Azumarill (Poké Monday 4/23/18)

Rerolled numbers: 27 Sandshrew (lost the proof from accidentally clicking a link on random.org), 305 Lairon (middle stage of a PU mon)

 

Type: Water/Fairy

Base Stats:

  • 100 HP
  • 50 Attack
  • 80 Defense
  • 60 Special Attack
  • 80 Special Defense
  • 50 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Thick Fat Azumarill take half damage from Fire- and Ice-type attacks.
  • Huge Power Azumarill have doubled Attack.
  • Sap Sipper Azumarill are impervious to Grass-type moves and have their Attack raised by 1 stage instead of being affected by such moves. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Aqua Jet (Egg move), Bulldoze, Knock Off (via tutor), Liquidation (via tutor), Play Rough, Superpower

Notable special attacks: Whirlpool (via HeartGold/SoulSilver HM or Gold/Silver/Crystal Virtual Console)

Notable status moves: Belly Drum (Egg move), Perish Song (Egg move)

Notable Z-moves:

  • Hydro Vortex (Water) – Converts one use of Liquidation into a base 160 physical Water-type attack.
  • Twinkle Tackle (Fairy) – Converts one use of Play Rough into a base 175 physical Fairy-type attack.
  • Tectonic Rage (Ground) – Converts one use of Bulldoze into a base 120 physical Ground-type attack.
  • All-Out Pummeling (Fighting) – Converts one use of Superpower into a base 190 physical Fighting-type attack.
  • Supersonic Skystrike (Flying) – Converts one use of Bounce into a base 160 physical Flying-type attack.

Overview

Two Huge Power users in two consecutive Poké Mondays. Strange, isn’t it? This one is notable in being particularly cute, being Water-type, having the best overall bulk (Mega Mawile has better physical bulk), and having Belly Drum alongside STAB priority. This wasn’t until the 6th generation, when it was at its prime, and not much has changed since then except slightly stronger Water STAB (Liquidation instead of Waterfall).

On another note, Azumarill only has three weaknesses—Electric, Grass, and Poison—and one of those can be patched up with Sap Sipper. The Attack boost is unneeded and pales into comparison to simply using Huge Power, but defensively Sap Sipper is its most considerable option. (Thick Fat only amplifies existing resistances and neutralizes its weakness to Freeze-Dry (which is uncommon in UU).) Keep in mind that the only value to running a defensive set is having the deadly combination of Whirlpool and Perish Song (this is now legal thanks to Virtual Console), and even that is eclipsed by standard offensive sets with Huge Power.

Sets

Set 1: Belly Drum

Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 92 HP / 252 Atk / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Belly Drum
– Aqua Jet
– Play Rough
– Liquidation

Belly Drum boosts Azumarill’s Attack to insane levels. With max Attack, 218 is doubled to 436 via Huge Power, then quadrupled to 1744 via Belly Drum. With such Attack, even a low base power move like Aqua Jet is sure to do massive damage to the opposing team, and +1 priority makes it difficult to stop. Play Rough is secondary STAB for Water-immune foes such as Mantine and Seismitoad, while Liquidation is stronger Water STAB for reliably breaking through walls.

EVs and Nature are focused primarily on damage output, with a Speed creep past uninvested Mantine and the rest put into HP. An even-numbered HP value (364 in this case) is mandatory to guarantee the Sitrus Berry activation for a 25% heal if Belly Drum is used without hindrance. As for the Ability, Huge Power is the only viable option for offensive variants.

Set 2: Choice Band

Azumarill @ Choice Band
Ability: Huge Power
EVs: 92 HP / 252 Atk / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Aqua Jet
– Play Rough
– Liquidation
– Superpower

Choice Band is an alternative power booster that does not require a setup opportunity. The first three moves, EVs, Nature, and Ability are as mentioned in the previous set, while Superpower is primarily for hitting Empoleon super-effectively and Volcanion neutrally.

The downside to having Choice Band is that Azumarill cannot freely switch between moves, so being locked into Aqua Jet is problematic if walls remain, while being locked into any other move makes it vulnerable to faster threats.

