[Monotype/Flying] Skarmory


Due to its high Defense stat, Skarmory can act as an excellent physical wall that is capable of switching into most physical attackers and beating them through its recovery in Roost. Skarmory can also act as an excellent lead on Flying-type teams as it gets access to both Stealth Rock and Spikes, which allows it to hazard stack. Skarmory is also able to act as hazard removal for the team, due to its access to Defog. Its typing also helps it take Rock- and Ice-type attacks as they only do neutral damage, which is extremely helpful on Flying teams. As well as Rock- and Ice-types, Skarmory's Steel-typing means it is able to switch into Fairy-types and beat them with Iron Head. Most notably, it is able to switch into Mega Diancie, a massive threat to all Flying teams, and OHKO it with Iron Head. However, Skarmory is weak to both Fire- and Electric-type moves, which are quite commonly used for coverage, which means it requires support from its teammates to be able to take these super effective hits. However as Flying-type teams do not lack this support, Skarmory is still a very good option due to the many benefits it brings.

name: Physically Defensive (Flying)
move 1: Stealth Rock / Spikes / Defog
move 2: Roost
move 3: Iron Head / Brave Bird
move 4: Whirlwind
item: Rocky Helmet / Leftovers
ability: Sturdy
nature: Impish
evs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spe

  • Stealth Rock is the most commonly used hazard move on Skarmory as it is important to have them on every team.
  • Spikes is an option, however it should only be used if you have Stealth Rock on another Pokemon on the team, such as Gliscor or Landorus-Therian.
  • Defog is also an option in this slot, as it provides hazard removal support for the team, however also should only be ran if you have Stealth Rocks in other places.
  • Whirlwind allows Skarmory to phase out set up sweepers, and when combined with Sturdy prevents lots of sweepers provided you can keep Skarmory at full health.
  • Iron Head lands on OHKO on Mega Diancie, one of the biggest threats to Flying teams. It also deals heavy damage to Ice-types such as Mamoswine and Weavile, both of which would otherwise threaten Flying teams.
  • Brave Bird is an option here, as it allows you to hit Mega Medicham, a huge threat to slower flying teams, however it should only be used if you have other ways of dealing with Ice-types and Mega Diancie in particular, as it leaves Skarmory unable to counter them.
  • Roost is there as reliable recovery, allowing Skarmory to counter many offensive threats through recovering past their damage, and it achieves synergy with Rocky Helmet, as you can Roost whilst the opponent is taking damage from making contact. It also removes Skarmory's Flying-type, which can come in handy in some situations when facing slower Pokemon.
Set Details

  • 248 HP is used as this gives Skarmory an odd amount of HP, which means when it switches into Stealth Rock it will take a rounded down amount of damage as opposed to the full 25% if it had an even HP value.
  • 252 Defense is used as it allows Skarmory to take many physical hits and leaves it capable of walling lots of physical threats.
  • The rest of the EV's are put into Speed to allow Skarmory to win speed ties against other Skarmory, and other Pokemon with 70 base Speed.
  • Rocky Helmet is the preferred item as it means Skarmory is less passive when facing physical attackers, as they will take residual damage every time they make contact.
  • However, Leftovers is an option to increase Skarmory's longevity.
Usage Tips

  • It is best to use Skarmory as a sponge for physical attacks, this means it is capable of switching into many physical threats and simply using Roost to recover its health.
  • It is also able to prevent sweeps due to a combination of Sturdy and Whirlwind.
  • As Skarmory relies on having full health to be able to activate Sturdy, it is recommended to Roost as often as possible and make sure it is at as high health as possible, as not only will it allow it to use Sturdy, it will be able to switch into more attacks.
  • However, certain Pokemon, such as Conkeldurr, can prevent Skarmory from using Roost as if it does it risks being hit by a super effective Drain Punch, so this should be considered before using Roost against a slower opponent.

Other Options

  • Suicide Lead
  • Specially Defensive
  • Toxic
Checks and Counters

**Steel-types:** Whilst Skarmory is often able to take lots of hits from most Steel-types, it is left unable to harm them with either of its STAB moves.

**Electric-types:** Most Electric-types are often Special attackers, making them able to hit Skarmory's weaker defensive side and with super effective attacks. They also resist both of Skarmory's STAB attacks, which means it struggles to hurt them.

**Mega Sableye:** Mega Sableye can switch into Skarmory every time, as it can bounce back its hazard moves, and can set up against it as it struggles to hurt it due to Sableye's high bulk.

**Taunt:** Taunt leaves Skarmory unable to use anything other than its attacking moves, rendering it unable to recover or set hazards.

**Fire-types:** Fire-types resist Skarmory's Iron Head and hit back hard with their super effective STAB attacks.
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way of the ace
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In the overview, it doesn't hurt to mention how Fire coverage threatens Skarm in the same way Electric coverage does, and Flying teams should account for that through Dragonite/Gyara etc.

For moves, list it through relevancy and what is actually recommended for Skarm. In this case I'd say Rocks, Roost, Iron Head/BB, Whirlwind, and then Spikes, Defog.

I don't think including "heal bell for longevity" is relevant for Team Options. Other mons like Charizard or an already Toxic'd Gliscor can easily switch into Wisp or Wave for the latter.

Suicide lead definitely deserves its own Set because it is meant for a completely different playstyle that is entirely viable.
Everything else looks fine, but after you write that up I'll give it a check and then QC: 1/3
Sorry about that, was some disagreements with the QC's on this one so was waiting on a consensus then I just forgot about it. Ready for QC now.


