- Speed doubles in rain.
- Prevents burn.
- When hit with an Electric-type move, Special Attack is boosted by one stage. All Electric-type attacks are drawn to this Pokemon.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Little Cup has its share of first-stage Water-type Pokemon, and at first glance, Goldeen seems to be just another run-of-the-mill Swift Swimmer in a metagame where Rain Dance teams are less than viable. However, thanks to its unique ability, Lightningrod, Goldeen can serve as a solid counter to many Pokemon like Chinchou, Magnemite, and Ponyta that rely on Electric-type attacks to hit Water-types. Goldeen also benefits from good Attack and Speed as well as a solid movepool that includes Megahorn to hit Grass-types and Knock Off to support its team by removing opponents' Eviolites. Although Goldeen seems to be overshadowed by Chinchou as a Water-type immune to Electric-type attacks, Goldeen's greater hitting power, ability to heavily damage Grass-types, and access to Knock Off can give it an edge. Overall, Goldeen's combination of ability, typing, stats, and movepool allow it to have a niche in Little Cup even when Swift Swim is not a viable strategy.
Goldeen can make use of its good Attack, Speed, and usable bulk combined with Lightningrod to serve as a niche counter to some Pokemon while still being able to deal significant damage to the opposing team. Being a Water-type with an immunity to Electric-type attacks, Goldeen hard counters most Magnemite, Chinchou, and Return-less Ponyta, and is bulky enough to take a hit from most other physical attackers and respond with an attacking move or Knock Off. Aqua Tail is a strong physical STAB that can hit hard thanks to Goldeen's good base 67 Attack; it is used over Waterfall because its extra power gets some important OHKOs and 2HKOs against Pokemon such as Scraggy and Murkrow. However, if you can provide enough entry hazard support and residual damage, Waterfall is a slightly more reliable option. Megahorn complements Aqua Tail well and allows Goldeen to hit Grass-types for heavy damage, OHKOing Snover and 2HKOing Lileep. Drill Run is the best coverage move for Goldeen, hitting the Pokemon Goldeen hard counters, such as Chinchou and Magnemite, super effectively. Knock Off allows Goldeen to provide valuable utility for its team in removing the Eviolites of bulky switch-ins. As Goldeen tends to lure different Pokemon in than Mienfoo—specifically Grass-types such as Ferroseed or Lileep—it can provide support to Pokemon that Mienfoo is less adept at helping. For example, by luring in Ferroseed, Lileep, Snover, and Porygon (Pokemon that would never switch into Mienfoo) and removing their Eviolites, Goldeen can weaken many of Murkrow's checks and allow it to clean up the opposing team.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although a Rain Dance Life Orb Swift Swim set seems like a possibility for Goldeen to sweep, Swift Swim simply isn't good in this metagame with the high usage of Snover and Hippopotas, and there are better Swift Swim sweepers than Goldeen anyway. Goldeen has a decent special movepool, but it has terrible Special Attack. Toxic, Aqua Ring, and Protect are other support options, but Goldeen isn't bulky enough to stay in for that many turns. A defensive set with Scald, Toxic, and Knock Off can be used, but Goldeen's Special Attack is abysmal, leaving Goldeen highly open to being setup sweepers.
Checks and Counters
Foongus isn't 2HKOed by anything Goldeen can do, and it can Spore or Giga Drain in return. Snover can revenge kill Goldeen with Giga Drain, but it needs a Choice Scarf to avoid getting outsped and OHKOed by Megahorn. Frillish takes next to no damage from any of Goldeen's attacks, burns Goldeen with Will-O-Wisp, and Recovers off any damage taken, although Goldeen can at least use Knock Off to remove its Eviolite. Ferroseed takes any of Goldeen's attacks and hits back with Bullet Seed or sets up entry hazards. Croagunk can switch into most of Goldeen's attacks, but it is 2HKOed by Drill Run. In the end, Goldeen is neither especially powerful nor especially bulky, so Pokemon with decent physical bulk will probably be able to take its hits and 2HKO back—although Goldeen will remove their Eviolites with Knock Off in the process.