Featured RU Pokémon: Snover

By SilentVerse. Art by CyzirVisheen.
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Tiering-wise, Snover has been quite the odd Pokémon since its debut in DPP. While its forgettable stats and NFE status would make you think that Snover would have no purpose in any official singles tier, bar Little Cup, Snover actually managed to nab a fair amount of usage for itself in DPP UU due to its major defining ability: Snow Warning. With Abomasnow banished to BL, Snover was the only permanent hail summoner in DPP UU, and this made it a natural addition to any DPP UU hail team for the majority of the tier's history. In BW RU however, Snover was, for the longest time, banned from the tier, as in this generation, BW UU decided to ban the ability Snow Warning instead of Abomasnow. However, with UU's relatively recent decision to unban hail, Snover has been dropped into BW RU, where it resides as the only permanent-weather summoner in the tier; now, just like in DPP UU, it is the harbinger of a unique and deadly playstyle.


Snover itself is not a Pokémon that has a lot of good qualities; the only reason it is used in RU is because of its incredible ability, Snow Warning, which brings the sole permanent weather in RU. As an NFE Pokémon, Snover's stats are decidedly mediocre, both offensively and defensively, with paltry 62 / 62 / 40 offenses and 60 / 50 / 60 defenses. Furthermore, Snover also possesses a typing that is exceedingly poor defensively, and with its weaknesses to the common Fire-, Flying-, Bug-, Poison-, and Rock-type attacks that plague RU, despite the useful resistances that Snover has courtesy of its part Grass typing, Snover ends up having essentially no defensive utility. Offensively, Snover is simply so weak that the best it can do is spam its 100% accurate Blizzards, which just aren't particularly deadly.

However, while Snover itself is mostly dead weight, its ability, Snow Warning, is what makes Snover so usable. In OU, hail is unable to compete with the other weathers, as its benefits are significantly less game breaking than the benefits of sand, sun, or rain. All the same, because hail is the only permanent weather in RU, the benefits of hail become significantly more apparent. In particular, the ability to spam 100% accurate Blizzards in hail provides the support necessary to make certain Pokémon in RU shine. No longer must Pokémon such as Glaceon be forced to use Ice Beam as their main STAB attack; they can now afford to unleash monstrously powerful Blizzards from their incredibly high Special Attack stats. Such Pokémon also appreciate the 6% of residual damage from hail between turns, as its ability to cancel out Leftovers recovery turns many 3HKOes into 2HKOes. To top it all off, permanent hail turns the likes of Ice Body Glaceon and Walrein into incredibly lethal stalling machines, who are absurdly difficult to stop once they start up their chain of Substitute and Protect. Snover itself may not be all that much to brag about, but the benefits hail provides are certainly worth it!

How to Use Snover

Snover should generally be played as a suicide lead, as it simply lacks the typing or defenses to last throughout the match. In most cases, such as against Uxie, Aerodactyl, or other such leads who are unable to KO Snover in one shot, Snover should be sent out in the lead position to set up hail as soon as possible, immediately granting its teammates those 100% Blizzards and the residual damage to help wear down pesky opponents. From there, Snover should proceed to do as much damage as possible with its own 100% accurate Blizzards. With a Focus Sash, and maximum Special Attack investment, Snover is actually quite capable of doing some serious damage; with such a set, Snover will usually be able to deal around 50% of damage to one of the opponent's Pokémon, or even score a nice KO against unprepared opponents, ensuring that Snover is able to at least wear down some of the opponent's Pokémon before fainting.

However, it is also crucial to remember that even though Snover is an incredibly poor Pokémon who only serves to set up hail, it is not always wise to simply sacrifice it at the beginning of the match. Though it might not seem like it, Snover can actually do a decent job of luring out and wearing down Pokémon who resist Ice-type attacks, as even with Snover's paltry offenses, Blizzard is actually capable of doing severe damage to frail Pokémon who don't resist it. Furthermore, due to the offensive nature of most hail teams, Snover can actually be very useful mid- or late-game due to how expendable it is, making it an excellent Pokémon to fodder should you need to bring in a Pokémon safely. Therefore, should the opponent have a Pokémon such as Escavalier or Cinccino, who either take so little from Snover or are able to break past its Focus Sash, and the opponent is likely to lead with it, it is sometimes better to save Snover for later in the match instead of simply sacrificing it on the first turn.

How to Beat Snover

Due to its frailty and numerous weaknesses, Snover is not a particularly difficult Pokémon to defeat. Perhaps the easiest way of preventing it from doing damage is by leading with a Pokémon such as Cinccino, who can use multi-hit attacks to break through Snover's Focus Sash, allowing such Pokémon to immediately OHKO it. Alternatively, you can use Pokémon such as Escavalier or Cryogonal to wall whatever pitiful attack Snover attempts to throw at it (though they must watch out for Hidden Power Fire and Wood Hammer, respectively), while proceeding to KO it. All in all, Snover isn't really a difficult Pokémon to deal with in any way; after all, one of the main ways it is used is as death fodder.

