Claydol

Levitate
The wielder is immune to Ground-type moves.
Type Tier
Ground / Psychic UU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
60
- 22 25 -
Atk
70
11 13 16 17
Def
105
15 17 20 22
SpA
70
11 13 16 17
SpD
120
16 18 21 23
Spe
75
12 14 17 18
  • Underused

Overview

Claydol has been a rather decent supportive Pokemon throughout two generations, always pulling its weight for its team. However, things have changed for this ancient Pokemon. With threats lurking in each corner, more powerful than the next, Claydol can't hold on its own anymore. Crippling weaknesses to the common Ice-, Grass-, Water-, Bug-, Ghost-, and Dark-type moves make it unable to switch in with ease. The lack of any reliable recovery move outside of Rest prevents Claydol from taking repeated hits, which can make it hard for Claydol to accomplish its task several times in one game. However, one can't just overlook Claydol's good qualities, of which it has plenty. While its HP stat can be a bit disappointing at times, Claydol's great defensive stats make up for it. 105 / 120 defenses give Claydol great mixed defensive capabilities, and when coupled with its useful resistances to Electric-, Fighting-, Rock-, Psychic-, and Ground-type moves, Claydol is able to to take on certain threats in the tier with somewhat ease. However, the main reason one should ever use Claydol in the first place is its access to the highly coveted Rapid Spin. With most of the more reliable and better Rapid Spin users residing in OU, Claydol is one of few viable users of the move in the UU tier. The ability to keep entry hazards off the field in this Spikes-flooded metagame while being able to remove Stealth Rock from the field for the many Fire- and Bug-type Pokemon in the tier is a godsend to any team. Claydol is also unique in that it is the only spinner in the game who is immune to Spikes and Toxic Spikes and resists Stealth Rock, which makes Rapid Spinning an easier task for Claydol to do. This, coupled with the ability to support its team with both Stealth Rock and dual screens as well, make Claydol a solid support Pokemon in UU, even though it has its drawbacks.

Name Item Nature

Support

Leftovers Sassy / Careful
Moveset EVs
~ Rapid Spin
~ Stealth Rock
~ Earthquake
~ Ice Beam / Toxic
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD

Claydol is one of the few viable Rapid Spin users in the UU tier, and this set capitalizes on that factor. While Claydol does face competition from Hitmontop, it has some things going for it that Hitmontop lacks. The main factor is its ability, Levitate, which allows Claydol to switch unharmed into Spikes and Toxic Spikes, unlike Hitmontop. Even though Hitmontop has better initial Defense factoring in Intimidate, as well as better offenses, this more than makes up for it. Second in line is Stealth Rock. Hitmontop, along with all other Rapid Spin users beneath it, lack the ability to set up any entry hazard, so Claydol has much better utility and can give much better support to its team in general. For its offensive options, Claydol doesn't have many useful moves to choose from, though two stand out. Earthquake is a great, reliable STAB move that allows Claydol to hit Pokemon such as Raikou hard. Ice Beam works great in conjunction with Earthquake, allowing it to hit Flying-types that avoid Earthquake, such as Zapdos and Togekiss, for decent damage. Toxic is still a good option for wearing down certain opponents, especially opposing walls and setup sweepers, such as Calm Mind Raikou.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Claydol has a wide array of moves in its movepool, but not all of them are highly usable. Psyshock and Psychic does give Claydol a secondary STAB move to use besides Earthquake, though they don't provide any additional coverage other than hitting Heracross for super effective damage. However, Claydol shouldn't be taking Heracross on in the first place, making Ice Beam or Toxic much more viable choices. Claydol can provide weather support by utilizing Rain Dance and Sunny Day, but there are often better candidates for that role than Claydol; the same goes for Reflect and Light Screen. Claydol can also provide Trick Room support, but this playstyle is almost as weak as weather. Other gimmicky support options include Trick used in conjunction with Choice Scarf, Magic Coat, and Gravity, but there will always be better options for Claydol to use. Calm Mind does build up the mixed bulk Claydol already possesses while also increasing its power, but Claydol's disappointing Special Attack makes it much worse than it should be, while it has a really bad HP stat in comparison to other Calm Mind users and no recovery outside of Rest. RestTalk won't do much either as Claydol's STAB moves are either resisted by or ineffective against several Pokemon in the tier. However, it does have a good special movepool. Explosion can be used, though it is incredibly weak and has only any real use, if so slightly, on the dual screens set to maximize the turns offensive Pokemon can abuse it.

