Behold, the single most dominant Pokemon in any OU tier in history. Snorlax combines power and resilience with deadly unpredictability, a set of traits that lands it a spot on virtually all serious teams. Its presence defines the GSC metagame, all but forcing teams to play one or more sturdy Normal-resistant Pokemon while simultaneously killing off the viability of manifold special attackers with its enormous HP and sky-high Special Defense. Snorlax is a constant threat to offensive teams as a Curse sweeper, a team sweeping machine as a Belly Drum user, a relentless battering ram as a mixed attacker, and a reliable wall as a RestTalk user. However, it isn't completely unstoppable. Snorlax's Defense stat is on the low side, meaning that despite its massive HP stat, Explosion from common OU Pokemon like Cloyster and Exeggutor is enough to take it out with minimal prior damage. It will usually be forced to use Rest if it gets poisoned, giving the opposing team a reprieve that they can use to gain an advantage. Defensive teams will nearly always have Skarmory for Snorlax and usually pair it with a semi-reliable counter to mixed Snorlax as well, which can sometimes leave Snorlax unable to do any meaningful damage by itself. However, make no mistake: these constitute but minor flaws among Snorlax's array of overwhelmingly powerful attributes.
move 1: Curse
move 2: Double-Edge / Body Slam / Return
move 3: Earthquake / Fire Blast / Flamethrower / Lovely Kiss / Thunder
move 4: Rest
Curselax is the standard Snorlax set, and for good reason. Before using Curse, Snorlax is already hitting hard and can trade hits quite well with the majority of Pokemon. After a Curse boost, Snorlax can dish out 2HKOs against nearly any foe that doesn't resist its STAB Double-Edge or Return or threaten to paralyze the opposing Pokemon with Body Slam and outspeed it. Not only does it become a menace offensively, but it also becomes nigh impenetrable defensively, raising its previously low Defense stat higher than its formidable Special Defense. For Pokemon that resist or are immune to Snorlax's STAB attacks, its diverse pool of coverage attacks has something for every Pokemon—just not all at once. A solid choice for its coverage move is Earthquake, which can be used to get past Rock- and Steel-type phazers like Tyranitar, Steelix, and Rhydon. After a Curse boost, it OHKOes Gengar and sometimes 2HKOes Misdreavus. However, should Curselax hope to get past Skarmory, Earthquake will not be enough. Fire Blast usually 2HKOes Skarmory and OHKOes Forretress while still hitting Steelix hard, although its low PP and imperfect accuracy leave Snorlax susceptible to being PP stalled by a clever opponent. Flamethrower is an alternative that misses the aforementioned benchmarks and is therefore harder to get surprise KOs with, but given its greater accuracy and PP, it is more certain to get the job done in the long run. Unfortunately, these Fire-type moves leave Curselax without a good option against Rock-types such as Rhydon and Tyranitar and can cause it to struggle against Gengar and Misdreavus. Yet another option for Skarmory is Thunder, which also has the major benefit of potentially landing a KO on Cloyster if it switches into Double-Edge and can inflict crippling paralysis on Ghost-types. However, it comes with the major drawback of leaving Snorlax without a useful attack against Steelix, Rhydon, Golem, and Forretress. Lovely Kiss is another option that provides both offensive and defensive utility. Although it comes at the significant cost of coverage, Curselax's ability to muscle its way past common Sleep Talk users like Zapdos and Suicune makes it possible to land crippling sleep on a desirable target, something other sleep move users sometimes struggle to do. Furthermore, despite its lack of coverage, Lovely Kiss Curselax can potentially break through even Normal-resistant Pokemon by chipping away at their health while they sleep. Moreover, to a greater extent than other Curselax variants can, Lovely Kiss Curselax can check opposing Snorlax by putting it to sleep. Finally, Rest is needed to keep Snorlax healthy. Unlike most Pokemon in GSC OU, Snorlax has the defensive stats needed to pull off the turns of passivity required for Rest without Sleep Talk, especially with a Curse boost under its belt.
Snorlax's choice of a STAB attack comes down to the rest of your team and how you intend to use your Snorlax. Double-Edge is considered the default choice due to its high power, reliably 3HKOing Zapdos when unboosted and coming close to a 2HKO on Cloyster at +1 Attack. It is also the optimal choice for facing opposing Curselax in the common mirror match, substantially decreasing the odds that the opposing Snorlax can switch in on Curse and come out the winner and guaranteeing that an opposing Curselax with an equal number of Curse boosts will be KOed in three hits if one of them is a critical hit. However, Return has its merits when trading hits with mixed attackers and strong special attackers, as the recoil from Double-Edge can sometimes turn attacking into a risk. This is especially relevant when Snorlax is using a special coverage attack and therefore only has one powerful physical option against threats like Nidoking and Raikou. Lastly, Body Slam can be incredibly useful with its ability to inflict paralysis, especially when paired with sweepers that benefit from it such as Machamp and Marowak, but it should be kept in mind that it is a substantially weaker option. For example, unboosted Body Slam cannot 3HKO Zapdos. Moreover, Snorlax with Body Slam relies on paralysis to defeat opposing Curselax—unlike Return and Double-Edge, when both Curselax have maxed out their boosts, Body Slam has no chance to 3HKO the opposing Snorlax with just a single critical hit.
