Cobalion's flexibility and utility make it one of the best role-compression options on bulky offense and balance teams. Its typing and ability Justified give it many openings against Pokemon such as Scizor, Zarude, non-Stun Spore Amoonguss, and Nihilego to reliably boost with Swords Dance or set Stealth Rock. This also helps Cobalion punish choice-locked Zygarde-10% and Diggersby for using Outrage and Body Slam, respectively. Its quadruple resistance to Stealth Rock makes Cobalion incredibly difficult to wear down without other forms of residual damage. Cobalion is an excellent user of Swords Dance, exploiting Pokemon such as the aforementioned Scizor and Zarude. After a boost, coverage options like Stone Edge and Megahorn have limited switch-ins and can eliminate checks like Moltres, Gyarados, and Slowking—though the lack of perfect accuracy can make them sonewhat unreliable. Cobalion also boasts some useful utility options such as Stealth Rock to chip down switch-ins, Toxic for crippling checks like Hippowdon and Salamence, and Volt Switch to gain momentum off of checks like Galarian Slowbro. Cobalion's Speed tier also helps it offensively check dangerous Pokemon like Hydreigon, Nihilego, and Thundurus-T. However, its mediocre base 90 Attack means it's dependent on Swords Dance to be threatening, and teams with good Cobalion counterplay like Hippowdon and Galarian Slowbro can prevent it from setting up in front of desirable targets such as Scizor and Zarude. Non-Swords Dance Cobalion sets struggle to reliably break through Scizorand must be paired with other methods of checking it. Cobalion's speed tier, while impressive, still leaves it vulnerable to common offensive Pokemon such as Azelf and Zygarde-10%. Cobalion's subpar Special Defense means it can have trouble facing bulky Water-types like Rotom-W and Slowking. This also means that Cobalion takes notable damage from even resisted special moves like Choice Scarf Hydreigon's Draco Meteor and Vanilluxe's Blizzard. Cobalion's neutrality to Fairy, Flying, and Psychic hinders its role as a Steel-type against foes like Togekiss and Hatterene, which can strain teambuilding.
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Close Combat
move 3: Stone Edge / Iron Head
move 4: Megahorn
item: Leftovers / Rocky Helmet / Shuca Berry
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Cobalion's great resistances and bulk give it many opportunities to set up in front of foes like Scizor, Zarude, Nihilego, and Mandibuzz. After a boost, Close Combat threatens to 2HKO the previously mentioned targets and OHKO other threats like Rotom-W after Stealth Rock. Megahorn provides valuable coverage against Slowking and Tangrowth, notably OHKOing the former after a boost and minimal chip. Stone Edge slams checks such as Salamence and Moltres and improves Cobalion's matchup against Thundurus-T. Alternatively, Iron Head gives Cobalion a better matchup against Hatterene and Primarina, prevents Nidoqueen from walling it, and lets Cobalion potentially overwhelm checks like Hippowdon and Galarian Slowbro through flinching. Leftovers increases its longevity, giving it more chances to set up. Rocky Helmet is an alternative to punish Zarude and Scizor for using U-turn. It also provides chip damage against choiced-locked threats like Body Slam Diggersby and Outrage Zygarde-10%. Shuca Berry helps Cobalion beat Hippowdon and prevents it from being revenge killed by Zygarde-10%'s Thousand Arrows. However, this should only be used if the team does not have other options to overwhelm Hippowdon or deal with Zygarde-10% reliably. Safety Goggles is also an option that allows Cobalion to turn Amoonguss into setup fodder, but this should only be used in the absence of any teammates that can handle Amoonguss.
Cobalion fits best on bulky offense and balance teams for its ability to punish Scizor and Zarude while threatening to wallbreak or clean the opposition. Other entry hazard setters such as Nihilego and Hippowdon provide chip damage for Amoonguss and Celesteela. They also help check problematic foes such as Galarian Slowbro, Salamence, and Zygarde-10%. Pivots such as Azelf and Thundurus-T help Cobalion find setup opportunities against Pokemon like Chansey and Nihilego. They also help in overwhelming other checks like Primarina and Hippowdon with their coverage moves. Skarmory's Spikes can be problematic to Cobalion's longevity, so entry hazard removers like Rotom-W and Salamence are appreciated. They are also good teammates to have against foes like Conkeldurr. Teammates like Amoonguss and Assault Vest Tangrowth can pivot into dangerous foes like Keldeo and Primarina. Amoonguss also cripples Pokemon like opposing Cobalion and Galarian Slowbro with Spore, while Tangrowth removes Heavy-Duty Boots from Salamence and opposing Amoonguss with Knock Off. Cobalion is susceptible to being revenge killed by Choice Scarf Diggersby and Zygarde-10%, so other revenge killers like Choice Scarf Hydreigon and Mamoswine are appreciated.
