Skarmory, The Armor Bird Pokémon. Despite being clad entirely in iron-hard armor, it flies at speeds over 180 mph.Its heavy-looking iron body is actually thin and light, so it can fly at speeds over 180 mph. Its sturdy wings look heavy, but they are actually hollow and light, allowing it to fly freely in the sky. After nesting in bramble bushes, the wings of its chicks grow hard from scratches by thorns.
Skarmory has been OU since it came into the Pokemon world in GSC, and has served pretty much the same function for the last few generations. It is an excellent defensive Pokemon, having very good typing and an amazing support movepool. Being able not only to lay both Stealth Rocks and Spikes, it can also phaze out the opposition with Whirlwind, and use Roost to recover. It does have a problem with Special attackers, as its Special Defense isn't that great. However, the metal bird can tank any physical move without even blinking, meaning it is one of the better counters to pokemon like Terrakion, Landorus-T, Choice Band Tyranitar, Hippowdon, etc. So although it does have its weaknesses, Skarmory has gained advantages over the generations and is one of the best walls in competitive pokemon.
Keen Eye: Prevents Accuracy drops, completely useless as hardly anyone (if anyone) uses accuracy dropping moves, and Skarmory is immune to Mud Slap.
You Wanna Know How I Got These Skars
This is Skarmory's bread and butter set, though it has variants depending on what you need for your team. Spikes is the optimal hazard as Skarmory is constantly vying with Deoxys-Defense and Forretress for the position of best Spikes setter. As there aren't too many that can use Spikes (and so many other Pokemon that can set Stealth Rock), it is generally the hazard of choice. Roost is to increase Skarm's survivability and even remove it's Electric weakness at convenient times. Whirlwind is to phaze out an opponent that would set up or whatnot on Skarmory, also allowing you to spread the Spikes damage around. Brave Bird is so you're not Taunt bait and can do damage to several pokemon, or you can use Taunt so you won't become Taunt bait and can stop other walls. The choice between items is dependent on whether you want to escape Magnezone or not. Leftovers provides better longevity, while Shed Shell allows you to escape Magnezone which otherwise kills you without any trouble. The choice between EVs and Nature is whether you want Skarmory to be able to handle physical or special hits better. The Defensive set (232 Def + Impish Nature) can take almost any physical hit and not have to worry much about the damage. The Specially Defensive set (232 SDef + Careful Nature) can make it so Skarmory can take special hits better, though it doesn't take defensive hits quite as well.
Simba's Uncle Has Changed A Bit In Reincarnation
This set is designed as a suicide lead, trying to ensure that 2+ layers of hazards get up before Skarmory goes down. Spikes and Stealth Rock are the hazards Skarmory tries to get up before it dies. Roost allows Skarmory to survive long enough to possibly even get more layers of hazards up. Brave Bird serves the same purpose as earlier, causing minimal damage and preventing Skarmory from being completely worthless after Taunt. Whirlwind is if you want to maliciously abuse the hazards you placed. Custap Berry is one of the key parts of the set, allowing Skarmory to move first if its health is low. The EVs allow for the maximum amount of hazards to be placed, just don't be stupid and put all of the hazards down while your opponent has a Rapid Spinner.
Drill Peck, Protect, Roar, Sandstorm, Substitute, Torment, Toxic
Double & Triple Battle Options
Skarmory can be used for the same purpose as in Singles, a defensive wall with great hazard setting capabilities.
Anything that can abuse the hazards Skarmory puts up, any spin-blocker (so Ghosts), and Pokemon that can handle other Steel types, especially Magnezone. Keep those in mind when building a team with Skarmory in it.
Magnezone is the best counter to all Skarmory's other than ones that use Shed Shell. Magnezone can kill off Skarmory with no far of it doing anything in return. Heatran is another good choice as although it doesn't trap Skarmory, Skarmory can't do anything to Tran while Heatran can Taunt and KO Skarmory at its leisure. Rotom of any form can deal with Skarmory, not worrying about Spikes due to Levitate, and all have Thunderbolt or Volt Switch. Starmie is a good counter as it can remove Skarmory's hazards and KO it in return. Espeon or Xatu can both bounce back whatever Skarmory throws at it and set up on it or KO it.
Locations in Games
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