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Skarmory
Skarmory ORAS.png
Type Steel/Flying
Abilities Keen Eye, Sturdy or Weak Armour (Hidden)
Gender Ratio 50% Male, 50% Female
Catch Rate 25 (7.7%)

Skarmory can be found on Route 113 as both a regular and Horde encounter at a 5% encounter rate.

If you were lucky enough to avoid Spinda (but possibly unlucky enough to not get Sandshrew for Flannery) you encountered and caught this rare metal bird with some hope that it would be useful. And depending on your game version, it can be, although it has its limitations: Skarmory's high Defense automatically calls for it to play Tank-which is a role it plays well, don't get me wrong- but Team Magma will not hesitate to melt it alive, and the later in the game you go, the harder it will be to keep it flying. If you are lucky enough to catch it in Omega Ruby, it is able to provide some decent coverage (especially against the Elite Four) and tank through most battles, although it will struggle hard against strong Attackers and Walls, and will definitely not be able to do battles alone. If you plan to use it anywhere, be sure to stock up on Persim or Lum berries.

Important Matchups[]

  • Tabitha/Shelly (Meteor Falls, tag battle with rival): Ideally, Skarmory should avoid fighting Tabitha and Team Magma to sit on the sidelines: Mightyena is the biggest threat across both versions, as its Intimidate will lower Skarmory's attack right as the battle begins, and its Swagger will send Skarmory into a Confusion that can become extremely dangerous if not healed; give Skarmory a Persim or Lum berry to hold in order to use Swagger's Attack boost against it, so that you can knock it out in three Aerial Ace. The Magma grunt's Koffing biggest threat is Assurance, which will likely deal 120 damage either thanks to Skarmory's speed stat and/or confusion damage, though is at best a 5HKO and is otherwise an easy knockout with three Aerial Ace. Skarmory should retreat upon Numel's arrival, as Lava Plume and Flame Burst are both deadly. Skarmory has a better chance against Shelly and Team Aqua: Shelly's Mightyena is a carbon copy of Tabitha's with all the same threats, although her second Pokemon is a Carvanha that Skarmory can knock out with two Aerial Ace without much trouble, so long as it does not take any Confusion damage for its Assurance to abuse. The Aqua Grunt's Grimer biggest threat is Disable-ing one of Skarmory's moves, and can, too, be taken out in a few hits.
  • Tabitha/Shelly (Mt. Chimney): An Aerial Ace should knock Koffing, Grimer and Carvanha out in three-to-four hits; like before, is best to retreat on Numel.
  • Maxie/Archie (Mt. Chimney): Maxie's/Archie's Mightyena follows the same Intimidate and Swagger strategy as their Admin's, but with the addition of STAB Assurance to 3HKO if Skarmory keeps hurting itself in confusion; like before, heal Confusion to use Swagger's Attack boost against it for an Aerial Ace 3HKO. Their shared Golbat is similarly threatening, as its Confuse Ray will easily send Skarmory back into Confusion, to which Swagger's Attack boost will work against it and will allow Golbat to chip away at the confused Skarmory with Air Cutter or Wing Attack until it faints; 3 Aerial Aces or 2 Rock Tomb will take it out, but err on the side of caution and switch Skarmory out when it becomes Confused. Archie's Sharpedo also uses the same Swagger + Assurance strategy with STAB, but is now able to lower Skarmory's Defense with Screech to make its high Attack stat even more devastating; keep Skarmory out of its sight. Oh, and don't even think about fighting Maxie's Camerupt.
  • Gym #4 - Flannery (Lavaridge Town, Fire-type): No. I'm sure you can find a better teammate for this.
  • Gym #5 - Norman (Petalburg City, Normal-type): Sending out Skarmory for this fight is a mixed bag: it resits Normal and has a high Defense, reducing the ever-waiting Retaliate into a 5-6HKO, but is out-sped by the entire team and will most likely either be put to sleep with Yawn, or faint before it can take out its target. Truant gives Skarmory some chance of survival-although not much-and in the best case scenario will take out the first Slaking before needing to be switched out for the rest of the battle; Aerial Ace the first, weaker Slaking into fainting, but don't head any further.
