Cobalion's flexibility and utility make it one of the best role compression (RH) options on bulky offense and balance teams. Its typing and ability Justified give it many openings against Pokemon such as Scizor, Zarude, non-Stun Spore Amoonguss, and Nihilego to reliably boost with Swords Dance or set Stealth Rock. This also helps Cobalion punish Choice-locked Zygarde-10% and Diggersby for using Outrage and Body Slam. Its quadruple resistance to Stealth Rock makes Cobalion incredibly difficult to wear down without other forms of residual damage, and its ability to exploit Pokemon such as the aforementioned Scizor and Zarude makes Cobalion an excellent user of Swords Dance. After a boost, coverage options like Stone Edge and Megahorn have limited switch-ins and can eliminate checks like Moltres, Gyarados, and Slowking, though the lack of perfect accuracy can make them somewhat unreliable. Cobalion also boasts some useful utility options such as Stealth Rock to chip down switch-ins, Toxic for crippling checks like Hippowdon and Salamence, and Volt Switch to gain momentum off checks like Galarian Slowbro. Cobalion's Speed tier also helps it offensively check dangerous Pokemon like Hydreigon, Nihilego, and Thundurus-T. However, its mediocre base 90 Attack means it's dependent on Swords Dance to be threatening, and teams with good Cobalion counterplay like Hippowdon and Galarian Slowbro can prevent it from setting up in front of desirable targets such as Scizor and Zarude. Non-Swords Dance Cobalion sets struggle to reliably break through Scizor(space)and must be paired with other methods of checking it. Cobalion's Speed tier, while impressive, still leaves it vulnerable to common offensive Pokemon such as Azelf and Zygarde-10%. Cobalion's subpar Special Defense also means it can have trouble facing bulky Water-types like Rotom-W and Slowking and leaves Cobalion to take notable damage from even resisted special moves like Choice Scarf Hydreigon's Draco Meteor and Vanilluxe's Blizzard. Lastly, Cobalion's neutrality to Fairy, Flying, and Psychic hinders its role as a Steel-type against foes like Togekiss and Hatterene, which can strain teambuilding.
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Close Combat
move 3: Stone Edge / Iron Head
move 4: Megahorn
item: Leftovers / Rocky Helmet / Shuca Berry
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Cobalion's great resistances and bulk give it many opportunities to set up in front of foes like Scizor, Zarude, Nihilego, and Mandibuzz. After a boost, Close Combat threatens to 2HKO the previously mentioned targets and OHKO other threats like Rotom-W after Stealth Rock. Megahorn provides valuable coverage against Slowking and Tangrowth, notably OHKOing the former after a boost and minimal chip. Stone Edge slams checks such as Salamence and Moltres and improves Cobalion's matchup against Thundurus-T. Alternatively, Iron Head gives Cobalion a better matchup against Hatterene and Primarina, prevents Nidoqueen from walling it, and lets Cobalion potentially overwhelm checks like Hippowdon and Galarian Slowbro through flinches. Leftovers increases its longevity, giving it more chances to set up. Rocky Helmet is an alternative to punish Zarude and Scizor for using U-turn. It also provides chip damage against Choice-locked threats like Body Slam Diggersby and Outrage Zygarde-10%. Shuca Berry can be run to Cobalion beat Hippowdon and prevents it from being revenge killed by Zygarde-10%'s Thousand Arrows. However, this should only be used if the team does not have other options to overwhelm Hippowdon or deal with Zygarde-10% reliably. Safety Goggles is also an option that allows Cobalion to turn Amoonguss into setup fodder, but this should only be used in the absence of any teammates that can handle Amoonguss.
Cobalion fits best on bulky offense and balance teams for its ability to punish Scizor and Zarude while threatening to wallbreak or clean up the opposition. Other entry hazard setters such as Nihilego and Hippowdon provide chip damage for Amoonguss and Celesteela. They also help check problematic foes such as Galarian Slowbro, Salamence, and Zygarde-10%. Pivots such as Azelf and Thundurus-T help Cobalion find setup opportunities against Pokemon like Chansey and Nihilego. They also help in overwhelming other checks like Primarina and Hippowdon with their coverage moves. Skarmory's Spikes can be problematic to Cobalion's longevity, so entry hazard removers like Rotom-W and Salamence are appreciated. These options are also good teammates to have against foes like Conkeldurr. Teammates like Amoonguss and Assault Vest Tangrowth can pivot into dangerous foes like Keldeo and Primarina. Amoonguss also cripples Pokemon like opposing Cobalion and Galarian Slowbro with Spore, while Tangrowth removes Heavy-Duty Boots from Salamence and opposing Amoonguss with Knock Off. Cobalion is susceptible to being revenge killed by Choice Scarf Diggersby and Zygarde-10%, so other revenge killers like Choice Scarf Hydreigon and Mamoswine are appreciated.
