1. New to the forums? Check out our Mentorship Program!
    Our mentors will answer your questions and help you become a part of the community!
  2. Welcome to Smogon Forums! Please take a minute to read the rules.

OU Skarmory

Discussion in 'Preliminary Pokedex' started by CyclicCompound, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    QC: [ginganinja] [SUSANOO91] [Super Mario Bro]
    GP: [Kingler12345] [blitzlefan]



    Overview
    ########

    Skarmory has been one of the most defensively capable Pokemon since its inception, boasting a base 140 Defense with an amazing Steel / Flying typing to back it up. Reliable recovery, phazing moves, Spikes, and Defog make an already great blueprint into a fearsome physical wall bursting with utility. Skarmory's talents can be matched to many playstyles: stall teams love its durability and access to highly coveted moves, while more balanced teams appreciate the ability to fall back on its defensive capacity. Unlike many other defensive Pokemon, Skarmory is not to be set up on: Whirlwind, Taunt, and Brave Bird all exist to deter even the best setup sweepers and walls. In an emergency situation, Sturdy combined with Whirlwind makes Skarmory an almost unbreakable, albeit sacrificial, full stop to any sweeper.

    However, Skarmory has several shortcomings that must be addressed. It possesses low HP and Special Defense stats, making it unable to wall most specially based attackers. Entry hazards, once a staple of Skarmory's gameplay, have become slightly less impactful due to Defog. Dark- and Ghost-types are now free to utilize unresisted STAB attacks against Skarmory, and Skarmory still requires a moderate degree of team support to cover its weaknesses to popular Fire- and Electric-type moves. Finally, although Skarmory has been blessed with an amazing support movepool, it now faces serious four-moveslot syndrome more than ever, and this, combined with the introduction of extremely powerful attackers such as Mega Charizard X, makes Skarmory that much easier for the opponent to overwhelm. Lastly, Skarmory faces intense competition from Mandibuzz, one of the other popular choices for a defensive Defog user, which possesses higher overall defenses and valuable resistances to Ghost- and Dark-type moves. However, it cannot match Skarmory's startling array of resistances and immunities, and is weak to Stealth Rock.


    Physically Defensive
    ########
    name: Physically Defensive
    move 1: Roost
    move 2: Whirlwind
    move 3: Stealth Rock / Brave Bird
    move 4: Defog / Brave Bird
    ability: Sturdy
    item: Leftovers / Rocky Helmet
    nature: Bold / Impish
    evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD

    Moves
    ========

    The first slot goes to Roost, which provides Skarmory with reliable and instant recovery, and makes it near-impossible for any physical attacker to beat it one-on-one without the aid of boosting moves or super effective STAB moves. Whirlwind is primarily for when the opponent attempts to boost up; however, it also has great utility in letting Skarmory scout its switch-ins and rack up entry hazard damage by shuffling the opponent's Pokemon. Stealth Rock is a great option for the third slot; thanks to its great physical bulk and resilience, Skarmory finds no trouble setting Stealth Rock up at many points within a battle. Defog allows Skarmory to clear the field of entry hazards to make the battlefield more welcoming for hazard-susceptible teammates. However, Brave Bird is also a viable option over either Stealth Rock or Defog according to the team's needs, as it gives Skarmory a moderately strong STAB attack that threatens some of its frailer switch-ins, a way to pick off opponents weakened by its entry hazards, and something to prevent it from being Taunt bait. Spikes can be used in place of Stealth Rock should the team already have a reliable user of Stealth Rock, as Skarmory is an effective Spiker. However, because Spikes is counterproductive to the use of Defog and redundant with Stealth Rock, it should always be run alongside Brave Bird. Finally, Taunt can be run as a way to prevent opposing Pokemon from setting up alongside it, particularly defensive ones.