  • Courtney/Matt (Southern Island, tag battle with Steven): As per usual, avoid Camerupt (and thus, Koffing as well.) Sharpedo, thankfully, has Swagger but no Assurance, allowing Skarmory to take it out in three Aerial Ace hits with Confusion as its biggest threat. Grimer, too, can be taken out in three Aerial Ace, as Skarmory is immune to all moves save for Fling, which in itself will not work because Grimer holds no item.
  • Tabitha/Shelly (Weather Institute): You already know to avoid Tabetha's Camerupt. As for Shelly's Sharpedo, it can be taken out in three Aerial Ace (or two with one Swords Dance) while tanking the Ice Fangs and Slashes, with Swagger left to make it a bit risky.
  • Rival (Route 119): Avoid fighting Slugma and Combusken for the obvious reason. Marshtomp and Wailmer will fall in three-to-four Aerial Ace, and avoid using Steel-moves. Shroomish and Grovyle will fall to the super-effective Aerial Ace in one-to-two hits.
  • Gym #6 - Winona (Fortree City, Flying-type): Skarmory's resistances to both Normal and Flying only really allow it to help at the start: Swellow can be taken out by Fly or Rock Tomb in two-to-three hits, but be wary of its Endeavor, which can easily turn the tide against you. Pelipper can be taken out by Fly or Rock Tomb in three-to-four hits but with the risk of being hit by Water Pulse afterwards, which will not bode well thanks to Skarmory's low Special Defense; its best to let another teammate handle it. Skarmory vs Skarmory will be a long battle, and it is more effective to just switch to a teammate with effective moves instead. Altaria can be taken out in 3 Rock Tombs, but Cotton Guard and Dragon Breath are both massive threats to Skarmory that will knock it out or render its attacks useless; switch to something else.
  • Courtney/Matt (Mt. Pyre): Avoid Courtney's Camerupt. Matt's Sharpedo has thankfully forgotten Swagger, so its only threat to Skarmory is Ice Fang; Fly will knock it out in two hits.
  • Rival (Lilycove City): The Rival will lead with their new Swellow, which can be 2HKO by Fly. Avoid fighting Magcargo and Blaziken for the obvious reason. Marshtomp and Wailmer will fall in two-to-three Fly; avoid using Steel-moves. Shroomish and Grovyle will be OHKOed by Fly.
  • Courtney/Matt (Lilycove Hideout): It's literally the same as before: Avoid Courtney's Camerupt, Fly will knock it out Matt's Sharpedo in two hits.
  • Gym #7 - Tate and Liza (Mossdeep City, Psychic-type):  Skarmory is amazing here: Steel Wing will 2HKO both Lunatone and Solrock, with only Hypnosis being any sort of threat as it will allow the pair to hit Skarmory with not-so-effective but still damaging Special moves like Psychic and Solar Beam.
  • Maxie/Archie (Seafloor Cavern): Mightyena's only damaging move is Take Down, so Skarmory can set up a Swords Dance then Fly/Steel Wing 2HKO it without issue. Crobat's damaging moves are also ineffective against Skarmory, leaving Mean Look as its only threat by not allowing Skarmory to retreat if its health gets too low; Fly will knock it out in two hits. Archie's Muk is useless against Skarmory, as it is immune to Poison, and will be OHKO Fly. Archie's Mega Sharpedo, on the other hand, will Crunch Skarmory to death in 2 hits, and should thus be avoided altogether.
    • Maxie's Weezing knows Explosion, which may not be strong enough to knock Skarmory out but is nonetheless threatening; it can be taken out in two Fly. Don't even think about Camerupt.
  • Primal Groudon (Cave of Origin, Omega Ruby only): No. Lava Plume is a guaranteed OHKO.
  • Primal Kyogre (Cave of Origin, Alpha Sapphire only): Also no. Have you seen its Special Attack?
  • Gym #8 - Wallace (Sootopolis City, Water-type): Luvdisc will be 2HKO by Fly, although it is best to spam Swords Dance to max out Skarmory's Attack for the later enemies, so long as you don't succumb to Water Pulse (which will take around 6 hits to knock Skarmory out) or fall to Confusion. After that, Whiscash will go down in three normal Fly or one 3 SD Fly, Sealeo will go down in three normal Fly or one 3 SD Fly and Seaking will go down in three normal Fly and one 3 SD Fly. Milotic will go down in 3-5 regular Fly or one 3 SD Fly, but Hydro Pump will 2HKO and will hit first, so if Skarmory is near or in yellow by then, switch out immediately.
