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Lightningrod: Electric attacks will always hit this Pokemon.

Rock Head: Prevents recoil damage.


Element Symbol




Sp Atk

Sp Def




Set Name Nature Item

Tank Jolly Leftovers

Moves EVs

Seismic Toss
Stealth Rock
252 HP / 244 Sp Def / 12 Spd

Although Cubone doesn't get reliable recovery, it can work as a passable tank in UU while Toxic and Stealth Rock are set up. Seismic Toss is arguably stronger than any of Cubone's attacks against foes who are not hit for super-effective damage from them, and gives Cubone a strong attack to allow it to focus on its defenses without having to worry about output damage. Counter is a nasty surprise for foes such as Buizel, Croconaw and Electabuzz who try to nail Cubone with their Water or Ice attacks, respectively.

252 HP gives Cubone optimal defenses, while giving Counter its highest damage output, while 12 Speed ensures you outspeed 0 Speed, neutral-natured Graveler, Omanyte, Cacnea and Clefairy. The remaining EVs are dumped into Special Defense to help with overall tanking ability.

Set Name Nature Item

ClubBone Jolly Ability-Rock Head Thick Club

Moves EVs

Swords Dance
Rock Slide
252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 Def

By holding a Thick Club, Cubone's Attack power skyrockets to 398, allowing it to OHKO almost any foe in UU NFE that doesn't resist the attack it uses. Cubone now has a 45% chance of OHKOing a 252 / 0 Onix with a neutral Nature with no setup, and a guaranteed OHKO on a Geodude with the same spread. Fire Punch is an alternative to Double-Edge, as it hits Ivysaur hard, who otherwise takes little damage from Cubone's attacks. However, you will do much less damage to Baltoy, who is a common sight in UU because of learning Rapid Spin, and is resistant to QuakeSlide. Swords Dance at first looks like a very strange option, but proves to be one of Cubone's most potent options for a fourth moveslot. A large factor to this is the fact that Earthquake does the same amount of damage to neutral-resistant foes as a super-effective Thunderpunch or Fire Punch, and because no UU NFEs have a x4 weakness to either Fire or Electric (bar Wingull, who is KOed by Double-Edge anyway), Cubone has little need for any of its elemental punches. Iron Tail only scores super-effective damage against Rock-types and Ice-types, who are both dealt with Rock Slide or a STAB Earthquake, respectively. After a Swords Dance, Cubone's Attack skyrockets to 796, which is enough to KO nearly any UU NFE in the game. To put this in perspective, Cubone's Earthquake can OHKO a max Defense Rhyhorn, and will always OHKO a 252 HP / 0 Defense Wartortle, regardless of Stealth Rock damage.

Team Benefit mantyke kirlia drifloon duskull

Without some kind of Attack boost, Cubone cannot do much damage to the opponent unless it lands a super-effective hit, so it shouldn't be treated as a main team sweeper. Instead, Cubone's sweeping ability comes from giving it a chance to set up Swords Dance before it is hit. The reason early attacks are fearful to Cubone is because with its relatively low Speed, it usually gets hit before it can deliver the boosted attack, and so even after Swords Dance, it can be countered. Mantyke works well in conjunction with Cubone to lure Electric attacks that will give Cubone a chance to switch-in and set up Swords Dance. With Mantyke's respectable Special Defense stat, it logically lures Thunderpunch users, who are usually physically-based, which helps Cubone further by taking physical attacks that hit its high Defense stat. Other Water-types also work well with Cubone, such as Staryu, who has good synergy with Cubone, and who lures bulky walls, which Cubone can take advantage of to set-up.

The bulky versions of Cubone are more reliable, and can still pack a punch through Seismic Toss. However, they are more susceptable to Pokemon such as Duskull, who can Taunt Cubone, and is immune to Seismic Toss. Gastly or Haunter (the latter only appears in OU) make it more difficult, as they are immune to both Toxic and Seismic Toss, and can Taunt Cubone. While Kirlia doesn't like Shadow Ball from these Pokemon, it can help remedy the Cubone issue with Shadow Sneak, and can still provide Cubone with a switch-out from Special Water, Ice and Grass attacks that hinder it because of Kirlia's respectable Special Defense stat. It can also use Wish to heal Cubone and make up for its recovery.

Counters gastly haunter ivysaur wailmer

For the bulky set, Gastly and Haunter are the best counters, being immune to Toxic and Seismic Toss, and being able to use Taunt on Cubone, usually rendering it useless unless it is packing another physical attack, which won't OHKO either of them, allowing Gastly or Haunter to 2HKO back with Energy Ball.

In OU, Gligar makes a great counter. While it is neutral to Seismic Toss, its Defense hinders most of Cubone's physical attacks, while giving Gligar an opportunity to use Swords Dance to set-up against Cubone. In addition, it can learn Roost to heal away residual Seismic Toss damage. Ivysaur is resistant to most of Cubone's attacks (albeit the occasional Fire Punch), and can outspeed and hit Cubone hard with Energy Ball. Without Swords Dance, Wailmer doesn't take much damage from most of Cubone's attacks, albeit ThunderPunch, and has high-enough HP to not care about Seismic Toss, while it hits Cubone with Surf.

In OU, Bayleef and Tangela only fear Fire Punch, and can take down Cubone with Energy Ball.