    Set Details
    ========

    This is Skarmory's standard set, as it lets Skarmory most effectively use its great Defense stat. Skarmory runs full HP and Defense EVs to maximize its physical bulk, its most valuable statistical trait. If taking advantage of Sturdy is absolutely necessary, a spread of 224 HP / 252 Def / 32 SpD can be used so Skarmory recovers exactly enough HP to reactivate Sturdy two turns after switching into Stealth Rock. However, this is not only extremely situational but also implies a waste of Skarmory's potential, as the only attacks that bring it down to Sturdy are powerful special attacks, which it should not be attempting to tank. An Impish nature should be used alongside Brave Bird; however, if this is not the case, a Bold nature should be used, as it lessens the damage taken from Foul Play and confusion. Because Skarmory is a defensive Pokemon, Leftovers is an ideal item, increasing its survivability alongside Roost. However, due to Skarmory's role as a physical wall, Rocky Helmet is also a great item, as it quickly wears down the physical attackers Skarmory switches into. Shed Shell is another possibility, allowing Skarmory to escape the clutches of Magnezone and Gothitelle, but this is extremely situational, albeit useful.

    Usage Tips
    ========

    Skarmory usually enters the battle as a counter to physical attackers such as Mega Pinsir, although it can come in on other defensive Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Blissey. Roost should be used liberally, to restore Skarmory to full health, as this lets it avoid 2HKOs from some of the stronger attackers in the tier. As a general rule, when in doubt, use Whirlwind. Not only is it a great scouting move, but it also gets you out of unexpected situations, such as when facing Garchomp or Tyranitar sets that utilize Fire Blast. Defog should be used whenever entry hazards may threaten the other members of your team. Furthermore, Skarmory can follow up Defog with Stealth Rock, essentially keeping the battle in your favor in a short span of two turns. Although entry hazards are great to have set up as soon as possible, they should not be your number one priority, as Skarmory's longevity is usually far more important. Skarmory can't stay in on powerful special attackers such as Latios, so switch out to a teammate when possible to avoid taking major damage. Taunt and Brave Bird, with a bit of prediction, can be used to force out or wear down counters, respectively, when used on the switch. In particular, Brave Bird is usually a smart choice when the opponent possesses a Magic Bounce user, as they will all be hit for significant damage.

    Team Options
    ========

    Skarmory functions best either on fully defensive teams or as a part of a defensive core, as both provide defensive teammates that patch up its weak points. Blissey and Chansey work particularly well in tandem with Skarmory, as their respective defensive stats function well together against almost any attacker not using a mixed set. Although they need additional team support, specially defensive variants of Jellicent and Heatran also work well, as both can stop many of the Fire-type attackers that try to break through Skarmory. Teammates resistant or immune to Electric-type moves are appreciated as well. Celebi in particular stands out in this role, as it hard-counters Rotom-W, one of Skarmory's most common switch-ins. If Skarmory is being used on a team largely dependent on entry hazards, a spinblocker can be useful as well, although it will not stop users of Defog. If Skarmory is being used as part of a defensive core on a balanced team, offensive teammates that value the effect of entry hazards and the ability to easily fall back on a defensive wall when forced out will appreciate Skarmory's presence. Examples of such include Dragonite, Aegislash, and Tyranitar.


    Spikes
    ########
    name: Spikes
    move 1: Spikes
    move 2: Whirlwind
    move 3: Roost
    move 4: Taunt
    ability: Sturdy
    item: Leftovers
    nature: Bold
    evs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 Spe

    Moves
    ========

    Spikes is the focal point of this set, taking advantage of Skarmory's exceptional Defense and resistances to reliably set up multiple layers of entry hazards. Whirlwind allows Skarmory to scout its switch-ins and easily rack up entry hazard damage; late-game, Skarmory can actually "sweep" weakened teams with Whirlwind and entry hazard damage, particularly if the greatest offensive threats to Skarmory have been removed. Roost allows Skarmory to stay healthy throughout a match, allowing it to continue walling common Pokemon such as Mega Pinsir while laying down Spikes or shuffling with Whirlwind. Finally, Taunt allows Skarmory to prevent opposing Pokemon from using Defog, permitting it to continue its Spikes-stacking. Taunt is also significant in that it prevents opposing Pokemon from using recovery moves, allowing Spikes to take them out. Brave Bird can be used to give Skarmory an attacking option, but Skarmory is hard-pressed to give up any of the previously mentioned moves for it.