One final notable attribute of Curselax is its effectiveness when it is the last remaining Pokemon on one's team. If Curselax is healthy and the opponent is lacking the means to remove it quickly, Pokemon that rely on phazing it to beat it will falter, potentially allowing Curselax to overcome many of its usual counters, such as Skarmory and Tyranitar that don't have Curse, despite lacking a coverage move to hit them with.
Being the most popular set on the most popular Pokemon in its tier, Curselax is naturally a very flexible Pokemon and can be used on all kinds of teams. Once its fourth move is revealed, however, it tends to become a lot less threatening against more defensive teams, which tend to ensure Curselax variants are covered thoroughly. Defensive teams also often depend on Snorlax as a major source of offensive pressure, which can lead them to choose to use Snorlax variants that are harder to handle than Curselax. An exception to this is Fire Blast or Flamethrower Curselax, which can theoretically muscle through the majority of its counters, especially with Pursuit support from Tyranitar, Umbreon, or Houndoom and Spikes support from Cloyster or Forretress. Lovely Kiss Curselax similarly appreciates Pursuit support and can potentially help ensure an opposing Ghost-type goes down by putting it to sleep.
When used on more offensive teams, Curselax appreciates being paired with Pokemon that can be used to take Explosions aimed at it, such as Steelix, Tyranitar, and Gengar. It similarly appreciates Pokemon that can take a Cross Chop from Machamp and threaten it in return, such as Zapdos and Exeggutor. Additionally, as Curselax can rarely break a defensive core on its own, it helps to pair it with a Spiker and mixed attackers such as Nidoking, Tentacruel, and Tyranitar, or boosting sweepers such as Machamp, Marowak, and Vaporeon, which can then either help Snorlax become relevant offensively by pressuring Snorlax's checks or fall back on Snorlax's defensive capabilities when they find themselves in an unfavorable matchup. Hidden Power Fire Exeggutor and Fire Blast Machamp also make for good choices when trying to help an Earthquake or Lovely Kiss Snorlax become offensively potent against an opposing team with Skarmory.
move 1: Rest
move 2: Sleep Talk
move 3: Double-Edge
move 4: Curse / Thunder / Flamethrower / Surf / Earthquake
This set functions by augmenting Snorlax's already-incredible defensive capabilities with Sleep Talk. The combination of Rest and Sleep Talk provides Snorlax with greater ability to sponge the myriad special attacks in GSC OU, including those from Zapdos, one of the tier's premier threats. Without Sleep Talk, Snorlax cannot switch repeatedly into Zapdos's Thunder—especially with Spikes up—without having to use Rest, putting it out of commission for two turns and leaving its user in a precarious position against various threats. This set reduces the burden of having to take Zapdos's Thunder for one's team by reducing Snorlax's downtime while asleep. In addition, Sleep Talk turns Snorlax into an excellent status absorber, allowing it to check major threats like Nidoking and Jynx. It can also take Sleep Powder from Exeggutor, though it must be wary of Explosion. With Curse as its fourth move, it also performs better than most standard Curselax variants in a mirror match, as its ability to use moves while asleep denies the opposing Curselax as many opportunities to gain unanswered boosts or land unanswered critical hits. It should be noted, however, that even if a RestTalk Snorlax has Curse and Double-Edge, it typically matches up poorly against a Curse + Lovely Kiss Snorlax, which has a degree of control over when RestTalk Snorlax goes to sleep and can also take advantage of the uncertainties of random sleep duration and Sleep Talk rolls.
Double-Edge is the preferred STAB option on this set due to the increased pressure it puts on Zapdos and other bulky Pokemon. Body Slam could also be used for its ability to inflict paralysis, but it comes at the major cost of a disadvantage against opposing Double-Edge Curselax, as well as being unable to 3HKO Zapdos without a Curse boost. The standard option for the fourth move on RestTalk Snorlax is Curse, which provides it with a solid matchup against most variants of enemy Snorlax and lets it serve as an excellent late-game wincon—a last Pokemon Snorlax cannot be phazed, which reduces the number of Pokemon that can take it on significantly. However, with only a Normal-type STAB move, Snorlax can't hope to make much progress in the early-game, as it is all but certain to run into a Normal-resistant Pokemon with high Defense or a Ghost-type. There is no single coverage move that will allow Snorlax to get past all Pokemon that resist Normal, so a dual attack RestTalk Snorlax must choose a coverage move that best suits its team. Thunder can allow Snorlax to surprise a major threat in Cloyster, KOing it after Double-Edge more often than not. It also hits Skarmory hard and is the special attack that poses the biggest immediate threat to Gengar with its chance to inflict paralysis. However, using Thunder comes with the major downside of being unable to touch Steelix, Rhydon, and Golem while also offering little for Forretress. Flamethrower can be used to hit Steelix and Forretress hard and is preferred over Fire Blast on this set due to its higher PP, but it fails to offer coverage against Rock-types and poses only a moderate threat to Gengar and Misdreavus. Surf is another alternative that hits all of Steelix, Tyranitar, Rhydon, and Golem super effectively, making it an attractive option against offensive teams, which typically rely on one of these Pokemon to handle Snorlax. The main downside to Surf is that although it can potentially force Skarmory to use Rest, it can't hope to ever KO it. Earthquake is a similar option that does less damage to Golem, Rhydon, and Steelix but is a much larger immediate threat to Gengar and Misdreavus.
