Samurott is one of the few Water-types that can hit hard physically and specially, making it unpredictable because each set has its own counters. It has a usable movepool on both sides, as well as Swords Dance, to limit the amount of Pokemon that can wall it, including access to moves such as Megahorn, which are rarely seen on a Pokemon of its type. Thanks to its above-average defenses, it also can take a hit or two when it needs to, even without any investment. Despite these quirks, Samurott is a bit slow and often finds itself outpaced, a problem considering it has no way to boost its Speed. The individual sets suffer from a bit of competition with other Pokemon such as Feraligatr and Slowking, which have similar options. Despite its status as an NU Pokemon, Samurott is a threat to watch out for in RU.
Samurott's great Special Attack and good coverage, backed by a decent Attack stat, makes Samurott a fearsome wallbreaker that is difficult to switch into. While its Speed isn't that great, it's enough to outspeed many of the Pokemon within the tier, including almost all walls and neutral natured base 80 Speed Pokemon such as Kabutops and Gallade. Hydro Pump is the main STAB option here as it powers through many Pokemon in the tier with ease. Grass Knot's power is inconsistent, but most of the Water-types in the tier, such as Poliwrath and Feraligatr, will be hit harder by Grass Knot than Hidden Power Grass. However, if Lanturn, which is lighter, is an annoyance, Hidden Power Grass can be used to hit it hard. Ice Beam hits Grass- and Dragon-types, both of which resist the combination of Grass and Water, for super effective damage. The final slot is used for a physical option. Megahorn hits the many Psychic-types in the tier, such as Uxie and Jynx, very hard, while also hitting Slowking harder than Grass Knot. However, if these Pokemon are not a concern, Samurott can use Superpower in order to blast through Clefable and Ferroseed, which would otherwise completely wall this set.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Usually, when you think of a Swords Dance using Water-type in RU, you think of Feraligatr or Kabutops, as the former has a better bulk while the latter gets STAB Stone Edge, and both are stronger and faster. However, Samurott has one trick up its sleeve; Megahorn. With this move, Samurott can get past Grass-types far more easily, meaning Pokemon such as Tangrowth cannot wall it—assuming it has a Life Orb, it OHKOes Tangrowth at +2. Water and Bug also gets good neutral coverage, with only a few Pokemon resisting the combination, many of which are irrelevant in RU.
Other than that, Samurott functions fairly similar to the other two Pokemon. Swords Dance allows Samurott to get a boost and obtain 598 Attack at +2. Waterfall demolishes any Pokemon that doesn't resist it, and Aqua Jet picks off faster foes. Thanks to Torrent, Samurott hits a lot harder when at low health with its Water-type moves, allowing it to destroy Pokemon that could have previously taken its hits. Megahorn, as mentioned before, is the advantage of using this set—hitting as hard as a STAB Waterfall on neutral targets, and it is a powerful move that blasts through Psychic-types and especially Grass-types.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Samurott has a few other options to consider. Samurott's physical bulk is fairly good, being equal to that of Quagsire's, and its access to moves such as Scald, Encore, and Dragon Tail are interesting, but a lack of recovery and good defensive ability results in it being outclassed most of the time by other bulky Water-types. A Choice Band allows Samurott to hit hard immediately, but its movepool isn't really enough to fit in a Choice set on the physical side; using Choice Specs results in a similar fate. Return is interesting because it creates Water + Normal coverage, which is resisted only by Ferroseed and Shedinja in RU, but Feraligatr's higher Attack stat makes this option outclassed.
Checks and Counters
To deal with Samurott you first must know what set it is running, and even from there many Pokemon must be careful if they switch into the wrong move. In general, Grass-types stand out as the best checks due to their resistance to Samurott's STAB. Ferroseed is arguably the best option to take down Samurott, as it can take all hits aside from the rare Superpower with ease and wear it down with Leech Seed or set up entry hazards. Other Grass-types need to be careful about Ice Beam and Megahorn, but faster ones such as Sceptile, Rotom-C, and Lilligant can destroy Samurott with their STAB moves and also resist Aqua Jet, making them decent checks to both variants of Samurott. Although Samurott can hit Amoonguss hard with Ice Beam, Amoonguss can use Spore to temporarily shut down Samurott or heal itself with Giga Drain.
The mixed attacker set is particularly difficult to deal with due to its great coverage, but Lanturn has an easy time dealing with it due to its resistance to Water- and Ice-type moves, its light weight reducing Grass Knot's power, and its Special Defense ensuring that even Hidden Power Grass won't be doing much. It is also not weak to any other coverage move Samurott has. Electric-types such as Manectric and Rotom cannot switch into Samurott due to their general frailty, but they can easily OHKO Samurott with Thunderbolt thanks to its relatively low Special Defense. Due to a high Special Defense, Roselia takes hits fairly easily from the mixed attacker, including Ice Beam, and it lacks a weakness to Megahorn as well. The Swords Dance set is arguably a bit easier to defeat, although a +2 Aqua Jet, possibly backed up by Torrent, ensures Electric-types cannot revenge kill it without taking tons of damage. Thanks to Intimidate and its resistance to Megahorn, Qwilfish walls this particular Samurott and can paralyze it or set up entry hazards—note that despite not being weak to anything the mixed attacker has, Hydro Pump can actually 2HKO 252/0 Qwilfish despite the resistance! Poliwrath is similar to Qwilfish, and although it cannot inflict a status on Samurott, it gets healed by its Water-type STAB and can phaze out Samurott, ridding it of its Swords Dance boosts. Finally, although Altaria is not seen often in RU, its good Defense and resistance to both Waterfall and Megahorn mean that Altaria can set up on or wall Samurott lacking Ice Beam.
Samurott gains Shell Armor through the Dream World. This prevents Samurott from getting hit by a critical hit; however, Torrent is more useful as it gives Samurott a boost to its Water-type attacks when at 1/3 health or less, and this is especially useful for Aqua Jet so Samurott can take out revenge killers easily when it has almost bitten the dust.