Trolled, memed, gif’d, and—dare I say—pwn’d
* Having access to Snow Warning and Aurora Veil at the same time singlehandedly turns an otherwise mediocre Pokemon into a legitimate option for offensive teams.
* Alolan Ninetales is good at disrupting rain between Snow Warning and Freeze-Dry—the latter of which hits three common rain Pokemon (Pelipper, Kingdra, and Ludicolo) for quadruple damage.
* Its high Speed stat makes setting up Aurora Veil easy and allows it to beat out the crowded base 100 Speed tier as well as Garchomp, Terrakion, and Keldeo.
* It has reasonably good special bulk, allowing it to take a hit or two when it needs to.
* Its movepool is small, although it contains just enough useful options to be very workable.
* It has low offenses, meaning that it has a hard time breaking through a lot of Pokemon.
* It has poor defensive typing, making it harder to switch in on things and easy to take advantage of.
* It is both weak to Stealth Rock and vulnerable to Spikes, which hurts its ability to set up Aurora Veil repeatedly throughout the match.
* It is a one-trick pony.
move 1: Aurora Veil
move 2: Freeze-Dry
move 3: Moonblast
move 4: Encore / Hidden Power Fire
item: Light Clay
ability: Snow Warning
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
ivs: 0 Atk
* Aurora Veil halves damage taken from all attacks, which is useful for helping teammates set up.
* Freeze-Dry covers Pokemon weak to Ice-type attacks as well as Water-types; this is important to disrupt rain consistently. It also 3HKOes Toxapex, forcing it to Recover and making it an easy target for Encore, and also deals very heavy damage to Mantine.
* Moonblast is a consistent STAB attack that also targets Dark- and Fighting-types; it hits Pokemon that are neutral to both Freeze-Dry and Fairy-type attacks as well as all notable Dragon-types aside from Garchomp harder while also dealing more damage to Mega Gyarados.
* Encore further helps teammates set up and catches people who try to set up on Alolan Ninetales off guard. It also allows Alolan Ninetales to shut down certain defensive Pokemon.
* Hidden Power Fire can be used to catch Scizor switch-ins, but specially bulky variants avoid the 2HKO and all bulky variants OHKO with Bullet Punch regardless of Special Defense investment. It also catches Genesect switch-ins, but Alolan Ninetales needs to be careful of Iron Head from a Choice Scarf variant if it comes in on any other attacks.
* Hidden Power Ground is also an option for its ability to catch Heatran who try to switch in on you, outpacing and netting a 2HKO on Leftovers variants with maximum HP investment after Stealth Rock.
* Maximum Speed investment with a Timid nature makes the most of Alolan Ninetales's high Speed stat to aid it in setting up Aurora Veil.
* Maximum Special Attack investment is important to ensure that Alolan Ninetales's STAB moves hit hard.
* Snow Warning is vital so that Aurora Veil doesn't fail as well as to help it disrupt rain more consistently.
* Light Clay is used to extend Aurora Veil's duration.
* Bring Alolan Ninetales in on Pokemon that it forces out to set up Aurora Veil safely.
* It can take a special attack or two if needed.
* Set up Aurora Veil in order to help teammates set up.
* If foes set up on Alolan Ninetales and Alolan Ninetales outpaces the foe post-setup or can take a hit from them, use Encore; it's helpful for allowing teammates to set up. Also, it's often good to use this to shut down defensive Pokemon's options, such as by locking Toxapex into Recover, Infestation, Toxic, Scald, or other similar utilities.
* Bring Alolan Ninetales in on a slow U-turn or Volt Switch or after a teammate has fainted if possible. Don't bring it in on physical attacks ever unless it resists one.
* Setup sweepers like Z-Conversion Porygon-Z, Dragon Dance Mega Charizard X, Rock Polish or Shift Gear Genesect, and Dragon Dance (Mega) Gyarados appreciate Aurora Veil helping them set up.
* Slow Volt Switch or U-turn users like Landorus-T, Mega Scizor, and Rotom-W can help get it on the field safely.
* Pokemon that struggle against opposing rain teams, such as Pheromosa, Tapu Lele, Genesect, Heatran, and Mega Charizard X, appreciate its ability to disrupt rain.
* Frail Pokemon like Hoopa-U, Greninja, Weavile, Bisharp, and Tapu Koko appreciate Aurora Veil, as it gives them more breathing room.
* Rapid Spin and Defog users such as Tapu Fini, Latios, Latias, Excadrill, Starmie, and Pheromosa clear entry hazards, which makes it easier to set up Aurora Veil repeatedly.
* Fighting-, Fire-, and Ground-types such as Heatran, Buzzwole, Pheromosa, and Landorus-T can deal with Steel-types that give Alolan Ninetales a headache.
* Magnezone can trap and weaken or eliminate Steel-types for it. Dugtrio also traps some Steel-types as well as some Fire-types such as Heatran and Mega Charizard X and bulky Pokemon like Chansey and Clefable if it carries Screech.
* Pokemon that can help secure a sweep for one of Alolan Ninetales's teammates, including trappers such as Dugtrio (particularly Groundium Z, Choice Band, and Life Orb variants due to hail breaking its Focus Sash),and wallbreakers such as Tapu Bulu, Life Orb Garchomp, Terrakion, and Latios. Stealth Rock and Spikes users like Ferrothorn and Landorus-T can accomplish this as well.
* Blizzard is Alolan Ninetales's strongest attack, but it is mostly inferior to Encore and Hidden Power Fire while being mostly redundant alongside Freeze-Dry.
* Hypnosis puts foes to sleep, which provides additional setup opportunities. However, it is inaccurate and Alolan Ninetales is already pretty strapped for moveslots.
* Disable can be used as an alternate method of shutting down certain Pokemon which works well with Alolan Ninetales's high Speed stat, but it often gimmicky at best.
* Toxic can help wear down bulky Pokemon, which can help weaken foes for a late-game sweep, but Alolan Ninetales generally prefers running Encore over it.
Checks and Counters
**Mega Charizard Y**: Drought prevents Alolan Ninetales from setting up Aurora Veil, and Mega Charizard Y takes very little damage from Alolan Ninetales's attacks and can shrug them off easily with Roost.
**Steel-types**: Steel-types such as Mega Scizor, Genesect, Celesteela, Ferrothorn, and Skarmory resist both of Alolan Ninetales's STAB moves and carry STAB attacks of their own that deal quadruple damage to it. They can set up on Alolan Ninetales or use it for free momentum.
**Fire-types**: These Pokemon also resist both of Alolan Ninetales's STAB attacks and carry super effective STAB moves in return. Special mentions go to Mega Charizard X and Volcarona, which set up in Alolan Ninetales's face and can't be crippled by Encore because they are slower prior to using their setup move and faster after doing so. Heatran is also notable because it takes a quarter damage from both of Alolan Ninetales's STAB attacks.
**Sand Stream Users**: Tyranitar needs to be careful of Moonblast and Hippowdon needs to be careful of Freeze-Dry, but they are able to stop Aurora Veil from going up if they come in on the turn it gets used. Choice Scarf Tyranitar gets a special mention because it outpaces Alolan Ninetales and OHKOes it with Stone Edge.
**Entry Hazards**: Alolan Ninetales takes 25% from Stealth Rock when it switches in, limiting the amount it can set up. It's also grounded, making it vulnerable to Spikes and Toxic Spikes.