Qwilfish is a Pokemon that has been overlooked time and time again in previous generations due to its poor base stats overall. However, BW brought Qwilfish its saving grace: a new Dream World ability in Intimidate. This makes Qwilfish much bulkier on the physical side than its stats would make it seem and gives it a chance to shine in RU. Qwilfish is a top choice for a defensive Spikes user, as it can check many top physically attacking threats such as Entei and Escavalier. Qwilfish's semi-unique typing gives it handy resistances to Fire-, Fighting-, and Bug-type attacks, all of which are common in RU. It's also gotten better with the coming of BW2, as one of its main issues was a lack of recovery, and this has been somewhat mitigated by the addition of Pain Split to its arsenal. However, some flaws remain. Qwilfish's atrocious Special Defense means that it struggles to take any powerful neutral special attacks, making it a setup opportunity for threatening foes such as Sceptile and Lilligant. It also has a bit of four-moveslot syndrome, as it has several moves that allow it to deal with certain kinds of foes, whether they are setup sweepers with Substitute, slower entry hazard setters, or fast offensive Pokemon. Qwilfish can't fit all of these moves on a single set though, so it's bound to have trouble with a certain type of threat. Nevertheless, Qwilfish is a top utility Pokemon and one of the best Spikes users in the metagame, and it is absolutely deserving of a teamslot should you require its services.
This is the only Qwilfish set you should be using, but it does so much for a team and will always satisfy your desires. Spikes is an instrumental support move, and Qwilfish is one of its best users in the metagame, as it gets numerous opportunities to switch in and set them up during the match thanks to Intimidate and its great defensive typing. Qwilfish also boasts the ability to beat most of the main spinners in the tier, as it can paralyze both defensive Cryogonal and Swords Dance Kabutops and use Waterfall to beat them. It also beats both Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee, provided the former isn't carrying ThunderPunch, although this isn't much of a feat as the two of them aren't very effective Rapid Spin users. Pain Split is an important move for Qwilfish, as it provides Qwilfish with some form of recovery, allowing it to perform its job even better. Waterfall is Qwilfish's STAB move, which prevents it from being Taunt bait against Pokemon such as Aerodactyl and helps it wear down Entei; it works especially well in combination with Thunder Wave, as your opponent will find it hard to get an attack off because of the effects of paralysis in addition to Waterfall's flinch chance.
Qwilfish has a plethora of utility moves at its disposal; however, there is only room for one of them. Thunder Wave is usually the best option, as it deters Pokemon like Sceptile, Galvantula, and Moltres from switching in, although the latter doesn't particularly like Waterfall either. It also clears the way for slower Pokemon such as Escavalier, Rhydon, and Magmortar to sweep. Taunt is more useful against defensive teams, as Qwilfish is faster than most other defensive Pokemon and can prevent them from healing or setting up entry hazards; Pokemon like Ferroseed, Clefable, and Mandibuzz are especially vulnerable to Taunt. Lastly, Haze is also a viable option, and it works wonders against setup sweepers with Substitute, particularly Klinklang, Crawdaunt, and Bulk Up Gallade. Each one has different uses for different teams, so it might require some experimentation to find exactly the right move.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Qwilfish is useful on a rain team, as it becomes a fearsome rain sweeper with Swift Swim and a Swords Dance under its belt. It's also not weak to Grass-type attacks, which is very helpful on a rain team, and it can absorb Toxic Spikes. It can even set up Rain Dance by itself. Aqua Tail can be used over Waterfall for its higher Base Power, but Waterfall is usually superior for its higher accuracy and flinch chance. Qwilfish can also use a Choice Band set with Waterfall, Aqua Jet, Poison Jab, and Explosion, but such a set is largely outclassed by Kabutops or Feraligatr, which have better natural bulk, more power, or a better secondary STAB in the former's case. Lastly, Destiny Bond can be used as an alternative to Explosion on a suicide Spikes set, but most offensive leads are faster than Qwilfish and slower Pokemon can usually see it coming.
Checks and Counters
In general, special attackers are the easiest way to beat Qwilfish. Lanturn is arguably the best counter to Qwilfish, as it can switch into Waterfall easily and end Qwilfish with a Thunderbolt or Volt Switch. Rotom-C is another top counter to Qwilfish, as it only fears the rare Poison Jab and also KOes with either Thunderbolt or Volt Switch. Tangrowth is another foolproof counter, as it doesn't even care about Poison Jab and can hit Qwilfish with Giga Drain; Regenerator also cancels out Spikes damage. Psychic-types are also good counters to Qwilfish, especially Slowking, which switches into Waterfall with impunity, doesn't mind Thunder Wave, and hits back with Psyshock. Other Psychic-types, such as Mesprit, Sigilyph, and Uxie, are also good counters, as Uxie commonly uses a Lum Berry to neuter paralysis, Mesprit often uses a Substitute + Calm Mind set, and Sigilyph can hold a Flame Orb to shield itself from paralysis. They can all hit Qwilfish hard with Psychic, Psyshock, or Stored Power. Lilligant and Sceptile can both come in on anything bar Thunder Wave or Poison Jab (although Lum Berry Lilligant doesn't even fear Thunder Wave) and KO with Giga Drain or set up a Quiver Dance or Substitute, respectively. Steelix takes Waterfall like a champion and sets up Stealth Rock before 2HKOing with Earthquake, although it's setup fodder if its Attack has been lowered.
While Qwilfish can be easily countered, preventing it from setting up Spikes is a far more difficult task. Natu is the ultimate answer to Qwilfish, as it can bounce back Spikes onto your opponent's side of the field and set up Reflect to avoid taking much damage from Waterfall. Faster Taunt users, such as Aerodactyl and Drapion, can prevent Qwilfish from doing much of anything, but the former doesn't take Waterfall well. Manectric and Electivire can take a Waterfall and KO with their STAB moves, and pick up a boost if they switch into Thunder Wave. Also, if Qwilfish lacks Taunt or Haze, it can be set up on by several threatening sweepers. Substitute + Dragon Dance Crawdaunt, Klinklang, Lum Berry Gallade, Swords Dance Feraligatr, and others can make Qwilfish setup fodder, and they all don't care about Thunder Wave. Roselia has Natural Cure to get rid of paralysis and 2HKOes Qwilfish with Giga Drain, while Qwilfish struggles to do much in return. Some of the most powerful physical attackers in the metagame can beat Qwilfish even after Intimidate because Qwilfish doesn't resist their STAB move; Choice Band Aggron and Druddigon are the best examples of this.