Sneasler is the alternate evolution for Sneasel in the Hisui region of Pokemon Legends Arceus. Despite the somewhat lazy name for this new Pokemon, it has some pros over its other traditional evolution in Weavile. First off, Sneasel and Sneasler are both Poison/Fighting type in Hisui, rather than the traditional Ice/Dark type pairing of Sneasel and Weavile. This is good both defensively and offensively as we’ll discuss here in a moment.
Evolving Sneasel into Sneasler is like the process that allowed you to get Weavile in any other region. It involves the held item Razor Claw. The difference in Hisui is that Sneasel evolves into Sneasler during the day, whereas Weavile evolves at night. There are also some significant base stats differences.
Sneasler gains 10 HP and 10 physical Attack over Weavile, bumping its stats to a respectable 80 HP and a very strong 130 Attack. It does lose a bit defensively, with just 60 physical Defense and 80 Special Defense vs Weavile’s 65 and 85 marks respectively. Fortunately, we’re not so concerned the lost defense with the HP bump. Sneasler also loses 5 additional Special attack. Then again, you’re never packing special attacking moves on either Sneasler or Weavile anyway. Also, Sneasler has 120 base Speed VS Weavile’s 125, which may not matter all that much.
It gets better for Sneasler with its abilities,. While they aren’t active in the Pokemon Legends Arceus’ main adventure, they do exist once the mon transfers to another game such as Sword and Shield. Sneasler shares its main ability, Pressure, with Weavile, meaning Pokemon must use two power points for a move instead of one. While not bad, it’s a bit wasted on a glass cannon like Sneasler – or Weavile for that matter.
However, Sneasler has a very good hidden ability in Poison Touch. This ability gives the attacker a chance to poison the target on contact with one of its moves. The possibility of a status draining further HP makes Sneasler’s attacking prowess even stronger. Pickpocket on Weavile, stealing an opponent’s Held Item, was actually pretty good, but Poison Touch seems even better on a glass cannon.
Plus, Weavile running Pickpocket couldn’t enjoy the benefits of a held item, whereas it now can. This means it’s easier than ever to run a Life Orb, dealing 30 percent more damage with attacking moves, plus now with a chance to poison the opponent. Heck, it can now hold a Black Sludge for HP recovery being a Poison-type! Alternatively, Sneasler could hold a Focus Sash to survive otherwise one-hit KO’s.
On defense, Sneasler shines over Weavile. Ice/Dark is a great offensive type with powerful moves that benefited from Weavile’s 120 base Attack. But on defense, it was 4x weak to Fighting-type moves, and took 2x super-effective damage from Bug, Fairy, Rock, Steel, and Fire type moves. Weavile does resist Ghost, Dark, and Ice type moves by half, and its Dark type makes it immune to Psychic moves.
But, Sneasler is weak only to Psychic (4x damage), Ground (2x), and Flying (2x). Then, it resists Fighting, Poison, Grass, Rock, and Dark moves by half, and Bug-type moves by 75 percent. Even on a glass cannon, that’s some serious defensive utility!
Now, the big question remains: how good is Sneasler’s move pool going to look? After all, Weavile relies on Dark and Ice type moves for its offense. Now, we’re looking at a move pool similar to Toxicroak’s, the other notable Poison/Fighting type. However, Sneasler hits much harder and is far faster than Toxicroak. Your typical competitive Toxicroak runs Swords Dance, Gunk Shot, and either Drain Punch or Low Kick for its first three move slots. Then you see a mix of Sucker Punch, Knock Off, or Earthquake for its fourth move. Basically, imagine a faster, harder hitting Toxicroak and you have Sneasler.
Competitively, it seems like you’ll want to max out on Sneasler’s power with an Adamant nature, pumping its Attack stat at the cost of its awful Special Attack stat. The question then becomes does losing its Ice and Dark typings hamper its place in the OU (Overused) metagame? Even losing a tiny bit of base Speed, it should still outspeed most everything. But, it does lose the speed tie that Weavile had with the popular OU mon Tapu Koko.
Unfortunately, Sneasler can’t hit Landorus-Therian Form hard with Ice-type moves like Weavile can. That could be a problem considering Landorus-T is the most popular mon in Sword and Shield OU! So, while Weavile has been in the Top 3 OU Pokemon in Sword and Shield, it doesn’t match up nearly as well with the other top mons in the tier.
Overall, Sneasler is a better Pokemon than Weavile. Unfortunately, the Sword and Shield metagame doesn’t look like it will be kind to the new Hisui form. It’s going to hit most of the top threats either with neutral damage or resisted damage. Notably, Fighting type moves are super-effective against Ferrothorn and Heatran. This makes Sneasler a great choice to battle with these major threats. Ironically, Sneasler is also a great check to Weavile. Then again, this was likely intentional.
Sneasler does get blown out by Earthquake and Earth Power whereas Weavile didn’t. But, the popular Bug-type move U-Turn no longer hurts much thanks to Sneasler’s double resistance. Fighting moves now are resisted, which is huge against Body Press and Close Combat. Corviknight’s Brave Bird looks pretty bad, but you’re not going to stay in with Sneasler against the Steel / Flying type mon anyway.
What will define Sneasler’s success is its new move pool. Weavile only ever learned Revenge as a Fighting-type move on its own, with Brick Break and Low Sweep available by TM plus Low Kick and Focus Blast by TR. Why you would ever run Focus Blast, a special type move, on a Weavile is beyond me, though. Notably, it did learn Poison Jab by TR in Sword and Shield. Sneasler may not learn Gunk Shot, but Poison Jab is pretty good and Brick Break can punch through Light Screen and Reflect.
Sneasler definitely has the stats to compete. Hints from Weavile’s move pool suggest that it will have enough technique to take advantage of its new typing. It also has a neat design that works well with its new typings, easily one of my favorite Hisui designs. Considering Weavile’s competitive pedigree, the Sword and Shield scene, Sneasler may come knocking on the doors to its top tiers soon.