Golduck

Damp
Prevents the use of Selfdestruct or Explosion. Prevents Aftermath from doing damage.
Cloud Nine
Blocks the effects of weather.
Swift Swim
Speed doubles in rain.
Type Tier
Water NU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
80
- 155 187 -
Atk
82
91 102 134 147
Def
78
88 98 130 143
SpA
95
103 115 147 161
SpD
80
90 100 132 145
Spe
85
94 105 137 150

Overview

Golduck is a textbook case of a good Pokemon that is simply outclassed in most ways by other similar Pokemon; in this case, Samurott and several other Water-types. Golduck has all-around usable stats, a relatively wide movepool, and a couple of decent abilities to complement them. Its main claim to fame is its ability to use Calm Mind effectively thanks to its decent Speed and bulk, something rare among Water-types in NU. Cloud Nine is the ability that makes Golduck unique among Water-types, as it makes Golduck both a check to opposing weather sweepers and one of the only offensive Water-types that isn't hindered if used on a sun team. All this being said, it is difficult to ignore the fact that Golduck's power and Speed are only average when compared to many other Water-types in NU.

Name Item Ability Nature

Substitute + Calm Mind

Leftovers Cloud Nine Calm
Moveset EVs
~ Calm Mind
~ Substitute
~ Surf
~ Signal Beam / Ice Beam
196 HP / 176 SpD / 136 Spe

This set takes advantage of Golduck's usable bulk and Speed to give it a niche among the bounty of Water-types in the tier. Calm Mind is the main move of this set, as it not only improves Golduck's mediocre Special Attack but also provides the special bulk needed to withstand even some super effective moves long enough to retaliate. Substitute is also an important move to give Golduck a defense against the status conditions that cripple it, and it creates a buffer against attacks. It is notable that this combination also allows Golduck to use Calm Mind multiple times against common defensive opponents that cannot break its Substitute with a single attack, such as Alomomola and Metang. Surf is the most reliable STAB move Golduck has in terms of power, accuracy, and PP. Signal Beam is the preferred coverage move, as it hits Ludicolo and Jynx the hardest out of all of Golduck's moves and also is able to damage other Water-types. Ice Beam is also viable, as it hits most Grass-types much harder and still does a decent amount of damage to Ludicolo and Mantine, but it forces Golduck to become reliant on boosted Surfs to hurt most other Water-types.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Psyshock is a good option, as it allows Golduck to hit Mantine, Roselia, and other specially bulky Pokemon hard, but the difference in power is rarely relevant if it isn't hitting the opponent super effectively. Golduck can use both Choice Specs and Choice Scarf sets decently well with its wide range of offensive options and decent power and Speed, but Simipour is a stronger and faster option for the most part unless you are facing a weather team. Focus Blast and Hidden Power Grass are moves to supplement the coverage of Choice item sets alongside Hydro Pump and Ice Beam, but they aren't that useful on its other sets. An all-out attacking Life Orb set is perfectly viable, but it lacks power in comparison to other similar Pokemon such as Samurott and Simipour. A Life Orb 3 attacks set with either Calm Mind or Encore is also viable, but Simipour and Gorebyss can boost their Special Attack faster in the former's case, and Golduck doesn't have quite enough Speed to use the latter as effectively as it would need to. Hone Claws and physical attacks from Golduck's decent physical movepool are a possibility, but there are far better physical Water-types such as Samurott, Floatzel, and Carracosta. Golduck can easily make use of its Swift Swim ability, but its power and coverage are average in comparison with other Swift Swim sweepers such as Ludicolo, Gorebyss, Seismitoad, and even Mantine. Golduck can make use of a Substitute and Disable set, but Golduck simply lacks the resistances and immunities needed to really get the most out of it.

Check and Counters

Toxic Spikes cripples Golduck and prevents it from boosting many times, and Golduck can't avoid them by setting up a Substitute. Status in general cripples Golduck immensely, but it needs to hit Golduck before it can set up a Substitute. Regice can wall Golduck unless it boosts up to +6 and can threaten Golduck with Thunderbolt. Defensive Mantine can wall Golduck unless it runs Ice Beam, but Mantine can't do much back and is easily set up on. While very few other Pokemon can safely counter Golduck, many Pokemon can check it easily as long as Golduck hasn't received too many boosts and isn't behind a Substitute. Jynx is a good offensive check to variants not carrying Signal Beam, as it is immune to Surf and won't take much from Ice Beam. If Golduck is not behind a Substitute, offensive Grass- and Electric-types can threaten Golduck, especially on the physical side. Just about all neutral physical attacks can break Golduck's Substitute, which can help prevent it from setting up too many Calm Minds. Finally, Shedinja walls Golduck to no end.