Snorlax is the king of GSC, and anybody who dares question his rule will quickly learn the harsh reality of what the best Pokemon in the game can do. Snorlax is the best defensive tank with a Curse set, and it is also the best stallbreaker with a Belly Drum set. Snorlax is always an offensive and defensive boon to a team, and while it does have some unfortunate weaknesses (namely mediocre Defense, low Speed, and reliance on Normal STAB for damage output), its strong points make it the force that defines the GSC metagame. Seriously, Skarmory is only good because it walls Snorlax's most common sets, and the legendary Electric-types frequently run Thunder over Thunderbolt almost entirely because Thunder can threaten to KO Snorlax after Spikes damage or a critical hit. Snorlax is mandatory on basically every serious GSC team. Honestly, he's that good.
The one and only CurseLax. GSC is where the whole concept of CurseLax originated, and it's also where CurseLax functions best. Unlike other Curse users, Snorlax's massive HP and Special Defense stats allow it to avoid being 3HKOed by any unboosted special attack, thereby allowing it to Curse up to its heart's content in the face of special moves that would break other Curse users on their unboosted special side. As a result, CurseLax can usually only be stopped by phazing and stalling tactics rather than attacking it outright. Snorlax's standard Curse set uses Double-Edge as its preferred STAB attack, since the massive 120 Base Power STAB attack can threaten switch-ins even before a Curse, do solid damage to foes that resist Normal-type moves after only one or two Curse boosts, and in the event that your own CurseLax has gotten into a Curse war with an opposing Snorlax, a 999 Attack STAB Double-Edge can 2HKO an opposing 912 Defense Snorlax with a critical hit, something that the next strongest Normal STAB attack, Return, cannot claim. For these reasons, the recoil, while occasionally a problem for Snorlax against strong special attackers, is almost always worth the power. Other than the STAB move, Curse and Rest basically define this set; Curse is the set's namesake that raises Snorlax's already high Attack while patching up its weak Defense, while Rest provides the healing move that is mandatory for an effective wall.
While CurseLax is traditionally thought of as some sort of unstoppable monster capable of mowing entire teams down, the reality is that although nothing can switch in and immediately threaten an active, reasonably healthy Snorlax, there are several Pokemon that outright neuter its offensive capabilities. Normal-resisting Pokemon with Curse or a phazing move, such as Tyranitar and Skarmory, or Pokemon with high Defense and Growl or Charm, such as Miltank and Umbreon, can all easily bring CurseLax's gathered momentum to a screeching halt. The choice of CurseLax's fourth move reflects how one chooses to approach the fact that CurseLax will inevitably be walled. Sleep Talk is for those who are content for Snorlax to be useless against Ghost-types and all Cursing or phazing Normal resisters, and opt to maximize Snorlax's defensive availability by allowing it to attack even while asleep. This is especially useful when walling attackers such as Nidoking and Zapdos, who can otherwise KO a sleeping Snorlax with a lucky critical hit and some smart play. Lovely Kiss is an amazing offensive tool that is extremely effective against a single threat. It can completely incapacitate one of Snorlax's chief counters, which is likely a Pokemon that does not use Sleep Talk. CurseLax can also choose among two prominent coverage moves to tackle Normal resisters. Earthquakes gives it the ability to directly damage Ghost-types and do heavy damage to Rock-types, whereas Fire Blast gives it the ability to get past Steel-types, and is usually preferred over Flamethrower because Fire Blast can OHKO Forretress and 2HKO Skarmory and Steelix. However, Fire Blast's 8 PP is easily exploitable, so Flamethrower can be used for its reliability, especially if you want to be able to slowly (but surely) KO Gengar without worrying about PP. With Fire Blast or Flamethrower, Body Slam becomes a viable STAB move of choice, allowing Snorlax to get past Miltank with paralysis hax and paralyze the Rock-type switch-ins that can otherwise cause problems with Rock Slide flinches if they outspeed Snorlax.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Here is the game's best stallbreaker. You give up some of Snorlax's defensive potential and versatility with this set, since you are typically giving up the Defense boost and ease of use that Curse offers for the raw power that Belly Drum offers from a single turn of setup. This set generally maximizes the chance of a sweep. After using Belly Drum, a STAB move is necessary; Body Slam allows Snorlax to paralyze Skarmory and most likely 3HKO it after the Attack boost (36-43% damage). Return will guarantee the 3HKO on Skarmory (43%-51% damage) after using Belly Drum and can 3HKO Zapdos before using Belly Drum (34%-40% damage). Double-Edge, while risky due to its recoil combined with the health lost from Belly Drum, will most likely 2HKO Skarmory after a Belly Drum (51%-60% damage) and is Snorlax's most powerful STAB attack. The choice of STAB is largely a matter of preference since all three moves have their pros and cons, though Double-Edge is generally shunned for the safer STABs because the recoil makes it more difficult to maintain a sweep once Snorlax gets going.
