by base 130 Attack, a boosting nature, STAB, and a 25% chance to score a critical hit, it is Absol's best general attack. Superpower gives Absol nearly unresisted coverage when paired with Night Slash, as well as hitting several common leads for super effective damage. Sucker Punch, despite its unreliability, allows Absol to threaten faster Pokemon and perform some revenge killing duties. The final slot is up to personal preference. Pursuit can trap opposing Pokemon attempting to switch out of a predicted Sucker Punch and immediately threaten some common leads, such as Alakazam and the pixies. Taunt is another option, stopping slower leads from setting up, as well as forcing them to attack and run right into Sucker Punch. However, Absol's base 75 Speed means it is less effective at stopping setup compared to faster Taunt users such as Alakazam and Ambipom. The final option in the last slot is Psycho Cut. Many Pokemon will attempt to bypass Absol's Sucker Punch with their own, faster, priority moves. Several common UU priority users such as Nidoking, Blaziken, and Toxicroak are hit super effectively by Psycho Cut. It is also Absol's best attack against Weezing, although physically defensive variants will still remain relatively unscathed.
A Jolly nature is not recommended because Absol has priority to bypass its low Speed. Nonetheless, it is wise to invest in Speed because of the chance that your opponent might Trick a Choice Scarf onto Absol. With maximum investment, Absol makes good use of a Choice Scarf, outspeeding almost the entire unboosted metagame. However, one must be very careful of locking Absol into Sucker Punch.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
One of the main problems with Absol's Swords Dance set is that it suffers from having too few moveslots for all of Absol's necessary options. Therefore, if you want, you can remove Swords Dance from the set altogether and run a simple Life Orb attacker set, relying on Absol's immense power—even without a boost—and benefiting fully from the coverage granted by Absol's movepool without being locked into a single move. By doing this, you are able to run both Night Slash and Psycho Cut alongside Sucker Punch and Superpower or include another option such as Megahorn or Pursuit. Without the power from Swords Dance, Absol won't be sweeping teams, but in exchange it can hit hard off the bat and punch holes into any walls who try to absorb the blows. It should generally function similarly to the Choice Band set, but with the added ability to act as a potential late-game cleaner should the need arise.
Megahorn is a powerful weapon that can OHKO Tangrowth after a Swords Dance, something few physical sweepers without a super effective STAB can boast. It is stronger than a STAB Night Slash against neutral opponents, and, besides low accuracy, has no detrimental side-effect. However, Megahorn is a lesser option since Night Slash has the ability to effectively hit Rotom and Mismagius. Stone Edge is extremely strong against Flying-types, but for the most part its coverage is redundant or inconsequential. Zen Headbutt has 10 more Base Power than Psycho Cut, but the latter's higher critical hit rate and better accuracy make up for the slight power drop.
Taunt may seem a poor option on something as frail as Absol; indeed, its uses are mostly situational. However, if you are especially worried about status attacks, it can completely shut down Spiritomb and turn it into setup fodder. Weezing can also be shut down unless it attacks off the bat (since Sludge Bomb will deal decent damage to Absol). However, despite Absol's big weakness to status effects, Taunt's utility is fairly limited, as revenge killing is a far more popular way of dealing with Absol. Absol is also capable of Baton Passing Mean Look, Swords Dance, Calm Mind, and Curse. Baton Passing Mean Look is one of Absol's few niches compared to the rest of the UU Baton Passers. Swords Dance is better left to Scyther, while Hypno and Mr. Mime pass Calm Mind much better than Absol. It is one of the few Pokémon who can Baton Pass Curse as well, but there are still better choices for this job.
Will-O-Wisp can burn opponents while Thunder Wave can cripple some fast sweepers. Perish Song can be used to ruin Baton Pass chains as well. Absol can also learn Wish as a NYPC move, but it is illegal with many of Absol's Egg moves. You are probably better off using a bulkier Pokémon if you are set on using these moves, as even with defensive investment, Absol can barely survive neutral hits.
