Piloswine boasts a unique Ground and Ice typing granting it not only a coveted dual STAB combination of Ice Beam and Earthquake, but also excellent pivoting abilities against the likes of mixed attackers such as Ice Beam Nidoqueen, being immune or resisting two of her attacks. This feature along with its high Attack stat, decent bulk and longevity as a sleep talker, make it a great choice in the team to fill in the role of a Ground type, which it has to compete for with other Nidoqueen, Quagsire and Sandslash, although it does have to watch out for Fire Blast Nidoqueen. Its Ground and Ice typing also give it the benefit of not being weak to common coverage moves for Electric types such as Hidden Power Ice or Ice Punch, while also not being susceptible to Psychic. Its non-weakness to Psychic means that it, unlike Nidoqueen, can stay in to threaten Psychic types with powerful Earthquakes and shrug off the hits thanks to Rest and Sleep Talk allowing it to 3HKO Hypno and 2HKO Mr.Mime. Thanks to Earthquake in combination with Ice Beam, Piloswine is one of the most difficult offensive threats for opposing players to find an effective switch-in to. Bulky Water types that are likely to switch into it such as Slowbro or Gyarados either cannot afford to take repeated hits from Earthquake or run the risk of being frozen with Ice Beam. Though a decent pivot against Bolt Beam spamming, Piloswine has a low speed and middling defences causing it at times to rely too heavily on Rest Talk for recovery and leaving itself at odds against setup sweepers like Granbull who can use Curse to boost its defense or even Scyther who in a pinch can hope to setup while the sleeping Piloswine only has a 33% chance of rolling Ice Beam to hit it.
name: Iced Earth (Sleep Talker)
move 1: Earthquake
move 2: Ice Beam
move 3: Rest
move 4: Sleep Talk
Piloswine has the strongest Earthquake in the tier, which allows it to 3HKO bulky pokemon like Hypno or Slowking and Quagsire (with Spikes) or 2HKO offensive threats such as Nidoqueen, Mr.mime, Kadabra, Qwilfish, Kabutops, Omastar and the bulky Ampharos, or OHKO the frailer Electric types such as Electrode, Magneton, Electabuzz as well as Haunter.
Since it threatens Poison, Rock, Steel and Fire types for super effective damage, it acts as a counter against Ice Beam Nidoqueen, though the Piloswine user must be weary of staying in on the alternative Fire Blast variants. Piloswine's Ice Beam perfectly threatens those pokemon that have an immunity or resistance to the Earthquake with a 2HKO or OHKO, such as the Flying and Grass types (Scyther, Bellossom, Crobat, Victreebell, Jumpluff, Gligar). This complements Earthquake’s threat range so well, that it is both spammable and viable for creating mixup situations with the opponent, leaving them guessing what to switch in next. Even some of Piloswine’s strongest checks in Gyarados, Slowbro, Slowking and Politoed have to worry about getting frozen. Rest grants Piloswine with a method of recovery for its middling defence stats and, when complemented with Sleep Talk, allows it to handle a miscellaneous amount of mixed and special attackers discretely well, such as Hypno, Mr.Mime, Haunter, and Nidoqueen. The latter 3 are typical users of Hypnosis or Lovely Kiss, while Hypno and Mr.Mime are also commonly seen using Thunder Wave, which doesn’t affect Piloswine. Therefore Sleep Talk allows Piloswine to excellently sponge and absorb all status moves. While Sleep Talk does give Piloswine a valuable second or even third chance at life by restarting sleep cycles and replenishing health, users of Piloswine should be mindful of how this can become reasonably exploited by the opponent, who may try and gain momentum while Piloswine is at the hands of RNG. Flying types such as Gyarados may capitalize on the turns Piloswine is asleep to start bombarding the Piloswine user’s team with attacks. Additionally, switching in a sleeping Piloswine on a Scyther may not be advisable, since its otherwise reliable 2HKO against it with Ice Beam can only occur if it successfully manages to roll the move (which has a 33% chance of happening) while the Scyther sets up Swords Dance. On the other hand, Sleep Talk is not a guaranteed method for survival, since it may end up rolling the wrong moves against pokemon that Piloswine is attempting to threaten or defend its team against.
Slowbro is sufficiently bulky to survive being 4HKO’d from Earthquake and may find easy entry against Piloswine and threaten it back with Surf. Gyarados can also prove to be one of Piloswine's toughest matchups, as it boasts the bulk, typing and offensive movepool to threaten it back and brush off any hits. These two threats are the reason for which many players decide to opt for a faster, and less predictable Nidoqueen, who can threaten them with Thunder.
While relatively on the bulky side, Piloswine does not have much of an out against physical attackers, especially Pinsir and Granbull. Omastar, Haunter and Magneton can help in this regard. Haunter and Magneton resist Bug and Normal typing, making excellent partners that work with Piloswine against the likes of Pinsir and Scyther as well as no-Hidden-Power Granbull. Magneton and Haunter act as great checks against Hidden Power Bug Scyther, while Piloswine can help threaten hidden power Ground + Wing attack variants. Omastar can assist against the onslaught of Curse Granbulls that may attempt to sweep, as long as they don’t have Hidden Power Ground. The 3 aforementioned Normal type checks are all susceptible to Earthquake and Ground coverage. Piloswine can act as a check to most Ground types such as Sandslash and Nidoqueens that don’t use Fire Blast. On the other hand, Slowbro and Slowking are capable of patching up this weakness, as they resist Fire typing and threaten Nidoqueen back with STAB Pyshic or Surf, and can severely weaken Hidden Power Ground Scyther. They can even provide support in the form of Thunderwave, which can facilitate Piloswine’s ability to sweep against much faster pokemon. In turn, Slowbro or Slowking love to see bulkier Electric types like Magneton and Ampharos kept in check, which Piloswine takes care of easily.
