Time for the next Pokémon, and this week we finish up the trio of Hoenn starter Pokémon
Time for the next Pokémon, and this week we finish up the trio of Hoenn starter Pokémon
Swampert is my favorite Pokémon of all time, I started playing Pokémon when Emerald came out, and I chose water because I didn't understand that my rival would choose a the starter that would be strong against me (I figured she would use Torchic like in the anime). However, Swampert had been a real powerhouse! Also Mudkip is the cutest water-type in my opinion, and Marshtomp doesn't look half bad for a middle stage starter which are historically rather awkward-looking. Swampert's regular and Mega form are both in UU, which is a solid tier, but I will be talking about VGC here. The Ground typing is a godsend, as Thunder Wave will fail against Swampert. Normal Swampert works well with a special set, with Scald, Ice Beam, and Earth Power as attacks, and Wide Guard as a neat defensive move. Scald destroys Primal Groudon when its ability isn't active, and also has a nifty chance to burn other things like Mawile and Kangaskhan. Ice Beam targets down Landorus-T, Mega Salamence, Mega Ray without Delta Stream, and Thundurus-I, the former three not being able to withstand Ice attacks from a base 85 special attacker, and the latter not being able to really strike back with big damage without Grass Knot or HP Grass and taking super-effective damage from Ice Beam. Earth Power deals nice chunks to Dialga, Bronzong that have used Gravity, Primal Groudon when you can't get rid of Desolate Land, Mega Mawile, and Mega Gengar. This Swampert never has to worry about Intimidate nor burns due to being special, and still deals good damage back. Wide Guard is useful to stop powerful spread attacks such as +2 Fairy Aura Dazzling Gleam, Precipice Blades, Origin Pulse, Water Spout, Eruption, and Dark Aura Snarl, as well as Icy Wind from Cresselia and the like. You can also use HP Fire for a solution to Ferrothorn. Swampert also does well on a Double Primal Trick Room Gravity team, being able to run Relaxed with Assault Vest to outspeed a ton in Trick Room. Hammer Arm can be used here to counter Dialga, Smeargle, and Mega Kang as well as continue lowering Swampert's speed to make it even faster in Trick Room. Either Waterfall or Scald can be chosen here, Waterfall having a nice chance to flinch, especially under Trick Room, and Scald being able to get some burns onto the other team. Earth Power is necessary, as Earthquake will hurt your own partner, and hits even more than before with Gravity up. Ice Punch or Ice Beam can be chosen, as Ice Punch has more power behind it due to swampert's higher base attack, but Ice Beam can be chosen if you fear Intimidate. Rock Slide is another good option for some decent spread damage on Flying types, especially nailing Talonflame. Stone Edge works similarly, but only target one opponent. If Assault Vest isn't your cup of tea, Rocky Helmet can be considered to negate Focus Sashes of some Fake Out users like Weavile. It this is the case, Swampert does get some decent status moves like the aforementioned Wide Guard, Yawn, and Roar. Swampert is rather versatile and is a nice teammate to consider. However, its ability leaves something to be desired. Damp can stop Landorus from going boom, while Torrent works when you only have a little health left to power up your water-STAB.
Mega Swampert is a rather risky pick, as it is a HUGE threat with Primordial Sea up, but rather underwhelming without that speed boost. It can also be use on a Trick Room team along with Hammer Arm, but if the opponent switches in Kyogre, then what? Mega Swampert also cannot take an Intimidate well, as its stats make it a prime physical attacker, which suffers from burns as well (Will-O-Wisp is the only Fire-type moves that still works in Primordial Sea), though it does get Refresh, it eats up a moveslot that can be used for attacking. Earthquake is the strongest Ground move Swampert has, but won't work without hurting your partner, which has to be Kyogre to keep Swift Swim active. You can switch it out for a Flying type, but there is the fear of Gravity these days, plus switching out Kyogre will deactivate Mega Swampert's ability. As much as I love Swampert, don't use its Mega form in VGC, save that slot for Kangaskhan or Salamence I say.
