- Lowers the foe's Attack one stage. Decreases wild encounter rate.
- 30% chance to heal status every turn.
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Arbok comes across as one of the many inferior Poison-type Pokemon in the UU metagame. Despite having a wide array of powerful moves, Arbok's poor overall stats sorely let it down. Looking on the bright side, its ability, Intimidate, allows it to act as a check for many common UU Pokemon, such as Venusaur and Leafeon. The cobra isn't a familiar sight in the UU metagame, but it should by no means be underestimated unless you want your team poisoned and paralyzed all over.
Glare is a neat tool for paralyzing common Ground-type switch-ins such as Rhyperior. Where Weezing's Will-O-Wisp would be useless against special attackers, Arbok's Glare cripples both physical and special sweepers alike. Glare also has the added bonus of being able to paralyze anything it hits, regardless of type, though it does come at the cost of a not-so-hot 75% accuracy. Gunk Shot boasts a great Base Power which can deal a considerable amount of damage to almost any Pokemon that doesn't resist it, but has very low accuracy. Poison Jab has risk-free accuracy, although it wields considerably lower Base Power than Gunk Shot, which is vital for a Pokemon of Arbok's caliber. Earthquake has good coverage with Arbok's STAB, hitting Steel- and Rock-types that are immune to or resist Gunk Shot for super effective damage. It also has the added benefit of hitting Fire-types such as Arcanine and Houndoom for a considerable amount of damage. This is followed by an option of Seed Bomb or Crunch. The former is the best way to get some nice damage on Water-types, especially Omastar, Quagsire, Kabutops, and Gastrodon, all of whom are 4x weak to Seed Bomb. Crunch provides better overall coverage, but it hits fewer Pokemon super effectively. However, these few targets, particularly Rotom and Mismagius, take little damage from anything else Arbok can throw at them; so if your team is weak to the aforementioned Pokemon, Crunch might be the superior option.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Choice Band is a great asset for a Pokemon who is as desperate for attacking power as Arbok. Despite the unappealing fact of being locked into a single move, Switcheroo, when used with correct timing, can render an opposing Pokemon virtually useless. Common switch-ins to Arbok include Registeel and Clefable, and handing them a Choice Band can significantly cripple them whilst at the same time allowing fellow members to set up more easily. Choice Band is also a great item to ruin the sweeping chances of stat-up boosters such as Dragon Dance Feraligatr and Rock Polish Rhyperior, and to cause the opponent to have to predict a lot more. The second slot features two solid STAB moves, Gunk Shot and Poison Jab. Gunk Shot has a massive 120 Base Power, although with its shaky 70% accuracy, it can cause an almost certain KO or even win to go astray. However, Arbok can do with the extra 40 Base Power Gunk Shot brings, especially when it has given away its Choice Band; although if you prefer having 100% accuracy, Poison Jab is your better bet. Earthquake has good coverage with Arbok's STAB move, hitting both Rock- and Steel-types for super effective damage. However, Registeel and Regirock are 3HKOed most of the time, and hence Arbok is better off switching out before they can fire off an Earthquake of their own or cripple Arbok with Thunder Wave. The last moveslot depends on what your team can handle better. Seed Bomb can do a number to Pokemon who are 4x weak to Grass-type attacks such as Gastrodon, Rhyperior, and Kabutops, while Crunch is Arbok's only method of hurting Ghost-type Pokemon such as Rotom and Mismagius.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Arbok has access to the three elemental fangs, however they are too weak, and in addition to that don't provide any significant coverage alongside its other moves. Aqua Tail can be used as it hits most of the targets that both Seed Bomb and Earthquake hit for super effective damage, and has the added benefit of hitting Moltres super effectively. Stockpile isn't worth considering, as Arbok has poor defenses to start with and lacks a reliable means of recovery. Shed Skin has the potential to cure Arbok of any stat disorder and can be used in tandem with Rest, though Intimidate is the better option to help cushion physical attacks, not to mention Arbok's low HP and defenses will rarely allow it to still live after the several turns that it is asleep. Screech can catch common switch-ins to Arbok off-guard, and has the potential to force a lot of switches.
Checks and Counters
Bulky defensive behemoths such as Donphan and Steelix have little to fear from Arbok as it fails to even 2HKO them with Choice Banded Seed Bomb and Earthquake, respectively. Ideally, they can hit back with STAB Earthquake, putting a swift end to the cobra. Other common Steel-types like Registeel fall in the same category, being able to take anything Arbok can throw at them with ease due to their sheer physical bulk. Aggron hates taking an Earthquake due to its 4x weakness, however it can switch in on anything else. Moltres can switch in on a predicted Seed Bomb or Earthquake and fire off a boosted Fire Blast, although it should be wary of Glare. Both Rotom and Mismagius can switch in on anything bar Crunch and proceed to set up or cripple it with Will-O-Wisp. Both Quagsire and Gastrodon can take down Arbok with their STAB Ground-type attacks and fear nothing it can throw at them bar Seed Bomb. Arbok's overall stats make it easy to revenge kill or set up on, hence the only thing to be worried about is being paralyzed or poisoned.