- Boosts power of Water-type moves by 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
- Boosts Attack by two stages for every stat drop.
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Back in the days before the 5th Generation and the year of the Ubers, Empoleon had some wide usage in VGC. While its typing let it resist lots of moves, Empoleon gets hit fairly hard by common moves such as Earthquake, Close Combat, and Thunderbolt. However, with a nice Special Attacking stat along with bulky base defenses and low base Speed, Empoleon makes good use out of being under Trick Room to easily produce a sweep.
Scald is the main STAB for the set as it's one of Empoleon's most reliable Water-type STABs with benefits. Icy Wind is a nice move that Empoleon has in its arsenal to help it take on more of a team supporting role by lowering the opponent's Speed and dealing damage at the same time. Hidden Power Grass gets most of its use by hitting things such as Gastrodon and Rotom-W, which otherwise wall almost anything Empoleon has. However, Grass Knot can hit others, including Rhyperior and Swampert, harder. Protect is a staple on almost anything in VGC. It can help stall, give protection for that turn, and help mess with the opponent's predictions on what to attack the next turn.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Scald is the main STAB option on the set. It deals some good damage and has a slight chance to burn the opponent, which might come in handy when hitting physical attackers. Hydro Pump is the other option as it is stronger, but has a higher chance to miss, which could be crucial in some games. Ice Beam gives coverage over many things that threaten Empoleon, such as Garchomp, Zapdos, and Thundurus, which can all use their respective STAB moves to deal heavy damage to Empoleon. Grass Knot hits fellow Water-types, such as Gastrodon and Swampert. Hidden Power Flying gives Empoleon excellent coverage to hit Fighting-type threats, such as Hitmontop and Toxicroak. Protect is a staple move for any Pokemon in VGC. It can do great things during a match such as stall burns, prevent a turn from being wasted due to Fake Out, or just keep Empoleon safe from harm while it's partner takes out threats.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Hidden Power Fighting can hit both Ferrothorn and Abomasnow super effectively, regardless of weather. Hidden Power Fire can also hit both of these but is weaker while it is raining. FeatherDance can lower the Attack of physical attackers, making it harder for them to KO Empoleon. The same principle is applied when using Iron Defense to boost Emploeon's Defense to take hits better. Blizzard can be used over Ice Beam if Empoleon is paired with Abomasnow. Flash Cannon is a useful STAB move, but only gives extra coverage on Ice-types such as Abomasnow and Glaceon. Empoleon's only other ability is Defiant, which it gets from the Dream World. Its Attack stat is somewhat decent, but the only time you would see Attack boosts from this ability would be in the face of Intimidate users. This could help Empoleon beat Intimidate Hitmontop, but it can easily fail if not played correctly. Empoleon could abuse Absorb Bulb on an offensive set, as it resists Water-types and can somewhat easily collect boosts.
Checks and Counters
Unless Empoleon somehow finds a way to stop Electric-type attacks from hurting it through team support, Empoleon gets done in by fast, strong Electric-types such as Zapdos, Rotom-W, and Thundurus. Rotom-W checks Empoleon very well as it resists all of Empoleon's moves and takes very little from Grass Knot, and can hit back pretty hard with Thunderbolt. Fighting-types such as Hitmontop and Hitmonlee can use priority attacks such as Mach Punch or just Close Combat to severely damage Empoleon. Gastrodon can sponge almost all of Empoleon's hits if it lacks Hidden Power Grass or Grass Knot. Most common sand abusers can hurt Empoleon with powerful and quick Earthquakes to deal a lot of damage, potentially KOing Empoleon.