Trick Room in the Lower Tiers

By Jellicent. Art by sirndpt
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Trick Room teams in OU have always been scoffed at as simply unviable, and somewhat rightfully so. In a tier where something doesn't need to be slow to take a hit and dish one out, constantly setting up Trick Room has usually proved to be too much of a burden. In lower tiers, however, most offensive threats are either fast and frail or bulky and slow. Trick Room gives the latter the ability to outspeed and crush the former with ease.

Trick Room in General

Basically, Trick Room allows the slower Pokemon to move first in battle (assuming both moves have the same priority). It only lasts for 5 turns, including the turn it is set up, and there is no way to extend this time limit. Also, the move itself has -7 priority, meaning whatever sets it up will probably be taking a hit in the process. For these reasons, ideal Trick Room team members are slow (to be "faster" under Trick Room; they thus use Speed-reducing natures with 0 Speed IVs and EVs), powerful (with only 4 turns to really utilize Trick Room, you better make each turn count and hit HARD), and bulky (as they will likely be taking hits outside of Trick Room). Thankfully, the lower tiers are overflowing with wonderful sweepers that fill that niche to a tee.

While the sweepers are plentiful, the Trick Room users themselves aren't quite as varied. Most happen to be Ghost- or Psychic-types, which both share a weakness to Ghost and Dark; this can make it somewhat difficult to accommodate sweepers with good synergy. Also, priority attacks bypass Trick Room and can still put the hurt on your sweepers (though they're a blessing for your own sweepers to have outside of Trick Room). Taunt, Roar, and Whirlwind all have higher priority than the move Trick Room, which can make setting it up rather difficult. Also, because Trick Room is so short-lived, your opponent can stall it out with Substitute, Protect, and careful switching. Taunt, multi-hit moves, Substitutes of your own, and good prediction can alleviate these issues to some degree.


NU is blessed with some incredibly potent sweepers to use under Trick Room, but the users of the move themselves can sometimes leave a bit to be desired. Exeggutor is among the best, as its dual Grass / Psychic typing allows it to scare off the common Rock- and Water-types in the tier and gives it multiple opportunities to set up. Once Trick Room is up, it can fire off powerful Leaf Storms and Psychics from its base 125 Special Attack or simply cripple a troublesome opponent with Sleep Powder. Musharna is another great choice, as its low base 29 Speed, decent base 107 Special Attack, and great overall bulk makes it difficult to take down, especially with Moonlight to keep it healthy. Duosion functions as a more offensive Musharna, sacrificing a bit of bulk for a higher base 125 Special Attack and an immunity to passive damage. The most offensive mono-Psychic Trick Room user, however, is Beheeyem, which boasts access to both Trick Room and Nasty Plot. With an immunity to Ghost and a neutrality to Dark, Audino is a great choice for any Trick Room team. With Regenerator and Wish, it can keep itself and its allies healthy throughout the battle. Perhaps its biggest selling point is Healing Wish; at the cost of its own life, Audino can bring a battered sweeper back in at full health. Lampent's immunities to Fire, Fighting, and Normal make it a solid choice as well, and (despite the shared Dark and Ghost weakness) it has pretty good synergy with Exeggutor. It can even use Memento to cripple an opponent offensively and get a sweeper in for free, although it sacrifices itself to do so. Finally, Banette has a role that most view as outdated: suicide lead. After setting up Trick Room and surviving with a Focus Sash, it can use Destiny Bond to bring its foe down with it and give your sweeper 3 turns of fun under Trick Room.

As far as sweepers go, there are plenty of great choices in NU. Marowak jumps out as one of the best; its unique item, Thick Club, can bring its Attack stat to an incredible 568. EdgeQuake offers solid coverage, though Bonemerang is a less accurate option over Earthquake due to its ability to break Substitutes. Recoilless Double-Edge is also always a plus. Rampardos offers a similar role, boasting the highest Attack stat outside of Deoxys-A. Head Smash hits HARD, and thanks to Mold Breaker, Earthquake can hit opponents with Levitate. Gurdurr is a great choice for a bulky Fighting-type that can take care of pesky Dark-types with ease, and it comes fully equipped with useful priority in the form of Mach Punch. Cacturne is an effective mixed sweeper under Trick Room, and has access to Spikes; even though it can be difficult to set up entry hazards on a Trick Room team, the payoff can be wonderful. Zweilous has the most powerful Outrage in the game (it is more powerful than even Rayquaza's!) and, although inaccurate, it can punch holes through teams (especially considering the severe lack of Steel-types in NU). Clamperl surprisingly functions as a special equivalent to Marowak with its exclusive DeepSeaTooth, but its complete lack of bulk is distressing. If entry hazards are giving you trouble, Armaldo is a fantastic offensive spinner for Trick Room. Ursaring is a potent Guts abuser that functions extremely well under Trick Room. The list really goes on and on in NU, but those are some of the highlights.


