Skarmory (Analysis)

#1
QC Checks: panamaxis, Iconic
GP Checks: Fatecrashers, Aeron Ee1


Skarmory

Status: GP 2 / 2
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[OVERVIEW]

<p>In the 5th generation, Skarmory retains its place as one of OU's premier physical walls of OU even in the 5th generation. In comparison to DPP, it got a useful boost to Sturdy, which now acts as a constant Focus Sash for Skarmory. With Roost, Whirlwind, and its huge physical defense, Skarmory can easily take on monstrously powerful physical attackers like Haxorus, Excadrill, Landorus, and Swords Dance Garchomp. Outside of walling the aforementioned threats, Skarmory can also lay down entry hazards, such as Spikes and Stealth Rock, making it a valuable asset for stall-oriented teams. Despite its low Special Defense, which can undermine its walling capabilities, Skarmory still shines as one of the best physical walls in the metagame.</p>

[SET]
name: Physically Defensive
move 1: Spikes
move 2: Roost
move 3: Whirlwind
move 4: Brave Bird / Taunt
item: Leftovers / Shed Shell
nature: Impish
ability: Sturdy
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>This is Skarmory's trademark physically defensive set from the 4th generation, unchanged. Skarmory can easily wall many powerful physical attackers like Conkeldurr with its high Defense and auspicious typing, which grants it a valuable immunity to Ground-type attacks, in addition to a resistance to many types. With its immense physical bulk, Skarmory can get many opportunities to lay down 3 layers of Spikes. Roost provides reliable recovery, keeping Skarmory healthy and allowing it to stall longer. Whirlwind helps Skarmory phaze set-up sweepers, and rack up entry hazard damage, making it an excellent shuffler.</p>

<p>There are two options for the last move. Taunt helps out against stall teams; against opposing walls, it allows Skarmory to shut down Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Hippowdon. Brave Bird prevents Skarmory from becoming complete Taunt bait itself for faster Pokemon and Prankster abusers. It also lands OHKO's on Breloom and Virizion, and deals heavy damage to Conkeldurr. As such, it better suits bulky offense teams.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>There are two item choices. Shed Shell will help Skarmory escape unscathed from its best counter, Magnet Pull Magnezone. However, Leftovers will provide recovery every turn, and help Skarmory heal off damage that it might have taken from weak attacks upon switching in, thus keeping it at full health and maintaining Sturdy's effect. The 252 EVs in both Defense and HP maximize Skarmory's physical bulk, while the remaining 4 EVs are invested in Special Defense.</p>

<p>Skarmory appreciates having a teammate to take the powerful special attacks that it will often find itself prey to. Pairing it with a special wall such as Chansey or Jellicent will therefore be effective. Chansey, in addition to forming a SkarmBliss-like defensive combination, also has the ability to pass 353 HP Wishes to Skarmory, keeping it healthy. On the other hand, Jellicent also acts as an effective spinblocker, although it shares an Electric-type weakness with Skarmory.</p>

[SET]
name: Specially Defensive
move 1: Spikes
move 2: Roost
move 3: Whirlwind
move 4: Brave Bird / Taunt
item: Leftovers / Shed Shell
nature: Careful / Impish
ability: Sturdy
evs: 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]

<p>Despite having low Special Defense, Skarmory can utilize its Steel typing, and run a specially defensive set. Skarmory's Steel typing grants it valuable resistances to common Dragon-, Ghost- and Grass-type attacks. Along with Roost, these resistances help Skarmory switch in and wall choice-locked Pokemon with ease, while still retaining the ability to wall physical attacks comfortably.</p>

<p>This set runs pretty much the same moves as the physically defensive set. Spikes is what distinguishes Skarmory from other bulky Steel-types bar Ferrothorn. Roost allows Skarmory to heal off any damage obtained while it sets up Spikes and significantly increases its longevity. Whirlwind is self-explanatory; shuffling the opponent's team members, thereby racking up residual damage if entry hazards have been layed down. Whirlwind also phazes any stat boosts which the opponent might have obtained.</p>

