Pokemon Strategy Made Easy

Archive for May, 2014

Huntail

5/5/14

by Richard

Huntail

367

Overview

Often considered the less viable evolution of Clamperl, Huntail is still quite usable in NU due to its access to Shell Smash. Although its counterpart, Gorebyss (who has more power), and Carracosta (who has better Defense, HP, and the ability Solid Rock) are arguably better at using Shell Smash, it is still a great weapon for Huntail. And plus, Huntail, just looks awesome. I mean, who wouldn’t want a vicious eel Pokemon?

Abilities

Swift Swim: Swift Swim is necessary because of Huntail’s dire base 55 speed. So that means that you pretty much have to run Huntail on a rain team. Swift Swim makes Huntail’s speed a nice base 110, allowing it to outspeed many more Pokemon than it did before.

Dream World: Water Veil: Unless you really have a grudge against Will-o-Wisp, this ability is far less superior to Swift Swim.

Base Stats

HP: 55

Attack: 104

Defense: 105

Special Attack: 94

Special Defense: 75

Speed: 55

Movesets

Shell Smash

  • Shell Smash
  • Waterfall
  • Ice Beam
  • Return/Crunch
  • Ability: Swift Swim
  • Item: White Herb/Life Orb/Muscle Band
  • Nature: Naïve (+Spe -SpD) or Hasty (+Spe -Def)
  • EVs: 252 Atk/252 Spe/4 HP

Shell Smash is what makes Huntail competitively viable. You double your Attack, Special Attack, and Speed, while lowering your Defense and Special Defense by one stage each. The White Herb will restore these losses if you choose to use it. Waterfall is your go-to Water move and has a chance to flinch. Ice Beam is a special move, but Huntail’s base 94 Special Attack is definitely usable, especially after Shell Smash. Ice Fang’s base 65 power just doesn’t cut it here. Return and Crunch both hit different things hard. With Return, you get perfect neutral coverage outside of Empoleon and Jellicent and 102 base power, while Crunch hits Psychics, and Ghosts, but fails to hit Water/(Fighting/Dark/Fairy), whose main threats are Mega-Gyrados, Greninja, and Azumarill and only 80 base power. The reason Baton Pass isn’t on here is that it is illegal with Shell Smash in RU and NU, but it is legal in UU and above (although Huntail isn’t as good  at passing Shell Smash as Gorebyss). As for the other items, Life Orb gives a 30% boost to every attack, but takes 10% of your health in recoil, while the Muscle Band adds 10% damage to physical attacks with no recoil. Make sure that you are running this set (and pretty much all of them) with a rain supporter like Ludicolo. The nature for this set is interesting. Since you have Ice Beam, you don’t want to have a Jolly nature, which will take away Special Attack, so go with Naïve or Hasty, which will cut one of your defenses instead. You could go with +Atk -Def/SpD, but if Huntail gets caught out of rain, he will not be as fast.

Choice Band

  • Waterfall
  • Ice Fang
  • Return
  • Crunch
  • Ability: Swift Swim
  • Item: Choice Band
  • Nature: Jolly (+Spe -SpA)
  • EVs: 252 Atk/252 Spe/4 HP

This set looks a lot like the last one, just without Shell Smash and with Ice Fang, not Ice Beam. Waterfall is a great attack. Ice Fang slightly passes Ice Beam due to the Choice Band being present. Without Shell Smash, you can put on both Crunch and Return for completely perfect neutral coverage. The Choice Band set is not as powerful as the Shell Smash set, but prevents the risk of getting taken out in the first turn. You could run Adamant (+Atk -SpA), but again, more speed is important if rain ends.

Defensive

  • Iron Defense/Barrier
  • Waterfall
  • Rain Dance
  • Baton Pass/Refresh/Toxic/Protect/Ice Beam
  • Ability: Swift Swim
  • Item: Leftovers/Damp Rock
  • Nature: Careful (+SpD -SpA)
  • EVs: 252 HP/252 SpD/4 Def  OR  252 HP/180 SpD/72 Def

Huntail has a decent Defense stat and  support movepool, so try this one out. Iron Defense and Barrier both double your defense, only the latter one is an egg move. Waterfall is your go-to attack as usual. Rain Dance can support other members of your team with Swift Swim/Dry Skin/ Rain Dish etc. The last slot has plenty of options. Baton Pass can pass your defense boost to a teammate. Refresh can get rid of status. Toxic is always great. So is Protect. Ice Beam gives extra coverage. You could also get rid of Rain Dance and do a Toxic/Protect combo. As for the item, Leftovers restores health and Damp Rock makes rain last 8 turns instead of 5. A careful nature will boost you low Special Defense at the cost of Special Attack, which is of no concern unless you are using Ice Beam. The first EV spread maxes out your Special Defense, which is recommended. The second spread I made up. The numbers have no significance, but it’s an idea if you want to go more even in defenses before boosts.

Other Options (Heading 3)

  • ResTalk + Lum Berry. If you have a bulky enough build, you could maybe pull this off.
  • Sucker Punch is a great move, but is only available from Move Tutors in Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver.
  • Super Fang from a Move Tutor in Black and White 2 could be great on  a bulky build.
  • Aqua Ring can go on a bulky set, but is Egg Move only.
  • Confuse Ray is always fun, but is also an Egg Move.
  • Body Slam (yet another Egg Move) is weaker than Return, but can paralyze.
  • Whirlpool, Clamp, and Bind can all trap, but are relatively inaccurate, each having 85 accuracy.
  • You can use a Focus Sash on the Shell Smash set to guarantee another turn.

Follow-Up

Huntail has great moves, but lacks the stats to pull off a very effective strategy. He is often overshadowed by his more powerful counterpart, Gorebyss, who is more effective at setting up Shell Smash. Additionally, his plain Water typing and low Special Defense makes him easy to kill with moves like Thunderbolt and Giga Drain. If he is under rain and can set up a Shell Smash, though, Huntail has the potential to pull off a massive sweep.

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