    Set Details
    ========

    84 Speed EVs let Skarmory outspeed uninvested base 80s such as Mandibuzz, Togekiss, and Mega Venusaur, and use Taunt before they can use Defog or Synthesis/Leech Seed, respectively. 252 HP EVs patch up Skarmory's low HP stat. The rest is thrown into Defense, allowing Skarmory to set up against many of the popular physical attackers in OU, such as physical variants of Aegislash. A Bold nature is ideal for lowering the damage from confusion and Foul Play; however, if Brave Bird is being used, an Impish nature should be chosen, as it won't decrease Brave Bird's power. Leftovers is the preferred item, allowing Skarmory more turns to set up and phaze instead of recovering with Roost. However, Rocky Helmet can be used to get even more chip damage on physical attackers, and Shed Shell can be used if Magnezone is of major concern.

    Usage Tips
    ========

    Skarmory can be sent out against either the physical attackers it walls, such as Mega Pinsir, or against other defensive Pokemon, such as Chansey, as Skarmory will almost always outspeed the latter and can use Taunt against them. From there, Skarmory can proceed to set up hazards, or if hazards are already present, use Whirlwind. Note that Whirlwind is sometimes the best choice even if full hazards have not been set up, as many potential switch-ins to Skarmory, such as Mega Charizard Y, will take substantial damage from Stealth Rock alone. Roost should be used whenever necessary to keep Skarmory healthy, as some of the stronger physical attackers in the tier, such as Conkeldurr with Guts activated, can catch Skarmory at somewhat low health and take it out. Finally, remember to use Taunt whenever defensive Pokemon such as Ferrothorn or Mandibuzz switch in, as moves such as Leech Seed and Defog can wear Skarmory down or nullify its effectiveness, respectively.

    Team Options
    ========

    Because this Skarmory does not carry Stealth Rock, a reliable Stealth Rock user is heavily recommended to increase the amount of damage done through phazing. Heatran is a great option, as it can easily take advantage of Skarmory's weakness to Fire-type moves, and can handle many Electric-type moves that may come Skarmory's way. Skarmory has a huge reliance on entry hazards, so a spinblocker can be useful. Trevenant is a great choice, as it matches up well against the most common spinner, Excadrill, and can force numerous switches of its own. Prankster Taunt users such as Thundurus and Sableye can be major hindrances to this set, so having a Pokemon that can deal with them, such as Clefable or Assault Vest Conkeldurr, is very beneficial. Finally, due to the shuffling effect of Whirlwind and the entry hazards that are set up, this variant of Skarmory tends to leave the opponent's team in a heavily weakened state. Therefore, setup sweepers such as Mega Charizard X and Mega Pinsir are recommended as teammates because they can easily sweep weakened teams.

    Specially Defensive
    ########
    name: Specially Defensive
    move 1: Roost
    move 2: Whirlwind
    move 3: Stealth Rock / Brave Bird
    move 4: Defog / Brave Bird
    ability: Sturdy
    item: Leftovers / Rocky Helmet
    nature: Bold / Impish
    evs: 252 HP / 16 Def / 240 SpD

    Moves
    ========

    Roost lets Skarmory wall some of the weaker attackers in the tier and stay healthy to continue putting pressure on the opponent's team. Whirlwind lets Skarmory rack up further chip damage and scout the opponent's team, and despite this set's decreased capacity against popular boosting physical threats such as Gyarados, it can still stop a potential sweeper in its tracks. Stealth Rock is a great choice for specially defensive Skarmory, as its great defensive typing and decent mixed bulk let it set up Stealth Rock against a wide range of opponents. If either Stealth Rock or Defog is not necessary, Brave Bird gives Skarmory a way to inflict immediate damage on opposing Pokemon and prevents it from being Taunt bait. Teammates weak to hazards will most appreciate Defog; however, keep in mind that using it makes Skarmory's job of laying hazards harder as it will remove your hazards as well. Though not listed, Skarmory is a solid user of Spikes, usually possessing ample time to set up over the course of a match. However, carrying both Spikes and Defog is counterproductive, so Spikes should always be run alongside Brave Bird. Finally, Taunt is another option to prevent opposing defensive Pokemon from setting up alongside Skarmory.