move 1: Stealth Rock
move 2: Close Combat
move 3: Iron Head / Toxic
move 4: Swords Dance / Volt Switch / Taunt
item: Rocky Helmet / Leftovers
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Cobalion's ability to last throughout a game makes it an effective user of Stealth Rock, chipping away at threats like Primarina while having options to overwhelm entry hazard removers like Salamence. Cobalion has many opportunities to set up hazards, as it forces out opposing entry hazard setters like Chansey, Nihilego, and Excadrill. Close Combat is necessary for removing Excadrill and weakened Pokemon like Rotom-W. Iron Head maintains offensive pressure on the likes of Nidoqueen, Togekiss, and Hatterene; it is especially important to prevent Hatterene from denying Stealth Rock with Magic Bounce. If you're using Iron Head, Swords Dance should be the fourth moveslot to prevent Cobalion from getting countered by bulky Scizor and give it enough offensive presence to overwhelm Amoonguss and Hippowdon more easily. Swords Dance also leaves Cobalion less vulnerable to Celesteela and Nidoqueen switching in. Toxic can be used over Iron Head to cripple Salamence, Slowking, Tangrowth, and Hippowdon, preventing them from checking Cobalion in the long run and winning the entry hazard war against the former. This also opens up teammates like Zygarde-10% to more effectively work as late-game cleaners. Volt Switch is used alongside Toxic to hit targets Cobalion cannot poison, like Skarmory, Amoonguss, and Scizor, and pivot out of checks like Tangrowth and Primarina. However, this is less consistent against teams with Hippowdon. Stone Edge is an alternative over Iron Head with Swords Dance to deal with Moltres and Salamence; however, Iron Head's value against foes like Hatterene is generally preferred to help with setting Stealth Rock. Taunt can deny Hippowdon looking to heal in front of Cobalion with Slack Off as well as prevent Scizor from boosting with Swords Dance. It can also be an emergency way of preventing Salamence from removing entry hazards with Defog. Rocky Helmet is the preferred item, as this set doesn't really need to maintain its health for wallbreaking and cleaning, and it improves Cobalion's role as a countermeasure against Zarude and Scizor. However, Leftovers can still be used to improve Cobalion's longevity against foes like Nihilego. Cobalion usually runs maximum Attack investment to gain more value from its STAB moves, but a spread using 160 HP EVs with 96 Attack EVs is possible with Volt Switch + Toxic variants. This helps Cobalion play a more defensive role: it can pivot into Vanilluxe and Choice Scarf Hydreigon's STAB moves more comfortably while still OHKOing Pokemon like Mamoswine and Excadrill with Close Combat.
Utility Cobalion similarly fits in balance and bulky offense teams (RC) but takes a more defensive approach as a Stealth Rock setter or disrupter. Cobalion taking up the role of a Stealth Rock setter means that there's more room for an offensive Ground-type teammate. Some examples are Zygarde-10% and Diggersby, which appreciate Cobalion's ability to overwhelm Scizor and cripple shared checks like Hippowdon and Salamence with Toxic, opening an opportunity for them to clean. Skarmory's Spikes pairs excellently with Cobalion's Stealth Rock, severely wearing down foes like Keldeo, Hippowdon, and Nidoqueen. Furthermore, Swords Dance variants of Cobalion check Scizor well enough for Skarmory to run Toxic to weaken Salamence, preventing it from functioning as long-term entry hazard removal. Alternatively, Iron Defense Skarmory can act as a dedicated answer to Scizor, leaving room for Cobalion to run Taunt and block opposing entry hazards and Defog. Galarian Slowbro is a Calm Mind user that can break apart foes that Cobalion has issues with, like Skarmory. In return, Cobalion acts as an offensive check to foes like Hydreigon and Zarude. Colbur Berry + Flamethrower Cobalion (surely not?) also acts as a good primary Scizor answer. Crobat and Salamence are great answers to threats like Conkeldurr and Keldeo. Notably, Crobat makes overwhelming Hippowdon and Salamence easier with Taunt while revenge killing threats like Azelf and Noivern. Other Steel-types like Celesteela compensate for Cobalion's neutrality to Fairy and Flying, notably useful against Pokemon like Togekiss and Salamence. Celesteela also greatly assists in checking revenge killers like Choice Scarf Hydreigon and Diggersby.
