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The Smeargle Guide

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On 1/28/2023 at 11:45 AM, DragoTamer said:


The purpose of this guide is to delve into the useful aspects of Smeargle. It will include the most common and flexible builds, numerous other builds that are used with explanations, linked guides to references, and overall general support in order to guide you to the best way to utilize your smeargle(s). There are times when I will point out more optimal options such as for the HM buddy builds and pay day builds. Ultimately, this is meant to guide your process of creating smeargles. I personally went through many different smeargle builds so I hope this guide serves as a way for you all to save your Pokeyen and craft the smeargle that suits your needs.


Most Common and flexible build

Pokémon: Smeargle
Ability: Technician
Nature: Adamant
IVs: 31/31/31/-/31/31
EVs: 58 HP, 252 Attack, 200 Speed
Moves: False Swipe. Spore. Substitute. Soak 
Item: Leftovers/Silk Scarf/Choice band [depends on the usage]


IVs explanation for the most common build

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  • While I wrote that the optimal is 5x31, you can utilize smeargles at lower IVs. I recommend keeping the relevant IVs as high as possible and at the very least, creating a 3x31 smeargle in HP, attack, and speed. 



EVs explanation for the most common build

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  • 200 speed EVs helps it outspeed the fastest alpha. Adding any extra speed EVs isn't needed



Notes for the most common build

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  • This is great for ditto catching. Substitute prevents ditto from transforming, but you run the risk of transform PP wearing out and then having it struggle.
  • This is also great for general Pokémon catching. For those that are difficult, you can set up substitute, spore, and safely false swipe while it holds leftovers and restores the HP taken by substitute.
  • Leftovers and silk scarf are more commonly used. Choice band can be used when pay day farming and pay day builds are included below.




Other builds

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Legendary moves build #1: sacred sword, shadow force, fusion bolt, V-create

Legendary moves build #2: special rend, psystrike, judgement, Magma storm

Legendary moves build #3: secret sword, luster purge, mist ball, blue flare

Legendary moves build #4: roar of time, doom desire, Seed Flare, fusion flare
Legendary moves build #5: Sacred Fire,


HM buddy build #1: Defog, rock climb, waterfall, dive

HM buddy build #2: Fly, surf, strength, rock smash

HM buddy build #3: Cut, flash, teleport, sweet scent


HM buddy build for gym runs: Fly, Surf, Cut, Teleport

Sweet Scenter build #1: Sweet Scent, false swipe, soak, spore

Sweet Scenter build #2: Sweet scent, Earthquake, teleport, blank space

Sweet Scenter build #3: Sweet scent, Hyper Voice, teleport, blank space

Sweet Scenter build #4: Sweet scent, Earthquake, False Swipe, Spore

Sweet Scenter build #5: Sweet scent, Hyper Voice, False Swipe, Spore

**Sweet Scent builds #2 - #5 can have AOE moves alternate between Earthquake, Hyper Voice, Eruption, Water Spout, Discharge, and Surf**


Pay day build #1: Pay day, False swipe, spore, substitute

Pay day build #2: Pay day, False swipe, spore, soak


Conversion build: [night shade, shadow force, spite, shadow claw, etc.], Conversion, False swipe, spore

Ditto Catching Build #2: False swipe, soak, assist, heal pulse   

**The first build is the most common build which is at the top of the guide**


Ingrain set: Ingrain, Soak, False swipe, Spore


Mean Look set: Mean look, soak, false swipe, spore


Fossil farmer set: Imprison, Selfdestruct, Explosion, Thief


PvP build #1: [Spore or Glare], Taunt, Stealth rock, [Spikes or Memento]

**Jolly Nature**


Shiny Hoppip farming set: Imprison, Rage Powder, Memento, Pay Day


Shiny Koffing farming set: Imprison, Selfdestruct, False Swipe, [Thief or Pay Day]


Shiny Misdreavous farming set: Imprison, Perish song, Soak, night shade. 


Shiny Cofagrigus farming set: Imprison, Grudge, Curse, [Night Slash or Dark Pulse]


