This page is about Ekans and Arbok's attacks and Pokemon type, in both the game and anime.
Ekans 'binds' a Sandshrew
When I refer to an attack as being defensive, I simply mean that it is an strategic move that enables you to fight more effectively... it doesn't actually deplete your opponent's health.
Here are all the attacks Ekans/Arbok learns in the game:
Wrap - Ekans knows it already when you catch it, and it has a pp (power points) of 20, which basically means you can use it 20 times. ^_^. It's a normal-type attack.
It's a multiple hit attack, and prevents opponent from moving while you hit them. It has disadvantages, such as if you're poisoned or burnt, because every time your wrap hits them, you'll get your own health depleted as the burn/poison takes its toll.
This attack can be useful because Ekans/Arbok is a fairly speedy Pokemon which can take its turn to attack before the opponent. Numerous wrappings will mean the enemy has little opportunity to attack. It can be extremely frustrating when battling an Ekans though. When fighting Ekans, it's nice to have a Pokemon that can take it out in one hit so you don't get high blood pressure. ^_^.
Leer - Ekans already knows it when you catch it, and it has a pp of 30. It's a a defensive normal-type attack. It weakens the opponent's defense so that when you attack it, you'll get more of its HP down.
Poison Sting - Ekans learns it at L10, and it has a pp of 35. It's a poison-type attack that hits one time only. As far as I'm concerned, Poison Sting is one of the weakest attacks in the game, but it can have the side effect of poisoning.
Bite - Ekans learns it at L17, it has a pp of 25 and it's a decent normal-type attack that hits one time only. This is Arbok's strongest attack.
Glare - Ekans learns it at L24 and Arbok at L27. With a pp of 30, it's a defensive normal-type attack that paralyses the enemy. Given that it inflicts a condition (PAR), it doesn't always work. But then, neither does paralysis. ^_^;;
Screech - Ekans learns it at L31 and Arbok at L36. It has a pp of 40 and is a defensive normal-type attack that is kinda cool. It greatly decreases the enemy's defense, so when you attack you'll damage them a lot more. This works like Leer only it's more effective. One of my favourite defensive attacks.
Acid - Ekans learns it at L38 and Arbok at L47. It has a pp of 30 and is a poison-type attack that hits once. This is the final attack the snake will learn, and it's supposedly its strongest, but in reality Bite does more damage. It does have its uses though - not only does it attack the enemy once, it can have the side effect of poisoning AND it depletes the enemy's defense!
A safe conclusion to draw from all this is that Ekans and Arbok are two Pokemon which rely upon strategy rather than strength to win battles. This may be why in the anime, it wins only a few battles; because its master is not a terrific strategist. ^_^;;
The snakes seem to like attacks which attack the opponent's defense... its attacks aren't great, but it has a lot of potential.
A good way of fighting with an Ekans is just to use Wrap all the time, so your enemy gets no opportunity to attack. But the more attacks it learns, the more strategy you can use. My favourite is to use a screech, then bite, or if it's a stronger opponent, screech-screech-acid-bite, so that the defense will be further weakened.
Poor Ekans/Arbok are disadvantaged simply by their type; poison types are, to put it bluntly, nearly useless. Poison types are strong against bug and grass Pokemon, but immediately I see a flaw in this...
Bug attacks are super effective against poison also. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Poison Pokemon have even fewer advantages than fire Pokemon, who also aren't great to use in terms of advantage. The only Pokemon they have more advantages over are dragon and ghost types, and even they have resistance to some common types!
There's not a single grass Pokemon which would be good to use the snake against, with sole exception of Tangela. Almost all Pokemon are combined grass and poison types, and poison is not effective against poison Pokemon. The other exception to this, besides Tangela, is Exeggcute/Exeggcutor, but this doesn't help because it's part psychic, and psychic attacks are strong against poison Pokemon.
So after all that, ARE there any Pokemon that Ekans and Arbok are actually good against? Only a few. Here they are, the Pokemon against which the venomous attacks will be super effective:
Exeggcute/Exeggutor (but they learn psychic attacks)
Caterpie/Metapod/Butterfree (but it learns psychic attacks so be careful)
Paras/Parasect (but it learns bug attacks, so be careful)
Is it just me, or is this FAINTLY ridiculous? Poison Pokemon are fully advantaged against THREE (RARE) POKEMON. Whadda gyp!
However, this severe lack of advantages is partially (very partially) compensated by another advantage - poison attacks can inflict a condition. If you successfully poison an opponent, their HP will gradually be drained away during the battle. That can be useful. And wrap is a nice move if your Ekans is weak, because the snake is fairly fast and can usually attack first.
