Ninjask

Speed Boost
Speed increases at end of the turn.
Type Tier
Bug / Flying OU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
61
- 22 25 -
Atk
90
13 15 18 19
Def
45
9 11 14 15
SpA
50
9 11 14 15
SpD
50
9 11 14 15
Spe
160
19 22 25 27

Overview

Ninjask is an oft-forgotten member of the OU tier, and this is mostly because he doesn't fit onto any of the traditional teams that are used. Instead of beating his opponents into a bloody pulp or walling half the tier, he focuses on setting another Pokemon up with Baton Pass—many times unsuccessfully. Baton Pass strategies are hit or miss, and if one's opponent is packing a phazer like Skarmory, Vaporeon, or Hippowdon, Ninjask pretty much stands no chance at all. Ninjask's wretched defenses and lackluster attacking options also really limit his usability in any role other than that of support. Furthermore, his 4x weakness to Stealth Rock limits his ability to come in and do his job at all. For these reasons, many find it a wonder that Ninjask stays put in OU at all. Ninjask is good at what it does, though, and when it does successfully set up an allied Pokemon or keep a Baton Pass chain alive, the results can be devastating for the opponent. Using him is the ultimate gamble, and you do so at your own expense; against a prepared team, you may well be playing a Pokemon down.

Name Item Nature

Baton Pass

Leftovers / Focus Sash Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Baton Pass
~ Swords Dance / Protect
~ Substitute / Protect
~ X-Scissor
248 HP / 244 Def / 16 Spe

I could tell you that this set is good, but instead I'll tell you that the only reason this set exists is because Ninjask has to have at least one set on-site. This set works. Sometimes. Ninjask's ability, Speed Boost, passively raises his Speed stat at the end of every turn. This means that Ninjask can focus on setting up Swords Dance boosts or Substitutes, and then conveniently pass Speed along without extra effort. Ninjask is also blisteringly fast, giving him the edge over pretty much every other Pokemon in the tier after a single boost, even if they carry a Choice Scarf. This, coupled with Ninjask's crippling vulnerability to Stealth Rock, sets Ninjask's sights to being the lead for Baton Pass teams, though at the expense of giving away the entire strategy early on.

Baton Pass is the reason you'd use Ninjask, so hopefully you won't deviate from that suggested move. Swords Dance is typically the second move of choice, though it's very tough to pass its boosts against an opponent who isn't a complete moron. Substitute is another stellar move, and is more realistic for both keeping Ninjask alive and getting Baton Passed to an ally. Protect can be used over either of those moves to guarantee Ninjask turns to pick up Speed boosts from his ability. It also lets you at the very least successfully pass a single Speed boost against leads that pack Taunt, such as Aerodactyl or Azelf. X-Scissor benefits from Swords Dance boosts and is Ninjask's primary attacking move for when you really need to do some damage, so it's a pretty useful move to keep around.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

This is where obligatory set possibilities like Choice Band Ninjask are supposed to get mentioned, but all of them are really bad. About the only other option that's ever worth considering on Ninjask is the use of a pinch Berry for a one-shot boost that can also be Baton Passed off with the other boosts. This is Ninjask's only means for passing Special Attack boosts. In general, Leftovers or Focus Sash are better. If you insist on trying something crazier than just using Ninjask to begin with, the aforementioned Choice Band set with Night Slash and Dig can be amusing.

Checks and Counters

As I said before, four things make Ninjask's life a living hell: phazing, Taunt, Stealth Rock, and being attacked. If anything on your team has the capacity to do any of these things, you're probably set against Ninjask. Phazing is the most effective strategy, as it completely inhibits Ninjask's ability to do its job and forces it to come back later for more Stealth Rock damage. Skarmory, Hippowdon, and Vaporeon are great choices for that. As soon as you see Ninjask, you should prioritize setting up Stealth Rock to keep it from being useful later in the match. Pretty much any Stealth Rock user fares well against Ninjask, you just need to be wary of it making a pass to something threatening as you set it up. If you can successfully Taunt Ninjask, which is pretty easy to do if he lacks Protect, you've also nullified any chances he had of being useful. Lastly, since Ninjask's defenses are so poor, if you can tag him with a serious attack from any decent OU Pokemon when he's not behind a Substitute, he'll be hurting or dead.