Shiny Jigglypuff farming set: Imprison, Double-Edge, false swipe, spore



Notes for other builds

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  • With the legendary moves builds, I organized them in a way where each smeargle has a variety of move types and each smeargle can be adamant or modest to truly emphasize smeargle using them. Builds #1 and #5 are Adamant nature builds and builds #2 - #4 are Modest nature builds. If you want to go a step further, you can ensure the IVs are 2x31 with special attack and speed. 
  • In the conversion build, conversion changes the user’s type to the type of the move in slot #1. The reason why I listed different ghost type moves is up to the user preference. If you don’t want to accidentally faint the opposing Pokémon, you can teach it spite. If you want a move that can faint the opposing Pokémon, you can use a physical ghost move like shadow force or shadow claw. Conversion builds are useful for swarms such as beldum, tauros, relicanth, etc. that use normal type moves with recoil
  • For the heal pulse smeargle build, it is meant to be paired with a parasect that knows thief and spore. Using assist allows spore to be used. If the ditto transforms into smeargle, it won’t be able to spore your smeargle. If they use heal pulse, it heals you
  • Smeargle is the only way to get sacred sword onto oshawatt. You can sketch sacred sword from a samurott that is used by an ace trainer in unova’s victory road or from keldeo which is a legendary pokemon in unova. It is found the same way you find Mewtwo in Kanto, Arceus in Sinnoh, and Rayquaza in Hoenn. I will link a guide to hunting legendaries below
  • Sweet scent allows you to summon a horde of pokemon, usually in with 3 or 5 Pokémon per horde. Sweet scent is commonly used to summon Hordes such as rapidash in Unova route 12 for Speed EVs, Golduck in the resort area for special attack EVs, Rhydon in sinnoh victory road for attack EVs, marill hordes in fallarbor town for HP EVs, and Tentatcruel hordes in the Battle Frontier for Special Defense EVs. Sweet scent is also used to shiny hunt and is supplemented by Leppas. Leppas add 10 PP to sweet scent. 
  • Pay day builds are for those that Do not want to go through the effort of creating a Meowth and/or Munchlax for pay day farming. The benefit of Munchlax and/or Meowth is that they have the ability called Pickup which can pickup dropped items every now and then and is used to earn extra yen while EV training, Pay day farming, etc. I will include two relevant guides below to explain further. I included False swipe and spore because those are most commonly used with smeargle builds to catch other Pokémon so your smeargle will serve multiple uses. substitute is used primarily with ditto catching and soak is used primarily with catching other Pokémon, you can soak a grass type to change its nature to spore it and you can also soak a Pokémon to remove STAB bonus. 
  • The Ingrain build is used if you prefer to use silk scarf as a held item, but also want to recover HP each turn. Personally, I would rather go focus on either silk scarf or leftovers, but there are merits to the ingrain build as well. 
  • For the fossil farmer build, imprison blocks the Pokémon from using explosion and selfdestruct. Thief can steal the fossil. If you are attempting to shunt a Pokémon that can use explosion and selfdestruct, you would prefer to use a Parasect with the damp ability as it can learn thief, false swipe, and spore. The damp ability prevents selfdestruct and/or explosion from being used. You could alternatively plan ahead of time and swap selfdestruct or explosion for false swipe if you know the opposing Pokémon only knows one of those moves. 
  • The HM Buddy Gym run set covers all HMs needed for gym runs and teleport helps save time for healing in the pokecenteror going to the next region if the PC you went to was the port city.  


Pay day build guide explanations



Thanks to @Bestfriendsfor the creation of the money guide community pickup guide


I will include two guides for EVs and Sweet Scenting below



Thanks to @Akshitand @pikabuuhfor these amazing two guides relating to hordes and EVs


There are 3 better options for HM buddies which I will include below


Thanks to @BrokenBulbfor the thorough guide about legendary Pokémon hunting



Thanks to https://forums.pokemmo.com/index.php?/topic/144310-egg-move-index-pokemmo-version/@Bestfriendsfor this written section about the specific veteran trainers in unova's victory that have a Samurott that knows sacred sword. This section is obtained from his popular egg move index:




Notes for other builds that are specific to shunting

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  • The Shiny Hoppip set is specifically geared towards catching that pokemon. When horde hunting, hoppip can use rage powder and memento. by using imprison while smeargle knows rage powder and memento, it prevents Hoppip from using rage powder and memento. This allows smeargle to take out the other Hoppips in the horde with Pay Day. Using Pay Day allows you to earn a little extra yen and will OHKO the surrounding regular Hoppip. 
  • When shunting shiny Jigglypuff, you can use imprison to prevent jigglypuff from using double edge. you can faint the non-shiny jigglypuff's using double edge and your smeargle will stay alive especially if it's holding leftovers. You can false swipe and spore the shiny jigglypuff at the end. 
  • When hunting shiny koffing, it is important to know that it has neutralizing gas as an ability which will prevent damp on parasect from working. By using the Shiny koffing shunting set above, you can safely use imprison and faint the surrounding non-shiny koffings with pay day or thief. You can then false swipe the shiny koffing and safely catch it
  • When shunting misdreavous, use imprison first so that it will not use perish song. Then you can soak and night shade the surrounding misdreavous to faint it. A misdreavous at level 48 with 0 HP IV has 115 HP so night shade from a level 100 smeargle will need to be used twice. once the non-shiny Misdreavous are taken down, you can use night shade once on the shiny misdreavous leaving it with 15 HP. Be sure to equip leftovers so pain split + an attacking move won't faint smeargle. be sure to spore regularly to avoid situations like that. 
  • When shunting shiny cofagrigus, you want to use imprison first so that grudge and curse won't affect you. Keep in mind that cofagrigus has the mummy ability so the moment you attack one with a physical move, your ability turns into mummy thus rendering technician useless. It is also a ghost type so you can't use pay day. Night slash is a good dark type move that will not rely on technician. You can also opt for dark pulse which does more damage. just keep in mind that night slash is probably the better option if your smeargle is attack boosted and/or has a minus special attack nature. You will need to catch cofagrigus at full health. Cofagrigus is a shunt that people can fail due to the factors of both curse and grudge. Night shade will not be ideal for this shiny since the lowest HP it can have is 89 and a night shade from a level 100 smeargle would faint it. 
  • When shunting ghost Pokémon, generally soak the ghost first to avoid it using curse which can cause the shiny ghost to faint itself. 
  • When shunting and pay daying dratini/dragonair + basculin, keep two ghost types with you to counteract basculin's final gambit
  • Keep in mind that Rapidash has take down so if you are hoping for a shiny rapidash while speed EV training, prepare accordingly