RestTalk Snorlax is typically chosen for its defensive attributes, but it fits well on many team archetypes. Offensive teams enjoy having RestTalk Snorlax to fall back on against the many special threats in the tier, particularly Jynx and Zapdos. Having RestTalk Snorlax as a status absorber can free up Zapdos to use a Thunder Wave or phazer set, making it even more of a threat. Machamp works well with RestTalk Snorlax thanks to its ability to threaten Normal-resistant Pokemon. This combination can be made even more effective through the addition of Pursuit support for taking out Gengar and Misdreavus. Another very useful partner for RestTalk Snorlax is Gengar, which can prevent Forretress and Rapid Spin Cloyster from taking too much advantage of Snorlax's limited coverage while also nullifying Explosions aimed at Snorlax.
If used on a more defensive team, RestTalk Snorlax serves as both a powerful attacker and reliable wall but runs the risk of encountering a Pokemon that walls its limited coverage. It can therefore be prudent to try to pair it with Pursuit support for the Ghost-types that can slow down mixed and mono-attacking variants, particularly due to the heightened threat posed by Perish trap Misdreavus. Sets that cannot beat Skarmory are best paired with an Electric-type for the immediate threat to Curse Skarmory and Spikes support to ensure that the enemy team can eventually be worn down in the long run.
move 1: Belly Drum
move 2: Body Slam / Return
move 3: Earthquake / Lovely Kiss
move 4: Rest
Just when you thought you had Snorlax covered with your Skarmory and Tyranitar, enter the Drumlax. A single misstep against Belly Drum Snorlax often means at least one Pokemon goes down, or possibly even an entire team. Body Slam is used to scout for counters and soften the opposing team, putting them into KO range of Snorlax's Body Slam off 999 Attack and hopefully inflicting some paralysis along the way. Then, given an opportunity, Snorlax will immediately boost itself to the maximum possible Attack stat with Belly Drum and commence the annihilation of the enemy team. Body Slam misses many relevant OHKOs at +6, including against Miltank, opposing Snorlax, and Zapdos, so Return can be used as a more powerful alternative, but not being able to inflict paralysis is a major drawback. Still, Return does have the benefit of potentially 3HKOing Zapdos without any Attack boosts. Zapdos is one of the few special attackers that can remove more than 56% of Snorlax's health in two hits, making this potential 3HKO quite appealing. Double-Edge is another option that can be used to break through Skarmory more easily, being very likely to 2HKO an unboosted Skarmory and 3HKOing +1 Defense Skarmory about half of the time at +6. However, due to recoil, it usually can't sweep a team without first recovering off damage with Rest, so the other options tend to be preferred unless your team is lacking in ways to break through defensive teams. The most reliable choice of a fourth move is Earthquake, which gives Snorlax a tool to get past Rock-, Steel-, and Ghost-types. With a STAB attack and Earthquake, the only Pokemon Snorlax cannot at least 2HKO after using Belly Drum is Skarmory, which, without Defense boosts, is reliably 3HKOed by Body Slam or Return. The main alternative to Earthquake is Lovely Kiss, a highly versatile move that Snorlax can use to break through Pokemon it would otherwise have difficulties with, such as Skarmory. The move also provides a fallback option for when opposing Pokemon get out of hand, and it can even be used to prevent the opposing team's Spiker from setting up. The main downside to using Lovely Kiss is that Snorlax will have no way of touching Gengar or Misdreavus and must rely on Pursuit support to get past them. Rock- and Steel-types also become much better Drumlax answers when Earthquake is dropped. Fire Blast can also be used over Earthquake to help Drumlax beat Skarmory and Forretress more easily, but the lack of coverage against Ghost- and Rock-types is a major downside—being completely walled after sacrificing half of Snorlax's health is far from desirable. Rest is the typical last move and is used to restore Snorlax's health once it gets worn down or inflicted with status so that it can prepare to set up another Belly Drum later in the battle.
When using Drumlax, one must remember that it doesn't have any method of boosting its Defense, so heavy-hitting physical attackers as well as Pokemon with Explosion remain a constant threat and can easily force Snorlax to use Rest or dissuade it from using Belly Drum. Drumlax will ideally set up against a paralyzed foe, as this will usually force the opponent to sacrifice it or another member of their team in order to send out a Pokemon that can finish off Snorlax in one hit. It is also important to remember that Snorlax can boost to +2 Attack with Belly Drum when it is at 50% health or lower at no HP cost; with this, it can suddenly become a huge threat when at around 40% HP.
