Poliwag

Water Absorb
Heals 25% HP when hit by a Water-type attack.
Damp
Prevents the use of Selfdestruct or Explosion. Prevents Aftermath from doing damage.
Swift Swim
Speed doubles in rain.
Type Tier
Water LC
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
40
- 20 23 -
Atk
50
9 11 14 15
Def
40
9 10 13 14
SpA
40
9 10 13 14
SpD
40
9 10 13 14
Spe
90
13 15 18 19
  • Little Cup

Overview

Poliwag is a very strong little tadpole. He is one of the fastest Pokemon in the tier, reaching a maximum 19 Speed. He can fit into many roles on a team from being a special attacker, to a Choice item Pokemon, to even being an effective Belly Drum user. Poliwag has a rather shallow offensive movepool, but his deep support movepool more than makes up for it. He may be relatively frail, but with his blistering Speed, Poliwag can be a force to be reckoned with.

Name Item Ability Nature

Special Attacker

Life Orb / Eviolite Swift Swim / Water Absorb Timid / Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Hydro Pump / Surf
~ Ice Beam
~ Hidden Power Grass
~ Hypnosis / Rain Dance
36 Def / 200 SpA / 36 SpD / 196 Spe

This is arguably Poliwag's most useful set. Poliwag has fantastic Speed and can easily outspeed most of the unboosted metagame. Though Poliwag might seem to be outclassed by other Water-types such as Staryu and Chinchou, he has something that the other's do not: Hypnosis. Hypnosis is extremely useful, as it can sleep slower threats that could potentially sweep your team. Hydro Pump is Poliwag's main STAB move and can dish out a lot of damage to anything that doesn't resist it. Surf can be used over Hydro Pump if you prefer reliability to power, but in most cases, Poliwag really needs all the power he can get. Ice Beam is used to beat Grass-types and Dragon-types which resist Hydro Pump. Hidden Power Grass is there for Water-type threats such as Chinchou which resist both Hydro Pump and Ice Beam.

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

BellyWag

Oran Berry Swift Swim / Water Absorb Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Belly Drum
~ Waterfall
~ Return
~ Hypnosis
196 Atk / 36 Def / 36 SpD / 196 Spe

Under the right circumstances, BellyWag can potentially sweep through whole teams. Though this set is very risky, if you manage to pull it off, the reward will be tremendous. After a single Belly Drum, Poliwag gets +6 Attack, and coupled with his blistering 19 Speed, you have a real scary tadpole on your hands. The given moveset is only resisted by Ferroseed and Frillish, which should both be dealt with before attempting to set up. Waterfall is the main STAB move and has a 20% chance of causing a flinch, which is a nice bonus. Return is the best option for the second attack because it lets Poliwag hit the entire metagame neutrally except for Ferroseed and Frillish. Hypnosis is the best option for the last slot to let Poliwag sleep anything slower than him, allowing him to get a free Belly Drum up.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

On the Belly Drum set, you could opt for Encore over Hypnosis to let Poliwag Encore a Water- or Ice-type attack and proceed to Belly Drum. With the new Encore mechanics, however, this can be less effective as Encore now does not last as long. It is also very risky compared to Hypnosis as Poliwag doesn't really want to take any damage before he sets up with Belly Drum. Poliwag also has a relatively deep support movepool with moves such as Toxic, Rain Dance, Haze, Hail, Endeavor, and Swagger. Poliwag also has the move Wake-Up Slap, which has a chance to KO sleeping Munchlax with maximum Attack EVs. Poliwag can run a Substitute + 3 attacks set, or a Substitute + Encore set, but he really doesn't have the bulk to take any hits behind a Substitute.

Checks and Counters

There are a few counters to Poliwag. The best counter to the special attacker set is Ferroseed, which resists all of Poliwag's attacks, barring Ice Beam, which won't do much to it anyway; in return, it can OHKO Poliwag with Bullet Seed. Ferroseed is also a great counter to the BellyWag set considering it resists all of Poliwag's attacks. Frillish is also a hard counter to BellyWag because it, too, resists all of Poliwag's attacks. Choice Scarf Chinchou can switch in and OHKO Poliwag with its STAB Thunderbolt; however, it cannot survive a +6 Return, so it can only safely revenge kill outside of rain. The special attacker set has a lot of trouble breaking through most bulky Pokemon as Poliwag only has mediocre Special Attack; this lack of power will make Poliwag setup bait for the likes of Scraggy. The BellyWag set is also relatively weak to priority users, namely Croagunk and Timburr. Choice Scarf Snover is another check to this set because it can revenge kill with Giga Drain. Unaware Wooper bypasses the Belly Drum boost and can KO with Earthquake. Dratini resists Water-type attacks and can easily beat Poliwag with ExtremeSpeed or set up in his face with Dragon Dance.