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Skarmory (Weak Armor + Guard Swap)

Discussion in 'Locked / Outdated Analyses' started by LeonJuliano, Dec 1, 2011.

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  1. LeonJuliano


    Dec 1, 2011
    So I was staring at Guard Swap the other day, trying to think of a way to make it viable. I realized that with the advent of Dream World, Skarmory is the only user of Guard Swap that can lower its Defenses by its own means. Research reaps that Guard Swap is incompatible with Brave Bird, and Guard Swap and Roost are incompatible together with Weak Armor. As a result, this set is a bit pigeonholed. Still, I implore you to take a look.


    Weak Armor - Adamant/Impish - Leftovers
    252 HP / 180 Atk / 72 SpD
    -Sky Drop/Drill Peck
    -Night Slash
    -Taunt/Swords Dance
    -Guard Swap

    The setup is simple, switch Skarmory into an attack it resists for the Speed boost and the Defense drop. You can choose to wait one round before you Guard Swap; I usually recommend it. Skarmory will typically result in a switch, Swords Dance is there to boost your Attack to sweeper levels and makes you much more viable of a late game sweeper. It also doesn't force you to Guard Swap your opponent to do massive damage. Alternatively, Taunt is a beautiful way to shut down many of the supporters who try to switch into Skarmory. If, worse case scenario, Magnezone switches in for the kill, Taunt at least forces Magnezone to T-bolt you rather than Sub, Magnet Rise, etc.

    Second round, again prediction can be crucial. If you think you'll move last, or the opposing Pokemon is a Physical attacker (a common switch in when your opponent sees Skarmory's Weak Armor activation,) use Guard Swap. You'll give the opponent the equivalent of a Screech, while boosting your Speed another 25%. Usually, this means you'll be going first on the next round. If you're confident that you'll go first, you can either attack or set up again. Whenever you feel you're ready to Guard Swap, do it.

    And so on. Sky Drop is really handy with Leftovers, as it is your only HP recovery unless you have Wish passed to you. Toxic Spikes support also helps a ton if that's the way you go. Alternatively, Drill Peck is more accurate, more powerful, more reliable, won't rack up your opponent's Lefties, etc. Night Slash wrecks Starmie, Slowbro, Reuniclus w/ T-bolt, especially after lowering their Defense. Just remember that without Swords Dance or Guard Swapped Defense drops, you won't be smearing the opponent easily.

    Guard Swap also makes Skarmory a great switch in to Calm Mind/Bulk Up users. Just be wary of Conkeldurr, especially if you don't know if you have priority. It also hits through Substitute, woohoo!

    As for teammates, anything that draws in things like Grass or Bug will be wonderful, as these predicted attacks essentially give Skarmory a free Weak Armor activation after Leftovers recovery. Swampert is amazing, immune to Electric and 1/4 Fire damage. It also resists Rock, Stone Edge being a popular weapon aimed at Weak Armor Skarmory. Swampert can also set up Stealth Rock, and while this Skarmory doesn't have Roar, the passive damage helps Skarmory's attacks' low Base Power. Dugtrio is also great for Trapping the opponent after their Defense has dropped. Quick revenge kills with Earthquake and Stone Edge are nice, especially since they have great coverage against Steels, who resist both of Skarmory's attacks, and Pokemon immune to Sky Drop. Swampert's Earthquake is just as effective. Earthquake, that's pretty much your best partner. xP Obviously, this Skarmory will love playing in the Sand. Also, DON'T FORGET THAT SKARMORY IS NO LONGER A PHYSICAL WALL. So bringing along another Physical wall is essential to make up for the serious weakness Weak Armor gives your team to Physical attackers. Also, don't forget that Skarmory doesn't have Sturdy anymore, so anything with Thunderbolt or Flamethrower will pretty much one-shot it.

    Max HP Effort Values give you maximum Leftovers recovery and more survivability. Some Special Defense investment is recommended, as the opponent won't always be switching in a Physical attacker. It also makes switching into a non-STAB Ice Beam much more comfortable. Pour all the rest into Attack and go for broke.

    As for counters to be wary of... Anything that can Burn Skarmory will effectively be neutering it. Gengar or Starmie with Thunderbolt can OHKO, provided Skarmory hasn't had a chance to boost up and can move first with Night Slash. Steel types can also wall Skarmory almost completely. Obviously, Magnezone = death. Bulky Water types can threaten OHKOs with Hydro Pump, especially with Rain support. Most sweepers with Choice Band and a neutral attack can 2HKO if they go first on the second round. Thunder Wave, which normally doesn't bother Skarmory much, will put it down in this case. Phazing and Roar will also put an end to Skarmory's games.

    Despite having many drawbacks and being so situational, Guard Swap and Weak Armor may actually be viable together, but I don't think it could have worked on a Pokemon besides Skarmory. Base 70 Speed means that you can actually threaten to sweep after being hit a couple times, access to Swords Dance and Taunt makes you more nimble against the variety of threats in this metagame. Of course, it would likely crash and burn if it weren't for Skarmory's handy slew of resistances and immunities, but it doesn't.
  2. danilo

    is a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion

    Apr 30, 2011
    No offense, but this set just seems terrible. It requires so much effort, and is revenge killed by almost all of the common mons in OU, other than like Scizor. Do you have any logs that prove this set is somewhat effective?
  3. CPU


    Feb 21, 2007
    Roost is perfectly legal with Weak Armor and Guard Swap.

    Xatu gets Roost via Breeding, and can pass Guard Swap on to Skarmory along with Roost.
  4. macle

    macle expert in crunching numbers and crushing rivals
    is a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Smogon Social Media Contributor Alumnusis an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Jun 21, 2008
    next time post in the right format and not this bad set.
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