*Scolipede's movepool, great Speed, and decent Attack allow it to serve as a potent offensive wallbreaker, sweeper, or cleaner.
*Scolipede is one of the only few viable physically offensive Pokemon for Poison; its Bug-type STAB makes it a powerful force against Psychic and Dark teams. It is especially huge in the Psychic matchup, where it has the potential to outspeed and decimate threats such as Latios and unboosted Mew that would otherwise have an easy time sweeping most of the Pokemon on Poison.
*Access to Rock Slide and Earthquake allows it to check common threats from Electric, Poison, and Fire teams, such as Heatran and Mega Charizard Y.
*Speed Boost is a fantastic ability, allowing Scolipede to outspeed and decimate common threats like Latios and Tapu Koko after merely one boost; this makes it easier to clean late-game.
*However, Scolipede is rather fragile and easily worn down by Life Orb recoil, meaning it is vulnerable to being OHKOed or revenge killed by any decent neutral STAB move. Most notably, Scolipede suffers from a nasty weakness to Stealth Rock.
*Although it makes Scolipede neutral against Ground-type attacks, Bug is an underwhelming secondary typing defensively, to say the least, offering no other useful resistance while making it weak to common Fire-, Flying-, and Rock-type attacks.
*Furthermore, it is countered by common defensive threats like Celesteela and Ferrothorn, limiting its ability to clean late-game.
name: Sweeper (Poison)
move 1: Megahorn
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Rock Slide
move 4: Swords Dance / Protect
item: Life Orb
ability: Speed Boost
nature: Jolly / Adamant
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
* Megahorn is mandatory on any Scolipede set, being its most powerful Bug-type STAB move that hits opposing Psychic- and Dark-type Pokemon for super effective damage.
* Earthquake allows Scolipede to nail crucial Steel-types like Excadrill and Heatran, as well as other Electric-, Fire-, Rock- and opposing Poison-types like Alolan Marowak and Nidoking, with the last three types stopping Megahorn from being spammable.
* Rock Slide gives Scolipede coverage against Fire- and Flying-types that resist Megahorn, such as Mega Charizard Y and Zapdos.
* Swords Dance amplifies Scolipede's Attack to sky-high levels, giving it the power to start sweeping late-game in conjunction with Speed Boost.
* Protect can also be used in the last moveslot, sacrificing the power that Swords Dance provides in lieu of guaranteeing a Speed boost without taking damage from the opposing Pokemon.
* Speed Boost is Scolipede’s mandatory ability to outspeed common fast offensive threats and clean late-game.
* As is typical with most offensive threats, maximum Attack and Speed is desirable to ensure it can clean effectively.
* Jolly nature is used to ensure that Scolipede can outspeed, after one boost, common Choice Scarf users like Nihilego and Latios.
* Adamant nature can also be used, especially if Protect is used over Swords Dance, since Scolipede does not need the extra speed against non-Choice Scarf threats and appreciates the extra investment in its Attack. For example, an Adamant nature guarantees the OHKO on Tapu Koko, as well as the OHKO on Victini and Nidoking after Stealth Rock damage.
* Life Orb further increases its damage output while allowing Scolipede to hit harder with its coverage moves, without having to lock itself into one move in its bid to clean.
* To start sweeping, Scolipede should find an opening to use Swords Dance. Ideally this means sending it in on a slower threat that it can easily score a KO on, like Chansey, or on a Pokemon that had been weakened prior, where it can force the opponent to switch and gain a free boost.
* If Protect is used, Scolipede will generally be sent in on a moderately fast threat like Choice Scarf Latios to check it, where it will gain a free Speed boost via Protect and then attack all-out.
* Always keep your field clear of entry hazards to prolong Scolipede's longevity throughout the game—especially Stealth Rock, which cuts Scolipede's health by a quarter every time it is sent in.
* Moreover, Scolipede needs to be used conservatively early-game and protected from damage and status, or its late-game cleaning potential will be severely limited.
* Ensure that Scolipede avoids burn or paralysis at all costs from common users such as Mega Sableye, as either cripples Scolipede's sweeping potential for the rest of the game.
* As a win condition, it is best that Scolipede's checks and counters are eliminated and the rest of the team are weakened before it can start cleaning.
* If running Adamant, make sure to scout for Choice Scarf on Pokemon like Latios and Victini, as one Speed boost is not enough to outspeed them and you may be giving up Scolipede to die for free.
* Nihilego is a fantastic partner, being able to counter and check other Bug-, Fire, and Flying-types, while also serving as the special offensive presence for physical walls. Choice Scarf Nihilego can take out some threats that Adamant Scolipede cannot outspeed at +1, such as Choice Scarf Victini, while on the other hand, Nihilego with Stealth Rock can set it up to inflict chip damage on the opponent's Pokemon, most notably the Fire- and Flying-types that Scolipede cannot switch into.
