Kyogre has been a defining part of Ubers since its fateful release, and this generation is no exception. With its metagame-shifting ability Drizzle, base 150 Special Attack, and very good bulk even by Ubers standards, it's no wonder that Kyogre continues to be one of the most common, if not the most common, Pokemon in the metagame. With STAB on its Water-type moves, and the additional boost due to the automatic rain, its power reaches truly monstrous levels. In fact, thanks to Drizzle, Kyogre's Water Spout is the strongest immediate, non-recoil attack in the game. Because of its sheer power, there are very few reliable switch-ins to this whale; Latias, Latios, and Grass Arceus being just about all that can muster the willpower to do so.
Kyogre's stats and abilities also make it a terrific team player. The rain that it sets up is helpful to a wide variety of Pokemon in Ubers, notably Steel-types, Water-types, and Thunder users. It also helps to neuter Reshiram's otherwise nuclear Blue Flare.
Nonetheless, Kyogre has its fair share of checks and revenge killers. Zekrom is one of the most prominent of these, hitting Kyogre hard with its physical Electric-type STAB move, Bolt Strike. Ferrothorn and Gastrodon cause similar problems, the former being able to avoid a 2HKO from sets lacking Choice Specs, and the latter being immune to Kyogre's STAB moves altogether. In addition, Kyogre still has its old foes from the previous generations, such as Palkia and Shaymin-S. Despite all this, Kyogre is definitely one of the best Pokemon in the game, and is difficult not to put into an Uber team.
Choice Scarf Kyogre is an effective and powerful revenge killer, though it cannot boast the absurd wallbreaking power that Choice Specs Kyogre has. It still has a very powerful Water Spout that deals at least 79.7% to +1 Mewtwo, an OHKO after Stealth Rock and Life Orb recoil, which is an impressive feat that other special Choice Scarf attackers, such as Palkia and Dialga, fail to achieve. Considering that Kyogre is in the common base 90 Speed bracket, the Speed EVs are maximized to optimize its revenge killing capabilities, letting it tie with other base 90 Speed Choice Scarf users, such as Dialga. A Modest nature can still be used for the extra power, however.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Choice Specs is an obvious item to put on Kyogre considering the record-setting power of Water Spout. Almost no switch-in is safe from a 2HKO—even Chansey can be 2HKOed by Water Spout in the rain—making Kyogre an extremely dangerous wallbreaker. Kyogre also has Thunder and Ice Beam, both of which 2HKO Palkia, so that very few Pokemon can safely switch in at all. When Kyogre's HP drops lower, it can use its alternative STAB move, either Surf (at 63.3% HP or lower) or Hydro Pump (at 80% HP or lower).Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This is a simple bulky Calm Mind set with two coverage moves, which allows Kyogre to attempt a sweeper role, using its power and bulk to make up for its low Speed. The main advantage over the Choice sets is that Kyogre can take special hits from opponents like Palkia much better due to the Calm Mind boosts. In fact, after one Calm Mind, Palkia fails to 2HKO Kyogre with Thunder without a Life Orb or Choice Specs boost, while Kyogre easily 2HKOes with its own Thunder. Kyogre can also be more of a team player with Scald—since physical attackers such as Zekrom love to switch in on Kyogre, Kyogre can potentially burn them and effectively neuter them.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set trades coverage moves for the ability to recover HP with Rest + Sleep Talk, making it an extremely "heavy" sweeper that becomes hard to stop once it gets going. This set will eventually defeat even Chansey and Blissey by healing and ridding itself of status ailments. Thus, the set uses a heavily physically defensive EV spread to maximize the defensive stat that Calm Mind does not boost. Scald becomes a great STAB move here, able to burn physical attackers to make Kyogre even harder to KO, though Surf is still well worth using. However, the opponent can exploit Kyogre's relative vulnerability while asleep, as Sleep Talk often picks the wrong move, essentially skipping crucial turns.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although most sets focus on taking advantage of Kyogre's fabulous base 150 Special Attack combined with Drizzle and its famous Water Spout, its amazing base 140 Special Defense, which is higher than Blissey's, is often overlooked. While obviously having a lot less HP than Blissey, Kyogre has several advantages over her as a special wall. Kyogre brings weather support to your team and has certain resistances which are crucial to walling extremely powerful attackers, such as Choice Specs Reshiram, who can 2HKO even Blissey under the sun.
With a specially defensive spread, Kyogre becomes a fabulous check to several top threats in the metagame. Kyurem-W, the hardest hitting special Dragon, might not even 2HKO Kyogre with Choice Specs Draco Meteor.
Kyogre also becomes a great check to most Calm Mind Arceus formes bar Grass and Electric, which are both rare in the current metagame. Even Arceus-Electric will not enjoy repeated Scalds and potential burns on the switch, leaving Arceus-Grass as the only Arceus forme that can beat this Kyogre without fail, though an unboosted Judgment will not 2HKO. Kyogre can choose to either try to burn them and then Roar them out or Roar them out immediately unless sleeping.
If you're Darkrai weak, this Kyogre is the biggest check you can think of outside of Arceus-Fighting. Not only can it absorb sleep for your team, but it also doesn't take much damage from Darkrai's attacks, can Roar it out or 2HKO it in its sleep with Scald, and if Scald burns, KO it in two turns with burn damage. However, keep in mind that, if you get really unlucky with Sleep Talk, Darkrai might 3HKO Kyogre with +2 Dark Pulse combined with Bad Dreams.
