Zoroark, The Illusion Fox Pokémon. It protects its pack by tricking its opponents. It can protect its den by creating a massive illusion of the landscape. Unity amongst its packs is strong.
The most fun Pokémon in the game, in my opinion. Zoroark brings something completely different to the table. It isn't just a strong special sweeper, and one of the only pure Darks worth using in OU, it has the coolest ability in the game. Illusion copies the name and image of whatever Pokémon is last in your party, meaning you can play some crazy mind games. With a nice base 105 Speed, it outruns quite a few Pokémon in OU, but even if Zoroark was slow it'd still be stupidly fun.
Illusion: best ability. You copy the name, gender and image of the Pokémon that is last in your party (and not fainted). Mind games, init.
Starting off with my personal choice
- Night Daze / Dark Pulse
My favourite Zoroark set, and the one I find to be most effective. It's often hard to pull off a sweep with Zoroark due to its frail defences, so ambushing vunerable Pokémon and hitting them hard is the best way to go, in my opinion. Night Daze is Zoroark's signature move, with a little less than perfect accuracy but with a little more power than Dark Pulse. It can also lower accuracy on hit rather than flinch, like Dark Pulse. Honestly, either Dark move works, I just prefer Night Daze because it sounds cool and that accuracy drop has saved me a few times. Focus Blast hits Tyranitar and Steels hard, as well as getting near perfect coverage with *insert Dark move here*. Flamethrower decimates the ridiculously common Ferrothorn, which is its main use. Grass Knot can help with bulky Water Pokémon though. U-turn is a cool move that helps keep the mind games going, as well as dealing some damage. Hidden Power [Ice] is another special option that gives you coverage against Gliscor and other 4x weak Pokémon.
- Nasty Plot
Nasty Plot brings Zoroark's already great Special Attack up to huge levels. Dark Pulse is the better choice here, as it is more reliable, although Night Daze is still an option. Focus Blast has that perfect coverage going for it, as well as the fact it destroys Tyranitar. Flamethrower hits Ferrothorn, and Grass Knot can beat any bulky Waters and bulky Grounds. This is a simple set that doesn't really require much explanation. You use Nasty Plot and try to sweep.
- Swords Dance
Hello completely different set! Even if your opponent knows you are running Zoroark, they likely won't predict a physical fox. Swords Dance doubles your Attack, with Sucker Punch or Night Slash being your main STAB move. Sucker Punch helps with revenge killers and faster Pokémon, but you run the risk of not hitting, if they don't attack you (which I don't know why they wouldn't considering how weak Zoroark is defensively). Night Slash is there if you don't want to run the risk. Low Sweep gets that awesome coverage with Dark, and it'd be useful if you hit something on the switch due to the Speed decrease. U-turn is a cool option so you can scout or escape whilst dealing damage. Flamethrower is there to take out Ferrothorn, basically.
Taunt stops the opponent from setting up anything, which is always useful, and works with Zoroark's nice Speed. Counter works perfectly with Zoroark's awful defences and Focus Sash, and ideally you'd get a strong Counter on the second turn after Taunt. Sucker Punch is priority, so you can deal damage before you get taken down. It is mostly useful for other Focus Sash users though, as Counter won't take them down. Memento should be the last move you use, as it can lead to a set up for another Pokémon.
EVs & Natures
Starting off with my personal choice
Aerial Ace, Agility, Extrasensory, Foul Play
Double & Triple Battle Options
If you are running Zoroark in doubles or triples, you're using Zoroark wrongly. Illusion isn't used to its full potential (or at all), and thanks to Zoroark's awful defences, attacks like Surf, Earthquake, Lava Plume, they will deal so much damage to Zoroark. Honestly, there isn't much more to say. You have a few powerful single targeting attacks but... that's it.
Pokémon that are weak to Psychic are good lures for Zoroark. Weezing, Gengar, Machamp, Conkeldurr, they all work. Personally, I've had a lot of success with Infernape in sixth place. Blissey is a cool idea, thanks to Natural Cure and the fact most Blissey run Flamethrower. You want to run stuff that lures things you can decimate. You could run a Water Pokémon to lure Ferrothorn, only to surprise it with a Flamethrower. Fake a Conkeldurr and smash the Ghost switch in. Hydreigon can learn more or less the exact same moves, but it also has very similar weaknesses. A good strategy is using Zoroark as a lead, copying a common late game sweeper to tempt a defensive Pokémon to switch in or stay in. Espeon is a fairly cool Pokémon in 5th gen now, and is a common lead because of Magic Mirror. If you fake Espeon, it is unlikely the opponent will use an entry hazard on you, meaning you can smash the opponent with a strong Dark Pulse. The possibilities are endless, to be honest. Ideally, you want to remove a defensive core from their team, leaving a gaping wound.
Even though Illusion is awesome, it is not broken. It is broken when Zoroark takes damage, and if you are paying attention, it's fairly easy to tell what is a Zoroark and what isn't. The opponent might not take as much damage from Stealth Rock, might float over Spikes, just keep vigilant. Although, to be honest, even if you know you're up against a Zoroark, it will likely still hurt you. 99% of Zoroark will be special, so special sponges like Blissey, Chansey, Porygon2, they can all take anything Zoroark can do. Tyranitar is a great counter as long as you can avoid Focus Blast. Bulky Waters can all take hits, just be careful around Grass Knot. Breloom, Conkeldurr and Machamp can take any Dark attack and decimate Zoroark with a STAB Fighting move. Heatran is a good counter too, just avoid Focus Blast. If you aren't weak to Dark, you will probably do well. If you are worried that you are against Zoroark, don't take the risk. You will likely pay for it by losing the Pokémon you have in. As I've said, Zoroark is the most fun Pokémon in the game. Being Illusioned, Illusioning the opponent, it's hilarious.
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