I'm Mega Evolving In The Rain
252 Attack/252 Speed/4 HP
~Ice Punch/Stone Edge
I love this thing. Set up a Rain Dance when you go Mega, just in time to gain Swift Swim, and then sweep. Waterfall and Earthquake are STAB, with the former also being boosted by the rain. And Ice Punch is for extra coverage, though Stone Edge is good if you're paranoid about Shedinja. But yeah- this thing draws in Grass-types like nobody's business, so Ice Punch is generally the preferred option.
Item lets Swampert Mega Evolve. Ability is ultimately irrelevant, considering Swampert wants to Mega Evolve ASAP.
*Swampert can go for a set that emphasizes bulk over Speed, with moves like Avalanche and Hammer Arm, maybe even Curse.
*Want to opt for a Rock move, but not a fan of Stone Edge's accuracy? There's always Rock Slide.
*Torrent: When Swampert's HP is down to 1/3rd of its maximum or lower, Swampert's Water moves are 50% more powerful. Standard starter fare, nothing special. Doesn't suck, but it doesn't really stand out, either.
*Damp: When Swampert is present in the battle, no Pokémon can use Self-Destruct or Explosion, and the Aftermath Ability cannot activate. It might see more use if Self-Destruct and Explosion still halved all targets' Defense stats for the duration of the move, but they don't, so yeah, this Ability's come to be extremely situational. I would say not worth your while to go for.
*Swift Swim: Mega Swampert's Ability. Mega Swampert's Speed doubles when it's raining. This is what you want.
Anything you got with Sap Sipper, because you'll likely have ample opportunity to activate it. Alternatively, the knowledge that you got something with Sap Sipper waiting in the wings may deter opponents from going for the obvious solution.
Lapras can switch in on Ice Punch and Waterfall with impunity and strike with a super effective Freeze-Dry. Ludicolo's also pretty dangerous- takes neutral damage from Ice Punch, resists both Swampert's STABs, also gets Swift Swim, and has STAB Giga Drain.
Swampert as a species has a special place in my heart. When Ruby and Sapphire came out in the US, I got Ruby that very same day and picked Mudkip. I still have the Swampert to this day.
Prediction for next week:
After that, it'll basically be "So I herd u liek murder?"
Last edited by Raging Ghost; 16th October 2016 at 4:27 PM.
If you think the HGSS Safari Zone waiting times are ridiculously long, put this in your sig (Started by Aurawarrior8)
I usually find Power-up punch isn't necessary on Mega Swampert, a STAB waterfall in the rain will do plenty of damage with 150 base power. At best its a chance to break a sub or finish off a quite weakened pokemon to gen a +1 boost but you miss out on the chance for a crucial extra attacking move like Ice Punch, hammer arm, outrage or the more niche Counter or mirror coat.
Its also worth considering that before Mega Evolution, regular swampert was already a dominant pokemon in UU, capable of restalk sets, setting up rocks while nuking other rock setters and shuffling out opponents with roar. Base 60 speed is also crucially higher than Ampharos, Scrafty and Blissey's base speeds. I would think carefully about whether a rock setting Swampert needs to take up your mega slot to set up rocks and pummel nidoking, tentacruel and aerodactyl. And consider giving any roserades or aerodactyls enough HP to live a hit from regular swampert after rocks.
252+ Atk Swampert Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 244+ Def Tentacruel: 306-360 (84 - 98.9%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252+ Atk Swampert Waterfall vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mega Aerodactyl: 294-348 (97.6 - 115.6%) -- guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
Swampert @ Leftovers/Swampertite
EVs: 252 HP / 248 Atk / 8 Spe
- Stealth Rock
- Ice Punch/Hammer Arm
Its odd to see a pokemon that runs a similar set with its mega evolution, but honestly Swampert does a similar job as a a bulky offensive rock setter, that lives well enough to either setup rocks or hit something really hard, or both if you guess your opponents lead well enough. 8 speed lets you outspeed common Abomasnow, Mega Ampharos, Empoleon and porygon 2 sets. Waterfall and Earthquake hit many common leads like Mega Aerodactyl and spinners like Tentacruel. Hammer Arm hits blissey pretty hard for Mega Swampert, and even regular Swampert 2HKOs blissey with hammer arm. But Ice Punch is more standard coverage for hitting incoming grass types like Whimsicott.
