While most priority users do outclass it, Ambipom has a few tricks that make it perfectly viable in DW, namely its Technician ability and its huge movepool. Technician is a godsend for Ambipom, whose array of weak moves receive a power boost. Fake Out, one of Ambipom's most commonly used moves, now has an enormous 90 Base Power instead of 40 after taking into account the STAB and Technician boosts. Fake Out also has +3 priority, making it one of the fastest moves. Furthermore, Ambipom has an adequate base 100 Attack stat and a superb base 115 Speed. Despite its lackluster Normal typing, Ambipom also gets access to uncommon and useful moves in U-turn, Pursuit, Low Kick, and Low Sweep.
On the other hand, Ambipom's stats, typing, and overall utility is disappointing. Its excellent Attack and Speed stats are let down by its base 60 Special Attack stat, which makes going mixed unfeasible. Ambipom also has horrible 75 / 66 / 66 defenses, making tanking most any attack difficult. In addition, Ambipom's bland Normal typing gives it a lack of resistances and STAB coverage that leaves much to be desired. As a priority user, Ambipom is greatly outclassed by the likes of Scizor, Dragonite, Lucario, and Breloom, all of whom have better priority moves, typing, or stats. On top of that, Ambipom has few viable options, making it extremely predictable. All in all, while Ambipom is outclassed by many Pokemon, its unique qualities do give it a niche.
This is Ambipom's most commonly used set, and for good reason. Ambipom has the perfect qualities for a physical attacker, specifically its great movepool, its adequate Attack stat, and its Technician ability. STAB Fake Out is an incredible move, which does massive damage if unresisted, and due to its flinch rate, is essentially free damage for Ambipom. Fake Out is great for revenge killing weakened sweepers, and if it doesn't KO them, the flinch will allow Ambipom to safely use U-turn or just switch to use Fake Out again later. Also, Ambipom does 48.6% - 57.8% to uninvested Breloom. U-turn is a fantastic move in general as it allows Ambipom to scout and switch out of the battle without losing momentum, letting it use Fake Out many times throughout a match. However, Return can be used if one desires a good STAB move.
The choice between Low Kick and Low Sweep depends on whether one wants to hit heavier Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Snorlax harder, or if one wants consistent power and the ability to lower the foe's Speed. It should be noted that Low Kick has 10 more Base Power against Ferrothorn, which makes all the difference between a 3HKO and a possible 2HKO. Other than that, though, Low Kick and Low Sweep hit Chansey and Blissey for the same amount of damage, while Pokemon such as Terrakion and Hydreigon will be 2HKOed by either move. In addition to being Ambipom's strongest option against Ghost-types, Pursuit allows Ambipom to trap fleeing Ghost-types who might switch in to absorb Fake Out, while also acting as Ambipom's best move against them. It also gets a Technician boost if the opponent doesn't switch. In particular, Pursuit lets Ambipom trap Choice Scarf or Choice Specs Chandelure locked into Shadow Ball or Hidden Power Ice.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Ambipom has an enormous movepool, so there are several other options one could use. A set comprising of only Fake Out and Last Resort is a strategy worth mentioning, but Ghost-types laugh at it, and bulky Rock- and Steel-types also wall it easily. Fire Punch, Ice Punch, and ThunderPunch can be used to hit key targets such as Ferrothorn, Gliscor, and Gyarados respectively. Knock Off is a useful move for figuring out an opponent's moveset, but it is too weak to be used effectively. Seed Bomb is an option to hit Gastrodon and Quagsire super effectively, but as they aren't very common, it is often a waste of a vital moveslot. Additionally, Ambipom can always U-turn to an appropriate counter to deal with them. Ambipom could run a decent SubPunch set, but it would be immensely outclassed by the likes of Conkeldurr and Toxicroak in such a role, as it lacks the bulk to use it well. A specially attacking set with Nasty Plot, Swift, Thunderbolt, and Water Pulse is possible, but Thundurus and Togekiss are more effective at utilizing this. Ambipom can Baton Pass Nasty Plot and Agility boosts, but again, it is hopelessly outclassed by SmashPass Smeargle and Gorebyss. Finally, Ambipom has access to Switcheroo, which makes a Choice Band or Choice Scarf set viable, but TrickScarf Cresselia and other Psychic-types are usually better suited for such a role.
Checks and Counters
Ghost-types present Ambipom with its biggest struggles. Gengar, Jellicent, and Chandelure are all immune to Fake Out, Return, Low Kick, and Low Sweep, and resist U-turn. Although Ambipom is immune to Ghost-type moves, due to its frailty, it is threatened by all their coverage moves. These Ghost-types do have to be wary of Pursuit though, as Ambipom outspeeds them all if they don't carry a Choice Scarf. Skarmory is an excellent counter as well, as Ambipom doesn't have a single super effective attack on Skarmory. In general, Steel-types that are neutral to Fighting, such as Bronzong, Jirachi, and Metagross, are decent counters because Ambipom lacks the sheer power to get around them.
Pokemon that are faster than Ambipom and resist Fake Out are problematic; examples include Choice Scarf users such as Terrakion, Chandelure, Jirachi, Magnezone, among others. In fact, Ambipom is extremely frail, so any faster Pokemon checks it well. Alakazam, Jolteon, Dugtrio, and Excadrill in sand all outspeed Ambipom and can KO it with their powerful STAB attacks. Priority users also rain on Ambipom's parade, making Pokemon such as Scizor, Breloom, Dragonite, and Lucario useful in countering Ambipom.