Gen 2 Skarmory [WIP]

mc56556

Storms always pass
is a Pre-Contributor
[OVERVIEW]

Skarmory is one of the premier physically defensive backbones in the GSC OU metagame. Possessing a base Def stat of 140, Skarmory is able to fend off physical attacks from the likes of Snorlax, Machamp, Marowak, Tyranitar, Rhydon, and others––the strongest physical attackers in the metagame. Because of this, Skarmory is an excellent and common choice on many GSC OU stall teams where Skarmory’s physical defense is so appreciated. Where Skarmory distinguishes itself from other physically defenders is its excellent Steel- and Flying-type combination. Rhydon, Golem, and Steelix all possess excellent Def stats as well, but Fighting- and Ground-type moves are super effective against them, which is not the case for Skarmory. The metallic bird does not fare as well against special attacks, however, including physical attackers with special attack options, such as Snorlax with Fire Blast or Thunder and Marowak or Tyranitar with Fire Blast, so Skarmory wielders must be careful to avoid these. Skarmory is also one of the best non-Ghost Explosion/Self-Destruct absorbers in the metagame, which is a role of crucial importance. Overall, Skarmory is a staple on many GSC stall teams and an excellent Normal-resist in a metagame dominated by Snorlax.

[SET]

name:

move 1: Curse

move 2: Drill Peck

move 3: Rest

move 4: Sleep Talk

item: Leftovers

[SET COMMENTS]

Set Description

=========

This Skarmory set is designed to utilize Curse and Rest to stall out even very threatening physical attackers like Curse Machamp, Heracross, and Snorlax. Curse provides Skarmory not only with critical Defense boosts, but with Attack as well for Drill Peck, which can help it in particular against Heracross and Machamp. When Skarmory is defending against Machamp, however, users must be very careful since Cross Chop has a high crit rate. The benefit of this set over others is that it enables Skarmory to have counterplay while Resting. Sleep Talk is a valuable move, which can call Drill Peck for offense, Curse for additional defensive, or Rest to regain health and start the Sleep turns again.

One of the biggest selling points of this set is its allows Skarmory to absorb sleep-inducing moves, particularly Lovely Kiss from Snorlax. Lovely Kiss Snorlax is a very threatening offensive presence in the metagame, as Normal-resists like Tyranitar, Rhydon, Steelix, etc. rely on Roar to phaze it out, but they are unable to do this obviously if they are asleep by Lovely Kiss.

Curse, Drill Peck Skarmory can also be a relatively solid check against Swords Dance Marowak. It is somewhat shaky, as Rock Slide after a Swords Dance boost easily 3HKOs Skarmory. Mixed Marowak is just as dangerous: Fire Blast from Marowak also 3HKOs Skarmory, without any boost, which is needed for Rock Slide to do the same. That being said, if Skarmory is at full health and has the ability to use Curse, the odds are much more in its favor. +1 Drill Peck from Skarmory will 3HKO Marowak, and while Fire Blast's damage will remain the same, Rock Slide after a Swords Dance boost will now 4HKO Skarmory. Additionally, Sleep Talk rolls will almost always be in Skarmory's favor, as Resting, receiving another Curse boost, or using Drill Peck will all help in the matchup against Marowak.

There is simply no Pokemon in the GSC OU metagame that counters Heracross as well as Skarmory. Its Steel- and Flying-type combination means it is 4x resistant to Heracross' Bug-type attacks, like a normally very powerful Megahorn, and Drill Peck from Skarmory is 4x super effective against Heracross. To put this in perspective, even with a Curse boost to Heracross, an unboosted Drill Peck is still almost certain to OHKO Heracross. There is an esoteric Endure, Reversal Heracross set that threatens Skarmory (after Endure, leaving Heracross at 1%, Reversal will cause significant damage--47% of Skarmory's HP, to be exact), but this set sees minimal usage and has multiple issues holding it back.