  • Wally (Victory Road): Altaria is too threatening with Cotton Guard and Dragon Pulse, so Skarmory should sit this one out. Delcatty's attacks will barely scrape you, leaving its only threats as Sing and Charm; Charm will lower Skarmory's Attack to a crippling level, so it should be taken out quick to avoid future problems. Fly will 2-3HKO it normally, but one Charm will will cripple it to a 4-5HKO, so play it safe and switch to someone else to get rid of the status. Roselia is a guaranteed 2HKO with Fly, but Magneton should be avoided altogether thanks to Discharge. Gallade's Close Combat is a 2HKO compared to Fly's 3HKO; it's not worth the risk, even more so once Gallade has even just one Swords Dance set up, which will definitely OHKO Skarmory.
  • (Assuming that Skarmory is at level 59:)
  • Elite Four Sidney (Ever Grande City, Dark-type): With some luck, set-up and X-Scissor, Skarmory can sweep Sidney: His lead, Mightyena, will likely use Swagger on the first turn; give Skarmory a Persim or Lum berry to hold in order to break Confusion, then use Swagger's Attack boost against it with X-Scissor, which with the boost is a 2HKO. To make things even easier, use Swords Dance after the first X-Scissor to boost Skarmory even further, as it will most likely use Sucker Punch or a Potion after the first hit. After that, your +4 Attack boost will OHKO Shiftry, Cacturne, Sharpedo and Absol, with Skarmory's only challenge being that it needs to tank one damaging (though likely resisted) move from each.
  • Elite Four Phoebe (Ever Grande City, Ghost-type): Assuming that you sacrificed Night Slash for X-Scissor, Phoebe poses Skarmory a big challenge: Dusclops knows both Curse and Confuse Ray, and can be lethal when combined with Shadow Punch; Fly will 3HKO, but Curse and Confusion make it risky, so when Cursed or Confused, play it safe and switch out. Both Banette can be 2HKO by Fly, though beware their 3-4HKO Shadow Ball. Dusknoir's Fire and Thunder Punches make Dusknoir a living nightmare that should be avoided at all costs. Sableye will fall to Fly in two hits, and its attacks are 6HKOs that Skarmory can handle.
  • Elite Four Glacia (Ever Grande City, Ice-type): Glacia is Skarmory's time to shine: The first Glalie (and later Glalie) can be 2HKO by Steel Wing and will barely do damage in return, so take the opportunity to set up a Swords Dance for a Steel Wing OHKO instead. The Froslass will pose more of a challenge, as they will also be OHKO by Steel Wing, but Skarmory will have to either take their 3HKO Blizzard/Shadow Ball or avoid their Confuse Ray first; equip a Persim berry and have healing ready, otherwise you need to skip the Frosslass entirely. Skarmory will only survive Walrein on full health and Fly spam; otherwise, it should be skipped, as almost all its moves are a 2HKO.
  • Elite Four Drake (Ever Grande City, Dragon-type): Altaria can be 3HKO by Fly, but even one Cotton Guard renders Skarmory useless, so switch out the moment Altaria sets it up. Flygon can also be 3HKO by Fly (although the female Flygon has Flamethrower, so avoid it completely) but watch out for the male's Supersonic by preparing with a Persim berry already equipped. Salamence should be skipped thanks to Thunder Fang.
  • Champion Steven (Ever Grande City, Steel-type): Steel vs Steel is a bad matchup in itself, but it becomes especially bad since Skarmory will be facing itself; at best Skarmory can 8HKO it with Fly, so its best to leave Steven's Skarmory to someone else. Skarmory can take down Claydol with a 3HKO X-Scissor, although Reflect will require 5HKO instead, which is only one short of Claydol's Extrasensory; once its health gets too low, switch Skarmory out. Aggron is far to bulky for Skarmory to do any damage and will 4HKO it back with Stone Edge, so it should be skipped. Cradily's weakness to Steel makes Steel Wing a 3HKO, but its Ancient Power will 4HKO it back, so this opportunity should be skipped by any Skarmory with anything other than full health. On the other hand, Armaldo can be 3HKO by Steel Wing without its attacks making any significant dents, making it the only Pokemon Skarmory can definitely handle in this fight. Metagross (and it's Mega) will easily 4-5HKO Skarmory with any of its moves while you will be unable to even make a dent, so it should be avoided at all costs.