Piloswine is a great enabler of pivoting against offensive threats that use Electric type moves, such as Mr.Mime and Haunter. Therefore, it can act as a great teammate for bulky Water types like Gyarados, Slowbro or Slowking. Gyarados especially loves Piloswine’s ability to switch in on incoming Thunders from Mr.Mime and Haunter, who are faster than it. Additionally, Piloswine can help overload many of Gyara’s awkward matchups, including Hypno or Slowking, by bombarding them with constant Earthquakes and Ice Beams. The Slowtwins also appreciate bulkier Psychic types being taken care of. Even Sleep Talk Mr.Mime and Lanturn appreciate seeing Hypno as well as Magneton and Ampharos removed, as this enables them to threaten the entire metagame with their excellent special attacking combos in Psychic+Thunder and Surf+Thunder, respectively.
Qwillfish is also a great teammate for Piloswine, since it can give it some much needed support with Spikes which allow it to 3HKO Granbull, Slowking with Earthquake or 2HKO Bellossom with Ice Beam. Qwillfish has a chance to chip some of the Water or Grass types which are able to 2HKO or OHKO it. Furthermore, with the move Haze it can act as a soft check against the likes of Kabutops, who forces Piloswine out and threatens to sweep by setting up a Swords Dance.
Other answers to Fire Blast Nidoqueen may be Hypno or Granbull, who don’t resist her moves but have sufficient bulk to withstand many hits. Hypno can use Psychic to threaten a 3HKO and Granbull can slowly setup Curses and gain the advantage. Hypno can also use Light Screen support to aid Piloswine in many unfavorable matchups, such as Blastoise and Slowking or non-Razor-leaf variants of Bellossom. Thanks to this support it can successfully escape being 3HKO’d while dealing solid damage back and potentially fish for critical hits. In return, Piloswine can aptly threaten Chansey and Scyther, which threaten Hypno, or threaten to OHKO or 2HKO Normal resistors that wall Granbull.
It is not always advisable to swap Sleep Talk and Rest with other moves as Piloswine loses a lot of its potency without this set. Roar is an alternative option to Sleep Talk, thus granting the team another viable defensive tool which can help prevent Pilo being setup on by the likes of Granbull and Scyther. Piloswine doesn’t greatly benefit from its loss of its recovery moves and can only do so much to prevent Baton pass with the move Roar. It, at least, isn’t weak to electric coverage the same way Qwilfish, Crobat and Gyarados are. The lack of Sleep Talk makes it less able to act as a pivot/tank therefore it is advisable to run this set on more defensive or bulky teams (with Heal Bell support) as opposed to offensive ones, who require safer options to switch into Electrics without fear of their pivot getting chipped to critically low health. Among Piloswine's other moves available, Curse and Ancient Power can help complement its STAB Earthquakes. The former move gives it further durability against physical attackers, while boosting the power of its Ground moves whereas Ancient Power grants a chance of getting a fearsome all-around stat boost. Blizzard appears to be a more powerful choice than Ice Beam but does not achieve any significant KO thresholds with the extra base power besides OHKOing Jumpluff (although it could be worth noting that it can 3HKO Granbull after spikes). Rock Slide too, though initially it appears stronger than Ancient Power, does not provide a justifiable power boost and still lacks the same strength that Ice Beam provides. It could be used in conjunction with Curse, allosing Piloswine to build on its physical strength.
Checks and Counters
**Water-types**: all Water Types in the tier, with the exception of Quagsire, have a winning matchup against Pilosine, either due to being able to outspeed it or withstand its strongest STAB and in turn threaten a 2HKO. More notably, Gyarados is the only water type that Piloswine cannot strike with Earthquake, which makes it a liability due to it not being able to deal significant damage to it. Slowbro and Slowking are also extremely tanky and can fair very well against it but do fear getting crit by Earthquake. Blastoise is also worth mentioning due to the ability to come in and remove entry hazards, one of the things that make Piloswine's offences so potent.
**Scyther and Pinsir**: Pinsir can switch in on Earthquakes without being particularly fearful of Ice Beams. It may also threatn to set up a Swords Dance and can 2HKO Piloswine with a Submission at +2. Scyther, in a pinch, may attempt to use a Swords Dance of its own while Piloswine is asleep and enable a turning of tables in the favor of the opponent, although it may be 2HKO’d by Ice Beam.
**Granbull**: Piloswine only scratches the mark of a 3HKO against Granbull, and though it outspeeds it, the situation may escalate quickly if the Piloswine user isn't careful about Curse and Rest Sleep Talk cycles boosting it up.
**Bellossom**: Bellossom speed ties with Piloswine but has different tools in its arsenal to make it feel uncomfortable, despite Piloswine can 2HKO it with Hidden Power Grass. Aleternatively, it can break through Light Screens easily if it lands a crit with the boosted chance that Razor Leaf can offer. It is also is one of the few pokemon that can inflict Paralysis to it, potentially crippling it.
**Fire-type Attacks**: Nidoqueen is faster than Piloswine and commonly uses Fire Blast to 2HKO Piloswine, turning a one sided matchup into a favorable one for her. Arcanine, too may OHKO it with Fire Blast.