Smeargle (Lead) [QC: 2/3]


Listen, Brendan...
is a Pokemon Researcher
So I’ve been having fun with a Hyper Offensive-ish team lately and I felt that Smeargle has been doing well enough to merit an analysis.
And happy birthday to Smeargle, because apparently Deo-D got banned while I was away this evening. Cool beans. *removes mentions of Deo-D*

QC: 2/3 alexwolf, ginganinja

"Paint." Right.

name: Lead
move 1: Spore
move 2: Stealth Rock
move 3: Spikes
move 4: Glare / Memento / Whirlwind / Magic Coat
item: Focus Sash
ability: Own Tempo
nature: Timid
evs: 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 Spe


  • Much less hazard-focused than the now banned Deoxys-D but provides extra utility
  • One of the nastiest leads in OU since it can do more crippling things than just laying or preventing hazards such as putting Status on a third of the opponent's team while still getting Stealth Rock up
  • Turn 1 Spore + Gen 5 = Hilarity
  • BW’s Sleep mechanics have made sleep almost as bad as a KO when facing down an offensive team
  • Focus Sash ensures at least 2 hazards when leading against slower Pokémon like Politoed
  • Glare prevents setup and allows Smeargle to cripple an additional Pokémon after Spore. Can potentially pay out more free hazard-stacking turns if used on a predicted switch but has 90 accuracy
  • Memento prevents setup, gives an ally the chance it needs to set-up a sweep as soon as some hazards are up, and prevents Rapid Spin from making contact
  • Whirlwind can blow away anything that tries to set-up on Smeargle
  • Magic Coat helps deal with taunt and can help keep hazards off Smeargle's side of the field


  • You can get as creative as you want with the last move slot since it has access to every move
  • Counter is a more offensive option that lets Smeargle KO a Pokémon after it has Spored another. It’s more valuable to weather-less and balanced teams than Hyper Offense. 252 HP instead of Defense is best for this option
  • Metal Burst turns Smeargle into a land mine against faster Pokemon, but is generally outclassed by Counter since it doesn’t work on slower Pokémon. As with Counter, it’s more valuable to weather-less and balanced teams than Hyper Offense. Max HP is a must for this set.
  • Tailwind can support Smeargle’s team or let it set up hazards extremely fast by using it before or after Spore depending on what sort of Pokémon you’re facing
  • Smeargle can make a great lead for Trick Room teams by putting something to sleep, setting up Trick Room, and even getting SR up
  • Skill Swap can be used against teams with Xatu or Espeon. It's also useful against the rare Pokemon with Insomina or Vital Spirit
  • With Max Attack, Smeargle can make use of Explosion which can break Subs, Multiscale, and Sturdy while blocking slower Rapid Spins
  • Anything else QC wants
  • Smart players can get the better of Smeargle since Spore is kinda obvious, Smeargle's in a pretty bad speed tier, and it relies entirely on its Focus Sash to take hits. Pokemon like Jirachi are nightmares for Smeargle as are Lum Berry and Substitue if you lack Whirlwind

So let's tear this thing apart.


You must be tired
is a Live Chat Contributor Alumnus
maybe slash Magic Coat on the last spot? Smeargle doesn't exactly have a good speed tier, and being able to reflect things can help you, especially since most people are going to see Smeargle and think "hey, it's going to spore me, I'd better taunt"
Endeavor should get a mention as well in my opinion, as well as putting Ice Shard as an option for the third move with Spikes. This allows for you to at the very least kill off one Pokemon, be it their lead or switch in, or bring that Pokemon down to 1 HP so they can be picked off the next turn by something like Scizor. The only case where Smeargle would not be able to finish someone off would be a faster Pokemon with priority (ex. Mamoswine) as Donphan, Azumarill, Breloom, and all those guys are slower than Smeargle, sand/hail, or a Pokemon with a harming ability like Rough Skin or Iron Barbs. Through this, you get to KO pretty much any Pokemon you want.


Banned deucer.
Seconding JRP, Magic Coat Smeargle is incredibly scary for my team, since I run sableye for it. Although the only other big taunter I can think of these days is Terrakion, so...

Edit: AG if you've got a ghost already, you can just spinblock forry anyhow. But it is cool if you don't, since you can go to something that uses forry as setup bait, or just knocks him down to sturdy as he spins(So he might opt not to.) Or a rough skin Fire Blast Garchomp for maximum stompage.