The third move depends on what else you want Snorlax to do. Earthquake gives it coverage against Ghost- and Rock-types, leaving only Skarmory able to wall Snorlax after a Belly Drum. Lovely Kiss will let Snorlax beat Skarmory and absolutely destroys teams that use only one Normal resist, though it does make life more difficult against Rock-types and makes Pursuit support mandatory in order to deal with Ghost-types. Curse is the safe option that makes the Snorlax sweep hardest to pull off, but also gives you a safe setup move to allow Snorlax to function better on the defense. Curse will also allow you to surprise opponents that try to stall you out with Growl Miltank and Charm Umbreon, as Belly Drum utterly defeats such stall tactics that otherwise work against CurseLax. The fourth move depends on what kind of team you're running. In general, you'll want to use Rest so that Snorlax has some room for error and function as a wall when you need it to. The beauty of DrumLax as opposed to other sweepers in GSC is its ability to Rest up to full health and come back later in the match to threaten to sweep again. However, if you're running a hyper-offensive team that focuses on passing Agility, you may want to forgo Rest for Lovely Kiss to maximize Snorlax's offensive potential once it gets a Speed boost from Agility being passed to it. If you are using Lovely Kiss instead of Rest, Earthquake must be used in the third moveslot.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set sacrifices almost all of Snorlax's defensive utility and sweeping potential in order to utilize the element of surprise and instantly threaten just about everything in the GSC metagame. This set works mostly due to the surprise factor; most people expect Snorlax to use Rest along with some sort of setup move, leaving room for one coverage move at the most. This allows Snorlax to catch the opponent by surprise by using Fire Blast on Skarmory, and then nailing a Tyranitar switch-in with Earthquake. Once your opponent has figured out that Snorlax is mixed, they'll probably switch to Suicune, Miltank, or their own Snorlax, at which point Snorlax can use either Selfdestruct for the kill or Double-Edge to wear down these switch-ins. Double-Edge is the preferred STAB because it gives you the most power. Unlike Return, Double-Edge is strong enough to 3HKO opposing Snorlax. Body Slam doesn't even 3HKO Zapdos, so its low damage output won't force switches the same way Double-Edge does, regardless of the paralysis chance. In addition, instead of using Earthquake for Ghost- and Rock-types, you can opt for Lovely Kiss to go for the two-for-one 'Sleep-and-Explode' deal. Lovely Kiss is particularly useful for allowing MixLax to get past Growl Miltank and Charm Umbreon without having to use Selfdestruct specifically against them. The problem is that Snorlax won't be able to heavily dent Rock- or Ghost-types without Earthquake, but Fire Blast is almost mandatory as Steel-types are more common than Rock- and Ghost-types, and because Skarmory would wall you forever regardless of Lovely Kiss. For a safer route, you could opt for Rest over Selfdestruct to allow Snorlax to function more effectively as a wall.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Other than what has been mentioned above, a mixed attacker set with Curse or Lovely Kiss as the fourth move instead of Selfdestruct can be an effective form of offense against many teams. With Lovely Kiss, Snorlax gets past Miltank and Charm Umbreon. With Curse, it has an easier time getting past Zapdos and Suicune. However, the lack of Selfdestruct on the mixed set really dampens Snorlax's ability to score surprise KOs and toy with the opponent. A mixed attacking Snorlax could also run Thunder in order to destroy Cloyster switch-ins, while 2HKOing Skarmory and threatening paralysis against mixed walls such as Miltank and Suicune. However, Thunder leaves you in a bind against Steelix, unlike Fire Blast. Thunder is best used alongside Surf for this very reason; as an added bonus, it also screws Rhydon over, who is uncommon, but nonetheless one of the most reliable Snorlax counters in the game with its heavy damage output and meaty Defense that prevents 3HKOs from Snorlax's unboosted Earthquakes. However, a Thunder and Surf mixed Snorlax finds itself in a bind against Ghost-types and Tyranitar, and relies heavily on Thunder paralysis to beat Suicune, Miltank, and Umbreon. Snorlax can also run Toxic on sets with Double-Edge and Flamethrower in order to spread poison around the opponent's team. Although Gengar is immune to both Toxic and Double-Edge and takes paltry damage from Flamethrower, it can't do much to Snorlax in return unless it Explodes, and will eventually succumb to Flamethrower if continually used to wall Snorlax. However, just as with many mixed Snorlax sets, Miltank and Suicune shut Toxic Snorlax down completely barring a critical hit.
