Type Tier
Bug / Steel OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
  • Overused


What's in a name? A lot if you're talking about Forretress. As the name suggests, Forretress is quite defensive. Great base 140 Defense, base 75 HP, nine useful resistances, an immunity to Toxic, and only one weakness make Forretress one tough nut to crack. However, if these were all Forretress had to offer, it's doubtful it would have ever seen much usage in OU, as its lack of a phazing move would have relegated it as a lesser Skarmory or Steelix. However, this isn't the case for one very important reason: Forretress has access to Spikes. In a metagame full of powerful phazers and stall teams that switch often to gain the upper hand, keeping Spikes on the field is incredibly useful. The good news for Forretress is that it is one of only two viable Spikes users in OU, the other being Cloyster. The differences between the two are important. Compared to Cloyster, Forretress has far more resistances and STAB Hidden Power Bug to scare off the most common Rapid Spin user in OU—Starmie. Forretress, unlike Cloyster, can also use Explosion, Spikes, and Rapid Spin at the same time. Forretress is a wonderful fit on any team that centers around laying Spikes and keeping them on the field.

Name Item


~ Spikes
~ Hidden Power Bug
~ Rapid Spin
~ Toxic / Explosion

This set has one major goal: get Spikes down and keep them there. Forretress will have plenty of opportunities to switch in and set up entry hazards thanks to its myriad of resistances and great Defense stat. The move options are fairly simple and can be tailored to fit an individual team's needs. The first moveslot is dedicated to Spikes, which should be Forretress's first priority upon switching in. Once Spikes are down, Forretress has several options to choose from while supporting its team. Hidden Power Bug is a great option because it will threaten Starmie, the most common spinner in OU, with a 2HKO. This kind of pressure makes the opponent hard-pressed to bring in their spinner, allowing for more opportunities to rack up Spikes damage. The last two moveslots allow Forretress the flexibility to play slightly different support roles. With Rapid Spin, Forretress can transition from Spikes user to Spikes remover. While Forretress surely isn't the best spinner available, it can still support its team by removing Spikes once the opponent's Spikes user has been KOed. Toxic is useful in the last slot to nail Cloyster switch-ins and is a great option against Misdreavus looking to block Rapid Spin. At the very least, it will force opponents to use Rest or Heal Bell sooner than they would have liked. Explosion is a more offensive option that allows Forretress to make good use of its base 90 Attack. Forretress's Explosion is slow but useful in emergency situations against Snorlax, Vaporeon, or Marowak, all of which can easily set up on Forretress while it uses Spikes. However, mispredicting an Explosion can be extremely detrimental as Forretress is usually the only Spikes user on its team. Losing it can give the opponent an important advantage in laying and removing Spikes. Forretress's Explosion is not nearly as dangerous as Cloyster's and should be used with good judgment or when completely necessary. It should also be noted that Forretress can use that fourth slot to run a set with Explosion, Rapid Spin, and Spikes, a move combination that Cloyster cannot use.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Beyond the moves listed above, Forretress has a few other usable options. It can use Reflect over Toxic to boost its Defense to nearly impenetrable levels. Reflect will also benefit Forretress's team if it switches out after setting up Spikes or using Rapid Spin. A set with Curse and Rest is usable as it allows Forretress to stall out opposing physical attackers, most notably Heracross and Snorlax. Reflect can be used over Curse if team support is more valuable than the Attack boost or ability to boost long-term with Curse. The main problems with Curse + Rest are that it doesn't do much to help Forretress maintain Spikes and it doesn't effectively stall out many top threats. Protect is a strange but viable option to allow Forretress to scout for random Fire-type moves from opponents such as Snorlax and Exeggutor while also gaining Leftovers recovery and an extra turn of Toxic damage. Protect is also useful for blocking Rapid Spin and the occasional Surf from Cloyster during entry hazard wars. Forretress can also chose to run either Hidden Power Fire or Hidden Power Ghost. Hidden Power Fire might sound gimmicky considering Forretress's low Special Attack, but the ability to 2HKO opposing Forretress can be invaluable to your team. Hidden Power Ghost is a way to take Misdreavus and Gengar by surprise if they try and block Rapid Spin or Explosion.

Checks and Counters

Countering Spikes is the easiest way to counter Forretress. Having a handy spinner such as Cloyster or even your own Forretress is the easiest way to prevent an opposing Forretress from doing its job effectively. Cloyster is especially notable as a check because it can 3HKO Forretress with Surf. Cloyster can also use Spikes, forcing the opposing Forretress into an entry hazard war that it will struggle to win. Without Hidden Power Fire, Forretress can do nothing to opposing Forretress. Using a Forretress of your own can force an entry hazard war where the opponent will be forced to accept Spikes on their side of the field if they chose to switch. Gengar is a perfect counter to the standard Forretress set because of its immunity to Rapid Spin, Toxic, and Explosion, resistance to Hidden Power Bug, and access to high-powered special attacks. A combination of Forretress and Gengar will neuter opposing Forretress and keep Spikes off your side of the field. Misdreavus is another good Forretress check; it can block both Rapid Spin and Explosion and threaten Forretress with Perish Song and Mean Look. The threat of Fire Blast from Belly Drum Charizard will force Forretress to switch, giving Charizard a free turn to set up. Boosting sweepers in general are a pain for Forretress. Growth Vaporeon and Curse or Belly Drum Snorlax can both easily set up on Forretress as it tries to lay Spikes. Snorlax in particular can nail Forretress with a surprise Fire Blast, giving its team a free KO and a chance to keep their Spikes on the field. Exeggutor can also net a surprise KO with Hidden Power Fire on Forretress that stay in hoping to land a 4x super effective Hidden Power Bug. Zapdos, with its high Special Attack and ability to shrug off both Toxic and Hidden Power Bug, will make a good counter to any Forretress without Explosion.