Magnet Rise or Air Balloon alongside Swords Dance turns Excadrill and Hippowdon into complete setup fodder for a potential sweep, but this is matchup dependent. On hyper offense, Life Orb is useful for increasing Cobalion's wallbreaking capabilities enough to OHKO Slowking and Tangrowth with +2 Megahorn and Thundurus-T with an unboosted Stone Edge. Weakness Policy + Rock Polish on a three attacks set is an alternative option that takes advantage of Cobalion's good bulk and weak super effective hits like Hippowdon's Earthquake and bulky Salamence's Flamethrower to gain a staggering boost. Rock Polish is recommended to sweep teams since it avoids revenge killers like Azelf and Choice Scarf Hydreigon. Substitute + Swords Dance sets with STAB attacks take huge advantage of Pokemon that Cobalion forces out, like Scizor and Zarude. Thunder Wave is able to help cripple switch-ins like Skarmory and Noivern to make them easier to overwhelm, but it is useless against other threats like Hippowdon.
Checks and Counters
**Flying-types**: With Roost, Salamence and Noivern prey on Cobalion's low Special Defense with Flamethrower and can act as long-term (AH) checks, with the former also having Intimidate and the latter boasting more Speed and breaking power; both of them have to be cautious of Stone Edge and Toxic, though. Skarmory is a standout threat because Iron Defense helps it maintain a strong matchup against Swords Dance sets and Spikes greatly cuts into Cobalion's ability to pivot; however Skarmory also has to worry about becoming free momentum against Volt Switch. Thundurus-T can't repeatedly switch into Cobalion but threatens it out and can stop Swords Dance sweeps, especially against versus Iron Head variants.
**Poison-types**: Galarian Slowbro is one of Cobalion's worst matchups thanks to the longevity of Regenerator + Slack Off, its coverage in Flamethrower, and its ability to punish non-Swords Dance sets with Calm Mind. Amoonguss is problematic because it can put Cobalion out of commission with Spore or Stun Spore, though it needs to be careful of becoming setup fodder if something else was put to sleep or if Cobalion has Safety Goggles. Other notable threats are Earth Power Nidoqueen and Rapid Spin Tentacruel, which are bulky enough to break through Cobalion or clear its Stealth Rock, respectively. However, Nidoqueen faces the problem of being unable to reliably handle Swords Dance variants after a boost and can suffer from Iron Head flinches.
**Water-types**: Bulky Water-types such as Primarina and Slowking prey on Cobalion's low Special Defense with the threat of considerable damage and a potential burn with Scald. Regenerator + Teleport Slowking is especially problematic for its ability to use Cobalion for easy momentum, but it drops to +2 Megahorn. Keldeo can threaten(space)an OHKO with Secret Sword, and Gyarados can use Cobalion lacking super effective coverage as setup fodder with Dragon Dance. Jellicent, though uncommon, can be a very strong check to Swords Dance sets with its resistance to both of Cobalion's STAB attacks, but it needs to be wary of utility sets, which can pivot with Volt Switch or land a crippling Toxic.
**Ground-types**: Hippowdon and Swampert have the bulk to comfortably withstand Cobalion's attacks and retaliate with their own, but neither appreciates Toxic. Choice Scarf Diggersby and Zygarde-10% easily revenge kill Cobalion (RC) but can be lured in and KOed by Shuca Berry sets.
**Fire-types and Fire-type Coverage**: Moltres and Chandelure are resistant to Cobalion's STAB moves and can incinerate it with their own; however, they risk being KOed by Stone Edge. Pokemon such as Azelf and Choice Scarf Hydreigon outspeed Cobalion and severely damage it with Fire Blast.
- Written by: [[Mystras Leoxses, 530118]]
- Quality checked by: [[Monky25, 515132], [Estarossa, 461329], [Sulo, 528036]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Isaiah, 375662], [Lumari, 232216]]
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