Ariados

Insomnia
Prevents sleep.
Swarm
Boosts power of Bug-type moves 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Type Tier
Bug / Poison NU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
70
- 23 26 -
Atk
90
13 15 18 19
Def
70
11 13 16 17
SpA
60
10 12 15 16
SpD
60
10 12 15 16
Spe
40
9 10 13 14
  • Underused

Overview

At first glance, Ariados appears nearly useless; its typing is both common and poor, giving it redundant STAB coverage and a weakness to Stealth Rock. Its stats are all mediocre except for its Attack, and even then it lacks the physical movepool to take advantage of it. It's hard to imagine why anyone would want to use Ariados given these flaws, but it does have one thing going for it: it is one of only two Pokemon in UU capable of Baton Passing a trapping move. Successfully trapping an opponent whom one of your Pokemon can set up on will often lead to an easy victory. Access to Toxic Spikes and a useful ability in Insomnia gives Ariados further value as a supporting Pokemon. It can't do much on its own, but on a team built around its strengths, Ariados is nigh-irreplaceable.

Name Item Ability Nature

Baton Pass

Leftovers Insomnia Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Baton Pass
~ Spider Web
~ Agility
~ Bug Bite
248 HP / 8 Def / 252 Spe

Ariados is mostly known for its near-exclusive ability to Baton Pass a trapping move; other than Absol, who is frailer and usually better off attacking directly, Ariados is the only Pokemon in UU who is capable of executing this strategy. The goal is to trap an opponent with Spider Web, then Baton Pass to a teammate who can comfortably set up on the trapped Pokemon and sweep. Since opponents will often switch out of Ariados in fear of being trapped, it's usually best to use Agility first so Ariados can outspeed the switch-in. If they bring in a Pokemon who can't OHKO Ariados and whom one of your Pokemon can set up on, trap it with Spider Web. Otherwise, simply pass the Agility boost to a teammate and save Ariados for later. Bug Bite is mostly filler, but it does decent damage if Ariados is forced to attack and can occasionally steal a Salac or Liechi Berry boost from an opponent.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Toxic Spikes Lead

Focus Sash Insomnia Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Toxic Spikes
~ Sucker Punch / Shadow Sneak
~ Poison Jab / Bug Bite
~ Protect
4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

While most people's first instinct when seeing Ariados is to assume it's a Baton Passer, it also has some useful tools that can make it a unique Toxic Spikes lead. Insomnia lets Ariados beat sleep leads such as Venusaur and Jumpluff, and access to priority attacks allows it to take down frail Focus Sash leads like Alakazam. It also has the element of surprise in its favor; since Ariados is mostly known as a trap-passer, many defensive leads will switch out of Ariados in fear of being trapped and set up on, giving Ariados a free turn to set up Toxic Spikes.

Setting up two layers of Toxic Spikes is this set's main objective. The rest of the moves are there to help Ariados take on some common UU leads. Sucker Punch is an excellent priority attack that lets Ariados defeat faster leads who would otherwise outspeed and 2HKO it. Shadow Sneak is significantly weaker, but it's still usable if you don't like the risk of an opponent setting up on Sucker Punch. Poison Jab is Ariados's most powerful STAB attack and does solid damage to a variety of leads. Bug Bite is another option to hit Psychic-type leads harder, but the lower Base Power causes Ariados to lose to some leads whom it could otherwise beat, such as Ambipom, and Sucker Punch hits opposing Psychic-types nearly as hard anyway. Protect prevents Fake Out users from breaking Ariados's Focus Sash and can be a useful scouting move later in the match.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

There honestly isn't much else Ariados can do. Attack is its highest stat, which might suggest that an offensive set would be possible, but its offensive movepool is tiny and most of the moves have overlapping coverage. Outside of its STAB attacks, its only remotely viable physical options are Sucker Punch, Shadow Sneak, Return, Pursuit, and Bounce. Any offensive set that Ariados tries will be completely walled by Steel-types, Rock-types, and essentially every Pokemon who invests in Defense, given the low Base Power and poor super effective coverage of the aforementioned moves. Night Shade could be useful for consistent damage on the Baton Pass set since Ariados has no Attack investment, although it is useless against Normal-types. Toxic, Swagger, and Disable are all options to cripple a trapped Pokemon, but it's generally better to simply pass the trap to a sweeper right away instead of wasting turns with moves like these.

Checks and Counters

Moltres is the best counter thanks to its super effective STAB moves and sky-high Special Attack. Even with Light Screen up, it can still OHKO Ariados with Fire Blast. Similarly, Arcanine can KO through Reflect with a combination of Flare Blitz and ExtremeSpeed. Without screens, almost any Choice Scarf Pokemon who can reach 397 Speed will outspeed and 2HKO Ariados, preventing it from pulling off a trap-pass. Any Pokemon who learns Taunt, Haze, or a phazing move, like Ambipom, Milotic, and Steelix, will also ruin the spider's fun. Barring all that, simply avoid switching a non-threatening Pokemon into Ariados, such as Registeel and Chansey, as its entire strategy revolves around the trapped Pokemon being setup fodder.