Sableye Analysis (GP 2/2)


<p>When looking at Sableye's stats, it seems as though it should have no place in Ubers . However, Sableye's awesome combination of a vast support movepool and Prankster enable it to function as a immensely useful supporter if used correctly. Prankster is a massive advantage that Sableye has over other Ubers utility Pokemon; it allows Sableye to fully invest in its bulk while outrunning some of the most eminent threats in the tier and smacking them with a Will-O-Wisp before they can strike back. Access to Foul Play only compounds this advantage, giving Sableye a tool to hit many opponents exceptionally hard without needing to worry about investment.</p>

<p>Because of priority Will-O-Wisp, Sableye can serve as a formidable physical wall despite its terrible bulk; it is in its use that Sableye finds one of its more important niches: countering Extreme Killer Arceus. Because it's immune to ExtremeSpeed, Sableye can&mdash;assuming a hit&mdash;burn Arceus before it can hit back; even if Arceus uses Swords Dance on the switch, it can't OHKO, regardless of its item. That being said, Sableye's horrible special bulk holds it back. Priority Taunt is another reason that Sableye is so useful. By restricting defensive opponents' options, Sableye can function as an effective stallbreaker; for example, Sableye can completely shut down Forretress and the pink blobs with Taunt and by virtue of its Ghost typing, while Sleep Talkers are prevented from recovering and rendered helpless while they sleep. Sableye is an anti-metagame Pokemon thanks to said capabilities, and it is capable of handling entry hazard leads, Baton Pass teams, and stall teams on its own. Overall, Sableye must be played with caution, but in the right hands, it can be an effective tool against stall and offense alike.</p>

name: Prankster
move 1: Will-O-Wisp
move 2: Recover
move 3: Taunt
move 4: Foul Play
item: Leftovers
ability: Prankster
nature: Bold
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD


<p>Sableye's dangerous combination of Prankster, key support moves, and fair effective physical bulk thanks to Will-O-Wisp enables it to be a powerful tool for combating offensive and defensive threats. The moveset is fairly obvious, but every move plays a part. Foul Play and Priority Will-O-Wisp allow Sableye to hold its own against a wide variety of physical threats, including Excadrill, Groudon, and Extreme Killer Arceus. Once burned, the opponent can't boost up to try to break Sableye without taking a powerful Foul Play&mdash;for instance, a burned Extreme Killer Arceus is easily OHKOed by Foul Play at +4, while Sableye can otherwise easily stall out its attacks with Recover. Priority Taunt lets Sableye break down stall in conjunction with entry hazards by preventing the opponent from recovering or laying entry hazards, while against hyper offense it allows Sableye to prevent setup sweeps, though Sableye's lack of bulk means that in such a situation it will often end up taking loads of damage. It also allows Sableye to function as a potent anti-lead, due to the fact that it neuters Deoxys-S and gives you breathing room against Darkrai if necessary. Finally, Sableye is a decent spinblocker. Defensive Excadrill's Substitute is broken by Foul Play and Forretress can be shut down with Taunt. When using Sableye, however, it's important to gauge the advantages that another spinblocker could bring. Sableye's bulk pales in comparison to that of the other Ubers spinblockers, and its cardinal role is annoyer, not spinblocker. Sableye is notably one of the only Pokemon that can guarantee success against Baton Pass in any form, due to priority Taunt shutting down any attempts to pass boosts.</p>


<p>The EV spread maximizes physical bulk. Generally, Sableye should not serve as a part of a team's defensive core&mdash;its capacity for taking hits simply isn't up to par with other contenders like Ho-Oh, Kyogre, and Ferrothorn. Rather, a separate core should exist with Sableye aiding in shutting down sweepers and keeping entry hazards up if played well. Sableye can only spinblock if used with extreme care and correct prediction. All of the Rapid Spinners in Ubers have weapons with which they can eliminate Sableye easily otherwise&mdash;Forretress can use Toxic and Excadrill, Tentacruel, and Kabutops can all 2HKO, though the latter two require weather to be in their favor. Sableye requires entry hazard control to function as well; any form of residual damage is detrimental to Sableye's ability to take a hit on the switch. Finally, Sableye also appreciates cleric support to remedy status resulting from mispredictions. In the case of Toxic Spikes, it can also alleviate the imminent problem of constant Toxic poison; however, Rapid Spin support or a Poison-type teammate to swiftly remove Toxic Spikes is required, such as that from Excadrill, Forretress, or Tentacruel.</p>

