DPP lead guide
(Not Really Ordered)
The lead you must beat. if it can get 2+ layers on your team for sure, you should consider a lead change. The momentum one gets from SR + spikes makes HO the best and most consistent play style. Can be EV'd and has a movepool just large enough to beat almost any other lead.
- -Focus Sash: Taunt, Spikes/Stealth Rock, Shadow Ball, Psycho Boost/Extreme Speed/Stealth Rock – standard deoxys. usually what one wants to counter. Psycho Boost nails Tentacruel (requires investment), Shadow Ball is the mirror, while Extreme Speed only allows 1 layer from Deo-A leads. Taunt depending on how much you want to stop opposing lead from setting-up hazards. 20+ Speed outspeeds Deoxys-Attack, scarfed Neutral natured base 95s or lower (eg. scarf Ogre, Lonely Rayquaza) max speed forces speed ties and allows Taunt vs. opposing Deoxys-Speed.
- Offensive Sash: Shadow Ball, Spikes, HP Fire, Extreme Speed/Taunt – This set foregoes speed and potential longevity in order to be able to beat potential Forretress leads/switches, while also keeping opposing Deoxys to only one Hazard. Rash Nature forces Forre to be running SDef to avoid the OHKO.
- Colbur Anti-Dark: 252hp 164 SpD (lives non LO ray draco 100%) Spikes, Superpower, E-Speed/Shadow Ball, Taunt/Stealth Rocks. The crux is EVs in combination with the Berry. Superpower kills Lum Tyranitar and Darkrai while also avoiding the OHKO from their respective STAB dark-type moves. Gameplan is to set up Spikes on Ttar, live the attack and then Superpower turn 2 to break its sash. 168 Attack EVs needed to OHKO Max HP Tyranitar, whereas uninvested kills equally uninvested Tar. Darkrai always dodges the OHKO, with or without a Chope Berry adorned to it.
- Trick Scarf – A good way to handle other Deo-S without fearing speed ties, as well as crippling multiple other leads with a Trick. Speed is provided through Choice Scarf, so you can focus on bulk, instead. A spread of 248 HP / 164 Def / 96+ SpD avoids 2HKO from opposing Deoxys-S Shadow Ball, with the rest put in defense to take Tyranitar as well as possible.
2 sets, Choice Scarf and not
- Scarf – Dark Void, Dark Pulse, Trick, Focus Blast, Taunt / Focus Blast / Nasty Plot. Beats most leads 85% of the time. loses to Lum TTar (can’t OHKO) but can “beat” non Lum, Kyogre consistently beats (Either it’s also Scarfed, Lum or runs Sleep Talk) and Dialga. Mew is another lead you beat on paper, but is item dependent. Beats all Deoxys leads and Rayquaza lead.
- Non Scarf aka Lum aka Focus Sash aka Chople aka Life Orb – Dark Void, Dark Pulse, Focus Blast, Taunt / Thunder Wave / Nasty Plot / Will-O-Wisp / Thunder / Quick Attack. The itemisation on lead Darkrai is almost as long as the list of viable items in this gen. Beats everything except the ones mentioned above and the rare M2. Trades a possible extra layer for more pressure against teams. 125 speed is the 4th highest in the tier (deoxys / mewtwo / skymin) so darkrai forces a scarf if these mons aren’t on the opponent’s team. First three moves are necessary, last one you have options.
- Chople – loses to rare Scarf leads to 100% beat TTar, a lead created to stop Darkrai, and Deoxys-A. still loses to mewtwo because mewtwo doesn’t die to one pulse. Potentially beats Deoxys-Speed, item dependent.
- Lum – loses to ttar in exchange to beat old school leads and get the jump on balance teams,as the way balance deals with darkrai is Status or a scarf. Harder for it to beat Deo-S leads.
(Note: Both items still make the darkrai mirror a guessing game.)
- Life Orb – Only seen on the NP set. tries to put immediate pressure. But without SR, you can’t get the kills as easily, so try and preserve.
The 4th Move:
- NP – Immediate pressure. leans towards all out offense where you don’t mind trading 1v1. good on wobb teams to force out the scarf
- WoW – tries to catch balance teams off guard. Most common switch-ins to Darkrai after Void connects are Kyogre, Dialga, Jirachi, and Scizor. This catches the latter two off guard and makes them usually worthless,while also stacking residual damage on the former two.