    Set Details
    ========

    High Special Defense and HP investment allows Skarmory to patch up the weaker of its two defensive stats and become a better mixed wall, letting it switch into a wider variety of threats. Specifically, 240 Special Defense EVs let Skarmory avoid a 2HKO from Garchomp's uninvested Fire Blast after both Stealth Rock damage and Leftovers and nearly guarantee the same with Tyranitar's Fire Blast. The remaining 16 EVs are invested in Defense, as they offer a higher point return than investing in Special Defense. An Impish nature is chosen despite the Special Defense investment as it raises Skarmory's stats the most; note that if Brave Bird is not being used, a Bold nature is preferred instead to take less damage from confusion and Foul Play. Leftovers gives Skarmory the ability to passively regain health, lessening the number of times Roost must be used and allowing it more time to set up. However, Rocky Helmet is a great item for this Skarmory, letting it inflict further chip damage on physical attackers that attempt to break through it. Finally, Shed Shell is an option to let Skarmory escape from Magnezone and Gothitelle.

    Usage Tips
    ========

    Skarmory likes switching in on weaker attackers, such as defensive and support Pokemon, as they typically do not threaten it at all. Skarmory should also utilize its great defensive typing to find opportunities to switch in against Pokemon it walls, such as Mega Pinsir and Krookodile. Stealth Rock should be used when a free turn is obtained, especially if the opponent possesses no spinner or Defog user. However, remember to use Defog before Stealth Rock if necessary, as Defog will also remove the hazards you set. Whirlwind is also a great choice to use on a free turn, particularly if the opponent's Skarmory counter is weak to hazards, and should also be used liberally against well-known boosting threats such as Dragonite and Lucario to prevent any sort of setup. However, remember that Roost is the best choice should Skarmory risk getting low on health, as it can only continue to function as a wall if its HP is high. If a Magic Bounce user such as Espeon is on the opponent's team, it's often not a bad idea to go straight for Brave Bird, as both Espeon and Mega Absol will be lured in and take significant damage from a well-timed attack, although Xatu will be able to heal it off with Roost.

    Team Options
    ========

    This Skarmory set is much more standalone than physically defensive variants, sacrificing some of its walling potential for the ability to stand up against a wider array of threats. Therefore, this set is one of the most reliable Defog and Stealth Rock users. Teammates that appreciate the presence of hazards will enjoy having Skarmory as a teammate, particularly ones that force many switches, such as Kyurem-B. Teammates weak to entry hazards, such as Talonflame, appreciate Skarmory's Defog support. If hazards are absolutely necessary for the success of a team, a spinblocker can be used as a teammate to take pressure off Skarmory should the opponent have a spinner. However, keep in mind that only Rapid Spin, and not Defog, can be blocked. Finally, Skarmory will end up attracting many Fire- and Electric-type moves, which Pokemon such as Heatran, Thundurus-T, and Garchomp can use to gain a free switch-in with their respective immunities. Specially based moves in general will often be hurled at Skarmory, moves that Pokemon such as Goodra and Tyranitar love to sponge.

    Other Options
    ########

    Counter is an interesting option that can punish many physical attackers that attempt to take Skarmory down, and Skarmory's high physical bulk allows to it to take such a risk. As a defensive Pokemon, Skarmory can utilize Toxic to further wear down opponents, particularly Rotom-W, which is unhindered by both Spikes and Brave Bird. However, Skarmory would usually rather set up hazards or phaze, especially seeing as some of its most common switch-ins, Heatran, Magnezone, and Ferrothorn, are immune to Toxic. On any of Skarmory's sets, Drill Peck can replace Brave Bird if the recoil is too detrimental to Skarmory's performance. However, Skarmory's access to reliable recovery usually makes Brave Bird the better choice. A Swords Dance set with Brave Bird and two other attacks along with the ability Weak Armor can turn Skarmory into a sweeper, catching the opponent off-guard. However, the unreliability of Weak Armor and Skarmory's relatively low Attack stat hold it back. Keen Eye, Skarmory's other ability, is almost useless, as accuracy-reducing moves are not only extremely uncommon but also never a serious hindrance to Skarmory's performance. Finally, Curse is probably Skarmory's best boosting move. However, Curse does nothing to remedy Skarmory's weakness to special attacks, making it very hard for Skarmory to find setup opportunities.