Moves[]

At its lowest catch-able level, Skarmory's move set will consist of Leer, Sand-Attack, Peck and Metal Claw. Peck and Metal Claw are both great beginning STABs that should be kept until more powerful moves come, while Leer can be kept to make up for Skarmory's average Attack, and Sand Attack is too unreliable to be useful, and is thus forgettable. Air Cutter arrives at level 12, and should replace Peck only if you prefer to avoid using Leer or other stat-changing moves. Fury Attack at level 17 can-and should only-replace Sand Attack and nothing else, though three levels later (at level 20) the more reliable Feint will become available, which can replace Fury Attack/Sand Attack as a better physical, +2 priority Normal move. Swift at level 23 should be avoided thanks to Skarmory's poor Special Attack. Spikes at level 28 may be kept, but only if you plan to use Skarmory for stalling; likewise, Agility at level 31 can be kept, but only if you plan to use use the Set-up Glass Cannon moveset. Then, finally, Steel Wing comes at level 34, and should immediately replace Metal Claw as a more powerful Steel STAB. Slash at level 38 should replace Feint/Fury Attack/Sand Attack as a higher damage Normal move, though Metal Sound at level 42 is useless, and should be skipped altogether. Air Slash at level 45 should replace Air Cutter/Peck, and Autotomize at level 50 can-and should only-replace Agility. Last but not least, Night Slash at level 53 can replace whatever non-Steel Wing or non-Flying move Skarmory has left.

Skarmory's TM pool, although shallow, is one of the only reasons this metal bird is not a waste of a party slot: the physical, Flying-type Sky Drop and Aerial Ace are both available in Mauville, and either of them make great-and necessary-replacements for Peck/Air Cutter up until Fly, in which Fly should definitely replace it as both a more powerful and practical Flying STAB. Rock Tomb and the superior Rock Slide are available after defeating Roxanne and on Route 134 respectively, and give Skarmory an edge against Ice, Flying, Bug and Fire types, while the later X-Scissor is available on Victory Road, and is powerful coverage against Dark, Grass and Psychic types. Swords Dance can be found in Lavaridge Town to give Skarmory a heavy Attack boost, and Roost is obtained after defeating Winona, which can be insanely useful in a no-heal run. In terms of HMs, Skarmory can also learn Cut and Rock Smash, although the moves above will definitely suit it better, and if you really don't want to use Night Slash or X-Scissor, Return or Secret Power can work, although it is not recommended. Lastly, if you want to use Skarmory as stall-er and was not lucky enough to find a DexNav Whirlwind, it is able to learn Roar from the TM on Route 114.

DexNav Skarmory are slightly better than regular encounters, although their exclusive Egg moves are easily replaced by regular moves. Brave Bird is very powerful, but comes with recoil, and the stronger Sky Attack requires you to waste a turn charging, of which can become dangerous when combined with Skarmory's poor speed and inability to switch out; both should be replaced with Fly when given the chance. Drill Peck is perhaps the only good Egg move to find, as it's almost as strong as Fly but lacks the "flew up high," allowing Skarmory to do more damage in exchange not having temporary invulnerability. Curse can be useful to boost Attack and Defense in exchange for loosing Speed, allowing Skarmory to be more tank-y. All other Egg moves should be forgotten for regular moves, as they do not run well in the offensive-based main game.

