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My friend and I are having an argument over who is the better Pokemon between these two.

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Skarmory
swellow is faster, and has guts, so can do lots of damage with flame orb
They can suit many different roles and they don't share many, the best between then will depend on what you want to do.

2 Answers

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Skarmory has a higher base stat. total. (barely)
Skarmory has the higher: Defense, sp. defense and hp. It also resists or is immune to every physical type (except fighting).
So if you want a bulky staller pick skarmory. It even can have the ability sturdy.
stats:
HP 65
Attack 80
Defense 140
Sp. Atk 40
Sp. Def 70
Speed 70
Total 465
While swellow has a higher: Attack, sp. attack and speed. Swellows the bird for a speedy attacker. Swellow has ability guts. paired up with facade and a burn orb makes a pretty nasty attack.
stats:
HP 60
Attack 85
Defense 60
Sp. Atk 75
Sp. Def 50
Speed 125
Total 455
sources: Pokemon database, knowledge

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This question asks about Generation 6, when any type can be physical.
That is a good answer, they can do many things, but the roles mentioned are the best roles for the two in particular. Skarmory bulky staller, swellow speed damage dealer. I'l give it an upvote.
The problem is that bulky stallers are worse than fast damage dealers on in-game teams.
I understand your opinion, but there is no "worse" in terms of what the pokemon will do, everything is made with a purpose and is not useless or worse compared to something who is made to do another thing. All is usefull and equally important. However if the question would be like what is the best speed damage dealer? Even then it will have to take into account many factors including types, the particular enemy you will use this pokemon to conter against, movesets, stats, and even the majority of enemy types that appear. For exemple, against a grass type, Skarmory would be the best even having less speed than swellow because is 4x more resistant to grass moves, beside having flying moves and being  faster than most grass pokemons. However in terms of neutral enemys and majority, swellow would be the best to suit this "particular role", because is faster than skarmory and can hit most pokemons first in general. I'm not criticizing but even then that are alot of things to consider, have all a nice day. :)
There is a "worse" when comparing the two Pokemon for in-game teams. The main reason Skarmory is worse is that good Pokemon for in-game teams don't only need to win battles, they should win battles relatively quickly. Skarmory isn't that strong of an attacker, so using it instead of Taillow would require that the player spend extra time spamming the A button waiting for Skarmory to defeat opponents, and the player might as well be spending that time level grinding a Taillow and getting it to level 30 before the second gym.
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As stupid as I may sound, I would say Swellow is better than Skarmory.
The main reason is that good Pokemon for in-game teams don't only need to win battles, they should win battles relatively quickly. Skarmory isn't that strong of an attacker, so using it instead of Taillow would require that the player spend extra time spamming the A button waiting for Skarmory to defeat opponents, and the player might as well be spending that time level grinding a Taillow and getting it to level 30 before the second gym.
An additional problem for Skarmory in XY is that you need to reach Victory Road to get one, so you can only use it for the last 1/7 of the game.
An additional problem for Skarmory in ORAS is that it takes a lot of experience to level up, so using it will slightly underlevel the entire team.

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Skarmory gets swords dance and powerful moves such as night slash and steel wing, which could sweep almost every trainer in the game
Swellow can sweep most trainers without using swords dance.