Skarmory is one of the key defensive pillars of UU thanks to its sky-high Defense, reliable recovery, and amazing defensive typing, checking dangerous offensive threats like Excadrill, Zarude, Lycanroc-D, and Gyarados with ease. Skarmory has a bevy of utility moves. Spikes wears down defensive threats like Aegislash and Chansey for its team, and Skarmory can set Spikes easily thanks to it beating UU's most common entry hazard remover in Excadrill. Furthermore, Whirlwind prevents Pokemon like Dragon Dance Gyarados and Swords Dance Aegislash from setting up. Skarmory can even run Defog on stall teams thanks to its great matchup against entry hazard setters like Excadrill and Roserade. These traits, in addition to its synergy with top defensive picks like Amoonguss, Slowking, and Chansey, allow Skarmory to fit on a wide range of archetypes ranging from bulky offense to stall. However, Skarmory has an extremely vulnerable Special Defense stat, making it a Steel-type that can't check specially offensive Fairy- and Psychic-types like Hatterene, so it faces competition from other Steel-types like Celesteela and Aegislash. Common threats like Thundurus-T, Rotom-W, and Moltres also limit Skarmory's consistency due to its passivity. Skarmory also often struggles to fit all the moves it likes at once. For example, it becomes much more vulnerable to Conkeldurr and Azumarill without Brave Bird, but it struggles to pressure Mamoswine without Body Press.
name: Physical Wall
move 1: Body Press / Brave Bird
move 2: Spikes
move 3: Roost
move 4: Whirlwind / Toxic
item: Rocky Helmet
evs: 252 HP / 160 Def / 96 Spe
Body Press utilizes Skarmory's amazing Defense to hit many opposing Pokemon hard, devastating the likes of Excadrill, Mamoswine, and Lycanroc-D. It also keeps Hydreigon from coming in freely. Alternatively, Brave Bird lets Skarmory hit Conkeldurr, Tapu Bulu, and Roserade super effectively and deal solid damage to Azumarill and Gyarados. Spikes wears down common defensive Pokemon like Chansey, Amoonguss, and Aegislash. Skarmory has plenty of opportunities to set Spikes up against Pokemon that typically cannot threaten it, like Jirachi and Tangrowth. Whirlwind synergizes well with Spikes, forcing chip damage on switch-ins like Aegislash. It also prevents setup sweepers like Gyarados and Belly Drum Azumarill from setting up. Alternatively, Toxic cripples setup sweepers like Galarian Moltres and Thundurus-T, which typically have free entry on it, and hinders Defoggers like Salamence and Mandibuzz from removing Spikes in the long run. Skarmory can run Defog on stall teams thanks to its ability to handle entry hazard setters like Roserade, Excadrill, and Swampert. Rocky Helmet allows Skarmory to punish pivoting attempts from Swampert, Jirachi, and Zarude, prevent Excadrill from freely using Rapid Spin, and wear down threats like Azumarill, Krookodile, and Gyarados quickly. The given Speed EVs allow Skarmory to outspeed Azumarill and Conkeldurr.
Skarmory best fits on bulky offense, balance, and stall teams that appreciate its Spikes support and walling capabilities. Chansey makes an excellent partner for Skarmory, taking on dangerous special attackers like Hydreigon, Moltres, and Thundurus-T, while Skarmory handles physical attackers like Excadrill and Diggersby. Slowking similarly checks Moltres and special Salamence, and it also acts as a secondary check to Conkeldurr and Mamoswine with Colbur Berry. Additionally, its Future Sight alongside Skarmory's Whirlwind can hinder offensive Pokemon like Thundurus-T. Stealth Rock setters like Diancie, Nihilego, and Excadrill form great entry-hazard stacking cores with Skarmory. Diancie beats Hydreigon, Moltres, and Thundurus-T; Nihilego also beats the aforementioned threats and can hinder Aegislash with Knock Off; and Excadrill can pressure Aegislash and Hatterene and remove opposing entry hazards without compromising Skarmory's own Spikes. Bulky Grass-types like Amoonguss and Tangrowth make good secondary checks to Tapu Bulu and Conkeldurr so Skarmory doesn't get overwhelmed checking them. They also can absorb Knock Off for the team, allowing Skarmory to preserve Rocky Helmet and chip down Jirachi. Zarude and the aformentioned Grass-types can help take on strong Electric- and Water-types like Rotom-W and Primarina as well. Powerful wallbreakers like Aegislash, Thundurus-T, and Choice Specs Primarina all appreciate Skarmory's Spikes wearing down checks like Tangrowth and Chansey. On stall teams, Quagsire can provide an Electric immunity to block Volt Switch and check Thundurus-T. It also can handle setup sweepers that can bypass Skarmory like Belly Drum Azumarill and Swords Dance Aegislash. Umbreon acts as a primary check to Dragon Dance Salamence and Gyarados, secondary check to Mamoswine, and way to beat Chandelure. Galarian Weezing counters Conkeldurr and can provide Defog support to prevent Skarmory from being worn down into range of Mamoswine's Icicle Crash.
Skarmory can compress both Spikes and Defog on more defensive teams, acting as an emergency Defog option and opening up moveslots for other teammates. Skarmory can replace its attacking moveslot to fit both, or even other combinations of utility moves. It is still able to beat Excadrill as long as it keeps Rocky Helmet. However, these sets are very team specific. Skarmory can also run an Iron Defense + Body Press set to act as a wincon that is extremely tough to KO physically on semi-stall teams, even taking on Belly Drum Azumarill if it gets off an Iron Defense as Azumarill sets up. However, this set is very inconsistent, as it relies on special attackers being removed to boost up. Skarmory can attempt to compress entry hazards by running both Spikes and Stealth Rock, but it struggles to fit Stealth Rock over more valuable options like Whirlwind or Toxic and pairs well with Stealth Rock setters like Nihilego anyway.
Checks and Counters
**Electric-types**: Common Electric-types like Thundurus-T, Rotom-W, and Rotom-H all are unbothered by Skarmory and can use it to gain momentum with Volt Switch. Thundurus-T can also boost with Nasty Plot as it forces Skarmory out.
**Fire-type Pokemon and Coverage**: Fire-types like Chandelure and Moltres come in easily on Skarmory and force it out. Skarmory must also be wary of Pokemon like Celesteela, Salamence, and Azelf due to them commonly running Fire-type coverage.
**Strong Special Attackers**: Powerful special attackers like Aegislash, Primarina, and Hydreigon can all break through Skarmory due to its poor special bulk. Hatterene in particular completely walls Skarmory, denying its entry hazards and ignoring Whirlwind and Toxic with Magic Bounce.
- Written by: [[Monky25, 515132]]
- Quality checked by: [[Twilight, 344575], [Mystras Leoxses, 530118], [Estarossa, 461329]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Finland, 517429], [DC, 449990]]