QC: TDK / PK Gaming / p2
* Unburden and Swords Dance make Hawlucha a workable late-game sweeper, giving worn-down teams very little recourse for handling it.
* Strong STAB coverage helps make up for its middling Attack.
* While a fully set up Hawlucha can potentially be a huge threat, its defenses aren't good enough for it to set up easily; additionally, it only gets a single chance to sweep once it's fully set up.
* Hawlucha is also vulnerable to common metagame threats like Tapu Koko; furthermore, its unboosted Speed misses out not only on Tapu Koko, but also on other threats like Greninja and Tornadus-T, making setting up a challenge.
* The abundance of priority also isn't doing Hawlucha any favors, making it easier to be picked off, even after setting up.
move 1: Substitute
move 2: Swords Dance
move 3: Acrobatics
move 4: High Jump Kick
item: Sitrus Berry
evs: 12 HP / 244 Atk / 252 Spe
* Substitute gives Hawlucha a barrier, which enables it to set up more easily with Swords Dance, as well as protecting Hawlucha from having its sweep cut short by Thundurus's Prankster Thunder Wave.
* Sitrus Berry, in conjunction with Substitute, is how Hawlucha activates Unburden, using Substitute until Sitrus Berry is activated.
* Acrobatics and High Jump Kick are Hawlucha's obligatory STAB moves; these are Hawlucha's strongest moves, and Hawlucha needs as much power as it can get.
* 12 HP EVs ensure that Hawlucha's HP stat is divisible by four, requiring just two Substitutes to activate Sitrus Berry, with all of the remaining EVs placed into Attack and Speed to ensure Hawlucha has as much power as it can get.
* Unburden enables Hawlucha to easily outspeed the entire unboosted metagame, meaning an opposing Pokemon will require priority to be able to revenge kill Hawlucha.
* An EV spread of 28 HP / 228 Atk / 252 Spe makes Hawlucha's HP stat divisible by 16, enabling two rounds of Stealth Rock damage plus one Substitute to activate Sitrus Berry, as well as two rounds of either Sandstorm or Hail damage, one round of Stealth Rock damage, and one Substitute. This EV spread benefits from having a Sandstorm or Hail setter on Hawlucha's team.
* Send in Hawlucha mid- to late-game, as by this point, its counters will likely be weakened or removed.
* Send Hawlucha in on a Pokemon that will be threatened forced out by High Jump Kick—Tyranitar, for example—then set up Substitute as it switches out.
* If Hawlucha has a Substitute up against a Pokemon that is faster than it, use Substitute again as it destroys Hawlucha's Substitute; Sitrus Berry will then activate, and then Hawlucha will have a Substitute up and will outspeed the foe, allowing Hawlucha to set up on it.
* Be wary of Protect coming from Pokemon such as Ferrothorn, Celesteela, and Heatran; while these Pokemon are vulnerable to High Jump Kick, they can easily use Protect to force Hawlucha to lose 50% of its health instead.
* Excadrill, Alolan Marowak, and Magnezone are good teammates due to their ability to handle Tapu Koko and Clefable; Magnezone has the added benefit of trapping Skarmory, which is another Hawlucha counter.
* A slow U-turn or Volt Switch helps Hawlucha get in safely. Good users include Landorus-T, Mega Scizor, and Rotom-W. The aforementioned Magnezone is also capable of providing a slow Volt Switch.
* As Hawlucha benefits from the removal of Mega Pinsir, Pokemon like Rotom-W, Zapdos, and Tapu Koko make for good partners.
* Alolan Ninetales can provide Aurora Veil support, making setup easier for Hawlucha at the cost of 6.25% of its HP per turn.
* Power Herb + Sky Attack gives Hawlucha a powerful one-time nuke that also activates Unburden.
* An Adamant nature can be used for more power, but causes Hawlucha to lose out on being able to outrun threats like Latios, Gengar, and Kartana, and is therefore not ideal.
Checks and Counters
**Skarmory**: Hawlucha cannot OHKO Skarmory, even with a +2 High Jump Kick, whereas a +2 Hawlucha gets taken out by Brave Bird once its Substitute is broken, making it heavily reliant on its teammates to weaken Skarmory.
**Electric-types**: Zapdos easily stomachs anything Hawlucha can throw at it and OHKOes with Discharge. Tapu Koko can take one boosted High Jump Kick and score an OHKO with Thunderbolt.
**Bulky Water-types**: Thanks to its great physical bulk, Slowbro can take even a boosted Acrobatics and readily retaliate with a move like Ice Beam or Psyshock. Additionally, Toxapex's titanic bulk enables it to easily take a +2 Acrobatics and eliminate Hawlucha's Swords Dance boost with Haze. Furthermore, both of these Pokemon get Regenerator, allowing them to easily heal some of the damage Hawlucha did to them simply by switching out.
**Unaware Clefable**: Thanks to Unaware, Clefable completely ignores any stat boosts Hawlucha has. As such, Clefable easily takes anything Hawlucha can throw at it and pulverizes it with Moonblast.
**Priority**: Weavile's Ice Shard will do Hawlucha in once it drops below 68%, while Mega Pinsir's Aerilate Quick Attack makes quick work of a +2 Hawlucha once its Substitute is removed. Even other forms of priority, such as Azumarill's Aqua Jet, Ash-Greninja's Water Shuriken, Genesect's Extreme Speed, and Bullet Punch from Mega Scizor or Mega Metagross, will be enough of a nuisance to prevent Hawlucha from effectively sweeping.