* Toxapex is a great defensive pivot for Scolipede, boasting great bulk and thus being able to switch into some Steel-types like Mega Scizor, and provide Toxic Spikes support to soften the opponent's Pokemon. Toxapex also has the ability to fish for Scald burns to cripple physically offensive Pokemon and help Scolipede sweep late-game, and it also has access to Haze to check setup sweepers.
* Alolan Muk is a nice partner as it handles Ghost-types that resist Megahorn, while being immune to Psychic-type attacks and providing Pursuit trapping.
* Mega Venusaur handles some of the troublesome bulky Rock- and Ground-types that can sometimes impede Scolipede, like Hippowdon.
* Crobat is excellent for hazard removal to maintain Scolipede's longevity through the game, while also being immune to Ground-type moves. It also has some utility options to aid Scolipede in its bid to clean late-game, such as Taunt to stop defensive threats, as well as U-turn to provide momentum for the team.
* Salazzle can help pressure Steel-, Bug-, and Fairy-types that Scolipede can sometimes struggle against, particularly Celesteela and Skarmory.
* Nidoking and Nidoqueen provide Stealth Rock support and also help check some physical walls with their plethora of coverage, such as Flamethrower or Fire Blast for Celesteela and Skarmory.
* Gengar is a great special wallbreaker against physical walls and can check Ghost-types that give Scolipede trouble.
* Focus Sash could be used to ensure that Scolipede survives a hit given its frailty assuming the absence of entry hazards, and makes setting up a Swords Dance much easier. However, this causes Scolipede to lose out on the extra damage output from Life Orb.
* Buginium Z can be used to give Scolipede a tool in Savage Spin-Out to surprise and nuke some defensive threats that may switch into Scolipede. With a Swords Dance boost, Savage Spin-Out even has the chance to OHKO some threats like Ferrothorn. However, this means losing out on the damage boost that Life Orb provides for its coverage moves.
* A Choice Band set can be used for a more powerful and immediate boost to Scolipede's Attack. However, the inability to switch moves is a huge downside that will make it harder for Scolipede to find an opening to sweep.
* Superpower is an option for Chansey, Porygon 2, and other Normal-types, as well as a way to hit for stronger neutral damage on some Steel-types like Celesteela and Skarmory.
* Poison Jab can be run for a reliable STAB option against Fairy-types like Tapu Bulu and Clefable; however, it may be pointless if Scolipede’s teammates are already carrying Poison STAB moves, like Mega Venusaur carrying Sludge Bomb and Alolan Muk carrying Gunk Shot. Furthermore, the coverage that Rock Slide and Earthquake grant is far more important to have.
* Aqua Tail grants Scolipede coverage against Ground-types if need be, for example against Landorus and Diggersby. Pairing this with Waternium Z grants Scolipede a powerful one-time nuke in Hydro Vortex that can allow it to surprise OHKO common defensive switch-ins such as Hippowdon and Gliscor, and most notably against Landorus-T that is OHKOed at +1. However, it is usually not worth using it over its Rock or Ground type coverage, as missing either one of these means missing out on checking crucial threats.
Checks and Counters
**Landorus-T**: None of Scolipede's moves bar Aqua Tail touch Landorus-T, whereas the latter can score an easy KO with Stone Edge. Moreover, Scolipede will have its Attack reduced by Intimidate when Landorus-T is sent in, limiting its damage output and sweeping potential.
**Skarmory**: Skarmory easily tanks anything from Scolipede and threatens to OHKO it with Brave Bird, while being able to Roost off any damage taken.
**Physically Bulky Pokemon**: Gliscor, Hippowdon, and Celesteela all tank Scolipede's attacks and can heal off the damage or fire back with their own attacks. However, Ground- and Rock-type walls must watch out for the odd Aqua Tail.
**Residual Damage**: Entry hazards—especially Stealth Rock, which Scolipede is weak to—Rocky Helmet recoil, and Life Orb recoil severely threaten Scolipede's longevity throughout the game, making it easily revenge killed.
**Status**: Scolipede absolutely loathes burn or paralysis, especially since Poison teams usually do not carry Heal Bell or Aromatherapy. Burn will cut Scolipede's Attack by half and further introduce chip damage to it, and paralysis will impede its Speed while also potentially causing it to miss key turns.
**Priority Attacks**: Priority attacks are death knells for Scolipede, no matter how many Speed boosts it picks up, as it will likely be annihilated after some chip damage. These include Mega Scizor's Bullet Punch, Mega Pinsir's Quick Attack, and Azumarill's Aqua Jet.
**Bulky Rock- and Fire-types**: Although Earthquake is super effective against them, common bulky Rock- and Fire-types such as Rhyperior and Torkoal can often take a hit before scoring the KO with Stone Edge and Lava Plume, respectively.