Smeargle

Smeargle, the Painter Pokémon. Once a Smeargle reaches adulthood, it will have other members of its species leave paw prints on its back. The color of the mysterious fluid secreted from the tip of the tail is predetermined for each Smeargle.

Overview

Smeargle is a Pokémon that in theory gets stronger as generations pass, as its gimmick of being able to learn every move in the game gets stronger as more and more powerful moves get introduced. Smeargle benefits from all the toys other Pokémon get, being the fastest Spore user in the game considering Toedscruel is shackeled by Mycelium Might, as well as getting all sorts boosting moves never meant to be paired with Baton Pass, enabling Smeargle to turn any Pokémon in a lethal sweeper. Furthermore, Smeargle is a recipient of the most busted ability in the game, Moody, and with the plethora of stalling tools available to it, it is childs play for Smeargle to accrue enough boosts to snowball into a sweep.

The problem with Smeargle is everything else. Its stats are garbage across the board, where surviving a non-Ghost type attack is a miracle, and its attacking stats compare unfavorably to Tarountula. The resistance lacking Normal typing does Smeargle no favors, all but requiring a free switch in to get in safely. The only saving grace is Smeargle’s speed, which is an above average base 75, and even then, it is not too hard for all but the fattest of teams to outstrip. Smeargle may have the best movepool in the game, but it struggles to do anything with it, is incredibly inconsistent and almost always a defensive liability.
Positives
Best movepool in the game. If the move isn’t species locked, Smeargle can use it, enabling all sorts of otherwise impossible combinations. Moody is an insane ability, granting a +2 boost at the cost of a -1 every turn, enabling Smeargle to escalate out of control if it can live for a turn or too. 75 Speed isn’t too bad

Negatives
Everything else

Movesets

The Healing Power of Art

-Ingrain
-Baton Pass
-Spore
-Shift Gear
Ability: Moody
Item: Focus Sash
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

Smeargle’s most unique role is as the anchor for Baton Pass Chains. Literally, in fact, using Ingrain to prevent pHazing attacks like Roar, Dragon Tail and Circle Throw from forcing the recipient out and resetting the chain. Spore helps Smeargle and its teammates get breathing room to setup, usually ensuring Ingrain is setup and Baton passed on along with any Moody Boosts. If the opponent is especially hinderd, one can attempt a Shift Gear, ensuring that Smeargle and its team can outspeed whatever they face.

Tera Types:
Smeargle does not like Terastalizing. It cannot make use of it offensively, and its defenses are so poor, it is often not worth the effort. Tera Ghost is probably the only one worth considering, giving immunity to common priority moves in Extremespeed and Mach Punch, both of which can preemptively eliminate Smeargle before it can setup. Even then, it is often best to leave Terstalization to Smeargle’s teammates.

EVs and Items:
Max HP for as much durability as possible while Max Speed so that Smeargle can outspeed as many foes as possible. It is hard to justify any other investment given Smeargle’s overwhelming frailty and its offenses are so poor that even as a Baton Pass recipient that it just isn’t worth it. Focus Sash is necessary for Smeargle surviving an attack to get anything off safely, whether it be Spore or Baton Pass. Though if one feels that hazards are impossible to manage, Mental Herb is another suggestion for stopping Taunt, the bane of many Smeargle.

Partners:
Espeon is a notable partner for Smeargle, as a Baton Pass recipient and chain member that provides invaluable utility with Magic Bounce keeping Focus Sash breaking entry hazards off the field. Hazard control is invaluable to Smeargle in general, as it is incredibly reliant on Focus Sash for getting at least a Spore off, if not more, so strict Hazard control is a necessity. Corviknight, Great Tusk and Iron Treads are all excellent examples of hazard controllers for keeping Smeargle alive.
As this set is a staple on hard Baton Pass chain teams, the other usual suspects for Baton Pass chains are highly recommended. Blaziken is a great starter and recipient for Baton Pass Chains thanks to its phenomenal offensive stats, coverage and access to Speed Boost making it easy to pass speed. Magearna is another participant, its great typing and access to Calm Mind and Iron Defense make it easy to boost up repeatedly to make the recipient nigh immortal. Mold Breaker users like Haxorus, Hearthflame Ogerpon, and Hawlucha make for great endpoints in a Baton Pass chain, their Mold Breaker ability enabling them to easily muscle past Unaware walls that may otherwise stop the strategy.