    Checks & Counters
    ########

    **Special Attacks**: Strong special attackers, such as Mega Charizard Y and Thundurus, can easily bring down any Skarmory set. Electric- and Fire-type attacks are also very common. Many attackers, such as Kyurem-B, carry them for coverage purposes, making it even tougher for Skarmory to stay in. In addition, many physical attackers with usable Special Attack stats will carry Fire Blast specifically for luring in and hitting Skarmory for massive damage.

    **Taunt**: Skarmory has trouble getting past Pokemon with Taunt, as they prevent it from healing, phazing, and Spikes-stacking. Setup sweepers that possess Taunt to stop Skarmory are especially dangerous, particularly if Skarmory is the team's only method of dealing with them.

    **Trapping Abilities**: Three users of trapping abilities, Magnezone, Gothitelle, and Wobbuffet, are particularly troublesome to Skarmory. Gothitelle and Magnezone are capable of easily KOing Skarmory with their powerful special attacks, whereas Wobbuffet can lock Skarmory into a move and provide its teammates with a setup opportunity.

    **Magic Bounce and Magic Coat**: Magic Bounce and Magic Coat users will reflect Skarmory's phazing and Spikes-stacking attempts. This is especially troublesome when facing Baton Pass teams, as Skarmory is otherwise a prime counter to them with its access to reliable phazing moves.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2014
  2. Agent Gibbs

    Agent Gibbs

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    832
    A couple of quick points:

    I'd drop the HP investment to 224 EVs like in the old BW analysis. This gives Skarmory the right HP stat so that if it switches into Stealth Rock and gets two turns of Leftovers recovery, it'll be back to full health and still able to utilize Sturdy. This isn't super common, but it does happen from time to time (i.e. Skarmory switches into Landorus-T's Earthquake with Stealth Rock down and forces a switch, giving it two turns of Leftovers recovery with no damage bar Stealth Rock and thus bringing it back to full health).

    Also, when you're explaining the purpose of those 4 Spe EVs, you shouldn't refer to it as "speed creeping," which isn't allowed in analyses. It's also a bit of a paradox to encourage people to run 4 EVs to outspeed Skarmory when this is Skarmory's analysis. You can replace that with something more general such as, "4 Speed EVs lets Skarmory outrun Pokemon with uninvested base 70 Speed stats and everything slower."
  3. Alter

    Alter let me down easy
    is a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    667
    Rocky Helmet is an extremely useful item that you should definitely mention in the AC of the physically defensive set. The residual damage on Pokemon (especially Mega Kangaskhan) is very useful in helping stall teams accumulate damage. In a similar vein, it might be worth mentioning Shed Shell somewhere in the analysis. This isn't as relevant without Mega Gengar running amok but could still use consideration. It allows Skarmory to escape the likes of Gothitelle (avoiding Trick or Thunderbolt) and, more importantly, Magnezone / Magneton. I'd also personally put less slashes next to Brave Bird as it is such an important move for not being set up or Taunt bait as well as for KOing Pokemon such as Mega Pinsir and picking damage off of other physical attackers.
  4. Namso

    Namso
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,303
    Slash Rocky Helmet and make a mention of Shed Shell for reasons stated by Labyrinthine. I'd make the set look something like this:

    Roost
    Whirlwind
    Spikes / Defog / Taunt
    Brave Bird / Taunt
  5. Cshadow

    Cshadow

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    866
    Wouldn't the new Defog mechanics make Stealth Rock the better entry hazard to list on the set? Few teams are going to run Skarmory + Stealth Rock setter unless they're as Stall Team, I would think. Stealth Rock has more utility overall anyways because it hits / damages more threats and is easier to put back onto the field once you've lost it. Defog users are too varied to have a one-stop-answer to all of them, unless they're is a Pokemon capable of eliminating Mandibuzz, Latias, Latios, Empoleon, Crobat, Scizor, other Skarmory, Gliscor, and Togekiss that I don't know about.

