A Nuzlocker’s Guide to Snorlax

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1

Incredible bulk? Check. A high Attack stat? Check. Great movepool? Check. A guaranteed encounter? Check. Is there anything that Snorlax can’t do? The only thing that Snorlax can’t stand up to is a strong Fighting-type Pokémon. Snorlax is an exceptional Pokémon that can tank special attacks from every Pokémon in the game and hit them back with incredible force. It may be the only true counter to the fearsome beast that is Sabrina’s Alakazam. From where it’s captured to the end of the game, there is very little that Snorlax can’t stand up to. Snorlax is one of the greatest Pokémon in FireRed and LeafGreen thanks to its ability to effectively utilize its fantastic HP, Special Defense, and Attack stats.


Snorlax: Route 12 (static), Route 16 (static).

Capturing Tips: As can be seen from the introduction, Snorlax is an amazing Pokémon to use in a Nuzlocke run. However, like all Pokémon, it has its drawbacks. Its main drawback is how difficult it is to catch; you very well may have a team spot for Snorlax when you capture it since it may take out half of your team. Using a Gastly from the Pokémon Tower is recommended as it walls Snorlax. On the other hand, Gastly is walled by Snorlax in return. Spite can be used to whittle down Snorlax’s Headbutt PP, allowing another Pokémon to get a free switch in. Paralyze Snorlax or lull it to sleep before attempting to catch it. If something goes awry, there is still another Snorlax you can catch. A strong Fighting-type move (probably not Low Kick though; it hits Snorlax way too hard) is best here since Snorlax will almost always be able to tank one anyway. Don’t forget that Snorlax is holding a Chesto Berry. Don’t forget to stock up on the best Poké Balls available, too.

Snorlax’s Match-ups in Important Battles

Snorlax versus Erika in Celadon City Gym: You’ll likely beat Erika before catching Snorlax, but this battle is an excellent debut for the Sleeping Pokémon if you haven’t. Snorlax can single-handedly sweep Erika as soon as it’s caught. Victreebel is 2HKOed by Headbutt and Erika’s other two Pokémon are 3HKOed by the aforementioned attack. Erika’s Pokémon can’t hurt Snorlax at all, and you can even bypass the effects of Sleep Powder with Snore. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 30; Headbutt, Yawn, Rest, Snore.

