General Information Edit
Current Smogon Movesets Edit
Forretress @ Shed Shell/Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP/112 Attack/144 Defense
IVs: 0 Speed
This is by far Forretress’ most useful set. Forretress is one of the metagame’s premier Spikers, due to its large Defense stat and huge number of resistances. It is a major player in a lot of successful stall teams. The idea is simply to come in where Forretress isn’t threatened and set up. These situations are surprisingly common. For example: it can come in on any Weavile set, Choice Band Tyranitar stuck on Crunch, and even a Salamence locked into Outrage!
The hazards that you use depend on what you want your team to accomplish; Spikes punish those teams that like to switch around a lot, and Toxic Spikes will ruin Pokémon that like to stay in for a long time such as Hippowdon or Swampert. Toxic Spikes comes with the disadvantage of being absorbed by other Poison-types, and both lose to Rapid Spinners, so Spin blocking support is necessary to use this set to its greatest effect. Stealth Rock may also be used on this set, but there are fewer viable Spikers than there are Stealth Rock users, so it is more practical to find somewhere else on your team for it. Gyro Ball allows you to deal hard damage to Weavile and Tyranitar, especially Dragon Dance variants, but Earthquake will allow you to hit Magnezone and Poison-types who might want to absorb Toxic Spikes. Rapid Spin will remove opposing team’s entry hazards, but can be removed to accommodate two hazards or two attacks should you have the support elsewhere. Explosion will allow you to deal a lot of damage to something on your opponents’ team, but Rest may be used to allow Forretress to stick around a little longer, especially if you have the support of a cleric. Reflect can give your team a little extra support on the physical side, and helps Forretress survive repeated Stone Edges from Choice Band Tyranitar and Rhyperior.
Shed Shell is the preferred item, as it will allow you to escape from Magnezone, Forretress’ greatest nemesis. Leftovers should only be used if you have reason not to fear Magnezone. Relaxed nature and a 0 Speed IV maximize the power output from Gyro Ball, which proves very useful against faster set-up sweepers. Along with the given EVs, it can OHKO Weavile or, should you use Earthquake, OHKO 4 HP / 0 Def Magnezone on the switch with Stealth Rock support. The rest of the EVs are placed in HP and Defense to allow Forretress to have an easier time setting up and taking hits.
Forretress @ Shed Shell/Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP/80 Sp. Defense/176 Defense
IVs: 0 Speed
Forretress' lack of recovery is really the biggest thing holding it back. This set attempts to remedy this somewhat by allowing it to serve its role as a team supporter, while dramatically increasing Forretress' longevity. With its great resistances and excellent Defense stat, Forretress should really be able to stick around for quite a while, and easily get up all three layers of Spikes over the course of the battle.
Spikes is the entry hazard of choice. Stealth Rock only requires a one turn set-up and can be used by numerous other Pokémon, and Toxic Spikes are generally inferior to Spikes in the OU metagame. However, if for some reason your team is greatly in need of Toxic Spikes support (for example, if you plan on attempting an Empoleon sweep), then they can also be run as the entry hazard on this set.
Gyro Ball is the best choice for the final move. While it is tempting to run another supporting move such as Rapid Spin or Toxic Spikes, in the final slot, any Pokémon that is completely without an attacking move really does become mere set up fodder, regardless of its defensive capabilities. Gyro Ball provides a solid STAB attack that will do a reasonable amount of damage to the foes that Forretress commonly switches in on. Better yet, Sleep Talk allows Forretress to attack without wasting one of Gyro Ball's meagre 8 PP, and can even select Gyro Ball once this has run out, meaning Forretress will almost always be capable of defending itself somewhat. Toxic can also be used to allow Forretress to add to residual damage and to try to stall out opponents with Rest but Gyro Ball is almost assuredly the better option for the reasons already mentioned.
With Gyro Ball being its solitary attack and with no need to invest heavily for Explosion, this set's EV spread instead focuses on bolstering Forretress' defenses as much as possible. Max HP gives it overall durability, while the 80 Special Defense EVs will almost guarantee survival against two Surfs from a min SpA Vaporeon. Since this set will often be expected to weather some weak special attacks while setting up, the investment is well worth it. The 176 remaining EVs are put into Defense, and fortuitously give Forretress a bonus point in the stat.
Shed Shell is definitely the preferred item on this set as without Earthquake or even Explosion, Forretress really will be at Magnezone's mercy if it decides to switch in.
