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Aside from pokemon for weather. Usually I start with a sweeper but sometimes it just gets my sweeper killed due too poor match up. The lead can mean 6-0 victory or 0-6 loss.

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Specific pokemon and moves are appreciated

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1.Stealth Rock/Toxic Spikes/Spikes lead-

You know about this, the Pokemon set up, then either switch out or Sweep. Pokemon that lead with these moves are usually Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Tentacruel, Nidoqueen, or Forretress. Another thing these leads can do is use switch out moves such as Roar, Whirlwind, Dragon Tail etc....

2.Baton Passers

This is pretty obvious, Baton Passers usually use moves that raise stats, and then Baton Pass them to Sweepers. Examples being Volbeat, Gorebyss, DW Blaziken, and Ninjask. But for Gorebyss to Baton Pass, Rain must be there to activate its ability, Swift Swim. Stat moves that are usually passed are Swords Dance or Agility.


Sweepers in general are common leads. They try to rip through teams with their powerful moves. Examples being Salamence, Infernape, Scizor, Metagross, and Gyarados. You might be wondering, why Isnt Torterra here? Well because lead Sweepers have to either have High Speed or good Overall stats with minimal Weaknesses. Moves used are Flamethrower, Giga Drain, Surf, Dragon Claw, and the famous Earthquake.

answered by
Taunt, Fake Out, and Rapid Spin leads are also common.
They don't necessarily have to have good speed. Slow leads can be used effectively,like Swampert,Metagross,Milotic,Regice,even Snorlax can help with Body Slam..There are also the Dual Screen leaders.
One other thing, that its not always common, but I've found myself doing it.

That would be common lead killers.
I normally just forget setting up rocks and spikes, and I get a lead killer,

Ex. Aerodactyl:
Fire Fang ( With life orb, can normally OHKO common Ferrothorn,Scizor, and Forretress )
Earthquake ( Takes down the nido family , and Drought Ninatales )
Stone Edge ( STAB, stops Dragon Dance Gyarados )
Stealth Rock ( After I kill their lead, why not get some rocks of my own? )

That was my lead killer for a while...
Devils Never Cry, that's why I said good overall stats with minimal weaknesses, I was referring to Swampert.
Swampert also fits in the category of Stealth Rock lead. Damn you Swampert (at the moment referring jokingly to both the user and huis Swampert.)
Trachy, we need to battle on PO, I wanna try this new team out.
1 vote

Well, since this seems to be THE Lead question, guess this is where this answer is going.

There are a variety of leads to fit what role you need it to.
I find there are a few types of leads, these might not be all of them, they might not go by this name, but these are what I know them as. This can give you an idea of what makes a good lead, so a Pokemon that is not in the examples can still be an option for you.

Traditional leads: These are your standard leads that you would normally put in front when Team Preview is not on. The guys that saw good use a leads in Gen IV, and can still be used as leads in Gen V as long as you play carefully. Their job is mainly to set up Entry Hazards, they also usually will be outfitted with Taunt or Rapid Spin.
-While due to its tier placement and the intro of Team Preview, this guy will usually see use as a Choice Bander. I'm talking about Aerodactyl. A very popular lead back in Gen IV, it was one of the fastest Pokemon in the game and could almost guarentee setting up Stealth Rock. It also came with Taunt, so it could choose to shut down opposing leads. Azelf can also be used in such a way, and was also popular in Gen IV.These are also under the category of suicide lead.
-Forretress is another example. It can use any entry hazard and also counter other hazard setters through Rapid Spin. Sturdy allows you to take even a Fire type attack and set up hazards.
-Any other Pokemon with a hazard move can be used in a traditional lead role. However, most will usually have Stealth Rock but not have the role of a lead. An example of this is Heatran, who is a Special Attacker who makes use of its typing to easily set up Stealth Rocks. These rocks net Heatran KOs it wouldn't have been able to get before.

Offensive lead: This is my favorite type of lead. You hit hard right from the start and hope to get yourself at an early 6-5 advantage. They usually require good prediction though, as you need to know what your opponent might switch to in order to try and prevent that early disadvantage. The prediction is why I like it, as I'm good at predicting.
-Infernape is my all time favorite Pokemon for this role. It has multiple key features. First is that typing. Fire is usually scared of a Pokemon called Heatran. But Close Combat takes care of any Heatran switch-ins. Infernape's Fire typing also nets it a Super-Effective hit on common Bug/Steel leads such as Genesect. So slap on a Scarf and start the slaughter! It also can use Stealth Rock, so when it is about to die you can either attack or help out the team. Fake Out is another interesting move it has. While more useful in Gen IV when Sash was used more, it can still get a free hit and break Sturdy. U-Turn is another cool move, giving it the ability to scout (more on that later.)
-Alakazam was one I used back in Gen IV, mainly because Inner Focus was a good ability for a lead. While not as useful in the lead spot this Generation and more for getting a powerful hit on faster scarfers and surviving with a hazard and weather immune Sash, it still hits incredibly hard and does come with Magic Coat to reflect hazards.
-Kangaskhan is for the lower tiers. It has a Fake Out (doesn't hit as hard as Persian, but an offensive lead relys on the other moves to be useful) and can then break a team with Return/Frustration. Another guy I used a lot back in Gen IV, even in OU (not recommended now.)