Snorlax versus Koga in Fuchsia City Gym: Snorlax can tank one non-critical hit Selfdestruct, but a critical hit kills Snorlax. As Snorlax can only 2HKO with Body Slam, it’s risky to use Snorlax against them. Muk and Weezing can annoy you with Minimize and Smokescreen, respectively, or cripple Snorlax with Toxic (which isn’t a problem for RestTalk Snorlax). Weezing’s physical defense can take a lot of hits from Snorlax. This may devolve into a stall-fest, so use a more appropriate counter if possible. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 37; Yawn, Body Slam, Brick Break, Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus Fighting Dojo in Saffron City: This match-up is one of the few that Snorlax cannot handle; a critical hit from either Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan is an OHKO. Both are faster than Snorlax and 2HKO with Fighting-type STAB, so use a more appropriate counter here. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 37; Yawn, Body Slam, Brick Break, Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus Rival in Silph Co.: Pidgeot isn’t a direct threat, but it can cripple Snorlax with Feather Dance. You could Yawn at it first and follow it up with a Body Slam, but it’s best to use something else for Pidgeot. Shadow Ball should OHKO Alakazam, who can’t do anything in return besides annoying you with Reflect. After Intimidate, Body Slam is a 4HKO and 2HKO on Gyarados and Growlithe, respectively. Neither poses a threat to Snorlax. Shadow Ball will make short work of Exeggcute, and RestTalk Snorlax laughs at the Egg Pokémon’s Hypnosis. Stun Spore is also wasted on Snorlax as it’s rather slow already. Charizard’s Flamethrower is a 4HKO, so keep Snorlax above half health to avoid a critical hit being an OHKO. Snorlax can beat it with Body Slam. Yawning at Charizard is recommended. Snorlax hard walls Blastoise, so 3HKO it with Body Slam. Snorlax can 3HKO Venusaur too, but watch out for Poison Powder and a critical hit Razor Leaf. If you keep Snorlax’s health high throughout the battle, you’ll never have to worry about it fainting. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 38; Yawn, Body Slam, Brick Break, Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus Giovanni in Silph Co.: Nidorino lacks Double Kick, so Snorlax can safely 2HKO with Body Slam while Nidorino struggles to do damage. Watch out for Poison Sting and Poison Point, though. Snorlax is faster than Rhyhorn and can 2HKO with Brick Break. Rhyhorn’s moves are varying degrees of useless and pose no threat unless you get very unlucky with Rock Blast. Snorlax will likely 2HKO Kangaskhan with Brick Break, and the Parent Pokémon’s Mega Punch is an unlikely 4HKO. As always, be wary of critical hits. Nidoqueen’s Double Kick can’t OHKO Snorlax from full health even if both are critical hits; Body Slam is a likely 3HKO. Snorlax will probably be pretty worn down by this point, so you may have to heal, Rest, or use another Pokémon. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 38; Yawn, Body Slam, Brick Break, Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus Sabrina in Saffron City Gym: Snorlax’s incredible bulk and access to Shadow Ball makes it an excellent counter for Sabrina. Snorlax’s Shadow Ball is an OHKO on Kadabra, and it’s a 2HKO if Kadabra uses Reflect first. Shadow Ball finishes Mr. Mime too, but Kadabra’s Reflect combined with Mr. Mime’s Barrier will make Shadow Ball glance off of Mr. Mime. Shadow Ball is a 3-4HKO on +2 Defense Mr. Mime when Reflect is active. Mr. Mime can also Baton Pass some Calm Mind boosts to Alakazam, so be careful. Venomoth is 2HKOed by Body Slam if Reflect isn’t active. Beware of its Supersonic though; Snorlax’s physical Defense isn’t that great and its Attack stat is great. Bring some Full Heals. Alakazam will fall to a pair of Shadow Balls or Body Slams, but be wary of its Psychic if it has a Calm Mind boost under its belt. Tread lightly, and stock up on healing items. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Yawn, Body Slam, Brick Break, Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus Blaine in Cinnabar City Gym: If your Snorlax has Thick Fat, even Fire Blast from Arcanine will do a pitiful amount of damage. Snorlax with Immunity can still be rather useful. Body Slam would be a likely OHKO on Growlithe, but Intimidate prevents this. Bring some X Attacks and use them both once Growlithe goes down. You can’t use them while Growlithe is on the field because of Roar. Body Slam will 2HKO Growlithe after Intimidate. Use an X Attack while Ponyta or Rapidash is on the battlefield. Ponyta is likely OHKOed by Body Slam and Rapidash is 2HKOed. Watch out for Stomp’s flinch chance though; you may need healing items or Rest if you’re unlucky. Body Slam is a 4HKO on Arcanine after Intimidate, which is equal to the amount of damage Immunity Snorlax will take from Fire Blast. Thick Fat Snorlax is better for this match-up, but use another X Attack either way. Arcanine is packing Roar, but if you can just come back in if you’re Roared out. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 45; Yawn, Body Slam, Brick Break, Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus Giovanni in Viridian City Gym: Snorlax can handle Rhyhorn with Brick Break, but it’s best to teach Snorlax Surf for this battle (you can just buy Brick Break again if you want it back later). Surf will guarantee an OHKO on both of the Rhyhorn. Body Slam will handle Dugtrio. Nidoking and Nidoqueen are 2-3HKOed by Body Slam, but Earthquake will hit pretty hard. Bring healing items or use a more appropriate counter. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 47; Yawn, Body Slam, Brick Break/Surf, Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus Rival in Route 22: Pidgeot’s damage output is pitiful and Snorlax can 2HKO with Body Slam, but watch out for Feather Dance. Switch out if you get hit by Feather Dance. Rhyhorn is best to beat with Surf, but Brick Break can 2HKO. It does carry Horn Drill, so Surf is your best bet. Alakazam lacks Reflect and is destroyed by a single Shadow Ball. Exeggcute’s status moves can be annoying, so bring healing items. Shadow Ball will net the 2HKO. Gyarados’ Intimidate is annoying, so switch out or use an X Attack. Unless Gyarados sets up Rain Dance, it’ll run out of Hydro Pump PP before it can KO Snorlax from full health. It is 3HKOed by Body Slam, 4HKOed after Intimidate. Growlithe is a joke; decimate it with Body Slam. If you are running Surf for Rhyhorn, it does more damage than Body Slam after Intimidate. Charizard’s Flamethrower is a 4HKO and Snorlax’s Body Slam can only 3HKO, so be wary. Stock up on healing items or have Rest handy. Blastoise can’t hurt Snorlax, so just 3-4HKO with Body Slam. Watch out for Bite’s flinch chance though. Venusaur would need three critical hit Razor Leaf attacks to KO Snorlax from full health, and Body Slam should 3HKO. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 48; Yawn, Body Slam, Brick Break/Surf, Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus the Elite 4: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 59; Yawn, Body Slam/Return, Brick Break/Surf, Shadow Ball (Note: Brick Break allows Snorlax to have an easier time with three of Lorelei’s Pokémon while Surf gives you a better chance against Bruno’s Onix, Lance’s Aerodactyl, and your Rival’s Rhydon. Pick your poison).

Snorlax versus Lorelei: Dewgong can’t hurt Snorlax; steamroll over it with Return or Brick Break. Cloyster and Lapras are in that same boat. Watch out for Lapras’ Confuse Ray since Snorlax will hit itself hard. Bring some Full Heals or Full Restores. Slowbro and Jynx get trounced by Shadow Ball.

Snorlax versus Bruno: Snorlax can handle either of the Onix with Surf, but Bruno’s other Pokémon should be avoided. All of them are dangerous to Snorlax; Hitmonchan has Counter, Hitmonlee has Brick Break, and Machamp has Cross Chop. All of these moves are capable of OHKOing Snorlax with a critical hit (and Hitmonchan doesn’t even need that).