- Thunder – for sun teams or teams that trouble with Kyogre. It also has the added benefit of paralyzing 30% but mainly you want the 2HKOon RestOgre.
- QA / Sucker – QA helps against Deoxys. useful on spike weak teams (usually 5 grounded mons and a gira / ray). The only noteworthy use is the super rare ninjask. Sucker helps against the mewtwo revenge, adds a little more chip on giras when darkrai is in sneak range. Sucker should only be used if you expect a Mewtwo lead.
- Thunderwave – tries to catch the Scarfer switching-in. Good for teams that struggle with speed control on their other members. Most teams would appreciate the pressure the first 3 moves on the list bring.
Life Orb Mixed – Draco Meteor, Fire Blast, ExtremeSpeed Brick Break / Earthquake. Outrage is super rare. Break on LO is recommended so Lum TTar dies immediately. Speed creep caps with 216 Speed, which outspeeds Neutral natured base 90s(Dialga Don, Ogre). Special Attack is prioritised over Attack as. Can potentially run a set-up move in order to put more offensive pressure on fatter teams, but usually loses even harder to Deoxys Leads that way. Sash should be considered if that’s the case.
Lum Berry targets Darkrai and Groudon leads, or stray Mews that might try to Thunder Wave. Power drop is noticeable. Focus Sash makes sure you survive whichever one hit your opponent throws at you and is pretty good when you want to preserve Rayquaza for the mid-late game.
2 sets, the sets are honestly 50/50 - depends on the player
- Lum / Focus Sash / Chople 252 HP / enough SpD to live darkrai Blast (248/68 but more is viable to survive Modest Kyogre) / 188+Atk. Adamant/Brave. Payback, Stealth Rock, Superpower/Low Kick/Earthquake, Fire Blast / Thunder Wave / Stone Edge. beats Deoxys, Froslass, Darkrai, Dialga Forretress. Earthquake is used to beat Tentacruel leads. Stone Edge is used just as a strong STAB,as it doesn’t actually hit something meaningful besides Rayquaza. Thunder-Wave is used in the last slot when you want to incapacitate whatever comes in after the suicide lead. Low Kick is preferred if you plan to keep Tyranitar for the long game. Ttars best quality is his longevity. Unlike Deoxys or Darkrai, TTar will come back in the game. Chople is an option if you don’t wanna invest in bulk but want to survive Superpower or Focus Blast.
(Note: Takes 80 Spa to ohko forrey 100% of the time with a Brave Nature, Adamant can kill non Max-max)
The next tier hazard leads
- Sash 252 Speed / 80 SpA / 176 Attack Hasty. Low Kick, Fire Blast / Stealth Rocks, Crunch, SRocks / Stone Edge- This set changes TTar from a mere Darkrai counter to mainly deoxys / froslass counter. the extra speed allows ttar to punish greedier teams that don’t attack it. best on up tempo teams that don’t mind sacrificing ttar early for good damage on the opponents likely base 90 mon.
- Other Moves:
- Pursuit – Only on the lum set too. For teams that need a good lead and benefit from spinning or a dead latias / latios.
- Rest – Best used with pursuit and a chesto berry. a paralyzed brave ttar is fine, and you don’t want to waste your lum on that. the price of 2 lost turns is too steep.
Timid Lum – Hydro Pump, Rapid Spin, Toxic Spikes, Icy Wind
216+ Speed outspeeds +Spd Rayquaza, 176+ creeps base +Spd 90s. 40HP / 204 SDef avoids OHKO from standard Deo-S Psycho Boost. 40 HP needed to live through Payback + sand from standard Tyranitar. Rest of the EVs are usually put in SAtk. Lum berry is mandatory as very few things threaten with an OHKO and it invalidates Darkrai as well as T-Wave spreaders such as Dialga.Cruel has the benefit of beating Deoxys-Speed, Darkrai and Ray. base 100 speed is useful in getting up toxic spikes which is the best hazard in DPP Ubers, as only very few Pokemon are immune + not SR weak in top tier competition. Fits both stall and offensive builds, as it softens breakers and walls alike. Has the added benefit of coming back in and absorbing the T-spikes.