    I think Spikes is more fitting for AC, since it is a less reliable entry hazard and is only good for teams that can create opportunities to replace them once they've been removed.

    EDIT: Or teams that eliminate opportunities for the opponent to remove them, but I don't think Skarmory is going to be found on teams that aggressive.
  6. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    I would still go with Spikes for the physically defensive set because Spikes is a semi-niche for Skarmory. On the specially defensive set, which I feel is more suitable as a multipurpose utility mon rather than a wall, I plan to have SR as one of the main options.
  7. Namso

    Namso
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,303
    I'd keep Spikes and put Stealth Rock in AC. Skarmory is still one of the better and more reliable Spikes setters out there with its walling capabilities.
  8. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,480
    You know you don't have to write so much as this is only a Skeleton. When you write it up fully it can have points elaborated on but at the moment it feels like way too much, especially for new people reading the analysis, it's hard to fully get a grasp on it because there is so much writing. Not all of it is necessary. I would recommend removing whatever you think is redundant, I'll edit in more info soon. But seriously, at the moment your overview especially doesn't need everything that's written as some of it is not essential in an overview. Do what you think is necessary to make it more concise, don't remove too much, but don't make it a big cluster of ideas that puts people off.
    Magnemite likes this.
  9. ginganinja

    ginganinja Dating Haunter
    is a Forum Moderatoris a CAP Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,743
    Approving

    QC APPROVED 1/3

    I am not 100% sure the the 4 speed EV counts as speed creep or not so ill check with PKGaming but everything else looks ok.
  10. PK Gaming

    PK Gaming Pursuing My True Self
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Past SPL Winner

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    Messages:
    5,153
    • Mention that the loss of Dark / Ghost resistance was a pretty significant nerf.
    • In the Usage tips section, you should mention that keep Skarmory healthy is important (so it can avoid 2HKOes).
    • The Specially Defensive set doesn't seem very viable with the new type change mechanics. Thoughts?
  11. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    Thank you, both of the points to add have been added to their respective areas in the skeleton.

    As for the Specially Defensive set, tbh, I went through a bit of a mental battle over whether it was worth including. The main reason why I included it was because it's still hard for it to be compared to much else except for perhaps Klefki, since it retains a fair number of its niches. That's not me saying it's a particularly good set, though. I've always been more of a defensive stall-y player, so I believe the physical set is the way to go. But I've seen teams where a specially defensive Skarmory was what the team needed synergy-wise and role-wise, even though it's not my favorite use of Skarmory's capabilities.

    Basically, I'd be willing to remove it if others think it's not worth mentioning. I was just afraid to remove it without any outside input, especially because I haven't had much experience with a specially defensive build.
  12. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    I was hanging out on IRC and had a discussion with dtc, Jibaku, and breh about Skarmory's spread. After some discussion, we thought it best that Skarmory's physically defensive spread 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe instead of 224 HP / 252 Def / 28 SpD / 4 Spe.

    The debate was a sort a continuation of the debate over the original XY Preview page—right here.

    I know as a mostly defensive player, I try not to risk Skarmory ever having to use Sturdy—if a battle comes down to the point where Skarmory, one of my #1 lines of defense, must be near-sacrificed to stop a sweep, I'm not really playing my game right. I think I'd rather have the extra bulk.

    I'm going to change the OP to mirror this, but I'm keeping the 224 HP / 252 Def / 28 SpD / 4 Spe spread in the set details as another option. But it seems more logical to me and the others involved in this conversation that Skarmory should maximize its bulk and not rely as much on something as situational as Sturdy.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  13. Namso

    Namso
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,303
    Forget about the Sturdy EV spread mention honestly. It's so ridiculously situational and no one will willingly destroy their wall like that unless of a very rare scenario where you need to. Change the specially defensive spread to max/max as well.
  14. SOMALIA

    SOMALIA Fuck Ass Noob
    is a Contributor Alumnus

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,789
    Yes, 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe is fine for the physically defensive set. Once you make the changes fuzznip asked you to make in regards to the specially defensive set, QC APPROVED 2/3.
  15. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    Thank you. Fuzznip's changes have been implemented.
  16. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,480
    CyclicCompound
    This is not true. Offensive teams like to keep momentum going and generally don't use walls on their teams. If anything, they appreciate Skarmory's ability to lay Spikes to enable easier sweeps.