Scouts: When you are uncertain who the opponent will use as their lead, send in the scout. These guys are equipped with U-Turn or Volt Change, allowing them to switch out while also dealing damage in an unfavorable situation. Some are equipped with a Scarf to make sure to outspeed, some are not. Espeon or Xatu are sometimes paired up with these guys so they can reflect hazards on the Volt/Turn.
-Genesect is currently the most used Pokemon who fits this role. The thing is excellent, as Download either gives it a powerful Thunderbolt/Flamethrower/Ice Beam for when it wants to stay in, or a powerful U-Turn for when it needs to get the hell out of there. This guy is currently in use on my main OU team in this role. He does not dissapoint.
-Mienshao is not usually equipped with a Scarf, but it still performs well in this role. Fake Out gets some early damage and then it can U-Turn out of there. It also has the power to stay in and do damage with STAB Hi Jump Kick when the situation is to its advantage.
-Flygon was famous for this role back in Gen IV and it still gets this is Gen V UU. Base 100 Speed, decent power, and U-Turn all makes it an excellent scout.
-Ambipom (and Persian in NU) also fit the description. But they have more tools than the average scout, at the cost of a bit less power behind their other attacks and a good deal less bulk. First off is STAB+Technician boosted Fake Out, which takes a good chunk out of the opponent's HP right away. Second is Taunt, which shuts down hazards. And they get the standard scout move of U-Turn also. They don't need to carry a Scarf thanks to high Speed, which is good because a Scarf sucks with Fake Out.

Set-up leads: The opponent brings in the wimpy Forretress so you take advantage of this by using a Pokemon that uses a set-up attack (after a Substitute usually). This is very risky as set-up sweepers are usually better when their counters are taken down, but this can be well worth the risk if your opponent doesn't have the counter to your set-up sweeper. You can sweep through a good number of the team, if not go right out and 6-0 them.
-Gyarados is my favorite. I've gotten more 6-0 sweeps with him than I have for any other Pokemon. This is thanks to Moxie, meaning a weak lead will be the downfall of your opponent. Instead of Substitute it can use Taunt, which also shuts down hazards. Pretty cool. Unfortunate thing is a x4 weakness to Electric, meaning Forretress's Volt Change will hurt. But this guy is definately worth it.
-Contrary Serperior might not be released yet, but when it is, watch out. Just fire those Leaf Storms and get powerful right off the bat.
-Cloyster is the guy I don't use but who has screwed me over enough to always lead with a Cloyster counter when my opponent has one on their team. Sets up Shell Smash and goes for the sweep. Interesting thing is it also has Rapid Spin and two Entry hazards. While they shouldn't be used on the same set I think, they can make your opponent unsure of what set you are using.

answered by
Character limit:

Suicide leads/Trick Room leads: I mentioned suicide leads before with Aerodactyl and Azelf. But suicide leads come in all shapes and sizes. I slashed 'em with TR leads as a few TR leads are suicide leads. They end up getting the job done and then dying right after.
-Mamoswine in its Endeavor role. Because it has a Sash when using this, hazards are going to be troublesome. So using it as a lead allows it to handle that (immunity to Sand and Hail helps this role). It uses Endeavor, the opponent hits first and gets you down to your Sash, so Endeavor gets them to 1 HP. You then use Ice Shard and they are down one Pokemon. Then you can use Ice Shard to deal a bit of damage to the next guy who comes in.
-Smeargle has a FEAR set. Level 1 uses Trick room, then Endeavor, then Dragon Rage. Gets you Trick Room and might even take down a foe (at least makes them weak enough for the next Pokemon to take down).
-In the same way as Smeargle is Banette. It uses Trick Room, hangs on with its Sash, then uses Destiny Bond to take the foe down with it. Not as effective as Smeargle I think, but it does get the job done.

Weather leads: We come down to our final lead type that I can think of and has enough members to warrant a section. These guys can set up weather, but we also have a counter to weather here.
-Politoed, Tyranitar, Hippowdon, Abomasnow, Ninetales (and Snover and Hippopotas in Little Cup) all have weather inducing abilities. So they are common weather leads. Kyogre and Groudon fit this role in Ubers for Sun and Rain.
-Tornadus gets the role of Rain Dancer. This is for Swift Swim Rain Dance teams. Sets up priority Rain Dance, then hits hard. It also has priority Taunt to hit the hazard setters with.
-In the lower tiers we get Pokemon who use the actual weather inducing moves, like Tornadus in OU. Azelf is the best I can think of, as a Sun or Rain inducer in UU. Uxie also fits the bill for this. Don't get many Sandstorm or Hail users though.
-Dugtrio gets a Special mention as being a counter to weather teams. It can Arena Trap and take down the weather inducer, thus giving your weather team the ability to win the weather war (Mamoswine can also do this, although it isn't effective against Politoed and a smart opponent will switch out). It deals a hit, goes down to its Sash, then Reversals the foe. As you can guess, Ninetales and Tyranitar fall pretty handily to this, and Politoed gets Reversaled to death. Abomasnow can counter this though, but thankfully Hail is the least common weather. Hippowdown can also counter this, but it is not used often in OU (it might go to UU, if the little UU council they have at smogon decides to lift the UU ban from it because of an inability to use Sand there.)