Seismitoad has several qualities that earn it a spot on many teams in NU. Its stats are very well-balanced, making it a threat to look out for both offensively and defensively. Its excellent bulk, Water / Ground typing, and incredibly useful ability in Water Absorb allow Seismitoad to serve as a capable defensive pivot. On the other hand, Seismitoad's access to powerful attacks, such as Hydro Pump and Earthquake, and Swift Swim ability ensure its capability as a sweeper and offensive tank as well. Its access to Stealth Rock only adds to its viability, as it functions incredibly well as a Stealth Rock setter thanks to its ability to threaten out a large majority of the tier and set it up. Unfortunately, Seismitoad's lack of reliable recovery severely hinders its ability to check multiple threats on a team; in other words, it's worn down quite easily, especially with the offensive nature of the metagame. While its typing might bless it with various resistances and immunities, it also burdens Seismitoad with a crippling 4x weakness to Grass that opponents can easily use to their advantage.
Thanks to its excellent typing, useful ability, and good bulk, Seismitoad is extremely effective with a physically based defensive set. It matches up excellently against the most common users of Stealth Rock in the tier: Golem, Piloswine, Golurk, Regirock, and Armaldo, all of which are weak to its STAB moves and are physical attackers. In addition, their special bulk is average at best, meaning that Seismitoad can dispose of them easily with Scald. To truly appreciate just how effective Seismitoad is at taking on these Pokemon, it's only 3HKOed by Golurk, has a 25% chance to be 4HKOed by Golem, is 4HKOed by Piloswine, and is only 5HKOed by Armaldo, while Regirock cannot even touch it. These are all Pokemon with high Attack stats, generally full offensive investment, and powerful Earthquakes. Being physically based also makes Seismitoad the best counter to one of the most threatening Pokemon in the tier: Shell Smash Carracosta. However, Seismitoad is not limited to taking resisted hits; both Choice Band Sawk and Braviary fail to OHKO it even after Stealth Rock and Spikes damage, while Seismitoad can deal a powerful blow to Sawk's reduced defenses or potentially burn them both with Scald.
Stealth Rock is an obvious choice on a Pokemon that matches up so well against the other Pokemon that set it up and outspeeds all of them even with a Relaxed nature. Major threats such as Scolipede, Jynx, and Charizard hate having to lose so much of their HP when they switch in, and Seismitoad is extremely reliable at ensuring this happens. Scald is the obligatory STAB move of choice on a defensive Water-type Pokemon such as Seismitoad, and the relatively high chance to burn the opponent makes Seismitoad even more of a full stop to physical attackers. Earthquake is the recommended move over Earth Power, as it OHKOes Jynx after Stealth Rock and generally deals more damage. The last slot is fairly variable. Toxic is the recommended choice, as bulky Grass-types, such as Serperior and Ludicolo, love to switch into Seismitoad but absolutely despise being badly poisoned. It's also an excellent way to wear down other bulky Water-types, such as Alomomola. Knock Off is a more colorful option that can be used to scout potential sets based on the opponent's item and is very handy for crippling the many Eviolite users that reside in the tier.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set takes a more offensive approach to setting up Stealth Rock in order to take advantage of its excellent offensive typing, while still matching up brilliantly against opposing Stealth Rock leads. With the combination of its two STABs, Seismitoad is capable of taking down nearly every Stealth Rock lead in the tier barring the rare Torterra and Cradily, effectively turning it into a powerful anti-lead. While it certainly can't stomach Earthquakes as well as more defensive sets can, it really doesn't need to, as its higher offensive presence allows it to take down opposing leads in one or two hits.
Stealth Rock is a staple on this set, as Seismitoad is such a reliable setter of it and can then follow up with a powerful attack. While Seismitoad does somewhat lack power, Hydro Pump's high Base Power more than makes up for this, making quick work of common leads such as Golurk, Golem, Piloswine, Armaldo, and Regirock. Earth Power is Seismitoad's chosen Ground STAB, notably hitting Steel-types such as Metang, Probopass, and Bastiodon, none of which can do much in return. Finally, the last moveslot is generally reserved for Toxic, deterring bulky walls and Grass-types from switching in, as the chip damage can go a long way in ensuring one doesn't get swept by the likes of Ludicolo and Serperior. Grass Knot, on the other hand, is a viable coverage move that adds to Seismitoad's ability as an anti-lead; while it doesn't appear to provide much in coverage, it punishes opposing Seismitoad, which in itself makes it viable. Aside from that, though, Toxic is the more useful choice.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This is the most offensive approach to Seismitoad you can take and is its best shot at sweeping. While it might have inferior offensive stats and a narrower offensive movepool than other Swift Swim sweepers such as Gorebyss and Ludicolo, Seismitoad has two qualities that set it apart from its competition: an immunity to Electric and access to Stealth Rock. This can be key for many dedicated rain teams, who would often otherwise lack both. While there are often better choices for standalone rain sweepers, Seismitoad plays the role of both a supporter and a sweeper, and it pulls it off well.
