Slowking has an interesting niche as a mixed tank in the BW OU metagame, but it often falls short of a place on many teams due its mediocre Defense, abysmal Speed, and weakness to Pursuit and U-turn, all which make its life extremely uncomfortable in a tier dominated by physical powerhouses, namely Tyranitar and Scizor. It also faces direct competition from its physically defensive cousin Slowbro, who is often preferred for its ability to counter many of the game's powerful Fighting-types and a generally better typing for tanking physical attacks.
Fans of the king may rejoice, however, for what it lacks in raw defensive capability, it makes up for in general utility. It's one of the very best Keldeo counters in the game, a feat that shouldn't be perceived as insignificant as Keldeo itself is difficult to counter on average. Slowking also has two useful attacks that Slowbro doesn't have: Dragon Tail and Nasty Plot. With Dragon Tail, Slowking can phaze powerful set-up sweepers such as Reuniclus and Conkeldurr. With Nasty Plot, Slowking establishes itself as a very competent sweeping aid, and poses a veritable threat under Trick Room. Its solid Special Defense and extremely useful ability, Regenerator, also make it a valuable candidate for absorbing a stray Hydro Pump or Draco Meteor without fear of being worn down over the course of a match. In addition, Slowking is an adept Choice attacker with Choice Specs, great STAB's, fantastic coverage, and Trick. While it may not find a home on many conventional teams, the eccentric but effective nature of the king's abilities earn it a silent spot within the populous OU metagame.
In a tier where auto-weather dominates, Slowking's defensive prowess is a blessing. Its Water and Fire resistances allow it to switch in on the common weather starters Ninetales and Politoed without being worn away, thanks to Regenerator. The Water resistance is crucial here as Politoed is by far the more common of the two. Keldeo, one of the the most dominate offensive Rain sweepers in the game is easily countered by Slowking, who can bypass Calm Mind boosts with Psyshock. Infernape, another problematic Pokemon for many teams, is also countered consummately; factoring in Leftovers recovery, even a Nasty Plot-boosted Grass Knot fails to OHKO Slowking. Be on the lookout for U-turn though, as it gives Infernape a free shot and an instant ticket out of the match-up, which could spell doom for Slowking if Infernape is paired with a Pursuit user.
As a mixed wall, Slowking carries a great burden on its shoulders, as it is expected to switch in on and scare off a wide range of potent physical and special attackers. Its important Fighting resistance, glaring Pursuit weakness, and modest Defense stat mean Slowking can't invest as much in its Special Defense as it might like. The current EV spread compromises by giving it enough Special Defense to switch in on Specs Politoed's rain-boosted Hydro Pumps, while also allowing it to wall powerful STAB Fighting-type attacks from the likes of Conkeldurr and Choice Band Terrakion. It may not always be safe for the king to switch in, though; Terrakion's X-Scissor or Stone Edge will wreck Slowking, and a Conkeldurr at +1 will 2HKO with Payback.
Scald is the STAB attack of choice for its burn rate, which helps ward off potential counters like Tyranitar. Psyshock also gives it a chance to counter Fighting-types such as Conkeldurr, and Toxicroak, while also preventing Tentacruel from setting up Toxic Spikes without fear, while Flamethrower is mainly used to combat Scizor and Ferrothorn trying to switch in. Dragon Tail lets Slowking force out anything it can't beat immediately, and phases set-up Pokemon like Reuniclus, Latias, and Conkeldurr in a clutch situation. Thunder Wave can cripple offensive Pokemon and Slowking has multiple opportunities to spread paralysis due to its staying power.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With its abysmal Speed stat, usable Special Attack, good bulk, and great coverage, Slowking is a natural candidate for an offensive Trick Room set. Similarily to Trick Room Reuniclus, this Slowking acts as a late-game cleaner while also being a useful pivot for taking special attacks throughout the entire game, thanks to Regenerator. However, this set's real strength lies in its ability to greatly threaten offensive rain teams—a very dominant playstyle—as well as act as an amazing Keldeo check. Slowking can easily switch into Pokemon such as Choice Scarf Politoed, offensive Starmie, and Keldeo, and proceed to put pressure on the opposition. Surf is Slowking's main STAB move; it is quite powerful under rain, OHKOing most offensive Pokemon neutral to it. Psyshock covers many threats that don't mind Surf, such as Tentacruel, Keldeo, Toxicroak, and Breloom. Ice Beam hits Dragon- and Grass-types that resist Surf, while Shadow Ball still takes care of some Dragon- and Grass-types, namely Latios, Latias, and Celebi, but also allows Slowking to OHKO / 2HKO Jellicent and Starmie.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Slowking usually fulfils a more defensive role, this set uses the element of surprise as well as Slowking's great Special Attack to nab KOes against unsuspecting teams. Slowking boasts considerable bulk, as well as an excellent offensive movepool, both of which ensure it is not outclassed by other offensive Water-types, such as Starmie and Rotom-W. Slowking hits extremely hard under rain, and still retains its good bulk even when running an offensive EV spread. These two assets enable Slowking to counter rain teams, as well as Keldeo, effectively. Checking Keldeo and other Water-type attackers is the main advantage Slowking has over its physically bulky brother, Slowbro, as Slowbro has very similar stats and movepool to Slowking aside from a lower Special Defense stat. This set is meant for more balanced teams that appreciate Pokemon such as Slowking that hit hard and yet are bulky at the same time.
