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ADV 50 Wailord [Discussion Ready]

Discussion in 'Individual Analyses' started by Disaster Area, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area Little Catto of Furr and Power Member

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    Wailord [​IMG]
    Type: Water
    Stats: 170 | 90 | 45 | 90 | 45 | 60
    Abilities: Water Veil | Oblivious

    Introduction

    Wailord distinguishes itself in the tier by being a bulky Water and special tank that, unlike other bulky Water-type special tanks such as Mantine or Lanturn, has good physical attack and a couple of decent moves to make use of it. Not many things are happy to take its attacks from either side of the spectrum, which does let it target Pokemon such as Meganium pretty thoroughly with Body Slam's paralysis, if not outright taking it out with Self-Destruct. While the fact that it's Spikes-bait to an extent can be a downer, its ability to take a few hits and dish them back harder makes it a fairly good pick in the metagame, especially for more bulky offensive teams that aren't keen on sacrificing offensive presence to be able to handle the tier's myriad threats.

    Sets

    Whaling On You

    Wailord @ Leftovers
    Ability: Water Veil
    EVs: 128 Atk / 164 Def / 92 SpA / 124 SpD
    Brave Nature
    - Hydro Pump
    - Body Slam
    - Self-Destruct
    - Ice Beam

    Set Details

    Hydro Pump is its STAB option. In spite of its lower PP and accuracy, the higher base power is desirable as it enables it to 3HKO forretress with the move. Even though the odds are against you to hit 3 Hydro Pumps in a row, the threat of it can enable it to force out Forretress trying to lay multiple hazards on it, as the downside risk for them in that situation is often too big and still fairly likely. Body Slam hits all Water resists neutrally, granting it perfect neutral coverage and the ability to spread paralysis. Ice Beam complements it as it hits Altaria, which can shrug off Body Slam's paralysis with ease, making Wailord's status spread more effective. Self-Destruct is a huge move, making it more easy for Wailord to trade positively and giving it the potential to take out key foes for its teammates, such as a Rain Dance Huntail wanting Meganium out of the picture.

    Wailord's EVs are fairly flexible, but some investment in each of Attack, Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense is required, to ensure its hits aren't easily shrugged off and to ensure that it's not overwhelmed by Pokemon it is built to check. Wailord should really always have at least 92 Special Attack EVs, as it guarantees the 3HKO on Forretress with Hydro Pump (accuracy notwithstanding). Wailord lacks physical STAB, and Body Slam is a fairly weak attack, so quite heavy investment is merited; the given EV spread near enough guarantee the 4HKO against standard defensive Mantine. The Special Defense EVs prevent Wailord from being 3HKO'd by Huntail after a layer of spikes, helping it function reliably as a special tank, with the remainder of EVs going into physical defense. Quite a bit more investment into Special Defense could have some merit though; consistently avoiding the 3HKO from Mantine's Hydro Pump and Hidden Power Electric is on the outer reaches of what's possible.

    Other Options

    Surf is a weaker, more accurate alternative to Hydro Pump, but its ineffectiveness versus Forretress makes it even greater Spikes bait than it is already, and hence Hydro Pump is usually preferred. Water Spout is stronger and more accurate than Hydro Pump when Wailord is at full HP, but as Wailord is slow it is liable not to be at full by the time it has the opportunity to use it, and leaves it without a potent Water STAB once at low health. Furthermore, even with the move's mighty power, many Pokemon such as Mantine and Meganium still easily withstand it. Curse is an interesting moves, though one that Wailord isn't very well equipped to take use of. With its mediocre physical power, lack of a physical STAB and vulnerability to being poisoned, it simply doesn't have enough space in battle to really make use of the move on a more offensive set. A defensive Curse set with Rest, Surf, and a move such as Return is a much more viable consideration for it, though the set being extremely free to set up Spikes against with Forretress, and the pervasiveness of Pokemon which can take it out once it's sleeping, on top of its mediocre attacking power means that such a set really leaves a lot to be desired. Wailord has a few other moves of note, though they are largely used better by other, similar Pokemon. For example, Earthquake does good damage to Muk, Electric-types, and so on, but it's difficult to fit and Whiscash probably does the role you're looking for better. Roar is a good pseudo-hazing move, but Wailord is slow and unthreatening to a lot of Pokemon in the tier, and has to compete with Mantine anyway as a Water-type tank, which has access to Haze if you really are interested in stopping boosting sweepers. And again, other similar Pokemon are more effective as spreading Toxic than Wailord as they generally have more to otherwise bring to the table, and more often have the room in their movesets to exploit it.

    Checks and Counters

    The closest thing to a true counter of Wailord may actually be physically defensive RestTalk Calm Mind Golduck. Although it doesn't beat Wailord very quickly, it takes a pittance from all of its attacks, and due to Damp prevents Self-Destruct from activating, and once it's asleep it can avoid Body Slam's paralysis until eventually it takes Wailord out. However, it's not exactly the best Pokemon for switching into and exploiting Wailord to gain momentum. Meganium is stand-out as a Pokemon that threatens most of the tier in some sense with Leech Seed, and has impressive stats all around, only really fearing paralysis or the threat of Self-Destruct. Lanturn is a bit less physically bulky but still can take a few hits and retaliate in a way that isn't the most easy thing to respond to. Forretress, while not necessarily beating Wailord in the long run, can spike up against it and possibly poison Wailord with Toxic. Vileplume is similar to Meganium, and though it has plenty meaningful differences, those don't change the fact it's a perfectly fine response to Wailord. Misdreavus is immune to Body Slam and Self-Destruct, and while it also loses in a pure 1 on 1 with Wailord, those immunities serve it well and give it an opportunity to land a Toxic on it or possibly set up Calm Mind against it. Ampharos is quite bulky, with Heal Bell to cure paralysis and the ability to make whale sushi with its monstrous Thunderbolts, so although it doesn't resist Wailord's attacks, it's still a potent check. Clefable does little in response to Wailord unless it carries Toxic, but Wailord struggles to break Clefable without sacrificing itself, thanks to Softboiled, so it can operate as a check in some circumstances. Slowking is physically bulky, resists Wailord's special attacks, and can retaliate with Thunder Wave and STAB Psychic, but is of course vulnerable to Body Slam's paralysis and doesn't 2HKO with Psychic even with full investment in Special Attack.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 7:55 PM

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