Sableye (analysis)



<p>While Sableye has been considered a mediocre Pokemon in past generations, it received a godsend from the Dream World in the form of Prankster, an ability that gives an added +1 priority to all status moves. Not only is it the only Ghost-type with Prankster, but it is also the only Pokemon with this ability that has access to both Recover and Will-O-Wisp. Add to this the fact that Sableye is immune to many attacking moves with priority, and you have an insanely annoying Pokemon that can cripple entire teams - if the opponent doesn't quit beforehand. However, despite these perks, it is still an all-around mediocre Pokemon outside of Prankster, with none of its base stats exceeding 75. Furthermore, Sableye can only really switch in to a few select Pokemon, like Alakazam, Reuniclus, or Skarmory. However, Sableye is still a Pokemon you can trust to perform its job well on your team. </p>

name: Prankster
move 1: Will-O-Wisp
move 2: Recover
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Night Shade / Foul Play / Confuse Ray
item: Leftovers
ability: Prankster
nature: Calm
evs: 252 HP / 120 Def / 136 SpD


<p>This set is designed to abuse Prankster and the priority it provides to the fullest extent. Will-O-Wisp is the primary move on this set, crippling physical sweepers such as Terrakion and acting as a useful hindrance in general, as few Pokemon enjoy getting burned. Priority Recover enables Sableye to avoid being 2HKOed by most attacks and is a must on this set. For the third slot, Taunt is useful as it can completely shut down many walls and other defensive or support Pokemon, such as Ferrothorn or Blissey, as well as being a nuisance to boosting sweepers. Furthermore, Taunt has the added benefit of preventing Sableye from being Taunted itself with some prediction; Sableye's Prankster means it will always Taunt first, unless the opponent is Tornadus or Whimsicott. The choice for the final move is a matter of preference: Night Shade deals consistent damage, while Foul Play is a more effective option against Pokemon with a high Attack stat, and also helps against Psychic-types with Magic Bounce. Confuse Ray is a third option to further cripple an opponent's Pokemon.</p>


<p>The main EV spread of 252 HP / 120 Def / 136 SpD is meant to balance out Sableye's defenses; since its Special Defense is lower than its Defense, as well as not being cushioned by Will-O-Wisp, it needs more investment. An alternate EV spread of 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD could be used for a more dedicated check to physical sweepers. Calm is usually the preferred nature as it boosts Special Defense. Leftovers helps Sableye weather the hits it will be taking.</p>

<p>This set makes for a great spinblocker, crippling many spinners, such as Donphan and Forretress, so they can't hit back as hard. Toxic can be used instead of Will-O-Wisp if you prefer Toxic's gradual increase in damage, which is more effective when stalling out walls and support Pokemon, but you will need to be wary of Steel- and Poison-types. In terms of other options, Mean Look can be used in the third or fourth moveslot to trap physical attackers and beat them one-on-one.</p>

<p>Calm Mind could be used in the fourth slot to create a Sableye that can efficiantly wall both Physical and Special attacks. This Sableye, with Calm Mind's Special Defense boosts and Will-O-Wisp halving the opponent's Attack, can stall out many more threats than the regular set, since it prevents status moves with Taunt and can whittle away at the opponent's health with Will-O-Wisp. This set could run into trouble, however, since the only form of damage it can do is burn damage and critical hits will severely weaken, if not outright KO, it.</p>

<p>While Sableye is largely a support Pokemon, it itself needs some support in order to function optimally. This set is much more vulnerable to special sweepers than physical sweepers, so a special wall like Blissey could be used to get rid of them. Sableye also hates hazards, especially Toxic Spikes, so unless you're planning to get Sableye in before the hazards, a spinner such as Forretress or Donphan is recommended.</p>

name: Trick
move 1: Trick
move 2: Recover
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Will-O-Wisp / Night Shade / Toxic
item: Iron Ball / Lagging Tail
ability: Prankster
nature: Calm
evs: 252 HP / 120 Def / 136 SpD


<p>This set uses Prankster to bypass the Lagging Tail / Iron Ball Speed drop in order to cripple one enemy Pokemon almost entirely. Trick is the primary move, used to cripple opposing sweepers or walls with Lagging Tail or Iron Ball by slowing them down immensely, while depriving them of their original items. Recover is for healing any damage done to Sableye while it Tricks the opponent. Taunt can be used to stop walls and support Pokemon in their tracks. The last move is a choice between Night Shade, for consistent but low damage to opponents, or Will-O-Wisp or Toxic to wear down walls like Skarmory (in which case Will-O-Wisp is recommended) or Gastrodon (with which Toxic is recommended), or even Pokemon like Mienshao (both can be used, but Will-O-Wisp is preferred due to burn halving Attack).</p>