Recommended movesets:

Attack Tank: Fly/Drill Peck (DexNav),Steel Wing, X-Scissor, Rock Slide/Swords Dance

Set-up Glass Cannon: Fly/Drill Peck (DexNav), Steel Wing, Swords Dance, Agility / Autotomize 

Switch-in Stall: Spikes / Stealth Rock (DexNav), Whirlwind(DexNav) / Roar, Roost, Steel Wing

Recommended Teammates[]

  • Ground-types: To answer Skarmory's two weaknesses to Fire and Electric, a Ground-type member is virtually necessary, even more so if you are facing the Fire-based Team Magma. In exchange, Skarmory can cover their weakness to Grass and Ice with Flying and Steel attacks, respectively.
  • Strong Physical Attackers: Skarmory's high Defense and poor Special Defense makes it evident that it was made to take physical hits, and not special. To make matters worse, its average Attack makes it even worse against Special Attackers, as most Pokemon with low defensive stats compensate with higher attack stats, of which Skarmory is lacking. To make up for this, a team member with high Attack should be ready to take out any Special Attackers with powerful physical blows.
    • Good Pokémon that fit this description include, among others: Metagross, Salamence, Rhydon/ Rhyperior, Gyarados, Blaziken
  • Fast Hitters: Skarmory's low speed means that many Pokemon are able to strike first, and while its high defense enables it to take some hits, there is a decent handful of Pokemon too strong and fast for it to handle alone. A member on the team who is able to switch in, out-speed and take out such threats is a must, and one that resists Fire and/or Electric is even better.
    • Good Pokémon that fit this description include, among others: Electrode, Manectric, Kadabra/Alakazam, Ninetales, Starmie,

Other[]

Skarmory's stats[]

Stat Range
At Lv. 50 At Lv. 100
HP: 65
125 - 172 240 - 334
Attack: 80
76 - 145 148 - 284
Defense: 140
130 - 211 256 - 416
Sp.Atk: 40
40 - 101 76 - 196
Sp.Def: 70
67 - 134 130 - 262
Speed: 70
67 - 134 130 - 262
Total: 465   Other Pokémon with this total  
  • Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
  • Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.


Skarmory Ratings
Availability
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Matchups
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Movepool
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Survivability
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Type Usefulness
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Team Role
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Offensive Utility
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Defensive Utility
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Tankiness
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Fun Factor
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Overall
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  • What Nature do I want? If Skarmory is going to be attacking its opponents rather than stalling, Adamant or Naughty are the best natures to have; unsurprisingly, if Skarmory is Stalling instead, Lax and Impish natures are the better natures.
  • Which Ability do I want? Sturdy is the best ability by far, especially when considering the core rules of a Nuzlocke and the match-ups Skarmory faces, wherein Sturdy can save it from that unforeseen Fire Punch. Sadly, Keen Eye will barely have much use thanks to most opponents choosing to be offensive-based, and Weak Armour is plain horrendous seeing as it destroys Skarmory's only great stat.
  • How good is the Skarmory in a Nuzlocke? Good to decent, mostly depending on whether you're facing Team Magma or Aqua. Team Magma's grunts and bosses have a liking to Fire that will haunt Skarmory up until the Elite Four, where even then it struggles against two members and the Champion; if you're facing Aqua, it will have a much easier time and will come in useful against the team more often than not. Skarmory's movepool is sadly shallow, and although it was made to tank hits, bosses in the later half hit harder than it can usually handle. Overall, Skarmory can be a fine addition to the team that will take on niche issues with relative ease, but there are other Pokemon that can takes it place and do far better in the general scheme of things.
  • Weaknesses: Fire, Electric
  • Resistances: Normal, Flying, Bug, Steel, Grass, Psychic, Dragon, Fairy
  • Immunities: Poison, Ground
  • Neutralities: Fighting, Rock, Ghost, Water, Ice, Dark
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