move 1: Stealth Rock
move 2: Close Combat
move 3: Iron Head / Toxic
move 4: Swords Dance / Volt Switch / Taunt
item: Rocky Helmet / Leftovers
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Cobalion's ability to last throughout a game makes it an effective user of Stealth Rock, chipping away at threats like Primarina while having options to overwhelm entry hazard removers like Salamence. Cobalion has many opportunities to set up hazards, as it forces out opposing entry hazard setters like Chansey, Nihilego, and Excadrill. Close Combat is necessary for removing Excadrill and weakened Pokemon like Rotom-W. Iron Head maintains offensive pressure on the likes of Nidoqueen, Togekiss, and Hatterene; it is especially important to prevent Hatterene from denying Stealth Rock with Magic Bounce. If using Iron Head, Swords Dance should be the fourth moveslot to prevent Cobalion from getting countered by bulky Scizor and give it enough offensive presence to overwhelm Amoonguss and Hippowdon more easily. Swords Dance also leaves Cobalion less vulnerable to Celesteela and Nidoqueen switching in. Toxic can be used over Iron Head to cripple Salamence, Slowking, Tangrowth, and Hippowdon, preventing them from checking Cobalion in the long-term and winning the entry hazard war against the former. This also opens up teammates like Zygarde-10% to more effectively work as late-game cleaners. Volt Switch is used alongside Toxic to hit targets Cobalion cannot poison, like Skarmory, Amoonguss, and Scizor, and pivot out of checks like Tangrowth and Primarina. However, this is less consistent against teams with Hippowdon. Stone Edge is an alternative over Iron Head with Swords Dance to deal with Moltres and Salamence
Utility Cobalion similarly fits in balance and bulky offense teams
Magnet Rise or Air Balloon alongside Swords Dance turns Excadrill and Hippowdon into complete setup fodder for a potential sweep, however this is matchup dependent. On hyper offense, Life Orb is useful for increasing Cobalion's wallbreaking capabilities enough to OHKOSlowking and Tangrowth with +2 Megahorn and Thundurus-T with an unboosted Stone Edge. Weakness Policy + Rock Polish on a three attacks set is an alternative option that takes advantage of Cobalion's good bulk and weak super effective hits like Hippowdon's Earthquake and bulky Salamence's Flamethrower to gain a staggering boost. Rock Polish is recommended to sweep teams since it avoids revenge killers like Azelf and Choice Scarf Hydreigon. Substitute + Swords Dance sets with STAB attacks take huge advantage of Pokemon that Cobalion forces out, like Scizor and Zarude. Thunder Wave is able to help cripple switch-ins like Skarmory and Noivern to make them easier to overwhelm, but it is useless against other threats like Hippowdon.
Checks and Counters
**Flying-types**: With Roost, Salamence and Noivern prey on Cobalion's low Special Defense with Flamethrower and can act as long term checks, with the former also having intimidate and the latter boasting more Speed and breaking power; both of them have to be cautious of Stone Edge and Toxic. Skarmory is a standout threat because Iron Defense helps it maintain a strong matchup against Swords Dance sets and Spikes greatly cuts into Cobalion's ability to pivot; however Skarmory also has to worry about becoming free momentum against Volt Switch. Thundurus-T can't repeatedly switch into Cobalion but threatens it out and can stop Swords Dance sweeps, especially against versus Iron Head variants.
**Poison-types**: Galarian Slowbro is one of Cobalion's worst matchups thanks to the longevity of Regenerator + Slack Off, coverage in Flamethrower, and ability to punish non-Swords Dance sets with Calm Mind. Amoonguss is problematic because it can put Cobalion out of commission with Spore or Stun Spore, though it needs to be careful of becoming setup fodder if something else was put to sleep or if Cobalion has Safety Goggles. Other notable threats are Earth Power Nidoqueen and Rapid Tentacruel, which are both bulky enough to break through Cobalion and clear its Stealth Rock, respectively. However, Nidoqueen faces the problem of being unable to reliably handle Swords Dance variants after a boost and can suffer from Iron Head flinching it.
**Water-types**: Bulky Water-types such as Primarina and Slowking prey on Cobalion's low Special Defense with the threat of considerable damage and a potential burn with Scald. Regenerator + Teleport Slowking is especially problematic for its ability to use Cobalion as easy momentum, but drops to +2 Megahorn. Keldeo can threatenan OHKO with Secret Sword and Gyarados can use Cobalion lacking super effective coverage as setup fodder with Dragon Dance. Jellicent, though uncommon, can be a very strong check to Swords Dance sets with its resistance to both of Cobalion's STABs, but it needs to be wary of utility sets, which can either pivot with Volt Switch or land a crippling Toxic.
**Ground-types**: Hippowdon and Swampert have the bulk to comfortably withstand Cobalion's attacks and retaliate with their own, but neither appreciates Toxic. Choice Scarf Diggersby and Zygarde-10% easily revenge kill Cobalion
**Fire-types and Fire-type coverage**: Moltres and Chandelure are resistant to Cobalion's STAB moves and can incinerate it with their own; however, the Fire-types risk being KOed by Stone Edge. Pokemon such as Azelf and Choice Scarf Hydreigon outspeed Cobalion and severely damage it with Fire Blast.
- Written by: [[Mystras Leoxses, 530118]]
- Quality checked by: [[Monky25, 515132], [Estarossa, 461329], [Sulo, 528036]]
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