<p>This set works well with Pokemon that benefit from the elimination or crippling of threats like Alakazam or Gengar, such as Conkeldurr. Confuse Ray can work in the fourth moveslot in place of Will-O-Wisp or Toxic to lower the probability of an opponent being able to attack while you set up. The choice between Iron Ball and Lagging Tail is a matter of which sort of Pokemon you want to cripple; Lagging Tail always makes the holder last in its priority bracket and therefore is best if you have slow Pokemon of your own, such as Donphan or Gastrodon, while Iron Ball grounds fliers and halves the holder's Speed and so is best for Tricking onto Flying-types or Levitating opponents, as well as Pokemon that rely on their Speed to be effective. Iron Ball is particularly effective when it is Tricked onto Pokemon such as Skarmory and Gengar, who lose their immunity to Ground. Ground-type sweepers like Landorus or Swords Dance Gliscor are also good teammates to have if you use Iron Ball, as they benefit from the grounding and slowing down of dangerous opponents.</p>

name: Calm Mind
move 1: Calm Mind
move 2: Recover
move 3: Shadow Ball / Hidden Power Dark
move 4: Will-O-Wisp / Hidden Power Fighting
item: Leftovers
ability: Prankster
nature: Bold
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD


<p>This is Sableye's most effective attempt at a sweeping set, which relies on setting up Calm Mind alongside quick healing from Recover. While you are setting up, you should be sure to have an almost full HP bar (refreshed by Recover) when you Calm Mind to avoid being KOed immediately. Shadow Ball and Hidden Power Dark are Sableye's best STAB moves, as Dark Pulse is illegal with Prankster; one of the two should be chosen for the set to ensure sweeping capability while also making use of Prankster. If Hidden Power Dark is chosen, Will-O-Wisp can fill the fourth slot, as it is useful for crippling physical attackers that may attempt to stop your sweep, while Hidden Power Fighting provides perfect coverage with Shadow Ball, and importantly, it hits the Normal types that are immune to Shadow Ball for super effective damage.</p>


<p>The EV spread, coupled with Will-O-Wisp, is meant to maximize Sableye's ability to take physical hits from opponents, trusting to the Special Defense boosts from Calm Mind to keep you safe on the other side. A Bold nature is preferred since it boosts Defense and lowers Attack, the latter of which helps Sableye handle confusion.</p>

<p>You can't use Hidden Power Fighting and Hidden Power Dark on the same moveset, obviously, so if you run Hidden Power Dark you're going to have to use Will-O-Wisp. Toxic can be used instead of Will-O-Wisp, but you leave yourself more vulnerable to physical attacks. Hazard support is useful for wearing down any Pokemon that switches in, helping Sableye take the opposition out more easily.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>Sableye has several options for moves other than the ones listed. Fake Out and Shadow Sneak can be used for free and priority damage respectively, but they are rather weak, especially with Sableye's undesirable base 75 Attack. Priority Sunny Day and Rain Dance can make Sableye a backup weather setter, making it useful in the weather wars, however this role is better carried out by Tornadus in the rain (who also has access to Prankster) and Heatran in the sun (who is a much more bulky alternative). Priority Substitute could be used to prevent status and to Toxic stall the opponent, and the HP lost through its use can be offset with the combination of Leftovers and Recover; however, Sableye's poor stats make this option unattractive. As a last note, Sableye's other ability, Keen Eye, should never be used over Prankster as it is Sableye's only saving grace - its stats are downright awful.</p>

[Checks and Counters]

<p>Faster Pokemon with Prankster, such as Whimsicott or Tornadus, can Taunt Sableye, pretty much forcing a switch. Sableye also has mediocre defenses and any strong attacker that hasn't been previously crippled can 2HKO or even OHKO it. Heracross is a notable example, as its power is boosted by Will-O-Wisp and Toxic thanks to Guts, it couldn't care less about Taunt, and it can OHKO Sableye with STAB Megahorn after Stealth Rock. Heatran also pretty much walls most sets, being immune to both Will-O-Wisp and Toxic. Gliscor and Breloom with Poison Heal are also immune to status, which can force you to switch.</p>


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Nice start, Scorpio. Not too sure about the EV Spread, but that can be fleshed out with further testing.

As far as other options, Trick + Iron Ball may be a worthy mention. It can act as a Prankster T-Wave Thundurus, by halving the sweeper's Speed before it gets a chance to KO Sableye. Obvious con - lack of lefties unless you Trick with a Pokemon with Lefties, but it's probably a more sure-fire way of crippling Sweepers than Will-O-Wisp.

Confuse Ray can take the fourth slot, letting Sableye to more successfully quick-stall and switch out.


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Perhaps Foul Play can work in the 4th slot as well; at the very least it deserves a mention in Other Options. After all, 95 base power is actually really high for a Dark move, and Will-O-Wisp doesn't actually cut your opponent's Attack stat in half, it only halves their physical damage, so you'd still be using the opponent's untouched Attack stat for your Foul Play. Against opponents with high Attack, it can actually do some respectable damage.