    Also, I think that the Specially Defensive set should be listed first; it is definitely the better of the two.
  17. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on those. Maybe I was a little unclear with the first point, but I was referring more to balanced offense teams. Having Skarmory around to fall back on is extremely valuable when you'd like to save a Pokemon to use later (for example, Garchomp vs. Mamoswine. Garchomp is definitely capable of switching out and coming back in at a later point—and Skarmory is one of the best candidates in existence to fall back on not just against Mamoswine, but against countless other attackers, allowing it to set up Spikes, which you mentioned is very valuable). Besides, I tried to make it clear in the analysis that Skarmory functions well as part of a core. Cores are often found as a component in balanced offense teams as a source of "developed" or "advanced" utility (more than just a Forretress with 3 entry hazards and Rapid Spin), a bill that Skarmory fits perfectly.

    As for the second point, I think the physically defensive set has much more potential and therefore should be listed first. Sure, maybe a specially defensive set is slightly more useful against a wider range of threats, but Skarmory is absolutely notorious for being one of the most unbreakable physical walls in existence. If you've ever fought or used a good stall team with a Skarmory, you know what I'm talking about. It's in that environment that Skarmory's qualities shine the most, so I think the physically defensive set should come first.
  18. TRC

    TRC EVERYONE PLAY PU
    is a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,480
    Well, you wouldn't set up and start sweeping with Garchomp when you can see a Mamoswine on the opponent's team. If you mean more balanced offense, then that should be stated, as it could be assumed you mean hyper-offense, a playstyle that doesn't like mons like skarm unless they are hazard setting or death fodder. Cores in balanced offense teams are generally focused around attackers that can eliminate each others counters, and while Skarmory is often found in defensive cores, even balanced cores, though its lack of offensive presence makes it an awkward member of a completely offensively based team, unless it is Custap to set up spikes, which is illegal at the moment anyway.

    I guess the Physically defensive set is very good, so thats generally an opinion thing. Meru's sand stall teams skarm is physically defensive so i guess thats fine then, fair enough.
  19. GatoDelFuego

    GatoDelFuego This is what is technically known as a Firecat
    is a Smogon Media Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,931
    Bumping this so it gets back on the front page; it's practically ready!
  20. Jukain

    Jukain fuck macle
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,949
    okay so the overview has a couple things that aren't necessarily correct
    I wouldn't run (non-Custap) Skarmory on an offensive team. Maybe an offensively-minded balance, but definitely not an offensive team, which does not appreciate the momentum killed by such a defensive and weak Pokemon. Defog can be run by Latios, a far better choice for offensive teams.
    Its Brave Bird isn't that strong. It's on the weak side, tbh. It's used because it screws up Breloom/other Fighting- and Grass-types, and so that Skarmory isn't total Taunt fodder.
    It's not guaranteed to be a contributing member; again note the 'momentum killer' aspect of it. Change 'every' to 'its' or 'your' or something along those lines.

    C&C should specifically mention certain things IMO. Thundurus-I, Kyurem-B, Mega Charizard X/Y, and special Mega Lucario are a few things that are specifically worth noting. Things that are prominent threats and can get rid of Skarmory easily are what need to be mentioned. You're very non-specific; these powerful threats limit its potency as a wall.
  21. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    I've changed around the wording of several sentences to reflect your suggestions.

    As for the powerful attackers that can severely threaten it, I've put specific mention of Mega Lucario and Mega Charizard in the overview because they're two attackers that are still extremely threatening to Skarmory with a physical spread, which I feel is a very important and very relevant point for a defensive wall.

    As for the others, I've put them in the checks and counters section under special attackers. Since Skarmory is in no way expected to handle stuff like Thundurus, I don't think its necessary that they be in the overview as long as its stated that Skarmory fares poorly against special attackers. However, I do agree that it's important to at least give people an idea of what takes Skarmory out, and I think Thundurus is a great example of that.