Pokemon that are strong against Ekans and Arbok are many. :( I'll list them, but I'll probably forget a few. These are good to use against poisons either because poison is not very effective against them, or because they learn attacks that are super effective against poi.
Any poison Pokemon (listed below)
To my knowledge, fighting types are not very strong against poison. Nor is grass, or another poison.
Poison Pokemon are among the most commonly found Pokemon in the game. Hang on, let me work something out. Okay. If I counted right, there are 27 Pokemon who are normal-type or part normal-type. There are 31 Pokemon who are water-type or part water-type. So, poison is the most common type in the game. Maybe that's why it sucks. ^_^;;
Koga, the Fucshia Gym leader who is of the Soulbadge, uses poison Pokemon. Koga is one of the easiest gym leaders to beat. ^_^;;
Team Rocket members in the game often seem to use poison Pokemon. Especially Zubat.
There are 33 poison Pokemon in all. These are:
Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur, Weedle, Kakuna, Beedrill, Ekans, Arbok, Nidoran, Nidoran, Nidorino, Nidorina, Nidoqueen, Nidoking, Venonat, Venomoth, Zubat, Golbat, Oddish, Gloom, Vileplume, Bellsprout, Weepinbell, Victreebell, Tentacool, Tentacruel, Grimer, Muk, Koffing, Weezing, Gastly, Haunter and Gengar.
Of those poison Pokemon, nine are part-grass, two are part-water, two part-flying, five part-bug, three part-ghost and (I think) two part-ground. The remaining ten are purely poison. ^_^.
So, the pure-poison ones, along with Ekans and Arbok, are the Nidoran, Nidorina, Nidorino, Grimer, Muk, Koffing and Weezing.
In the anime, some attacks shown are...
Poison sting, in which needle-like things shoot out mouth.
Glare, in which its eyes go funky and it paralyses the opponent (they cower in fear, MWAHAHAHAHAHA! *ahem*)
Dig, in which it simply digs a hole... but with such grace and speed! ^_^. An interesting thing to point out is that Ekans/Arbok doesn't actually learn dig, but there is a TM for Dig which the snake is capable of learning. How about that, huh, Jessie taught her Pokemon a TM!
Bind, in which it wraps its coils around the enemy and squeezes. The odd thing is, Ekans/Arbok never learns this attack either... perhaps when Jessie tells it to 'bind' something, she means WRAP attack?
Bite... no more need be said, really. ^_^.
Acid, in which it spits out burning acid which is quite strong and can tear holes in things. Cool. ^_^. An interesting point is that Ekans used it in the episode "Pokémon Shipwreck", which is one of the earlier episodes, but Ekans in the game doesn't learn it until a late level. But then, it should come as no surprise when Ekans evolves into Arbok; of course it had enough experience points to evolve. It had more than enough, and could've evolved long ago!
Wrap, in which it coils itself around the opponent and squeezes.
Toxic, where it spews noxious gas out of its mouth that poisons the opponent. Again, this must be a TM. ^_^.
Some TMs that Arbok can learn are:
TM08 - Body Slam. A normal type attack that hits the opponent once and can have the side effect of paralysis. It has a pp of 15.
TM09 - Take Down. A normal type attack, it hits the opponent once and hits them quite hard, but has a recoil effect. (Every time you use it, your HP goes down a bit.) It has a pp of 20.
TM26 - Earthquake. A ground type attack, it hits the enemy once with a pretty good attack. It has a pp of 10.
TM28 - Dig. A ground type attack, it takes place over two turns. When you select dig, the snake goes underground for one turn, then comes up and gets the opponent on the second. It has a pp of 10.
TM32 - Double Team. Normal type of attack, pp of 15. It's absolutely useless if you ask me; all it does is increase your EVADE, whatever that proves.
TM34 - Bide. When your opponent attacks, you do not. It attacks several times before you 'unleash energy', ie return the damage it has dealt to you. It has a pp of 10.
TM44 - Rest. Psychic type, it's a healing attack. Resting will restore your HP to full, but it also makes you fall asleep until further notice (ie playing Pokeflute or waking up naturally). Its pp is 10.
The only HM it can learn is Strength.
It can learn attacks other than these, such as Mimic and Rock Slide, but -_-;; my game was reset so I didn't get the chance to try them out. A L52 Arbok - with the precious, precious Dig TM - which I had raised from a little Ekans. It knew Poison Sting, Bite, Dig and Mimic, I think. Ohh, I'm so cross!
It seems to favour physical attacks... ones that involve physical strength; slamming its body, launching itself at the opponent (take down), causing an earthquake, etc. It's an extremely good idea to teach Arbok Earthquake or Dig, because ground types are good against poison and electric Pokemon, so your snake will get more of an edge. ^_^.