Cobalion, The Iron Will Pokémon. This legendary Pokémon battled against humans to protect Pokémon. Its personality is calm and composed. It has a body and heart of steel. Its glare is sufficient to make even an unruly Pokémon obey it.
Poor Cobalion. If it had existed during Diamond and Pearl times it would be a top tier threat with its blazing speed, good movepool and incredible defense. It has the ability to go physical or specially offensive, run defensive sets and Choiced offense. Sadly Black and White also brought with it a ton of new offensive threats that sort of makes Cobalion obsolete. Terrakion and Virizion both have greater niches while pokemon like Lucario do the whole "Steel Fighting sweeper" thing better. Even as a defensive Steel it has to rival Metagross who barring speed has overall better stats. But in UU Cobalion really shines. While it has several counters it can usually work around them.
Justified: Cobalion's only ability but a decent one. When it is hit with a Dark move it gets an Attack boost. Unfortunately this does not make Cobalion immune to Dark moves but you 4x resist them, so most will usually do less than 10% anyway.
- Close Combat
The most dangerous set Cobalion commonly runs is the Swords Dancer. The goal is to set up on something that can't hurt you (such as a Choice Scarf Krookodile locked into Crunch) and sweep. Close Combat at +2 will usually take down anything that doesn't resist it. Stone Edge bashes through Zapdos and Togekiss while Iron Head is a strong STAB that avoids Stone Edge's 80% miss rate. Iron Head is also your best option against Mismagius and Mew. +2 Iron Head also rips Heracross apart. Don't forget the 30% flinch rate... Steel / Fighting has surprisingly good neutral coverage too. Substitute in the last slot will block status and can allow you to set up on weak attacks potentially protecting you from crits. Taunt helps get around Roar users and can block status attempts. X-Scissor is the last option and is only really usable to sort of handle Slowbro. However it only guarantees a 2HKO if you run Life Orb.
In the name of Arceus, I will PUNish you!
- Focus Blast
Though Cobalion is a fearsome Physical sweeper it gets walled hard by many walls in the tier. Gligar and Slowbro in particular laugh at Cobalion's physical onslaught. This set helps break through them and either sweep itself, or allow something else to. Substitute on an obvious switch (like Snorlax) and Calm Mind on the switch in. Slowbro can't break your Subs after a Calm Mind with Scald and usually won't break them with Flamethrower after two Calm Minds. Focus Blast sadly enough is Cobalion's best Special Fighting move. 70% accuracy is terrible but there aren't many other options. The second slot is used for coverage. Hidden Power Ghost hits Slowbro, Mew, and Mismagius very hard and has perfect neutral coverage with Focus Blast. You can also run Hidden Power Ice to slay Gligar but that leaves you helpless against Slowbro. Flash Cannon is the last option as it is a solid STAB move that has ok neutral coverage with Focus Blast. Doesn't beat Slowbro or even do much to Gligar though. A last option worth mentioning is Taunt, though it may be more beneficial here to have Substitute, as this prevents a Scald or weak Flamethrower from critting or burning through your Calm Minds.
"All for one, one for all"
- Close Combat
Of course as with any other Fighting type you can do damage by just slapping a Choice Band on it and letting loose with a flurry of pain. Close Combat is the most powerful STAB move it gets and has 100% accuracy. Iron Head Bashes through most Fighting resists in UU. X-Scissor hurts Mew and Slowbro a bit but isn't enough to take down the defensive ones. Toxic is an option to cripple Gligar, Slowbro, and Mew while hitting Zapdos. With Stealth Rocks down and the afore mentioned Pokemon poisoned Cobalion may be able to just Close Combat his way through the opposing team. The last move option is Stone Edge which is mainly just for Zapdos and Togekiss.
- Sacred Sword / Close Combat
It's easy to forget Cobalion has 129 base defense and a great support movepool. Cobalion can easily counter many UU physical attackers like Azumarill, Escavalier and Snorlax. It also has 9 resistances and one immunity giving it multiple chances to switch in. Sacred Swords is preferred over Close Combat not just because it doesn't lower Cobalion's defenses but because it lets it break apart Curse Snorlax (Sacred Sword ignores defensive stat changes). Volt Switch lets the musketeer bounce around, racking up damage and scouting for switches. Thunder Wave catches faster Pokemon with crippling Paralysis but Toxic can end Gligar, Slowbro and Mew. Roar is useful if Sub Mismagius or Sub Raikou start to set up. Taunt works to prevent setup in the first place while completely neutralizing Porygon 2, Kingdra and Registeel. 72 Speed allows you to outrun neutral natured base 85s like Heracross and Kingdra.