Drumlax is typically used on more defensive teams because they tend to have more Pokemon capable of taking hits that Drumlax would prefer not to and can also more readily remove Spikes and provide Heal Bell support, all of which helps Drumlax considerably in its efforts in finding an opportunity to set up. In return, Drumlax provides outstanding offensive capabilities that can break a stall deadlock like few other Pokemon can. Pokemon such as Raikou and Blissey can provide relief against Zapdos. Skarmory pairs fantastically with both of those Pokemon and can stomach hits from Heracross, Machamp, Marowak, and opposing Snorlax while also providing an option for sponging Explosions aimed at Snorlax. Ghost-types are similarly helpful at nullifying predicted Explosions. Spinners such as Starmie and Forretress are also much appreciated, as they enable Snorlax to regain its health via its Leftovers through clever switches, which can create opportunities to use Belly Drum twice without having to use Rest. When it does have to use Rest or is inflicted with status, Miltank or Blissey can provide Heal Bell support. This will decrease the amount of recovery time the opposing team gets after neutralizing Drumlax. Paralysis support is excellent for Drumlax; Pokemon such as Thunder Wave Starmie, Body Slam Miltank, and Thunder Raikou fit the role of a paralysis spreader. Lastly, Lovely Kiss Drumlax very much enjoys Pursuit support from Dark-types such as Tyranitar, Houndoom, and Umbreon.
name: All-out Attacker
move 1: Double-Edge / Body Slam
move 2: Earthquake / Lovely Kiss
move 3: Thunder / Fire Blast / Curse
move 4: Self-Destruct
Snorlax's multitude of options and overall strength lend greatly to its unpredictability, and none of Snorlax's other sets take advantage of that unpredictability more so than this one. Snorlax's STAB Self-Destruct is the most powerful attack in the game, OHKOing any and all Pokemon that don't resist it and heavily denting those that do. The fact that Snorlax can reasonably run Rest or another attack alongside any of the coverage moves listed here means that, at least until Snorlax has revealed a special attack, the opponent may not anticipate Self-Destruct. This can be used to take out a key piece on the opponent's side, such as the enemy Snorlax or Zapdos, or, if Snorlax is using the Body Slam / Earthquake / Curse / Self-Destruct set, even an opposing Skarmory. For STAB, Snorlax usually wants Double-Edge for maximum power unless using the aforementioned Skarmory lure set. Without Double-Edge's power, non-Curse Snorlax will find it a lot more difficult to pressure bulky Pokemon with recovery like RestTalk Zapdos and opposing Snorlax. Aside from Self-Destruct and its other STAB attack, all-out attacker Snorlax is typically focused on causing as much damage as possible by maximizing its coverage against Normal-resistant Pokemon. Earthquake is used to hit Rock- and Ghost-types such as Tyranitar, Rhydon, and Gengar, which Snorlax would otherwise struggle against. It can be dropped for Lovely Kiss, although without Earthquake, Snorlax will struggle to take out the aforementioned Rock-types even while they are asleep, which means that if Snorlax gets worn down, it may be unable to pull off an effective Self-Destruct. Snorlax could theoretically use both Lovely Kiss and Earthquake together, although this leaves Snorlax helpless against Skarmory and in a bad position against Toxic Forretress, so it is preferable to have a special attack alongside either option. Thunder is mainly used to potentially land a surprise KO on Cloyster that switch into Double-Edge while also covering Skarmory and offering a decent chance of inflicting paralysis. However, using Thunder means that Snorlax will be lacking coverage for Forretress and relying on unboosted Earthquake for Steelix, which takes only moderate damage from the move. Fire Blast OHKOes Forretress and 2HKOes Steelix while also hitting Skarmory, making it the option with better coverage overall. However, due to how common Cloyster is and how valuable it can be to remove it, Thunder is typically the preferred choice.
All-out Attacker Snorlax's gameplay typically involves coming out early in the game or leading and weakening the opposing team with heavy hits until it finds itself in an unfavorable matchup. If things go right, Snorlax can gain a huge advantage for its team by weakening or KOing key Pokemon and then taking out a valuable Pokemon with Self-Destruct. One of the key targets for Self-Destruct is an opposing Curselax—if the foe uses Curse on the turn your Snorlax uses Double-Edge, it is typically committed to staying in the next turn, unless you have given the opponent reason to believe Snorlax might have Self-Destruct. This provides an easy opportunity to trade your Snorlax for theirs with Self-Destruct, which makes it much easier for fast special attackers such as Gengar and Jynx to wreak havoc.
All-out attacker Snorlax requires very little support to function and can theoretically fit on a variety of teams as a tool to take out or weaken key opposing threats. However, as it does not run Rest, it is less often seen on defensive teams, which generally prefer to have the option to use Snorlax as a general wall if needed. Its knack for trading two-for-one makes it a common choice on Explosion-heavy teams, since they can then "trade down" and simplify the game by reducing numbers on both sides. As Snorlax will often attempt to trade itself for the opposing Snorlax, Pokemon that can wreak havoc when Snorlax is out of the way make for good partners, such as Jynx. Lacking Rest means Snorlax must be more wary of taking Toxic or being put to sleep. Having a status absorber such as RestTalk Zapdos is helpful in mitigating this threat. If Snorlax is being used to bait and KO Skarmory with a Curse + Self-Destruct set, Pokemon that can set up to sweep opposing teams once Skarmory is gone such as Curse Heracross are excellent choices for partners.
move 1: Double-Edge
move 2: Flamethrower
move 3: Toxic
move 4: Rest
When used on a defensive team, Snorlax typically plays the role of a wallbreaker while doubling as a backup check for special and mixed attackers. This Snorlax set excels at this role and differs from other Snorlax sets through its use of Toxic to whittle foes down, putting them on a timer before they are either knocked out or forced to use Rest. The raw power of Double-Edge is enough to KO most Pokemon that don't resist it within the three to four free hits granted by the foe using Rest, while Flamethrower handles Steel-types such as Skarmory, Steelix, and Forretress. Rock- and Ghost-types that typically pose a problem for Snorlax with Fire-type coverage are worn down by Toxic or, in Gengar's case, repeated hits from Flamethrower.
