Zoroark Overview ######## Gen VI has been very kind to Zoroark overall. Thanks to the Steel-type nerf and Knock Off buff, what was once a Pokemon that lived and died by its gimmick is now one of the fastest STAB users of one of the better offensive types in the game. Zoroark is now less reliant on coverage and is much harder to switch-in to. But, as is often the case, it's not all good news for the Illusion Fox. Zoroark still takes hits like a wet paper bag and, while not as common as Steel-types, the new Fairy-type Pokemon wall Zoroark with ease which is a bitter trade for Steel-type neutrality. While Steel-types were bested by a well-placed Low Kick or Flamethrower, there are really no options for Zoroark to overcome Fairy-type Pokemon. But even with such obstacles, Zoroark can be a volatile threat in OU with correct use of Illusion combined with its naturally powerful STAB Dark-type attacks. Swords Dance ######## name: Swords Dance move 1: Swords Dance move 2: Knock Off move 3: Sucker Punch move 4: Low Kick ability: Illusion item: Focus Sash nature: Jolly / Adamant evs: 252 Atk 252 Spe 4 HP Moves ======== Knock Off and Sucker Punch ensure that Zoroark packs a punch no matter the speed of the opponent. Low Kick allows Zoroark to nail opposing Dark-types as well as hit Heatran harder. Focus Sash is used to ensure Zoroark can net a Swords Dance before going on the offense. Set Details ======== The ideal use for this set is to use Illusion to net a Swords Dance, then sweep with a Focus Sash supporting the sweep. However, Illusion isn't all that reliable so it will commonly be using Focus Sash to get the Swords Dance it needs. A Jolly nature allows Zoroark to avoid playing games with Pokemon that run Substitute like Landorus-I as well as ensuring Mega Pinsir can't Quick Attack first to nullify Sucker Punch. An Adamant nature packs more of a punch and has a slightly better chance of OHKOing select targets after Stealth Rock damage. Usage Tips ======== Zoroark's physical move-pool is horrid and the one other move that would be decent, U-Turn, is counter-productive with Swords Dance. Low Kick is very much needed to not be walled by fellow Dark-types such as Bisharp and Tyranitar. Packing Defog or Rapid Spin onto a team is a necessity for using Focus Sash. It is also very important to keep in mind Illusion that is a tool, not a necessity. Zoroark is plenty scary by itself with high Speed and powerful Dark-type STAB alone. Seriously, never compromise an advantageous situation just to give Zoroark's Illusion a better chance of fooling the opponent later. Team Options ======== Terrakion makes a fantastic Illusion and lures Gliscor in for a Knock Off. Skarmory can both Defog and Stealth Rock which Latios and Latias can Defog and make for great Illusions. Mega Venusaur is a fantastic Pokemon that covers Zoroark's weaknesses and makes for a decent Illusion as well. Any Pokemon that lure-in and KO Fairy- or Fighting-types are welcomed as it can't be stressed enough that Zoroark is walled by Fairy. Choice Specs ######## name: Choice Specs move 1: Dark Pulse move 2: Extrasensory move 3: Hidden Power Ice / Flamethrower move 4: Trick ability: Illusion item: Choice Specs nature: Timid evs: 252 SpA 252 Spe 4 HP Moves ======== Choice Specs lends well to Dark's great coverage so Zoroark will be firing Dark Pulses more often than not. Extrasensory hits Fighting-types hard while hitting Fairy at least neurally for some damage. Hidden Power Ice floors Garchomp and Landorus while doing decent damage to Mandibuzz. Flamethrower hits Bisharp and Lucario as well as Mega Pinsir and Mega Mawile. Trick disrupts stall and set-up sweepers and it works well with Illusion. Set Details ======== This set plays less like a sweeper and more like an assassin, picking off foes while hidden under an Illusion. Timid nature helps it achieve that by giving it the biggest pool of Pokemon possible that it can safely attack. It is best disguised as a physical attacker to lure-in special defensively-weak checks to the Pokemon it is disguised as. The only times you're not going to be hitting Dark Pulse are when you can hit something super-effectively and as a last stand against a Fairy-type. Usage Tips ======== Fighting-type physical attackers make the best Illusions for this set as their checks, minus Fairy-types, can't take special hits well or are weak to Hidden Power Ice. Use this create situations where Zoroark can clear-out checks for its Illusion-partner and have the Pokemon easily sweep later. But don't forget that Zoroark is powerful and commanding in its own right with high Speed and powerful Dark-type STAB; it doesn't need Illusion to be effective all the time so strike when you need to and don't hinder yourself by always waiting for the right time to ruse. Team Options ======== Terrakion, Conkeldurr, and Aegislash all make fantastic Illusions so long as Stealth Rock is off the field. Any hazards can help net KOs. Stealth Rock of course being the most effective option but Sticky Web is especially vicious with Choice Specs. As always, Pokemon that lure-in and KO Fairy- or Fighting-types are welcomed. Other Options ======== Mixed sets can potentially work well with STAB Sucker Punch backed-up by Zoroark's decent special movepool. Nasty Plot may be tempting but many common OU Pokemon out-pace Zoroark while Zoroark lack the special priority moves to hit them. Focus Blast can nail Dark-types on special-attacking sets but a missed attack can easy spell the end of Zoroark. Night Daze is a small 5 base power more powerful than Dark Pulse but trades a 20% flinch rate and 100 accuracy for 95 accuracy and a 40% chance to drop opponent's accuracy one stage. Checks and Counters ======== Most Fairy-type Pokemon wall Zoroark hard and most won't be too hindered by Choice Specs via Trick. Bulky Dark-types, most notably Mandibuzz and Tyranitar, can pose as huge obstacles without the proper coverage move. Bulky Mega Pokemon like Mega Venusaur give Physical Zoroark trouble as Knock Off has only 65 base power against them. But overall, Zoroark is frail to the point that most offensive Pokemon can OHKO Zoroark with an unresisted STAB hit so if you can figure out Zoroark's set and not get slammed by Sucker Punch, it's not too hard to manage against.