Checks and Counters

Even though Claydol is reasonably bulky, the UU tier is filled with powerful attackers that can take advantage of its common weaknesses. There are plenty of Ghost-types in the tier, and they are some of Claydol's worst enemies for several reasons. The first reason, and arguably the biggest, is that they can easily prevent Claydol from spinning away entry hazards simply by switching in on Rapid Spin. Not only has Claydol wasted a turn, it can hardly do anything back to these Ghost-types and is often forced to switch out, giving the opponent a chance to set up. Mismagius and Froslass are two most prominent Ghost-type counters to Claydol. They both have access to Taunt, making them able to shut down Claydol quite easily by preventing it from using Stealth Rock, Toxic, and dual screens. Furthermore, they will usually take little damage from Claydol's offensive moves as well, while Mismagius is even immune to Earthquake and can avoid being hit by Toxic by using Substitute. Chandelure is another good example. While it can't really shut Claydol down quite like Froslass and Mismagius can as it takes a lot of damage from Earthquake, it can threaten Claydol with its STAB Shadow Ball and immense power. Choice Specs Chandelure has a 50% chance to OHKO 252/252 Claydol, which means that if Claydol has suffered any prior damage, it is done for. Choice Scarf variants of Chandelure can only 2HKO the same Claydol, so it really needs to be careful of Stealth Rock and Earthquake. Last but not least is Cofagrigus. Cofagrigus can easily set up both Trick Room and Nasty Plot against Claydol by utilizing its great bulk; even a Cofagrigus with just one Nasty Plot boost can sweep an entire team. The only real damage Claydol can do against Cofagrigus is by limiting its time on the field with the use of Toxic.

While not as menacing as the Ghost-types, the Dark-types in the tier can cause severe trouble and damage to Claydol as well. Zoroark and Houndoom can easily 2HKO specially defensive Claydol with a combination of Sucker Punch and Dark Pulse, or even OHKO weakened ones. They can even proceed to set up with Nasty Plot, but they need to be careful of Earthquake, especially Houndoom, as it will put a severe dent into both of them, if not outright KO Houndoom. Weavile can OHKO the same Claydol with ease by using Ice Punch, while it also have the opportunity to set up with Swords Dance. The physically defensive version of Claydol will have a much easier time against Weavile, while Sucker Punch from Houndoom and Zoroark won't do nearly as much. However, their Dark Pulses will do much more damage now, possibly resulting in a OHKO. Scrafty can easily set up on Claydol with Bulk Up, using Shed Skin and Rest to stop any attempts to Toxic it. It can then proceed to easily KO Claydol with a boosted STAB Crunch. Heracross and Escavalier are also two really good candidates. They take little damage from Claydol's offensive moves and certainly don't mind Toxic; their STAB-boosted Megahorns will easily OHKO Claydol. Rhyperior is in a similar situation, as it takes little damage from even super effective moves thanks to Solid Rock. Its Megahorn won't nearly as hard the former two's, but will still put a huge dent into Claydol. Repeated U-turns from the likes of Mienshao, Darmanitan, and Flygon will also wear down Claydol in time until it goes down. Water- and Grass-types, such as Slowbro, Azumarill, Shaymin, and Roserade, will always threaten any Claydol, dealing huge amounts of damage to it while not taking nearly the same in return. Xatu is one of the biggest blocks to Claydol. Not only does it take little to no damage from Ice Beam and Earthquake, it also bounces back both Stealth Rock and Toxic thanks to Magic Bounce.