With the notable exceptions of teams that use a Rock- or Ghost-type with Rest, this Snorlax set has good odds of breaking through an entire enemy lineup should the opponent have insufficient means to threaten or remove it. Even some of the bulkiest Pokemon in the tier, such as Suicune, Umbreon, and Miltank, will typically eventually fall to a critical hit from Double-Edge or three Double-Edge hits and Spikes damage, or run out of PP to cure themselves of Toxic. Toxic Snorlax also brings benefits in terms of Spikes pressure—a grounded Pokemon that is inflicted with poison will take as much as 25% when switching in, except after a KO or when dragged in by a phazing move. With some clever maneuvering and double switching, this can quickly turn into a death sentence. This can be particularly effective against Cloyster and Golem, which are critical pieces in terms of keeping Spikes on and off the field.
Toxic Snorlax gives up Snorlax's Attack-boosting potential to play a war of attrition, and its teammates should support it in doing this. Ample defensive measures are highly recommended, such as Skarmory for opposing Snorlax and other physical attackers and Raikou as a primary answer to Electric-types and Growth sweepers such as Vaporeon. Roar Raikou with Spikes provided by Cloyster or Forretress will provide not only extra damage for Snorlax to keep the pressure on, but also a secondary form of offense through residual damage. To keep Spikes on the field and provide a switch-in for Explosions and Cross Chops aimed at Snorlax, Ghost-types such as Misdreavus and Gengar also make for good teammates. They can also potentially contribute to breaking an opposing team open with their numerous support options, such as Thief and Mean Look + Perish Song. Mean Look + Perish Song Misdreavus in particular is excellent at taking advantage of phazers that have been forced to use Rest due to Toxic from Snorlax or its teammates, which leaves them helpless against the strategy.
While the sets above represent most of what Snorlax can do effectively, there are times when using other sets makes sense. A Snorlax with a STAB attack and two coverage attacks alongside Rest is a viable option, particularly on more defensive teams where a different mixed attacker such as Nidoking cannot easily be used to capitalize off of Spikes support, or where Toxic would be wasted on Snorlax due to its teammates' ability to spread paralysis. Some attack combinations that can be used include Double-Edge / Thunder / Fire Blast, which punishes both Cloyster and Forretress and only falters against Rock- and Ghost-types; Double-Edge / Earthquake / Flamethrower or Fire Blast, which can get past all but the sturdiest physical walls given enough free turns; and Double-Edge / Earthquake / Thunder, which is also very difficult to stop in the long run and is better at getting past sturdy Pokemon with Thunder's paralysis chance, but such a combination takes much longer to KO Forretress, a trait that can cause problems in longer games. Lovely Kiss can also be utilized over one of the coverage moves for the surprise factor, which can be extremely effective due to the long potential sleep duration. However, these sets can be less reliable than those with just two coverage moves, as their effectiveness relies in part on surprising an opponent with more coverage than anticipated—once the set has been revealed and the opponent is able to work out a plan regarding how to check these mixed sets, Snorlax's inability to boost its stats or trade with Self-Destruct can limit its effectiveness during the later phases of a game, particularly when it comes to fighting opposing Snorlax. Moreover, relying on coverage rather than Toxic forces one to land multiple Earthquakes rather than a single Toxic to wear down Misdreavus and Rock-types.
A variation of all-out attacker Snorlax that can be used to surprise particular kinds of teams is Curse / Double-Edge / Fire Blast / Self-Destruct or Lovely Kiss. This variant is particularly effective at taking apart teams that depend on Miltank or Umbreon + Skarmory to handle Snorlax, since they depend on Lovely Kiss Snorlax not having coverage for Skarmory. However, this set has major issues against Ghost- and Rock-types and is therefore not a common choice.
Dropping Rest for a move other than Self-Destruct is also an option for numerous other sets, though this removes much of Snorlax's defensive capabilities and is very risky due to the possibility of being inflicted with poison. Nonetheless, it can prove to be a very effective option if utilized well. One moveset that does this is Curse / Lovely Kiss / Double-Edge / Earthquake. To get the most out of this set, it is best to find an opportunity for Snorlax to come in unscathed and to have hopefully weakened or at least identified the opponent's initial answers to Curselax, which are often Spikers with Toxic. If the opponent has Skarmory, this set is much less likely to work, but landing Lovely Kiss on it may induce your opponent to switch to a secondary Normal-resistant Pokemon, at which point Snorlax should have enough Curse boosts to inflict heavy damage with Earthquake. Many more offensive teams will only have a single Normal-resistant Pokemon, in which case this set is particularly effective—they will likely be forced to use multiple Explosions to avoid being swept by your boosted Snorlax. To avoid potential coverage woes against Skarmory, this set can also use Fire Blast over Lovely Kiss, but the risk of being poisoned is extremely high, so it is worth considering using it alongside a Heal Bell user.
