Poliwrath

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 / Fighting RU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
90
- 165 197 -
Atk
85
94 105 137 150
Def
95
103 115 147 161
SpA
70
81 90 122 134
SpD
90
99 110 142 156
Spe
70
81 90 122 134

Overview

While often overlooked due to its fellow amphibian—Politoed—acquiring Drizzle as a Dream World ability, Poliwrath is valid Pokemon in VGC in its own right. Sporting two water-related abilities in Swift Swim and Water Absorb, it can function well on a rain team. Poliwrath's unique Water / Fighting typing and respectable movepool allow it to perform both offensive and supportive roles on a team. While its stats may be considered a bit too balanced at times, its exclusive access to having both Belly Drum and Swift Swim should not be overlooked. If you're looking for a risky strategy or a solid support Pokemon, give Poliwrath a try.

Name Item Ability Nature

Belly Drum

Sitrus Berry Swift Swim Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Waterfall
~ Brick Break / Earthquake
~ Belly Drum
~ Protect
168 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 80 Spe

Poliwrath is neither particularly fast nor hard-hitting, but these problems can be alleviated after a bit of setup. By using Belly Drum, Poliwrath skyrockets to a whopping 600 Attack, and with Swift Swim it will outrun just about anything in the rain. Waterfall is Poliwrath's primary STAB move, dealing extra damage with the rain up. Brick Break acts as a seconday STAB move, providing decent coverage when used in tandem with Waterfall. Earthquake can be used instead of Brick Break, offering Poliwrath a way to hit multiple targets after powering up, it also allows Poliwrath to take down Amoonguss and Jellicent after a Belly Drum, in exchange for the ability to KO Ludicolo and Abomasnow. Lastly, Protect allows Poliwrath to stop and scout incoming attacks that will likely be directed at it.

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

Support

Sitrus Berry Water Absorb Careful
Moveset EVs
~ Waterfall
~ Brick Break
~ Icy Wind
~ Helping Hand / Protect
252 HP / 180 Atk / 76 SpD

This Poliwrath is designed to play a supportive role on a team. Waterfall and Brick Break allow Poliwrath to show a bit of offensive presence, utilizing its unique Water / Fighting typing to its advantage. Icy Wind slows the opposing team down, allowing slower Pokemon to gain an upper hand in the battle. Helping Hand allows Poliwrath to strengthen its ally's attacks, which is especially useful if its ally runs Surf. Protect may be used instead of Helping Hand, allowing Poliwrath to defend itself from attacks if needed.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Poliwrath's third ability, Damp, can be used to prevent the opponent from using Explosion. However, with the nerf to Explosion in BW, it isn't nearly as potent or common as it was in past years. Poliwrath can run Ice Punch, allowing to it fare better against Dragon-type Pokemon, but keep in mind that Ice Punch in combination with Swift Swim is currently illegal. Low Sweep can be used as an alternative to Brick Break; while it is weaker than Brick Break, Low Sweep's secondary effect is more useful. Payback can allow Poliwrath to strike hard against Latios and Cresselia, both of whom normally take Poliwrath's attacks with ease. Circle Throw can be used to phase out Trick Room users. Rain Dance can be used, allowing Poliwrath to manually set up the rain for the team. Hypnosis can catch the opponent off guard, sending an opponent off to bed, but with only 60% accuracy it is a risky move to use. Lastly, Encore can be used by Poliwrath as a way to disrupt the opponent, locking them into their previously used move.

Checks and Counters

As long as Poliwrath hasn't set up, or lacks rain on the battlefield, it isn't too difficult to deal with. Electric-type Pokemon, Zapdos and Rotom-W in particular, don't take too much from Poliwrath's attacks and can zap it with Thunderbolt. Other Swift Swim users, such as Ludicolo and Kingdra, will always outrun Poliwrath and can hit it hard with Giga Drain or Draco Meteor respectively. Dragon-type Pokemon such as Latios, Salamence, and Latias resist all of Poliwrath's main offensive moves, allowing them to reliably take on the fighting frog, as long as it hasn't used Belly Drum. Lastly, Jellicent is immune to both of Poliwrath's STAB moves, and cannot be harmed if Poliwrath does not run Earthquake. Don't get overconfident, though; resisting Poliwrath's main attacks doesn't stop Poliwrath from supporting its ally with either Helping Hand or Icy Wind.