Since Absol will only ever be used as a sweeper and cannot take a hit from anything, max Attack and Speed are essential to maximize its chances of a successful sweep. This leaves 4 EVs unaccounted for, and while it may seem irrelevant where you place them, 4 HP Absol reaches 272 HP, which is divisible by 4, 8, and 16, which means that Absol will take more damage from residual damage such as Stealth Rock and Spikes. This is of concern on the Choice sets in particular, where a lot of switching is likely, since Absol will faint upon 8 switch-ins to Stealth Rock rather than 9. To avoid this, place the last 4 EVs in the defensive stat of your choice – which one you choose is largely irrelevant, but putting them in Special Defense ensures Porygon2 won't get a Special Attack boost from Download. Another point that should be considered is that with a 29 HP IV, Absol takes less damage from Life Orb, and thus after three attacks and beyond, a Life Orb Absol with a 29 HP IV will have more HP remaining than one with a 31 HP IV.
Checks and Counters
Hitmontop with Intimidate is a good Absol counter. It isn't OHKOed by Sucker Punch and can do heavy damage in return with Mach Punch or Close Combat. It must be wary of Psycho Cut, though, as it will do massive damage even with Intimidate factored in. Hariyama resists Absol's Dark-type attacks, rubs off Superpower, and can threaten to OHKO Absol with Force Palm or Close Combat. However, a Swords Dance-boosted Psycho Cut will OHKO Hariyama. Drapion resists Sucker Punch and is immune to Psycho Cut, and the only concern Drapion should have is a Swords Dance-boosted Superpower. Unfortunately, Drapion cannot OHKO Absol without resorting to a niche move such as Brick Break or X-Scissor. Fighting-types with Mach Punch make most Absol think twice before retaliating. Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan work best as both of them are faster than Absol and can use their strong Fighting-type attacks to OHKO it. Blaziken can revenge kill Absol with Vacuum Wave, as it can survive a boosted Sucker Punch, but just barely. Steelix, Rhyperior, and Regirock can survive an unboosted Superpower and retaliate with Earthquake or Stone Edge.
There are a couple of Pokemon who, while not having the resistances for the job, can attempt to thwart Absol by means of sheer defensive stats and the strength of their secondary moves. Chief among these are Spiritomb and Weezing, who can cripple Absol for the rest of the game with Will-O-Wisp. Be wary, though, since Weezing will take massive damage from a Swords Dance-boosted Psycho Cut. Tangrowth can actually survive two Night Slashes if Absol gets a low damage roll, cripple Absol with Stun Spore or Sleep Powder, or else simply eliminate Absol with STAB Leaf Storm or Power Whip. Leafeon is less defensive than Tangrowth, but is faster than Absol and can take a Night Slash. Milotic is similarly bulky and can use Haze to remove boosts, but Absol will be able to do massive damage if Milotic mispredicts. Offensive Milotic outruns Absol and can do large amounts of damage with Hydro Pump, but is OHKOed by boosted Sucker Punch. Lastly, Donphan can take an attack and hit back with Earthquake or use Ice Shard to pick off a weakened Absol.
In reality, it is rather difficult to switch into Absol with "prediction". After a Swords Dance, Absol can severely damage many of its counters while outpacing a lot of them. The best strategy to take down Absol is to target its two key vulnerable points: its defenses and its Speed stat. Pokémon who use Substitute and are faster than Absol can basically force Absol to use Sucker Punch to get the KO, meaning you can get a free Substitute up to block Sucker Punch damage. For example, Alakazam can threaten to OHKO Absol with a powerful super effective Signal Beam, use Substitute when Absol uses Sucker Punch, and proceed to OHKO Absol from behind its Substitute. Dugtrio can employ a similar strategy with Substitute and Earthquake. Other methods of dodging Sucker Punch include Swellow's and Scyther's Quick Attack, Venusaur's Sleep Powder, and Mismagius's Will-O-Wisp.