Another variant of the set uses Lovely Kiss / Belly Drum / Return / Earthquake. This set works best on teams that can pass Speed boosts to Snorlax with Baton Pass, but it can also be used on teams with very sturdy defensive Pokemon such as Blissey and a spinner. Once Snorlax receives a +2 Speed boost from a teammate, the only OU Pokemon it is outsped by are Gengar, Raikou, and Starmie, and there are few Pokemon it can't OHKO. On defensive teams, it is used to sweep the opposing team once the opponent's offense has been neutralized or an opportunity arises otherwise. The advantage this set has is that it is almost completely unstoppable defensively as long as Lovely Kiss hits Skarmory, but the disadvantage is that Snorlax is entirely reliant on Leftovers to recover its health. This can be made easier by using Protect instead of Lovely Kiss, an option that functions best with Body Slam as the complementing STAB attack. This set works well on more aggressive teams as a general offensive threat, but it faces major issues against Skarmory. With Protect, Snorlax can nullify Explosions aimed at it after it has used Belly Drum. This set is also quite good at using Belly Drum to gain +2 Attack when under 50% health thanks to its ability to get extra Leftovers recovery.
Snorlax can also use Curse together with Belly Drum, which theoretically allows it to boost its Defense against a Growl or Charm user before boosting to 999 Attack. Additionally, once you have shown Curse, no one will expect that Snorlax's last move is Belly Drum under any normal circumstances, so there is surprise value to be gained from using both boosting moves. However, the downside is that this restricts Snorlax to using a STAB move as its only attack, meaning Normal-resistant phazers will easily dispatch of Snorlax.
Belly Drum Snorlax can also make use of Mega Kick over Return when receiving a Speed boost to secure a few extra notable OHKOs, such as against Suicune and Umbreon, as well as gaining a chance to OHKO Cloyster. Double-Edge has the same power as Mega Kick, but the recoil makes it a poor choice on a Belly Drum Snorlax that lacks Rest and is going all-in on a sweep. The obvious downside to Mega Kick is having to rely on an attack with imperfect accuracy. Counter can also be used on Snorlax as a surprise option that can potentially take out opposing Snorlax and do more damage than expected to many physical attackers thanks to its high HP. Counter also comes with the added benefit of preventing any faster Pokemon from phazing Snorlax, which can be used to regain Snorlax's health against non-Toxic Skarmory and force it to use a lot of PP to get rid of Snorlax. However, this comes at the very significant cost of a moveslot, and the benefits of the move are mostly reliant on surprise value, so it is far from a standard option.
Finally, Snorlax can use Defense Curl with Rollout, a combination that many defensive teams will fail to prepare for due to its obscurity. This is one of the only Snorlax sets that can best combinations such as Curse Skarmory + non-Perish Song Misdreavus as the last remaining Pokemon, although Snorlax will struggle to contribute anything other than being a glorified punching bag prior to when it can no longer be phazed. For a fourth move alongside Rest, Snorlax can use Amnesia to ensure that Growth users, Pokemon like Zapdos, and Pokemon that can lower its Special Defense with Psychic can't get past it. Alternatively, Counter gives it a fighting chance against Pokemon that can boost with Curse alongside it like Machamp, Heracross, and opposing Snorlax. No matter which option is chosen, there will be some strategy that beats it, so going with this set is a risky decision and thus not recommended in most cases.
Checks and Counters
**Skarmory**: Due to its high Defense, resistance to Normal, and immunity to Earthquake, Skarmory is considered the best answer to Snorlax. This unique combination of traits virtually necessitates its inclusion on defensive teams. Almost any purely physical Curselax variation is soundly beaten by standard Curse Skarmory. However, it is unable to contain Snorlax that target its weaker Special Defense with Fire Blast, Thunder, or Flamethrower—the former two are likely to 2HKO Skarmory, whereas Flamethrower guarantees a 3HKO. Even without Curse, Skarmory still fares well against Curselax, since it can simply phaze Snorlax to nullify any Curse boosts. However, if Curselax is the last remaining Pokemon, Skarmory will have no way of stopping it from boosting to maximum power, so it's important to have a contingency plan, such as running Growl Miltank, Charm Umbreon, or Perish Song Misdreavus. Skarmory is also the best defensive check to Drumlax, although it is not a safe counter by any means. +6 Body Slam from Snorlax is a 3HKO on Skarmory and threatens to paralyze it, whereas +6 Double-Edge can 2HKO an unboosted Skarmory and potentially 3HKO it at +1 Defense. Consequently, it is important to time Skarmory's Rest such that it will wake up before Drumlax can KO it. Snorlax can also utilize Lovely Kiss alongside either Curse or Belly Drum to help it overcome Skarmory. One adaptation Skarmory can make against Lovely Kiss Snorlax is to run Sleep Talk and Curse, although this typically entails forgoing Whirlwind. Lastly, Snorlax is capable of luring Skarmory and using Curse with Self-Destruct to land a surprise KO, which can pave the way for Pokemon like Curse Heracross to sweep.