Double edit:Never forget about Sableye
I'd like to see Magic Coat as the last slash on the last slot. Double Status isn't necessary, esp. if the opponent is dumb enough to keep the sleeper in.


Sweet and bitter as chocolate.
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnus
As far as paralysis-inducing moves are concerned, I would take down Thunder Wave into the AC since Glare is pretty much superior save for the 90% accuracy. Even if Smeargle does miss, its Sash is pretty much intact 80% of the time, giving it another chance to paralyze or set up another layer of hazards.

I also support the inclusion of Magic Coat, since this also discourages obvious slow hazard users from setting up freely on Smeargle. Such targets include Skarmory and Ferrothorn.

Also mention the using Memento allows Smeargle to faint before Forretress / any other slow Rapid Spin can use Rapid Spin. From there, you can pretty much send in a Ghost-type or something else that threatens them to maintain some offensive momentum.
I can think of quite a few moves for Smeragle: Taunt, Transform, Destiny Bond, Rapid Spin, U-Turn, Toxic Spikes (although that could interfere with Spore), Power Split, Guard Split, and perhaps Explosion. Would any of these be good?


Listen, Brendan...
is a Pokemon Researcher
Removed T-Wave and added Magic Coat.

I'm keeping it as the last option since it's very situational where as the other two options are almost always helpful. It does help against other hazard stackers after Spore has been used but Taunt could be better since it stops all setup, hazards and stat-boosts. Also, faster Taunt users are very rare now that Deo-D is gone. Terrakion is the most common user and the only other I can think of off the top of my head is Mew. Magic Coat doesn't seem worth it.


It's all coming back to me now
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I gave this a test run and I guess I can conclude Smeragle is viable, however, its really only just. I had severe problems against sun teams (that had Xatu) and it was a very tricky matchup with Dragonite which can DD or ES you.

In my experience, Spore didn't get a lot of use, im not asking you to drop it from the set, but to mention the stuff that bypasses Spore because I really wasn't able to abuse it much, because everyone knows Smeargle packs Spore, and is a lead, which means people lead with something with Lum Berry, Substitute, or Taunt. I didn't really get to use Glare at all, so id prolly want that slash downgraded, becuase with this Smeargle, if your not spamming hazards, then what the fuck are you doing using Smeargle.

Anyway couple of points

-Mention the shit that beats it / gives it trouble, and give a heavy mention to Team Preiview ruining smeargle. IMO its the biggest thing that fucks with Smeargle in BW/2 since people just lead with something that can beat. Of course, if they lack something that can beat it then you win but that goes for most things. General shit that beats it include Xatu, Terrakion and Lum DD Dragonite.

-You have GOT to stress that its nowhere near a substitute for Deoxys-D. Smeargle has a real problem in that it _CAN_be set up fodder if you predict wrong (ie sporing a Jirachi that just used Substitute), and its sometimes prediction heavy when facing U-Turn / Volt Turn mons, especially backed with something like Natural Cure.

-Some moves id like to see get decent mentions include Tailwind (since 3 turns of boosted speed on an HO team is nice), maybe Endeavor, Memento and Magic Coat. Most of these are mentioned / slashed which is good, but I disgress. Almost all of the above moves allow your HO team to hold your momentum, allowing everything to flow right after Smeargle dies. Deoxys-D didn't need to do this (mostly cos you couldn't really set up on it with much) but Smeargle sorta needs too and its got a free moveslot. I don't like Taunt, because Smeargle is slow and most of the stuff you taunt you can also Spore and all that stuff. Magic Coat is good tho cos it shuts down Lead Mew and Lead Terrakion which otherwise rape you pretty hard. Put Magic Coat in the final slot tho because its pretty limited outside of this.

I don't like Counter, Metal Burst, and Whirlwind (and Glare too) and would prefer that those 3 be removed to AC. If you wanted substitute then id suggest moves like Destiny Bond that mindgame your opponent, or moves like the after mentioned tailwind, something that helps your team out, or gives your HO team momentum after Smeargle is gone.

My post might look pretty disorganised and I apologise for that, just wanted to get all my thoughts down on the one page.

Feel free to ask me or something if you have any query's or something.


Banned deucer.
So if Xatu takes it so hard, do you think Skill Swap might be worth it?

