Overview ######## Wobbuffet is the prime example of a Pokemon that is excellent at a certain role and terrible at everything else. Indeed, Wobbuffet certainly looks mediocre aside from a tremendous HP stat, but it has an amazing ability in Shadow Tag, which allows it to trap virtually any Pokemon it wants. It utilizes this to carry out a very specific strategy: trap a Pokemon and either take it out with Counter or Mirror Coat, or weaken it with Tickle so a teammate can do the same. While this might seem situational, Wobbuffet's access to Encore helps prevent any possible mindgames with Pokemon trying to avoid the CounterCoat strategy. This makes Wobbuffet an absolute nightmare to deal with for offensive teams. This strategy has its downsides, though. Wobbuffet has a horrific Speed stat, lacks recovery outside of Leftovers, is highly susceptible to Taunt, and cannot trap Ghost-types and opposing Shadow Tag users. To top it all off, Wobbuffet faces competition from a more offensively inclined Shadow Tag user, Gothitelle. Nevertheless, Wobbuffet's niche still makes it a significant threat in the metagame. Oh no, it's Wobbuffet! ######## name: Oh no, it's Wobbuffet! move 1: Encore move 2: Counter move 3: Mirror Coat move 4: Safeguard ability: Shadow Tag item: Leftovers evs: 28 HP / 232 Def / 248 SpD nature: Bold Moves ======== This is the set that has been the consistent bane of Wobbuffet's opponents since the release of Shadow Tag. Encore is essential, as it forces the opponent to use the same move for three turns and hence provides valuable opportunities for a teammate to come in and set up. Counter and Mirror Coat allow Wobbuffet to OHKO nearly all physical and special attackers respectively. Because of Wobbuffet's massive HP and low defenses, an attack aimed at Wobbuffet will take away a lot of its HP despite not doing much percentage damage; this is one of the reasons why the CounterCoat strategy is so effective on Wobbuffet. Safeguard is a helpful move in the last slot to prevent Wobbuffet and its team from status moves. Set Details ======== 28 HP EVs give Wobbuffet a Leftovers bonus number.The defensive EVs are optimal with a Bold nature, as they allow Wobbuffet to survive both Choice Band Tyranitar's Crunch and Haxorus's Outrage after Stealth Rock while also balancing Wobbuffet's defensive stats. A Calm nature enables Wobbuffet to take a Life Orb Bug Buzz from Volcarona, but this is very situational. Leftovers is a necessary item as Wobbuffet has no recovery and is therefore reliant on passive healing to stay alive. Usage Tips ======== This Wobbuffet set takes full advantage of the amazing combination of CounterCoat and Encore. CounterCoat lets Wobbuffet trap and eliminate Choice-locked attackers and mono-physically or mono-specially attacking Pokemon, and Encore lets it take advantage of Substitute users and setup sweepers as well. In order to ensure that Wobbuffet does not receive any prior damage, Wobbuffet should not be directly switched in but rather should either come in after a teammate faints or—more preferably—via Volt Switch or U-turn. Team Options ======== Wobbuffet works best on bulky offensive teams and balanced teams rather than hyper offensive teams that prefer immediate power. Aside from team archetypes, though, the only support Wobbuffet appreciates itself is a Wish passer for more healing than Leftovers can provide. Options for this include Chansey, Blissey, Vaporeon, Sylveon, and Florges. Chansey and Blissey are especially good partners as they appreciate Wobbuffet's ability to eliminate the Fighting-types that trouble them. Wobbuffet's Encore can really benefit setup sweepers, so Mega Charizard X, Gyarados, Breloom, and Lucario all make good partners. As previously mentioned, Wobbuffet appreciates Pokemon that can provide free switches with Volt Switch and U-turn; Landorus-T and Rotom-W can fill this role well. Tickle ######## name: Tickle move 1: Encore move 2: Tickle move 3: Counter move 4: Mirror Coat ability: Shadow Tag item: Leftovers evs: 28 HP / 228 Def / 252 Spe nature: Timid Moves ======== The combination of Encore and Tickle is deadly particularly for more defensive Pokemon. Encore will lock an opposing Pokemon into a move, while Tickle will slowly lower its Defense, allowing a Pursuit-using