Once upon a time, in a generation far, far away, Suicune was one of the best Pokemon in the game. DPP has changed the game substantially, and has brought with it many powerful attackers and new items that have made Suicune fall ever-so-slightly out of the limelight. That isn't to say that Suicune isn't still a top-tier threat, however, as it still has monstrous defensive stats, excellent typing, and the ability to set up on a vast portion of the metagame. Anyone doubting Suicune's effectiveness will realize the truth the hard way. Suicune is an exceptionally bulky Water-type Pokemon and doubles as a substantial offensive threat once set up. It has just the right tools to keep up with the fast-paced and brutal DPP metagame, and although not the monster it was in ADV, it remains a solid OU Pokemon.
Suicune, unfortunately, is a relatively predictable Pokemon. With its incredibly shallow movepool, it has very few options to surprise its opponents. Even worse still is that it is a magnet for being Tricked Choice items that utterly cripple its most common sets and make it very easy to play around. Suicune is also not a very fast Pokemon, falling short of many landmarks that would make it that much more threatening if it hit them. Despite these downfalls, its excellent defenses and Water typing allow it to take an impressive amount of punishment before going down, scaring many Pokemon away and maybe taking a few with it on the way.
Suicune is most often seen as a defensive Pokemon, but enjoys near-perfect neutral coverage with its attacking options and Calm Mind to make it immediately threatening. Offensive Suicune greatly appreciates its own natural bulk, which makes it almost impossible to OHKO and can give it lots of chances to set up. Furthermore, most of the Pokemon who switch into Suicune expecting to handle a defensive set will be met with a deadly super effective attack.
Suicune naturally forces a lot of switches, especially since most players will assume it to be the CroCune set. With just one Calm Mind under its belt, Suicune becomes a powerful sweeper. Hydro Pump affords Suicune many notable guaranteed OHKOs after a Calm Mind boost against Pokemon such as Scizor, Lucario, Tyranitar, and Specially Defensive Skarmory. Surf is still an option for its accuracy and higher PP, however. Hidden Power Electric and Ice Beam create a pseudo-BoltBeam combo that together with Hydro Pump or Surf hit everyone in the game for neutral damage except Shedinja and Lanturn.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
CroCune is a relic from the ADV era, combining setup and survival into a set that can be surprisingly difficult to handle, but at the cost of having Surf as your only attack. This Suicune is not an immediate threat, but is very problematic for many Pokemon to deal with and can be a superb late-game sweeper. Its natural defenses and EV investment make it an impressive wall and prevent it from being 3HKOed by most physical attacks, while Calm Mind boosts protect it from special attacks.
Surf has excellent neutral coverage as Suicune's sole attack, resisted only by opposing Water-, Dragon-, and Grass-type Pokemon. Calm Mind boosts both Suicune's damage output and its Special Defense, allowing it to set up even on super effective STAB attacks from the likes of Rotom-A after a boost or two. Rest serves as Suicune's only method of healing and also stands as insurance against status attacks from Blissey and her kin, while Sleep Talk keeps it from being useless by allowing it to boost itself further while asleep. Running Rest and Sleep Talk also conveniently makes Suicune an excellent sleep (and general status) absorber for its team, being able to come in on a predicted status-inducing move, take it, and either proceed to Rest, Sleep Talk if the status was sleep, or switch out to do so later.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Suicune takes full advantage of its defensive nature and ability to force switches with this set by using Substitute. Set up a Substitute as your opponent switches to their Suicune response and then deal with the switch-in accordingly, either by setting up or attacking. There are two ways to play this Suicune, either offensively or defensively. Both are equally effective, but beat and struggle with different threats.
Substitute and Calm Mind form the bread and butter of this set, allowing Suicune to take advantage of switches and still boost its stats to become a monstrous threat. Surf is the mandatory STAB option in the third slot for its reliability. In the final slot, a few options can be used to great effect. Ice Beam is an excellent tool against Dragon- and Grass-types that may try to take advantage of you while Hidden Power Electric is Suicune's best option against bulky Water-types such as Vaporeon, who would otherwise give it trouble. Roar is best used on the defensive variant of this set to take advantage of entry hazards and ward off opposing setup sweepers.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Suicune is naturally very difficult to take down due to its excellent typing and defensive stats. The RestTalk combination keeps Suicune healthy as it attempts to fire off moves while asleep to prevent it from becoming setup fodder. This Suicune's ability to function as a status absorber, phazer, and check to many popular offensive threats makes it a good choice on teams that need an immediate defensive response to Fire-, Water-, Ice-, and Steel-type attacks.
