Sneasel may often be overlooked due to its Not Fully Evolved label, yet it fares quite well in the lower tiers due to its high Speed and Attack stats. What really makes Sneasel worth using is its ability to trap, threaten, and revenge kill some of UU's most potent threats. Its ability to trap and kill Ghosts is completely unrivaled in UU due to its Speed and power. Its movepool also makes it well-suited to be a lead. Sneasel's main drawbacks are poor defenses, low Base Power attacks, and a weakness to Stealth Rock.
Straight out of Weavile's playbook, this set takes advantage of Sneasel's movepool and Speed to form an awesome revenge killer. Pursuit allows it to OHKO Mismagius after Stealth Rock regardless of whether or not it flees, in addition to trapping other weakened Pokemon. Punishment, meanwhile, makes it a great check to stat boosters like Venusaur. Ice Shard is great for priority and severely damages Sceptile, Dugtrio, and Swellow. Low Kick rounds out Sneasel's excellent type coverage by pounding UU's Steel- and Rock-types.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Sneasel makes an excellent lead in the UU metagame, thanks to its excellent Speed, movepool, and Inner Focus ability. Taunt can be a huge nuisance to leads hoping to set up entry hazards or screens. Fake Out is always a great move on a lead, as it is essentially free damage on most leads and will also get rid of Focus Sashes. Access to Inner Focus and Counter makes Sneasel a natural candidate for a lead, especially in a metagame swarming with Ambipom. Other physical attacking leads are Counter bait, and those that will attempt to Stealth Rock on the first turn will fall victim to Taunt. Special attackers often cause trouble, but will not get by without taking a Fake Out and possibly a Taunt.
Physical attackers, such as Ambipom, Arcanine, and Regirock, will easily fall victim to Counter should they choose to attack. Not many players will see Counter coming, and simply Fake Out with Ambipom, which will result in an instant KO with Counter. Ice Shard is also an option over Pursuit and allows Sneasel to beat Swellow with Protect and Alakazam.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Fast, frail, and moderately powerful, Sneasel makes a natural candidate for a Swords Dance set. Its dual STAB and priority attacks come in handy here once again, although it unfortunately lacks a truly powerful attack. Ice Shard and Ice Punch provide priority and power, respectively, and either will be very valuable. Low Kick will devastate many of the bulky Pokemon who think they can shrug off Sneasel's attacks, while your Dark STAB moves comes down to Punishment, Bite, or Pursuit, depending on what function it is intended to serve.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Sneasel's movepool is good, but far from deep. Aerial Ace can hit Fighting-types if you are desperate to do so. Return is always an option, but Sneasel likes to hit super effectively in order to score OHKOs. Faint Attack has the same Base Power as Bite and Punishment, and cannot miss, but Bite's chance to flinch is generally the more valuable secondary effect. Taunt is also an option on non-lead sets and can come in handy to slow down stat boosters and walls.
As far as EVs are concerned, avoid putting 4 EVs into HP, as this is a Stealth Rock number for Sneasel, meaning it will only be able to switch into Stealth Rock four times instead of five. Always maximize Sneasel's Attack and Speed.
Checks and Counters
Hariyama and Hitmontop are two of the best counters to Sneasel, as both can take its attacks quite well and OHKO back with ease. Hitmontop can either lower Sneasel's Attack with Intimidate or hit it with Mach Punch, depending on the variant. Hariyama, meanwhile, takes Sneasel's STAB attacks easily, although it must be wary of Low Kick due to its girth. Weezing completely rains on Sneasel's parade, as it can take any attack with ease and use Will-O-Wisp to end any chance Sneasel had to be effective later in the match. Milotic also makes a great counter, as it can Recover away just about any attack Sneasel throws at it. The same can be said for Quagsire and, to a lesser extent, Slowbro.
On the offensive-based side of things, Arcanine fares very well, as it can switch in on any of Sneasel's attacks, Intimidate it, and threaten with ExtremeSpeed and Flare Blitz. Blaziken can also switch in easily, as it resists both of Sneasel's STAB moves and forces Sneasel out with STAB of its own, which can be difficult to switch into. Azumarill has little trouble switching in and can blow Sneasel away with Aqua Jet.
On the whole, Sneasel is not terribly difficult to "counter", but its value lies in its ability to take out multiple Pokemon before it gives you the chance to get rid of it.