Other Options:
Aqua Ring stacks with Ingrain for massive passive healing, making any future recipients nigh immortal with enough boosts. Victory Dance and Quiver Dance are alternative Speed boosting options that also give boosts to Attack/Defense and Special Attack/Special Defense respectively, making Smeargle harder to kill at the same time while pushing to the end goal. Shell Smash is the ultimate in offensive boosting, giving +2 Attack, Special Attack and Speed at the cost of defenses, if one wishes to use Smeargle as a standalone passer instead as a member of a team.

Graffiti Dispenser

-Sticky Web
-Ceaseless Edge
-Stone Axe
-Spore
Ability: Moody
Item: Focus Sash
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

Smeargle is the only Pokémon that can get every hazard including the obscenely rare Sticky Web on a single set, offering unique role compression. Open the game with Sticky Web, then follow up with the hazard of your choice until Smeargle goes down. Ceaseless Edge and Stone Axe are preferred over Spikes and Stealth Rocks since they can’t be shutdown by Taunt, which is a common counter tactic to Smeargle. Spore remains as Smeargle’s best shutdown tool, easily facilitating multiple hazards or offering an opportunity for an ally to come in and setup. This Smeargle set is regulated to hyper offense teams that can capitalize on the Speed drop from Sticky Web to apply pressure.

Tera Types:
Ghost is again the preferred Tera Type for the immunities it can provide, but Smeargle is the last Pokémon you want to Terastalize. Leave Terastalization for a sweeper to guarantee setup or provide coverage that it is otherwise lacking.

EVs and Items:
Standard Smeargle array of Max HP and Speed to survive as many hits as possible and outspeed as many targets as possible. Focus Sash is invaluable in ensuring that Smeargle lives to setup Sticky Web, or even get a second attack to setup multiple hazards. Given this set is rather insulated against Taunt thanks to Stone Axe and Ceaseless Edge, Mental Herb is of limited use, but is still worth consideration for guaranteeing Sticky Web.

Partners:
Gholdengo is invaluable to hazard Smeargle for its ability to block almost every form of Entry Hazard removal, ensuring that Smeargle’s one job is not invalidated by an errant Defog or Rapid Spin. The fact that it also loves the Speed drop from Sticky Web to threaten a wider array of targets is just icing on the cake. Allies that can take advantage of Sticky Web greatly appreciate Smergle’s setup services. Serperior loves outspeeding threats like Cinderace, Weavile, Meowscarada and Dragapult and threaten them with the appropriate Tera Blast/Leaf Storm, Kingambit’s end game is much more threatening if it can outspeed its targets without having to rely on Sucker Punch, and Dragapult loves being the fastest Pokémon around when opposing Choice Scarfers cannot outspeed it.

Other Options:
Memento is a great pivoting tool that Smeargle has once it has done its job, sinking the active opponent’s offenses, making them setup fodder for any one of Smeargle’s teammates, often forcing them to switch out and suffer from the hazards Smeargle sets up later in the battle.

Doubles and VGC Options

Smeargle rose to prominence in Generation 6 VGC able to access the mythical locked Dark Void to shutdown one, if not both opponents, causing a massive swing of momentum in the Smeargle team’s favor, if not all but winning the game for them. For Smeargle’s crimes Dark Void was species locked. With loss of access to Dark Void, Smeargle’s usage has dropped severely compared to its heyday. That is not to say Smeargle is useless. It has almost every disruptive and supportive tool available for use, and its niche as the fastest Spore user is invaluable where every point of Speed can matter. Doubles also affords great opportunities to abuse Moody given the ability’s power, even if Smeargle can’t.

Pretentious Artist

-Fake Out
-Spore
-Follow Me
-Wide Guard
Ability: Moody
Item: Focus Sash
Tera Type: Ghost
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 4 Def /252 Spe
Timid Nature

This Smeargle set is an active disruptor, taking advantage of all the rare moves Smeargle has, keeping its teammate healthy while they (and Smeargle) set up. Fake Out is amazing in Doubles, preventing turn one setup, enabling a slower Pokémon take out a faster check, help guarantee setup, etc. Fake Out's utility is amazing. Spore is an amazing shutdown tool, temporarily turning a fight into a two versus one, or even completely disable the opposing field is Smeargle is allowed to Spore multiple times. Follow Me is redirection, vital for guaranteeing setup or keeping Smeargle’s invariably more dangerous teammate alive. Wide Guard pairs wonderfully with Follow Me, blocking spread moves that ignore Follow Me’s redirection, helping guarantee Smeargle’s partner stay healthy, and is a combination unique to Smeargle.