I mean, the fourth slot seems pretty situational anyhow;Tailwind is cool but seeing as you're probably the only hazards user and you don't have many chances, you sort of want to use all of your turns for hazarding (Although, you could use it on a faster switchin and then hazard as you die, then use the last turn with another poke). Endeavor is actually pretty sweet because that plus spore can almost be 2 kills, actually Dbond sounds good for that too although it sucks that you can't use it as you get knocked down to your sash, Memento is nice for setting up but it's so early in the game that it's hard to take such advantage of it. (That's not to say that you CAN'T, but Memento is better late-game when the opponent can only stop you by denying you setup turns at all)

Theoretically speaking, it shouldn't be too hard to predict a Xatu switch in (Well, it might be eventually) since they won't expect you to be able to do anything to them.

Metal burst seems better (Than Counter), if you're outspeeding something with a sash up you should just take adv and doubly hazard most likely, and you don't need to hope they use one type of move as opposed to another. Max Hp should counter-ko everything relevant I believe.

Edit: Well so do I but what move would you use to deal with Dnite? Endeavor, I guess? Other than that, well... he DOES learn every Ice-type move in existence, but...yeah


It's all coming back to me now
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a CAP Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus
So if Xatu takes it so hard, do you think Skill Swap might be worth it?
You can AC it but I think its still too early to say how common Xatu will be with the departure of Deoxys-D. Its still early days in the new meta, so I personally wouldn't run Skill swap for just that 1 pokemon. Quite frankly, I worry more about Dragonite than I do Xatu.


lurks in the shadows
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Skill Swap is good enough for AC but nothing more. Whirlwind should get a slash on the main set as Sub offensive mons such as SubNP Thund-T, SubGengar, SubCM Latias, and Lum Berry whatever are really problematic for this set. Other than that good job!

QC Approved 1/3


formerly papai noel
is a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
Can't Explosion be mentioned in AC? It's not great, but after Smeargle sets up it will probably be with Sash broken, which means it'll die anyway. Explosion allows you to stop Forretress, Tentacruel and Donphan from spinning against you. You can then switch into something with a better match up. Like lead Mew, lol.

edit: it also breaks Dragonite's Mutiscale.


lurks in the shadows
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Good point papai noel. Definitely deserves an AC mention, alongside max Atk EVs, as it stops any spinner not named Starmie from spinning, and breaks Subs of set-up sweepers as well as Dnite's MS.


Listen, Brendan...
is a Pokemon Researcher
I think I added everything that was needed. Thanks everyone! Sorry for that few days of inactivity. I was swamped by life in general for a while there.
One thing I noticed about smeargle is that while it struggles early game against lum berry carrying offensive pokemon, it works very well midgame if you can lure out slow things like politoed and ferrothorn. If facing somthing that can avoid spore like a d-nite, salamence, or (...could have sworn more thing used lum berry on me...) I usually just set up rocks and get out of there. Then I lure try to lure in politoed, sac something to it, and spore it with my 1 hp smeargle before setting up spikes. It seems like smeargle is only really worth it if you can manage to get it on something it outspeeds and can spore. Anyway, on the matter of a 4th move I really think whirlwind should be the first slash. Tons of substituters love setting them up on smeargle, and for the offensive teams smeargle is on that can be deadly. With whirlwind you can set up rocks as they sub, then whirlwind them out (especially effective vs jirachi who like to calm mind). If something faster is brought out and smeargle's sash is broken, save him. If it is slower (politoed, ferrothorn, most heatran, magnezone, etc.), then the fun begins. I think whirlwind, endeavor, memento/explosion, and maybe magic coat (I don't like the huge guessing game it brings against every taunter, even sableye if it has foul play) should be the only options. I never found the opportunity to paralyze anything. Most of the time just going for more hazards is better in my opinion, so the last option should really be anti-set up, and the only catch all solution for this is whirlwind.

That said, snatch would be hilarious vs substituters.


Listen, Brendan...
is a Pokemon Researcher
Short: Anyone who wants this analysis can take it. I can't complete it atm.

Long: For the past few days, I've been trying to fix my computer which crapped out on me. I can't figure our the problem so I'all be computerless for a while and analyses are impossible to do on my phone. I planned on finishing this and Liepard now that classes are over but fate hates me sometimes. I'm hoping for a swift repair so I don't have to pass off liepard too but ya never know. :/