Overview

Malaconda has very high special bulk, which enables it to check threats like Manaphy, Stratagem, Krilowatt, Slowbro, Latios, and Latias. This is further compounded by Harvest, which, depending on what Berry Malaconda is holding, can give it semi-reliable recovery or status removal. Its support movepool also has some gems like Glare and Rapid Spin, and its base 100 Attack is decent for a defensive Pokemon. However, it has atrocious Defense, which is compounded by a weakness to types like Fairy, Fire, and Flying, meaning that Talonflame, Cawmodore, both Mega Charizard formes, and Mega Altaria can prey on it. It also has an exploitable 4x weakness to Bug, rendering it vulnerable to U-turn users. Its offensive movepool is very shallow, mainly consisting of only STAB attacks and niche coverage options. It also suffers from low Speed, meaning it will often take a hit before it can deal any damage. Finally, it faces stiff competition from Pokemon like Ferrothorn, Pyroak, and Mega Venusaur as a defensive Grass-type, as they have roles that are typically more desirable for the CAP metagame.

Moves

Knock Off is a reliable STAB move that hits anything that does not resist it fairly hard and can remove the foe's item. Sucker Punch can be used instead to pressure fast, frail offensive threats like Syclant, Kitsunoh, and Mega Beedrill. Power Whip is a more powerful STAB attack to hit Water-types like Keldeo and Krilowatt, Rock-types like Stratagem and Tyranitar, and Ground-types like Colossoil and Hippowdon. Glare is used to induce paralysis, mainly on switch-ins and setup sweepers to cripple them. If the team needs a hazard remover, Rapid Spin can be run instead. Alternatively, Toxic can be used to cripple defensive threats such as Tomohawk. U-turn is used to give the team momentum, letting Malaconda pivot out of its checks. Pursuit can be used to trap Psychic-types like Latios and Latias and Ghost-types like Kitsunoh lacking U-turn and Necturna lacking Will-O-Wisp or super effective moves. Foul Play can be used to hit physical attackers hard and deters setup from Pokemon like Cawmodore. Roar also is an option, as it can phaze setup sweepers like Clefable.

Set Details

Maximum HP and Special Defense investment makes Malaconda as specially bulky as possible, allowing it to take hits such as a +3 Ice Beam from Manaphy in order to hit back with Power Whip or Glare. Sitrus Berry is used for passive recovery and has synergy with Harvest, giving it a chance to regenerate the Berry and making it tough to take down.

Usage Tips

Malaconda should be switched in on special attackers that cannot threaten it, such as Latios, Latias, Krilowatt, and Stratagem. Knock Off is a safe move to use most of the time, as the utility of item removal can come in handy along with chip damage. If running Sucker Punch, try to find the perfect opportunity to use it, as it has limited PP; surprising a faster foe can help turn the tables of the game. Use Glare or Toxic when predicting switch-ins to cripple them, or use U-turn to pivot out into a check. If running Pursuit, anticipate when the foe will switch to severly dent or KO it.

Team Options

Steel-types like Skarmory and Heatran can take Fairy-, Flying-, Bug-, Poison-, and, in Heatran's case, Fire-type attacks, while they appreciate Malaconda taking Ground-, Water-, and Electric-type attacks, and they can also set up entry hazards. Heatran can also threaten Steel-types and burn physical attackers with Lava Plume. Mega Charizard Y threatens Steel-types and can set up sun, and in return Malaconda can use Rapid Spin to remove Stealth Rock for it. Flying-types like Talonflame, Tomohawk, Tornadus-T, and Togekiss can help remove Bug- and Fighting-types. Other Ground- and Fire-types like Mollux, Volkraken, Volcanion, Excadrill, Colossoil, Landorus-T, and Garchomp can also take out Steel-types. Cyclohm is also a great partner, as it can handle Flying-types. Pokemon that carry Rocky Helmet like Ferrothorn and Garchomp can help deter U-turn users.

Moves

Rest is used for a source of recovery, which is very helpful when combined with Lum Berry to remove sleep. Knock Off or Power Whip can be run depending on the team's needs. Knock Off is a safer STAB attack that can hit Psychic-types like Latios and Latias and Ghost-types like Necturna and Kitsunoh, while Power Whip is a more powerful STAB move to hit Water-types like Keldeo and Krilowatt, Rock-types like Stratagem and Tyranitar, and Ground-types like Colossoil and Hippowdon. Glare is for paralyzing switch-ins and setup sweepers, Rapid Spin is used for entry hazard removal should the team need it, and Toxic is used to hit defensive switch-ins like Tomohawk. U-turn is used to pivot out of checks and maintain momentum.