252+ Atk Swampert Hammer Arm vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Blissey: 386-456 (54 - 63.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
Iron Tail, less conventional coverage than Ice Punch,it hits florges hard but Earthquake is plenty for Gardevoir
Outrage hits dragons much harder than Ice Punch. Unlike Ice Punch, a Mega Swampert's Outrage OHKOs Haxorus (and even a regular swampert has a decent chance to do so) but also risks locking a slow pokemon into a move without much supereffective coverage.
Stone Edge hits birdies and ice types, which can be handy since Freeze Dry will end Swampert
Roar, deals with substitute users and setup sweepers, although there's not much that can setup on this monster anyway
Last edited by Aduro; 16th October 2016 at 9:08 PM.
Swampert has been a solid Pokemon since its release, as well as a fan favorite. With a great typing, good base stats, a respectable movepool, and a pretty damn cool design, it's not hard to see why. Unfortunately, Swampert's lack of recovery and the overall power creep since its release have pushed it out of the spotlight of OU and into UU, but to be fair Gen 6 UU is a bit like Gen 3/4 OU in terms of the amount of sheer power things are going to be packing. With his great overall bulk and his only weakness being a 4x weakness to the rather uncommon Grass type, he makes a fantastic tank in UU, being able to both support his team and act as a blanket check for many physical attackers in the tier. Unfortunately, the one thing that really annoys me about Swampert is that while his fellow Gen 3 starters got access to Speed Boost (a plain broken ability) and Unburden (a bit more gimmicky but still somewhat useful) respectively, he got access to the amazing... Damp. Oh well, you can't win all the time.
Since everyone and their nan is going to be posting up Mega Swampert sets, here's a defensive tank set for UU.
Swampert @ Leftovers
Relaxed - Torrent
240 HP, 252 Defence, 16 Attack
-Ice Beam / Toxic / Roar
As I said, Swampert makes a fantastic blanket check to many physical attackers in UU. Earthquake is his strongest STAB attack. It does decent damage even a minimal investment, netting KOs on a number of the tiers top threats, like Darmanitan, Nidoking, and Will-O-Wisp-less Arcanine and Entei. Scald does much less damage, using Swampert's slightly lower Sp. Atk and having a lower base power, but comes with a 30% chance to instantly cripple physical attackers with a Burn. Stealth Rock allows him to support his team with hazards and apply pressure to offensive teams by stripping incoming threats of up to 50% of their health just by switching in. The last slot is kind of a tossup. Ice Beam hits Grass types, Hydreigon, and Gligar for more damage than his other options, but is significantly less useful now that his old enemy Salamence resides in BL. Toxic cripples incoming bulky Waters that don't really fear anything else from him, while Roar allows him to reset set-up sweepers like Haxorus and Curse Snorlax and rack up entry hazard damage, making it great for hazard stacking Stall teams.
Swampert is a great pick in UU due to his ability to take on most of the metagame's top Fire-typed threats and as such wants teammates that appreciate them dealt with. To this end I've found some great partners for him include Shaymin, Mega Beedrill, Mega Sceptile, and Calm Mind Florges. He also greatly appreciates Wish support (the aforementioned Florges works well here, as well as Blissey and Umbreon), and a spinblocker wouldn't go amiss either. Lastly Chandelure is one of the few Fire-types Swampert can't really check thanks to it commonly carrying Energy Ball, so a check to that is necessary if Pokemon that need Fire types removed are relying on Swampert to do so.
