Kingler

Hyper Cutter
The wielder's Attack cannot be lowered.
Shell Armor
Prevents critical hits.
Sheer Force
Increases power of moves with secondary effects by 30%, but removes the effects.
Type Tier
Water NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
55
- 251 314 -
Atk
130
266 296 359 394
Def
115
239 266 329 361
SpA
50
122 136 199 218
SpD
50
122 136 199 218
Spe
75
167 186 249 273

Overview

Kingler, at first glance, appears to be an underrated force in the RU tier. With a gargantuan base 130 Attack stat, mediocre but usable Speed, and a great Defense stat, Kingler looks like a strong contender for a spot on any team. However, all is not perfect for this large crab, as a shallow movepool leaves it largely outclassed by Crawdaunt, who can both boost its Attack and remedy its poor Speed with Dragon Dance. To avoid playing Kingler like the poor man's Crawdaunt, one must take full advantage of its higher Speed stat. Additionally, Kingler's mono-Water typing means it is not hit super effectively by priority moves, such as Mach Punch, as well as the common U-turn—a feat that Crawdaunt is largely jealous of.

Name Item Ability Nature

Boosting Sweeper

Life Orb Hyper Cutter Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Agility
~ Crabhammer
~ Return / X-Scissor
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Kingler has access to two very useful boosting moves: Swords Dance and Agility; both options are key elements to Kingler's success on your team, though they are not intended to be used successively. Kingler will likely not get many free turns to set up, as its low Special Defense and weakness to Grass- and Electric-type moves spell a quick demise for the crab if it fails to take advantage of the time it is given. Swords Dance is Kingler's most useful boosting move, allowing Kingler to break through physical walls that may switch in to stop a sweep. Agility, on the other hand, is very useful if Kingler needs to be utilized as a late-game cleaner. Crabhammer is Kingler's most powerful STAB option and will tear through anything that doesn't resist it, especially after a Swords Dance. Unfortunately, Double-Edge is illegal with Agility, meaning that Return is the best attacking option to provide neutral coverage with Crabhammer. If you're looking for Kingler to be self-sufficient in removing Grass-types who come in to check it, X-Scissor is a superb option. Unfortunately, the combination of Crabhammer and X-Scissor is completely walled by Qwilfish.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Choice

Choice Band Hyper Cutter Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Crabhammer
~ Double-Edge / Return
~ X-Scissor
~ Superpower
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

This set is more effective in distinguishing itself from Crawdaunt, as it is based entirely off of Kingler's Attack and Speed stats, both of which are higher than Crawdaunt's. Being locked into a move thanks to a Choice item isn't so bad either, as Kingler's movepool is just deep enough to provide excellent coverage in four powerful moves. Though this Kingler is not as powerful as the boosting set in the long run, the ability to hit hard right off the bat is appreciated, especially as Kingler is one of the most powerful Pokemon in the tier. Crabhammer is an obvious choice, as it is incredibly powerful, receives STAB, and has a high chance to land a critical hit against any Pokemon who try to wall Kingler. Double-Edge is both legal and much more viable on this set, as Kingler will no longer be taking Life Orb recoil as well as recoil from Double-Edge. As a Normal-type move is required for optimal coverage, Return should be used over Double-Edge if the recoil is unappealing. X-Scissor cleans up Grass- and Psychic-types that may try to exploit Kingler's lower Special Defense, while Superpower is crucial for defeating Ferroseed.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

The first option that springs to mind for Kingler is its alternate ability, Sheer Force. Though Sheer Force eliminates Life Orb recoil and would dramatically boost the power of certain moves, the only option Kingler has to use with Sheer Force is Rock Slide. While this is certainly viable, Hyper Cutter is almost always preferred as it blocks Attack reductions from Intimidate. Hone Claws is an option for boosting Kingler's Attack and accuracy if you're concerned about missing a crucial Crabhammer, though the +1 boost is largely inferior to the +2 boost that comes from Swords Dance. Kingler also has access to defensive moves, such as Haze and Toxic, though these are largely situational at best since Kingler has a hard time giving up any of its precious moveslots on the first set. Knock Off is another option, but Crawdaunt also has access to this, making it a poor reason to choose Kingler. Unfortunately, Kingler lacks access to both Waterfall and Aqua Tail, leaving the somewhat inaccurate Crabhammer as its only reliable STAB.

Checks and Counters

Despite Hyper Cutter negating Intimidate, Qwilfish still makes a superb counter to Kingler, especially the sets that forgo Double-Edge or Return in favor of X-Scissor. Qwilfish handily resists three of Kingler's most common attacking moves, though it must be careful of the Choice Band set as either Normal-type coverage move has a high change to 2HKO it. Qwilfish will likely outspeed any non-Choice Scarf variant of Kingler and potentially poison it with Poison Jab, stop it from setting up via Taunt, or completely remove Kingler's boosts with Haze. Tangrowth is another excellent counter to Kingler, as its STAB Grass-type moves will make short work of the giant crab. Additionally, Tangrowth's huge Defense stat makes it very impenetrable, though it must be wary of a 2HKO from a Choice Band X-Scissor. Ferroseed is possibly Kingler's most effective counter; the boosting set often chooses not to run Superpower, leaving it totally helpless against Ferroseed even after boosts. The Choice Band set can wreck Ferroseed, but Kingler is heavily damaged by Leech Seed and Iron Barbs and effectively neutralized by Thunder Wave. If you can predict which move Kingler is going to use to boost up, a counter is not hard to find. Defensive Pokemon can easily halt an Agility Kingler, while faster revenge killers can take out Kingler that use Swords Dance. The Choice Band set is harder to handle, as Kingler's massive Attack stat and good coverage mean that not many things avoid a 2HKO from one of its moves, making prediction vital. Revenge killing, however, is a superb way of defeating Kingler.