Meet Cradily, the fossilized barnacle. Although Cradily did not receive many new toys this generation, it was endowed with the ability Storm Drain via Dream World. This bolsters Cradily's niche as a solid defensive pivot against Water-types in sand teams. Cradily also maintains an array of unique moves for a Rock- and a Grass-type Pokemon, such as Recover, Stockpile, and Curse, giving it the same utility it had in the fourth generation. However, this barnacle is not without its flaws. Cradily possesses an abysmal base 43 Speed, which, while not impeding the Curse variants much, forces it to either run Rock Polish or receive a few Agility boosts if it hopes to sweep. Moreover, Cradily's Rock typing, which shields it from a weakness to common Fire-type attacks, acts as a curse in this generation with all the new Fighting-types running around, especially Conkeldurr and Terrakion. Despite this, Cradily remains a distinguished addition to sand teams, acting as a great special wall under sandstorm and a great user of Curse.
One of Cradily's best sets in the fourth generation still holds nicely this generation, thanks to Cradily's great special bulk in sandstorm and usable physical bulk. With its ability Suction Cups, Cradily does not fear phazers. The EVs have been tweaked to give it better physical bulk, such that after a single Curse Cradily has a high chance of surviving a Life Orb-boosted Close Combat from Terrakion or a Superpower from Choice Band Scizor. At the same time, however, the barnacle still maintains a solid Special Defense stat under sandstorm.
This set revolves around Curse boosting Cradily's Attack and Defense. Thanks to Cradily's great overall bulk, it can set up Curse with ease once it switches in safely. Rest heals Cradily of any damage or status it might have taken while setting up. Cradily can then use Sleep Talk to prevent itself from becoming a sitting duck, permitting for even more Curse-stacking. Either Rock Slide or Seed Bomb serves as decent option as Cradily's sole offensive move, because there are no viable OU threats immune to them. Overall, Rock Slide has superior coverage, but Seed Bomb does come in handy to more readily plow through Fighting-, Water-, and Ground-types, particularly Terrakion, Unaware Quagsire, and Hippowdon.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set is similar to the Curse set, but it takes a more aggressive approach with Swords Dance. With this particular set up, Cradily can dish out heavy damage sooner. Both of Cradily's abilities offer useful utility to this set; Suction Cups blocks phazing, while Storm Drain protects Cradily from Scald burns.
This set utilizes Grass + Ground or Rock + Ground dual offense to better apply offensive pressure once it has obtained Attack boosts. Having the Ground-type coverage move drastically minimizes the risk of being walled; specifically, Earthquake removes a number of Steel-types and Toxicroak, both of which resist Cradily's STAB assaults. For Cradily's STAB move, Rock Slide is the best STAB choice, as it offers excellent coverage and the freedom to run either ability. However, Seed Bomb is a viable alternative to dispatch Water- and Ground-types with ease; Quagsire, whose ability ignores Cradily's Attack boosts, is a particular nuisance that Seed Bomb can overcome. Unfortunately, Seed Bomb is only usable with Suction Cups, meaning Cradily loses its immunity to Scald and powerful rain-boosted Water-type moves granted by Storm Drain.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Usable bulk, a solid recovery move, Storm Drain, and unique typing provide Cradily a respectable defensive niche in OU sandstorm teams. With sandstorm's special defense buff, Cradily boasts special bulk comparable to a specially defensive Tyranitar. Because of many new Fighting-type threats, Cradily needs all the physical bulk it can muster to survive physical hits, while sandstorm increases its uninvested Special Defense. With its ability, Storm Drain, Cradily supplies solid defense against Water-types that plague sand teams. Cradily certainly bolsters a sand team's ability to combat rain teams, as Storm Drain provides immunity to deadly Water-type assaults while it is raining; beware of taking strong Ice Beams outside of sandstorm, though.
Cradily not only covers a sand team's weakness to Water-type offense, but also contributes to the Toxic-Spikes-Sandstorm (TSS) strategy utilized by sand teams to wear down the opposing team. Toxic is the main move of this set, enabling Cradily to spread status through the opponent's team. Stealth Rock is a very handy entry hazard; when coupled with Toxic and sandstorm damage, Stealth Rock lets Cradily do a fair amount of indirect damage to the opposing team. If you have another Pokemon to lay down entry hazards, Earthquake may be used to increase Cradily's damage output. Recover heals off any damage that Cradily has accumulated. The final slot represents Cradily's attacking option; Rock Slide offers a STAB option that hits Tornadus, Gyarados, Volcarona, and Zapdos for super effective damage, while STAB Energy Ball further bolsters Cradily's role in handling Water-type threats.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Confuse Ray is an option for inflicting more residual damage, but it faces competition for a moveslot. Cradily can also use Protect on its support sets, as it contributes to an easier Toxic stall while also scouting the move of Choice-locked enemies. Wring Out may be used to hit foes at full HP for relatively large damage, but it offers poor coverage.
Checks and Counters
Scizor and Breloom are two of Cradily's best counters if it does not carry Hidden Power Fire, as they can come in on any of its STAB attacks and strike in return with their respective super effective STAB move. Steel-types utterly wall Cradily lacking Earthquake or Hidden Power Fire. In particular, Ferrothorn and Skarmory are major threats, only taking significant damage from a Storm Drain-boosted Hidden Power Fire and easily setting up entry hazards on Cradily. Toxicroak poses a massive problem for Cradily that do not carry Earthquake, as it sets up Swords Dance or Bulk Up on the forced switch. Cradily is also major setup bait for Conkeldurr, who possesses Guts to take advantage of Cradily's Toxic. Sableye stops Cradily in its tracks with priority Taunt and Will-O-Wisp, forcing a switch. Chansey and Blissey can tank a hit from Cradily and cripple it with Toxic, while shrugging off status with Natural Cure.
Trick users ruin Cradily incredibly well, especially Jirachi and Metagross. The two of them can come in on both of Cradily's STAB moves, Trick it a Choice item, and drastically reduce Cradily's utility.