Set Details

Maximum HP and Special Defense investment maximizes Malaconda's special bulk. Lum Berry is used to cure Malaconda of status conditions, particularly waking it up from sleep after it uses Rest, and with Harvest, it has a chance to regenerate. A Chesto Berry can be used to ensure that the Berry does not get lost before using Rest, but then Malaconda will be more exposed to status.

Usage Tips

Be careful about Malaconda's Berry; since Harvest can be inconsistent, its Berry might not regenerate to get a crucial cure from status, so don't play too recklessly. This set can switch into status moves like Toxic if Malaconda's Berry is still intact. Try to find an opportunity to use Rest in order to preserve Malaconda's health while not potentially risking giving the foe a free turn of setup. Switching into Pokemon that cannot threaten it, like Latios, Latias, Krilowatt, and Stratagem, then crippling switch-ins with Glare or Toxic or pivoting out of them with U-turn is a great way to maximize Malaconda's use on a team.

Team Options

Steel-types like Skarmory and Heatran take Fairy-, Flying-, Bug-, Poison-, and, in Heatran's case, Fire-type attacks, and in return, Malaconda can take Ground-, Water-, and Electric-type attacks for them. Heatran also has Lava Plume to threaten Steel-types and burn physical attackers. Mega Charizard Y sets up sun to guarantee regeneration of Malaconda's Berry and threatens Steel-types, and it appreciates Malaconda using Rapid Spin to remove Stealth Rock. Flying-types like Talonflame, Togekiss, Tornadus-T, and Tomohawk can help eliminate Bug- and Fighting-types. Other Fire- and Ground-types like Mollux, Volkraken, Volcanion, Excadrill, Colossoil, Landorus-T, and Garchomp are also good partners that threaten Steel-types. Cyclohm walls most Flying-types due to its high physical bulk. Rocky Helmet users like Garchomp and Ferrothorn also make great partners to punish U-turn users.

Other Options

Malaconda can run a Choice Band set with Infiltrator for more offensive power. However, other Pokemon like Weavile, Bisharp, and Colossoil are better offensive Dark-types that can run Pursuit due to their greater offensive power. Malaconda also has access to Heal Bell. Though this is typically done better by Pyroak, it can remove status on sets running Sitrus Berry. Malaconda has a few coverage options like Wild Charge for Flying-types and Iron Tail for Fairy-types, though they are hard to fit in onto its sets.

Checks and Counters

Physically Defensive Pokemon: Pokemon like Tomohawk and Skarmory can wall Malaconda due to their great physical bulk and can retaliate with their STAB attacks and Taunt. Tomohawk, however, has to watch out for Glare and Toxic.

Fire-types: Mollux, Victini, both Mega Charizard formes, Heatran, and Pyroak can switch into Power Whip and hit back hard with their own STAB attacks, though they are crippled by Glare. Volkraken and Volcanion can also threaten Malaconda with their STAB attacks should they get in safely.

Steel-types: Malaconda has no way of dealing with Steel-types like Ferrothorn and Klefki, which can set up entry hazards on it or, in Klefki's case, hit hard with a Fairy-type STAB move. Cawmodore can set up on any Malaconda lacking Glare, Foul Play, or Roar.

U-turn: Pokemon that pack U-turn, like Scizor, Landorus-T, Colossoil, Diggersby, Tornadus-T, Kitsunoh, Jirachi, Mega Beedrill, and Syclant, can force out Malaconda, though the latter four are hit hard by Sucker Punch, and most U-turn users do not like Glare.

Fairy-types: Clefable, Togekiss, Mega Altaria, and Sylveon can shrug off Malaconda's attacks due to their typing and bulk and can retaliate with their STAB attacks. Mega Gardevoir and Mega Diancie can also threaten weakened Malaconda. However, Mega Altaria and Togekiss are crippled by Glare, and Mega Diancie cannot switch in for fear of Power Whip.

Flying-types: Talonflame, Tomohawk, Tornadus-T, and Mega Pinsir can overwhelm Malaconda with their STAB attacks, though they hate Glare.

Powerful Attackers: Pokemon like Aurumoth, Mega Crucibelle, Dragalge, Mega Lopunny, Mega Heracross, Mega Medicham, Mega Venusaur, Kyurem-B, and Keldeo can OHKO or severely dent Malaconda with their STAB attacks.

Setup Sweepers: Pokemon like Garchomp, Dragonite, Breloom, and Landorus-T can set up on Malaconda lacking Glare, Foul Play, or Roar.