The battling Sableye


For a long time, Sableye used to be considered a very weak Pokémon; probably one of the worst ever as for what concerns competitive battling. It turns out that generation five fixed it once and for all, and that now it belongs in the upper tiers! Haha, it looks like that every Pokémon I love starts out weak and gets strong later on. Regardless of which generation we're talking about, you should totally try to raise one of these creatures. Here there are some tips and suggestions on how to train a Sabby.

A few general words before going into the in-depth: remember that although Sableye doesn't have any weaknesses, its low defenses mean that it will anyway receive a lot of damage from normally effective moves. Therefore, you should pay some special attention to its HP and defenses when raising it - talking about EVs and IVs here. Then, you should try to use its immunities and switch on Psychic-, Fighting- and Normal-type moves to laugh in the face of your opponent. Sableye's stats aren't very high, but its physicals have got a 10-points advantage on its specials, so you should focus on the former.

Generation three strategies

Sableye's major saving grace is its access to the rare Knock Off, with which it can happily discard its opponents' items. Another excellent point is being able to learn Recover via breeding, granting it a nice healing option. Toxic is for team support and stalling a bit. Another team support option is Taunt, which is always fun to use. For example, you can badly poison an opponent, Taunt it and then Recover off the damage as your victim keeps losing HP. This is probably the best use for Sableye - bringing the game to a halt and draining the opponent's health.

Sableye's best offensive move is Shadow Ball: it's a Ghost-type move on a Ghost-type Pokémon, so its base power gets a x1.5 boost, plus it makes use of our Sabby's best offensive stat - its Attack. Other offensive options to be considered are Focus Punch and Seismic Toss or Night Shade for the final high power.
If you want to make use of Sableye's Special Attack, go for the Calm Mind boosts; too bad its special movepool is rather limited, and its best Dark-type move is actually a Dark-type Hidden Power - sad, isn't it? Anyway, it has access to Water Pulse, Fire Punch, Ice Punch and Thunderpunch, so choose between them for a good moveset.

Generation four strategies

In a metagame filled with big fat monsters, a small Pokémon such as Sableye doesn't have an easy time looking for its niche. However, the Darkness Pokémon also gets some nice new moves such as Will-O-Wisp to burn opponents, Shadow Claw to replace Shadow Ball as a physical Ghost-type move, and Nasty Plot to get a big Special Attack boost in case you'd like to try out a special moveset (pick Psychic, Shadow Ball and Dark Pulse). See above for anything else.

Generation five strategies

As mentioned above, generation five is when Sableye turns into a little beast. This is due to it gaining access to an excellent Ability, Prankster, which allows its status moves to hit first. Sableye's got a ton of interesting moves that are affected by this Ability; namely Will-O-Wisp, Taunt, Recover (fast healing!!!), and its newest toy - Foul Play, which is basically Sableye's way to flip the bird at its crappy Attack stat by stealing the opponent's. Go on. Have fun.