- Boosts power of Water-type moves by 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
- Boosts Attack by two stages for every stat drop.
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Since the beginning of DPP, Piplup has maintained a niche all its own in Little Cup: being the only pure Water-type with access to Stealth Rock. That's a pretty big boon for Piplup as it means it, a Pokemon with workable defenses and only two weaknesses, can set up the most dangerous entry hazard in the entire metagame. However, that's really the only thing Piplup has going for it. Piplup has a low Speed stat, which means getting up Stealth Rock will be a challenge for it no matter what. Don't expect a lot out of Piplup, because you probably won't be getting what you want out of it if you do.
With decent defenses, Piplup can pull off a support set. The main reason to use Piplup is Stealth Rock, and Piplup can find its chances to set it up; however, it can be difficult at times due to Piplup's low Speed stat. Despite being a weak move in general, Scald is the best STAB move to use on this set due to its ability to inflict burns. Icy Wind combats Grass-types, while also reducing the opponent's Speed. However, Piplup will be more susceptible to being KOed due to Icy Wind's low Base Power, making Ice Beam a viable option. Toxic helps spread poison throughout the opponent's team and makes it easier for Piplup's teammates to sweep later on in the game.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
A set utilizing Substitute and Agility would be useful in helping Piplup sweep, but it lacks the coverage to make it work effectively. Yawn is a nice alternative to Toxic, but the two turns it requires means Piplup risks accidentally burning something with Scald before it falls asleep. Signal Beam can get a surprise hit on Psychic- and Dark-types, but they're incredibly rare. FeatherDance could be useful in patching up Piplup's weaker physical side, but the residual damage from Toxic is more appreciated. Hidden Power Grass can help prevent Water-types from ruining things for Piplup, while Hidden Power Fire can get a surprise hit on Snover and Ferroseed, but both options make it harder to deal with other threats and make the set mostly offensive, leaving Piplup largely outclassed by other Water-types.
Checks and Counters
Ferroseed is the best counter to Piplup, taking little damage from Icy Wind and being able to OHKO Piplup with Bullet Seed. Chinchou and Staryu are also great counters because they resist both attacks and have a way to avoid Toxic, while being able to OHKO with Thunderbolt. In addition, Staryu is able to get rid of Stealth Rock with Rapid Spin. Magnemite is a very good counter as well for similar reasons, though it is neutral to Scald. Grass-types such as Snover, Lileep, and Foongus can all deal heavy damage with Giga Drain. Croagunk is immune to Scald and Toxic and is neutral to Ice Beam, while Mienfoo and Scraggy can hit hard from the physical side and don't mind Toxic damage.
Piplup receives Defiant from the Dream World. However, as all released Defiant Piplup have been level 10 and male, the ability is not usable in Little Cup, as it is impossible to obtain a level 5 Piplup with the ability. If this situation ever changes, the ability would be useful in stopping Intimidate, but since Piplup has no warrant in a physical set, Torrent is the overall preferred ability.