EVs are the Smeargle classic of Max HP for as much bulk as possible while investing everything else in Speed so Smeargle can outspeed as many targets as possible. While in most cases you never want to Terastalize Smeargle, Tera Ghost is good for stopping Fake Out and Extreme Speed from preemptively disrupting or eliminating Smeargle, as well as breaking Focus Sash early.

Other Options & Partners:
Allies that can abuse Moody are one of the key reasons to use Smeargle. Alolan Muk is a noticeable offender, able to poach Moody using Power of Alchemy and using its fantastic natural bulk to become a huge ball of stats that can roll over the opponent. Flamigo is another noticeable partner, able to copy Moody boosts, so if Smeargle manages to survive for several turns, Falmigo can come in and become an instant threat. Tailwind setters to help Smeargle get the jump on the fast majority of the metagame are incredibly, enabling Smeargle to shut them down with a surprise Spore, while Smeargle’s own moveset is well equipped for enabling Tailwind. Latias is a noticeable example, having superb bulk to stick around and able to sink opposing Special Attackers with its Mist Ball.

Spiky Shield is the best form of Protect currently available, with all the base benefits of Protect (scouting, stalling out field conditions, blocking Fake Out) on top of punishing contact attackers with chip damage and thus is ideal for Smeargle.
Decorate is another signature move that Smeargle can handily exploit thanks to its much higher base Speed, catapulting any decently offensive partner into a massive threat that persists past the turn it is used.
Burning Bulwark is a powerful form of Protect given that it hinders contact attackers with Burn who are predominately physical, though it does not protect from status, and can stop Smeargle from Sporing a target. Endeavor takes advantage of Smeargle's pathetic HP and propensity to being brought down to Focus Sash to slash an opponent’s health.

Countering Smeargle

The best defense against Smeargle is a good offense. Or even a decent one, as Smeargle’s defenses and lack of resistances make it trivial to KO. However, Smeargle is almost always carrying a Focus Sash and usually running Spore that can lead to immense disruption, so thinking on how to bypass those is a good start.

Breaking the Focus Sash with entry hazards is the most reliable method, as after that, it is easy to OHKO Smeargle before it can act, though Sandstorm setters like Tyranitar, and Hippowdon also make it difficult for Smeargle to come in, though their low Speed does mean Smeargle can preemptively Spore them. If you have them, multihit moves will bust through the Sash and KO Smeargle outright. Triple Axel from Meowscarada, Weavile, and Hitmontop, Icicle Spear from Baxcalibur, Bullet Seed from Breloom, Cincinno and Maushold are all examples that commonly run such moves.

If not confident in your ability to OHKO Smeargle, pivoting to a Pokémon immune or at least not bothered by Spore is a viable option to stop the damage. Grass types make rather reliable switch ins to Smeargle as a result, as do Pokémon that like using the RestTalk combination such as Dondozo.

Additionally in all but the hazard stacking set, Taunt is your best friend as all of Smeargle’s best tools are status moves, and a Taunt will leave Smeargle usually struggling to do anything.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Ruins of Alph

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Artisan's Cave (Emerald)
Trade from Emerald (Ruby/Sapphire)

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Trade from Emerald

Colosseum/XD:
Snagged from Chaser Liaks in The Under Subway (Colosseum)

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Route 212 (Diamond/Pearl)
Route 208, Route 212 (Platinum)

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Ruins of Alph, Safari Zone

Black/White:
Route 5

Black 2/White 2:
Trade from Black & White

X/Y:
Route 7, Friend Safari

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y

Sun/Moon:
Route 2

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Route 2

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Not in game

Sword/Shield:
Not in game

Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl:
Route 212

Legends: Arceus:
Not in game

Scarlet/Violet:
Canyon Biome, Coastal Biome, Polar Biome, Savanna Biome, Torchlit Labyrinth

