In the nearly endless grinding of GSC OU, Misdreavus found a unique role: that of a stallbreaker. With access to both Perish Song and Mean Look, Misdreavus functions as an effective solution to many defensive cores. While it has little in the way of offense and its defensive stats leave much to be desired, it still has the necessary tools to justify its title as one of the premier stallbreakers of the GSC metagame.
This set is Misdreavus's bread and butter, and the reason that it's used in OU—Perish Trapping is simple and yet dastardly effective. With Perish Song and Mean Look Misdreavus can trap and KO many of GSC's top walls, such as Miltank, Forretress, Skarmory, and Blissey. Using Misdreavus is simple: come in on a wall or sleeping Pokemon with low damage output, trap it with Mean Look, then use Perish Song. Protect for two turns, and then switch out while the opponent is KOed. In fact, Misdreavus can rinse and repeat this strategy until the opponent's defensive core is thoroughly broken.
The first three moves are all fairly standard, while the last moveslot lets Misdreavus deal with phazers that can prevent it from Perish Trapping. Thunder is great for nailing Skarmory and Suicune, but leaves Misdreavus helpless against Steelix and Rhydon. Attract and Confuse Ray are also viable options, as they can prevent the trapped opponent from phazing or attacking. The difference between the two is that Confuse Ray hits all opponents regardless of gender, but Attract lasts indefinitely. If using Attract in simulator play, it is usually a good idea to change Misdreavus's gender to whichever one the simulator doesn't auto-select in order to maximize Attract's effectiveness.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Outside of the options listed above, Misdreavus has a few other interesting choices that have specific uses. Pain Split provides a great way to take advantage of Misdreavus's low HP stat, and also buys some needed recovery while Perish Trapping. Destiny Bond is an interesting option for nailing powerful tanks and sweepers that try to KO Misdreavus, and is notable for its ability to counter Snorlax after a Belly Drum or several Curse boosts. Just be wary of using Destiny Bond against the occasional faster threat that can KO Misdreavus before it gets a chance to use it. Destiny Bond will also leave Misdreavus helpless against phazers, so unless your team can handle them effectively, Thunder or Confuse Ray will usually be better options for Misdreavus.
Checks and Counters
Misdreavus may be a potent stallbreaker, but it does have problems against Pursuit users and phazers. Tyranitar is definitely public enemy number one, as it has access to both Pursuit and Roar, as well as the defenses to shrug off anything Misdreavus can throw at it. Houndoom is another Dark-type that can nail Misdreavus with Pursuit as it switches out of an expected Crunch; it outspeeds Misdreavus as well.
Depending on what move Misdreavus elects to run in the fourth slot, it will have problems with certain phazers. If using Thunder, Misdreavus will struggle against Rhydon, Raikou, and Steelix. Additionally, Thunder only 3HKOes a healthy Suicune, giving it a chance to switch in and phaze Misdreavus if need be. If using Confuse Ray, Misdreavus will not be able to do appreciable damage to any phazer, and will be left out to dry if confusion does not take effect while the opponent uses either Roar or Whirlwind.
Misdreavus is not a naturally defensive Pokemon, and it will struggle to trap and kill any Pokemon that can 2HKO it. For example, Marowak will do a minimum of 79% damage with Earthquake, and unboosted Rhydon will consistently do around 55%, which will almost always be a 2HKO unless Misdreavus can use Pain Split. Belly Drum Snorlax is also notable for its ability to KO Misdreavus with Earthquake after a Belly Drum. However, countering does have its risks, as Misdreavus can try and Protect twice after Perish Song, giving the opponent only a 50% chance of KOing.
On a final note, Misdreavus detests Spikes and status. With its low HP and susceptibility to powerful physical attacks, Misdreavus wants all the health it can get. Outside of Leftovers and Pain Split, Misdreavus has no real options to restore its rather meager health. As such, setting up Spikes will go a long way in preventing it from working effectively. A poisoned or sleeping Misdreavus can also find itself up a creek without a paddle if it tries switching in on the wrong move.