Something to mention here is that even with a couple of Curse boosts, Drill Peck does marginal damage to Zapdos, making it an optimal switch-in against Skarmory and one that will cause it to switch out as well.


[SET]

name: Defensive Phazer

move 1: Curse / Toxic

move 2: Drill Peck / Toxic

move 3: Rest

move 4: Whirlwind

item: Leftovers


[SET COMMENTS]

Set Description

=========

Unlike with the Curse, Drill Peck, Rest, Sleep Talk set, this Skarmory set enables Skarmory to phaze with Whirlwind at the cost of not having a move at its disposal while it is Resting or asleep. While there are many variants to Skarmory sets, this is usually the standard one, and for good reason. It is solid, resilient, able to wall a lot of common Pokémon in the metagame, and an excellent addition to many stall teams. The combination of Curse, Drill Peck, and Whirlwind allow Skarmory to wall MonoLax sets with ease and phaze them out as well. Toxic is a helpful move at Skarmory’s disposal, often aimed at offensive Pokemon without Rest (Tyranitar, Rhydon, Marowak, Exeggutor, etc.). Toxic also has the function of forcing Pokemon with Rest to Rest, like if Skarmory hits Raikou, Zapdos, or something else that threatens Skarmory with Toxic on the switch-in.

Drill Peck is the offensive move of choice on any Skarmory set. It has excellent pp, decent Atk, and allows Skarmory to threaten various Pokemon, from Heracross to Exeggutor to even Snorlax in the long run.

An option is to run an attack-less Curse set, which is Curse, Toxic, Rest, Whirlwind. This set can be passive but quite effective on certain builds. The idea is to still grant Skarmory a defense-boosting move in Curse while not limiting its ability to hurt Rock-types in particular like Golem and Rhydon with Toxic. Also, Toxic can substitute for Drill Peck in terms of damage to opposing teams.


Team Options

========

Skarmory is best utilized on stall teams with a range of Pokemon to cover threats. Having an Electric-type check, like Raikou, Blissey, or Quagsire, is mandatory when using Skarmory. Having back-up checks to physical attackers is also very helpful on Skarmory stall teams. For instance, Snorlax with Thunder/Fire Blast/Flamethrower can seriously threaten Skarmory, necessitating another check; the same goes for Tyranitar with Thunderbolt/Fire Blast and Marowak with Fire Blast. Suicune is a nice option here, as its physical and special bulk allow it to comfortably wall and threaten these Pokemon, which makes it one of the best blanket check options. While it is Spikes-immune, Skarmory often pairs well with Spikes/Rapid Spin support; Skarmory can continually phaze some Pokemon around, wracking up Spikes damage to them, while being Spikes-immune grants it the ability to switch into attacks without worrying about that same entry hazard damage. Skarmory is an effective physically defensive phazer, but for Growth passers or other special attackers, an additional phazer can be handy here. Raikou is perhaps the best option, and this often leads to the very effective "double dog" (Suicune and Raikou) and Skarmory core.


[STRATEGY COMMENTS]


Other Options


=============

Skarmory has several slightly different sets at its disposal, most of which have been covered in this analysis already. One remains, however, and that’s Thief Skarmory. Running Thief can be an interesting option to restrict the longevity of teams of all sorts—stall and offense alike. Downsides of Thief include not having Leftovers recovery immediately, like if Skarmory has to absorb a Belly-Drum-boosted attack from Snorlax or a +2 Rock Slide from Marowak. Additionally, running Thief of course means not having another move in its place, and Thief only works once per game (unlike Skarmory’s other usual moves, which it utilizes consistently throughout a game). Options like Thief, Drill Peck, Rest, Whirlwind, or Thief, Curse/Toxic, Rest, Whirlwind work for this kind of a set.