<p>A specially defensive spread could be used to beat Tentacruel and some Mewtwo, but doing so greatly weakens Sableye's ability to take on physical attackers, and is thus unwise. Likewise, Toxic could be run over Will-O-Wisp to break down opponents faster and to hit Ho-Oh, but it forfeits Sableye's niche. In general, it's best to just stick to the original set.</p>

<p>When using Sableye, remember not to underestimate its ability to take physical hits; you can easily come in on offensive Excadrill, burn it, recover HP, and use Foul Play with no chance of dying barring a critical hit or a Will-O-Wisp miss. An important thing to note is that Sableye itself does not have good bulk. Rather, it is its access to priority Will-O-Wisp that indirectly grants it the ability to sponge attacks from physical attackers. Sableye is an excellent addition to hyper offense teams, keeping entry hazards up when utilized correctly and neutering physical cleaners that hyper offense teams tends to struggle with. Sableye's priority Taunt means that it pairs up well with a spinner in teams that absolutely require a lack of entry hazards. Because of its spinblocking ability and tendency to force switches, Sableye works best on a team whose focus is taking advantage of entry hazards. Sableye also forms an excellent core with Ferrothorn, due to several factors. Firstly&mdash;and most obviously&mdash;Ferrothorn's key proactive ability is laying Spikes, which Sableye can usually keep on the field.However, as has been noted previously, excellent prediction is required to spinblock successfully. Secondly, between Leech Seed, Will-O-Wisp, Iron Barbs, and Spikes, the opponent will also be taking an immense amount of residual damage; this residual damage is rendered even more deadly when combined with Sableye's ability to shut down recovery. Thirdly, Sableye's Will-O-Wisp in conjunction with Ferrothorn's bulk and typing will usually mean that any physical attacker that lacks a Fire-type move will be powerless against the duo.</p>

<p>Weather has an interesting effect on Sableye's utility. If on a weather team, Sableye should only ever be used with sun or rain, as residual damage to Sableye of any kind is detrimental to Sableye's main goal. When running sun, Sableye can take advantage of its newfound ability to take on Tentacruel. However, the weathergives a boost to opposing Fire-types, which are inconveniently immune to Will-O-Wisp. Meanwhile, rain cripples the aforementioned Fire-types. Kyogre as a teammate is very beneficial to Sableye; it has the capacity to take many of the special hits that Sableye cannot and shares stupendous synergy with Ferrothorn, one of Sableye's best partners. However, it guarantees that any opposing Tentacruel and Kabutops will be able to muscle through Sableye, compromising its ability to spinblock against the two should it be necessary.</p>


<p>Because of Sableye's extensive support movepool, it has several other options for moveslots. A myriad of miscellaneous support moves along the vein of Trick, Torment, and Knock Off could be run, but they force Sableye to give up one of its core moves. Night Shade could be used in place of Foul Play to hit special attackers harder, but it's generally ineffective due to the fact that most special attackers will slaughter Sableye. A Calm Mind and Will-O-Wisp set could be run to boost both defenses, but once again, a key move must be forfeited. A Substitute and Recover set faces a similar issue. While Moonlight may appear to be an attractive option in combination with sun, its inherent unreliability greatly outweighs the potential increase in survivability it could grant.</p>