Sash Extreme Lead - Spikes, Superpower, Shadow Ball / Dark Pulse, Extreme Speed / Psycho Boost / Icy Wind / Fire Punch
Deoxys’ Attack form trades Speed form’s decent-to-good Tyranitar match-up for a good match-up against the other common hazard leads. Pressures Deoxys-Speed into only getting one layer of hazards up as it commonly drops Extreme Speed for a better utility move. Max speed is mandatory to outspeed anything that isn’t scarfed or named Deo-S. Superpower from max ATK with a Neutral Nature has a 44% chance of OHKOing uninvested TTar through Chople Berry, but 220 is enough to OHKO standard Blissey.
Psycho Boost nails Rayquaza and Tentacruel as well as potential Ghost-types wishing to switch-in on the predicted Extreme Speed. Other potential moves include Fire Punch for lead Forretress and Scizor, Signal beam to cover Darkrai and Deoxys at the same time and Stealth Rocks, but they’re all situational at best. Taunt, while appealing, fits better on something that can take a hit or two, meaning you might as well be running Deoxys-Speed at that point. Use only for the surprise factor. Icy Wind is even more niche, allowing you to win the Deo-S match-up 95% of the time. Usually ran without E-Speed, meaning you lose the mirror.
Sash Lead – 252+ Speed / 252 SpA. Spikes, Icy Wind, Shadow Ball, Taunt / Destiny Bond / Ice Shard
Froslass is a decent Spike lead that provides spin-blocking against the likes of Tentacruel or Forretress. It can beat both Deoxys forms and the rare Ray, but hard loses to Darkrai and TTar. Watch out for the rare Icy Wind Deo-A if you’re not running Ice Shard.
- Ice Shard – Helpful for the mirror and for removing Deo-A. End result should be a win without risking a 50-50. Also provides valuable momentum in the HO vs. HO match-up, something that’s ever so valuable.
- Taunt – Best for T-Spikes weak teams, as nothing that uses T-Spikes in Ubers is faster than Froslass. Extremely useful in lead match-ups that don’t go for hazards such as the weather duo, as well as slower leads that lack priority.
- Destiny Bond – A gimmicky option, since you can’t afford Taunt + DBond to have them continually switching. Any status move will just kill you, only run this if you live inside the opponent’s head rent-free.
Lum Bulky Stealth Rocks – 252 HP / 112 Speed / 144+ SpA. Draco Meteor, Stealth Rock, Thunder Wave / Flamethrower, Thunder / Aura Sphere
A very strong anti-lead, Dialga functions quite similarly to the way it functions in the non lead slot; as a general Ghost/Water/Special attacking sponge. Lum Berry gets the beat on Darkrai which can’t beat you unless they’re running Life Orb and get a high roll on Focus Blast. Speed is enough to creep on Jolly Max-Speed TTar. Thunder Wave incapacitates whatever wishes to come in after you deal with the opposing lead. Thunder lands a hefty hit on Kyogre, while Aura Sphere attempts to deal with Tyranitar. Flamethrower is for the Steels that might attempt to switch-in and lead Forre.
THE NUT – 252 hp / 252+ SpD / 4 Atk. (Toxic) Spikes, Rapid Spin, Payback, (Toxic) Spikes / Protect / Pain Split / Toxic / Sleep Talk / Explosion / Stealth Rock
Forretress feats best on stall teams that have a Lugia or hate Spikes, as well as Ho-Oh suns. There is a distinct lack of Pursuit abusers in DPP Ubers outside of the occasional scarf Tyranitar, so stall teams can afford this anti-lead to slow down the game by setting up their hazards, or preventing hazard(s) from Deoxys with an extremely slow spin. Specially Defensive Forretress lives Fire Blast from the usual Tyranitar so it guarantees either one layer for yourself or a lack of hazards on your side of the field. Payback is necessary to hit a Ghost-type that tries to spin-block you if they were allowed a hazard up on a misprediction on your part.
Occa Berry lets you set-up Toxic Spikes against every lead except Life Orb Rayquaza and Scarf Kyogre, while Lum guarantees a layer against Darkrai.
- Protect – scouts the myriad choice users in the tier. Also provides extra Lefties recovery + Poison damage racks up from T-Spikes.
