Sneasel takes the name as one of the most threatening sweepers in NFE, and for good reason. With base 95 Attack, Life Orb and a back-up STAB priority attack, Sneasel can damage nearly the entire NFE tier for at least 50% damage with the right prediction. For a general attacking Sneasel, Life Orb is the preferred item, but on teams that carry Ghost-types or Pokemon who don't mind Fire or Fighting attacks, Choice Band is an option to give Sneasel an even higher attack stat that now 2HKOs every Pokemon in OU NFE (bar Nosepass) with the correct prediction. A Choice Band allows Sneasel to always 2HKO the standard Piloswine, while giving Sneasel a 79% chance to OHKO a bulky DD Shelgon. It also guarantees Sneasel a OHKO on a 0 HP, 0 Defense Tangela with Ice Punch, while having a 40% chance to OHKO the 252 HP / 0 Defense variation. Punishment outclasses Faint Attack entirely, giving Sneasel a STAB base 60 attack initially, but makes Sneasel a more threatening force against Pokemon who have set up Dragon Dance, Swords Dance or any other stat increase for that matter. It should be noted, however, that Gligar after a Swords Dance still takes more damage from Ice Punch than it does Sneasel's boosted Punishment, as does Rhydon and Togetic after a Rock Polish or Nasty Plot, respectively.
Though Ice Punch and Ice Shard look redundant at first glance, Ice Shard gives Sneasel the boost to KO Scarf Gabite, who otherwise beats it, and saves Sneasel from finishing priority attacks from the likes of Dragonair and weakened Machokes, as well as Scarf Kadabra. It should also be noted that if you choose Adamant for the extra power, Kadabra and Electabuzz can both outspeed Sneasel. While Ice Shard more than deals with Kadabra, Electabuzz can immediately threaten with Cross Chop or Focus Blast, although Ice Shard in itself requires that Electabuzz be at least around 50% health for it to score a KO.
Substitute Swords Dance X-Scissor Ice Punch
252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 Sp Def
Same EVs as the previous set, but this Sneasel plays much differently. Substitute is used to protect Sneasel from damage, which can easily be set up by feigning the more popular all-out sweeper set. On the turn that Substitute is usually broken, Swords Dance is used to skyrocket Sneasel's Attack. Coupled with its Speed, this Sneasel makes a very potent sweeper when not faced with priority moves. Using Sneasel in conjunction with Machoke or Golbat makes this set easier to pull off, as they both attract
Psychic attacks, namely from Choice Specs Kadabra or Magmar.
It is recommended to stay at maximum Speed to allow Sneasel a chance to outspeed opposing max Speed Jolly Sneasels who otherwise can take down Sneasel even after it sets up. It takes at least 244 EVs to be able to outspeed a Choice Scarfed Mankey, and a minimum of 228 to be able to outspeed a Choice Scarf Cranidos.
If you are not concerned about these Pokemon revenge killing Sneasel, a drop to 178 Speed is an option to still be able to outspeed a max Speed Kadabra and Electabuzz. The remaining EVs should be dumped into HP to aid in Substitute resistances.
Sneasel makes a fantastic physical sweeper for any team who is weak to Psychic or Ice attacks. Its blazing Speed and impressive Attack stat are an asset to any team. With maximum Speed, it can outspeed anything in NFE that isn't Scarfed, including Life Orb Kadabra. Sneasel has a lot of trouble with priority attacks, however, namely Bullet Punch and Mach Punch, so pairing Sneasel with a defensive tank to switch out to can be beneficial. Machoke is a notable teammate for Sneasel, not minding any priority attacks in the game, and being able to KO Magmar with Dynamicpunch, and 2HKOing Piloswine and Rhydon. Machoke also works excellently as a Kadabra lure, allowing Sneasel to switch into Psychic and immediately threatening Kadabra. Haunter also works well as a teammate, being able to switch into Extremespeed and Mach Punch, as well as immediately threatening Piloswine with Energy Ball if it attempts to use Superpower or Earthquake on Sneasel. Haunter can also switch to Sneasel when faced with a Dark or Ghost-type attack.
Sneasel is hampered by Stealth Rock, and paired with Life Orb recoil, can possibly lead to a quick revenge kill from the opponent by a weak priority attack, particularly a Choice Band Machoke's Bullet Punch, which is always a OHKO after Stealth Rock damage. Because of this, Tentacool is a notable teammate as a Rapid Spin-user, since can sometimes attract a Psychic attack, which gives Sneasel an opportunity to switch in. Tentacool can also switch into most priority attacks, namely Mach Punch, Bullet Punch, and can also switch into most Fire attacks that would otherwise end Sneasel. To deal with priority attacks more reliably, an anti-priority Poliwhirl works very well alongside Sneasel, especially on the Swords Dance set. Common
checks to Sneasel such as Metang, Magmar and Monferno cannot take a STAB Waterfall from this Poliwhirl (Earthquake is a 2HKO in Metang's case), nor can Monferno outpace Poliwhirl because of a Choice Scarf.
Monferno can use Mach Punch to almost always OHKO Sneasel, as it suffers x4 damage from Mach Punch, and exploits Sneasel's relatively low Defense. Monferno can also switch into Ice and Dark attacks, only fearing a non-STAB Brick Break. A defensive Machoke with Dynamicpunch threatens an instant death to Sneasel, only being 2HKOed by Ice Punch. While Bullet Punch is only a 2HKO factoring in Stealth Rock damage if Machoke isn't holding a Choice Band, Sneasel, again, cannot OHKO Machoke with any of its attacks, allowing Machoke to in the end beat Sneasel if it doesn't switch out. Metang can manage even a STAB Punishment, is hardly hurt by Ice Punch or Brick Break, and can hit back with Bullet Punch for a 2HKO, or Meteor Mash, which is an instant KO. Rhydon isn't 2HKOed by any of Sneasel's attacks, and can instantly KO it with Stone Edge or Fire Punch.
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