Fighting defines me, and I will not lose.
Ferrothorn is one of the most effective Stealth Rock users in the Battle Spot Singles metagame, fitting well onto many teams due to its fantastic defensive typing. Ferrothorn's great bulk in conjunction with its numerous resistances allows it to check a wide range of threats such as Tapu Koko, Tapu Lele, Mimikyu, Garchomp, Mega Metagross, and Mega Kangaskhan. Its Iron Barbs ability, Stealth Rock, and Leech Seed combined allow it to effectively wear down teams and function as strong support. Powerful STAB moves and decent Attack make Ferrothorn less passive than most defensive Pokemon and allow it to function as an effective Choice Band user. However, Ferrothorn suffers from weaknesses to common Fire- and Fighting-type attacks, and with its low Speed, this makes it very susceptible to unexpected coverage moves such as Hidden Power Fire.
move 1: Gyro Ball
move 2: Stealth Rock
move 3: Leech Seed
move 4: Protect / Power Whip / Bullet Seed
item: Leftovers / Rocky Helmet
ability: Iron Barbs
nature: Relaxed / Sassy
evs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
* Gyro Ball is Ferrothorn's strongest STAB move, hitting most offensive threats at maximum power due to Ferrothorn's low Speed.
* Stealth Rock offers team support in the form of residual damage that breaks Focus Sash and Sturdy while also pressuring Fire-types that threaten Ferrothorn such as Charizard and Volcarona.
* Leech Seed grants Ferrothorn extra recovery and another way to wear down foes. This also helps it threaten bulky foes it otherwise can't touch such as Porygon2 and Celesteela.
* Protect allows Ferrothorn to take full advantage of Leftovers and Leech Seed recovery to stay healthy while also allowing it to scout for potential Z-Moves.
* Power Whip increases Ferrothorn's offensive presence by being a secondary STAB option that hits most Water- and Ground-types harder than Gyro Ball. It can also be used over Stealth Rock to retain the utility that Protect provides.
* Bullet Seed gives Ferrothorn a better matchup against Mimikyu and provides a more accurate Grass-type STAB attack than Power Whip, though its damage output is less consistent than Power Whip's.
* Leftovers gives Ferrothorn a steady source of recovery, allowing it to reliably stall out foes with Leech Seed and Protect.
* Iron Barbs allows Ferrothorn to punish physical attackers that make contact, slowly wearing them down for its team. Rocky Helmet can be used instead of Leftovers to augment this residual damage at the cost of reliable recovery.
* A Relaxed nature with 0 Speed IVs maximizes Ferrothorn's physical bulk while making it as slow as possible to ensure Gyro Ball is hitting at maximum power most of the time.
* The EV spread makes Ferrothorn as physically bulky as possible, with the remaining EVs placed in Attack. Ferrothorn can be more specially defensive with a Sassy nature if checking the likes of Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele is more important than taking physical attacks.
* Ferrothorn should prioritize setting Stealth Rock up as soon as possible, since its fantastic bulk and typing allow it to safely set up against anything that lacks a Fire- or Fighting-type move.
* Ferrothorn often forces switches due to its great defensive typing, so using Leech Seed in anticipation of a switch is often a safe play.
* While Stealth Rock punishes most Fire-types, Ferrothorn's presence often invites Fire-types to switch in immediately, so avoid setting Stealth Rock too soon if you have nothing that can afford to switch into a Fire-type attack afterwards.
* Despite being able to disrupt many Pokemon with its Leech Seed and powerful STAB moves, Ferrothorn should not be relied upon to break through very bulky foes, as it lacks the offensive presence to overpower them.
* Many Pokemon that Ferrothorn typically checks often run coverage specifically for it, such as Fire Punch Mega Kangaskhan and Hidden Power Fire Tapu Koko, so be wary of any such potential lures when against teams that otherwise look weak to Ferrothorn.
* Setup sweepers such as Mega Blaziken, Mega Salamence, and Mega Charizard X benefit greatly from Stealth Rock support wearing down the opposing team and breaking Focus Sash.
* Flying-types such as Zapdos and the aforementioned Mega Salamence appreciate Ferrothorn's ability to switch into Rock- and Ice-type moves, and in return, they're able to switch into Fighting-type moves that threaten Ferrothorn. They also ease Ferrothorn's matchup against Ground-types that might overpower it otherwise such as Garchomp and Landorus-T.
* Water-types such as Gyarados and Tapu Fini deal with Fire-types that threaten Ferrothorn, while Ferrothorn can handle Electric- and Grass-type moves in return. Pelipper or Politoed can also provide rain support to let Ferrothorn take weaker Fire-type attacks.
* Tyranitar benefits from Ferrothorn's resistances to Fairy, Water, Grass, and Steel while faring better against Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y than Water-types. Sandstorm damage also helps Ferrothorn wear down the opposing team.
* Ferrothorn struggles with bulky Electric-types such as Zapdos and some Thundurus-T variants, so it appreciates teammates that can handle them such as Landorus-T, Mamoswine, and Toxic Zapdos.
* Ferrothorn's great defensive typing allows it to fit well as glue on many teams, as it doesn't require much support to fill its role beyond having a teammate that can handle Fire-type moves.
name: Choice Band
move 1: Gyro Ball
move 2: Bullet Seed
move 3: Power Whip
move 4: Knock Off / Bulldoze
item: Choice Band
ability: Iron Barbs
evs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
* Gyro Ball is Ferrothorn's strongest and most reliable STAB move, capable of breaking through most fast threats.
* Bullet Seed gives Ferrothorn a secondary STAB option that breaks through Substitute, which helps it avoid being helpless against all Substitute users despite its low Speed.