Rest gives Kyogre a way to repeatedly switch in and check the threats it needs to deal with. Kyogre can heal up after tanking a Draco Meteor from Reshiram, Kyurem-W, Latias, Latios, or Dialga. This is especially useful when they try to KO with two consecutive Draco Meteors, and if it Rests as they attack, it will wall them easily, because it is generally slower than them with this set. Sleep Talk is Kyogre's only chance to do something while sleeping. Surprisingly, this Kyogre is actually great at checking Palkia, a common check to most Kyogre sets, as Thunder doesn't even 2HKO from full health. Keep in mind, Kyogre will still lose to Palkia one-on-one and Choice Specs versions will still 2HKO you with Thunder. Pairing this set up with Ferrothorn is a good idea to completely wall Choiced Palkia, but beware of Lustrous Orb or mixed variants.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Kyogre can be useful as a lure for fast attackers and leads. It can be used as one of a team's lead options, standing up well to many opposing leads thanks to its bulk. Darkrai loses if Kyogre runs Lum Berry, and Groudon loses to Kyogre's STAB. Faster leads play a risky game between laying Stealth Rock on a Thunder Wave and using Taunt on an attack. When not leading, Kyogre can lure unsuspecting switch-ins, such as Zekrom, Palkia, and Shaymin-S, and cripple them with Thunder Wave; many of Kyogre's common switch-ins do not like Thunder Wave at all.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Substitute is a natural move to consider for a slow, bulky sweeper like Kyogre. The ability to make 101 HP Substitutes is especially notable for allowing Kyogre to set up on Chansey and Blissey, though Kyogre loses some coverage in exchange. Substitute is also an effective scouting tool in general, particularly when Zekrom is on the prowl. Speed isn't very important here due to all the setup time required to pull this set off, so one should just invest in HP and Special Attack to hit hard. Scald is an option to cripple physical attackers.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set can be considered a cross between the slow mono-attacker set and other Calm Mind sets. By using Chesto Berry for a one-time free Rest before sweeping, Kyogre avoids the vulnerable period of sleep while retaining the ability to rid itself of status. Since Kyogre only gets one free Rest, this set requires some care to pull off. The Chesto Berry also provides insurance against Darkrai. The slow nature of this set emphasizes a need to concentrate on power and overall bulk, rather than on Speed.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Kyogre can run a mixed set with Life Orb or Mystic Water to beat Blissey with Waterfall, but it still loses to Chansey if it lacks significant Attack investment. Safeguard, Roar and Toxic are the only other really notable alternatives. All of them have merit on a stall team, but Kyogre tends to perform better in a bulky sweeping role. Toxic is slightly more plausible because it is Kyogre's only way to beat Shedinja through its Focus Sash, but Shedinja is rare and entry hazards are more practical.
Checks and Counters
When talking about checks and counters, there is always the realization that only a few Pokemon can switch into Choice Specs Water Spout at all, and even fewer can switch into Water Spout and Stealth Rock repeatedly. Palkia, specially defensive Giratina, Calm Chansey, defensive Ludicolo, and Gastrodon are the most reliable Pokemon to switch into Water Spout; indeed, their ability to take Water Spouts alone increases their viability significantly. Grass Arceus also takes massive damage but will nonetheless force Kyogre out and weaken it with possible damage from entry hazards and attacks on future switch ins. Since Water Spout weakens as HP decreases, the number of viable switch-ins increases accordingly. Blissey and Ferrothorn can switch into Choice Specs Surfs fairly comfortably, and, consequently, they are very good counters to most Kyogre sets; Ferrothorn 2HKOes Kyogre before it can 2HKO back after one Calm Mind boost. Zekrom also threatens most Kyogre sets by delivering an easy OHKO with Bolt Strike.
The best ways to deal with Kyogre are through offensive pressure and bulky setup sweepers. The aforementioned Ferrothorn and Zekrom deliver in this aspect; in particular, Mixed Zekrom and Substitute + Hone Claws Zekrom can destroy Kyogre + Ferrothorn cores. Bulk Up Dialga is also notable for its ability to set up on nearly every Kyogre set, only really losing to the Choice Specs set. Calm Mind users are great checks to Kyogre because Kyogre tends to lose Calm Mind wars with the many Dragon-types in Ubers, as well as Arceus formes that resist Water. However, many Calm Mind users are weak to Kyogre's coverage moves, which should be kept in mind. Latias, Dragon Arceus, Giratina, and Giratina-O can set up on Kyogre that lack Ice Beam, while Water Arceus, Manaphy, and opposing Kyogre can beat Kyogre that lack Thunder. While Thundurus cannot switch in, it can OHKO Kyogre with Thunder after Stealth Rock damage.
The issue with defensive tactics for dealing with Kyogre is that many Kyogre sets are made to set up on, or just power right through, most defensive Pokemon. The few Pokemon that can take the brutal assaults of Choice Specs Kyogre, such as Chansey, risk giving free turns to a SubCM or mono-attacker set. Nonetheless, the fact that Water Spout loses power as Kyogre loses HP is a great weakness for defensive Pokemon to exploit, so that the likes of Dialga, Grass Arceus, and Giratina can wall Kyogre completely, and even use Roar to foil setup attempts.
Groudon deserves a special mention. While it cannot switch into most of Kyogre's attacks at all, it can still switch into Thunder or come in after a KO, and use Drought to weaken Kyogre's STAB attacks significantly before switching right back out. Kyogre's Water-type assaults are cut to one-third of the power that they have in the rain, making it much easier for Groudon's various teammates to come in. Shedinja also deserves a mention because it walls Kyogre completely, though it cannot switch into entry hazards.