Something I feel needs to be mentioned here is Grass Knot. Swampert's 4x weakness to Grass is bad enough, but factor in this one move and now you have to be very careful about bringing it in. Granted, in UU and above, Grass Knot is fairly uncommon as a coverage move, but the problem is that there are a lot of pokes that can learn it if needed. Plus, Grass Knot advances a damage tier if Swampert Mega Evolves, from base 80 to base 100, meaning that in some situations Mega Evolving actually may hurt Swampert more than help it. A prime example to look out for is Infernape, which is not only likely to carry Grass Knot for coverage but would also otherwise present very little threat to Swampert. Here's a few examples against common sets in case you were wondering:
88 SpA Life Orb Infernape Grass Knot (80 BP) vs. 240 HP / 0 SpD Swampert: 369-437 (92 - 108.9%) -- 50% chance to OHKO
88 SpA Life Orb Infernape Grass Knot (80 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Swampert: 369-437 (108.2 - 128.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
88 SpA Life Orb Infernape Grass Knot (100 BP) vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Mega Swampert: 385-458 (112.9 - 134.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO
And here, even specially defensive Mega Swampert (see: Curse-based sets) will still lose easily 3/4 of its health with maximum investment:
88 SpA Life Orb Infernape Grass Knot (100 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Mega Swampert: 286-338 (70.7 - 83.6%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
It should be noted that without Grass Knot, Infernape would struggle to 3HKO any of these sets. Other pokes to watch out for include Empoleon, Heliolisk, and Tornadus.
The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math.
Last edited by generic villager #5; 20th October 2016 at 6:47 AM.
The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math.
Gardevoir carries energy ball sometimes too, it can trace swift swim and the timid ones can OHKO Swampert with it unless it has HP or Sp. Def investment.
252 SpA Gardevoir Energy Ball vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Mega Swampert: 352-416 (103.2 - 121.9%) -- guaranteed OHKO
Its pretty niche on gardevoir though, they're busy with destiny bond, focus blast, healing wish, trick and STAB moves.
I'm going to give you my set for Swampert. I'm mainly a doubles and multi battler whom ocassionally participates in VGC style battles. Feel free to pick apart.
Swampert @ Expert Belt
- Ice Beam
- Wide Guard
- Rock Slide
252 Special Attack / 252 HP / 4 Special Defense
The lack of speed is because it's meant to use under Trick Room or Tailwind. Modest to do what it needs to via attacking. Wide Guard to block Hyper Voices, Earthquakes and the other moves that hit multiple targets. Rock Slide to care for Talonflames and give flinching opportunities. Scald for STAB and burn chances. Ice Beam for more coverage.
We all live in a Pokémon world.Spoiler:- ❤️:
Very true, very true, Grass moves ultimately kill Swampert. It takes a bit of work and careful prediction to take it out without big damage in return, but Grass is your most straightforward answer. Cradily and Gourgeist XL are two of the best answers as they can tank an Ice Punch with enough bulk, Cradily can switch in on Water STAB attacks and take no damage thanks to Storm Drain, and KO with Giga Drain, while Gourgeist can burn Swampert or if it carries Gras STAB, choose that attack. Prior to going Mega, Jolly Breloom will outspeed and deal STAB Bullet Seed damage, but keep in mind that Swampert may live if not enough Bullet Seeds hit
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We all live in a Pokémon world.Spoiler:- ❤️:
I was honestly expecting this POTW to be one of the more popular ones, given how much of a fan favorite Swampert has always been...
Anyways, let's talk about checks and counters for a sec. Obviously the number one thorn in Swampert's side (ha ha ha) is Grass-types. While he can deal some decent damage on the switch with Ice Beam or Punch, if they can get in safely Swampert is forced to switch out. Roserade doesn't appreciate Earthquake or Ice Punch but outspeeds normal Swampert (and Mega Swampert with no Rain) and threatens an OHKO with Giga Drain, and can even set up Toxic Spikes on the switch, severely crippling Swampert if it comes back in and annoying stall teams that defensive variants of Swampert often find themselves on. Shaymin has the bulk to take a hit from any Swampert set and OHKO with Seed Flare, while recovering HP with Synthesis, but Synthesis is severely weakened by the Rain, meaning repeatedly switching in on Rain Mega Swampert can make it hard to recover the damage taken. Rotom-Mow doesn't like Ice Punch but can OHKO Swampert with Leaf Storm. Certain Fire-types (such as the aforementioned Infernape and Chandelure) get access to Grass-type moves such as Grass Knot and Energy Ball with which they can lure Swampert. Infernape in particular makes a great lure because it doesn't carry Grass Knot as commonly as Chandelure carries Energy Ball. However both are outsped and OHKO'd in the Rain by Mega Swampert.
