Life can be tough for Ekans. It has two amazing abilities, Intimidate and Shed Skin, and a great physical movepool. However, it has fairly poor stats that hold it back from being truly amazing. Despite this, if played to its strengths, Ekans can be a decent Pokemon. Intimidate can make almost any physical sweeper think about switching out, and Glare can guarantee they are going to be punished if they stay in as well. Ekans can also hit hard with Choice Band, or act as a nice revenge killer with Choice Scarf. As a bonus, thanks to Intimidate and being Poison-type, Ekans can stop Choice Scarf Mankey and Machop in their tracks. Basically, play to these strengths, and Ekans can be an asset to any team.
This set takes advantage of Intimidate and the paralysis-inducing move, Glare. Using this set is rather simple: Come in on a physical attacker to try and force a switch because of Intimidate, and use Glare on whatever comes in. Unlike Thunder Wave, Glare paralyzes any Pokemon, regardless of its type; however, Glare has a shaky 75% accuracy, which can prove fatal if you miss. Poison Jab and Gunk Shot are Ekans's two best STAB moves, the former being more accurate but less powerful.
Earthquake is used to hit Rock-, Poison-, and Steel-types besides Bronzor for super effective damage. The last move is a choice between Bite and Aqua Tail. Bite can be used to hit Ghost-types and also has a chance to create the deadly paraflinch combination. Aqua Tail is used to hit Ground-types, the most notable being Gligar, who resists Ekans's STAB moves and is immune to Earthquake. It also hits Bronzor for more damage than Bite.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With an acceptable movepool and decent Attack, Ekans can effectively use a Choice item. Both Choice items are completely viable, but they give Ekans very different play styles. Choice Band raises Ekans's Attack to high levels, while Choice Scarf gives it a useful boost in Speed and allows it to act as a revenge killer. What separates Ekans from most other Choice item users, though, is Intimidate. It's a rare ability in Little Cup, and while Ekans doesn't have the best Defense or HP, it helps the poisonous snake take physical hits better, especially DynamicPunch from Machop and Close Combat from Mankey.
Poison Jab is a reliable STAB move which packs decent power. Gunk Shot, on the other hand, hits 50% harder in return for 30% less accuracy. Ekans's Poison-type attacks are resisted by Rock-, Ghost-, Ground-, and other Poison-types, while Steel-types are completely immune to them. That's where Earthquake comes in; hitting Rock-, Poison- and Steel-types for super effective damage. It also scores super effective hits on common Pokemon such as Elekid and Houndour. Aqua Tail is used to hit Ground-types, such as Gligar and Hippopotas, for super effective damage. It also hits Bronzor, who is immune to the aforementioned attacks thanks to its Steel-typing and Levitate, for neutral damage. Bite is used to deal with Ghost-types, such as Misdreavus and Gastly and can also flinch opponents, which is an effect that can be beneficial to the Choice Scarf set.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Ekans has a number of decent options outside of those listed. Seed Bomb hits Rock/Ground- and Rock/Water-types hard, and is a viable choice over either Earthquake or Aqua Tail. Rock Slide has great coverage with Earthquake, and is a viable replacement for Bite on the Choice sets. It also creates the often annoying paraflinch combination on the Glare set. Beat Up is moderately effective, but Ekans has neither the Speed nor the Attack to take full advantage of it. Pursuit is an option to hit fleeing opponents, and can be used as a substitute for Bite. Double-Edge is an option because it hits as hard as super effective Bite and STAB Poison Jab. It does, however, come with recoil damage, which can greatly lower Ekans's survivability.
Dark Pulse, Sludge Bomb, Giga Drain and Hidden Power allow Ekans to pull together a Choice Specs set, but with its low Special Attack, it's hardly worth it. Hidden Power Ice, however, can be used to hit Gligar for 4x super effective damage, which will inflict heavy damage regardless of investment.
Rest is an option to complement Ekans's second ability, Shed Skin, but it is unreliable and Ekans's defenses are rather shaky. Speaking of Shed Skin, it is also a decent substitute for Intimidate on the Choice set, since it can remove crippling status that would otherwise make Ekans useless, such as paralysis. Stockpile can be used to bolster Ekans's defenses, but is very gimmicky and not recommended.
Checks and Counters
For the Choice set, prediction is the best counter. Gligar can switch in on Poison Jab, Gunk Shot, or Earthquake, and hit back with a powerful STAB Earthquake. Bronzor can do the same, and takes less damage from Aqua Tail. It can also hit with super effective STAB Psychics or Earthquake as well. Croagunk can take Poison Jab and Payback well, and restores HP from Aqua Tail. It can then proceed to hit it with Earthquake or Hidden Power Psychic.
The Glare set is tricky to switch into, because no Pokemon will like being paralyzed. If you have a Pokemon such as Taillow or Teddiursa who already is burned or poisoned, they can safely switch in on Glare and hit with STAB Facade for an OHKO. Glameow can switch in without fear thanks to Limber, and hit hard with Return. Other than that, your best bet is to hope Glare's shaky 75% accuracy causes it to miss.
If Ekans does manage to score a KO, there are plenty of effective revenge killers. Choice Scarf Gligar is great, since it resists the purple snake's STAB, outruns Choice Scarf Ekans and OHKOes with Earthquake. Choice Scarf Cranidos is also great, and it doesn't have to worry about Pokemon with Levitate switching in on Earthquake, thanks to Mold Breaker. Choice Scarf Abra can also work, since Psychic tears Ekans to pieces. Choice Scarf Diglett is the best at the job, however, since it can trap Ekans and OHKOes it with Earthquake.