* Toxapex's typing and solid defensive stats allow it to function as a defensive pivot for balanced and stall-inclined teams and a check to common threats such as Ho-Oh, Marshadow, and Mega Lucario.
* Toxapex has a great utility movepool with moves like Haze, Knock Off, and Scald, and it's also one of the few viable Pokemon in the tier with access to Toxic Spikes.
* Regenerator along with Recover allows Toxapex to pivot into many attacks and stay alive throughout the game fairly easily.
* However, Toxapex's lackluster offensive stats make it quite passive, which leads it to being trapped by Mega Gengar, a very common Pokemon in the tier.
* This, combined with the fact that Toxapex has a Ground-type weakness, leaves it vulnerable against common Ground-types such as Primal Groudon, Arceus-Ground, and Zygarde.
move 1: Toxic Spikes
move 2: Scald / Toxic
move 3: Haze
move 4: Recover
item: Rocky Helmet / Shed Shell
evs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
* Toxic Spikes is Toxapex's best method of wearing down grounded Pokemon that aren't Steel- or Poison-types or lack Rest, Aromatherapy, or Refresh. It's highly appreciated by defensive teams due to its ability to weaken offensive teams.
* Scald is mostly used for burns and to prevent Mega Gengar from constantly switching in to absorb Toxic Spikes.
* Haze is mainly used for removing boosts from physical sweepers such as Mega Lucario.
* Recover is necessary to keep Toxapex alive to check Ho-Oh and Marshadow.
* Toxic is an option over Scald to better deal with Ho-Oh and cripple switch-ins like Primal Groudon and Arceus-Ground, but giving up Scald means giving up any offensive presence whatsoever.
* Maximum HP and Defense EVs with a Bold Nature maximize Toxapex's physical bulk, allowing it to take on most physical attackers in the tier.
* Rocky Helmet is the best item choice due to the indirect damage it causes to physical attackers like Marshadow, Ho-Oh, and Mega Lucario, which Toxapex is too weak to deal with.
* Shed Shell is another option, that allows Toxapex to escape from trappers like Mega Gengar, Gothitelle, and the uncommon Dugtrio.
* Toxapex should be used as a defensive pivot that can switch into physical attackers such as defensive Ho-Oh, Marshadow, and Mega Lucario lacking Earthquake. It can also switch in to absorb Toxic Spikes if needed.
* Keep in mind that strong physical attacks from the likes of offensive Ho-Oh, Bulk Up Marshadow, and Dragon Dance Mega Salamence can still overwhelm Toxapex.
* Against offensive teams, only one layer of Toxic Spikes is usually sufficient enough to beat them, but a second layer may be used against defensive teams that want to stay in longer with their Pokemon.
* Toxapex can set up Toxic Spikes against mainly physical attackers that don't carry super effective coverage such as Marshadow.
* It can also take advantage of more passive Pokemon such as Arceus-Water, Arceus-Fairy, and specially defensive Necrozma-DM, in order to force them to get rid of Toxic Spikes with Defog or allow Toxapex to use Recover on them to regain health.
* If carrying Toxic, it's best to use it to cripple checks and counters that may switch in on Toxapex, such as Primal Groudon and Arceus-Ground. It's also appropriate to cripple other Pokemon right away if Toxic Spikes can't be set up.
* If not carrying Toxic, make appropriate double switches when Toxapex's checks and counters arrive, as Toxapex otherwise ends up being fodder to them.
* Ho-Oh checks Primal Groudon and Arceus-Ground sets not carrying Rock-type coverage and greatly appreciates Toxic Spikes support from Toxapex, as it helps Ho-Oh take down Primal Kyogre and Arceus-Water. It can also offer Defog support.
* Support Arceus-Ground can take down Primal Groudon and Zygarde and remove entry hazards with Defog.
* Ferrothorn greatly appreciates Toxapex's ability to check Marshadow and Ho-Oh and forms a hazard stacking core with Toxapex. However, this can stack weaknesses to Mega Gengar and offensive Ho-Oh.
* In general, Toxapex wants Stealth Rock support from Pokemon like Primal Groudon, Necrozma-DM, and Tyranitar to make checking Pokemon like offensive Ho-Oh and Mega Salamence easier. Tyranitar can also remove trappers like Mega Gengar and Gothitelle for Toxapex and check Mega Salamence and Ho-Oh not carrying Earthquake with its STAB Rock-type attacks.
