Qwilfish

Poison Point
30% chance to poison when struck by a contact move.
Swift Swim
Speed doubles in rain.
Intimidate
Lowers the foe's Attack one stage. Decreases wild encounter rate.
Type Tier
Water / Poison RU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 271 334 -
Atk
95
203 226 289 317
Def
75
167 186 249 273
SpA
55
131 146 209 229
SpD
55
131 146 209 229
Spe
85
185 206 269 295

Overview

Qwilfish occupies a very specialized niche in the UU metagame: it has the unique capability to check both Fire- and Fighting-type physical attackers that can run through teams with their powerful STAB attacks. True to its thorny exterior, Qwilfish can also lay down Spikes to break down opposing teams, making it one of the best utility Pokemon in the tier. One of the Balloon Pokemon's biggest weaknesses was remedied in BW2, as Intimidate and Pain Split are compatible on a single set, allowing Qwilfish to both cushion the physical attacks it switches into and recover its health fairly reliably. However, with its horrid Special Defense, Qwilfish can be struck down by most neutral or super effective special attacks. Combined with unfortunate weaknesses to Ground-, Electric-, and Psychic-type attacks, Qwilfish is by no means an unbreakable defensive threat. Still, if played to its strengths, Qwilfish makes a great check to many dangerous threats and a superb team supporter.

Name Item Ability Nature

Utility

Black Sludge Intimidate Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Spikes
~ Pain Split
~ Waterfall / Poison Jab
~ Haze / Thunder Wave
252 HP / 204 Def / 52 Spe

With Intimidate, its Dream World ability, Qwilfish makes a great check to many physical threats, such as Heracross, Azumarill, and Darmanitan. Once in play, Qwilfish can proceed to set up layers of Spikes to wear down the opponent's team. Pain Split is a welcome addition from BW2, and if used at opportune times will keep Qwilfish at enough health to continue sponging powerful hits. Waterfall is Qwilfish's primary option for offense, allowing it to damage Cobalion while also hitting Fire-types super effectively. Poison Jab is another option to hit physical Kingdra, which Qwilfish struggles against otherwise, while also hitting switch-ins with a chance to poison. Finally, Haze is an effective way to check setup sweepers looking to capitalize on Qwilfish's modest offensive capabilities, such as Bulk Up Scrafty or Calm Mind Suicune. Thunder Wave is another great option to cripple almost anything it hits — it's especially effective because most Ground-types fear a STAB Waterfall and are therefore reluctant to switch in to absorb Thunder Wave. If Qwilfish does manage to paralyze an opposing threat, it can take advantage of the flinch chance of Waterfall as well as the chance of a full paralysis, which means the opponent will have a reduced chance to hit Qwilfish at all.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Instead of using significant defensive investment to lay down Spikes, Qwilfish can utilize its decent Attack and Speed, as well as its access to Destiny Bond and Explosion, to become a dangerous offensive Spikes user. However, Scolipede, Accelgor, or Smeargle can run that set more effectively. Qwilfish can use Swords Dance and Swift Swim on a Rain Dance team to become a powerful sweeper, but it faces heavy competition from Kabutops, Kingdra, and Ludicolo as a Swift Swim user. The ability to absorb Toxic Spikes, once Qwilfish's claim to fame for rain teams, is less important in a metagame with many grounded Poison-types, and other Swift Swim Pokemon can outpower Qwilfish without needing to explode on the sturdiest walls.

Checks and Counters

Blastoise and Hitmontop are huge annoyances for Qwilfish because they take little damage from Waterfall and can Rapid Spin away the Spikes that Qwilfish put down. Xatu works along the same lines because of Magic Bounce, which will reflect the hazards back onto Qwilfish's side of the field. While they are unable to clear away Spikes, Swampert and Quagsire can capitalize on Qwilfish's weakness to Ground-type attacks and maim Qwilfish with Earthquake.

In addition to these options, most special attackers can handle Qwilfish without trouble. Slower Pokemon, such as Porygon2 and Slowbro, do not mind Thunder Wave and can strike back with super effective attacks. Offensively inclined checks take more damage from either Waterfall or Poison Jab, but because few Qwilfish invest in Attack, most Pokemon can weather a few hits and knock out Qwilfish. Pokemon such as Roserade, Shaymin, Zapdos, Raikou, and Azelf fit solidly into this category. Roserade and Shaymin have powerful attacks such as Leaf Storm and Seed Flare to take out Qwilfish and have Natural Cure to guard against Qwilfish's status attempts. The latter three are more susceptible to status, but they have super effective STAB attacks that will almost certainly knock Qwilfish out in a single hit. As long as you minimize Qwilfish's chances to lay down Spikes and are able to overwhelm its weak Special Defense, Qwilfish will not cause you significant headaches.