- Pain Split – helps combat Gira-O when you don’t have a pursuiter, deals more damage than Payback in the long run.
- Sleep Talk – a neat tech move against teams that want a spin vs. Darkrai teams. Makes up for its inconsistency by being godlike in its good match-up.
- Toxic – again, for Giratina-O. Has little utility outside that since most switch-ins on Forrey are Steel-types..
- Explosion – seen on more balance teams. maybe gets a kill on greedy Lati or Kyogre.
- Stealth Rocks – relatively easy to fit on a different member, only run if you can’t find a single other Pokemon to run them on.
Steel Anti-Lead – Focus Sash/ Lum 252+ Atk / 252 Speed / Meteor Mash, Bull Punch, Stealth Rock, Explosion
Metagross is a potent Anti-lead that provides rocks, being able to sponge attacks from every lead except Life Orb Rayquaza and revenge killing them with BP. It mostly takes advantage of its inherent bulk to avoid OHKOs from the most common leads. Lum as always answers Darkrai quite nicely. A Jolly nature can be run to outspeed Tyranitar, but that’s not of much importance when you just kill it with priority. Unlike many of the other leads on here, Metagross isn’t scared of trading kills with a well-timed Explosion, as it usually leads to getting a great momentum lead, which can be the difference between winning or losing any given match in DPP.
Focus Sash Lead – Toxic Spikes, Payback, Ice Shard, Spikes / Rapid Spin / Explosion
Max Speed and Attack is needed to get the jump on Tyranitar leads and deal as much damage as possible. Cloyster is a remnant of the past and a more aggressive Toxic Spikes setter than Tentacruel because it can set regular Spikes. Anything else is largely the same or worse matchups except super rare leads like skymin. The only defining better matchup is froslass. Deoxys-S tends to be way bulkier than it used to be, so Payback -> Ice Shard is no longer a guaranteed kill. Final move is dependent on whether you struggle with steals, want to punish greedy leads or definitely need hazards removed. Adamant nature can be run if you want to have a chance to kill Deo-S with a combination of Payback + Ice Shard but you can then lose to Edge Tyranitar.
Sash Rain Abuser – 252 Atk / 252+ Speed Toxic Spikes, Payback, Aqua Jet, Explosion, Destiny Bond / Spikes
The extremely weird mixture of Tentacruel and Cloyster. Can absorb Toxic Spikes for your team potentially, but switching it in at any point means mistakes were made. Aqua Jet has worse offensive type coverage than Ice Shard on top of everything else, but at least you can outspeed and kill any Kyogre.
“Ancient” Sash lead – 252+ Atk / 252 Speed / Earthquake, Ice Shard, Stealth Rock, Endeavor
2007 OU lead now in Ubers! Will allow you to beat a newer player that doesn’t quite know what this ‘mon does or what Endeavour is, but its speed tier is honestly very bad for Ubers standards. Beats Deoxys, Rayquaza, Dialga as well as Dialga. Relies heavily on surprise factor and the opponent’s inexperience.
SunSetter – 240 HP / 176+ Def / 8 SpD / 88 Speed / Earthquake, Stealth Rock, Roar, Overheat, Stone Edge / Thunder Wave / Roar
Groudon is an oddity of a lead, as it provides a ton on paper but actually struggles to fulfill its role in action. Just like many other leads, it catches people by surprise and beats common leads but allows Deo-S to get 2 layers up. It sets up sun nicely and can take a hit from Kyogre, dealing massive damage in the process. Darkrai can meet a similar fate if Lum Berry is elected as the item of choice, as well as Tentacruel. However, leading Groudon has the downside of revealing the value sun plays for your team early and as it lacks consistent recovery not named leftovers, it gets chipped down pretty easily. Stone Edge is the go-to if you wish to hit the likes of Rayquaza and Ho-Oh, while Thunder-wave catches the various dragons and possible Giratinas that might wish to switch-in. Dragon Claw deals decent damage vs. Latis and Gira-O, but also require a hard read and they don’t OHKO. Still a decent middle ground, tho.
Lum Anti-Lead – 252 HP 252+ Speed / U-Turn, Stealth Rock, Explosion, Taunt.
