Sceptile's excellent Speed and vast movepool allow him to perform a variety of jobs well. Sceptile can slowly wear down the enemy using Leech Seed or can go the more offensive route and attempt to KO the opposing team. However, Sceptile faces problems due to his poor defenses. He takes large amounts of damage even from neutral hits and is especially weak to priority and opposing Choice Scarf Pokemon. Despite these shortcomings, when used correctly, Sceptile can be a nuisance to your opponent's team.
Sceptile's position as the fastest SubSeeder was at one point usurped by Shaymin-S. However, with Shaymin-S being banned to Ubers, Sceptile can once again do what he does best: slowly wear down the opponent with Leech Seed. This set works similarly to his UU counterpart.
Substitute not only scouts for attacks, but can also protect Sceptile from taking heavy damage because of his mediocre defenses. Leech Seed serves a twofold purpose: to restore Sceptile's HP, allowing him to create more Substitutes and slowly to drain the opponent's HP. Grass Knot is the preferred STAB attack, scaring away bulky Water-type Pokemon like Swampert and Suicune. Alternatively, Energy Ball can be used, as it hits lighter enemies like Vaporeon and Rotom-A for more damage. Leaf Storm also deserves a mention as Sceptile should be spending most of its time setting up Substitutes, and two Leaf Storms will out-damage two Grass Knots or Energy Balls unless Grass Knot is hitting for 120 Base Power. Unfortunately, Leaf Storm does leave Sceptile's Hidden Power severely weakened. The last moveslot is mainly used to hit Sceptile's primary checks, along with Grass-type Pokemon who are immune to Leech Seed. Hidden Power Fire hits Scizor, Forretress, and Skarmory, while Hidden Power Ice targets Dragonite and Flygon.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set abuses Sceptile's blazing Speed along with high-powered moves in order to decimate the opponent's team. With Sceptile's wide type coverage, many teams without Blissey or Snorlax will have problems switching into it safely.
Leaf Storm is Sceptile's main attack on this set, hitting for 210 Base Power including STAB. Combined with Life Orb and a potential Overgrow boost, anything that doesn't resist it is going to get slaughtered. Earthquake with the given Attack EVs allows Sceptile to always KO 0 HP Heatran after Stealth Rock. Focus Blast can be used as it isn't affected by Intimidate and doesn't diminish Sceptile's Defense with a Hasty nature. It also hits Blissey and Snorlax harder than Earthquake would. Protect is an option to scout against Scizor and either OHKO him with Hidden Power Fire or switch out depending on his selected move. Dragon Pulse hits Dragon-types and any weakened Pokemon, while Hidden Power Fire hits Steel-types bar Heatran, who is hit by both Earthquake and Focus Blast.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Sceptile can use a Swords Dance set composed of Leaf Blade, Earthquake, and Rock Slide. Unfortunately, Sceptile's defenses are poor so he is easily revenge killed. Additionally, he has no effective way to hit Skarmory, who can easily Brave Bird or outstall the Life Orb Damage. Also, because he has no way of boosting both his Attack and Speed in one move, virtually any Choice Scarf user faster than base 65 Speed will outspeed him. Additionally, Scizor can bypass Sceptile's impressive Speed by using Bullet Punch. Sceptile can also use a Choice Scarf set consisting of Leaf Storm, Focus Blast, and your choice from Dragon Pulse and Hidden Power Fire or Grass Knot and Hidden Power Ice. However, Sceptile's poor Defense means that he takes a lot of damage from Pursuit. Sceptile can also use a Choice Specs set with the same attacks as the Life Orb set, but it is less efficient because of the constant switching needed and Sceptile's low defenses.
An Endeavor set can also be used with Sceptile using either Substitute or Endure to bring his HP down. This will activate Overgrow, making Leaf Storm extremely powerful. Quick Attack can be used with Endeavor to finish off any opponents. However, due to the prevalence of sandstorm and priority moves in the metagame, Sceptile has difficulty pulling this off. Sceptile's other options aren't very viable.
Checks and Counters
Sceptile without a Substitute is very fragile because his defenses are so poor. Choice Scarf Heatran can switch into a Grass-type move and KO Sceptile with his STAB Fire-type attacks. Scizor can come in on anything except for Hidden Power Fire and either U-turn out, Bullet Punch for the KO, or use Pursuit if he predicts a switch. Tyranitar fears Sceptile's Grass-type moves along with Focus Blast, but sandstorm wears Sceptile down faster and also hinders its SubSeeding strategy.
For the SubSeed set, either Dragon- or Steel-type Pokemon wall it, depending on the Hidden Power type. Dragonite can set up in front of Sceptile and heal away any Leech Seed damage. Forretress and Skarmory can set up entry hazards while Scizor and Jirachi can proceed to use U-turn to leave Sceptile without a Substitute.
Blissey is a major problem for any set that doesn't have Leech Seed or Toxic Spikes support. She can come into any of Sceptile's special attacks and cripple him with Toxic or Thunder Wave. Snorlax also causes problems and can Rest off any damage he might have taken. For Sceptile without Focus Blast or Earthquake, Heatran is a good counter because Sceptile has nothing that he can hit Heatran for heavy damage with.