Maybe Snarl deserves a mention in Other Options since it gives you the option to drop the opponent's Special Attack while doing a tiny bit of damage. It could at least help protect your more vulnerable Special side (after Will-O-Wisp), and it could be good protection against guys like Gengar.

Also, possibly consider Substitute as insurance against Scald burns and such, since that's obviously going to wreck Sableye. It can also protect against Dragon Tail (ie. Dragonite).
Lagging Tail/Iron Ball are great for Trick sets, he will miss the Lefties but crippling someone is worth it. Also, this gives him a way to fuck with Special Sweepers who don't care about Will o Wisp.
how about that Torment set from the Creative moveset thread? here it is so you don't have to look:

Sableye @ Leftovers
Ability: Mischievious Heart
EV's: 252 HP / 128 Def / 128 SDef
Nature: Bold
--Toxic / Taunt

Torment just got real. Try Tormentran, but with priority on everything and with a recovery move. You can alternate between healing and protect (heal on the weaker move). Taunt is a third option to make sure that the opponent can't set up on you, and it really shuts down mono-attackers. Honestly, this thing would make the opponent cry


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contrary to what most people believe, splitting evs equally in defenses doesn't equalize defenses, the best ev spread for sableye is 252hp/252spdef careful especially cause you are probably going to be running will-o-wisp.


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Torment Sableye is... not very good at all, actually. Yeah, your opponent doesn't really hit you, but you aren't doing anything either. There is a similar set for Skarmory that looks to be in the same boat -- the set is just dead weight on a team. The reason Tormentran works is because it can attack and threaten with burns, and a no-attacking Sableye with no way of damaging or even bothering the opponent just seems useless.

It doesn't really deserve a spot in the analysis, imo. Of course, I'm not a member of the QC team, so you'll want to have others weigh in on this, but it's not really that good lol.
Having played with Sableye briefly, I feel that Torment should be slashed in alongside Night Shade as a utility move instead of getting its own set. Sableye's biggest selling point is priority Wisp, Recover and Taunt, the fourth move can be anything really and all of them have their uses. Torment is situationally useful for shutting down Choiced Pokemon and helps Sableye to quickstall against walls a lot more quickly. But Night Shade and Knock Off are more useful to most teams.

Just my 2c.

P.S. the Trick set looks terrible...
I think that Mean Look should be slashed on the first set in the third or fourth slot, or at at least mentioned in other options. trapping physical attackers will let you beat a lot of them one on one. You should also mention the option of a simple 252 HP 252 Def 4 Sp Def EV spread for more physical dedication.
Added Mean look and and the alternate EV spread to AC. If QC deems Trick and/or Torment as undeserving of their own movesets, I will add them in AC as well.
good analysis but i found in the things moveset: sableye gets punishment for stat boosters (could be on sableye to destroy cm reun even more than it already does, also applies to any psychic or ghost stat booster that cant ohko or 2hko it, gives it a chance against special stat boosters in general)
Don't slash lagging tail, only Iron Ball forces flying-types to the ground iirc (it doesn't do much for sableye, but it can help more than lagging tail)

edit: 900th post... yay?


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Don't slash lagging tail, only Iron Ball forces flying-types to the ground iirc (it doesn't do much for sableye, but it can help more than lagging tail)

edit: 900th post... yay?
It still deserves a slash though, as Iron Ball only halves speed while Lagging Tail forces the user to go last no matter what. Walls will be guaranteed to go first if Lagging Tail is tricked onto the opponent.
sableye needs to move up to OU, he carries my team on his back. Everyone sees me use him and now they want to use him. He is seriously overpowered.

Here is my set
Sableye w/ Leftovers
Ability: Prankster
EV's: 252 HP / 128 Def / 128 SDef
Nature: Bold

that way he hits everything, but maybe put protect in there.


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Yeah, this thing's annoying, especially when it uses Will-O-Wisp on every physical attacker it meets. On Smogon, I'm seeing Will-O-Wisp / Substitute variants to scout for attacks, so you might want to list that somewhere. Also, Sableye has WAY too many sets for something that's supposed to abuse this, so later on, the Torment and/or Calm Mind sets may not work due to a lack of relevant resistances.


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Sub-Wisp sounds REALLY annoying, letting it burn-stall opponents :x

Mac5, if it's working for you, that's fine, but wouldn't Sableye want an attacking move to deal with Magic Guard Reuniclus?
Sub-Wisp sounds REALLY annoying, letting it burn-stall opponents :x

Mac5, if it's working for you, that's fine, but wouldn't Sableye want an attacking move to deal with Magic Guard Reuniclus?
Actually, Sableye pretty much walls Reuniclus to hell and back and can taunt it to prevent set-up. The standard CM sets cant touch it at all and the Trick Room variant deals a maximum of 44% damage with Shadow Ball.

One problem i find with Sableye is that it has trouble dealing with status absorbers such as Poison Heal Gliscor and Conkeldurr. Heatran can deal with most Sableye since its immune to both Toxic and Will-o-wisp as well.