Skarmory

Sturdy
OHKO moves will fail.
Keen Eye
Pokémon's accuracy cannot be lowered.
Type Tier
Steel / Flying OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 271 334 -
Atk
80
176 196 259 284
Def
140
284 316 379 416
SpA
40
104 116 179 196
SpD
70
158 176 239 262
Spe
70
158 176 239 262

Overview

Skarmory is one of the best physical walls in the game. He is able to switch into many physical attackers and stop them from breaking through a team. Coupled with instant recovery and the ability to Spikes-stack and phaze, Skarmory can be tough to take out. Although Skarmory has his problems, namely being weak to common special attacks and not having the ability to stand up to boosted physical attacks, he is a highly recommended Pokemon for any team.

Name Item Nature

Physically Defensive

Leftovers / Shed Shell Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Spikes / Stealth Rock
~ Whirlwind
~ Roost
~ Brave Bird
252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD

This is Skarmory's trademark set, known for providing excellent support and walling an astounding number of physical sweepers, such as Gyarados and Metagross. With Brave Bird, Skarmory can take a decent chunk out of anyone who doesn't resist it. Roost removes any damage Skarmory may have taken. As a bonus, it also removes Skarmory's Flying-type for the turn so he takes less damage from Rock-, Ice-, and Electric-type attacks. Spikes causes trouble for any grounded Pokemon, as they lose 25% of their health every switch-in with three layers; however, Stealth Rock is an alternative if you don't have another Stealth Rock user on your team. Keep in mind that there are many Pokemon who can use Stealth Rock, though, while there aren't as many Spikes users. Whirlwind removes any stat boosts the opponent may have obtained, and forces in another Pokemon to take damage from Spikes and other entry hazards.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Specially Defensive

Shed Shell / Leftovers Careful / Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Spikes
~ Whirlwind
~ Roost
~ Brave Bird
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD

Giving Skarmory Special Defense EVs may seem odd considering Skarmory's low Special Defense. However, this allows Skarmory to take full advantage of his resistances to Dragon-, Ghost-, and Grass-type attacks and his neutrality to most other special attacks to wall any special attacker who can't hit Skarmory for super effective damage. Just to get an idea of Skarmory's special bulk, Rotom-A and Magnezone, assuming they do not have a boosting nature or a boosting item, cannot guarantee an OHKO on Skarmory. Timid Life Orb Starmie can't OHKO Skarmory either. Even with an EV spread focused more on Special Defense, Skarmory can still effectively block physical attacks. Skarmory can effectively set up Spikes against foes who run few Special Attack EVs, such as Vaporeon, Suicune, and some variants of Flygon. Skarmory can also switch in on special attackers who don't run Fire Blast or Thunderbolt, such as some variants of Togekiss, and Roost off the damage. Skarmory's Dragon-type resistance is another excellent asset for this set, as Skarmory is able to take Draco Meteors and Outrages from Dragonite and either set up Spikes or Roost off the damage, as Dragonite can't do much damage back at -2 Special Attack or locked into Outrage. Another great thing Skarmory has going for it is the Grass resist, so Celebi, Shaymin and Roserade provide Skarmory some excellent opportunities to get Spikes up. Brave Bird is Skarmory's offensive move, Roost provides valuable healing, Spikes supports the team, and Whirlwind shuffles the opponent's team, adding Spikes damage and removing stat boosts.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Taunt

Shed Shell / Leftovers Careful / Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Taunt
~ Spikes
~ Whirlwind / Brave Bird
~ Roost
252 HP / 164 SpD / 92 Spe

Taunt is an interesting move for Skarmory to use. Although you are forced to give up both a moveslot and some bulk to utilize it to its full potential, Taunt gives Skarmory some nice new qualities. The main benefit is effectively dealing with opposing stall teams. Skarmory can easily outspeed and throw out a Taunt against other Skarmory, Blissey, Swampert, Hippowdon, and Celebi, and proceed to use Spikes. This is helpful for more offensive teams that like entry hazards up against stall teams as soon as possible. Another great technique that Skarmory can use with Taunt in his arsenal is stopping slow set-up sweepers. Although Skarmory can phaze away some set-up sweepers, late-game sweepers such as Calm Mind Suicune and Curse Snorlax can easily use Skarmory as setup bait. With Taunt, however, they are unable to boost or recover and you can proceed to finish them off. Whirlwind has the benefit of phazing, but Brave Bird is useful if you don't want to be crippled by faster Taunt users.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Roar can be used over Whirlwind on any Skarmory set; this is more convenient for in-game team building since Roar is a TM while Whirlwind is an Egg move. Other than that, Skarmory's more viable options have already been mentioned, but there are a few other semi-usable moves available. Agility, Curse, and Swords Dance are available as boosting moves, but an offensive Skarmory is usually not worthwhile compared to stronger attackers like Metagross and Lucario. Skarmory can run a set with Torment and Protect to get Spikes up easily on Heatran and stall teams, but he is very vulnerable to being set up on and is generally outclassed by the Taunt set against stall teams. In a similar vein, Steel Wing is an alternative move choice to nail Tyranitar and Rhyperior; however, it has low Base Power and makes it even easier for Pokemon like Lucario, Heatran, and Infernape to switch in. Rest is not recommended on any defensive set lacking Sleep Talk, since Skarmory will essentially be dead weight on your team for two turns.

If Skarmory is faster than the opposing Pokemon, it can use Roost to remove its Flying typing for the turn and potentially make an attack aimed at Skarmory weaker. Therefore, you always have the option of increasing Skarmory's Speed so he can outspeed certain foes and Roost to soften their attacks. How much Speed Skarmory should run mainly depends on what your team struggles against and what is popular in the metagame at the moment. You should not go overboard with the amount of Speed however, because that will take too much out of Skarmory's defensive capabilities to be worth it.

Checks and Counters

Skarmory will most likely lose to unresisted special attacks, unless he is specially defensive, and will take a particularly large amount of damage from those that are super effective. Electric- and Fire-type STAB moves can usually 2HKO, or even OHKO, depending on EV investment. Heatran in particular gets a safe switch-in because of his resistance to Skarmory's STAB attacks, and can threaten him with with a Fire-type move of his own. Strong stat-boosting Pokemon with neutral STAB attacks like Lucario, Gyarados, Rhyperior, and Tyranitar will usually come out on top against Skarmory, provided he doesn't just Whirlwind them away before they have a chance to attack.

Magnezone is the bane of Skarmory's existence; with its Magnet Pull ability, Magnezone prohibits Skarmory from switching out unless Skarmory is holding Shed Shell, and can proceed to KO Skarmory with Thunderbolt.