Weavile, The Sharp Claw Pokémon. They live in cold regions, forming groups of four or five that hunt prey with impressive coordination. It sends signals to others by carving odd patterns in frost- covered trees and ice.
The physical-special split was probably the biggest change between the 3rd Gen and the 4th Gen, and Weavile is one of those Pokémon that received a huge benefit from the split. In the 3rd Gen, Weavile's younger form, Sneasel, was a UU Pokémon at best, because it lacked the ability to use its STAB effectively. Now, Weavile, the new and improved Sneasel, can take advantage of that STAB to great effect.
Ice and Dark are two very good offensive types. Ice has fantastic types coverage whilst Dark has decent coverage and a unique move, Pursuit. Defensively, the types leave Weavile heavily exposed to a lot of attacks, but this is an afterthought when you consider Weavile's inability to take hits well.
Alongside its good offensive type, it has stats to match. Its Speed is one of the highest in the game, and its Attack is within the Top 50. These two stats make it a popular choice to come in and pick up the scraps of a weakened Pokémon and a popular choice to start battles. It's also the kind of Pokémon that can save a battle from going the wrong way, wiping out an Azelf that's picked up a Nasty Plot for example.
To sum it up, Weavile is all about offence, but it's really good at what it does.
Pressure: is pretty useless for Weavile. It's a good ability when you can soak up hits, but Weavile can't, so it'll only get one or two uses out of it before it gets KOed.
This is the main way to go with Weavile. A great lead, great at picking up the scraps, great at frightening off slower sweepers and an all-round scary physical sweeper.
Pursuit is a fantastic move for this Pokémon. Most Pokémon have a healthy fear of Weavile, and as they run, Pursuit can pick them off. If they don't run, sometimes they're weakened enough that Weavile can pick them off anyway. An all-round reliable way to make sure an opposing Pokémon ends up fainted.
Brick Break is the primary way for Weavile to deal with Steel types, as well as Dark types and the ever popular Tyranitar.
The final two moves can be picked between three great choices. Ice Punch and Night Slash are both strong STAB options whilst Ice Shard has the priority to strike first (and although Weavile is fast enough as it is, it's a good way to pick off Pokémon with Speed boosts or a Choice Scarf equipped).
As far as items are concerned, Weavile has a few choices. Choice Band gives the strongest boost, but it locks you into a single move. Expert Belt gives a 1.2x boost to super-effective attacks. Life Orb gives a 1.3x boost to all attacks, but it also chips off 10% of Weavile's HP for each hit it lands. Considering Weavile is exposed to Sandstorm, Spikes and Stealth Rock, all that passive damage can stack up quickly, and Weavile may very well end up KOing itself with Life Orb damage.
EVs and Nature:
Speed always takes a priority for Weavile. The bare minimum Speed stat to be shooting for is 373 (just a notch above Alakazam, Sceptile and Dugtrio), which requires a Jolly Nature and at least 216 Speed EVs (possibly more with a lower Speed IV). Absolute max has few benefits, but being assured to either tie-speed or outrun any opposing Weavile has situational use. It's not like those leftover EVs will do much to bulk up its defence anyway.
Aside from Speed, Max Attack is an obvious priority. You'll want to steer clear of going Adamant though, since that would leave you at a maximum of 349 Speed, leaving you behind several Pokémon (most notably Raikou, Starmie and Azelf).
Swords Dance Sweeper
- Night Slash
The Swords Dance Sweeper has similar possibilities to the aforementioned move-set. It's still the same Weavile, with the same ability to pick off opposing Pokémon, but with the added ability to sweep after a Swords Dance (at the cost of a move-slot).
If you want Weavile to perform in a similar way to the standard Weavile, Pursuit is always an option over Night Slash. Ice Shard is also an option over Ice Punch for some added 'insurance' against Dragon Dancing Salamence and Choice Scarf Garchomp. Of course, this could limit Weavile's sweeping capabilities.
EVs and Nature:
Swords Dance follows the same rules as the standard move-set.
Punishment, Payback, Screech, Substitute, Focus Punch, Taunt, Counter, Focus Sash, Aerial Ace.
Punishment and Payback are options for Dark STAB over Night Slash. Punishment picks up some extra power against opponents that raise their stats whilst Payback does a huge chunk of damage if the opponent takes damage on the same turn (such as switching-in during Stealth Rock). Obviously, neither of these are as reliable as Night Slash.
Screech is an option to scare opponents into switching. This has plenty of use with Pursuit as well as Stealth Rock or Spikes support.
Substitute is a good option as a defensive buffer as well as status blocker.
Focus Punch is a nice strong option to catch opponents switching-in.
Taunt can stop an opponent arrogant enough to try and set-up against Weavile (such as a Skarmory with Spikes). Of course, most Pokémon will attack Weavile outright, making Taunt's use a bit more limited.
Counter has some use with Focus Sash to pick up a surprise KO. Focus Sash alone is worth consideration as well, since Weavile is pretty fragile and Focus Sash can give it a much needed lifeline.
Aerial Ace can destroy Heracross and other Fighting types, but not much else of note.
Countering Weavile pretty much comes down to 'weathering the storm'. It hits hard, but if you have a Pokémon that can take its hits, you can probably beat it.
Its two STAB moves are resisted by Steel types, and although it usually carries Brick Break, Steel types are usually top choices. Forretress is probably the best, since its Bug typing neutralises its Fighting weakness. Skarmory's typing neutralises Fighting attacks as well, making it just as effective. Steelix is weak to Brick Break but it's bulky enough to handle the hits. Metagross takes neutral damage from Night Slash but with fairly bulky defensive stats, it can shrug off most of Weavile's attacks.
Very defensive variants of Rhyperior can work because of Solid Rock. Lucario has a 4x Dark resistance and a 2x Ice resistance as well as 'always strike first' STAB moves, but it needs to be fairly wary of Brick Break. Very defensive variants of Poliwrath or Thick Fat Hariyama work well since they resist both of Weavile's STAB moves.
Ice/Dark gives Weavile plenty of weaknesses to take advantage of: Fire, Steel, Bug, Rock, Fighting (4x). The Rock weakness means Stealth Rock will chip off 25% of Weavile's HP each time it switches in. This combined with Spikes and/or Sandstorm can rack up a fair bit of passive damage, especially since Weavile needs to switch around a fair bit. It can also be heavily crippled by status attacks (particularly paralysis and burn).
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