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They're almost the same and whirlwind is an egg move while roar can be taught using a TM. Why do people choose whirlwind instead?

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Pokemon with Soundproof are immune to Roar but not Whirlwind, so Whirlwind is the better option.

Generally it doesn't matter how a Pokemon gets a move in competitve Pokemon, since the majority of battles take place on Showdown, where all you need to do to add a move is type in its name.

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and most people think of whirlwind first. until i read this, i had no idea that skarmory could learn roar.