Checks and Counters

===================

**Zapdos**: Zapdos is far and away the biggest threat to Skarmory in the GSC OU metagame. Even with a couple of Curse boosts, Drill Peck does marginal damage to it, and Thunder or Thunderbolt from the legendary bird either OHKOs Skarmory easily or has a very good chance to, respectively, making Zapdos not only a threatening switch-in but one that Skarmory can hardly threaten as well. Additionally, with Zapdos being Spikes-immune, it can switch into Skarmory with even more impunity. Having a Zapdos check is essential on a team running Skarmory.


**Raikou**: Raikou is, as with Zapdos, immensely threatening to Skarmory. Thunder or Thunderbolt cause massive damage to it, and even with Curse boosts, Drill Peck cannot damage Raikou enough to make a difference in battle. There are two primary differences between the threats that Raikou and Zapdos pose to Skarmory: One is that while it is not unusual to see a Rest and Sleep Talk set, Raikou sets often run Roar instead of Sleep Talk, meaning that Raikou must burn Sleep turns after Resting to be able to attack Skarmory again. The second is that while Zapdos is Flying type, making it immune to Spikes damage, Raikou is not, and this means Skarmory can Whirlwind Raikou into the field, inflicting Spikes damage on it.


**Special Attacks on Physical Attackers**: There are a few Pokemon in the GSC OU metagame that Skarmory checks, but if they happen to run Special Attacks, then they threaten Skarmory immensely. Snorlax is one example. If it is just a Curse with Double Edge set, then Skarmory is fine; if, however, Snorlax runs Fire Blast or Thunder, then Skarmory is in trouble. Neither will OHKO Skarmory without a crit, but they do both cause crippling damage. Marowak is another such Pokemon. Even with Thick Club as its item, an unboosted Rock Slide potentially can 5HKO Skarmory. On the other hand, Fire Blast almost 2HKOs. These are critical for Skarmory users to scout for, and it is important to have back-up Snorlax checks in case it is a mixed set.


**Nidoking/Gengar**: Nidoking threatens Skarmory massively with its powerful Special Attack stat and access to Lovely Kiss. Drill Peck does do a decent amount of damage to Nidoking, possibly 5HKOing the Poison- and Ground-type after Leftovers recovery, but with Thunder easily 2HKOing Skarmory, Nidoking is a massive threat. Gengar also poses a large threat to Skarmory, with Thunder having the potential to nearly OHKO, though Drill Peck will do more damage to it (about a 20% chance to 3HKO). Another factor to take into consideration here is Nidoking’s and Gengar’s immunity to Toxic, which usually is a great resource at Skarmory’s disposal to put offensive sweepers on a clock (or at least to compel them to Rest). If Skarmory is running an attack-less set, Gengar and Nidoking can always switch into Skarmory, which grants each the ability to threaten the rest of the team.


**Growth Passers**: Vaporeon and Jolteon both represent large threats to Skarmory. Although Toxic puts both on a clock (or at least compels Vaporeon to Rest, seeing as though Rest Vaporeon variants are common), unboosted Drill Peck does marginal damage, and they both have powerful SpA stats and attacks with which to threaten Skarmory. Additionally, if Skarmory is the sole phazer on a team, then this can allow Vaporeon or Jolteon to use Growth and Baton Pass those boosts to an offensive sweeper, seriously threatening the team.


**Curse Tyranitar/Rhydon**: Skarmory’s role on GSC OU teams is almost always to function as a physical wall. However, there are some instances in which it can’t fend off a physical attacker. If Skarmory isn’t running Toxic, then Curse Tyranitar and Rhydon with Roar can beat it. Even though Skarmory can tank hits of Rock Slide from either, in GSC, the slower phazer moves first, meaning that Rhydon and Tyranitar can continually phaze it out, enabling them to Curse boost. Therefore, without Toxic, Skarmory can’t threaten either Tyranitar or Rhydon with their formidable Def stats and Flying resistances.


[CREDITS]


- Written by: [[, ]]


- Quality checked by: [[, ], [, ], [, ]]


- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [,]]
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top