**Other Normal-resistant Phazers**: Pokemon that resist Normal such as Steelix, Tyranitar, Rhydon, and Golem make for solid checks to Snorlax with their high Defense and powerful STAB attacks. However, they struggle to beat Earthquake Curselax when switching in, meaning it is often most practical to take a hit and phaze away its boosts with Roar. Steelix takes less damage from Earthquake than its Rock-type counterparts but has a weakness to Fire, making it particularly susceptible to Curselax that have a Fire-type move. Both Steelix and Golem have access to Explosion, which they can use to deal heavy damage to Snorlax, but if Snorlax has one or more Curse boosts, Explosion may be insufficient to put it into the KO range of a teammate's follow-up attack. Tyranitar can use Dynamic Punch to deal an unexpectedly large amount of damage to Snorlax, but its low accuracy makes it very unreliable. When used on defensive teams, Rock-type Pokemon are often paired with Skarmory due to their ability to cover Snorlax with Fire-type moves, while Skarmory can cover Earthquake Snorlax. However, sets such as Toxic Snorlax can be used to overcome this combination in the long run if the Rock-type is not running Rest.
**Cloyster and Forretress**: Cloyster and Forretress are often among the first Pokemon to switch into Snorlax early in the game due to the possible opportunity to lay down Spikes. Although neither of them actually beat Snorlax one-on-one with their standard sets, their extremely high Defense stats can make it difficult for Snorlax to take them out quickly, and they pose a threat to Snorlax with Toxic and Explosion. Even if Snorlax sets up numerous Curse boosts in the face of Cloyster or Forretress, if it is poisoned and Spikes are up, Snorlax will be forced to use Rest or risk being unable to switch in safely for the remainder of the game. However, Cloyster must beware of the threat of Double-Edge + Thunder from Snorlax, the combination of which has a high chance to KO it. Forretress must likewise beware of an outright OHKO from Fire Blast, whereas Flamethrower also does very heavy damage. Snorlax can also use Lovely Kiss to potentially deny Spikes entirely. While both Spikers are very physically bulky, Cloyster still takes hefty damage from a boosted Snorlax's STAB attacks, whereas Forretress takes little damage from everything other than its Fire-type attacks.
**Ghost-types**: Gengar and Misdreavus are very useful to have against Snorlax thanks to their Normal immunity. Gengar can threaten Snorlax with Dynamic Punch, Explosion, Hypnosis, Thief, and Destiny Bond, and if Snorlax lacks Earthquake, it can attempt to inflict a devastating freeze by using Ice Punch repeatedly. Misdreavus poses a big threat to Snorlax with Mean Look + Perish Song, especially considering even +1 Earthquake from Snorlax doesn't reliably 2HKO it. Apart from Perish trapping, Misdreavus also threatens Snorlax with Toxic and Thief, which diminish Snorlax's longevity through negating its Leftovers recovery. Neither Gengar nor Misdreavus take much damage from any of Snorlax's attacks other than Earthquake, but Misdreavus tends to be better equipped to take Snorlax on in the long run, having the option to choose between Pain Split and Rest for recovery, whereas Gengar can get worn down by mixed Snorlax's special attacks and typically runs Explosion rather than a recovery move. If Misdreavus has Rest, not even Toxic Snorlax will be able to wear it down, and in general, Snorlax without Earthquake will have to rely on Pursuit support, which is far from a reliable method to take down either of the Ghost-types. Gengar is also notably the only common Explosion user that outspeeds a Snorlax that has been Baton Passed +2 Speed, which can allow it to shut down a Snorlax that might otherwise be able to sweep.
**Miltank and Umbreon**: Miltank and Umbreon both have the bulk to take any of Snorlax's attacks on the switch, can negate any Curse boosts with Growl or Charm, and can recover off any damage with Milk Drink or Rest. While they sometimes fear paralysis from Body Slam or Thunder, they can cure themselves with Heal Bell and Rest if they avoid full paralysis, and Miltank can even cure its teammates of status inflictions. Miltank must beware of Lovely Kiss, but Umbreon makes for a solid check to Lovely Kiss Curselax if it has Sleep Talk. However, Snorlax is capable of getting past them in the long run with timely critical hits, especially if it has Double-Edge. Additionally, Drumlax can bypass Growl and Charm entirely and instantly become an existential threat to one's team, so it is best to have Skarmory as a contingency plan and stay wary of the possibility that Snorlax may have Belly Drum.
**Machamp**: While it doesn't want to switch into Snorlax's powerful STAB attacks, Machamp poses a unique threat to Snorlax due to its access to Cross Chop, which has a 25% chance to critical hit and OHKO Snorlax regardless of how many Curse boosts it has set up. Even if it fails to score a critical hit, Machamp's unboosted Cross Chop scores a 2HKO on +0 and a 3HKO on +1 Defense Snorlax, a feat that few other Pokemon can achieve. Aggressively switching Machamp into a boosted Curselax about to use Rest can therefore prevent it from safely burning any sleep turns, which is key to preventing Curselax from regaining momentum after it has been weakened.