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Monotype Leader
Your Overview needs to be in bullet point format. Also, you don't have a Team Options section? Please fix both and tag me afterwards to check that as well.

Spikes really shouldn't be in front of Defog. Stealth Rock is easily the first slash, but Spikes really isn't worth having over Defog in most cases for the standard balance Flying team, which this set would be run on most frequently. Unlike for Steel, which really doesn't care about removing entry hazards in most cases, removing Stealth Rock from your side of the field is critical for Flying, so it makes little sense to stack Spikes without a Rapid Spin user. Thus, I would suggest Stealth Rock / Defog / Spikes to be the new slashing. I'd personally take Spikes out of the slashing all together and talk about it in Moves instead, but that's your call.

name: Physically Defensive (Flying)
move 1: Stealth Rock / Defog / Spikes
move 2: Roost
move 3: Iron Head / Brave Bird
move 4: Whirlwind
item: Rocky Helmet / Leftovers
ability: Sturdy
nature: Impish
evs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spe

Some more detail on why or why not to use Spikes is probably a good idea. Mention the need for Flying to remove Stealth Rock from its side and its lack of a Rapid Spinner (Delibird is obviously not viable), meaning Defog must be used, which will remove the layers of Spikes.

Some examples of targets that Skarmory should Whirlwind could be nice. Doublade or Bisharp would be good here. Mention Belly Drum Azumarill as an example of a sweeper that Skarmory needs Sturdy for.

Add Iron Head hits Rock- and Fairy-types, Terrakion is a big Rock-type threat that gets 2HKOed, and being able to hit Clefable is very nice.

Brave Bird is hardly bad against Ice-types, although it is slightly weaker. I would change this weakness to Rock-types, which take next to nothing from Brave Bird. Furthermore, you should mention that Brave Bird breaks Skarmory's Sturdy, which can be counterproductive in some cases.

Set Details:
I would definitely not say that Rocky Helmet is preferred. It's the first slash because one of them needed to be first, it's not inherently superior.

Add onto Rocky Helmet that it also discourages the use of U-turn and Rapid Spin while also weak attackers that try to deal minor damage.

Add more to Leftovers. It restores Sturdy and provides recovery that makes Skarmory much more difficult to KO. For example, standard Choice Scarf Kyurem-B has almost no way to 2HKO Skarmory with Leftovers, while otherwise there is a decent chance that Skarmory is 2HKOed on the switch in. Also, Leftovers makes the Brave Bird recoil less punishing, as you can restore some of the lost health.

I would talk more about EV spreads here. Leftovers should pretty much universally use 224 HP EVs and dump the rest into Special Defense. This lets 2 ticks of Leftovers restore Sturdy while maximizing bulk. Rocky Helmet should use 88 Special Defense EVs to avoid the 2HKO from Choice Scarf Kyurem-B's Ice Beam.

Usage Tips:
I'd mention using Roost spam in conjunction with Rocky Helmet, which can chip away most physical attackers.

Instead of just focusing on the negatives, mention that Roost taking away Skarmory's Flying typing is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, slower foes that try to hit it with Ice- or Electric-type coverage do pitiful damage (mainly think paralyzed foes such as LO Kyurem-B or LO Latios that normally use Ice Beam to break Skarmory), but as you mentioned, Fighting-type moves are now far more effective. I would include the likes of Rhyperior's Earthquake as problematic when you lose the Flying typing.

Give some tips for its entry hazard moves. Skarmory should switch in on and take advantage of physical attackers that it walls to use Stealth Rock, Defog, or Spikes. Make note that there's rarely a point to setting up entry hazards if Stealth Rock are already on your side of the field though, as you will inevitably Defog soon and waste Skarmory's efforts.

I'd make another note that Brave Bird breaks Sturdy, so it should be used carefully and with that in mind.

I would also note that burns will completely cripple Skarmory. It can't use Sturdy and won't be able to wall many attackers when it's taking so much residual damage.

Other Options:
Please expand more on this section. You need a lot more detail here. Here are some starting points.

What does the specially defensive set check that the physically defensive set doesn't? Also, when shouldn't you use it? (It checks LO Latios, Mega Gardevoir, and HP Fire Mega Diancie. But, it can't stop Choice Scarf Kyurem-B's Fusion Bolt, can be 2HKOed by Terrakion after Stealth Rock damage, generally can't stop physical attackers as easily)

What types of teams should the Suicide Lead be used on? What is it running? (Mainly only for HO Teams. Uses Custap with Stealth Rock, Spikes, Taunt, and Brave Bird to suicide.)

What utility does Toxic bring? What is the opportunity cost? (Helps Skarmory beat certain walls, cripple switch-ins and setup sweepers. Can't phaze setup sweepers especially Substitute users and Steel-types, so it's harder to check them. Whirlwind is much safer for this purpose)

Checks and Counters:
Steel-types: I would actually mention that most Steel-types can take advantage of Skarmory in some way, which is why they're a good check. Some examples: Heatran threatens it out with Lava Plume and can set up Stealth Rock, Magnezone traps and KOes it, Ferrothorn and opposing Skarmory can set up entry hazards.

Remove Mega Sableye, as it's banned now.

In general, wallbreakers, even the physical ones, are big trouble. LO Kyurem-B, Mega Medicham, Keldeo, all sets of Hoopa-U, and Landorus are all examples of wallbreakers that easily beat Skarmory.

I'll need to check Overview and Team Options before I can give this 1/3 or 2/3. Does Lax's check count as 1/3, I don't see your title noting that, so I'm assuming not.

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