<p>Leftovers is the usual item one would see on Skarmory, although Shed Shell can enable it to escape certain death from the likes of Magnezone. As with the first set, there is a move choice over Brave Bird and Taunt. Brave Bird OHKOes Virizion and Breloom even without any investment in Attack, while Taunt allows Skarmory to shut down slower walls like Blissey and Ferrothorn.</p>

[ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

<p>The EVs and nature maximize Skarmory's Special Defense. Even without any investment, Skarmory has a great Defense stat and can comfortably take most powerful physical attacks. An Impish nature can be used to bolster Skarmory's Defense at the cost of some Special Defense.</p>

<p>Instead of running Spikes on Skarmory itself, another Pokemon can be used to lay entry hazards. This will free up a moveslot, and allow Skarmory to run both Brave Bird and Taunt on the same set. This can prove especially useful against stall teams. Deoxys-S is a good candidate for this role, as it can also provide team support with dual screens, softening the blows from special attacks that Skarmory takes.</p>

[Other Options]

<p>Toxic is an interesting option, and can be used in place of Brave Bird, though it will make Skarmory complete Taunt bait. Surprisingly, Skarmory has access to some boosting moves such as Curse, Swords Dance, and Agility, which are sadly wasted on Skarmory, as it has neither the stats nor the movepool to utilize them effectively. If the recoil damage from Brave Bird proves to be troublesome, Drill Peck is a safer, albeit weaker option.</p>

<p>Counter is another viable move, as Skarmory takes physical hits well, and can help net a surprise KO. However, once used, it loses much of its value in its surprise factor. Skarmory can also set up Stealth Rock, though this would mean having to forgo Spikes.</p>

[Checks and Counters]

<p>Magnezone is the best Skarmory counter in existence, as it can effectively trap and eliminate Skarmory with STAB Thunderbolt. However, if Skarmory is at full health, it can survive a Thunderbolt from Magnezone thanks to Sturdy and Whirlwind it out. Skarmory's typing gives it weaknesses to common Electric- and Fire-type attacks. This can be exploited by powerful special attackers like Starmie, which, in addition to OHKOing Skarmory with Thunderbolt, can also Rapid Spin its entry hazards away. Heatran can take anything Skarmory throws at it and eliminate it with a STAB Fire Blast. In the same vein, Electric-types such as Zapdos and Thundurus can switch in with ease, and eliminate Skarmory with their STAB attacks.</p>

[Dream World]

<p>Skarmory gets the ability Broken Armor, which boosts its Speed and lowers its Defense every time it is hit by a physical attack. There is no use trying to utilize such an ability, even in conjunction with Swords Dance; Skarmory is always better off running Sturdy.</p>
 

panamaxis

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#2
Skarmory really should have a physically defensive set up there and it should be the first set listed. Skarmory is really best used to take on the physical threats and spike (such as randorosu, SD chomp, Ononokusu, Doryuuzu etc). Nattorei can't do this because it's neutral to EQ so this should probably be emphasised with using skarmory.

<p>The EV's are quite simple. The 20 Speed EV's are outspeed other Skarmory running the usual 16 Spe set; and Whirlwind them out first.
As this is going on site the "usual 16 Spe set" will not exist, 20 speed EVs will be the usual so there's not much point in this imo
 
#3
Thanks for the QC pana, I will add the specially defensive set in a few hours time. Hopefully, this analysis will be ready for the stamp by then. I shall get back to you once I have added the mentioned set. The other changes suggested have been made.
 
#4
Why not slash Shed Shell with Leftovers..? Shadow Tag Shandera hasn't been released yet or might not ever, so putting Leftovers as the secondary slash and mentioning its uses in AC.
 
#5
Put 0 speed EVs in the analysis. Otherwise people just add 4 to whatever is onsite and it just causes speed creep. People can decide how much speed they want to invest based on how interested they are in outspeeding opposing skarmory.
 

panamaxis

how many seconds in eternity?
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
#6
I agree with delta and Somalia. Change the spreads to 252hp/252def/4spe and 252hp/252s.def/4 spe and everythings good

Evolution Stone Dusclops is probably the best, and only candidate for this role,
???
Also Burungeru takes Starmie's Tbolt like a champ with the right investment so if you care about synergy use another ghost, if you only care about spinblocking burungeru works fine.