<p>Sableye is hard countered by hard-hitting Fire-types, such as Blaziken, Reshiram, Ho-Oh, Heatran, and the rare Arceus-Fire; Ho-Oh needs to watch out for Foul Play, though, because offensive variants are OHKOed after Stealth Rock. In return, however, Ho-Oh can easily OHKO Sableye with a sun-boosted Sacred Fire. Heatran in particular works extremely well betweenits typing and specially offensive approach. Though Lava Plume cannot OHKO, it does a massive amount of damage and can leave Sableye with a problematic burn. Though not immune to Will-O-Wisp, Kyogre can OHKO Sableye with a rain-boosted STAB after Stealth Rock. Espeon and Xatu can both stop Sableye's annoyance by reflecting Taunt back at Sableye, but Foul Play does quite a number to both. A max Special Attack Arceus can OHKO Sableye with a neutral Judgment while fearing little in return. Essentially any special attacker, ranging from Dialga to Palkia to Kyogre, can take on Sableye and emerge victorious. Dialga easily switches in on Sableye and OHKOes with Draco Meteor, but a burn is detrimental to its otherwise formidable defenses. Likewise, Darkrai can check Sableye and 2HKO with Dark Pulse, but a burn will wear it down fairly quickly. As annoying as it is, Sableye doesn't pose a massive threat without walls to back it up; it can generally be outmanouvered and without its teammates, you can usually just beat the crap out of it. Mixed attackers work especially well in this role, as often times they can bait a Will-O-Wisp and take Sableye out with a powerful special attack. Bear in mind, however, that they will emerge from the confrontation with a burn unless Will-O-Wisp misses. While a faster Prankster Taunt seems to be an effective strategy to counter Sableye, the two main users of it&mdash;Thundurus and Tornadus&mdash; would rather simply OHKO with a powerful Thunder or Hurricane. Heracross is another rare threat that fears nothing from Sableye; Will-O-Wisp gives it a Guts boost and it can easily shrug off a Foul Play. Entry hazards are another approach, especially Toxic Spikes; while it's nearly impossible to directly status Sableye unless it's unexpected, Toxic poison is an extremely effective way to take it down, compromising what little bulk it has and preventing it from annoying for long.</p>
Won't Will-o-Wisp cut Foul Play's power?

And for other options, how about Torment for choice users? Force them to struggle every now and then.

Also, if Sableye can really survive Groudon's Earthquake, how about Metal Burst?
Will-O-Wisp doesn't cut Foul Play's power. It's affected if you're burned, but not if your opponent is. Torment could work, but it feels like it would just clutter up the moveset; I'll add it in OO.

Sableye can survive Groudon's Earthquake with ease (4 Atk Groudon Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Sableye: 133-157 (43.89 - 51.81%)) but Metal Burst is pretty inefficient due to its mechanics. Because of Sableye's crap HP, you won't be doing a ton of damage and as soon as you burn them you're doing even less. I guess I could OO it, but it seems like it's inferior to Foul Play. Third opinion?


Would you look at the time?
is a Contributor Alumnus
Sableye was actually placed up for an analysis a time long ago and was rejected. is the original link if you wanna look at it

Of course the metagame is somewhat different from how it was back then, but the issues in the previous analysis do deserve some mention / noting if this is to pass QC (although I do have my doubts...).

Regardless, Sableye's terrible Special Defense stat needs to be noted (OHKOed by practically any strong special STAB move). If you do run it you need to prevent Sableye from getting statused meaning hazard control = necessary (you don't want toxic spikes getting up...). Its advantages over other spin blockers / pokes also need to be noted (which is mainly priority Taunt and WoW and Recover at the price of a ton of bulk).
Sableye was actually placed up for an analysis a time long ago and was rejected.
I'm aware of this. I PMed Nexus about it before I knew and he made it apparent to me; I'm fully aware that there is a pretty good chance this will get rejected, but I feel that if Froslass and Lucario get an Ubers analysis, Sableye should too.

Anyways, I made sure to point out the disadvantages that you noted. I'm open for QC checks and what not.


Thank you Mr. Hawking
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FYI, Lucario is probably going to get removed sometime in the near future if it hasn't already, and Froslass isn't really a comparable case tbh... THAT BEING SAID, I'm willing to give this another chance, the big problem last time was that Furai maxed Special Defense on his, turns out that doesn't work too well lol. I haven't retested it myself though so I'm not going to approve, but some QC members on IRC were talking about giving Sabeleye another chance.