Snorlax versus Agatha: Shadow Ball will decimate the Ghost-types and Return should 2HKO Golbat and Arbok. Watch out for Hypnosis though; Snorlax does not like to fall into a Nightmare. You must have the Poké Flute if you have a Snorlax; keep it handy here.

Snorlax versus Lance: Bring an X Attack into this battle for the best results. Gyarados has Intimidate, which impairs Snorlax’s physical prowess. Switching out (or just letting something else handle it) is an alternative. After Intimidate is negated, Snorlax can usually 2HKO Gyarados with Return. Heal when necessary, if possible; a critical hit Hyper Beam from Gyarados will take out about two-thirds of Snorlax’s health. Dragonair is 2HKOed by Return. Aerodactyl is best dealt with via Surf, which is a 2-3HKO. If you lack Surf, Shadow Ball is a possible 3HKO. Dragonite is very dangerous as its Hyper Beam can OHKO Snorlax with a critical hit while Snorlax’s Return is a 3HKO. If it starts using Outrage, Snorlax can tank it if its HP is above half (as a critical hit will do about 50% HP damage). A more appropriate counter is recommended, but Snorlax can handle it if necessary with healing items or Rest.

Snorlax versus the Champion: Pidgeot is still packing Feather Dance, so be wary of that. It is also carrying Sand Attack and Whirlwind, so be aware of that. Snorlax can 2HKO it with Return. Alakazam is now packing Reflect, which may hinder Snorlax a little. Shadow Ball should net the OHKO if Alakazam opts to forego Reflect. It becomes a 2HKO if Reflect is up. Surf is your best move for Rhydon, who does more damage with Earthquake than it takes from Brick Break. Surf will OHKO the Drill Pokémon. Rhydon now lacks Horn Drill, so it can be out-stalled with Brick Break (if you have healing items). Shadow Ball will usually 3HKO Exeggutor, who can’t do much in return. Intimidate from Gyarados and/or Arcanine can be a problem, so switch out, use an X Attack, or use a more appropriate counter. Thrash from Gyarados is a 4HKO, so be wary. Snorlax can 3HKO in return thanks to the move of the same name, but this is only possible if Intimidate has been negated. Arcanine will be 4HKOed by Return after Intimidate, but it’s a 2-3HKO if you negate Intimidate. Arcanine’s best move is Flamethrower, an unlikely 4HKO. Return is a possible 2HKO on Charizard, who can 3-4HKO with Flamethrower. Watch out for burns, though. Blastoise can only 4HKO with Hydro Pump, so Return will do more damage. Rain Dance-boosted Hydro Pump will do more than Snorlax’s Return, but Snorlax will likely be attacking the turn Blastoise uses Rain Dance anyway, which will allow it to easily (barring critical hits) finish the Shellfish Pokémon. Venusaur’s only attacking move is Solar Beam, and Snorlax can 3HKO with Return. Snorlax’s health must be kept high throughout this match if you want it to solo your Rival; bring healing items or (in runs where this is disallowed) keep Rest handy.

Everything in Between

Mid- to Late-Game: Snorlax can make short work of the trainers on the water routes thanks to its high attack and titanic bulk. Keep Snorlax away from Fighting-type Pokémon on Cycling Road; otherwise, everything else can be handled. Snorlax can also be a passable bomb disposal unit, but the risk of a critical hit Selfdestruct is always there. As this Pokémon will be incredibly useful later, it may be wise to keep it away from as many Koffing as possible. This applies to the Power Plant as well (although Magneton can be handled if Snorlax is packing Brick Break). It can also be used in the Pokémon Mansion, but be wary of critical explosions.

Checks and Counters

Strong Fighting-types: Strong Fighting-types, like Bruno’s Machamp, are essentially Snorlax’s only threat. As such, it is good to keep a Psychic-type like Alakazam or Hypno around. In return, Snorlax can decimate anything they can’t handle.

Powerful Physical Attackers: Snorlax has great bulk, but its Defense is admittedly pretty lacking. As such, Pokémon like Lance’s Dragonite can deal lots of damage to Snorlax. It’s best to keep around a physical wall like Golem, which will create a great defensive core since it gives you a wall for both physical and special attackers.

Overall Grade: S

Snorlax combines ludicrous bulk with superb physical prowess to great effect; there is little that can stand up to the beast. Its Normal-typing grants it no type advantages, but Snorlax is so strong that it’s never an issue. Strong Fighting-type Pokémon can counter it, but hardly anything else can stand up to it and live to tell the tale. Snorlax’s STAB, Brick Break, and Shadow Ball form perfect neutral coverage, and these moves can be obtained as soon as you catch Snorlax. All in all, Snorlax is an amazing Pokémon that, if you manage to catch it, can easily be the linchpin of your team.

Resources to Utilize

Snorlax’s Learnset: https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/snorlax/moves/3

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.