Infiltrator: Ignores the effects of Light Screen, Reflect and Safeguard when attacking.
[Hidden Ability] Chlorophyll: Doubles the Pokemon's Speed in strong sunlight.
Bold / Impish
Substitute Encore Leech Seed / Protect Toxic
252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Sp Def
With an incredibly useful ability, Prankster, this set effectively outclasses Skiploom, but
doesn't run Sleep Powder or Stun Spore. Prankster on this set means Cottonee will always attack first unless met with a priority move,
only one of which lands a super-effective hit, which is Ice Shard. Substitute is usually the first move, allowing Cottonee to take any hit,
and makes Cottonee an extremely effective staller if you choose to use Protect. Encore is self-explanatory, locking the foe into a set-up or
weak-hitting move (this works best as Cottonee switches into a Grass, Water or Ground attack), giving it a free chance to use Substitute.
After Cottonee has Substitute set up, Toxic can be used to permanently cripple walls, while Leech Seed can be used against Steels and Poison-types
who are immune to it, or to give Cottonee more recovery when combined with Leftovers.
Maximum Defense gives Cottonee the best way to combat the main thing that threatens it - priority moves. With Vacuum Wave from Monferno being the only Special priority move that Cottonee has to worry about, it can boast full Defense to mitigate the more common physical priority attacks that it will attract. It should be noted that even Jolly Sneasel's Life Orb-boosted Ice Shard does a mere 47.18% - 57.04% to Cottonee if it runs maximum HP and Defense, with maximum Attack Piloswine's Life Orb Ice Shard only managing 53.52% - 64.08%.
This set works extremely well on any stall team
with its immediate use of repeated Substitute and Protect, and works remarkably well with Toxic Spikes damage. However with Cottonee's less-than-impressive
Speed, you should be aware that nearly any priority move will be hitting Cottonee before it has a chance to attack - only Piloswine, Gurdurr, Dusclops and slow variations of Metang will be outsped by Cottonee if they elect to use a priority move.
Anti-Taunt sets are a very good ally for Cottonee since it is completely shut down by Taunt. Common Taunt-users
in NFE include Golbat, Haunter, Murkrow (who also gets Prankster) and Monferno. Kadabra is an excellent switch-in for three of these four Pokemon, being outsped by Kadabra and being immediately threatened with a STAB Psychic. A Substitute variation of Kadabra could shut Murkrow down given keen prediction, but the threat of Thunder Wave from Murkrow is a high gamble.
Anti-priority Pokemon are also very helpful for Cottonee. Water-types do this very well, with Poliwhirl having the moves available to it to strike back at almost any of them.
Tentacool as a Toxic Spikes setter works well with Cottonee in that it can switch to it when faced with an Electric or Ground attack, and completely compliments Cottonee's incredible ability to stall thanks to the Toxic Spikes.
Servine has access to Taunt and is immune to Leech Seed, but can be poisoned by Toxic as Cottonee outspeeds it with Prankster. When the foe switches out, Servine can get a free Coil boost. Haunter also has access to Taunt and is immune to Toxic, but it also has a downside in being affected by Leech Seed. It can proceed to use Substitute as Cottonee switches out or hit Cottonee head-on with a STAB Shadow Ball or Hidden Power Ice. Golbat is in a similar boat to Haunter, threatening Cottonee with Sludge Bomb, Air Slash and Heat Wave.
Ivysaur and Roselia shut Cottonee down completely with their immunity to Toxic and Leech Seed. Both can threaten Cottonee with a STAB Sludge Bomb and can use the turn Cottonee switches out to use Sleep Powder or Stun Spore on the next switch-in. Roselia also has the added benefit of setting up Spikes.
Ferroseed is also immune to Toxic and Leech Seed and has the option of using Stealth Rock, Spikes, Leech Seed or Thunder Wave. Be aware, however, that to reliably break Cottonee's Substitute, Ferroseed needs a -Speed Nature with at most a 14 IV in Speed.
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