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Which Pokemon is better competitively?
Formats: 1v1 and 2v2 Double Battles
Please do not include Mega Gengar in your answer.


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Marshadow is better than Gengar, and by a long shot. It is arguably better than Mega Gengar as well. But I'll focus on standard form Gengar as per your request. Some things that make Marshadow favourable include:

  • Fighting and Ghost is a great offensive typing. It gets perfect neutral coverage (i.e. nothing resists it). Gengar doesn't have this, and it hits less for super effective damage as well.

  • Marshdow is slightly weaker than Gengar in its preferred attacking stat, but it is much faster. It hits a great Speed tier at 125 that lets it narrowly outspeed Pokemon like base form Greninja.

  • Marshadow has a better ability than Gengar. Technician boosts Shadow Sneak and Hidden Power Ice, which each restrict safe counters to Marshadow a lot.

  • Marshadow has very serviceable bulk of 90 / 80 / 90. This makes it harder to consistently OHKO, let alone revenge kill on top of its Speed. Gengar's 60 / 60 / 75 is poor.

  • To put Marshadow's Speed and bulk into perspective, the only Pokemon relevant in OU that can safely and consistently outspeed and OHKO Marshadow is Scarf Tapu Lele.

  • Marshadow lacks defensive counterplay. Nothing resists its STAB as above, and its Marshadium-Z + Bulk Up can OHKO physical walls with minimal setup.

  • Spectral Thief is a great asset. It is a strong attack, and its side-effect means Marshadow's mere presence denies any set-up sweeper that doesn't boost Speed.

  • Marshadow has a lot of very effective sets that are countered differently (Choice Scarf, Swagger, Marshadium Z, etc.) This is less the case for Gengar.

  • Marshadow has as many good movepool options as Gengar, including Ice Punch, Stone Edge, Poison Jab, Will-O-Wisp and others. It can literally pick and choose what it beats.

Note, Gengar is still a very good Pokemon and a potent threat in both the metagames you mentioned. But Marshadow is on a whole other level: it was banned unanimously by Smogon's OU council and is one of the top three Pokemon in Ubers by usage. You will not find a better Pokemon that is still allowed in OU.

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