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Because all the other good ones are taken.


  • Fast - exceptional base 105 Speed that lets it beat Base 100s (and Garchomp), not to mention access to STAB priority in Sucker Punch.
  • Hits hard from both sides of the spectrum, but with a shallow physical movepool.
  • Access to both Nasty Plot and Swords Dance.
  • Illusion is a neat ability that can help with bluffing.
  • As to be expected, very frail.
  • Faces huge competition with Darkrai for a team slot.
name: Nasty Plot Sweeper
move 1: Nasty Plot
move 2: Dark Pulse / Night Burst
move 3: Focus Blast
move 4: Flamethrower
item: Life Orb
nature: Timid
evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

Set Comments:
  • Makes for an exceptional Nasty Plot user thanks to its high Speed and Special Attack, along with unresisted coverage in only two moves.
  • While its defenses are quite poor, Illusion can help Zoroark bluff as another Pokemon on your team to force a switch, allowing for the opportunity to use Nasty Plot.
  • Dark and Fighting gives nearly unresisted coverage in only two moves, while Flamethrower OHKOs Scizor, Forretress, Shubarugo, etc. and is your most powerful move while in the sunlight.
  • Flamethrower and Illusion are Zoroark's main advantages over Darkrai, so it is best to make good use of each of them.
Additional Comments:
  • Dark Pulse is slightly weaker than Night Burst while also slightly more accurate. However, Dark Pulse has a better secondary effect as well.
  • Unlike most Special attackers, Zoroark only needs minor prior damage on Bold Blissey to secure a OHKO after a Nasty Plot boost with Focus Blast, although Calm variants can prove to be a problem.
  • Grass Knot can be used over either Flamethrower or Focus Blast, however Zoroark generally fares well against Bulky Waters anyway.
Teammates & Counters:
  • Wobbuffet can take care of Choice Scarf Pokemon, as well as switch in on priority attacks. Wobbuffet can also use Encore to give Zoroark an opportunity to use Nasty Plot.
  • Darkrai can be a worthy teammate, as Zoroark can weaken Darkrai's checks and counters, making it easier for it to sweep.
  • Groudon can provide sunlight to boost Zoroark's Flamethrower.
  • Faster Pokemon, priority users, and Choice Scarf holders are Nasty Plot Zoroark's biggest bane; eliminating said Pokemon can be helpful when attempting a sweep.
  • Certain Pokemon such as bulky Kyogre, Ho-Oh and Blissey are some of the only common threats that can take Zoroark's boosted hits and retaliate effectively.
name: Choice Scarf
move 1: Dark Pulse / Night Burst
move 2: Focus Blast
move 3: Flamethrower / Grass Knot / Hidden Power Ice
move 4: U-Turn / Pursuit / Hidden Power Ice
item: Choice Scarf
nature: Timid / Naive
evs: 24 Atk / 252 SpA / 232 Spe

Set Comments:
  • Either Dark Pulse or Night Burst can be used for reliable STAB.
  • Focus Blast backs up Dark Pulse nicely and also helps revenge kill Darkrai, Dialga, and Heatran.
  • Flamethrower hits Skarmory, Metagross, Shaymin-S, and Scizor, while Grass Knot can be used to hit Groudon, along with Kyogre and other Bulky Waters harder.
  • U-Turn is a great scouting move to use in the last slot.
Additional Comments:
  • Hidden Power Ice helps Zoroark revenge kill Garchomp, Salamence, Ononokusu, Dragon Dance Rayquaza, and other Dragon-type Pokemon.
  • Pursuit can be used to trap and KO weakened Latias, Latios, Mewtwo, and Giratina-O.
  • If you're wary about speed tying with opposing Zoroark, you can simply max speed.
  • A Naive nature can be used if you're using either U-Turn or Pursuit and don't want to lower your Attack stat.
Teammates & Counters:
  • Any team that appreciates a fast scout that can also function as an effective revenge killer will appreciate Zoroark.
  • Using a main sweeper as the final Pokemon in your party can allow Zoroark to take the form of it, and scout the initial switch-in with U-Turn and slowly wear it down.
  • Due to the lack of a Life Orb boost, anything with decent Special Defense that isn't weak to any of Zoroark's moves is a reliable switch-in.
name: Physical Mix
move 1: Trickery / Pursuit
move 2: Sucker Punch
move 3: Focus Blast / Flamethrower
move 4: U-Turn
item: Life Orb
nature: Naive
evs: 252 Atk / 24 SpA / 232 Spe

Set Comments:
  • Effective at bluffing a special set; not a gimmick thanks to its acceptable base 105 Attack and strong Physical STAB moves.
  • Access to STAB Sucker Punch turns Zoroark into a decent revenge killer.
  • Focus Blast and Flamethrower are your options to hit Steel-types. Focus Blast hits Dialga, Heatran, Tyranitar, and Sazandora while Flamethrower fries Skarmory, Forretress, Jirachi, Metagross, and Scizor.
Additional Comments:
  • Pursuit can be used alongside Sucker Punch to effectively put an opponent into checkmate position. Pursuit is also quite useful against slower Pokemon that are weak to Dark, such as Shandera and Burungeru.
  • Swords Dance can be used over U-Turn in order to attempt to sweep; should you do this, the remaining three moves should be Trickery, Sucker Punch, and Ankle Sweep.
  • If you're scared of speed tying with other Zoroark, you can maximize Speed, taking the EVs from Special Attack.
Teammates & Counters:
  • Once again, thanks to U-Turn, using a main sweeper as the final Pokemon in your party can allow Zoroark to take the form of it, and scout the initial switch-in and slowly wear it down.
  • Due to most of its sets being Specially-based, Zoroark can make for a good lure to common Specially Defensive Pokemon, such as Blissey and Kyogre.
  • Most fighting types check this set well as they resist Zoroark's STAB. Anything with decent physical defense that isn't weak to either Flamethrower or Focus Blast also makes for a good check, such as Groudon, Hippowdon, Iwaparesu, Swampert, and Gyarados.
[Team Options]
  • Zoroark will lure in a lot of fast foes after it sets up, often Scarfers, so Wobbuffet is a great teammate.
  • The last Pokemon in your party is important as it changes the form of what Zoroark turns into once it enters the battle. However, keep in mind that the last Pokemon in your party changes once it is sent out.
  • Great Darkrai partner as they share many of the same checks.
[Optional Changes]
  • Grass Knot is an option on almost every set to take on Bulky Waters more effectively, mainly Kyogre.
  • A Swords Dance set can work somewhat effectively, however Zoroark doesn't have a very large physical movepool.
  • Calm Mind is generally inferior to Nasty Plot, but still an option to boost Special Defense along with Special Attack.
  • A Choice Band set is viable, however Zoroark is better off making better use of its talents.
  • Faster Pokemon, Choice Scarfers, and strong priority moves (particularly Mach Punch and Vaccume Wave) can easily revenge kill the frail Zoroark.
  • Blissey, Kyogre, and Ho-Oh can take a boosted hit from the Nasty Plotter at full health.
  • The mixed set's main use is trapping and scouting; therefore most bulky Pokemon that aren't weak to its attacks are good checks.
  • Anything else that can counter Darkrai can counter Zorark.
[Dream World]
  • Zoroark does not get a Dream World ability.
Skeleton is mostly done, just need to finish writing comments and I'll turn it into an actual (theorymon) analysis. Decided that CB and SD sets were too gimmicky, still unsure on the Choice Scarf and Physical Mix sets. Feedback would be appreciated.
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