EVs & Natures
Aerial Ace, Work Up, Quick Attack, Rock Polish, and Reflect.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Ahh Cobalion, a Pokemon that got the short end of the stick when it comes to the Musketeer quad (don't forget about Keldeo guys!). Cobalion's movepool falls a little short in comparison to its stronger counterparts, Terrakion and Virizion (and again, eventually Keldeo). However, this is no reason to be fooled into thinking that it is useless. Cobalion's resistance to Rock Slide also makes it somewhat worth while, since it is a common move running around in doubles and triples, although the other members of the legendary trio also sport this key resistance. When played correctly, Cobalion provides strong offensive and some decent support capabilities.
"I came to join the King's Musketeers."
- Close Combat / Sacred Sword
Cobalion's best use is for its attacking power. It has great coverage against common threats, but it can sometimes fall short if not given the right support. In the fast-paced doubles metagame where every move counts, it may not always be in your best interest to run it. However, if you're feeling bold, Cobalion is a nice high risk, high reward Pokemon.
Cobalion has a fairly decent movepool that beats a lot of Pokemon. Stone Edge makes Flying-type Pokemon worry, but its accuracy can be a pain at times. Close Combat is for those who like power, and is the preferred move because hitting hard is important in doubles. However, Sacred Sword is a totally viable option, and it gets a nice boost from Fighting Gem. Iron Head provides another STAB move, and it gives coverage against Pokemon who resist Rock- and Fighting-type moves.
Cobalion's bulk is helpful for taking many of the attacks that come its way in the doubles environment. Although it isn't the strongest Pokemon out there, if played right it can be extremely deadly. With a Fighting Gem boost, Cobalion does tons of damage to even those who resist it. Close Combat with a Fighting Gem boost is insanely powerful. However, the drops in Defense and Special Defense can be a major drawback. If you're one of those players who doesn't like to switch around very much, it may be in your best interest to run Sacred Sword. You miss out on a lot of the sheer power, but in return, Cobalion stays around to take a few more hits.
Evil doers cower in fear, When they see the Musketeers near.
- Sacred Sword
Cobalion can also make use of a supportive set. With access to Reflect, Taunt, Thunder Wave, and Helping Hand, Cobalion can serve as a decent doubles helper for a stronger Pokemon. With an EV spread of 68 HP / 188 Def / 252 Spe and a Jolly Nature, Cobalion always lives Terrakion's Close Combat or Conkeldurr's Drain Punch, and can KO Terrakion back with Close Combat, or set up Reflect or use Thunder Wave.
Other Double/Triple Options
A more potent option is a Choice Band set. With strong attacks boosted by the Choice Band and good coverage, Cobalion can hit like a truck. However, this leaves it more open to some of the resisters of its dual STAB moves, most notably bulky Ghost-types. With help in eliminating these and proper use of Team Preview, however, Choice Band Cobalion can work excellently. There is also a special side to its attacks, which features Focus Blast and Flash Cannon, as well as Calm Mind. These moves can provide another option to beat more defensively based Pokemon. Chople or Occa Berry are also viable options, as they allow Cobalion to live many of the prevalent Fighting and Fire-type attacks. Swords Dance can also be used for a nice Attack boost, if you find the time to set it up.
Cobalion can be easily countered. First, Slowbro will resist Cobalion completely meaning it'll be able to easily take it out. Various Pokémon such as Chandelure, Gligar and Gliscor can do significant damage based based on its type advantage. Psychics are also a good bet. While Steel-types normally wall Psychics, its Fighting-type makes it completely open to the moves, and since most Psychic-type moves are Special, it hits Cobalion right where it hurts. Mew & Victini are good examples of this, with the latter being able to also use it's Fire-type moves to do Super Effective damage. Finally, despite being Fighting-type itself, it is weak to other Fighting-types so Pokémon such as Hitmontop and Machamp can get the hits in.
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