Using Absol as a Competitive Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y
The Disaster Pokémon
Special Attack: 75
Special Defense: 60
Absol looks like a heavy hitting glass cannon on paper, but in reality its low Speed keeps it from being a threat to anything that can outspeed it or hit it with a strong priority move. While it's true that Absol has the Attack stat to do some real damage, especially with STAB Sucker Punch, it doesn't have the speed to make full use of it. Absol's good movepool is only made better in Pokémon X and Y thanks to it gaining Play Rough, which let's it deal with opposing fighting types and Dark types that think they can switch in on Absol. Unfortunately most of these Pokémon carry priority moves which means that even with a super effective move Absol is still at a disadvantage in most situations.
Even with all of these seemingly deal breaking flaws and setbacks, Absol can still hold its own in battle with the proper preparation. A Choice Scarf is a good way to mitigate Absol's low speed and help it get the jump on lots of Pokémon and tear through weakened teams thanks to its great 130 Attack stat. Not only that, but Absol also has a great supporting movepool that can help cripple opposing walls and stallers with ease. Not to mention the Mega Evolution that Absol got in Pokémon X and Y that only improved this Pokémon in every way. Absol has a lot of options, and it's not always easy to make them work, but it's always worth it.
Special Attack: 115
Special Defense: 60
If these stats look familiar that's because they are. Mega Absol is essentially an optimized version of its non-mega counterpart, with one added bonus: Magic Bounce. Magic Bounce gives Absol unrivaled utility as a stallbreaker or early game disruptor if your team fears entry hazards. As an offensively based Pokemon Absol can make great use of this ability and essentially gain a free switch-in with proper prediction, which let's it make full use of its fantastic movepool. Speaking of which, Mega Absol gains a sizeable boost to its Special Attack, making it an effective mixed sweeper, and with access to moves like Flamethrower, Thunderbolt and Ice Beam, the possibilities are endless.
The main concern, and overall Absol's biggest flaw are its pitifully low defenses. This is especially hazardous thanks to all of the bulky Pokemon that run Foul Play in order to take out opposing physical attackers. The Pokemon to watch out for the most when using Mega Absol would be Pokemon with strong priority moves, namely ones that resist Absol's Sucker Punch such as Azumarill and Conkeldurr. Pokemon that carry Foul Play should also be cautiously avoided, as they can make short work of Absol even though it resists Dark type moves. Pokemon like Klefki and Mandibuzz can be especially troublesome due to their high bulk making Absol's job of taking them down that much more difficult. However, Absol has access to Will o Wisp, which helps tremendously in making sure these Pokemon don't KO Absol right away.
Movesets to Consider
Ability: Super Luck/Pressure
252 Atk/4 Sp Atk/252 Speed
Rock Slide/Ice Beam/X-Scissor
This is about as standard a set as they come, and it makes full use of Absol's great movepool and fantastic coverage. The choice of moves all depends on the types of Pokemon that threaten Absol, and ultimately your team. Sucker Punch is Absol's STAB and Priority move, and it's a very powerful one at that. It can easily dispatch frail attackers and other Pokemon that are weak to Dark type attacks. Flamethrower is perfect for opposing Steel types like Klefki or Lucario that can give Absol trouble. The choice of Ice Beam or Thunderbolt comes down to what the team needs gone more, Dragon types or Water types. Magic Bounce is also an invaluable tool against most non-offensive Pokemon and gives Absol many switch-in opportunities against status spreading Pokemon.
As always, it's important to look out for priority moves from Pokemon that Absol can't hit super effectively. Azumarill and Conkeldurr are Absol's arch enemies, and as always Absol should either avoid them or make the most of an effective switch-in or revenge kill to eliminate them entirely. Most of the time however Absol should steer clear of these Pokemon until they're gone and the opponent's team has been weakened enough to where Absol can clean up. This is fairly easy to do since Absol's huge 150 attack stat is more than enough to power through most Pokemon that don't resist its attacks.
200 HP/52 Sp Atk/4 Atk/252 Speed
This moveset is much more customizable than the previous set, if you can believe that. Absol has a slew of support moves that can turn it into a tool for crippling your opponent's Pokemon, be they strong sweepers or opposing support Pokemon. Magic Bounce makes sure that Absol will always be able to dismantle an opponent's strategy without worry of being taunted or hit with a status move. This moveset is a support or stall Pokemon's worst nightmare. Absol is all but immune to non-attacking moves and can use this to turn the tables at almost any point in the game. It can easily play around hazard leads and with proper prediction your team might now even need a hazard setter of it's own.
Even though Absol is a functioning Swiss army knife of utility, it's not much outside of that. Defensively Absol is still very frail even with lots of HP investment and can't take too much punishment from attacking Pokemon. Will-o-Wisp does help this to an extent, but Guts Pokemon and fire types can disregard this and easily KO Absol. It's also important to watch out for most priority users as Absol doesn't have Sucker Punch on this set and without burning the opponent it can get taken out before it has a chance to even start its strategy.
Jellicent is a fantastic defensive Pokemon and a consistent threat in competitive play. Its the only Ghost/Water type in the game and that combination, along with its ability Water Absorb are what make it a bulky powerhouse. It has access to great support moves and instant recovery with both Recover and its ability. It is immune to the fighting moves that plague Absol, as well the water moves from Pokemon like Azumarill that are the bane of Absol's existence. It does however have trouble with Dark types, which Absol can handle with Play Rough. Absol can also help Jellicent deal with opposing wall Pokemon thanks to Magic bounce and have great supportive synergy that can disrupt any non-offensive strategy your opponent has.
Heatran was the undisputed king of competitive Pokemon during the 4th generation and has been a staple of competitive Pokemon ever since. It has a great typing despite its crippling Ground type weakness and its one of the most versatile offensive Pokemon ever. It is a great offensive partner to Absol with its great Special Attack stat and complimentary coverage to Absol's moves. It also has great support moves and can make a great utility partner as well while still being an offensive threat to the opponent. Heatran also needs a Pokemon to eliminate some of the stall Pokemon that stand in its way, and Absol is just the tool to dismantle the opposition.
Gyarados is a consistent Pokemon for the most part, but it has fallen from its once dominant status in competitive play. Gyarados is by no means a bad Pokemon, but in this competitive environment it needs more support than it previously did. Gyarados' Intimidate is a great asset to Absol as it makes it easier to deal with physical attackers and further cripple them with Will-o-Wisp. Absol makes Gyarados' job of setting up with Dragon Dance that much easier, and it's resistance to Fighting and Water type attacks helps Absol get out of sticky situations much more easily. Overall Gyarados and Absol have great synergy and compliment each other well on the battlefield, but both are Pokemon that must be played with carefully.
Mega Absol in Action
This battle showcases Absol's pure power and its ability to decimate any unprepared team with its great coverage and powerful moves.
Which Pokemon Should I Cover Next?
Absol is a great Pokemon that only needs a bit of planning to be fully effective. It is extremely versatile and useful on just about any team that needs it. Whether it's supporting your other Pokemon or it's the one doing the damage, you'll never regret placing it on your team.