* Bisharp is one of the most threatening attackers in the metagame thanks to its excellent STAB combination, access to priority move, and Swords Dance that can boost its already high base Attack of 125.
* Dark-typing gives Bisharp two useful moves. Knock Off is a strong move paired with Bisharp's high Attack stat and STAB that has very limited number of switch-in's, and excels at hindering walls by removing items like Leftovers, Rocky Helmet, or potential Toxic Orb and Shed Shell.
* Sucker Punch, which can be devastatingly powerful with Swords Dance and Adaptability, is capable of outright KO'ing fast frail attackers, discouraging them from attempting to revenge kill Bisharp in the first place.
* Iron Head is another great STAB move Bisharp has to offer due to its ability to punish Dark- and Fairy-types if they attempt to switch into Knock Off, limiting the counterplay even narrower.
* Bisharp's middling Speed tier leaves it reliant on Sucker Punch, leaving its usefulness very situational against offensive teams with many faster threats.
* Bisharp's frail special bulk leaves it susceptible to strong neutral attacks from the likes of Manaphy, Xurkitree, and others.
* Although it is many useful resistances, Bisharp's weakness to common Fighting, Fire, and Ground-types are disappointing nontheless.
Bisharp @ Steelium Z / Life Orb
Ability: Adaptability / Tough Claws
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
- Knock Off
- Sucker Punch
- Iron Head
- Swords Dance
- Knock Off is the most spammable move that is able to dent most neutral targets while removing items from foes that are able to switch in.
- Sucker Punch helps Bisharp alleviate its problems with its average Speed tier and pick off weakened sweepers.
- Iron Head is a STAB move that Bisharp can use to hit Fairy-types
- Swords Dance immediately turns Bisharp into a fearsome sweeper that is able to OHKO many faster foes with Sucker Punch and pressure defensive Pokemons. After the boost, Z-move becomes powerful enough to bulkiest walls like Tapu Fini and Buzzwole.
- 252 Attack EV's, along with Adamant nature, lets Bisharp hit as hard as possible and fulfill its role as wallbreaker.
- 252 Speed EV's lets Bisharp outspeed important foes such as non-Timid Tapu Fini, Buzzwole, and non-Timid Heatran to attack faster than they do. This is very crucial when Bisharp is attempting to KO them after boosts.
- Adaptability boosts Bisharp's already powerful STAB moves even further, letting it 2HKO majority of the walls with neutral hits while pressuring Unaware users quite well along with its high base Attack of 125.
- Tough Claws, although inferior to Adaptability due to it not boosting Z-move, can be chosen to get around Ability Clause if two Pokemon in the party already have Adaptability.
- Steelium Z lets Bisharp use Corkscrew Crash, OHKOing Tapu Fini, Buzzwole, Hippowdon, and Gligar at +2; a crazy showcase of damage output.
- Life Orb is also a possible option that boosts Bisharp's base damage output even further, but it puts Bisharp on timer. HP IV's can be set to 29 to minimize the recoil if Bisharp is going to hold Life Orb. The item lets Bisharp use stronger Sucker Punch, letting it perform well against offensive teams.
- Bisharp can be a breaker in the early game, or a sweeper in middle or late game.
- Bisharp is able to be used early game to break havoc on the opposing team by spamming Knock Off, removing items like Leftovers and Rocky Helmet to let its teammates sweep easier later. It also discouraging Poison Heal users from switching in despite majority of them are bulky enough to handle unboosted Bisharp. Sets with Z-move can weaken threats such as Buzzwole for other offensive teammates to handle them later.
- Against more offensive teams, especially when Bisharp cannot find an opportunity to set up Swords Dance, it can use Sucker Punch on dangerous threats to weaken them and leave them susceptible of getting revenge killed by Bisharp's teammates.
- Bisharp can find an opportunity to set up against passive foes like Ferrothorn or foes that cannot inflict much damage to itself, such as Scizor, Muk-Alola and Nihilego. Afterwards, it is able to fire off STAB moves that do even more damage and KO or severely dent faster foes, should they attempt to revenge kill Bisharp.