* Blissey and Chansey appreciate Toxapex's ability to check most Fighting-types and help in checking strong special attackers such as Xerneas and Primal Kyogre in return.
* Mega Sableye can bounce back hazards to help keep Toxapex as healthy as possible and check Mega Gengar.
* Both Giratina formes greatly benefit Toxapex. Giratina is a sturdier check to strong physical attackers that can overwhelm Toxapex such as offensive Ho-Oh and Dragon Dance Mega Salamence and can use Dragon Tail to force Pokemon to switch into Toxic Spikes. Giratina-O is a less sturdy check to the aforementioned Pokemon, but it can check most Primal Groudon and Arceus-Ground sets and easily take advantage of Toxic Spikes with Hex. Lastly, both Giratina formes provide Defog support.
* Zygarde is another Pokemon that can check offensive Ho-Oh and Mega Salamence, but it can also take advantage of Toxic Spikes with a Dragon Dance set.
* A Wacan Berry set with an EV spread investing in Special Defense can act as an emergency check to Geomancy Xerneas but doesn't do much aside from that.
* Knock Off is a decent option, as it can remove key items from Pokemon like Xerneas, Blissey, and Ho-Oh, but it is generally inferior to Scald and Toxic due to their ability to inflict status conditions.
* Ice Beam can help Toxapex a bit with checking Rayquaza, Mega Salamence, and Zygarde, but is still rather weak and outclassed by Scald and Toxic.
Checks and Counters
**Shadow Tag**: Both Mega Gengar and Gothitelle can trap Toxapex easily, and only an unhealthy Mega Gengar fears repeated Scalds. Mega Gengar can overcome Toxapex with any set, while Gothitelle can prevent Toxapex from using Recover with Taunt and either PP stall it with Rest or eliminate it with Psyshock. However, Shed Shell Toxapex can freely switch out of these Pokemon.
**Ground-types**: Primal Groudon, Arceus-Ground, and Zygarde are all huge threats for Toxapex, though the former two dislike Toxic Spikes and Toxic and the latter fears the rare Ice Beam. Primal Groudon threatens Toxapex with Precipice Blades and nullifies Scald with its Desolate Land. Arceus-Ground can threaten Toxapex with its Judgment and use Defog to keep Toxic Spikes off the field. Zygarde can remove poison with Rest and fire off super effective Thousand Arrows, or worse, set up Dragon Dance. The more uncommon Ground-types Excadrill and Dugtrio threaten Toxapex with their STAB Earthquake. Excadrill can remove Toxic Spikes with Rapid Spin, while Dugtrio can trap and OHKO non-Shed Shell Toxapex.
**Mega Sableye**: Mega Sableye can bounce back Toxic Spikes with Magic Bounce. It does not necessarily threaten Toxapex, but it can remove Toxapex's item with Knock Off or cripple it defensively with Will-O-Wisp.
**Mega Salamence**: Dragon Dance + Facade Mega Salamence can switch in on Toxapex's Scald or Toxic to power up Facade. After statused, boosted Facade will tremendously damage Toxapex. Despite this, Mega Salamence has to be vary of variants carrying Ice Beam.
**Psychic-types**: Psychic-types such as Ultra Necrozma, Deoxys-A, Lunala, and Mewtwo can easily OHKO Toxapex with their STAB Psychic-type attacks. Though they all dislike Toxic, and Scald can remove Lunala's Shadow Shield and cripple Mega Mewtwo X, they take little to no damage from Toxapex's attacks.
**Electric-types**: While uncommon, Electric-types such as Zekrom, Arceus-Electric, and Tapu Koko are all Pokemon that can do massive damage to Toxapex with their STAB Electric-type attacks. However, Zekrom has to be wary of Scald, as it can cripple it.
**Strong Special Attackers**: Strong special attackers such as Yveltal and Primal Kyogre carrying Thunder or Earthquake can overwhelm Toxapex, despite its relatively high Special Defense stat. Xerneas can threaten Toxapex with Thunder, though Geomancy variants have to be wary of Haze before setting up.