Champagne and Pools
Because of its exceptional base Speed, Sawsbuck can become a potent Choice Scarf user, outspeeding Choice Scarf Mr. Mime. Sawsbuck is able to set itself apart from other Choice Scarf users in the tier thanks to its access to Serene Grace and Headbutt and carves out a niche for itself as a sweeper thanks to its excellent offensive typing. With access to Sap Sipper and Normal-type STAB moves, Sawsbuck can threaten opposing Grass-types such as Leafeon, Shiftry, and Servine. In addition, Sawsbuck has access to a good offensive movepool and becomes a force to be reckoned with after a Swords Dance. Unfortunately, Sawsbuck suffers from competition from other offensive Grass-types such as Abomasnow, Leafeon, Jumpluff, and Shiftry. Because of its lackluster defensive stats and multitude of weaknesses, Sawsbuck is easily revenge killed by priority users such as Abomasnow, Kecleon, Shiftry, Pawniard, and Monferno. Furthermore, Sawsbuck is easily walled by Pokemon like Bronzor and Gourgeist-XL.
name: Dasher (Choice Scarf)
move 1: Double-Edge
move 2: Horn Leech
move 3: Jump Kick
move 4: Headbutt / Toxic
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Serene Grace / Sap Sipper
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Horn Leech provides Sawsbuck with a semi-reliable form of recovery and allows it to revenge kill Pokemon such as Floatzel, Golem, and weakened Silvally-Water reliably. Jump Kick hits Steel-types such as Pawniard and Probopass super effectively. Headbutt utilizes Sawsbuck's ability Serene Grace to cause opposing Pokemon to flinch 60% of the time. Alternatively, Toxic allows Sawsbuck to cripple Pokemon that may try to come in and wall it such as Gourgeist-XL, Silvally-Fighting, Silvally-Ghost, and Tangela.
Choice Scarf allows Sawsbuck to outspeed and revenge kill threats as needed. Serene Grace allows Sawsbuck to double Headbutt's flinch rate. Alternatively, Sawsbuck can run Sap Sipper in order to grant it a Grass-type immunity and an Attack boost each time it is hit by a Grass-type move.
Sawsbuck should primarily be used as a revenge killer against common threats such as Zebstrika, Komala, and Floatzel. Horn Leech is most often the preferred move to use in order to maintain Sawsbuck's health. Headbutt should be used over Double-Edge when revenge killing weakened Pokemon or Pokemon it shouldn't be able break without flinches, but Headbutt is not exactly reliable. Toxic should be used against predicted common switch-ins such as Gourgeist-XL, Gabite, and Silvally formes. Sawsbuck should be wary of trying to revenge kill Pokemon that carry priority such as Kecleon, Shiftry, and Pawniard.
Sawsbuck fits best on offensive and balanced teams lacking a designated revenge killer or Speed control. Because Sawsbuck can force a good number of switches, entry hazard setters such as Golem, Bronzor, and Mareanie all make for good partners. Sawsbuck appreciates wallbreakers that make it easier to clean late-game such as Abomasnow, Combusken, and Floatzel. Offensive pivots such as Electivire, Zebstrika, and Silvally formes can gain momentum for Sawsbuck, allowing it to come in more often. Pokemon such as Swords Dance Silvally-Ghost, Combusken, and Toucannon all appreciate Sawsbuck's ability to revenge kill faster threats.
name: Dancer (Swords Dance)
move 1: Horn Leech
move 2: Double-Edge
move 3: Jump Kick
move 4: Swords Dance
item: Normalium Z
ability: Sap Sipper
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Double-Edge is Sawsbuck's strongest Normal-type STAB move that breaks through Pokemon that resist Horn Leech such as Muk, Oricorio, and Combusken. Jump Kick is able to hit Steel-types such as Probopass and Pawniard that would wall Sawsbuck otherwise. Swords Dance boosts Sawsbuck's Attack to high levels, making it an effective physical sweeper.
Normalium Z allows Sawsbuck to bust through physically defensive walls such as Altaria, Granbull, and Gabite. Sap Sipper grants Sawsbuck a Grass-type immunity and an Attack boost every time it's hit with a Grass-type attack.
