Is Sneasler a Good Pokemon?

Sneasler Pokemon Legends Arceus

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.

To evolve Hisuian Sneasel into Sneasler, it’s a similar process to getting Weavile in any other region. In Hisui, the evolution still involves the item Razor Claw, but since there are no held items in Legends Arceus, you use it on Sneasel instead. However, Hisuian Sneasel only can evolve into Sneasler during the day, whereas Weavile evolves at night while holding the Razor Claw and leveling up. Meanwhile, regular Sneasel is available in Space Time Distortions in Legends Arceus, but its regular form still evolves into Weavile by using the Razor Claw on it at night.

There are also some significant differences in base stats with Sneasler VS Weavile. 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 monster transfers to another game. For the Hisuian forms, this won’t be until Scarlet and Violet. 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. The Pickpocket ability on Weavile, stealing an opponent’s Held Item, was actually pretty good, but Poison Touch seems much better on a glass cannon.

Plus, Weavile running Pickpocket couldn’t enjoy the benefits of a held item, whereas Sneasler always 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, how good is Sneasler’s move pool, considering the type change? After all, Weavile relies on Dark and Ice type moves for its offense. As a Poison/Dark type, Sneasler is 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.

For a Sneasler being built for competitive battle, you’ll want to max out on physical Attack stats 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 typing hamper its place in the Smogon OU (Overused) competitive singles 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 was the most popular Pokemon in Sword and Shield OU! So, while Weavile was a top 5 Pokemon in Sword and Shield, Sneasler doesn’t match up nearly as well with the other top mons in the tier its other form thrived in. Unfortunately, like Weavile, Sneasler will have to contend with Landorus in the future, when they become available in Scarlet and Violet through Pokemon HOME.

Weavile also saw some rare play in Series 12 VGC, although it’s not at all in the rankings for Series 13. It’s notable that its top competitive move is Triple Axel, an ice-type move, which it’s very unlikely Sneasler will gain when it enters Generation 9’s Scarlet and Violet games. Sneasler’s best Poison-type move in Legends Arceus is Poison Jab, and its best overall physical Attack is the Fighting type Close Combat. If it gains Fake Out and the Dark-type Beat Up in Generation 9, we’ll have a solid Pokemon for sure.

On defense, 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 the rest of its new move pool, which is more than likely to expand significantly with TM’s, TR’s, and Move Tutors in Scarlet and Violet. 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.

Overall, Sneasler may prove to a better Pokemon than Weavile, but only time will tell. In any case, the Sword and Shield metagame wouldn’t have been kind to the new Hisui form. Going into Generation 9, Sneasler still looks like it would hit most of the top threats either with neutral damage or resisted damage. Notably, Fighting type moves are super-effective against common defensive walls such as 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 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 in the Sword and Shield scene, Sneasler may follow in its footsteps and come knocking on the doors to Scarlet and Violet’s competitive metagame sooner than later.

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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