Gaze before the metallic sheen of the omnipotent Steel Arceus. Of all of Arceus's many faces, this is by far the most resilient. His immunity to the dreaded poison, numerous resistances to the elements, and ability to resist the mighty Dragon's lance make Steel Arceus a formidable opponent indeed. With His ability to stand firm as an unmoving wall from the heavens or attack with the divine might of a thousand stars, Steel Arceus can be godly on every team. Do not underestimate His wrath, for thou shalt be smote into nothing more than a pile of ash, unworthy to see the glow of one of Arceus's mightiest forms.
Calm Mind Arceus combines both amazing durability and power into a set that can prove to be extremely difficult to handle. Unlike just about any other Calm Mind user in the game, Arceus has no fear of Toxic and Toxic Spikes thanks to its natural immunity to the status. With no fear of Blissey's main crippling move, Arceus gains a valuable moveslot that can help increase the utility of the set.
At first glance, it may appear odd that Arceus's main attack, Judgment, is a Steel-type, given that many Pokemon in the Uber metagame resist it. However, it is important to realize that no Pokemon outside of Shedinja is immune to Steel-type attacks and that a resisted Judgment has a Base Power roughly equivalent to 90 (with the Iron Plate and STAB boost factored in). Furthermore, most of the Pokemon that resist Steel-type attacks fear switching into Arceus as they usually lack an attack strong enough to quickly break through its impressive bulk, allowing it to set up on them. Those who do not resist Steel, such as Mewtwo and Groudon, end up taking a fierce blow from Judgment's raw power. Roar allows Arceus to combat other Calm Mind users, such as Latias and Kyogre, as well as any other Pokemon that utilizes a boosting move, like Bulk Up Dialga. It also allows Arceus to scout its potential counters and rack up entry hazard damage. Should you find Judgment's coverage inadequate, Thunder helps round it out by hitting many Pokemon that resist Judgement, such as Kyogre, Ho-Oh, and Heatran hard. Iron Defense fortifies Arceus's otherwise unboosted Defense stat, allowing it to tank hits from both sides, amazingly well. Finally, Recover provides Arceus with reliable recovery, allowing it to continuously set up and tank hits.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Unlike most Swords Dancers in the metagame, Steel Arceus possesses a great amount of bulk and Speed. Arceus's natural bulk and plentiful resistances allow it to switch in with ease and set up, without support from Wobbuffet most of the time. However, this set takes advantage of the general lack of physical Defense in Ubers and can deal damage quicker as Swords Dance boosts its offensive stat faster than Calm Mind.
Iron Head is Arceus's main attacking option, being boosted by STAB and Iron Plate, as well as offering decent neutral coverage. It also boasts a great 30% chance of flinching, which, combined with Arceus's moderately fast 331 Speed, can sometimes prove to be quite annoying to slower Pokemon, such as Groudon and Wobbuffet. Earthquake rounds out Arceus's coverage by hitting most Pokemon that resist Iron Head for at least neutral damage. Earthquake also hits Dialga, Heatran, and Lucario super effectively. Cosmic Power helps turn Arceus into a monstrous tank, boosting its defenses to make it incredibly tough to break down and thus allowing it to secure a sweep easier, but it loses the coverage Earthquake provides. As this set aims to take full advantage of Steel Arceus's bulk and resistances, Recover is a must in order to keep it healthy. This is further justified by the fact that its attacking options either lack the raw power or utility compared to the other variants of Swords Dance Arceus.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Earth Power on the Calm Mind set can be useful against Heatran, but it leaves Arceus open against Kyogre. It also lacks Roar's and Iron Defense's utilities. Ice Beam can work over Judgment on the Calm Mind set to OHKO Garchomp, Rayquaza, and Shaymin-S, but Judgment is generally better as it hits Pokemon that are neutral to Ice Beam and Thunder (such as Wobbuffet, Darkrai, and Mewtwo) for greater damage. Furthermore, a neutral Judgment is nearly as powerful as a super effective Ice Beam. Judgment is also easily the superior attack if you decide to use only one attack. Stone Edge can be used on the Swords Dance set to hit Ho-Oh for super effective damage, but is generally not worth sacrificing a moveslot.
Checks and Counters
Ho-Oh is Steel Arceus's greatest fear. Its high Special Defense and resistance to Judgment allow it to soak up hits with incredible ease and it can roast Arceus back with Sacred Fire. Ho-Oh also destroys the physical set. However, Ho-Oh must be wary of a Calm Mind-boosted Thunder; Stealth Rock can also make it difficult for Ho-Oh to defeat Arceus. Heatran is a large issue to the Calm Mind set due to its quadruple resistance to Judgment. It can then melt Arceus with STAB Flamethrower and restrict its options with Taunt and Roar. However, in the rain, Heatran cannot do much to Arceus and is taken down by repeated Thunders. Heatran also defeats the Swords Dance set if it lacks Earthquake. Groudon in general is an issue as it increases the strength of Fire-type attacks and can hit Arceus with a super effective Earthquake. Garchomp is faster than Arceus and can take a boosted Judgment or Iron Head, and 2HKOes back with an unboosted Earthquake, or OHKOes Arceus if it's holding a Choice Band. Fire Arceus resists Judgment and can dispatch of Steel Arceus with its own Judgment, but once again, rain can be an issue. Without Thunder, Lucario can survive two unboosted Judgments and OHKO back with Close Combat.
Swords Dance Arceus detests Choice Scarf Palkia if it does not get enough Cosmic Power boosts in time. Arceus is incapable of OHKOing Palkia even with a boosted Earthquake and is 2HKOed by Surf in the rain, or 2HKOed by Fire Blast in the sun. Bulky Calm Mind and Choice Scarf Kyogre are also issues. The former isn't even 2HKOed by Swords Danced Earthquake, while it can 2HKO back with Surf. Even if Arceus uses Cosmic Power to boost its bulk, Kyogre can essentially neutralize it through Calm Mind. Choice Scarf Kyogre is faster and 2HKOes with Surf or Water Spout, and is not OHKOed by Swords Danced Earthquake even after Stealth Rock and Spikes damage. Skarmory's high physical Defense, resistance to Iron Head, and immunity to Earthquake, allow it to set up Spikes with ease and phaze Arceus away. However, it cannot beat Arceus one-on-one. Similarly, Giratina can burn Arceus, and Lugia can set up a Reflect and Whirlwind it away, but they cannot take on Arceus one-on-one easily.