Sawsbuck's main role is to act as a late-game sweeper, so it is best to preserve it until it has a clear opening or its checks and counters are weakened. Due to Sawsbuck's lackluster defenses, it should be brought in via slow U-turn or Volt Switch users such as Komala, Rotom-S, Probopass, and slow Silvally formes. Saving Sawsbuck's Z-Move is important for situations where Double-Edge recoil is not an option. It's important that Sawsbuck remains healthy throughout the game so it can clean later. If Sawsbuck is no longer in a the position to sweep, it should be mainly focused on wallbreaking. Sawsbuck should primarily be setting up on passive Pokemon or Pokemon it is able to force out such as defensive Golem and Silvally-Water. Sawsbuck is an exceptional breaker given the right matchup.
Sawsbuck greatly appreciates entry hazard support in order to weaken some of its checks and counters, so Pokemon that can set hazards such as Golem and Mareanie make for great partners. Sawsbuck is heavily threatened by Fighting-types such as Machoke, Silvally-Fighting, and Monferno. Pokemon that are able to check these Fighting-types such as Bronzor, Silvally-Ghost, and Rotom-S all make for great partners. Wallbreakers such as Combusken can weaken some of the Pokemon that wall Sawsbuck such as Gourgeist-XL, Tangela, and Mawile. Pokemon that can bait Grass-type moves for Sawsbuck to absorb such as Golem, Silvally-Water, and Floatzel all make for great partners. Sawsbuck tends to struggle with faster threats such as Electivire, Rapidash, and Swanna, so Pokemon that can check these faster threats such as Choice Scarf Electivire, Choice Scarf Floatzel, and Choice Scarf Zebstrika can help Sawsbuck. Pokemon with the ability Magnet Pull such as Probopass and Alolan Golem are able to trap Steel-types that Sawsbuck has trouble with such as Mawile and Bronzor. Probopass in particular makes for a good partner because of its access to a slow Volt Switch, allowing Sawsbuck to come in safely. In addition, both of these Pokemon appreciate Sawsbuck's ability to break down and threaten Golem.
Bounce can be run in conjunction with Flyinium Z in order to break Gourgeist-XL, which Sawsbuck is otherwise walled by. Furthermore, Gourgeist-XL has access to the ability Frisk, making Flyinium Z ineffective as a way to beat it. Sawsbuck can run Substitute at the cost of a coverage move to protect it from being afflicted by status. Return is an option over Double-Edge, as it helps maintain Sawsbuck's longevity through late-game. However, the extra power Double-Edge provides is needed to reliably revenge kill Pokemon such as Zebstrika. Sawsbuck has the option of running Megahorn in order to hit other Grass-types, but this does not add much to Sawsbuck's coverage. Leech Seed can be run in conjunction with Substitute and Leftovers in order to form a SubSeed set. However, this set becomes much more reliant on Headbutt flinches to be effective. A set utilizing Chlorophyll and Swords Dance can be used when on a sun team to become a potent sweeper.
Checks and Counter
**Priority Moves**: Priority moves such as Shiftry and Pawniard's Sucker Punch all hit Sawsbuck hard due to its poor defenses. Moreover, Abomasnow's Ice Shard and Monferno's Mach Punch hit Sawsbuck super effectively.
**Physically Defensive Walls**: Sawsbuck struggles to break through Pokemon like Granbull, Mawile, and Tangela without any boosts or a Z-Move. Gourgeist-XL should be mentioned due to its immunity to Double-Edge and Jump Kick while also being able to threaten Sawsbuck with Will-O-Wisp.
**Fighting-types**: Fighting-types like Machoke, Silvally-Fighting, and boosted Combusken tend to give Sawsbuck some trouble thanks to their super effective coverage. Monferno in particular can be an issue thanks to its access to super effective priority in Mach Punch.
**Faster Pokemon**: Faster Pokemon such as Floatzel, Choice Scarf Pinsir, and Zebstrika are all able to force out Swords Dance Sawsbuck. Faster Choice Scarf users such as Zebstrika, Rapidash, and Simisear all outspeed and threaten Choice Scarf Sawsbuck. Choice Scarf Rapidash in particular is worth a special mention because it is able threaten both of Sawsbuck's sets.
- Written by: [[Broken Phobias, 272450]]
- Quality checked by: [[Bloodace, 435539], [[5gen, 296755], [Xayah, 167012]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Electrolyte, 148071], [Fireflame479, 231476]]