However, while Snover isn't hard to beat, it's important for you to remember to preserve the health of your Ice resists when you attempt to deal with it, as it is not just Snover you're likely to be dealing with; you're also going to have to face a team that spams Blizzard frequently as well. These teams can be tricky to deal with, as Blizzard is incredibly potent offensively, and without solid Pokémon who resist Ice-type attacks, it can be difficult to prevent yourself from getting swept away by the icy onslaught. Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to deal with a hail team for both defensive and offensive teams. Defensively, there are quite the selection of resilient, specially defensive walls who are able to take Blizzards all day long, including Slowking, Cryogonal, Specially Defensive Entei, Hariyama, Poliwrath, and other such Pokémon who resist Blizzard. Offensively, Pokémon such as Shift Gear Klinklang, Choice Scarf Primeape, Choice Scarf Typhlosion, Entei, Escavalier, Gallade, and Hitmonlee do well, due to their ability to target the weaknesses of some of the most deadly Pokémon commonly used on hail teams and either outspeed and OHKO them, or take a hit and OHKO in return. However, note that since these Pokémon cannot take repeated Blizzards, playing carefully with these Pokémon is crucial so that they do not get worn down to the point where a hail sweeper on the opponent's team can smash through them and proceed to sweep your team.

Fitting Snover onto Your Team

Naturally, because Snover's ability brings forth permanent hail, Snover is very difficult to fit onto a team unless you specifically utilize the effects that permanent hail is able to bring. However, on the other hand, most of the Pokémon who make use of hail tend to be Ice-types, and as you may know, Ice-types have a notoriously awful defensive typing, which means that simply stacking your team full of Ice-type Pokémon with Blizzard will rarely work in the current RU metagame. Therefore, it is imperative for you to strike a balance between Pokémon who can harness the benefits of hail and Pokémon who are able to defeat the Pokémon who are able to give those hail sweepers issues, as otherwise, all too soon you will see your hail team go down in flames.

First of all, let's start with the Pokemon that capitalize on hail the most. Due to the fact that hail is not a particularly popular choice in OU, there is a plethora of fantastic Pokémon who can use the benefits of hail to great effect. In particular, Glaceon, Rotom-F, Walrein, Jynx, and Cryogonal are all incredibly powerful Pokémon under the effects, and therefore pair wonderfully with Snover. With its massive 130 base Special Attack and the 100% accurate Blizzard that hail provides for it, Glaceon can literally bowl through most teams with just Blizzard, either with a Choice Specs to decimate slower teams that lack a solid, specially defensive resist against Ice-type attacks, or with a Choice Scarf to sweep through offensive teams once the opposing Choice Scarf Pokémon has been removed. Furthermore, Glaceon, along with Walrein, is also capable of pulling off a deadly SubProtect set under hail which is capable of stalling out most of the metagame. Rotom-F, though it lacks the absurd power of Glaceon, pairs the power of STAB Thunderbolt to 100% accurate STAB Blizzards to smash through most teams, whether via a Substitute + Pain Split set or Choice Scarf. Finally, Jynx has similar power to Glaceon, and though it is frailer, its ability to set up with Nasty Plot gives it potential to be even deadlier than Glaceon, with the added bonus of checking the Water-types who resist these Pokémon's Ice-type assaults. Cryogonal is not particular strong, but it has great special bulk and Speed, and, most importantly of all, it is able to use Rapid Spin, which is a godsend to hail teams, as their primary sweepers are almost always weak to Stealth Rock. All of these Pokémon are very viable choices and they all take advantage of hail perfectly, making them fantastic partners for Snover.

However, these Ice-types are so defensively inept that simply making a team out of them is often not a good choice, as the lack of defensive synergy will quickly cause your team to crumble against any fast Pokémon who has attacks that hit your Ice-types super effectively. Therefore, Pokémon who resist the Fire-, Rock-, and Fighting-type attacks that give your hail sweepers issues are necessary for any sort of hail team. Pokémon such as Druddigon, Slowking, Uxie, Specially Defensive Entei, Nidoqueen, Spiritomb, Hariyama, and Poliwrath are just some of the Pokémon who have excellent synergy with most Pokémon who can utilize hail due to their ability to take repeated hits from those types. In any case, there are plenty of Pokémon who work well on hail, so feel free to experiment to find the Pokémon who are best for your team!


While Snover may seem like a harmless Pokémon, don't let its appearance fool you! While Snover itself is mediocre, the snowstorm that it creates has such huge supporting potential that it is easily worth having to put up with Snover's poor stats and typing. If you want to try something different in RU, give Snover a whirl and make a hail team around it, and watch as your opponents bow down to the ferocious onslaught of cold that this tree is able to create!

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