Weavile

Weavile, The Sharp Claw Pokémon. They are native to the snowy regions of Sinnoh, and since evolving from Sneasel they have only become more devious. It usually prefers to travel in groups of four or five to hunt, and they carve patterns in trees and boulders with their claws in order to signal the others that their prey is close.

Overview

On today's episode of the Pokémon of the Week our heroes over at serebii.net encounter a Weavile, the famous Shadow Hunter from the Sinnoh Region. Weavile has always been an exceptional Pokémon due to its incredibly High Speed and superb Attack, and its terrific offensive typing in Dark/Ice Type. It does not lack for outstanding coverage moves either with access to things like Knock Off, Icicle Crash, Poison Jab, Low Kick, Pursuit, Throat Chop, Ice Shard. It has one glaring drawback though in that its bulk is just god awful..like really bad especially when you take into account its Stealth Rock weakness as wel. You'll always want to have a Defoger of some kind available like Tapu Fini or a Rapid Spinner on your team if you choose to use Weavile in battle. Something to absorb Toxic and dish out some damage to a lot of your main threats like Mega Vensaur would definitely be appreciated as well. Weavile is a great 'mon that will fit perfectly on any team with the right kind of supports. It just needs a little help. In 4th and 5th gen I always had one with me, but with today's metagame it's so much harder to build a team around it, and Weavile needs all the needs all the support it can get because of how frail it's unfortunately. I still highly recommend using Weavile whenever you get the chance though to be clear it's just effective as it ever was.
Positives
+ High Atk and Spe sporting a Base 120 and 125 respectively
+ great offensive typing and lots of spammable attacks like Knock Off and Icicle Crash
+ access to priority in Ice Shard which will greatly assist you in taking out Dragon threats to your team and other weakened enemy 'mons

Negatives
- Its bulk might as well be imaginary. Base 70 HP and 65 Def is pretty bad there's no way of sugar coating that
- SpD is only Base 85 as well, so it can't take many special attacks either.
- Very Very susceptible to damage from the likes of Stealth Rock and residual damage in general..and thanks to its practical non existent bulk its options are limited without a proper team to support it

Abilities

Pressure: When this Pokémon is hit by a move, the opponent’s PP lowers by 2 rather than 1. Opponents in S.O.S. Battles are more likely to call for help. This ability works better on bulky 'mons for sure, but it's not a bad ability by any means and might even help annoy your opponent a little as an added bonus.
Hidden Ability (Available):
Pickpocket: When a Pokémon makes physical contact with the Pokémon, the item of the opponent is stolen. Only works if you're not already holding an item, and it's situational at best so I don't recommend taking this in Singles. Plus you can use just Knock Off in most singles formats unlike in VGC so it's not worth it to me.

Movesets

Shadow Hunter

- Knock Off
- Icicle Crash
- Poison Jab
- Ice Shard / Low Kick
Item Attached: Choice Band
Ability: Pressure
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 SpD
Jolly Nature

Knock Off should always be Weavile's main stab move. It dishes out a TON of damage when paired with Choice Band and it also removes your enemies items as well. It's a transfer only move though, so if for whatever reason you're unable to transfer one to SM use Throat Chop instead. Icicle Crash is your secondary stab, and it will help you take out Landorus-T and Garchomp with ease. Poison Jab is mainly to deal with Fairy switchins like Clefable and Tapu Fini. The last slot is up to you. Ice Shard's priority will help you pick off faster weakened 'mons, and Low Kick is a good option to deal out some damage to Tyranitar, Heatran and Ferrothorn.

I prefer Choice Band over the standard Life Orb sets because Weavile is already extremely susceptible to residual damage, and it functions better as a late game revenge killer anyway so the extra power is appreciated even if it means locking itself into one move until it's switched out again.

Other Options

- Pursuit: Ice Shard or Low Kick are more effective as your last move slot, but Weavile does force some pretty key switches and it makes an excellent Pursuit trapper when paired with Choice Band.
- Life Orb: I prefer Choice Band over Life Orb because Weavile functions better as late game revenge killer/cleaner than a true sweeper, but it's worth using if you don't like being locked into a move and don't mind a slight loss in power.
- Swords Dance: Overall I don't recommend using Swords Dance on any set for Weavile. It's just too frail, and if your prediction skills fail you it won't be around long enough to justify sacrificing an extra coverage move for the Atk boost. Especially when paired with Life Orb, and you have to take into account how susceptible it's to entry hazard damage as well.
- Throat Chop: Knock Off is a transfer only move, so if you're unable to get a Weavile from ORAS and transfer it over this is your best option. It's a strong Dark STAB and it prevents your enemy from using sound emitting moves for 2 turns as well.

VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options

Weavile has been an incredible Pokemon in the past two years of VGC. Utilizing one of the fastest Fake Outs available, Weavile was a great lead Pokemon, able to delay an opponent from attacking a turn, or bluffing Fake Out and using a surprise Feint into a predicted opponent's Protect. With a variety of strong moves, especially Icicle Crash and Knock Off, Weavile could hit many of the top Pokemon hard for super-effective damage, including legendaries like Landorus-T, Thundurus, Cresselia, and even Rayquaza.

Jump forward to VGC 2017...and sadly things aren't as bright as they once were for Weavile. Fake Out isn't as great as it once was due to Tapu Lele's Psychic Terrain, and Weavile does not have access to Knock Off in this format. The presence of more dark-resisting fairies, Arcanine's Intimidate and popularity, and new, faster threats in Tapu Koko and Pheromosa all have marginalized Weavile's role. Despite all of this, Weavile may still fight to find its way on teams in need of what it can still provide, especially since it can OHKO Garchomp.

Size Matters Not

-Icicle Crash / Ice Punch
-Throat Chop
-Fake Out
-Feint / Ice Shard
Item Attached: Focus Sash
Ability: Pressure
EVs and Nature:
60 HP / 252 Atk / 196 Spe
Jolly Nature

Weavile always aims to hit as hard and as fast as possible, while still providing support in one of the fastest Fake Outs in VGC. Max attack lets Weavile do as much damage as possible. A Jolly nature with 196 EVs in speed allows Weavile to just outspeed Salazzle, another fast Fake Out user. While max speed is fine, the only additional Pokemon you will outspeed with the additional investment are Alakazam, Minior, and Ribombee, all rare Pokemon to see. 60 HP EVs give it a little a bit of bulk, but it can survive any one attack thanks to the Focus Sash anyway. Should you choose another item, those 60 EVs can be invested in special defense, which allows Weavile to survive a Dazzling Gleam from Modest Tapu Lele, just about every unboosted attack from standard Tapu Fini, and to survive a Thunderbolt from Timid Life Orb Tapu Koko in its terrain over 60% of the time. Pressure is a decent ability, but its main function will be to help you determine your opponent's speeds by seeing what order certain abilities activate.

Icicle Crash and Ice Punch are both strong ice STAB moves that depend on how you view accuracy vs power. Icicle Crash is stronger (and has a chance to flinch), but does not have perfect accuracy, which could cost some games due to misses. Ice Punch does have perfect accuracy (and a chance to freeze), but may miss on certain KOs due to lower power. Throat Chop is Weavile's strongest dark-type STAB, and has some niche uses in stopping Perish Song or Drampa's Hyper Voice. Fake Out is arguably the biggest reason to use Weavile, typically giving your team an advantage in flinching an opponent for a turn. Feint, as previously mentioned, can break an opponent's Protect (and Wide Guard) when they try to dodge your Fake Out. Ice Shard, however, is stronger priority due to STAB and can allow Weavile to pick off opponents with more HP than Feint typically can.

Other Options & Team Ideas

-Pickpocket is limited due to how many Z Crystals are in the format, but can still be useful to steal berries or other items should you consume your item, such as a Focus Sash.
-Life Orb has always competed with Focus Sash as the most used item on Weavile, as it boosts Weavile's good attack stat even more, but Weavile has to be even more careful with its lack of bulk. The dark and (especially) ice z moves are another way to increase Weavile's damage output for a big attack. The ice move in particular can be useful, as it can be a stronger version of Icicle Crash that cannot miss.
-Assault Vest has seen some use since Weavile often uses 4 attacks anyway. Although it makes Weavile's special bulk respectable since it has decent special defense, it typically is only considered if your Focus Sash needs to be on another Pokemon.
-Taunt is great with Weavile's high speed to shut down certain strategies your opponent will want to set up.
-Protect is still arguably the best move in doubles to keep your Pokemon safe from an incoming attack, but as with most Fake Out Pokemon, it is tough to fit on the set.
-Fling, while holding a Razor Fang or King's Rock, is a creative way to essentially get 2 turns of Fake Out when Weavile first hits the field.
-Night Slash is not as strong as Throat Chop, but it does have a higher critical hit ratio and can help work around Intimidate drops.
-Poison Jab is a good coverage move with all the fairies around. One underrated idea for Weavile could be the Poisonium Z crystal, as very bulky Tapu Fini is the only Tapu to survive Acid Downpour.
-Assurance can be used in some fun strategies with a faster teammate, as the move's base power will double if Weavile attacks an opponent who has already taken damage.
-Brick Break is another coverage move, and it can break Aurora Veil or other screens used by your opponent.
-Icy Wind and Snarl are both weak on Weavile due to its low special attack, but have some utility and work well with Weavile's speed. Icy Wind in particular deserves a special mention this year since it is on so few Pokemon without the move tutors.
-Snatch will steal a number of moves the opponent will try to use, especially Tailwind.