Melee Mewtwo

Banned deucer.
Well, actually Furai was using a physical spread until Shrang told him to use the SpDef one.

Hax should get a mention somewhere in this analysis as WoW misses are too often to ignore and Recover spamming does risk Crits.

You forgot to mention that Ferrothorn is a really good partner since it can sponge just about any common special attack in the tier with its cool resistances. (you mentioned its physical bulk but it's Sableye who is supposed to be dealing with those)

Sableye also works pretty well on HO teams. It's a good way to keep those hazards up while shutting down opposing Deo-S leads with Taunt (yeah, I know you mentioned this). It also prevents those speedy/priority physical cleaners that annoy HO teams. (think Kabutops and Ekiller)

You may want to AC mention the SpDef spread. It does let Sableye beat a few notable threats it couldn't before (things like Tentacruel under Rain and +0 M2 without Fire Blast/under Rain) but it would also be a good way to explain why you shouldn't seriously consider it. (kinda like Haze on Tentacruel)

You should also mention the value of weather to Sableye. Groudon is good for making sure Tentacruel can't muscle past Sableye. (watch out for the boosted Blazikens/Ho-Ohs) Kyogre helps cripple the Fire types that WoW can't and has good synergy with Ferrothorn as well.

Oh, add Hercross to the checks/counters. He'll love nabbing a free Guts boost from WoW and has nothing to fear from Sableye's Foul Play.

It is also worth mentioning that Sableye's Foul Play breaks Exca's Subs making it a very safe initial switch-in.

I was thinking about using Sableye's gem like body and personal background to do a play on words using common diamond/gem related idioms to flavor up the introduction. Feel free to use what I noted if you'd like.
- Hidden Gem/A diamond in the rough (crummy stats made worthwhile thanks to prankster)
-go home Ekiller (arguably one of the most refined counters?)
-one gem of a spinblocker
-really shines as a physical sweeper check
-no resistences but cool immunities
-gosh those stats are crummy (like pebbles?)

I had also put together a list of things Sableye checks/counters when pitching the idea of a second shot to the Ubers QC who rejected it last time. Not sure if there is anything else in that list worth mentioning but at least you'll have it.

SD Scizor (bit shaky if he has LO but he still pulls it off)
Choice Scarf Terrakion
Bulky Excadrill
Choice Scarf Landorus (outside of Sand)
Support Groudon
SD Groundceus
BU RestTalk Dialga
Support Groundceus
SD Steelceus
SD Waterceus (outside of Rain)
SD Bugceus
Tank Tyranitar
Ferrothorn (not CB)
Support Darkceus
Support Waterceus
Support Grassceus
Support Poisonceus
SD Venusaur
SubShuffler Giratina-O
Bronzong (watch out for Toxic variants)
SD Ghostceus
Ludicolo (Rain Dish, watch out for Scald/Surf variants under Rain)
SD Rockceus
Skarmory (watch out for Toxic variants)

LO Zekrom (not mixed variants)
CM Giratina (if you get in before he CMs you should be okay)
Groudo (n (all variants)
Venusaur (get in before he boosts and you are okay)
Ho-Oh (Sableye can tank a BB and OHKO after SR with Foul Play)
CM Fightceus (You have to get in before he CMs)
CM Grassceus (Same as CM Fightceus)
Ferrothorn (including CB)
Lugia (Don't switch into Toxic and don't let him CM first)
Scarf Kyurem-B
Choice Scarf Victini (can tank a V-Create in neutral weather and OHKO after SR with Foul Play)
Victini (only under Rain)
SD Dragonceus
CM Poisonceus (don't let it CM)
Landorus (non special variants)
Gliscor (don't come in on Toxic/Taunt)

I didn't mention stuff like Ray as Sab can't wall him even if he burns him first. He'll obviously render the dragon useless, though, while surviving the hit. (so he is a good safety net all the same)