Set 3: Perish trap

Azumarill @ Leftovers
Ability: Sap Sipper
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Def / 16 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Whirlpool
– Perish Song
– Protect
– Rest

This is a gimmick compared to the other sets, but it emphasizes Azumarill’s defensive potential with its 100/80/80 bulk and weakness to nothing but Electric and Poison thanks to Sap Sipper. With this, it can use Whirlpool and Perish Song to trap foes and have them fainted in three turns respectively. Protect is helpful for waiting out the Perish counter and granting extra Leftovers recovery. Rest is Azumarill’s most reliable means of regaining HP, although it requires Heal Bell or Aromatherapy support to be used to its fullest potential.

As for the EVs, 401 is the minimum odd HP value that Azumarill can have for maximum Leftovers recovery (25 per turn), while a physically defensive build takes the best advantage of its resistances (notably Fighting).

Other Options

Knock Off provides the utility of removing opposing items while hitting Metagross and Celebi super effectively. Bulldoze hits Volcanion super-effectively and deals heavy damage to Magneton without the nasty Attack and Defense drops, plus its Speed-lowering side effect has potential to be helpful.

As an alternative item choice, Z-Crystals boost particular attacking moves—such as Play Rough to strengthen it and make it more accurate; Superpower to avoid the nasty stat drops while maintaining the power; Bulldoze as a needed improvement to its normally flimsy power; and Bounce as a coverage option for Amoonguss and Mega Venusaur in higher tiers (granted Ice Punch also hits the former)—to make them deadlier than normal.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Volcanion is easily number one on the list. High Defense, Water immunity, Fairy resistance, chance to burn with STAB (Steam Eruption), and super-effective coverage (Sludge Bomb/Wave), all while being naturally faster. Really only weak to Bulldoze and Tectonic Rage, and even then, those are low base power moves on high Defense.

Then comes Mega Aggron with its obscene 70/230 physical bulk, resistance to Fairy, neutrality to Water, Filter to reduce damage from Superpower/Bulldoze, and 120 BP STAB in Heavy Slam.

Mega Slowbro also has notable physical bulk in 95/180, and its Water resistance makes it so Azumarill has to rely on Play Rough or the weaker Knock Off to deal damage. Not to mention, unlike Mega Aggron, Mega Slowbro has a reliable form of recovery in Slack Off. Being able to spread Scald burns is nasty as well.

Mega Manectric threatens most variants with Intimidate and/or Electric STAB, but it cannot switch in to Belly Drum variants due to its frailty.

Volcanion and Mega Slowbro are not the only problematic bulky Water-types; the three above are also perfectly capable of spreading Scald burns. (Volcanion has Steam Eruption, but eh, details.) Alomomola has high HP with passable defense; Empoleon resists both of Azumarill’s STABs, and Suicune has the best overall bulk of the three (granted a teensy bit worse physical bulk than Alomomola).

Partners

Raikou and Mega Manectric are suitable for scaring out bulky Water-types, and they have Aura Sphere and Fire coverage respectively for Mega Aggron. Additionally, Manectric’s Lightning Rod pre-Mega lets it soak up Electric attacks from opposing Manectric.

Celebi is good for standard bulky waters (Slowbro, Alomomola, Suicune) and has U-turn to serve as a pivot, but, as a Grass-type, it must be wary of Volcanion’s Fire STAB and Mega Manectric’s Fire coverage, as well as the possibility of Ice coverage from the Water-types.

Mega Sceptile is similar, but instead of U-turn, it has neutrality to Fire, Focus Blast as a coverage option for Mega Aggron, and Lightning Rod to exploit Azumarill’s Electric weakness. The downside is quad weakness to Ice, which greatly hinders its ability to switch into particular Water-types.

Water-immune thanks to Water Absorb. Resistant to Fire. Immune to Electric. Steel-resistant. Has Ground STAB. Near-perfect complement overall, its downsides being also Water-type and quad weak to Grass.

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