teammate to easily dispose of it. Counter and Mirror Coat are there for offensive Pokemon, but they aren't the main focus of the set. Set Details ======== A Timid nature combined with full Speed investment allows Wobbuffet to outspeed Chansey, Blissey, Ferrothorn, Reuniclus, and Conkeldurr as well as other Pokemon that might want to Speed creep specifically for Wobbuffet. The rest of the EVs maximize physical bulk while still giving Wobbuffet a Leftovers number. Again, Leftovers is absolutely essential to keep Wobbuffet healthy, especially in sand and hail. Usage Tips ======== The strategy behind this set is simple: to weaken walls and other defensive Pokemon with Tickle and then eliminate them with a Pursuit trapper. After switching Wobbuffet in on a wall, first use Encore so that it can't recover and then lower its Defense with Tickle. After the foe has been significantly weakened, send in a Pursuit trapper such as Scizor, Weavile, or Tyranitar for the KO. Additionally, Wobbuffet still has Counter and Mirror Coat for eliminating more offensive Pokemon such as Choice Scarf users, but bear in mind that this set sacrifices some bulk for Speed, so it might not be able to effiectively eliminate powerful attackers. Team Options ======== A Pursuit trapper is mandatory, and Tyranitar and Scizor are the ideal partners. Setup sweepers are good partners not only due to Encore but also because they really appreciate the removal of walls, which allows them to sweep much more easily. These include Mega Charizard X, Swords Dance Aegislash, Swords Dance Talonflame, and Belly Drum Azumarill. Other Options ######## Literally the only other moves available to Wobbuffet are Charm, Destiny Bond, and Splash. Charm and Splash are useless, and Wobbuffet can't really use Destiny Bond effectively with its low Speed. A set with Custap Berry + Destiny Bond would be viable, but Custap Berry is currently unreleased. Checks & Counters ######## Technically, Wobbuffet has no counters, as the definition of a counter requires it to be able to switch in, which isn't possible against Wobbuffet due to Shadow Tag. However, it has many checks. It is important to play smartly and conservatively around Wobbuffet if you see it in Team Preview and to ensure that it doesn't trap important members of your team. **Alternative Methods of Switching**: Methods of escaping from Shadow Tag include using the moves Volt Switch, U-turn, and Baton Pass, by use of holding the item Shed Shell, having the Shadow Tag ability, or simply being a Ghost-type. This means that Pokemon such as Rotom-W, Scizor, Landorus-T, Gengar, and Aegislash can use their respective methods of bypassing Shadow Tag to switch in an appropriate check. **Powerful Attackers**: Wobbuffet cannot effiectively trap hard-hitting opponents, as it risks being either 2HKOed on the switch-in or OHKOed afterwards. This includes Life Orb Volcarona, Life Orb Gengar, Aegislash, Choice Band Scizor, Choice Band Victini, Choice Band Kyurem-B, and Choice Specs Keldeo. These attackers can also easily revenge Wobbuffet if it is damaged from trapping a previous Pokemon or if it is worn down due to hazards. **Taunt Users**: Taunt prevents Wobbuffet from using its status moves; the loss of Encore is especially crippling. While it can still use CounterCoat, this requires a lot more prediction. Aerodactyl, Deoxys-D, Deoxys-S, Gyarados, Thundurus, Tornadus, and Jellicent can all Taunt Wobbuffet; Tornadus and Mixed Thundurus in particular both have the advantage of being able to effectively utilize both attacking stats, making it all the more difficult for Wobbuffet to defeat them. **Magic Bounce Users**: As Espeon, Xatu, and Mega Absol can bounce back Encore to cripple Wobbuffet, they can freely status it without the worry of being locked into their status move and subsequently set up on. **Status Users**: Status is a major bane of Wobbuffet, as it prevents it from doing its job effiectively. Toxic in particular wears it down quickly. **Physical Ghost-types and Special Dark-types** These groups of Pokemon both have super effective coverage on Wobbuffet and have the nice advantage of being immune to Counter and Mirror Coat respectively. In addition, the former group can freely switch out if they have been Encored into a move that isn't ideal.