Forretress has some very good qualities, and only a few bad ones. Firstly, it has a great defensive typing which only leaves it one weakness, Fire. Secondly, It takes physical hits like a beast, due to high defense and good HP. It can set-up Stealth Rock, Spikes, and Toxic Spikes. It can also Rapid Spin away entry Hazards. And with a low enough speed, Gyro Ball can reach high Base Power Levels. Now, the bad things are, Forretress is at mercy with an Opponent's Magnezone, without Shed Shell, if it doesn't have Earthquake, or if Magnezone has Magnet Rise. Forretress also has a useless ability close to nothing. And Forretress does not have a reliable recovery move besides rest, which kills his walling ability.
How Forretress is Used Edit
Forretress offers both as a Sturdy Rapid spinner, AND a Sturdy Spiker/TSpiker/SRer (no puns intended). Forretress’ true home is in a stall team, and it does its job very well. It can set up hazards, and then later in the game it can be used to force switches, racking up residual damage and continuing the aim of the team. Forretress is also occasionally seen on more balanced teams based around entry hazards, as it also has the ability to counter a number of dangerous threats. Using it only to counter threats is unwise; the majority of the time it is preferable to use a bulky Scizor set up, as Forretress’ poor attacking type coverage and low Attack stat mean that it can be set up on quite easily.
Forretress is a top tier OU Pokémon because it is good at the job that it does, providing great team support. Do not attempt to do anything fancy with it, odds are it is not cut out for it!
Other Options Edit
Macho Brace: Giving Forretress Macho Brace allows it to hit anything 198 Speed and above with at least a 100 BP attack, and 150 BP to anything above 297 Speed. Without the Macho Brace, it’s only 66 and 100 BP, respectively, without factoring in STAB. This more powerful Gyro Ball may give Forretress the extra power you might feel it needs to hit foes such as Intimidating Salamence harder. Note also that the Macho Brace can make the difference between OHKOing and not OHKOing Gengar.
Payback/Revenge: Since Forretress is slow; it’s also a good user of Revenge and Payback—although this begs the question of what you would be using them against. Some things that come to mind include Gengar, to whom Payback might OHKO so long as Forretress moves last, and Tyranitar, who you can hit with Revenge. Revenge also covers Magnet Rise Magnezone somewhat.
Zap Cannon: Zap Cannon allows Forretress to cripple Gengar on the switch, and do some damage to Skarmory—it was not uncommon to see Zap Cannon on a Forretress in Advance. Zap Cannon also allows Forretress to counter Gyarados, although somewhat unreliably.
Hidden Power Electric: Hidden Power Electric is a better option on Forretress if you want to counter Gyarados. With a neutral nature, a Hidden Power Electric from Forretress can 2HKO Gyarados, taking Stealth Rock into account.
Light Screen: With Light Screen and an EV spread of 252 HP / 96 Def / 162 SpD, an unboosted Magnezone Thunderbolt can only 3HKO you, allowing you to set up 2 layers of Spikes as it tries to trap you, or to 2HKO it with Earthquake. Rest and Sleep Talk can be used in tandem to allow Forretress to set up and heal repeatedly.
How to Counter Forretress Edit
In terms of blocking Forretress's Rapid Spinning abilities, any forme of Rotom can switch in easily, thanks to their handy immunity to Ground and resistance to Steel, allowing them to take Gyro Balls with ease. All of the formes can scare Forretress out with STAB special attacks, but Rotom-H gets special mention due to its ability to learn Overheat. Gengar is also capable of blocking Rapid Spin, although it is significantly worse at the job due to getting hit hard by Gyro Ball.
If Forretress doesn't have an Electric attack, Gyarados can switch in, Taunt it, and then set up with Dragon Dance. Explosion hurts even bulky Gyarados badly, but unfortunately the standard Forretress can only hit 79% with it after Intimidate. Skarmory can switch in on any of Forretress’ attacks and Taunt it to block Spikes / Toxic Spikes, but note that Forretress can still Rapid Spin. Like the Rotom formes, Zapdos has useful resistances and an immunity to all the types that Forretress uses, meaning Zapdos easily switches and scares off Forretress with STAB Thunderbolt or super effective Heat Wave. Similarly, Moltres, who threatens Forretress with STAB super effective Flamethrower easily switches in, especially if Stealth Rock is not out yet. Other Fire-types, such as Heatran can switch in if they avoid (or if Forretress isn't carrying) Earthquake..