* Power Whip is a more consistently powerful Grass-type attack than Bullet Seed for situations where the extra power is more desirable at the cost of accuracy and ability to break through Substitute.
* Knock Off takes advantage of the switches Ferrothorn often forces, providing utility in removing the foe's item as well as great neutral coverage. It also gives Ferrothorn a way to hit Aegislash.
* Bulldoze gives Ferrothorn a way to punish Fire-types that expect to set up freely on it such as Blaziken and Heatran while also letting it help its teammates through the Speed drops.
* Choice Band is necessary to give Ferrothorn as much immediate power as possible to surprise foes expecting Ferrothorn to be a support variant.
* Iron Barbs allows Ferrothorn to punish physical attackers that make contact, which is useful for wearing down foes that Ferrothorn can't reliably OHKO on its own.
* A Brave nature with 0 Speed IVs maximizes Ferrothorn's Attack while making it as slow as possible for Gyro Ball.
* The EV spread makes Ferrothorn as powerful as possible while giving it maximum overall bulk because Ferrothorn will often be taking damage before attacking.
* Choice Band Ferrothorn functions best as a lure, since the opponent will most likely assume Ferrothorn is running a defensive set.
* Ferrothorn's STAB combination isn't great, so be careful when locking into either of its STAB moves if the opposing team has any dangerous setup sweepers that can take advantage of it.
* Gyro Ball is very powerful even against resistant foes, provided that the foe is fast, so locking into it is often a safe move.
* If the opposing team has many slow or Steel-resistant Pokemon, Power Whip and Bullet Seed are often safer moves to lock into.
* It's not uncommon for teams to run multiple Z-Crystal users or even multiple Mega Evolutions, so be careful about locking into Knock Off if there's a good chance of one of these Pokemon switching in.
* While Ferrothorn's natural bulk is great, a lack of recovery means that Ferrothorn will be quickly worn down, so avoid switching Ferrothorn directly in if possible.
* Ferrothorn appreciates Dragon- and Water-types such as Mega Salamence, Mega Charizard X, and Tapu Fini handling Fire-type moves that threaten it.
* Flying- and Ghost-types such as Zapdos, Landorus-T, Aegislash, and Mega Gengar can switch into Fighting-type moves that threaten Ferrothorn.
* Stealth Rock support helps Ferrothorn take advantage of the surprise factor of doing huge damage to foes, so teammates such as Mamoswine and Hippowdon pair well with it.
* Ferrothorn appreciates bulky teammates such as the aforementioned Zapdos and Hippowdon being able to take multiple hits as well as offer status support and extra residual damage to help Ferrothorn break through foes more easily.
* Intimidate support from the likes of Gyarados and Salamence helps Ferrothorn switch into physical attacks more comfortably, which is valuable because it will likely take another hit before it gets a chance to attack.
* Toxic gives Ferrothorn a more reliable option than Leech Seed for breaking down bulky foes such as Porygon2, though this is better left to one of Ferrothorn's teammates.
* Thunder Wave can punish fast foes that might otherwise set up relatively safely against Ferrothorn, though it has poor synergy with Gyro Ball and Ferrothorn has difficulty giving up a moveslot for it.
* Explosion can be used on the Choice Band set as a last-resort option, though it's difficult to fit onto such a slow Choice Band user.
* Payback is a more consistently powerful alternative to Knock Off on the Choice Band set that reliably 2HKOes Mega Metagross, though the utility of removing an item usually makes Knock Off the preferred choice.
* Curse gives Ferrothorn a way to increase its offensive presence while boosting its Defense further, though it's difficult to fit into a set and it doesn't help Ferrothorn against Fire-types.
* A Sitrus Berry or Figy Berry can be used to give Ferrothorn more immediate recovery than Leftovers, though Ferrothorn is bulky enough to take better advantage of Leftovers.
Checks and Counters
**Fire-type Pokemon and Moves**: Fire-types such as Blaziken, Mega Charizard X, Mega Charizard Y, and Heatran all easily OHKO Ferrothorn with their respective Fire-type moves and don't take much from either of its STAB moves. Ferrothorn's huge Fire-type weakness also leaves it vulnerable to common Fire-type coverage users such as Hidden Power Fire Tapu Lele, Tapu Koko, and Greninja, Fire Fang Garchomp, and Fire Punch Mega Kangaskhan. Physical attackers should still be mindful of Iron Barbs and Rocky Helmet recoil, though, especially in combination with Flare Blitz recoil.
**Fighting-types**: Fighting-types such as Mega Lucario, Mega Lopunny, Mega Heracross, and Pheromosa can all threaten Ferrothorn with their respective Fighting-type STAB moves. Mega Lucario and Mega Heracross in particular threaten to set up with Swords Dance, since they don't mind Gyro Ball. However, Mega Lopunny and Pheromosa rely on High Jump Kick to beat Ferrothorn, so they must be wary of Protect.
**Physically Bulky Pokemon**: Ferrothorn has trouble breaking through physically bulky Pokemon that can't easily be worn down through Leech Seed such as Mega Mawile, Celesteela, and Kartana. While Celesteela doesn't like taking a Leech Seed, it often runs Flamethrower or Substitute to beat Ferrothorn. Meanwhile, Kartana and Mega Mawile can threaten to set up with Swords Dance and break through with Sacred Sword and Knock Off, respectively.
**Bulky Electric-types**: Bulky Electric-types such as Zapdos, bulky Thundurus-T, Magnezone, and Rotom-H all take very little from Ferrothorn's STAB moves, and they often run coverage for Ferrothorn such as Heat Wave or Focus Blast. Magnezone in particular can potentially trap Ferrothorn and remove it with Hidden Power Fire, and it only fears the uncommon Bulldoze from Choice Band variants.