Another legacy lead, this Mew set is designed to Taunt slower mons like Tentacruel and absorb the taunt from Deoxys, U-Turn out and revenge kill. With the bulk that current day leads run, this is pretty difficult to pull off consistently. Fire Blast gets a node as the only way Mew has to touch Forretress. Any other option is better fit on a Mewtwo lead. Tyranitar and Tentacruel match-ups are reliant on whatever you both click and can go either way, but Taunt off of base 100 Speed shuts down all the lesser leads that you outspeed.
Lum Spinner – 252 HP / 252+ / Atk / X-Scissor, Rapid Spin, Stealth Rock, Rock Blast / Aqua Jet
The ultimate DPP gimmick lead, Armaldo can both safely spin in front of Deoxys and Absorb Darkrai’s Sleep, while also threatening to set-up rocks. Slow spin is appreciated as you can’t really outspeed anything anyway. Aqua Jet can be used if you’re confident you’re gonna live the hit from Deo-A.
Note: Rock Blast does not break sashes in DPP.
Sash lead – 48 Atk / 252 SpA / 208+ Speed Naive / Fake Out, Overheat / Fire Blast, Close Combat, Stealth Rock
Ape has a decent Speed tier, and a pretty good offensive typing, with Fire/Fighting covering pretty much every lead. Between Fake Out and Overheat, Ape can consistently kill lead Deoxys that forego bulk for attacking stats. Close Combat is pretty good at shutting down Kyogre and Dialga leads and cleans Tyranitar with ease. Darkrai however poses a big problem as it sleeps you no questions asked, while Froslass Spikes multiple times in front of you. Tentacruel resists all your moves and doesn’t mind taking a slap to the wrist in exchange for Toxic Spiking and potentially a decent hit with Icy Wind or Hydro Pump on your expected switch, while it also keeps hazards off of its side of the field.
Sash Spider – 252+ Atk / 252 Spe / X-Scissor, Toxic Spikes, Shadow Sneak, Baton Pass
Nothing shows dominance quite like bringing a big tarantula who’s highest stat barely breaks the 300 point mark, in Ubers no less. Ariados has access to Insomnia, making it capable of being a pretty great Darkrai answer, being able to bring it down with a well-timed X-Scissor combined with Shadow Sneak. The above combo also works vs. Deoxys. Baton Pass is useful for getting the jump on a double, without the risk of wasting HP on the Pokemon you want to bring in. Loses to anything not mentioned above, hard
Sash Inferiority Syndrome – 112 Def 146 SAtk / 252 Speed Naive / Spikes, Stealth Rock, Shadow Ball, Extreme Speed
Imagine, if you will, a Deoxys-Attack that can potentially win the mirror but doesn’t get the kills it’s supposed to. That’s Deoxys-Normal. It does what Deo-A does, but slightly worse with its upside being… the chance to beat its brother. Don’t bother unless you want to be that guy.
Anti-Hazard Leads with no hazards
Boom Lum – 4 Atk / 252 SpA / 252+ Speed Naive / Taunt, Icy Wind, Shadow Ball / Thunder, Selfdestruct / Aura Sphere / Psychic
Mewtwo’s amazing combination of stats and practically limitless movepool has always been envied, and this lead set utilises to its fullest extent. Slow hazard leads can easily be Taunted and later disposed of, while Deoxys-S loses to the combination of Icy Wind and Shadow Ball. Selfdestruct removes problematic set-up sweepers as well weather leads. Darkrai is scared off by a potential Aura Sphere as it doesn’t always OHKO with Dark Pulse, while Psychic can deal with Tentacruel if T-Spikes seem problematic. Tyranitar will survive any hit from Mewtwo and OHKO back with either Payback or Crunch, so be weary of that. Mewtwo has a good enough movepool to fit practically anything on it, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Scarf Anti-Lead – 252+ SpA / 252 Speed / Seed Flare / Leaf Storm, Air Slash, HP Ice, Earth Power / Healing Wish
This goal of this set is to take down the two most common leads in Darkrai and Deoxys without them getting a single move off 60% of the time. Relies quite a bit on luck. Leaf storm can OHKO Kyogre leads and 0 bulk TTar that isn’t running Sash. While it does force the opponents to reveal their scarfers earlier than usual, it’s STAB coverage is blindly walled by multiple Steels in the tier, with Grass being extremely easily resisted in a tier full of Dragon-types. Healing Wish is a situational move, don’t forget it comes after hazards in this gen! A Timid nature is preferred if you’re scared of Scarf Darkrai.