Snorlax is capable of running Fire Blast or Flamethrower on Belly Drum sets to threaten Skarmory switch-ins with instant damage and possibly bluff a Curse set, since Snorlax will usually not use a Fire-type move on a Belly Drum set. Unfortunately, the lack of Earthquake to OHKO Ghost- and Rock-types can be very frustrating for a DrumLax that would otherwise be in position to sweep. In addition, the Fire-type move is often unnecessary, as it is possible to put DrumLax in a position such that it can KO Skarmory with its boosted Normal-type STAB moves. Substitute is a usable, albeit unconventional, option for CurseLax in order to avoid the Attack-lowering effects of Growl and Charm, which can be used by Miltank and Umbreon to stall CurseLax out of PP. Lovely Kiss also allows CurseLax to get past Miltank and Umbreon; however, unlike Lovely Kiss, Substitute is not ruined by a timely switch to a Sleep Talk user. Substitute is also useless against most of Snorlax's other checks. Snorlax makes good use of Counter on Belly Drum sets to punish foes that beat down on it and to avoid being phazed while it is asleep. Counter is also useful on CurseLax to allow it to KO another CurseLax by surprise. Shadow Ball and DynamicPunch are very niche coverage moves for very specific threats. Shadow Ball 2HKOs Misdreavus without setup, but has little use outside of that specific match-up, and Earthquake hits Gengar harder. On the other hand, DynamicPunch is more generally useful; it can ruin overconfident Tyranitar users who try to go for Rock Slide flinches, and also allows CurseLax to confuse and possibly beat Miltank, Umbreon, and even paralyzed Skarmory. However, DynamicPunch leaves you helpless at the hands of Ghost-types and at the mercy of DynamicPunch's abysmal 8 PP and 50% accuracy. Aside from the aforementioned options, there really isn't anything else worth using in Snorlax's arsenal.
Checks and Counters
Skarmory is often touted as the number one check to Snorlax. It resists Normal-type moves, boasts an immunity to Earthquake, has an unbelievable Defense stat, and can use Whirlwind to force Snorlax out and relinquish its boosts from Curse and Belly Drum. However, Snorlax can use Lovely Kiss or Fire Blast to beat it. Because Skarmory is hardly a universal Snorlax check, at least two good answers to Snorlax are necessary for any competitive GSC team, especially as Snorlax can utilize Lovely Kiss to put one of your checks out of commission. Aside from Skarmory, Steelix performs a similar role. Unlike Skarmory, it shrugs off even +3 Double-Edges, but it's still susceptible to Fire Blast and takes a lot of damage from a boosted Earthquake. Rock-types such as Tyranitar and Rhydon don't like Earthquake, but they easily tank its Normal-type moves, use Roar to force Snorlax out, and can even use Curse alongside Snorlax. Misdreavus takes advantage of its Normal-type immunity and the fact that it avoids being 3HKOed by unboosted Earthquakes in order to switch into Snorlax and force it out with the threat of Perish trap. However, Misdreavus loses if Snorlax is the Belly Drum variant with Earthquake. Gengar is an interesting check; it's not exactly a good wall, but it can outspeed Snorlax even after an Agility boost and then Explode on it. It also gets Destiny Bond to take Earthquake variants down with it. Furthermore, it gets Ice Punch and Hypnosis to go for the freeze while wasting the PP of CurseLax variants without Earthquake.
Growl Miltank and Charm Umbreon make solid walls for Curse and mixed variants of Snorlax, stalling out even the dreaded last-Poke CurseLax with ease; however, DrumLax completely ruins their plans. A well-timed Lovely Kiss allows Snorlax to beat these checks regardless of its moveset. Suicune can take even a max Attack Return from Snorlax and then proceed to phaze it; it can also take anything that the mixed variant can throw out. However, it does take a lot of damage from Curse-boosted Double-Edges, so it isn't recommended as a primary Snorlax check so much as it is as a fall-back. Explosion users such as Exeggutor, Cloyster, and Forretress can threaten to KO Snorlax or leave it irreparably wounded. Cloyster and Forretress in particular can survive anything that standard DrumLax can throw at them and proceed to Explode in its face, which is very useful if Snorlax manages to get an Agility boost passed to it. Finally, if one's own CurseLax uses Double-Edge, it can step in to check opposing CurseLax. CurseLax, regardless of the STAB move it chooses, can also check any variant of mixed Snorlax. Using CurseLax to check opposing Snorlax is even easier if you use a variant with Sleep Talk, Lovely Kiss, or even Counter.
On the offense, Marowak, Machamp, and Heracross make excellent double switches in the event of an expected Snorlax switch-in. In addition, Vaporeon with Acid Armor sets up unabashedly in CurseLax's face, and with Hydro Pump, a single Growth is all it needs to 3HKO the big lug. Sunny Day Houndoom also 3HKOs Snorlax on the special side after it sets up sun, and can also use Counter to punish it for attacking. Snorlax fails to OHKO a healthy Houndoom with a Curse-boosted Double-Edge, which means that many Snorlax variants will be forced to risk being killed by Counter in order to avoid being KOed by Fire Blast. A more conventional way to kill Snorlax, however, is to use a combination of Spikes and an Electric-type. Zapdos threatens to straight-up KO Snorlax with a combination of Thunder spam and Spikes damage on the switch, whereas Raikou, with its slightly weaker Thunder and lower physical defense, requires more finesse via the use of Roar to accumulate Spikes damage on Snorlax.