Ironically enough, other bulky Waters like Suicune, Gyarados, and Gastrodon are perhaps Swampert's number one counters as he simply can't do anything to them, while they're free to wear him down with Scald, Toxic him, or set up in his face. CroCune and Substitute Gyarados in particular use Swampert as set-up bait, not even fearing Toxic or Scald burns thanks to Rest and Substitute respectively.
Lastly while Swampert does have respectable bulk, he lacks both recovery and a more reliable boosting move than Curse, meaning defensive sets are easy to pressure offensively, and offensive sets are easy to pressure defensively. That being said, Rain Mega Swampert can be a huge problem for frailer offensive teams, and must be accounted for, and certain Curse variants can pose some trouble for stall teams that lack a Grass-type or a way to phase him out. It's all a matter of figuring out what set Swampert is running, because regular Swampert and Mega Swampert play completely differently and are checked by different things.
In OU the same basic principles apply of Swampert struggling with Grass and bulky Water types, except there's more of them. Now he must deal with Rotom-Wash, Slowbro, Serperior, Amoonguss, Ferrothorn, Starmie, Tangrowth, and Mega Venusaur, in addition to things like Skarmory, Mega Charizard Y (one of the few things that can reliably revengekill Rain Mega Swampert), and Manaphy. Needless to say, Swampert is a lot easier to handle when he shows up in OU than in UU.
Last edited by Divine Retribution; 22nd October 2016 at 4:13 AM.
Let's not forget that Swampert invented the dab, look at its sprite in Gen 4. When the sprite moved as it was sent out, it looked like it was dabbing too lol. POTW writers, when you write this article please name one of the move sets after dabbing haha. One thing that Mega Swampert has going for it in OU is the fact that Politoed can have Drizzle in OU while it can't in UU, so Mega Swampert can better handle weakened Serperior, Amoonguss, and Tangrowth with Ice Punch if the rain is already up, and Starmie is outsped if rain is falling and Earthquake will hit first. I think Mega Swampert can do well in OU as a late game cleaner with rain up, so long as its checks are weakened or defeated, Swampert is a very good choice for this role.
252+ Atk Mega Swampert Ice Punch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Serperior: 210-248 (72.1 - 85.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
252+ Atk Mega Swampert Ice Punch vs. 248 HP / 168+ Def Amoonguss: 198-234 (45.9 - 54.2%) -- 4.7% chance to 2HKO after Black Sludge recovery
252+ Atk Mega Swampert Ice Punch vs. 244 HP / 216+ Def Tangrowth: 126-150 (31.3 - 37.3%) -- guaranteed 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
Considering that the latter two have Regenerator as well, getting them heavily weakened enough where Mega Swampert can KO them is a tall order. And of course, this only works if rain is up on a revenge kill, since lord knows Mega Swampert does not want to switch into any of them.
And of course, there's its antithesis in Mega Venusaur.
252+ Atk Mega Swampert Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 96+ Def Mega Venusaur: 141-166 (38.8 - 45.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
0 SpA Mega Venusaur Giga Drain vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Mega Swampert: 352-420 (103.2 - 123.1%) -- guaranteed OHKO
There's also the fact that opposing bulky Water types can put a stop to it.
252+ Atk Mega Swampert Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 36 Def Mega Slowbro: 117-138 (29.6 - 35%) -- 13.4% chance to 3HKO
252+ Atk Mega Swampert Waterfall vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Rotom-W in Rain: 82-97 (27 - 32%) -- 56.2% chance to 4HKO after Leftovers recovery
Mega Swampert's kinda niche in OU due to being rain-dependent for its sweeping prowess. Plus, although base 150 is good, it doesn't really have a good way to boost it outside of Curse, and it doesn't have anything like Tough Claws, Aerilate, etc., to boost the power of its attacks, so it's not like it's crushing teams with raw power. That said, it's the Mega of choice on Rain teams, which in and of themselves are kinda niche in OU these days.
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