    As an unrelated note, it occurred to me that users of trapping abilities NOT named Dugtrio can be particularly troubling for Skarmory. I've added them to the checks and counters section.
  22. Super Mario Bro

    Super Mario Bro All we ever look for

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    If the first set has 4 Speed EVs, the second should as well. Also, Impish should be slashed with Careful on the Specially Defensive spread; I actually think it should be the first slash because it yields higher overall defensive stats, and Skarmory is still able to live 2 Life Orb Surfs or 2 Specs Draco Meteors from Latios after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery.

    One thing you should briefly discuss is Skarmory's competition with Mandibuzz as a wall and Defogger. Because of Steel's lost resistance to Ghost and Dark, Skarmory cannot easily switch into powerful Crunches/Knock Offs, or Shadow Balls from Aegislash or Gengar, while Mandibuzz can do all of those things. Mandibuzz also has significantly better Special Defense, and slightly better Physical Defense. As a result, you should highlight Skarmory's access to entry hazards, neutrality to (Stealth) Rock, resistances to Dragon and Fairy, and immunity to Poison as reasons to use it.

    EDIT: One other thing I just noticed - Rocky Helmet being slashed first on the Specially Defensive set is really random, as it's a niche item...did you copy it from the preview when Mega Kangaskhan was legal, or something? Leftovers should always be the first slash on every Skarmory set.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  23. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    Thank you for mentioning Mandibuzz! I'm surprised I didn't add it in, so I'm really glad you caught that. Same goes for the nature selection on the specially defensive set, both have been changed.

    As for Rocky Helmet, I think it's a viable choice for those that are mainly concerned with wearing down the opponent in preparation for a later sweep of some sort. Although I myself prefer Leftovers, I tend to use the physically defensive set exclusively, and on the stall teams I tend to use the extra recovery is more helpful than a bit more passive damage on the opponent. That's why Rocky Helmet is the first slash on the specially defensive set—it benefits the spikes-stacking needs of an offensively-minded team more than Leftovers would, as that Skarmory's primary function is to get some reliable source of damage on the opposing team. I've used it a couple of times myself, and I can say it prompts a lot of switches, too, since most people realize that Skarmory can kill off their physical attacker just by roosting when it gets low on health. That gives further opportunities for laying Spikes and getting hazard damage in, accomplishing the goals of the specially defensive set.
  24. Super Mario Bro

    Super Mario Bro All we ever look for

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    I don't really agree with the way you framed Skarmory's roles on those particular types of teams. If Offensive teams wanted something that they could just throw in front of stuff and set up hazards, they'd probably use something like a Deoxys-D instead. Skarmory exists on those teams to provide a unique defensive typing to switch into a variety of threats; not using Leftovers reduces Skarmory's ability to do that. I also don't agree with the notion that only Physically Defensive Skarmory should be used on defensive teams. Ones that rely on walling Pokemon with sheer defensive stats would prefer the Physically Defensive variant, but Specially Defensive Skarmory can be used successfully on teams that rely more on resistances.

    Specifically, EVs in Special Defense allow Skarmory to pivot into threats like Lati@s more easily, and not immediately die to random Fire Blasts from the likes of Garchomp and Tyranitar, while still tanking almost every attack the other set can. Leftovers is absolutely imperative if Specially Defensive Skarmory wants to even begin functioning as a mixed pivot, as it would otherwise need to Roost every other turn in order to not be 2HKO'd by everything in existence. Rocky Helmet is barely worthy of a slash on either set from my perspective, as it's situational and compromises too much of Skarmory's bulk.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  25. CyclicCompound

    CyclicCompound ,,,@ ::
    is a Contributor to Smogon
    Mentor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    779
    I get where you're coming from, but I think Rocky Helmet still has its uses and merits. As for the specially defensive set and the physically defensive set, they do play quite differently. The physically defensive one is closer to a true wall. The specially defensive one is closer to a utilitymon like Klefki, substituting better stats and recovery for dual screens. It may be a small difference stat-wise, but they tend to fill different roles on a team. For example, a stall team would never use specially defensive Skarmory, whereas a balanced team would probably decide against physically defensive Skarmory unless it had Blissey to work with.

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)