I forgot to mention it checks Ho-Oh only outside of Sun. (although the Tank variant fails to OHKO even with Sun boosted Sacred Fire. Deoxys-A is also checked by Sableye even with LO (unless he packs Thunder). I completely forgot about Mewtwo, Sableye also checks Psycho Killer if it isn't under Sun or he lacks FBlast. (not always though)

252 SpA Life Orb Mewtwo Fire Blast vs. 248 HP / 8 SpD Sableye: 272-320 (89.76 - 105.61%) -- 37.5% chance to OHKO
Thanks for the feedback! I added all of the points that you made with the exception of the Excadrill one. Forgive me if I'm being ignorant, but who runs Substitute Excadrill? Anyways, if any QC members could take a look at the lists that MM so generously provided before you make a ruling, that would be great.

Melee Mewtwo

Banned deucer.
Substitute is slashed after Rock Slide on the bulky set and was used on go10's offensive Excadrill in his featured RMT. It's a great way for Excadrill to get past Giratina-A as they tend to use DTail with WoW, which a Sub blocks.
I have a couple suggestions for other options, which are:
1) Moonlight is an interesting alternative if you're using a sun team but it's really, really unreliable against opposing weather teams
2)Knock off is decent but sableye dislikes having to forgo another move for it.

These might or might not deserve mention, just something to consider.


Kylowole is shredded
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Okay, I've tested this again after rejecting it last time, and I think using this in a different way really improved its performance. Last time, I was more worried about its spinblocking ability, which is why I ran a Specially Defensive build to not get utterly destroyed by Tentacruel. However, after using it as a physical wall and stallbreaker, it was really kind of useful when used in that way. It was still really prone to sucking, there was once where it took like 90% from Mewtwo's Ice Beam (although that might have been Specs), which is kind of unacceptable. So, I want the focus of Sableye to be mainly on its ability to wall a ton of physical threats as well as its ability to stallbreak, not on spinblocking, because admittedly it is can be pretty lousy at that (though do mention that it can).

This is still really borderline, but since last time the rejection was borderline, it kind of rose just a little bit for it to be approved. =)

I'll OO Moonlight and Knock Off, unless anyone has objections. As for the focus residing on Sableye's stallbreaking and physical walling abilities, I'll make sure to keep it forefront in my mind when I'm writing this up. Thanks for the check!


Heatran and Ho-Oh in checks/counters, Espeon dies to Foul Play, only Xatu deserves more mention as an annoyance. Ho-Oh survives one Foul Play and OHKOes you, if it holds Life Orb.

Mention a Kyogre counter is needed in order for Sableye to work well, those defensive ones don't even care about a burn. Most special attackers can be omitted but Kyogre is the most common and dangerous pokemon in the tier, you must pack a counter to it. It deserves special mention as a check to Sableye.

Watch out for Toxic Forretress, those can catch you on the switch in and beat you in the long run.

Mention the unreliability of Will-O-Wisp, it misses quite a lot and one miss can screw you over especially against things like Dragon Dance Rayquaza or Swords Dance Groudon.
I'd argue that the fact that it gets a Lefties and Recover number is irrelevant. The only competitively relevant reason for going 248 is to give yourself an extra sixteenth of max HP without fainting.
just go 252 / 252, although it hits an SR number it also hits a lefties and recover number.
I don't know about the Recover number, but the Lefites number at 304 HP is false. Lefties numbers are [number divisible by 16] + 1. Therefore, 305 would be the Lefties number, not 304, and Sableye can't reach 305.


Firstly, Melee Mewtwo your list of things countered was not only mostly irrelevant, but also seemed to have the definition of "counter" and "check" mixed up, but in most cases it was completely off (e.g. 0 SpA Meadow Plate Arceus-Grass Judgment (Grass) vs. 252 HP / 136+ SpD Sableye: 162-192 (53.28 - 63.15%) -- guaranteed 2HKO to save myself the time of going through the inane sets posted)).

