- Speed doubles in rain.
- Prevents critical hits.
- Boosts Speed by 1 stage and lowers Defense by 1 stage when hit by a physical move.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Kabutops returns to UU as a solid Pokemon with decent Attack and Defense stats relative to the rest of the tier. Access to Swords Dance and powerful dual STABs only increases its value, turning it into a fearsome sweeper. Alternatively, it can take on a more support-oriented role, using Stealth Rock and Rapid Spin to help its team. Its Rock / Water typing is a mixed blessing here: on one hand, a 4x resistance to Fire-type moves, particularly V-create and Flare Blitz, makes it a great check to Victini and Arcanine. This also helps since Fire-type powerhouses such as Darmanitan and Chandelure dropped into the UU tier. However, this typing leaves it with crippling weaknesses to common Ground-, Grass-, and Fighting-type attacks, and Kabutops's below average Special Defense compounds this issue further. Negatives aside, if you need an offensive force or a support Pokemon that also packs an attacking punch, look no further than Kabutops.
This set focuses on using rain support and Swords Dance to double Kabutops's Speed and Attack stats, allowing it to easily tear apart unprepared teams with its great dual STAB. Waterfall is the most reliable Water-type move in its arsenal, hitting a wide range of threats hard after the Swords Dance and rain boosts. Stone Edge allows Kabutops to hit opposing Water-, Grass-, and Dragon-types that resist Waterfall for neutral damage. This combo is enough to dent everything except Ferroseed and Quagsire, both of which tank the Water / Rock offensive combination with ease. Aqua Jet earns a place in the last slot for a variety of reasons: even if it is raining, Kabutops can circumvent its low Speed and attempt a late-game sweep as long as it has already nabbed a Swords Dance boost. The priority is also good insurance against revenge killing, allowing Kabutops to hit opponents hard before they can attack. Be sure to remember the power difference between Aqua Jet and Waterfall, however, and resist the urge to use it in situations where Kabutops comfortably outspeeds its opponent.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although a support set may seem odd for a Pokemon with such excellent offenses, Kabutops has all the tools needed to successfully pull it off. While its Rock / Water typing leaves it susceptible to Grass-, Fighting-, and Ground-type attacks, Kabutops does have useful resistances to Fire-, Ice-, and Flying-type moves. The 4x Fire-type resistance is especially helpful when dealing with Arcanine and Victini, two prominent physical threats in UU. Kabutops also provides further team support by spinning away hazards or setting up Stealth Rock, and has some key advantages over other users of this combo, such as Claydol, which has practically no offensive presence and thus becomes easy set-up fodder for spinblockers such as Mismagius. Kabutops can hammer Mismagius on the switch with Waterfall and KO it with Aqua Jet, taking advantage of its poor Defense and also outspeeding its Substitutes or attacks. It must be mentioned though that Kabutops will rarely be able to run both Waterfall and Aqua Jet on this set, as it badly needs the additional coverage offered by Stone Edge or Rock Slide. Water-type STAB is also helpful for hitting Golurk, whose partial Ground typing ensures that it won't enjoy the super effective move. Stone Edge is another offensive option for Kabutops, eliminating the Flying- and Ice-types that may get in the way, but its accuracy may prove disappointing; Rock Slide is a viable alternative, though the power drop is significant.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Aqua Tail is an option over Waterfall for extra power at the cost of accuracy, but attains no significant KOs regardless of whether Kabutops has obtained a Swords Dance or not. X-Scissor is an option to hit Grass-types harder, but most have an additional Poison typing and therefore take more from Stone Edge. Kabutops should be switching out of Grass-type Pokemon anyway. Superpower is a very powerful move that gives Kabutops excellent coverage, but the Attack and Defense drops are unappealing, especially given Kabutops's decent Defense. Low Kick too is really only useful to hit Bisharp, Empoleon, and Ferroseed harder. Return can hit Quagsire for neutral damage and retains general coverage, but Stone Edge is generally better since it hits most other threats harder. Knock Off has only situational usage in removing Eviolite; it is generally better to just hammer away at such Pokemon. Hone Claws could boost the accuracy of Aqua Tail and Stone Edge, but Swords Dance Waterfall will outdamage both. Battle Armor is an interesting ability, but without any way to boost defenses or reliable recovery, the insurance against critical hits is unneeded. Kabutops can run both Swords Dance and Rapid Spin on the same set to play the role of both sweeper and supporter, but spinning will be easier if you use a dedicated Rapid Spin set, sweeping will be easier if you run a dedicated sweeping set, and it will be a miracle if Kabutops can pull off both roles in one game.
Checks and Counters
Water Absorb Quagsire, Empoleon, Ferroseed, and Poliwrath resist or are immune to Kabutops's STAB moves. Quagsire ignores Swords Dance boosts if it has Unaware, and physically defensive variants shake off Waterfall with ease. It can also threaten Kabutops with a burn from Scald or attack it with a super effective Earthquake. Empoleon with Hidden Power Grass or Grass Knot decimate Kabutops, but must watch out for Low Kick or Superpower. Poliwrath, while uncommon, walls Kabutops cold while threatening a KO with STAB Fighting-type moves.
Bulky Water-types such as Milotic, Slowbro, and Suicune wall Kabutops as well, shaking off Stone Edge and either phazing or potentially burning with Scald. Repeated Stone Edges from a boosted Kabutops will hurt, though. Bulky Grass-types are especially troublesome; defensive Shaymin takes little from Stone Edge and OHKOes easily with its STAB attacks. Fighting-types such as Hitmontop are bulky enough to sponge Waterfall and can KO with Close Combat or another STAB move. While bulky Ground-types such as Rhyperior can take a Waterfall or two and retaliate with Earthquake, they are unable to continually tank Kabutops's Water-type assaults, particularly in the rain. Since Kabutops is rather slow outside of rain, it is very prone to being revenge killed. Zapdos and Raikou outspeed Kabutops by a large margin and maim the shellfish with their Electric-type moves, while also having the ability to scout with Volt Switch.