Rest keeps Suicune's health up, while Sleep Talk and Roar together discourage opponents from setting up on Suicune. Surf is a strong STAB attack that keeps those weak to it at bay and prevents Suicune from being complete Taunt bait. Roar is chosen for its phazing qualities, to rack up residual damage from entry hazards, and to send away opponents that may have already set up on the switch, such as Agility Metagross. It is possible to run Calm Mind on this set instead of Sleep Talk, which lets you attempt a sweep at the cost of being made useless for the two turns you're asleep. When using Calm Mind, another attacking move, such as Ice Beam or Hidden Power Electric, can be used over Rest to run an offensive Suicune with Roar.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Suicune has a terribly shallow movepool, and so lacks many other options for moves. Offensively, its movepool is so barren that only Shadow Ball and Extrasensory make a showing, both of which are so narrowly useful that they generally are not worth using at all. Defensively, Suicune has access to Mirror Coat and Reflect, which could be useful on some sets, but generally have to compete with far more useful moves for a precious moveslot. Toxic and Protect could be effective on Suicune, but they are better left to the likes of Vaporeon, who has Wish. Outside of Tailwind, which has too short of an effect to really support the team at all, there exists almost nothing else that Suicune can use from its movepool.
Checks and Counters
Bulky Grass-types are effective checks to all variants of Suicune. Celebi can Calm Mind alongside Suicune and beat it with Grass Knot or Energy Ball, barring a critical hit or a freeze. It also has Trick, Perish Song, and Leech Seed as alternative options for disabling Suicune. Shaymin can cut through Suicune's Special Defense boosts with drops from Seed Flare, typically used in conjunction with Leech Seed and Protect. Abomasnow and Ludicolo, with their unique type combinations, resist Suicune's STAB and avoid taking super effective damage from the rest of its common moveset (Abomasnow should be eternally careful of a surprise Hidden Power Fire). The former can wear down Suicune with Leech Seed and circumvent its Special Defense boosts through Wood Hammer; the latter is generally reliant on Grass Knot, but also has access to Leech Seed, Swords Dance, and Seed Bomb to take out Suicune. Roserade is not as effective of a check as its fellow Grass-types due to its relative frailty, as it is unable to switch into a healthy offensive Suicune and win one-on-one, but it can deal heavy damage to any variant through either Grass Knot or Leaf Storm, cripple offensive variants with Stun Spore or Sleep Powder, and beat defensive variants in most cases.
Water-types are also good answers to Suicune. Vaporeon is one of the best options for scouting a Suicune set: it can switch in, use Wish, and Roar it out, although it will be worn down by repeated Hidden Power Electrics. With Toxic, Vaporeon can also outlast Suicune without Rest or Substitute; however, there is typically no way for Vaporeon to beat defensive Suicune without support. Thanks to its typing, a healthy Kingdra can set up on Suicune with Dragon Dance and beat it with Outrage. With Thunderbolt, Starmie can beat a weakened or unboosted Suicune. Milotic can use Haze to eliminate Suicune's boosts and wear it down with Toxic; although Haze's 64 PP will enable it to win the ensuing stall war, Milotic has no efficient method of beating Suicune by itself. Although rare, Lanturn resists or is immune to all of Suicune's common attacks and can set up alongside it with Charge Beam.
From there on out, Suicune's counters are mostly dependent on what move it's not carrying. Blissey is a safe switch-in to any Suicune set; however, it only beats sets that lack Rest. If Suicune doesn't have Hidden Power Electric, Water-types such as Gyarados and opposing Suicune give it a lot more trouble. Sets without Ice Beam are bait for Grass-types and Dragonite.
Regardless of the set, Thunderbolts from Electric-types such as Zapdos and Rotom-A will heavily damage Suicune unless it already has more than a couple of Special Defense boosts. With its recovery ranging from less-than-reliable to none, Suicune is also susceptible to powerful physical hits from Pokemon such as Lucario and Gallade. If all else fails, Explosion will heavily damage or take out Suicune, while Trick will all but disable it.