**Explosion Users**: Explosion is an extremely powerful tool that is often crucial to beating Snorlax without having to resort to using a momentum killer like Skarmory. Cloyster, Exeggutor, and Gengar all struggle to deal much damage to Snorlax with their special attacks, but Gengar's Explosion does at least 68% to an unboosted Snorlax, while Cloyster and Exeggutor can possibly OHKO it outright. Golem, Steelix, and Forretress don't have special attacks for Snorlax to try to wall, but they are useful for reacting to Snorlax's attempts to set up and forcing the Snorlax user to guess whether they will use Explosion or simply phaze, poison, or attack it. Another Explosion user that fits into neither category is Muk. Its Explosion is likely to be more telegraphed against Snorlax, but it can be used as a deterrent nonetheless. The fact that Explosion used by a faster Pokemon prevents the opposing Pokemon from moving that turn also contributes to its effectiveness against Snorlax, preventing the possibility that Snorlax could predict it and Rest the damage off. Explosion is particularly effective against Drumlax, since it must sacrifice half its health to set up and Explosion can easily finish it off, which can lead to some high-stakes mind games. It is less effective against a Snorlax that has already set up a Curse boost, but it will often do enough damage that a teammate will be able to finish it off.
**Bulky Pokemon**: Pokemon such as Suicune, Porygon2, and Dragonite can be used to neutralize or stall out some Snorlax variants. Toxic Suicune makes for a decent initial answer to an unknown Snorlax because it can inflict it—or another Pokemon that switches in—with poison and is not significantly impeded by any possible surprise move that Snorlax may be running, such as Fire Blast or Lovely Kiss. Porygon2 can use Curse and Recover to stall out an opposing Snorlax's attacking PP thanks to Recover's 32 PP. Even a critical hit will not be enough to take out a full-health Porygon2, meaning that unless Snorlax has a method of inflicting status on Porygon2, it will usually be unable to break through Porygon2's defenses. Dragonite can use a RestTalk set with Reflect and Haze to neutralize any of Snorlax's boosting attempts and set up opportunities for its teammates. However, Dragonite is susceptible to being taken out by a critical hit from Double-Edge due to its partial reliance on Sleep Talk choosing the correct moves, its complete lack of offensive presence, and Reflect not reducing critical hit damage. Lastly, Vaporeon is not particularly bulky and should definitely not be switching into Snorlax, but with the combination of Growth and Acid Armor, it can become one of the few special attackers that can beat Snorlax one-on-one.
**Opposing Snorlax**: Some Snorlax variants have distinct advantages over others. For example, a Curselax with Body Slam is highly unlikely to be able to beat a Curselax with Double-Edge because Body Slam fails to 4HKO once both Snorlax have maxed out their stats. Lovely Kiss Snorlax can be very effective against opposing Curselax by outspeeding it and putting it to sleep for up to six turns. Lastly, Snorlax's incredibly powerful Self-Destruct is easily enough to take out an opposing Snorlax in a single hit, although this comes with the downside of losing one's own Snorlax.
**Marowak and Heracross**: Marowak and Heracross are two of the most powerful physical attackers in the tier and can hit Snorlax hard with their powerful STAB attacks. Neither of them are very good at switching into Snorlax, but Heracross's Megahorn 3HKOes it and Marowak's Earthquake has a small chance of 2HKOing it at +0 and about a 50% chance of OHKOing it at +2. This makes them excellent choices for switching in at the same time Snorlax does or when Snorlax is about to use Rest.
**Zapdos**: Zapdos does not check Snorlax effectively, but its presence can be key for offensive teams in keeping Snorlax from becoming overbearing. Its powerful Thunder does up to 32% damage to Snorlax and can also inflict paralysis. The fact that Zapdos can do so much damage to Snorlax regardless of how many Curse boosts it may have accrued is often depended on to finish off a Snorlax that has been weakened by Explosion. It also has a strong influence on when Snorlax decides to use Rest, since if it has Double-Edge and is at around 70% health, it will have to be careful to avoid getting KOed by two Thunders from Zapdos in combination with Double-Edge's recoil. Moreover, if Snorlax chooses to use Rest and then switches out without burning any sleep turns, it can no longer switch into Zapdos's Thunder safely due to potentially being 4HKOed before it can wake up. While unlikely, it's notable that Zapdos is also capable of 3HKOing Snorlax with Thunder if one lands a critical hit.
**Thief**: Pokemon such as Jynx, Gengar, Nidoking, Exeggutor, and Skarmory can enter battle with no item and then proceed to steal Snorlax's Leftovers, which sharply decreases its longevity, makes it a much shakier check to numerous special attackers, and makes it more susceptible to being worn down with residual damage from Spikes and Toxic.
- Written by: [[Earthworm, 15210]]
- Quality checked by: [[Fear, 2005], [M Dragon, 21345], [FriendOfMrGolem120, 424525], [Jorgen, 53302]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Empress, 175616], [deetah, 297659]]