Although Slowking does not have access to Hydro Pump, Surf does more than enough damage, especially in rain. Nothing is going to like taking a Surf, as it can OHKO pretty much anything not named Blissey or Chansey that does not resist it under rain. Fire Blast is reserved pretty much just for Ferrothorn, as Surf does more to other Steel-types, but it does more than Ice Beam to Celebi and other Grass-types under neutral weather. Psyshock is Slowking's other STAB and is mainly for Keldeo, which Slowking checks extremely well. It also hits the pink blobs, which otherwise wall Slowking, for a sizeable chunk of damage. Ice Beam is an option if hitting Keldeo is not of utmost concern, as Slowking will otherwise struggle against Dragon-types. Latios in particular gives Slowking a lot of trouble, as Slowking cannot survive more than one Draco Meteor unless it invests heavily in Special Defense. Trick is the crux of the set, as it allows Slowking to rid itself of its Choice Specs and cripple bulky opponents such as Blissey and Chansey that can otherwise wall Slowking, rendering them incapable of walling much for the remainder of the match.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Calm Mind sets are entirely outclassed by Slowbro, who has a much higher base Defense to work with. Thunder Wave is an inferior option on sets that employ the use of Scald, since it denies Slowking the chance to burn some of its common physical enemies. Nasty Plot sets are an option, but Slowking is too slow to make use out of the boost in power. A standalone Trick Room set is an option, but Slowking suffers from coverage issues if it's using Trick Room. Grass Knot is only useful in defeating Gastrodon, as Swampert and Quagsire lacking Water Absorb already take a decent amount of damage from a rain-boosted Scald, with an additional burn chance.
Checks and Counters
Unless burned switching in, Tyranitar wreaks havoc on all Slowking sets. Defensive variants 2HKO the king effortlessly with Crunch, as a +2 Scald barely dents Tyranitar, and Choice Band variants can trap Slowking with Pursuit. Choice Scarf Tyranitar is also a good counter, but its Crunch is weaker and does not OHKO, whereas a boosted Scald can take it out after Stealth Rock damage. Scrafty can also switch in on Slowking and boost without fear unless it's raining, in which case Scrafty risks being KOed by a +2 Scald. Choice Band Scizor is a forerunner among Slowking checks, able to trap it with Pursuit or U-turn to OHKO or steal momentum as Slowking switches out. However, Scizor fears Scald's burn chance in addition to Flamethrower or Fire Blast.
Slowking's Defense is much weaker than its Special Defense, so it generally has more problems dealing with physical powerhouses. Choice Band Haxorus, for instance, can KO it with Outrage after Stealth Rock damage. Ferrothorn can also dent it severely with Power Whip, or set up entry hazards if Slowking isn't packing a Fire-type move. Electric- and Grass-types, such as Breloom and Thundurus-T, also make good checks as long as Slowking is not at full health or hasn't boosted. Keep an eye out for Rotom-W and Celebi especially, as both are very common in standard play, with the latter using Slowking as a free setup opportunity should it lack Ice Beam or Fire Blast. Hydreigon can also threaten Slowking with Dark Pulse.