- Just like majority of wallbreakers, Bisharp appreciates entry hazard support, such as Stealth Rock from the likes of Hippowdon, Mew, Heatran. Ferrothorn and Golisopod can set Spikes. Such hazards will wear down Bisharp's checks as they switch into Bisharp repeatedly over the match. Sticky Web user can fit in to Bisharp's team too because Bisharp won't have to be too reliant on Sucker Punch against faster threats.
- Setup sweepers such as Zygarde, Volcarona, Tyrantum, and others appreciate Bisharp's ability to check Fairy-types while severely weaken defensive behemoths like Buzzwole, Hippowdon, Chansey, or Tapu Fini. Zygarde in particular can make up for Bisharp's weakness against Fire while Bisharp can switch into Ice-type attacks.
- Desolate Land Heatran is able to deal with Buzzwole, Tapu Fini and Magearna if Bisharp can't find an opportunity to set up Swords Dance.
- Flying-types such as Skarmory and Zapdos can protect Bisharp from Fighting-types, and Zapdos in particular has access to pivoting moves that can let Bisharp switch in unharmed.
- Strong special attackers are necessary because Bisharp struggles against Intimidate users like Skarmory, Buzzwole, and Hippowdon. Noivern, Genesect are excellent partners due to their ability to weaken aforementioned walls while letting Bisharp switch in safely with U-turn.
- Magnet Pull users like Victini and Entei are able to trap and remove problematic walls like Skarmory and Celesteela for Bisharp. This can be done easily thanks to Bisharp's ability to remove potential Shed Shells with Knock Off.
- Bisharp mostly prefers Adaptability because its STAB combination is already excellent and Z-moves boosted by Adaptability is not something it would forgo over other subpar options.
- Pursuit can be chosen in place of Swords Dance, and this lets Bisharp trap Chansey, Ghost-types and Psychic-types which would otherwise fear Knock Off and Sucker Punch and switch out to a defensive wall. However, Bisharp will be unable to pressure defensive teams in exchange.
- Steelworker is another ability that lets Bisharp fire off ridiculously powerful Iron Head and Corkcrew Crash. The ability lets Bisharp guarantee OHKO on both Magearna and max HP Tapu Fini at 2 with Iron Head. It also lets Bisharp take out both Buzzwole and Hippowdon with +1 Corkscrew Crash after Stealth Rock damage.
- Focus Sash can be used to let Bisharp set up in emergency, but Bisharp usually prefers more power from Z-Crystal or Life Orb.
Checks and Counters
[Fighting-types and Fighting-type moves]: Fighting types, such as Conkeldurr, Breloom, Cobalion, and Buzzwole resist Sucker Punch and are able to OHKO Bisharp with their STAB moves. However, the former two does not enjoy switching into Iron Head, while Buzzwole can be taken out by +2 Corkscrew Crash. Unexpected Fighting-type coverage moves, such as Brick Break from Muk-Alola, and Superpower from Tyranitar or Scizor can outright OHKO Bisharp when it attempts to set up Swords Dance.
[Physically Defensive Foes]: Defensive walls such as Hippowdon and Zapdos are able to absorb damage from Bisharp quite easily and check it. However, the former does not like losing its item to Knock Off, while the latter does not possess stellar level of bulk and is susceptible to getting 2HKO'd if Stealth Rock is on the field.
[Ground-types]: The likes of Zygarde, Garchomp, and Mamoswine are faster than Bisharp and are able to revenge kill Bisharp using their STAB moves. However, Mamoswine isn't bulky enough to not sorry about +2 Sucker Punch.
[Triage users]: Aforementioned Fighting-types' Drain Punch has higher priority than Bisharp's Sucker Punch, and ouright OHKOes Bisharp. Leech Life users like Buzzwole and Golisopod can OHKO Bisharp after accumulating enough boosts or when Bisharp has been sufficiently weakened.
[Anti-priority]: Although abilities like Psychic Surge, Dazzling, and Queenly Majesty are rare, faster threats like Alakazam with aforementioned abilities can evade Sucker Punch from Bisharp and KO back.