Where to find all of the moves listed in the builds

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Rather than include every possible option that you can sketch from, I will include a single cheap option for each move. You can catch these pokemon, purchase them from GTL, borrow them, etc.


  • HMs: obtained through story
  • Sweet scent: Oddish
  • False swipe: Cubone
  • Spore: Paras
  • Soak: Psyduck
  • Teleport: Kadabra
  • Earthquake: Sandslash
  • Hyper Voice: Jigglypuff
  • Pay Day: Persian
  • Substitute: Rotom. [the other way is to teach substitute to another pokemon like torkoal via TM]
  • Night shade: Dusclops
  • Shadow claw: Sableye
  • Conversion: Porygon
  • Assist: Delcatty
  • Heal pulse: Chansey
  • Ingrain: Roselia
  • Mean look: Golbat
  • Imprison: Vulpix
  • Selfdestruct: Koffing
  • Explosion: Koffing
  • Thief: Banette
  • Rage Powder: Hoppip
  • Double Edge: Jigglypuff
  • Grudge: Cofagrigus
  • Curse: Cofagrigus
  • Glare: Arbok
  • Memento: Skuntank
  • Taunt: Persian
  • Stealth Rock: Skarmory
  • Spikes: Onix



When sketching, please use the dark grass in Unova to try and populate a double battle. The most common dark grass area used is in route 3



Alternative ditto catching method by @Clara



Optimal 3 Pokémon for your HM buddies [Not Smeargles]

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  • Xatu: fly, teleport, flash, defog
  • Durant: strength, rock climb, dig, cut
  • Politoed: surf, waterfall, rock smash, dive





@Deomigoes into proper detail including abilities, EVs, explanations, etc. in the guide below.

https://forums.pokemmo.com/index.php?/topic/149075-ditto-farming-guides-one of the fastest way/




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  • @Elizn. She gave me her heal pulse smeargle build and reminded me about the sacred sword aspect. She also went through and thoroughly combed this guide and provided feedback which allowed me to write detailed explanations
  • @Axelgor for providing feedback which led to the creation of the Introduction section
  • @RenDudefor providing a HM buddy build for gym runs and providing shunting sets and descriptions, information, and calculations for shiny hoppip, shiny jigglypuff, shiny koffing, shiny misdreavous, and shiny cofagrigus. 
  • @Complutumand @LucasLyn5for reviewing the guide and pointing out typos and where to separate some information for easier viewing
  • @Razachufor providing a list of AOE moves and pointing out the necessity of describing dark grass in Unova for sketching
  • @Viannet for recommending a section that includes which pokemon learn the moves listed in the builds section
  • @Bartomeu and @Spxterfor recommending a PvP set


A alternate way to do the sketching is removing all moves from other mons and leave it with only move that you want to sketch. Then you can go to Desert Underpass, encounter ditto, let it transform onto the mon with move that you wish, then enter with smeargle and click sketch until it gets the move(spore put you to sleep so you need to click sketch until it woke up and copy move.). I recommend you to do that when your smeargle had lvl 1/11 so even from lowest possible dark grass, at level 21 most probablly your mon will not gets KO'ed.

Also, a side note, you had a chance of encounter double battles outside of dark grass, using lures.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

This is an extremely minor nitpick, but the EV requirements say 58 HP. 58 is not divisible by 4, so technically it should just be 56 HP and it would make no difference right? I'm only bringing it up because I was about to go respec this Smeargle until I realized it would make absolutely 0 difference:




Thanks for the guide, though! 🙂 Just finished building my 5x31 Smeargle from scratch, it's been very satisfying!

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22 hours ago, panpandame said:

This is an extremely minor nitpick, but the EV requirements say 58 HP. 58 is not divisible by 4, so technically it should just be 56 HP and it would make no difference right? I'm only bringing it up because I was about to go respec this Smeargle until I realized it would make absolutely 0 difference:




Thanks for the guide, though! 🙂 Just finished building my 5x31 Smeargle from scratch, it's been very satisfying!

Hey there, nice work!


With the Ev distribution at level 100, 58 EVs vs. 56 EVs results in the same stat. Normally it happens where the remaining 2 EVs don't really make a difference. It's also easy for EV training because you can max attack, battle 20 rapidash hordes for 200 speed EVs, then get the remaining 58 EVs in HP in 6 hordes.

Edited by DragoTamer
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