The original Dark-type, Umbreon has struggled to distinguish itself in OU in past generations, but the nature of the metagame has given Umbreon a more defined niche than before. Umbreon has a huge amount of bulk, being very resilient both physically and specially. It's not setup bait either, as Foul Play is a threatening move to many physical attackers. Umbreon is also able to offer great team support as a cleric with Wish and Heal Bell, and it can switch into status moves with ease, while not being crippled due to Heal Bell and punishing the opponent with Synchronize. Umbreon's bulk allows it to often avoid a 2HKO from even strong coverage moves like Focus Blast and Sacred Sword, making it a strong check or counter to many offensive Psychic- and Ghost-types.
However, there are still factors that make Umbreon's life quite difficult in OU. It's weak to U-turn, and while it can actually take non-STAB U-turns fairly well, the opponent can pick up momentum on it with ease because of this. The omnipresent Fighting-types also switch into Umbreon very easily, especially Terrakion, which has Justified to take advantage of Foul Play. Finally, Umbreon faces a lot of competition for its role. Mandibuzz is another defensive Dark-type that uses Foul Play, but it also possesses a secondary typing that makes it neutral to Fighting- and Bug-type moves, as well as access to Defog; Blissey or Chansey are clerics with much more special bulk; and Sylveon has a better typing and more consistent offensive presence. Umbreon is the only Pokemon that can bring many of these different characteristics together, though. If you're looking for a special wall, give Umbreon a try, and it might be just what you're looking for.
move 1: Wish
move 2: Protect
move 3: Heal Bell
move 4: Foul Play
evs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
This is Umbreon's best moveset, allowing it to support the team in many ways. Wish and Protect go hand-in-hand so that Umbreon can simultaneously support the team and have reliable recovery. Wish is especially helpful when using defensive Pokemon or tanks that lack recovery of their own such as Ferrothorn, Heatran, Landorus-T, Rotom-W, Tentacruel, and Aegislash. Protect is also helpful on its own to check for Trick, scout for the attack of Choice users, and stall for Leftovers recovery. Heal Bell rids the team of all status, helping sweepers crippled by burn or paralysis as well as walls affected by Toxic. Foul Play is very important, heavily damaging many physical attackers hoping to switch into Umbreon, as well as the Psychic- and Ghost-types that it walls. While these four moves are almost always the best options, a few other moves are usable. Baton Pass can be used to allow Umbreon to use Wish, take a hit and switch to a Pokemon to be healed, keeping up momentum. Toxic can hurt many defensive Pokemon that don't care about Foul Play. Moonlight can work as semi-reliable recovery if your team does not need Wish support. Yawn is also an option to force switches. If you choose to use Baton Pass, Toxic, or Yawn, they should be used over Heal Bell, as Foul Play and recovery are essential.
A specially defensive spread is preferred as Umbreon's set of resistances lends it to special walling, while Fighting- and Bug-type moves are common on physical attackers. Leftovers is especially nice because with Wish and Protect, Umbreon will get back more than 50% with each cycle. Inner Focus is very situational in comparison to Synchronize, so Synchronize is superior.
Umbreon is best used on balanced teams that want a wall that can offer team support and be a good counter to a wide variety of Pokemon while keeping pressure with Foul Play. It's important to be conservative with Foul Play if your opponent has a Terrakion, though. If you're not sure what to do, Wish is a good way to keep momentum as it can allow your other Pokemon to switch into strong attackers without being crippled. Although it is a special wall, Umbreon is not scared of many physical attackers, in particular non-STAB U-turns, so don't be afraid to stay in on them. Use Wish often, as Umbreon is slow and something will usually appreciate the recovery. Umbreon is also a great way to deal with Aegislash, as even a Choice Band-boosted Sacred Sword will never OHKO and Foul Play will deal heavy damage and is not affected by King's Shield's Attack drops
Sturdy physical walls such as Skarmory, Gliscor, Landorus-T, and Hippowdon to take on Fighting-types are good partners, because Umbreon will give those Fighting-types ample switch-in opportunities. Conkeldurr is a great fit on the balanced teams that Umbreon thrives on and appreciates the Wish support. If Scizor gets in on Umbreon safely, something needs to be able to take the U-turn. Heatran, Gyarados, and Landorus-T are all good choices that also appreciate Wish support. Fairy-type Pokemon also have an easy time switching into Umbreon, so a Poison- or Steel-type is appreciated. Aegislash has good synergy with Umbreon and appreciates the support to improve its longevity. Mega Venusaur also enjoys the Heal Bell support as it is commonly afflicted by a burn and can handle many Fairy- and Fighting-types like Sylveon, Conkeldurr, and Keldeo. Setup sweepers can boost more easily on Umbreon than other walls by predicting around Protect, so it is necessary to be able to stop these. Foul Play can take care of many physical setup sweepers, though.
Curse and Payback have been options on Umbreon for a long time, providing a long-term win condition that is near-impossible to take down once set up. Setting up is very difficult though, as Bug-, Fighting-, and Fairy-type attacks are all common. Mean Look can be used with Toxic for Umbreon to trap and eliminate defensive Pokemon, but they are not useful often enough for it to be worth the moveslots on Umbreon.
Checks & Counters
**Fighting-types**: Terrakion is the best switch-in as it can destroy Umbreon with Close Combat, set up with Swords Dance or Rock Polish, and gets an Attack boost from Foul Play. All Fighting-types switch in fairly easily, though, including Conkeldurr, Breloom, and Lucario.
**Defensive Pokemon**: Any defensive Pokemon that takes little from Foul Play, such as Mandibuzz, Blissey, Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Hippowdon, can easily handle Umbreon, although the problem usually isn't Umbreon, but the support that it provides to the team.
**Taunt**: Taunt shuts down Umbreon quite easily, although Foul Play is still dangerous. Skarmory and Mandibuzz are both good users of the move.
**Bug-types**: Scizor and Volcarona can scare Umbreon out with their powerful Bug-type moves, but the former will take great damage from Foul Play.
**Fairy-types**: Azumarill and Mega Mawile both take a pittance from Foul Play due to their resistance to the move, as well as Foul Play not factoring in Huge Power; in return they OHKO Umbreon with Play Rough. Specially based Fairy-types like Clefable and Gardevoir can set up or take Umbreon out as well.
**Trick**: Tricking it a Choice item will make Umbreon next to useless. Latios and Rotom-W are usually easy switch-ins for Umbreon, but they can cripple it with Trick.
**Landorus**: Landorus is a special attacker that can take down Umbreon with its powerful Focus Blast.