Secondly, I don't really like this Pokemon. It is a ghost type that attempts to take advantage of its priority support move, but it can't really fulfill any useful role while doing this. It is a very poor spin blocker, being flat out unable to switch into tenta in the rain, losing to toxic forry MUCH harder than arceus-ghost and gira-o do, as it has zero offensive presence, and can even lose to bulky excadrill. (If you switch in on an SD or an EQ, you have to guess correctly between taunting to prevent the SD that can outdamage your recover even while burned, or WoWing to keep from being KOd

60+ Atk Excadrill Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 252 Def Sableye: 153-181 (50.49 - 59.73%) -- 86.33% chance to 2HKO

+2 60+ Atk Excadrill Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 252 Def Sableye: 306-360 (100.99 - 118.81%) -- guaranteed OHKO

(The most relevant calc)
+4 60+ Atk burned Excadrill Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 252 Def Sableye: 228-269 (75.24 - 88.77%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Sable-eye is also not nearly as strong of a stall breaker as it is assumed to be. It outright gets 2hkod by many support player's moves (defensive arceus moves, defensive kyogre scalds, latias now, dialga, the list of defensive mons that force it out goes on) and has trouble even getting in safely due to the burden getting any kind of status places on it.

Couple that with its inability to check mixed threats, and the ability for even physical sweepers to either KO it or render it useless for the rest of the match

+2 252+ Atk Life Orb burned Groudon Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 252 Def Sableye: 246-289 (81.18 - 95.37%) -- guaranteed 2HKO-if you switch in on an eq you die, and lol if it's the more common lum set.

and I don't really see much of a reason to use this pokemon in our tier.

qc rejected
First, syrim you are a strong dude, but you messed up the calculations, Sableye is using a Bold nature. You forgot to add a beneficial nature boost. Just go with 252 / 252 what does 248 help you do and 252/252 is even in the OU Sableye where sandstorm is much more common

60+ Atk Excadrill Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Bold Sableye: 139-165 (45.72 - 54.27%) -- 3.13% chance to 2HKO

252+ Atk Life Orb Groudon Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Sableye: 224-265 (73.68 - 87.17%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

252+ Atk Groudon Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Sableye: 172-204 (56.57 - 67.1%) -- guaranteed 2HKO, this means you can take a hit, and burn it, survive then next hit. If burn misses, you are dead.

Next Sableye checks Arceus easily, especially those who drop Earthquake for Brick Break.

252+ Atk Life Orb Arceus-Normal Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Sableye: 127-151 (41.77 - 49.67%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ Atk Arceus-Normal Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Sableye: 98-116 (32.23 - 38.15%) -- 1.03% chance to 3HKO
252+ Atk Arceus-Normal Shadow Claw vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Sableye: 69-82 (22.69 - 26.97%) -- possible 5HKO

Sableye still sucks. I am fine with this getting rejected but ubers QC is dead sadly. If you use Sableye just for blocking spin it blows.

Melee Mewtwo

Banned deucer.
My understanding of Check/Counter is what I posted here. Course, there are quite a few different definitions going around and since there isn't an official ruling I'm not going to say I'm right/wrong. (Just saying that this is what I mean when I say Check/Counter) Grassceus is accurate, I just didn't mention that Sab only checks if it runs Grass Knot over Judgment. Also, I did mention in my post that I didn't think much of it would be worth mentioning. I just gave it cause I had it and that is the complete list, more or less, of what Sableye check/counters so it could help give a clearer idea of what Sableye can actually switch-in on or force out.

As far as Sableye in general, having Taunt to stop Forry from Spiking all over it (like it does on Tina-A, most Tina-O, and some Ghostceus) is a pretty noteworthy boon as a spin blocker. You are also forgetting the other major role it serves, an Ekiller counter. (and a pretty good one at that) It may not be as good at Stall Breaking as Thundy-I but it can still pull it off and be annoying in general. Basically, Sableye has a bunch of useful niches that makes it worth using on certain teams. (Although, it's obviously not a top tier threat)

Oh, ninja'd kinda by TR lol
Mention heatran as a full counter. Saybleye can literally do nothing to it while heatran can set up a free substitute or if it gets taunted, destroyed by fire blast.
Really? When was that implemented? I was under the impression that I wasn't allowed to move into copyediting until I'm finished with quality control.

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