- Lum Para spreader – 144 HP / 252+ SpA / 112 Speed / Surf, Ice Beam, Thunder, Thunder Wave.
Establishes weather early on and beats Darkrai and Tyranitar by trading with Deoxys. Most consistent lead move vs. either Deoxys lead is Thunder, as it has the capacity to stop them from getting 2 layers up. Overall, be cautious of Spikes stacking when using this.
Note: thunder the deoxys over t-wave. 2HKO + 30% para over 25%
- Modest Scarf – WaterSpout, Hydro Pump / Surf,Ice Beam, Thunder
Quite old, but gets the jump on people who don’t expect you to still be running this. Can OHKO non Sash leads, only being forced to switch-out of a Dialga lead. Misses important OHKOs and 2HKOs without the benefit of hazard damage but can still work.
Consistent Anti Lead and the best non hazard based one. Only problem is Gira does too much for teams sometimes (Consistent 50+ to Psychics) that you must be careful about taking damage.
EVs depend too much on the rest of the team, should at least be 112 to outspeed Tyranitar. A sample spread can be 192 Atk / 64 SpA / 252 Speed Naive.The only two constants are your STABs: Shadow Sneak, Draco Meteor / Dragon Claw
The other 2 moveslot can be:
- HP Fire: Forretress / Scizor / Skarmory repellent, albeit Skarm shrugs it off if sun hasn’t been set-up.
- Second Dragon move: In case you’re scared of Dracos missing or want to hit on both the Physical and the Special attacking spectrum. Outrage 2HKOs bulky Dialga
- EQ: Jirachi + Heatran. gets the beat on Dialga, safe and consistent
- Thunder: Kyogre + Efficient skarm removal. Works best on your own rain teams.
- Will-o-Wisp: Best suited for the long game. wants to target Groudon / Support Dialga / TTar, but residual damage on anything is good
- Thunder-Wave / Toxic: best for stall builds, helps incapacitate potential threats
- Shadow Ball: Special Ghost move, doesn’t hit something in particular.
Anti-Dark lead – 252 HP / 40+ Atk / 216 SpD Lum Berry / U-Turn, Bullet Punch, Pursuit / Toxic, Roost
Yet another momentum-based lead not much unlike Mew, but with the added benefit of being able to beat Darkrai easily and trapping Froslass, in exchange for not providing hazard support nor control. Pursuit / Toxic is a toss up for what you want. You could run both over roost but you lose the ability to continually switch on Fire-less Dragons such as Latias. Fits great on some teams, but isn’t usually recommended.
Baton Pass Lead – 216 Atk / 108 Def / 184+ Speed / Baton Pass, X-Scissor, Swords Dance, Substitute / Protect / Flash (Liechi Berry)
Ninjask does what it’s been doing since its release; passing Speed Boosts to Pokemon that are hard hitters. The crux of this set is being able to avoid dying to any one hit and then passing a Speed and possibly an Attack boost onto a powerful sweeper. X-Scissor beats Deoxys which is the only mon that is gonna Taunt you. Defense EVs mean you live the E-Speed from Ray and Deo-A with enough HP to make a Sub and pass successfully. The issue lies in the fact that anything on the opposing team that can phase you out will come in and foil your plans with the greatest of ease and of course multiple different Pokemon just straight up killing you, such as Tyranitar.
Lead Rooster– 144 HP / 252+ Atk / 112 Speed / Sacred Fire, Brave Bird, Earthquake, Sleep Talk / Roost
Ho-Oh is quite possibly the most underrated anti-lead currently on the landscape. Its STAB combination is unparalleled, being able to hit everything that isn’t a Rock-Type. Sacred Fire’s high crit rate also provides a concise answer to Deoxys-Speed, no matter its set. Darkrai is also covered with a Lum Berry or Sleep Talk, freeing your team from the shackles of adding secondary sleep absorbers. Ho-Oh isn’t a typical lead as it can be used in the midgame as a breaker, too. The Speed guarantees you creep past max speed Tyranitar and blow it away with Earthquake.