-Pokemon threatened by Garchomp like Arcanine and Alolan Muk appreciate Weavile's ability to OHKO it with an ice move. Weavile outspeeds Garchomp, and even if the opposing Garchomp is holding a Choice Scarf, it cannot normally OHKO Weavile with any common move due to spread damage.
-Thanks to its fast Fake Out, Weavile works well in teams that rely on setups like Extreme Evoboost, Z-Conversion, Tailwind, Dragon Dance, etc. Weavile can also work as a decent counter to some of these strategies, especially with both Fake Out and Taunt.

Countering Weavile

Weavile isn't that hard to check or knock out of the game entirely if I'm honest. Bulky Steel Types like Celesteela, Ferrothorn, and Skarmory are going to be your biggest headaches in life. Their bulk is just too make for Weavile to take on and they'll stall you death. Mega Scizor won't take boosted damage from Knock Off and it's resistant to any and all of your Ice Type attacks and can turn around and easily KO you with a Bullet Punch. Or it can just use as set up bait too. If you're using a Life Orb, Weavile pretty much KO's itself when you factor in the recoil damage, its terrible bulk, any other residual damage it may have already taken from Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic and etc. Also you definitely need to watch out for common Choice Scarf users and faster 'mons that can take your attacks and threaten you out like Jirachi, Keldeo, and Tapu Koko. There are lots more, but those are the most common answers to Weavile. I wish you all the best of luck.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Evolve Sneasel

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Evolve Sneasel

Black/White:
Evolve Sneasel

Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Sneasel

X/Y:
Evolve Sneasel

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y

Sun/Moon:
Evolve Sneasel

Animé Appearences

Weavile has made multiple appearances in the anime. Most notably, it was used by Paul during his Sinnoh campaign, and Alain used one in his Kalos League Final match against Ash..

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
M8 Lucario & The Mystery of Mew Mew & The Wave-Guiding Hero - Lucario Pics
461 Duels of the Jungle Attack! The Stray Weavile! Pics
508 Top-Down Training! Champion Cynthia Appears! Pics
S22 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time & Darkness Pokémon Mystery Dungeon - Time & Darkness Expedition Pics
532 Riding the Winds of Change! Gliscor and Gligar! Getting Through the Wind Maze! Pics
568 Aiding the Enemy Turtwig, Grotle...& Torterra! Pics
582 Another One Gabites the Dust Pokémon Contest! Akebi Convention!! Pics
S23 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky - Beyond Time & Darkness Pokémon Mystery Dungeon - Sky Expedition Pics
599 Pedal to the Mettle Full Battle! Paul VS Ash! (Part One) Pics
600 Evolving Strategies Full Battle! Paul VS Ash! (Part Two) Pics
601 Uncrushing Defeat Uxie's Shadow! Pics
628 A Marathon Rivalry! Get Fired Up Snorlax! Prince of Pokéthlon! Pics
630 Playing the Performance Encore Double Battle! VS Plusle & Minun! Pics
633 Flint Sparks the Fire! Elite Four Flint and Gym Leader Volkner! Pics
656 Battling a Thaw in Relations Rival Battle Conclusion! Ash VS Paul! Pics
P14 Eevee Friends Pikachu & Eevee Friends Pics
902 The Legend of the Ninja Hero! Welcome to the Ninja Village! The Legend of the Hero Greninja!! Pics
903 A Festival of Decisions! Decisive Battle in the Ninja Village! Frogadier VS Bisharp!! Pics
910 An Explosive Operation The Explosive Land's Wrath! Operation: Capture Zygarde!! Pics
933 Finals Not for the Faint-Hearted! The Finals! Ash VS Alain!! Pics
934 Down to the Fiery Finish Kalos League Victory! Ash's Ultimate Match!! Pics
937 The Right Hero for the Right Job! Attack on Lumiose Gym! The Clembot Forever!! Pics
938 Rocking Kalos Defenses! The Megalith Advances! A Fight to Protect Kalos!! Pics

 
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