QC Approved 1/2
 
#7
It should really have more defensive potential. Here's my suggested moveset:

[Set]
Name: Specially Defensive Spiker (Dalguy's version)

Spikes
Curse
Brave Bird/Steel Wing
Roost/Whirlwind

Item: Leftovers
Nature: Impish/Careful
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 HP/4 Def/252 SpD

Additional Comment: If you want a Physically Defensive Spiker, just switch the SpD EVs with the Def EVs.
 
#8
I don't see why Shed Shell is the main, and only, slash on Physically Defensive Skarmory, but not on Specially Defensive Skarmory.

Magnezone is nowhere near common in the current meta-game, and Shadow Tag Shandera hasn't been released yet. If Shed Shell should be slashed in, it should be second to Leftovers.
 
#9
I really think Leftovers should be the first slash on both sets. Skarmory should be using Whirlwind or be double switching for its first move to scout any potential problems. If you know what you're up against, the chance of keeping Skarmory alive is much higher than if you don't.
 
#12
Roost and Whirlwind also set it apart from Nattorei and Forretress, so they should be mentioned as well. It also has a usable speed stat for Taunt, although the need to hit doryuuzu with a move has caused Brave Bird to become the more popular choice.
 
#15
Shouldn't there be a mention of Drill Peck? Surely it is slightly weaker but no recoil damage and it still does the job vs the likes of Machamp, Roobushin etc.
 
#16
Drill Peck has been given an OC mention. I am quite busy with school, but still I will hopefully find some time to get this spruced up for GP checks. Thanks for the QC check Iconic.
 
#17
Just wondering, since I'm new, is shed shell that necessary (since Skarmory should be able to survive a thunderbolt, due to sturdy, to whirlwind the counter away)?
 
#18
And be left at a crippling 7 percent? That means you'll die on the next switch-in to rocks, and if rocks aren't down, a 7% Skarmory isn't going to be checking much of anything anyway.
 
#19
For the Team Options section, I would add that Skarmory works excellently with Dugtrio, even if it does create several mindgames. Courtesy of team preview, you can see Magnezone on opposing teams, and if careful you can switch in Skarmory and then immediately going to Dugtrio, often catching Magnezone out immediately. Dugtrio can also kill of Fire-types with Earthquake, which makes using Skarmory much more comfortable. Lastly, Dugtrio likes Spikes support, as most Pokemon need a bit of weakening before they can be KOed by Dugtrio.
 
#20
I shall contact a QC member on IRC, and see if I can add it to the analysis.

EDIT: Works well, added to the analysis.

Added quite a bit of content, mainly Team Options for each set in the respective AC's. This analysis is probably ready to be added to the GP queue now.
 
#23
Hi. New member. Enough about that, though.

Does anyone think Porygon2 can be a viable Skarmory partner? With an Evolution Stone, Calm Nature, 252 HP and Sp. Def, Recover, and the Trace ability, Porygon2 could very easily counter Flash Fire Shandera switch-ins. Porygon2 would Trace Shandera's Flash Fire, get hit by the Fire attack meant for Skarmory, and then receive a +1 Sp. Atk boost. Porygon2 could also Thunder Wave Scarf variants of Shandera to lower the candle's Speed. And just a tidbit of information, a max Sp. Def Porygon2 with an Evolution Stone still has a very nice Def stat.

The obvious flaw is that it only truly counters Flash Fire Shandera, but it does this magnificently and is still a nice Special Attack shield for Skarmory.

Critics are very much welcome to my Porygon2 partner idea. :)


EDIT: Idea disproven. Oh, well.
 
#25
I had an odd feeling there was something wrong with my post (and my first one at that). /facepalm

I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out GameMaster0000.

I suppose Porygon2 isn't as good of a partner as I thought. Considering this, I suppose the duck isn't worth mentioning since it's ability to take Special hits is outclassed by Blissey.

Sorry for wasting your guys' time. Next time I'll have to make sure my facts are straight.