Rain Dance is the obvious focus of the set; doubling Seismitoad's Speed and significantly increasing its power is mandatory to begin its sweep. Also, because Seismitoad often finds itself paired up with other rain sweepers, they can often pick up each other's slack should one of them be taken down. Hydro Pump is the obvious Water STAB, hitting extremely hard when factoring in rain and the Life Orb boost. Earthquake is the recommended Ground STAB on this set—while it does split Seismitoad's offenses and forces it to run a Defense-lowering nature, it boasts the ability to OHKO and 2HKO Jynx and Roselia, respectively, two huge threats to rain teams. Finally, Stealth Rock is an extremely useful move in the last slot, allowing Seismitoad to support its team and still be able to reliably sweep in the rain. As many rain teams often lack a Stealth Rock setter, it's also a massive selling point in that regard. That said, if your team does already have a Stealth Rock setter, Sludge Bomb provides great coverage alongside Seismitoad's STABs, notably hitting Grass-types for super effective damage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Seismitoad does have a rather shallow movepool (even lacking moves such as Waterfall and Ice Beam), and most of its options have already been covered. RestTalk is Seismitoad's only form of recovery, but RestTalk is far too unreliable to work and often ends up doing more harm than good due to forcing Seismitoad to give up two valuable moveslots. Focus Blast can be used on the offensive sets to provide coverage against Normal-types, such as Lickilicky and Audino. Unfortunately, they are both bulky enough that they can take Focus Blast and heal it off, so it doesn't help much at all. Seismitoad's physical movepool is relatively expansive, with access to moves such as Earthquake, Drain Punch, Ice Punch, and Rock Slide, so a fully physical set sounds decent at first. The lack of a Water-type STAB is rather disappointing, though. Likewise, a mixed set using moves such as Hydro Pump, Earthquake, Sludge Bomb, and Drain Punch sounds plausible, but it doesn't end up accomplishing anything Seismitoad's other sets can't already do.
A special mention goes to a set carrying both Substitute and Toxic, allowing Seismitoad to systematically break down walls such as Alomomola. It does, however, detract from Seismitoad's sweeping potential quite a bit. It's still a perfectly viable set, though; it just doesn't differentiate itself enough to warrant its own set. Another interesting choice is the combination of Substitute and Endeavor, allowing Seismitoad to lure in and defeat many of its counters; this is somewhat difficult to pull off, however, and detracts from Seismitoad's utility. Poison Touch might sound interesting on physical sets, but in reality it is just straight-up outclassed by Seismitoad's other two abilities. Rindo Berry is an interesting item, particularly on the more defensive sets; it allows Seismitoad to survive one Grass-type move and proceed to do what it likes. However, this does not make up for a lack of Leftovers, and it only works once. Finally, Choice Specs is usable, but it is inferior to other offensive sets, as they boast far more utility.
Checks and Counters
As it stands, Grass-types are the best clear-cut answers to Seismitoad; not only do they resist its STAB combination, but they can OHKO in return with their STABs. A Grass / Poison-type, such as Vileplume, fares even better against Seismitoad—not only is it not weak to Sludge Bomb, but it is immune to Toxic as well, leaving Seismitoad with near no hope of emerging victorious. As Seismitoad is not overly powerful, special walls generally fare well against it. Lickilicky and Altaria are two prime example of this, thanks to their ability to take Seismitoad's attacks with ease and heal off Toxic with Heal Bell. Mantine is basically a complete stop to any Seismitoad; it is immune to both its STABs, can heal off Toxic thanks to Rest, and can whittle away at Seismitoad's health with Air Slash. Regice is another great counter to Seismitoad, not fearing Toxic thanks to Rest and taking it down with a few Ice Beams. Jynx is also an excellent check thanks to Dry Skin and the ability to threaten it with Lovely Kiss, though it does fear Earthquake. Finally, residual damage—in addition to simply pounding away at it with powerful attacks—is effective at wearing down Seismitoad, as its lack of reliable recovery can easily be used against it.