RU is a tier where Trick Room really triumphs. Not only does it have access to all of the wonderful Pokemon listed above, but it has numerous stars of its own. Cofagrigus is one of the top Trick Room users and sweepers in the tier; with perfect coverage in just two moves, it can afford to run a devastating Trick Room + Nasty Plot set. Slowking can also run a "Nasty Room" set; or it can even forgo Nasty Plot in favor of better coverage. It can also function as a Trick Room tank; either way, Regenerator is a wonderful ability for keeping it healthy throughout the battle. Uxie is an amazingly bulky Trick Room user that offers a wide range of support options. Base 95 Speed might be a tad high for Trick Room, but it offers Uxie a "slow" U-turn that lets it tank a hit before switching to an appropriate sweeper. A more offensive option is Mesprit, which is not only threatening after setting up Trick Room, but also able to use Healing Wish to give an injured teammate a second shot at success. As gimmicky as it sounds, Lv. 1 Smeargle with Focus Sash, Spore, Trick Room, Endeavor, and Dragon Rage is a fantastic suicide lead that often cripples one opponent, KOes a second, and sets up Trick Room with ease. Dusknoir is another bulky, offensive Ghost that differentiates itself from Cofagrigus by being more physically inclined. Gallade is a great offensive Trick Room user with useful priority in Shadow Sneak, access to Swords Dance and Bulk Up, and the ability Justified, which boosts its Attack stat when hit by a Dark-type attack (which are notably problematic to Trick Room teams). Although fast, Klingklang gets a mention as the only Trick Room user that resists Dark, and much like Uxie, it can use its Speed and bulk under Trick Room to take a hit before switching with Volt Switch. Finally, Whimsicott deserves a mention for its priority Taunt, preventing Whirlwind, Roar, and other Taunt users from shutting down your Trick Room team before you get to set up.

RU also has plenty of solid sweepers. Recoilless STAB Head Smash coming off of base 110 Attack makes Aggron an instant winner for Trick Room. Handy resistances to Dark and Ghost paired with its great bulk just seals the deal. Druddigon is a Dragon that seems custom made for Trick Room: base 48 Speed, base 120 Attack, and even priority in the form of Sucker Punch to utilize outside of Trick Room. With Adaptability, Crawdaunt's already great Water / Dark STAB becomes even more potent, and it also has base 120 Attack to back it up. Like Aggron, it also resists Dark and Ghost, and even hits Ghost-types super effectively, making it a great choice for a Trick Room team. Rhydon is another wonderful option, with an impressive base 130 Attack and STAB EdgeQuake. Throw Megahorn into the mix and you get flawless coverage. Bulky Fighting-types are always great for dealing with Dark-types, and in RU, that role goes to Hariyama; priority Bullet Punch is another boon. Bouffalant has immunities to Ghost and Grass and STAB Reckless Head Charge to punish anything that doesn't resist it. Tangrowth is another slow, bulky sweeper perfectly suited for Trick Room. With Regenerator to keep it healthy, the ability to go mixed, and Sleep Powder to dispatch potential counters, it's a great option to keep in mind.


UU is blessed not only with the aforementioned wonders from RU and NU, but its own solid Trick Room users and sweepers as well. Bronzong is perhaps the most prominent; its amazing bulk and resistances make switching it in easy. After setting up Trick Room, it can fire off powerful STAB Gyro Balls before Exploding on a troublesome foe and getting an ally in for free. Cresselia is also a formidable bulky Trick Room user. Its access to the ever useful Healing Wish sets it apart from the pack. With an Eviolite, Porygon2 is extremely difficult to take down without Fighting-type attacks (something its teammates will likely be happy to switch in on). Good base 105 Special Attack and a wide range of offensive and support moves makes it an excellent choice for any team. Slowbro functions much like Slowking, but with better physical bulk than special. Dusclops is a similarly upgraded version of an RU; while less offensive than Dusknoir, it offers much greater bulk thanks to Eviolite. Meanwhile, Chandelure is essentially a far greater and more offensive Lampent. Victini, although quite fast with base 100 Speed, can set up Trick Room and decrease its own Speed with a powerful STAB V-Create.

There are quite a few good Trick Room sweepers in UU as well. Escavalier is like a bulkier Scizor in Trick Room, with powerful STAB Megahorn and Iron Head for tearing into the foe. Rhyperior is essentially a more powerful Rhydon with an actually usable ability. Snorlax is along-time OU veteran that still functions as a great offensive tank under Trick Room. With Huge Power, Azumarill's Attack stat can reach an incredible 654 (even higher than Deoxys-A's!). STAB priority in Aqua Jet makes it a fierce combatant even after Trick Room's timer runs out. No Guard Machamp is annoying as ever with its 100% accurate, confusion-inducing STAB DynamicPunch. Under Trick Room, it guarantees any non-Ghost opponent has just a 50% chance of even hitting it. Access to perfect accuracy Stone Edge, Earthquake, the elemental punches, and priority Bullet Punch makes Machamp a surprisingly versatile threat. Bisharp is another solid asset to Trick Room teams in UU; its 4x resistances to Dark and Ghost are exactly what the doctor ordered! STAB priority Sucker Punch and access to Swords Dance is no laughing matter, either.


This article just skims the surface of usable Pokemon under Trick Room in the lower tiers. There are plenty of other great sweepers and users just waiting to be discovered, so get out there and start testing some yourself! Who knows, you might even find yourself creating the next Smogon standard set!

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