Vigoroth has a niche in the NU metagame due to its decent Speed tier that allows it to outspeed almost every defensive Pokemon, great Eviolite-boosted bulk, and ability to act as a setup sweeper. Its combination of decent Speed, Taunt, and reliable recovery makes it really difficult for stall to beat, allowing it to act as an effective stallbreaker. Vigoroth's access to Vital Spirit also allows it to check sleep inducers like Lilligant and Vivillon, which are very threatening in the NU metagame. Besides that, Vigoroth has a decent defensive typing in Normal, giving it only one weakness in Fighting, which can help it serve as a wincon. However, Vigoroth has a serious lack of power before it boosts with Bulk Up, and any status ailment that it acquires can severely hinder its ability to perform sufficiently. Vigoroth also suffers from four-moveslot syndrome, meaning that it doesn't have room to run any good coverage moves, which prevents it from hitting Ghost-types.
name: Bulk Up
move 1: Bulk Up
move 2: Slack Off
move 3: Taunt / Substitute
move 4: Return / Facade
ability: Vital Spirit
evs: 252 HP / 240 SpD / 16 Spe
Bulk Up lets Vigoroth boost its Attack and Defense, letting it properly perform as a bulky setup sweeper. Slack Off is Vigoroth's main form of recovery, letting it maintain a decent level of health, spam Bulk Up, and continuously attack the foe and heal up. Taunt lets Vigoroth cripple setup sweepers, clerics, and phazers, and it lets it take care of passive Pokemon like Bronzor and Ferroseed. Substitute provides Vigoroth with a buffer for moves that can harm it, such as Scald, Sludge Bomb, and Clear Smog, and it also lets it scout for revenge killers. Most importantly, though, Taunt and Substitute prevent bulkier Pokemon from inflicting Vigoroth with status, and Taunt lets Vigoroth prevent them from using their recovery moves. Return is Vigoroth's main STAB move because of its high Base Power and reliability. Body Slam can be used over Return; however, the ability to paralyze foes is minimally important over the higher Base Power and PP of Return.
Maximum HP investment, 240 Special Defense EVs, and an Eviolite give Vigoroth decent enough bulk to let it check the metagame's most notorious sleep inducers, Vivillon and Lilligant, and in general give Vigoroth more help against special attackers. It also lets Vigoroth set up Substitute against weaker special moves like Lanturn's and Gastrodon's Scald and Weezing's Sludge Bomb. 16 Speed EVs and a Jolly nature let Vigoroth outspeed threats like Skuntank and Abomasnow, letting Vigoroth use Bulk Up or Slack Off before they can attack it.
Try not to send out Vigoroth until all of the opposing Ghost-types are removed, as Vigoroth has no way of hitting them and therefore has to switch out. Feel free to stay in against Rhydon and Regirock, because as long as the former isn't running Swords Dance and the latter isn't running Counter, Vigoroth can just set up and KO them; however, try to scout their moveset first. If you opt to use Facade, use it to inflict heavy damage on status users such as Weezing and Charizard that may try to burn Vigoroth, and to break through defensive checks such as Quagsire. Be cautious of faster Taunt users like Pyroar and Archeops, as they can easily hinder Vigoroth's usability; try to get rid of them before sending Vigoroth out. Vigoroth is best suited to being a late game wincon once most of its checks are KOed, so it can easily set up and sweep; in the early game, Vigoroth can pivot into weak attackers and force them out with the threat of setup. Try to avoid Knock Off, because Vigoroth becomes incredibly frail when it loses its Eviolite.
Pursuit trappers like Skuntank and Liepard are useful for getting rid of Ghost-types like Mismagius, which Vigoroth has no way of hitting, in order to let it sweep. Pokemon that can check Fighting-types, such as Weezing, Garbodor, and Vileplume, can help Vigoroth because Fighting-types threaten unboosted Vigoroth the most. Vigoroth relies on Eviolite heavily for its bulk, so having a Knock Off absorber like Mega Audino, Garbodor, or Vileplume is great. Mega Audino is especially helpful because its role as a cleric is highly useful for healing Vigoroth, especially if it chooses to run Facade and thus lets itself get statused. Healing Wish users are very useful for Vigoroth, as the health that Healing Wish gives Vigoroth back gives it a second chance to sweep without a status ailment. Vigoroth can beat some Rhydon and Regirock variants, but having a teammate that can easily KO them and other Rock-types, such as Ludicolo, Hariyama, and Mantine, is highly appreciated for ensured removal.
Amnesia can be used in the third slot to let Vigoroth take advantage of its Special Defense to make it bulkier overall; however, Taunt is generally better and more useful, and Substitute is crucial to let Vigoroth absorb status moves. An offensive set with Earthquake, Fire Punch, Sucker Punch, and either Substitute or Slack Off can be used to give Vigoroth the ability to 2HKO Aggron, Ferroseed, and Rotom respectively, all of which are normally counters to it. You can even use Encore in the last moveslot to let Vigoroth take advantage of its Speed and lock the foe into a status move like Stealth Rock or Sleep Talk; however, this set requires a Normal-type STAB move so Vigoroth isn't dead weight versus frail offensive threats. A defensive set with Taunt, Toxic, Seismic Toss, and Slack off is a viable option to lure Ghost-types in and stall them out with Toxic, which makes Vigoroth good on Normal spam teams, although Pokemon like Swellow and Pyroar are better choices. Body Slam can be used over Return because, despite the lower Base Power, it lets Vigoroth paralyze certain switch-ins such as Primeape and Pyroar, giving it more early game utility, and the loss of power is a moot point if Vigoroth manages to boost up to +6 later on.
Checks and Counters
**Ghost-types**: Ghost-types like Choice Scarf Rotom can use Trick against Vigoroth to remove its Eviolite while it can't do anything in return. Mismagius and Haunter can also break Vigoroth easily due to their coverage, secondary STAB moves and access to Taunt. Moreover, Ghost-types in general can easily counter Vigoroth because it has absolutely zero way of hitting them, considering that all of its attacking moves are Normal-type.
**Fighting-types**: Fast Fighting-types, like Hitmonchan and Primeape, can prevent Vigoroth from setting up with their offensive pressure. Vigoroth can Taunt Gurdurr to stop it from setting up against it, but it's still a difficult matchup unless Vigoroth already has a lot of boosts from Bulk Up due to Gurdurr's Knock Off and STAB Drain Punch.
**Status**: Status like poison and burns can cripple and wear down Vigoroth really easily if it is not behind a Substitute; however, Vigoroth needs to worry most about getting burned or badly poisoned on the switch from Scald and Toxic users if it lacks Substitute or Facade.
**Powerful Special Attackers**: Vigoroth may have great special bulk, but it's still relatively unprotected, so strong special attackers like Pyroar, Aurorus, Jynx, Ludicolo, Choice Specs Mesprit, and Magmortar can put a lot of pressure on Vigoroth while it struggles to take them down quickly enough; however, they all need to be cautious of Body Slam paralyzing them.