Anime Appearences

Smeargle has made many appearances in the anime. Most notably it was the star of a detective programme that Ash's Rotom Dex watched. Ilima also uses one

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# -English Episode Name- -Jp. Episode Name- Pics
P3 Pikachu & Pichu Pichu & Pikachu Pics
199 The Art Of Pokémon Smeargle's Tracks! Shining in the Morning Sun!  
289 All Things Bright and Beautifly! Contest! Beautifly's Magnificent Battle! Pics
291 Gonna Rule The School! Try to Study! Pokémon Trainer's School! Pics
C19 Of Meowth and Pokémon Calling Great Detective Meowth Pics
A Little Skitty Is Niece Azurill in Great Trouble!?! Pics
463 The Unbeatable Lightness Of Seeing! May VS Drew! Rivals Forever! Pics
494 Getting the Pre-Contest Titters! Pokémon Contest! Floaroma Conference! Pics
M11 Giratina & The Sky Warrior Giratina & The Bouquet of the Sky - Shaymin Pics
628 A Marathon Rivalry! Get Fired Up Snorlax! Prince of Pokéthlon! Pics
808 A Blustery Santalune Gym Battle! Santalune Gym Match! The Vivillon's Elegant Dance Battle! Pics
812 Clemont's Got a Secret! Capture Lumiose Gym! Clemont's Secret! Pics
821 Awakening the Sleeping Giant Wake Up Snorlax! Battle in Parfum Palace!! Pics
S35 Pokémon Mega Evolution Special I Strongest Mega Evolution ~Act 1~ Pics
832 Heroes - Friend and Faux Alike! Ta-da! A Fake Ash Appears!! Pics
834 The Cave of Trials! Lucario VS Blaziken! The Cave of Trials!! Pics
M17 Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction The Cocoon of Destruction and Diancie Pics
894 A Performance Pop Quiz! The Happy Dance Comes After a Quiz!? The Anistar Festival Showcase!! Pics
S41 Pokémon Mega Evolution IV Strongest Mega Evolution ~Act IV~ Pics
908 Party Dancecapades Ash and Serena! Getting One at a Dance Party!! Pics
912 Master Class Choices! The Master Class Trial! What Will You Do, Serena!? Pics
915 Master Class is in Session! The Master Class Begins! A Maidens' Fight Where Sparks Fly!! Pics
916 Performing a Pathway to the Future! Aria VS Serena! Open the Door to the Future!! Pics
928 A League of His Own! The Kalos League Begins! Mega Charizard Showdown: X VS Y!! Pics
943 Till We Compete Again A Zero With No End! Till the Day We Meet Again!! Pics
944 Alola to New Adventure! Alola! New Islands, New Pokémon!! Pics
949 A Shocking Grocery Run! Zing Zap Togedemaru! Pics
960 Crystal-Clear Sleuthing! Alola Detective Rotom! The Mystery of the Lost Crystal!! Pics
964 One Journey Ends, Another Begins... It is Time for Litten to Set Off!! Pics
966 Getting the Band Back Together! Here's a Real Shocker! A Dugtrio Split-Up?! Pics
970 A Glaring Rivalry! Come Forth, Lycanroc with the Crimson Look!! Pics
1000 The Dex Can't Help It! Rotom Won't Stop Undergoing Forme Change! Pics
1004 A Mission of Ultra Urgency! Set Off! You Are Our Ultra Guardians!! Pics
1009 Smashing with Sketch! Smashing with Sketch! The Fierce Poké-Ping Pong Match!! Pics
M22 Pokémon The Power of Us Pokémon: Everyone's Story  
1041 Bright Lights, Big Changes! The Duo Splits Up!? Ash & Rotom Pics
1056 This Magik Moment! A New Show?! The Tiny Melody of Magikarp Pics
1067 Living on the Cutting Edge! Perfect Sharpness! Kartana has Arrived! Pics
1076 Battling on the Wing! A Birdacious Battle! Brave Bird VS Sky Attack!! Pics
1089 Thank You, Alola! The Journey Continues! Thank You, Alola! Respective Departures!! Pics
1131 Sword and Shield: Slumbering Weald Sword & Shield I: Slumbering Weald Pics
1165 All Out, All of the Time! Fully Powered! The Alola Desert Island Race!! Pics
16 Quaxly, We Can Do It! As Long As I'm With Quaxly... Pics